Restoring Federalism: Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment

Yesterday, my posting on Big Government appeared—a commentary on the Seventeenth Amendment, which changed how senators are chosen. The repercussions of this change are many, yet most people are unaware of them. Roe v. Wade, for instance, may have come about partially because of this amendment. If you are interested, go to

http://biggovernment.com/asnyder/2010/08/31/restoring-federalism-repeal-the-seventeenth-amendment/#more-161853

Obama's Religious Beliefs

A poll stunned the news media last week, and its reverberations haven’t ceased. Fully one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. Reaction from the White House and the news media has been identical: no, that’s mistaken—Obama is a Christian. Even conservative commentators and news media have taken up the same chant.

What’s the truth?

First, I don’t believe Obama is a Muslim. To be a real Muslim, he would have to be adhering to all the tenets of Muslim belief. Is he praying five times a day toward Mecca? I doubt it—unless he does it on the golf course. He’s obviously not an observant Muslim. Yes, he was raised as one as a child, but I don’t honestly think he is committed to that today. You can understand the confusion of the populace, however, since he definitely comes across as sympathetic to Muslim causes. He’s always praising Muslim influence in the world and, supposedly, in the United States.

But that doesn’t make him a Muslim.

So then he must be a Christian, right? After all, he went to a church for over twenty years. Is that what it takes to be a Christian? The problem with the political and media response—yes, he’s a Christian—is that it is based on externals only. And even those are abysmally weak.

What about that church he attended? Surely you remember the so-called Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of that church. He is an adherent of black liberation theology, which turns Jesus into merely a great man who came to set free those who are oppressed politically. He attempted to “save” them from the oppressor but was cruelly crucified for trying to do so. It’s a Marxist theology.

This is not the Jesus of the Bible. This is not the message of salvation.

Jeremiah Wright is a radical of radicals, devoted to the Palestinian cause, saying America, by supporting Israel, is sponsoring state terrorism. The terrorist group Hamas, on the other hand, has been given a voice in Wright’s church bulletins.

Wright’s other highlights: Jesus was black and was oppressed by white Europeans; the American government created HIV to commit genocide against minorities; America is worse than the Islamic extremists because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII; 9/11 was simply the “chickens coming home to roost” because America’s policies deserved that response.

This was Obama’s pastor for more than twenty years. There’s nothing orthodox Christian about him.

Obama himself, in a 2004 newspaper interview said, “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.” In other words, there is nothing unique about Christianity or the person of Jesus. All paths lead to the same place. That’s a direct contradiction of the Biblical dictum that Jesus is the only way and the only truth.

In that same interview, he stated,

The difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that if people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they’re going to hell.

Notice he calls this a “difficult thing,” something he clearly doesn’t accept. Consequently, he doesn’t really believe the Christian message because he doesn’t believe someone will be separated from God if they don’t have faith in Christ, nor does he believe in spreading the message.

Obama is not a Christian.

We’re also told by Jesus that you will know true Christians by the fruit of their lives. This doesn’t mean that Christians will always be consistent with their confession of faith; they will do things at times for which they need to repent. However, if one promotes continually positions that are at odds with Biblical morality, how can one really be a Christian? Let’s look at the record:

Obama, as a state senator in Illinois, vocally and forcefully fought against allowing doctors to come to the aid of children born alive in an attempted abortion. This is infanticide, pure and simple.

Here are more:

  1. He is one of the foremost politicians in favor of paying for abortions with taxpayer money.
  2. He advocates embryonic stem cell research.
  3. He advocates repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.
  4. He advocates repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military.
  5. While saying he opposes same-sex marriage, his actions indicate just the opposite.

These are the most obvious issues. There are others I could point to, but they are derivatives of these.

Based on everything I know about Barack Obama, there is no way I can consider him a Christian. Yet like everyone else, he is a potential Christian. The path is the same for everyone: recognition of sin, genuine repentance over one’s sins, faith in the atonement of the Son of God [not just a great man sent by God], and a life that shows the fruit of that faith. Nothing short of that qualifies as Christian.

More Non-News News

While most of the world is entranced by the travails of Lindsay Lohan and other high-profile stories, I’ve been following the non-news news—you know, the real news that is considered non-news by most of the mainstream media. Let me give some examples.

First: Remember that executive order President Obama signed saying that his healthcare bill wouldn’t fund abortions? The one that brought all the supposedly pro-life Democrats on board? The one that I and many others said at the time was entirely bogus because he would never keep his word?

Here’s the latest on that: we are now told that Health and Human Services will be giving $160 million to Pennsylvania to cover the cost of any abortions legal in the state. Apparently, New Mexico also will be receiving funds for the same purpose. These may be just the first two of many. Republican minority leader John Boehner sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius in May asking how her department was going to ensure that Obama’s executive order will be carried out. He has never received a response. Well, not officially. We’ve all been notified now that the executive order is a dead letter.

Second: How many have heard about the administration’s crusade to convince the nation of Kenya [home of Obama’s family on his father’s side] to ratify a pro-abortion, pro-Sharia law constitution? The Sharia law part would divide Kenyan society in half legally; the abortion part is self-explanatory. Vice President Biden visited Kenya last month, pushing for it. That’s bad enough, but to make it even worse, American taxpayers are paying for this to the tune of more than $600,000. Some of that money went to the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance. Is this really how you want your tax money spent?

This relates back to another of those non-news news stories from before the 2008 election: how Obama went to Kenya to campaign on behalf of the radical socialist candidate in its presidential election. Don’t remember that? I’m not surprised.

Third:  This one is non-news news for another non-news news story. Sometimes they pile on top of each other. When the NASA administrator announced that one of NASA’s priorities was to develop relations with the Muslim world and make them feel better about themselves, the administration said he had been given no such mandate—another example of an inconvenient individual being symbolically thrown under the bus, which happens often with Obama. Well, a congressman has come forward with testimony affirming what the NASA director said. Rep. Pete Olson, ranking Republican on the committee that oversees NASA, says that administrator Bolden told him last month that he definitely had a directive from the White House to be an arm of outreach to Muslims.

Maybe instead of being thrown under the bus, Bolden was thrown under the Space Shuttle—an inventive twist on an old policy.

Fourth: Donald Berwick, the man assigned to direct Medicare and Medicaid [placed there by recess appointment without the approval of Congress], who advocates healthcare rationing and who loves the British healthcare system, apparently doesn’t have to worry about his healthcare. The board of directors for the Institute for Health Care Improvement has given Mr. Berwick lifetime coverage. Mr. Berwick started the organization and serves as its chief executive officer. Nice to know he won’t have to enter the same system that he loves so much.

Now you’re caught up on some of the news that the media has declared non-news. Why does anyone with any sense continue to watch the major news networks [besides Fox, that is]?

Issues: No Dichotomy

The issue that first got many evangelicals involved in politics was abortion. After that, it was a threat to private schools from the IRS. Those were both in the 1970s. As the 1980s progressed, so did the “gay rights” agenda. That has increasingly received attention.

All of these are sometimes categorized as the “social issues.” Commentators often talk about those being the hot-button issues for evangelicals because they are focused on problems of morality. I cannot argue with that. They deserve our concern.

I would like to note, though, that we sometimes divide these issues into artificial compartments. In my view, all issues come back to some aspect of morality, and they all affect our society. The division that is usually made is between the moral concerns and the economic concerns, but stop and think for a minute: how can we divorce economics from morality?

How money is spent is a moral issue. How much we spend has to do with morality as well. If we go into massive debt, how is that not a matter of right and wrong?

If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to reorient your thinking and realize that there really is no division. Citizens—and particularly Christian citizens—should see our national concerns as interconnected. In the same way as there should be no dichotomy between sacred and secular [God is the author of all knowledge and gave man the ability to think and create], neither is there a dichotomy between morality and economics or government structure or any other issue one might raise.

Let’s be renewed in our minds. Let’s see the whole rather than the parts in isolation.

The Wisdom of the Court?

The Supreme Court was never meant to be the ultimate authority in the land. That may surprise some people because we have operated on the premise it is the final word on all political controversies. As a nation, we’ve been conditioned to think that whenever the Court speaks, all shall bow before its wisdom.

What wisdom was involved in a decision to make it legal to kill unborn children? Was it wisdom that later refused to rethink that decision simply because it was a precedent that shouldn’t be overturned? The Court, in that case, somehow made Roe v. Wade into an almost sacred ruling that no one should ever touch.

Yet we continue to bow. So every time a president nominates someone to this Court, the confirmation process in the Senate takes on the nature of high drama. Why? Because the elevation of this individual, whoever it may be, could turn the ship of state with a single 5-4 decision.

Since we’re probably not going to change our attitude with respect to the Court’s lofty position, it is imperative that we scrutinize each nominee’s philosophy of law and each one’s track record in court. In the case of Elena Kagan, that scrutiny is nearly curtailed by her lack of a judicial record.

What exactly does she have going for her besides being a philosophical clone of this president?

That might be her best qualification, but how will we know for sure?

Whereas in the past Kagan has called for real hearings to find out what judges actually think, all of sudden she has experienced a conversion. She will revert to the standard “I refuse to comment on specific cases that may come before the Court” mantra.

Truth be told, I don’t need to hear her say what she believes. To anyone with any political knowledge at all, it’s quite obvious how she will judge cases. She will do so ideologically. Barack Obama would only nominate someone who shares his ideology and who won’t hesitate to act upon it.

Opposing Kagan: Let Me Count the Ways

Well, here we go again. It’s time for another round of  trauma as we prepare for hearings on President Obama’s latest nominee for the Supreme Court. She is current Solicitor General for the U.S. and former dean of the Harvard Law School. Thirty-one Republicans opposed her appointment for Solicitor General, so she is not without controversy regardless of the administration’s attempt to portray her as a legal moderate.

Elena Kagan: Supreme Court Bound?

So what are the basics on Elena Kagan? Why can she be opposed on principle?

Let me count the ways.

First, I don’t accept the view that any president should just get whomever he wants on the Court and that as long as the person is “qualified,” he or she deserves the job.

It all depends on the meaning of “qualified.”

On the surface, someone who works as Solicitor General and who was the dean of Harvard’s Law School would seem to be qualified. By whose standards, though? My basis for judgment is different than what most senators will use for their evaluation. Here are the problems from my point of view, in no particular order:

  1. She has no courtroom experience as a judge. While I’m not absolutely wedded to the position that this is mandatory, it certainly should make one pause, especially when one takes into consideration we’re talking about the highest court in the land.
  2. She is an ideological clone of Barack Obama. Therefore, she will promote his agenda on the court.
  3. She is an ideological clone of Barack Obama. Therefore, she doesn’t believe in following the original intent of the Constitution. In her mind, it’s a nuisance that gets in the way of “progress.”
  4. She is an ideological clone of Barack Obama. Therefore, she is pro-abortion.
  5. As dean of the Harvard Law School, she worked to keep military recruiters off campus. Her view of the military is Standard Leftist.
  6. She despises the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuals serving in the military, calling it discriminatory.
  7. One possible reason for her strident views on #5 is that it is an open secret that she is a lesbian. I believe homosexuality is a sin and should not be promoted in society in any way. Placing a lesbian on the Supreme Court sends the wrong signal. I know I am in the minority now with this view, but I must stay faithful to Biblical teaching and give it priority. This is a character issue.

All the factors listed above [and I’m sure more will surface as I have time to read more about her] converge to make her unacceptable as a Supreme Court justice.

Of course I realize that there is about a 99% chance she will be confirmed.

Fortunately, she is only replacing someone who shares her views and not a conservative who believes in original intent. That battle may be in the future, but I pray it will not occur during this current administration.

Oxymoron of the Week

Rep. Stupak: Satisfied with the President's Promise

Perhaps the saddest spectacle in this whole healthcare fiasco was the revelation that some people who claim to be prolife really aren’t.

It doesn’t please me to say this, but a true prolife Democrat, at least in this current Congress, is an oxymoron.

When Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak folded on Sunday, accepting a promise from the administration that the president would issue an executive order disallowing abortion funding by the government, all hope of stopping this bill died. He and his small band of supposed prolife Democrats then voted in favor of Obamacare. Now we know, as we look at the final vote, that this defection was crucial. If they had remained firm, Obamacare would have failed.

This makes it clear to me that their prolife stance was more of a preference than a conviction. A deeper conviction was their desire to impose a government-sponsored system on the American public.

First, let’s be honest here. President Obama, the most pro-abortion president in American history, will not follow through on his promise. It’s already been asserted—accurately—that no executive order can overturn legislation, and this legislation calls for federal funding for abortions. It was a phony promise, and Rep. Stupak and his group fell for it.

However, it’s not just that they were deceived. The bigger problem is that fundamentally they believe in the socialist vision. They are progressives who accept the assertion that government ought to be in charge of major sections of the economy. They don’t trust the private sector and have faith that government will perform better.

On what do they base that belief? Where does government perform better? Social Security? Broken. Medicare and Medicaid? Massive fraud has been revealed. No matter where you look, the federal government has not performed better than the private sector. That’s an illusion.

Their belief is precisely that—a belief. It is ideologically driven.

I recognize it’s possible that Rep. Stupak really thinks he is helping the poor. If so, he doesn’t understand how economics works. But I don’t accept the idea that Obama and the leadership in Congress really have helping the poor as their driving purpose. Yes, they use that in their public utterances, but the real goal is control.

The American people, by large majorities in the polls, do not approve of this unconstitutional usurpation. Yet the Democratic leadership kept saying this bill was “historic.” As the sign on the right indicates, being historic is not always a positive thing. Historic disasters exist as well.

Something else historic needs to take place now: the biggest turnaround in election history. This November, an electoral uprising is absolutely essential. Can it happen? Almost no one predicted the Republican takeover of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections. The morning after election day, commentators were scrambling to figure out what happened.

It can happen again. It can be an even larger and more historic vote than 1994.

Medical analogies abound in the political cartoonists’ world.

It could be that the Democrats are doing most of the spadework for Republicans themselves.

Yet even if this does occur, how can we change what has happened? What are the best avenues for attacking this and reversing the damage?

I’ll try to deal with that tomorrow.