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Category Archives: American Traditions

Unsinking the Titanic: Repairing the Hole that is America’s Debt Dilemma – Part 1

by Providence Crowder

 The Problem

There is a war of ideologies being waged on the American political scene.  Those on the left and right sides of the political spectrum are simply unable to come to a viable compromise concerning prominent socioeconomic issues of today.  In the meantime, while the politicians in Washington fight, the director of the Congressional Budget Office—Douglas W. Elmendorf—warned in his 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook that the United States is headed towards the biggest economic downfall since World War II.  He testified:

Policymakers will need to increase revenues substantially as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), decrease spending significantly from projected levels, or adopt some combination of those two approaches to keep deficits and debts from climbing to unsustainable levels.

The CBO reports that for 2011, the federal government faced a 1.3 trillion dollar budget shortfall—the third largest to date—continuing its trend since 1969 of spending more than it takes in.  Only in the years 2009 and 2010 were the deficits greater—those years produced the largest budget deficits in modern history.  Elmendorf recommended early action and more sacrifices “for the benefit of younger workers and future generations.”  Simply put, the U.S. economy is in BIG trouble!

America, the most prosperous nation in the world, is currently the biggest debt owner in the world.  This colossal debt is reprehensible and represents instability and insolvency to our lenders.  Our looming liabilities threaten to eliminate the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and the loss of this status would be catastrophic.  It would bring an instant devaluing of our investments, drastically drive up the cost of goods and services—hyperinflation—and create a radical change in American life as we know it.  All Americans would experience a significantly lower quality of life.  The idea of the American dollar collapsing should cause all Americans to take pause.

This Is What One Trillion Dollars Look Like

Jay Richards[1] explained that “Money has value only if trading partners believe it has value.  This is why currency quickly becomes stove fuel when people stop trusting it.”[2]  Our colossal debt is not the result of insufficient tax revenues because we are taxed at a level sufficient enough to pay for the necessary functions of government.  America’s problem is excessive and wasteful spending.  Any average American who has lived beyond his or her means could warn the federal government of the end result of its imprudence—reduce spending or risk losing everything.  At a whopping $13,561,623,030,891 of debt—according to the 2010 U.S. Treasury report—multiple years of deficit spending by the federal government has left our children to bear the burden of our irresponsibility and profligacy.  The interest alone on our nearly $14 trillion dollar debt make our meager attempts at debt solvency unrealistic.

The Cause

Many on the left, namely Democrats, choose to blame President George W. Bush for the economies troubles.  On the right, Republicans give President Obama the brunt of the blame.  Yet the administrations of both of these presidents, with their big spending and bailouts, and massive expansions of government have exacerbated the debt problem.  We also owe a huge debt of thanks to Democrat President, Bill Clinton, for our more recent recession and debt fiasco.  Back in 1995, the regulatory revisions made to the 1977 “Community Reinvestment Act” under the Clinton administration greatly weakened the housing market.  Initially the law was enacted to ensure that banks were fairly addressing the lending and banking needs of those people in low and moderate-income neighborhoods that they accepted deposits from.  Yet the Clinton administration’s 1995 revisions forced banks to lend hundreds of billions of dollars to people with little or no credit, and even people with bad credit—lending to these high risk borrowers under the guise of “the convenience and needs of the communities.”[3]

In other words, “if banks wanted to continue to indulge from the hand of government-created money and insurance (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), then they had to prove to government agencies that they were lending these indulgences to even the un-creditworthy in their community.”  The revisions to the Community Investment Act became a powerful mandate that reshaped lending practices.  This act was a recipe for economic disaster that the banks initially opposed because they didn’t want to be “forced” into bad lending.  Regardless, congress passed the initiative, alluring banks into lending big money to people with little or no credit.

To his credit, in 2003 President Bush attempted greater oversight of the two major government-sponsored lenders of the subprime, or risky loans—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—yet Democratic opposition shut his measure down, accusing Bush and the Republicans of all things, racism.  Shocking!  We know the end of this sad story—the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis led to the collapsing of a housing bubble that brought the banking and real estate industry to their knees.

To add insult to injury, the Federal Reserve Board’s response to the mortgage crisis was grossly irresponsible and unethical.  Wayne Grudem noted that “The Federal Reserve decided to pump reserves into the financial system by purchasing $1.2 trillion in assets, including $750 billion in mortgage-backed securities from companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . . . leading to increased inflation and thereby robbing everyone in society of the value of their dollars and their contract.”[4]  Simply put, the government rewarded reckless and irresponsible behavior by loaning hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to bailout the big banks and the mortgage agencies, with more than half of  the money going to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Economist Thomas DiLorenzo described that the current financial debacles are simply the “chickens coming home to roost after more than 30 years of progressive government interference and artificially deformed markets.”[5]  The current crisis is not a sudden or surprising occurrence, but the eventual result of salvation politics.[6]

No one is innocent in this scandal of magnificent proportions, not even the voters.  The recent political protest movement, Occupy Wall Street (OWL), self-righteously protest the “Wall Street” bankers and the “1%” of the rich.  Yet these crooks are the ones who knowingly elect politicians who extort money from others to subsidize irresponsibility and greed—they vote for big government.  OWL’s voted for crony capitalists who afforded political favors and preferential treatment for their friends at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Many of them voted for our current president, Obama.  He handed over a trillion dollars in taxpayer funds to bailout Fannie and Freddie, and the auto-industry and banks they now protest!

These OWL’s are the same who continue to vote for increased government spending on federally funded entitlements—the biggest debt busters of all.  Currently, the federal government is scrambling to fund its existing entitlements in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, retirement pensions, and welfare.  The funding of future entitlements is an even greater concern.  If the Federal Reserve continues the practice of pumping dollars into the system to keep up with government expenditures, Wayne Grudem asserts that “we can soon expect to see record high interest rates and/or inflation, coupled with the collapse of many entitlements.”[7] According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, entitlement spending as a percentage of GDP has now doubled that of U.S. spending on national defense.  An increase in entitlement spending and a decrease in spending on national defense, a core constitutional function of government, indicates clearly—our government’s priorities are misguided.[8]

Stay tuned for Unsinking the Titanic-Part 2, Ethical Implications.  Excerpt: “Spending of this sort is immoral; it is sure to hurt the poor and others who are dependent upon the government for their livelihood.  America’s reckless entitlement spending has baited many American’s into dependency and has promised future payments that won’t be worth the paper they are printed on.”

 

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Abolitionism and the Evangelical Heritage

by Providence Crowder

Donald W. Dayton produced a remarkable historical summary of America’s evangelical[1] legacy in his work entitled, “Discovering an Evangelical Heritage.” This book provides compelling evidence that confirms “the Christian witness” has a powerful impact upon society when the gospel is put into action.  Unlike contemporary evangelicalism, which by and large evades questions of social responsibility,[2] Dayton sets out to prove that the evangelical heritage left by nineteenth century evangelicals such as Catherine Booth and Charles G. Finney demonstrated that the gospel and social responsibility were once intimately integrated.  He provides thrilling accounts of how the nineteenth century evangelical “abolitionists”[3] understood that to right societal wrongs, social injustice demanded a radical and Christian response.  The abolitionist movement was chiefly political and religious; abolitionists believed that slavery was a sin.  Through moral suasion, they set out to change laws in an effort to permanently abolish it.

Dayton revealed how many of the nineteenth century evangelicals joined in on the abolitionist movement and subsequently set the stage for the feminist movement; these activists rejected the governmental laws that legitimized slavery and oppressed women; they instead chose to submit a higher moral authority—God  as opposed to government.  Evangelicals were among the first to reject segregation in worship and ordain women in the ministry; their revivals bore a significant influence on social reform in America. 

Political Activism and Abolitionism in the American Evangelical Movement

Donald Dayton was successful in establishing that the marriage of politics to social responsibility was lived out in the lives of many evangelicals in the past and is a huge part of the American evangelical heritage.  Although the new trend in American evangelicalism, the “religious right,”[4] or the Christian conservative movement, shares much of the same vision for morality in government and society as did the nineteenth century evangelical abolitionists, I have observed that the religious right seems predominantly idealist and less reformist; some have taken to political activism.  Modern social concerns of the Christian conservatives include abortion, same-sex marriage, poverty, and socialism, but most evangelicals by and large avoid direct confrontation of the issues choosing rather to emphasize piety and personal conversion. Modern evangelicals by and large place an emphasis on the authority of Scripture and  ascertain that preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ supersedes the calls for social reform; their convictions are not determined by their social milieu but in the expression of faith that is uniquely connected to the person and work of Jesus Christ.[5]

Nineteenth century evangelicals’ “liberal” [6] theology, according to its critics, tended to ground its theology in human experience;’[7] they held a unique concern for social justice and civil rights in their plight against racism and slavery in America. On the contrary, the nineteenth century Christian social reformists would say that to not stand against the sin of slavery was unquestionably un-Christian.  These Christians submerged themselves into politics, joining themselves to the Republican Party, the anti-slavery party, to bring about morality in government, to change unjust civil laws, and ultimately abolish slavery. 

Evangelicals were labeled radicals because the opposed the establishment, the Democrat Party, and liberals because they sought to change laws that denied freedom and equality for blacks and women; they demanded justice for all Americans.  However, after the civil-rights era, the evangelical descendants of the nineteenth century failed to show the same concern for social reform as their ancestors, believing as Evangelist Billy Graham, “While some may interpret an evangelist to be primarily a social reformer or political activist, I do not! . . . My primary goal is to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”[8] During the post-civil rights era, liberalism in America took on various new meanings, more secular in nature.

Social Responsibility and Revivalism in the Evangelical Movement

Early on in the nineteenth century, Oberlin College, “a hotbed of radicalism,”[9] was a major contributor and advocate in the fight against slavery.[10] The school was founded on the principles of evangelist and revivalist Charles Grandison Finney, the “father of modern revivalism.”[11]  He suggested that the gospel had given men and women a social responsibility to shape society.  Finney believed that resistance to reform hindered revival and that he proclaimed:

Revivals are hindered when ministers and churches take wrong ground in regard to any question involving human rights . . . the church cannot turn away from (the slavery) question . . . Silence of Christians upon the subject is virtually saying that they do not consider slavery a sin.[12] 

Finney further believed that the Church is perjured and the Spirit of God departs from her if she refuses to speak out on the slavery issue.[13] 

Oberlin College, its students, and professors, became politically and socially committed to the cause of abolitionism.  Members of the Oberlin Colony left the conservative Whig party and joined in the Republican ideology to help push the antislavery agenda forward.[14] In most elections, “the Oberlin College voted solidly Republican.”[15]  Although these abolitionists used politics as a tool, the Oberlin members did not see abolitionism as a political plight but a moral obligation.  Rich businessmen Arthur and Lewis Tappan, as a moral obligation and “evidences of piety,” spent their lives and fortunes to support initiatives such the “Underground Railroad,” free churches,[16] and anti-slavery societies.[17] The Oberlin colony rejected fugitive slave laws[18] and saw civil disobedience as a necessary Christian response to laws that upheld slavery.[19]  Many were persecuted and imprisoned for their beliefs.  One Oberlin prisoner was quoted as saying, “We belong to no modern school of politics or theology . . . but we belong to the school of the Fathers, who having been driven from their native land by the persecution of their government, taught their children that resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”[20]

Preaching the Gospel to the Poor in American Evangelicalism

Many conservatives during the nineteenth century believed that the Church should be less concerned with social issues and should “preach the Bible not politics.”[21]  Nonetheless, the evidence presented by Dayton suggested that social injustices such as slavery proved to be the most divisive issues in the nineteenth century Church.  The Methodist branch of Protestantism, for example, experienced a split; those with antislavery sentiments formed new branches.  Under the leadership of bishop Orange Scott, the Wesleyan Methodist Connection was born.[22] Combining “piety and radicalism”[23] these Methodists attacked the sins of the Church, insisted that Christians side with God and stop neglecting the poor, and called Christians to discontinue the corporate guilt of being silent on the issue of slavery—they set out on a mission to spread the gospel of abolitionism.  

Evangelicalism Today

 Dayton has noted that during the period after the Civil War, evangelicalism experienced a drastic decline in social reform—the sin of slavery had been abolished.[24] Since then, time has not faired favorably for evangelicalism.  Urbanization and industrialization complicated the revivalist reform vision and the emergence of biblical criticism, Darwinism, and new geological discoveries caused the troubled movement to lose its great vision for America that once led its fervor for social reform.[25]  Furthermore, the rise a premillennialist[26] eschatology[27] has “undercut the social reform of earlier years.”  The reversal in social reform is demonstrated in prominent and influential seminary schools who insist that Christianity was never designed to dismantle social institutions—their focus has shifted from reform and ethics to doctrine. [28] 

The poor response and sometimes outright opposition of the twentieth century evangelicals to the civil rights struggles of the 1950’s and 60’s are a clear indication of the detachment to the spiritual heritage once held of the evangelical to transform the world through reform.  Many evangelicals have seemingly forgotten its legacy and lost its appetite for social justice as they had when they stood firmly against slavery.  

My Review

One issue, even one as large as slavery, does not and should not define a Christian’s theology.  Jesus is the focus of the gospel message, not any one social evil or concern.  Nonetheless, the nineteenth century evangelical’s immense opposition to the cruel and inhumane treatment of enslaved blacks was certainly biblical.  They believed that all men were created in the image of God; no man should be permanently subjugated to another.  They agreed with the founders of this great nation in their declared independence from England that “all men were created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights by their Creator.”  Their care and concern for the poor and oppressed was consistent with the biblical teachings of Jesus Christ.   

Unfortunately, social activism in America is now largely a secular sport and the American government, not the Church, by and large provides free food, shelter, and clothing to the indigent; free legal counsel and work among prisoners; public schools and hospitals (none of which are really free); these were all ministries developed and voluntarily performed primarily by the Church.[29] In modern times, the government has taken to the business of providing a “gospel to the poor” and has perverted God’s message of justice.  Under the pretense of “equality” and “fairness,” the government has extorted its citizens through heavy taxation and burdensome legislation to fund “charitable” programs for the poor.  They have usurped the blessings associated with freewill giving and charity.

In reality, both the Church and the American government have done a great disservice to the poor.  Concerning the government, the political powers that be have convinced the poor that they don’t need God and they don’t need the Church, but they need the government to survive and to meet their needs.  The American government has failed the poor because they have done nothing in advising them towards godly and purposeful living, and many of their policies have done permanent damage by enabling the indolent poor to become dependent, lazy, and forego personal responsibility.  The government has also failed the people because they have ignored the power of community and voluntary giving.  The result has been increased class-warfare, strife, and covetousness among the people, and dependency of the perpetually poor upon the government.  Concerning the Church, she has failed the poor because she has not defended them against ungodly and oppressive governments; and she has willingly surrendered her ministry of helps for the sick, the elderly, the orphan, and the widow to a secular state who is more concerned with maintaining their dependency and allegiance through political manipulation than seeing their souls saved.

My Review:  Moving Forward in the Twenty-First Century

Although the notion of social reform in and of itself is a good thing, the gospel of Jesus Christ should not be replaced by the social gospel.[30]  There have been causes and movements throughout all times, there are many sins to confront (namely all of them), and there are many souls to be converted.  Christians should not dwell so much on social issues that they, as Justo Gonzalez has asserted, “become preoccupied with the existing social conditions” and forsake Christian evangelism and discipleship.  The Church’s mandate is to both preach the gospel AND stand against sin in the world.  Christians are both proclaimers of the good news to the lost and defenders of the poor and oppressed.

 Evangelicals have a responsibility to stand against sin and stand on the authority of Scripture as a framework in which to critique modern concerns.[31]  When the Church fails to do both, Satan, the god of this world, will step in with his own gospel and distort God’s truth.  For example, when the Church fails to speak out against the sin of abortion, it ceases to be a moral authority on the subject.  By their inaction and silence; by not proclaiming God’s truth and standing against it, the Church becomes irrelevant.  Satan is then given ample opportunity to persuade many souls to his cause.  

Trusting in God’s moral framework, or standard, in which to “judge” good from evil will prove to help Christians avoid the pitfalls of conforming to cultural norms that are counterintuitive to the gospel; this the abolitionists did when they opposed slavery although it was “legal” and acceptable to most of society at the time.  The twenty-first century looks bright for Christianity.  Today’s Christians should examine modern issues through the lens of Scripture and avoid worshipping the ideological gods of our modern day; Socialism, Capitalism, Communism, Marxism, etc.  We are the voice of truth and we are called to action, radical action; proclaiming the good news and standing against sin in the world.


[1]  The term “Evangelical” has been applied since the Reformation to the Protestant Churches by reason of their claim to base their teaching pre-eminently on the Gospel.  Revivals were a key element of their religious worship and practice.  In some Protestant branches, they lay special stress on conversion and salvation by faith in the atoning death of Christ.  In other branches in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, evangelicals campaigned vigorously for the abolition of the slave trade.  Social and political reform disappeared from the evangelical program when personal consecration and world evangelism became its focus.  Evangelicals in the twentieth century have experienced a revival and a new concern for politics and social justice.  Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, s.v. “Evangelicalism.”

[2] Donald Dalton, “Discovering an Evangelical Heritage,” (USA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2007), 36.

[3] “An abolitionist is a person who advocated or supported the abolishing of slavery in the U.S., especially before the Civil War.”  Definition retrieved from Dictionary.com on October 11, 2011 from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Abolitionist

[4] “Christian right” is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe “right-wing”Christian political groups that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies. Religious conservatives principally seek to apply the teachings of particular religions to politics, sometimes by merely proclaiming the value of those teachings, at other times by having those teachings influence laws.

In the U.S., the Christian right is an informal coalition of numerous groups, chiefly evangelicals and CatholicsIt is strongest in the South, where it comprises the core of the Republican Party.  Besides conservative positions on domestic issues such as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, the Christian right is a strong supporter of Israel in foreign affairs.  “Christian Right,” Retrieved from wikipedia.org on October 10, 2011 at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_right.

[5] Alister McGrath, A Passion for Truth, 126.

[6] Liberalism came into use early in the 19th century.  It has been defined as ‘the holding of liberal opinions in politics or theology.  If taken to mean freedom from bigotry and readiness to welcome new ideas or proposals for reform, freedom, and progress.  It is a characteristic which many people will readily profess.  In more recent times, the word has held a more secular or anthropocentric humanism meaning which has origins in the Renaissance and is inconsistent with biblical and dogmatic orthodoxy.  ODCC, s.v. “liberalism.”

[7] Ibid., 125.

[8] Dayton, 8

[9] Ibid., 35.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Revivalism is a type of religious worship and practice centering in evangelical revivals, or outbursts of mass religious fervor, and stimulated by intensive preaching and prayer meetings.  In the USA, revivalism has been credited with a considerable influence on social reform.  ODDC, s.v.“revivalism,” and  Dayton, 15.

[12]  Dayton, 18.

[13] Dayton, 18.

[14] Ibid., 43.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Free Churches were a form of protest by the reformers and abolitionists to the practice of selling and renting pews for the construction and maintenance of church buildings.  Renting pews was a practice that alienated and humiliated the poor and often times prevented them from attending church.  In free churches, pews were open to all regardless to class or wealth. Dayton, 66.

[17] Dayton, 67.

[18] Ibid., 49.

[19] Ibid., 48.

[20] Dayton, 61.

[21] Ibid., 49

[22] Ibid., 76.     

[23] Ibid., 77.

[24] Ibid., 122.

[25] Ibid., 125.

 

[26] Millennium is the belief in a future thousand-year period of blessedness.  The premillennialist group maintains that the millennium will follow the Second Coming of Christ and postmillennialists believe that it precedes the Advent, and prepares the way for it by the spread of righteousness over the earth.  The abolitionists and nineteenth century evangelicals were postmillennialists, hence their focus on social change.  Post-Civil War, eschatological views shifted to premillennialism, hence their focus on preaching the gospel, personal salvation, and repentance.  ODCC, “Millenarianism.”

 

[27] Eschatology is the doctrine of the last things; that is the ultimate destiny both of the individual soul and the whole created order.   ODDC, “Eschatology.”

 

[28] Dayton, 128-129.

 

[29] Dayton, 129.

 

[30]The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century. The movement applied Christian ethics to social problems, especially social justice, inequality, liquor, crime, racial tensions, slums, bad hygiene, child labor, weak labor unions, poor schools, and the danger of war. Theologically, the Social Gospel leaders wanted to operationalize the words of the Lord’s Prayer, “thy will be done on earth.” They typically were post-millennialist; that is, they believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort.  Social Gospel leaders were predominantly associated with the liberal wing of the Progressive Movement and most were theologically liberal, although they were typically conservative when it came to their views on social issues.”Definition retrieved fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_gospel on October 16, 2011.

 

[31] McGrath, 62.

 

 

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Booker T. Washington on Black Victimhood

by Gary DeMar

Black racists are coming out of the woodwork. It’s hard to imagine how vile and bigoted they are in their attacks on Herman Cain. Such treatment has a long history. Today, it’s an industry.

A number of black “leaders” (e.g., Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton) have made their living by promoting black victimhood and white guilt. Jesse Jackson has been shaking down corporations with the scam for decades.  Booker T. Washington (1865–1915) warned of such people within the black community in his 1911 book My Larger Education. He described them as “problem profiteers”:

“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” (p. 118)

Washington could have had in view, although writing nearly a hundred years ago, black people who are railing against Herman Cain and other blacks who have not succumbed to plantation living. Cain doesn’t present himself as a victim, and this disturbs people like Al Sharpton. Cain lived at a time when there were “colored” water fountains, segregated schools and neighborhoods, and racial discrimination that few people today can imagine. If anyone has a right to play the victim card, it’s Cain. He didn’t feel sorry for himself. He stayed out of trouble, worked hard, and made something of himself without the help of a cadre of “poverty pimps.” Cain is the antithesis of the Democrat Party and 90 percent of blacks who support it.

Washington continues with a story that encapsulates what is wrong with so many black “leaders” and their guilt-ridden white supporters. Those victimizing blacks are other blacks:

A story told me by a coloured man in South Carolina will illustrate how people sometimes get into situations where they do not like to part with their grievances. In a certain community there was a coloured doctor of the old school, who knew little about modern ideas of medicine, but who in some way had gained the confidence of the people and had made considerable money by his own peculiar methods of treatment. In this community there was an old lady who happened to be pretty well provided with this world’s goods and who thought that she had a cancer. For twenty years she had enjoyed the luxury of having this old doctor treat her for that cancer. As the old doctor became — thanks to the cancer and to other practice — pretty well-to-do, he decided to send one of his boys to a medical college. After graduating from the medical school, the young man returned home, and his father took a vacation. During this time the old lady who was afflicted with the “cancer” called in the young man, who treated her; within a few weeks the cancer (or what was supposed to be the cancer) disappeared, and the old lady declared herself well.

When the father of the boy returned and found the patient on her feet and perfectly well, he was outraged. He called the young man before him and said: “My son, I find that you have cured that cancer case of mine. Now, son, let me tell you something. I educated you on that cancer. I put you through high school, through college, and finally through the medical school on that cancer. And now you, with your new ideas of practicing medicine, have come here and cured that cancer. Let me tell you, son, you have started all wrong. How do you expect to make a living practicing medicine in that way?”

I am afraid that there is a certain class of race problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.

If the patient gets well, an entire industry of victimhood will get cancer and die. This would be the best thing for the black community. Until blacks throw off the shroud of victimhood, they will be at the mercy of “doctors” who treat a cancer that does not exist but that they are paying for.

Article by Gary DeMar

Gary DeMar        Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. Author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, he also hosts The Gary DeMar Show, and History Unwrapped—both broadcasted and podcasted. Gary has lived in the Atlanta area since 1979 with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and are enjoying being grandparents to their grandsons, Calvin and Paul. Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).

 

Two Kinds of Promiscuity

By Star Parker

Last week the House passed with bipartisan support the Protect Life Act, which amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to assure that no taxpayer dollars will be used to fund abortion. It also assures that health-care providers that do not wish to provide abortions are not forced to by government.

The bill’s Republican sponsor, Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., had co-sponsored essentially the same amendment along with then-Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., when Obamacare was in the making in 2009.

Because a similar provision was not in the Senate version of the bill, and had no prospect of making it through the Senate, Stupak stood as a major obstacle to the passage of Obamacare.

In the end, the ways of Washington prevailed, and Stupak caved to pressure from the White House. He agreed to support the health-care bill without his anti-abortion provision, in exchange for President Obama issuing an executive order prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions in health care provided in the framework of Obamacare.

An executive order is a flimsy substitute for law; thus Rep. Pitt found another pro-life Democrat, Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., to co-sponsor his amendment, which has now passed the House 251-172.

However, Pitt’s new bill faces the same prospects as the amendment that he cosponsored with Stupak in 2009. Its chances of passage in the Senate are remote.

So why bother?

After the bill passed, I was asked on a PBS talk show, “To the Contrary,” if Republicans were being frivolous in taking up congressional floor time to deal with abortion when what Americans want today is congressional action on the economy.

My response was “no, we can walk and chew gum at the same time, and actually in light of Obamacare, it is critical for lawmakers to protect health-care workers and hospitals with a conscience clause.”

In fact, the attention the bill has gotten in the short time since it passed the House indicates that the level of interest in abortion, and the potential use of taxpayer funds for it, remains high.

Two high-post Democrats – former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Democratic National Committee chairwoman – issued statements criticizing the bill shortly after it passed.

According to Pelosi, the provision assuring that health-care providers, including hospitals, are not forced to provide abortions, even though they receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, means “that women can die on the floor and health-care providers do not have to intervene.”

Wasserman Schultz said, “This extreme legislation is dangerous for women’s health and does nothing to address the jobs crisis facing American families.”

Liberals love to frame the killing of developing humans as being about women’s lives, health and rights.

But, according to the Center for Disease Control, about 3 percent of abortions are performed for reasons of a woman’s health. Abortions that are performed because a woman’s life is in danger amount to a fraction of 1 percent. That leaves more that 96 percent for convenience with some 50 percent repeat customers.

Regarding abortion, the liberal agenda is really about two things – 1) an alleged right to sexual promiscuity and, 2) an alleged right to have others bear social and financial responsibility for that promiscuity.

Fortunately, a sizable part of the American population doesn’t see things this way. And, fortunately, a sizable part of our population remains in awe of the miracle of life and our responsibilities toward all aspects of life, both in and outside of the womb.

It doesn’t take that much thought to realize the fallacious thinking that suggests that matters of economy and matters of morality have nothing to do with each other.

The “right to abortion” culture is simply a subset of the entitlement culture, the culture that says your life is about making claims on others rather than personal responsibility.

Disrespect for life and disrespect for property go hand in hand. We can’t divorce our sexual promiscuity from our fiscal promiscuity. Restoring personal responsibility in both areas is what we need today to get our nation back on track.


Star Parker is president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, and author of the recently re-released “Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can Do About It.”

 

Personal Philosophy of Christian Education as it Relates to Blacks

by Tommy Davis

I think now more than ever in America, Christian education is the very schooling that would provide a form of consensus in the Christian community that transcends culture.  In a time when liberalism and contemporary philosophy have taken over our schools and seminaries, there needs to be an evaluation and action taken that would allow our educational conclusions to be shaped by historic Christianity.  Deeply affected by the storm of conflicting ideas are the contemporary predominantly black American churches which have allowed it to be taken over by emotionalism rather than doctrinal orthodoxy and Christian educational thoughts.   This has led to a higher murder rate among black Americans, a massive school drop-out rate, a high incarceration rate, political ignorance, and contemporary segregation in the inner cities and the church.

As a jail chaplain, I am deeply troubled by some of the strategies used by volunteers who are involved in jail ministry which include Bible studies and worship services.  The flaws that exist in their educational philosophy are only making discipleship more difficult to accomplish.  Therefore, I wish to apply my philosophy of Christian education where volunteers of all ages are trained for jail ministry, and during training seminars in churches where tutoring programs are chartered for those at risk of dropping out of school or going to jail.

This educational initiative does not target black Americans as the only group.  It is prepared to emphasize and address the educational deception prevalent in clustered and crime ridden communities.  Generations of ignorance have consequences such as fatherless homes, poor education, and crime.  Therefore, this educational philosophy would have to incorporate and answer correctly the philosophical questions in the area of metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology.

Metaphysics is the study of being or reality.  Metaphysics is the most notional and abstract branch of philosophy.  Since metaphysics basically means “beyond physics” or beyond the natural realm of things, it is a speculative area.  Also, metaphysics is a theoretical construct; it is subject to unreliable presuppositions if not Scripture.  It is safe to build ideas upon what is revealed in the pages of the Bible.  Therefore, a theological groundwork must influence our metaphysical deductions.  According to James Wilhoit,

“Often Christian education has been accused of drifting far from orthodox theological teaching, particularly in regard to the Christian view of human nature and spiritual growth.  This drifting is unfortunate, for Christian education is lost unless grounded in biblically based teaching.  No matter how much zeal a Christian educator may have, it is of little use without an awareness of the essential theological underpinning of the faith.”

God is spirit, but He revealed Himself in the physical, in the Person of Jesus Christ.  Metaphysical questions regarding the existence of God were answered in God becoming flesh.  The Bible says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 KJV).  Our definition of a Spiritual God must come from the Scriptures.  If Jesus is the sinless God/man come down from heaven, then who are we?  Since Jesus came from God, the position to adopt is for mankind to understand that God had something to do with our existence as well.

Since epistemology deals with how we arrive at our conclusions, it is important to establish a guiding principle that would help us arrive at intellectual destinations that corroborates all areas of what we already know to be truth.  Epistemology is closely related to teaching and the learning process.  How do we know something?  One way to arrive at judgments is to seek information outside ourselves or from sources that are credible.  The Bible provides a set of eternal truths; and it is from this source that educational pursuits must be subjected.  It is the Bible that reveals God’s paradigm.

The Bible must be the check and balance in the quest for answers.  If Christian education is to be truly Christian, it must derive from the Christian creed.  In the Book of Acts, Luke records that the believers devoted themselves to the apostle’s teachings (see Acts 2:42-47).  It is important to note that the disciples acted upon what they learned from the apostles.  The relationship between apostle and disciple is that of trust and truth.  The disciples believed (trusted) that the apostles were transmitting truth.  The truth came from the Old Testament Scriptures as the apostles taught and interpreted the events that now make up what we call the New Testament.  The apostles’ epistemology derived from revelation rather than a political sect or some worldly philosophical idea.

Black Christians in America seem to overwhelmingly vote Democrat, but display a form of conservative values.  It may be safe to say that the majority of black Christians are against homosexual marriage, abortion, and racism when it comes to black people.  Yet, black Christians vote for the very liberal Democrats they do not agree with.  This may be due to getting a fiscal advantage with all sorts of Democratic programs like housing projects and extended welfare benefits.  Also, blacks are taught that Republicans were responsible for racism and slavery, when in fact, it was the Democratic Party that promoted slavery, segregation, and all sorts of Jim Crow discriminatory laws.

It will not take much investigation to find that Christian education is the antithesis of liberal political philosophy.  Voting values also falls into the area of axiology because if one says they are against homosexual marriage, and yet vote for politicians who promote pro-homosexual legislation, it proves that some are dishonest regarding values, or ignorant of the facts.  An axiological statement is still being made if we place fiscal opportunities over morality.  A holistic Christian education is neither white nor black, rich nor poor, Democrat or Republican.  Therefore, judgments should be arrived at using Scripture as the controlling criterion.

Axiology is concerned with values and aesthetics that specify what is good and right.  The issues of ethics and religion also fall under the grouping of axiology.   Axiology is a very important philosophical position because people are motivated by what is important to them.   Moral values are under attack in the world as people seek to redefine the value system based on faulty presuppositions rather than biblical revelation.  For example, the State of New York recently passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage.  Obviously, homosexual marriage is non-existent in the Bible but people have adopted a value system based on an incorrect epistemology.  Crucial to the development of our axiological judgments are correct metaphysical and epistemological positions.   Christians must believe the right things about God and the right things about people.

In order to transfer the proper ideas, we must have proven positions and valuable relationships.  Transmitting truths is a great task.  The Bible is the foundation for all truth.  To educate people is to imply authority.  Christian education is unique because the primary textbook in which all knowledge must flow is from the Bible.  The Christian educator must take command as an authority figure.  The student must take a subordinate intellectual position.  Even though the student/teacher relationship is based on transferring intellectual capital, there must be some form of trustworthiness in the relationship in order for credibility to increase the effectiveness of communication.

Education implications penetrate the New Testament.  In Philippians 4:9 the apostle Paul reminds the Church at Philippi to practice what they had learned from him.  In 1 Timothy 4:11 the apostle Paul presses young Timothy to command and teach the things written in Paul’s epistle.  In Ephesians 4:11 it is stated that God gave teachers and pastors to the church in order to build her up.  We are built up by the truths found in revealed revelation.  God’s truths are objective truths.  Information is transmitted for a reason.  According to George Knight,  “The aim of the Christian teacher is not to control the minds, but to develop them,  The use of questions can be a major instrument in that development process.”   This is a great observation by Knight because pupils should become more intellectually independent of the teacher as they apprehend truths.  That way the development process can lead to maturity.  Maturity leads to the ability to make informed decisions.

In the book of Hebrews, the author chided the believers for their lack of spiritual development.  After the biblical author explained the eternal priesthood of Christ, the author expressed interest in sharing more with the Hebrew believers but stated that they were slow of learning.  The author also stated:

“For when the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and have become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:11-14).

The above passage of Scripture also speaks volumes in regards to pastor and parishioners.  Some believers attend church for twenty or thirty years and never participate in any form of ministry.  They have not grown to the point of serving in or outside the church. The objective of transmitting truth is to produce some form of action later on in the pupil.  Therefore, teaching provides the Christian with the ability to be obedient and serve Christ.

To the wise Christian educator, certain philosophical concepts can be incorporated into the curriculum as long as the Scriptures remain the controlling authority.  I have been influenced by realism, the philosophical model that holds there is a real external world that can be known.  But realism alone is just a reality and must not reject the metaphysical.

I have also been influenced by essentialism, which is a philosophical concept that arose in the 1930’s that found interest in transmitting truth in the classroom.  Essentialism is the idea that reliable basic truths must be transmitted in order for students to engage and contribute to the culture in which they must live.  Essentialism takes into account that life is a building block and certain agreed upon facts must be shared that allows the next generation to continue the advancement of society.  The definition regarding what is fundamental or essential must be acquired from Scripture.

Another feature that impresses me about essentialism is the fact that this educational concept recognizes that learning is hard work and requires effort.  In one of my previous response papers I wrote that the essentialists incorporate the perspective that learning requires discipline and sometimes is accomplished through much effort.  I also wrote that scientists have determined that our brains change as we acquire news skills and information.  This is opposed to being hardwired in which we would function based on a predetermination rather than cognitive development.  In addition, I made the point that musicians are not born musicians; they become instrumentalists’ through practice.  Athletes become good at sport through a willful interest and rehearsal that allows them to utilize the brain’s flexibility to acquire new habits and develop their skills.

By highlighting essentialism, I am not agreeing that other concepts are not important.  The position of essentialism emphasizes the authority of the teacher.  While it may not clearly define truth, essentialism characterizes the relationship between student and teacher that find some biblical support.  For example, in his letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul instructs him to train qualified men who will teach others (see 2 Timothy 2:2).  In the book of Titus the elders were told to hold firmly to what they have been taught (1:10).

While I do emphasize the authority of the teacher, the primary matter should be on what is taught.  In order for me to have a great influence in the area of Christian education, I must teach in a manner that glorifies God.  The right things must be said about political parties in relation to the Bible.  The correct things must be communicated about God, about mankind, and about the world whether seen or unseen.  Thus, the core purpose of Christian education is to produce disciples among those who have given their lives over to Christ, therefore fulfilling the Great Commission given in Matthew 28.

 

Testimonial of a Black Republican

by Providence Crowder (providencecrowder@gmail.com)

GROWING UP

Ok, here’s the story.  I was born and raised a Democrat.  As odd as “being born a Democrat” may sound, that statement is as true as it is tragic.  Both my parents were, my aunts and uncles were, and every influential adult in my life proclaimed to be . . . a Democrat.  I hadn’t considered questioning why because politics didn’t interest me much.  I inherently knew that I was one, and when I became of voting age, the fundamental rule was that I must vote the party line all the way down the voting ticket.  Why Democrat, you may ask?  Because all black people, as far as I was told, voted Democrat.  And since I was black, that made me Democrat.  So when I turned 18 years of age, I registered to vote and voted as any good black American would. I followed the example of those around me and saddled that Democrat donkey every election Tuesday without understanding the issues, without learning the party platforms, and without a thorough assessment of the candidates.  Heck, I didn’t even care to know such things; I just wanted the Democrats to win the election against those “racist” Republicans that I had been taught were against black people.  I wanted the rich to pay their fair share like we, the poor and working class Americans, were.  I didn’t even mind a little redistribution of wealth when it came to someone else’s fortune, as long as mine was left alone.

MY CHRISTIAN ROOTS

Moreover, my Christian roots ran deeper than my Democratic ones.  I was raised in a strongly conservative Christian home, and even though for a time I had strayed, I eventually grew to know and love Christ on my own as an adult.  Christianity became no longer my parent’s religion, but MY faith, MY conviction, MY choice.  I eventually began to seek godliness in all areas of my life; work, home, recreation . . . in everything.  My Christian worldview even caused me to, for the first time, examine my politics.

Upon a closer examination of my party, I learned that most of the Democratic Party’s platform stood against many biblical moral standards.  Generally, they rejected the biblical definition of marriage and they overwhelmingly supported abortion.  I learned that more often than not, when I voted for a Democratic candidate, I was voting against my family values.   That troubled me greatly and I began to question my loyalty to the party; and after I began to make my way through college and learn a little about economics, I discovered that the Democratic Party’s economic policies were detrimental for not only black Americans, but all Americans! 

Their socialist policies have managed to create a permanent underclass of poor blacks dependent on government programs and entitlements for survival.  Their policies have done what 400 years of slavery couldn’t do; destroy the black family.  The government has replaced the father in many poor black households by promising young mothers that they would provide for her and her children and pay her bills, as long as the father was not in the home.  Their policies have discouraged work by providing greater benefits and incentives for staying home.  Their policies have supported the genocide of black babies through the public funding of “murder on demand” corporations such as Planned Parenthood.  Their policies have turned affirmative action into an unfair quota system that discriminates against white men and at the same time puts into question the qualifications and merit of accomplished blacks.  After learning all this, I remembered on several occasions telling my husband, “You know I’m a Republican on paper.  I like the party but not the people.  They are spot on point and I agree with most of what they’re saying, but I will not vote for any of those racists.”

I was almost free, but the great escape didn’t come without challenge.  After all that I had learned, I still wanted a reason to vote Democrat because I subconsciously feared going against my cultural norm. I had just the reason.  Republicans were racist and did NOT want me to be a part of their party!  Though I had seen those black Republican weirdo sell-outs on TV (through sound bites played on MSNBC), it wasn’t until my first personal encounter with a black Republican, a friend and co-worker, that I would finally break the Democratic stronghold, break free from the groupthink politics that have left blacks politically inept; escape the mental slavery that the modern day plantation of “free entitlements” and “government help” have used to entice many into laziness, dependency, and unproductivity.  Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann were starting to lose their grip on me.

HELP FROM A FRIEND

My dear conservative friend introduced me to some historical facts about the Democratic Party that helped push me to research for myself whether or not the claims he made were true.  What I learned crushed my beliefs that the Republican Party was full of racists who were trying to hold the black man down.  What I learned left me with no affinity for my inherited party; I was left, finally, with NO good reason to vote Democrat. 

What I found out in my quest for political clarity was that  the Republican party passed EVERY civil rights legislation in regard to black Americans, including the 1964 civil rights act and 1965 voting rights act, which was signed by a Democrat president but only passed because of a Republican congress’ overwhelming support.  Most Democrats in congress opposed it.  Republicans passed the 13th amendment, freeing black slaves; the 14th amendment, giving blacks their citizenship; the 15th amendment, granting blacks the right to vote.  Even still, whenever Democrats would take back control of the white house and congress, they would prevent blacks from buying land, they denied them fair wages for their work, and they undid many of the civil rights advancements of the Republicans.

Republicans were largely responsible for promoting and defending the civil rights of blacks while Democrats fought to lynch us, enslave us, and keep us as second-class citizens.  I discovered that even civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was Republican and so was abolitionist Frederick Douglass.  Other abolitionists, both black and white, were Republican.  In fact, I learned that the Republican Party (initially comprised of Democrats, Whigs, and Free Soil party members) was established in 1854 as the anti-slavery party; they opposed the spreading of slavery into free states.

I had always been told that white people were the ones who upheld slavery and fought to keep black people down.  I had never heard the political aspect of the civil rights controversy.  White people who identified themselves as Republican (most also identified themselves as Protestant Christians or Evangelicals) fought to free black slaves.  They clearly identified their enemy as Democrat, or Southern Democrat, the ones who wanted to maintain and spread slavery.  John Mark Reynolds once said of the Republican Party, “When it came time to confront the original sin of the nation—slavery—the Republican Party was on the Lord’s side.” Once they were granted the right to vote, blacks voted Republican and worked alongside white Republicans to advance our freedom in this country.

THE DEMOCRAT PARTY’S SHAMEFUL PAST

To my great surprise, I found out that it was the Southern Democrats who fought to keep blacks in slavery.  As Francis Rice has said,  “They were the ones who passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. They started the Ku Klux Klan (the terrorist wing of the Democrat party) to lynch and terrorize blacks. They fought against the passage of every single civil rights law from the 1800’s through the 1960’s.” 

I began watching other news outlets, those besides CNN and MSNBC, to get other perspectives on current events.  I discovered that there was such a thing as a “liberal media” and it had an agenda; when the facts were not on their side, they changed the subject and called Republicans racist.  Their strategy was very effective.  I was bamboozled for years!  I have since read the party platforms for myself, starting from their inceptions to the present day for both the Democrat and Republican parties.  In the platforms, the facts speak for themselves.  I even observed, within the platforms, the exact time period when the Democrats jumped on the civil rights bandwagon, something the Republicans had been pushing for over 100 years.  Beginning in the 1950’s, the Democrats proposed to throw tons of government money into poor inner-city communities and offer other government “helps.”  By the 1960’s they offered to provide welfare to young mothers and their children, requiring no work, as long as the father was not in the home.  

The civil rights agenda met harsh resistance from most Democrats and the party struggled on whether or not they should include civil rights as part of their platform goals.  They eventually agreed to do so, but with all of the wrong motivation.  Blacks were gaining number and political power (able to provide a candidate with enough votes to win the presidency), and the civil rights agenda was not going away but instead gaining popularity; Democrats had to give blacks something.  Not that they wanted blacks to be equal, but they wanted to give them enough to get them to voting Democrat so that Democrats could stay in power.  When Republicans were unwilling to be frivolous with taxpayer dollars by robbing one group of people to pay for, by another group of people, a host of government funded programs, Democrats were dishonest and said to blacks, Republicans don’t want to help you.  They don’t want to help poor people.  Republicans proposed other ideas to help combat poverty; most involved hard work, education, business ownership, and minimal aid from the government. Those ideas were overshadowed by the powerful attraction that free money had over people that were struggling to make ends meet.  Despite the pleading of the Republican Party, which at the time still held the black vote, poor blacks took the bait.  They were above all glad that Democrats were no longer interested in terrorizing and lynching them, and almost equally as ecstatic that they would be getting “help” from the government. 

Eventually the message became, “Republicans are racist.”  That message has stuck and resonated within black communities for the past 40 plus years.

It’s important for not only black Americans, but all Americans to know the political history of this nation.   Why?  Because as Woodrow Wilson wisely stated, “A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.” I thank God for freedom to think for myself, freedom to vote my values, freedom to truly participate in democracy and government.  I thank God that I no longer vote out of tradition but because of conviction. 

NO POLITICAL PARTY IS A SAVIOR

As a Christian, I know that the Republican Party is not a savior.  It can’t save us.  Government can’t save us.  There is no such thing as perfect politics or perfect political parties because political parties are made up of imperfect and sinful people.  The Republican Party is not without its faults and flaws for sure.  And as a Christian, I don’t put my trust in a political party, whose doctrines and philosophies may change with the people, but I put my trust in God who is unchanging.  With that being said, I have not yet attained paradise so I must continue living until I’m called home or Christ returns, loosely holding to the doctrines of my imperfect political philosophy (for God is neither Republican nor Democrat), all the while hoping my political inclinations are on the Lord’s side.  I don’t believe for one minute that God sides with either Democrats or Republicans, but it is up to Democrats and Republicans to side with God and stand against sin, much in the way the Republicans did when they stood against slavery. 

Some issues are debatable; who has the best ideas to combat poverty, who has the best views on foreign affairs, etc., but other issues are not –the murdering of innocent preborn children is always wrong.   

BLACKS IN AMERICA

Concerning blacks in this nation; they have been used for political expediency, sometimes by friends and sometimes by foes.  Blacks, among other minorities have been and still are discriminated against; however, blacks need not continue blaming the sin of racism for their failures.  We don’t need a racist to do anything for us but stay out of our way and allow us the same opportunity as everyone else to obtain success.  We should readily embrace the freedom that we have in this country to both fail and succeed; freedom that was fought long and hard for.  Some of us will have great success and others will struggle. 

The beauty of Democracy is; we are all free.  One who is born into poverty has an opportunity to become rich, and yet a rich man may also one day find himself impoverished.  Nothing is guaranteed.  Only in socialist and communist countries is equality of outcome promised.  For many reasons that I won’t discuss here, socialism and communism don’t work.  Government is not our provider; we as a people have a responsibility to ourselves, our families, and our neighbors.  Even Christ taught personal responsibility and didn’t require anything of the government, not even charity!  That’s OUR individual responsibility towards our brothers and sisters, and fellow man.  Christ didn’t teach covetousness or redistribution of wealth.  

THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

Government does have its proper place.  Biblically speaking, government was instituted by God to punish evil (1 Peter 2:13-15) and administer justice (Romans 13).  Our U.S. constitution grants government the authority to protect individual freedoms and promote the general well-being of society.  The government wasn’t designed to provide for people, but to allow people to provide for themselves.  The legislative branch, for example, was given certain powers by the people to collect taxes, pay debts, borrow money, establish post offices and roads, appoint lower courts, declare war, raise armies, navies, militias, and legislate over Washington D.C., to name a few.  We must keep the role of government in perspective, lest we the people give government so much power that we all end up slaves.

That is why Republicans opposed big government and government control.  They knew, as well as this nation’s founding fathers– a government with too much power could oppress certain groups of people and strip away their individual freedoms.  The Republicans of old wanted government to stay out of their lives because the government was the one who would strip their freedom and legislate through congress their demise.  They just wanted to be left alone and have equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. 

Those racist men and women who sought to terrorize and oppress blacks did not uphold the principle in the Declaration of Independence that stated that all men were created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.  That’s what the civil rights fight was about—equality.  People fought and died to preserve and defend it. Numerous black slaves left plantations with nothing more than the clothes on their backs yet they did not let discrimination or racism define them.  Instead, they pursued freedom and the responsibility that came with it; they sought to make themselves valuable to society and wanted government to get out of their way and stop preventing their forward momentum.  That’s what the civil rights fight was all about—equality of opportunity.

Many ex-slaves taught themselves how to read and write, became congressmen and legislators, doctors, lawyers, farmers, and businessmen.  Many were writers, teachers, and various professionals.  With the help of countless others, they fought to advance freedom for not only blacks but all groups of people in this country.  Blacks would often make progress but would have that progress undermined when certain racists gained control of congress and the white house.

WHERE BLACK AMERICANS ARE TODAY

Ever since we as a people switched loyalty from the party that fought to get us and keep us free, we are no better off, and in many ways we are more depraved.  Today we have more black on black crime, black men and women in prison, teen pregnancies, fatherless homes, high black unemployment (over 16% today under a black president).  Black and White Republicans in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, which at the time nearly all blacks were Republican, warned of this very day.  They warned that the Democrats proposed government-run housing projects which are currently inner-city slums and the abuse of government assistance programs (in which Republicans pushed for long and hard for welfare reform) would create a permanent underclass of minorities; dependent, unproductive, and impoverished.    

Today many poor blacks look to the government to provide for them.  Some look to our first black president to fix all of their economic woes.  What they have failed to realize is that President Obama and his policies are exasperating their economic troubles.  The facts speak for themselves. 

Economically, blacks are hit harder than whites.  Unemployment is higher, life expectancy is lower, yet our black socialist president gets a free pass. Democrats for the past 40 years have run nearly every inner-city in America, many with black police chiefs, mayors, legislators, etc. yet we are no better off.  No complaints from the black community.    Black leaders blame the rich (who by the way are the job creators) for not paying enough.  They expect the rich to create jobs, keep prices low, endure the demands of unions and government regulations, pay high wages, and pay high taxes!  Alas, when some are fortunate enough to start their own business, they cry foul because the demands that they voted for are unreasonable!  

Yet at every election cycle, you can be sure to see black Democratic leaders promising minorities free or low cost housing, free health insurance, jobs and everything else in exchange for a vote. They fail to tell the poor that none of that stuff is free, somebody is paying.  Secondly, they fail to mention that businesses create jobs, not government.  If they supported small business development through incentives like low taxes, more jobs would be available to them.  Many poor blacks and other minority groups depend too heavily on government for survival and many truly believe that they are owed something, that someone has to give them something, that they don’t have to endure the responsibility that is conjoined with freedom.

I do agree that many government programs, such as those to help the homeless and orphans, the sick and the elderly, are good and necessary humanitarian aids for the good of society.  Republican presidents such as President Bush have done more than most to responsibly aid the most impoverished people, black and white, in this nation.  But like Republicans have argued, perpetual dependency on government aid drains societal resources and places an undue burden on taxpayers.  It is not good for a progressive people and it is counterintuitive to productivity and self-reliance.

REFLECTION

Reflecting, I can clearly see that fear played a part in preventing me from voting my values; every black I knew who didn’t drink the Democrat Kool-Aid and DARED to identify themselves with another party, or even worse, the Republican party, was labeled by other black Democrats as an Uncle Tom (even though Uncle Tom, a fictional character, was a hero in his story), a sellout, or a house negro.  Additionally, I simply didn’t have enough information.  Politics was a puzzle that I did not have enough pieces to.  Not saying I have all the pieces now; like so many things in life, politics is not simply black and white.  There are gray areas; many ways to combat our nation’s problems and no one party has all the answers or even the right answers.  No one political party has a claim on morality, no one political party has all the right solutions for poverty, crime, and foreign relations.  And despite the Democrat party’s shameful racist past, no one party is free of racism.  Racism exists within all political parties because some of the people who make up the parties suffer the disease of racism.   We live in a democracy and racists are allowed a vote too. 

Today, I feel I am a much more informed voter today than I ever was.  Knowledge is power; its freedom.  Yet, heartbreaking to me is that many of my black peers look upon my freedom of political choice with disdain.     

It disturbs me that many of blacks who vote Democrat do so out of tradition.  I was one of them.  It bothers me that the Democratic Party takes our vote for granted in many of the same ways (and to their failure) that the Republican Party did in times past.  Democrats are allowed to be openly racist without consequence or reprisal from blacks.  Successful black Republicans such as retired four-star general and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice have been disrespected, their names have been slandered, and their characters have assassinated by both black and white Democrats.  They have been called Uncle Toms, Aunt Mamie, and house niggers.  Blacks would be totally offended if these same names were directed at black Americans who were not Republican.  

MY CONCLUSIONS

I have learned a lot about both political parties and enough to know that when given the choice between Democrat and Republican, I choose the latter.  There are many myths out there—and many reasons blacks say they don’t vote Republican—Nixon’s so-called Southern Strategy, the old Republicans are the new Democrats, Republicans are racists. . . I could go on and on.  Whatever their reason, so be it.  But as I have concluded, the values of the Republican Party of old have never changed.  From their beginning they have stood for small government, personal responsibility, low taxes, religious freedom, free enterprise, and adherence to the constitution. 

I will end by saying this.  Though I was born and raised a Democrat, I am proud to say that today I am a free thinking American who chooses to vote her values.  And though I may not agree with every Republican, or every Republican idea, as of now, the Republican Party is my home.

Suggested Readings:

America’s God and Country, Encyclopedia of Quotations by William J. Federer

Back to Basics for the Republican Party by Michael Zak

Bamboozled: How Americans are being Exploited by the Lies of the Liberal Agenda by Angela McGlowan

Capitol Men, the Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen by Philip Dray

Politics According to the Bible by Wayne Grudem

Liberating Black Theology, The Bible and the Black Experience in America by Anthony B. Bradley

Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (a reprint of an 1848 original) by Wallbuilders Press

Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877 by Eric Foner

The Big Black Lie, How I Learned the Truth About the Democrat Party by Kevin Jackson

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Wrong on Race, The Democratic Party’s Buried Past by Bruce Bartlett

Suggested Websites:

Republican Review of America, www.republicanreviewofamerica.com

The Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York, www.fdfny.org

National Black Republicans Association, www.nbra.info

 

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The Days Before Brown, Growing Up in Segregated Schools

by Leonard Slade Jr.

During the early 1950s, in the era before Brown v. Board of Education,
I attended W. S. Creecy High School in Rich Square, North Carolina. Because of
the state’s segregated school system, W. S. Creecy’s students were all
black.

W. S. Creecy was separate from but certainly not equal to the all-white
schools in Rich Square. The school enjoyed less funding than the all-white
schools, meaning that our teachers earned lower salaries and that money for lab
equipment and other facilities was scarce. Each teacher had to put the funds
that were available to their best use. Thus our equipment and books were not
substandard; we simply needed more of them in order to bolster the
curriculum.

I still remember the county’s school superintendent, who was white, being
accused of embezzlement. He denied the allegation but committed suicide. The
word was that he had stolen money from the county’s black schools in order to
build his palatial house.

Nevertheless, W. S. Creecy was blessed with an abundance of teaching talent.
Our teachers often held master’s degrees, perhaps because teaching was the only
profession open to educated blacks at the time. The discrimination they faced
was our gain; they were excellent teachers who inspired us to go to college and
beyond. Most of the students in my graduating class earned bachelor’s degrees.
All students had to pass courses in the traditional core curriculum, designed to
prepare us for college; we did not have electives, as many students do
today.

My teachers were my role models. Mr. W. S. Creecy Jr., the principal, also
taught me economics and sociology. (The school was named for his father, who had
served as the previous principal.) Mr. Creecy and Mrs. Theola Moore, my English
teacher, urged me to pursue further studies. Their standards were rigorous, and
they recognized my potential.

My high school was reduced to a middle school in the 1970s, as black and
white students merged into one large high school. Some white students, rather
than study with black students in an integrated high school, chose to attend
private academies, which still exist today.

I wonder how my parents were able to send nine children to college during
those days of segregation. They had adjusted to segregation before I was born.
They never let hardships or inequality prevent them from pursuing their dreams
for themselves and their children. With a strong spiritual base (we went to
church every Sunday) and with tremendous respect for the work ethic, Mom and Dad
were determined that their children’s lives would be better than their own. At
one point, they had three of us in college at the same time. They made
sacrifices, not excuses. They expected us to study hard and to do our best.

I remember plowing behind a mule, chopping cotton on our farm (which Dad paid
for in three years), feeding the hogs, picking cotton, harvesting peanuts and
corn, cleaning my room every morning, studying hard late at night, and making
the honor roll in school.

Segregation oppressed us in North Carolina. Despite, or perhaps due to, the
disadvantages of attending a segregated high school, students were determined to
excel. Hardships can build character. The trials, tribulations, and rebuffs
enabled me to be self-motivated and to become a true professional. The beauty of
living in America is that we can all learn from our mistakes. Our country
continues to make right our wrongs. As Langston Hughes once said, “I too, sing
America,” because “I, too am America.”

-Leonard A. Slade Jr. is professor and chair of the department of
Africana studies at the State University of New York at Albany.

 

Changing America

Walter E. Williams by Dr. Walter Williams

Dr. Thomas Sowell, in “Dismantling America,” said in reference to President Obama, “That such an administration could be elected in the first place, headed by a man whose only qualifications to be president of the United States at a dangerous time in the history of the world were rhetoric, style and symbolism — and whose animus against the values and institutions of America had been demonstrated repeatedly over a period of decades beforehand — speaks volumes about the inadequacies of our educational system and the degeneration of our culture.” Obama is by no means unique; his characteristics are shared by other Americans, but what is unique is that no other time in our history would such a person been elected president. That says a lot about the degeneration of our culture, values, thinking abilities and acceptance of what’s no less than tyranny. As Sowell says, “Barack Obama is unlike any other President of the United States in having come from a background of decades of associations and alliances with people who resent this country and its people.” In 2008, Americans voted for Obama’s change. Let’s look at some of it.

Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius threatened that there would be “zero tolerance” for “misinformation” in response to an insurance company executive who said that ObamaCare would create costs that force up health insurance premiums. That’s not only an attack on our constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights but an official threat against people who express views damaging to the administration.

Not to be outdone by his HHS secretary’s attack on free speech, Obama wants full disclosure of the names of people who were backers of campaign commercials critical of his administration, saying that there has been a “flood of deceptive attack ads sponsored by special interests, using front groups with misleading names.” Disclosure would leave administration critics open to government and mob retaliation.

Obama and his congressional and union allies have lectured us that socialized medicine is the cure for the nation’s ills, but I have a question. If socialized medicine, Obamacare, is so great for the nation, why permit anyone to be exempted from it? It turns out that as of the end of November, Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary has issued over 200 waivers to major labor unions such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union and Transport Workers Union of America and major companies such as McDonald’s and Darden Restaurants, which operates Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Keep in mind that the power to grant waivers is also the power not to grant waivers. Such power can be used to reward administration friends and punish administration critics by saddling them with millions of dollars of health care costs.

Obama’s heath care legislation contains deviousness that has become all too common in Washington. What was sold to the American people as health care reform legislation includes a provision that would more heavily regulate and tax gold coin and bullion transactions. Whether gold and bullion transactions should or should not be more heavily regulated and taxed is not the issue. The administration’s devious inclusion of it as a part of health care reform is.

Fighting government intrusion into our lives is becoming increasingly difficult for at least two reasons. The first reason is that educators at the primary, secondary and university levels have been successful in teaching our youngsters to despise the values of our Constitution and the founders of our nation — “those dead, old, racist white men.” Their success in that arena might explain why educators have been unable to get our youngsters to read, write and compute on a level comparable with other developed nations; they are too busy proselytizing students.

The second reason is we’ve become a nation of thieves, accustomed to living at the expense of one another and to accommodate that we’re obliged to support tyrannical and overreaching government.

Adolf Hitler had it right when he said, “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”

 

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well

 

God and Politics

by Providence Crowder (providencecrowder@gmail.com)

In the Bible, the people of God held no dichotomy between the sacred and secular. Every aspect of their lives, every thought and every action, was lived in the light of God’s truth. Through their biblical worldview, they sought God for insight into their private and public affairs; God influenced their decision making, and He guided their beliefs, principles, and politics.

Many passages of Scripture unquestionably debunk the myth that religion should be kept separate from government (separation of church and state). Even the U.S. Constitution makes no such claim. The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” How this declaration has been twisted into an anti-Christian mantra in recent times is deplorable. What this amendment clearly says is that CONGRESS cannot make anyone adhere to a particular religion, nor can they keep anyone from adhering to one. Today, many liberal court justices have surpassed their authority in stripping millions of Americans of their constitutional right to religious freedom, particularly in the public sector.

God is intricately involved in politics. He instituted government, just as He established the institutions of marriage, family, and church. The Bible is saturated with the political themes of law and justice. The Bible is filled with examples of God’s involvement in decisions made by kings, courts, and rulers. The Bible takes clear positions on topics such as marriage, abortion, poverty, economics and war. God is concerned with politics.

Concerning marriage, God affirms that marriage is between one man and one woman until one or both are deceased (Gen. 1:24; Matt.19:3-6). Even when challenged by the religious leaders regarding divorce, Jesus answered them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wife, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matt. 13:8). Though people have attempted to alter God’s definition and requirements for marriage, His directive has never changed; it is as it was in the beginning.

Concerning abortion, Scripture teaches that the preborn child is a person from the moment of conception (Gen. 25:22-23, Ps. 51:5, Ps. 139:13, Lk. 1:41-44, etc.). Even science perfectly complements Scripture in confirming that a human being is produced during the fertilization process when the sperm cell fuses with the ovum and they cease to exist as separate organisms. God pronounced judgment upon those who would harm the preborn child; the more severe penalty for intentional harm to the child as opposed to accidental.   The killing of the innocent is repeatedly condemned throughout Scripture. For a man to attempt to decide for himself at what point he feels that an “embryo” becomes a human being is taking upon himself a great responsibility as the giver of life; a responsibility that God has reserved for himself.

God is politics.  He is the supreme governing body over all creation, administrating laws from the first recorded moment that He spoke.  Even the celestial bodies brought forth light and the earth brought forth grass at God’s command during the days of creation, and they have been obedient since (Gen 1).  Physics would confirm God’s involvement in governing.

Scripture gives many examples of private and civic responsibilities that should guide the Christians’ politics.  In being good stewards over all that God has blessed this great nation with; in being the salt of the earth and light of the world, Christians today should not check their values at the door concerning politics.  God’s politics should influence their decision making at the voting booth.

 

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Economics From A Biblical Worldview

by Tommy Davis (tdavis76@rochester.rr.com)

When most people think of economics, they assume the Bible has little to say about it. Truth would have it that economic terms are woven throughout Scripture. The term “economics” stems from a Greek expression which literally means “house management.” Thus, the usage of the word “economics” describes the fiscal management of resources one has been entrusted with, either in the home or an institution. Identified in this light, we must conclude that the Bible has plenty to say about the proper controlling of assets.

The contemporary definition of economics does not square well with historic usage. Many people seem to allow politicians to apply a different set of rules when it comes to managing the resources in our economy. Citizens who accumulate debt and mismanage their monetary funds will incur disaster. Since there may be no one to bail them out, they may end up foreclosing on a home, or have their car repossessed. Wise citizens will decrease the amount of spending and encourage savings so that expenses would fall below income. Politicians, however, disregard ancient wisdom and rely on the printing press and the raising of taxes to compensate for the mismanagement of the financial system.

The Lord desires that every able-bodied person contribute to some form of “production” so that the paper we call money becomes a “certificate of performance” whereby we “exchange” valuable resources in good faith. Anything other than that is called charity. All throughout Scripture when God sent a famine, it was the scarcity of food. When the famine hit the land of Egypt, the Bible records: “There was no food in that entire region, for the famine was very severe” (Genesis 47:13). Since Joseph was second in command in Egypt, he collected all the money from the people “in exchange” for grain. Since the famine was so severe that no additional food could be produced, the money was no longer a valuable resource because there was nothing to confirm its value.  Paper money is a “reflection” of wealth and a means to “exchange” valuable resources.

Since money was no longer helpful, the Egyptians cried out to Pharaoh and Joseph: “Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For the money has failed” (Genesis 47:15). Thus, no amount of money would relieve the people of the famine. What mattered was the “production” of treasured resources; in this case, it was food. The people eventually agreed to sell themselves as slaves to the state in order to attempt survival.

The economic lesson is this: if we discourage domestic production, no amount of cash will cure financial ills. One way politicians discourage production is to implement all forms of expensive regulations which make it difficult to run an honest business. The raising of taxes to fund unnecessary entitlements shift valuable resources in artificial directions that raise prices and result in economic recessions. Voters who elect politicians who “tax the rich” in an effort to “pay the poor” can only blame themselves for the minimal amount of jobs available.

 

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