Archive for the ‘Politics’ category

The Sins of Nations

February 14, 2016

cigar-c-cMany people think the worst and most pressing sin confronting our nation today is abortion.  After all, well over 54 million babies have been slaughtered since abortion on demand was first declared the “the law of the land” by the Supreme Court in 1973. Today we see videos of the butchers at Planned Parenthood wining and dining while discussing the price of fetal body parts to be sold for medical research that would have made the Nazis proud.  As grizzly and inhuman as wholesale legalized abortion is, the fact that abortion is legal doesn’t mean that a single baby must die.  A moral God fearing people would simply refuse to murder their own children.  Besides, the government isn’t lining up pregnant women forcing them to undergo abortions at gun point … at least not yet.

While that day may come (who knows maybe “global warming” will be the pretext to forced slaughter), the biggest sin is the one the Federal Government perpetrates right under our noses through the manipulation of our monetary system by means of the private bankers at the Federal Reserve.  This is all done with the blessings, albeit without the oversight, of our elected officials and in violation of our Constitution.  It is fraud on a mass scale and one that steals the wealth of everyone except the well-connected few who have mastered the game and who profit immensely at the expense of the widow, the poor and the rest of us schlubs.  Ron Paul rightly called the devaluation of our dollars (what some mistake for inflation through rising prices for goods and services) a “hidden tax.” To think we once fought a war over taxation without representation, today we willingly accept the surreptitious theft of our personal wealth simply because we don’t see it on our bank ledger.  While correcting this problem may require taking up arms again, the problem is most people simply do not know the extent of the fraud being perpetrated against them. Frankly, I can hardly grasp the extent of it and have only in recent years been trying to catch up.  I always thought critics of the Federal Reserve were conspiracy wack jobs who were waiting to be fitted for their tinfoil hats.  Besides, the Federal Government can always blame the rising prices at your local supermarket on tsunamis, earthquakes, e-coli outbreaks, or one of the endless wars in the Middle East. Every economic bubble that bursts can always be blamed on something else. They’ll never admit that any economic ill is the result of “quantitative easing”  or some other Fed created monetary distortion.  That would let the genie out of the bag and reveal that The Great And Powerful Oz is just the gray haired old Jewish lady now in charge of the Federal Reserve.

Thankfully Steve Matthews has started to pull back the curtain in the recent issue of Trinity Review with his piece: “The Fed, Fiat Currency, and Feckless Keynesian Economics.”  Matthews provides thumbnail sketches exposing the biggest fraud in history and its causes.   Here are Matthews’ big three:

Central Banking … “the Fed is and has been since its creation the premier crony capitalist institution in the US. It was a way of allowing the bankers to privatize their profits while socializing their risks.”

Fiat Currency … “The ability to counterfeit a currency allows central banks and those closely connected to them to essentially strip mine the assets of a nation and concentrate wealth in the hands of a few very wealthy, well-connected individuals. After all, those hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars created by the Fed end up first in the hands of the too-big-to-fail banks, who can then take that money and buy stocks, bonds, and real estate before the rise in prices created by all that new money kicks in.”

Keynesian Economics  … “Keynes denied that free market principles applied to wage rates. And because he believed wages would not fall in response to lower demand from the marketplace, he concluded that the economies of the industrialized nations were stuck in a vicious cycle of workers demanding more money than businesses were willing to pay, thus causing the extended depression experienced in the West during the 1930s. In order to break this cycle, Keynes proposed that governments needed to stimulate their economies by spending money that private business refused to spend.”

Concerning the last point on Keynesian economics, when you factor in the evils of a central bank with their ability to print money out of thin air, the way Keynesian economists accomplish paying workers less than businesses are willing to pay is by simply devaluing the currency.  That bit of evil Machiavellian brilliance was something I first came across in Brian Doherty’s review of Nickholas Wapshott’s book: Keynes/Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economies in Reason magazine.  Doherty writes:

In a 1930s context of very powerful unions, Keynes thought it was politically impossible to achieve the nominal wage reductions necessary to clear the market for labor—that is, to let wages fall so that hiring would be cheaper and unemployment thereby reduced. He instead promoted inflation as a means to trick labor into taking lower real wages.

Of course, by “inflation” Doherty means the end result of the Fed simply printing more money and the deception continues.  But, the real question is when will Christians realize that they have a responsibility to expose the sins of nations, even those nations like the United States that create money out of thin air.

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Milton Friedman Was Wrong

October 3, 2015

I have enormous respect and admiration for the mind of George Gilder. After all his book, Men and Marriage, was a big imputus to my desire to get married 25 years ago. Now Gilder has written The 21st Century Case for God: A New Information Theory of Money. Let’s hope it does for our immoral monetary system of floating currencies and government’s monopoly control of the medium of exchange what Men and Marriage did in exposing the illusions of feminism and the harm it has inflicted on men.

Here’s a taste (and pay close attention to the second paragraph):

Government money has shielded banks from many of the effects of these blunders and from the impact of mild but persistent CPI inflation. But average American households have gone through an economic wringer as their medical, fuel and food costs surged. Doggedly opposed by the Administration and the academy, fracking technology together with the strengthening dollar offered economic relief, but the damage had been done. Their real incomes and net worth incurred a steady deterioration with falling labor hours, anemic employment growth, and the breakdown of families.

This persistent disaster would not have been possible without the concession by conservatives (with the delighted concurrence of liberals) that money is the one great exception to their general opposition to government monopoly—that among all the powers of the earth, only the power over money does not corrupt. Milton Friedman was wrong to think that control over the money supply would empower governments beneficently to stabilize its value. Instead, government could exploit their monetary control to steer money and credit away from productive enterprise and toward pet projects, political donors, and perverse policies.

Download Gilders entire monograph for free here.

Holy War or Ungodly Mess

August 11, 2014

JohnHagee

By Steve Matthews

The recent uptick in violence in the Middle East has resulted, predictably, in an uptick in calls to action from American neo-conservatives and dispensationalist Evangelicals.  Just today, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham called for more decisive action from President Obama with regard to the Islamic State, calling the organization, “a direct threat to our homeland.”  On his program last week, Sean Hannity, among the most militant neo-conservative, pro-Zionist voices in the American media, breathlessly reported on current conflict between Israel and Hamas.  From the tenor of his reports, it was clear that Hannity’s aim was to gin up support from American conservatives and Evangelicals for the Gaza offensive being conducted by Israel.  Yellow journalism, it seems, did not die with William Randolph Hearst.

According to a report in the Washington Post, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), an organization founded by dispensationalist John Hagee and currently the largest pro-Israel group in the US, has launched an aggressive nation-wide advertising campaign with the same goal in view as Sean Hannity’s reporting, solidify Evangelical support for Israel in its struggle with Hamas.  According to the article, CUFI, “will be taking to Israel 50 pastors, one from each state, as part of a solidarity trip.  The itinerary, barring unforeseen developments due to the war, includes meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli soldiers…The trip affords CUFI a vehicle for expressing solidarity with Israel and then informing and energizing their flock back in the U.S.”

According to the CUFI website, there are Biblical and moral imperatives that obligate Christians to support the state of Israel.  Neo-conservative politicians columnists and academics call for further American military involvement in Middle East.  What is an Evangelical to make of all this?

Support for Israel

CUFI gives as its statement of purpose the following:  “The purpose of Christians United For Israel (CUFI) is to provide a national association through which every pro-Israel church, parachurch organization, ministry or individual in America can speak and act with one voice in support of Israel in matters related to Biblical issues.” Under the heading Goals and Objectives, we find the following statement, “While millions of Christians support Israel, there are millions more who do not yet vocally stand up for the Jewish state.  It is crucial to educate Christians on the biblical and moral imperatives to support Israel and build Christian support for Israel throughout America.”  And by the term “support”, the group seems to mean principally political action.  The website continues, “While it is important that we pray for Israel, it is also important that we put feet to our prayers and speak truth to power about the need to stand with Israel at this critical juncture in history.  CUFI accomplishes these goals through:  CUFI’s annual Washington Summit CUFI members to personally speak with their elected officials on behalf of Israel. CUFI’s Action Alerts mobilize CUFI’s over one million members to contact their members of Congress or the Administration on critical policy issues.”

But while CUFI is very aggressive in making known its political support for Israel and encourages Christians to demonstrate their solidarity with that nation, oddly absent from its website is any mention of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It’s the 500 pound gorilla that Hagee and his colleagues would prefer to simply ignore.  One supposes this is due to the dispensationalist theology held by Hagee and his supporters who maintain the heretical doctrine that Jews already have a relationship with God through the law.  If CUFI and its members truly care about Israelis, they should be preaching the Gospel to unbelieving Israelis, not lobbying Congress to support the Jewish state’s offensive in Gaza.

Interventionist Foreign Policy

As a boy, I recall watching the nightly news in 1978 and seeing images of the scary mobs in Tehran.  Thousands of people in the streets were chanting, waving banners and denouncing the US as the Great Satan. It was disturbing to watch, but the joy of the Iranian mobs at the capture of the US embassy in Tehran also left me not a little bit puzzled.  I had no reason to hate Iranians, and it seemed to me that the vitriol directed by the Iranian mobs toward the US seemed completely unfounded.  It wasn’t until years later that I learned the root of the conflict between the US and Iran stretched back to 1953, when the CIA engineered a coup that deposed Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mosaddegh and imposed the Shah, who served as an American puppet.  While not excusing the actions of the Iranian Islamists, this bit of background at least made clear why many in Iran harbored a deep dislike of the US.

In the years since, the US has continued armed involvement in the region.  In 1983, the US lost hundreds of marines when a suicide bomber drove a truck full of explosives into the Beirut barracks of a US peacekeeping force.  Gulf War I and II followed in 1990 and 2003 respectively.  The war in Afghanistan, started in 2001, is still ongoing and has become the longest running military conflict in Americana history.  As if this were not enough, US backed NATO forces assisted in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.  The most recent US military involvement in the region was its attempt to overthrow the Syrian government of Bashar Assad.  The US is also supports ongoing drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia.

The above is just a brief summary of US activity in the region.  There is much more to it.  But US involvement there is not limited to bombs only.  On the opposite side, it has been a longstanding policy of the US to provide foreign aid to the region.  For example, during Fiscal Year 2012, US taxpayers were forced to provide the following amounts to the nation of the Middle East,

  • Afghanistan             $12.8 billion
  • Iraq                           $1.9 billion
  • Israel                        $3.1 billion
  • Egypt                       $1.4 billion
  • Pakistan                    $1.2 billion
  • Jordan                      $1.1 billion
  • West Bank/Gaza      $457 million

And just what has the US to show for all this activity?  Are Americans better off today than they were before spilling their blood and treasure?  Hardly.  The Middle East is more unstable now than at any point in the last several decades.  In addition to the war in Gaza against Hamas, Israel is threatening to attack Iran to prevent it from building a nuclear arsenal.  The US backed Syrian rebels, many of whom have Al Qaida ties, have gone rogue, taken a significant stash of the most advanced US weapons, formed the Islamic State, and overrun a large portion of Iraq.  Their next move is anyone’s guess, but calls have already begun for the US to put boots on the ground in Iraq.  Meanwhile the civil war continues to fester in Syria. (more…)

Gun Control, Old Testament Style

January 11, 2013

By Steve Matthews

taking aim

Until just a few years ago I had never fired a gun. Mind you, it wasn’t that I was opposed to gun ownership. That was never the case. I understood and supported the constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms. It just seemed to me that the Second Amendment had little application to my life. It was for others to uphold, not for me.

About four years ago all that changed. I bought my first gun and since then have acquired more. I did this for both symbolic and practical reasons. Free men tend to be armed men, and as the attacks on gun ownership mounted over the years, I more and more felt called to support in practice what I have always believed in my heart. Further, I must confess that the temptation to engage in an activity so hated by the Obamas, Feinsteins and Bloombergs of the world is absolutely irresistible. Ah, the joy of bitterly clinging to guns and religion.

Of course, the practical case for gun ownership is at least as compelling. I hate the thought of living life as a victim. Street thugs and tyrants alike offend me, and I have no intention of being and easy mark for either. Few things say I’m serious about life, liberty and property like a loaded gun and the ability to use it if need ed.

It was for defense against crime, and in particular state-sponsored crime, that was the impetus behind including the Second Amendment in the Constitution. Economist Walter Williams, long a hero of mine, recently wrote a wonderful column in which he cites several American founding fathers, true patriots all, speaking with one voice on the relationship between an armed citizenry and freedom. You can read it here.

But Williams didn’t leave it at that. Not only did he quote those who defended the right of citizen’s to bear arms, but he also provided a few juicy statements from various and sundry tyrants who, with very good reason, preferred to keep their jackboots on the necks of the defenseless than take their chances with a nation of gun owners. One quote in particular stood out. It reads,

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to posses arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”

Now there’s insight for you courtesy of a true prince of tyrants, Adolph Hitler. But Der Fuhrer was in no way being original when he made this statement. Almost as if to prove Solomon’s point about there being nothing new under the sun, the Old Testament relates the story about a like minded gang in 1 Samuel, chapter 13. There we read,

“Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, ‘Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears.’ But all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man’s plowshare, his mattock, his ax, and his sickle; and the charge for a sharpening was a pim for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to set the points of the goads. So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son.”

And there you have it, gun control Old Testament style. The Philistines enjoyed being in the driver’s seat did not want the Hebrews armed “lest they make swords and spears” and turn them on their Philistine “benefactors.” But as bad as the Philistines and Nazis were, in one respect they were better than contemporary gun grabbers: they told you the truth about why they were taking people’s weapons. Sentimental and sanctimonious propaganda was not for them. It was all about the power, the power, and, lest I fail to mention it, the power.

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Mitt and Mormonism

September 12, 2012

There is no doubt that our country is between a rock and a hard place.  Admittedly, it is politically incorrect to explain, much less to discuss, why.  Religion has become particularly taboo when assessing candidates whether they’re Black Liberationists with Marxist leanings or spit-shined Mormons with magic underpants and a faith in a god who lives on the planet “Kolob.”  We’ve become a nation where the First Amendment protections mean that it is now forbidden to question a man’s religion even when considering his qualification for public office.

Not that long ago there were genuine fears about electing John Kennedy as America’s first Roman Catholic president.  As it turned out those fears were unfounded as it wasn’t the pope pulling JFK’s string.  Even as recently as 1988, the same year Ron Paul first ran for president as a Libertarian, the Trinity Foundation was threatened with the loss of its tax exempt status because of John Robbins’ book; Pat Robertson: A Warning to America.  Evidently questioning Robertson’s charismatic faith along with his  “prophetic” visions during an election year can get your book banned.

Things have slid so far that I can’t even imagine anyone today, including those calling themselves “Evangelicals,” being even remotely concerned about a VP candidate who might actually be dancing his 6% body fat to the Vatican’s tune.  Consequently, questioning Romney’s Mormonism is either a throwback to a less enlightened era or is just irrelevant.  I mean, anything is better than Obama right?

In an attempt to assuage any remaining Evangelical concerns about his religious beliefs,  Romney recently told a reporter with the Washington Post:

“For me, there’s no question. I believe in a Heavenly Father, I believe in his Son Jesus Christ, I believe in the Holy Ghost. These are features that are part of many people’s faith in this country; other folks have differing views”

Almost sounds Trinitarian, right?  Perhaps, except for the fact that Mormon’s aren’t even remotely Trinitarian, and, according to the LDS website, “Latter-day Saints do reject the doctrines of the Trinity as taught by most Christian churches today.”  While there are a number of good sites on the web that offer some excellent summaries of Mormon doctrines, including their rejection of the Trinity in favor of a form of polytheism, I thought the following was a particularly good list of Mormon doctrines from a group of ex-Mormons that might be helpful for some when deciding who to vote for … or if they should vote at all:

  • God was once a man like us.
  • God has a tangible body of flesh and bone.
  • God lives on a planet near the star Kolob.
  • God (“Heavenly Father”) has at least one wife, our “Mother in Heaven,” but she is so holy that we are not to discuss her nor pray to her.
  • Jesus was married.
  • We can become like God and rule over our own universe.
  • There are many gods, ruling over their own worlds.
  • Jesus and Satan (“Lucifer”) are brothers, and they are our brothers – we are all spirit children of Heavenly Father
  • Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father by having sex with Mary, who was temporarily his wife.
  • We should not pray to Jesus, nor try to feel a personal relationship with him.
  • The “Lord” (“Jehovah”) in the Old Testament is the being named Jesus in the New Testament, but different from “God the Father” (“Elohim”).
  • In the highest degree of the celestial kingdom some men will have more than one wife.
  • Before coming to this earth we lived as spirits in a “pre-existence”, during which we were tested; our position in this life (whether born to Mormons or savages, or in America or Africa) is our reward or punishment for our obedience in that life.
  • Dark skin is a curse from God, the result of our sin, or the sin of our ancestors. If sufficiently righteous, a dark-skinned person will become light-skinned.
  • The Garden of Eden was in Missouri. All humanity before the Great Flood lived in the western hemisphere. The Ark transported Noah and the other survivors to the eastern hemisphere.
  • Not only will human beings be resurrected to eternal life, but also all animals – everything that has ever lived on earth – will be resurrected and dwell in heaven.
  • Christ will not return to earth in any year that has seen a rainbow.
  • Mormons should avoid traveling on water, since Satan rules the waters.
  • The sun receives its light from the star Kolob.
  • If a Gentile becomes Mormon, the Holy Ghost actually purges his Gentile blood and replaces it with Israelite blood.
  • A righteous Mormon will actually see the face of God in the Mormon temple.
  • You can identify a false angel by the color of his hair, or by offering to shake his hand.

You can find more here.  See also Mormonism 101 by Kevin DeYoung and Mormonism, Democracy, and the Urgent Need for Evangelical Thinking by Al Mohler.

The Revolution that Was

June 10, 2012

Want to know what the Ron Paul candidacy in ’08 and ’12 is all about?   I have never heard of Jack Hunter before, but his analysis below is solid.   Must be, because I couldn’t think of anything I disagreed with.  🙂   Hunter is evidently a radio host (maybe I can get my local talk radio station to drop Hannity and pick up this guy) and he either co-wrote, or more likely ghost wrote, Rand Paul’s The Tea Party Goes to Washington.   Viva la REVOLUTION!

Liberty University Here We Come

May 1, 2012

By Steve Matthews

For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:7)

If a Mormon takes the White House, what does it mean for evangelicals?  A while back I commented on this very issue, and one of my points was that should Mormon Mitt Romney – or John Huntsman who was in the race at the time – become president, Mormonism would go mainstream. Historically, evangelicals have been good on the issue of Mormonism, correctly pointing out that it is not Christianity.  But with the prestige of the presidency standing behind it, evangelicals would face tremendous pressure to drop their opposition and embrace Mormons as fellow believers.  Well, as it turns out, I was wrong in what I said.  The process already appears to be well under way, and all this without the Republican establishment having finished the job of foisting its Mormon golden boy on the rest of the country.

In an open letter to Jerry Falwell Jr., Chancellor of Liberty University, Erskine Seminary professor John Makujina* sharply criticizes the school –  an institution founded by Baptist Jerry Falwell in the 1970s “with a vision to train Champions for Christ as a world class university” – for extending an invitation to Mitt Romney to speak at its upcoming commencement.  Makujina writes,

“I was deeply disturbed at the news that Liberty University (LU) has invited Gov. Mitt Romney as their commencement speaker.  I do not quite know what would motivate a university with high Christian ideas and a commitment to the fundamentals of the faith to ask a Mormon to speak at commencement.  I fear, however, that Liberty’s dedication to the RNC and to the success of the conservative movement has trumped its allegiance to sound doctrine and the Gospel.” (italics added)

And that’s just it, isn’t it?  Far too many Christians, especially far too many high-profile Christians, rather than letting the Bible guide their political beliefs and actions, have allowed themselves to become Republican dupes, who can be counted on to support whatever nonsense the RNC happens to be pushing at the moment,  even to the point of willfully betraying the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

These days, ordinary Christians often are much sounder in their thinking than church officers, and this principle seems to apply in the case of LU’s students compared with the leaders of the school  The announcement of Romney as commencement speaker kicked off a wave of criticism from students on the school’s Facebook page.  But LU’s response to all this seemed more like the spin we have come to expect from political operatives embarrassed by some public relations gaffe than the words and actions of Christian leaders interested in the spiritual growth and well being of their students.  As CNN reports,

In a statement from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., the school says that the complaints have significantly died down and that many of those complaining ‘had no affiliation with the university.’

Translating this into non-PR, we can interpret Falwell’s remarks to mean, “Move along, folks, nothing to see here.  The narrow minded Bible thumpers have repented and come to see things from a more mature perspective.  And those internet flamers?  They were in no way affiliated with our dignified institution.  We never knew them.”

So is everything just lovely now in Lynchburg?  Hardly.  The CNN report continues,

After last week’s announcement, hundreds of comments were registered under the announcement on Liberty’s Facebook page.  While some were supportive of the decision to invite Romney, a number of respondents were angered and posted their frustration to Facebook.

As of Monday morning, the announcement was deleted from the page, along with all the comments.

Complaints died down because they took the ability to complain down from the website,’ said Janet Loeffler, a 53-year old freshman at Liberty who takes classes online.  Loeffler was a frequent poster to the Facebook page.” (emphasis added)

It seems that the spirit of authoritarianism is alive and well at LU, if not the Spirit of Christ.  Get on board or shut your mouth is their motto.  Now to be fair, LU states that students have other channels for registering their complaints, and I don’t doubt that this is the case, but by deleting the Facebook post together will all the comments, the school has gone into cover up mode.  How dare those freshmen speak up!

Tony Perkins also works to smooth over the dissent with his remark that he sees the Romney invitation as an opportunity.  This is certainly true, but whether it is a good opportunity is another matter entirely.  CNN quotes him saying,

” ‘ As Christians we can disagree strongly but we show respect and I think they will show respect for Mitt Romney,’ Perkins said on CNN’s Starting Point Monday morning.

‘They may not warmly applaud him and may continue to express differences and clearly there are differences theologically between Mormons and Christians, but here’s an opportunity for Mitt Romney to talk about what he has in common with evangelicals and that is on the value issues.’ “

To Perkins credit, he manages to distinguish between Mormons and Christians, but what’s this business about Romney and Evangelicals having common values.  Which values does Perkins have in mind? In his essay The Sin of Signing Ecumenical Declarations, John Robbins pointed out,

Christianity does not have a single proposition in common with systems of unbelieving thought [this includes Mormonism].  That is the philosophical lesson that must be drawn from the many Biblical statements and injunctions about purity, separation, sanctification and holiness.  Those terms do not apply, in some pietistic fashion, merely to one’s behavior, they apply even more strictly to one’s ideas and thoughts, ideas are not neutral, nor are they common to various systems of thought.  Ideas are to be ‘taken captive to the obedience of Christ.’

If Christianity and Mormonism have no propositions in common, they can have no values in common, however one may define that term.  Take, for example, the popular subject of family values.  Generally speaking, when people state that they support family values they mean they believe in traditional marriage and child rearing.  But because Mormons do not get their ideas on family values from Scripture alone, they must have a different idea of what this term means than do Christians.  Any agreement between the two parties on family values would be merely verbal in nature, that is to say Mormons and Christians may both use the term “family values”, but they attach different meanings to it.  When Christians and Mormons talk about family values, they are not talking about the same thing.  (more…)


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