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December 29, 2011

4 Christmas Reasons to Dance on New Year's Eve

We have seen how the historic space-time events of the first Christmas are anything but a quaint "religious" story for "people of faith."

That stereotype may be comforting to secularists, atheists, religious enablers, and elitist politicians, but it has little to do with Christmas per se.

Instead, the arrival of that baby boy in Bethlehem of Judea signals reality-oriented, revolutionary good news that "confronts cults of faith, secularism, religion, and politics."

How so? Consider these four action points: 

* First, be an old grizzled shepherd, not a smiley-faced "believer." The shepherds of Luke 2 do not put God in a closet and say you can know him but only if you go in there and submit to some kind of privatized epistemological baptism that happens to “people of faith.”

Yes, the Bible knows about “believers,” but that’s to emphasize the commitment of the whole person to truth-claims that are accepted on the basis of reasoning and information that make rational and evidential sense in the real world.

Shepherds, grizzled or otherwise, do get to smile, but first they see the baby.

* Second, develop sales resistance. Christmas is about individuals willing to evaluate things for themselves.

There is no need to check your brains at the pasture gate just because of bright lights in the sky, fancy advertising, or manipulated symbols on CNN or in form letters from ghostwriters employed by respected bigshots, religious and otherwise.

Question authority, think freely, foil the manipulators, eyeball the materialists, refuse the hypocrites, and take responsibility for your life as a choosing, thinking being made in the image of God.  

* Third, affirm the whole person. Reject the despair of a splintered secular existence where hope sinks like a lead balloon but we’ll pretend it floats because pleasing feelings attend a current holiday.

Christmas is about fact and meaning together because the Savior of the world is a real baby in a real manger who lives a Gospel that touches the same ground we walk on every day.

Celebrate the humane unity of life as a complete person liberated from brokenness and bad philosophy.

Act coherently and authentically at work, in government, on campus, in church, before the easel, in the lab, and with your family.

Embrace humanity in community with our true Creator and then watch love and truth burst out of the secular straight-jacket.

* Finally, celebrate the individual. An individual named Jesus came to Bethlehem to live and die for people, not for useful cogs in a cosmic machine that burped a mass of humanity into being by accident.

He chose a path leading from Bethlehem manger to Roman cross because, despite our choices to walk away from truth and love, flawed human beings remain magnificent creatures of great worth and significance, having been made in the image of God.

The Nativity is about regular people, what Francis Schaeffer called “little people” in “little places,” who join with the Creator to rage against the machine, death, sin, and decay.

The love of a parent for a child, of a living God for human creatures with particular names and life stories that matter, is not a cruel joke foisted off on us by our genes.

Nor is this love of God and man to be disrespected or steamrolled to the ground by the demands of big government, big business, or big ministry.

With God we revolt against any who would deify themselves or their groups to transfigure creatures of such great worth into enablers, minions, pawns, and alter egos for the rich, powerful, and hard-chargers of this world. 

The Christmas heard and seen in history is a comprehensive and humane revolution of love and truth launched by God for man, one by one, from Bethlehem, to Jerusalem, into Judea, Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth.

That’s worth a dance on New Year’s Eve.

Note: The content above is adapted from my "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." For more, please go here.

Dick Morris: Ron Paul "Most Liberal, Radical Left-Wing Person to Run for President"

Jeff Poor writes at The Daily Caller:

Ron Paul’s likely strong showing in next week’s Iowa caucus is causing him to take fire from all sides. The latest: Former adviser to Bill Clinton, Fox News Channel’s Dick Morris.

Morris, in an appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Wednesday, was asked by fill-in host Eric Bolling what he made of Paul’s rise. Morris’ reaction was one of extreme disappointment and caution.

“I think it’s horrible,” Morris replied. “I think that he is absolutely the most liberal, radical, left-wing person to run for president in the United States in the last 50 years.

"Nobody else wants to dismantle the military, including Obama, but he does. Even Obama doesn’t want to repeal the Patriot Act. But he does.

"Even Obama doesn’t say that we caused 9/11 and brought it on ourselves. But Ron Paul does.

"Even Obama doesn’t want to legalize heroin and cocaine, but Ron Paul does. This guy is no conservative. This guy is an ultra, ultra-left-wing radical.”

15-Year-Old on Girl Scouts: "We Were So Deceived"

Jonathon Seidl reports at The Blaze on how liberal extremism at the Girl Scouts is being exposed:

The girl at the center of the story was 15-year-old Sydney Volanski, who first noticed the [Girl Scouts' reference to the liberal website] Media Matters . . . last year and left the organization over it. Now, Sydney is speaking out.

Sydney joined the crew of “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning to explain what she found and also to talk about her website, “Speak Now: Girl Scouts Website,” which she co-edits and that was set up to expose other liberal bias within the Scouts.

“My sister and I started a website to help inform families of the more leftward leanings of Girl Scouts because they promise to be neutral politically and about certain social issues,” she explained, “but when you examine the women that they promote and the websites and books that they refer girls to, there is a clear liberal ideology, like with the Media Matters site.”

“With Speak Now: Girl Scouts we’re just trying to spread awareness to families because we were so deceived,” Sydney is quoted as saying. 

“For eight years we were in Girl Scouts and we didn’t realize that Girl Scouts was promoting such a liberal ideology.”

The Blaze also reports that "Sydney went on to claim the Scouts have promoted Planned Parenthood and abortion advocacy groups in the past."

David Cameron: Great Britain Is a "Christian Country"

Mark Tooley writes at American Spectator:

British Prime Minister David Cameron recently marked the 400th anniversary of the King James' Bible by declaring that Great Britain is a "Christian country" and "we should not be afraid to say so." Cameron was speaking at Christ Church, Oxford, before a Church of England audience.

The speech will trouble dogmatic secularists of course. But it also should alert many American religionists who enthusiastically insist that Christendom is dead. . . .

Cameron described himself as a "committed" but "vaguely practising" Church of England Christian "who will stand up for the values and principles of my faith." 

Cameron also said, "The Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today. . . . Values and morals we should actively stand up and defend."

The prime minister noted that the "alternative of moral neutrality should not be an option . . .  and [that] you can't fight something with nothing."

As examples of the influence of the King James Bible, Cameron cited Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

"Even more interestingly," in Tooley's view, is how "Cameron summarized the Bible's impact on politics and governance." Tooley writes: 

"The Judeo-Christian roots of the Bible also provide the foundations for protest and for the evolution [a better word is development] of our freedom and democracy," he said. "The Torah placed the first limits on Royal Power."

And God's crafting man after His own image was a "game changer for the cause of human dignity and equality" when the "in the ancient world this equity was inconceivable."

As our Declaration of Independence acknowleges, the Creator is the center of gravity of human freedom and dignity.

And when a people recognize that fact and wisely act upon it across the culture, the result can be a "shining city on a hill." Not perfection, but still, a shining city and a measure of hope and healing for which we can be thankful.

December 28, 2011

Debriefing Bethlehem: Angels Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It?

Thankfully for free-thinkers and humanity in general, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you can make a case that Christmas is God's gift to skeptics. Read Luke 2:9-20 and then consider the following:

In the concreteness of their content, it is crucial to realize that the angels could have been wrong.

Their announcement [about the birth of a savior] was an invitation to verify. It contained specific details related to the external world that could be checked out.

From the point of view of a human observer on the way to locate a manger, the possibility existed that things might not be “as it had been told them” by apparently reliable sources.

We understand this. If you are in a strange city and ask for directions, the information you are given may or may not be accurate.

Let’s say you have understood what a person has told you and have carefully written down the names of streets, which way to turn, and so on. You then follow the directions and soon learn whether the words of that person describe the reality of the street. 

The Creator has placed human beings in a physical environment where asking questions, gathering information, and seeking wisdom are not fruitless wastes of time.

It is a universe where journalism and science can flourish, where individuals can advance knowledge by discovering data and following the evidence wherever it leads.

The Creator knows humans can be purposely or inadvertently misdirected.

In either case, we are challenged to correct mistaken information. We analyze, experiment, and review results, as often as necessary.

In the world are pretend gods and false prophets, inadequate philosophy and harmful worldview.

In politics, ministry, business, and science, there are wolves in sheep’s clothing we are to unmask and expose to protect our children.

But there are also those who know what they’re talking about and speak truthfully.

Their words can be verified and may help others find the right path.

That path may lead to a store for that perfect Christmas gift for a loved one. Or it may lead to a manger in a town in Judea.  

That’s fine, you say. But what if the angels were wrong?

If that case, the answer is clear: If the angels were wrong, they should not be believed.

Christmas is about liberating people from “faith” or from “believing in” something apart from evidence.

“Religion” defined as “faith” or belief in what you know is not true or as a special phenomenon that operates in a realm alienated from life in the created order is not recommended in the data of the Bible.

That kind of believism seems more at home in fascist cults, political messiahs, celebrity worship, certain kinds of social activism, and the manipulation of theological symbols.

The Biblical respect for reality is much more concrete. It concerns evidence for a human baby, a perfect life, a humane approach, a public death, and an empirical resurrection.

If there’s no child in a manger in Bethlehem, don’t “believe in” the angels.

If Jesus is a sinner, then he can’t be a savior. If he died and stayed dead, well, that’s it. Eat, drink, and vote whatever. For further instructions, see 1 Cor. 15.

The above is excerpted from "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." If you would like to read the entire article, go here.

Will Obama Bury America?

William Gensert writes at American Thinker:

The only thing standing between America and continued preeminence is Barack Obama. The sooner we realize that, and rid the nation of the abomination of his presidency, the better.  

December 27, 2011

No Facts, No Christmas

Is Christmas about objective fact or passionate belief? Consider:

Christmas is about enfleshed truth that is accountable, a body of information and series of events that can be rationally considered, verified out in the external world, and discussed among regular people as facts of life.

Among the facts are Bethlehem, Mary, Joseph, a baby, and a manger, none of which are feelings.

The facts also include the angels and the veracity of what they said to human beings, for what the shepherds saw and heard in Bethlehem was “as it had been told them” [Luke 2:20]. . . .  

What “had been told” the shepherds is not an experience that evaporates when they go into Bethlehem and then return back to work.

It is not the kind of phenomenon that melts away after one wakes up, puts the book down, leaves the theater, or arrives home after a big conference.

Young Jesus in swaddling clothes still lives and breathes after the visitors go away.

The angels returned to heaven, not to nonexistence, when the shepherds left to see and hear facts on the ground in Bethlehem.

As in everyday life, just because an event is past, it does not therefore become untrue or slip into epistemological shadows or nebulous worlds of private feelings.

The above is excerpted from "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." Additional excerpts are forthcoming during this holiday season. If you would like to read ahead, go here.

Obama Wants $1.2 Trillion More

Reuters reports:

The White House plans to ask Congress for an increase in the debt limit before the end of the week, according to a senior Treasury Department official.

The debt limit is projected to fall within $100 billion of the current cap by December 30. President Barack Obama is expected to ask for additional borrowing authority to increase the limit by $1.2 trillion.

Apparently, it takes a lot of money to replace God as the center of gravity for human freedom. 

Gingrich Supported Romneycare in 2006 Newsletter

"Newt Gingrich voiced enthusiasm for Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health-care law when it was passed five years ago, the same plan he has been denouncing over the past few months as he campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination." 

December 26, 2011

But Isn't Christmas About the "Heart"? A Spiritual Story, Not Real History?

Yesterday, I wrote, "Every living celebration of Christmas is an embrace of space-time reality, not an 'escape from reason' (as Francis Schaeffer might say).

"Thus, the revolutionary good news of a child's birth continues to confront cults of faith, secularism, religion, and politics."

But how can this be?

Isn't Christmas more about the "heart" and one's meaningful but very private value choices and personal spirituality, not evidence and reason and the real world? 

So, yes, let us ask: 

Is all this talk of seeing and hearing really Biblical?

Pietistic secularists or liberal religionists may be indeed taken aback at such brazen objectivity, such lack of “faith.”

But the Bible consistently affirms the public validation of truth claims, whether these claims concern testimony in court, questions about prophetic status, affirmations of a resurrection, the authority of the Messiah to forgive sins, the division of waters for escape routes, messages from angels, and babies in mangers.

This concreteness in matters “spiritual” sets forth a basis for not being manipulated by authority figures, celebrity personalities, bureaucracies, or abusive bosses, whether in little corporations or from international ministries.

Part of the Good News of the Christmas of history is about protecting one’s self and one’s family from false prophets, political messiahs, pretend gods, vain philosophy, superficial analysis, inhumane discipleship, wayward trends, money-grubbing marketing, and power-grubbing PR.

The call to a healed relationship with the Creator is for a thinking humanity expected to take seriously truth-claims and evidence rooted in reality.

More than this, public validation is God’s idea and an expression of his identity as a creative, rational being who makes distinctions.

He has created a reality of sight and sound so that human beings are capable of sensory experience and can thereby not only enjoy beauty and revel in harmony but also examine the content of angels.

This is not reducible to a 30-second witnessing campaign between subway stops.

Individuals made in the image of God are equipped to tell the difference between good and bad fruit, apples and oranges, stones and bread.

It is an approach that applies across the whole of life.

Just as readers should be able to know who the true author of a book is by its cover, seeking individuals can expect to know who the author of existence is by means of the “cover” of this world.

What is at issue is the dignity of man. Nothing could be more natural in a cosmos created by God, or fitting during the holidays of Christmas and the New Year, than that human beings resolve to test everything.

The preceding is excerpted from my "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." Additional readings for reflection are forthcoming between now and the New Year. If you would like to read ahead, go here.

Finding: Brazil Economy Overtakes UK

BBC News reports:

Brazil has overtaken the UK as the world's sixth largest economy, an economic research group has said.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said its latest World Economic League Table showed Asian countries moving up and European countries falling back.

Occupy Fascists in Denver

Members of Occupy Denver use a memorial service for the homeless to display their true colors.

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to All (with a nod to Ernest Hemingway)

On this day we say a hearty Merry Christmas! to all the readers of The Pearcey Report. May today be a special time of remembrance and joy with family and friends. 

Today's thoughts on the meaning of the fact of Christmas take their focus from information in Luke that affirms the real-world, historic Nativity as something that human beings could hear and see.

Every living celebration of Christmas is an embrace of space-time reality, not an "escape from reason" (as Francis Schaeffer might say).

Thus, the revolutionary good news of a child's birth continues to confront cults of faith, secularism, religion, and politics. Consider:   

Luke 2:20 specifies that Christmas is about the visual and aural validation of answers from God.

Rather than a religious truth or spiritual technique that escapes the world, Christmas lives down the street. It is alive to the real world and is one of those things that can be “heard and seen.”

Hemingway, who grew to hate generalities but love discrete facts, could have given the manger scene an address in one of his novels. 

The very livelihood of the shepherds depended upon their ability to excel at hearing and seeing.

If the shepherds had had, let us say, no ability to perceive empirical realities, then clearly no number of angels from on high, no matter how sudden, loud, or bright their appearance at night, could have averted the attention of the shepherds, much less give them the jolt of a lifetime. 

Alive to Sight and Sound
The angels are free agents of God who were seen, delivered a message that was heard, and then returned to Heaven, which, by the way, may well have streets and addresses.

There may also be motorcycles, sportsplexes, and ways to improve one’s skills in craftsmanship, for while the Creator despises sin, death, and decay, he loves creativity, action, physicality, aesthetics, and so on, all of which belong to that category of “good” he talked about in Genesis back at the beginning of this world.

The “new heavens” and “new earth” are not likely to be boring places (Is. 65:17).

“Angels We Have Heard on High” are real creatures operating in space and time, not magical beings created by the fear and imaginations of shepherds.

These angels can be observed by human eyes, with no need of 3-D glasses or suspended disbelief in dark theaters.

When these angels speak, they communicate content that can be heard and processed by individuals with the same kinds of ears that listen for wolves in the night.

The angels themselves are alive to sight and sound, and so also is the content of their message.

At first only one angel appears, and he tells the shepherds to not be afraid.

That limited introduction may well be an act of compassion, for the unexpected appearance of a “multitude” of messengers might have been more than shephardic circuitry could bear.

The angels give reasons the shepherds should not be afraid: There’s good news that coheres with previous verified information from God, the Savior has been born, and you can check it out. 

Even though the Nativity concerns God, angels, information from Heaven, and so on, let us remember that what is described is not a “faith” experience at all.

That kind of “faith” may flow rather nicely with the agenda of secularists working harder than Santa’s elves to keep Christmas domesticated, safely tucked away in private realms of glorious, subjective experience.

But the long-awaited Savior of history is a fact born in a specific locale on planet Earth, and not very far away.

The City of David is within walking distance, just over a hill or two.

Just in case the shepherds don’t get the hint, the first angel tells them, “This will be a sign for you” (Lk. 2:12).

A “sign,” such as a traffic sign, is an object posted for public view so that people will be informed about how to drive properly.

The “sign” the angel brings up refers to a living public object “posted” in a manger, so that shepherds who see and hear will have a way to evaluate the truth status of what the angel is saying and to observe what God is doing in human history that very night.

It’s then, in the course of a holy night with a timeline, that “a multitude of heavenly host” appears praising God (Lk. 2:13).

Again, this unfolds in the context of geography and empirical knowledge, with events occurring in ways consistent with cause and effect.

The angels leave the scene, and then the shepherds say, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing which has happened” (Lk. 2:15).

They went, they saw, they were glad. They saw flesh-and-blood people named Mary and Joseph.

They saw a baby occupying space, "lying in a manger," inside the particular geography of the shelter where he was born.

“And when they saw it,” says Luke 2:17, then “they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.”

In the first Christmas, real people had something to say to other real people on the basis of extraordinary, observable events that occurred in the real world.

This may challenge the hopes of secular faith, but truly free thinkers don’t mind a jolt here and there.

The preceding is excerpted from my "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." Additional excerpts are forthcoming during this "most wonderful time of the year." If you would like to journey forward and read ahead, go here.

December 24, 2011

"Is God Alive December 25, But Dead by January 1?"

In contrast to the objective and holistic reality-orientation of the historic Nativity,

Humans today are increasingly asked to live in a fragmented world of image, feeling, and PR.

A candidate for president of the United States can tell Americans that Christmas is the season of miracles, but what about the rest of the year?

Is God alive December 25, but dead by January 1, not able to survive the party?

In contrast to warm fuzzies delivered by admakers, politicians, and ministry machines, the Christmas of history is about the objectivity and unity of truth in the midst of tremendous challenge.

The Good News of salvation concerns hope despite the tragedy of a humanity spoiled yes by sin, but the individual is not materialistic junk.

Ontologically speaking, man is fundamentally good and worthwhile.

We have made a mess of things, but there’s still some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for, as Frodo’s friend Sam says in The Lord of the Rings.

Christmas is a message of whole and holy healing for humanity’s ethical fall into sin and darkness, and it is a solution set forth in the context of a humane and Godly connection between fact and reason, hope and meaning.

That’s what we meet in the second element of Luke 2:20, where the shepherds are “glorifying and praising God” as they return from Bethlehem.

This behavior demonstrates a straightforward, healthy, and connected approach to life.

The shepherds know already what it means to praise a co-worker for returning a wandering sheep back to safety.

They understand that glory is due when predators are routed because a shepherd stands with courage.

As humans subject to death, they would know about fear and sorrow and loss if a lamb is found too late.

It is a life situation where spouse and siblings in herding families offer glory and praise for work well done, food on the table, milk to drink, and clothes to wear. 

In the information of Luke 2, the glorifying and praising is directed to work well done by the living God.

This is excitement related to information given by angels in the same fields where human action to save endangered animals would have been honored by words of affirmation.  

Reason, Objectivity, “My Truth”
But it is important emphasize that this glorifying and praising of God upon the return of the shepherds is not a religious act, in the sense of “religion” and the kind of “faith” we hear about today.

Instead, the shepherds are responding as any reasonable human being might respond after observing the kind of phenomena described by Luke.

They are responding to a set of challenging events that occurred while they were doing their jobs in terrain they knew like the palms of their hands.

Theirs is a reasonable and heartfelt response to empirical information.

It concerns not “their truth” or “my truth” where religion operates in a safe place or on approved dates of the year (though the names of holidays may be changed to protect the children).

In this way “religious” events and “people of faith” are protected from inquiry but also are isolated from necessary educational, scientific, and political challenges outside the confines of one’s private heaven in an earthly closet.

What is presented in the history of Christmas occurs in the world of objective information, not mere feelings, private “faith,” or attempts to construct one’s own reality on the tabula rasa of a blank, indifferent cosmic canvas.

This real-world orientation includes fields, paths into town and back, Bethlehem itself, Mary and Joseph tired and worn out, and a baby in a manger.

This is wholeness without halos, a this-worldly emphasis that stands in epistemological continuity with the facticity of angels who occupy space and require ticks of the clock to deliver words of world-historical importance. 

The angels are like humans insofar as they are personal beings who make significant choices and are not machines predetermined by an impersonal cosmos.

But one way these angels are unlike humans is that they have not made a mess of heaven (others tried, but the coup failed), while we humans have successfully made a mess of things on earth.

Attending the appearance of these messengers is light that illuminates familiar surroundings at night, so that human eyes see colors and sights at 3 a.m. that they usually observe at 3 p.m.

But whether by angel-light or daylight, it’s the same factual world of space, time, cause and effect, in which significant personal beings make choices and change history. 

The Biblical Christmas affirms reason.

This includes the free-thinking rationality of man as male and female created in the image of a reasonable God who loves both form and diversity, creativity and unity.

But it is not cold rationality separated from the wholeness of human personality.

In the Biblical context, as in all healthy human living, shepherds and kings, poets and prophets, prisoners and paupers can shout out to their hearts’ content about what angels have said and what a living God is doing at a particular moment in history.

This can be done as whole persons with free minds wide awake in schools, soccer stadiums, and halls of Congress.

It is the world of Johnny’s learning to read and of minds questioning authority, Ronaldino’s futbol creativity and Jesus’s carpentry, Caesar’s rule but also the inability of enemies to keep dead the King of Kings.

Hope and meaning join hands with fact and reason in a coherent unity of praise and wonder for God and man, angel and earth, lion and lamb, but also for love and beauty, courage and persistence, and progress towards final victory over disease, death, and decay.

Reality does not split apart, humans do not fragment, in the earthy spirit of the historical Christmas.

The above excerpt is from my "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." Additional excerpts are forthcoming during this Christmas season. If you would like to read ahead, go here.

Bachmann Responds to Obama's "Aloha" Comment

Posted at MicheleBachmann.com:

Urbandale, Iowa -- Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s “Aloha” wishes to the media before heading off to Hawaii for the holidays:

“Mr. President -- We just left Chariton, Iowa, where I talked with a businesswoman with tears in her eyes who was worried about losing her business due to your failed economic policies. While you travel to Hawaii to enjoy the holidays, many Americans will have no Christmas at all because of your failed policies.

“President Obama is out of touch with the people; as he extends ‘Aloha’ wishes, Americans are ready to bid him ‘Goodbye’ in November of 2012.”

December 23, 2011

Christmas Blows Up Secular Superstition

Are you enough of a free-thinker to question atheistic and materialistic superstitions about who you are and about the universe in which we live?

If not, go back to sleep. But for those who prefer not to commit intellectual suicide in the name of personally comforting beliefs about the wonder-working power of secular supernaturalism, consider the following:

Many contemporary eyebrows have bought the notion that cause and effect has arisen from a universe that either a) popped into existence out of absolute nothingness (for which there is no evidence), b) is self-caused (an incoherent self-contradiction), or c) has existed eternally as impersonal dust, rock, emptiness, and particles -- in which man as a personal being becomes an unexplainable, alien lifeform permanently homeless in cold, dark space.

This astounding naturalistic miracle has an unfortunate benefit for some. If you are a dictator looking for fodder for a revolution, or a Silent Night-singing camp guard bothered in your conscience by your job at Dachau, it’s a ready crutch to help you make it through the night. 

The presumed miracle-working power of secular supernaturalism makes the singular wonder of a Virgin Birth look like child’s play.

Science closed down by naturalistic philosophy defies logic, lacks evidence, denigrates humanity, and makes a mockery of justice, love, family, friendship, holidays, and celebration.

Human beings, regardless of what some might say on the surface of their lives -- but in how they live and in how they think -- defy it with every fiber of their being and with all that we know of ourselves as significant individuals who observe on a daily basis the creative link between mind, personality, cause and effect.

What is needed is courage to ask about the cause of effects such as human personality, curiosity, rational thought, and the phenomenon of a stable, orderly universe that allows regular people to travel with confidence from the fields into town and back again to discover first-hand that words from empirically available angels correspond to the empirical realities of baby and manger not far away.  

Yes, from the standpoint of philosophical materialism, one would agree that Mary and Joseph received answers that were not reasonable.

If matter -- cold, lifeless nature -- is all there is, was, or ever shall be, that certainly would have to be the case.

But that reductive understanding of life makes a whole host of phenomena unreasonable -- not just a Virgin Birth or angels from on high but also other realities too big for the test tube, including mind, meaning, aesthetics, freedom, choice, ethics, love, etc.

Even the words “physics” and “chemistry” are lost to humanity in a materialistic cosmos, for they are laden with information that is independent of the material medium that carries their message.

Even if one presupposes the eternality of matter, the impersonal begets the impersonal begets the impersonal, and no amount of time or complexity gives one a consistent, observable basis from which to adequately explain (much less affirm) love or babies or justice or beauty.

These are a level of being qualitatively different from chemical reactions, protoplasm, or chance arrangements of atmospheric dust at certain times of day (dusk or dawn). 

Materialism rejects angels, but cannot explain shepherds. It rejects the Virgin Birth, but cannot explain the shepherds’ children.

The Biblical information affirms a much richer, humane awareness of the wonder of life and its possibilities on earth. The Creator of the reproductive cycle knows how to start life without the participation of a male human and can discuss with Mary some of the particulars.

This approach reflects an openness to phenomena outside the materialistic box, but it does not require blind acceptance of any claim to truth based on any particular kind of supposed experience, whether from God, angel, man, government, or machine.

If you want information, go to Bethlehem: Ask, study, seek, find. The Biblical framework gives a basis for, and calls for, testing all things (1 Thess. 5:21). Unlike materialism, this is good for people and for science.

The above excerpt is from my "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." Additional excerpts are forthcoming during this Christmas season. To read ahead, go here.

Santa's Claws: More Pizza, Less Social Security

Republicans Polled and Rolled Again:"Browbeaten by the polls and a pro-Obama press, the House of Representatives Thursday caved in to the White House on the payroll tax 'cut.' Result: cash for pizza now — and smaller Social Security checks later."

December 22, 2011

Politics, Science, and the Virgin Birth

Principles of science such as cause and effect may war against the private spiritualities of orthodox secularlists and greedy politicians (who pretend to create money out of nothing), but they are right at home in the reality-oriented information given in the events of Christmas No. 1.

That is to say: 

Cause and effect has little to do with modern-day religion, private spiritualities, personal ethics, Eric Hoffer’s “true believer,” varieties of religious experience, or with assorted “people of faith.”

Let us also not discriminate against orthodox secularists and naturalistic scientists who create their own private truths and valued feelings in an effort to cope as humans with an otherwise unbearable life.

The standard line these days is that questions directed to these private realms are considered impolite, out of bounds, and over the line.

Presidential candidates get to pass “Go” and collect votes if they promise their faith really is just theirs -- that is, something merely private and inward, not public and not applicable to policy.

The Creator, and the information he communicates about life in the world, is permitted to inspire during devotions inside closets or during limited times of public tragedy, but he shall have no substantive impact on public life, foreign policy, and so on.  

In contrast to a retreat into subjectivity, the Biblical mentality, including the world-altering events that launched Christmas in the first place, has much to do with the natural order.

The Bible knows that messages and songs and other intellectual and aesthetic content come not out of nothing.

Roman edicts are the creations of Roman Caesars, inns too full are the effects of a finite number of rooms plus many travelers hitting the road at the same time.

First-century people did not have electricity, but they knew night skies are not illuminated to reveal familiar daytime geography without a cause of light.

What is given in the Bible is a framework for distinguishing between campfires and angels, both of which are natural phenomena in a cosmos that is the product of a living Creator.

But both of which are also supernatural in a cosmos that is reduced, as some theorize, to particles cold and unaccounted for, arranged without reason in greater or lesser degrees of complexity. 

Joseph and Mary knew where baby humans come from, how they are conceived, and how they arrive.

“There is one thing often said about our ancestors which we must not say,” C.S. Lewis writes in his essay “Miracles,” in God in the Dock.

“We must not say ‘They believed in miracles because they did not know the Laws of Nature.’ This is nonsense.”

Why? Because “when St. Joseph discovered that his bride was pregnant, he was ‘minded to put her away’. He knew enough biology for that. Otherwise, of course, he would not have regarded pregnancy as a proof of infidelity.”

Mary and Joseph had questions that speak to this issue of cause and effect.

How could she be pregnant without physical relations with a man? Should Joseph reconsider marriage since knowledge of the natural order indicates Mary is not the virgin she claims to be?

They received answers that are reasonable in light of information from a Creator who has within himself the power of being and is free to act into history, just as human beings are empowered to act as well.

In effect, the God of Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and David says he will again act into human history, into what after all is his cosmos, to bring about a physical change in the living, physical environment he created in the first place.

Though she is not married, and although people will talk, Mary is asked by God whether she would like to be the virgin mother of the Messiah (see Luke 1:26ff).

For his part Joseph is asked, in effect: “Do you take this virgin with child as your lawfully wedded wife, seeing as I have used my power to create to conceive a baby in her womb?”

Joseph also knew eyebrows would be raised, but he agreed to move forward (see Matt. 1:18ff). Mary showed herself to be a woman of strength who by her choices maintained her dignity.

The above is excerpted from my "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." Additional excerpts are forthcoming during this Christmas season. If you'd like to read ahead, go here.

Extremist Teachings Found in Saudi Textbooks

Catherine Herridge reports at Foxnews.com:

In a textbook for 10th-graders, printed for the 2010-2011 academic year, al-Ahmed said teenagers are taught barbaric practices.

“They show students how to cut (the) hand and the feet of a thief,” he said.

In another textbook, for ninth-graders, the students are taught the annihilation of the Jewish people is imperative.

One text reads in part: “The hour (of judgment) will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. . . .  There is a Jew behind me come and kill him."

December 21, 2011

What? Christmas Is for Critical Thinkers, Not Believers?

Have you considered that one of the charming things about Christmas is the way it confronts cults of faith, secularism, religion, and politics? Thus:

In contrast to pagan, religious, media, and secular stereotypes, Christmas is about real people living and working in a real world.

The inaugurating events of Christmas occur in and around Bethlehem of Judea. They concern watchful shepherds, pregnant women, and surprised husbands.

All are flesh-and-blood people. All are individuals who think, act, wonder, emote, and make choices in situations of life that are less than ideal.

In the foreground of Luke 2:20 are shepherds. They are persons who work, can be frightened by sudden events, are curious, and are willing to check out things for themselves.

They are not identified as “believers.”

Rather, they are choosing beings who process information and labor outdoors in the fields day and night in all sorts of weather. They do not live six feet off the ground, tip-toeing through life on a cushion of holy air, protected by a nice God from the ups and downs of existence in a broken world.

They face predators and thieves, living and dying. They search for stray lambs, and they respond appropriately to unexpected beings who go bump in the night.

Critical Distance
In their work, the shepherds keep a protective physical distance between flock and predator, whether man or animal.

In their humanity as creatures made in the image of God, they keep a protective critical distance between well-grounded information about God and new but untested messages from angelic beings who show up without so much as a knock at the door.

The events of the Nativity concern God, man, angels, and words of salvation, but it is a mistake to conceive of them as “religious.”

Quite unlike “faith” in a progressively fragmented world today, the data about the birth of Christ in the Christmas of history is about a tangible world and knowable events in an objective universe of space and time, cause and effect.

It is about hopes and dreams connected to geography, dirt, history, and fields, not private imaginations and imperishable souls being released from the dark confines of matter in an escape to Mt. Olympus and the comforting arms of gods made in the image of Greek mortals.

Identifiable places matter when you’re talking about a living God who has decided to act into human history.

The Creator of matter respects the space located between the ears of human beings and knows the human brain is more than so many pounds of meat atop a set of shoulders.

Rejected here are politically correct beliefs about the brain as a product mysteriously organized by chance (or by unaccounted-for “law”) to achieve a savage but temporary survival of the strong over the weak in a meaningless, dying universe.

Instead, we have in the Biblical data a regard for persons as thinking individuals of great intrinsic dignity; they are not regarded as easily unpluggable though complex machines that process bits of information.

The Creator expects shepherds and carpenters, students and rabbis, prostitutes and tax collectors to concentrate their minds and to think freely about facts and evidence in a search for wisdom that may challenge current understandings.

The shepherds occupy an external, orderly world that provides a stable context in which ideas can be communicated and truth-claims checked for their veracity.

In contrast to mythology about warfare between science and the Creator, the Biblical worldview affirms matter as good and orderly and provides a foundation for the scientific enterprise, as Nancy Pearcey discusses in her article "Christianity Is a Science-Starter, Not a Science-Stopper."

The Biblical framework also gives a basis to resist cults of religion, politics, or holiday sales. It challenges the imposition of any pious imagination, activist agenda, or news broadcast that refuses to subject theory to fact.

The Christmas of history operates in this kind of earthy framework. It is good, wholistic news for a splintered, fragmented world that can no longer complete the circle.

That good news doesn’t make life easy, as a pregnant woman who traveled by donkey some 90 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem might be able to tell you.

The events of Luke 2 show a respect for time. The action occurs at night, those hours of the 24-hour day between the setting and the rising of the sun. At a particular moment in the history of a particular night, darkness was pushed back by light.

The content delivered by angels required a quantifiable number of moments to communicate, as did the shepherds’ trip into Bethlehem, as did their return, as did the trip of a mom to Bethlehem, as well as the passage of a baby through a birth canal.

The long-promised flesh-and-blood child was placed in a manger at a particular moment of world history.

Quirinius was governing in Syria, Caesar Augustus was emperor of Rome. He had been the leading power in the empire since 31 B.C. when he defeated Antony and Cleopatra at Actium. All was made official in 27 B.C. when Augustus became Rome’s first emperor.

The above is excerpted from my "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." Additional excerpts will be forthcoming during this Christmas season, but if you want to read and think ahead, go here.

Win for Romney Equals Trouble for Pro-Family Movement

Chad Groening reports at OneNewsNow:

A pro-family activist contends that if Mitt Romney wins the GOP presidential nomination, it would be a serious hit to those working to stop the government's "normalization" of the homosexual lifestyle.

In Fox News Channel's recent GOP debate, the final one before Iowa's January 3 caucuses, Mitt Romney said he has always been a supporter of "gay" rights.

Those who support "gay" "rights" are also by implication supporting a radical philosophy of government that is the antithesis of the American and human mainstream. 

The American mainstream is rooted in the concept of unalienable rights from a real Creator, but homosexual "rights" are merely creations of extremist interest groups and activists who reject the Creator and his liberating norms for family life and human relations.

A bunch of religious god-talk or relativistic secularist piety about "tolerance" does not change this fact. They speak of love but despise the God of love. That's a sale job that free-thinkers need to resist.

The human mainstream affirms the holistic unity of mind, body, and spirit, but the radical homosexual agenda rejects this in favor of a fragmented self, where "gender," ethical norms, and family structure are all reduced to "social constructs."

If you are into a centralized power establishment imposing upon Americans its private, secularized feelings and values, then the homosexualist movement is for you.

But do not think you are advocating life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of brokenness is not the pursuit of "happiness," even if you get everything you want and even if you have a thousand Obamas or Romneys preaching that false gospel from every rooftop or bathhouse.

But if you are for freedom under God and his liberating norms and unalienable rights, then the Republican field offers other candidates who appreciate and respect what is both the American and human mainstream. 

If you want freedom, it's probably a good idea to follow the rules for freedom. 

December 20, 2011

The Christmas Revolution

A few thoughts on the meaning of Christmas as a fact of life:

The joyous Christmas season has become increasingly secular, religious, and fragmented, helping make the most wonderful time of the year perhaps also the most manipulative.

We celebrate, and that is good, even healing. And given the hectic pace of life in America, there is much to admire in our ability to rise to the occasion of Christmas festivity every December.

But on a deeper level, the awe and cheer that attend a Holy Night and a Christmas Day seem more than ever to rest upon cultural understandings weak and eroding.

Consider how fact today is alienated from meaning, “faith” from life, spirit from matter, and wonder from the real things of life in a searching, troubled world.

The optimism of a new beginning in a New Year fades when we lose touch with secure points of reference by which to measure hope and find comfort in progress.

Power elites employ malleable symbols of religion and politics to manipulate money and masses towards results that overturn the original content of words and action rooted in history.

There is a remedy for this, and it is found in the humane and concrete realities of the events that started it all some 2,000 years ago.

What follows is a kind of Christmas and New Year’s debriefing related to information given in Luke 2, where familiar but revolutionary words await: “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them” (Luke 2:20).  

What Luke gives us is part of a narrative that has comforted many millions of people around the world and throughout history.

And yet, in this passage is no mere comfort. For in it is a cosmos of light and humanity that challenges settled expectations about what many regard as normal life in enlightened society.

The above is excerpted from my "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." I plan to provide additional excerpts during this Christmas Season, but if you want to read and think ahead, go here.

Tebowing Inspiring People Around the World

Ben Johnson writes at LifeSiteNews.com:

It looks like a cross between a genuflection and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” The characteristic kneel Tim Tebow makes to thank God after a big play has become a worldwide phenomenon, creating a new craze and stirring controversy over the role of religion in public life.

December 19, 2011

"Holy War": Thousands Gather to Support Nativity Scene Against Atheist Attacks

Billy Hallowell writes at The Blaze:

The battle over a nativity scene in Athens, Texas, reached new heights this weekend when up to 5,000 supporters flooded the town square. Their purpose? To stand firmly opposed to the attacks a prominent atheist group has waged on the religious display. . . .

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group that frequently targets the presence of faith and religion in the public square, is demanding that a nativity scene be removed from public property.

On Saturday, thousands of supporters assembled in Athens Town Square to rally around and support the religious display. According to WTKR, some likened the ever-intensifying scenario a “holy war.”

December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens Dead

The Belfast Telegraph reports:

English-American author and journalist Christopher Hitchens has died after losing his battle with cancer.

The outspoken atheist had been undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer last year, but died aged 62 at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas, on Thursday night.

December 15, 2011

Bachmann: My Poll Numbers Not Worrisome

At Newsmax:

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said Wednesday she is not concerned that she has been lagging behind in national polls since she was considered a top Republican contender in the spring and her upcoming 99-county tour of Iowa will show caucus voters in her home state that she is the only “true constitutional conservative” in the presidential race.  

December 14, 2011

The Moral Case for Capitalism

John Hayward writes at Human Events:

Freedom means choice, does it not? A free man chooses how to use his time, and dispose of his property. In other words, a free man owns his capital. Ask the people who spend their days denigrating capitalism to refute that simple truth, and watch the supposed moral superiority of collectivism dissolve before your eyes.

December 13, 2011

Of Course Iran Should Keep the U.S. "Spy Plane"

Obama says "fairness" and "equality" are fundamental value feelings of modern America. That being so, of course Iran should keep the highly technologically advanced U.S. spy drone that somehow landed in their lap.

How so?

Imagine how unfair and unequal it is that we in the U.S. have so many of our spy drones and the Iranians have so few of our spy drones.

And now they have one.

That's still unfair and unequal, but shouldn't Obama feel a little better that the world is now just a little more fair, a little more equal?

Keep your chin up, Obama. "Losing" a spy drone is just "spreading the wealth around" by other means.

As America Struggles, the Obamas Make Do With 37 Christmas Trees

Andrew Malcolm writes at Investors Business Daily:

The economy may be weak, unemployment strong and the first family soon to vacate the White House for another half-month of vacation in Hawaii.

But the Obamas have gone all out in decorating their house this year, including a nearly quarter-ton gingerbread White House.

They have also installed 37 different Christmas trees. Thirty of the trees are live, or were, including one nearly 19-feet tall from Wisconsin. Seven of the three dozen Christmas trees are artificial or homemade including, of course, one from recyclables.

December 12, 2011

Tebow Wins Again

Another comeback win for Denver, this time against the Chicago Bears.

December 09, 2011

Pro-Homosexualist Indoctrination Targeted in New Campaign

Bob Unruh reports at WND:

A new California state law that is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1 is being put in the bull's-eye of a new campaign that would rescind its most egregious impacts, according to organizations trying to overturn the effect of SB48.

The law, approved by the California legislature in 2011 and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, mandates that all children from kindergarten through 12th grade in all "instruction" be taught to admire "the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans."

WND also reports, "Critics have said children as young as 6 years old will be taught to admire homosexuality and same-sex 'marriages,' and to support the political activism of so-called "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning" (LGBTIQ) political groups."

And what of the parents, whose stewardship over the education of their children is a God-given responsibility not to be trampled upon by the state or by anti-family activist groups? 

"Parents will neither be notified of the teaching requirements nor allowed to opt their children out of such indoctrination," critics also have warned, according to WND.

The Gospel According to Rev. Wright

At American Spectator, Charles C. Johnson writes:

In 2008 America elected a president whose pastor for 20 years preached anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, advocated bizarre pseudo-scientific racial ideas, opposed interracial marriage, praised communist dictatorships, denounced black "assimilation," and taught Afrocentric feel-good nonsense to schoolchildren.

When Americans discovered the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's views during the 2008 campaign, they rightly wondered if Barack Obama, like his pastor, really believed that HIV/AIDS was created by the American government to kill black people. Even to this day, no one knows for sure whether Obama shares the views of Wright, whom theChicago Sun-Times once described as Obama's "close confidant."

December 08, 2011

Pastors Fight to Save Nativity

Fox News reports:

A group of east Texas pastors has decided enough is enough -- declaring their intentions to fight back against Wisconsin atheists who are demanding that a Nativity located on the lawn of the Henderson County courthouse be torn down.

“It’s time that Americans stand up and take America back for the faith that we were founded upon,” said Nathan Lorick, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Malakoff. “We’re going to stand up and fight for this.”

Lorick, and a group of other pastors in Henderson County, are organizing a large rally to defend the traditional Nativity from an attack by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

December 07, 2011

Hillary Clinton: Personal "Religious Beliefs" Are "Obstacles Standing in the Way" of "Gay Rights"

"Religious beliefs and cultural values do not justify the failure to uphold the human rights of homosexuals, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the United Nations in Geneva on Tuesday," reports CNSNews.com.

Excuse me, Ms. Clinton, but a lifestyle built on ethical brokenness and human fragmentation is not an unalienable right from the Creator.

The metaphysical, moral, and epistemological estrangement of Obama and Co. from the Founding Fathers, the Declaration, the Constitution, from fact and science, from God and man, and from "the laws of nature and of nature's God" continues to reveal itself with greater and more shameful clarity.

The divorce of liberal politics from reality is a seedbed of tyranny for its narrow program can advance only by the manipulation of language and the imposition of an agenda through raw power, be that of an oppressive majority or minority, or through the barrel of a gun.

A vision-for-freedom resists. A so do lovers of freedom.

December 06, 2011

Of Schemes and Plunder: The Modern Myth of Good Government

Monty Perelin writes at American Thinker:

Our economic problems rightfully dominate the news. However, they are merely symptoms of a bigger, underlying problem: government.

For many, the previous paragraph is heresy. They "know" that government is necessary and good. They "know" that government solves problems and brings order to the chaos that would prevail in its absence. "They" are wrong!

Government has become little more than a carefully crafted myth based on propaganda disseminated by government itself. It has devolved into a scheme of plunder whereby the elites plunder the masses.

Government in America today has become an unnecessary evil. This is especially the case with regard to what is dispensed from Washington, D.C.

Both the Democrat and Republican Parties are at fault. Big time. This includes the Carters and the Clintons. And it includes the Bushes and their enablers.

In fact, authentic government is a necessary good. But as the example of the Founding Fathers shows, that necessity is not automatic: It requires human beings making wise choices based on reality-oriented information from the Creator.

This is clearly the emphasis we observe in the Declaration of Independence, and this worldivew is what must govern our vision, principles, policies, and practice if the United States is once again to be a "shining city on a hill." Not perfect, but still shining.

December 05, 2011

Obama Syndrome: Walter Reed Hospital Bars Family Members From Bringing Bibles to Wounded Soldiers

From Gateway Pundit:

While we were preoccupied with other disastrous Obama policies, military bureaucrats under Barack Obama passed a new rule that barred loved ones from bringing Bibles to wounded soldiers.

The Declaration of Independence respects human rights as being based upon the Creator ("endowed by their Creator"), but in Obamaland the Creator shall not trespass upon sacred public secular property.

The Constitution was written to structure a government that would safeguard those rights the Creator has endowed upon all people, but in Obamaland the verifiable and publicly actionable information we have from the Creator, as given in the reality-oriented content of the Old and New Testaments, is to be forbidden.

This secular aggression and regression is called "fundamental transformation," people -- away from a country where people are free to a collective of dependency wherein they are not free.

The attempt to have a free and just society without the Creator who is freedom and justice is insane.

But if this makes Michelle and Barry and their followers more proud of their country (whatever that is and wherever that is), who are we to protest?

Besides, insanity and unfreedom are a small price to pay for a nation that finally is "fair," "equal" (in poverty and dependence), and blah-blah-blah, according to the ever-dimming lights of Obama and his comrades and comradettes.

On the other hand, a free and dignified people of America who remember who they are may well insist on freedom over against tyranny. Some might even pledge their sacred honor. 

Demon Memo to the Obama-Hive: Do not under any circumstance let those American fools read the Book of Freedom. Keep it out of their hands and minds at all costs. Otherwise, before you know it, all Heaven could break out! The work of generations ruined. Our Father Below would not be pleased. 

Iowa Watch: Phyllis Schlafly Endorses Michele Bachmann

From the Des Moines Register:

Social conservative Phyllis Schlafly has endorsed Michele Bachmann for president and is urging Iowans to caucus for her, Bachmann’s campaign told The Des Moines Register tonight.

In a written statement, Schlafly says: “Most important, Michele has the courage to be a leader among her peers. She is a real champion in speaking up for values we care about. Michele is a woman of faith and the mother of a beautiful family. She has a 100 percent pro-life record and is a strong supporter of traditional marriage.”

Fireworks Video: Donald Trump Slams MSNBC's Chuck Todd -- "Tell the Truth!"

At Real Clear Politics Video:

Donald Trump attacks NBC's Chuck Todd on his MSNBC show after the host talks poll numbers that say people will not take the Trump debate seriously. At one point, Trump even suggested Chuck Todd could get "better ratings" if he would tell the truth.

"I wish you would just sort of say it like it is. I think you’d really do better. Honestly. I think you’d get better ratings if you did that. I’m doing MSNBC a favor by coming onto your show," Trump said.

The on-air fight began after Chuck Todd implied that it was Trump who wanted to come on the show to respond. Trump says it was MSNBC who begged him to come on.

Report: Herman Cain to Endorse Newt Gingrich Today

MyFoxAtlanta reports:

Herman Cain might be out of the running as a Republican presidential candidate, but his voice still carries weight with his many loyal supporters. Since he bowed out of the race Saturday, there has been much speculation on who he would endorse.

Sources tell FOX 5 News that Herman Cain plans to endorse fellow Georgian Newt Gingrich on Monday. They say details of a formal announcement are still being worked out.

Jewish Republicans: Ron Paul "Extreme"

Newsmax reports:

Rep. Ron Paul is being banned from a major GOP debate on Jewish issues in Washington this week, according to the NY Sun, because of his “extreme views” on Israel and the Mideast.

Paul has stood out at GOP debates by advocating liberatarian foreign policy positions that would put him, in some cases, to the left of the Democratic Party. He has called for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, Afghanistan other countries, has suggested that an Iranian nuclear bomb would not be a threat, and has questions the billions of dollars in foreign aid given to Israel.

December 02, 2011

Fat Lady About to Sing for Cain?

Herman Cain tells a New Hampshire newspaper "that ending his campaign is 'an option' he is considering." 

December 01, 2011

Tyranny Watch: Can Congress Steal Your Constitutional Freedoms?

Judge Andrew Napolitano writes:

Can the president use the military to arrest anyone he wants, keep that person away from a judge and jury, and lock him up for as long as he wants? In the Senate's dark and terrifying vision of the Constitution, he can.

How can this be? "Last week, while our minds were on family and turkey and football, the Senate Armed Services Committee . . . drafted an amendment to a bill appropriating money for the Pentagon," Napolitano writes.

"The amendment would permit the president to use the military for law enforcement purposes in the United States," the judge explains, "a radical departure from any use to which the military has been put in the memory of any Americans now living."

What's the upshot? Well, asks Napolitano, "Can you imagine an America in which you could lose all liberty -- from the presumption of innocence to the right to counsel to fairness from the government to a jury trial -- simply because the president says you are dangerous?"

This could never happen in the United States of America, right?

Think again. Or better it, think along with the Founders, says Napolitano:

Nothing terrified or animated the founders more than that. The founders, who wrote the Constitution, had just won a war against a king who had less power than this legislation will give to the president. But to protect their freedoms, they wrote in the Constitution the now iconic guarantee of due process. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says, "No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Note, the founders used the word "person."

"If this legislation becomes law," Napolitano concludes, "it will be dangerous for anyone to be right when the government is wrong. It will be dangerous for all of us. Just consider what any president could get away with. Who would he make disappear first? Might it be his political opponents? Might it be you?"