Archive for June 22, 2012

Are we watching the meltdown of Barack Obama, soon to become a radioactive pile from which voters will run come November? Or are we instead witnessing the stirrings of a kind of political phoenix heretofore unseen in American history?

By any traditional measure, news in the past week or two alone should sink Barack Obama’s chances for a second term. First, Obama biographer Stanley Kurtz reported new and definitive proof that, as a 34-year-old embarking on his political career, Obama belonged to the anti-capitalist — indeed, socialist — New Party, a phase of his political development he has not only never repudiated but also has hidden from the American people. By any traditional measure, such news would at least intensify any Obama meltdown. But wait. Kurtz and other researchers discovered this fact back in 2008, only to be smeared by the Obama campaign as not wrong but “crackpot.” They were right all along and deserve an apology. (Don’t hold your breath.)

Do Obama and his campaign get away with lying about this key entry in the president’s political resume? Does Obama get away with having masked his early efforts to socialize America? So far, even against the backdrop of imploding European socialism, the answers are “yes.”

Next, there was the president’s Rose Garden amnesty of June 15. That’s when the president seized legislative powers by declaring a brand-new law to exempt an entire class of illegal aliens — those 16 to 30 years old — from deportation laws enacted by Congress. Frankly, revolutions have started over shorter dictatorial overreach. As kids in elementary school should know, but aren’t taught — no time with all those sex-ed and “green” energy requirements — the executive branch doesn’t make law; it executes it. Even Barack Obama has repeatedly made the point.

What changed? The conventional wisdom, assuming the White House is in political “panic,” explains this presidential diktat as a desperate act of pandering to anti-immigration-law Hispanic voters. No doubt. But as Mark Krikorian noted at National Review Online: “One needs to ask why the White House thought it could get away with such a shocking power grab. And the answer is that no one stopped them before, so they figured … they could go further.”

Was the White House right? Opposition hasn’t coalesced — let alone any volcanic eruptions of good, old-fashioned outrage — and that’s putting it mildly. Thus, 130-plus days from the election, the New Party emeritus president has grabbed powers that not only tighten the already constricted job market for the American unemployed, but make mincemeat of the Constitution, trample national sovereignty and advance the erosion of our once-beloved English-speaking culture (the love that really dares not speak its name). Meltdown, right?

Nope. The only villain of the piece to emerge is Neil Munro of The Daily Caller, who interrupted the president’s press audience (no questions, please) to hurl the issue of jobs for Americans (not for foreigners already illegally exploiting the U.S. taxpayer) into the mix. Off with his head, cried the prObamedia, echoes reverberating. To his everlasting credit, Munro’s editor, Tucker Carlson, defiantly announced he would instead give Munro a raise. The echo-chamber narrative, however, was set. Obama did the right thing, “everyone” said, notwithstanding all that rude, right-wing “heckling.”

Which brings us to this week. After House Republicans on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee took the unprecedented step of voting Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding documents relevant to its investigation of the Fast and Furious “gun-walking” operation, President Obama invoked “executive privilege,” dropping the dubious mantle of secrecy over all the documents in question.

This time, House Republicans and media conservatives hit the roof. But what of the great national echo chamber?

It hit the mute button. The Washington Post, still brushing Watergate anniversary confetti from its hair, reported on Page A1 that this assertion of presidential privilege at the climactic moment of Congress’ 16-month investigation simply “reignited a long-running Washington debate over the limits of White House power.” In other words, ho-hum. The story sits low in The New York Times’ online queue, with a headline winding up the perfect PrObamedia pitch: “House Panel Vote Steps Up Partisan Fight on Gun Inquiry.” “Partisan fight,” of course, is New York Times-ese for “heckling.”

So is the president melting down or rising like a phoenix? For a socialist with dictatorial inclinations — or is that a dictator with socialist inclinations? — he’s shockingly buoyant in the polls. Watch out, lovers of constitutional liberty: Unless We, the people, make ourselves heard, this rara avis could still take flight.

Diana West

Diana West is a contributing columnist for and author of the new book, The Death of the Grown-up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization.

June is Gay Pride Month, which immediately begs two questions: 1. Says who? 2. How is it that we have become a nation of such compliant sheep that we accept this rubbish?

The Viacom corporation, on the other hand, thinks it’s the perfect opportunity for its MTV and gay Logo channels to announce they’re creating a second “It Gets Better,” anti-bullying special starring their favorite gay bully, Dan Savage. On the cusp of this news, Savage denounced the gay group GOProud for endorsing Mitt Romney for president: “The GOP’s house faggots grab their ankles on this one.”

This F-bomb has destroyed careers in Hollywood — see Isaiah Washington, the former star of “Grey’s Anatomy.” But Savage just signed with Creative Artists Agency to line up his business offers. One wonders if the reporters who cover television will ever dare to ask the Viacom brass how they square Savage’s routine bullying bursts — whether into a microphone or into a keyboard — with the transparently false anti-bullying persona they’re promoting to make themselves look community-minded.

Hypocrisy doesn’t get more blatant than this. It’s coming not just from Viacom, but also from all those diversity-loving, tolerance-dreaming press critics who ultimately really don’t mean a word of it.

Savage is “more mainstream than ever before,” oozed a recent profile in the Chicago Tribune. In their article, we discover it is now “more mainstream” for Savage to proclaim that the nation’s most devout religious leaders are cheerleaders for teen suicides. “Every dead gay kid is a moral, rhetorical victory for them. They stand on a pile of dead gay kids.”

The Tribune didn’t find this inaccurate or offensive. Referring to Savage’s fear that “It Gets Better” makes him look like a “milquetoast,” the Tribune declared, “If Dan Savage is milquetoast, then he is a particularly piquant version.”

At a student journalism conference in early May, Savage caused a student walkout as he trashed the Bible as a “radical pro-slavery document.” If it was wrong on slavery, “on the easiest moral question that humanity has ever faced…What are the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong? 100 percent,” Savage said. He mocked the students who walked out in protest “It’s funny, as someone who is the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back,” Savage said.

In a new interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Savage repeated that “religious people need to learn to ignore what the Bible says about gay people, or seems to say, the same way they ignore what the Bible says about shellfish and slavery. We’re not asking religious people to do anything they haven’t already done, which is to let go of the parts of the Bible that discriminate. They’ve done it before with slavery and they can do it again with homosexuality.”

Savage isn’t hiding his agenda: Hey, hey, ho, ho, the Holy Bible has got to go. Hollywood has made this view “more mainstream than ever,” and he knows it. This secular sex columnist doesn’t have any need to express civility toward his opponents. There is only the flamethrower and the grenades for this commando.

This line was also in his “more mainstream than ever” basket, equating marriage to rape: ” We should start calling male-on-female rape ‘traditional’ rape. Because if all ‘traditional’ means is that it’s between a man and woman, that’s setting the bar pretty low.”

This man not only hates Christians, he despises Christianity itself.

MTV just wrapped up its season of “Savage U,” the show where Savage travels to college campuses doling out profane sex “education.” For twelve episodes on twelve college campuses, MTV posed Savage as the compassionate wise man as he says the most outrageous things. In the season finale at Texas Tech, Savage preached that contraceptives must be used to prevent “the world’s oldest and most disruptive sexually transmitted infection: pregnancy.” He confessed his MTV sidekick Lauren Hutchinson doesn’t like that lingo because “she’s so sentimental that way about babies.”

Savage is so unsentimental that he’s insulted his own adopted son D. J. as thuggish. In an adoring NPR interview last year with Terry Gross, he cracked, “If he didn’t have us for parents — he’s a little thuggy snowboarder-skateboarder dude — and I like to think that he’s blessed to have us as parents because you can see in him the capacity to be a bully.” Thanks, “Dad.”

Earth to Viacom: You are ridiculous when you announce anti-bullying specials hosted by pathetic bullies like Dan Savage. It makes about as much sense as a special promoting vegetarianism hosted by Ronald McDonald.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.

“What shall we do for our sister      on the day she is spoken for?   If she is a wall,      we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door,      we will enclose her with panels of cedar.”Song of Solomon 8:8b-9

As a child, I remember thinking that teachers must love giving tests. As students, of course, we hated them. We hated studying for them and taking tests was no party either. The teacher, on the other hand got to sit back and relax while we sweated out the exam. Then the teacher rewarded those who had obviously listened in class and punish those who hadn’t. What power!

The first time I taught Hebrew school I discovered that wasn’t exactly true. Making the exams was only slightly less annoying then having to grade them! No – tests were not for the sake of the teachers. They were a gift to the students. It gave them confidence when they succeeded and helped them know what they still had to work on.

In the Song of Solomon, King Solomon speaks metaphorically of a little sister who has not yet developed into a mature woman. What shall we do for our sister on the day she is spoken for?” The verse continues, “If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar.”

Tradition teaches that this verse is a reference to the patriarch Abraham who began his journey underdeveloped, not yet the spiritual giant that he was to become. God tested him ten times in order to see if he would be a wall or a door. If Abraham were able to withstand the challenges presented before him, then he would become the strong wall upon which the silver tower of the Jewish nation would be built. If, however, he wavered like a door swinging on its hinges, all that would be built on him would be unstable, temporary wooden planks.

Abraham withstood the tests, proving that he was a worthy foundation upon which to build the Jewish nation. More importantly, it was through the testing that he developed into the bastion of strength that he needed to be.

The purpose of challenges in our lives is to forge us into greater people. So embrace your trials and tribulations! It’s the gift of an opportunity for change. Before his ten tests, Abraham had potential for greatness. But it was only after them – and through them –  that he became the father of our faith.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”          Pr 15:1 NIV

Have you heard about the fightin’ Irishman who landed in America and announced, “If there’s a government here, I’m agin’ it”? We smile, but “harsh words stir up anger.” If you want to avoid conflict, don’t create it. The key to getting along with people who are upset or who don’t share your viewpoint is to relax and try to empathize. That doesn’t mean acquiescing to their every whim. But when you are clear about your position, you can let them be who they are. When you are okay with who you are, you don’t need to make others wrong in order to feel right. Not only is it naive to expect everybody to see things your way, you must recognize that they have their own thoughts, opinions and feelings. Jesus said, “Settle matters quickly with your adversary…while you are with him” (Mt 5:25 NIV). One family counselor says, “Instead of meeting verbal attack with verbal counterattack, seeing the situation from the other person’s viewpoint is disarming, leaving the attacker with no target.” Do you have to agree with everybody? No, but “Do all…you can to live in peace with everyone” (Ro 12:18 NLT). Are there times when you must defend your position? Yes, but don’t go around with a chip on your shoulder looking for arguments. Sometimes Christians are the worst offenders; we think because our cause is just, it doesn’t matter who gets caught in the crossfire. “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs” (Pr 19:11 NLT). Make up your mind to extend to others the same grace God has extended to you.

At this time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And as he was coming up from the water, he saw the heavens opening and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down upon him. And a voice from heaven said,

“Thou art my beloved Son,

In thee I am well pleased.”

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after he had fasted forty days and forty nights he was hungry. Then the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” But Jesus answered, “It is written,

“‘Man is not to live on bread alone,

But on every word that comes from God.'”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and, setting him on the highest point of the Temple, said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,

“‘He will give his angels charge of you,

And on their hands they will bear you up,

Lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”

Jesus said to him, “It is also written,

“‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

Once more the devil took him to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him,

“All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,       And him only shall you serve.'”


The Rich Fool

Posted: June 22, 2012 in O
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And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me …. And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth–(Luk 12:13-15)

What Jesus Did When He Was Interrupted

Jesus was often interrupted in His teaching, and some of the choicest sayings in the Gospel spring from these interruptions of the Lord. When we are interrupted at our work or play, you know how cross we generally are. But Jesus, in His perfect trust and wisdom, turned even His interruptions to account. He had to stop preaching at Capernaum once when the paralytic was lowered through the roof. But instead of fretting, He so used the moment that the crowd in the cottage glorified God. And here, too, as He is teaching, He is brought to a halt by an unlooked-for question. Yet He so answers it, and uses it, and preaches such a memorable sermon on it, that I am sure there was not a disciple but thanked God for the unseemly interruption. Christ felt that not one man could interrupt Him, without the permission of His heavenly Father. It was that present and perfect trust in God that kept Him in His unutterable calm.

Where Was This Man’s Treasure?

While He was speaking, then, of heavenly things–of forgiveness of sins and of the Holy Ghost–and when He paused, perhaps, for an instant to see if Peter and John had understood Him, there came a grating voice upon His ear, “Master, speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me.” Now, whether this man was really wronged or not, it is of course impossible to say. And it was not that which stirred the wrath of Jesus–it was the betrayal of the speaker’s heart. A single sentence may be enough to reveal us. A single request may open our inmost soul. And here was a man who had listened to peerless preaching, and might have been carried heavenward on the wings of it, but the moment Jesus stops, he blurts out his petition, and his whole grievance is about his possessions. Does not that show what he was thinking of? Cannot you follow back the workings of his mind through these magnificent teachings that precede? It was that earthly mind that stirred Christ’s anger. It was that which led Him on to preach on greed. There was life eternal in the words of Christ; but this man, in the very hearing of them, could think of nothing but the family gold.

An Anxious, Selfish Fool

Then Jesus told the story of the rich fool, and as He told it His mind went back to Nabal (1Sa 25:1-44). For “Nabal” just means a foolish man, and as his name was, so was he. Like Nabal, too, this churl was not a badman. He had not stolen the wealth that was to wreck him. It was God’s rain that had fallen on his seed. It was God’s sunshine that had ripened his harvest. It was God’s gentleness that made him great. But for all that, his riches ruined him. He gave his heart to them: he gave his soul. Then suddenly, when he was laying his plans, and dreaming his golden dreams about tomorrow, God whispered, “Senseless! This night they want thy soul!” Who the they is–for so it reads in the original–we cannot say. They may be the angels of death; they may be robbers. In any case they are God’s instruments, and the rich man must say goodbye to everything. O folly, never to think of that! He had thought of everything except his God. “And so is he that layeth up treasure for himself, if he is not rich towards God.”

Now there are three things we must notice about this man; and the first is how very anxious he was. When we are young we think that to be rich means to be free from anxiety altogether. We can understand a pauper being anxious, but not a man who has great heaps of gold. But this rich man was just as full of cares as the beggar without a sixpence in the world. He could not sleep for thinking of his crops. That question of the harvest haunted him. It shut out God from him, and every thought of heaven, just as that family inheritance we spoke of silenced the music of Jesus for the questioner. Who is the man who we sometimes call a fool? It is the man with the bee in his bonnet, as we say. But better sometimes to have a bee in the bonnet than to have nothing but barns upon the brain. The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.

See next how very selfish the man was. Do we hear one whisper of a harvest-thanksgiving? Is there any word of gratitude to God? You would think the man had fashioned the corn himself, and burnished and filled the ears with his own hand, he is so fond of talking of my corn. Do you remember what we learned in the Lord’s Prayer. It is never my there, it is always our. And the Lord’s fool is at opposite poles from the Lord’s Prayer, for he is always babbling about my. And then were there no poor folk in his glen? Was there no Naomi in yon cottage in the town? Did not one single Ruth come out to glean when the tidings traveled of that amazing harvest? If the bosoms of the poor had been his barns, he would have been welcomed at the Throne that night. O selfish and ungrateful!–but halt, have I been selfish this last week? There are few follies in the world like the folly of the selfish man.

Then, lastly, think–and we have partly traveled on this ground already–think how very foolish the man was. Had he said, “Body, take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry!” there might have been some shadow of reason in it. But to think that a soul that hungers after God was ever to be satisfied with food–is there any folly that can equal that? “The world itself,” says James Renwick, “could not fill the heart, for the heart has three corners and the world is round!” Let us so live, then, that when our soul is summoned, we shall say, “Yea, Lord! It has long been wanting home.” And to this end let us seek first the kingdom. For where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.


Do You Trust Him?

Posted: June 22, 2012 in Max Lucado

Do You Trust Him?.