Wednesday, September 29, 2010

True Faith or True Arrogance?

Yesterday, President Obama talked about his faith in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After months of speculation, Obama said he is a "Christian by choice" and expounded on how Jesus' teachings impacted his life. So, that puts this whole controversy to bed, right?

Not so much.

The concept of choosing Christianity flies in the face of Christian theology because it makes you the ultimate authority over whether you believe. Put another way, thinking you choose to be Christian puts you above God. In my particular brand of Christian belief, we don't choose whether to believe; it's the work of the Holy Spirit that opens our hearts to God's word.

Combine the "Christian by choice" comment with another concept Obama has brought into the public eye: collective salvation. Obama has said, " individual salvation is not going to come without a collective salvation for the country." He has reiterated the idea of collective salvation in speeches to graduates.

The problem? Under Christian faith, Christ died for our sins, giving us salvation. Once we open our hearts to the implications of His sacrifice, we're saved. We don't have to save everyone to earn our salvation because it's already been earned. If we don't save everybody, we're not doomed to Hell.

As much as Obama wants to put this controversy to rest, when we look at the totality of what Obama has done as President and what he's said about his faith, the questions remain. It takes more than saying "I'm a Christian" to be a Christian. As someone who has fallen out of the Christian faith and returned, my life has been fundamentally transformed by my faith, but I don't see that in Obama. What I see is someone who is trying to portray himself as a Christian as a means to hide his true faith, while at the same time elevating himself to a position above the God he professes to believe.

But I'll pray for him all the same. That's what Christians do.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stupid Is as Stupid Does...

Democrats and their allies are trying to prepare for losses in November's midterm elections, and when I say "losses" I mean soul-crushing butt-kickings from every corner of this country. So, what do they do? Try to appeal to voters' good graces by asking for another chance to prove themselves? Admit they've made mistakes and beg for the mercy of the electorate?

Nope. They're being dumbasses.

Whether it's the Leftist "news" shows obsessing about Christine O'Donnell's dabbling in witchcraft as a teenager, comedian Stephen Colbert being invited to testify about immigration, or John Kerry saying that the reason people are so upset with government right now is because they're uninformed, Democrats seem to either have it in their heads that either the impending losses won't be that bad or that they'll be able to attract voters by insulting their intelligence. Or perhaps it's a bit of both.

In any case, Democrats aren't helping their case for reelection in the midterm elections. Although I haven't counted out arrogance as a cause, even ego has limits. I'm beginning to wonder if the Democrats aren't trying to throw the midterm elections so they have an automatic scapegoat come January 2011. After all, they continue to blame George W. Bush for their blunders well after he was no longer President, so what's to stop them from blaming the potentially incoming Republican majority before it takes control? Also, this would give President Obama a built-in excuse for whenever something doesn't get passed in Congress.

Having said that, though, it would be a stupid move for the Left to blame the GOP for the failures of the Administration and the Congress under Democrat leadership. Right now, people aren't looking for who to blame; they want solutions. Voters went for Obama under the auspices of him being different than George W. Bush and having the answers to problems. As it turns out, his answers were to do what Bush did for the most part, only more of it. Now, that's coming back to haunt the Democrats in a way they hadn't expected. Once they gained control of Congress in 2007, they believed that they would be in power for a long time.

Now, on the verge of the midterm elections, we see how stupid is as stupid does.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Religious Test from the Left

On a 1999 episode of "Politically Incorrect" Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell said that she dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager. And now in 2010, the Left has made that an issue as a means to paint O'Donnell as crazy and unsuitable for public office. Granted, the Left has no problem delving into an opponent's past for dirt, but this situation seems a bit odd.

The reason the situation is odd is because of the Left's prior positions on religious matters. When it comes to the Catholic Church, the Left takes them to task for their opposition to birth control, their position on gays, and the molesting priest controversies. Their methods may not always be the most articulate (like throwing condoms at Catholic priests during a gay rights parade), but there is a kernel of legitimacy in their criticism of the Catholic Church. Having said that, the Left has extrapolated the actions of a few to malign the entire Catholic Church.

Compare that to the Left's defense of the Islamic "community center" within blocks of Ground Zero. In that case, they take exactly the opposite position that they do with the Catholic Church. They say that the actions of a few do not damn an entire religion, even though the actions of those few are clearly violent, anti-woman, and anti-child (the very things they criticize the Catholic Church for being, I might add). When it comes to Muslims practicing their faith, the Left is right on the front lines defending their freedom of religion.

Then, there's the Left's position on atheism. When it comes to Leftists like Michael Newdow, the Left supports a freedom from religion, oddly enough using the same First Amendment that they use to defend the Islamic "community center." Their position is that the separation of church and state (a phrase that does not appear in the First Amendment, by the way) means that any entity with ties to government cannot promote a single religion because it "establishes" a religion. (Logically, it doesn't, of course...)

Now, we have the Left's mocking of witchcraft as "crazy" by proxy through O'Donnell. I've known Wiccans in my life, and they are far from crazy. They are, however, among the nicest, most intelligent, most articulate people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. You may disagree with their religion, but that doesn't give anyone sanction to mock their faith. The Left using O'Donnell's dabbling in Wicca as a political football to kick around is hypocritical and disgusting. Is there any doubt that if a Leftist dabbled in Wicca and a conservative called him or her crazy, the Left would lash out at the conservative? But when it's a Republican, the Left leads the mob seeking to "burn the witch" politically.

The Left practices situational ethics on a daily basis, but now they're practicing situational freedom of religion. With Islam, the Left screams about the freedom of religion, with Wicca and the Catholic Church, the Left screams about the freedom to mock religion, and with atheism, the Left screams about the freedom from religion.

And in each case, the Left's screaming is intellectually inconsistent.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11, 9 Years Later

Today is the ninth anniversary of one of the darkest days in our history. In that nine years, we've seen incredible acts of courage and shows of unity, as well as despicable acts of cowardice and abject stupidity. I've expressed this fear before, but it bears repeating, especially today.

We've rolled over and gone back to sleep when it comes to the threat of Muslim extremism.

As much as I'd like to think we're still vigilant against those who would do us great harm, the general prevailing attitude seems to be one of utter ignorance of the threat or of general disdain for those who continue to see the threat. When the Leftist media spends more time bashing a Florida preacher for wanting to burn the Koran than they do looking into the funding of the so-called Ground Zero mosque and the man spearheading the effort, we have a problem.

CNN is far and away the worst at pushing the geopolitical snooze button on Muslim extremism. They have labeled any and all opposition to the "Ground Zero Mosque" as Islamophobia, suggesting that it's driven more by racism than reason. Yet, they take the Imam at the center of that controversy at face value while raking the Florida preacher who may or may not burn the Koran today over the proverbial coals? As potentially offensive as the Koran burning would be, the establishment of a mosque within blocks of Ground Zero doesn't even raise an eyebrow at CNN, save when people stand in opposition to it.

What's worse? People actually believe opposition to the Ground Zero mosque is driven by racism. Some of it may be, but you'll get that with most movements like that. Most, however, is driven by...oh I don't know...the fact that a few blocks away there are two missing buildings from when Muslim terrorists flew planes into them, and now someone with ties to Muslim terrorists wants to build a "community center" near that site. Is that "Islamophobia" rearing its ugly head? No, it's common sense.

And that's what may be one of the greatest casualties from 9/11. We have been made afraid to listen to our guts when it comes to Muslim extremism. The more the CNN drones of the world tell us it's hateful to be suspicious of the "Ground Zero Mosque" and the more we believe it, the less we're willing to trust our instincts, no matter how right we may be. Since 9/11, we've seen people who were absolutely correct in their suspicions of Muslim airline travelers get smeared by the media, while little to no criticism is heaped on those who perpetrate the acts that raised suspicion in the first place. If that isn't proof that we're living in some incredibly mixed-up times when it come to Islamic terror, I don't know what is.

George W. Bush was right when he compared the war on terrorism to fighting a hydra because Muslim terrorism isn't just one or two groups. The entire Middle East is one big network of terrorist organizations that fund and support one another. Getting rid of the top guys in al Qaeda is nice, but al Qaeda isn't the totality of the terrorist groups out there. There are others that will fill the void even after al Qaeda is destroyed or disbanded. America's approach to fighting Muslim terrorism has forgotten that part of the equation, and I place the blame for that on "both" major parties. George W. Bush had the right approach, but then softened it, and now President Obama is continuing to soften the approach to the point that we've actually talked about sitting down with some of the people who support the people who want us killed. Talking with Muslim extremists will only do one thing: it allows them time to reload.

George Santayana once wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." With the threat of Muslim terrorism and our reaction to it today, Santayana was exactly right. We're back to a 9/10 mentality, where our minds are filled with pop culture fluff and an overwhelming desire to feed our egos. That's exactly what Muslim terrorists predicted would happen because they counted on us losing interest in what they were doing. And, sure enough, we have.

On this ninth anniversary of 9/11, shouldn't we show at least some courage and vigilance and stand up to the Muslim extremists and their allies on our shores? If only to curtail the chances of another major terrorist attack here, we need to be fearless in the face of mindless criticism from the Left and threats of violence from the "religion of peace."

It's the least the living can do to honor the memories of the dead.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day...Or Is It?

As we enjoy another Labor Day celebrating the American worker, the state of the economy is weighing on the minds of many. Whether it's high unemployment or companies who make employees work extra hours so the companies don't have to hire additional staff, the employment situation is looking grim. Combine with that the fact that the first stimulus package has done more to grow jobs in the public sector than the private sector and Congress is intent on adding more debt to our backs, and things don't look any better.

Put simply, the economy is in dire need of fixing. What the Washington politicians on both sides don't realize is that the way to fix the economy resides in the working class. Here are some suggestions to help get the economy back on the right track.

1) Cut taxes for the working and upper classes. I know, the Left will say "That's your solution for everything," but it actually works. When you cut taxes, it allows people to keep their money, which they can save, spend, or invest. In each case, the economy is stimulated in some fashion at different speeds. Given the nature of America today, our tendency would be to spend that extra money, which would...stimulate the economy. Funny how that works, isn't it?

2) Cut government spending for real. One of the biggest government scams out there is when politicians and their pals in the media claim that government spending has been cut. What's actually been "cut" is the amount of a proposed increase. The way it works is Party A suggests that the Department of Redundancy Department gets a $2 million increase in spending over the previous year. Party B suggests that the Department of Redundancy Department should only get a $1 million increase in spending over the previous year. Both parties (and their friends in the media) say that the Department of Redundancy Department's budget was cut by $1 million when, in fact, it was actually increased by $1 million. One way to help the economy is to do some actual spending cuts where departments do have to make due with less. Defense spending, the Department of Education, the Department of Interior, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and many other areas could be cut without disrupting services (such as they are) to the American people, which would reduce the amount of tax dollars necessary to keep the country running, which in turn means more money gets kept by the working class.

3) Don't micromanage our lives. At every turn, government is trying to get us to act accordingly (or as accordingly as they say we should). Whenever government does that, a bureaucracy is created to ensure compliance, and with bureaucracy comes cost that the people ultimately have to pay for in the form of taxes. If you question this, check out the environmental laws in this country that any small business has to follow. That particular set of laws is so vast and complex, it's impossible for any small business to keep track, let alone follow them. Why not cut the bureaucracy and allow people (including small business owners) make those kinds of common sense decisions on their own? We may not always make the best choices, but government bureaucracy hasn't exactly had the best track record in making good decisions (see the EPA's efforts with the oil spill clean up in the Gulf). Besides, the money we save could be better spent on getting the economy going.

But, for the Leftists these ideas may be too complex. In the interest of bipartisanship, let me break it down for them.

1) Let us keep our money.
2) Cut spending.
3) Get out of the way.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I Don't Mean to Toot My Own Horn...

...but Toot Toot. Something I said back in 2006 has come to fruition, and it's all thanks to President Obama and his fellow Leftists.

Back in 2006 and again in 2008, I noticed that Democrats ran on a platform of change. They didn't specify why change was necessary, just that we needed it. And the American people believed it without question. During this time of change from the Left, I pointed out how change isn't always a positive thing and that as much as the Left wanted to change things, eventually change would come back to haunt them.

Welcome to 2010, when the Democrats' slogan has gone from "We need change!" to "We don't need change that badly!" The fatal mistake the Left made is in assuming that the people were behind them completely once they took back control of Congress and the White House. We weren't. Many Americans wanted to give the Democrats a try, and they did. Now, much to their chagrin, they're seeing how their desire for change made them puppets for the Left.

And come November 2010, the Left will have a lot of former supporters to answer to at the polls.