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Friday, April 30, 2010

No corporate welfare for Planned Parenthood

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Bloomington Herald-Times, April 29, 2010

To the editor:

For the eleventh time in the past 12 years, Planned Parenthood is asking city government for a handout. Keep in mind that acceding to PP's most recent annual report (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/AR09_vFinal.pdf) the organization took in a total of over $1 billion while spending only $953.1 million, for a total profit of $85 million. PP is supposed to be a "not for profit" organization.

Planned Parenthood did not apply for a grant from the city last year after a scandal involving a Bloomington PP employee who tried to cover up what that employee believed to be the sexual abuse of a 13 year old girl by a 31 year old man.

PP did get a handout from the Monroe County Council last year, a sneaky and dishonest way of avoiding public scrutiny.

This time, PP wants corporate welfare to provide prescriptions, including birth control. Will this only go to married couples or will PP be subsidizing immorality? Will this include the "morning after pill?" The birth control pill can cause the destruction of a human embryo by preventing implantation.

Thanks to city council attorney Dan Sherman. He has been very helpful the last 12 years in providing information on the Hopkins fund.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just fix the problem and stop crying about it.

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

"Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen." -- Deuteronomy 27:24

On Monday, Bob Zaltsberg complained again about anonymous comments on HeraldTimesOnline.com comment sections, bemoaning how people often toss civility aside when they have no worry about being held accountable by name.

This isn't new. Zaltsberg complained about anonymous comments in 2004 and 2006, Rebecca Robbins complained in 2007 and Avia Orenstein took a shot at anonymity last year.

Here's the problem with Zaltsberg's complaints: He is the editor-in-chief. If anonymous comments really do pose a problem, it would be a simple matter for the H-T to do something about it. The H-T could eliminate comments entirely, which would be a fairly drastic solution. The H-T could also require each person who posts to identify himself with a first and last name. They had the opportunity to do that last Fall when they implemented the username system. They did not.

I have little respect for complaints about anonymity in the HTO comments when the H-T has the power to end it any time they choose to.

It is worth noting that no one who comments on HTO is truly anonymous. The H-T can easily verify the identity of anyone who posts a comment to the site. If something libelous winds up being posted, the offending poster can be tracked down and held accountable very easily.

I agree that anonymity is a problem. I am convinced that the anonymity offered by the Internet is the worst thing to happen to political discourse in the last 100 years. With no expectation that they can be held accountable for their words, anonymous cowards become ten feet tall and bulletproof, posting all kinds of despicable filth and libelous personal attacks.

In theory, anonymous speech can add to the discourse on political, cultural and social issues as people who may have a legitimate reason to be intimidated can bring fresh ideas and information to the discussion. In practice, it almost never works out that way. The H-T had an opportunity to take a stand last fall by eliminating anonymous comments on the website, but did not follow through. They can reverse that error at any time. Regardless of what they do, Zaltsberg and company need to stop crying about it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

No corporate welfare for the merchants of death

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: No corporate welfare for the merchants of death
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2010 09:20:34 -0400
From: Scott Tibbs <tibbs1973@yahoo.com>
To: piedmoni@bloomington.in.gov, ruffa@bloomington.in.gov, satterfm@bloomington.in.gov, mayert@bloomington.in.gov, sandbers@bloomington.in.gov, sturbauc@bloomington.in.gov, wislerb@bloomington.in.gov, rollod@bloomington.in.gov, volans@bloomington.in.gov


For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, Planned Parenthood took in over one billion dollars in revenue. Planned Parenthood's expenses came to a total of $953 million, leaving America's most prolific abortionists with a profit of $85 million. That is quite a lot of money, and continues a long trend.

It was a welcome relief last year when Planned Parenthood did not get a handout from city government for the first time since 1998. This was in the wake of a sex abuse scandal where a Planned Parenthood employee was caught on tape attempting to cover up the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl by a 31-year-old man. This undercover investigation by Live Action exposed Planned Parenthood for what it really is.

Now Planned Parenthood is back asking for yet another handout from city government, showing disrespect for the local charitable organizations that actually need support from city government and do not have a billion-dollar national organization supporting them. Year after year, it has been made very clear that Planned Parenthood simply does not need the funds that they are requesting. This is a request for a political endorsement, nothing more. All nine of you know this.

This year is different from past years. This year, voting to give money to Planned Parenthood is an endorsement of Planned Parenthood's efforts to cover up sexual abuse. The undercover video shot in Bloomington was not an isolated incident. It was part of a pattern established by multiple undercover videos at multiple locations. Voting to give $6000 of corporate welfare to these people is a slap in the face to sex abuse victims.

As to the request itself, Planned Parenthood is asking for "help" (that they clearly do not need) to fund a "Recession Rx" program that among other things provides "discounted birth control." The are two things you should consider regarding this program.

First, there is evidence that the birth control pill can act as a very early abortifacient. How this works is the pill can prevent implantation of an embryo. Deprived of nutrients, the embryo quickly dies. Even Planned Parenthood had recognized this in the past, and this is even more common with things such as the "morning after pill." It is well-established scientific fact that life begins when sperm and egg meet and form a new being. For those who believe life should be protected from the moment of fertilization, this is morally unacceptable.

Furthermore, will Planned Parenthood only be giving "discounted birth control" to married couples? Or will PP be subsidizing sexual activity outside of marriage? Many in this community strongly object to the further cheapening of sexual intimacy by having government funds promote sexual immorality. You should be "pro-choice" and refrain from forcing those people to subsidize sinful behavior through their tax dollars.

The basic problem with Planned Parenthood, of course, is that the Bloomington "clinic" kills children every Thursday. Between 2000 and 2005, Planned Parenthood killed 4,597 children at the "clinic" a few blocks away from City Hall. Abortion is a legal procedure, unfortunately. That does not mean that the people who pay for your salaries and benefits should be forced to subsidize a "clinic" that sheds innocent blood every week.

The people of Bloomington have entrusted you with their money, and there is no reason to give that money to a billionaire organization that is 17 months removed from a sex abuse scandal. There is no reason that city government cannot find some other way to help provide medical care to people struggling in this economy. Please do not fund the abortionists on South College, and instead give the money to organizations that actually need it.

After eleven years of divisive subsidies, it is time to end the city's practice of giving corporate welfare to the merchants of death.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bud Bernitt endorsed by Indiana Right to Life

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Indiana Right to Life's political action committee released their endorsements earlier this month. One of the candidates they endorsed was Bud Bernitt, who is running for Congress in the 8th District. I am very happy with this endorsement and I think it is very appropriate. I have known Bud for nine years. I know that there is no other candidate in the 8th District who is more dedicated to standing up for the rights of unborn children than Bud Bernitt.

I do not doubt that the other candidates in the 8th District are pro-life. I do not doubt that they will vote pro-life when legislation affecting abortion comes before them. That is good, but it is not good enough.

It has been 38 years since the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade. In that time, fifty million unborn children have been killed by America's abortion industry. We have an entire generation who has never known a nation where abortion was not legal. Passively voting pro-life is not good enough any more, no matter how flawless your scorecard may be.

What we need is someone who will aggressively stand up for unborn children. We need someone who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves whenever possible. We need someone who will be introducing legislation that will provide further protections for unborn children. That person is Bud Bernitt.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who crucified Jesus Christ?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life; I know that it is finished.

It is common for Christians today to claim that it was the Jewish leaders or the Romans who crucified Jesus Christ, and to deny the role of the people in His crucifixion. It is understandable that Christians would want to make this distinction, so as not to appear anti-Semitic. But by denying the Jewish people's role in the death of Christ, we deny our own culpability. That is actually the primary reason we deny Scripture's teaching here.

Scripture makes it clear that it was the Jewish people, not just the leaders, who were calling for Jesus to be crucified instead of the murderer Barabbas. (See Matthew 27:22-23 and Mark 15:11-14.) The Apostles condemned the Jewish people in the book of Acts, making it clear that they crucified Jesus. (See Acts 2:36 and Acts 4:10)

Why is this important? First, we cannot deny Scripture because it is inconvenient. Second, Christians are no better than the mobs who were calling for Jesus to be tortured to death a few days after they were loudly and enthusiastically praising Him. Let's not forget that these were the chosen people of God. I have no doubt that the vast majority of the people in church pews each Sunday would have been calling for Jesus to die and for Barabbas to be freed had we been there. Can we as Christians honestly look at our own hearts and deny this?

Who crucified Jesus Christ? In short, Scott Tibbs crucified Jesus Christ. I am guilty of driving the nails into His hands and feet and I am guilty of mocking Him as He died. But despite the fact that I was an enemy of God, He died for me anyway. (Romans 5:8) It is a truth that is impossible for me to understand, but I cling to it by faith.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Just say "no" to corporate welfare for the Indiana Pacers

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

I read with interest Bill Ruthhart's April 14 article about the Indiana Pacers threatening to move if the government does not give them corporate welfare. What a show of disrespect to the fans and the taxpayers. If you have no loyalty to the city and the fans, why should we cheer for you? Why should we buy merchandise and attend games?

The Pacers simply do not get it. This article comes a day before Tea Party rallies all over the nation were held by people fed up with government handouts and excessive taxation to pay for those handouts. Have the Pacers simply not paid attention for the last year? Or are they too busy losing games and hoping for a lottery pick?

The Pacers have not had a winning season since 2004-2005. The Pacers just finished their fourth consecutive losing season and have failed to make the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. In the business world, you must show success before you get a bonus. With government welfare programs, that is not the case.

A lot of people complain about the salaries professional athletes make, but I am not one of those people. I want the owners and the players to make as much money as they can. I am thrilled that these men can make that much money. A lot of people complain that professional athletes make money for "playing a game" but most of us do not realize the amount of work these men put into honing and maintaining their skills and conditioning.

I only begrudge billionaire owners and millionaire players the money they make if they confiscate that money from taxpayers. I want to see them earn as much as they can, but they are not entitled to steal anything. Attempting to blackmail the city for a handout from the government is legalized theft.

The welfare queens running the Indiana Pacers can cry as much as they want about not getting a handout confiscated at the point of a gun from the taxpayers. If they petulantly take the team elsewhere, then my response is "Good riddance! Don't let the door hit you in the rear end on the way out."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 19, 1993 vs. April 19, 1995

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Yesterday was 15 years since the Oklahoma City bombing, when terrorist Timothy McVeigh set off a fertilizer bomb and murdered 168 people, including 19 children. Leftists (including disgraced ex-President Clinton) are already engaged in fearmongering about "right wing terrorists" and warning that the Tea Party movement presents a similar threat.

This is completely unacceptable. While there are wackos in every group, the Tea Party has been a peaceful movement. (Let's not forget that William Ayers, an ally of President Obama, bombed the Pentagon.) Attempting to smear the Tea Party - a group that includes many people who were never politically active before - by tying them to a mass murdering terrorist like Tim McVeigh is beyond the pale and well below the standards of behavior we should expect from a President.

But I am much more frightened by the Waco massacre than Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City bombing was perpetrated by a couple lone wackos - scary to be sure, but we have caught the perpetrators and made sure they cannot repeat this evil act. Terry Nichols will never get out of prison. Tim McVeigh is burning in Hell right now and will continue to burn in Hell for all eternity. (Thank God for Hell.) McVeigh and Nichols will never be able to bomb a building and murder innocent people ever again.

The massacre in Waco was caused by the federal government's decision to use military force on American civilians. That represents a serious threat to our liberty. (See previous articles from 2005, 2006 and 2008.) A couple lone wackos can create a great deal of destruction, but the capabilities of McVeigh and Nichols are nothing compared to the awesome power of the federal government.

What McVeigh and Nichols did was terribly evil, and it is difficult for most people to wrap their minds around how people can hold such a callous disregard for human life. But we should not be distracted by the overheated rhetoric about the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. If left unchecked, the federal government presents a far greater threat to our lives and liberties than any terrorist could ever hope to represent.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Obamacare misses the point of health insurance

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Last month, the Democrats passed a landmark health care "reform" plan after years of demonizing the health insurance industry. The bill has two fundamental problems: it misses the point of health insurance and does not address the fundamental problem the health insurance industry causes in the health care system.

One of the things ObamaCare does (theoretically) is forbid insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. But what is the point of insurance?

I insure my home against fire. In the event of a fire, I will get paid more than I have ever contributed to my insurance company through my premiums. The theory is that of the large pool of people paying homeowner's insurance, very few will have catastrophic events that require payment. Basically, a large number of people are pooling risk with the hope that nothing happens but with the knowledge that we will be compensated if something does happen.

Theoretically, that is how health insurance should work. A large number of people pay into a plan. The few people that are in the plan and get sick are covered by the premiums paid by everyone else - just like homeowner's insurance.

If we force insurance companies to provide coverage without regard to pre-existing conditions, that completely misses the point of insurance. If someone can get "insurance" coverage when they are already sick, that is not insurance because that is not pooling risk. That is redistribution of wealth. If that is the goal, then let's just admit that is the goal.

What the health care "reform" plan does not do is deal with the fundamental problem hat is caused by the insurance industry as it relates to the cost of health care. Insurance distorts the market by removing cost from relationship between the provider and the patient. If Bubba goes to the doctor, instead of paying the $50 office visit fee, Bubba may only pay a $10 co-pay. If Bubba had to pay the full $50, then he might shop around and see if he can get an appointment for a lower price. The same phenomenon exists in prescription co-pays.

If we're going to get costs under control, we are going to have to find some way of introducing more market forces into the health care system. If health insurance is used more for catastrophic coverage and less for day-to-day health care, there would be more incentives for consumers to seek lower prices and for providers to charge less or find ways to improve efficiency. We're also going to need to remove distortions in the market caused by government limiting competition.

Barack Obama isn't interested in that, because this is not and has never been about health care. This is about expanding the power of government.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"One of the least of these..."

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. - Matthew 25:40

The Shalom Center faced a controversy last month when it was revealed that one of the people they serve is a registered sex offender, having served prison time for child molestation. Now, Shalom is searching for a new home after the First United Methodist Church decided not to allow the shelter to operate in its facility any longer. Shalom would have probably needed to move at some point soon anyway, but the sex offender controversy accelerated the process. (See articles here, here, here, here, and here.)

Jesus Christ commands Christians to take care of "the least of these." The sex offender in question, Fred Reed, is homeless and falls into that category. But the children at the church's day care center also qualify as "the least of these." Jesus also warns in Mark 9:42 that those who "offend one of these little ones" would be better off having a millstone tied around his neck and cast into the sea.

Hal Taylor, an advocate for the homeless, told the Herald-Times that "Christians are two-faced as hell, because Jesus commissioned us to attend to the poor." That is not a fair judgment. First United Methodist is damned no matter what it does. On the one hand, they will be attacked for not providing care for a homeless man and will be accused of violating the commandment of Jesus Christ.

But even with the security measures in place, what if Reed had abused one of the children in the day care? The Catholic Church is taking an enormous amount of heat for not properly dealing with priests who have abused children. You can be assured that First United Methodist would suffer a permanent stain on its reputation if the unthinkable were to happen. They would face lawsuits and possible prosecution for criminal negligence.

Taylor lost all credibility, however, when he said "sexual deviants have become the new witches in our society." Honestly, when I read this statement I was furious and wanted to punch Taylor in the face. Taylor's statement is sick and depraved primarily because it makes light of the very real suffering that sexual abuse victims have endured. It is also offensive because it equates the very real crimes and very real harm done by sexual predators to the innocent victims of the "witch trials" hysteria. Taylor's false equivalence is disgusting.

Ideally, Reed should never see the outside of a prison. In a perfect world, he would have been put to death for his crimes. But if I may use an overused cliché, our criminal "justice" system is what it is. Reed served his time and is in need of assistance by charitable organizations. I honestly do not know what the answer is and how the competing needs can be met. There is a great deal of prayer needed by all involved.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Will God judge America?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

II Chronicles 28 describes the wicked king Ahaz of Judah. He abandoned the worship of the only true God and followed after the false gods of the pagans. The Bible makes the point that he followed one of the most horribly wicked practices of the Canaanites, infant sacrifice. What the Canaanites would do is heat up an idol and then burn their infant children to death in the fire. It is believed by many Biblical scholars that this was one of the reasons God commanded the people of Israel to wipe out the Canaanites when the Israelites took the Promised Land.

I cannot help but wonder when America will fill the cup of God's wrath. After all, we have slaughtered 50 million unborn children created in the image of God in the name of "choice" and personal autonomy. Whether it be for comfort, economic convenience or reputation, the United States of America has killed several times more people than died in the Nazi Holocaust. If God judged the Canaanites for the terrible practice of infant sacrifice, how much more will God judge America for the practice of abortion?

It has gotten so bad that we even have false "churches" (such as the terribly wicked Presbyterian Church USA) declaring that killing an unborn child can be "an act of faithfulness before God." The very people who should be most strongly proclaiming that murdering unborn children is an evil hated by God are actually tearing Leviticus 20:1-5 out of the Bible and embracing the same evil practiced by the wicked Canaanites.

This Thursday, there will be another Tea Party rally in downtown Bloomington. I am a supporter of the Tea Party movement and I plan on attending the rally again this year. Nonetheless, I am saddened that pocketbook issues bring 500 people to demonstrate against government policy while the annual Rally for Life to protest 50 million murders often struggles to reach 150 people. We have an abortion "clinic" right here in Bloomington. Between 2000 and 2005, Planned Parenthood slaughtered an average of 14 unborn children every week. While I understand the importance of fiscal policy, how are pocketbook issues more important than mass murder?

There are differences between the Caananites and the United States. The Caananites were completely given over to the worship of false "gods" while there is a remnant of Christians in the United States of America. (We are most certainly not a Christian nation.) In 1 Kings 19, God comforted Elijah the prophet by telling him there were seven thousand men who had not bowed their knee to Baal. In Genesis 18, God promised to spare the wicked city of Sodom if there were ten righteous men in the city. These Scriptures something are a comfort to me, but I fear that America's terrible wickedness will eventually require God's righteous judgment. Repent!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The two-faced, forked-tongued hypocrisy of the Herald-Times

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

On March 28, the Herald-Times published a feature story about an investigation by the Attorney General's office into the practices of the county Assessor's Office, because an audit by the State Board of Accounts incorrectly concluded there was not a contract for work done for the county.

The very next day, the contract was found.

County Assessor Judy Sharp said she felt "smeared" by the investigation, and the H-T issued a self-righteous editorial slamming the investigation. A week after the H-T published the original hit piece on Sharp, the "newspaper" published another self-righteous editorial scolding the investigation.

First, let's clear the air about the investigation. The State Board of Accounts original audit was in error. The state had a copy of the contract the entire time. But Attorney General Greg Zoeller is compelled to investigate such matters as the counsel for the state of Indiana. Zoeller was simply doing his job by following up on the matter of the "missing" contract. Had he not taken steps to investigate, he would not have been doing his duty and would have done a disservice to the taxpayers of Indiana. If there is any fault at the state level, it is with the State Board of Accounts.

Second, the two-faced, fork-tongued hypocrisy of the Herald-Times is sickening. The so-called "newspaper" rushed to plaster the "story" about Sharp's office all over the Sunday paper and the paper's Web site. The H-T simply could not be bothered to sit on the story for two days until all of the facts were established. No, Bob Zaltsberg rushed to press with the "story" and was forced to issue a retraction on Tuesday.

The H-T was humiliated, but Zaltsberg and columnist Mike Leonard decided to act like petulant children instead of grown men. They pointed fingers and attempted to shift blame to the attorney general. The fact of the matter is, though, that there is only one entity that smeared Sharp - the Bloomington Herald-Times. For two days, the people of Monroe County were led to believe that Sharp may have illegally awarded work without a contract, all because the H-T rushed a sensationalistic "news" story to press before the "newspaper" had all of the facts.

The Herald-Times is a dirty black stain on the profession of journalism. Bob Zaltsberg should be ashamed of himself. If he was a man instead of a petulant child, he would be. But there is no shame whatsoever at 1900 South Walnut. After all, this is the same "newspaper" that published glaring factual errors that should be easily caught, shameless lies about the funding of Ivy Tech, and despicable smears against IU students seeking funding to bring a speaker to campus. This is the same "newspaper" where a columnist fabricated a Congressional vote to smear an incumbent Congressman and this is the same "newspaper" that published a libelous personal hit piece on an IU student trustee.

No newspaper with integrity would publish the kind of filth spewed on a regular basis by the al-Jazeera Herald-Times. But there is not one single shred of integrity at 1900 South Walnut.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"What happened to Dan Coats?"

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Perception is not reality. Dan Coats has a reputation as a strong conservative. When he was a U.S. Senator, many saw him as the conservative to balance Richard Lugar in Washington. His reputation is not deserved. Coats has a very weak voting record that should be a concern to Indiana Republicans going into the May 4 primary.

See the new video by John Hostettler's campaign here:

Dan Coats voted to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg demonstrated that she is either illiterate and cannot read the clear text of the Constitution or that she simply does not care. Most likely, it is the latter. For Coats to campaign as a conservative after voting to confirm this woman is a joke.

But that's far from the only time Dan Coats betrayed conservative principles in the U.S. Senate. Coats is openly hostile to Second Amendment rights. He voted for the Brady Law that is hated by gun-rights advocates. He voted for the ban on "assault weapons" - a manufactured term meant to make people think Congress was banning machine guns. This was a major move toward taking away our Second Amendment rights that Congress thankfully allowed to expire in 2004. For more, see here, here and here.

Dan Coats is clearly the weakest of the Republicans running for the chance to face Brad Ellsworth in November. Marlin Stutzman, Don Bates and Richard Behney would all be a better choice than Dan Coats. The best choice, and the candidate I will be voting for, is John Hostettler.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The rampant idolatry of celebrity, Part IV

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. - 1 John 2:15-17

On her Facebook page, one of my nieces complained that while she was watching the TV news, about 5 minutes were spent discussing the President and more than 15 minutes were spent talking about a certain professional athlete involved in a sex scandal. She turned it off. My niece's response: "This is what is wrong with America."

She is right.

This is an election year. In November, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and one third of the U.S. Senate will be chosen by the voters. Here in Indiana, half of the state senate and all 100 members of the state house of representatives will be up for re-election. In Monroe County, we will elect four members of the county council, a county commissioner and a number of other local officials.

I understand that the news media is a business, and the reason the personal life of this professional athlete gets a great deal of coverage is because the media knows that is what people want to see. Coverage of this individual brings higher TV ratings, more hits on websites and more newspaper sales, which leads to higher advertising revenue. Ultimately, we can't complain about the news media's saturation coverage of celebrities because we are ultimately to blame.

Our elected representatives are a reflection of the American people. As the cliché goes, we get the government we deserve. If we're going to survive as a constitutional republic, then we need to have a population that is informed about the issues, the legislation being debated before Congress, and the positions of candidates for elective office. We need a population educated about the workings, structure, legal authority and history of government.

What we have is a population that is educated about the women that a certain professional athlete is having sex with, the statistics of professional athletes, the patterns and powers of computer-controlled enemies in video games, the plots of movies and television programs, and the intimate details of celebrities' personal lives. That same population is frighteningly ignorant of things as basic as the Bill of Rights.

So what is the problem? Is the news media failing to make the needed effort to educate the American people? Are schools failing to educate children about history and government?

The problem is much deeper. The problem is that we are a nation of idolaters, worshiping anything other than the only true and living God who died on the cross for the sins of His creation. We may not pray to the idols of our age and we may not think they have supernatural powers, but we certainly place them before God in our lives.

This certainly is not new. The early Corinthian church was divided between those who professed loyalty to Paul, Apollos and Cephas, rather than being unified under true doctrine and worshiping Christ. (See I Corinthians.) Even those who proclaimed "I am of Christ" were really only proclaiming their own righteousness, a self-worship which is idolatry. As Christians, we need to repent of the sins of idolatry that we commit every day. Each thing should be in its proper place, subordinate to the worship of the only true God.

See Part I, Part II and Part III of this series.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A deeply offensive and ignorant comparison

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

The New York Times reported on April 2 that "a senior Vatican priest speaking at a Good Friday service compared the uproar over sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church... to the persecution of the Jews." This is both deeply offensive and ignorant on many levels, and the priest should repent and apologize.

The attacks on the Catholic Church over the sex abuse scandal are nowhere near as severe as the persecution and mass murder perpetrated against Jews throughout history, including the blood libel and so forth. Even if the Holocaust had never happened, there would still be a long and bloody history of persecution directed at Jews.

In fact, the sad reality is that the Holocaust was not a unique moment in history. It was certainly a horrific escalation of anti-Semitism, but it builds on the foundation of centuries of persecution of Jews. The Nazis did not wake up one day and decide out of the blue to murder 6 million Jews. Anti-Semitism has been deeply ingrained for centuries. Jews were slaughtered on a mass scale, expelled from some European countries, banned from economic activity, and forced into ghettos long before Adolf Hitler was ever born.

The comparisons of the attacks on the Catholic Church and the persecution of Jews is not apples and oranges. It is a comparison of raisins and watermelons. Catholics are not being rounded up and slaughtered, confined to ghettos, or expelled from their home countries. Catholics do not face systematic persecution as well as angry mobs that kill them with support of the dominant religion and the governments of Europe. To compare even the most unfair criticism of the Catholic Church's handling of the sex abuse scandal to centuries of persecution faced by Jews is disgusting.

It is also important to remember that the Catholic Church has historically been one of the primary perpetrators of anti-Semitism including violence and murder. Jews were slaughtered during the Crusades and mercilessly persecuted during the Inquisition. For an organization that has a long history of persecuting Jews to compare the heat it is taking to that very persecution is self-centered and depraved.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A pathetically weak abomination of a punishment

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

A 20 year old man in Gary, Indiana was convicted of battery and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. If Christopher Washington serves his entire sentence, he will be out of prison at 55, but he will probably only serve half of it and will be a free man by the time he is 38.

This abomination of a sentence is for brutally beating a 5 month old baby to death with his fists.

Infant sacrifice was a common practice among the pagan peoples surrounding the nation of Israel, where a stone idol would be heated up so that a baby could be tossed in and burned to death. It is a truly demonic practice, and God hates it with a perfect hatred.

In Leviticus 20:1-5, God spoke directly to Moses and commanded the nation of Israel to execute child murderers. It is very clear that God is angry when monsters like Washington are spared the death penalty He makes mandatory.

There are two primary reasons why monsters like Washington need to be put to death. First, Washington brutally murdered a precious baby created in the image of the living God. The price for taking a life is the life of the murderer, as commanded by God's Word. Second, it is to protect society and ensure that no one else becomes a victim.

Christopher Washington is an evil man. He was a degenerate and a thug well before his most horrific crime, and reached a new level of depravity in 2007. The only explanation for beating a 5 month old baby to death is that Washington is simply evil.

Life in prison is not sufficient to protect innocent people. Only the finality of death guarantees that Washington will not kill again. After all, evil serial killer Ted Bundy escaped from prison in the late 1970's and murdered again in Florida. He was captured again and finally put to death a decade later.

Washington did not even get life in prison. The amount of time he will spend behind prison is a pathetic abomination and God hates it. Eternity Brame would be 2 years old today, but she will never have the chance to grow up and experience life because she was beaten to death. When Christopher Washington is a free man and able to finish the rest of his life, precious little Eternity will still be dead.

The prosecutor should be ashamed for agreeing to this pathetic plea agreement. He is a disgrace to the criminal justice system and should repent of this terribly wicked sin.

When I read cases like this, I bow my head and profusely thank God for providing eternal punishment. The reality of Hell is a great comfort as I read about monsters like Washington escaping the earthly punishment God commands. Like Jose Medellin, who has suffered in horrible burning agony since August 5, 2008, Christopher Washington may escape man's justice, but he will never escape God's holy justice. Thank God for Hell!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's time to decriminalize marijuana

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

CBS News reports that a California ballot measure, if approved, would make California "the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults. The measure would also give local governments the authority to regulate and tax pot sales." I am not familiar with the specifics of the ballot measure, but I support the basic philosophical principle behind it. This is not an area where government needs to be controlling behavior.

As a philosophical libertarian, I believe government should not be prohibiting behavior unless one person is doing harm to another. If someone is engaging in behavior that only harms himself, he should be free to do so without government sanction. He should also not expect government to bail him out when self-destructive behavior leads to financial or health problems. You make your choices, and live with the consequences.

If California does decriminalize marijuana, the federal government needs to stay out of it. The federal government is not given the authority to criminalize drugs in the Constitution, so the states should be allowed to set their own policies under the 10th Amendment. I have little faith that a statist like Obama would cede federal authority to the states on this matter, so California will need to aggressively fight for her rights.

Marijuana is physically harmful to the user, and anyone who smokes marijuana is a fool. It is not the role of government, however, to police what we do to ourselves. A government that has the authority to prohibit marijuana use also has the authority to ban trans fats in meal preparation (which has already happened in some areas) and regulate other ways we do not properly take care of our bodies. We will see more of this with Barack Obama's health care "reform" law. But harmful choices should be the choice of the individual, unless those choices harm others.