Friday, December 04, 2015

Our next president in 2016

Here is my Christmas wish list for a new President, not necessarily in any order (I really could not care less whether our President is a man or woman, relatively young or old, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, or American-Indian): 
  • Strong track record of personal honesty and integrity (if someone has a track record of corruption and personal dishonesty, how can you trust them on anything else?).
  • Strong commitment to the first amendment "free exercise of religion" in both the market place and in the public square--Not just "freedom of worship."
  • Strong commitment to only appoint judges and justices who are "originalists."
  • Strong commitment to a smaller, less regulative and less intrusive federal government.
    • A commitment to abolish some cabinet departments like the Department of Education would be a big plus.
  • Strong commitment to a powerful national defense
  • Strong commitment to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons and to keep North Korea from developing intercontinental ballistic missiles--even if that means war.
  • Strong commitment to a good relationship with, and defense of Israel.
  • Strong support for traditional marriage.
  • Strong stand against abortion.
  • Commitment to promoting international human rights, recognizing that democracies can trample human rights as much as dictatorships.
  • Commitment to a radical reform of the Environmental Protection Agency by putting people ahead of animals or earth.
  • Commitment to radically reforming or even abolishing the IRS to reduce its potential as a tool of manipulative or corrupt politicians.
  • Commitment to a strong, well-funded program of helping those who really need help (e.g. the physically or mentally challenged), but an equally strong commitment to weed the freeloaders off government assistance and to provide strong penalties for those who defraud the system.
  • Commitment to work toward balancing the budget and paying down the national debt--even if that means raising my own retirement age (see below).
  • Commitment to reform Social Security--even if that means raising the retirement age to 68 for those like me who do not have physically demanding jobs and are still in good health.
  • Commitment to repeal Obamacare but an equally strong commitment to fix some of the glaring problems with the old heath care system.
  • Commitment to an immigration policy that:
    • Provides (metaphorically speaking) for a high wall and a wide gate, i.e. a policy that 1) closes the borders as much as possible to illegal immigration, 2) makes it easier for more people to immigrate legally, 3) opens a path to citizenship for otherwise law abiding illegals who are already here, but at the same time 4) institutes a vigorous policy of punishing and/or deporting illegal felons, and 5) provides for very strong punishments for those who re-enter illegally.
    • Focuses on admitting people who want to assimilate into American society, and seeks to exclude people who have no intention of doing so.
    • Attempts to stop immigration of people whose beliefs are fundamentally at odds with the U.S. Constitution, for example, those who would seek to restrict freedom of speech or freedom of religion, or those who do not believe in democracy.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Fighting for freedom of religion

Increasingly in America we are finding that Christians are losing jobs, losing businesses, being sued, being fined, etc. simply because they are living out their Christian convictions regarding marriage or abortion. Unfortunately, all too many Christians (those who have not yet been affected) respond with a big yawn, saying that Christians should expect persecution. They are absolutely right—we should expect persecution. But that doesn’t mean we should always just sit idly by an accept it.
For example, Paul charged the magistrates of Philippi with violating his rights as a Roman Citizen and demanded that they personally escort him out of jail (Acts 17:16-40). Paul used his rights as a Roman citizen to avoid flogging in Jerusalem (Acts 22:25). It was Paul’s status as Roman citizen that got him transferred from Jerusalem to Caesarea in Roman protective custody (Acts 22:12-22, cf. 23:27). And Paul used his right as a Roman citizen to appeal his case to Caesar (Acts 25:10-11).
Isaiah commands readers to “defend the oppressed” (Isa 1:17) and to “lose the chains of injustice” (Isaiah 58:6; cf. Jeremiah 22:3). As hard as it is to believe—more and more people in America are now being oppressed because of their Christian faith!
So what can you do?
1) Pray
2) Support and vote for people who will stand for religious liberty
3) Support organizations that are defending your freedom, e.g. Alliance Defending Freedom or the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), et al.
4) Let your Senators and Representatives know that you are not happy with what is going on.
5) Ask your Representative and Senators to support the First Amendment Defense Act (S. 1598, H.R. 2802) which would, “prevent discriminatory treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.”
6) Re-post Twitter and Facebook articles on this issue in order to raise awareness of the problem
7) Encourage your family and friends to get involved too. Pastors, start informing your congregations on what is happening and pray!
You don’t have to do it all—but please don’t just sit back and watch your children’s freedom get flushed down the drain on your watch!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage

If the Constitution protects the "right" to same sex marriage, does it also protect the "right" to incestuous marriage, or the right for adults to marry children? If not, why not? On what possible basis could you find a "right" to same sex marriage in the Constitution without affirming these other "rights" as well? (I suspect it will now only be a matter of time before someone asserts such "rights").

And then there is the hypocrisy of Justice Roberts who said that the Constitution had nothing to do with this decision. I'm sure he's absolutely right. But the the Constitution also had nothing to do with the decision on Obamacare which HE supported! When justices stop interpreting the Constitution, and start re-writing the Constitution, their decisions can become quite arbitrary.

When Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, she (and other Democrats) publicly mocked the idea that Congress should be bound by the Constitution. We have a President who ignores the Constitution. Now we have a Supreme Court that thinks their job is not to interpret but to re-write the Constitution!  The Constitution was supposed to protect citizens from government. When government ignores the Constitution we are in deep, deep trouble. Americans (both Republican and Democrat) should be (peacefully) protesting in the streets by the millions at this massive usurpation of power.

Germany was a democracy before Hitler took over. I have sometimes wondered how could they let their democracy be stolen from them like that? I suspect our grandchildren may one day be asking the same question of us.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Illegal Immigration

On a talk radio show today a caller voiced his opposition to illegal immigration. He said, suppose someone broke into your house. Would you allow him to stay and offer him amnesty? Of course not. You’d call the police and have him removed! The Illegals have broken into our house. We need to kick them out! The talk show host—echoing what most Republicans believe—heartily agreed.

On this issue I disagree with the caller, the host and most Republicans. I don’t think the illustration is accurate. Let me modify it. Suppose you not only deliberately leave your doors unlocked, you never even close them. When outsiders start wandering into your home, you don’t have them removed, you let them stay. You give them jobs around your home and if they get hurt, you bandage their wounds. You even teach their kids and give them food.

Then, after they’ve lived with you for years, you suddenly, call the police yelling about those terrible intruders who have invaded your home! Well, it is your home. I suppose you technically have a right to ask them to leave—but they have hardly invaded. You practically encouraged them to come in!

That’s what we have done with illegal aliens. When they came, we did not have them removed. We looked the other way while they got jobs. We let their kids into our schools and gave them school lunches. We gave them medical care. We actually encouraged them to come and stay! And now we (Republicans) want to send them home? For many of them, this IS home! I think it is just plain wrong to try to force them all back after we have encouraged them to come and stay.

Of course my fellow conservatives will say, “WE didn’t invite them in, the Democrats did.” That’s not entirely true. Reagan gave them amnesty and then neglected to secure the borders. That’s encouragement to come. So it is not all the Democrats’ fault (maybe just 90% their fault). Like it or not, our government encouraged them to come and stay. It is just not right after all these years to suddenly try to force them to leave (even if that was possible).

So what should we do?

First, we should do everything we can to close the borders to ensure that no more people enter illegally, and to ensure that those who do come are not criminals or terrorists.

Second, after the border is secure, we should give illegals a set amount of time to apply for a green card. These green cards would be guaranteed to all illegal aliens who 1) have not committed felonies or multiple misdemeanors here or abroad, and 2) will wholeheartedly express agreement with our Constitution (for example, any illegal alien who thinks it should be illegal to make a cartoon of Muhammad should be deported immediately).

Third, we should significantly expand the immigration department. Make it possible for them to handle a much greater influx of immigrants, to adequately screen and track those immigrants, and to deport those who overstay their visas. Then we should open the doors to legal immigration and make it substantially easier and quicker for immigrants to enter—Specifically, immigrants who are good, honest, hardworking people who want to learn English and agree with our Constitution (Personally, I would focus on substantially expanding the number of persecuted Christian immigrants but that would probably be a non-starter).

Where would we get the money and manpower to do all this? I would suggest abolishing the IRS and Department of Education which would provide both the money and the manpower, but I’m sure others could come up with other suggestions (By the way, if the Democrats had really wanted to solve the immigration problem they could have used the trillion dollars spent in stimulus money to do all of this).

OK, I know the devil is in the details and there are probably a lot of things I haven’t considered, but broadly speaking, I think we should build a very high fence with a very wide gate (figuratively speaking), and allow honest, hardworking immigrants who are already here to stay.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The most serious danger facing America

I think it was Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev who warned that America would one day be destroyed from within. His words may turn out to be prophetic. America is under attack—from within. I’m fully aware of how radical this sounds to most Americans but I am convinced it is true. 

One of the things that made America great and free was the addition of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights has been the foundation of American freedom since it was adopted, and yet that foundation is being undermined from within. 

Take for example, the right to bear arms. Americans have always had the right to bear arms—and yet progressives have fought tooth-and-nail to reinterpret the Bill of Rights to eliminate that freedom. When those efforts failed in the Supreme Court, some progressives sought to sidestep the Court’s decision, not to mention the Constitution, by attempting to restrict access to ammunition. The right to bear arms, of course, is meaningless without ammunition. 

Freedom of Association is also under fire by secular progressives. There have been movements, especially in higher education, to force Christian campus organizations to open up their membership and leadership to people who are not even Christians! This would be like telling a student Democrat club they must be open to Republican leadership! If non-Christians could join a Christian group in sufficient numbers, they could elect their own into leadership and then radically change the group, or vote it out of existence—which is probably precisely the point! When any association—whether a Christian group or gay rights group or environmental group—does not have the right to control their own membership and leadership, there is no Freedom of Association.

Freedom of Speech is also under attack specifically by secular progressives in the gay rights movement. Now just to be clear—I don’t believe businesses should discriminate against gay people simply because of their sexual orientation. But when the government seeks to force people of faith—caterers, bakers, photographers, etc.—to support, by their services, a political cause with which they disagree (gay marriage), that constitutes forced speech, not Freedom of Speech.

No group should be forced to directly support a cause with which they disagree. For example, pro-choice bakers should not be forced to bake anything for a pro-life rally. A sign-making company owned by a member of PETA should not be forced to make a sign in support of hunting. This is not a hard concept to understand. It is hard, however, to avoid the conclusion that progressive “ignorance” on this point is willful.

Our First Amendment protection of Freedom of Religion is also under fire from progressives who want to force people of faith to support actions they believe to be sinful. Progressives simply redefine Freedom of Religion as “Freedom of Worship.” What they mean is that you can believe anything you want, or worship any god you want, as long as you don’t bring that belief to the public square.

The First Amendment, however, was not written simply to protect your right to worship. It was written to protect you from a tyrannical government that would seek to force you to violate your conscience by compelling you to do things that you believe to be sinful. This is precisely what progressives seek to do, for example, when they try to force Christians and Christian-owned companies and organizations to assist in, support or pay for abortion. The intolerance of such progressives is demonstrated when they fight against exemptions even for Christian Colleges or Christian book publishers!

The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Progressives have (wrongly) interpreted the first clause so broadly and strictly that many of them would even see a Bible on a school teacher’s desk, or a student’s prayer before lunch, as government establishment of religion! Yet they seek to prohibit the free exercise of religion anywhere but homes or places of worship! Secular progressives are seek to re-interpret the First Amendment out of existence.

The attacks against our Constitution have become so widespread that they do not just come from higher education or media, but from the highest levels of government. When Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, for example, she openly scoffed at the idea that we should follow the Constitution, and President Barak Obama has (fortunately for us) been slapped down by the Supreme Court numerous times for trying to sidestep or outright ignore the Constitution.

Secular progressives claim to champion tolerance and yet they are tolerant only of the causes and people with whom they agree. The truth is that they are often among the most intolerant people in the country. Secular progressives claim to fight against discrimination, but they are not really against discrimination at all—they fully support discrimination against Christians. When they, for example, would defend a gay baker’s right not to put anti-homosexual Bible passages on a cake, but deny a Christian baker’s right not to bake a cake for a gay wedding, they are discriminating against the Christian baker.

The reality is that progressives are just against discrimination when it comes to causes or people they support. They use the word “discrimination” as a power-ploy to beat their opponents into submission—and somehow Americans have swallowed their ploy hook-line-and sinker.

Secular progressives are attacking the very foundation of America itself…the Constitution in general and the Bill of Rights in particular. Such attacks are fundamentally anti-American and—I mean this literally—are more dangerous to our future than al Qaeda, Isis or al Shabaab put together. That is because we are (no thanks to progressives) still powerful enough to handle any attack made on us from the outside. But secular progressives are attacking America from within—and they are winning because Americans keep electing and supporting them. I fear that Nikita Khrushchev may turn out to be right.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Homosexuality and Freedom of Speech

I love ham and BBQ pork. I understand that Jews and Muslims generally do not share my views on pork. In fact, I would imagine that some of them think my eating pork is downright sinful. That's OK. I respect their right to their opinion. I would never dream of trying to smear or sue a Muslim or Jewish restaurant owner, much less try to run them out of business, just because they woudn't serve me a ham sandwich or cater some event I was having by providing BBQ pork.
There is something sick or even evil (and certainly un-American) about people who are so hateful and intolerant they would threaten, sue, or try to force someone out of business who will not violate their personal convictions. That's what's happening to numerous businesses. I never dreamed I would live to see it happen in America.