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Ebenezer Scrooge: A miser, not a crook

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Ebenezer Scrooge A miser not a crook

Marley was dead, to begin with. But worst of all, he was in chains.

We all know the story of the parsimonious Scrooge. His name and his “humbug!” have become synonymous with selfishness, greed, and the vitriol of the cheerless soul. Prior to his miraculous rebirth, Ebenezer Scrooge was not a good man. He was cold, resentful, and unpleasant.

But in one thing, Scrooge was absolutely right: his money was his alone, and no one else had any right to it.

Scrooge’s clerk, Bob Cratchit, had a right to his wages only insofar as he had entered into a contractual agreement with Scrooge, who had promised to provide them subject to Cratchit’s labor. By their conversation, it appears that paid holiday for December 25th was not technically part of the agreement, which is why Cratchit had no right to demand it, merely submitting, “If quite convenient, sir.”

Scrooge obviously decided to grant Cratchit the holiday anyway, and while this hardly qualifies as an act of laudable compassion, it is essential that we distinguish what is right, and what is his right. Scrooge had every legal and natural right to demand Cratchit’s fulfillment of contractual labor by requiring his unnecessary presence on Christmas. But as we all know, including miserly Scrooge, he would have been morally wrong to do so.

Two things can be true at once. Scrooge was in danger of Marley’s fate, but he was well out of reach of the prisons he so eagerly sponsored. Scrooge was wrong, but within his rights.

I’m not a fan of the line that Leftists only seek to subsidize the poor and needy in order to buy their votes. This is almost certainly true at the highest levels, but among the grassroots, I believe in the sincerity of the my compatriots to the Left, misguided though their good intentions may be.

Most people, whether religious or simply conscience-driven, understand the essential moral duty of the haves to give to the have-nots. This is why, unsurprisingly, religious people are far more likely to give to charity, some estimates suggesting that “faith motivates as much as 75 percent of all charity in the United States.”

What I fail to understand, though, is the leap that those on the Left make from “we have a moral duty to provide for the welfare of others,” to “it is the government’s job to force you to provide for the welfare of others.” I’ve asked many of my Left-leaning friends this question, yet none has given me a logical answer. At most, the sentiment resembles, “Because we need to help them.” But that’s not what I asked. Of course “we need” to help those around us, but only in a moral sense — how does “we” become “the government” and “need” transform into a legal obligation?

As charity is defined in scripture as “the pure love of Christ,” one can hardly discuss charitable giving without invoking He who gave everything for us. Despite what some may tell you, His command to “render therefore unto Caesar the things that be Caesar’s” is not an endorsement of high taxes or of despotic rulers, any more than His insistence that His “kingdom is not of this world” should be interpreted as a call to abolish all earthly governments and establish a global Christian theocracy. In truth, Christ advocated for compliance with the law, both temporal and spiritual, but He never suggested the compulsion of law, neither temporal nor spiritual.

As my friend Dalane England once said, the purpose of charity is to change us, to make us more like our Father in Heaven. This effect of charity cannot be accomplished at the point of gun.

Make no mistake, any government action must ultimately be enforced at gunpoint. Just try not paying your taxes and see how long it takes before a government official pulls out a gun (note: don’t actually try this). Once the government comes to arrest you, just try resisting (note: never try to resist). At some point, the guns come out. The government is not a charity; it is a giant gun-pointing machine.

And charity at the point of gun is not compassion; it is compulsion.

If good-hearted Leftists want to give more of their own money either to charity or to the government, they have every right to do so. But to compel sacrifice in the name of supposed morality is a breach of at least three of the Ten Commandments: it turns a duty to God into a duty to government, replacing God with government in violation of the first; stealing someone else’s money at gunpoint is a clear violation of the eighth; and the obsession with the property of others and how it can benefit your agenda is a flagrant dismissal of the tenth.

Men and women like the unrepentant Ebenezer Scrooge have rightly formed a “ponderous chain,” but they should not fear the shackles of a man-made cell. Their bondage is to a higher power, or in this case a much lower one, and they must answer only to God for their neglect of the downtrodden.

That is the lesson of Dickens’s classic. That is the reason why Scrooge sought a personal transformation of his soul. And that is the kind of reformation we need if we want to incite greater charity and compassionate care.

Government does not make men more compassionate. Government only makes us more spiteful, more suspicious, more secluded.

If anything, government makes us more like Scrooge.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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Culture and Religion

Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as ‘sweetheart,’ prompting zero outrage

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Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as sweetheart prompting zero outrage

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “Sweetheart” as he addressed her during a speaking engagement on Sunday. He apparently caught his faux pas and immediately justified the remark, but at that point the moniker which many consider to be sexist or misogynistic had already been noted.

Nevertheless, it didn’t cause the stir one might expect. As a far-left progressive, Omar is known for being a feminist icon on Capitol Hill even though she hasn’t been in office for a full two months yet. As our EIC noted, the lack of a rebuke was because of the source, not because she now feels it’s okay to refer to her as “sweetheart.”

The statement came as Farrakhan was telling Omar she shouldn’t be sorry for the statements she made last week about Israel, AIPAC, and Jewish influence in Washington DC, particularly over Republicans.

In a world where consistency was still considered a virtue, followers of Omar would be wondering why she’s not expressing outrage over the belittling reference from a powerful man. But the world isn’t consistent and Farrakhan always gets a pass.

 


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Man fined £1,000 for outdated sense of humor

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Man fined £1000 for outdated sense of humor

Jonathon Van Maren, a contributor for LifeSiteNews, recently stumbled across an article in the UK’s Edinburgh News about a construction worker who was arrested for “pointing and laughing” at a biological male who was dressed as a female (transgender woman).

[Author’s Note: It is impolite and unkind to point and laugh at others. This article is not an endorsement of such behavior.]

As Van Maren explained, a construction worker named Graham Spiers was walking with a group of friends. The group pointed and laughed while passing a transgender individual who, suspecting that his appearance had become the subject of ridicule, telephoned the police.

Spiers was arrested five day later.

Sherriff Robert Fife scolded Mr. Spiers’s sense of humor and actions:

Transgender insanity: Police now jailing people for laughing at men in women’s clothes

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/transgender-insanity-police-now-jailing-people-for-laughing-at-men-in-womenSheriff Robert Fife also piled on, informing Spiers that, “Your offensive comments were not funny at the time and are not funny now. Your children should grow up understanding gender differences and would be ashamed at your behavior that comes from a different era has no place in today’s society.” Fife then told Spiers that in addition to the cash he had to pay to the biological man for laughing at him, he also had to pay an additional fine of another five hundred pounds.

Graham Spiers was ordered to pay a total of £1,000 for his actions “from a different era,” 500 of which was paid to the complainant.

Of the actions by police and the court in this instance, Van Maren opined:

It is disgusting enough that law enforcement would arrest and charge someone for this triviality. That alone indicates that freedom in Scotland is truly dead. But the fact that law enforcement then lectured Spiers on being a throwback from a different age (that different era being about a decade ago, for the record) and telling him his children should be ashamed of him? And that Spiers was expected to cower and listen to this tongue-lashing from his betters so he could get re-educated and realize that men could now become women and that laughing at their attempts was forbidden by law? That should absolutely repulse any liberty-loving person and terrify everyone who values freedom.

My Take

Pointing and laughing at others is unquestionably unkind. I am repulsed at the thought of such outward meanness. However, that this behavior so would be considered illegal and result in one’s arrest is punitive at best, and is undoubtedly a waste a valuable time and resources. Furthermore, the punishment in this case is brazenly excessive.

This is yet another instance of big government run amok. The Founders knew the dangers of big government. It would be prudent of us to heed the Founders’ advice, lest we find ourselves in the position of Mr. Spiers: subjugated beneath the arbitrary boot of “benevolent” governmental authority.

 


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The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

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The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

There’s a trend that’s been quietly, consistently rearing its ugly head against the President of the United States and his supporters since before the 2016 election. We’ve seen it among unhinged journalists, virtue-signaling celebrities, and Democratic politicians. We’ve seen it manifest in the ugliest form of hatred – the common hate-hoax – and it’s doing more to divide America than the source of the perpetrators’ anger.

They hate President Trump. They hate the people who got him elected. The hate the idea of making America great again because as much of the MAGA agenda comes to pass, they’re learning they’ve been wrong the whole time. I know first hand. I’ve been proven wrong myself.

No, I’m not a hate-hoaxer, but I’ve been against the President to varying degrees for over three years now. Before he officially won the GOP nomination in 2016, I opposed him because I felt he would do too much damage while delivering only a moderate amount of good policies. He wasn’t as bad as John Kasich or Jeb Bush, but we had Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul as better candidates. Nevertheless, he won the nomination, prompting me to spend the final leg of the 2016 election without a horse in the race. I didn’t like the idea of Trump being President, but under no circumstances did I want Hillary Clinton to be President, either.

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After he won, I became a cautious but hopeful watcher. While we worked on alternatives to bring limited-government federalism to the forefront of local, state, and national politics, I took a case-by-case stance on the President himself. When he did well, I praised him. When he did poorly, I criticized him. This stance has remained until this day, though there have been times when I was more supportive or more critical, depending on the policy discussion of the day. Tax and bureaucratic cuts – good. Tariffs and bump stock bans – bad. The recent cave on the border omnibus – very bad. Most foreign policy moves (leaving Iran deal, leaving Paris accords, moving embassy to Jerusalem) – very good.

Unfortunately, it seems many on the left have been unwilling to recognize even the remotest possibility anything the President is doing is good. What’s worse is that some have been so aggressive in their desire to prove their point that they’ve pretended to be victims for the sake of getting their “victims’ perks” of love and affection from their peers while painting anyone wearing a MAGA hat as bigoted and hateful.

Thus, the anti-MAGA hate hoax was born and it’s been so prominent over the last two-and-a-half years, one must wonder how mainstream media and Democrats became so gullible that they fall for it every single time.

Andy Ngo at Quillette put together a comprehensive list of hate hoaxes that leftists have perpetrated to paint the President and his supporters as racists. It’s absolutely stunning when you see the magnitude of the hatred – THEIR hatred – that makes them willing to tell bald-faced lies just to prove the movement they oppose is as bad as they think it is.

I’ve had ideological disagreements with nearly every presidential candidate (let alone every President) since I became an adult. There’s nothing wrong with disagreement as long as one is willing to not be blinded in one direction or the other. There are plenty who blindly follow President Trump to approximately the same degree that supporters blindly followed President Obama. The herd mentality seems to have become the way of the political world in America for our last two presidents. But that blind devotion is simply an annoyance. The blind hatred that drives people to commit these hoaxes is far more dangerous.

It’s likely when the details are fully revealed regarding Jussie Smollett’s hate-hoax, it was driven more by a narcissistic desire to advance his career rather than pure hatred for the MAGA crowd or the President, but obviously the latter hatred played a role in his decision-making process. This type of action is never acceptable. We have enough outrage in America. There’s no need to manufacture even more for false reasons.

It’s time for the unhinged left to stop assuming every MAGA supporter is racist and start asking how the actions of those on their side of the political aisle drove massive amounts of people to support President Trump. Perhaps then, they’ll realize the hatred is coming mostly from them.

 


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