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Laurence M. Vance

Laurence M. Vance

Laurence M. Vance is an author, a publisher, a lecturer, a freelance writer, the editor of the Classic Reprints series, and the director of the Francis Wayland Institute. He holds degrees in history, theology, accounting, and economics. The author of twenty-four books, he has contributed over 700 articles and book reviews to both secular and religious periodicals.

Articles by Laurence M. Vance

Citizens United Revisited

13 days ago

It has been ten years since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. This being a presidential election year, it might be a good idea to revisit this case.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002—the McCain-Feingold Act—prevented corporations or labor unions funding “electioneering communications” that refer to a candidate for federal office within 60 days of a general election and within 30 days of a primary election.
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which was decided by the Supreme Court on January 21, 2010, by a 5-4 vote, the Court reversed the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that upheld the provisions of BCRA prohibiting unions and corporations from broadcasting

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Who Should Not Have the Right To Vote?

20 days ago

We often hear about who should have the right to vote, but rarely do we ever hear about who should not have the right to vote.
In 2018, the states of Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia were the only four states where convicted felons did not regain the right to vote after completion of all the terms of their sentences.
Then, in the November election, voters in my state of Florida approved Amendment 4, the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative. A 60 percent supermajority vote was required for approval. The amendment passed by a vote of 64.55 to 35.45 percent.
The ballot summary read as follows:
This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their

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Discrimination Insanity

27 days ago

I don’t watch or follow football, but it has nothing to do with Colin Kaepernick or the militarization of the NFL pre-game show. I haven’t watched a football game since before Kaepernick was born. I did watch football when I was much younger, and remember playing the game after school with my friends around the neighborhood when I was in junior high.
Although I don’t watch or follow football, and couldn’t tell you what teams played in the last Super Bowl or will play in the upcoming Super Bowl, two recent articles about football caught my attention because they concerned the supposed bias and discrimination against blacks being head coaches.
In “Agent expects ‘exodus’ of black coaches from the NFL to college football,” the writer

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The Real Reason Roe v. Wade Should Be Reconsidered

January 22, 2020

Today, January 22, is National Sanctity of Human Life Day. The first such day was proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The date was chosen because it is the date in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court, in the infamous case of Roe v. Wade, held that a woman’s right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. States may no longer ban abortions before the fetus is determined to be “viable.”
Many churches celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on the third Sunday of January—the Sunday before the anniversary of the Roe decision. On this Sunday, sermons were preached on the national sin of abortion, literature was passed out regarding the evils of abortion, gruesome pictures were shown

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Should Christians Pray for the Troops?

January 14, 2020

Some years ago I gave my expression to my own feeling – anti-patriotic feeling, it will doubtless be called – in a somewhat startling way. It was at the time of the second Afghan war, when, in pursuance of what were thought to be “our interests,” we were invading Afghanistan. News had come that some of our troops were in danger. At the Athenæum Club a well-known military man – then a captain but now a general – drew my attention to a telegram containing this news, and read it to me in a manner implying the belief that I should share his anxiety. I astounded him by replying – ‘When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves.’” ~

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Why Do Christian Groups Support Anti-Christian Legislation?

January 7, 2020

The Civil Rights Act of 1964—an unconstitutional expansion of federal power that destroyed the rights of private property, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of thought, free enterprise, and freedom of contract—currently prohibits discrimination in “public accommodations” based on race, color, religion, or national origin.
After several years of failure to pass the Equality Act in the House when it was controlled by Republicans, Democrats, who regained control of the House in the 2018 election, passed the legislation (H.R.5) in the House by a vote of 236-173 on May 17, 2019. Only eight Republicans voted in favor of it. A related bill was earlier introduced in the Republican-controlled Senate (S.788), but has no

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The Madness of the Military Mindset

December 31, 2019

I find in existence a new and heretofore unknown and dangerous concept that the members of the armed forces owe their primary allegiance and loyalty to those who temporarily exercise the authority of the executive branch of the Government, rather than to the country and its Constitution they are sworn to defend. No proposition could be more dangerous. ~ General Douglas MacArthur
Does it matter how you make a living? Those with a military mindset apparently don’t think it does.
I’ve written some articles about the military over the course of the past few months:
“Should We Honor Military Personnel?”
“What Is It that Libertarians Don’t Get about the Military?”
“Military Habits”
“Thank You for What Service?”
Some of the comments I

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Democrats and the Constitution

December 25, 2019

Whenever I write anything negative about the Republicans, I invariably get bombarded with e-mails asking me why I never write something critical of the Democrats.
Well, first of all, I do write things critical of Democrats. Last month I wrote an article critical of Democrats titled “Drugs, Dogs, and Democrats.” And just this month, in an article about how bad the Republicans are, I stated why it is that Democrats are worse than horrible.
Secondly, because the Democratic Party is pure evil, and proudly so, we never have to worry about Democrats using libertarian rhetoric to deceive the electorate. Republicans, on the other hand, often recite the conservative mantra of limited government, the Constitution, federalism, individual

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So What

December 17, 2019

I am going to make this as simple as I can. So simple that even Reaganite red-state conservatives who follow Sean Hannity can get it.
The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801) with “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.” Under federal law, possession of marijuana is punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed one year and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction, with increasing penalties for subsequent convictions. The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government has the authority to

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So What

December 17, 2019

I am going to make this as simple as I can. So simple that even Reaganite red-state conservatives who follow Sean Hannity can get it.
The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801) with “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.” Under federal law, possession of marijuana is punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed one year and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction, with increasing penalties for subsequent convictions. The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government has the authority to

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You Just Think You Have the Right To Refuse Service

December 10, 2019

Not having a car when in San Diego late last month, I did a lot of walking. A sign I saw posted in the front window of a convenience store I entered intrigued me. It intrigued me so much that I wrote down what it said: “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone for Any Reason.”
Just a few blocks away, I saw while riding the San Diego MTS trolley a homeless guy being refused entry to a 7-Eleven by a uniformed security guard. The disheveled guy then stood outside of the store yelling at the top of his lungs.
The thought unfortunately came to mind while pondering the sign and the incident at these convenience stores: You just think you have the right to refuse service.
Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “Injunctive

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How Bad Are Congressional Republicans?

December 5, 2019

The only conservative magazine that I regularly and religiously read is The New American, where I am a contributing columnist.
The New American does all Americans a great service by publishing “The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution.” The Freedom Index “rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.”
The new edition of the Freedom Index is the first for the 116th Congress, and looks at ten key measures. Scores are derived by dividing a congressman’s constitutional votes by the total number of votes cast and multiplying by 100. So, the

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Kentucky Supreme Court Decision Ignores the Real Issue

November 29, 2019

Although I agree with the recent decision of the Kentucky Supreme Court in favor of a Christian businessman who refused to print “gay pride” T-shirts, the decision by the Court ignores the real issue.
According to the Lexington-Fayette County Code of Ordinances, article II, “Lexington-Fayette County Human Rights Commission,” section 2-33, “Discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity,” paragraph 1:
It is the policy of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government to safeguard all individuals within Fayette County from discrimination in employment, public accommodation, and housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national

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Freedom Means a Right to Discriminate

November 21, 2019

Should employers have the right to discriminate in hiring on the basis of obesity? The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled that “it is illegal for employers in Washington to refuse to hire qualified potential employees because the employer perceives them to be obese.” That follows guidelines released by the New York City Commission on …

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The Question that Is Never Asked About U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine

November 19, 2019

The latest incident to incessantly occupy the attention of the media is President Trump’s temporary withholding of U.S. military aid to Ukraine. But no matter what media outlet you consult, there is one question that is never asked.
Russia and Ukraine have been fighting since 2014, mainly in the Crimean peninsula and the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. The U.S. government has been providing military aid to Ukraine since that time. Although $391 million in aid had already been approved in the fiscal year 2019 federal budget, and the Trump administration told Congress in February and again in May that it was releasing the aid, the aid was not released until September 11—almost at the end of the 2019 fiscal year.

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Thank You for What Service?

November 11, 2019

Veterans Day should be renamed.
It happened once before. Veterans Day was originally termed Armistice Day. It commemorated the signing of the armistice on November 11 that ended fighting on the Western Front in World War I. But because the “war to end all wars” didn’t, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day after World War II. President Eisenhower signed the legislation making the change on June 1, 1954.
Since the first U.S. invasion of Iraq in 1991, and especially since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11, Veterans Day has taken on a new meaning: Military Appreciation Day. Although there are other national holidays (Memorial Day and the Fourth of July) that have degenerated into Military Appreciation Days,

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Pot or Peanuts?

November 5, 2019

It is so addicting and provides me with no health benefits, but it is so good. No, not smoking pot, but eating peanuts.
I love going to restaurants like Five Guys and Texas Roadhouse because they have free all-you-can-eat peanuts that you can munch on while you are waiting for your meal. I usually eat so many that I cannot finish the lunch or dinner that I ordered.
Unfortunately, some people can’t enjoy peanuts like I can because they have a peanut allergy.
According to the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization—whose mission is “to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments”—there are “32 million Americans with food

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Military Habits

October 29, 2019

The title of the article intrigued me: “Military Signs that US Soldiers Will Always Recognize.” It was about habits that people acquire in the military that are hard to break. The article is quite long, so here is the complete list of the habits with just a brief part of the explanations where necessary.
Eat Fast
Marching As Standard (you can spot a soldier on the street as they all walk with the same sense of purpose and control)
What’s The Time? (using military time)
Buzz Cut
Keeping Eyes On Everything
Their Unrelaxed Stance (stand up straight with their hands behind their backs)
How Do You Do (answering someone as sir or ma’am)
Speaking Their Own Language (saying roger or affirmative)
Swearing and Cursing
Boot Polish (still

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Religious Discrimination

October 22, 2019

Should companies be able to discriminate against potential customers, and employers against possible employees, on the basis of religion?
The most recent Libertarian Party candidate for president and a Muslim woman both think not.
At the Libertarian Party presidential forum held in New York on March 29, 2015, and televised by Fox Business Network the following month, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson maintained that although people should be allowed to discriminate for a variety of reasons, religious discrimination was something that should not be allowed. According to Johnson, being able to discriminate on the basis of religion is a “black hole”—whatever that is supposed to mean. Johnson not only insisted

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Drug Users Are Ultimately Responsible

October 15, 2019

Opioids are narcotics used for pain relief and for their euphoric effects.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three types of opioids: prescription, fentanyl, and heroin:
Prescription opioids can be prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain, but can also have serious risks and side effects. Common types are oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, and methadone.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever. It is many times more powerful than other opioids and is approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. Illegally made and distributed fentanyl has been on the rise in several states.
Heroin is an illegal opioid. Heroin use has increased

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Senator Warren’s Lie About Social Security

October 9, 2019

“Congress hasn’t increased Social Security benefits in nearly fifty years.” ~ Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has a lengthy post at Medium detailing her plan to expand Social Security. What she doesn’t say in her plan is that Social Security benefits have been increased almost every year for nearly fifty years.
Says Sen. Warren:
Social Security has become the main source of retirement income for most seniors. About half of married seniors and 70% of unmarried seniors rely on Social Security for at least half of their income. More than 20% of married seniors and 45% of unmarried seniors rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.
Yet typical Social Security benefits today are quite small.

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Trump and Libertarians

October 1, 2019

I have never been a member of the Libertarian Party. I don’t vote, so I’ve never voted for the Libertarian Party candidate in any presidential election. If I did vote, I would have probably clamped my nose in a vice and voted for Donald Trump before I would have voted for the pathetic 2016 Libertarian Party ticket of Gary Johnson and William Weld.
I don’t believe anything—no matter how good it sounds—that comes out of the mouth of any politician, and especially those who run for president. I don’t even get excited if they say “zero tariffs, zero subsidies, zero non-tariff barriers” because they will say whatever they think people want to hear if they think it will increase their chances of getting elected.
Donald Trump is no

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Strikes and Picket Lines in a Free Society

September 26, 2019

General Motors (GM) auto workers are on strike and walking a picket line. The question to be answered is simply this: Would these things occur in a free society?
The answer is: Yes, but…
First of all, here is what is happening at GM.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which represents auto workers, is negotiating new contracts this year with each of the Big Three automakers―GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler. The union has extended its earlier agreements with Ford and Fiat Chrysler while it is bargaining with GM.
But on September 16, the UAW called for its members to strike after it failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with GM covering some 46,000 workers at dozens of GM facilities. This is the largest strike against

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What Is It That Libertarians Don’t Get about the Military?

September 17, 2019

I expect to get negative responses from conservatives when I write articles about the U.S. military. I don’t expect to get them from libertarians.
In response to my recent article, “Should We Honor Military Personnel?,” I received e-mails from two libertarians. Perhaps there were others. I never assume that everyone who contacts me after I write an article for is a libertarian. One, not everyone who reads LRC is a libertarian. I myself, a libertarian, read many conservative and liberal websites. And two, many times my LRC articles are reposted by a variety of websites. I never know if someone read my article on LRC or some other website.
Both libertarians who wrote me took issue with the basic premise of my

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In Defense of Price Gouging

September 10, 2019

As a resident of Florida, I was naturally concerned about how the state would be impacted by Hurricane Dorian. But now that the storm has passed, I am still concerned about something that happened in Florida after Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, August 28, for several counties in the hurricane’s path.
But first note that according to Florida Statutes, Title XXXIII, “REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS,” Chapter 501, “CONSUMER PROTECTION,” Section 160, “Rental or sale of essential commodities during a declared state of emergency; prohibition against unconscionable prices”:
(1) As used in this section:(a) “Commodity” means any goods, services, materials, merchandise,

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The Libertarian Difference

September 4, 2019

How different are libertarians from liberals and conservatives? Quite different.
In a response to my recent article, “Authoritarian Busybodies,” an astute reader writes:
Liberals tend to think that libertarians are conservatives. Conservatives tend to think that libertarians are liberals. Libertarians tend to think that liberals and conservatives are equally authoritarians.
I have heard something similar to this before, but never gave it much thought. I think that there is a lot of truth in it even if it cannot be taken as a general rule. For example, when libertarians talk about the free market, limited government, free trade, and fewer government regulations, I can see why liberals might think that libertarians were

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Authoritarian Busybodies

August 27, 2019

Here we go again.
Conservatives were livid that public defender Tiffany Cabán, a self-described “31-year-old queer Latina,” was the apparent winner over Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in the Democratic primary for the district attorney of Queens.
Cabán was endorsed by the editorial board of the New York Times, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Her opponent, and eventual winner, was endorsed by Planned Parenthood of New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Sounds like a race between Tweedledum and Tweedlee.
While I certainly agree with the overall conservative criticisms of Cabán—she is, after all, a radical leftist—there are two positions she holds that

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Should We Honor Military Personnel?

August 20, 2019

Someone asks a legitimate question after a conversation about the U.S. military: If the U.S. military did the right thing, then shouldn’t we honor them? My answer was something like this: Not any more than the cook at Waffle House.
To give you more context—
What he is asking is if all U.S. troops came home; all U.S. military bases on foreign soil were closed; military personnel stopped being the president’s personal attack force; all foreign wars and military adventures were ended; all drone strikes and bombing stopped; U.S. foreign policy ceased to be reckless, belligerent, and meddling; and military personnel secured U.S. borders, patrolled U.S. skies, guarded U.S. coasts, and actually stood ready to defend the United

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Why Not Eliminate Both Departments?

August 14, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced plans to move its Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington, D.C., to the Kansas City metropolitan area.
The USDA, established in 1862, “is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad.” It provides “leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.” Its vision is “to provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better

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We Need More Tax Credits and Loopholes

August 7, 2019

Does the U.S. tax code have too many tax credits and loopholes? Most liberals, many conservatives, and some libertarians say that it does.
Speaking at the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress forum for presidential candidates that was held in June at Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C., former Vice President Joe Biden told the crowd that because “everyone is entitled to have total health care,” “every single person in the United States should have access to Medicaid right off the bat.”
And how did Biden propose to pay for this? Among other things, he said that “eliminating tax credits and loopholes would pay for universal access to Medicaid.”
After his appearance, a Biden spokesman clarified things a little, saying

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