The Oscar Culture

I really had no desire to watch the Oscar extravaganza last night—so I didn’t. But I see that Sean Penn won the best actor award for his portrayal of a San Francisco homosexual who was assassinated. Hollywood strikes again. It is a self-contained community that rewards its own who have the “correct” values.

Penn took advantage of the recognition by chastising California voters who recently made the radical declaration that marriage should be between a man and woman exclusively

Of course, what is just as bad is that there were protesters outside with anti-homosexual signs. Ostensibly Christian, they accomplish nothing of eternal value with this display. While I stand forthrightly against homosexuality and view it as a sin, their methods do nothing positive for the kingdom of God. Our primary message should be that there is redemption from that sin.

Of course, the whole Oscar thing itself is an exercise in self-glorification. I use Mallard Fillmore cartoons frequently to illustrate what I am thinking. This one expresses my views precisely:

Lest you think that I don’t like movies at all, keep in mind that my B.A. was in radio, television, and film production. I got into history later. I believe movies can be a tremendous vehicle for manifesting God’s truths. It’s just that not too many of them do.

Even the Census Bureau Is Being Politicized

The Constitution requires that a census be taken every ten years. Representation in Congress is based on that census. In recent years, there has been controversy over the taking of the census, with some groups claiming bias, and therefore being underrepresented. Those groups happen to be strongly Democratic.

Micheal Barone

Now, the Obama administration is making noises about moving the responsibility for overseeing the census from the Commerce Department. Where will it be moved? Where else, but to the White House itself. You don’t have to be a Republican to have suspicions about such a move. Why would the White House want to take over this job?

Michael Barone, a highly respected political analyst (acknowledged by both sides of the political divide) has just written a column detailing the problems with this proposal. Read it and gain some understanding of this new political football.

Logic, Anyone?

Sometimes, one political cartoon is worth more than a full-semester college course.

Lincoln Book Recommendation

Whenever I read a good book, I’d like to pass on a positive review. Last week, I commented on Lincoln, as his 200th birthday was upon us. I am presently reading Harold Holzer’s new Lincoln book (Holzer is a LIncoln scholar and a fine writer), Lincoln, President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter, 1860-1861. It is fascinating.

What did Lincoln go through, what did he have to deal with, as he awaited his succession to the presidency? From November 1860 until his inauguration in March 1861, he was virtually powerless to make policy or to stop the secessions of Southern states. Holzer’s book takes you into Lincoln’s mind and details his activities during this crucial period in American history. What’s more, the writing makes you feel as if you are reading a novel. Even though I know the outcome, I find myself eager to know what is going to happen next.

So, even if you are not a Lincoln admirer (which is really a sad situation), I heartily recommend that you read this book. It will be difficult to find a tyrant in the newly elected president as he prepares to shoulder the burden of a nation coming apart at the seams.

A Little Perspective on the Stimulus Bill

So Congress has now agreed on a $790 billion stimulus bill. One wonders how some of our past presidents would have responded to this news.

I would say that’s about right.

Another cartoonist provides even more perspective on the changes taking place.

I sincerely hope he is wrong, but it’s hard not to sense that this is the direction things are going.

More on Obama's Priorities

When you peruse the White House website and look at the President’s agenda items, often the language is rather vague, allowing one to read into it what one prefers. Yet, on some issues, the wording is quite clear. For instance, when addressing the stem cell research issue, it states,

Obama is a co-sponsor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, which will allow research of human embryonic stem cells derived from embryos donated (with consent) from in vitro fertilization clinics. These embryos must be deemed in excess and created . . . solely for the purpose of fertility treatment.

It is quite clear that he intends to promote embryonic stem cell research, thus reversing the policy of the Bush administration. This section, by the way, is found in the “women’s issues” part of the agenda. Immediately after the paragraph on embyronic stem cells, the site deals with abortion in this manner:

[President Obama] has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his Adminstration. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in that case. [italics mine]

So there is no vagueness when it comes to taking the lives of innocent children.

But isn’t Obama a man of Christian faith? After all, didn’t he speak to a major evangelical group to reveal his Christian values? The exact wording is,

In June of 2006, then-Senator Obama delivered what was called the most important speech on religion and politics in 40 years. Speaking before an evangelical audience, then-Senator Obama candidly discussed his own religious conversion and doubts, and the need for a deeper, more substantive discussion about the role of faith in American life. [italics mine]

My first question, after reading this, was, “Who, precisely, called this the most important speech on religion and politics in 40 years?” We are not told. Are we to believe that Ronald Reagan, for instance, in his “Evil Empire” speech, said nothing significant about religion and politics? I encourage everyone to read that one.

Second, what “major evangelical group” did he speak before? It turns out it was a conference sponsored by Sojourners, a liberal organization that is more Social Gospel than Gospel. That’s the only “evangelical” group Obama would have felt comfortable addressing.

Christians need to be informed about the worldview of this administration. I will continue to do what I can to pass on that information.

Arrogance Is not a Christian Character Trait

When we elect someone to public office–a public trust–it is essential that the person have the character to go along with that trust. Arrogance is not one of those traits we should desire. Yet look at what we have done.

It has often been stated, and truly, I believe, that an elected official is a reflection of the people who have elected him. In the same vein, many have commented that a nation deserves the government it chooses. If that is true, we deserve what we are currently experiencing.

This situation can be reversed, but only if the Christians in the nation decide to be consistent and vote for policies that are based on Biblical principles and individuals who exhibit the Christian character that must undergird those policies.