These Are Not Negotiable

By Chuck Baldwin

October 20, 2010

Archived column: Chuck Baldwin Live

(Editor’s Note: Chuck makes his assertions based upon a Christian world view. But the same assertions can be made with equal rigor to satisfy those who do not practice Christianity. All human rights flow from the right to life and the right of property. Any government that protects those two fundamental human rights is a legitimate government. All others are illegitimate.)

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote,
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established
should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly
all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer,
while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the
forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses
and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is
their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards
for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of
these Colonies.”

I would argue that we, like our patriot forebears, have also endured
“patient sufferance.” For at least a half-century, we have patiently
endured the erosion and abridgment of our freedoms and liberties. We
have watched the federal government become an overbearing and
meddlesome Nanny State that pokes its nose and sticks its fingers in
virtually everything we do. We cannot drive a car, buy a gun, or even
flush a toilet without Big Brother’s permission. We are taxed,
regulated, and snooped-on from the time we are born to the day we die. And then after we are dead, we are taxed again.

In the same way that Jefferson and Company patiently suffered up
until that shot was fired that was heard around the world, we who love freedom today are likewise patiently suffering “a long train of abuses and usurpations.” In fact, I would even dare say that these States United have become a boiling caldron of justifiable frustration and even anger.

Accordingly, it is incumbent upon us to very seriously and
thoughtfully examine those principles that we absolutely will never
cede or surrender. We have already surrendered much of the freedom
that was bequeathed to us by our forefathers. We are now to the point that we must define those principles that form our “line in the sand” and that we will not surrender under any circumstance. Either that, or we must admit to ourselves that there is nothing–no principle, no freedom, no matter how sacred–that we will not surrender to Big
Government.

Here, then, are those principles that, to me, must never be
surrendered. To surrender these liberties to Big Government would mean to commit idolatry. It would be sacrilege. It would reduce us to
slavery. It would destroy our humanity. To surrender these freedoms
would mean “absolute Despotism” and would provide moral justification to the proposition that such tyranny be “thrown off.”

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Men without guns are not free men; they are slaves. Men without guns
are not citizens; they are subjects. Men without guns have lost the
right of self-defense. They have lost the power to defend their
families and protect their properties. Men without guns are reduced to
the animal kingdom, becoming prey to the Machiavellians among them who
would kill them for sport or for their own personal pursuits. As King
Jesus plainly ordered, “He that hath no sword, let him sell his
garment, and buy one.” (Luke 22:36) This we will do–at all costs.

The Right to Own Private Property

Like the right of self-defense, the private ownership of property is
a God-given right that is rooted in the Sacred Text. As God told
Moses, “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of
old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in
the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.” (Deut.
19:14)

In fact, the history of Western Civilization is replete with the
examples of free men who were determined (even at the cost of their
very lives) to defend the right to own property. Without private
property rights, men are reduced to serfs and servants. Like chattel,
they feed themselves by another’s leave. This we will not do.

The Right to Train and Educate Our Children

Education has never been the responsibility of the State. From time
immemorial, education has been the right and responsibility of the
family. This, too, has its foundation in the Sacred Volume. “And, ye
fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)

Therefore, the absolute right of homeshooling or
private/parochial/Christian schooling must never be surrendered.
Homeschooling, especially, is fundamental to freedom. It is not a
coincidence that throughout history, most totalitarian governments
forbade parents homeschooling their children.

Any government–federal, State, or local–that forbids, or even
restricts, the right of parents to homeschool their children has taken
upon itself the uniform of a tyrant.

The Freedom of Speech and Worship

Speech and worship are matters of the heart and conscience (Luke
6:45; John 4:24). Only tyrants seek authority over matters of the
heart. But, of course, that is what tyrants do: they seek to control
men’s thoughts and beliefs.

Hence, the alternative media is essential to liberty: the Internet,
short wave radio, as well as independent magazines and periodicals. It
is almost superfluous to say that there is no such thing as a free and
independent press among the mainstream news media today. In fact, the
major media more resembles a propaganda machine than it does a free
press.

The same can be said for most of the mainstream churches in America
today. They more resemble havens for politically correct,
Big-Government ideology than they do bastions of Bible truth.
Therefore, home-churches and non-establishment churches are
increasingly requisite to a free people.

The Right to Determine One’s Own Healthcare

The marriage of Big Government and Big Medicine has created a
healthcare monster. Already, the dispensing of medical treatment is
micromanaged by Big Brother in a way that has resulted in skyrocketing
costs and inferior care (and in some cases, even death). President
Obama’s universal health care initiatives that are sure to come (in
one form or another) will only exacerbate an already untenable
situation.

Free men and women absolutely have the right to refuse vaccinations
for themselves and their children. Forced vaccinations (of any kind)
are an assault against the very foundation of freedom. Free men have
the right to choose their own physicians, their own hospitals, their
own insurance programs, etc. They also have the right to refuse any
and all of the above.

God is Creator. He is also Healer (Exodus 15:26). Therefore, how men
choose to seek God’s healing is a private matter between them and God.
Alternative medicine is a right. Already, our military personnel are
used as human guinea pigs to test a variety of drugs and chemicals.
Public schools also require forced vaccinations. And now the push is
on to force the general population to take the Swine Flu vaccine. At
the current pace, it won’t be long until all alternative medicines and
treatments will be illegal and the federal government will be
America’s doctor. This is not acceptable.

The Right to Life

2000 years of Western Civilization have perpetually reconfirmed that
life is a gift of God. Both Biblical and American history repeatedly
honor God as the Source and Sustainer of man’s existence. Therefore,
evils such as abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia must be vehemently
resisted. It is bad enough that any government (especially one such as
ours) would legalize abortion, but the concept of FORCED abortion,
infanticide, or euthanasia could only be regarded as a despotic attack
on life and liberty of the gravest proportion. In fact, under Natural
Law, such an attack would remove said government from the protection
of Heaven and would place it in a state of war.

The Right to Live as a Free and Independent People

God separated the Nations (Genesis 11). Therefore, it is absolutely
necessary that we Americans maintain our independence and national
sovereignty. We simply cannot (and will not) allow ourselves to become
part of any hemispheric or global union.

There they are: seven freedom-principles that are not negotiable. As
Jefferson said, we are “disposed to suffer, while evils are
sufferable.” But cross these lines and free men must do what free men
must do: “throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for
their future security.”

Copyright 2010 Chuck Baldwin

Chuck Baldwin is a syndicated columnist, radio broadcaster, author, and pastor dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded. He was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. He and his wife, Connie, have been married for 37 years and have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.

19 Responses to These Are Not Negotiable

  1. Nathan McMurray says:

    I think these are all things we can agree on. I do urge caution, however, on viewing the Right to Life in Black and White terms. Abortion and euthanasia are two very emotional topics, and it is easy to let the emotion overshadow rationalism. My concerns are thus:
    1) Wholesale outlaw of abortion that does not take rape, incest, or medical conditions that make it unsafe for the mother to carry to full term is despotic and tyrannical, and begs the question “who has more rights the mother or the fetus?” .
    2) If you are willing to do some digging you will see for yourself that countries that have legal abortions and strong sex ed programs (note: not abstinence only) actually have fewer abortions per year than countries that do not ( http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/index.html#ST , and http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/10/4/gpr100402.html). While I surmise that the decrease in abortion comes from proper contraceptive use and not that legal abortions magically make people to want them less, most – if not all – countries that have outlawed abortions have also fostered a strong bias against safe sex.
    3) Euthanasia, or the Right to Die, has long been maligned in America due to religious superstition. I hope I am not simply misunderstanding Mr. Baldwin, but it seems as if he doesn’t believe Americans should have the right to choose how they will end their life (a fundamental freedom if ever there was one) even in the case of terminal, painful illnesses.
    A new nation is going to have to sort out these issues with rational discourse; because we have seen what laws concerning these issues, when based on religious dogma, have done to places like Somalia, and Rwanda.
    Great article Russ, your site always inspires great discussion.

  2. G Freeman Shepherd says:

    “All human rights flow from the right to life and the right of property.” Where do these two rights come from? “2000 years of Western Civilization have perpetually reconfirmed that life is a gift of God. Both Biblical and American history repeatedly honor God as the Source and Sustainer of man’s existence.”

    ” Any government that protects those two fundamental human rights is a legitimate government. All others are illegitimate.” A legitimate government has to honor The Almighty God in order to be sustained. The alternative is tyranny.

    • dumpdc says:

      Mr. Shepherd: The fact that Western Civilization is 2000 year old is irrelevant to human rights. The fact that WC believes that life is a gift of God is also irrelevant to human rights. Biblical “history” and American history “honor” God with their lips, but have dishonored God with their actions. Human rights do not have to derive from a diety. They may derive from human nature.

      Western Civilization, which is another name for “Christendom”…has been the source of great beauty and good. But it has also been the most destabilizing force on the planet, and millions of human beings have been killed because of it.

      Your assertion that legitimate government must honor God is both incorrect and meaningless. What does the word “honor” mean? It’s a connotation word that sounds nice, but there is no generally accepted definition in play. Further, a government could protect life and property without even acknowledging the existence of a diety. Tyranny does not come from the absence of an acknowledgment of God. Tyranny comes from a denial of the right to life and property.

      Russ Longcore

    • Nathan McMurray says:

      “A legitimate government has to honor The Almighty God in order to be sustained. The alternative is tyranny.”

      This is what is called a flase dichotomy. You have set up two conflicting choices claiming they are the only ones we have.

      However, this is incorrect and intellictually dishonest. Russ is correct when he states that tyrrany is not the opposite of honoring God, but the opposite of private property.

      Also, we must be clear to whom we refer when we invoke the name of god. I’m not a betting man, but I would wager you are referring to the god of Abraham, more specifically Jehovah (or Yahweh, depending on your level of piety). To set Yahweh as the opposition to tyrrany is to deny everything we have read about him in our bibles. To “honor god” would mean to bring back genocide, death for apostasy, death for adultery, death for not taking a day off, and death for sassing your parents, etc… If you want to take it to the new testament just ask Ananias and Sapphira how god feels about private property, or perhaps you believe the taxman has a right to murder us for holding back on him?

      The truth is, the sooner we secede from this god and move into an era of rational, secular humanism (this can include a deist god, I’m not picky) we will be able to respect each other as individuals, and not as property of some cosmic dictator that can order a death sentence for alternate lifestyles that do not conform to a bronze age morality.

      • dumpdc says:

        Mr. McMurray- While I agree with most of your post, I’m not going to cheer for secular humanism. Humanism starts from man as the center and works outward. That is tantamount to attempting to define a set by the rules of a subset. While I’m no fan of the god of the Bible, I’m a huge fan of the Creator God that revealed his own character in His Creation. I am a Deist…acknowledging a Creator, enjoying a relationship with Him while rejecting all the god games foisted upon mankind by organized religion.
        Russ Longcore

      • Nathan McMurray says:

        Russ,
        Thanks for the intelligent reply. I’ve never told you, but I admire the balls it takes to head up a project like this that is so far from mainstream. But, of course, that is where real change is made. I have no qualms with your god, if he was kind enough to make our universe, give us the laws of physics, and then get the hell out of our way that is fine by me. I get very pasionate because I really think we will only have one shot to get this right and I’ll be damned if I let this turn into a nation driven by christian foolishness without a fight.

        In regards to secular humanism, perhaps I may have miscommunicated. I am refering to the idealogical basis of understanding human morality, and alleviating human suffering without supernatural intervention, or personally involved deities.

        I would be quite happy in a nation that followed an impersonal, deist god as long as people were not arbitrarily discriminated against due to the mutterings of a deluded rabbi 2000 years ago.

      • dumpdc says:

        Nathan- Thanks for the kind words, and keep thinking deep thoughts. Free your mind.
        Russ

  3. Mr. McMurray,

    I should have said,”The alternative to governed people that have leaders that do not follow the guidance of THE GOD of THE Bible is to be oppressed by despotic abuse of authority – tyranny. I apologize for not making mysel clear earlier. (I’m in no way being argumentative to the point of belligerence. I hope that I’m not coming off sounding that way. Being misunderstood by “miscommunicating” is a fault that I continually find myself dealing with.)

    I certainly realize the differences in our beliefs and therefore our world views. But, none the less:

    Mr. Longcore,

    If life is a gift of God then doesn’t it stand to reason that by His creating us that He IS THE One with the ultimate authority?

    You are very right in saying that we, as a nation, have dishonored God with our actions. History proves that to be so. But where does this dishonor come from?

    Everything is black or white, right or wrong. There is an obtainable absolute truth about anything we believe. There is a foundation that can be had in which we build our lives upon that cannot be washed away by anyone or any power. Truth is NOT relative. Truth is an actual state of a matter.

    “While absolute truth is a logical necessity, there are some religious orientations (atheistic humanists, for example) who argue against the existence of absolute truth. Humanism’s exclusion of God necessitates moral relativism. Humanist John Dewey (1859-1952), co-author and signer of the Humanist Manifesto 1 (1933), declared, “There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes.” Humanists believe one should do, as one feels is right.” (http://www.absolute–truth.com/)

    What attracted me to this blog was a post by Chuck Baldwin. He is a man of substance, integrity and has intellectual honesty. Now that I’ve read from a variety of writers and readers here at DumpDC, I have found very useful information that I haven’t found elsewhere.

    I appreciate your presence on the web. I hope you keep digging for answers. I am.

    • Nathan McMurray says:

      Mr Sheppard,
      I did not misunderstand you, I was pointing out you have made a logical error based on a false premise. We have more than two outcomes: We could have a liberty minded theist government (read: Christian), we could have a despotic secular government, or we could have a despotic theism or a liberty minded secularism. Or none of the above, or something else entirely. I harp on this issue because it is a prevalent thought in the liberty movement that our only chance for true freedom is to divest our free will into a spiritual entity and then choose for our leaders those who have chosen to divest their free will into the same entity. This is foolish, and wrong.

      Everything is NOT black and white. However, life without god is not doomed to flounder in moral relativism. A lot of research has been conducted on morality in the last 80 years. I suggest you read The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris. He posits that there are moral truths that transcend religion and does not end in mutable moral standards. Science can determine morality along secular lines without the need for a god to punish us when we step out of line.

      Thanks for the clarification, but I am still not convinced we need god to be free even if he/she does exist. In fact, history has shown that the more religious a population is, the more polarized the citizens become and the less freedom those citizens are allowed to exercise.

    • dumpdc says:

      Mr. Shepherd- Thank you for the kind words.

      I used to think everything was black or white. But having lived 57 years on this planet has shown me that there is a wide swath of everyday life that is gray. I agree that truth is not relative. But I ceased believing that ultimate truth is found between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21. Sure, the Creator God has ultimate authority over His creation. I would rather have a relationship with a Diety who has revealed himself through that very creation…truly, but not exhaustively…than spend the rest of my life believing a bunch of dogma because the dogma says it is truth. Humanism’s assertion of “no God” is a leap of faith into a dark room. The Hegelian dialectic of thesis – antithesis – synthesis was a Godsend (yes pun intended) to the humanists. But it does not further the Unified Field Theory, it destroys it.

      Someday when you have time, read “My Big TOE,” by Thomas Campbell. It’s a trilogy of books, and the best explanation of Unified Field Theory I’ve ever read. Until then, I’ll keep digging for more answers and meditating daily.

      Russ

  4. John P. Shepherd says:

    These wide swaths of everyday life that are gray prove only our vision needs correcting so we can all read the same road signs clearly. Until then I suppose we can continue taking our own eyes out and looking at them.

    • dumpdc says:

      You see, Ladies and Gentlemen? I leave some comments posted that I cannot understand. Taking out our eyes and looking at them? How exactly would one do that? Once you remove your eye, the socket is empty. Our vision does not need correcting. What needs correcting is the flawed notion that things are all either black or white. Kindly, Russ

  5. John P. Shepherd says:

    Someone once said – I believe it was George Bernard Shaw – that what he didn’t like about Christians was that they knew too much about God. Though a Christian, I often feel the same way. The rub usually stems from someone giving a trite answer to a serious problem, demonstrating a reliance on dogma they’ve never thought through, or worse, parroting the trash of a t.v. preacher. It is like someone with math skills limited to algebra insisting that mathematics holds all the answers to the riddles of the universe. That being said, I now rely on this gray matter which too often produces gray understanding to discuss the black and white. At an intersection, when not knowing whether to turn right, left, go straight or turn around to get to the desired destination, what am I to do? Instead of listening to my wife and stopping to get directions, more often than not I prefer the gray. The facts and my understanding of them are separate issues, however, I wonder if I’m not preaching to the choir here since you said you did not believe truth was relative. That statement juxtaposed with the black, white, gray ones seem contradictory to me, but what is intuitive to one may seem counterintuitive to another. Maybe, the issue we do differ on is simply where objective truth is to be found. That brings me to the take out our eyes comment. It is indeed an absurdity and that is why I used it. Trying to discover something immutable with mutable methods calls for such an analogy to describe it. To me, deism makes the train station as movable as the train and the desired destination an impossibility.

    • dumpdc says:

      Mr. Shepherd-

      For us to continue this discussion, we would need operational definitions on most of the words we’d be using…like “Deism.” My deism is not movable, and what exactly IS the “desired destination? Further, if Shaw said that, he gave far too much credit to Christians about knowing God. The entirety of Christianity is based upon a book that says it is “THE truth.” But there is no way to verify it. Christians think they know God by studying this very book, and then studying all the other books that writers throughout history have written about the book. Somehow, that supposedly makes the whole system credible, and unfortunately makes the adherents credulous…”credulity” defined as the willingness to believe, especially on slight or uncertain evidence.

      Russ

      • Nathan McMurray says:

        It’s very simple: God says THE BOOK is perfect, and we can trust God because THE BOOK said HE is perfect. I see no issues with credulity here🙂

      • dumpdc says:

        The issue of credulity is that God never told me the book is perfect, nor did He tell any other living human being that the book is perfect. You’re stating that God said it IN THE BOOK, right? So, some writer in the book says the book is infallible and is the perfect word of God. I’m hoping your comment was tongue-in-cheek. No, The Book is not perfect, it is not the Word of God, it was not God-breathed. It is the compilation of a bunch of writers from thousands of years ago that was voted into existence by a bunch of bishops in the 4th century. The fact that you accept Biblical perfection as a prima facie argument cannot withstand examination.

    • Nathan McMurray says:

      Mr. Sheppard,
      You are correct, truth is not relative. However, what people accept as truth often is. In order to move forward, I am in agreement with Russ; we must establish a working definition of “truth”.
      I am also curious of the “mutable methods” you are referring to. Do you mean the scientific method that has doubled our life expectancy in the last 100 years and is responsible for every quality of life improvement we now enjoy? It seems like you are trying to set the god of Abraham (Yahweh, not Allah ironically enough) up as the alternative and he/she is a woefully inadequate yardstick when it comes to deciphering the truth of morality, and self-governance.

  6. John P. Shepherd says:

    Mr. Longcore,

    Shaw was not admitting that Christians really knew anything about God. This was pure sarcasm on his part. The desired destination is the historical and ever present hope of humanity for peace as well as having a seemingly insatiable longing satisfied. Rainbows without the chase. Plenty of wells. No more wishing. The charge of credulity you level at Christians is a valid one though you are beating a dead horse here as I have already shown my own frustrations with the same. You charge the entirety of Christianity is based upon a book that claims it is The truth without any way to verify it. The sum of the matter is Christianity claims an individual can know and prove God personally and then they should try to persuade other men to do the same. By design, man can appeal to logic, reason or emotion or a combination thereof to move other men to consider that “deluded rabbi” but every obstacle is placed in his way to prevent him proving his case. Does the deity with whom you enjoy a relationship inhibit likewise or can you prove him to an infidel like myself and all the other unwashed masses? I was using what I thought was your definition of deism which agrees with my own which agrees with Webster.

    • dumpdc says:

      Mr. Shepherd- Of course Shaw was being facetious. Even at that, he gave Christians too much credit. I disagree with your assertion about Christianity. While Christianity claims one can know God, they base that knowledge on an acceptance of the words in the Bible. I contend that the Bible cannot be infallible, is riddled through and through with inconsistency, and is the product of 4th Century bishops trying to settle a power dispute in the Church between the Athanasians and the Arians. God can be known, not just believed in. But one must put aside the Bible and its pervasive monolithic world view in order to know God truly.

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