Archive for December, 2010


Culture Warrior

A couple of days ago I was sitting under the hair dryer in the beauty shop finishing Bill O’Reilly’s Culture Warrior when a lady asked me what I was reading.  This sparked a discussion, and I told her that the book explains and examines the culture war that is taking place in America in regards to the Progressive Movement, or Secular-Progressive movement, as O’Reilly refers to it.  I then asked her if she knew what Progressivism is, and she replied no.  This was really no surprise to me.  I suspect a large number of Americans—maybe even the majority—don’t know what that term means because a lot of people are not in tune with what’s going on in the world.  Until about six months ago, I was one of those people.  O’Reilly’s book does a fantastic job revealing what is actually going on, why we need to know, and what we can do about it.  I recommend this book to everyone I know!  I’m not going to do an extensive review, but I would like to include a couple of passages that stood out to me. 

“Most human beings are neither heroes nor villains but decent people who choose to sit things out until pushed beyond a reasonable limit” (1).

“On one side of the battlefield are the armies of the traditionalists like me, people who believe the United States was well founded and has done enormous good for the world.  On the other side are the committed forces of the secular-progressive movement that want to change America dramatically: mold it in the image of Western Europe.  Notice I did not say anything about ‘conservatives against liberals.’  This is not the real culture fight…it is much more complicated than that” (2).

“Most regular Americans do not want drastic change in the country and therefore lean toward the traditional.  A few of them actively oppose the secularists, but the mass of Americans are not yet enlisted in the culture war; they are a sleeping giant that, if awakened, could easily defeat the S-P opposition” (66). 

O’Reilly also offers a code of honor for the traditional warrior to live by (206):

  • Keep your promises.
  • Focus on other people, not yourself.
  • See the world the way it is, not the way you want it to be.
  • Understand and respect Judeo-Christian philosophy,
  • Respect the nobility of America.
  • Allow yourself to make fact-based judgments.
  • Respect and defend private property.
  • Develop mental toughness.
  • Defend the weak and vulnerable.
  • Engage in secular-progressive opposition in a straight-forward and honest manner.

You must read this book!

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Now that Christmas is past,  some of the anti-Christmas/anti-Christian attacks will hopefully die down for awhile so I can stop harping on it.  It’s not that I think religion should govern our country; I just get extremely annoyed by the whole hypocrisy behind these attacks, as you can read in my previous posts.  I just finished Culture Warrior by Bill O’Reilly (which I’ll discuss more in a later post), and I feel that it sums it up pretty well:

“Traditional Americans and conservative thinkers who understand their country do not put God at the head of public policy, nor do we point fingers at the opposition and label them ‘sinners”…Traditionalists believe that secular-progressive policies will weaken America and lead to societal chaos.  While we see no reason to banish God from the public square, we don’t expect Him to be writing societal policy on tablets and handing them to us in the Sinai” (192).

When you completely banish God from society, what values are left?  As O’Reily discusses in his book, you don’t have to believe in God to be a traditionalist.  However, you do acknowledge that America was founded on Christian principles that help keep society in line.  This is obvious in most of our basic laws and personal values:  don’t lie, don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t cheat on your spouse, obey your parents, etc.  It’s true that these concepts are found in the 10 commandments, but they’re also good personal rules for anyone to live by—believer or not.  For those of us in America who believe in a higher power (which is the majority of us), that belief holds us accountable for our actions—and if it doesn’t, then the laws of society based on the principles of that belief do.  When you rid society of these values, as O’Reily points out, society is weakened and people just do whatever they want regardless of the cost to themselves or others. 

Trying to remove Jesus from Christmas is just ridiculous.  Take the Franklin County Courthouse Nativity Scene, for example.  The atheists’ separation of church and state argument isn’t a good one.  Let’s look at what the 1st Amendment actually says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  The reason for this amendment is so the government can’t force anyone to practice a particular religion or keep anyone from practicing a particular religion.  Putting the nativity scene on the courthouse lawn is not establishing a religion.  The FFRF said that it was promoting a religion.  Perhaps, but I don’t think so.  I think they were simply recognizing the meaning of the holiday.  Regardless of whether or not they were promoting it, they certainly weren’t establishing a religion, and they weren’t forcing anyone to practice it.  Now that I’ve got it all out of my system, I’m going to try to be done with this topic for a while.

Will We Be Sleeping?

There’s a song by Casting Crowns that I like to sing at church this time of year.  It’s called “While You Were Sleeping”, and it speaks to me on so many levels.  I’ve posted the lyrics below because I think it contains an important message.  The last verse about the U.S. is important for Christians because we need to wake up and get ready for Christ’s second coming, whether that be tomorrow or millions of years from now.  But I think there is another important message.  The line that really grabs my attention says, “As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies that save the trees and kill the children.”  That’s exactly what’s happening; we’re being sung to sleep by political correctness, unproven theories, and bogus philosophies.  In the meantime, there are those out there—many within our government—who are itching to take away our freedoms and are counting on us being asleep.  The big question is the one asked at the end of the song: Will we be sleeping?  Powerful song! 

“While You Were Sleeping”

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only Son
The Way, the Truth, the Life had come
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard ‘cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night

Lugar Needs to Shape Up

Richard Lugar hasn’t had the best  voting record lately, and yesterday (Dec. 22) he helped ratify the START Treaty with Russia.  From what I gather, a treaty isn’t necessarily the problem; it’s the fear that this is irresponsible voting.  A treaty has NEVER been ratified during a lame duck session before, and several senators feel that Russia and America aren’t exactly on the same page with what’s written in the preamble.  These senators feel that this should have been debated and discussed before signing such an agreement.  I’ve listened to both sides of this argument, but what Senator Lindsey Graham said makes the most sense to me.

If you visit Lugar’s website (or watch the news), you’ll see that he’s a big supporter of this treaty.  After voting yes for Elena Kagan, yes for S. 510, yes for the DREAM Act, no for prohibiting earmarks, and now this—among others—Lugar is really going to have to shape up if he wants reelected in 2012.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

With the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I’ve been having some mixed thoughts.  From a moral standpoint, I’m completely against the repeal and feel that DADT makes perfect sense.  However, from a societal standpoint, I’ll admit that I’ve not really seen how it makes that much of a difference.  That is until I read what a friend—who has actual military experience—has to say.  He makes some very good points and, after reading his thoughts, I can now see how threatening the repeal actually is.  I’ve been meaning to post a link to his blog, and this is a perfect reason why.   Check out what he has to say:

 http://btownmike.wordpress.com/

If atheist groups aren’t enough to deal with this Christmas season, now the Federal Reserve is in on the war on Christmas/Christianity.  A news article on KOCO.com is reporting that a bank in Perkins, Oklahoma has been ordered by the Federal Reserve to take down a sign that says, “Merry Christmas, God With Us” along with other Christian items.  According to the article:

“Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, ‘…the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication … express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion.’

The feds interpret that to mean, for example, a Jew or Muslin or atheist may be offended and believe they may be discriminated against at this bank. It is an appearance of discrimination.”

Seriously?  Discriminatory preference or exclusion?  I highly doubt that the bank is going to inquire about a customer’s religious beliefs before doing business with him/her.  This is just more anti-Christmas/Christian subterfuge.  Nobody’s going to be discriminated against.  And if they are, it will happen whether or not the bank displays these items.  If Jews, Muslims, or atheists are really concerned about discrimination, I would think they would appreciate the bank having these items on display.  That way, these individuals can be forewarned and take their business elsewhere. 

This article on The Economic Collapse Blog makes an interesting point:

“Now, before people start screaming ‘separation of church and state’, please keep in mind that the ‘state’ is not involved here.  The local bank in Perkins is a privately-owned financial institution.  The owners of that bank should be able to express themselves however they want.

In addition, it is important to note that it was not an agency of the federal government or a federal court that ordered this private local bank to remove all traces of Christianity.

The truth is that the Federal Reserve is not part of the U.S. government.  In fact, the Federal Reserve is about as ‘federal’ as Federal Express is.

You doubt this?

Well, perhaps you will believe what the Federal Reserve is publicly saying about itself.

In defending itself against a Bloomberg request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Reserve objected by declaring that it was ‘not an agency’ of the U.S. government and therefore it was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.”

Click here to read the entire article.

The latest news on the Brookville nativity scene, according to this article , is that the courthouse will not be removing the nativity scene.  Good for them.  The article provides FFRF attorney Rebecca Market’s thoughts:

“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a Nativity scene by itself creates a governmental endorsement of Christianity, which violates the Constitution’s prohibition against government establishing a state religion.”

Really?  An endorsement of religion?  I’m not so sure about that.  How about just a respect for the origin of the holiday?  Have any of these atheists thought of it as a history lesson?  Christmas is a federal holiday, after all.  But what is Christmas all about?  What does it mean?  What is the reasoning behind it?  I’m not an atheist, but I think if I were, I would still be fascinated by the history of the holiday.  Another thing I’m confused about is why they would be okay with having Santa Clause on the lawn but not Jesus.  If atheists are correct in their belief that there is no God or that Jesus was not the messiah, then wouldn’t a nativity scene fall into the same category as Santa?  They appreciate the story of Santa as part of our culture, but not the story of Jesus?  Of course, they are saying that the nativity scene would be fine as long as secular decorations were RIGHT NEXT TO IT.  That doesn’t even make sense.  Why not have all the decorations, but let the nativity scene be set apart out of respect for the Christians?  I guess I just don’t understand why atheists want to attack Christians.  What’s next?  Are they going to start attacking children for believing in Santa? 

 

(my latest letter to the editor)

As a middle school teacher, I am alarmed at the increasing number of children in my community who have no idea what Christmas is really all about.  This holiday season, I would like to urge every parent and grandparent to have a talk with his or her children about the origins of Christmas.  Whether or not you claim to be religious or a Christian—or whether or not you even celebrate Christmas—doesn’t matter.  This isn’t about religion.  Every child deserves to know what Christmas is really about because it is a part of our culture, history, and heritage.  Each year I see more and more children who are clueless.  I’ll never forget the eighth grade student two years ago who asked, “Wasn’t Jesus that guy who had a baby with that virgin girl?”  Just this past week a seventh grade girl was amazed to realize that the word Christmas contains the word Christ.  These aren’t elementary-age students; these are teenagers who will be adults in just a few years, and if they don’t learn that Christmas is more than just decorations and the accumulation of presents, a vital part of who we are as a people will be lost.  Please talk to your children.

Recently, I contacted Senator Evan Bayh, urging him to oppose the S. 510 Food Safety Modernization Act.  Yesterday, I received an email from him (or one of his staff) telling me that he appreciated my concern and that he would keep this in mind when this legislation passes before the Senate in the near future.  The message then stated the following:

  “On the broader point of food safety, I believe that American consumers deserve to know that all food sold in this country is safe.  Recently, however, we have witnessed a series of incidents involving contaminated food and food products.  Incidents like these pose a risk to the public health and safety of American consumers.  We must treat these incidents as a wake-up call and provide the federal agencies responsible for securing our food supply with the guidance and resources they need to carry out their work.”

This sounds to me like Senator Bayh is in favor of this legislation.  I’m just wondering why it is up to the government to supply everyone with information they need to carry out their work?  Why does the government always act like it has some higher knowledge that the rest of us lowly citizens don’t?  I’m sure those working in the food industry are the experts.  Why doesn’t the government listen to them?  I guess the government is all knowing, and we’re all just stupid.  I don’t know how the human race survived all those thousands of years before the government got involved with food.  What Bayh’s email doesn’t mention is that this isn’t just about providing agencies with guidance and support.  This is about controlling who grows what and how much—that includes you.

I saw on the news a few days ago that the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist group in Wisconsin, is demanding that a nativity scene be removed from an Indiana courthouse lawn in Franklin County.  The display has been there for over 50 years (according to one report), but now they’re being forced to get an attorney and fight to keep it up.  I don’t know all the details of this story, but my question is why do these Wisconsin atheists care about what’s going on in Franklin County, Indiana?  They cannot possibly claim that they’re offended by it because they don’t even have to see it (although I guess they’re now claiming that some members of the group supposedly live in Indiana).  Even so, it should be those residents dealing with it—not some group in Wisconsin.  Why don’t they worry about what goes on in Wisconsin and leave Indiana alone?  Now, you might be thinking I’m hypocritical because I recently criticized the atheist billboard between New Jersey and New York.  Here’s the difference:  I didn’t demand they take it down.  In fact, I didn’t even suggest they take it down—even though it was a blatant attack on Christ and the intelligence of anyone who believes in him.  As offended as I am—and as obvious as it is that this is a clear expression of their belief system— I never implied that it should not be allowed to remain up. I merely criticized their alleged reason for putting it up.  Atheist groups, however, jump at every chance they can get to slap a lawsuit on someone and suppress their beliefs in an attempt to force atheistic beliefs upon them. 

Why do atheists feel the need to eliminate anything Christian?  If you read the previous post about the atheist billboard, you’ll see that the American Atheists claim Christians are intolerant and that their fight is against that intolerance.  I beg to differ.  I think Christians have been far too tolerant of all this nonsense for far too long.    Who is the one really being intolerant?  Who’s the one being hypocritical?  Anyone who buys the story that these groups are offended should really rethink that conclusion.  These groups are not offended; they are on the warpath to secularize our country, and the attacks on Christmas are all a part of it. 

What’s interesting is that it sounds like the group might be willing to compromise if secular decorations—like Santa Claus and his reindeer—are added to the nativity scene.  That way it won’t look like the local government is promoting any certain religion.  Sure, let’s just put Jesus among fictional characters–that doesn’t belittle the meaning of the nativity scene at all.   Don’t fall for that trick!  If forced to do that, perhaps the courthouse should get a statue of Santa bowing down in reverence to the Lord Jesus.

Update