Last week GOP senatorial candidate for Missouri Todd Akin found himself at the center of a media firestorm due to a very inappropriate choice of words he made. He had been questioned about his prolife position on abortion policy, with particular emphasis placed on the hard cases, such as rape.
Akin replied that in cases of “legitimate rape” he thought the woman has a natural defense system that prevents her from becoming impregnated. This reply was so bad it actually made vice president Joe Biden look articulate in comparison.
Not surprisingly the Democrat Party has jumped all over this, using it to characterize not only Akin, but the entire Republican Party, as conducting a “war on women” via its “extreme” prolife position.
The reaction of the Republican establishment was immediate and categorical. Akin’s statement does not represent the beliefs of the Republican Party and he must resign his race immediately.
The ironic thing here is that the Dems themselves reportedly pumped $1 Million dollars into the Republican primary race in order to get Akin nominated, because they believed he would be their most vulnerable opponent. It seems their investment has paid off in spades.
But back to the issue at the center of this maelstrom, it seems quite clear that Akin’s “legitimate rape” remark was an extremely off-base way to say that the woman’s body in unable to conceive when rapes involve a lot of fear. Biologically ignorant? Yes, it is. I don’t know much about Akin, but if this was not simply a slip, and he is habitually this misinformed or inarticulate, that should factor heavily into whether someone would want to vote for him to be a US senator.
But two thing bothers me about the way this has played out. First is the level of demagoguery that has gone into this. Belief that a fear factor would play into the possibility of a woman conceiving is entirely understandable, if statistically wrong. And yet Akin’s slip has become the major meme of the Democrats this election season, with them even switching their national convention’s main theme to it.
Doesn’t this seem excessive? Women in general are at least as prolife as the general population. Romney has explicitly endorsed rape and incest exceptions, while the Republican platform calls for a human life amendment, and doesn’t mention exceptions for rape or incest, on the theory that granularity belongs to the states.
The other thing that bothers me is the completeness of the Republican establishment’s abandonment of Akin. Romney has chosen a fiscal warrior and reformer, Paul Ryan, to be his vice presidential running mate. In doing so he has signaled that he is going to make this campaign about substantive issues, and that he intends to get down to the business of making America work again should he become president. He has faced “third-rail” issues such as Medicare head-on. Predictably, he was met with demagoguery, but he has not flinched, and I would say he is prevailing and is turning the issue back on the Dems, to their great distress. Even seniors, who Democrats claim have the most to lose, are heavily endorsing Romney and his Medicare plan.
And yet on the Akin issue, Romney and company have kowtowed to political correctness. I can understand the pressure to do so. They already have been taking withering fire from the media and from Obama’s smear campaign, so I’m sure they didn’t want any more. Nonetheless I think it is a mistake to have capitulated so quickly, without parsing the issue and separating Akin’s error from his intent.
If Akin proves himself to be a capable candidate (as polls might be indicating now) and worthy of a seat in the Senate, I think the Pubs should get behind him again. If his slip is characteristic of him, then I do think he should step aside. We have about four weeks before the cut-off date for the Party to appoint a replacement.
The Dems and the media have used political correctness to chill free speech for too long. If we are going to survive as a free nation, we will need to confront and defeat that beast. Romney and Ryan have shown a lot of courage so far, regarding fiscal matters. It has served them well and I wish them well. We need the same kind of courage with regard to social issues. I believe on this issue they have fallen short.
The video above shows raw emotional pain. I could have chosen worse, but I wanted only to convey the distress our brothers are in without exalting the power of the enemy. As it is, it is hard enough to take.
The two year old “Arab Spring” was much-heralded in the western press. It began in Tunisia, which is ironically one of the less oppressive Arab nations, when a street merchant immolated himself to protest government corruption. Such is the human thirst for freedom. These people have access to the Internet now, and they see how westerners live. How you gonna keep them down on the farm?
For many years whenever I would hear that a nation didn’t have the cultural underpinnings for democracy, I thought that was absurd. Self determination is hard-wired in our psyche, I reasoned. But I was naïve of spiritual strongholds that repress truth and freedom. Since then I’ve learned the bitter truth.
As I studied the history and foundations of Islam, I became aware that the faith was spread by the sword and does not support precious rudiments that we take for granted, such as freedom of conscience and of worship, and even the most basic human rights.
Islam has the middle east in a vise, and its grip is tightening. When Mubarak was deposed in Egypt, we were told democratic elections would ensue, and human rights would be the top priority. The Muslim Brotherhood promised it would not field a candidate for the presidency. But it did, and won. He had promised he would appoint a Christian and a woman as vice presidents. That promise was forgotten, as a fellow traveler Islamist was instead chosen. And quickly, president Morsi has deposed the secular generals and replaced them with Islamists. The Islamic takeover of Egypt is nearly complete (parliament is disbanded, all that remains it to pack the judiciary). It was done in a few short weeks, without a shot being fired. The goal is to impose Islamic law on the nation, in preparation for the dominating worldwide caliphate rule the Muslims hope for.
In all this, the Copts have been severely distressed, being outnumbered 9 to 1 by Muslims. With all Mubarak’s faults, at least under him the Copts had some minimal protection. Now they have virtually none. Every day they are driven out of their homes, they are killed, their daughters are abducted. The police could hardly care less. There is no one to turn to. Egypt is on its way to becoming another Pakistan.
Who will help? Obama? He’s the one who let the Iranian patriots twist in the wind when we had a golden chance to get rid of the worst regime on the face of the earth at minimal cost. He’s the one who occupies himself with celebrating Islamic feasts in the White House, and apologizing for America to the Muslims on their soil before he was even inaugurated, and who couldn’t bother to fill the post of advocate for religious rights for two years. Look at what this Christianity-professing man does, not what he says.
The Copts seem to be on their own. Most of those who can are leaving Egypt. The rest are stuck.
All I can say is that we need to hold these people in our hearts before the Lord. For as the Bible says, we too are “in the body”, as susceptible to abuse as are they. I look at the current scene and I marvel at how much has changed since my early days. I never would have thought American society would become so morally dumbed-down, hardened and coarse; that the media and all our institutions would become so cravenly biased against truth and human rights, the very foundations of our freedoms. But it is indeed upon us.
If we don’t turn this thing around very soon, it will be too late. As the beneficiaries of free will, God let’s us have our way when we insist. But we do not get to separate consequences from choices. We have fallen to this low estate because as a nation we have spit in God’s face. It has been a progression for many decades, but it has been accelerating more and more, until now we are almost out of control. We are falling apart on the inside, and cannot stand before our enemies on the outside. The Bible word for that is judgment. It may be reversible, but the window for doing so is open only for a short time.
One very ugly story today in the Guardian. It’s ugly in two ways: first, for the story that is told, and second, for the way that story is told.
The story is that minorities are alleging a massive attempt to deprive them of the vote. The way it’s told is that the leftist Guardian first trumps up the allegations with hyperbolic rhetoric, assuming they are all true, and then gives only a thin gruel of substantiation at the end, after the reader already has been programmed. Classic manipulation of public opinion.
You will recall that certain political elements – read, Democrats catering to their special interest groups – have consistently resisted commonsense attempts to protect the integrity of the vote in America. You can hardly make a large purchase without a corroborating photo ID, but somehow requiring this level of validation is construed as being antithetical to our personal freedoms when used to prevent voting fraud.
So too, there has been a long history of denial of voting rights to those convicted of a felony crime. We may argue that the law should be made more flexible, but we can hardly deny that there is some basis in logic to keep those of poor character out of the voting booth.
We are in great danger of losing all confidence in our electoral system. And if that happens, then rioting begins. From buying off voters with amenities in Chicago – the city of “vote early and often” where Barack Obama learned down and dirty machine politics, to deceased voters somehow continuing to exercise the franchise, to the fraudulent registration lists of ACORN doing their work on the public dime in the name of voter participation, vote fraud has increasingly become an endemic part of the American fabric. It is a cancer eating away at the public trust, until now we barely have any.
But evidently we haven’t seen anything yet. Remember the painfully divisive aftermath to the election of 2000, when Al Gore would not let go? That will be nothing compared to the ugly racial rhetoric that’s ahead. It will be impossible to level any criticism of Barack Obama without being branded racist. I know this will happen because it already has been happening. It has happened to me, and it has probably happened to you as well.
If you search the pages of this blog you will see where I once pleaded that we inaugurate Allan West immediately. But that won’t count to exonerate me of racism because West, who is Black, is a conservative. One is considered Black by liberals only if he is liberal and accordingly endorses racial identity politics.
It’s been a great nation. We’ve had quite a run. But as Lincoln (and Jesus) warned, divided we cannot stand. Here we have identity groups going outside the country to bring external force to bear on it in order to implement their own agenda. It is widely believe that even Obama himself, the hope and change guy himself (even there I wanted to say “boy”, as I normally would colloquially do, without regard to the race of the person, but I flinched because of our supercharged racial atmosphere), is going to run an unprecedentedly divisive campaign, scorching earth in order to preserve his sinecure. This is nothing less than the potential demise of the nation, and immanently so.
While this is sad, and we should do all we can to prevent it, it presents an opportunity for the church. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and shaken we are. But this is the time to rise up and bear witness to Christ. Our power is not rooted in politics, but in the Spirit. So many people are needy, and not just financially. Families are falling apart. The world is an increasingly dangerous and evil place. Even the heralded Arab Spring is being shown to have only cleared the way for Islam to rear its ugly head. Real hope is a scarce commodity indeed. People need strength to face their challenges and live their lives.
At the same time, however, the church itself continues to be shaken, so much so that we wonder how we will be strong. There is only one answer: we must abide in the secret place of the Most High, the place of immunity. From that place of rest we will be refreshed, and the Lord’s power will be perfected in us.
Do not fret at the evil around us. The evil one is certainly having a measure of success now, but his day will come. God has not abandoned us. His hand weaves its way through history, and through our circumstances, working all things to our good (Romans 8.28). He will not be thwarted.
These are difficult times, but those who know their God will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11.32). let’s join together in prayer and keep one another strong. Christ is in our midst.
In the latest depredation by the Obama administration, Health and Human Services is proposing radical new regulations that would require private insurers – even those covering religious institutions such as churches, schools and hospitals – to fund contraceptive services with no charge or co-pay to the consumer. This ultimately forces the insurance pool to pay for these services, even when they offend the conscience of a good part of the people in that pool. Think of that when you see your skyrocketing insurance tab.
Catholics, of course, are enjoined against even simple contraception. But a little-known fact about some of the forms of contraception, in particular the ones using hormone manipulation, such as the Pill, in that they work by means of a three-stage modality. They first attempt to keep the egg from being released, and then to keep the sperm from reaching the egg, and finally, if a sperm and egg do join together, the pill makes the uterine lining inhospitable for implantation.
That is to say, that if the first two methods fail, the Pill Acts as an abortifacient.
So now, by federal decree, it will be illegal for insurance companies and medical practitioners to withhold services they find morally abhorent, and the people using them won’t have to pay a nickel for them. But the public – you and I – will.
This is the way it always is with the Left. They use the power of the state to cover over issues of individual morality, and they do it at the expense of those who do abide by moral scruples.
It’s interesting to see how Obama announced this scheme at a fundraiser:
“No longer can insurance companies discriminate against women just because you guys are the ones who have to give birth.”
At this point, a member of a laughing audience shouted out: “Darn right!”
“Darn tooting,” Obama answered back—to laughter. “They have to cover things like mammograms and contraception as preventive care, no more out-of-pocket costs.”
Obama continues to think of giving birth as a negative. When he was running for the presidency three years ago, he said that if one of his daughters got pregnant, he would not want to “punish” her by making her give birth.
Obama’s worldview was obvious to many back in ’08, and could have been to all, because the facts were out there for ready discovery should anyone have cared enough to look. But the media was in the tank for Obama and covered for him, and the people followed en masse. Since then, despite incontrovertible revelations about serious corruption within the “reproductive services” industry, Obama has stood steadfastly behind it, vigorously protecting the hundreds of millions of public dollars Planned Parenthood extracts from the American taxpayer each year.
It would be too much to expect much else from the general public at this point, but one wonders when the religious left will wake up, if ever.
It’s quite a neat scheme, really – use the power of our own government and our own money to subvert the values we believe in. And they are doing a spectacular job of it.
In the face of this, the temptation is to look to the political realm for solutions. The political realm is necessary and has its place, of course, but by itself it is wholly inadequate. Obama’s Republican challengers – those who are running, and those who are not, has been an keen object lesson in the futility of trusting in princes. The battle is the Lord’s, and if our victory is to be real, it must be won in such a way that the glory is His alone. That is why the real action in this war is the battle of faith. There isn’t a leader that can lead, or a Constitution that can protect, unless this nation exalts the Lord as God, in the daily lives of its people and in its institutions. Unless we humble ourselves before Him, we will watch every advantage, every liberty, all truth and goodness, slip away despite our best efforts.
The empty promises of statists avail nothing but more bondage. They suck the people in with their handouts, but over the long term they rob their vitality in the bargain, and make them dependant on further handouts.
It’s time for America to disavow its unwise dependence on man, and to avow again its utter reliance on the good and abundant hand of the Almighty. Let the church arise!
Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. –Hos 6.1-2
Today came the sad news that Dave Wilkerson has passed away. The short press release said that it was sudden and unexpected.
Dave influenced a lot of people, including me. When he came out with The Cross and the Switchblade, it was the first time that I heard of the Cross’s power to change lives here and now, and not merely provide for the hereafter as I had been taught. When I later reached the crisis in my life that would deliver me to God’s doorstep, that message became essential to my survival.
Years later, when I was left bruised and bleeding by my first local church, I spent a season commuting down to Wilkerson’s Times Square Church. The preaching was world class, but more importantly, the Lord met me there in a very real and tangible way at a time when I desperately needed His affirmation.
One Sunday I invited a friend down to church with me. Between services, as we walked around midtown Manhattan, we were talking about family issues. I had been sensing that the Lord was calling me out of an unhealthy family situation, and as we spoke I felt led to set out a marker. I told her that if in the evening service Wilkerson would mention the incident in which Moses instructed the Israelites to strap on a sword and run though the sinning camp, each one killing his brother, companion and neighbor (Ex 32.27), then I would know that the Lord was indeed calling me to come out to freedom.
The sermon that night had nothing to do with family or ungodly soul ties. I had almost put away my challenge to God, when suddenly Dave turned away from his prepared notes and ran a sidebar on how following Christ was more important than any human relationship, including family. This was, he said, the same God who told Moses to have the people run through the crowd and kill their own brothers. Wilkerson then returned to his prepared notes and continued on. It was an amazing moment.
Another time, the backup worship leader was leading us in worship. It was good worship, but nothing more. But at the end he simply would not quit pressing in on Heaven’s gates. We kept praising and praising, and suddenly the Spirit began to fall. At some point I fell still, and I became aware of dozens of people behind me praising in tongues. Then, to my amazement, they were all praising in tongues in unison. It probably was a miracle of hearing, similar to what happened on the first Pentecost. A rush of the Holy Spirit came over me, and I felt embraced by Father’s love.
After several months, my season at Times Square Church was over, but I always have remained thankful for the work Dave raised up, and that God met me there so powerfully at a time when I really needed it.
To this day I have subscribed to Dave’s daily devotional, and I have found it filled with deep insights that only someone deeply in love with God, and fully seasoned in both life and the Word, could give out.
Dave ran a golden race, and will receive his reward. He will be missed. Well done, faithful servant.
Update: Here’s Dave’s last devotional, When All Means Fail, and it’s one of his best. Must reading. And here’s an article on his death. He was driving and swerved into the oncoming lane. His wife Gwen was in the car, and is currently in critical condition.
And here’s Part 2 of Nicky Cruz’s testimony: