Friday, June 5, 2009
It was a best seller and stirred up significant public sentiment against slavery. In fact, when President Lincoln greeted her he said, "So you're the little lady who started the big war."
It just goes to show the power and potency of ideas. Ideas are important because they ultimately cause people to act one way or another. As the author of Proverbs writes: "As a man thinks in his heart so he is." What we do is dictated by what we believe, whether for good or for bad.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The trap ingeniously creates the false impression that those who oppose anti-bullying legislation (namely Christians) are themselves homophobic bullies.
In fact, Christ provided us with the best example of handling bullies without condoning unhealthy sexual behavior - and Christian children should be demonstrating that example in their public schools.
In John 8:3, Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees regarding a woman caught in the act of adultery. Under Mosaic Law she, (and the man) should have been stoned.
Jesus understood this to be a trap. If he said the woman should not be stoned they would accuse him of violating Moses’ law. If he urged them to execute her, they would report him to the Romans, who did not permit the Jews to carry our their own executions.
Jesus’ responded “If any one of you is without sin let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Upon hearing this, they began to go away, one at a time, the older ones first.
Then he said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” No one she answered. “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Christ stopped the bullies by exposing their sin, and then told the woman to leave her own life of sin.
This is how we should defeat bullying – and address unhealthy sexual behavior.
When Christian children witness the bullying of their GLBT classmates they should demonstrate Christ’s example by standing up to the bullies. Bullying is a form of judgment and it is God’s role to judge, not ours.
However, they also need to take the next step and build a relationship that allows them to share the truth of God’s plan for family, sexuality and marriage.
Clearly, Christ’s example of defending the adulterous woman teaches us that defending a GLBT classmate from bullies is not condoning GLBT behavior. But more importantly, it demonstrates to the world that we can love someone while disagreeing with his or her sexual behavior.
Shortly before the of signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote:
Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.
Adams is basically saying that liberty and freedom are dependent on virtue which in turn is dependent on Christianity. As the role of faith recedes in our state and nation it's only a matter of time before our freedoms are diminished as well. One way that is happening today is the call for government to take on ever bigger role in society. Health care, banking, auto companies, businesses, retirement, education, welfare and so forth are increasingly coming under the control of government. We look to government rather than God as the source of our well-being. Ultimately, this stems from jettisoning the belief that God rules over the universe and we owe our first allegiance and duty to Him. Failure to do so, means losing not only our freedoms but achievement of a better society which we thought we could achieve in the first place.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Weakening Conscience Protection: A Direct Attack on the Bible
President Obama has announced that he will rescind the conscience protection for medical workers that currently provides them legal protection for refusing to violate their conscience by participating in abortions.
Significantly, the Bible makes the rights of conscience a repeated subject of emphasis, with thirty references in the New Testament alone. The warning is even issued that if an individual "wounds a weak conscience of another, you have sinned" (I Corinthians 8:12). Christians were therefore instructed to respect the differing rights of conscience (v. 13). (See also I Corinthians 10:27-29.)
The rights of conscience have long been a cherished characteristic of the American civil fabric, and America's Framers openly praised these protections:
- No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience. THOMAS JEFFERSON, SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION
- Consciences of men are not the objects of human legislation. WILLIAM LIVINGSTON, SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION
- Security under our Constitution is given to the rights of conscience. JOHN JAY, ORIGINAL CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE U. S. SUPREME COURT
- Government is instituted to protect property of every sort. . . . [and] conscience is the most sacred of all property. JAMES MADISON, SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION
Today, the safeguards for the rights of conscience now appear in forty-seven state constitutions. The President's decision to rescind these protections places him in direct opposition to four centuries of America's civic and religious leaders.
We have just finished a piece that addresses conscience protection from a Biblical and historic perspective.You can read this piece online, or download it .
Please share this information with friends and encourage them to contact their elected officials, urging them to preserve conscience protection for medical workers.Protection for the rights of conscience is just one more reason that Biblical Christianity is so beneficial to a culture and why its principles must be preserved in public policy
The last thing to do to revive a state's economy is tax the wealthy. Drives them out of state or they simply stop creating jobs.
Yet if one wants the economy to get rolling again the last people to tax are the wealthy. Why? Because small business owners are generally among the wealthy individuals and they are the ones who create jobs.
Where states have really gone after the wealthy it's been a major problem. In an article entitled: "millionaire" tax is causing millionaires to migrate out of the state. In an article entitled, "It's not Just Millionaires Fleeing Maryland Taxes":
Of President Obama wants to raise federal taxes on the wealthy and there's no state people can then flee to. However, some might well leave the country but another effect it is will diminish the willingness of people to invest and expand the economy. One can't violate Economics 101 and get away with it.Anyone taking Economics 101 could have predicted that those best able to avoid Maryland’s new 6.25 percent marginal tax rate on income over $1 million would. They are the ones best able to choose where to live and to pay accountants and lawyers to lower their tax burden.Market losses no doubt contributed to one-third fewer people filing taxes in that income bracket in Maryland by April 15, as supporters of the legislation say. So did those filing extensions. But they and the Republicans yelling “I told you so” miss a bigger issue: Everyone is leaving Maryland, not just the rich.The only bordering locale where more people moved to Maryland than away is the District of Columbia. My guess is that the inflow will slow since the Census results do not account for migration patterns since the slate of new taxes went into effect in 2008 that make Maryland more tax-heavy than Washington. Those new taxes mean Marylanders shoulder the fourth highest tax burden in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Dr. Robert George, prominent legal authority and professor, probably said it as well as anyone in a statement issued Sunday:
“Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing. …No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him. For the sake of justice and right, the perpetrator of this evil deed must be prosecuted, convicted and punished. …Every human life is precious. George Tiller’s life was precious. We do not teach the wrongness of taking human life by wrongfully taking a human life.”
Monday, June 1, 2009
According to Gallup,
A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42% "pro-choice." This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.Additionally, people would allow abortions in only limited circumstances, not the unlimited circumstances which the Supreme Court has mandated. If those who oppose abortion in all circumstances, 23%, is combined with those who would allow in very limited circumstances, 37%, there's a strong 60% majority.
The new results, obtained from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey, represent a significant shift from a year ago, when 50% were pro-choice and 44% pro-life. Prior to now, the highest percentage identifying as pro-life was 46%, in both August 2001 and May 2002.
The May 2009 survey documents comparable changes in public views about the legality of abortion. In answer to a question providing three options for the extent to which abortion should be legal, about as many Americans now say the procedure should be illegal in all circumstances (23%) as say it should be legal under any circumstances (22%). This contrasts with the last four years, when Gallup found a strong tilt of public attitudes in favor of unrestricted abortion.President Obama and his strong abortion stance may ironically be helping the pro-life movement.
Gallup also found public preferences for the extreme views on abortion about even -- as they are today -- in 2005 and 2002, as well as during much of the first decade of polling on this question from 1975 to 1985. Still, the dominant position on this question remains the middle option, as it has continuously since 1975: 53% currently say abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances.
When the views of this middle group are probed further -- asking these respondents whether they believe abortion should be legal in most or only a few circumstances -- Gallup finds the following breakdown in opinion.
Americans' recent shift toward the pro-life position is confirmed in two other surveys. The same three abortion questions asked on the Gallup Values and Beliefs survey were included in Gallup Poll Daily tracking from May 12-13, with nearly identical results, including a 50% to 43% pro-life versus pro-choice split on the self-identification question.