Thursday, February 28, 2013

Let Jesus Kiss You

"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." (Psalm 85:10)

Grace and truth came (singular) by Jesus Christ (John 1: 17)

You cannot have truth without God's grace, and without God's grace, we have no hold the truth that sets us free (John 8: 31-32)

Righteousness and peace kissed at the Cross, where God satisfied His Divine retribution for the sins of men, and gave to all  mankind the Gift of righteousness (Romans 5: 17) and peace (Ephesians 2:14)

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine." (Song of Solomon 1: 2)

Solomon is a type of Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9: 6). Beyond the erotic connotations, the spiritual depth of this book guides every member of the Body of Christ to see themselves lovingly covered with righteousness and peace, which we joyfully receive from the Holy Spirit (Romans 14: 17)


Another type in the Bible should prompt us to see "kiss" as the union of our right standing and perfect provision in Christ:

"And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded." (1 Samuel 20: 41)

David, "Beloved" in Hebrew, represents Jesus Christ, and Jonathan, which means "God is Gift", embrace each other to signify their alliance, that David the true anointed king would receive the allegiance and support of Saul's son, Jonathan, even though his father was trying to kill the Shepherd-King.

When we allow Jesus to cover us in His righteousness, when we receive His peace, we find the love and joy that sustains us and blesses us.

Today, let Jesus' grace and truth, His righteousness and peace, over you today!

Easily Offended? Under Law

I have often been amazed at how many people who are not saved are less peevish than those who are saved, who go to church, who strive to love and obey God.

Most "non-Christians" are not under law, and therefore they are not striving to be obedient.

For that reason, they have more grace flowing in their lives.

As soon as most people get saved, however, they are levelled with all of these deamnds from their pastor, their church family, or their own flesh-and-blood family.

The law brings out sin, brings out flesh, and causes us to be wrathful, peevish, short, difficult with others.

Check out the works of the flesh:

(Galatians 5:19-21)

Check out the fruit of the Spirit

notice that it has nothing to do with us. It is not "fruit of the believer", but the Spirit of God, who works within us, and flows outside of us.

Stop Fixing Your Flesh -- Just Fix Your Heart

It's all done.

Receive it.

Stop trying to fix your flesh

In the flesh dwells no good thing

God will have no flesh glory in His presence.

None!

From Genesis 1 and 2, in which God provided everything, so that man would rest and not take credit.

Law Promotes Sin, Grace promotes Obedience

Titus 2: 11-12

Romans 6: 11-14

Grace and Peace -- a River that Gets Bigger

Life is not about growing in our own efforts, earning more merit badges, or conquering more enemies"

"We are more than conquerors in Christ" (Romanbs8 :37)

This life is a life of revelation, not destition, of discovery, not accomplishment.

"The Lord said to my LOrd" --

God places all of our enemies under our footstool

We are called to grow in grace and kowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3: 18)

The more that we rest in His righteousness, the more that His blessings will flow in our lives.

The Holy Spirit is represented by living water (john 4 - John 7)

This water brings in its flow grace and peace.

Our life in Christ is certainly like that of a refiner's fire, in which there is less and less of us, and more and more of Christ growing, blowing, flowing in our lives.

He is more and more, for he must increase, and we must decrease (John 3: 27-30)

I was taught that this life is like one who travels down a road, and the sides of the road get narrower and narrower.

I prefer to thi nk o this life as a trip on an ocean, or better yet, a swim in a stream, and the refreshing water gets wider and deeper as we grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord.

About the "Embargoed' Statue of Rosa Parks

Publisher James Preston Allen reported on Washington D.C.’s “embargoed”commemorative statue of Rosa Parks, the “civil rights leader” who refused to give up her front seat on the bus. “She was tired”, as old “Eddie” shared in the movie “Barbershop”. She was tired all right: tired of being treated with disrespect; tired of unequal treatment under the law; and tired of being told where to sit, what she could and could not do, and how much she could make.
 
How would Rosa Parks respond to the record of the first “black” President and his party?
 
Parks would be appalled at the terrible conditions which African-Americans endure. Because of President Obama’s ruinous “progressive”policies, African-Americans suffer under unemployment twice the national average. Black youth face 50% unemployment. Blacks are not doing or making much under this President. Republican Ron Paul denounced the discrimination in the criminal justice system on because of the failed War on Drugs. Obama has done nothing to amend the unfair sentencing guidelines which put poor crack users in jail longer than “refined” powder cocaine users. Blacks still suffer unequal treatment under the law.
 
Parks would be disgusted by the welfare state and Democratic resistance to school choice. Progressive President Lyndon Baines Johnson expanded welfare for this reason: “We’ll have those n—ggers voting for us for the next two hundred years”. President Obama refuses to allow black families to choose their children’s schools, yet Obama enrolls his children in elite private schools with elite security. Johnson’s invidious comment and Obama’s callous indifference validate the argument of black intellects Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams: Because Democrats enable dependence and resist school choice and vouchers, they basically tell blacks where to sit.
Parks would be dismayed that the Democratic Party has taken the black vote for granted. While Republican Mitt Romney attended the NAACP Conference in 2012, Obama skipped it. Talk about disrespect. Democrats and Progressives, from Woodrow Wilson to today, send blacks “to the back of the bus”. Republicans offer them the front seat (Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, and Edward Brooke), or let them own the bus if they want (Herman Cain).
To paraphrase “crappy rapper” Kanye West: “President Obama does not care about black people.”
 
Ms. Parks would shout: “President Obama, stop putting my people in the back of the bus!”
 
To Mr. Allen, she would write: “Stop covering up the dangers of “Progressive” policies to minorities!”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sequester in Santa Monica


Like spoiled children inured to getting their way, the poorest voter to the riches corporations have grown accustomed to receiving the federal money. The American people need to feel the hurt which follows from cutting federal spending. States and cities take too much money from the government in the first place, whether through municipal obligations or government contracts. The sequester does not touch Medicare or Social Security, which remain the deepest drivers of our nation’s debt.

Cutting spending will always be a “bad idea” for one interest group or another. The United States federal government has a spending problem, to begin with. Congress and the President raised taxes on individuals who make more than $400,000 a year, which leaves about 1% of the country who will pay higher income taxes, while the majority of Americans expect more from the state.

Congressman Henry Waxman asked the rhetorical question: “When will the adults show up in Washington? He would not want to hear the answer, for the same adults which elected him, the divided Congress, and reelected President Obama chose to elect the same adults who refuse to ease the partisan gridlock in Washington D.C.

Everyone, including Santa Monica, will feel the hit of the “meat ax” sequester March First. So far, Congress has come up with nothing to delay the cuts, budget actions which were designed to be a “bad idea”. At this point, it would be a better idea just to let the cuts go through, no matter how painful.

Governor Brown, Fairness, and School Funding

Governor Jerry Brown wants to implement a different funding formula for California schools, depending on the income level, the English proficiency, or foster-care status of the student. Instead of a standard metric, which would allocate funds depending strictly on the property values and taxes levied in the surrounding hones, the projected metric would divert more state funds to lower-income, struggling schools.

The double-standard on fairness, equity, and the allocation of dwindling tax revenues should be disarming, and everyone should be alarmed; yet hardly anyone is raising a cry about this proposal, except the schools that are doing well, which will see less money coming to them. Why should the school districts in the South Bay suffer more cuts than other schools? Apparently, a school's rising test scores will now turn into a financial liability instead of a blessing.

This new system comes from the same Governor who claimed that the "rich" have to pay "their fair share." Now, the "rich kids" have to "pay their fair share", too?Should those students endure receiving less attention because they are struggling in classes with more students than schools in nearby, less "elite" neighborhoods, where Title One funds have allowed those impoverished schools to receive more money?

Is it fair that students who live in a higher socioeconomic class must suffer with larger class sizes than lower-performing schools, just because the surrounding properties are worth more? How many residents in the South Bay are even aware that the average class size is approaching forty students in some classes, while parents in other local schools, California Distinguished Schools, I might add, are burdened with forty-six students to a class?

Is it fair to reward schools which perform poorly, or struggle to acculturate Engloish language learners with more money, when the allocation of state resources has nothing to do with the scope of success or failure in the schools?

Is it fair that the governor refuses to call out the "monster in the classroom", i.e. the generous pensions and benefits which public sector unions have bullied out of school districts, and by extension taxpayers? Why has he ignored Assemblyman Luis Alejo's brazen attempt to exempt transit workers from the weak pension reforms that Governor Brown signed into law last year?
Is it fair that the majority of Prop 30 revenues are now filling back furlough days, or bolstering the burdened entitlement liabilities in school districts, when they should be bringing down class sizes?

Why have our leaders refused to approach the school funding issues from a cost-efficient perspective, like eliminating the top-heavy administration in school districts and county education offices? By removing superintendents, and even disbanding the politicized and politicking school boards and employee unions, school districts can spend more money educating students, instead of wasting time and money coming up with inane testing strategies or "green technologies" which keep our schools in the red instead of in the black.

Is it fair that students are not permitted to attend the school of their choice, regardless of distance from home or the final say of the students' "home" school district? Instead of allowing Sacramento to funnel diminished funds into bad schools, which do not have to compete for the funds, parents should be allowed to choose where they enroll their children, thus compelling school districts to compete. Market forces and competition will force school districts, schools, and administrators to spend their money wisely, invest their funds efficiently, and allocate their liabilities effectively. Private schools function better, too, at nearly half the price, without regulations and collective bargaining agreements which cripple public education.

Is it fair that taxpayers see their hard-earned dollars flushed into bureaucracies, from Sacramento to the local school, where federal, state, and even county regulations siphon away funds from the classroom?

Is it fair that the state legislature is pursuing a transportation boondoggle in the Central Valley, when the schools which are supposed to transport our students into a better future cannot even get through the year without worrying about massive cuts and employee lay-offs in the next year?

Is it fair that the state legislature holds school districts hostage every year, promising to cut more funding unless they get a tax increase? Is it fair for the legislature to claim that they have "balanced the budget", all based on rosy projections and the rosier assumptions that wealth-creators will gladly and glibly give more of their profit to a government which prioritizes prison guard unions ahead of public schools?

Schools with high test scores and "wealthier" students should not be punished by receiving less money. That is not fair. Until parents have a choice, until students have a voice, all the money in the world will not improve poor-performing, unaccountable public schools and goad them into spending the state's dwindling funds any better.

If Governor Brown cared about fairness, he should reject all funding formulas based on schools and zipcodes, enact a voucher-school choice mechanism which ties the tax dollars to the student, and then empower school districts to engage in stern negotiations with employee unions, while stripping down the size and influence of centralized school bureaucracies.

Governor Brown, Fairness, and School Funding

California Governor Jerry Brown wants to implement a different funding formula for California schools, depending on their test scores and the financial status of the school district. Instead of a standard metric, which would allocate funds depending strictly on the property values and taxes levied in the surrounding hones, the projected metric would divert more state funds to lower-income, struggling schools.

The double-standard on fairness, equity, and the allocation of dwindling tax revenues should be disarming, and everyone should be alarmed; yet hardly anyone is raising a cry about this proposal, except the schools that are doing well, which will see less money coming to them. Why should the school districts in the South Bay suffer more cuts than other schools? Apparently, a school's rising test scores will now turn into a financial liability instead of a blessing.

This new system comes from the same Governor who claimed that the "rich" have to pay "their fair share." Now, the "rich kids" have to "pay their fair share", too?Should they endure receiving less attention, while struggling into classes with more students than schools in nearby, less "elite" neighborhoods, where Title One funds have allowed more impoverished schools to receive more money?

Is it fair that students who live in a higher socioeconomic class must suffer with larger class sizes than lower-performing schools, just because the surrounding properties are worth more? How many residents in the South Bay are even aware that the average class size is approaching forty students in some classes, while parents in other local schools, California Distinguished Schools, I might add, are burdened with forty-six students to a class?

Is it fair to reward schools which perform poorly with more money, when the allocation of state resources has nothing to do with the scope of success or failure in the schools?
Is it fair that the governor refuses to call out the "monster in the classroom", i.e. the generous pensions and benefits which public sector unions have bullied out of school districts, and by extension taxpayers?

Is it fair that the majority of Prop 30 revenues are targeted for filling back furlough days, or bolstering the burdened entitlement liabilities in school districts? Why have our leaders refused to approach the funding issues from a cost-efficienty perspective, like eliminating the top-heavy administration in school districts and County education offices? By removing superintendents, and even disbanding the politicized and politicking school boards and employee unions, school districts can spend more money educating students, instead of wasting time and money coming up with inane testing strategies or "green technologies" which keep our schools in the red instead of in the black?

Is it fair that students are not permitted to attend the school of their choice, regardless of distance or opinion of the school district? Instead of funneling diminished funds into bad schools, parents should be allowed to choose where they enroll their children. Market forces and competition will force school districts, schools, and administrators to spend their money wisely, invest their funds efficiently, and allocate their liabilities effectively. Private schools function better, at nearly half the price, without regulations and collective bargaining agreements which cripple education.
Is it fair that taxpayers see their hard-earned dollars flushed into bureaucracies, from Sacramento to the local school, where federal, state, and even county regulations siphon away funds from the classroom?

Is is fair that the state legislature is pursuing a transportation boondoggle in the Central Valley, when the schools which are supposed to transport our students into a better future cannot even get through the year without worrying about massive cuts and employee lay-offs?

Is it fair that the state legislature holds school districts hostage every year, promising to cut more funding, then claim that they have "balanced the budget" based on rosy projections and the rosier assumptions that wealth-creators will gladly and glibly give more of their profit to a government which prioritizes prison guard unions ahead of the schools?

Good schools which post rising test scores and improving student morale should not be punished by receiving less money from the state. That is not fair. Until parents have a choice, until students have a voice, all the money in the world will not improve poor-performing, unaccountable public schools and goad them into spending the state's dwindling funds any better.

If Governor Brown cared about fairness, he should reject all funding formulas based on schools and zipcodes, enact a voucher-school choice mechanism which ties the tax dollars to the student, and then empower school districts to engage in stern negotiations with employee unions, while stripping down the size and influence of centralized school bureaucracies.

Assem. Alejo: Teamsters Must Be Team Players

The newest such salvo comes from a Santa Cruz county Assembly member, Luis A. Alejo, D-Watsonville. Alejo introduced a bill last month - AB 160 - that would
exempt about 20,000 transit workers from the reforms. It was sponsored by the
Teamsters and other unions that represent transit workers in California.(The Daily Breeze)

The California state legislature just passed meager pension reforms which offered the following (if anything):

1. Increase the retirement age for new employees.

Rhode Island faced immense budget shortfalls because of unfunded pension liabilities. Gina Raimondo, the General Treasurer, petitioned everyone in the state, not just new employees, to contribute more. Illinois has the biggest pension crisis in the United States, but California is fast approaching.

2. Cap the annual payout at $132,120.

The bigger question remains: how many civil servants are serving themselves with such a massive pension in the first place?

3. Eliminate numerous abuses of the system -- pension spiking has already been identified.

4. Require workers who are not contributing half of their retirement costs to pay more.

This proposal is a step in the right direction. Governor Brown was dismayed that the following reforms were not implemented:

1. No hybrid public-private (401(k)) pension plan.

2. No reforms to control retiree health care costs. 
 
ObamaCare is going to cause health care costs to skyrocket, and the shortage of doctors will only force rationing on those who have received more "access".

3. No reforms for board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

In spite of these piecemeal reforms, one dedicated "legislator" is showing his true colors, that he is in the pocket of the unions, not united with the voters, whether poor or rich, whether black or white or any other ethnicity. Luis Alejo wants to chip away at these brittle reforms, targeting the cuts which transit workers will take on following these reforms.

Even when legislators claim to advance the best interests of the state, their biggest campaign donors still gain the most respect and attention, regardless of the harmful impact of promoting their special interests at the expense of the voters and the state's general need.

For the record, Assemblyman Alejo receives campaign contributions from the General Trade and Public Sector unions, including his Top Ten Contributors:
United Association$9,050
International Union of Operating Engineers$8,900
California Teachers Association$7,800
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians$7,800
Laborers' International Union of North America$7,800
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees$7,800
National Education Association$7,800
AFL-CIO$7,577
California Nurses Associationnational Nurses Organizing Committee$7,000
Professional Engineers in California Government$6,000
 
No wonder Alejo is stepping up for the unions, even though the legislature last year attempted to step up for the rest of California.

The current pension obligations are throttling the state of California with a looming liability equal to one quarter of all fifty states. The "wall of debt" is preventing businesses from entering while prompting the struggling businesses within to get out without losing out on any profit, along with the growing exodus of California residents looking for some respite from the tax and spend, regulate frustrate agenda out of Sacramento.

There is no excuse for anyone in Sacramento, no matter who bought his or her seat, to tinker with the twinkle of pension reforms already enacted.

Contact Assemblyman Alejo. Tell him that every organized working interest in the state of California, including the Teamsters, must remain team players in the budget balancing and pension reforms desperately needed in the state of California. Tell him to pull AB 160, then outline his plan to lower taxes, lessen spending, and loosen costly and cumbersome regulations.

Capitol Office:
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0030
Tel: (916) 319-2030
Fax: (916) 319-2130

Salinas Office:
100 West Alisal Street
Suite 134
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 759-8676
(831) 759-2961 Fax

Hollister Office:
Briggs Building
365A 4th Street
Hollister, CA 95023
Tuesdays
10am-5pm
Phone: (831) 638-3228

Watsonville Office:275 Main Street
Suite 104
Watsonville, CA 95076
Every Wednesday
9am-5pm
Phone: (831) 761-7428

Move Out, Menendez! (Short Version)


New Jersey's Senior US Senator Robert Menendez has had some admitted "senior moments". He hired an undocumented sex offender as an unpaid intern. He forgot to pay for two plane trips from Florida Doctor Salomon Melgen. Menendez also intervened into a port security contract on Meglen’s behalf. Now the FBI is investigating whether Menendez frequented prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, including underage girls.

From disgraced US Senator Robert Toricelli to disgraceful Governor James McGreevy –good gracious! -- “Mendacious” Robert Menendez, can New Jerseyans ever catch a break? Newark Mayor Cory Booker wants to run for the US Senate next year. The New Jersey Democratic Party leaders’ train of misconduct and corruption should make Booker think twice.

 

The New Jersey GOP needs to follow up on the fibbing legacy of "Mendacious Menendez". With the dedicated help of now ultra-popular New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, now the Garden State GOP can advance a credible and viable winner to capture the state’s US Senate Seat, which would be a first for New Jersey Republicans in over forty years. State senator Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) could run again.

 

Senator Menendez is mired in dirty dealings, both public and private. The Democratic Party never held "Flabby Menendez” in high esteem, anyway. Not just for their state, but for the country, every New Jerseyan should demand that “Mendacious Menendez” step down and resign from office. The voters, and this country, deserve better than a flabby liberal who is liberal with his campaign donors and his private life.

"Mendacious" Menendez Needs to Move Out

"I Should Keep
My Mouth Shut"
Of course, Menendez' connections to illicit people and poor judgment is not new. He had (unknowingly?) hired an illegal immigrant/sex offender from Peru to serve in his office as an unpaid intern. This "oversight" did not break in the press until after Menendez' reelection in 2012.

For a man who has no problem skirting the immigration laws in this country, it is low indeed for him to be lecturing anyone, including the Republican Party, on the need for immigration reform in this country. Menendez outlined why immigration reform is a must. ABC "This Week" guest anchor Martha Raddatz' refusal to pursue the allegations against is both laughable and inexcusable.He claims that "Republicans" need immigration reform, but he needs a severe comeuppance for his dalliances overseas as well as in Washington.
\
Despite the growing concerns surrounding Menendez, these investigations are not the first time that a Democratic Senator from New Jersey has been in trouble.

Remember Robert Toricelli? The New Jersey Democratic Party would like most people to forget the guy. The ethics violations against that former senator were so grave, he was polling behind by double digits behind the Republican candidate in a state that is two-to-one Democratic. The Democratic Party was likely to lose the Senate seat because of those frequent ethics violations, so the Republican Party resisted permitting Toricelli to step aside and let another Democrat run. Toricelli dropped out of his 2002 reelection campaign, and thus "Night of the Living Dead" Frank Lautenberg resurrected to run for the office.The Republican Party sued for an immediate redress from the United States Supreme Court, but they rejected the writ of certiorari, and the retired Democrat cruised into office.
Currently, Newark Mayor Cory Booker had the tenacity -- or audacity -- to ask for the chance to run for Lautenberg's senate seat, yet a growing number of supporters for the incumbent rebuffed. Then again, designating a Senate Seat before it's available seems all the rage in New Jersey. But that's another story altogether.

Despite the months of stalling on this story, despite the previous record of senators stepping down, the "mainstream media" is only now reporting the growing allegations against embattled New Jersey senator Robert Menendez. Every voter in the Garden State should demand that this legislator relinquish his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee until the FBI has finished its investigation into the senator's shady dealings.

Better yet, perhaps Menendez should resign his office altogether, while he still can and save himself and his party some unneeded embarrassment. His departure would be the second in nearly two decades, so it would not be too much of shock. Perhaps then New Jersey voters would finally elect a Republican US Senator, one who would tell it like it is, be willing to compromise without caving on core values, and represent the needs of all voters.

The New Jersey GOP needs to pay attention to the faltering legacy of "Mendacious Menendez". Perhaps Monmouth state senator Joseph Kyrillos may consider stepping back into the limelight to run again. With the dedicated help of ultra-popular New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, perhaps the Garden State GOP could advance a credible and viable candidate to win the party's first senate seat in over forty years. Besides, New Jersey voters, and this country, deserve better than a flabby liberal who is liberal with his campaign donors and his private life.

The Democratic Party then and now has never held Menendez in high esteem, anyway. I still cannot believe that party operatives called him "Flabby Menendez." His service as mayor of Union City was one thing, but he now has a responsibility to all New Jerseyans, and all Americans in foreign matters, not just a concentrated interest of rich campaign donors.

"Mendacious" Menendez has been mired in dirty politics and  backward deals since he ran for city council in Union City. His time is up, and New Jersey deserves better. Mendacious Menendez, move out of office, now!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gay "Rights" Do Not Exist

A "right" by nature, by definition, implies a power which enhances life, or at least complements life, since life is the first right, on which every other right hinges.

There is nothing wrong with "civil rights", because men and women should not be judged or diminished for the color of their skin or the heritage of their ancestry. These characteristics are not a product of their choice.

However, homosexual conduct is a choice, even if former Republican President George W. Bush claimed that he did not know whether it was an inherited trait or an acquired lifestyle, and his 2004 opponent John Kerry claimed otherwise.

A recent study suggested that homosexuality is biological, but not genetic. Point of fact, heart attacks are biological, too, as are cancer, stomach pains, and many other diseases. Stress and unbelief and even the suppression of the truth in unrighteousness gives forth damaging elements in a person's body, and creates physical differences all around.

Of course, positive behavioral choices are also biological.  A proper regimen of exercise leads to weight lose and a proper muscle tone. A balanced diets leads to better health, a brighter outlook, and more opportunities.

LA Weekly published a revealing expose of the "Gay Scene" in Los Angeles, one which explodes  many of the assumptions about deviance, disease, and death among the "gay community." The article lights in the notion that poor choices contribute to the heavy drinking and sexual excesses in the "gay community."

Yes, indeed, poor choices do contribute the high incidence of disease and death among homosexuals.

The "poor choice" is living a gay lifestyle in the first place.

The problem remains, however, that men and women are being taught that they are defined by their "sense of attraction" or their "sexual feelings". In truth, our feelings following from our thinking, simple as that. If our thinking is based on false notions or distorted ideas, then we are prone to "feel wrong" in the face of injury or insult, or we will misinterpret what people say or do, or we will make judgments about ourselves.

The deepest need of man is "righteousness", an identity based on perfect acceptance, one which we cannot create for ourselves, nor which other people can give to us. This "gift of righteousness" we can receive through Christ:

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 17)

This new identity is not something that you and I do or have through our efforts, but something that we receive by grace through faith (Ephesians 2: 4-8)

"Gay" has become an ideology, and identity, one which some people are running to as a surrogate for "righteousness", or "acceptance". Yet LA Weekly's article affirms that the "gay lifestyle" is in fact a "death-style'', in which a "sub-group" provokes people to adopt habits which are dangerous and dysfunctional.

Because homosexual behaviors are dysfunctional, because they promote disease and death instead of increase and life, they are contrary to natural rights, including life itself, which is the chief right.

"Gay rights" do not exist.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What Jesus Came to Do

17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Later on, Jesus said:

"Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." (Luke 21: 33)

How did Jesus fulfill the law? He died on the Cross:

"13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2: 13-15)

In Ephesians, Paul writes:

"14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: " (Ephesians 2: 14-16)

19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sermon on the Mount -- Light of the World

13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

"The 'it' refers to the "World", not to the salt. The salt does not need to be salted -- common sense. The world will be thrown out without the saving power of the salt, and salt represent a covenant.

14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

How do we get this light? Through our own efforts? Not at all:

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8: 12)

And

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1: 5)

The Sermon on the Mount teaches people what they will become in Christ, but these things are not fulfilled in our lives through our efforts, but by His Finished Work at the Cross.

Sermon on the Mount -- Chapter 5 -- Beattitudes

3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  To be poor in Spirit -- means that you have nothing to give of yourself, nothing at all but a need, a need for life, a need for righteousness, a need for Himself. 4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  The goal is not to live a life of mourning, since "they will be" comforted. 5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.   This scripture comes from the Old Testament: "But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Psalm 37:11) "Meek" speaks of humility. What do humble people receive? "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly." (Proverbs 3: 34) 6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.   This righteousness, this perfect standing before God, can only be found in Christ Jesus, through His death on the Cross, and His resurrection, which confirms our justification before Him. Too many of the Jewish people during Jesus' earthly ministry were convinced that they were righteous because they followed the rules and the teachings of the Pharisees, yet Jesus pointed out that righteousness had to exceed that of the Pharisees (Matthew 5: 20)
7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  How can we be merciful unless we receive it? This demand should have been enough right away to drive His hearers to despair. 8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  How do we get pure in heart? Through Jesus' death on the Cross: "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10: 22) 9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  This verse should not be read: "I must be a peacemaker, so that I can be a  child of God." We do not become children of anyone by our own efforts, to begin with: "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8: 15-17) 10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  I had often read this passage from the perspective of  "doing righteousness". Righteousness cannot be earned, but rather, we must receive it as a gift: "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 17) "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." This kind of persecution would be anathema to Jesus's audience, as to anyone else. Persecution is no fun, unless we understand God's grace: "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:" (Romans 5: 20) and "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)
"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5: 3-12)

In Christ, we receive better than the standing of the prophets, but in fact we are made heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Keep in mind that the prophets suffered terribly for representing God and His Word to the world. For many, the idea of suffering for God was just too much for them.

That was exactly the point of this ministry - to bring self-satisfied people to the end of themselves, so that they would "hunger and thirst after righteousness".

Lieu and Waxman: Half of SaMoHi Not "College Ready"

Half of Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District students are not “college ready,” according to Ashley Archibald. The Prop 30 taxpayer dollars apparently have not brought down class sizes, brought back more teachers, or even brought up our sagging public education system. Then again, voters should have expected as much from the state legislature: more of the same “rosy projections” with thorny results. Also, the ever-present teachers unions still frustrate reform at ever chance they get. School choice and a voucher program will make our students “college ready”.
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica) has been clamoring about the potential calamities that will crush this earth, unless the federal government executes immediate action to curb “climate change” (or is it “global warming”? “ozone depletion?”) What’s the point of researching “climate change”if no one can read or write?
State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Santa Monica) recently received the“Senator of the Year” Award from the League of Humane Voters for his legislative efforts on behalf of animals. Students are still forced to attend the school in the same zipcode as their home address. Students and parents still must suffer under incompetent and immoral teachers. School districts and administrators still do not have the power nor authority to discipline and ultimately remove such failing educators. When will Lieu issue humane laws for the humans, like school choice or vouchers?
Our representatives have done nothing for our failing schools. When will our leaders lead on granting every student the opportunity to be“college ready”?

Sermon on the Mount -- Preliminary Points

Having outlined the two-fold ministry of Jesus Christ, as He was alive on the earth as the "perfect mam", some may be startled to hear that we are not supposed to live our lives according to the principles of the Sermon on the Mount, at least to the extent that we are expected to earn our salvation through our efforts.

Some things that Jesus preaches in the Sermon on the Mount relate what the believer will become, like Christ, for "As He is, so are We in this world." (1 John 4:17)

Some of the parts of the passage tell us what believers need to rest in and focus on.

Others do outline the importance of God's Word and power in our lives.

The Key to unlocking the truth, love, and power of every message rests on glorifying Christ Jesus and His Finished Work.

The Gospels provide a historical account, both verifying and validating, through the Word of God, that Jesus is the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World.

The historical accuracy, the prophecies fulfilled, the harmony of the Gospels, and the differences which reflect the psychology and the accuracy and the integrity of the writers, all enhance the truth and worth of what is record for us.

The Four Gospels tell us what happened. In another way, the Gospels give us the Reporters write-up: who what when where how.

The "why" is taken care of in the Epistles. Paul the Apostle received a greater revelation of what Jesus did at the Cross, even though he was not a historical eyewitness, because he knew the Word of God better than the Twelve disciples.

Yet even more than the knowledge of Paul, there is John, the disciple who Jesus loved, and it is this same Apostle who lived to receive the Revelation, the same Apostle who wrote "God is Love" (1 John 4: 8), not just "who loved me, and gave His life for me (Galatians 2: 20-21).

This love is bound up in the Cross (1 John 4:10), where every sin was punished, where every punishment was cursed, where every curse was fulfilled. There, the grace of God is fully manifested forever. There, righteousness is made fully available to the entire world for all time. There,

The Cross is the focus. Everything in Scripture, from the Beginning to the "Even so, come Lord Jesus" or Revelation, must be seen, discerned, and celebrated.

So, let us look at the Sermon on the Mount in greater detail, resolve the questions which have puzzled many, whether new to the faith, or old in the Lord.

Sermon on the Mount -- The Purpose

Jesus was a prophet as much as a priest and a king.

This three-fold ministry is on full display for us throughout the Gospels.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was very much the prophet, telling those who were listening what they would become by grace through faith -- preaching the coming of the Kingdom of God.

He had another vital ministry, one which brought the law back to its full, and unassailable height.

The Bible readers today must keep in mind that there are three distinct "races" to God: Jews, Gentiles, and the adopted children of God through Christ.

The Jews were God's chosen people, a peculiar people who were chosen not because of their great size, but because of their small number. From the beginning to the present day, God is looking for people who are nothing in themselves, and all in Christ.

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3: 1-4)

The Sermon on the Mount fits within one of two lines of prophecy:

1. To bring the Mosaic Law back to its pristine height, so that the Jewish people of His day would cease feigning and claiming righteousness in their ethnicity or in their efforts.

2. To preach the Kingdom of God, that by grace through faith you may be saved, passing from death into life.

Bravo, Senator Rand Paul!

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), returned $600,000 to the US Treasury today.

Impounding has fallen out of disuse since President Richard Nixon attempted to implement the New Federalism, yet failed to do so because of the encroaching Watergate scandal.

Thomas Jefferson impounded more money than any other President.

He refused to spend taxpayer dollars on wastefulm, extravagant projects.

He refused to leave a legacy of debt for future generations.

Senator Paul has put his money where his mouth is, literally.

He even had the media savvy to write out a huge, cardboard check with the amount, then return it to the United States Treasury.

He has also proposed a brilliant idea which should cut down on the waste, misuse, and fraud in the federal government:

reward federal workers for stopping waste or with coming up with ideas for limiting the waste of taxpayer dollars.

Bravo, Senator Rand Paul.

Sermon on the Mount

The "Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) has received diverse interpretations.

Some people have viewed the teachings of Jesus Christ as the proper moral guide for living.

Others have claimed that the Sermon on the Mount proves that Jesus came as a great teacher, one who provided the perfect basis for life, demonstrating that the Christian life is very hard.

Other pastors have shared that the first part -- the Beatitudes -- outlines what the believer will become when they receive Christ Jesus into their lives.

Point of fact, the Christian life is impossible to live in our strength.

For that reason, Paul wrote:

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)

and also

"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15: 10)

Yet the grace of God is never mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount.

In fact, the Sermon on the Mount focuses on what we must do.

Yet the Gospel is all about God's grace:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" (Ephesians 2: 8)

and

"10But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. " (1 Corinthians 15: 10-11)

So, what's going on?

Governor Chafee -- Lower My Taxes!


The colonial founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, fled the Big Government of Micromanaging Puritanism in colonial Massachusetts to establish a new government based on religious toleration and mutual respect for all of God’s creatures. The intolerant Puritans were a walking contradiction because they had rebelled against tyranny in England, but then they reestablished the same in the New World. Unlike them, Williams was not afraid of liberty, as many liberals are today. Democratic leaders and “Progressive” elites insist, contrary to the very tenets of their label, that more laws mean more safety and security for the community. More taxes, more spending, more regulations will give everyone more protection, peace, and prosperity. Williams understood that the grace of “leaving people alone” would work all things for good. His fellow exile, Anne Hutchinson, was not an “antinomian”, contrary to popular lore,  but a powerful woman filled with the spirit of liberty, who had learned about the New Covenant prophesied in the Old Testament and realized in the New. If left to thrive, without fearful burdens or provocations from the state, men and women will not just survive, but thrive.

Man does not need a bunch of rules from the government in order to live. He needs an awareness of a respect for law and order, tradition, and custom, with the fewest set of rules possible which will establish an identity of respect and community. Former welfare-brat turned millionaire comedian Adam Corolla is the picture-perfect example that people do not need a nudge or a nicety form the state to make it. Mankind is capable of great things, but if they are burdened with rules or buoyed with subsidies, then they will not be able to do much.

Despite the flaws of human nature, a culture of liberty and freedom allows people to thrive, provided  that the voters  can elect politicians independent of intra-party wranglings and special interests.

Governor Chafee approaches this liberty, as the only Independent executive in the United States. His example holds a striking parallel with another independent, William Bloomfield Jr. of Manhattan Beach, CA. Like “Linc”, Bloomfield was a Republican, but because he differed with the hyperpartisan approach of the Republican leadership, he left the GOP. Bloomfield ran a more than credible campaign against 38-year incumbent Henry Waxman, the former Chairman of the House Oversight and then Energy and Commerce Committees.

What gave Bloomfield the freedom to take on “The Eliot Ness” of the House of Representatives?

Bloomfield had sponsored  two necessary and effective electoral reforms in California: first, an open primary system which permits voters to choose any candidate that they support, regardless of affiliation. The top-two vote getters move on to the general election. In the previous system of closed primaries, a Republican and a Democrat were assured a spot in the general election, and third party candidates were remained at best marginal contenders. In heavily slanted districts, the election was all but decided after the primary.

The second reform, the Citizens Redistricting Commission, took the power of drawing legislative districts away from the politicians and gave it to a panel of California voters, evenly divided along party lines, with four independents. The new districts forced incumbents to compete for their seat, when they had received neatly drawn, safe districts in the previous decade. Congressman Henry Waxman and his close associate Howard Berman had run a political machine for decades because of Howard’s brother Michael and his undue influence in the Sacramento redistricting effort.

Following these reforms, Howard Berman faced off against the younger and more vitriolic Brad Sherman, who eventually won their contended district. Waxman faced off against a savvy homeboy in a district which forced Waxman out of his West Los Angeles comfort zone to the more moderate “South Bay.” Waxman barely won reelection, and even he admitted that he was running the campaign of his life to stay in office.

The same reforms which have returned the power to California voters can do the same in Rhode Island. Not just as a Republican, nor as a classical liberal who believes (as did Roger Williams), that free markets and free enterprise make free people, but as a citizen who believes that real competition will enhance individual liberty in the Northeast and throughout America, I hope that Rhode Islanders will pressure their representatives and their leaders to end the one-party tyranny of the union-bought Democratic Party in Providence.

I have a more selfish reason, of course. I have read that the Rhode Island General Assembly has contemplated eliminating the state income tax. Massachusetts has also discussed lowering their sales tax. If these two New England states, suffused with liberalism, are willing to lower the tax burden on their residents, then the leaders and legislators in my state of California have no excuse for keeping my tax rates so high. I would love to see the day when California joins Florida and Texas, and even Delaware, as a state with no state income tax.

Governor Chafee, lower your state’s taxes.  You will do the rest of New England, the entire country, and me, a huge favor.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Edward Brooke, African-Americans, and the GOP

File:Edward Brooke.jpg
Edward Brooke (R-MA)
Edward Brooke was the first popularly elected African-American US Senator, and a Republican. Brooke defeated an incumbent Democrat for the Senate seat in 1966, a watershed year for Republicans. He represented Massachusetts from 1966 to 1978, even though the Bay State today has few high-ranking Republicans in office.

Brooke's legacy as a loyal Republican exposes the "dark vein of ignorance" in former General Colin Powell's remark on "Face the Nation" about minorities and the Republican Party. The insights and the legacy of this former Attorney General and US Senator give a better glimpse into the truth, too long ignored and distorted, of the Republican Party, a story which more African-Americans deserve to know and believe, and thus feel welcome in the GOP.

In a telling interview about his history in politics, Brooke shared why he was a Republican. He won the Republican party's nomination for office, not the Democrat's, in Massachusetts. He favored the GOP because they had desegregated the Massachusetts National Guard. The GOP was more progressive on civil rights. They also rejected the media-hounding of McCarthyism. His account highlights that Republicans have been progressive on civil rights and women's rights long before the Democratic Party. The first female Congressman was a Republican, too.

"I have always believed a man or a woman should do what he can do for himself", Brooke shared, a central tenet of individual liberty. He added that the party must recognize that people cannot do some things for themselves. Not once has the Republican Party neglected the needs of the most needy, but government intervention on taxpayer dime does not do the most good, often times. "I don't like huge government", Brooke signaled, a consistent conservative stance of the GOP in general. An independent problem-solver, not an ideologue, Brooke was one of first Republicans in Washington to ask President Nixon to resign in the wake of the Watergate Scandal.

Regarding the vast majority of blacks as Democrats, Brooke commented that he never isolated myself from black politicians. "I believe that most blacks are Democrats because they represent Democratic districts". The culture of those constituencies is the definitive issue, not race -- more likely because of Democratic dominance in urban areas, a demographic which Republicans need to focus on more.

On winning the senate seat, Brooke shared that the Massachusetts Governor also wanted to run in 1966, as did many other Republicans, but Brooke had established a community network of support, and thus he had the most powerful political organization in the state. Brooke's previous record of public service included his leadership role in the Boston Strangler case, still ongoing, as the Attorney General who brought together the rest of the state's district attorneys. His savvy on community connections is much needed in the GOP today. Humble and appreciative, Brooke praised his staff of young lawyers and investigators, plus the faith and the confidence of the Massachusetts voters.

Brooke's tenure also saved the the state millions of dollars, a resume of trust with the public trust, which is so essential to Republicans, not Democrats. "You can believe in Brooke!" was his campaign slogan. Where did this confidence come from? The very party that nominated him for the senate had never denied him a nomination before. "Eight times I went to them [the GOP], eight times I won the nomination, even when I won the bitter primary fight in 1978." It's the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, that supported the first popularly-elected African-American US Senator.

About race, Brooke stated clearly that it was not an issue to him. He lived out the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King preached about. He was willing to reach out to Democrats, but he did not want to be elected because of his skin. He wanted the vote because voters believed that he could do the job better than the other candidate. He never succumbed to a "reality" that race was a defining mater. "I was not talking [o voters] as a white man, I was not talking as a black man. I was talking as a man."

To young black people, Brooke stressed the importance of a work ethic. "There are no shortcuts to glory, no frills and ruffles, no shortcuts to success." Republicans support and rejoice when people get on their feet and run, rather than sit and depend, a mentality pervasive among Democratic leaders.
Rejecting the fearful advice of his grandmother to "remember his place" as a black man, Brooke tells African-American youth:

"You're place is anywhere you want it to be. It's left up to you. You make that decision."
The Democratic Party tells men and women their place, their value, based on race. In the Republican Party, minorities get to choose their place. While Democrats in the South were telling blacks to sit in the back of the bus, Republicans then and now invite African-Americans to the front, and if they choose, they can own the bus, because free markets make free people, and free people prosper in free enterprise.

The legacy of Edward Brooke represents the true stance of the GOP and African-Americans.

Thoughts Further About Immigration

 

About immigration reform:

Good fences make good neighbors. No secure borders, no secure citizens, either born or naturalized or waiting in line. Get our troops out of Afghanistan, and station them along the USA-Mexico border (no fences, please -- wasteful and useless).

Guest-worker programs are ineffective and immoral. France and Germany promoted a similar program, and now a permanent minority underclass, complete with crime and poverty and welfarism, has take over. Besides, would you want to live in a country where you seek citzenship, yet you are treated as a second-class citizen? Either you are a citizen or you are not -- no middle ground.

No more welfare state. Market forces, without public subsidies, would balance out migrant patterns.
The STEM Jobs act was a positive step toward immigration reform, passed by the Republicans, blocked by the Democrats.

End free access to public services -- education and other bureaucratic entities -- without proof of citizenship. Mexico does this -- so should the US.

Under no circumstances should we reward people for entering the country illegally -- the rule of law is what immigrants are looking for, right? -- which does not exist in Mexico or elsewhere to any great extent throughout Latin America or in Asia.

The matter of kids born "there", but raise "here" -- a thorny issue. . .

Never should a country reward breaking the law, but the situation itself is not the fault of the men and women today who were brought to this country as two or three month or year old children.

Still, the anchor-baby policy is unacceptable.

But why has immigration become such an issue today, while it was not an issue at all over one hundred years ago?

The generous welfare state. The welfare state cannot coexist with a welcoming immigration policy. The welfare state must be removed, then the United States government can have more open borders.

Todd Akin's Mistake: Best Defense is a Good Offense

Grace and Truth Work Together:
It's OK to Go on Offense
Many are incorrectly convinced that Congressman Todd Akin is some kind of right-wing religious fanatic who hates women and has at best a three-year old's understanding of the female anatomy.
Granted, he has been ranked the most conservative member of Congress, and he openly disagrees with climate change and evolution. His opposition to those views are candid and credible, unlike Senator McCaskill's assertions Where 2012 US Senate candidate Akin went wrong, like many Republicans, falls on his response to his one gaffe.

Akin played defense, and continued to do so throughout the campaign. As Saul Alinsky wrote on Rules for Radicals, the best defense is a good offense.

In one debate, the moderator started out by referencing the "legitimate rape" comment, as if the issue merited any further discussion. Todd Akin answered the questions, when instead he should have gone on the attack against McCaskill for her 100% rating with the NARAL, along with the “illegitimate rape” of our nation and our entitlements from the of President Barack Obama's overwhelming government spending.

No better example than former Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich illustrates “offense as best defense”. Does anyone remember the January 2012 GOP Presidential debates in South Carolina? The CNN moderate John King asked the first question regarding whether Gingrich wanted to share any thoughts about his second wife's aggressively candid admissions about Gingrich's moral failings in the previous night’s prime time special.

Gingrich came out swinging: "No, but I will," followed by wild applause. The former speaker then let loose one of the most massive tongue-lashings in recent years, enough to make New Jersey Governor Christ Christie look meek and mild. “It is appalling. . .” indeed that King would lead any debate with such salacious gossip as a mainstay. Gingrich took every baiting question and baited the Mainstream Media, the Obama Administration, and his Republican opponents without thinking twice about it, Congressman Akin needed to furrow out that kind of attack following the infamous “JACO Report” interview in July until the very end. Akin did not quite deliver.

I believe one of the reasons why he refused to come out swinging as much as he could have touches on one of the bills that Akin attempted to pass in Congress. He wanted to reinstate the Ten Commandments in our schools. I am all for civil codes and proper conduct, but too many evangelicals are rallying behind the Ten Commandments, when the Bible clearly teaches that Christian men and women are no longer under law, but under grace. Grace is not a license to sin, but it gives strength and authority for men and women to live godly and sober lives:

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live
soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2: 11-12)

Aside from civil laws to inform and establish a public compact, the Ten Commandments is a remnant from the Old Covenant, a set of regulations meant to bring men to the end of themselves, so that they would rest and receive the love and power of their savior.

Sadly, this need to "play by the rules" puts too many Republicans in an unjust bind. They are unable to shake away from their past failures, and instead spend too much time playing defense, while Democrats set up their own set of rules and codes, which they break all the time, while Republicans spend too little time holding them accountable to their own codes. This self-imposed Pharisee spirit is causing problems for the GOP, including the evangelical Christian groups within the GOP, who have not yet learned, or at least understood, this crucial difference in the Gospel, in the New Covenant:

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

“And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

The new covenant centers on identity then activity, for obedience springs forth from the truth with love, not law and works.

Todd Akin is a devout Christian, but he reminds me of believers still trying to live under law, when God's grace is a much better teacher (Titus 2: 11-12). The same grace even allows God to take our sins, and our mistakes – like the "legitimate rape" comment -- and then turn them to our advantage.
Akin could have done that by going on the offense, but he chose not to. In truth, he had nothing to be ashamed of, aside from his “gaffe”.

Here's to Republican candidates in the future learning from this precept in politics:

The best defense is a good offense.

How to Live Like Righteous Abraham, not like Righteous Lot

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

People's Republicans of Santa Monica?

A friend of mine told me that Santa Monicans do not trust Republicans. I think it's because of George W. Bush. Some liberals think that he wanted to impose some a right-wing religious theocracy. Others are still mad, very mad, about Iraq and Afghanistan. Aside from tax cuts (which Obama has made permanent) and judicial appointments (one who supported Obama-WaxmanCare), President Bush soured a lot of Republicans, too.

In 2004, I was reluctant to vote for Bush. I was not happy with "No Child Left Behind." I did not like the spending spree spilling out of the Beltway. I was particularly distressed that the wars in the Middle East were not turning out as well as the President and his staff had pitched. Only a website entitled "Bush is a d--che bag, but I'm voting for him anyway" helped sway my vote.

I believed that there were weapons of mass destruction. So did five separate intelligence agencies, including the British and the French. Like liberal Democratic Congressmen Brad Sherman and Howard Berman, I supported the invasion into Iraq in order to deter President Saddam Hussein from perpetrating more war crimes against his people and throughout the Middle East.

Bush's foreign policy intimidated Libyan dictator Moammar Ghadhafi to withdraw his nuclear weapons program, and Syria withdrew their forces from Lebanon, following President Bush's muscular foray into the Middle East. Revolutions popped out all over the world, including Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and the Ukraine. Azerbaijan demanded military intervention from President Bush to save them from their own tyranny. A rise of freedom seemed imminent.

Then a vocal Bush supporter sounded his concerns about the Bush policy: refusnik Russian Jewish refugee Natan Sharansky. In his book The Case for Democracy, Sharansky made his pitch for free societies based on the free speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religions. These values must be firmly in place before governments open up elections. Without proper respect for all citizens in the public square, no free or just society can emerge out of regime change.

Despite the Purple Revolution in Iraq, in which Iraqis dipped their fingers in purple ink to prove that they had voted, the sectarian violence and chronic instability in the region exploded. The ethnic tribal rivalries festering in the region for decades all burst forth following the removal of Saddam Hussein. Regime change cannot be undertaken lightly, after all. Conservative commentators like William F. Buckley, John McLaughlin, and George Will opposed the invasions. Later on, Bill O'Reilly admitted that going to war in Iraq was a mistake.

I admit the same, but not because I wanted war-mongering. Like many Americans, Republicans and Democrats, including the house and Senate majorities who refused to cut the funding in 2007, I believed that there were weapons of mass destruction.

I remember talking about Bush and his foreign policies with a resident from Rancho Palos Verdes. He was so angry, he could barely speak about the Iraqi wars. I understood for the first time how Democrats felt in 2004, when their candidate John Kerry lost, despite the growing unrest and resentment about Bush's wars. I met another Democrat from Palos Verdes, a Jewish Democrat who supported the wars in Iraq, who believes that the weapons of mass destruction were all hustled off to Syria. Recent WikiLeak cables indicate that American forces did find weapons of mass destruction throughout Iraq, too. Bush was not as wrong as people believed.

Still, the high cost of Wilsonian nation-building, coupled with domestic overspending on transportation and Medicare entitlements, ruined the Republican Party brand. Only the 2010 Tea Party caucus forced Establishment GOP types to stand up for their platform, but the lingering aftertaste still dampens opinion about the Republican Party.

Under the rule of a spendthrift Democratic Supermajority in Sacramento, Santa Monica residents should ignore Democratic Party insiders who spend their money, as well as yours and your children's, and fail to care for the older and younger generations. Their wacky proposals like Cap and Trade are putting a cap on trade without easing energy prices. Gas is higher than ever, Governor Jerry Brown has done nothing about it. Obama claims to care about young people, yet he prevents everyone else from enrolling their children in any school that they want, whilke he supports enrolling his own children in private schools. To this day, Democrats have done nothing about re-enfranchising felons, nor have they advanced any policies which will end the failed War on Drugs, which has become a war on minorities.

Republicans and libertarian leaning conservatives are leading on these positive policies. Republicans who endorse individual liberty, not Wall Street elitism, remain in great and growing supply in Southern California. To the citizens of the "People's Republic of Santa Monica", do not heed the empty rhetoric of statist status quo elements who have done nothing to alleviate the economic malaise in the state of California, and do not let them depict Republicans for you. Meet them for yourself, hear them out, and you may discover that you have more in common with the GOP than you realized.