Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Koran and Women

Robert Spencer's book really ought to be read by everyone who thinks Islam is a religion of peace and suitable for civilized society. One of the most atrocious teachings of the Koran is its view of women.

It is well known that the Koran allows a faithful Muslim up to four wives. What is not as well known is that he may also resort to "those that his right hand possesses" (i.e., slave girls captured in war or bought with money).

The fourth Surah (chapter) deals with women at some length. In it we read this:
Marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess (4:3)
Apparently, the faithful may even resort to these slave girls if the girls are married.
And all married women are forbidden unto you save [except] those captives whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you (4:24)
And in Sura 23:1-6, we read this:
Successful indeed are the believers who are humble in their prayers, and who shun vain conversations, and who are payers of the poor-due; and who guard their modesty [i.e., abstain from sex]--save [except] from their wives or the slaves that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy.

The Government and Its Banking Cartel

Hans Sennholz has called the creation of the Fed "the most tragic blunder ever committed by Congress. The day it was passed, old America died and a new era began. A new institution was born that was to cause, or greatly contribute to, the unprecedented economic instability in the decades to come."

It was a form of financial socialism that benefited the rich and the powerful. As for the excuse, it was then what it is now. The claim is that the Fed would protect the monetary and financial system against inflation and violent swings in market activity...

In practice the reality has been much different. One only needs to reflect on the dramatic decline in the value of the dollar that has taken place since the Fed was established in 1913. The goods and services you could buy for $1.00 in 1913 now cost nearly $21.00. Another way to look at this is from the perspective of the purchasing power of the dollar itself. It has fallen to less than $0.05 of its 1913 value. We might say that the government and its banking cartel have together stolen $0.95 of every dollar as they have pursued a relentlessly inflationary policy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Artists at Work

Inflation and the Fed

Even the Fed itself claims that part of its jobe is to keep inflation in check. This is something like the tobacco industry claiming that it is trying to stop smoking or the automobile industry claiming that it is tyring to control road congesttion. The Fed is in the business of generating inflation. It might attempt to stop the effects of inflation, namely rising prices. But under the old definition of inflation--an artificial increase in the supply of money and credit--the eitnre reason for the Fed's existence is to generate more, not less of it.

What the largest banks desire is precisely what we might expect any large corporation to desire: privatized profits and socialized losses. (p. 14)

Socializing Losses

In chapter two Ron Paul does a decent job explaining "The Origin and Nature of the Fed."

From its founding in 1913, secrecy and inside deals have been part of the way the Fed works.

Part of the public relations game played by the chairman of the Fed is designed to suggest that the Fed is an essential part of our system, one we cannot do without. In fact, the Fed came about during a priod of our nation's history called the Progressive Era, when the income tax and many new government institutions were created. It was a time in which business in general became infatuated with the idea of forming cartels as a way protecting profits and socializing losses.

The largest banks were no exception. They were very unhappy that there was not national lender of last restort that they could depend on to bail them out in times of crisis. With no bailout mechanism in place, they had to sink or swim on their own merits. (p. 13)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Too bad they don't really make cars like this

European engineering thwarts Arab's plans.

Funny Video

Thought you might enjoy this.

Who Made God?

If God made the world who made God?

The simple answer is, “No one made God.” He is self-existent and eternal. Although the answer is simple, understanding it is a bit more difficult. But let’s think through it for a moment.

When it comes to the origin of God, we have four theoretical possibilities. Either:

(1) He popped into being without a cause
(2) God made himself
(3) He was made by someone else
(4) He was not made at all; he is eternal

(1) The first possibility is that God just popped into being without a cause. But this is not really a possibility at all. We cannot conceive of an effect without a cause. If he had a beginning, there must have been a cause.

(2) But it’s clear that God could not have made himself, because for him to have made himself he would had to have existed prior to himself, which is absurd. It would be a logical contradiction.

(3) It is equally clear that he was not made by someone else, because if God derived his existence from someone else, then this someone else would be greater than God, and he would deserve our worship and obedience. In other words, this someone else who is greater than God would be the true God.

Not only so, but we would very naturally want to know who it was that made this someone else. And then, “Who made the one who made this someone else?” And then again, “Who made him?” and so on until we are involved in what’s called an infinite regress. We keep moving the question back one step further until we have an infinite chain of cause and effect, which is impossible.

(4) The only real possibility, then, is to say that God was not made at all—that he is self-existent and eternal. By “self-existent” we mean that he has the power of existence in and of himself…and always has had this power.

Everything else that exists derives its existence from something outside of itself, and ultimately from God. Take human beings, for instance. The cause of our existence lies outside of ourselves; and the conditions of our continuing existence, likewise are outside of us.

Humanly speaking we depended upon the coming together of our parents for the beginning of our existence. Before we were conceived in our mothers’ wombs we did not exist. But we came into existence when we were conceived. After conception we depended upon our mothers to carry us in the womb for nine months, receiving nourishment from her body. After we were born we depended upon her to feed and clothe us and to nurse us back to health when we were sick. And even now that we are grown to maturity and can take care of ourselves, we must still depend upon many things outside of ourselves for our continuing existence. We depend upon the air to breathe, for instance. We depend upon food to eat and water to drink, and many, many other things also to keep our bodies alive and well. But God has no such needs…never has and never will.

The universe and everything in it has a derived and dependent existence, but God is self-existent, self-sufficient. He does not depend upon anyone or anything outside of himself for his existence (or for anything else).

Jesus expressed this very simply and very elegantly when he said in John 5:26, “The Father has life in himself.” He has life (or the power of existence) in himself.

This seems to be one of the things God wished to communicate when he made his name known to Moses. When Moses asked God what his name was, God said his name was/is, “I AM.” When God says that his name is I AM, he means he is the God who IS, as opposed to the gods of the pagan who are not; which is to say he is the God who exists, while the pagan gods do not exist.

And not only does God exist, but he exists in the most absolute sense. He is the ground of all existence, the source of all existence, the one from whom all things derive their existence, and upon whom they continually depend for their existence—and it’s because he has the power of existence in and of himself.

This is why when we open the Bible and come to the very first verse, it says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The phrase, “in the beginning,” refers to the heavens and the earth. It doesn’t refer to God. God has always been. There never was a time when God was not. He never began to be. You had a beginning, and I had a beginning. The universe itself had a beginning. But God has always existed. There never was a time when he was not. And there never was a time when he began to be.

The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deut. 33:27)

Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Ps. 90:2)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Preventative Medicine

A little preventative medince ahead of the release of Michael Moore's new film, "Capitalism: A Love Story," is provided by Walter Williams.

An economic disaster on the way?

Some sobering economic analysis by Richard Rahn over at NewsMax.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Legal Counterfeiting

The Fed’s activities since the market meltdown of 2008 have been dangerous in the extreme. The Fed is using all its power to drive the monetary base to unprecedented heights, creating trillions in new money out of thin air. From April 2008 to April 2009, the adjusted monetary base shot up from $856 billion to an unbelievable $1.749 trillion. Was there any new wealth created? New Production? No, this was the Ben Bernanke printing press at work. If you and I did anything similar, we would be called counterfeiters and be sent away for a lifetime in prison. (p. 8)

Back on November 21, 2002, Ben Bernanke explained precisely what his views are, so perhaps there should have been no surprise. “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation.” (pp. 10-11)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Reflections on Beauty

There are many defects of the modern mind, but surely one of the most serious is its being conditioned to prize mere functional utility at the expense of beauty. When we consider the value of something, we almost always do so in terms of its usefulness. What’s it good for? What function does it perform? Is it efficient?

The question we rarely seem to ask is, “Is it beautiful?” How often do we purchase something simply for the pure aesthetic delight we take in it? Are we not inclined to think it a waste of money?

Yet God has given us senses that appreciate beauty – sights, sounds, and smells that have a pleasing effect. Sadly, however, Christians often fail to cultivate their aesthetic sense. It is thought to be unspiritual to “waste time” on such things. But God’s delight in things beautiful is displayed in his handiwork. Think of the varieties of color he splashes on the sky at sunset, the thousands of hues of green in nature (with none of them clashing), the sparkling heavens at night, the smell of honeysuckle, the sound of birds singing their songs to God, the taste of a good wine. To a modern utilitarian it might seem that God wasted an awful lot of creative energy on things that serve no useful purpose other than to ravish our senses. But God was pleased not only to ensure our survival in the world by providing us with what is necessary, but also to ensure our enjoyment of it by providing us with what is beautiful.

Created as we are in God’s image, we are drawn to the beautiful, and unless our aesthetic sense has been stifled by a crass utilitarian brain-washing, we pursue the beautiful, not merely in purely artistic pursuits like painting and sculpture, but in everyday ordinary activities, like how we dress, how we speak, how we set the table, how we worship.

Below are some quotations from various sources that might help us recover a sense of the importance of beauty.

Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance (Gen. 29:17)

And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty
(Ex. 28:2)

See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft (Ex. 31:1-5)

Sound theology leads always to the love of beauty. When there is no love of beauty, we may say, reasoning modus tollens, that there is no sound theology (Douglas Jones, Angels in the Architecture, p. 26).

We were created to make beautiful things - in music, in stone, on canvass, in sculpted gardens and in wonderful buildings (Douglas Jones, Angels in the Architecture, p. 31).

Beauty is never ‘necessary,’ ‘functional,’ or ‘useful.’ And when, expecting someone whom we love, we put a beautiful tablecloth on the table and decorate it with candles and flowers, we do all this not out of necessity, but out of love. And the Church is love, expectation and joy… As long as Christians will love the Kingdom of God, and not only discuss it, they will ‘represent’ it and signify it, in art and beauty (Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World, p. 30).

Were there some things that Jesus didn't know?

Q. Jesus said that he and God are one. Then in another verse he says that no one knows the day and the hour of the Second Coming. How can he not know if God knows, and he and God are one?

That’s an excellent question! The verses referred to are John 10:30, where Jesus says, “I and the Father are one”, and Matthew 24:36, where he says, “Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

Some people have thought that when Jesus said, “I and the Father are one”, that he meant he and the Father are one and the same person—that sometimes he is called God (or the Father), and sometimes he is called the Son (or Jesus), but that in reality the Father and Son are one and the same person.

However, if this were true, we would have a real difficulty, because then the Scriptures would contradict themselves, by saying that the same person both knows and does not know the date of the Second Coming.

The difficulty is cleared up, however, when we understand that when Jesus said, “I and the Father are one”, he did not mean that he and the Father are one and the same person. Throughout the Bible the Father and the Son are distinguished from each other. They are not one in the sense of the same person, but in a different sense.

We find an analogy in the relationship of a husband and wife. The Bible says that a husband and wife are “one” (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5-6; Eph. 5:31). This is similar—it’s not identical, but similar—to what Jesus meant when he said that he and the Father are one. When a man and a woman are married, they remain two distinct individuals, but there is a certain sense in which they become “one.” They become one covenantally—they are united in a covenant of marriage. They become one in a life purpose, establishing one home together. In addition, they become one flesh in a sexual union.

It’s in a similar sense that God the Father, and Jesus the Son, are one. They are united in will, purpose, and affection. But they are united in a much deeper sense, too. They are united at the level of their being. Though they are—together with the Holy Spirit—three distinct persons, they comprise the one Godhead. This is referred to as the doctrine of the Trinity (tri—meaning three; and unity—meaning one). The Trinity is a difficult doctrine to wrap our minds around, but it states that three persons subsist in one indivisible divine essence. Not three gods. Not three divine beings. But three persons in one divine being.

Now, this would seem to pose another problem. If Jesus is a member of the Holy Trinity, and thus, a divine person, how could he not know something—like the day and the hour of the Second Coming?

The Bible teaches that Jesus existed from all eternity and shared in all the attributes and glory of divinity. But that he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped (held onto, retained at all costs), but instead made himself nothing. This is the language of Paul in Philippians. Jesus made himself nothing in order to be born in the likeness of men, to live and die among us.

In some mysterious way that we can never fathom, he laid aside his divine powers and lived in this world with all the limitations of our humanity. We find that, like every other man, Jesus got tired (Jn. 4:6). Like every other man, he needed sleep (Mk. 4:38). He became hungry and thirsty (Jn. 19:28). Of course he ate and drank. When he was crucified he felt pain. And of course he died like any other man would have who suffered crucifixion. He lived with the limitations and weaknesses of our humanity (except without sin).

But didn’t he work miracles? And didn’t the miracles come from his divine nature? Well, the miracles he performed, he performed, not with his own divine power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit who descended upon him at his baptism. He lived as a man, empowered by the Holy Spirit. He never ceased being God; but somehow, as I have said before, in some mysterious way we cannot understand, he laid aside his divine powers and lived with the limitations of our humanity. The attribute of omniscience (all knowing) was one of the divine powers which Jesus laid aside when he became a man. We read in the gospel of Luke that Jesus grew in wisdom (Lk. 2:40). He could only grow in knowledge and wisdom if he was not all knowing to begin with. This is why, though being a divine person, there were some things that he didn’t know in his days on earth, for it appears that the Father did not reveal all things to him, only what was necessary for him to know.

As we ponder all this, it makes the love of God appear all the more remarkable, doesn’t it? To think that Jesus existed from all eternity “in the form of God” (Phil. 2:6), sharing in all the infinitely glorious attributes of Godhood (omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, self-existence), but willingly humbled himself to become a man and live with the limitations of humanity; and not only this, but to live among us sinners, and to die for us sinners. What can we say to these things except, “See what kind of love the Father has for us...” (1 Jn. 3:1) that he would go to such lengths to save us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama's Wishful Thinking

For a lesson in the hazards of not understanding the Koran, let's look at President Obama's June 4, 2009, Cairo address to the Muslim world. Filled with reverential references to the supposedly compassionate teachings of the 'holy Koran,' the speech serves as an abject lesson in the wishful thinking, self-delusion, and political correctness that pervades Western assumptions about Islamic scripture.

In praising the Koran's ostensibly peaceful teachings, Obama cited verse 5:32: 'The Holy Koran,' said the President, 'teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.' This sounds peaceful enough, but Obama studiously ignored the next verse (5:33), which mandates punishments for those whom Muslims do not regard as 'innocent'--punishments including crucifixion or amputation of a hand and a foot for those who fight against Allah and Muhammad. (p. 11)

Big Government and the Fed

True reform of the federal government and reduce it to its constitutional limits simply cannot take place without ending the Federal Reserve.

If you solve the money monopoly problem by ending the Fed, you solve many other problems, too. Essentially you take away from the government the capacity to use financial trickery to expand without limit. It is the first step to restoring constitutional government. Without the Fed, the federal government would have to live within its means. It would still be too big and too intrusive, just like all state governments are today, but the outrageous empire at home and abroad would have to come to an end. (p. 7)

Three Strikes and You're Out

First it was Baltimore.

Then it was D.C.

Now it's Brooklyn.

ACORN is in big trouble. So much so that the U.S. Census Bureau has severed ties with the organization and the U.S. Senate has voted 83-7 to block further funding.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran

I had owned a copy of the Koran for several years prior to 9/11. I had even read bits and pieces of it from time to time, a sura here and a sura there (the chapters of the Koran are called "suras"). In the main, I found the book to be utterly dull and tedious. Hence my failure to finish reading it.

After 9/11, however, I resolved to read through Koran carefully in order to try to understand some of the motivation behind the attacks on our country. At the same time I read a number of other books about the history of Islam. It became increasingly clear to me that the terrorists who attacked us (and those who wish to do so now) represent true Koranic Islam. In the same way there are two types of Christians: (1) those who take the Bible seriously and seek to be faithful to its teaching, and (2) those who cherry pick from the Bible what they want to believe and practice, so it is with Muslims and the Koran.

It seems to me that Osama bin Laden and those like him are seeking to take the Koran like Muhammad intended, while those Muslims who denounce terrorist acts performed in the name of Allah are cherry picking the Koran.

Don't get me wrong. With about a billion Muslims around the world, I'm glad there are a lot of Muslims who cherry pick the Koran. The world would be a much darker place if all Muslims were faithful to the teachings of the Koran.

That said, I want to introduce and review a new book by Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch. A year or so ago I read his Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, and found it to be very helpful and informative. I've just purchased his The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran, and it looks to be quite helpful, as well.

His first chapter is Why Every American Needs to Know What's in the Koran. Here are a few highlights.

A huge number of policy decisions are predicated upon the assumption that the Koran teaches peace, and that those who brandish Korans and commit violence are misunderstanding their own religion and perverting the teachings of their own holy book...

Most government and media analysts dare not even question the assumption that the Koran is peaceful, for they believe that any insinuation to the contrary is racist, bogoted, and effectively brands all Muslims as terrorists... Many policymakers simply assume the Koran teaches peace without bothering to study the text, an act which might raise some uncomfortable questions (p. 9)
More to come...

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's Even Worser than you Think

This is a follow up on my post below. We've known about the corruption of ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) for quite some time. But whoda thunk that they would have bent over backward to help a pimp set up a brothel with tax and legal advice? (See the previous post: It's Worse than You Think)

The first undercover video was shot at an ACORN office in Baltimore. Turns out the workers there may be typical of ACORN employees across the board. James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles performed the same schtick at the office in Washington, D.C. and found the same "help". One wonders just how deep the corruption goes.

On Eating the Body and Drinking the Blood of Christ

Question: In John 6:53, Jesus says “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” Is he speaking symbolically?

Some people have understood Jesus to be speaking literally, and they connect what he says here to the Lord’s Supper. They think that in the Lord’s Supper a miracle takes place and that the bread and wine of the of the communion table are literally changed into the body and blood of Christ. The technical term for this belief is transubstantiation.

But it seems clear to me that when Jesus spoke of our need to eat his flesh and drink his blood that he was using a very common Hebrew metaphor. We find this sort of thing in the Scriptures really quite often – where the idea of eating and drinking is used in a metaphorical sense.

For instance, we frequently find the Scriptures representing the weapons of war as eating the flesh and drinking the blood of those who are slain. The Lord uses this as an image of judgment.

“I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh” (Deut. 32:42)

“That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated and drink its fill of their blood” (Jer. 46:10)
We find something similar in 2 Samuel, where we have an account of a battle between David and the forces of his son Absalom. It says, “The battle spread over the face of all the country, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword” (2 Sam. 18:8). In other words, the forest killed more people than the sword did. You might remember that Absalom himself met his end by getting his hair caught in a tree (2 Sam. 18:9-15).

There are a great many instances in Scripture of this kind of metaphorical use of eating and drinking. In the book of Job it is said that man “drinks injustice like water” (Job 15:16), meaning (in the first place) that man in his fallen state has a thirst for sin and (in the second place) fully partakes of it.

In Proverbs the evil man is said to “eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence” (Prov. 4:17), meaning that he hungers and thirsts for these things, and is filled with them. Solomon also says that “fools feed on folly” (Prov. 15:14).

The metaphor of eating and drinking is also often used in connection with assimilating knowledge of divine things and growing spiritually. Jeremiah says, “Your words were found and I ate them” (Jer. 15:16). Paul tells the Corinthians that he fed them with milk and not with solid food because they were not ready for it (1 Cor.3:1-2). Peter tells his readers to “long for the pure spiritual milk” (1 Pet. 2:2).

It seems clear to me that Jesus was using these terms in the same metaphorical sense when he says that we must eat his flesh and drink his blood.

When one eats and drinks, two things happen: 1.) hunger and thirst are satisfied, and 2.) whatever is consumed is assimilated into the person consuming it. People in the ancient world understood this. Perhaps they couldn’t give you a biological or scientific explanation of how it happened, but they understood that somehow, when food was taken into the body, it was transformed into the body – it somehow provided nourishment, health, and strength for the body.

When Jesus says that we must eat his body and drink his blood—and that unless we do so, we have no life in us—he means that we are to fully appropriate to ourselves all the saving benefits of his sacrificial death. I don’t think there can be any more powerful way of expressing this than by saying what Jesus said—that we eat his body, as it were, and that we drink his blood; that we consume him.

How do we do this? Well, we consume Christ by believing in him. Consuming the flesh and blood of Christ is equated with believing in him. In this same chapter the very same benefits are promised to believing in him as are promised to eating his flesh and drinking his blood (vv. 35, 40, 47).

There are several metaphors the Scriptures use for believing in Christ. They sometimes speak, for instance, of “looking to” Jesus (Jn. 6:40; 12:44-45); or of “knowing” him; but in my opinion, there is no more powerful description of believing—no more vivid portrayal of faith—than that of eating and drinking. To believe in Christ is to consume him. There is no such thing as a casual faith in Jesus. One’s faith in Christ, if it exists at all, is both passionate and consuming. Real faith in Christ is an aggressive thing. It lays a hold of him and makes him one’s own.

The Fed Benefits...Who?

I want to give you some highlights from chapter one of Ron Paul's End the Fed. But first, some context and biblical perspective.

The Bible has quite a lot to say about money. Much of it comes in the form of aphorisms (largely in the wisdom literature), in which we learn about diligence leading to prosperity (Prov. 10:4; 12:27; 13:4), the wisdom of diversifying investments (Ecc. 11:1-2), the Lord repaying the generous man who gives to the poor (Prov. 19:17), avoiding the dangers of debt (Prov. 22:7), saving for future needs (Prov. 21:20), calculating the cost of projects (Lk. 14:28), etc.

But there are also a number of commandments in the law, as well as instruction in the prophets, that have a direct bearing on the standard operating procedures of the Federal Reserve System. The Bible, in no uncertain terms, condemns dishonest money.

You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin (Lev. 19:35-36).

And the prophet Isaiah condemned the practice of debasing the currency when he said,

How the faithful city has become a whore, she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. Your silver has become dross... (Isa. 1:22).

They had devalued their silver by mixing it with foreign substances, but they passed it off as pure silver. They were sophisticated thieves. Instead of breaking and entering into some one's home and making off with his treasure chest, they committed their thievery by paying for what they purchased with debased silver.

In essence, this is what the Federal Reserve does when it "creates" money that is not backed by gold and silver. And the more money it "creates" (running the printing presses; reducing the fractional reserve; issuing easy credit; etc.) the less valuable each dollar becomes. Who wins? Those who are in the know and are in a position to receive the newly "created" money--those who have connections with central banks and are already wealthy. Who loses? The little people: the poor and those living on fixed incomes who don't have access to the new money. Since the creation of new money (monetary inflation) devalues the dollar and reduces its purchasing power, there is an inevitable rise in prices (price inflation). This harms the poor far more than the rich.

Some observations by Ron Paul about the Fed:

Economic booms and busts have been around for a long time. Tragically, the innocent who understand little about the complexity of the monetary system suffer the most, while those who are in the know reap great profits whether the market is going up or down. Only an understanding of how the monetary system works can correct this problem and protect the victims caught in a vicious economic downturn. (p. 3)

To understand money, one absolutely must understand what a central bank is all about. In the United States, the central bank is the Federal Reserve, the instrument by which our money and credit are constantly manipulated for the benefit of a privileged class. (pp. 3-4)

Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek...wrote of central banking; “I doubt whether it has ever done any good except to the rulers and their favorites, “and he concluded that "money is certainly too dangerous an instrument to leave to the fortuitous expediency of politicians. (p. 6)

[Thomas] Paine…who inspired the American Revolution with his pamphlet Common Sense, also said this: “As to the assumed authority of any assembly in making paper money, or paper of any kind, a legal tender, or in other language, a compulsive payment, it is a most presumptuous attempt at arbitrary power. There can be no such power in a republican government: the people have no freedom – and property no security – where this practice can be acted.” (pp. 5-6)

More to come...

End the Fed

I just purchased a new book, written by one of the very few men in Washington who actually seems to understand and properly respect the limitations the Constitution sets on the federal government: Ron Paul. The book is End the Fed. He's talking, of course, about the Federal Reserve which manipulates the money supply, and in so doing creates all kinds of economic havoc. Most people have very little understanding of how the Fed works and how its actions affect us. Paul's book is a kind of "Fed for Dummies" to help us average joes understand what is arguably the most powerful institution in the world.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Worse Than You Think

No doubt you've heard about ACORN--the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now--and some of its criminal shenanigans in support of liberal causes and candidates. But its worse--far worse--than you think. Fox News has an article about some investigative work done by James O'Keefe and a young woman who posed as a pimp and a prostitute looking for advice on how to avoid getting caught. When they mentioned that they were bringing in 13 under-age El Salvadorian girls, they received additional advice on how to avoid detection and even to claim three of them as dependents so as to receive tax credits.

You can see the whole two part video at Big Government. You really have to see it to believe it. O'Keefe said he tried to come up with the most ridiculous story possible to expose just how corrupt ACORN really is. Not only does he pose as a pimp setting up a brothel, but he's looking to add thirteen underage illegal aliens, and the money he makes he wishes to use for in a run for political office.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bargaining with Thieves

Over at American Vision, Bojidar Marinov has an interesting take on the town hall meetings this summer.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Jews and Jerusalem

The Muslim claim that Jerusalem rightfully belongs to Islam is increasingly defended by Muslim scholars and clerics with the absurd notion that the Jews have no historic tie to the land of Israel. The following is from Aaron Klein at
The Jewish temples never existed, and Jews have no historic connection to Jerusalem, declared Sheikh Taysir Tamimi, president of the PA court system. Tamimi condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for stressing the Jewish people's historic connection to Jerusalem while in Europe last week.

Tamimi claimed "all Jewish rabbis and extremist organizations" as well as Netanyahu are lying when they state Jerusalem was a historically Jewish city. He called such claims "baseless and untrue."

"Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city and it always has been so," he said.

Separately, during an exclusive interview with this reporter, Tamimi, one of the most influential Muslim leaders in Israel, took his assertions even further, arguing that the Western Wall really was a tying post for Muhammad's horse, the Al Aqsa Mosque was built by angels, and Abraham, Moses and Jesus were prophets for Islam.

Tamimi is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What About Christian Political Activism?

What do you think of political activism by Christians? Isn’t it true that we can’t legislate morality?

This idea that you cannot legislate morality is one of the slogans we often hear recited by those who oppose Christian involvement in the political or legislative process. And on the surface it seems to have some plausibility; so we need to examine it carefully.

The statement, “You cannot legislate morality” is a fairly ambiguous statement. That is, it’s true or false depending upon what you mean by it, because it’s capable of at least two very different meanings.

It’s possible to construe the words to mean, “You cannot change people’s hearts by passing laws;” or the words may be taken to mean, “You ought not impose morality by means of the law.”

According to the first meaning, the statement is true; according to the second, it is false.

If, when someone says, “You cannot legislate morality,” he means that you can’t change people’s hearts by passing laws, then the statement is of course true. Laws do not change hearts. But then again that is not the purpose of law. Legislation is designed to suppress evil behavior through the threat of civil penalties. We legislate against murder, for instance, not in an attempt to change the heart of the would-be murderer, but in order suppress his evil behavior through fear of punishment.

No, you cannot change people’s hearts by passing laws. However, to admit this is not to say that law does not serve a valuable purpose. What would life be like if we did not have law? We would have no civilization. If we didn’t have law, we would have chaos. We would have anarchy. No one would be safe. Our lives and property would be at the mercy of the wicked. Everyone would have to defend himself and seek his own justice when he was wronged. It would be hard to imagine a more miserable state of society.

No, you cannot legislate morality in the sense of changing people’s wicked hearts. You can’t change sinners into saints by passing laws. You can’t make a thug a respectable citizen simply by outlawing thuggery. But you can make the price of thuggery higher than he’s willing to pay, by punishing it in a court of law. You can’t make a violent and perverse man chaste by outlawing rape, but by outlawing rape you can make him think twice before he attempts to prey upon our wives and daughters.

No, you cannot change people’s hearts through legislation, but legislation is still necessary for the good of society—for the protection of the innocent, for the redress of wrongs, and for the punishment of those who do evil.

But the statement, “You can’t legislate morality” can be understood in another way. It can be taken to mean, “You shouldn’t impose morality by means of law.” But this is absurd, when you think about it, because all legislation is a legislation of morality—a legislation of someone’s ideas of right and wrong.

It is never a matter of legislating morality versus not legislating morality; it is always a matter of whose morality will be legislated. Legislating morality is inevitable as long as there is legislation. Legislation is simply the imposing of morality by means of law.

All legislation is a legislation of someone’s morality, and it makes a world of difference whose morality is being legislated. Will we have laws to govern us based upon the word of the all wise and holy God, or will we have laws based upon some fallible humanistic source?

Again, it’s never a matter of legislating versus not legislating morality, but whose morality will be legislated? And Christians ought to be advocating for legislation which is consistent with the biblical standard.