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Massachusetts Lawmakers Seek to Outlaw Spanking Children

November 28th, 2007 by Halli

A cadre of Massachusetts hypocrites is spearheading an effort to outlaw spanking of children by parents.

Of course, it is already illegal to use corporal punishment in Massachusetts schools, and there are already laws prohibiting child abuse by any adult. But this group wants to step over the threshold of US tradition, as well as the thresholds of millions of private homes, to police parenting styles.

According to Boston’s WCVB, the proposed bill would outlaw whipping, spanking, pinching, administering electric shock, “hot saucing”, washing out a child’s mouth with soap, or any other manner of “the willful infliction of physical pain on children under 18.” Under the new law, children would be able to turn in their parents for any infractions.

WCVB TV in Boston reports that Rep. Jay Kaufman is sponsoring the legislation at the request of a Massachusetts nurse, who wishes to see Massachusetts become the first state in the nation to join an international movement towards outlawing spanking.

Interestingly, Rep. Kaufman was a guest this morning on the Michael Graham Show, heard on Boston’s WTKK Radio. After discussing the bill, Graham asked Kaufman two questions, the answers to which were particularly revealing.

Graham asked Kaufman the difference between sanctions against spanking and those imposed by current child abuse laws.

Kaufman answered: Nothing (see above list of punishments).

Graham wrapped up by asking Kaufman if he spanked his own children.

Kaufman replied: That’s none of your d— business.”

Hmmm.

Kathleen Wolf, the Massachusetts nurse mentioned, was a guest this morning on Good Morning America. Nurse Wolf commented, “I think it’s ironic that domestic violence applies to everyone except the most vulnerable — children.”

The distinction between “domestic violence” laws and child abuse laws is unclear, especially given Rep. Kaufman’s admission that there were no differences between sanctions in both laws.

We are forced to draw into question the IQ of Nurse Wolf, especially in light of the following exchange.

GMA hosts asked the nurse if she had ever spanked her own children.

Nurse Wolf admitted that she had “swatted them a couple of times.”

Another hmmm. Did I already apply the term “hypocrite”?

While laws against excessive punishment and/or child abuse should be enforced, government and overly zealous, self-appointed do-gooders attempting to dictate parenting styles should be kept out of private homes and the families who live there. This proposed Massachusetts law is just the newest attack on parents in the on-going and long-term assault on traditional families.

For instance, here is just one of the many “magical” government vicious cycles that destroys families: high taxes force mothers to seek employment outside the home, necessitating the formation of a huge child care industry, which government also regulates heavily, at significant cost to the taxpayer. Government regulation in turn drives the cost of child care out of the reach of many families, necessitating another government assistance program which subsidizes child care costs. This in turn raises taxes, causing even more women to leave their children to work outside the home, resulting in the neglect of children, inadequate parental supervision, and increased family strife.

But then, it should come as no surprise that government do-gooders love to devise even more programs to address problems they themselves create. It is a win-win situation for bureaucrats who are intent upon expanding their own power by increasing the size and impact of their personal bureaucracy, while at the same time assuring themselves job security by proving their own indispensability.

Overgrown and overreaching government run amok is magical.

The ultimate goal of this government assault on families is to strip control of children from inadequate, under prepared parents (that’s all of us) while transferring that control to government experts (that’s all of them) who “know what’s best”.

Given the decades-long trend of government intervention in the home and family, we can predict that the United States will soon look like the old Soviet Union, where parents were deemed unsuitable guardians of their own children. Children were then shipped to government boarding schools for indoctrination, where they were taught, among other things, to report any unacceptable activities of their parents. (Sounds just a bit like the new Massachusetts anti-spanking law – no wonder some refer to the Bay State as the Socialist State of Massachusetts.)

Individuals, families and taxpayers are the big losers as the trend continues. Yes, even CHILDREN lose out.

But I digress. Returning to the issue at hand, which is spanking in the home, should we not applaud parents who care enough about their children to discipline them at all, rather than seeking to criminalize even their reasonable behavior?

Not only is common sense spanking generally accepted in the US, but it also has a Biblical basis (see Proverbs 13:24, and Proverbs 29:15.)

And should we not keep the over-arching government nanny state out of our homes?

Keep an eye out for an anti-spanking campaign coming to a state near you.

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Posted in Education, Family Matters, Politics in General | 5 Comments »

Guest Post: Airlines Impose a 10% Surcharge for Being Sexually Normal

November 28th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Quietly and with no fanfare, Alaska and Horizon Airlines are offering travel specials that are only available to gays, lesbians and transgendered individuals. Ordinary heterosexuals? Well, you’re just out of luck.

Alaska and Horizon employees received an email on September 13 about a “very soft launch” of a new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LBGT) “micro-website” that is devoted to people who practice non-normative sexual behaviors, and offers them special deals unavailable to those who are sexually normal.

When one employee complained that this was “reverse discrimination,” since there is no “micro-website” for heterosexuals, or for Blacks or Hispanics for that matter, the employee was informed that it made no difference to corporate officials because the LGBT community represents a “gigantic profitable segment of the market.”

Sure enough, if you go to Alaska’s special “Gay Travel” section of the website, you will discover that a special 10% discount was offered this fall for LGBT travelers to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air Promotions: VIVA Puerto Vallarta and LGBT). Of course, this meant that heterosexuals paid, in essence, a 10% penalty for the same trip for being, well, sexually normal.

But it’s not too late: Switch your sexual orientation from heterosexual to anything else, and you can immediately qualify for a special 10% discount for your holiday travel to New York City. All you have to do is enter a special discount code “when you purchase your tickets at alaskaair.com/gaytravel.” (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air Gay Travel – Save 10% on Travel to New York City).

If you’re an ordinary heterosexual, once again be prepared to pay what amounts to a 10% surcharge for being sexually straight.

Says Alaska, “Whether it’s your first flight with us or your 400th, we are thrilled to have you join us. In ‘Our World,’ diversity abounds. From the land of the Midnight Sun to the beaches of Mexico and Miami, from historic Boston to the desert of Palm Springs and Tucson, alaskair.com is a welcoming resource for our LGBT travelers.”

Alaska has a special page devoted to flights to LGBT events such as “The 5th Los Angeles LGBT People of Color Film Festival,” the “8th Int’l Conference on Gay and Lesbian Tourism” (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), “Atlantis Events’ Largest Gay Cruise in History” (Miami, FL), the “International Foundation for Gender Education ‘Transgender 2008′” (Tucson, AZ), and the “Dinah Shore Weekend in the Desert” (Palm Spring, CA) [which leads the ordinary observer to say, "The Dinah Shore Weekend in the Desert?" What is that all about?].

Alaska has received a rating of 95 from the Human Rights Campaign as a gay-friendly airline.

What to do? Next time you check in to fly Alaska or Horizon, courteously express your disappointment that Alaska is pushing the homosexual agenda and offering special fares that aren’t available to you. (Print out a copy of this Daily Update to hand to the agent at the counter if you are challenged on this.)

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Possibility that Senator Craig May Resign Before the End of the Year?

November 27th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer of Idaho Values Alliance

POSSIBILITY THAT SEN. CRAIG MAY RESIGN BEFORE END OF YEAR?
Newly enacted ethics reform legislation will require any member of Congress who is in office on January 1, 2008 to wait a full two years after he leaves office before he can take a highly lucrative position as a Washington lobbyist.

Although Sen. Trent Lott yesterday denied that this change had any affect on his decision to resign his office by the end of the year, a common sense understanding of human nature naturally would lead an objective observer to suspect that, at a minimum, this factor was in the back of his mind.

In a similar vein, it is likely that this possibility is one that Sen. Craig is mulling over. To his credit, he has not used his congressional career to feather his own nest, and is not independently wealthy. (Although most Idahoans could live quite comfortably on his Senate salary of $165,200.)

Through his aggressive advocacy of guest worker programs, he has positioned himself well to represent agricultural interests upon his retirement from the Senate, and his lack of personal wealth may give him an incentive to accept such a position – if in fact it would be offered to him – as soon as possible.

If he retires before the end of the year, he will need only to wait one year before becoming eligible for a six-figure salary as a lobbyist, while if he is still in office on January 1, he’d have to wait two years. He will still be eligible for an annual retirement package of approximately $100,000 per year, based on his years of service in Congress.

The GOP has seen a rash of early retirements in the U.S. Senate this year – Sen. Lott makes six – and it is likely that the change in lobbying rules has a lot to do with it. The Republicans, through their own ineptitude and abandonment of conservative principles, seemed destined to remain a minority party after the ‘08 elections, and a number of Congressmen have decided they don’t relish the thought of serving without power and find the thought of a well-compensated post-congressional career irresistible.

Perhaps Sen. Craig will expand the number of early Senate retirees to seven.

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

Action Alert: Email Speaker of the Idaho House on Work of Family Task Force

November 26th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Rep. Steve Thayne, under the authorization of the Speaker of the House, Lawerence Denney, chaired the Legislative Family Task Force, which met over the course of the summer and early fall, heard testimony from scores of people, and developed a list of 14 recommendations, all of which are designed to strengthen the Idaho family.

The recommendations include ways to increase character education in our public school system, increase meaningful parental involvement in the education process, and strengthen existing marriages while slowing the rate of divorce. The Task Force recommended that a “Family Impact” statement be attached to every piece of legislation to describe its anticipated affect on Idaho families.

As you might expect, the work of this Task Force has come under withering assault from secular fundamentalists who despise the Judeo-Christian concept that the nuclear family is and ought to be the cornerstone of a healthy society.

The Idaho Statesman has launched a reprehensible attack on Rep. Thayne and his family, highlighting the domestic challenges of one his adult sons (which challenges even the Statesman admits have been overcome) and blaming Rep. Thayne for the actions of this adult son.

(You may read the most flagrant editorial attack on Rep. Thayne here. Note in particular the utter lack of sympathy for Rep. Thayne and his family from someone who fancies himself the very embodiment of liberal compassion.)

Thus the Statesman’s editors hypocritically and shamelessly transgress what they claim is their own standard for the conduct of public officials – that what happens in their personal lives and the lives of their families is nobody’s business and irrelevant to the debate over public policy.

Other pro-family lawmakers can falter in their support of the work of their colleagues in the face of such mean-spirited and malicious attacks, think that somehow the Statesman’s editors are speaking for the majority of Idahoans, and grant them a de facto heckler’s veto over any family-friendly legislation they don’t happen to like. But of course nobody elected the editors of the Idaho Statesman to establish public policy for the Gem State.

It’s important that the leadership of the Idaho House of Representatives, particularly the Speaker of the House, Rep. Lawerence Denney, hear from you today regarding the Task Force and the importance of its work.

URGENT APPEAL: PLEASE SEND EMAIL TODAY TO SPEAKER LAWERENCE DENNEY

Speaker Denney needs to hear from all of you – everyone of you – that strengthening the Idaho family is of paramount importance to you. He needs to hear from you that you appreciate the hard work of the Task Force in developing recommendations that can start a necessary and productive discussion about how we can make Idaho families stronger and provide increasingly stable home environments for Idaho’s children.

Please send an email to Rep. Lawerence Denney.

Here is a sample of the text you may use, which you are, of course, free to adapt. Please include your name and hometown at the end of the email.

Dear Rep. Denney,

I’m writing to thank you for authorizing the work of the Legislative Family Task Force.

I am deeply concerned about the health of the Idaho family, and I appreciate the very hard work Rep. Steve Thayne and the other members of his task force have done to develop recommendations designed to strengthen marriages and families in Idaho.

I believe the recommendations of the task force are a great place to begin the discussion about changes we can make in Idaho’s public policies to improve the health of Idaho families.

Thank you again for commissioning this task force, and we look forward to the work of the Idaho legislature in implementing the best of its recommendations.

Sincerely,

(Name)

(Hometown)

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

Guest Post: Media Tries to Trivialize Pro-Life Movement

November 26th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

The Idaho Statesman carried a headline in its paper on Saturday, “Abortion Foes Promote ‘Personhood’ for Eggs”. Talk about your “unbiased” media.

A casual reader could only be confirmed in the suspicion that the pro-Life movement is composed of irrational “egg worshipers” – perhaps a secret cult within a cult. Imagine going to the supermarket and buying a carton of eggs to bring home for family worship. How silly of us. (Sometimes it seems that the abortion crowd really does understand us this way).

Instead, the substance behind the headline concerns a singularly important question: Just Who Is Entitled to Equality Under the Law? Or, in this case, which subset(s) of homo sapien will have any legal recognition at all.

The Statesman article is a reprint out of the LA Times purporting to cover developments in Colorado. Pro-Lifers there are waging battle to amend the state’s constitution in order to establish that human life begins at conception. If they succeed, the citizens of Colorado will present the U.S. Supreme Court with an unprecedented challenge. But members of the media are working hard to ensure that campaign fails.

Take this fascinatingly stupid sentence: “The campaign to grant ‘personhood’ to fertilized eggs, giving them the same legal status as human beings, comes as the nation in December marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade ….”

Please note that the author does clarify that we are not actually talking about eggs from the supermarket – but ‘fertilized eggs’. And secondly, observe that the author presumes we all understand these odd creatures to be something other than ‘human beings’. I wonder how that “factoid” became so established as to make it unnecessary for the reporter to even bother putting forth a logical argument or scientific fact to support his bias.

And we are the “irrational” ones?

The simple and incontrovertible truth is that human life does begin at conception. In all of human history, there has never been a single human being whose life did not begin in exactly the same way. That means billions of hard data points on our side of the debate – and exactly none on theirs. Furthermore, it is a plain scientific fact that fertilized eggs are human; they belong to no other species.

To read the learned comments of folks at the Statesman or LA Times, one would have to believe, as an article of political and social faith, that non-human eggs somehow transform themselves, by an unknown and magical force, into human beings at some later date: Utter gibberish by another name.

Perhaps it is the abortion crowd that has spent too much time around the moonshine still.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Guest Post: Thanksgiving Reminds Us of Our Dependence on God

November 26th, 2007 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Despite narratives by contemporary textbooks, the earliest of Thanksgiving celebrations were established to acknowledge the hand of God, and give thanks to Him, for deliverance and His mercy. The holiday continues today as a subtle reminder of our dependence on God for the blessings we enjoy as Americans for our freedom and those who have stood as defenders of that freedom and attendant liberties and rights. It also serves as a gentle reminder that our founding fathers feared not the presence of religion in society and even government, but a repressed individual free exercise of religion.

In mid-December of 1620, The Pilgrims, Calvinist Protestants, arrived at the coast of present-day Massachusetts, and conducted the first “thanksgiving” ceremony with a prayer service thanking God for safe arrival in the New World.

After a devastating winter which claimed the lives of nearly half of the 102 faithful in search of religious freedom, the Pilgrims, with the assistance of the neighboring Wampanoag Indians, reaped a rich harvest which they gladly shared with the Wampanoag.

Investors funding their endeavor demanded they incorporate a socialistic economic model where all crops and property were held in common, in order to return half of their produce to their overseas backers. After two years of a socialized economy, Plymouth was in danger of failing as a result of famine, blight, and drought. Even practicing the carefully directed cultivation practices of the Wampanoag failed to deliver them from their plight. Colonist Edward Winslow wrote, “The most courageous were now discouraged, because God, which hitherto had been our only shield and supporter, now seemed in his anger to arm himself against us.”

The Pilgrims realized how dependent they were on deity for their very survival, and set aside a “solemn day of humiliation, to seek the Lord by humble and fervent prayer in this great distress,” according to Governor William Bradford. As an affirmation of their faith, by that evening, the skies darkened, and a slow, steady rain ensued, providing a powerful witness to the Indians of faith in God, the Great Spirit, and a reaffirmation of the same for the Pilgrims. Governor Bradford noted, “And afterwards the Lord sent to them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving.” Sounds a lot like what Governor Sonny Perdue did a couple of weeks ago in Georgia.

Edward Winslow recorded the Pilgrims’ reaction as believing “it would be great ingratitude, if secretly we should smother up the same, or content ourselves with private thanksgiving for that, which by private prayer could not be obtained. And therefore another solemn day was set apart and appointed for that end; wherein we returned glory, honor, and praise, with all thankfulness, to our good God, which dealt so graciously with us…” This was the original American Thanksgiving Day, centered not on harvest feasting (as in 1621) but on gathering together to publicly recognize the favor and provision of Almighty God.

Bradford’s diary recounts how the colonists repented of their socialistic financial folly and “At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number.”

Over the course of the next 150 years, autumnal Thanksgiving celebrations became commonplace throughout New England. However, in December of 1777, in the midst of the Revolutionary War, General George Washington ordered a day for “public Thanksgiving and Praise, and duty calling us devoutly to express our grateful acknowledgements to God for the manifold blessings he has granted us.” He ordered “all officers and soldiers, whose absence is not indispensably necessary, to attend with reverence the solemnities of the day.” The Continental Congress, acknowledging the need for a warring country’s continuing grateful entreaties to God, proclaimed yearly Thanksgiving days throughout the Revolutionary War from 1777 through 1783.

The first formal recognition of the newly formed United States of America was established in 1789, after ratifying the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. Congress recommended that citizens “gather together and give thanks to God” for the blessings bestowed upon their fledgling nation.

Presidents George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison followed the custom of declaring national days of gratitude, although it wasn’t until another perilous juncture in American history, the Civil War, when another President declared a national day of thanksgiving. President Abraham Lincoln invited “the whole American people to observe a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father…with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience.”

Congress set a permanent date of the fourth Thursday of November for a national day of Thanksgiving in 1941.

It is proper for us, indeed, requisite of us, to look to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future. While Thanksgiving Day is the formal recognition of our gratitude to the Almighty for our temporal blessings, we should acknowledge throughout the year our heartfelt indebtedness for our freedoms and the country that was founded on principles of individual inalienable rights. Such gratitude should include the recognition of our nations’ early practice and failure of socialized economics, and a commitment to free market principles which inherently advocates the freedom of every individual in our society to choose, both for consumption and production purposes. And most of all, we should celebrate the freedom of exercise of religion without government suppression, repression, or censorship.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Pilgrims Tried Communism, Found It Didn’t Work

November 21st, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Our Pilgrim forebears, of whom we think at Thanksgiving, actually tried socialism and discovered rapidly that it didn’t work as a method of governing a prosperous, happy, and productive society.

In 1620, the farm economy in the Plymouth Colony was originally organized along communal lines. It sounded so noble and so “Christian” – everything was to be shared equally, both work and produce.

As a result, the Colony nearly starved to death.

The colony’s elders resorted – gasp! – to private property and free enterprise as an alternative. As William Bradford said, they “assigned to every family a parcel of land” which was their own to work as they saw fit. They were free to enjoy the fruit of their own labors without having that fruit confiscated by others less diligent than they.

The Colony experienced dramatic and virtually instantaneous results. As Bradford observed, “This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many.”

And voila, the first Thanksgiving in 1623.

As John Stossel points out, this is the “lost lesson” of the first Thanksgiving. If individuals can take from a common pot regardless of how much they put in – as they can do today under government welfare programs – it incentivizes dependency, laziness, greed (whatever I don’t take will be taken by somebody else), fraud and the avoidance of personal responsibility. And the whole community suffers.

But when personal responsibility is joined with Christian compassion, those who work hard are inclined willingly to share freely with the less-fortunate until the poor are able to stand on their own. The transfer of wealth from those who have more to those who have less then becomes voluntary rather coercive.

The voluntary transfer of wealth enriches everyone, both those who give and those who receive, while the involuntary transfer of wealth through burdensome taxation creates both resentment and dependency, and weakens the character of those who receive.


Townhall.com::The Tragedy of the Commons::By John Stossel

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: India Supreme Court Sentences Man to Life for Coercion

November 20th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

The Supreme Court of India has just sentenced a man to life in prison because he forced his girlfriend to undergo an abortion.

According to a LifeNews.Com report, a man there impregnated his girlfriend. He insisted she abort the child. She refused. He then took the woman to a local pharmacist, a friend of his, during which visit the pharmacist put her under anesthesia and performed the abortion. What is particularly interesting about this story is that the charge leveled at the boyfriend was not performing an “illegal abortion” because the pharmacist was not a licensed abortionist. Rather, the life sentence was handed down for the specific crime of aborting a child without the mother’s consent.

Many of our readers may think this story extreme, perhaps on a couple levels. First, some might think a life sentence too harsh. Others might think that coercion really ought not be a crime in the first place, or that this instance of coercion is too extreme to serve as any kind of public policy guide for treating the problem of coercion.

We would disagree on both counts, and suggest that part of the problem is that the daily pummeling from a pro-abort media has twisted our sensibilities; even pro-Lifers are inclined to accept the embedded premise.

If, for example, we really believe abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, than why would a life sentence be extreme?

And why shouldn’t a person be prosecuted for forcing – either through physical or emotional abuse or economic pressure – a woman to participate in the killing of her own child?

Let’s take a look at the closely-related crime of extortion. A person uses verbal abuse, and threats of kicking out on the street, an elderly relative unless they sign over their life insurance benefits to that relative with whom they live. Anyone can spot the crime of extortion – and rightly conclude that such coercion is not just immoral, but illegal. It is theft by a different name.

Idaho law provides for the prosecution of such thievery. But no protection exists for the woman or girl threatened with any number of sanctions unless she agrees to kill her own child. And it happens more often than you might care to believe.

Could it be that we as a society value money more than the human victims, both baby and mother, pummeled by the employer or boyfriend or spouse?

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Guest Post: Evangelical Third Party Candidate Unwise

November 19th, 2007 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Politics by definition cannot be based on absolutes. When a voter or a group of voters decides to vote based on absolute principle on a single issue, the consequences can be disastrous and almost never makes sense.

A few weeks ago, a large group of evangelical Christian leaders led by James Dobson of Focus on the Family fame congregated in Salt Lake City and discussed the upcoming Presidential election. What emerged from that meeting was very disconcerting.

The group decided that they could not support a pro-abortion candidate by any means, and that if Rudy Guiliani was the Republican candidate, they could not vote for him and would consider throwing their support to a third-party candidate. In all my years of listening to and respecting Dr. Dobson this is the rare disagreement I have had with him.

Their position on abortion is completely understandable considering this country was founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The most fundamental function of a government is to protect life, especially those most innocent; those who cannot protect themselves. As Michael Vick could testify, dogs in this country have more legal protection than unborn humans. Yet, as fundamental as this principle is, it is still not sufficient to eclipse all other issues in the selection of a president.

Ronald Reagan said many times that those who agree with him 80% of the time are not his enemies, they are his friends. Interestingly, he didn’t make a distinction on what constituted the 20% of disagreement, or for that matter, what issues constituted the 80% agreement.

When we vote for President, it is not the same as voting for a pastor. Their theology doesn’t have to match ours and their personal lives may not reflect our fundamental values. But on major issues, if I agree with someone on 80% of my key issues, even though I may disagree on one big issue, why would I then vote for someone who has no chance of winning from a third party thereby handing the election to someone that I may only agree with on 20% of the issues? There is no logic to that.

Some say that it’s a matter of conscience, that they cannot support someone who agrees with taking innocent life. Frankly, the President doesn’t decide that issue. The only role the President has in that regard is through his judicial appointments, primarily to the Supreme Court.

Realizing that, do I want a president who is much more likely to appoint judges that would reverse Roe v. Wade and return the issue of abortion to the states? Or do I, by casting a vote for a third party candidate, want to hand the presidency to someone who is more likely to load the courts with jurists who will support abortion? Since the next President will probably appoint two more Justices to the Supreme Court, do I want more jurists like Ginsburg, or Roberts? And ultimately, do I think Judeo-Christian values will more likely be supported by a Democrat or by a Republican, considering the candidates being considered for the job.

Even an absolutist on anti-abortion should recognize the folly in supporting a third party candidate thereby turning the presidency over to an absolutist on abortion rights. After all, much in politics is incremental in nature. Tax policy is changed incrementally, health-care issues are changed incrementally, and entitlements are incremental in nature. So a step in the right direction is better than trying and failing to take four steps in the right direction, thereby handing the presidency to someone who takes four steps in the wrong direction.

In the primaries, if conscience so demands it, we can be much more single-issue oriented. Vote for your pro-life candidate, vote your conscience. But from a practical standpoint, we can’t afford to be single-issue driven when it comes to the general election. At that point, we need to be thinking of the next best option.

Conscience is to be applied in absolute fashion when it comes to our private lives. But practicality and realism must be the rule of the day when it comes to politics. Since this is directed to those who think their vote should be a matter of conscience and not practicality, how do you explain King David? It seems God is not a purist in selection of leaders, and I don’t think He expects us to be either. Think about it. You’re not compromising your conscience, but rather doing what God would expect of you, to do the right thing based on pragmatism. In our personal lives, we should not compromise our principles. In politics, it’s all about compromise if you want to get something done.

Historically, third-party candidacies have proven to be spoilers for major party candidates who lost races because of siphoned off votes to the minor candidates. For example, Ralph Nader may well have cost Al Gore the election in 2000, as well as John Kerry in 2004.

In 1992 and 1996, Ross Perot may not have made a difference in the outcome, but he did prevent Clinton from receiving a majority of votes, allowing him to win with a plurality of less than 50% both years. Even Teddy Roosevelt couldn’t be elected as a third party candidate (U.S. Progressive Party), and may well have handed the 1912 election to Woodrow Wilson.

In politics it is rare to find candidates with whom we are in total agreement on key issues. Some may say it’s then a process of voting for the lesser of two evils. In my estimation, it should be viewed as a process of voting for someone who comes most closely to my deeply held values. In other words, it’s a matter of electoral pragmatism, not absolutism.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Kline’s Pursuit of Planned Parenthood Has National Implications

November 19th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

The first round of Planned Parenthood’s criminal prosecution began last Friday, as attorneys for the nation’s largest abortion chain made their first appearance. According to the Kansas City Star, Magistrate Judge Daniel Vokins ordered Planned Parenthood to return to court this week for scheduling of the trial.

Prosecuting Attorney Phill Kline has filed 107 criminal charges against the Planned Parenthood affiliate in Kansas. A number of them are felonies –and all stem from his groundbreaking investigation of the organization while serving as the Kansas Attorney General.

The trial promises to be earth-shaking. And already there is substantial fall-out.

Thirteen U.S. Senators have prepared an amendment to an appropriations bill which would strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding under Title X because of the charges filed by Kline.
Led by Senators Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and David Vitter (R-Louisiana), this band of pro-Life warriors believe that the Senate should reconsider its $300 million annual subsidy of Planned Parenthood because “we should not use tax dollars to subsidize abortion clinics, particularly when there are serious concerns regarding their compliance with state law and medical standards.” (LifeNews.Com; 11.12.07)

In addition to the 107 criminal counts, Kline’s investigation also uncovered evidence that Planned Parenthood has falsified documents and has failed to comply with reporting requirements under Kansas State Code.

Editors Note: Phill Kline will be in Boise on Friday, December 7th as the Guest Speaker at the annual Christmas Dinner & Banquet. If you’d like to hear first-hand about these developments, contact Idaho Chooses Life as soon as possible. Seating is limited.

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