|Thursday, September 30, 2010|
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. -- 1 Corinthians 6:18
CBS "News" is trying to embarrass U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell by bringing up "memorable" statements she made on TV talk shows, including a statement that she wanted people to not have sex before marriage.
How exactly is this unusual?
O'Donnell is a Christian, and that sex should be confined to marriage has been widely accepted as Christian doctrine all across church history. What O'Donnell said is not unusual or "memorable" as CBS puts it. Her position is boringly normal across church history.
The CBS article is also shockingly dishonest. O'Donnell never once said that she wanted the entire country to stop having sex. That is just silly - were that to happen the country would collapse within a generation because there would be no more people born. O'Donnell's position is that sex should take place in the proper context, and that teens and young adults are capable of abstaining from sex until marriage.
How exactly would this harm our nation? It has been proven statistically that children born out of wedlock generally are worse off than their counterparts in an intact marriage. Illegitimacy has been strongly linked to poverty and crime - resulting in the need for more government to deal with the problems caused by moral depravity in our culture. What is wrong with saying that situation needs to change?
What is going on here has gone beyond normal political discussions and has become open bigotry against Christians. The elitists at CBS and the Democratic Party think they are exposing O'Donnell as a hick with primitive views, but the fact of the mater is that her views are shared by tens of millions of Christians who will not appreciate having their faith mocked by the mainstream media and the Democratic Party.
This will not help Democrats win even in a state like Delaware.
|Wednesday, September 29, 2010|
The discussion about "extending" the Bush tax cuts beyond this coming January is a worthwhile debate, but the Republicans have made a tactical error by accepting the premise that we will be "extending tax cuts" rather than increasing taxes. When John Boehner appeared on Face the Nation and agreed that he would extend some of the tax cuts even if he could not extend all of them, he made the same mistake.
The reality is that this debate is not about tax cuts.
If we do nothing, then tax rates will increase in January. To call this a "tax cut" simply ignores reality and accepts a false premise. If tax rates stay the same, no one gets a tax cut. If tax rates go up, then people will pay more in taxes. That is what those of us in the reality-based community call a tax increase.
Republicans need to stop talking about "extending tax cuts" because in reality rates will merely stay the same. Republicans have been on offense politically all year long, so there is no reason to punt the ball on this issue. Republican candidates around the nation - and the Republican leadership - need to start challenging Democrats on why they support tax increases scheduled to take effect this January.
In a sluggish economy that saw the unemployment rate go from 7.7% in January 2009 to 10% by the end of the year, we do not need to have a tax increase on anyone. If we increase taxes at this time, we will discourage investment and job creation. Democrats can whine about "tax cuts for the rich" all they want, but it is the people in higher-income brackets (including businesses) who are creating jobs though investment.
Is it a surprise that economic growth has been sluggish with these tax increases on the horizon? It shouldn't be. Stopping scheduled tax increases is a political winner - but Republicans need to start framing it properly.
|Tuesday, September 28, 2010|
Last summer, California Senator "Babs" Boxer offended a lot of people with her dismissal of a general, demanding he call her "Senator" instead of "Ma'am" during a Congressional hearing. Carly Fiorina has a very effective campaign commercial about it. Chuck Devore, who lost in the primary, also had an effective ad along with a hilarious parody comparing "Babs" Boxer to the Dr. Evil character in the Austin Powers movies.
Boxer quickly became emblematic of the arrogance that has caused many Americans to sour on DC. Boxer wasn't satisfied with an all-purpose show of respect for the person you're addressing, depending on the sex of that person. Some Leftists quickly jumped to defend "Babs" by saying her critics are sexist.
And this is why political discourse is often impossible. Instead of directly addressing the "distinguished" Senator's behavior, Leftists immediately attempt to impugn the character of her critics. Is it any wonder that so many Americans are turned off by politics, when political hacks are unable to address the substance of an issue and must instead personally attack their opponents? And no, I'm not blind - conservatives do it too.
Some people say that "respect is earned, not given." I disagree with that statement. In my opinion, it should be the reverse. That said, respect that is given can be lost - and "Babs" Boxer demonstrated last summer that she does not deserve the respect that should come with her office.
"Babs" Boxer was the primary example of inside the beltway arrogance... until Baron Hill declared "This is my town hall meeting" and said "you're not going to tell me how to run my Congressional office." (See here and here.) We can send a message against Washington arrogance by terminating Baron Hill's employment in November.
|Monday, September 27, 2010|
|-------- Original Message --------
|Subject: ||Planned Parenthood's grant request|
|Date:||Fri, 24 Sep 2010 18:47:44 -0400|
|From:||Scott Tibbs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|To:||email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com|
When the social services funding committee met on September 23, the audience was informed that the county has budgeted about $95,000 to give to social service agencies but has approximately $250,000 in requests. For this reason, it is extremely irresponsible to give any of that money to Planned Parenthood for their "Recession Rx" program.
First, let's review Planned Parenthood's immense financial wealth. In their most recent financial report, Planned Parenthood and all of its affiliates reported over one billion dollars in annual revenue ($1,038.1 million) while spending $953.1 million. This left PP with a profit of $85,000,000. The national office alone took in $84.7 million and spent $73.6 million, for a total profit of $11.1 million.
So why is Planned Parenthood requesting over 5% of the total funds you have available, when the need is so great in this community? The answer is simple. Planned Parenthood is seeking a political endorsement from county government. The greed they have for a handout from the taxpayers' wallets is utterly contemptible and is a grave show of disrespect for the social services funding process and the other applicants.
The program they are asking you to fund is an exploitative and morally bankrupt program. Consider part of their application to the Bloomington City Council, which partially funded this project over the summer:
|Indiana and Monroe County rank very near the top of the Guttmacher Institute’s list of underserved areas of contraceptive services and supplies. In Monroe County, it is estimated that 14,930 women between ages of 13 and 44 are in need of publicly-funded contraceptives.|
Why would 13 year old girls be "in need of publicly-funded contraceptives?" It is illegal for anyone to have sex with a 13 year old. Monroe County taxpayers do not need to be funding birth control for underage girls so that their abusers can cover up the abuse. Monroe County taxpayers need to be funding law enforcement efforts to capture and lock up sexual predators.
We should not forget that it was only two years ago that a Bloomington Planned Parenthood employee was caught on tape trying to help what that employee believed to be a 13 year old girl cover up sexual abuse by a 31 year old man. If you fund this program, you are funding the sexual abuse of children and you are unworthy of the trust the voters have placed in you.
There is no reason that the money Planned Parenthood is requesting cannot instead be used by the county Health Department's Futures Family Planning Clinic, to provide health care to people who need it. I urge you to deny this cynical and disrespectful politically-motivated request for corporate welfare by a billion-dollar corporation.
Resident of Monroe County Council District II
|Wednesday, September 22, 2010|
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. -- 1 Corinthians 6:11
There is a tempest in a teapot surrounding Christine O'Donnell's admission in 1999 that she "dabbled into witchcraft" in high school and dated someone involved in the occult. Karl Rove, bitter about his candidate's stunning defeat last week, whined on Fox News Sunday that "churchgoing people" are "going to want to know what that is all about."
Let me tell you what this is about. It is about the exact same thing that every single Christian has done before accepting Jesus Christ as savior. Some have been involved in the occult, some have slandered others, some have been addicted to pornography, some have stolen, some have committed adultery, and some have even committed murder. The only thing that "churchgoing people" should need to know is whether O'Donnell has repented of this wickedness. There is every indication that she has.
If she has, it is sinful for "churchgoing people" to hold her foolishness from her high school days against her more than 20 years later. This is in direct conflict with the commandments of Jesus Christ about forgiveness. If bitter Karl is going to play the religion card, he should at least pick up a Bible and try to understand what it says - and perhaps explain his own divorce last December. After all, Jesus condemned divorce in strong terms during His ministry.
This whole "controversy" is meaningless nonsense. It is designed to splinter off some of O'Donnell's Christian conservative supporters and to smear her as a hypocrite. The Republican establishment claims O'Donnell cannot win, but if that is the case, why is the Left (including country club "Republicans") attacking her so vigorously? Are they afraid of debating the issues? Even O'Donnell's Democratic opponent Chris Coons, who once described himself as a "bearded Marxist," is now claiming that he is a fiscal conservative. What a joke.
|Monday, September 20, 2010|
In the aftermath of Christine O'Donnell winning the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Rush Limbaugh had this to say about the Republican Party establishment:
|And here's the bottom line, folks. When they told us we had to support all these people if they won we did. When Specter won, we got in line. We were loyal. OK, the party, the party. We supported somebody that opposed Specter, but Specter wins. We got in line. Now look at the petulant attitude. These people, "Well, screw you. Christine O'Donnell wins, she's on her own. You're on you're own. (incomprehensible whining.)" So it's always a one way street.|
What the party establishment does not get about ideologically conservative voters is that we are not "party people" who are involved in politics because we want to advance the interests of a social clique. I am involved in politics because of my commitment to the conservative principles of limited government, individual liberty and (above all else) preservation of innocent human life. It does us no good to elect a "Republican" if that "Republican" supports more government, higher taxes, and the culture of death.
Leading up to the election, supporters of Mike Castle had argued he was more likely to win, and it was important to have a Republican majority even if Castle voted against the GOP on key issues. They argued that Republican control of committee chairmanships was important. Limbaugh took issue with this, saying it does little good to have a Republican majority if we have several Leftists who will vote with Democrats.
If we accept the premise that Castle would have been a better candidate in the general election, his supporters would have a strong argument for choosing him... if this was a U.S. House race instead of a U.S. Senate race. Individual senators have much more power than individual representatives do, and committee chairmanships carry more power in the House. This is why it does little good for people to elect self proclaimed "conservative" or "pro life" Democrats such as Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly, both of whom voted for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.
The same phenomenon exists in the Indiana House as well, where voters in the heavily-Republican 60th state legislative district have elected and re-elected Peggy Welch every other year since 1998. Her nanny-state leanings aside, Welch has been a consistent socially conservative vote in the legislature - but that does little good when she is voting for Pat Bauer for Speaker of the House and giving Democrats control of committee chairmanships.
In the U.S. Senate, though, it is much more important to elect ideological conservatives rather than a RINO like Castle. Voters in Delaware told the Republican Party establishment to shove it and voted for O'Donnell. The party establishment should learn from this, but they will not.
Follow O'Donnell on Facebook and Twitter.
|Friday, September 17, 2010|
On Tuesday evening, the Monroe County Election Board rejected satellite voting sites for the third time. The Republican appointee admitted that the rejection of the sites was political, saying "I think behind it is Baron Hill. I think he wants all those extra votes." She echoed the statement of Monroe County GOP chairman Les Compton.
The Democrats knew the sites would not be approved because the Republican appointee is intent on blocking the proposal, so the only purpose of bringing it forward is to embarrass the Republican Party - and it is working like a charm. The Democrats laid a trap and the Monroe County GOP walked right into it.
I cannot figure out why local Republicans are determined to take this stand. We are going to win the U.S. House of Representatives in November, which will hopefully include electing a Republican to replace Baron Hill. We might win the U.S. Senate. Barack Obama's approval ratings are in free fall. The Bloomington City Council punched a hornet's nest over the summer with the boycott of Arizona. (And it is a boycott, despite the lies the city has told about it.)
For the first time since 2002 (when the GOP won 3 of 4 county council seats, unseated an incumbent county commissioner and caused the Mayor of Bloomington to lose his own county in the secretary of state race) we have a national tide at our backs. Why are we putting that in danger by needlessly antagonizing Democrats, students and IU employees?
We were smashed in the 2004, 2006 and 2008 county elections, and it has been getting progressively worse. This year is the first year we have a shot at a good election since 2002. But the Republican Party is determined to tick people off before the election. This is going to cost us votes. Yes, the satellite sites will benefit Democrats but what we're doing is far more destructive.
Plus, how in the world are we going to get students to vote for Republican candidates if we are telling them we don't want them to vote at all? In some of the city council races - especially Steve Volan's 6th district and David Rollo's 4th District - we need student votes to have a shot at winning. If this carries over into 2011, it may even cause Brad Wisler to lose. Remember, he won by only 4 votes in 2007. Wisler is by far the best city councilor Bloomington has had since I moved here in 1993 and it will be devastating if he loses.
Why are we motivating students to vote for Democrats by making it more difficult for them to vote? Were students motivated at all by this election? What Republicans should be doing is using Obamanomics to motivate students. After a trillion-dollar failed "economic stimulus" package, steep tax increases on the horizon in January, and the increased government regulations of ObamaCare, it will be that much more difficult for students to find a job when they graduate. The Republican message should be "vote for us so we can fix this and create a climate that encourages economic growth.
This was just plain stupid. We have other battles we should be fighting - battles that are politically favorable to Republicans. This decision should be reversed.
|Thursday, September 16, 2010|
Printed in the Herald-Times, September 13, 2010
To the Editor:
In 2008, 24 percent of fire runs by the Bloomington Township Fire Department were to Benton Township and 19 percent of fire runs were to Washington Township, according to the annual report posted on the fire department's Web site.
Benton Township gave $46,400 to Bloomington Township for fire protection in 2008. Washington Township gave $53,300 to Bloomington Township for fire protection in 2008. The budget for the fire department's fire fund for 2008 was $1.276 million, according to township trustee Linda Sievers. Clearly, the payments by Washington and Benton townships are not covering the costs to Bloomington Township.
Recognizing that smaller townships need fire protection, it is nonetheless a problem that taxpayers in Bloomington Township are heavily subsidizing fire protection for neighboring townships.
This raises some questions. Could Washington and Benton townships afford to pay more for fire protection? How much is reasonable? Would it be advisable to consider a county-wide fire fund so that some townships are not subsidizing others?
The township trustee and the township board are up for election in 2010. The board and the trustee candidates should consider this issue and make a public statement to the voters.
|Wednesday, September 15, 2010|
Last Friday on MSNBC, Pat Buchanan had this to say about the aborted Koran-burning in Florida:
|If the pastor has not by tomorrow, Saturday, September 11th, if he has not stood down frankly I would have U.S. marshals or the FBI arrest him and take him into custody and pick up those Korans and make sure this went through the weekend without going forward.|
Why does Pat Buchanan hate America?
Barack Obama has absolutely no Constitutional authority to prevent this pastor from burning the Koran or any other book, provided the book is his property or he has permission from the owner to destroy it. If Obama were to act as Buchanan suggested, then Obama should be impeached.
Once we set a precedent that the government can arrest someone and preemptively infringe on his free speech rights, we have effectively lit a match to the First Amendment. After all, if this is "dangerous" can a little-read blog in Indiana be censored by the federal government for an article about Biblical doctrine? Can the government send a SWAT team to forcibly remove a pastor before he preaches about the heresies of Islam?
What happened to us, America? Nine years ago, we were ready to mercilessly slaughter the war criminals who perpetrated the terrorist attacks on September 11. Now, we live in unholy terror of Islamic Rage Boy:
Last Week, Michelle Malkin documented The eternal flame of Muslim outrage, from hysterical temper tantrums and death threats over things as innocent as line drawings of an ice cream cone to the more famous cartoons of the Muslim "prophet" Mohammed a few years ago.
How much responsibility does the media have here? Were it not for significant media coverage, no one would know (or care) that a small church in Florida was burning a book. Why not condemn MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News (and so on) for publicizing it? The media clearly gave this much more time on air and in print than was necessary. It's a small Florida church burning a book. Whoop de diddly do.
The double standards here should be obvious. The Florida pastor is to blame for "spreading hate" but the news media is not to blame for amplifying his message a billion fold? If people are going to attack the pastor for presenting a "danger" to the troops, then the media deserves more criticism - and Pat Buchanan is a hypocrite for participating in a discussion about it on MSNBC.
This is exactly what the Muslim terrorists want, folks. This is the entire purpose of terrorism: to terrorize people so they will do what you want. Muslim terrorists want us to give up our freedoms and prostrate ourselves for them. Nine years after September 11, we have completely forgotten why we can never give in to these people. Like Nazi Germany after the Sudetenland, Muslim terrorists will never be satisfied.
Earlier post: "International burn a Koran day"
|Tuesday, September 14, 2010|
It is a common practice of liberal "christians" to spread hatred with a statement that pretends to be based on "tolerance" and "love" for Muslims. The statement in question is a lie that is designed to damn souls to Hell. The statement is that "Christians and Muslims pray to the same one God."
No, we do not, because of one critical distinction between Christianity and Islam. Muslims explicitly deny the divinity of Jesus Christ. Christian doctrine holds that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and is equal with God. (Philippians 2:5-11) The God of Abraham is the same God who died on the cross for our sins.
Because Muslims explicitly deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, Islam is just one more false religion in a long line of false religions, from Cannanite "gods" such as Moloch to the Greek and Roman pantheons and cults like Jehovah's Witnesses today. All of these have one thing in common: they constitute demon worship. (See 1 Corinthians 10:20-21.)
Am I wrong about the exclusivity of Christian doctrine? If so, I invite anyone to show me from the Bible where I am wrong. Until then, as Martin Luther said: Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me.
A typically childish response would be that there is "nothing is Scripture regarding Islam." How silly. There is nothing in Scripture about worshiping your own feces either, but it is still idolatry - and idolatry is explicitly condemned throughout scripture. God does not need to explicitly list every single possible false religion throughout time for us to "get it."
The reason Christians must make this distinction is because Scripture is very clear that Jesus Christ is the only path to salvation. In John 14:6, Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." In Acts 4:12, we learn that "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." When liberal "christians" lie about Biblical doctrine and say that Muslims worship the same God we do, those "christians" are damning Muslims to Hell. The eternal destination of souls is at stake here.
|Monday, September 13, 2010|
ClearNote Press recently published its first book, a Man vs. Lust by David Canfield. (ISBN 978-0-9843514-0-4) David is an elder at Church of the Good Shepherd in Bloomington, Indiana. This book is a quick read at 68 pages, but it is a must read for any man - especially for teenagers and men in their 20's.
Any single Christian man should pay attention to chapter four. Canfield addresses a common error in perspective: the question of "how far" a man can go with his girlfriend before it becomes sin. As Dave points out, this type of question - sadly typical of how far too many Christians view our lives - completely misses the point. The question is not how close to the boundary you can get. The question is how a Believer best honors Jesus Christ.
The reason this book is important is because sexual immorality is so rampant in today's culture. Advertisers use sex to sell everything, from soft drinks and hamburgers to automobiles and clothes. Hard core pornography is available to anyone with a connection to the Internet, and even high school students are producing amateur porn by sending explicit photos to each other's cell phones. Our society is saturated with Satan's perversion of God's gift of sex.
When this excellent book becomes publicly available, I will post a link.
|Friday, September 10, 2010|
I am taking a class this semester for fun, to learn about a subject that interests me. When I got home from class on Labor Day, I found chewing gum attached to my pants, which had rubbed off from the seat in the lecture hall.
If you are a student at Indiana University, you are a legal adult and you should be mature enough to take care of yourself. This is not seventh grade, or even high school. You are more than old enough to know better than to stick your gum onto your chair. It is a disgusting, immature and completely selfish thing to do. You should be ashamed of yourself.
I should not have to point this out. IU students are legal adults and should know better than this. Most of them are. Some are not. If you are not enough of an adult to know you should not stick your chewing gum to the bottom of your chair, you are not enough of an adult to attend classes at a research institution such as IU.
You should drop out, go home and come back after you grow up. We don't want your kind here.
|Wednesday, September 8, 2010|
A church in Florida is planning to burn a Koran for the ninth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
First, let's be perfectly clear. Islam is a false religion and Christians should be proclaiming that. However, I do not agree with this for the same reason I disagree with the "war on Christmas" nonsense we see every December. The point is not to witness or proclaim theological truth, the point is to say "F*** You" to Muslims. That's not productive or godly.
That said, I do not agree with the statement of General David Petraeus that "It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan."
Is it provocative? Yes. Will it anger Muslims? Yes.
But I don't buy the argument that it is dangerous. We live in a society that allows free speech, offensive as that speech may be. Muslim terrorists want to force their perverted false religion on everyone else. The only people responsible for the attacks of Muslim terrorists on US troops are the Muslim terrorists themselves.
And really, if your faith in your so-called "god" is so fragile that you can't handle people on the other side of the planet burning a copy of your "holy book" then you need to examine yourself instead of throwing tantrums like a petulant two year old. Intimidation, violence, murder and terrorism are not legitimate tools of theological discourse.
If someone is going to burn a Bible, you will not see me (or 99% of Christians) waging a holy war, murdering as many innocent people as possible or committing acts of terrorism in response. We may be offended, and we may protest and passionately express our views, but we are not going to kill people over it. Those who do respond in this way do not deserve to have their "demands" taken seriously.
|Tuesday, September 7, 2010|
While I am not a Libertarian, I find there is a lot to like about the Libertarian Party. Most of my votes go to Republican candidates, but I have voted for Libertarian candidates in the past and will probably do so again. The Libertarian Party's consistent advocacy for limited government is laudable.
I agree with the LP's stance that marijuana should be decriminalized, and I am convinced the "War on Drugs" has spiraled out of control. That said, decriminalization is not a political winner, and those who support decriminalization need to be careful that it does not become a defining issue for them. If decriminalization is the defining issue for a candidate, he is marginalized. This applies in spades to political parties.
This is why I think the LP's focus on decriminalizing marijuana is counterproductive. Like I said before, there are a lot of things to like about the Libertarian Party, but spending too much time talking about marijuana makes people think of the LP as "the party of dope." If you were to ask most people to name one thing they know about the Libertarian Party's platform, "they want to legalize marijuana" would probably be the first answer most people give.
In the spring of 2001, Ann Coulter came to speak at Indiana University and she was asked about reports she considered running for Congress. She explained that she had spoken with the Libertarian Party in her state and they insisted that she make decriminalizing marijuana her top issue. She eventually became frustrated with the single issue focus and described the Libertarians as "a bunch of Trekkies living in their parents' basements."
Despite being seen as "the party of dope," Libertarians don't get it. Two weeks ago they sent a press release and an e-mail alert whining because Facebook rejected an ad that touts the LP as "the only political party advocating complete legalization of marijuana." The rejected ad puts an exclamation point on the "party of dope" label by placing the Libertarian Party's logo over a marijuana leaf. Classy.
If the Libertarian party wants to be taken seriously, they need to stop encouraging and emphasizing the "party of dope" label that is marginalizing the party. Obviously, the self-described "party of principle" should not back down from its stand on the issue, but making it a focal point of the party platform does little to make the Libertarians seem like a serious player on the national stage or help Libertarians get elected.
|Friday, September 3, 2010|
I've seen political figures say and do some stupid things over the years, but this takes the cake:
|Monroe County GOP Party Chairman Les Compton said he stands behind election board member Judith Smith-Ille — who has opposed opening any satellite voting sites for this fall’s election — and said anyone he appoints to the county election board in the future will not support such sites.
Compton said Wednesday he believes several Republican candidates lost races in 2008 due to heavy Democratic voter turnout at satellite sites in Ellettsville, on the city’s south side and on the Indiana University campus, most particularly on campus.
"In the general election of 2008, satellite voting accounted for 4,486 votes," he said in a letter stating his position. "Over 50 percent of those votes were cast on campus. Although there is no accurate way to measure the impact of satellite voting, I believe that it is safe to assume that the Democrats garnered a distinct advantage from it."
Even if that is your reasoning for opposing the satellite voting sites, you should never say that to the newspaper! This was not a case of Compton saying something stupid in an interview with the newspaper. It was a calculated, intentional statement in a letter that Compton wrote stating his position. The Monroe County Republican party is now on record that voting should be more difficult because it benefits Republicans.
Republicans have done a horrible job reaching out to the student vote the last few elections. Compton's foolishness just made it that much harder. How can Republicans expect students to vote for Republican candidates when we are basically telling them that we do not want them to vote at all? There was a time when Republicans aggressively courted the student vote, and Democrats were very worried about it in the 1995 and 2003 city elections.
One of the Republican Party's biggest advantages nationally is that Republican voters are much more enthusiastic about the election than Democratic voters are. Monroe County Republicans took a beating in 2004, 2006 and 2008 for a number of reasons, not the least of which was a heavily motivated Democratic voting base. The Republican Party chairman should not be giving Democratic voters a reason to be motivated. This will hurt Republican candidates up and down the ticket, and is especially unwelcome in the critical Ninth District Congressional race.
Back in July, Compton threw the Republican Party under the bus with an anti-factual rant about how Republicans couldn't fill the ticket. Republicans actually have done very well in filling the ticket this year. When you combine that foolishness with his latest gaffe, it is time for Compton to go. If he will not resign as chairman, he should be removed.
|Thursday, September 2, 2010|
|(Defense Secretary Robert) Gates visited one of the U.S. military's new advisory brigades in Ramadi, which is in the heart of Anbar province — the cradle of the Sunni insurgency against the initial U.S. occupation.
He said history will judge whether the fight was worth it for the United States.
"The problem with this war, I think, for many Americans, is that the premise on which we justified going to war turned out not to be valid," he said. "Even if the outcome is a good one from the standpoint of the United States, it'll always be clouded by how it began."
Two and a half years ago, I came to the conclusion that the war in Iraq was a bad idea from the beginning and supported a drawdown of American military engagement in a way that would ensure the future stability of Iraq. This is one of the few areas where I agree with President Obama.
That said, it is not at all helpful for U.S. soldiers to have the Secretary of Defense talking about how the premise of the war was invalid and that the war (and by extension the soldiers' sacrifice) will be "clouded" by that. I imagine it only serves to demoralize the troops. It is one thing for elected officials and the general public to debate the justification for the war in Iraq, but Gates should know better. This was not a time for political statements.
Even President Obama was gracious to his predecessor in his speech announcing the end of combat operations in Iraq. Gates cheapened himself with political remarks taking a shot at his former boss. Gates should be reprimanded and told that if he wants to make policy pronouncements, he should do so as a private citizen.
|Wednesday, September 1, 2010|
USA Today blogger Cathy Lynn Grossman quotes someone arguing that an evangelical pastor should say: "Barack Obama says he's a Christian, he's a Christian, end of story."
Any pastor who takes that position about anyone should be removed from the pulpit.
A pastor's job is to be a shepherd for his congregation and watch over their souls. If someone acts in such a way as to create serious questions about whether he is actually a Christian, then the pastor's job is to rebuke and encourage for the sake of the lost soul, not simply ignore evidence of serious spiritual problems.
Let's use the hypothetical example of Bubba, who attends Church X. Bubba has been married three times and is now divorced. He gave his third wife a STD from one of the many, many prostitutes he patronizes on a regular basis. He gets blasted drunk every weekend. He has been known to beat his wife and children. He spent a couple years in prison because he embezzled money from his employer. He is unrepentant about all of it.
Should Bubba's pastor express concern about the state of Bubba's soul? Bubba says that one day in Sunday School when he was 10 years old, he prayed "The Sinner's Prayer."
Bubba says he's a Christian, he's a Christian, end of story?
Hell no. And I mean that literally.
We are encouraged to test ourselves to see of we are in the faith:
Holding on to grievous sins in an unrepentant manner is evidence that the person who claims to be a Christian may have never been a Christian.
|Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? -- 2 Corinthians 13:5
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: -- 2 Peter 1:10
Now, does this mean Christians will not sin? Of course not. Christians continue to sin even after we are redeemed. As it has been said, justification is a one time act, but sanctification does not end until death. Any pastor worth his salt will admit from the pulpit that he is a sinner, and continues to sin. But a Christian who struggles with and grieves over his sin is different from the pagan who hangs onto his sin and has no conscience about it.
Jesus warns us that some who claim to be Believers are not Believers at all, and will face a shock at the final judgment:
Jesus further explains that we will know people by their fruit:
|Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? -- Matthew 7:21-22|
|For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. -- Luke 6:43-45|
Pastors, who are called by God and set apart by the laying on of hands to teach, reproof, rebuke, counsel, encourage, preach and evangelize, bear a special burden to examine the fruits of their congregation and intervene if necessary to preserve and protect the flock he is called to lead. It is an abandonment of a pastor's sacred calling to dismiss evidence that concern is necessary simply because someone claims to be a Christian.