Monday, October 25, 2004

Convenient Christianity

The man amazes me. That's all there is to it. John F. Kerry amazes me. If nothing else, he sure has been entertaining through this election cycle. This article on the "Faith of Kerry" is reason enough to kick this man in the head and throw him back to the slime hole from which he emerged (I don't necessarily mean Massachusetts, but if you want to consider a state which is home to the two most liberal senators in the country a slime hole, feel free...)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry said a broad vision of social justice, including care for the poor and those without health insurance, is at the root of his religion and would guide his presidency. The Massachusetts senator sought to win over remaining undecided voters with a speech that advisers said would explore "his sense of faith" and how it would affect his decision-making process as president. He cited Matthew 25:40 "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me" and said Jesus' admonition should determine the moral obligation everyone in society has to each other.

"The ethical test of a good society is how it treats its most vulnerable members," he said, arguing that the government has an obligation to protect the environment, fight AIDS, reduce poverty and defeat terrorism. He did not give a moral defense of his pro-choice stance on abortion and his support for embryonic stem-cell research, but he acknowledged the contentious debate within the Catholic Church about his public role in these matters. "I love my church, I respect the bishops, but I respectfully disagree," Mr. Kerry said, to one of the wildest ovations of the speech. "My task, as I see it ... is not to write every doctrine into law. That is not possible or right in a pluralistic society," he said. "But my faith does give me values to live by and apply to the decisions I make." Afterward, audience member Jeff Schuster said the applause reflected the audience's belief that Republicans don't have a lock on Christianity. "The church isn't right on every decision, and a lot of people respectfully disagree," said Mr. Schuster, 43.

President Bush has been clear on the role of his Protestant Christian faith in guiding him, saying in the third presidential debate that "prayer and religion sustain me." Mr. Kerry has been more reluctant to talk about his religious practice, yesterday talking about prayer as something he learned as a child and practiced as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam. If elected, Mr. Kerry would be only the second Catholic president in the history of this nation of 60 million to 65 million Catholics. The only Catholic president of the United States to date was John F. Kennedy.

Despite the candidate's solemn approach to his speech yesterday, the audience of about 2,000 people treated it as more of a rally, at one point interrupting Mr. Kerry's call for prayers for whoever wins the election with chants of "No more Bush." It was partly a reiteration of his Democratic National Convention speech about how he learned his values while fighting in Vietnam, and partly the themes from his standard campaign speech, with Biblical verses added.

At less than 30 minutes, the speech was far shorter than most of his major speeches or even his standard remarks at rallies, and several Republicans said it didn't live up to its billing.

"Senator Kerry managed to give 'a major speech on faith and values' today without mentioning either one in any detail," said Republicans Reps. Eric Cantor of Virginia, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Jim Ryun of Kansas. "John Kerry himself has quoted Scripture and pointed out that 'faith without works is dead.' The same can be said about empty political speeches about faith and values that ignore a 20-year record of voting against both in the United States Senate," said the three congressmen, who are Jewish (Mr. Cantor), Catholic (Mr. Diaz-Balart) and Protestant (Mr. Ryun). And Massachusetts state Rep. Brian Golden, a Democrat and a Catholic, said in a statement that Mr. Kerry's record of opposing a ban on partial-birth abortion matters most.

During yesterday's speech, Mr. Kerry was interrupted by a man who shouted, "End the war, end the war, John." "It's a very legitimate concern, and it's a part of faith," Mr. Kerry responded. "What that cry about the war means to me , what all the complaints we hear from people mean to me, is that you have to hold and have a vision of society that is concerned about the common good, where individual rights and freedoms are connected to our responsibility to others."

Campaign adviser Mike McCurry said Mr. Kerry's decision to talk about his religion so late in the campaign was aimed at voters just tuning in now. "The question that many of those who are still undecided are asking is, 'Can I put my faith in John Kerry the person?' and I think helping make that decision by giving them a sense of who he is personally is very important at this stage of the campaign," Mr. McCurry said.

Before the speech, Mr. Kerry attended Mount Hermon African Methodist Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where Pastor John F. White said God's work will be done through voters' selecting Mr. Kerry, as it was through Moses' leading the Israelites out of Egypt. "There's one who can divide the Red Sea for us and we can cross over to dry ground," Mr. White said. Mr. Kerry pointed to a list of 10 "Christian principles in an election year" created by the National Council of Churches USA (NCC), printed on the back of Mount Hermon's worship program, which the council said Christian voters are to keep in mind.

The first principle was that "war is contrary to the will of God," and it went on to call on politicians to "reject policies that abandon large segments of our inner city and rural populations to hopelessness." The NCC list did not mention abortion or marriage, and a statement on the group's Web site said that was deliberate because there wasn't agreement on those issues.

Mr. Kerry attended Mass on Saturday at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Anthony, N.M., taking Holy Communion, though he may have violated the fasting period that Catholic teaching requires before receiving it. Reporters traveling with Mr. Kerry said he appeared to be munching chips and salsa and drinking iced tea throughout his stop at the Red Rooster Cafe, which he left five minutes before the beginning of the 6 p.m. Mass. He took Communion 50 minutes later, at about 6:45 p.m.

Catholic canon law says that those who are to receive Communion must "abstain from any food or drink, with the exception only of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion." This rule actually relaxed the requirements from when Mr. Kerry was an altar boy. Overnight fasting was required then.

Why is is that liberal Christians think they can pick and choose the rules that they think ought to be followed while throwing away the rest? Do they honestly believe that they can get away with 'turning a blind eye' and just forgetting the evils of abortion? Gay marriage? How do they arrive at the conclussions they arrive at?

"War is contrary to the will of God!" According to what part of the Bible? Ecclesiastes 3:8 says "a time for war a time for peace." In the book of Matthew, Jesus says, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass." Again in Mark, "And when ye hear of wars be not troubled, for these things need to be." War is a biblical necessity. I am not saying that frivolous war is a need, but then again, we aren't talking about frivolous war, are we?

How does one focus on religion and not address abortion? In the book of Jeremiah, God says, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart" (1:5). Psalms 139:13 says that we are knit together with God while we are still in the womb. John Kerry says he believes abortion is wrong, yet he should not 'force his views on you.' Yet he then says "Faith without deeds is dead faith." You can't have it both ways, John. If you are a believer, your deeds must reflect this faith in the Lord. Allowing the further murder of unborn children goes against all the bible says. Genesis 9:1 says "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." Verse 7 continues, "multiply on the earth and increase in numbers upon it." Abortion disallows the multiplication of human life on this earth. It is wrong. It is immoral. It is against God's will. It is unchristian. Allowing it to continue is unchristian. Take a stand, John. If you can force your socialistic views on health care down my throat, you can surely stand up and speak out to stop the murder of innocent unborn children.

John Kerry "supports traditional marriage" yet he will not allow the government to define traditional marriage as such and protect it as an institution. This, again, is unchristian. "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders...will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The Bible refers to homosexuality as unnatural, "Women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion...Although they know God's righteous decree...They not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:26-32). Homosexuality is wrong. God says that approving of homosexuality is wrong. Faith without deeds is dead faith, John...Wake up and take a stand.

This sort of perversion of Christianity cannot be tolerated. I am not trying to be a preacher, but this needs to be said. If John Kerry is a Christian, then it is his duty above and beyond all other things to stand up and make your voice heard! If we can't trust him to stand up against things which go against his religion, something I consider to be instrumental in how I view/handle all things, how can we trust him to take a strong stand against terrorism? We need a President with firm resolve who will not be afraid of speaking out for what is right. Ending abortion is right. Protecting the institution of marriage is right. Being firm in resolve against terrorism is right. George W. Bush is right.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Naughty Blogger

I feel ike a naughty Catholic who's come back from hiatus, "Forgive me readers, for I have's been 16 days since my last post"
I'm feeling lethargic, have been all week, and, subsequently, I have no drive to write tonight either. I"m cold and tired and I miss home amongst other things...
Rather than force myself to create a post which i do not feel like creating, I'd like to share the essay I wrote for sociology class. It's a sort of overview of the so caled "Civil-Liberties Crisis in America." here you go...
Protecting Liberty

“How Liberty is Lost,” an article written by Amitai Etzioni and appearing in the July/August 2003 issue of Transaction, Social Science, and Modern Society, provides a brief examination and analysis of people’s perception of civil liberties in a democracy in the post 9/11 world by posing the question, “Under what conditions is democracy undermined?” This, he says, is a question which has been set aside for too long as we attempt to foster new democracies in nations formerly controlled by Communists. This examination is one seen often today as Americans seek to balance security with liberty and safety with freedom. In essence, one might say Etzioni attempts to provide a common ground for those concerned only with safety and security and those seeking to maintain freedom and liberty to meet together in order to achieve a common goal; providing a means by which we as a whole can be safe and secure while retaining the liberties and freedoms which define our way of life.
Etzioni begins by defining democracy, a seemingly easy task which is seldom successfully (where success is a correct definition) completed. Despite the fact that democracy, as a term, is so difficult to define, he ‘hits the nail on the head,’ so to speak, in pointing out quickly that democracy is not just “a nation that holds regular elections.” This is a particularly valid point as this aspect of democracy, while key is not the single defining aspect of democracy, if a single aspect can be deemed ‘most important.’ One need look no further to see this sort of ‘democracy’ than the former Baathist regime in Iraq, which held regular elections, yet only allowed one candidate to run. “Democracy,” he continues, “is taken to mean a polity in which there are regular institutionalized changes in power, in line with the preferences of the people, freely expressed…democracy is ensconced in a framework of rights that are not subject to majority rule.”
Next, Etzioni begins to examine one of the common arguments used by those fighting to retain the liberties of the people: the Slippery Slope Hypothesis. This, he explains, is the idea that government begins to trim rights at a time of great strife in the name of national security. Once this trimming begins, he says, it is only a matter of time before other rights and liberties are lost until eventually, the “institutional structure on which democracy rests tumbles down the slope with nobody able to stop it.” This is an argument often used in opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act, which was put into law following the events of 9/11 and allows law enforcement agencies to eliminate red tape which had previously prevented them from necessary resources to combat terrorism. Eliminating this tape, they argue, will lead to a country very much like that in the George Orwell novel 1984 which is a nation of people whose very thoughts are monitored and controlled by the sinister Big Brother. This, Etzioni explains, is said with the best of intentions, but is actually far more detrimental to the continuation of democracy than allowing the changes the government is attempting to initiate. He explains,
If one fears setting a foot on the slope because he may end up on his backside at the lower end of the slope, there is only one alternative—to remain frozen at the top, opposed to all changes… [Instead] one should be able to make notches in the slope. In other words, before setting foot on it, one needs to …clearly mark how far he is willing to go and what is unacceptable.
To further explain this anti-theory, that is, opposition to the “Slippery-Slope” idea, Etzioni uses the Weimar Republic of post-World War I Germany as a model. The reason, he says, Germany was so receptive to the charismatic leadership of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Regime is that the pre-Nazi government was non-receptive to the needs of the people. Economic hardship in post-war Germany left many needing government help. “Inaction,” Etzioni points out, “killed the Weimar Republic, not excessive action.”
Next, he applies a combination of his ‘anti-theory’ (as defined previously in this paper) and the “slippery-slope” theory to post-9/11 America stating that “we seek to asses whether the size of the challenge minus the impact of new measures will correlate with the extent to which the public will support a rights-based, constitutional democracy.” In other words, we must strive to reach a balance between the initial problem and the actions we take to resolve that problem. I suppose that this may be illustrated using the old saying “Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friends head;” the hatchet is, in effect, more harmful than the fly could ever be.
To me, Etzioni’s theory is a no-brainer which needs to be shouted from the rooftops until every single person in America recognizes that there is a real problem which needs to be dealt with. I, for one, am tired of the ‘slippery-slope’ argument and am glad that a writer finally had the nerve to say what needs to be said of this—if one is too fearful to take a single step, nothing remains but to stand idly by while the world around him falls apart.
Etzioni almost seems to suggest that the action taken by the Bush Administration and the Congress during the days immediately following 9/11 saved the country. He seems to suggest, without saying it in simple terms that had the Bush Administration waited to act, we would be worse off now than we actually are. This, I believe, is very true and a valuable point which we need to realize.
The model Etzioni used can, I believe, be applied to the ever-useless international body we know as the United Nations; they should seriously consider examining this model and applying it to themselves. As he suggested, the Weimar Republic become irrelevant and useless because of their unwillingness to act. To me, the extended promise of action is just as detrimental, if not more so, than inaction in itself. This, I believe, is why the Iraq War was so needed, but that’s another topic, for another essay.
Iraq, though, is not all the United Nations has been “inactive” in regards to. One can examine the situation in Darfer which has grown exponentially while the world waits for the United Nations to deliberate and argue over fine print. Continued delay of this sort will ultimately, I believe, bring about the end of the United Nations much as unwillingness to respond to the needs of its people brought about an end to the Weimar Republic.
Whether examining the Weimar Republic, looking at the response by the Bush Administration to the attacks on 9/11, reviewing the action taken by Congress in response to the public demand for increased security, which ultimately led to the creation of the USA PATRIOT Act, or attempting to save the United Nations by showing flaws in their responsiveness, one thing is certain—Etzioni is most certainly correct when he says it is the public’s responsibility to “assess whether the size of the challenge minus the impact of new measures will correlate with the extent to which the public will support a rights-based, constitutional democracy.” Ultimately, the power in a democracy lay with its people. This idea of social contract, which dates back to before our Declaration of Independence was even written, establishes the idea that we as people are born free and only sacrifice our liberty so that we may be well protected. When, as John Locke stated, government acts improperly against the freedoms sacrificed by the people, said government breaks its contract with the people thereby losing the consent of the governed. When this happens, said people are duty-bound to replace these people. This ideology is at the heart of democracy and is key to the continued survival of the free world.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

One More...

...Reason to vote for George Bush in '04. I took yesterday off to rest from the weekend from HELL I spent with the Ram Band (which I may get into later this week depending on time...), but I'm back now and ready to do a full dive into an article from yesterday's Washington Times. Here are some excerpts...
With up to three Supreme Court retirements expected in the next four years, the next president could play a huge role in tilting a court that is nearly evenly balanced "if any of his nominees can pass the Senate. "All reliable sources indicate that there will be between one and three retirements over the next four years, so everything we've seen happen for this first term for [President] Bush has been the warm-up round for the Supreme Court," said Sen. John Cornyn...
With the court divided nearly evenly, the next president probably will shape how the high court will handle key cases about the war on terror and the definition of marriage, which are winding through the lower courts. However, House Republicans have moved to strip the court of jurisdiction over marriage cases. Four years ago, during his campaign against Democrat Al Gore, Mr. Bush said if elected he would look for justices in the mold of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Republicans said they still expect that. "I don't think anything has changed. That's one thing about President Bush "whether you like him or not, he's steady," Mr. Cornyn said...
He said Mr. Bush's names show that he wants justices who will referee constitutional questions, not write new standards. "I think what he's referring to is he believes judges should not make political decisions or make policy from the bench, but rather determine whether decisions made by the political branches are lawful," Mr. Cornyn said...
"Kerry and his presidency won't be nearly as bold politically as the Bush White House and will probably move toward the Clinton model" to try to find someone who is moderate and progressive," Mr. Durbin said. Mr. Bush has run into a Democratic blockade on some of his most contentious nominees for the lower federal courts. Democrats initiated filibusters against 10 nominees. Mr. Bush made recess appointments for two of those nominees, and another, Miguel Estrada, the first nominee to face a filibuster, withdrew his name.
This is huge folks. We all know that Bush is the man to fight the War on Terror. We all know that Bush is the man that can and will (when reelected) lead us out of the economic hardships we were in. We all know that Bush is the man to finish the job in Iraq. We all know that Bush... ok I think I've made my point...but even more importantly then this, Bush could be the man to set the path for Constitutional interpretation for the next bajillion years. Just think about it--if all goes well, we (that is, the Republicans) will control the House, the White House, and we could very well control the Senate by a narrow margin following the elections in November. If we have control, Bush can push his nominees through. These nominees, for a change, will be slanted in OUR favor. This could be a defining moment in the moral stability of the United States. New Justices which carry morals and Christian standards can, for a change, protect the important balance between Church and State, rather than crying "separation of Church and State" every time somebody uses the word "God" in a public place. For the first time in 30+ years we could win a case or two to help protect the rights of the unborn through abortion cases. We can crack down on terrorists with tough judicial standards. We can uphold the sanctity of traditional marriage. This is huge folks. This could be our last chance to strengthen the moral fabric of this great Nation. If for no other reason than this, we MUST re-elect GWB.
I'll be back tonight or tomorrow. I've got a couple more things to get into (especially concerning the ever entertaining Sociology book I'm studying out of...). Until then...

Saturday, October 02, 2004


As much as I'd rather stay here and write, I am called to duty with the "RAM BAND"--oh boy.

We're touring through MD, PA, and NJ this weekend with the finale in Giants Stadium in the Meadow Lands just outside of New York. Hopefully this weekend flies by--then it's only three weekens of this crap before I'm done.

I'll be back with the news (or a post-tour wrap up) on Monday. Enjoy the weekend...