Archive for the ‘ Politics & Government ’ Category

The Uninformed American Public

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has conducted a new study that probably should surprise no one who is really following the educational trends and the knowledge base of Americans. I’ll let ISI describe the results:

Are most people, including college graduates, civically illiterate? Do elected officials know even less than most citizens about civic topics such as history, government, and economics? The answer is yes on both counts according to a new study by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

More than 2,500 randomly selected Americans took ISI’s basic 33-question test on civic literacy and more than 1,700 people failed, with the average score 49 percent, or an “F.” Elected officials scored even lower than the general public with an average score of 44 percent and only 0.8 percent (or 21) ofall surveyed earned an “A.”

Even more startling is the fact that over twice as many people know Paula Abdul was a judge on American Idol than know that the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” comes from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

If you are interested in seeing the rest of the results or in taking the test yourself, go to http://americancivicliteracy.org. ISI is also the organization that has recently published three of my articles. If you haven’t read them yet, go to my homepage (link at the top of this blog) where you can access them.

The Real Terrorism

William Ayers has come out of his “cone of silence” since election day. He has appeared on television “clarifying” his youthful acts of terrorism. The bombs weren’t meant for people, he says; they were only aimed at the destruction of property. How comforting to know he was a “nice” terrorist. The people who were killed were apparently just collateral damage.

As despicable as his earlier actions were, what he has been doing since, in my view, is the more longlasting terrorism: infiltrating the minds of children with radicalism. You see, now he is an esteemed professor who promotes material for the classrooms, indoctrinating the next generation with his philosophy and creating more little William Ayerses.

His real legacy will not be his Weather Underground days; it will be the radicalism of the many young people he influences. And when Obama was on those foundation boards with Ayers, he was working with him to spread the radical faith. Now we will soon have, in spirit, an identical radicalism in the White House. Yes, Obama comes across as reasonable, but to those who know what he really believes, his ascendancy is truly frightening.

Is There a God Problem?

Kathleen Parker: The GOP and God

Kathleen Parker: The GOP and God

Today we have another prime example of the difference between a conservative and a Christian conservative. Kathleen Parker, a conservative columnist who became controversial during the campaign for impugning Sarah Palin has dropped another bomb on the conservative movement. In her commentary, she has decided to denigrate evangelical Christians in the Republican tent. She states:

As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.

That is merely the introduction. She continues:

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

“Oogedy-boogedy”? Well, all the way through my doctoral studies, I have to admit I’ve never heard the term. I guess I’m just poorly informed. But don’t Republicans need the evangelical vote if they are to have a chance of winning? In an attempt to outdo even herself, she adds:

So it has been for the Grand Old Party since the 1980s or so, as it has become increasingly beholden to an element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners. . . .

Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.

Note the derision in these comments. Evangelicals were once “relegated to wooden crates on street corners.” We are the GOP’s “lowest brows.” And what is really important to her is that we are driving away the secularists and conservative Democrats.

What kind of party would the GOP be if it were largely populated by secularists and Democrats? Would it still be recognizable?

She certainly has the privilege of stating her opinions, but I have the same privilege of responding to them. What we see in this article is one point of view nowadays–exorcise the fanatics! They are bringing us down! I respond: the GOP wouldn’t be as close to winning as it is without the evangelicals. Its identity would be just a weaker version of the liberalism that now dominates the Democratic party. And it would be cutting off the potential blessings of God by shutting out His people.

The Republican party is at a crossroads. Which path will it take?

The Republican Future?

Palin: The New Republican Leader?

What does the future hold for the Republican party? Is it dead? Whether dead or not, what type of “revival” does it need?

I believe Republicans need a couple of key things at this point: first, a clear message that resonates with voters; second, a leader who has the ability to communicate the message.

The message cannot be new. Some want Republicans to walk away from their roots. I disagree. The focus, now more than ever, needs to be on limited government, economic freedom, and a morality based on Biblical principles. Why? Because those are truths that must be the cornerstone of a society. You can’t mess with those truths and expect the nation to prosper.

As for the leader, I am open to whomever the Lord raises up. Yes, I do believe that the Lord is interested in placing someone in that leadership role. Right now, all the attention is on Sarah Palin. She has continued to be maligned in the press, and now from so-called “insiders” from the McCain camp. Yet she has handled herself well in responding to them. She has made herself available to a number of media interviews since the election, and has shown an ability to hold her own.

Is she the person the Lord wants? I don’t know. But my exhortation remains the same as it was prior to the election: pray for her. Let’s see what the Lord will do.

R.I.P? Not Yet

A few days ago, I received the following picture in an e-mail.

Yes, I did post a message that I entitled “America’s Suicide Attempt?” But this picture is premature. November 4, 2008, was definitely a step in the wrong direction, and the America of the future may be unrecognizable to us today. Yet that is not set in stone (so to speak).

As I’ve stated before, I believe Obama is a radical. His philosophy is radical and his instincts have been trained in radicalism. He will take this nation as far to the left as he deems possible. Some commentators have been theorizing that he will not be able to do nearly as much as he has promised. They say that if he goes too far too fast, there will be a backlash because the country is not willing to accept his type of radicalism. I hope they are correct, but I will not make such a rosy prediction.

If Congress, which is dominated by the Democrats, passes the Freedom of Choice Act, for instance, I can’t see anything stopping Obama from signing it into law. His determination to remove all restrictions on abortion is a cornerstone of his philosophy. On other issues, he may go slower, but that is almost more dangerous. The old story about how if you put a frog in a frying pan, he will jump out, but if you put him in lukewarm water and slowly heat it up until he is cooked applies here. He can gradually bring some things to pass without most of the populace becoming aware of what he is doing.

The key is to remain vigilant and point out the dangers as soon as they arise. We must not be lazy and simply allow America to be transformed for the worse. If we do our part, I believe God will still pour out mercy and grace. Damage will undoubtedly be done, but we need to pray that it will be limited and reversible.

So let’s not write that epitaph just yet. It’s too soon.

An Appeal to My African-American Brothers & Sisters

I am of the opinion that, Biblically, there is only one race, and that it is called “human.” Man is the one who has invented the idea of different races. In fact, we are all beings made in the image of God. Externals such as skin color are not that important. Yet we make them important to our detriment.

If we are Christians, that is our primary identity. Everything else is secondary to that. The real division in the world is not racial; instead, it is between those who are part of the kingdom of God and those who are not. As the Apostle Paul noted:

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26-28)

For too long in America, white Christians were not following the truth of the Word in this respect. It has taken a long time to remedy this; unfortunately, it has also resulted in much bitterness. Now, there are black Christians who apparently, in reaction to past treatment, are making race into the determining factor in politics. To be black in America in 2008 almost reflexively meant voting for Barack Obama. My brothers and sisters, this should not be so.

If I vote for someone because he is white, I am elevating externals over the truth of the Gospel. If my African-American brothers and sisters do the same by voting for a black candidate primarily because he is black, how is that any different? In both cases, we would be wrong.

We must vote based on whether or not the candidate advances Biblical principles in our society. That is precisely why I could not vote for Obama. It had nothing to do with race.

Interestingly, in California, the proposition on the ballot that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman (and which narrowly passed) was supported by 70% of African-Americans. They helped lead it to victory. Yet, those same voters turned around and voted for Obama by over 90%. He is no friend to the Biblical definition of marriage. How can those two votes be reconciled?

We must be consistent.

God calls us to always vote based on His principles. Those principles tell us to treat everyone impartially, and to show no favoritism. By no means should we allow race to be the deciding factor in our vote. I urge all my brothers and sisters in the faith–whether white, black, Latino, Asian, or whatever–to recognize this truth and act accordingly. Let’s work together for the kingdom of God.

Pro-Lifers for Obama?

Perhaps the most disheartening development in this election was the specter of some pro-lifers voting for Obama. One gropes for analogies: animal rights activists clubbing seals? radical environmentalists burning a forest?

How can this be? How can a pro-lifer, particularly a pro-lifer who claims to be a Christian, violate one of the most easily discerned commandments of God–never take the life of an innocent person?

I’ve heard the rationales. “Well, I can’t be a single-issue voter; abortion is only one of the issues a Christian must consider.” I agree. When I vote, I take all issues into consideration. However, there is only one issue that deals with immediate life or death of the innocent. “I can’t vote for McCain because he divorced his first wife.” Yes, he did. It was wrong. But McCain himself acknowledges that. He freely confesses that he was selfish and immature when he did it. Have these Christians never heard of repentance? Are they going to hold a person’s sins against him for the rest of his life, even when he admits he was sinful? McCain, by the way, has continued to take care of his first wife, and she even supported his bid for the presidency. If she can forgive, what can’t we?

I must repeat points I have made previously. Barack Obama has stated that one of the first pieces of legislation he hopes to sign into law is the Freedom of Choice Act, which will wipe out all restrictions against abortion nationwide. He also pledges to nominate people for the Supreme Court (and all federal courts) who adhere to his philosophy. By the end of a four-year Obama term, this nation may be changed drastically for the worse.

And some Christians will have helped make that happen. I don’t wish to be harsh, but if you consider yourself a pro-life Christian and you voted for Obama, you have contributed to the ongoing slaughter of thousands upon thousands of unborn children. You will have to be the one to explain to the Lord why you did it. Neither I nor anyone else who values the sanctity of life will be able to plead your case for you. That blood will be on your hands.