As we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of our lord Jesus Christ, perhaps we can find a way to resurrect our humanity and fight to save the life of our little Emilio Gonzales, who is at the mercy of the Texas Futile Care Law and those who have chosen to invoke it!?!? Perhaps? Perhaps a chance that we might? A chance that even a prayer might be whispered in this sweet baby's behalf? A chance of a prayer that he might rest in life in the arms of his mother, rather than die at the hands of "the committee"?
Such a hope and prayer to be prayed for!
The Gods of Liberalism Revisited
The lie hasn't changed, and we still fall for it as easily as ever. But how can we escape the snare?
Saturday, April 07, 2007
As we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of our lord Jesus Christ, perhaps we can find a way to resurrect our humanity and fight to save the life of our little Emilio Gonzales, who is at the mercy of the Texas Futile Care Law and those who have chosen to invoke it!?!? Perhaps? Perhaps a chance that we might? A chance that even a prayer might be whispered in this sweet baby's behalf? A chance of a prayer that he might rest in life in the arms of his mother, rather than die at the hands of "the committee"?
Blogging Against Theocracy Silliness
In "honor" of "Blogging Against Theocracy," a.k.a. "Marginalizing Christianity on its Most Sacred Holiday", a post on creation science, its scientific validity, and whether it constitutes an element of theocracy.
I recently read an evolutionist who said that because all life on earth shares similar DNA, this is proof of evolution, proof that we all evolved from a common ancestor.
I know how to program in several computer languages, including HTML, ASP, Java, and SQL database programming. Because I know these languages, I can change existing applications that are built in these languages (just as all life on earth is built in the language of DNA). I can also create entirely new applications using these languages.
Consider for a moment a web page at CNNs website and a web page at CBSs website. If you open them up in code view, you’ll find many things in common: they will both have HTML tags, paragraph tags, header tags, table tags, and so on. Is this proof that one evolved from the other, or that they both evolved from a common web page? Of course not. It only proves that they both make use of the same programming language.
The same is true with donkeys, aardvarks, monkeys and men: God used the same “programming language” of DNA to build all of us. He just used the same programming language in different ways to create different organisms.
Some say that because monkeys and humans DNA is mostly the same, this is proof that we evolved from monkeys. The similarity in DNA structure is no more proof of that than two web pages that are mostly the same, but one plays MP3s embedded in the page, while the other plays videos embedded in the page.
The reason evolutionists and creationists look at the same evidence but reach two very different conclusions about it is because of “worldview.” Contrary to accusations, creationists don’t deny the existence of any evidence we observe in the universe, they just interpret differently how it came to be as we see it.
Everyone, no matter how open minded, approaches life with a set of presuppositions. These presuppositions essentially color and shape how we see the universe. Just as if you literally wore rose-colored glasses, you would see the world with a red hue. Or if you wore glasses with the wrong prescription, you would see the world out of focus. Or if you wore binoculars, you would see everything in the world much closer than it actually is. These things that affect our perception of the universe, these glasses, are called a “worldview,” and everyone has one.
The creationist holds a presupposition that God preceded everything in the universe, and that he has the power to create the universe and everything in it. The creationist believes that God communicated with humans and told us a little about himself and how he created the universe, and that this communication is written down in the Bible.
The evolutionist holds a presupposition that there is no force or intelligence outside the universe, that no one intelligently designed the universe, that the universe and everything in it came into being and came to be as we see them through spontaneous, random occurrences.
Now, regardless of what set of presuppositions are held, the intellectually honest person, whether a creationist or an atheist, will examine the evidence and take it wherever it leads him.
The thing is, the atheist will look at evidence that indicates an intelligent design and utterly reject that hypothesis, no matter now much sense it makes, no matter how much the alternative is clearly impossible. Examples of this include irreducible complexity (the mechanics of some organisms are so complex that they could not have evolved over time—they would not function at all until all pieces were in place at the same time), life from lifelessness (Gregor Mendel proved over 100 years ago that life does not spontaneously spring from nothing, as atheists claim happened), or the big bang (all matter coming from no matter—without cause—denies every natural law known to man).
But while the atheist has a myriad of insurmountable problems with his theory of how the universe came to be as we see it, the creationist has relatively few problems.
Creationists claim that God created the universe from nothing some 6000 or so years ago. The evolutionist says, “Aha, this creative act violates all scientific laws, so it couldn’t have happened.” Well, if God is the Master Programmer—meaning he controls the programming laws and is not controlled by those laws as we are—then he can do that if He wants to. (A web page can’t change itself or create another web page…but a web programmer can). Meanwhile, the atheist has just condemned his own argument as impossible, since his theory allows for no outside “master programmer,” so he must explain how those scientific laws got violated with no outside intelligent designer.
Atheists also look at supernatural events like the global flood of Noah, or the supernatural works of Jesus, or any of the other miracles of the Bible and say, “These things couldn’t have happened: they violate the laws of science. You Bible thumpers just believe in fairy tales that couldn’t have happened.” Again, if I as a programmer build a web page, and later I want to change—even temporarily—how it functions, I can go into the code and do that. I can add a picture to the page, or I can delete a table, or I can just for today make the web page pop up a box that says “Hi” that won’t show up tomorrow. If you’re not a web programmer, you might look at the web page and say that, because of the programming present in it, it would be impossible for these new things to happen. But if I’m the programmer, I can change it and make it do whatever I want. Just like God did when he flooded the entire earth, or when Jesus healed a blind man or raised Lazarus from the dead.
The atheist looks at the universe and the life in it and surmises that, if there was no supernatural force involved, it must have taken a long, long time for an infinite number of random chances to result in the organisms we see today. Accordingly, if we need that much time to evolve complex organisms, then the earth, the stars and everything else must be commensurately old, too.
So they look at things like the decay rate of elements and try to determine the age of rocks and other elements. In doing so, they assume that the current rate of decay of things like potassium, argon, etc. HAVE ALWAYS DECAYED AT THIS RATE. This is a part of the doctrine of UNIFORMATARIANISM which says processes in the universe have remained UNIFORM since the Big Bang (this is, of course, contradictory to other theories they hold, since the natural laws as we observe them are completely insufficient for things like star formation, matter formation, spontaneous generation, etc.). These assumptions they make about the rate of decay of elements assume that the rate of decay has always been constant, and that no external factors (e.g. water, air pressure, cosmic rays, the presence of other elements, etc.) can or did affect that rate of decay.
In doing so, they come up with ages of rocks that are millions or billions of years old. But then those flies get in the ointment like the reading of the 25-year-old lava dome at Mount St. Helens that was dated at 2.8 million years. The explanation: well, something affected that reading and made it unreliable. But your reading of that rock that we can’t empirically verify the age of…well, somehow we know that nothing affected the reliability of that reading. Uh huh. If your child made wild assumptions like that, you’d correct them. But if some guy in a white coat and some letters after his name makes illogical assumptions like that, well that’s called “science.”
Tell me: is it unscientific to look at a clock and assume someone created it? If you found a watch out in a field, miles from any human habitation, would it be “scientific” to conclude that this watch evolved from the dirt to reach its current state of complexity, just because a potential creator of the watch was not immediately visible? Would that be “scientific?” Of course not. So why do we consider this approach “scientific” when we look at the wondrous complexity of a tree, a human being, a star, or a galaxy?
While there is much more that could be said on this subject, it comes down to intellectual honesty. If the majority of the evidence said the universe is far too complex to have come about by random chance (and the evidence does say that, and a number of atheistic scientists have come to that conclusion), then is it intellectually honest to continue pretending it’s impossible…just to satisfy an attractive worldview that tells you that you aren’t accountable to a Supreme Being for your conduct?
Whether you agree with the presuppositions, whether you agree with the conclusions, creation science is NOT theocracy. It does NOT violate the First Amendment and it doesn’t constitute “Congress [making a ] law respecting an establishment of religion.”
Blogging Against Theocracy Silliness
One of least sensible things I've heard the "Blogging Against Theocracy" crowd list among their shopping list of things to exorcise religious thought from is the protection of human like, e.g. Terri Schiavo.
Without even exploring the overwhelming evidence that Terri Schiavo, while severely disabled, remained cognitive (e.g. she laughed, she expressed irritation at an invasive medical procedure, she tried to talk, she clearly recognized her parents, she followed a balloon around with her eyes), religious faith had EVERYTHING to say about Terri's situation and other situations dealing with euthanasia.
Life, death and the afterlife fall into the purview of religious thought even more so than that of government. Yet government does have a certain amount of jurisdiction over these areas because it is charged, both in God's law and by man's law, with the protection of human life.
That her threadbare excuse for a husband's petition to kill his "wife" was even entertained was a travesty (amidst allegations that he might have abused and/or assaulted her, the fact that he'd been living with and having children with another woman while trying to end his "wife's" life, that he stood to gain financially from her death, and that there was no documentary evidence that Terri would want to die in a situation such as hers), was a moral and legal travesty.
When the normal system breaks down and is about to allow a terrible miscarriage of justice, others within government not only have a right but a responsibility to intervene and prevent that miscarriage. Governor Bush should have done much more than he did, and the U.S. Congress, though they took some action, should have done more. But in the end, they all subordinated what was right to the will of a judge.
What's more, the murder of Terri Schiavo went well beyond just turning off the heart or lung machine of a person who had no brain function. Terri obviously had awareness, and her autonomic functions were working fine. She just needed a feeding tube for food and water, since her "husband" wouldn't allow her any therapy to be able to eat and drink on her own.
Since when are food and water "medical treatment?" Do you plan to have some "medical treatment" tonight? Will you go to a restaurant for some "medical treatment" this weekend? What kind of "medical treatment" do you prefer: Italian or Chinese?
Secularists and purveyors of the culture of death would have us believe that because an argument may have religious standing, it is therefore invalid for consideration in public policy. What utter nonsense! We'd better repeal our murder, rape and theft laws, then, because these issues are religious in nature (i.e. the Bible speaks to their morality).
You might think at first glance that even secularists would appreciate the unique and fragile nature of human life (after all, in many of their minds, this life is all there is). You might think that even they would realize the rightness of not killing a woman too disabled to fend off her murderers. The fact that this moral truth escapes secularists is indeed further truth that if our faith values do not inform our public policy, our public policy will become cold, callous and barbaric.
Placing value on human life and defending the disabled does NOT constitute "Congress [making a] law respecting an establishment of religion." Nor does it constitute a "theocracy."
Blogging Against Theocracy Silliness
In "honor" of "Blogging Against Theocracy," a.k.a. "Marginalizing Christianity on its Most Sacred Holiday", a post on America's Christian heritage.
Was America a nation settled by Christians, founded by Christians, and founded on Christian principles?
Most of these items come from David Barton’s fantastic book, “Original Intent.” A friend gave me this book a couple of years ago, and while at that time I thought I knew a fair amount about the Christian heritage of America, this book quickly proved me a relative novice in this area. Like all of Barton’s works, he relies not on recent textbooks, or even books written in the intervening years, but follows the evidentiary trail back to the original books, letters and other documents.
We whose names are under-written having undertaken, for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the Northern pars of Virginia do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid.--Christianity in the Mayflower Compact of 162
In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity. It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts…--Christianity in the 1783 peace treaty that ended the American Revolutio
Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States in the early 1800s to find out what was going on in this incredible new nation that was capturing the attention of the whole world. What were some of the things to which he attributed America’s success and prosperity?
Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America, I found they were intimately united and they reigned in common over the same country.
Reminding us that while even Christians aren’t perfect morally, Benjamin Franklin said, “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it.”
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness. – George Washington’s Presidential Farewell Address
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. – John Adams
It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. Religion and virtue are the only foundations…of republicanism and of all free governments. – John Adams
The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy. – John Quincy Adams
While the people are virtuous, they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. – Samuel Adams
It should therefore be among the first objects of those who wish well to the national prosperity to encourage and support the principles of religion and morality. – Abraham Baldwin, signer of the Constitution
Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion whose morality is so sublime and pure…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments. – Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. – Benjamin Franklin
Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement – John Hancock
Righteousness alone can exalt them [America] as a nation…The great pillars of all government and of social life: I mean virtue, morality and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible. – Patrick Henry.
The practice of morality being necessary for the well-being of society…We all agree in the obligation of the moral precepts of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses. – Thomas Jefferson
The Holy Scriptures…can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability, and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses. – James McHenry, signer of the Constitution, Secretary of War
I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. Therefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man toward God. – Gouverneur Morris, penman and signer of the Constitution
Religion and morality…are necessary to good government, good order and good laws, for “when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice” – William Paterson, signer of the Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Without the restraints of religion and social worship, men become savages. – Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration
Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet. – Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U.S. House
As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities. – George Mason, Father of the Bill of Rights
The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained. – George Washington’s Inaugural Address
The law…dictated by God Himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this. – Alexander Hamilton, signer of the Constitution
Let it never be forgotten that there can be no genuine freedom where there is no morality, and no sound morality where there is no religion…Hesitate not a moment to believe that the man who labors to destroy these two great pillars of human happiness…is neither a good patriot nor a good man. – Jeremiah Smith, Revolutionary soldier, judge, U.S. Congressman, Governor of New Hampshire
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs whether any free government can be permanent where the public worship of God and the support of religion constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape. – Joseph Story, U.S. Supreme Court Judge, Father of American Jurisprudence
Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society – George Washington
Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens. – Daniel Webster
Christianity to which the sword and the fagot [burning stake or hot branding iron] are unknown—general tolerant Christianity is the law of the land. – Daniel Webstser
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity. – John Adams
The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws…All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. – Noah Webser
Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. – James Wilson, signer of the Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court Judge
Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country…God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable and that the unjust attempts to destroy one may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both. – John Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration
No country on earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed it would be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass. – George Washington (how deeply sad that we have betrayed Washington’s confidence)
When a citizen gives his suffrage [vote] to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust [civic responsibility]; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country. – Noah Webster
But the greatest injury of the “wall” notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intentions of the drafters of the Bill of Rights…The “wall of separation between church and State” is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphore which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned. – the late Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court William Rehnquist
Here are some statements from the courts which show that even they (as Godless as they’ve become) once recognized the importance of religion and morality in public policy:
Religion is of general and public concern and on its support depends, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people. – Runkel v. Winemiller, 1799
The morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity…[We are] people whose manners are refined and whose morals have been elevated and inspired with a more enlarged benevolence by means of the Christian religion. – People v. Ruggles, 1811
No free government now exists in the world unless where Christianity is acknowledged and is the religion of that country…Christianity is part of the common law…Its foundations are broad and strong and deep…It is the purest system of morality…and only stable support of all human laws. – Updegraph v. Commonwealth, 1824
Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament…be read and taught as a divine revelation in the [school]?...Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament? – Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 1844
Christianity has reference to the principles of right and wrong;…it is the foundation of those morals and manners upon which our society is formed; it is their basis. Remove this and they would fall…It [morality] has grown upon the basis of Christianity. – Charleston v. Benjamin, 1846
Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government…because it tends to corrupt the morals of the people, and to destroy good order…[O]ffenses against religion and morality…strike at the root of moral obligation and weaken the security of the social ties. – People v. Ruggles, 1811
So why have I bothered to spend so much of my time on these posts, so much time that I might have otherwise spent with my family, and in reflection this Resurrection Weekend? Here is why:
Let us take care of our rights and we therein take care of our prosperity. Slavery is ever preceded by sleep. – John Dickenson
[A] state of indolence [laziness], inattention and security…is forever the forerunner of slavery. – Samuel Adams
I conjure you, by all that is dear, by all that is honorable, by all that is sacred, not only that ye pray but that ye act. – John Hancock
America’s Christian heritage, and our future prosperity which depends upon the continuation of that heritage, are far too important to ignore the lie that faith has no place in public policy.
From LifeNews.com, CBS is being criticized for calling Rudy Giuliani's support of taxpayer funded abortions "moderate."
Saying that Rudy Giuliani's position in favor of states forcing taxpayers to fund abortions could be too much for pro-life Republican primary supporters to support, CBS News is coming under fire for calling the position 'moderate.' That's despite polls showing a large majority of Americans oppose tax-funded abortions.
They called it "moderate," because to the "mainstream" media, there IS no such thing as a liberal position. There are only conservatives and "moderates."
(Which is why the "mainstream" media isn't "mainstream," it's liberal)
I came across this today while doing some research for "Blogging Against Theocracy Conspiracists." It's from Wallbuilders.com, from David Barton. The website contains a wealth of information about the Founders and America's Christian heritage. Anyone doubting Barton's intellectal honesty should note that he has not only highlighted many of the quotes which prove America's Christian heritage, he has also pointed out some popular quotes that cannot be confirmed with original sources.
The following is a good summary of why the whole "theocracy" charge is fallacious, and is a veiled attempt to hide public expressions of faith in the closet.
In a recent letter, the writer took the same position as Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) and parroted AU's offensive mantra, associating a theocracy or theocratic state with the “Religious Right.” Such claims are patently false.
First, to have a theocracy in America, the Constitution must be replaced with a totalitarian dictator who speaks on God's behalf (i.e., a revival of “the Divine Right of Kings” doctrine). I challenge AU, or anyone else to identify which part of the “Religious Right” is calling for such a government.
Second, the “Religious Right” leaders (Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jim Dobson, et. al) are calling for an increased respect for the Constitution and its actual wording, urging citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The real “crime” of these leaders is not that they want a theocracy (which they don't) but that they rightfully want legislators to make national policy instead of judges. Should that occur, AU or groups like them could not win another battle, for Americans overwhelmingly reject their policies (e.g., “under God” in the Pledge - a phrase opposed by AU but supported by 87% of Americans).
The rabid opposition to public religious expressions is often irrational, In fact, a New Jersey bill proposing that students begin each day by reciting the first 56 words from the Declaration of Independence was loudly denounced as “a thinly-veiled attempt to put prayer in schools” - the first step on the road to a - you guessed it - “theocracy!” Reading the actual wording of the Declaration of Independence leads to a theocracy??? It is time for that term to become anathema in public discourse.
Blogging Against Theocracy Silliness
In "honor" of "Blogging Against Theocracy," a.k.a. "Marginalizing Christianity on its Most Sacred Holiday", a post on "Does Religion Belong in Politics?" This is reprinted from my editiorial in the October 2005 issue of Dakota Voice.
The newly formed South Dakota Mainstream coalition has garnered a lot of discussion throughout the state in recent months, and stoked the passionate fires of many.
The first stated purpose of the group, according to their website, is “to preserve the traditional American values of separation of church and state,” and this revisionist objective always seems to come up during interviews with coalition members.
There are a number of things about the SD Mainstream Coalition which should concern conservatives and cheer liberals, but this primary value held by the group is the one most relevant to people of faith.
People who don’t want to share their deepest faith and values with others—and don’t want anyone else to, either—often cite the Biblical reference from Matthew 6:5, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.” This passage is also cited to oppose prayer in schools and any other public acknowledgement of religious belief.
Yet those who quote this passage as a baseball bat to whack people of faith completely miss the context. Christ was telling his disciples not to do their acts of faith for the acclaim of other men, as the Pharisees were doing. If he had meant what the church/state-ers thought, Jesus would never have prayed aloud before raising Lazarus from the dead—heaven forbid the Savior might offend anyone else’s religious beliefs!
Church/state-ers somehow never seem to remember that other quote from Christ in Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Christ also said we were to render unto Caesar what is owed, and to God what God is owed. He was addressing whether it was right to pay taxes, but application does not end there.
In the United States, we have a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Our government allows for and by implication requires citizens to be informed and to take part in their government. We are to be informed on the issues, on the candidates’ stand on the issues, and we are to vote accordingly.
The founding fathers and early custodians of our republic never for the briefest millisecond believed there should be a separation between faith and law, or God and government. They recognized that the institution of the church should not run the government, and just as equally that the government was not to dictate or limit religious freedom and expression.
"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." - Thomas Jefferson
"We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained." - George Washington
"I've lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that 'except the Lord build the house they labor in vain who build it.' I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel." - Benjamin Franklin
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty...of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." - John Jay, First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
"In this actual world, a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at, or ignored their Christian duties, is a community on the rapid down-grade." - Theodore Roosevelt
"The more profoundly one is concerned about heaven, the more deeply one cares about God's will being done on earth." - J.I. Packer
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports...It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government...Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue?" - George Washington
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridles by morality and religion...Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams
"The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance, freedom and open-mindedness. Question: Isn't the real truth that they are intolerant of religion? They refuse to tolerate its importance in our lives." - Ronald Reagan
“[N]o amount of repetition of historical errors in judicial opinions can make the errors true. The `wall of separation between church and state' is a metaphor based on bad history. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned. “ - Chief Justice William Rehnquist
So you see, the so-called “traditional American value of separation of church and state” is a farce, and a revision of actual history. It has no basis whatsoever in fact.
The reformer Martin Luther once said, “"If I profess with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God, except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved."
Christians cannot sit on the sidelines of the battle for public morality and remain faithful soldiers for their Lord. They also cannot fulfill their obligations as citizens of a free republic given to them by God.
Christmas is the holiday set aside for honoring the birth of Jesus Christ. Not only has it become secularized and commercial, any expression of religious sentiment is often banned or attempted to be banned at Christmas.
A few examples of attacks on public expressions of faith, from my editorial on "Winning the War on Christmas" from December 2005:
A Wisconsin elementary school changed the Christmas carol "Silent Night" to a secularized version called "Cold in the Night"
Teachers in a Georgia elementary school were banned from wearing any sort of Christmas pin that had a religious connotation, and from using the word "Christmas"
An Oregon school prohibited a kindergartner from giving out Christmas cards which told of the religious origin of the candy cane last year
A Massachusetts school prohibited the same "candy cane" Christmas cards two years ago
An elementary school in Oklahoma would not allow any references to Christmas in its "holiday" play, but left references to Hanukkah and the manufactured 1960s black American holiday of Kwanzaa
A school in Massachusetts told second graders to bring a book to class that represented their Christmas traditions, but when one girl brought a religious-based book, she was told she couldn't share her book with the class
Teachers in Sacramento, California were told they could not use the word "Christmas" in oral or written communication
A school in Tacoma, Washington changed the word "Christmas" to "winter" in a Christmas carol to be sung at a Christmas concert
Denver also banned a group of Christians from having a float in the Christmas parade because they wanted to sing Christmas carols and have a banner that said "Merry Christmas"
One school district in Plano, Texas even went so far as to ban the colors red and green from holiday celebrations
The Wisconsin school mentioned above has agreed to bring back "Silent Night" after many calls and emails from the public, and a letter from the Liberty Counsel defending religious liberty
Two federally subsidized housing facilities in Winter Park, Florida and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania have told residents they can't sing Christmas carols and they can't decorate their doors with religious symbols, but after Liberty Counsel action, they have relented
Citizens in Beaver Borough, Pennsylvania recently won the battle to set up a nativity scene on public property. The town had pulled the display after it had been up for several weeks, fearing they would run afoul of ACLU jackals.
Students at Auburn University in Alabama protested the renaming of the Christmas tree to "Holiday Tree" and got it changed back to a "Christmas Tree"
Wellington, Florida relented after public protests and will now allow a crèche to be included in a holiday display on public property
A school district in Wisconsin backed down from its policy of prohibiting children from handing out Christmas cards that included the religious origins of the candy cane
The mayor of Denver had planned to change a sign outside the Denver City Hall from "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays," but relented after a week of public pressure
None of these instances constitute "Congress [making a] law respecting an establishment of religion." Nor does it constitute a "theocracy."
Friday, April 06, 2007
From Associated Baptist Press:
A Pennsylvania county has settled a lawsuit over funding a prisoner-rehabilitation program that allegedly was filled with religious content.
Bradford County, Pa., and attorneys representing six county taxpayers agreed to the settlement in federal court April 3, according to one of the groups representing the plaintiffs. Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced the settlement, noting the county has 'agreed to bar any public funding of religious activities' in future county contracts and plans to monitor future county-funded programs for compliance.
We wouldn't want criminals to get morals, now would we. What kind of sense would that make? He might take that "thou shalt not steal" or that "love your neighbor as yourself" drivel from the Bible seriously! That would be unconscionable.
Allowing taxpayer funds to help run a religious program that will help paroled criminals stay out of jail in the future does NOT constitute "Congress [making a] law respecting an establishment of religion." Nor does it constitute a "theocracy."
More denial of rights on a religious basis. From Associated Content:
A federal judge has ruled that a federal employee with the Defense Logistics Agency in Columbus, Ohio, may legally post a flyer that posts a religious viewpoint on an employee bulletin board it was announced yesterday. The Defense Logistics Agency is a part of the Department of Defense.
Gary Lister, an employee of the Defense Supply Center had filed a request with his employer in October 2005 to post a flyer that warned that donations to a charitable federal program could be used to support abortion, the homosexual agenda, promiscuity, and New Age mysticism. Officials denied the request a few days later. Other employees had been allowed to post material, however.
It's heartening to see there are some judges still capable of reading the constitution and ruling according to it, rather than their personal biases. I doubt we'd be seeing succesful defenses of religious rights, though, were it not for the work of groups like the Alliance Defense Fund.
An employee posting his personal religious views on a public bulletin board does NOT constitute "Congress [making a] law respecting an establishment of religion." Nor does it constitute a "theocracy."
Nancy Pelosi's "Surrender on Tour" act to Syria may have been a felony.
The Logan Act, initiated by President John Adams in 1798, makes it a felony and provides for a prison sentence of up to three years for any American, 'without authority of the United States,' to communicate with a foreign government in an effort to influence that government's behavior on any 'disputes or controversies with the United States,' points out Robert F. Turner, former acting assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs.
The Logan Act was requested by Adams after a Pennsylvania pacifist named George Logan traveled to France in 1798 to assure the French government the American people favored peace in the undeclared "Quasi War" being fought on the high seas between the two countries, Turner points out. Rep. Roger Griswold of Connecticut explained the object was "to punish a crime" arising "from an interference of individual citizens in the negotiations of our executive with foreign governments."
She isn't the only one that should have been prosecuted for undermining the United States during war. Remember John Kerry's little trip to France to lick the boots of the Vietnamese communists?
Think Bush will have the guts to do anything about it? Don't hold your breath.
Jim Kent's Rapid City Journal column yesterday is about his efforts to produce a story comparing how public schools educate versus how homeschoolers education.
Simple, right? Well, not once you start fighting the bureaucratic animal for information. He got lots of runaround, obfuscation and "we don't want any of that here."
Kent did manage to put together his story (here), and it's a pretty good one, but without any help from the Rapid City school district.
Kent's analysis from his Journal piece:
Here's my problem. Why would any school, particularly one in a state where so many are seeking to place us 'on the world map,' decline the opportunity to blow their horn about how well they teach their students? What is it that these school districts don't want people to know? And if those who control the school system in these areas won't allow their teachers and students to talk freely about their school experience, what else isn't being permitted to be said inside these schools?
This "circle the wagons" approach that we've seen from many public schools and school districts for some time isn't helping them or their case. I've interviewed a number of school officials in recent years, and while some are helpful, others act like the cat who ate the canary--and act like you have no right to even inquire about the missing canary in question.
Like many government employees, too many of them have forgotten who is paying their salaries and who they work for: the people.
Easter may be replacing Christmas as the most vilified and secularized Christian holiday in America.
More on the Easter assault on Christianity, from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
“We have nothing to fear from serious scientific inquiry, but when it's slanted and leaves out the religious point of view, it's very misleading. It can all be tied together in a slick package that can be very compelling.”
This year's outrage for Christians was “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” a documentary suggesting that a south Jerusalem cave discovered in 1980 contained the remains of Jesus – indicating he wasn't resurrected. The filmmakers also suggest that Mary Magdalene was buried in the tomb, that she and Jesus were married, and that a stone box labeled “Judah son of Jesus” belonged to their son.
The documentary was unveiled six days into Lent by James Cameron, Oscar-winning director of “Titanic,” who produced the film. Top archeologists in the U.S. and abroad called that claim and the film's findings preposterous, but a book based on the documentary quickly climbed the best-seller list.
“There is more tolerance in the general culture for all things wild and wacky about Jesus,” said Ben Witherington, a New Testament expert at Asbury Theological Seminary and author of “What Have They Done With Jesus?”
Last year's Lenten season brought similar affronts.
The paperback edition of Dan Brown's novel “The Da Vinci Code” – about a Roman Catholic conspiracy to hide Jesus' marriage – was released, along with Michael Baigent's nonfiction, “The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History.”
Baigent said that Jesus was married and had a child and was not thought to be divine until long after his era. The author conceded that “we are short of evidence” backing his claims. Still, his book publicity asked: “What if everything we have been told about the origins of Christianity is a lie?”
Other Easters have seen the release of works on the Gnostic gospels – the religious rival that lost out to orthodox Christianity in ancient times – and TV specials asserting that Jesus was merely human.
“It's become a rite of passage in the Lenten season,” said Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, an anti-defamation group. “It's not a matter of 'Let's agree to disagree,' it's a matter of 'Let's undermine Christianity.'”
Secularists go apoplectic at the thought of any tax dollars finding their way into the hands of religious groups who perform public service roles (e.g. ministry to people in prisons, etc.).
But they seem to have no problem spending tax dollars to fund degrading assaults on religious faith.
A case in point is the infamous "Piss Christ" "art" display a number of years ago. This taxpayer funded "work" featured a crucifix with Christ on it submerged in a jar of the "artists" urine. Your tax dollars at work.
Or there's the portrait of the Virgin Mary from a few years ago, made with elephant dung. More of your tax dollars at work.
But allow any direct or indirect benefit from tax dollars to a religious organization, why that's unforgivable!
Yet another case of secularists trying to use the First Amendment to deny religious expression. From wcbstv.com:
An upstate New York school district violated a fourth-grader's constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection by refusing to allow her to distribute 'personal statement' fliers because they carried a religious message, a district judge ruled.
In a 46-page decision, Chief U.S. District Judge Norman Mordue found that the Liverpool Central School District based its restrictions on 'undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance, which is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression.'
A girl giving fliers to other students does NOT constitute "Congress [making a] law respecting an establishment of religion." Nor does it constitute a "theocracy."
Some feedback on "Blogging Against Theocracy Conspiracists" from Dawn of Madison, South Dakota:
I really appreciate these posts you are making regarding theocracy.
A quote you included, regarding the separation of church and state, leads me to another (related) subject.
"the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions"
Wouldn't this negate the "Hate Crimes" Legislation that is being pushed? Of course, my reaction to this legislation follows this line of thinking. Why is it worse if I kill you because I hate you, than if I kill you at random knowing nothing about you. You are still dead either way.
Thanks for letting me spout.
I agree with your analysis of "hate crime" legislation, Dawn, and you make a good point.
The motivation for a crime may be interesting and can help in solving the crime, it matters little beyond that. You're just as dead if the person killed you simply to get your car as you would be if they killed you because of your skin color. Murder is murder, assault is assault, etc., regardless of whether hate, love or indifference were involved.
"Hate crime" is just more Orwellian (remember "crimethink"?), politically-correct feel-good legislation that helps some people feel better about themselves while accomplishing nothing.
Thanks for writing, Dawn.
'Daniel, an 11-year-old Christian boy, refused to play with his Muslim friends, resulting in them beating him,' the Pakistani source told Voice of the Martyrs.
'Daniel's family confronted the Muslims who called the police and made a false report saying Daniel's family had blasphemed the name of the Holy Prophet,' the source reported.
Now the five are charged under Pakistan's blasphemy laws 295-A and 295-C and are in fear for their lives.
'The Muslim family told other Muslims at a religious gathering that Christians had disgraced the Holy Prophet, tore a holy sticker and beat it with a shoe. This has led to tension in the city,' the Pakistani source, who was not identified by name, told VOM.
The move is on, once again, to abolish our electoral college system. Why is that a bad idea? For one thing, the men who founded this nation were very wise (so much so, that I believe God strongly directed many of their actions). But why, specifically, is the electoral college a good thing?
But Wallbuilders noted that – along with proposals to have Congress or the state legislatures choose a president – the idea of a national popular vote was discussed by the authors of the Constitution.
'This idea was rejected not because the framers distrusted the people but rather because the larger populous states would have much greater influence than the smaller states and therefore the interests of those smaller states could be disregarded or trampled,'
Wallbuilders said. 'Additionally, a nationwide election would encourage regionalism since the more populous areas of the country could form coalitions to elect president after president from their own region. With such regional preferentialism, lasting national unity would be nearly impossible.'
Wallbuilders said the electoral college specifically was chosen to maintain a republican form of government, as opposed to a strict democracy. And it provides more influence to areas with lesser populations.
Blogging Against Theocracy Conspiracists
In "honor" of "Blogging Against Theocracy," a.k.a. "Marginalizing Christianity on its Most Sacred Holiday", a post on "The Infamous Wall."
The hinge pin of secularists in their efforts to secularize America and purge it of any public expression of Christian faith is the infamous "wall of separation between church and state" quote from Thomas Jefferson. It is the source from which all their secularist blessings flow. But does it say what they claim it does, and does it mean what they say it means?
This phrase comes from an exchange of letters between Thomas Jefferson, after he was elected president, and some Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut.
Baptists had been persecuted back in the Old World, and had even had some problems in the New World. Looking at this new Constitution and the First Amendment, they were concerned that the inclusion of religious freedom might be misinterpreted as coming from government, rather than being one of those inalienable rights from God.
Here is part of what the Danbury Baptists asked Jefferson:
It is not to be wondered at therefore, if those who seek after power and gain, under the pretense of government and Religion, should reproach their fellow men, [or] should reproach their Chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion, law, and good order, because he will not, dares not, assume the prerogative of Jehovah and make laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.
Jefferson sought to reassure the Danbury Baptists that the state had nothing to do with the granting of the right of religious freedom. The student of history will recall that in the Old World, the state granting rights and dictating the religious beliefs of its citizens was the natural order (the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England, etc.). This was a fairly new concept for many people, even some that had enjoyed the relative freedom of colonial America.
Here is part of Jefferson's reply to the Danbury Baptists:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.
The "wall of separation between church and state" to which Jefferson referred is intended to keep the state from subjugating religion, not to keep faith from having any influence or dialogue in public policy.
Note also that the language of the First Amendment only constrains Congress, not the states or any other political entity. In fact, a number of the states continued to have "state churches" long after ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
Here is what the First Amendment says with regard to religion: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." And that all-so-important second part about prohibiting the free exercise of religion (i.e. students praying in school, etc.) is often completely ignored these days.
In subsequent posts, I'll address how faith should guide politics and public policy, and provide examples of how this has been fostered in the past.
This is another example where faith views were marginalized and a school attempted to surpress them.
Seven students attended an after-school club meeting at Danbury High School on Thursday afternoon to hear an anti-gay preacher who was allowed to speak only after the school was threatened with a lawsuit.
You can, of course, see the bias from the media in this "anti-gay preacher" statement. I doubt he's "anti-gay," but more likely wants to tell students the other side of the pro-homosexual propaganda that's forced on them.
Which brings me to something else. It isn't until far down in this story (beyond the point many people would bother to read) that you find out this lawsuit came up because the school was already promoting the pro-homosexual "Day of Silence" and other students just wanted equal access to counter that dangerous message (homosexuality does, after all, involve numerous health risks). The school, while allowing the pro-homosexual message, didn't want to allow other students to hold a "Day of Truth" event.
The Day of Truth does NOT constitute "Congress [making a] law respecting an establishment of religion." Nor does it constitute a "theocracy."
A friend sent me this pic, recalling the statement by Spock in the Star Trek movies: "The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few, or the one." (But Jesus didn't just die for his friends; he died for those who were his enemies, as well, which includes all of us at one point or another.)
A cute expression of what one Man did for all men on Easter 2000 years ago.
Here is an example of something that does NOT violate the First Amendment. From WorldNetDaily:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit dismissed a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union to stop the Defense Department from allowing the Boy Scouts of America to hold its National Jamboree every four years at Fort A.P. Hill in Fredericksburg, Va.
The ACLU, suing on behalf of individual named taxpayers, had argued allowing the Boy Scouts to hold the event on public property is an unconstitutional establishment of religion, because the organization's membership is limited to those who believe in God.
The ACLU points out the Boy Scouts require members to swear an oath to 'do my duty to God and my country.'
The Boy Scouts being able to hold an event at a public facility does NOT constitute "Congress [making a] law respecting an establishment of religion." Nor does it constitute a "theocracy."
Yet the ACLU seeks to intimidate the Boy Scouts and other groups that hold elements of Christian faith from being able to exercise their faith or carry out their activities in public...and too often, the courts have backed them up.
Blogging Against Theocracy Conspiracists
I was tempted to just ignore the misguided folks who are set to "Blog Against Theocracy" beginning on Good Friday and finishing on Easter. They obviously haven't the slightest idea of what a theocracy is, nor why America isn't a theocracy and is in no danger of becoming a theocracy.
However, I decided that since the ignorance about "church and state" and America's Christian heritage is growing, and this ignorance already threatens our free society (our freedoms are, after all, founded on Judeo-Christian principles), I decided to use this as an opportunity to address some of the myths and misunderstandings prevalent in our increasingly secularist society.
So I'll be doing some posts this weekend myself to set the record straight on why it is so important that religious faith--especially Christian faith--guides (not dictates) public policy.
America has been influenced by Christian principles since even before the Mayflower dropped anchor in America. The men who declared independence from England were almost all Christians and their politics were guided by their Christian faith. Those same men set up our unique American form of government, and they were again guided by their Christian faith as they did so. Our government and culture has since then carried a distinctly Christian flavor, and only in the last 50 years, as secularists have usurped the normal legislative process through judicial activism, has the United States taken a secular turn.
Even so, most Americans still believe in God. And God says we are to let our faith be a guiding testament to a world that has lost it's way. Christians cannot remain in good standing with their God while keeping silent in the face of pressing societal issues that can bring terrible suffering.
God's principles for living are too good, and America's Christian heritage is too important to be buried under a mountain of secularist lies under the facade of something that never existed and can't be found in the U.S. Constitution: "separation of church and state."
Thursday, April 05, 2007
From Fox News:
PINE RIDGE, S.D. — In July 1999, President Bill Clinton honored Geraldine Blue Bird for taking in anyone who needed a meal or a place to stay, despite her own poverty.
Twenty-eight adults and children lived in her four-room, dilapidated house and in a trailer out back when Clinton's presidential visit made her a symbol of conditions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, one of the nation's poorest areas.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier in Rapid City sentenced Blue Bird, 51, to what might be a life prison sentence — 34 years — for being a leader in another dire reality of this place where unemployment hovers near 80 percent: drug dealing.
A lot of people associated with the Clintons have ended up behind bars. I wonder why that is?
From CNS News:
More than six years after the Clintons left the White House, nearly half of the respondents in a new poll -- 45 percent -- worry that if they return, they could bring 'high levels of corruption' with them.
I wonder: did they ask the other 55% if they care if the Clintons bring "high levels of corruption" with them? The answer probably would have been "No."
Some feedback from Amanda in Carrboro, NC on my post(s) on this "Blogging Against Theocracy" idiocy:
If, as you say, Theocracy doesn't exist, then why are you so afraid of people blogging against it? Anyone in this country should be against the idea of Theocracy - regardless of whether or not they think it's happening.
And, as for religious groups being criticized heavily by the media - haven't we been criticizing Middle Eastern religions, Atheism, etc for a long, long time? Do they not get equal consideration, as religions (or lack thereof)?
There are a lot of religious people who are against Theocracy - most of the people I've heard talk about it are Christian, even. In your case, it seems like you don't see Theocracy happening because it's favoring your religion, but what about those out there who are being denied the rights to worship or not, and to be free from laws that favor particular religions (and hinder others).
I'm just asking that you think about it, and consider that you might be wrong.
I'm not afraid of anyone blogging against theocracy, but I am very concerned about what this group IS doing: attacking public expression of Christian values. I'm not sure whether the people involved in this are genuinely ignorant of the difference between a theocracy and what we have traditionally enjoyed in America until recently ( i.e. a culture influenced--not governed by--Christian values)...or whether they understand the difference and just don't care, as long as it servers their secularist ends.
No one in America is being denied their right to worship (except Christians who choose to do so publicly), and no one is being forced to worship. What we do have is a concerted effort to (a) deny that America was founded on Christian principles by a Christian people; (b) deny that Christian values have shaped our system of government and culture, and (c) purge any expression of Christian faith from public view under the guise of a fallacious doctrine not found in the Constitution called "separation of church and state."
Whether American government and culture SHOULD be based on Christian principles is a valid subject for public debate; if some people believe the United States should be a completely secular nation like France, or even an Islamic country, then let's publicly debate the pros and cons of such a proposition, then put it to a vote--that's the way we do things in the United States.
But attempting to revise history to say the Founders weren't Christians, that they didn't believe religious values should inform and shape public policy, that those values HAVE NOT traditionally shaped American public policy...that's the worst kind of intellectual dishonesty and deception. Beyond being lazy and cowardly, it attempts to short-circuit the public debate of a healthy republic and replace it with a lie foisted on the people without their proper consideration.
I've thought about it, and considered that I might be wrong. But I'm not. The evidence is beyond overwhelming for anyone intellectually honest enough to see it. The fact that this evidence is getting covered up by the dust of history--partially from lack of use, partially from people trying to bury it--should concern all Americans.
I'll be presenting just a few examples of this evidence this weekend, so stay tuned.
Thanks for writing, Amanda.
From the Christian Post, a man attacks a $300K painting of David and Goliath at the Milwaukee Art Museum:
A man who claimed he found the subject disturbing put his foot through a 17th-century painting valued at $300,000 at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
I wonder if he was "Vandalizing Against Theocracy."
It's bad when even the Washington Post takes a liberal to task.
Such is the case with Nancy Pelosi's juvenile trip to Syria. She misrepresented the United State, and misrepresented Israel.
With regards to Syrian president Assad's "peace talk," the Post says
In other words, Ms. Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel's position but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad's words were mere propaganda.
As any diplomat with knowledge of the region could have told Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel but heading off U.N. charges that he orchestrated the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri.
In a stunningly balanced analysis, the Post concludes:
We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush's military strategy and regional diplomacy. But Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.
From Fox News:
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said Wednesday that she has grown weary of partisan attacks on judges, criticisms that she believes are causing citizens to lose faith in the judicial system.
O'Connor, 77, said she finds troubling the "increased number of attack on judges that are coming out of the halls of Congress and out of state legislatures across the country." Single-issue advocacy groups are tagging judges with labels such as "activist judges" or "godless, secular humanists" to win passage of propositions or amendments to state constitutions, she said.
No, what Judge O'Connor is tired of is people confronting the judiciary on its judicial activism. What causes citizens to lose faith in the judicial system is when the judiciary makes up its own law (e.g. Roe v. Wade, Lawrence v. Kansas, etc.) when it finds existing law unpalatable. It causes citizens to lose faith in the U.S. judicial system when judges look at foreign law when deciding U.S. law.
The race for the Democratic presidential nomination is getting more and more interesting by the day! I just read, Hillary Clinton Struggling to Win Black Voters, from the NewsMax.com Staff, (Thursday, April 5, 2007 10:20 a.m. EDT) .
"In another sign of the competition between the Democratic front-runners, this week Obama reported raising $25 million in campaign funds, just shy of Clinton's $26 million, in the run-up to primary elections that will decide the nominee who will seek the presidency in November 2008.
Obama reported 100,000 donations, compared with the former first lady's 50,000."
As Hillary walked in and swept up the New York votes to be elected senator, will Obama likewise walk in from nowhere and sweep up the nomination for president? How ironic would that be?
Another little irony is how Hillary bragged that she knew how Republicans ran campaigns and suggested she was ready for them. Guess she didn't count on having to run against a Democrat first. A Democrat that received 100,000 donations to her 50,000, and a reminder that even millionaire supporters only get one vote a piece.
However it ends, it proves once again that it ain't a win until it is won!
Secularists are waging an all-out war on Christianity and public expression of faith this year.
From CNS News:
Christians and Jews are accustomed to cultural elites trying to undermine their religious faith during Lent, Passover and Easter -- but it's never been as bad as this year.
Beginning on February 26, the news and entertainment media have fired a stunning barrage of criticism at religious beliefs, religious practice and religious symbols. Nothing is too sacred to attack this year, not even the most crucial teachings of Judaism and Christianity.
Go to the article to read the full list of anti-Christian fare that's being offered this Easter season.
And then there's the blogswarm over this "Blog Against Theocracy" idiocy, which boils down to an attack on any public expression of Christianity (something protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) under the guise of opposing something that doesn't exist in the US and no Christian I'm aware of is advocating: theocracy.
Purveyors of this "theocracy" rot like to say they're "not anti-religion, just anti-theocracy." If they keep telling themselves this, they might succeed in believing it, but the rest of us aren't fooled.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, talks about his faith in God.
He believes in theistic evolution (i.e. God created the universe, then set evolution in motion millions of years ago), and I disagree with him there, but this piece remains very instructive about how faith and science are not mutually exclusive.
Some excerpts from CNN:
As a believer, I see DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God's language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God's plan.
I did not always embrace these perspectives. As a graduate student in physical chemistry in the 1970s, I was an atheist, finding no reason to postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics and chemistry.
I had always assumed that faith was based on purely emotional and irrational arguments, and was astounded to discover, initially in the writings of the Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis and subsequently from many other sources, that one could build a very strong case for the plausibility of the existence of God on purely rational grounds.
Here, Dr. Collins briefly discusses his belief in theistic evolution:
So attaching oneself to such literal interpretations in the face of compelling scientific evidence pointing to the ancient age of Earth and the relatedness of living things by evolution seems neither wise nor necessary for the believer.
It's true that God COULD have used evolution as an engine for biological change. But the claims of evolution and an incredibly ancient earth are completely incompatible with the Bible. So when you carefully examine the theology of the Bible, you end up having to choose one or the other (as I did about 10 years ago). But their remain plenty of scientific explanations for the universe as we observe it, even explaining why some evidence can be incorrectly interpreted as supporting an ancient earth.
Dr. Collins' final word on the excitement and wonder of knowing the Creator and investigating His genius:
I have found there is a wonderful harmony in the complementary truths of science and faith. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory. By investigating God's majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of worship.
Not a surprise, but something you haven't seen in the MSM for a while.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told CNN Wednesday he supports public funding for some abortions, a position he advocated as mayor and one that will likely put the GOP presidential candidate at odds with social conservatives in his party.
That dog ain't gonna hunt with the base. As I've said before, if Giuliani's the Republican nominee, get ready for a Democrat president in 2008.
The old Soviets aren't the only ones who make the most of "useful idiots."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit today to Syria – in which she called for dialogue with Damascus – was 'brave' and 'very appreciated' and could bring about 'important changes' to America's foreign policy, including talks with 'Middle East resistance groups,' according to members of terror organizations here whose top leaders live in Syria.
One terror leader, Khaled Al-Batch, a militant and spokesman for Islamic Jihad, expressed hope Pelosi would continue winning elections, explaining the House speaker's Damascus visit demonstrated she understands the Middle East.
Pelosi's visit was opposed by President Bush, who called Syria a 'state sponsor of terror.'
From National Review:
By committing an act of war, Iran has simultaneously made itself look peaceful and made the West look impotent.
That paradox is the apparent outcome of the crisis that began when Iran kidnapped 15 British sailors and marines on March 23. Today, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that the 15 had been “pardoned” — their supposed offense having been to trespass on Iranian coastal waters — and would be sent home.
And some are already using it as fresh fodder for Bush-bashing, i.e. Nancy Pelosi saved the day over the incompetent George Bush by going to Syria and convincing these ever-so-reasonable people to get the peace-loving Iranians to forgive the imperialistic British invaders.
This one caught my eye because it's from my old stomping ground around Peterborough. From Breitbart:
Scientists in England are trying to determine why some frogs in a river in Peterborough have five legs, the first known occurrence in Britain.
I'm sure either global warming or George Bush is to blame.
From CNS News, "Talk Show Lost Interest When Vet Wouldn't Complain:"
A syndicated television talk show was less than receptive to positive comments about the American government's response to veterans' needs, according to an Iraq war veteran who was a guest on the show.
According to Keli Frasier, an Army Reservist who served 11 months in Iraq, Montel Williams, host of 'The Montel Williams Show,' quickly moved to the next segment after she made positive comments about the Department of Veterans Affairs.
'This soldier isn't going to complain,' she quoted Williams as saying to other talk show staffers during a commercial break.
How much of the rest of the discontent with the military--and the Iraq war--and Bush--is just a bunch of hype?
Cool! From Fox News:
Three Yale University students have been arrested on charges of setting fire to an American flag hanging from the porch of a Chapel Street home.
The three were arrested early Tuesday after police on patrol spotted the burning flag and tore it from pole where it was mounted to the house, police said.
Said Hyder Akbar, 23, Nikolaos Angelopoulos, 19, and Farhad Anklesaria, also 19, were arrested on charges ranging from reckless endangerment to arson.
Angelopoulos and Anklesaria, who are two freshmen are both foreign citizens. Anklesaria is British and Angelopoulos is Greek.
Akbar, a senior, was born in Pakistan, according to police, but is a U.S. citizen. Both Anklesaria and Angelopoulos had to turn over their passports.
Since they hate America so much, let's send them home now. And since Akbar is in the grip of vociferous remorse over his decision to become a U.S. citizen, let's send his happy self back to Pakistan.
If you don't love America, there are plenty of other places in the world to live.