Conservative Christians Embracing Big Government. So Sad

05/29/2007: Today, Janet Folger has written a column decrying anti-Christian “hate speech” as well as the left’s muted–even approving–reaction to the murder of a Catholic woman who opposed homosexuality, whose assailant murdered her because she spoke against his homosexuality.

While I believe that she is factually correct in the points that she makes, I tend to be a little more cynical in my assessment of the situation.

(1) While the “ding dong Jerry Falwell is dead” crowd is out of order–I come from the old school: you’re not supposed to disparage the dead, and Falwell’s misdeeds hardly merit such acrimony–should any Christian be surprised? That is consistent with the way the world works.

(2) While there was substantial passionate opposition to many of Falwell’s positions–such as abortion and homosexuality–is anyone really surprised? We shouldn’t be: that is consistent with the way the world works. In fact, we should be surprised when “Christian leaders”–like Paul Hill–assassinate abortionists. (Abortionistas are scum, but committing murder in the name of the “pro-life” cause is like advancing pornography to promote abstinence.)

(3) While Folger correctly assesses the hate-crime double standard with respect to the murder case, should any Christian be surprised? After all, that is consistent with the way the world works.

Furthermore, by advancing the case for a “hate crime” in that case–while factually correct–Folger runs the serious risk of advancing an agenda that will lead us down the slope toward totalitarian government.

First-degree murder is first-degree murder. Period. To advance the notion of “hate crimes”–especially in murder cases–is to suggest that some victims are more worthy than others.

What difference does it make if (a) a gay activist kills a conservative Christian, (b) a pro-life activist guns down an abortionist, or (c) a criminal on furlough rapes and murders a student walking home from school? To define a “hate crime” would suggest that the first two victims merit more respect from the law than the third.

I suggest that they are equal: the criminals in those cases would merit the same penalty under the law, as–either way you assess it–all three victims are equally dead because of heinous, wanton crimes.

Last time I checked, there is only one person who is qualified to judge with respect to hate-crimes, and no one else has legal means to determine what was in a person’s head when he or she committed a crime. To suggest otherwise is to advance the cause of Orwellian government. Pardon me, but I’d rather Big Brother go back to Venezuela.

And that is my beef with Folger, and even the late Falwell. While I can empathize with their positions on various issues, I oppose their insistences on federal solutions to those matters.

I would also suggest that they are wasting time attempting to get government to conform to the Church rather than getting the Church to conform to Her Groom.

Mohler on the Disappearing Father

05/23/2007: No one should be surprised at the latest scientific “advancement” in reproduction: the ability to produce sperm cells from bone marrow. This raises the specter of children conceived without fathers. Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler is right on in his assessment, although–short of a Third Great Awakening, or the Second Coming–the trend is not likely to be reversed.

That said, there is one comment of his with which I disagree:

Something more radical indeed.  In fact, nothing less than a reversal of current moral and social trends would be necessary.  If left unchecked, these trends will mean something radically new in the human experience  — the complete disappearance of the father from the picture. Never there . . . not even missed.

That last sentence is wrong: fathers will be missed, even if they are never present. The lack of a father may be possible scientifically, but from a social standpoint fathers are–in general–a necessity to the development of a child. A girl needs a father to serve as a role model, provide stability, and be that hero figure. Similarly, a boy needs a father to make him into a man.

Moms and dads are both necessary, and the rise in illegitimacy over the past 40 years has contributed substantially to the growth of the underclass. That illegitimacy rates are already nearing 70% for blacks and soaring among whites does not present encouraging prospects for the future of America.

This latest news of scientific “progress” does not help one bit.

That men can be made biologically irrelevant does not make them socially unnecessary. Hopefully, Americans will come to understand that before it is too late.

NH Town Fires Four Gossipers. Bravo!

05/23/2007: I might not be in the majority here, but I have absolutely no sympathy for the four women who were fired for gossiping over a speculated affair by their boss.

The First Amendment does not protect you from the consequences of maligning your fellow employees–especially your boss–on the job. That you have a Constitutional right to say what you wish about your boss does not extend to a right to be an employee.

I could walk into my VP’s office and tell him to f*** himself. The First Amendment may protect me from prosecution, but the only moral dilemma on the VP’s side would be whether to fire me before or after lunch.

Similarly, I not only have a Constitutional right to carry a gun; I also have a valid concealed carry license. Legally, I could carry my gun into the office. Anyone want to guess how long I would keep my job if I did that?

Engaging in trash talk–about a potential extramarital affair by your boss–endangers his or her career not to mention his or her personal life. Even if the accusation turns out to be untrue, often the accused person is marked for good. Ergo, such trash talk–being as damaging as it is–must be dealt with decisively.

In my first job out of college, I worked for EDS. While I was at the account, there were some rumors flying around that an employee was cheating on his wife, and apparently some employees were helping spread the “news”.

I only know about this because of the response by the account manager: when he found out about the rumors against the employee, he ordered an investigation and warned that anyone engaging in such speculation would be fired immediately.

The trash talk ended more quickly than it started, and it was a good thing: the rumors were utter fiction.

Carter Sticks Both Feet in Mouth

05/21/2007: Anyone who reads these pages knows I am no fan of President Bush. In spite of my conservative leanings on social issues–in particular abortion and guns–I am absolutely convinced that Bush has sold America out and done true conservatives a real disservice. In fact, I’ll take Reagan–in his current condition–over anyone in the field right now.

But former President Jimmy Carter needs to drink a nice, big supersized cup of STFU. Over the weekend, he blasted Bush as “the worst administration in history.” This coming from the President who gave us modern Islammunism.

In spite of his self-proclaimed human rights crusade, Carter has almost never been on the right side of a fight that mattered.

While his negotiations in the Camp David accords were laudable, his undermining of the Shah in Iran–then serenading the Ayatollah Khomeini into power–caused serious harm to the Iranian people while providing the impetus to today’s Jihadist groups. In fact, Carter’s fiasco in Iran was the primary instigator of the Iran-Iraq war that wrecked both countries and left their people even more wary of America than ever before.

With the Russians, Carter was amiable but ineffective. He strove for peace as a policy, assuming that the Soviets had the same goals in mind. Evidently, he forgot to read The Communist Manifesto. He failed to comprehend the words of Khruschev (“We will bury you!”). He failed to accept that the Soviet Communist Party was hellbent on eventual world domination. Reagan got it, took the fight to the Soviet Union, and won the Cold War, even living to see his challenge fulfilled: “Gorbachev..tear down this wall!”

Carter lacked the moral clarity to fight that battle, as he sucked up to Castro and Nicolae Ceaucescu. He hugged and kissed Brezhnev, downplaying the Soviet persecution of Christians. He coddled Palestinian rogues and blamed Israelis for problems not of their own making.

While Israelis gave away land and signed peace deals, the Palestinians showed that those peace deals weren’t worth a roll of used toilet paper. Every time Israelis gave away land, the rocket attacks and suicide bombs continued unabated.

Still, Carter has said virtually nothing good about the Israelis.

I would, however, like to extend to Carter my deepest gratitude:

(1) Every time he opens his mouth, he reminds the world that we can do–and have done–worse than Bush.

(2) His four years of incompetence made for eight wonderful years of Reagan!

Cal Thomas Remarks on Falwell

05/17/2007: Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, who once was Vice President of the Moral Majority, weighs in on the legacy of Jerry Falwell. Thomas gets it.

The movement also had its downside, because it tended to detract from a Christian’s primary responsibility of telling people the “good news” that redemption comes only through Jesus Christ. At times, this central message seemed to be replaced by one suggesting that a shortcut to moral renewal might come through Washington and the Republican Party.

Unfortunately, while that dynamic may not be something that Falwell intended, it certainly became the reality.

In his assessment of the Moral Majority’s accomplishments, Thomas said some of the same things I said the other day:

The flaw in the movement was the perception that the church had become an appendage to the Republican Party and one more special interest group to be pampered. If one examines the results of the Moral Majority’s agenda, little was accomplished in the political arena and much was lost in the spiritual realm, as many came to believe that to be a Christian meant you also must be “converted” to the Republican Party and adopt the GOP agenda and its tactics.

Sadly, by becoming an appendage of the GOP, the Church became sullied with all the ensuing GOP scandals. Suddenly, anything the GOP leadership pursued became associated with religious conservatives, even if the initiative was something even a backslidden Christian couldn’t support.

As for results, the Moral Majority failed badly. Sure, they helped elect Reagan. Then again, Carter did more to elect Reagan–by bungling matters with the economy, Iran, and the Russians–than the Moral Majority did.

They sought to overturn Roe v. Wade; that didn’t happen. Even with a pro-life Republican President in the Oval Office for 19 of the last 27 years–all but three Supreme Court justices picked by them–Roe v. Wade is as firmly entrenched today as it was on January 22, 1973. (Even if Roe fell today, nothing would change: that would merely return the issue to the states, at which point state legislatures, governors, and state court systems would spend the next two decades deliberating on the matter.)

They sought to reverse the homosexual agenda; that didn’t happen. Today, homosexual culture is chic whereas it was on the societal fringes 30 years ago. You want proof? Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

They sought to reverse the trend of “no-fault” divorce and dissolution of families; that didn’t happen. Divorce rates have gone down, only if you ignore the effect of cohabitation, which has skyrocketed and is every bit as un-Biblical as divorce. And divorce rates among evangelicals have remained unchanged if not higher.

They sought to reverse the proliferation of pornography in our society; today, porn is a bigger global enterprise than it was 30 years ago. 30 years ago, the VCR would bring porn into many homes and deliver revenue to many video outlets. Today, the Internet has all but nullified any efforts to regulate pornography. Libertarians–myself included–raise substantial issue over the wisdom of governmental attempts to regulate it.

Had Falwell kept his message more focused toward the Church rather than to society, then I’d suggest that the results may have been better. After all, in the Epistles, you never see Paul railing against Graeco-Roman culture; you do, however, see him exhorting the Church not to partake of that culture. Admonitions to the Church to eschew the ways of the world are plenteous; condemnations against the world for advancing the pop culture of the day are nonexistent.

We expect the secular world to pursue abortion, easy divorce, acceptance of gay lifestyles, and the pursuit of all things banal. Just as Paul was hardly surprised that the culture of his time pursued drunken orgies, homosexuality, pederasty, murder, and greed. Christians should also expect a real Biblical preacher to challenge them to eschew such elements, as Paul and Peter each exhorted and admonished the Church of their day.

Falwell, sadly, spent the bulk of his energy–at least during the Moral Majority days–combating the world in our culture rather than helping to cleanse the world from the Church.

Thomas also makes an observation that I have made on these pages:

One had only to look at the history of the religious left to see the danger in a shotgun marriage between church and state. Most liberal theologians long ago gave up preaching about another king and another kingdom in favor of baptizing the earthly agenda of the Democratic Party. That too many conservative Christians followed their liberal opposites into the same error was to their shame and demonstrated they had missed an important lesson.

As I’ve said: the left and right-leaning Churches typically have one thing in common: everything but the Gospel gets preached. They disagree on cultural issues, but they agree on not preaching the Gospel. Two opposite worldviews; one common result.

As for Liberty University, Falwell enjoyed far more success.

Jerry liked to say that when he passed away, they’d put “and the beggar died” on his tombstone because he was constantly asking for money. That won’t happen. His legacy will be his university. He once said he wanted it to be like Harvard. All of the rest is “wood, hay and stubble.”

Falwell was a leader in education. Liberals will scoff at that statement, but it is the truth. For decades, Falwell had made it possible for people to obtain a quality education without leaving home. Today, every reputable university is seeking an expanded distance learning presence; Falwell was doing it before they even started thinking about doing it.

Liberty University has succeeded where the Moral Majority failed: Liberty focuses on educating the Church; it is an institution of higher learning for Christians. And from the alums I’ve met from Liberty, I’d say Falwell succeeded.

Could it be that Liberty is succeeding because it fulfills the commission of Matthew 28, whereas the Moral Majority failed because it pursued a quasi-Christian secular agenda?

My $0.02 on Falwell

05/15/2007: Conservative Christians woke up in the 1970s to an America heading to hell in a handbasket, and whose Church leaders were paving the highway to the infernal.

When the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision making abortion rights sacrosanct–the most abominable SCOTUS decision ever–the Church was asleep. The United Methodists endorsed the decision; the United Church of Christ and Presbyterrorist Church USA tacitly approved. Even the Southern Baptist Convention was napping on that matter. (Until the 1990s, every ethics professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary supported abortion rights.)

Jerry Falwell was the Drill Sergeant banging the trash can at 3am, knocking the Church in the United States out of her collective slumber.

However, that’s not to say that he did everything right.

While he was correct in sounding the alarm against abortion, the moral equivalence of homosexuality with heterosexuality, the mainstream acceptance of pornography, and our culture of divorce, his Moral Majority effort produced mixed results.

28 years after the Moral Majority, abortion is still legal, pornography is a global enterprise, domestic partnerships–including same-sex relationships–are gaining acceptance on the same level with heterosexual marriage, and divorce among Christians is as prevalent today as then.

As for the political landscape, Christian influence on the political arena is questionable, as all frontrunners in both political parties are pro-choice on abortion. Christians are divided on our war efforts, angry with the Democrats for their laxness on social issues while miffed at the Republicans for their corruption, spending, and half-hearted pandering.

Personally, my biggest concern is that Falwell overkilled it on the political front, and this undermined his otherwise exemplary record as a minister. While the left makes him out to be some horrible monster, they forget–or are ignorant about–his ministry to single mothers and alcoholics. Falwell was more compassionate than the image created by his political wrangling. He put his money where is mouth was.

Unfortunately, perception is reality, and Falwell is responsible for some of that perception. His hostile takeover of PTL in the wake of the Jim Bakker scandal was ill-advised–he had no business getting into that one–and his remarks post-9/11 certainly gained him few allies.

That said, he was a no-nonsense preacher who walked the talk, and was also pioneer in distance education: Liberty University was allowing for people to earn degrees–via correspondence–from a quality accredited institution, long before distance learning became mainstream. 

Today, the Internet has taken that paradigm to a whole new level, but Falwell was blazing the trail in that department, and succeeded remarkably.

Jerry Falwell was far from perfect; I’ve slammed him on these pages. He spent too much time railing about culture–this detracted from his preaching of the Gospel.

On the other hand, someone needed to sound the alarm.

Jerry Falwell sounded the alarm.

Falwell Dies

05/15/2007: While I had my differences with Jerry Falwell, he was certainly a mover and shaker in the Christian world, especially in the United States.

While I believe he spent too much time meddling in the political realm, he was instrumental in getting Christians–in particular conservatives–involved in the workings of local, state, and federal government with respect to issues of importance to Christians.

He stood for what was right with America at a time when the secular left were constantly trashing the country. While some could argue–as I have–that this was reactionary and detracted from his fundamental calling (the Gospel), he was right most of the time.

Falwell was 73 years old.

10-Month-Old Legally Owns Firearm

05/14/2007: …but, because it is the People’s Republic of Illinois, Bubba cannot carry it concealed.

While the gun-grabbing fascists will raise a big stink, this is much ado about nothing. While the ten-month-old can legally own the gun and ammo–and transport it unloaded–if anything the firearm owner identification ID (FOID) just puts him in a state database. That makes it easier for the fascists in Illinois to confiscate the weapon when the next natural disaster hits.

Just ask the folks in New Orleans.