More "Moderation"

Daschle: Former Senate Majority Leader
Daschle: Former Senate Majority Leader

Another of the “moderates” Obama has named to his cabinet is former Sen. Tom Daschle. When Daschle was Majority Leader in the Senate, he did everything he could to undermine any Republican movement toward limited government or less spending.

 Daschle is now slated to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, where he can be free to spend and direct the federal government into the lives of all Americans.

Other less well-known appointments include Carole Browner, an Al Gore protege, as the new energy czar (rush out now to buy those new light bulbs) and Nancy Sutley, who will be the head of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. Sutley is currently Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles (under the extremely liberal Antonio Villaraigosa) and is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activist.

May the Lord spare us from any more of this moderation.

Moderation, Obama-Style

Eric Holder--Top Law Enforcement Official in the Nation?
Eric Holder–Top Law Enforcement Official in the Nation?

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how moderate Obama’s personnel picks have turned out to be. Does that count Attorney General-designate Eric Holder?

In his previous service in the Clinton administration, Holder was in the forefront of approving pardons as Bill Clinton left office. One of those he approved was Marc Rich, who had fled the country over his illegal financial doings. Rich was granted a pardon apparently because his wife contributed a lot of money to the Clinton Library.

 Holder, as an official in the Justice Department, saw nothing wrong with the way Justice handled the Elian Gonzalez case. Remember that one? A boy picked up in the ocean as his mother tried to flee Cuba. She died, and Elian was living with relatives in Florida. Cuba demanded him back, and Justice agreed. As Byron York of National Review recalls,

In the period before armed agents seized the child, the Justice Department had been leaking its intention to avoid any sort of armed intervention.  It would all be done quietly, they suggested.  When top Department officials were asked about it, they said nothing to change that impression.  About two weeks before the raid, Tim Russert asked Holder, “You wouldn’t send a SWAT team in the dark of night to kidnap the child, in effect?”  Holder answered, “No, we don’t expect anything like that to happen.”  Then the Department did precisely that. The day after the seizure, Holder appeared again with Russert, who asked, “Why such a dramatic change in position?” “I’m not sure I’d call it a dramatic change,” Holder answered.  “We waited ’til five in the morning, just before dawn.”

Here’s that famous photo of this “quiet” intervention.

Federal Agents Seizing Elian Gonzalez from His Relatives

Federal Agents Seizing Elian Gonzalez from His Relatives

On top of all that, Holder apparently has never seen a gun control bill he hasn’t loved. He has promoted federal licensing of handgun owners, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, and national gun registration.

This is the person Obama wants to be the chief law enforcement officer in the federal government. This is moderation?

We Don't Need Another "Deal"

History Repeats Itself Again?

History Repeats Itself Again?

When Time magazine decided to show a cover depicting Obama as FDR, I could only shake my head. And now Obama is trying his best to be the next FDR, talking about a massive plan for public works.

The little secret, which isn’t really much of a secret anymore (except to those who refuse to listen) is that FDR’s New Deal never brought America out of the Great Depression. By the end of the 1930s, the economy was just as depressed as when FDR took office. The unemployment rate was virtually the same.

When the public sector spends more money, there is less to go around for the private sector, thus slowing a recovery. Of course, it looks good to spend this money and provide short-term jobs, but it doesn’t really deal with the problem.

We need to return to the Reagan solution. Yes, I know some people say this is a different time, so different solutions are called for. Well, if that’s the case, why are we rehashing the 1930s? Reagan’s concepts are still viable today because they are principles that apply at all times: reduce taxes, cut government spending, allow the people to keep more of their own money, and let them develop their entrepreneurial ideas. It worked in the 1980s and it can work now.

When will we ever truly learn from history?

Obama Hubris

Jumping the Gun?

Jumping the Gun?

I haven’t said a lot about the upcoming administration since the election. While I did have some commentary right after that fateful night, I have deliberately turned from devotion to politics and instead have emphasized Biblical principles and the type of spirit God wants to instill within us.

I will, however, return to commentary on the new administration as it takes shape. Later this week, I hope to offer some thoughts on people Obama plans to appoint to his cabinet.

Today, though, I am struck by one thought: the continuing pride/arrogance of the man we have elected. During the campaign, he was criticized for the seal that began to appear on his podium. It looked just like the official presidential seal, yet he was not yet elected to that office. It became a source of ridicule, so it disappeared from the campaign trail (and rightly so).

Now he is at it again. Has anyone else noticed the new sign that graces his podium? I’m surprised that few commentators have said anything about this.

This Must Be in the Constitution Somewhere, Right?

This Must Be in the Constitution Somewhere, Right?

Never in the history of modern American politics, as least not in my memory or base of knowledge, has the president-elect chosen to create what appears to be an official “office” celebrating his status. Some may say I’m being too picky here, but frankly, I have been stunned by what might be the highest level of hubris since the worst moments of the Clinton presidency. Yes, Obama declares that there is only one president at a time, going on record that George Bush still maintains that role, but to me, he is sending a signal with a sign like this. He is attempting to push himself up alongside the current president in the eyes of the American people. It’s as if he is saying, “I’m already here. I’m the one you should be focusing on now.”

I’m open to seeing real humility, but it has been glaringly absent thus far. Of course, real humility–not the type that is pumped up for the cameras–can only come from a genuine acknowledgement of sin and true repentance. If that should occur in Obama’s life, then, and only then, will we witness the real thing.

Sarcasm on the Economy

One of my readers sent me a link to a little talk by former Sen. Fred Thompson. The reader’s comment was “Where was this Fred Thompson during the primaries”? After viewing it, I have to agree. Really, if you want to hear truth about the current state of the economy and the “solutions” being offered, this a a must-see. And if you enjoy a message being sent with just the right amount of sarcasm (humorous, not hateful), you will appreciate this. Check it out.

Principle: Property–Christian Communism? (Part II)

Some Biblical interpreters note a particular incident in the early church that, they say, indicates God is in favor of communism. They refer to the Ananias and Sapphira story.

As believers were voluntarily selling property and giving the proceeds to the apostles to help the needy (see the previous post for a fuller explanation of this), one couple, Ananias and Sapphira, came up with a little scheme. They sold some property and brought part of the profit to the Apostle Peter, declaring that this was the entire profit, even though they had kept back a portion for themselves. The Biblical account tells us that God struck them dead for this deed.

Ananias Struck Down by the Lord for His Hypocrisy

Ananias Struck Down by the Lord for His Hypocrisy

“See,” we are told, “God judged them for continuing to hold private property. They were struck down because they kept some for themselves.” Not exactly.

If we look at the text, we are told precisely why they were judged, and it has nothing to do with owning property.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.

It is obvious from this passage that Peter is not condemning Ananias for owning land. He makes it clear that it belonged to Ananias, and that he could have done whatever he wished with the profit–it was his to dispose of as he chose. Peter also points to the real sin here: lying/hypocrisy. Ananias and Sapphira were attempting to appear they were giving all the proceeds of the sale to the church, while secretly holding back. They wanted people to think they were doing a wonderful thing, when in fact they were not.

So, bottom line: they were judged for being liars and hypocrites. They could have used that money for anything they wished; instead, they deliberately decided to deceive. There is nothing in this passage that mandates communism for Christians.

Christian communism? An oxymoron.

Principle: Property–Christian Communism? (Part I)

Is God’s design that the church model communism? Some point to the example of the early church in Jerusalem in the book of Acts where we are told,

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. (Acts 4:32, 34-35)

Well, that settles it then, right? Owning private property is wrong; you should turn it all over to the authorities who will distribute to those who have a need. Sounds like the Marxist maxim, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

There is only one big problem with that interpretation: the Acts example was one of voluntary giving, while communism is one of coerced giving. In fact, that can’t really be called giving at all. Coercion and giving are inherently contradictory. The believers in the passage above saw a need and, from their hearts, chose to sell what was rightfully theirs to help their brothers and sisters. There is no indication of coercion; neither is there any further indication in the entire New Testament that the practice of the early church was to force everyone to forfeit private property.

And what precisely were they selling? If they actually sold the houses they lived in, that would make them homeless. Now someone else would have to take care of them; they would have made themselves a burden to the entire church. I believe that what they sold was property they had in abundance that they decided could be put to better use for the benefit of all–extra land, a second home, etc.

Confused About Communism?

Confused About Communism?

There is a clear difference between giving from one’s heart and being told by an authority that you are now going to “give.” When Obama was accused during the campaign of promoting redistribution of people’s money, he tried to make a joke about it, saying that his critics would probably accuse him of being a communist if, as a kindergartener, he shared his toys with other children.

Either he was being disingenuous or he really doesn’t grasp the distinction. If it was the former, he is counting on the political and economic illiteracy of the American people to shield him from close scrutiny. If it was the latter, it reveals that he is a profound economic illiterate. Neither option bodes well.

Christian communism? Another refutation in the next post.