What we still believe

Our core convictions are worth restating

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Eighteen years ago, this newspaper published an editorial headlined “What we believe,” in which we summarized the bedrock principles that guide and inform our daily comments on the significant times we live in.

With so many visitors in town for the Masters who may find other media outlets with different values, or seemingly with none at all – and with the country walking more and more on craggy cliffs financially and morally – we’d like to take this opportunity to restate and update our core convictions.

• First and foremost, this is a Christian-owned newspaper that makes no bones about an unshakable belief in God and His restorative grace and ultimate forgiveness through the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ. On no other day of the year is that infinite love more in evidence than on Easter.

• We believe that the U.S. Constitution is still the law of the land, as irrelevant and contorted as it has become these days.

Today, in pure violation of the Constitution, the federal government has asserted its heavy-handed influence in our schools, our businesses, our 50 states and even our personal lives in ways our Founders never would have imagined or sanctioned. That the federal mandate ordering us to buy insurance at the bayonet of a fine may be struck down by only one vote in the Supreme Court is evidence enough, but there are many other examples.

The 10th Amendment alone – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” – has been reduced to confetti.

There is no overstating the dangers of a nation oblivious to, or dismissive of, its own charter. If, in a country built upon the rule of law, the supreme law of the land becomes but a quaint parchment under glass, then our republic is truly lost, as Benjamin Franklin feared it might be. Such a nation invites and empowers leaders who have permission to make up the rules as they go along. This is the path of arbitrariness and caprice, the oppression of which our forebears risked all to escape.

Highly educated historians, our Founders knew well the traits of tyrants and their long history of dominion.

In a 2009 editorial, we likened neglect of the Constitution to pouring a foundation for a beach house and then simply ignoring it and building over the shifting sand. How long can such a structure stand?

• We believe that freedom is the most important commodity in human relations, and that the relationship between freedom and government is a zero-sum game: The more government, the less freedom.

This principle has particular resonance today, perhaps more than ever. The growth of government employment, cost and reach in recent years has become legendary, and tantamount to the proverbial slow-boil of the frog. No government-centric society has ever flourished the way our Constitution-based republic used to. And it never will.

• We believe in the uplifting power of responsibility and self-reliance.

In so many ways, our country today discourages or replaces the need for responsibility and self-reliance. Parents are no longer even expected to feed their own children. A culture of victimization and helplessness, a government that seeks to be all things to all people, and a legal-industry message that there’s always somebody else to blame for one’s problems, have led to an absolutely heartbreaking erosion of this country’s can-do spirit.

It is not “compassion” to entice dependence and bitterness. It’s the opposite of compassion. It’s injecting a paralyzing solution into the body politic.

There are still flickers of American-style self-reliance and responsibility out there –
especially among small-businesses and entrepreneurs – and they must be nurtured if the flame of American exceptionalism and success is to endure.

• To accomplish the latter, we believe a return to a more laissez-faire approach, featuring smaller and less-intrusive government, is utterly essential. The free market is the only system that has ever lifted up peoples for long, and has brought more goods, services and prosperity to more people than any system in history.

• We believe firmly in open government and secured borders. A free people cannot remain so if their government, at any level, is hiding public information. With very few exceptions, the public’s business must remain public.

• We believe the First Amendment is the most important document from the mind of man, and the right to free speech and worship the most basic of human rights. We cherish the press’ role in keeping people free and their government honest, and are proud to be a part of that noble task.

• We believe the most imminent threat to our republic is not terrorism or poverty or any number of emerging threats. Rather, we believe the most impending and menacing danger to America is our own federal government and its unprecedented, unchecked spending.

Careerism in Congress has led self-serving leaders to use our money – and our children’s and grandchildren’s future earnings – to buy favor and entrench themselves in seats of imperious and unending power. This has led them to enslave us with $16 trillion in debt and several times that in future encumbrances for entitlement programs. The burden on our progeny will be staggering, if not crippling.

We therefore believe constitutional amendments are desperately needed to restrict both spending and congressional terms of office.

But we also believe a simple return to constitutional principles could do the job – if we only had the will.

We are at once amazed, alarmed, saddened and uneasy that such principles appear so out of place and uncommon today, and are met with cries of “extremist!”

But in truth, these are America’s founding values. And we will never give them up – or give up advocating them.

Comments (23) Add comment
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Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 04/07/12 - 11:22 pm
6
6
More government. Less

More government. Less freedom. Had the chance to endorse constitutionalist libertarian twice and didnt . Pox on you, ACES. Don't act all different because new people are in town. The next time I decide to run for office and you want to call me in for your coveted endorsement coronation, skip my number. I will not be there. Have a good one, and hope you and your picks get buried come November. :)

wondersnevercease
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wondersnevercease 04/07/12 - 11:25 pm
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Amen AC...Happy Easter!
Unpublished

Amen AC...Happy Easter!

fedex227
11187
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fedex227 04/07/12 - 11:28 pm
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Quite obviously there's a
Unpublished

Quite obviously there's a reason Georgia ranks 47th in education in the United States.
Visitors to Augusta during Masters week: please don't judge us all by the editorial comments made by our one and only Christian-sponsored, Republican-owed periodical. Many of our citizens engage in independent thought, can think for ourselves, and do not believe that the demise of our nation is right around the corner. Please realize that the Augusta Chronicle only posts editorials of this type to spark this kind of response. Once again, our sincere apologies.

Retired Army
17512
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Retired Army 04/07/12 - 11:33 pm
6
8
Well, I guess when you get

Well, I guess when you get right down to it, self serving hypocrisy really shouldn't be called a good point, even if it seems to be the real guiding spirit of this editorial staff.

Tough words? Yup, but I'm not alone in that assessment.

faithson
5265
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faithson 04/07/12 - 11:41 pm
2
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The ship of social change has

The ship of social change has left the harbor. All one's wishes and prayers cannot bring her back to port. It is best WE learn to sit at the table of decisions TOGETHER and move forward, sometimes in ways we as individuals or groups may not like, but move we must and will.

Pu239
284
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Pu239 04/07/12 - 11:48 pm
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With all of hand wringing
Unpublished

With all of hand wringing about the slant of the editorial page by some self-appointed "bastions of virtue," It would seem that these defenders of the realm, would forge ahead and publish their very own daily periodical that contained absolutely no bias in the news or editorial content....(yeah right)

Haki
31
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Haki 04/08/12 - 12:49 am
5
4
I wish we believed in truly

I wish we believed in truly uplifting this community for one week of the year. When I was young and we had important visitors in town, whom brought good graces, fellowship and/or a major economic investment, we were taught to be on our best behavior. To discuss what was important to us, what we were all about and benefits we offered throughout society. I'm not reaping anything outside of pride from this week, but my community does. I wish we could put the brakes on being decisive for one week a year. A week that is so very important to the CSRA.

specsta
6595
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specsta 04/08/12 - 09:19 am
11
6
This is typical Republican

This is typical Republican drivel - bless the wealthy and to heck with the poor. Cut government spending in every area except the military-industrial complex and the funding of wars. Eliminate social services such as food stamps or welfare because if you're not rich it's your own fault. Support the First Amendment except when it is in opposition to your morals. Tighten immigration when it involves folks with a darker skin pigmentation. Demand less intrusive government except when it involves a woman's body.

Blah, blah, blah...

Folks that see beyond the conservative rhetoric find the doublespeak to be quite amusing.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 04/08/12 - 04:13 am
8
1
How does one rationalize the

How does one rationalize the relationship between Billy and the TEE Center as an example of the "laissez-faire" capitalism he extols?

gaflyboy
5043
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gaflyboy 04/08/12 - 06:27 am
6
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Thank you and well said ACES!

Thank you and well said ACES! The comments here break my heart. “More government. Less freedom.”!?

If things keep going like they are, which sadly appears they will, we’re doomed. Before long these people who want government to take care of them will realize that initial good intentions will fail. Even if the government wanted to do that, it can’t. Not for long. Then we’ll see what tyranny is! I fear for my children and grandchildren living in a world like that.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 04/08/12 - 07:41 am
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Thank you ACES for your

Thank you ACES for your letter. Some of use enjoy your paper.

It is odd that some who so venomently despise the AC paper will continually read and comment here. I guess if it was a non-Christian, democratically owned, live for today and forget about your fellow man, kind of paper, you'd have nothing to complain about.

Riverman1
87097
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Riverman1 04/08/12 - 08:01 am
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5
I'll wager 99% of the

I'll wager 99% of the visitors to our town agree wholeheartedly with the editorial. The industrious, hard working and intelligent Americans are carrying the water for those who don't even want to operate the handpump at the well.

Riverman1
87097
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Riverman1 04/08/12 - 08:39 am
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For the liberals, one thing

For the liberals, one thing the AC demonstrates is its tolerance for opposing views. I find it humorous libs spend their time here, yet, always talk about how much they disapprove of the AC. Doesn't quite fit. In any case, it proves the AC wins the war of ideas when so many come here to read what they say.

Rhetor
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Rhetor 04/08/12 - 08:31 am
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Since you describe yourselves

Since you describe yourselves as a Christian paper, I respectfully submit that certain passages of the Christian Bible command us to give compassion to the poor and concern for the alien. See, e.g., Malachi 3:5 (found at the end of the Old Testament, and sadly ignored by people who don't get that far in their Bible reading), the Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke, etc. Consider also that Jesus and his disciples took free hospitality, consorted with the poor and outcast, and gleaned food from farms and orchards in accordance with their land's customs. Jesus healed the sick and asked no payment. Maybe you should publish an editorial on the Sermon on the Mount? I'm curious how you reconcile that greatest of all speeches with your political views. Thank you for the eidtorial, and a joyous Easter to all the world.

Riverman1
87097
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Riverman1 04/08/12 - 08:49 am
5
3
Rhetor, if any civilization

Rhetor, if any civilization in the history of the world has spent more on helping the poor, I'd like to know of it. We educate, feed and house the poor.

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 04/08/12 - 09:04 am
3
5
Very good editorial. Thank

Very good editorial. Thank you AC for making a stand that many others are too "wimpy" to do. As to the negative remarks we have read here in the comments, ignore them, they will always be around, they have for several milleniums, and unfortunately, they will continue(for a while). I agree with ICL and Riverman about the folks that put you down, but guess what? They keep coming back thinking their words will hurt you. Wrong! As long as you stay faithful to your convictions and to our Father GOD, everything is going to okay.-I'm sorry Rhetor, until you know Hebrew meanings for the Old Testament*, Greek meanings for the New Testament*, and the people that are being talked about in these verses, you cannot tell the AC or anyone else anything biblically! *Also Aramaic where spoken.

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 04/08/12 - 09:08 am
2
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Also, Rhetor, it is not

Also, Rhetor, it is not easter, it is Passover. The word easter comes from a pagan goddess of fertility. Check that out!!

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 04/08/12 - 09:09 am
5
5
Rhetor, just for clarity,

Rhetor, just for clarity, Malachi 3:5 states "And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts."

This scripture is referring to the coming of John the Baptist and God is speaking to the Jews. It is true that God commands us to take care of the widows and orphans. Yes Jesus and his disciples took hospitality from those who GAVE freely. He helped the poor and sick which I believe this nation does a great job of. There is a huge difference in helping those who are truely in need and those who are lazy and just want and then use the ruse of scripture to justify their complacency. We can also find many scripture where Jesus spoke on laziness, and not eating if you do not do a days work, but surprisingly people only want to quote the easy part of scripture.

Jon Lester
2369
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Jon Lester 04/08/12 - 10:36 am
1
3
Jane is right. It's a

Jane is right. It's a translator error that a name derived from the pagan Ishtar occasion was substituted for Passover in the book of Acts. The KJV is not inerrant.

wondersnevercease
9218
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wondersnevercease 04/08/12 - 10:43 am
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He Is
Unpublished

He Is Risen!!!!............................AMEN

jic
352
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jic 04/08/12 - 11:11 am
4
4
Declaring yourself "first and
Unpublished

Declaring yourself "first and foremost" as a Christian paper disqualifies you to speak objectively on all other points. I would suggest another editorial specifying what "slant" of Christian faith guides your ability to ignore most of the gospel in your political views. What would Jesus do, indeed? You should be the first to point out that, thanks to our founding fathers' wisdom the government is in fact representative of the people, and built with sufficient checks and balances to prevent tyranny. It is in fact, not too big. Anything but.

carcraft
27125
Points
carcraft 04/08/12 - 01:29 pm
2
4
As usual, an excellent

As usual, an excellent editorial ACES! By the flack you are getting you can tell you are on target!

Rhetor
1026
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Rhetor 04/08/12 - 01:29 pm
4
0
InChristLove and Soapy, I

InChristLove and Soapy, I certainly respect your right to interpret the Bible as you wish. I have read the Bible carefully and with reverence and find no reason to endorse your opinions, and many Biblical reasons to reject them in a respectful way, but so be it. It's a free country. As before, a joyous Easter to all.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 04/08/12 - 02:26 pm
2
3
Rhetor, you can read the

Rhetor, you can read the Bible carfully and with reverence but until you have the Holy Spirit living inside you to guide you in understanding scripture, you appear to being just reading black type on white paper. I'm curious to know what Biblical reasons you have to respectfully disagree with the explanation I gave on the scripture you quoted. Please give scriptural references too so that I may pray and study over them to assure that the explanation is from the Holy Spirit and not based on your opinion of what the scripture is saying.

iLove
626
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iLove 04/08/12 - 03:28 pm
4
1
Icl your comments DO NOT
Unpublished

Icl your comments DO NOT represent the Holy Spirit. Yea, I guess you could say that I'm "judging".

iLove
626
Points
iLove 04/08/12 - 03:35 pm
2
0
Matt. 19:21
Unpublished

Matt. 19:21

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 04/08/12 - 05:01 pm
0
2
iLove, my comments do not

iLove, my comments do not represent the Holy Spirit....and how do you know this? I believe I said that unless you do not have the Holy Spirit inside you, guiding you, you can not understand scripture. And please explain how Matthew 19:21 makes your point?

Matthew 19:21 "Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.""

In this scripture, to be perfect means complete in all its parts, finished, having no part wanting. Sometimes, perfect means the filling up, the carrying out, or the expression of a principle of action. 1 John 2:5; "Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected." I may not be perfect by mankind's standards but I am made whole and perfect through Jesus Christ. Thank you Jesus.

When Jesus tells the young man to go and sell all you have, Jesus is testing the young man because he claimed to have followed all of the Law and Jesus knew this man's possessions meant more to him that following Christ. His possessions were his idol, not Christ. Yes, we are to help the poor and needy, and I think most of us do a wonderful job of helping them. In some cases God has called individuals to give up all their worldly possesions to follow into ministry for Him, but it is not required of everyone to give everything you own to be a follower of Christ. 2 Corinthians 8:11 "Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have" . Likewise, a person can sell and give away everything they own and still lack the grace of God.

Salvation is not determine by monetary value, it is a heart thing, not a money thing. This man went away without salvation because he thought the price was too high. What he failed to understand is that God has all the riches we need and they are more than what this earthly life can bestow on us.

So again iLove, I fail to see where this scripture has anything to do with the original comment.

specsta
6595
Points
specsta 04/08/12 - 08:00 pm
5
0
InChristLove wrote: "There is

InChristLove wrote: "There is a huge difference in helping those who are truely in need and those who are lazy and just want and then use the ruse of scripture to justify their complacency. We can also find many scripture where Jesus spoke on laziness, and not eating if you do not do a days work..."

Jesus spoke much more about religious folks (Pharisees) than someone who was lazy, and when He referenced laziness, it was about squandering one's talents or failing to use or invest one's assets properly.

However, Jesus had harsh words for religious folks who thought themselves to be self-righteous and better than others; those who thought that because they kept every rule and law they were acceptable and holy and in a position to condemn others - as a matter of fact, THERE IS NO HARSHER REBUKE in the entire Bible than Jesus' rebuke of religious folk, and His rebuke for those who do not feed the hungry, do not clothe the naked, and do not take care of those who are sick and in prison.

Yet somehow, conservative Christians have twisted Jesus' commands so much that they actually believe it is their mission to withhold help from the needy. They believe it is their mission to condemn those that do not live up to their morals and rules. They believe that they alone are the standard to measure one's faith in God, and if you don't succumb to their man-made dogma, you are morally bankrupt.

Unfortunately, these conservative Christians couldn't be further from the truth.

Matthew 25:41 -“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Haki
31
Points
Haki 04/08/12 - 08:39 pm
5
2
Thank you, Specsta. You put

Thank you, Specsta. You put in words what my heart is feeling.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 04/08/12 - 09:39 pm
1
2
specsta, although most of

specsta, although most of your comment is partly accurrate, the discussion wasn't on religious folks being self righteous. We were discussing taking care of the poor and needy.

I believe you will not find a true Christian who would not give you the shirt off his back or the food off his table if you were truely in need. But Christ did speak on idleness and laziness and I will have to disagree with your assessment that the harshes rebuke from Jesus was towards those religious folk.

We can agree that Jesus said we are to take care of the widows and orphans, we are to love our neighbor, and we are to help the poor and needy.....but in doing so does not mean you have to sell all you have and give to someone who is able and is a sluggard.

As for Matthew 25:41-46 that you reference. I believe it would be helpful if you do additional research and begin around verse 31. This scripture is in reference to the second coming of our Lord when he divides the saved from the unsaved. He tells those who have not accepted Him to depart because although they did all the good deeds, they mean nothing because it was for personal glory, false righteousness. This has nothing to do with feeding the poor and needy per se, but has everything to do with salvation in Jesus Christ.

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