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Guest Post from Congressman Bill Sali: Freedom of Religion, Christianity Go Together

August 25th, 2007 by Halli

By Congressman Bill Sali
1st District of Idaho

A few years ago, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “God” has no place in the Pledge of Allegiance. More recently, anti-Christian activists have made significant headway in their effort to take Christ out of Christmas, even convincing people to replace the Christmas tree with the religion-neutral “holiday tree.”

Closer to home, in Canyon County, a vocal handful of people even protested a little tiny cross on the county seal, even though the seal provides an accurate illustration that is entirely representative of the community. Opponents of Christianity and faith in general are working overtime to sell their incorrect notion that our sacred freedom of religion means our country is supposed to be free from religion.

Some people say it is wrong for me to speak in defense of the importance of Christianity’s role in our country’s founding and it continuing significance to the life of our nation. They think it is wrong for me to say that Christian values and Christian principles have guided America from its inception and will continue to serve our country in the future.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion and to the freedom to express it. But I am not embarrassed by my conviction that Christian beliefs have been essential to our country’s well-being, and those of you who agree with me have no reason to be ashamed, either.

I’m also a disappointed that my comments in support of Christianity and religious freedom have been taken out of context as insulting people of other faiths. People on my staff have diverse faiths, as do people throughout Idaho. It is sad when desperate politicians pull statements out of context to score political points and degrade public discourse by doing so. I have taken a solemn oath to defend the rights of my constituents of all faiths so that they will remain free to practice their respective religions in this country.

But by my oath I did not give up my freedom of speech that allows me to express my belief in the importance of Christian faith to our nation’s heritage and future. I believe very strongly that Christianity has made and continues to make our country strong and that the God of the Bible has blessed our country and offers us His divine protection. Others may argue just as strenuously that their particular religion – be it Hinduism or Buddhism, Islam or Vodooism – makes this country great, and they are free to do so. I won’t agree with that assessment, but I will defend their right to practice their faith and share their opinion publicly. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are pillars of our constitutional government.

None of this distracts me from working to reform Congress and get our government back to basics: Low taxes, a powerful national defense, a limited role for Uncle Sam in the lives of our fellow citizens and a well-functioning immigration policy. Reforming Congress will go along way toward getting our nation back on track. But no amount of reform will help unless we remember and adhere to the principles that started our country and made it great. Those principles – human dignity, justice and liberty – are rooted in Judeo-Christian teaching. To disregard that teaching is to undermine the very foundations of our liberty, which we only do to our great peril.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: GOP Presidential Race Muddles Along

August 22nd, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, of Idaho Chooses Life

Mitt Romney, now a leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination on the basis of impressive fundraising efforts, continues to be dogged by his disingenuous and ham-handed politicization of the abortion issue.

After building an impressive record as a “progressive” Republican in Massachusetts, Mr. Romney has decided that being “pro-choice” is no longer politically expedient. He has spent several months explaining his conversion to a skeptical grassroots – sometimes with effect. But in recent weeks, Romney has taken the approach of denying his own past. Now he has gone so far as to suggest that he has always been “pro-Life”, even while helping to finance Planned Parenthood.

This tactic not only raises deeper concern about Romney’s understanding of the abortion issue – but his integrity as well.

Another hopeful – sometimes nearly crowned by the media even before he officially announces – is also having trouble with his apparently cynical treatment of the American Holocaust during a lengthy public career. Fred Thompson, TV star and agile politician, apparently spent most of his years in the Senate maintaining relationships with both sides of the abortion struggle. He has finally acknowledged lobbying for Planned Parenthood. And now ABC News reports finding “position papers” in his Senate archives outlining both a “pro-Life” and “pro-abortion” position.

Meanwhile, a press release from Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas is touting his strong showing in Iowa among grassroots Republicans. He is proud of placing 3rd in a statewide straw poll, even though he was outspent by a margin of 10-to-1.

There is no doubt that the conservative movement is hungry (desperate?) for strong and proven leadership. Perhaps Brownback will be that champion. He joins Congressman Duncan Hunter as one of our few viable options as the race moves toward resolution.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General, Property Rights | 1 Comment »

Idaho Falls’ “Sorry” Mayor

August 21st, 2007 by Halli

Yes, it’s true. Jared Fuhriman IS sorry. Today’s Idaho Falls newspaper headline reads: “Mayor Sorry for Storing Bong”.

To catch out-of-the-area readers up to date, Mayor Jared Fuhriman stored 2 boxes of marijuana pipes and other drug paraphernalia from the police evidence room in his home. When a member of the police department, Fuhriman used the items to “educate” parents in the D.A.R.E. program.

On August 12, Fuhriman’s 19-yr-old adopted son, Peyton, and 2 other men were cited for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to use. One of the men told police the “foot-long bong” came from the mayor’s house.

(However, it wasn’t actually the newspaper that broke this story – it was idahofallz.com. [Check out comment #26 dated Aug. 15, 5:04pm, on “Conversation with the Mayor”]. And, by the way, why DID it take the newspaper 9 days to report this story? Was the information intentionally buried at the police department? Was this special treatment for Police Chief Kent Livsey’s boss, who just happens to be a former police officer? Or is this just another example of the incompetence at the Idaho Falls newspaper?)

At any rate, now the mayor is “sorry”. And he should be.

There are few who would cast the first stone at Fuhriman and his wife for having a child who has most certainly behaved in a manner contrary to their teachings. This is a family tragedy in the making. It can happen to any parent, regardless of time and effort spent teaching children the difference between right and wrong. We can only hope the Fuhriman family is able to deal with this problem and move forward.

However, there are very serious questions which must be asked about Mayor Fuhriman’s judgment in storing items from the police evidence room in his home for 15 years.

Have we so quickly forgotten the Kimball Mason case? Mason was convicted of stealing guns from the police evidence room, as well as falsifying public documents. Mason was given a one- to five-year prison term in May, 2006, and a three- to 10-year prison term this March.

Can it really be true that Fuhriman never thought of the boxes of drug paraphernalia stored in his home as Mason’s case became a public scandal? Did it never occur to Fuhriman that it is dangerous to store such items in a home with children present? How could he “forget” items he borrowed from the evidence room?

Remember that an audit of the police evidence room was conducted in August, 2006, as a result of the Mason case. Police Chief Livsey never told his officers to “bring everything back”? As mayor and chief executive of the city, Fuhriman never thought of his own “evidence”?

And what other embarrassing items will be found missing from the Idaho Falls Police evidence room??? Whatever surfaces, don’t expect to read about it in the Idaho Falls newspaper.

In conclusion, Idahoans in general, and residents of Idaho Falls in particular, tend to be forgiving and allow elected officials (at least some of them) the benefit of the doubt when mis-steps are made. However, given the context (and results) of the Mayor’s “oversight”, perhaps a more firm approach is called for.

And how does this incident reflect on the city of Idaho Falls?

I am quite confident that to unbiased outsiders, Idaho Falls appears woefully behind the times.

The newspaper has egg on its face. Again.

Chief Kent Livsey looks incompetent.

And the Mayor looks, well, sorry.

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Posted in Family Matters, Idaho Falls Issues, Politics in General | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: China Trade – New Meaning to “Buyer Beware”

August 21st, 2007 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

It seems safe to say that the Dragon still has a healthy respect for the Eagle. China has been dealt several blows to its reputation with U.S. consumers over the past few months, and their remedial efforts to correct those blunders should be somewhat encouraging to us, and yet also serve as a healthy reminder of the nature of Communist countries.

First there was the pet food fiasco. Chinese ingredients in U.S. made pet food a few months ago poisoned and killed a handful of pets around the country. This posed a concern, but appeared to be an anomaly with the U.S. consumption-driven exporter.

Since then, however, there have been a flood of tainted and poor Chinese products adversely shaping public perception of Chinese goods by global and especially U.S. consumers. Toothpaste laced with toxic substances; cough syrup unsafe due to more toxic ingredients; hundreds of thousands of tires recalled because of defects in the manufacturing process and nearly a million Fisher-Price children’s toys recalled because the paint on them had too much lead. And just this week news of an additional toy recall because of excessive lead in children’s toys. The Chinese have single-handedly added depth of meaning to the consumer truism, “buyer beware.”

I’m sure there are some among us who because of conspiratorial theories are convinced that China is doing this intentionally to kill us or hurt us. That is highly unlikely recognizing that we have literally bought their way into the 21st century by purchasing a huge percentage of their annual one-trillion dollar exports. The U.S. imports 40% of its goods from China. In other words, two out of every five products you purchase at the store have the “Made In China” label.

But the people in oriental countries have a high sense of honor. That was illustrated by the Chinese last month when they executed the former head of their Food and Drug Administration equivalent for accepting bribes to approve shady and shoddy products for export to the U.S. And the CEO of the toy company using lead-based paint in toys licensed under Mattel and Fisher-Price labels hung himself in a warehouse as a way to atone for his failure to the state.

With these series of export faux pas, China is facing a potential backlash by American consumers that should lead to a little more scrutiny of manufacturing labels. “Made in America” or anyplace but China may prove to the Chinese that we are consumers that cannot be taken for granted, and that we have much more control over their future than perhaps previously thought.

Milton Friedman, the brilliant Nobel laureate economist maintained that economic freedom must be accompanied by political freedom. He was convinced that as China becomes more of a free market economy, that political freedom would of necessity follow for the one-billion plus people in that Communist country. This has, and undoubtedly will continue to present challenges for that trading partner of ours as it deals with the economic growing pains of its massive quantity of exports and attempting to keep its people subjugated in proper Communistic fashion.

Just because they’re our trading partners doesn’t mean we should ever be complacent about the fact that they are Communists. Communism as an ideology is responsible for killing more people in recorded history than any other. It would be wise for us to keep in mind that hundreds of millions of people have been killed in the name of the state by communist countries over the past 90 years, with China’s Chairman Mao responsible for nearly 100 million of those atrocities himself. Communists do not recognize the intrinsic value of human life, but only seem to value it as a means to an end, and the end is “the state.” Even loss of life from their products would be viewed more as a public relations failure than a tragedy because of the lives lost from those products. Hence, the execution of their FDA chairman.

For consistency, we can’t help wonder at why the failed Communist Cuba policy is maintained after 50 years of failure. First established by the Kennedy administration, the U.S. has had in place an isolationist policy toward Cuba that was intended to force Castro into democratic reform. It obviously has not worked. It seems like Friedman’s economic theory should be extended to Cuba to bring about political freedom through economic reform.

Policies that work should be applied with consistency, especially those that ameliorate the quality of life for those subsisting under the oppression of Communism and yearning for liberty. And I, for one, will be watching “Made In…” labels more closely. I may pay a little more for a U.S. made product, but I have a great deal more confidence in U.S. manufactured products than I do Chinese counterparts. I’ll simply consider that little extra price premium as an insurance policy for a quality product produced in my own country where consumer protection is held as a highest priority.

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Posted in Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post on Idaho Closed Primaries: Rod Beck Reveals Kirk Sullivan’s Missteps

August 18th, 2007 by Halli

rodwbeck@gmail.comwww.grassrootsidgop.wordpress.com

Dear Fellow Republican:

Many of you have read or heard about Idaho GOP Chairman, J. Kirk Sullivan’s ” Closed Primary Update” memo. He has certainly annoyed a lot of Idaho Republicans with that communication.
Since 71 fellow Idaho Republicans filed suit in Federal Court to protect our 1st Amendment Right to Free Association, I am compelled again to correct the misstatements Mr. Sullivan has been repeating.

In various newspaper accounts and now in his written memo, Mr. Sullivan, states the “Idaho Republican Party [is] among the plaintiffs.”

Mr. Sullivan knows his statement is false, yet he persists in repeating it. A first year journalist major can establish Mr. Sullivan’s claim as false simply by reading the list of 71 plaintiffs listed on the court document. The Idaho Republican Party is not listed. Our lawyer just sent Mr. Sullivan a demand letter asking him to retract his erroneous statement.

Many of the 71 Plaintiffs serve on the State Central Committee and two are on the Executive Committee. (See our blog for all documents: www.grassrootsidgop.wordpress.com)

The Republican Party membership is clearly on record having voted overwhelmingly to not allow Democrats and other non-Republicans to participate in a Republican Primary election at the 2006 Convention, and again in June 2007 at the Burley Central Committee meeting.

What is also clear is that the Idaho Republican Party is on record supporting legal action, yet Mr. Sullivan and the Executive Committee have discounted the decisions voted on at the 2006 Convention. And, frankly, they have done so in a manner in which has unnecessarily irritated many rank-and-file Republicans.

The Closed Primary Resolution passed at the 2006 Republican Convention called on the Party to petition the Governor and Legislature to pass legislation implementing our proposal. That didn’t happen .. it was never brought to a vote in the Legislature or any legislative committee.

State Representative Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian) wrote on his blog about Mr. Sullivan’s memo: “[Sullivan] seemed to ‘forget’ that I and others ran a number of versions of legislative bills starting early during the 2007 session … the same bills he covertly worked against in both the House and Senate.” ( marvhagedorn.blogspot.com)

The 2006 resolution further states that the Party “should use all means available” to protect Republicans’ 1st Amendment Rights.

Given various negative statements from elected leaders, even Mr. Sullivan cannot guarantee that the legislature will enact enabling legislation providing for full implementation of our specific rule prohibiting Democrats and other non-Republicans from voting in OUR primary election in 2008. There is strong opposition from the Democrats, plus, unfortunately, too many Republicans. In Mr. Sullivan’s memo, he again laid out his case in opposition to the grassroots GOP decision.

The ONLY means available now is through Court intervention. The Legislature failed and nobody can guarantee passage of a closed primary bill next session.

For the record, I have met over the spring and summer with GOP elected officials trying to develop a method to proceed. I served as Senate Majority Leader and can tell you that I cannot guarantee passage or even consideration of a closed primary bill next session. The ONLY means available is through Court intervention , which 71 fellow Republicans have started.

At this point, I should make you aware of some GOP Party facts:

1. The Central Committee is only the governing body of the Idaho GOP(Art. 1)

2. The Executive Committee is authorized only to act on behalf of the official Party policy as adopted by the State GOP Central Committee (Art. 2)

3. Only registered Republicans can vote in a Republican Primary (Art. 9)

Mr. Sullivan attached to his memo an action taken by the Executive Committee (not unanimous) that favored legislative action as opposed to, in their words, “disfavors judicial activism.”

I believe the Executive Committee has failed to responsibly act on behalf of the express policy of the Idaho Republican State Central Committee.

Given their failure, we grassroots Republicans have two courses of action. First, we are circulating a petition calling for the Idaho Republican Party to officially join in our lawsuit and for a special meeting of the State Central Committee, the governing body. You can print out petitions at our blog at www.grassrootsidgop.wordpress.com. Get as many fellow GOP’ers to sign as you can. The instructions are on the petition.

Second, and due to some of the GOP leadership’s opposition to protecting our 1st Amendment right, we filed an amended complaint to the lawsuit asserting that we actually do represent the interests of the Idaho Republican Party.

What Mr. Sullivan and some on the Executive Committee and others who are aggravating the process fail to understand, is that their actions are irresponsible. If the Legislature fails to fully enact legislation implementing the Republican closed primary rule – for the 2008 Republican Primary – a race with close results could be subject to a constitutional challenge. This is a very serious matter, which seems to escape their understanding. This means primary elections could be thrown out.

Thank you for carefully reading this letter. I hope you will join with us to build a more vibrant and active Republican Party for the future.

Sincerely,

Rod Beck

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Congressman Bill Sali – Religious Freedom, Christian Principles Still Important to America

August 17th, 2007 by Halli

By Congressman Bill Sali (Idaho-01)

This nation was founded on the principle of freedom of religion – a principle that I emphatically embrace and have taken an oath to defend. But our nation’s freedom of religion does not mean, as some history revisionists would like us to believe, that our Founding Fathers weren’t religious, nor that they didn’t embrace Christian principles. They most certainly did. The Founders recognized that “it is impossible to rightly govern the without God and the Bible.” It is unfortunate those words, which come directly from George Washington, would be deemed narrow-minded or bigoted if they were spoken today.

James Madison and John Adams would also be viewed as bigoted. Madison spoke of how the Almighty had extended His hand at critical stages of the American Revolution, allowing our nation to survive and thrive.

Adams wrote, “The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence… were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

Was Benjamin Franklin culturally insensitive when he noted that it was difficult to imagine that our country could have come into being without the guidance, influence and governance of God? Franklin wrote that the Founders had “daily prayers for divine protection,” and that their prayers were “graciously answered.”

“I have lived a long time,” Franklin wrote, “and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs the affairs of men! And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

And when I say that continued reliance on Christian principles have benefited this country in its past and will in its future, you need only look at Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln urged “intelligence, patriotism, Christianity and a firm reliance on Him” to get our country through our country’s darkest hour, the Civil War.

He made a promise to God, that once Union soldiers won the battle at Antietam, he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves. And he did.

I’m sorry that my comments in support of my faith have been taken grossly out of context. But I’m not sorry to defend my faith, nor should I be.

I believe it is important to reach out to the hand of God for guidance and His protective hand and continued blessings upon our country. That is something that I do each morning and each night. I believe the invocation in Congress is an important matter and that we ought reach out to the God of the Bible, because it is He who continues to allow this country to prosper and He is responsible for the country’s longevity.

That is what I was trying to convey in the radio interview a couple of weeks ago. It was difficult to do that in a limited amount of time. I suppose I could have done a better job explaining my position, but I also think it is wrong to take one small part of that interview and claim that is the whole of my position.

The Judeo-Christian principles on which our republic was founded can be embraced, defended and practiced by people of any faith. Anyone doing so will find an ally in me. But when principles outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition begin to be promoted within Congress, we should all recognize that the government given to us by the Founding Fathers will be at risk. That should give every American serious pause.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | 3 Comments »

Guest Post: Closed Primaries

August 16th, 2007 by Halli

From Henry Kulczyk

When there is a public debate on an issue I begin my decision making process by
asking a few fundamental questions. Consider my view of the recent debate on
closed primary elections.

To begin with, what is the purpose of a primary election? That is simple; the
purpose is for political parties to select their best candidates to run in the
general election. It seems bizarre that anyone, not being a member of a
particular political party would be allowed to vote, or want to vote in another
parties primary. To use a sports example, should BSU have allowed Oklahoma pick
the starting line up?

One of the first things always brought up when discussing a closed primary is,
will there now be a litmus test for candidates? Well there should be a litmus
test. That test should be the party platform. The purpose of a political party
is to have like-minded people come together, and then decide what issues they
support or oppose, then elect people to represent them and their platform.

It is common knowledge that democrats routinely vote in republican primaries.
Do you believe they are voting to help pick the strongest republican candidate,
or could they be up to a little mischief? In a strong republican District where
a democrat would not be able to win election, a democrat will file as a
republican. Democrats, in an open primary, then cross over to defeat a
republican with a democrat in the republican primary.

Having open primaries, which allow anyone to vote in any party primary defeats
the purpose of the primary election. The primary is for party members to select
their best candidates to represent their party in the general election. Maybe we
should consider eliminating the primary and parties altogether by allowing all
candidates to run in the general election.

For 12 years Idaho has had a super majority of republicans in the legislature
with a republican Governor. You would think that the republican platform would
be Idaho code. Not so. In fact, I have been lobbying for a particular plank,
Education Opportunity Tax Credits, for ten years now. In my lobbying efforts I
once showed a republican legislator the republican platform supporting this
exact legislation. Without any discussion on the merits of the bill, he
dismissed the platform by saying “Henry, that is a cute lobbying trick.”

The interesting thing about the closed primary debate is how republican
leadership is fighting those who elected them. In a decisive vote the
Republican Party faithful voted to close the primary. Twice. When the Idaho
legislature failed to implement a closed primary, many rank and file
republicans took the matter into their own hands and filed suit.

The State Chairman of the republican party not only refuses to support the
members of his party in implementing a plank of the republican platform, but he has
come out in open opposition to them.

In our current open primary elections we have democrats running as republicans
because that is the only way they can get elected. We have a super-majority of
republicans and cannot seem to implement the party platform and we have
republican leadership opposing the rank and file republicans when they do try
to implement a plank of the platform.

It seems the Republican Party has been reduced to another social club and the
platform is a “cute lobbying trick”. It is time to close the primary and
elect republican leaders that will support the republican platform.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

Idaho Falls Newspaper Can’t Have It Both Ways

August 14th, 2007 by Halli

In a previous post, I pointed out that the Idaho Falls newspaper appears to be losing it’s grip. It failed for several days to report important local news about convicted former county and city prosecutor, Kimball Mason. And it placed the story about the Minneapolis bridge collapse on page 5 the morning after it occurred.

In response to complaints about their coverage, the newspaper’s acting executive editor, Monte LaOrange, states that:

While the Post Register strives to have a complete, daily balance of nation, world, regional and local news, we will almost always run local stories and stories of local interest in the most prominent positions.

Yes, remember that the above-the-fold story on August 2nd, the day after the bridge collapse, concerned an Idaho Falls High School graduate working to overcome bacterial antibiotic resistance. This is a story that, while well-written, had probably been completed and in the hopper for several days, if not weeks. Not really “new” news.

Yet today we find on the front page articles entitled “NASA conducts tests to assess shuttle gouge” and “Rove was good, bad and did it smugly”, both fresh national stories. (Granted, neither was “above the fold”.)

Come on, newspaper. You can’t have it both ways.

Why don’t you just admit that you hate to mess up the front page when you have it “put to bed” after deadline?

And admit that when there isn’t much local news, you grab some national headlines and stuff them on the front page. The make-up of your front page is driven to a large extent by what is already written, and what fits the available space.

Perhaps there’s a little laziness revealed here.

And your readers will admit that you are becoming much less relevant – and much more like the weekly “feature” newspaper that has very little to do with daily life in southeastern Idaho.

Local television stations are doing a much better job of keeping up on local news, though they are unable to deliver the depth that a newspaper can.

It’s tough for a newspaper to be shoved aside by more immediate news sources. At least you have company, as newspapers across the nation shrink in advertising revenue and readership.

But, then again, you could always offer another “75% off” sale on subscriptions to some of your readers, while the rest pay full price.

That’s sure to keep ‘em happy.

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Posted in General, Idaho Falls Issues, Politics in General | 9 Comments »

Guest Post: Building a Democracy in a Muslim Nation an Impossibility

August 13th, 2007 by Halli

I post this article to challenge thinking of readers of every stripe. It is true that Turkey, also an Islamic nation, has succeeded for a number of years in governing itself with a form of democracy. However, Iraq is definitely not Turkey. What do you think?
– Halli

From Bryan Fischer, of Idaho Values Alliance

As news comes that the Iraqi government has fallen into virtual paralysis due to sectarian bickering between Sunnis and Shias, there are two facets of our presence in Iraq that are important to keep in mind, and to keep distinct in our thinking. One is that we do have national interests at stake there, and therefore have a justified military presence in the country. The first and highest duty of the federal government is to protect the security of the American people, and it is far better to fight al-Qaida in the streets of Baghdad than the streets of Brooklyn.

So the fundamental objective of our presence in Iraq should be quite simple: the use of military strength to subdue and eliminate the forces of al-Qaida, forces which are determined to destroy America, and which have already shown, on 9/11 and in every terrorist attack on innocent civilians, their willingness to do unthinkable things to kill anyone they consider an infidel.

However, beyond the national security issues at stake, President Bush has undertaken a nation-building effort in Iraq, centered on leaving behind a democratic form of government.

Unfortunately, given the fundamental antipathy of Islam toward the essential elements of political liberty, this will be impossible. The president has, at least in public pronouncements, demonstrated a naïve assessment of Islam, and insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, on calling it a religion of peace.

Because he has grown up in an environment shaped by Christianity with its commitment to individual liberty and freedom of conscience, it is difficult for him to understand that not everyone has the same desire for freedom that Americans do.

The first civil right guaranteed in our Bill of Rights is freedom of religion. It not only is our first civil right, it is foundational to every other civil right. But this essential, foundational civil right is the one right above all others that Islamic nations cannot tolerate or respect or embrace, since it is a fundamental part of their worldview that Islam is destined to dominate the world, not through principled persuasion, which is the Christian way, but at the point of the sword.

The history of Islam is not a history of freedom and liberty of conscience, but of domination, subjugation, and tyranny. Residents of Muslim lands grow up believing that this political repression is the will of Allah, and therefore a good and noble thing. What Muslim people are trained to long for is not freedom of choice and religion, but absolute, iron-fisted Islamic dominance of every element of society.

Democracy simply cannot flourish in soil that has been made barren and spiritually sterile by Islam.

One dynamic found in authentic Christianity is a hunger and thirst for freedom. As an early Christian leader said, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” This quotation, found in 2 Corinthians 3:17, became an energizing slogan for the American people during our War for Independence from the repressive authority of the Crown.

But when that Spirit is absent, as it is in Muslim lands, so is the quest for liberty. Unless the people of Iraq experience radical spiritual renewal and awakening, the dynamics simply do not exist in that country, or any Islamic country, to build democratic institutions. Building a nation on Islamic soil which has a true respect for a republican form of government is an impossibility.

It has already become abundantly clear that whatever government we leave behind in Iraq will provide no protection at all for the religious practice of either Jews or Christians. The United States is expending no effort to enshrine religious liberty there. It makes no sense for a Christian nation to use its power to build a nation that has no respect and provides no protection for followers of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

The task before our government should be to accomplish its military mission, in order to protect the security of the American people, and then relinquish to the Iraqi people the work of building a government of their own choosing. It will not be a democratic form of government, because Islam will not permit such a government to take root.

As is true every place on earth, the only hope for the future of Iraq is a widespread, voluntary embrace of the transcendent standards of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Until that happens, the Iraqi people are doomed to unending violence, repression, and social instability.

USATODAY.com: Iraq crisis deepens as 4 more ministers boycott Cabinet

As British Leave, Basra Deteriorates – washingtonpost.com

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Posted in Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | No Comments »

Contact Congressman Bill Sali with Words of Support

August 13th, 2007 by Halli

I join with Bryan Fischer, of Idaho Values Alliance, in urging all who support Rep. Bill Sali’s principled stand against Hindu prayers in Congress to contact one of Sali’s offices to offer support.

The vitriol leveled at Rep. Sali has been a bit surprising, given the fact that most unbiased observers still call the United States a Christian nation.

To contact Rep. Sali, call his Boise office at 208-336-9831, or visit his website for other options.

It is critically important that the distinction be made between freedom of religion, as guaranteed by our Bill of Rights, and prayers offered in Congress. As Rep. Sali correctly observes, our nation was founded on the belief in one God, the God of the Old and New Testaments, not a multiplicity of gods revered by Hindus.

I believe his concerns for our nation’s future are justified. Neither Hinduism, Islam nor any religion but Christianity have resulted in such freedom and prosperity as seen in the United States.

I urge you to take a moment and contact Rep. Sali with your words of support.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, General, Politics in General | 13 Comments »

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