Thursday, February 28, 2008

OUCH! Hagee throws weight behind McCain

“John McCain is a man of principle" said San Antonio mega-church pastor John Hagee at a news conference yesterday, effectively squashing the hopes of Mike Huckabee at getting the evangelical pastor’s support. Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor had preached at Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in December.

Hagee, known for his intense Christian Zionism said, “John McCain has publicly stated his support of the state of Israel, pledging that his administration will not permit Iran to have nuclear weapons to fulfill the evil dreams of President Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the map.”

Maybe Hagee missed Mike Huckabee’s article in the Jerusalem Post. I know how busy one can get with futuristic doomsday prophecy. But if Hagee is genuinely concerned for Israel’s safety he ought to keep up with present, as well as future, events. Huckabee has publicly stated his support for Israel with much more eloquence than John McCain and has strongly denounced Iran. In the February 4 edition of the Jerusalem Post, Huckabee wrote:
I want everyone in the Middle East to know that America is committed to its trategic interests in the region, including a safe and secure Israel...If the annihilation of six million Jews taught us anything, it is that appeasement doesn't work; it just results in the deaths of innocents and makes the job of eradicating evil all the more difficult. So I share Israel's concern about an aggressive unchecked Iran. And I share Israel's determination that Iran will not become a nuclear power. As president, I will not take the military option off the table.
Mr. Hagee also praised Mr. McCain for his “solid, pro-life voting record for the past 24 years.” When TV evangelists spend all their time with Armageddon charts and prophetic beasts and deciphering the Whore of Babylon, they tend to get a little rusty with Biblical ethics. But contrary to Hagee's recitation, John McCain does not have a solid, pro-life voting record. McCain favors destroying human life at its embryonic stage of development for stem cell harvesting. So while the good senator has been “solid” on votes against abortion, he hasn not consistently applied that same Biblical ethic—respect for human life—to the embryonic stem cell issue.

Unfortunately, Hagee is being politically naïve. He forgets that McCain railed against Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as "agents of intolerance." And he’ll soon be saying the same of John Hagee. If McCain wins the nomination, he'll be running against either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton--two staunch pro-abortion advocates. To help defeat them, McCain will be courting Catholic Church leaders--necessarily distancing himself from the rotund Reverend from San Antonio he now gushes over. And once enough pressure mounts on McCain, I have little doubt he’ll be tossing Hagee to the wind (not literally, of course).

Catholic League president Bill Donohue doesn’t think they come much more “intolerant” than John Hagee, calling Hagee a “bigot.”

In a press release yesterday, Donohue said, “There are plenty of staunch evangelical leaders who are pro-Israel, but are not anti-Catholic. John Hagee is not one of them. Indeed, for the past few decades, he has waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church. For example, he likes calling it ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system’.”

There can be no doubt of Hagee’s influence in Texas. With the upcoming primary, it cannot be anything but a setback to the Mike Huckabee campaign. Hagee is another evangelical leader who has chosen selfish expediency and political defeatism over reality—Mike Huckabee is the only true conservative vying for the Republican nomination.

And while Hagee’s ill-timed endorsement is frustrating for Huckabee supporters, it has done little to dampen grassroots efforts to give him the largest Republican state in the nation.
And just in case you want to give $5, $10 or $25 to Mike Huckabee to destroy the media and Christian elite who try to manipulate us into accepting a less-than-acceptable candidate, go here and give--right now!

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Brokered Republican Convention

Conservatives United posted this article a couple of weeks ago. I’m reprinting the article below since it all made sense to me.

1) Republican Brokered Conventions result in wins!
  • Abraham Lincoln – 3rd Ballot - Won Presidency
  • Rutherford Hayes – 7th Ballot - Won Presidency
  • James Garfield - 36th Ballot - Won Presidency
  • Warren Harding – 10th Ballot – Won Presidency
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower – “2nd Ballot” – Won Presidency
2) McCain has to win 467 more delegates (44% of remaining delegates) to secure the nomination. Huckabee needs 639 delegates (57% of remaining delegates) to force a Brokered Convention.

3) A Brokered Convention gives conservatives a voice. A Brokered Convention gives Mike Huckabee a voice. A Brokered Convention gives Mitt Romney a voice. A Brokered Convention keeps media attention on the Republican party for the next 6 months for free! If we just roll over and go to sleep the media will almost solely focus on the Democratic contest.

4) In 1968 Reagan stayed in the race and came in 3rd at the convention with 182 delegates. In 1976 Reagan stayed in the race all the way to the convention and prevented Ford from getting to 1130 delegates. Ford cut a deal that secured enough delegates before the 1st Ballot but Reagan did not bow out until Ford had crossed the finish line.

Reagan’s Revolution says: “Reagan came into the 1976 North Carolina primary having lost the first five consecutive primaries to Ford. The national party establishment was against Reagan, the media started to write him off, and his campaign was broke and in debt. Needless to say, the pressure to drop out of the race was nearly overwhelming.”

Even though Reagan won in NC it was soon statistically impossible for Reagan to win. He still stayed in. He said conservatives have a problem with Ford and until he gets 1130 I will press on.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, President Washington!

Below are some of our first President's quotes and excerpts:

From his prayer journel:

“O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father; I acknowledge and confess my guilt in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon.”

“ I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed. I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws. I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not. I have rebelled against the light, despising Thy mercies and judgment, and broken my vows and promise. I have neglected the better things. My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great. I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in Thine. I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me.”

"Make me to know what is acceptable in Thy sight, and therein to delight, open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith, and repentance, increase my faith, and direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ the Way, the Truth, and the Life…”

First Inaugural Address, New York, Thursday, April 30, 1789

“…it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States…No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage…”

Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Wallbuilders has this sermon preached on February 22, 1863 in Connecticut by the pastor of the First Congregational Church, George Richards (1816-1869).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Catholics & St. Patrick's Day: Reverence or Revelry?

CNN has this story about this year's Catholic conundrum. It isn't whether to chew the host or let it melt in your mouth or even whether to serve communion to pro-abortion politicians.

For the first time since 1940, St. Patrick's Day falls during Holy Week. So, will Catholics be reverent or reveling this year?
* Firefighters pass Saint Patrick's Cathedral during the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in New York City in 2006.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Carnahan Rebuffed: Judge Joyce Sides With Cures Without Cloning

“The ballot summary language in this case is insufficient and unfair.”

Patricia S. Joyce—Circuit Court Judge, Division IV
Cures Without Cloning, et al. v. Robin Carnahan

Justice seems so very rare these days. But while Missouri Governor Matt Blunt was lauding praise on Jim Stowers, a billionaire cloner who bankrolled Amendment 2 and who’s been throwing money into the treasuries of virtually every would-be politician in Missouri, a circuit court judge in Jefferson City was considering whether Missouri’s Secretary of State (Robin Carnahan) was fair in discharging her elected duty of summarizing a citizen’s initiative petition.

Cures Without Cloning presented a rather straightforward proposal and sent it off for the necessary technicality of the Secretary of State signing off on the ballot summary. Their proposed language was:

1. It shall be unlawful to clone or attempt to clone a human being as that term is defined in subsection 2 of this section. Researchers may conduct stem cell research to discover cures for disease and develop stem cell therapies and cures, provided that the research complies with the limitations of this section and the limitations of Section 38(d). The prohibition of this section shall be in addition to the prohibitions of Section 38(d).

2. For all purposes within this article, “Clone or attempt to clone a human being” means create or attempt to create a human embryo at any stage, which shall include the one-cell stage onward, by any means other than fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm.

When Ms. Carnahan was finished with her review, she had prepared a rather different summary (I won’t mention she’s received money from Stowers & Company):

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to repeal the current ban on human cloning or attempted cloning and to limit Missouri patients’ access to stem cell research, therapies and cures approved by voters in November 2006 by:

  • redefining the ban on human cloning or attempted cloning to criminalize and impose civil penalties for some existing research, therapies and cures; and
  • prohibiting hospitals or other institutions from using public funds to conduct such research?

Hence the lawsuit. It doesn’t take a Harvard legal scholar to tell that Ms. Carnahan seems more than a little biased on the cloning/Amendment 2 debate. Her attempts to poison the minds of Missouri’s voters were hardly veiled and yesterday were rebuffed by Cole County’s Circuit Judge.

I don’t know if this is the first time in Missouri history that the Secretary of State was overturned in the discharge of their official duty, but it certainly would be a rare and almost impossible occurrence. But Carnahan’s summary was so egregious inaccurate, Judge Joyce had little choice but expose Carnahan’s ineptitude.

Dr. Lori Buffa, chairwoman of Cures Without Cloning, released a statement which said, in part:

“We are pleased that the courts have upheld our challenge to Secretary of State Carnahan’s blatant attempt to mislead the Missouri voters with her inaccurate ballot summary. It is unfortunate that Ms. Carnahan’s actions have needlessly delayed the democratic process, but we are now prepared to move forward with our efforts to prohibit the cloning of human beings here in Missouri.”

For now, the legal summary of the proposed ballot, as prepared by the court is:

Should the Missouri Constitution be amended to change the definition of cloning and ban some of the research as approved by voters in November, 2006 by:

  • prohibiting human cloning that is conducted by creating a human embryo at any stage from the one-cell stage forward;
  • prohibiting expenditure of taxpayer dollars on research or experimentation on human cloning; and
  • allowing stem cell research for therapies and cures that complies with these prohibitions and the prohibitions of Section 38(d) of the Constitution?

It is doubtful the State will not appeal the ruling. So far, Stowers’ money has been very influential in determining the actions of Missouri politicians.

But I’d expect Cures Without Cloning to proceed immediately in gathering the necessary signatures for the measure to appear on November’s ballot.

Monday, February 18, 2008

North Carolina Professor--Abort Babies with Down Syndrome

North Carolina’s The News & Observer wrote this story on University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill biology professor Albert Harris who believes down syndrome babies should be aborted.

“In my opinion, the moral thing for older mothers to do is to have amniocentesis, as soon during pregnancy as is safe for the fetus, test whether placental cells have a third chromosome #21, and abort the fetus if it does. The brain is the last organ to become functional.”
Evidently, the good professor has been making the comment for several of his 35 years of teaching at UNC-CH. For whatever reason, the comment gained some publicity this year.

Maybe it’s because of Lara Frame. She is a senior anthropology and Spanish major who is taking Harris’ Biology 441 class. She also has an 18 year old brother, who happens to have Down syndrome.

"Biology is not an opinion subject," said Frame. "It's a facts-based subject. And though abortion is legal, it's not a fact that you should abort every baby with Down syndrome. If this had been a philosophy class, I wouldn't have said anything."
Frame, who wrote this letter to the editor, makes quite a point. Why is a biology professor making (immoral) philosophical arguments in his biology class? Has Peter Singer started a fan club? Rather, I think, this is further evidence of the strengthening of America’s culture of death.

Like Singer (a tenured professor at Princeton University), Harris is from a reputable school and is allowed to make extreme comments without any correction.

The heart of Professor Harris’ problematic thinking is simply this: how can we qualify what life is worth living? Down syndrome children may lack a certain chromosome that most humans have, but that hardly is evidence that they must die.

If Harris wants to make a biological argument, then he cannot stop with abortion. If Down syndrome children should morally be put to death inside the womb, then they should morally be put to death outside the womb.

But the fact is, putting Down syndrome children to death within the womb (or any other baby for any other reason) is reprehensible and immoral.

Interestingly, Harris doesn’t make a biological argument (at least within the news article). Rather, he relies on a subjective argument—that is ruins families. "I know somebody who had a child like this, and it ruined their life," Harris said. I wonder if we dialed up this family whether they’d have the same opinion. Frankly, every family I’ve ever known with a Down syndrome child, in spite of the difficulties they’ve endured, know they’ve been enriched by some of the most delightful humans that have ever graced our planet.

Me? I’ll take a Down syndrome person over a tenured biology professor any day of the week.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Senator McCain--We're Calm But Still Have Convictions

Senator John McCain is the Republican presidential hopeful who is quickly emerging as the party's nominee.

Still, even McCain recognizes his troubles, telling reporters at a press conference in Phoenix "I do hope that at some point we would just calm down a little bit and see if there's areas we can agree on." Evidently, he was referring mostly to Rush Limbaugh and Dr. James Dobson.

Dobson released a statement yesterday in which he stated:

I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has sounded at times more like a member of the other party. McCain actually considered leaving the GOP caucus in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry’s running mate in 2004. McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down. I cannot, and will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.

Dobson and Focus on the Family have gone even further by seeking to enlist 1,000,000 "values voters" who pledge to vote only for candidates who value human life, traditional marriage and faith in the public square.

McCain's comment, with its condescending tone, betrays his lack of understanding of moral conservatives. We are neither irrate nor emotive. We are conviction-driven. We will not vote for a candidate who will not protect traditional marriage and who does not protect human life at all stages of development. For McCain to presume that we'll vote for him simply because we have more in common with him than Clinton or Obama will be the reason a Democrat will become the next President should McCain win the nomination.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blog Poll Goes to Huckabee

Well, the Press On poll has officially closed—coinciding with the voting polls of Super Tuesday. While most readers chose not to cast a vote, some did.

The election results are in the right column. You’ll see that 16 readers voted. They chose former Governor Mike Huckabee with 68% (or 11 votes) of the vote. John McCain received 3 votes (18%); Mitt Romney and Ron Paul each received 1 vote (6% each); and Rudy Guiliani received 0.

Surprisingly, John McCain picked up some steam on my poll today, scoring two additional votes in the last hours of polling. Mitt Romney, previously on the big goose egg, also got a vote.

Though all my readers aren’t from West Virginia, they did side with the Mountain State’s delegates.

All the predictions are slanting towards John McCain. I believe we are watching the dismantling of Reagan’s Coalition.

Huckabee Wins West Virginia's 18 Delegates

Well, we're off to a good start, though I pessimistically predict a rather sad and dismal evening.

The AP has reported Huckabee's coup here.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Thoughts on the New Baptist Covenant Celebration

Sometime this afternoon, President Bill Clinton will deliver the concluding address for former President Carter’s recently convened “New Baptist Covenant Celebration.”

There are several elements that have intrigued me about this event, but I’ll comment on just one (for now): former Vice-President Al Gore’s delivery of his environmental propaganda.

“Green” Gore passionately delivered his mantra:
“The evidence is there. The signal is on the mountain. The trumpet has blown. The scientists are screaming from the rooftops. The ice is melting. The land is parched. The seas are rising. The storms are getting stronger. Why do we not judge what is right?”

But rather than picking apart his flawed analysis of environmental issues, I just want to make one point.

Here’s his classic statement of the day [speaking of Republican-leaning, conservative Southern Baptist leaders] :
"When did people of faith get so locked in to an ideological coalition that they got to go along with the wealthiest and most powerful who don't want to see change of the kind that's aimed at helping the people and protecting God's green earth?”

That was said at a $35 a plate luncheon [salad and chicken], that excluded at least half of the registered participants. I’m left wondering, has “Green” Gore starting waiving his speaking fee?

Sources from this entry were Baptist Press and The News&Observer