Gun-Control Politics

When I wrote about the Oregon campus shootings last week, my emphasis was on the faith exhibited by the victims. Their Christian steadfastness as they faced death was a witness to the genuineness of their faith. It also was a challenge to those of us who name the name of Christ that we be as firm in our faith as they were.

I avoided the politics of the situation because that should not have been the focus. Since then, the politics have become obnoxious and deserve some comment.

President Obama’s immediate response was to blame a gun culture and try to shame those who believe in the right of self-defense as enshrined in the Constitution. He even admitted he was politicizing the issue.

Commentators, on both sides, have declared that at least his belief in what he was saying was heartfelt. He truly thinks stricter gun control laws will somehow reduce gun violence. I grant he was sincere; there are probably people who sincerely believe in the existence of unicorns, but they are living in a fantasy world.

That’s where Obama lives also.

All he has to do is look at his hometown of Chicago to know that strict gun control laws don’t work. When you try to create “gun-free” zones, those zones automatically become havens for those who want to carry out their plans for killing as many people as they can.

Welcome Mass Killers

After the deed is done, those gun-free zones take on a new character:

Gun-Free Zone

Yet the fantasy thinking knows no bounds:

Now You're Safe

As “sincere” as Obama may have been, let’s be honest about the real goal here:

Shooting Victims

Hillary Clinton, struggling to regain her balance in the wake of her myriad scandals and robotic personality, has now taken the lead in declaring she, as president, would push for shooting victims to sue gun manufacturers, and, she says, if Congress won’t pass new gun control legislation, she will do it herself by executive order.

Yes, she has learned at the feet of her guru, Barack Obama.

Fewer people would have died in Oregon last week if the campus had allowed others to carry guns, whether the students themselves or the security force. Most gun owners are responsible; they should not suffer for the crimes of others. We are guaranteed in the Constitution our means for self-defense. What Obama, Hillary, and others are seeking is to overturn that guarantee.

All the focus on the guns themselves diverts us from the real problem for any and all crimes—the evil heart of man. We’re also being diverted from the hard fact that many of these mass killings are the result of either radical ideology (usually Muslim in nature) and/or the absence of a father in the home.

Some of the latest atrocities have been committed by young men raised in single-parent homes. The family structure is being destroyed, and we are seeing the fruits of that destruction. What we have is a parenting problem.

Parenting Crisis

We’re not supposed to mention that, though. That would make us “judgmental” and “haters.” No, it would make us discerning and clear-eyed—qualities in short supply at this time.

Carson, Islam, & the Constitution

Ben CarsonBen Carson says he wouldn’t support having a Muslim for president and the politically correct world explodes in outrage. He says Islam and the American Constitution are at odds and he’s decried as some kind of constitutional ignoramus.

Time to step back and breathe. As many have noted, he made the quite valid point that anyone who is devoted to Sharia law as the basis for one’s personal life and for how a society should operate is not in sync with the government established under our Constitution.

A truly devout Muslim does follow Sharia law, and anyone who believes that law should have priority over the laws of this nation under the Constitution clearly should not be in high office, president or otherwise.

ConstitutionYes, the Constitution does not place a religious test on officeholding. Yes, anyone, Muslim or whatever, is free to run for president or Congress. We have at least one Muslim congressman right now. But anyone who tries to change our constitutional republic via Islamic law is sabotaging the very nature of the republic.

Under Islamic law, you can forget about religious liberty. You can forget about quite a few of our liberties. They would no longer exist. Therefore, I know that I would oppose any individual running for office who would want to move the country in that direction.

All of this, though, was more of a “gotcha” question than anything. How many Muslims are currently running for president? Right. The question was designed simply to trip up Carson and try to make him into a bigot.

Carson should have been more clear what he meant in his original statement, but since then he has come out and clarified, saying essentially what I have just written. I commend him for not bowing to the hollow cries of outrage and for sticking to the truth about the nature of Islam and the nature of our constitutional republic.

Now, let’s get on to the real issues.

Iran & Proper Perspective

Congress hasn’t given up entirely on standing up to the Iran deal. The House voted its disapproval and now the Senate leadership (?) promises to have another vote. Most believe it will come to nothing because even if they reach the 60 votes to stop the filibuster, there is no way they can make it to 67 to override Obama’s veto.

As I said in a previous posting, the sad part of all this is the Senate’s acquiescence to the terms of the debate, accepting the idea of finding 2/3 opposed to it rather than handling it as a treaty—as the Constitution requires—that needed 2/3 approval. Under those conditions, it never would have passed.

Constitutional President

If only the first scenario had played out.

This puts the Obama administration and the Democrat party in a strange position, trusting in an Iranian leadership that has publicly stated its desire to destroy Israel and seeks to eventually do the same to America:

Jolly Good Mullah

 

We’re told, of course, not to worry—this will keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons for a few years, even as news breaks that Iran has “unexpectedly” discovered new uranium sources within its boundaries that they didn’t know were there before. If you believe that . . .

But neither America nor Israel have a real reason to be concerned, right?

Relax

Well, maybe it just depends on one’s perspective. That perspective can be sharpened, though, by events:

Perspective

President Obama tells us we are safer now. There are others who don’t see it that way:

Patience

As someone who lived through the Reagan years and saw him deal with other nations through strength, what I’m witnessing now is a truly sad spectacle:

Great Nation

The difference couldn’t be more stark.

On This New 9/11

Today is another 9/11, potentially worse than the one we experienced in 2001. What do I mean? As I write this, no one has yet died in a massive terrorist attack. We fervently hope the day will pass with no repeat of that horrific act.

Yet yesterday, on the eve of this new 9/11, the United States Senate, in effect, voted to give $150 billion and a clear path to the development of nuclear weapons to the world’s most aggressive terrorist state.

By doing so, we may be ushering in a future 9/11 that will make the one in 2001 pale in comparison.

Brighter Tomorrow

Acceptance of this Iran deal never should have happened. Republicans started us down the wrong path when they passed a bill that didn’t call for the deal to be handled as a treaty, as the Constitution clearly specifies it should be. If they had stayed true to our founding document, it would have taken 67 senators to allow the deal to be ratified.

Instead, they accepted the Obama administration’s ground rule that it wasn’t a treaty, and that it would now take 60 senators to stop it and then 67 to override the president’s veto. They did everything backwards, thereby assuring Obama would get his way.

So the Democrats, who have overwhelmingly lined up with Obama, simply had to filibuster the bill, which they did effectively, and the Republican leadership couldn’t muster the 60 votes needed to move to a vote on the measure.

Despite a personal plea from Benjamin Netanyahu and the prescient warnings of many that this will lead to all-out nuclear weapons development, not only by Iran, but by other nations in the Middle East, Democrats put the interest of their party ahead of the national security of the United States.

Pledge Allegiance

Money will now flow to the Iranian terrorist regime, which, by the terms of this agreement, will now do its own inspections of its nuclear program, a provision that reaches a new low in diplomacy:

Works for Us

This is Obama’s Neville Chamberlain moment, as he declares peace in our time and the Iranians prepare to start the countdown to Armageddon:

Arms Race

But all that matters to our president is his so-called legacy. He believes he now has attained the prestige of a visionary world leader. He wanted a historic document. Well, it’s historic, to be sure. It’s the end product of all his failed policies toward terrorism.

Citizen of the World

I’m always cautious about using Biblical prophecy as a lens through which to see every political action. In my lifetime, there have been many individuals that some have called the Antichrist—Henry Kissinger and Mikhail Gorbachev, to name just two. All such pronouncements eventually cause embarrassment when their foolishness is exposed.

There’s also much ambiguity and disagreement about how to interpret the book of Revelation, so I hold back from being definitive about some act being the harbinger of the end times.

But if any development might be called the next step toward the end of all things, we may have just witnessed it.

Kim Davis vs. the Real Lawbreakers

Kim DavisSo Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who doesn’t want to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is now in jail, put there by a federal judge who previously forced high school students into diversity training to try to convince them that opposing homosexuality is wrong.

This is all part and parcel of how our world has turned upside down.

Davis, a Christian who simply doesn’t want her name on the licenses as the government official authorizing same-sex marriages, is allowed no accommodation at this point. The radical agenda cannot brook any opposition, so it’s off to jail she goes.

This is the most egregious example of selective outrage and hypocritical use of penalty that I’ve witnessed in quite some time.

I do understand the argument that the rule of law must be obeyed. In fact, I’m one of the staunchest supporters of the rule of law that you can find. However, which law has been broken here? Has she gone against Kentucky law? Not at all. The voters in Kentucky, in a referendum, approved the traditional Christian concept of marriage by a majority of 75%.

You say she’s violating the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell? Yes, that is true, but is that really a federal law based on the Constitution?

I’ll come back to that.

First, though, let’s look at the way the Davis case is such a stunning example of selective outrage and punishment.

When Obama took office, he directed his attorney general, Eric Holder, to defy federal law when they colluded on not defending the Defense of Marriage Act, duly passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996.

What happened to Obama and Holder when they refused to uphold a federal law? Well, you know. Nothing. If justice had been carried out at that point, impeachment proceedings against the president would have begun immediately.

Defense of Gay Marriage Act

Do you realize that the harvesting of fetal body parts is prohibited by federal law? What’s being done about Planned Parenthood’s defiant actions in ignoring that law? President Obama has come out in favor of that organization’s continuance in its horrific practice. The Democrats in Congress have rushed to Planned Parenthood’s side in an attempt to silence the protests against its policy of infanticide [let’s call it what it really is].

Then there are those sanctuary cities, in which mayors, governors, and state attorneys general, openly flout federal laws. Has anyone called them to account for their lawlessness?

And we shouldn’t forget Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server that was against the rules for federal employees and that put national security at risk. The height of hypocrisy in that situation was her stern warning to everyone else in the State Department not to use private e-mails for public business. Does anyone think she is going to be held accountable for her lawlessness?

Yet Kim Davis is in jail for maintaining that she is supposed to carry out the laws of the state in which she lives.

Constitution BurningThe real lawlessness has been at the top of the federal government, both in the executive and judicial branches. The Obergefell decision, which said that the Constitution somehow provides for same-sex marriage, is simple judicial fiat. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in his dissent, this decision really had nothing at all to do with the Constitution. What we have in Obergefell is five justices imposing their personal beliefs on the entire nation without any constitutional authority to do so.

Justice Scalia’s dissent in that same case drew attention to what he called “the Court’s threat to American democracy.” He went on to say, “Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans is a majority of the nine justices on the Supreme Court.”

Anyone who has ever read the Constitution with an open mind has to legitimately wonder where a Supreme Court justice could find a right to same-sex marriage within that document. It’s probably in the same place as the “right” to kill innocent unborn children.

Mike Huckabee has been the strongest of the Republican presidential candidates to speak out on the absurdity of thinking the Supreme Court is the final word on everything. As he so poignantly put it, the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being.

Does anyone remember the Dred Scott decision, which effectively ruled out any rights at all for a black person in America, whether slave or free? The Republican party at that time publicly repudiated that decision and stood firmly against it.

How about Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 case that declared separate-but-equal facilities was acceptable public policy? That pronouncement was later overturned by the Brown decision in 1954.

In both cases, the Supreme Court itself was the source of lawlessness, blatantly disregarding the Constitution. It has repeated that lawlessness with Obergefell, and action against that lawless decision is just as valid as action taken to overturn Dred Scott and Plessy.

It would be nice to think that all conservatives would unite in tackling this breach of the Constitution, but, sadly, that is far from the reality. I’m grieved over how many public conservatives either seem to support the same-sex marriage fantasy or pass the buck by simply saying this is now the law of the land, so leave it alone—it’s a done deal.

Some of the Republican presidential contenders have adopted the “done deal” approach. Those who have surrendered on this crucial issue have lost my support.

So it comes down to this: it’s going to have to be the faithful Christians who still take God’s Word seriously who will make the stand. This is a battle that falls to those who are the remnant. We are reminded that Christ called us to be salt and light. We must now fulfill that calling.

The “Death to America” Deal

The Iran deal is now in Congress, open for debate. The Obama administration gave precedence to the United Nations, taking the deal there first for its approval—which it got, of course. They say it’s because other nations were involved as well, but how does that trump (excuse my use of that word) the Constitution’s specific requirement that all such deals should be subject to a 2/3 Senate approval?

This deal is just so good, we’re told, that we simply cannot pass it up.

Deal

Remind me never to have John Kerry negotiate anything on my behalf:

Good Deal

Iran Nuke Deal

What about all those demands and/or requirements we were told Iran would have to abide by? Now we find out there were a couple of “secret” deals on the side that weren’t supposed to be made public, like allowing Iran to provide the specimens to be tested to determine if they are keeping their word on nuclear development. Isn’t that somewhat like letting Hitler demonstrate how nicely he was treating the Jews?

Piece in Our Time

What’s even more revealing is that since this deal was reached, the rhetoric of the Iran regime hasn’t changed one bit, which a befuddled Kerry finds somewhat disturbing.

Compromise

Before & After

But don’t worry. If the Congress rejects this deal, our president will be right there to uphold it.

Veto Any Bill

He’s never met an Islamic terrorist he can identify:

It's a Duck

Iran is a terrorist regime. We have just concluded an agreement with that regime that will allow it to develop nuclear weapons. Congress has a responsibility to shoot it down, first with a vote to negate it, then with an override of a presidential veto. Will there be enough backbone to accomplish this? The jury is still out.

Rules for the Rule of Law

I am a firm believer in the concept of the rule of law. Most of my students seem ignorant of the concept, so I try to explain that if we don’t follow the law, we become a society that is ruled by the whims of whoever happens to be in charge at the moment.

Yet I am also a firm believer that there are times when we must obey God rather than men. How, then, do I reconcile this?

God & GovernmentI take my students to Romans 13 (which I can do because I teach in an evangelical university) and offer them a lesson in the rules for the rule of law.

The first part of the chapter makes a strong statement about obeying government:

Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

At first glance, this might seem to say that government must be obeyed at all times, without exception. I’ll come back to that.

It also has been interpreted by some to say that every person who is in authority is a God-picked person—that whoever is ruling is the one God has chosen.

Be careful here. Do you really want to find a rationale that makes Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao God’s choices? Do you really want to say that all the millions they have murdered in the name of a godless ideology is what God wanted?

While there may be some who, in the light of their theology, are convinced that everything that happens is, in some mysterious way, God’s will, I am not one of that number.

While God may use evil rulers, they have chosen to be evil, and He does not approve of what they do. To believe otherwise would be to make God into someone who is in favor of sin. That is not the God of the Scriptures.

Gavel & ScaleWhat this Romans passage is saying, I think, is that God has established civil government and the positions in that government that people should obey, not every individual who holds one of those positions.

So this first part of Romans 13 makes it clear that government is to be obeyed—the rule of law is the norm.

Yet this first part is only that—the first part. There is a greater context. The apostle Paul continues:

For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

Now we are given the mission of civil government: it is to be a minister of God, carrying out His will by punishing those who do evil. We are told that if we do good, we have nothing to fear from government.

That is true in normal circumstances. But what if the government is violating its God-given mission? What if a government is doing just the opposite of what God intended? What if it is, in effect, promoting evil and punishing those who do good?

Is that a government that is to be obeyed?

If we obey that kind of government, we have made this institution into “god.” We cannot do that. The government—i.e., those who are responsible for its actions—is also supposed to be under God, and it will be held accountable for what it has done that is contrary to His will.

Whenever civil government disobeys God, we are duty bound to resist that government action. When told to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, the apostles told the authorities that they had to obey God rather than man.

Let’s bring it up to our time.

When the government says it’s just fine to murder innocent children in the womb, are we to go along passively with this atrocity?

When the government says homosexuality is good and acceptable and then redefines marriage, are we to submit without a complaint?

In both of these cases, government has overstepped its boundaries and violated its God-given mission. We can use whatever legal means are available to us to challenge these decisions, and we can raise our voices in the public square to convince others to join with us to overturn unjust laws.

Any man-made law that conflicts with God’s eternal law in inherently invalid.

What about other types of laws with which we disagree? Must we always be quiet about them and simply obey?

Christians & PoliticsWe have another recourse. Take Obamacare, for instance. There certainly is nothing in Scripture that tells us directly that this is an evil, sinful law. However, we do still have a Constitution, which is supposed to be the standard for our rule of law.

Any law, whether passed by Congress or decreed by the Supreme Court, that violates the authority given to the federal government in that Constitution is fair game for dissent on our part, and for public argument against it, alongside active measures that can be taken to overturn such a law.

So, as Christians, we have both God’s law and the Constitution as our guidelines for when we obey the government and when we do not.

I believe in the rule of law, but there are rules for when something is a legitimate law that we should obey. When a law is illegitimate, we have a Christian duty to do whatever we can—in the proper Christian spirit—to undo that law.

God’s law is paramount. Constitutional boundaries come next. We must always make those our priority.