Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Luke 2: 1-20 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 002:002 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 002:003 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 002:004 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 002:005 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 002:006 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 002:007 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 002:008 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 002:009 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 002:010 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 002:011 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 002:012 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 002:013 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 002:014 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 002:015 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 002:016 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 002:017 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 002:018 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 002:019 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 002:020 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them Mark 2:1-11 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 002:002 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 002:003 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 002:004 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 002:005 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 002:006 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. 002:007 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 002:008 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 002:009 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 002:010 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 002:011 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
It aggravates me that most Elementary Schools in NJ have lessons about Kwanzaa along with Christmas and Hanuka. I saw a sign today on one school that said Happy Kwanzaa.
No it is not because I am a racist. It is because the Holiday is Racist. It is according to its founder "for Black People" Want some other reasons.
*Its founder Karenga, is a Marxist black separatist atheist and was convicted of torturing 2 African American women.
*It is anti Christian. It was created to give African Americans an alternative to the Christian holiday which Karenga views as a myth forced upon blacks. It is specifically held at this time of year to detract from Christmas.
*It is made up and has nothing to do with Africa. The really ironic part is that all the language of Kwanzaa is in Swahili which is a derivative of Arabic. It is spoken in areas of East Africa that were colonized by Arab slavers and ivory traders.
Most African Americans do not even celebrate it.
Is this really the type of garbage we want to be feeding any child whether they be black, white brown or yellow? If the school systems did not perpetuate this it would have died off already.
Let your school system know enough is enough.
Please read the sources (links) below for more information
Presidential candidate, former Arkansas Governor and Baptist minister Michael Huckabee is taking some flak from a Christmas message that mentions Christ (oh my!) and has a window pane in it that looks like a cross. Even if it is a subliminal cross so what? Why should he not be able to showcase something that is an integral part of who he is. He is an unabashed evangelical Christian. Whether you like it or not that is an important factor to many voters. Religion is an important part of the life's of the majority of people. There is no reason to strip the issue from politics. If the candidate misuses it well God might have something to say to them about that down the road.
While I am not completely sold on Huckabee because of concerns about his economic policies what I do like about him is that he is clear and up front about who he is. His religion will cost him votes and gain him votes but I do not think that is part of his calculation. He says this is who I am and this is where I stand. I admire that in a politician. While American history has shown that strong religious belief does not always translate into competent executive leadership ( see Jimmy Carter and unfortunately I must admit our current president) I do like the fact that Huckabee shares my values.
Historically it was just as warm during the Medieval Warming Period (During the time the Vikings colonized Greenland and discovered America) as it is today. This was followed by the climate period that was known as the little Ice Age. Logically from a historical perspective the "Global Warming Theory" does not add up.
But let us say it is warming up. Unless you believe we are in a "perfect climate cycle" getting warmer can not be all bad. Granted their will be winners and losers in any climate change but mankind has flourished through a variety of climate variations over the millennium. Our climate has NEVER been static. There is not even scientific consensus as to what the effects of global warming will be. My favorite theory is that warming will slow the gulf stream which will actually trigger an ice age in the Northern Hemisphere. I kind of like the idea that the earth is a semi closed system that can self regulate itself. In any event, today we have the technological ability to ameliorate any negative effects of climate change. This is where our efforts should be expended.
Additionally the downside has been greatly exaggerated. Most meteorologists say global warming does not affect hurricanes formation. Some have postulated that a warmer climate would reduce hurricanes because they are driven by temperature variation, warm air hitting cold water. Another example is an increase in Malaria. Well malaria is not limited to warm climes. It was once a problem in large areas of the United States. Malaria is even found in Siberia and out breaks many many years ago killed a lot of people in Siberia. So global warming will not cause a spread of malaria. Warmer means longer growing seasons. That is a good thing. Far more people die throughout the world from cold then from heat every year.
Wait you say why not play it safe and reduce carbon emissions? Well I agree that there are a myriad number of reasons to reduce energy consumption through alternative energy, improved technology and voluntary conservation. The problem is that other countries are using global warming to wage economic warfare against the US. Developing countries are trying to use global warming scare tactics to force a reduction in our standard of living while China , India and the third world catch up with us. They are also using global warming to force an involuntary transfer of technology to the developing nations. See when you can not go fast enough to catch up you try to slow the other guy down. This is one of the things driving this global warming scam.
The other thing driving it is the anti technology crowd who think combustion engines are the spawn of Satan. Let us not forget that we owe our health, standard of living, our easy access to knowledge, all the things we take for granted to the consumption of fossil fuels. That is why the developing world does not want restrictions to apply to them because they understand it is their ticket out of grinding poverty. Sure their have been some trade offs and as I said their are many good reasons to move on to a economy based on alternative energy but let us not throw away the baby with the bath water.
Because both global warming and its proclaimed negative effects are questionable we should move forward with mandatory reductions in carbon emissions cautiously so as not to destroy our economy and we should not bind ourselves to international treaties which hamstring our economy while giving the rest of the world free reign.
Yesterday Mitt Romney took a cue from Jack Kennedy and gave the America does not have a religious test for office speech. Well he is right but that misses the point.
Does the average American have the right to look at a persons religious beliefs when decide who to vote for. Of course they do. In fact I submit they should. A persons religious beliefs reveal a tremendous amount about there personality and where they stand on issues.
Is there any red blooded American out there who would vote for a Muslim Wahhabi. Of course not, unless they are Wahhabi's.
Religion is not always a deciding factor but it is always one factor. I would be hard pressed to vote for an atheist, or a pagan or a scientologist. In fact anyone who was not Jewish or Christian would give me pause because I know Jews and Christians share the same cultural values that I do. Additionally in my view Christianity is the only rational religion because there is probative evidence that its claims are true. (that is will be the subject of its own post some day)
That is not to say that if it was between an atheist who agreed with my views 90 percent of the time and Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama that I would not vote for the atheist. In that case I might. As I said religion is just one consideration. Barack Obama is a good example of how religion is instructive. He is a member of the United Church of Christ. This is the most liberal Christian denomination in the world. This is instructive on his world view just as the fact that Huckabee is a Baptist minister is instructive with regard to his world view.
So how does that effect my feelings for Romney. While present day Mormons share many of the same values as Christians I am hesitant to call them Christians. To be a Christian I would say that at the bare minimum you must subscribe to the Apostles Creed or some similar creed like the Nicene. I do not believe Mormons subscribe to those creeds in their entirety and if they do they have a lot of additional views that are heterodox.
Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Huckabee has given the perfect answer to this question.
The most important question is not how God did it but whether or not he did it. Pure evolutionary theory denies the existence of God. That is the real objection that most religious people have to it.
The important aspect of the creation story in the bible is not how God did it or how long he took but rather That GOD DID CREATE EVERYTHING and he CREATED US IN HIS OWN IMAGE. Those are the essentials.
Thanksgiving time. The start of the Holiday Season and also the time when the media loves to drop in stories about how Thanksgiving is a time of mourning for Native Americans because it reminds them how we stole there lands and generally gave them a raw deal.
Well if we are going to play myth-buster and deconstruct the Thanksgiving story lets not leave anything out. Native Americans where not the idyllic children of nature that Thanksgiving critics would have you believe. They engaged in constant warfare over hunting grounds with other tribes. many tribes had only resided on the land white men found them on for a few generations before we "discovered them. They had driven out the previous occupants who in turn drove someone else out of somewhere. many tribes engaged in slavery, ritual torture of captives and a few tribes where even cannibals. Their were good "Indians" and bad "Indians" just like their were good "pale faces and bad "pale faces"
That's not to say we treated the Native Americans fairly. We visited many injustices upon them. We even committed atrocities against them. However that was the way of the world. Up to that point in time there had never been a nation that at some time or another had not set out to conquer it's neighbors. Let us keep history in perspective.
The fact of the matter is Western Europeans conquered the new world because they had a superior culture. Oh you can argue if you want that the culture of the Native Americans was superior because you prefer it. That works if you take a subjective viewpoint. The truth of the matter is however that culture is objective. Culture is nothing more then a response to a set of environmental factors. Its worth should be judged by how it increases success of the members of that culture. In short it is a survival mechanism.
By that measure Western European culture is undeniably the most successful that has everexisted. It has survived, thrived and spread and for all the bad things it has caused it has done twice as many good things. As it has evolved it has ended things like cannibalism, head hunting, slavery and human sacrifices. It has freed women from servitude, improved the health of the whole world and made incredible scientific discoveries.
Yes part of Thanksgiving is celebrating that we received help from another culture. But we gave that culture access to goods their culture could not produce. That was a two way street
I am not saying we should gloss over the terrible things we have done along the way nor am I saying there is no room for improvement. I am not saying that other cultures have nothing to show us or that our culture should be forced on anyone.
I am saying let us not loose sight of the forest because of the trees. Let us recognize the good with the bad. Let us not so rack ourselves with guilt about the past that we can not move forward.
Let us recognize Thanksgiving for what it is a time to give thanks just as the first Pilgrims did and leave out the self flagellation.
Lord, we thank you for the blessings you have bestowed upon us individually and upon this great nation. We thank you for the freedom and opportunity you have given us. We also thank your servants Lord who have made great sacrifices including their lifes to secure the gifts that you have given us. For no man has greater love then he that gives his life for another. Amen
We all have many things to be thankful for. Lets us not forget during the busy day to pause a moment and give thanks.
I have been working on a couple of posts lately and have not gotten around to finishing them. The Death penalty issue was not on my radar until I saw that Democrats in my blue state of NJ seek to abolish the death penalty. I am generally considered to be a pretty conservative guy and I used to be a pretty strong proponent of the death penalty but my thinking has evolved. First I am deeply concerned about how many people have been wrongly convicted. But I also have developed doubts about the concept in general.
The Criminal justice system is supposed to accomplish a few things; protecting the public, deterring crime, reforming the criminal and vengeance.
The death penalty does protect the public from additional crimes by that person but that can be accomplished by locking them up. Although there is an exception to that. Terrorists. When you lock up terrorists you risk their colleagues doing desperate things to gain their freedom. This puts more lives in danger. Therefore this is the one place I would sanction the death penalty
The evidence does not suggest criminals think about the death penalty before they kill someone The death penalty does not act as an effective deterrent.
It obviously does not reform them. Not much in our current justice system seems to do that.
It does serve our need for retribution. Now I will be the first to admit that if someone harmed a member of my family my first instinct would be to kill the perpetrator myself. Preferably with my bare hands. I personally like the thought of vengeance. I have dreamed of lesser vengeance for any number of lesser grievances. However as a Christian I know that this is not what Jesus would want me to do. Because of this thankfully the desire for vengeance has always passed. Would it pass if someone hurt or killed a member of my family. Honestly, I do not know. In the long term vengeance does not make us happier it gives hollow satisfaction and can eat away at the soul. While it is an all too human response the need for vengeance is not one of our better qualities.
Having come to this realization I have concluded that the government should not cater to our baser instincts. The government should not be in the business of vengeance.
It is time that ( with the exception of terrorism) we end the death penalty
The Democrats have gone back to there old playbook. No longer do they try to sound moderate. They plan to get elected by promising to give the lower and Middle classes everything they always wanted. None do this better then John Edwards. http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071026/FRONTPAGE/710260384. He has even promised college for everyone. Have we not yet learned that the things we really appreciate are those that we work for. Anyone who is smart enough to go to college and wants to go to college can find a way. It may not be easy but how much sweeter the payoff.
Edwards rails against economic disparity but it is economic disparity that has made this country great. It is because so many Americans wanted to improve their conditions and had the ability to do so by hard work and sweat that this country is one of the most innovative, creative, hard working countries that has ever existed. It is what fueled our geographic and economic expansion. It is what puts a fire in our belly. Tax the rich and spread it out with programs and cash handouts so that everyone has the same standard of living and no matter what you do you can not be better or worse and there goes any incentive you have to work hard. People need something to strive for. My great grandfather was a an Irish immigrant who worked as trolley car conductor. His son became a foreman at a plant and in turn his son entered the world of white collar middle management. I worked my way through school to become the first college graduate in my family and went on to earn a professional degree. That is how this country has worked and that is as it should continue. If you want better for your self or your family go out and get it do not wait for the government to give it to you. The New Deal was bad for this country because it taught people that they are entitled to all sorts of things at the governments expense. Edwards program will be even worse. It will be another nail in the coffin.
We seem to be incapable of learning from history. Anti immigration sentiment goes as far back as 1843. Called the "Know Nothing" movement because when asked about it the leaders would say I know nothing. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing ) Its followers where driven by a fear of Catholic immigrants.
Once again immigration is a driving force in politics. It is driven by a fear of foreigners and a fear that they might not assimilate. Some even postulate that they plan to take back Mexican territory we conquered 150 years ago. Just like the Know Nothings feared that Catholics were part of a plot by the Pope to take over America. Of course those fears turned out to be unfounded.
That is not to say the anti immigration groups are not correct about a few things. We should encourage English only not print things in Spanish. We should encourage assimilation. We should not allow illegal immigration.
The flip side is we must allow opportunities for legal immigration. They would not be coming if we did not need them. They clearly fill a need in our labor market just as previous waives of immigrants did. They are hard workers and they share many of our values. Our current immigration laws do them and us a disservice.
The middle ground here is this. Crack down hard on illegals, seal the border, have English only laws and encourage assimilation but pass a fair, just realistic immigration law. One that recognizes the economic need and benefit of all involved. We should not have millions of illegal immigrants but we should have millions of legal ones. The Mexican and Central American immigrants share many of our values and they are hard workers. They will be an excellent addition to our country, just as the immigrants before them where.
When I decided to start this Blog I said to myself, "Self I am not going to write about celebrities". No doing the Paris Hilton, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, OJ Simpson shtick. ( that string of names will get me some hits on the old search engines ehhh)
But I now realize it can not be helped. Celebrity worship is too big a problem to ignore. So I will occasionally excoriate a celebrity. Today's target is Bruce Springsteen. What! How can I attack the all American rocker. Everybody loves the BOSS.
Well let me sum it up in one word "hypocrisy " I hate hypocrisy and Bruce is full of it. He sells himself as some sort of blue collar hero to the downtrodden working man.
Yeah right. He has lived in some of the most affluent communities in NJ. So what brings on this fit of anti Bruce mania. This week there was an article that he was being sued for breaching a contract to....are you ready for this, buy his daughter an Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand dollar horse so she can compete in equestrian events.
I am an unabashed capitalist and while I would not spend money the way many rich people do if I were rich, that is there right. What gets me are the ones who spout off about the downtrodden and then waste their fortune instead of spending it to alleviate some suffering. Its called talking the talk but not walking the walk.
Then he spouts off about American foreign policy. Flash bulletin for Springsteen! Condi Rice is more qualified to conduct our foreign policy then a rock star who never went to college. I hate it when these movie stars and musicians who barely got through high school think that they know more then anyone else about how to conduct world affairs. Yeah maybe that is elitist but who would you rather have making decisions about this countries security. Somebody who has a doctorate from Princeton or Yale or the guy who almost flunked history in Podunk High and joined a rock band or took up acting rather then going to college. Actually it is not them I get really mad at because everybody has an opinion. What gets me mad is the number of idiots who listen to them as if they were a prophet.
Anyway I feel better now that I got that off my chest. I will try to stay away from celebrities for awhile. Bad for the blood pressure.
There has been a lot of talk in the press lately about the Bush administration seeking cuts in a program that supplies medical insurance to uninsured children. Now It is hard to argue that we should not provide insurance for children who are from poor families. Even if you take the position that the adults are responsible for there own you really can not let the children suffer for any shortcomings the parents may have. So I never had a problem with this particular program other then I knew that the liberals would not be happy stopping there and would try to expand the program into universal health care.
Apparently my blue state has decided to sue the federal government because they changed the eligibility requirements for this program. New Jersey's suit focuses on rule changes, which would limit federal coverage to families earning less than 250 percent the poverty level — $51,625 a year for a family of four. New Jersey currently covers families that earn up to 350 percent of poverty — $72,275 for a family of four.
Say that again! Our taxes are paying for health insurance for children whose parents earn $72,275 per year. Unbelievable. You are not going to convince me that a family of 4 cannot provide shelter, clothing food and health insurance on 70 grand a year. Now certainly in NJ you would have to live frugally on that amount but necessities come first. At this level this program is not helping the truly needy it is merely income redistribution. It is also another way that the democrats buy votes. This is outrageous.
At a recent debate in New Hampshire presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked by moderator Tim Russert, "if there should be a presidential exemption to allow the torture of a terror chieftain if authorities knew a bomb was about to go off, but didn't know where it was." Her response was "It cannot be American policy, period."
Apparently contradicts a previous position Senator Clinton staked out. I think this issue deserves to be logically dissected to see which of her positions is the correct one.
First I think we an all agree that torture is bad. It dehumanizes both the victim and the perpetrator. On a more selfish note if you torture enemy POW's it opens your troops to retaliation. As a criminal investigative technique it is flawed because obviously confessions gained by torture are of suspect reliability.
But what about the situation posed by Mr Russert?
Under western common law if you kill someone to save your own life or the life of another you are not guilty of murder. The classic example is someone puts a gun to your spouses head and says they will kill them if you do not shoot the person standing next to you. Now this deals with the issues of duress and that no one is forced to give up there life for another but it is also illustrative of how we value life. It is permitted under the Western Judeo-Christian ethic to take life to save life. Another example is even clearer. Is there anyone who would argue that it would have been wrong to assassinate Hitler. Of course not. It would have saved millions of innocent lives.
So if we could save multiple lives or even one life by torturing someone (less extreme then killing them) wouldn't that be the sensible thing to do? Not only would it be the sensible thing to do but it is the morally and ethically correct thing to do. You are trading the dignity of one human for the lives of thousands or hundreds or even one but do not those innocent lives have a higher value then the dignity of one terrorist?
I am in the mood to talk about foreign affairs. Let's start with the big white elephant in the political room. ( I just love mixed metaphors)
Should we have gone in? I think so. Did the current administration bollix the job up? No question they did. However, I would rather not talk about the past. I would rather talk about what we do now.
I see three options.
1. Stay the course. Great option if we can eventually prevail. The magic 8 ball says "answer not clear" 2. Pull out. OK but what happens then. The most likely scenario is that after a bloody fight between rival Shiite factions an Iran dominated Shiite regime rules the south. This gives our friend Ahmadinejad and his black turbaned fundamentalist friends more power. Sunni Taliban like terrorist loving types will rule the center. The Sunnis and the Shiite each attempt genocide on the other and millions die horribly. Meanwhile the Kurdish north is invaded by Turkey and maybe Iran and the Sunnis each grab a small piece. Many many Kurds die as Turks, Sunni Arabs and Shiite Persians try to wipe out the Kurds for good. Now that option does not seem attractive for anyone except the terrorists and the Iranians does it? 3. We divide the country. If we can set up a neutral regime in Shia Iraq that might mitigate some of the problems. First we have to do some ugly fighting to weaken some of the other militias. Of course Sunni land would be a lost cause. The only hope might be for Kurdistan. We could station some troops their . The Kurds like us and this would benefit them because it would keep the Turks off their backs. The Turks would be really unhappy about all this but we could tell them we will help prevent cross border raids by Turkish Kurdish terrorists. This would benefit us because it would give us a base on the Iranian border. So if we have to pull out this is a slightly better option.
As I am writing this a fourth option comes to mind. It is possible for the terrorists and militias and insurgents to be shut down. Only it would take a lot more troops then we have. Probably double the amount we have. Maybe we can get some other nations to step up with a little blackmail. The Arabs do not want the country divided because they are afraid it will make Iran more powerful and their brethren in Iraq will be left with the part of the country that has no oil. Actually it does not have much of anything. The Turks do not want the country divided because they fear a resurgent greater Kurdistan. Their may be other nations who do not want to see options 2 or 3 happen. Lets tell them pony up troops or we pull out and see what happens.
The people who advocate pulling out had better be prepared to live with the consequences because they will be compounding any problems already created. I wish we could leave too. But at what cost do we do that? If genocide ensues can we live with that?
If you want us to pull out you better have a plan better then what I can come up with.
A lot of people were very upset that Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak at Columbia University. Now that he has had his say he has shown many people in the United States exactly how evil and stupid he really is. I think it was a good thing Columbia let him speak. They should show the same fidelity to free speech in all their decisions regarding speakers.
The First Amendment insures a free market place of ideas. While just like the economic free market the free market of ideas is not perfect it is the best system yet designed.
So let the market place do its work, let everyone have their say. Even the evil lunatics.
Since President Ahmadinejad is visiting the UN today I thought it would be an appropriate time to discuss how we should deal with this oppressive regime of Shite fundamentalists who are determined to destroy Israel, wage jihad and apparently want a nuclear bomb.
We should do nothing except make one statement. That is right do nothing. It is our allies in Europe and the Middle east who are most threatened by a nuclear Iran. They should deal with the problem as they deem appropriate. Our involvement probably just complicates matters.
What should we say you ask?
We should make the simple statement that we will let our allies deal with the issue of a nuclear Iran. We will go along with what ever resolution they reach be it sanctions, war or nothing at all. However, if Iran or any nation ever launches a nuclear attack on one of our friends or on the United States we will launch a nuclear counterattack that will wipe that nation off the face of the Earth. If terrorists attack us with nuclear weapons we will determine where they obtained those weapons and respond with total all out war.
This accomplishes two things. It tells are allies that if they want a safer world they had better step up to the plate and it lets our enemies know we do not fear them and we do not seek conflict but that if they seek conflict they should fear us.
This simple statement will show the true impotency of Ahmadinejad.
This is an interesting vignette about race in America.
In Louisiana an african american high school student asks if he can sit under a tree that a group of white kids usually sit under. He is told OK. Curious that he felt he had to ask but they did say yes. The next day some white students hung nooses from the trees. Very very bad. Since it could not be shown that the action was directed at any one person the act did not fit the definition of any crime on the books. The students responsible where punished by the school. Not surprisingly this has caused a great degree of racial turmoil in the school. Apparently six african american students decided to beat up one white kid. They were charged with attempted murder. Now the kid was not hospitalized so that charge was probably excessive. I understand the charges have since been downgraded to assault. This would seem more appropriate. Quite frankly I have little sympathy for anyone who engages in a six on one fight. If you must fight do it mano a mano.
In any event this little story has naturally drawn Al Sharton and Jesse Jackson to the scene. Sort of the way flies are attracted to excrement. Whenever there is a racially tense situation these two are always available to make it worse. They are protesting for the release of of these six students. They argue that laws are applied more harshly to African Americans then whites.
First, at this point the charges against these young thugs, who by the way have committed a bias crime, does not seem to be excessive. Second, in a broader context, if it is true that African Americans are disproportionately given harsher sentences then whites, the solution is not to let African Americans who commit crimes off the hook . It is to more harshly punish white criminals. That would make it fair to everybody. If the two headed Jackson Sharpton monster were arguing for that they would get my support.
We have a quaint little seaside town here in NJ called Ocean Grove. It was founded by Methodists and most of the property in the town is owned by the Camp Meeting Association who gives out 99 year ground leases. Every summer they have a big camp meeting that draws Christians from all over. Years ago they used to close the place down on Sundays. You couldn't even drive your car there. The courts made them stop that in the 70's.
Once again they are at the forefront of religious freedom litigation. They denied some Gay couples the right to celebrate their NJ Civil Unions on the boardwalk pavilion. The pavilion is used for religious services and the Camp Meeting Association felt that using the pavilion for gay civil unions would be inappropriate. They are not unexpectedly being sued.
My personal feelings on the gay rights issue is as follows.
Without going into a dissertation on why, I think homosexual conduct is a sin and is harmful to the people who engage in it.
However, I do not think that they should be punished for it or discriminated against in housing or employment.
On the other hand, I also do not believe the government should be putting a stamp of approval on it by allowing civil unions or gay marriage. Nor should Churches or religious groups or anyone else for that matter be forced to show approval for it. That is a violation of the fundamental right of religion.
This case is not about gay rights it is about whether the rest of us are going to be forced to approve of homosexual conduct whether we want to or not.
I can hear it now. The howls of protest. Hypocrite! You claim to be Christian but based on your last post you undoubtedly do not believe in what Jesus taught about helping the poor.
Actually I do. I believe we all have an obligation to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, house the homeless and yes provide medical care for the uninsured.
The difference is I believe we have an individual responsibility to do those things. Jesus called on each of us to do this ourselves. Jesus did not say form a government and impose confiscatory taxes on people so that the poor can be cared for. He did not say force those unwilling to help the less fortunate at the point of a gun. He said we each have a personal responsibility to get down and do the things he commands. We can do these things individually and as groups voluntarily coming together to address these needs.
I fact you are not following the teachings of Jesus if you abrogate your personal responsibility to the government.
Do I follow these commandments? I do charitable works but I fail far short of the standards set by my Lord and Saviour. I admit that. This post is a good reminder to me that I need to try harder.
Of course if I had to pay less taxes it might be a little easier.
Last time she promoted universal heath care their were provisions that if you attempted to buy medical services outside the system you and the doctor would both end up in the clink.
As part of her campaign to be president she is pushing a new proposal.
Here is what she is reported to have said
At this point, we don't have anything punitive that we have proposed," the presidential candidate said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We're providing incentives and tax credits which we think will be very attractive to the vast majority of Americans." She said she could envision a day when "you have to show proof to your employer that you're insured as a part of the job interview — like when your kid goes to school and has to show proof of vaccination," but said such details would be worked out through negotiations with Congress.
This women's agenda scares me to death. She would be right at home in the old Soviet Politburo.
What is even scarier is the number of people who want universal health coverage.
Get it through your heads people. It is not the governments job to supply your every need.
At least it shouldn't be. (warning ! this will be a frequent theme of this Blog)
Why not you may ask. There are a whole host of reasons. I will give you one reason now. The others you can read in a future post. Every time the government does something for you. you give something up. There is no free lunch. In this particular case you would be giving up two things. Substantial Cash in the form of tax dollars and you will be giving up freedom. The freedom to make your own choices regarding medical care. This is not a good deal. This is like trading in your Mercedes for a used Pinto. 1
Then what should government do? The government should;
1. Protect us from threats both foreign and Domestic. That would be Military, police, fire, anti fraud laws, environmental protection. Basically protect us from things we can not protect ourselves from but must do collectively. 2. Provide internal improvements that benefit everyone. That would be things like roads. 3. Hold public lands in trust. That would be national parks, wildlife refuges and management areas and national forests. 4. I will give them public education but only if it has to compete.
I think that's it. Let me know if I missed anything.
Take careful note; cradle to grave supply of your basic needs is not on the list. That means that is your responsibility including medical care.
Ft nt 1 for those of you too young to know a Pinto was a cheap small car manufactured in the 70's with an aluminium engine block that was prone to cracking and which went up in a fireball if you were rear ended.
I know what you are thinking. Here is another blogger who is spouting off without knowing what he is talking about . Look at his header. Son of Liberty, a reference to our revolutionary war heroes. The Sons Of Liberty where agitators in Boston who pushed us towards revolution. Not terribly original but it makes a statement. Then he goes into a biblical quote. The problem is the freedom the Sons of Liberty talked about and the freedom Jesus talked about where two different things. The Sons of Liberty where looking for political and personal freedom as expressed in the Bill of Rights. The freedom Jesus spoke of was freedom from the shackles of sin. The truth that sets us free is that he is the Son of God who was crucified for our sins.
The two do not have anything to do with one another. That is what you are thinking.
I am taking a little poetic license using the two references together but it is appropriate. It is appropriate because that is not the only truth the Christian faith revealed. It also taught us that each individual person has value and is loved by God. Judeo-Christian teachings lead directly to the philosophy's that resulted in the Bill of Rights. It is no accident that the ideas of basic human rights flourished in a Christian world as opposed to a part of the world where another religion predominated. So there is a connection.
In addition this Blog will sometimes be about politics and sometimes religion. Sometimes it will be about where the two intersect.
Finally I really like the whole Revolutionary War story, the characters,how it plays out and especially the ending . It really is one of the great stories of history. I also really like that quote because even taken out of context it is true on so many levels.
My two favorite subjects to discuss Religion and Politics are taboo in polite society. This Blog is so I can indulge myself. My opinions will usually be conservative (with a few suprises) and often controversial. I hope you find it an interesting ride.
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