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Abortion is The Evil of our generation

So yesterday I came across a rather  appalling article  that tried to make it sound like states having increased abortion restrictions were ...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Prayer Battelground: Touré

Welcome back to Prayer Battleground on FnP.  Last week,  praying for Organizing for Action was the focus.  One thing I did want to mention is that even though there might be a new battlegroundn topic each week, it definitely does not mean that I, or anyone else, should cease the prayers of prior weeks.  I just see these posts as highlighting areas that I believe could really use some battlefront prayer.  

This week in Prayer Battleground, the focus is on MSNBC host and personality, Touré.  This is a man that many conservatives love to hate.  He typically makes an easy target amongst the conservative circles because of his penchant to brazenly utter the more unsavory progressive notions that his other liberal co-hosts are careful to avoid saying on television and there seems to be no shortage of these utterances.

In the past, I've written this guy off as another liberal talking head over at MSNBC, albeit one seemingly less diplomatic or intelligent (there seems to be no shortage of them within the mainstream media).  But then, I stumbled upon this article where he thanks abortion for saving his life.  Watch below..

It took a lot of willpower to watch this all the way through.  His justification of abortion exemplifies one of the major failings of the leftist mindset:  Justifying something utterly horrible (the murder of an innocent child) to fight some "lesser evil" (restricting women from having abortions).  I don't really need to go into how wrong that is.  What is especially heartbreaking was that he admits his view on abortion almost changed when he saw his son on the ultrasound for the first time.  

Now I'm not here to condemn Touré.  In fact, my heart breaks for him.  He is lost following a broken moral compass that has turned him around so much, that he thanks God that he was allowed to murder an innocent baby because he simply wasn't ready to accept the gift He had given him.  So, in our 40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade, I want to pray for this man.   Allow the Holy Spirit convict this man's heart and allow grace to wash over him.  Let him recognize the gift of the two children he does have came from God.  

God gives life and that includes children.  Abortion is not just a national tragedy, it's a worldwide tragedy.  And I pray Touré and people like him to not only turn away from supporting such a horrible act, but to embrace God and abandon the hateful, divisive leftist mentality that has twisted their views so far to call evil good and good evil.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Prayer Battleground: Organizing for Action

Recently, in the last few weeks, I've been inspired by sermons done by pastors Marv and Dan at my church, Highpoint City Church.  Lately, I've been praying for some direction from God regarding what to do.  There are some minor things that I believe are nudges toward something else, but I haven't had anything concrete pop up yet, until now.   Looking back it was Dan's humble plea to not get ensnared in political attacks, but to direct that energy toward prayer.  It was also Marv's passionate sermon this past Sunday about being bold and going on the offensive with the God of angel armies behind us.   Direction with action.  It's exactly what I needed.

The result is a new, ongoing series called Prayer Battleground.  This won't completely replace the content that I post here, but it will definitely take center stage.  The shift comes from the realization that advancing the  Kingdom of God, every Christian's mandate, is of the highest calling.  While turning this country around is noble and coincides with pushing for renewing Christian morality in our nation, the former is really just incidental to advancing His kingdom.  For many, the mind set seems to be "if we turn this nation around, then we can advance His Kingdom further."  However, I believe the correct mind set should be "If we advance His Kingdom, then maybe God will save this country".  In other words, politics is not the sole or even most important avenue for kingdom advancement.  In fact, it's just one avenue of many the body of Christ can utilize.  This has caused me to slightly adjust the thrust of my articles.  Instead of attacking the misguided liberals like I have been, I'm opting for a far more effective tactic:  prayer.

Don't be fooled though, there is a spiritual war raging across not only this nation but across the entire world.  And as God's children, and servants, we are soldiers in this war.  And in this war, the battleground is all around us, every day.  Our best weapon is prayer.  It strengthens and emboldens His servants.  It can convert and convict even the most decrepit among us.  So this new series is about using the awesome weapon of prayer to pray for not only our strength, but to be bold and ask for the conversion of Christianity's enemies, the willful and the unwitting.

So in this inaugural article, I'm choosing the organization that helped President Obama get elected twice, writing on the day if his own inaugural address.  As you may or may not know, in an unprecedented move, Obama for America, his campaign organization, is converting to a 501(c)(4) non profit known as "Organizing for Action".  So the highly vaunted, massive political machine that managed to pull out a win for Obama despite touting a record worse than previously ousted presidents (Bush 41 and Carter) will now be a permanent fixture aimed at lobbying and campaigning for Obama's legislative issues over these next 4 years.  No elected official has ever done anything like this before.  The organization and outreach of the Obama campaign is stunningly impressive and effective.  And now, it'll be around even long after Obama has left office.  This is why I chose not to pray for our president in this first post.  Organizing for Action will be his true legacy, as it will wield an astonishingly high amount of influence for years, if not decades, to come.

Before we go any farther, it's important to take a moment to be perfectly clear:  Obama's leftist and collectivist agenda is not a friend of Christianity's.  Liberalism/Leftism is an enemy of Christianity.  Note that I did not say the liberals or leftists themselves.  Most have good intentions, but are misguided and deceived by the enemy.  What I'm talking about is the underlying philosophy itself.  It is straight from Hell (again, an article for the near future).

Sounds like a nightmare for conservatives and Christians, right?  Well, sure, if you look at it from a purely political standpoint.  But when taken in the context of spiritual warfare, I see it as a grand opportunity.  Can you imagine the impact if such an organization and its aim were to come to God?  What once was a looming threat is now an astounding asset for advancing His Kingdom having the capability to reach so many people in a variety of different ways.  Instead of having your donation go to some liberal political cause that divides and destroys, it goes to uniting and advancing His Kingdom around the nation.

Sounds impossible? Yes, it does.  Regardless, that's what I'm going to pray for this week: for God to convert the assets of the enemy to His cause.  To convert, from the inside out, Organizing for Action into a powerful force for His good.  The greatest apostle who ever lived was Paul, a guy who used to be one of Christianity's greatest enemies at the time.  He was on his way to persecute more Christians when God tossed a flashbang at him, said a few words, and pretty much converted him right then and there.  So to ask for this is not anything more than God has done already.

If you're willing, pray with me on this.   Thank you.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mental Health and Obamacare, the wedge of the gun grabbing left

Reprehensible political tactics aside, Obama's initiatives yesterday look like sensible, common sense approaches on the surface despite most not having any significant or direct impact on preventing another Sandy Hook.  There's a slim chance that better background check coordination would have kept guns out of the hands of the most recent madmen, but I see having a better background check process overall as something positive in a house cleaning it goes without saying type of way.  It will really depend on the language surrounding what the improvements turn out to be.  The devil is always in the details.

However, there were some that, after further reflection, made me think twice:

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health-care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law-enforcement authorities.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental-health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental-health-parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
As you can see, the above primarily center around the avenue of mental health.   The notion is that mentally unstable individuals should not possess firearms which I think we can all agree is a correct assessment.  I don't want to have to worry about some "crazy" person with a gun going off the deep end and just start shooting.  It's an avenue that both the right and left seem to agree.  
However, I'm urging caution, because as always, it's never that simple.  If you look at the above and read between the lines, you have Obamacare's (Affordable Care Act, ACA) power being put to use to monitor for supposedly mentally unstable individuals.  Here's how it ties together...
#14 is the base.  You use the CDC to come up with causes for gun violence.  Or in other words, discover the mental dispositions that supposedly lead to gun violence and then label them a disorder or a disease.  For sake of this article, let's just say the CDC comes up with something called "Deathly Violent Aggressionism" or DVA for short.  The trick here, however, is the disorder's symptoms will be so vague that nearly anyone who exhibits any type of aggression could be considered having DVA.
In #4, based on this research, the Attorney General declares that people diagnosed with DVA are considered "dangerous" individuals and therefore are not allowed to have guns. 
#16 and #17 serve as a tacit reminder that doctors must look for symptoms of DVA in their patients.  And if any patients exhibit the symptomatic behavior (as outlined by the CDC), they need to ask the patient if they own any weapons.  And naturally, if they do exhibit the behavior, such as the person getting aggressive (aka "It's none of your damn business whether or not I have guns"), the doctors should report any perceived threats to the authorities.
#20 - 22 ties the necessity for DVA screenings in with Obamacare's (Affordable Care Act, ACA) regulatory power.  Perhaps they'll become mandatory for every gun owner (so naturally they must be covered) as such that anyone that refuses to take the screening cannot own a firearm or must relinquish their firearm(s).  
And lastly #23 launches a "DVA Awareness" campaign meant to demonize and single out aggressive gun owners.  
All in all, it's a coordinated campaign using mental health as a wedge to keep guns out of the hands of people. Now I'm not slamming all mental health because I believe some of it is important, though I also feel some of it goes too far.  For example, it seems anyone that ever expresses any outrage or anger over a situation automatically has "anger issues" followed by a chorus of recoils and admonishments treating the person like this unstable psycho that could snap at any moment.   Now take that type of overdiagnosis, apply it to DVA, and you have the perfect recipe to keep guns out of the hands of people who may passionately oppose an ever encroaching leftist agenda.     
I'm aware of how tinfoil hat this seems, but keep in mind that it's always the "sensible" solutions that  have a lot of grey area that the left likes to exploit.  Time will tell whether I'm right or wrong, but keep an eye on how the mental health angle to our supposed "gun problem" plays out.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The assault rifle myth, what you should be aware of...

The gun debate rages on.  Threats of King President Obama issuing an executive order to get around that pesky Congress - you know the branch of government created to check the executive branch's power -  when it comes an assault rifle/gun ban have predictably surfaced.  The mainstream media, along with liberal politicians, have gone about demonizing gun owners, assault rifles, and the NRA.  As such, I feel it's important to get out a little more about this topic,  While my own views on gun control are perfectly clear, there are a few points that I think everyone that has an opinion should at least know.

First, let's talk about the AR-15.  This is an easy one.  Many people believe the AR stands for "assault rifle". Others think it stands for "automatic rifle".   It's neither.  The AR actually stands are ArmaLite Rifle, named after the manufacturing company of the original.  The only thing remotely "assault" about an AR-15 is that its name sounds similar to many familiar military rifles such as the popular M-16.  In fact the AR-15 is actually the civilian adapted version of the M-16.  What's the difference between the two?  The M-16 is capable of automatic fire, meaning you can hold down the trigger for continuous fire.  The AR-15 is semi automatic, meaning you have to pull the trigger each time you wish to fire one bullet.  And contrary to what many seem to believe, it's not simple, easy, or possible for most people to convert an AR-15 to fire fully auto.  So while an AR-15 "looks" like a ferocious fully automatic military rifle, the fact of the matter is it's no different functionally from just about every other semi automatic rifle.

So what is an assault rifle then?  The only solid answer to this question seems to come from the US Department of Defense's book Small Arms Identification and Operation Guide where it says "assault rifles" are "short, compact, selective-fire weapons the fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges.  For those unaware, the term selective-fire means that the rifle is capable of shooting in semi automatic mode, full automatic, or multi shot bursts which the user can select with a switch before firing.  In other words, only a rifle capable of automatic fire is deemed an assault rifle.

What this means is that just about every rifle on the market, even the AR-15, is not an assault rifle and that all the weapons used in all these horrible shootings were really not assault rifles.  They were all semi automatic only.  None of them were automatic.  And while obtaining an automatic weapon is not federally illegal, it requires a very thorough and extensive process and costs quite a bit more than your average gun acquisition fees.  But again that's beside the point since none of the gun men were using full auto.

Ok, so let's just agree that the left's push isn't against automatic weapons but against whatever they're calling "assault rifles".  But what exactly IS that? The answer to that question is actually not as easy as it first sounds.  One of the initial responses is "well, weapons the military would use for combat."  I'll overlook the fact that we already have that by virtue of not allowing all but a very small civilian population obtain automatic weapons since the difference between a military rifle and a civilian rifle is the automatic fire.  The argument is that the AR-15 looks like it's designed for combat simply because it looks very similar to an M-16.  But functionally it's no different than a hunting rifle.  Keep in mind, before the M-16, some of the older era military used rifles looked just like many hunting rifles we have today.  What I'm getting at is that design intent is a poor measurement since a rifle designed for hunting can be used for combat and a rifle supposedly designed for combat can be used for hunting.  So banning a weapon that looks like it was designed for combat will stop nothing since someone intent on destruction would just use a hunting rifle instead.

Ok, so what else could it be?  The grip? The stock? Magazine capacity? Features such as this have been tried before and it didn't really work well.   Magazine capacity is about the only feature I partially agree that might have an impact.  If your magazines are only limited to say...10 rounds each, then that could mean some madman's rate of fire might be reduced if he ends up having to reload giving people precious seconds to get away or neutralize him.  However, even that has its flaws since someone could easily just carry another fully loaded weapon (the Connecticut shooter had two fully loaded handguns in addition to his rifle).

The bottom line is that features such as these have virtually no impact on the core functionality of these weapons: semi automatic fire.  If a hunting rifle with no frills can function exactly the same as an AR-15 decked out with a tactical rail and other intimidating looking features, then it shows that banning a weapon on features is pointless.  The only ban that would matter is a ban on semi-automatic guns...which gets me to what's really going on and what people should be concerned about.

The left tends to work in a subtle (though predictable) path towards its goals.  They're never openly direct.  They learned this generations past when they realized people didn't want what they were selling.  People still don't want what they're selling today, but that doesn't stop them. Instead, they'll chip away at an issue bit by bit, where each bit seems like a "reasonable" compromise.  And they'll keep doing this until eventually their piece meal strategy has yielded them their goal (funny how that's very similar to how Satan works in people's lives - for another post).  This is what's happening with the demagoguery of assault rifles.  Even though the term itself is nebulous and not adequately defined, they know the flash imagery of the words "assault rifle" make people think of violent combat action.  However, they know full well how ambiguous the term is, but if they're able to pass the legislation, it will create a wedge with which they can use to push further gun control agenda.

Imagine this:  Let's say the AR-15 and all other combat like rifles are banned.  Everyone cheers...until the next madman uses a semi automatic hunting rifle.  Then knowing full well how nebulous the term is, they push for certain hunting rifles to be banned.  Everyone cheers...until some other madman uses semi automatic handguns.  And so on and so on until our 2nd Amendment rights have been eroded to a point of uselessness.  And that is the ultimate goal for the left: To get guns out of the hands of civilians altogether.  And why get rid of guns?  Because a populace that can't defend itself is easier to coerce and make go along with how they think society should be run.  Make no mistake about that.  They'll pay lip service to honoring the 2nd Amendment because they know out right trashing it will ruin their goal, but at the same time they'll do everything they can to instill enough fear into people to get what they want.  It's political thuggery at its best.

And you don't think it'll happen that way? Keep this in mind:  Handguns are used about 10 times more than rifles are used in gun related murders.  So if the goal is to reduce the amount of violent deaths at the hands of guns, it makes logical sense that it's going to end up with handguns since it's the biggest perpetrator.  But see, the left knows going after handguns right now will ruin their work, so they demonize assault rifles to create the wedge they need to go after a bigger goal.

Finally, let's talk about the 2nd Amendment again.  The 2nd Amendment was designed not for hunting or sport shooting, but to enable every citizen to protect themselves....particularly against tyranny.  Our founding fathers founded this nation from resistance under the face of tyranny.  And while they themselves were firmly against tyranny and for liberty, they were also wise enough to understand that perhaps further down the road there might be leaders that have forgotten the precious value of liberty and its true cost.  And it's those leaders this forward looking 2nd Amendment aimed to thwart.

It doesn't matter how peace loving you might be, the cold, hard truth is that armed resistance  has, and always will be, the best deterrence to tyranny.  Some may scoff and say, "Tyranny....here?! LOL  YOU'RE CRAZY".  But to that I'd say the reason we haven't had tyranny in over two centuries, given rise to one scoffing at the idea today, is because of the 2nd Amendment.  An armed populace is not something easily overcome and will make any one or group of megalomaniacs think twice.  Physical violence is always the final resort in enforcement or resistance.  And thus if resistance doesn't have the capability to effectively resist enforcement's physical violence, then enforcement can use that threat to do what they want.  

Anyone that values liberty should be wary of any politician that says, "Why do you need an assault rifle? There's no tyranny here." Any citizen should be suspicious of any politician that isn't self aware Allowing the left to chip away at our 2nd Amendment is a very bad idea.  So when someone asks this, tell them "Because having one will help me protect what I love....why do you need to ban them?"

Monday, January 7, 2013

Why the Constitution is important and the dangers of Progressivism

After reading this article about a constitutional professor saying we should abandon the Constitution, I felt the need to once again post.  It's been a bit, as there's been so much focus on the holiday season.  However, it's time (hopefully) to get back on track with writing and I promise to finish my series on Christianity in America soon.

Basically put, what we have in this professor's op-ed is all the standard progressive talking points pointing to why we should abandon the core document of our country for over 200  years....

  • Why should we listen to dudes that have been dead for almost 200 years?
  • The constitution is too hard to change
  • It favors white men (no, really)
Those are the biggest points.   Of course, the man is well educated and can make his argument sound convincing, but ultimately that's what it comes down to.  The document is outdated,  hard to change, and racist.  Sound familiar?  If you linked it to the continual onslaught of progressivism's tendency to want to ignore and/or wipe the wisdom of those who came before us, then you're right on the money.   It's a common characteristic for progressives/liberals to favor the cooler "wisdom of youth" instead of the practical, traditional, and many times boring "wisdom of the elders".   It's a common trope that "old people just don't get modern society" and thus shun their accumulated wisdom.  So take that idea, but apply it to our nation's infrastructure.  Same thing, really.  

And this is why progressivism can be so dangerous.  It's replacing the practical wisdom of our elders with the hubristic "wisdom of youth".  By always looking forward without taking the wisdom of the past into consideration, we set ourselves up to make the same mistakes that have been made throughout history.   This is why communism/socialism continues to fail.  Every iteration has the hubris to believe they're better than those that tried it before them.  Yet, they still fail.  And yet, another generation will carry on with the same "THIS time we'll get it right!" even though the wisdom of our Founding Fathers has led America to have gotten it right for over 200 years.

And while this hubris does increase our chances of repeating past mistakes, this particular type of constitutional progressivism would snuff out what  has been considered the best hope for the world and the only doctrine that has gotten it right far more than it has been wrong especially when comparing it to socialist states.  If that ever happens, society on a global scale will have "progressed" into how societies were 200 - 300 years ago...you know, the societies that our Founding Fathers knew about first hand and struggled against.

Sounds like exaggeration?  There were kings, queens, and nobility back then!  We'd never have that stuff again!  Well, perhaps not in that same form, but think about this:  Most nobility, and particularly royalty, believed it was their God given right to rule over the peasants.  They believe they were divinely appointed to their positions, meaning their logic was beyond reproach.  In other words, their word was law and was not to be questioned.   Needless to say I consider this a gross abuse and misrepresentation of God which is utterly faulty because even the people we know that God appointed to be king (like David) were never beyond reproach.

Anyway, substitute divine appointment with human intellect.  So instead of God giving them the right to rule, they have the right to rule because they're smarter than everyone else and therefore know what's best for everyone.   The same concept, the justification to rule absolutely over others, applies, but the justification has changed.  So while they're not called a king, a queen, or nobility, if their ideas and words are believed to be absolute and beyond reproach, it's the same thing.  Know any politicians in America that dislike having to go through that pesky Congress to get a law passed?  Know any that don't like having their ideas opposed?Well there's your people with the king/queen mentality in this modern era.

While progressives like to scoff at listening to some men from over 200 years ago as being "outdated", they display their own lack of wisdom and depth.  The Founding Fathers all witnessed tyranny firsthand.  They had no luxury of a constitution to save their hides.  They saw how someone with too much power can be corrupted.  Not only did they see this, but they even saw into ways that governments have usurped power in the past.  They saw how someone with absolute power could shape the law of the land to their liking and discard whatever was already established (aka fitting the law to 'modern' times) .   They knew the dangers that created.  They were far far more close to the face of tyranny than any progressive in today's time has been.  To say that because their time was 200 years ago that they could not understand the hearts and minds of men two centuries later is ridiculous.  Human nature is pretty constant.  So while our economic landscape and culture has drastically changed, the very thing the Constitution protects against has not:  the nature of people to want power so they can shape society the way they think is best.  That is a constant that will never change.

The Constitution was made hard to change precisely because it limits the power of one or a handful of individuals.  Remember one of the ways those in power acquire more power is by changing the rules of the game.  Look at what Morsi is doing over in Egypt.  He's trying to change the rules of the game to grant himself more power.  It's not going very well for him, but nonetheless he made the predictable power grab many of us saw coming.  So the Founding Fathers made changing the rules very difficult on purpose.  Essentially, over 2/3 of the people (represented in congress) must agree to the change which means that the country really really wants it.  If it doesn't get that majority, then guess what? The country evidently doesn't want it enough.

And  Instead of the Constitution being "outdated", it should be seen as the sterling example of getting it right that it is by withstanding the test of time for over 200 years.  No it is not perfect by any means as can be seen by the 27 Amendments that have been made to it.  But while the document itself is not perfect, I fully believe the system in place for changing it is as close to perfect as it gets.  If the people want it, there'll be resounding support for the change.  If it's too controversial, then it's shot down like it should.   In other words, the Constitution is indeed a living, evolving document. It just doesn't evolve fast enough for progressivism's liking - which is a good thing.

Maybe one day we'll become a socialist state.  But as long as that's done by the books (aka following the Constitution), then it can be seen as what Americans legitimately (and stupidly in this case) want.  But until that day, everyone should be wary of the people that whine about how the rules are too harsh and desperately wish they can change them more easily.  Those are the people everyone should be concerned about.