The Blind Leading the Blind?

Between election day and Obama’s inauguration, the stock market dropped about 1000 points. Between his inauguration and today, the market has dropped another 1000 points. Somebody is not inspiring confidence.

Why this amazing lack of confidence? If your only solution to a financial crisis is to spend more money [which, by the way, ultimately comes from the taxpayers—the ones you ostensibly are trying to help], and the result is to put the government into deeper debt than at any time in American history, it’s not hard to understand why the financial community has the jitters.

Those jitters are not just among the holders and lenders of money; they are spread throughout the population. Why continue to watch your investments fall into oblivion? Why not pull out what you can to salvage something? Stocks will continue to plummet as long as that is the mentality—and that mentality will dominate as long as Obama’s policies remain unchanged.

Is the new president economically illiterate? Or is this what he wants to happen to solidify his message that the government must have more control? Perhaps a little of both. He has been schooled in a socialist message, and apparently has taken it to heart. That creates economic illiteracy, and it is also an ideology that seeks greater government authority in the lives of everyone. Is he blind or does he see? Either way, the result will be the same.

Is this house of cards going to fall? If economic principles and history are any indication, prepare for the worst.

Administration Attacks on Pro-Life Continue

The Obama administration continues its war against pro-lifers on two fronts. According to the Los Angeles Times:

Taking another step into the abortion debate, the Obama administration today [Monday, March 2] will move to rescind a controversial rule that allows healthcare workers to deny abortion counseling or other family planning services if doing so would violate their moral beliefs, according to administration officials.

So if Obama gets his way, no pro-life doctor or nurse will be able to opt out of performing an abortion. If this occurs, will there be some brave medical personnel who will put their liberty on the line to oppose this?

Pro-Abortion Sebelius

Pro-Abortion Sebelius

Then there’s Obama’s nominee to head Health and Human Services, current Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Sebelius is an ardent supporter of abortion “rights.” She even has the support of the notorious Kansas abortion provider George Teller, infamous for his late-term abortions on underage girls.

Neither of these moves is a surprise. How many Obama voters who, for some reason continue to call themselves “pro-life,” are aware of what is going on? How many even care? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if you are a Christian and you voted for Obama, these are the policies you voted for. How does that square with your professed faith and the Lordship of Jesus Christ? We’re supposed to be leading the nation into Biblical principles, not violating them.

New Take on the Reagan Era

In tandem with my previous post about the wisdom expressed by Reagan in his “Evil Empire” speech, I thought this political cartoon effectively captured the new administration’s feelings about all things Reagan.

The Reagan Perspective

One of my students asked me this week if the Obama administration would do so much damage to the country that there would be no hope of repairing it after he leaves office. I was of two minds as I tried to answer.

First, I think the potential damage is so staggering that America might not ever recover. The massive debt, the inevitable leftist court appointments, the unrestricted access to abortion [which has begun already], and the stamp of approval given to homosexuality by the government could be the death knell of this republic.

On the other hand [and I don’t say this cavalierly or as a knee-jerk response], with God all things are possible. We are going to have to recognize, though, that The Great Recovery will never come primarily through government action. It must occur first in the hearts of individuals. What we need is a spiritual awakening—and not “spiritual” in the sense of anything-goes New Ageism, but an awakening specifically Christian.

Ronald Reagan recognized this even as he faced off against the threat of the Soviet Union. In his 1983 speech to the National Association of Evangelicals—the one often referred to as the “Evil Empire” speech—he constantly made reference to the need for such an awakening.

Reagan Gave a Message of Christian Renewal and Hope

Reagan Gave a Message of Christian Renewal and Hope

There is so much of value in this speech that it is difficult to pull out the most significant lines, but I will try. Reagan could have been talking about our present time when he said:

Now, I’m sure that you must get discouraged at times, but you’ve done better than you know, perhaps. There’s a great spiritual awakening in America, a renewal of the traditional values that have been the bedrock of America’s goodness and greatness. . . .

We must never forget that no government schemes are going to perfect man. We know that living in this world means dealing with what philosophers would call the phenomenology of evil or, as theologians would put it, the doctrine of sin. There is sin and evil in the world, and we’re enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might.

One of my favorite paragraphs in the speech points to exactly what we see today via the government policies and the politicians and bureaucrats who make them:

It was C. S. Lewis who, in his unfogettable “Screwtape Letters,” wrote: “The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warm, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.”

And then there is this key paragraph that deals specifically with what I stated above:

While American military strength is important, let me add here that I’ve always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.

Reagan’s words from 1983 are still true today. The real crisis we face at this hour is not an economic crisis; that is only the result of the real crisis. That real crisis remains one of moral will and faith. Will we be up to the challenge? With God all things are possible, but it depends on our obedience to Him.

Truly Uncharted Territory

This has become staggering beyond belief. What am I talking about? The same thing everyone is talking about these days—the amount of money being spent [and at such a rapid pace] by the federal government.

It all began, of course, in the Bush administration with the $700 billion bank bailout. Obama added another $787 billion for a stimulus package that won’t stimulate anything but government size and scope. Now another $400+ billion has passed Congress, a bill so loaded with pork that it is calculated it includes approximately 9000 earmarks [you know, those things that don’t exist in these bills, according to the president].

Now, with the announcement of Obama’s new budget, the deficit will be four times what it was last year. Bloomberg has reported that taxpayers are now responsible for $9.7 trillion in bailouts, etc.

The $9.7 trillion in pledges would be enough to send a $1,430 check to every man, woman and child alive in the world. It’s 13 times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office data, and is almost enough to pay off every home mortgage loan in the U.S., calculated at $10.5 trillion by the Federal Reserve.

As congresswoman Michele Bachmann notes,

Well, now it’s gotten even worse. In just two weeks, Bloomberg has been forced to revise its analysis and increase that burden by almost $2 trillion. Bloomberg issued another report today that now raises the federal commitment to $11.6 trillion. That’s real money, money that future generations have to pay for.

Perhaps we need another stimulus plan?

That Pesky Old Constitution

Congress is on the verge of doing something unconstitutional. Okay, I know that’s not a “stop the presses” comment. Congress has been doing unconstitutional things on an increasing scale since the New Deal. This one, though, is so blatant that it rises to a new level.

The latest push is to give Washington, DC, a voting congressman. According to the Constitution, only states can have representation in the House. DC is a special creation, the home of the federal government, and as such is not a state. It simply cannot have a congressional representative.

Of course, the whole matter is political. DC is the most Democratic place in the country, exceeding even Massachusetts. Nearly everyone who lives there receives his living either from a government job or a government handout. The Democrat majority in Congress desires another vote; this is a way to get it.

Most Americans will not be disturbed by it, for two reasons:

  • First, they think everybody should have representation, so it doesn’t seem fair that the residents of DC don’t have their own representative in Congress;
  • Second, they have no understanding of the Constitution and the concept of the rule of law.

If this passes, the rule of law will have suffered another blow. But, hey, why let that stuffy, pesky old Constitution get in the way of progress, right?

Opportunity & Responsibility

Opportunity and responsibility usually come paired. I am now being given both. Last week, I was asked to be the chair of a new department at Southeastern University, and I accepted. Beginning in July, I will head the department of Historical, Legal, and Leadership Studies.

This is a great opportunity to help guide programs in a path consistent with the Biblical principles I’m always talking about. The department will house the  history, criminal justice, and leadership degrees, along with a pre-law track for students who feel called to attend law school. Another great opportunity is that I am tasked with the responsibility to develop a new degree program in public policy. This takes me back to former days when I was teaching in a master’s degree government program.

The goal is to educate students into becoming leaders in influencing government policies, whether within the government or in organizations outside government. As I said, it is a wonderful opportunity, yet simultaneously, I feel the burden of the responsibility on my shoulders to do it right.

If we carry this out God’s way, I believe Southeastern can play a vital role in the future of this nation. I’m not sure who all reads this blog, but based on the statistics, there are more of you out there reading it than I ever imagined. If you are seeking a degree in history, criminal justice, or public policy, pray about coming here. If you know people who have a heart for any of these areas of influence, tell them about us.

And above all, for those of you who are Christians, please pray that we will be wise in our planning and in our execution of the plans.

I embrace the responsibility because I earnestly desire the outcome.