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Blackwell’s Un-American Scheme:
 
Under the Guise of “Character and Civic Renewal”
Ohio State Foists a Religious Moral Code upon Its Citizens

by Katherine Yurica

September 13, 2005

Updated October 1, 2005 with link to the names of Ohio State candidates who have signed the pledge.

With links to a Glossary of dictionary terms
and links to UncommonSense in parallel columns,
annotated by Katherine Yurica

See also "Cult of Character" by Silja J. A. Talvi

 


Added Feature:

First See Ken Blackwell on Hardball Then Read the Article Below!


Christopher Hitchens was a guest on Hardball along with Kenneth Blackwell, from the Family Research Council, to discuss Newsweek's recent cover story titled "The End of Christian America." The story highlighted a poll showing that while 62 percent of Americans considered the U.S. a Christian nation, a staggering 68 percent say religion is losing its influence on American life.


 

The Challenge and the War

There are two Dominionist quotes that I’ve run across recently that have stunned me by their audacity, by the sheer visionary power they proclaim and by the weight of their impact upon our country should they ever succeed. I’ve quoted them before, both in other essays on our web site and in presentations at conferences. But I want to call them to my readers’ attention once again. This time, because I now see how Dominionists can accomplish what they say they intend to do. The first quote is from Dr. James Kennedy, Pastor of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida. He prepared his statement carefully in writing for distribution at his “Reclaim America” Conference,[1] in February 2005:

“Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost, as the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”[2]  

The second quote is from a textbook for home-schooled children. The book introduces itself this way: “In America’s Providential History, we examine the history of America from a Christian perspective. Since God is the author of history and He is carrying out His plan in the earth through history, any view of the history of America, or any country, that ignores God is not true history. He is Sovereign over His creation and ‘His Story.’”[3] Thus the authors, Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell, unabashedly claim to be writing God’s view of the history of the United States of America and damn the necessity for facts! So not surprising in their introduction they spell out their purpose:

“The goal of America’s Providential History is to equip Christians to be able to introduce Biblical principles into the public affairs of America, and every nation in the world, and in so doing bring Godly change throughout the world. We will be learning how to establish a Biblical form (and power) of government in America and we will see how our present governmental structures must be changed. Since the principles we will be learning are valid in every society and in any time in history, they will be able to be applied throughout the world and not just in America. As we learn to operate nations on Biblical principles, we will be bringing liberty to the nations of the world and hence fulfilling part of God’s plan for the nations.” From America’s Providential History by Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell.[4]

 

The question I have had is: How on earth do dominionists expect to accomplish these things? An unsuspected vehicle for dominionism has turned out to be “Civic Renewal,” a term that describes both the diminished participation in civic duties by citizens over the last thirty-five years and the ways citizens can be encouraged to become more involved in their civic responsibilities again. (Perhaps the most famous article published on the topic is Robert D. Putnam's “The Strange Disappearance of Civic America,” published by The American Prospect.) But today, what we are about to discover is a secret that has been operating “under the radar,” in Ralph Reed’s jargon, for at least ten years. It’s been done openly, but without the spot light of attention focused on it. It’s not been a topic between housewives and their neighbors nor is it the kind of thing co-workers focus on around the coffee table on the job. After all, there’s nothing alarming about Civic Renewal. It’s a good idea. It has plenty of bipartisan support. And, quite frankly, it’s rather a dull subject. So what’s the problem?

 

To a lot of people, civic renewal means the opportunity to not only religionize our government, but, as we shall see, to create a new religion that is decidedly not Christianity. Instead, it is an opportunity to convert our citizens into docile followers of a new authoritarian rule.[5]

 

Clearly dominionism must be fought in every possible way: on the constitutional grounds of separation of church and state; on the political grounds that it is authoritarian and anti-democratic; on the economic grounds that it is based on greed and materialism[6] which seeks to establish marketing states,[7] (that resemble feudalism,[8] are fueled by expansion of empire through any means including war[9]); and on the religious grounds that it is a new state-imposed religion, (alien to the teachings of Jesus—and in fact, is so anti-Christian that it seeks to destroy Christianity.)

 

Enter Ohio’s Secretary of State

 

J. Kenneth Blackwell has stepped to the forefront of the American culture wars. Standing with his feet securely rooted in a form of Orwellian “Double-Think,” he has posted his official endorsement of a 20-point religious moral code claimed to be “a shared vocabulary of character-building ethics” on Ohio’s official Secretary of State web site. Blackwell wrote, “Character is the cornerstone of American citizenship. And good citizenship is the foundation of community. It is also the foundation of both good business and good government.” (Note that he places business before government.)

 

The 20-Rules to “good” character is titled “UncommonSense[10] which Blackwell recommends “as a character ethics model for Ohio’s business and government leaders.” Blackwell invites candidates for office to join him in launching “a revolution of character-building in our great state.”

 

Blackwell speaks candidly. It is a revolution in a deceptively pretty package. Hidden in its paragraphs are concepts of submission, obedience, inspection of the personal lives of people, and the loss of personal rights and freedom that would make America’s founding fathers stand on their heads in their graves. In short it is a Dominionist document: a religious treatise in secular terms, but dominionist to the core. It’s a brilliant little package to get millions of evangelical Christians and their friends to accept authoritarian government without even a whisper of protest.

 

It’s so deceptively written that people of other faiths or avowed atheists won’t know they are accepting religious tenets—that in fact it is a rational interpretation of some Christian ethics and as such it’s nothing less than a concise theological document in drag. Christians, however, will “know” it’s “Christian” because the unknown authors of the little tract[11] have salted the mine with recognizable terms and barely disguised Bible verses.

 

There is a strategic reason the authors wanted Christians to believe it is a “Christian” document—the authors had to send signals over the heads of most of America’s citizens in order to reach the faithful evangelicals –so they would feel comfortable in embracing it. But the authors also had to walk a fine line—they could not present a religious document from the State of Ohio to its citizens without violating the Constitution of the United States of America. Hence the subterfuge.

 

What I intend to show you is that J. Kenneth Blackwell and many of the GOP leaders from Ohio and many others in Congress, necessarily know the truth about the religious moral code titled UncommonSense, and how civic renewal has been used and diverted from its original intent. They know that it is a covert way to impose certain religious beliefs upon American citizens using governmental powers. They know that they are in the process of religionizing America and also dominating it. They know it just as they know the sound and rhythm of familiar Bible verses. They know it like they know the prickly feeling on the back of their necks when they hear strains of down-home Gospel singing hitting their ears and hearts. They know it because they planned it.

 

First, to get an idea of the intent of the Ohio State legislators, let’s look at the resolution passed by the Ohio General Assembly, Concurrent Resolution 28.

 

The Ohio State Resolution

 

The resolution seeks federal funding for character education and program development under the “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,” specifically provided for by Congress in Section 5431 of the “No Child Left Behind Act.” The Ohio Resolution recognizes the State of Ohio to be “a character-building state.” As such, Ohio promises to encourage “the advancement of positive character qualities in state government, in city, township, and county governments, in the media, and in schools, businesses, community groups, worship centers, and homes; and by urging the citizens and civic and community leaders of this state to mutually pursue character as a vital leadership and citizenship priority.”

 

But how did the state arrive at the specific moral standards it chose to exemplify? Cleverly Ohio’s General Assembly asserts: we’re “recognizing the importance of fostering citizens with character qualities that are based upon the moral standards exemplified by our nation’s founders and with which they established our nation and legal system.” They of course do not list those moral standards—since our founders owned slaves and didn’t Thomas Jefferson violate some biblical standards as well? But let’s not quarrel with Ohio’s legislators over this—at least not at the moment.

 

The fascinating thing about the resolution is its condemnatory attitude, and its implication that all the problems in our society can be fixed through the application of a life-changing moral code:

 

“Whereas, Individual irresponsibility and lack of commitment to moral principles results in an increasing number of family problems that have personal, social, and financial consequences not only for individual family members, but also for this state and society as a whole; and

 

“Whereas, If people increasingly fail to demonstrate positive character qualities and if they make wrong moral choices, the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of this state are endangered, resulting in a financial burden upon the taxpayers of this state for increased cost of law enforcement; and (Emphasis added.)

 

“Whereas, Many current societal problems will be alleviated when more of the citizens of this state exemplify in their lives positive character qualities that distinguish between right and wrong…”

 

At this point, one cannot help think that the legislative body was drooling in anticipation of a time when everyone can undergo the life-changing character-building transformation that will produce a perfect society of citizens who will all be unified in their unity and oneness, and who will all do only that which is right and forsake all that is wrong.

 

For if character changes can end crime, wouldn’t compulsory character building courses produce a reformed society? The question then becomes what moral offenses should society be saved from?  Who will determine what is moral and what is immoral behavior? Should smoking cigarettes, for example, be considered immoral as it costs society huge amounts in health costs? Should the immoral smokers have to pay society back as a form of punishment? (Or should the punishment be some form of banishment from living in certain communities, coupled with the loss of voting rights, until the offender learns not to smoke anymore?) I raise this because Dominionists have outlined such plans and even worse.[12] And dare I mention the sexual sin of adultery that seems to plague our churches, pastors, legislators and the nation?

 

Lastly, Ohio State’s resolution contemplates not only building good character among youths, but the state is worried about employee productivity which the state wants to correct:

 

“Whereas, Encouraging employees to recognize positive character qualities has resulted in an increase in workplace ethics, employee safety, and organizational performance; and

 

“Whereas, An emphasis upon positive character qualities in every sector of society can only occur as institutions and individuals mutually commit themselves to exemplify positive character qualities in their public and personal lives and to collaborate with one another to establish character as a foundational community asset…” (Emphasis added.)

 

In signing off on this resolution, Ohio joined six other states who are known to have become “States of Character.” According to the Character Training Institute States of Character are: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Ohio. The state of Ohio can look upon itself as a pioneer among the states. Ken Blackwell can think of himself as a leader in the America of tomorrow. The question is, exactly what kind of citizen is Mr. Blackwell and his supporters trying to create?

 

 

Deciphering the Religious Moral Code: First Sentence

 

 

In making this discussion as simple as possible, let’s take a look at UncommonSense, and the first character trait the State of Ohio wants to instill in its citizens. Rule 1 reads in part:

 

“1. SEEKING WISDOM: Ethical or high-character people courageously seek something greater than intelligence or knowledge (knowing what is); they seek wisdom (knowing what is right or true).”

 

As I read this sentence, I did a double-take. On the surface it looks innocuous and completely unrelated to religion. But the first thing that struck me was its similarity to a Theological Virtue, which is defined as a noun in the dictionary:

 

“One of the three basic spiritual graces: faith, hope, and charity often held in Christian ethics to be created by God in the redeemed man and to perfect the natural virtues by giving them harmony and fulfillment in the service of God—called also supernatural virtue.” (All quotes in this essay are from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary)

 

But in thinking about the first character trait as it is written, I sensed the presence of problems and contradictions. To clarify the existence of problems and to solve them, I wound up creating a glossary of dictionary defined terms with hyperlinks to and from the text of Ohio’s UncommonSense, which allows my readers to follow the steps I took. Obviously, with more than 90 definitions, I can’t state them all here, but the resource is only a link away and is worth a little study!

 

Most of us would think we know the definitions of these words. Christians in particular would grasp that the sentence is talking about something higher than man’s intelligence—and that would automatically mean “God.” Probably at first blush, most Christians would have no problem with the sentence.

 

The text, however, has two significant qualifiers in it: First, the author’s ideal ethical or high character people seek something greater than “intelligence or knowledge.” Since knowledge means the sum total of what is known: “the whole body of truth, fact, [and] information…” the text expressly excludes not only all facts but how we apprehend knowledge. The text does this by the insertion of a fascinating restrictive clause that says wisdom is something greater than knowing what is. So instead of factual knowledge and truth, ethical people are said to seek wisdom which is defined by the words “knowing what is right or true.” In other words, wisdom is limited in meaning to only moral issues. This leads to the conclusion that a man can be educated but not be wise, which in turn fits nicely with certain bible verses that were often used in some churches to bolster the uneducated Christian’s ego in a way to make him feel superior to the educated.[13] 

 

At this point we have just begun to find out what the author or authors intend. We’ve got a definition of wisdom that boils down to two words. Let’s start with the word “true.” When we look up “true” in the dictionary, we are told to eliminate any definitions that conform to fact or reason, when we do so, we arrive at essentially this definition: “what is honest, just or upright.” Set those words aside for now because they will come up again.

 

We still have to repeat the process for the second word in the author’s restrictive clause, the word, “right.” We find that it means:

 

“Disposed to do what is just, good or proper.”

 

Now, if we should look up the word “just” and eliminate those definitions that conform to fact or reason, we’re left with this:

 

“Conforming to some standard of correctness”

 

In addition, the word contains not only a decidedly religious concept, but an extremely important one: Just means:

 

Righteous before God.”

 

In fact there is a famous Bible verse that automatically comes to my mind when I hear a sentence with the words “Just people.” The verse is: “The just shall live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11).

 

(I wasn’t surprised that in Rule 6 of Ohio’s religious moral code, the author manages to repeat the phrase “Just people” three times in four sentences—and each time I read those phrases, I heard, “The just shall live by faith,” The just shall live by faith. It goes to show that Sunday School has a way of sticking to a person for life.)

 

But let’s continue with the series of words. When we look up the word “good,” we find definitions that say “conforming to a certain ideal or standard of morality or virtue: wholly commendable” or “something that satisfies or commends itself to the ethical consciousness or is conceived as fitting in the moral order of the universe.” And finally we arrive at this definition: “something that is either an end in itself or a means to such an end.”[14]

 

At this point we have effectively and exhaustively eliminated any definition of wisdom that is synonymous with accumulated information or knowledge or scientific learning or having to do with the “intelligent application of learning.” So what is left?

 

We are left with Webster’s Third New International Dictionary’s primary (that is the first) definition of wisdom:

 

The effectual mediating principle or personification of God’s will in the creation of the world.” (Emphasis mine.)

 

This is a religious statement. But it is not Christian. (It is not Christian because it expressly excludes two attributes of God: knowledge and understanding ((or intelligence)) both of which, according to scripture were used by God in framing the universe.[15]) So the Ohio State religious moral code deviates from traditional Christianity and Judaism. The question is why?

 

What seems likely is that the authors wanted to establish that wisdom is the personification of God’s will, but they couldn’t say this openly for the simple reason that a government cannot foist its concept of God upon its citizens. So the authors hid it—knowing that no one but an addicted-analytical-investigative-Christian would look up all those words to find out exactly what they mean!

 

 

Deciphering the Religious Moral Code: First Heading: “Truth”

 

 

It appears I’ve got things somewhat out of order here, but I didn’t want to address the first heading until I gave you a sense of my methodology. The heading reads, “The Critical Importance of Truth.” In fact, the coded text begins to deal with the word truth in the second and third sentences of Rule 1, which read in part:

 

Wisdom must logically culminate in the identification of conscience-convicting truth to be intellectually honest. Hence, the relentless pursuit of truth, its source and its compelling advocacy is the moral objective of ethical, character-building people.” (Emphasis added)

 

Now that we know that Wisdom is the “personification of God’s Will” we can see the authors want to invest it with the power of truth also. But the exclusionary clauses are not placed here; instead we are told that high-character people are involved in a “relentless pursuit of truth, but that is insufficient for Ohio, the authors require a relentless pursuit of something other than truth—they require the pursuit of truth’s source, and its advocacy.” What is the source of truth? Who originates it? If truth has a source, the authors must be referring to the author of truth. But who is the author of truth? Most Christians would say, “God.” In fact, one of the definitions of the word “source,” is God. Once again in the very first rule of Ohio’s religious moral code, the authors use another word that means “God.”

 

But that’s not all, what is the “advocacy” of truth that it should be pursued? Advocacy is a profession and the word advocate is defined by the dictionary as: “one that pleads the cause of another: defender” and the dictionary quotes the Bible: “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ--1 John 2:1 AV.” This is another famous Bible verse that is very familiar to most Christians.

 

Okay, let’s look up the word “truth” just to make sure of its definition:

 

Truth n. “2: something that is true or held to be true:  a (1): the real state of affairs: something that is the case: FACT (2) the body of things, events, and facts that make up the universe: actual existence: ACTUALITY (3) often capitalized: a fundamental or spiritual reality conceived of as being partly or wholly transcendent of perceived actuality and experience 3 a: relationship, conformity, or agreement with fact or reality or among true facts or propositions: the property in a conception, judgment, statement, proposition, belief, or opinion of being in accord with what is in fact or in necessity.” (Emphasis mine.)

 

So according to the authors of the religious/moral code, the word truth has the following attributes:

 

 

As a Christian, I agree with these statements. They are biblical. For instance for the first proposition that Truth is conscience convicting, I think of one of the most moving and powerful stories in the Bible. The story of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and was brought to Jesus as a test. The law said she should be stoned to death, what did Jesus tell the hypocrites who demanded the death penalty? The account in John 8:9 shows that Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her…And they who heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one…” When Jesus looked up he asked the woman, “Where are those thine accusers?” She responded, “No man, Lord.” And “Jesus said unto her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.’” (Emphasis added.)

 

For the second proposition that truth should be pursued relentlessly, we need look no further than the Book of Genesis and examine the epistemological fall of man. I’ve written about it in my essay What the Fundamentalists Won’t Tell You About the Bible. I wrote in part:

 

“A lie therefore contradicts reality and creates delusions. Death is necessarily the natural offspring of lies! Let’s understand what I have said. Whenever we believe a lie, we have made ourselves ill—ill of mind, soul, spirit and body. We have separated ourselves from Reality. Delusions, falsity and superstition separate us not only from God (ultimate reality) but from life and health! This is as true today as it was in the Garden of Eden.”

For the third proposition, that Truth has a source which should be pursued relentlessly, I refer you to my commentary under “Truth” in the Glossary:

 

“I would add Deut. 32:4 (KJV) “a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” And I would add: see John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life.” And see John 14: 17, where Jesus states he will ask the Father to send “Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive” as the Comforter. See John 15:26 where Jesus makes it clear “I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father…”

 

For the fourth proposition, that Truth is a compelling advocate, one need look no further than the passage I quoted above from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary in which, 1 John 2: 1 is quoted to clarify the meaning and the usage of the word.

 

Advocate n. “1: one that pleads the cause of another: defender (we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ—1 John 2:1 AV.)”

 

Is God Truth?

 

Because this essay is trying to show that Ohio’s ethics code is a religious document, I want to quote from an earlier work of mine—still unpublished—but which in a few sentences outlines why I think the Bible presents God as Truth and why I think the authors of Ohio’s moral code are correct:

 

“I find the most profound significance in the fact that the Bible presents God as Truth: this is a perception that is too often ignored or disregarded by modern writers. The two pertinent definitions that are interplayed here are: (1) God is defined as the supreme or ultimate reality; and (2) truth is the correspondence of statements to the facts they describe.

 

“When we examine the Old Testament scriptures we find that God identified Himself with Truth by definition. When He was asked by Moses to verify His identity, He said “I Am That I Am.” His name YHWH, (pronounced in English as Lord or Adonay), literally means: He that Is who He Is. If we look carefully at this structure we can see that the statement that describes God’s existence, “I Am,” corresponds to the reality or fact of God’s existence, “that I Am.” Since truth by definition is correspondence to reality, we learn first that God is Truth in His inherent nature. We learn secondly that his words are truth; and thirdly, we learn that the reverse is true: ultimate reality (i.e. God) is correspondence to ultimate Truth. Moreover, since the statement I Am that I Am implies an active doing and being, we derive the knowledge that God is the way or method, the truth and the life (cf. John 14:6).

 

“The Old Testament confirms that God is ultimate Truth in many passages. In Jeremiah 10:10, for example, the Hebrew word emeth, meaning truth is translated dynamically in the Amplified Bible: “But the Lord is the true God and the God of truth—the God Who is truth. He is the living God, and the everlasting King.” And the fact that the words, the statements, and the laws of God are truth is confirmed by Psalms 119:142, 151. Moreover, the New Testament explicitly and repeatedly states that God is synonymous with Truth: John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 1 John 5:7; Cf. also John 14:6, John 17:17 and John 1:1.

 

“Centuries of Christian writers have acknowledged this intrinsic nature of God. St. Augustine’s passionate thirst for knowledge of God culminated in his realization that Truth was a synonym for Him. In his Confessions he wrote: “…Thee only (who truly art Truth)…O Truth, Truth, how inwardly did even then the marrow of my soul pant after Thee….Thee Thyself, the Truth, in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning…”

 

 

After this reading, you may well ask, why I find Ohio’s religious moral code so offensive. Because a State cannot impose religious teachings upon its citizens in the United States of America! Even if it is advantageous for the state to do so! This code does not represent “civic renewal” it represents a “civic religion.” Let’s go on to one or two more rules of the twenty that illustrate the code is not entirely benevolent! I should point out that I have links to the glossary on all twenty steps in parallel column form. On one side, the text is exactly as it appears on the Ohio State web site. On the other side, the text has defined terms inserted in some cases and links to the glossary on all important terms.  

 

By clicking on the various terms that are linked to the glossary, one can see just how many terms come from the Bible and are common in the evangelical churches—the entire code is based upon biblical terminology.

 

 

Accountability and Dependence, Surveillance and Scrutiny

 

But let’s go to Ohio State’s religious moral code and examine Rule 7, the rule on “Accountability.” We use the term most frequently when discussing government officials, elected representatives, corporation executives, and particularly for people who hold positions in which they are responsible for other people’s money. No one would argue that those in positions of trust must not be held accountable. But Ken Blackwell’s code uses the word “accountability” to focus away from officials and turn the spot light on ordinary Americans who are seeking guidance. The new religious moral code seeks to make citizens dependent upon others. Moreover, Blackwell’s code represents a new and morally deceptive intrusion into the lives of every Ohio resident. In fact, the authors of the code turn the word into an excuse for spying on others. As such, it is a perversion of the scriptures and of American’s civil and moral duty to hold our leaders accountable. Here’s Rule 7:

 

 

“7. ACCOUNTABILITY: High-character people scrutinize themselves and welcome the scrutiny of others. They acknowledge that human nature compels us toward independence. Our preference for independence results in isolation from one another. Isolation breeds temptation to unethical conduct. High character people resist this chain reaction by adopting transparent life--and work--styles that invite inspection. They place themselves in relationships that motivate self-examination and encourage constructive critique from others, particularly those they serve. (Observable Virtues: an open, up-front, disclosing spirit)” (Emphasis added.)

 

 

Let me make it clear that I am not questioning the fact that mature adults have learned to take responsibility for their own actions. This is an essential step in the maturation of every human being. Nor am I taking issue with the spiritual and psychological necessity of self examination. Without personal soul searching, spiritual growth and maturity is impossible.

 

What appears astonishing to me here is turning over one’s own responsibility to others. It can be seen in the use of the words:

 

“They welcome the scrutiny of others…invite inspection…They place themselves in relationships that …encourage…critique from others…”

 

Moreover, the words “scrutinize” and “scrutiny,” mean close observation, examination and attention to minute details, investigation and surveillance by others. These are not terms of a free society for free citizens. To the contrary, this is a rule that leads to the complete domination of a people. This rule implies that there is no right of privacy and that government and men may probe freely into the lives of all Ohio residents. By the way, the assumption that isolation breeds temptation to unethical conduct is refuted by the very fact that corporations in 2001 defrauded California and its citizens of billions of dollars in the Energy Scam of the century and they did it collectively and in tandem with other energy companies. (And some, like Ken Lay, have not yet been brought to the bar of justice.)

 

Let’s look at the subtle ways religious beliefs are embedded in this rule again. The sentence reads:

 

“They [high character people] acknowledge that human nature compels us toward independence.”

 

The real question is why do “high character people” acknowledge that statement to be true? Couldn’t human nature be equally propelled toward dependence and immaturity? Could it be that the model for “high character people” is none other than the biblical regenerated Christian? Could it be that the New Testament epistles describe man in his natural state to be depraved or unregenerated? And that before men became Christians they were described in the Bible to be “by nature the children of wrath,”[16] but once divinely regenerated, they became partakers of the Divine nature.”[17] So could that be the reason that only “high character people” acknowledge that “human nature” is predisposed to a lower form of being? That only “high character Christians” believe that man in his nature is in a depraved condition? And that since the Bible connects sin and depravity to a preference for lawlessness,[18] and lawlessness in turn is by definition a form of liberal freedom to do as one pleases, is it not probable that Ohio’s religious moral code is equating concepts of liberty, freedom and independence with freedom from constraints in order to sin? Biblically, “freedom” and “independence” can be very bad terms, and I submit, the authors of Ohio’s religious moral code are fully aware of this. But more than that—I submit that the code is an attempt to drive American citizens into a pliable state of dependence upon their leaders who will tell them what they can and can’t do and this Rule 7 is psychologically designed to do just that!

 

There’s another problem in this rule: the authors attempt to establish scrutiny of individuals by groups by not only asserting unverified statements as facts, but by making it appear as if they are presenting a logical statement, that cannot be refuted. Let’s look at the premises:

 

Human nature compels people toward independence. [Does it?]

Independence results in isolation. [Does it?]

Isolation breeds unethical conduct. [Does it?]

 

The problem is of course the proposed solution doesn’t logically follow no matter how we try to divide the sentences into logical formats. The solution reads:

 

“High character people resist this chain reaction by adopting transparent life - and work-styles that invite inspection. They place themselves in relationships that motivate self-examination and encourage constructive critique from others…” (Emphasis added.)

 

This solution implies the ideal “high character person” strives to be submissive to others—and note these “others” are not designated professional psychologists or others trained in counseling. The sentence merely requires the high character person to place himself in relationships with unknown others to be scrutinized and critiqued: it implies that “others” know best—which in and of itself leads to dependence upon those others for guidance in conduct and thought. This idea is reiterated in Rule 18, which requires reliance on others for counsel. So the two rules have a double whammy effect.[19]

 

This instruction is the antithesis of those who so bravely were seeking Truth in Rule 1! It is the opposite of the Christian ideal but beware, there are plenty of scriptures in the New Testament that can be used to support a drastic cultural change—a change to the acceptance of concepts such as suppression, slavery and “submission.” One comes readily to mind: “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”[20] But by what power or authority does the state of Ohio seek to impose submission to inspection and critiques by others upon its population as a high ethical rule of life?

 

 

Respect and Depravity

 

 

Rule 8 fits hand in hand with Rule 7 because the authors have chosen to introduce the term “depravity” in their description of mankind and also openly cite the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:13 and Luke 6:31 as a concept having the power to “convict” and causing conviction, (“the state of being convinced of and repentant for one’s sin.”) Let’s see how Ohio State’s religious moral code divides mankind in Rule 8, quoted in part here:

 

“8. RESPECT: High-character people treat others as they would want to be treated. They have an accurate view of the human condition; namely that every person is capable of both dignified and depraved conduct….Respect leads diverse people to value the dignity of others while having the liberty to passionately disagree with their opinions (opinions that can be influenced by our depravity.”) Emphasis added.

 

 The question here is how does one passionately disagree with another’s opinion and still maintain respect for that individual? This is especially true when the opinion the high character person passionately disagrees with is influenced by the other’s “depravity.”  I will argue that the term “respect” means by definition “esteemed” and “honored” and one does not esteem a person one “passionately disagrees with.” And one cannot esteem a person whose views are influenced by his depravity. Depravity is a religious word. It means:

 

“The quality or state of being depraved; specifically: the state of sinfulness natural to unregenerate man.”

 

And the word “depraved” means:

 

“marked by debasement, corruption, perversion, or deterioration.”

 

These qualities are not admirable and are the antithesis of traits most people “respect.” What the Rule does describe, is the division of mankind into regenerated and unregenerated people. It wrongly establishes two classes of Americans: those that are “Christians” and those that are not! These are religious terms and it is inappropriate for a state of the union to adopt these concepts or to be teaching its residents such religious beliefs.

 

 

Speaking With One Voice

 

 

During a five day broadcast week called “Seven Days Ablaze,” (September 16-20, 1985) Pat Robertson returned again and again to the theme that America must have “unity of thought.”

 

On September 19, 1985 Pat Robertson blasted pluralism on his national television show, the 700 Club, saying, “Today there are no absolutes. There is no standard. And when that happens you have what is laughingly called ‘pluralism.’ The Greeks were constantly debating. They were trying one religion, they were trying another, they were trying discourse, and they were trying another. And what happened in their society is they began to be fragmented because they couldn’t agree on which was the philosophy to choose.”

 

The very next day, on September 20, 1985, he began his dialogue, “Why don’t we agree? Why don’t we pray together that God will touch the hearts of the people that there might be unity. Because a house divided against itself cannot stand. But if you’re together, there’s just no end to the things you can do.” Mr. Robertson and the religious right have never ceased their drumbeat for Americans to speak with one voice.

 

Apparently, Ken Blackwell and the Ohio State legislators have taken the first step to help Pat Robertson’s prayer along. The religious moral code urged by Ohio has a new rule: Rule 12 which reads:

 

“12. UNITY: High-character people strive to build relationships that foster oneness among others who are bound with them to a common promise, mission or purpose. Ethical organizations seek uniformity in their people's shared character ethics and unity among their otherwise richly diverse people. Without a persevering commitment to shared character ethics, there is no hope for sustainable unity. (Observable Virtue: reconciler)” (Emphasis added.)

 

The answer to Pat Robertson’s prayer appears to have arrived in Rule 12: everyone must join in a persevering commitment to shared character ethics in order to sustain “unity.” If you read that to mean shared religious principles of behavior—you’ve got the message. The rule implies that no one but high character people or “ethical” organizations seek uniformity. If pluralism is a value you treasure—then you must not be ethical and you must not have “high character.” Once again the rule divides—it does not unite. Uniformity of opinion, oneness, and sameness—is not a virtue, but a vice. A vice that requires individuals to compromise truth. It demands self censorship. Under what authority does the State of Ohio impose this religious moral code upon its citizens?

 

 

Honoring Authority

 

 

In America, we have consistently believed in the rule of law. The most famous exposition of the principle was drafted by John Adams for the constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in justification of the principle of separation of powers:

 

In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers or either of them: the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.

 

Massachusetts Constitution, Part The First, art. XXX (1780).

 

The last phrase, "to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men," has been quoted with approval by the U.S. Supreme Court and every state supreme court in the United States.

 

The idea that we are ruled by laws and not by men is subtle. For there is no question that laws are made by legislative bodies that consist of men and women. But it is the law we respect and honor and not the people who made the law. We may, in fact, disagree with a law, but we still acknowledge the law.

 

Ohio’s religious moral code introduces a subtle change to this concept. It introduces a biblical concept requiring citizens to show a high regard or appreciation to authorities in power, Webster’s says the word honoring means “to pay tribute to: to exalt, praise.” But it also requires citizens to yield to the authorities in power. Let’s read Rule 14:

 

14. HONORING AUTHORITY: All people are imperfect, requiring boundaries for behavior. High-character people willingly yield to the authority of those who are charged with upholding those boundaries. They help shape and then abide by the legitimate laws, rules and boundaries established by legitimate authorities and strive to live within those boundaries for the betterment of all people. When those given authority violate conscience-convicting character ethics, high-character people take wise action to justly hold them accountable. (Observable Virtues: yieldedness, submission / “aligned with the mission”) Emphasis added.

 

This Rule is peculiar because of the choice of words. Most everyone understands what a law is, but it is really unclear what the authors mean by “boundaries,” even after one has consulted the dictionary. The term appears to be something broader than a law. In fact, “boundaries” appear to be something separate from “legitimate laws and rules” inasmuch as laws and rules are distinguished from it, nevertheless, “legitimate authorities” appear to have established “boundaries.” It’s possible that the authors intend this code—this list of twenty religious moral rules—to become equivalent to the laws of a state. If so, they have taken pains to obscure that fact. But consider the possibility the authors believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God and its epistles to the religious communities of 2,000 years ago to be applicable to citizens of Ohio and the U.S. today. Consider that the epistles limited human “Christian” behavior, setting boundaries on what is acceptable in the eyes of God and what is not, calling certain sexual acts beastial and requiring women (and slaves) to be submissive, to be quiet, to be unadorned plus many other requirements. Now consider the possibility the authors of UncommonSense intend all these prohibitions or “boundaries” to be applicable as the equivalent to the laws of Ohio and the United States of America. Perhaps that will give a clearer understanding of why the authors have created a third category of “boundaries” that go beyond the “laws and rules” of the land. And it appears that this Rule requires all “high character” people to yield or hand over their moral control to another!

 

Let’s look at the definition of the word yield. Webster reads in part:

 

Yield, vb. “2: to give or render as fitting, rightfully owed, or required; 5: f: to hand over or resign to the moral control of another: give to another the political, economic, or social direction of: RELINQUISH 6 b (1) to admit the validity or cogency of: consent, agree; vi 2: to give up and cease resistance or contention: as a: to surrender and concede being defeated, vanquished, or worsted: b: to cease opposition: give up the contest: submit, succumb: c: to cease to withstand the effect of some action d: to agree to accept or comply with something: exhibit willingness rather than opposition: defer 5 a: to give place or precedence (as to one having superior right or claim) : acknowledge the superiority of someone else b: to be inferior in some often specified respect.” (Emphasis added.)

 

Honoring authorities has suddenly changed into a command not to contest and not to oppose them. This is not only evidence of the un-American nature of this so-called moral code, but it ties directly into the biblical verses quoted by Mr. Justice Antonin Scalia who has cited Romans 13:1-6 for biblical justification for the death penalty. The New English version reads as follows:

 

“Every person must submit to the supreme authorities. There is no authority but by act of God, and the existing authorities are instituted by him; consequently anyone who rebels against authority is resisting a divine institution, and those who so resist have themselves to thank for the punishment they will receive. For government, a terror to crime, has no terrors for good behaviour. You wish to have no fear of the authorities? Then continue to do right and you will have their approval, for they are God’s agents working for your good. But if you are doing wrong, then you will have cause to fear them; it is not for nothing that they hold the power of the sword, for they are God’s agents of punishment, for retribution on the offender. That is why you are obliged to submit. It is an obligation imposed not merely by fear of retribution but by conscience. That is also why you pay taxes. The authorities are in God’s service and to these duties they devote their energies.”

 

If the signers of the Declaration of Independence believed this epistle, they would not have signed the Declaration! For my readers who may not be familiar with biblical passages, most Christians accept these verses to mean that St. Paul is referring only to a benevolent government worthy of trust. For Paul himself testified before King Agrippa, in Acts 26: 10-12 that he had shut up innocent Christians in prison and he had the “authority” to do so; he was acting in an official capacity. He testified against those he apprehended at their trials before they were put to death. He admitted he tortured them and he maintained he had the “authority” to do so. That same Paul discovered he had been a tyrant in his position of authority—and it is not reasonable to believe that by the time Paul became the leader of the church, he forgot his own evil “authoritative” role. It is not reasonable that he would now urge yielding to evil—a form of complicity! In fact, most Christians compare Romans 13 to a passage in Acts 5:29 when the rulers of Jerusalem gave orders to the apostles, Peter and the apostles answered, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” This was and is a clear instance of civil disobedience and rebellion against the authorities!

 

Liberty

 

Rule 15 emerges as an insidious infringement upon American civil liberties. The rule does the opposite of what it says. It requires citizens to impose self-censorship, and self-restraints that would all but destroy civil liberties in Ohio and in America if this religious moral code were adopted by other states. In essence it demands that civil liberties be denied on a personal level. Let’s read the Rule:

 

15. LIBERTY: High-character people preserve their public rights by fulfilling their personal responsibilities. In order to preserve public freedoms, every person must exercise private restraints. Therefore, free people embrace self-control so the need for public controls is minimized. As a result, high-character people communicate and live out character ethics and intentionally exhort others to do likewise as an active act of preserving liberty for everyone. (Observable Virtues: temperance, self-control) (Emphasis added)

 

Once again, if civil liberties cannot be taken away from Americans, Americans can kill their own right to liberty by refusing to exercise their rights. Significantly the rule states why this must be done: civil liberties must be voluntarily killed for the sake of the State. If citizens don’t attend a rally—then the State doesn’t have to police the rally! So Rule 15 asks citizens to voluntarily restrain their rights in order that the State saves money! Not only that, but high character people are required to exhort others to shut their mouths too! And what exactly is meant by exhort?  Here’s one definition: “to incite by argument or advice: urge strongly.” And Americans will do this for the greater goal of “preserving liberty for everyone!”

 

Dominionism and Stewardship  

 

We started this essay by quoting from prominent dominionists, who exposed their own intentions of taking over America on every level, including government, schools, neighborhoods, the arts and science. We’ll close this essay by discussing Rule 17, which comes as close as any of the rules to establishing a “dominionists” world view. The rule reads:

 

17. STEWARDSHIP: High-character people live as if they will eventually reap what they sow. They actively identify with the role of trustee or steward rather than owner. They perceive their function as a resource or role “caretaker” for a limited time. As a result they regard “positions” and “possessions” as “conferred in temporary trust.” Therefore, they care for their respective positions and possessions diligently and seek to add value to every role and every resource to which they have been entrusted. Ethical people have a high regard for multiplying the value of their “accounts” for the purpose of serving others and benefiting those who follow. (Observable Virtues: humility, orderliness, carefulness)  (Emphasis added.)

 

It all starts with a famous biblical passage: “High character people live as if they will eventually reap what they sow.” This is a paraphrase of Galatians 6:7. Similarly, the rule conveys the idea that high character people (i.e. Dominionist Christians) don’t really own anything, they are merely caretakers for “a limited time.” Then whose property do they occupy? Dominionists—as opposed to all other Christians—believe that they are the “Vice Regents of God.” That is a direct quote from D. James Kennedy that starts this essay off. The idea of a regency stems from the dominionist teaching that Jesus will not return to earth until the whole earth is subdued and under the dominion of “Godly” men who will be acting as caretakers or regents for Christ. In other words, Dominionists plan to establish theocratic regencies—starting with the United States. When the rightful King returns, (presumably Jesus) they will turn over the government of the world to Him. But until He shows up—the regents should have a heyday of wealth and high living! (It’s interesting to note that Pat Robertson renamed his school “Regent University.”)

 

The words “stewardship” and “steward” are also heavy ladened with biblical imagery. A steward is someone entrusted temporarily with property until the return of the owner. Stewardship is the office of the steward. So even passages like the story of the unjust steward  (Luke 16: 11-12) and the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14-30, come into play here. It’s important to note that Rule 17 is chock full of biblical references and is pregnant with the dominionist message. Let’s look at the definitions of two words. First “caretaker” as used in this rule.

 

Caretaker: “1: one that is placed usually as occupant in charge of the upkeep, repairs, and protection of the house, estate, or farm of an owner who may be absent 2: one fulfilling the functions of office on a temporary or provisional basis (a caretaker government).”

 

And secondly:

 

Regency: “1 a: the office, jurisdiction, or dominion of a regent or vicarious ruler or of a body of regents 2: a territory governed by a regent or regency. 4: a period during which a regent or body of regents governs.”

 

Both of these terms have applicable government definitions and applications. These words convey the idea of the biblical steward and his responsibility to the true owner, as do the words “conferred in temporary trust.” But the authors have to push free market enterprise into the idea of stewardship. So Rule 17 introduces the idea that “Ethical people have a high regard for multiplying the value of their ‘accounts.’” That’s just a very, very nice way of saying they like to “make a whole lot of money!” But of course, it’s “for the purpose of serving others and benefiting those who follow!” Blessed be the name of the Lord!

 

Another scripture comes to mind in the form of a rebuke. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Tim. 6:10) The rebuke is needed. Once again, I make the comment that Ohio’s religious moral code is indeed “religious,” but it is not Christian. It’s a tool to make populations submit to the authority of men who intend to steal the United States out from under “We the people.”

 

UncommonSense is uncommon because its morally wrong and because it is not sense! Ohio’s attempt to impose the state’s religious values on its own people is a violation of the Constitution and is a seditious act by the leaders who have set this code in place.

 

Forces have been set in motion that are attempting to destroy our republic. Only “We the  people” can save our nation now. The voters of Ohio have to fire the men and women who have schemed secretly to suppress them. The voters of America have to rise up as one and throw the seditious leaders out of office. Sedition is running rampant through GOP controlled legislative houses and congress. “We the people” must be willing to stand up and say to those who are trying to destroy America as we know it, “You shall not pass!” “You shall not touch liberty!” Raise the staff of Truth!  No Balrog can impede the progress of Liberty. No Balrog can stamp out our values for the common good to better all our lives and not just a few. “We are the people! And you shall not dominate us!”

 

 

The Bridge of Khazad-dum and The Defeat of the Balrog

 

 

There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments…
‘You cannot pass!’ he said.
With a bound the Balrog leaped full upon the bridge. Its whip whirled and hissed.
‘He cannot stand alone!’ cried Aragorn suddenly and ran back along the bridge.
‘Elendil!’ he shouted. ‘I am with you Gandalf!’
‘Gondor!’ cried Boromir and leaped after him.
At that moment Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A blinding sheet of white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the Balrog’s feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness.With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished.”

 

J. R. R. Tolkien from The Fellowship of the Ring

 

 



[1] The Conference was held at James Kennedy’s church, Coral Ridge Presbyterian, in Fort Lauderdale in February, 2005. See: Bob Moser, “The Crusaders, Christian evangelicals are plotting to remake America in their own image” originally published in Rolling Stone, April 7, 2005 and then posted at the Yurica Report at: http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/ChristiansPlotToRemakeAmerica.html

 

See also “A Mission to ‘Reclaim America’ by Jane Lampman, March 16, 2005, from CBS and the Christian Science Monitor, posted at the Yurica Report at: http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/MissionToReclaimAmerica.html

 

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/_/id/7235393?pageid=rs.Home&pageregion=single7&rnd=1113271947906&has-player=true&version=6.0.12.1040

 

[2] Bob Moser, “The Crusaders, Christian evangelicals are plotting to remake America in their own image” originally published in Rolling Stone, April 7, 2005 and then posted at the Yurica Report at: http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/ChristiansPlotToRemakeAmerica.html

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/_/id/7235393?pageid=rs.Home&pageregion=single7&rnd=1113271947906&has-player=true&version=6.0.12.1040

 

[3] America’s Providential History, (Including Biblical Principles of Education, Government, Politics, and Family Life) by Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell, 1989, The Providence Foundation, Charlottesville, Virginia. In the Introduction, page VII.

 

[4] Ibid, at page 1.

 

[5] Note the new pledge of allegiance of this dominionist group as written in Bob Moser’s article: “In the conference's opening ceremony, the Dominionists recite an oath they dream of hearing in every classroom: 'I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe.’”


“The Crusaders, Christian evangelicals are plotting to remake America in their own image” by Bob Moser, originally published in Rolling Stone, April 7, 2005 and then posted at the Yurica Report at: http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/ChristiansPlotToRemakeAmerica.html

 

[6] Jeffrey Sharlet, “Soldiers of Christ, Inside America’s most powerful mega-church.” Published by Harper’s Magazine. http://harpers.org/SoldiersOfChrist.html

 

Sharlet writes: "In addition to New Life, Pastor Ted presides over the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), whose 45,000 churches and 30 million believers make up the nation’s most powerful religious lobbying group, and also over a smaller network of his own creation, the Association of Life-Giving Churches, 300 or so congregations modeled on New Life’s “free market” approach to the divine...New Lifers, Pastor Ted writes with evident pride, 'like the benefits, risks, and maybe above all, the excitement of a free-market society.' They like the stimulation of a new brand. 'Have you ever switched your toothpaste brand, just for the fun of it?' Pastor Ted asks. Admit it, he insists. All the way home, you felt a 'secret little thrill,' as excited questions ran through your mind: 'Will it make my teeth whiter? My breath fresher?'....This is the sensation Ted wants pastors to bring to the Christian experience. He believes it is time 'to harness the forces of free-market capitalism in our ministry.' Globalization, he believes, is merely a vehicle for the spread of Christianity. He means Protestantism in particular; Catholics, he said, 'constantly look back.' ....'My fear,” he says, 'is that my children will grow up in an Islamic state.' "And that is why he believes spiritual war requires a virile, worldly counterpart.  'I teach a strong ideology of the use of power,' he says, 'of military might, as a public service.' He is for preemptive war, because he believes the Bible’s exhortations against sin set for us a preemptive paradigm, and he is for ferocious war, because 'the Bible’s bloody. There’s a lot about blood.'"

 

[7] See also Katherine Yurica’s essay, “Conquering by Stealth and Deception: How the Dominionists Are Succeeding in Their Quest for National Control and World Power,” which discusses Bobbitt’s analysis and vision of a future American agenda and structure based upon neo-conservative ideology and analyzes the clues to his acceptance of dominionism as a vehicle to accomplish his market-state empire-expanding vision. See Philip Bobbitt’s book The Shield of Achilles, Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y. 2002.  See Yurica’s essay at: http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheSwiftAdvanceOfaPlannedCoup.htm

 

[8]See Feudalism by Paul Vinogradoff, 1924 Cambridge Medieval History, Volume 3, pp. 458-484

http://www.yuricareport.com/Feudalism/Feudalism_Vinogradoff.html

 

[9] Ibid. Bobbitt, like Machiavelli, sees war, as all conservatives do, a necessity for the expansion of the growth of a state.

 

[10] The tract does not identify any author, but simply states that it is copyrighted in 2003 by the American Center for Civic Character, Version 5.5.

 

[11] Ibid.

 

[12] Gary North has actually pointed out that the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution preserves the right of slavery and involuntary servitude for the punishment of crimes. North actually embraces the idea of bringing slavery back for punishment purposes.

 

[13] See for example 1 Corinthians 3: 19: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” And see 1 Corinthians 1:27: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”

 

[14] This definition suggests or implies what the politically conservative Machiavelli made famous: “the ends justify the means,” though morally reprehensible, it is manifestly adopted by today’s neo-conservative/dominionist political duo.

 

[15] See Proverbs 3: 19-20: “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.” KJV.  And see Psalm 136:5.

 

[16] Ephesians 2:3. But compare the term “regeneration” in Matthew 19:28; and in Titus 3:5 where individuals are regenerated. And see II Corinthians 5:17 where regeneration makes “new creature [or creation] in Christ Jesus.”

 

[17] 2 Peter 1:4. II Corinthians 5: 17.

 

[18] See 1 John: 3:4 where the Greek word anomia is translated “lawlessness” in most of the Bible versions. Compare the following:

The Amplified Bible reads: “Every one who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness [the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect; being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will].

Similarly, the New International Version reads: “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

The New American Standard Bible reads: “Every one who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” 

The Revised Standard Bible reads: “Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.”

The New English Bible reads: “To commit sin is to break God’s law: sin, in fact, is lawlessness.”

The King James Version reads: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.”

 

[19] See Also Rule 18. SEEKING COUNSEL, where high character people seek advice from wise people of “high character.”

 

[20] Ephesians 5:22.


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