Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How To Impress Your Friends & Neighbors

This is not about tips for garnering admiration and respect. The subject is ObamaCare and an historic definition of the word impress. This definition figures prominently in American history: “the act of compelling men into a navy by force and without notice.” The profession involved now is different but the resulting affront to liberty is the same.

Beginning in the mid 1700’s, as the pre-revolutionary colonies became established and thriving, sea trade was big business. Even trade between the colonies was cheaper if done by shipping rather than traveling overland. The number of seamen combined with readily available timber helped make the American colonies a ship-building dynamo. The large number of experienced seamen affected colonial sailors negatively when they became targets of British oppression. According to historian Daniel P. Murphy of Hanover College, due to “the British policy of forcibly impressing sailors into the British navy, American seamen were overwhelmingly Patriot in their sympathies.”

Colonial sailors were being impressed—i.e., forced to serve in the British navy. While these sailors did receive pay, it was not as profitable as working in the lucrative free market shipping trade. The northern colonies, those originally established for religious reasons, were also advocates of free market ideas. These New England sailors, solidly educated in the Bible, bristled at the idea of a man reaping the benefits of the labor of another through slavery. Therefore, in the northern colonies citizens particularly felt the yoke of oppression and tyranny of impression. Needless to say, this practice was seen as arbitrary abuse of power among colonials steeped in John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government (1690):

On Slavery: Sec. 22. THE natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of nature for his rule. The liberty of man, in society, is to be under no other legislative power, but that established, by consent, in the commonwealth; nor under the dominion of any will, or restraint of any law, but what that legislative shall enact, according to the trust put in it. Freedom then is not what Sir Robert Filmer tells us, Observations, A. 55. a liberty for every one to do what he lists, to live as he pleases, and not to be tied by any laws: but freedom of men under government is, to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power erected in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, where the rule prescribes not; and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man: as freedom of nature is, to be under no other restraint but the law of nature. [emphasis added]

The practice of impressing colonial sailors is listed in the abuses section of the Declaration of Independence which was boldly signed by Boston resident John Hancock, a free market shipping entrepreneur:

“He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.”

So devoutly were the religious based northern colonies against slavery that unity of the colonies in their rebellion was under threat, prompting the famous Ben Franklin political cartoon of the divided snake with the caption Join, Or Die. The terms Liberty, Freedom, and Independence as well as natural rights and equality were gifts from God, and God was honored not only for being our Creator, but also because of His Word and His redemptive plan to restore Man into relationship with Himself. Those revolutionary colonials and the citizens of American today share the experience known as the joy of Christian Liberty. These Christians consider slavery anathema, although it is the nature of man to defend the most inhumane practices with out-of-context Scripture.

And so today we have Leftist theologians defending ObamaCare because it is perceived as the duty of government to coerce its citizens to be charitable to one another and then impress citizens in the Health Care Industry to provide that care. That these Leftists are advocating a State Church is undeniable, but their theological defense of ObamaCare is fatally flawed. Their biblical defense reverses the message of the prophets and The Law: God doesn’t want your sacrifice; He wants your hearts to be changed toward worship of Him to one of joy rather than duty. God says it is only through spiritual restoration with Him that we can effect His blessings by doing good for others. In fact, God goes so far as to say that good deeds done for the wrong intentions are not acceptable sacrifices. These leftists/progressives/intellectuals like their Pharisee predecessors would have us believe that acquiescence to coercion can renew Man’s relationship with God. But unless Americans have actually opened those hard books documenting Man’s quest for Freedom and Liberty, or at least as our early colonials certainly could say, read the Bible cover to cover, we only know what the loudest voices tell us. Our national dereliction of study has resulted in creating a citizenship unwittingly standing alongside tyranny because of the banal acceptance of cultural and spiritual nihilism.

It was Christian evangelicals and free market entrepreneurs that established the United States of America. It was Christian evangelicals and free market entrepreneurs that pushed to end slavery in America. It was Christian evangelicals and free market entrepreneurs that joined with Martin Luther King, Jr. to defeat the legal bigotry enforced by Southern Democrats. Christian evangelicals have led the fight to preserve the sanctity of life, which is turning public opinion against the heinous act of abortion. While in Turkey in 2009, President Obama stated that America was not a Christian nation. But it is Gods command in the Bible that we love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

The evangelical church should do nothing if not denounce ObamaCare and the impress of every health care provider openly and loudly. Your voice is sorely needed in these times that try men’s souls.

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