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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Opus 2016-180: History Lessons on Representative Government

We have the feeling that things are getting worse.  We may be right, but reading good books about history brings the past alive and tells us that all was not smooth.  Most educated people have heard of the Federalist Papers even if they have not read them.  They were symbolic of the debate going on in the newspapers in the day that the states were deciding whether to ratify the new Constitution of 1787.  They are civil and intellectual.

It wasn’t always that way.  What did they do when people refused to play by the rules.  One of the rules of committee work involves a quorum, a minimum number of people to do business.  It was established to keep a small minority from having a quick meeting and passing laws that could never make it in honest debate.  It could also be used if you were losing the debate and did not want a vote to take place.  Here is what happened when Pennsylvania was deciding to ratify or not.
“When its opponents, failing in every other device to delay or defeat it, refused to attend the sessions, thus breaking a quorum, a band of Constitutionalists ‘broke into their lodgings, seized them, dragged them though the streets to the State House and thrust them into the Assembly room with clothes torn and faces white with rage.’ And there the objecting members were forcibly kept until the vote was taken. Thus was the quorum made and the majority of the Legislature enabled to ‘pass’ the ordinance for calling the Pennsylvania State Convention to ratify the National Constitution.  And this action was taken before the Legislature had even received from Congress a copy of that document.”  (Kindle Highlight Location 6780-6785)
Get the picture.  A parliamentary technique was used to keep a vote from happening.  The minority simply stayed away so that there was no quorum, thus no vote.  The majority physically dragged them into the hall, claimed a quorum, and took the vote.  Aggressive, yes.  Not polite, yes.  Effective, yes.

It would be refreshing is our political leaders had the nerve to do something like this today.  Don’t hold your breath.

And notice how similar it is to what did happen with Obamacare.  They voted on the document before they had read it.

Beveridge, Albert J.  The Life of John Marshall, Vol. 1.  Boston:  Houghton
      Mifflin Company, 1916.

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.