Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The World According To McDonnell

The following are some quotes from Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell's masters thesis. Trusted reader, I leave it to you whether you want a person with this basic political philosophy to be the chief executive of our beloved Commonwealth.

The modern American experience can be seen as an ideological battle between the forces of democratic capitalism and socialism, with the latter's attempt to "substitute the power of the state for the rights, responsibilities and authority of the family."

The vast majority of American children have been educated in the public school system, in which text books and courses of instruction are increasingly oriented to humanist values and a secular philosophy. The undermining of respect for parental authority in favor of state direction or individual autonomy, and the simultaneous purging of religious influence in the public schools has impaired the development of healthy family members. Values that had historically provided strength to the family, such as firm discipline and corporal punishment, patriotism, and academic achievement, were either attacked or given token attention.

The Declaration of Independence, the charter of American liberty and foundation for the U.S. Constitution, declares that our concepts of rights, duties, and authority are derived from the Law of Nature and Nature's God. From this Judeo-Christian heritage of the founding fathers, it is clear that the Creator is a God of order and authority, not chaos and autonomy. Each institution in society has been instituted by God for specific limited purposes.

The family as an institution existed antecedent to civil government, and hence is not subject to being defined by it. It is in the Law of Nature of the created order that the Creator instituted marriage and family in Eden, where he ordained that "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to this wife, and they shall become one flesh." Family arises out of this divinely-created covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, the terms of which can neither be originally set nor subsequently altered by the parties or the state. . . 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.

In addition to the family and the individuals who comprise them, God has ordained the institutions of civil government and the church as the foundation of order in society. . . [I]t is these three which have sovereign spheres of jurisdiction in which to exercise authority delegated by God. Although there is some overlap and partnership in pursuing the ends of a just and moral society, each institution has certain responsibilities given exclusively to it.

The church has a monopoly over the administration of the sacraments and it alone possesses the "keys of the kingdom" to preach the gospel and determine church membership. As the mouthpiece of the Creator to be salt and light to individual souls and social institutions, the church has the teaching authority to expound upon the Scripture, and, along with the family, to care for widows, orphans, and the poor and disadvantaged. It should be the primary source of support, counsel and restoration in the event of family dysfunction.

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 covenental duties to God and others. The state alone, with the exception of parental discipline of children, bears the authority to punish wrongdoers, for the civil ruler is a minister of God to execute judgment and encourage good.

Government, by definition, is to provide leadership to encourage righteousness and justice among and discourage wrongdoing among the governed. To that end, however, government is enjoined from replacing family function with agencies of the welfare state, such that dependency and apathy are generated. While families may fail in providing a high standard of care, unless there is abuse, the permissive intrusion of the government is unwarranted.

The state, more directly, may intervene to protect individual members of families, and within its police powers, may do what is necessary to advance their health, safety, and morals. However, government at all levels must "support family parenting as the first premise of its social, economic, and fiscal policy."

The family is a self-governing institution upon which the natural law confers the duties of procreation, nurture, and socialization of children through marriage.

The normative view of institutional interaction in society is seen as a symbiotic relationship of unique entities with the compatible goal of serving other human beings and glorifying God. Both church, in its provision of financial and spiritual support, and the state, in its protection of life, liberty, and marriage, have a role to strengthen and promote healthy family life. The family, in turn, must inculcate religious values, tithe, and give time for ministry in order to support the church, while exercising the discipline of self-government and stewardship necessary to produce good citizens for the body politic.

It must be made clear that the government has no independent authority to prescribe conduct for the family, rather the authority arises out of the state's duty to protect the marital covenant and individual family members.

For at least 8 years, Republican domestic policies have demonstrated that man is capable of doing good only in an atmosphere of liberty and faith, not compulsion and atheism. However, man's basic nature is inclined towards evil, and when the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter.

There should be no intervention where Constitutional and statutory powers do not allow, where principles of federalism grant exclusive state authority and where family autonomy circumscribes. Policies presupposing that government is a benevolent agent of social change fail to understand the social and legal order, and function as a long-term detriment to building strong families. . . Policies, however, must be sufficiently realistic to acknowledge that man lives in a broken and sinful world formed by his inherent selfishness, but should be geared to facility the model.

Despite improvements made in the 1986 Tax Reform Act, Republicans should still work to eliminate income graduation, deduction ceilings in the tax code, and advocate the modified flat tax proposal of the 1984 platform. A taxation system that procures revenue based on an ability to pay, and awards deductions and distributions based on need, is socialist in its underlying philosophy, and impairs the family's ability to transfer property.

Notwithstanding Democratic rhetoric to the contrary, it is not uncompassionate and anti-family to mandate parental consent for all decisions made by minors in and out of school, and to refuse government aid to families who reject the traditional values of responsibility and accountability. While no government program can make people be good, policies should reward people when they are, and not subsidize them when they are not. For example, every level of government should statutorily and procedurally prefer married couples over cohabitators, homosexuals, or fornicators. The cost of sin should fall on the sinner not the taxpayer.

The real enemies of the traditional family - materialism, irresponsibility, feminism, lust, and ultimately selfishness - are largely outside the sphere of federal impact.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I’m Sure He’s Changed His Mind

There’s been a whole lot of flak lately about Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell and his Master’s thesis at the College of Law and Government, CBN University (now called Regent University). Apparently Mr. McDonnell made some rather derogatory assertions about single mothers and working women in that thesis and some people (especially Mr. McDonnell’s opponent Democrat Creigh Deeds) think it demonstrates that he is unsuitable to be governor.

I think that this is all rather unfair. We all said things when we were young and immature that we regret saying now. Even this maven sometimes shutters in embarrassment when I am reminded of things people claim I said as a high school junior or a college sophomore. The thesis that is causing such a fuss was written by Mr. McDonnell in 1989, when he was only—let me see, 1989 less 1954 when he was born—35 years old. (I had thought he must have been younger. Thirty-five years old is not exactly a high school junior or college sophomore). But Mr. McDonnell has said that he has changed his mind about a lot of things since he wrote that thesis and I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

Lots of people are zapping Mr. McDonnell for saying that the Supreme Court was stupid in ruling that states could not outlaw contraceptives, or that mothers working outside the home are one of the leading causes of family breakdown. Others criticize him for his proposal of fifteen steps that the Republican Party must follow to save America. He says that he no longer believes some of those things, so why harp on them.

I’m much more interested in the political philosophy that the young and obviously immature Bob McDonnell set forth in his thesis. A person’s philosophy probably demonstrates better what kind of officer he will be than a few hastily-typed statements.

Young Bob McDonnell’s political philosophy was not based on the constitution and laws of the United States or the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Rather, it was based on the Christian Bible—old and new testaments. Young Bob believed that all of society was created by God, “a God of order and authority, not chaos and autonomy.” It follows that “[e]ach institution in society has been instituted by God for specific, limited purposes.” The major institutions created by God are the family, the church and the state. (Apparently, Bob McDonnell’s God was not much interested in the individual.) Each is sovereign within its own realm.

In young Bob McDonnell’s thesis, God ordained the family to carry out the functions of procreation, nurture and socialization of children “through marriage.” The family must be the primary caretaker of its members and therefore must become economically self sufficient. In time of need, the family may seek help from relatives or the church (but apparently not from the state).

According to young Mr. McDonnell, God gave the church a monopoly over the sacraments and the sole authority to preach the Gospels and determine church membership. It also has the responsibility, along with the family, to care for widows, orphans and the poor and disadvantaged. In case of family dysfunction, it is the church (not the state) that is ordained to support, counsel and restore the family.

In young Bob’s thesis, God created civil government to protect the inalienable rights of individuals and to facilitate a society in which the family and church are free to perform their “covenantal” duties to God and others. The state has the sole authority to punish wrongdoers (except for the exclusive authority of parents to discipline their children). Although there may be instances in which the state may use its police powers to advance the health, safety and morals of family members, in general God has ordained the state to “support family parenting as the first premise of its social, economic and fiscal policy.”

So, it appears that to the young Bob McDonnell God’s hierarchy was family first, church second, and the state third. Mr. McDonnell clearly believed in a minimal role for the federal and state governments, mostly to create an environment in which the family (as God’s primary institution of government) can thrive. If the older and wiser Bob McDonnell were to follow the philosophy of his younger self, this maven would be concerned over the direction the Commonwealth would be heading in the next four years (should he be elected).

But, I am sure he has changed his mind.

Monday, September 07, 2009

You Just Can't Trust Him

Well, I've read the release of the president's proposed speech to America's children. Clearly, we were absolutely justified in fearing this man talking to our vulnerable young 'uns. From beginning to end, the entire address is a socialist manifesto. You just have to read between the lines.

He says: Hello everyone - How's everybody doing today?
He means: Greetings comrades.

He says: When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn't have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school.
First, this is a clear admission that he is not an American. Second, he is trying to justify his socialist plot to make everyone in American poor.

He says: I'm here because I want to talk to you about your education and what's expected of you in this new school year.
Clearly his tone is dictatorial.

He says: But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world - and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work to succeed.
This one is really devious. He is trying to blame the failure of public schools on the students rather that on the true villain - public education itself.

He says: Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer.
That guy Marx-Lenin would have loved this socialist drivel. Obviously not everyone is good.

He says: What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
What he means: Your skills and talents belong to the government.

He says: We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don't do that - if you quit on school - you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country.
What he means: Workers of the world unite!

He says: I did some things I'm not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have.
I told you not to vote for him!

He says: Young people like Jasmin Perez . . . Andoni Schultz . . . Shantell Steve . . .
He only uses foreign kids as examples. What about John Smith and Mary Jones?

He says: I'm thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who's fought brain cancer since he was three. He's endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries.
What he means: Lobby your representatives to pass socialized medicine.

He says: I know that sometimes you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality show star; when chances are, you're not going to be any of those things.
What he means: Don't believe the American dream.

He says: If you get in trouble, that doesn't mean you're a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave.
Clearly, he's soft on crime.

He says: Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
More socialist drivel.

He says: It's the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution.
What he means: Start planning the socialist revolution.

He says: So today, I want to ask you, what's your contribution going to be?
What he means: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

So dear reader, you can see how fortunate we are that school boards and superintendents throughout our land will protect our children by not letting them watch the prez today.