A Tale of Evil, Incompetence, & Heroism

Few people who go to church on Sunday expect to encounter mass murder. We think we are in a safe place. Yet sin abounds, and there is no place that is 100% safe. Last Sunday, a presumably safe place in a small Texas church turned into a scene of terror.

Details are now emerging about that killing spree. We see a combination of evil, incompetence, and, as we more recently found out, heroism.

The evil was in the heart of the perpetrator, Devin Kelley. We now know that he was a wife and child abuser, more than once. While in the Air Force, his actions of domestic abuse landed him in confinement for a year and he received a bad conduct discharge.

The incompetence focuses on the Air Force, which somehow forgot to enter his name into the National Criminal Information Center database, which would have disallowed him from purchasing guns.

Kelley was also an outspoken atheist, ranting against God and Christians on Facebook.

In a press conference yesterday, it was revealed that Kelley had a dispute with his mother-in-law who goes to that church, so the official claimed Kelley’s actions had nothing to do with religion; it was simply a domestic issue.

If that’s all this was, why try to kill everyone in the church?

No, this is deeper. This is rebellion against God and everything the Christian faith stands for. Kelley hated Christians, with his mother-in-law representing an outlet for his hatred.

The words of Jesus at the Last Supper recorded in John 15 come to mind:

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. . . . If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. . . . All these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.

Christians have been and are persecuted and attacked worldwide. We’re only now coming to grips with what might happen in America in the future. We’ve felt “safe,” but that safe feeling may be ending.

I mentioned heroism. It turns out that a neighbor heard the gunshots, grabbed his gun, and engaged Kelley, wounding him. He then followed Kelley all the way to the place where he apparently committed suicide by ramming his vehicle and overturning it.

The man who confronted Kelley, Stephen Willeford, is a former NRA instructor. Contrary to what some might think, that means he trained people to use guns wisely and carefully. He followed his own advice. And because of that Second Amendment right, more lives probably were saved.

Willeford says he’s no hero: “I think my God … protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done.”

That kind of humility and dependence on God is actually a mark of genuine heroism, the kind God rewards.

Obama & the Constitution . . . Again

Tonight is President Obama’s final State of the Union Address. Finally.

I expect the viewing audience will be comprised of his eager followers and those who are political junkies only. I won’t be one of them. That may surprise some of you who think I live and breathe politics. I don’t. I love the Biblical approach to governing but am just as turned off by politics-as-usual as the majority of our citizens.

I have a deep devotion to the rule of law and the Constitution that established it in our nation. That’s one reason why I have ceased being interested in what our president has to say—he has no such respect for those concepts:

Kind of an Expert

He never tires of reminding us that he taught constitutional law. Unfortunately, teaching constitutional law is no indication that the teacher has any knowledge of how it is supposed to work. Well, perhaps he does know how it’s supposed to work; he just doesn’t like that approach. He’s far more comfortable being a law unto himself:

Shot Constitution

Why bother with that document when one has, as he has stated, a different way of governing?

Assaul Weapon

His latest foray into government-by-executive-only is his attempt to curb the Second Amendment, Constitution notwithstanding:

Ain't Big Enough

He has a different worldview, to say the least:

Kind of Suspicious

Why is he so concerned about guns? Watch his tears and you will be informed that it stems from a deep, abiding love for the safety of children:

Never Mind

Right. And that’s another reason why I won’t be wasting my time this evening watching the State of the Union Address. I will see plenty of excerpts later; meanwhile, I can use my time far more productively.

Those Executive Orders

President Obama yesterday put forward his executive orders for curbing gun violence. There were twenty-three of them. I read through all twenty-three carefully. While I’m somewhat relieved that he didn’t go beyond the regular misuse of such executive orders—no sweeping new mandates this time—he nevertheless stepped over the constitutional boundary that separates the executive from the legislative. His orders, while not establishing new laws, which would be unconstitutional in itself, still added new spending in the billions. Unless that money already was authorized by Congress, he unilaterally contributed to the growing debt burden of the country. Historically speaking, I’ve seen this before:

No, Mr. President, you are not the state. You are merely the one charged with the responsibility of carrying out the executive functions of the state in conjunction with a duly elected Congress and an independent judiciary. Neither do you have the authority to change the Constitution; only an amendment can do that. My dread over what he might do in the current situation is based on what he already has done. The HHS mandates via Obamacare have trampled on the First Amendment’s religious liberty guarantees. If he’s willing to do that, the Second Amendment guarantees won’t faze him either. A couple of cartoonists have captured that concern pretty well:

Many critics of the president have been quick to point out the hypocrisy of his pronouncements on the gun control issue:

And that comment Joe Biden made about curtailing guns to save even one life sounds a little silly if you carry out the logic to its natural end:

The government cannot protect every person at all times. Life comes with risks. If the government tries to achieve that goal, it will cost more lives in the long run when individuals are not allowed to defend themselves effectively against those who seek to do them harm.

For me, the greatest hypocrisy that came to the forefront yesterday was Obama’s use of children at his public signing of those executive orders. Supposedly, this is all for the sake of saving children. Yet his heart is hardened and his conscience seared when it comes to the most unprotected, innocent children of all:

When Obama changes his position on abortion and begins to protect those who need protection the most, then I’ll begin to have some respect for him.

Constitutional Limitations & Obama

Who cares about constitutional limitations? Certainly not Barack Obama. He likes to let people know he was a professor of constitutional law, but the truth is that 1) he was a lecturer, not a professor per se, and 2) he has no regard for the document at all. He’s referred to it as an encumbrance that gets in the way of his goal of transforming America.

As I noted yesterday, and as at least some of the media have picked up on, he doesn’t really believe the country has a spending problem. He made this clear in his supposed negotiations with John Boehner:

Some may wonder how he can be so blind. Well, ideology creates blindness, and this president is the most radical ideologist who has ever occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He’s so wedded to his Marxist, anti-imperialist, bring-down-America views that he can’t deal with reality:

Back to his disregard for the Constitution: he now wants unilateral authority to raise the debt ceiling, as if Congress doesn’t exist. He seeks unlimited power to spend and go into debt, and thinks there should be no repercussions. Even most kings at the time of the writing of the Constitution couldn’t do that. The Founders set up a balanced form of government that clearly delineated the powers of the presidency. Obama desires to toss aside all their hard work that created a federal republic to protect liberty.

Then there was the suggestion yesterday, floated by none other than Joe Biden, that Obama could use executive orders to curtail firearms. Going back again to the Founders and the Constitution, the Second Amendment specifically says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The militia mentioned in the amendment, taken in the context of the era, referred to the body of the whole people of a state, not some appendage of the government. The whole point was to be able to halt any tyranny imposed by the government.

The only legitimate, legal way to get around that amendment, which is part of the cornerstone of constitutional government that protects liberty, is to ratify another amendment rescinding the first one. That happened with prohibition. Three-fourths of the states would have to agree that the right to keep and bear arms no longer is in effect. Not even Congress has the authority to pass a law wiping this out.

Yet what is Obama hinting at? He seems to believe he can just sign an executive order and make anything happens that he wishes. Executive orders are not even mentioned in the Constitution. They are supposed to be merely a way for presidents to set up rules for how the executive branch of the government will operate. They are to apply to the bureaucracy only; they should have no direct effect on citizens, and certainly no effect on a ratified constitutional amendment.

Obama’s apologists will say that other presidents have used executive orders in this fashion. True, but hardly a rationale for doing so again. Just because other presidents have done something unconstitutional is no basis for allowing this president to continue the practice. The most egregious use of executive orders came in the 1930s during FDR’s New Deal. Roosevelt simply declared that all Americans had to turn in their gold to the federal government. He had no authority to declare any such thing, yet he did it. He then exchanged their gold for Federal Reserve Notes, which became the only currency allowed in the country. It was a display of raw power, and it worked. But that didn’t make it right.

If Obama follows through on this threat, he will further solidify the opinion of many that he seeks to set up a presidential dictatorship. How, one may ask, can this be possible in a nation that values liberty? Well, look at the last election. How much do we really value liberty anymore? Anyone with any sense at all knew what Obama wanted to do. Yes, he is a problem, but we are the greater problem:

Obama’s ideology and goals have been transparent from the start. Some of us are willfully blind about them, others are deceived, and still others have converted to his way of thinking. We are on the precipice. Will we pull back and regain our liberty? Will we take back Obama’s “hope and change” slogan and put it to good use this time? Let’s hope it’s not too late for change.

Underreported Scandals

Some scandals are pure joy for the mainstream media, while others are too embarrassing to spend much time investigating and reporting. Two of the latter have to do with education and the justice department. Let’s begin with education.

People have been amazed over the past decade at just how well the Atlanta public schools have progressed. Scores kept rising as they zeroed in on No Child Left Behind funding. Now we discover why they’ve been doing so well—they’ve been cheating.  As noted by Mark Steyn,

Not the students, but the superintendent, and the union, and 38 principals, and at least 178 teachers—whoops, pardon me, “educators”—and some 44 of the 56 school districts. Teachers held “changing parties” at their homes at which they sat around with extra supplies of erasers correcting their students’ test answers in order to improve overall scores and qualify for “No Child Left Behind” federal funding that could be sluiced into maintaining their lavish remuneration. Let’s face it, it’s easier than teaching, right?

The superintendent, Beverly Hall, on the strength of these bogus scores, won the National Superintendent of the Year award, the Administrator of the Year Award, “and a zillion other phoney-baloney baubles with which the American edu-fraud cartel scratches its own back.” Yet, despite all this deception and fraud, it remains to be seen if there will be any genuine consequences. In my opinion, this is to be expected when government tries to “help” education.

Incidentally, this scandal has stayed so far beneath the radar that I can’t even find a political cartoon to help illustrate it. How sad is that? Stay tuned for more on this one.

Then there’s “Operation Fast and Furious.” I hope by now the word has gotten out about this one. What’s this one all about? It’s your stimulus money at work. Steyn again:

The official explanation is that the federal government used stimulus funding to buy guns from Arizona gun shops for known criminals to funnel to Mexican drug cartels. As I said, that’s the official explanation: As soon as your head stops spinning, we’ll resume the narrative. Supposedly, United States taxpayers were picking up the tab for Mexican drug lords’ weaponry in order that the ATF could identify high-up gun-traffickers. But, as it turns out, these high-up gun-traffickers were already known to other agencies—FBI, DEA, and other big-spending acronyms in the great fetid ooze of federal alphabet soup in which this republic is drowning. And, indeed, some of those high-ups are said to have been paid informants for those various federal agencies. So, in case you’re wondering why Obama’s second annual Recovery Summer is a wee bit sluggish at your end, relax: Stimulus dollars went to fund one federal agency to buy guns for the paid informants of another federal agency to funnel to foreign criminals in order that the first federal agency might identify the paid informants of the second federal agency.

Got it? If that seems a trifle confusing, here’s the bottom line: those guns made their way to Mexico as planned, where they were used to kill numerous Mexican civilians and at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry. And here’s where it gets somewhat speculative, but not outlandish:

If, by this stage, you’re wondering why U.S. stimulus dollars are being used to stimulate the Mexican coffin industry, consider the dark suspicion of many American gun owners—that the real reason the feds embarked on this murderous scheme was to plant the evidence that the increasing lawlessness on the southern border is the fault of the gun industry and the Second Amendment, and thereby advance its ideological agenda of ever greater gun control.

Meanwhile, as Republicans ramp up an investigation of Operation Fast and Furious, Attorney General Eric Holder is playing dumb about it, hoping to find other scapegoats.

This is the same Eric Holder who has been quite selective in deciding who deserves prosecution and who does not:

Excuse me if I don’t feel like we’re in good hands.

Supreme Decisions

This seems to be Supreme Court week. First, we have the confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan, then two decisions are handed down by the Court that have significant ramifications, one for good, the other just the opposite.

The good: the Second Amendment has survived the scrutiny of the Court—how nice of them to decide it’s really there. By a slim 5-4 decision, the Court declared that the right to keep and bear arms applies to states and cities, too, thereby overturning a Chicago ordinance that tried to prohibit the right of self-defense by carrying a firearm.

Now, I’m no gun nut. I’ve never owned a gun, and I’ve only shot guns one time—at an NRA range. I have to say I enjoyed it, and was a much better shot than I expected I would be. All that to say, I’ve never had much experience along that line, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution and should not be abridged. There are definitely benefits that come from gun ownership:

As some commentators have noted, though, there is a downside to this: the fact that the vote was only 5-4 shows how far we have strayed from written guarantees in the Constitution. Think about it—four justices on the Supreme Court were willing to say this right does not exist nationwide.

There was one bit of hypocrisy on display in this decision as well. Sonia Sotomayor voted with the minority after telling senators in her confirmation hearings that the right to bear arms was “settled law.” Apparently, she wanted to unsettle it. Again, this shows how much credence we can give to what nominees to the Court say during their hearings. The same applies to the Kagan hearings going on currently.

That decision was positive, but the other decision was disturbing. A Christian group at a California university was denied funds as a student group because it had as its requirements that individuals wanting to be part of the organization had to adhere to basic Biblical tenets, which included standing firm on the Biblical belief that homosexuality is not acceptable. Discriminatory, the university said. And the Supreme Court agreed. Once more, this was a 5-4 decision. Its impact will ripple throughout the nation as Christian groups will be under fire for being . . . well, Christian.

The decision shows how acceptance of homosexuality has infiltrated our society. Even more, it shows that there is a noose around the neck of the First Amendment’s right of free exercise of religion. Christians are now open to penalties for practicing their faith.

As I’ve said before, the worst part of all this is the undeniable fact that, to some extent, we now live under an oligarchy. Five people can determine the direction of our society. The judiciary has become a little god. This does not bode well for the future.