Our latest war is now illegal

The War Powers Act allows presidents to launch hostilities at their discretion, but they must receive the concurrence of Congress (to which the Constitution gives the authority to declare war) within 60 days.  If that doesn’t happen, the president has 30 additional days to end the hostilities.   The clock ran out on our war against ISIL on November 6.

President Obama is invoking the authority previously granted to fight the War in Iraq, but legal authorities question its applicability, since that war has been declared over and much of the fighting against ISIL is taking place in Syria.  But he could certainly make a good case for fighting those monstrous terrorists.  So why doesn’t he?

I suspect that neither the lame duck Congress with the Democratic Senate or the incoming Republican legislative branch wants anything to do with this issue.  This leaves the President to, once again, rule by decree. [Read more...]

The first New Class president

Sociologist Peter Berger discusses the Houston mayor subpoening sermons (which have been cancelled, by the way), the progression of punishment for those who do not agree with gay sex, and President Obama as the first president from the “new class”  (the elite social class that trades in information rather than tangible goods). [Read more...]

Pastors defying the IRS by politicking from the pulpit

More and more pastors are endorsing particular candidates from the pulpit, purposefully defying the IRS law for non-profit tax-exempt organizations.  So far the IRS is ignoring the violations, but the pastors are goading the agency by sending it tapes of their sermons.

Is this a violation of Romans 13?  Also, under Romans 13, shouldn’t churches just pay taxes, thus preserving their ability to preach whatever they want?  Or can you make a case for this kind of civil disobedience?  There is also, of course, the theological issue of what is supposed to be preached from the pulpit–namely, Christ and Him crucified for sinners, as opposed to worldly powers and principalities.  Or can you give a theological reason for preaching about political candidates? [Read more...]

A 19th Century doctor who may have saved your life

Abortion, far from being a modern medical procedure, was rampant in the past, including in the 19th century.  After the jump is an interview with Frederick Dyer, the author of a biography of Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer, the physician responsible for passing anti-abortion laws.  He stopped so many abortions that, statistically, he may have saved the life of one of your ancestors, without whom you would cease to exist. [Read more...]

Non-citizens who vote illegally

Those who worry about illegal voting are often dismissed with the claim that this hardly ever happens.  A non-partisan academic study, though, finds that it does.  Specifically, it found that 14% of non-citizens are registered to vote.  In the 2008 presidential election, 6.4% of the non-citizens here illegally voted.  In the 2010 midterm election, the number was 2.2%.

Furthermore, the study found that 80% of these illegal voters cast their ballots for Democrats, which made the difference in several close elections, including the one that gave the Democrats their 60th vote in the Senate, thwarting the possibility of a filibuster on Obamacare.  But voter ID laws don’t make much difference.  Most of these illegal voters have government-issued IDs. [Read more...]

Must wedding chapel ministers perform gay weddings?

A wedding chapel is not a church, though ordained ministers often preside at the marriages.  Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is insisting that two ministers who work for a wedding chapel must perform gay marriages.  If they don’t, they will be in violation of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance, which means a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and fines of $1,000 per day.

So should a church exemption apply to a minister without a congregation?  Or should religious exemptions apply to individuals regardless of affiliation? [Read more...]


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