If Jesus Were…

Jesus Manifesto…accorded even a part of the authority and primacy given to jobs, hobbies, family, social involvement, friends, political causes by those who take His name as their own, this world would be a different place.

How much more so if He were given his rightful place, the throne of each of us.

In Jesus Manifesto, authors Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola cast about for a way to impress upon Christians the necessity of being more than Christ-people. We ought to be Christ.

Not that we have any part in His redemptive work or in His place in the God-head, but that rather than seeking to follow Him, or model Him, or be like Him, we ought to BE Him.

For me, I found this a useful understanding of my role as a Christian. It’s difficult always playing catch-up with Christ. When we’re following, we’re always behind. But when out identity is in Christ and He is in us, there is a much closer association than if we are simply being like Him.

Among other problems, this further pushes our own self down, humbling our position in our own body, and this is a difficult and unnatural thing for people who, like me, are quite content in our nearly-Christ-like Christianity.

At times it seemed the authors resort to platitudes and Christian-isms, bumper-sticker theology. However, it became clear as the book goes on that the memorability of the phrases was clearly chosen to make this potentially unpalatable ideal more memorable and less easily dismissed out of hand.

I highly recommend this  book for anyone seeking to have a clearer picture of what is expected of us as Christians.

Jefferson On Limited Government

Both darling and nemesis of Liberals, the Libertarian Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson, Liberals favorite founding father, has this to say about the proper scope of government:

“A wise and frugal government,” Thomas Jefferson declared in his first inaugural address in 1801, “which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

And on redistribution of wealth:

“To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”

Read Arthur C. Brooks’ article America’s New Culture War.

Doesn’t Pass The Sniff Test

Do you want an example of an ideologue attempting to justify his existence at the government trough?

Imagine the tragedy if every day for years on end a crowded jetliner crashed. Then imagine the outrage when the public learned that those tragedies had been preventable, but that the airlines and government had done nothing. Fortunately, jetliners rarely crash. But excessive salt in our food is causing several hundred preventable deaths every day—100,000 deaths each and every year. And the food industry and government have done virtually nothing.

Sorry, this doesn’t pass the sniff test.

Writer Michael Jacobson would have to add a lot of qualifiers to the statement before it made it past the sniff test.

First off, salt is not killing several hundred people a day. Accurately interpreting the words Michael has chosen leads to only one conclusion, salt kills several hundred people a day. And hundreds of thousands of people who drink water die every day. A more accurate statement would be “medical conditions related to high-sodium diets are factors in several hundred deaths each day.”

Salt doesn’t kill. In fact, salt is a necessary part of our bodies ability to regulate its water levels. High levels of sodium in our bodies alerts us with the sensation of thirst. And without sodium, the water would not travel into the necessary cells. It works in much the same way a good sauce flavors meat, by passing liquids back and forth across the various membranes until the saline (salt) levels equalize on both sides.

The second problem with Michael Jacobson’s arguments are his assumption that government regulation is the best source of a solution to the problem of high-sodium diets.

First off, any such regulation is flatly contradictory to the stipulations of the Constitution of the United States of America. The amount of salt a person consumes is completely within their rights to self-determination.

Not to say there isn’t an issue with the overall health of our nation. However, such issues illustrate the inappropriateness of government involvement in health and other private decisions and responsibilities. If the government wants to require that food stamps and WIC and other welfare assistance programs only be used on low-sodium foods, that’s OK. That particular cat is already out of that particular bag. And if you live on the government dole you live at their behest.

I don’t live at the government’s behest. I live in spite of the government.

Secondly, there are those who still live a healthy and active lifestyle whose bodies use and process higher levels of sodium effectively.

According to an evolutionary understanding, due to the necessity of hard labor to survival, our bodies evolved to prefer high-fat, high-starch, high-salt foods because they stored much higher levels of energy necessary for the long days in the fields and on the hunt.

According to a creationary understanding, God designed our bodies to prefer the foods that conveyed most effectively the elements essential to our carrying out the stipulations of the curse.

Either way, we’re tuned to want this stuff even if we don’t need it. But some do, and that is the inherent failure of each and every government regulation. There is simply no way a blanket rule can be applied without it causing harm to some without a corresponding benefit.

John Tate counters Michael Jacobson:

Supporters of intervention are focusing on the overconsumption of salt. Point taken. However, the problem of overconsumption derives more from personal choice than from sodium intake under circumstances beyond one’s control, such as when large amounts of sodium were added to food products without information to consumers.

People are presented with all the data needed to make an informed decision. Warnings about excessive sodium abound. Product labels list the amount of sodium each serving contains. Restaurants are increasingly supplying nutritional guides. The responsibility lies with the consumer on how to act on this knowledge.

Most Americans do not seem to be choosing to restrict their own salt intake, and the FDA is looking to use this outcome to justify intervening in everyone’s food choices “for our own good.” But no amount of such intervention will ever force people to make good choices. What will regulators do if this idea doesn’t work? Resort to policing salt intake within people’s own homes? Where does dictating the actions of others “for their own good” end?

As Tate mentions, the argument that many people are unwise in their decisions regarding nutrition is valid. But when it comes to the government of the United States of America, there is this niggling detail. All arguments regarding the role and responsibility of the government must begin with the Constitution. And only if they pass that muster may they proceed to whether they are logical, practical, necessary, or wise. If there is truly compelling reasons, the Constitution may be amended, as it has in the past. But the failure of Constitutional amendments today serves to highlight the paucity of truly revolutionary ideas in government.

Tate ends thus:

Ultimately, the risk we take by trusting Americans to make their own decisions is significantly less than the sacrifice we make by continuing to excuse actions by a government that has repeatedly proven its total disregard for the limits imposed by the Constitution.

Real…

Real American2011 Mustang: Best of Breed

Motor Trend magazine held a head-to-head between the V6 and V8 engine versions of the Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang, along with the Hyundai Genesis coupe.

It is odd enough and perhaps a sign of where we’ve come to in globalization that the Genesis coupe even shows up in this list alongside traditional American pony cars. And even odder that the Genesis took a solid second place in the rankings. It did not make first in any individual judge’s rankings, but was second according to 6 of 8, and the other two ranked it third.

My heart beat happy that the new Mustang took top honors. Unanimously.

A big and hearty “Take That!” to the Dodge and (Lying) Government Motors cars.

Now if only Ford would fix it’s website. It takes at least 6 clicks to get to the Mustang page. That’s unacceptable web design.

Real Chicagoan

President Obama is a firm believer in the efficacy of words. Some of his detractors are too. I can’t fault the facts of the following article, but I can sure wish he’d not taken the time to consult a Thesaurus and find the oddest words to convey his meaning.

Who the hell does Barack Obama, this morally preening, arrogant hypocrite, think he is? His vacuous, demagogic shtick about helping the “people” fight “the powerful” is getting so old from his lips, and already was so hackneyed even before he expropriated it, that it’s a miracle that even he himself can say it anymore without getting nauseated by his own oleaginous triteness.

Obama spewed the same old effluvia Monday when introducing Elena Kagan as his nominee for the Supreme Court. Let us count the inanities and dishonesties in his introductory remarks:

I know, who am I to talk.

Really, I think I’m just jealous he knew how to use “oleaginous” and “effluvia”.

Coming soon to I, Pandora, new, bigger, better, shinier, longer words that mean the same thing as words you already know!

Still, the article has it’s truth: Why get your hopes up in this guy who hasn’t accomplished anything but being the most trusted untrustworthy person in the US in the last hundred years?

President Obama is interested in power. He’s truly an idealist, so he seeks power for his ideas, and is willing, very willing, to sacrifice personal power if it means the success of his ideas. The problem is that he’s caught hold of all the wrong ideas.

So check out Obama’s Hackneyed Hypocrisy.