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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lesson 12 - Community and Involvement: God Cares, do I?

Tomorrow is the last lesson of the Truth Project at South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City.

You can find other Truth Project gatherings going on in the Rapid City area, and in towns across South Dakota. Check with your local churches or the South Dakota Family Policy Council.



The ethical law and the meaning of the Christian life are summed up in the commandment to love God and one's neighbor. This command is the source of the believer's motivation for self-sacrificial service to the needy and their personal involvement in our culture.

Visit www.thetruthproject.org for more information.


Friday, March 28, 2008

An open letter to John McCain

BY STAR PARKER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL & EDUCATION

Dear John McCain,

Every relationship requires effort. I want to do my part. But there needs to be common ground to start with, and you're making it harder and harder for me to find where it is.

I'm an optimist and a woman of faith. I believe we are strong because our nation is meant to be, as President Reagan often reminded us, a "shining city upon a hill."

You spoke in Los Angeles the other day about our country and its place in the world. You talked about political, economic and military strength, and international citizenship.

I strained to hear you mention our moral uniqueness -- our being that "city on a hill." But I heard not a hint.

President Nixon once observed that Americans often make the mistake of thinking that conflict in the world is the result of misunderstanding rather than difference of belief.

Because you seem not to appreciate that our beliefs make us different, you suggest more talk. You propose more international compacts and organizations, as if we don't have enough.

What exactly are the values we would share with others in your concept for a League of Democracies? The European Union countries can't even agree on a common constitution.

A 2000 survey of the United States and 14 Western European democracies checked the percentage of residents who never attend church. France was highest, with 60 percent, followed by Great Britain (55 percent), Belgium (46 percent) and West Germany (30 percent). The European mean was 36, more than twice as high as in the United States, which had 16 percent.

In 2004, the European Union rejected Italy's nominee for justice minister of the EU, Rocco Buttiglione, because he is an open Christian who condemned homosexuality.

We, of course, should strive for peace and seek commerce with all. But let's not forget who we are and seek some pseudo-tranquility by compromising ourselves and becoming more like others. Remember, John, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

I, like most Americans, share your deep concern about the threat of terrorism and radical Islam. I agree we should engage this aggressively.

But I'm afraid I don't share your sense that this is the "transcendent threat" of our time.

John, half our country today is ready to vote for a presidential candidate, be it a white woman or a black man, who favors promiscuous use of government power to pretend to solve every domestic challenge we have.

Both these candidates want to nationalize health care, raise taxes to deal with our Social Security and Medicare crises, and onerously regulate the mortgage industry. Both condemned the Supreme Court's decision banning partial birth abortion. Both reject the only hope we have for addressing our education problems: school choice.

I appreciate your concern for how we are treating the 600 or so detainees we are holding in Guantanamo.

But have you thought about the 2.3 million of our own citizens -- 1 percent of our adult population -- in prison? Ten percent of black men between 20 and 34 are in prison or jail.

If millions of low-income Americans would hear a genuine and aggressive message from our leadership about how conservative and traditional values address their problems, they'd be less susceptible to destructive illusions peddled by those like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

While you spoke in Los Angeles, Social Security and Medicare trustees issued a report. These systems are bankrupt and in the red by more than $50 trillion -- several times our gross domestic product. This is more than a cash flow problem; this is a misuse of government crisis. Is this not a "transcendent threat?"

Our incidence of out-of-wedlock births -- almost 40 percent -- is 10 times greater than 50 years ago. Do you see breakdown of the American family as a "transcendent threat?"

How can we light the path to freedom for others when we are so clearly losing the way ourselves? I think the "transcendent threat" is the dimming of that light from the city on the hill.

I hope you can still listen, John.

Your fellow conservative,

Star

---------------------------------


Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay.

Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine. The 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business, yet served as a springboard for her focus on faith and market-based alternatives to empower the lives of the poor.


Hillary Clinton Connected to Accused Saddam Agent

Muthanna Al-Hanooti, the man accused of funneling money from Saddam Hussein to pay for Rep. "Baghdad" Jim McDermott's trip to Iraq to undermine his own country, er, check on hungry Iraqi children, has now been indicted for doing Saddam Hussein's bidding.

The indictment says Baghdad Jim's trip was set up under the direction of Saddam's intelligence agents.

OneNewsNow points out that Baghdad Jim, Rep. David Bonior (D-MI) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) have all received campaign contributions from Muslims who have been convicted of terrorist-related activities.

Now the New York Sun reports that Hillary Clinton also fell under the spell of Muthanna Al-Hanooti.

Al-Hanooti says he met Hillary Clinton at the White House in 1996 and she was "very receptive" to his request for an easing of the American sanctions on Iraq. These sanctions were in place because Saddam had failed to live up to his obligations after the 1991 Gulf War, and had been slaughtering his own people.

Al-Hanooti claims Mrs. Clinton passed along his desire to see the UN "oil for food" program implemented. That was the program which was used to line the pockets of Saddam and his cronies and the UN thugs, er, I meant, feed hungry Iraqi children.

The Clinton campaign has been rather hushed about this new development in her "foreign policy experience," but according to the Sun article, some defenders say she couldn't have known Al-Hanooti would become one of Saddam's agents.

Am I the only one who sees a pattern here? Why is it that liberals just seem to naturally gravitate to criminals, tyrants, enemies of America and general dirtbags?

At the risk of painting with too broad a brush, the old saying that "Birds of a feather flock together" does come to mind.

Why anyone who loves America and wants to keep America safe could support a Democrat on the national level is beyond me. They continue to prove over and over and over that they couldn't even be trusted as assistant to the dog catcher's secretary.


Lost News Footage: Hillary Really Was Under Attack in Bosnia

Shocking new footage has been uncovered which has vindicated Hillary Clinton in her account that she landed in Bosnia under sniper fire.

Apparently she was being modest, as people were shot left and right all around her, there were missile strikes, and she even shot a terrorist herself.

I, for one, apologize for ever doubting her. I'll not make that mistake ever again.



HT to Fort Hard Knox.


Liberal Tantrum Over Fox News

Liberals really are like spoiled children, aren't they?

Have you ever noticed how an undisciplined, spoiled child always has to have everything their way? If the slightest thing interferes with their childish vision of perfection, they scream and stomp and whine about how unfair it is, and if you stood in their way, how mean you are.

The libs apparently had another temper tantrum in front of Fox News yesterday, according to CNS News.

It seems that having ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, et. al. firmly in their corner for decades isn't enough for liberals.

Along comes Fox news about 12 years ago and rained on their parade. The slightest bit of truth (or even a different perspective) must not be allowed to cast a cloud over their vision of Marxist perfection. This one evil news network must be eradicated.

According to the CNS News piece, the whiners, er, protesters claim "FOX News is a Republican mouthpiece" and Fox News is "not a real news organization."

Well, how could Fox News be anything other than a Republican mouthpiece? After all, the other networks have set the standard for "news" and "truth": give more time to Democrats, parrot their positions, smirk and sneer anytime a Republican says anything, highlight Republican scandals while burying Democrat ones, throw around the "conservative" label over any issue you can successfully demonize while never seeing a "liberal" politician or issue, and automatically consider anything a Republican says as dubious and doubtful while accepting anything Democrats say as an established law of nature. Fox doesn't do that, so it can't be news.

I think it's funny how one objective news network among the multitude of liberal ones shoots an arrow of fear into the hearts of liberals.

But then, that's the power of truth. Ignorance is a powerful ally of lies and liberalism. Truth dispels ignorance, so when Fox reports something that doesn't automatically accept pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, pro-Marxism, pro-socialism, and pro-sexual license philosophy as the norm, Fox becomes a terrible threat to all that liberals hold dear.

Just a small bit of truth is more powerful than a host of lies, and the liberals' terror over Fox News proves it.


Expelled the Movie and Intelligent Design, Part 1

Renewing Your Mind - Dr. R.C. Sproul

What happens when intelligent scientists question Darwinism? RC talks with Ben Stein about the new movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed from Ben Stein is Hot Topic

LOS ANGELES, March 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- According to Technoranati's BlogPulse which surveys the hottest topics and sites in the world of blogs, a site featuring Ben Stein's controversial new film Expelled is the #1 blog on the net.

The web traffic spiked when P.Z. Meyers, a biology professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, attempted to sneak into a private, invitation-only screening of Ben Stein's highly controversial upcoming movie, EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed (www.expelledthemovie.com). But Myers, who is an outspoken atheist and author of the science blog "Pharyngula" got caught and has used his blog to bitterly complain about not being allowed to see the film before its release.

Myers, who was interviewed in Expelled, has apparently been asking supporters to sneak into the private screenings which are being conducted by marketing company Motive Entertainment (www.motivemarketing.biz; which handled grassroots marketing for blockbusters The Passion of the Christ and Chronicles of Narnia) for various leaders as part of the grass roots marketing of the film.

When confronted at the screening by Myers' friend Richard Dawkins, a prominent atheist who is himself featured in the film, as to why Myers was "expelled" from the screening, producer Mark Mathis replied that the producers were eager for Myers to screen the film but only after he had paid $10 to watch it with the rest of America after it releases on April 18th.

Mathis saw rich irony in Myers' discontent with being "expelled" from Expelled: "It was amazing to see the reaction of Myers, Richard Dawkins and their friends when one of them wasn't allowed to screen a film. Yet these men applaud the fact that throughout the nation, professors are fired from their jobs and permanently excluded from their profession for questioning Darwinism."

"We can't wait for all Americans, including our friend P.Z. Myers, to see the film when it opens on April 18th," noted executive producer Logan Craft of Premise Media. "We'll even throw in some free popcorn for P.Z. if he'll tell us which theater he'll be attending."

"I hope PZ's experience has helped him see the light. He's distraught because he could not see a movie," noted Mathis. "What if he wasn't allowed to teach on a college campus or was denied tenure? Maybe he'll think twice before he starts demanding more professors be blacklisted and expelled simply because they question the adequacy of Darwin's theory."

Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed opens nationwide on April 18th. Learn more at www.ExpelledTheMovie.com and www.GetExpelled.com.


More Dist. 35 Candidates Announce

Two more candidates for offices in South Dakota District 35 have made their official announcements.

The announcement by Senator Bill Napoli that he was retiring from politics left his seat in the South Dakota Senate open, and set off a flurry of new political activity in Dist. 35.

Rep. Jeff Haverly, who has been serving Dist. 35 in the South Dakota House, announced that he would seek the seat vacated by Napoli.

Today, Alice McCoy, who served Dist. 35 in the House from 1999-2006, has announced her candidacy in the Rapid City Journal for Dist. 35 Senate.

Both have been good conservative representatives, so it's going to be an interesting campaign. I wish them both well, and know that either one will serve Dist. 35 (my district) well in the state Senate.

Don Kopp has also announced in the Rapid City Journal that he will be running for one of the two state House seats in Dist. 35.

I've known Don for several years and know that he will make a solid conservative representative. I wish Don the best, as well.


Fireproof: The Movie Examines Troubled Marriages

ALBANY, Ga., March 27, 2008 - "Fireproof," www.FireprooftheMovie.com, the new action/relationship film from the creators of "Facing the Giants" and "Flywheel," releases this September from Sherwood Pictures and Provident Films. Already the movie is uniting marriage advocates from across the U.S.

National groups such as Focus on the Family, Outreach, FamilyLife, The Marriage CoMission, America's Family Coaches, AMFM, Marriage Alive Communications, and MarriageToday endorse the movie and are urging their constituencies to see it. Influencers such as marriage expert Gary Smalley and Bubba Cathy of Chick-fil-A are also working to spread the word.

It's no secret that U.S. marriages are in crisis. The U.S. Census Bureau and marriage organizations vary on the stats but agree that nearly half of all weddings lead to divorce—with rates highest in the Bible belt. Some 25 percent of U.S. adults divorce at least once; and given the abundance of poor marriages, many couples skip it outright.

"Fireproof" mirrors the problems of many marriages, in this case through a firefighter whose high-stress job spills into his home life. Hitting on pain points common to married life—from indifference to insults to emotional affairs and internet porn—the story opens with a couple's disintegration.

"Most movies are about relationships that lead to marriage," Michael Catt, of Sherwood Pictures said. "'Fireproof' picks up seven years into a marriage headed for divorce. And the question is: Can a cold marriage revive? Why stay together?"

Given that firefighters have one of the nation's highest divorce rates, "Fireproof" also has the support of many firefighters and related organizations. John White, former head of the Los Angeles Fire Department's Search & Rescue Team, is urging firefighters across the country to see it.

Sherwood's aim to "reach the world from Albany, GA" rides on first-rate entertainment packing powerful messages. Its first movie, "Flywheel," explored business integrity. "Facing the Giants" tackled personal fear and failure. Now "Fireproof" asks what makes a true hero.

"This movie is about fireproofing your most important earthly relationship," Executive Producer Jim McBride said. "Our hope and prayer is that people will be touched by the story of Caleb and Catherine and commit to fireproofing their marriages—no matter what state those marriages are currently in."

For more information about "Fireproof," how individuals and organizations can get involved, and in what theaters the movie will open, stay current with www.FireprooftheMovie.com

A Sampling of Endorsements

"Since I had the privilege of visiting the 'Fireproof' set, I've been this movie's biggest fan. On top of a powerful message and the potential to change lives and marriages, this is one great movie!"
Bubba Cathy, Chick-fil-A

"We all know marriages inside and outside the church are in trouble. Fireproof the movie finally provides the church a powerful and relevant way to address the need and provide hope and healing through Jesus Christ. I would encourage every church to do a Fireproof Your Marriage message series and outreach."
Scott Evans, Founder and CEO, Outreach, Inc

"The time has come in America when the devastating impact of divorce and the breakdown of the family are un-masked. [This movie's] challenge to 'never leave your partner behind' brings to us a dramatic experience of the power of sacrifice and forgiveness in restoring hope for a strong, lifelong marriage. I expect this film will save marriages that are faltering, enrich good marriages, and give all viewers more confidence that great marriages can be a reality."
Dr. Jeff S. Fray, Chair, The Marriage CoMission

"[After] a few days of filming, I was most impressed with how [directors] Alex and Stephen [Kendrick] began the day with prayer and a short teaching from the scriptures. The clips have gotten me excited about the potential of this film, first, to present the Gospel, second, to give hope to struggling marriages. And third, to say to those struggling with addictions that the cycle can be broken."
Bob Waliszewski, Director, Focus on the Family's Plugged In

"'Fireproof' is going to do more than entertain and stir hearts when it comes to movie theaters (this fall). This is a movie that will impact couples in a profound way for decades to come."
Dennis Rainey, President, of FamilyLife


NewsBusted 152



Topics in this show:

--John McCain continues to receive critcism for saying Iran is aiding Al Qaeda

--And yet, McCain continues to lead Barack Obama in polls

--Osama bin Laden gets angry at Mohammed cartoons

--Al Gore wants to make millions from his little-watched Current TV

--Robin Williams appears on "Law and Order"

--The last Harry Potter book gets turned into two movies, not one

NewsBusted is a comedy webcast about the news of the day, uploaded every Tuesday and every Friday.

If you like the show, be sure to subscribe!


Senator Thune Arrives in Rapid City Under Sniper Fire...Er...Well...

Senator John Thune (R-SD) came to Rapid City yesterday to make some visits around town. He was delayed in getting here due to some of the nasty weather in the region.

While his stop at South Middle School generated the most news coverage, he made a quip at the Rotary Club which makes the "Quote of the Day.

You can find it at the Rapid City Journal's political Blog, Mount Blogmore:

“I apologize for being a little bit late,” Thune said. “But when we landed out here at the airport, we were taking a little sniper fire.”

After allowing the laughter to fade, Thune fessed up. It was actually troublesome weather conditions rather than a barrage of bullets that adjusted his travel schedule.

At least some politicians are willing to own up to the truth! :-)

Thanks for a good line, Senator Thune!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Conservatives Compassionate With Their Own Money (Not Yours)

Liberals are infinitely more compassionate and concerned with the needy than conservatives, right? Wrong. Flat wrong.

I've written about this a number of times before, but judging by some of the comments left at Dakota Voice today, some folks weren't in school those days.

It so happens that George Will's column today, which can be found at the Boston Herald and many other locations, examines the issue of compassion and charitable giving.

His column points out that while the stereotype is that liberals are more compassionate toward the needy than are conservatives, the opposite is true.

Why would such a stereotype develop? Might it have something to do with the contention that liberals are always more generous than conservatives...when it comes to giving away someone elses money? Might it have something to do with the fact that when conservatives point out that our Constitution does not authorize expenditures of taxpayer funds for the purposes of compassion, the Left and their media accomplices waste no time in branding conservatives as "haters" and "mean spirited" and "cold-hearted" and "uncaring?"

How does it shake out when you look at how liberals and conservatives give of their own money? Then, the stereotype withers like a delicate flower on hot a Texas summer day.

Wills' column reminds readers of a book written a couple of years ago by Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University: “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” Brooks' research found that conservatives are more generous.

ABC's 20/20 also did their own experiment a couple of years ago, with part of it right here in South Dakota, and found the same thing.

But back to Will's column, he cites some of the information from Brooks' book:

• Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

• Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

• Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

• People who reject the idea that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

You might also recall that a few days ago, it came to light from Barack Obama's tax returns that for the years 2000-2004, the Obamas gave less than 1% of their income to charity. I'm not into tooting my own horn, but I made a fraction of their $1.2 million income, but I out-gave them not only in percentage, but in hard dollar amounts every one of those years. And that's not even counting what the government "liberated" from my pocket for "forced compassion" for social spending.

Will's article points out that Al Gore is another of these big-spenders-of-other-people's-money-but-not-his-own. In 2000, he gave 0.2% to charity. Wow. What a big heart.

Why are conservatives--many of whom are Christians--so much more generous? Maybe it has to do with their recognition of the proper role of charity and compassion as a private function, not a government function. Both the Bible and the Constitution tell us this.

Consider that nowhere in the Bible does it say government should take money from one person and give it to another in the name of "charity." Consider what else the Bible says about the needy and "compassion":

- If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold. (Leviticus 25:25)

- Do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit (Exodus 23:3)

- Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. (Leviticus 19:15)

- If a man will not work, he shall not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10)

- These should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family (1 Timothy 5:4)

- As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list…they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house (1 Timothy 5:13)

- If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need. (1 Timothy 5:16)


Our government and the Constitution which defines it is one of enumerated powers; in other words, it's powers are limited and specifically listed, and it cannot (legally) do what it is not expressly authorized to do according to the Constitution.

And you will not find authorization for social spending, compassion or charity in the Constitution.

Consider what some of the Founders (who helped write the Constitution and set up our government) and early statesmen had to say on the subject of government charity:

- A wise and frugal government...shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. – Thomas Jefferson

- Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated. - Thomas Jefferson

- With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. – James Madison

- I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. – James Madison

- Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. – James Madison

- We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. — Congressman Davy Crockett


We as individuals can and should help those in need. But Christ's admonitions to do so were to PEOPLE, not GOVERNMENT. When government forces charitable giving on those who have in order to give to those who have not, it robs both of the blessing.

It can also have the tendency, since government is far removed from the capacity to distinguish true need from sloth, of enabling people to be unproductive--at the expense of the productive.

Government also has a poor track record of recognizing when need comes about because of immoral and unwise lifestyle choices (drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling addictions, poor financial skills), and by supplying money with limited accountability and not teaching the recipient a better way, enables the person to continue an unproductive and self-destructive lifestyle.

Before FDR's socialist "New Deal" and other misguided liberal schemes, charity in America was handled by individuals, churches and other private charities.

If we truly care about being fair to those with means and without means, we will abandon this un-Biblical and un-Constitutional scheme and return to the private model of compassion.

It's what all Americans deserve.


"We Don't Mind Being Used"

The Weekly Standard’s The Blog has a post by Stephen F. Hayes detailing the revelation that Democratic Representatives David Bonior, Jim Thompson, and Jim McDermott took Saddam’s money for their fact finding trip to Baghdad in the fall of 2002, during the run-up toward hostilities in Iraq. This was a trip ostensibly to broker a peace with the Saddam regime and to see first hand the terrible effects on Iraqi children of the U.S. sanctions on Iraq. We know now, of course, that any suffering by the people of Iraq had more to do with Kofi Annan, and Co. in the "oil for food" scandal than with President Bush.

This is how the trip was reported by The Weekly Standard in October of 2002:

EVEN BEFORE the Baghdad boys left Iraq, media outlets throughout the Middle East gleefully highlighted divisions in the U.S. government and the travels by the 'antiwar' congressmen. The Iraq Daily, for example, published by Saddam's Ministry of Information, printed daily updates of the trip and posted them in English on their website.

For example, a September 30 report says, 'the members of the U.S. Congress delegation has underlined that this visit aims to get acquainted with the truth of Iraq's people sufferings due to ongoing embargo which caused shortage in food and medicine for all Iraqi people.' (That article appeared next to a report on Saddam's continuing financial support for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers or, to use the paper's formulation, 'intrepid Palestinian uprising martyrs.' Also in that issue is an article by American white supremacist Matthew Hale, 'Truth About 9-11: How Jewish Manipulation Killed Thousands.')...

So how does it feel to be used as a propaganda tool against your own country? McDermott, who was asked that question by CNN's Jane Arraf when he was still in Baghdad, said it feels fine. 'If being used means that we're highlighting the suffering of Iraqi children, or any children, then, yes, we don't mind being used.'

"Baghdad Jim" McDermott as yet hasn't commented on the latest report of his complicity with Saddam, a sworn enemy of the United States and murderer of hundreds of thousands.


Winter Soldiers are Cowards

For a group that's all hot n' heavy to have the media and others buy their repeat of John Kerry's treasonous and slanderous Winter Soldier farce, these guys are notably disinterested in legally standing behind behind their accusations.

They'd be more aptly named "Fair Weather Soldier."



YAF/HotAir correspondent Jason Mattera asks Winter Soldier II testifiers if they would sign affidavits.


U.S. Court upholds 10 Commandments on public land

"U.S. Court upholds 10 Commandments on public land

By Amanda Beck Wed Mar 26, 8:01 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A nearly 50-year-old monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments does not violate the Constitution just because it sits nearly alone on public grounds in a Washington city, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday."

Read the rest of the article at Yahoo! News .

An unexpected, but welcomed ruling!



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hillary Clintons Difficult Relationship with the Truth

I've never met Hillary Clinton, but I've seen enough of her to know I hope I never do.

I have personally known one or two people like her--people who lie like most people breath--and hope that number stays small.

It's hard for the average person to accept much less understand how someone can tell brazen lies without the slightest hesitation and usually without detectable signs of deception. But having known a couple and spent some time around them, I can tell you that as hard as it is to believe that people like that exist, they do. And you'd be safer holding a rattlesnake in your hand, because at least then you'd understand the danger you faced.

How bad is Hillary's estrangement from the truth? So bad that even the liberal Carl Bernstein fully admits it.

NewsMax draws attention to a statement by Carl Bernstein:

In a Bernstein article that appears on the blog of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, he quotes from “A Woman in Charge,” his 2007 Clinton bio:

“She has often chosen to obfuscate, omit, and avoid. It is an understatement by now that she has been known to apprehend truths about herself and the events of her life that others do not exactly share…

“Almost always, something holds her back from telling the whole story, as if she doesn’t trust the reader, listener, friend, interviewer, constituent — or perhaps herself — to understand the true significance of events.”

Bernstein writes on Cooper’s blog: “The Bosnian episode is a watershed event, because it indelibly brings to mind so many examples of this tendency — from the White House years and, worse, from Hillary Clinton’s take-no-prisoners presidential campaign. Her record as a public person is replete with ‘misstatements’ and elisions and retracted and redacted and revoked assertions.”

Hillary’s misstatement about Bosnia conjures up “another famous instance of faulty recollection,” Bernstein writes.

Bernstein, one of the Watergate journalists, is no Right wing hack. For him to admit what a liar Hillary Clinton is, her antipathy toward the truth must reach monumental proportions.

Remember when Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat, admitted on a television show that Bill Clinton was "an exceptionally good liar?" That's how bad the Clintons are.

Anyone who has been around couples who have been married for many years can tell you that their characteristics meld over time, and one often fuels such tendencies in the other.

With both Bill and Hillary being the liars they are, can the United States survive them a second time?


Huckabee Revising History

It looks like Mike Huckabee is carrying on one of the most favored traditions among liberals: historical revision.

From yesterday's Washington Times, Huckabee tries to explain why he didn't pull off the Republican presidential nomination:

"Rank-and-file evangelicals supported me strongly, but a lot of the leadership did not," the former Arkansas governor says. "Let's face it, if you're not going to be king, the next best thing is to be the kingmaker. And if the person gets there without you, you become less relevant."

This is one "rank-and-file evangelical" who didn't support Huckabee strongly. In fact, I had him pegged for a pro-life liberal back around August or September. And I was far from the only rank-and-filer to realize this.

Ironically, there are a number of evangelical leaders who for whatever reason hopped onboard Huckabee's bandwagon, despite the fact that after abortion and marriage, he was a liberal candidate.

Maybe next time he should run as a conservative Democrat; it's be closer to the majority of his ideology.

Nah, that wouldn't work either. Democrats are almost entirely liberal, and they can't abide a blasphemer to the holy liberal sacraments of abortion and homosexuality. And unlike Republicans, Democrats are smart enough not to support someone who doesn't share their ideological outlook simply because they have the right "D" or "R" after their name.


Hillary Clinton Made the Decision to Lie & Did So

by Carrie K. Hutchens

I didn't go looking for skeletons in Hillary Clinton's closet. I didn't have to. Right out there in the open for all to see -- Hillary Clinton made the decision to lie about being under sniper fire. She, no one else, made the decision to actually make those statements and that is exactly what she did. Hillary Clinton lied!

Clinton cries, on the one hand, that she is put under a microscope, while Obama is allowed to slide. If she really and truly believes this to be so -- why would she so blatantly lie? Did Hillary Clinton really think that no one would check up on her claims or call her on it when they found the actual footage regarding that Bosnia visit and landing?

I can't believe how the media and Obama campaign are being blamed by some Clinton surrogates for "her" getting caught in her own lie. It is dirty politics to call her on it? Wait a minute. What is wrong with this suggestion?

A person lies and the person that catches them is the one that is wrong and the one lying is the one being wronged?

Did this form of reasoning come right out of the pages of an "Abnormal Psychology" book or the "Twilight Zone?" One has to wonder.

One Clinton surrogate on MSNBC today (March 26, 2008) seemed to be accusing the Obama campaign of doing exactly what he and Clinton herself were doing. And rather than explaining why Hillary would lie about the sniper fire, he kept trying to throw blame on Obama and the media. He kept trying to make Hillary Clinton somehow the "victim", in spite of the fact that "SHE" is the one that lied. If she hadn't lied -- no one could have caught her and shared the information with the world! How's that for a reasonable conclusion to come to?

I have some very important questions...

If Hillary Clinton can't be trusted to tell us the truth now, how can we trust her to tell us the truth ever? And... if she can't take responsibility for her own actions and words -- how can she be trusted to take responsibility for our country?

It's Obama and the media's fault right now? Whose fault will it be next time she messes up and someone finds out? After all, Hillary Clinton sure seems to believe in delegating responsibility so as not to burden herself with accountability!


Carrie Hutchens is a former law enforcement officer and a freelance writer who is active in fighting against the death culture movement and the injustices within the judicial and law enforcement systems.


Another Bad Day For Chelsea

After being asked at Butler University about Bill's tryst with Monica and how that reflects on Hillary's credibility, Chelsea went on to Indiana University in Bloomington for another touchy question. This one about Hillary's recollections of landing in Bosnia under "sniper fire." It doesn't sound as though she was well prepped for this question. If Chelsea, an adult, is going to go on the road campaigning for her mother then she needs to be prepared for tough questions. Not every venue is going to be a pep rally for Hillary.


Military Miffed Over Hillary Clinton's Mendacity

This is another example of why liberals not only can't be trusted to lead the military as commander in chief (because they tend to use the military for their own glory, rather than the defense of the nation): their disrespect for the military always shows through at some point and hurts morale.

From the New York Post, Hillary Clinton's lies about "coming in under sniper fire" in Bosnia when she was co-president, er, First Lady, has insulted our heroes in the military.

"She has no sense of what a statement like that does to soldiers," fumed retired Maj. Gen. Walter Stewart, the former head of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

"She is insulting the command in its entirety," he said yesterday.

Last week, Hillary said
"I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead, we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

Then pictures and video came to light showing a large entourage meeting her on the tarmac, including a little girl who spoke to Hillary Clinton. There was no urgency, no apprehension (and no bullets flying) in the pictures or video.

Diehard liberals like Hillary Clinton loathe our noble military so much that they have no sense of the dedication our soldiers have to this nation, or the honor that motivates them.

Gen. Stewart isn't the only military commander upset with Hillary Clinton's self-serving lies:
Air Force Lt. Gen. Buster Glosson, a John McCain supporter who ran the air attack in the first Gulf War, said, "It bothers me any time anyone running for the highest office in the land fabricates a story.

"That should bother any American, whether you're military or nonmilitary."

Another source, a former Army analyst who was stationed abroad when dignitaries visited, said, "You know, we have soldiers overseas now who are getting shot at by real bullets from real enemies who really want to kill them.

"Getting shot at by snipers is not something you forget - or make light of," he added.

"If getting shot at by sniper fire qualifies you to be president, then there are thousands of guys in the military right now who are way more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be our next president."

Speaking as a 10-year military veteran, you don't have to have served in the military to be qualified to lead as commander in chief.

But in order to effectively lead our men and women in uniform, you do at least need enough honor to realize the military isn't a plaything for your own glory.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Obama Just Another Liberal Charity Cheapskate

You're no doubt familiar with how liberals never miss an opportunity to talk about "compassion" and rail about the wealthy "not paying their fair share" and capitalizing on class envy.

With all that caterwauling, liberals are sure to be generous people, right? Wrong. In fact, wrong, wrong. Conservatives--especially religious conservatives--give considerably more to charity, even when they make less money.

With all the railing done by Barack Obama's pastor about injustice and oppression, certainly Obama is an exception to this tendency of liberals to be tightwads.

Uh, wrong again.

From Jake Tapper at the ABC News blog, the Obamas are pretty skimpy in their charitable giving:

"The Obamas' donations to all recipients totaled $2,350 in 2000, $1,470 in 2001, $1,050 in 2002, $3,400 in 2003, and $2,500 in 2004. They also paid federal taxes totaling $311,044 during the same period on their $1.2 million of income."

Wow! I make in the 5-figures, they make in the 7-figures, yet I gave more than they did in any one of these years! I'm not tooting my own horn; there are plenty of people out there who give more freely than I do.

God asks 10%, but the Obamas gave less than 1%. They give less than one percent to their God, yet expect average Americans to give 15%, 20%, 30% or more to the "government god." What's wrong with this picture?

Liberals are pretty generous with your money, but when it comes to their own? Hmmm. Well, different story.

Oh, a subsequent post at the ABC News blog indicates the Obama's have been shamed into ramping up their giving: they're cranking out $240,000 to charity in 2007."

Why the increase in giving in 2007? Faith conviction? Or, "Gee, we're running for president and our tax returns are sure to come to light!"

You be the judge.


Hillary Clinton to Pull a 'Tonya Harding'?

Hmmm. Now this is interesting.

From Jake Tapper at the ABC News blog, word on strategy for Hillary Clinton:

"Her securing the nomination is certainly possible - but it will require exercising the 'Tonya Harding option.'" the official said. "Is that really what we Democrats want?"

For those too young to remember, Tonya Harding was a figure skater in the early 1990s who became famous for her part in a conspiracy to whack one of her competitors, Nancy Kerrigan. She, her ex-husband and some others got somebody to smack Kerrigan in the knee so that her injury would clear the way for Harding to win a skating championship.

After the plot was discovered, Harding got in lots of legal trouble, and her life spiraled downward to sad depths.

So the scuttlebutt is that Hillary may pull a "Tonya Harding?" That's no surprise; I suspect the Clinton's have been pulling "Tonya Harding's" for decades with anyone who gets in their way. The surprise is seeing someone from the DNC admit it.

The unnamed official says Hillary will have to "break his back" and knock him out of the game.

Better watch your back, Barack.


The Clintons: A Legacy of Deceit and Muddy Waters

Looks like Clinton daughter Chelsea has learned from some of the best liars and obfuscators in the country: her parents.

When someone at Butler University in Indianapolis asked her about Hillary's credibility, Breitbart.com tells us this was her response:

Chelsea Clinton had a quick retort Tuesday when asked whether her mother's credibility had been hurt during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me that question in the, I don't know maybe, 70 college campuses I've now been to, and I do not think that is any of your business," Clinton said during a campaign visit for her mother, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Well, when Hillary Clinton's husband was President of the United States at the time he committed adultery, perjured himself, tampered with witnesses and tampered with evidence; and when Hillary Clinton has billed herself as a kind of "co-president" where we're supposed to believe that much of her "experience" qualifying her for the presidency, and while all this activity from Bill was going on, Hillary was either (a) so oblivious she didn't know the truth, or (b) knew and helped cover it up...then yes, it's definitely the people's business.

Someone who is so clueless that her husband can get oral sex repeatedly in a government facility--while she's in the building, at least one time--and she claims to not know, or is lying about knowing, that goes directly to the kind of character of someone being considered not only to run this country, but to enforce the laws of this country.

Not our business? It's definitely our business. And if Chelsea doesn't like it, maybe she needs to find something other than public service to occupy her time.


Misfit to Return Medals to Rumsfeld

Iraq vet plans to return his medals in protest

Wow! A pot smoking, dishonorably discharged REMF who never went outside the wire is returning medals he received basically for showing up. And now some hairy hippie commie chick from Code Pink has probably promised him a good time if he takes a "stand against the war." These medals are well-deserved by those who served faithfully and honorably, but this wimp never deserved them in the first place. I have no respect for anyone discharged dishonorably. They let their country down, they let their comrades down and they let themselves down. I am gratified knowing that this will follow him all his life, the spineless ingrate.

Jeff Emanuel, a combat veteran and journalist, writes more about this story on Human Events:

Given this information [facts about his service and discharge], Mr. Gaines appears much more like the Left’s newest Scott Thomas Beauchamp than as a serious objector who is making 'a rare and powerful protest.' Once again, in their quest to find soldiers whom they can use both to delegitimize the war and to demonize the American soldier, the anti-war Left has grabbed a what amounts to a total loser, and is flaunting him not only as the rule (rather than the exception) among his peers, but as an example to be followed by other servicemen.”


Monday, March 24, 2008

China Celebrates Its Status As World’s Number One Air Polluter


China Celebrates Its Status As World�s Number One Air Polluter


Hillary Clinton 'Misspoke' About Sniper Fire

I wondered how Hillary Clinton would explain the huge gap between her account of landing in Bosnia under sniper fire and running from the plane into a building for safety...when photos and video of a calm greeting on the runway, complete with the presence of a little girl, came to light.

I should have know. She just "misspoke."

From NewsMax.com:

Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign said she "misspoke" last week when she said she had landed under sniper fire during a trip she took as first lady to Bosnia in March 1996.

I wondered if that was "a different Bosnia" she might have landed in, but apparently it was the same one; she just "misspoke."

Kind of like when Bill Clinton said he remembered all those black churches being burned in Arkansas...and we found out it simply hadn't happend.

For the Clintons, truth is a tool to be used for political advantage when convenient, and ignored when inconvenient.


God of Wonders

During the Truth Project lesson yesterday on "Labor," we examined the fact that work is not a "four letter word." That God himself worked (i.e. the creation week) and he created us to labor.

While work is often less enjoyable than it was meant to be because of the curse of sin, the fact remains that we were "created to create."

To illustrate the nobility of labor, Dr. Del Tackett showed a video featuring God's creative handiwork, set to the song "God of Wonders" by Third Day.

This video isn't the same one shown in the Truth Project (that one was even more awe-inspiring), but this one is pretty good.



I have appreciated the beauty and wonder of God's creation for many years, and I've also enjoyed this song for some time. Yet when I saw the two combined in a presentation highlighting God's genius and majesty yesterday, I was overwhelmed.

I hope you enjoy this video even half as much as I did the one I saw yesterday.


Disabled Woman Tortured; So What?

Have you heard about this chilling story of long-term abuse and torture inflicted on a mentally handicapped woman in Illinois?

From CNN:

Banished to the basement, the 29-year-old mother with a childlike mind and another baby on the way had little more than a thin rug and a mattress to call her own on the chilly concrete floor.

Dorothy Dixon ate what she could forage from the refrigerator upstairs, where housemates used her for target practice with BBs, burned her with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away her skin.

They torched what few clothes she had, so she walked around naked. They often pummeled her with an aluminum bat or metal handle.

Dixon -- six months pregnant -- died after weeks of abuse.
Hayes watched the autopsy and found her injuries disturbing. X-rays revealed roughly 30 BBs lodged in her. Deep-tissue burns covered about one-third of her body -- her face, her chest, her arms and feet -- and left her severely dehydrated. Her face and body showed signs of prolonged abuse. Many of her wounds were infected.

Most of us probably cringe at the thought of such treatment of a human being.

But think about it, though. If we're simply highly evolved animals, with no eternal soul and no accountability to a Supreme Being, what does it matter?

Really, what does it matter? Why should we consider it wrong to torture a human like this? Why would we consider it wrong to pick apart or smash a rock? So what if the human feels pain--it's not going to matter once the human is dead, right? It'll be over and that will be that.

What does it matter to the person who conducts the torture? It's not like they're going to be punished in some afterlife for what they've done, right? If it was right for the person conducting the torture to do that, who are we to judge them? What may be wrong for us might not be wrong for them, right?

So why do so many of us recoil when we hear a story of such treatment?


Dykstra at Several Lincoln Day Dinners This Week

From today's mailbag:

For Immediate Release - March 24, 2008
Contact: Joel Dykstra
(605) 764-2008
info@joeldykstraforsenate.com


Canton, S.D. -- Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Joel Dykstra of Canton will make several campaign and fundraising stops this week, including a number of Lincoln Day Dinners across the state.

Dykstra will be speaking to groups including the South Dakota Rural Electric Association Board, the Teen Age Republicans and County Republicans at several Lincoln Day events. He will also be available to talk to the media at or following any of these campaign stops.

Event details, times and locations follow:

Thursday, March 27, 2008
Custer-Fall River County Lincoln Day Dinner
Custer, S.D.
6:00 p.m. MDT


Friday, March 28, 2008
SD Rural Electric Association Board Meeting
Pierre, S.D.
11:00 a.m.

4-County Lincoln Day Dinner
(Brookings, Moody, Deuel and Grant Counties)
Brookings, S.D.
5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 29, 2008
Teen Age Republicans Meeting
Pierre, S.D.
12:00 Noon

Meade County Lincoln Day Dinner
Sturgis, S.D.
5:30 p.m. MDT




-30-


CONTACT: Joel Dykstra
Joel Dykstra for U.S. Senate
P.O. Box 8
Canton, SD 57103
(605)764-2008
www.joeldykstraforsenate.com

Go out and support our next U.S. Senator!


Reckless Compassion Breeds Generational Dependence

From the UK Daily Mail comes a story of generational government dependence. The article features a picture showing three generations of people living off the livelihood of others.

All ten members of the clan share a council house and live off benefits amounting to around £32,000 a year. And very happy they are, too.

Matriarch is grandmother Sue McFadden, 54. "Our neighbours are so snobby - they call us the "Shameless" family and say that we ought to go out to work. But how can we work when we have all these children to look after?

They make about 32,000 pounds for doing nothing; for Americans, that's over $63,000 a year for doing nothing!

But somehow, that just isn't enough for this family of professional leeches.
"The only problem is," she says without a hint of irony, "that we're living in a three-bedroom council house, which is ridiculous.

"I'm asking the council for a ten-bedroom home for all of us. We need more space. It's awful sometimes when all the children are squabbling. Still, we do have a big TV with Sky, but we need some relaxation."

Of course they do, poor lambs. What a damning verdict on our claim-it-all society, a grotesque mirror of the dark television drama Shameless. That show features fictional father-of-eight Frank, who is work-shy and self-pitying. Living on the Chatsworth Estate, he heads a family of dysfunctional teenagers living on an estate of benefit claimants and cheats.

In case you're wondering what a "council house" is, it's government housing, supplied by the town council, the local-level governing body in Britain. (I lived in England for three years).

Think this family is an isolated case?
Six million Britons are living in homes where no one has a job and "benefits are a way of life", according to a report by MPs. Shock figures also revealed that 20,000 households in Britain are pocketing more than £30,000 a year in state benefits.

With thousands of children growing up in families where their parents and grandparents have never worked, a senior government adviser warned this week of a "terrible legacy" of youngsters who had no expectation of ever getting a job.

Sue herself is defiant. "People don't understand how hard it is to keep a family like this going - no wonder we can't work. How could I go out to work with all these children at home? Local people call us scroungers and that is so unfair. We need the money to keep the family going.

Thankfully, we made some progress in stepping back from this kind of stuff when Republicans pushed through welfare reform in 199-1996. But we didn't go nearly far enough, and liberals are always pushing to get us back to where we were before and beyond again.

There are folks like this in America, where generational government dependence is the norm. I know a few, and one is in my extended family.

We--and the Brits--need to return to a system of private charity. Private charity helps foster a greater accountability because, unlike government institutions, private charities are usually close enough to the recipients that they can better determine actual need.

When we enable dependence and a lack of work ethic, we not only rob from productive citizens, we enable this kind of behavior to continue, and we erode human dignity in the process.


When our legislators do their thing, what are other legislatures doing?

By Gordon Garnos

AT ISSUE: This year's South Dakota's legislative session is now history.

Reports of its successes and failures will probably make the headlines, first on the front pages and then sail to the inside pages for weeks to come. Since this session came to a close last week, I have discovered through a search on the internet some rather unusual bills are being considered across the country. Here are some:

THE IDEA OF getting rid of those plastic grocery bags isn't dead, at least in some legislatures across the country. Various legislatures are trying to eliminate them. While Michigan and Oregon have long had a plastic/glass bottle and beer and pop can recycling laws other state legislative bodies are trying but pop and beer companies are such strong lobbyists there isn't much movement in this area. There is also a move in one state to do away with yellow writing tablets in government offices because yellow paper, I've learned, doesn't recycle.

At the same time, you might be seeing a change in how New York State handles its health inspection postings. Then again, maybe not. The New York State Senate Majority Leader is pushing letter grades for New York City restaurants. In the aftermath of a video news report of rats in one restaurant, and an ensuing inspection blitz, he did some digging of his own.

After he updated a 2005 report analyzing the inspection records of a portion of the city's restaurants, he said he has decided the health department needs to issue letter grades so the public can easily determine which restaurants have passed inspections and are therefore safe. Trouble is, the health department spokesperson said the city's existing reporting system is a better way of informing consumers about a restaurants sanitary conditions.

The health department presently posts results of restaurant inspections online. The detailed reports explain any violations and distinguish between critical and non-critical infractions. Consumers also can see how restaurants have responded to citations. The spokesman also pointed out that restaurants with failing scores are closed.

NOT A BAD IDEA for South Dakota. With so many of our cities too small to afford health inspectors, the state reports seen on the internet, I'm sure, could tell us quite a story.

In Massachusetts there are two lobbying groups fighting out to see who wins and comparable bills about franchisers and franchisees have been introduced in Kansas and Tennessee. Though they are somewhat different, all of these bills promote franchise agreements that favor franchisees.

The International Franchise Association's V.P. of Government Affairs says it opposes the two bills. At the same time, the National Franchisee Association is pushing support for the legislation.

HERE'S A HOT ONE. Rhode Island, of all places, may follow North Carolina's lead and roll back its fire codes. Changed in 2003 in reaction to a nightclub fire in West Warwick that killed 100, Rhode Island's fire code is one of the toughest in the nation. Dozens of states followed suit and enacted some or all of the changes a Rhode Island commission recommended to the state building standards commission and even the International Building Code.

Businesses in Rhode Island testified recently before a House committee, however, that the laws are now too tough. Restaurants and nightclubs, now must install sprinkler systems, and many operators say the cost is killing their businesses. One inn owner testified that the latest estimate for sprinklers there was $400,000.

And then, in trying to save the best till last, some Florida restaurant must have done something to really chap a state senator: like not putting enough toilet tissue in the restroom. The senator has sponsored a bill that would require restaurants to keep enough toilet paper on hand or face the consequences‹a possible fine (and suspension of license if accompanied by enough critical violations).

THE BILL RECEIVED unanimous approval in a health regulation committee and now is in a senate regulated industries committee. A house version also is making its way through committees. Common sense suggests that you'll put an extra roll in every stall, or at least have employees check once in a while. I would have to call this the issue of the lack of tissue, or something like that.

After my research for this column I was glad to learn other legislatures, like Florida, for example, have their hands full as well.....

P.S. ­ Since this is the "scoring" season, the last day of South Dakota's legislative session produced this score: Governor, seven vetoes, Legislature, one override. One song heard was, "There is always next year." But that song is so old it isn't even on the hit parade any more....


Gordon Garnos was long-time editor of the Watertown Public Opinion and recently retired after 39 years with that newspaper. Garnos, a lifelong resident of South Dakota except for his military service in the U.S. Air Force, was born and raised in Presho.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Blogging Against Secularism Weekend Draws to a Close

With the end of Easter Weekend, as far as I know the BATS are finished with their concerted effort to trash America's Christian heritage, the right of Christians to exercise their faith in the public square, and bash the non-existent theocracy in America.

The BATS were more active this time than they were when they bashed all these things on Independence Day 2007 and Easter 2007. Though their Friday effort got off to a slow start (I don't think any of their posts Friday had any substance at all, beyond "I hate Christianity in the public square"), some on Saturday actually had a bit of substance to them. Though they approached the issue with fundamentally flawed assumptions, a handful of the Saturday and a handful of the Sunday posts did at least contain references to some facts.

I do have to say, in all fairness though, that the five blogs participating in our little "counter-blog" which I called "Blogging Against Secularism" did very well in setting the record straight about America's Christian heritage, the proper and constitutional role of faith values in public policy, and the complete fallacy of what the BATS call "theocracy."

And we did it on short notice and over a weekend where we were all celebrating the resurrection of our savior and spending time with family.

I'd like to thank Ft. Hard Knox, Sibby Online, Ron's Musings and Voices Carry (and all the contributors at Dakota Voice: Carrie Hutchens, Dr. Ralph Hatcher and Mark Skogerboe) for stepping up to preserve the Constitutional and historical right and responsibility of Christians to lawfully influence public policy--as any constituency does--in the United States.

This right--and responsibility--is far too important to surrender because of some empty intimidation from some people who either don't understand history and civics, or don't care to.

In closing, I'd like to say that I concur with what Benjamin Franklin said during the meetings that produced the United States Constitution, when he reminded his colleagues of their need of prayer for God's guidance:

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...We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages

With the willingness of God's people to be the salt and light He's called us to be, and with His gracious Providence, that will not be the fate of the United States of America.


Sibby Online: God, the basis to our freedoms

In his book, "America, A Call to Greatness", John Chalfant tells about the involvement of the clergy during the founding of America, an involvement that is much needed today, not what Chalfant calls "The Abandonment Clergy" who have given in to the secularists (beginning on Page 32):

The clergy throughout the colonies searched the Scriptures and taught the people what God said about virtually every issue pertaining to their political freedoms...

To read more, go to Sibby Online.


Sibby Online: The separation myth

In his book, "Myths, Lies, & Half-Truths: How Misreading the Bible Neutralizes Christians", Gary Demar says this on page 185 from his chapter on the myth that "There is a Separation Between Church and State":

The fact that the United States Constitution ends with "in the year of our Lord" certainly refutes the notion of strict separationists that our Framers desired to separate all aspects of religion from government...

To read more, go to Sibby Online.


The Proper Role of Faith in Politics

For several decades now, there has been a civil war between the traditional Christian values of America, and those who want to see any influence of Christianity erased from the public square.

This war had been under way for quite a while before many Christians woke up to it, and many are still asleep.

While I have no doubt that there are those who understand but disregard the true nature of a "Christian America" and the role of faith in the public square, there are other who simply do not comprehend the difference between "theocracy" and the lawful, constitutional and proper role of faith in the public square. Consequently, some innocently oppose what they would otherwise support, if they only understood the difference.

Despite the settling of America for the purpose of advancing the Christian religion, and despite the founding of America on Christian principles, America has never, does not, and likely will never be ruled by a theocracy. I know of no one who is advocating America be run by theocracy.

Many Americans do, however, advocate a return to objective Christian values and Christian principles as the foundation for our laws and government; I count myself among that company.

As I said in a previous post, a theocracy is "government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided."

Creating laws and government based on Christian principles, as was done during Colonial times, the creation of the United States government, and until recent years, does not constitute theocracy because (a) religious officials are not in charge, and (b) religious writings are not themselves the law.

Historically, America was settled by Christians who had a Christian worldview. That meant they not only held to the Christian religion, but those religious principles so informed their outlook on the world that everything they did was influenced by those Christian values. The Bible makes it clear that God created the entire universe, created what we call science, established human government, has guided human events through history, and that God's values are to be followed in every area of our lives.

Equally historically, as has been shown in numerous BATS articles this weekend, the Founders believed that Christian principles were of the utmost importance in shaping our societal values and even our laws and government operations. Yet at the same time, this has been accomplished without the establishment of a theocracy. How could this be?

Because ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In other words, our government is made up of private individuals who bring with them to government service their personal values and priorities. The people also vote for their elected representatives and sometimes upon laws themselves, and they make decisions to vote "yes" or "no" based on their religious values. They do so because religious values are relevant not only within the four walls of a church, but in every area of the "real world."

Any religion that has no bearing on the "real world," including family, work, law and government, is an emasculated and useless religion. If something is true enough to believe for our eternal destiny, shouldn't it be reliable enough to tell us how to live in this temporary life on earth?

What some fail to understand--and rabid secularists refuse to acknowledge--is that America's historic status as a "Christian nation" is not based on any sort of theocracy or law or institute, but on the character of the nation--which is made up of the people.

If someone is truly interested in understanding the difference between theocracy and a society where religious values influence and inform public policy, one of the best sources is the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville.

de Tocqueville was a French historian who traveled America during the 1830s to find out what was behind the "magic" of this dynamic young country that was making such a splash on the world scene.

What he found was quite surprising, especially for someone who came from an old European power which had itself recently experienced a revolution--though a secular revolution.

From de Toqueville's Democracy in America:

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 pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.

There was no law mandating worship of Christian or any other religion, no "state religion," and no theocracy. Yet de Toqueville found that Christianity and our government of freedom were "intimately united" and reigned together over the nation.

Was this a union brought about by theocracy or state religion? Not at all.
In the United States religion exercises but little influence upon the laws and upon the details of public opinion, but it directs the manners of the community, and by regulating domestic life it regulates the State.

Notice that he says religion does not directly dictate laws and public opinion, but it is a part of the character of the people who make up the community, and since the people make up the government in America, this is how Christianity helps shape our legal and governmental values.
Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must nevertheless be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country

de Toquevill reiterates that while there is no state religion or theocracy in America, because of the Christian character of the people who make up American government, it may be regarded "as the formost of the political institutions."

de Toqueville also says
...there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America; and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

In America, de Toqueville found that, probably because religious allegiance was not forced upon the people by law, the Christian religion reigned supreme in its influence over men. In America, faith in God wasn't just duty, it was real. And because it was real, it influenced every area of their lives--including the civic life of the United States--again, a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

You see, America is historically a Christian nation not because of a theocracy, not because of a state religion, and not because of religious laws enforcing fealty to a religion...but because of the Christian character of the people who make up the United States--which has a government of those people possessed of a Christian character, by that people possessed of a Christian character, and for that people possessed of a Christian character.

This is why, as long as America successfully retains the Christian character of her people, there will never be a theocracy--of any type. And unless the Christians of America acquiesce to the demands of secularists, America will always retain that Christian character.

As de Tocqueville found and as many of the Founders alluded to, America's great freedom, including the freedom of religion, come from the Christian character of her people. While some over the history of the world have forgotten this, the Christians who settled America realized that true faith in God (and God wants none other than sincere faith) cannot be forced, it cannot be coerced, it cannot be mandated, and it cannot be legislated.

That is why the settlers and founders considered religious freedom so important, because only the free exercise of faith is worth anything to man or God. Some religions like Islam and secularism are willing to settle for silent acquiescence as a sign of devotion, but not true Christianity.

Even the unbeliever is free not to believe, so long as his unbelief doesn't lead him to subvert the laws or good character of society.

That freedom of belief--or even not to believe--is best guaranteed by the Christian character of America. Rabid secularism demands a suppression of the public expression of religious faith; because of this, it quashes freedom.

In a society protected by the Christian value of freedom of choice, the secularist is free to express his unbelief in public. No one can force him to believe in a deity, and no one can force him to profess belief...but if the majority of society believes in God, he should naturally be prepared for the dissent of others, as is their freedom.

In America, religious values and the reliance upon objective values must inform public policy, or public policy will devolve into "might makes right" and the tyranny of the majority. Religious values help preserve not only the health and good order of our civilization, but freedom itself.

As de Tocqueville says,
Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. Religion is much more necessary in the republic which they set forth in glowing colors than in the monarchy which they attack; and it is more needed in democratic republics than in any others. How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie be not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed? and what can be done with a people which is its own master, if it be not submissive to the Divinity?

In summary, these religious values historically held in America inform public policy, not through theocracy or a state religion or the imposition of law, but through the character and values of the people who comprise government and who are being governed.


Why do you look for the living among the dead?

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " Then they remembered his words. - Luke 24:1-8

If you haven't already, may you find the one source of life this Resurrection Day!


 
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