Politics of personal–and family–destruction

In a culture that does not much believe in reason, politics sets aside the old tactics of logical argumentation and rational persuasion. Instead, the preferred political tactic becomes DESTROY YOUR OPPONENT PERSONALLY. And if that isn’t enough, DESTROY HER FAMILY.

Leftists have been trying to dig up dirt on Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. They discovered she was once caught fishing without a license (gasp!). They discovered she may have tried to get a state trooper–her sister’s ex-husband who tased their son–fired (gasp!). Then the dirt diggers turned to her family. Her husband was arrested for DUI when he was 22. That sister had an ugly divorce. Then the dirt diggers turned on her children, to the point of making things up and posting them on the internet. They maintained that Governor Palin really didn’t have the baby afflicted with Downs Syndrome but her teenaged daughter did.

The Palins are indeed struggling with something in their family, so they have brought it out into the open. Their 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. She is going to keep the baby and marry the father.

Some seem to think the “Christian right” will now abandon her. Some are accusing McCain of not vetting the candidate enough (though all of this was told to him), as if having an errant daughter should disqualify her. I do give Barack Obama credit for chastizing his followers for dragging his opponent’s children through the mud; he threatened to fire any of his staff who indulge in such tactics. But I suspect Governor Palin will have to endure much more of this sort of thing.

I love this comment on
Hugh Hewitt’s blog
:

There couldn’t be a clearer difference between conservatives and liberals than this one…

Obama…

“If my daughter makes a mistake, I don’t want her punished with a baby”

Palin…

“As [our daughter] faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.”

(also… “Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family.”)

When I, myself, became pregnant in college, my soon-to-be mother in law (a hard-core liberal Democrat who had openly encouraged me to have un-married sex with her son) expressed her “disappointment” in both of us – and immediately pushed for an abortion.  My own mother (a sex-before-marriage-is-sin Catholic) immediately comforted me, affirmed her love for me and said, “There’s always room in our family for another baby.”  My husband and I have been JOYFULLY married 21 years and have 4 amazing kids…. What a beautiful gift of love my mother gave me that day! 

Babies…Punishment vs. Love.  I think I’ll take love.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

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  • Manxman

    Love or punishement aside, Palin still has to take reposnsibility for whether or not her career choices and lifestyle, driven by her feminist ideology, have negatively impacted the lives of the members of her family. The Palin’s response to the situation of a non-married daughter isn’t the root issue either in this situation or in the rest of our culture.

  • Manxman

    Love or punishement aside, Palin still has to take reposnsibility for whether or not her career choices and lifestyle, driven by her feminist ideology, have negatively impacted the lives of the members of her family. The Palin’s response to the situation of a non-married daughter isn’t the root issue either in this situation or in the rest of our culture.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Outside of being a public figure and an aggressive politician, I’m not sure Palin is ‘driven by her feminist ideology’ or anyone else’s ‘feminist ideology.’
    I loathe the coverage this is getting, but mostly the frame being given it. I’m listening this morning to the ‘objective reporters’ on the networks, framing all their questions about Palin to various Republican spokespeople with this bit of family history. My heart goes out to any Republican who has to parry such ‘when did the candidate stop beating her children’ questions.
    Maybe, in the debates, McCain and/or Palin will use those very words of Barack Obama–about his own daughters being punished with a baby–and cut through the media framework.
    I’d like to ask the reporters and pundits, who among them would prefer that their grandchildren be aborted, rather than born, or would prefer their daughters be promiscuous but ‘safe.’

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Outside of being a public figure and an aggressive politician, I’m not sure Palin is ‘driven by her feminist ideology’ or anyone else’s ‘feminist ideology.’
    I loathe the coverage this is getting, but mostly the frame being given it. I’m listening this morning to the ‘objective reporters’ on the networks, framing all their questions about Palin to various Republican spokespeople with this bit of family history. My heart goes out to any Republican who has to parry such ‘when did the candidate stop beating her children’ questions.
    Maybe, in the debates, McCain and/or Palin will use those very words of Barack Obama–about his own daughters being punished with a baby–and cut through the media framework.
    I’d like to ask the reporters and pundits, who among them would prefer that their grandchildren be aborted, rather than born, or would prefer their daughters be promiscuous but ‘safe.’

  • http://danieldavies.us Daniel

    The Democrats are desperate. They have been going for broke this year, confident of gaining not only the Presidency, but a 60-seat majority in the Senate and additional seats in the House. Obama “should” have a masssive lead right now, but the race is a tie. I actually thought Hillary might have been able to pull something off in Denver because they are so desperate.

    The Obama camp and Axelrod are behind this, and all the other smears that will come in the next 60 days. Nothing here was kept a secret, people in Wasilla knew about the pregnancy and the deal with the troopers has been common knowledge for a while as well. McCain’s poeple did an excellent job keeping the choice under wraps, and the media is scrambling to come up with an “angle.”

    The media honestly doesn’t understand how the “Christian Right” thinks, they think that these attacks will cause us to srop our support. They don’t realize that it is the Christian Right that does more than anyone in this country to support single mothers. We realize that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness, both from God and our fellow men.

    This attack already seems to have backfired on the Obama campaign, as will all those in the future. But being the product of the Chicago Machine, Obama knows no other MO, this is the way they do it. I feel sorry for the Palins and McCains, both of which are amazing families, but they knew what they were getting into and all we can do is pray for them.

  • http://danieldavies.us Daniel

    The Democrats are desperate. They have been going for broke this year, confident of gaining not only the Presidency, but a 60-seat majority in the Senate and additional seats in the House. Obama “should” have a masssive lead right now, but the race is a tie. I actually thought Hillary might have been able to pull something off in Denver because they are so desperate.

    The Obama camp and Axelrod are behind this, and all the other smears that will come in the next 60 days. Nothing here was kept a secret, people in Wasilla knew about the pregnancy and the deal with the troopers has been common knowledge for a while as well. McCain’s poeple did an excellent job keeping the choice under wraps, and the media is scrambling to come up with an “angle.”

    The media honestly doesn’t understand how the “Christian Right” thinks, they think that these attacks will cause us to srop our support. They don’t realize that it is the Christian Right that does more than anyone in this country to support single mothers. We realize that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness, both from God and our fellow men.

    This attack already seems to have backfired on the Obama campaign, as will all those in the future. But being the product of the Chicago Machine, Obama knows no other MO, this is the way they do it. I feel sorry for the Palins and McCains, both of which are amazing families, but they knew what they were getting into and all we can do is pray for them.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Had an unpleasant (to say the least) argument, via email, with members of my own family the other night, about the vicious rumor being passed around. One member said ‘We can only hope this is true,’ while another couldn’t wait for the–shall we say? ‘sparks’ to fly (this being a family-friendly site).
    Well, there’s an acknowledged breach th-i-i-i-is wide amongst us now, because I took them to task for their words.
    What came out in subsequent emails was a real eye-opener to this gal who thought she was wise as a serpent.
    Their argument with the Palins was that they were depriving their daughter of her motherhood; that they were living a lie; that they were an example of the ‘hypocrisy of the 1950s’ when women were doomed to prescribed roles. ‘How’s that abstinence only working for her family?’ a sister asked.
    They could not see how a family’s business was a family’s business; how anything scandalous about this was private; not like a public scandal involving abuse of office or criminal acts.
    Anyways, I suggested that, were it a black woman on the Dem ticket adopting her illegitimate grandchild from her drug-addicted son, and it being viciously exposed, they’d be celebrating her.
    ‘Da&% right’ was the response.
    So, needless to say, the lines are drawn and apparently all voters can now consider themselves political animals, I guess. Operatives in the service of a cause.
    I’m just sick about it.
    I also think that, if obama loses this election, we’re in for a divide that makes Bush-Gore 2000 look like a family reunion.
    This is a scary election. To me, at least.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Had an unpleasant (to say the least) argument, via email, with members of my own family the other night, about the vicious rumor being passed around. One member said ‘We can only hope this is true,’ while another couldn’t wait for the–shall we say? ‘sparks’ to fly (this being a family-friendly site).
    Well, there’s an acknowledged breach th-i-i-i-is wide amongst us now, because I took them to task for their words.
    What came out in subsequent emails was a real eye-opener to this gal who thought she was wise as a serpent.
    Their argument with the Palins was that they were depriving their daughter of her motherhood; that they were living a lie; that they were an example of the ‘hypocrisy of the 1950s’ when women were doomed to prescribed roles. ‘How’s that abstinence only working for her family?’ a sister asked.
    They could not see how a family’s business was a family’s business; how anything scandalous about this was private; not like a public scandal involving abuse of office or criminal acts.
    Anyways, I suggested that, were it a black woman on the Dem ticket adopting her illegitimate grandchild from her drug-addicted son, and it being viciously exposed, they’d be celebrating her.
    ‘Da&% right’ was the response.
    So, needless to say, the lines are drawn and apparently all voters can now consider themselves political animals, I guess. Operatives in the service of a cause.
    I’m just sick about it.
    I also think that, if obama loses this election, we’re in for a divide that makes Bush-Gore 2000 look like a family reunion.
    This is a scary election. To me, at least.

  • Carl Vehse

    Approximately half of the U.S. support and vote for political candidates who promote, legislate, and fund murder-by-abortion which so far has slaughtered 40+ million unborn infants in this country.

    The actions by these individuals constitute a moral depravity and a traitorous behavior that this nation, if it is to continue to exist, must deal with. And our nation will have to deal with a political party that has been committed and involved in such actions for over 30 years.

  • Carl Vehse

    Approximately half of the U.S. support and vote for political candidates who promote, legislate, and fund murder-by-abortion which so far has slaughtered 40+ million unborn infants in this country.

    The actions by these individuals constitute a moral depravity and a traitorous behavior that this nation, if it is to continue to exist, must deal with. And our nation will have to deal with a political party that has been committed and involved in such actions for over 30 years.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I hear you, Susan. Obama supporters we know and love have shared with us their concern that we should be ready for the revolution that will ensue because people just won’t be able to take it anymore if Obama loses. I’m not always sure of what they are talking about, but this is my best guess:

    Many truly believing that 1) all our economic problems, 2) the threat of a war on terrorism that may never end, and 3) many more divisive problems (i.e., healthcare costs, wackos wanting to take away women’s rights and national marriage legislation which would descriminate against a certain segment of the population, etc…) being felt by the nation, all of which they believe can be blamed in large measure to the past 8 years of the Bush administration, makes them truly feel oppressed. One begins to understand the reality of their desperate feelings. This national divisiveness is cause for concern.

    And what the other side has a tendency to say, and thus contribute to the divisiveness is the Republican tendency to also caricature the possibilities which we assume would be inherent in a Democratic administration (i.e., 1) our defense would be weakened in such a way that terrorists would blow people up, 2) they only want to steal our guns while they trick us into killing our babies, and 3) make our boys think sexual thoughts about one another, etc…).

    Is it any wonder how low-brow (and mean) we are getting right now?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I hear you, Susan. Obama supporters we know and love have shared with us their concern that we should be ready for the revolution that will ensue because people just won’t be able to take it anymore if Obama loses. I’m not always sure of what they are talking about, but this is my best guess:

    Many truly believing that 1) all our economic problems, 2) the threat of a war on terrorism that may never end, and 3) many more divisive problems (i.e., healthcare costs, wackos wanting to take away women’s rights and national marriage legislation which would descriminate against a certain segment of the population, etc…) being felt by the nation, all of which they believe can be blamed in large measure to the past 8 years of the Bush administration, makes them truly feel oppressed. One begins to understand the reality of their desperate feelings. This national divisiveness is cause for concern.

    And what the other side has a tendency to say, and thus contribute to the divisiveness is the Republican tendency to also caricature the possibilities which we assume would be inherent in a Democratic administration (i.e., 1) our defense would be weakened in such a way that terrorists would blow people up, 2) they only want to steal our guns while they trick us into killing our babies, and 3) make our boys think sexual thoughts about one another, etc…).

    Is it any wonder how low-brow (and mean) we are getting right now?

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Well, Obama has distanced himself from the family attacks. And McCain has also been strong on not attacking below the belt. But nevertheless, these things keep on happening. That fact should tell us more about the society we (yes, even us outside the US) live in, than about the politics of the candidates. We so love casting stones… it is sickening.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Well, Obama has distanced himself from the family attacks. And McCain has also been strong on not attacking below the belt. But nevertheless, these things keep on happening. That fact should tell us more about the society we (yes, even us outside the US) live in, than about the politics of the candidates. We so love casting stones… it is sickening.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Susan, Palin has been a member of “Feminists for Life” for a number of years. I don’t know whether this “drives her ideology,” or whether it’s linked to any troubles in her family, but it is part of what she is.

    But to the point, I am increasingly troubled at how our political system leads people to abandon natural affections (for wife or husband and children) in the pursuit of the brass ring of power.

    Then, when we’ve told those who do value family more than politics that they need not apply, we pretend to be surprised when our politicians are increasingly Macchiavellian. Duh.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Susan, Palin has been a member of “Feminists for Life” for a number of years. I don’t know whether this “drives her ideology,” or whether it’s linked to any troubles in her family, but it is part of what she is.

    But to the point, I am increasingly troubled at how our political system leads people to abandon natural affections (for wife or husband and children) in the pursuit of the brass ring of power.

    Then, when we’ve told those who do value family more than politics that they need not apply, we pretend to be surprised when our politicians are increasingly Macchiavellian. Duh.

  • Carl Vehse

    The MSM clymers, who for decades have carried water for the demonrats, are claiming now that the Republicans are suspicious of them. Duh?!

    Regarding a Bloomberg news story that justifies its own headline, “McCain Turns Sour on His Onetime Media ‘Base’ as Election Nears”, Newsbusters’ Warner Todd Huston comments in in his article on the Bloomberg story:

    For those who say that the Maverick can’t learn a new lesson, Bloomberg has a story that proves John McCain has at least learned this lesson; the media is not his friend… Naturally, Bloomberg takes a few shots along the way, too.

    “It seems that, instead of placing the blame on the media where it belongs for its mistreatment of McCain and its sycophancy for Obama, Bloomberg seems to suggest that it is the fault of McCain’s new campaign manager who, Bloomberg gravely tells us, was “close to Karl Rove.”

    BTW, if McCain’s new campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, really is a protege of Karl Rove, that’s another positive choice McCain has made.

  • Carl Vehse

    The MSM clymers, who for decades have carried water for the demonrats, are claiming now that the Republicans are suspicious of them. Duh?!

    Regarding a Bloomberg news story that justifies its own headline, “McCain Turns Sour on His Onetime Media ‘Base’ as Election Nears”, Newsbusters’ Warner Todd Huston comments in in his article on the Bloomberg story:

    For those who say that the Maverick can’t learn a new lesson, Bloomberg has a story that proves John McCain has at least learned this lesson; the media is not his friend… Naturally, Bloomberg takes a few shots along the way, too.

    “It seems that, instead of placing the blame on the media where it belongs for its mistreatment of McCain and its sycophancy for Obama, Bloomberg seems to suggest that it is the fault of McCain’s new campaign manager who, Bloomberg gravely tells us, was “close to Karl Rove.”

    BTW, if McCain’s new campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, really is a protege of Karl Rove, that’s another positive choice McCain has made.

  • Nemo

    Bike,

    I keep hearing critiques from Christians about her involvement in “Feminists for Life,” without any examination of the organization beyond the title. Please browse their website and get back with us about this “feminist ideology” that you are worried about. http://www.feministsforlife.org. I, for one, don’t really see it there (unless you believe woman shouldn’t have the right to vote).

  • Nemo

    Bike,

    I keep hearing critiques from Christians about her involvement in “Feminists for Life,” without any examination of the organization beyond the title. Please browse their website and get back with us about this “feminist ideology” that you are worried about. http://www.feministsforlife.org. I, for one, don’t really see it there (unless you believe woman shouldn’t have the right to vote).

  • Kirk

    While I strongly disagree with the tactic of dragging a 17 year old girl into the midst of a presidential election, I have to point out that were the situation turned, I have no doubt that the Republicans would have done the same thing, perhaps even with more vehemence. Inevitably, the question of family management to national management would be raised, and her family values would be questioned. I don’t think this is an incidence of malicious liberalism, but rather a sad statement of American politics in general. It’s not about finding a good candidate. It’s about reporting on sensation, and making sure that your party wins at all costs.

  • Kirk

    While I strongly disagree with the tactic of dragging a 17 year old girl into the midst of a presidential election, I have to point out that were the situation turned, I have no doubt that the Republicans would have done the same thing, perhaps even with more vehemence. Inevitably, the question of family management to national management would be raised, and her family values would be questioned. I don’t think this is an incidence of malicious liberalism, but rather a sad statement of American politics in general. It’s not about finding a good candidate. It’s about reporting on sensation, and making sure that your party wins at all costs.

  • Anon

    “When you combine the special-needs infant with the pregnant teen, some voters might wonder why she is pursuing political ambitions at the expense of maternal or family responsibilities,” said Don Sipple, a Republican strategist and past adviser to George W. Bush in Texas.

  • Anon

    “When you combine the special-needs infant with the pregnant teen, some voters might wonder why she is pursuing political ambitions at the expense of maternal or family responsibilities,” said Don Sipple, a Republican strategist and past adviser to George W. Bush in Texas.

  • The Jones

    Nice observation, Kirk. The best counter example I can think of was Al Gore’s son being caught going 100 miles per hour in a Prius high on drugs or drunk or something. I can’t exactly remember. I remember a lot of jokes (“Gore Jr. proving that Priuses can go 100mph did more for the environmental movement that Al Gore ever did!”), and it goes to show that nastiness is not a Democratic trademark. It’s a human trademark.

    However, I’m happy that this nastiness is the best thing that Democrats can come up with. It proves that they really can’t find substantive things against her (other than inexperience which is countered by Obama’s inexperience and the fact that she’s going to be VP not P). It’s also encouraging to see the positive respone of the woman once she’s met with difficult situations. Voters aren’t turned off by difficult situations. They are confronted with these situations themselves. If Democrats want to alienate, marginalize, and demonize people who have to deal with teen pregnancies, be my guest. I don’t think it’ll help you at the polls.

    But last thing: Manxman, how do you know the internal situation of Sarah Palin’s family well enough to conclude that her actions are responsible for bad things happening in the family? I don’t think you do at all. it is completely possible, more like “extremely likely,” that perfect decision making on a parents part will still lead to family problems. Family problems are inevitable. It’s all about how you deal with them once they come. You don’t know that Sarah has “abandoned” her family role. You don’t know her heart, her motivation, or her thought processes. Are you a close church or family friend of the Palins? If not, I think you have a too much zeal and a too little knowledge.
    And your point about Sarah Palin’s “feminism.” Her brand of feminism doesn’t bother me one bit. Women being active, productive, and dynamic in the public sphere and still taking on the role of mother (family of five) and not rejecting traditional marriage and family. Sounds great to me. I think this does great things for traditional marriage and family. I don’t think it hurts it one bit. I don’t see any bra-burnings, sexual liberation, or “women’s liberation” marches. This is an ally, not an enemy, in the fight to set standards in culture.

  • The Jones

    Nice observation, Kirk. The best counter example I can think of was Al Gore’s son being caught going 100 miles per hour in a Prius high on drugs or drunk or something. I can’t exactly remember. I remember a lot of jokes (“Gore Jr. proving that Priuses can go 100mph did more for the environmental movement that Al Gore ever did!”), and it goes to show that nastiness is not a Democratic trademark. It’s a human trademark.

    However, I’m happy that this nastiness is the best thing that Democrats can come up with. It proves that they really can’t find substantive things against her (other than inexperience which is countered by Obama’s inexperience and the fact that she’s going to be VP not P). It’s also encouraging to see the positive respone of the woman once she’s met with difficult situations. Voters aren’t turned off by difficult situations. They are confronted with these situations themselves. If Democrats want to alienate, marginalize, and demonize people who have to deal with teen pregnancies, be my guest. I don’t think it’ll help you at the polls.

    But last thing: Manxman, how do you know the internal situation of Sarah Palin’s family well enough to conclude that her actions are responsible for bad things happening in the family? I don’t think you do at all. it is completely possible, more like “extremely likely,” that perfect decision making on a parents part will still lead to family problems. Family problems are inevitable. It’s all about how you deal with them once they come. You don’t know that Sarah has “abandoned” her family role. You don’t know her heart, her motivation, or her thought processes. Are you a close church or family friend of the Palins? If not, I think you have a too much zeal and a too little knowledge.
    And your point about Sarah Palin’s “feminism.” Her brand of feminism doesn’t bother me one bit. Women being active, productive, and dynamic in the public sphere and still taking on the role of mother (family of five) and not rejecting traditional marriage and family. Sounds great to me. I think this does great things for traditional marriage and family. I don’t think it hurts it one bit. I don’t see any bra-burnings, sexual liberation, or “women’s liberation” marches. This is an ally, not an enemy, in the fight to set standards in culture.

  • Carl Vehse

    Kirk, do you have any evidence to support your lack of doubt that the Republicans would do the same thing (i.e., drag a pregnant 17-year-old girl into a political VP campaign) , even with more vehemence?

  • Carl Vehse

    Kirk, do you have any evidence to support your lack of doubt that the Republicans would do the same thing (i.e., drag a pregnant 17-year-old girl into a political VP campaign) , even with more vehemence?

  • A Fool

    Here’s a foolish question – are we primarily Christians or political partisans? Is our reaction to events justified by political expediency or by Scripture?

  • A Fool

    Here’s a foolish question – are we primarily Christians or political partisans? Is our reaction to events justified by political expediency or by Scripture?

  • jim claybourn

    The libs would probably be praising her if she decided to have an abortion (like they think that her mother should have with the downs syndrome baby.)

  • jim claybourn

    The libs would probably be praising her if she decided to have an abortion (like they think that her mother should have with the downs syndrome baby.)

  • Carl Vehse

    Re:#16 – Do these rhetorical questions have a point?

  • Carl Vehse

    Re:#16 – Do these rhetorical questions have a point?

  • http://www.r58.org Roy

    @ Carl Vehse, when Al Gore’s son was cited for DUI the night before the Democrat national convention, no Republican response. Currently, Joe Biden’s son is involved in a shady hedge fund deal, no Republican response. Regardless, you’re argument is a straw man. The issue is not “wouldn’t the Republicans do it,” the issue is whether or not it should be done. Honestly, I think most, if not all, of this is without Obama’s consent or approval because I don’t think he wants to go down that road (unknown brothers & sisters, half-brothers living on $12 a day).

  • http://www.r58.org Roy

    @ Carl Vehse, when Al Gore’s son was cited for DUI the night before the Democrat national convention, no Republican response. Currently, Joe Biden’s son is involved in a shady hedge fund deal, no Republican response. Regardless, you’re argument is a straw man. The issue is not “wouldn’t the Republicans do it,” the issue is whether or not it should be done. Honestly, I think most, if not all, of this is without Obama’s consent or approval because I don’t think he wants to go down that road (unknown brothers & sisters, half-brothers living on $12 a day).

  • Kirk

    @ Carl

    Can I come up with an identical situation in the past? No, nor one that would be suitably close to actually prove my assumption.

    The best thing that I can think of is an incident involving John Kerry’s daughter and a wardrobe malfunction at some gala-event. Basically, the flashbulbs made Ms. Kerry’s dress appear translucent. The fall out from this event was brief, but I do distinctly remember certain talking heads discussing her modesty and judgment. Of course, this event had no bearing on the presidential race and probably did nothing to affect the outcome, but it was still an issue for a small amount of time.

    I also remember people questioning Chelsea Clinton on her mother and father’s rocky marriage during primary (granted, she’s not 17 and she was actively campaigning, but still).

    But you don’t think that Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly would be all over this if the young Palin were Obama’s daughter? I’d wager that it’d eat up a few hours of air time.

  • Kirk

    @ Carl

    Can I come up with an identical situation in the past? No, nor one that would be suitably close to actually prove my assumption.

    The best thing that I can think of is an incident involving John Kerry’s daughter and a wardrobe malfunction at some gala-event. Basically, the flashbulbs made Ms. Kerry’s dress appear translucent. The fall out from this event was brief, but I do distinctly remember certain talking heads discussing her modesty and judgment. Of course, this event had no bearing on the presidential race and probably did nothing to affect the outcome, but it was still an issue for a small amount of time.

    I also remember people questioning Chelsea Clinton on her mother and father’s rocky marriage during primary (granted, she’s not 17 and she was actively campaigning, but still).

    But you don’t think that Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly would be all over this if the young Palin were Obama’s daughter? I’d wager that it’d eat up a few hours of air time.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “They discovered she may have tried to get a state trooper–her sister’s ex-husband who tased their son–fired (gasp!).” Yup, nothing like taking a potential abuse of power lightly. I know Republicans would do the same for a Democratic candidate. After all, Republicans hate the politics of personal destruction. Hate, hate, hate. I mean, they use it all the time, but it really tears them up inside.

    [sarcasm] By the way, did you hear that McCain had a black baby out of wedlock? Also, Max Cleland doesn’t really love his country. John Kerry (who seems French) not only doesn’t love his country, he didn’t really even serve it, since his time in the military was not really real — and any credit he might have gotten for his service was ruined when he kept referring to it repeatedly. And he married a rich heiress for her money. Wait, I forgot which Presidential candidate I’m talking about. Anyhow, the effete, uppity Obama, who is a Muslim and a terrorist, as well as a Kenyan hiding his real name, also puts himself before his country. etc. etc. etc. [/sarcasm]

    Remember back when character counted? When was that? Oh yeah, back when a Democrat was in office. I’m sure that if Chelsea had had sex outside of marriage and decided to keep the child, there would have been nothing but praise for her, and no insinuations about her family’s values, just as Palin’s political ambition vis-a-vis raising her family has been treated exactly like Hillary’s. Oh wait, this paragraph should be marked as sarcasm, too.

    “But being the product of the Chicago Machine, Obama knows no other MO” Way to avoid the politics of personal destruction, Daniel (@4)!

    Roy (@19), “when Al Gore’s son was cited for DUI the night before the Democrat national convention, no Republican response.” Um … right. “Joe Biden’s son is involved in a shady hedge fund deal, no Republican response.” Hello, Roy, welcome to Planet Earth! We’re so glad to have you here from … wherever you’ve been. And regarding Obama’s “unknown brothers & sisters, half-brothers living on $12 a day”, way to avoid the politics of personal destruction yourself, as well!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “They discovered she may have tried to get a state trooper–her sister’s ex-husband who tased their son–fired (gasp!).” Yup, nothing like taking a potential abuse of power lightly. I know Republicans would do the same for a Democratic candidate. After all, Republicans hate the politics of personal destruction. Hate, hate, hate. I mean, they use it all the time, but it really tears them up inside.

    [sarcasm] By the way, did you hear that McCain had a black baby out of wedlock? Also, Max Cleland doesn’t really love his country. John Kerry (who seems French) not only doesn’t love his country, he didn’t really even serve it, since his time in the military was not really real — and any credit he might have gotten for his service was ruined when he kept referring to it repeatedly. And he married a rich heiress for her money. Wait, I forgot which Presidential candidate I’m talking about. Anyhow, the effete, uppity Obama, who is a Muslim and a terrorist, as well as a Kenyan hiding his real name, also puts himself before his country. etc. etc. etc. [/sarcasm]

    Remember back when character counted? When was that? Oh yeah, back when a Democrat was in office. I’m sure that if Chelsea had had sex outside of marriage and decided to keep the child, there would have been nothing but praise for her, and no insinuations about her family’s values, just as Palin’s political ambition vis-a-vis raising her family has been treated exactly like Hillary’s. Oh wait, this paragraph should be marked as sarcasm, too.

    “But being the product of the Chicago Machine, Obama knows no other MO” Way to avoid the politics of personal destruction, Daniel (@4)!

    Roy (@19), “when Al Gore’s son was cited for DUI the night before the Democrat national convention, no Republican response.” Um … right. “Joe Biden’s son is involved in a shady hedge fund deal, no Republican response.” Hello, Roy, welcome to Planet Earth! We’re so glad to have you here from … wherever you’ve been. And regarding Obama’s “unknown brothers & sisters, half-brothers living on $12 a day”, way to avoid the politics of personal destruction yourself, as well!

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well, Nemo, for starters, FFL does stand against the death penalty, and they’re using the “women earn 75 cents for every dollar men earn” statistic. I don’t have the time to go into “full” details of what the “feminism” part of “Feminists for Life” might mean, but given that a quick look at their site reveals at least a couple of things that conservatives ought to be concerned about, I think that people ought to take a very close look at what this means for Gov. Palin.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m with her on about 95% of what I know, and I’m just as hard on the other three running for the office for leaving THEIR families behind as I am on Gov. Palin. It’s just that these two things make me hesitate to jump for joy at her selection.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well, Nemo, for starters, FFL does stand against the death penalty, and they’re using the “women earn 75 cents for every dollar men earn” statistic. I don’t have the time to go into “full” details of what the “feminism” part of “Feminists for Life” might mean, but given that a quick look at their site reveals at least a couple of things that conservatives ought to be concerned about, I think that people ought to take a very close look at what this means for Gov. Palin.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m with her on about 95% of what I know, and I’m just as hard on the other three running for the office for leaving THEIR families behind as I am on Gov. Palin. It’s just that these two things make me hesitate to jump for joy at her selection.

  • Carl Vehse

    “…a wardrobe malfunction at some gala-event. Basically, the flashbulbs made Ms. Kerry’s dress appear translucent.”

    Nice PC tap-dancing. But there was no “wardrobe malfunction”. The dress didn’t “appear translucent”; it was translucent. Otherwise with or without flashbulbs, light wouldn’t have gone through the sheer fabric.

    “But you don’t think that Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly would be all over this…”

    No. And again the onus is on you to substantiate your accusation with evidence, not a turn-around question. Neither Rush nor O’Reilly have dragged (even without vehemence) Obama’s family circumstances (his birth father and his step-father abandoning his mother and him or his ending up being raise by his maternal grandparents) into campaign reasons against the candidate. These points have been mentioned as facts leading into the more important discussion of whether Barry Soetoro (Obama) was at some time an Indonesian citizen. And certainly Barry’s two decade long relationship with Jeremiah Wright is a legitimate issue relating to Obama’s lack of judgement (or honesty).

  • Carl Vehse

    “…a wardrobe malfunction at some gala-event. Basically, the flashbulbs made Ms. Kerry’s dress appear translucent.”

    Nice PC tap-dancing. But there was no “wardrobe malfunction”. The dress didn’t “appear translucent”; it was translucent. Otherwise with or without flashbulbs, light wouldn’t have gone through the sheer fabric.

    “But you don’t think that Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly would be all over this…”

    No. And again the onus is on you to substantiate your accusation with evidence, not a turn-around question. Neither Rush nor O’Reilly have dragged (even without vehemence) Obama’s family circumstances (his birth father and his step-father abandoning his mother and him or his ending up being raise by his maternal grandparents) into campaign reasons against the candidate. These points have been mentioned as facts leading into the more important discussion of whether Barry Soetoro (Obama) was at some time an Indonesian citizen. And certainly Barry’s two decade long relationship with Jeremiah Wright is a legitimate issue relating to Obama’s lack of judgement (or honesty).

  • Joe

    Sure enough both parties are guilty of this but that does not make it right and it is a step in the right direction for the candidates themselves to not engage in this.

    Character does matter but I am not sure how this impugns Palin’s character. It seams to speak to it. She could have forced her daughter to get a secrete abortion or sent her away or what ever but instead she is saying we’ll be here to support our daughter and grandchild. Sounds like the right thing to do in a bad situation. If more parents would take that approach there maybe fewer teenage girls having abortions – I know first hand of one example of a mother encouraging (almost forcing) the teenage daughter to have an abortion – very sad all around. (Of course it would be even better if they weren’t having sex.)

  • Joe

    Sure enough both parties are guilty of this but that does not make it right and it is a step in the right direction for the candidates themselves to not engage in this.

    Character does matter but I am not sure how this impugns Palin’s character. It seams to speak to it. She could have forced her daughter to get a secrete abortion or sent her away or what ever but instead she is saying we’ll be here to support our daughter and grandchild. Sounds like the right thing to do in a bad situation. If more parents would take that approach there maybe fewer teenage girls having abortions – I know first hand of one example of a mother encouraging (almost forcing) the teenage daughter to have an abortion – very sad all around. (Of course it would be even better if they weren’t having sex.)

  • Anon

    The serpent is showing its true nature, and true parentage. The culture of death is unveiling. Pray that the voters of America see this very clearly, and that God will give us; not the civil government we deserve, but the civil government we need.

    I do hope that Sarah Palin makes clear that premarital sex is a sin, and that she did not approve of or encourage it.

    Pray that they will show that this is an example of Law and Gospel – something that the Culture of Death does not understand.

    The threats of fighting in the streets has come out from the Culture of Death blogs and has now moved to the print media. Warning us that if we don’t vote for Barak, there will be more broken glass (as in Saint Paul, Minn), and fighting in the streets. Does this mean that if you have any tax rebate left (those of you who got one) you should get a long arm and lots of ammo? (and hope it only becomes an unused antique for your great-grandchildren to display)

    Shielding, unfortunately they might just be following the past English king’s plausible deniability scheme (“who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”)

    I’m not the only Anon posting.

    In talking about family, it is more important to talk about Barak Sr in Kenya, a leader in the murders of more than 1600 Christians by the Muslim party in the recent and ongoing political violence. Or his brother living in a shack in a slum. Or where the money for the school that was promised, went to. Or the 57 States ( a president who doesn’t know how many States are in the union?????), or his claim that contra the Founding Fathers, both Federalist and Anti-Federalist, and the US Supreme Court, that the citizenry do not have the right to own and bear 60 year old infantry rifles.

    Or his intent to *force* homosexual “marriage” on all 50 States, on all public school teachers, and possibly on the churches.

    Or his strong pro-infanticide position.

    Or his statements about forcing us to do his will.

    Or his claim that the day he is inaugurated, the seas will recede from the dry land. (It is mind-boggling that the Democrats condemn President Bush for not being able to command the wind and the waves (Katrina) and expect Barrak Hussein Obama to be able to do so)

  • Anon

    The serpent is showing its true nature, and true parentage. The culture of death is unveiling. Pray that the voters of America see this very clearly, and that God will give us; not the civil government we deserve, but the civil government we need.

    I do hope that Sarah Palin makes clear that premarital sex is a sin, and that she did not approve of or encourage it.

    Pray that they will show that this is an example of Law and Gospel – something that the Culture of Death does not understand.

    The threats of fighting in the streets has come out from the Culture of Death blogs and has now moved to the print media. Warning us that if we don’t vote for Barak, there will be more broken glass (as in Saint Paul, Minn), and fighting in the streets. Does this mean that if you have any tax rebate left (those of you who got one) you should get a long arm and lots of ammo? (and hope it only becomes an unused antique for your great-grandchildren to display)

    Shielding, unfortunately they might just be following the past English king’s plausible deniability scheme (“who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”)

    I’m not the only Anon posting.

    In talking about family, it is more important to talk about Barak Sr in Kenya, a leader in the murders of more than 1600 Christians by the Muslim party in the recent and ongoing political violence. Or his brother living in a shack in a slum. Or where the money for the school that was promised, went to. Or the 57 States ( a president who doesn’t know how many States are in the union?????), or his claim that contra the Founding Fathers, both Federalist and Anti-Federalist, and the US Supreme Court, that the citizenry do not have the right to own and bear 60 year old infantry rifles.

    Or his intent to *force* homosexual “marriage” on all 50 States, on all public school teachers, and possibly on the churches.

    Or his strong pro-infanticide position.

    Or his statements about forcing us to do his will.

    Or his claim that the day he is inaugurated, the seas will recede from the dry land. (It is mind-boggling that the Democrats condemn President Bush for not being able to command the wind and the waves (Katrina) and expect Barrak Hussein Obama to be able to do so)

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    It is not a foolish question to wonder “…are we primarily Christians or political partisans? Is our reaction to events justified by political expediency or by Scripture?” I’ve been thinking about this all day BEFORE I ever read this question.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    It is not a foolish question to wonder “…are we primarily Christians or political partisans? Is our reaction to events justified by political expediency or by Scripture?” I’ve been thinking about this all day BEFORE I ever read this question.

  • Kirk

    @ Carl

    I’m not fashion expert, but my understanding is this: thinner, black materials ftne appear solid in normal light but can be a bit more revealing when exposed to a flash. The argument is, of course, don’t wear that material, but I understand it to be a problem for women. But, that’s really beside the point, isn’t it? After all, what does it have to do with anything, honest malfunction or otherwise?

    And naturally, there’s not going to be any criticism of him having come from a broken home. Unfortunately, that’s close to the norm these days. Besides, Clinton came from a broken and abusive home, and that didn’t stop him from getting elected twice. It’s really a non-issue these days. If anything, it’s more of a rags to riches story (of hope ;-) ) than a poor reflection on his character.

    But you’re right, Obama’s family has been left relatively unscathed through all of this. But so has McCain’s. I’d attribute that more to lack of scandal than to kindness on the part of the press.

  • Kirk

    @ Carl

    I’m not fashion expert, but my understanding is this: thinner, black materials ftne appear solid in normal light but can be a bit more revealing when exposed to a flash. The argument is, of course, don’t wear that material, but I understand it to be a problem for women. But, that’s really beside the point, isn’t it? After all, what does it have to do with anything, honest malfunction or otherwise?

    And naturally, there’s not going to be any criticism of him having come from a broken home. Unfortunately, that’s close to the norm these days. Besides, Clinton came from a broken and abusive home, and that didn’t stop him from getting elected twice. It’s really a non-issue these days. If anything, it’s more of a rags to riches story (of hope ;-) ) than a poor reflection on his character.

    But you’re right, Obama’s family has been left relatively unscathed through all of this. But so has McCain’s. I’d attribute that more to lack of scandal than to kindness on the part of the press.

  • Carl Vehse

    We have seen the use of unrelated events involving a politician’s family members to smear the political qualifications of that person. There is also an example of using unrelated events involving a politician’s family members in an attempt to enhance (or at least garner sympathy for) that politician.

    According to an article, “It Ain’t So, Joe”, Joe Biden, as recently as Dec. 2007, presented the story of the tragic death of his first wife and 13-month-old daughter while they were Christmas shopping in December, 1972, just after he had been elected to the Senate. As Biden stated, “[A] tractor-trailer, a guy who allegedly – and I never pursued it – drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch, broadsided my family, killed my wife instantly, killed my daughter instantly, and hospitalized my two sons.”

    The truth (something from which Biden has remained aloof) is that his wife pulled her station wagon out into the intersection from a stop sign and did not see the tractor trailer traveling down the highway. There was no evidence of alcohol or drinking or intoxication or even defective truck brakes. No charges were filled. After a state investigation the trucker was cleared of any blame in the crash that killed Biden’s wife and his daughter.

    Biden also has used this story, which is still posted on Biden’s own website during a speech in 2001, in seeking to endear himself with families of those killed on 9/11.

  • Carl Vehse

    We have seen the use of unrelated events involving a politician’s family members to smear the political qualifications of that person. There is also an example of using unrelated events involving a politician’s family members in an attempt to enhance (or at least garner sympathy for) that politician.

    According to an article, “It Ain’t So, Joe”, Joe Biden, as recently as Dec. 2007, presented the story of the tragic death of his first wife and 13-month-old daughter while they were Christmas shopping in December, 1972, just after he had been elected to the Senate. As Biden stated, “[A] tractor-trailer, a guy who allegedly – and I never pursued it – drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch, broadsided my family, killed my wife instantly, killed my daughter instantly, and hospitalized my two sons.”

    The truth (something from which Biden has remained aloof) is that his wife pulled her station wagon out into the intersection from a stop sign and did not see the tractor trailer traveling down the highway. There was no evidence of alcohol or drinking or intoxication or even defective truck brakes. No charges were filled. After a state investigation the trucker was cleared of any blame in the crash that killed Biden’s wife and his daughter.

    Biden also has used this story, which is still posted on Biden’s own website during a speech in 2001, in seeking to endear himself with families of those killed on 9/11.

  • Bass

    As for Palin, the results of “Troopergate” will be much more interesting and relevant than her daughter’s behavior.
    Nonetheless, if a candidate’s children are off limits, they are all off limits.
    Wasn’t it just last week that Palin, the GOP, and some here, were shamelessly touting her eldest son (a soldier going to Iraq) and her youngest son (a baby with Down’s syndrome) as evidence of her apple pie, hockey-mom credentials? (This is why I personally am convinced that McCain did not know of the daughter’s pregnancy.)

  • Bass

    As for Palin, the results of “Troopergate” will be much more interesting and relevant than her daughter’s behavior.
    Nonetheless, if a candidate’s children are off limits, they are all off limits.
    Wasn’t it just last week that Palin, the GOP, and some here, were shamelessly touting her eldest son (a soldier going to Iraq) and her youngest son (a baby with Down’s syndrome) as evidence of her apple pie, hockey-mom credentials? (This is why I personally am convinced that McCain did not know of the daughter’s pregnancy.)

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    For my fellow Lutherans -

    I am desiring to discuss politics, but I struggle with the use (sometimes by me) of stereotypical right-wing inflammatory language. I find this on this blog and I even find it at my church. As a confessional Lutheran Christian I would like to be able to dissect, understand and then discuss with others, political issues and happenings…all without feeling like I’ve sinned or slandered anyone. It’s one reason I ended up at Veith’s blog. I no longer consider myself a Republican Party member based largely on how most Christians indulge themselves in inflammatory language towards those who don’t agree with them, but I freely admit I end up voting for Republicans. Is anyone frustrated that your political cohorts often don’t understand your Lutheran Christian beliefs?

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    For my fellow Lutherans –

    I am desiring to discuss politics, but I struggle with the use (sometimes by me) of stereotypical right-wing inflammatory language. I find this on this blog and I even find it at my church. As a confessional Lutheran Christian I would like to be able to dissect, understand and then discuss with others, political issues and happenings…all without feeling like I’ve sinned or slandered anyone. It’s one reason I ended up at Veith’s blog. I no longer consider myself a Republican Party member based largely on how most Christians indulge themselves in inflammatory language towards those who don’t agree with them, but I freely admit I end up voting for Republicans. Is anyone frustrated that your political cohorts often don’t understand your Lutheran Christian beliefs?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Carl (@23), are you an expert on textiles now, too? Fascinating. Snopes.com arrives at a less firm conclusion regarding Ms. Kerry’s intent, but then, they’re not nuclear scientists, so what do they know about fabric?

    “And again the onus is on you to substantiate your accusation with evidence.” Ha! Did you laugh when you typed that? I laughed when I read it. You, who insinuate that Obama was not really born in Hawaii, who maintain that he is not using his given name, demand facts and substantiation? All in a discussion about how “leftists” spread rumors to destroy a political opponent personally, without regard to logic and persuasion?! Wow, you’re a piece of work.

    Anyhow, your argument about right-wing talkers is ludicrous: Oh, they’re not dragging his family into it! They’re merely dragging his family into it in order to do some hard-nosed investigation into these utterly spurious rumors in order to smear Obama with these spurious rumors!

    Anyhow, look, I agree that it’s good all the Palins have kept their children. And I’m glad McCain acknowledged that his divorce was one of his greatest failings. But I really don’t believe that the “family values” crowd would accept such incidents from Democrats. Hillary was pilloried for being an ambitious … well, you know. But Palin gets mainly accolades for heading out on the campaign trail with her current family situation. Kerry was mocked for marrying a rich heiress, but in McCain’s case, it’s a great example of capitalism (well, for Cindy’s dad it was, at least).

    Double standard? Of course there is. Listen to Carl and Anon (well, the one @25 at least) spread specious rumors and other personal attacks that they would never countenance against their guy. “In talking about family, it is more important to talk about Barak Sr in Kenya, a leader in the murders of more than 1600 Christians by the Muslim party in the recent and ongoing political violence. Or his brother living in a shack in a slum.” Of course. In no way have you misrepresented anything in that sentence. And could you point to where you also talked about how important George Bush’s grandfather’s involvement with the financial architects of Nazism was key to understanding the current administration?

    Anon (@25) mocks Obama’s “57 states” slip, completely oblivious to McCain’s several Shiite/Sunni or “Czechoslovakia” slips. Are any of them important? No. Anon also, while waaaay overstating Obama’s position on gay marriage and ignoring that McCain voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, ignores McCain’s weak pro-infanticide position. Also, Anon, didn’t you hear? Jindal can control the force of hurricanes. He’s your miracle man.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Carl (@23), are you an expert on textiles now, too? Fascinating. Snopes.com arrives at a less firm conclusion regarding Ms. Kerry’s intent, but then, they’re not nuclear scientists, so what do they know about fabric?

    “And again the onus is on you to substantiate your accusation with evidence.” Ha! Did you laugh when you typed that? I laughed when I read it. You, who insinuate that Obama was not really born in Hawaii, who maintain that he is not using his given name, demand facts and substantiation? All in a discussion about how “leftists” spread rumors to destroy a political opponent personally, without regard to logic and persuasion?! Wow, you’re a piece of work.

    Anyhow, your argument about right-wing talkers is ludicrous: Oh, they’re not dragging his family into it! They’re merely dragging his family into it in order to do some hard-nosed investigation into these utterly spurious rumors in order to smear Obama with these spurious rumors!

    Anyhow, look, I agree that it’s good all the Palins have kept their children. And I’m glad McCain acknowledged that his divorce was one of his greatest failings. But I really don’t believe that the “family values” crowd would accept such incidents from Democrats. Hillary was pilloried for being an ambitious … well, you know. But Palin gets mainly accolades for heading out on the campaign trail with her current family situation. Kerry was mocked for marrying a rich heiress, but in McCain’s case, it’s a great example of capitalism (well, for Cindy’s dad it was, at least).

    Double standard? Of course there is. Listen to Carl and Anon (well, the one @25 at least) spread specious rumors and other personal attacks that they would never countenance against their guy. “In talking about family, it is more important to talk about Barak Sr in Kenya, a leader in the murders of more than 1600 Christians by the Muslim party in the recent and ongoing political violence. Or his brother living in a shack in a slum.” Of course. In no way have you misrepresented anything in that sentence. And could you point to where you also talked about how important George Bush’s grandfather’s involvement with the financial architects of Nazism was key to understanding the current administration?

    Anon (@25) mocks Obama’s “57 states” slip, completely oblivious to McCain’s several Shiite/Sunni or “Czechoslovakia” slips. Are any of them important? No. Anon also, while waaaay overstating Obama’s position on gay marriage and ignoring that McCain voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, ignores McCain’s weak pro-infanticide position. Also, Anon, didn’t you hear? Jindal can control the force of hurricanes. He’s your miracle man.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    One thing I don’t get is why it is apparently a scandal that the governor tried to get her brother-out-law fired. Yes, there is a family connection, but yeesh–the guy tasers his own son, threatens to kill his father-in-law–what does an officer have to do before his boss figures out that maybe, just maybe, he’s not the guy you want to trust with a badge and a Glock?

    And yes, I know that this is not officially the reason to terminate the public safety/police commissioner, but it for sure is a valid one!

    (official reason; 58 unfilled officer positions, and Monaghan was asking for more budget when he wasn’t even using the budget he had….also a good reason IMO)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    One thing I don’t get is why it is apparently a scandal that the governor tried to get her brother-out-law fired. Yes, there is a family connection, but yeesh–the guy tasers his own son, threatens to kill his father-in-law–what does an officer have to do before his boss figures out that maybe, just maybe, he’s not the guy you want to trust with a badge and a Glock?

    And yes, I know that this is not officially the reason to terminate the public safety/police commissioner, but it for sure is a valid one!

    (official reason; 58 unfilled officer positions, and Monaghan was asking for more budget when he wasn’t even using the budget he had….also a good reason IMO)

  • Joe

    I am glad to see Obama state that families are off limits but didn’t he send his girls out to do an interview with Extra or ET or something?

    I would not characterize Palin’s introduction of her family as using them for politics. I mean even if they are off limits we will want to know who they are and what they do for a living. I never wanted to know the intimate details of Chelsea’s life but I was curious to know where she was going to go to college, etc.

    I agree that the issue with the state troopers is a real story – I have been reading about it for months. The allegations are that she fire the Public Safety Commissioner for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law. It seems like she was within her powers to fire the commissioner, he is a political appointee that serves at her discretion. Gov. Palin has stated that the firing had to due with job performance issues and a desire to move the office in a different direction. Some are questioning if her motive was pure or if it was a revenge thing. There is currently a legislative investigation. There was already a Attorney General investigation. The ex-brother-in-law trooper has been accused of making death threats (in uniform and with his side-arm on his hip) against members of the Palin family during his divorce of Gov. Palin’s sister, using his taser on his own child (not included in all accounts), drunk driving, and a few other things.

  • Joe

    I am glad to see Obama state that families are off limits but didn’t he send his girls out to do an interview with Extra or ET or something?

    I would not characterize Palin’s introduction of her family as using them for politics. I mean even if they are off limits we will want to know who they are and what they do for a living. I never wanted to know the intimate details of Chelsea’s life but I was curious to know where she was going to go to college, etc.

    I agree that the issue with the state troopers is a real story – I have been reading about it for months. The allegations are that she fire the Public Safety Commissioner for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law. It seems like she was within her powers to fire the commissioner, he is a political appointee that serves at her discretion. Gov. Palin has stated that the firing had to due with job performance issues and a desire to move the office in a different direction. Some are questioning if her motive was pure or if it was a revenge thing. There is currently a legislative investigation. There was already a Attorney General investigation. The ex-brother-in-law trooper has been accused of making death threats (in uniform and with his side-arm on his hip) against members of the Palin family during his divorce of Gov. Palin’s sister, using his taser on his own child (not included in all accounts), drunk driving, and a few other things.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD
  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD
  • Bass

    Folks, I know that many of you want to defend Palin, but let’s get this straight: if you’re the governor of a state, you don’t get to fire the head of DPS because he refuses to fire your state-employed brother in law, even if your brother in law is a bum. To do so is both unethical and illegal.
    I’m not saying Palin did anything wrong because I have no idea. But if she did, McCain needs to pull an Eagleton and replace her because she’s going to be in very hot water. If you don’t get my historical references, see a librarian and read up a bit on Watergate.

  • Bass

    Folks, I know that many of you want to defend Palin, but let’s get this straight: if you’re the governor of a state, you don’t get to fire the head of DPS because he refuses to fire your state-employed brother in law, even if your brother in law is a bum. To do so is both unethical and illegal.
    I’m not saying Palin did anything wrong because I have no idea. But if she did, McCain needs to pull an Eagleton and replace her because she’s going to be in very hot water. If you don’t get my historical references, see a librarian and read up a bit on Watergate.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 25,

    “Or his intent to *force* homosexual ‘marriage’ on all 50 States, on all public school teachers, and possibly on the churches.”

    One of the biggest reasons some Democrats have for rejecting Obama as their candidate has to do with the fact that he DOES NOT support gay marriage. Where is your evidence for this statement? ANY politician seeking such a high office at this point in history CANNOT support gay marriage, as it is not a very popular idea among the majority of voters in the US. Please name a presidential candidate (not someone seeking the nomination, but an actual candidate) in the last election who supported gay marriage outright.

    Apologies if this has already been said.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 25,

    “Or his intent to *force* homosexual ‘marriage’ on all 50 States, on all public school teachers, and possibly on the churches.”

    One of the biggest reasons some Democrats have for rejecting Obama as their candidate has to do with the fact that he DOES NOT support gay marriage. Where is your evidence for this statement? ANY politician seeking such a high office at this point in history CANNOT support gay marriage, as it is not a very popular idea among the majority of voters in the US. Please name a presidential candidate (not someone seeking the nomination, but an actual candidate) in the last election who supported gay marriage outright.

    Apologies if this has already been said.

  • Michael the little boot

    Also, I really like this whole “Demonrat” thing I’ve read here. Right up there with “Rethuglicans.” Nice.

  • Michael the little boot

    Also, I really like this whole “Demonrat” thing I’ve read here. Right up there with “Rethuglicans.” Nice.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@37), some of the word games get even more cutesy than that. Look for people referring to the “Democrat” or even “democrat” party. It’s possible they’re simply bad at capitalization and grammar, unaware of the difference between nouns and adjectives, but some Republicans out there (“republans”?) actually make a point of not referring to the party as the Democratic Party, since they think it’s not, you know, democratic. It’s little word tricks like that that really influence my voting.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@37), some of the word games get even more cutesy than that. Look for people referring to the “Democrat” or even “democrat” party. It’s possible they’re simply bad at capitalization and grammar, unaware of the difference between nouns and adjectives, but some Republicans out there (“republans”?) actually make a point of not referring to the party as the Democratic Party, since they think it’s not, you know, democratic. It’s little word tricks like that that really influence my voting.

  • Anon

    Teresa, truth is truth, even if you find it ‘right-wing’. Truth is truth, even if some of us prefer not to use euphemisms, even if the truth is so horrific that it seems ‘inflammatory’ to you. Would you have opposed the Weimar Republic if the Lutherans had clearly and honestly opposed the national socialists earlier on?

    One thing about Lutheran theology, Teresa, is that we know that we each sin daily. And that we need to daily repent, trust in Jesus and try to obey Him. If you avoid any conviction concerning your sins, you would be running away from the Gospel.

    If we want others to understand our beliefs, we need to learn how to communicate with them in terms that they will understand.

    BTW everything I said about BO is backed up with his statements in campaign statements, including his stated intent to reject the DOMA law, which would have the effect of forcing homosexual “marriage” on the entire country, as well as other more provocative statements. Do the BO supporters really think we are so stupid as to be taken in by their lies?

    Michael, well the Democrat Party -is- the Party of Death. The party of the Christian-haters (and Orthodox Jew-haters). We know what gets said in your blogs, MoveOn, and by the Democrat leadership. We know about the illegal religious test used on judges by your party.

  • Anon

    Teresa, truth is truth, even if you find it ‘right-wing’. Truth is truth, even if some of us prefer not to use euphemisms, even if the truth is so horrific that it seems ‘inflammatory’ to you. Would you have opposed the Weimar Republic if the Lutherans had clearly and honestly opposed the national socialists earlier on?

    One thing about Lutheran theology, Teresa, is that we know that we each sin daily. And that we need to daily repent, trust in Jesus and try to obey Him. If you avoid any conviction concerning your sins, you would be running away from the Gospel.

    If we want others to understand our beliefs, we need to learn how to communicate with them in terms that they will understand.

    BTW everything I said about BO is backed up with his statements in campaign statements, including his stated intent to reject the DOMA law, which would have the effect of forcing homosexual “marriage” on the entire country, as well as other more provocative statements. Do the BO supporters really think we are so stupid as to be taken in by their lies?

    Michael, well the Democrat Party -is- the Party of Death. The party of the Christian-haters (and Orthodox Jew-haters). We know what gets said in your blogs, MoveOn, and by the Democrat leadership. We know about the illegal religious test used on judges by your party.

  • utahrainbow

    I am with you Theresa K. @ 30.

    You can speak the truth without slurs.

  • utahrainbow

    I am with you Theresa K. @ 30.

    You can speak the truth without slurs.

  • Bass

    Theresa, I heartily applaud your plea, but you may want to join me after today and look elsewhere on the Internet for sane political discussion among Lutherans. Dr. Veith is in many ways an admirable man, but he himself in my eyes is sadly responsible for some of the “stereotypical right-wing inflammatory language” that you rightly protest. (e.g., babies: punishment v. love, Obama receiving worship as a god, etc.) Others here just irresponsibly amplify the language and take it to even more idiotic extremes.
    I am disgusted and deeply ashamed by it.

  • Bass

    Theresa, I heartily applaud your plea, but you may want to join me after today and look elsewhere on the Internet for sane political discussion among Lutherans. Dr. Veith is in many ways an admirable man, but he himself in my eyes is sadly responsible for some of the “stereotypical right-wing inflammatory language” that you rightly protest. (e.g., babies: punishment v. love, Obama receiving worship as a god, etc.) Others here just irresponsibly amplify the language and take it to even more idiotic extremes.
    I am disgusted and deeply ashamed by it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@39), I find it fascinating that you said in the same comment that “If we want others to understand our beliefs, we need to learn how to communicate with them in terms that they will understand,” and also referred to the Democratic Party as “the party of the Christian-haters (and Orthodox Jew-haters).” Well done. Bravo. You also managed to prove my point about cutesy name games (@38) one minute after I made it. Couldn’t have timed it better.

    “Everything I said about BO is backed up with his statements in campaign statements.” Ooh, “BO” … is that the new cutesy name with the (surprise!) negative connotation? Got tired of typing out “Hussein”? Anyhow, this should be fun. Please point to statements either by Obama or his campaign that back up:
    * “Barak Sr in Kenya, a leader in the murders of more than 1600 Christians by the Muslim party in the recent and ongoing political violence”
    * “His brother living in a shack in a slum”
    * “His statements about forcing us to do his will”
    * “His claim that the day he is inaugurated, the seas will recede from the dry land”

    It’s not that I don’t know what you are referring to. It’s just that you’re clearly stretching the truth to make political points, or at least are not interested in discussing the actual statements.

    In your comment, the “us vs. them” mentality is very clear. What is not so clear is whether “we” refers to Lutherans or Republicans. I am disturbed that you might not have noticed the difference.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@39), I find it fascinating that you said in the same comment that “If we want others to understand our beliefs, we need to learn how to communicate with them in terms that they will understand,” and also referred to the Democratic Party as “the party of the Christian-haters (and Orthodox Jew-haters).” Well done. Bravo. You also managed to prove my point about cutesy name games (@38) one minute after I made it. Couldn’t have timed it better.

    “Everything I said about BO is backed up with his statements in campaign statements.” Ooh, “BO” … is that the new cutesy name with the (surprise!) negative connotation? Got tired of typing out “Hussein”? Anyhow, this should be fun. Please point to statements either by Obama or his campaign that back up:
    * “Barak Sr in Kenya, a leader in the murders of more than 1600 Christians by the Muslim party in the recent and ongoing political violence”
    * “His brother living in a shack in a slum”
    * “His statements about forcing us to do his will”
    * “His claim that the day he is inaugurated, the seas will recede from the dry land”

    It’s not that I don’t know what you are referring to. It’s just that you’re clearly stretching the truth to make political points, or at least are not interested in discussing the actual statements.

    In your comment, the “us vs. them” mentality is very clear. What is not so clear is whether “we” refers to Lutherans or Republicans. I am disturbed that you might not have noticed the difference.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bass (@41), while I may agree with some of the things you said in your comment, I do not see how your leaving the discussion here helps matters.

    God knows I, along with Theresa (@30, and others, I assume), struggle with responding in an appropriate, Christian manner. But I don’t see that the solution is for us to further subdivide into circles where we all agree with each other.

    If there are wrong attitudes, shouldn’t we, as Christians, point that out, regardless of what political side it may affect?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bass (@41), while I may agree with some of the things you said in your comment, I do not see how your leaving the discussion here helps matters.

    God knows I, along with Theresa (@30, and others, I assume), struggle with responding in an appropriate, Christian manner. But I don’t see that the solution is for us to further subdivide into circles where we all agree with each other.

    If there are wrong attitudes, shouldn’t we, as Christians, point that out, regardless of what political side it may affect?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    tODD, Yes, here I agree with you. One of the nice things that I enjoy about Veith’s blog is at least attempting (acknowledging that I’m not very good at it at times) to discuss a wide variety of topics in a Christian way with Christians (like you) who approach topics from a very different direction from myself. Bass, I think you ought to take to heart this encouragement to remain in on these discussions here. I also appreciate Theresa’s plea that we try to continue our discussions in as faithful a manner possible for us sinners and as reasonable too (with supporting evidence).

    With today’s discussion, it seems evident that the lines are being drawn more definitely and folks are becoming more impassioned in their opinions. As the election draws close, I pray that at least here at this blog we can discuss the issues and the candidates in a civilized manner as our vocations as citizens would have as try to do the best we can to understand the other side before we make our arguments to the contrary. I just don’t like the uncivil discourse. My hope was always that a non-Bush running against a non-Clinton would help in this arena, but perhaps were all becoming a bit too entrenched for that. We’ll see.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    tODD, Yes, here I agree with you. One of the nice things that I enjoy about Veith’s blog is at least attempting (acknowledging that I’m not very good at it at times) to discuss a wide variety of topics in a Christian way with Christians (like you) who approach topics from a very different direction from myself. Bass, I think you ought to take to heart this encouragement to remain in on these discussions here. I also appreciate Theresa’s plea that we try to continue our discussions in as faithful a manner possible for us sinners and as reasonable too (with supporting evidence).

    With today’s discussion, it seems evident that the lines are being drawn more definitely and folks are becoming more impassioned in their opinions. As the election draws close, I pray that at least here at this blog we can discuss the issues and the candidates in a civilized manner as our vocations as citizens would have as try to do the best we can to understand the other side before we make our arguments to the contrary. I just don’t like the uncivil discourse. My hope was always that a non-Bush running against a non-Clinton would help in this arena, but perhaps were all becoming a bit too entrenched for that. We’ll see.

  • PeteS

    tODD,

    I was just struggling with whether or not I should respond to all of this. I share some of the frustration expressed. Your last post @ 43 encouraged me to join in. Thanks!

    I thought a few posts could have led to good discussions, like the role of mother vs. the role of legislator or chief executive. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really happened yet. (Here’s where I throw in my points of view; they may be a little scattershot.) While I am happy with the choice politically, I don’t think I like the position Gov. Palin is in as a wife and mother. Do the Scriptures address the role of women in society? Many Lutherans (and other Christians) feel that the role of women in the Bible does apply to society as well as to home and church. Does this influence your vote (all y’all out there)? For those who struggle with their conscience on this, how do the two kingdoms apply? Or do they?

    I’m happy with her choices for life. I do want to know more about this “troopergate,” or whatever you want to call it.

    I do think there is a culture of death out there, and while it is more prevalent in the Democratic Party (that’s the proper way to say it, right tODD?), it certainly isn’t there exclusively.

    And as far as Democrats and the Democratic Party are concerned, I know several (not a lot, but some) solid, confessional Lutherans who vote for Democratic candidates. While the life issue is a huge one for me, I recognize that there are some good Democratic legislators out there, although I really have a hard time trusting many politicians of any stripe right now. I’m not going to judge fellow Christians on how they vote. I do believe, however, that life issues could be the death of us as a country, no pun intended.

    One more thing. Re: Bass’ comments @ 41: while Dr. Veith is not perfect, I don’t think what he posted is inflammatory. I think they are legitimate observations to be discussed. The love vs. punishment thing is a real ideological battle that is out there. Will it affect your vote? It doesn’t have to, but it definitely needs to be considered by Christians, and I’ll admit that it greatly impacts my vote. There are some things that I admire about Obama, but, well, I’ve already made my feelings known about life issues. And the whole worship thing should be discussed as well. Is Obama being viewed as a Messiah? It sure seems that way. This really shouldn’t be a Democrat vs. Republican thing, at least in my mind. Isn’t it a culture thing? Look at how we put our hopes in men and ideologies. Christians aren’t immune. Let’s hold each other accountable with the law and encourage each other with the gospel!

    For what it’s worth…

  • PeteS

    tODD,

    I was just struggling with whether or not I should respond to all of this. I share some of the frustration expressed. Your last post @ 43 encouraged me to join in. Thanks!

    I thought a few posts could have led to good discussions, like the role of mother vs. the role of legislator or chief executive. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really happened yet. (Here’s where I throw in my points of view; they may be a little scattershot.) While I am happy with the choice politically, I don’t think I like the position Gov. Palin is in as a wife and mother. Do the Scriptures address the role of women in society? Many Lutherans (and other Christians) feel that the role of women in the Bible does apply to society as well as to home and church. Does this influence your vote (all y’all out there)? For those who struggle with their conscience on this, how do the two kingdoms apply? Or do they?

    I’m happy with her choices for life. I do want to know more about this “troopergate,” or whatever you want to call it.

    I do think there is a culture of death out there, and while it is more prevalent in the Democratic Party (that’s the proper way to say it, right tODD?), it certainly isn’t there exclusively.

    And as far as Democrats and the Democratic Party are concerned, I know several (not a lot, but some) solid, confessional Lutherans who vote for Democratic candidates. While the life issue is a huge one for me, I recognize that there are some good Democratic legislators out there, although I really have a hard time trusting many politicians of any stripe right now. I’m not going to judge fellow Christians on how they vote. I do believe, however, that life issues could be the death of us as a country, no pun intended.

    One more thing. Re: Bass’ comments @ 41: while Dr. Veith is not perfect, I don’t think what he posted is inflammatory. I think they are legitimate observations to be discussed. The love vs. punishment thing is a real ideological battle that is out there. Will it affect your vote? It doesn’t have to, but it definitely needs to be considered by Christians, and I’ll admit that it greatly impacts my vote. There are some things that I admire about Obama, but, well, I’ve already made my feelings known about life issues. And the whole worship thing should be discussed as well. Is Obama being viewed as a Messiah? It sure seems that way. This really shouldn’t be a Democrat vs. Republican thing, at least in my mind. Isn’t it a culture thing? Look at how we put our hopes in men and ideologies. Christians aren’t immune. Let’s hold each other accountable with the law and encourage each other with the gospel!

    For what it’s worth…

  • PeteS

    @45: I should have made “Messiah” with a small “m.” Ooops.

  • PeteS

    @45: I should have made “Messiah” with a small “m.” Ooops.

  • BKW

    I am also with you Teresa @30. I appreciate this forum very much due to the cerebral nature of the posts and many of the posters. However, with increasing regularity, I have noticed how the tone has turned ugly and degrading and very unnecessary. Anon @39 says, “truth is truth”. Absolutely – but lets be civil and not resort to such arrogant negativism and name calling.

  • BKW

    I am also with you Teresa @30. I appreciate this forum very much due to the cerebral nature of the posts and many of the posters. However, with increasing regularity, I have noticed how the tone has turned ugly and degrading and very unnecessary. Anon @39 says, “truth is truth”. Absolutely – but lets be civil and not resort to such arrogant negativism and name calling.

  • kerner

    Bass:

    I hate to see you go away disgusted, but I think Dr. Veith’s quote from a comment on Hewitt’s blog is more of an observation of developing social opinions than anything else.

    Maybe back in the day it was thought to be a horrible disgrace for an unmarried woman to become pregnant. And such a disgrace could carry real consequences. Such consequences were a justification for abortion in those days.

    On January 24, 1973, the Church found itself having to make some decisions about itself. Had we contributed to widespread legal abortions by making the alternative of bearing the child so frightening that people felt justified in taking human life to avoid it? I think those of us who were around then had to reconsider how WE would react if our own children became pregnant (or impregnated someone) as unwed teens. Would our children be afraid of US?

    I believe that Christians have made a number of serious reconsiderations of our attitudes over the last 35 years. Pre-marital sex is still wrong, and teen pregnancy will always be difficult. But by and large Christians have come to realize that it was necessary to be more supportive to unwed mothers if we were to have any credibility at all in urging mothers to raise their children instead of killing them.

    The evolution on the secular Left has been less positive. In order to continue to justify abortion, the secular left has had to exagerate the consequences of badly timed pregnancies. Christians are portrayed as judgmental harpies untruthfully, and the responsibilities of parenthood are portrayed as “punishment”.

    Non-marital sex, on the other hand is just fine to the secular left; no boundaries there. But I really think the secular left has come to believe its own propaganda so much that leftists are alot more outraged by an unwed teenage mother that the Christian rightists are. Hence the media frenzy around Bristol Palin.

    So, I’m sorry, Bass, but I think that Chirstians (generally) HAVE learned to respond to a teen-age mother with more love than secular leftists do. And I think that more punishing disapproval of a teen-age mom (who could have gotten an abortion, but did not) comes from the secular left than from the Christian right. Don’t you think so?

  • kerner

    Bass:

    I hate to see you go away disgusted, but I think Dr. Veith’s quote from a comment on Hewitt’s blog is more of an observation of developing social opinions than anything else.

    Maybe back in the day it was thought to be a horrible disgrace for an unmarried woman to become pregnant. And such a disgrace could carry real consequences. Such consequences were a justification for abortion in those days.

    On January 24, 1973, the Church found itself having to make some decisions about itself. Had we contributed to widespread legal abortions by making the alternative of bearing the child so frightening that people felt justified in taking human life to avoid it? I think those of us who were around then had to reconsider how WE would react if our own children became pregnant (or impregnated someone) as unwed teens. Would our children be afraid of US?

    I believe that Christians have made a number of serious reconsiderations of our attitudes over the last 35 years. Pre-marital sex is still wrong, and teen pregnancy will always be difficult. But by and large Christians have come to realize that it was necessary to be more supportive to unwed mothers if we were to have any credibility at all in urging mothers to raise their children instead of killing them.

    The evolution on the secular Left has been less positive. In order to continue to justify abortion, the secular left has had to exagerate the consequences of badly timed pregnancies. Christians are portrayed as judgmental harpies untruthfully, and the responsibilities of parenthood are portrayed as “punishment”.

    Non-marital sex, on the other hand is just fine to the secular left; no boundaries there. But I really think the secular left has come to believe its own propaganda so much that leftists are alot more outraged by an unwed teenage mother that the Christian rightists are. Hence the media frenzy around Bristol Palin.

    So, I’m sorry, Bass, but I think that Chirstians (generally) HAVE learned to respond to a teen-age mother with more love than secular leftists do. And I think that more punishing disapproval of a teen-age mom (who could have gotten an abortion, but did not) comes from the secular left than from the Christian right. Don’t you think so?

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Holy cow! Let’s not turn on our generous host! It’s not Dr. Veith’s fault that conversation is not always God-honoring. The history of this fine forum speaks for itself; I can accept detours and minor fender benders.

    Every election season, I can’t stand the negative ads everywhere I turn. It starts to get to me after a while. I’ve even resorted to the local alternative music radio station ‘cuz at least they shut up, don’t preach to me and just play good music.

    God knows I, too, struggle with responding in an appropriate, Christian manner. In the morning or on breaks or at lunch, I want to make a quick comment. Sometimes a measured response is more helpful and that takes more than 30 seconds. I’ve been guilty of emotional drive-by comments, too. I also don’t see that the solution is for us to further subdivide into circles where we all agree with each other. Sheesh, isn’t that how we got into all our synods in the first place?

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Holy cow! Let’s not turn on our generous host! It’s not Dr. Veith’s fault that conversation is not always God-honoring. The history of this fine forum speaks for itself; I can accept detours and minor fender benders.

    Every election season, I can’t stand the negative ads everywhere I turn. It starts to get to me after a while. I’ve even resorted to the local alternative music radio station ‘cuz at least they shut up, don’t preach to me and just play good music.

    God knows I, too, struggle with responding in an appropriate, Christian manner. In the morning or on breaks or at lunch, I want to make a quick comment. Sometimes a measured response is more helpful and that takes more than 30 seconds. I’ve been guilty of emotional drive-by comments, too. I also don’t see that the solution is for us to further subdivide into circles where we all agree with each other. Sheesh, isn’t that how we got into all our synods in the first place?

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Bryan #44 – nice comment! it’s a keeper! :)

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Bryan #44 – nice comment! it’s a keeper! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17639370291865261582 Cindy Ramos

    I’m with Theresa. Let’s keep the conversation a little more polite. I’m confident that this crowd is capable of intelligent discussion with a respectful tone. Toning down the inflammatory language will only sharpen our thinking and help us to articulate our thoughts more persuasively to a diverse audience. Cranach readers are not exclusively Republicans, nor exclusively Lutherans.

    But I must say, tODD, your replies when provoked are priceless. I appreciate your wit and your good humor about things.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17639370291865261582 Cindy Ramos

    I’m with Theresa. Let’s keep the conversation a little more polite. I’m confident that this crowd is capable of intelligent discussion with a respectful tone. Toning down the inflammatory language will only sharpen our thinking and help us to articulate our thoughts more persuasively to a diverse audience. Cranach readers are not exclusively Republicans, nor exclusively Lutherans.

    But I must say, tODD, your replies when provoked are priceless. I appreciate your wit and your good humor about things.

  • Anon

    Susan Estrich is now condemning the horrific vicious hate her fellow-travelers, her friends, are piling on Sarah Palin.

  • Anon

    Susan Estrich is now condemning the horrific vicious hate her fellow-travelers, her friends, are piling on Sarah Palin.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Bass, Todd, I respectfully disagree for a basic reason; Todd’s link doesn’t really discuss the basics of the allegations, starting with the admitted fact that this guy tased his own son.

    I’m sorry, folks, but that’s called “assault,” not reasonable discipline, and when an officer uses his state-issued equipment to perpetuate a basic assault, the state needs to take that equipment back. A commissioner who doesn’t clue in to this also needs to lose his job.

    And a commissioner who asks for more budget while not using what he’s got well also needs to lose his job. Sorry, but even if the worst that the critics of Palin say is correct, she is completely in the right here.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Bass, Todd, I respectfully disagree for a basic reason; Todd’s link doesn’t really discuss the basics of the allegations, starting with the admitted fact that this guy tased his own son.

    I’m sorry, folks, but that’s called “assault,” not reasonable discipline, and when an officer uses his state-issued equipment to perpetuate a basic assault, the state needs to take that equipment back. A commissioner who doesn’t clue in to this also needs to lose his job.

    And a commissioner who asks for more budget while not using what he’s got well also needs to lose his job. Sorry, but even if the worst that the critics of Palin say is correct, she is completely in the right here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bike (@53), no one’s claiming Wooten is an exemplary trooper. He has obviously done some stupid things, alluded to in the article I linked to (@34). But your statement that “that this guy tased his own son” is rather misleading.

    According to the Anchorage Daily News article “Is Wooten a good trooper?” (7/27/08), “the boy said he wanted to be tased to show his cousin, Palin’s daughter Bristol, that he wasn’t a mama’s boy.” That’s not “assault”, that’s a foolish boy and his foolish stepfather. He was suspended for ten days (reduced to five by the union, I believe).

    Anyhow, people who disagree with your assessment include former Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and Alaska’s Legislative Council, a bipartisan panel of state senators and representatives. It’s not clear that you know more about the facts than they do.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bike (@53), no one’s claiming Wooten is an exemplary trooper. He has obviously done some stupid things, alluded to in the article I linked to (@34). But your statement that “that this guy tased his own son” is rather misleading.

    According to the Anchorage Daily News article “Is Wooten a good trooper?” (7/27/08), “the boy said he wanted to be tased to show his cousin, Palin’s daughter Bristol, that he wasn’t a mama’s boy.” That’s not “assault”, that’s a foolish boy and his foolish stepfather. He was suspended for ten days (reduced to five by the union, I believe).

    Anyhow, people who disagree with your assessment include former Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and Alaska’s Legislative Council, a bipartisan panel of state senators and representatives. It’s not clear that you know more about the facts than they do.

  • Ryan

    This thread is getting long, I tired to read it all… so if this has been mentioned before, sorry.

    Has anyone noticed (I haven’t heard much media comment yet) that the young man who got Ms. Palin pregnant is doing what used to be called “the right thing” and continuing on the path of marriage and responsible parenthood. As a guy, I think that’s pretty cool.

  • Ryan

    This thread is getting long, I tired to read it all… so if this has been mentioned before, sorry.

    Has anyone noticed (I haven’t heard much media comment yet) that the young man who got Ms. Palin pregnant is doing what used to be called “the right thing” and continuing on the path of marriage and responsible parenthood. As a guy, I think that’s pretty cool.

  • Ryan

    That should of been “”tried” to read it all”, do Freudian slips happen in typing? :)

  • Ryan

    That should of been “”tried” to read it all”, do Freudian slips happen in typing? :)

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 39,

    Just so you know, I’m no Democrat. I have no party affiliation. There’s not been much in the way of evidence in my lifetime to convince me either of the “major” parties have the interest of any common person at heart. I’ve no love for McCain or Obama. I was just pointing out an inconsistency in your claim. As far as I know, McCain doesn’t support homosexual marriage either, although he does see it as a states rights issue. That means he wouldn’t stand in the way of what’s going on in California, were he elected president.

    As for the accusations you made toward the Democratic Party (word, tODD), I do have to take issue, just from the perspective of someone who doesn’t like hyperbole for its own sake. How is the Democratic party any more the party of death than the Republican party? They support abortion rights – and I can read between the lines to get your opinion on that :) – but they basically oppose the DEATH penalty and the unjust (and unjustified) war in Iraq (not the politicians, but the people in the party are pretty unified against the war). So it seems there’s room to level that attack at both parties.

    The Democrats are as pro-Christian as the Republicans. There has never been anything but a Christian in the White House, throughout ALL of U.S. history. You can debate that they weren’t, but only as you define it; based on the way each president has personally defined it, it can’t be argued. Even the LEAST Christian presidents (I don’t know, Jefferson and Lincoln probably fit best) still considered themselves to be Christians. Don’t see where you’re going here, unless you’re just trying to spread propaganda.

    I found your last statement MOST intriguing: “We know about the illegal religious test used on judges by your party.” Once again, it’s not my party; but I’d like to know how you define “illegal religious test.” If you could offer more details here, that would be helpful. Would it be anything like the test to run for public office in the state of Texas? The law in Texas says one can be of any religious affiliation and not be barred from being elected. The only stipulation is one MUST “believe in a Supreme Being.” Which means atheists/agnostics are barred from running for public office. Sounds like an illegal religious test to me. Once again, seems both sides are guilty here.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 39,

    Just so you know, I’m no Democrat. I have no party affiliation. There’s not been much in the way of evidence in my lifetime to convince me either of the “major” parties have the interest of any common person at heart. I’ve no love for McCain or Obama. I was just pointing out an inconsistency in your claim. As far as I know, McCain doesn’t support homosexual marriage either, although he does see it as a states rights issue. That means he wouldn’t stand in the way of what’s going on in California, were he elected president.

    As for the accusations you made toward the Democratic Party (word, tODD), I do have to take issue, just from the perspective of someone who doesn’t like hyperbole for its own sake. How is the Democratic party any more the party of death than the Republican party? They support abortion rights – and I can read between the lines to get your opinion on that :) – but they basically oppose the DEATH penalty and the unjust (and unjustified) war in Iraq (not the politicians, but the people in the party are pretty unified against the war). So it seems there’s room to level that attack at both parties.

    The Democrats are as pro-Christian as the Republicans. There has never been anything but a Christian in the White House, throughout ALL of U.S. history. You can debate that they weren’t, but only as you define it; based on the way each president has personally defined it, it can’t be argued. Even the LEAST Christian presidents (I don’t know, Jefferson and Lincoln probably fit best) still considered themselves to be Christians. Don’t see where you’re going here, unless you’re just trying to spread propaganda.

    I found your last statement MOST intriguing: “We know about the illegal religious test used on judges by your party.” Once again, it’s not my party; but I’d like to know how you define “illegal religious test.” If you could offer more details here, that would be helpful. Would it be anything like the test to run for public office in the state of Texas? The law in Texas says one can be of any religious affiliation and not be barred from being elected. The only stipulation is one MUST “believe in a Supreme Being.” Which means atheists/agnostics are barred from running for public office. Sounds like an illegal religious test to me. Once again, seems both sides are guilty here.

  • Michael the little boot

    Why is it considered “the right thing” for two kids to get married just because they have conceived a child? It seems to me people who call themselves pro-life are actually just pro-tradition. Pro-birth, sure, but that’s different than pro-life. Coming from the perspective of a person whose parents were married for the duration of my childhood (they’ve since divorced) – two people who NEVER should have married each other, and who made their own lives, as well as the lives of their children, miserable as a result – it is not always best for the parents to marry. I’m not saying they shouldn’t keep the child. But that is THEIR decision, not mine.

    You know, since you guys believe in God, let’s put it this way: God aborts more babies than we EVER could. The average woman doesn’t even realize how many times she gets pregnant and then loses the baby. So, once again, we’ve got the double standard going. “It’s okay for GOD to kill babies, but not US. We can’t be trusted to make that decision. Let’s leave it in the hands of the One who kills the unborn every DAY.” Sure sounds rational to me.

  • Michael the little boot

    Why is it considered “the right thing” for two kids to get married just because they have conceived a child? It seems to me people who call themselves pro-life are actually just pro-tradition. Pro-birth, sure, but that’s different than pro-life. Coming from the perspective of a person whose parents were married for the duration of my childhood (they’ve since divorced) – two people who NEVER should have married each other, and who made their own lives, as well as the lives of their children, miserable as a result – it is not always best for the parents to marry. I’m not saying they shouldn’t keep the child. But that is THEIR decision, not mine.

    You know, since you guys believe in God, let’s put it this way: God aborts more babies than we EVER could. The average woman doesn’t even realize how many times she gets pregnant and then loses the baby. So, once again, we’ve got the double standard going. “It’s okay for GOD to kill babies, but not US. We can’t be trusted to make that decision. Let’s leave it in the hands of the One who kills the unborn every DAY.” Sure sounds rational to me.

  • Michael the little boot

    Oh, and this one’s for everybody, too.

    Why is it Christians believe in free will, but want to limit other people’s choices? If everyone is free to make whatever decisions we want, isn’t it GOD (in your view) who should punish people for making the wrong decision? Or, at the very least, isn’t it GOD who should take the right to make the decision away? How does one make these distinctions, as a Christian?

  • Michael the little boot

    Oh, and this one’s for everybody, too.

    Why is it Christians believe in free will, but want to limit other people’s choices? If everyone is free to make whatever decisions we want, isn’t it GOD (in your view) who should punish people for making the wrong decision? Or, at the very least, isn’t it GOD who should take the right to make the decision away? How does one make these distinctions, as a Christian?

  • Ryan

    Michael, you are correct: “Doing the right thing” is traditional, and I personally don’t have a problem with pro-traditional, others may. It was considered the right thing to do because the Father would be taking responsibility for his child, in the past there was no child support system, the mother and child could be left without means of support. Today the state has recognized the need to hold Fathers (or increasingly mothers) accountable to support their children, especially in the culture where divorce is easier to obtain.

    As for your parents I’m sorry that you and they were miserable. I have seen similar scenarios play out like what you described, it can be truly heartrending.

    Oh and for post #59 not all Christians believe in free will, free will was one of the big disagreements coming out the of Reformation.

    I do agree in limiting people’s choices simply because I’m not an anarchist. I do think the rule of law and government are preferable. Who sets the limits/laws and what criteria determines the limits, ah! there is the question for debate in my opinion.

  • Ryan

    Michael, you are correct: “Doing the right thing” is traditional, and I personally don’t have a problem with pro-traditional, others may. It was considered the right thing to do because the Father would be taking responsibility for his child, in the past there was no child support system, the mother and child could be left without means of support. Today the state has recognized the need to hold Fathers (or increasingly mothers) accountable to support their children, especially in the culture where divorce is easier to obtain.

    As for your parents I’m sorry that you and they were miserable. I have seen similar scenarios play out like what you described, it can be truly heartrending.

    Oh and for post #59 not all Christians believe in free will, free will was one of the big disagreements coming out the of Reformation.

    I do agree in limiting people’s choices simply because I’m not an anarchist. I do think the rule of law and government are preferable. Who sets the limits/laws and what criteria determines the limits, ah! there is the question for debate in my opinion.

  • Michael the little boot

    Ryan,

    “Who sets the limits/laws and what criteria determines the limits, ah! there is the question for debate in my opinion.”

    Mine, too! Who does, in your opinion?

  • Michael the little boot

    Ryan,

    “Who sets the limits/laws and what criteria determines the limits, ah! there is the question for debate in my opinion.”

    Mine, too! Who does, in your opinion?

  • Michael the little boot

    Ryan,

    I guess I should’ve been more specific re: free will. Since Lutherans do believe in it, could we frame it that way? Or am I wrong? Do Lutherans disagree on this point?

  • Michael the little boot

    Ryan,

    I guess I should’ve been more specific re: free will. Since Lutherans do believe in it, could we frame it that way? Or am I wrong? Do Lutherans disagree on this point?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@57+), I think Ryan (@60) did a good job answering your question about “the right thing”. Many Christians would argue that today, that is not the only option, as long as the baby is cared for.

    Your arguments about God “killing babies” don’t make much sense, however. First, I should ask if you know why the Bible says murdering is wrong. The Bible clearly does not prohibit all killing, so what is the rule?

    In the book of Job, we find: “Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (As you can imagine, “you” refers to God.) The reason murder is wrong is that it assumes that it is man’s right to determine the length of someone’s life, not God’s. God gave us life on this earth, as he gave us all gifts, and they are his to take away — not ours. In this way, murdering is much like stealing — you cannot simply take from a person what someone else gave him. And, you will no doubt remember, occasionally God delegates this power over earthly life to people, as he did in the Israeli theocracy, and as he does with the governments he has established throughout time.

    “Why is it Christians believe in free will, but want to limit other people’s choices?” This isn’t actually a contradiction, you realize. A belief in free will means that people can do what they want — it doesn’t mean they should. Of course, I’m not sure what “limits” you’re referring to here.

    As for Ryan’s question “who sets the limits/laws and what criteria determines the limits”, my answer — predictable as it must be for you — is: God.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@57+), I think Ryan (@60) did a good job answering your question about “the right thing”. Many Christians would argue that today, that is not the only option, as long as the baby is cared for.

    Your arguments about God “killing babies” don’t make much sense, however. First, I should ask if you know why the Bible says murdering is wrong. The Bible clearly does not prohibit all killing, so what is the rule?

    In the book of Job, we find: “Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (As you can imagine, “you” refers to God.) The reason murder is wrong is that it assumes that it is man’s right to determine the length of someone’s life, not God’s. God gave us life on this earth, as he gave us all gifts, and they are his to take away — not ours. In this way, murdering is much like stealing — you cannot simply take from a person what someone else gave him. And, you will no doubt remember, occasionally God delegates this power over earthly life to people, as he did in the Israeli theocracy, and as he does with the governments he has established throughout time.

    “Why is it Christians believe in free will, but want to limit other people’s choices?” This isn’t actually a contradiction, you realize. A belief in free will means that people can do what they want — it doesn’t mean they should. Of course, I’m not sure what “limits” you’re referring to here.

    As for Ryan’s question “who sets the limits/laws and what criteria determines the limits”, my answer — predictable as it must be for you — is: God.

  • Ryan

    Michael, I’m not sure if I understand what your asking by the free will question. Lutherans hold that in spiritual matters the will is dead, in civil matters there is freedom. That means I cannot choose Jesus to be my savior, out of the blue, on my own. May I choose the tie I’m going to wear tomorrow? Yes. Add into this mix that we are basically “broken” by inherited sin and thus the will that would be perfectly free before Adam’s fall, now is inherently selfish. We can go against the selfish nature (ie altruism), but it is a struggle.

    Now onto the “who sets the limits” etc..

    For me personally it is Jesus Christ and thus Scripture. How I come to that conclusion:

    1. Looking at the evidence I believe it is historically true that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and thus what he said was true about Scripture, him being God, the messiah, and his teachings.

    2. I also believe that the Gospels are accurate accounts of the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection as well as accurate in recording his saying.

    Because I believe the above two points… and Jesus accepted the Old Testament as true, I also accept the Old Testament as God’s Word.

    My personal morality is framed then from the Christian Bible (though its not that simple since which OT laws apply and which to do not?). The simplest statement from Jesus on morality is not the golden rule but the summary of the commandments “Love God and Love your neighbor”. Love of course being understood as for the welfare of your “neighbor”, not just letting someone do what they want. For example, I don’t let me 2 year old daughter touch the stove when on because it would harm her even though I’m placing as limit on her freedom which she does not like.

    As to the civil realm… its gets more challenging here. Basic ideas from Scripture form my world-view: I hold that all people are created equal and have value because Christ shed his blood for all (note here how my world-view is affecting how I view people in general).

    Coupled with that would be the commandments like no murdering, no stealing, and so forth which just is another way of expressing love to your neighbor. I really do believe that making laws against murdering people is the most loving thing I can do for my neighbor.

    What is more difficult is that we can split over how best to love our neighbor. Government spending for the poor or encouraging private charity? This is okay, the Christian Scriptures do not legislate every little detail… we are given common sense and reason to work with. And by gum we might be dead wrong sometimes!

    I think in our current political climate a simple religious appeal for a policy does not cut it, we must also appeal to common reason and logic. Abortion is wrong, why? God says so! That just does not do much. Abortion is wrong. why? Because a child has humans rights. (This is only for the sake of illustration not for a debate on abortion)

    Still, when it comes to imposing religion in the sense of worship, prayer, proselytizing upon people… I stand against this. I do not support organized prayer in schools… on the other hand I do support a students right to free speech to offer their religious viewpoint even if it makes other uncomfortable (such as a graduate’s speech talking about Jesus).

    This I’m sure is incomplete and has holes, but it is pretty accurate to how I operate. Sorry about the length.

  • Ryan

    Michael, I’m not sure if I understand what your asking by the free will question. Lutherans hold that in spiritual matters the will is dead, in civil matters there is freedom. That means I cannot choose Jesus to be my savior, out of the blue, on my own. May I choose the tie I’m going to wear tomorrow? Yes. Add into this mix that we are basically “broken” by inherited sin and thus the will that would be perfectly free before Adam’s fall, now is inherently selfish. We can go against the selfish nature (ie altruism), but it is a struggle.

    Now onto the “who sets the limits” etc..

    For me personally it is Jesus Christ and thus Scripture. How I come to that conclusion:

    1. Looking at the evidence I believe it is historically true that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and thus what he said was true about Scripture, him being God, the messiah, and his teachings.

    2. I also believe that the Gospels are accurate accounts of the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection as well as accurate in recording his saying.

    Because I believe the above two points… and Jesus accepted the Old Testament as true, I also accept the Old Testament as God’s Word.

    My personal morality is framed then from the Christian Bible (though its not that simple since which OT laws apply and which to do not?). The simplest statement from Jesus on morality is not the golden rule but the summary of the commandments “Love God and Love your neighbor”. Love of course being understood as for the welfare of your “neighbor”, not just letting someone do what they want. For example, I don’t let me 2 year old daughter touch the stove when on because it would harm her even though I’m placing as limit on her freedom which she does not like.

    As to the civil realm… its gets more challenging here. Basic ideas from Scripture form my world-view: I hold that all people are created equal and have value because Christ shed his blood for all (note here how my world-view is affecting how I view people in general).

    Coupled with that would be the commandments like no murdering, no stealing, and so forth which just is another way of expressing love to your neighbor. I really do believe that making laws against murdering people is the most loving thing I can do for my neighbor.

    What is more difficult is that we can split over how best to love our neighbor. Government spending for the poor or encouraging private charity? This is okay, the Christian Scriptures do not legislate every little detail… we are given common sense and reason to work with. And by gum we might be dead wrong sometimes!

    I think in our current political climate a simple religious appeal for a policy does not cut it, we must also appeal to common reason and logic. Abortion is wrong, why? God says so! That just does not do much. Abortion is wrong. why? Because a child has humans rights. (This is only for the sake of illustration not for a debate on abortion)

    Still, when it comes to imposing religion in the sense of worship, prayer, proselytizing upon people… I stand against this. I do not support organized prayer in schools… on the other hand I do support a students right to free speech to offer their religious viewpoint even if it makes other uncomfortable (such as a graduate’s speech talking about Jesus).

    This I’m sure is incomplete and has holes, but it is pretty accurate to how I operate. Sorry about the length.

  • Michael the little boot

    tODD @ 63,

    I agree, Ryan answered well. I wasn’t trying to trap anyone, though I recognize many people might assume otherwise (and not without reason, unfortunately). I am genuinely interested in people’s opinions on this matter.

    “Many Christians would argue that today, that is not the only option, as long as the baby is cared for.” Agreed, once again. I wasn’t trying to imply the opposite, though I apologize if I came off that way.

    My arguments about God killing babies just has to do with the statistics on miscarriages, as well as the prevailing idea among Christians that life begins at conception (and I’m not trying to debate whether it does, nor dispute it). Since the stats reflect around 15-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, I was just trying to harmonize that idea with the aformentioned Christian concept of the soul being present in the zygote. I’m interested in why – other than the idea that God is creator and master of everything, and can do what God wants – it is not different when God ends a pregnancy.

    Your discussion of why God allows murder and/or killing illuminated this. Setting aside that God can only number the days of humans if God knows the future (an idea with PROFOUND theological and philosophical implications), I think you set me straight as far as what I was looking for – that is, an answer as to why you believe it is okay for God to end a life, but not for you or me. What God giveth, God taketh away! In light of your beliefs, that makes sense. Just wanted to know what people thought about that.

    As far as God delegating power over earthly life to governments God has established, I think I’m a little confused. Do you believe God established the government of the US? Seriously wondering, and not trying to catch you.

    I didn’t mean to imply I thought there was a contradiction in Christians believing in free will, but still wanting to limit the choices of others. I was just asking why it is Christians want to legislate choice. If it’s up to God, why not just leave it up to God? If God is in control, there’s really nothing you can do God couldn’t do in less time, and with ease. I’m just lost as to why this is, because it seems arbitrary to me (seems being the operative word). Why are some things left to God (e.g., the classic “vengeance is mine…”), and others left to us? Is it, once again, that God has established the government of the United States?

    I agree a belief in free will means people CAN do what they want, not that they SHOULD. I think I’m just missing where and how you’re drawing the distinction. Even if someone SHOULDN’T do something, is it up to me to force them to see that? Even if someone else’s life is at stake? Am I, in fact, not only my brother’s keeper, but a stranger’s keeper as well?

    Of course I wasn’t surprised by your belief that God “sets the limits/laws,” but I wasn’t really interested in that as much as the “what criteria determines the limits” portion. I didn’t specify, though. Sorry about that. Any thoughts on the latter part?

  • Michael the little boot

    tODD @ 63,

    I agree, Ryan answered well. I wasn’t trying to trap anyone, though I recognize many people might assume otherwise (and not without reason, unfortunately). I am genuinely interested in people’s opinions on this matter.

    “Many Christians would argue that today, that is not the only option, as long as the baby is cared for.” Agreed, once again. I wasn’t trying to imply the opposite, though I apologize if I came off that way.

    My arguments about God killing babies just has to do with the statistics on miscarriages, as well as the prevailing idea among Christians that life begins at conception (and I’m not trying to debate whether it does, nor dispute it). Since the stats reflect around 15-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, I was just trying to harmonize that idea with the aformentioned Christian concept of the soul being present in the zygote. I’m interested in why – other than the idea that God is creator and master of everything, and can do what God wants – it is not different when God ends a pregnancy.

    Your discussion of why God allows murder and/or killing illuminated this. Setting aside that God can only number the days of humans if God knows the future (an idea with PROFOUND theological and philosophical implications), I think you set me straight as far as what I was looking for – that is, an answer as to why you believe it is okay for God to end a life, but not for you or me. What God giveth, God taketh away! In light of your beliefs, that makes sense. Just wanted to know what people thought about that.

    As far as God delegating power over earthly life to governments God has established, I think I’m a little confused. Do you believe God established the government of the US? Seriously wondering, and not trying to catch you.

    I didn’t mean to imply I thought there was a contradiction in Christians believing in free will, but still wanting to limit the choices of others. I was just asking why it is Christians want to legislate choice. If it’s up to God, why not just leave it up to God? If God is in control, there’s really nothing you can do God couldn’t do in less time, and with ease. I’m just lost as to why this is, because it seems arbitrary to me (seems being the operative word). Why are some things left to God (e.g., the classic “vengeance is mine…”), and others left to us? Is it, once again, that God has established the government of the United States?

    I agree a belief in free will means people CAN do what they want, not that they SHOULD. I think I’m just missing where and how you’re drawing the distinction. Even if someone SHOULDN’T do something, is it up to me to force them to see that? Even if someone else’s life is at stake? Am I, in fact, not only my brother’s keeper, but a stranger’s keeper as well?

    Of course I wasn’t surprised by your belief that God “sets the limits/laws,” but I wasn’t really interested in that as much as the “what criteria determines the limits” portion. I didn’t specify, though. Sorry about that. Any thoughts on the latter part?

  • Michael the little boot

    Ryan,

    I wrote the above response to tODD before reading your response. There may be answers to a couple of your questions there. Will answer fully tomorrow.

  • Michael the little boot

    Ryan,

    I wrote the above response to tODD before reading your response. There may be answers to a couple of your questions there. Will answer fully tomorrow.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@65), I didn’t think you were trying to “trap” anyone. Sorry if I sounded like that. I was just trying to answer your questions.

    As to God knowing the future, I don’t think you’ll find much argument to the contrary from Christians — certainly not from me. How else could one explain the predictions of the prophets regarding the Messiah and other events? (I can guess how you might answer that, but I ask in light of a Bible-based framework.)

    You asked, “Do you believe God established the government of the US?” I could just say “yes”, but here is the relevant Bible passage: “There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans, chapter 13). Of course, like all things involving man, the U.S. government was born of sinful men with sinful attitudes, and nothing has changed since then. But the Bible is full of stories of God using sinful men to accomplish his not-sinful purpose (believing he is omniscient might help to explain how that is possible with free will*).

    *It is important to note that, while it is obvious that humans can make choices in their day-to-day activities, the Bible does not teach that they have “free will” to choose salvation by faith. This can be confusing to non-believers and believers alike.

    “I was just asking why it is Christians want to legislate choice.” You’ve said this before, but I’m still not sure what you’re referring to. Are you using “choice” to refer to abortion? Or are you referring to things more broadly? Anyhow, I’ll answer the question of why Christians want to make some sins illegal, assuming that’s what you were asking.

    I can’t speak for all Christians (certainly some, sadly, think that there should be a law punishing everything sinful), but we Lutherans believe that the role of civil government isn’t to enforce God’s will, but rather to keep peace (again, from Romans 13: “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”). To that end, we Christians in this society support laws that protect people from each other’s sinful behavior and allow society to flourish (e.g. against murder, theft, etc.). These laws will reflect, in part, God’s will, but only because it is God’s will that we live in such a society.

    “If it’s up to God, why not just leave it up to God?” Well, the question then becomes, what is “it”? The spreading of the good news of salvation from sins in Jesus’s atoning death is a job given (by God) to the Church, not the government. The maintaining of a peaceful society is given (by God) to the government, not the church. And the saving of people and the ordering of the world is God’s alone. I’m not sure if I actually answered your question or not with that.

    In summary, as Christians, we support those laws that will keep a peaceful society. Of course, the minimal set of those laws is rather on the libertarian side of things. As citizens, we may desire more laws on top of that, depending on our own preferences. Did that help?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@65), I didn’t think you were trying to “trap” anyone. Sorry if I sounded like that. I was just trying to answer your questions.

    As to God knowing the future, I don’t think you’ll find much argument to the contrary from Christians — certainly not from me. How else could one explain the predictions of the prophets regarding the Messiah and other events? (I can guess how you might answer that, but I ask in light of a Bible-based framework.)

    You asked, “Do you believe God established the government of the US?” I could just say “yes”, but here is the relevant Bible passage: “There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans, chapter 13). Of course, like all things involving man, the U.S. government was born of sinful men with sinful attitudes, and nothing has changed since then. But the Bible is full of stories of God using sinful men to accomplish his not-sinful purpose (believing he is omniscient might help to explain how that is possible with free will*).

    *It is important to note that, while it is obvious that humans can make choices in their day-to-day activities, the Bible does not teach that they have “free will” to choose salvation by faith. This can be confusing to non-believers and believers alike.

    “I was just asking why it is Christians want to legislate choice.” You’ve said this before, but I’m still not sure what you’re referring to. Are you using “choice” to refer to abortion? Or are you referring to things more broadly? Anyhow, I’ll answer the question of why Christians want to make some sins illegal, assuming that’s what you were asking.

    I can’t speak for all Christians (certainly some, sadly, think that there should be a law punishing everything sinful), but we Lutherans believe that the role of civil government isn’t to enforce God’s will, but rather to keep peace (again, from Romans 13: “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”). To that end, we Christians in this society support laws that protect people from each other’s sinful behavior and allow society to flourish (e.g. against murder, theft, etc.). These laws will reflect, in part, God’s will, but only because it is God’s will that we live in such a society.

    “If it’s up to God, why not just leave it up to God?” Well, the question then becomes, what is “it”? The spreading of the good news of salvation from sins in Jesus’s atoning death is a job given (by God) to the Church, not the government. The maintaining of a peaceful society is given (by God) to the government, not the church. And the saving of people and the ordering of the world is God’s alone. I’m not sure if I actually answered your question or not with that.

    In summary, as Christians, we support those laws that will keep a peaceful society. Of course, the minimal set of those laws is rather on the libertarian side of things. As citizens, we may desire more laws on top of that, depending on our own preferences. Did that help?

  • Michael the little boot

    tODD,

    Yes, thank you, that did help! Very illuminating.

  • Michael the little boot

    tODD,

    Yes, thank you, that did help! Very illuminating.

  • Michael the little boot

    tODD,

    Oh, and you didn’t sound like you thought I was trying to trap you. I’m just afraid I come off that way…AND I think I may actually have tried to trap people here in the past…trying to reform my ways…

  • Michael the little boot

    tODD,

    Oh, and you didn’t sound like you thought I was trying to trap you. I’m just afraid I come off that way…AND I think I may actually have tried to trap people here in the past…trying to reform my ways…

  • Michael the little boot

    Ryan @ 64,

    Thank you for the thorough review of your personal views on free will and on the “who sets the limits” question. You stated things very clearly (and, if you’ve noticed, I don’t mind lengthy responses! :) ).

    I like that you qualified “My personal morality is framed then from the Christian Bible” with “(though its not that simple since which OT laws apply and which to do not?).” That is something with which I think many people in your faith struggle. It’s not necessarily appropos of the discussion, so I won’t ask you to explore the issue; but it’s very interesting! Thank you for bringing it up.

  • Michael the little boot

    Ryan @ 64,

    Thank you for the thorough review of your personal views on free will and on the “who sets the limits” question. You stated things very clearly (and, if you’ve noticed, I don’t mind lengthy responses! :) ).

    I like that you qualified “My personal morality is framed then from the Christian Bible” with “(though its not that simple since which OT laws apply and which to do not?).” That is something with which I think many people in your faith struggle. It’s not necessarily appropos of the discussion, so I won’t ask you to explore the issue; but it’s very interesting! Thank you for bringing it up.

  • http://www.legalx.net Andrew William

    I can’t speak for all Christians (certainly some, sadly, think that there should be a law punishing everything sinful), but we Lutherans believe that the role of civil government isn’t to enforce God’s will, but rather to keep peace (again, from Romans 13: “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.
    =====================================
    Andrew William

    california dui

  • http://www.legalx.net Andrew William

    I can’t speak for all Christians (certainly some, sadly, think that there should be a law punishing everything sinful), but we Lutherans believe that the role of civil government isn’t to enforce God’s will, but rather to keep peace (again, from Romans 13: “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.
    =====================================
    Andrew William

    california dui


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