Yesterday in a post by Melissa Clouthier, whom many of you know as @MelissaTweets on Twitter, she discussed the “needless division between social cons and fiscal cons”. Clouthier believes that the 60 new congressmen and six new senators that make up the new conservative entrants into Congress are already finding areas within the Republican agenda to disagree with rather than coming together to fight against liberals and progressives. Clouthier points to an article in Politico in which the GOProud and some tea party leaders have called for Republicans to focus only on fiscal issues and leave the social issues at home for another day
Clouthier proposes the question, “Does this mean that the majority of Republicans or even Independents no longer care about social issues like abortion and gay marriage?” She says no. But she goes on to list several reasons why many do not want social issues at the forefront of any discussion in Congress at the moment.
She lists the following, and I respond to each:
1) “If the country goes belly up, the social issues become moot.”
This just doesn’t make any sense. I’m not quite sure what world an individual lives where they believe that social issues are no longer important just because there are economic hardships. We can look back to many times in our countries history in which social issues were still fundamentally important even in times of strife or struggle. Consider the foundations of our country. When Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence the focus of this declaration was to establish liberty and freedom from tyranny from the British Empire. The states at this point in time existed under the harsh thumb of taxation and the watchful eye of British troops. The main point of the Declaration of Independence and what the representatives from each state as a whole were uniting together for was to establish independence from this foreign power. And yet one of the main struggles in writing the document for Jefferson was the social issue of slavery.
2) “Social issues serve to divide in a time when the American populace needs to be united against an overreaching government.”
This is true…well the back bit. The current administration of the United States along with the actions of Congress are overreaching. The government is spending more money than they take in and they are taking on responsibilities they were never intended to take on and spending tax money on programs that they were never empowered to create.
We know that the government is acting in a far-reaching manner because the creator of the Constitution, James Madison, stated, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents”.
However at the same time the Obama administration has pushed back against social issues as well. The administration has financially supported abortion in foreign countries, has encouraged the gay agenda, has fought against traditional moral values, and spit in the face of the fact that our country was very much founded as a Christian nation. Part of the very definition of conservative-libertarianism (Which Clouthier claims as her ideology, as do I.) is that the individual who holds that ideology is an individual who finds that there is tension between liberty and morality. The very nature of the conservativism within conservative-libertarianism is to maintain a strong belief in traditional moral and family values.
I hold that an individual who is willing to throw away part of their ideology to fight for another part of their ideology never held true to the first part to begin with. You cannot simply put on speckled glasses and focus on one sector in which the Obama administration and current Congress have been detrimental. The administration and out-going Congress have rendered havoc in both fiscal and social arenas. Why in the world would we as conservatives allow our fundamental principles and beliefs to be trampled on for the sake of money. Because in the end, that is exactly what we are doing. I will not apologize for the statement and belief that moral social values are the bedrock of society. I have no desire to be fiscally rich and morally bankrupt.
3) “Limiting the government necessarily also means stopping the funding to egregious socially repugnant issues.”
Clouthier’s third point is abstract. She isn’t wrong but she isn’t right either. You can limit the funding of “egregious socially repugnant issues” (By the way I love your phrasing of that Melissa!) and it will deal with many social issues via limiting or stopping the funding that backs certain social programs. However not all social issues are social programs just like not all social programs have anything to do with social issues. So limiting or stopping funding for certain programs is not the end-all be-all solution for social issues.
Her example of Gov. Christie’s defunding abortion clinics in New Jersey as solely a fiscal policy solution just doesn’t work either. You can paint a white horse black but that still doesn’t make it a black horse. Christie is dealing with social issues. Just because he dealt with it via fiscal means through rescinding funding does not mean that he was not dealing with a social issue.
Now don’t get me wrong, Melissa Clouthier is a fine conservative-libertarian. But I think that she missed the boat on this one. I did not send my representatives to Washington to have my ideology represented in part. I want my representatives to be debating and discussing the issues, all the issues. I want them debating social issues. There is nothing wrong with debate and discourse. Additionally, there is nothing even remotely insinuating that debate and discourse over social issues will prevent a conservative representative or senator from carrying out their due diligence when it comes to fiscal issues. There is no evidence, especially considering that none of these rookies have even taken a step into the halls of Congress, that they will not be able to deal with social issues and deal with fiscal issues at the same time.
Finally, someone please explain to me when we would get back to social issues if we put them on hold? Who decides when the economy is back on track? How good would it have to be? And who would decide what is good? Who is the almighty and ubiquitous voice we trust to say, “Okay everyone, we have now won the fiscal battle in Washington, it’s now okay to start discussing and defending social issues”. The idea is ridiculous. Getting fiscal issues “right” in D.C. could be a 20 year battle, conservative majority or not. And who decides what “right” is? Let’s also bare in mind that conservatives don’t totally agree on how to get fiscal problems solved either.
Fiscal issues are “how issues” and how issues will always exist and those problems will always need to be solved. Social issues are “why issues” and why issues will always be questioned and debated. You cannot put social issues on hold in the legislature anymore than it would be possible to decide that our country would put fiscal issues on hold and reserve that time to discuss social issues.
Around 325 A.D. (or C.E.) Constantine convened the First Council of Nicaea which brought together 1800 Bishops from all over Christendom to hammer out some differences in doctrine between the myriad Christian groups at that time. One of the results of such deliberation included the date of the holiday we celebrate today (both Eastern and Western branches), although those of us in the Western church follow according to the Gregorian calendar while our brethren in the Eastern Church follow the Julian calendar. This year and next year we are fortunate to share the same date, as I told my father on the phone; “the theological planets aligned this year.”
Another topic of discussion at the First Council of Nicaea was Jesus’ relation to God the Almighty. Was Jesus the Son of God, as we are all children of God? Was Jesus one with God, the manifestation of the Word in our material world? The Gnostics went with the former while the rest of Christendom continued with the latter (I say continued because some people have been sadly persuaded by subpar research and popular culture novels like Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code that it was at this time that Jesus’ divinity was established, which is false as many sects of Christian faith believed in the divinity of Christ). Christian doctrine was solidified, and the standard bearer for Christian belief remains to be the Nicene Creed in which it is declared:
…We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made….
History progressed and Christians went forth and multiplied, spreading the word of revealed religion to many corners of the world. In the northern expanses of Europe, however, they ran into difficulties trying to get many of the Europeans (Germanic and Nordic mainly) to relinquish their “old superstitions” which consisted of numerous pagan beliefs. Instead of forcing people to convert through force (although I am nearly certain violence broke out from time to time), Bishops and Priests tried to win over the local populations by synthesizing Christian celebrations and feasts with pagan ones. Easter was a celebration of life of life for pagans; it was a time when the death of winter was overcome by the warmth of spring. Previously dead plants sprang to life, barren lands sprang to life with vibrant colors, the world seemed to have been resurrected. It is very apropos that Europeans celebrate life through Jesus, right? Now pagans could continue to celebrate life through nature while taking into consideration life above nature. Pagan belief inherently binds people to nature, while Judeo-Christian (including Muslim) belief transcends nature and looks to the “Creator of Heaven and Earth,” of the material and immaterial. Surely that trumped the pagans’ hand.
In the end, the Easter celebration is about life. We are given it, we take it for granted, it does not last forever, and we are not guaranteed a good one in this world. Nevertheless, it happens and it kills us (at least it used to) not knowing why or for what purpose. Here we are in this material world, and according to Christian belief our God came into this world as man only to die and return to His throne. The reason for His sacrifice is our salvation, so that we may leave eternally. We are guaranteed through this sacrifice life in this world and the next. An amazing concept, and there is no greater demonstration of love than the sacrifice Jesus gave to save humankind. Furthermore, Christ defeated death. He died so that we may live; he rose on the third day and ascended into heaven. Today billions of people around the world celebrate the everlasting life that was given to them through love and sacrifice; and those who do not are still celebrating their life by living it anyway. Whether we are of nature or we transcend nature, we still live this life and should be thankful to that. Happy Easter!
Happy Easter, and God Bless. The Lord has risen today, and Death has been defeated for all time. May we look beyond politics; beyond what we want; and beyond the perceived flaws of others and remember to serve the one and only God. May He bless you, your families and your friends, and may He watch over those who cannot be with their families today, especially those serving overseas.
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then theother disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the scripture that He had to rise from the dead.
Earlier today, I wrote a post on RightOSphere going after Democrats for not supporting the DC Opportunity Scholarship. It was sharp- though, perhaps backwards in style from the proper inverted pyramid- sincere and hard-hitting. However, it was a struggle to get it written and posted.
Partly, it’s the awful allergies wracking my body. Partly, it’s the fact that I’m tired of not having a job. Partly, it’s the fact that I don’t have a regular schedule, so I’m going stir-crazy. Partly, it’s that I haven’t slept well or much for the last four or five nights. Mostly, though, it’s the fact that the health care bill passed on Sunday and signed by the president today is going to sink this country into even more debt that it will never pay back.
Some are optimistic- we can turn this thing back, repeal it, etc. However, I think David Frum’s opening points here, and Mark Steyn’s entire column earlier this month, are more accurate. Namely, this is going nowhere, and it will badly hurt this country.
Please tell me I’m wrong. Please tell me that fighting against cap-and-trade, burdensome financial regulations, working on the Hill for the conservative movement and fighting to save the unborn is worth it. Because right now, it seems hopeless. As Steyn put it:
Because it’s worth it. Big time. I’ve been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible. In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally “conservative” parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect (Let’s not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a “conservative”).
The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.
Republicans are good at keeping the seat warm. A bigtime GOP consultant was on TV, crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass Obamacare because it’s so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November.
The left has ruined this country and, along with it, created an environment where a center-right country like America can’t even slow down our rampant red ink and dependency, never mind end it. 2012 is conservatism’s last shot. Should it fail, should we fail, we might as well kiss America goodbye.
The New Hampshire Union Leader named my little sister to the New Hampshire Top 40 Under 40. She is only 20 years old. You can see the article and her picture here (you’ll have to click through the other winners to find her, unfortunately- her name is Katie Rose). Her website can be seen here. I encourage people to visit and listen to her song samples. Then, of course, buy her CDs. Her first published CD is full of covers from other singers, including Garth Brooks, the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett and Jewel. Her second is all of her own music, including one she sang last year at a Breast Cancer walk and she will sing this year at Breast Cancer walks all over New Hampshire.
I don’t mean to dwell on such minutiae, really. However, considering the amount of flack that Former President Bush (43) received over how he pronounced “nuclear,” in what can be considered journalistic fairness, we will look into the same matter with current President Obama.
Some people have difficulties framing certain words a certain way (which tends to be the way others may pronounce them). Sometimes we just can’t seem to get a word right because of our speaking abilities, our accents, or perhaps a good old fat tongue. This can lead to real problems for some people, just ask the Ephraimites in the Book of Judges:
In the story, two Semitic tribes, the Ephraimites and the Gileadites, have a great battle. The Gileadites defeat the Ephraimites, and set up a blockade across the Jordan River to catch the fleeing Ephraimites who were trying to get back to their territory. The sentries asked each person who wanted to cross the river to say the word shibboleth. The Ephraimites, who had no sh sound in their language, pronounced the word with an s and were thereby unmasked as the enemy and slaughtered. (The Story of Shibboleth)
I would recommend that you go to a number of your friends, and hear which ones properly pronounce the month Fe-brew-air-ee instead if Fe-byou-air-ee. So picking on people for pronouncing words is a bit childish, but the left made it a part time occupation during Bush’s eight years, as did popular shows like my two personal favorites The Simpsons and Family Guy. This all tied into the “Bush is Stupid” mantra, and Bush supporters gritted their teeth and said “back off” or perhaps even joined in on the linguistic fun.
Slate.com’s Kate Taylor wrote an article entitled “Why Does Bush Go Nucular?” in which she gives a half-hearted defense of the President’s pronunciation of the word:
When speaking about nuclear weapons, George W. Bush invariably pronounces the word “nucular.” Is this an acceptable pronunciation?
Not really. Changing “nu-clee-ar” into “nu-cu-lar” is an example of what linguists call metathesis, which is the switching of two adjacent sounds. (Think of it this way: “nook le yer” becomes “nook ye ler.”) This switching is common in English pronunciation; you might pronounce “iron” as “eye yern” rather than “eye ron.”
Some of us here at thelobbyist were interested in helping spread the word about what all of us can do to help with relief aid.
You can also join the A Million Dollars For Haiti Facebook group created by dustin siggins and sponsored by thelobbyist here.
During Katrina and the Asian Tsunami disaster the top three supporters via money and teams on the ground were:
The Red Cross – Direct link to donation information.
The Salvation Army – This is their blog with constant updates on how to donate with links.
Baptist Global Response – This links to all resources and information for donations via the Southern Baptist Conventions Global Response Team. This was one of the first teams into Haiti out of Florida.
Faith Based Organizations
Samaritan’s Purse – Links straight to donation form.
Catholic Relief Services - This links to CRS’ front page blog with updated information for donations and action relief.
Compassion International – Information about the children of Haiti.
thelobbyist does not endorse donations to the U.S. government, the Haiti government, or the United Nations because of out flowing evidence this week that corrupt officials have been squandering and stealing resources sent to Haiti in recent months.
During the course of the Christmas weekend the only thing that saturated the air more than warm Christmas blessings was perhaps the cold snow in many of the mid-western states. Online friends’ statuses capitulated Yuletide greetings on Facebook; but there was one status that you just looked at and could not help but feel a sense of awe.
God, with us.
Three simple words that reverberate in the breasts of Christians around the world. Providence gracing the world which He created, born of a virgin, and knowing ultimately that He will pay through material life, for the non-material salvation of mankind. How can you not be bewildered by such a premise, or completely awestruck by the ramifications of such a tale?
Of course, there are myriad people who are quick on the draw when it comes to the arguments over the level of “Pagan influence” in our modern Christmas celebration, or the fact that technically Christ was not born on the day during which we celebrate his birth. Let us not over complicate this current discussion by throwing all of these ingredients into the Christmas stew; but rather, it should behoove us to truly appreciate how all of these small contributions have helped to create what we understand as an almost universal meaning for Christmas. The reason why we celebrate Christmas is articulated so beautifully and concisely through the solemn whispering of those three words: God, with us.
Whether or not you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Deist or even atheist, it is important and proper for us to understand the significance of this celebration for Christians. God among man, of flesh and blood. Whether or not you believe that this was the case should be set aside, and for this moment in our lives we can reflect on the importance of such a man in history, or such a God among us.