Transforming to Conservatism with an Illumination of Heresy


Proud to be everything Leftists Hate

John R. Houk

© August 8, 2014

 

Years ago when I became a Born Again Christian I began the ironic evolution (ironic because since being Born Again I am not a huge fan of Darwinian Evolution) of moving from a Center-Left Liberal to a downright Christian Right Conservative. And honestly there are quite a few Neoconservative ideas in which I have an affinity.

 

I began with this micro-bio of my faith because I read a fascinating article from the Acton Institute with the theme of heretics and heresy. I first became aware of the Acton Institute back in the days of the disillusionment I began having with the Democratic Party. Just think, back in the early 1980’s the Dems were not even close to being as anti-Christian as they have become under the direction of President Barack Hussein Obama. One of the last good Dems was still in the Senate – Henry (Scoop) Jackson – in Washington State where I grew up in Eastern Washington.

 

Senator Jackson was quite Liberal on most domestic issues (I am a bit uncertain social issues such as abortion and gay marriage). On the other hand before terms like Neoconservatism and American Exceptionalism was a political cause, Jackson was quite supportive of a strong military to confront Marxist expansionism embodied by the then Soviet Union. Jackson believed in supporting Western-style democracy in foreign governments to confront the totalitarianism that was the spread of the disease of Communism.

 

After abandoning the Dems I was not politically transformed enough to be a Republican. Hence in 1980 I did not vote for Ronald Reagan. Actually I don’t even remember the name of the Candidate I voted for in 1980 except it was the Libertarian Party’s candidate for POTUS. I voted Libertarian because of my disgust for Carter and my distrust Reagan (at the time) as a button pushing warmonger. It is in these Libertarian days that I found the writings of Lord John Acton, Ayn Rand (See Also HERE and HERE) and Ludwig von Mises. Libertarians promoted these people as pioneers of Libertarianism. Although my insight today is these guys though definitely espoused much of the Libertarian ideals, none of them would call themselves Libertarian in today’s sense of social Liberalism and Free Market Conservatism as expressed in this thought:

 

Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person’s right to life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force-actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud. (Quote from Libertarianism: A Primer by David Boaz; Found at – What is Libertarian? Written for Institute of Humane Studies at George Mason University)

 

This train of thought sounded like a great compromise between the exploitive ravages of Left Wing Liberalism and the part of Conservatism I was not ready embrace, viz. a super military with the ability to threaten the people of Independent nations that live under a different political paradigm in which Americans are acquainted. Today I view the latter as naïve wishful thinking that people can just get along. The former sounded great from a Liberty point of view yet I came to realize Social Libertarianism did not comply with the Biblical view of God Almighty.

 

This social view hypocritically viewed the rights of female individuals trump the rights of unborn human beings in a woman’s womb. This social view deceptively justifies immoral living as acceptable as long as it doesn’t cause physical harm to another person. This is deceptive because if the Creator says it is wrong that means there is harm to the inner man (or inner person to feminists and Liberals) of an individual both in person and to those unwittingly exposed to immorality from another. And so, I abandoned Libertarianism.

 

I have found that the Acton Institute (actually founded in 1990) named after Lord John Acton promotes Conservative economics and Godly morality.

 

And hence I return to the fascinating article from the Acton Institute entitled, “Heretics and Heresies, New and Old”. Here Hunter Baker brilliantly demonstrates that a heretic can be something other than merely deviating from the orthodox principles of a particular faith.

 

JRH 8/8/14

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Heretics and Heresies, New and Old

 

By Hunter Baker

August 6, 2014

Acton Institute

 

You may not have realized it, but Tony Dungy is a heretic.  Does the former football player, coach and now TV analyst hold beliefs that are considered heretical by his fellow Christians?  No.  But his recent doubts about Michael Sam as an NFL player (you’ll recall Sam as the All American college athlete who has publicly announced that he’s gay), caused Dungy to be viewed as a heretic by members of another sect that is gaining adherents at a rapid pace.  They are more sure of themselves than ever.  Where once they pleaded for tolerance, now they sense that they are gaining the upper hand.  “There can be no tolerance for ideas that are wrong,” they explain.  And they are thinking it might be time to exercise new power.

 

Whether the issue is the HHS mandate regarding the provision of contraceptive products or new attitudes regarding same-sex romance and marriage, the group holding what might be called “progressive” attitudes has demonstrated a willingness to push those who disagree into conforming.  The Christian florist or baker must be brought to heel.  Maybe even sent away for sensitivity training.  When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a narrow decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, the secular-progressives howled as though some peasant had failed to remove his hat in the presence of the king.

 

The issue hasn’t always been sex or bioethics.  If we look back into the 20th century, we can see the Soviets persecuting heretics of a different kind.  In Russia, the heresy was the idea that the state should be limited or that people should be able to determine their own economic destiny.  Some heretics even thought (gasp!) that citizens should be allowed to own property. While they were at it, of course, the Soviets, and the Bolsheviks before them, launched a massive persecution of Christians that heaped up martyrs by the millions.

 

China under Chairman Mao had heretics, too.  These were people who had doubts about The Great Leap Forward and other plans set forth by the great leader who declared that “China has stood up!”  Some of the heretics were people like college professors who had to be humbled by being sent out into the rural areas to perform farm labor.  Others forgot to place pictures of Mao in their homes in prominent positions.  During the Cultural Revolution, packs of enthusiastic teens beat such people, including their once esteemed elders, with belt buckles for a lack of proper revolutionary attitude.  As of this summer, I think a few members of our own revolutionary vanguard may have wanted to take belts off and start swinging at the proprietors of a certain craft store.

 

The tragic thing is that we all seem to have a tendency to want to marginalize and hound the heretics among us. Deng Xiaoping was sent to a re-education camp by Mao Zedong for his incorrect thinking.  You might think he would, in turn, be an advocate for greater freedom of expression.  But who authored the outcome at Tiananmen Square?  It was none other than Chairman Deng.

 

I am sorry to say that Christians, who are rapidly becoming the heretics of this age as they were in others, are far from innocent in this regard.  They were persecuted terribly as an unacceptable cult in the Roman Empire.  When they finally gained acceptance, it was a great deliverance for them.  Official tolerance brought freedom.  Eventually, there was power.  While the first Christian emperor, Constantine, was not a great coercer of others, some of his successors were.  And we all know that the experience of the church in the west includes acts of savagery in war and the torment of heretics in times of peace.  Sometimes repression is due to a desire to retain power, but all too often we are willing to commit crimes against others because we want to bring the millennium.  According to this view, Paradise won’t overtake us unless a few committed people are willing to do whatever it takes (perhaps by any means necessary) to get the job done.

 

It is one thing to pursue visions of moral and spiritual excellence in a positive fashion.  We should feel free to exchange ideas and to persuade one another of the correctness of our views.  That is the process by which we attempt to discover truth.  But there is a human factor that turns healthy debate toward coercion.  It is the penchant we have for finding disagreement and disconfirmation unpleasant and unsettling.  We don’t like to hear that others hold a different view.  Our understandings of the world are precious to us.  It can be especially exciting to have some new view that seems to be enlightened in comparison to the retrograde mindsets of others.  We don’t appreciate it when these knuckle-draggers don’t get with the program.

 

But the temptation is always there to finish the process of converting the group with a little intimidation here, some official marginalization there, and the loss of privileges.  Maybe those people shouldn’t be able to run a school or have an important job or participate in the community in a variety of ways.  Brendan Eich, another new heretic who co-founded Firefox and was evicted from his own organization, can tell you all about it.

 

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Transforming to Conservatism with an Illumination of Heresy

John R. Houk

© August 8, 2014

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Heretics and Heresies, New and Old

 

© 2014 Acton Institute

 

Acton Institute Core Principles

Integrating Judeo-Christian Truths with Free Market Principles

 

1)     Dignity of the Person

 

2)     Social Nature of the Person

 

3)     Importance of Social Institutions

 

4)     Human Action

 

5)     Sin

 

6)     Rule of Law and the Subsidiary Role of Government

 

7)     Creation of Wealth

 

8)     Economic Liberty

 

9)     Economic Value

 

10) Priority of Culture

 

Dignity of the Person – The human person, created in the image of God, is individually unique, rational, the subject of moral agency, and a co-creator. Accordingly, he possesses intrinsic value and dignity, implying certain rights and duties both for himself and other persons. These truths about the dignity of the human person are known through revelation, but they are also discernible through reason.

 

Social Nature of the Person – Although persons find ultimate fulfillment only in communion with God, one essential aspect of the development of persons is our social nature and capacity to act for disinterested ends. The person is fulfilled by interacting with other persons and by participating in moral goods. There are READ THE REST

 

Ron Paul’s Issues in 2008 are the same for 2012


John R. Houk

December 28, 2012

 

Rep. Ron Paul is a rock star with ideas to turn America solvent with a balanced budget, ending the Federal Reserve, expunging wasteful government programs and slicing government bureaucracy as well as unneeded Departments on the Cabinet level. Rock stars are entertainers with a stalwart fan base.

 

Paul has serious problems on issues outside of money/finance. Paul would return America back to an antebellum Foreign Policy agenda rendering America’s global influence and National Interests impotent which in turn would create security problems for the USA that would be a Leftist dream. The dream for the Leftist is to make America so vulnerable that foreign interests would destroy American Constitutionalism. Now I doubt it is Paul’s agenda to destroy America; however the isolationism he would lead America toward would gut America as it conformed to international treaties and laws rendering the U.S. Constitution a document of historical study. Now I realize Ron Paul denies that he is an isolationist; however that is kind of like an apple denying it comes from a tree.

 

Then there are the racist issues Ron Paul has subscribed to in the past that he pretty much keeps to himself but was very public with in his early political days. I have posted on those issues in the past when Paul ran for the GOP nomination in 2008: HERE and HERE.

 

And here we are nearing 2012 and one of Ron Paul’s former aides is exposing the prejudice there is against Jews and Israel. Conversely this means Ron Paul is pro-Palestinian. If you are not aware of it, the Palestinians have such Jew-hatred inculcated into their culture that killing a Jew and the friends of the Jews (i.e. America) is a moment to rejoice.

 

Here is that information from Debbie Schlussel reporting on the thoughts of Eric Dondero along with Ron Paul tidbits exposing a friendship with radical Islam.

 

JRH 12/28/11 (Hat Tip: Patriot Action Network)


Go See ‘Atlas Shrugged’ the Movie


John R. Houk

© April 22, 2011

 

The book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand was one of my favorite novel reads of all time. I first read the book in the 1980s; however the book was written in 1957 nearly one year after my birth (just in case you were interested). Here we are in 2011 and someone finally made the classic Ayn Rand novel into a movie.

 

Atlas Shrugged opened to audiences last weekend on a limited showing basis. It opened up to a mere 299 screens. The movie did so well that this weekend the total screens is moving up to “423+” screens according to a Tea Party Expressemail I received recently. The Atlas Shrugged movie site has a movie locator as to where the movie is playing. At the movie locator you type which State you live in then shows which cities a theatre can be located. I am pleased that Atlas Shrugged Part 1 is being showed in the State I reside! If you reside in the Tulsa area that theatre is the AMC located roughly on 41st and Yale area.

 

If you have ever read the book or are an Ayn Rand fan you will want to catch this movie. The book is loaded with Ayn Rand political philosophy which has been termed Objectivism. Objectivist philosophy is the creed for life for a huge amount of Libertarians.

 

Ayn Rand Objectivism

 

A full system of philosophy advocating reason and egoism has been defined in our time by Ayn Rand. It is the philosophy of Objectivism, presented in detail in Atlas Shrugged, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, and The Virtue of Selfishness. It is the antidote to the present state of the world. (All further quotations, unless otherwise identified, are from the works of Ayn Rand.)

 

Most philosophers have left their starting points to unnamed implication. The base of Objectivism is explicit: “Existence exists—and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.”

 

Existence and consciousness are facts implicit in every perception. They are the base of all knowledge (and the precondition of proof): knowledge presupposes something to know and someone to know it. They are absolutes which cannot be questioned or escaped: every human utterance, including the denial of these axioms, implies their use and acceptance.

 

The third axiom at the base of knowledge—an axiom true, in Aristotle’s words, of(READ THE REST at Ayn Rand Institute)

 

My old Libertarian days are what led me to Ayn Rand and two of my favorite novels in “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged”. These are also the days in which I found the life renewing power of Salvation in Christ Jesus. As much as I began to love Objectivist Libertarianism I came across a concept that I could not reconcile to my new faith. Ayn Rand and here philosophy were atheistic. As much as Rand hated Communism and its precursor of Socialism, she also felt that religion was an illusion that stifled creativity and a productive existence. In my view subject faith in God is the foundation for all that exists. It is Christ Jesus and His Redemptive act that has reconciled the fallen nature of man to at-one-ment (atonement) with God Almighty, i.e. Right Standing with God or in Biblical terms I possess the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. There is no observable objectivity that can measure subjective faith and thus there is no objective way to disprove the existence of the Creator of all that exists. The best objectivity can do is to measure what can be observed and utilize logical assumptions that evolves into a conclusion based on the conjecture of those logical assumptions.

 

There are natural laws that are observable and codified as they are discovered. The Objectivist Philosopher, Scientist or Mathematician cannot comprehend supernatural laws because even when seen the occurrence cannot be measured as to the “why” or the “how” of the occurrence and so is classified under unknown or known by the conjecture of probabilities to attempt to explain the occurrence seen in the natural but has a supernatural law reason.

 

In natural law lift explains how an object maintains a stable trajectory without gravity forcing the object to the ground. Thus lift overrules gravity. In a similar way supernatural law overrules natural law as far as I can conjecture. That drives any person wholly dedicated to some form of Objectivist thinking entirely nuts.

 

Anyway, my line of thinking is what led me away from Objectivist Libertarianism. As cool as the freedom of free will is in Objectivist Libertarianism it is a godless philosophy. I simply cannot embrace the atheistic nature of this kind of Libertarianism which essentially leads to Moral Relativity which goes on to validate certain social acts and social lifestyles as good relative to the times and yet denying the foundation of Biblical Morality which exists because the Creator is the base line for morality that humanity should walk in.

 

And yet Ayn Rand’s philosophy incorporated with a foundation of faith has amazing possibilities for leading a productive and creative life before Christ returns in which an eternal existence would override the need to overcome the urges of a fallen human nature.

 

As such the movie Atlas Shrugged Part 1 should be a movie everyone should to drawn to view. If the movie is true to Ayn Rand’s book it will show how a Socialistic Collective society stifles innovation which also stifles Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I pray President Barack Hussein Obama watches this movie to get an understanding of what his concept of “Change” will lead America toward.

 

Here is a good summary of Atlas Shrugged the novel that should not give away the mystery of the movie.

 

Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand’s greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy of Objectivism in an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics and sex.

Atlas Shrugged is a mystery story, Ayn Rand once commented, “not about the murder of man’s body, but about the murder—and rebirth—of man’s spirit.” It is the story of a man—the novel’s hero—who says that he will stop the motor of the world, and does. The deterioration of the U.S. accelerates as the story progresses. Factories, farms, and shops shut down or go bankrupt in ever larger numbers. Riots break out as food supplies become scarce. Is he, then, a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why does he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies but against those who need him most, including the woman, Dagny Taggart, a top railroad executive, whom he passionately loves? What is the world’s motor—and the motive power of every man?

Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, and charged with awesome questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is a novel of tremendous scope. It presents an astounding panorama of human life—from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy (Francisco d’Anconia)—to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction (Hank Rearden)—to the philosopher who becomes a pirate (Ragnar Danneskjold)—to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph (Richard Halley). Dramatizing Ayn Rand’s complete philosophy, Atlas Shrugged is an intellectual revolution told in the form of an action thriller of violent events—and with a ruthlessly brilliant plot and irresistible suspense.

We do not want to spoil the plot by giving away its secret or its deeper meaning, so as a hint only we will quote here one brief exchange from the novel:

“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater the effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders–what would you tell him to do?”

“I … don’t know. What … could he do? What would you tell him?”

“To shrug.”

 

The Objectivism Reference Center has a fascinating page that has loads of reference links to book summaries, critiques and essays about Atlas Shrugged.

 

For those of you who have not read the book as yet but are considering to view Part One of the movie before you tackle the rather large Ayn Rand novel I leave you this teaser.

 

Who is John Galt?

 

See a trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W07bFa4TzM&feature=player_profilepage

 

JRH 4/22/11

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Atlas Shrugged Movie Gains Momentum!

 

Sent by Tea Party Express

Sent: 4/22/2011 7:09 AM

 

Normally we’re not too focused on what movies are playing in local cinemas, but the release of Atlas Shrugged The Movie (based on Ayn Rand’s monumental book) has become a seminal event in the tea party movement.

 

And we’ve got some good news to report to you on the success of this movie that has liberal film critics up in arms.

 

In its debut weekend, Atlas Shrugged surprised everyone, grossing more in ticket sales per movie screen than any other movie save the hit family movie, “Rio.”

 

And this week, Atlas Shrugged expands – from 299 screens last weekend to 423+ screens this weekend.  You can find the closest movie theater showing the film near you – FIND MOVIE THEATER HERE

 

The movie, like the book, serves as a wake up call to the dangers posed when governments take on too much power and subvert the will and freedom of the individual.  Specifically, it showcases what happens when entrepreneurship and free market principles are deemed to be unseemly and unacceptable to Big Government.

 

When you watch the movie you’ll feel like you could be watching the real-live events of today, not a fictionalized account written by Ayn Rand some 60+ years ago.

 

And the fact that this movie touches on many of the problems we face today, and that we in the tea party movement are fighting, explains why so many liberal movie critics have slammed this movie and urged people not to see it.   They don’t want you to see this movie, because they don’t want you to see the truth about what is happening in America today.

 

  • ·       Michael Phillips, writing in the Los Angeles Times, complained about the film’s “tea-stained politics.”

 

  • ·       Peter Travers in RollingStones vented, “Who’s the idiot responsible for this fiasco?”

 

  • ·       Roger Ebert gave the film just 1-star and whined:  “And now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault.”

 

  • ·       Peter Debruge incorporated a swipe at Fox News Channel in his review for Variety, writing that: “…Atlas Shrugged” becomes a series of polite policy conversations interrupted by Fox News-style updates whenever exposition is called for…”

 

Yes, we get it, liberal film critics.  You all can’t stand free markets, and you can’t stand that there is a film out there that echoes many of the same evils that the tea party movement here in America is fighting against.

 

You can see the movie for yourself this weekend, and in the process angry a Big Government, autocratic, liberal.  Watch it again, even if you’ve already seen it once.  Oh, and  be sure to take a friend with you too.

 

To find the nearest cinema showing “Atlas Shrugged” – JUST CLICK HERE.

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Go See ‘Atlas Shrugged’ the Movie

John R. Houk

© April 22, 2011

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Atlas Shrugged Movie Gains Momentum!

 

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