A Historian’s Perspective on Bad Times in American History

I don’t think there’s really any disagreement about how pessimistic the majority of Americans are about the future. Currently, all the polls reveal that pessimism.  As I survey the scene—the spiritual/moral, political, and cultural aspects [what does that leave?]—I have grave concerns as well. I’d like to offer a historian’s perspective.

Since I teach American history, I have a more in-depth knowledge of what has transpired previously. I can imagine myself transported back into earlier eras and think about how I might have felt about current events at those times. Bad moral climates, disunity, and devastating government policies have cropped up throughout our history.

If my life had spanned the late colonial and revolutionary era, for instance, I would probably have been quite distressed over the state of affairs. The colonies had declared independence, and it was a thrilling prospect, but the progress of the war was anything but thrilling.

George Washington was often near despair over the inability of the Congress to pay his troops or provide for their needs. Thousands deserted during events such as Valley Forge. There was talk of meekly bowing to the British because all hopes for the future now appeared to be delusional. Even after achieving independence, the new states didn’t seem to want to work together; the entire national governmental structure was on the verge of collapse.

If I had experienced the 1790s, I would have been shocked by the vitriol that spewed forth daily in some of the newspapers, particularly those that accused Washington of wanting to set himself up as king. The French Revolution, which took place at that time, was one of the bloodiest episodes in all of history, and many in America were hailing it as a magnificent development. I would begin to question the wisdom of the electorate and wonder if this fledgling country could survive its first decade after the Constitution.

Later, during the War of 1812, our military defenses were so disorganized that the British actually burned Washington, DC, including the president’s house and the Capitol. Their troops were ravaging the countryside, destroying everything in their path without any effective countermeasures. What a low point for a nation.

Then there’s the Civil War and the decade that led to it. Passions were so heated in Congress that representatives started bringing their weapons with them into the House and Senate for protection. Slavery, by this time, had become entrenched. The Founding Fathers had hoped to eliminate it, but now the South was proclaiming it to be a positive good from God.

The nation split; more than 620,000 died in the war that followed, the highest tally for any American war. Bitterness remained for years afterward [you can still see its remnants today].

The Progressive Movement, after the turn of the twentieth century, introduced more government involvement in people’s lives and decided that the Constitution was an outdated document that had to be reinterpreted. Woodrow Wilson, a racist and a eugenicist, took the presidency. The eugenics movement sought to limit who could have children; only the “best” should reproduce. This movement formed the cornerstone of Nazi policies in Germany later.

Wilson moved the country down the path that led to Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s—the fulfillment of progressive dreams as the government took charge of getting the nation out of the Great Depression. FDR’s policies were so dismally foolish that the Depression continued until WWII. If I had lived during those decades, I would have mourned the loss of Biblical principles and constitutional limitations. The reigning ideology tossed out the concept of the rule of law. Now, anything could happen.

I did live during the 1960s and 1970s. It was not pleasant. First was LBJ’s Great Society, which could be described as the New Deal on steroids, followed by the rancor of the Vietnam War, then Nixon’s Watergate fiasco, and finally, the debilitated presidencies of Ford and Carter. The economy was in the tank, the worst since the Great Depression. Along the way, we also concluded that innocent children in the womb could be murdered.

I say all of this to make this point: there have always been bad times. Quite often, those who believe in Biblical morality and constitutionalism have come to the edge of despair. Yet we are still here. There is still hope to turn things around. We survived the disunity of the Revolution and the Civil War. We overcame the disgrace of the burning of the nation’s capital. Calvin Coolidge reversed Woodrow Wilson’s policies and Jimmy Carter brought forth Ronald Reagan.

Will the disaster that is the Obama administration become a footnote in our history that will bring forth another resurgence of sanity, or have we turned a corner and lost our way forever? That page in our history has yet to be written. We are the ones who will write it. If we take our responsibility seriously, hope remains.

Exposing Planned Parenthood’s Evil Deeds

PP ProtestLast Saturday, people nationwide stood outside Planned Parenthood centers to protest this organization’s abominable practices. The protest was not only about defunding but about the seared conscience our country has developed about abortion itself. The bottom line is that abortion is murder, and it must be stopped.

The utter callousness of the abortion industry—and “industry” is the correct term—must be exposed for what it is. Most of the national news media is not going to help get out this message. An informal censorship on the issue has dominated; anyone not already informed and depending on the major networks to be informed will learn virtually nothing about what is happening.

Oh, but we’re very informed about trivial matters:

Sister Planet

Evil tries to disguise itself. Planned Parenthood has a history of deception. The only way to battle this deception is with an assault of truth.

Has a Heart

The pro-life message has been making inroads in our culture, despite the degenerate drift in our society. Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to shine even more light on the evil deeds of darkness.

Unfair Debate?

Fox Debate ModeratorsThe conspiracy theories about the first GOP debate abound, mostly centered on the questions posed by the moderators. I’ve read that Fox was conspiring with Jeb Bush or with the GOP establishment or with the Democrats or with . . . well, you fill in the blank.

In my view, Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly, and Bret Baier did a valuable service for all the Republican candidates on that stage. They made them come up with answers to some hard questions that they will have to face throughout this campaign. In one instance, there was some unfairness, but not where you may think. I’ll come back to that.

The first question of the debate, in my view, was a masterstroke and unquestionably fair. Asking the candidates to pledge support for the eventual nominee and not to run on a third-party ticket that would ruin the chances for that nominee was essential. Was it targeted at Donald Trump? To be sure. But he’s the one who has been hinting all along that he might bolt and do the third-party thing if he’s not nominated. Putting him on the spot to make a public declaration was a significant moment.

That he refused to take the pledge was quite informative. And if you listened carefully to his answer, he was pretty much saying he has no respect for any of the other candidates. When asked later when he became a Republican, he never gave a straight answer to the question.

Donald Trump at DebateTrump was not singled out. Each candidate was confronted with either controversial statements made in the past or with views that he would have to defend. Only Trump, afterwards, went into whining mode, accusing the moderators of being “unfair.”

As is his habit, he let fly with the “loser” designation freely; during the debate, he also loved to use the word “stupid” with regularity, always referring to almost anyone in the government with whom he disagreed.

When the Frank Luntz focus group afterward revealed that he had lost significant ground with them, he attacked again, having his people call the group a “setup” designed to derail him.

Further, he descended upon Twitter to unleash other comments, specifically calling Kelly a bimbo and saying Fox should fire Charles Krauthammer, who had the audacity to say that the debate was the beginning of the end for Trump’s run for the White House.

Scott Walker GOP DebateNow, let’s contrast Trump’s responses with how Scott Walker handled what I consider an uninformed, misleading question. When Kelly challenged him with being out of touch with 83% of the country on abortion because he didn’t include a “life of the mother” exception, he stayed calm and answered directly, correctly noting that there was no need for that dichotomy—either kill the baby or let the mother die—because there are all kinds of ways to keep the mother alive during a crisis pregnancy.

The Association of Pro-Life Physicians clarifies:

When the life of the mother is truly threatened by her pregnancy, if both lives cannot simultaneously be saved, then saving the mother’s life must be the primary aim.  If through our careful treatment of the mother’s illness the pre-born patient inadvertently dies or is injured, this is tragic and, if unintentional, is not unethical and is consistent with the pro-life ethic.  But the intentional killing of an unborn baby by abortion is never necessary. [emphasis mine]

Kelly needs to be better informed on this specific topic, but it’s one that many believe because of pro-abortion propaganda.

Walker simply stated his strong pro-life position and concluded by alluding to the atrocities of Planned Parenthood, against which he has stood as governor of Wisconsin.

After the debate, no one heard one word of whining from Walker. He praised the moderators as tough but fair, as have all the other candidates.

If Trump’s antics at this debate didn’t convince a person to stop supporting him, I don’t know what will. Yet I will continue to appeal to conservatives to recognize that he is no true conservative, and I will exhort my fellow Christian believers not to be deceived. Donald Trump is not the Christian conservative candidate we need. He is a disaster in the making.

Planned Parenthood: The Culture of Mass Murder

The bad press being given to Planned Parenthood couldn’t be more appropriate. Not only is this organization the primary promoter of the mass murder of children, it is now exposed as, if possible, even more mercenary than many believed.

Two videos have now surfaced with Planned Parenthood officials talking about the price that needs to be paid to obtain body parts from dead babies. Note I said “babies,” not fetuses. I believe fervently that a child is created from the moment of conception, so that all abortion is a horror. But keep in mind that when they talk about selling body parts, they are referring to well-developed babies ripped from their mother’s wombs.

The callousness of the whole abortion industry is now open for all to see. I’m encouraged that Republicans in Congress and Republican governors of some states are now taking action against this depraved organization and its practices.

The only comment from the White House is that Planned Parenthood does everything ethically. That’s exactly what one would expect from a president who stood before that organization and asked God to bless their “work.”

I’m also gratified that many political cartoonists are coming forward to make the case. Here are some examples:

PP Guide

Buy Your Choice

Not a Child

That cartoon is in response to the latest video in which the Planned Parenthood representative “joked” about wanting to buy a Lamborghini with the funds she would receive for selling babies’ organs.

Then there is this one that requires some knowledge of history:

Ghost of Evil Past

Joseph Mengele was Hitler’s ghoul who carried out ghastly and grisly experiments on those imprisoned in concentration camps. The comparison is apt.

Brit Hume on PPFinally, I want to commend Fox News analyst Brit Hume for his hard-hitting commentary the other night. No one in the media has more fully taken Planned Parenthood to task, not only for selling body parts, but for promoting the whole notion that it is somehow right and moral to take the lives of innocent children.

He correctly states that we, as a nation, have become numbed to this horrific practice. Here is what Hume said.

This holocaust must stop. A first step is the defunding of Planned Parenthood by the federal government. The next step is the defunding of this organization by forty-one major companies, all the way from American Express to Ford to Starbucks.

Even as we lose our collective mind on issues like same-sex marriage, there is still hope that we can curtail this particular abuse. We must not allow the furor of this day to abate; we must continue to speak out and act.

Planned Parenthood & God’s Righteousness

In a week that has been filled with national security foolishness—a.k.a. the deal with Iran—and the ISIS threat come home—the murder of Marines in Chattanooga by a Muslim terrorist—some of the mainstream news outlets have barely mentioned the most grisly event.

Planned ParenthoodA video showing a top abortion “doctor” with Planned Parenthood detailing how the organization sells body parts of dead babies (who were murdered during an abortion) hardly even makes the radar screen as news that everyone needs to hear.

Let me just say it outright: Planned Parenthood is an evil organization dedicated to snuffing out the lives of unwanted children and, in the process, overturning all Biblical morality.

And it gets federal funding.

The latest figures show that 94% of the money that flows into Planned Parenthood goes toward abortion “services.” More than 330,000 abortions are performed annually through the auspices of this vile organization.

Yet this doesn’t bother the Left, of course. Some consciences are seared.

Feel-Good Story

That’s the way of the world, and I expect it. What’s more disturbing is the attitude of those on the so-called Christian Left (personally, I think that’s an oxymoron) who seem unperturbed by the abortion holocaust. Yet they find it quite easy to point fingers at those who stand firm on Biblical truths such as the sanctity of life and God’s design for sexuality and accuse us of self-righteousness.

What I have witnessed in my interactions with such people is that one can use the old cliché appropriately: when you point your finger at someone else, remember that there are four fingers pointing back at you.

The attitude that I see all too often is illustrated very well in this classic comic:

If God Is Pleased

It’s all too easy to fool oneself. I know I have to keep a constant watch on my own attitudes. Some will, of course, read what I have written here today and accuse me of self-righteousness. No, I’m merely grieved over the butchering of innocent children. I’m simply trying to call us all to mirror God’s righteousness.

Orders from the Brave New World

In case you missed it . . .

Supreme Court 2At the Supreme Court last week, as lawyers argued the same-sex marriage case, one of the justices, Samuel Alito, asked the government’s attorney, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, a striking question. What was even more striking was the answer he received:

Looking ahead to a possible constitutional right to same-sex “marriage,” Justice Samuel Alito asked a key question: “In the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?” With chilling honesty, Verrilli admitted, “It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is — it is going to be an issue.”

Translation: If churches, religious groups, schools, or nonprofits won’t surrender their beliefs on marriage, the government will make it hurt.

Further translation: if you don’t bow to the new “truth” of same-sex marriage, we will take away your tax-exempt status, thereby singling you out as enemies of our brave new world.

Then there was a speech delivered by Hillary Clinton at the Women in the World summit in which she stated categorically that “religious beliefs . . . have to be changed” to ensure “reproductive health care,” the polite phrase for abortion on demand.

In other words, no one should be allowed to believe that abortion is sinful, and that it takes the life of an innocent person. Those of us who hold to the view that abortion is against God’s righteousness must now adapt to the new way of seeing things.

If Hillary Clinton should make it to the White House, she will do all in her power to ensure this is carried out.

Dear Leader

In both of these cases, we see Biblical morality openly challenged. Abortion and homosexuality are the cornerstone issues for the Left in this country. Dedicated Christians stand in the way of their achieving all their goals. Therefore, we must be sidelined, punished, ridiculed, and made to seem irrelevant to the glorious progressive pathway to the New Future that awaits.

The good news is that all this opposition to basic Biblical beliefs is rallying those who are committed to Biblical truth. We were never promised lack of opposition; we’ve always been promised that our way is the narrow one that few will find palatable. We are called to be faithful to the One who sacrificed everything for us, and not for us only, but for all who will respond to His message. May we remain His committed followers in the coming days—days that may determine the fate of this nation.

The Deeply Flawed Candidate

The Hillary Clinton coronation is off and running. In her recent swing through Iowa in her campaign van, she kept talking (whenever she would deign to speak to anyone) about how she is the champion of the average American. She demonstrated this by stopping at a Chipotle in Ohio on her way to Iowa, where she spoke to no one—she wasn’t even recognized by the employees.

When she arrived in Iowa, her van parked in a handicapped spot, as if she had no need to follow the rules. But, of course, she is a Clinton; those rules don’t apply to her. There is a great discrepancy between the image she is trying to promote and the reality of who she is:

Champion

Wherever she went, she castigated those who make too much money—you know, all those CEOs who are taking advantage of you. Never mind that she makes more than most of those CEOs. You’re not supposed to pay attention to that:

Speech a Week

She avoided the media, yet those in the mainstream media don’t seem to care. They have already made their choice for 2016, and it’s quite obvious:

Match Hasn't Started

If the media were to be truly honest about her, this is the kind of report you would see:

Campaign 2016

Her views on CEOs are not the only views that are extreme. Speaking out in support of Common Core, she actually said that education is “the most important, non-family [emphasis mine] enterprise” in the country. Education is a “non-family” enterprise? No, Mrs. Clinton, it is the most family-centered enterprise that exists. Parents are the ones responsible for the education of their children, not the state. But, you know, it takes a village. I’m trying to remember—who said that once and wrote a book about it?

Then there’s her consistent position on abortion, which she considers something that should never be limited. Rand Paul, one of the declared presidential candidates on the Republican side, recently challenged DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she, and the Democrat party as a whole, really believes it is right to abort a near-term child that could weigh as much as seven pounds. Her answer was, in short: yes. That is the mentality of the entire Democrat party leadership now, and fully reflects Hillary’s position.

Not Viable

The latest controversy (there are always controversies surrounding the Clintons, usually of their own making) is the donations given to the Clinton Foundation by foreign countries and corporations in exchange for preferential treatment when Hillary was secretary of state. A new book on that subject is being released in a couple of weeks. The New York Times got an advance copy and is already pointing out the problems. That’s the New York Times, mind you—a source that normally will give every benefit of the doubt to progressive politicians.

Republicans should not be afraid to challenge her. She is not royalty who will automatically be swept into the White House. She is a deeply flawed person and candidate. They should be chomping at the bit to take her on:

Ready for Hillary

Whoever the Republicans choose must be steadfast in principle and able to communicate those principles effectively. That kind of candidate will be far more appealing to the average voter than a scandal-plagued Hillary.