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We've been hearing, or seeing on placards, "No justice, no peace."
But there is a precursor to this that the wisest political philosophers understood. "No law and order, no justice no peace." It is impossible to have the latter without the former.
No less than Pope John Paul II said the American Founding Fathers “clearly understood that there could be no true freedom without moral responsibility and accountability."
So people who work outside the law to tear down society tear down their opportunity for what George Washington called "ordered liberty," and thus for justice and peace.
"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters," Benjamin Franklin
Embrace lawlessness, jettison moral virtue for the "prevailing acceptable narrative" du jour, and risk losing liberty and justice for all.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at    

Civil liberties are not granted by government but are guarantees against government taking them away.  

The terms civil liberties and civil rights are often used synonymously or interchangeably. Both words are used in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. But they are different. 

Civil liberties are identified in the Bill of the Rights, here called rights. They are similar to what is referred to as human rights or natural rights, those that adhere to human beings as gifts of God or designations of nature. 

They are inviolable or in the words of the Declaration, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

Civil liberties “are freedoms guaranteed to us by the Constitution to protect us from tyranny (think: our freedom of speech), while civil rights are the legal rights that protect individuals from discrimination (think: employment discrimination).” Civil liberties “concern the actual basic freedoms; civil rights concern the treatment of an individual regarding certain rights.”

Civil liberties are protections against government action. Civil liberties restrain governments; they list what governments cannot do. The United States federal, state, or local governments did not give us our civil liberties. They are gifts of God, ours by birthright.

Civil liberties include life, liberty, the freedom of religion, freedom of speech (expanded to expression), freedom of the press, freedom of assembly or to petition the government for redress of grievances, the 14th Amendment’s due process, the 6th Amendment’s right to a fair trial, equal treatment under the law, right to own property. 

Civil rights are actions governments may institute to extend additional protections to citizens. Civil rights list what governments must do and have been expanded over time through “positive actions” of government, for example the 13th Amendment ending slavery in 1865, the 15th Amendment granting male citizens the right to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” the 19thAmendment of the US Constitution in 1920 giving women the right to vote, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, attempts a comprehensive list.

Civil rights include the right to vote, right to public education, or right to use public facilities. More recently, a right to privacy and the legalization of same-sex marriage have been added to American rights.

Consequently, citizens’ civil liberties may never lawfully be abridged without due process of law, while citizens’ civil rights may change over time according to new legislation enacted into law as interpreted by the courts.

In liberal democracies, civil liberties or natural rights predate and are a priori to governments. It is enormously important to recognize and remember this, particularly in this time period when a number of “big government” philosophies are ascendent and people frequently call for government to alter basic liberties according to their proclivities. And it’s also a time in the 2020 pandemic panic in which state governments via overreaching governors have issued “orders” upon orders telling citizens what to do and in a number of cases limiting their civil liberties.

The U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights may not be perfect, but I challenge anyone to cite civil documents creating a governmental system that is more protective and more supportive of individual liberty. This is a precious heritage.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at    

I grew up in a Christian home, in best sense of the term, with parents who were believers and took me to our fundamentalist Baptist church two or three times per week. The church, and our family, were Bible believing, fundamentalist in terms of doctrine, meaning belief in the inerrancy of Scripture, a literal Bible, and salvation through Christ alone. Thankfully, they were not the “militant” or angry kind of “Fundamentalists” I met later.

I have enjoyed the enormous blessing of growing up in that Christian home, of attending if not being taken to church whether or not I wanted to go, of experiencing a Christian higher education, and of a career working largely within and around Christian nonprofit organizations. All were formative.

In college, I began to think of myself as “Evangelical,” maintaining fundamentalist doctrine but more “culture-engaging,” which fit well with my interests in the social sciences and later Ph.D. in political science. I’ve always encouraged Christians to get involved in social and political matters.

In college, too, I began to develop my political thought, reading Christian philosophers like Francis A. Schaeffer, and considered myself conservative, but even then, I was not quite comfortable with that label, much less a Republican label, though I voted Republican.

Later, I refined this, considering myself conservative in political thought but not “Capital C” Conservative. I affirmed conservative political and social beliefs but did not subscribe to an “Ism,” as in Conservatism. From time to time, I supported moderate political issues.

Fast forward to the 1980s and “Fundamentalist” started to mean, via Big Media, Ayatollah Khomeini and the like. This certainly was not me, for sure, nor was I comfortable with all that the Religious Right and the Moral Majority presented in those years, led by Fundamentalist pastor Jerry Falwell, Sr. Then in the 1990s and on into the early 2000s, George W Bush’s campaigns and presidency, “Evangelical” was more or less coopted by Big Media and portrayed as “Values voters” or “Family values” or just Republican. There were nuances here, of course, but all this made me uncomfortable because these new meanings and applications were not necessarily what I meant when I used the term.

During my Cornerstone University President days, 1991-2008, I gradually set aside both these labels, especially when I started writing more, e.g. for my long-term radio program “Making a Difference.” I wanted to write not as a Conservative, or much less a Republican, but as a person with a Christian worldview, simply trying to apply my Christian thinking to everyday life, including ideology and partisanship.

Fast forward again to 2015-16 and the Donald J. Trump campaign, then into his presidency, when “Evangelical” came to mean, in shorthand for some Big Media journalists, Trump supporters. 

For my tastes, things got so bad that by January 2016, I declared on Facebook that I was no longer going to use the terms Republican or Evangelical to describe myself. I’d be an Independent and a Christian, conservative in both regards.

In my view, though I am still on the conservative side of the political spectrum, about as many Conservative and/or Republican leaders periodically act poorly, immorally, selfishly, etc. as do Liberal and/or Democrat leaders. While I was never comfortable with ideological or partisan labels, I am even more so now, so I’ve stuck with the Independent and Christian self-designations.

I believe in “unalienable” rights, those natural, universal human rights given to us by God, which no government either grants or ever can or should take away, as gloriously described in the Declaration of Independence:  

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I support religious liberty for all, and I embrace and am grateful for the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” 

I believe in free, pluralistic, democratic republican government, limited government, and government of, by, and for the people, rule of law and justice, private property, and free enterprise. I’m glad for the United States of America’s history as a “Great Experiment” in democratic government, the “First New Nation.

I am prolife from conception to death, or anti abortion-on-demand at any stage of pregnancy, and including so-called "born-alive" babies who survive abortions. 

I consider myself pro-immigrant and want a reformed legal process by which “illegals” or “aliens” or “undocumenteds” can become citizens, especially DACA kids. I’m glad for the United States of America’s history as “a nation of immigrants.”

I am patriotic, of course about my home country, but more than this, about its ideals regarding human freedom and government as codified in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and its Amendments

I do not confuse my Christian faith with nationalism. I do not think the USA is perfect, or better always than other countries, just admirable in its ideals if not always our history or our actions. Like all else in our lives, our country and our patriotism must be critiqued by our Christian worldview.

So, I am more interested in being a good Christian citizen than being a Conservative or Republican or Independent or any other similar designation.

I am more interested in being a good Christian than being a good Evangelical or similar designation.

I’ve not covered the waterfront here. Not possible, and perhaps I’ve forgotten something, but these are some basics.

I am most interested in “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15).


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at    

Protestors have been driving to state capitals to express disagreement with governors’ pandemic-induced stay-at-home executive orders.

Some observe this is a First Amendment right of any or every American. Some who disagree, including certain governors, claim the citizens are out of line or “partisan,” racist, etc., or not with governors’ coronavirus shutdown orders thus ipso facto not worthy of serious consideration. And protestors have used slogans, symbols, and statements including referencing fascism, etc. to make their points, which make for edgy photo ops on the evening news. 

One thing is fairly clear, the longer state shutdowns go, the more the rhetoric is heating up on both or all sides

Protests per se are not the problem, or at least they should not be in this free country, one with a now long history of meaningful protest dating from the colonial period. 

Peaceful assembly and protests are indeed protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and much case law since. It’s when “peaceful” is lost that protests become a problem – unless of course you disagree with the protestors and take a moral high ground condemning their presentation even if peacefully presented.

I’ve written about protest before in what I considered a much-needed Civics 101 lesson. Let’s review:

1—Is protest legal in the US? Yes, in this free country it is, as long as the protest is peaceful or nonviolent, i.e. not harming people, others’ property, impeding people’s progress on public thoroughfares, or otherwise creating a threat to public safety.

2—Do I have to agree with protestors to agree with their freedom to protest? No.

3—Should protestors (or speakers) with whom I disagree be silenced? No, this idea and now increasingly common action is the opposite of the ideal of freedom of speech.

4—If the point of protest is to draw attention to something considered troublesome, isn’t it logical that the more outrageous the protest the more likely it will elicit response? Yes and No. Yes, outrageous is OK as long as it fits within #1. No, in that outrageous may backfire on protestors, eliciting not a response to their views but to their method.

5—Is protest “bad”? No, not really. It is part of what it means to live in a free, pluralistic, and democratic society.

6—Do American citizens have the “right” to protest anywhere, anytime, for any reason? Yes and No. Yes, as long as it fits in #1. No, if it violates #1.

I support Americans’ right to protest peacefully. The key here are the words “right,” meaning this inalienable civil liberty is protected and guaranteed, and “peacefully,” meaning your right to vent or to express your point of view ends when you introduce threats and/or destruction to property or persons.

I do not support, nor think it remotely necessary, people carrying rifles on state government property. I know this is legal. I know they can do this legally if they wish, but I don’t think it helps their cause and might increase the potential for conflict.

I do not think it is necessary or appropriate, and in fact believe it undermines good arguments on the merits, for protestors to carry swastikas or Confederate flags, or other highly emotive, negative, and divisive symbols. Again, is this legal and a part of freedom of expression? Yes. So what’s the problem? In one since, nothing, it’s some protestors’ way of communicating their concerns. In another sense, it invites if not invokes a whole other discussion that may or may not advance their point of view. And please, I know when I say this some will think, This is exactly what we want to convey, pointing out tyranny in contemporary American politics. Others will react to the associations and history these symbols bring to bear. For me, I wouldn’t go there.

Free speech, or more broadly expression, is at work in protests. So what’s the problem with people “calling names”? Nothing. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”…maybe.

Again, for me, while I strongly affirm freedom of speech, I do not endorse or recommend calling presidents, senators or representatives, governors, mayors, or any duly elected or appointed public servant degrading nicknames or using any crude or disgusting vocabulary to describe them. To me, this is juvenile and counterproductive to public discourse. Is it their “right” to speak freely? Yes. Is this sort of approach good for the Body Politic? I don’t think so. 

In a similar vein, some journalists or public officials have called people who choose not to wear a mask in public, “selfish” or “morons” or even the “enemy.” OK, that’s their opinion and they can say this. I don’t go there because I don’t want to label everyone with whom I disagree. I’d rather counter their arguments or points of view on the merits instead of insulting the person. Attacking the person doesn’t leave much room for ongoing debate. We have too much of this on the national level.

Peaceful protests are legal, appropriate, even necessary to the best functioning of a democracy.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at    

Remember when Ronald Reagan, 41 then 43, Bill then Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama - Dan Quayle, Al Gore, Dick Cheney dominated the news? I even remember LBJ, Richard Milhous Nixon, and Jimmy Who? Carter. Where are they now?

Political leaders, like the rest of us in the human race, have a shelf-life. They’re only around for a season, then no matter what they’ve done or what their legacy, they fade away.  

We’d all do well to think about this when we’re about to blow a gasket over the current crop of politicos. 

Then there’s “What goes around comes around.” Politicians and their partisans would have an easier go of it if they remembered this each and every time they rejoice at goring the other side’s ox. 

When candidate-then-President Trump makes news for his sordid past with women, or even his unwise, unhealthy comments relating to women (or for that matter about anyone) that he yet drops from time to time, Democrats trumpet this to the moon. They did this as well, going for the jugular, in the nominee-now-Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. “Believe the woman,” it was said. Former Vice President Joe Biden even said there was no need for a “presumption of innocence” regarding the allegations (with it turned out minimal to no evidence) against Kavanaugh. The point was partisan power politics and innocent until proven guilty be hanged.  

I’m not saying they and the rest of us should not hold the President, or as appropriate the Justice, accountable. I don’t like the President’s ongoing attitude and approach to how he often treats others.  

I’m just warning Democrats, and Republicans, not to gloat, not to assume the moral high ground of self-righteousness that suggests “their side” is without issues.

Then it inevitably flips. Now former Vice President and Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden is being accused of a 1993 sexual assault.  Several times prior to this he has also been accused of being “too handsy” with women, and there are a load of pictures to document this. Suddenly, though, it appears “Believe the woman” is out the window, and we’re seeing Democrat party leaders, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, do a dance trying to support Biden. Same is true for the pickle this now creates for the celebrities who advanced the #MeToo movement.

My point, again, is not in any stretch to defend either Donald Trump or Joe Biden. My point is not to advance the idea of “Believe the woman,” which I understand but think should be subject to “innocent until proven guilty” for all men and women. My point is that “What goes around comes around,” which is especially true regarding character issues because both Parties are well stocked with soon-to-be breaking news.

Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone…” (John 8:7). So, if Republicans are going to triumphantly celebrate when a Democrat fails, what goes around comes around, and sooner if not later a Republican will fail as Democrats celebrate. But neither Republican or Democrat politicians, nor media figures or celebrities, nor any of the rest of us are without fault. There are none righteous, no not one.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at    


Politically, I keep wondering:

1) Why must Christians, Evangelicals (for that matter any religious group), Republicans or Democrats declare absolute fidelity to a person/politician/Party no matter what?  That one and only view becomes my way or the highway, with no wiggle room allowed.

2) When did critical, independent thinking become unacceptable? There is very little of either on social media.

3) Why can’t we salute good ideas/policies/behaviors while also critiquing or rejecting poor ideas/policies/behaviors, rather than assuming all-or-none positions?

4) When did your Party’s Pols become Angels and the other Party’s Pols become Demons? Seems to me there’s plenty of bad behavior to go around. 

5) Isn’t it possible to support the President or other politicians, or not, without defending carte blanche their bad ideas/policies, poor behavior, or given actions?

6) Isn’t it possible even desirable for our argument to offer criticism (on the merits) of those with whom we disagree without adopting the current trend toward loathing and demeaning language? This embrace of name-calling and rancor among Christians is even more difficult to understand or justify. In fact, it is senseless. There is no justification for using insulting language to describe one’s political opponents. It’s juvenile at best.

I’ve always enjoyed discussing religion and politics, and I am privileged to have earned a Ph.D. in Political Science. But the political rancor that built in the 2000s and exploded in 2016 made it virtually impossible to discuss political perspectives-policies-politicians without dividing any group, often to the point of hard feelings. Very few people, it seems, can debate politics objectively, i.e., without getting us vs. them emotional. 

Since I value friendships (and since I represent a nonprofit organization) more than politicking, I quit posting, stopped raising political or even most contemporary issues among family and friends, and even wrote an article on “The Death of Discussion.” 

Since 2016, demeaning insults (on both sides of the partisan aisle) that pass for intellectual discourse have only gotten worse. My choice to “go dark” is not for everyone.  I miss good debates, and I think non-discussion is bad for citizenship and democracy. But I still value those friendships and I don’t see any changes other than more ugliness in 2020.

Only in the past two weeks, in the wake of the overreach, unconstitutional, and unnecessary actions by state governors, including Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer, have I re-engaged politically on social media. I do this not for partisan interests, because I have none, but out of great concern for the preservation of American civil liberties.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at