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Book Review: "The Theme is Freedom"

I'm currently reading two books. The newest of which is Justice Clarence Thomas' work entitled "My Grandfather's Son". I've just started and I'm pleased.

Today's review however is on the book entitled "The Theme is Freedom" and is available new for around $13 but is available online at Amazon.com for as low as $3 for a used copy.

"The Theme is Freedom" http://www.amazon.com/Theme-Freedom-Religion-Politics-Tradition/dp/0895267187

This book takes a look at the history of Christian thought as it relates to politics and government. More specifically the author, M. Stanton Evans, dissects the commonly held liberal view of freedom and its origins. Evans argues that it is faith (specifically the Christian variety) that secures freedom, not the government. As individual faith grows in a people, freedom is the byproduct.

The Christian faith demands love and respect for one another and embraces the idea that each individual is inherently valuable. When we compare the Christian faith with socialism of Marx and Stalin we see that it is faith that breeds freedom while socialism (or strong unchecked state control) always leads to bondage on people. Evans argues that the liberal lesson of freedom [basically began during the ancient times and was abolished during the Medieval time period only to rise again with the birth of our nation] is a farce. He argues that this false history lesson is propagated through government entities that control our health, education and evermore touches nearly all aspects of our lives.

"The Theme is Freedom" is a good book for someone who wants to see a well articulated and documented take on Christianity and its impact on history not only in America but in all countries around the world.

Thus far this book has caused me to meditate on two levels.

1. My faith:
I've been challenged to consider the aspects of my faith that require I look to offer Freedom in all its forms to the greatest amount of people on the planet. They are my neighbors and they deserve to enjoy life as I have been blessed to. Freedom from addiction, slavery, fear, poverty, etc. What am I doing to spread the joy of freedom to people as close as my neighbor to as far away as war-torn South Africa?

2. Federalism:
Politically speaking our government has lost its bearings when it comes to Federalism. Federalism is a word that doesn't aptly describe its own definition. Actually federalism is the system of varied level of government. Basically the goal of federalism is to give the people as much freedom as humanly possible while maintaining order and defense of our nation. The theory is that the individual knows what's best for himself and his/her family. The goal is to have limited government at every level. What can be done by the individual, what can be done by the community, what laws must be handled at the state level and what laws MUST be handled only at the federal level? These are questions that used to matter.

We used to solve problems in our country by pushing the law making ability down closest to the individual as possible. For instance if one county wants to ban smoking, fine. If another doesn't, fine. However in our country power is becoming more and more centralized with the national government. We find ourselves in every way accountable to the federal government for how we live our lives. States rights are almost a joke in many cases because there is usually an over-arching national law that prohibits states from making decisions on their own. I'm sincerely intrigued at how we can revive the concept of personal freedom and a Federalist mindset.

I read a biography on George Washington where he is described to have been ticked off at the Continental Congress when they came up with Federalism. I'm glad he lost that argument. At the same token I'm also glad he had enough courage to only stay for two terms and do things like swear an oath on the bible. These things weren't required but they became tradition and ultimately law. He knew that centralized power wasn't always the best thing for a republic.

If you're into freedom and you have a survey understanding of government and history you will enjoy "The Theme is Freedom".

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, October 05, 2007


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