Supreme Court Ruling on ObamaCare

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

English: The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2010. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether the Supreme Court rules favor of keeping Obamacare or strikes it down, we need to take action on a couple of important issues.

First, we must carefully examine and plan health care policies in light of scriptural principles. One of those bedrock principles must be the sanctity of human life. Recent examples of pro-choice advocates refusing to condemn sex selective abortion highlight the need to draw a clear line of demarcation for life. Religious liberty is another necessary anchor. Forcing people to violate their consciences because of a healthcare plan is unconscionable.
Second, no matter how the justices rule on ObamaCare we need to begin to push back the amount of power that has been given over to our Supreme Court and the federal judicial system. We should put forth an amendment to the Constitution limiting the term of Supreme Court justices to 12 years. The practice that Supreme Court justices be appointed (not elected!) and then serve for 30 or 40 years completely molding the face of America in their image has allowed some to push a radical leftist agenda. This is not what our founding fathers intended. If you look at the abuses listed in the Declaration of Independence you can see that the rulings of one person or one small untouchable group of people was not the plan for our country. Our court system has become an opportunity for tyranny or as some would call it an oligarchy. We need to take back our country and set our course again by the biblical principles under which we started.
What do you think? Has Supreme Court power overgrown its intended boundaries? Would you prefer term limits, or reaffirmation votes?

The Jefferson Lies

Jefferson bible

Jefferson bible (Photo credit: naypinya)

Thomas Jefferson has been upheld as a leading founding father who was liberal and secular, advocated the strict separation of church and state, questioned the Bible, wrote his own version of the Bible, slept with his slave and fathered illegitimate children. David Barton’s new book The Jefferson Lies brings these reports about Jefferson to the table and examines them in light of Jefferson’s own writings and historical evidence. The results are eye-opening. I would like to share a brief description of these here in my blog if you would like a more detailed description I recommend purchasing the book The Jefferson Lies. You can also catch Barton’s discussion of his new book on WallBuilders Live! from the second week of May (2012).

I remember I was a teenager at church camp the first time I heard that Thomas Jefferson had created his own version of the Bible by cutting out certain parts of Scripture. This has been a little gnawing factoid in the back of my mind for three decades. Are these reports true? What did he cut out? How can Jefferson be a Christian or even have a respect for the Bible if he would cut out part of the Scripture? This kind of concern has put Jefferson in the place of the most secular founding father. But let’s look at the facts.

Jefferson created two works which are both referred to as “the Jefferson Bible”, one in 1804, the other in 1820. The first work in 1804 Jefferson created in response to a suggestion from a missionary that said in order to evangelize the Native American tribes a short work embodying the key teachings of the Gospel should be assembled. This work would be much more likely to be read by someone who is interested in the Christian faith but not ready to work their way through a 2 1/2 inch thick book. Jefferson took two copies of the Bible and went through the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and cut and pasted together a chronological version of Jesus’ life. He took the accounts from all four Gospels and put them in timeline order and eliminated accounts that were told more than once by the different gospel narratives. Jefferson called this work An Abridgment of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ. He did not call it the Jefferson Bible. He created it solely as a tool for sharing Christian teachings with Native American tribes. While some Christians might object to abridging the Scriptures, we cannot say that this was an act of offense against scriptural teaching. Rather it affirms that Jefferson believed the life and teachings of Jesus Christ to be worthy of spreading in teaching to others. This can also be supported by the fact that Jefferson on a number of occasions contributed money toward Bible societies: groups whose purpose and mission was to distribute copies of the Bible, the full Bible.
The 1820 work of Thomas Jefferson often referred to as the Jefferson Bible is actually the more common of the two. This collection of passages from the Bible distills the moral teachings of Jesus Christ into one short work that Jefferson put together based on his belief that of all the moral teachings through the centuries, the morals of Jesus Christ where the highest, best, and most likely to bring about a peaceful and prosperous society when properly adhered to. If only we would learn this lesson today.
All told, this way of treating the Bible is quite a bit different than what I was led to believe about Jefferson. I’m still inclined to believe that he was one of the more secular founding fathers. However, he seems to have had a great deal more respect for scripture than many Christians do today.
I’ll try to follow up on some of the other points about Jefferson in later posts. In regard to the Jefferson “Bible”: When did you first hear about it/them and what effect did it have on your opinion of Thomas Jefferson?

Obama Comes Out

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (Photo credit: jamesomalley)

On Thursday, 5/10/2012, ABC’s Good Morning America, Barack Obama has made history has the first US president to come out in favor of so-called same-sex marriage. President Obama made remarks that are probably an effort to sway uninformed Christians who aren’t grounded in their faith. President Obama affirmed his Christian beliefs while at the same time affirming so-called same-sex marriage. He said it’s only fair that people be allowed to marry someone of the same sex if that is what they truly want. Although he did specify that the issue should be worked out at the state level. It was funny to hear Robin Roberts insist that it was not being worked out at the state level. She listed the recent defeat of same sex legislation in North Carolina. What Roberts meant was: people are voting it down, working it out means that we get our way…

On the negative side here is the head of state of our country basically taking a stand for sin… calling evil good. At the same time, this stand that Obama has finally been willing to make publicly might give us an additional edge in the November election. The fact is that every time this issue has been put to a vote it has lost. The only time that same-sex marriage has been made law has been by the actions of a legislature, executive, or a judicial overruling of the people. That was the case here in our state of California.

With overwhelming bias in favor of homosexual mores in the media, our incumbent president has some advantages. But the leftist opposition media AKA the mainstream media has never really been critical or biased against Barack Obama because they  read from the same playbook.

Although Obama says he has evolved on this issue, I don’t really believe that. This is where his base has been from the beginning. I think he has kept it unspoken for political reasons. What do you think? Why would the president choose to reveal this belief at this time?

Power Grab or Stop Special Interest Money?

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the ...

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the act on July 5, 1935. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins (right) looks on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year Mark Mix gave a talk at the Pro Family Legislators conference on compulsory unionism which I have found very informative. I’ve blogged about it before.

In 1935 the Wagner Act forced all workers in America to be in unions whether they liked it or not. Mr. Mix talked about Samuel Gompers who was an early union organizer who advocated for volunteerism as opposed to compulsory union membership. “No lasting gain has ever come from compulsion. If we seek to force, we but tear apart that which united, is invincible.” His reasoning was that unions would be more cohesive and stronger if they were voluntary groups. Unfortunately, Other union leaders did not agree. In 1935, at any rate, the Wagner Act made compulsory unionism the law of the land. This was and is in opposition to our 1st amendment freedom of association. In other words, if we have the freedom to choose with whom we will associate, don’t we have the converse right to choose with whom we will not associate?

Unions quickly gained an enormous amount of power. For instance, the Mineworkers Union basically shut down the war effort soon after by refusing to mine coal until their demands were met. Congress amended the Wagner Act with the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. Among other things the act made it so states could enact ‘right to work’ laws. Since that time 22 states have opted for ‘right to work’ legislation. ‘Right to Work’ basically means no one can be compelled to join a union nor be compelled not to join a union. In other words, the only unions in ‘right to work’ states would be voluntary unions. Just like Gompers ennvisioned. Today our most prosperous states are those right to work states. The industries in heavily unionized states have crumbled or are crumbling under the overburden of union demands.

I for one am in favor of voluntary unionism. I am a member of a voluntary teacher association. I am also a member of the compulsory teachers union CTA.

There is legislation afoot that would allow teachers the choice of whether they want their union dues to be automatically deducted from their check as they are currently. I think this legislation has merit. Unions are calling it “The Corporate Power Grab Initiative“. The other side is calling it the “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act“. They have very different stories to tell about what the act does and does not do. One point of disagreement is on who gives more to politicians. CTA claims that corporations out give unions 15 to 1. But I was recently told by a CTA officer that CTA is the most powerful voice in Sacramento… Here is a site that tracks giving to politicians.

The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act may be the right act for giving freedom back to workers in California and eliminating the overbearing liberal voice of union officials in our state legislature. I invite you to read the text of the act for yourself and enter the discussion by making a comment here. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this proposed law.

Students for Life of America

Students for Life of America LogoKristan Hawkins pro-life activist is very enthusiastic and passionate about ending abortion in America in our lifetime. She works to raise up chapters of Students for Life of America on university campuses across the US. Students for Life works

I felt inspired by Kristan Hawkins passion and energy for pushing forward the movement she is heading up. In addition to a true passion for the pre-born person, she has a real compassion for the surviving mother in an abortion situation, or for the pregnant mother who has nowhere else to turn and is looking for some kind of option besides abortion. In her interview with Dr. James Dobson on FamilyTalk on April 2. 2012 Kristan discussed how Planned Parenthood gives out low dose contraception with the expectation that young women will end up getting pregnant and then offering no real healthcare services for young women… just the opportunity to abort their baby. When she was pregnant herself she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to get a sense of what it’s like for pregnant woman to go to such a place. She was given counsel that it would be best to terminate her pregnancy early. She about various kinds of health care opportunities or well baby services that might be available if she chose to keep her baby. She was told that she would need to go elsewhere for that sort of service.

In her FamilyTalk interview Kristan explained how we are seeing victory after victory for life in states across the nation. The fact is that more pro-life legislation has passed since the 2010 election than during any other period since Roe v. Wade. Elections do matter. When your state primary comes up, and in November, get out and vote for pro-life candidates. We can see the holocaust of the American unborn end in our lifetimes.

Ironically it is easier for her to start these chapters on public college campuses rather than Christian campuses. The issue is one of the Christian colleges not wanting to appear to be condoning or admitting to having pregnant young women and therefore premarital sex issues on their campus. This is a sad testimony to some of the leadership of our colleges. Apparently much of that pressure comes from donors.

The work of Students for Life is quite remarkable. Kristan Hawkins’ passion really puts a bright star on this organization. During her FamilyTalk interview she made the statement, “when abortion is no longer legal in America.” She has a real vision for ending abortion in her lifetime in the States. She says don’t imagine it, envision it.

Chuck Colson (1931-2012)

great book

Chuck Colson’s Autobiographical testimony (Photo credit: son.delorian)

Chuck Colson passed away this weekend. He will be missed as a conservative Christian voice. Perhaps because of his time on the inside and living the first half of his life without God, Chuck seemed to be able to find positions on issues that dealt with both the justice and compassion parts of the Gospel. Thankfully Chuck invested time in passing the leadership torch to the next generation. John Stonestreet and Eric Metaxas are currently standing in on his Breakpoint broadcast which I’ve listened to for years. I hope they continue to bring valuable analysis of current events from a Christian worldview.

Colson Center

Manhattan Declaration

The Point Radio with John Stonestreet

Eric Metaxas: Author

October Baby

October Baby Screen Shot

October Baby is a well-done film about the victims of abortion. The murdered children, the surviving mothers, and the few surviving babies. The cinematography of the movie is excellent with beautiful shots and excellent framing. The script at times lacks punch with a few squandered moments, but overall the message is clear and brings it home with multiple poignant scenes and an out of the park ending. October Baby Trailer October Baby – Ministry Resources

The movie was inspired by the life of Gianna Jessen, an abortion survivor. She has a difficult but inspiring life story. Hear an interview with Gianna here. You may also be interested in Gianna’s Book.

While the life valuing message of October Baby is clearly Christian, this movie could be termed a cross-over film because it deals with the issue more from a universally human perspective of the pain and confusion stemming from being unwanted and from being confronted with the life and death choice of abortion. Women who have had an abortion will likely feel some heavy feelings upon seeing this story played out on screen, but the movie points toward where we can find true solace.

You can see more of the heart of October Baby at EveryLifeIsBeautiful.com

2700 Pages?

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court (Photo credit: wallyg)

Justice Scalia retorted “…You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages? And do you really expect the Court to do that? Or do you expect us to give this function to our law clerks? Is this not totally unrealistic? That we’re going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?” I am thankful Justice Scalia was not ready to take the Obama camp’s arguments hook, line, and sinker. In fact, he showed indignation at being asked to review the 2700 pages of law presumably to consider each point for approval. Even Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat leadership was unwilling to read the prodigious bill before it was passed. Here is a video clip of her stating “But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it…”

It’s ironic on many levels but the best walk away from this is that Congress has no place passing any kind of legislation with 2000+ pages. Unscrupulous lawmakers can hide any number of provisions in there that now have to be weeded out. The Supreme Court has no responsible choice but to strike down the whole omnibus bill. If liberals want to push their socialist agenda on America they need to attempt to do it in reasonable steps. So people can actually look at things and make intelligent decisions. Perhaps this is the reason why the burgeoning ObamaCare bill was passed in this way to begin with. Read the transcripts of the Supreme Court oral arguments yourself here.

We have to repeal ObamaCare and preserve the limited government laid out in our founding documents.

Cohabitation means Poverty for Women and Children

Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation

Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really appreciate what Robert Rector had to say in describing the problem of poverty stemming from unwed mothers, fathers, and cohabitation as opposed to marriage. The biggest factor in determining whether a child is raised in poverty or in security is whether or not the parents stay together. An intact family is a reliable determinant of being in a secure home with shelter and food and not on the public dole.

Listen to the WallBuilders Live! broadcast of his speech at the Pro-Family Legislators conference…

“We will take you to our annual ProFamily Legislators Conference, on today’s Wallbuilders Live!. Robert Rector, an authority on poverty and the welfare system, shares the great secret of child poverty. You may be surprised to learn that there are steps that can be taken to drastically reduce child poverty, yet these steps are not being taken. Why? Tune in, today, to learn more. You will hear from Rector as he addresses our legislators, and describes a link between child poverty and the declining state of marriage. This is a three part series, so be sure to catch each part, this week!” [quoted from WallBuilders Live! broadcast archives]

Monumental

National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth...

National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We just finished watching the movie Monumental on a preview screening night and really enjoyed it. Kirk Cameron did a superb job of walking us through an engaging history lesson of the Pilgrims rise, persecution, and departure from England in 1600s. He traces the journey from their secret meeting places, to the prisons where King James held them after their first escape attempt, to their haven in Holland. He follows their path finally on to the American continent. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, Cameron and his guide explain the rich symbolism set in granite in the National Monument to the Forefathers (pictured) that was erected in 1889 honoring the Pilgrims. Their winning strategy for building a society revolves around starting with faith, then morality, law, education, and finally liberty. We enjoyed the movie and recommend seeing it.

This movie will be received differently by different audiences depending on where they stand on the continuum of liberal to conservative. For instance, if they are pretty aware of the evidence for the religious background of the pilgrims and their foundation in biblical principles and agree with those principles they will probably be encouraged and enjoy this movie. If they have those same leanings of principle but were unaware of the evidence and history surrounding the Pilgrims coming to America, they will probably feel encouraged and somewhat incredulous. They may need to find some more answers to these questions. I recommend the book Original Intent for people in this category. If they find themselves more in agreement with the revisionist misinformation of the last 100+ years they will probably feel either uncomfortable or downright angry about the information portrayed in this movie. Monumental attempts to circumvent a lot of the liberal misinformation that has been brought forth in the last 50 – 100 years in America.