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Faith In…Nothing?

April 5, 2013 6 comments

As it has become well-known in the past 20 or better years, there are certain groups who take it upon themselves to “protect” our rights. It sounds like a noble cause – a brave group of lawyers, preventing things like civil rights violations and ensuring alleged criminals receive counsel. However, that is the assumption of those groups, but not necessarily their actions.

In Jackson, Ohio, a portrait that had hung in a school since 1947 was recently removed, after the (Freedom From Religion Foundation) FFRF and (American Civil Liberties Union) ACLU filed lawsuits. The groups would have us believe that the portrait was heinous, and portrayed the sort of thing that should never be seen in schools. The expected backlash was so bad, the people who were supposed to have reported the portrait are still referred to as John Doe-plaintiffs by the groups. Nothing like invoking your rights while you cower, eh?

Just what was this awful, heinous, picture? What could cause so much outrage and belly aching? What could possibly be so inflammatory? Why this bust of Jesus Christ, which hung so long in the school:

The Head of Christ

The Head of Christ, by Warner Sallman

Created in 1941 by a Chicago painter named Warner Sallman, the painting grew in popularity to become one of the most popular depictions of Christ of all time. The calming gaze was apparently too much for some though.

The painting was removed, even though the school was not ordered to take the work down, because the school’s insurance company refused to cover legal costs to argue the case in the courts. The superintendent then said the school could not afford the costs on their own, and ordered the picture to be taken down.

The painting actually was not owned by the school district itself. The painting belonged to a group who attended the high school, and was a Christian service group, the Hi-Y Club. The ACLU and FFRF claim the club gave the picture to the school district, but the district denied any such arrangement was ever made, and said that the painting still belonged to the group.

The main issue seems to be another attack on religion in general (Christ was a Jew, he was the basis for Catholicism and Christianity, and he is considered a prophet in Islam). There is no one religion being targeted. So, under the guise of protecting civil rights, and ensuring the continued separation of church and state (which is always a specious claim at best), the ACLU and FFRF have forced, through legal intimidation, the painting’s removal. To preserve free speech, they must quash…free speech.

Read more on the case via the Montreal Gazette.

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Fight Harder

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Bailey’s ready to rock – are you?
“Come on, did you think America was going to turn itself around in just one election? Get real.”
Fight Harder
.

The Administration Of Death

September 16, 2012 4 comments
Barack Obama

Barack Obama

While I recognize that the title seems hyperbolic, I aim to make the case that the Obama administration runs the most anti-life, and pro-death, government that the United States has ever had. I think the government’s last three-plus years, have given rise to the most lackadaisical support of life, we have ever seen. Many times, over and over again, we have seen the president and his sycophants either endorse death, or attempt to excuse away the death of others, both innocents and people who have lost their lives as a direct result of the administration’s policies.

One of the most flagrant disregards for the ultimate sacrifice of others, was the slap in the face delivered to some fallen soldiers’ families. As Commander-in-Chief, and the person who has the ultimate say on military matters, one might think that having a soldier under your command lose their life, one of the very least things you could do would be sign a condolence letter to the soldiers’ families. Not Obama. He has repeatedly been shown to use an auto-pen for form letters of condolence to soldiers’ families.

Obama has also authorized, and carried out, the assassination of an American citizen by drone. Granted, the assassinated had aided and abetted terrorists, but he was still an American citizen, with the supposed rights of a trial by his peers, and due process. Whether or not Obama actually felt bound by these rights, seemed not to matter – he sent the drones anyway, and gave the go ahead to kill, without trial. A step, with which even Salon, taken aback, actually said was a “…step beyond where even George Bush would go”.

Should I bring up the “Fast & Furious” scandal, which the administration is still hoping will somehow, just, go away? Giving his testimony before Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder, bluntly refused to apologize to or to even acknowledge, slain border agent, Brian Terry’s family. As he sat before the House Judiciary Committee, wriggling and struggling for words that would somehow allow him to tell the truth, and avoid any blame, Holder was given an opportunity to provide documents and evidence to the Committee, which it had requested for months, and he repeatedly offered nothing. Even though memos and other documents implicated Holder and his lieutenants in the scandal, instead of finally taking responsibility for the thousands of Mexican deaths and the death of  Brian Terry – Holder merely offered excuses.
Sidenote: Holder’s testimony was in the late Spring of 2012, and as of late Summer 2012, there still has not been an apology or acknowledgment of responsibility over the failed gun running operation.

We were witness to one of the most recent, and telling examples of this seeming pre-occupation with death,  at the Democratic National Convention. A party platform that relished the thought and promise of widespread, and easy, on-demand abortion was center-stage. While some pundits tried to defend this with the thought that, “Well, the democrats have no record to run on, and the economy is atrocious – let the Democrats turn to social issues…” And so, from all the social issues that the Democrats could have turned to, and supported – from the poor, the homeless, bettering care for returning veterans – the Democrats turned to the snuffing out of lives to build their platform. A spokeswoman from NARAL (Nancy Keenan), Planned Parenthood, and the infamous Sandra Fluke, were only a few of the participants at the DNC, proud to trot out the “right to” abortion, masquerading as a human-right. Maybe we should have expected this when a president who supported infanticide won the last election?

Finally, in the newest flirtation in the left’s macabre and twisted relationship with death, awareness was given to the administration of a threat against embassies and consulates in the Middle East. Approaching the anniversary of September 11th, and with warning of Muslim backlash against a movie about their Prophet – despite as long as a 48-hour window of warning – the Obama Administration did nothing. Rumors of unarmed and massively under-gunned security at the American facilities fell on deaf ears, and  led to the deaths of an ambassador (and his body’s subsequent desecration) and deaths of numerous other personnel. Despite the raising of an Arabic-language flag, espousing the aims of the Muslim Brotherhood, over an American embassy in Egypt, and the taking down, ripping apart, and burning of the Stars and Stripes, the administration still insists on continued billions of dollars in aid to the Egyptian government. Obama has issued an apology to anyone upset by Americans exercising their right to free speech, and the American media, still in love with the Obama administration, sought to excoriate Mitt Romney for issuing a presidential statement that Obama would not, or could not, bring himself to issue. A muted response has been the administration’s reaction to spreading violence and breeches at other embassies and consulates. In Libya, the post where murdered ambassador Chris Stevens lost his life, Obama has dispatched the Marines – 50 of them…This, as news sources report an angry crowd of hundreds threatening the American embassy in Yemen, and as warnings go out to other embassies to remain on guard.

So, what should we make of all this? Ordering an executive “hit” on an American citizen, an attempt to excuse away a federal agent’s death without taking any responsibility, a platform leaning heavily on abortion for support, and a very weak response to deaths of State Department personnel – it all points, to this author, to an administration that simply does not value life. This administration seems to use, squelch, or squander lives for whatever purpose, then toss them aside with their roles fulfilled. Life is nothing more than a means to achieve any number of ends. Use it for political gain, use it for votes, use it to send a message to our friends (or our enemies) – it does not really matter what the aim is, because there will always be more life to continuously throw at the problems. It is all so macabre and counter to everything we as Americans value, isn’t it? History books and our teachers tell us American men and women fought noble wars, and freed people from oppressive regimes, so that they could follow their own destinies and achieve what they could. Freed people from oppressive regimes, would no longer would have to worry that their lives would be used up or wasted by regimes who wanted the oppressed people’s’ blood and sweat for their own greedy and destructive purposes. Risking American lives, and losing so many, was ultimately worth it, so that others might enjoy the sanctity of life and personal freedoms that we Americans held in such high esteem. Now, it seems like such a sad day to see so much blood and destruction being wastefully used, for so little to show for it.

Third Time’s A Charm

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

In a stunning, and perhaps, ultimately fatal decision, for the Democratic party, a vote was held at the Democratic National Convention. The vote was simple, only consisting of two amendments to the party platform.

Amendment 1

We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.

Amendment 2

Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.

Amazingly, after calling for the first voice-vote, the chair, a stunned Antonio Villaraigosa, heard the amount of “no’s”, and sensing the fallout from a negative vote, actually uttered the words, “Let me do that again…” After the second vote, on the same issues, with the same negative vote, he began to look around anxiously, as though he was looking for another Democratic politician to coming running onstage to save him. The sponsor of the amendments, former Ohio governor, Ted Strickland, began to look around anxiously as well. Amazingly, a third vote was then held. An overwhelming amount of “no’s” were once again heard from the Democratic delegates. In the attached video, angry delegates, having voiced their disapproval three times, and finding themselves ignored, were left to shake their heads and boo, as Villaraigosa, claimed the motion passed by its required 2/3 majority.

The fateful third vote

Antonio Villaraigosa, and the infamous third vote

While politicians and pundits on the right, frequently mention the administration’s lack of support for Israel, to have seen such a flagrant display as we did this afternoon, was shocking – and I suspect not only to those of us on the right, but judging by his response, to Villaraigosa as well. The lack of support, or even a willingness to acknowledge God, was shocking as well. With so many speakers and guests at the DNC, seemingly supportive of a pro-abortion stance, should this really surprise anyone?

Perhaps, the overwhelming takeaway from these three votes, was the fact that the Democrats were so willing to blatantly called the vote as they wanted it to go – not as it did. After the claims of fraud and Black Panther voter-intimidation in the last presidential election, and even more recent events of the finding of 30,000 dead “voters” in North Carolina, and the Obama administration/Justice Department fighting Florida’s attempt to clean voter rolls, you might think that Democrats would be willing to try to rebuild their image, into something that is more respectable, and into something that resembles what the party was in its glory days. Or, do Democrats just not care about playing by any rules anymore? Are they content to just throw away even a semblance of fairness and the notion of considering any ideas differing with their own? With such flagrant and wanton disregard for rules of order and bulldozer-like tactics, will other Democrats seek to attach themselves to such a machine, that is bound to quickly burnout, or will they see the errors, and cut themselves loose, seeking ideals closer to their own, elsewhere?

(the video of the Democratic delegates’ votes can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8BwqzzqcDs via ABCNews and YouTube)

A Fluke Occurence

March 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Recently, the United States was once again turned into a rhetorical battleground for all things reproductive (and, it seems  contraceptive). Allegations flew, heated rhetoric issued, slurs uttered, and rumors became rallying points for one side or another. The Democrats in Congress, seeking to make some points with another one of their astroturf-victims, chose Sandra Fluke to stand in for as a witness before Congress. She was billed to the American public as a poor college student, a victim of the rising prices of education in this country, who was having trouble paying for all the necessities for college.

Birth Control

Contraceptive or valid medical necessity? Fluke blurs the line.

The truth is that Ms. Sandra Fluke was not the young college co-ed we expected (she was actually 30) nor was she an undergrad at just any random university (she was in the Catholic, Georgetown’s prestigious law program). While these sins of omission normally may not have been in and of themselves particularly damning, she bemoaned the fact that she could not pay for both the $60k tuition, and another $3k for contraceptives, and that the government should pay for her contraceptives.

This seeming inability to balance time and money, really caused this writer to pause – something did not smell right here. This woman has had time for the rigors of Georgetown’s law school, a full-time summer job, (we later learned she is an activist as well) and yet still manages to amass $3k in contraceptive bills? How does a person have so much time on their hands? Did Ms. Fluke really not know that a Catholic University would balk at covering contraceptives? I find this very hard to believe.

I have seen on Twitter and elsewhere in the media, any number of people, trying to conduct a sort of “damage control,”  claiming that either Fluke did not claim that $3k was for contraceptives (which Fluke certainly did), or by attacking others’ essays on her disingenuous testimony. Time and time again during her testimony, Fluke called the measures she wanted covered, “contraceptives.” What effect this had, was only to further blur the lines of already sketchy legislation (Obamacare and other health coverage) and their rationale for requiring blanket coverage of afflictions. I have no problem covering legitimate, necessary, medical conditions – but we must draw a line when the issue is a personal choice, or in this case, a seeming lack of self-control. Fluke, by trying to attach the coverage of her contraceptives to other, legitimate medically necessary treatments, does a disservice to women who suffer from, and actually need, those treatments/medications.

My problems with her testimony: Fluke also used charged language, like calling the insurance companies’ reviews of student need for the thousands of dollars of contraceptives, “interrogation.” While that plays perfectly into a victimized narrative the left loves to write, I doubt there was an insurance agent taking students to a grubby room, with a single light bulb. Another thing she did was use the plight of a hospitalized, close friend, with complications of polycystic ovarian syndrome. The problem I have with that is if Fluke were honest from the beginning, and not chosen to make a political football from the issues on the stage she was given, far more sympathy could be given to her. Instead, she undermined her credibility from the onset, and may have caused long-term damage to female healthcare (ironically, the supposed thing she and her Democrat advocates espouse). Attacking the Catholic Church is no way to reach a tenable resolution either, and depending on the government to step in and overrule Church dogma sets a very dangerous precedent.

Sandra Fluke

Sandra Fluke shakes hands with Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-GA)

It would have been far more powerful to have the actual victims of the policies at the hearing, but instead, we had a single person relaying all these concerns. Do these sympathetic friends even exist? Maybe – with shaky credibility, I cannot say. But to rely on a woman whose mission is to further her own, and others’ political goals, instead of actually helping raise awareness of overlooked women is disgusting and reprehensible.

Sandra Fluke’s Testimony is found here, via Current TV (PDF)

OWS and Religion: WWJD

November 28, 2011 2 comments

Like so many others, the Occupy Wall Street movement has captured my attention, and today, a preacher’s column drew my attention. In it, the preacher poses the question, if Jesus himself were to come upon the Occupy Wall Street movement, what would he do? How would he respond? Now, I will admit, I am tempted to make a joke or two about Jesus casting the devil out, or flipping tables, even punching in drums – but it made me consider – what might he do? Unlike the author of that article, I refuse to say, “Well, he would have…” I think the best any of us could do is merely suggest how he would approach the situation, but saying definitively that he would do this or that is near blasphemous to me.  So, here is what was going to be my response to so many of the “He would have done…” comments for the article.

Jesus

WWJD? Only he knows...

“This entire premise is unquestionably without answer, and to try to pin an answer on Christ is asinine. While we would all love to project our own beliefs onto him, and thus, claim we would be like him (or he, like us), or that he would give the OWS movement some sudden legitimacy, it is not possible. As much as we would love to say, ‘Well, of COURSE he would join with the protesters!’, there are other lessons in the Bible which, if we are being honest, may have shown him refusing to join them, and perhaps even rebuking them. (And in an ironic twist, the left is well-known for having a far higher percentage of atheists among their membership than conservatives and the right in general — it seems like some stretch for the protesters to even consider how something that many of them deny, might respond)

Forget for a moment the antisemitism shown against an older man wearing a yarmulke in NYC, would the protesters welcome Jesus, or seeing a man in poor robes, chastise him and chase him away as they did to the homeless? I maintain that Jesus would have more in common with the homeless people anyway, then he would with the people who, despite having jobs and homes (a great many of them do), decide to engage in sloth (one of seven capital sins). While sloth is not the avoidance of work altogether, it is the refusal to exert oneself or engage in hard labor. A perusal of The Beatitudes really lacks any parallels to OWS behaviors, and I figure the closest that they come to matching any of them might be “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill”. Although, the justice that they seek is of their own conception, and there is not as much support for it as some would have us believe.

I find it ironic that the movement seems willing enough to use Jesus Christ as a means of leverage, and as a sort of guilt-trip to gin up support from the religious. The OWS movement in London, given some permissions to occupy the grounds of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, responded by writing graffiti onto restored pillars, scratching messages into the doors of the church, and most disgustingly, defecating in the entrance ways and inside the historic Cathedral itself. I do not recall any of Christ’s teachings that people may desecrate synagogues or any temples, be they Roman temples or any other religions’ temples.

The movement who would host a savior would probably find themselves facing a great divide in beliefs between they and he. Exploring further, I doubt he could do much for them – possibly lending some sort of ‘star-power’ and drawing cameras? Well, no, there have already been plenty of stars (Jay-Z, Russell Simmons) to proclaim their undying support for the protesters (then getting in their limos and leaving). Perhaps Christ could provide the protesters with food and drink? Then again, substance abuse is said to be rampant, and bottomless jugs of wine are the probably the last thing that the protesters need. And unions and other sympathetic people have given money and food, so loaves probably would not be too welcomed. I suspect that the result of Christ showing up to any OWS movement would probably be disgust and a quick disavowal by the Savior. As their own fellow protesters are constantly doing to the criminals among them, and as Peter did to Christ himself , I would not be surprised to hear Christ say, ‘Who are you and what are you doing?'”

(The story of the London occupation, and particulars to the eviction sought by Church leaders, and their rationale): http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/21/occupy-london-camp-eviction-bid