A Prediction

Are Indiana Republicans getting ready to cave on religious liberty? While I always like to wait and see, the signs are ominous. The law passed by Indiana is not only innocuous, it doesn’t even guarantee religious liberty—it only provides a basis for making an argument for it if one is being pressured to violate one’s conscience. Yet, because of all the artificial furor stirred up by homosexual activists, it appears that Governor Mike Pence and the legislature are prepared to water it down further. If that happens, it’s a victory for the New Totalitarians.

Burning at Stake

This is a sad time for religious liberty.

I’m going to make a prediction. No matter what happens in Indiana, the hysterical New Totalitarians won’t be mollified. This is a well-orchestrated strategy that goes beyond a demand for acceptance in society; it won’t stop until everyone who disagrees with them is punished. No one will be allowed to say homosexuality is wrong, sinful (the worst word imaginable), or even misguided.

First, the Supreme Court will come out in favor of same-sex marriage as constitutional. Never mind that the Constitution doesn’t give credence to any such idea; it’s the trendy new thing, and the New Totalitarians will win this one, wiping out all state laws that reject the progressive wisdom.

Second, their guns will be trained on institutions that seek to retain Biblical morality. They will begin by reopening their case against Hobby Lobby and other businesses run by Christians. They won’t stop until legislation is passed that declares they must bow to laws deceptively labeled as “anti-discriminatory.” At that point, Christian businessmen will have to decide where they stand with respect to their integrity and devotion to God.

Third, they will demand that pastors of churches perform same-sex wedding ceremonies or lose tax-exempt status. How many churches will refuse to do so and remain faithful to the One they profess to worship and obey?

Then the New Totalitarians will come at the educational institutions that proclaim Christian faith. They will be told they must change their beliefs and policies on homosexuality or lose their participation in the student loan program. How many of those institutions of higher learning will decide to go with the flow of the culture and deny their Lord? They will frame it as necessary to be able to continue their mission. At that point, I will question whether they have any mission left to fulfill.

Have you noticed that all the anger and venom is being directed against Christians, and not Muslims? Why might that be? Perhaps they know Christians won’t rise up and behead them. It’s safer to attack the Christians.

Is there any silver lining to this? I see one. If all this transpires as I am predicting, it will certainly separate the true believers from those who have only a superficial attachment to Christian doctrine and practice. We will be able to see more clearly who is on the Lord’s side and who is faking it. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Meanwhile, we need to prepare ourselves. If you still cling to the belief that America remains a Christian nation, it’s time to rethink that. We were founded on Christian beliefs, to be sure, but Christian faith is now a distinct minority point of view, and we have to understand that. We are now counter-cultural and must adjust our approach to our culture and our government accordingly. We can no longer assume we hold majority views.

Pray that we proceed in God’s wisdom and in His strength.

The Obama-Kerry-Rice Terrorism Fantasy

I find I keep using words like “fantasy” and “blindness” to describe what’s taking place in our foreign policy and national defense posture. I hate to be so repetitive, but the Obama administration just won’t stop doing things that reveal its fantasy mindset and its ideological blindness to what is occurring in the world.

The president himself carries the water for most of this, but he has loyal aiders and abettors in his dreamworld. For instance, there’s Secretary of State John Kerry who, incredibly, said this to the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week:

We are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally; less deaths, less violent deaths today, than through the last century.

In case you missed that fascinating analysis, I want to assure you I didn’t concoct it on my own. He really said that. It goes along with Susan Rice’s comment—drawn from this administration’s “strategy” for dealing with threats—that we don’t face any “existential” threat compared to what we had to deal with in WWII. Sorry, but I see an existential threat:

ISIS Nazis

Islamic terrorism is every bit as barbaric and ideologically driven as anything the Nazis did.

Yet it appears there is confusion within this administration because yesterday the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, blatantly contradicted his own secretary of state when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee,

When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled.

Again, I’m not making this up. Two entirely different perspectives on what is transpiring in the world. Mr. Clapper appears to be out of step with his boss, who is more stridently focused on not offending Muslims than on any other issue in the realm of foreign policy and national defense.

Didn't Mean

This has caused a serious rift with Israel, which always has been our staunchest ally in an area of the world hostile to America. Israel feels its national security is being undermined by Obama’s policies. It’s not hard to feel that way when negotiations with Iran over its development of nuclear capabilities is put in the hands of a clueless John Kerry:

Getting a Nibble

This is why Benjamin Netanyahu chose to come speak to Congress despite the protestations of the administration. Obama wants a deal with Iran that will allow that terrorist nation to develop nuclear power (for peaceful purposes, naturally) while Israel rightly fears for its very existence. A nuclear Iran will then go forward with its plans to nuke Israel. For Netanyahu, this is a matter of life or death. Yet what does this administration say? Well, they send out their dupemaster, Susan Rice, to warn the Israelis to desist from their dastardly actions:

Could Be Destructive

A president who dreads a speech from the Israeli prime minister more than a nuclear Iran is a president who is ignoring his top constitutional duty—protect the nation from all enemies, foreign or domestic. Ignoring the Constitution, though, is something at which he is quite proficient.

The Republic Is Secure

President Obama is now back from his Hawaiian vacation, ready to do battle with Republicans on behalf of the “common man,” with whom he identifies so readily. His common touch is always seen in his vacations to Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, and other inexpensive places.

And like all common people, he enjoys recreational activities. And if a planned wedding is in the way, all the couple has to do is move to a new venue at a moment’s notice. After all, it hasn’t yet come to this:

Need to Move

As with all average Americans, it’s time now for him to get back to work:

Inequality

It’s time now to fulfill all his promises and keep the evil Republicans in check with his presidential authority:

Vetoed

And if he doesn’t have the authority, we don’t have to worry, because he’s always attentive and respectful of the nation’s founding document:

Killing Time

And the American public blissfully goes about its daily business, satisfied with the leadership he and his team have always shown:

Most Admired

You needn’t bother with staying abreast of what’s actually happening. Just trust your president; he will do the right thing. The Republic is secure.

Is Impeachment an Option Now?

Today, I would like to address impeachment. It’s a word being bandied about currently, although more often by Democrats than Republicans, simply because they find it politically useful as a scare tactic, “informing” their supporters that Republicans are evil—that they are essentially racists who hate having a black president.

ImpeachAs a historian and a student of constitutionalism, I understand why impeachment was included in the Constitution. It is a safeguard against those in the executive and judicial branches who flagrantly abuse their office.

If you look at the history of impeachment as it existed in Britain and was carried over to the United States, you have to acknowledge that it is a political tool to curb abuse, and it’s not necessary for the accused to be found guilty of breaking a law. Poor character and a policy of deception that undermines faith in the government are also valid reasons for impeachment and removal from office.

It has been used selectively, primarily against federal judges. Only once has an impeachment of a Supreme Court justice been pursued—Thomas Jefferson tried, unsuccessfully, to remove Samuel Chase from the Court. However, a number of judges below the Supreme Court level have lost their positions through impeachment.

In my opinion, this tool should be used more often against federal judges who violate their oath to uphold the Constitution. Whenever a federal judge decides to declare his/her own law, such as decreeing that same-sex marriage is perfectly constitutional, that judge should be a target for impeachment.

Nixon ResignationAt the presidential level, though, it will always be difficult to impeach. We’ve tried twice and failed. Andrew Johnson squeaked by his impeachment trial by one vote; Bill Clinton remained in office only because not even one Democrat would vote for his removal, despite despicable behavior that demeaned the office of the presidency in a way seldom achieved throughout our history. Richard Nixon would have been impeached if it had come to a vote, but he resigned before that was necessary.

ImpeachableI’m a fan of impeachment in principle. However, there are political realities. We always have to decide if an attempt to remove a president is feasible, or if it will do more harm than good if unsuccessful. No one should question my fidelity to the Constitution or to the value of impeachment. For evidence, I offer my book on the Clinton impeachment. There are times it must be attempted, and I continue to honor those who made that attempt in 1999.

Which brings me to the moment at hand. I’ve heard a number of conservatives, who are justifiably angry over the abundance of unconstitutional actions by President Obama, call for impeachment. They are correct in principle: he, far more than any previous president, has violated his constitutional oath. His goal of transforming America into an image spawned from his own anti-colonial, Marxist foundations, has done substantial damage to this country.

But I’m also opposed, at this time, to any move toward impeachment. I realize I run the risk of being called unprincipled. I beg to differ. Wisdom is never unprincipled.

Obama-ConstitutionFirst, please tell me how we get 67 senators to vote for his removal? If you can convince me on that point, I will be on board. However, as in the case against Clinton, it will be virtually impossible, short of the president murdering someone on live television. Democrats will circle the wagon no matter how disgruntled they are with him.

Then there’s the media. We have to be realistic about how this will be portrayed. As I noted above, the race card will be played incessantly. All you have to do is look at the Ferguson fiasco. You have a thug who robbed a store, then fought with a policeman for his gun, then charged the policeman with intent to harm/kill. What has he become? Some kind of hero. It’s a fantasy, but one that has fanned the flames of violence. What violence might we see if Obama goes through an impeachment process? The media will ensure it, as it comes to his aid.

All the time taken up for impeachment will be a drain on any genuine efforts to curtail Obama’s incipient tyranny. Based on principle, I say that Republicans need, instead, to focus their attention on any and all measures that will keep this president from achieving his aims. What to do?

  • Defund any government agency that is tasked with carrying out his unconstitutional actions.
  • Pass bills, now that Republicans will control both houses of Congress, that will put us back on the path to constitutionalism; if Obama vetoes them, he will be responsible, and all will see his disdain for the rule of law. He’s never been made to take stands before because the Senate, under Harry Reid, protected him from having to decide on proposed bills by never allowing votes on them.
  • Push for lawsuits against his disregard for the Constitution, to show the public just how he has tried to set himself up as a petty dictator.
  • Begin impeachment proceedings against key federal judges who have allowed the government to run amuck.
  • Actively work with the movement to call for a Convention of the States (as authorized in the Constitution) to draft amendments to the Constitution that will further limit the power of those who seek to undermine liberty.
  • Become effective at educating the American people on the principles that form the foundation of our government and the need to abide by those principles.

I’m sure there are more options I haven’t thought of, but those are a start. We will be far more effective if we concentrate our efforts on measures like these rather than pursue an impeachment course that will only end in failure.

It is principled to take steps toward constitutionalism; it is foolishness to take a step that will waste time and energy and ultimately lead to political disaster. It may feel good to vent our frustration via impeachment, but what will it actually accomplish? Unfortunately, I believe it will harm efforts to reverse the course of our government.

I know there will be those who disagree with my assessment, and if anyone can offer valid arguments to offset what I’ve said, I will certainly listen. Right now, though, this is where I stand, and I believe it is a principled stand.

Remember the Constitutional Crisis?

With all the ongoing fallout from Ferguson, some may have forgotten the major constitutional crisis we’re experiencing—a crisis brought on by a president who seeks to do whatever he wishes without congressional approval. It’s also crucial to remember that his recent executive order on illegal immigration was something he said repeatedly he didn’t have the authority to do.

Doesn't Support

He is actively ignoring a central element of the construction of our government:

Porous Borders

Obama’s comments on the Constitution throughout his political career have made it clear he doesn’t really agree with what the Founders established. He’s now trying to correct unilaterally what he considers to be its inherent faults:

Fixed It

The big question that looms before us is not so much what he will do in the future; I think it’s pretty well established that he will continue to ignore legitimate restraints on his authority. The big question centers on the opposition. Will Republicans step up and truly become an effective opposition? Will they take responsibility for moving us back toward constitutionalism or will they instead, out of fear of public perception—manufactured by a media that will do nearly anything to exonerate Obama—shrink into a complacent group eschewing bold action?

Might Blame Us

I’m holding out some hope the cartoonist is wrong.

Obama, meanwhile, goes his merry way, seemingly untouched by dismal approval ratings and the devastating results of the last election.

Still in Office

Sadly, we have to wait until January 2017 to anoint a successor. But if that successor is Hillary Clinton, our national nightmare will not be over.

Lighting the Way

The good news continues. The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee has pulled back from many of the ads they were going to run on behalf of Mary Landrieu in Louisiana for the runoff election. Apparently, they think it’s not worth the cost. She will undoubtedly be leaving her Senate seat and returning to the private sector.

Also, an update on what I reported yesterday. I had written that the GOP now controls 2/3 of the state legislative bodies. That number is now 70%. So, if you stop and think about the political trend of the country, it is encouraging. Republicans now have the majority in Congress, 2/3 of governors, and 70% of state legislative chambers. If that’s not a wave, what is it?

There’s only one roadblock for a complete turnaround, and it resides in the White House, where the president has infamously said he has a phone and a pen, and he will act unilaterally—something he pretty much repeated in his press conference on Wednesday. Yet most of the voters on Tuesday repudiated that message:

Pen & Ballot

This penchant for acting like he is the government must end. The government established by the Constitution did not authorize the president to be a king, let alone behave as if he has some kind of divine right to do as he wishes, regardless of the other branches of the government and the desires of those for whom the government operates—the people. The message should be clear to him:

New Paperweight

The issue is whether he is listening or even cares to listen. One commentator opined last night that it might be that Obama doesn’t truly grasp what took place on Tuesday, and may not get the full message until he is forced to deal with a Republican Congress beginning in January. I’m not sure that’s the case; I’m more inclined to think he knows what has happened, but just stubbornly refuses to submit to it.

Word is out that he resents having been put on the back burner by his party during the campaign. Little good it did them; the voters still knew who is responsible for our current mess:

Thank You Cards

But one election is not our salvation politically. The nation remains in critical condition spiritually. Government isn’t, and never will be, our savior. Unless we turn things around spiritually, we’re still going the wrong direction:

Handbasket

I pray Republicans will accomplish what they can within the limits of what government is ordained by God to do, and within the constraints of constitutional authority. That by itself, though, will not be enough. The root of our problems has never changed: the sinfulness of man. We must address that with the Gospel if we ever hope to move the nation in a new direction.

Ultimately, it won’t be government that turns things around; it will be the Christians in society. We need to remember that Jesus called us the salt and the light. We need to be vigilant to preserve the good in our society and to provide light on the path toward righteousness and true Biblical justice.

Thoughts on the Syrian Bombing

Just a few thoughts today, now that we’ve begun bombing ISIS targets in Syria.

ISIS Control Map

First, good, in the generic sense. It’s well past time to act. We should have undercut this terrorist organization a long time ago instead of allowing it to grow and fester.

Second, I’m glad to see that some Arab nations are helping. The extent of that help is still unclear to me, yet, if for no other reason than self-interest and survival, they need to be on board.

Third, since I have no confidence in President Obama’s willingness or inclination to see this through to the end, we must pray that the goal is accomplished despite him. He will have the tendency to say something is completed when it is not. Then the problem will arise anew.

Fourth, even if successful, this does not bring the terror threat to any kind of a halt. It has many heads and tentacles. Truly, we must stay vigilant, and there’s no commitment to that vigilance in our government at the present time.

Fifth, let’s be real about why Obama decided to go ahead at this time. This action allows him to appear strong against terrorism. He hopes that will change the trend in the upcoming elections, as Democrats now may look more attuned to the nation’s security. Don’t be fooled; this is probably a political move as much as it is a strategic one for national security reasons.

Sixth, unfortunately, what he has done is unconstitutional. He has no authority from Congress to do this. Under the Constitution, he needed to get congressional approval for any long-term military action, and be assured, this will be long-term. The resolutions following 9/11 apply to Al Qaeda only, not to ISIS. He could have received that approval last week while Congress was in session. He deliberately waited until Congress adjourned so he could act unilaterally. This is simply another in a long string of decisions made by bogus executive authority.

So, in conclusion, while I sincerely hope this leads to the destruction of ISIS, I am forced to say that I have grave doubts that it will do so, despite the hoopla surrounding the startup of the bombing campaign. Bombing alone won’t accomplish the overall goal. Further, the president has acted unconstitutionally and primarily for political reasons. We need to keep all these factors in mind as we go forward, and as we think about the momentous decisions to come in November.