What Has the Supreme Court Done for Conservatives?

A review of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case and the performance of the Republican majority court.

I’m not a negative nitpicker determined to find fault, but I am committed to putting things in proper perspective, comparing them to fixed, objective standards and timeless truths. That includes giving an honest assessment of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case recently decided by the U. S. Supreme Court, and of the performance of the court in general.

Though the court found in favor of the side that the Christian right had hoped for, it did so in a manner that was not actually a victory for religious liberty and freedom of conscience. In fact, the decision actually serves to cement the idea that homosexuals have a “right” to be served by individuals and businesses, even when providing those services violates the personal convictions of the service provider. Continue reading “What Has the Supreme Court Done for Conservatives?”

Perspective on Syria: The War, the Weapons, the Players, the Principles, the Christian Response

Though the bombs have already fallen and the U.S. response to the April 7 alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government seems to be behind us, the Syrian civil war is far from over, and so is America’s involvement in that far away and little-understood corner of the world.

Unfortunately, most Americans know very little about the real nature of the Syrian civil war, its history, its scope, or the players involved. Worse yet, almost no one is discussing the proper application of the rule of law or the moral principles that should be considered before interjecting ourselves into another country’s internal affairs. Most of us only know what can be learned from the sound bites served up by the six o’clock news or the party line being proffered by our favorite pundits.

Given that the Syrian civil war is ongoing, that the U.S. has troops on the ground, and the deep state political establishment seems to have long-term plans for that country and region, we would do well to get ourselves apprised of the facts, the history, and the players involved, then consider the sound principles that can guide us to a wise, lawful, and moral course of action. Continue reading “Perspective on Syria: The War, the Weapons, the Players, the Principles, the Christian Response”

If Trump Is King Cyrus, Then What Does it Say About the American Church

During the 2016 Presidential election, a number of Christian personalities began making a comparison between the ancient Persian King, Cyrus, a heathen king who God used to release the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, and Donald Trump as a potential modern-day deliverer of American Christians. It seems that idea is still in vogue, at least in some circles.

I recently read an article about Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, likening President Trump to King Cyrus. That article referenced another article and both referenced various Christian personalities who are all keeping the Cyrus appellation alive. I’m not claiming special prophetic revelation on the matter like some have intimated, but I do find myself compelled to comment on the applicability and significance of drawing a parallel between President Trump and King Cyrus. Continue reading “If Trump Is King Cyrus, Then What Does it Say About the American Church”

Putting Mass School Shootings Into Perspective

When a shocking tragedy like the recent Parkland, Florida mass school shooting takes place, the media keeps it in the headlines for days. Television inundates our senses with sights and sounds that reinforce the human emotion of the calamity while the drama is relived in front of our eyes day and night. The media milks an event like this for all the ratings it’s worth, keeping it in the news-cycle for up to a week, or at least until the next natural disaster or political scandal comes along.

Our senses can easily become overwhelmed by the relentless rehearsing of the story and its horrific details, all presented in a manner calculated to elicit an emotional response rather than rational thought. If we’re not alert, and diligent to exercise critical thinking, we can quickly lose perspective and join Chicken Little in believing that the sky really is falling, that mass shootings are sweeping the land, and that if the government doesn’t do something quick, “we’ll all die!”

Mass public shootings (properly called “mass murder,” unless you’re trying to sensationalize a particular aspect of the incident) are indeed a terrible thing that we should be working to prevent. But how much of the American landscape does the phenomenon of mass shootings really take up as opposed to the amount of news headlines it’s given? Continue reading “Putting Mass School Shootings Into Perspective”

Does the Constitution Party Want to Establish a Theocracy?

This is not just a Constitution Party issue
but a question everyone needs to answer

A question, and sometimes accusation, that we in the Constitution Party are often confronted with is whether the party wants to establish a theocracy. The answer to the question depends on whose definition of “theocracy” you’re using.

The word theocracy originates from the Greek θεοκρατία meaning, “the rule of God.” So, if you’re asking whether the Constitution Party wants our nation to be subject to the rule of God, then the answer is “yes.” As in the pledge of allegiance, we want to be one nation “under God,” not a nation out from under God, or a nation in rebellion against God, but a nation in submission under the Creator and His revealed will for the governing of the civil societies of His creation, which will includes the restraining of evil, preservation of the moral order, justice, and the protection of individual, God-given rights.

However, when people accuse the Constitution Party of wanting to establish a theocracy, most of the time they are talking about the idea of the organized church directly running the institutions of civil government, or government passing laws that require specific religious practice or observance. If this is your definition of a theocracy, then the Constitution Party strongly opposes it. Continue reading “Does the Constitution Party Want to Establish a Theocracy?”

Why Did the Dow Hit 25,000?

A few days ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 25,000, setting a new all-time record high for the U.S. stock market. As they are wont to do, the experts are speculating and opining as to what it all means. Some think this is good news, some think it’s bad, some believe it can continue, some believe it’s the boom before the bust.

Does the Dow’s breaking the 25,000 barrier really mean the economy is better than it’s ever been? Does it mean we’re all richer now? Was the market stagnated until Trump came along and breathed life into it, causing us to ascend to new heights of economic ecstasy? Or, could it be that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and that the Dow reaching 15,000, then 20,000, and now 25,000 was inevitable?

Most conservatives will no doubt revel in the current upward trend, taking it as token evidence that Trump and the Republicans are the saviors of the American way of life, single-handedly rescuing the economy from the financial doldrums imposed by eight years of Democrat rule. However, I have a different perspective. Continue reading “Why Did the Dow Hit 25,000?”

Scandal and Allegation: Is It News or Just Gossip?

Sex scandals and harassment allegations seem to be all the rage these days. From the accusations made against Roy Moore to the misadventures of news anchor Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein before them, and now Senator Al Franken and a host of others, America seems to be awash with salacious allegations against public figures of every kind.

The idea of the media trying people in the so-called court of public opinion is nothing new. The media has long enjoyed playing the roles of prosecutor, judge, jury, and sometimes the executioner that ends political careers. But is every scandal and allegation really news, or is it just gossip at best, slander at worst, and generally a distraction from the weightier matters that we should be paying attention to?

Perhaps we should first ask the question, “what is news?” I have long contended that real news should be defined as “actionable intelligence,” that is to say, factual information about the affairs of our society, and the greater world around us, presented in a manner that enables us to correctly understand, and intelligently interact with, both our society and the world at large. Continue reading “Scandal and Allegation: Is It News or Just Gossip?”

The Hypocrisy of the Right

It seems to be a popular notion among the conservative right to think that hypocrisy is the exclusive domain of the liberal left. However, in recent years I have become increasingly aware of the presence of hypocrisy infecting the political right and I find it quite disturbing.

Hypocrisy is subtle and beguiling. Like the Pharisees of old, you can fall into hypocrisy without even realizing it – being blind to your own gradual departure from the righteous standard while still calling yourself an enlightened guide to the blind. I believe the Christian-conservative-right would do well to take a reality check and ask God to show us any places where we have let this insidious disease creep in and influence us to engage in practices that do not align with what we preach.

The Moral High Ground

An October 11 article by Jim Jamitis at RedState illustrates at least one manifestation of this malady and its debilitating effect. Jamitis describes the embarrassment one is inclined to feel for former Trump campaign manager turned Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, when she criticizes Hillary Clinton for being too slow to respond to, and too tepid in her condemnation of, the sexual misdeeds of Harvey Weinstein. It wasn’t that long ago that Conway herself, “flippantly dismissed her boss’s accusers and his own sexually deviant braggadocio.” Jamitis went on to explain that he opposed Trump’s nomination because, “by supporting him, people were throwing away their future credibility when being critical of Democrats on character issues.” Continue reading “The Hypocrisy of the Right”

Syria, the U. S. Constitution, and the War Powers Resolution

In the wake of the U. S. missile strike on the Syrian air base believed to have been used to mount a chemical weapons attack, there is no lack of the usual debate about, “it’s right, it’s wrong; it’s good, it’s bad; we should have, we shouldn’t have.” Most of the discussion revolves around personal opinion based on either pragmatic reasoning, or emotional feelings. A few are going beyond that level of debate and actually asking Constitutional questions.

I’m a bottom line kind of guy. I want to get to the root of a matter. All of the discussion about Assad, Russia, and ISIS; the TV news talking heads, so-called “experts,” and your favorite talk radio personality spouting the party line; even democrat vs republican, and liberal vs conservative; these all obfuscate the foundational issues and serve as a distraction that diverts our attention from the real questions we ought to be asking.

The bottom line of every political issue, and the place where every meaningful political discussion must begin, are the questions, “What is the revealed will of God in the matter at hand? How has His will been codified in the governing documents of our republic? And what are the just laws that have been made in pursuance of these?” The answer to these questions constitutes The Rule of Law, and we are not ruled by law until we are ruled by this hierarchy of authority. Continue reading “Syria, the U. S. Constitution, and the War Powers Resolution”

A Tale of Two Surveys (Are the Parties Conning Us?)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, depending whether you were receiving the “Republican 2017 Congressional District Census,” or the “Official 2017 Democratic Party Survey”; whether your party had just achieved victory, or suffered defeat; whether your party was in power, trying to defend the country against the forces of evil, or was out of power, trying to take the country back from the forces of evil. Whichever survey you received, one thing was certain: The country could only be saved if you “send us your money!”

But perhaps I should back up to start at the beginning of the story.

I’ve been receiving gimmick fundraising letters from the Republican Party for a long time. I mean, a really, really long time – like decades; and that is despite the fact that I’ve never in my life been an actual member of, nor donated to, the Republican Party. But that hasn’t stopped the republicans from sending me mailings, sometimes with a membership card, and at other times, an official survey seeking to discover the views of the “party faithful,” so that the new congress can set their agenda based on the opinions of some guy in Spokane Valley who isn’t even a member of the party.

However, I had never really thought about what kind of fundraising schemes the Democratic Party might be employing to extract funds from their target donors. Well, I recently found out when a friend shared a letter with me that he had received from the Democratic Party. Like me, and my non-association with the Republican Party, this friend has nothing to do with the Democratic Party. I don’t know what caused them to include him in their most recent mailing, but I’m glad they did, as it gave me a chance to compare the tactics of the two parties side by side.

What I discovered is that the similarities between the two mailings are just too great to ignore. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Surveys (Are the Parties Conning Us?)”