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Friday, September 21, 2012

Local Liberal Media Bias on Romney's Taxes


I just made the mistake of watching the local news—Atlanta’s 11-Alive News. Early in the broadcast they reported on Mitt Romney’s newly released tax returns. After hearing from an “expert” on how Romney made a mistake in waiting this long, 11-Alive declared that Romney paid about 14% in taxes in 2011 compared to Obama’s nearly 20% (on much less income no less). What 11-Alive failed to report is that the Romney’s donated over $4 million to charity in 2011—nearly 25% of his income, which, of course, dwarfs Obama and Biden’s giving. This, combined with his taxes, means that the Romney’s forked over about 40% of their income to either charity or the government. Way to give us the whole story 11-Alive!! (Of course, this is no surprise, but they need to be called out on it.)

What Libertarians (Like John Stossel) Get Wrong

John Stossel’s recent column, “There Ought Not to Be a Law” reveals many of the shortcomings when it comes to Libertarian orthodoxy. Stossel begins by proposing a false dichotomy. He declares that he is a libertarian because he sees “a false choice offered by the political left and right: government control of the economy -- or government control of our personal lives.”

Denigrating both the right and the left, Stossel declares, “The left thinks government can lessen income inequality. The right thinks government can make Americans more virtuous. I say we’re best off if neither side attempts to advance its agenda via government.”

A common charge leveled against conservatives is that, through our “social agenda” we are “legislating morality,” or attempting to “make Americans more virtuous” as Stossel puts it. While it is true that conservatives are “legislating morality,”—because every law is rooted in some morality—no sound-thinking conservative believes that we can legislate our fellow citizens into a virtuous lifestyle. That has never been the aim of conservatism.

However, what is a part of conservatism is the fact that religion is an indispensible pillar of liberty. Of course, as far as religions go, in the United States of America, the Christian religion has by far been the most influential. It has been this way from our founding.

Touring the young United States to discover why the representative democracy present in America was so successful here while failing in so many other places, French social philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville declared that, “the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention.”

Noting the direct influence of religion upon politics in America, de Tocqueville concluded that “In the United States the sovereign authority is religious…there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth…The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”

For most modern conservatives, it is still impossible to “conceive the one without the other.” Most of today’s conservatives also understand well that the influence Christianity has had in America is by no means an accident. America’s “Schoolmaster” Noah Webster bears this out in his 1832 History of the United States when he wrote that “our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion.” Webster added, “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles…to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.”

In other words, the liberty that libertarians love in America is implicitly linked to Christianity. Certainly our Constitution would not exist without it. Having legislation that reflects Christian morality is no detriment to liberty.

The true threat to liberty is the godlessness that is pervasive in today’s liberalism, which has, of course, taken over the Democratic Party. With its devotion to killing children in the womb, removing prayer, the Commandments, and the Bible from the public arena, and its support of sexual immorality and the redefinition of marriage, I always knew that the Democratic Party was the party of the godless. The recent Democratic National Convention just confirmed this.

Revealing the true nature of modern liberalism, the DNC removed a reference to God in the party platform, along with a reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. After conservatives pointed this out to Americans, embarrassed Democrat party leaders were forced to take action. On Wednesday of their convention, an amendment was proposed to reinsert God and Jerusalem into the platform. The ensuing voice vote was an even greater embarrassment.

Amidst boos, jeers, and raised fists, Los Angeles Mayor and convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa had to take three voice votes before he weakly and deceptively declared that the two-thirds majority necessary was achieved. After his pronouncement, the boos grew even louder. Such is the state of today’s Democratic Party.

It is little wonder that a party so hostile to God and His Word has become an anathema to liberty. True liberty only exists in a society where God is revered. Our founding documents made this clear when they Declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Only a culture that operates under the premise that they are to be free because they were created to be free by a God whose wisdom guides good government can enjoy true liberty. Libertarians would do well to remember this as they weigh the “social agenda” of the right against the Big Government agenda of the left.

Copyright 2012, 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, September 6, 2012

The Party of the Godless

With its devotion to killing children in the womb, removing prayer, the Commandments, and the Bible from the public arena, and its support of sexual immorality and the redefinition of marriage, I always knew that the Democratic Party was the party of the Godless. This just confirms it:

Liberals and the Politicization of Rape

Liberals love to talk about rape—at least those who are apologists for the abortion industry do. When GOP Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin did his best Joe Biden impression and inserted both feet into his mouth over abortion, “legitimate rape,” and the shutting down of the female body, liberals across the U.S. were falling all over themselves to paint republicans as heartless Neanderthals and further the “war on women” narrative.

The democrats have now gone so far as to turn the Democrat National Convention into an “abortion-palooza,” as Ed Morrissey of Hot Air puts it. The lib love-fest will feature such speakers as Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parent Action Fund, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student who spoke before Congress in favor of federal funding for birth control.

Liberals claim that Akin’s words were demeaning to rape victims, yet for decades they have shamelessly used rape as a political tool to further their pro-abortion agenda. Of course, like-minded members of the mainstream media have been all too willing to help out. GOP candidates such as Todd Akin are often asked something like the following: “If a woman was brutally raped and would be emotionally traumatized by carrying to term, would you allow her to have an abortion, or would you force her to have the child?”

Few fumble the answer as badly as Akin did, but many conservatives struggle for the appropriate reply. It is not a difficult answer, if one has true convictions. In fact, there are multiple ways to respond.

One good reply would be to answer the question with a question. (This was a tactic that Christ, Himself, often used.) For example: Instead of killing the innocent child in the womb, why not execute the rapist? A follow up would be: Do liberals (or others) who support abortion in cases of rape also support the execution of rapists?

Another retort in the form of a question could be: Why compound one evil deed with another? Rape is a horrific evil, but so is the taking of an innocent life. Liberals act as if an abortion is like getting a tooth pulled. One of the great lies of the pro-abortion lobby is that there are no consequences to having an abortion. The truth is that, just as with rape, for many, an abortion is a very traumatic experience.

In fact, a woman who would be “emotionally traumatized” by carrying to term a child conceived in rape would almost certainly be “emotionally traumatized” by killing it. It is a devastating thing to know that one has been responsible for ending a life—especially the life of one’s own child.

Of course, another great lie of the abortion industry is that the fetus is not really a living human being. Life in the womb for a baby is as well documented as anything in science. (Isn’t it ironic that liberals love to tout themselves as rational champions of science, yet they ignore science in the abortion debate?) With ultrasound and doppler machines, as well as other technology, one can monitor the life of a baby in the womb from very near conception until birth. With the new (4-D) ultrasound machines, one can see with amazing clarity the baby in the womb. Babies can be seen grasping things, sucking their thumbs, and responding to stimuli.

At around week 8 of a pregnancy, which is shortly after most women even realize that they are pregnant, a baby can be seen on ultrasound. By then, every organ is in place and bones are forming. One can see and hear their little hearts beat at around 150 beats per minute, pumping its own blood, which is often a different type than the mother’s. By weeks 9 and 10, teeth begin to form, fingernails develop, and the baby can turn its head.

At week 12, nearing the end of the first trimester, the baby can grasp objects placed in its hand. In addition, all organ systems are functioning; the baby has fingerprints, a skeletal structure, nerves, and circulation. Also, all of the parts necessary to experience pain are present, including the nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus.

In spite of all this, the pro-abortion cry is still “it’s the woman’s body; she can do what she wants with it!” As I have demonstrated, abortion is far from this simple.

The bottom line is that rape is not a moral justification for abortion. There is no shame in this position. As Christian apologist Greg Koukl puts it, “If the unborn child is not a living person, then no excuse for abortion is necessary. If it is, then no excuse for abortion is adequate.” Nothing good is accomplished from creating another victim in the terrible case of rape. As cliché as it sounds, abortion truly does stop a beating heart.

Copyright 2012, 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