Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Has Bob McDonnell Changed His Stripes? Part 3

Before I get to the substance of this posting, let me make one thing clear. I am not against religion. I am not against Christianity. In fact, some of my best friends are Christians. I do not object to our national or state leaders praying or reading their chosen scripture to help them make the really tough decisions that we ask them to make. I would prefer a leader that understands that there is a higher power in the Universe to one who thinks that he or she is the fount of all knowledge. Having said that, let’s get back to young Bob McDonnell’s thesis.

Bob McDonnell believed that all the significant institutions in society—the family, the church and the state (he was referring to civil government, not the Commonwealth of Virginia)—were ordained and established by God. Further, God has assigned to each of these institutions a specific role. As Bob put it on page 12 of his thesis,

“Each institution in society has been instituted by God for specific limited purposes. Therefore, a good idea does not necessarily translate into good policy, unless it is instituted in a proper means by an institution with jurisdiction.”

The first of God’s institutions, according to young Bob, is the family. Since God created the family in the Garden of Eden, it is an institution that precedes and is not subject to definition by the state. In Bob’s words on page 13,

“The family, as a God-ordained government has an area of sovereignty within which it is free to carry out the duties it owes to God, society, and other family members, under the covenant [of marriage].”

[Young Bob then goes on to describe the role of the Church. My maven’s license does not extend to theology, so I’ll skip over that.]

Bob McDonnell describes the role of the state (or government) in the following words on page 14 of the thesis:

“The civil government was ordained to secure the inalienable rights of individuals created in the image and likeness of God, and to facilitate a society in which other institutions are free to perform their covenantal duties to God and others. . . . Government authority is constrained both by this limited delegation from God, and by the covenant which the people have established with their leaders, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the constitution of the United States and the several states, and statutes passed pursuant thereto.”

So, it takes until page 14 of his thesis for Bob to get to the constitution and laws as affecting the authority of government, and then only in a subsidiary role to God’s assignment of jurisdiction in scripture.

Dear reader, I am somewhat troubled by Bob McDonnell’s view, which appears to be that the rules of God set forth in the Christian Bible are controlling over the law as established by the constitution, statutes and court pronouncements of the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Does this mean that, if elected, Mr. McDonnell will consult scripture first before deciding whether he will carry out laws passed by the General Assembly? Does he believe that laws enacted by the Congress or the General Assembly of Virginia are only valid if they are consistent with God’s division of jurisdiction among the family, the church and the civil government. Does this mean that if he takes the constitutional oath of office that requires him to swear or affirm that he will “support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia” that he will be adding the unspoken caveat “to the extent they are consistent with the institutions ordained by God?”

Mr. McConnell says that he has changed some of his views since he wrote his thesis. Does this change include his views on government I have just described? This is the question we should be concerned with, not whether Mr. McDonnell still believes that feminism has caused the downfall of the Republic. The citizens of Virginia have a right to know whether Bob McDonnell intends to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth as written, without first deciding whether he thinks they are consistent with the Bible. Instead of telling us what a good father he has been to his daughters and how well he has treated his female subordinates, let Bob answer this basic question.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maven. I wish that I had knowledge of other blogs covering this subject. You certainly have done a fine job in your three Part series. I do not disagree with most of your comments. One complaint. When you imply that for him God comes before country (which might be true) by stating that he didn't get to the Constitution until page 14 you ignore one of the the essentials of good report writing; i.e. one has to establish broad premises and then get to into specifics. To me, this he tried to do. I repeat, I have no disagreement with your message except that tiny complaint. I hope that the Maven didn't drift off unconsciencely into subtle campaign oratory.