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Government can’t hug you, but it can kill you

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It’s been a long time since I have felt as angry and impotent as I have felt since Monday. Conservative media right now is saturated with reaction to the news from Charlie Gard’s parents, regarding their decision to no longer pursue the legal battle to save their child’s life. Liberal media in the US is mostly silent.

I am not a parent, though I’ve wanted to be a parent for most of my life. I cannot imagine the pain of having to say goodbye to your child, let alone to your infant child. I cannot imagine the pain of saying goodbye because the Government has decided, against you, that it was in the “best interest” of your child to die.

Remember, if our lawmakers cannot shed Obamacare and replace it with something that recognizes personal liberty, we will–an absolute certainty–end up with socialized health care in America.

What I can’t imagine is currently what Chris and Connie are going through. If they read this, I hope they know that my heart is broken with their hearts. I love them and I love Charlie.

The argument for socialized health care, that up to this point I have mostly ignored, is that we should “care” about people less fortunate, and socialized health care is the best way to care.

I haven’t seen a single left leaning person attach this argument to Charlie’s case.

And that’s because they can’t.

Let’s discuss why a large centralized power having the decision making authority of whether you live or die is bad.

  1. Government is not a person. More importantly, government is not capable of empathy, nor is it supposed to be capable of empathy. It is supposed to fill a specific set of functions, ie laws to maintain a civilized society, and national defense – ie keep other governments out. Obviously, people are human, and make up government, which introduces biases. Our goal should be to limit government’s power and to reduce bias and emotion as much as possible, not to increase it.
  2. Running trillions of dollars of deficit will eventually bite us in the ass, folks. Sorry for the vulgarity, but spending money with no hope of paying it back is crazy. Eventually, it must find a way to cut costs. And usually, you look at trimming the most expensive costs first. This usually happens by comparing what you pay, to what you get. The more expensive one’s health care is or projected to be, the harder it will be to get government to pay for it. So, rare diseases, fetal defects, people past a certain age – government literally made the decision for Connie and Chris that their child was too expensive. And government won. So now, you want that here?
  3. In Iceland, 100 percent of Down’s babies are aborted when diagnosed in utero. Children, who could have lived happy, successful, and fulfilling lives are aborted because they have an extra chromosome and are therefore different. There’s no excuse that makes this ok, and it’s disgusting. So, I ask, you want Government to make the decision for you that when pregnant you have mandatory tests? If you’re pregnant, and the child is determined to have Down’s or some type of heart disease, you want Gov’t to have the power to decide your child is too expensive to maintain?
  4. Let’s take a second, and go to China. They recently switched their official one child policy, to a two child policy. They would enforce their one child policy by aborting women, whenever the women were found to have been carrying a second or third child. They would do this at any time. You could be 8 and half months pregnant, and if you were reported to the police, dragged to the nearest clinic to have your child murdered inside you. China’s currently experiencing a few problems, namely, not enough women. (Who would have thought that in a society where being a man was more important, people would not choose to have a girl as an only child?) Now, they’re importing girls and women from other countries, and I think there’s a pretty awful sex slave trade going down over there.

When you give the federal government the power to make your decisions instead of you, you are giving them the authority to make those decisions. Charlie should live as a warning to us all. Don’t let the federal government take control over your life. Here’s the thing, guys. Government doesn’t care. Government will go for the least costly and most efficient solutions that it can, because ultimately, it is a machine. That’s why you need to limit its power as much as you can, and retain your autonomy as much as you can.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jan Cosgrove

    July 27, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Sanctimonious rubbish. GOSH is one of the finest paediatric hospitals in the world 3 of the 7 top paediatricians in the world
    work there. and the fact is they have done all they know to enable Charlie to improve. What they have said is that they know of no more that can be done, in other words, they admit no more can be done. If this were an adult with cancer, it would be palliative care only, removal from artificial life support. The same principle applies.

    Of course his poor parents have gone the extra mile, and GOSH itself called for the final court hearing to enable the US doctor to attend. BTW he had been invited last January but didn’t come till now. Yet he claimed he could help, but only a 10% chance of improvement not even having examined the child. When he got here to the UK, he had to agree his treatment would not have worked. I don’t think his behaviour has fulfilled the required medical ethics expected of him.

    You make an asinine connection with socialised medicine. Get this straight and stop using any opportunity to politicise a humanitarian issue. Our National Health insurance has paid for Charlie’s treatment, free at the point of delivery. His parents have never faced running out of insurance cover, the NHS is what people here want. You stick to your system if you will, we know what works for us.

    We have an independent judiciary, like you, and you should read the court judgement on this matter, not biased press reporting based on fundamentalist christian politics. You will there learn about compassion, professionalism, heart-breaking dilemma for parents, doctors, nurses, attorneys and the judge to whom you should pay the greatest respect,

    In essence. try our hardest, use god-given power of knowledge, science etc, there are things we cannot do. Enabling Charlie to improve, which is what his parents seek, and we all would if it were possible, is beyond our knowledge and may well always be.

    What I find wicked is the wholly unscrupulous conduct of those who have exploited his parents grief and love to peddle their politico-religious claptrap, one from the States linked to advocating killing of staff at abortion centres in the US. We don’t want such folk here, we accept the Rule of Law. It is the height of irresponsibility to prey on parents love in the way that is being done, it has not helped them or Charlie one iota, and frankly is evil, yes, for all the sanctimonious crap bandied around, it has done nothing and can do nothing.

    What the alt right advocate here is to keep life support going when there is no prospect for any improvement and the FACT that the only thing that keeps him breathing is that equipment. Mankind knows no more, surely you can accept that or does the alt right insist it knows better not only than the medics but God Himself? It seems sinful arrogance to me, a claim to know His Will for this child.

    I suggest you stick to sorting out the mess you have in your Congress over health insurance, politicians playing cynical games with people’s daily lives. Charlie’s parents had no worries about being able to afford the incredible world-best care he has had because of our national health insurance system, free at the point of use. Can you say that if they had been US citizens they would have been assured of cover come what may, regardless of who they are and their means? No? Well here we can tell you Yes, that has happened. No government has ordered this outcome, a court has based on evidence and law, not to mention huge compassion. Learn something, will you, the US is not Know-All, Best-Way. And this is NOTHING to do with abortion, it is about end-of-life care, and when is the right time to stop treatment and administer palliative care only, the independent court judgement is that this is the time.

    BTW I have worked in children’s rights for 40 years.

  2. Sonny Crockett

    August 2, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    This is superb analysis, and I love how organized and methodical the arguments are. Loved reading it. Oh, as an aside, I definitely agree with your take.

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Culture and Religion

Does Matthew 22:29-30 indicate Jesus was referencing the Book of Enoch?

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Does Matthew 2229-30 indicate Jesus was referencing the Book of Enoch

Extra-Biblical texts such as the Book of Enoch are often frowned upon by churches. Some see 1 Enoch as fake. Others say it’s a good historical reference but not inspired. The Ethiopian Bible includes it as scripture. Should we read it?

To understand the answer to this question, we need to consider three things. First, it was referenced as holy by many of the early church fathers, but was excluded from official canon. Second, Enoch is referenced multiple times in the Bible: Genesis 4 and 5, Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11:5, and Jude 1:14. Third, Jesus makes a statement in Matthew 22:29-30 that references “scripture” but what he is saying is only found in 1 Enoch.

Many who oppose the validity of Enoch say that it was written after the Book of Jude because the it includes the quote that Jude references, but fragments of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which most scholars date to before Jude was born.

The scripture in question is Matthew 22:29-30:

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Nowhere in the 66 Books of the Bible does it say angels neither marry nor are given in marriage. What did Jesus mean when he said “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures” in reference to the angels not marrying?

Here is 1 Enoch 15:5-7:

5. Therefore have I given them wives also that they might impregnate them, and beget children by them, that thus nothing might be wanting to them on earth. 6. But you were ⌈formerly⌉ spiritual, living the eternal life, and immortal for all generations of the world. 7. And therefore I have not appointed wives for you; for as for the spiritual ones of the heaven, in heaven is their dwelling.

Hmm.

As with anything regarding extra-Biblical texts, I must urge caution. Many who believe 1 Enoch is authentic refute the authenticity of 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch. Then, there’s the question of inspiration and protection of the text. Many Christians believe the Bible has been able to survive and flourish despite so many attempts to disrupt it is because it has been protected over the millennia. If that’s the case, why was Enoch not included the whole time?

The answer to this question, to those who believe in its authenticity, may be found in the first two verses of the manuscript.

1 The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be 2 living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed. And he took up his parable and said -Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is 3 for to come. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them:

If Enoch is real, it’s meant for a later generation living in the day of tribulation. If it’s a fake, then it’s intended to deceive those in the end times. Either way, it’s understandable that it would not be included in most Bibles.

I tend to believe 1 Enoch is legitimate, but not to the point that I would teach on it. Not yet. Much more prayer and study is required before I would ever risk misleading anyone.

Nevertheless, the reference in Matthew 22 is compelling.

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Culture and Religion

The ‘church fathers’ and the Book of Enoch

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The church fathers and the Book of Enoch

This article first appeared in Torah Driven Life. The site appears to be down currently, so we’re including this page here for reference.

The following is a compilation of attestations to the authenticity and acceptance of the Book of Enoch as Scripture by the fathers of the early church. This list is, by no means, an exhaustive list of quotations from the church fathers, but is rather just skimming of the surface. At any rate, the case is clear, that even beyond Jude’s open reference to it, the Book of Enoch had some degree of acceptance in early Christianity.

Tertullian and the Book of Enoch

Tertullian, an early church father and founder of Latin Christianity, wrote a few positive things concerning the Book of Enoch. Tertulian writes as follows in his 2nd century work, On the Apparel of Women I 3:1-3.

“I am aware that the Scripture of Enoch, which has assigned this order of action to angels, is not received by some, because it is not admitted into the Jewish canon either. I suppose they did not think that, having been published before the deluge, it could have safely survived that world-wide calamity, the abolisher of all things. If that is the reason for rejecting it, let them recall to their memory that Noah, the survivor of the deluge, was the great-grandson of Enoch himself; and he, of course, had heard and remembered, from domestic renown and hereditary tradition, concerning his own great-grandfather’s ‘grace in the sight of God,’ (Genesis 6:8) and concerning all his preachings; since Enoch had given no other charge to Methuselah than that he should hand on the knowledge of them to his posterity. Noah therefore, no doubt, might have succeeded in the trusteeship of his preaching; or, had the case been otherwise, he would not have been silent alike concerning the disposition of things made by God, his Preserver, and concerning the particular glory of his own house.

“If Noah had not had this conservative power by so short a route, there would still be this consideration to warrant our assertion of the genuineness of this Scripture: he could equally have renewed it, under the Spirit’s inspiration, after it had been destroyed by the violence of the deluge, as, after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian storming of it, every document of the Jewish literature is generally agreed to have been restored through Ezra.

“But since Enoch in the same Scripture has preached likewise concerning the Lord, nothing at all must be rejected by us which pertains to us; and we read that ‘every Scripture suitable for edification is divinely inspired.’ (2 Timothy 3:16) By the Jews it may now seem to have been rejected for that very reason, just like all the other portions nearly which tell of Christ. Nor, of course, is this fact wonderful, that they did not receive some Scriptures which spake of Him whom even in person, speaking in their presence, they were not to receive. To these considerations is added the fact that Enoch possesses a testimony in the Apostle Jude.” (Jude 1:14-15)

Origen and the Book of Enoch

Origen appeals to the Book of Enoch as having the same canonical authority as he does the Book of Psalms. He writes as follows in De Principiis IV.

“But some one will perhaps inquire whether we can obtain out of Scripture any grounds for such an understanding of the subject. Now I think some such view is indicated in the Psalms, when the prophet says, ‘My eyes have seen your imperfection;’ (Psalm 139:16) by which the mind of the prophet, examining with keener glance the first principles of things, and separating in thought and imagination only between matter and its qualities, perceived the imperfection of God, which certainly is understood to be perfected by the addition of qualities. Enoch also, in his book, speaks as follows: ‘I have walked on even to imperfection;’ which expression I consider may be understood in a similar manner, viz., that the mind of the prophet proceeded in its scrutiny and investigation of all visible things, until it arrived at that first beginning in which it beheld imperfect matter existing without ‘qualities.’ For it is written in the same book of Enoch, ‘I beheld the whole of matter;’ which is so understood as if he had said: ‘I have clearly seen all the divisions of matter which are broken up from one into each individual species either of men, or animals, or of the sky, or of the sun, or of all other things in this world.’”

These quotations which he attributes to Enoch are not found in the Ethiopic text of the Book of Enoch, upon which our modern translations are based. There are, however, two sufficient reasons to believe that Origen is still quoting from the Book of Enoch. First, notice how Origen mishandled Psalm 139:16, “My eyes have seen your imperfection,” as if to indicate that God had imperfections which could be seen. Psalm 139:16 is more accurately translated, “Mine unformed substance Thine eyes saw.” (YLT) So it is very possible that Origen was simply incorrectly quoting passages that do exist in the Ethiopic text. Second, it is known from the discovery of Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts of Enoch found in the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran that there are large portions of text that are not present in the Ethiopic manuscripts. (See 4Q209 and 4Q211) So it is also possible that he was quoting from portions of Enoch that may have not been translated into the Ethiopic text, and hence have not survived to today.

Irenaeus and the Book of Enoch

Irenaeus, in his work The Proof of the Apostolic Preaching 18, records a condensed retelling of Enoch 6-8. He does this without directly citing the Book of Enoch, yet the citation here is unmistakable.

“And for a very long while wickedness extended and spread, and reached and laid hold upon the whole race of mankind, until a very small seed of righteousness remained among them: and illicit unions took place upon the earth, since angels were united with the daughters of the race of mankind; and they bore to them sons who for their exceeding greatness were called giants. And the angels brought as presents to their wives teachings of wickedness, in that they brought them the virtues of roots and herbs, dyeing in colours and cosmetics, the discovery of rare substances, love-potions, aversions, amours, concupiscence, constraints of love, spells of bewitchment, and all sorcery and idolatry hateful to God; by the entry of which things into the world evil extended and spread, while righteousness was diminished and enfeebled.”

The Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas and the Book of Enoch

The Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas is frequently ranked among the Apostolic Fathers, i.e. the founding documents of gentile Christianity. This letter contains several blatant quotations from the Book of Enoch, citing it as “Scripture” in Barnabas 16:5-6.

“Again, it was made manifest that the city and the temple and the people of Israel were to be delivered up. For the Scripture says, ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days that the Lord shall deliver the sheep of His pasture, and the sheep-fold, and their tower to destruction.’ (Condensed from Enoch 89:54-56) And it took place according to what the Lord said. But let us inquire if a temple of God exists. Yes, it exists, where He Himself said that He makes and perfects it. For it is written, ‘And it shall come to pass when the week is ended that a temple of God shall be built gloriously in the name of the Lord.’ ” (Similar to Enoch 93:6-7)

Given that the writing style of Pseudo-Barnabas does not always give exact quotes from the Scripures, but frequently handles them in a very midrashic style, it is probable that the author is giving a condensed paraphrase of the passages in question from the same version of Enoch we have in our possession today.

Athenagoras and the Book of Enoch

Athenagoras of Athens, in his work 2nd century work Legatio, claims to regard Enoch as a true prophet, and this same work relies heavily upon the angelic cosmology presented in the Book of Enoch.

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Democrats

Cartoon: Is that another huge immigration caravan?

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Cartoon Is that another huge immigration caravan

The 2016 GOP field seemed like a clown car routine compared to what was essentially five legitimate Democratic candidates. Whether they simply feared Hillary Clinton or didn’t want to take their shot following President Obama, many Democrats who were considered potentially serious candidates didn’t run.

That’s not the case for 2020. We may end up with more Democrats in the running than we had Republicans in 2016.

Cartoonist Michael Ramirez captured the growing group perfectly:

It’s certainly starting to look like a migrant caravan forming. Oh, wait. Those are actually American citizens.


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