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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The DNC--Michelle Obama

What did you think of Michelle Obama's speech last night at the DNC?  I believe her main goal was to soften her image, humanize the Obama family, and make herself as likable as possible.  She worked hard to convey herself as a daughter, sister, wife and mother.  I thought she did a good job.  The speech appealed to me mainly on a human interest level...I enjoyed hearing more about the Obama family and Michelle's background.

I, however, am not at all considering voting for Barack Obama, which means that I was not necessarily the target audience.  I'm curious what the speech did for those who are undecided voters, still weighing Obama as an option for President.  If I were looking at it from that perspective, I don't really think the speech would have accomplished much for me.  From what I understand, Obama's main problem is not one of being unlikable--people love him.  The people I know who are considering voting for him have more of an issue with things such as the substance of his platform and his qualifications/experience.  And this speech didn't do much to remedy that situation.  But it was just the first night of the convention, and considering Michelle's objectives, I did think she did well.  I'm interested to hear what happens the next few nights.

One other thing I found interesting about Michelle Obama's speech and life story is the theme of how hard she and her family worked to achieve their goals and dreams.  She was raised in a poor community on the south side of Chicago.  Her father had MS, yet worked hard to provide for his family at a blue collar job.  He was willing to work extra and live on less so that his wife could stay home to raise their two children.  Her parents taught her the value of hard work, education and a strong family unit.  They instilled in Michelle and her brother the belief that if they were willing to work hard, they could accomplish great things.  Both her and her brother were able to overcome the odds of being born into this poor community, go to ivy league schools and become very successful.

This, to me, is an amazing story--it's the American dream, and it's possible for most anyone who lives in this country.  Yet Obama's platform seems to be more about giving handouts to those less fortunate rather than trying to teach them the same values that made both he and Michelle a success.  It wasn't a handout that helped Michelle Obama.  It was a strong family, a present and involved father, a good work ethic, etc.  I think we should take a page out of the book of what actually worked in Michelle Obama's life.  Let's focus on encouraging families to stay together, encouraging parents to make sacrifices to prioritize their children.  Let's teach people the value of honest hard work.  I think this will go alot farther than propagating a sense of entitlement, which instills in people the belief that government owes them something and that they have a right to what others have worked hard to earn.


portorikan said...

"Let's focus on encouraging families to stay together, encouraging parents to make sacrifices to prioritize their children. Let's teach people the value of honest hard work."

Amen, that's something to stand behind right there.

"Yet Obama's platform seems to be more about giving handouts to those less fortunate rather than trying to teach them the same values that made both he and Michelle a success. It wasn't a handout that helped Michelle Obama. It was a strong family, a present and involved father, a good work ethic, etc."

Do you think they stand behind this platform since they struggled so much but don't think/want Americans to have to go through what they did? Or, is it just used as a 'feel good story' to get people behind them?

Andy said...

My lovely cousins,
I read your blog quite regularly and very much enjoy your passion and vision. I finally decided I wanted to contribute some thoughts – all probably quite different from what you might expect and all designed to give a different vantage point on the challenges we face.
As far as the Saddleback Showdown went, I have a question for you. Whose job is it to eradicate evil in the world? Does that responsibility fall to the US government or the church? I, for one, disagree vehemently with McCain on this one. I can’t believe that the church had the audacity to thunderously applaud McCain’s response to the question of evil in the world. In his words, he would “Defeat it!” McCain’s foreign policy includes a theory called “rogue state rollback” which basically says that of all the nations who disagree with us, we should take aggressive military action against one of those nations, and in doing so, we will deter all nations from crossing us. Currently, this policy is at work in Iraq. If the theory was correct, then our aggression in Iraq would have deterred Iran, and we can see quite the opposite happening. It has, in fact, emboldened both them and the Russians. This policy runs counter to how human nature works. Pride does not bow its knee to aggression, and it never will. Now, there might come a time when we have to act aggressively against Iran, but this type of policy in general is ludicrous and our country cannot financially afford such a stance. Fiscal responsibility is the greatest need of our country right now, and quite frankly, I don’t believe John McCain even has a clue as to the dangers we face economically if we continue on the current course.
Another aspect that everyone seems to love about John McCain which I find a little disconcerting is his propensity toward snap judgments. My friends, making quick judgment about complex issues and speaking quickly is not the posture of an intelligent believer. Quite the opposite is true – James 1:19 – Quick to listen and slow to speak. I believe Senator McCain’s best mental days are behind him, and I believe as he continues to age, he will continue to make snap judgments instead of thoroughly weighing the consequences of his actions. You might call this decisive and “Presidential”. I call it foolishness.
I also cannot handle his logical inconsistency of believing that life begins at conception, yet he continues to favor embryonic stem cell research. Wake up – you can’t have it both ways. Either life begins at conception or it doesn’t. If you cannot see the logical inconsistency in this thinking, then I dare say, you are not intelligent enough to lead this country.
Please don’t assume that all of these views must mean that I’ve abandoned my love for Jesus. Nothing could be more wrong. I’m very concerned that the Republican Party has hijacked the name of Jesus and caused most believers to accept every political move they make as they would the Scriptures. I’m very concerned with the perception this gives the outside world – and by outside world, I mean the world outside of the Church. Most of those people are starting to think that you have to switch party affiliations before you come to Christ. Ministers should not be involved in politics – there I said it. Christian politicians should be involved with politics. Christian economists should handle the economy. The people in our pulpits should act as Jesus did. They should embrace the lost, feed the hungry, clothe the poor and take the posture of a humble servant and not a know-it-all authoritarian. I love Rick Warren, and I have been very impressed with him up until he took the opportunity to go on talkshows to discuss his political views after he hosted Obama and McCain. He stopped short of endorsing McCain, but he made abundantly clear that John McCain was his man. Jesus should be his man. Let the Christian politicians make these declarations, so the rest of the nonbelieving world does not assume Jesus is a Republican and you must be one before He accepts you.
Let the Church concern itself with the real work – spreading the Gospel of Christ and thereby destroying evil in the lives of everyone it touches.

Brynn said...

Hi Andy Green,
This is your Aunt Brynn responding. I did not feel by your response that you had abandoned your love for Jesus at all. On the contrary, Jesus in each of us is so unique and so awesome that it is always stimulating to hear any other believer's views. The testimony of Jesus in you shows how He has shaped and fashioned you and as we give testimony we defeat evil.
I do believe as Christians, wherever we find ourselves, on the ball field, in the home, in the government, the church etc. we are all called, as Jesus was, to destroy the works of the devil (who is the author of all evil). In the church and individually sometimes our greatest weapon is love. At times it may be "tough love". The government on the other hand does have a specific calling to defeat "evil" in it's sphere of influence. That is how I took McCains's answer. Evil will always be present with us. Don't we all wish that each man's heart could be changed thereby turly defeating evil. However, when the Hitler's and Saddam's of the world rise up then they must be defeated by governments. I also understand your view on McCain's quick answers. I do think there is times a President must gather facts and listen to opinion and then act decisively, but I did not take his quick answers to mean he would not do that. I thought the applause were because people, Democrats and Republicans alike, found it refreshing someone would simply state what they believed without trying to "take a poll" or try to please everyone or not offend anyone. Too often politicians try to tickle our ears then then they go do as they please. Very often Jesus responded with short answers "go and sin no more", "peace be still", "come out", "be healed". In the world of politics there is so much verbage that I just thought the people felt it refreshingto finally get a short answer. McCain may be arrogant I personally can't judge. One thing I do disagree with is that our National safety is first and foremost and then economic issues. You can be sure evil plots and schemes against the United States are in the works as I write this. I believe the President must always have this first place. I believe Bush tuly felt it was in the best interest of our country's safety to go into Iraq. McCain feels because we are there, even if some of the information for going in was wrong,we must finish the job and end from a place of victory. I have heard many stories and have talked personally with people from the region who say it is so necessary for us to continue to stand against terrorism there. I don't think it matters to Iran or to other terrorist nations what we do. They will come against us whether we are there or not. If we appease them and pull out do you honestly think they will stop all their "evil" schemes against us or the Jews? Just listen to Ahmadinejad's rehtoric. He makes it perfectly clear He wants to kill all Jews and Christians alike. Dialouge with "evil" will gain us nothing. I am not an expert on economic issues, however I do believe the less government intrusion the better. I feel heavier taxes will break the backs of the small businesses that keep America going. I am not in favor of government health care or taking more steps toward socialism. I guess we will each have to look at the platforms of the candidates and make the best choice possilbe. I don't think anyone is thrilled with our two choices but as Christians we will have to make decisions based on conviction of the Spirit. I do believe the Church--the pastors, teachers, etc. must disciple and teach the people to love the Lord with all their heart, mind and strength. We must not stop with salvation but go on from there to teach what it means to love the Lord with our minds as well as our hearts. I think what Rick Warren did was an attempt to do this. I never heard him choose a candidate if he did I just missed that.

Kelley said...

@Andy: Welcome to our blog, Dear Cousin! I'm so glad you shared your thoughts. I agree with a large portion of them. McCain is in no way my ideal candidate. I was likewise frustrated with his inconsistency on the abortion/stem cell issue and have not been excited about our voting choices this fall.

I would like, however, to speak to/answer a couple other points you made:

1. You asked "Who's job is it to eradicate evil in the world?" Ultimately, Jesus and His Church. I agree with you on this point... that only through the gospel of Christ invading our hearts can evil truly be purged and defeated. However, I believe the government does have a role in defeating evil and that is given it by God. Romans 13:4 actually says, "If you do what is EVIL, be afraid; for it (civil authority/government) does not bear the sword for nothing, for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices EVIL."

2. I somewhat disagree with your logic concerning McCain's "rogue state rollback". I'm not necessarily an adherent to that policy, but I don't think it's our "aggression in Iraq" that emboldened Iran and Russia. I think they're emboldened because they see our weak-willed, feeble, and double-minded attempt at victory there. This is a whole other can of worms and I'm just gonna leave it alone for now.

3. You say "Ministers should not be involved in politics." I agree with you if by that you mean they shouldn't tell people who to vote for or hold blindly to one party line or endorse candidates from the pulpit. I disagree, however, if you mean they should have nothing to say in regard to politics and government. It is their job to teach people what the Bible says about government and economics and poverty and the like; to train people in a biblical worldview; and in that sense they are necessarily involved in politics.

Finally, just a few closing notes. Kacey and I are in no way touting the Republican Party here. That's why we chose the word "conservative" in our title and not "Republican". I have disagreed with many things in the Republican party. We will vote for and support candidates who come closest to our conservative ideals and worldview, regardless of party affiliation.

So Andy, Who are you voting for this fall? With your obvious dislike of McCain, will you go with Obama? Will you refrain from voting? Or will you perhaps write-in the name of one of your dearly beloved cousins?

Andy said...

Oh, so much to respond to and so little time
Obviously, on the issue of evil in the world, I agree with Romans 13 – I’d be a fool not to. Evil is present and the government bears the sword, but obviously, every evil does not require our sword. Does Sudan deserve the sword for its actions in Darfur? How about Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Iran? Chavez in Venezuela calls us the “Axis of Evil” and has branded Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba as the “axis of good”. Should we force regime change in all of those countries? What about Russia? I know Bush saw Putin’s “soul”, but it’s beginning to look like he didn’t look deep enough. Bush just told Putin in regards to Georgia that “bullying is no way to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century” – Hi pot, I’m the kettle, “you’re black”. Also, China scares me too – maybe we should hit them before they become an uncontainable threat to our way of life.
I know, I know, I’ve taken it too far. No one is encouraging attacking every state that stands in the way of American life, but is there honestly a Christian body in the world that regards the ethics of unilateral and preemptive war as “just”? Isn’t it the job of government to create an environment of social justice both within and beyond our borders? Aren’t we “better” than them? I no longer believe we (Americans) are. I believe we are prisoners of fear and have trampled underfoot the Constitution and laws of social justice in order to create a world where we are the aggressors taking the war to their turf in order to protect ours. Bush has set us back hundreds of years with his policy of domestic eavesdropping and allowance of torture. I agree with McCain wholeheartedly that torture is wrong even if information can be gained. There is a price that is not worth paying in order to protect ourselves – as Christians we should have absolutely no trouble believing that. Bush has ushered in an era of more government intervention, but it’s all for our “protection”. Is it not possible that that “protection” could easily turn against Christians when the world begins to fear us because of our “preemptive war” and other contentious acts of self preservation? My major struggle with McCain is that I see him as an extension of the Bush interventionist policy which I disagree wholeheartedly with it because I believe that rarely is the answer found on the other side of war. Remember, we once supported Saddam and aided him in his struggle against Iran. We once armed Osama Bin Laden. We have a horrible track record in regime change. For that reason alone, we should be a little less intrusive.
Finally on Romans 13, it’s my understanding of Paul that he is encouraging citizens to obey the government in authority over them. He is not speaking, in this instance, about a government’s right or obligation to eradicate evil in the rest of the world. That concept was so foreign to Paul that he never would have seen a need to speak to it. If we apply it to this instance, I believe we are in the wrong.
The only other point I have time to get to is the one regarding the role of our ministers in teaching us a Biblical worldview. My views on this come directly from CS Lewis, and I feel inclined to let him communicate the point.
“People say, ‘The Church ought to give us a lead.’ That is true if they mean it in the right way, but false if they mean it in the wrong way. By the Church they ought to mean the whole body of practicing Christians. And when they say that the Church should give us a lead, they ought to mean that some Christians – those who happen to have the right talents – should be economists and statesmen...and that their whole efforts in politics should be directed to putting ‘Do as you would be done by’ into action. If that happened, and if we others who were really ready to take it, then we should find the Christian solution for our own social problems pretty quickly. But, of course, when they ask for a lead from the Church most people mean they want the clergy to put out a political programme. That is silly. The clergy are those particular people within the whole Church who have been specially trained and set aside to look after what concerns us as creatures who are going to live forever: and we are asking them to do a quite different job for which they have not been trained. The job is really on us, the laymen. The application of Christian principles, say to trade unionism or education, must come from Christian trade unionists and Christian schoolmasters: just as Christian literature comes from Christian novelists and dramatists – not from the bench of bishops getting together and trying to write plays and novels in their spare time.”
I’m sorry for the long quote, but he communicates the point better than I can (imagine that).
You both have raised many excellent points that I’ll continue to speak to if you like. As for who I’ll vote for, we’ll let that remain a mystery. The irony of it all is that I supported McCain in 2000. After 9/11, I felt his fighter pilot instinct took over, and he began looking for someone to hit. I also have serious concerns for his mental acuity as he moves into his mid 70s. My concerns with Obama are different, and they don’t need to be aired at this time.
As far as writing in my beloved cousins, if there was just one of you, then I would gladly write your name in, but since I would be torn between the two, I’ll have to abstain. I love you all and thank you for praying for my family right now.

Brynn said...

Hey Andy,
Reading your thoughts has been stimulating to say the least! I don't believe anyone is talking about regime change for the sake of asserting our power.
All means of diplomacy had been employed by the U.N. as well as the United States with Saddam. He kept defying the world. This is where we, as average citizens, do not have access to the intelligence that our President does when He deems it necessary to declare War. I don't believe Bush committed our troops to die for the sake of the USA looking strong. All of congress, looking at the intelligence available, agreed with Bush that we should declare war. Many times after making a decision new information becomes available and when it did a plan was set in motion to pull out the best and safest way possible. Our country, because of it's Judeo-Christian roots, has been the most "Christian" of any nation on the earth when it comes to protecting innocent lives. YES we are better than "them". There is no comparison. Does that mean we are perfect--NO. I don't believe for one minute a United States President would attack Chavez, or anyone else, just because of his verbage. As far as using torture to protect against evil--- well many say that a loving God would not allow a place called Hell and that they cannot believe in a "Christian" God that would allow the killing of women and children (as our God has done many times down through history)Even animals were orderd to be killed (wonder what animal rights activist would say about that?). God himself instructed His people to conquer those nations that were against His chosen people. We need His divine guidance when we are to make any decision about War. And yes it is not only possible but it will happen that Christians will be tortured and turned on-- always has been happening in other parts of the world. I don't believe it is because of any action on our part that this will happen but because of a spiritual batlle between good and evil. Even if we were to become Isolationists it would still happen. And one day there will be a final War to end all war that will have something good on the other side!!! Until then there will always be war and rumors of war. I just hope and pray we choose only to enter into a War that we do believe to be just. Finally I have disagreed with C.S. Lewis many times before, as chariman of the Education Committe at LCA. Just read some of his books like the "Magicians Nephew" and see if you don't disagree. I don't necessarily disagree with what you quoted but I do think a head Pastor must oversee the teaching of worldview, even if he, himself, does not do it. Opportunities to present the whole counsel of God must be given within the church. After all our salvation is body, soul, and spirit. A renewed and transformed mind can only happen when the Word is preached and taught.Where do you think the Christian economists, muscians,and politicians will come from? The new birth is only the beginning of a new way of believing, thinking and behaving. It must encompass the whole man, not just his spirit. I know many pastors do not feel they are educated enough in worldview so they hire ministers of education to train their people. Our thinking as Christians in all areas must be conformed to the image of Christ. I don't think one precludes the other.

On a different note,
I talked with Jessie last night and things seem better. We are being faithful in prayer for all of you! Love you

Brynn said...

Why are you up at 3:40am? or is that 2:40am where you are?

Alyssa said...

Hey hey friends..I guess after much hesitation, I'm also entering this blog..I keep up with it regularly and have thought about (and even written) several responses to both the blogs and others' responses. I guess I've never submitted them for several reasons..mostly because I really hate getting into these kinds of discussions these days. However, reading this thread, I find myself with some questions I feel I have to at least ask. These are for you Brynn (hi, by the way) :) I just need some clarification..

When you say that God himself instructed His people to conquer those nations that were against His chosen people...what exactly are you meaning by this? I mean, I know what you're referencing..just wondering what you are inferring? That we bear the same burden of responsibility to conquer those nations that are against His chosen people? If so, is the "we" Americans in general, or American government, or Christians? And as for "chosen people"..do you still consider the chosen people to be the Jews?..or do you extend it to mean the Church at large?..or maybe America?

..Maybe I'm completely undercutting your points altogether and you were just putting that bit of Old Testament history in to further make the point that God has used "torture" to protect from evil..maybe I'm just completely confused..hence, the need for clarification..I'm curious :)

A couple more..Were God's instructions (to His people, to conquer those nations that were against His chosen people) whimsical or did he have a point? If so, what do you think was the point/purpose?

And lastly, when you say emphatically that yes, we are better than "them"...that there is no comparison...just wondering if you could qualify (or clarify) this statement?

I know this thread is way off the original blog topic, but I just wanted to be clear on what you're saying...looking forward to hearing from you..


Brynn said...

Hi Alyssa,
How in the world are you?
To answer your questions---(sorry for the confusion)---
I was in no way equating America with God's chosen people and also not inferring God sanctions everything America does. I was merely stating that sometimes God allows things we might deem cruel for His higher purpose (i.e. Jesus on the cross) also I believe He never does things on a whim, there is always a purpose. He is not only merciful, kind and long-suffering but also a God of vengeance, wrath and justice and one day He will judge all nations--INCLUDING America. Also I was not inferring Americans are "better" than other people--I believe in the sight of God we are all created equal. I was inferring that all ideologies or worldviews are not equal. Call me sometime and we could talk more. I hope you are well.

serious/silly/me said...

I'm going to make my comment after reading Andy's first and before I move on to read the follow-up comments that come after.

Andy: You say that ministers should stay out of politics. I realize this is 2008, but do you realize that in the original framework of our nation, there were no "professional politicians"? Everyday people from all walks of life took their turn as elected to serve in public office. This means that farmers served, lawyers served, and yes ministers served. It's sad that we're so far from this method, since pro politicians are much like pro athletes. Their zeal has been replaced by love of money. And they are very out of touch with the common man. (See JC Watts for a better example to follow.)

Second, you made mention that ministers should be busy doing what Jesus did. When did Jesus clothe the poor? In fact, Jesus nigh ignored the poor, saying we'd always have them with us. Another thing, Jesus spoke with such authority that is shocked the Pharisees and leaders of His day. Seems pretty authoritarian to me to declare one's self the Son of God. And to say you MUST be born again. I think our postmodern society would argue that Jesus shouldn't be so black and white.

Do you think ministers should merely quote Scripture and not expound on or extrapilate it in order to help their congregants practically apply it? We want our pastors to tell us what the Bible says about marriage and family translates into loving our spouse and raising our kids. What's the difference between that area (and others) and having a trusted minister explain how Scripture should rock our vote?

distance runner said...

Amen! If I remember my history correctly I believe ministers started most all of the first universites and colleges in America.(including Harvard and Princeton). My how far we have come.

Andy said...

First let me speak to my Aunt’s final post. Brynn, you used the example of Christ on the cross to demonstrate how God uses cruel acts for His higher purposes. Obviously, I agree, but the question here is not whether God uses it but rather was the Roman government just in administering it. They were clearly in the wrong. If you want to say that we should do evil that good may result, I believe you know what Paul says about that in Romans.

Secondly, let me speak to this quote, “When did Jesus clothe the poor? In fact, Jesus nigh ignored the poor, saying we'd always have them with us.”

Please tell me that you don’t believe Jesus wants us to ignore the poor – for that would honestly break my heart. This comment of Christ was very similar to when He told us that we must hate our fathers and mothers and we must let the dead bury the dead (you come follow me). It’s called hyperbole. He is saying that next to loving and following Him, there is nothing on this earth of any importance. He is the Beginning and the End. We are to be consumed with Him – that is His point, but once we are consumed with Him the real work begins in carrying out His Will in this world, and the carrying out of that will includes taking care of the poor.

Thirdly, this quote, “Jesus spoke with such authority that it shocked the Pharisees and leaders of His day. Seems pretty authoritarian to me to declare one’s self the Son of God. And to say you MUST be born again. I think our postmodern society would argue that Jesus shouldn't be so black and white.”

I’m not telling Jesus He should be anything. He is the Son of God and my Savior. My passion and heart belong to Him. I don’t have the faintest clue what postmodernists would say about Christ being black and white. I know what I’m saying, and I am in no way questioning His Word or His Kingship. I am questioning our application of His word to do our will. I believe so many misrepresent Him in the political arena, and yes, I’m aware that quite often I do not represent my Savior in the manner I should. What I’m doing right now is verbalizing what I believe is the correct foreign policy for America and what I believe is the proper role for ministers. I could be wrong, but obviously, I don’t believe I am or I wouldn’t be saying it.

Finally, you make excellent points that we didn’t used to have full time politicians, but I wish you wouldn’t have taken that shot at professional athletes because that one stung a little ;). I am very proud of the Godly heritage of this country and thrilled that so many believers were involved in establishing it. Two hundred years ago our country was thirteen loosely affiliated colonies. We had a few hundred thousand people (just guessing) and they rode to the courthouse in a horse and buggy. Times have changed. We have fifty states and three hundred million people (not counting illegals but still guessing on this one too). We have career politicians, and yes, many of them are corrupt on both sides of the aisle. Many have profited greatly because of their “service”, and it’s a shame when service and zeal are replaced by greed and indifference. Our government is too big to wish we could go back to part time politicians – it will never happen.

Maybe I’m wrong on saying that pastors should not be involved in politics for I have no Scripture that gives me the authority to make such a clear cut distinction. I like what CS Lewis said (which I quoted in a previous post) and I have personal reasons for holding such a view. Many unsaved people, including some who are close to me, have a strong aversion to politicizing the faith. They have no problem with politicians who are Christians and use their Christian worldview to decide the issues. They, however, have a strong aversion to pastors who take opportunities on talk shows to speak authoritatively on topics which the Bible never spoke authoritatively. It appears to the outside world that they have to accept the politics before beginning their journey with Christ. I don’t like this impression and don’t believe it’s true, and if you want a clearer understanding of this perception then read the book UnChristian by David Kinnaman. Also, please don’t claim that I’m diluting the Gospel in order to make it more palatable for the lost because that argument doesn’t hold water.

I’ll just throw this in as well. I agree with absolutely everything Obama said regarding foreign policy tonight, and I think his response to Rick Warren regarding evil in the world was phenomenal and the clip below demonstrates the different plane of thinking that Obama has over McCain. If you don’t follow what I mean by that then just let me know and I’ll clarify. Here’s the clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThA-7-HDQvU

Finally, let me ask one last question. If the Peacemakers will be called sons of God and the fruit of a Christian life is peace, then why should the government of the “most Christian” nation in the world be so bullish for war?

Brynn said...

I wasn't speaking to the Roman governments part but to the fact that it pleased God to crush Jesus for our sakes and he was crucified from the foundation of the world, before a Roman government existed. That kind of God makes people uncomfortable so they make another God up in their minds that they can feel good about. I very much believe governments can act unjustly just as individuals can.

Each one of us must follow the call of God on our lives, including those Pastors that speak out politically, even if it makes others uncomfortable. In my experience, the gospel makes others uncomfortable no matter where, how or by whom it is truly presented. And I think it is good to be uncomfortable.

Nathan Talbot said...

Good thoughts here. One small request can you please use the space bar? It is your friend, haha. Seriously though, it will make it easier on all of us following the comments.

I have wanted to post a reply here all week but have just been too busy and now there have been so many interesting points made I am afraid I can't touch on them all.

So I will hit a few.

First on Barrack Obama. He is completely unfit to be POTUS, period. He does not have the experience neccessary to be president of the united states, not in the private or public sector. I am OK with a non-career politician being president, but not one that was a "community organizer" and has aligned himself with criminals and terrorists.

Obama has shown a long track record of poor decision making from sitting under the discipliship of a racist bigot Rev. Wright, to sitting on a board and being friends with a known terrorist who bombed the pentagon, Bill Ayers, to aligning himself with a criminal Tony Rescoe.

His policies are fundamentally flawed from top to bottom. You may have enjoyed his thoughts on foreign policy last night, but just a few short months ago he stated Iran was a "tiny country that posed no threat".

As a Christian his views on life and abortion completely remove him as a possible candidate in my mind. This is a man that supported infanticide in Illinois. He will appoint anti-life judges. He is the most radical anti-life candidate nominated for POTUS. That is unacceptable in my mind as a Christian.

Now beyond that his view of the role of government is what makes him so scary. He is a marxist. Our federal government was not established to provide for the people from the cradle to the grave. Our government does not have the responsibility to provide all that the Obama campaign is promising and it goes completely contrary to the fundamental principles of our founding documents.

To pay for all of these policies he will have to raise taxes. Sure he claims he is giving lower taxes to 95% of Americans(which I believe is a lie), but he is going to tax small business out of existence. The price of goods in this country will sky rocket under his corporate tax policies thus nullifying the paultry tax cuts he is promising, and he is going to put an amazing burden on the largest employer in this country, small business. As a side note the majority of his tax cuts will be going to those who pay a mere 3% of the tax revenue at this point. His policies will not work without major increases in taxes in other areas and that will place an undue burden on the people that are already paying the lions share of the taxes in this country.

His corporate profit taxes are fundamentally socialist and diabolically opposed to capitalism and the free market that has made America so great.

Back to foreign policy. America is still the good guys. Saying we aren't deeply saddens me. America sends more aid, and does more to promote freedom and democracy in the world than any other nation-state in the history of the world. I will never be caught apologizing for the actions of this great country and what we have provided the world in the way of hope and freedom. There is a reason millions are still flocking to this great country. That isn't to say we always get it right, but we are still the shining city on the hill and the example of freedom for the world.

John Mccain does not want to invade any and every country. He was RIGHT on Iraq and the surge worked. Iraq was a just war in my mind and for many more reasons than WMD's. Let us not forget that congress overwhelmingly approved the mission and then the democrats wanted to surrender before the job was done. They wanted to give Iraq back to the terrorists.

Terrorism is a real threat. We face a radical faction of terrorist that are determined to end our way of life. To act as if coming home and leaving them alone will solve the issue is naivity at best. They do not care where we are and what we are doing in the world. The fact that we are infidels is all that matters to them. This is a battle that has been waging since the inception of our way of life. In 1786, Thomas Jefferson, then the ambassador to France, and John Adams, then the ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the ambassador to Britain from Tripoli. The Americans asked Adja why his government was hostile to American ships, even though there had been no provocation. The ambassador's response was reported to the Continental Congress:

"It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy's ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once."

This is still the way they percieve our way of life and talking will not back them down. You can not negotiate with people whose argument begins and ends with your death.

If we stand by and allow them to proliferate throughout the world we will fight them on our own soil sooner rather than later. We will lose more innocent American lives on our own soil. That is not fear mongering that is historical prospective and understanding the mentality and fundamental tenants of Islmofascism. Obama and the democrats have repeatedly shown they do not understand this nor do they grasp the gravity of the situation. Obama has said he is going to halt the development of new missile technology. While he is halting our ability to defend ourselves and remain the lone hegemony of the world he is going to have "talks" with radical world leaders like Iran's president. A man who has denied the holocaust and professed his mission to drive Israel into the sea.

Israel is our ally and as a Christian I believe they are the most important ally we have. We have a responsibility to stand by and with Israel. Our presence in Iraq gives us a stronghold in the heart of the middle east. If you study military strategy you can understand how important this is if and when the middle eastern countries decide to attack Israel.

If their is a larger middle eastern war and we have to deploy troops and set up bases we would be relying on a very small area in Israel or Saudi Arabia which is not a very reliable ally.

I could go on and on about the failed foreign policies of the left, and about the failed economic policies of the left, but it would be somewhat redundant. John Mccain is not the best choice for president of the united states but in this election he is the clear choice for American's who believe in the constitution and the founding principles of this country. He is the clear choice for Christians who understand the value of life, and the responsibility of the church not the government to aid the hurting and underprivilidged.

Andy said...

To the Sisters Wade, I am so sorry I have hijacked your Michelle Obama thread. To Mama Wade, Brynn, let me first say that everything must have gone wrong with me when I read the Magician’s Nephew. I read the whole series as a child, and now my thinking is irreparably damaged.

In reply to Nathan: If, as a Christian, I happen to disagree with you what would you make of me? If I happen to think that socialized medicine is not such a bad thing for I have experienced it in a foreign country, and when held up against the mess we have I don’t believe it’s that bad. If I believe there is no reason that the out of control costs of health care should drive approximately 2 million Americans annually into bankruptcy, what would you say to that?

Did you know that an MRI costs $150in Japan and their universal health care system picks up that bill. In the US, it’s now closer to $3000 and who among us is smart enough to know how much of that we’ll be liable for.

Please read this http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89626309.

Can we not learn from their system and create something similar yet distinct? The Church never stood up and created health care. Why is it so bad that we as a society try to help the common good of the common man?

You wonder how Obama is going to pay for these programs. It’s entirely possible that a modified socialized system could cost less than our current mess. I agree in theory with what most limited government theorists want in health care, but I don’t believe that’s plausible. There aren’t enough tithing Christians in this country to make it possible.

Furthermore, in regards to healthcare, if A is better than B, it’s still entirely possible that C is also better than B (B being our current health care system).

Here’s a further insight. I have a friend who is a lobbyist for a pharmaceutical company. Point blank, he is for McCain because he fears Obama might drive him out of business.

Here’s another question. How are we going to finance our interventionist foreign policy? The war in Iraq has cost over $550 billion as well as substantial political capital on the world stage. How are we going to continue to pay for that? Well, the good news though is we can hold Iraq hostage for as long as we want so we can protect Israel with our new strategic launching point – maybe we’ll stay there like 100 years or something. Then we’ll break missile treaties with Russia – treaties that have stood for decades, and then we’ll cry foul when they get upset. Shoot, at least we’ll have a cool missile defense system in Poland.

Then we’ll elect a President who has admitted he doesn’t understand the economy and we’ll put him in charge of it. We’ll elect a President who would have flunked out of the Naval Academy if his father hadn’t been an Admiral, but at least he has experience. And most importantly, he’s finally passed our litmus test of abortion.

What say you of me?

Nathan Talbot said...

Andy, what does that make of you? I am not sure I don’t know you. I am certainly not questioning your salvation, only God can judge the heart of man. It does make me believe that you do not understand the constitution. You do not value democracy and the wonderful republic that our founding fathers started in this great country. Anyone who can espouse that they agree with socialism has discarded the principles upon which this country is based. Does that mean you are a bad person, most certainly not. It just means that you disagree with me, and others on the form of government you want to live under. It means that you do not value freedom and choice for the next generation. It means that you believe it is the government’s job to fix the ills of society. I on the other hand believe in personal responsibility and that all that is needed is an opportunity to succeed. Under Obama’s form of government that opportunity to succeed is going to diminish greatly.

Ronald Reagan once said-
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

I believe that is what is at stake in this election because it is clear that democrats want to lead us into a socialist form of government. It is amazing to me that people aren’t even afraid to say the word anymore. How quickly they forget just what socialism entails.

The government has no business taking over health care. I cannot believe for one second that the same government that has bankrupted SS and Medicaid is somehow going to get it right this time around and create this wonderful utopian health care system that is going to be available to all and still be the best care available in the world. IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY. Government bureaucracy does not improve things, it makes them worse just a cursory glance at the failed government programs already in existence prove this. On top of that and I know this is redundant, but healthcare is not the governments job in a republic, so it is diabolically opposed to the founding documents of this country and while it seems that more and more people don’t care about that, I do.

Your friend has legitimate fears of losing his job if Obama is elected. There are going to be a lot of people in the private sector that lose their jobs. When Obama raises payroll taxes, capital gains taxes, and corporate taxes there are going to many Americans out searching for a job. His policies are going to wreak havoc on our economy. As your friend is in the medical community if the government takes over he will likely lose his job. Amazing thing about those “big bad” pharm companies they have been responsible for the development through a capitalist, free market society some of the most cutting edge drugs and medical advancements. Under Obama’s system they will be shut down.There will no longer be incentive to create and produce the best medicines available. You see this is what free market and capitalism inspires. It inspires ingenuity, creativity, advancements, and productivity. Socialism, Marxism, and communism do not. They temper and restrain those that would otherwise create new and better technologies and advancements.

Furthermore, it also makes me believe that as a Christian you are blurring the lines of your world view between personal conviction and responsibility, and what we as a nation are responsible for. You see I have never seen anywhere in the Bible a mandate for nation states to take care of the poor, to provide health care, or to provide a “world class education” for everyone. If you can point those scriptures out to me, I will gladly take a look. I see a mandate of personal responsibility and a mandate to the church.

I see you took the sarcastic route when talking about our defense and foreign policy. That is unfortunate. It leads me to believe that you among many Obama supporters (let’s not beat around the bush anymore, you are supporting Obama), do not understand the gravity of the threat we are facing. I get it. You don’t like the war, you think it was pre-emptive and we need to come home. Well even if that were the case it would be very poor strategy to do so too soon because it would just lead to more unrest and more terrorists planning for their attacks here. It would just go to embolden our enemy, and we do have a very real and threatening enemy. It absolutely amazes me that so many Americans have still not learned their lesson about the threat we face. These terrorist are not going to quit. They are not going back down. They are going to continue to take American lives whether we stick our head in the sand or not. Thankfully strong men like John McCain have been willing to stand up to them. John McCain got it right on Iraq, and we are seeing victory there. We will be coming home and we will be coming home with honor.

I find it very disingenuous of you to attack McCain’s ability to graduate from the Naval Academy. Whether you like the man as a presidential option or not he has served this country more admirably than I can possibly fathom. He is a hero, period.

You can sarcastically talk about our missile defense systems and the defense of this nation, but I will point out that our standing as the lone hegemony of the world has enabled us to enjoy the freedoms we have. It has enabled us to have this discussion. It has preserved our way of life. The defense of this nation is the within the scope of the role of our federal government. With a 20% across the board cut in government spending for entitlement programs, and pork barrel spending we could balance the budget and still easily afford our military budget without raising taxes.
More spending is not the answer. Less spending and less taxes is the answer. A study of economics has shown time and time again that cutting taxes promotes economic growth and actually produces more tax revenue for the government, but that is just another discussion in the long list of failed democrat policies.

Lastly, I want to comment on this.
You said, “Why is it so bad that we as a society try to help the common good of the common man?”

Doesn’t that sound just wonderful? I mean it does. How do you say no to society helping the common good of the common man? Well because to help the common good of the common man you are going to have to TAKE from another common man. It is called redistribution of wealth. So all the while we are patting ourselves on the back for helping someone in need we have forcefully stolen from another. Why does one common man get help and the other get taken from? Who decides? The government? You? Me?

You see this is what our founding fathers wanted to prevent. They wanted the government to stay out of the lives of the common man so the common man could make choices and have personal responsibility. You see those common men have choices to make. They can choose to get an education in this country, they can choose to work, they can choose whether they develop skills that will help them get a different or better job. Opportunity abounds in this great nation. People have more than ample opportunity to rise from the ashes and create a respectable lifestyle. Is it harder on some than others? Sure it is. Do some have greater advantages than others because of what their parents did, sure, but the opportunity is there for ALL, not a few like in a socialistic society being espoused by the left, but for ALL.
So when people want to do something for the common man, I say point them to a free education, show them how to develop a skill and then turn them loose to make their own decision and live with the consequences of that decision be it good or bad, but don’t give them a hand out. You know the old saying give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a life time. These government programs do nothing, but take from the producers and give to the takers. The takers then become dependent upon the givers (government) and never become producers.

As the divide becomes greater between the producers and the takers the givers gain more and more power. When the power of the givers reaches a point where too many are dependent upon them, then power is held by only a few. When power is held by just a few history as proven that tyranny is soon to follow.

Andy said...

Just real quick before I hit the sack. I was not attacking John McCain's service to this country. I was stating a fact that I saw him admit to with a chuckle on a Fox News documentary of his early years. He graduated 894th out of 899 students at Annapolis. That's factual, and he and his classmates both said that he would have never gotten through the naval academy without the help of his father.

Nathan Talbot said...

In doing some research for a blog post of my own today I found some quotes that I thought pertinent to this discussion. Hope y'all don't mind me sharing.

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." -Thomas Jefferson

"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."-James Madison

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned -- this is the sum of good government."-Thomas Jefferson

"Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday and St. Tuesday, will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them."-Benjamin Franklin