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Tuesday, April 28, 2015


The Orioles, worrying about their name in consideration of the nearby controvery over the Redskins, have decided to stop using the mascot since it insinuates a half-breed cross between an Afro-American and John Boehner.  Hereinafter there are three choices of the new label: Rampagers, Rumblers, or Donnybrookers.

            You know they could have stopped that looting dead in it’s tracks (pun intended) had the businessmen formed a militia.  In Colonial days, every town and county had a militia for defense and policing.  So if police can’t stop or are ordered not to stop the looters, a half dozen guys with shotguns standing in the doorway just might.

            And what makes this utterly ironic is that Baltimore was saved by a militia.  1814 in the aftermath of a hurricane, the world’s most powerful army and navy were about to overtake the city.  Sam Smith a tall, lanky, white haired colonel quickly organized a militia who pulled destroyed boats out to the mouth of the harbor.  It blocked the British fleet.  They bombarded Ft. McHenry from afar, but the fort held.  The British army was slogging through the mud.  McHenry repelled the main column and Baltimore’s militia repelled the lesser one.  A war protester aboard a British warship, begging for release of an 80-year-old doctor who had been pressed into service, was so stunned at the outcome, he wrote a poem that became our national anthem.  And Sam Smith became associated with a caricature known as Uncle Sam.

            Now they can’t even defend the drug store.  Now we have to understand teenage rage.  Now the police retreat and the mayor says she is giving the protesters room to destroy things.  Worse, this is happening in Maryland, the richest state in USA with median income of almost $80,000 a year.  It is happening in a city with mayor and city manager and police chief all of African descent.  All are liberals.  Shouldn’t this be workers paradise or non-workers paradise or whatever?  No income inequality allowed. Hope their businesses come back to rebuild.  Won’t blame them if they don’t. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015


            The “lobbying problem” starts with our First Amendment.  Amazingly, A1 is known to schoolchildren and most adults as the free speech amendment. But there are 6 rights spelled out in A1.  The phrase not to “abridging the right of free speech” is just one of them. The last two are, “or the right of people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” So get your shoes on and go to Washington to plead your case.  What? No time to do this? Join the club.  So your petitioning rights may be handed to the different organizations you belong to.  Your union, church, farm organization, environmental group, tax policy advocates, etc.  They have professionals, otherwise known as lobbyists or advocates, who spend time with lawmakers petitioning the government in your behalf.  To take away the lobbying rights or limit them violates the First Amendment.  Dictatorships have no lobbyists.
            Lobbyists do more and less than most people realize.  They not only sway with arguments and ply with charm.  They write a lot of our legislation.  Do you think Senator Foghorn writes his own 2700-page bills?  He has neither time nor inclination.  Instead, organizations that ally with him often hand him a bill and ask his authorship.  Not conforming to this model is how the Rep I work with got attention in our legislature.  He wrote a lot of his own bills. They were simple and common sense and they passed.  But while lobbyists have such power due to legislators who are busy with the public, they are also less than they seem.  Legislators often toss their messages in the trash can.  Have you ever gotten a loud email asking you to forward a pre-prepared message to your congressman?  And so you and 2000 others sent that same message to your Rep.  No doubt his staff gave him one copy and then rolling their eyes, deleted the rest of the forwards.  If you want to reach your Rep with communication, sit down and construct a thoughtful letter yourself.  Personally authored stuff gets the first attention.  Also the noise, brought by the news media, about corruption of lobbyists and legislators is often a lot of alarmist screech. The media wants to be sole or at least the main petitioner of government.  Lobbyists and lawmakers have strict rules about behavior and rarely do they transgress because the penalties involve prison.  Does anyone ever put the news media in prison for publishing/broadcasting false stuff?
            Bottom line: people who peaceably assemble in organizations to advocate for what they want are both necessary in a free society as are their lobbyists and the listening ear of elected officials. 
            Money in politics also gets a lot of trash talk.  Ever try to get yourself elected with no funds? It takes money and a lot of it to get the public’s attention.  At least half the public isn’t paying attention and can’t name the Vice President or their two Senators.  This is how a republic is designed to work despite a lot of bozo voters.  In a true democracy, every little decision requires a referendum and all voters must be highly informed lest a disastrous decision is voted.  But in a republic we trust our attention to governing to dedicated individuals we elect. It works somewhat; even at that we get Obamacare. Money buys attention and is equated to political speech by the Supreme Court.  The news media hates this.  They want to be the only source of information to steer your vote. 
            It takes a larger amount of money to do direct mail, newspaper/radio/tv ads, campaign signs, tours by the candidate with staff, and the staffing to win a large state-wide election.  It takes an average $1.2 million to win a congressional district and about $10 million to win a state election.  Chuckle point: Dems who pontificate against big money in politics have the 5 highest donors.  #6 is the Republican Koch brothers—who use about 10% of their funds to support moderate Democrats. 
            The problem isn’t that money has gotten into politics but politics has gotten into money. The feds spend almost $4 trillion each year, regulating businesses to favor some and clobber others into various political outcomes.  If your business organization doesn’t spend liberally, Big Government will start doing things to you that makes success doubtful or even puts you out of business.  Likewise other businesses try to buy favor and get government projects while disadvantaging competitors.  It’s a huge game.  If the game weren’t huge, it wouldn’t attract the money. The solution is to downsize government, not the economy.  Restrict government, not business.  And the influence of lobbyists will then decline.

Monday, April 20, 2015

All the problems of the world solved

You always hear people say they solved all the problems of the world but they never do that.  Let me give it a try.

1.Taxes and spending  84% of all income tax is paid by the upper 20% of income earners.  The Republicans don’t want any tax hikes and want spending cut.  The Democrats say the rich aren’t paying their fair share.  Solution: Cut spending 16% and then collect only taxes on the upper 20%.  In other words, just forgive all tax liabilities of the lower 80% but live within your means.  Then the upper 20% pay 100% of all taxes which is about all you can do to pay a fair share.  And spending will be cut 16% while taxes remain the same. 

Oh, did I mention a constitutional amendment not to raise tax rates would be required.  Sorry, we’d have to have this lest the 80% show up next year at the voting booths just to tell the 20% how much more they wanted and hold them hostage to pay it.  That’s called Peronism and it is why Argentina, once with a per-capita income about like USA’s prior to WW I is now third world.

On second thought, maybe we should go to something else like the fair tax.

2.Middle East  I see that over 1 million refugees, almost all Christians have been forced from their homes into refugee camps in the Middle East.  Meanwhile ISIS has a radical reign. WWPD—What would Patton do?  Here’s how to fix this.  Take over a country with not too much population by force.  Send in the Marines, crack heads and then round up all the Muslims.  Swap them for the Christians in the refugee camps.  “Well, we have to solve this refugee problem and give Christians a place to live.  Sorry for the inconvenience.”  Then the new Christian nation could get arms and aid to forever defend against the Islamists.  Libya would be a good target since it has nice oil reserves.  And then if the Muslims in the Middle East continue to persecute Christians we might need to take over another country and swap personnel once again. “You guys get the picture?  If you don’t mistreat Christians, we will leave you alone. Otherwise you keep losing territory.”   What if ISIS just starts beheading?  Demand the specific lives of the deceased.  If they protest that they are all dead, say, “We are coming in to verify. You had better move because you don’t want be be part of the parking lot we are going to create.”

3.Congress and Money  So everyone gripes about how so much money is required to run for office in Washington.  But then the Congress likes their power and ability to shake down.  Here’s a fix.  The reason it takes over $1 million to win a House seat is the TV, Radio, Newspaper, Direct mail ads.  Otherwise no one knows you are running.  Nowhere in the Constitution does it say there must be 435 in the US House.  There could be 2435.  So let’s do that.  Then each Rep represents a district of about 100,000.  In districts of this size, about the same as an OK Senator, one must campaign by handshaking and face-to-face retail politics.  With 2435 members, the House begins to look more like the variations in America.  It would take a new electronic field-house sized chamber and some new rules on debate time would have to be in place. Individual Reps don’t have that much authority to dole out favors.   

            And the Senate?  Repeal the 17th amendment.  Make Senators answer to their respective states.  Right now they all think of themselves as a House of Lords and dream vaingloriously of running for President.  But if state legislatures had them on a short leash and some Senator doesn’t vote the way the state wants he/she would be subject to recall.  So much for the Prima Donna stuff.  And so much for the hideously expensive senate races—they would be appointed by states.

4.Climate Change So Manmade Climate Change threatens to make our planet a couple degrees hotter?  The latest research on historic volcanic eruptions shows that minor volcano eruptions like Pinatubo in 1992 erased about 40 years of Global Warming for a year.  Others like Laki in 1783 made the world 5C degrees colder for half a dozen years and caused the cold weather crop failures that led to the mass starvation that caused riots and the French revolution.  (Tambora in 1815 made such a cold summer in New England it froze fruit on trees in mid-summer) So for all you folks who want global cooling, the solution is easy.  Just nuke a volcano with high potential for eruption of a lot of sulphur—instant global cooling.  And of course you could evacuate the population beforehand so the world would be less likely to have another Pompeii.

            On the other hand, maybe it would be better if we just bought a box fan.  

5.Obama sneaking in non-treaties or getting them passed by the UN  Oh, no problem.  If the UN thinks they can pass stuff to make USA obey then just have Congress pass a law that takes away all foreign aid for any country which votes to impose a resolution on America.  Also rescind the Visas of their diplomatic staff.  Of course the UN would then have to move their headquarters to Somalia or somewhere where the diplomats can’t get haute cuisine at NY restaurants or penthouses overlooking Central Park.

            And if the Prez decides he can just make a “non-treaty” and not run it by the Senate for approval?  Just refuse to vote on any of his appointees until he allows a vote on the treaty.  Or alternatively, tell him he has to leave the country the way the British did to James II who thought he could just pay no attention to Parliament’s laws and pass his own by executive action. 

See this isn’t so hard.

Sunday, April 19, 2015



My mother, Norma Zimmerman, passed away Saturday morning at almost 89 years of age.  Her death was sad yet joyous because of her strong Christian faith.  She was one of those women who was very intelligent and full of energy who nonetheless chose to be a stay-at-home farm wife rather than the many career paths she could have had.  But in so doing, she influenced a lot of things she would have otherwise had less chance to do. 

            The keen desire of any Christian parent is to see that their children catch the faith.  Mom taught Sunday schools and constantly taught me.  When I was 8 years old,  I had a very large dog named Boozer (Name is a long story).  Boozer was my best friend (Ask any 8 year old boy about his dog.) And one day the neighbnor blamed my dog for killing his sheep and demanded we kill the dog.  I was distraught.  My cool-headed dad had a plan, move the dog to my grandfather’s ranch 10 miles away and thus avoid our neighbor.  Still, it broke my heart. So Mom came to me and said, “All things work together for good for those who are in Christ”  That’s Romans 8:28.  And you may think this was an odd thing to say to an 8 year old lamenting his dog.  But the passage stuck in my head. 

            And indeed things did work out for good.  I could visit my loyal friend almost every day.  The dog became for my granddad what was surely the model for those “Hank, the Cow Dog” books yet to be written by some guy  in Texas.  Boozer was in charge of Ranch Security, killing snakes and varmints on an almost daily basis and bringing the milk cows home each night. Once my pre-school cousin, Kirk, was attacked by a cocky rooster.  Granddad saw it and simply said, “Sic ‘em, Booze!”  That dog took that rooster around the corner of the henhouse so fast—I didn’t know you could make a chicken go that fast—and he flew up into the catalpa tree and spent the rest of the day there in mortal fear. All things work together for good.

            As a single parent, I moved back home for a couple years with my parents with my daughter Paula.  Susan, my 14-year old sister and I used to complain a lot about there being nothing to do in Alta Vista, Kansas.  Which was true, but beside the point, my mother figured.  She told us to stop griping and throw a party, a barbecue, or whatever and have some friends over.  To our youthful amazement, it worked.  We began having parties that attracted not just he invitees but a lot of other kids with nothing to do.  One evening my buddies and I were munching down on some coconut crème pie.  One friend was in Culinary Arts.  “Who made the pie?”  My sister, I explained.  “Wow! She’s just 14?  I’m impressed!”  And then he began to tell about how you have to mix pie crust dough just right and roll it out gently.  If you roll it too much, you get shoe-leather pie crust.  All I could think about were the many sessions Susan had making pie under the critical eye of my mother.  So all things work together for good.  Ask Susan’s husband Brad what his favorite desert is.  And Susan still throws a party, only they are called “state conventions”.  She is president of Oklahoma LWML.

            When I was 6, Mom said, “Do you want to build a tree house?” I was thrilled.  So we found some scrap lumber.  I’’m sure it was a ‘plant’. And she sent me downtown for some nails.  I remember going into Houtz Hardware and asking for 25 cents worth of nails.  “Common or box?” Bill Houtz asked.  I was terrified over having to answer such a question, so I confessed that I was going to build a tree house.  “Oh, you’ll want common nails,” he said and sent me home with an enormous bag of nails that I could hardly carry.  Thus began a career of building tree houses all over a small town of 400 residents. I procured more scrap lumber where Bat Nelson was building his new house from the benevolent carpenters. I suppose I owe apologies to whoever is the tree trimmer in Alta Vista these days for all the nails left in old trees. Mom had been an interior design major in college.  After we moved out to the farm, the farmhouse got re-decorated and landscaping was added that must have made us the talk of the area.  Most farmers lived in humble shacks, with not much care given to appearance.  Not so with our house and farmstead.  We were somewhat of a showplace.

            So now I think of all the businesses we have done in Ponca City, the one that worked best was the lowly art of being a professional landlord and flipping properties.  But if you are taught a good design sense it pays.

            She was also a journalism major in college and she worked as the proofreader of the Manhattan Mercury.  By the way they still miss her skills at the Mercury.  When I was in grad school in Manhattan, the Mercury arrived one day with a big picture of the Editor receiving an award. It was captioned, “Mercury receives award for the best ewspaper in Kansas.”  At one point, she became editor of our small town newspaper, The Alta Vista Journal, for a short time.  But what I remember is the Editor-in-chief standing over me as a wrote for school.  She would take a critical eye.  “You have already said that before.  Take that sentence out.  And check the usage of this word.”  And I would complain, “But Mom, the teacher said our essay has to be 400 words, and now you have made it 200 words.”  “Good.  Now you can do more research and write more. Brevity is the soul of wit.”  I think of those sessions often as I write press releases and newspaper articles and letters for the successful state representative I work for.  Writing is a craft. You have to practice it a lot if you want to do it well, Mom would say.

            I’m not exactly sure how she wound up editing the Alta Vista paper for a spell.  We didn’t own the paper, but she wrote an editorial the previous year that shook the town.  Night lighting was being installed over the baseball field.  Now everyone could play night games.  Alll the people in town were congratulating themselves with this wonderful addition.  But the farm and ranch kids didn’t play little league ball.  They had chores to do.  So it was a benefit for the in-town folks.  Mom wrote a letter to the editor suggesting that the $2500 could have been spent so much better by putting storm windows on the drafty limestone school.  Indeed, classroom temperatures had dropped to 54F the previous winter.  This created a bit of revolution of protest amid the PTA. Parents came forward demanding to know why they had to dress their girls in corduroy pants under their skirts.  And why did kids have to study with coats on?  A fund drive for storm windows was started and the next year, we got our new school storm windows.  That year the editor of the paper also had some health problems.  Guess who was tapped for the job.

            No one was more organized than my mother.  She used to call me and ask something like, “What are you doing on August 8?”  I never knew what to say.  Did she mean next summer or the next calendar year?  I hadn‘t even planned tomorrow yet.  When she got sick, Susan took over her date book and sure enough, found that Dad had doctor appointments he needed to attend to in April.  She had made the appointments last fall. When she was so sick and could hardly talk he would bend over her so they were face to face to communicate.  One night in the nursing home, he had a bill in his pocket sticking out and she managed to pluck it out of his pocket despite her weakness.  “No Norma, that’s the bill for your hairdresser.  I have to pay it.” And he reached for the bill.  She pulled it away defiantly.  The Hispanic nurse standing next to me gave me a quizzical look.  “Oh just a German family,” I told her. “Wife pays all the bills.”  At which the nurse cracked a huge grin.  “We need to learn this,” she noted.  But in fact Mom was quite the accountant around our house.  Farming is a team sport. 

            Those are a few of the things that worked together for good.  But Romans 8:28 says not just ‘a few things’ or even ‘many things’  but “All things work together for good for those who are in Christ.”  God has all history in the palm of His hand.  History is His Story.  He will tell us His Story someday soon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Is this really funny?

            I guess Hillary announced.  Surprised? So if she gets elected what do we call Bill?  First man?  First philanderer? First horn dog?  I got an email announcing her running for Prez.  I wanted to treat it properly. So I deleted it.  Do you think I did this correctly?  Argus said she rented a two story building for her campaign headquarters.  Clinton’s always have two story headquarters.  One story for NY Times and another for a congressional investigation. Hill’s candidacy will be good, Obama said, if she is just her wonderful self.  And then Conan said, ”But watch out if she is her other self.”

 Cruz has also announced.  For the first time in 7 years, Dems are really concerned about country of origin. I really like Ted but he needs to get some hair out of place and wear a sleeveless like Larry the cable guy.  He looks too much like a guy from a gated community and the Dems will make hay out of that. More Redneck. Someone said if you live in a gated community but think a border fence does no good, you must be a rich liberal.

I am still smouldering from those leftists who tried to shut down Christian businesses using gay rights as a smokescreen.  Look it up on a map.  Walkerton, IN is on the Michigan border.  40 miles north of the border is Dearborn.  So if Muslims won’t even serve a gay, why are they picking on a nearby Christian pizza place that wouldn’t take part in a gay wedding.  Only possible conclusion: Has little to do with gay rights; has everything to do with attacking Christians.  Maybe the gay activists worried that the Dearborn guys would behead ‘em. 

And then Barry.  He made a trade for a deserter giving up 5 high-ranking Taliban.  Now he claims to have a deal with Iran which no one wants to defend.  Clearly he is trying to land the job of General Manager of the Chicago Cubs after the 2016 election.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Education reforms

Two editorials sent to our local newspaper.  Don't know if they will ever publish.

To the Editor:

The PC News headline “PC Schools for Community Participation” sounded wonderful.  For every educator knows the great value of excited and involved parents in a child’s learning.   Half my family is teachers and we speak of this all the time.  But the disappointing article was mostly an editorial for the exclusionary politics of public schools.  Wouldn’t it be better to look at the education system as a business?  We spend $9000 per student per year.  Multiply this by a typical classroom of 20 students and get $180,000 income.  An average underpaid teacher makes $44,000, one-fourth this amount. Where does the other 75% of the money go?   It goes for administration, busing, sports, child care, counseling, mainstreaming, entertainment, and school meals where many eat free.  This vast mélange of social programs goes under the somewhat misleading label of education.  Are we really getting much scholarship?

Americans are willing to spend enormously for the future of their children yet aren’t getting much product. We spend twice as much as other developed countries.   The latest OECD study of education and work skills of 16-34 year olds places USA a dismal19th out of 22 countries.  40 years ago it was first. Since 1970 the number of common education staff has doubled and spending has tripled (inflation adjusted).  Meanwhile, enrollment is up less than 20% (baby boom gone bust).  Reading scores have flat-lined.  Math and Science are down 7%.  Seven of the nine top-ranked countries had “private education alternatives”, i.e., ESA’s or vouchers in some form.  These plaguy observations come, not from arch-conservatives, but the British “The Economist” (series of articles, JA – MR, 2015). And how shall we succeed in business if this is our workforce?

So the public demands reform and accountability. And therein are encouraging stories left unreported. Oklahoma’s colleges graduated 17,000 bachelors 5 years ago and now we graduate 25,000—one of the fastest growing states in the country. It’s good news but a challenge.  We will need double the Sci-Tech-Engineering-Math (STEM) grads we have now to support our tech-heavy industries. Otherwise the economy will languish.  At $4.5 billion revenue from all state sources, common education is now funded at an all-time high. Still, our teachers are underpaid.  Surely, somewhere in the other 75%, I would think that some clever local administrator could find a way for a teacher bonus.  Good question for the next school board meeting, is it not?

Part II


Listen to many of the voices at the Capitol on Monday and one will learn exactly how much Ed funding they desire.  “More.”  But no one is volunteering to tell the taxpayers how they will raise taxes.  Sometimes it is heard that the cuts in state income tax have hurt our state and education budgets.  Calculate it.  Income tax revenue is 1/3 the state budget at about $2 billion. By cutting from 7% to 5.25% in the last 7 years, that represents 1/4 equals $500 million.  Then adjust for recent income.  Median OK income has risen $1500 while the rest of USA is down $2000.  So $550 million in revenue was lost by the tax cuts.  But wait.  Oklahoma’s economy has increased 20% in seven years equating to more sales tax receipts of $1.6 billion.  Net gain, $1.1 billion to state budget.  Personally, I like the vibrant economy as well. 

 The education establishment doesn’t bear full blame for all the extra-curricular social programs.  The public opted for these, and their legislatures and governors enacted them over many years.  Now the public wants reform and accountability.  They ask for testing and evaluation evinced.  The reason Ponca City High School got a C for their A-F grade was sub-par student proficiency scores and a lackluster graduation rate (and other missed bonuses).  So too, it is vital for an incoming 4th grader to be able to read at a 1st grade level or better.  Without this achievement, future success is dubious.  (30 states require this.)  Are students over-tested?  Our new State School Superintendent has vowed to streamline testing.  Yet I asked a retiring principal at one of our outstanding private schools here, “How many days do you test achievements?”  Answer: “3 days. However, our teachers don’t try to teach the tests.”  That’s a principle of good educating—teachers are free to teach and individualize instruction. This school graduates eighth graders with an average 11.6 grade level.

The Governor and Legislature have made public education a huge priority, contrary to what some think.  Education spending is 49.8% of the state budget.  In some sense, Oklahoma is All About Education.  Common Ed gets much off-budget revenue—school lands rents, HB 1017 funds, lottery money and last year a new annual $60 million added kicker.  Schools pocket ad valorem taxes and federal revenues as well.  I count 21 revenue sources for schools.   

So did our local declaration of no-school lobbying day at the capitol fix any of this?  I have doubts.  Yet there is much good news.  The Money to Classroom Initiative for Common Education capped admin personnel and stopped counting certain staff as teachers. Used well, that grows the kitty to pay instructors.  During the first year of A-F school grading, there were 12 million hits on the state website.  People are obviously interested in how their school stacks up.  3rd grade reading is spawning reading tutoring programs all over the state.  That’s Community Participation we can use.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Where's the Christian defenders?

First a news item.  FEMA, the federal agency that manages disaster claims, has dictated to states that they must include Global Warming in their emergency planning.  According the “The Oklahoman” Oklahoma officials can’t figure out what on earth this means or what it makes them do.  I kept thinking maybe they could tell FEMA, Federal Egghead Muddling Agency, that because of global warming we darned well are not going to invest in any more snow or ice removal equipment—just like Massachusetts did this winter.  We see how successful that was.

The guy on Fox with Megyn Kelly—I don’t’ know who he is, cretinously thin, scraggle wiskers, Dem strategist—said that the problem with Christians is that they do actions. (in light of Indiana pizza parlor refusal to take part in a gay wedding) They should just stick to free speech and they can go ahead and say that they disagree, but when they act, that’s when they do suable and reprehensible things. And the best policy, as always, is to simply be kind to everyone. 

            I nearly flew out of my chair when Kelly let that pass.  The guy was smooth and reasonable, and about as anti-Christian as it gets.  No actions?  Listen to what he is demanding.  Faith is to be spoken only and may include some private thoughts.  But it can’t motivate your actions.  Wait. Scripture says, “Faith without works is dead.”  Jesus gave the Great Commission, propelling us to act in behalf of our faith the world over.  God gave us the Holy Spirit to instill in us a relationship guiding our actions.  And this jerk says we can’t act?  Will no one set the record straight on behalf of Christianity? 

            Now tell me, did Jesus come to just use his free speech—give opinions and teachings?  Oh sure, some wish to reduce it to that.  Jesus came to act.  He went to a cross on our behalf.  Love is not a feeling or an armchair discussion.   Love is an Act of the will.  Salvation doesn’t come by yapping about it.

            Now I understand why Indiana is capitulating—politicians who just want everyone to be happy—with equal rights for gays.  Everybody smile.  But where are our Christian leaders? Aren’t they supposed to fearlessly defend the faith?

            That’s what O’Reilly asked last night too.  Where is Christian courage in Christian leaders? Okay I have theories.  First it took them by surprise.  They still prepare to speak out.  Second, some churches have been captured by liberal politics and now ordain gays, without regard to scriptural teachings. (This from Frank Keating, when asked about a Catholic Seminary as he sought to investigate the priest scandals)  Those guys disregard Leviticus 18 where God vowed to dire consequences if you practice gay stuff. Or they didn’t listen last time they read Matthew 25 at a wedding where Jesus explains that God made us men and women and what He joined together, let not man put asunder. Third, I think church leaders are often caught up in a church-only world.  They pay little attention to politics. And maybe some are concerned about diminishing membership and don’t want to make a public statement that would run off a staunch Democrat.

            What we need to find for O’Reilly is an old Navigator with a couple thousand passages committed to memory who pays attention to politics and can defend the faith fiercely.  Or a learned and glib church leader.  Or maybe just a conservative politician who has courage.  As O’Reilly points out, if any Republican candidate for Prez doesn’t speak boldly to defend Christians, he can kiss the election good-bye.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

religous restoration act

So I had a dream about being on TV with Stephanopolis.  He asked me “YES or NO! Does the religious restoration act allow you to discriminate against gays?”  So I said, “I’ll say yes and then you explain why Christians have qualms about a gay lifestyle.”  He gave a dumbfounded look.  “What do you mean?” 

“Just explain from scripture why Christians would have a hard time with gay coupling.”   

“Because they are bigots!” No, that quote isn’t in Scripture, I told him.  “Well you tell me!” he countered.

“Start with Jewish Covenant then.  Leviticus 18 is all about a warning that the people are not to practice homosexuality nor human sacrifice (pagan priests were gay).  It finishes with this, “But you shall keep my statutes and my ordinances and do none of the abominations…(for all these abominations the men of the land did, who were before you, so that the land became defiled.) lest the land vomit you out, when you defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you.” So Stephy, you want to be vomited out?”

“Look, that’s old ancient writing worried about cultural influence.  We can’t answer to that.”

“If you got vomited out you might.  Let’s look at what Jesus author of Christianity said.  It gets quoted at every wedding.  Jesus said, “Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.’ So they are no longer two but one.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” (Matt. 19:5-6 quoting Gen. 1:27). Ever been to a wedding Stephy?  I don’t mean a gay one.” 

“Don’t insult me.  I’ve been to plenty.”

“So Christians, Jews and Muslims too do not agree with current gay activist advocacy.  That’s quite a few people.  Aren’t you curious to know why?”

“Only in the political sense. Besides, Jesus never explicitly said anything about being gay.” 

“But he talked about hell.  Do you know what word Jesus used that is translated as “hell” in our bibles? The word is gehanna referring to the city dump which burned day and night and never went out, like the fires of hell.  But gehanna is not Aramaic for “city dump”.  It was the ancient site of Gehanna Temple to the god Molech.  Molech demanded that people sacrifice their first born infant sons.  The babies were thrown into an intensely hot furnace.  Now how could any respectful family man or woman be a priest of such a place and do such a gruesome task? They couldn’t. Priests were all gay males. Jesus is comparing Gehanna to eternity’s hell.  Any questions?”

“Well how is it any different from those who refused to serve mixed racial marriage couples in times past?”

So I said, “Where do you find that in the Bible—that people can discriminate racially?” 

“Listen, I am not a theologian!”

“Neither am I. But a common Bible verse teaches just the opposite. “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God in faith…There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:26,28.”

“Look, this is going nowhere fast.  We aren’t on here to discuss religion.”

“Oh, I thought we were.  And first amendment rights.”

“First amendment is about freedom of speech.  You can talk all you want but when it comes to actions, you have to conform to anti-discrimination.” 

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  Free exercise includes actions.”

“Look, you lousy conservative, just explain to me why it is so important to practice your faith.”

“Because if you deny someone the freedom to follow their conscience, deny them the ability to practice their faith (their relationship with God), deny them the freedom to be the person they aspire to be, you have denied the very definition of the American Dream.  The American Dream is what generated the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—that our rights are given by Nature and Nature’s God, not the whims of men.  God puts us in a one-on-one relationship with Himself and so it is not ‘God over government over the people’ but ‘God over People over government.’  “We the People…ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  This puts limits on government. “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

“Okay, Stephy, you want to talk Muslim scriptures?” He jumped up screaming and left the room. That’s when I woke up wondering why no politician quotes scripture any more.  Lincoln did all the time.  He’d be rolling over in his grave because all it takes is an informed Christian to put these political punks to shame.  Let them take up their gripes with God.  Just watch out for the vomiting part.