Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2008 In Pictures - Hosting a Wedding

The Bride
The earthly witnesses
Warming up the instruments and musicians.
Setting Up

2008 in Pictures - Thanksgiving Football

Representatives of Mexico and Texas enjoying the football during a break in their deliberations.
Going long!

Celebrating the 4th

2 Mothers Outstanding in their field
Lots of birdies today

2008 in Pictures - Late Night Food Ops

Checking the Water Temperature

2008 In Pictures - Hurricane Ike

Dancing in the Rain.
The goat pasture
A weakened Hurricane vs. the Mighty Oak

Understanding the Dollar Crisis

In the summer of 1969 Percy Graves, a close friend and student of Professor Ludwig von Mises, gave a series of 7 lectures in Buenos Aires to overflow crowds at the Centro de Estudios sobre la Libertad on the dollar crisis. One of those lecutures dealt with the specifics of the 1929 Depression in some detail. Apparently there were Argentinians concerned enough about that crisis that they were willing to invest 7 nights of the life so as not to repeat that economic calamity in their country.

Would that Americans were so inclined.

The great irony is that if one changed 1929 to 2009 and added 80 years to the other dates, Professor Graves could have given the same lecture today word for word and been right on the mark. The only difference at this point is that we don't yet have the diaries and papers of the key players of the 2009 crisis.

The biggest and most dangerous misunderstanding regarding both of these economic crises is that they somehow represent a failure of the free market instead of the failure of government management of the economy.

Mises was once asked by a graduate student at his University of New York seminar what he thought the government should do during a depression. Mises replied in his quiet manner by presenting his free market position in a few well chosen words. Aghast, the student replied, " You mean the government should do nothing?"
Mises leaned back as he frequently did and said, " Yes, but I mean the government should start doing nothing much sooner."

You can download a complete transcript of this lecture here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Occult Communism

Okay...for all those who were offended at my classification of McCain's ideology as occult communism or thought it was a bit extreme, listen to this. By the way, I didn't see this clip of Ezra Taft Benson until after writing the previous post.

Now, who would you rather have as President: Someone who openly promises to lead America deeper into socialism and does so or someone who leads America deeper into socialism in the name of capitalism, free enterprise, and freedom?

The Article I Would Have Written

While waiting to start a teleconference the morning after, the normally staid President of an oil & gas entity enthusiastically informed those of us already online of his eager anticipation of an election celebration at this house this coming weekend. Apparently the thought of Sarah Palin as his President had frightened him. I didn't take the bait, but it did occur to me that this had been the first election night in many years that I had little interest in following. I had gone to bed early and barely even thought about reading an election article when I awoke - no elation, no depression; no rejoicing, no regrets. Well, I must admit some small elation on reviewing the 435 page precinct by precinct digest of our county's election results. Our family accounted for 4 of the 7 votes for Baldwin in our precinct which itself had the largest raw Baldwin vote out of all 85 precincts in the county. I must also admit having a twinge of sadness thinking of all the people (especially in the church) who voted for occult communism (in the sense of hidden) thinking it was better than the overt communism of the other Demoblican candidate. It was almost enough to pull a blog post out of me.

But when I saw Chuck had published this article saying many of the things I was thinking, I figured I'd post it and go to bed early again. It's strikes a slightly angrier tone than I would, but not enough to lose any sleep over.

Conservatives Lost More Than An Election
By Chuck Baldwin November 7, 2008

That Barack Obama trounced John McCain last Tuesday should have surprised no one. In fact, in this column, weeks ago, I stated emphatically that John McCain could no more beat Barack Obama than Bob Dole could beat Bill Clinton. He didn't. (Hence a vote for John McCain was a "wasted" vote, was it not?) I also predicted that Obama would win with an electoral landslide. He did. The real story, however, is not how Barack Obama defeated John McCain. The real story is how John McCain defeated America's conservatives. For all intents and purposes, conservatism--as a national movement--is completely and thoroughly dead. Barack Obama did not destroy it, however. It was George W. Bush and John McCain who destroyed conservatism in America.
Soon after G.W. Bush was elected, it quickly became obvious he was no conservative. On the contrary, George Bush has forever established himself as a Big-Government, warmongering, internationalist neocon. Making matters worse was the way Bush presented himself as a conservative Christian. In fact, Bush's portrayal of himself as a conservative Christian paved the way for the betrayal and ultimate destruction of conservatism (something I also predicted years ago). And the greatest tragedy of this deception is the way that Christian conservatives so thoroughly (and stupidly) swallowed the whole Bush/McCain neocon agenda.
For example, Bush and his fellow neocons like to categorize and promote themselves as being "pro-life," but they have no hesitation or reservation about killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people in reckless and unconstitutional foreign wars. By the same token, how many unborn babies were saved by six years of all three branches of the federal government being under the control of these "pro-life" neocons? Not one! Ask the more than eight million unborn babies who were killed in their mothers' wombs during the last eight years how "pro-life" George W. Bush and John McCain are.
As a result of this insanely inconsistent and pixilated punditry, millions of Americans now laugh at the very notion of "pro-life" conservatism. Bush and McCain have made a mockery of the very term.
Consider, too, the way Bush and McCain have allowed the international bankers on Wall Street to bilk America's taxpayers out of trillions of dollars. Yes, I know Obama also supported the Wall Street bailout, but it was the Republican Party that controlled the White House for the last eight years and the entire federal government for six out of the last eight years. In fact, the GOP has won seven out of the previous ten Presidential elections. They have controlled Supreme Court appointments for the past thirty-plus years. They have appointed the majority of Treasury secretaries and Federal Reserve chairmen. They have presided over the greatest trade imbalances, the biggest deficits, the biggest spending increases, and now the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression.
Again, the American people look at these so-called "conservatives" and laugh. No wonder such a sizable majority of voters yawned when John McCain tried to scare them by accusing Barack Obama of being a "big taxer." How can one possibly scare people with a charge like that after the GOP has made a total mockery of fiscal conservatism? That's like trying to scare someone coming out from a swim in the Gulf of Mexico with a squirt gun.
Then there was the pathetic attempt by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to scare gun owners regarding an Obama White House. Remember that John McCain is the same guy that the NRA rightly condemned for proposing his blatantly unconstitutional McCain/Feingold bill. McCain is also the same guy that tried to close down gun shows. He even made a personal campaign appearance for a pro-gun control liberal in the State of Oregon a few short years ago. In fact, the Gun Owners of America (GOA) gave McCain a grade of "F" for his dismal record on Second Amendment issues. Once again, Chicken Little-style paranoia over Barack Obama rang hollow when the alternative was someone as liberal as John McCain.
But the worst calamity of this election was the way conservatives--especially Christian conservatives--surrendered their principles for the sake of political partisanship. The James Dobsons of this country should hang their heads in shame! Not only did they lose an election, they lost their integrity!
In South Carolina, for example, pro-life Christians and conservatives had an opportunity to vote for a principled conservative-constitutionalist for the U.S. Senate. He is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-traditional marriage. He believes in securing our borders against illegal immigration. He is against the bailout for the Wall Street banksters. His conservative credentials are unassailable. But the vast majority of Christian conservatives (including those at Bob Jones University) voted for his liberal opponent instead.
The man that the vast majority of Christian conservatives voted for in South Carolina is a Big-Government neocon. He supported the bailout of the Wall Street banksters. He is a rabid supporter of granting amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. In fact, this man has a conservative rating of only 29% in the current Freedom Index of the New American Magazine.
Why did Christian conservatives support the liberal neocon and not the solid pro-life conservative? Because the conservative ran as a Democrat and the neocon is a Republican. I'm talking about the race between Bob Conley and Lindsey Graham, of course.
Had South Carolina's pastors, Christians, evangelicals, and pro-life conservatives voted for Bob Conley, he would be the new senator-elect from that state. In fact, Bob was so conservative that the Democratic leadership in South Carolina endorsed the Republican, Lindsey Graham! No matter. A majority of evangelical Christians in South Carolina stupidly rejected Bob Conley and voted for Graham.
Across the country, rather than stand on principle, hundreds of thousands of pastors, Christians, and pro-life conservatives capitulated and groveled before John McCain's neocon agenda. In doing so, they forfeited any claim to truth, and they abandoned any and all fidelity to constitutional government. They should rip the stories of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out of their Bibles. They should never again tell their children, parishioners, and radio audiences the importance of standing for truth and principle. They have made a mockery of Christian virtue. No wonder a majority of the voting electorate laughs at us Christians. No wonder the GOP crashed and burned last Tuesday.
Again, it wasn't Barack Obama who destroyed conservatism; it was George W. Bush, John McCain, and the millions of evangelical Christians who supported them. And until conservatives find their backbone and their convictions, they deserve to remain a burnt-out, has-been political force. They have no one to blame but themselves.
And since it is unlikely that the Republican Party has enough sense to understand any of this and will, therefore, do little to reestablish genuine conservative principles, it is probably best to just go ahead and bury the scoundrels now and move on to something else. Without a sincere commitment to constitutional government, the GOP has no justifiable reason to ever govern again. Therefore, put a fork in them. They are done. Let a new entity arise from the ashes: one that will stand for something more than just "the lesser of two evils." As we say in the South, That dog just won't hunt anymore.

In case you're wondering, Chuck Baldwin's commentaries are copyrighted and may be republished,reposted, or emailed providing the person or organization doing so does not charge for subscriptions or advertising and that the column is copied intact
and that full credit is given and that Chuck's web site address is included- which is here:

The title is a direct link to this article.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Correction Please

The New York Times today (in Intervention is Bold But Has A Basis In History ) quoted Nancy Koehn, a historian at the Harvard Business School, saying,"'The goal [referring to bailout activity -PA] is to get the engine of capitalism going as productively as possible, ... Ideology is a luxury good in times of crisis.'”

Ideology according to my Random House Dictionary is "the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group."

Far from being a luxury to be reliquished, ideology is absolutely vital in a crisis. In hard times people are forced to make hard choices between A or B that reveal their true priorities and values. A crisis simply reveals ones true ideology.

What Nancy Koehn has just revealed is that she does not believe in the constitution, liberty, or the free market. To her these are luxuries. Her ideology is socialism, statism, and government managed lives. Far from being relinquished as a luxury in this crisis, it is being followed exactly.

Neither should the phenomenon on Wall Street today be confused with a free market economy. It much more closely resembles a government sponsored monopoly in debt tokens that also happen to be the government mandated medium of exchange.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wasted Third Party Votes

The intramural debate among Christians over third party candidates is underway once again. When I first voted outside the Demoblican party, I don’t remember any serious discussions about such things among Christians. Their response to my third party comments, if there was any at all, was simply, “Huh ???”

But over the 6 intervening presidential election cycles the debate has matured considerably. Now I hear Christians contemplating complicated electioneering strategies (like switching parties to vote for the other party’s worst candidate in the primary in the hope they will win the nomination and set up an easier race in the fall) or asserting that a vote for a good third party candidate is really a vote for the worst candidate. To which my response was, “Huh???”

So in an effort to catch up to my more articulate brothers and sisters on this quadrenially important topic, I sat down tonight, after spending the day painting a large sign for my favorite candidate which will be mounted on the main traffic artery through our town, and tried to improve my contribution to this discussion.
On voting for the candidate who can’t win …
  • Elections are not a horse race where voters try to pick the winning ticket.

  • Elections are a wheelbarrow race where voters make the winner.

  • Not voting for a good candidate because he is not expected to win is giving up before the wheelbarrow race is over.

  • Choosing the lesser-of-two-evils over a good candidate because no else is voting for him is being controlled by peer pressure like a junior high socialite.
On voting for the lesser of two evils …
  • If you vote for the lesser of two evils for President, you’ll always have an evil President.
  • You can’t expect God to provide you with a good President when you vote for an evil one any more than you can expect God to provide you with daily bread when you sleep all day instead of working.

  • Voting for the lesser of two evils disobeys the admonition in Exodus 18:21 to choose good men (i.e. able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness) to exercise civil rule.
  • A vote for the lesser of two evils is doing evil in the hope of stopping evil.
  • A vote for the lesser of two evils is a wasted vote in getting a good candidate elected.
  • Voting for the lesser of two evils in the hope of avoiding a greater evil is like stealing food in order not to starve.
  • Defining an election in terms of the lesser of two evils is like falling for the false dilemma of values clarification exercises where 5 people are stranded in a lifeboat with supplies for 4 and thinking that one person should be thrown overboard (regrettably, of course) in order to keep the other 4 alive.
  • Voting for a good candidate instead of the lesser of two evils is not a vote for the greater of two evils, anymore than keeping 5 stranded people on a lifeboat for 4 is choosing to kill 5 people.
A vote for a good candidate is, as should be obvious, simply a vote for a good candidate.

Of course, I suspect the real issue is that lesser-of-two-evil voters do not really believe they are choosing the lesser to two evils. They believe they are choosing a basically good candidate who, while qualified for office, is simply not everything they might desire in an ideal candidate.
Whether someone is a qualified candidate (i.e. good) or an unqualified candidate (i.e. evil) who is simply less evil than another depends on the positions and records of each candidate and can‘t be answered by armchair logic. It requires digging into the gritty details. Let's look at main party options.
One option in this election is Barrack Hussein Obama.
There are some professing Christians who think Obama is the best choice for Pro Lifers (e.g., the Matthew 25 Network endorsed by Douglas W. Kmiec, a former assistant attorney general under President Reagen) because under an Obama presidency there would be fewer abortions than under a McCain presidency. The reasoning of these people is that free government health care would reduce the number of unsupported mothers who abort their babies because they are able to properly care for them. In addition better access to birth control would reduce the number of unwanted babies and thus reduce the number of abortions. This sounds a lot like the “A vote for a good third party candidate is a vote for Obama” logic. I don’t think I buy it here either.
A vote for Obama is a vote for someone who believes it’s okay to murder unborn babies.
Another self-professed pro-life, pro-Obama Christian is Frank Schaeffer, son of the late Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer. He thinks Obama is the best candidate for pro-lifers because he would lead the nation to where life is actually valued not just talked about. (See his article Pro-Life and Pro-Obama.) However, that seems hard to reconcile with Obama’s well known voting record on abortion legislation and his comments on the floor of the Illinois Senate against the Illinois born alive legislation that mandated caring for babies born alive despite efforts to kill them in utero (Transcript of Obama's verbal opposition to Born Alive on the IL Senate floor).
What ever else this man believes, he clearly condones the practice of murder and that alone disqualifies him from being a civil magistrate according to Exodus 18:21.
Another option is John McCain, regarded by many as the lesser of two evils.
Some Christians argue that we should vote for him, despite his many weaknesses, because he will appoint better judges. With McCain appointed judges, the argument goes, we’re more likely to maintain our freedom to homeschool, own guns, and evangelize, and there is a better chance Roe v. Wade could be overturned. People can say that our freedoms are safer with a McCain presidency just like Frank Schaeffer can say fewer babies would be aborted under Barrack Obama. But the question is, “What are the facts?
Here are a few for your consideration:
Seven of the nine Supreme Court justices were appointed by presidential candidates who were deemed the lesser of two evils (Ford, Reagen, Bush, and Bush). It hasn’t resulted in overturning Roe v. Wade. In fact, some of their appointees are even considered “Liberals.”
Under lesser of two evil presidents we have continued to fight unconstitutional and unbiblical wars, preemptively invading other countries for various reasons like possession of weapons of mass destruction. Of course, we have weapons of mass destruction too. Does that mean China is entitled to invade us because they feel threatened by our weapons of mass destruction? If not, then why is it any more right for us to invade Iraq simply because we feel threatened by their weapons?
War involves killing other people. This is Biblical when it is in self-defense. To say a war is not justified is to say we are intentionally killing people without Biblical justification to do so. That’s murder. If the invasion of Iraq was a response to 9/11, why had the President (a lesser of two evils candidate) completed plans for an Iraqi regime change 8 months before September 11, 2001? (See The Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind, p75, 160.) Obviously the purpose for the war had nothing to with terrorists flying planes into American buildings.
Since McCain has the same foreign policy advisors as President Bush ( See Pat Buchanan's article None Dare Call It Treason ), there is every indication he intends to continue fighting unconstitutional wars.
Under lesser of two evil presidents the absorption of the US military, economy, and legal system into the global military, economy, and legal system has progressed at the same pace as under the “avoid at all cost” Presidents. In fact, if anything, it has proceeded at a faster pace under the Bush regimes than under the Clinton Presidency.

Lesser-of-two-evil presidents have increased the national debt faster than our avoid-at-all-cost President with Reagan and G.W. Bush being the worst offenders. (Graph courtesy of accessed October 11, 2008.)

What expectation is there that McCain will be any different?

A sampling of McCain’s senate votes shows:
  • March 6, 2003 – Roll Call 43. Voted to support the continuation of the decades-old U.S. program for “general and complete disarmament” originally proposed in the well known 1961 State Department document Freedom From War (Department of State Publication 7277). The ongoing goal of that plan is to disarm all countries, including the U.S., to “a point where no state would have the military power to challenge the progressively strengthened U.N. Peace Force.” You can read the complete document at the state department archives: Freedom From War.
  • May 23, 2003 – Roll Call 196. Voted against the tax cuts in the Conference Report of HR 2.
  • May 23, 2003 – Roll Call 203. Voted to raise the debt ceiling by $984 billion in H. J. Res. 51.
  • July 31, 2003 – Roll Call 318 & 319. Voted to support free trade agreements with Singapore and Chile, laying stepping-stones to full implementation of FTAA and the complete relinquishment of economic sovereignty (H.R. 2738 & H.R. 2739). For example, see Why say no to FTAA or John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
  • October 30, 2003 – Roll Call 420. Voted to impose restrictions on emissions of greenhouse gases under the mistaken notion that global warming is the result of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Not only is this bad science (See ), it is also contrary to the constitution as such authority is not granted to the Congress anywhere in Article 1, Section 8.
  • November 6, 2003 – Roll Call 444. Voted to appropriate $80 billion for aid to farmers, rural development and nutrition programs. Essentially this is giving money to people for not working. It is not biblical (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12), it’s not constitutional, and it’s not fiscally responsible.
  • March 16, 2005 – Roll Call 52. Voted to remove language in S. Con. Res. 18 that would allow leases for oil & gas exploration in ANWR effectively preventing development of domestic energy resources. In November he voted a second time to prevent drilling in ANWR (Roll Call 288) .
  • June 30, 2005 – Roll Call 170. Voted for CAFTA. The goal of the Central America Free Trade Agreement is to create a EU style economic union in the Americas, bringing American people under foreign courts and trade rulings.
  • March 2, 2006 – Roll Call 29. Supported the continuation of the Patriot Act (H.R. 3199). See Wikipedia's Controversial Invocations of the USA PATRIOT Act for a few examples of the abuses allowed under this act. To be fair, many of these abuses could have happened before this act. The Act simply woke people up to the existing state of affairs. But that doesn't make his vote any better.
According to the Congressional Quarterly, Senator McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time. (see CG Voting Study)
Thinking McCain will be any different than Bush, is like Frank Shaeffer thinking that Obama will lead the nation to where life is valued not just talked about.
His senate voting grade, as best I can gather, is about 45-50%. So obviously he’s made a few good votes as well. But that’s not saying much. The same could probably be said of almost all felons. They’ve probably obeyed as many laws as they have broken. Students that are wrong 50% of the time are considered bad students and are flunked at most schools. Why is it any different for senators?
How about voting for a good candidate? Thankfully we still have that option.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Need Some Ideas for a Letter to Your Congressman?

Here's a letter I sent to my Congressman, who voted for the bailout the first time. He obviously won't be getting my vote in November. This is that big of an issue to me.

Right click here to download the pdf file. Sample letter to congressman

Rescue to the "Rescue to the Rescue"

Stirred enough about the bailout to fire off a few letters editors and congressman? I was and here's one of them I wrote to Thomas Friedman after reading his op-ed in the New York Times, Rescue to the Rescue.

Dear Mr. Friedman,

My stocks and 401k are down tens of thousands of dollars, my stock options are so far under water I expect they will take up permanent residence in Davy Jones' locker, and, according to many of your fellow journalists at the Times (Trying to Avoid Economic Calamity, Lawmakers Grope for Resolution, In Bailout Vote, a Leadership Breakdown, Revolt of the Nihilists), the House leadership of both parties is stunned, but for me Monday was a good day in America. In fact, I can't remember a day I've had as much fun and as many spontaneous, knee-slapping "Hoorays" reading the news as I had the following morning. But I agree with you that it was an unprecedented moment - at least I'd have to go back quite a ways to find a similar time.

Now we are both reasonable, articulate, well-traveled people - I've read The World is Flat - why are we seeing this from such opposite viewpoints?

You think this is a confidence crisis ("This is a credit crisis. It’s all about confidence. What you can’t see is how bank A will no longer lend to good company B or mortgage company C. Because no one is sure the other guy’s assets and collateral are worth anything, which is why the government needs to come in and put a floor under them. Otherwise, the system will be choked of credit, like a body being choked of oxygen and turning blue." Rescue to the Rescue) and I agree.

What we disagree on is whether this liquidity crisis and loss of confidence is a good or bad thing. You are assuming a loss of confidence is a bad thing. I think this loss of confidence is a good thing because you can't fix a problem until you recognize that you have a problem. This loss of confidence is the first step in recognizing that "Houston, we have a problem."

I have no particular desire to see the "fat cats" of Wall Street turn blue. But I do have a desire to see the Main Street economy put on the right footing. The question thinking people should be asking is "Where did the Federal Reserve get the $85 billion for the last bailout?" and "Where are they planning to get the $700 billion for this bailout?" According to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors they had $905.7 billion in assets as of September 3, 2008. By the end of the month it had increased by $308.2 billion dollars. That's an increase of 34% in less than a month! Where did that capital come from if there is a liquidity crisis and the capital market is frozen? Even if there was no liquidity crisis, that is more than the market capitalization of all but the largest Fortune 500 company. How could it be raised in only 1 month?

Obviously, as you and I know, they don't raise it by capital campaigns, as do other companies. They create it from nothing. Every dollar they create is debt - debt on which US taxpayers will have to pay interest. At least this is what Mr. Eccles of the Federal Reserve told Congressman Wright Patman according to the Congressional Record, 77th Congress, House Committee on Banking and Currency, September 24, 1941, page 1338, 1342. There are many other Federal Reserve publications, e.g. "Two Faces of Debt" or "Modern Money Mechanics," one could cite which say similar things.

This isn't just theory. The $308 billion dollars the Federal Reserve created out of nothing last month will cause real harm to our economy. It provides the capital on which all these derivatives that everyone is talking about are based. The Federal Reserve, with their ability to create dollars out of nothing through the creation of debt, created the excess funds that made the housing bubble possible in the first place.

According to the Bank for International Settlements, the estimated face value of derivatives floating around the world is 1.144 Quadrillion dollars (BIS Newsletter Released June 8 Accessed Oct 2, 2008 - I added the $548 Trillion notational value of listed derivatives to the $596 Trillion OTC as of Dec 2007 ). The combined GDP of the world's economies is just under $70 Trillion. With all that extra money swirling around, no wonder property values were rising so fast.

America is high on Federal Reserve Notes. Allowing the Federal Reserve to inject $700 billion of new debt into our economy to prevent pain from the collapse of the housing bubble is like giving massive doses of cocaine to a crack addict to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Federal Reserve Notes are not the solution to the problem; they are not oxygen to a choking patient. Federal Reserve Notes themselves are the problem. They are like cocaine to a crack addict. To fix the problem we need to remove them from the economy just as one would remove cocaine from the addict.

Yes, it is and will be painful. No doubt about it. I'll suffer from the losses like everyone else. But I'd rather be "addiction free" than high on the Federal Reserve's notes - and so would all the other thinking, liberty-loving Americans who have been pouring their letters and calls into Washington.

The real leaders in the House were the members of both sides of the isle who, despite intense arm twisting from party leadership, voted in the best interests of main street and just said, "NO!"

I think they deserve a standing ovation.

Peter Allison
Houston, TX

Revised Oct 2, 2008

Saturday, May 03, 2008

King Jesus

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Matthew 28:18 (KJV) Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin." John 19:11 (ESV) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. Psalm 2:2-3 (KJV)

We often sing about Christ being the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Do we think as often about the institutions and agents through which he rules: the family, the church, and the state or civil magistrate?

The civil magistrate is God's servant, ordained by God to reward those that do well and to carry out God's vengeance on those that do evil (magistrate comes from the Latin meaning greater servant). [Romans 13:1-7]

The pastor is God's Shepherd ordained to teach and to feed Christ's flock (pastor is Latin for shepherd which itself comes from the Latin word to "feed") . The great commission given to the church is to go through out the world teaching people all that the Lord has commanded and baptizing them into the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Parents are also God's servants, ordained to teach the next generation the fear of the Lord. Each of these three institutions are strategic strongholds in the establishment of Christ's kingdom and the propagation of the gospel, and each, as a consequence, are subject to Satan's most desperate attacks. The authority of parents to train their children in the fear and admonition of Lord is the means by which the gospel is propagated from generation to generation. If Satan can nullify the authority of parents to train their children it will destroy the family as effectively as Pharaoh's murder of the male infants in Israel. If Satan can induce the nations of the earth to blunt and pervert the civil magistrate so that those who do well are punished and those that do evil are rewarded, he will lead many people into sin as effectively as King Ahab led Israel into idolatry. If Satan can stop the church from preaching the gospel in its entirety and constrain her to preach it only as it applies to some areas, he will corrupt the pure milk of the word as surely as the Pharisees perverted scripture and thereby kept many out of the kingdom of heaven.

Indeed this is exactly what we do see when we look all around us. The church is prohibited from applying scripture to every area of life. She is told she can preach all she wants about Christ, just don't apply His word to the civil magistrate. In 1992 The Church at Pierce Creek in Binghamton, NY lost its tax exempt status for applying the scriptural qualifications for civil rulers to the presidential candidates (see When A King Speaks Of God; When God Speaks To A King: Faith, Politics, Tax Exempt Status, And The Constitution In The Clinton Administration).

The attack on the family is even more fierce.

In May 1949, the Bureau of Educational Research for Ohio State University published a test for children in grades 4 to 7 titled The Wishing Well. It contained statements in the form of wishes. The students were to check the ones that applied to them. This test contained wishes such as:

  1. I wish I did not feel so different from my parents.
  2. I wish I knew how you can believe that God is always right and at the same time believe that you should think for yourself.

A few months earlier the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization, often referred to by its initials as UNESCO, published a series of booklets titled, Towards World Understanding, in which we read, "Kindergarten has a significant part to play in the child's education … not only can it correct many of the errors of home training, it can prepare the child for membership in the world society."

A few years earlier in 1946 the director of the World Health Organization (Brock Chisholm) published an article in which he said that "For many generations we have bowed our necks to the yoke of the conviction of sin. We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday and day school teachers ... our priests ... and others with a vested interest in controlling us. " He went on to say that one of the objectives of the new education was the eradication of the concept of right and wrong as the basis for training children. (The Reestablishment of the Peacetime Society in Psychiatry, Vol. 9, No. 1, Feb 1946)

This man conspired against the Lord's Anointed. All the people who follow in his footsteps (they seem to congregate at places like the World Health Organization, the various child protective agencies, and the local government school systems) are also among those in Psalm 2 who are attacking the Messianic reign of King Jesus and seeking overthrow the Kingdom of God.

Today Christian parents are the point of attack by those who are fighting against King Jesus. These conspirators (in the words of Psalm 2) realize the supreme importance of who controls the training of the next generation. In the words of the same author:

The most important thing in the world of today is the bringing up of children.

On that point Dr. Chisholm and I agree. Herein lies the incredible irony of feminism which on one hand claims that intelligent woman can't reach their full potential by a life spent bearing and raising children and yet at the same time honors those who direct the rearing of other peoples' children - especially parents who are teaching their children Moses' version of history and not Jeroboam's (i.e. these golden calves delivered you from Eygpt). So when you see and hear stories like the Utube video above or the attempts to outlaw homeschooling and Biblical spanking in California, just remember the rest of the story:

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:4-12)

Who do we fear more? The wrath and sore displease of the CPS or that of the Almighty God and King of Kings?

In whose hands are we truly safe? The hand of the One who has overcome the world (John 16:33) and from whose palm no one can snatch us, or the hands of those who will be smashed in pieces like pottery before an iron bar?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

At Last, Some Facts!

We hear many opinions about media bias or lack thereof, but often see precious little data to prove anything one way or the other. Here is an interesting commentary based on a very large sample.

(Utube Link)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Roger Williams - Hero of Religious Liberty? Or...

For many, Roger Williams is regarded as the hero of religious freedom resulting in frequent articles that portray him as an exemplary leader. After reading yet one more such article by an articulate young homeschool alumna, I was moved to respond. In my opinion, far from being the father of religious liberty, Roger Williams was the spiritual father of pluralism in America– the idea that God does not speak authoritatively in the civil arena. He denied that God’s law should be the basis of our civil order. In so doing, he undermined objective truth (despite claiming to support it) because one can’t argue for an objective truth without an objective standard of right and wrong. The only absolute standard of truth (and hence right and wrong) is God’s law. Once God’s Word is discarded as the objective basis of civil law, we are left with only man’s ideas –natural law (in the French enlightenment sense), diversity, equality, majority opinion, or some other manmade standard.

Roger Williams wasn’t arguing simply for the right of Christians to differ; they already had that. Neither was he arguing that the church and state should be separate institutions; they already were. He was arguing against the authority and responsibility of the civil magistrate to enforce the law of God in society.

Today we are reaping the mature fruit of Roger William’s ideas when the Supreme Court strikes down sodomy laws, restricts states ability to outlaw abortion, or refuses to allow prayer at official functions. A nation either upholds God’s law or it upholds man’s law. There is no middle ground. It is not possible to separate the State from religion. It will always be religious. It will always enforce some standard of law. The question is: whose law will it uphold, God’s law or man’s law? Let me illustrate this from Roger Williams himself.

Roger Williams wrote a private letter to Pastor John Cotton asking for his opinion on a matter respecting freedom of conscience. When Mr. Cotton answered his questions in a private reply, Mr. Williams published Cotton’s response along with a counter-response attacking him as a man of blood. In the preface to his book, The Bloody Tenant Washed White In The Blood Of The Lamb, Mr. Cotton wonders how this is consistent with his position. If his private letter was full of errors, why punish him by publishing it along with a scathing attack? Doesn’t he [Cotton] have liberty of conscience to believe as he sees fit? Also, why publish something so unedifying? On the other hand if his letter was true, why attack him as a man of blood? Roger Williams had as little toleration for those who disagreed with him as the Puritans had for his erroneous ideas. Isn’t this the same sort of intolerance masquerading as tolerance that we see today?

Mr. Williams was not a consistent theologian or even an exemplary person.
· He fled England in 1630 because be could not tolerate the Anglican practice of open communion.
· He was offered a pastorate in Boston by the Puritans, which he turned down because he could not tolerate their non-separatist congregationalism.
· He was critical of the Plymouth church for not being separatist enough.
· He returned to England and was critical of the Anglican Church for being too lenient.
· He returned to Salem where he accepted a pastorate. From his pulpit be began attacking the validity of the King’s land patents. He accused the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay authorities of essentially stealing the land from the Indians.
· He attacked the Anglican church for not being a true church
· He refused to take an oath, along with all the other residents of Massachusetts, to defend the land against enemies because that was an act of worship and would involve him in worship with unregenerate people. He essentially was denying that the civil magistrate was God’s servant, ordained to execute God’s vengeance on those that do evil (defined as breaking the law of God) and possessing the power to administer judicially binding oaths.
· He taught that regenerate and unregenerate people should not pray together – including spouses and children.
· He believed there should, therefore, be no prayer of thanks before meals.
· He nearly split the church with these ideas, committing the sin of schism. The church was saved when he went on to claim that Massachusetts’s churches (of which he was a part) were not true churches, causing people to leave him.
· He fled the state, with a few disciples, to avoid deportation to England by Massachusetts’s authorities. There he was joined by the renegade antinomian, Mrs. Hutchinson.
· From Rhode Island he reversed his position on infant baptism rejecting pædo-baptism.
· He had all his followers re-baptized and then concluded that this baptism was not valid and they would have to wait for another apostolic power.
· He withdrew from the church and decided that he could only take communion with his wife. Then he reversed himself again, deciding that it was not possible for the church to achieve purity in this life and renouncing his extreme separatism.
· He couldn’t agree with anyone, moving from England to Boston, to Salem, to Plymouth, to England, back to Salem, and then to Rhode Island within a space of 6 years.

A better analogy for this man might be Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. They both rejected lawful authority, led gullible disciples into exile, changed their beliefs with the weather, and rejected the historic faith practiced by the church universal. I would note that this is very different from the reformers who corrected serious errors in the church by going back to the historic faith, not inventing new ideas. From the judicial safety of Rhode Island he wrote of Massachusetts, “My end is to discover and proclaim the dying and horrible guilt of the bloody doctrine, one of the most seditious, destructive, blasphemous, and bloodiest in any or all the nations of the world…” You would think he was writing about the Spanish Inquisition drawing and quartering dissidents instead of Governor Winthrop and his fellow pilgrims who had merely excommunicated him for heresy and sought to deport him to England.

His book, the Bloudy Tenent of Persecution, spells out in detail his rejection of God’s law as the civil law of the land. It was directly answered at the time by John Cotton and by several church councils. (See the Cambridge Synod of 1640) Thankfully, for nearly 150 years, most Christians in America rejected his ideas. States required all officers, from Notary Publics to legislators, to take religious test oaths affirming the deity of Jesus Christ as the second person of the Godhead, and the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God. It wasn’t until the constitution was written that religious test oaths were removed from America.

One of the Anti-Federalists from Connecticut using the pseudo-name David, wrote, as his state was about to imitate Rhode Island by adopting the US Constitution:
“We have now seen what have been the principles generally adopted by mankind and to what degree they have been adopted in our own state. Before we decide in favor of our practice, let us see what has been the success of those who have made no public provision for religion. Unluckily, we only have to consult our next neighbors. Taught from their infancy to ridicule our formality as the effect of hypocrisy, they have no principle of restraint but laws of their own making; and from such laws may heaven defend us. If this is the success that attends leaving religion to shift wholly for itself, we shall be at no loss to determine, that it is not more difficult to build an elegant house without tools to work with than it is to establish a durable government without the public protection of religion. What the system is which is most proper for our
circumstances will not take long to determine. It must be that which has adopted
the purest moral principles, and which is interwoven in the laws and constitution of our country, and upon which are founded the habits of our people. Upon this foundation we have established a government of influence and opinion, and therefore secured by the affections of the people; and when this foundation is removed, a government of mere force must arise.”

Letter by David in the Complete Anti-Federalist.

In American jurisprudence, the 10 commandments were seen as the basis for all civil law. In many cases the statutes directly quoted or cited scripture as part of the law. Although the laws varied a little from state to state, egregious violations of all the commandments (except the 4th and 10th) were capital crimes. Gradually the capital sentence was dropped from some of the commandments and then some of the commandments themselves were dropped from our civil laws. The usual pattern has been to cease prosecuting the violation of the law and then after years of disuse, to remove it. This pattern continues to this day. Most recently states have repealed all laws regarding the 4th commandment. Violations of laws regarding the 7th commandment are rarely prosecuted and in many cases have been repealed. About all we really have left today are laws respecting the 6th and 8th commandments- except that it’s OK to murder people if they are not yet born! Such is the legacy of rejecting God’s law as the civil law of the land.

Friday, January 18, 2008

So Mr. Farah Doesn't Like Ron Paul

Seems Mr. Farah has lost any respect he might have had for Ron Paul because the Gentleman From Texas (as they refer to each other on the floor) adds earmarks for pork spending to bills that he then votes against, knowing that enough other congressman will vote for it to ensure its passing into law. This, according to Mr. Farah, is immoral politics at its worst and reduces Congressman Ron Paul to being no less guilty of picking taxpayer pockets than the rest of the beltway bandits.

Well, all I can say is, "I wish every congressman would follow Ron Paul's terrible example." I think it would end the unconstitutional practice of earmarks. Don't you?

Seems to me that Ron Paul has once again found an extremely clever solution to a very difficult problem: how to return the fruit of excessive taxation to its rightful owners without voting for unconstitutional government spending. My hat's off to you, Doctor. Bravo!

The day that there are insufficient votes to pass unconstitutional earmarks is the day there will be enough votes to repeal unconstitutional taxes and fiat money.