Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Guns Don’t Kill People, Liberalism Does

President Obama wants us to politicize gun deaths in America. I decided to take him up on his invitation.

I hope that no one is surprised that Obama took this opportunity again to attack guns, the gun industry, and those of us who are fans of the Second Amendment. This is what a community organizing career politician does. For liberals like Obama, virtually everything is, or must be made, political. Because political problems require political solutions, and thus, when something is politicized, those in favor of empowering and growing government get to do what they do best: give speeches, call for legislation, and attempt to stir up the electorate in their favor.

Prior to the murderous rampage by Chris Harper Mercer at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, liberals across America must’ve decided that after the next mass shooting in the U.S., “time to politicize” was going to be one of the themes of their talking points. Prior to Obama’s speech on the Umpqua massacre, where he declared “this is something we should politicize,” in the largest newspaper in my home state of Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, liberal columnist Jay Bookman (at about 3:30 in the afternoon on the day of the shooting) posted an online piece entitled, Another mass shooting at college? Hell yes we should ‘politicize it.’

Liberals wouldn’t do this if it hadn’t worked for them in the past. In spite of being on the wrong side of virtually every moral issue of our time, democrats have won many elections with their shrewd political skill. However, it’s not that liberals are that much better at politics than conservatives. It’s that the deck is stacked in their favor. As I’ve pointed out before, because under liberalism the moral demands are few, politics is much easier for liberals.

Again, when you operate in the realm of fantasy, it is much easier not only to ignore the truth, but also to manufacture crises and perpetuate false injustices so as to paint oneself as the savior for what needs (or will need) fixing. Thus, “never let a crisis go to waste” is a frequent means by which political power is obtained and kept. Far too many Americans are all too willing to cast their votes for those who promise to “protect” them—from the climate, from the corporations, from the Christians, from guns, and from the consequences of their own bad decisions.

Speaking of fantasy and guns, (on this, there’s no shortage of material from liberals) in an attempt to defame the NRA and republicans, I recently encountered the following:

“Last Year” in the poster is a reference is to 2013. However, what any good liberal will neglect to point out is that of those 33,636 deaths, nearly two-thirds were suicide, with an additional several hundred the result of legal intervention. (Even Wikipedia has the numbers.) The high ratio of gun deaths by suicide has been the case for years. Nevertheless, liberals regularly report (or even incorrectly report) the 30,000-plus gun deaths in the U.S. without mentioning the number of suicides.

And notice the blood on the hands in the poster above? With nearly 60 million of the most helpless and innocent Americans killed since 1973, when it comes to bloody hands, none are more red-stained than a modern liberal’s. As I noted on the day of the Oregon shootings, given their rabid support for slaughtering the unborn, when it comes to any form of violence—or for that matter, any moral issue whatsoever—no voter should ever trust any “solution” presented by a liberal.

It’s rather telling—but not at all surprising—that so few liberals have demonstrated any shock or remorse at the recent undercover Planned Parenthood videos. Remember how the liberal media had to be dragged kicking and screaming to cover the trial of Kermit Gosnell? Whether the Gosnell trial, or the Planned Parenthood videos, the truth about the abortion industry has been known for decades now. What’s more, there’s no real shortage of photographic and video evidence of what really happens during an abortion. Again, much of this has been around for years.

Mother Theresa warned us years ago, “We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?” As she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Mother Theresa declared that abortion “is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child—what is left for me to kill you and you kill me—there is nothing between.” In other words, if as a culture we’ve become comfortable killing in the womb, we shouldn’t be surprised at killings in the classroom.

In addition to making what should be one of the safest places for a human being into a killing zone, once outside the womb, the most dangerous places in America are run by liberals (i.e., democrats). According to FBI data, and as Mark Alexander noted a few months ago, “the 10 most dangerous cities in America with populations above 200,000 are all managed, top to bottom, by Democrats. They are: Detroit, Oakland, Memphis, St. Louis, Cleveland, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Birmingham, Newark and Kansas City.”

As Alexander also notes, along with being extremely impoverished (the top ten most impoverished American cities are all also run by democrats), these liberal havens have some of the strictest gun laws in the country. And as Umpqua Community College again tragically demonstrated, strict gun laws—such as “gun free zones”—only work when people are willing to obey the laws.

In most cases, these dangerous and impoverished cities have been dominated by liberal politics for decades. Sadly, democrats’ most reliable constituency, black Americans, have suffered most under liberalism. Though only 12.6% of the U.S. population, blacks make up over 35% of abortions in America. Nearly 80% of Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods.

Additionally, blacks (especially young black males) comprise well over half of the 11,000+ annual gun homicides in America. Well over 90% of these murders are the result of black-on-black crime. Multiple times this year, urban America has seen the equivalent of the Umpqua massacre occur over a weekend. In Obama’s home state of Illinois, Chicago alone has had several weekends that were as violent or more violent than what we just witnessed in Oregon. Do you recall any impassioned presidential pressers as a result? Me either.

All of this, and I’ve made no mention of the devastation that liberalism has wrought upon the family, nor the crippling and enslaving economic policies practiced and preached by modern liberals. If Americans want to be safe, the truth is clear: walk with Jesus, buy a gun, and don’t vote for liberals.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Another Mass Shooting, and Obama Wants to "Politicize" It, So...

Shortly after another mass shooting at a school, President Obama took to his bully pulpit and unapologetically declared that it was time to "politicize" such things. I'm happy to oblige.

A little after 10 a.m. this morning, a reportedly 26-year-old male gunman (now revealed to be Chris Harper Mercer) at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, killed 10 9, and injured several others. Later, during the afternoon, a defiant Obama sternly declared, "[T]his is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic."

"Somehow this has become routine," Obama also said, adding, "We've become numb to this." Ha! What a fool! "Numb to this?!" Obama is somewhat correct, but we--and he--should ask: why? Why have we become so "numb?" 

We are certainly not numb because of guns. If any of us are numb to the slaughter of our fellow citizens, it is significantly due to the many lies promoted my modern liberalism and the "values" it promotes. And speaking of "politicizing" things, given their rabid support for killing the most helpless and innocent among us--the unborn--when it comes to any form of violence--or for that matter, any moral issue whatsoever--no voter should ever trust any "solution" presented by a liberal.

In 1994, Mother Theresa wrote to the U.S. Supreme Court, "The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships.

"It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts—a child—as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience."

She also wisely concluded, "We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?" As she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Mother Theresa declared that abortion "is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child--what is left for me to kill you and you kill me--there is nothing between."

For decades now liberals like Obama have sold the lie of abortion. As even more light has been shown on the disgusting practices of the greatest killer of American children who inhabit the womb, Obama--along with his liberal lackeys--praised and promoted them.

For decades now, liberals like Obama have also seen and heard the truth on abortion. Nevertheless, like the blind leading the blind, Obama stands before America today and blames guns, and politicians who reject his liberal ideas on gun-control. Joe Olson, a former president of the college where the shooting today took place, told The Associated Press that "the school only has one security officer on duty at a time, and that officer is not armed (emphasis mine)." Olson also said that last year, "one of the biggest debates on campus was whether or not Umpqua Community College should have armed security officers."

Anyone want to bet that it was liberals like Obama arguing against arming the guards?

Additionally, the New York Post is reporting that Mercer was targeting Christians. A woman who said that her grandmother was in the classroom where some of the murders took place tweeted, 
"The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian,' she wrote. 'If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs. My grandma just got to my house, and she was in the room. She wasn’t shot, but she is very upset.'"
If this is true, the shooter is sounding more and more like another poor fool corrupted by liberalism. (As--whether Dylann Roof, Jared Loughner, et al--we've tragically seen time and again.)

Of course, more gun laws won't fixed this. Unsurprisingly, in his speech today (see the full transcript here), President Obama scoffed at the one thing that could really change lives that are so bent on the kind of death and destruction we saw today: prayer. Yet, Obama says "our thoughts and prayers are not enough. (Well, our 'thoughts' are certainly not enough.) It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel."

No one should be surprised that a Big Government liberal like Obama sees more government as the solution to this wickedness. And unless their eyes are opened to the eternal truths that should govern the lives of men, no one should be surprised that this is about all we will ever get from men like Barack Obama.

Update: No surprise here. As we've seen so often before (see links above), it seems that Mercer was from a broken home. The media is now reporting that Mercer's parents, Ian Mercer and Laurel Margaret Harper, filed for divorce in June of 2006. Mercer was born in England and came to the U.S. with his mother as a young boy. It has also been reported that, up until his death, the 26-year-old Mercer lived with his mother.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Friday, September 25, 2015

Islam, Christianity, and Electoral “Discrimination”

Ben Carson’s recent statements about Islam and the U.S. presidency have garnered a wide array of commentary. Most of the remarks have been quite critical, with even some conservatives taking Carson to task. Predictably, many of those critical of Carson point to the Constitution’s “no religious test” clause. Also predictably, many who are making this argument completely ignore that Carson was not advocating for such a “religious test.”

Interestingly, every one of the American Colonies did have such a “religious test.” What’s more, these tests continued long after the United States was formed. The U.S. Constitution went into effect on June 21, 1788. An excerpt (Article 7, Section 2) from the 1796 Tennessee constitution reads, “No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.”

Article 11, Section 4 of the very same constitution says, “That no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state.” Thus, within the same state constitution there resides a religious requirement for holding public office, along with a prohibition against a “religious test.” Therefore, we can conclude that, in the era of our founding, many believed that requiring a belief in God for elected officials did not constitute a “religious test.”

Likewise, the Article 1 Section 4 of the Texas (who didn’t enter the Union until 1845) constitution said, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

The constitution of the state of Mississippi (1817, Article 14, Section 265) states, “No person who denies the being of God or a future state of rewards and punishments shall hold any office in the civil department of the State.” More tamely, Article 37 of the Maryland constitution says, “That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.”

It wasn’t until 1961, in Torcaso v. Watkins that the Supreme Court rendered such clauses unenforceable. Again, interestingly the Court did not base its ruling on the “no religious test” clause. Justice Hugo Black wrote, “Appellant also claimed that the State's test oath requirement violates the provision of Art. VI of the Federal Constitution that ‘no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.’ Because we are reversing the judgment on other grounds, we find it unnecessary to consider appellant's contention that this provision applies to state as well as federal offices.”

Instead, the Court ruled that requiring a belief in God to hold public office violated the First and Fourteenth amendments. In other words, the Supreme Court ruled that such requirements were a violation of the “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment.

However, as I noted, Mr. Carson was not advocating for a government “religious test.” Rather, he was implying that voters exercise a personal religious test as they enter the ballot booth. Of course, this still offends today’s liberals (which is a great indication that one has simply told the truth). Also, what Ben Carson declared is little different than what John Jay—Founding Father, one of the authors of the Federalist Papers, and the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court—said in an 1816 letter to John Murray. In fact, Jay was much more exclusive than Carson when he wrote, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

Imagine that! Not only did John Jay proclaim that Americans should prefer Christians for their leaders, approximately four decades after the creation of the United States, one of the most significant U.S. founders considered this a “Christian nation.” If such a conclusion is even hinted at today, the (often godless) secularists that dominate the modern left and the mainstream media howl like Highball the hound.

In spite of the meme perpetuated by today’s left, John Jay was far from alone in his conclusion on America’s founding. (However, many on both sides of the argument frequently misunderstand what is meant by a “Christian nation.”) In fact, it is not only American Christians who make such claims.

After the victory over Great Britain, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both served the freshly birthed United States of America as ministers in Europe. Quoting from David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography, John Adams:

“Of the multiple issues in contention between Britain and the new United States of America, and that John Adams had to address as minister, nearly all were holdovers from the Treaty of Paris, agreements made but not resolved, concerning debts, the treatment of Loyalists, compensation for slaves and property confiscated by the British, and the continued presence of British troops in America. All seemed insoluble. With its paper money nearly worthless, its economy in shambles, the United States was desperate for trade…To Adams the first priority must be to open British ports to American ships.”

During this time Adams and Jefferson corresponded regularly. According to McCullough:

“In eight months’ time, from late May 1785, when Adams first assumed his post in London, until February 1786, he wrote 28 letters to Jefferson, and Jefferson wrote a nearly equal number in return…Increasingly their time and correspondence was taken up by concerns over American shipping in the Mediterranean and demands for tribute made by the Barbary States of North Africa—Algiers, Tripoli, Tunis, and Morocco. To insure their Mediterranean trade against attacks by the ‘Barbary pirates,’ the nations of Europe customarily made huge cash payments…On a chill evening in February came what Adams took to be an opening. At the end of a round of ambassadorial ‘visits,’ he stopped to pay his respects to a new member of the diplomatic corps in London, His Excellency Abdrahaman, envoy of the sultan of Tripoli…The conversation turned to business. America was a great nation, declared His Excellency, but unfortunately a state of war existed between America and Tripoli. Adams questioned how that could be…[Adams was told that], without a treaty of peace there could be no peace between Tripoli and America. His Excellency was prepared to arrange such a treaty…Were a treaty delayed, it would be more difficult to make. A war between Christian and Christian was mild, prisoners were treated with humanity; but, warned His Excellency, a war between Muslim and Christian could be horrible. [emphasis mine]”

Thus, here we have a foreign diplomat—a Muslim diplomat—during the infancy of the United States, recognizing that the U.S. was indeed a “Christian” nation.

Lastly, along with claiming that Ben Carson is afoul of the Constitution with his conclusion about Muslims and the U.S. presidency, he has—of course—been labeled a “bigot,” accused of discrimination, and branded an Islamophobe. This is nothing more than the perverse and foolish liberal notion of “tolerance” at work.

As we do in practically every other area of our lives (marriage, etc.), we ALL “discriminate” when we vote. As a good “John Jay conservative,” there’s almost no situation where I would ever vote for a Muslim, a homosexual, an atheist, or anyone else who is so clearly outside of the Christian faith. Additionally, whether they claim to be a Christian or not, there is virtually no electoral scenario where I would vote for a liberal. (See: Two Shades of Dismay: The Perverse Bondage Wrought by Liberalism and Islam.)

It’s another sad indictment on our media and our culture that Barack Obama advocates for infanticide, declares that he wouldn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby,” and offers a “God bless you” to those responsible for the death of millions of the most innocent among us, is elected and re-elected leader of the free world. Yet, when Ben Carson casts a suspicious eye towards those who dominate the most dangerous, oppressive, violent and backwards parts of the world, he is unfit for office.

(See a version of this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Pretender Tells the Truth on Pop-Music Prostitutes

What a sad indictment on our culture that a twice-divorced Vaishnava, PETA loving vegetarian rock-and-roller who once tried to convince the drug-addicted lead singer of the Sex Pistols to marry her, is now a voice of reason when it comes to the hyper-sexed nature of modern pop music.

Chrissie Hynde, the 64-year-old former lead singer of The Pretenders, recently implied that the “bumping and grinding,” underwear-wearing musicians Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and the like, are nothing more than prostitutes. In accusing such singers of doing “a great deal of damage to women” with their risqué performances, the exact label used by Hynde was “sex worker.”

Hynde went so far as to accuse the gyrating hussies of putting women in danger. Hynde declared, “I don’t think sexual assault is a gender issue as such, I think it’s very much it’s all around us now. It’s provoked by this pornography culture, it’s provoked by pop stars who call themselves feminists. Maybe they’re feminists on behalf of prostitutes – but they are no feminists on behalf of music, if they are selling their music by bumping and grinding and wearing their underwear in videos. That’s a kind of feminism – but, you know, you’re a sex worker is what you are.”

Hynde is exactly right. And as I noted over a year ago, tragically, the “sex worker” and “pornography culture” she describes extends far beyond the realm of today’s pop music. For decades now, our media has been saturated with such smut. In our household, we’ve long referred to these Hollywood sluts as “high-priced harlots.” Whether in TV, motion pictures, music videos, swimsuit magazines, lingerie ads, burger ads, and so on, what else are we supposed to call women who do little more than make money by displaying their flesh?

For nearly three generations now, despite, in some cases, the best efforts of their parents, we have had boys grow into men who have seen thousands of images of scantily clad, seductive-acting women. It is little wonder then, that, instead of marriage and family, many young men now seek only “friends with benefits.”

As they take notice of what draws the attention of today’s young males, young girls are often duped into emulating the attractive and scantily clad women they see on TV and the internet, in movies and magazines. Walk through any mall or park during warm weather. You will see girls from pre-pubescent age on up with their bodies barely covered.

As my lovely wife noted last year, “Females must begin to take some responsibility by dressing for respect instead of for sex. What we wear says a lot about us, whether we intend it or not. It isn’t fair for us to dress like sluts and expect men to behave themselves like gentlemen. It goes both ways.”

It is also little wonder then that we now live in a “hook-up” culture, where women and men both are a means to a selfish sexual end—which has, among other disastrous things, led to over 40% of American children being born out of wedlock. Most of these children are raised without a father. Much of the violent (including rape) and criminal behavior exhibited by boys and young men today is, to a great extent, the sad result of growing up without a father, or at least a father who will teach and model for them how they are supposed to treat women.

And instead of teaching and promoting eternal truths on sex, marriage, and the family, whether with abortion, the homosexual agenda, the transgender agenda, pornography, and the like, modern feminists have embraced nearly every sexually deviant perversion known in our culture. As the Apostle Paul put it, they are “God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil.”

Chrissie Hynde recently penned Reckless: My Life as A Pretender. “I regret half of this story,” she declares. Hynde has been very candid about her sorrow for past drug and alcohol abuse, her broken relationship with her parents, and her sexual promiscuity. Modern feminists and their apologists are paying little attention.

In reviewing Reckless, the Boston Globe’s Mike Shanahan said that “controversial comments about rape and provocative attire” by Hyndes “suggests she may have a ways to go” when it comes to feminism. How duped by feminist lies does one have to be to stand up for the likes of a twerking demon-in-heat-like Miley Cyrus?

Make no mistake about it, unless they repent from their hedonistic lifestyle sooner rather than later, and if they manage to live long enough, many of today’s feminists will be sounding like Chrissie Hynde.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ashley Madison and Me

I thought of revealing this a few days ago when I wrote of Josh Duggar’s outing as a member of the adulterous Ashley Madison website. Recent events have now compelled me to share what I previously kept between only myself and my wife.

On February 28 of this year, I received the following email (click to make image larger):

That’s right, six months ago I received a solicitation from Ashley Madison. The subject line of the email was the Ashley Madison motto: “Life Is Short—Have An Affair!” Take note of the lies: “Every Single Minute A new Woman joins…” (Almost all of the female accounts were fake.) And when it comes to your “discreet affair,” Ashley Madison “GUARANTEE[S]…your current partner WON’T FIND OUT. This is 100% RISK FREE.” (And we all know how that has turned out.) Of course, no one should be surprised that a group promoting adultery would stoop to lying as well.

Don’t worry, I didn’t bite. After the initial shock at how my email address would end up on an Ashley Madison list, I did what I often do when faced with something illicit in the sexual realm: I told my wife.

Michelle and I have been married nearly 18 years. We long ago learned not to mess around with sexual temptation. I don’t eat at Hooters. I don’t subscribe to Sports Illustrated. I try not to even walk by a Victoria’s Secret store. (We’ve received three Victoria’s Secret catalogs in the mail recently. Each time Michelle has immediately called their customer service to have us removed from their mailing list.) Both Michelle and I try to be careful and not to allow ourselves to be in a potentially compromising situation with someone of the opposite sex. (Alone at work, etc.)

Also, with four children, Michelle and I have more to think about than our relationship. We don’t want to bring suffering into their lives because of poor decisions on our part. We want to teach, enforce, and model truth in the sexual realm. Our oldest is our 13 year-old son Caleb. Next is our 11 year-old son Jesse. (Caroline is nine and Noah is six.) We also do not want them deceived when it comes to what is truth on marriage and sexuality.

This is especially the case as our children enter puberty. We refuse to allow our daughter to dress as a prostitute, and we are teaching our sons to avoid girls who do so.

Our culture is saturated with lies when it comes to marriage and sexuality. Very often children, especially teenage boys, are targets of the sexually immoral. Whether scantily clad young ladies in the grocery-store catalogs/magazines, rampant sexual immorality in entertainment (TV, movies, music), or pornography on the internet (including what could only be described as the soft-core porn of swimsuit magazines and the like), it is extremely difficult to guard our children—not to mention ourselves—from such sexual sin.

We are literally in a war when it comes to this trash. Virtually every adult American will face sexual temptation of one sort or other. This is certainly not a battle that should be fought alone. We need to be guarded, and we need accountability, but most of all, we need the power of our Creator.

As C.S. Lewis put it, “We may, indeed, be sure that perfect chastity—like perfect charity—will not be attained by any merely human efforts. You must ask for God's help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.”

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our Book in WORLD Magazine!

We've been subscribers to the Christian news publication WORLD magazine for years now. WORLD's mission is "To report, interpret, and illustrate the news in a timely, accurate, enjoyable, and arresting fashion from a perspective committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God."

We used to subscribe to the kids version of WORLD, God's World News, as well. However, our children have recently started to prefer the regular edition. This is especially the case with our two oldest children, Caleb (13 years-old), and Jesse (11 years-old). They have been reading the regular version of World for a couple of years now. They love it.

My wife Michelle and I both enjoy WORLD as well. Before going to bed a few nights ago, I read Marvin Olasky's--WORLD's editor-in-chief--piece on Christian education. Given our involvement in education, before I left for work the next morning, I asked Caleb to make sure that he showed Michelle the column.

However, though we've had the September edition of WORLD for several days now, and though several of us have flipped through the magazine many times, it seems that we all missed something significant (at least from our perspective).

WORLD has a recurring section called "Notable Books" where, usually, several books are featured and reviewed. Our book Debt-Free Living in a Debt-Filled World was reviewed in the "Notable Books" section in the September edition of WORLD.

Here is the review (click on the image to make it larger):

Additionally, prior to reviewing our book and six others, the "Notable Books" section began,
"During the past year, WORLD received more than 100 self-published books for possible review. This past May we had our 14 students at the 2015 World Journalism Institute each choose the books that most appealed to them—and from those to choose one to review. For the WJI students, that’s useful experience for future work in publishing or book reviewing. For the authors who sent their books, thank you. Although some of you will be disappointed not to find your book reviewed here, you have helped in the training of these budding journalists."

We had no idea this had happened. Thank you WORLD! And thank you to our friend Christy Mihalick for alerting us to this!

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Everybody Wants to Rule Their World

When one abandons eternal truth, there is virtually no limit to the extremeness and no end to the amount of folly that will follow. Modern liberalism again demonstrates this well.

Because of his commitment to liberalism, which makes him unable to call the public display of women’s breasts that is occurring in Times Square what it really is (offensive, absurd, gross, and yes, wicked and sinful), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to wield one of the favorite tools of modern liberals: the dreaded “multiagency task force.”

According to CBS, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo “has said he believes the women posing for the photos are breaking the law and undermining efforts to keep the tourist area family friendly.” Imagine that: a liberal complaining that liberal values on full display for the world to see is an affront to a “family friendly” atmosphere. Cuomo likely wouldn’t recognize what is truly “family friendly” even if it mugged him on the subway.

Caitlyn Lewis said, “It is a quality of life issue, and the worst case scenario is that people don’t want to come to Times Square.” In spite of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, liberals don’t seem to be concerned about any “quality of life” issues when it comes to homosexuality or same sex “marriage.” And liberals certainly aren’t concerned with “quality of life” when it comes to life in the womb.

Again, as is the case with the supposed “campus rape culture,” liberals bemoan what they’ve helped to create. Anybody want to give me odds on the voting records of the topless twits plaguing New York? What do you think their position is on abortion, same-sex “marriage,” the welfare state, and climate change? These bare-breasted bimbos are simply more rotten fruit of liberalism.

About the topless women, de Blasio also said, “It’s wrong, it’s wrong.” Someone should ask him, “Why?” Upon what moral standard does his conclusion rest? After all, toplessness is not illegal in New York. And if it’s legal, then it must be moral, right libs? (In other words, shouldn’t the debate be over?)

As the topless women took their act to Austin, Texas, one political observer asked the protestors to “explain reasons why women should be topless.” The number one reason given: “It frees oneself from guilt and sin.”

This sounds a lot like the pro-abortion Satanists recently documented at National Review. As the author David French notes, “The Satanists adhere to such edifying statements of principle as ‘Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!’ and ‘Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!’”

As Mr. French also points out, though most pro-abortionists (and liberals in general) are not Satanists (nor favor the “right” to parade around topless in public), “prominent Satanist involvement in the abortion debate does have a clarifying effect.” Of course, this “clarifying effect” is also present with liberals who clamor for their “right” to be topless in public.

As French concludes, “A person who is willing to kill another person for the sake of preserving their own prosperity or emotional health is declaring that their life is supreme — their existence is at the center of all things. This is the core of Satanist theology. So when Satanists declare their creeds, they strike uncomfortably close to the rotten core of the abortion-rights regime.”

Writing for Patheos, author and philosopher Michael Novak makes note of this “theology of self” when he writes of a two decades-old study on abortion that he only recently encountered. “Two main findings of the study startled me,” Novak writes, “but they are also fairly obvious once one sees them from the point of view of the young women in the study…To such women, having an unplanned child represents a threat so great to modern women that it is perceived as the equivalent to a ‘death of self.’”

Such a theology is not exclusive to Satanists. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has embraced this theology. Nearly a quarter of a century ago, ruling in favor of the “right” to kill children in the womb (Planned Parenthood v. Casey), Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” (Thus, no one should have been surprised at his conclusion on marriage.)

In fact, the desire to make oneself “the center of all things,” or, as it is stated in Genesis chapter 3, to make oneself to “be like God” is almost as old as humanity itself. C.S. Lewis called it “The Great Sin.” The Great Sin, the utmost evil, Lewis wrote, is Pride. “Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison. It was through Pride that the devil became the devil. Pride leads to every other vice. It is the complete anti-God state of mind.” It was an appeal to the pride of Adam and Eve which introduced sin into God’s perfect creation.

“The Christians are right,” Lewis continues, “it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.” The only cure for the disease of Pride, as the life and words of Jesus reveal, is the “death of self,” and a rebirth as a new creature.

Of course, this is not easy. As Lewis also notes, “The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self – all your wishes and precautions – to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves’, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good.’ We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way – centered on money or pleasure or ambition – and hoping, in spite of this to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown.”

There is only one way to “free oneself from guilt and sin.” We cannot find this freedom in the redefining of sin, in the election of one politician over another, in the ruling of a judge, or in uninhibited acts of hedonism. The only way to such freedom is the Way of the Cross.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Josh Duggar is Not Our Standard

If you’re looking to discredit Christianity, you’re going to have to do a lot better than point to the failings of the followers of Christ. Josh Duggar, of 19 Kids and Counting fame, who was recently outed as a user of the adultery promoting website Ashley Madison, is simply the latest in a long line of public Christians caught failing to “practice what he preached.”

Christianity isn’t about what Josh Duggar, Jimmy Swaggart, Billy Graham, James Dobson, myself, or anyone else did or will do. It isn’t about what we’ve said or will say. Christianity is in the words and deeds of one man alone: Jesus Christ.

Christ is our standard. He is The Standard. And we’ve ALL fallen short.

However, the failings of the followers of Jesus do not undo one single eternal truth spoken by God. In spite of the desire of many on the left to use the sin of Mr. Duggar (and other such incidents, the next of which will also soon be plastered all over the liberal media) as an opportunity to disparage Christianity and Christian conservative values (all the while furthering the perverse agenda of liberalism), whether marriage, money, sex, creation, life in the womb, and the like—God has the final say on these and all such matters.

Tellingly, after the hack attack, Ashley Madison said: “This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities.

“The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society. We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world.”

It seems that the moralizers at Ashley Madison have appointed themselves “moral judge, juror, and executioner” when it comes to thieves. In other words, at AshleyMadison.com “thievery” is bad, but adultery by “freethinking people” is okay. So again we see the self-contradictory attempts by liberals at raising their own system of “values.”

Further demonstrating this self-contradictory thinking—along with demonstrating why psychology is more witchcraft than science—Laurie Essig at Psychology Today just doesn’t understand why the hackers “would need to attack a site that is fairly honest about what's going on as opposed to every other dating site where people are lying through their teeth.”

“More importantly,” she adds, “this sort of sexual prudery should not pass for some sort of activism when there are some serious liars on the interwebs.” (“Interwebs?” I have to admit, Ms. Essig’s lame attempt at humor was, at first, lost on me.) She ends her piece by concluding that the Ashley Madison hackers are “the least heroic…hactiprudes who released the personal data of 37,000,000 people just trying to get laid without lying.”

Because of course, everyone using the Ashley Madison site as a means to commit adultery was completely honest with all of their intentions and information. (What a dolt!) So along with thievery, “lying through their teeth” is also completely unacceptable to the adultery apologists.

Again, as C.S. Lewis put it, “There never has been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or (as they now call them) ‘ideologies,’ all consist of fragments from [Natural Law] itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to [Natural Law] and to it alone such validity as they possess.”

In other words, it is folly to lament the actions of liars and thieves all the while promoting and profiting from adultery. The same Law Giver who reveals that theft and lying is wrong also tells us that fornication and adultery are wrong.

Make no mistake about it, if you are a Christian living out your faith in any meaningful way at all, you have made yourself a target. The spiritual forces of evil who seek to “kill, steal, and destroy” are anxious for your demise. In the hyper-sexed culture in which we live, this often means attacks in the sexual realm. (In his public confession, Mr. Duggar also admitted to an addiction to “interweb” pornography.)

With so many eager to harm the cause of Christ, be sure that your sin will find you out. (And will enthusiastically be used against you.) Whether our sins are public or not, God knows it all. As Franklin Graham said to the Ashley Madison users, “I have news for all those worried cheaters out there wringing their hands — God already knew! His holy Word says, ‘Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account’ (Hebrews 4:13). Times may have changed, but God's laws and standards never change — all sin has a price.”

Thank God someone paid the price for us all.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Get’cha Honey for Nothin’, Get’cha Chips for Free
(I want my, I want my, I want my E-B-T!)

The quickest and surest way to make things more expensive for most of us is for someone in our government to attempt to make such things “free” for some.

As I noted earlier this year, the largest “charity” in the U.S. is government (which, of course, brags about it!). Americans gave a total of approximately $3.4 billion (about $2.4 billion from individuals) to private charities in 2013. In the same year, Americans received over $600 billion from means-tested (recipients required to be below a certain income level) government programs (housing, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, and the like). When non means-tested programs (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and so on) are included, the total is a shocking and staggering $2 trillion dollars.

In case you missed it, for over four consecutive years now, the number of Americans receiving food stamps (transactions are now down with an EBT card) surpassed 45 million. About 20 percent of U.S. children receive food stamps. Thus nearly one-fifth of our future electorate is being conditioned to the idea that it is government’s responsibility to make sure they are fed.

Of course, with the current size and role the government plays in our everyday lives, people have come to expect much more than food from their Uncle Sam. And liberals are intent on growing these expectations.

Given the life-changing financial decision Michelle and I made 17 years ago, anytime I see a headline containing the phrase “debt free,” my attention is drawn. This is especially the case whenever the headline is a reference to a plan or scheme devised by a liberal. Most liberals’ ideas of “debt free” involves either printing massive amounts of money or heavily taxing those who tend not to vote for democrats (or at least have no lobbyist to create tax loopholes).

As her campaign falters, Hillary Clinton recently announced her plan to do more of what liberals do best: give away other people’s money. In an effort to politically capitalize on the massive $1.2 trillion in student loan debt that is held by tens-of-millions of Americans, Clinton proposed “to make public colleges debt-free for students, to cut interest rates for people struggling with debt from loans taken out to pay for college, and to expand some existing aid programs to cover more people.”

Her campaign says that the new program would cost $350 billion over ten years, which means that it will probably cost at least twice that much. Liberals are almost as bad at predicting the future costs of federal programs as they are at climate change predictions. (The interesting thing to ponder is which bad prediction will end up costing us more.) Of course, as is almost always the case with these things, Clinton’s plan will not make college less expensive, but more so.

Clinton isn’t alone in her plan to further expand the role of the federal government in education. According to Alex Simindinger, writing in Real Clear Politics, “Affordable, debt-free college is now an economic policy plank for all the Democratic presidential candidates, who believe it resonates across political parties, across economic strata, and with young people as well as with their parents and grandparents.”

In other words, liberals have examined the political landscape and found the next new way—much to Benjamin Franklin’s dismay—to give the electorate the opportunity to vote themselves money. And “affordable?!” Social Security, the oldest, and arguably the most popular federal social welfare program, is, according to Andrew Briggs of the American Enterprise Institute, “the Titanic headed for the iceberg.” And there is virtually no political will in Washington, D.C. to do anything about it.

In 2014 Medicare—which is as popular as Social Security—cost the U.S. government $600 billion, which was just short of defense spending. This spending was nearly double Medicare’s receipts ($342 billion) for 2014. Put another way, Medicare brings in about 11% of federal tax revenue, while amounting to nearly 17% of federal spending. As John Graham of the National Center for Policy Analysis implies, “Medicare devours the federal government.”

In other words, with over $18 trillion in total federal debt, and an annual federal budget deficit of nearly $500 billion, virtually no Big Government social program is “affordable.” Of course, this includes Obamacare.

In spite of the oft-parroted notion that Obamacare is “working,” the law is much more expensive than promised ($2 trillion instead of $900 billion—Democrats will just make this up out of petty cash), fewer people are covered than promised, premiums are rising faster than promised (“23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota), fewer doctors are available than promised (“42 percent fewer oncology and cardiology specialists; 32 percent fewer mental health and primary care providers; and 24 percent fewer hospitals”), and so on.

As is often the case with these programs, Obamacare was sold on a mountain of lies. Because of the desire of many Americans to receive “free” stuff from the government, and because of the refusal of far too many Americans to recognize that such things are never free, we are now saddled with another massive government program that we may never be rid of.

The idea that Americans are getting things “free” from the government may be the lie of the century. A billboard near my home illustrates well this lie:

According to its website, “Peach State provides all of the medical services covered by Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids.” In other words, Peach State is government healthcare in Georgia. PeachCare is Georgia’s version of CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). As a result of the failed efforts of “Hillarycare,” but in order to get at least some expansion of the role of government in healthcare, SCHIP (as it was formerly known) was created in 1997 as a shared federal-state health insurance program for children and pregnant mothers in families whose incomes were too high for Medicaid.

Take note of the advertisement of “Free Dental & Vision Coverage” on the billboard. Such deception is replete when it comes to these Big Government programs. To quote Mattie Ross from True Grit, “You must pay for everything in this world in one way or another. There is nothing free except the grace of God.” If only more Americans were as eager for God’s grace as they were for Obama’s stash.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Liberalism is ALWAYS Ugly

Mark Twain wrote, “All religions issue Bibles against Satan, and say the most injurious things against him, but we never get to hear his side.” It’s seems that Mr. Twain, at least prior to penning the previous quote, never encountered a liberal.

Of course, not all liberals espouse Satanism, however ANY unedited, unbiased examination of liberalism is going to reveal plenty of dark, ugly truths. Whether Planned Parenthood (which I will now refer to as “Designed-to-Exterminate-and-Abuse-The-Hood”—or D.E.A.T.H.), Kermit Gosnell, Ferguson, Baltimore (and most other major U.S. metropolitan areas), Islam, political investigations, immigration, climate change (no matter the costs, the Warmists will get it to “change” one way or another), healthcare, rape, the war on women and blacks, socialism, marriage, parenting, parenting, “husbands and wives,” fatherhood, homosexuality, transgenderism, pornography, the sexual revolution, economics, the minimum wage, Uber, bravery, pronouns, “blackness,” virtually all things hailed or assaulted by modern liberals reveal the corruption of modern liberalism.

As the dearth of information at the links above reveals, the recent videos of D.E.A.T.H. tell only a small part of the story when it comes to liberalism. What do you think undercover videos into the offices of the Obama-led EPA, IRS, or INS would reveal? Have you ever seen significant video or photographic footage of a homosexual-pride parade? Most every voting-age American saw some image of unrestrained liberalism on display in Ferguson and Baltimore.

And speaking of death, forget footage of the loose-lipped lackeys of D.E.A.T.H., why not just video the actual procedures where the “fetal tissue” is procured? If there is really nothing to hide, if it is—like the abortion apologists tell us, akin to watching “open heart surgery” or (more apropos), “an autopsy”—then let the light of truth shine on it for all the world to see.

In the name of transparency, surely there are plenty of eager feminists out there—some who’ve already taken us along as they exercised their “super-great” choice to kill their unborn child—who would gladly allow a video camera to record what really happens when an abortionist slips his instruments of death inside a uterus.

Perhaps a D.E.A.T.H. agent could give a play-by-play on what techniques are best—you know, whether to “crush above” or “crush below”—when trying to obtain “intact hearts,” livers, or lungs. Perhaps, like the QVC network, D.E.A.T.H. could also indicate the price of baby parts and organs as they are ripped from their mother’s womb—of course, with the “highest ethical and legal standards” always on display.

Consider the deception—both the effort and the endurance—that has been, and continues to be, employed in order to convince hundreds-of-millions of Americans—over multiple decades—that what exists in the human womb is not really human, and it’s quite alarming that some don’t even consider the abortion lie our greatest scientific fraud.

John Casey, a former space program advisor to the White House, president of the Space and Science Research Corporation—a leading independent climate research company—and one of the most successful climate researchers and climate prediction experts in America, considers the current Climate Change agenda of today’s left the “greatest scientific fraud in history.”

When one considers the hundreds-of-billions of dollars at stake and the number of lives impacted by the left’s war on fossil fuels—the fuel that literally built America—one can easily see Casey’s point. He’s certainly not trumpeting mere hyperbole. Who knows? The left may be just as adept at killing humans through climate regulations as they have been in the abortion clinics.

Perhaps we need hidden cameras at the next secret climate regulation meeting (or at least a look at the emails exchanged). Maybe someone slipped a tape recorder into Obama’s secret climate change meetings with the Chinese. Whatever the case, as with the unborn, liberals want to keep as many in the dark on the climate as possible. (Remember “Hide the Decline?”)

Abortion and man-made climate change have long been replete with leftist propaganda; however, no fraud of the modern left has been around longer than the foolish idea that human beings came into being purely as the result of naturalistic forces. In other words, no lie of the left is more entrenched than that of Darwinian evolution.

Darwinian evolution is the foundation of liberal orthodoxy. The de-humanization of the unborn is why we’ve seen nearly 60 million abortions in the U.S. The de-humanization of humanity in general is how we end up with environmental wackos telling us it’s time to “phase out the human race.” (And people like these are advising the Obama administration on our energy policy!)

And nothing is as de-humanizing as the notion that all life magically sprang from some single-celled source, that humans share ancestors with both apes and apricots, and that humans came into being through the bloody and godless efforts of “survival of the fittest.” Why not kill humans if we are simply highly evolved animals? Why not kill humans—to “save the planet” or to avoid the work of having to parent a child—if we are nothing more than “amoral parasites?”

Thus, instead of looking at creation and looking for the Creator, Darwinian evolution points people to “science.” For far too many liberals, science is their god. To them, religion, especially Christianity, is a crutch—something for the weak minded, and thus never to be taken seriously. Right and wrong, good and evil are arbitrary and cultural—products of human progress. Such a worldview leaves absolutely no room for the supernatural, and thus, no room for God. Therefore, along with championing “social justice,” for decades liberals have also fought vociferously to expel God from our culture.

And of course, when God is shunned, the results are always ugly.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World