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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dissing South Dakota's Faithful

I'll admit it: the article's title got me off on the wrong foot right away. But it didn't get a whole lot better.

I'm talking about Bill Harlan's column on the Local page of the Rapid City Journal today. The article examines South Dakota's standing as 53rd (behind Guam and the Virgin Islands) in receiving research dollars (scientific pork?). So who was number one? No big surprise.

The report’s No. 1 New Economy state, by the way, with a score of 96.1, was high-taxing, homosexual-marriage-allowing, George-McGovern-for-president-voting Massachusetts. (Harvard, MIT and Boston’s Route 128, apparently swayed the judges.)

Maybe Harlan knows this already and he's just being silly to make for a funny column, but there's a reason or two the People's Republic of Massachusetts is more developed than South Dakota.

The first permanent settlement in Mass. was in 1620, which was 269 years before South Dakota became a state and 241 years before we were even a territory. They have 101 years on us as a state, and they were there at the beginning. I'd say they have a little jump on us in both population and infrastructure.

Second, while I oppose pork on principle, you can't throw as much pork at a state as Ted Kennedy has done for decades (and I'm not talking about the man himself) and not have some of it actually amount to something productive; the law of averages says that even massive amounts of wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars with little oversight has to produce something at least minimally useful.

But I think the most interesting thing about this article--and perhaps the main point of the article--is the slap at us abortion-opposing, marriage-supporting, Bible-believing Christians who are stupid enough to actually believe God meant what He said--or simply believe He exists in the first place.

What? You don't believe a reporter for the state's second largest newspaper would insult the 87% of South Dakotans who call themselves Christians, the 75% of Americans who believe the Bible is the Word of God, or the 91% of Americans who say they believe in God?

If the above paragraph lauding Tax-achusetts doesn't tell you that, also consider the article's title: "Would Darwin diss South Dakota?"

Harlan did include a quote from Darwin that might actually get you thinking for a moment that it's about "change," not God:
Charles Darwin, who wrote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”

So is it an appeal that we need to be more open to change? Most people I know either have or want cable/satellite TV, cell phones and high-speed internet, so I don't think there's any change-ophobia or progress-ophobia in South Dakota.

Or is it a veiled implication that South Dakotans need to become high-taxing, homosexual-marriage-allowing, George-McGovern-for-president-voting bunch of atheists?

Or since Darwin is more commonly known for a doctrine that strikes at the heart of belief in God Himself, is that a not-so-veiled implication that we need to throw away those silly Bibles that too many of us still believe in, and join the "modern world?" Given the implication of the title, coupled with the content, I can't escape the implication that thinking people wouldn't possibly differ from Darwinism and a disbelief in outdated notions like God.

The plain truth is often forgotten by these highbrow elitist types that a host of renowned scientists have believed in God, including Copernicus, Kepler, Francis Bacon, Galileo, Newton, Kelvin, Mendel, Einstein, the Wright brothers, Pascal, Pasteur, and George Washington Carver. And atheists who bother to put aside their animosity toward God and do a little thinking for themselves are continually coming to believe in an intelligent designer.

If the trade is for high taxes, acceptance of an unhealthy and unnatural sexual practice, socialism, and a host of social problems that are rotting the People's Republic of Massachusetts...all that simply to receive the peer-approval of a bunch of closed-minded snobs who despite their huffing and puffing haven't had an original thought in decades? Well, only a fool or an atheist (maybe one and the same) would take that deal.


Friday, November 09, 2007

The De-Christianization of Great Britain


The American Spectator features a chilling article on the de-Christianization of Great Britain.

Some there want to do away completely with Christmas, christening ceremonies, and ban religious schools. Try this on for size:

Last year it emerged that three out of four employers were no longer putting up Christmas decorations in the workplace for fear of offending political correctness policing, and as I wrote recently Christmas lights are disappearing from High Streets, ostensibly because of the cost of complying with the expanding torrent of health and safety regulations as well as because of enforced political correctness. However, attempts to rename Christmas "Winterval" and/or to remove Easter from the calendar by some local authorities a few years ago were dropped in the face of public protests and defiance.

The report proposes Christening services be replaced by "birth ceremonies" in which the parents of children and the State agree to "work in partnership" to raise children, and that action is taken to "ensure access" by "ethnic minorities" to the countryside which so far remains largely populated by British people. (How? Are they to be shipped forcibly into Vietnamese-style New Economic zones?) The apparent motivation for this is a determination to ensure that nothing of traditional British identity remains. It seems typical of the "soft totalitarianism" that has never been far below the surface in the Britain of New Labour.

When I spent three years in England back in the late 1980s, the country was already far more secularized than the United States. Every little village had a beautiful, elegant cathedral--a testament to the great revivals in Britain in ages past--but many of them sat almost empty or completely unused. Many were museum pieces featuring self-guided tours hosted by the British Heritage Society.

Still, all is not as lost as some would make it out to be:
"We can no longer define ourselves as a Christian nation, nor an especially religious one in any sense." This is very peculiar, and may be an exercise in wishful thinking on the part of the report's authors because the last census for which figures are available, that of 2001, actually showed 71.6% of the population was Christian, and the total of all religious believers who answered the census was 76.8% of the population.

I think perhaps this is just another case of the media and the elites working toward a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are probably impatient to have the Aldous Huxley type world they long for.

That type of soul-less society, the one liberal elites so yearn for, is not inevitable, either here in the United States or in Great Britain. But if people of faith are unwilling to stand up for their beliefs and their heritage (which is what got us in this situation in the first place), then it will surely come to pass.

And we will have no one to blame but ourselves.


Educational Arrogance

You've probably heard the word "arrogance" before, and may even know the meaning of the word. Need an example of elitist arrogance?

From CNS News:

A conservative civil liberties group said it will proceed with a lawsuit against the Portland, Maine, School Committee for refusing the reconsider its policy on prescription contraceptives for middle school students as young as 11.


Speak Up and Speak Out

Tiffany Leach has a good post at the Argus Leader Voices on having an opinion and standing behind it.

While a lot of men--especially married ones--might find it hard to believe, it seems some women "go dark" when asked on the street by the newspaper for their opinion.

I have no problem finding men to give their opinion, but women say, “No comment,” or “I don’t have an opinion.” How is it that we’re living in an age where women demand to have a voice, but the minute they are given a small platform to exercise that right, they prefer not to use it? Or they have an opinion but they say, “Oh, I’d rather not have my name on it.”

Why not? Afraid we'll offend somebody?

Leach closes with a thought which I share, one I hold against many conservatives who are plenty willing to bellyache, but unwilling to get involved in the political process or even speak out in the media about their opinion on the issues:
In my book, you don’t have an opinion until you have the nerve to put your name on it. The easy way out is to stand in the corner and grumble.


Voting for a Christian?

Matt Friedeman has an excellent column at OneNewsNow, one that every Christian should read.

He points out that while Christians should, as Supreme Court Justice John Jay said, "prefer Christians" for public office, Christians cannot simply vote blindly for someone who calls themselves "Christian."

Read his column for many examples of why such a cavalier approach is so dangerous.

Don't vote for a non-Christian ... an unbeliever? This columnist has grown much more wary of the Christians who tout their beliefs, then find a way to live contrary to the Judeo-Christian ethic at nearly every turn on some of the most crucial social issues of our day.

Whether George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton, or Mitt Romney, or Hillary Rodham Clinton, there is a nice line out of Scripture that we should keep in mind much more than the religious declarations of candidates positioning themselves for votes and approval:

By their fruit ye shall know them.

Yes.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bobby Jindal: How Conservatives Win

I'm afraid I don't know much about Bobby Jindal, the Republican who was recently elected as governor of Louisiana. But I'm learning, and everything I'm hearing sounds pretty good!

When you consider what a liberal welfare-cesspool Louisiana has been (remember the Katrina debacle where thousands of grown people waited helplessly like little birds with outstretched beaks for the Great and Beneficent Federal Government to meet their every need?), it's a wonder Jindal could run as a Republican, much less as a conservative, and have a hope of winning. Yet his win was huge!

Christopher Adamo at The Conservative Voice uses Jindal's winning strategy to point out the dead-end fallacy of a perverted "Big Tent" strategy.

Despite the fact that Jindal’s approach proved overwhelmingly effective, the party insiders refuse to be dissuaded from their unworkable “strategy,” which involves the perverted version of Reagan’s “Big Tent” that pretends to stand for everything, while hoping the base does not realize that it actually stands for nothing. And it promises to be every bit the guaranteed loser during this election cycle that it ever has been.

Consider Jindal’s position on the “controversial” issues of the day. He is as staunchly pro-life as he can possibly be, and is bold and unapologetic about it. On illegal immigration, he rejects any watered-down policy, aimed at finding “middle ground,” and steadfastly supports measures to restore the integrity and sovereignty of the United States and its borders.

Moreover, he ran on a platform that proactively confronted the corruption in Louisiana government, blaming it, and not President Bush and FEMA, for the unnecessary disasters, misery, and suffering related to Hurricane Katrina. Such a stance, if we are to believe the “conventional wisdom” of the day, should have been soundly rejected by the people of Louisiana who ought instead to be basking in their ill fortune and the flood of federal pork it has provided.

Adamo also examines the potential exodus of evangelicals for a third party option in light of the Jindal victory.
To begin with, Republicans need to ask themselves why they, and not the Democrats, should so stridently fear the emergence of a third party. In truth, the very nature of this concern is an indictment of their political posturing and flawed “strategizing” of recent years.

A believable and well-defined candidate will assemble a well-defined base. Whether the remaining voting populace is then divided among two remaining alternatives or eleven, such a candidate ought to retain the loyalties of that base. It is only when the “support” for a candidate is founded on the murky premise of ostensibly being the “lesser of two evils” that it can suddenly evaporate in the presence of any seemingly worthy alternative.

A liberal like Giuliani as the Republican's banner carrier is threatening to tear the party in two.

Yet read Adamo's piece to find out who he believes is best suited to repeat Jindal's stunning and overwhelming victory. Hint: it's the guy I like best, the one who isn't just saying conservative things, but has a consistently conservative record.


Dispelling Vietnam Myths


The Rapid City Weekly News has a good piece on retired Colonel Dale Friend, a Vietnam veteran who wants to dispel some myths about Vietnam.

One of those beliefs is that the United States lost the war:

he is strongly opposed to the belief that America lost the war. Friend points out that the last American soldier left Vietnam on March 29, 1973, but Saigon didn’t fall until April 30, 1975.

That's a good point. I've never believed we lost the war militarily; if we did, it was politically. The Johnson administration fought the war with one hand and another three fingers tied behind their back with his idiotic policy of "graduated response" and eventually lost the will of the American people to back the effort.

Nixon didn't do nearly as well as he might have, but the mood here in America was so sour and the enemy so emboldened by 1968 that the war was almost unwinnable. He did at least step up the bombing enough to make for a semi-honorable withdrawal. But after we pulled out and Congress yanked the financial support of South Vietnam, the Chinese and Soviet-supplied communist North was bound to win.

Another problem he has was the gross misreporting of the Tet Offensive:
The Tet Offensive, in which North Vietnamese troops staged an attack in early 1968, has long been portrayed as a major victory for the North. But Friend points out, and most historians now agree, that it was in fact a huge loss for the North Vietnamese in terms of the amount of soldiers killed and the loss of Viet Cong combatants in South Vietnam.

“It was reported as an overwhelming success for the communist forces and a decided defeat for the U.S. forces,” Friend wrote of Tet, named for a Vietnamese religious holiday. “Nothing could be further from the truth. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was the news front and the political arena.

One bright spot he points out again concerns a myth:
The Domino Theory, which stated that America had to fight in Vietnam to prevent countries from falling like dominoes, has been criticized in most history books for decades.

“The Domino Theory was accurate,” Friend writes. He feels countries such as The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand remained free of communist rule because of American intervention in Vietnam.

“If you ask people who live in these countries who won the war in Vietnam, they have a different opinion than the American news media,” he wrote.

While the media has been desperate since the beginning of the Iraq war to paint Iraq as "another Vietnam," Friend points out some similarities that I've noted before, ones that the media doesn't necessarily want you to notice:
“They have the same problem we had in Vietnam,” Friend said. “One of those problems is, ‘Who’s your enemy?’”

He said some of the “myths” that anger him about Vietnam are being repeated in reports about Iraq. “I think the media is giving us the same bad rap we got in Vietnam,”

The "mainstream" media worked very hard to accomplish an American loss in Vietnam, and they have likewise been working for an American loss in Iraq. They have predicted such a loss since even before we went into Iraq, and have remained invested in creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When U.S. military forces go into action with the backing of a resolved president and a committed people, it is invincible. But as Vietnam showed, and as Iraq might show, if the America-hating Leftists in this country can succeed in souring the general population against a military effort, even the most powerful army the world has ever seen cannot succeed.


Legislative Code of Ethics Unnecessary


Cory Heidelberger at the Madville Times is right: the legislative code of ethics being called for in the wake of the Dan Sutton and Ted Klaudt cases wouldn't do any good, and we shouldn't waste our time on one.

I talked to House Majority Leader Larry Rhoden of Union Center back in June and wrote about this issue in the Rapid City Journal on June 12.

Last week, Rhoden told me he had doubts about how much a code of ethics would help, but said that in light of recent events and the public’s concern over these matters, he felt it was appropriate to take a look at it.

At that time, he asked Rep. Larry Tidemann of Brookings, chairman of the Legislative Research Council Executive Board, to examine this issue. I have not followed up on what conclusions Tidemann and his group reached.

Here's what I said at that time regarding a code of ethics, and I haven't changed my mind:
Both the Sutton and Klaudt incidents involved personal relationships that existed regardless of either party’s legislative status, could have happened anywhere, could be understood by the average person as being improper, and were prosecutable under the law.

In Sutton’s case, the matter was dealt with under existing state Senate rules; in Klaudt’s case, he was no longer in the Legislature when he was arrested.

Existing House and Senate rules seem adequate to examine allegations of improper legislator conduct and deal with those within the proper scope. Regardless of whether we agreed with the outcome, the Sutton hearings demonstrated the system we have now works.

Laws serve essentially two purposes: (1) to bring justice by punishing wrongdoers, and (2) secondarily to provide a deterrent to those who might consider doing wrong.

The second, ancillary purpose does not always work as human nature and our overworked legal system illustrates. But if a people are committed to justice, the primary purpose almost always does.

And in the Ted Klaudt case, there were laws already in place which were quite capable of rendering justice, as the trial and verdict have shown this week.

If we want a legislative code of ethics to prohibit and punish every criminal and unethical thing someone could do, then get ready to write a document larger than the U.S. tax code. But that isn't necessary.

A code of ethics can be useful for a government body in regulating behavior that, while perhaps unethical, usually isn't criminal for the average citizen. Sutton's case bordered on that, and was dealt with within that context by the legislature, but was also investigated by the criminal authorities. Klaudt's case involved something criminal regardless of the perpetrator's government affiliation, and it was handily dealt with by the proper authority.

A code of ethics, spurred by the Sutton and Klaudt cases, might make some people feel good, but it wouldn't prevent such things from occurring in the future, and it wouldn't make dealing with such acts any easier than they already are.


Phelps' Hate Muddies a Clear Issue

By Carrie K. Hutchens

Homosexual activists may be delighting in Fred Phelps' loss in the court battle and thinking it is a win for them against Christians, but it isn't! Phelps is not representative of the vast majority of Christians and to suggest he is would be a bold-faced untruth most likely presented to make it look like those mean Christians are at it again. See how these mean old out-dated Christians refuse to move into the 21st century with the evolved attitudes of the rest of the world. (Full Article)


Most Outrageous Liberal Quotes

Human Events has posted the Media Research Center's "Top 10 Most Outrageous Liberal Media Quotes" from the last 20 years.

A few examples:

5. Three Cheers for Liberalism
“It is liberalism, whether people like it or not, which has animated all the years of my life. What on Earth did conservatism ever accomplish for our country?” -- Charles Kuralt talking with Morley Safer on the CBS special, “One for the Road With Charles Kuralt,” May 4, 1994.

7. Dan’s Salute to ‘Honest’ Bill
Host Bill O’Reilly: “Do you think President Clinton’s an honest man?”
Dan Rather: “Yes, I think he’s an honest man.... I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.” -- Exchange on Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” May 15, 2001.

10. Rosie vs. ‘Radical Christianity’
“As a result of the [9/11] attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people, we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries.... Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.” -- Rosie O’Donnell on ABC’s “The View,” Sept. 12, 2006.

Now, I don't think Rosie O'Donnell would be mistaken as "objective" in this or any universe, but ponder comments #5 and #7 from supposedly "objective" "mainstream" journalists.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming is a Scam

From John Coleman at Icecap:

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create in allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

What else does the founder of the Weather Channel have to say?
This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a non-event, a manufactured crisis and a total scam.

I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

But didn't Al Gore say this was "settled science?" I guess meteorologist and Weather Channel founder John Coleman didn't get the memo.

HT to Newsbusters.


Video: John Fund On Huckabee's Liberal Record



HT to the Arkansas Journal.


Female Corporate Leaders Out-Earn Men

What happened to that "glass ceiling?"

From Reuters:

Female directors in corporate America earned median compensation of $120,000, based on the most recently available pay data, compared with $104,375 for male board members, research group The Corporate Library said in its annual director pay report on Wednesday.

I'm sure feminists will still find some reason to bellyache and say it isn't fair.


Election 2008 Articles Feed

I've added a section to the blog in the right-side column below the Quote of the Day called "Election 2008 Articles."

I've had a lot of people in the past couple of months ask me about this candidate or that candidate, and while I usually refer them to the blog for the stuff I've blogged on, there are always more articles I come across than I actually post about.

So as I come across a piece I consider interesting enough to recommend or remember, I'll tag it by the candidate's name, or the candidate it mainly deals with if it's about more than one.

At this point, I've accumulated the most links on Huckabee, frankly because I think he's getting a pass from the religious Right because "he's a Baptist preacher and that means he must be great"--when in actuality I'm inclined to agree with those who call him a "pro-life liberal." He also really ticked me off by talking out of both sides of his mouth, slamming immigration controls a couple of years ago, then coming to the Washington Briefing last month and painting himself as Joe Border Control.

I also have some stuff on Duncan Hunter, since I consider him the best and most reliably conservative candidate. I have something on most of the candidates, but will be adding interesting material daily.


Taxpayer Monument to Pork

Democrats are looking to invoke porker Tom Daschle to waste more of your tax dollars.

From the Argus Leader:

A massive federal appropriations bill that includes a $1 million earmark to create a center for former Sen. Tom Daschle drew heavy fire Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

The earmark would pay for the Thomas Daschle Center for Public Service and Representative Democracy at South Dakota State University. It's among 150 pages of earmarks in a combined bill for education, health services, veterans programs, and other areas of federal government.

Who's behind it?
Daschle's former colleague, Sen. Tim Johnson, sponsored the earmark along with three other Democratic senators: Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada; Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Tom Harkin of Iowa.

Thomas Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, said there should be a rule barring the federal government from using taxpayer money to pay for a program named after a politician unless that politician has been dead for at least 20 years.

That sounds reasonable. If the politician did something great enough to be recognized at taxpayer expense, it will still be salient after 20 years. At this point, however, it would be a gaudy edifice to vanity.

If they do make one, however, it should have a statue like the one below out in front to illustrate Daschle's greatest achievement.




Child Porn is Not Free Speech

By John W. Whitehead

In 2004, federal agents caught Michael Williams in the act of attempting to exchange pornographic images of children online. In an Internet chat room, Williams boasted that he had “hard core” pictures of himself engaged in sex acts with his four-year-old daughter. He also told an undercover federal agent that he was willing to trade the photos for pictures depicting other children in provocative poses. (Full Article)


Critics Question Huckabee's Mexican Consulate

From OneNewsNow, some believe Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's involvement in a Mexican consulate may not be solely for the sake of international relations between Mexico and Arkansas:

Corsi claims Huckabee and the state "courted" then-Mexican President Vicente Fox to establish the consulate. "Mike Huckabee took an airplane ride in 2003, was going on down to see Vicente Fox with one of his top economic advisors," he says, "and that started discussions where basically Arkansas came and courted Vicente Fox, saying put a Mexican consulate here in Little Rock, please."

The investigative journalist believes the state may have overstepped its authority in urging the Mexicans to come to Little Rock, and contends the state essentially "shelled out" office space for the consulate because the Mexican government preferred to "let the gringos pay." Corsi questions if a consortium of businesses had the legal right to "support the consular presence" during the first three years, including what appears to be the costs of building a permanent consular facility in Little Rock.

"I'm not sure that Arkansas law permits the state government to subsidize ... another foreign government [in that fashion]," he shares. "I haven't yet identified who the corporations are who paid this lease, and I still don't know if the Mexican consulate is paying its own way or not, or if the private corporations in Arkansas are still funding the bill."

Huckabee denies his motivation for the establishing the consulate was to help draw more illegal immigrants into the state, insisting his major goal was to assist Arkansas companies in export-import business with Mexico.

Given that Huckabee called "racist" and "bigoted" a law to deny government benefits to illegal immigrants who shouldn't even be in the United States in the first place, well, you be the judge...


Colors are Too Religious for Christmas

From WorldNetDaily:

A special task force in a Colorado city has recommended banning red and green lights at the Christmas holiday because they fall among the items that are too religious for the city to sponsor.

"Some symbols, even though the Supreme Court has declared that in many contexts they are secular symbols, often still send a message to some members of the community that they and their traditions are not valued and not wanted. We don't want to send that message," Seth Anthony, a spokesman for the committee, told the Fort Collins, Colo., Coloradoan.

So red and green lights are too "religious" to display at the holiday which commemorates the incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God...


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Christian Educators Encouraged in Rapid City



Tonight at South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City, Christian educators of all flavors came out to hear Finn Laursen of the Christian Educators Association International.

Laursen spoke to Christian public, private and home school educators about showing God's love and truth in the education environment.

He directed attenders to http://www.raiseyourhand.us/ where the organization is looking for people who will volunteer to be prayer coaches in each school to highlight and share the prayer needs of each school so that others can pray for them.

Laursen said that our current culture is one that denies the truth of God, and while we (rightfully) support missions to other countries to bring them the Gospel, we can bring the Gospel to a "foreign" culture right here in our communities. He pointed out that only 4-6% of those in our culture actually hold a Christian worldview.

He said that every day in America

- 1440 teen girls become mothers
- 1106 teen girls get abortions
- 1000 teens are drinking alcohol
- 3601 teens are assaulted
- 4320 teens are arrested

Laursen said that prayer has never been legally removed from schools, only forced prayer. He said that while our Constitution prohibits forcing religion on others, it cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

He also pointed out the Christian foundations of the United States, stating that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were deeply committed, orthodox Christians. He also said that the first act of the Continental Congress after signing the Declaration was to purchase 20,000 Bibles for the nation.

He also provided the following quotes, illustrating the faith of the Founders:

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." - Patrick Henry

"I am a Christian, that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine of Jesus also." - Thomas Jefferson


And this one, of which I took a picture in the Jefferson Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. just a few weeks ago:




Laursen also pointed out that the famous "wall of separation between church and state" quote was taken from a letter Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists to reassure them that because of constitutional protections, government was not allowed to interfere in religious matters.

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports...And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion." - George Washington's Farewell Address 1796

"We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind of self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." - James Madison

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." - John Jay, First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

"Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilizations and our institutions are emphatically Christian." - Richmond v. Moore, Illinois Supreme Court, 1883


Laursen talked about the "No Child Left Behind" education law and said that while it has it's good points and bad points, it spells out clear protections for religious liberty in schools in Section 9524 covering:

Prayer During Noninstructional Time
Organized Prayer Groups and Activities
Teachers, Administrators, and other School Employees
Moments of Silence
Accommodation of Prayer During Instructional Time
Religious Expression and Prayer in Class Assignments
Student Assemblies and Extracurricular Events
Prayer at Graduation
Baccalaureate Ceremonies

Laursen encouraged people to participate in programs where they "adopt" a Christian educator and support them in prayer. He also encouraged attenders to be active with school groups, attend school board meetings, and to share their worldview at parent-teacher conferences.

He encouraged people to make a difference and have a positive impact in their communities.

Laursen will be speaking at similar events in Aberdeen and Sioux Falls Thursday night, Nov. 8.

The event was hosted by the South Dakota Family Policy Council. SDFPC President Chris Hupke and SDFPC Director of Pastoral Ministries Dale Bartscher were on hand, as well as Rapid City SDFPC coordinators George and Carol Black.


Clinton-Giuliani Contest Would Involve Two Social Liberals

Linda Feldmann's piece at the Christian Science Monitor today highlights why a Giuliani nomination would not reflect core Republican values in the upcoming presidential contest.

A year before Election Day, Americans may be heading toward the most unorthodox US presidential race in a generation.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) of New York appears well positioned to become the first woman nominee of a major party. But it is Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, who would represent the greater departure for his party, if he were to win the Republican nomination.

Mr. Giuliani's liberal positions on social issues – foremost, abortion and gay rights – put him at odds with the large social conservative wing of the Republican Party. If Giuliani can make it through the primaries, he would be the first Republican nominee to hold such views since President Reagan made opposition to abortion a central feature of Republican doctrine.


Huckabee's 'Compassion Problem'


Don Feder's column last week examines Mike Huckabee's "compassion problem."

Feder echoes many of my sentiments on Huckabee's candidacy:

Abortion and marriage are make-or-break issues for me. But, uncompassionate conservative that I am, I also care about taxes and spending, secure borders, the economy, crime and the Constitution.

I'm not alone. Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly says Huckabee "destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party in shambles," Schlafly charges, "Yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a 'compassionate conservative' are now trying to sell us on Huckabee." Call the Better Business Bureau.

Richard Viguerie, as principled and tough-minded as anyone on the right, observes, "But while Gov. Huckabee stands strong on some issues like abortion that are important to social conservatives, a careful examination of his record as governor reveals that he is just another wishy-washy Republican who enthusiastically promotes big government" -- which is why Time Magazine thought Huckabee was one of the nation's five best governors. Time doesn't hand out awards for cutting taxes and reducing spending.

Feder's piece goes on to catalogue a variety of areas where Huckabee's credentials don't exactly reflect conservatism.

If you're considering Huckabee, or in any fashion looking for a conservative candidate to support, I'd encourage you to read the whole piece.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Mean Spirited Auto Makers


Mean Automakers Dash Nation's Hope For Flying Cars


Huckabee's Horton


I've been reading for a few weeks now that Mike Huckabee has a "Willie Horton" in his closet. You might recall from the 1988 election that Horton, while imprisoned for murder, was released on a weekend furlough program which Mass. governor Michael Dukakis supported, and while on this little getaway he raped a woman and stabbed her fiancee. This was used against Dukakis in the campaign to show that he was weak on crime.

The Arkansas Journal, a conservative Arkansas blog, has a lot of information on Huckabee, including problems with the rebuttal of many charges against Huckabee's record, and more information about Huckabee's "Willie Horton," Wayne Dumond. Dumond was in prison for raping a cheerleader.

According to the information I've read (and the Arkansas Journal link to an Arkansas Times piece is the most informative), Huckabee intervened with the parole board on Dumond's behalf to get him released. Huckabee apparently believed Dumond was innocent and had been railroaded. A number of sources say Huckabee was woefully uninformed of the facts of Dumond's case, but wouldn't listen when the facts were presented to him.

In any event, the parole board, which says it was acting on Huckabee's recommendation, released Dumond. Shortly after Dumond was released, he raped and killed another woman. He was also a lead suspsect in the rape and murder of a second woman.

Huckabee now denies that he had anything substantive to do with Dumond's release. The information in testimony from the Arkansas Times, however, indicates otherwise.

I don't know anything beyond what I've read about this case, but these accusations that Huckabee was soft on crime would again be in keeping with Huckabee's assertion that he's "a 'grace' Christian, not a 'law' Christian." Such assertions are often made by folks who are unwilling to face the fact that some people actually do commit acts that are evil, and are also unwilling to face the fact that justice demands harsh punishment for harsh acts.

The world is full of evil people, and most of them would love to see the United States at the bottom of a smoking ash heap. I don't think we want a president--Democrat or Republican-- who doesn't understand the nature of evil and who is unwilling to deal firmly with evil. As the Dumond case illustrates, the cost of letting bloodthirsty monsters run loose is too high, regardless of whether those monsters are foreign or domestic.


Veteran's Day is hallowed for all those who have worn the uniform

By Gordon Garnos

AT ISSUE: In just a few days South Dakotans as well as most Americans will observe Veterans Day and recall the sobering numbers that underscore this hallowed occasion. It will also be the time to reflect on the historical significance that has brought this day about.

FROM THE AMERICAN
Revolution through the current fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the longest period in which our country has been at peace has lasted only three decades. And the price that American men and women have paid--for 231 years--to keep our nation free and safeguard our way of life is staggering. (Full Article)


Ministries of Hate: What God Do They Serve?

By Carrie K. Hutchens

I just read, "Jury awards father $11M in funeral case," by Alex Dominguez, Associated Press Writer (Oct. 31, 2007) and once again wondered what people in this world are thinking and just where they got their mindset from. This world has indeed gone mad.

Dominguez reports, "BALTIMORE - A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict Wednesday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals out of a belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. Albert Snyder of York, Pa., sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq." (Full Article)


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Christians Lead Rebuilding in Fire-Struck Calif.

This is how it's supposed to be done: the private sector, and especially churches, getting into the trenches to help in times of need.

From Christian Today:

News about the widespread California wildfire have faded from the headlines, but Christian organisations and churches remain behind to help clean up the overwhelming destruction left by the fires.

Christian relief groups and local churches were some of the first to respond to the wildfires that ravaged southern California last week. Workers prepared meals and drinks for firefighters and evacuated locals. They provided counseling and comfort to distressed victims who fled their homes leaving everything behind except the clothes they had on.

At one point up to a million people were estimated to have been evacuated.

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee’s Disaster Response Services (CRWRC-DRS) said it was holding a house-to-house needs assessment and reconstruction response among 1,800 homes and businesses that were destroyed. The church relief group is in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross and other agencies to plan to assist homeowners.

Government can have a useful role in disasters such as coordinating relief efforts, providing law-and-order services from the National Guard, and our military airlift capability, but the private sector is where the bulk of help can and should come from.

And I guarantee the churches and other private sector agencies will do a MUCH better job of things than the goat-rope we saw during and after the Katrina debacle. Sitting around waiting for the federal government to be-all and do-all is a recipe for even more disaster and suffering.


What Did We Do Before Welfare?

A letter to the editor in today's Rapid City Journal:

Life in a pre-SCHIP home taught lessons

Life in a pre-SCHIP home taught lessons We need to look at life before SCHIP. I remember a lady in the 1930’s who lost her husband at a young age, leaving her with eight children, the oldest 12. She lived in a small town in a small house. She had no car and worked in grocery stores, the courthouse and in the local bank (years later) until her death.

The mother was too proud to accept commodities. She couldn’t afford health insurance for herself or children and the family had a radio and telephone and running water (you ran out to get it and ran in with it). They had an outside toilet (a 2-holer). There were no school lunch programs. Breakfast was usually dry cereal and lunch was “leftovers” from the previous evening meal. Remarkably, all eight children attended college, the three boys under the GI bill. The mother was still working beyond age 65, so drew no Social Security. How do I know all this? She was my mother. I learned from her, becoming a single parent with three small children (oldest was five). We had no health insurance for the children. SCHIP is unearned welfare — called socialism.

DEAN VANCE
Spearfish

There is an irreplaceable dignity in doing things for your self, even in poverty. Having grown up poor, I know this.

Social welfare programs like SCHIP rob people of this dignity, and when they are extended to people making more than $80,0000 a year, it moves into the realm of the grossly absurd.


 
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