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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My enemies are liars

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

I have always condemned political violence. My enemies are liars.

Monday, February 27, 2017

My enemies continue to lie about me

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

I have always condemned political violence. I have a very long and very well-documented track record of condemning political violence generally, and anti-abortion violence specifically. Therefore, the charge that I am a "hypocrite" for condemning violent Leftist radicals for rioting and destroying property is utterly absurd. These charges in the comments for my letter to the editor are totally false, and my enemies know it.

And let's be clear: My enemies are liars. This is not a case where my views are not well known or where my views are unclear or contradictory. I have been very clear in public for two decades now that anti-abortion violence is wrong, so those pretending I have not condemned anti-abortion violence are liars. This is not debatable. There is absolutely no question about this, and every single person who pretends otherwise is a liar.

Some have suggested I "police" anti-abortion activists. That is absurd. I am not a police officer nor have I ever been given any authority by the civil magistrate to go after people who commit crimes. My authority extends to making my position against anti-abortion violence clear, which I have done repeatedly for twenty years. My only authority is to call for lawful, peaceful actions to end the evil of abortion. Beyond that, I am not responsible for the behavior of legal adults. I am responsible for my own behavior and the behavior of my children, not of any other adult person.

Finally, the fact that I defend someone's right to free speech does not mean I agree with everything that person is saying. That is not only intellectually dishonest, it is just plain stupid. It is evidence that my enemies are acting based on feelings and with no logical thought whatsoever. We should be above such childish arguments, but obviously my enemies are not.

Comment on Facebook

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 10:50 AM (#)

If you argue that banning blacks from using "white" water fountains is the same as banning men from women's restrooms, you are an idiot.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Waah!! Waah!! He did it tooooooo!! He did it tooooooo!!

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

From 2009 to 2016, I had to say this (or a variation of this) repeatedly: "Barack Obama is the President, and Obama alone is responsible for his decisions." Now let me rephrase it: "Donald Trump is the President, and Trump alone is responsible for his decisions."

Within a month of Obama's inauguration, it was already incredibly tiresome to see Obama and his enablers point back to George W. Bush and whine like little children. It is even more tiresome to see conservatives adopt the exact same pathetic, childish excuses that Obama had been using (and that we roundly mocked him for using) for eight years. It is pathetic and needs to stop. Grow up. All of you. Grow up.

If what Trump is doing on policy is good, defend those policies on their merits. If the rhetoric Donald Trump uses is good, defend what he says on its merits. Do not whine that Obama did the same thing. It was childish when Obama and his enablers whined and pointed at George W. Bush for the entire eight years he was President, and it is childish now that Trump and his enablers are doing the same thing. Stop it.

Folks, this is literally the same behavior I am trying to train my children to avoid. I often say something like this: "It does not matter what your brother does or does not do. Do not worry about your brother. Worry about yourself." What kind of example are our national leaders setting for children and young people?

Comment on Facebook

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Safe Spaces" and "check your privilege"

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

I have often maligned political correctness, and I have been especially critical of the concept of "safe spaces" from ideas and opinions one does not like. I also have little use for the "check your privilege" meme. That said, I am going to defend the concept of both "safe spaces" and "check your privilege" here, while disagreeing with the way they are implemented by Leftists.

First, "safe spaces" is one that is easy to defend as a general concept. Everyone has a "safe space" in his life. For example, my home is a safe space. I expect to take a great deal of criticism out in the world for my political activism, and in fact I often thrive on it. But if someone is in my home and insults me, they will be expected to be respectful or they will be asked to leave. Even conservatives who attack "safe spaces" most harshly will demand respect in their own homes. If we attend a Bible-believing church, we expect that church will be a "safe space" from heresy and false religions.

Obviously, the way Leftists on college campuses implement "safe spaces" is absurd. I am not defending the implementation of that concept by the Left. I am merely pointing out that we all have "safe spaces."

"Check your privilege" is problematic, but there is some merit to the concept. Growing up as a middle class white man, I may not fully understand the perspective of someone who has a vastly different background. It is often useful to consider why someone who has a vastly different life experience has a different perspective. It may not change the way I think about something, but it never hurts to have more information or to consider other world views when forming your opinion on an issue.

Where "check your privilege" fails, obviously, is when it is used to justify moral relativism or to engage in utterly silly forms of censorship. There are certain moral standards that should be universal no matter someone's background, and "privilege" does not change the applicability of that standard. Furthermore, the value of free speech does not change because one person has "privilege" that another person does not have.

So what is the point? The point is that there are many times we need to re-examine what we think, and we may find we have more common ground than we thought we did.

Comment on Facebook

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rioting Leftists bring victory to Donald Trump

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:30 PM (#)

Printed in the Herald-Times, February 20, 2017

To the Editor:

If violent Leftist radicals want Donald Trump to be re-elected as President in 2020, then by all means continue rioting, burning things down, breaking windows and assaulting people. America has had enough of this behavior, which never convinces anyone and turns many people against your cause.

The display on February 1 in Berkeley, California was utterly shameful. Milo Yiannopoulos was not allowed to speak because deranged Leftists were rioting, smashing windows and setting fires. (Yiannopoulos is an openly homosexual Jew. So much for the Left's alleged respect for diversity.)

This sort of heckler's veto should never be tolerated, and it was refreshing to see President Trump threaten to pull federal funding from the university for allowing this violent censorship.

We have not been spared locally either, as Leftist radicals vandalized buildings and smashed windows in protest of the legitimately elected President of these United States.

I was pleased to see greatly outnumbered Leftists peacefully protesting the Rally for Life last month. We can be civil and express our viewpoints in a peaceful way. This is how protest should work.

But our city government (starting with Mayor Hamilton) should have zero tolerance for those who use violence to accomplish political goals.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Two-faced hypocrites attack Republicans serving the poor

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

It is rather absurd that Leftists see Nazis around every corner, and one of the more silly examples is an accusation in a recent letter to the editor that the Monroe County Republican Party's "red shirt" group reminds the author of Nazi Brownshirts. (The Brownshirts were thugs that preceded the Nazi regime and were notoriously violent.) The Monroe GOP "red shirts" are a group started earlier this year that volunteers with various social service agencies to help the poor and those in need.

My main concern with the name "red shirts" is that everyone stay far away from the Starship Enterprise. We all know what happens to people who wear red shirts on the Enterprise. Also, I just hope I was not unwittingly a member of a group of neo-Nazi thugs when I wore my red shirt while working at Kroger years ago. If the employees in red shorts (or grey, or blue) are modeled after Nazi brownshirts, I wonder what the Service employees International Union is, then. Would the SEIU be the SS?

Seriously, folks... Is this actually an objection? Is this a serious criticism?

Do people believe this foolishness? Really?

Come on, people. There is no historical context to understand and there is no education needed regarding "red shirt" volunteers here in Monroe County. It is an absurd leap to equate a group organized to serve people in need to thugs and criminals who terrorized people to advance a political agenda. This is one of the biggest reasons Donald Trump won, because people are fed up with this politically correct nonsense from pathetic crybabies who are perpetually "offended" every minute of the day. Grow up and get over yourself.

When you cannot even volunteer your time and money to serve the poor without being equated to Nazi thugs in Weimar Germany, political correctness is totally out of control and *should* be mocked and ridiculed for the foolishness it is. The Leftists attacking the Monroe GOP cannot be taken seriously and should not be engaged in a serious discussion. I truly do not care about your feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings, because your feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings are not based in reality.

By the way, the hypocrisy in these defamatory attacks is astonishing. I have heard for decades that Republicans do not care about the poor. When local Republicans step up to serve those in need by volunteering their time and money, they are literally smeared as Nazis. This destroys the credibility of the people making the attacks. Finally, given the Leftist "punch a Nazi" memes going around, can we expect to see Republicans volunteering at local social service agencies be the subject of violence and terrorism from deranged Leftists?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Omar Abdel-Rahman is dead!

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:00 AM (#)

Omar Abdel-Rahman is currently suffering in horrible burning agony in Hell fire, where he will continue to suffer in horrible burning agony for all eternity.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Another step toward a police state?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Note: I originally wrote this in 2009, but I am re-posting it because this terrible law is being considered again.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Senate Bills 237 and 24 - moving toward a police state?
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 07:42:28 -0500
From: Scott Tibbs <tibbs1973@yahoo.com>
To: H60@IN.gov, H61@IN.gov, H65@IN.gov, S44@IN.gov, S40@IN.gov

Representatives Welch, Pierce and Koch, and Senators Steele and Simpson,

I am writing to express my concern about and opposition to two pieces of legislation currently before the Indiana State Senate. Senate Bill 237 would require "all persons arrested after June 30, 2009, to submit a DNA sample." Senate Bill 24 would require "all persons arrested for a felony after June 30, 2009, to submit a DNA sample."

I have deep concerns about the government collecting and maintaining a DNA database for people arrested for a crime. If SB 237 and SB 24 only dealt with people convicted of a crime, it would be enough of a concern, though I can see the usefulness of keeping this kind of data on some criminals, especially convicted sex offenders. This would be a worthwhile discussion if that were the case, though there would still be concerns. But why should someone arrested for a crime that he/she may or may not have committed be required to submit a DNA sample?

SB 24 "provides for the expungement of a DNA sample" if the person arrested is acquitted, if the conviction is reversed, or if the case is dismissed. So why not require a DNA sample upon conviction of a crime instead? Why should everyone arrested for a felony be subject to DNA profiling when the data will only be kept on those convicted? In these lean economic times, why should government be spending money to collect and then dispose of DNA samples from people who are arrested but not convicted?

DNA evidence can be very useful for the criminal justice system, leading to the conviction of those responsible for crimes but also leading to the exoneration of people who have committed no crime. My concern is that legislation like this moves Indiana a little bit closer to being a police state, something that is anathema to a system of government founded on individual liberty and limitations on government power. I urge you to vote "no" on SB 237 and SB 24, and to do whatever you can to prevent them from becoming law.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Republicans should not defend everything Trump says

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:05 AM (#)

Jonah Goldberg makes a good point that conservatives should not defend everything Donald Trump does and says. He is right. We are a political party, not a cult. Trump is the President, not our Messiah. To the extent we treat Trump as Messiah instead of as President, we betray everything this great nation was founded to be.

On broad policy matters, Trump has done well, conservatives are mostly pleased with him (I certainly have been) and conservatives can defend him in good conscience. When he goes off the rails, behaves in a childish and petulant manner, or is dishonest, it is difficult to defend him - and we should not defend him. The reason Trump feels empowered to behave childishly is because he has too many people defending him for every single thing he does, treating him like the Branch Davidians treated David Koresh.

This is not conservatism. This is wicked idolatry and those doing it must repent.

Now, to a certain extent, I like Trump's style. I was thrilled when he threatened to take away federal funds from UC Berkeley after they bowed to violent radicals who were rioting in response to a homosexual Jewish immigrant being allowed to speak on campus. I cannot imagine Mitt Romney, john McCain, George W. Bush or Bob Dole having the intestinal fortitude to eschew establishment norms and take it to the Left the way Trump did. Trump is notoriously thin-skinned, but he is a counter-puncher and millions upon millions of conservatives have been longing for a counter-puncher for decades.

The problem is that Trump is undisciplined and unfocused. If he would channel his personality in a more productive way, it would be easier to defend him, and he will pick up many more defenders. Instead of smacking everyone, be a little more restrained and save your fire for when it will be more productive. Conservatives already like what he is doing on policy, broadly speaking. I want to defend him more often, but I refuse to defend childish and petulant tantrums, especially from someone who occupies an office that needs a steady hand and a mature temperament. I want Trump to be that kind of leader, and I believe he can be. The question is whether he wants to be that kind of leader.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The limits of electronic speech

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:56 PM (#)

I saw this on Facebook and could not agree more:

"Emoticons and emojis are reminders of how important body language is in communication. They are also reminders of the inherent superiority of face-to-face communication."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

No, federal employees should not be "at will"

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

One of the things President Trump wants to change is to make federal government employees easier to fire. Clearly reform is needed, to make it easier to remove federal employees who are incompetent, lazy, insubordinate or otherwise poor employees. The most egregious examples are things like federal employees watching porn at work instead of working, and are very difficult to terminate despite this behavior. But here is the problem: Extreme cases make bad law, and making all federal employees "at will" goes too far in the other direction.

Having all federal employees be "at will" in 1917 would have been more feasible, but the federal government is called a leviathan for a reason. Government is simply too big for large-scale changes when a new administration takes office, which is what would happen if all employees served at the pleasure of the President. It would be extremely disruptive, would reduce services to the taxpayers, and would demoralize employees. It would incentivize abuse of power, as well as putting in unqualified employees to replace the qualified employees that are fired on an "at will" basis.

Furthermore, government should have fewer rights than private employers. If a private employer does not like someone's political opinions, that employer is free to remove that worker. The federal government is bound by the First Amendment to not punish employees' political speech. There is more leeway when dealing with employees than the general public, obviously, if an employee is being disruptive to the work environment. (That can be abused, obviously.) But the reason that we have the protections in place for federal employees is to prevent abuses of power. To the extent that the protections allow bad employees to continue to collect a paycheck, they should be reformed.

We have seen locally the kind of chaos that can result when new elected officials clean house when they take office. That would be magnified many times over if federal employees were "at will" the way city and county employees are. Making massive changes in the structure of federal employment in response to the extreme cases of porn-watching employees is not in the best interest of the taxpayers, the other employees or the interest of an efficient government.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Free speech, freedom of the press and the "rally for choice"

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Since the National Organization for Women held a "rally for choice" on February 11, I decided to attend with a sign showing the reality of "choice" - the remnants of an aborted baby. If you are advocating for "choice," then we should be clear on exactly what you are supporting and exactly what "choice" does.

I had butterflies walking up there. To some extent this because I was vastly outnumbered, but I got over that once I took my position. I was a little concerned that someone would take a swing at me, but thankfully that did not happen. I just stood there silently with my sign. I thought I would be surrounded and censored earlier, but they let me stand there for several minutes before ten people surrounded me to block my sign.

To test their commitment, I moved. They followed me and surrounded me again. When I moved a second time, they followed me and surrounded me again. So I thought it would be useful to document the fact that there was a moving wall, following and surrounding one counter protester with a sign. (There was another man there with a similar sign, who was seated.)

See the videos on Facebook: Part 1 and Part 2

See the videos on YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2

This is where the behavior of the feminists actually surprised me. This was a public rally. It was being covered by the invited news media. It was live-streamed on Facebook by NOW and on Periscope by someone else who was there. So taking video of the moving wall would not be a big deal, right? Wrong! Censorship of free speech was not enough for the pro-abortion crowd. They had to suppress freedom of the press in addition to practicing censorship. My phone was blocked from recording, and when I tried to move it they blocked it again. Non-approved video would not be permitted.

The whole situation was silly. My sign was not a threat to anyone at the rally, and neither am I. For perspective, no one surrounded and censored the signs of people who counter-protested the Rally for Life a month ago. They counter-protested and we held our rally. But because I was exposing the reality of what this rally was organized to support, the feminists had to censor free speech and suppress freedom of the press. It shows that the real intolerance in this debate is on the Left.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Leftists don't believe in free speech

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:30 PM (#)

Leftists don't believe in free speech.

They also don't believe in freedom of the press.

Life is too short to be angry all the time

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Since Donald Trump took office, the level of anger all over social media has been astounding. People are reacting with furious outrage to virtually anything Trump does or says. Trump's own supporters were largely driven by anger themselves, and much of that anger has remained even after he has taken office.

Wassup wit dat?

Here is my advice to everyone raging on social media: Chill out. Calm down. Enjoy life. Relax. In fact, combine chilling out and relaxing, and chillax for a while.

Last year was probably the most frustrating year I have ever experienced in politics, which led me to doing something I have never done before: I unplugged from politics for a month. For the first week of that vacation, I did not even read the news. I needed to unplug, settle down, and find some perspective.

We live in a time where we are more blessed than at any point in human history. We have more leisure time than ever before, better technology than ever before, and even our work is easier. Yet people get so wrapped up and angry about politics that they cannot speak to each other with any kind of civility. We have to blame them for what is wrong with the world, demand they join our outrage, and personally attack them if they refuse.

For the vast majority of us, the world will not suffer if we stop posting, protesting or venting against whatever has us outraged at the moment. Unplug and go paint a picture or take your dog got a walk. It is not worth it to be so angry all the time that you make yourself miserable, or to be so obnoxious that people do not want to interact with you. If it is affecting you that much, walk away for a while. Your stomach lining will thank you.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Protect the innocent and helpless

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:00 AM (#)

Tell the Indiana state legislature to protect innocent unborn babies:

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Nuclear weapons

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

If not for nuclear weapons serving as a deterrent to both sides, we likely would have had a third World War between these United States (and its allies) and the Soviet Union (and its satellites) within a decade of World War II. Nuclear weapons prevented the untold devastation that war would have inflicted.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Nobody believes in tolerance as a virtue

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Nobody on the face of the planet believes that tolerance is in and of itself a virtue, and nobody has ever believed that. Not one single person in human history has ever been perfectly tolerant, and nobody should be perfectly tolerant. We need to reject the meme that tolerance is always good, breaking free of this sophistry to instead think like men and women, not little children.

Instead of extolling the virtues of tolerance itself, we should think about what should be tolerated, and what should not be tolerated. Obviously, things like murder, rape, stealing and terrorism should not be tolerated and even those who advocate for "tolerance" most loudly will agree with that. Christians are expected to not tolerate sin, either in our own lives or in the world around us. So the first distinction we need to make is the difference between a sin and a crime. (For the purpose of this discussion, crimes are the most serious sins. Not all crime is sin, and that is a separate issue to be discussed at a later time.)

A crime harms someone else and must be punished by the civil magistrate. Sin primarily harms the sinner, though it may cause harm to someone else that does not rise to the level the civil magistrate needs to use the sword. Because we are called to love God and His Law, Christians should not "tolerate" things like greed, anger, pride, bitterness or lust. We should rebuke sins, with the hope that either the sinner will come to repentance and faith or that we will have victory over it. But it is not a crime to be greedy, angry, arrogant or lecherous unless the idolatry in a man's heart leads him to commit actual physical crimes.

In fact, sometimes tolerance is objectively evil. When people in positions of authority know terrible crimes are being committed and innocent people are being subjected to horrific acts and then do absolutely nothing to stop it, those in authority are every bit as guilty as the criminal himself. In fact, it could be argued they are actually worse because they refuse to use the authority given to them by Almighty God to protect the widow and the orphan. Tolerance is never admirable when we tolerate helpless innocents being victimized.

We live in a nation that, as a matter of law, tolerates all manner of religions and political ideologies. We live under a constitutional system that does not jail or execute people for their religion or ideology, and that is a good level of tolerance. Christians should then emulate the tolerance in our legal system for those holding heretical or idolatrous religious views, and also tolerate ideologies might find abhorrent. This means we may not harm or persecute people for these reasons. That is why we may not, as the meme goes, "punch a Nazi."

But we are well within our rights to speak against them and try to persuade people to turn away from heresy and idolatry. We are to be intolerant of something that dishonors God, but also being tolerant at the same time within our legal framework. There is not a thick black line where tolerance is universally good or bad.

Obviously, it is impossible to explore every single permutation of when tolerance is good or bad in a blog post. I could write several books on the subject and barely scratch the surface of every possible permutation of this principle. My point is we need to have a broader view and understanding of tolerance and when it is necessary, when it is good and when it is evil. I admit that I am still figuring this out in my own mind. We all are.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Put the bong down: An open letter to PETA

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:20 AM (#)

To the PETA leadership:

I saw your latest publicity stunt, calling for fictional characters in a video game to stop wearing fictional fur. I could be very snarky in my letter to you, but I will instead attempt to engage you seriously.

I believe in animal welfare, which admittedly is not the same as animal rights. I own two dogs and I hate to see animals suffer needlessly. While I will never agree with your animal-rights ideology, I nonetheless recognize that you can serve as a useful advocate for animal welfare. People of all political persuasions can agree that animals should not be treated in a cruel way. Whether we are Republicans or Democrats, and whether we are liberals, conservatives or moderates, this is a pretty universal viewpoint. You can get support on many things you do if you would dial down the sensationalism.

This is why it is so unfortunate to see you behave this way. You have a ton of money and notoriety, and when you pull this stupid clown-shoes nonsense you destroy your credibility. Nobody takes you seriously and nobody has taken you seriously for a very long time. The time you spend on publicity stunts could be spent advocating against dog fighting or advocating for stronger animal cruelty laws in our criminal code. In fact, you could be advocating that if animals must be killed for fur (actual, flesh and blood animals, not fictional characters) they be killed in a much more humane way. This foolishness destroys your credibility on real issues of animal welfare.

Do I really have to explain why you are wrong here, and how you have betrayed the very animals you pretend to care about? If you do not take yoursELF seriously, why should anyone else take your organization seriously?

Not one single animal was ever harmed in the making of a Warhammer video game. Not one single animal will ever be harmed by people making or playing a Warhammer video game. Not only does this publicity stunt do absolutely nothing to help suffering animals, you have taken a number of people who might actually agree with you on protecting real flesh-and-blood animals, but are turned into enemies by this clown-shoes foolishness. It astounds me that anyone would ever support you instead of people who are actually serious about animal welfare or even animal rights.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

No one is opposed to obstructionism

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

One of the most amusing signs I saw in protest of Grassroots Conservatives late last month was one that called the Republican Party the "Grand Obstructionist Party." Apparently the sign-maker is relying on an old meme and forgot that Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress. There will not be any obstructionism by the Republican Party, who will move full steam ahead to implement their agenda. Now, the obstructionists are Democrats determined to thwart President Donald Trump.

Putting aside the obvious and glaring hypocrisy of the same people who whined about "obstructionism" for the last eight years now being the obstructionists, can we put this silly meme to rest once and for all? It is always childish, it is always hypocritical, and it always demonstrates a lack of seriousness in thinking about policy. Nobody on the planet is categorically opposed to obstructionism. No such person exists now, no such person has ever existed and no such person will ever exist.

Here is what we all believe: Policies we support should not be obstructed, and policies we oppose should be obstructed. There are no exceptions. If we believe certain legislation will be beneficial to economic growth, national security, public order, or the interest of justice, we want that legislation to be passed and signed rather than obstructed. If we believe certain legislation will be detrimental to the aforementioned goals, we want that legislation to be obstructed, stopped or reversed. Again, this is universal for everyone who is politically inclined, from the grassroots activists on the Left and Right to the President of these United States.

Let's move beyond the silly sound bites and memes. Let's stop the hypocritical virtue signaling about "obstructionism" and start acting like adults who take this stuff seriously.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Failing in the right direction

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Did Ezra sin by ordering the men of Israel to divorce their pagan wives in Ezra 10? Was he doing the will of God? Did he pick the best from two very bad choices?

To really understand what happened, the context is important. The nation of Israel had been sacked, destroyed and scattered by the evil Assyrian Empire as God's judgment for their idolatry, which included burning their own children to death in sacrifice to demons. The kingdom of Judah was spared for a while, but was eventually judged in the same manner by the Babylonian Empire for the same demon worship that doomed Israel.

So now, after decades in captivity, Judah is returning to the Promised Land to rebuild Jerusalem generally as well as the temple of God. Ezra discovers that the Jews are back to the same demon worship that caused the nation to be destroyed in the first place, and he is apoplectic. He is overcome with grief, anger, and fear over what is being done. He knows that even the great king Solomon was enticed to worship demons by his pagan wives, which is what led to Israel being split in half in the first place. So he comes up with a solution: The marriages would be dissolved.

Now, here is the problem. The Bible does not allow for divorce unless one of the partners has committed adultery. In the absence of serious sexual sin, the marriage may not be dissolved. What is especially relevant here is that the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write that if an unbelieving spouse is content to stay with his Christian wife or her Christian husband, that the Christian should stay in the marriage. If the unbeliever leaves, however, the Christian is not bound. One can imagine that the majority of pagan women in Ezra's time were content to stay with their husbands.

Given the context of the New Testament, I believe that Ezra sinned. I was told many times in my youth that "it is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right." I believe that applies here. The Bible is not clear about whether Ezra was right or wrong in that book, though, and Christians of good faith disagree on this. The context of demon worship and the fact that the mixed marriages were the cause of demon worship is incredibly important in discerning whether Ezra sinned.

Therefore, the worst thing that can be said about Ezra is that he was failing in the right direction. He was desperate to eliminate demon worship and knew the wrath of God could fall on the weak, rebuilding nation of Judah for that demon worship. If the marriages continued, demon worship would continue. (Obviously, God had the power to change the hearts of the men of Judah to eliminate this idolatry, so one could argue that Ezra acted from a lack of faith.) Given two very bad choices, Ezra chose the less bad option.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Submitting to Holy Scripture in our immigration policy

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Note: I sent this open letter to President Donald Trump a week ago.

Dear Mr. President,

I understand you were elected on a platform of more strictly limiting immigration, both from our southern border and internationally. That said, with the executive order you signed on January 27 I would like to remind you of this commandment from God's Word:

  • But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. -- Leviticus 19:34

Obviously, there are details to be worked out and national security considerations that must be addressed. You have a responsibility from God to protect this nation from our enemies. My point here is not the details of immigration policy so much as making sure we remember this principle from Scripture. We can disagree on details - or even have sharp disagreements on what the general policy should be - but as Christians we have to submit to the principle God sets out here.

One of the reasons why I am a bit perplexed by your executive order is that you banned all immigration from Syria and Iraq, where you have admitted that Christians are subjected to horrific persecution by Muslim terrorists. It is strange to outright ban immigration from those nations, after you complained bitterly in the campaign that we are allegedly not doing enough to help Christians persecuted by Muslim terrorists.

We need stronger vetting of immigrants from Muslim-majority nations and we need to protect our national security and our people. A blanket ban of all immigration from seven nations - especially where Christians are being tortured, decapitated and crucified by Muslim terrorists - is an overreaction and is the policy equivalent of smacking a spider with a twenty pound sledgehammer when a newspaper would get the job done.

President Trump, you were granted authority by God to be the President of these United States. The same is true of all of your predecessors. All authority flows from Almighty God and you would have no authority had it not been granted to you by God. Therefore, you have a special responsibility to submit to God's commandments found in Holy Scripture. God will judge you based on your obedience and submission to Him over these next four years. More importantly, He will judge our nation.

I urge you to strongly reconsider these policies and pray for wisdom and discernment from God. Most of all, I urge you to read and study First Corinthians 13 about the importance of love. Your Vice President is a dedicated man of God and will be a great resource to help you discern His will.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Closer to midnight?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:30 AM (#)

If anything, Trump taking office should move us farther away from midnight. Obama was being unnecessarily provocative toward Russia (which remains the only nation with the nuclear stockpile to wipe us off the map) while Trump has a better relationship with Putin. The scientists are just being petulant.

Psalm 11

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:00 AM (#)

In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Shut your mouth and mind your own business

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 10:00 AM (#)

I saw a stupid meme the other day shaming mothers for looking at their phones when picking up their children from school. After all, it is obvious that no mother would ever have a legitimate reason to be looking at their phone when picking up their child from school. Never mind that children do need to be taught to wait and that they do not automatically get attention first. That is one way you learn manners. Also notice that it is never the dad who is publicly shamed like this. Only the mom. I am really tired of this judgmental nonsense.

We have gotten to the point that some people are literally berated in a public parking lot because they strapped their kids into the car, locked the car, and then had the audacity to walk away to return the cart to the cart corral. This is insane. It is none of your business how people deal with their own kids. They are not in danger, they are not being harmed, so why are you berating a frazzled mother who just finished shopping and is trying to make life a little easier for the baggers making minimum wage? Why don't you worry about your own life and shut your mouth?

This kind of utter stupidity is why far too many 20 year old college students are completely incapable of hearing an opinion they disagree with without melting into a puddle and demanding a "safe space" from scary opinions. These precious little snowflakes are raised in bubble wrap by their worthless parents, and if the parents actually have a little bit of common sense they are ripped to shreds and publicly berated and shamed for something so minor as for returning a cart to the cart corral. If they allow their kids to walk to the park - something those of us in Generation X and older got to do with no interference - pathetic busybodies call the police and/or Child Protective Services.

I'll tell you what. You mind your own business and live your life, and let everyone else live their lives without being publicly berated or shamed on social media because they make perfectly safe and moral choices that you would not personally make. Unless there is a crime or actual abuse happening, shut your mouth.

Friday, February 3, 2017

I am pleased with President Donald Trump

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

I am surprised that I am writing this, but I am generally pleased with the first couple weeks of President Donald Trump's administration. I did not vote for him, I did not trust him, and I still do not trust him. He is still a deeply immoral man, filled with pride. I still do not believe he is a legitimate conservative.

But on issue after issue over the last couple weeks, Trump is has been great on policy and has taken consistent conservative positions. (The big exception is free trade, but I expected that.)

His past liberalism aside, I think Trump realizes who his enemies are and who his friends are. He will not appease his enemies by backing down or taking a more moderate approach, but he will annoy or anger his friends. Therefore, Trump is taking a more conservative approach and doubling down on fiscal and social conservatism, from the "global gag rule" de-funding the abortion industry to a federal hiring freeze.

I wish every Republican would learn this lesson. The Democrats will always oppose us, and will never support a Republican unless he renounces his party and joins them. So many Republicans want to "get along" and "cross the aisle" in the name of "bipartisanship" and being liked. It has never worked and will never work, at least at the national level. It is encouraging to see that Trump gets it.

Note, there are still serious problems with the President. Trump still has a scary authoritarian streak that is inconsistent with limited government and conservative principles. I still worry he will crack down on the free press. He is absolutely wrong on torture. Overall, however, I like what I have seen thus far.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Partisan ranting by the tax-funded public library

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Note: This is an open letter to the Monroe County library board.

Members of the Library Board,

I was surprised to discover that I am no longer welcome or wanted in the Monroe County Public Library - the same library funded by my property taxes. The library, which is supposed to be an open place for all, is now a den of hyper-partisanship, and that is sad.

I understand that the signs in your hallway attacking President Donald Trump specifically and Republicans generally were posted by Leftist activists who were protesting the Grassroots Conservatives meeting. That is perfectly acceptable. The library should be a place where all views are welcome, and since Grassroots is holding a public meeting in the library it is appropriate to have opposing views. I am personally glad they are concerned enough to show up and protest, with their signs.

What is absolutely not appropriate is for the library to take sides and endorse one or the other. Once the event was over and people had cleared out, the signs should have been taken down to restore the nonpartisan balance of the library. That was not done. By leaving the signs up, the library is officially endorsing these signs. You are telling Republicans that we are not wanted or welcome in the public library, even though you cannot legally keep us out. The Monroe County Council, Monroe County Commissioners, and MCCSC School Board are implicated as well, since they appoint the Library Board.

This is simply wrong. You are the library for the entire community, not just the Democratic Party. You also serve 20,000 people in Monroe County who voted for President Trump and are forced to support you with their tax dollars. You need to apologize to Republicans, conservatives and Trump voters for supporting and endorsing these hyper-partisan, crude attacks on the President of these United States. You have failed in your mission to serve the entire community, and that is shameful.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Votes for Donald Trump do not justify rioting and terrorism

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

I saw a pretentious Tweet the day that Donald Trump was inaugurated that said "If you voted for the guy who brags about assaulting women, I don't really care what you think about violent protest."

Come on, now. It was not that simple, and even Trump's most dedicated opponents need to recognize that. There were many factors in the 2016 Presidential election, and we should not forget that Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate. A great many people voted for Trump not because they supported him, but because they opposed Clinton. The same was true the other way around. You cannot boil it down to one thing. It oversimplifies a very complicated choice and needlessly throws over 60 million people under the bus.

I have a burning hatred for the "he did it tooooooooo" nonsense that gets thrown about constantly. It abandons principle for taunting. That said, if we are going to use Trump's remarks about grabbing women as a disqualifying standard for Trump's voters then the same standard applies to Clinton's voters. After all, Clinton defended her husband while he was sexually exploiting women, sexually harassing women and mabye even committing rape. Groping is not as bad as rape, in case we are not clear.

Remember, this is not my standard. I am simply applying it evenly.

Furthermore, policy positions matter. Trump voters thought they had a better shot at good policy with him. On issues like trade, immigration, gun control, abortion, taxes and regulation, Republican voters thought they had a much better shot of getting good policy with Trump than with Clinton. Even if Republicans did not trust Trump much, they at least would be listened to with him in the White House. Clinton would be openly hostile and would be aggressively pushing a Leftist agenda.

I did not vote for Donald Trump. I do not judge or condemn those who did, especially considering the alternative. Voting for Trump was a completely reasonable, rational choice and I have many family members and good friends made that choice. They are not racist or misogynist. I am really tired of self righteous Leftists looking down their noses at Trump's voters.

Finally, pretentious Tweets like the one I quoted above fail tests of basic logic. Arguments do not become invalid because of who is making them. That is an ad hominem logical fallacy. Either "violent protest" (also known as rioting) is unacceptable or it is not. The person making the argument is irrelevant to the factual and logical merit of that argument. We need to spend a lot more time thinking and a lot less time feeling.