Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mike Adams on going to church

Few conservative writers out there find the spot where religion and politics truly do meet in a beautiful way like Mike Adams. Part of this is I'm sure because of his background as a former atheist.
Scott told me he had raised his kids in the church and believed in God although he had not been to church regularly in a number of years. He said he felt no guilt over his absence from church. After all, it was a weekend business that kept him from attending. And, besides that, he said he was leading a “moral life” without going to church.

Immediately, I asked myself the crucial question: “How does one know he lives a moral life if he does not ever attend church?”...

...Life is full of uncertainty but without God two things really are certain: We will make a mess of our lives, and we will help others do the same.

Give the full article a read and don't hesitate to act on his concluding advice if you can.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Civilization comes to Lynden

  Looking across the street, I noticed activity at the new Starbucks Coffee on the Guide Meridian. I panicked. I was sure I had missed their opening. I was devastated.
  I needn’t have worried. They were not due to officially open until the next morning. Relieved doesn’t quite describe my emotions upon discovering this. It was more akine to getting a second chance at life.
  What’s the big deal? It’s just another Starbucks -- one of 246 within a 50 mile radius of Lynden. But that’s just the point.
  Starbucks is a benchmark of civilization. What town in the Northwest deserves to grace the map without a Starbucks? However, when I told my sister I was getting up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning in order to welcome them when they came to Lynden, she was a little confused.
  “Coffee is supposed to help you get up,” she said with conviction. “You don’t get up for the coffee.”
  I tried to explain to her that Starbucks is an event, something to celebrate. I don’t think she bought into my profound line of thought.
  Yeah, apparently some people just don’t get it.
  As we celebrate Lynden’s transcendence to a higher state, some -- like my sister -- might doubt this is even the case. They say Lynden has done just fine without Starbucks. They say we have been served just fine with our current array of brewing excellence. Besides, they say, Starbucks technically came to Lynden about six months ago when they opened a stand in Safeway.
  In my defense, let me first say that cheering for Starbucks should never denigrate the accomplishments of our fine local coffee establishments such as The Woods Coffee, Katz Coffee and perpetually open Cruisin Coffee. On the contrary, I cherish the place they have carved in my heart (and wallet). These fine entrepreneurs have certainly earned their place in Lynden.
  But I digress. No matter whom I patronize, there’s a reason I still call 12 ounces of drip coffee a “tall.” It’s a relationship more beautiful than Google and search engines (see above claim regarding the benchmarks of civilization).
  As to the Safeway argument, all I can say is that a stand in a grocery store is a dubious replacement for the Starbucks atmospheric experience.
  Saturday morning sprung on me like a thrill. I never stopped to think that all I might be accomplishing was to prove my level of eccentricity in a new venue.
  Nevertheless, walking in at exactly 5 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, I became the first paying customer of the Starbucks in Lynden.
  It was worth it I’m sure, and not just because the good folks on that first morning shift rewarded me with a $5 gift card (which I had used by the end of the day).
  It’s all about recognizing that (at least in theory), when it comes to Starbucks, there’s still no better coffee in town.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Top Ramen Romney

This archive footage puts a little perspective on the Romney problem. I do get frustrated when people cloud the issue with the Mormonism detail. The fact is, I want to know whether I can trust him to do as he says. And since we do have a record that says switch-back city, I am very unlikely to support him no matter how good he sounds now or how presidential his persona is.

There are potential problems with the video...the cutting seems a bit harsh sometimes which makes me think it had a lot of vindictiveness behind it -- never the best way to glean info. But still, these are statements people should hear.


Crossposted at Respectfully Republican

Tribune tribulations

I suppose that headline is a bit too foreboding for the reality. But I can never resist a bit of good alliteration.

So in case you haven't been reading, the Tribune has been carrying my byline for the last four or five weeks. It's kind of nice to know I have that much under my belt. If I haven't figured wrong. I might be about halfway done with the internship. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I've actually been enjoying the challenge a bit more than I expected. That's not a complete reflection on where I would like to go from here, but it is certainly a mitigating factor.

One thing you might want remember if you happen to want to spy on me through the Tribune Web site, is that none of my columns (two of them) were put online. I think the only part of the opinion page they post online is the editorials. This is all most sad because I really enjoy writing columns -- and there's something about doing it for the Tribune that actually feels better. This venue lends itself to copious amounts of personality. At the very least, it's a lot easier to find your target audience. It makes me want to completely forget about all of my Western Front days. *gag*

Anyway, I might just pull one of my work files for the last column I did, make sure it is complete and then post it on here for you to read at your discretion. Then you can open up and let me have it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence - was it justified?

"Political Power, then, I take to be a Right of making laws with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties, for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing the force of the community, in the execution of such laws, and in the defence of the common-wealth from foreign injury; and all this only for the public good."
-John Locke, Second Treatise of Government

By the grace of God, we are able to form the "common-wealth" that Locke speaks of, with the goal of divesting ourselves of absolute power--whether held personally over our person, or held by a person or entity over a political body. Important, because, as Locke goes on to say,
"He that thinks absolute power purifies men's bloods, and corrects the baseness of human nature, need read but the history of this, or any other age, to be convinced of the contrary."

All forms of absolute power vested in human authority must be avoided. How better than by the institution of responsible government based in law and absolute truth?

July 4th reminds us that there was a time in our history when obligations to governing authority were called into question. Where indeed are the limits to such human authority? The Declaration of Independence itself recognizes the danger of taking such issues lightly.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But as a Christian, there is so much more to be said. The Christian sees, in all human authority, the extension of God's authority. He indeed is the root and cause. We know, don't we, that the Apostle Paul recognized even the godless Roman authority as having their right to command from God Himself, whether Caesar would acknowledge it or not.
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
-Romans 13

A powerful statement considering the times...

How then could the founders of this nation possible justify the decision to "dissolve the political bands" connecting them to the King of Great Britain. It's a question that bothered, I'm sure, not only the signers, but many others who left the colonies because they couldn't justify such an action. Indeed, some of my own ancestors left under such circumstances.

The key to such a question is answered by understanding the responsibility of those who exercise authority. What, for example, still existed after a fashion, even in the Rome Paul knew, that didn't exist in the colonies, and vice versa. First, there was a government in Rome who demanded civil order in every part of the empire. Subordinating ministers and governments were in place for such ends. This guaranteed the safety of the people from outside threats and investitures. This alone, holds a great amount of weight, for without it, one of the essential responsibilities that come with authority fails altogether. Second, were the colonies as capable of self-rule as any political body Paul could have endorsed in his day? The answer is self-evident: Paul, in his integrity, did not endorse any substitute, and the colonies did end up ruling themselves successfully. Perhaps, you might object, Paul didn't endorse any other for other reasons--perhaps he just simply viewed it as his sacred duty to be bound to the authority in place. To claim he had such an outlook would, in fact, be a denial that authority comes from God by making the human institution, in and of itself, immutable--and we know immutability is a quality only attributable to God himself. We must never confuse the human institution with that which it represents imperfectly.

English historians, Winston Churchill being one, agree that George III was irresponsible and misguided in his approach to rule in the American colonies. The consequences to his authority and the first British Empire at large were devastating. When reading Churchill's writings, the "facts" listed in the Declaration of Independence become more than believable.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. (emphasis mine)

This is just a start. The last of these I listed here would be enough to convince me that self-rule was justified. The law of love informs my conscience enough to know that I must seek the good of my neighbor... And this is the one reason for all of my interest in the political process of my state and nation.

If you would do one thing to remember our reasons for celebrating this July 4th, why not just reading through the Declaration of Independence yourself. Here is a full-text link for your convenience. It's not long. Go for it.

~~~


Have a wonderful day. We have so much to celebrate and be thankful for, not the least of which, is the "protection of divine Providence" so valued and sought after by the 56 signers who pledged their all 231 years ago.

God bless America!