Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Focus on the Family’s “A Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America” analysis

I struggled to figure out the best way to present this data. This is an actual letter written by the people of Focus on the Family and taken from here: http://focusfamaction.edgeboss.net/download/focusfamaction/pdfs/10-22-08_2012letter.pdf I want to explain exactly what is so wrong with this, but there is so much so wrong at so many levels that, at first, I didn’t know how to tie it all together. The single thing I will use to tie this all together is the concept of projection.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection Projection is a coping mechanism whereby one attributes desires he finds shameful or undesirable to others around him. It is my theory that the senior staff of Focus on the Family is projecting their megalomania onto homosexuals. I don’t want to delete any part of this lest I be accused of selective deletion, so I will reduce the font size of the sections I don’t wish to comment on. Material which deals directly with homosexuals will be in pink font and normal size, remaining text will be black font normal size. My comments will be in blue front, normal size. Any italics are mine.

Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America What will the United States be like if Senator Obama is elected? The most reliable way of predicting people’s future actions is by looking at their past actions. Jesus himself taught, “You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). Anyone who has hired employees knows that – the best predictor of a person’s future job performance is not what he tells you he can do but what he has actually done in the past. So here is a picture of the changes that are likely or at least very possible if Senator Obama is elected and the far-left segments of the Democratic Party gain control of the White House, the Congress, and perhaps then the Supreme Court. The entire letter is written as a “What if?” exercise, but that does not make it empty speculation because every future “event” described here is based on established legal and political trends that can already be abundantly documented and that only need a “tipping point” such as the election of Senator Obama and a Democratic House and Senate to begin to put them into place. Every past event named in this letter (everything prior to October 22, 2008) is established fact and has already taken place. This letter is not “predicting” that all of the imaginative future “events” named in this letter will happen. But it is saying that each one of these changes could happen and also that each change would be a the natural outcome of (a) published legal opinions already written by liberal judges, (b) trends already seen in states with liberal-dominated courts such as California and Massachusetts, (c) recent past promises, practices, and legislative initiatives of the current liberal leadership of the Democratic Party and (d) Senator Obama’s previous actions, previous voting record, and previous public promises to the far-left groups that won the nomination for him. Many of these changes, if they occur, will have significant implications for Christians. This letter is addressed particularly to their concerns so they will be aware of what is at stake before the November 4 election. Some will respond to this letter by saying, “Well, I hope hardship and even persecution come to the church. It will strengthen the church!” But hoping for suffering is wrong. It is similar to saying, “I hope I get some serious illness because it will strengthen my faith.” Jesus taught us to pray the opposite: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13). Paul urged us to pray not for persecution but “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim. 2:2). So Christians should hope and pray that such difficult times do not come. But if they do come, then it will be right to trust God to bring good out of them and also bring them to an end. Of course, there are many evangelical Christians supporting Senator Obama as well as many supporting Senator McCain in this election. Christians on both sides should continue to respect and cherish each other’s friendship as well as the freedom people have in the United States to differ on these issues and to freely speak our opinions about them to one another. October 22, 2012 Dear friends, I can hardly sing “The Star Spangled Banner” any more. When I hear the words, O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? I get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Now in October of 2012, after seeing what has happened in the last four years, I don’t think I can still answer, “Yes,” to that question. We are not “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more.

(a.) Freedom cannot be taken away. It can only be given away by those who refuse to fight for it. Freedom belongs to who ever will fight for it. This is why black people are allowed to sit wherever they want on the bus. (b.) “The majority of Democrats” in Congress. If a majority of Democrats is associated with a reduction of freedom, then the opposite must be true: A majority of Republicans would mean an increase in freedom. Yet, analysis of the years of Republican domination of Congress will yield no victories in the issues about to be discussed.

The 2008 election was closer than anybody expected, but Barack Obama still won. Many Christians voted for Obama – younger evangelicals actually provided him with the needed margin to defeat John McCain – but they didn’t think he would really follow through on the far left policies that had marked his entire previous career. They were wrong. The Supreme Court On January 20, 2009, President Obama’s inauguration went smoothly, and he spoke eloquently of reaching out to Republicans who would work with him. Even in the next month, when Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens announced that they would step down from the Supreme Court, nobody was very surprised – Ginsburg was already 75 year old and in ill health1 and Stevens, 88. President Obama nominated two far-left, American Civil Liberties Union-oriented judges and the Democratic Senate confirmed them quickly. They are brilliant, articulate, and in their early 40s, so they can expect to stay on the Court for 30 or 40 years. But things seemed the same because the Court retained its 4-4 split between liberals and conservatives with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote. The decisive changes on the Supreme Court started in June, when Justice Kennedy resigned – he was 72 and had grown weary of the unrelenting responsibility. His replacement – another young liberal Obama appointment – gave a 5-4 majority to justices who were eager to create new laws from the bench. The four conservative justices who remained — John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito — were suddenly in the minority. Then in August, 2009, two months after Kennedy resigned, Justice Scalia unexpectedly announced his resignation due to health reasons and by October of 2009 another Obama appointment took his oath and joined the Court. The three remaining conservatives (known as “originalists” because they hold that the meaning of the Constitution is its “original public meaning”) kept objecting that the role of the Supreme Court should not be to create new laws but only to interpret the Constitution and the laws that had been passed by Congress and the state legislatures. But the six liberal justices paid no attention. They decided cases in light of their understanding of the needs of society, and they took more and more precedents not from the U. S. Constitution but from international laws when it suited their agenda. From the end of 2009, Justices Roberts, Thomas, and Alito have been constantly outvoted 6-3 and they are essentially powerless. It might now be 20 or 30 more years before enough new appointments could be made to change the far-left dominance of the Supreme Court.

Notice the assumption that people who disagree with the views held by the senior staff of Focus on the Family (Liberals) are assumed to have an “agenda”. In a little bit, people who agree with Focus will be characterized as good people acting in mass, but never as people with an agenda. Is it impossible that people who disagree with Focus might work towards common goals because of common desires and not some “agenda”?

Finally the far-left had the highest prize: complete control of the Supreme Court. And they set about quickly to expedite cases by which they would enact the entire agenda of the far left in American politics – everything that they had hoped for and more just took a few key decisions.

Now the agenda is illuminated: complete control to enact their entire agenda and achieve everything they hoped for. It is here, I think that Focus on the Family most clearly projects their desire: to completely control the American political process.

Same-sex marriage The most far-reaching transformation of American society came from the Supreme Court’s stunning affirmation, in early 2010, that homosexual marriage was a “constitutional” right that had to be respected by all 50 states because laws barring same-sex marriage violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Suddenly homosexual marriage was the law of the land in all 50 states and no state legislature, no state Supreme Court, no state Constitutional amendment, not even Congress had any power to change it.

Here the writer again shows his fantasy: that a law can be made from which there could be no recourse. Of course, it’s not true. The Supreme Court’s decisions are non-binding. They appear binding because, in the last 50 years, Congress, the President and the State governments have chosen to follow the recommendations of the Supreme Court as to what is constitutional and what is not. But there is no law which says they must. That is one of the checks and balances built into our system. But in the writer’s delusion of controlling the US, he could make a law and “not even Congress” could stop him. It is what he wants, so he assumes it of those he distrusts, even though its not, in this case, true or possible.

The Supreme Court had ruled, and the discussion was over.

Again with the total power fantasy. Rule without discussion.

This was a blatant example of creating new law by the court, for homosexual marriage was mentioned nowhere in the Constitution,

The Supreme Court saying the Constitution must be followed for homosexuals as well as everyone else is creating new law why? Because “homosexual marriage” was not mentioned in the constitution. By that logic, the First Amendment would only apply to actual speech, since newspapers, books, and radio are not mentioned in the constitution.

Nor would any of the original authors have imagined that same sex marriage could be derived from their words.

Probably true, but meaningless. It is doubtful any of them imagined that female suffrage would be derived from their words. Should we then deny women the vote?

But it just followed the precedents that had been already set by state Supreme Courts in Massachusetts (2003),2 California (2008),3 and Connecticut (2008).4 President Obama repeated his declaration that he personally was against same sex marriage, but he told the nation that there was nothing now that he could do. The Supreme Court had ruled, and it was now the law of the land. The President asked the entire nation to support the decision.

Again, the writer projects his desire for a group that cannot be argued with in anyway to be in charge, when this is frankly, not how the Supreme Court operates.

After that decision, many other policies changed, and several previous Supreme Court cases were reversed rather quickly — raising the question, “Is America still the land of the free?”

How does the reversal of previous decisions and the quick change of policy raise the question “Is America still the land of the free?” When President Lincoln made policy changes that reversed the status of slaves, did that raise a similar question? I seek here not to compare Obama to Lincoln, but to point out the absurdity of this line of reasoning. Unless, of course, the author means any change to policies he personally likes is an assault on freedom. Let’s find out more about the author’s idea of freedom.

(1) Boy Scouts: “The land of the free”? The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an organization. They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys. (This was to be expected with a change in the Court, since the 2000 decision Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, which affirmed the right of the Boy Scouts as a private organization 2 Goodridge v. Department of Health, decided by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, November 18, 2003. 3 In re: Marriage Cases, decided by the California State Supreme Court, May 15, 2008. 4 Kerrigan v, Commissioner of Public Health, decided by the Connecticut State Supreme Court, October 10, 2008. to dismiss a homosexual scoutmaster, was a 5-4 decision, with Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter, and Breyer dissenting even then.) 5

Focus on the Family” TM describes it’s mission “To cooperate with the Holy Spirit in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible by nurturing and defending the God-ordained institution of the family and promoting biblical truths worldwide.” Biblical truths perhaps, but the Scouts can be lied about with impunity. Scoutmasters don’t sleep in tents with young or any other kind of boy. Ever. The Boy Scouts of America are aware of the risks of pedophiles and enforce a strict 2 person policy at all times. A Scoutmaster who attempted to sleep “in tents with young boys” would be out of the BSA before the night was up.

It had become increasingly difficult for the Boy Scouts to find meeting places anyway, because in 2009 Congress passed and President Obama signed an expansion of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which extended federal civil rights protections to people engaging in homosexual behavior. So the Boy Scouts had already been kicked out of all public facilities. (2) Elementary schools: “The land of the free”? Elementary schools now include compulsory training in varieties of gender identity in Grade 1, including the goodness of homosexuality as one possible personal choice. Many parents tried to “opt out” their children from such sessions, but the courts have ruled that they cannot do this, noting that education experts in the government have decided that such training is essential to children’s psychological health. Many Christian teachers objected to teaching first graders that homosexuality was morally neutral and equal to heterosexuality. They said it violated their consciences to have to teach something the Bible viewed as morally wrong. But state after state ruled that their refusal to teach positively about homosexuality was the equivalent of hate speech, and they had to teach it or be fired. Tens of thousands of Christian teachers either quit or were fired, and there are hardly any evangelical teachers in public schools any more. Non-Christians found this hard to understand. “Why not just teach what the school says even if it’s not your personal opinion? So what? We can’t have every teacher deciding what he or she wants to teach, can we?” But the Christian teachers kept coming back to something Jesus said: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). And they quit by the thousands, no matter what the personal cost, rather than commit what they believed to be a direct sin against God. In addition, many private Christian schools decided to shut down after the Supreme Court ruled that anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation extended to private institutions such as schools,6 and that private schools also had to obey the law and teach that homosexuality and heterosexuality are both morally good choices.

This one of the largest individual sections in the whole letter. In the article “They Only Know What You Teach Them http://www2.focusonthefamily.com/docstudy/newsletters/A000000229.cfm Focus on the Family’s founder Dr. Dobson says “Let’s put the welfare of our boys and girls ahead of our own convenience and teach them the difference between right and wrong. They need to hear that God is the author of their rights and liberties. Let’s teach them that He loves them and holds them to a high level of moral accountability.” But strangely, all that time spent with mom and and dad, the loving caring environment at home, hearing that God loves them, it can all be completely undone if the child hears the statement “homosexuality is just another way to be.” How curious. You’d think that spending the first 7 years purely in the presence of two straight, loving parents would imprint the kid pretty strongly, but Focus believes that children are so highly prone to indoctrination that just hearing something over and over again will force them to accept anything, even if its not true. Now, why would Focus believe that?

(3) Adoption agencies: “The land of the free”? There are no more Roman Catholic or evangelical Protestant adoption agencies in the United States. Following earlier rulings in New York 7and Massachusetts,8 the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 ruled that these agencies had to agree to place children with homosexual couples or lose their licenses. Just as the Catholic Charities adoption agency had closed down for this reason in Massachusetts in 2006,9 so all the agencies across the United States have now closed down rather than violate their consciences about the moral wrong of homosexual behavior. 5 Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, decided by the United States Supreme Court, June 28, 2000. 6 Maggie Gallagher, “Banned in Boston,” The Weekly Standard, May 15, 2006 7 http://www.adopthelp.com/alternativeadoptions/alternatives2.html 8 Gallagher, op.cit 9 Patricia Wen, “Catholic Charities stuns state, ends adoptions,” Boston Globe March 11, 2006 Christian parents seeking to adopt have tried going through secular adoption agencies, but they are increasingly excluding parents with “narrow” or dangerous views on religion or homosexuality.

The basic idea here is that adoption agencies will be forced to allow homosexual couples do adopt. Current statistics say 28% of children in foster care have been sexually abused by their (straight) foster parents. If homosexual couples “only” sexually abused 14% of their children, a child would be twice as safe with gay parents as with foster parents. Obviously the best gay person is better than the wost straight person, but Focus claims otherwise. How would claiming so relate to the writer’s need to project his desire for domination onto homosexuals? Because nothing motivates people to surrender due process like children in danger.

(4) Businesses with government contracts: “The land of the free”? All businesses that have government contracts at the national, state, or local level now have to provide documentation of equal benefits for same sex couples. This was needed to overcome “systemic discrimination” against them and followed on a national level the pattern of policies already in place in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle.10

Doesn’t the fact that local governments are already putting these laws into effect disprove the idea of the Supreme Court creating these law? The Supreme Court’s purpose is determine if existing laws are constitutional or not.

(5) Public broadcasting: “The land of the free”? The Bible can no longer be freely preached over radio or television stations when the subject matter includes such “offensive” doctrines as homosexual conduct or the claim that people will go to hell if they do not believe in Jesus Christ. The Supreme Court agreed that these could be kept off the air as prohibited “hate speech” that is likely to incite violence and discrimination. These policies followed earlier broadcasting and print restrictions that were already in place prior to 2008 in Canada 11 and Sweden. 12

The reference to Canada is story about the Canadian equivalent of the FCC receiving one application for a all gay radio station and one application for an all Catholic station in Toronto. The gay station got the frequency despite having less than a 1/10 the listenership of the the Catholic station. This is because in Canada, and unlike the U,S the Supreme Court has the legal right demand compliance from Federal agencies. As to Sweden the only “evidence” offered is a link to an add for lecture given by…Focus on the Family. In neither case was a Christian agency picked on for its stance on homosexuality. The author is projecting his desire to single out homosexuals as homosexual’s desire to single out the religious right.

(6) Doctors and lawyers: “The land of the free”? Physicians who refuse to provide artificial insemination for lesbian couples now face significant fines or loss of their license to practice medicine, following the reasoning of a decision of the California Supreme Court in North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group v. Superior Court of San Diego County (Benitez),which had been announced August 18, 2008.

The idea complained against here is that doctors will be prevented from refusing to do procedures on moral grounds. A good Christian doctor will face repercussions for refusing to provide artificial insemination for a lesbian couple. If that is bad, then the author would have you believe that it would be better if doctors could refuse to provide services to people that he did not deem morally worthy. Rape victims, for instance, could be denied emergency care if the doctor thought they were dressed too provocatively. That’s what it looks like when doctors decide who is morally worthy and who is not. Focus favors such a world because they consider themselves to be the moral elite. They will decide for the rest of us what is moral and what is not.

which had been announced August 18, 2008. 13As a result, many Christian physicians have retired or left the practices of family medicine and obstetrics & gynecology. Lawyers who refuse to handle adoption cases for same-sex couples similarly now lose their licenses to practice law. (7) Counselors and social workers: “The land of the free”? All other professionals who are licensed by individual states are now also prohibited from discrimination against homosexuals. Social workers and counselors, even counselors in church staff positions, who refuse to provide “professional, appropriately nurturing marriage counseling” for homosexual couples lose their counseling licenses.14 Thousands of Christians have left these professions as a result.

Two statements are made: one, that counselors cannot discriminate against homosexuals and two, that counselors must provide nurturing care. Since this is put in the context of “..changes, if they occur, will have significant implications for Christians” (from the intro) then Focus on the Family stated (Christian) policy toward homosexuals must be the opposite. Focus on the Family then must want it to be acceptable to discriminate against homosexuals who are seeking help. How un-Christlike of them. Perhaps the author fears that if homosexuals got counseling, his jihad would lose its legitimacy.

(8) Homosexual weddings: “The land of the free”? Church buildings are now considered a “public accommodation” by the United States Supreme Court and churches have no freedom to refuse to allow their buildings to be used for wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples. If they refuse, they lose their tax exempt status, and they are increasingly becoming subject to fines and anti-discrimination lawsuits. 15 (9) Homosexual church staff members: “The land of the free”? While churches are still free to turn down homosexual applicants for the job of senior pastor, churches and parachurch organizations are no longer free to reject homosexual applicants for staff positions such 10 http://www.azpolicy.org/pdf/GFI/H4HomosexualDomesticPartnerBenefits.pdf 11 John Henry Weston, “Canadian Broadcast Regulators: Gay Toronto Radio OK, Catholic Radio No Way” LifeSite.com, April 6, 2006. 12 Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Fate of Religious Liberty, Heritage Foundation Symposium, May 22, 2008. 13 North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group v. Benitez, decided by the California State Supreme Court, August 18, 2008. 14 The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) presently has a case involving a woman who was fired by the Centers for Disease Control for declining to offer counseling for a same-sex relationship, but referred the client to another counselor who would help. See Walden v. Centers for Disease Control, filed in federal district court, July 14, 2008. 15 Robert Bluey, “’Marriage’ Changes May Shake Churches’ Tax Exemptions,” CNSNews.com, February 23, 2004. as part-time youth pastor or director of counseling. Those that rejected homosexual applicants have already had their tax-exempt status revoked, and now the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has begun to impose heavy monetary fines for each new instance of such “discrimination” which, they say, is “contrary to the U.S. Constitution as defined by the Supreme Court.” These fines follow the pattern of a precedent-setting case in February, 2008, in which the Diocese of Hereford in the Church of England was fined $94,000 (47,000 UK pounds) for turning down a homosexual applicant for a youth ministry position.16

“…they lose their tax exempt status”, “their tax-exempt status revoked As Hamlet says in Act III, Ay, there’s the rub. The public acceptance of homosexuality is seen as a threat to the the tax exempt status of religious property. How much tax exemption? About $5,000,000,000. Focus on the Family didn’t pay a dime in taxes on the 142 million in gross sales it turned in 2005.

(10) Homosexuals in the military: One change regarding the status of homosexuals did not wait for any Supreme Court decision. In the first week after his inauguration President Obama invited gay rights leaders from around the United States to join him at the White House as he signed an executive order directing all branches of the military to abandon their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and to start actively recruiting homosexuals.

Don’t ask, don’t tell means “It’s OK to be gay as long as no one knows about it.” Why in the world would a Christian group support such an idea.

17 As a result, homosexuals are now given special bonuses for enlisting in military service (to attempt to compensate for past discrimination)

If saying “I’m gay” means a cash bonus, I predict a near 100% rate of homosexuality as soon as the policy is passed. Blacks do have a history of past discrimination in the military, yet no bonuses are given to blacks, so there is no precedent.

and all new recruits, and all active-duty and reserve personnel, are compelled to take many hours of “sensitivity training” to ensure that they demonstrate positive attitudes toward those with different sexual orientations and practices.

We all ready are! Everyone is required to take homosexuality policy awareness training every year. The policy of “It’s OK if you don’t get caught” is extremely difficult to navigate.

Any who seem hesitant or who object are routinely passed over for promotion.

I am struggling to keep a professional tone at this point. Members of the military who don’t follow military policy are subject to court martial and dishonorable discharge, not pleasantly “passed over for promotion”.

In addition, any chaplain who holds to an interpretation of Scripture that homosexual conduct is morally wrong and therefore does not espouse “mainstream values,” is dismissed from the military.18 This is not “the land of the free” for them.

First of all, chaplains are not permitted to claim that any religion is more or less true than any other, so they already cannot follow a literal interpretation of scripture. Many chaplains, in fact, lead different religion’s services at different times of the week to better serve their people. Chaplains are uniformed military members. Like all of us in uniform, what we personally believe about right and wrong takes a back seat to following orders. No mater how strong a person’s religious sentiments to not kill, for instance, disobeying an order to fire upon the enemy is punishable by death. The lack of research that went into this section is appalling. Ironically, when no one must obey (the Supreme Court) the author claims total obedience is required. When total obedience is required, the author speaks of vague compliance. This is scare tactics, as if to say “If you don’t vote our way, the military will be full of fags.”

Religious speech in the public square (11) High schools: “The land of the free”? High schools are no longer free to allow “see you at the pole” meetings where students pray together, or any student Bible studies even before or after school. The Supreme Court ruled that this is considered speech that is both “proselytizing” and involves “worship,” special categories of speech which, as liberal Justice John Paul Stevens had already argued in his dissent in Good News Club v. Milford Central School (2001), should not be allowed in public schools, since it is in a different category from other kinds of speech.19 (Justice Souter filed a similar dissent, which Justice Ginsburg joined). The new 6-3 liberal majority on the Supreme Court followed his reasoning and outlawed any use of school property for any kind of religious meeting, even outside of normal school hours. In addition, Christian students cannot raise religious objections to curriculum material that promotes homosexual behavior.

So, this section warns us of a time when worship is seen as a unique for of free speech subject to some restrictions, and tax supported building should not be available for worship. I don’t want to live in a world where anyone can worship in a public place with no restrictions, and few people do if they consider what some religions define as worship. Tantric Hindus worship through sex, for instance. Why would Focus on the Family want a world where people could worship in whatever way they wanted at their children’s high school? They don’t. They want total control over how everyone is allowed to worship. They don’t chafe under the idea of controlled worship, just anyone but them controlling it.

(12) Church use of school property: “The land of the free”? Tens of thousands of young churches suddenly had no place to meet when the Supreme Court ruled that public schools in all 50 states had to stop allowing churches to rent their facilities even on Sundays, when school was not in session. The Court said this was an unconstitutional use of government property for a religious purpose. Most of these churches have still been unable to find any suitable place to meet. Public libraries and public parks are similarly excluded from allowing churches to use their facilities.

So, buildings in which taxpayers already pay the property tax, light bill, and maintenance costs cannot be loaned out to a tax exempt organization to save even them even more money. Notice a trend here? If gays have rights, the church goes broke. No church, and then no one will buy 142 million dollars worth of Focus on the Family merchandise every year.

16 See http://www.christian.org.uk/news/20080212/47000-fine-for-bishop-sued-by-homosexual-youth-worker/ 17 See http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/10/obama.gay.ap/index.html 18 See http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/03/politics/main2057198.shtml?source=RSSattr=U.S._2057198 19 Good News Club v. Milford Central Schools, dissent written by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, June 11, 2001. Once again, the reasoning of liberal justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg in 2001 in Good News Club (see above) was able to garner 6-3 support with the new Court, and they prevailed. (13) Campus ministries: “The land of the free”? Campus organizations such as Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity, Navigators, Baptist Campus Ministry, and Reformed University Fellowship have shrunk to mere skeleton organizations, and in many states they have simply ceased to exist. After the Supreme Court ruled that “proselytizing” speech and “worship” speech did not have the same First Amendment protection as other speech, and after it declared same-sex marriage to be the law of the United States, a subsequent Supreme Court decision predictably ruled that universities had to prohibit campus organizations that promote “hate speech” and have discriminatory policies. Therefore these Christian ministries have been prohibited from all use of campus buildings, all campus bulletin boards, all advertising in campus newspapers, and all use of dormitory rooms or common rooms for Bible studies.20

Actually, no. Most campuses have areas called free speech zones, where anyone can literally say anything, even criminal things. It is, in fact in these free speech zones, that most missionaries on campus work.

Their staff members are no longer allowed to trespass on university property.

Again no. Campuses do not prevent entry based on belief, only on actions. The fact that Focus looks at a group and assumes they would implement thought control says a lot of about how the senior leadership of Focus would run college campuses if they could.

The only ministries allowed to function on campuses are “non-discriminatory” ministries that agree to allow practicing homosexuals and members of other religions on their governing boards.

Again, no. The campus Republicans are not required to set Democrats on their governing board. Phi Kappa Delta is not required to let Psi Sigma Gamma on their board. There is no basis for this in reality at all. However, we can be assured, if Focus on the Family had the reach into American politics they wished to, there would be a Focus on the Family approved member on every board of every group which disagreed with them.

With the new Supreme Court appointed by President Obama, the long years of liberal opposition to these evangelical ministries finally bore fruit, and only liberal ministries are left on campuses. (14) Pledge of allegiance: “The land of the free”? Public school teachers are no longer free to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard a new challenge to the phrase “under God” in the pledge, and, as it had in 2002 in Newdow v. United States Congress, Elk Grove Unified School District, et al., it held the wording to be unconstitutional. Now the Supreme Court has upheld this decision.

Compulsorily swearing the Pledge of Allegiance in school was not mandated until 1940, 48 years after its writing. The phrase “…under God…” was not added till 1954.

Abortion (15) Freedom of Choice Act: Congress lost no time in solidifying abortion rights under President Obama. In fact, Obama had promised, “The first thing I’ll do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” (July 17, 2007, speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund).21 This Federal law immediately nullified hundreds of state laws that had created even the slightest barrier to abortion.22 Now states can no longer require parental involvement for minors who wish to have an abortion, or any waiting period, or any informed consent rules, or any restrictions on late-term abortions. The act reversed the Hyde Amendment, so that the government now funds Medicaid abortions for any reason. As a result, the number of abortions has increased dramatically. The Freedom of Choice Act also reversed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, so that infants can be killed outright just seconds before they would be born alive. States whose laws were overturned challenged the law in court but it was upheld by the 20 These cases are unfortunately common on many public university campuses. ADF has several examples from public universities such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rutgers University, University of California-San Diego, to name just a few. 21 See http://www.citizenlink.org/CLtopstories/A000007601.cfm 22 The Freedom of Choice Act: Endangering Women and Silencing the Voices of Everyday Americans, See http://www.aul.org/FOCA Obama Supreme Court. “The land of the free”? There is no freedom for these infants who are killed by the millions.

I do not like abortion. I do like the idea of my daughter being able to get one without telling me. I do not like the idea of them being easier to get. I do not like the idea of there being more of them. From reading Focus’s pages I know they like them less than I (for instance “…blood of thousands of these dismembered babies will forever be on the hands of five justices..” http://www2.focusonthefamily.com/docstudy/newsletters/A000000760.cfmBBut Focus’s approach to this terrifies me. On the subject of homosexual marriage, the author said that not even a constitutional amendment could be made anymore. But on the subject of abortion, which is mentioned in the constitution, and can be stopped with an amendment, there is nothing said. In fact, a quick search of “amendment” on the website shows 56 articles about the “Marriage Amendment”…and one about Roe VS Wade. I can find no moral explanation for why a group who believes that abortion is murder would work harder to prevent gays from getting married then it would to prevent the unborn form being murdered. The only explanation that I can find is totally cynical: abortion as a lighting rod issue had begun to lose it’s zing. The pictures of the dead unborn no longer motived the sort of shock that Focus needs to maintain control over it’s diverse followers. A new whipping boy was needed, and the senior leadership chose homosexuals.

(16) Nurses and abortions: “The land of the free”? Nurses are no longer free to refuse to participate in abortions for reasons of conscience.23 If they refuse to participate, they lose their jobs, for they are now failing to comply with Federal law. Many Christian nurses have left the health care field entirely rather than violate their consciences. A number of Christian nurses challenged their loss of jobs in court, but the Supreme Court ruled that medical professionals do not have the freedom to refuse nonessential, elective care on the basis of conscience. In their decision, the Supreme Court followed the reasoning of the California Supreme Court in the 2008 Benitez case (see section (13) below).24

Nurses haven’t been able to refuse to participate in abortions for many years due to hospital policy. If one does not wish to participate in them, one does not work OB/GYN.

(17) Doctors and abortions: “The land of the free”? The same restrictions apply to doctors: Doctors who refuse to perform abortions can no longer be licensed to deliver babies at hospitals in any state. As a result, many Christian doctors have left family medicine and obstetrics, and many have simply retired.

See above, and the response to (6).

Pornography (18) Pornography: “The land of the free”? It’s almost impossible now to keep any children from seeing pornography. The Supreme Court in 2011 nullified all Federal Communications Commission restrictions on obscene speech or visual content in radio and TV broadcasts, and television programs at all hours of the day now contain explicit portrayals of sexual acts.

The Supreme Court has no power whatsoever to do that.

The Court simply applied more broadly the “Miller test” from the 1973 decision in Miller v. California, by which a work could not be found obscene unless “the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, and scientific value.” In the 2011 decision the Court essentially found that any pornographic work had some measure of “serious artistic value,” at least according to some observers, and thus any censorship of any kind of pornographic material was an unconstitutional restriction on the First Amendment freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In addition, all city and county laws restricting pornography were struck down by this decision. As a result, pornographic magazines are now openly displayed in gas stations, grocery stores, and newsstands (as they have been in some European countries for several years).

You shouldn’t decide you can look at, the government should decide. Advised by Focus, of course. Focus would probably continue to sell its 44 books and CD’s about about sex, but the Kuma Sutra, in print for 2000 years, would probably nixed.

In addition, law enforcement officials can no longer stop the distribution of child pornography, after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the such distribution violated freedom of speech and interstate commerce laws.

Absolutely absurd. If the United States legalized child pornography we would have trade sanctions applied to us from every part of the globe. Since we are one of the largest exporters in the world, this would totally destroy the economy.

Gun ownership (19) Guns: “The land of the free”? It is now illegal for private citizens to own guns for self defense in eight states, and the number is growing with increasing Democratic control of state legislatures and governorships. This was the result of a 6-3 Supreme Court decision in which the Court reversed its 5-4 decision that had upheld private gun ownership in District of 23 The Freedom of Choice Act: Endangering Women and Silencing the Voices of Everyday Americans, See http://www.aul.org/FOCA 24 North Coast, op.cit. Columbia v. Heller (2008).25 In the new decision, a response to test cases from Oregon, Massachusetts, and Vermont, the Court adopted the view of the Second Amendment that had already been defended in Heller by the four liberal justices, Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer. 26 In this new decision the Court specified that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” was limited to that purpose they said was specified in the Second Amendment, namely, to those people who were part of a “well regulated militia” in the various states. To those who argued that this view was not the “original intent” of the framers, they pointed to a long history of dispute over the interpretation of the expression and then said that, in any case, the Constitution was an “evolving” document that must change with the times, and so what may have been applicable in 1790 need no longer be decisive.

Personally, I believe that law abiding citizens have a right to deadly weapons. My view aside, the argument here is that the constitution is not an evolving document. Obviously, it is. First white men could vote, then white women, then blacks. It evolved, it changed. Why does Focus fear this evolution? Because money buys power, and Focus has money. The first amendment evolving to remove their tax status would strip them of money, and thus of power.

Therefore they allowed cities and states to limit gun ownership to active duty military personnel and police officers. Citizens in those areas who are discovered owning guns have been subjected to heavy fines and imprisonment. Inner-city violent crime has increased dramatically.

Education (20) Home schooling: “The land of the free”? Parents’ freedom to teach their children has been severely restricted. The Supreme Court, to the delight of the National Education Association, followed the legal reasoning of a February 28, 2008 ruling in Re: Rachel L by the Second District Court of Appeal in California (although that ruling had been later reversed).27 The Court declared that home schooling was an illegal violation of state educational requirements except in cases where the parents (a) had an education certificate from an accredited state program, (b) agreed to use state-approved textbooks in all courses, and (c) agreed not to not to teach their children that homosexual conduct is wrong, or that Jesus is the only way to God, since these ideas have been found to hinder students’ social adjustment and acceptance of other lifestyles and beliefs, and to run counter to the state’s interest in educating its children to be good citizens. Parents found in violation of this ruling have been subject to prosecutions for truancy violation, resulting in heavy fines and eventual removal of their children from the home.

After this section, the arguments become progressively more ridiculous than even previously, and I going to give them less thought. Note here that one somewhat likely idea is tied to silly one to increase it’s seeming likelihood. The likely one is that the state would require some standards upon homes schoolers. Right now, in many states there is nothing there is no legal way to for the state to discern which children are home schooled and which children are simply not in school. This idea is tied to the illegality of teaching that “ Jesus is the only way to God”. 50% of the United States public says they are born again. Politicians won’t alienate that many voters.

28 Thousands of home schooling parents, seeing no alternative in the United States, have begun to emigrate to other countries,particularly Australia 29and New Zealand, 30 where home schooling is still quite prevalent. President Obama’s response to the Supreme Court After many of these decisions, especially those that restricted religious speech in public places, President Obama publicly expressed strong personal disapproval of the decision and said 25 District of Columbia v. Heller, decided by the United States Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. 26 Ibid, 27 In re; Rachel L, decided by California Court of Appeal, Second District, August 8, 2008. 28 Alan Sears, What began in Germany has come to the U.S. See http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/issues/religiousfreedom/default.aspx?cid=4431 29 http://homeschooling.families.com/blog/homeschooling-around-the-world-australia-amp-new-zealand 30 http://homeschooling.families.com/blog/homeschooling-around-the-world-australia-amp-new-zealand that the Supreme Court had gone far beyond anything that he ever expected or thought that it would do. But he has also stated repeatedly that he had sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and, now that the Supreme Court had ruled, he had no choice but to uphold the law, for these decisions were now the law of the land.

Actually, immigrating to those countries is quite difficult. Intriguingly for Focus merchandising, however, Focus on the Family Australia, and Focus on the Family New Zealand are the two most profitable overseas Focus subsidiaries.

Military policy In his role as Commander in Chief, President Obama has been reluctant to send our armed forces to any new overseas commitment.

Would that be the new all gay force, or the old some-gay-but-pretending-not-to-be force?

(21) Iraq: “The home of the brave”? President Obama fulfilled his campaign promise and began regular withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, completing it in the promised 16 months, by April, 2010. 31All was peaceful during those months, but then in May, 2010, Al Qaida operatives from Syria and Iran poured into Iraq in a flood and completely overwhelmed the Iraqi security forces. A Taliban-like oppression has now taken over in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of American sympathizers” have been labeled as traitors, imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The number put to death may soon reach into the millions. Al Qaida leaders have been emboldened by what they are calling this American “defeat” and their ranks are swelling in dozens of countries.

If you vote for Obama, millions will die.

(22) Terrorist attacks: “The home of the brave”? President Obama directed U.S. intelligence services to cease all wiretapping of alleged terrorist phone calls unless they first obtained a specific court warrant for each case.

The author, who has spent the entire article complaining about modern re-interpretations of the constitution, now reverses course, and says that fourth amendment shouldn’t apply to anyone even suspected of a crime. It leads me to believe the constitution itself means nothing to these people, only power. Who should decide who is a terrorist or not? Why the politicians allied with Focus, of course.

Terrorists captured overseas, instead of being tried in military tribunals, are now given full trials in the U.S. court system, and they have to be allowed access to a number of government secrets to prepare their defense.

Why would allowing the trials give them security clearances? This is a total non sequitur.

Since 2009 terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing hundreds, and the entire country is now fearful, for no place seems safe. President Obama in each case has vowed “to pursue and arrest and prosecute those responsible,” but no arrests have yet been made. However, he has also challenged the nation to increase foreign aid to the poorer nations that were the breeding grounds for terrorism, so that people could have an opportunity to escape from the cycles of poverty and violence in which generations had been trapped.

Vote for Obama and US cities will explode.

(23) Russia: “The home of the brave”? As Vice President Joe Biden had predicted on Oct. 20, 2008, some hostile foreign countries “tested” President Obama in his first few months in office. 32 The first test came from Russia. In early 2009 they followed the pattern they had begun in Georgia in 2008 and sent troops to occupy and re-take several Eastern European countries, starting with the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. President Obama appealed to the United Nations (UN), taking the same approach as he had in his initial statements when Russia invaded Georgia in August 2008 and he said, “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war,” and “All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis,”33 But Russia sits on the Security Council, and no UN action has yet been taken. Then in the next three years Russia occupied additional countries that had been previous Soviet satellite nations, including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria, with no 31 “Obama Calls Iraq War a ‘Dangerous Distraction,” CNN.com, July 15, 2008 http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/15/obama.iraq/index.html?eref=rss_topstories 32 See http://www.nypost.com/seven/10212008/news/politics/joe_doh_puts_o_in_crisis_mode_134547.htm 33 Barack Obama Statement on Georgia Crisis, August 8, 2008 military response from the U.S. or the UN. Meetings of NATO heads of state have severely condemned Russia’s actions each time but they could never reach consensus on any military action. Liberal TV commentators in both the US and Europe have uniformly expressed deep regret at the loss of freedom of these countries but have also observed that “the U.S. cannot be the world’s policeman.”

Vote for Obama and the commies will take over the world! Focus on the family’s radio show reaches 220 million people a day in 160 countries. But no one is forced to listen to God’s truth. Perhaps with the US military enforcing a Focus approved policy world wide, something could be done about that.

President Obama’s popularity dropped somewhat after each of these crises, but media criticism was remarkably muted. And Vice President Joe Biden reminded the nation that on October 20, 2008, he had predicted that Russia might be one of “four or five scenarios” where an international crisis” would arise. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy” and that Obama would have to make “some incredibly tough decisions,” and that “it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right”34 (24) Latin America: President Obama has also moved to deepen U.S. ties and U.S. trade with Communist regimes in Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia, regimes that had long enjoyed the favor of far-left factions in the Democratic Party. Several other Latin American countries now seem ready to succumb to insurgent Communist revolutionary factions funded and armed by millions of petrodollars from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

If Obama wins the commies win!

(25) Israel: “The home of the brave”? In mid-2010 Iran launched a nuclear bomb which exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night cabinet meeting, Israel’s Prime Minister agreed. Israel is now reduced to a much smaller country, hardly able to defend itself, and its future remains uncertain.

Vote for Obama and your just nuking the the Holy Land!

President Obama said that he abhorred what Iran had done and he hoped that the UN would unanimously condemn this crime against humanity. He also declared that the U.S. would be part of any international peacekeeping force if authorized by the UN, but the Muslim nations in the UN have so far prevented any UN action. Health care (26) Health care systems: The new Congress under President Obama passed a nationalized “single provider” health care system, in which the U.S. government is now the provider of all health care in the United States, following the pattern of nationalized medicine the United Kingdom and Canada. The great benefit is that medical care is now free for everyone — if you can get it. Now that health care is free it seems that everybody wants more of it. The waiting list for prostate cancer surgery is 3 years. The waiting list for ovarian cancer is 2 years. Just as the Canadian experience had shown prior to 2008 with its nationalized health care, so now in the US only a small number of MRIs are performed — only 10% of what they were in the U.S. in 2008 – because they are just too expensive, and they turn out to discover more problems that need treatment, so they are almost never authorized.

This is actually one of the more reasonable complaints. Sadly of course, it doesn’t mention the fact that HMOs have already caused the same problem, while profiting billions.

(27) Limited care for older Americans: “The land of the free”? Because medical resources now must be rationed carefully by the government, people over 80 have essentially no access to hospitals or surgical procedures. Their “duty” is increasingly thought to be to go home to die, so that they don’t drain scarce resources from the medical system. Euthanasia is becoming more and more common.

Obama is going to kill your Grandma.

Taxes, the economy, and the poor: 34 ABC News online, Oct. 20, 2008. Many Christians who voted for Obama did so because they thought his tax policies were more fair and his “middle class tax cuts” would bring the economy out of its 2008 crisis. But once he took office he followed the consistent pattern of the Democratic Party and the pattern of his own past record and asked Congress for a large tax increase. He explained that the deficit had grown so large under President Bush, and the needs of the nation were so great, that we simply couldn’t afford to cut taxes at the present time. And several of Obama’s economic policies have hurt the poor most of all because they have decreased production, increased inflation, and increased unemployment. Here is what happened: (28) Taxes: Tax rates have gone up on personal income, dividends, capital gains, corporations, and inheritance transfers. The amount of income subject to Social Security tax has nearly doubled. The effect on the economy has been devastating. We have experienced a prolonged recession. Everybody has been hurt by this, but the poor have been hurt most of all. In dozens of cities there are just no jobs to be found. It turns out that the people President Obama called “the rich” were mostly not all that rich. They were just ordinary people who worked hard, saved, and built small businesses that provided jobs and brought economic growth. They were the people who kept inventing new and better ways to produce things and bring prices down. They were the people whose companies produced the goods and services that gave us the highest standard of living in history of world. They were the people who provided the competition that kept prices of everything so low. And the top 50% of earners were already paying 97% of income taxes collected by the U.S. government in 2006.

Aren’t we experiencing a prolonged recession right now under a Republican president. Didn’t we have a our most recent bubble of prosperity under Clinton? President Obama increased their tax burden so much that many business owners decided they didn’t want to work any harder when the government was taking so much away. “The land of the free?” Not for the most productive workers in the American economy. Just as nearly two million citizens in the decade prior to 2008 had moved out of California and New York when the Democrats had control and kept raising state taxes, many of these entrepreneurs have now moved their money, their factories, and often themselves, overseas. So many jobs have been lost that welfare rolls have swelled, and President Obama is calling for more taxes to meet the needs of those without work.

Vote for Obama and the US economy will explode.

However, Obama’s tax bill still included “tax credits” for the lowest 40% of earners, who were said to “need the most help.” Since the bottom 40% were not paying any Federal income taxes in the first place, these “tax cuts” were actually a gigantic redistribution of income, a huge welfare payment, a way to “spread the wealth around,”35 as Obama had told “Joe the Plumber” on October 13, 2008.

Wait, so Focus just said “Not paying taxes equals a giant welfare payment, and is socialist wealth redistribution.” What a funny thing for 142 million dollar a year nonprofit agency to say. Apparently handouts are OK for multi-million dollar multi-national corporations like Focus, but not for the poorest families in America. I think that’s all we need to see about Focus’s tax policy.

When critics objected that Obama’s tax policies were leading to inflation and unemployment, he responded that our goal should not be merely to increase America’s materialism and wealth and prosperity, but to obtain a more just distribution of wealth, even if it costs everybody a little to achieve that important goal. (29) Budget deficit: The Federal budget deficit has increased dramatically under President Obama, in spite of higher tax rates. It turned out that increasing tax rates on “the rich” did nothing to reduce the deficit because the economy shrank so much with reduced investment 35 “Obama to Plumber: My Plan Will ‘Spread the Wealth Around’”, Fox News.com. October 13, 2008. Seehttp://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/13/obama-plumber-plan-spread-wealth/comments/ that the total dollars collected in taxes actually decreased, even though most people’s tax rate is now higher. As numerous economists had predicted, higher tax rates in practice meant that the government took in less money. When reporters asked Obama why he still favored higher taxes on the rich when it brought in no more money, he replied that it was important that the rich pay their fair share. (30) Union organizing: “The land of the free”? Congress passed in 2009, and President Obama quickly signed, a “card check” program that nullified the requirement for secret ballots when voting on whether workers wanted a union shop.36 Now the union simply has to get signatures from a majority of workers in any business, and unions around the country are now using strong-arm tactics to intimidate anyone who stands in their way. Several industries are now completely unionized and prices of goods produced by those industries have shot up as a result.

I have no real idea why Focus would take an anti-union stance. The AFL-CIO for instance will only back anti-abortion candidates. Through direct action or fear of direct action, labor unions are why people make overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week, and why children don’t work in sweatshops anymore. The only thing I figure is that Focus looks at any group which competes with them for the affection of the US public with rancor. Or perhaps its because on September 30th, not long before this was written they laid of 46 people, when they hired out their online business to a cheaper subcontractor in another state. This will save them 50% on distribution costs. http://www.thechronicleonline.net/content/view/971/508/

(31) Energy: World demand for oil continues to climb, and prices keep going up, but President Obama for four years has refused to allow any additional drilling for oil in the United States or offshore. Gas now costs more than $7.00 per gallon, and many Democrats now openly applaud this, since high prices reduce oil consumption and thus reduce carbon dioxide output. But working Americans are hit especially hard by these costs. Nuclear energy would provide a substitute for oil in some uses, and could generate electricity to power electric cars, but environmentalist legal challenges have prevented the construction of any new nuclear plants, and the courts have been leaning so far in a pro-environmentalist direction that nobody expects the construction of any new nuclear plants for several decades, if ever. Obama keeps reminding people that we cannot guarantee that it will be safe.

Gas costs that much or more in Germany, France, and England, yet these countries have higher productivity per person per hour than the US.

As for coal, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to implement strict new carbon emission standards that drove many coal-powered electric plants out of business. The country now has less total electric power available than in 2008, and periodic blackouts to conserve energy occur on a regular schedule throughout the nation. The price of electricity has tripled in some places like California, which also faces rolling blackouts during peak energy periods. The impact on our economy, and on the comfort of our homes, has been devastating.

Regular blackouts do not a second presidency win.

Talk radio Through the actions of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress,Democrats were able to largely silence the largest source of conservative opposition: talk radio.

Focus owns 7,000 radio stations, all tax free.

(32) Fairness doctrine: “The land of the free”? By the summer of 2009, the 5-member Federal Communication Commission (FCC) was controlled by Democratic appointees – including a chairman appointed by President Obama. The “Fairness Doctrine” became a topic of FCC consideration following pressure from Democratic Congressional leaders who initially did not have sufficient votes to pass the measure in Congress. The FCC quickly implemented the Fairness Doctrine” which required that radio stations provide “equal time” for alternative views on political questions. As a result, all radio stations had to provide equal time to contrasting views for every politics-related program they broadcast by talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Janet Parshall, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt, and broadcasters like James Dobson.

The audacity of mentioning the Focus’s founder’s name in this is just stunning.

36 Donald Lambro, “Obama supports union organizing,” Washington Times, July 31, 2008. Every conservative talk show began to be followed by an instant rebuttal to the program by a liberal “watchdog” group that followed each conservative broadcaster. Many listeners gave up in frustration, advertising (and donation) revenues dropped dramatically, and nearly all conservative stations have now gone out of business or switched to alternative formats such as country or gospel or other music. Conservative talk radio, for all intents and purposes, was shut down by the end of 2010.

Vote for Obama and Focus’s donations will go down. No wonder they are so afraid.

In order to solidify the Fairness Doctrine at the FCC, the Congress in 2010 passed, and President Obama signed, legislation making it permanent.Many legal scholars had predicted that the Fairness Doctrine would be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. But the new liberal Obama Court upheld it easily. Of course, this bill fit the deeper purpose of the liberal-left wing of American politics, which trumps all other purposes, and that is getting and increasing their power so as to impose their agenda on the nation. It was not surprising the liberal Supreme Court went along.

So, Focus considers the goal of any organization that opposes it to be “… getting and increasing their power so as to impose their agenda on the nation…” This is an example of the projecting I was mentioned earlier. This is what Focus clearly wants to do, so it is the motivation that they attribute to all others.

Christian publishers

(33) Christian books: After the Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage, homosexual activist groups targeted three large Christian book publishers that had publications arguing that homosexual conduct was wrong based on the teachings of the Bible. The activists staged marches and protests at Barnes and Noble stores around the country, demanding that the stores remove all books published by these “hate-mongering” publishers.

Fascinating. Focus assumes that other groups would boycott their viewpoint. Why? Perhaps because a quote from Focus could shed light on this question. “They joined hands to boycott the Disney Corporation for its immoral and violent television programming, books and films, and its consistent promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.”

Barnes and Noble resisted for a time, but the protests continued, there was a lot of vandalism and secret defacing of books in various stores, and eventually the cost was too great and Barnes and Noble gave in. The same thing happened at Borders and other chains. Then they staged a massive nationwide computer attack on Amazon.com, with the same demands, and the same result. As a result, those evangelical publishers could no longer distribute any of their books into in any of these chains. The same thing happens now to any other Christian publisher that dares to publish anything critical of homosexuality. Several Christian publishers have already gone out of business.

Prosecution of former Bush administration officials

34) Criminal charges against Republican officials: In his first week in office Obama followed President Clinton’s precedent and fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys, replacing them with his own appointments, many taken from the most active members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). President Obama argued that this was not a selective political action like what President Bush had done, because Obama had fired all of them, conservatives and liberals alike.” The Justice Department soon began to file criminal and civil charges of various sorts against nearly every high Bush administration official who had any involvement with the Iraq war.37 During his campaign, Senator Obama said, “What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued.”38 In order to facilitate these proceedings, President Obama rescinded President Bush’s executive order that had prevented presidential papers from being released, and millions of pages of previously secret White House 37 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/15/obama-would-immediately-r_n_96690.html and http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Barack_on_torture.html38 Ibid. papers were posted on the Internet. ACLU attorneys have spent four years poring over these papers looking for possible violations of any law. Dozens of Bush officials, from the Cabinet level on down, are now in jail, and most of those are also bankrupt from legal costs.

Wait, so suspected terrorist should be wire tapped without due process, but suspected criminals in high office should be ignored. Why the double standard? Because one group is a friend of Focus and one isn’t. Why would Focus fear a investigation of high level Republicans? It might have to do with where 14.7 million dollars of Focus’s PAC went.http://www.eri-nonprofit-salaries.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=NPO.Form990&EIN=953188150

Where is the opposition? Has America completely lost God’s favor and protection as a nation? If it has, is this surprising? How can God continue to bless a nation whose official policies promote blatant violation of God’s commands regarding the protection of human life, and sexual morality?

The blessings of God are earned by obeying Focus?

Why should God bless any nation that elects officials who remove people’s freedom of religion and freedom of speech and freedom even to raise their own children? His Word says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). A lot of brave Christian men and women tried to resist some of these laws, and some Christian legal agencies tried to defend them, but they couldn’t resist the power of a 6-3 liberal majority on the Supreme Court. It seems as though many of the bravest ones actually went to jail or were driven to bankruptcy. And many of their reputations have been destroyed by a relentless press and the endless repetition of false accusations, against which no response was ever allowed in any nationwide public forum. The same question written in “The Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key in 1814 rings in the air: O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? Now in October of 2012, after seeing what has happened in the last four years, the answer to that question is “No.” Our freedoms have been systematically taken away. Many of “the brave” are now in jail. We are no longer “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” How did this happen? When did this all start? Christians share a lot of the blame. In 2008 many evangelicals thought that Senator Obama was an opportunity for a “change,” and they voted for him. They simply did not realize Obama’s far-left agenda would take away many of our freedoms as a nation, perhaps permanently (it is unlikely that the Supreme Court can be changed for perhaps 30 more years). Christians did not realize that by electing Barack Obama, the most liberal member ever to serve in the U.S. Senate,39 they would allow the law, in the hands of a liberal Congress and Supreme Court, to become a great instrument of oppression.

So Focus believes that placing control of the government in the hands of a small number of radicals would be oppression. And demands it be placed in the hands of its approved politicians.

Many people thought he sounded so thoughtful, so reasonable. And during the campaign, after he had won the Democratic nomination, he seemed to be moving to the center in his speeches, moving away from his earlier far-left record. No one thought he would enact such a far-left, extreme liberal agenda. But the record was all there for anyone to see. The agenda of the ACLU, the agenda of liberal activist judges in their dissenting opinions, the agenda of the homosexual activists, the 39 Amanda Carpenter, “Obama’s Voting Record Belies Moderate Image,” Human Events.com, January 16, 2007. agenda of the environmental activists, the agenda of the National Education Association, the agenda of the global warming activists, the agenda of the abortion rights activists, the agenda of the gun control activists, the agenda of the euthanasia supporters, the agenda of the one-world government pacifists, the agenda of far-left groups in Canada and Europe – all of these agendas were there in plain sight, and all of these groups provided huge support for Senator Obama. The liberal agenda was all there. But too many people just didn’t want to see it. Christians didn’t take time to find out who Barack Obama was when they voted for him. Why did they risk our nation’s future on him? It was a mistake that changed the course of history.

changed the course of history” The God of Focus is so weak, that only if Focus approved leader rules the US will be able to follow God’s plan.

What about our faith? Personally, I don’t know how we are going to get through tomorrow, for these are difficult times. But my faith in the Lord remains strong. I still believe that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). I still believe that “kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations” (Psalm 22:28). I still believe that our salvation comes from no earthly government for “there is salvation in no one else” than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). I still believe that God is sovereign over all history, and though I don’t know why he has allowed these events to come about, it is still his purpose that will ultimately be accomplished. He alone can say of all history, “There is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’” (Isaiah 46:9-10). Sincerely, A Christian from 2012

Conclusion. First, I think the case for Focus’s hypocrisy is clear. Calling reduced taxes a huge handout and complaining about the bottom 40% of tax payers getting it while simultaneously demanding that they continue to receive their handout is an amazing level of hypocrisy, for instance. I feel case for their meglomania is clear as well. Everywhere they look the see an agenda of total control, even to thoughts, and the indoctrination of children. Focus does not fear these things for the sake of them, but because the fear other’s treading on what the regard as their turf. They do not oppose books about sex, as long as they author them. They do not oppose indoctrinating children, as long as they are the indoctrinators. They do not oppose a huge military as long as they decide who gets to serve. Perhaps the most disturbing of all is the their misuse of the concept of freedom. This misuse is consistent with the views on their website. “We get deceived into thinking that doing whatever we desire is liberty when in reality it is enslavement to the wiles of the Enemy.” What then is true freedom? Being “…free to obey God…”. And “When God tells us to do something or not do something, it is because He has set us free and He wants to teach us to live as free people.” In short freedom is slavery, and slavery is freedom. How surprising that Focus would side with the InSoc in George Orwell’s 1984. Or perhaps when you consider that Focus claims to speak for God’s ultimate and unquestionable power in the realm of American politics, it’s not so surprising after all.

Copyright of “A letter…” Focus on the Family. Used without permission in accordance with fair use doctrine.

October 31, 2008 Posted by | atheism, Government, guns, Politics, Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mental leakage for Thursday

Tomorrow, I publish the massive blog I have been churning out on the Focus on the Family “A letter from 2012” nightmare scenario.  Today, I wanted to write a bit.  I thought I would write about some of the crazy thoughts that are rolling around in my head

(1.) I think that stupid conflict is caused by an inability of people to accept that life isn’t fair.  “Wah! Boo hoo!  No one likes my God or my country! I’m not getting what I deserve!”  Then someone comes along and says “You right, you, your God, and your homeland are all being slighted.  So, even though its normally wrong to kill people and steal crap, it’s OK for you because life handed you the short end.”  Insert suicide bomber.

(2.) My mom is more of a man than most of the people I work with.  Last night a work it got down to about 34 deg F.  A guy there drives a Mustang.  He starts carping. “Oh, it’s getting cold out, pretty soon it will be snowy and icy. Mustangs are fun but they are NOT the car you want in the winter. ‘Bout time to put it up for the winter, uh yup, yup yup.”

Please.  My drove a full-size two wheeldrive pickup every winter for years.  There’s some simple keys involved.   Drive slow, put season appropriate tires on it, and put weight in the back.  Or you can be like this guy, cower in fear of the primal storm god, and use it as an excuse to own 2 cars.  Wuss.

(3.) I don’t really get the whole anal sex thing.  Ok, now if anal sex was about having sex with the butt, I could see that.  Butts are big and round and bouncy.  Lot’s of fun, butts.  However, you are not having sex with the butt.  You having sex with the sigmoid colon/rectumThe colon.  Why is that supposed to be hot?  I’m sure there is a website specializing in critical organ sex now.

(4.)When I had a motorcycle people would say “Hey, nice bike.”  When I got a small car with an engine the size of a motorcycle’s people say “Is that safe?”  Well, it’s significantly safer than a motorcycle, doofus.  What is it with people dissing small cars?  It’s just a motorcycle with a side car.  But motorcycles are cool (ie, penile extensions) and small cars aren’t. 

(5.) Obscene comparatives used as superlatives. Example: hotter than fuck, colder than fuck, louder than fuck, etc.  What does that mean?  Wouldn’t “the hottest” be hotter than any statement that began “hotter than…”?  Further, this is an example of stupid cussing: using sulfurous language when other things would work better.

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Microcar, Self discovery, Slice of life, Small Car, Transportation, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God, Government, and Magic

Published full of typos and not edited because it took to long to write and I’ll edit it later.

If God is not self evident to you there can be no evidence.  God is god because he is godlike, and not humanesque.  For God to be God it reasonable to expect that God is bound by space and time.  Good proof requires a control group.

Wikipedia (may its servers turn forever) says “A positive control is a procedure that is very similar to the actual experimental test, but which is known from previous experience to give a positive result. A negative control is known to give a negative result. The positive control confirms that the basic conditions of the experiment were able to produce a positive result, even if none of the actual experimental samples produce a positive result. The negative control demonstrates the base-line result obtained when a test does not produce a measurable positive result; often the value of the negative control is treated as a “background” value to be subtracted from the test sample results, or be used as the “100%” value against which the test sample results are weighed.”

If God exists, God’s actions must be quantifiable.  To test these things we need control groups.  If God is everywhere at once, then he cannot be isolated from a group to create a control.  Anything which cannot be isolated cannot be tested.  The universe is beautiful, but beauty is subjective.  Subjective experience does not constitute proof.  So, I say again, if God is not self evident, then God is not evident at all.  (I make note here, nonevident and nonexistent  are not identical.)

I don’t think you can make a world view which involves a personal God that doesn’t fall apart at some critical junction.   A personal God means the “Author of Creation”  When one believes that life is a grand story, then one wants to find one’s part in the story, and one is entitled to a certain place in the story.  This is called magical thinking, a favorite subject of mine on my blogs.  Magical thinking is, in essence, applying order to non-ordered events.  A person engaging in magical thinking takes the random distribution of events in life and weaves them together into a story, replacing statistical likelihood with the divine.

All human beings know basic right and wrong.  They how they feel about people stealing their stuff, thus they know its wrong to steal.  They know they don’t want to die, thus its wrong to kill.  This is why all the disparate tribes of humanity worldwide have more in common that not when it comes to taboos.

Stealing is taking that which we didn’t work for.  We don’t want the things we have worked hard for to be stolen, so we know that stealing is wrong, but other people have such nice things… So how can we steal without feeling like we have does something wrong?  One, apply to the great story.  “Oh, I have suffered so. Surely, it’s my time to have something nice.  I have worked, and worked, but still I don’t have the things I want.  Why that person over there hasn’t suffered at all!  Surely, I could take just a bit of there stuff.”  This is textbook rationalization, but the key here is that the rationalization is taking place in the context of a grand story.  Two, we form groups of people who agree with us, allowing us to reinforce our values by making them (locally) normal.

I think the above is the explanation to organized human suffering.  I am not so naive to believe that if people just quit magical thinking there would be no more violence or suffering.  That, ironically, would be magical thinking.  There will always be individuals who hurt people not for any other gain than the pleasure of hurting people.  Helping those people see the truth of their rationalizations and social groups won’t help at all.

But to really hurt people you need a group.  Serial killers kill their tens, and world leaders their millions.  Existentialism says life is absurd.  My mom put it a little simpler: Life isn’t fair.  I think all the stupid wars, all the religious persecution, all the terrorism boils down to one thing: A group of people who cannot accept the fact that life isn’t fair.  They “should” have gotten more, so they do things they know are wrong to get it.

You look at Hitler.  We like to pretend he could have won if this, that, and the other thing, would have been different. Bullshit.  As soon as the US entered the war it was all over but the crying.  Wars cost money, resources, and men.  We had more of all three.   Hitler didn’t have the managerial talent to run a shoe store, let alone an imperial economy.  But he thought he should win.  His only victories were the one’s that loyal patriots (who thought he was a chode and were fighting for Germany, not the Fuhrer) won.  Once they died, or were purged, he started losing.

But why did the German people tolerate him in the first place?  Oh, sure, he seized power by a conspiracy, burned down the Reichstag, etc.  but other men who tried similar ploys found them less effective.  Julius Caesar, for instance, was stabbed to death by his friends.  Hitler was allowed to keep his illegally seized power because he told people what the wanted to hear:

Their troubles were someone else’s fault and it was OK to take stuff they didn’t work for. They didn’t work to buy northern France, they took it.  They didn’t buy the houses of the Jews, they took them.  For the Nazis the war was giant criminal undertaking encompassing murder, theft, protection rackets, and smuggling.  (Read about the Vichy Regime if you don’t believe me.  The Nazis pealed France like an orange, after promising not to do so.  Beware the promises of armed men who demand you remove your ability to defend yourself.)

Rather than the truth: Life isn’t fair.  We are going to have to work really hard to fix these problems.

This is sort of the “war clause” of morality.  Its wrong to beat people up and take their stuff, or threaten to do so. Unless your at war.  Then it’s cool.  Now, in our enlightened age, its wrong for an individual soldier to mug people, however, if the government at large wants to take the conquered’s stuff, well that’s reparations.

Terrorists?  See life’s just not fair.  They didn’t the country they wanted, they weren’t treated right.  We don’t respect them enough, we don’t respect their God enough.  So it’s OK to kill us.  Drugs violate the Koran’s teachings about self control, but its OK to run them pay for the terror.

Offensive war, terrorism, jihad, holy wars, concentration camps, gangland, all of it.  It’s a bunch of people who can’t accept that LIFE. ISN’T. FAIR.   So they decide that its right to do wrong.

If we really want world peace, the issue isn’t guns and bombs.  People act out what they believe and the belief that leads to organized misery is this grand narrative that there is certain way things SHOULD be and the universe itself favors them being that way.  There is no should be, just the way things are.  The change the world needs is the end of magical thinking.

October 25, 2008 Posted by | atheism, Government, Politics, Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Spanking Controversy

So, I promised that my first blog over here would be a cool blog with pictures.  Well, first of all, my camera is still in limbo between Germany and the States.  Second of all I want to write a response to the blog I did on spanking.

I’ve read your thoughts, thought over the research I’ve read, and rethought my own ideas.  Here goes:

Before you can have an intelligent opinion about any parenting choice you need to have cohereant, systematic, global view of parenting.  Here’s mine

My job as a parent is to raise my child to be an autonomous adult.  No person is 100% self reliant, but I want her to be as self responsible as she is able.

The question is not “What’s the best discipline?”  My first job is not to discipline her. That is a small part of my over all job to raise her, but my primary focus is training, not disciplining. The question is “What is the best way to parent?”

Easy answer: By example. I really want her to respect herself. I teach her to respect herself, by first, respecting myself, second, respecting her, and finally, respecting her mom, who is her primary female role model.

Now, behavioral modification is a bit different.  First, I avoid needing to.  If a person is hungry, tired, lonely, bored, or chemically imbalanced they are going to act up, whether that person is a 4 year old or a 94 year old.  So, I make sure she eats right, sleeps enough, gets some exercise, has a chance to socialize, and doesn’t eat swill (She weighs 35 lbs. Her eating one twinky is like me eating 5 1/2. I would get seriously wacky if I ate 5 1/2 twinkies in a minute.)

It’s not ethical for me to discipline a child who I fed garbage, didn’t let outside, didn’t talk to, and wouldn’t let nap.  Further, and going back to the example issue, if I want her to eat right I have to eat right.  If I want her to sleep, she has to play hard.  If I want her to play hard, she has to see me play hard, not me sit on my ass and read a book.

And I have to make sure she understands the rules.  The rules should be simple and logical.  The purpose of rules is not to convenience me, the purpose of rules is to prepare her for adulthood.  Whenever possible, I have to example the following of these rules.

I need to make a bigger positive fuss when she does right than I do a negative fuss when she does wrong, or at least as big.  No, it’s not exactly how her boss is going to motivate her.  He or she isn’t going to put her over his or her knee and spank her either.  If the training can’t be like real life, why not train positive?

So, having exampled rightly AND created an environment conducive to success, AND made fair rules AND made them clear AND followed them myself, AND given positive reinforcement, NOW its time to talk discipline.

Going back to the exampling.  I don’t want my daughter to tolerate being hit by other men.  So, I’m not going to spank anymore. It’s barbaric.  It doesn’t seem like it because so many people do.  Our parents did.  And frankly, a lot of really shitty parents who can’t be bothered to parent at all do hide behind i-don’t-believe-in-spanking to cover they’re total selfishness.  But its not OK.

I want to say this again.  It’s not OK.

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , | 8 Comments

Gone like the wind.

To my loyal and faithful readers.  Moved into an apartment. No internet access yet.  Writing this from a library.  Will blog again, with links to photos as soon as I get internet and a phone.

October 11, 2008 Posted by | Slice of life | 2 Comments

To spank, or not to spank.

Proverbs 23:13 “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

The Hebrew word euphemistically translated as rod, in fact, means club, like a war club. This is not hyperbole, this is talking about beating the hell out of your own children.

No longer believing that I should simply mindlessly obey scripture, (not that I ever did in this particular regard) I, regardless, feel that I owe it to my daughter to research the whole spanking debate and discipline her in the way that best sets her up for success as an adult.

I believe as a parent, my goal is prepare my daughter to be an adult. I want her to be successful human being. “Successful human being” doesn’t mean rich, though I will be frank and admit that I do hope my daughter is rich. (A lot of people would say “comfortable”. Bull. Money opens doors, and I want my daughter to have as many open doors as possible. When I say rich, I mean rich.) However, rich is up to her. “Successful human being” means self respecting with due cause, thus making her a good friend and (perhaps more importantly) a good chooser of friends. Finally, it would mean she is independent and strong.

So, believing that my goal is to raise her to adulthood, apparently puts me at odds with the vast portion of parents out there who want their children to have a magic twenty-four year childhood of chaste romance and never paying their own way which ends (equally magically) finally and cleanly when said child simultaneously finds a wonderful white collar job and kind and rich spouse with perfect teeth.

Where was I? Ah, yes, corporal punishment. So, here’s my two problems with not spanking.

One, time. Yes, in a perfect world, I would always have the time to imagine a perfect punishment. Real life, not so much. Example: staying up playing after being put to bed. This is a problem because she will stay up later than she should, and be a cranky little…darling…in the morning, which often leads to the whole morning to afternoon nap time period being a lousy day for all concerned.

The problem is: She wants to stay up, and we, the parents don’t want her too. At some point, probably closer that I want to admit, if she wants to stay up and have a lousy day thats her business, but right now, we know whats best for her. I have to make her go to bed.

The effectiveness of any punishment I give her in this particular case is inversely proportion to how long it takes. A punishment that lets her stay up for another 15 minutes, for instance, isn’t really a punishment at all.

Now, I am sure some well meaning person will read this and say something like this:

Modern, peer reviewed research by behavioral scientists says that reward is a more effective method of motivation and faster engine of behavioral change than punishment.

Which leads me to problem number two.

Thats not how the real world works. I believe those studies are true and accurate. I’m just not sure that raising my daughter in that world of rewards prepares her for adulthood.

I can’t think of a single time a boss has ever rewarded me for showing up on time. I can’t remember a cop pulling me over to give me a cookie for driving the speed limit. No neighbor has ever even thanked me for not breaking into their house. No store manager ever made me a pan of brownies for not shoplifting.

The world we live in categorically, does not, run on rewards; it runs on punishment. The reality of life is that you can do exactly what you are supposed to do for 50 years and no one gives a shit, but the first time you get caught breaking a rule/law/norm people will go nuts.

Spanking is a quick punishment, and the world runs on punishment. But, is it really a good idea to hit people (even little people) when they don’t do what you tell them? Is the expectation that she can hit people who don’t do what she tells them more or less damaging the idea that she will get rewarding for merely doing what she must?

What should I do?

Post Script: I pursued my local library’s parenting shelf. Bloody useless. Having a “PhD” behind one’s name does not make one right. No controls and no peer reviews = probable BS.

So, please, to any readers, please post a comment, I am interested to hear what different people have to say.

October 6, 2008 Posted by | Politics, Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Whats wrong with sugar?

I’ve been writing powerblogs lately. Time for a stupid one.

Today, I bought some Kashi brand granola bars. Looking over the ingredients I spied a duesy: evaporated cane juice crystals. Let’s see, the juice of sugarcane is what is boiled down to produce…um…sugar. So evaporated cane juice crystals are…sugar. What the heck is wrong with saying “sugar”?

Evaporated cane juice crystals = sugar.

What else could we apply this bass-ackwardism to?

I think I I’ll make some oatmeal and individual sun dried grape cookies.

With them, I’ll have glass of 100% natural bovine mammary nectar.

I think this is all a bunch of equestrian post-digest natural soil conditioner.

October 4, 2008 Posted by | Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A cool walk with Captain Kierkegaard

Tonight, it is about 40 degrees F. (3 to 5 deg Celsius). I guess I am cold blooded, because I adore this weather. I took a walk tonight. Feeling the wind on my face makes me feel so alive. It’s so great to be free…

I read the story of of John Sperling sometime ago. In case you don’t know, he’s a billionaire who made is money starting the University of Phoenix, and then wrote the story in an autobiography. He mentioned how he began to struggle with thoughts of suicide, and, concerned for himself, went to speak with psychologist. The psychologist listened for several sessions then said, “John, there is nothing wrong with you psychologically. What you need is some philosophy.” So, Dr. Sperling sat down and studied philosophy. As he came to understand philosophy and apply it to his life, he found a slow peace building within him.

For a long time, I didn’t think I needed philosophy. Philosophy is “…the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, truth, beauty, justice, validity, mind, and language.” Philosophy is differed from more stereotypically religious ways of studying those issues in the fact that philosophy seeks to be rational, systematic, and have each point open to debate.

The Church presented me with a prepackaged world view, which I sincerely believed to be systematic (though it wasn’t). When I no longer placed faith in the Church to help me understand God, I didn’t trust them to help me understand the world that I believed God had created. This left me suddenly rudderless.

I then came to doubt the existence of a personal God. [My usual note here: this doesn’t mean that I think there is no God. It means I see no evidence that if God exists, he relates to folks in away that most people would consider “personal”.] I’d gone from rudderless, to boatless!

I had so many questions and so few answers. Bit by bit, I was able to reason out a world view. I made some false steps along the way, but I was bothered mostly by questions of my past. What had the purpose of this past event been, that past event been? Why had this happened to me? Why did this person say this thing? Perhaps the most bothersome was, “If relationship X was never meant to go anywhere, what was it for?”

Recently, I began studying existentialism. I’d read about it before, but only in the context of which parts were congruent with the Bible (and therefore “right”) and which parts were in-congruent with the Bible (and therefore “wrong”). [Wikipedia has an excellent article on the subject, here.]

It’s so beautiful! Elegance is “…is the attribute of being unusually effective and simple.” Existentialism, when well explained, is one of the most elegant philosophies I’ve ever read. I think I have been accidentally sneaking up on existentialism since I finished reading through the Bible last February.

I think it’s my newly discovered embrace of existentialism that has helped me find so much peace over the last few months. It helps me get a grip on my place in the world. As I walked along tonight, I enjoyed the cool air as much as the complete absence of guilt. I’m just so glad to be me, here, now.

October 3, 2008 Posted by | atheism, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment