Where's the birth certificate

Free and Strong America

Monday, October 31, 2011

How Freedom and Democracy are Intertwined with Christianity

There are two great articles out today highlighting the correlation between democratic freedom and Christianity. First, Ben Kinchlow (above) writes...

"President George Washington, in his 1776 farewell speech, issued one of the gravest warnings in American history:

Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.

He continued:

Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education … reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Washington clearly understood the folly of attempting to substitute education for morality (the quality of being in accord with the standards of right and wrong).

Liberal-oriented educators and intellectuals insist that our children can make moral choices in a vacuum. Their position is that choices can be made without regard to any absolute standard of right and wrong. The argument for situational ethics (any decision depends on the situation you are in) presents our youth with a shifting morality as the basis for making decisions. The fact of the matter is, however, that the intelligentsia make these assertions without due consideration of the end results.

Absent religious principles (which, in Western civilization, are taken from the Judeo-Christian Bible), what, if any, are the standards of right and wrong? Who sets them? Has it become merely a matter of opinion? And if so, whose? What, one could reasonably ask, is the foundation upon which we base our actions and order our society?"

Kinchlow's article goes on to argue, like others before him, that the very foundation of Western civilization, and the freedoms we enjoy in it, are in fact, based on the Bible, and rightly so.

Vox Day's latest offering points out how the Left is abolutely clueless when it comes to the history of Western civilization...

"Being for the most part historically illiterate, few intellectuals are prepared to admit that modern representative democracy and the basic concept of individual rights are 18th century phenomena that were the byproducts of a Christian society. They prefer to attribute both institutions to the Enlightenment, despite the fact that it was the Enlightenment that led directly to the revolutionary horrors of the French revolution and it is the Enlightenment that presently serves as the inspiration for the anti-democratic authoritarian bureaucracy of the European Union.

It is written that a house divided against itself cannot stand. In like manner, an intellectual movement cannot reasonably be considered the cause of two diametrically opposed conceptual phenomena.

And it will become increasingly difficult for intellectuals to deny the connection between Christianity and democracy as the recognized, even celebrated, post-Christianity of Europe has been closely followed by European post-democracy. The development of European post-democracy is much less recognized, is not at all celebrated, and yet it is in some ways further along than the more widely reported continental post-Christianity."

For all of the hand-wringing about Christianity being a 'repressive' religion, one wonders what the world would look like without it's influence.

"Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention .... In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united. ”

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other .... They brought with them into the New World a form of Christianity which I cannot better describe than by styling it a democratic and republican religion."
Alexis de Tocqueville

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Making 'intolerance' their god

Recent news articles seem to be reinforcing specific groups one must be tolerant towards while ignoring the plight of others. First, we read in Thomas Sowell's column from today...

"Back in the 1920s, the intelligentsia on both sides of the Atlantic were loudly protesting the execution of political radicals Sacco and Vanzetti, after what they claimed was an unfair trial. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote to his young leftist friend Harold Laski, pointing out that there were "a thousand-fold worse cases" involving black defendants, "but the world does not worry over them."

Holmes said: "I cannot but ask myself why this so much greater interest in red than black."

To put it bluntly, it was a question of whose ox was gored. That is, what groups were in vogue at the moment among the intelligentsia. Blacks clearly were not.

The current media and political crusade against "bullying" in schools seems likewise to be based on what groups are in vogue at the moment. For years, there have been local newspaper stories about black kids in schools in New York and Philadelphia beating up Asian classmates, some beaten so badly as to require medical treatment.

But the national media hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. Asian Americans are not in vogue today, just as blacks were not in vogue in the 1920s.

Meanwhile, the media are focused on bullying directed against youngsters who are homosexual. Gays are in vogue.

Most of the stories about the bullying of gays in schools are about words directed against them, not about their suffering the violence that has long been directed against Asian youngsters or about the failure of the authorities to do anything serious to stop black kids from beating up Asian kids.

Where youngsters are victims of violence, whether for being gay or whatever, that is where the authorities need to step in. No decent person wants to see kids hounded, whether by words or deeds, and whether the kids are gay, Asian or whatever."

Indeed, for a more recent example of "Red Trumps Black", even within the black community, Dennis Prager reminds us that "In 2009, nine left-wing Democratic congressmen, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, visited Fidel Castro in Cuba and came back awestruck by the dictator. They even refused to meet with one of Cuba’s leading pro-democracy dissidents, Jorge Luis Garcia PĂ©rez, an African Cuban."

But insofar as gays being the preferred mascots of the media elites these days, one need look no further than the recent case involving a New Jersey school teacher...

"In New Jersey, the Township of Union Public School District has suspended a special education teacher named Vicki Knox because she sat in her own home, on her own computer, and expressed her Christian faith on her personal Facebook page.

After seeing a quasi-shrine that had been erected at her school, honoring Harvey Milk, Neil Patrick Harris, and Virginia Woolf for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History month, Knox expressed disapproval of “homosexuality based on her Christian faith.”

Just think of it – although the Bible unequivocally denounces practicing homosexual behavior, groups like Garden State Equality (GSE) have come out against Knox as if she invented Christianity’s teaching on homosexual practices, and they’re actually calling for her to lose her job.

Said Garden State Equality chair Steven Goldstein: “I find what she wrote on Facebook endangers the learning atmosphere for students beyond repair and violates the school district’s own policy of a safe and comfortable environment for all. She’s no longer in a position to teach in the classroom because she will make many students fearful of her hatred.”..

This point is made even more poignant when one considers the fact that Knox went out of her way to say that she prays for those who are persecuting her and tells them that God loves them (which is now apparently the same thing as expressing “hatred”)."

Which leads to a question I have asked before, is there any criticism of the gay lifestyle allowed whatsoever? Check out some of the comments from self-identified gays in the link for the above article. It seems that even members of the gay community are themselves concerned about such anti-Christian bigotry. Kelly Boggs explains why the teacher was within her rights as an American citizen to expess her opinions...

"It really does not take a constitutional scholar to understand the simple, straightforward wording established by our nation's founders.

First, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...." Put simply, the phrase makes it clear that the government must not pass legislation forcing a person to practice or pay homage to a particular religion. In other words, the state will not establish an official religion or church.

Second, "Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting the free exercise thereof." In the simplest of terms this statement makes it clear that the government will not seek to restrict an individual's practice of his or her faith. A person is free to believe, or not to believe as the case may be, as he or she desires.

To sum up the two parts of the opening portion of the First Amendment, when it comes to the practice of religion in America, the government will not tell citizens that they "must" or that they "can't."...

It would seem that when a public school seeks to keep students or teachers from respectfully expressing religious beliefs that the government is telling them they "can't" exercise their religion or the freedom to express their beliefs.

It does not require a juris doctor degree to understand the plain language of the First Amendment."

Monday, October 24, 2011

On the refusal of Richard Dawkins to debate William Lane Craig, 2 responses

On the topic of atheist Richard Dawkins recently refusing to debate Christian apologist William Lane Craig, brother Gregg Metcalf who blogs over at Gospel Driven Disciples was kind enough to share his thoughts on the topic. Brother Gregg's response is as follows...

"I have been assigned to provide “your exegesis on Dr. Dawkins' characterization of Deuteronomy 20:13-15” in regards to his refusal to debate William Lane Craig.

First, Dawkins characterized Deuteronomy 20:13-15 by this statement, “You would search far to find a modern preacher willing to defend God’s commandment, in Deuteronomy 20:13-15, to kill all the men in a conquered city and to seize the women, children and livestock as plunder ... You might say that such a call to genocide could never have come from a good and loving God.”

It appears that Dawkins characterizes this section as a command of God commit genocide. Genocide is defined as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.” (Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, 1969)

Secondly, I think that we may be starting in the wrong place. In attempting to comment or characterize actions of God we must start with the character of God. The first question that we must ask ourselves, does God have right to make such a command? The answer is yes. Why? God is absolutely sovereign. God, as both revealed in the Scripture and defined by His character or nature has the right to exercise His absolute supremacy in accordance with His divine perfections. God is infinitely elevated above the highest creature. He is the most high and is subject to no one. God is independent and does as He pleases, only as He pleases, and always as He pleases.

My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. (Isa 46:10) He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; none can stay His hand. (Dan 4:35) But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased. (Psalms 115:3)

God yields His sovereignty anyway He wishes and does not answer to any man. Job found that out when God chose to refine him through a bitter season. As Job questioned his dire circumstances and treatment God never provided him with an answer. Through a series of questions God demonstrated to Job that he did not have the qualifications or character to question God and to call God to an account of His actions.

It is obvious as one studies both Scripture and the character of God that God never exercises His absolute sovereignty apart from the other “attributes” of His nature. His sovereignty is never exercised apart from justice, mercy, love, holiness, righteousness, grace, and/or kindness. God is not arbitrary or capricious. God always acts perfectly and in unison with all of His divine attributes.

When God gave the command to the nation of Israel in Deuteronomy 20:10-15, He had every right to do so. He had the right and operated within the perfection of His nature when He killed all the inhabitants of the earth save eight souls in the ark. He had the right and acted within the perfection of His nature when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone.

In Deuteronomy 20:10-15 God gives the command to Israel as the armies advance upon a city to call for peace, in other words to summon the city to make a peaceable surrender. If the city surrendered and submitted then the residents became servants to Israel. However, if the city refused to surrender and submit and attempted to fight against Israel then God commanded Israel to besiege the city. If God chose to allow Israel to prevail in battle then Israel was to kill the males and take the women and children captive.

As horrid as that might sound to Mr. Dawkins, this was the prerogative of a supreme and sovereign God. These actions may seem harsh and outrageous to Dawkins and to us. We are not God. We are finite and God is infinite in all of His perfections. We may not understand His acts or His ways at times. We may even pray for a different course of action or outcome, but God is sovereign and does as He pleases.

I think the text is clear and doesn’t need the judgment of Dawkins or the seemingly rewrite by Craig.

“Canaan was being given over to Israel, whom God had now brought out of Egypt. If the Canaanite tribes, seeing the armies of Israel, had simply chosen to flee, no one would have been killed at all. There was no command to pursue and hunt down the Canaanite peoples,” Craig explained.

"It is therefore completely misleading to characterize God’s command to Israel as a command to commit genocide. Rather it was first and foremost a command to drive the tribes out of the land and occupy it. Only those who remained behind were to be utterly exterminated. No one had to die in this whole affair,” he concluded.

Deuteronomy 7:1-4 states,

"When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly." (ESV, emphasis mine)

God is fully within divine and absolute perfection when He called for the death of these people. The penalty for sin is death. The soul that sins shall die. Death was not always “old age.” When God called for the death of these people and Israel put them to death, they were simply receiving what was due and just.

As I conclude my assignment I shall add a couple of ideas for thought. First, I know of no command, mandate, or directive that an unbelieving sinner must debate anyone. As a matter of fact I don’t even see the value of a debate. It is true that each believer is to be ready to give an answer, a defense, or an apology for what we believe, but I don’t know ifthat same mandate applies to the wicked and the lost.

Secondly, God charged Israel once with the indictment that they had erroneously and sinfully concluded that God was like them. We cannot “start” with a premise of what is fair or unfair, right or wrong, just or unjust and judge the actions of God in either the Old Testament or the New Testament. God is sovereign, full of perfection and will always act in accordance with His divine nature for His glory and our good.

Although we as God’s people today have no mandate to commit genocide against any racial, political, or cultural group, we cannot judge God or His actions as wrong, sinful, inhumane, or against our sense of justice. Otherwise, this is the height of pride and arrogance. My characterization of Dawkins reasons for refusing to debate is that he has placed Himself above God, and made Himself a judge of God and His actions and that is the epitome of pride and arrogance in a sinful, wicked, man in need of redemption."

I thank brother Gregg for his unique and well thought out analysis of this issue. My thoughts on the contraversy are as follows....

It seems that Richard Dawkins has had to stoop to feigning fake moral hand-wringing in order to avoid debating arch-apologist William Lane Craig. While I would surmize that the main reasons that he is avoiding such a debate are because, as Dr. David Berlinski has described, that Dawkins is a 'crummy philosopher' who 'lacks the rudimentary skills to meticulously assess his own arguments' and this would be laid bare publicly in a most embarrassing manner. Also that that debating WLC did not work out very well for the likes of Dr. Peter Adkins and Sam Harris.

However the fact that Dr. Dawkins has raised a poorly constructed argument to rationalize adopting the Run-and-Hide Method of Argumentation in this instance by claiming God condones 'Genocide' is monumentally stupid, even by his own lofty standards. In specific, Dawkins claims to have a problem with the instructions found in Deuteronomy 20:13-15.

"When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. " (NIV translation)

As Brother Gregg mentioned in his response, we should start from the beginning. If were to read just slightly ahead in this chapter of scripture, you would see in verse 18 that if the Israelites do not attack these peoples, then "they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods". Since the Book of Leviticus chronicles the horrific religious practices of these people ranging from all manner of sexual depravity to the human sacrifice of young children, one can see why the people of the Ancient Near East would be much better off not absorbing their practices. There is indication that such practices were starting to seep into other cultures and this did not bode well at all for the region.

One thing I would like you to consider is the very distinct option (that I heard raised by Dr. Norman Wise at a lecture recently) that a society can become so completely and utterly depraved that it can reach a point where there is no turning back.

A point in which there is no societal cure.

Nor a remedy of any kind.

Their morally reprehensible attitudes and perversions can be so thoroughly ingrained from top to bottom of a society that change is not possible and the most likely outcome would then be for their attitudes to start affecting surrounding cultures. Therapy did not exist at the time and I doubt they would have listened anyway.

Additionally, God waited for many years for these peoples to renounce their ways before extolling judgement upon them. They had every opportunity to change, and yet they refused, or as this writer describes for us...

"Thus Canaan had, as it were, a final forty-year countdown as they heard of the events in Egypt, at the crossing of the Reed Sea, and what happened to the kings who opposed Israel along the way. We know that they were aware of such events, for Rahab confessed that these same events had terrorized her city of Jericho and that she, as a result, had placed her faith in the God of the Hebrews (Josh. 2:10-14). Thus God waited for the "cup of iniquity" to fill up -- and fill up it did without any change in spite of the marvelous signs given so that the nations, along with Pharaoh and the Egyptians, "might know that he was the Lord."

I can only guess as to why Dawkins concentrates on this particular passage from Deuteronomy when, if he wanted to wail about the destruction of certain peoples, then the judgement that befell certain 'cities of the plain' would seem much more likely a candidate for criticism as entire towns were made to disappear from the face of the earth through natural disasters. However, to use an example that utilized fire and brimstone to achieve it's ends would deprive Dr Dawkins of all of the lurid and vivid imagery that the word Genocide conjures up in the mind, complete with internment camps of poor souls, wasting away and awaiting The Big Dirt Nap while the outer perimeter is patrolled by whatever equivalent the Ancient Near East had to Shutzstaffel guards. Fire and brimstone just don't cut it in this sense and would not be nearly as useful to Dr. Dawkins in committing his pet appeal to emotion fallacy.

We know that when fallible man was put in charge of carrying out God's judgement rather than a natural disaster that these people were not wiped out.

"That many of the Canaanites continued in the land even to the days of Solomon, we have the fullest proof; for we read, 2 Chronicle 8:7 "All the people of the land that were left of the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were left in the land, whom the children of Israel consumed not, them did Solomon make to pay tribute to this day." Thus Solomon destroyed their political existence, but did not consider himself bound by the law of God to put them to death."

Dr Dawkins, I would encourage you to examine God's written word with something other than a mind that is completely closed and through the clouded lense of poor, militant, evangelical atheist apologetics and that you embrace the faith of your youth. He is waiting for you now and would like to see all come to repentance...

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Perry, Bachmann, Romney: Obama's Decision to Leave Iraq 'Political"

Reaction from the campaign trail to the announcement that the US would be withdrawing military forces from Iraq by the end of this year was swift.

“The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government,” Romney said in a news release. “The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.”

“President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women,” Romney continued.

Texas governor Rick Perry also questioned the motives of the president’s decision.

“I’m deeply concerned that President Obama is putting political expediency ahead of sound military and security judgment by announcing an end to troop level negotiations and a withdrawal from Iraq by year’s end,” Perry said in a statement. “The President was slow to engage the Iraqis and there’s little evidence today’s decision is based on advice from military commanders.”

Minnosata Congresswoman and GOP candidate Michele Bachmann struck a similar tone, calling the announcement “a political decision and not a military one.”

“It represents the complete failure of President Obama to secure an agreement with Iraq for our troops to remain there to preserve the peace and demonstrates how far our foreign policy leadership has fallen,” Bachmann said in a news release. “In every case where the United States has liberated a people from dictatorial rule, we have kept troops in that country to ensure a peaceful transition and to protect fragile growing democracies.”

I watched the CBS Evening News tonight and there was hardly any (if any at all) mention of the Obama administration's failings in negotiations with the Iraqi government and instead the entire matter was treated as a victory and a political coup for the Obama administration. As it turns out, it seems that The Guardian was more even-handed in their coverage than the US press was...

"John McCain, one of the leading foreign affairs specialists in the Senate and Obama's Republican opponent in the 2008 White House race, said: "Today marks a harmful and sad setback for the United States in the world. I respectfully disagree with the president: this decision will be viewed as a strategic victory for our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime, which has worked relentlessly to ensure a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."

...One of the sticking points in the negotiations with Iraq was a US demand that American forces remaining in the country after December would enjoy the same immunity from prosecution as they do now. The Iraqi government, conscious of public anger over many controversial incidents involving US troops and defence contractors over the last decade, refused.

The Pentagon had wanted the bases to help counter growing Iranian influence in the Middle East. Just a few years ago, the US had plans for leaving behind four large bases but, in the face of Iraqi resistance, this plan had to be scaled down this year to a force of 10,000. But even this proved too much for the Iraqis."

Leave it to Obama to play up the failure of US policymakers to help secure a volatile region of the world on his watch as some sort of victory on his part. I am all for slowly drawing down the number of US troops in the region over the next few years and I only hope there isn't a Post-Soviet Size Hole of a vacuum left after the last of America's most precious resource come home in December.

Trivia Question: How many tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq were quietly airlifted out of Iraq three years ago to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and eventually Canada?

A. 150 tons
B. 200 tons
C. 550 tons, or
D. 0 tons

Click here and here for the answer.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Fairy Tale of the Walking Whale

The most amusing thing about this most recent discovery is that it is an absolute given that the science fetishists will either A. try and rationalize this complete change of the evolutionary timeline in whale development or B. Downplay the discovery as if they had their doubts about the entire timeline all along...

"In an article titled "Ancient whale jawbone found in Antarctica", the Associated Press reports that paleontologists have found "the oldest fully aquatic whale yet discovered," which is about 49 million years old. As we've discussed here on ENV in the past, whale evolution has faced problems because of the short timescale (~10 million years) allowed by the fossil record for whales to evolve from fully terrestrial mammals to fully aquatic whales. As Richard Sternberg has argued (see here, here or here), the many anatomical changes necessary to convert a land-mammal to a whale could not take place by Darwinian evolution even in 10 million years. There just isn't time. But this new fossil might imply that the amount of time available was actually less than 5 million years.

Until now, the whale series went something like this:
Pakicetids (fully terrestrial): ~50 mya
Ambulocetids (semi-aquatic): 49 mya
Remingtonocetids (semi-aquatic): 49 mya
Rodhocetus (a Protocetid, semi-aquatic): 47 mya
Basilosaurids (fully aquatic): 40 mya

So under the previous timeline, Darwinian biologists didn't have to worry about accounting for the origin of fully aquatic whales until about 40 mya. This new find pushes fully aquatic whales back to 49 mya. Now the timeline looks something like this:

Pakicetids (fully terrestrial): ~50 mya
New Fossil Jawbone (fully aquatic whale): 49 mya
Ambulocetids (semi-aquatic): 49 mya
Remingtonocetids (semi-aquatic): 49 mya
Rodhocetus (a Protocetid, semi-aquatic): 47 mya
Basilosaurids (fully aquatic): 40 mya"

Dr David Berlinsky mentions the monumental obstacles that evolution would have had to overcome in this particular example in this short, two minute video from a couple of years ago. I admit that I found such claims to be highly dubious from the start and it seems that my suspicions were proven correct. (Above: So-called whale predecessor Pakicetus)

"In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale."—Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (1859 and 1984 editions), p. 184. Link

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Pink Swastika inspires hate crime act

Really. Read it for yourself...

"A Christian school in Illinois reported its glass entry door being smashed by bricks with hateful messages on them early Saturday morning.

The vandalism, recorded by Christian Liberty Academy’s security cameras, came on the eve of a banquet being hosted by the academy, a school run by the Church of Christian Liberty in Arlington Heights. The event, planned by Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), was designed to discuss the homosexual activist agenda, and to honor pro-family activist and author of The Pink Swastika, Dr. Scott Lively.

AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera, Church of Christian Liberty Pastor Calvin Lindstrom and the Chicago Independent Media Center received an email from the perpetrators of the attack a few hours after the incident. The email reads, “If this event is not shut down, and the homophobic day trainings do not end, the Christian Liberty Academy will continue to be under constant attack."

...The bricks thrown at the school’s entry door had hateful messages written on them, such as “Shut down Lively” and “Quit the homophobic s---!” Other notes threatened both the school and the church with more violence if they continued to host "homophobic" guests."

Here is the link for the entire, cited article.

Exactly where are to free-thinking, open-minded and allegedly 'inclusive' champions of free speech on this matter? For those of you who are not familiar, The Pink Swastika was a book I examined here and offered up for discussion on my blog and is one off the most viewed pages here of all time at Trees For Lunch. (Click here for the link to The Pink Swastika Part II)

Basically, The Pink Swastika posits that the leadership and membership of the NSDAP skewed highly disproportionate in the percentage of it's homosexual (butch, as opposed to femme) membership.

Lest you dismiss such a charge like this out of hand, this assertion is supported by no less than Walter C. Langer, psychoanalyst for the OSS, (which was the indirect forerunner to today's CIA) and author William L. Shirer, whose impeccable and exhaustive work on the subject of Nazi Germany The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is the standard to which all other works on the topic are measured and judged.

Rather than attempting to disprove anything contained in the book by Lively utilizing facts, it seems much more important for the Pink Hand (or if you prefer, Gay Inc.) to silence rational discussion through, (dare I say it?) Nazi tactics of intimidation. If anything, this only lends further credence to Lively's propositions as the Gay Gestapo cannot tolerate any dissent from the Happy=Gay, pre-approved party line. It is becoming increasingly obvious that no criticism of the gay lifestyle is allowed whatsoever in the Liberal New World Order.

Friday, October 14, 2011

On Obama, race, and Fast and Furious

Obama begins playing the race card and the primaries haven't even heated up yet...

"At a forum on American Latino Heritage, President Obama goes through a litany of ideas that he is for, including his new stimulus, and ends with "none of this matters to Republicans in the Senate." One of those ideas is believing America is "a place where every child, no matter what they look like, where they come from, should have a chance to succeed."

Click here for a transcript of Obama's remarks.

On a related note, if anyone is still under the delusion that the election of Obama would help bring about a post-racial society, then Thomas Sowell's latest article is a great read and a real eye-opener for the selectively myopic. Sowell mentions the release of the blockbuster, new novel titled Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department by former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams. He concludes the article by stating...

"The Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder has not only turned a blind eye to blatant evidence of voter fraud, it has actively suppressed those U.S. Attorneys in its own ranks who have tried to stop that fraud.

Even in counties where the number of votes cast exceeds the number of people legally entitled to vote, Eric Holder's Justice Department sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil -- if the end result is the election of black Democrats. It has become the mirror image of the old Jim Crow South.

This is an enormously eye-opening book which makes painfully clear that, where racial issues are concerned, the Department of Justice has become the Department of Payback. A post-racial society is the last thing that Holder and Obama are pursuing."

If I may be so bold as to make a prediction, I think Attorney General Holder can expect to have the opportunity to closely examine the undercarraige of a large bus very soon if Obama's words are being interpreted correctly...

"Maybe no one noticed, but he actually threw Eric Holder under the bus on the “Fast and Furious” gunrunner program saying he had confidence in Holder; this remark was a set up. He knows that Holder is on his way out and he pitched a curve to Holder when he said, “both he and Holder would be “very unhappy” if guns were allowed to pass through to Mexico in a way that could have been prevented.”

Obama is pretty confident his backside is covered in the “Fast and Furious” gunrunner program and he definitely knows that he just dealt Holder a losing hand."

EDIT: Townhall.com is wondering aloud as to whether or not Obama knew about "Fast and Furious" even before Holder did.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy J Street

"I am appalled that Democrat politician after Democrat politician, including the president and vice president, are embracing these protests, even claiming to understand their supposed concerns and motivations, when so many of these people are using, among other things, anti-Semitic slurs of the oldest kind,” .... It is appalling and I hope the public takes note.” Mark Levin

While democrats rush to embrace the Occupy Wall Street movement, they never once considered what these clowns actually stand for or if they did, they just said 'to heck with it' and decided to show their own true colors...

"Take the Occupy Wall Street movement. This uprising was sparked by the magazine Adbusters, previously best known for the 2004 essay, “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?” — an investigative report that identified some of the most influential Jews in America and their nefarious grip on policy."

The Daily Caller follows up this particular revelation up with...

"Yeshiva World News, an Orthodox Jewish news outlet, explained in an editorial Thursday that “many Jews” are feeling a bit uncomfortable with the growing protests because of hateful video footage claiming the U.S. economy is organized for the benefit of Jews.

“The reasons for these ‘uncomfortable feelings’ don’t need to be elaborated on this page,” the editorial reads. “Suffice to say that Jews have been blamed for the world’s troubles for thousands of years, and many are nervous that this finger-pointing will soon start — or , maybe it already has.”

National Review Online and The Blaze have published online video footage this week showing Occupy Wall Street protesters saying and shouting anti-Jewish slurs.

“Go back to Israel,” shouted one protester at an elderly Jewish man."

One thing that I've learned from this ongoing circus is that the word 'banker' can be a code word for 'Jew' in some instances in the New World Order as Rush Limbaugh explains...

"To some people, banker is a code word for Jewish; and guess who Obama is assaulting? He’s assaulting bankers. He’s assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there’s – if there’s starting to be some buyer’s remorse there."

Monday, October 10, 2011

On Skeptics and so-called Biblical Slavery

As so often happens when one gets involved with skeptics in online argumentation, their patented method of snipe-and-dodge is employed and direct questions that require an 'either-or' or 'yes-no' type of response are steadfastly avoided by the skeptic. This is understandable from their viewpoint being that if a definitive answer is given, then a stating point is then created to actually discuss (and possibly decontruct?) their profoundly held but factually tenuous, pet belief.

I was involved in one such exchange recently and one can access the relevant thread I am referring to over at Mike L.'s blog by clicking here. I will copy and paste the pertinent statements so there is no ambiguity...

JD Curtis: Rather than getting bogged down in various rabbit holes, I would like to concentrate on the following 2 points. Especially since you have absolutley no rational basis for your own self-righteous indignation of the writings contained in the Holy Bible.

1. Is the system of 'slavery' you mention that appears in the Bible the same system of slavery that existed in the antebellum south or was it a system that was totally and completely different?

2. Let's pretend that there was an ancient, Old Testament admonishment to all households to 'free all slaves'

Then what? What were the newly freed slaves going to do? Hubby gets the 2nd shift job at McDonalds to help provide for the family while wifey-poo works the opening AM shift at 7-11?

I know that you aren't so completely clueless as to not know that the Industrial Revolution, the Department of Labor (Wage and Hour Division) and union shop stewards were only several thousand years ahead in the future.

So tell me, a that time, what were they going to do and what other options existed for them?

The Skeptical Magician:

JD - I'd hate for you to get bogged down in having to explain why rape was okay and encouraged by Yahweh, so yeah, let's move on.

"1. Is the system of 'slavery' you mention that appears in the Bible the same system of slavery that existed in the antebellum south or was it a system that was totally and completely different?"

Well, let's see... You have Israel going into foreign lands forcing people of another ethnic identity into slavery. We have the buying and selling of human beings, and passing them along as personal property (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT). You could buy sex slaves as long as you gave them food and clothing and screwed them (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT). You could beat your slave into a comma with rods and even kill them if it took a couple of days and it was okay, because the slave was your property (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB). If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, what else would you call it?

"2. Let's pretend that there was an ancient, Old Testament admonishment to all households to 'free all slaves' Then what? What were the newly freed slaves going to do? Hubby gets the 2nd shift job at McDonalds to help provide for the family while wifey-poo works the opening AM shift at 7-11?"

Gee, I don't know... maybe they could hunt and gather, or raise livestock like every other person during that time. By your logic here, we should take very low-income person who is working a job at McDonald's and make them a slave, because that would be the nice thing to do. By your logic we also should have never freed slaves in the United States.

Notice how TSM tries to change the subject and assumes that the God of the Bible thinks that "rape was okay and encouraged" when I just asked him two very direct questions concerning so-called slavery as it appears in God's Word. Obfuscation is one of the intellectually dishonest skeptic's best tools at their disposal. I don't mind discussing the fact that TSM seems to mistakenly believe that the Triune God condones rape, but I would just like to treat it as a seperate issue deserving of it's own thread.

That being said, I doubt that I could add anything else to a discussion on 'Bible rape' that hasn't already been cleared up by True Free Thinker who did such a knowledgeable job in decimating the matter.

But back to TSM's objections to slavery as contained in the Bible. First off, ...

"You have Isreal going into foreign lands forcing people of another ethinic identity into slavery"

I'm not sure what TSM means by this so I'll let them explain this further. Because according to Scripture, slavery (or 'bond-service') was necessarily voluntary. If these people in the surrounding countries were 'bought" (I think 'hired' would be a more accurate term) then who received the money? I would say that it was the servants themselves unless TSM can argue otherwise. “‘If an alien or a temporary resident among you becomes rich and one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells himself to the alien living among you or to a member of the alien’s clan, he retains the right of redemption after he has sold himself." Leviticus 25:47-48a, NIV, emphasis mine.

Furthermore, the practice of manstealing was strictly forbidden by the Israelites which further strengthens the argument for it having to be a voluntary act for anyone entering into such an agreement. "And he that steals a man, and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death" Exodus 21:16, KJV.

"We have the buying and selling of human beings, and passing them along as personal property (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

Leviticus 25:44 "However, you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you." New Living Translation

Insofar as "passing them on" as a "permanent inheritance", I'm sure SM realizes that this was from a time before Social Security, pension plans and 401 K's. What other cultures at that time promised that the infirm and elderly would be passed on to successive household generations and that they had to be provided for?

It so happens that I have a personal email (from 2009) from Rabbi Zev Leff pertaining to the so-called 'slaves as referred to in Leviticus 25:44-46. He wrote me concerning these passages, quote....

"dear mr. curtis,

these bondsmen and women were slaves that willingly subjugated themselves as such or were captured in war time. in any event they could only be held as slaves if they willingly accepted to
renounce idolatry and be converted to semi jewish status. if they completed this process they became the property of the master both they and their descendants and they were also part of the master's estate for inherhitance. under certain circumstances they could be freed upon which they became full fledged converts. the master had to provide for their basic needs and treat them humanely, if he even by accident put out their eye or tooth or any other limb ending as a finger etc. the slave went free.-sincerely, zev leff"

Such relationships were loving, familial ones and SM is free to quote the Torah scholar they consulted when examining this passage here. Which brings us to another canard point raised by SM...

"You could beat your slave into a comma with rods and even kill them if it took a couple of days and it was okay, because the slave was your property" (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

"And if a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property"

TSM, let's say that you are living in Biblical times and the harvest that you and your bondservants (or 'slaves' if you prefer) have worked on all year is upon you. Your entire livelihood for you and your entire household depends on effectively harvesting your crop.

On the morning of the harvest, you notice that every single one of your harvesting implements have been destroyed and are now worthless. You are now facing almost certain economic hardship and famine and it comes to your attention that one of your servants (or 'slaves') was seen by multiple witnesses destroying the implements the night before and when confronted about it, it turns out that they admit they did it and it was over some petty jealousy. What would you do with the bond-servant (or 'slave' if you prefer) in question?

"Gee, I don't know... maybe they could hunt and gather, or raise livestock like every other person during that time"

As has been previously posited, these are people that sold themselves into servitude. Nothing really prevented them from being hunter-gatherers but perhaps they wanted a roof over their head and a daily cooked meal to look forward to after a day of working. How were they going to obtain livestock if they had nothing to exchange for it?

Author Wayne Grudem once wrote...

"Slaves in this sense had a higher social status and better economic situation than free day laborers who had to search for employment each day (see Matthew 20:1-7, where the master of the house goes into the marketplace to hire day laborers at different times during the day). By contrast, those who were bondservants (or "slaves") had greater economic security with a continuing job and steady income."

If this was true during Roman times, then was it not true in the Ancient Near East? Feel free to explain this here.

"By your logic here, we should take very low-income person who is working a job at McDonald's and make them a slave, because that would be the nice thing to do. By your logic we also should have never freed slaves in the United States"

This is just stupendously stupid SM as you somehow managed to twist facts and logic by using an illustration showing that there were hardly any competing offers for employment at that with I want low-income service employees made into slaves. Feel free to clarify though.

While The Skeptical Magician is struggling with the direct questions that they now should answer, I would like to raise a brief point concerning so-called enslavement through military conquests. Christian Think Tank has posited the following, citing the Anchor Bible Dictionary by David Noel Freedman (Doubleday, 1992) as their source...

"Within all the periods of antiquity, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Hittite, Persian, and other Oriental rulers carried away great masses of captives from their victorious battles. But only an insignificant part of them was turned into slaves; all the others were settled on the land as palace and temple serfs….The question arises, why the masses of war prisoners were not enslaved. Slavery was the optimal form of dependence, and very often there was no shortage of prisoners captured in war. Besides, there were no legal or ethical norms preventing these prisoners from being turned into slaves. But this happened in a negligible percentage of cases, while the overwhelming majority were settled in places specially set aside for them, paid royal taxes, and carried out obligations, including military service." (Emphasis in the original )

TSM is of course free to attempt to refute this and cite their source while doing so.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let's Play 'Who Can Spot the Racist?'

Or perhaps we can call it "A Tale of Two Racism Accusations". Let us critically examine two cases of alleged racism by association and then measure as to which accusation better withstands scrutiny. First up, Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry. Columnist Brent Bozell explains why the hushed tones of unsourced accusations of racism seem to be unsourced for good reason.

"Is there a clumsier group of newspaper character assassins than the hit squads at The Washington Post? On Oct. 1, the Post was back on the racist-Republican attack with a 3,000 word, investigative treatise over a rock. Specifically, Gov. Rick Perry had leased a property where the N-word was painted on a rock, and then he had it painted over with white paint.

But investigative genius Stephanie McCrummen could see a virtual Klan hood on Perry's head. "As recently as this summer, the slab-like rock -- lying flat, the name still faintly visible beneath a coat of white paint -- remained by the gated entrance to the camp."

Near the end, she underlined it again: "In the photos, it was to the left of the gate. It was laid down flat. The exposed face was brushed clean of dirt. White paint, dried drippings visible, covered a word across the surface. An N and two G's were faintly visible."

Three thousand words on this.

Apparently, investigative reporting at the Post means staring at old rocks under paint (with a microscope?) to discern almost invisible letters and suggesting this should ruin a presidential campaign."

Bozell goes on to mention that two days later the Washington Post ran an article to support the contention that Perry has a "complicated" record on race.

"Yes, Perry "appointed the first African-American to the state Supreme Court and later made him chief justice" and oh, yes, "One chief of staff and two of his general counsels have been African-American." But many "minority legislators (read: Democrats) say Perry has a long history -- dating to his first race for statewide office more than 20 years ago -- of engaging in what they see as racially tinged tactics and rhetoric to gain political advantage."

What kind of offensive tactics? Guess what's listed first: "Black lawmakers have been particularly troubled by Perry's recent embrace of the Tea Party movement."

I wonder if these particular black lawmakers are also concerned about the Tea Party's embrace of Allen West and Tim Scott. Probably so and with good reason. People may begin to realize that simply hurling unfounded accusations of racism at a political movement that clearly isn't racist doesn't add up and that might mean that they now have to debate the issues rather than engage in their preferred method of ad hominem attacks and thus they will likely lose those arguments every time. If they had something a bit more substative to support their arguments, we probably would have seen it by now.

Bozell then goes on to examine the actions of President Obama in order to compare who appears to be more motivated by race here...

"That's not to say the Post was unfamiliar with the scent of this scandal at Obama's own Trinity United Church of Christ. The news folks could have read Post columnist Richard Cohen denouncing [Reverend Jeremiah] Wright in a column on Jan. 15, 2008, over how Trinity's church magazine fulsomely praised anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan. But the Post "news" hunters weren't turning over that rock."

That Obama attended a church that for years was headed by a confirmed bigot is beyond debate. One other item that was not mentioned in Bozell's article was the fact that Obama publicly marched with the highly racist, militant and extremely bigoted New Black Panthers Party while running for president....

"Newly resurfaced photographs show President Obama appearing and marching with members of the New Black Panther Party as he campaigned for president in Selma, Ala., in March 2007.

BigGovernment.com posted the photographs, reporting the images were captured from a Flickr photo-sharing account before they were scrubbed.

The photos are reportedly featured in a book set to be released tomorrow by J. Christian Adams, the Department of Justice whistleblower in the New Black Panther Party, or NBPP, voter intimidation case.

The book is titled "Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department."

Among the people visible in the pictures with Obama is NBPP Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, a defendant in the voter intimidation case that Attorney General Eric Holder dismissed in 2009.

Also present was the Panthers' "Minister of War," Najee Muhammed...

The NBPP is a controversial black extremist party whose leaders are notorious for their racist statements and for leading anti-white activism.

Shabazz himself has given scores of speeches condemning "white men" and Jews.

The NBPP's official platform states "white man has kept us deaf, dumb and blind," refers to the "white racist government of America," demands black people be exempt from military service and uses the word Jew repeatedly in quotation marks.

Shabazz has led racially divisive protests and conferences, such as the 1998 Million Youth March in which a few thousand Harlem youths reportedly were called upon to scuffle with police officers and speakers demanded the extermination of whites in South Africa."

There is no doubt that Obama, like other liberals, absolutely LOVES to engage to identity politics, but does he have to affiliate with such extreme bigots when he does so? Add to this Obama's "typical white person" comment and it becomes all the more obvious as who is far more deserving of the charge of racism in this side-by-side comparison between Obama and Perry.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Doubt About It, The Guardian is Thoroughly Obsessed with Michelle Bachmann

That the British tabloid newspaper The Guardian is thoroughly and demonstrably obsessed with Representative (and GOP presidential candidate), Michelle Bachmann is something I've brought up before. Don't believe me?

July 22nd, Michelle Bachmann is apparently a 'homophobe'. Link. (Never mind that the term 'homophobia' has been found to be an etymologically incorrect term.)

June 27th, They licked their chops over Michelle Bachmann mixing up two towns out in the boondocks of Iowa as to which was the hometown of John Wayne as opposed to the hometown of John Wayne Gacy. Two people, both with 'John Wayne' in their names and both from Iowa? A forgivable offense, I suppose. If the hit piece article's author has ever made reference to Obama's 57 States flub or his Special Olympics fiasco, then I might say that it wasn't prejudiced.

July 11th, Michelle Bachmann is anti-new style light bulb. They put Bachmann's photo front and center on the article despite the fact that numerous elected officials at the federal level and in state legislatures opposed any moves to phase out incandescent light bulbs. But why let that get in the way of the obvious fun they are having at their favorite whipping girl's expense?

July 13th, When a bill concerning incandescent light bulbs fails, Michelle Bachmann's image again is put front and center of the story. Apparently, there is a concerted effort to AGAIN focus on Rep. Bachmann during this particular legislative process.

Which brings us to the most recent example of politically motivated agitprop masquerading as 'commentary' entitled, Growing up in Michele Bachmann's world. I'll just quote one of the more obvious paragraphs for our purposes here...

"Unfortunately, millions of evangelicals – and this would include much of the political base being courted by the GOP presidential candidates as well as the candidates themselves – are trapped in an alternative "parallel culture" with its own standards of truth. The intellectual authorities mentioned above – with the exception of Schaeffer who died in 1984 – all have media empires that spread their particular version of the gospel. Millions of dollars every year support the production of books, DVDs, radio shows, school curricula, and other educational materials. Very few evangelicals grow up without hearing some trusted authority – perhaps even with a PhD – tell them that the age of the Earth is an "open question". Or that scientists are questioning evolution. Or that gays are getting spiritual help and becoming straight. Or that secular historians are taking religion out of US history."

Insofar as the "intellectual authorities mentioned" that appear in the article, a veritable 'who's who' of intellectual boogeymen that the Left despises like poison are trotted out in an attempt to scare the reader into a guitly by association fallacy that is as transparent as it is intellectually dicey. Francis Schaeffer, Henry Morris, Ken Ham, James Dobson, Peter Marshall, and David Barton are all given the intellectual frog-walk/perp-walk in the article, yet at no point are any of the ideas of any of these people presented and deconstructed. They are simply dismissed out of hand as being just plain wrong as if it were a given fact.

They go on to basically state that the age of the earth is somehow settled and yet among geologists the figures range from 4.5 billion years to 6 billion years and I have even heard the figure of 10 billion years offered up when it comes to the dating of certain rocks.

The article further assumes that there aren't scientists that differ with Darwinian evolution and yet there is no mention of the ever growing list of scientists that are in fact skeptical of Darwinism, particularly when it comes to the mechanism of natural selection.

The writer seems incredulous that "gays are getting spiritual help and becoming straight" and is apparently comepletely clueless to the fact that the number one reason that gay men seek to leave the homosexual lifestyle is to heal emotional pain.

I could go on and on dubunking the baseless statements offered up by this rag, but you get the picture. These people apparently have an irrational obsession with Rep. Bachmann (R-MN). But why? They seem to be very afraid of her and all of this bigoted, unfair, and negative publicity turns me off to the point that I might actually vote for her in the primaries even though she might not be my favorite candidate. Practically any of the GOP candidates that are polling over 3% now would do a much better job than Obama and if Bachmann is ticking these people off to the exent that they are obsessing over her to this degree, then she must be doing something right.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gallagher: From whence 'the moral authority of gay men'?

In her most recent column, Maggie Gallagher hits the nail on the head when describing the state of affairs in the ongoing culture war between radical gay activism and mainstream America....

"Moral authority is, of course, in itself a curious phenomenon. Where does it come from? Who has it? How is it made visible in the external and everyday world?

Every human child begins with anxiety: Am I OK? Is what I do good enough? Am I a good person?

The reassurance that mothers and fathers give ultimately passes to some external force in human affairs, one that defines and binds a society together: Moral authority is that influence over the human mind that requires no external backing. We crave it, we seek it, we respond to it. Human beings are made that way.

The moral crisis that the gay rights movement poses for American civilization is ultimately a crisis in moral authority.

The original civil rights movement built upon a Judeo-Christian and biblical foundation, used the power of suffering, with dignity and courage, to call for social respect for African-Americans.

The new civil rights movement takes Christian pity and uses it as a weapon to unmoor the Christian tradition itself of all moral authority in our society in order to accomplish the "transvaluation of all values."

The phrase is Nietzsche's, of course.

"I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity. ... I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind. ... And one calculates time from the dies nefastus on which this fatality arose -- from the first day of Christianity! Why not rather form its last? From today? Revaluation of all values!" he wrote in "The Antichrist."

For Nietzsche, the two great besetting sins of Christianity were its elevation of pity -- the moral authority of the weak -- and chastity; both in his mind were violations of the natural order in which desire and the strength to attain desire were the natural basis of morality. Christianity was "anti-life" because it interfered with the twin goods of strength and desire.

The genius of modern Progressivism is to instead take these two Christian virtues, pity and chastity, and pit them against each other -- to take pity for human suffering and direct it against the restraint of sexual desire..

To the gay rights movement, a strong moral confidence in the goodness of our marriage tradition is in itself the core moral offense, which requires disciplining, punishing, silencing, shunning.

Why? So that legitimate pity for the gay man, and his suffering as a child, can be turned against the moral authority of chastity, for that system of sexual ethics that begins not with our desires but with our responsibility to discipline and elevate them."

Bravo to Gallagher for the willingness to stand up against the Pink Hand and speak truth to power.

Given the economic downturn of recent years, I wonder if hard times really will produce hard men with the absence of decadence and wealth as one author has posited. Perhaps all of the moral posturing of homosexual activism might all go for naught as we may very well have already experienced Peak Gay.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pastors Challenge Free Speech Bigotry

The Christian Post is reporting on a growing phenomenon among Christian churches in which pastors are speaking freely on political matters from the pulpit and thus challenging the so-called Johnson amendment...

"This Sunday, more than 400 pastors will be using their pulpits to preach politics and challenge the Internal Revenue Service's regulations that restrict religious leaders from endorsing candidates and discussing policies with their congregations.

Oct. 2 is Pulpit Freedom Sunday, and this year Alliance Defense Fund and its supporters have quadrupled its participation from last year. Last year, 100 pastors committed to the event, but this year, registration lists are exploding, with 475 pastors who will participate in the event...

While no participants of the project actually lost their tax-exempt status, several churches have been subject to a possible investigation after preaching the biblical view of government policies and politicians in their churches.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed an IRS complaint against Warroad Community Church in 2008 after Minnesota pastor Gus Booth taught his congregation what the Scripture says about abortion and same-sex marriage and compared those teachings to candidates' positions.

In 2009, a California-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group filed an IRS complaint against the Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, after it announced it would gather signatures for a voter referendum on the state's same-sex marriage law."

If I may be allowed to weigh in on the topic, my views on this are as follows.

My main concern on religious freedom in the pulpit is allowing pastors to preach through all sections of the Bible and not have to worry about reprisals from the government. For example, a Swedish pastor was sentenced to a month in prison after delivering a sermon critical of homosexuality. I don't doubt for a moment that free speech bigots in this country would gladly do the same since it took seven years for a Canadian pastor to be cleared of hate crime charges after writing a letter to the editor of an Alberta newspaper. I would never want to see the government hold 'tax-exempt status' held over the heads of churches for the refusal to accept the radical agendas offered up by Gay Inc. or the abortion industry.

Another item brought up in the above, cited article is the endorsement of specific political candidates from the pulpit. I think Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention summed up the optimal way candidates could be seen as 'endorsed' by a specific church.

"We (Southern Baptists) don't believe that pastors and churches should be endorsing candidates," he said. "We believe that candidates should be endorsing them and their values and beliefs.”"

I believe that candidates seeking out churches that reflect their values and themselves striving for their endorsements is the best way to proceed here. The only way I could see a church specifically endorsing a political candidate is if a particular candidate's position[s] on certain social issues is SO extreme, well, I can then see how some churches could feel compelled to endorse a candidate in certain election races. That doesn't mean that such instances are highly optimal or even desired. I admit that how one determines whether a candidate's position is extreme or not is a bit subjective and I welcome your feedback in the comment section below.

EDIT: I found an interesting article from 2008 that appeared in The Los Angeles Times featuring a dialogue between Barry Lynn of Americans United for Seperation of Church and State and the head of the Pulpit Initiative, Derek Stanley, if anyone is so interested in this topic. Link