Thursday, June 30, 2005

Prediction outcomes 

Ok, so the Louisville Courier-Journal wasn't as condescending as I thought she would be. The basic point that still grated but was telling came from their quotation of Sandra Day O'Connor's opinion.
She questioned why some in this nation would seek to force these issues, when other countries have suffered from being riven by religious strife.

Far better, she concluded, to keep faith "a matter for the individual conscience, not for the prosecutor or bureaucrat. . . . Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"

basically, Mrs. O'Connor and the paper see that religion is primarily a private matter that only divides and antagonizes in the public square. This is true because far beyond the surface squabbles seen by the paper, is often a wrestling for truth. For instance, Christians say that Jesus was and is the son of God. Jews and Muslims both fiercely and sometimes violently reject that claim. They all can't be right. That is just one example of the kind of battle Mrs. O'Connor would seek to avoid. The Truth will win out and Islam will fall away to ash heap of eternity where it belongs.

Mrs. O'Connor and most of the papers I have read just don't get it. A person's religion defines who they are and what they are made of. Issues of life, death, justice, truth, peace and so on are all that is at stake (even for secularists like Mrs. O'Connor). Religion is not strictly a private matter to be kept in some discreet box when it is convenient to do so. That is the truth the papers have all missed out on for a long time. That is why they are distrusted and sometimes hated. They treat true heartfelt belief as though it was and is some kind of mental disease or disorder.

The paper took a couple of weeks, but it finally swerved into arrogant condescention and comparisons of Christianity and Islam that were ignorant at best and slanderous at worst. The ignorant/slandering editorial, published on the 6th of July, by saying that Ed Whitfield's comments supporting the posting of the Ten Commandments as a "conservative Christian" failed to take into account liberal Christians, non Christians or atheists in our midst. The paper then asserts that Mr. Whitfield would sing a different tune if non Christian displays were posted. Finally, the paper pulled a seemingly innocuous statement from the newly "elected" president of Iran about peace and prosperity only coming from religious people. The implication of this last rhetorical slight of hand is to draw a paralel between the extremists in charge of Iran and Mr. Whitfield's comments. It is this kind of falacious understanding of religion in general and Christianity in particular that drives a wedge between many Christians and the mainstream media. The fact that it was done on the editorial page further demonstrates the paper's hostile intent towards orthodox Christianity.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Losers in the 2nd District 

I have detailed who I think the biggest winners were in the June 14 primary here in the 2nd Congressional District. Now comes the time to list some of the biggest losers.
Biggest Loser (politician): The DeWine family. Let's see here: Father gets thrown under the bus by his own son. Father's connections dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into a primary race and finish fourth and the son gets sent back to the Hamilton County Commission after a firm rejection by informed and passionate voters. Memo to Pat DeWine: It is my opinion that your divorce and subsequent political job hopping are not separate and distinct from one another. Do yourself and all of us a favor and get your personal life under control before seeking higher office. You have a lot of potential and many political skills. God has called you to your particular office so you don't dissipate your time and talents.

The other big loser is Bob McEwen. Man with his connections and his ability to raise funds and have good will in the district couldn't overcome the "carpetbagger" label. Memo to Mr. McEwen: If you are really serious about representing the people of the district in Congress, then would you please spend some time on the ground fighting for the conservative movement here in Ohio? Could we interest you in doing some fundraising for other strong candidates?

Biggest Loser (Non-politician): This one is a tie between The Club For Growth and all of the various political action committees who donated to Pat DeWine's campaign. The Club managed to annoy some people in the district with their attack pieces on Mrs. Schmidt. They also really muddled their message early on with backhanded endorsements of Mr. McEwen and Mr. DeWine as well as Mr. Brinkman. In my opinion, they should have settled on Mr. Brinkman as their "boy" and rode him to the finish. Their tactics displayed a certain sense of uncertainty/opportunism/distrust that can rub people the wrong way. I think they have set their cause back here unless they are more circumspect about their involvement in local political campaigns.
What about the donors to the DeWine campaign? Well, they followed the judgment of the senior DeWine and look at what it got them. Investing literally hundreds of thousands of dollars now looks very foolish especially with the result obtained.

I am looking forward to voting for Mrs. Schmidt in August when a special general election will be held. I will work to keep an eye on her behavior in Congress especially on controversial and contentious issues. I am willing to give her a chance to prove her worth in Congress and I think the voters of the 2nd District should do the same.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Supreme Court Decision on 10 Commandments 

Quick prediction: I rather expect the The Louisville Courier-Journal to wag her bony grey finger at those who wanted a ten commandments monument at the state capitol building with a condescending "see we told you backwards hicks so!" I'll update when I can. The Courier-Journal is so liberal and so out of touch, their response can be predicted. They will probably applaud the court for "wisely" seeing through the "red herring" (or some similar analogy) of other historical monuments to strike down those dangerous and extreme Christian fundamentalist rednecks. I would not be surprised for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Cincinnati/Kentucky Post to echo the same sentiments.

I am disappointed in the decision, but I would rather that the commandments would be written on the people's hearts and minds. In order for that to happen though, it takes the faithful proclamation of the gospel and for the grace of God to break through people's unbelief to bring them to faith and repentance. I think it is important for my fellow evangelical brothers and sisters to keep things in their proper perspective.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Winners in the 2nd District 

I don't have much time, but here is a quick take on who I felt won and lost the most with the nominations of Jean Schmidt and Paul Hackett to race for the remainder of Rob Portman's term.

Biggest Winner (Politician): Jean Schmidt
Mrs. Schmidt ran a fairly positive campaign and didn't attack the other candidates, she worked her roots in Clermont County to great advantage and surprised nearly everyone, myself included. She should be voted into office and congratulated on her successful start. Memo to Mrs. Schmidt: I need to see some independence in office from you. Being able to tell your "leadership" no when they want to massively expand spending is a great test of your character.

Biggest Winner (Non-politician): Tom Blumer
The author of BizzyBlog did quite an impressive number on Bob McEwen's connections to Amway/Quixtar as a speaker while he was gone. He did a lot of work the mainstream press either deliberately overlooked or didn't think enough of it to report on it. I think the connections to the business weren't that big of a deal myself, but his reporting was excellent and his analysis usually spot on. Memo to Mr. Blumer: Great job with the investigation of Mr. McEwen. I hope your insightful commentary and investigation prowess will come to light in other races.

Best Minor player performance: Eric Minamyer
Finishing fifth in this contest with about 5% of the vote is an impressive feat concerning the attention and money the race received. He impressed people with his knowledge of issues and with his hard work. Memo to Mr. Minamyer: consider running for a higher office like county commissioner or for the state house in Columbus. I think your talents would be well served there.

Best Coin Flip performance: Tom Brinkman Jr.
I see Mr. Brinkman on the cusp of breaking through to more prominent politics. His character and his performance in this race and his record in Columbus will assure that any other race he runs for will receive attention and perhaps funding. I think that the Club for Growth should have either made him their man or just stayed out of the race altogether. Overall, I think Brinkman did a good job campaigning and getting his name out for the public to see. Memo to Mr. Brinkman: You might want to reconsider your opposition to the Patriot Act and you might want to try to get more legislation passed so as to get the "ineffective" cloud off your back.

These are the winners in my opinion. I think these people did exceptionally well and should be congratulated for their efforts in this past primary.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Spell it Out For Me 

Matthew Giese is a young man whose parents attend my church in Forest Park. Young Mr. Giese is also a student at Mars Hill Academy, a private Christian school where he attends the seventh grade and where his father teaches.

Matthew did his family, his church and the local community proud by coming in twelth place in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. The finals of the bee were televised on ESPN and the competition was very tough. The fact that Matthew finished as well as he did (out of 273 kids) and in such a big contest says a lot about his character and determination.

Hats off to a bright young man and here's hoping he'll do better next year.

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