Category Archives: Private Property

Going Underground For God: A Liberty-Based Approach To Worship By Ron Strom

Christianity, COVID-19, Free Will Vs. Determinism, Healthcare, Private Property

“I caught COVID at church – praise God!”–Ron Strom

That’s a peculiar sentiment, I suppose – but one that expresses my gratitude for the opportunity I have had to worship with other Christians, maskless (shhh!), over the last few months, mindful of the risk.

Despite specific and quite arbitrary restrictions the governor of my (unnamed) state has demanded of churches, and the First Amendment implications of those rules, my own (unnamed) church decided to prioritize the Word of God over the word of the State. (By the way, do you remember when we didn’t need to hide information when we expressed opinions because our government overlords had far less power to hunt us down and punish us?)

While some churches in town were either shut down for in-person worship or were meeting but with nearly unworkable COVID restrictions, my church took a simple, liberty-based approach to in-person worship: The main room has no social distancing, and face masks are optional; another room, where the service is video-fed, requires masks and social distancing; and online streaming of the service is an option for those who choose to stay at home.

The church leadership, without consulting the latest restrictions from the governor’s office, made a decision that gave the people a choice of how to participate – while still having an in-person worship service every Sunday.

Could my pastor and elders have been fined or even jailed for defying the governor’s edicts for all this time? Sure – as was a pastor in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Pastor Jacob Reaume spent five weeks in jail for refusing to close his church. And this is “free” Canada we’re talking about – not China, Saudi Arabia or Eritrea.

By “obeying God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), Pastor Reaume, my local church leadership and countless other shepherds are faithfully prioritizing God’s Word and its command not to forsake meeting together (Hebrews 10:25).

At my church, the “no-distancing-mask-optional” room, not surprisingly, is more popular than the “social-distancing-masks-required” room. So, are all those maskless worshipers irresponsible or even foolish, as the “experts” might claim? Or, rather, are they doing what everyone does every day when it comes to weighing risks and benefits and making decisions accordingly? The latter approach is what Americans had the liberty to do in many contexts – before COVID.

If you go to the grocery store, for example, you take a risk. You might slip on some spilled guava juice on the floor and crack your tailbone; you might have a store employee accidentally roll over your foot with one of those heavy-duty carts; you might suffer a spider bite from a bold arachnid hiding in the green bean bin; or you might catch a virus from another shopper, even SARS-CoV-2.

I knew the risk of worshiping close to other Christians, but decided to take that risk. I knew the risk of inhaling and exhaling in unison with other Christians as we sang praise to God, but decided to take that risk. I knew the risk of looking a brother in the eye – and, maskless, in the nose and mouth – greeting him and offering a firm handshake and smile, but decided to take that risk.

Despite the risk and despite my having endured COVID-19 after taking that risk, I would do it all over again. For me the gathering of God’s people in weekly worship and fellowship is too valuable an activity to put on the shelf for months on end. And the beauty of liberty is that other people can choose to do otherwise. Others can take different risks to participate in other activities, church-based or not. It’s called living life.

While I mentioned Christians’ struggles in Canada, we’ve also experienced some high-profile battles here in the U.S. Pastor John MacArthur has waged a consistent, admirable and successful war to keep his congregation worshiping in California, and, shockingly, a pregnant mother was cited and removed from a church recently for failing to don a mask … in Dallas, Texas.

So, why do I praise God that I caught the virus at church? Because, unlike so many, I had the opportunity to take the risk to worship corporately with the Body of Christ, and in that activity God has blessed me immeasurably. Unlike the leaders of the church in Dallas, those leading my church decided to gather in a way that respects their people, their responsibilities and, most importantly, their God. And for that I am most grateful.

*****

I caught COVID at church – praise God!” was published here with permission from the author (also my editor, since 2006).

Ron Strom is commentary editor of WND, a post he took in 2006 after serving as a news editor since 2000. Previously, he worked in politics. @RonStromWND

NEW ON YouTube: DAVID VANCE AND I DISCUSS ‘DEEP TECH’!

Business, Criminal Injustice, Free Speech, Ilana Mercer, Paleolibertarianism, Political Economy, Political Philosophy, Private Property, Regulation, Technology

DAVID VANCE and I DISCUSS ‘DEEP TECH’! It’s a wide-ranging discussion, but it’s also “deep,” we hope.

David, who had upwards of 200,000 Followers on Twitter, was removed from that forum by the ignoramuses in charge, and he periodically gets sent to the YouTube doghouse by another set of equally asinine knaves.

My own (highbrow) content has been limited on Facebook’s (lowbrow) slum-dog forums. I’m throttled on Twitter.

Why? What have a demure writer, a mild-mannered broadcaster and many others like us done to give the billionaires in charge the excuse to make it hard for us to make a living? We distill the meaning of it all.

David and his producer, Ged, have created such a welcoming and interesting environment for me—yeah, I like those hard-to-find English niceties known as “manners” and professionalism—that we’ve decided to make the chat a regular thing.

I appreciate your support in sharing the segment and providing feedback here.

UPDATED (1/25): NEW @AMERICAN GREATNESS: A Hardcore Libertarian Take on the Storming of the Capitol Building

Argument, Classical Liberalism, Government, Ilana Mercer, libertarianism, Old Right, Paleolibertarianism, Private Property, Republicans, The State

“Our country is not to be equated with our Capitol”

FEATURED ON AMERICAN GREATNESS:A Hardcore Libertarian Take on the Storming of the Capitol Building:

… Like us or not, the radical, libertarian propertarian—who does not live inside and off the Beltway—will strongly disagree with the contention of the Trump-blaming Breitbarters.

A certain kind of libertarian, the good kind, distinguishes clearly between those who, like BLM, would trash, loot and level private property—the livelihoods and businesses of private citizens—and between those who would storm the plush seats of state power and corruption.

…MORE.

A YouTube complement to the column is available.

In fact, a chuckle was in order in response to one of the comments on the thread. It reflects a perennial sentiment readers have expressed almost weekly, over the past 20 years (and counting).

Not a week has gone by when this kind of missive hasn’t reached my in-box. This gentlemen, like others I know (“Juvenal Early,” author of “The Dissident Right Has An Idiocracy Problem”), is quite annoyed.

Why in G-d’s name don’t I see your videos posted on American Greatness, American Renaissance, VDARE, Lew Rockwell?! They should be!

Reply:

(You forgot Taki’s and Chronicles magazine.) American Greatness obviously publishes me. They are … Grrreat. As does AR. As to the others, ask them. The husband (a pretty smart guy) says, “A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s.” Ha, ha! Beware the scary lady.

(Highest praise, really. In this context, I am reminded of Alexei Sayle, a scrupulously honest British comedian, perceptive about human nature, too. When asked what he does when he watches a really talented satirist performing, Sayle replied: “I go back stage and tell him he’ll never make it.”)

Anyhoo, “A Hardcore Libertarian Take on the Storming of the Capitol Building” is on The American Greatness, which is leading the intellectual charge in the post-Trump era.

UPDATE (1/25):

 

….. “The state’s standard operating procedure is to fleece us without flinching . . . to fatten its members . . . [and] increase their sphere of influence

….. “Taxes . . . the shakedown funds extracted by the syndicate that is the state

….. “the cowardice of the garrison city-state that is Washington, D.C. . . . the political parasites who comprise it are shielding themselves from us
– ILANA MERCER

ILANA, you’re my kind of gal !!

Your descriptions of “the state” apply to our American federal government—-and to many state
governments—-for only, roughly, last 90 years. Prior to that point, our federal government was much more benign. Much more the way our Founders intended it to be.
Our mission is to re-claim that former style.

It seems to me you are more of a 19th. century-style classical liberal,
than a modern-day, drug-crazed “libertarian.”
You might reconsider your own appellation.

This is the most logical article I’ve seen on this site in a long, long time. The true “conservatives” are classical liberals who actually believe in freedom rather than just being the party in power.

My advice to the writer: duck! That rumbling sound you hear is the sound of the establishment orthodoxy coming for those who dare speak The Truth That Shall Not Be Named.

Finally, an article that properly analyzes what happened on Jan 6., including consideration of the fact that the federal government is no longer legitimate.

UPDATED (1/22): NEW COLUMN Offers A Hardcore Libertarian Take On The Storming Of The Capitol Building

Free Speech, Government, libertarianism, Liberty, Paleolibertarianism, Political Philosophy, Private Property, Taxation, The State

NEW COLUMN, “About Those Citadels of Statism (I Mean, Democracy),” examines the attack on the Capitol Building from the perspective of the “rock-ribbed libertarian—as opposed to the lite, establishment libertarian.”

For now, you can read it on WND.COM and the Unz Review.

An excerpt:

… A certain kind of libertarian, the good kind, distinguishes clearly between those who, like BLM, would trash, loot and level private property—the livelihoods and businesses of private citizens—and between those who would storm the plush seats of state power and corruption.

For the State is an entity that, by definition, forsakes the legitimate defense of the lives, liberty and property of its citizens. The State’s standard operating procedure is to fleece us without flinching, all the better to fatten its members and, reflexively, to increase their sphere of influence.

Libertarians who live by the axiom of non-aggression will always prefer the man who proceeds against the State, governed as it is by force, to the man who destroys private property, rooted as that institution is in peaceful, just, voluntary transactions.

There, I’ve said it!

It’s no secret that rock-ribbed libertarians—as opposed to the lite, establishment libertarian—view the State, certainly in its current iteration, as a criminal enterprise. For it operates with force and without the consent of the governed. …

… Truth be told, to the non-statist libertarian, those “citadels of democracy” mean very little that is good.

Our country is not to be equated with our Capitol. …

… READ THE REST.  NEW COLUMN, “About Those Citadels of Statism (I Mean, Democracy), is on WND.COM and the Unz Review.

Readers agree:

Sluggo56

Again Miss Mercer, solid and on target! Well stated! I am becoming a fan of your ability to see reality for what it truly is.

Kerry_C:

“this column is just so good and on the money, that I have nothing to add. This alone, ‘In contrast, the ragtag men and women of the MAGA movement stormed only the seat of power and corruption that is the State,’ is worth the price of admission.”

Uncle Ed

That was like a splash of cold water in my face. Thanks, I needed that.

 

This is perhaps the BEST column I’ve ever read in a long time.

The bolsheviks’ reaction to the riot at the capital It reminds me of a line from the musical “1776”,

“A rebellion is always legal in the first person, such as “our rebellion.” It is only in the third person – “their rebellion” – that it becomes illegal.”

*Image courtesy The Mirror