Friday, October 17, 2008

Why Do Politicians Want Us To Panic?

John Mark Reynolds explains why political candidates try to incite panic in the public. He also warns us to worry about things we can actually change.

When the public, and the candidates, begin to panic, we "should resolutely mind our own business in this crisis, act charitably toward neighbors in need, comfort the fearful, and resolutely vote against those who would use this crisis to expand their power. The temptation to respond to every trouble brought to our attention by the media is a snare and a delusion."

When we begin to worry about the world, we forget about the things in our sphere of influence. If you worry globally, you become inept locally. "I have students who panic about poverty in the Sudan, but who are disinterested in the poor of our hometown." Is there anything worse than ignoring those needy around you because you are interested in someone's needs you cannot help? If everyone helped those in their direct sphere of influence, wouldn't the global problems begin to wane?

"Our actual neighbor who wants and needs our help is our business, but our culture makes it easier to know the troubles of someone else’s neighbor (across the world), than our physical compatriot. If we are not careful our compassion will be drained by images of all the suffering of mankind in general to the point that we have nothing left to give the particular unemployed fellow in the apartment across the way."

But this kind of idea is contrary to what the candidates want you to think about. They want you to panic, they need you to vote for them. If you are panicking and looking across the nation, and the world, you will want "change" which is the platform both candidates are running on. Different types of change, but change nonetheless.

Reynolds continues, "Politicians generally think every election is the most important of our lifetime, because for them it is." This election is not necessarily more important for my day to day life than any other before it, but I do have a duty to vote my values and conscience for a candidate.

Hopefully, I will vote without fear or dread, but instead with my Christian worldview.

According to Reynolds, the traditional Christian votes "that government will protect our right to life, our absolute liberty to do good deeds, and our pursuit of happiness."

"Government cannot create real rights, such as life, goodness, or happiness, so most traditional Christians wish government to have a restricted role. We want government that defends God-given rights, not government that is god."

This standard makes both candidates seem like socialists, on the one hand we have a man who would (if he could) redistribute all wealth. On the other, the candidate wants to bail out companies responsible for the "recession" we are (and here is where we panic) inevitably in and will be in for years. They both want government which is too big for me.

But the choice is not hard. I will let Reynolds sum up:

"Only one team will protect innocent human life at all stages of development, and only one even pretends to limit the scope and power of government. Only one team lacks messianic pretense, so dangerous in this time. Both teams have promise, but only one has the humility to limit their promises."

"As a result, based on my hopes and not my fears, based on optimism and not anger, I will be voting for Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin."

Yes, I will be voting McCain, Palin!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Independents should vote for McCain

I believe Independents should vote for McCain. A few good reasons for this can be found here.

Socialism abounds

I am astounded by how much both Candidates seem to be pushing socialist policies. When we take from some to give to others this is a socialist ideal. There are three main problems with socialism.

First, it teaches those who work they will not be benefited by working hard. Why work hard if the things you work for will be taken from you.

Second, it teaches those who do not work they do not need to work because someone (govt.) will bail them out. Again, why work hard if you can be dependent and get everything you need.

Third, this takes away the job of the church. The church is called to take care of the poor. You can't be generous, or charitable, if you are compelled. The govt cannot be charitable... it is a contradiction in terms.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When I "went green" I signed up for this?!?...

C. Michael Patton captures my thoughts on the "green" movement perfectly on his blog. He (like I) does not have a problem with helping the environment, in fact it is one of the duties of a Christian to be a good steward of the environment...

But the "green" movement seems to come with some other baggage...

He writes:

"I think that it is important to distinguish here the difference between “going green” and a biblically based concern for the stewardship of God’s creation. In my mind, “going green” has massive political overtones that not only speak to a concern for the environment, but a prioritized concern for the environment that highlights many “green” issues to the neglect of those that are much more important."

This is my concern exactly. To be an environmentalist it seems you must neglect human beings. Greenies seem to be for abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and an overall neglect for human needs. This seems to be because they think we are raping the environment or something, that we should go back to our natural roots. Well, as Greg Koukl of STR says, "The difference between “just doing what comes naturally” and principled self-restraint is called civilization." I will take civilization any day over what comes naturally.

We also tend to forget, as Christians, where we fall in this creation of God. We are the creation made is His image. We are His most beautiful creation. Saving a penguin is nice, but not at the expense of a Human. Saving a tree is good, but not at the expense of a human.

When someone asks me to think of the most beautiful thing in the world I usually think of an area untouched by man. However, I hope I never forget that when man creates he is reflecting part of God. This is part of how we are made in God's image. When we create we glorify God. This does not mean every creation we make is good, but the process of creating is good. If you don't believe me go see the work of a master artist or architect. A master creates something in harmony with its surroundings. A master enhances the beauty already there. (I hear maybe the best example of this is Michelangelo's David. I hope to see it some day.)

We should preserve the beauty of our environment, but don't forget the hierarchy. Man is God's greatest creation on this planet, don't go green, become a steward.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Legislation to oppose

Here is california new legislation is being considered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bill is AB 2567. This bill would make May 22nd Harvey Milk Day. Harvey Milk will be honored in schools every May 22nd. Who is Harvey Milk you might ask? Wikipedia describes Milk as "an American politician who was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States, as a city supervisor in San Francisco." Milk was open about his homosexuality and the fact he considered religion to be dangerous.

If the legislation is passed the bill calls for Milk to be honored by exercises recognizing his accomplishments. The wording is vague enough to not limit these exercises as well. This is a direct attack on Family Values and would further indoctrinate our children sexually.

If you would like to oppose this legislation call 916-445-2841... then press 1 for English, and then 2 to voice your opinion. At this point the bill AB 2567 will come up under option 1... press 1, then press 2 to oppose this legislation.

Remember 1-2-1-2

Recommended Book

I have been reading Herbert Schlossberg's Idols for Destruction recently. I cannot recommend this book too much. This book is by far the best treatment of our American culture and the idols we worship through our assumption of ideas against God's word. Schlossberg is unparalleled in his analysis and ability to cut through our untried worldview assumptions. If you want to engage our culture thoughtfully and be able to impact the people in it the best way is to take away the unmentioned ideas at the heart of their worldview. This in turn will change their behavior by necessarily, and Schlossberg cuts right to the heart of the matter. Idols for Destruction is a must.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My reasons for my vote

I am not registered to any party the last time I checked. As a Christian, I don't feel I should affiliate myself to anything but God's party. I am no theocrat, but I do serve a King.

That being said, I do find myself consistently voting for one party over another. (Although I have voted Dem in the past, the Pubs do grab my vote probably 80-85% of the time.) After a lot of thought I think I have the words to defend my reasons for voting this way so consistently.

The number one reason I vote this way is I believe in wedge issues. Both parties seem to agree on so much, but there are a couple issues which are clear cut.

For example, although Democrats are commonly pointed to as the party which 'cares for the poor' I personally do not know one Republican who says they think we shouldn't care for the poor, they just disagree on the means, not the ends. Both parties believe the poor should be taken care of, but one party believes this should be done by bigger government, while the other believes people should have the opportunity to do so as private citizens. The disagreement is in the how, not the what.

This seems to be the case for many issues. Poverty, economics, defense, foreign policy, crime, and on and on seems to be issues along this line. There is agreement about what needs to be done, but not how to do it. Because of this, on these issues, at least both sides are trying for the same goal, and even if I don't agree with their idea of how the things should be run I can still be confident they will try and not take the issue lightly.

However, wedge issues cannot fall into this category. These are issues such as abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and so on. In cases like these the disagreements is not only on the means, but also the ends! Democrats consistently posit for the "right for a woman to choose" while Republicans as a party consistently denounce abortion. There is disagreement on the what, as well as the how!

Because of this I cannot in good conscience vote for many Dems. Instead I will use the clear cut issues to determine my vote.

This election my vote goes for McCain-Palin.


I can now post again. I am now working again and this means I have Internet access. Hopefully I can get back into the habit.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I will be back

Sorry about not posting for a while, we have recently bought a home and do not have the internet yet. We should have it up and running soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

On ad hominem

There is something peculiar about truth... it is true no matter what. Truth from any source is still true.

In this, the election year, you will probably hear many attacks against the candidates character. Although these kind of things can help to establish patterns (like honesty, or overall laziness), they cannot however speak to the truth the candidates might be speaking.

For example, assuming base 10, 2 + 2 = 4 all the time. Not just some of the time; not most of the time, but all the time. If we speak to someone from my church and they say the answer is 4, this is correct the same way if we speak to someone from a mental asylum or a math genius and they say it is 4. Who the person is has no bearing on the truthfulness of the answer.

This can mean a lot to Christians. We need to evaluate things for the truth they correspond to. To attack some one's character instead of the merits of their argument is called the ad hominem attack.

Christians love to make ad hominem attacks because, I believe, it helps us to quickly resolve what we think about an issue. In this way we do not need to do the hard work of evaluating truth, instead we will measure character.

As Christ said he is the truth, we also should be striving to seek truth, and stand for truth. John 18:37 states Jesus came to "testify to the truth." This should be the goal of our lives. A Christian has no real room for the ad hominem.