Monday, November 7, 2016

Election 2016: Two Much to Think About

I’ve been trying for the better part of a year now to compose something worthwhile about this election, but something has kept me from finishing the task. I start, and I stop; I start, and I stop; and even now, all I have to show for it, aside from a lot of grief and heartache over the sin of our nation, are a thousand thoughts and fragments. It’s not even a matter of trying to influence anyone’s thinking anymore, especially since Election Day is upon us (and it's evolving into Election Month anyway), so on that front, I will stop now and concede defeat. Instead, I would simply like to share a few thoughts, as writing a note to some friends; to fellow Christ-followers; to anyone who cares to listen. If you’ve stumbled on this and you’re not someone who’s interested in God or Jesus/Yeshua or any of that, you are free to dismiss all this as silly blather, but you might still want to tuck it away for future use in case you find yourself needing it down the road. After all, none of us knows what the next dawn will bring, nor do we know for sure what we will even be thinking tomorrow. Some bridges are best left unburned ─ ever.

And so, here we are again at another “most important election of our lifetimes.” With all the history, events, issues, and weird turns this cycle has taken to lead us to this most bizarre and unsettling of moments (to put it mildly), one of the common distillations we’ve heard it put into a thousand times now is that we are left with a choice between “the lesser of two evils.” What I would suggest instead is that we are left with a choice between the lesser of two judgments.

Now plenty of voices better than mine have already sounded the alarm, that this whole mess we’re in is a sign of God’s judgment on our nation, both candidates included, but there is an important distinction I have yet to hear, because the two judgments are not the same.

Let’s start with the lesser judgment, that being the “new” one, Mr. Trump. In practical terms, after all the sermons and protests and writings and warnings and admonitions eight year ago, God gave this nation, especially his own people acting in the prayer closet and the public square, eight years to present a worthy steward of the office of President of this providential gift that is the United States of America. We answered that merciful provision of another chance with a man who has a decades-long reputation as a brutish, unrepentant, disrespectful, materialistic, sexually compromised, narcissistic individual. And why do you suppose this was? Simple ─ he represents us, the remaining shell of what we, “Christian/Conservative bla bla America,” once were but are no longer. And so we have “our guy” who has a good platform and many of the right political doctrines, and many of the right people behind him, and ─ equally important ─ many of the right enemies, but who himself is a vessel largely unfit, by all present indications, to reliably and securely exercise those assets in a manner that should rightly give us peace to sleep at night. The judgment, therefore, is this: Here’s half what we need (platform, team members, godly counsel) to possibly stem the nation’s self-inflicted destruction and buy us a little more time to repent ─ still the only concrete benefit I can honestly see as a sure thing at this time ─ and the other half (Trump himself) that may render all that useless. It’s like having a decent set of marbles, but in a threadbare bag that will never hold them in without an extreme amount of attention and “stitching” from all of us, every day, for as long as that bag is in use (or at least until it's.... renewed). One false move could send the whole batch bouncing away in 360-degree chaos, destined to be smashed underfoot in the ensuing stampede. That is the precipice on which we stand, should Mr. Trump be elected. Things could turn out much better than that, but realistically, the risk is high, and it depends on a level of attention to our own house that we have not demonstrated for quite a while.

As someone who has had a strong aversion to Mr. Trump for decades, and has written against him before, it has been easy for me to dismiss him from day one of this whole campaign, but honesty requires me to acknowledge all the facts, not just the ones that confirm my previous disapproval. Obviously the man has lived a completely secular life and has plenty of ill fruit to show for it. But it has been noted that while people like Hillary Clinton, with her behind-closed-doors rage attacks and vindictiveness and other such things, are worse in real life than the veneer of public "good" they present, Mr. Trump seems to be of the opposite sort, those who hide their better selves from public view while bringing out their worst for all to see. There is a long, long line of witnesses over Trump's entire career who will testify to this (including many black people and women, contrary to all the party-line accusations of "racism" and "sexism"). But his most overt character flaws are the ones that make him his own worst enemy, providing plenty of red meat for his detractors and making it easy to forget the fact that it is not just a president we elect, but the platform, people and policies that come with that president (especially now). The Christian never-Trumpers will no doubt object to my even suggesting that there is any hope for a good outcome in this man’s (potential) term, but there are many God-fearing, faithful people working with him and his team, and millions praying along with them, and I think it’s dangerously unwise, and frankly a little arrogant, to decide for ourselves that the God of Heaven is simply going to ignore their pleas and hold back mercy because Donald Trump is who he is (or was who he was, depending on the extent to which reports turn out to be true). He may ignore those pleas, and this whole effort could turn out to be just another instance of foolish Christians putting their hopes in a mortal man only to bring down an avalanche of disappointment and shame. But that is neither our decision to make nor our prophecy to speak. Unlike Mrs. Clinton (or President Obama), Donald Trump has not damaged our country or racked up years of corruption at the nation's expense, only to hide under a veil of Christian profession when it was convenient to do so. Are we so committed to our "righteous opposition" to this man that we do not want him to turn around; to repent; to come to faith in Christ? Do we want him to fail as a human being, just so we never have to take back any of our criticism? Yes, he has been rightly criticized for saying in the past that he “has nothing he needs to ask forgiveness for,” and with the Evangelical support he has received, the Christian witness in America will be damaged for years if he gets elected and never changes that tune. But I can't help wondering if we who are critical of Mr. Trump haven't been getting some of our talking points from Mrs. Clinton herself, who continues to falsely claim that he "has never apologized for anything." That used to be a reliable story, but it is no longer, as he has apologized over and over again for many things in recent months. And several months after his remark about forgiveness, he changed his mind and said, “I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness.” Obviously that's still a long way from full conviction, but will we give him no space at all to work through this, if in fact that is happening? I won't engage in any wishful thinking, and we must be wise as serpents in all this, but I hope and pray that every good thing I have heard about him in these last several months is true
  especially if he is our next president. If our Redeemer is willing to grant a man repentance and forgive his past, we should be willing to honor the same. 

But now to the greater judgment, what I will call the old one ─ Hillary Clinton. I say the “old,” because she is a continuation of the judgment we’ve been under for the last eight years, the lawless presidency of Barack Obama. Before you scream and throw your computer at me, please hear me out: I know countless legions of Christians believe Barack Obama has been the greatest president since the inauguration of sliced bread, but in all this time, no matter who I have asked, listened to, talked to or read, not once have I heard a single one of them say exactly why they feel this way. Not once! And I am quite confident that I never will hear such an explanation, because from a truly Christian perspective, it doesn’t exist. 

I would submit instead that the kind of judgment we are under with President Obama is one of the scariest of all, the judgment of Romans 1:

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Name one sin on that list that has not increased manifold times under this president’s rule? A characteristic I’ve seen over the years among Progressive Christians and others who approve of leaders like Obama and Clinton is that they tend to dismiss the idea of supernatural spiritual realities, even when they’re spelled out in the Scriptures, so they brush off the plain spiritual law that when we voluntarily place corrupt leaders over us, it unleashes further evil straight out of hell to spread freely throughout the land. And what have we seen in this time? The mocking and destruction of God’s created order in the legalization of homosexual “marriage” and the forced destruction of gender distinctions. Unprecedented destruction of the Rule of Law from the President on down. Further promotion of infanticide. The brainwashing of schoolchildren against our national heritage. Ever-increasing government power over people’s lives. Further destruction of the freedom of speech. A sneering disregard, especially among the “enlightened,” for the very concept of truth. Inciting what has become a war against the police, and by extension against law and order and all of society. Rioting and wanton destruction in the streets, defended and condoned by political “leaders” who benefit from the mayhem. The erosion of our sovereignty as a nation, and the efforts to bring us under subjection to our enemies through the United Nations and other hostile bodies. Lying daily about an economic “recovery” while 95 million people are out of the workforce and the welfare rolls double. Using the IRS to shut down political opposition. Opening our borders to terrorists and then lying about how they are vetted. Promoting illegal voting on a mass scale. Nurturing the atmosphere of sin and lawlessness that ultimately provokes people to gun down innocents, and then using those crimes to blame lawful gun owners and take away their right to protect their families from the violent environment that THE GOVERNMENT CREATED. The increase in the influence of Islam and the decrease in the influence of Christianity. Christians being forced to participate with their bodies in activities against their convictions, and having their entire livelihoods destroyed if they refuse. Race relations set back sixty years, and a manifold increase in racial violence throughout the land, ignored and excused as much as humanly possible so long as the perpetrators are the same color as the President. Orwellian policing and punishing of speech and thought. For starters.

The Obama/Clinton church openly approves of most of these evils; in fact, it doesn’t even consider them evils. Left-wing Christianity has made an art form of calling evil good and putting darkness for light and bitter for sweet. But this judgment is an entire level beyond “punishment for doing wrong”; the judgment is the love of doing wrong itself, and the approval and defense of those who do it. That is the debased mind spoken of in the passage in Romans. The old King James calls it a “reprobate mind,” a mind that cannot repent, and is therefore outside the reach of redemption. The fact that this does not scare someone is evidence that the judgment is being played out right before our eyes. 

Back to Hillary Clinton. She has been an active participant in the furtherance of many of these same evils, plus a slew of her own, including: fomenting wars in Libya and Syria (the latter of which has caused untold horrors of torture, rape slavery and Satanically hideous forms of murder against countless Christians ─ Christians to whom the Obama Administration refuses asylum in order to give preference to Muslims). Selling the influence of the State Department for personal profit to the tune of over $150 million. Covering those crimes by setting up an illegal private email server to conduct classified business over so as to escape Freedom of Information requests and other legally required storage and scrutiny. Even further promotion of abortion-on-demand, and telling Christians they must change their beliefs to accommodate her abortion agenda. Openly declaring her intention to destroy the Supreme Court (and all other Federal courts) by making it a tool of her own Progressive agenda rather than preserving its only lawful function (interpreting the Constitution). Colluding with a lying media, including mega-billionaire corporatists in social media and the Internet, to act as an arm of her campaign, manipulating news and debates and suppressing opposition voices, like good little Fascists. Openly stating her desire for open borders and "world governance," which necessarily means the end of the United States as a sovereign nation (which of course is exactly what the organized Left wants). Selling, for personal profit, one-fifth of our country’s uranium supply to Putin’s Russia. Being mentored by a Satan-honoring enemy of the Constitution, and subjecting national policy to the paid bidding of another sworn enemy of that charter (also a billionaire; she’s so in it for the little guy!). Hiring as her closest aide for twenty years the daughter of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, and giving that aide classified information when she didn’t have clearance. For starters. 

The fact that the Hillary church STUBBORNLY AND SINFULLY REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE OR CONSIDER ANY OF THE REVELATIONS OF HER CORRUPTION, but instead continues to hold her up as some sort of Joan of Arc, is clear evidence that countless hearts have been hardened, and consciences seared, far beyond what they were the last two times this choice presented itself. It is a sin to be ruled by emotion and to rule by emotion, and Leftism is defined by both, which only feeds this fleshly dynamic. Secretary Clinton is the encore of the last eight years, a doubling-down of the “wickedness in high places” we’re already living through. The facts are there for all to see, and there will be no excuse when the time comes to answer for it. What the election of this person would be saying is that we like this judgment, and we want more of it! A gauntlet thrown down right at our Supreme Lawgiver’s feet. I, for one, would rather not stand there under those terms.

So there it is: we’re either standing at cliff's edge with the wind at our backs, or we’re jumping right off it with our eyes wide open, chugging cyanide on the way down. One political cartoon I saw was quite on point, calling this “Election Roulette” ─ the Trump revolver has three bullets in the chamber, while the Clinton pistol has all six. I do find it ironic, though, that while we often repeat Mr. Trump's remark about not needing forgiveness, it is in fact the defiant jump off the cliff on behalf of the other candidate that actually screams that the loudest. “Sin? I don’t see any sin. Do you see any sin?” “I don’t see any sin!” Splat.

At this point, some may be tempted to say, “I’m not voting for either of these, so none of this is on me. I’m not under judgment!” That is in fact a sentiment I hear in a lot of never-Trump speech. It seems like an easy out, but it doesn’t quite wash. When King David sinned against the Lord by numbering the people (2 Samuel 24), he was given the choice of three judgments against Israel, but no one under his rule was offered a pass because they didn’t participate in the act. But beyond that, witness Daniel in Babylon: He took it upon himself not only to seek forgiveness from the Lord for the transgressions of Israel, he included himself among the transgressors, despite the fact that he not only had nothing to do with the offenses, he wasn’t even alive when the bulk of them were committed!

“O Lord, the great and awesome God .... we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets .... To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you .... all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth .... we have not obeyed his voice .... we have sinned, we have done wickedly." (Daniel 9, various)

Perhaps it’s just my own awareness of my failures as a representative of Christ that makes it so easy for me to accept my share of the blame and admit that I deserve whatever judgment is on the way, which certainly does not speak well of me at all. But even if there are those among us as righteous as Daniel, blameless, I would think their prayers after the prophet’s fashion, rather than the self-excusing I often hear, would be the very “effectual and fervent” ones needed in this hour?  

Either way, if you happen to be reading this and are in complete disagreement, laughing it all off and rejecting everything I’m saying because you do in fact approve of the leadership of President Obama and desire the rule of (another) President Clinton, and are in agreement with what they represent and have brought upon this nation, be advised of this one thing: you may very well have some difficult decisions to make in the not-too-distant future. There are Christian brothers and sisters being harshly persecuted for their faith, even unto terrifying torture and death, in many parts of the world, primarily at the hands of the followers of Islam and Communism. And those two forces are the very ones most at work in our country now, under this Obama/Clinton leadership and with its sympathies and approval, as both inch their way into power and law while followers of Messiah who refuse to go along are being further marginalized and suppressed. (If you don’t believe me, look at what’s happening in nouveau-Socialist Europe: they have rejected the Christian faith, so they are getting Islam instead. How's that working out?) If this continues unabated here, as it undoubtedly will under a President Clinton, it is only a matter of time before the grace and favor this nation has received by the hand of God and through the ministry of his people are removed, and hardcore persecution sets in for real. When that time comes, you will have to choose with whom you will stand. The Obama/Clinton church is already in lock step, in basically every way it can be at this stage, with the secular and Islamic forces working to bring on this war against the people of Messiah, so they are in little danger from the enemies of Christ. But they will ultimately be required to act in concert with them against their brethren who resist. What will you do when that time comes? With whom will you be numbered? Remember for your own sake if nothing else, what was true throughout the centuries is still true today: the goats always side with the world against the sheep.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Whatever “Liberalism” once was in America, it’s long dead now, having been assassinated and replaced by its sleeper enemy agent counterfeit, Leftism, aka Progressivism. The fact that 99% of “Progressive Christians” know nothing about the roots of their doctrine and philosophy is a shameful dereliction of Christian duty, especially on the part of their teachers, many of whom do of course know but are proudly following their own path, leading their disciples into the ditch along with them. We can stipulate and agree that It is wrong to blanketly equate "Conservatism" ─ an inferior worldly construct, however valid and useful it may be ─ with the faith once delivered to the saints. When set against the backdrop of God's righteousness, it's just another one of our "isms." The Benham brothers put it best: "Conservatism is pretend salt. It acts like salt, it tastes like salt, but it is not Biblical Christianity." And this season’s “Conservative” political offerings should put any remaining doubt of the above to rest from now until, well, eternity. Nevertheless, in terms of the core meaning of the word ("conserve: preserve; protect from harm; save in its original form," etc.), God’s values are, by default, not “Liberal,” certainly not “Progressive,” but are of necessity primarily “conservative.” Sorry, they just are. Holiness is conservative. Righteousness is conservative. Truth is conservative. Law is conservative. Creation; order; moral constraint; sexual restrictions; the aforementioned duty ─ conservative. "Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way" ─ conservative. Limits, divisions, definitions, standards, transcendent governing realities ─ all “conservative,” not open to whim or emotion, not subject to the vagaries of the times, not something that came from us and that we are free to redefine and do with whatever we want. As Margaret Thatcher bluntly stated, “the facts of life are conservative.” And the facts of life are a product of reality in this world created by God. No way around it. Either face that, or remain a child.

Eight years ago, shortly before the 2008 election, I wrote a piece imploring my fellow believers to consider some things before they voted for Barack Obama. To my knowledge, none of the Left-wing/Progressive Christians who read it took any heed to anything it said, even though everything I warned about either proved true at the time or came to pass not long afterward. And as far as I can tell, none of them would take it seriously even now, which itself is a sobering and depressing thought. Normally I wouldn't ask anyone to read such "old news," but I’m linking it below (it's also the first post on this blog), not to remind anyone that I was “right” ─ I so, so wish I had been completely wrong ─ but because, if you are willing to take a few minutes to read it, I would ask you to pay close attention to something as you do: Go back in your memories, to what already seems like a lifetime ago, and revisit the issues surrounding that election ─ moral, social, economic, spiritual ─ everything. Look at all the things we couldn’t believe were happening, that took our breath away, that had us on our knees, and then.... look at what has transpired since that time, and where we are now. Pray, and seriously consider before our Maker the implications of that contrast. The tumult; the outrageousness; the soul-searching; the stakes surrounding that election just eight short years ago seem almost quaint compared to what we are faced with this time around. Honestly, I’m somewhat embarrassed to see how greatly I underestimated the extent of the moral and spiritual death spiral into which our nation would descend in this short a time. Indeed, up until a few months ago, I could still call the last part of my warning the “exception,” the one thing I could say with a little relief “hasn’t happened yet.” But even that last crumb of consolation has been scavenged off my plate, as this final rise to power of the Left and its high priestess, should it be achieved, is the ink finally drying at the end of this story.

See for yourself. Or better yet, pray for God’s mercy to lead us to repentance, so that we never have to see.

>   What Any Christian Should Think About Before Voting for Barack Obama

Monday, November 5, 2012

To the Shores of Tripoli, Yet Again

(Originally published on TownHall.com April 14, 2011)

Twenty-five years ago today, against the salty crosswinds, I was lowered from a moving helicopter by cable to a missile boat in the Mediterranean Sea, speeding toward Libya at thirty-two knots.  Though I'd already worked long hours in the previous altercation with that country from my base in Spain, I had only been on station three months, and this was my first actual deployment.  The combination of excited anticipation and "hurry-up-and-wait" monotony in the three preceding days of travel was everything, good and bad, it was cracked up to be. But whatever butterflies were flitting around in my stomach now were netted by the comforting reminder that the CH-46 Sea Knight chopper carrying me to my assignment was the same bird my brother, a Navy Avionics Technician, was working on half a world away.  I had read The Last Detail in college a few years earlier and had determined that if there was one thing I would never, ever do, it was join the Navy.  But Lawrence had enlisted two years before I did and had convinced me that the Navy of the 80’s was nothing like the Navy of the 60’s, so on the merit of his word alone, I had signed up.  His subsequent counsel and willingness to “take the first hit,” as it were, helped me gain the top honors in boot camp, language school and technical school, so as we lifted off from the carrier USSAmerica, I felt oddly at home in this tandem rotor helo that I’d never seen in real life until that day.  The air strike, though, was set to begin in just ten hours; I would barely make it on board in time to go to work.

After planting my feet on the Ticonderoga’s helipad and being hit in the head by the swinging iron pulley of which I had just let go (“Hit the deck!” was Navy vernacular that had not yet impressed itself upon me), I made my way to the space known as the Special Signals Exploitation System (SSES).  My Leading Petty Officer, Dennis H., quickly brought me up to speed on the upcoming events:  "At 0200 hours, eighteen F-111's are going to come down here"—waving his hand from north to south directly over our "X" marker on the now-primitive green aerial monitor—"and bomb the crap out of Tripoli."  I had to stop myself from laughing out loud at the all-in-a-day's-work nonchalance of the statement.  He continued. “Twenty-four A-6’s and F-18’s from the Coral Sea will hit Benghazi at the same time.  We’ll handle battle group air defense and take out any naval threats from here.”  And with that, it was down to the task at hand. 

The USS Ticonderoga (CG-47), the primary Electronic Warfare platform of the America battle group, was the Aegis-class flagship, a cruiser with a radar system so sophisticated that it could take over all flight operations should the carrier’s command-and-control be taken out.  But despite her state-of-the-art combat technology, she was doomed along with all her class to early mothballing, as she was one of the few remaining non-nuclear warships in the fleet.  She was diesel-powered, with the fuel tank on the starboard side and the water tank at port.  With eight Harpoon missiles weighing a ton apiece on the port deck astern, the ship had a constant list of three to seven degrees, depending on the counterbalancing fuel and water reserves.  (This led to some comical moments.  Besides always having to steady oneself between the bulkheads in any bow-to-stern passageway, and having vertical straps in our racks to keep us from falling to the deck as we slept, Aegis personnel had the unique “duty” of leveling the water tank (to reduce the list) in particularly painless ways.  While carrier personnel routinely sped through two-minute showers so as not to be written up by the stopwatch-wielding Petty Officers eying their every splash (no, I’m not kidding), Aegis crew members got used to their own bedtime lullaby over the 1MC:  “Attention:  Refueling still three days out.  Until further notice, all personnel are requested to take extra-long showers.  Thank you for your cooperation.”  Sometimes it’s bad to be hated by your fellow sailors; sometimes it’s just plain fun.)

I spent my first watch familiarizing myself with the ship, the targets, and the mission.  Having worked plenty of 16-hour watches before, I simply assumed that I’d stay on duty as long as necessary, but at 2200 hours, Dennis booted me out of the space and told me to go get some sleep, as I’d need it the next day.

When I returned to SSES the next morning, the activity was high-pitched, but still calm and orderly; no Maelstrom here.  Damage assessments from the bombing raids were still coming in, and we were fielding reports of two or more of our pilots being captured or killed. (Unfortunately, it turned out that they were indeed lost – two F-111 pilots, the only two who had actually thanked their Commander for sending them on this mission.)  The next forty-six days were an education and an adventure to which, even now, I know I can never do justice with these few paragraphs.  And I certainly admit that, in terms of American blood and treasure, the conflicts in which I was involved in Libya and Lebanon from 1986 to 1990 were nothing compared to the Middle East wars in which we are involved today. 

I do, however, have a few thoughts.

More than anything else, I’m struck by how much has changed in the last twenty-five years.  Back in the “good old days” of the Cold War and the relative clarity of state-sponsored terrorism, Americans on the whole still had a fairly good grasp on the reality of particular threats to our national well being – in this case, militant Islam.  There were objections from some, of course, but we struck Libya in 1986 for the same reason Thomas Jefferson did in 1801:  Forces from a hostile nation stated their intention to conquer us and raise their flag – both political and religious – over our Capitol, and demonstrated their seriousness by attacking U.S. citizens and vessels again and again, and demanding ransom from our government for the favor of “leaving us alone” (temporarily).  The methods, attitude and intent of this enemy have not changed.  

What has changed is my country.  While there was no significant domestic activism back then running interference in the media and academia for the Islamists who want to destroy us (and are much more capable of doing so now than they were then), such homegrown intellectual “insurgence” is now the rule rather than the exception.  The combination of educationally indoctrinated ingratitude toward the gift that is the United States of America, widespread ignorance of our history, militant secularism and slavish multi-culturalism has coalesced to build an even thicker wall between us and our heritage, and the shallowness of so much of our cultural thinking provides us with no tools to chip that wall away. 

And so, here we find ourselves, right back in Libya – again.  But this time, for what?  Rather than defending Americans or American interests, the current vogue of a Postmodern, post-national, post-American political philosophy sweeping through our public mindset has produced a cloudy motivation to “defend innocent civilians from their abusive government,” even though Libyan protesters are only one of maybe a dozen population groups being routinely destroyed by their rulers right this minute, and we’re doing nothing to help them.  And as in Egypt, many of these “innocent protesters” are the very type of radicals who want to do to us what Tripoli's Ambassador swore to do 226 years ago, and even the memory of a devastating attack on our shores only ten years back is not enough to give us pause to consider the implications.  Now, largely unable to define and verbalize what our “national interests” even are anymore, we serve as just another arm of some international coalition that has no interest in helping America maintain her own character.   Where does this all end?

As a person of faith, I don’t look to my country or any other earthly resource for my ultimate identity or security.  But I do believe in being thankful for, and a good steward of, what I’ve been given, and I just happen to have been given the greatest nation on earth to call my home while I’m here.  That used to be a sentiment shared by most Americans, but now I see countless forces at work, toiling day and night to wipe that attitude from the national psyche.  They may very well succeed, because the words of William Butler Yeats are as true today as they were when he penned them ninety years ago:  “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”  

I will always remember my military days fondly, and I feel privileged to have served during a special time in our history, a time that will only exist now in my and my shipmates’ memories.  I can't go back to Spain, because (I'm told) I wouldn't recognize it. My question is: Can I go back to... America?  Is it still here?  Will I recognize it twenty-five years from now?  Five years from now?  Tomorrow?


I don’t have the answer, but like Ronald Reagan, the president I learned to love while serving under him (and whose First Lady Nancy christened my beloved Ticonderoga), I remain hopeful.
  
  

Your Hair is Purple, So Now I Have to Feed You?

(Originally published on TownHall.com September 21, 2009)

Walking to my car in West Hollywood yesterday, I noticed two young women, maybe 19 or 20, talking to a 40-ish woman up the street. The older woman was holding some papers and digging in her bag; I thought maybe she was a canvasser and was hunting for a card or a pen.

I turned and walked back a few steps to listen to an outdoor speaker playing a song I had forgotten all about, called “Human.” Something struck me when I first heard this tune and, doing a little research, I found that it was inspired by a statement by Hunter S. Thompson that “America is raising a generation of dancers.” Although people have had varying interpretations of the lyrics, the songwriter, Brandon Flowers, has said himself that it is a “mild social statement,” and the lyrics speak against a puppet-like conformity that casts off freedom and responsibility to dance without question or protest to the tune piped in by today’s “conductors” of nihilism.

I leaned down toward the speaker and listened:

Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good
Give my regards to soul and romance,
They always did the best they could
And so long to devotion
You taught me everything I know
Wave goodbye
Wish me well...
You've gotta let me go.

Are we human?
Or are we dancer?
My sign is vital
My hands are cold
And I'm on my knees
Looking for the answer...
Are we human?
Or are we dancer?


My moment was interrupted by the two girls, who had found their way to me. As the song continued in the background, one of them spoke.

“Do you have any spare change?” she asked. “We want to go to Carl’s Jr.”

I wasn’t sure I heard right, so I asked her to repeat herself. 

“Could you help us out?” Pointing to her friend, “She just spent her last five dollars dying her hair purple, and she wants to get a Carl’s Jr.”

Her friend, smiling and giggling, held up her hands to show me the purple dye stains.

“And so you want... what?” I asked. I still wasn’t sure I got it.

“We want to go to Carl’s Jr., and she just spent her last five dollars. Can you help us out?”

Oh, so that’s what the other woman was doing.

Now normally, for any number of reasons, when people come up and ask me for a handout, unless they’re 20 years old or look like the criminally insane killer who walked away from a “field trip” at the Spokane County Fair the other day, I give them something. But this was, well, one of the above.

“Okay,” I said, raising my hand to give them the “wait a minute” signal. “This is a philosophical issue.”

The Girl Doing the Talking was instantly disoriented. “A philosophical issue?”

“Yes, a philosophical issue,” I said. “Look, you’re both young, you’re healthy... do you work?”

Purple Hair Girl didn’t answer. Talking Girl replied, somewhat weakly, “I go to school.” 

“Okay,” I allowed. “But you’ve made a choice. Of your own free will, you chose to spend your last five dollars getting purple hair, and now you want me to pay for your hamburger.”

(This was all the more egregious because I was at the time carrying a freshly bought smoothie and veggie wrap from Jamba Juice. I thought only young Liberals ate that stuff, while old Conservatives were mean to the cows. But I digress.)

The girls were looking quite dismayed. Confused. Puzzled. Perplexed. Slapped in the face with a 20-pound salmon.

“But... my house is all the way over in Glendale. If I have to get on a bus and go all the way back there...” (To withdraw more money from the Bank of Mom and Dad, she was clearly about to say. Life is so hard!)

“Again,” I drilled forward, “Is that my responsibility?”

“No, but... it would just be nice if...”

“Look,” I said, “I like helping people out. People who are actually down and out or who actually need it, but not people who are young and healthy and make the choice to spend their last five dollars getting purple hair and then ask me to buy them a meal at Carl’s Jr. Sorry, but I’m not helping you.”

The girls wandered off in a daze (and in search of a more willing benefactor of the new, “Progressive” American work ethic, no doubt). There were many more things I wanted to ask them, like, “Who was our first president?” “Is South America above or below North America?” “How many states are there, and which president said there were 57?” But I too was in a bit of a daze, and couldn’t think fast enough.

Now in fairness, when I was their age, I wasn’t terribly responsible myself. And I’ve certainly wasted a lot more than five dollars on any given day. That’s not the issue here. The issue is the choice made after the silly dye job – a choice that betrays an utter absence of any kind of elementary moral grounding at all, that something about this kind of activity simply is not right.  Add to that the fact that when I gently presented them with the concept that their request was improper, they looked at me like I was from the planet Zarkon.  With such an oblivious, morally empty mindset carried all the way into young adulthood, there is no reason to believe this will ever change; it will simply evolve into an active worldview made increasingly destructive as they get older and influence others, including their own children.

Chalk it up to Postmodernism, I guess – an utter detachment from all sense of social order as previous generations understood it; a complete lack of any training in or understanding of even a basic set of values that would inspire and permit certain choices, while prohibiting and preventing others. I lived on the street for three months, and never asked anyone for a dime. Not because of “pride” – on the several occasions when someone saw my state and offered me something, I gratefully accepted – but because I knew my situation was my fault, and I just didn’t think it was right to expect others to pick up the tab for it. And I know it’s politically incorrect to say so, but – God provided, and I survived. But such a foundation, a sense of appropriateness, a sense of personal responsibility for the circumstances in which our own decisions put us... I’m not sure these girls have, or ever will have, any of that in them at all. 

Of one thing I am sure: First thing Monday morning, they will be back in school, continuing on their course of indoctrination about how cold and cruel and selfish Conservative America is, and how mean-spirited and un-compassionate it is not to want higher and higher taxes on all the bad evil rich people (that is, anyone who makes more than they do, excluding Liberal Hollywood celebrities) to pay for every kind of entitlement that Congress, ACORN and its 196 front groups, or SEIU can drum up. They will dance on happily, string-chasséing allegiance to the Democratic Party and swooning at every word our President says, while dutifully recoiling at the very thought of giving ear to the words of someone like, say, George Washington. Or Ronald Reagan. Or Mike Huckabee. Or even Jon Voight. Or even Chuck Norris. Or even their non-Progressive peers, hiding in the catacombs of their own campus. They will continue to cement their complete lack of knowledge of or interest in the most rudimentary elements of American history or heritage. They will gain no appreciation for the freedom they received at birth, nor understand that it is a bargain that comes with a price: work hard; carry your own weight; risk failure; and you may actually live a better life than you would in your professors’ pet wonderlands (Cuba, Venezuela, etc.). They will not be challenged all year to reflect on Divine things, nor even be curious about how the ancient Bible speaks to their own existence; they will not pause to consider the effects of their actions on their own lives, or the life of their community; and they will not develop any sense of protective shame to guard against character-destroying behaviors like blithely asking anyone around for money when they’re not suffering at all and have never worked a day in their lives. Worst of all, they will not be given any tools that will enable them, at some future time, to reverse this present damage.

But they will have purple hair, which will at least enable them to navigate the middle ground between Red and Blue states, where they may, respectively, be asked to pay their way or have goat’s blood thrown on them by a PETA activist. And sooner or later – scratch that, sooner than later – they will have a hamburger. Paid for by strangers. You and me, that is. Taxpayers.


The Bee Gees got it wrong: No, you shouldn’t be dancing. Not like this, anyway. Not if you want to be... human.
  

What any Christian should think about before voting for Barack Obama

(Originally published on TownHall.com October 31, 2008)

I know it’s late in the game, and some of you may have already voted, but I still feel compelled to speak. Let me say at the outset that this is not a “Republican,” “Conservative,” or even a political argument. God is not a member of any political party, and our voice and vision should always transcend such limitations as well.

Even more to the point: God is not particularly concerned with protecting our comfort, or our lifestyle. Millions of our brothers and sisters across the world have nothing compared to us, and their circumstances are not likely to change anytime soon. Some are persecuted for their faith; others imprisoned; others killed. None of that is a mark of their “success” or lack thereof, any more than our inherited blessings are a mark of ours.

I don’t know why I was born in America, where I have freedoms and opportunities that I couldn’t come close to in many other places, while some brother in Christ whom I’ve never met was born in a Third World hovel and martyred at fifteen. I only know that this is what I’ve been given, and part of what I’ve been given is a citizen’s participatory republic, where I and all others like me have a certain amount of power, directly under the law of the land, to affect the way this land is ruled.

“My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36)

Here’s where it gets tricky, because this is still the world of which God’s kingdom is not a part, and whenever we begin stamping any party or cause or candidate with God’s explicit approval, no matter how obvious it may seem, we run the risk of dragging the pure vision of God’s kingdom right down into the dirt and forfeiting the real power that God has given us to do good in this world. “Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth.” That command does not expire on Election Day.

For me, this is first and foremost an internal issue; an issue of what we approve of and agree with. And the political choices we make will obviously reflect that. It’s one thing to find ourselves under the rule of a reprobate regime, where our directives are still the same – be faithful; love God; love our neighbor. It’s quite another thing, however, to voluntarily put ourselves (and our neighbors) under the rule of such a regime by endorsing its philosophy and aiding in its rise to power. When we do that, we’ve already succumbed to the spirit of the world in toto, and whatever ills befall us as a result do not fall under the heading of “suffering for God.”

And so this is not an appeal to vote for this candidate or that one, and it is certainly not an appeal to fear, which spirit we have not been given. It is only an appeal to examine what you’re coming into agreement with – the philosophy; the character; the worldview; the conduct of leadership – and to remember that that will have at least as much of an effect on you as it does on some transient thing like an election. Please read the following pages with that in mind.

He who rules over men, must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain. (2 Samuel 23:3, 4)

I am perplexed, to say the least, to see so many Christians falling in behind Barack Obama, especially since, throughout this entire campaign, I have never heard so much as one Biblical argument from these supporters for doing so. Not one. And so I would like to give just a few of the reasons why I think these brothers and sisters are making a terrible mistake.

And they built the high places of Ba’al … to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into my mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (Jeremiah 32:35)

We’re all familiar with the story of God’s people turning their backs on the Lord and sacrificing their children to Molech. What’s been lost to many of us through the centuries, however, is the core betrayal at the root of all that. The name Molech, derived from the Hebrew melek and similar to the Arabic malak, is the word for “king.” The statue of Molech through whose mouth the worshippers threw their children into the fire was a representation of the king, who in turn represented the state. At its core, “Molech worship” is simply worship of the state. This alone should destroy any illusion in the eyes of Christians that Socialist-type politics are worthy of their support, because if there is any single characteristic of such politics, it is the elevation of the state to the status of “Provider.” And make no mistake, that is the central philosophy driving the campaign of Barack Obama. He said recently, in response to objections to his plans to vastly increase government (against the will of most of us, and at our involuntary expense), that he wants to “make government cool again.” Make government “cool” again? When was it ever “cool” in the first place? Did I ask for this? Did you? Where is this going to take us?

The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
(James 1:20)

Obama is constantly telling us that our present economy is the worst since the Great Depression. Interesting he should bring that up. Compare the famous peacefulness and communal respect of the shanty towns during the Depression, where the out-of-work and hungry masses did not subscribe to this kind of government idol-worship, to the seething anger so often displayed on the part of Obama supporters, few if any of whom are suffering anywhere near that badly today. People who look to the government to give them their living are often in a perpetual state of rage, because their expectations can never be met. But this should be utterly anathema to a Christian. God is our Provider, and no, he does not “provide” for us by setting up a thieving, confiscatory system to take money away from our neighbors and give it to us. While God is not particularly concerned about this or that tax, he is concerned with what drives it, especially when the thing driving it is government idolatry. I submit as well that raising up our children with this ungodly expectation that the government be their Provider is our modern version of “making them pass through the fire to Molech.”

Which leads me to my second point:

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house … nor anything that is your neighbor’s. (Exodus 20:17)

But … covetousness, let it not even be named once among you … For this you know, that no … covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:3, 5)

People who increasingly demand more from their government, and thus support more and more wealth confiscation for more and more entitlements, never seem to be up front with the other implication of such demands. In a word, it is COVETOUSNESS – wholly condemned by God. How so, you ask? Simple: You want the government, acting as your agent, to break into your neighbor’s house, take what is his, and give it to you. Wouldn’t it be more honest simply to go to your nearest neighbor who seems to have anything at all more than you have, tell him you’re angry because he has more than you, and demand that he give you what you want, simply because you don’t have it? At least you’d be telling the truth, instead of hiding behind the false veneer of compassion covering so much of the policies put forth by our leading Democratic candidate and his party.

As for “the rich,” who must of course be judged, demonized and targeted for this extortion (as well as constantly redefined and “resized” to fit the government hand in our neighbor’s pocket), they will answer to God, just like the rest of us, for any lack of compassion they may or may not have exercised with their wealth. If it’s harder for them to enter into the kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, I’d say they have enough to worry about. But it is not for us to decide for ourselves that they’re all bad; they all must pay; they all must have their wealth taken away in order to pay for our covetousness and idolatry. (A recently released radio interview from 2001 has Obama clearly advocating the “redistribution of wealth” and directly equating it with “economic justice.” This is exactly the opposite of what God says in Leviticus 19:15, when he commands the rulers, “Do not pervert justice …. Do not favor the poor or the rich.”) What Obama advocates is the same thing all Socialist and Communist regimes have used to break a society – class warfare, which his campaign regularly foments and exploits. It is not a Christian attitude.

At this point you may be asking, what about all the rich people who support higher taxes, bigger government, and other such policies, even if it’s going to cost them money? Besides possibly assuaging the guilt (deserved or not) that some wealthy people probably carry, it provides something else: Rich people who share Obama’s worldview are happy to hand over more of what they have to the government, because it’s a sacrifice to the “god of the state,” and any truly devoted person loves to make such sacrifices. (Perhaps this is why our own voice has fallen so silent and powerless in these matters of governmental stewardship, as we, corporately, have often been unwilling to make sacrifices to our God, in all areas of our lives, on an equal level?)

Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.
(1 Corinthians 15:33)

What do a person’s closest associations say about him? And why do we not seem to care?

Here are some of Obama’s (for the sake of not beating the same names we’ve all heard into the ground, I will only use initials):

FMD – Head of the Communist Party in Hawaii. Self-proclaimed enemy of America. Obama’s high school mentor and longtime confidant until his death, whom he refers to repeatedly with admiration in his memoir.

GS – Communist billionaire and meddler in U.S. affairs, working for years to turn our country over to Socialism. Self-proclaimed hater of America. The money behind such America-hating propaganda machines as MoveOn.org and The Daily Kos. Obama’s chief financial backer (and puppet-string puller, in the eyes of many observers).

WA – Co-founder of 60’s extremist group The Weather Underground. Self-proclaimed enemy of America. Along with his group, bombed the U.S. Capital, the Pentagon, the New York City police headquarters, and various banks, police stations and courthouses, killing one and harming many others. Famous for the line, “Bring the revolution home, kill your parents.” Totally unrepentant. Obama launched his political career in WA’s living room. They later served together on the board of the Woods Fund, funneling money to a PLO front group. WA hired Obama to run The Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation that eventually spent $110 million, under Obama’s direction, to, in WA’s own words, “radicalize students.” Still exalts “the spirit of rebellion.”

BD – WA’s wife and fellow America-hating terrorist. Former law partner of Michelle Obama. Did prison time for refusing to testify against other Weather Underground members in the famous Brinks armored car robbery, in which two people were murdered.

RO – Deposed Kenyan dictator, trained in then-Communist East Germany. Upon losing his last election, incited riots that left over a thousand dead and hundreds of churches burned to the ground. Named his first son Fidel Castro. Obama’s cousin, for whom Obama spent a month electioneering in Kenya and raised over $1 million in campaign money.

RK – Former PLO activist and spokesman. Sworn enemy of Israel. Close friend of Obama (and WA). Obama and WA attended an anti-Israel benefit for RK, at which Obama toasted the guest of “honor.” (The Los Angeles Times has admitted that they have a video of this, showing Obama laughing it up with both WA and RK, but as of this writing, they have refused to release it.)

TR – Syrian financier and chief Obama backer in Chicago. Convicted on multiple counts of fraud and other charges during the Obama campaign, and on his way to prison. Longtime friend of Obama’s.

JW – Racist preacher of false gospel of anger and Afrocentrism. Self-proclaimed hater of America. Obama’s chosen pastor for over twenty years.

And this isn’t even the whole list.

To a man, and woman, all of the people Obama has chosen to bring closest to him and whose influence he has invited into his own life have displayed the same anti-American, anti-Christian and/or anti-Semitic, hateful character. Do you not think that a man’s inner circle, over his entire life, shapes him? Look at your own inner circle. Do they not influence you, and are they not collectively a part of you? I would be more than happy to hold up for scrutiny all of my closest friends and associates. Frankly, they make me look better than I am! But I wouldn’t trust anyone on this list for five minutes in my living room. Obama has consistently evaded questions about any of these associations, and has engaged in a systematic, Herculean effort to hide the truth about them. What is there that he does not want you to see? And what is it about these kinds of people that Obama is so comfortable with, and what is it about Obama that is so appealing to them?

You have formed my inward parts; you have woven me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made… Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. (Psalm 139:13, 14, 16)

The Lord hates … hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17)

Brothers and sisters, this one still floors me. Barack Obama is the most radical abortionist ever to serve in Congress or run for the presidency. But we have become so inured to the holocaust of infanticide that, as far as I can tell, most of us just yawn when the subject comes up. He said that if his teenage daughter got pregnant, he wouldn’t want her to be “punished with a baby.” His solution? Punish the baby – with death. Obama voted three times in Illinois against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have required medical personnel to give aid to babies born alive during a botched abortion. He said it would be “an erosion of the right to choose.” Like our Speaker of the House, Obama apparently believes that there is no more sacrosanct right in America than the “right” to kill a baby in the womb. Now I expect this kind of thing from people who haven’t been taught of God, but Christians? What kind of hypnotic spell are we falling under, where so many of us have no objection to this at all? I even heard a survey a couple of weeks ago that showed large numbers of Evangelicals voting for Obama because they thought he’d be better for the pro-life cause than McCain. What kind of deceived insanity is this? Go back and read Isaiah 6. Can you really picture that Lord being perfectly OK with millions of babies whom he created being chopped in pieces and thrown in the trash? Obama has stated that his first act as president will be to sign the “Freedom of Choice Act,” effectively abolishing all remaining restrictions on abortion and requiring the public, even those who oppose it on moral or religious grounds, to finance it. Do you really want to stand before the Lord and answer for supporting this kind of atrocity?

And while I’m on the subject, what kind of bizarre, psychological self-hatred thing is going on here anyway, among members of the black community? The entire abortion industry was created in the first place for one primary purpose: the extermination of the black race. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was a eugenicist who saw abortion as a tool to “weed out” the inferior members of society – in her view, black people. This is well known, but I don’t see what I should be seeing, that is, the black community in America taking a united stand to destroy this racist, genocidal enterprise. Instead, I see millions of them participating in it, helping it keep them down, and raising up a leader who is its greatest champion. Again… I don’t get it.

The irony here is, the one person I find it easiest not to judge in all this is the woman who’s had an abortion. And I don’t know anyone of our faith who feels differently. The vast majority of these women really don’t know what they are doing. They’ve been brainwashed since birth – often by their own parents – to believe that “it’s not a baby until it’s born,” or some similar lie. If they truly knew what was happening, and were able to see the truth behind the mercenary mendacity of the abortion industry, and maybe were even able to watch a few abortions, I’m convinced that very few of them would actually go through with it. No, the real villains here are the people who know the truth about this, and seed the killing fields anyway – the ethnic-cleansing organizations like Planned Parenthood; the doctors; and the rulers who advance the bloody spree with the stroke of their pen. Like Barack Obama.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

In 1979, William F. Buckley, Jr., the arch-conservative (and devout Catholic) political commentator, called for the election of a black president at the earliest opportunity, preferably by 1984. (He was instrumental in helping Ronald Reagan get elected, and had he foreseen Reagan’s run for a second term, of course he would have said 1988. But his point remains.) He said the whole question about “whether a black man could lead this country” was stupid and insulting, and the best way to end that annoying and idiotic argument (if I remember correctly, he used the word “inane” to describe it) was to elect a black president, prove in short order there is no difference between men of light skin or dark skin in the ability to lead, and silence the naysayers forever. He, the archetypal conservative, was genuinely offended at the very suggestion that there just had to be some kind of deficiency that would unavoidably burden a black president.

Flash forward to 2008 and all the cries accusing conservatives, and anyone who doesn’t agree with Obama, of “racism.” But who’s talking about race? As far as I can tell, only Obama and his campaign. And it’s the perfect set-up – no matter how bad Obama is for this country, no matter how corrupt his campaign, no matter how destructive his policies and worldview; if you say anything against any of that, you’re a “racist.” It’s a free ticket for his campaign to avoid any issue and make as many false accusations as they want – but again, so many of us have been mesmerized by this guy, we don’t seem to mind.

Even now, many antichrists have come… (1 John 2:18)

It was bound to happen – some religious person just had to say that “Obama is the Antichrist,” and make us all look bad. That embarrassing foot in all our mouths seems to have trotted off into the sunset quickly enough, though, thank God.

It does, however, bring up another issue. While the popular “end times” belief is that there is one Antichrist, and he’s yet to show up and bring on Armageddon, the Bible does not teach this. As in the passage above, the Word states that there are not only many “antichrists,” there were already many of them wandering around 2,000 years ago. And the prefix “anti-” did not originally just mean “against,” it meant other. So anyone other than Jesus lifting themselves up as a Christ, or messiah, is by definition an “antichrist.”

Enter Barack Obama, who, standing as his own Apollo-gist in his Greek Temple, has done nothing to discourage the development of his image as a “messiah” to his people. In the same breath in which he invoked his "profound humility" and "knowledge of his own limitations," he humbly prophesied that his ascension would go down in history as "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." Hardly the words of a man who knows he is “but dust.” While Christ is our Blessed Hope, Obama is, by his own design and poster-paid testimony, the self-proclaimed “Hope” of his followers. And countless Christians have apparently bought right into this. But what business does any Christian have pinning their hope on anyone other than Jesus Christ?

False Compassion

Perhaps one of the greatest offenses of all left-leaning political philosophies is the twisting of the Scriptures, and especially the teachings of Christ, into a (very selective) set of charitable imperatives for the government to pursue. Hence the Senator’s glib brush-off, responding to one question about his entitlement programs, where he simply said, “I refer you to the sermon on the Mount” – as if that was supposed to end the discussion. But those of us who know the Word know that governments are not the disciples of Christ, we are. It is to the individual and the faith communities, and not to the government, that the commands are given to exercise charity. That is the only way such individuals and communities can even take personal responsibility to obey the commands. But Obama’s Socialist system, which makes government the “Charitable Giver,” destroys that order.

Obama said in one interview, for instance, that, if you’re “sitting pretty,” as he pejoratively puts it, you “shouldn’t have any problem” with giving more money to the government to “help the waitress living on minimum wage and tips,” because, in his words, “that’s called neighborliness.” Neighborliness is absolutely a Christian value that we are commanded to demonstrate, but Obama’s definition is a lie of Hitlerian proportions. There is nothing “neighborly” about ever-increasing confiscatory taxation. “Neighborliness” implies relationship, and that is exactly what Obama’s political structure destroys. Back in earlier days, say, before the income tax, the poor worked for the rich, and there was relationship. Neighbors knew each other and assisted each other voluntarily, and there was relationship. Communities shared common experiences and hardships knowing that their members depended on each other, and not the government, and there was relationship. In Obama’s statist Utopia, however, the only “relationship” any of us ultimately have is with the government – a government standing between, above and around every single person, interdicting in every transaction, whether personal, social, educational, medical or financial. Tell me, Barack, why don’t you just help the waitress out yourself? I think it’s because that would actually undermine the statist orthodoxy, which requires an impersonal confiscation machine and a centralized distribution base to maintain its power and mystique. Have you, my reader, ever been to a country under Socialist or Communist rule? I have, and I can tell you, I didn’t see a whole lot of “neighbor helping neighbor,” and the reason was obvious: They didn’t have anything left to help each other with. Obama speaks in disingenuously “neighborly” terms about “spreading the wealth” (by force, of course) to “help the guy coming up behind you” (as in his exchange with Joe the plumber – an exchange Obama initiated, but for which Joe is now being punished. Very neighborly of you, Senator.). The truth is, the government has no idea who’s “coming up behind” you or anybody else, and couldn’t care less. It’s all a shell game to feed a massive collectivist ego and make you, me, Joe the plumber, and everyone “coming up behind” or a million miles ahead of any one of us dependent on the state as Provider – in other words, an involuntary religious campaign to make all of us either converts or “dhimmis” under this new Progressive caliphate, with Obama as the Marxist Ayatollah and the Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the House, Obama’s 3,000 appointed lieutenants, and all other loyalists in power as the “mullahs” enforcing this godless jihad against the uniquely blessed and successful vision of our Founding Fathers. Again, this is government idolatry. Please, tell me – does any Christian have any business advocating or supporting such a thing?

Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.
(Proverbs 22:28)

We are living in a dangerous time, made all the more dangerous by our detachment from history, both our own and that of the world. We now have an aging generation that grew up hostile to our past, and the following generation that has grown up virtually oblivious to it. All these young people flocking to Obama by the thousands upon thousands, millions even, because it’s so “exciting” – have you heard one word from any of them that indicates they have any clue at all where they came from; how they got the freedoms they have; what it takes to preserve a nation like ours? I haven’t. On the contrary, few if any of them have any idea what this country is about, and those of them in college have overwhelmingly been taught by professors from the 60’s who pass on their distorted, false view of history to their students. And we’re seeing the fruit of that now, both in the default to secularism and the open, straight-faced espousal of rank Socialism itself.

Just the other night, I was watching on an episode of The Tonight Show a sequence called “Jaywalking,” where Jay Leno goes out on the street and asks random people questions about various subjects. This one was on the presidency, and all the people he stopped happened to be young – Obama’s core constituency – mostly in their 20s. One person didn’t know the name of either vice presidential candidate – Obama voter. Another thought John F. Kennedy served four terms before being shot and was succeeded by Harry Truman, and that one of our branches of government is “Parliament,” which meets “at the House of Representatives” – Obama voter. Another couldn’t name the last president to get inaugurated, and couldn’t name the person who said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” but thought it was said in “maybe the 40’s” during “the Roswell crash” – Obama voter. Another thought “Bush 41” meant “41 years sober” – Obama voter. Another didn’t know how many presidents we’d had; thought “Bush 41” was a drink; thought the next person in line for the presidency after the vice president was “the First Lady vice president”; had no idea what “P.O.W.” meant or that John McCain had been a prisoner of war, and thought the war he served in was “The Cold War” – Obama voter, wearing an Obama shirt.

This is the gaping hole in our national head that Obama has so masterfully exploited. I don’t believe there is one Obama voter in a thousand, at least under the age of 40, who knows five percent about our government or history of what an eighth grader would have known sixty years ago. This is the only reason Obama has ever been a viable candidate at all. Without this vacuum of understanding or critical thinking, he would have been a blip on the radar, never to be heard from again. That last person interviewed, explaining why he had no idea McCain was a P.O.W., said, “I don’t really pay attention to him.” Exactly. Obama supporters are admonished never to learn or consider different points of view, only to attack the people who present them. That is how he keeps his masses ignorant, pliable, driven by emotion, and dependent on him.

So few of us seem to remember the divine providence that gave us this nation, but have you ever seen, thought of, or heard of any leading candidate for president so far removed from the philosophy, worldview, education, historical perspective and conscience of our Founding Fathers as Barack Obama? What detachment could be more complete, and why does so much of “the pillar and ground of the truth” not see it? This nation was a gift from God, won with terrible sacrifice. And the soldiers who fought for its creation did not leave their bloody footprints in the snow to be stained over by the pernicious gall-waste of Marxism. Are we about to throw this wonderful gift back in the face of our Maker?

Need to get a little supernatural here

I understand that not all of my fellow Christians believe that God speaks to us today through anything but the Bible, and that’s okay. Even most of those who don’t, however, will agree that God uses circumstances, impressions, dreams, and other such things to get a message across; you have probably experienced this yourself. I bring this up because I want to tell you about two different visions of our very near future, and get your opinion:

I recently saw a man on Christian television who is known for speaking prophetically. He’s very popular, famous and wealthy, and his words are sought after by many. He said that America is about to elect a man whom we “wouldn’t really think of as being a Christian,” but once he’s in office, God is going to “put his Spirit in him to do his will.” Okay, that’s one. A week or two later, I heard a testimony from someone else – an anonymous person, a simple Christian woman who does not have any famous name or ministry. But she had a dream. And in this dream, the Lord spoke to her and told her that America wants a king, and so he’s going to give her a king, because her cries for “change” are louder than her cries for mercy. Now, which one of these words sounds more like the God of the Bible? The one from the prophet who “only prophesies good things,” and says that no matter what evil we do, or what wickedness we approve of and empower, God will wink at it and make everything good anyway? Or the one who gives us a choice whom we will serve, and when he sees that we want a king instead of him, gives us what we want? (Think “Saul.”) We stake our future on image and oratory instead of substance and truth, and we do this of our own free will. We cast off all restraint and plunge head first into political and social waters that have drowned all who tried to swim in them before us, and we do this of our own free will. Is God just supposed to be our heavenly maître d’ at this bash, clearing the path ahead of us and topping off our wine glasses whenever we snap our fingers? You tell me.

I Had a Dream

We were fleeing the city, speeding east on the highway, the choking fumes of the desolation chasing after us in the wind. We could still hear it all, see it all, smell it all. Suddenly a horrible whistling sound. We turned and looked up. Two large missiles out of the eastern sky flew over our heads. One hit a building; the other hit a train. The building thundered and crashed to the ground, a rolling shock wave following, clearly visible as it knocked over the entire urban expanse in its path in every direction, like a shaken tablecloth trashing a carefully laid dinner. The train, already burning and exploding into the sky, derailed and rolled over in a flaming, smoking cocoon of dust, fire and death. I turned back around and put my head in my hands, barely able to speak the words, “I’m actually seeing it… the end… the end of America. In my own lifetime… the end!”

This was not the first dream I’d had during this campaign of the wholesale destruction of our country, but this time I finally got the symbolism. The building, standing strong and tall, brick and mortar, represented the established institutions on which this country was built: a representative democratic republic; economic capitalism; and personal liberty, including free speech and freedom of religion, as won under the protective umbrella of the Judeo-Christian values that gave them life. The train represented the forward progress of this nation, propelled by the preservation and enrichment of those institutions. The missiles were the twin assaults against these institutions and this progress by Barack Obama’s worldview and political war machine – government control of everyone’s personal wealth (and thus everyone’s personal being, as our wealth is simply an extension of our bodies), and humanist dissolution of our values, best represented by his militant abortionism and the utter dishonor, pseudo-messianic narcissism and subterfuge that have marked his entire campaign and foreshadow the conduct of his presidency.

Mark My Words

I’ve barely scratched the surface here and left many things unsaid, but here is the bottom line: I believe this is the day Nikita Khrushchev dreamed of when he said, “We will destroy you from within.” By all evidence, Barack Obama is a radical, Left-wing extremist whose fundamental beliefs and agenda are diametrically opposed, on virtually every level, to those of the Founding Fathers of this country, and are incompatible with our Constitution or our national institutions. His goal is to change this country from what it was created to be into a Utopia of his own imagination, and to do this, he must systematically take away our individual freedoms, one by one; limit the level of achievement any individual can reach; indoctrinate the citizenry, starting at childhood, into his new collectivist worldview; change the Constitution from a protective document that establishes the citizen’s rights over the government to an invasive document that establishes the government’s rights over the citizen; and create a universal dependence on government provision at every level of personal and social life.

I believe with all my heart that Barack Obama is not the person he pretends to be, and if he is elected, we will all find that out soon enough. He is riding the waves of the perfect storm of mass ignorance, shallow idol-worship, multi-cultural anti-Americanism, journalistic dereliction of duty, postmodern relativism, sweeping cultural decline, and the inaction and ineffectiveness of those of us who know better. But if you remember the Perfect Storm, it does not end well for anyone in the boat.

Please heed this warning.