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Talking Politics – Religion and Politics

20201014 Talking Politics – The Daily Summation on YouTube
20201014 Talking Politics – The Daily Summation Podcast

How many times have you heard it said, that politics is a matter that should never be discussed in polite society?

I’d bet the number isn’t a small one.

Can I let you in on a little secret? I’ve never voted for any candidate running for any political office. In fact, I’ve never registered to do so, anywhere I’ve ever found myself.

You may be wondering why someone who’s never taken the time to cast a ballot, spends so very much energy, talking about the political process, and politicians.

To be fair, a great deal of what I cover, tends to be above the political fray. I spend time discussing things like character, and why the United States has the political system it does.

Even so, I delve into things political an awful lot, for a confirmed non-voter.

The answer is simple, I recognize that there will be government. I realize that I will be subject to that government’s whims.

Why don’t I vote then? Because I don’t believe it’s within my rights as a Christian, to cause others—even in an incidental fashion—to live under leaders I choose to put in power in a direct way.

That said, I recognize folks I come in contact with, either may not be Christians, or may not have the same scruples come to voting, I possess.

I don’t consider believers voting, to be a salvation issue. I can’t presume they’re hell-bound if they choose to participate in such activities.

Nonetheless, I’m not able to take such directions in good conscience.

That doesn’t mean, I can’t advise others, making it clear to them how things work, and for what, those for whom they might cast their lot, stand. And as one who attempts to act as I believe Jesus would expect me to, I consider myself to be in a solid position to do so—particularly where His followers are concerned.

For those reading who count themselves to be saved, I have a question. Would you accept the idea, that you had no right to speak your faith?

Remember, the question isn’t, “Do you feel qualified, or able to, share what you believe?

If you answered, “Yes.” to the idea that you have no right to speak, where what you hold true is concerned, I honestly question at least, that you’ve seriously researched your position.

The admonition found in 1st Peter 3:15, ought to make it clear to you, that you must be willing to do that, no matter how bad at it, you think yourself to be.

By the same token, taking positions on things like politics, can and should be embraced through the lens of faith.

For my part, it’s not just acceptable that I discuss politics, it’s essential. Not doing so, means I leave others unaware of information I’ve acquired in the course of my trek on this planet, how my beliefs shape my viewpoint, and what I know or understand about those running for political office.

So you’ve heard vitriolic debate or discussion surrounding the subject, from those who seem otherwise, sane, rational, and kind individuals? Me too!

Can you imagine spouting hateful things about others? Can you picture yourself lacing your speech with profanity? No? Good!

The fact that there are people out there who’re willing to trash towns because their football (for Americans, read here, “soccer”) team, lost the match this evening, doesn’t indicate that all fans of that team, are either required, expected, or even in some way beholden, to act likewise.

That’s a good thing, since most of them don’t.

I imagine you could find those discussing knitting who would get into set-tos on the subject.

I’ve been informed there are people out there, willing to put a bullet in others, in order to come into possession of their shoes.

As well, there are those willing to kill, because people walked into their neighborhood wearing the wrong color, or an unsanctioned bandanna.

I sincerely hope you’re not among folks doing such things.

The point I’m making should be obvious, but allow me to spell it out.

The fact that there are people out there, who will mistreat others for even bad beliefs, by no means implies—much less openly states—that you must, or even should, do likewise.

In all you do, your conversation should be reasonable, rational, sane, and where possible, kind.

Let those of you who’re parents remember, there’re times when you must be harsh with your children.

Is your son playing in traffic? Then it’s probably time to take drastic action. Likewise if your young daughter is running with a sharp knife.

Just as in those situations, it may be necessary to be sterner than you really desire to be, when conversing on things like politics.

That shouldn’t mean, the rest of your existence must shift to match the tone of that moment.

I should also make a disclaimer here. Nobody is correct a hundred percent of the time. As such, to begin with, one should always take an attitude of humility, when discussing things—related to politics or not.

It’s also the case, that when one is told (and can determine it’s true) that one is incorrect about something, he or she should take whatever corrective action is possible.

To some extent, this can be avoided through the simple performance of due diligence. Even then, you will be wrong at times.

Here’s the thing though, you should always do your best, to act in ways that bring credit to you, your family, and most of all, if you’re a Christian, to Jesus called Christ, and God the Father.

So is it unreasonable to talk politics or religion? Not at all! Care should be taken with how you say what you say. Further, you should be at least as interested, if not more so, in ensuring what you say is true and correct, than when discussing any other thing. And remember, if what you seek to support politically isn’t in line with your spiritual understanding, you may want to reconsider who or what you’re putting weight behind. None of this means you should lash out, or be ill-behaved in stating your case.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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The Tyranny of the Majority – Religion and Politics

20201013 The Tyranny of the Majority – The Daily Summation on YouTube
20201013 The Tyranny of the Majority – The Daily Summation Podcast Content

Imagine you have four siblings. They all get together, and decide you should be their servant. Does that sound like a great idea to you?

This is a simple example of what’s meant by the expression, “the tyranny of the majority.”

It’s for this purpose, that the United States of America was wisely begun as a representative republic with democratically elected members of the House of Representatives.

You might ask, why I only talk about that group in those terms.

The judiciary is obvious. As a rule, the members of that branch, are appointed.

People in the executive, are typically either appointed or hired. Some are elected, but not the vast majority.

The presidency has a popular vote component, but the person who ends up in the position is placed there, by the electoral college.

Here’s the interesting part, the initial intent of the U.S. Senate, was that they would be representatives to the states, appointed by each legislature, to their positions.

Since that time, a substantial breakdown has occurred. That would be 17th Amendment to the Constitution.

That modifcation caused senators to be elected, via a popular vote.

While the entirety of the purpose of that body wasn’t lost by the change, an important part of it was.

Senators were intended to represent, as has already been said, the states from which they came, not the people thereof.

Even so, elections of the persons in question, are itentionally not the same as democracy.

Though the way senators were selected changed, once they, as well as those in the House, got into the business to which they were called, they were not expected to request referenda, each time a matter needed to be decided by the legislature.

The folks in question were posited as they were, in order to act as a body, that would stand in the place of the populace at large.

Futher, since our country was purposely not constituted as a democracy, but by intent, as a republic, it was meant to be incumbent on those in positions of authority, as well as the governed, to be beholden to the law of the land, as a primary consideration. For legislators, this was to be true, both in how they behaved as citizens, and when they wrote new laws.

Put simply, the beauty of the American system of government was not just that your four siblings, were not at liberty to take a vote, enforcing on you a permanent state of servitude, but that part of the reason, is that they were under laws which made such actions on their part, subject to inspection.

If your brothers and sisters were found to be in breach of some statute or other, that took precedence over their desires.

So when the concept of the abolition of slavery came to be enacted—and though there are those among us, who would argue that the Constitution itself, had such provisions in it from the outset, there are amendments to that document that make it crystal clear it’s not to be tolerated, even if we decide that’s not the case—it should have been plain, your relatives hadn’t a legal leg to stand on when they decided as they did.

This is the wonder of the system of government, given us by those having crafted those precious documents.

It’s a sad reality that, there were those here in America—granted, they existed more or less around the world—who thought slavery to be a reasonable thing. Though that’s the case, such people did and do exist.

And it was on the basis they did, those who began to build the country, crafted the basest concepts of American law.

You can argue that man has somehow evolved since that time. I can counter that there are still among us liars, cheats, thieves, murderers, rapists, and those guilty of so many more untoward, even heinous, acts.

It’s a sufficient appeal to their better nature, to ask them to elect representation, that will work in the best interests of all their fellows.

It takes no special brilliance to see, they cannot always be expected to act in humility, sacrifice and other ways, that will be for the public good.

How many times have even those chosen to represent a portion of humanity, been found guilty of any number of horrible wrongs? This says little to nothing, about those having helped to place them in the positions they held.

The aforementioned, are among the reasons the Founders so carefully, wrought that which you see today.

They had already seen the potential abuses that might come into play, in countries new and old, around the globe; such things were not at all unknown to them.

As if they hadn’t enough cause, consider that a large part of the reason they were forming a new country to begin with, was that the commonwealth of which they were at the time a component, chose to exact from them taxes, while not concerning themselves with ensuring their voices were heard.

One might argue in that instance, the colonists were already plagued by the tyranny of the majority.

Realizing the system put in place, should be as immune as possible to such machinations, was pretty certainly a part of what drove them to make the decisions they did, about how things would work.

These days, there are those who’re arguing we ought to be a democracy—in fact, there are among us, people who think it reasonable to assert we already are, or worse yet, always were ensconced in that form of rule.

Let me assure you, that was never the intent of those having worked diligently, to construct this union.

So when people try to argue for things like the abolisment of the electoral college; when they try to coerce certain policies, laws or activities on the basis that the “majority has spoken,” whether they understand it or not, they’re working in direct contradiction, to those who set things up.

In case you don’t think that’s a problem, I invite you to peruse the history books, to see what they have to tell us about democracy.

If you think the idea of the tyranny of the majority isn’t a “real thing,” please know, it is. If you think it’s not potentially a direct result of democracy, and that most other systems even allow it to exist, understand, you’re in error. It’s on this basis, our country was not founded, and is not today intended to be, a democracy.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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Fifteen Days to Rule Them All – Religion and Politics

20201011 Fifteen Days to Rule Them All – The Daily Summation from YouTube
20201011 Fifteen Days to Rule Them All – The Daily Summation Podcast Content

When a viral outbreak of some kind occurs, most of the time, it’s barely noticed by the population at large.

That being true, you have to ask yourself, “What happened with COVID-19?

The answer is, it was a “novel” virus. That essentially means it was as yet unseen, by those who spend their time looking at such phenomena. That’s not to say it didn’t bear a striking resemblance to others in its grouping—the Coronaviruses—just that it was sufficiently different, as to make it questionable whether it would be deadlier, or spread wider, than others in that family.

As a result, the initial concern over the potential pandemic, is somewhat understandable.

There are certainly questions, as to whether it was or is reasonable for government at any level, to tell private citizens, they’re required to behave in specific ways, where the bug is concerned—or for that matter, at all, absent laws restricting behavior, that’re not draconian in nature.

Keeping in mind that, if people want to hide in their basements, not coming out unless they deem it absolutely necessary, that’s totally acceptable.

It’s also reasonable to keep one’s distance from others and expect them to do likewise. Frankly, it’s my habit to do that, as a normal practice. I can’t say it’s strictly around the potential for a virus to spread, that I do so. On the other hand, I won’t say that has nothing to do with why I act as I do, either.

Where I’m not a fan or believer, I can even accept the idea of people thinking it necessary or appropriate to wear masks in circumstances where they feel such activity is called for.

Remember, that virtually nobody counts that a way, to keep from contracting the virus from others, but as a means to keep from spreading it oneself. Even so, if all choose to wear masks, it’s potentially possible, you’ll slow the spread.

Keep in mind as well, that the chance of somehow stopping the propagation of the disease altogether, is one that literally almost nobody in the medical community, counts reasonable.

The idea though, of government forcing such modes of operation, and most particularly, sheltering in place, on the people at large, is another matter entirely.

In this country, the acceptance of such things happening, is considered to be more or less, in direct contravention to the idea of general freedom; and it’s upon this ideal, that the United States was largely built.

So, when there came to be a period in which it was assumed, people would hide away in their homes, wear masks when they had to leave them, and maintain social distance, it was quite enough of a stretch to imagine that would happen, for a period of fifteen days.

As many have pointed out, that fifteen days, has been stretched out, to something around eight months by this point—with no sign at present, of an end to it.

Besides that it’s already largely considered true, that the spread of the virus won’t be stopped by such measures, the longer things go on as they are, the greater the chance that folks who would’ve contracted it, will actually do so regardless such measures.

More importantly, it’s been stated by various folks in the medical and social health communities, that the ancillary costs associated with these measures, are almost certainly substantially greater, than the risks associated with the sickness they’re intended to attempt to curtail.

Things like, suicide, failure to diagnose and treat other illnesses, poverty, various kinds of abuse, and the failure to recognize them, failure of reasonable and proper education of children, and a good many more, are among the things about which we’re speaking.

When the preceding are considered, it seems to me, one ought to ask a simple question. “Why?”

Why are we continuing to take actions, that’re almost certainly resulting in worse outcomes for more people, than would likely occur, if they simply acquired the disease, got over it, and moved on?

As usual, I have to put a disclaimer here, or people will assume (wrongly), that I’m heartless, or failing to think about certain factors, which should be considered.

It’s obvious, there are higher risk populations—mostly older folks with multiple comorbidities, but some who’re younger, again largely with more than one other health complication—that we should seek to protect, if they’re not able to protect themselves. I have zero problem with this idea.

The thing is, if you look at fatalities for people under the age of 65, who’ve died of COVID-19 for the entire period the Centers for Disease Control have been counting, nationwide, the number is still to this day less than 43,000; and that’s since the 1st of February, 2020.

Like it or not, that means the majority of folks are just plain not at high risk.

Skewing the numbers even more, is the fact that a great many of the older folks having passed, did so as a result of bad policy on the part of at least a couple of states, which I won’t get into at present. If one does the research, it’s easy enough to find out what I’m saying is true.

The point of all of this, is really pretty simple. I’ve already asked the question. That question was simple. Allow me to repeat it, “Why?”

Why is all of this happening?

There are those who will make the case that, “The wrong people are now (still) informing policy.” That may be true, but I do not believe it gets to the meat of things.

It’s my belief, there are those who are so intent on causing the sitting president to look bad, they’re willing to use the extreme despair and even potential deaths of others, to forward that agenda.

Lest you think I’m moving into the mode of timeliness over that of timelessness, let me assure you that’s not my intent.

Rather, I want it to be clear that, there’s always a possibility for things of this sort to happen. They’ve happened all throughout history, and there’s nothing to say they won’t continue to occur, in the foreseeable future.

You may not believe it, but I’m fully of a mind, that unscrupulous folks are taking advantage of fear, to cow people into doing their bidding, with the intent of making the existing situation look dire, and the person who they claim—fallaciously—created it, to look like some sort of ogre. And it all started with, “Fifteen Days to Rule Them All.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.