This is a great article from The DailySignal.com. The Magna Carta is a sort of precursor to the later American experiment. The current American leaders and all of us in general could learn a lot about the pursuit of liberty through the seperation of powers from the study of the Magna Carta
With the president and Congress out of town, Washington, D.C. is very quiet during the holidays, without the long lines one normally sees at museums and capitol attractions. So it was a good time last week to take my family to see a wonderful exhibit at the Library of Congress, jointly sponsored by the Federalist Society, of one of the only four existing manuscript copies of the 1215 Magna Carta signed by King John at Runnymede.
On June 15, we will celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, one of the most consequential documents in the history of the law and liberty. It was the basis for establishing the principles that led to the many rights that we take almost for granted today. These include due process of law, the right to a jury trial, freedom from unlawful imprisonment, and the theory of representative government.
While Magna Carta only secured the rights of the barons and “freemen,” as the exhibit carefully explains, “this medieval charter, through centuries of interpretation and controversy, became an enduring symbol of liberty and the rule of law.”
It really is amazing as one walks through the exhibit and reads the translations of certain parts of Magna Carta, to see the principles being outlined that have become such an accepted part of our rule of law 800 years later. For example, Chapter 39 provides no freeman will be seized, dispossessed of his property, or harmed except “by the law of the land,” a phrase that eventually became “due process of law.” This very concept is incorporated in both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, which guarantee that no “freeman” in America can be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
Chapter 39 of Magna Carta guaranteed that no freeman can be punished without “the lawful judgment of his peers.” This principle is the basis for our concept of the right to a trial by jury, which is guaranteed in Article III of the Constitution, as well as the Seventh Amendment.
Magna Carta also guaranteed immunity from illegal imprisonment. This principle led directly to the development of the concept of habeas corpus, the right to sue the government to force it “to produce the body,” an individual who has been illegally imprisoned without due process of law. This was so important that it was incorporated into Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, which provides that “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”
Most importantly, Magna Carta established the principle of the rule of law and checks on the power of the king (the executive in modern parlance). In other words, the concept integral to our own republic that no man is above the law, not even the president. Chapter 61 of Magna Carta stipulated that 25 barons would be selected to ensure that King John complied with the terms of the charter and if he violated the terms, they had the authority to “distrain” the king (seize his properties) until he complied. That principle became a “symbol of the supremacy of the law over the will of the king.”
King Edward I’s 1297 reaffirmation of Magna Carta (a copy of which is on display at the National Archives) said that any act of the king violating the charter “should be undone and holden for naught.” This fundamental principle was incorporated into the entire structure of our system of government as outlined in the checks and balances inherent in the Articles of the Constitution. And what King Edward I said must be done is exactly what the Supreme Court of the United States does when the president exceeds his authority, as evidenced by its recent decision in National Labor Relations Board v. Canning,in which the Court held that President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB were unconstitutional. Thus, the president’s action was “undone and holden for naught.”
Two of the people in Washington who might learn the most from visiting this exhibit and its explanation of the importance of the rule of law and the limits on the power of the executive are President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Unfortunately, as two of my Heritage Foundation colleagues explain in a recent paper, “abusive, unlawful, and even potentially unconstitutional unilateral action has been a hallmark of the Obama Administration.”
The exhibit at the Library of Congress displays the Lincoln Cathedral Magna Carta, which has been in the possession of the Lincoln Cathedral literally since its issuance in 1215, a concept a little hard for Americans in our relatively new country to quite comprehend.
Excellent article below from Breibart.com.
At least businesses like Google know when to call it quits and stop throwing money down a rat hole. Too bad liberal-socialists-progressives in government don’t know when to quit, as they continue to throw hard-earned taxpayer money down any rat hole they can find. Actually liberal-socialists-progressives love to find some secret rat holes in which to throw tax payer cash and claim they are doing it for the common good. They would never, never admit to wasteful government spending and let citizens keep more of their money. For example just look at liberal-socialist-progressive President Obama and his continually propping up many failed projects. I am now thinking about projects like Solyndra, that promised a bright future with renewable energy but failed in a big way. Anyways, read further the article below as it shows how Google experts have wisely given up on so-called renewable energy, at least for now.
22 Nov 2014 at Breitbart.com
Some people call it “renewable energy” but I prefer to call it “alternative energy” because that’s what it really is: an alternative to energy that actually works (eg nuclear and anything made from wonderful, energy-rich fossil fuel.)
Now a pair of top boffins from uber-green Google’s research department have reached the same conclusion.
Ross Konigstein and David Fork, both Stanford PhDs (aerospace engineering; applied physics) were employed on a Google research project which sought to enhance renewable technology to the point where it could produce energy more cheaply than coal. But after four years, the project was closed down. In this post at IEEE Spectrum they tell us why.
We came to the conclusion that even if Google and others had led the way toward a wholesale adoption of renewable energy, that switch would not have resulted in significant reductions of carbon dioxide emissions. Trying to combat climate change exclusively with today’s renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.
Why is renewable energy such a total fail? Because, as Lewis Page explains here, it’s so ludicrously inefficient and impossibly expensive that if ever we were so foolish as to try rolling it out on a scale beyond its current boutique levels, it would necessitate bankrupting the global economy.
In a nutshell, renewable energy is rubbish because so much equipment is needed to make it work – steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage – that it very likely uses up more energy than it actually produces.
Yet our political class remains committed to the fantasy that the emperor’s green clothes are perfectly magnificent. Earlier this week, for example, the British government chucked £720 million of taxpayers’ money into a cesspit labelled the Green Climate Fund.
In theory this UN-driven initiative is supposed to help Third World countries cope with the effects of climate change. In reality, all it will do is force on their struggling economies more of the costly, intermittent renewable technologies (wind turbines; solar; etc) which have proved such a disaster for the advanced Western economies.
If we really want to throw money at the developing world so it can combat climate change, then what we should really be doing is insist that it is spent on adaptation projects – not, heaven forfend, ones to do with “decarbonisation.”
There is no reason you have to sacrifice your morals no matter what pressures you are receiving. Sadie Robertson is proving that with her experience on Dancing With The Stars. Read about it in this article from Charisma News
Sadie Robertson of the Duck Dynasty clan revealed in an interview that pressure from her dance partner to perform a sexy rumba on Dancing With the Stars caused her a great deal of stress, but she is pleased with the outcome.
“I guess you all could tell that last week was pretty hard for me,” Robertson said in an interview for tvguide.com. “It was really stressful, and I wasn’t getting the dance down, and Mark [Ballas] had been telling me all week, ‘You’re not going to get good scores because you’re not doing a sexy rumba and that’s what they want to see.'”
Although the two butted heads, 17-year-old Robertson, a strong Christian, held her ground:
“I was like, that’s OK, because I would rather get a bad score from the judges than know in my heart that I did something that I’m not comfortable with. So, when we went out there and we did it, after the dance, I was so nervous because I just knew I was going to get ripped to shreds by the judges.”
But that’s not what happened. Robertson said she was pleasantly surprised to receive a score of 35 out of 40 from the judges. She said she was able to reach an accommodation with dance partner Mark Ballas by wearing a modest costume and keeping sexy moves out of the dance routine.
“So when they were so respectful of the dance and they loved it and appreciated me standing up for what I believed in, I just kind of felt like God blessed me with the judges liking the dance,” Robertson told tvguide.com. “It just paid off to do the right thing, and it just made me really emotional to finally get the hardest dance so far, in my opinion, out of the way and just be done with it. It felt really good.”
Another excellent talk from Joe Rigney. This time he talks about the subject of his book Live Like a Narnian. Click the video and listen in and journey through Lewis’ Wardrobe to learn how we can become better disciples of Jesus Christ
Live Like a Narnian: Christian Discipleship in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles
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Really good sermon from a couple of Sundays ago. Joe Rigney shows how everything that we humans do is an extension of the first job ever given to the first man, Adam, that of faithfully naming. Also Rigney shows how if we go about it unfaithfully how evil corruption can set in. Listen in. Click the video below for the page that will give you more video and audio options
August 3, 2014
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”—Genesis 2:18–23
Speak the Truth in Love. This article summarizes this position very well.
by Jonathan Parnell published 4/21/2014 at Desiring God.org
Homosexuality is not the only sin mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
It’s not the only sin mentioned, but it is different from all the rest, at least right now. At this moment in history, contrary to the other sins listed here, homosexuality is celebrated by our larger society with pioneering excitement. It’s seen as a good thing, as the new hallmark of progress.
To be sure, the masses increasingly make no bones about sin in general. Innumerable people are idolaters, not to mention those who are sexually immoral, or who commit adultery, or who steal and are greedy and get wasted and revile neighbors and swindle others. It happens all the time. And each of these unrepentant sins are the same in the sense of God’s judgment. They all deserve his wrath. And we’re constantly reminded that “such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Concerning Popular Opinion
But as far as I know, none of those sins are applauded so aggressively by whole groups of people who advocate for their normalcy. Sexual immorality is no longer the tip of the spear for the progressive push. Adultery is still frowned upon by many. Accusations of greed will still smear a candidate’s political campaign. Thievery is still not openly embraced, and there are no official initiatives saying it’s okay to go steal things that don’t belong to you. There’s no such thing as a drunk agenda yet. Most aren’t proud to choose a beverage over stability, and there aren’t any petitions that the government should abolish the driving restrictions of inebriated individuals. Reviling others still isn’t seen as the best way to win friends and influence people. Swindling, especially on a corporate level, usually gets someone thrown into jail. In fact, the infrastructure of the American economy depends upon, in some measure, our shared disdain for conniving scammers.
Perhaps excepting fornication, these sins are still seen in a pretty negative light. But not homosexual practice, not by those who are now speaking loudest and holding positions of prominence. According to the emerging consensus, homosexuality is different.
What to Be Against
As Christians, we believe with deepest sincerity that the embrace of homosexual practice, along with other sins, keeps people out of the kingdom of God. And if our society celebrates it, we can’t both be caring and not say anything. Too much is at stake. This means it is an oversimplification to say that Christians — or conservative evangelicals — are simply against homosexuality. We are against any sin that restrains people from everlasting joy in God, and homosexual practice just gets all the press because, at this cultural moment, it’s the main sin that is so freshly endorsed in our context by the powers that be. Let’s hope that if there’s some new cultural agenda promoting thievery — one that says it’s now our right to take whatever we want from others by whatever means — that Christians will speak out against it. The issue is sin. That’s what we’re against. And that’s what should make our voice so unique when we speak into this debate.
Some would like to see this whole issue of homosexuality divided into two camps: those who celebrate it and those who hate it. Both of these groups exist in our society. There are the growing numbers, under great societal pressure, who praise homosexuality. We might call them the left. And there are people who hate homosexuality, with the most bigoted rationale and apart from any Christian concern. We might call them the right.
Those Glorious Words
The current debate is plagued by this binary lens. Those on the left try to lump everyone who disagrees with them into that right side. If you don’t support, you hate. Meanwhile, those on the right see compromise and spinelessness in anyone who doesn’t get red-faced and militant. If you don’t hate, you support.
But true followers of Christ will walk neither path. We have something to say that no one else is saying, or can say.
Distancing ourselves from both the left and the right, we don’t celebrate homosexual practice, we acknowledge God’s clear revealed word that it is sin; and we don’t hate those who embrace homosexuality, we love them enough to not just collapse under the societal pressure. We speak the truth in love into this confusion, saying, simultaneously, “That’s wrong” and “I love you.” We’re not the left; we say, this is wrong. And we’re not the right; we say, you’re loved. We speak good news, with those sweetest, deepest, most glorious words of the cross — the same words that God spoke us — “You’re wrong, and you’re loved.”
God tells us we’re wrong, that the wages of sin is death, that unrepentant rebellion means judgment, that our rescue required the cursed death of his Son (Romans 3:23; John 3:36; Galatians 3:13). And God tells us we’re loved, that even while we were sinners, Jesus died for us, that while we were unrighteous, Jesus suffered in our place, that though we were destined for wrath, Jesus welcomes us into glory (Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:1–7).
Where the Gospel Shines
You’re wrong and you’re loved — that’s the unique voice of the Christian. That’s what we say, speaking from our own experience, as Tim Keller so well puts it, “we’re far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.”
That’s our message in this debate, when society’s elites despise us, when pop songs vilify us, when no one else has the resources to say anything outside of two extremes, we have this incomparable opportunity to let the gospel shine, to reach out in grace: you’re wrong and you’re loved. We get to say this.
That’s why homosexuality is not like other sins.