"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take away everything you have."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


"To increase our debts while the prospect of paying them diminishes, does not consist with my ideas of integrity.  I must, therefore, quit a situation which becomes utterly insupportable."
 ~ Robert Morris upon resigning as head of the treasury in 1783

Kind of makes you think, doesn't it? 

The Postmodern Lord's Prayer

Our celestial parent of unspecified gender, hallowed by thy name (but not so hallowed that thou can pass judgment on us; that would be intolerant of thee).  Thy gender-neutral royal administration of the world come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, or Valhalla, or wherever it is that we go after we die.  Give us this day our daily organic tofu.  And forgive us our unintentional indiscretions, for we didn't really mean it and who are you to judge us anyway?  And lead us not to be tempted to judge our neighbor, but deliver us from intolerance.  For ours is the power and the glory forever, for we can do anything if we just work together and accept one another as we are.  Amen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Obama vs. Constitution, Again

I'm sure most of my readers have already heard about the Obama Administration's recent mandate that religious organizations, including Catholic charities, hospitals, & universities, provide their employees with health insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients even if doing so violates their beliefs (which it does in many cases). Work has been busy lately, so I've been a bit late to the party on this. I hope it's obvious to most of my readers that this is an assault on our 1st Amendment religious freedoms. It should also be obvious that this is just one example of what happens when government grows too big and starts trying to control every area of our lives. After all, ObamaCare requires every American to purchase government-approved health insurance, which is also a violation of our constitutional freedoms, and it's really not much of a step from that to this birth control mandate imposed on religious organizations.

I found a great article by one of my favorite National Review Online authors, Andrew McCarthy, about this attack on religious freedom by Obama. It's called "The Contraceptive Mandate's Shaky Justification," and it does a great job of explaining how ridiculous Obama's claim is that women in our country lack access to "reproductive services." And don't be fooled by the so-called compromise that Obama's Administration has since offered to try to appease his critics -- it is all show and no substance, as this NRO editorial makes clear.

This issue is just one of many that demonstrate Obama's hostility toward religion. Other examples, many of which I have posted about here, include his radical pro-abortion positions, his refusal to defend or enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, his appointment of radical gay activist Kevin Jennings as his safe schools czar, his rolling back of freedom of conscience provisions for medical practitioners, his cavalier attitude toward global human rights, and his removal of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from its position as administrator of the government's Human Trafficking Program despite its excellent qualifications to do so. Not to mention his administration's recent attempt to argue before the Supreme Court that the government should be able to interfere in religious organizations' choices to hire or fire their own leaders and teachers (which was fortunately shot down unanimously).

Of course, I'm sure people who are indifferent or hostile to religion or who want to silence religious expression in the public square and eliminate the influence of religious values on our society are perfectly happy with all of these decisions and actions. What I don't get is why any Christian who takes his/her faith seriously would ever consider voting to re-elect Obama (or sitting out the election).

UPDATE: I found another great article on the birth control mandate, this one written by Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a blogger himself. Mohler analyzes a column by Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times in which, after lying about Christians wanting to ban contraceptives, Kristof defines religious freedom in this way: "“The basic principle of American life is that we try to respect religious beliefs, and accommodate them where we can.” Wow. Whatever happened to "inalienable rights" and "no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion"? It is scary when we have reached the point when a mainstream liberal columnist for one of the largest newspapers in the country defines freedom of religion as the government trying to respect and accommodate religion where it can.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Brief Thoughts on Yesterday's Primary/Caucus Results

I don't have much time to blog now, but I wanted to just post a couple of quick thoughts on the outcome of the primaries and caucuses from yesterday. For those who haven't been following closely, Santorum won huge victories in the caucus in Minnesota and the primary in Missouri, and also pulled a shocker by upsetting Romney in the Colorado caucus as well. He ran the table, 3 for 3. Strangely, all three of these races were non-binding, which means Santorum did not win any actual delegates yesterday. But still, the results were a clear expression of dissatisfaction with the frontrunner, Mitt Romney. Romney actually finished 3rd behind Santorum and Paul in Minnesota, despite an endorsement from the state's former governor Tim Pawlenty.

Just a week and a half ago, I wrote a long post expressing my support for Mitt Romney as the best of the choices available to us. Since then, Romney has made some horrible gaffes ("I'm not concerned about the very poor") and has given conservatives more ammunition against him (among other things, by coming out in support of an automatic minimum wage increase tied to inflation). He has done a poor job defending his Bain Capital record and his 15% tax rate on his tax returns. His recent stumbles have called into question both his electability and his conservative credentials. (Obviously, many conservatives have questioned those things all along, but I am questioning them much more now than I was a few weeks ago.) The results yesterday confirmed the message also sent by South Carolina: Romney has a problem with conservative voters.

On one of the pro-Romney websites I frequent, some of the posters are attacking the "stupid" Republican base voters for supporting candidates like Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul who are "unelectable," accusing them of being anti-Mormon extremists who would rather lose an election rather than compromise their conservative purity. I find these attacks to be deeply misguided at best, and offensive at worst. The problem here is not with Republican voters. The problem is with Mitt Romney, who is doing an exceptionally poor job of getting conservatives to vote for him. Conservatives are not obligated to vote for the frontrunner just because the pundits say he is the only electable one. Candidates are not awarded votes automatically based on their resume and endorsements. They have to earn those votes.

Romney is sort of acting like he can just put it on cruise control and coast across the finish line. He seems to just want to play it safe, rather than showing real passion against Obama and his policies. He doesn't seem to be talking about issues that conservatives care about, except in very vague generalities. His super-PAC's are well funded and able to attack his GOP rivals, but he isn't convincing people to positively support him with his speeches and campaign activities. Republicans are angry about Obama and what he is doing to our country, and they want a nominee who is in touch with those concerns and who will effectively give voice to them. So far, Romney is not doing that. In fact, his cautious approach to the campaign is confirming the fears of many conservatives that he is a wishy-washy moderate who will say and do anything to get elected. It's not a coincidence that turnout is down in so many of these state primaries. Romney (and the entire field, for that matter) is not giving people a reason to come out and vote.

I badly want to see Obama defeated. I desperately want our party to nominate someone who is able to do that. On paper, Romney seems well-positioned to do that. He has a strong resume, executive experience, is a reasonably good speaker and debater, and appears to check all the right boxes with regard to the issues. I genuinely believe he is a social conservative and a man with morals and integrity. He seems able to appeal to independents and has raised a large amount of money. But his campaign up to this point is sending a different message. It suggests a man who is passionless, weak, cautious, slow on his feet, incapable of articulating voters' concerns, and less than fully committed to conservative principles on at least some issues. Can such a candidate defeat Obama? Not likely. If Romney doesn't improve significantly, he will do poorly both with independents/moderates and also with his base in the fall.

Santorum earned his victories yesterday. He campaigned hard, made a positive case for himself, and talked about issues voters care about, like Obama's HHS contraception/abortion mandate that Romney seems so afraid to bring up. His commitment to conservative principles is beyond dispute, and he seems ready to bring the fight to Obama. I question whether he can win a general election against Obama, but if Romney doesn't get his act together and start articulating a consistently conservative issue-driven alternative to Obama, then he probably won't win either.

I was very worried about Gingrich being the nominee, and that was part of the reason why I said that I would vote for Romney if I were a Florida primary voter. But now that Gingrich seems to be fading, and an opponent more worthy of being the conservative alternative to Romney is emerging, I am much more willing to see a good primary fight. Let Santorum and Romney fight it out for a while. If Romney can find his message and convince conservatives to support him, then he will be much better positioned for the fall campaign against Obama. If he can't, he doesn't deserve to be the nominee and would fail in a general election anyway.

Romney has nobody to blame but himself for his problems with the GOP base. And it's not the fault of Republican primary voters that all their options are so problematic. So Romney supporters had better stop smearing conservative Tea Party and evangelical voters as dumb, and start making a positive case for their candidate before it's too late.