Libertarians against deprogramming
In one of their Presidential platforms, the Libertarian Party made this strong statement against deprogrammers: "We condemn the attempts by parents or any other -- via kidnappings, conseratorships, or instruction under confinement -- to force children to conform to their parents' or any others' religious views. Government harassment or obstruction of unconventional religious groups for their beliefs or non-violent activities must end."
Demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalism
The argument that we need the federal government to be a "safety net" is wrong. Most people think incorrectly that the "middle" road is to have government intervene in drastic cases but not for others. The problem is that it becomes a slippery slope and government keeps growing. The logic is that once we start on a road we must go all the way with it. A good book on Libertarianism is Robert Ringer's Restoring the American Dream. He has a great quote from Thomas Macaulay, the British historian who predicted in 1857 what unfortunately has come true: "The day will come when (in the United States) a multitude of people will choose the legislature. Is it possible to doubt what sort of legislature will be chosen? On the one side is a statesman preaching patience, respect for rights, strict observance of public faith. On the other is a demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalism and usurers and asking why anybody should be permitted to drink champagne and to ride in a carriage while thousands of honest people are in want of necessaries. Which of the candidates is likely to be preferred by a workman? ... When Society has entered on this downward progress, either civilization or liberty must perish. Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with strong hand, or your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire in the fifth; with this difference, that the Huns and vandals who ravaged the Roman Empire came from without, and that your Huns and vandals will have been engendered within your country, by your own institutions."
Ringer explains, as all libertarians do, that government is everywhere. For years anti-communists were accused and ridiculed for seeing a commie under every rock. Feminists were blind to Communism. Today, our feminist society, is blind to the evils of big government. Everything you touch from the moment you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed has been scrutinized by Big Brother. Ringer says, "The clock radio that awakens you is subject to many manufacturing and sales regulations. The music set off by the alarm mechanism comes from a station that is able to broadcast only because it has been granted a special government license it must comply with the government's idea of 'good programming' or run the risk of having its license revoked."
"After getting out of bed, you wash you face and brush your teeth with government-controlled water. The toothpaste you use has, of course, been approved by the government." I'll stop quoting at this point. You get the picture. He goes through an entire day and ticks off some of the things which is just about everything that government must approve.
Era of collectivist thinking
Ringer explains that people can't see clearly because all they know in the twentieth century is statism: "Another reality of no minor consequence is that most people living today have grown up in an era of increasingly collectivist thinking. They understand neither the realities of collectivism nor that there is a far superior alternative to it. Never having experienced the freedom of the early 1900's, let alone the freedom of our founding fathers, they have no way of realizing -- especially in view of the well-planned nothink and doublethink teachings of our public schools -- that what they are experiencing is not freedom."
William Simon is a former Secretary of the Treasury and author of a libertarian book that was a best-seller called A Time for Truth. He writes the foreward to Ringer's book and says that America has wrongly bought the argument that redistributing income through government force is wrong: "As Mr. Ringer points out, this redistribution process is really an attempt to level all people. It is coercive egalitarianism, which is the political curse of our era. It pretends to draw its moral force from the Constitution, which speaks of equality, but it is not the equality of the Constitution which is being sought."
"Constitutional equality means that every man in liberty is entitled to go as far in life as his wit, effort and ability will take him; it is equality of opportunity. Egalitarianism is the precise opposite. It punishes the hard-working and ambitious and rewards those who are not; it seeks equality of results regardless of individual differences. One of the most serious falsehoods that is being told the American people is that our present system represents the Constitutional vision of equality. They are being duped."
"Restoring the American Dream asks that we begin to reevaluate government functions on a moral basis."
Feminists want power
Feminists want power over men. A prominent feminist, Catherine Mackinnon, in debate against Phyllis Schlafly over the Equal Rights Amendment said, "To feminism, equality means the aspiration to eradicate gender hierarchy. We stand for an end to enforce subordination, limited options, and social powerlessness .... Feminism seeks to empower women."
The Art of Loving
A popular book on love is Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving. He is correct on some points and wrong on others. He correctly says that people think they don't have to study how to love -- that it's something innate. He says, "Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one's capacity to love .... People think that to love is simple." He says we must learn how to love. We should approach it as we would study "any other art, say music, painting, carpentry, or the art of medicine or engineering." Unfortunately, Fromm is not the person to learn from. The best textbooks on how to love are from people who really know what it is and who have accomplished building an outstanding marriage and family. Fromm had a bunch of lovers and wives and no children. Nevertheless, he make a few good points. He is right when he says, "almost everything else is considered to be more important than love: success, prestige, money, power -- almost all our energy is used for the learning of how to achieve these aims, and almost none to learn the art of loving." Fromm touches on the difference between men and women and that opposites attract. But his discussion is short and lightweight. Next to Father, the Andelins have the best books on love I've ever seen. True Parents teach and live the true way of love and that love must be God-centered. Fromm is an atheist and so he cannot be followed.
Where Fromm goes off the deep end is his criticism of capitalism and love of socialism. To him people will become loving when they live under socialism. To him, the play Death of a Salesman sums up the emptiness of capitalism that is based on greed and destroys the average person. Fromm is idealistic and longs for a day when there will be an end to the horror he sees around him. He wrote a book about what that kind of world that would be. He called it The Sane Society as opposed the insane one we live in. At the end of the book he wrote what is amazingly the vision the UC has. Fromm sees all religions as illogical and crazy but something in him (and probably from spirit world as well) led him to write: "It is not too far-fetched to believe that a new religion will develop within the next few hundred years, a religion which corresponds to the development of the human race; the most important feature of such a religion would be its universalistic character, corresponding to the unification of mankind which is taking place in this epoch; it would embrace the humanistic teachings common to all great religions of the East and West; its doctrines would not contradict the rational insight of mankind today, and its emphasis would be on the practice of life, rather than on doctrinal beliefs. Such a religion would create new rituals and artistic forms of expressions, conductive to the spirit of reverence toward life and the solidarity of man. Religion can, of course, be invented. It will come into existence with the appearance of a new great teacher, just as they have appeared in previous centuries when the time was ripe." He said "unification of mankind." So many have longed for Father, the "new great teacher" and never saw him. Finally, he has come! And he will begin the process that will ultimatley bring"unification of mankind" -- the dream of countless people like Erich Fromm.
Era of big government over
In his State of the Union Address on Jan. 23, 1996, President Clinton proclaimed, "The era of big government is over." This is the same person that a few years before tried to nationalize health care. Clinton started to become more conservative because America began to mistrust big government. Along with Marx and Stanton who wrote their goals of socialism, Charles Kingsley also declared himself a Christian Socialist in 1848. The social experiement of using government to solve all problems has failed since then. I hope the trend is to go back to 1848 and have limited government. The church is supposed to be the main organization that solves people's problems. Father says many times that government is object and religion is subject. For example: "The people in government have been beating the people in religion. The body always strikes the mind, right? They are each other's enemy." Father has no great love for government, but he has great love for the government of the family and the man being the president of his family.
Democracy is messy
One writer said, "Winston Churchill's jest -- 'Democracy is the worst form of government in the world -- except for all the other forms' -- is no joke. It is hard to conceive of a more chaotic design for government than one that invites absolutely everyone to participate in fashioning it. Deference to authority sometimes seems more comfortable than living with the responsibility of freedom .... Democracy is not tidy. It is a rough, obstreperous, messy form of political life. Montesquieu, that thoughtful and ingenious French predecessor of both the French and American revolutions, observed that where you find an orderly silence, there you will find tyranny. Whenever we find spirited voices raised in debate, where there is tumult and faction and unceasing talk, where men and women muddle their way to provisional solutions for permanent problems -- and so clumsily do for themselves what tyrants or bureaucrats might have achieved much more neatly and efficiently for them -- there we can feel assured that we are on the precious turf of democracy. Because democracy is finally -- more than any other form of government -- about people, just plain people."
Culture of Disbelief
Stephen L. Carter is a professor of law at the Yale law school. In his book The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion, he is right on some points and wrong on others. Let's look first at where he has a message that everyone should understand and then I'll tie that in with this chapter's theme of patriarchy. He writes that America as well as the world has a "woeful history of oppression of disfavored religious groups." He says America should not only respect other religions but should "celebrate" "religious pluralism." Sadly, it does not. The state is more revered than religion. Our culture is predominately secular and believes that "religion is something that should be believed in privacy, not something that should be paraded." The culture "says that anyone who believes that God can heal diseases is stupid or fanatical" and have taken 'mystic flight from hard truths' and has nothing to do with the real world." Our culture, he says, "holds not only that religious beliefs cannot serve as the basis of policy; they cannot even be debated in the forum of public dialogue on which a liberal politics crucially depends .... Religion is like building model airplanes, just another hobby: something quiet, something private, something trivial -- and not really a fit activity for intelligent, public-spirited adults."
Our culture is hostile to religion. He says that if you "tell a group of well-educated professionals that you hold a political position (preferably a controversial one, such as being against abortion or pornography) because it is required by your understanding of God's will" everyone will scatter and if anyone says anything they will challenge you "on the ground that you are intent on imposing your religious beliefs on other people. And in contemporary political and legal culture, nothing is worse."
"That awful phrase -- 'imposing religious beliefs' -- conjures up images of the religious right, the Reverend Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, the Reverend Pat Robertson's presidential campaign .... We live in a secular culture, devoted to sweet reason. We aren't superstitious. Taking religion seriously is something that only those wild-eyed zealots do .... The message is that people who take their religion seriously, who rely on their understanding of God for motive force in their public and political personalities -- well, they're scary people."
"The message of contemporary culture seems to be that it is perfectly all right to believe that stuff -- we have freedom of conscience, folks can believe what they like -- but you really ought to keep it to yourself, especially if your beliefs are the sort that cause you to act in ways that are ... well ... a bit unorthodox. Consider our general cultural amusement each time the Reverend Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church holds one of his joint marriage ceremonies in which he weds thousands of couples simultaneously -- always including some who have never met before, but were chosen for each other by the church. In Korea in the summer of 1992, some 12,000 couples were joined. Television commentators poked eager fun .... The idea seems to be that taking one's religion seriously is one thing, but letting one's church control the choice of a mate -- a life companion -- well, there a hint of irrationality creeps in. It is fine to be pious and observant in the small things, but marriage is serious! No normal person, evidently, would allow a religious leader to make so important a decision; and anyone who does so is worthy of ridicule."