Thursday, October 18, 2012

Billy Graham Calls Christians to Act

Billy Graham is far from perfect.  But his long-time involvement in America’s political scene is seen once again, perhaps for the very last.  This soldier of Christ ran the following ad in today’s Wall Street Journal.

The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren, and this great nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.

Good words from a good man.  While he may no longer be able to eloquently articulate to Americans their great need of Jesus Christ, he can still point Christians in a direction of honoring the Lord with our citizenship.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Joe's Laughing...But America Isn't

I know virtually everyone in America has commented on the Vice President Joe Biden's debate performance last night. You can read one of my favorite stories here.
I really was starting to wonder if the Joker had pulled this trick on Biden in the green room.

But in all seriousness, nothing was funny about last night's debate.

It isn't funny that Iran is in the process of acquiring nuclear capability. Nor is the Vice President's ostrichian approach that "they [Iranian leaders] have to take this highly enriched uranium, get it from 20 percent up. Then they have to be able to have something to put it in. There is no weapon that the Iranians have at this point."

"AT THIS POINT", Mr. Vice President?  Just what do you think they are doing with the uranium they have acquired? And just how many Israeli parents put their children to bed each night with a great heaviness toward their future welfare?

And it is far from humorous that four American diplomats serving their country in Libya are dead; that four wives had to watch you snicker and that orphaned children and heart-sick parents and siblings of these men along with every other patriotic American had to listen to your semantic dance of refusing responsibility.  The present administration sought to cover up this assassination because of their horrendous foreign policy and cozy relationship with Muslim, American-hating governments of the Middle East.  It isn't funny that President Obama invited Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi to meet with him in New York but refused to meet with America's long time ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

And there is no humor in America's jobless rate, President Obama adding $5 trillion in new debt, giving kickbacks to his friends in Solar Energy, and dozens of other things.

And certainly, Christian organizations are not laughing about Obamacare's requirement that they provide contraception, in spite of their religious convictions to the contrary.  In spite of your lie during the debate:
With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy -- any hospital -- none has to either refer contraception. None has to pay for contraception. None has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.
Christian organizations are not laughing, sir.  They are suing!  They are suing to preserve their constituional rights and their God given rights against an Obama administration bent on crushing those rights.

And I assure you that I am not laughing when in the name of Christ and His church you say:
I -- I do not believe that -- that we have a right to tell other people that women, they -- they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor, in my view.
You forgot, Mr. Biden, that third person which you liberals love to ignore.  That person which faith, AS WELL AS SCIENCE, tells us is a living, growing, developing baby.  A human being who proably has as big a grin on their face as you did throughout most of last night's debate.  At least until a death-dealing abortionist invades their life and starts hacking away at their limbs with a scapel or crushing their small, fragile bones with forceps. You are a part of all that is wrong with America, and not many Americans are laughing.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Angela McCaskill and Religious Discrimination

Angela McCaskill, a Christian who regularly attends church, heard her pastor preach the biblical view of marriage (which excludes homosexual marriage). As she and her husband were leaving, he pointed to a petition on the table which would place Question 6 before Maryland Voters. Question 6 would repeal the State Legislature’s passage of Maryland’s Civil Marriage Protection Act. Angela McCaskill exercised her faith and constitutional rights and signed the petition.

Now, she has been suspended from her job.

Angela McCaskill, or Dr. Angela McCaskill as she is better known, has served in various capacities at Gallaudet University for the past 23 years. Dr. McCaskill became a Deputy to the President and the Associate Provost of Diversity and Inclusion in January 2011. She was also the first deaf African American female to earn a Ph.D. from Gallaudet University.

Evidently, some faculty member saw her name on the petition and asked her about it. Once she confirmed that she signed the petition, the other faculty member lodged an official complaint, the issue got picked up by pro-gay, sodomite groups who spread their hatred and intolerance and launched a campaign to have her fired on the basis of her faith and for having exercised her constitutional rights.

Yesterday, President T. Alan Hurwitz, succombing to illogical pressure and anti-American ideals, released the following statement to students, faculty and staff:

"I want to inform the community that I have placed Dr. Angela McCaskill on paid administrative leave effective immediately. It recently came to my attention that Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer; however, other individuals feel differently. I will use the extended time while she is on administrative leave to determine the appropriate next steps taking into consideration the duties of this position at the university. In the meantime an interim Chief Diversity Officer will be announced in the near future."

You can sign a petition by Family Research Council to President Hurwitz urging Dr. McCaskill’s reinstatement here.

This is just the latest among so many contemporary examples of religious discrimination a clear shift from the vision of our nation's founders. Consider, for instance, the words of President George Washington:

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

There is no evidence that Dr. McCaskill ever abused her official university position. Rather, she seems to be exemplary in her conduct. The university, its president and others are free to examine Dr. McCaskill's execution of her official duties. But to reprimand her and suspend her for activities in her private life is unconsciable. But in modern America, no divergent opinion on the issue of homosexuality is to be tolerated in the public sphere, save that of acceptance and advancement of a lifestyle moral choice that leads to death.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

McCaskill's Nepotism

Nepotism is typically defined as "favoritism given to a relative regardless of merit."

Claire McCaskill wouldn't be the first politician to exercise nepotism. For instance, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a son and a son-in-law who lobby Congress for various special interests. Reid and Reid have an especially troubling China connection. It's worth a blog post of its own merits.

But Harry Reid isn't up for re-election in Missouri. Claire McCaskill is, and she has taken nepotism to a new low. According to this story from the Associated Press, Claire McCaskill voted repeatedly for various bills that benefited her husband to the tune of $40 million.

While Missourians struggle with deficit spending and high unemployment, McCaskill makes sure the money keeps on rolling to her husband. I can expect a little fluff going to relatives. But $40 million?

There is a better choice.

Todd Akin for U.S. Senate.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Americans Grow Less Religious

Pew Research Institute just release a bittersweet report today on the rise of America's irreligious. One in five Americans now claim no religious identity. That's up 5% from just five years ago.

The bitter is that this number is swelling quickly. Basically, this group is averaging a 1% growth per year. This would be alarming enough, but usually such increases rise exponentially. At best, if this trend continues, 30 years from today our country will have an irreligious majority.

The sweet is that the atheists, agnostics and folks who don't share a religious affiliation can now own a greater share of the spiritual and moral chaos our country is experiencing. To put it another way, religious persons are less responsible for America's spiritual rebellion against God.

Obviously, simply naming a religious affiliation is a far cry from living a holy life. Still, the research is alarming.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Presidential Debate--2012

I’m far from a professional debater. In fact, my own last formal debate was just a tad over 20 years ago when I debated on the KU campus whether the Gulf War was a “just war”. But as a public speaker, I know what works when I hear it. And while others have given their editorials on last night’s presidential debate between Barak Obama and Mitt Romney, I have yet to hear anyone comment on what I believe to be the most poignant moment of the debate.

It was during the health care section and moderator Jim Lehrer asked Governor Romney to “tell the president directly why you think what he just said is wrong about Obamacare?”

Then Romney began thundering away:

First of all, I like the way we did it in Massachusetts. I like the fact that in my state, we had Republicans and Democrats come together and work together. What you did instead was to push through a plan without a single Republican vote. As a matter of fact, when Massachusetts did something quite extraordinary -- elected a Republican senator to stop Obamacare, you pushed it through anyway.

So entirely on a partisan basis, instead of bringing America together and having a discussion on this important topic, you pushed through something that you and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid thought was the best answer and drove it through.
What we did in a legislature 87 percent Democrat, we worked together; 200 legislators in my legislature, only two voted against the plan by the time we were finished. What were some differences? We didn’t raise taxes. You’ve raised them by $1 trillion under Obamacare. We didn’t cut Medicare. Of course, we don’t have Medicare, but we didn’t cut Medicare by $716 billion.

We didn’t put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they’re going to receive. We didn’t also do something that I think a number of people across this country recognize, which is put -- put people in a position where they’re going to lose the insurance they had and they wanted.

This, of course, is the great weakness of Obamacare. Whether you like it or not, whether you think it helps Americas or will bankrupt America, Romney was dead on with the truth. It was RAMMED through by Democrats with absolutely support.

Now, a smart debater would have directed attention away from this point. The point in the debate has now narrowed to being about bi-partisan support of a national health-care proposal. I was sure the President would redirect attention away from this losing point and begin blabbering about how this system will help Americans, save us from the evil insurance companies, etc, etc. But that is not what the President did.

Amazingly, he tried to advance another piece of Obama fiction:

Governor Romney said this has to be done on a bipartisan basis. This was a bipartisan idea. In fact, it was a Republican idea. And Governor Romney at the beginning of this debate wrote and said what we did in Massachusetts could be a model for the nation.
And I agree that the Democratic legislators in Massachusetts might have given some advice to Republicans in Congress about how to cooperate, but the fact of the matter is, we used the same advisers, and they say it’s the same plan.

The president actually had a strong debate line…about Congressional Republicans taking advice from Democratic legislators in Massachusetts. It was actually a fairly strong comeback had it been delivered as a ‘zinger’. It should have been delivered by itself. Instead, it got lost in the ludicrously laughable line that Obamacare was “a bipartisan idea”. That's right. Obamacare was bipartisan. Not a single Republican vote. Not even a RINO warming up to it. But lo, and behold, it was bipartisan! Midnight meetings. Locked doors. No Republican consultations. But bipartisan...YES! President Obama is the only American I know of that thinks Obamacare was anything close to bipartisan.

The president was clearly on the defensive, trying his semantical hocus-pocus. This exchange showed it clearly. He cannot win on merits or ideas. He can only win on his charisma. And history scarily reminds us of charismatic leaders void of good ideas who get elected.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Akin Needs Our Help

Todd Akin has been abandoned by the Republican party leadership in his quest to become the next Senator of Missouri, replacing the ultra-liberal, Obama supporting Claire McCaskill.

So, the burden falls to folks like us. Commoners. Normal, average, run-of-mill conservative minded Missourians. Most of us just show up to vote. Some will enter into political arguments with their friends, neighbors, co-workers and extended family members. A few might put on a bumper sticker or put up a yard sign. Most of us, though, never contribute financially.

Personally, I've been involved in Missouri politics for almost 25 years...calling campaigns, neighborhood walks, parades, etc. But contributing $$ is something I rarely do. I suppose I usually have more time than money.

Frankly, that MUST change if Todd Akin is to have a chance at winning. You must give some money. Claire McCaskill is well funded. The Republican establishment refuses to spend any money in this race.

Would you consider giving $10? Just $10. That shouldn't cut into your budget too much (if you can afford more, then by all means contribute more). And then, here's the key, encourage others on your Facebook, email, blog, etc to give as well.

You can donate here.

I gave $20, but if ten other people respond to my posting and give $10, then my efforts have generated another $100 for the Akin campaign. And if 5 friends of each of those 10 people give $10, then I've grandfathered another $500. I couldn't afford to give the Akin campaign $620 but if every lover of liberty in Missouri will do a bit AND encourage others to do just a little, we'll help a very good man win an election.

Will you contribute? Do it now! Do it here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Republican Establishment Turns on Akin

Just in case you’ve missed the wall to wall coverage of Todd Akin’s political plight, here’s a brief recap.

He is currently a U.S. Congressman representing Missouri’s 2nd district. He recently won the Republican primary to run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Claire McCaskill.

On Sunday, he gave an interview with St. Louis television station KTVI in which he said in a question about abortion and rape:
“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

Later that day, the McCaskill campaign, seeing an opportunity released a statement saying:
“As a former prosecutor, Claire McCaskill has worked closely with hundreds of rape victims and intimately understands their trauma and pain. It is that experience that makes Akin’s statements so outrageous.”

Minutes later, perhaps oblivious to the McCaskill statement, Akin released his own statement and in a small excerpt said:
In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it's clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.

By Monday, the Democratic party machine (including the President) and their cohorts in the national media and surprisingly the Republican establishment, were all calling for Akin to step down. He has until 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 21 to resign the nomination for the Republican Party to replace him. Afterwards, it will require a court order for a replacement nominee.

Later on Monday, Congressman Akin issued an apology.
"Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize. As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them. The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness."

First, I was embarrassed by Akin’s comments. They were wrong. He is a little backward. But this misspeak is no cause for his resignation. The fact is, there are illegitimate claims of rape. Probably not many, but they do exist. We need only look as far as Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade. Her case falsely claimed that she was raped and was prevented from having an abortion.
But that is hardly the essential point of the Akin plight. The question is, is this comment a part of the character of Todd Akin. Is he an uncaring chauvinist who is hardened to the crisis of women who are raped, especially if that rape results in pregnancy. He is not.

Second, the really unbelievable drama of this story is that of the Republican establishment. I understand the McCaskill/Obama/DNC response. But Republicans?
What I’m been incensed at is the RNC and all its tentacles interfering with Missouri. Mitt Romney issued two comments on Monday against Akin; Karl Rove said his fundraising PAC won’t give money, the RNC is yanking advertising for Akin, etc, etc, etc. Many politicians have issued public statements, telling Akin to back out.


Why is the Republican establishment telling this Missourian-Republican-leaning voter that I cannot have the senatorial candidate for whom I voted? He did nothing immoral or unethical. He misspoke. He even apologized AND even asked for forgiveness. Yet this is not enough. They want him out. Why? Because unthinking, emotional, manipulating people are causing a raucous.

I want evaluation. This was an unfortunate mis-speak. Akin has apologized for his mistake. Let’s move on. A Republican establishment that adds fuel to the fire, shows that it is part of America’s problem, not its solution. And it shows itself unworthy of the support of people with brains who don’t go off half-cocked on an emotive crusade. I don’t want perfection. I want character. And that is one thing of which Todd Akin has plenty (take note Karl Rove, it’s character that counts, not dollars).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Silversun Pickups Pick on Romney

OK, I’ll admit that until today I had never heard of the Silversun Pickups. But they had their attorney issue the Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign a “cease and desist” letter. Evidently, the campaign plays their music, or at least their popular song “Panic Switch” at certain events.

I’ll also admit that my curiosity got the best of me, so off to YouTube I went to educate myself on Silversun Pickups. That education lasted about 90 seconds. If I have any reason to question Romney’s fitness to serve as President of the United States, this choice of music would be it. “Yuck” is an understatement, but I couldn’t understand a word of the song. A search to the lyrics was even worse. What’s this about “do your fingers itch” and “are you pistol-whipped”?? Weird, Mitt. Really weird. I can understand it coming from a Los Angeles rock band, but it doesn’t need to be parroted by your campaign. Fire your sound guy!

But, that point notwithstanding, I don’t think the campaign has done anything illegal. Drawing from my radio experience, most venues have licensing agreements (making it legal to play licensed music at those facilities). Like if you go to Royals Stadium, they can legally play lots of music (assuming they have this license). They don’t have to call the artist up and ask for permission. And I know organizations can buy licenses with the major music labels. Churches buy a CCLI license so they can play all the licensed music. Secular venues would buy a BMI license of one similar.

I doubt the Silverspoon Dropouts (or was it the GoldenSun Chevy Trucks? ….urghhhh!) have their music privately copyrighted. The music industry licenses the music broadly. Otherwise every radio station in the country would have to call up the artist and ask if they can play their song. Program directors will not do that, thus the song won’t get played, thus people won’t know about, thus no one will buy the CD, thus your band will quickly be OBSCURE.

These folks are trying to make a political point. And it’s a stupid one. They don’t want to be associated with the Romney Campaign? How about Romney supporters buying their albums? Would they like to issue a “cease and desist” letter to all Republicans, or Romney-leaning Independents buying their product?

Though I wouldn’t touch their music (wrong simile, I know), the Romney campaign using Silversun Pickups’ music shows the best of America. In music, your politics do not matter. Art transcends party boundaries. Their music was appreciated by both Republicans and Democrats. Rather than celebrating that fact and the role they play as musicians in uniting Americans, the Silversun Pickups unforturnately chose to be as divisive as the President they support.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lessons from 1850

America’s Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union
by Fergus M. Bordewich

This was a very good book on several points.

First, on the level of history it was excellent at bringing together the threads and issues that ravaged the political landscape of the mid 1800s; namely, the slavery/free state debate that affected California’s petition for statehood; Texas’ claim on land in New Mexico; the fugitive slave laws and the slave trade in the District of Columbia. This book excelled in accentuating the significant personalities of the period and especially gave me exposure to the role of my native Missouri, via the unyielding personality of Thomas Benton.

Second, it spoke to me on the level of compromise itself. The Kentucky senator Henry Clay was desperate to finesse a compromise and gave his aging and ending life to a cause that would ultimately fail. While he lived to see the Union preserved and did not personally witness its demise, Southern Rebellion was only delayed, not thwarted. Henry Clay, while extolled for his role in this part of American history, is all but a footnote to our nation’s history. His work would be eclipsed by bloodshed ten years later.

Compromise, by its very nature, is a delay only. The book itself referred to the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which was totally inadequate to address hostile opinions of 1850. While I can’t immediately recall great political compromise bills, I would posit they are almost universally short lived and short sighted.
More interesting than Clay’s commitment to compromise was, shockingly, the stalwart abolitionist Daniel Webster’s tragic reversal of his convictions in favor of compromise. Webster might have gone down in the annuals of American history as prophetic and stubbornly conviction driven. Instead, he opted for a supporting role in a drama that would foster no statesmen, only sectional politicians who averted a crisis only temporarily.

Third, I sensed, once again, God’s sovereign hand in history. Had the South seceded in 1850, it seems that the North would have adapted to some form of mutual, co-existing government. It is difficult to imagine that, but what is not difficult to imagine is the North in 1850 was not yet disgusted with slavery and not yet ready to fight to preserve the Union. The Fugitive Slave laws reaffirmed by the Compromise of 1850 would give the North a nauseating dose of anti-liberty. Southern rights of slavery would be enforced in both North and South. Northern convictions of liberty would be negated in both South and North. By 1860, the North had had enough.

If the book had any drawbacks, it was that Bordewich edited too much from the speeches. Several times, the reader would only encounter brief excerpts of the speeches and letters of the time which seemed to distract from the author’s well construed “you-are-there” essence. I would have preferred more lengthy passages and think, for the most part, that would have aided in re-creating the scenario. Obviously, we couldn’t read all that was said over the course of some ten months, and the author did a great job overall of telling us the story of a Compromise that held the Union together for one more decade.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Todd Akin Gets Post-Dispatch Endorsement

I came across this editorial from Saturday’s edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a liberal leaning newspaper. You can read the entire article here, but this is the part that caught my eye…one of the reasons I support Todd Akin for the Republican nomination for the US Senate. (vote next Tuesday, August 7).

Which candidate should Republican primary voters support in the Senate race? We suggest Mr. Akin, because with him at least you're sure of what you're getting.

In another era, Ms. Steelman would have been the sort of independent-minded Republican who could have earned this page's support, even in a general election. But she's running a purely dishonest campaign, running away from her actual record as a state senator, pretending to endorse the most extreme positions of the day, and even endorsing the violent rhetoric of some supporters. And her inability to articulate any position beyond a consultant-driven slogan is epic. She is simply not ready for prime time.

As a member of Congress, Mr. Akin was good enough for Mr. Brunner to support financially in many election cycles. The businessman has done nothing to separate himself from the engineer-turned-politician. We disagree with Mr. Akin on almost everything, not the least of which is his support for policies that discriminate against gays, women and minorities.

But he's the most honest candidate. He isn't faking it when he endorses the worst of the GOP agenda. He actually believes it. What you see is what you get.

Chick-fil-A and free speech

Last week, Chick-fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy spoke to Baptist Press of his company's steadfast support for marriage and family:

We are very much supportive of the family--the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that... We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.

But Cathy was about to find out what kind of country he really does live in.

Pro-homosexual forces quickly mobilized. The very people and organizations that advocate tolerance were showing no tolerance for someone with a different viewpoint. The sodomite bullies and their politically correct machine were in full swing by the week’s end, including the mayors of Boston and San Francisco who were threatening blockades of any Chick-fil-A franchise that wanted to open in their cities. In tactics reminiscent of the Gestapo and KGB, they were going to squash any dissent from a pro-homosexual viewpoint and the Chick-fil-A empire, daring to have a different viewpoint, became their target. Their message was clear--First Amendment advocates are not welcome in their cities.

Mike Huckabee got fed up and launched a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day for Wednesday, August 1. The idea is simply to support them in some tangible way be giving them a bit of your business. I got fed up too and joined him on his facebook page. But in a little bit, Facebook removed, uh, er, ummm, Facebook experienced a technical glitch that inadvertently disabled Huckabee’s post for the next 12 hours…until the conservative outcry became feverish and the good IT folks at Facebook were able to get Huckabee’s page restored. Evidently, Mike Huckabee’s page was the only one affected by this “accidental” fluke at Facebook.

Chick-fil-A is a Christian company with 1,608 restaurants that had sales in excess of $4 billion last year. They follow their values. They are closed on Sunday to honor the Lord’s Day. They bailed out the struggling Peach Bowl 15 years ago. Yes, they renamed it the “Chick-fil-A” bowl but they have 15 successive sellouts. It is the only college bowl game with an invocation.

Anti-Christian forces have targeted Chick-fil-A because of Mr. Cathy’s comments of this past week and the overall Christian philosophy of the company. If you care about that, you should strongly consider giving the company some of your business in the future, especially this coming Wednesday, August 1. And be advised. If as many Christians care about this homosexual persecution that I think will, you might have a long wait, so plan ahead.

P.S. You can read Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino's letter here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pentagon Allows Military Uniforms in Gay Pride Parade

The administration of President Barack Obama continues its rabid advancement of the homosexual agenda, especially when it pertains to military issues.

The Department of Defense issued a directive today that allows active and retired service personell to wear their uniforms during a Gay Pride Parade in San Diego, California.

The Pentagon said this exception was for this year only. Yeah, sure. Only if President Obama is NOT re-elected.

San Diego's Gay Pride is America's shame. The military continues to be assaulted by this administration.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Abortion Still Going Strong

January 22, 1973 was a Monday. I would have gone to kindergarten that day at James Elementary School where Mrs. Katherine Askew would have taught me the basics of phoenics and reading. Unless, of course, it snowed a lot that day (I’m from Kansas City). Then I would have gone sledding down Indian Mound. Certainly unknown to me and probably to my parents and so many others on that day, was that miles away in Washington D.C., the Supreme Court of the United States was making public its decisions in two legal cases, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton which would change the history of our country by effectively legalizing abortion upon demand.

As I reflected on this, I wonder how many things are radically altering our country’s future. How many things, seemingly benign, are setting us up for God’s judgment? For nearly 40 years, the United States of America has legally allowed the killing of innocent, developing babies within their mothers’ wombs. Abortion remains the only “medical” (barbaric) procedure that doesn’t require informed consent. While many states are trying to change that, for the most part, an abortionist will perform the live-ending procedure without giving the woman any information.

How abortion can end in our country is beyond my imagination. But it is not beyond my prayers.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Christians Must Be Involved In American Politics

Politics, when defined accurately, would broadly encompass virtually every aspect of our lives and circumstances. When we talk of morality and immorality, we are really talking about a political situation. I'll leave the parsing, etymology and word meaning to another post.

We should be involved because our Lord demands it. In Matthew 5:13ff, in a passage appropriately referred to by many as our "Cultural Mandate", we are told "you are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world." Salt and light influence. They change an environment. Salt, especially in pre-refrigerant days, retarded the decay and corruption of meat and other food items. Only a Christian, an image-bearer of Jesus Christ, an ambassador of His majesty, can properly restrain evil in our society.

We should also be involved because of our heritage. I am reminded of the Canadian poet Lt. Colonel John McCrae's great work In Flanders Fields when he gives voice to the Allied dead of World War One. His third and last stanza (it's a short poem) says majestically

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I can imagine the many Christian patriots who will not sleep (I know it's poor theology) and we "break faith" and live lives of non-involvement.

When Longfellow wrote his poem and admonished "listen my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere" he didn't tell us a key piece of American history, namely, that the good silversmith was galloping to the home of Pastor Jonas Clarke in Lexington. He know the patriot leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams were lodging there, as they always did.

The next morning, on the lawn of Rev. Jonas Clarke's church, his congregation met the British and fired "the shot heard 'round the world."

Yep, our Independence started at a church, with a pastor and many of his congregation aiming muskets at an army of a tyrant.

Let us keep faith with them. There are many foes with whom we can quarrel. Let us do it now.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Upheld! Obamacare Will Undermine Freedom

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the constitutionality of what is commonly known as "Obamacare". It wasn't all that surprising.

The surprise came in that the supposed "swing vote" on the Court, that of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who sometimes sides with the liberal faction of Ginsberg and Breyer, and the new Obama appointees of Sotomayor and Kagan and sometimes with the conservative block of Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts, favored repeal. Why then was the vote not 5-4 for REPEAL?

Shocker of shockers, Chief Justice John Roberts, the stalwart conservative appointed by then President Bush, cast his view in favor of constitutionality.

This, of course, demolishes one of conservativism's, especially Christian-right conservativism, greatest planks for political involvement--elect Republicans, if for no other reason than getting good judges nominated. It is often why key leaders of the Christian-right will endorse candidates they perceive have the "electability" factor over other candidates who hold viewpoints closer to their own--like Gary Bauer did in 2008 when he endorsed John McCain over Mike Huckabee. We needed the presidency to get the judicial appointments, and John McCain supposedly had a better chance of winning the presidency.

Now I will grant that winning the presidency in 2008 would have GREATLY increased the probability of a different outcome in this case. Sotomayor and Kagan would not be sitting on the bench.

I know Roberts wasn't the only vote, but for all practical purposes, the Chief Justice gave us Obamacare.

Christian conservatives often take refuge in false securities, especially when it comes to the political spheres. So when a John Roberts comes along and gets confirmed to the high court, we breathe a sigh of relief. And then comes Obamacare; well, technically National Federation of Independent Business et al. v Sebelius, Secretary Health and Human Services et al. are our hopes are shattered.

This underscores for us, that we are, both ultimately and essentially, people of faith. By that I mean our hope and trust is in the Lord. Yes, we participate in the political process, but with a knowledge that the process may very well fail to achieve the thing we desire--a just society. Even now, while we watch our freedoms disentegrate before our very eyes, we know that God is working and moving in our midst.

God is even now accomplishing His purposes through this troubling vote. The question of the hour will not be addressed by the legions of conservative journalists, pundits, radio talk show hosts and cable news programs. It will be asked quietly and revently in the hearts and minds of God's people. What is God doing with the United States of America?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Flag Day

I know I'm a day late, but it is never too late to honor America. In spite of her flaws, this is still a great country and we have much hope in restoring a generation who honors and respects our heritage. Here's one of my favorite "flag" poems.

The Flag Goes By

By Henry Holcomb Bennett

HATS off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:

Hats off!
The flag is passing by!
Blue and crimson and white it shines,
Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.

Hats off!
The colors before us fly;
But more than the flag is passing by.

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State:
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;
Days of plenty and years of peace;
March of a strong land’s swift increase;
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe;
Sign of a nation, great and strong
To ward her people from foreign wrong:
Pride and glory and honor,—all
Live in the colors to stand or fall.

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
And loyal hearts are beating high:

Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Monday, June 11, 2012

An Incredible Prayer for the Lord’s Church (part 1)

There are some incredible gems in the first chapter of Colossians. One of the most amazing things about this letter is that the church at Colossae was not known personally to the apostle Paul. Evidently Epaphras had founded the church there and Paul had only “heard” of their faith (verse 4) and had “learned of Epaphras” (verse 7) about their situation. So, in light of this detachment, it is surprising that Paul did “not cease to pray” for them (verse 9). He is connected in his heart and spirit to this congregation that he never personally knew.

This is a great admonition for us to remember Christians and ministries in far away places with which we have no direct personal knowledge. This is not to imply a recklessness in our support of ministries, even our prayer support. We only have so much time that is devoted to prayer, and certainly when it comes to financial support, we need to know a ministry is worthy of our support. Epaphras had validated for Paul the Colossian church, and the report had gripped his heart. How beautiful the bond between Christians! The Holy Spirit binds our hearts together. How we must depend on God to direct even our praying.

And notice that Paul’s praying is spiritually focused. While we do well to pray for each others’ physical, tangible needs, we also do well to remember that effective praying focuses on the eternal. Too much of the church’s prayer life is centered on recovery from physical ailments and too little time is spent on the things that can debilitate and cripple the spiritual man. Not so with Paul. He prayed for this church, a congregation he had never met, that they would be spiritually victorious. What a great prayer to imitate.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day and America

I had an incredibly busy weekend and no access to the internet, so I'm posting on Memorial Day a bit late. A friend sent me some pictures and I wanted to pass on my favorite. I used to see lots of patriotic photos when I was involved in a public policy organization, but this one really gripped me. I'm thankful for the hundreds of thousands of America who have served our country.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Website Madness

I’ve had the same email address for well over a decade. As you can imagine, I’ve accumulated a lot of junk subscriptions and have thus far resisted the urge to leave this address behind. It’s more than just an emotional attachment like a high school letterman’s jacket stashed in a cedar chest. It has a utilitarian purpose of keeping me connected with people and organizations of my past. I normally “delete all” after skimming my inbox and rarely take the time to read the ones that have snuck their way into my inbox folder. It’s a whole lot easier than trying to “unsubscribe” to these organizations. Today, though, was different. I opened an email from I have no idea how I subscribed or how long they’ve dropped into my account, but something today caught my eye and I was off into cyberspace. It the quagmire of “Christian” offerings (which is, no doubt, how I got pulled in to begin with), was a box for my daily horoscope—something completely antithetical to Christian faith. As I was going to delete, a pop up box offered to assess my angel temperament—after answering questions they would tell me what angel I was like. I’m only aware of three angels and feared I’d be matched with the one who starts with “L”. I didn’t need my ego slammed and I didn’t need this foolishness. I’m officially “unsubscribed” now (or at least I think I am). But I couldn’t help wondering about people who aren’t as family with historic, orthodox Christianity as I am. How many of them pop over to this “Christian” site to get their daily horoscope and periodic “angel assessment”? It was a reminder of how mess up our country is and a reminder of the many false religions and teachers the Bible warns us about. How grateful I am for a strong web presence of genuine Christianity. I pray millions will find their way to these sites and learn about the true Christ and His true salvation.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Duck Finally Quacks -- Obama Comes Clean on Homosexual Marriage

The over-used adage, “if it walks like a ducks, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck—it’s a duck”, was evidenced yesterday when our nation’s President, Barak Hussein Obama, publicly declared his support for homosexual marriage. In an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America, the President said in part:
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'don't ask, don't tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."
The President’s position is of no surprise. He ended the military’s compromising position of “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell” which conservatives sadly adopted as a way of allowing Sodomites to continue their service as long as they didn’t publicize it. The new policy allows such persons to be public about their chosen behavior. Then the President ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed by the Congress of the United States. So yesterday’s interview, though seemingly untimely provoked by Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks the previous Sunday, were of no surprise. While he was previously hypocritical and dishonest about his views on this matter, yesterday the President finally came clean. Sadly, the President invoked his Christian faith as a key to his decision. But the Bible his faith is based upon clearly denounces the position he holds. Homosexuality is a sin to be avoided, not a lifestyle to embrace.

Friday, May 04, 2012

A post-National Day of Prayer Post

Yesterday was a special time of prayer for me, my family, and my church and I trust it was the same for millions of other Christians. I do long for the day when we, like the American Christians of previous generations, cease from our labors and normal schedules and truly draw aside the entire day to pray. One of my favorite spiritual proclamations from our nation's history comes from Abraham Lincoln. It was introduced by Senator James Harlan of Iowa and subsequently passed by the entire Senate and signed by President Lincoln of March 30, 1863. The nation was being ravaged by Civil War and the North was not faring well in the struggle. The resolution reads as follows:
Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation. And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion. All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh. By the President: Abraham Lincoln William H. Seward, Secretary of State.
Those words, 149 years old, apply very much to our current situation. May we continue to pray.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Pray for America

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. If you’re a Christian, it is essential that you spend time interceding for our nation. Tomorrow, we’ll do what Americans have always done in times of great need—pray and ask God for help with the issues facing our country. Perhaps those issues don’t seem quite as pressing as they did when Ben Franklin reminded the Constitutional Convention that “God governs in the affairs of men… And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?” During the early days of our existence as a nation, we knew we needed God. And during the darkest hours of the Civil War, a minister said to President Lincoln that he hoped the Lord was on their side. Lincoln thought for a moment before replying, "I am not at all concerned about that, for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right...but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I--and this nation--should be on the Lord's side." I must confess I share some of Lincoln’s “constant anxiety” about our nation being on God’s side. In fact, I have to conclude that America, for the most part, is a nation that has set its face against God. That’s why this Thursday is so important. It is vital for Christians to stand in the gap—between our Holy God whose ways are just and our sinful nation whose ways are sinful. On the National Day of Prayer, let us as Christian citizens do our part to talk to our heavenly Father with urgency and passion about the things we face as Americans.

Monday, April 30, 2012

National Day of Prayer, 1775

Shortly after the Battles of Lexington and Concord which marked the beginning of the War for Independence, the Second Continental Congress assembled in June of 1775. Part of their deliberation included issuing a proclamation establishing July 20, 1775 as a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer. Their proclamation reads as follows:
As the great Governor of the World, by His supreme and universal Providence, not only conducts the course of nature with unerring wisdom and rectitude, but frequently influences the minds of men to serve the wise and gracious purposes of His providential government; and it being, at all times, our indispensible duty devoutly to acknowledge His superintending providence, especially in times of impending danger and public calamity, to reverence and adore His immutable justice as well as to implore His merciful interposition for our deliverance: This Congress, therefore, considering the present critical, alarming and calamitous state of these colonies, do earnestly recommend that Thursday, the 20th day of July next, be observed, by the inhabitants of all the English colonies on this continent, as a day of public humiliation, fasting and prayer; that we may, with united hearts and voices, unfeignedly confess and deplore our many sins; and offer up our joint supplications to the all-wise, omnipotent, and merciful Disposer of all events; humbly beseeching Him to forgive our iniquities, to remove our present calamities, to avert those desolating judgments, with which we are threatened, and to bless our rightful sovereign, King George the third, and [to] inspire him with wisdom to discern and pursue the true interest of all his subjects, that a speedy end may be put to the civil discord between Great Britain and the American colonies, without farther effusion of blood: And that the British nation may be influenced to regard the things that belong to her peace, before they are hid from her eyes: That these colonies may be ever under the care and protection of a kind Providence, and be prospered in all their interests; That the divine blessing may descend and rest upon all our civil rulers, and upon the representatives of the people, in their several assemblies and conventions, that they may be directed to wise and effectual measures for preserving the union, and securing the just rights and privileges of the colonies; That virtue and true religion may revive and flourish throughout our land; And that all America may soon behold a gracious interposition of Heaven, for the redress of her many grievances, the restoration of her invaded rights, a reconciliation with the parent state, on terms constitutional and honorable to both; And that her civil and religious privileges may be secured to the latest posterity. And it is recommended to Christians, of all denominations, to assemble for public worship, and to abstain from servile labour and recreations on said day.
This was the first call to prayer on a national level. Cities and colonies had issued such proclamations. For example, Boston issued a city wide call for fasting and prayer and September 8, 1670. Ten years later, the colony of New Hampshire was calling for a statewide “day of humiliation”. But the 1775 proclamation marks the beginning of a legacy of calling on God for His aid in national affairs. While this particular proclamation shows deference to England (unlike the harsher proclamation of the following year in 1776), it does draw the readers’ attention to its address toward “Christians”. Unlike the contemporary call to “persons of all faith”, the founders rightly understood the “Christian” heritage of this country. This Thursday, May 3, marks the 61st Annual National Day of Prayer, which, although it was practiced for hundreds of years, was enshrined into law in May, 1952. I hope you’ll plan to spend much of the day in prayer.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

North Korea: Christians Must Worship in Secret

It’s hard to imagine that this is what most North Koreans face on their way to worship. Tomorrow, I’ll pass gas station attendants, doughnut buyers and one guy by a Jiffy Lube who will be waving a sign for an early morning special. But if I happen to pass a law officer, I’ll only check my cruise control and not breathe uneasy like Christians in North Korea will. They pass several police and army officers and citizen informants to gather secretly, yet reverently to worship the Eternal King. Open Doors USA President and CEO Dr. Carl Moeller explained that in effect, North Koreans are forced to worship their leaders, the late Kim il-Sung, Kim Jong-il and current ruler Kim Jong-un, as gods. "So scrutiny of the estimated 200,000 to 400,000 brave underground Christians has increased during the last few months. Some have been thrown into prisons. There are 50,000 to 70,000 Christians of the estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people living under horrific conditions in those prisons. Also, many North Koreans are chronically malnourished and unemployed," Moeller said. I’ve learned much during this week of prayer for North Korea. Certainly much more than I’ve articulated through this blog. I can’t believe the number of videos on the web from suffering Christians of North Korea. I would recommend getting this report, North Korea: A Case to Answer—A Call to Act, from Christian Solidarity Worldwide. I know very little about the organization, but the report is very helpful in opening our eyes to the evil faced by these courageous Christians. I am grateful for the freedom I have and I am deeply burdened for the harsh and evil reality my brothers and sisters in Christ in North Korea have. May God protect them as they honor Him. And may He soon end their suffering.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grant's Final Victory

After his victorious triumph over the Confederacy during the Civil War and bit past his two terms as President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant was snookered by Ferdinand Ward and James D. Fish, two financial hucksters. They had used the President’s name to garner investors’ trust in a partnership in which Ulysses Grant’s naiveté would prove devastating. Eventually, he lost his own small fortune and his reputation to financial scandal. Soon after this devastation, the former president was fighting for his life against throat cancer, trying to finish his memoirs for a financial parachute for his wife, and a lasting legacy to a grateful nation. The author, Charles Flood, does a masterful job of linking the dying of an era with the dying of Grant. It’s an amazing book of a prominent American’s struggle against financial ruin, sickness and scandal. And, in a bit of irony, the man who conquered the South in his life, united the Nation in his death. Grant was a very imperfect man, but one with whom it is very easy to relate. This is an excellent book.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Yodok Prison Camp of North Korea

Open Doors has called for a week of prayer for Christians in North Korea. One of the horrors of North Korea is the Yodok Prison Camp. North Korean officials deny its existence but it is very much a reality. According to
North Korean Christians aren't simply killed for their faith in Christ. They are pulverized with steamrollers, used to test biological weapons, shipped off to death camps or shot in front of children, while newborn babies have their brains pithed with forceps in front of their mothers. Crimes against humanity reminiscent of Auschwitz and Treblinka to which the world declared "Never Again!" more than 60 years ago are being perpetrated today against the North Korean Christians.
Amnesty International has this video on the prison camp: Please pray for all suffering people of North Korea, especially Christians who are faithful to their God.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Week of Prayer for North Korea

North Korea is the darkest and deadliest place for a Christian to live in the world. In this nation of 26.5 million people, communists rule with such ruthless constraint as to make the old Soviet KGB seem benign. While most its citizens are suffering due to the inane policies of the government which have provoked subsequent United Nations boycotts, Christians are particularly brutalized. Open Doors, a Christian organization that monitors world-wide Christian persecution and ministers to those suffering, has launched North Korea prayer week for this week of April 23-27, 2012. I encourage you to pray for this nation, and specifically for our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer and die there. The church is growing, but it is hard pressed. Would you pray this week? You can sign up here to get more information, or just add this need to your prayer list.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Current Wisdom from an Old Source

As I was thinking about all of America's problems, especially our President's current assault on religious liberty and freedom of conscience, as thought about this year quote from one of America's greatest patriots--Abigail Adams.

[A] true patriot must be a religious man. I have been led to think from a late defection, that he who neglects his duty to his Maker may well be expected to be deficient and insincere in his duty towards the public. Even suppose him to possess a large share of what is called honor and public spirit, yet do not these men, by their bad example, by a loose, immoral conduct, corrupt the minds of youth and vitiate the morals of the age, and thus injure the public more than they can compensate by intrepidity, generosity, and honor? Let revenge or ambition, pride, lust, or profit, tempt these men to a base and vile action, you may as well hope to bind up a hungry tiger with a cobweb, as to hold such debauched patriots in the visionary chains of decency, or to charm them with the intellectual beauty of truth and reason.

Christians make the best citizens. 1) They rightly understand the battles we fight are ultimately spiritual, not material; and 2) they, and they only, can bring God's blessings to their country. Since our only standing before God is in Christ, non-Christian citizens have no claim on "the blessings of Providence."

Friday, February 03, 2012

Evangelical Apostasy is Here

This quote, by Phil Johnson at Team Pyro is worth repeating.

When evangelical megachurches gave up the pulpit for a stage; traded psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for AC/DC tracks; hired vaudevillians instead of pastors; and turned away their ears from the truth to follow fables, they chose a path of apostasy.

Or read the entire post here.