April 10, 2011

Federal Spending

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An update on Federal Spending from Mike Wilson, President of the Cincinnati Tea Party:

Lost in the Washington D.C. debate is perspective on federal spending and any context over what the current fight is about. The media won't do this since adding context favors Republicans, so I'm going to try and shed some light on it (warning, math and numbers coming up).

In 2010, the Democrats controlled the presidency and had commanding majorities in both houses of Congress. They failed to pass a 2011 budget. What does this mean?

In a normal year, Congress passes 13 appropriations bills which fund everything from the Department of Energy, to the military, to national parks. These are called the discretionary part of the budget. Notably absent from these bills are what is called "mandatory spending" - these are what are commonly referred to as entitlement programs. Instead of being reauthorized each year, those programs are structured so that they pay benefits according to certain eligibility requirements. Unless Congress passes laws to change these programs, they continue in perpetuity. 

***note that all numbers below are approximate and are estimates*** 
The current fight over "government shutdown" is about 2011 non-military discretionary spending. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, other entitlements, and interest on the debt comprise about 3/5 of the nearly $3.5 trillion in federal spending - about $2.1 trillion. The remaining 2/5 is split about equally between defense and other spending. This means that the current fight is over about 19% of federal spending - about $660 billion - and for that, only about half the year remains. The Republicans in their 2010 election campaign promised to cut $100 billion from that number.

The continuing resolution agreed to last night by Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Reid, and President Obama cuts a total of $38.5 billion from the roughly $317 billion remaining in FY 2011 (25/52 weeks of spending). On the 10-year basis that the media always cites, this represents $780 billion in cuts over 10 years. Some say that Boehner sold out by not holding out for $100 billion. Others are happy with the $38.5 billion. I take the middle ground - I think this a positive first step, but ONLY a first step. While this may be among the largest (non-post war) spending cuts in American history, it amounts to a week and a half of the 2011 deficit. If we stop here, we have accomplished nothing.

The anticipated 2011 deficit is $1.5 trillion - more than twice the $660 billion in spending up for debate right now. The simple truth is that entitlements and defense must be on the table in order to balance the budget. It is simply not possible to do so otherwise. This means the real fight occurs with the 2012 budget and beyond. The House Republican budget, introduced by Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI), is the first serious proposal from either party that attempts to reflect reality.

Understand that while the short term is bad, the long term is worse. Social Security and Medicare spending will begin to shoot up as baby boomers begin to retire and Medicaid spending will greatly increase under Obamacare. These programs are already broken and must be fixed.  Ultimately, these three programs and interest on the debt have the ability to destroy our economy if left unchanged.

The Tea Party must continue to pressure the politicians to make the hard, but necessary decisions. We must also work to educate our family, friends and neighbors. The average person understands that spending and deficits are a problem. Unfortunately, they also think that the budget can be balanced by eliminating foreign aid and welfare. Because you know better, you are critically important.

The Democrats didn't pass a budget in 2010 because they wanted the Republicans to take the heat this year. They plan to demagogue this issue and scare people into maintaining the unsustainable status-quo. We have to be the truth squads alerting people to the seriousness of the crisis.

Our work isn't done, we will rally on Tax Day in Glendale, and we will continue to advocate for our core principles - fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets. While it isn't easy work, it is the least we can do for our children and grandchildren. 

March 31, 2011

Senate Bill 5 Passes!

Update from Mike Wilson and the Tea Party

Yesterday, S.B. 5 passed the Ohio House on a mostly party line 55-44 vote.  There were a number of changes made in the House passed version that made it better.  Since it was changed, the bill went back to the Ohio Senate where it passed on the same 17-16 vote as it did previously.  Governor Kasich is expected to sign the bill into law early next week.

The key changes from the original bill are the following: 

  • Clarifies that safety issues can be negotiated by police and fire
  • Bans "fair share" contract provisions that force those who opt out of
         union membership to pay some amount anyways
  • Requires union members to opt in for automatic deduction of political contributions
  • Removes penalties associated with illegal strikes
  • Adds a provision that allows a taxpayer referendum as a final check and balance
         if a political jurisdiction agrees to a contract that requires additional
         revenue (taxes)
Note that the first 3 provisions were those specifically requested by tea party leadership across the state.  We were able to work directly with House leadership to improve the bill. 

I see this bill as a huge victory for taxpayers.  Unfortunately, the unions and Democratic Party (hard to tell where one ends and the other begins) are planning a petition campaign to put this on the ballot in November.  Once Governor Kasich signs this into law, they have 90 days to collect signatures equivalent to 6% of the voters in the 2010 gubernatorial election. 

The reason for such strong union and Democratic opposition to the bill has as much to do with politics as it does anything else.  Over the last 20 years, organized labor has outstripped nearly all others in their contributions to candidates - losing out only to the Ohio Republican and Democratic Parties themselves!  More than 95% of those contributions have benefited Democratic candidates who then support expansion of government.

This bill has the potential to break that cycle as long as we counter the misinformation the Democrats and public unions will spread and win the anticipated November referendum.

I'd like to directly address a few myths.

Myth: This bill reduces collective bargaining rights

Response: This bill reduces the special privileges granted to public unions.  Unions are a special entity under Federal and Ohio law and have much greater powers than if workers just got together and signed a contract
with someone to represent them.

Myth: This bill is an attack on the middle class.

Response: 26 states don't allow public employees to collectively bargain.  The federal government does not allow workers to collectively bargain.  They still have a middle class.  In fact, the real middle class is paying for
generous salaries, benefits, and perks for public workers that are generally unavailable in the private sector world.  This bill will help us keep the size of government under control and keep money in the hands of middle class taxpayers. 

Myth: This bill is an attack on our first responders.

Response: The tea party supported adding language to allow police and fire unions to negotiate
safety concerns in their contracts and this was included in the final version of the bill.

Myth: This bill will allow cities and municipalities to fire workers prior to fully vesting in pensions to
avoid their pension obligations.

Response: This is more a problem associated with public workers relying on a government promise of
benefits instead of owning their retirement accounts (i.e. 401k or IRA) like those in the private sector.  Regardless, existing civil service and age discrimination law protect older workers.  Removing seniority provisions are critical to improving productivity and ensuring that workers retain the financial motivation to do their best instead of just marking time until retirement.  Cities and municipalities will still value experience and
time on the job as long as that translates into doing the job better and more efficiently.

February 12, 2011

Welfare: More Harmful Than Slavery

Last year, I did a 5 part series on the racist observance of Black History Month. Recently, I enjoyed watching a series of videos on YouTube that featured Dr. Walter E. Williams. These videos were done some time ago, however, the information contained therein is exceptional, to say the least. Dr. Williams was explaining the economic tie to the decline of the black family. Through the statistics and economic foresight, Dr. Williams made an intriguing statement. He said that welfare programs have done more harm to the black family than slavery did.

What?! Who dares question something to be worse than the slavery that existed in this country? After all, in today's society, slavery is used as an exploitative device (see my post on Reparations http://theconservativeanthem.blogspot.com/2010/02/black-history-month-part-1-reparations.html). But, what would Dr. Williams have in mind about this? I decided to do a little research.

During the time of slavery in America, most slaves married and lived with the same spouse until death. Now, slave marriages were illegal in the South, but marriage is given by God, not the State. To further keep their family ties tight, often children were named with the name of a deceased family member. (http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=76)

Despite their circumstances, slave families grew a strong bond.

Allow us to move forward to the 1960s. Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty. (By the way, this war is still being "fought" and is costing more than the anti-war crowd's hobby-horse, the Iraq war). Through this war, Johnson hoped that the Government would supply the answer to poverty. But, as we know, Government isn't the solution to the problem, Government is the problem. A major campaign of this war was the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. This Act has provided many social services including Head Start and Job Corps (it's a silent 'p', Obama. Pretend you are saying "core" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNr66HHhMjs&NR=1) This war also saw the institution of Medicaid and Medicare as additions to the Social Security Program. Medicaid and Medicare are nothing more than "I didn't do anything to prepare for my future, so I want the tax payers to subsidize it." This is ultimately a dependency issue. Social programs are designed to create dependency and indirectly give more and more power to the ones who create these programs. However, this dependency is with Government. No longer did black women depend on a husband. In 1965, about 25% of black families were led by the mother. By 1980, it had risen to 40%. 40% of black families were without a father. (http://www.jstor.org/pss/1816815). After, who needs a man when the Government is here to take care of you? This death spiral of dependency has torn asunder the black family and black communities. Social programs that are designed to fix poverty just create more of it. As I said, these programs aren't about what they advertise. They are about dependency and power.

I'm not glorifying slavery. But it is interesting that kinship bond during slavery was much stronger than that under the Welfare state.

For more on the Government's interference in the community, watch/listen these:

October 16, 2010

Aww, Libs Find It Unfair

Apparently some folks in Colorado became uptight about a billboard that was depicting Obama in various forms.  Here is the billboard:

Image: Billboard depicting President Barack Obama as a suicide bomber, a gangster, a Mexican bandit and a gay

Democrat, Martelle Daniels, of Colorado, finds the sign "racist" and "homophobic."  As we know, she could have just used the word " Republican" to mean the same thing, since that's what we are to them.  What's racist about this photo?  Is it because it has a black man on it?  If that's the reason, then take down any pictures of MLK too!  Is it racist because it is showing various types of people?  Is it racist because....you fill in the blank.  The only thing that's racist about this whole picture is the fact that someone finds it racist.  Racism in America is alive and well and it still holds its throne within the Democrat Party. 

Paul Snover, the artist behind the billboard, states the billboard will not come down until after the mid-term elections.

Now, where was the Democrat outrage over these??


September 30, 2010

James Buchanan and the Civil War, in Brief

...Spread the wealth is a modern gloss of a complicated economic and political issue. Here is in a nutshell the issue at hand. The federal government was wrestling with how to best generate revenue based on the commerce clause (it was clear at the time that the northern and southern economies were becoming increasingly divergent). The south primarily exported cotton(primarily to England) in exchange for European produced goods (read profit through tariff imbalance). The north was becoming a industrialized giant and they exported to Europe in exchange for hard currency (read profit through hard currency), the question was how to balance the import and export duties so that there was balanced trade that benefited the nation as a whole. Buchanan’s answer was to lower the import duties on imports. This benefited the south as they exported cotton and most of their economy was based on overseas imports in exchange for cotton. Thus, with the export duties held rather high, and Buchanan lowering the import duties to 20%, the economy of the north collapsed into depression, while the south benefited from the high export tariff that artificially inflated the value of their cotton. This was because the north was industrialized and there was very little importing of goods in the north because they produced domestically most of their needs. They in-turn were exporting to Europe and the far east as stated above, for the purpose of generating hard currency. This lowering of the import duties caused a flood of cheap goods to pour into the country which came close to destroying the north’s economy. This led to the depression of 1857.

Many contemporaries believed that Buchanan had pro-southern sympathies and referred to him as a “doughface” (a nineteenth century expletive that meant a northerner who supported southern issues). This came out of such issues which occurred during his presidency including the Dread-Scott decision, The Kansas- Nebraska act that led to a civil war before the civil war, and the tariff act, all of which were perceived to be pro-southern in their results.

As to the cause of the Civil war, every modern writer attempts to put some new spin on the causes. Some who are pro-southern write from the perspective of it being a War of northern aggression, while those in the north, refer to it as a War of rebellion. Modern scholars attempt to create some new cause for the Civil War that tends to denigrate the issue of slavery as being the primary issue. The truth of the matter is, when one looks at Buchanan’s state of the union address of 1860, and one reads the debates between Lincoln and Douglas in 1860, slavery was a central issue that led to the war. This is borne out by the central debating issues between Lincoln and Douglas was the issue of how best to deal with the slavery issue.

When war broke out, Lincoln narrowly and wisely defined the prosecution of the war, not as a war on slavery, but a war of re-unification. Lincoln introduced slavery as a central theme to the war in September of 1862, following the Union victory at Antietam. He did this primarily to keep England out of the War. England was the chief importer of cotton and was very pro- southern. They had funded and built several Confederate privateers (The most famous of which was CSS Shenandoah). It was feared that England would enter the war on the side of the Confederacy, but England was opposed to slavery. When Lincoln turned the war to a war to end slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation, England ceased open support of the Confederacy.

Increasingly, the issue of slavery became more and more as the focus of the war. Lincoln introduced all-black regiments in the war, and in April of 1865, ironically, the southern congress introduced a bill to form black regiments with the promise that any slave who fought in defense of the Confederacy would be freed. According to Richard C. Davis, in his book, Nine April Days, a single regiment of slaves was indeed seen marching through Richmond a few days before Richmond fell.

It could be implied that the southern legislature was willing to throw off slavery in exchange for an independent southern confederacy. Ironically, just a year before (an unrelated subject), Confederate General Patrick Cleborne was passed over a commander of the Confederate Army of the Tennessee because he advocated openly the freeing of slaves in exchange for service in the Confederate Army. Jefferson Davis passed over Cleborne, who was an extremely talented general and chose John Bell Hood, who succeeded in wrecking the army around Atlanta, and finally destroyed it at Franklin (where Cleborne was killed). Less than a year later Cleborne’s recommendations were being debated on the floor of the Confederate Congress...

September 26, 2010

A Historical Look At The Impact Of Christianity On American Politics

By Chris Dumford:

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here…" Patrick Henry

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God…” Romans 13:1

“Whatever America once was, we are no longer just a Christian nation…” Barack Obama

One of the most disconcerting things that I have recently noted in modern revisionist history, is the open denial by most secular writers of the impact of Christianity on American politics. This is mostly because secular writers do not understand theology and the underlying impact of theology on ideas and philosophies that drove past generations. 

The root theology that has driven the foundation of America is the escatological view that came out of the Reformation. This eschatological view was Post Millennialism.

I. Tenets of Post Millennialism.

Post Millennialism is based on a concept of Preterism. Preterism teaches that the events of the 70th week of Daniel were fulfilled during the New Testament period. Notice Daniel 9:24-27,

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate…”

According to the Preterist view, the seventieth week constituted a 7-year period fulfilled between 66 and 73AD during the Jewish revolt. The abomination of desolation occurred in 70 AD when General Titus captured Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. According to the Preterist view, The Kingdom of God was both inaugurated and consummated when Jesus entered Jerusalem in His triumphal entry. Post Millennialism is largely a view based on allegorical interpretation of the Bible. According to this method of interpretation, Biblical phraseology is not literal but is representative of broader truths. Post millennialism teaches the following tenets:

1. The 1000 year millennial reign is representative of a long period of time that began in 33 AD and extends to today.

2. The promises of the Kingdom were removed from Israel and were transported to the Gentiles.

3. The church will usher in the return of Christ by evangelizing the entire world thus bringing in a spiritual utopia.

These tenets were the predominate view of the reformation church and the preachers of the Great Awakening that occurred in America in the 1740’s.

II. Post Millennialism and Its Impact on The American Revolution.

“Prior to the founding of the U.S., English Puritans believed that England was to be a ‘new Israel.’ They practiced a form of post-millennialism that caused them to be optimistic about England’s role as a force for righteousness in the world…” Major Brian L. Stuckert, US Army

A. In the 1740’s, a great revival broke out in the American Colonies. This revival was in reaction to what was perceived as dead spirituality in the Church of England. Men such as Jonathan Edwards, who preached to literally thousands taught that the Church of England was dead and that Christ desired to evangelize the world through a new nation of believers in order to usher in His earthly kingdom. Notice what Jonathan Edwards preached:

“ We may observe who they are that shall be united in thus seeking the Lord of hosts: the inhabitants of many cities, and of many countries, yea, many people, and strong nations, great multitudes in different parts of the world shall conspire in this business. From the representation made in the prophecy, it appears rational to suppose, that it will be fulfilled something after this manner:-There shall be given much of a spirit of prayer to God’s people, in many places, disposing them to come into an express agreement, unitedly to pray to God in an extraordinary manner, that he would appear for the help of his church, and in mercy to mankind, and pour out his Spirit, revive his work, and advance his spiritual kingdom in the world, as he promised. This disposition to prayer, and union in it, will gradually spread more and more, and increase to greater degrees; with which at length will gradually be introduced a revival of religion, and a disposition to greater engagedness in the worship and service of God, amongst his professing people. This being observed, will be the means of awakening others, making them sensible of the wants of their souls, and exciting in them a great concern for their spiritual and everlasting good, and putting them upon earnestly crying to God for spiritual mercies, and disposing them to join in that extraordinary seeking and serving of God…”

“In this manner religion shall be propagated, till the awakening reaches those that are in the highest stations, and till whole nations be awakened, and there be at length an accession of many of the chief nations of the world to the church of God. Thus after the inhabitants of many cities of Israel, or of God’s professing people, have taken up and pursued a joint resolution, to go and pray before the Lord, and seek the Lord of hosts, others shall be drawn to worship and serve him with them; till at length many people and strong nations shall join themselves to them; and there shall, in process of time, be a vast accession to the church, so that it shall be ten times as large as it was before; yea, at length, all nations shall be converted unto God. Thus (Zechariah 8:23.) “ten men shall take hold, out of all languages of the nations, of the skirt of him that is a Jew,” (in the sense of the apostle, Romans 2:28, 29.) “saying, We will go with you; for we have heard, that God is with you.” And thus shall be fulfilled…”

Edwards did not believe that America should rebel against England, he rather saw post millennialism as a view toward all nations, in that a revival in America would spread to England. The New England ministers took his views and narrowed them to America being the nation that would establish the evangelic light to the rest of the world. This theonomy led to the American Revolution being as much an evangelistic crusade as a fight for a new nation.

In a paper titled, “Uncertain Dawn: Millennialism and Revolutionary Ideology in the Critical Period, 1783-1792” by Stephen Marini of Wellesley College, Marini writes about the usurping of Edward’s Post Millennialism by New England Preachers that fomented the American Revolution,

“Up to 1775, Edwardsean postmillennialism sustained a moderate, gradualist political stance. Emphatically colonial, the Edwardsean strand continued to voice John Winthrop’s Puritan hope that New England, and by extension America, would complete Britain’s political perfection, not challenge it. With the outbreak of revolutionary war in 1775, however, millennial categories took another form, pressed into service as eschatological justifications for a rebellion judged "unnatural" only months before.

Samuel Sherwood’s now-famous sermon identifying the woman in the wilderness of Revelation 13 as the saved American remnant overshadowed by God’s righteous power has become, by Nathan Hatch’s analysis, the classic exposition of Patriot identification with millennial imagery. While such millennial enthusiasm undoubtedly propelled the Patriot cause, it is important to note that Sherwood consistently named the church, and not the rebels, as the object of God’s providential protection. In this ecclesial definition of the millennial kingdom, Sherwood followed Edwards, who quite deliberately refused to secularize his millennial vision.

For Edwards and his followers of the Revolutionary generation, preeminently Samuel Hopkins, the millennial reign was exclusively an ecclesiastical affair and not to be confused with American national aspirations. In this Edwardsean tradition, from which most alleged examples of political millennialism have been drawn, God saved the church, not the state, from the perfidious threats of Satan. Given the Reformed doctrine of the two kingdoms linking an elect church with a theonomous commonwealth, it was natural enough for New England ministers to conflate God’s church and the American cause, as they regularly did in Thanksgiving and Fast sermons during the war. But it is worth noting that this move secularized and contradicted Edwards’s own teaching, which insisted that God’s salvific action in history was directed solely to the elect saints…”

B. Post Millennial expressions in the writings of the early patriots:

1. Congressional Resolution October 1780: “It is therefore recommended to the several states to set apart Thursday, the seventh day of December next, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer; that all the people may assemble on that day to celebrate the praises of our Divine Benefactor; to confess our unworthiness of the least of his favors, and to offer our fervent supplications to the God of all grace; that it may please him to pardon our heinous transgressions and incline our hearts for the future to keep all his laws that it may please him still to afford us the blessing of health; to comfort and relieve our brethren who are any wise afflicted or distressed; to smile upon our husbandry and trade and establish the work of our hands; to direct our public councils, and lead our forces, by land and sea, to victory; to take our illustrious ally under his special protection, and favor our joint councils and exertions for the establishment of speedy and permanent peace; to cherish all schools and seminaries of education, build up his churches in their most holy faith and to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth..”

2. Ezra Stiles, President of Yale College preached the following before Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, on May 8th, 1783.

“I shall enlarge no further upon the primary sense and Eternal accomplishment of this and numerous other prophecies respecting both Jews and Gentiles, in the latter day glory of the church. For I have assumed the text, only as introductory to a discourse upon the political welfare of God’s American Israel; and as allusively prophetic of the future prosperity and splendor of the United States. We may then consider.What reason we have to expect that, by the blessing of God, these States may prosper and flourish into a great American Republic; and ascend into high and distinguished honor among the nations of the earth. To make thee high above all nations, which he hath made in praise, and in name, and in honor…”

III. Post Millennialism and The View of Christians Toward Politics.

"We have reason to hope that the time is at hand when the kingdom of God shall come with power, and all the people of this poor heathen land shall know Him, from the least unto the greatest…” John Wesley

A. 21st century American Christians fall into three camps regarding politics. The first camp believes that Christians should stay out of politics altogether. This is the view of the Amish. The second camp believes that America should be changed from an evangelistic point of view by measured involvement within society and the political realm. This is the view of the fundamentalist churches. The third view believes that America should be changed from a largely political and social point of view. This view stretches across the fundamentalist churches and includes many denominations. This tension between groups has at its root the collapse of postmillennialism and its impact on American politics.

B. Progressive Post Millennialism was the belief system of Woodrow Wilson who founded the league of nations. Woodrow Wilson’s views on government mark a turn in which postmillennialism marched toward progressivism. Wilson believed that the Constitution of the United States and its system of checks and balances hindered the march toward the transformation of society. He wrote regarding the forefather’s ideas that the Constitution should be viewed as a structured document, and applied a Darwinian framework of evolution to government in which government must be free to change without the constraints of archaic documents:

“The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick cooperation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is a body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day of specialization, but with a common task and purpose. Their cooperation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without leadership or without the intimate, almost instinctive, coordination of the organs of life and action. This is not theory, but fact, and displays its force as fact, whatever theories may be thrown across its track. living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice…”

Woodrow Wilson represented a new kind of Postmillennialism which embodied ideas borrowed from philosophers such as Georg Hegel, a German philosopher in the early 19th century who taught that governments evolved for the purpose of improving society. This evolutionary process could only come about by being freed from the constraints of traditional views of governmental structure. Thus, governing documents need not be embraced if the constraints of the documents prevent the evolution of the government into a higher form.

IV. Collapse of Post Millennialism and the Rise of Progressivism.

A. With the end of World War I, postmillennialism gave way to pre-millennialism. Pre-millennialism is much more pessimistic in its eschatology and emphasizes evangelism over social order. The tenets of postmillennialism survived as secular progressivism and communism/socialism. This was the utopian views of postmillennialism freed from the shackles of religion and tied to the philosophical ideas of the advancement of mankind on a social economic order freed from classes. Much of the tenets of Marxist socialism can be found within the views of early 20th century postmillennial theologians.

B. The collapse of postmillennialism and the rise of premillennialism resulted in large groups of Christian denominations retreating from the political realm. Their view is that the world will regress until Christ’s coming inaugurates the kingdom. Thus, the role of the church is not the improvement of society with a view of the church ushering in the earthly reign of Christ, but rather that of the church evangelizing the world with a view of rescuing the lost from the coming tribulational cataclysm which is soon to come. Since the world is only going to regress, and Satan will assume the role of world leader in the form of the Anti-Christ, then government by and large is destined to usher in the one world government of Satan. Therefore the church cannot influence God’s eschatological plan for the world through government.

Thus, the church is not responsible for the ushering in of the kingdom, but rather is responsible for fulfilling the great commission.

V. Modern Fundementalism, Progressivism and Christian Reconstructionism.

A. Christian Reconstructionism: There is a modern trend which has developed in Christianity known as Christian reconstructionism. This form of theology is a throwback to traditional postmillennialism in which reconstructionists believe that Christians and government should be intimately linked together in the establishment of a Theonomy. Their view is that world governments are under the dominion of God and therefore should be subject to God’s laws (i.e. a Theonomy). This view sees the concept of separation of church and state being non-existent. Thus, they view the role of Christians being one of direct involvement in all levels of government. This is manifested in such organizations as the Moral Majority and writers such as Gary North and in some forms by the late Jerry Falwell. This is a sort of proactive theology to the rise of progressivism. An example of this kind of thinking is found in the writings of Christian economist Gary North:

“The concept of the rule of law was Mosaic, not Greek (Ex. 12:49). The concept of private property is supported in the Decalogue's laws against theft and covetousness. The Mosaic economic law as a whole was pro-market, pro-private ownership, pro-foreign trade, pro-money-lending (Deut. 28:12). The New Testament did not break with most of these laws, and the few that it did break with, such as slavery and the jubilee land law, made the resulting position even more market favorable…” Gary North, Authentic Libertarianism

B. Progressivism: Progressivism believes that Christians should not be involved at all in Government. Their view is one of pure humanism and relativism freed from the constraints of traditional Biblical values. Their overarching ideology is the so-called improvement of human society through forced economic redistribution, removal of sociological class, removal of private rights and private property ownership, all for the good of the state and with all power concentrated within the state to enforce this end. Progressivism is a psudo-postmillennialism without the constraints of Biblical law.

C. Fundementalism: Fundementalism by and large tends to de-emphasize the role of the church in relation to society on a governmental level. The trend of fundamentalism is to change society one soul at a time. Fundementalism sees government as being secular in its views and practices and in essence as an enemy of the church. Most Fundementalists tend to participate in politics from a reactionary position. That is, instead of being pro-active, they tend to react to laws and policies that effect them and then either privately or publicly lobby against those policies.

John McArthur writes from the fundamentalist perspective when he states:

“One of the worst fallouts of the new preoccupation with political issues is that ultimately the ministry of the church is prostituted. People are selling themselves for something short of what the church is called to do. It cannot afford to become a flag-waving, protest voice for governmental change. That's not its calling. I am appalled to see that many pastors have turned from an emphasis on the gospel to an emphasis on politics--from an emphasis on teaching the Bible to an emphasis on coalitions that support particular kinds of legislation. Worst of all, their emphasis is based on the ridiculous premise that the growth and impact of Christianity is somehow related to government policy in America… “ John McArthur, The Christian and Government.

Conclusion: Our involvement in politics and the level of our involvement depends on our understanding of the role of government and our view as to what result we hope to gain.