Government and The Media

When I was a kid in school they made everyone take a class in US Government. We learned about things like balance of powers, federalism, and limited government. These principles are shaped by the constitution, and we were told, keep our government running smoothly.

So what am I, and my entire generation, supposed to think when we see specific people in government arguing against these principles? I hear the news reporting that the argument in favor of the current immigration reform is that the executive branch holds sole power over immigration law; no balance of power, no cooperation with states, and no boundaries. I don’t believe immigration is the only place such actions are taking place.

We have orderly ways to carry out business in our government for very good reasons. It is somewhat natural that a politician who is not reigned in will expand their own powers. In times past, the press, the well-informed populace, and the courts would not tolerate changing the definitions of government written into the constitution.

Today is somehow different. Now we live in the information age. So the traditional media is under pressure from the internet, and therefore has lost power and changed its shape considerably. In the old days shape, acting as a watchdog of freedom, was how a media outlet secured its audience. The new shape does not secure its audience in this manner and therefore the media is not as successful at being a watchdog.

Government is changing, or at least attempting to, and no one is taking notice except for opposing factions of government. The average citizen is ill-informed and disinterested in the new shape of things. The courts, the last line of defense planned in our constitution, seem to be in the midst of their own power grab and might not be quite as helpful as we would like.

If you were looking for the last lines of this blogpost to contain answers then allow me to give two suggestions. First, pray hard. Second, hang on and be ready for a bumpy ride.

I can’t do any better than that because I can’t see what is going on behind the scenes any better than anyone else. (As detailed above.) However I do believe that God is in control of the situation. I am just waiting to see if He is using it to bring revival or judgement.

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Secularism as State Religion

My greatest concern for this country involves our drift toward a state religion.

The average American doesn’t know what a state religion is or how it works, but most nations have a particular religious viewpoint that they advocate. For example, across Scandinavia the nations are officially Lutheran. When a person is born in those countries, they are automatically considered a member of that church, unless they petition not to be. A portion of their tax dollars go to support this church.

Even in communist countries which claim to have no religion, they support a state religion, specifically atheism. They do this by teaching it in the schools, promoting it in politics, and oppressing other viewpoints.

Now here in the United States we have a history in regard to state religion. The founders of our nation struggled to decide what religion America would endorse, but with the introduction of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, we determined to have no state religion. At the time, it was an unprecedented decision. We opted for freedom of religion.

But today, just like communist countries actively promote atheism, our country has been actively promoting secularism. This may not be the most accurate word, so let me be very specific in defining the problem. The government has begun a policy of saying that you have freedom of thought, but not of action. You can believe whatever you want, but you cannot act on it when it violates the government agenda.

By acting on it, I am referring both to personal patterns of living and to the proclamation of your beliefs. Proclamation, preaching and teaching, is going to be a part of any religion, but now if you preach the wrong things, you can lose your status as a valid church in this country

If we are really going to be having a government which oversees the activities of churches, we probably should apologize to Russia and China. After all this is the practice these governments have had for generations and a primary reason we have spoken of them as not being free.

The Powerful New Court

Recently the Supreme Court made a subtle and important non-decision on gay marriage.

The non-decision happened like this. Alabama had a law banning gay marriage. It was voted into place by the majority of Alabama voters, but was then challenged and overturned by a federal judge. This decision will be brought up before the Supreme Court later this year, but in the meantime Alabama asked the Supreme Court to issue a stay preventing the issuing of marriage licenses to same sex couples until after the court decides.

The non-decision was refusing to hear and act on the request for a stay. Many have interpreted it as an indication the majority of the court is ready to rubber stamp anything and everything in regards to gay marriage.

This is not to say there are no dissenting voices. Clarence Thomas spoke strongly against the decision, and for my purposes against the implications of the non-decision.

He said the court demonstrates an “increasingly cavalier attitude toward the states.” He explained the federal courts fail to show “appropriate respect” to the states. He also reminds them they owe respect “to the people of those states who approved those laws.” He further said their behavior was formed “on questionable constitutional grounds.” And that their actions were “without any regard for the people who approved those laws in popular referendums or elected the representatives who voted for them.”

In other words, the Supreme Court, and courts in general, are expanding their power. But what will it mean for us all in the long run? We no longer have a representative government, but a shadow of one, more accurately guided by the supreme and uncontested power of the courts.