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Monday, August 31, 2015

The county council's underhanded, scandalous behavior

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Note: I delivered this speech at the August 25, 2015 meeting of the Monroe County Council, when the councilors voted 6-1 to give $3,000 to Planned Parenthood.

Members of the Monroe County Council,

My name is Scott Tibbs. I am a resident of the fourth county council district and I am currently a write-in candidate for an at-large seat on the Bloomington City Council. I speak to you today in opposition to a $3,000.00 handout to Planned Parenthood. I have been lobbying you to not fund Planned Parenthood since 2008, just as I have been imploring the city council to not grant corporate welfare to this abortion mill since 1999. But first, I must address the timing of this vote.

Normally, this vote takes place in October or November, with the process starting in August. That is not the case this year. I was shocked when I discovered that this vote would be taking place today in an offhand remark on Facebook. I certainly was not expecting this vote to be fast-tracked.

I have criticized the city council many times over the last sixteen years for their social services funding votes. But I will say something about the city that cannot be said about the county: The city's process is predictable. The process starts at the same time every year and citizens always know when the vote will take place. You people, however, are not predictable at all. You have moved this vote all over the calendar, including holding this vote two days after Christmas and the day after a blizzard. While people were digging themselves out from under the snow, you were voting to give their tax money confiscated from them by force to an abortion mill.

This is the eighth time you have distributed social services funds, a program you started in 2008. The learning curve is over. There is no reason that this process cannot be predictable by now. There is no excuse for this behavior. I am angry today. I am angry because the Democratic majority on the county council is trying to hide from your constituents instead of conducting the process in a predictable manner. What you are doing today is dishonest, cowardly, shameful, dishonorable, dirty and underhanded. You have proven that you do not deserve the public's trust. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

As to the grant itself - this corporate welfare comes as Planned Parenthood has been discovered to be selling the body parts of aborted babies. This comes as video evidence emerges of Planned Parenthood ripping open the face of a baby to get to the brain. It is horrifying and abominable, and yet you people think that the local branch of this organization is worthy of corporate welfare.

You have a family planning clinic operated by the county health department. There is no reason the supposed "good" Planned Parenthood does cannot be done by the Futures clinic or other deserving organizations. This is a waste of the taxpayers' money and an abuse of the authority that Almighty God has placed upon you. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to listen to the hundreds of people who have protested at Bloomington's Planned Parenthood over the last month and vote "NO" on this corporate welfare for this deplorable organization.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Syringe Exchange

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

From the campaign website:

The city council was right to support the syringe exchange program.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

I am actually not awake at 4:00 a.m. (The vast majority of the time.) My blog posts are scheduled in advance, sometimes as much as a week in advance.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Josh Duggar, Ashley Madison and the need for godly authority

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

When it was revealed several months ago that Josh Duggar fondled his younger sisters as a young teenager, Leftists squealed with glee. It was a disgusting sight to behold, as people gloated over it. Most of these people have no concern whatsoever for his victims or his family - they just were giddy that they collected another "hypocritical" Christian scalp. It was sick. But this is instructive for Christians, and there are important doctrines to consider here.

First of all, this celebrity worship has to stop. Every time a "conservative" says something that angers Leftists and gets national attention, "conservatives" rush to make him or her a national hero. We saw it a few years ago with Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean, who had serious problems with modesty and was clearly "not ready for prime time" in terms of being a national spokesperson on a heated political issue. It was a disservice to her to thrust her into the national spotlight, and was a selfish and cynical decision by pro-marriage organizations to do so.

Even if Josh Duggar's wicked sexual sins had never happened, what did he actually do to earn a leadership position in the pro-family movement and a position with the Family Research Council? What are his accomplishments? What are his qualifications? What had he done on the ground? What is his experience? The answer to all of those questions is this: Nothing. He was a reality TV celebrity. His parents are famous. That's all. He earned his positon on celebrity, not merit. This is a bad thing, and should not be encouraged or celebrated.

When Duggar was 14, both his parents and his church failed him. He should have been submitted to the civil magistrate for justice. Does this mean that he should have went to prison for years? Not necessarily, but God has created three realms of authority (the church, the family and the state) for a reason. Crimes are to be dealt with by the state. This does not mean that the family or the church has no role in dealing with criminals, but they should not short-circuit the authority God has placed on the civil magistrate. That is rebellion, and is no different than witchcraft.

Duggar claimed when the fondling was revealed that he had "repented" back then. The fact that he maintained a paid Ashley Madison profile demonstrates that probably was not the case. But repentance, forgiveness and consequences for sin are all things that exist and operate independently of each other. One can repent and be forgiven and still face consequences for his sin. The fact that there are consequences for sin does not negate genuine forgiveness and repentance, as we see with the life of King David.

Forgiveness is required independently, because we are all required to forgive sinners. Bitterness and the refusal to forgive are also sins. For an example, see the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.

We are all sinners and deserving of God's wrath, so ultimately none of us are any better than Duggar. One example was King Manasseh, who was one of the most evil men in the Bible. (See II Chronicles 33.) He burned his own children to death in a pagan ritual, yet was forgiven when he repented. The issue isn't whether someone "deserves" forgiveness. No one does. The issue is God's limitless mercy.

Finally, the fact that Christians commit severe sins (assuming Josh Duggar is actually a Christian) does not negate the truth of the Gospel. Of course Christians are going to sin. The entire point of Christianity is that we are all sinners, that we cannot save ourselves, and only the unmerited grace of God saves us from His wrath. Even as Christians are sanctified, we will always sin. Only God is perfect and holy, and our salvation is a gift from Him that we can in no way deserve or earn. What is amazing is that He saves any of us.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Plastic bags, abortion and same-sex "marriage"

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

As I have opposed the proposal to ban plastic bags in the city of Bloomington, Leftists have attacked me for being a "hypocrite" in arguing for individual liberty in the ability to choose how to gather up groceries and take them home. My alleged "hypocrisy" is that I am opposed to abortion and have advocated for laws making it illegal, and that I have opposed state recognition of same-sex "marriage."

Let's tackle abortion first. When I said that banning plastic grocery bags is "too much of an intrusion of government into private choices," an anonymous (naturally) poster called me a "misogynist hypocrite" because of my opposition to abortion. But this is actually a very simple distinction. I believe that consenting adults should be able to do pretty much whatever they want unless they cause harm to someone else. As you can see from photographs of aborted babies, abortion does harm someone else. Using a plastic bag, in and of itself, harms no one. So there is no hypocrisy here.

You want to use a plastic bag to take your groceries home? Go for it. You want to smoke marijuana? I wish you would not do that, but I do not think it is government's role to put you in jail for it. But if you want to kill a baby, you should not be permitted to make that choice. Limited government is not anarchism, and indeed cannot be. Limited government assumes there is some sort of government to limit.

Bringing up same-sex "marriage" is a fundamental misunderstanding of my position on that issue. I am not in favor of having the state restrict anyone's choices. I have said in the past, and I still believe, that government should not pass laws banning sodomy. If a same-sex couple wants to go to a "church" that will perform a "wedding" ceremony, they should be allowed to do that. However, the government should not recognize that as a marriage, legally. People can live as they choose without an endorsement from the civil magistrate.

It is highly instructive, though, that Leftists start whining about abortion and same-sex "marriage" every time I argue for limited government an individual liberty on a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with either of those issues. That is because sexual libertinism is the sacrament of liberalism, and no dissent is allowed on that whatsoever. The fact that Leftists whine about abortion and sodomy in a discussion that has absolutely nothing to do with either demonstrates their mentality and how they are slaves to their lusts.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Earth worship and the "animal rights" movement

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

The "no compromise" stance of animal "rights" extremists is a perfect example of how our culture has abandoned God's holy truth and is slipping ever deeper into earth worship. When God created the first man in His image, He gave us dominion over the entire earth, including the animal kingdom:

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. -- Genesis 1:27-28

But Satan is both a liar and the father of lies, so he seeks to pervert God's truth and reverse it. Instead of giving man dominion over the earth, the lies of Satan set nature itself up as a "god" to be worshiped and glorified. The Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, warns of the consequences of this action in Romans 1:22-25.

Paul's words in his letter to the Romans is a perfect example of this foolishness. "Ethicists who study animal rights" sounds intellectual, does it not? It sure does. But they are not intellectuals and they are not wise. They are fools. A century ago, they would not have been taken seriously in the pages of the New York Times or any other newspaper. They would have been laughed at and ridiculed, if they were noticed at all.

That is because our nation, while never a "Christian" nation, was nonetheless strongly influenced by Biblical principles and understood that man alone carries God's image.

One of the most offensive positions of the extreme "animal rights" movement is the notion that pet ownership is akin to slavery. This is a shockingly racist and deeply offensive comparison. Even if one rejects God and His pronouncement that man bears His image to embrace the lies from Hell that man and animals are moral equals, it is deeply flawed, idiotic and stupid comparison. Taking an animal into one's home to provide food, shelter and care cannot be compared to forcing someone to work for you without compensation and using violence to enforce that. Think about it this way: the "logic" of animal "rights" fanatics would equate adopting a child to buying a slave. It is insane!

Christians should embrace responsible environmentalism and responsible animal welfare. But Christians must adamantly oppose the animal "rights" movement and the lies from Hell that drive that movement. In doing so, we show the love of Christ by loving our neighbor, refusing to lower him to the level of a rat.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hypersensitive shrieking hysteria

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

On August 17, MCCSC School Board member (and former Bloomington city councilor) David Sabbagh wrote a letter to the editor attacking Republicans who are pushing to de-fund Planned Parenthood. What was interesting about the discussion in the comments is not the debate over whether PP should get corporate welfare, but the reaction to my statement that Sabbagh's position as a school board member should have been disclosed by the newspaper.

Some of the reactions:

  • But there is no standard that requires your local newspaper to do your dirty work for you.
  • Scott's reasoning for what he did demand is very wrong

Dirty work? Very wrong? This is absurd. Here you have an elected official taking a political position. It is informative to voters to have that elected position disclosed. That is not "dirty." It is public information in our system of representative democracy. And let's not forget that MCCSC has a relationship with Planned Parenthood that goes back over a decade, so the fact that MCCSC School Board member David Sabbagh is publicly supporting Planned Parenthood is relevant information for voters in the next school board election.

  • That happens when you have fundagelical Christians who demand special rights and privileges which they aren't willing to grant others; and who demand "full disclosure" of people's personal information while these same fundagelicals refuse to disclose personal information of his own.

This is not a response to anything I said. This "argument" was fabricated out of thin air in "response" to something I never said. In other words, it is a lie and the person who posted it is a liar. I've never demanded anyone disclose personal information. I have said that elected officials' political affiliations should be disclosed. I have said that elected officials' elected positions (or candidacy for that position) should be disclosed. This is in no way "personal information," and describing it as such is a lie. That is very public information.

  • Scott's ongoing temper tantrums give us a very good idea what kind of elected official he'd make.

This comment, as well as describing my call for full disclosure as "dirty" and exposing "personal information" is nothing more than hypersensitive shrieking hysteria. Following is the full text of my posts in the comments for Sabbagh's letter:

Scott Tibbs posted at 7:13 am on Mon, Aug 17, 2015.

If you want to support PP, send a check.

Do not send armed agents of the state to my home to demand I do the same.

And full disclosure on this letter: the author is a member of the MCCSC School Board. That should have been disclosed. Why did the H-T not disclose this fact?

And...

Scott Tibbs posted at 5:54 pm on Mon, Aug 17, 2015.

Elected officials' political and policy positions should be disclosed when they make a public statement. It is informative to voters and parents that a member of the MCCSC School Board supports Planned Parenthood.

I am for giving the voters all information about the political affiliations and political/policy positions of elected officials and candidates for elective office. Apparently you are not, and that is unfortunate - especially for a member of the Monroe County Council.

Temper tantrum? Really? I made an argument that when an elected official writes a letter to the editor, his elected position should be disclosed to inform the voters. I did not rant and rave, I did not call anyone names, I did not personally attack another commenter or a public figure, and I did not spew obscenities and vulgarities. I made an argument that this individual finds objectionable. (The fact that he hates me personally and follows me around HTO to attack me is relevant to his description of my comments as a "temper tantrum" as well.)

It amazes me sometimes what causes Leftists to become outraged. Mentioning that a LTTE writer is an elected official is not at the top of the list. That would be the furious anger over my position on prioritizing areas for snow removal, which led Leftists to erupt in furious anger and launch a despicable cascade of viciously hateful personal attacks against me. But it is instructive as to what Leftists consider "private" (only for themselves, of course!) and how they emotionally react to personalities rather than arguments made.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Obedience

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:20 PM

The Bible does not require us to obey God so that we can be declared righteous.

The Bible requires us to obey God because we have been declared righteous.


Police militarization in Bloomington, Indiana?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Does the Bloomington Police Department need a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle commonly deployed by the U.S. military in war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan? Apparently the BPD thinks it does, as it applied for one such vehicle in 2013, according to a well-researched article in MotherJones.com earlier this month. You can see the document itself on Document Cloud.

Many people were unnerved by the sight of police that looked more like soldiers responding to both peaceful protests and violent rioters in Ferguson, MO last summer. To be fair, Bloomington is not Ferguson. But the fact that the BPD and the Kruzan administration felt the "need" for a military vehicle for local law enforcement raises questions.

When I announced my candidacy for city council back in June, I called for "a full and complete public review on the policy for deployment of the Critical Incident Response Team." The Mother Jones article brings that issue back to the forefront, and now is the time to start thinking about this issue. A few questions to consider:

Under what circumstances is the CIRT deployed? What is the justification for using Bloomington's version of a SWAT team? How credible must that information be to use the level of force of a SWAT team?

How often is the CIRT deployed in investigations of drug use?

We know that flash-bang grenades can be highly dangerous and even fatal. People have been killed or horribly maimed by flash-bang grenades in the past. Under what circumstances are flash-bang grenades deployed in raids, and what policy governs the use of these weapons?

What kind of equipment does the CIRT have?

How many raids has CIRT conducted on an annual basis over the last decade?

Police militarization was a hot topic a year ago, and issues surrounding it are still being debated today. The people of Bloomington should have a very clear picture of the policy surrounding use of force, and there is no better time to have that discussion than during an election year.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

A question for Shelli Yoder

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 11:30 AM

Shelli Yoder, Democratic candidate for Congress, said in an e-mail to supporters three years ago today today that "rape - by any definition - is forcible." Actually, that's not true.

Statutory rape is not necessarily forcible rape and the victim may even "consent" to the sexual contact, but statutory rape is punished by law anyway. Is Shelli Yoder saying that statutory rape is not rape?

Yoder is running for Congress again. I have never seen her clarify this.

(I posted about this on Facebook at the time and it popped up on my "on this day" page.)


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Celebrity worship

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Since it has been revealed that Josh Duggar had an "Ashley Madison" account, it is useful to examine "conservative" celebrity worship again. Meaning this is a good reminder that we have to stop this celebrity worship.

Let's say we live in an alternate universe where everything else is the same but Duggar's sexual sins never happened. Even then:

What did Josh Duggar actually DO to earn a leadership position in the pro-family movement? What are his accomplishments? What are his qualifications?

He has none. He was a reality TV celebrity. His parents are famous. That's all.

Stop this blasted celebrity worship, conservatives.

Stop it!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Plastic bags: Persuasion is better than force

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Note: I issued this press release last Friday in response to a proposal to ban plastic bags in Bloomington.

Encouraging people to bring reusable bags to the grocery store to prevent pollution caused by disposable plastic grocery bags is a worthwhile cause that I personally support. (It should be noted, though, that the reusable bags can carry harmful bacteria. Wash your bags!)

However, that should be done through persuasion and social pressure, not by government force. We should allow people the freedom of choice in how to take their items home, rather than having the government make that choice for us though banning the bags outright (as the Democrats on the city council are considering) or adding a tax on the consumer for using the bag. At a time when many are struggling, adding a tax for a social justice cause is harmful and uncivil.

It should not be the role of city government to micromanage the private decisions of people as they purchase their groceries. A preferable solution would be for the Commission on Sustainability to make educational resources available on the benefits of reusable bags, and to encourage Bloomington citizens to make a choice that is more environmentally friendly. Perhaps the city council could pass a resolution encouraging the use of reusable bags, and the mayor could make regular public statements encouraging it and pointing people to the city's resources on the matter. Perhaps charitable organizations could offer free bags to consumers, in hopes they will use those bags instead of the plastic bags.

Using government to force others to adopt your own personal lifestyle choices, however, is unacceptable in a free society. The city council should not only categorically reject any proposed legislation to ban plastic bags, it should not even vote on such legislation. Unless an action directly harms another person or his property, we should always seek to persuade others as to why our opinions are right instead of forcing others to live as we want them to live.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

MCCSC and Planned Parenthood

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 3:00 AM

Since a MCCSC School Board member wrote a letter to the editor this week attacking Republicans who want to de-fund Planned Parenthood, here is a "Throwback Thursday" post on the school system's corrupt relationship with Planned Parenthood.

The MCCSC School Board must show greater respect for taxpayers.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Do we need an atheist President?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

An honest atheist would admit he believes that the Holocaust is not absolutely immoral, because without a Primary Source for morality there is no universal standard we can use to compare competing moral standards. This is a useful perspective to consider when evaluating a claim in a letter to the editor last week:

As an atheist, he will know when he gives the order to unleash the power of our nuclear arsenal, he is performing the final act for our species.

The author argues that since atheists do not have a hope for a life after this one, they will do everything they can to preserve life on this planet - unlike people who believe in life after death. But this is a simplistic comparison. Examine Christian theology, for example.

The Bible forbids us from committing murder. While Christians certainly believe in God's wrath and the lawful use of force, no Christian denomination endorses whole-scale slaughter of hundreds of millions, especially when those killed are noncombatants. This is based on the Biblical truth that we are created in the image of God, and exterminating human life unjustly is an attack on God's image. Some Christian friends of mine believe nuclear weapons themselves are intrinsically immoral because of the massive collateral damage a nuke would cause.

Our lives on this beautiful planet are not a dress rehearsal for some infinite fairy tale in the sky.

Our lives are what we make of them and this is the only life we will have.

This is another simplistic argument. In Christian theology, our lives - and how we live here - matter very much for our eternal life. Because Christians do not want to displease God (and because man is made in the image of God) sincere Christians would not support nuclear Armageddon. Assuming Christians would "push the button" for a nuclear war is not just simplistic - it is arrogant and bigoted.

The author would have us believe that atheism is somehow morally superior to religion (primarily to Christianity) because atheists focus only on this life. But from a truly atheistic standpoint, that is not a judgment that can be made because atheism is incompatible with universal moral standards. I would rather elect someone accountable to a higher power than someone who submits to nothing greater than humanity - because humanity has proven itself to be barbaric.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Worship the Creator, not the creation

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:20 AM

Note: I originally wrote this in 2009.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. -- Romans 1:22-25

Last year, I came across a YouTube video of a group of hippies wailing for dead trees, mourning the destruction of plant life.

The video is amusing, because the people are acting so foolishly. After all, it's just another plant. Trees do not have souls, and are not made in the image of God like mankind. Trees cannot even provide the kind of companionship one has with a pet such as a dog or cat, and trees cannot suffer or feel pain. Why mourn for them? Upon deeper examination, though, this video is not funny at all. It is very sad.

A significant portion of the environmental movement is about worshipping the earth itself, rather than being good stewards of what God has given us while having dominion over the earth. We see this in statements that elevate nature over man, such as a recent letter to the editor that implied that animals are somehow more noble than humans.

This is why I have serious reservations about many evangelical churches embracing "social justice" issues like environmentalism without any sort of discernment and warning about the paganism that is interwoven into the environmentalist movement. Pastors and elders are placed into positions of authority by God to shepherd His flock and guard against serious sin like idolatry. But when Christian churches abandon discernment for what is politically popular at the moment (as if Jesus Christ, crucified by the Romans at the order of His own people, cared about what was popular) they are playing with fire in more ways than one.

As I said before, we are to be good stewards of what God has provided for us. We should not wantonly pollute or destroy the natural environment. Economic progress has brought pollution, but it has also brought a significant increase in health, longevity, quality of life and wealth. To the extent we can reduce pollution and be good stewards, we should do so, and there should be reasonable limits in place to protect the environment. We must never forget, however, we have been made in the image of God and we are commanded by God to have dominion over the earth and everything on the earth. (See Genesis 1:28)