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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quote from Federalist #1

...nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has at all times characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.
He says, "by persecution." I might add, "or by government." And there is the great principle, the idea that must be understood if we are ever to see real conservatism flourish in this country again. We cannot do it at the ballot box. That is not to say that one should not vote; we should, if we are granted the great privilege of having a vote, use it wisely. Nor is it to say that we shouldn't campaign, and campaign hard, on behalf of good candidates and solid issues. But it is never the outcome of an election that determines the spirit of a people. Rather, election results reveal the state of the people. It is not the laws that we put in place that make the people what they are; it is what the people are that determine what sort of laws we will have. I don't care what sort of law or constitutional amendment you pass. Ultimately, it, by itself, does no good. The only real solution, the only long-term solution, to political turmoil is constant evangelism, apologetics, and discipleship.

I am the first person to say that we should agitate for good and just laws and fine leadership and conservative political principles. But the reality is that if we neglect what we are supposed to be about in favor of just political activism, we have already lost.

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