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Does William Wilberforce Make the Case for Roy Moore?

William Wilberforce was a 19th Century English political leader, devout Christian and the driving force behind Great Britain’s ban on slavery. He employed a principled Biblical understanding of the inherent value of every person and a practical willingness to compromise and take very small steps at times.

He is revered — by those who know his story. He was as morally upright as they come, although he would have decried such a description. His Christian life was the central focus of his life and he was a relentless fighter for what he believed was right — despite being barely five feet tall and sickly his entire life.

So for the voters of Alabama, including many Christians who are unsure if they can vote for Roy Moore, perhaps Wilberforce provides a way of measuring the decision by a man who more than understood the dilemma. It’s not as simple as maintaining total purity in whom one will support, or the end justifies the means.

Wilberforce was at once both a moral immediatist in abolishing slavery — he believed it must be 100 percent dismantled immediately — and a strategic incrementalist with a long-term view to take each necessary step to reach abolishment. His style and exhortations could in a sense be used to argue against a vote for Moore. But his actions tended more towards a vote for Moore.

Clarke Forsythe, M.A. in Bioethics from Trinity International University, wrote of Wilberforce in Politics for the Greatest Good:

“Although Wilberforce sponsored a motion for general and immediate abolition annually for several years, abolition came not immediately and totally, but in intent and in effect, incrementally. The slave trade was incrementally reduced by regulations and partial prohibitions, and those incremental reductions were tied, in public debate, to issues of national interest rather than strong arguments of morality – “justice” and “humanity” – which were reserved until the final stroke. The incremental reductions served to eliminate the fears raised by the claims of the slave traders. Though Wilberforce and his allies had the strongest moral motivations, they exhibited strategic, tactical and rhetorical flexibility in their actions and arguments in large part because they stayed focused on the end result and did not confuse the goal with their motivations.”

Compromise and sacrifice

Wilberforce’s choice to introduce a bill every year for the immediate abolition of slavery was a decision that politically eliminated him from ever becoming Prime Minister, which many thought he could probably obtain. But after going nowhere a few rounds, he began a more long-term approach that some refer to as incrementalism.

He was able to pass a bill banning the slave trade in certain parts of Africa and to certain parts of the colonies. It was a tiny step to slow the trade. He passed a bill limiting the number of slaves that can be shipped on British ships and a series of proposals called “amelioration bills” for better living conditions for slaves. This was argued on the basis of creating “humane” conditions on slave ships. Clanging words to our ears, but another step in reigning in some of the suffering by reducing the total trade.

These and other bills acted to reduce the profit and value of slavery. That, in turn, reduced the political support for the slave trade until it finally reached the point that Wilberforce and his allies in Parliament could bring the hammer to the cracking institution and finally destroy slavery in Great Britain and throughout the British Empire.

To accomplish this, Wilberforce not only compromised on immediate abolition, but he worked consistently on the incremental bills with members of Parliament who supported the slave trade and even participated profitably in it. He could be criticized for cooperating with slaver interests and not fighting to get full abolition sooner. And it was surely distasteful at times. But historians generally agree that without the incrementalism that reduced the political support, there was too much power in the slave trade to get full abolition passed.

The Wilberforce model has served as a bit of a guide — although not unanimously — for those who believe abortion is as morally abhorrent as slavery. Laws such as banning abortions once a baby in the womb is pain capable, waiting periods and requirement on mothers to see an ultrasound are in line with incrementalism even though the two issues are not completely analogous.

Tying these together a bit, the difference between Roy Moore and his opponent, Doug Jones, on the issue of abortion could not be more stark. Moore is pro sanctity of life from conception while Jones favors a woman’s right to kill her baby until the moment of birth.

Where would Wilberforce stand on this option, when Moore has a more questionable moral past than what is known about Doug Jones?

If Wilberforce had maintained a personal purity on who he would work with and what he would compromise — and stuck with total immediacy regarding the end of slavery rather than taking some bad to get more good — it seems unlikely he would have led the abolishment of slavery and that wicked institution would have continued to destroy lives for years or decades.

Can the same argument be made for Moore regarding abortion and federal judges who would rule more strongly in favor of personal freedoms — and possibly overturn Roe v. Wade and expand religious freedom? Is that an acceptable trade? Alabama voters will have to decide that one.

RELATED ARTICLE: Roy Moore’s lead over Doug Jones increases in new poll

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

On January 10 and 11, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held the confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Throughout his distinguished career in public service, which includes 12 years as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, Sessions has exhibited the utmost respect for our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and has worked tirelessly to prosecute those who use guns in the commission of a crime. Despite the best efforts of some to disrupt the hearing and promote scurrilous allegations, an image of the real Sessions came through during the hearing – that of a principled statesman devoted to our Constitution.

Since his days as a U.S. Attorney, Sessions has pursued the vigorous prosecution of those who misuse firearms to prey on the public. During his opening remarks, Sessions made clear that he will make the prosecution of armed criminals a priority, noting, “If I am confirmed, we will systematically prosecute criminals who use guns in committing crimes. As United States Attorney, my office was a national leader in gun prosecutions every year.”

Later in his opening remarks, Sessions spoke of the importance of the Constitution, stating, “The Justice Department must remain ever faithful to the Constitution’s promise that our government is one of laws, not of men. It will be my unyielding commitment, if I am confirmed, to see that the laws are enforced faithfully, effectively, and impartially.” Given the prior administration’s propensity to stretch federal statute beyond its plain or intended meaning, gun owners should find such devotion to the rule of law a refreshing change.

From the outset, many of Sessions’ Senate colleagues were effusive in their praise of the nominee. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) noted that Sessions “is a man of honor and integrity, dedicated to the faithful and fair enforcement of the law who knows well and deeply respects the Department of Justice and its constitutional role.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) stated, “I can vouch confidently for the fact that Jeff Sessions is a person of integrity, a principled leader, and a dedicated public servant.” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Sessions, “You’re a good and decent and honorable man. You’ve got an outstanding record that you should be proud of, and I know you are and you should be.”

Pointing to NRA-supported Project Exile, Cornyn went on to ask Sessions, “Can you assure us that you will make prosecuting those people who cannot legally possess or use firearms a priority again in the Department of Justice?” Sessions responded “I can,” adding that Project Exile “highlighted the progress that was being made by prosecuting criminals who use guns to carry out their crimes.” Sessions further noted that as a result of the strict enforcement of federal gun laws against armed criminals “Fewer people get killed,” and that “we need to step that up. It’s a compassionate thing.”

During his time, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pointed out some of the dangerous and partisan actions taken by the DOJ under Barack Obama – including Operation Fast and Furious and Operation Chokepoint – and asked whether Republicans, having taken control of the executive branch, should respond in kind by using the DOJ to “advance political preferences favored by the Republican party.” Sessions replied “No,” and explained that such partisan actions have “a corrosive effect on public confidence in the constitutional republic of which we are sworn to uphold.”

Anti-gun Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) questioned Sessions on the topic of gun control, asking, “Will you rigorously enforce statues that prohibit purchase of guns by felons or domestic abusers or drug addicts and use the statues that exist right now on the books to ban those individuals from purchasing guns?” Sessions responded adeptly, explaining, “Congress has passed those laws, they remain the bread and butter enforcement mechanisms throughout our country today to enforce guns laws. The first and foremost goal I think of law enforcement would be to identify persons who are dangerous, who have a tendency or have been proven to be law breakers and been convicted and those who are caught carrying guns during the commission of a crime.”

Despite the fact that, if confirmed, Sessions would be moving from a law-making capacity to enforcing the laws created by Congress, Blumenthal went on to ask Sessions if he supported so-called “universal” background check legislation for firearm transfers. Sessions dismissed the notion as impractical in many circumstances.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) used his time to ask Sessions to share his thoughts on the Second Amendment. Sessions responded with a staunch defense of the right to keep and bear arms, stating, “I do believe the Second Amendment is a personal right. It’s an historic right of the American people, and the Constitution protects that and explicitly states that. It’s just as much a part of the Constitution as any of the other great rights and liberties that we value.”

As befitting his character, Sessions was not fazed by repeated attempts to disrupt his confirmation hearing. Some of the professional agitators that could be seen in the crowd have previously protested and attempted to disrupt NRA events and business. During the Sessions hearing, one such provocateur from Code Pink was removed from the hearing while carrying a sign that in part read, “Support Civil Rights.” The scene will strike many gun rights supporters as bizarre, given that the protestor’s group has a history of opposing the natural right to self-defense and the corresponding right to keep and bear arms.

In closing the first day of the committee hearing, Grassley told Sessions, “You’re imminently qualified to serve as attorney general and I have every confidence that you’re going to do a superb job.” Grassley is right. However, whether due to petty partisan politics, or attempts at personal political profit, there are still some who seek to derail Sessions’ confirmation.

That is why it is vital that gun owners take the time to urge their Senators to confirm Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. NRA has made it easier than ever for gun rights supporters to contact their elected officials. To help ensure Sessions is the next U.S. Attorney General please use the following link to register your support: https://www.nraila.org/articles/20170105/urge-your-senators-to-confirm-jeff-sessions. You can also call your U.S. Senators via the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Jeffery B. Sessions: The Man Who Desegregated Schools and Got the Death Penalty for a KKK Murderer

Democrats, supported by the media, have taken a stand against Senator and U.S. Attorney General nominee Jeffrey B. Sessions, calling him a racist. Is that true or hyperbolic?

Actions speak louder than words. Democrats are focusing on words and ignoring Senator Sessions actions while a U.S. Attorney and as the Alabama Attorney General.

In a Weekly Standard column In Alabama, Jeff Sessions Desegregated Schools and Got the Death Penalty for KKK Murderer Mark Hemingway reports:

Sessions’s actual track record certainly doesn’t suggest he’s a racist. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a U.S. Attorney he filed several cases to desegregate schools in Alabama. And he also prosecuted Klansman Henry Francis Hays, son of Alabama Klan leader Bennie Hays, for abducting and killing Michael Donald, a black teenager selected at random. Sessions insisted on the death penalty for Hays. When he was later elected the state Attorney General, Sessions followed through and made sure Hays was executed. The successful prosecution of Hays also led to a $7 million civil judgment against the Klan, effectively breaking the back of the KKK in Alabama.

As a U.S. attorney, he also prosecuted a group of civil rights activists, which included a former aide to Martin Luther King Jr., for voter fraud in Perry County, Alabama. The case fell apart, and Sessions bluntly told me he “failed to make the case.” This incident has also been used to claim that Sessions is racist—but it shouldn’t be. The county has been dogged with accusations of voter fraud for decades. In 2008, state and federal officials investigated voter fraud in Perry County after “a local citizens group gathered affidavits detailing several cases in which at least one Democratic county official paid citizens for their votes, or encouraged them to vote multiple times.” A detailed story in the Tuscaloosa News reported that voting patterns in one Perry County town were also mighty suspicious in 2012: “Uniontown has a population of 1,775, according to the 2010 census but, according to the Perry County board of registrars, has 2,587 registered voters. The total votes cast there Tuesday—1,431—represented a turnout of 55 percent of the number of registered voters and a whopping 80.6 percent of the town’s population.”

Perhaps there are a lot of ideological reasons for liberals to be upset about Sessions becoming attorney general. But I don’t think the character attacks on the man can be taken seriously.

Read more…

In The Daily Signal column Why Jeff Sessions, ‘an Advocate for the Constitution,’ Has Conservatives So Excited Fred Lucas notes:

As attorney general, Jeff Sessions could go a long way toward reversing the politicization of the Justice Department that occurred under the Obama administration, Republican senators and conservative activists said Friday, after President-elect Donald Trump announced he is nominating the Alabama Republican senator for the nation’s top law enforcement job.

“Sen. Sessions’ solid understanding of the Constitution and firm commitment to the rule of law is exactly what the Justice Department needs,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “I have worked closely with Sen. Sessions on the Judiciary Committee over these past six years and I have every confidence that he will make a great attorney general for all Americans.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, commended the Sessions nomination and excoriated the Justice Department under the controversial leadership of Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

Read more…

Americans are tired of vitriol, they voted for change and got it with Donald J. Trump. 

President-elect Trump will get his U.S. Attorney General nominee. As Whitcomb Riley in his 1894 poem When Lide Married Him wrote, “‘Katy (or Katie) bar the door.”

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Trump’s Pick for Attorney General Prosecuted These Civil Rights Cases

Left-Wing Bigotry And Hatred Is On Full Display After Trump Win / IBD

Did Alabama’s Chief Justice Moore Clean CNN Host’s Clock in Same-Sex Marriage Debate? (ONLINE POLL)

In what CNN billed as an epic “debate,” Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore, gave CNN’s host of “New Day” Chris Cuomo a lesson in the law.

Obviously acting as a stalking horse for the same-sex marriage crowd, Cuomo attempted to embarrass Justice Moore with his questions, but, to his apparent chagrin Justice Moore continued to calmly correct him on the facts and the law.  Realizing he was losing the “debate,” Cuomo kept on changing the questions, and Justice Moore continued to school Cuomo in Constitutional law.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, said, “As the law currently stands, Justice Moore is right.  And I applaud him for his courageous and dignified stand for both the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Alabama.”

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in Epic 25 Minute Interview on Gay Marriage from Thomas More Law Center on Vimeo.


POLL: How do you feel Justice Moore did in the “debate?”

Reply to this e-mail with your thoughts and comments on this video.


To get a full understanding of Justice Moore’s legal reasoning, read the legal memorandum he sent to Alabama Probate Judges, dated February 3, 2015.

This is the legal memo Justice Moore sent to the Probate Judges.

In a letter dated January 27, 2015 to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Justice Moore stated that, “As of this date, 44 federal courts have imposed by judicial fiat same-sex marriages in 21 states of the Union, overturning the express will of the people in those states. If we are to preserve that ‘reverent morality which is our source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement,’ then we must act to oppose such tyranny!”

During the televised interview, Cuomo demanded to know whether Justice Moore would follow a federal court decision that legalized same-sex marriages. However, Cuomo himself refused to answer the question posed to him several times throughout the debate: whether or not he would follow the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision which held that people of African ancestry were not entitled to citizenship or constitutional protections.  Chief Justice Moore makes it clear that according to the US Constitution, the definition of marriage belongs to the states and should be left to the people of each state to decide.

Proving that Justice Moore’s analysis that the original preliminary injunction against the state attorney general was ineffective because he had no jurisdiction over marriages in Alabama, yesterday, the federal district judge allowed plaintiffs to amend their complaint and add probate judge Don Davis as a defendant so that the court’s injunction could temporarily allow gay marriages to take place.

The Thomas More Law Center has launched a national strategy for the protection of traditional marriage headed by TMLC senior trial counsel Erin Mersino. As a part of that strategy, TMLC has submitted numerous amicus briefs in key same-sex marriage cases on behalf of the National Coalition of Black Pastors and Christian Leaders. One of the purposes of these briefs is to negate the homosexual community’s fallacious argument that discrimination because of one’s sexual preference is the same as racial discrimination. To date, TMLC has filed four briefs with the Supreme Court, as well as with the 5th and 6th Circuit Courts in support of traditional marriage.

RELATED ARTICLE: Un-Manning Manning