The Romeike Reversal

German Homeschooling FamilyMany of you, I’m sure, have heard that the German homeschooling family seeking asylum in the U.S. has now been told it can stay. In an amazing turnaround, the Department of Homeland Security contacted the Romeikes to inform them they have been granted “indefinite deferred status,” which is bureaucrat-speak for permission to remain as long as they don’t break any laws. I am delighted for them, as are a whole host of others. They never should have been threatened with deportation in the first place.

This decision came less than 24 hours after the Supreme Court refused to review their case. Michael Farris, their lawyer and advocate, ascribes this unexpected reversal to God’s intervention, perhaps helped along by the administration’s concern over negative publicity. After all, what did this family seek other than the right to educate their children according to their faith and to be grateful residents in a country that would allow them that freedom?

While I applaud the DHS decision, I don’t see this as a reason to have increased confidence in the Obama administration’s approach either to parental rights or fidelity to the rule of law. Any administration that promotes abortion on demand—and praises Planned Parenthood for its endeavors—and refuses to follow the law with regard to the definition of marriage cannot be depended upon to make correct decisions in the future.

Eric Holder’s DOJ has been particularly remiss in upholding the rule of law. He refused to prosecute Black Panthers who intimidated voters in Philadelphia. He said the DOJ would not be supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, despite it being a federal law passed by Congress and signed by none other than Bill Clinton. He now has informed state attorneys general that they don’t have to carry out any state laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Add to this the reprehensible conduct of his IRS toward conservatives and his lackadaisical attitude toward investigating those abuses, and we have an attorney general, responsible for ensuring the law is followed, doing just the opposite. He only follows laws he likes:

Enforce Me Not

So, while I rejoice for the Romeikes, theirs is a victory for one family. It’s not a guarantee that all of America’s families can breathe a sigh of relief. We must remain vigilant.

Our Presidential Embarrassment

Make no mistake; I’m glad President Obama pulled back from the brink on Syria. First, he didn’t have the authority to act without Congress, yet he was preparing to do so anyway. Second, support for the Syrian rebels would be a colossal blunder, since they are now dominated by enemies of the United States. I said it before and will say it again: neither side in that conflict deserves our backing.

Yet the entire episode has been a disaster for the reputation of the US. It has fully revealed the ineptitude of this president in international affairs, thereby rivaling his ineptitude on domestic issues. His dangerous ideology and his incompetence are the perfect storm in both arenas. And who comes out looking like the peacemaker? Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB official who is, basically, a thug.

The naïve amongst us may rejoice that the UN is now being handed the baton on chemical weapons oversight. Well, first of all, that’s not a certainty; “talks” must come before action, and we all know how those kinds of talks usually go. Even if the UN is given that task, is there really anything in its history of oversight that gives confidence this makes all things right?

Reporting for Duty

The fiasco has only begun.

Naturally, our president spins this as a victory that showcases his tough stance against evil. We’re told the Russians wouldn’t have offered the solution and the Syrians wouldn’t be considering it if not for Obama’s superb strategy. But does he even understand the game being played?

Bingo

Even commentators on the liberal side who have provided all sorts of rationales to explain other Obama policies are flummoxed by what has transpired in this case. Some Democrats have used the word “embarrassing” to describe what has happened to American prestige. Respect for their leader is at an all-time low. This is coming across as more on-the-job training. Or perhaps there’s an even better comparison:

Student Driver

Remember that silly comment by Kerry, comforting the world that any action we might take would be “unbelievably small”? Here’s another application of that wording that seems appropriate:

Isn't That Right

I was also less than impressed by Obama’s appeal to help the children of Syria. This is the man who stood before Planned Parenthood and asked God to bless their efforts while they routinely aid in the slaughter of more than 333,000 children each year. He’s not to be taken seriously.

Erecting Our Own Gallows

Yesterday’s post dealt with the ongoing Gosnell trial—the one many Americans have never heard of, thanks to the ideologically biased news media—and President Obama’s speech before Planned Parenthood, in which he pledged his unyielding support of abortion—without ever using the word, of course. Sometimes, the best political cartoons about an event appear after I’ve written about it. I think this one is particularly clear and direct:

I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe Obama is far more concerned about pro-life people than he is about terrorists, especially of the Muslim variety. Just look at his record throughout his life.

As for the Gosnell trial, which is awaiting a jury verdict, another cartoon captured the spirit of the pro-abortion Left and its media lackeys quite accurately:

Speaking of Mirandizing, the Boston Marathon terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was giving information to the FBI and all was going well, until the Obama Justice Department [rather an oxymoron, don’t you think?] interrupted the interrogation to officially explain to the terrorist that he had the right to remain silent. He is now silent. All reports indicate the FBI was taken off-guard with this intervention. They were not told ahead of time this would be happening.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, had the opportunity this past week to review the materials that have been purged from the FBI’s training program. She came away concerned that the bureau is now going too far to appease Muslim-American groups. Due to a confidentiality agreement, she can’t share specifics, but she did say, “This is truly censorship by our government, the government purging itself of documents.”

The FBI began reviewing its counterterrorism materials after complaints from Muslim groups who were upset by comments linking strong Muslim beliefs with terrorism. So the bureau created a five-member advisory panel, which included three Muslim experts, to decide what to throw out. The result? Nearly 900 pages were removed from the training documents. We’re more concerned now with hurting someone’s feelings than getting at the truth.

In the wake of the Boston bombings, Attorney General Holder has decided to warn the country against retaliation against Muslims. Right. As if that has been a big problem. Americans are just so prejudiced and heartless, aren’t they?

Our problem has more to do with foolishness and lack of vigilance than it does with some mythical rise of anti-Muslim violence. We’re erecting our own gallows.

Abortion Politics & Obama

The Kermit Gosnell trial continues. The media were somewhat shamed into covering it, but that coverage appears to be rather sporadic. Neither are they giving all the details about the horrendous practices of this butcher/murderer of children. As I’ve said before, this is primarily ideological; the media is on the side of the abortionists. They won’t be interested unless they can see a connection to something that genuinely concerns them:

Planned Parenthood funds more than 330,000 abortions per year. Firearm homicides in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stood at 11,000. So which is more lethal?

Speaking of Planned Parenthood, that organization has another dubious feather in its cap now: for the first time in its history, a sitting president of the United States has addressed it publicly. Last Friday, President Obama gave a speech to this abortion giant, lauding its services. Funny though, he never once used the word “abortion.” What exactly did he say? Here are some of his comments:

No matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, there’s one thing that the past few years have shown, that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow.

He’s tried his best to make sure of that, blocking any attempt to defund the organization. In his mind, by promoting abortion, he’s somehow helping women (except, of course, for all those women who die before they see the light of day):

As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality affordable healthcare, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be with you fighting with you every step of the way.

That’s a fact. He’s proven that. He then aimed his barbs at those of us who seek to protect the lives of unborn children:

The fact is, after decades of progress, there’s still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century. And they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.

This is the classic “you can’t turn back the clock” fallacy, as if anything that happened earlier is bad and all recent developments are “progress.” It’s the height of unthinking, irrational, knee-jerk emotionalism. In many ways, the America of 2013 is far worse than the America of 1950. All of Obama’s talk about protecting children is revealed to be quite selective:

We also need to keep in mind the poignant fact, ignored by the national media, that when Barack Obama was an Illinois state senator, he stubbornly fought against legislation that would have required doctors to give medical care to any baby born alive “accidentally” during an abortion. In other words, he has always been in favor of allowing newborn infants to die. Our president has taken a public stance in favor of infanticide. Is that perhaps why he has remained silent on the Gosnell case? He hasn’t been bashful about speaking out publicly on other cases where he spied a political advantage. On the slaughter of newborn babies, he has nothing to say.

Then, at the end of his speech, he had the audacity to say, “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”

This is the kind of man we have put in the White House. This is the depth to which we have sunk.

The Media Abortion Coverup

Anyone remember Kermit Gosnell? I wouldn’t be surprised if that name has sunk into oblivion, victim of a news blackout worse than any so-called blacklist of the 1950s. Only Fox News is reporting on him now. That being the case, let me jog your memory.

Gosnell was arrested in January 2011 for his abortion practices in Philadelphia. He was accused of routinely performing late-term abortions that were no different than infanticide. His case has now come to trial, and the grisly facts are coming to the fore. Gosnell’s “practice” fed on the inner-city despair of those who thought they needed abortions; he actively sought them out and became rich in the process. His standard procedure was to deliver babies alive and then use scissors to cut their spinal cords, severing their heads, and leaving them to die. Testimony of those who worked in what has been described as a “house of horrors” highlights the seared conscience of the abortionist who laughed at what he was doing. The Grand Jury report talks about fetal remains stuffed into “cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs.” Tiny baby feet were discovered lined up in specimen jars that one reporter called “a macabre collection.”

Accounts of this abortionist’s practices should lead the news on all the major networks, but, in point of fact, not one network other than Fox has even mentioned the trial. Is there a word beyond “outrageous” to call these networks to account for their inaction? No one can convince me that a fair analysis determined not to cover this case; it is ideological in its motivation.

In another incident, in my state of Florida, state legislators were questioning a Planned Parenthood representative, Alisa LaPolt Snow. When asked what should be done with babies born alive after a botched abortion, she responded that the decision should be between the patient and the health care provider, indicating that they could choose not to give the baby medical attention, thereby allowing it to die. Naturally, the organization later “clarified” her remarks, but it’s not hard to believe she was speaking for the organization’s leaders overall. They have no concern for the yet-to-be-born, and their seared consciences reach out to the newly born also.

Where have you heard about this story? Again, not on the major networks. You have to go to Fox or alternative sites on the Internet to find out about it. In both the Gosnell trial and the Planned Parenthood remarks, a huge coverup has been undertaken.

This is not new, though. The media covered up for Barack Obama in 2008 when it came to light that, as an Illinois state senator, he opposed a bill that would have required giving medical aid to children “accidentally” born alive during an abortion. Even today, the majority of our citizens have no idea he took that stance. We live in a state of willful ignorance enhanced by those who desire to keep us ignorant.

A Matter of Conscience

Last Friday, I commented on the withdrawal of Louie Giglio from praying the benediction at the upcoming Obama inaugural. My goal was to point out the intolerance on the Left toward evangelicals who view homosexuality as a sin. We are to be considered “haters” and fringe elements in American society.

I want to revisit that story again, but from a different angle. One question I didn’t raise earlier was whether Giglio should have agreed to participate in the inaugural. One naturally would be honored to be asked to such a high-profile event, but is it wise to be part of something that celebrates another four years of Obama’s rule? I realize Christians will differ in their views of this, but let me state the case for what I have concluded, at least with respect to my conscience.

There is, in my mind, a distinct difference that can be made between the personal and the public in this instance. As a Christian, I want everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth, and I will take any opportunity afforded me to reach out to anyone with the gospel message. That includes even those who have done their best to undermine that truth. So if I were ever asked—and this is a stretch, I know—to a meeting with President Obama that was private, either one-on-one or with a small group of some kind—I would accept that invitation readily. We have to take advantage of all open doors to allow the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of those who need redemption.

However, if I were invited instead to do what Giglio was invited to do—give the benediction at Obama’s inaugural—I would probably decline. Why? If I were on the platform with President Obama, it would appear as if I am in support of his policies. Public perception is very important. There are a lot of low-information voters out there who, without checking out the particulars, would simply assume I was an Obama supporter. Therefore, I would be linked unfairly to the following Obama policies and beliefs:

  • Obama’s all-out promotion of abortion on demand. He is the most pro-abortion president in American history, even rejecting, when he was an Illinois state senator, a bill that would have allowed doctors and nurses to give medical aid to a child born alive during an attempted abortion. That is radicalism to the extreme, and I would never want to be associated with that. During his first presidential term, he also vociferously promoted continued funding of Planned Parenthood, which is the foremost provider of abortion in the nation. The latest statistics reveal that Planned Parenthood helped bring about 333,000 abortions in a recent year, a new record for that organization. This is horrific, and I must, in conscience, distance myself publicly from anyone who holds such extreme views.
  • Obamacare, which I loathe as an engine of tyrannical governmental control over individuals, now is the vehicle by which Christian organizations are being persecuted for their beliefs in the area of abortion. The HHS mandates are attempting to force Christian colleges and businesses to offer abortifacient drugs and other means for furthering abortion in their healthcare plans. This is an outright attack on the First Amendment’s promise of liberty of conscience with respect to religious belief.
  • Obama’s decision to promote homosexuality, not only as a legitimate lifestyle with no moral repugnance, but beyond that, his espousal of same-sex marriage. No president has ever promoted this false concept of marriage, and it is just as dangerous to the health of our society as his approval of abortion. In both cases, the family, as understood Biblically, is undermined.
  • His total lack of concern for the constitutional constraints on presidential power, as he now prepares to run the country via unconstitutional executive orders.
  • His complete rejection of any genuine fiscal discipline, seeking to be granted unlimited authority to add to the nation’s debt as much as he chooses, bypassing Congress. Both this power play and the one mentioned just above it are the fruit of his overall Marxist and anti-colonial mindset, both of which see the United States as an oppressor and its Constitution as an outdated document no longer applicable to the socialist vision of the future.

For these and many other reasons I could list, I would not in any way want my presence on a stage with the president to be misinterpreted as a show of support. I can pray for the nation quite well privately; I don’t have to be the public face of blessing on the next four years of antichristian rhetoric and action.

As I said earlier, I know there are those who will disagree with my conclusion, but I have to abide by my conscience before God, and to accept the invitation Louie Giglio originally accepted would be, at least for me, a public renunciation of my most deeply held beliefs. In good conscience, I could never do it.

Christians are going to be faced with many more decisions like these. How are we going to respond? Will we stand firm on what we know to be true? As long as we are always willing to share the truth with anyone who is open to it, and as long as we conduct ourselves in the proper spirit, I believe God will honor our strong stand.

The Giglio Saga: The New Intolerance

This week was the first time I had ever heard of Louie Giglio. It’s the first time many Americans heard his name, but now, for those who pay attention to the news, he has become prominent. Here’s why he ought to be prominent: he is a Christian leader whose ministry just drew 60,000 young people to Atlanta for the dual purpose of worshiping God and helping to end the abominable practice of human trafficking—the slavery of our age. He ought to be admired widely for his love of God and man.

Yet that’s not why he’s known by most.

Giglio was invited to give the benediction at Obama’s inauguration. Now he has been disinvited. The reason? He believes homosexuality is a sin. When a sermon he once preached on the subject came to light, the Gay Rights Political Machine went into action. Suddenly, he was a “hater.” And the worst fear of all? He might actually believe in the “dangerous” idea that a homosexual can stop being homosexual. You see, the whole gay rights agenda is based on the unsubstantiated, unscientific, unbiblical wishful thinking that homosexuality is not a choice. One is born that way. If it is a choice, it is a moral issue for which one may be held accountable—and no one can be permitted to teach or preach that message. The homosexual lobby has been effective. According to Christianity Today, only 37% of Americans now believe homosexuality is a sinful behavior, down from over 40% just one year ago.

I’ve read Giglio’s response to this episode. While I would have taken a stronger stand in a statement and reiterated that homosexuality is a sin, he certainly has not apologized for his basic Biblical beliefs. He seems to be someone who seeks to reach out to everyone with the love of Christ, which I respect. I can only hope he hasn’t modified his views over time. Those who know him can speak to that. I cannot.

What this does reveal, though, is how far we have fallen as a society. We used to have a Biblical framework for our thinking; that has eroded over the last century, little by little, but that erosion is now occurring at a faster pace. The abyss awaits.

While the Giglio story got a lot of attention, another story did not, and it’s a further indication of the loss of moral foundations. New figures were released regarding the activities of Planned Parenthood. The organization set a record this year with more than 333,000 abortions provided. Adoption referrals constituted only 1% of its “business.” Mammograms, zero percent. The worst part is that we all helped pay for it since Planned Parenthood also received more than $500 million of taxpayer funding—eagerly and vociferously supported by Barack Obama.

But what has dominated the news cycle? Proposed limitations on legal gun owners who have never harmed anyone. We are a society with views and priorities seriously askew.

The foundations must be rebuilt.