L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 205, January 6, 2003
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Lying to God
by William Stone, III
Exclusive to TLE
As those who may have read my essay "Parenting Free Individuals" may remember, I've got two daughters, presently aged seven and nine. I've been working very hard to ensure that they grow up to be gun-toting freedom-lovers like their father.
What you also know if you've listened to me talk about them for very long is that --- largely due to genetics --- these girls are much too smart for my own good. I live in mortal fear of their teen-aged years, because I know with absolute certainty that they are bright enough to concoct a method of getting out of the house late at night to see their boyfriends.
My current plan to circumvent this is to place a web of motion sensors around all the exterior doors and windows which will be tied into and controlled by my Linux server. If the mesh is violated, I'll be paged immediately.
However, one daughter in particular has expressed an interest in learning how computers work --- pretty specifically so that when the time comes, she can get a cushy part-time job in some computer lab instead of flipping burgers. The other daughter already has her future planned: she's been taking dance classes for several years and intends to teach at the studio -- not at all unusual for longtime students at Sandy Keane's School of Dance.
I now have visions of the younger daughter using her athletic prowess to bypass the motion-sensor mesh to get to a computer. Then, via cell phone, the younger daughter will be talked through the process of hacking the server and turning off the security mesh.
As I said, these kids are smart.
One night, we were sitting together watching TV before bed. A news story flashed past, featuring one of those airport Gestapo checkpoint incidents with which we're so familiar. Some grandmotherly old lady had been groped, fondled, and kicked out of the airport for having the audacity to become enraged at the violation of her person and papers.
My older daughter said something about how stupid it was --- and then reiterated the lesson she'd learned from the last time we talked about it:
That these KGB bullies are totally unnecessary if only the FedGov would enforce the Bill of Rights.
As I said: smart kids.
She then wondered why Mommy would vote for President Bush if he violated the the Constitution. I explained that most of the time, Presidents promise to do one thing before they're elected and then do something totally different afterward. In this regard, President Bush is pretty typical.
"And honey," I went on, "it's actually worse than that. President Bush had to take an oath when he became President. He put his hand on a Bible and swore that he would protect and defend the Constitution -- and yet he spends almost all of his time trying to destroy it!"
There was a long pause, and then in a hushed, shocked tone, the younger daughter said:
"You mean he's breaking a promise he made to GOD?!"
Understand that I'm not religious. However, I'm not one of those really vocal atheists who is actively actively anti-Christian. My sole concern is the Zero Aggression Principle. As long as your religion doesn't require the initiation of force, I don't care what you happen to believe.
(Contrary to what many of my atheist friends believe, religion does not require initiation of force. There's no question that power in the hands of organized religion has been used to initiate force. Power is ALWAYS used to initiate force. The trick is to never cede coercive power to any organization or individual: religious, governmental, or otherwise.)
My wife, however, is Catholic, and our girls go to a Catholic school. I have no particular objection to them learning religion. I'm a very strong believer in the notion that if one's going to break the rules, one needs to know what the rules are in the first place.
In college, for example, I learned iambic pentameter specifically so that if I ever wrote in it, I could violate its rules artistically instead of ignorantly. You'll find that Shakespeare did this on a number of occasions, specifically having his characters break out of iambic pentameter during moments of emotional tension. Hamlet's "to be or not to be" soliloquy is often held up as a textbook example of Shakespeare's artistic violation of the form.
Similarly, I think if you're going to be an atheist in a predominantly Christian culture, you need to have an understanding of context. If you don't, you end up angry and frustrated.
However, at this age, the girls don't have a conception of this. For them, Mass is something you attend on Thursday morning with your classmates and on Sunday morning with your family.
You NEVER break your promises to God.
When my daughter realized that President Bush was breaking a promise he made to God, it completely changed the context of the hideous things he does. It was no longer the he was violating the highest law of the country. It was that he lied to GOD.
You don't lie to God. It's a million orders of magnitude worse than lying to a friend or a parent. Punishment for lying to a parent can be severe, but Mommy will eventually give you another chance.
When you lie to God, you go to Hell for all eternity.
I was then suddenly deluged with questions. What, exactly, did President Bush promise to God? Do all Presidents promise that? Did President Clinton? Did President Clinton lie to God, too? What about Congressmen and Senators?
Thus ensued a very lengthy discussion in which the girls learned the following:
Every President takes an Oath of Office when he is sworn in:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States."
Note that the President doesn't swear to protect and defend the country. He swears to protect and defend the CONSTITUTION.
Every President of which I'm aware at least as far back as Lincoln has to some extent violated the Constitution --- and in so doing broke a promise made to God. Children of the new millennium don't even understand the reason that Jefferson was so conflicted regarding the Louisiana Purchase: that it seemed like a technical violation of the Constitution.
I told my daughters this, and then explained that while it was a good thing that the land we live on was added to the United States, it was a bad thing because it set an example of lying to God for future Presidents to follow.
In modern, post-Bloody Tuesday America, the President has created governmental bureaucracies such as the American KGB (the correct Russian translation of "Homeland Security Department"). He's used (and threatens to continue to use) military force in absence of a Declaration of War by Congress. He has ordered the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens. He has required individuals to be disarmed.
Since Bloody Tuesday, the President has been engaged in activities that are directly in violation of the Constitution, thereby putting him in violation of his Oath of Office. This makes him guilty of a mortal sin, having lied to God. He swore a sacred oath to God that he knowingly and willfully violates every waking minute. In fact, virtually all of his activities presently involve violating his promise made to God.
If you're a religious individual, how can you come to any other conclusion but that President Bush is headed straight to Hell? My daughters came to this realization within SECONDS of hearing that he broke a promise made to God.
The magnitude of this is difficult for those of us who aren't religious to comprehend. President Bush has violated a a promise made to the Creator of the entire Universe. President Bush is going to Hell. He will suffer torments and damnation in the flames of Hell for all eternity.
The girls were both very surprised, since they had no conception that so many people over so long a period of time would lie to God. They were mystified as to why someone would intentionally do something that would put them in Hell.
As I said, I'm not a religious man. I enjoy the weekly sermons by Father Bruce Lawler, the (Sioux City) Sacred Heart Church parish priest. He generally puts a historical context into the Bible that other priests overlook. For me, his homiles are uniformly informative and interesting even when I disagree with a philosophical tenet.
While I'm not a religious man, I have a number of religious friends, some within the freedom movement. I also know many religious individual who consider themselves conservatives or Constitutionalists. I'd like to ask them a question:
How do you reconcile supporting an individual who intentionally and unrepentantly lies to God?
From a religious perspective, Bill Clinton must also be going to Hell for his unrepentant womanizing and repeated violations of the Sacrament of Marriage. Do you overlook one sin but not the other, simply because the sinner happens to be on "your side"?
If a man will lie to God (and go to Hell for the offense), what stops him from lying to YOU? Can you trust a man who would lie to the Almighty Creator?
My daughters, being the intelligent individuals they are, understand that you CAN'T overlook such sins when electing a President. They understand that any individual who believes in God but lies to Him cannot be trusted to tell the truth to a human being. Or, as my older daughter said upon finding and putting on a George Bush mask last Halloween:
"Hi, I'm George Bush! Vote for me, and I'll lie to you!"
These kids are smart. You can see why I'm worried they'll defeat my measures designed to keep them out of trouble. World-proofing them is certainly going to be an interesting experience.
Then again, I'm a big believer in rewarding intelligence. I suppose if the girls figure out how to defeat my security measures, maybe they deserve to be making out with their boyfriends.
Flight From Eden by Kathryn A. Graham - America's religious right has gone mad, but if you are looking for a political lecture, go elsewhere! Instead, let the Texas Director for Armed Females of America take you on the science fiction adventure of a lifetime. And the journey is only beginning!