Monthly Archives: March 2009

Christian obedience to the government

As a libertarian (loosely defined), the words “government” and “obedience” are not two I would typically use in the same sentence. In fact, together they nearly make me cringe.

However, I was reading in Romans 13 in the New Testament of the Bible last night, and the Apostle Paul has some specific instructions to the believers in Rome about submitting to earthly authorities. I want to explore the historical context to enhance my understanding of how this passage relates to how we are to relate to our government today, particularly one lead by decision-makers we will so often disagree so strongly with.

While there are many differences between historical Rome and modern America, it seems clear that the lesson can be drawn that we are to respect the place given to governmental authorities. I expect to develop this topic in future posts, but for now, here’s the scripture:

13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.

7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

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Filed under Christianity, Statism

Tiller free but not clear

On Friday, Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the state’s case against him. You can read more in my piece for WORLD Magazine.

On the same day, however, the state Board of Healing Arts announced a pending inquiry into eleven allegations against Tiller. Operation Rescue issued a news release here.

In other news on the life issue, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed a right-to-know law sponsored by local state Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), a surprise to some given her ardent support of abortion in the past. You can read more about it on Lance’s website.

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Filed under Abortion, Kansas Politics

If I hadn’t told you, now seems like a good time

Friends and family know that I worked for the John McCain campaign during the general election, for a time anyway. Most also know me as a conservative, and probably realized he wasn’t my first choice during the primary.

Beyond just a job offer, I had another simple motivating factor in working for McCain: you fight for your guy in the primary, and for your team’s guy in the general. That was, and is, my approach to electoral politics in a two party system.

Working and socializing in political circles, I sometimes found it prudent not to immediately reveal my vote during or after the primary. As the primaries move into history, I feel comfortable to announce more freely that I supported Mitt Romney.  These days, I regard my support as something of a badge of honor – or at least of good political decision-making.

As economic issues continue to dominate, it becomes obvious that Romney would have been a natural standard-bearer for the Party right now. Had he been the nominee during the last couple months of the election when the economy became all-important, he also would have been an imminently better candidate than McCain to take on Obama.

In fact, while establishment figures and party moderates were joined by GOP politicos (operatives, strategists, consultants, staffers, etc.) in maintaining that ‘McCain might just be the only guy who could win this thing for us,’ in fact it was Romney who might have been the only guy who could have won. (This ventures into a whole other topic…but suffice it to say that beyond the economic issue, I believe he would have campaigned more aggressively and effectively against Obama).

Romney doesn’t have a perfect record and isn’t a perfect candidate. But just about every day now, I wish it had been him representing our Party and serving our nation during today’s difficult economic times.

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Filed under Economy, Republican Party

McCain-Feingold piece on NRO

The editors of National Review have weighed in on the current court case over McCain-Feingold, sparked by a political documentary that took aim at Hillary Clinton. The case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will impact how stringently the government may apply the regulations of McCain-Feingold in the future, including restrictions on books and films.

One of the gems from A Clear Danger to Free Speech:

“A documentary film criticizing a senator deserves at least as much constitutional protection as a work of pornography.”

Well said. Unfortunately, many of our distinguished politburo members senators don’t see it that way.

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Filed under General & Miscellaneous

Ground-breaking new study shows fast food slows you down

In a new study concluded this evening, Brian T. Johnson found that eating large amounts of fast food, drinking multiple energy drinks and getting little to no sleep slows the body down and generally makes one feel miserable.

Additionally, the study – in which Johnson served as both scientist and subject – found that ingesting Buffalo Wild Wings mere hours before playing midnight indoor soccer also contributed to poor physical performance and supreme sluggishness.

While the study results are clear, what’s unclear is why Johnson felt the need to challenge conventional wisdom for the sole purpose of documenting its validity in the form of personal experience.

Nevertheless, the empirical lesson learned is one he hopes to quickly capitalize on in the days and weeks ahead, by eating healthier and incorporating at least a semi-normal sleep routine. This as I post at 1:15 a.m…

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Filed under Health Care, Science

Call for President to return AIG money

Congressman Steve King of Iowa has called on President Barack Obama to return money to failed insurance giant and corporate bailout recipient AIG. Senator Obama took more than $100,000 from AIG during 2008, just a little more than Sen. Chris Dodd, the number one all-time recipient of the company’s campaign cash.

Question: Why have we not heard more about this? I knew Dodd and company had taken a lot of contributions from sources like Fannie and Freddie, but I don’t think I had heard this until now. With all the consternation over the AIG bonuses, why so little about the same company doling out campaign checks to politicians? The same ones who then went on to orchestrate the company’s taxpayer-funded bailout?

To ask the question is to answer it. It looks bad for Obama and his pals. King is doing the right thing, and perhaps more Republicans should be pointing this out. Who knows, maybe a lot of them were taking AIG money at the same time. But none took more than Obama last year and none more than Dodd, ever. And even if they did, they might have voted against the bailout. Anyway – this deserves attention. Here’s the press release from King’s office:

(I apologize for the formatting errors, the release didn’t paste well into my WordPress editor).

King Calls on Obama, Dodd to Return AIG Donations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Steve King made the following statement today calling for President Barack Obama and Senator Chris Dodd to return campaign contributions received from AIG. Obama and Dodd rank #1 and #2 on the list of 2008 AIG campaign donation recipients, and Senator Dodd is the all-time leader in AIG contributions with $281,038.

“Barber Conable said that ‘Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral authority.’ This week on Capitol Hill we have seen what happens when you throw billions and trillions of dollars out there and let the government get involved in running private companies.

“The American people are outraged that either President Obama or Senator Dodd removed a provision from the stimulus bill that would have kept AIG employees from receiving huge bonuses. It is still unclear whether the Dodd Amendment originated from the White House or Senator Dodd.

“To make up for their mistakes, yesterday Senator Dodd, President Obama and liberals in Congress passed a political bailout for themselves – unconstitutional legislation will regulate and tax the pay of thousands of private citizens. Instead of political bailouts, President Obama and Senator Dodd should put their money where their rhetoric is. Obama and Dodd should immediately return all campaign contributions they have received from AIG.”

NOTE:

Obama received $104,332 from AIG during the 2008 election cycle, and Dodd received $103,900.

2008 AIG Campaign Donations: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000000123&type=P&state=&sort=A&cycle=2008

All-Time AIG Donations: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000000123&type=P&state=&sort=A&cycle=A

Congressman King has previously voted against the bailout, stimulus and omnibus spending bills passed by Congress.

-#-

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Filed under General & Miscellaneous

Rupert Murdoch on Israel

News kingpin Rupert Murdoch penned an assertive, articulate defense of Israel in today’s Jerusalem Post. He highlights growing and various forms of anti-semitism, and makes the case that the fate of Israel predicts, and is directly tied to, the fate of the rest of the modern, civilized world.

As a Murdoch fan, this is good to see. There’s been some speculation that he might be becoming less conservative in his age and changing social circles, and this indicates that on the point of Israel and the survival of the West versus militant Islam, that is certainly not the case. It also indicates he’s still willing to shake things up by saying what’s right, even if it’s not popular with certain constituencies, like the international left.

I recommend the piece if you have time. Here’s a few excerpts (minor edits for brevity):

“In Europe…Jewish lives and Jewish property are under attack – and public debate is poisoned by an anti-Semitism we thought had been dispatched to history’s dustbin. In Iran, we see a regime that backs Hizbullah and Hamas now on course to acquire a nuclear weapon. In India, we see Islamic terrorists single out the Mumbai Jewish Center in a well-planned and well-coordinated attack that looks like it could be a test run for similar attacks in similar cities around the world”

“In the end, the Israeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace, who reject freedom and who rule by the suicide vest, the car bomb and the human shield.”

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Filed under Middle East