Why I’m Giving Up My American Citizenship

This might have been a better post for the Fourth of July, but most readers were probably out watching the fireworks and wouldn’t have seen it. So perhaps it is better to write it and post it today.

Yes, it’s true. Soon I will no longer be an American citizen.  Don’t worry, I won’t be a British citizen either. I’m giving up both citizenships. But then again, so are you. Whichever one you have. The reason is very simple. I’ll be dead and so will you. Heaven doesn’t take passports. Hell doesn’t either for that matter. (And if you are one of my atheist friends who doesn’t believe in either and thinks you will just cease to exist, annihilation brings loss of citizenship, too. But I’m going to continue in a Christian perspective…)

I say soon, because this life is but a moment, whether you live one year or one hundred. Kerry Livgren described us as dust in the wind. Moses, in Psalm 90, says were are like grass that grows up in the morning and in the evening whithers away.

Even in that moment, it will have mattered very little. If there was pride to be had in American citizenship, I think I could have it. I could sound like St Paul in Philippians 3:5 describing his Jewishness. I am of the stock of the United States, of the state of Texas, an American of the Americans; concerning the law a Strict Constructionist; concerning zeal, persecuting the liberals; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, a law-abiding citizen. I can trace my lineage in North America to before the American Revolution several times over.

If God has so chosen, I may be an American for another 46 years, maybe even a bit longer. I’m going to be stateless for eternity. In between is the Judgement Seat of Christ. As far as I know, the relative zeal of my flag waving will not be mentioned. My committment to national sovereignty probably won’t be challenged. There may not even be a query about whether I supported and defended the Constitution. Now I don’t know all the questions that Jesus is going to ask me or you, so you may dismiss this as pure speculation. However, I believe there is a practice exam with the correct answers in Matthew 25.

For as long as I’m an American and living inside the United States, I will participate in civic activities, including voting in elections for those candidates I think will best preserve the good things about the United States for future generations of blown dust and whithering grass. After all, living in the US provides one of the best opportunities for a life of relative ease and safety and modern conveniences. And liberty and justice for all, of course.

Now as I understand it, this life of relative ease and safety and modern convenience is a scare commodity and can’t be spread too thin, or people start to suffer. Well, not suffer, exactly, but their quantum of relative ease and modern convenience could be marginally reduced. Therefore if anyone is going to be allowed come along and enjoy it (along with that liberty and justice for all, of course), they need to prove that they will be net contributors, and we’ve set up rules to make sure that’s the case.

People who arrive with needs will only be a drain on the whole system of relative ease and modern convenience (though not necessarily on liberty and justice for all, but that’s secondary, really). So as it has been explained to me by those with minds greater and sharper than my own, it is my civic duty to keep them out. An example of drain is having to print things in other languages. (I’m guessing this causes massive demands on both the ink and paper industries, with a domino effect on the rest of the economy.) A country needs to have everyone speak and write one language. Otherwise we end up like Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and the UK. Where would we be then? Even if some people get in who have needs, but I’m sure Jesus is going to understand if we insisted that they learn English first.

Real Americans don’t like socialism. Except for Social Security. Even the most conservative Republicans will not touch the socialist/ponzi scheme that is Social Security. It is possible that those who come here to drain the system will end up getting a Social Security number, working forty quarters, paying in, and drawing benefits. Benefits that are for American citizens who worked forty quarters and paid in. There’s no actual legislation pending that would give the drainers a chance to do this, but all good Americans are upset that it could happen, and I’m sure Jesus understands that.

Social Security is one thing, but health care is another. While we tolerate providing minimal health care to the poorest of the poor, people who arrive with needs have been known to receive health care this way. Once again, they are putting a drain on the relative ease of those born here or invited here because they are net contributors.  Jesus understands this.

I hope so, because after I give up my American citizenship, I will have to answer for how I used it. No, there won’t be questions on the flag, sovereignty and the Constitution, but there is an awful lot covered on that practice exam in Matthew 25.

In sermons, my father often quotes a couplet from his childhood for which the source is unknown, but the sentiment entirely biblical:

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last

What’s done for Christ?

Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.

Standing before Christ, it may be possible to plead that while being personally supportive of those in need, volunteering at the soup kitchen, putting change in the poor box at church, and sending a check to the charity of your choice (those people who look after other people for a living so as not to interfere with your relative ease and convenience), as a voting member of the State, your civic duty was to look after the relative ease and modern convenience of your former fellow citizens and keep others away from liberty and justice for all, at the point of a gun or the barbed wire of a fence if necessary.

You go ahead and try that approach. I’ll have enough on my plate that I won’t have a chance to look over, give you that Sarah Palin wink and say, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

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17 Responses to “Why I’m Giving Up My American Citizenship”

  1. Steve Says:

    And there is a sense in which we have already renounced our earthly citizenship and taken up the heavenly — at baptism.

  2. sol Says:

    Steve, that is true. There is also a sense in which we are in the world, even though we are not of it, though this state is temporary and fleeting.

  3. flenser Says:

    >”Real Americans don’t like socialism. Except for Social Security. Even the most conservative Republicans will not touch the socialist/ponzi scheme that is Social Security. It is possible that those who come here to drain the system will end up getting a Social Security number, working forty quarters, paying in, and drawing benefits. Benefits that are for American citizens who worked forty quarters and paid in. There’s no actual legislation pending that would give the drainers a chance to do this, but all good Americans are upset that it could happen, and I’m sure Jesus understands that.”

    I don’t know what you think Jesus has to do with it.

    YOU desire that the American government extract money from its own citizens and use it to help “the poor”, both American and non-American.

    1) That’s not a position which Jesus ever endorsed.

    2) That position is not compatible with either conservatism or libertarianism. It’s a socialist position, and a radically socialist position at that.

    >”as a voting member of the State, your civic duty was to look after the relative ease and modern convenience of your former fellow citizens”

    No, as a voting member of the state your civic duty is to keep your hands out of your fellow citizens pockets, as opposed to expecting them to cough up money at gunpoint to subsidize your peculiar misinterpretation of the Bible.

  4. sol Says:

    flenser, I’m not surprised that you misread the whole thing, didn’t get the sarcasm, and didn’t get the point.

    I do not desire that the American government extract money from it’s citizens to give to anybody. However, with regard to Social Security, even though there are no plans to allow undocumented immigrants to receive Social Security benefits at the end of their working years (despite the claims of various internet and email hoaxes floating around), my point is that if the scheme is going to be in place and workers are going to have to pay into it with FICA, then everyone who pays in should have they same right to receive.

    Jesus has to do with they way we treat other people. He has a lot to say about it, but being the theologian that you are, I’m sure you don’t need me to quote you every relevant passage from the Gospels. I believe that the attitude with regard to wanting some people to pay in and yet not have the same right to receive is in contradiction to the Golden Rule.

    You have never read that I advocated State-funded welfare, only that within whatever system we find ourselves until we can get or restore a better one, everyone gets treated on a level playing field. Let me repeat this: charity in the form of money, goods or services is the proper province of private individuals, private philanthropic organisations, and the Church.

    Therefore as a voting member of the public is not my duty to expect my fellow citizens to cough up money at gunpoint to subsidize anything. The point was that it is incompatible to be personally supportive of taking care of those in need (and you should note that the examples I gave of this had to do with private individuals, private philanthropic organisations, and the Church) and at the same time force away those who desire to enjoy the same freedom and justice with a barbed-wire fence.

    As I have stated elsewhere in the blogosphere, I think open borders are impractical – the biggest reason being the state-funded and distributed welfare system. However, it is desirable to allow as many as possible of those who want to come and work and build the American dream for themselves and their children and grandchildren.

    I don’t care if you want to call it socialist or radically socialist or whatever. To do so would be nonsense, but it’s never stopped you before. It is allowing the free market of goods and services and labor to flourish. It is stripping away the layers of government regulations and bureaucracy. It is saying government does not know best which nationality, ethnicity, language group, color, race, religion, current disposable income, or anything else to let in. It is saying the setting of quotas is wrong whether it is too keep out too many people that look and sound different than the current population (late 19th-early 20th century policy) or keep out too many people that look and sound the same (late 20th-early 21st century policy). Government needs to protect the general welfare (it is appropriate to ask “do you have any communicable diseases or do you want to kill us or overthrow our government?” and check the veracity of the answers).

    I can’t imagine how that is socialist or not libertarian, but should you choose to do so in a civil manner, you are free to elucidate.

  5. flenser Says:

    >”it is desirable to allow as many as possible of those who want to come and work and build the American dream for themselves and their children and grandchildren.”

    And why exactly is that desirable? Desirable to who?

    >”my point is that if the scheme is going to be in place and workers are going to have to pay into it with FICA, then everyone who pays in should have they same right to receive.”

    Illegal immigrants are breaking the law by paying into it. They have no “right” to receive. The penalty for using a false SSN is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Nothing in the Christian faith commands us to reward criminals.

    “It is stripping away the layers of government regulations and bureaucracy.”

    Open borders do not result in the withering away of the state, they result in its growth. The sort of people you are so anxious to have live here do not support minimal government. In their native countries the support socialist or even communist states. And they do the same thing when they come here.

    Arguing for open borders while calling for less government is like trying to put out a fire by spraying it with gasoline. The once conservative state of California now regulates almost every aspect of its peoples existence. It’s also now a minority white state.

    >”The point was that it is incompatible to be personally supportive of taking care of those in need .. and at the same time force away those who desire to enjoy the same freedom and justice with a barbed-wire fence.”

    It’s not incompatible, as the two things have nothing to do with one another.

    And while there is a Biblical injunction to take care of those in need (on an individual level) there is none with respect to “freedom and justice”, either on the state or individual level. You are taking your own pet issues and trying to shoe-horn them into the Christian faith, making up your own version of Liberation theology.

    >”being the theologian that you are, I’m sure you don’t need me to quote you every relevant passage from the Gospels”

    I’d be intrigued to see you quote ANY passage support of your beliefs. Perhaps something like:

    “And now these three remain: freedom, justice and tolerance. But the greatest of these is freedom.”

    • sol Says:

      And why exactly is that desirable? Desirable to who?

      This is only desirable to those who would like to see others live in peace and in justice, free from fear and hunger, and able to enjoy the fruit of honest labor. It is desirable because selfishness is not a particularly outstanding character quality. Selflessness is. It would therefore not be desirable to those who wish restrict the good things in life to as few people as possible because they believe there is a finite pie of wealth and to share access to it with anyone is to reduce one’s own share. It would therefore not be desirable to a Marxist, but desirable to a capitalist, who believes in wealth creation and the benefits to society of it.

      Illegal immigrants are breaking the law by paying into it. They have no “right” to receive. The penalty for using a false SSN is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Nothing in the Christian faith commands us to reward criminals.

      Well, if they are using a false SSN then they would have no documentation of paying FICA. If they are using a fraudulently obtained SSN in their name so that there is documentation of them paying FICA, then they would be receiving from what they have put in, not reaping a reward. This would require that they be forgiven for wrongly obtaining the SSN and paying taxes to support the government that doesn’t want them, and there is a lot in the Christian faith abour forgiveness.

      Open borders do not result in the withering away of the state, they result in its growth. The sort of people you are so anxious to have live here do not support minimal government. In their native countries the support socialist or even communist states. And they do the same thing when they come here.

      Arguing for open borders while calling for less government is like trying to put out a fire by spraying it with gasoline. The once conservative state of California now regulates almost every aspect of its peoples existence. It’s also now a minority white state.

      You have not given an example of open borders resulting in the growth of the state. Just to clarify, I did not say that open borders would result in the withering away of the state. I said that open borders would be possible in and compatible with a true free market libertarian state and that regardless of what you want to call my political philosophy, that is what I believe in.

      It is interesting that you know all of the people I want to live in the United States. That people who are from socialist or even communist countries want to live in the United States does not mean that they support those ideologies or forms of government. If they did, they would stay where they are. We have multitudes of clear examples of people who have left these types of governments. I know Chinese immigrants. I don’t know a single one that supports the US becoming a communist state. There are lots of Cubans who have left the communist regime there. I have not seen a big pro-communist Cuban movement in Florida. I know a number of Vietnamese immigrants who left after the fall of Saigon. No one of them wants a communist or socialist state. I know a number of immigrants from Burma, and none of them supports the US having a socialist military junta, even though that is the sort of state from which they came.

      I don’t know what you are on about with regard to California. It does not have an open border. It also has a 79% white population, though I don’t know what race has to do with it. Massachusetts also regulated almost every aspect of people’s existence and it is even whiter than California. The same goes for New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Oregon and most of the most liberal states. Texas, on the other hand, with a lower percentage white population than California (though virtually identical percentage of Hispanic population and illegal immigrant population) is one of the most conservative states in the country. Lousiana and Mississippi have the lowest percentage of white population in the US, and both are conservative. Likewise Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina have white per capita population lower than California and they are conservative as well.

      >>”The point was that it is incompatible to be personally supportive of taking care of those in need .. and at the same time force away those who desire to enjoy the same freedom and justice with a barbed-wire fence.”<<

      It’s not incompatible, as the two things have nothing to do with one another.

      But they do. They all reflect on whether you do to others as you would have them do to you. They all reflect on whether you love your neighbor as yourself. And in case you want to ask, “But who is my neighbor?” Jesus had a story about that. It seems the despised foreigner was more of a neighbor than two otherwise upstanding, respected citizens. (See Luke 10:25-37 if you are unfamiliar with it.)

      And while there is a Biblical injunction to take care of those in need (on an individual level) there is none with respect to “freedom and justice”, either on the state or individual level. You are taking your own pet issues and trying to shoe-horn them into the Christian faith, making up your own version of Liberation theology.

      I have no version of Liberation Theology. Neither am I shoe-horning anything into my faith. Rather I have realised that I need to consistently apply my faith to this issue as much as any other issue. In the Bible, justice is high on God’s agenda generally. As summarised by the Prophet Micah, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” As described in the Torah, “And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33-36)

      The Bible makes clear that the State is God’s instrument of justice. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.” (Romans 13:1-6) St Paul also says, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (I Tim 2:1-2) Clearly a quiet and peaceable life – the essence of the modern concept of freedom – is a desirable thing and something that we get from good civil governance. The “we” to whom St Paul refers are not Americans.

      I’d be intrigued to see you quote ANY passage support of your beliefs. Perhaps something like:

      “And now these three remain: freedom, justice and tolerance. But the greatest of these is freedom.”

      I’ve quoted a few passages to support my beliefs. I’m not under the illusion that it will make any difference to your views or your disdain for mine. Of course any theological view is (or at least should be) built on more than a few proof texts, but were I to write essay after essay or treatise after treatise or even tomes of systematic theology, you would in no wise be persuaded if you have certain immovable presuppositions. You have on occasion boldly critcised my own theology and my own Christianity without revealing any of your core beliefs, so I don’t know whether you purport to be a Christian or are simple mocking with your facile understanding of my faith and theology.

      The scripture you mock is actually relevant: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” It is relevant because Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-5 when he said, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” Then he quoted Leviticus 19:34, as I did above, “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

  6. flenser Says:

    I’ve quoted a few passages to support my beliefs. I’m not under the illusion that it will make any difference to your views or your disdain for mine.

    I suppose not everybody can be as polite and open-minded as you are.

    I don’t know what you are on about with regard to California. It does not have an open border.

    Then it’s a mystery how all those Hispanic people got there.

    It also has a 79% white population

    California is 42.3% white, 36.6% Hispanic, 12.5% Asian, and 6.7% black.

    I don’t know what race has to do with it.

    Hispanics consistently vote Democratic by margins of up to three to one. Assuming you’re interested in politics and in shrinking the state, as you keep telling me you are, it has everything to do with it.

    Texas, on the other hand, with a lower percentage white population than California ..

    Would it kill you to look up your numbers? That’s not true at all.

    I know Chinese immigrants. I don’t know a single one that supports the US becoming a communist state.

    Anecdotes are not arguments. The data is crystal clear – Asians support the Democratic party.

    You cite Paul about the need to obey the state. Oddly, you do this while arguing that the states laws are wrong and unjust and that those who break the law should not be punished.

    ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

    The implications of this for the political sphere are, shall we say, ambiguous. You interpret it to mean that states which discriminate between their own people and others are in defiance of God. To put it politely, that is not compatible with Christian thinking viewed broadly.

    Clearly a quiet and peaceable life – the essence of the modern concept of freedom – is a desirable thing and something that we get from good civil governance.

    No doubt it is, though I’m not sure we have that here in America. That aside, there is no Biblical injunction for America to provide a quiet and reasonable life to all the people of the world.

    There is Biblical support for the existence of “nations” though. The Jewish nation, of course. And others.

    “you will be hated by all nations on account of my name.”

    “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations”

    “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.”

    Solomon and Hezekiah were both kings of a particular nation. They never loved Sennacherib’s army or the Edomites as themselves.

    But for you, nations are a violation of the instruction to love your neighbor like yourself. Taken seriously, your beliefs spell the death of all nations.

    On a personal note, I’ve read several of your comments and blog posts at this point, and you need to work a little harder on the whole loving your neighbor thing. There’s zero love shining through your writing. People seem to be just things to you.

  7. flenser Says:

    Taken seriously, your beliefs spell the death of all nations.

    Let me clarify that. Taken is you take it, and taken that way by enough people, all the nations will disappear into one mass. Whatever the merits of that particular goal, it’s not one envisaged in scripture as ever happening in this world.

    Most people who take it seriously don’t interpret it as you do.

    • sol Says:

      I suppose not everybody can be as polite and open-minded as you are.

      No, but they can try and maybe, just maybe, one day they will get close.

      Then it’s a mystery how all those Hispanic people got there.

      No, it’s not. The vast majority of them were born there to parents who are also American citizens. I’m worried that it may come as a surprise to you that there have been Hispanic Americans throughout the history of the United States. The number increased substantially with the annexation of Texas and the conquest known as the Mexican Cession. Others immigrated to the US throughout the following decades under the provisions of various immigration acts. A small fraction of Hispanic people in California entered the US without proper documentation, despite the fact that there are both legal and physical barriers between the states of California and Baja California.

      California is 42.3% white, 36.6% Hispanic, 12.5% Asian, and 6.7% black.

      Yes, 42.3% white, 36.6% white, 12.5% Asian, and 6.7% black. Oh, wait, you think Hispanic is some sort of race! Sorry, most people of Hispanic ethnicity are racially white. A few are racial black and a few are racially mixed.

      Hispanics consistently vote Democratic by margins of up to three to one. Assuming you’re interested in politics and in shrinking the state, as you keep telling me you are, it has everything to do with it.

      So it’s not that we need fewer illegal immigrants. It’s that we need fewer Hispanic people so we have fewer Democrats. Yeah, sure, that’s the American way.

      >>Texas, on the other hand, with a lower percentage white population than California ..<<

      Would it kill you to look up your numbers? That’s not true at all.

      I did look up the numbers. Calfornia, as we have seen, is 78.9% (42.3 + 36.6 – check the math) white and Texas is 70.6% white.

      However, since you are hung up on how many consistently Democratic voters there are based on race or ethnicity (as dubious as this may be), California is 37% Hispanic overall. Texas is 35.5%. So yes, California does have more of those Hispanics you so despise. On the other hand, as you note, California is 6.7% black, another group that consistently (at least as consistently as Hispanics) votes Democratic. Texas, on the other hand, is 11.5% black. Again, I’ll leave you to check the math.

      >>I know Chinese immigrants. I don’t know a single one that supports the US becoming a communist state.<<

      Anecdotes are not arguments. The data is crystal clear – Asians support the Democratic party.

      Once again, it is interesting that while I refer to specific countries of origin, you prefer to classify people by race.

      However, since you mentioned it, is appears that Asians living in otherwise predominately liberal or Democratic areas tend to vote Democratic and get elected to office as Democrats, whereas Asians living in otherwise conservative or Republican areas tend to vote and be elected as Republicans. Examples of this would be Gov. Bobby Jindal and Rep. Joseph Cao, both of whom might be surprised by your crystal clear data that they support the Democratic Party.

      It is helpful to understand that you equate support for the Democratic Party with support for the Communist Party. I support neither, but I wouldn’t go so far as to equate them.

      You cite Paul about the need to obey the state. Oddly, you do this while arguing that the states laws are wrong and unjust and that those who break the law should not be punished.

      I don’t find it odd at all. Because we live in a representative democracy with a republican form of government, we are members of the body politic. The state’s laws are not right and just because they are the state’s laws. They should be obeyed unless they conflict with God’s law (cf Acts 5:29), but there is no reason they cannot be changed to reflect that which is right and just.

      I did not say that those who break the law should not be punished. For example, unlawful presence in the United States is not a federal crime, even if Arizona has made it a state crime. In this case, the state has acted outside it’s jurisdiction and thus has no authority in the matter. (That is my legal view and the subject of ongoing litigation.) In this case it would therefore be appropriate to submit to federal authority of the State rather than state authority or the State.

      >>‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’<<

      The implications of this for the political sphere are, shall we say, ambiguous. You interpret it to mean that states which discriminate between their own people and others are in defiance of God. To put it politely, that is not compatible with Christian thinking viewed broadly.

      I disagree with the ambiguity. The term I would use is far-reaching. The command to love your neighbor as yourself is, as I have demonstrated, first found in the Bible in a civil statute. Further to that, it has been the law and policy of the United States to follow that principle in not discriminating between citizens and aliens. Registered, documented aliens are accorded all of the same civil liberties and freedoms as a citizen.

      The only issues are 1) whether those aliens who are residing in the United States without the proper permission and documentation should be accorded the same, or at least be allowed the opportunity to become properly documented, and 2) whether the United States should discriminate among those people who wish to dwell among us based upon ethnicity, national origin, or personal wealth. Clearly, my view is that the command to love my neighbor requires that undocumened aliens should be accorded the same civil rights while also being given the opportunity to regularize their status and that the US should not pick and choose those who may live here.

      >>Clearly a quiet and peaceable life – the essence of the modern concept of freedom – is a desirable thing and something that we get from good civil governance.<<

      No doubt it is, though I’m not sure we have that here in America. That aside, there is no Biblical injunction for America to provide a quiet and reasonable life to all the people of the world.

      Your assurance of good civil governance in America would be boosted by some time living abroad. The empirical evidence of so many more people trying to get in than get out might also support this contention.

      I agree that there is no Biblical injunction for Americans to provide a quiet and reasonable life for all the people of the world. That is why I think our foreign policy is rather screwed up and we have no business being in Iraq or Afghanistan. There is only a Biblical injunction for America to provide such a life to all people who desire to come and live in America.

      There is Biblical support for the existence of “nations” though. The Jewish nation, of course. And others.

      I never suggested there wasn’t. Of course the term “nations” that you quoted from Matthew 24:7,9, and 14 is εθνος (ethnos). Not surprisingly this is the word from which we derive the terms “ethnic” and “ethnicity”. It has nothing to do with the concept of the state. I’m surprised that someone with your breadth of biblical knowledge tried to pull this one over on me.

      Solomon and Hezekiah were both kings of a particular nation. They never loved Sennacherib’s army or the Edomites as themselves.

      Well, they were not kings of the same nation – or more accurately, Solomon was king of all the Jews while Hezekiah was king of a subset of the nation of the Jews which comprised the kingdom of Judah.

      Solomon would not have loved Sennacherib’s army because Sennacherib reigned in the early 7th century BC and Solomon in the early to mid-10th century BC. As for the Edomites, I suppose it depends on which Edomites you mean. He had Edomites as wives. However, if you are referring to Hadad, yes, he did have a military enemy from amongst the Edomites for a short time at the end of his reign.

      As for Hezekiah, he did not love Sennacherib’s invading military force. It does not appear that they were his neighbors as defined by Leviticus, viz., individuals who desired to live among the Jews within the benefits of, though not full members of, the community. I’ve re-read all the relevant chapters of II Kings and II Chronicles, but I can find no reference to Hezekiah having any interaction with the Edomites.

      Solomon, however, did build his temple with a large force of foreign labor. There is no record, however, that he issued green cards or checked papers at the border.

      All of this being said, whether or not we are to follow Jesus’ command is not dependent on whether any particular Biblical figure, king or otherwise, did so. Solomon had 700 wives, but that doesn’t me we should follow that example.

      But for you, nations are a violation of the instruction to love your neighbor like yourself. Taken seriously, your beliefs spell the death of all nations.

      Taken is you take it, and taken that way by enough people, all the nations will disappear into one mass. Whatever the merits of that particular goal, it’s not one envisaged in scripture as ever happening in this world.

      Nations are not a violation of the instruction to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus own illustrative story showed that the true neighbor was someone who was a member of another nation and a hated one at that (whether data shows the Samaritans supported the Democratic Party or not, I’m not sure, but they were hated nonetheless).

      I don’t see how loving your neighbor means no longer having a distinct ethnicity. However, St Paul, describing the here-and-now rather than the sweet by-and-by, does say, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” That does not mean that Jews and Greeks will have the same language or that slaves and freedmen will have the same economic or social status, or that male and females will not have distinctive biological or family roles. However, the way we love them as ourselves transcends these distinctions.

      On a personal note, I’ve read several of your comments and blog posts at this point, and you need to work a little harder on the whole loving your neighbor thing. There’s zero love shining through your writing. People seem to be just things to you.

      Thank you for this admonition. I always need to work harder on everything. I won’t mention the mote v. plank thing.

  8. flenser Says:

    The vast majority of them were born there to parents who are also American citizens. I’m worried that it may come as a surprise to you that there have been Hispanic Americans throughout the history of the United States..

    Again, this is just factually untrue. Thee have indeed been Hispanics in the US from the beginning, but they were always tiny in number until recently. As of 1970 they made up less than 5% of the US population. By 2000, it was 12.5% Today, it’s over 15%. That sort of explosive growth is not due to births among Hispanic US citizens.

    Sorry, most people of Hispanic ethnicity are racially white

    Is there some point to this dishonesty of yours? Do you think anyone will actually believe it?

    Thank you for this admonition. I always need to work harder on everything.

    And yet you never do. You’re as much a Christian as you are a conservative or libertarian.

    On the other hand, as you note, California is 6.7% black, another group that consistently (at least as consistently as Hispanics) votes Democratic. Texas, on the other hand, is 11.5% black. Again, I’ll leave you to check the math.

    Check the math? I’m the one who told you those figures. Texas votes Republican because it is 70% white. California no longer votes Republican because it is now majority non-white.

    Of course the term “nations” that you quoted from Matthew 24:7,9, and 14 is εθνος (ethnos). Not surprisingly this is the word from which we derive the terms “ethnic” and “ethnicity”. It has nothing to do with the concept of the state.

    Who mentioned the state? It has everything to do with concept of “nation”. A multi-ethnic nation is a contradiction in terms. You desire that America become a multi-ethnic nation.

    since you are hung up on how many consistently Democratic voters there are based on race or ethnicity

    You are allegedly “hung up” on it yourself. At least you constantly tell everyone how you’re so radically right-wing (on issues other than this one). If that’s true then you SHOULD care about how many left-wing voters there are in the country. It is … peculiar that you don’t.

    I don’t see how loving your neighbor means no longer having a distinct ethnicity.

    Neither do I. But then, I don’t understand “love your neighbor” to mean “anyone who wants to should be able to move to whatever country they please”, as you claim to. That means no longer having a distinct ethnicity.

    Solomon would not have loved Sennacherib’s army because Sennacherib reigned in the early 7th century BC and Solomon in the early to mid-10th century BC.

    What part of your alleged Christian beliefs says that you may be dishonest as casually and flagrantly as you are? Can you cite me some scripture on that?

    There is only a Biblical injunction for America to provide such a life to all people who desire to come and live in America.

    The Bible gives no such injunction to America, or any other country. The Bible does not concern itself with matters of state immigration policy. You might as well argue that the command to love your neighbor as yourself and to give away ones wealth to the poor means that Jesus endorsed communism and the redistribution of wealth at the state level.

    But then, I suspect you would argue that too.

    • sol Says:

      Again, this is just factually untrue. Thee have indeed been Hispanics in the US from the beginning, but they were always tiny in number until recently. As of 1970 they made up less than 5% of the US population. By 2000, it was 12.5% Today, it’s over 15%. That sort of explosive growth is not due to births among Hispanic US citizens.

      First of all, birthrates among predominately Catholic family-oriented Hispanics are higher than amongst non-Hispanic whites. This must be taken into account. Also, I don’t know when you’ve lived in TX, NM, AZ, or CA, but during my lifetime there have always been a significant number of Hispanics. My hometown, five hours north of the border, is just over 50% Hispanic, the same percentage as when I was growing up. That doesn’t mean the Hispanic populations hasn’t increased due to the birthrate, but it’s been balanced out by the huge increase in Asian population. The amazing thing is that even with all the Hispanics and Asians, the county votes Republican, has a very conservative Republican state representative, a very conservative Republican state senator, and the most libertarian Republican in Congress.

      >>Sorry, most people of Hispanic ethnicity are racially white<<

      Is there some point to this dishonesty of yours? Do you think anyone will actually believe it?

      You mean that even though you’ve been getting your demographic data from Wikipedia, you have never noticed that the census counts Hispanics as either white, black, or mixed race depending of course on whether they are white, black, or mixed race. Hispanic is an ethnic demographic designation. White is a racial designation. You can call me dishonest all day long, but everyone who reads this blog will be familiar with census data.

      But just for clarification, I will quote from the census website:

      Hispanic or Latino origin
      For Census 2000, American Community Survey: People who identify with the terms Hispanic” or “Latino” are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the Census 2000 or ACS questionnaire – “Mexican,” “Puerto Rican,” or “Cuban” – as well as those who indicate that they are “other Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino.” Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race.

      Just to make it clearer, the Census Bureau also has a document entitled “Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin”. To quote from page 1: “The federal government considers race and
      Hispanic origin to be two separate and distinct concepts.”

      Check the math? I’m the one who told you those figures. Texas votes Republican because it is 70% white. California no longer votes Republican because it is now majority non-white.

      Even though both states are, as I have demonstrated, both majority white, both are also minority non-Hispanic white states. (See Wikipedia) By your logic, Texas should not be voting Republican, rather than having Republicans in control of every state-wide office, both houses of the legislature, both US Senate seats, and 20 of 32 seats in the US House.

      But let’s look at Congressional seats as a measure of how the state votes: Democrats held the majority of California seats from 1933 to 1947 and 1959 to 1993. All this is while white non-Hispanics were in the majority. Or if you’d rather look at how California votes by looking at the State Legislature, the State Assembly has been controlled by the Democrats since 1970, except for 1995-96. The State Senate has been controlled by Democrats since 1970. This is long before California had a white non-Hispanic minority. However, if we want to use the governorship as a measure of how the state votes, during this time of Hispanic/Democratic population explosion, Republicans have held the governor’s office since 1983, except for Gray Davis’ one term from 1999 to 2003.

      Thus your theory of how and why California votes Republican is full of holes. But why stop there. During this same influx of Mexicans across the border, which has affected the population of Texas to the same extent as is has California, Texas has gone from a majority of Democrats in Congress and in the State Legislature to a majority of Republicans. Every state-wide office in Texas is held by the Republican Party. All this time Texas has become increasingly Hispanic and non-white.

      Who mentioned the state? It has everything to do with concept of “nation”. A multi-ethnic nation is a contradiction in terms. You desire that America become a multi-ethnic nation.

      America has always been a multi-ethic nation, in the sense that we use the term to mean a sovereign state. You are right that I do not want America to be exclusively white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

      I did not realise until now that you favor some sort of ethnic cleansing of America. You will tolerate a few people who don’t look like you as long as they don’t have any real political power, especially as they are not likely to vote for candidates of the same political party as you.

      >>since you are hung up on how many consistently Democratic voters there are based on race or ethnicity<<

      You are allegedly “hung up” on it yourself. At least you constantly tell everyone how you’re so radically right-wing (on issues other than this one). If that’s true then you SHOULD care about how many left-wing voters there are in the country. It is … peculiar that you don’t.

      I see clearly now. In your mind, to be radically right-wing is to be radically white-wing. Well, you can be 100% assured and tell all your friends and relatives that I have nothing to do with such political views. You can label me with what label you want.

      I see that in addition to a single ethnicity, you also favor a one-party state. You want the Republican Party to be the only party and think we should do something to get rid of all the people that will not vote Republican.

      I’m sure there have been historical examples of this: single ethnicity, one-party, get rid of the troublemakers who don’t agree. Just scratching my head trying to remember…

      >> I don’t see how loving your neighbor means no longer having a distinct ethnicity.<<

      Neither do I.

      Boy, ain’t that the truth! I now realise how important the distinct ethnicity is to you.

      But then, I don’t understand “love your neighbor” to mean “anyone who wants to should be able to move to whatever country they please”, as you claim to.

      Well, of course you wouldn’t.

      That means no longer having a distinct ethnicity.

      I see the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Emergency Quota Act, and the National Origins Act didn’t go far enough for you. Too bad you missed the really nasty isolationism, racism and ethnism by nearly a century.

      What part of your alleged Christian beliefs says that you may be dishonest as casually and flagrantly as you are? Can you cite me some scripture on that?

      It is really pointless to reason with you. The bigger I stack the evidence the louder you shout about how dishonest I am. Your shouting and screaming that I am dishonest doesn’t make me any less of a Christian. However, I leave it in because it demonstrates that you are off your rocker.

      • flenser Says:

        Your debating technique, if that’s not too grand of team of it, consists of pretending to misunderstand what other people say and then responding to your misconception.

        For instance, you inform me that:

        Solomon would not have loved Sennacherib’s army because Sennacherib reigned in the early 7th century BC and Solomon in the early to mid-10th century BC.

        As you are already aware, I’m sure, the reference to Sennacherib was associated with Hezekiah in my initial remark, and not with Solomon. You pretended not to get this in order to pretend to score points. So yes, you are a deeply cynical and dishonest person.

        During this same influx of Mexicans across the border, which has affected the population of Texas to the same extent as is has California, Texas has gone from a majority of Democrats in Congress and in the State Legislature to a majority of Republicans. Every state-wide office in Texas is held by the Republican Party. All this time Texas has become increasingly Hispanic and non-white.

        Texas is a majority white state in which practically all the whites vote Republican.

        even though you’ve been getting your demographic data from Wikipedia, you have never noticed that the census counts Hispanics as either white, black, or mixed race

        Not only have I noticed that, I’ve noticed that the race of Hispanics is not white.

        “The federal government considers race and
        Hispanic origin to be two separate and distinct concepts.”

        So? The Federal government government definitions of things are used for the federal governments own purposes and frequently possess only a passing familiarity to the actual world. I’m surprised that a libertarian like you attributes such magical powers to the government.

        I see that in addition to a single ethnicity, you also favor a one-party state. You want the Republican Party to be the only party and think we should do something to get rid of all the people that will not vote Republican.

        Again, what part of your supposed “Christian” beliefs says that you can simply make shit up if it pleases you? Quote me some scripture on that, Sol.

  9. Me Says:

    Wow, Flenser. Look at you mashing away at that keyboard, everyone must be so proud of you. I’d recommend a bit of a break away from the screen though, to be honest. You’re worrying so much about what somebody on The Internet, completely unknown to you, is saying that you’re spitting your dinner all down your shirt and your mom is going to be way mad about the stains.

  10. flenser Says:

    You’re worrying so much about what somebody on The Internet, completely unknown to you, is saying

    You seem to be rather concerned about what somebody on the Internet, completely unknown to you, is saying. I guess the concept of irony is unknown to you.

    you’re spitting your dinner all down your shirt

    There’s a thoughtful and fact-filled contribution to “the Internet”. Are you actually as moronic in person as your commenting suggests?

  11. Me Says:

    Awww, I don’t worry about you, Flenser. You’ve got enough professionals worried without me joining the party.

    Do you get much sleep? I’m just wondering, cos it must take a lot of your free time staying up, arguing with people on the internet, trying to make them see sense and all.

    • flenser Says:

      I get plenty of sleep, thanks. “Arguing with people on the internet” is what political blogs exist for. If it troubles you so much to see people argue on the internet, perhaps you should not frequent such blogs. That, or seek out those “professionals”.

      As for my free time, I’m not seeing how what I do with it is any of your concern. But then, you do seem to spend a lot of time “worrying so much about what somebody on The Internet, completely unknown to you, is saying”.

  12. sol Says:

    As you are already aware, I’m sure, the reference to Sennacherib was associated with Hezekiah in my initial remark, and not with Solomon. You pretended not to get this in order to pretend to score points. So yes, you are a deeply cynical and dishonest person.

    It must have been your grammar and syntax that threw me. And the bit about the Edomites. Like I said above, the better example is Solomon’s reliance on foreign labor. They weren’t the same ethnicity as Solomon, but I don’t know how they would fit within your definition of race.

    Texas is a majority white state in which practically all the whites vote Republican.

    Uh, no. There are still a lot of white people (even by your definition) who have not yet seen the light and vote Democrat. On the other hand, I know a lot of Hispanics and Blacks and Asians who vote Republican. Your misinformation would surprise Hispanic Supreme Court Justices Eva Guzman and David Medina and black Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and Justice Dale Wainright. All of them minorities and all of them Republican. And of course all of them elected in Statewide elections. But it’s not just Hispanics or blacks. There’s people like State Rep. Angie Chen Button. There are Hispanics on the State Republican Executive Committee and serving as GOP county chairmen.

    Not only have I noticed that, I’ve noticed that the race of Hispanics is not white.

    Being white is real important to you, isn’t it.

    So? The Federal government government definitions of things are used for the federal governments own purposes and frequently possess only a passing familiarity to the actual world. I’m surprised that a libertarian like you attributes such magical powers to the government.

    It’s not magic to classify people according to race or ethnicity. I suppose you would think the federal government classifies Hispanics as white as part of the great liberal conspiracy to allow them to take over the United States.

    >>I see that in addition to a single ethnicity, you also favor a one-party state. You want the Republican Party to be the only party and think we should do something to get rid of all the people that will not vote Republican. <<

    Quote me some scripture on that, Sol.

    I’ll go with some Cicero: Res ipsa loquitur.


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