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Monday, April 24, 2006

Right or Duty?

How does one determine if his or her rights are being violated by the government? When does the government become a tyrant?

The framers crafted the US Constitution and wrote volumes to address the problems of despotic government, and there was never perfect agreement on where to draw the line is between tyranny and liberty. Federalist James Madison wrote that “[i]n framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” (No. 51). “Brutus,” one voice out of many opposed to a centralized federal government, wrote that “[t]he design of civil government is to protect the rights and promote the happiness of the people….Hence we find, that all the state constitutions, contain either formal bills of rights, which set bounds to the power of the legislature…” (New York Journal, January 17, 1788).

Both Madison and Brutus agreed that the government should be limited; however neither agreed on the definition of “limited” nor on how to achieve such limitations. The same discussion occurs session after session in the Missouri Legislature. Today, the government is a tyrant unless it pays for the privileges that many American citizens consider rights, as specific enumerated rights are confused with our duty as citizens.

Case in point:

Currently, there are two bills in the Senate that have clauses that would require Missouri voters to present a photo ID at the polls before they can vote.

Senate Bill 1014 would not only require voters to have a photo ID, but also states that:

The state of Missouri shall pay all the legally required fees for applicants for non-driver's licenses. Persons residing in convalescent, nursing, and boarding homes shall be issued a non-driver's license through a mobile processing system operated by the department of revenue at no cost.

Ten of thirty-three Senators did not vote for this bill, as those opposed to the measure cited the unintended consequences on the poor and elderly who cannot afford such IDs. The aim of the Senate bill is to reduce voter fraud. It needs one more vote to move to the House.

SB 1250, which includes a section requiring a photo ID for Missouri voters, aims to decrease the ability of illegal aliens to illegally vote.

There is opposition to both bills because of the burden on voters to obtain and pay for a photo ID. Can someone please help me understand how reducing voter fraud makes the government a tyrant? While I must recognize that such a measure isn't convenient for some voters, such an inconvenience—as some have given their lives to protect the reliability of our electoral system--is our duty.


Centurion said...

The franchise is both a right and a duty, according to scripture and
the constitutions of of the U.S. and the various states. We are, by God's grace, a self-governing people. How are we doing?

Isn't it an abomination that only about half of our eligible citizens are registered to vote; and that only about half of those show up at the polls, on average?

Any wonder that we are ruled by
pagans and incompetents?

Neither of the proposed bills will
resolve vote fraud or citizen negligence. Both miss the mark, which is the loss of control at the precinct level, where most of the responsibility and authority
should reside for honest elections
and Christian discipleship.

Today, sole authority is abdicated to those who control the automated out-of-sight leviathan which records and reports the results. Thus, it matters little if voters or registrants have been properly identified.


1.) Outlaw the motor-voter option;

2.) Tighten absentee requirements;

3.) Revert to paper ballots to be
tallied and reported at the
precinct level by neighborhood judges from each political party.
This is an appropriate duty for Christians who care enough to be good stewards of their God-granted franchise.

4.) Only taxpaying heads of households be allowed to vote.

Accountability, then, would and should be primarily employed at the lowest level (Ex. 18).

Instead, with computerized centralization and illegitimate means of registration, we are continuing to rely on "the king" to control our affairs, whether we're looking to Jefferson City or Sodom on the Potomac.

Photo ID or not, the present system
is riddled with openings for fraud and abuse.

Once again, the politicians are addressing symptoms with band-aids,
rather than dealing with the root issue and mandate of local control.

Follow the money.

Here's yet another challenge for Christian citizens to consider regarding the importance of the franchise:

Is the Nineteenth Amendment either
biblical or in accord with the
original intent of the founders of
our republic? In the past 85 years since its ratification, has it had any bearing on the feminization of
the culture, including the church?

Are there any Christian men out there in blogland who want to deal with this cancer?

Now there's a hand grenade for Young Adults, since the geriatrics
have preferred to run from it or ignore it.

Hey, Ruth: Trust you had an exciting and profitable journey
to Gary!

Thanks for your provocative posts!

Ruth said...

Not well.

Great suggestions. I need to stop thinking like a Jeff. City politician and open my Bible more!

And the 19th amendment isn't in accord with the Bible, and I doubt that anyone who signed the Constitution agreed with women voting. But people often, myself included, get too caught-up in the cultural norms of today and ignore what the Bible has to say about how we should live.

As for the Christian men in blogland, I think there is more discussion about theories than action in blogland right now!

I think there is still confusion about which dispensation God's law is still binding. ;)

Ruth said...

I’m sorry if I offended anyone in my response to Centurion. I should have expressed my disappointment with how the men in the Church in general—not specifically those who write or read bogs that I know personally—talk more than take action. I allowed my growing frustration to let my words be sloppy. I did not a purposeful mean it to be an “attack.” But more importantly, I must admit that such a negative attitude towards anyone one—and specifically men in the Church—isn’t appropriate, helpful, or productive.

In addition, I can defend a position from the Bible that women do not need a vote in a ballot box for their voices to be heard. God worked out a wonderful plan for women to have the perfect representatives for their interests. (Maybe I’m just to idealistic…I’ve heard that from university professors before…to take models from the Bible and apply them to our political system.) If someone would like to present an argument that since men and women are spiritually equal, they should have equal voices in the public square. Or the problem of women who do not live under their fathers and are single… Please, I am interested participating in such a discussion if anyone expresses such interest.

For those who are curious, I believe women can have opinions and have babies. For those who aren’t curious, I’m hope that wasn’t sharing too much personal info.

Lastly, I may be confused, but I know there are some bloggers discussing the possibility (or the absolute reality) that particular (or all) “OT” laws were only binding in the OT and not the NT. Thus, my pun using the word “dispensation” to represent the OT time period wasn’t meant to be mean, but just funny. I admit it was for a particular audience. In the future, I’ll just keep such humor to myself, or private conversations with those who find the sarcasm funny. I’m quite sarcastic sometimes…but I guess it just comes through the screen in unintended ways.

I value these forums to work through ideas with people who do not agree with me; therefore, I will make a conscious effort to avoid alienating those I enjoy “talking” with the most in the future.