Big Government/Small Government: Is Size a Real Faith Issue?

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Is the size of government a faith issue? It is certainly a perennial political issue and the current discussions about the federal budget deficit and the “fiscal cliff” have pushed this matter to the forefront. But is there really a right answer about government size that Christians should promote? Some respond with an emphatic, “Yes!” I’m not altogether convinced. Surely, certain kinds of big government have been destructive, think the USSR. But certain kinds of small government have also been destructive, think Pinochet’s Chile.

While some seem to believe small government is intrinsically good, I suspect few if any believe big government is intrinsically good. Yet those who attack big government do so as if there were people who hold that the bigger the government the better. In fact, there are no such people. Instead there are only people who believe the government needs to be of a size necessary to deal with the problems the government should be used to address. The real disagreement centers around which problems are the appropriate ones to be tackled by the government.

On the surface it seems that the majority of Americans want a smaller government.  In a Post-ABC poll taken this past August respondents were asked, “Generally speaking, would you say you favor (smaller government with fewer services), or (larger government with more services)?” A solid majority (56%) expressed support for smaller government over larger government with more services (38%). But that is support for an abstract concept. When particular issues are named in the poll – Medicare, over-regulation of the market, the best way to create jobs, etc. – majority support for small government solutions disappears.

The real difference among Christians – and others – is not between those who want large government and those who want a small government. I know plenty of people all along the political spectrum who want smaller government. But people don’t agree what that means. It is not the size that is the most important consideration but the shape, shape determined by function. What really counts comes down to where in the government you want it to be smaller and where you want it to be large or larger.

Also by Craig: Presidential Politics, Big Military and Jesus

Some on the religious right claim that scripture allows for only a narrow range of functions. But in fact there is no “biblical case for limited government.” To try to squeeze such a case from little glimpses found in the Scriptures of the simple government of the much simpler times of ancient Israel is misguided. What we know of the structure of government in biblical Israel should no more be regarded as a precedent, than the fact that communication in the Bible was done face to face, through an emissary or in written form should be seen as disallowing the use of cell phones and computers. Surely, those who claim to find a precedent for limited government in the scriptures would be less inclined to limit business according to the confines of the primitive world of the Bible.

It is naïve to think the Bible provides some sort of blueprint for government. The idea that we can turn to the Scriptures to see “what God tells the civil government to do” is misguided. Passages like Romans 13:1-7 are not about the limits or design of the state. This text calls upon Christians to recognize that the government has a role in God’s plan to curtail evil. But this passage is not a comprehensive presentation of legitimate roles for the government. To claim that politicians and national leaders “need to be able to show us from the Bible how the task they have undertaken is legitimate” is a ludicrous notion of the appropriate function of scripture for Christians.

I, for one, am strongly in support of smaller government. I think that the U.S. government is too large in ways that work against the well-being of far too many people. I very much want the government to shrink in ways that I believe will be socially beneficial and more reflective of priorities appropriate for a people of faith. But unlike the “usual suspects” among the opponents of big government, I don’t think the problem lies with the welfare state. Rather the real danger is with the military-surveillance state and with programs that further empower the powerful. So when I hear talk about shrinking government, the following are some of the things that enter my mind.

First of all, I would like to see a smaller military. The current defense budget is nearly as large as that of the defense budgets of all the other nations of the world combined. This budget could be cut in half and it would still be three times the size of defense budget of the next largest nation, that of China. And the fact is that not all defense related expenditures are even contained in the defense budget. While defenders of the hyper-bloated military claim that deep cuts will jeopardize national security, in fact it would be certain kinds of jobs that would more likely be jeopardized. The Department of Defense is the biggest employer in the world. A portion of the funds taken from defense could be used to create even more jobs in education and healthcare for less money.

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Second, I would like to see the prison system greatly reduced. The U.S. has by far the largest prison population of any nation in the world at 715 people serving sentences per every 100,000 people. Are citizens safer because of the high level of incarceration? Not likely. Many of those behind bars have been convicted of victimless crimes. There are also many who are in prison for non-violent crimes. Sending these violators to prison is usually not rehabilitative but detrimental, both to them and to society as a whole. The cost per year of keeping them in prison exceeds the amount needed to attend an Ivy League university. Being “tough on [non-violent] crime” ends up being very tough on the federal budget – and state budgets as well – and there is little positive to show for it.

Also by Craig: Robbing the Rich: Biblical Concern or Political Preoccupation?

Third, the far-reaching spying and surveillance apparatus needs to be curtailed. Domestic spying and warrantless wiretaps were loudly protested by liberals when George W. Bush was President. But they have been greatly expanded under President Obama. There is evidence that during the last several years incidences of spying on Americans’ electronic communications have skyrocketed. Security whistleblowers have been harassed and prosecuted more under President Obama than under any other President. Last year he signed the National Defense Authorization which grants the federal government the authority to imprison indefinitely citizens who have been accused of terrorism. The full scope and costs of intelligence operations are unclear because they remain undisclosed. But what is certainly known is that there has been extraordinary growth in this area during the past decade.

Fourth, I would like to reduce the size of government by deeply cutting corporate welfare. Over $92 billion, or five percent of the federal budget, goes to corporate welfare each year, in contrast to the less than $60 billion that is expended on traditional social welfare. Yet those who most often call for reducing the size of government largely ignore the former and focus their attention on the latter. The fossil fuel industry, big agriculture companies and large operations like Walmart suck up most of the corporate welfare. In contrast to social welfare, where funds are used to help those who are the most vulnerable, corporate welfare provides subsides that  increase the already considerable advantage the large, strong companies already have over smaller competing businesses. The powerful companies are well able to stand on their own without handouts from the state.

The government is vastly over-bloated in these areas. I see no support for these manifestations of big government arising from a biblical faith. It is, I believe, ridiculous to suggest that Health and Human Services or the Social Security Administration is where big government becomes a danger to the well-being of the population. If we are honest, we have to admit that when government becomes most clearly oppressive the source of the problem is the military and surveillance functions of the government. So if Christians are going to take on the issue of big government, it is important that they not misplace their focus by taking aim, not at the military-surveillance state but at programs that help people, particularly the most needy.


Craig M. Watts is the minister of Royal Palm Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Coral Springs, Florida and Co-Moderator of Disciples Peace Fellowship. He authored the book Disciple of Peace: Alexander Campbell on Pacifism, Violence and the State (Doulos Christou Press: Indianapolis, 2005) and his essays have appeared in many journals such as Cross Currents, Encounter, the Otherside, DisciplesWorld and more. Craig blogs on the Disciples Peace Fellowship’s, “Shalom Vision.”

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  • Jonathan

    Amen.


    Interestingly enough I began to see the role for government through an Anabaptist non-violent church.

  • Drew

    Government should be about rewarding good, punishing evil, and allowing the people to live peaceful and quiet lives (1 Timothy 2, Romans 13). Not that this excludes other roles for government, but these are the primary roles of government.

    I do agree, generally, there needs to reform in our defense budget, prison system, and corporate welfare system. I think at some point you might even see the tide shift to where we legalize and regulate marijuana, which will raise tax revenues, decrease prison populations, and decrease prison spending. However, I also believe we need reform in our entitlement system as well. It is my hope that the entitlement system is curbed in America and replaced with a stronger and better-funded education system. Instead of constantly giving Americans no-strings attached freebies, we need to give them the tools (like easier access to education) to give them a permanent path out of poverty. Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    More important than what Americans want is what the Constitution MANDATES! We are NOT a Mob Rule Majority Tyrannical Democracy; we’re a Federalist, States’ Rights Constitutional RULE OF LAW Republic. No man, not even Obama, and his sycophantic 51% is above the law and can change the Constitution without 75% (38 OUT OF 50) of States ratifying an amendment. The Executive Branch: Obama, has NO say in this process; none at all!

    • Eric

      Your approach to the constitution is not supported by those who actually know the most about the constitution, professors of constitutional law. The constitution allows for much more than you claim. In fact the preamble of the constitution undercuts the narrow Tea Party huff and puff about what the constitution disallows. Reading a good little informed article that speaks to the Ron Paul version of the constitution might be helpful to people who are inclined to think as you do. Check it out: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/11/27/ron-pauls-appalling-world-view/

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        Your first mistake was assuming that I don’t know more about the Constitution than you and imaginary others do. The next mistake you made was to assume that the Constitution allows for more than it does. Lying is never not a sin because so many people — perhaps like yourself — do it so much and extol its virtues; lying is a sin because God says so.

        THAT’s the starting point for a discussion on the Constitution – what it says and NOTING what it doesn’t say. You’re welcome for being disabused!

        • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

          I feel like Alice in Wonderland, this keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. The issue is the size of government regarding 1. the military; 2. the prison system; 3. surveillance; and 4. corporate welfare. Those questions have nothing to do with Constitutional Law whatsoever.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        The U.S. Supreme Court has held: the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution “has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments”; and, that SCOTUS ASSOCIATE JUSTICE JOSEPH STORY’S construction of the Article I, Section 8 General Welfare Clause—as elaborated in Story’s 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States—is the correct interpretation. Justice Story concluded that the General Welfare Clause is not an independent grant of power, but a qualification (limit) on the taxing power which included within it a power to spend tax revenues on matters of general interest to the federal government”… and by extension, NOT for benevolence nor charity.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Welfare_clause

        • Gregory

          Despite the claim, “The U.S. Supreme Court has held the mention of the clause in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution ‘has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments.'” we find in the very article you cite: “Alexander Hamilton argued for a broad interpretation [of the general welfare clause] which viewed spending as an enumerated power Congress could exercise independently to benefit the general welfare, such as to assist national needs in agriculture or education, provided that the spending is general in nature and does not favor any specific section of the country over any other….To date, the Hamiltonian view of the General Welfare Clause predominates in case law.”

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      William, please take your idol and leave. This is a Christian website.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        Christian for 35 years: GCTS, Harvard Divinity, Eastern Baptist Seminary, 5-year volunteer with MCC in Bangladesh, former Youth Minister, Church CFO, ordained Elder, erstwhile professor at Nyack Christian College, and lifelong researcher of the intersection of faith and life. What’s your Christian bona fides!

        The topic was the Constitution and I addressed the topic with bona fide empirical research on the Constitution and those who fought for and founded our nascent nation INCLUDING the Constitution.

        But you are welcome to stay because that’s the Christian thing to do. You’re welcome for being disabused.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          Your pedigree means nothing if you completely ignore Christ when commenting on a Christian website. And it is also meaningless – you cannot prove it any more than I can prove my MDiv to you. The tree will be known by its fruit – and the fruit you are yielding right now is idolatrous nationalism. Your first and only mention of Christ thus far has been to elevate yourself.

          The topic was not and is not the Constitution – it is the Christian response to the form of the US government.

          • 22044

            The Constitution, frankly, is a pretty good starter. So it does no harm to understand it correctly. It is relevant to help determine the proper size & functions of the various levels of government, particularly when understanding the concepts of federalism & enumerated powers.
            Any discussion about the proper size of government ultimately goes nowhere without a proper framework, so the Constitution defines that framework. So it can & should be appreciated in that manner – without being idolized.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            You’ll get no disagreement from me – the reason I take exception to William’s post is that I can find Christ nowhere within it. The Constitution has been set up as the ultimate authority, and this is why I cried idolatry. So long as we can have a discussion with Christ as the ultimate authority and the Constitution as a framework, I have no issue.

          • Eric

            Understand it correctly? You mean not to understand it as a living document? You mean to project into the Founders’ minds a version of “original intent”? You mean to understand it as the most conservative players on the political field understand it? You mean to understand it in a way out of keeping with the large majority of constitutional scholars understand it? Regarding your understanding of “understanding” and that of Green, I’ll pass.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            I don’t think I’ve witnessed 22044’s understanding yet, so I can neither agree nor disagree with you in that regard. However, you are certainly right in pointing out that it is (and was always intended to be) a living document.

          • 22044

            Without trying to write too long of a response since no one will pay attention to that – I’ve given a couple of hints in my original post; the requirements to understand federalism and enumerated powers. No law degree is required.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

            WRONG: I am a SOMEONE and I pay attention to what’s written here without regard to length. Feeble minds can absorb but a paragraph at a time but the original post was fully twelve (12) paragraphs and I read every one.

            God needed 66 books and hundreds of pages to deliver his word. WE can all manage with having to read 10 – 12 paragraphs. All scholarship is not contained in an Abstract or Executive Summary.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            “Feeble minds can absorb but a paragraph at a time but the original post was fully twelve (12) paragraphs and I read every one.” I seem to recall someone saying something about ad hominems… what was it? Ah, yes. “Spouting untruthful ad hominems… is a sure sign of a spent mind no longer able to engage the arguments of the better informed.” William J. Green, 19 minutes ago.

          • 22044

            I would agree that there’s a time and place for serious, longer essays &/or theses – but the discussion here works best when the posts are a bit shorter. For what it’s worth – I likely would agree with a lot of your points.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

            Don’t be fooled by Godless Marxist Constitutional Scholars. Pay Attention to Theist and/or Deist Supreme Court Justices like Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Anthony M. Kennedy, and John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Godless Marxists? Senator McCarthy, what are you doing here?

          • Gregory

            Really? “Don’t be fooled by Godless Marxist Constitutional Scholars.” I’m not fooled by fools who say such things. We should trust the judges that gave us the democracy destroying “Citizens United” decision, you think? I think not!

          • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

            Tell us, Gregory, what are the Legal Law Definitions of “person” and “corporation” taught in EVERY Law School?

            Do you even know? Of course not because if you DID you would not have made your fatuous statement. Let me disabuse you here:

            http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1516

            http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=358

            It really does PAY to first know the law before you criticize it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

            Your ideas have nothing to do with lawschool or christianity and everything to do with Strict Father Morality. That is all.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            Obama claims to be a Christian too, and I believe him, just as much as I believe you when you claim to be one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

            Those justices all favor Strict Father Morality as opposed to Nurturant Parent Morality. They favor big government for the first four things in the article and small government for the last thing mentioned. That is all.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

            Never confuse prose for precision. I don’t have to keep writing Jesus’ Name in prose to prove to you and others that I’m a Christian who studied with Dr. Campolo in the first Class of Eastern’s MBA in Christian Economic Development and participated in his personal small group to ensure that the concepts I’m elucidating and proving are Christian as far as Christ’s Word extendsm and Constitutional as far as the Constitution extends — especially since this piece is primarily about the CONSTITUTION and NOT the Gospel per se.

            In short, this piece is about the Constitutionally appropriate size and scope of Government and God would NOT tell America to disobey our Constitution that our leaders either chosen or tolerated by Him have sworn with their hands on God’s Word, the Bible, before God and witnesses, “to preserve, protect, and defend, so help me God!” It is precisely because so many federal government workers abrogate their oath that we’re in so much trouble right now.

            And don’t let the title of this piece fool you. Most of what the author speaks about is the changes he’d like to see occur within government to SHRINK it, some Constitutional and some a-Constitutional if not un-Constitutional.

          • Drew

            William,

            We are just confused that a Christian would worship the Constitution and the Republican Party (TM) but not Jesus. It seems like a disconnect. What you actually say and do in your life trumps your “credentials,” even though you seem to be very impressed by them.

            You keep saying that the author is speaking about unconstitutionally changing government, however, you offer no evidence. Shrinking the military or reforming the military so that it is more efficient and effective is not unconstitutional.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

            Swearing to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, so help me God!” is NOT worship. It is an oath of office and one that every God-fearing American should keep.

            You MUST learn the true meaning of worship which your failure to do seriously stunts your ability to engage cogently in this discussion.

            worship
            /ˈwərSHip/

            Noun
            The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity: “ancestor worship”.Verb
            Show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites.Synonyms
            noun. adoration – cult – venerationverb. adore – idolize – deify – venerate – revere

            No document or those who framed it is regarded as Deity.

            https://www.google.com/search?q=Meaning+of+worship&rlz=1C1ASUT_enUS494US494&aq=f&oq=Meaning+of+worship&aqs=chrome.0.57j0l3j62l2.2450&sugexp=chrome,mod=12&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

          • Drew

            William, the Bible has ultimate authority. The Constitution should be upheld insomuch that it is part of government and that it does not contradict the Bible. As seen with the original Constitution and subsequent amendments, it is not an infallible document, nor is it the authoritative document for Christians. Thankfully, it is largely an excellent document. However, when our worldview is not through the lens of Christianity but rather “what does the Republican Party and the Constitution, as I interpret it, have to say on this matter,” then we get into the realm of political worship.

            I see this often in your remarks. When it suits you, you text-proof the Bible. When you run out of text-proofs, then you narrowly interpret the Constitution in a way that nobody else does. You interchange freely between the two, instead of having a Christian worldview.

            Copying and pasting dictionary definitions is cute. Of course, you forgot to copy and paste the definition that states worship is “extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem, such as money.” Nice try, William.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

            Good grief William, are you a politician? Exactly when and where did you take an oath of office?

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Drew taught me a new word the other day – bloviate, “Talk at length, esp. in an inflated or empty way.” You have spoken at length in every one of your posts, but they all amount to the same thing – the fruit which you are producing is a fruit of idolatry. If I am told that the tree I have bought is a fig tree, and it begins producing grapefruit, I am not going to assume that the grapefruit are actually figs. I am going to assume that the person who sold me the tree was incorrect. You are selling me a tree and saying that it has a remarkable Christian pedigree, but the fruit look nothing like what you claim.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

            “You are selling me a tree and saying that it has a remarkable Christian pedigree, but the fruit look [sic] nothing like what you claim.”

            Spouting untruthful ad hominems using unrelated metaphors is a sure sign of a spent mind no longer able to engage the arguments of the better informed.

            Any serious scholarship about our founders and framers and their governing documents will yield that they were most heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian heritage and theology, the philosophy of the Enlightenment, and the Economics of Adam Smith, which gave rise to their profound Theism and Deism, all of which yielded a magnificent Declaration declaring that our Creator endowed us with certain unalienable rights . . . to LIFE (no filicide), Liberty (NO taxation without representation, among other things), and the PURSUIT – but NOT the government guaranteed attainment of – Happiness.

            None of the following Maxims are contrary to Scripture:

            1. A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.

            2. Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

            3. I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

            4. I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

            5. It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.

            6. Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.

            7. My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

            8. Never spend your money before you have earned it.

            9. The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

            10. To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

            11. When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

            12. That government is best which governs the least.

            13. But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years?

            14. I place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.

            15. We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers… And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]… till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.

            — Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, founding father, 3rd President, and Political Philosopher par excellence.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            “Spouting untruthful ad hominems using unrelated metaphors is a sure sign of a spent mind no longer able to engage the arguments of the better informed.” Judge not, lest by the same measure you be judged.

            …and then you go into a lengthy apologetic from the prophet of your idol. My “unrelated” metaphor stands. The fruit you bear reveals what sort of tree you are. Take your idol and be gone.

          • Gregory

            After the “Godless Marxist Constitutional Scholars” remark, you have totally undermined any right you might have to complain about someone else’s “untruthful ad hominems” directed at you. As for your Jeffersonian maxims, I would argue that a number of them are contrary to scripture. And some of them are at odds with experience. So: “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” The current economic state of the nation is a direct result of not enough government resulting in a lack of adequate regulations on the banking industry. The fact that there aren’t a collection of bankers in jail right now is a failure either to enact appropriate laws or a failure to enforce them.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

            William, The article advocates for a frugal government and give four examples of how to do that. Your position has nothing to do with Christianity or frugality. It is just strict father morality.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            “None of the following Maxims are contrary to Scripture:”

            Here are the easiest to pick at.

            “9. The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Proverbs 14:21; Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 9:35; Luke 12:33; Acts 20:35; Romans 15:1-2

            “14. I place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” Ecclesiastes 5:10; Matthew 22:36-40; Luke 6:20-26; Luke 6:38; Luke 12:15

            That’s just a quick start.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            You’re right William, it was a well thought through piece about reducing government spending. It has me pretty convinced.
            But it s not the same vitriol and hate that you spew forth. You claim Godly authority, but I don’t believe God hates like you, nor do I think He hates Democrats like you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

            Rejoice in the Truth; do NOT delight in evil. BTW: I’m a registered Democrat and I do NOT hate myself. I hate Godless Marxism which too many within MY party have made their Scriptures and idol.

          • Drew

            You call yourself a Christian, but you are not. You call yourself a Democrat, but you are not. Clearly you are confused.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

            No, it is not about the Constitution. Obviously you are not a Constitutional scholar.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

          Everything you write William seems to be prideful and graceless. I’ve never read anything from you that isn’t all about selling us your beloved Republican Party.
          I’m here to learn and reason, maybe feel out some thoughts of my own.
          Please reason with us, but spare us your prideful, angry sales pitches. I’m not buying.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

            I’m not selling anything — there’s no price tag on what I write — it is a labor of love but I place great value upon educating the ignorant and disabusing the wrongly informed.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            You clearly don’t understand the meaning of education William, and people who come here to discuss are not ignorant merely because they disagree with you.
            You are not the authority on all things.
            Your arguments are angry, and often deceptive. You make claims about yourself that I believe to be untrue. Yes, I am suggesting that you lie and deceive. I’ll cop it sweet and apologize if I am proved wrong. I sincerely doubt that I’ll need to draw on that.
            I’d encourage you again to prayerfully consider your angry, hateful and idolatrous ways, but I sincerely doubt that you have the EQ to even go there.
            None the less, please quietly, prayerfully and humbly reconsider your ways here. In return I will quietly, prayerfully and humbly sit with God on any subject that you sincerely ask of me.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

            William, From my review, I do not see any degrees in political science or jurisprudence. I would hardly say that you are educating anyone about anything other than about what biases you have. If you are going to talk about things that you actually do seem to have some formal education in, please stick to the Bible. Specifically, could you educate me on what it says about arrogance and pride?

        • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

          No William, the topic is not the Constitution, something that you do not seem to have any bone fides in.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

          My Christian bona fides: A sinner, broken and in desperate need of healing and grace, a nobody, unworthy of notice. All my righteousness is filthy rags, all my wisdom? Foolishness.
          Saved from my lost and broken place by the God of all creation. Saved utterly by grace, through no work of my own. Jesus Christ came in the flesh, showed me how to live, died on a cross and soon-after rose from the dead. He lives and advocates on my behalf at the right hand of God the Father.
          Those are my bona fides.
          I have a post graduate degree, and I still volunteer, but they just go on my resume.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            AMEN!

    • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

      What an odd post by William. Pastor Watts’ article is about the size of different parts of the government. Those are choices that the congress makes every year and then the president either affirms or vetoes. That has absolutely nothing at all to do with federalism or the Constitution. Moreover, your tea-party-talking-points is not historically based at all, but that is a different matter.

      • Eric

        William is a blowhard whose arrogance outstrips his considerable ignorance. He continually tries turning discussions about articles on RLC into discussions about the constitution, which he has been rightly accused of holding in idolatrous adoration. He really knows little about constitutional law other than what he has uncritically picked up through Tea Party sources. A little google searching shows that you, Ken, are an attorney and can more clearly see Williams BS for what it is. No doubt he will either claim that you are the one who doesn’t know what he’s talking about or he will slink away only to reappear to comment on a future article, dishing out the same Tea PArty twisting and turning of the constitution. He appears to be utter inept at discussing matters in terms of scripture, so he resorts to babbling about the constitution, hoping he ignorance will not be so apparent on this site.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          “A little google searching shows that you, Ken, are an attorney…”

          I’d wager that you picked the right Ken, based on what I’ve seen of Ken’s posts, but I would urge caution with google searches. I apparently share my name with a former hit man. I would hate to have people think that that was me, simply because of a google search.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

      Now let’s talk constitutional history. The current Constitution is simply re-writing of the Articles of Confederation, which were really were limited. The Constitution was specifically written to give the federal government more power. Some people in the U.S. continued to bicker about this point until 1864. It was decided, again, that we are one country, not a confederation of states and that federal law trumps state law where federal law occupies the field.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    The following is the Constitutionally MANDATED size of the federal government. The fact that regimes like Obama’s have violated the Constitution no more makes the Constitution wrong and bad than someone who sins repeatedly and insists therefore that God’s Word must be wrong and his sin right and good.

    Enumerated Powers, Article 1, Section 8

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imports and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; [Altered by Amendment XVI “Income tax”.]

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

    THAT’S IT. NO MORE. NOTHING ELSE. TAXATION (BUT NOT INCOME TAXATION), DUTIES, DEFENSE (LOTS OF IT), LIMITED BORROWING POWER, INTER-COUNTRY AND INTER-STATE COMMERCE REGULATION (NOT INTRA-STATE), BORDER SECURITY AND ENFORCEMENT TO KEEP OUT ILLEGAL ALIENS, THE ABILITY TO COIN MONEY, POWER TO PUNISH COUNTERFEITERS, ESTABLISH THE POST OFFICE AND POST ROADS, ISSUE AND REGULATE PATENTS, ESTABLISH LOWER COURTS, MORE DEFENSE INCLUDING THE NAVY, CONGRESSIONAL POWER TO DECLARE WAR (NOT POTUS), RAISE AND SUPPORT ARMIES, ETC., – MORE DEFENSE, SECURE LAND FOR THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT.

    OTHER THAN THESE WE HAVE THE BRILLIANT AND BEAUTIFUL 10TH AMENDMENT RIGHT FROM THE ORIGINAL BILL OF RIGHTS:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

      Regime? Our president is one of only 4 people in the last 100 years to get more than 51% of the vote for president twice. Seriously, does anyone even need to say anything more to this person?

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      “THAT’S IT. NO MORE. NOTHING ELSE. TAXATION (BUT NOT INCOME TAXATION)…” You yourself noted Amendment XVI, which explicitly grants the power of income tax. Do you even read what you write, sir?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    The greatest political mind our country has ever produced, the 3rd President of the United States, the author of the Declaration of Independence, a founding father, AND a professing Christian irrespective of whether he was a true Theist or Deist had this to teach U.S. about the correct size and scope of our federal government:

    1. A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.

    2. Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

    3. I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

    4. I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

    5. It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.

    6. Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.

    7. My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

    8. Never spend your money before you have earned it.

    9. The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

    10. To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    11. When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

    12. That government is best which governs the least.

    13. But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years?

    14. I place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.

    15. We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers… And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]… till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.

    — Thomas Jefferson

    • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

      William, Anyone can cut and paste things off the Internet. None of this blather has anything to do whatsoever with the article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    The father of our Constitution, the 4th President of the United States, a political statesman, a political theorist, and a founding father taught U.S. the following about the proper scope of the Constitution he authored:

    “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents…” — James Madison

    In defiance of Madison we learn that . . .

    “Since 1964, the U.S. has spent $15.9 trillion on means-tested welfare programs. After adjusting for inflation, welfare spending is 13 times higher today than it was in 1965. Welfare spending has grown more rapidly than Social Security, Medicare, education, and defense. And what do we have to show for these efforts? According to the Census Bureau, a record high 3.7 million Americans fell into poverty in 2009. The out-of-wedlock birthrate is now 40% and the African American out-of-wedlock birthrate is 72%. When the War on Poverty began the out-of-wedlock birthrate was just 7%.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass ‘armonica’.[1] He facilitated many civic organizations, including a fire department and a university.

    “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

    “So much faith in the general government of the world by Providence, that [he could] hardly conceive of a transaction of such momentous importance [as the Constitution] to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided and governed by that omnipotent and omnipresent and beneficent Ruler, in whom all inferior spirits live and move and have their being.” — Benjamin Franklin

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    “But in fact there is no “biblical case for limited government.””

    Nor is there any biblical support for a profligate, behemoth government that not only supports filicide and homosexual marriage but in the former’s case, FORCES people to pay for it.

    Our HUGE and PROFLIGATE federal government has stretched far beyond the healthy bounds of the Constitution by sinfully borrowing against the future incomes of our precious children and grandchildren into near perpetuity for our selfish and un- and a-Constitutional programs that none of the authors envisioned nor mandated.

    To spend in excess of $1,100,000,000,000 EVERY YEAR over and above the mammoth $2,439,000,000,000 the federal government confiscates from every American in the form of taxes, by borrowing from our children via proxy loans from China, Europe, Venezuela, Iran, and other nations, some of whom have set themselves up as our enemies, is the sin of greed and profligacy. In short, it is the personification of the Prodigal Son sans repentance.

    Barack Hussein Obama has already borrowed more than every president before him from George Washington up until the first five months of Bush 43 combined, driving UP national debt from $10.6 Trillion on 1/20/09 to $16,348,000,000,000 today, an increase of over $5,700,000,000,000 in less than four years.

    God’s says — and warns against — the borrower (that’s U.S.) is slave to the Lender. God did NOT free us in Christ to become slaves all over again; and He certainly didn’t redeem us to load our progeny with insurmountable profligate debt so we can behave greedily and selfishly in the present.

    The Author of the Declaration of Independence, forever ensconced within the Constitution at Article VII, par. 2,, Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd President, wisely instructed us as follows:

    “But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years?”

    And again:

    “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers… And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]… till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

    The U.S. has not only turned its back on the Author of God’s Word but on the authors of our Declaration and Constitution; both have been at our peril and we are reaping their rotten fruits.

    “It is naïve to think the Bible provides some sort of blueprint for government.The idea that we can turn to the Scriptures to see “what God tells the civil government to do” is misguided. Passages like Romans 13:1-7 are not about the limits or design of the state.”

    Exactamente! Therefore we turn NOT to Scripture for the proper size, scope and limits of our government but to OUR GOVERNING DOCUMENTS THEMSELVES, TOGETHER WITH THE COMMENTARIES OF THOSE GOVERNING DOCUMENTS: THE FEDERALIST PAPERS, AND THE OFFICIAL WRITINGS OF OUR FOUNDERS.

    How many of you have read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, any of the Federalist Papers, and or the official writings of Jefferson, Madison, either Adams, Franklin, Henry, Whitefield, Hamilton, et al within the last month? How about Cicero, Locke, Blackstone, de Tocqueville or Bastiat? In the last 3 months? 6 months? Year?

    Why not get started now and finally learn where the answers lie to the question of What is the Appropriate Size of our FEDERAL Government. I sure am!

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

    http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fedpapers.html

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      “How many of you have read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, any of the Federalist Papers, and or the official writings of Jefferson, Madison, either Adams, Franklin, Henry, Whitefield, Hamilton, et al within the last month? How about Cicero, Locke, Blackstone, de Tocqueville or Bastiat?” Are these your Scriptures, and the saints that uphold them? Because that is how you are presenting them, William.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        These are first and foremost our Governing documents, the authors and their works that influenced our founders and framers who wrote our governing documents, and the best explanations of that which far too many Americans are ignorant of. Ignorance of our Constitution is NOT a license to criticize and disobey it any more than Ignorance of God’s word is a license to criticize and disobey it.

        One must KNOW the Constitution that our leaders swear with their hands upon God’s Word, the Bible, before God and witnesses, “to preserve, protect and defend, so help THEM God,” before one can adequately interact with and truthfully extol its virtues.

        Why do you think your ignorance of these matters makes you wiser than me and somehow in a better position to denigrate what I write?

        I’m providing you and many here with an education you never got and disabusing you of many wrong beliefs and opinions about our Constitution and the men who fought, died for, and framed it to give birth to our nation. You are welcome.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          What makes you think I am ignorant of you idols? Just because I do not think they belong here does not mean I do not know what they say. But nice strawman. Did it feel good to tear it down?

          • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

            As if there were no implied idols in your statement,

            “Are these your Scriptures, and the saints that uphold them? Because that is how you are presenting them, William.”

            I never said anything about our governing documents being my Scriptures and never used “saints” with reference to our founding fathers and framers. I described them with the appropriate and true appellations.

            Talk about Straw Dogs . . . your use of “Scriptures” and “saints” are the quintessential straw arguments.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            “I never said anything about our governing documents being my Scriptures
            and never used “saints” with reference to our founding fathers and
            framers. I described them with the appropriate and true appellations.” You need not say the words to convey the meaning, William. It remains that you are upholding the Constitution as the ultimate authority, and the Founding Fathers as its true saints.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    The rational argument from the Constitution AGAINST seriously shrinking the size of the Military.

    The Constitution NOWHERE speaks about Welfare, Entitlements, Benevolences, Food Stamps, Obama Fones, and other such types of Godless Marxist wealth transfers by confiscation from wealth creators to wealth consumers.

    However, the Scriptures speak aplenty about the mandate upon the Church and Synagogues and Temples doing those very things: showing voluntary charity to the poor.

    There are 18 paragraphs or clauses within the section of the Constitution known as the “Enumerated Powers,” from Article 1, Section 8. Of the 18 clauses fully 9 (50%!) refer to either the military, Defence [sic], navy, piracy on the seas, forts, army, militias, magazines and arsenals. Of the relatively few Constitutionally Enumerated Powers the States delegated to the State fully half of them have to do specifically with our Military and the AUTHORIZATION to fund it!

    To wit:

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imports and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; [Altered by Amendment XVI “Income tax”.]

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Might we not wish to swear, like Obama and Congress, to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, so help me God!”?

    • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

      Seriously? Article 1, Sec. 8, Cl. 1 – General Welfare Clause. If it was unconstitutional, it would not have been allowed since – oh, I don’t know, 1787? This is just too weird. These rantings have nothing to do with the Article above at all. Spending on general welfare are obviously allowed, or the Supreme Court would have stopped it centuries ago. The point of the article is how much we should spend and on what.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

      This guy is too far gone to have any serious discussion of spending on welfare by the federal government, but you all can read Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937) if you are interested.

      • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

        Thanks, Ken! Incidentally, this is the wikipedia article on that case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvering_v._Davis

        I chose wikipedia instead of the more “official” channels because the language is a bit more accessible to the everyman. And again, thank you for giving us an actual SCOTUS ruling to look at!

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        You wouldn’t recognize the seriousness of the life and death sacrifices (literally, not figuratively) of our Theist and Deist founders and framers if they jumped off the pages of history into your lap.

        The hypocrisy of so many Christians amazes me — that they read their Bibles and champion Christ but then on political, economic, and Constitutional issues they resort to the arguments of atheistic and agnostic secular Progressives whose political-economic philosophy derives from Godless Marx.

        Have you ever asked yourselves why that is — that for sacerdotal matters you consult Scripture but for the matters of “living in the world” you consult Godless and God-hating philosophers and social-economists?

        You really should think that through because you help those who are morally, socially, and economically bankrupting our nation and mortgaging the futures of YOUR children to attain 50.9% of the vote and this slim majority allows them to “winner take all.”

        Perhaps you should start actually reading the primary and secondary documents rather than the tertiary documents of Godless secular authors, judges, and attorneys.

        Start with the Theist and Deist Founders and Framers themselves and their governing documents; then their commentaries on the same and official writings on matters that arose from the States and “We the People.”

        You may be astounded to discover how close their religion, philosophy, and economics adhere to God’s and by contrast, how far removed they are from Marx, Engel, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Obama.

        It really is the quintessence of hubris to discuss the Constitution and its mandates for the proper size and scope of the State without actually reading the primary documents and the official writings of their authors including their commentaries: The Federalist Papers.

        Again, ONLY IF YOU’RE SERIOUS:

        http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

        http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

        http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fedpapers.html

        And one of my favorite secondary sources . . .

        http://tinyurl.com/Christians-4-the-Constitution

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          “Perhaps you should start actually reading the primary and secondary documents rather than the tertiary documents of Godless secular authors, judges, and attorneys.” Those same judges you denounce are granted their power by the Constitution that you worship. Now you are becoming hypocritical.

        • Eric

          William, you are sad case. You have a cultic devotion to untenable ideas that are functionally atheistic. Tea Party ideas are incompatible with Christian faith. Capitalism is incompatible with Christian faith ever bit as much as communism is at odds with Christianity. Once you face the fact that the “invisible hand” is something other than the hand of God, you will finally be able to see the anti-Christian theology implicit in capitalism. It is the godless far right and their “virtue of selfishness” philosophy that is destroying America and much of the rest of the world. Gross inequality fostered by the right is the source of the social problems in America. You don’t find the violence, the huge prison population, the teen pregnancies, the level of substance abuse – to say nothing of things like the high infant mortality rate- in the countries where there is greater economic equality. Even as Teapublicans maintain the form of religion, they undercut the substance of the way of Christ. But ideological true believers like you are not capable of being insightful critical thinkers as you endlessly regurgitate the party line of the far right. I won’t call you an atheist. Incidently, atheism wasn’t much of a concern to biblical writer and I don’t think it is particular interesting in our time. What I find in your words is not atheism but something more deceptive and troubling: idolatry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    For those who adhere to the “living document” theory of the Constitution which our founders and framers did not and our BEST SCOTUS Justices do not: there is a way to CHANGE the Constitution (it’s been done 27 times) and it requires the votes of 75% (38 out of 50) states ratifying a Constitutional amendment. Unless and until a legal amendment is added the Constitution remains a living document only in the sense that the living have to obey it and those who wish it meant something else are wrong.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ken.swindle Ken David Swindle

      William, The Article does not advocate violating the Constitution. You seem to have a lot of unfocused anger.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        Thank God no true Christian proceeds on the basis of what s/he only perceives to be true and not what is. Don’t worry about perceptions; learn from the FACTS I’m spoon-feeding ;you so you do not go hungry for them.

        My focus is on the Facts of our Constitution and the Truth that everyone elected must SWEAR AN OATH before God with his/her hand on God’s Word to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution (not the Bible) of the United States of America, so help me God!”

        Learn to differentiate and your specious perceptions may yet turn to veracious knowledge.

        You’re welcome.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          My focus is on the Facts of our Constitution and the Truth that everyone elected must SWEAR AN OATH before God with his/her hand on God’s Word to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution (not the Bible) of the United States of America, so help me God!”

          Yes, that’s exactly the problem many of us keep referencing. You are focusing on your interpretation of the Constitution and excluding the Bible. Thank you for finally noting that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    I would very much like to see a URL or citation for the author’s stipulation that

    “Over $92 billion, or five percent of the federal budget, goes to corporate welfare each year, in contrast to the less than $60 billion that is expended on traditional social welfare.”

    Accepting prima facie your $92 billion figure I must correct you regarding your statement that this amounts to five percent of the federal budget. It does not. The federal government’s fiscal year is October 1 – September 30. We’re currently in the 2013 Fiscal year which will not end for another 9.75 months. So, taking the last completed fiscal year: 2012, within which the federal government spent a whopping and profligate $3,795,600,000,000, incurring a behemoth $1,327,000,000,000 deficit, $92 Billion represents ONLY 2.4% of the entire EXPENDED BUDGET.

    BTW: What forms do the corporate welfare you speak of take?

    Next: Social Welfare. The total fiscal year 2012 Social Welfare expenditures for Medical Services, Public Health Services, Welfare, Food Stamps, Unemployment (payments for not working), Workers Compensation, Section 8 Subsidized Housing, Social Security, and Other Income Security were $2,076,600,000,000, or fully 54.7% of the entire Federal Government’s EXPENDED BUDGET; and a whopping 84.1% of the ACTUAL TAX REVENUES collected by the federal government.

    2.4% vs 54.7%. BIG difference.

    As I stipulated in another post fully 50% of the clauses dedicated to the States’ delegated powers to the State within the Enumerated Powers section of the Constitution have to do with Defense and the Military. There are NO MENTIONS of Social Welfare within the Constitution; none at all.

    In fact, the author and father of the Constitution, James Madison, our 4th President, stated:

    “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents…”

    Nonetheless, expenditures on our Constitutionally mandated Defense Department comprised a relatively paltry 23.8% of our entire EXPENDED BUDGET.

    Now for another WHOPPER: The discounted, Net Present Value of America’s UNFUNDED Liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and the Prescription Drug program are currently an unfathomable $121,745,000,000,000; equal to $1,060,197 per tax-payer. You STILL don’t think we need to cut these Unfunded Liabilities?

    And what of Social Security? What’s in Al Gore’s infamous Lock Box?

    Al Gore’s beloved Social Security Lockbox is empty except for federal government I.O.U.’s. The billions and billions of surplus the Program generated from it’s inception until 2009 were all “loaned” out to Obama and his predecessors and spent on other things — perhaps your Obama Fones or Obama Bucks. Beginning in 2010 Social Security began paying out MORE in benefits than it collected annually in Social Security payroll taxes and will continue to do so unless radical reforms are made. In other words, even Social Security now has to collect what it is owed from Treasury’s general tax revenues just to mail out the full number of and amounts on checks due to our seniors. To exacerbate the problem in 2011 Obama cut the Social Security payroll tax percent that is deducted from your paychecks — if you even get one in this Obama “Recovery” — which means less money is going into the Fund that pays for Social Security for current Seniors and you when you become one.

    Now I’m going to deliberately but veraciously greatly anger the selfish Progressives and other Marxist Leftists among us who are younger than about 55 by stating the FACT that Social Security was NEVER financially engineered to fund the years between the current retirement age and your average life expectancy. It was designed to supplement those who retired and lived BEYOND Average Life Expectancy. In short, it was not designed to be a pension that lasts an average of 14 years or more.

    Authentic, Moral, Courageous and Founders & Framers-like Leadership would include these facts in their speeches to the American People. When was the last time you heard Barack Hussein Obama mention any of these truths in his perpetual stump speeches to you? Think again. You’re correct — you haven’t! And yet they are FACTS and like ALL FACTS are unassailably true!

    America: If you or anyone you know were ever diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening disease you know that the pain threshold at the time of diagnosis was probably LESS than the ensuing pain as treatment ensued and/or the disease worsened. The cure — if there is to be one — is often MORE painful than the disease if it was diagnosed much before you were expected to die. Often people get and feel SICKER during treatment than they did before treatment began.

    As painful as the Obama “Recovery” has been I MUST but HATE to inform you Obama has not been treating our socio-economic disease at all but has been performing the equivalent of pouring morphine down our throats and giving us lollipops without actually excising the disease. In short, he’s been salving the symptoms but NOT treating and trying to cure the underlying pathology.

    Sadly, he’s had a great deal of “help” first from his majorities in both the Senate and House in his early years and now his considerable majority in the Senate.

    Do you want to die from cancer left untreated but medicated by morphine or do you want to try and beat the cancer by undergoing painful and expensive cancer treatments, even though you already feel very sick, exhausted, perhaps depressed and certainly highly stressed and anxious, if not a little angry and maybe addled?

    In addition to Defunding Obamacare (the estimated cost has more than tripled in three years from $900 Billion to its current estimate of $2,900,000,000,000), reforming health care nationwide to include private sector reforms and tort reform; comprehensively reforming the tax code; truly cutting out waste, fraud and abuse throughout government; reducing pork; reducing the number of staff in the federal government; ending the virtually-lost Afghanistan war; closing a number of military bases overseas; reducing Welfare, Food Stamps, Section 8 Housing, and Disability for those whose unemployment benefits ran out and then without actually being disabled began collecting; and reducing extended Unemployment Benefits to their historical levels, Social Security and Medicare must be revamped and reformed.

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_budget_detail_fy13bs12012n_1040#usgs302

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    • Eric

      “I would very much like to see a URL or citation for the author’s stipulation that

      “Over $92 billion, or five percent of the federal budget, goes to corporate welfare each year, in contrast to the less than $60 billion that is expended on traditional social welfare.”

      And here it is. You could have googled it yourself. The info comes from the conservative Cato Institute.

      //thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-welfare-statistics-vs-social-welfare-statistics/

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    Excerpted from . . .

    http://www.darkcanyon.net/How%20General%20The%20General%20Welfare%20Clause.htm

    When confronted by the indisputable facts, what excuse do those in Washington use to justify actions that factually exceed enumerated constitutional limits? Answer: They hide behind that ubiquitous General Welfare Clause. And what is the General Welfare Clause? Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution:

    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

    We’ve argued about the definition of this for over 200 years in the courts, in the congress and on the streets and you can reference almost any opinion you like because most will seek out the interpretation that justifies their action. Given the difference of opinion over the years, whose opinion really counts? Whose view is definitive? . . . I’d say it would be the folks that wrote the original document even more so than the subsequent courts that bastardized it. What did the Founders really mean? After all, they’re the ones that can actually answer questions first hand concerning original meaning/intent and not be speculative or twisted politically by the passage of time . . . Let’s ask James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Could they possibly shed any light on this?

    “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” – James Madison in letter to James Robertson

    “[Congressional jurisdiction of power] is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” – James Madison, Federalist 14

    “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined . . . to be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” – James Madison, Federalist 45

    “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” – James Madison, 1792

    “The Constitution allows only the means which are ‘necessary,’ not those which are merely ‘convenient,’ for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to every one, for there is not one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one power, as before observed” – Thomas Jefferson, 1791

    “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1798

    James Madison, the Constitution’s author and Thomas Jefferson the author of the Declaration of Independence, specifically say that Congressional powers are to be limited and defined – unlike most modern interpretations!

    Admittedly, Jefferson and Madison were not our only Founders. These two were strict constitutionalists who feared the potential strength of any government. So let’s look at another Founder’s opinion—Alexander Hamilton who historically saw it in a somewhat looser vain.

    “This specification of particulars [the 18 enumerated powers of Article I, Section 8] evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd as well as useless if a general authority was intended.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 83

    Hamilton uncategorically states that all congressional powers are enumerated and that the very existence of these enumerations alone makes any belief that Congress has full and general legislative power to act as it desires nonsensical. If such broad congressional power had been the original intent, the constitutionally specified powers would have been worthless. In other words, why even enumerate any powers at all if the General Welfare clause could trump them?

    “No legislative act … contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 78

    In short, Hamilton tells us that since the powers of Congress are enumerated and limit Congress to those powers, any assumed authority outside those specified that don’t have a direct relation to those explicit powers must be contrary to the Constitution and therefore—unconstitutional.

    Now compare what you just read above from the Founders themselves to a Supreme Court ruling in 1976 in Buckley vs Valeo.

    “(the General Welfare clause is) a grant of power, the scope of which is quite expansive, particularly in view of the enlargement of power by the Necessary and Proper Clause ….It is for Congress to declare which expenditures will promote the general welfare… Whether the chosen means appear “bad” or “unwise” or “unworkable” is to us irrelevant; Congress has concluded that the means are “necessary and proper” to promote the general welfare, and we thus decline to find this legislation without the grant of power in Art. I Sec. 8.” Buckley v. Valeo (1976) 424 US 1, 90-91 emphasis added.

    Important note: What was omitted from the necessary and proper clause referenced in the ruling above was the rest of that original clause of Section I Article 8 which states, “To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers [foregoing = those specifically enumerated] and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” “Vested by this Constitution…” is key—again, authority that is necessary and proper for the general welfare which pertains only to the powers enumerated by the Constitution.

    As a very learned judge (who is often found wrong by other judges upon appeal) . . . interpreted this 1976 Supreme Court view some 200 years removed from the Founders, “`it [the general welfare clause] means just what I choose it to mean.”

    If today it does mean “just what I choose it to mean”, then the Court and Congress have set themselves above the Constitution and it no longer serves as America’s anchor of freedom, justice and law but has degenerated into that “living, breathing document” whose meaning can change routinely, blown along by prevailing political winds. This was NOT the original intent, not if we truly believe the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and that no man is above the law. As that favorite judge of mine put it, “Interpreting the Constitution as a “living, breathing document” subject to reinvention according to the political whims of the moment is not just bad policy. It is a suicide pact.”

    Finally . . .

    The U.S. Supreme Court has held: the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution “has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments”; and,that Associate Justice Joseph Story’s construction of the Article I, Section 8 General Welfare Clause—as elaborated in Story’s 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States—is the correct interpretation. Justice Story concluded that the General Welfare Clause is NOT AN INDEPENDENT GRANT OF POWER, BUT A QUALIFICATION (LIMIT) ON THE TAXING POWER WHICH INCLUDED WITHIN IT A POWER TO SPEND TAX REVENUES ON MATTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.”

    AND NOT for benevolence nor charity as the father of the Constitution James Madison observed:

    “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents…”

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      You’re repeating yourself, William. Considering that the size of your posts seems inversely proportionate to their relevance, you are quite quickly moving towards being labeled a spammer on top of everything else.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        The truth bears repeating over and over and over again. Have you only read God’s Word once . . . or do you read it repeatedly? You’re welcome.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          You are right that my education is not complete. You are wrong in assuming that you are educating me in anything other than your tendency to spam with your idolatry.

        • Questioning

          The framers of the constitution were wise, learned men to be sure. Raised at a time when an education was a great privilege, not the drudgery it seems to be for most today. However, they were neither omnipotent nor omniscient. They could no more conceive of our society today with it’s technology, challenges, shear size and impetus, than they could put a man on the moon. If they were framing the Constitution today, I’d be willing to bet my last dollar, that it would have some differences. That’s not to suggest we should throw it out with the bath water, but more to explain how we get to some of places we have gone.

          I don’t have to strain hard at all to come up with some disconcerting adjectives for all your verbose pronouncements. Haughty, lofty, prideful, slanderous, condescending, idolatrous, all immediately come to mind. You seem to be overly impressed with your learning, but in the words of the one who was fully both God and man, “knowledge puffs up, love builds up.” Try as I may, I cannot see the love in any of your so-called teaching. In your own towering, egotistical words, “You’ve been disabused”. Oh, and finally “You’re welcome.”

          Please take a moment to consider these things. Based on what and how you write, you may as well be a white washed wall.

    • Albert J. Fergusson

      “You say you’ll change the constitution
      Well, you know
      We all want to change your head”

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    Christians have the benefit of having a couple brothers in Christ on the Supreme Court. Why more Christians do NOT consult them is beyond me; perhaps this is why so many Constitutionally and Economically uninformed Christians support a BIG, BEHEMOTH, PROFLIGATE, INFANTICIDAL, SODOMIC government.

    Let’s turn to indisputably one of the most highly intelligent Associate Justices on the Supreme Court – of this no serious scholar disputes. What does he teach us as a brother in Christ?

    “Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.”

    “I am one of a small number of judges, small number of anybody — judges, professors, lawyers — who are known as originalists. Our manner of interpreting the Constitution is to begin with the text, and to give that text the meaning that it bore when it was adopted by the people.”

    BTW: No serious Biblical Exegete SKIPS the step of first learning the true meaning of the text that it bore when it was first written for and was to be understood by the contemporaries of the Biblical authors! All great Biblical Exegetes are FIRST Originalists and ONLY AFTERWARD produce a hermeneutic.

    “… We are in the era of the evolving Constitution. And the judge can simply say, “Oh yes, the Constitution didn’t used to mean that, but it does now.” We are in the age in which not only judges, not only lawyers, but even school children have come to learn the Constitution changes.”

    This Justice . . . goes on to explain that step one on the road to an “evolving” Constitution was reinterpreting old laws to mean new things, such as deciding that a legal right to counsel means the state has to pay for it. But that “will only get you so far. He goes on:

    “There is no text in the Constitution that you could reinterpret to create a right to abortion, for example. So you need something else. The something else is called the doctrine of “Substantive Due Process.”…

    “Within the last 20 years, we have found to be covered by due process the right to abortion, which was so little rooted in the traditions of the American people that it was criminal for 200 years; the right to homosexual sodomy, which was so little rooted in the traditions of the American people that it was criminal for 200 years. So it is literally true, and I don’t think this is an exaggeration, that the Court has essentially liberated itself from the text of the Constitution, from the text and even from the traditions of the American people. It is up to the Court to say what is covered by substantive due process.

    “… [T]he Constitution is not a living organism for Pete’s sake; it’s a legal document, and like all legal documents, it says some things, and it doesn’t say other things. And if you think that the aficionados of the Living Constitution want to bring you flexibility, think again.”

    Now this part is very important to understand on the issue of abortion:

    “My Constitution is a very flexible Constitution. You think the death penalty is a good idea — persuade your fellow citizens and adopt it. You think it’s a bad idea — persuade them the other way and eliminate it. You want a right to abortion — create it the way most rights are created in a democratic society, persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and enact it. You want the opposite — persuade them the other way. That’s flexibility. But to read either result into the Constitution is not to produce flexibility, it is to produce what a constitution is designed to produce — rigidity. Abortion, for example, is offstage, it is off the democratic stage, it is no use debating it, it is unconstitutional. I mean prohibiting it is unconstitutional; I mean it’s no use debating it anymore — now and forever, coast to coast, I guess until we amend the Constitution, which is a difficult thing. So, for whatever reason you might like the Living Constitution, don’t like it because it provides flexibility.”

    “If you don’t believe in originalism, then you need some other principle of interpretation. Being a non-originalist is not enough. You see, I have my rules that confine me. I know what I’m looking for. When I find it — the original meaning of the Constitution — I am handcuffed. If I believe that the First Amendment meant when it was adopted that you are entitled to burn the American flag, I have to come out that way even though I don’t like to come out that way… Though I’m a law-and-order type, I cannot do all the mean conservative things I would like to do to this society. You got me.”

    He continues:

    “Now, if you’re not going to control your judges that way, what other criterion are you going to place before them? What is the criterion that governs the Living Constitutional judge? … I have put this question — you know I speak at law schools with some frequency just to make trouble — and I put this question to the faculty all the time, or incite the students to ask their Living Constitutional professors: “Okay professor, you are not an originalist, what is your criterion?” There is none other.

    “And finally, this is what I will conclude with although it is not on a happy note. THE WORST THING ABOUT THE LIVING CONSTITUTION IS THAT IT WILL DESTROY THE CONSTITUTION…

    It is already happening, the destruction of the Constitution. Because — and this is important — IF THE DOCUMENT DOES NOT MEAN WHAT IT MEANT WHEN IT WAS ADOPTED THAN IT CAN LITERALLY MEAN ANYTHING. Please pay close attention to this:

    “… [W]hen we are in that mode, you realize, we have rendered the Constitution useless, because the Constitution will mean what the majority wants it to mean. The senators are representing the majority, and they will be selecting justices who will devise a constitution that the majority wants. And that, of course, deprives the Constitution of its principle utility. The Bill of Rights is devised to protect you and me against, who do you think? THE MAJORITY.”

    http://liveactionnews.org/analysis/supreme-court-justice-and-big-meanie-antonin-scalia-says-abortion-is-unconstitutional/

    http://liveactionnews.org/analysis/part-two-understanding-the-constitution-with-big-mean-jerk-antonin-scalia/

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      “What does he teach us as a brother in Christ?” Based on those quotes, absolutely nothing. He does not even pretend to invoke Christ in his logic – which is still a step up from claiming Christ and then not saying anything remotely Christian.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        You have got to get at some point beyond the milk of the Gospel where to prove you’ve gotten your daily intake of Calcium and Vitamin D all you have to do is offer some proof text or PTL or Hallelujah. You’ve got to learn to discern Christi’s Truth’s even in secular topics predicated upon a Judeo-Christian ethic and philosophy.

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          You once again mistake me – I am capable of seeing Christ without His name being invoked. The Justice is not working from a Christian framework. Nor are you.

    • Albert J. Fergusson

      William, I think I could hear you better if you said a bit less each time, or put it out in more readily chewable chunks, with some pauses to aide digestion.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

        You may pause at any point — the same way you can while reading a 400 page book. You are free to read a single sentence of mine and pause to reflect and digest or the whole thing at once . . . the CHOICE is all yours.

  • Gregory

    While William is convinced that his is a formidable mind, no one is well informed about a topic unless they are well informed about viewpoints contrary to their own. William can expand his education by reading an upcoming book by a genuinely credible scholar who deals with the constitution and the Tea Party misunderstandings: http://www.amazon.com/Declaration-Ignorance-Misunderstands-Constitution-Founding/dp/1118128974 Of course anyone else who wants to chase William’s rabbits might benefit from reading the book as well.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      Shame we have to wait until April – it looks to be an interesting read. Of course, as with any book on a controversial topic, it will need good citations before it can be taken seriously, but I have no reason to believe it will not have those.

    • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

      You seem to think as if I haven’t been reading Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary documents all along. That’s a bad, bad assumption. And you know what happens when you ASS U me things like that. I’ve been reading steadily for years and my citations of primary, secondary and tertiary sources corroborate this. If you think Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Franklin, Henry, et al were NOT credible scholars of the primary documents, well, you manifest for all to see your serious lack of understanding of what constitutes scholarship.

  • Albert J. Fergusson

    Good post, lots of good ideas, but a bit too much flavor of “I am right, others are wrong” to me (e.g., “I see no support for these manifestations of big government arising from a biblical faith.”). I see more grey areas throughout, and though I believe strongly and will argue passionately most of the points raised, this debate has been going on a long time, and surely people of faith and good will can disagree. That said, I think CMW is open to other points of view and my guess is he welcomes these debates.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      I agree, it would have been nice to get more support in the original article. But then, that would quickly turn into a book.

  • Person

    How Ironic, this site is angry at William for being to political. Let this be a mirror for this site to look into and see what it has really accomplished.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

      Not angry at William, not even annoyed about being too political.
      I grow weary of his arrogance, lies and long windedness. Different things.
      Of course I’m not the whole site. :)

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      None of us claim to speak for the whole site (unless I missed something). We speak only for ourselves, excepting when we also try to speak for the Church. I, for one, am not angry at William for being political. I am frustrated at his unwillingness to bring the Gospel into the discussion.

  • SamHamilton

    Watts makes a good point and a poor one. I’ll start with his good point. I like his attempts to clarify the debate:

    The real disagreement centers around which problems are the appropriate ones to be tackled by the government.

    I think this statement is getting closer to the heart of the issue than the debate over “big government vs. small government.” But I’d insert one word into the sentence to make it, in my opinion, more accurate:

    “The real disagreement centers around which problems are the appropriate ones to be tackled by the federal government.”

    I’d bet there are many people on the “small government” side who just don’t like a one-size-fits-all federal policy (or maybe I’m just projecting). I think we’d be better off with state and local governments taking on a larger role in doing things that don’t need to be done at the federal level (education, social welfare, health care, and others). This would also reduce a lot of the acrimony in national politics.

    I also agree with Watts about his ideas for a smaller federal government, fewer prisons, small military, less “homeland security” and less corporate welfare (though I’d be interested in his definition of corporate welfare, he provides no source for his stats).

    But where his post really fails is when he asserts this opinion as fact:

    …in fact there is no biblical case for limited government.

    He then links to the American Thinker article, refutes some of it and considers the case closed. Of course, the case made by that particular article isn’t the only opinion out there on why a central government doing fewer things rather than more is more in line with God’s intentions for mankind (it’s just an easy one to refute). The Catholic Church has been thinking about this issue for centuries. Surely Watts could have gotten into issues of subsidiarity and solidarity. I think his method of writing off the Christian case for a “small” federal government is just as lazy as the American Thinker writer’s method.

    PS: Is Pinochet’s Chile really a good example of a small government? Did Pinochet rule over a small government?

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