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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Obama and the “Least of These”

A few days ago when Barack Obama was “Back in the Saddle” with Rick Warren, Obama uttered what was one of the most hypocritical statements ever offered by an American politician. When Obama was asked by Warren what he thought was, “the greatest moral failure of America,” he responded with, “I think America’s greatest moral failure in my lifetime has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me…”

In describing “the least of us,” Obama mentioned poverty, racism, and sexism. Sadly, the unborn failed to make his list. This is not surprising, given Obama’s vile record on abortion. It has now been clearly demonstrated (see here for National Right to Life’s detailed account) that Obama, while a member of the Illinois state Senate, opposed multiple versions of an Illinois bill that mirrored the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA).

According to National Right to Life, BAIPA was essentially “a simple two-paragraph proposal – [that] established…for all federal law purposes, any baby who was entirely expelled from his or her mother, and who showed any of the specified signs of life, was to be regarded as a legal person for however long he or she lived, and that this applied whether or not the birth was the result of an abortion or of spontaneous premature labor.”

In 2000 the original BAIPA was passed by the U.S. House by a vote of 380 to 15. This occurred in spite of opposition by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL). Even staunch pro-abortion leaders, such as Jerrold Nadler, ignored the NARAL position and supported BAIPA. This version of BAIPA was later killed in the Senate by an objection to unanimous consent.

In 2001 the Illinois legislature took up a bill that was patterned after the federal BAIPA. Obama voted against this bill in committee. On the floor of the Illinois Senate, he later gave the only speech against the bill, saying, “I mean, it—it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute.” (What?! We need the “equal protection clause” to tell us that we shouldn’t kill our children?!)

Obama finally, and “boldly,” voted “present” on the bill, which had the same effect as voting “no.” The bill passed the Illinois senate but died in a house committee. The scene pretty much repeated itself in 2002, this time with Obama voting “no.”

In 2002 a “neutrality clause” was added to the federal BAIPA. This clause basically said that, as far as federal law was concerned, legal protection could not be construed upon a human being prior to being “born alive.” This effectively protected Roe. The bill unanimously passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Bush in 2002.

Obama is on the record saying that he would have supported the Illinois bill had it contained the neutrality clause. In October of 2004, the Chicago Tribune reported, “Obama said that had he been in the U.S. Senate two years ago, he would have voted for the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act…”

However, in 2003 the exact language of the federal neutrality clause was added to the Illinois bill making it virtually identical to the federal BAIPA. In March of 2003, Obama chaired an Illinois Senate committee and led the Democrats on that committee to kill the amended bill.

In attempting to blunt the extremism of his abortion record, Obama has stated time and again that the lack of a neutrality clause was all that was preventing him from supporting the Illinois bill. When he was called out on the matter, Obama accused individuals and institutions of lying about his record. His campaign has since had to admit that his critics were correct about his voting record.

The hypocrisy of Obama’s “least of these” comment at Saddleback is beyond the pale. Whatever moral causes he chooses to champion, nothing compares to the helplessness of a newborn child. In other words there is nothing more “least” than an infant. Obama’s unwillingness to stand for these, along with his attempted deception in the matter, should give any voter great pause.

Copyright 2008, 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
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Compelling Issue in the "City of Man"

In the early 5th century, Saint Augustine wrote City of God. In this work he contrasts the Kingdom of God with the secular world system. Augustine presents all of human history as a conflict between the City of God and the City of Man (the secular world system). Recently John MacArthur spoke of “the compelling issue in the City of Man.” He was talking about sex.

Our society is obsessed with sex. MacArthur, referring to Augustine, notes that today, the war that is raging between the City of God, or biblical Christianity, and the City of Man, or the satanic world system, generally surrounds one single area: sex. MacArthur observes that, “Within the moral realm in our society the conflict is almost exclusively about sex.” Abortion, fornication, homosexuality, divorce, etc., he adds, are all sexual issues.

MacArthur concludes that, “the compelling issue in the City of Man” is the desire of many to be free to do whatever they want sexually. If you think he was far reaching, consider the changes in the Democratic Party platform for 2008. As noted recently by Linda Hirshman, writing for Slate, “The Democratic Party platform of 2008 finally dropped its old abortion language (‘safe, legal and rare’), which had asked that women not have abortions unless they absolutely must.” The platform now states that, “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”

Hirshman adds that, “Should a woman desire to bear her child, the Dems advocate prenatal care, income support, and adoption programs to help her there, too.” In other words, not only are the Democrats fully in support of a woman being able to kill her child in the womb, they also support taxpayer funding for the grisly procedure. And if that weren’t enough, Hirshman implies that Democrats also support taxpayer funding for the woman if she should decide to spare her unborn child.

Hirshman had the audacity to frame the right to an abortion as a moral privilege. “Abortion is about the value of women's lives,” she boldly proclaims, while foolishly ignoring the fact that 50% of all those who die in the womb are women. As does MacArthur, Hirshman correctly relates the abortion-rights movement to the gay-rights movement. However, she does so to make the insane point that both of these groups show “the need to emphasize the role of morality in politics.” So those supporting abortion and homosexuality are to do so upon some moral ground?! The words of the prophet Isaiah come to mind: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.”

To show further the lengths that liberals will go to protect the “right” of individuals to have sex without consequences, Barack Obama has said that, “The first thing I'll do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).” FOCA, as co-sponsor Barbara Boxer has said, “supercedes any law, regulation or local ordinance that impinges on a woman’s right to choose. That means a poor woman cannot be denied the use of Medicaid if she chooses to have an abortion.”

The National Organization for Women (NOW) has stated that “FOCA will supersede laws that restrict the right to abortion, including laws that prohibit the public funding of abortion.” NOW adds that, “FOCA prohibits states from enacting laws intended to deny or interfere with a woman's fundamental right to choose abortion,” which would include laws that limit the access of minors to abortion.

Augustine was right; we are in a war, and it is a spiritual one. Whether we are talking about abortion, homosexuality, or pornography, the desire to have our sex “free” has taken us to depraved depths. We need more than a president and a Supreme Court that will stand on firm moral ground to bring us out of these depths, although just legislative and judicial action shouldn’t be ignored. The moral standards of a nation are reflected in its politicians and laws. Here’s hoping that after November 4 the United States can bear to look at itself in the mirror.

Copyright 2008, 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
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saving the Planet at the Expense of Mankind

“I’m trying to save the planet! I’m trying to save the planet!” The summer heat, caused of course by man-made global warming, must be causing Nancy Pelosi to repeat herself. I wonder if she was wearing a pair of red slippers and kicking her heals together during her plea.

Barack Obama tells us to properly inflate our tires and get tune-ups as part of his solution to expensive oil and gasoline, which is all well and good, but I would venture to say that most Americans have properly inflated tires and cars that don’t require tune-ups. Obama sounds like Jimmy Carter who, during the last oil and gas crunch in the late 1970s, went on national TV and told us to turn down our thermostats and put on sweaters. This, again, is not terrible personal advice, but like Obama’s recommendation, it is ridiculous as part of a national energy policy.

With gas reaching $4 a gallon, this is what we get from liberals? Vain repetitions about impending climate doom and admonitions to inflate our tires?! (Weather forecasters can barely get tomorrow right, and yet we are supposed to believe these climate alarmists when they preach gloom-and-doom that, even they admit, is years or decades down the road?!)

First of all, oil is a natural resource. It is not like we’re burning Styrofoam or plastics to fuel our cars. Also, according to recent studies published in the journal Science, burning oil is, ultimately, better for the environment than burning biofuels. The New York Times reported on this in February of this year noting that, “Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels [read: oil] if the full emissions costs of producing these ‘green’ fuels are taken into account.”

Secondly, as Christopher Monckton, a former policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher, recently demonstrated, the planet is not in a climate crisis, man-made or otherwise. According to Science and Public Policy Institute (SIPP), Monckton’s paper “demonstrates via 30 equations that computer models used by the UN’s climate panel (IPCC) were pre-programmed with overstated values for the three variables whose product is ‘climate sensitivity’ (temperature increase in response to greenhouse-gas increase), resulting in a 500-2000% overstatement of CO2’s effect on temperature.”

SIPP adds that, “The paper clearly and mathematically demonstrates there is no ‘climate crisis’ requiring massive government intervention, as falsely claimed by alarmists such as Al Gore.” (A link to Monckton’s peer reviewed paper is on my Energy/Global Warming archives (2008).)

Lastly, given the comments and actions of the radical environmentalists and the politicians who enable them, it seems that these “earth worshippers” are out to “save the planet” for the sake of the planet. Make no mistake about it; “Mother Earth” has become their idol. They have lost sight of the fact that the planet and all of its resources (including the delicious animal kingdom) were created for the benefit of mankind, not vice versa. In other words, human beings, not the earth, are the crown of God’s creation.

Fueled by liberalism, in the name of "saving the planet," it is the foolish views of the radical environmentalists that have led to the suffering and death of millions of human beings the world over. Everything from the indirect effects of disastrous biofuel policies to violent environmental terrorism to dreadful abortion practices reveal the callous disregard many environmentalists have for their fellow man.

Fossil fuels literally “fueled” the Industrial Revolution in the U.S. The Industrial Revolution gave birth to the Technology Revolution, of which we are currently in the midst. Advancing technologies will lead us to new energy sources (as it did with nuclear energy); however, responsible energy stewardship can, and should, involve the continued use of fossil fuels.

Copyright 2008, 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
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com