THE SIGNIFICANCE OF YOUR VOTE — PART 1 (UPDATED)

vote for america

UPDATE: Check out Keith DeHavelle‘s comment here. It adds considerable firepower to this post. I also suggest you visit his blog.  What he posts is definitely worth stopping by to read.

What caused me to write this post? I am usually quite content to let the comments I receive drive my the subject of my posts, and this one is driven by quite a few.

Does Planned Parenthood Use Taxpayer Funds To Pay For Abortions?

Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. (origin)

When I advocated cutting Federal funding for Planned Parenthood, insanitybytes22 quite reasonably observed that because it is illegal to use Federal funds to pay for abortions, the bill before Congress would not do anything (comment here). Since is a smart lady, I was kind of puzzled. That did not square with the controversy in Congress. Fortunately, Keith DeHavelle added some clarification to the matter (comment here). So I was fairly satisfied I was on the right track. Nevertheless, when I got a comment from Steven Hoyt (here) stating unequivocally that  “NO federal funds are used for abortion aside from incest, rape, and endangerment to the mother,” I decided it was time to post something.

If you google “the hyde amendment banned the use of federal funds for abortions,” what you will get is a bunch of organization whining on how the Hyde Amendment violates women’s rights. This law prevent Federal funds from paying for abortions. If you want to know when the so-called Pro-Choice crowd thinks, click on the link.

This excerpt from http://www.fundabortionnow.org is especially ironic.

The Hyde Amendment has a disproportionate impact on women of color, both because women of color are more likely to live in poverty and to rely on Medicaid for health care, and because women of color are also more likely to seek abortion care.  (from here)

Margaret Sanger started Planned Parenthood as a eugenics program design to get rid of colored people (see GROSSU: Margaret Sanger, racist eugenicist extraordinaire).

So how does Planned Parenthood use the money we give them? It is just a matter how they account for the money. They say they don’t use Federal funds to pay for abortions. Here are some articles on the subject. Because the Liberals own the media and clutter both the air waves and the Internet with nonsense, it takes more effort to find a Conservative viewpoint.

What the articles above illustrate is how some people view telling the truth.

It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. — Bill Clinton (from here)

In part two, I intend to respond to some of commenters on THE PRECIOUS HUMAN LIFE AND THE ABORTION FACTOR.

Steven Hoyt started a debate over the value of voting. I tend to think the fact we have to debate such a thing amazingly stupid, but it is common enough for Christians to want nothing to do with the dirty business of politics. It is, after all, a dirty business. Don’t we have to work with other disagreeable human beings?

Keith DeHavelle is very knowledgeable and erudite. So I will steal some more of his material.

exploringthegreatknown writes with a special degree of kindness and gentleness, and is unafraid to reference the Bible. I hope to incorporate some his thoughts and add my own perspective.

Meanwhile, if anyone else wants to add their own two cents, please do so.

WHAT IS MISSING ON FATHER’S DAY IN THE YEAR 2014?

fatherLook in the newspaper, glance at the television, or just sit in the mall and watch people. What is missing? More and more often, we miss seeing the leadership of a strong, caring and decent man. Here of late, it has become all too obvious we are missing political leadership. Instead of crafting laws designed to make our people strong and independent, our leaders grasp for power — no matter what the cost. To steal a billion dollars for their patrons, the greedy sort who fund negative political campaigns, they waste 10 billion.

We have had so many scandals coming out of the Obama administration we cannot track of them anymore. It almost seems as if they create new scandals to distract and confuse us from the old ones.  What do we know about?

  • Bowe Bergdahl and terrorists
  • The Veterans Administration and waiting lists
  • IRS and Tea Party/Conservative Organizations
  • Benghazi, Libya and a dead American ambassador
  • So-called global warming and costly electrical power
  • Fast and Furious and illegal arms sales
  • The NSA and Snowden
  • James Rosen, the AP, and government surveillance
  • Demands for donations from businesses regulated by the HHS
  • Sumptuous training conferences for government employees
  • Same-sex weddings and the Constitution
  • Executive orders and the limits of presidential power
  • 2000 page bills no congressman reads and tens of thousands of pages of indecipherable regulations that will stifle our economy
  • The New Black Panthers and your right to vote
  • And so forth

Any one of these scandals — by itself — should have raised the ire of our nation. Yet the cumulative affect of a couple of dozen has been a bewildered yawn. Will we let a gift of God; the republic that once protected the lives and liberties of our families, friends and neighbors; die and only express confused indifference?

The answer begins (and began) at home. Are you a man? Are you a father? Have you tried to be a good father? Have you succeeded? If you think you have room for improvement (And don’t we all?), then check out Rob Barkman‘s post, Father’s Day Devotion – Leadership. Here is how it begins.

Our families are falling apart due to a lack of Godly leadership. Our political world is crying out for a sincere, honest leader.  Churches are falling into error and modernism because they have no strong leader to show them the right way.  Our world is crying out for genuine leadership.

Before I go any farther, it is important for me to define what I mean by a “genuine leader”….

What makes up a genuine leader for our families, governments and churches?  I believe a genuine leader is someone who will seek to follow the Lord’s will in every decision that he makes; someone who loves those he is responsible to lead; someone who will ALWAYS put his personal interests second to the interest of those he is leading; someone who will attempt to work for our peace while not sacrificing our security in the process; and  finally, someone who seeks our prosperity, not leading us to take advantage of others, but by leading us to prosper through honesty, quality, innovation and productivity.   (I’m sure we could all add several other qualities to this list… but I think you “get my drift”!) (continued here)

 is first and foremost a teacher of the Bible. Using the words of Jesus, he continues, and he reminds us of what it means to be a leader.

OF TWISTED WORDS => SECULAR

freedomconscienceIt was only after I posted it I realized I had made a mistake. When I posted BECOMING SECULAR, I should have added it to the series I had started, OF TWISTED WORDS.

How have we twisted the word “secular?” Well, according to the dictionary the word secular pertains “to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred.” However, as the examples given in BECOMING SECULAR demonstrate, “becoming secular” is a religious choice. When we hear so and so is “becoming more secular,” don’t we know that means?

Fortunately, two commenters wanted to debate.  So they gave me an excuse to add the word “secular” to the OF TWISTED WORDS series.

Atheism

hessianwithteeth has two problems with BECOMING SECULAR (his comments are here, here, here, here and here).

  • He takes issue with the fact that I supposedly called him a fool.
  • As an atheist, he does not believe the Bible. That is, there is no God, and the Bible is not His Word.

Did I Call  A Fool?

Did I call  a fool? No. What I said in BECOMING SECULAR is that becoming secular through indifference, ignoring God, is foolish.   says he has studied the matter carefully and determined that God does not exist. That is not the same thing as “becoming secular.” Instead of ignoring God,  has deliberately turned his back to God, saying He does not exist.  calls himself an atheist, and an atheist is someone who has made a conscious decision that God does not exist. God, not me, calls atheists fools.

Psalm 14:1 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 The fool has said in his heart,

There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.

In fact, both Psalms 14 and 53 make it quite clear that God has a low opinion of those who turn away from Him. Nevertheless, I have no idea what is in ‘s heart, and it is not my place to judge anyone.  I can only look at a man’s deeds, and I know next to nothing of ‘s deeds.

Does God Exist?

Can I prove the Bible is the Word of God? To some people? Maybe. To ? That depends upon him.

As a practical matter, we each allow the Bible either prove or disprove itself. If we study the Bible carefully and objectively, I think most of us will accept the Bible as true. Nothing else besides the Bible provides an explanation for why we exist and why we are as we are that makes any real sense. Unfortunately, we are lazy. Relative few actively study the Bible, and no one who has studied the Bible remains objective.

In this comment lists some of his objections. They illustrate some knowledge of the Bible, enough knowledge that he has lost his objectivity.

  •  wants independent proof, a report from somebody who is neither christian/jewish nor roman (stipulated in a latter comment).  That sounds reasonable, but it is not. Luke was a Greek. He wrote one of the four Gospels and Acts, and he believed. So he became a Christian. Thus, because Luke believed,   disqualifies him.
  •  does not find it odd that people converted to Christianity. He compares Christians to the Jewish Zealots. Yet any historian, which  claims to be, should able to observe just how unique Jewish history is and that there is something incredible about the spread of Christianity. In spite every attempt to destroy the Jewish people, they remain, and Christianity spreads through the blood of martyrs, not the sword.
  •  offers as argument that morality existed long before the Bible (and he considers the subject further on his blog, Do We Require Religion to be Moral?). It is true that morality existed before the Bible. God existed long before the Bible. As the Apostle Paul observed:

    Romans 2:14-15 English Standard Version (ESV)

    14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

    What is relevant about Christianity is how much people’s morality improves when they become devout Christians. Consider, for example, that it was in Christian lands that governments first abolished slavery. In the 1850’s who other than a Christian writer could have written this paragraph and been taken seriously by millions?

    “My view of Christianity is such,” he added, “that I think no man can consistently profess it without throwing the whole weight of his being against this monstrous system of injustice that lies at the foundation of all our society; and, if need be, sacrificing himself in the battle. That is, I mean that I could not be a Christian otherwise, though I have certainly had intercourse with a great many enlightened and Christian people who did no such thing; and I confess that the apathy of religious people on this subject, their want of perception of wrongs that filled me with horror, have engendered in me more skepticism than any other thing.” (from UNCLE TOM’S CABIN or Life among the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe)

    Because we live in a large nation where almost everyone has a Christian heritage, we don’t understand the significance of that heritage. Because those people are far away, few appreciate the reason for the relative lawlessness in other lands. Those people don’t share our Christian heritage. And fewer still have studied our ancestors well enough to appreciate the civilizing influence of Jesus Christ’s teachings. Through Jesus, we learned just how much God loves us.

Compartmentalization

scout objected to my observation that we have twisted the meaning of the word “secular.” Instead, he said the dictionary definition of the word remains true. He also said that we can easily distinguish the religious from the secular (his relevant comments are hereherehere, and here). The second paragraph in ‘s first comment probably best summarizes his argument.

But the post seems to go off the rails (for me, at any rate), where it equates secular content with an active decision to ignore religious issues (or God Himself, as you appear to say). At that point, I think you begin to mis-use the term “secular” and are confusing it with concepts such as atheism or agnosticism. There are many religious people (I count myself among them) who view the religious/secular distinction as an extremely important protection of religious life. Keep the base and the worldly in their appropriate context. Let spiritual issues, issues that are not of this world prosper in their appropriate sphere. I view this distinction as important, as a practical matter, to protect religion and religious expression. In this country, it was part of the great genius of the Founders that they permitted that distinction to take root and thrive, thus avoiding the debasement of religion by political leaders such as had occurred in Europe in their times and continues in many places today. The distinction also has strong Scriptural foundation for Christians, although other religions also benefit from observing clear distinctions between secular and religious activities.

Did I misused the term “secular?” Read the post BECOMING SECULAR, and judge for yourself. Let’s consider here ‘s effort to divide Creation into distinct secular and religious spheres or compartments. To the Christian, that should make no sense. As a practical matter, we do not even have what the dictionary would describe as a secular government. We have a government that is suppose to recognize the fact that our rights are God-given. Unfortunately, due to the fact that our parents allowed politicians to supervise our education, we have forgotten the intent behind the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof “(from here). That means no one should use the power of the government to either to establish a religion or stop anybody from practicing their religion.

Why such an attitude towards government power? Why such a deliberate effort to keep government from interfering with religion? Christians believe in glorifying God in all things.  Depending upon the translation, that phrase “all things” occurs often, 201 times in the Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV). Sometimes that phrase says we should glorify God in “all things.”

1 Peter 4:11 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

What do numerous passages tell us what should be our primary occupation? Consider this one.

Matthew 6:19-21 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Hence, the Founders structured our government to prevent it from interfering with religion, not to use secularism or some other excuse to suppress it.

Why would someone want to suppress Christianity? The Bible reminds us of just how awful we can be. In one of his complaints about the Bible,  observed that God seems to approve of some very bad things. Oddly, considering he says he is a historian,   forgets that the Bible records quite a bit of history, often just saying what happened. Much of the Bible is also a Book of Law. Making laws appropriate for the ancient Jews, trying to civilize a stiff-necked people — like us — sometimes forced God to compensate for our hard hearts. So He allowed the Jews to divorce their wives, keep slaves, and have a king to rule over them, but He did not approve of any of these things. He simply made laws that softened the affects of our sins.

Civilizing human beings is very difficult. We too often want to do very bad things, and sometime we revert to savagery. Consider how far back to our savage nature we have already gone.

In the following passage, G.K. Chesterton talks about the religion practice by the ancient Carthaginians. Carthage was a Phoenician colony. The Phoenicians, the folks who gave us our alphabet, are apparently one of the Canaanite Peoples the Hebrews should have destroyed when they took over the Holy Land.

In a previous chapter I have hinted at something of the psychology that lies behind a certain type of religion. There was a tendency in those hungry for practical results, apart from poetical results, to call upon spirits of terror and compulsion; to move Acheron in despair of bending the Gods. There is always a sort of dim idea that these darker powers will really do things, with no nonsense about it. In the interior psychology of the Punic peoples this strange sort of pessimistic practicality had grown to great proportions. In the New Town, which the Romans called Carthage, as in the parent cities of Phoenicia, the god who got things done bore the name of Moloch, who was perhaps identical with the other deity whom we know as Baal, the Lord. The Romans did not at first quite know what to call him or what to make of him; they had to go back to the grossest myth of Greek or Roman origins and compare him to Saturn devouring his children. But the worshippers of Moloch were not gross or primitive. They were members of a mature and polished civilisation, abounding in refinements and luxuries; they were probably far more civilised than the Romans. And Moloch was not a myth; or at any rate his meal was not a myth. These highly civilised people really met together to invoke the blessing of heaven on their empire by throwing hundreds of their infants into a large furnace. We can only realise the combination by imagining a number of Manchester merchants with chimney-pot hats and mutton-chop whiskers, going to church every Sunday at eleven o’clock to see a baby roasted alive. (from Everlasting Man (1925) by Chesterton, Gilbert Keith (1874-1936))

The ancient Romans utterly destroyed Carthage.

Referring to it as a secular practice, denying the humanity of the unborn, we sacrifice infants today. We don’t overtly call an abortion a sacrificial offering; we deny the practice might have any entertainment value. Nonetheless, trying to elevate the practice — making every taxpayer an accomplice — abortion supporters fight tooth and nail for public funding. Hence, to satisfy the demands of our “secular” government, abortion supporters deny the possibility that an unborn baby — a miracle of life — has any religious significance.

 

REMEMBERING THE DEAD AND MOURNING WHAT IS TO COME

sheepToday is Memorial Day. What is the time honored way we speak of the occasion (see A Memorial Day Devotion for Christians)? Don’t we say that today is the day we remember the sacrifices of our honored dead? And why? There are so many who cannot help but remember and mourn.

Why so many pointless wars? The Bible calls us sheep, stupid little beasts in need of The Good Shepherd. Fighting sheep? So it would seem. We are sheep led to shear and slaughter each other. Instead of hearing His voice and following Him, too many of us chase idols, gods of our own making. Instead of following the voice of The Good Shepherd, we idolize stuff, sex, self, and state.

  • Stuff. Some sheep become lost in the glitter of possessions.  They go into debt buying fancy cars, spacious and expensive houses, and pretty trinkets of all kinds, or they measure their own worth and the worth of others by the size of their stacks their gold.  (Luke 12:13-21)
  • Sex. Other sheep chase Will-o’-the-Wisps, momentary thrills. In a vain hope of filling the empty void within, they devour sex, drugs, and “experiences.” For the sake of transient pleasures, these sheep indifferently throw away both their own lives and the lives of others, even the lives of their lovers.  (Judges 16)
  • Self. The most foolish sheep care only for themselves. Filled with the need for self-glorification, they perceive only their own wishes and desires. Until it becomes a “Truth” that satisfies their wants and needs, these sheep willfully pervert every perception, every fact, every axiom of logic. (Isaiah 14:12-20)
  • State. Many sheep compound their sins. These sheep turn their souls over to will of a mob. In return for empty promises and lies, they empower narcissistic leaders, giving such powers they have no right to have. In return for stuff, sex, and worthless flattery, these sheep make tyrants both their shepherds and their oppressors.  And their pathetic excuse? It is what a child would say. “Everybody else is doing it.” (1 Samuel 8)

And so, we sacrifice each other and the love of our Creator for worthless stuff, meaningless sex, a haughty self, a treacherous state,…. for nothing good. Bereft of honor, unwilling to sacrifice any portion of our wants for the sake of virtue, we cannot be peaceable. “I” must have more stuff. “I” must be stimulated to greater heights. “I” must have “my” self-esteem raised to unsurpassed levels. And our government — our “honorable” leaders — must give “me” everything they have promised, no matter what the cost to someone else.

For the sake of our souls — for the sake of love and for peace — we must listen for the calming voice of The Good Shepherd.

John 10:1-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

Interested in reading more about John 10:1-18The Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18) by Robert L. (Bob)Deffinbaugh provides an excellent commentary.