Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Opus 2011-329, Plow and Crown: Liberty and Property

(Leviticus 25:10 KJV)  And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

Even in the days of Moses liberty was equated with property.  This was a deliberate step away from the Crown philosophy of Egypt.  My understanding is that in Ancient Egypt all land belonged to the Pharaoh or to the temples.  Private property was not part of the equation.  That is a pattern that we see down through history.  When people began immigrating to the New World they were coming from monarchies that kept strict control of land.  Primogeniture was the policy.  That meant that great estates were not to be broken down but were to be passed on to the heir intact.  We saw the nobility closing off the commons of villages and taking away what little land was available.  Land was liberty.

In Feudal Europe the land belonged to the king.  In granting a fief he was loaning the land to the Lord as long as he agreed to serve the king.  It is much more complicated than this and the battle between Plow and Crown was slowly breaking it down but one of the freedoms that pulled people to America was the freedom to own land.

In the writings of the Founders you find frequent reference to property.  Even in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence the original three rights were “Life, Liberty and Property.”  This is why we have the protections against search and seizure in the 4th Amendment to the Constitution,
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”
And we have the concept of “just compensation” in the 5th Amendment.

Real Estate is the foundation of political power.  In the Roman Republic you could only be elected to a political office if you had enough wealth to qualify.  Only the very rich could hold positions of power.  In the England our Founding Fathers knew, you needed to have a certain amount of wealth in order to vote.  Often that was stated in terms of owning property.  When they were writing our Constitution some wanted to insert that as a requirement to hold political office but they were voted down.

In modern times we are seeing the Crown gnawing away at the sanctity of property.  It starts with simple things like zoning laws.  Who could be against that?  At least that is usually done by local elected officials who can be dealt with.  But it has gotten much more serious in my life time.  We see the War on Drugs making it possible for law enforcement to confiscate property without due process.  In a recent Supreme Court case, Kelo v. City of New London, we see the right of imminent domain being extended to local governments who simply want to pass the land to their political supporters.  You have the laws about endangered species and wetlands making it impossible for people to build homes on land that belongs to them.  We see massive land grabs by the federal government as they declare new National Parks and National Monuments.  Just this week I was reading about the federal government trying to extend a ban on new mining around the Grand Canyon.  We see land being designated as U.N. Biozones.  The inroads into liberty are on the march. 

The Crown is on the move.  Will the Plow respond while it still has a chance?

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.