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Posts By Donald Schanzenbach


If the Constitution is a Living Document It’s Really a Dead Document

A Living Document Might Say Anything A lot of us have complained about the blatant disregard shown by the courts for the Constitution. We read daily of the latest abuses. Protection for abortion was somehow found in the text along with support for welfarism, world-wide militarism, and for a never-ending drug war. Those who have read the founding documents are astonished at each breach of hermeneutical etiquette as the court’s decisions grow ever distant from the original intent of the authors. It seems to me however, that the abuses of language, text, and intent by the courts are all presaged,. . .
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Governmental Proverbs vs. Biblical Proverbs

Wisdom of Biblical Proverbs I love the Proverbs. They attracted me like a magnet from the earliest days of my spiritual youth. While rearing a family and running a small business the need for wisdom is constant. I do not read them as often now but they just keep coming back at times opportune or sometimes random it seems. However, not every hoary word derives from the lectionary of true Wisdom. Folly of Government Proverbs Having become more alert to the machinations of the Serpent and the government Leviathan, their own attempts to wax wise do not settle so easily. . .
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The Problem with Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories & Gossip When nations gossip we often call it a conspiracy. Sometimes the conspiracy sounds plausible but others are so absurd that you just have to wonder how any rational person could believe such nonsense. Often, the plot is so complex and the number of people involved so large that you have to throw out everything we know about human nature to believe the story we are told. After all, the Scriptures do assert that we are prone to gossip. It is a sin God warns us about more than once, presumably because we needed that warning. And. . .
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Why Big Government Can’t Save Us

What Does the Bible Say About Big Government? In writing this column I had to choose which of many good ways to fulfill this assignment. I had to think through what might be the best way to approach the subject RC asks me to address. What Scripture applies? How can I avoid stretching a passage just to fill the necessary word count? What did God actually say and how should that word be applied? Proverbs on Work & Wealth Writing about why the state cannot save us is not like that. The Bible is full of reasons why the state. . .
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God’s Providence Gives Hope

God’s Providence When it Looks Hopeless There is a lot of fear out there over what the government will do next. Will we be taxed insensible? Will our guns and gold be seized? Will homeschooling remain legal? Must we obtain more registrations and numbers from the central government? Are the banks going bankrupt? Will the dollar devalue into uselessness? Things look very grim. But we are already taxed insensible, gold was already seized once (in 1933), homeschooling has often been treated as illegal, we already have a universal government registration number, the banks have been essentially bankrupt for decades, the. . .
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Is Humanist Philosophy Circling the Drain?

Do you find humanistic philosophy really crazy and pointless? Are you, like me, convinced of the seeming uselessness of humanistic philosophy? Humanists for several hundred years have explored every avenue of possible thought attempting to find higher truth. They pursue metaphysical questions seeking access to that universe by means of things that are seen. Their quest has proven to be useless, for the phenomenal world, by its nature, can shed no light on the neumenal realm. Studying the stars or the atoms will never unlock truth about the existence or nature of God. It will never show us what is. . .
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What about separation of church and state?

Written: October 2011 As we gyrate through the pre-election candidates’ masquerade event, we glimpse bits of the guests’ secret faces and wonder about their closeted pasts.  Shhh-did you hear? Oh, sorry, careful, but anyway her husband councils people queerly, and, yes, I am certain now, the dancer in the cowboy boots sponsored an event with public prayer – Jesus and everything. Of course you’re shocked dear. We all are. Ooof, whose foot did I just step on? It’s those dominionists I tell you, they’re the ones forcing their churchy noses into everybody’s business. Why can’t they just stay in their. . .
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The Mighty Hand of God

There are a few rare days when we find a glimpse of God’s raw character, His fearsome majesty, His rule in every detail, His mighty hand and out stretched arm as our forefathers in the faith referred. At those moments we know we have seen not only the arm of God but something more. Yesterday was a difficult day. Everything went bad on top of everything going bad. It was out of my hands. People are cruel. Not always surely. Yet yesterday seemed like a cruel day as every moment unfolded. It was a rare conglomeration of ugly and strange. . .
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Busted

I have been reading about the many states that are in the red on their budgets. The number is now at 46 states that are borrowing money every day just to keep doing what they do. There are only four states living within their means (Alaska, Arkansas, North Dakota, and Montana). Along with all this accumulating debt there is also an endless list of counties and cities that are wheezing  financially. The county in which I live was in debt over $140,000,000 last I heard. Besides all this there are scores of municipalities that have spent away the retirement funds. . .
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Covenant: Building Block of Christian Nations

Covenantal Government in Early America I was reading the Mayflower Compact (Covenant) this week. The Compact formed the first civil government by Europeans coming to America. It was written and signed in 1620 by the Pilgrims before they got off the ship. This was the start of American Christian governance. While short, the Compact does carry several references to it being a covenant. It was not called a constitution, a charter, a Bill of Rights, or any of the other titles we might associate with modern western style governments. It was a Compact which in the language of the time was. . .
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Kings and Tyrants

Kings and tyrants may seem a peculiar topic now at the beginning of the 21st century. After all, America has never had a king and the despotic and bloody tyrants, well, weren’t they rulers of other countries? We elect presidents here. No kings or tyrants we can see. What brought the topic to mind however, is that I have begun to notice disparate voices literally calling for the return of earthly kings “…We were also musing – on Bastille Day – on why monarchy was not such a bad system of government, after all. At least, Louis 16th was less sensitive to. . .
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Obamacare and the Good Samaritan

Written in 2012   The giant news all week was the hearings before the Supreme Court over the Obamacare health plan. Twenty-seven states sued to have the mandated insurance program overturned. It was the government’s contention that everyone must somehow have health insurance and that the government should be the entity deciding the nature and limits of that care. The states pushed back, asserting the feds had no such power to make people buy health insurance, and that the proposed government system is in fact unconstitutional. Amidst all the articles, arguments, and buzzing buzz this week I rarely heard any. . .
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Milquetoast Men in a Milquetoast Church

Blessed be the Lord my God, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle wrote David in Psalm 144. What a Godly and righteous sentiment. More than a sentiment, it is a recognition of how God often works in the life of a righteous man. I have not seen these kinds of statements written about the female heroes in Scripture. The men however, are often presented as fighters. This is disconcerting in its political incorrectness. It is also disturbing to many in the church who seem to believe that the main point of the Christian life is to. . .
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Gardening and THE Gardener

Learning from Our Garden It is early May here in the Appalachians, in southwest Virginia. Everything is green. The lawn is mowed twice, could have been thrice, already. When you live in the wilderness every year is partially taken with chopping, hewing, burning the ever accumulating vegetation that abounds faster than you can whack it down. There is enough winter here to stop the machine for a few months, but by mid-March the weedy bounty has come to full bloom. We have a large greenhouse about twenty-five yards from the house, and some raised beds up on the hill above.. . .
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Biblical Plan for Representative Government

As we approach the Fourth of July holiday, celebrating the birth of our American Republic, I am reminded of the greater republic which preceded and helped to inspire ours. This is not just idle babble either. Rather, it is the re-introduction of Biblical ideas that we desperately need to bring back to rebuild the civil government. This is no small thing, nor is it a futile dream that has no chance. It is, in fact, the fulfillment of God’s own revealed plan for human government in the nations. It is a wedge, a fine Christian, Biblical, wedge, that ought to. . .
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Income Tax Debates

Written 2010 Republicans & Democrats Talk Taxes The fight is on to decide if the American people will pay more in income taxes in 2011. Our congressional leaders are busy positioning themselves right and left. Some say they want no more tax increases of any kind while others are saying we ought to tax the rich another bite. Taxes are an endless topic in popular politics so I suppose tax talk will be a recurring theme here. The good news is that the Bible has a lot to say on the subject so we never have to just guess it. . .
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Babies Are Murdered Here

The spectacle of the Kermit Gosnell trial has captured the attention of quite a lot of Americans these past few weeks. At first the major news outlets refused to air the story but eventually they were shamed into talking about this sordid case. We have been dragged (shall we say) kicking and screaming through the gates of Hades to gawk at the horrors now laid bare. There we discovered again the masterful, beguiling language of the ultimate Evil Genius being worked toward its usual destructive ends. We found that “suctioning pieces” meant pulling off arms and legs of an unborn. . .
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Hope in Difficult Times

There is a lot of fear out there over what our government will do next. Will we be taxed insensible? Will our guns and gold be seized? Will homeschooling remain legal? Must we obtain more registrations and numbers from the central government? Are the banks going bankrupt? Will the dollar devalue into uselessness? Things have never looked so grim. But wait—we are already taxed insensible, gold was already seized once (in 1933), homeschooling has often been treated as illegal, we already have a universal government registration number, the banks have been essentially bankrupt for decades (although they have been keeping. . .
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Easter—Crossbeams, Elbows & Missed Meaning

It is Holy Week, and this season, always grabs me by surprise. The word of its coming blows past my unlistening ears carried away on winds of hurry, work, and inattention. The days approach, but my soul may be prepared—unprepared. How precisely, does one prepare for the greatest solemn gift without somehow diminishing its value? Does analyzing facts prepare the heart? Do studies of the methods and means of crucifixion transfix our eyes in studied loss of the mightier truth? We so often shift our focus. Crossbeams & Elbows As Resurrection Day approaches the radio blares attempts at holy, only. . .
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Idolatrous Patriotism

What is Patriotism? Patriotism seems to have a distinctive meaning. It is difficult to think of a synonym. For instance, ‘loyalty’ does not exactly capture the heart of what patriotism is. Love of country is closer, but, ‘love of country’ is not one word and so cannot be a synonym for anything (Do I have my English correct here? I think I do). Patriotism may be better understood by living among the people of a land, loving what they love and hating what they hate. Nobody believes their country is right all the time but almost everybody thinks themselves patriotic. . .
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Donald Schanzenbach

Donald Schanzenbach.

Don Schanzenbach is the author of two Christian Worldview books, and writes a weekly column on Christian Culture. His articles may be found at missiontorestoreamerica.com/blog
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