02 Apr 2010

Bob “Malcolm X” Murphy

All Posts 6 Comments

I just sent in my Census form–a day late. And I just filled out the number of people, and checked the box indicating that there were no other people living here on April 1.

But I didn’t fill out our names or ethnicities. That’s how I roll.

Fight the power!

6 Responses to “Bob “Malcolm X” Murphy”

  1. Michael says:

    Hey Bob, slightly off topic but I wanted to let you know I just watched a video lecture you gave called the Tension Between Economics and Religion and love it. I was wondering if you had any plans to publish any works or give more lectures specifically dealing with Christianity and Free Market Anarchism.

    Also, in case you will be giving a similar talk in the future, i recommend you talk about Jesus’ parable of the man employing laborers to work his vineyard. I do not remember which gospel it is in, but the parable has a man paying wages to workers to work a vineyard, and he pays all the workers the same amount regardless of how long they worked. The moral of the story was that the property owner can give out his money however he wishes, and that the workers are only entitled to what they agreed to work for, regardless of the ratio of work to wages another person got. this seems to be the biggest example to me of God’s sanctification of property rights in the bible, yet i never hear anyone bring it up.

    Michael Hand

  2. Lucas M. Engelhardt says:


    I think you probably mean the story in Matthew 20:1-16. That’s actually one of my favorite examples of the sanctification of property rights in the Bible – mostly because it’s easy to misread this as “everyone should get paid the same amount, regardless the work they do” – but, if you pay attention, that is definitely NOT what the justification was. The justification was (1) freedom of contract, and (2) property rights.

    Another of my favorites is the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. In it, Ananias and Sapphira sell a field and give part of the proceeds to the Apostles – but try to pass that off as the entire proceeds. So, God strikes them down. One could easily misread this as God punishing their lack of generosity. But, that’s not what Peter says. Peter says “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” The suggestion: it wasn’t the lack of generosity that was the problem. It was the fraud.

  3. von Pepe says:

    I believe when they come knocking that you need not respond any further. I am under the impression that Article I, Sectuion 2 is where the constitution only requires number of people.

    If you refuse to answer more and they “arrest” you can you sight the 5th Amendment?

    This would be a good defense I believe…if you believed in the constitution.

  4. Matt Flipago says:

    I am tempted at writing fake names, and under the ethnicity, write humanoid cyborg. Haven’t gotten mine yet though.

  5. Michael says:

    Yes Lucas that is the passage. thank you for finding it for me =)

  6. Steve says:

    Let’s take a look at the Constitution’s wording on the census:

    The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3)

    That last part, “in such a manner as they shall by law direct,” gives Congress the power to determine how the census will be conducted and what questions will be asked. A lot of what the federal government does relies on an utterly contorted reading of the Commerce Clause. Not the census. Writing census questions is one of the few things the Constitution explicitly gives Congress the power to do.

    History also makes clear that this argument is completely unfounded. Every census in U.S. history has asked for more information than a simple count. In fact, the most private question on this year’s form asks for an individual’s race and that question has been asked by every census since the 1790 census conducted under then-President George Washington. To suggest that this question or others like it make this year’s census unconstitutional is absurd.