Archive for November, 2008

Obama: How He Took Conservatives to School

Posted in The Hell You Say! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2008 by andeeroo

As a Conservative, it’s always tough to swallow when your philosophy and values have been kicked to the curb for (fingers crossed) the next four years.

But now that we’ve put a bit of distance from first Tuesday, I think it’s worth considering the right moves of the President-elect. It will set the jib and course for our nation through difficult waters. It can also teach all of us in “flyover” country a thing or too as we plan for the next election.

1. Being a “Community Organizer” paid off.
He was ridiculed by Hillary and McCain/Palin for only being a community organizer. Yet he used that knowledge and an incredible team of Internet professionals to generate tremendous grassroots support and a handsome campaign war chest: hunger for change provided all the change his campaign required.

2.  Running a Campaign based on hope still works.

Like FDR, Reagan and Clinton before him, Barack Obama understood Americans hope for a better day. He energized the youth vote in America, stole the Hispanic vote from the Republicans and reclaimed the Reagan blue collar voters. Obama carefully avoided running on an “outrage against the establishment” or “anger against injustices to minorities” image. He spoke, debated and campaigned with a calm, measured demeanor, cooling expectations of a liberal revolution led by Bill Ayers or a Jesse Jackson – Al Sharpton – Jeremiah Washington troika in cabinet.

3.  The President-elect chose experience over change in transition.

While many have complained about the number of Clinton administration picks by Obama, he has shrewdly decided that change does not equal stumbling around in the DC dark.
By choosing experienced transition team members he will step in to the Oval Office running full speed, able to take full advantage of the leverage of his first 100 days.

4. Lead from the middle.
He continues to send out the message that he will seek wide support in the Congress for proposals and actions in order to make “lasting” change. Time will tell if he can get the most liberal in his party to play with the most traditional in the Republican minority.

5. Practical battles over platform promises.
Tackling the financial debacle will trump health care reform  –  rethinking the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will take precedence over kowtowing to special interest groups –
a radical independent energy program for America will influence the salvation of the automotive industry.

Can the “permanent Republican majority” claimed by Karl Rove be resuscitated?  Are big business, strong military and security voters and Evangelicals still a good fit? Or do the ethics and morals of these groups no longer align as smoothly as before?

As we Conservatives work the kinks out and plan our political future, the five areas that provided Obama a healthy victory and quick start are well worth considering.


Punchline: What are you NOT thankful for?

Posted in A Merry Heart with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2008 by andeeroo

Let it be known that I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving holiday: my faith, family, friends and health to name just a few.

However, I will not hide the fact that there are many things in this world I am NOT thankful for! After you give thanks, take a moment to fess up.

I’ve compiled a brief list from a few from friends I queried. Please take a look at them and submit that thing you’re NOT thankful for:

Manually fillable ice cube trays   – Kendall

Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a Thong   – Teresa

Metric Tapeworms   – Mary

High water pants with white shoes   –  Luke

Fish Poetry   – Chris

Pay toilets   – Harry

Animals with holes in them   – Chelsea

Wall Street bailout beneficiaries   – Lee

Douvet Covers    – Holly

People in ski masks   –  Jonavan

Anime fillers and itchy socks   –  Rick

Political promises – Andy

Bird poop   – Jake

Abbreviations   – J

Dog fashions   –  Sid

The Detroit Lions   – Jeremy

Ten gallon hats and small minds   – Devin

People who say “irregardless and nevertheless”   – Nat

Career Change Off-Limits to Porn Star?

Posted in The Hell You Say!, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2008 by andeeroo

Several years ago Louisa Tuck (stage name, Crystal Gunns) exploited plastic surgery and personal innocence in exchange for fast money. Today she works with children in elementary school and the YMCA in Vineland, New Jersey. By every measure, a career change in an honorable direction.

But Louisa Tuck has come under fire from parents and education administrators. They have no grounds for her dismissal based upon her work. She has proven herself to be positive and effective in her work with children. But her past still lives on through the internet and other media sources. And that past raises fears of parents and educators in Vineland.

Now the school board of Vineland has been tossed this hot potato and asked for a verdict.

Board of Education President Frank Giordano wants Louisa Tuck fired. He let concerned parents know if it was his decision alone, he would fire her and worry about consequences later.  District Superintendent  Lawyers for the school district have said no action should be taken against Tuck; she has done nothing to violate her duties as a Teacher’s Aide.

Two important issues beg discussion here:

#1 Jesus constantly demonstrated forgiveness to others and directed those people toward a redeemed life.  shouldn’t people (particularly of faith) offer a second chance to this woman?

#2  Five years removed from her former life, has Ms. Tuck significantly demonstrated her desire to leave her past behind and serve in a job that benefits children? If not, what amount of time marks the tipping point for her to clear her past?

So, is this a just war waged on Louisa Tuck or a modern-day stoning taking place in New Jersey?

Let’s Drown the Children We Don’t Like!

Posted in For Heaven's Sake! with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2008 by andeeroo

by andy freeman
75 years ago the great Christian writer, philosopher and humorist G.K. Chesterton chose to address the hidden crime of abortion with incredibly insightful wit.

Some laughed; others who lacked a sense of humor were outraged at Chesterton’s suggestion that society “drown the children that were disliked.”

What the shallow-minded missed was Chesterton’s brilliant ridicule of abortion. If wise and decent people would never drown a child, why would they snuff out the life of a little infant boy or girl before we know how beautiful, wonderful and amazing that child might be?

In ancient cultures people actually sacrificed their infant children by the knife or burning them alive to the sun god or pretend, stone statues like Molech. In return they were told their crops would grow, their health would be good and their life would be spared suffering. But the promise was empty and the scar
that remained from taking the life of their own flesh and blood never left their broken heart or darkened mind.

The Apostle Paul says “Pray for Barack Obama”

Posted in For Heaven's Sake! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2008 by andeeroo

The election has concluded. While there will many with sore feelings, everyone who walks under the banner of Christ must come together and intercede for Barak Obama. We are specifically instructed to do so in the word of God. During the Clinton Presidency, Christians spent more time criticizing and hating the man than lifting him before the Lord. While he made mistakes in his personal life and Presidency, we failed the man and faltered in our duty as believers.

Why does Barak Obama need your prayers?

#1 He will make decisions that influence countless people in signficant ways.

#2 He faces incredibly difficult challenges in our economy, as well as two difficult wars in the Middle East. Barak Obama is an ordinary man who will require extraordinary wisdom and strength to deal
with these serious issues.

#3 He will be surrounded by many people who have their own agenda or simply want to be “yes” men to him. We must pray for wise counsel and truth to be presented to Barak Obama as he leads the nation.

#4 No matter what I Timothy tells us to do as believers, plenty of saints and sinners will slander and attack Barak Obama because he was not their candidate of choice or he does not represent all the policies they hold for government. The Bible clearly states that “the heart of the King is like a river in the hands of the Lord, that He turns whichever way He wishes.” Prayer changes things – hate and slander only fuels evil.

#5 There will be many temptations that the new President will have to face. Power, wealth and compromise. Still others will wish him ill. We must pray that the Lord guards his heart, protects the President and his family and steers him on the path of truth and righteousness during his time in office.

The Bible is full of examples of leaders who knew the blessings and guidance of God almighty and others who made the mistake of accepting bad counsel, falling to temptation or simply going their own way. Still others appeared to be ready to take nations on a path to destruction but found God’s blessing, direction and favor.

The next President of the United States is Barak Obama. The leadership he provides and decisions he makes are waiting to be affected by the prayers of the saints.

What will you do to honor God’s direction in I Timothy and help write the story of the next four years in America?

Blinded to Ghandi’s Legacy, Hindus Turn to Terrorism

Posted in The Hell You Say! with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2008 by andeeroo

by Andy Freeman

Having just returned from shooting documentary footage in Northeast India, I am acutely aware of the dangers and violence taking place in several regions there. Thankfully, I filmed in Misoram, a majority Christian state in India where billboards remind citizens that true Christianity is shown by loving your neighbor, no matter their religion.

Compare the tolerance of the Indian state of Misoram with the nearby state of Orissa. Today’s London Times reports that Christian Aid workers in Orissa identified a bounty program being run by Hindu extremists to assassinate pastors and torch churches. Weapons and gasoline are even provided to those willing to commit these heinous acts in the name of Hinduism.

67 Christians have been killed and countless homes and church destroyed by Hindu terrorism. Over ten thousand Christians are now living in refugee camps in the district of Kandamal; fearing if they return home they will be forced to convert to Hinduism or be murdered.

This religious campaign of terrorism is the result of the assasination of a hardline Hindu Swami: Lakshmanananda Saraswati. The Swami had been outspoken against Christian missionaries outreach and evangelization of impoverished Hindus.

His self-identified killers are a group Maoist militants. Yet Hindu extremists blamed Christians and acted with bloodthirsty vengence against innocent people. Now Christians have been warned if the killers of Saraswati are not caught by December 15 the Hindu terrorists will kill more Christians on December 25.

Local Catholic bishops believe all these actions are a “preplanned masterplan to wipe out Christianity from Kandhamal. . . establishing a Hindu nation.”

Keep in mind that India’s culture is historically based on a caste system. While discrimination based on caste has been officially barred for years, it survives outside of major cities.Those who live at the bottom of the caste ladder have responded in greatest numbers to the gospel message. By becoming Christian they discover equality among fellow believers that eludes them in rural Indian society.

Hindu extremists manage to prey on the fears of fellow Hindus point to Christians as a dangerous group whose open faith is changing Indian culture. This is nothing more than a straw man argument in a state where Christians are a peaceful minority.

The real question to be raised is how far have these Hindu extremists strayed from the teachings of their religion and its greatest leader, Mahatma Ghandi? The question requires two answers.

If Ghandhi were living, he would vehemently protest these extremists. His hallmark was change through non-violence
to gain the independence of India from Britain – for the liberation of Indians of every religion and no religion at all.
His credo was clear when he stated: “There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no cause that I am prepared to kill for.”

While he remained a faithful Hindu, Ghandi learned much from the teachings of Jesus Christ and applied these truths vigorously throughout his leadership of the Indian people toward independence. In her book, “Ghandi: the Man,” Millie Pollak points out how Christ’s Sermon on the Mount were a constant inspiration and source of quotation for Ghandi and a portrait of Christ hung over the desk where he worked.

The second answer requires considering teachings in the Hindu holy book, the Bhagvad Gita and how they can easily be misused.
No doubt they are quite different in their message than the one that Mahatma Ghandhi preached. Consider the setting of the story about to be quoted is war and the warrior Arjuna is struggling with his reasons for fighting and conquering his enemies. Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu) tells Arjuna:

“O Arjuna, how can a person who knows that the Spirit is indestructible, eternal, unborn, and immutable, kill anyone or causes anyone to be killed? (2.21)”

“O Arjuna, the Spirit that dwells in the body of all beings is eternally indestructible. Therefore, you should not mourn for anybody.” (2.30)

One can see how easily this type of philosphy can be used to justify religious killings or any other type of killing. If one believes the spirit is reincarnated, they are coming back anyway. As an extremist you are performing an act of justice and providing the spirit another chance to return and get their life right next time.

Krishna goes on to tell Arjuna:

“Considering also your duty as a warrior you should not waver like this. Because there is nothing more auspicious for a warrior than a righteous war.” (2.31)

“You will go to heaven if killed on the line of duty, or you will enjoy the kingdom on the earth if victorious. Therefore, get up with a determination to fight, O Arjuna.” (2.37)

If terrorizing and killing non-Hindus is presented as a righteous war, you are coherced into violence; otherwise you lose honor and end up a coward and outcast. But the benefits of righteous fighting include heaven if you are killed in action or the spoils of victory here on earth. This type of teaching is comparable to the Koranic teaching used to drive Islamic extremists to violent acts against non-Muslims.

So, these Hindu extremists face a gaping disconnect between the teachings of a modern Hindu leader like Ghandi who declared:
“My position is that it does not matter what faith you practice, as long as the soul longs for truth.” This belief is no longer being lived out among the Hindus of Orissa as they rape, burn and murder those who do not match their brand of religion.
Instead, easily swayed Hindus are steered to violence by thoughts of righteous war and the warning from Krishna to Arjuna:
“If you will not fight this righteous war, then you will fail in your duty, lose your reputation, and incur sin.” (2.33)

When we pause to consider that Mahatma Ghandi was killed by a former member of a Hindu extremist faction, we know
our prayers and political action must be vigorous on behalf of Christian believers and the leaders of the nation of India.

Jesus called us to love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us. I’m sure is far easier to cite these truths living in America than caught in the midst of religious violence.

Ghandi’s words echo loudly when we consider all these troubles within India, as well as Africa, the Middle East and so many parts of our world: “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”