Category Archives: Paul

A life cut short by Police

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My day got off to a bad start when I fetched today’s Dominion Post from the end of my mum’s driveway and read the headline. (See above. You can click the image to read the whole thing.) Three blatant lies in large print is excessive even for the Dominion Post.

A life cut short by P

FALSE. A life cut short by an unconfirmed number of police bullets.

Shot gunman had private education and good business – but lost it all to addiction

FALSE. He wasn’t a gunman. According to his girlfriend, who was present, he was unarmed. And, while he may (or may not) have lost the family business to an illegal drug habit, he lost his life to the War on Drugs.

Shooting unavoidable, say police

FALSE. There was no need for the police to break into a private residence unannounced and shoot a man dead just as he was about to sit down to have dinner with his girlfriend.

But Marshall’s girlfriend, who was there at the time of the shooting, insisted he wasn’t armed.

Kendall Eadie lived with him at the mechanic workshop.

She said the pair had just been about to have dinner when police stormed into the residence and immediately fired three shots at Marshall.

“The police executed a warrant on my place and murdered my boyfriend,” she said.

Three vicious falsehoods, and then my day got worse. While my mum read the paper, I went online to read the article. I searched for the headline, “A life cut short by P” to find it. But this is all that Google returned.

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Two links to a review of a biography of Edgar Allan Poe. When I did find the online version on Fairfax Media’s stuff website, the main headline now read

Hamilton police shooting victim Nick Marshall sank into addiction

and I became agitated. So much so that my long-suffering mother, who is well accustomed to her visiting son’s political rants, had to tell me to calm down. This before I’d had my morning meth or even a cup of coffee. 🙁

Why was I agitated? Because I realised immediately that readers of the print version, who (on average) are an older demographic who vote more, would not read the more truthful headline presented to readers of the online version, who (on average) are a younger demographic who vote less. The demonisation of methamphetamine continues apace deviously as the police ramp up their ongoing persecution of drug addicts (essentially all of whom are addicts due to unresolved psychological trauma—yes, drug addiction is a mental illness) this time by way of an extrajudicial killing. FTP and the MSM they rode in on!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, loud and clear. LEGALISE P. Or, at the very least, medicalise it. Make methamphetamine available on prescription. This is not in any way, shape or form a radical or irresponsible proposal. It’s simple common sense and compassion. It’s a no-brainer, and if it seems otherwise to you it’s because, sadly, you’ve been brainwashed. Actually, let’s be frank. If you think methamphetamine is inherently dangerous (Jim Anderton once called it “pure evil”) then you’ve been duped. Methamphetamine is safe enough to prescribe to children.

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Desoxyn is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine. It is used for the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Desoxyn may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.

Please realise that methamphetamine is only a methyl group (“meth”) different from amphetamine. Chemically speaking, methamphetamine and amphetamine are closely related, and in terms of subjective effects, even veteran speed freaks find it difficult to tell the two apart. Please know that amphetamine and its chemical cousin methylphenidate are routinely prescribed in New Zealand for the treatment of children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Meta-analyses and systematic reviews of magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest that long-term treatment with ADHD stimulants (specifically, amphetamine and methylphenidate) decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects with ADHD. Moreover, reviews of clinical stimulant research have established the safety and effectiveness of the long-term use of ADHD stimulants for individuals with ADHD.

Pretty much all the (wildly overstated) harm associated with methamphetamine use is due to improper dosage (yes, you can have too much of a good thing), improper route of administration (don’t snort it or smoke it), and (mainly) its illegality. What are the odds that the late Nick Marshall had undiagnosed ADHD and his methamphetamine use was as much self-medication as addiction? Suppose that he’d been able to see his doctor and get a prescription for P. Fully funded by Pharmac, he’d burn through $10 a month instead of frittering away the multi-million dollar family fortune in a few short years. (If, indeed, that’s what he did. I shouldn’t be making such an assumption. People with ADHD make notoriously bad business managers.) With the help of his doctor, he could reduce his methamphetamine use and wean himself onto the perhaps more forgiving amphetamine or the even more innocuous drug methylphenidate. And today Nick Marshall would still be alive and successfully managing Marshall Transmissions.

In conclusion, the War on Drugs is the Holocaust of our times, the editors at the Dominion Post are propagandist scumbags, and the blue-uniformed thugs are murderous Sturmabteilung.

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

The Bible. What is it good for?

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As is his wont, my King James Bible believing Dispensationalist libertarian Christian co-blogger Tim tagged me in his post (of the above image) on Facebook. 🙂

Be sure to get your doctrine from the Bible, not the traditions of man! (Colossians 2:8)

I really do appreciate the pro-tip. It’s just that there’s a whole lotta problems with this instruction. At least one of which renders Tim’s advice utterly useless!

One problem is that the cited verse, Colossians 2:8, does not even mention the Bible.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (KJV)

See! What this verse is really saying is be sure to get your doctrine from Christ, not the traditions of man! I agree! But let’s be clear. There’s no mention at all of the Bible in this verse. And I’ve made it quite clear in previous blog posts what my view is. It is that Jesus is inerrant, but the Bible isn’t. The Word of God is inerrant. His scribes, not so much. Yes, that’s right. I basically equate the Bible with “the traditions of man”. I don’t equate the Bible with Christ. The Bible as we know it hasn’t even been around a couple of thousand years yet. Whereas

In [the] beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (DARBY)

Believe it or not, another problem is that the KJV mistranslates this particular verse. And don’t believe it or do, so does the NIV. But of course! 😉

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ. (NIV)

Which is why I always have recourse to Young’s Literal Translation for times like this when it matters exactly what the Bible says.

See that no one shall be carrying you away as spoil through the philosophy and vain deceit, according to the deliverance of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ (YLT)

It’s clear that “spoiled” is a KJV mistranslation of “spoil”. Yet at least the NIV has the good grace to provide a footnote (see above) to the effect that it has construed “the basic principles” (rudiments) as “the elemental spiritual forces” of this world.

But here’s the fatal flaw with Tim’s advice—be sure to get your doctrine from the Bible, not the traditions of man!—which renders it useless. Which Bible?

Tim’s telling me to be sure to get my doctrine from the Bible, but which one? As we all know, Christians (e.g., Protestants vs. Catholics and Orthodox Christians) can’t even agree on which books belong in the Bible, let alone which translations of the canonical books are themselves canonical.

Which Bible? Tim will, of course, answer the Authorized King James Version of 1611. Which is a fair answer to a fair question. But if I accept this answer, one thing’s for sure. I’m now getting my doctrine from the traditions of man, and from the traditions of one man in particular, viz., my co-blogger Tim Wikiriwhi! And not necessarily from either the true Bible (if, indeed, there even is such a thing) or Christ.

It comes down to this. When all is said and done, we must decide—each of us individually must decide—in what and/or in whom to trust.

I trust in Jesus, the Son of God, whom I know from the first-hand accounts of his ministry by the original gospel authors, from his work in the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ, from his work in my own life, and from personal encounter.

I trust in the deliverances of my own God-given moral compass when (not often, just occasionally) they conflict with what’s in the Bible.

So the Bible. What’s it good for?

Why, it’s profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, of course! 🙂

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The Word of God is inerrant. His scribes, not so much.


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Jesus is inerrant, but the Bible isn’t.

Anyone who’s spent any time in serious study of the Bible (or even someone who’s only delved into it intermittently) will have discovered, for themselves, apparent contradictions, of which there are very, very many.

Just for example, Ezekiel 33:11 (and Ezekiel 18:32) and Psalm 37:13 seem rather at odds.

Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’ (NIV)

but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (NIV)

How should a Christian respond to such apparent contradictions? It’s not easy maintaining contradictions. Maintaining a contradiction is surely the very essence of cognitive dissonance, and cognitive dissonance is something we all naturally seek to minimise.

Of particular concern are the apparent contradictions in Bible verses about salvation. Is justification through good works or by faith alone? Enquiring minds want to know.

The inerrantist response is to hold that the Bible is inerrant. On the premiss (due to Douglas Stauffer) that

God will preserve His word, and not allow it to pass away.

And then try to explain away the apparent contradictions. All of them. One attempt to do this (with particular emphasis on what the Bible says about salvation) is the doctrine of Dispensationalism due to John Nelson Darby.

Now, I can see that the above premiss has merit and that Dispensationalism is, in some sense, a reasonable response to the apparent contradictions in the Bible.

But doesn’t God operate according to the KISS principle?

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV)

Dispensationalism is complicated. Doesn’t God’s fundamental message have to be intelligible to little children and simpletons? Because Dispensationalism isn’t.

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The errantist response is to hold that the Bible is not inerrant. To concede that it’s full of contradictions, some of which cannot be adequately explained away. But that, nonetheless

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (KJV)

and that Jesus’s fundamental message remains intact, which it does.

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)

My reason for writing this post is my concern that those who hold that the Bible is inerrant are fooling themselves. In a bad way. Notwithstanding that Douglas Stauffer (already quoted above) tells us that

Satan has reveled in creating doubt concerning the authority of the words of God.

the simple fact is that there is doubt concerning the authority of scripture as it has been handed down to us. Not to acknowledge and to express doubt such as this is to deceive oneself and maybe others too. It’s my considered opinion that those who persist in maintaining that the Bible is inerrant are involved in more convolutions and contortions than David Bain trying to explain his movements on the morning of 20 June 1994, more turns than a sluggard on his bed, more preposterous suspensions of disbelief than an atheist proclaiming that this blog post is an anticipated result of the Big Bang. They’re playing the exegetical version of Twister—the game that ties you up in knots.

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Salt is a four-letter word

[WARNING: This blog post contains lots of very strong language and is practically guaranteed to give offence to weak-minded prudes. Please proceed at your own risk.]

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The use–mention distinction is a foundational concept of (Western analytic) philosophy. To fail to recognise the distinction is, at best, to invite disaster.

The following true statements illustrate the distinction.

(1) Salt is an ionic compound, viz., sodium chloride (NaCl).
(2) ‘Salt’ is a four-letter word.

The first sentence is a statement about the substance called “salt”—it uses the word ‘salt’ to refer to that substance. The second is a statement about the word ‘salt’—it mentions the word without using it to refer to anything other than itself.

‘Salt’ is a four-letter word. Salt is not a four-letter word. And neither salt nor ‘salt’ is a four-letter word in the usual idiomatic (and only incidentally numeric) sense of the term. It’s perfectly polite and indeed good table manners to ask someone please to the pass the salt!

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In this post I want to say a few words about four-letter words (e.g., ‘fuck‘ and ‘shit‘) and their cognates (e.g. ‘fucking shit‘) and briefly discuss whether (and in what contexts) Christians ought or ought not to be using such vulgarities and profanities.

And it struck me that the perfect way to make the main point I want to make is to recycle the metaphor that Jesus uses in Matthew 5:13 right after the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says to his followers

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (NIV)

George Carlin aptly refers to the words I’m talking about as “just words which we’ve decided not to use all the time.” And “that’s about the only thing you can say about them for sure.” Carlin’s bang on the money! Because, if we used the words all the time, they’d lose their “saltiness”! They’d no longer be effective cuss words and they’d no longer be good for anything more than just plain old communication. Which would be a dingleberry of a disappointment.

(Or would it? If we no longer had an inventory of “reserved” words with which to insult others effectively, we’d have to relearn the art of the insult. And our prose would begin to be colourful like Bill Shakespeare‘s or Martin Luther‘s prose is colourful. And actually that would be fucking awesome!)

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Is probably the one blog post of mine I regularly link to. It explains how (according to me, but I’m not wrong) words acquire their meanings. The meaning of a word (any word) is determined by the conventions that govern its use. And those conventions can and do vary between different communities of language users. Amongst the kind of people I usually hang out with, the words ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ are used fairly indiscriminately. They’ve pretty much lost their saltiness in those contexts. (But I use those words extremely judiciously, if at all, if I’m having dinner with, say, my mum or any of her older friends.) Whereas both I and my peers still tend to hold back on using the terms ‘cunt’ and ‘motherfucker’. Those two words remain mostly reserved for when we need convenient terms to refer to truly despicable people, such as Peter Dunne.

But here’s the interesting thing. In the circles in which I usually move, the words ‘cunt’ and ‘motherfucker’ can cease to be insults at all simply by prefixing them with the words ‘good’ and ‘formidable’ respectively. To call someone a good cunt is to pay them a genuine compliment. And it is a mark of utmost respect to call someone a formidable motherfucker. Mohammed Ali was a formidable motherfucker. Vladimir Putin is a formidable motherfucker. Good or evil, you don’t want to cross such people! Not unless it’s from a safe distance, anyway. (I.e., well outside of Russia in the latter case.)

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. (ESV)

Here’s a picture taken Wednesday evening of me (on the right) and a couple of good cunts. 🙂 🙂

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Now to the question, ought Christians to be using the sort of language I’ve been using here? The answer is simple common sense, really. It depends on the context and the occasion and the company. None of the cuss words above is at all appropriate during a church service, for example. (But you may say “piss” if you’re reading from the KJV.) Such terms should be used sparingly, if at all, in polite company. Because they’re impolite. But in impolite company (such as on my Facebook page) they’re not impolite. Here’s what the Apostle Paul says

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (NIV)

It’s contextual, you see. Don’t go calling someone a good cunt if it’s “out of place” to do so. But do go calling them that if it’s “helpful for building them up according to their needs.”

I’ll finish by noting that there’s a big tension between being a good cunt and being a formidable motherfucker. If you succeed at being both simultaneously then you’re practically a saint.

We are at war with the ruling class

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For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV)

We are at war with the ruling class.

We want freedom and prosperity. They want power.

We have empathy. They have psychopathy.

In evolutionary game theoretic terms, it’s a Hawk-Dove game. And Western statist democracy is an evolutionarily stable strategy.

There is only one way to progress to a freer, more prosperous society. And that is to upset the Nash equilibrium. Who’s with me?

A couple of quick questions for conservative Christians

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And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. (KJV)

It is both a political right and an epistemic duty to change one’s mind. Well, I’ve been thinking. And I’ve changed my mind. I no longer think that Romans 13 is libertarianism’s last bastion against the unrule of the godless. Nor do I any longer think that anarchy is the unrule of the godless. That’s not anarchy, that’s totalitarian chaos. Anarchy is libertopian order and the only moral system of government.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (KJV)

Here’s the first question for conservative Christians. Do you think that the Founding Fathers of the United States received to themselves damnation?

And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him. (KJV)

Note that to render means to give back.

Here’s the second question for conservative Christians. What belongings of Caesar’s did those whom Jesus addressed have in their possession that they could return?

I hereby declare that I am a governing authority. Send me your money.

Who rolled away the stone?

I missed the deadline for an Easter Sunday blog post, partly because, unlike Jesus, I’m not an early riser, and partly because I got a bit carried away studying scripture. I might have to lay off the Bible study for a while, because I’m starting to see things that aren’t really there. Or are they? Incipient psychosis or hidden meanings in scripture?

Notwithstanding the foolishness of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, would it really come as a surprise to learn that the Bible is an integrated message system, the product of supernatural engineering?

So I was listening to my favourite metal band, Slayer. In particular I was listening to my favourite track on their Christ Illusion album, Skeleton Christ. And reading the lyrics. And I got to wondering, is Slayer, in fact, a crypto-Christian band and their lyrics also the product of supernatural engineering?

Psychosis. That’s what you’re thinking. But bear with me. The idea is not as crazy as it might at first seem. A strong case can be made that the band who gave birth to the entire heavy metal genre, Black Sabbath, was the first Christian rock band. If Black Sabbath is a crypto-Christian band, then why not too the undisputed (by me) masters of the genre, Slayer?

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Here’s a verse from the Second Epistle of John.

many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. (NIV)

And here’s an excerpt from the lyrics to Skeleton Christ.

You’ll never touch God’s hand
You’ll never taste God’s breath
Because you’ll never see the Second Coming
It’s all a fuckin’ mockery
No grasp upon reality
It’s mind control for compulsory religion
And the Skeleton Christ

What if this song is not the attack on Christianity it superficially appears to be, but an attack on corrupt organised religion (“mind control for compulsory religion”) and the false gospel of the antichrist and those he’s deceived into worshipping a false Skeleton Christ? A skeleton, you see, is not “coming in the flesh”, it’s all dead bones, such as you might find in a whited sepulchre. It’s worth a thought, don’t you think? Feel free to take it cum grano salis.

Speaking of sepulchres, back to the main story.

I got to pondering the symbolism of stone in the Bible, and found this verse.

Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ (NIV)

You see where I’m going with this? Jesus is the stone. It’s no wonder the women couldn’t find Jesus in the tomb. He’d been rolled away! But by whom?

As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. (NIV)

Please understand that I do not deny that it was “an angel of the Lord came down from heaven” who rolled away the stone. That is the plain meaning of this passage from the Gospel of Matthew.

But please do consider the possible hidden meaning in the possible alternative scenario I’m sketching.

Who would roll Jesus out of the way, so that his own disciples couldn’t find him, finding instead a decaying soon-to-be-Skeleton Christ? One of the Devil’s angels, for sure, if not the Devil himself.

Here are a couple of clues.

[Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (NIV)

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (NIV)

The angel’s appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow … like an angel of light or, indeed, Jesus himself transfigured. And, in a final coup de disgrâce, the angel then sits on the stone, making the Devil’s most feared enemy a buttstool for his sulfurous butt.

It’s a complete inversion of Bible truth. Which is, of course, the Devil’s calling card.

Beware of false prophets and false messiahs. And the Skeleton Christ.

Give me Communism, or give me Death!

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Article twelve of the 1936 Soviet Constitution states

In the USSR work is a duty and a matter of honor for every able-bodied citizen, in accordance with the principle: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat.”

It disturbs me that according to Lenin, “He who does not work shall not eat” is a necessary principle under socialism (the preliminary phase of the evolution towards communist society, according to Marx).

It disturbs me because under New Zealand socialism the exact opposite is true, “He who does not work shall eat”. Will the real socialism please stand up?

It disturbs me more that this aphorism is taken directly from Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians.

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (KJV)

But there it is in Article 12 of Chapter 1 of the 1936 Soviet Constitution. 🙁

What does the Bible say about communism?

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you[a] sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. (ESV)

Now I’m not suggesting that this passage from the Acts of the Apostles endorses communism as we know it. But it certainly describes communism of a sort. There’s no escaping the fact that the first Christians were commies!

I’m also not suggesting that comrades Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead for being insufficiently communistic. They died because they lied.

What I am suggesting is that this passage confirms the theory of property rights according to which property rights are conventional.

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. (ESV)

Luke says that “no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own” so it might almost seem that the Apostles were maintaining a contradiction. Of course, any of the things that belong to you are yours! But I think that two conventions are being alluded to in this passage. The prevailing convention in society at large, that of private property, and the convention in force amongst the Apostles, that of communal property.

So the question arises, were Ananias and Sapphira thieves or misers? Did the proceeds of the sale immediately fall to the collective, such that in keeping back some of the proceeds of the sale Ananias and Sapphira were guilty of theft of communal property? Or did they proceeds of the sale fall to Ananias in the interim, and in keeping back some of the proceeds he (and his wife, who was party) were guilty instead of being mean and selfish and breaking an accord?

Am I evil? Yes I am.

I’ve been honoured once again to have received Liberty Scott’s endorsement of my candidacy in his 2014 New Zealand voting guide for lovers of liberty.

Statue of Liberty

 
 
Mana – Safe Labour – Richard Goode Kris Faafoi or Hekia Parata? To hell with them both, vote for libertarian Richard Goode standing under the ALCP banner. He believes in more than just legalising weed, he believes in a smaller state and so your vote will be principled.

It’s true. I do believe in a smaller state and I am principled. Well, mostly.

I had intended to post my own series of Eternal Vigilance electorate candidate endorsements. In the end, I posted only two, one for Grant Keinzley and one for Alistair Gregory. Why only two?

I ran out of time, as I so often do. More exactly, I ran out of time to do a proper job. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, you see. And that brings me to the other reason I posted only two endorsements in the end. The paucity of perfect candidates, indeed the paucity of anywhere-near-perfect candidates. As far as candidates worthy of a Christian libertarian’s endorsement go, Alistair Gregory is about as good as it gets. But I have since had serious qualms about my other candidate endorsement and I resile from it.

Here at Eternal Vigilance we champion principle over pragmatism. Two of us (me and Tim) are former Libertarianz activists, candidates and spokesmen. Libertarianz was New Zealand’s only Party of Principle, and Tim and I actively carry on its proud tradition of promoting more freedom and less government. As do some other former Libz members, two of whom are running as candidates for the pseudo-libertarian ACT Party this election. (Although at least one former Libz activist is beyond giving a shit.)

To its great credit, and the credit of all in the party at the time, Libertarianz never compromised. Even to the point of promoting the practically unworkable Tracinski’s ratchet. The Libz recognised that the greater good is never a moral defence of government action, and voting for the lesser evil is always morally indefensible. (Are you ratcheting evil?)

Sensing the Libertarianz Party’s impending demise, I jumped waka and joined the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Legalising cannabis is a libertarian policy, and it was the policy of the Libertarianz Party for which I was the Spokesman on Drugs, so there was no cognitive dissonance for me and no ill-feeling from any of my fellow libertarians who all wished me well with my open infiltration of the ALCP. (Check out the ALCP’s ten principles and tell me if you see a libertarian influence.)

But the devil is in the details. While I steadfastly stand by my party’s policy of regulating cannabis Colorado-style, I recognise regulation for what it is.

Regulations are actually prohibitive – if government defines the one way they will allow something they are really prohibiting all other ways.

Thus I fail any libertarian purity test.

1. Is there a positive candidate to endorse?

But so does Liberty Scott. As a libertarian, does he really have any business asking questions 2 and 3?

2. Is there a likely winner worthy of tactically voting to eject because he or she is so odious??
3. Is there a tolerable “least worst” candidate?

It’s no secret that I consider Peter Dunne to be New Zealand’s most evil Member of Parliament. Evil in an utterly banal way, like Adolf Eichmann. Dunne now faces the very real risk that he will lose his Ohariu electorate seat to Labour Party challenger Virginia Andersen. So I hope and pray that Virginia Andersen is Ohariu’s new MP when the votes are counted tomorrow night!

I admit I was even tempted to get out on the streets and help Andersen with her electorate campaign. But I didn’t, and in the end I couldn’t even bring myself to endorse her candidacy explicitly when I spoke at a recent Meet the Candidates evening in the Ohariu electorate. Compared to Dunne, Andersen is the lesser evil. But what about the even lesser evil on the Ohariu voter’s ballot paper, fellow libertarian Sean Fitzpatrick? He’s explicitly stated he’s seeking only the party vote for the pseudo-libertarian ACT Party. Perhaps he, too, secretly hopes that Ohariu voters will give their electorate vote to Andersen? But aside from that, Fitzpatrick’s party has no cannabis policy. That’s why I call it pseudo-libertarian. Drug legalisation is the litmus test for being a libertarian. The ACT Party fails on that count. What’s more, post-election the ACT Party may enter into a coalition agreement (to provide confidence and supply) with the National Party. How evil is that?

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? (ESV)

Jamie Whyte & co. are believers in individual freedom and personal responsibility at least.

They’re lesser evils. But what about my own candidacy? Am I evil? Yes I am!

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (ESV)

but some fall shorter than others. I’ve come to the reluctant conclusion that I’m a lesser evil just like all the candidates in the list below. I’m standing to give Mana voters the choice to vote for a lesser evil. Am I evil? I’m your man!

Without further ado, here are my candidate endorsements. I’ll spare you the details.

Christchurch East Robert Wilkinson (ALCP)
Dunedin North Abe Gray (ALCP)
Dunedin South Julian Crawford (ALCP)
Epsom Adam Holland (Independent)
Kelston Jeff Lye (ALCP)
Mana Richard Goode (ALCP)
New Plymouth Jamie Dombroski (ALCP)
Ohariu Virginia Andersen (Labour)
Palmerston North Iain Lees-Galloway (Labour)
Te Atatu Adrian McDermott (ALCP)
Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis (Labour)
Te Tai Tonga Emma-Jane Mihaere Kingi (ALCP)
Tukituki Romana Marnz Manning (ALCP)
Upper Harbour Stephen Berry (ACT)
Wellington Central Alistair Gregory (ALCP)

Politics is a dirty, worldly business and we know who is god of this world. Should Christians, who are in this world but not supposed to be of it, even get involved in politics?

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.

Sensus divinitatis

newscientistgodissue

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (NIV)

A while ago I borrowed a friend’s copy of the New Scientist’s special edition, the God Issue. (Note to self: Return it!) Contrary to the tiresome claim of online atheist trolls, that everyone’s born an atheist, it turns out that

The vast majority of humans are “born believers”, naturally inclined to find religious claims and explanations attractive and easily acquired, and to attain fluency in using them.

Justin L. Barrett, the author of the article, then goes on to say

This attraction to religion is an evolutionary by-product of our ordinary cognitive equipment, and while it tells us nothing about the truth or otherwise of religious claims it does help us see religion in an interesting new light.

Of course, Barrett would say that. And, of course, that’s not the only explanation of human beings’ natural tendency to theism. Reformation theologian John Calvin wrote that

God himself, to prevent any man from pretending ignorance, has endued all men with some idea of his Godhead, the memory of which he constantly renews and occasionally enlarges

Calvin explains, Barrett explains away. The distinction between explaining and explaining away is an important one. I think the consistent atheist/Naturalist incurs an unfeasibly costly explanatory overhead.

But that discussion’s for another day. Really, this somewhat shallow blog post of my own is just a protracted excuse to post some awesome Christian deathcore from awesome Christian deathcore band I Built The Cross.

For somewhat greater depth on the current topic, I recommend Glenn Peoples’s awesome blog post Born Atheists? Science and Natural belief in God.

See also Psalm 19:1 (for something a little more soothing).