Obama will win an Emmy Award when He reads His Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech from the teleprompter on live TV.
Obama will win a Grammy Award for His connection to the now famous video of singing school children going "mmm mmm mmm."
Obama will the Academy Award for best special effects for appearing to deserve more awards.
Obama will win a Tony Award when He gives the next State of the Union address live from Broadway's Majestic Theater.
Obama will win the Pulitzer Prize after announcing a deal to write His "next" (as opposed to "first") book, documenting how awesome He is.
Obama will be named class valedictorian from Oxford University on the great potential He shows as a possible future student.
Finally, next year, Obama will win a second Nobel prize, but this time for Physics, for His role in the groundbreaking new research into the "nothing equalling everything" grand unification theory.
I will be honest and blunt. For months now, I have been encouraging conservatives and Republicans to rally around John McCain, not because I believed he was the right man for the job, but because I believe Barack Obama would be far, far worse. But after last night's performance at the Saddleback Forum, I now see McCain as the RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB.
There is a lot of information and commentary posted already elsewhere. You can get some good run-downs here and here. Both these links contain many other links, so invest some time and read as much as you can. And note: both these bloggers have been unenthusiastic about McCain and at least willing to see good sides of Obama. They aren't right wing partisans. So it is telling how their focus is directed.
Let me share with you some thoughts.
First, this was the best "debate" format ever. Candidates had plenty of time to not only give canned sound bites, but long responses with detailed information. Furthermore, there was no time or energy wasted on "gotcha" comebacks. I wish all candidate forums could proceed more like this, and less like what Fred Thompson called "hand shows." And I like that we got to see one long period of one candidate, then one long period of the other. That's a great way to show the real contrast.
Second, I don't give a hoot that this forum came in a church before a largely evangelical crowd. As McCain said, the candidates should appear in every venue, to reach as many people as possible. No one should seriously believe the choice of forum violates any "separation of church and state" doctrines just because candidates share information there. Would it be a violation of the so-called separation for churches to have televisions in them, running CNN coverage of a debate? Ever heard of that whole "free speech" thing that goes along with that "religious stuff" in the First Amendment? How about "freedom of association"? Does that ring a bell?
Anyway, on to the candidates themselves.
Right off the bat, McCain demonstrated presidential qualities in his description of close advisors. General Petraeus - the military genius leading us to success in Iraq. John Lewis - he may be a political "enemy," but he still commands respect and is the sort of leader a man like McCain can turn to for bi-partisan support or alternative viewpoint. Meg Whitman - the maverick business executive who turned eBay from a garage operation to a multi-billion dollar international industry, a person who can bring much-needed economic and business sense to Washington. Obama? Well, he went with his America-hating wife, his typical white grandmother, and a non-descriptive jumble of generic Washington insider advisors. Who is the real candidate of hope and change here? And who is the status quo political insider?
Obama really stepped into it with abortion. Asked at what point a child is entitled to human rights, he waffled and wobbled. He basically blew off any personal responsibility and said that sort of decision is "above his pay grade." Seriously?
Whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is, you know, above my pay grade.
Yes, seriously! One of the hot-button issues people of all viewpoints expect their leaders to actually LEAD on, and Obama says he can't lead. He then went on to LIE about the increasing number of abortions in America. OK, to be fair, maybe he was just wrong. Either way, a candidate for PRESIDENT shouldn't go onto a nationally televised forum for VALUES VOTERS without the real facts on THE VALUES ISSUE.
McCain? Well, agree with him or not, you have to credit his personal moral clarity when he was able to answer the same question clearly and instantly with life begins at conception.
Another one that blew me away was the question asked of both men about evil, and what to do about it.
Obama rambled, talked about how you can see evil in the streets of America, talked of vague "confrontation," and then again punted by saying it was up to God to fight evil. McCain leapt right into his answer with a definitive "defeat it!"
I am particularly troubled by Obama's answer in light of his continually claiming he is a devout Christian. Now, this isn't about whether Christianity is right or wrong. It is about Obama's response in light of his declared Christian faith. Obama made a critical mistake about one of the fundamental tenets of Christian dogma: it is not up to God to defeat evil, it is up to man!
God gave man Free Will. With Free Will, man has the choice between a life of sin or a life of virtue. God could, as an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent Being, wipe out all evil in creation with a Thought. But God does not do this, because it would take away His great gift to man of Free Will. If there were no evil, then there would be no value to choosing good.
This has been a central theme of Christian faith for almost 2,000 years. St. Augustine's treatise on Free Will is probably second only to the Holy Bible itself as a fundamental document of Christian teaching. And Obama, who continues to claim he is a devout man of Christian faith, blew this question!
Again, this is not to say Obama is right or wrong in his answer to the question (although I personally clearly believe he is wrong). The truly important point here is that Obama's answer shows he is not true to his professed faith. If you are an evangelical Christian looking for a candidate who can relate to you and your beliefs, Obama is not your man.
Both men were asked about Supreme Court justices, in a reverse of the usual "who do you like" format. Instead, they were asked what current justices they would NOT have chosen. Obama went directly to Clarence Thomas, ironically calling him inexperienced. Then he attacked Scalia. He railed them both for writing opinions he supposedly doesn't agree with. Funny thing is, some of the biggest decisions of the year found Scalia and Thomas writing the opinions Obama supported publicly. After all, Obama now claims he believes in the individual right to bear arms. He claims he believes Louisiana should be able to use the death penalty for child rapists. And of course, Obama also stated he would not have supported Chief Justice John Roberts - but we already knew that, since Obama voted against him.
McCain instantly answered the question with eight simple words:
With all due respect: Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter, Stevens.
That is about as stark a contrast as you can get. And McCain also went on to champion his personal support of Roberts and Alito, praising Bush for their appointments.
Hey, if judges are a big issue for you, the difference between the two men is crystal clear.
Another telling moment was a question about a difficult decision they had made. Obama went directly into MoveOn.Org mode by defending his difficult decision to oppose the war in Iraq. Funny thing is, Obama wasn't in the Senate at the time, so it really wasn't that difficult for him. McCain, on the other hand, talked about his time in the Hanoi Hilton.
A quick refresher course in history:
When McCain was a P.O.W., his father was an admiral in the U.S. Navy in a position of command in the Pacific. The N.V.A. knew it could make a great propaganda statement if it let McCain go free. They would say the evil American military was willing to work with the enemy to free the sons of their leaders, while soldiers from poor families continued to languish and die in prison camps. So the N.V.A. offered to release McCain.
McCain refused. He would not allow himself to be released while his brothers in arms remained captive. He made this decision knowing he would be subject to continued torture. He made it knowing his own physical condition was already so frail he might not survive. And, to this day, he believes it was one of the most correct and most important decisions he ever made.
McCain mentioned there was a lot of prayer involved. Anyone who doubts McCain is a man of faith should think about this. He spent over five years in a hell hole receiving routine torture while deprived of almost all basic necessities. He came back ready to continue to serve his country. Yes, there was prayer involved. I have never met John McCain. I haven't read his books. And I haven't invested a lot of time researching his P.O.W. history beyond what is commonly reported. But I don't need to do any of that to know in my heart that McCain prayed to God, and God answered his prayers. God kept McCain alive and sane during those five years. God helped McCain continue to serve his country and his fellow man after his release. Anyone who doesn't think McCain is a man of faith should try living McCain's life some day.
But enough about spiritual matters. We are electing a Commander in Chief, not a pastor in chief. I only write what I have about faith because I know that, for some, it is the only real issue in this election. I am not one of them, so let's move on.
Both men were asked about a change of opinion they have had. Pastor Warren skillfully built up the question to show that changing an opinion isn't the same as a "flip-flop." Rather, changing times and new information can cause a real leader to recognize that it makes sense to go in a new direction.
Obama rambled about welfare reform, and how he was upset with Bill Clinton over it, but now he sees it was a good thing. Of course, remember it was Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution of 1994 that brought us welfare reform, not Bill Clitnon - so Obama just said he agrees with Newt.
McCain, without hesitation, moved loudly and enthusiastically to announce his change of opinion is DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW. That probably received the biggest applause of the entire night.
And on a related note, in a different question, Obama talked about how we need to sacrifice in order to solve the energy problem. That's a start contrast from McCain, who believes we can maintain our economic position and our quality of life while implementing a broad energy plan including not just drilling, but wind, solar, nuclear, and more efficient technologies. And that is the key contrast between left and right: the left wants to solve problems by bringing us all down a notch. The right wants to solve issues while keeping us strong and vibrant.
The two also shared radically different ideas on taxation and the rich. Obama says if a couple makes more than $150,000 a year, well, they must be middle class. That's interesting, considering the mediam household income is more like $40,000. You would have thought a Republican was giving that answer, based on how the GOP is portrayed in the media. But Obama quickly recovered his socialist composure and went on to talk about how the rich have to pay more. He didn't mention that the richest one percent of taxpayers are already paying more than one-third of all income taxes. He didn't mention that the top 50% of wage earners are already paying nearly ALL income taxes. He didn't mention that even under a flat tax, the more you make, the more you pay. And he certainly didn't mention that under our current plan we are far from flat, with workers paying a higher percentage of income as a reward for earning more. No, he just blathered on about the rich needing to pay more money. And why? So we can spend more money.
McCain took a different route. He said we should SPEND less money. He said we should be taxed LESS. He said he doesn't want to tax the rich, because he wants everyone to BE rich. Again, Obama wants to solve problems by knocking down the rich. McCain would rather elevate the poor.
Fiscal conservatives should rejoice in our nominee!
All in all, McCain dominated the night. He presented ideas that are so common-sense oriented, they should appeal to moderate independents and the conservative Republican base. But perhaps more importantly, he took away what is supposedly Obama's strength. McCain appeared to be the candidate with energy. He appeared hopeful for America. He presented ideas for positive change. All Obama did was trot out the same failed policies of John Kerry, Al Gore, and Jimmy Carter.
After two hours, my mind became clear. While I had already been opposed to Obama, I am now much strongly opposed to him as a potential President of the United States. He is just plain wrong for America. And while I had been ready to support McCain before, now I am ready to actively campaign for his election as the right man for the job.
Obama recently offered this pearl of wisdom about the “race” for President:
So what they are going to do is make you scared of me. You know he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like those other presidents on the dollar bills.
So what they are going to do is make you scared of me. You know he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like those other presidents on the dollar bills.
I won’t even bother pointing out that there is only ONE other president on the dollar bill. Nor will I bother pointing out that, until he is actually, you know, elected and inaugurated, Obama shouldn’t be comparing himself to “other presidents.” But I will certainly address a key point and concede:
Barry, you ARE right about one thing. You aren’t like the “other presidents on the dollar bills.”
Who are the other presidents? Well, the one president on the dollar bill is, of course, George Washington. Some other presidents on other bills include Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson. Of course, not all bills have presidents. Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin come to mind.
Let’s have a gander at some of their life stories, shall we?
To be fair, since Obama has never been elected president, why don’t we begin with another never elected president: Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton, like Obama, did attend Columbia University. And as a child, he became a “citizen of the world,” having been born in the West Indies and traveled across the British Empire. That’s about as much as Obama is like Hamilton.
Alexander Hamilton was one of the founders of this nation. He fought in the Revolutionary War and was a true military hero. He didn’t just volunteer; he raised an army of volunteers and served as its captain. Maybe Obama could say that is like being a “community organizer.” But I digress. After his successful operations in the early days of the war, he was appointed chief of staff to General Washington (we’ll get to him later). In this role, he played a key part in obtaining the service of the French through diplomacy and negotiation with the Marquis de Lafayette. When Hamilton and Washington had a major disagreement, Hamilton didn’t simply resign. Instead, he requested a transfer back to field command, where he believed he could further aid the revolution. That’s when he won the battle of Yorktown.
After we won our independence, Hamilton continued to serve. Following his victory at Yorktown, Hamilton was elected representative from New York to the new Congress of the Confederation. As history tells, the Confederation was an inefficient form of central government. Frustrated with the inability of the government to function during crisis after crisis following the war, Hamilton called for a new system of government. This led to the Constitutional Convention.
It was during this time that Hamilton entered the Bar as a practicing attorney. Unlike Obama, who had a free ride to Harvard, Hamilton taught himself through self-study, finding time during his career to devour the works of Blackstone and other legal texts, until he became qualified to practice. And practice he did, representing clients in important cases like Rutgers v. Waddington. He also founded the Bank of New York and restored Columbia University after its wartime closure.
When the time came for the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton was the first delegate chosen. A great team player, Hamilton set his own ego aside and worked with other delegates to draft a proposed Constitution that met the demands of each state, not just his own. When the draft was completed, he recognized it was a radical departure and might face opposition from citizens hesitant to embrace such change. So he enlisted the aid of James Madison and John Jay, and set about to publish The Federalist Papers for mass distribution, in order to win the support of the people.
After the Constitution was adopted and George Washington chosen as the first president, Hamilton served as our nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury. In this role he created the first national mint, enacted the plan to pay off war debts, and successfully implemented and enforced the first form of taxation by the new government. He also worked closely with our first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson (more on him later), to avoid bringing America into the European wars following the French Revolution.
However, there was still the strong possibility that America might be drawn into global conflict during the rise of Napoleon. After having retired from service as Treasurer, Hamilton heard the call of duty once more. When our second president needed to build a military presence to demonstrate America’s ability to defend itself, he called upon Hamilton to serve as commander of military forces. Hamilton, with the full endorsement of George Washington, did so gladly. Thankfully, that war with Europe did not come.
Sadly, all most people today know about Hamilton, if anything at all, is that he is the guy who lost his duel with a political enemy. It was a tragic end to the life of one of the greatest Americans in the history of our nation. That, and most people know that Barack Obama doesn’t much resemble Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton EARNED a place on our currency.
How about that other non-president on the bills? You know, Benjamin Franklin?
Obama doesn’t much resemble him, either.
Like Hamilton, Franklin suffers from the ignorance of many young Americans today. Most “yoots” today can tell you that Franklin discovered electricity flying a kite. Well, I hope they can at least. But his life was so much more than that.
Unlike Obama, Franklin didn’t attend any prestigious schools. He was almost entirely self-taught, eventually earning his title of “Doctor Franklin” through achievement, receiving doctorates from Harvard, Yale, and Oxford – among others – for his accomplishments and contributions to academia.
By age 15, Franklin was already publishing controversial writings under pseudonym (he was secretly submitting writing to a family-owned newspaper), causing much conversation in his city. When his identity was revealed and he was forced to abandon his efforts, he didn’t just walk away. He ran. He ran to Philadelphia were, in just a few short years, he had founded the first public library and established an organization for philosophy and scholarship. He also started his own newspaper, published the first Almanac, and embarked upon a career of discovery, learning, communicating, and inventing.
Inventing! Here are just a few of the more significant things we owe to Benjamin Franklin:
Bifocal lenses. Barometric weather charts. Refrigeration. Like your air conditioning? You wouldn’t have it without Benjamin Franklin. And let’s not overlook the Franklin Stove, which served as the foundation for many advancements in heating still in use today. Oh, and of course, there is Franklin’s groundbreaking work with electricity. He didn’t just discover that lightning is an electric discharge. He made Earth-changing discoveries about positive and negative electric charge, insulators, and current flow. Every physicist since owes the foundation of all modern electrical theory to Franklin, just as they owe the foundation of all mechanical theory to Newton.
Franklin also created the first community fire department. He founded the first group in the nation to advocate for the abolition of slavery. He composed innovative music and invented new musical instruments to play it. He developed printing techniques to thwart counterfeiting and used them in the mint of Pennsylvania. He served as colonial Postmaster General. He founded the University of Pennsylvania. He founded the first public hospital in colonial America. He served as a justice of the peace. He served in virtually all levels of colonial government, including election as speaker of the Pennsylvania House. He traveled frequently to London on behalf of colonial interests, such as his famous trip in opposition to the Stamp Act. He founded the Pennsylvania militia. And that was all BEFORE the Revolutionary War.
As a member of the Continental Congress, Franklin was instrumental in leading the call for Independence. In collaboration with John Adams, he organized the independence movement, convincing Richard Henry Lee, a southerner able to sway the reluctant colonies of the Carolinas, to move for a vote on independence. He then served on the Declaration Committee, assisting Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in lobbying the Continental Congress to vote in favor of the declaration. Possibly more than any other member, Franklin made independence a reality by bringing the fiercely abolitionist Adams and the slave-owning South together through common ground.
Franklin then headed for France as our colonial ambassador, securing support from the crown of King Louis and bringing to the Revolution the vital support necessary to defeat the British. After the victory of Yorktown, Franklin negotiated the Treaty of Paris securing our full separation from England and establishing America as a sovereign nation in the eyes of the world.
Following his time in France, Franklin returned to Pennsylvania, serving as its governor during the period of confederation and then joining Hamilton at the Constitutional Convention. Right up until his death in 1790, Franklin continued to fight for the abolition of slavery, publishing several of the most influential essays on abolition in the last few years of his life.
All I can say about this is:
Barack Obama? You, sir, are NO BEN FRANKLIN!
Shall we move on to the actual presidents on those bills?
Let’s begin with the lightweight of the bunch, Andrew Jackson:
Most folks today can probably come up with the knowledge that Jackson is on the twenty dollar bill… and not much more. Some who actually follow history or politics might be able to tell you that Jackson was responsible for forming the modern Democratic Party, and that he was some sort of war hero.
At the ripe young age of merely thirteen, Andrew Jackson served as a courier in the Revolutionary War. While you might think that is a non-combat role, the fact of the matter is that couriers were ripe targets for the Red Coats, as they often carried sensitive strategic information. Many were captured if not simply shot on sight. Jackson was one of the former, but may have wished he was the latter. He was held as a prisoner of war, nearly starved to death, was tortured, received permanent facial scars from the sword of his captor, contracted smallpox, and was left for dead. He watched his older brother, also a prisoner of war, die beside him.
Upon his escape, Jackson was unable to rejoin the fight due to his ill health. But rather than do nothing, he went to work making saddles for our mounted cavalry. It was during this time towards the end of the Revolutionary War and in the early years of the confederation that Jackson, like Hamilton, taught himself law and eventually entered practice in the new American Frontier. By 1788, his health and vigor restored, he was appointed Solicitor of the Western District, where he helped lead the effort to form the State of Tennessee. Is that like being a “community organizer”?
Jackson was the first elected congressman representing his new state. He went on to serve as Tennessee’s senator, then a justice of its supreme court. While serving in government, Jackson succeeded in building up a family business, developing land, running an agricultural empire, and opening successful mercantiles in the blossoming new state. He also volunteered as a militia officer, commanding the entire Tennessee force. It was in this role where he gained his greatest pre-presidential fame.
When the War of 1812 began, Jackson’s forces fought in many key battles. But it was his victory in the Battle of New Orleans that broke the back of the British.
Jackson also single-handedly brought Florida into the United States. Chosen to lead a military expedition against the Spanish colony, Jackson was unsatisfied with merely winning a battle. Instead, he sought to conquer. With the support of then Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Jackson led his forces into Florida, seizing control. Spain ceded the colony, and Jackson became its first provisional governor.
Following these military actions, Jackson returned to Tennessee, where he was again chosen to be Senator, then nominated for President of the United States. It was at this time that Jackson achieved what may be his greatest accomplishment: he organized a number of political figures dissatisfied with the status quo and, responding to public demand for change, established what is now the Democratic Party. He lost this election to John Quincy Adams – but only because the Electoral College was split among four candidates and Adams was able to win a deciding vote in the House of Representatives. However, Jackson had won the popular vote and had the most electoral votes. The election of 1824 makes Bush v. Gore look pretty insignificant. Jackson used public outrage to make his political party a powerful machine, laying the path for a two-party system that has, for the most part, greatly reduced plurality victories and forced candidates for office throughout the nation to win over clear majorities for nearly 200 years.
Jackson ran again in four years with tremendous public support against the establishment, winning by a landslide. Jackson then won re-election, defeating the famous Henry Clay. You could say he was a real agent of “hope and change.”
Since Obama hasn’t served as President yet, it wouldn’t be fair to bring up Jackson’s efforts after election. I’ll let you look that up on your own. And again, to be fair, it would be a disservice to history to neglect to cover some of Jackson’s more dubious achievements, such as Indian relocations. But questions of morality aside, one must admit that, for good or for ill, Andrew Jackson didn’t just serve, he shaped America. Jackson’s legacy lives on through its impact on history.
Suffice it to say, Obama is correct: he is nothing at all like Andrew Jackson.
How about one of those other dead white guys, like Thomas Jefferson?
Thomas Jefferson does have a few things in common with Barack Obama. They both went to prestigious schools, practiced law, and got into politics at an early age. That’s about as far as anyone could take this comparison, however.
At an early age, Jefferson demonstrated a gift with language – English and otherwise. By the time of his graduation from William and Mary at age 20, he was fluent in French, Italian, Latin and Greek. Didn’t Obama recently admit he doesn’t speak any foreign languages?
As a young attorney, Jefferson gained notoriety for his work on hundreds of cases each year. During this period of prolific legal achievement, Jefferson still managed to serve in Virginia’s legislature. But he wasn’t merely a “present” vote there. Instead, he argued vociferously against the tyranny of the British and published numerous writings on liberty. Working with his colleague George Mason, Jefferson produced a Virginia Declaration of Rights and a draft for a Virginia Constitution. When Jefferson was chosen to attend the Continental Congress, these writings earned him a place on the Declaration Committee.
Jefferson did the bulk of the work in drafting our Declaration of Independence. This alone makes him one of our most important Founding Fathers. But this was only one of many achievements of Thomas Jefferson during the period of American Revolution and Independence.
Shortly after the Declaration, Jefferson returned to Virginia where he was a founding member of its new independent legislature. He drafted over one hundred bills, including laws establishing freedom of religion – the first in the world. Jefferson went on to serve as Governor of Virginia. He successfully established the state’s new capital in Richmond. He created America’s first dedicated law school at William and Mary. He also succeeded in making William and Mary the first university in the world to be independent of religious affiliation.
After the Revolution, Jefferson served as our second ambassador to France, following in the footsteps of Franklin. He then served as our first Secretary of State under President George Washington. It was during this time that Jefferson began to have serious differences of opinion regarding the federalist path of the nation under Washington and Hamilton. Rather than simply leave office in disgust, Jefferson instead sought to form a political party – the Democratic-Republican Party. This was the first organized political party in the nation, and with it, Jefferson started a movement that would dominate all national politics until the time of Andrew Jackson.
When Washington retired from office, his vice president, John Adams, ran to succeed him. Jefferson and his fledgling party ran against Adams, resulting in the first electoral crisis of our history. As originally written, our Constitution declared that the electoral vote runner-up in the presidential election would be the vice president. This resulted in the federalist Adams as President, and his chief rival Jefferson as vice president. When the 1800 elections came around, Adams and Jefferson both tried to find a way to not only win, but help an ally come in second. This resulted in the disaster of 1800. Jefferson wanted to win and wanted Aaron Burr to come in second place. But the split of the electoral college resulted in Jefferson and Burr tied, and the House of Representatives, controlled by Jefferson’s federalist opposition, had the power to elect the president. It took 36 votes in the House before Jefferson was able to win a majority and claim the Presidency.
As a result, a Constitutional Amendment was adopted allowing a presidential ticket with a president and vice president together.
Of course, Jefferson accomplished a great deal as president – but then it wouldn’t be fair to talk about things like the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, or the development of American foreign policy. After all, Obama hasn’t been president yet.
But Jefferson also accomplished much outside of politics and after his presidency. Like Franklin, Jefferson was a man of science and invention. He gave us such things as fountain ink pens, folding chairs, and modern excavation techniques used by archaeologists today. His work in agriculture led to numerous developments for aquaculture, crop rotation and soil conditioning. He established the University of Virginia, where students today still call it “Mr. Jefferson’s School.” His love of architecture helped spread the neo-classical style throughout America. He rebuilt the Library of Congress after its destruction in the War of 1812.
Jefferson’s writings on liberty, government, religion, philosophy, science and the arts are legendary. His brilliance was best described by another president. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House — with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."
No, there is really no comparison between Jefferson and Obama.
Now let’s move on to the real heavyweight: George Washington.
Washington, of course, is known as the Father of Our Country, the leader of the Revolutionary War, and our First President.
Washington’s brilliant career began as a surveyor. His work led to the first accurate maps of the Virginia Colony for Britain. It was this service that led to his commission as a major in the Virginia Militia at the young age of 20. It also helped him learn enough about the land to identify and develop new farmland as a planter, a career that led to a comfortable life.
But the comfortable life wasn’t enough for Washington. He continued to serve as an officer, even when it became clear that conflict was coming. He was chosen to act as a military ambassador and deliver an ultimatum to French forces in the neighboring Ohio territories – an ultimatum that went unheeded, resulting in the French and Indian Wars.
During the French and Indian Wars, George Washington attained the rank of brigadier general and commanded troops in numerous victories, culminating in the conquest of Fort Duquesne – leading to the foundation of the city of Pittsburg under British control. As the conflicts came to an end, Washington could have simply returned to his farms. Instead, he chose to become active in colonial politics.
Washington served in the Virginia legislature and as the justice of Fairfax. With George Mason, he initiated a boycott of British goods to protest the Townsend Act. Britain capitulated and the act was repealed. After Britain retaliated with the Intolerable Acts, Washington chaired the Fairfax Resolves, calling for the formation of a Continental Congress. Washington himself served as a delegate to the First Continental Congress.
Then the fighting started.
When it became clear that military action was inevitable, Washington offered his service as a militia leader to the Second Continental Congress. This was at a time when Washington could have instead made a fortune in agriculture, or continued to serve as a civilian bureaucrat. While Washington assessed his own skills as insufficient to command an entire army, he nonetheless accepted the position of General of the Continental Army when no one else would.
I won’t bother you with drawn out details of Washington’s service in the Revolutionary War. Entire textbooks have been written about it. Entire college courses are dedicated to it. Suffice it to say, Washington created and led our first national military force and won our independence against a superior force that, by all rights, should have crushed us like a bug.
But I will tell you about what Washington did after the war was over. He was offered the chance to become King of the United States. He had a loyal army ready to fight to the death for him. Instead, he turned down supreme power and went home to his farm. He also returned to his roots as a surveyor, leading an expedition to explore the western frontier. But duty called once again.
The fledgling government under the Articles of Confederation was a failure. When Alexander Hamilton succeeded in initiating a constitutional convention, George Washington, the most admired and respected man living in the United States of America, agreed to preside. When the new Constitution was ratified and the first president chosen, the people elected George Washington our first president, the only unanimous choice in history – and Washington achieved this twice.
Again, it isn’t fair to bring up his presidential record. But consider this: as first president, Washington did more to shape our government than every president since combined. Washington appointed every federal judge, including the entire Supreme Court. He created the first Cabinet, defining the positions of Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of War. Virtually every aspect of executive power in modern American government has a foundation in the Washington presidency. And, after the end of his second term, Washington did something unimaginable: while still able to carry on his duties, he retired. What’s more, he let the people of his nation freely choose his successor, with very little of his own influence.
In every other government from the dawn of time, leaders clung to their crows until death. A few who recognized their own incapacity due to age or health passed on their titles to their chosen heirs, but continued to rule from behind the scenes – at least until their heirs had enough of their own power to exert their own rule.
But Washington walked away. Rather than seek a third term, which he surely would have won with a third unanimous victory, Washington recognized the danger inherent in a political dynasty and cleared the way for a new generation of leaders to continue what he had begun.
Washington’s service, sacrifice, wisdom and leadership made America what it is today.
Obama is absolutely correct: he certainly is different from the president on the dollar bill.
That leaves Abraham Lincoln.
I won’t bother you with so many details about Honest Abe, as he is probably the single most written-about person in American history. Although, interestingly enough, Lincoln is, on paper, the president most like Obama. At least, prior to his election... Lincoln was a young lawyer who spent a few years in the Illinois legislature. Lincoln was elected to only a single term to the United States Congress before he was elected president. Lincoln reorganized political opposition to Andrew Jackson’s Democratic Party, forming the modern Republican Party. I guess that’s some sort of community organization.
But that’s about as far as the comparisons go. Lincoln’s legacy isn’t what he did before office. It’s what he did IN office. Lincoln kept the Union together during Civil War. He was Commander in Chief when brother fought brother in a war that cost over a million lives. He wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and delivered the Gettysburg Address. He completely revised the concept of executive power, ushering in a new era of presidential responsibility. After the war, his work led to the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution and paved the way for freedom and equality. And what was Lincoln's reward for his legacy? An assassin's bullet.
Maybe Obama thinks that, if we would only give him the chance, he could be as important to history as Abraham Lincoln. Well, if he wants to think that, he can go right ahead. But that sort of hubris only serves to make people like me dislike Obama more.
Well, here’s a compromise for Obama. I’ll go ahead and accept that he can claim some professional kinship with Abraham Lincoln. I’ll grant that, going into the office, he could have as much qualification for the job as Lincoln had. But that’s as far as I’ll go. Obama has done nothing to demonstrate that his vision of hope and change should even be spoken in the same breath as Lincoln. Obama may be elected, but he will have to EARN his legacy. I’ll leave it to the next generation to decide if Obama should get his face on the five dollar bill. I have my doubts.
And so, in conclusion, let it be clear that Obama does, occasionally, get some things right. He got it right when he said he doesn’t look like those other presidents on the dollar bills. He’s not even close.
Based on comments received on some recent posts, I believe it is appropriate to re-post this again today - originally posted August, 2006...
This is a long post, so please bear with me.
I have received a LOT of mail regarding the now infamous photo found here. About 90% is supportive, from more "libertarian" type conservatives. About 10% is negative, from more "religious right" type conservatives. That says something about the demographics of my readers, I guess.
I am not here to bash the religious right. I consider myself part of the religious right. But I have a different take on this and other issues than many of my peers. I usually don't talk much about spiritual matters with people outside my closest friends and family. You know that whole "politics and religion" thing. I figure I already talk too much about politics, so I need to REALLY keep religion to myself.
But once in a while, I get inspired to talk a little about what makes me tick on the inside.
I've had a good correspondence with a friend who is a very traditional religious right conservative. There is no need to give out much more detail about the exchange, other than to say that she sees things differently than I do. That's fine, and I respect that. But she has her own tools to spread her beliefs; I have this website. So I get to decide what to talk about.
The "Cliff's Notes" version of the discussion revolved around what constitutes an immoral "sexual" photograph and what does not, in the eyes of God. I maintain that there is nothing really "wrong" with the photo, because it is tamer than what you can see at your local Victoria's Secret store at the mall. She maintains that this is a sign that society is going to hell in a handbasket, because in her younger days, photos like that would have been banned, and good Christians wouldn't have put up with it - and shouldn't today.
You are now up to speed on the conversation. So now I'd like to share the long e-mail that I just sent to her, dealing with God, the law, the foibles of mankind, original sin, the Bible, and where we are headed as Christians and humans. Everything below this is my e-mail:
I have some different beliefs about a few things, and how they relate to that photo.
“Scripture says that God never changes. I'll take him at his word. What he says is right and wrong doesn't change. Society's version of it swings back and forth according to trends.”
The Scripture is correct. Society’s version of it does change. But I don’t think these two situations have to be mutually exclusive of each other. People do change. We get both better and worse as a civilization as time goes by. On the one hand, we develop better systems of government, new ways of understanding the physical world, medicine, technology, communication. These are all good. But we also change, often for the worse, spiritually.
God of course knows this. God knew this from the beginning.
As a mere mortal human, it is impossible for me to fully understand God, for He is Infinite and Unfathomable while I inhabit this earthly body.
Again, God knows this and has known it all along.
I believe this is the reason God has done two important things for man: first, He gave us His Word, through prophets and scripture; second, He gave us His Son, to provide us a path to Him.
I think we can both agree that all this is true… so far…
But where I have a problem with some tenets of today’s Christianity is the notion that what God intended for man 2,000 years ago should be the same that He intends for us today. God may be unchanging, but man is fluid, and therefore man’s relationship to God must also be fluid. And as man evolves, God must raise the bar and ask more of us.
I read the Bible often, but I don’t believe it is perfect.
Now don’t crucify me yet!
Let me explain:
We know that the Bible has been translated, retranslated, edited, restored, etc., over the years. It’s not the Bible’s fault. It is man’s fault. We are flawed, and everything we touch, by virtue of being touched by man, becomes imperfect.
God knows and knew this. God and the Bible even hit on this theme with the story of the Tower of Babel. If we believe the story is true (and I do, although it must, by its own admission, be flawed), then we must believe that anything written since then is flawed because God changed our languages and the ways we communicate. God also gave us free will, and some people over the years, people with the responsibility to translate or edit the Bible, have chosen poorly – look at how different some important parts of the KJV are compared to the NIV. Heck, compare a Catholic Bible to a protestant one!
We also know that the Bible, even in its imperfect form, represents the Word that God gave to the people. But God is infinite and man is not. God has known everything from the beginning. We know only what we know today. And because our civilization changes so much from one era to another, what we as humans need from each other and from the Lord also changes.
A thousand years ago, people with common illnesses needed a miracle from the Lord. I have reason to believe that the Lord worked those miracles. We have documented accounts of people suffering from horrible illness being cured by prayer. But today, we have medicine that can completely heal many maladies that were fatal in the past. Now people don’t need Divine intervention; they need penicillin. Of course, I believe the discovery of penicillin was itself a miracle, with the Lord inspiring Doctor Fleming and guiding him. But my point is that God changed the way He helped man fight illness. Or, to be more accurate, God didn’t change; man and his relationship to God did. And God, being eternal, knew this change was coming and made it part of His long term Plan.
So why must we assume that the Word God gave to man 2,000 years ago must be applied, literally and without change, to man today?
Am I saying we should reject the Bible?
NO, not at all!
But I am saying that we should use the Bible as a guide, but at the same time we should keep in mind that man is different today. The Bible is God’s Word, but it is His Word to the men who wrote it down and the people of their time. If man has changed (and it is indisputable that we have), then God’s Word for man must also change.
When you were three, your Mom told you that you couldn’t eat that cookie because it would spoil your appetite for dinner. And she probably used words like “or else.” You knew what “or else” meant! When you were twelve, your Mom just told you not to spoil your appetite for dinner. You were able to determine on your own how hungry you were and whether or not eating that cookie was acceptable or not. Spoiling your dinner might have led to an “or else,” but merely eating a cookie did not. Of course, if you ate those cookies and spoiled your dinner, you learned not to eat so many cookies. Eventually, you figured out what snacking was acceptable, and what snacking was not. When you started cooking for yourself, your Mom stepped aside and let you be responsible for yourself. If you ruined your own dinner, that was your problem. Pretty soon, you learned how to feed yourself responsibly. Of course, Mom stayed ready to help you when you asked for help, because that’s what Moms do.
This is the way God is with mankind.
When I read parts of the Old Testament, such as Moses establishing the first Judaic law, I question:
Is this Word, which Moses tells us is the Word of God spoken through him, law for all time, or only law for the Jewish people of 1,200 BC? Yes, God spoke through Moses and gave laws to the Jews. But God knew then that man would change. So I have to believe that God gave the Jews laws in order to give them the guidance they needed at that time, but not necessarily for ALL time.
Here is an example:
And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
- Leviticus 20:10, KJV
This was the law the Moses spoke to the Jews as the Word of God. At that time, it was the right law, because God knew the needs and flaws of the people. He gave them this law in order to keep the peace and allow jealous men to live and work together without having to keep as much of an eye on each other. But surely this is not what God wants us to do today! Would it be right in the eyes of God for us to publicly stone and kill someone over an affair? Should we execute Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?
Of course, having an adulterous affair is still wrong and a sin. Men shouldn’t fool around with other men’s wives. But we don’t need a death sentence to discourage this behavior today. And, of course, in the New Testament, Jesus teaches us that we should be forgiving and love the sinner while hating the sin.
We don’t have to execute Brad and Angelina. We can leave justice to the Lord, Who will take care of them in His own way in His own time. It is no longer up to man to impose this justice, as it was when Moses laid down the law.
Did the infallible Word of God change?
When God gave the first law to the Jews, He gave them the law they needed at that time. The Jews were refugees, alone in the desert, on their way to a new land. They didn’t have things like police, courts, lawyers, marriage counselors, psychiatrists, etc. What they had was thousands of people in close proximity who had to get along for survival. If one man found another man with his wife, and became jealous and enraged, he would attack that man in anger and kill him. But then the dead man’s family would seek revenge. Thus there would be a feud, resulting in many more deaths. The social order would break down. The Jews could not have survived to make a homeland. So God, in His infinite wisdom, gave man this law, so that when adultery occurred, the people would be able to enact justice in a manner that would minimize the death. When a man found his wife with another man, he could expose their sin to the people, and the people would impose justice on his behalf. Therefore, the families of the sinners would be forced to accept this justice, rather than seek revenge. It was a rough law as far as the sinners were concerned, but it was far better than what might have happened without the law.
God is a smart cookie!
Now when Jesus came, the Jews had a civilization. Israel had existed for over a thousand years, with systems in place to deal with civil disputes and to help people overcome problems. Plus, it was under Roman control, and Rome provided police and other systems to maintain order. God knew this would come. God knew the people would change. God knew the needs and flaws of the Jews in Israel would be different from the needs and flaws of the Jews in exile from Egypt. Therefore, God knew, even as He gave the law to Moses, that the need for that law would diminish and new laws would come.
Adultery is still a sin, but God, through Jesus, gave us new laws because our needs changed. If a man found his wife with another man, and became enraged and killed them, society had the tools in place to prevent the situation from escalating to a point that threatened the very existence of the community. We didn’t need the same laws, because those earlier laws were given to us to meet our needs at that time. We as a society became more evolved, and therefore God revealed to us new laws, laws we weren’t ready for before.
Love the sinner. Forgive the sinner. Turn the other cheek.
That goes against our "human" nature. No wonder we had to evolve so much before He told us these things!
This is all part of God’s long term Plan.
I believe that part of God’s long term Plan is for man to become so enlightened that we can, of our own free will, live Godly lives without sin, without God having to tell us to. We are far from it, of course. We can’t yet live without sin, so God gave us His only begotten Son to provide Salvation for us.
Like Mom and the cookies, God first laid down a strict law, then taught us to be more responsible using the law as our guide. He’d like to be able to step out altogether, but we’re not there yet. We aren’t yet that enlightened. And of course, even when we are more enlightened, God will still be there to hear our prayers and guide us when we need it. Just like Mom will still be there to answer our own questions (questions like, “how do I get my three year old to stop eating all those cookies?”).
So what does any of this have to do with a picture of a woman?
Yes, you are absolutely correct about an aspect of the photo: it may not be porn, but it IS sexually suggestive. But it is our own free will to think what we want to think about it. There are many people of weaker mind, will, and soul, who will have disgusting thoughts about what they would do with that woman. But then, there are other people who will look at the photograph and think differently. My first thought on seeing it wasn’t that I want to have sex with her. My first thought was that she was an attractive woman, and look at that gun!
I like guns, in case you hadn’t noticed.
There is nothing wrong with beauty, and I admired her beauty, without wanting to have sex with her. OK, so maybe I come off as sounding “holier than thou” because I don’t have the same lustful lascivious thoughts that other men would have. And to be truthful, I am probably therefore suffering from pride for thinking so highly of myself. But my sincere belief here is that the problem isn’t the picture: the problem is the weakness of people who see lust in the picture.
Being a gun guy, I equate this in my mind to gun control: gun banners say that the gun causes the crime; gun owners say that the will of the person holding the gun causes the crime.
Maybe if the Jews in 1,200 B.C. had guns, God would have told Moses to register them and have waiting periods and background checks, because maybe the people of that time were too rash and violent and would have all shot each other (hmmm… sounds like the Middle East today, come to think of it…). Maybe that would have been the best plan at that time, and God would have issued that law to protect mankind from itself. But if a preacher today was to tell us that God revealed to him that guns were bad and caused crime, I think most Christians would reject the notion and discredit the preacher.
That’s purely hypothetical, of course, so we don’t know. But I think it is worth thinking about.
So what about sexuality?
I look back to the Garden of Eden. God made the Garden, and made it paradise and perfect for Adam and Eve. And in this perfect period of bliss, Adam and Eve were, um, you know, nekkid!
So what happened?
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and became aware of their nakedness, they were ashamed and covered themselves. But why were they ashamed of the bodies God gave them, the bodies God was content to roam naked and free?
I must break from this train of thought for a moment.
I do believe in the Bible. I do believe it is the Word of God (even if it has been butchered by thousands of years of human interference) and that what was written at the time was the right Word for that time. But that doesn’t mean we should believe every word is literal. Man has used fiction to illustrate points since we first learned to tell stories. I believe the story of Genesis reflects God’s creation of the universe, but symbolically. I believe in intelligent design. God said “Let there be light” and we had the Big Bang. God created the plants and the animals, and then man. This follows the pattern of evolution – the difference between the Bible and Darwin being that Darwin foolishly thought it was random chance, whereas the Bible tells us it was God’s Plan to create life, and then man.
God is a lot more complex than a few sentences in a book can covey.
So I don’t believe that the events of the Garden of Eden happened literally. The story is meant to explain things to us in words we can understand, because we aren’t capable of understanding what God really is and does (at least not at this point in our existence).
Anthropologists can show us that our primitive ancestors used to walk around naked, but at some point we decided that after eating that mammoth, we should wrap its fur around us to keep us warm and safe. What did this do to our sexuality? Well, as mature adults, we can safely discuss the matter and say that “clothing gets in the way.” So we began to associate clothing with non-sexual behavior, and nakedness with sexuality.
What else happened in the development of mankind? We began to experience things like jealousy and revenge. So we learned that if a mate walked around naked, it aroused sexual desire in others, which made us jealous and seeking revenge. Therefore, we developed beliefs that we shouldn’t walk around naked around other people, especially if we were the mate of another.
When God created Adam and Eve, he didn’t literally create the first man and woman. This is a symbol: there were humans on Earth before 5,000 B.C. But at some point, humans were touched by God; God revealed a spiritual world; mankind realized that we have eternal souls. Adam and Eve aren’t literally the first humans, but the first “made in God’s image.” They symbolize the first humans to know they have souls and were more than mere animals.
God isn’t some bearded old man Who made Adam look like him physically. God has no physical form. When he made Adam in His own image, He revealed to mankind that we have souls which also have no physical form. That, I believe, is the meaning of the creation of Adam.
And, in the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, these first spiritual humans were naked, and this was supposed to be perfection on Earth!
Maybe what we really needed to learn about those fig leaves was that lust is something that is within us, and not a function of the clothing worn around us? Maybe covering our nakedness is necessary because of our original sin, but not because there is something inherently wrong with our bodies?
When Moses gave us the laws, among them were laws telling us to cover up and be modest. Was that an eternal law for all time, or a law that God gave the Jews to give them the tools they needed to maintain order in their society at that time?
Am I daring to suggest that now God wants us all to run around naked?
NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!
If we did that, in our current social state, there would be way too many people with lustful thoughts and society would break down and it would be BAD BAD BAD BAD!
God knows this, knew this, and will continue to know it in the future.
But people change. A woman in bikini was shocking in 1946. Is a bikini shocking today? Well, to be honest, some of the more enticing bathing suits go over the line, in our current society. I think there are plenty of young girls walking around the beach in outfits that make the gun photo look modest. This is a bad thing in our current society because these girls (and I am talking about 13 year olds!) risk running into dirty old men who get full of lust seeing them. It puts children in danger. That's BAD.
But what is the solution? Do we cover up until we look like Iranian women in burqhas? Or, do we drive sin and lust out of our hearts and minds so that the sight of a woman in an extremely sexually suggestive pose no longer fills us with lust?
Neither is realistic. At least not at this time, not in our current society.
But if society changes to a point where shocking attire is no longer shocking, what has really happened? To some extent, we as a society have lost some morality, because some of the people wearing these clothes want to shock, want to seduce, want to invoke sin. But other people who take on the new fashion aren’t doing it for these reasons. They are doing it because it is accepted, because it is the norm, and they aren’t thinking about lust and sin. They aren’t letting this physical thing influence their spirit.
100 years ago, if a woman wore pants and a short sleeved shirt, she was a harlot and a whore. Today, she is normal. Do we need to turn back the clock?
Did society break down because of pants?
Back to Genesis:
When Adam and Eve covered their nakedness, they took a step away from the Lord and towards a life of lust and sin. When mankind evolves to the point where it is commonplace and normal to walk around naked (and based on trends in “fashion” I’d say we are headed there, for good or ill), how should we react?
Some people will say we need to cover up. Others will say we need to accept it and stop being so “moral.” But neither argument is correct. What we need to do is remove the lust and sin from our hearts, so that we will not be tempted.
Again, I am not saying we “need” to move towards nudity or open sexuality or anything like that. I am merely recognizing that society is moving towards this end. Change is inevitable. How we react to change is what defines us.
What man needs, and what I believe in my heart God wants for us, is for us to change inside, and not suffer from temptation and sin. That means, among other things, being able to look at a sexy photograph and not think about having adulterous sex.
If the day comes (and I think it will) when we have evolved (or regressed) to a society without clothing, we are one step closer to God. But it won’t be the nakedness that does it. It will be our ability as a society to function in spite of the nakedness.
Clothes are physical. Sex is physical. Earth is physical.
God is Spiritual.
In St. Augustine’s City of God, he teaches us that man must leave the physical world, the “city of man,” and enter the spiritual world, the “City of God.” But he also warns us that the closer we get to the City of God, the worse the city of man will be. Life on Earth will get bloodier, nastier, uglier, and more evil. We must overcome this in order to be one with God. You can correlate this to the Biblical “end times” where we must suffer at the hands of the anti-Christ and the beast before the Second Coming and Salvation.
With regards to wanton sexuality, society will have to devolve, to become more full of lust and sin, before we as humans can put lasciviousness behind us and move closer to God. Fighting against the change is of no use. The fight must be within us, and how we respond to the change. Again, I look at Revelations as symbolism, not literal prophecy. I believe the message John gave us is that things have to get worse before they can get better, that we must suffer through an age of sin and depravity before we can rid ourselves of sin and be one with the Lord.
Another of St. Augustine’s works is his Confessions. In it, he tells how he lived a life of sin and depravity, and hit rock bottom before finding the Lord and becoming a born-again Christian. I believe his work was inspired by God and his writing was Divinely influenced, just as God spoke to us through the Bible and the prophets. I also believe the Confessions is a retelling of Revelations to a new audience. St. Augustine’s personal journey, his internal battle in which good overcomes sin, mirrors the symbolic battle of God and Jesus overcoming the anti-Christ and the beast. The “end times” aren’t literally the end of the world, but the vanquishing of the unholy from our own souls, and the embracing of the Spiritual World over the physical. The closer we get to this point, the more difficult the internal struggle will become. The last vestiges of evil and sin are the most deeply rooted. Therefore, the last battle will be the worst. What happens within us will be our personal Armageddon.
When a person is able to fully resist temptation, to fully reject sin, and to fully see God in all things, that person has moved past his own “end times” and become one with the Lord. That’s what God wants of all of us.
I’m not there yet.
Hardly anyone is, although some people, like some of our Saints, have made this journey. Surely a few others have done it without fanfare or recognition. Anyone who is truly happy with life, without having luxury or excess, is at least close. But for the most part, man is still far from it.
I’m still far from it, because I still cling to false notions like “having those cookies will make me happy.” I should know that happiness comes from being closer to the Lord, and not from physical things. The emptiness inside me, inside all mankind, comes from keeping God out. Cookies won’t fill the void. At least I have gotten to the point where I know the cookies shouldn’t make me happy, even though I still eat them…
And I do like to think that in some small ways, I have moved closer to the ideal. I’ve at least filled some of my emptiness with the Lord, even if there is still room inside for more. Because of this, because of my own personal progress, I can look at a photo of a woman in a sexually suggestive pose and react differently from other people. I can admire her beauty and enjoy looking at the picture, without wanting to have sex with her. If I do feel something sexual, it is only a desire to have sex with my own wife (or for a single man with a spiritual view similar to mine, perhaps a desire to find a wife). Maybe someday I’ll be able to see a raunchy picture and not feel anything at all, because the photo is purely part of the physical world, just as sex is purely part of the physical world, but true feelings, the feelings that are shared between man and God, are purely spiritual.
I’d like to think that other men can evolve the same way.
But if they can’t, the solution is to help those men be better men, not to remove the temptation. If you are never tempted, you can never overcome the sin within you. I mention St. Augustine a lot because I believe he was the greatest thinker to live since the time of Christ. In St. Augustine’s On Free Will, he teaches us that God has the power to remove all sin and temptation, but does not. God allows sin to exist, because if He didn’t, our ability to live without sin would have no meaning. In order for mankind to become closer to God, to leave the physical world and enter the Spiritual World, we must face sin, and of our own free will, reject it.
This is my belief.
You might find wisdom in my words, or you might think I’m full of crap; but that’s your decision to make and I can’t make it for you.
Therefore, the photo stays, and people can decide for themselves what to make of it.
Thanks go to Born Again Redneck for taking Huckster to task far more vociferously than I.
First, here's a "see, I told you so" about Huck and Harriet.
Second, here's a disturbing tidbit on how Huck raises his kids. I know, the candidate is the one to be scrutinized, not his family. But how he acted in response to his son's behavior is disturbing. And, if this is the sort of relative he would bring with him to the White House, he would make Rodger Clinton and Billy Carter look like valuable democrat assets.
You know, early on, I thought Huckabee was a bad choice for President; but I wished him well, because I thought he could move from this race to the U.S. Senate as the best man to take on liberal democrat Blanche Lincoln. But the more I learn about Huck, the more I think I don't ever want to see him hold any office, ever. I hope there is another good Republican or two in Arkansas to challenge the established democrats there... but Huck is not the man.
Saddam Hussein will die for crimes against humanity.
I'd like to see the explanations when critics of the war nonetheless say what a great verdict this is... as if the verdict could have come without the war...
Meanwhile, the brilliant author Orson Scott Card, a long-time democrat, writes why his own party cannot be trusted with the War on Terror.
Cindy Sheehan, the Mother Moonbat, wishes she could go back in time, so she could kill George W. Bush before he could start a war.
I wish I could go back in time, so I could give Cindy Sheehan an abortion, thus preventing her from ever mourning the loss of her son.
No, wait... that would be wrong!