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A Response to Frederick W. Kreuger

Jay W. Richards


Mr. Krueger argues that God commands the preservation of each species, and in particular, the federally mandated preservation of officially designated endangered species, including the preservation of habitats. Specifically, he contends that Christians must oppose so-called land takings proposals that, in an attempt to conform to the Fifth Amendment, would require the state to compensate private landowners when their land use is restricted because of endangered species laws. He argues that since the land is ultimately the Lordsa truth recognized by early American colonistsprivate landowners should not receive compensation from public coffers for doing their Christian duty. In fact, he concludes: Takings represents the privatizing and usurping action by individuals of what is the heritage of humanity and the commonwealth of the nation. So Mr. Krueger moves from a general biblical principle to a defense of a particular policy, which he takes to be entailed by that principle. Unfortunately, the transition from the principle to the policy is a yawning non sequitur.

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