Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Great Omission

Do we really love our neighbors if we’re not fighting injustice?

“You pastors should worry about getting people to heaven and leave this world to me.” These words, spoken by Adolf Hitler, were directed at Martin Niemöller, a German submarine commander in World War I and a minister of the gospel. The fuehrer was banking on the Church’s indifference to matters of state. He hoped that the German clergy would be so exclusively focused on winning souls for Christ that they would neglect their duty to redeem the nation’s culture and political institutions for the Kingdom of God. Tragically, he got his wish.

An early supporter of the German chancellor, Niemöller soon found himself an enemy of the state. At a time when many pastors swore an oath of allegiance and obedience to Hitler, Niemöller demanded an end to the government’s meddling in the churches and denounced its anti-Semitism. As a result, he spent seven years in a concentration camp. In his travels to America, Niemöller addressed more than two hundred audiences, sometimes concluding with a poem that has become famous: “First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

While pastors such as Niemöller and Bonhoeffer were a thorn in his side, Hitler would applaud many in America’s clergy today, including James L. Evans, pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church, whose July 8 editorial, “Why it's right for us to be on the side,” decries the notion that Christians are called to reform their society. In his message “The Christian and Government,” John MacArthur states, “There is no biblical mandate for us to spend our time, money, and energy in matters of civil government. [The Church] cannot afford to become a flag-waving, protest voice for governmental change. That's not its calling.” For MacArthur, the Christian’s responsibility to government is confined to two things: “submit to the government and pay your taxes. That's our duty. Beyond that you ought to be busy doing the things that are eternally valuable to the Kingdom.” Hitler would have reveled in such statements.

In his book “Why Government Can’t Save You, An Alternative to Political Activism,” MacArthur maintains, “A certain amount of healthy and balanced concern about current trends in government and the community is acceptable, as long as we realize that such interest is not vital to our spiritual lives, our righteous testimony or the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.” Christians who campaigned to end the slave trade, including William Wilberforce, thought otherwise. They understood that concern for the oppressed is a vital component of our Christian responsibility to love our neighbors. Today, some believers are lobbying governments to abolish child sex trafficking and other injustices. Is such activism not vital to our righteous testimony?

Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, writes in his book “Simple Prayers for a Powerful Life”: “As God’s people, we bear responsibility to cry out in prayer for the poor and the oppressed. But in order to work for social justice, we must have courage and be willing to sacrifice our resources for the sake of others . . . Let there be no doubt—concern for the oppressed is a major concern for every believer” (p. 98-99). The recent General Assembly of the Canadian Christian and Missionary Alliance encouraged delegates to a renewed commitment to restore justice to their nation ( Guest speaker Dr. Rock Dillaman challenged constituents to “look like Jesus” by “being a voice for justice.” Distancing ourselves from the “social gospel,” he said, should not mean “pulling away from compassion for the hurting and justice for the oppressed.”

Likewise, when asked about our Christian responsibility to government, Dr. Richard Lawson, director for Mission Advancement in the U.S. C&MA, replied, “What about promoting government action that attempts to defend the rights of the downtrodden? I think this is the clearest point where the Constitution and the Bible come together.”

Recently, a pastor challenged me to find biblical support for Christian political activism, adding that Jesus was so focused on His Father’s will that He didn’t have time for political agendas. Yet much of what our Savior commanded would necessitate some level of political involvement. As Christ’s ambassadors, His people are under a mandate to be “salt and light” in their societies (Matthew 5:13–16). Salt acts as a preservative. It prevents decay. As followers of Jesus, are we not to use our influence to preserve righteousness and goodness in our neighborhoods, schools, communities, and the nation at large? Should we allow our government to degenerate into lawlessness while we fill the baptistery and plant churches? Should we look the other way while unborn children are slaughtered in the womb, disabled people starved by judicial decree, and our fellow citizens are being plundered by government agencies that covet their property?

Dr. James Dobson writes, “We live in a representative form of government where we are its leaders. It means that every citizen has a responsibility to participate in the decisions that are made, and that includes people of faith using their influence for what is moral and just” (Pamphlet: Why Christians Should Vote). While voting is one way we can do this, there are a myriad of others. We’ll talk about them in an upcoming post. I’ll also include some “sound bites” (or the online equivalent) by respected Christian leaders who have challenged believers to be more proactive in their civic duty.

Now here's a good idea!

Congress Considers Limiting Awards in Religious-Freedom Cases

For more information, click here.

Lights, Cameras—Activism!

Must-see movie to hit theatres July 28. Here's a review.

Monday, July 24, 2006

How NOT to be salt and light

Anti-abortion protesters' tactics questioned

Some fear events in Jackson have distorted group's message

By Julie Goodman, July 23, 2006

Anti-abortion activists over the last week have trotted out an aborted fetus in a vacuum-packed bag, torn up then burned a Quran, shredded a gay pride flag, and preached Jesus' message over loudspeakers in the street.

While their style of activism has gotten attention, it also has left some Christians and anti-abortion supporters in the state unsettled, worried these out-of-town protesters have given them a bad name and distorted their message.

"Anything that anyone pro-life does that does not show respect for all human life - born, unborn or dead - does not represent our movement," said Terri Herring, a longtime anti-abortion activist in the state and former head of Pro-Life Mississippi. "It's important not to judge the entire pro-life movement based on the events of this week."

Activists from the national Operation Save America have been in Jackson since July 15 to protest the state's only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization in the Fondren neighborhood.

The group wants to make Mississippi the first state free of abortion clinics.

Outside the clinic, the anti-abortion activists prop up large, graphic photographs of aborted fetuses, shouting out to motorists as they pass in the sweltering heat.

The protesters come from Louisiana, Alabama, Michigan and other states, and many are hardcore activists who've devoted years of their lives to the movement.

The men chanted: "This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies," as they held up crosses bearing the bloodied body of Jesus.

Some kneeled, grasping prayer beads, as Christian spiritual music played. They referred to their fellow protesters as "soldier" or "brother."

"God calls us to be radical to display his truth. We are not violent, we are attempting to display his love," said Susan Rule, a former nurse from Palm Bay, Fla., as she propped up a large photo of a fetus.

David Lackey of Birmingham said facing the opposition directly is what's effective.

"There's always this idea that we can appease instead of confront and that never works," he said.

Daniel Green, from outside Lafayette, La., said he disagrees with people who yell their messages out of anger.

"But, I'd rather have him than somebody that does nothing," he said, gesturing toward a man preaching into a microphone outside the State Street clinic, the spot where a woman gave a graphic account of her abortion and another man bellowed, "Should we obey God or obey man?"

Mary Woodward, of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, said what she saw last week was hatred and bigotry, and intolerance not representative of Christianity.

"And I think what made me saddest is that they included their children in these acts," said Woodward, who also chairs the Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference.

"I'm opposed to abortion, but I didn't see what happened with the burning of the Quran and everything as having anything to do with the issue."

The activists outside the clinic have been verbally abusive and pushed the limits of the law, said McCoy Faulkner, a security consultant for the clinic.

A white-haired woman walked repeatedly on the sidewalk across the clinic's driveway, moving deliberately slow. Faulkner pointed out the woman's slow walking is a well-used tactic: It forces a motorist to stop before pulling into the clinic, giving the demonstrators time to surround the car.

Susan Hill, president of North-Carolina-based National Women's Health Organization, did not attend the events last week because of death threats she received, Faulkner said.

Earlier in the week, a church in Pearl shut its doors to Operation Save America after learning its members burned a Quran in the church's parking lot. The group also held a memorial service for an aborted fetus.

Outside the Capitol on Friday at their own, less-attended news conference, abortion-rights activists denounced the anti-abortion tactics.

They called the burning of a rainbow flag, representing the gay community, "hateful" and an attempt to evoke fear and terror.

With free-style hair and multiple piercings, the group of feminists, socialists and anarchists from Mississippi and other states who gathered to counterprotest over the last week, was markedly different from the conservative-looking anti-abortions activists.

At one point, a man in a dress used a coat hangar and a plastic bag of what looked like spaghetti sauce to re-enact a "back-alley abortion," falling down to the ground screaming.

Ginger Green, who owns a chain of dry cleaners in the area, one of which is down the street from the Fondren clinic, said she is not part of either side.

"It's too political ... Too radical, way too radical on either side," said Green, pointing to the anti-abortion activity on the street. "These people aren't even from here. You've got to be a little radical to spend your summer vacation doing this in 100-degree weather in Mississippi in July."

At the abortion rights news conference outside the Capitol, Jackson lawyer Ali ShamsidDeen, a Muslim, said, "We want everyone to understand that you will not see Muslims out burning Bibles or ... the Torah. We all believe that we believe we are brothers in this faith and that we should learn to live together and make the society one that we all can prosper in."

An anti-abortion demonstrator who tried to pass out literature during the news conference said she does not agree with destroying property.

"To me, when you walk in that destruction and you walk in that hatred of anger, you're not representing Jesus Christ," said Amy Williams, of Pearl. "Jesus was not a violent man."

Tanya Britton, head of Pro-Life Mississippi, though, in an e-mail defended the use of the graphic photos, saying, "There is no way to 'sugar coat' abortion."

Herring says she applauds the courage of those who stand up for "the unborn," but those in the anti-abortion movement have to be cognizant they can become ineffective when they are perceived as radical.

Herring recently left her role with Pro-Life Mississippi, saying she and the group were going in different directions.

Herring said she hopes to broaden the movement's base by working more with churches and getting more supporters involved by making sure they know they can help in other areas such as legislation. She said she wants to change the "hearts and minds" of people.

Herring said she hopes the state can look beyond the events of last week. "Because I think we have gained too much ground to lose momentum now," she said.

©2006 The Clarion-Ledger
Complete article available here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Salt and Light, Spiderman Style

In Spiderman, Peter Parker uses his newly discovered spider powers to compete in a wrestling match. As he leaves with his winnings, he allows a thief to escape the sports center after robbing it, figuring that’s not his problem. Later, Peter’s Uncle Ben is murdered by the same thug. Realizing he could have prevented this tragedy, Peter devotes his life to fighting injustice, driven by his uncle’s words, “With great power there must also come great responsibility” (

Today in America, an even darker tragedy is unfolding—the demise of justice and liberty. Focus on the Family’s Citizen Magazine regularly chronicles a host of attacks on religious freedom, from banning prayer in public places to prohibiting faith-based organizations from distributing petitions. A little over a year ago, the Supreme Court ruled that local governments may seize private property for commercial redevelopment, declaring that this constitutes a “public use” under the Constitution (Kelo v. New London). In May 2006, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported that Justice Samuel Alito cast the deciding vote to deny First Amendment protections to whistleblowers in Garcetti v. Ceballos. And on July 17, MSNBC carried the story of an Assemblies of God member being arrested for saying, “Thank you, Jesus!” after being acquitted of false charges of child abuse (Thank you, Jesus!’ lands man in slammer)

In addition, the Internal Revenue Service routinely confiscates people’s homes and personal property without a court order or due process. During the 1997 Senate hearings to address IRS wrongdoing, it was revealed that IRS employees ignore the laws and commit perjury before federal judges; and that such conduct is often condoned by the agents’ superiors, including those at the highest levels. IRS agent Jennifer Long stated that the agency uses tactics which "extract unfairly assessed taxes from taxpayers, literally ruining families, lives, and businesses—all unnecessarily and sometimes illegally" (Online Tax Relief).

Even more ominous, a significant number of innocent people have lost their lives at the hands of federal agents, including 62-year-old Donald Scott, heir to the Scott Towel fortune, who was killed by a 32-man SWAT team that had broken into his home ostensibly to search for illegal drugs. ( Five police agencies staged bogus drug raid on rich eccentric to acquire 200-acre spread). Later, the IRS went after Scott’s widow for death taxes.

Like Peter Parker, many Americans are tempted to look the other way in the face of such injustices, reasoning, “That’s not my problem.” Or, if they dimly perceive that it is their problem, they choose to live in denial. It can’t happen here, they say. Others presume that police raids such as the one on Scott’s ranch are somehow justified. After all, people who aren’t doing anything wrong have nothing to fear, right?

Christians, too, fall into several camps in terms of their response to political injustices. On one end of the spectrum are those who make their voices heard, loudly and vehemently. They engage in protests, rallies, picketing, and sometimes heated debate in their quest to solve the nation’s evils. Then there’s the other extreme, which maintains that Christians belong on the sidelines in the cultural and political battles of our times. After all, we’re called to win souls for Jesus and make disciples of the nations. We don’t have time to get involved in politics, and taking on the government—no matter how oppressive it becomes—could distract us from our true calling and even taint our witness.

Which of these responses is biblical? What role, if any, does the Church have in the battle for America’s future as a free and just society? How is working for political justice part of being salt and light?

American Christians have been blessed with a Constitution that guarantees our freedom to preach the gospel, plant churches, worship according to our conscience, and choose our elected representatives. But as with power, with great blessing also comes great responsibility. My next few posts will be devoted to discussing what Christians can (and ought to) do to restore righteousness and justice to our nation’s political institutions. As always, I welcome your comments.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wielding the Veto Pen for Good

By Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
July 19, 2006

Today, I was privileged to witness President Bush's first use of his veto power at the White House as he struck down H.R. 810, the bill to fund more embryonic stem cell research. President Bush vetoed this bill because it crosses an important ethical line. This bill would have required U.S. taxpayers to fund research that requires the destruction of human embryos; in fact, it encourages such destruction. Regardless of what one thinks about early human life, surely we should agree that taxpayers shouldn't be forced to fund its destruction.

Stem cell research that is uncontroversial . . . increasingly is providing effective treatment options for patients. Ethical avenues of research, like cord blood stem cells, are being used to treat a variety of diseases including sickle cell anemia and leukemia. I thank the President for keeping his commitment to foster a culture of life.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Jay Leno on the Pledge of Allegiance

"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Monday, July 17, 2006

Freedom Church: A Bastion of Liberty

On July 2, 2006, Freedom Church was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Formerly known as Springs Harvest Fellowship, this Charismatic church adopted a new name in keeping with its mission. During the inaugural service, the congregation and its leaders made the following declaration:

We will always be God-centered, not man-centered.

We will worship in the freedom of the Spirit, with the passion God so richly deserves.

We will, without apology, function in the complete expression of the fivefold anointing of Jesus Christ.

We are warriors. We will fight for the soul of America until we see another Great Awakening.

We will fight until we see the Kingdom of God manifest in every element of society.

We will operate in Christ’s authority, healing the sick and releasing those in captivity to Satan.

We will fight until we see revival come to the youth of America, freeing them for the false ideology of humanism and the loss of purpose it creates.

We will fight until life again is sacred.

We will fight for families and individuals.

We will fight for the freedom of those oppressed.

We will preach the good news of freedom to the poor.

We will have a training center that equips; a house of prayer that births and releases; a sending center that covers, plants, and builds; and a media center that publishes and transmits truth.

We will send laborers into all the earth in order to preach the gospel of the Kingdom and disciple the nations.

We will never compromise our calling, wane in our passion or abandon the cause.

We are Freedom Church, a 21st century, Kingdom-minded congregation of New Testament believers!

For those of you who are visiting my blog from the C&MA Web site, Freedom Church is not an Alliance fellowship, but I thought you would be inspired by its mission statement. May we all have the same boldness and warrior spirit that characterizes Freedom Church!

For more information, visit

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bart Simpson and the Bill of Rights

Now this is truly sad...

A random telephone survey of 1,000 adults by the McCormick Freedom Museum revealed that only 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, more than half of Americans can name at least two members of “The Simpsons.” Twenty-two percent of respondents could name all five Simpson family members, but just 1 in 1,000 could identify all five First Amendment rights. In addition, while only 1 percent could name the right to petition for a redress of grievances, about 1 in 5 people thought the right to own a pet is protected by the First Amendment.

No wonder we’re in this mess.

To read more about the survey, visit

Monday, July 10, 2006

Defender of the American Way: Congressman George Hansen

In recent decades, it’s become almost fashionable to ridicule members of Congress for a host of abuses, most of them legitimate. In Superman the Movie, Superman tells Lois Lane, “I'm here to fight for truth, and justice, and the American way.” Lois replies, “You're going to end up fighting every elected official in this country!”

Yet even within the halls of Congress, a few lights have occasionally glimmered in the darkness. Every now and then, a statesman will arise—a man of courage and integrity willing to put the country’s needs before his own. A number of these public servants have attempted to reform our government, and many have paid dearly for their efforts. One of these martyrs for the cause of freedom is retired GOP Congressman George Hansen.

According to The Idaho Observer, Hansen was the only congressional representative willing to risk his own safety and his political career to visit the American hostages in Iran in 1979. The author of To Harass Our People, an exposé of the Internal Revenue Service, Congressman Hansen helped pass the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights. He was the first to propose a flat tax as an alternative to the graduated income tax, and he “fearlessly and repeatedly made public his findings when investigations turned up government corruption and citizen abuse” (

He has also been referred to on 2,500 talk-radio stations across the nation as “America’s most famous political prisoner,” according to the U.S. Citizens Human Rights Commission ( Many political observers, including retired Congressman Tom Kindness (R-Ohio), believe that Hansen gained this dubious honor because of one act of bravery: his attempt to enact the Congressional Accountability Project (CAP), a plan that would make Congress instantly accountable to the American public.

“This was a project which would . . . have had a major impact on the votes of congressmen since it would have made them instantaneously responsible to the people by making their votes known immediately after being cast,” says journalist John Voss. Hansen and his associates were about to make CAP fully operational when the government, with the help of former IRS agents, manufactured bank-fraud charges against him.

After four years of imprisonment and having been ruined professionally and financially, Hansen was vindicated when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1995. But his ordeal should never be forgotten.

“I ended up in and out of jail for a ten-year period, [with] four years solid time behind prison bars,” says Hansen. During his incarceration, he was subjected to what federal inmates refer to as “Diesel Therapy,” in which the prisoner is shuttled to various detention facilities by diesel-powered vehicles while shackled in chains so he can barely move. Spending 20 hours a day like this, Hansen, who was 63 at the time, was transported from one prison to another so that no one—not even his family or attorney—knew of his whereabouts. Hansen says the trucks he traveled in reeked of urine and feces because the prisoners were kept bound without any access to sanitation facilities. “The best thing you could do,” he says, “is the biblical act of fasting. If you don’t eat and don’t drink, you don’t have to go to the bathroom.”

While in prison, Hansen was assigned to do chemical testing with hazardous substances without any protection. “That caused my bones and teeth to go soft,” he says. “I ended up with 24 teeth breaking off at the gum line. For three years I was not allowed to see a dentist. So far, it has cost me about $14,000 to try to repair my mouth. My dentist says I’m a dental cripple for life.”

When offered an opportunity for parole, Hansen asked to be returned to prison because the terms of his parole would have forced him to reveal the names of people he had been representing who were being harassed by the government. “This would result in the betrayal of those people,” he says.

Initially, the parole board agreed to waive the financial reporting requirements that would have necessitated this information, but Hansen soon found himself violating parole for something completely unexpected—attending church. He happened to sit next to a federal marshal who was also a member of the congregation, and “that became my parole violation,” Hansen says. He was arrested in the dead of night and taken to an abandoned prison, where he was chained to a wall from Good Friday through Easter Sunday. Hansen believes this was done to “send him a message not to mess with their system.”

Even after the Supreme Court exonerated Hansen, it took eight months for him to be released. When his release was imminent, the Justice Department claimed there were “technicalities” that had to be looked at, and the former legislator remained in diesel therapy from May through Christmas.

When asked if he had any future plans to regain his congressional seat, Hansen replied, “My wife says if I ever run for anything again, it had better be the border.” Despite his ordeal, the veteran legislator is calling on all Americans, including members of Congress, to join him in the fight to restore accountability to the U.S. government.

The Winds,

“Truth Surfaces in Hansen Ordeal,” by Edward Snook and Don Harkins, The Idaho Observer,

Friday, July 07, 2006

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

With the recent release of Superman Returns, it seems fitting to include a tribute to the Man of Steel in a blog inspired by his motto. Ever since he leaped from the pages of Action Comics in 1938, Superman has been an American icon. His powers (which include the ability to fly into outer space and melt steel beams with his eyes) border on the supernatural. But perhaps what really won our hearts is his code of honor.

He learned his moral code from his adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent. Discovering their extraterrestrial son’s powers, they could easily exploit them for their own gain—possibly to control the world. Instead, they tell Clark to use his strength to serve humanity, to fight evil and rescue those in trouble. When he grows to manhood, Clark does just that. Assuming a secret identity as a mild-mannered reporter, he repudiates the advantages that come with power to become Superman, “champion of the oppressed, the physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need” (Action Comics #1, 1938).

Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman is the embodiment of the timeless values which made America great: respect for private property; honesty; a reverence for human life (his code includes a “no-kill” policy); equal treatment under the law; and an unwavering commitment to justice and fair play, even for accused murderers. In many ways he was also a product of the time in which he debuted. During the Great Depression, Americans were distrustful of government, and this comes across in the early villains Superman fights—corrupt politicians, slick lobbyists, and munitions magnates who are plotting to entangle the United States in overseas war; in other words, “those who sought to thwart the American way” (“Identity Crisis: the Many Faces of the Man of Steel”).

As America’s cultural and moral landscape decayed, Superman lost much of his wholesome image. In Superman II, for instance, he gives up his powers to sleep with Lois Lane. His abdication of responsibility nearly results in the world becoming enslaved by three power-mad dictators from Krypton. And in Superman Returns, we learn that the Man of Steel left earth “without any thought to what the consequences of his absence might be—for example, the villain Lex Luthor is out of prison now because Superman failed to appear and testify against him at his parole hearing” (Christianity Today).

But there is room for hope. In the WB series “Smallville,” Superman retains many of the values traditionally associated with the American way. In one episode, the teenaged Clark befriends a homeless teen with super speed who uses his ability to get whatever he wants. Clark counsels the youth against stealing, even from billionaire Lex Luther (who has not yet become Superman’s arch nemesis and ironically is Clark’s best friend). When the young man tells Clark that Luther’s insurance company will reimburse him for the loss, Clark insists it’s the principle that matters, not how wealthy his intended victim is. “There are laws,” he says. This commitment to upholding the rule of law—for rich and poor alike—was a hallmark of the early Superman comic books.

Perhaps the most endearing characteristic of “Smallville’s” incarnation of Superman is the redemptive effect Clark’s friendship has on Lex Luther in early episodes. Throughout the series, Luther continually affirms how much he looks to Clark as a model of integrity. And even though Luther often locks horns with Jonathan Kent, the young billionaire is always quick to acknowledge how fortunate Clark is to have parents who raised him with strong moral principles. In a television culture that frequently lampoons the traditional family, specifically fathers, Clark’s wholesome relationship with his dad is especially refreshing.

For 68 years, Superman has been the ultimate American hero. His popularity has endured through a Great Depression, two world wars, declining comic book sales, and an increasingly jaded public. Perhaps the reason Superman appeals to so many people is that we have an innate desire to see wrongs righted, to see the weak defended, to see justice prevail. In short, we need a savior to come and make things right in the world, to rescue us from the darkness.

Two thousand years ago, another extraterrestrial came to earth. Like Superman, he had powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. He could control the weather, walk on water, and even raise the dead. He, too, renounced the privileges that accompany power to serve mankind.

Like Clark Kent, he was raised in an inconsequential, backwater town, and few would have imagined he was destined for greatness.

He was sent to this planet with a mission not unlike the son of Jor-El’s: to save us from evil. But he was far more than a superhero. He was—and is—the eternally existing Son of the Living God.

For those of you who are crying out for a hero, he is your answer. Indeed he is the only answer—the ultimate champion in the battle between good and evil.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:15-20).


Thursday, July 06, 2006

A New Declaration

By Rep. Ron Paul, MD.
July 3, 2006
On the fourth day of July, in 1776, a small group of men, representing 13 colonies in the far-off Americas, boldly told the most powerful nation on earth that they were free.

They declared, in terms that still are radical today, that all men are created equal, and endowed with certain inalienable rights that government neither grants nor can take away.

In the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers sought to demonstrate to the world that they were rejecting a tyrannical king. They listed the “injuries and usurpations” that contain the philosophical basis for our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

One point of consternation to our founding fathers was that the king had been “imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.” But 230 years later, taxation with representation has not worked out much better.

Indeed, one has to wonder how Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin would react to the current state of affairs. After all, they were outraged by mere import tariffs of a few pennies on the dollar. Today, the average American pays roughly 50 percent of their income in direct and indirect taxes.

In fact, most Texans will not start working for themselves for another week. Texans, like most Americans, work from January until early July just to pay their federal income taxes, state and local taxes, and the enormous costs of regulation. Only about half the year is spent working to pay for food, clothing, shelter, or education.

It is easy to simply blame faceless bureaucrats and politicians for our current state of affairs, and they do bear much of the blame. But blame also rests with those who expect Washington DC to solve every problem under the sun. If the public demanded that Congress abide by the Constitution and pass only constitutional spending bills, politicians would have no choice but to respond.

Everybody seems to agree that government waste is rampant and spending should but cut—but not when it comes to their communities or pet projects. So members of Congress have every incentive to support spending bills and adopt a go-along, get-along attitude. This leads to the famous compromises, but the bill eventually comes due on April 15th.
Our basic problem is that we have lost sight of the simple premise that guided the actions of our founding fathers. That premise? The government that governs least is the government that governs best.
When we cut the size of government, our taxes will fall. When we reduce the power of the federal bureaucracy, the cost of government will plummet. And when we firmly fix our eyes, undistracted, on the principles of liberty, Americans truly will be free. That should be our new declaration.
Congressman Ron Paul of Texas is a leading advocate for limited constitutional government as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. A true statesman, he is also the nation's premier spokesman for low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency.