Monday, February 17, 2014
Those of you who are political junkies like me may appreciate this short analysis of America's dangerous devotion to Executive power. I think that we can all agree that our political system has been corrupted by an out-of-control unchecked Executive that has moved so very far from the limited powers and modest goals that our Framers gave us in 1787.
Like Israel of old we have cried for a King and our oligarchy was more than willing to give us one. Do you remember the story in 1 Samuel 8 where the people come to an aged and worn out Samuel and asked for a King?...They told Samuel they wanted to be like the other nations.
God then spoke to the people through Samuel that a king is going to be expensive - both financially and in terms of lost freedom, yet, in spite of all these warnings straight from God, the people still wanted a king.
For some reason, it seems that the Israelites were oblivious to the price of having a king. God warned them that a king would be costly both in goods and in freedom. Government is a very expensive item: you must pay for the bureaucrats who are always very wasteful, and you must give up the freedom to make your own choices, which is also very wasteful of human initiative and talent.
God also pointed out that there is a point of no return on having a king. There will come a time, God says in vs. 18, when you will "cry out for relief from the king." But it will be too late.
I see a parallel in Israel's history and ours. Our Framers placed great emphasis on the limitations of governmental power. They gave us three branches of government so the one branch could check the power of the other branch. When this equilibrium is off balance a monster will arise...an untamed monster that will usurp power and consolidate control over the masses.
Over the decades our Congress has abdicated its power to the Executive branch. We see this in granting the Executive branch the almost unlimited power of decree, called Executive action. The On Line Debate Network gives a nice review of Executive action as follows:
Within the Constitution, no implicit language allows the president to issue executive orders which have the same force as law, yet which are not approved by any of the other two branches, and which are intended to be implemented by the bureaucratic agencies of the executive branch. All legislative powers are granted to Congress and Congress alone, as stated in Article I, Clause 1: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States...." Presidents have claimed that executive orders are an inherent right, and are loosely associated with the president's duties and his task of ensuring that laws are faithfully executed. Historical examples of Executive Orders include Executive Order 9066 by FDR which paved the way for Japanese Internment during WWII. More recently, the Kosovo War in 1999 was initiated through an Executive Order. Even more recently, President Bush issued what is known as Executive Directive 51 which stated that during an event of a "catastrophic emergency" (which would be declared by the president), an "Enduring Constitutional Government" consisting of the executive, legislative and judicial branch will overtake the country's regular government, and will be directed by the Executive Branch (in spite of the Constitution's clear language of the separation of powers in which no branch rules over the others).
So, are these actions a legitimate form of authority by presidents, or are they extraconstitutional measures? http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php/22988-Have-Presidents-Overstepped-Their-Constitutional-Powers
The American people have been duped which has given rise to this usurpation of power. The romanticiztion of the presidency is certainly the fault of the American people. The American people have been duped into believing the the President can solve all national problems from poverty, to homelessness, to low test scores, to getting rid of teenage acne.
Pay careful attention to the rhetoric and promises in the up-coming Presidential run in 2016. You would think that a messiah was speaking, a savior, some sort of grand wizard, who with the wave of his wand could cure all of societal ills. They present themselves to the American people as gods...remember the "audacity of hope message from our now presidential savior?
In 1956 prominent political scientist Clinton Rossiter published the American Presidency; in which Rossiter noted approvingly that the public had come to view the president as " a combination of scoutmaster, Delphic oracle, hero of the silver screen, and the father of the multitudes.
Rossiter in his book gives us a vision of the president that is superhuman...as Gene Healey describes in his book, The Cult of the Presidency he gives Rossiter's take on the presidency, "He's our guardian angel, our shield against harm. He's America's shrink and social worker and out national talk-show host, Hes a guide for the perplexed, a friend to the downtrodden---and he's also the supreme warlord of the Earth."
It is this view of the Executive branch that has created a clear and present danger to our Republic. It is really not unlike the Emperors in ancient Rome. When the Emperor in Rome spoke his decree was the law of the land, the wave of his hand was right and not to be questioned. Those who spoke out against the Emperor found themselves in a not so nice Colosseum.
Monday, July 15, 2013
How many can remember the days of Walter Cronkite who was the anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years? During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s it was said "Cronkite was the most trusted man in America."
Or does anyone recall NBC airing the Huntley-Brinkley Report? This was NBC television network's flagship evening news program from October 29, 1956, until July 31, 1970. It seems that in the not too distant past we had a sense of honesty and integrity in the field of journalism. So as not to get too nostalgic on my readers, I admit that the Cronkite's and the Huntley/Brinkley's of the then news world certainly had their own personal political ideologies, and yes, even then they leaned to the left of center.
I'm struck with the course that journalism has taken over the last four decades. Old school reporting of the news was just that, it was reporting, it had integrity, and the American people could trust what was being said by these by-gone journalists of yesteryear. So what happened? Why the shift? Why has news reporting by the MSM become a running narrative that seeks to promote a humanistic, progressive/secularist agenda?
Let me say that I'm not dealing with news covering events that get rating; we always had that, I'm not dealing with the news being sensationalistic, we always had that; what I'm talking about is outright lies, misinformation, and reporting that has been completely and totally hi-jacked by a far left ideology. We have in our MSM a far left, politically driven, humanistic world view that comes out in their selective outrage of current events to the point of ad-nauseam.
This can best be seen in the the way that the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman reporting was handled from the very beginning when the story first broke. Now keep in mind that part of the political agenda is to promote racism and keep alive the sentiment that racism is alive and well in America. The story line is that the European White man is still bent on oppressing and subjugating the black man. The story line goes on to relieve the African American community from any responsibility for their own short comings as to the break down of their family unit, crime, school drop out rate, and their having the highest incarceration rate as measured against their minority status.
Let's take a brief walk down the time-line of the Zimmerman/Martin case that highlights this insidious evil that is inherent in the reporting of news by our MSM:
February 26, 2012 - George Zimmerman Shoots and Kills Trayvon Martin
Zimmerman claims self-defense. After an investigation, the police agree and decide not to press charges.
March 8, 2012 - The AP Falsely Describes Zimmerman as "White"
The story of the grieving parents of Trayvon Martin demanding Zimmerman be arrested first achieves national attention on March 8 when CBS This Morning runs a report.
Later that same day, the Associated Press throws the first log on the racial fire by inaccurately describing Zimmerman as White.
March 13, 2012 - ABC News Reporter Claims Trayvon Shot Because "He Was Black"
About ten days before Al Sharpton and President Obama would launch the Zimmerman story into the stratosphere, Matt Gutman, an ABC News correspondent based in Miami, Florida, was already (and without a shred of evidence) laying the track for a racial narrative.
Gutman covered the case for the network, and in his Tweeter feed he claimed Trayvon was shot "bc [because] he was black."
Gutman would also recklessly accuse Zimmerman of "stalking" and shooting down Trayvon.
March 22, 2012 - Zimmerman Described as a "White Hispanic" by The New York Times
Just in the nick of time, before the story was engineered to explode the very next day with the Sharpton rally, The New York Times put its Stamp of Approval on the term "white Hispanic."
March 21, 2012 - CNN Falsely Accuses Zimmerman of Saying "F**king Coon"
Knowing full well the phony racial storm brewing around the Zimmerman case was about to have gasoline thrown on it the next day, CNN went to extraordinary lengths to claim Zimmerman had uttered the racial slur "coon" when he had not.
CNN wouldn't officially retract their defamation until April 5th, long after it was too late.
March 27, 2012 - NBC News Edits 911 Audio to Make Zimmerman Look Racist
On the storied Today Show, NBC News told America Zimmerman said this on the 911 call.
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.When the truth is that the unedited audio actually went like this:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
Eventually, several NBC producers would be fired (without being named), and Zimmerman would file a lawsuit against NBC; it remains unresolved.
March 28, 2012 - ABC News Falsely Claims Zimmerman Wasn't Injured Night of Shooting
The day after NBC News released its falsified 911 bombshell, ABC News released a phony, hyped-up story of its own. Using grainy surveillance video of Zimmerman at the police station on the night of the shooting, ABC News claimed, "A police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman."
Obviously, if true, this would go a long way towards proving Zimmerman was not in fear of his life the night of the shooting and had lied about being beaten up.
The only problem is that the ABC News story was not true -- not even close. The network didn't bother to enhance the video before breaking the news. Had they, Zimmerman's bloody head would have been quite evident.
It would take four days for ABC to retract its falsehood.
March 28, 2012 - Boston Globe Falsely Describes Zimmerman as White
By late March it was widely known that George Zimmerman was Hispanic. This did not stop the Boston Globe from using its pages to describe him as "a White neighborhood watch captain."
This error has never been corrected.
Even though Zimmerman is Hispanic and there was no evidence of any racial motivation behind his actions, the media's racial-hysteria was, at this point, in full bloom. To try and tamp things down, Joe Oliver, a black reporter who had worked with CNN and an Orlando television station, started doing the national media interview rounds to speak on behalf of his friend, George Zimmerman.
The counterattack in the media (CNN, New York Times, and MSNBC, among others) was exceptionally vicious, personal, and effective.
Oliver went away.
April 1, 2012 - The New York Times Maliciously Edits Zimmerman's 911 Call
Although the NBC News malicious edit of Zimmerman's 911 call broadcast on the Today Show had already been loudly and publicly debunked, days later the New York Times did the same thing on its front page.
By rearranging the words of the call, the Times falsely made it look as though Zimmerman had profiled Trayvon as black:
Here is the 911 call transcript:
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.
911 DISPATCHER: Okay. And this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?
ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.
And here is what the Times reported:
“Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood,” Mr. Zimmerman said to start the conversation with the dispatcher. “And there’s a real suspicious guy.”
This guy seemed to be up to no good; like he was on drugs or something; in a gray hoodie. Asked to describe him further, he said, “He looks black.”The print edition of the story was even worse than the online edition.
April 9, 2012 - PBS Anchor Gwen Ifill Describes Zimmerman as "White"
Desperate to keep a non-existent racial narrative alive, during a broadcast of the PBS Newshour Gwen Ifill falsely stated:
Martin, who was black, was on his way to a convenience store in a mostly white gated community when George Zimmerman, who is white, shot and killed him after a disputed altercation.Note Ifill's reporting of Zimmerman's gated community. The condos in Zimmerman's neighborhood sell for about $120,000.
The time line is credited to John Nolte. Some of the above time line was personally edited by me and some of the timeline was left out. For the unedited version and full time line you can go to: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/07/13/Media-Zimmerman-Coverage-Rap-Sheet
Monday, December 17, 2012
I would like to add a voice to the Tragedy that came upon the small quiet community of Newtown Connecticut on December 14, 2012. So many questions arise after such a painful event: Why does a good God allow such things to happen? How do these families go on from here? How can schools and society prevent this senseless violence in the future? How do we as a society intervene with those who are showing signs of "mental illness?"
I'd like to zero in on one aspect of the myriad of questions that has arisen: that of the nature of man. I'd like to look at the nature of man; from a theological perspective, which is another way of saying from God's perspective. We can't understand the nature of man unless we examine his nature from the perspective of the creator.
Let's lay out the foundation for this position. Man is a created being, he did not evolve nor is he continuing to evolve. The declaration in Genesis 1:26-27 is that man is created, and carries all kinds of implications as opposed to man being a product of chance (evolution). Here is the foundational text for man being a created being:
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
In the New Testament the gospel of Matthew records the words of Jesus our Lord confirming this teaching in the Old Testament:
"Haven't you read," He replied, "that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female"
Adam and Eve were created innocent and had direct communion with their creator, but after they had disobeyed God; now for the first time they hid from God, trying to avoid God cf. "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden Genesis 3:8.
Why did they hide from God? The gospel of John tells us why both Adam and Eve hid from God cf. "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" John 3:20.
This is the problem with man. Man hides from his creator; because of a conscience that convicts and condemns. Man has fallen out of fellowship or relationship with his creator. Man is out of harmony with his God and with his fellowman.
So how do we understand Adam Lanza? We must see a human being that was not in fellowship with his creator and as a result he was disjointed and out of harmony with his fellowman. Now we know that there were many contributing factors that feed into this already dysfunctional way of living (out of fellowship with God), and they are starting to come out only a few days after the shooting. But keep in mind that all of these other factors are peripheral and ancillary when we understand that the root problem of man is that he has lost his way and lives in spiritual darkness. So the violent games, movies, bad family life (divorce), being social withdrawn, and even depression or as modern psychiatry calls it mental illness are all secondary to the real problem of man being out of relationship with his creator.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
While I realize that the United States of America is not a theocracy; however, we are most definitely a country that was founded on a natural law. I don't think that there would be too much debate that our country has been drifting steadily toward a deadening moral decay.
The other day I read this report by the CDC: "More than 40 percent of all babies born in the country last year, the report said, were born to unmarried women." http://cnsnews.com/news/article/cdc-us-birth-rate-hits-all-time-low-407-babies-born-unmarried-women
While there are many social and moral harbingers that our country is on a moral downgrade I think that this one statistic stands out. You might be tempted to ask why? out of all the signs of moral decay, why this one?
Personally I've worked with youth and have witnessed first hand the pain and anguish of young boys who grow up without a father in their lives. God's blueprint for the family is found in the first book of the Bible and gives us his plan for the building block of society, and it is the family, one man and one women.
I've always said, "as the family unit goes, so society goes." There is nothing that the government can do through legislation or policy to fix the breakdown of the American family. Think about the moral decay and the debauchery of those in congress; just the other day it came out that CIA Director David Patraeus was caught up in a scandalous adulteress affair that most likely has compromised U.S. security.
The question to be asked is, can congress legislate morality? the short answer is no. We tried that through the moral majority movement in the 1980's and found out that morality goes deeper than a piece of paper signed by members of congress and the executive branch of government.
However, I do believe that the government has a role to play in passing laws and upholding justice, but the revolution of society will always and only start with the family unit. The role of the government will be for another post.
So what is the hope for a country that is on the path of falling off the moral cliff? what is the answer for our moral decay? I believe that the answer is spiritual. I believe that only the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob has the answers to our countries continued moral decay.
The great Apostle Paul gives us the answer in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where he writes, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature....We need new creations, we need the power of the gospel to transform and bring radical change to the heart of man. No government proclamation can change the heart of a man, no human institution can make a man a new creature, but the Gospel is the power of God that leads to salvation Romans 1:16.
There is a spiritual deadness in our land! wake up America, and look to the God of all creation, His hand is not shortened that it can't save nor his ear dull that he will not hear cf. Isaiah 59:1.
Christian's we need to humble our hearts before God and realize that only he can set man free from spiritual bondage. We as the body of Christ must see the real problem as the fall---which is disobedience to God. We must remain the sign posts that point society to the cross, we must point others to the Lamb of God who died to take away the sins of the world.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Thoughts on today's election results:
We are truly a divided country, and we are divided over political ideology and worldview. There is no government that can be all things to all people; the United States is the most eclectic country in the world.
We as a country are doomed to failure when the government tries to sell itself by offering promises to the people. When a government becomes the genie who hands out treats and goodies to the masses, the masses become then a perpetual voting group for the party who can dole out the most freebies.
The farther down this slippery slope we travel the closer we get to accepting a government that will rule, not according to constitutional law, but by tyranny. The voice was loud and clear when our Founding Fathers warned that there is a price to liberty. The price of liberty is that we as a people hold our elected representatives’ to govern by the rule of law (our constitution).
We are heading very fast toward the fiscal cliff, where the burden of supporting our spending will sink the whole ship. In the wisdom of Ludwig Von Mises, The idea that political freedom can be preserved in the absence of economic freedom, and vice versa, is an illusion. Political freedom is the corollary of economic freedom." We must right, the ship and get our fiscal house in order.
The moral issues facing our nation will be for another post.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Continuing with the theme of Bonhoeffer---what an excellent topic for today, where does authority come from? Listen to Bonhoeffer (p. 141).
The difference between real leadership an the false leadership of the Leader was this: real leadership derived its authority from God, the source of all goodness. Thus parents have a legitimate authority because they are submitted to the legitimate authority of a good God. But the authority of the Fuhrer was submitted to nothing. It was self-derived and autocratic and therefore had a messianic aspect.
Note: This was part of a radio address that Bonhoeffer gave on January 30, 1933 when Adolf Hitler become the democratically elected chancellor of Germany.
The speech was titled " The Younger Generations Altered Concept of Leadership." The speech dealt with the fundamental problems of leadership by a Fuhrer (der Fuhrer in German "the leader), explaining how such a leader inevitable becomes an idol and a "mis-leader.
Before Bonhoeffer could finish his speech it was cut off. This was the beginning of the resistance to Hitlers Third Reich. In the end it would cost Bonhoeffer his life.
Monday, August 27, 2012
I've been reading Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. I'm on page 81 of a book that has over 500 pages.
There has been many things that have moved me and inspired me in the 80 pages that I've taken in, but today I'd like to share some of the remarkable character traits that Eric Metaxas has gleaned from Bonhoeffer's family friends, and college professors.
Now keep in mind that these character traits that I'd like to share were ascribed to Bonhoeffer when he was still just a teenager or a very young man. Bonhoeffer received his doctorate degree in theology at the age of 21. He had already decided to become a theologian as a young teen, but if you read the book you will find that God began to give Bonhoeffer a pastoral heart and eventually he went into the pastorate.
Listed below are just a few of the character traits that were used to describe a young precoucius Bonhoeffer:
1. A fellow member of the Igel-pronounced eagle-means hedgehog (this was Bonhoeffer's fraternity), described him as secure and self-confident, not vain and able to handle criticism.
2. Emmi Bonhoeffer describes her brother as "not being able to stand empty talk" now this was the description of a 13 year old boy.\
3. A fellow student at Berlin's school of theology Helmuth Goes describes Bonhoeffer as a free, critical and independent theological thinker. Helmuth tells how Bonhoeffer would go up against the then living legend of the theology department Adolph von Harnack---Helmuth says, " I had the experience of hearing a young fair-haired student contradict the revered historian his Exellency von Harnack, contradict him politely but clearly on positive theological grounds. Harnack answered, but the student [Bonhoeffer] contradicted again and again."
4. Eric Metaxas describes Bonhoeffer as having an "open intelligence" which allowed him to think and understand the liberal historical critical method, but maintain a more orthodox position. Metaxas notes that because of Bonhoeffer's self-critical intellectual integrity and confidence he could sometimes come off as being arrogant.
5. Metaxas tells us that many who knew Bonhoeffer described him as having a bit of distance between himself and others, some even described him as being aloof. He was described as unquestionably intense and always measured in his dealings with others. He never took others lightly, even if they took themselves lightly.
6. When Bonhoeffer went to Barcelona to take a job as an assistant pastor he was struck with the huge cultural difference from the prestigious academia of Berlin university. Bonhoeffer was shocked to see such an intellectual dullness and such a languorous atmosphere that pushed hard against Bonhoeffer's hyperactive mind and personality. But Bonhoeffer knew that he must enter the lives and, to some extent, the lifestyles of the people he was charged with serving.
I thought that this was worth sharing with you today---it is always a good thing to put strong character traits out in front of us and then pursue them with great vigor.
I'd encourage you to get the book and read of a man that died at such a young age (39) by the evil Nazi regime. Bonhoeffer's life could certainly go in the Hebrews hall of faith chapter.