Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Stuff in the News

This pastor has wired up his sanctuary with high-speed Internet access. "The church has to move with the times and I wanted to make St John's a sanctuary for everyone, including business people with laptops and mobiles. I have no problem with people quietly sending an email or surfing the Internet in church, as long as they respect the church." Nothing like staying relevant.

Pro-family activists and Wiccans join hands. Thomas E. Jones and Tammy Bristol were "directed to take such steps as are needed to shelter Archer (their son) from involvement and observation of these non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals." The "reverend" Barry Lynn said, "This is an absurd result, because in the eyes of the law being a pagan should be no different from being a Presbyterian." Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, said, "The parents have the right to raise their child in that faith, just as I have the right to raise my child in the Christian faith." You know, in a post-modern culture Christians are allowed a seat at the table, as long as they play nice with the Druids and become, by implication, polytheists. What does the Bible say?

Deut. 12:9-12
9"When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.

Ex. 15:18
18"You shall not permit a sorceress to live.

Just when you think maybe Democrats might be more responsible than the GOP--talk about a mean feat!--Charlie Rangel says that George Bush should be impeached...over his Social Security proposals.

This teacher was charged with violating a student 100 times. Did anyone mention his "sexual orientation?"

Darth Cheney says the insurgency is in its "last throes." Perhaps the veep can explain this. Iraqi guerrillas have become increasingly active, doubling the number of attacks since April.

With things going badly in Iraq, the various branches of the armed services are having difficultly meeting recruiting goals. As a consequence, we have an unholy alliance of egalitarian liberals, radical individualist libertarians, and imperious neoconservatives arguing that we can simply meet the need by turning to homosexuals and women.

Congressman Duncan Hunter offered up an amendment to the defense bill that would have required an act of Congress each time the Army wanted to open up new positions for women in combat zones. Hunter ultimately retreated and offered a milder amendment extending the requirement that the Army notify Congress of intent to expand women's roles in combat-zone jobs from the current 30 days to 60 days.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., criticized the compromise, saying it "still greatly infringes upon the right of women to serve in combat alongside men."
"Libertarian" columnist Kathy Young (does this woman have a husband?) wrote, "The notion that women deserve special protection from violence is not just a male plot to keep women down, as many feminists charge; it is also an expression of sincere concern for women's well-being. But such chivalry is ultimately infantilizing. On the flip side, no society dedicated to the principle of fair play can demand that men treat women as equals in all other walks of life, and then tell men their lives are more expendable." Neocon imperialist Max Boot says that not only have women enhanced the military, but keeping homosexuals out of the ranks makes no sense, either. "Sooner or later," says Boot, "the U.S. military will follow the example of Australia, Britain and Israel and lift its ban on openly gay service members. In the struggle against Islamic fanatics, we can't afford to turn volunteers away." If only we could send Max to Mosul.

Christians who aren’t embarrassed by their Bibles might beg to differ with all of this nonsense and could point to numerous texts, including Deut. 22:5, where we read, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

The law obviously made reference to clothes, but the meaning is far broader. The intention is to maintain distinctions between the sexes. As R. J. Rushdoony said in commenting on the text, it “forbids imposing a man’s duties and tools on a woman, and a woman’s on a man. Its purpose is thus to maintain God’s fundamental order.” That fundamental order is hierarchical and, for lack of a better word, patriarchal, and you shouldn’t allow braying journalists to tell you otherwise.

The elimination and obliteration of distinctions between the sexes is rooted in rebellion against God’s order. Indeed, egalitarianism denies the very principle of order and attempts to arrange creation on its own terms. Equality thus becomes a philosophical and religious faith that demands the fidelity of every individual and institution.

The Scriptures are clear that there is a comprehensive pattern of differentiation between men and women. It is men who protect and lay down their lives for women, even as Christ died for the Church, and it is women who bear a responsibility as nurturers. In Joshua 1:14, we read that the “wives, young children, and livestock” of Israel remained on the other side of the Jordan River while the “fighting men” crossed the river to wage war against the Canaanites. Today, Christian men prefer to send their wives, sisters and daughters to die on foreign battlefields instead of fighting themselves.

Looks like the SBC convention is going to have to tackle the issue of public education, and role parents are to play in educating their children. Actually, I'm guessing the resolution gets buried by those unwilling to "offend."

Some time back, I reported on a study indicating that abortions had increased during the Bush presidency. It appears now that the data was incorrect. The research provided by the research arm of Planned Parenthood has made many pro-lifers feel a lot better. Baptist Press, rather than wondering if the GOP will do anything to stop the legally protected murder of unborn children, is really concerned that Howard Dean and John Kerry haven't corrected their prior statements on the matter. Keep up the good work, guys!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Morality and Foreign Policy--The Gospel According to First Things

Several articles I’ve stumbled across recently have compelled me to think about the connection between “morality” and foreign policy.

In First Things, editor Joseph Bottum tries to get to the heart of the alliance between evangelical social conservatives and foreign-policy obsessed neoconservatives. Bottum says that there is little that unites the disparate elements of the conservative coalition, except for one very curious fact:

Those who believe the murderousness of abortion to be the fundamental moral issue of our times and those who see the forceful defeat of global, anti-Western Islamicism as the most pressing political concern we face. Pro-life social conservatives and the foreign-policy neoconservatives, in other words—seem to be increasingly voting together, meeting together, and thinking together. If you want to advance the pro-life cause, you will quickly find yourself seated beside those who support an activist, interventionist, and moralist foreign policy for the United States. And, conversely, if you are serious about the war on terror, you will soon discover that you are mingling with those fighting against abortion.

Bottum says that the religious right has “grown up” since the 1970’s when “they hardly knew what the words ‘foreign policy’ meant.” Now evangelicals are at the forefront of such battles as ending international sex trafficking and other human rights abuses.

Then, of course, there is Israel. Evangelical Christians are the most vocal and fervent defenders of the Israeli state, a phenomenon that has been building for some time. Bottum says, “Perhaps it began with believers’ interest in apocalyptic biblical prophecy about the Holy Land and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. But to imagine it stops there is to ignore the Religious Right’s record in recent years on human rights and support for democratic reforms. The success of Israel—the Middle East’s only full democracy before the intervention of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq—is seen by social conservatives as a model that deserves copying.”

Bottum further proceeds to connect opposition to abortion and the imperial project: “Even if they are utterly separate philosophically, this much is true: They both require reversing the failure of nerve that has lingered in America since at least the 1970s, and success in one may well feed success in the other…A nation that cannot summon the political will to ban even one particularly gruesome form of abortion is unlikely to persevere in the grueling work of building international democracy simply because it seems the moral thing to do. And a nation that cannot bring itself to believe its founding ideals are true for others will probably prove unable to hold those ideals for itself.”

So there you have it. If you think abortion is murder, you also must be willing to go to the mat for Israel and work to universally spread America’s “founding ideals” to the four corners of the world.

Fellow Christian, are you willing to engage in the "grueling work of building international democracy" in the name of Christian morality and the Prince of Peace? If not, why not? It's all right there in Romans 13:1 ("Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God for the purpose of spreading international democracy"). Forget about taking Bibles to Beijing, Darfur, and Damasus—let alone Jerusalem--because what they really need are copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and the collected works of Martin Luther King.

More to come on Wolfowitz and Kennan. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Suffering, Part IV

I'm finally returning to the topic of suffering. If you haven't checked out the previous entries, you may want to head to those first:

The Christian and Suffering, Part I
The Cause of Suffering, Part II
On Suffering, Part III

When last I wrote on the subject, I tried to make the case that suffering is a tool used by God to cleanse His people and make them holy. It is a process of chastening.

One type of chastening is God's disciplining of His people. David, I think, serves as one such example. In Psalms 119, we read, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes." Here God uses tribulation to discipline David, so that he will hold tight to the law and statutes of God.

Second, trials can be educative. Frequently, trials occur not because of open sin or for the purpose of correction, but rather to develop spiritual graces. In his sufferings, Abraham learned how to trust God. He was weaned from the things of this world and driven to closer fellowship with God. The result is that he was reconciled to God, indeed became a “friend of God” (James 2:23).

Third, suffering can prevent us from coming to depend on our own strength. The Apostle Paul was a man who received so much revelation from God that there was clearly a danger he could become haughty and arrogant. Three times that we know of, Paul asked the Lord to remove his thorn of the flesh. He did not do so. In II Corinthians 12:7, Paul says, "And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure."

Fourth, suffering can serve as a means of purification. Though the penalty for sin has already been paid, the image of God in us has been marred. God is in the process of restoration, and sometimes restoration involves some pain (Mal. 3:3). For Israel, the exile was a form of purification. Isaiah 48:10 says, "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction." As an aside, the type of furnace referred to here is used for separation, not punishment. It is necessary for God to do a work in us by separating wheat from chaff to make us holy. As we go through the process of conforming ourselves to the image of Christ, is it reasonable to think we won’t go through any of the sufferings He did on our behalf?

Fifth, suffering can be used by God to bring about more fruit in our lives. One primary purpose of the Christian life is to bear fruit. Indeed this is a sign of our salvation, that we belong to God (John 15:2,8; Heb. 12:11).

Six, God uses suffering to perfect us. I Peter 5:10 says, "But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you." To “perfect” here means to make complete. In other words, God may use suffering to bring about spiritual maturity. To “establish” means to bring stability. Often in our lives, circumstances are the sole factor that determine our happiness or lack thereof. Through our sufferings, we can learn to depend on God, bringing a unity, integrity, stability, and happiness to our lives. We are made stronger by suffering because with each trial, the next one becomes easier as we have newfound strength in God. Again, consider the example of Abraham who had to leave his country, separate himself from Lot, wait a long time for the birth of a son, and then was asked to sacrifice Isaac. Through all these trials he became stronger in his faith.

Finally, suffering allows us to dispose of ourselves and learn to empathize with others. In our trials, we become "able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (II Cor. 1:4).

Because there are many reasons for suffering, we should be loath to pronounce judgment on our brothers and sisters. God may be correcting them, but He also may be preparing them for something great. We don’t really know exactly why it is happening. But we do know that we are commanded to comfort those who are suffering. To reach out, helping them in their sufferings, crying with them, keeping up their spirits. In doing that, we demonstrate the love of Christ and bring glory to God.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Norm Coleman, clown. I was channel-surfing last night and stumbled across these hearings and couldn't help chuckling through Galloway's demolition of the dim gentleman from Minnesota.

So have you heard that "Revenge of the Sith" is anti-Bush and anti-American? After all, Michael Medved said so! Hearing of this outrage perpetrated on good Americans by left-wing Hollywood bigots (George Lucas has an office in SAN FRANCISCO in case you aren't convinced he is evil.), I took off to see the cheesy flick and can report that Darth Vader did not, I repeat did not, have a Bush-Cheney bumper sticker on the back of his head. However, I'm pretty sure I did see Yoda sporting a very handsome Kerry-Edwards shirt at one point. And, of course, there was that scene where Michael Moore stood outside the senate attempting to cajole senators into signing up their children as storm troopers.

Paul Craig Roberts does seem to think that Dubya resembles Palpatine.

The GOP and pornographers. Well, what's the big deal? Is there a difference, really, between Mary Carey and Tom DeLay?

Over at his blog, Al Mohler upbraids faculty at Calvin College who had the temerity to voice dissent as the imperial brigade descended upon the little town of Holland, Michigan. Nearly one third of Calvin's faculty signed an open letter protesting the President's visit to the campus. Mohler says:

This is a sad spectacle and an inappropriate politicization of an academic ceremony. Without even addressing the over-the-top language and claims made in the statement [hardly worthy of serious political engagement], the protest should be an embarrassment to all who supported it. No political leader is above criticism, and President Bush's policies--like that of every President--draw both praise and lamentation. But the President of the United States is more than a political leader, he represents the nation as Chief Executive. President Bush did not go to Calvin to deliver a political speech, but to take part in a formal academic ceremony. Even the local newspaper saw the issue more clearly than the childish faculty members who staged the protest. As the paper editorialized, a graduation ceremony is no place for this kind of protest.

Mohler also was excited that the president referenced Abraham Kuyper in his speech. Al, I doubt that Mr. Bush has been intensely coming to grips with a deeper understanding of sphere sovereignty.

William Grigg addresses the statist gospel according to Hannity.

Here is more libertarian nonsense on immigration from the good folks at the otherwise helpful Independent Institute. Benjamin Powell says that there are no economic consequences to immigration:

Common complaints against immigrants are that they depress wages and take away jobs from Americans. Both claims are unfounded. Economists studying the impact of immigration have not found conclusive evidence that a larger supply of immigrant workers lowers American wages. Furthermore immigrants do not create unemployment. The total number of jobs in our economy and the size of our labor force have tracked each other closely over the last fifty years despite significant changes in immigration policy. When we have more workers, we find more jobs for them to do.

Although there is little evidence that they harm U.S. workers, immigrants do bring economic benefits. Overall gains to the U.S. economy from current immigration are estimated at about $20 billion even by critics of immigration. Some estimates are much higher. Either way, allowing more immigrants into the United States would increase these gains even more.

Of course, this is nonsense. Even if Powell is correct that immigration adds $20 billion to the economy, that amounts to a whopping $60 per person. I guess the going rate for giving up your country is pretty low these days.

Let me quote an authority, myself, to debunk the rest of this nonsense:

One myth Borjas explodes is that immigration adds substantial wealth to the American economy. In fact, as Borjas says: “All the available estimates suggest that the annual net gain is astoundingly small, less than .1% of GDP.” In real terms, that translates into approximately $10 billion dollars added to the overall economy, just $30 per person. It has also been estimated that between $6-$10 billion dollars is remitted to Mexico by immigrants working in the U.S.

But that’s not the end of the story. The relative skills and economic performance of successive waves of immigrants has continued to decline. Immigrants arriving on American shores in 1960 had more education and earned more money than natives. By 1998, the newest arrivals earned 23% less than natives. They also had acquired two fewer years of education than natives.

As low-skill immigrants have flooded the labor market, opportunities for the least skilled among us have markedly decreased and the most vulnerable Americans have seen their wages decline as a result. Indeed, Borjas estimates that immigration is responsible for half the decrease observed in the wages of high-school dropouts.

Moreover, mass immigration plays a significant part in increasing health and education costs and increasing the poverty rate, thus leading to greater intervention by the state and the demise of a free economy.

The American Psychiatric Association endorses same-sex marriage "in the interest of maintaining and promoting mental health."

Bushian Christianity

This sounds like an interesting book.

Friday, May 20, 2005

On Iraq and Filibusters

Martin Sieff, who has not yet been 'Hannitized,' says it was a baaaaad week in Iraq:

Top generals have admitted to the U.S. Congress the renewed seriousness of the Sunni Muslim insurgency there and the failure to adequately create Iraqi security forces so far. They have also openly acknowledged what Pentagon planners have quietly known for at least a year: The United States will have to maintain current troop levels, or close to them, in Iraq for years to come.

Even more ominous, Iran's foreign minister was welcomed by the new Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad -- the strongest sign yet that Iraq won't stay in Washington's pocket. This also signals the danger of a huge Iraqi Shiite reaction against U.S. forces if the United States ever clashes with Iran over its nuclear program.

...growing political ties between the Shiite political leadership in Iraq and the neighboring Islamic Republic of Iran could transform what is currently at worst a holding situation in Iraq and make it dire.

For they open the possibility that if the U.S. confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program escalates into pre-emptive U.S. or U.S.-approved Israeli air strikes against Iranian nuclear installations, or if, even worse, U.S.-backed insurgents try and topple the Islamic Republic, then the mainstream Shiites in Iraq could rapidly be radicalized against U.S. forces in their country.

In that case, the security challenges facing U.S. and allied forces would vastly become exponentially worse than they are now.

The worsening situation in Iraq, overshadowed by the news that Larry King wasn't allowed to testify in the Michael Jackson case, is further demonstrated by the fact that US officials are stepping up American involvement to create a more "inclusive" government:

Facing an intensifying insurgency and a frail government in Baghdad, the Bush administration has reluctantly changed course to deepen its involvement in the process of running Iraq.

U.S. officials are taking a more central and visible role in mediating among political factions, pushing for the government to be more inclusive and helping resuscitate public services. At the same time, Washington is maintaining pressure on Iraqi officials to upgrade the nation's fledgling security forces.

With talk of civil war in the air, the media continues to ignore the Downing Street memo and other evidence that the fix was in on Iraq.

The lies used to drag our slumbering nation into war are in fact just one more example of the real character of George Bush. Likewise, the reluctance of the American media to discuss the administration's continuing, unceasing duplicity is, as Ivan Eland has written, one more piece of evidence that the public has accepted the Imperial Presidency.

So the president dragged the country into a war that has left tens-of-thousands of dead Iraqis, 1,600 dead American soldiers, a decimated Christian community in Iraq, and cost $300 billion. And, of course, there is no end in sight. Just think, all of this was done to hand the country to Iran-sympathizing Shiites. A strategic and moral victory if ever there was one.

Meanwhile, what are Christian activists concerned about? The judicial filibuster, naturally. Today, I received the following email from Citizen Link, an arm of James Dobson's Focus on the Family:

Word out of Washington, D.C., in the last hour is that a
"compromise" deal is close to being finalized that would
allow Democrats to continue hijacking the Constitution by
filibustering any judicial nominee whose views they

One of the chief architects of the deal is Sen. Lindsey
Graham, R-S.C. -- and he needs to hear from thousands of
Americans RIGHT NOW that all attempts to broker such a
deal must be stopped. The GOP leadership has come up with
a sensible plan to restore Senate tradition by returning
to 51 the number of votes needed to confirm a judicial
nominee -- and that's the plan Graham and his colleagues
should support.

Please take a moment -- no matter what state you live in
-- to call as many of Sen. Graham's office numbers below
as you can and relay this message: "No backroom deals with
the liberals that would allow more judicial filibusters in
the future. Support the constitutional option to end the
Democrats' unprecedented filibuster of President Bush's
nominees to the federal bench. It's the right thing to

Dobson and his colleagues are evidently real concerned that those nasty Commie-lovin' Democrats want to keep two of the emperor’s agents off the court. After all, our boys are dyin’ over in IIIIraq so that Priscilla Owen can have an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor—or it’s got something to do with making the world safe for Ariel Sharon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Bush Doctrine and Illiberal Democracy

In a "Foreign Affairs" essay several years ago, Fareed Zakaria identified a rising trend whereby democratically elected governments routinely deprived citizens of basic rights and liberties. Democracy, Zakaria said, was increasingly "producing centralized regimes, the erosion of liberty, ethnic competition, conflict, and war." Gee, sounds like a Middle Eastern country that shall remain nameless.

In his zeal to rid the world of evil, Mr. Bush has given us the "Bush Doctrine," which formalized as policy the notion of "pre-emptive war." According to the "National Security Strategy of the United States of America," pre-emptive military strikes could be justified if the US or its allies were threatened by "terrorists" or by "rogue states" that are engaged in the production of "weapons of mass destruction."

Since there were neither terrorists nor WMDs in Iraq, one must conclude that imposing “democratic values” at the point of a bayonet is another component of the Bush Doctrine. (For one egregious and outrageous defense of such nonsense, read this essay posted on Alan Keyes' website. Despicable!) Speaking at his inaugural address, Mr. Bush said, "it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

In an earlier speech, the president said, "With the power and resources given to us, the United States seeks to bring peace where there is conflict, hope where there is suffering, and liberty where there is tyranny."

Wow, sounds like we are going be busy.

But what will the consequences of worshipping at the democratist altar be to American strategic interests? Here I think Zakaria's discussion of illiberal democracy comes into play. If one examines the Middle East with any care, I'm not certain numerous Jeffersonians will rush to the fore.

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom indicated that Abbas should prevent Hamas from participating in upcoming parliamentary elections or, failing that, delay the vote to give the Palestinian Authority more time to "persuade" voters to reject the group's candidates. Recent elections in various Palestinian municipalities demonstrated the popularity of Hamas. Likewise, candidates supported by conservative clerics swept local elections in Saudi Arabia. One wonders if Wahabbi clerics and Hamas leaders will produce their own version of the "Federalist Papers" in the near future.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, the original laboratory for the twin Bush Doctrines of pre-emption and democratism, the country is on the brink of civil war and rife with ethnic and religious strife.

Pat Lang, the former top Middle East intelligence official at the Pentagon, said "It's just political rhetoric to say we are not in a civil war. We've been in a civil war for a long time." Indeed, even moderate Sunnis now see little hope in cooperating with the "democratically elected" Shiite regime. Ethnic and religious lines are beginning to harden, and American troops are caught in the crossfire.

"I believe democracy can take hold in parts of the world that have been condemned to tyranny," said Mr. Bush, in an interview just prior to his inauguration. "And I believe when democracies take hold, it leads to peace. That's been the proven example around the world. Democracies equal peace."

"Gentleman may cry peace, peace, but there is no peace." Indeed, the Bush Doctrine has spawned perpetual "multi-generational" war in the name of perpetual peace.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


If you haven't been reading "The American Conservative," you've been missing great pieces like this.

Stephen Baskerville argues that no-fault divorce has proven to be an attack on family viability that has largely criminalized private life by putting the power of the state in the corner of whichever parent, usually the mother, wants to dissolve a family. The surge in divorce and unmarried childbearing have political consequences and serve as an engine for the intervention of the state into private life, opening family life to unprecedented state control.

Here is a bizarre editorial from the NY Times defending the creation of chimeras, or animal-human hybrids for the purpose of "science." The Times says, "We are already partly down the path of mixing human and animal cells or organs. Although it once seemed odd and unsettling, no one worries much anymore about transplanting pig valves into human hearts or human fetal tissue into mice. The key reason may be that these manipulations don't visibly change the fundamental nature of either the human or the animal." I don't expect editorialists at the Times to give much thought to Imago Dei, but maybe these jokers could read "Frankenstein," or at least rent the movie. The editorial concludes on this note: "Research that some consider scary today may be required by regulators tomorrow." Sounds like Berlin, circa 1935.

Over at Chronicles, Tom Fleming discourses on the ideology of Western suicide:

In the United States, the President makes grandiose speeches about waging a “War on Terror,” but leading members of his own party have been subsidized by the Albanian terrorists in Kosovo, and one of the dominant conservative leaders in the Republican Party, Grover Norquist, has forged an alliance with Islamic groups that have transparent ties to terrorist organizations. Karl Rove says publicly that Norquist has done nothing wrong. Echoing Gertrude Stein, Rove dismisses the scandal with the quip, “There’s no there there.” This is like the child who hears a burglar and pulls the covers over his eyes. Until American Christians learn to deny their votes to any party or politician who collaborates with jihadists, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

Allegedly, the American economy is humming along, with 274,000 jobs created in April. Of those jobs, 256,000 were in the private sector. Paul Craig Roberts breaks down the figures: "58,000 in leisure and hospitality (primarily restaurants and bars), 47,000 in construction, 29,200 in wholesale and retail trade, 28,000 in health care and social assistance, 17,300 in administrative and support services (primarily temps), 11,700 in transportation and warehousing, 8,800 in real estate. A few scattered jobs in other service categories completes the picture." To make the figures even more dire, 60% of new service jobs are going to Hispanics. It is a recurring theme in Roberts' writings that the economic climate has changed dramatically due to the collapse of socialism and the rise of new technologies: "The collapse of world socialism and the rise of the high speed Internet forced Americans to compete head to head in the same global labor market with low wage foreign labor working with identical capital and technology. When US and European corporations move their manufacturing, research and development offshore or contract with offshore producers to supply the products and services that they market, the jobs and associated incomes are also transferred abroad." Caught up in the free-trade delusion, economists are unable to see that outsourcing is not just a manifestation of the Ricardian theory of comparative advantage, but will ultimately hollow out our economy: "The substitution of foreign labor for American labor allows executives to reduce costs and increase profits, thus producing large bonuses for themselves and capital gains for shareholders. The long run effect, however, is to destroy the US consumer market and to reduce US corporations to a brand name with a sales force selling foreign made products to Americans employed in third world jobs."

I've been interested for some time in thinking about how the state encourages licentiousness as a means of social control. I've been reading a book by theologian R. J. Rushdoony on the creeds and councils of the early church. In a chapter of forgiveness, Rushdoony says:

The gospel of the tyrant state becomes the assertion that liberty is license to sin, and slavery is the liberty of moral self-government. In every such state, the courts and schools decree and interpret liberty as freedom from morality. The people are deluded into believing they are more free people because they now possess a license to fornicate, to commit adultery, indulge in perversions freely, and read pornography. Meanwhile, as the people wallow in the “new freedom,” the state rapidly extends its powers over the people, over family life, economics, education, business, labor, and agriculture, over the churches, art, science, and all things else.

Rushdoony argues that political saviors want to perpetuate rather than eliminate sin, because sin is an instrument of political power. Additionally, a moralistic religion is necessary to perpetuate the regime so that men are racked by guilt and more easily manipulated. Without a means of alleviating guilt, i.e., forgiveness, men are in bondage to their conscience. Such men lack the moral courage to make a stand against injustice. Rushdoony says, "For a sinner to war against sin is comparable to warring against himself. As a result, a corrupt people will indulge in complaints against tyranny but will be impotent in combating it.” So the battle against statism must first be waged from our pulpits, where we must preach a Gospel that liberates rather then enslaves and live in the freedom that Christ died to give us.

Looks like the Washington Post is finally getting around to something I wrote about a week ago.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Title IX, Judicial Outrages, and Christian Perverts

In Washington state, we now have the sad spectacle of middle school girls wrestling against boys. Here is a little blurb from the Seattle Times:

Girls who wrestled for several Puget Sound-area middle schools this year easily won their matches against boys from two private schools.

The girls stepped onto the mat. Their opponents from Tacoma Baptist and Cascade Christian stayed in their seats. The referee then raised the girls' hands to signal they'd won by forfeit.

But the easy victories didn't sit well with the girls, including Meaghan Connors, a seventh-grader at McMurray Middle School on Vashon Island. Her father, Jerry, is prepared to go to court over what he considers a clear case of sex discrimination.

The father of young Ms. Connors, a former Episcopal president and one-time pastoral assistant for social justice at St. James Cathedral in Seattle, will soon be heading to federal court to make sure his daughter has the legal right to roll around writhing on a mat with 13-year-old boys. Under any other circumstances, such behavior would be regarded as sexual assault. What a country!

I thought this was the most ridiculous thing I'd heard in my entire life until I read this. Evidently, the Supreme Court believes that the state of Michigan is discriminating against girls by scheduling basketball and volleyball games at "nontraditional" times of the year. I'm guessing Anthony Kennedy could cite some precedent from an EU legal decision.

Evangelical Christians have helped to foster this egalitarian nonsense. After all, it says right there in Galatians that men and women are equal, right?

"Warmonger's Beatitudes," courtesy of Lawrence Vance:

Blessed are the defense contractors: for theirs is the taxpayers’ money.
Blessed are they that kill: for they shall not comfort.
Blessed are the soldiers: for they shall bomb the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after blood: for they shall shed it.
Blessed are the vengeful: for they shall not show mercy.
Blessed are the war lovers in heart: for they shall see combat.
Blessed are the warmongers, for they shall be called the children of Mars.
Blessed are they which persecute for the state’s sake: for theirs is a government contract.
Blessed are ye when ye shall revile foreigners, and persecute them, and say all manner of evil against them falsely, for the state’s sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in the military: for so persecuted the military foreigners which were before you.

In 2000, voters of the sovereign state of Nebraska passed by a margin of 70-30 percent a constitutional amendment defining marriage. The amendment banned "gay marriage," civil unions and domestic partnerships. Yesterday, a federal judge, citing the 1st and 14th amendments, invalidated the amendment. "The court finds that Section 29 is directed at gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people and is intended to prohibit their political ability to effectuate changes opposed by the majority," said U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon. Can anyone say impeachment?

The Reverend Oprah Winfrey?

Appreciation and reservations, a note on Catholicism.

By the way, though I like to complain about evangelical politicization, what about Catholics? Numerous Catholic leaders, including Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, D.C., plan to unveil a new immigration reform program that amounts to the dissolution of the nation and its collective identity. Mark Godfrey comments, "This is not a new direction for the 'Church' built on the 'goodness' of man and universal atonement, rather universalism has been its modern creed. This is perhaps why we see so many conversions of Protestant 'intellectuals' to Catholicism. Their sociology and political economy takes primacy over their soteriology and Christology." I just assumed that perhaps the coffers of the American church were empty and in need of some replenishment.

George Bush on the role of religion in public life:

Role of religion in our society? I view religion as a personal matter. I think a person ought to be judged on how he or she lives his life or lives her life. And that's how I've tried to live my life: through example. Faith plays an important part in my life individually. But I don't ascribe a person's opposing my nominations to an issue of faith….The great thing about America is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want. And if you chose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you're equally American if you're a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim.

Now there is a Christian statesman!

Bush appointee sodomized wife. This is simply deplorable. While we should be reticent, I think, to start talking about marital rape, just read this article and see if this is the sort of "Christian" man you want to see in public life.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On CAFTA and Free Trade Idolatry

Real wages are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years. What do the free traders say? The evangelists of open markets, barking like Pentecostals with hands raised, shout “Pass CAFTA.”

Now I see that the Bushies have enlisted Condi “Mushroom Cloud” Rice and Donald “I didn’t do it, no one saw me do it, you can’t prove anything” Rumsfeld into the fray to make sure wavering members of Congress know that a vote against CAFTA is a vote for Bin Laden. John Murphy, mouthpiece for Latin American interests at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said, “If Congress defeats CAFTA that will be seen as a kick in the teeth to Latin America. And that will harm not just trade but anti-terrorist and anti-narcotic efforts."

Coupled with that sound strategic argument, Senator John “Dr. Strangelove” McCain mused that CAFTA was an important part of a long-term strategy to invigorate the economies of Latin America. "CAFTA is vital to the Central American economy, which is in trouble,'' said the senator and presidential wannabe. During the time McCain uttered this quotation, 9 illegal aliens entered his home state. However, the gentleman from the great state of Arizona appears more interested in denouncing the Minutemen and playing to Eastern Liberals than protecting the sovereignty of the nation from marauding invaders.

Unfortunately, free-trade myopia isn’t merely a Republican affliction. Former Clinton NSC flunky Robert Feinburg, former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Bubba’s boyhood chum Thomas McLarty, and President Jimmy Carter's trade representative Robert Strauss also sent a letter to Congress on April 20 urging passage of CAFTA.

Attempting to make the case that CAFTA is actually good for the U.S., an idea that doesn’t even strike Senator McCain or Clintonian diplomats, the Chamber of Commerce went to bat for CAFTA predicting that American sales to the region could expand by more than $3 billion in the first year once CAFTA tariff limits take effect, and the American Farm Bureau estimates agriculture exports growing $1.5 billion a year.

Haven’t we heard this before?

Prior the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Americans were assured that our trade deficits with Mexico would vanish, living conditions would improve south of the border, and that as a result, the mass influx of poor Mexicans into American cities would cease.

How are we doing so far? Pat Buchanan assesses the damage:

In 1993, the NAFTA debate gripped the country. Clinton had the backing of the political establishment, the Heritage Foundation, AEI, Brookings, National Review, New Republic, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable. Perot, Buchanan, Nader, and the AFL-CIO were opposed, as were the people. But that did not matter. Before the vote, the bazaar opened, and Congressmen began selling votes to Clinton for whatever they could get. NAFTA won.

Ten years later, returns are in. We were told our trade surplus with Mexico would grow, that NAFTA would create jobs here, that the rising wages in Mexico would end the invasion of illegal aliens.

But, the year after NAFTA passed, Mexico devalued the peso, and the United States began to run a string of trade deficits that has reached $40 billion a year. Drug cartels in South America shifted operations to Mexico. U.S. exports to Mexico are up, but it is not finished goods we send south but parts to be assembled—and factories and jobs as owners shutter plants north of the Rio Grande in search of wages that are 10 to 20 percent of what they have to pay in the United States.

By 2000, a million Mexicans were working in maquiladora plants south of the border at jobs once held by Americans. But now, the creative destruction of globalization has come to Mexico. Factories there are being shut down and moved to America’s new enterprise zone, China.

And the Mexican people? Half of the 100 million are still mired in poverty. Tens of millions are unemployed or underemployed. Real wages are below what they were in 1993. And the migration north continues as 1.5 million are caught each year breaking into the United States. Of those who make it, one-third head for California where their claims on welfare, Medicaid, schools, and prisons have tipped the state toward bankruptcy as the taxpayers have begun a great exodus to Nevada, Idaho, and Colorado.

NAFTA has helped to convert California into Mexifornia and the Golden State into a Third-World country. Ten years after its passage, Mexico’s leading export continues to be Mexicans.

So the results are in. Since NAFTA was signed, exports have increased a little while manufacturing jobs have disappeared to the tune of nearly 3 million jobs and the trade deficit has multiplied by a factor of 10. Meanwhile, both legal and illegal immigration have skyrocketed.

In a previous lifetime, I hoped to become an economist, and was particularly influenced by the Misesian wing of the Austrian School. Consequently, there was a time when I was an ideological free trader.

At the end of the day, however, I concluded that the radical individualism at the heart of classical liberalism and contemporary libertarianism was incompatible with Christianity. I am neither a methodological individualist nor a Randian subjectivist, but a Christian covenentalist. Ultimately, free trade is the economic component of the liberal ideology. At the heart of free-trade doctrine is the notion that all things work together for the good of those who eliminate tariffs. Seriously, the apoplexy with which libertarians greeted Pat Buchanan's call for relatively minor tariffs is reason to question their rationality.

During the debate over NAFTA, Jack Kemp debated Buchanan on the merits of the pending trade deal. At one point, Kemp asked Buchanan whether he would be willing to reciprocate if the Japanese offered to drop all existing tariffs. Buchanan said, quite logically, that one would have to consider all the ramifications to vital American industries before taking such a dramatic step. Kemp was outraged. Apparently, Jack doesn’t believe prudence is a conservative virtue.

I would also say that in terms of tax policy, tariffs (taxes on the consumption of foreign goods) are infinitely preferable to taxes on income, property, or inheritance. If I'm a businessman, why should I pony up taxes to pay for roads to transport my goods, a legal system to enforce my contracts, etc., when a foreign firm can import goods to compete against me and be freed from similar costs? In effect, such policies discriminate against domestic producers.

For too long, we've been bamboozled by ivory tower intellectuals, academics, and walking calculators. Economists can provide very useful analytical tools, but their toolbox is limited. They are blind to how the world works, and to history, which they studiously ignore in favor of quoting the likes of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, as though such two products of the Enlightnment were guided by the Holy Ghost and speaking with the authority of Holy Writ.

You Never Know Who Might be Reading

I noticed a few months back that my little blog was being linked to by VDARE, the big kahuna of sane immigration restrictionist websites. It was a little surprising because I write infrequently about the immigration issue, but I welcomed the handful of readers that the link generated.

However, I was extremely gratified to read Peter Brimelow's overly generous remarks regarding my meandering post on the political consequences of immigration. Here is the whole of Brimelow's post:

From the Dow Blog this morning came one of the most fluent and powerful denunciations of America’s immigration disaster that I’ve have seen in a long time:

“The demographic tsunami unleashed by mass immigration has economic impacts… but there are some obvious political consequences…as well… traditional political institutions, and especially parties and their campaign tactics, will compete for this new bloc of voters. In doing so, they will adapt to the demands, interests, and values of immigrants by abandoning issues and constituencies they have supported in the past…Might the growing Mexican influx and surging influence reverse…the American Southwest?…Who exactly gave these hombres [ Clinton andGW] the right to welcome a ‘new America,’ and what might it look like from a political standpoint?… today’s stream of immigrants is significantly different from its predecessors…the GOP, allegedly the party of law-and-order and fiscal sanity, will provide carte blanche legal amnesty to law-breakers, and cut them a Social Security check at the same time, as long as their pandering will be rewarded at the ballot box…”

This well-reasoned and intellectually sophisticated piece ought to be read and used by everyone awake to the issue.

What strikes me, as a professional journalist, is how hot the poltical lava boiling under the surface has become when an amateur with small children will write a 1,500 word article ( half a week’s work for a Goldberg Review flack) and then post it on a free, and I gather, not too well known, blog.

The natives are definitely restive.

Brimelow has been a favorite of mine since the early 1990's when I read his book "Patriot Game" for a course I was taking on Canadian history. Though Brimelow is a staunch free-marketeer, he has never suffered from the libertarian delusion that a nation is equivalent to its GDP. Indeed, the market is merely part of a larger social framework, and Brimelow comprehends, where others often do not, that ethnic and cultural coherence may be a necessary precondition for a free economy.

In any event, I'm grateful to Mr. Brimelow for brining a few new readers to my little corner of the web. If you are a new visitor and would like a sampling of what Dow Blog is all about, you can read essays essays that are available at my website, Dow's Digest.

Most of the writing available there is from the period between July 2004 and January 2005.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

$300 Billion Here, $300 Billion There...Pretty Soon You're Talking About Real Money

With the cost of the Iraq imbroglio now hovering around $300 billion, let us take a stroll down memory lane to see what was being said before the war started.

Larry Lindsey, then head of the Council of Economic Advisors, estimated that the war could cost between $100-200 billion. Lindsey was ultimately fired for those remarks and OMB Director, and current Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, said Lindey's estimate was "very, very high," and tossed out a figure of between $30-60 billion. (Mitch is currently working to balance the budget here in Hoosierland. Hope he has better success.)

When asked how much the Pentagon might need to effectively wage war against Iraq, Don Rumsfeld said, the "Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question."

Paul Wolfowitz, who is such a numbers genius that he now heads the World Bank, told Congress Iraq's oil revenue would be about $12-15 billion in 2004 and $19 billion in 2005, which was merely a fraction of the $100 billion dollars he was predicting before the war. Wolfie said, "We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon," which explains why American taxpayers are rebuilding infrastructure in Iraq while I'm paying $2.30 for a gallon of gas.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Fix Was in on Iraq

During Great Britain's just-concluded election campaign, a classified memo was leaked to the London Sunday Times claiming that President Bush decided during the summer of 2002 to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Not surprisingly, the memo also indicates that the administration and an impatient National Security Council, led at the time by Condi Rice, were prepared to make sure the "intelligence and facts" were "fixed around the policy" of regime change.

The memo summarizes a report to Tony Blair and others in the British government by Brian Dearlove (known in very Bondesque terms as 'C'), the head of MI6, the British equivalent of the CIA.

Here is the quote that makes you stand up and say, 'Hmmm:'

C [Dearlove] reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

Why was it necessary to sex up the intelligence? Because there was no evidence that Iraq was participating in terrorism, threatening her neighbors, or building WMDs.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw admitted as much, as the memo makes clear: "It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran."

From the time the memo was written, a systematic propaganda campaign was orchestrated, as chronicled by former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern. Among the fabrications passed off as fact were the following: "1) Aluminum artillery tubes misdiagnosed as nuclear related; 2) Forgeries alleging Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa; 3) Tall tales from a drunken defector about mobile biological weapons laboratories; 4) Bogus warnings that Iraqi forces could fire WMD-tipped missiles within 45 minutes of an order to do so; 5) Dodgy dossiers fabricated in London; and 6) A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate thrown in for good measure."

The allegations stemming from the memo should create a media firestorm and a slew of Congressional investigations. But so far, there has been nothing but silence, so far as I am able to discern, from major American media outlets other than Knight Ridder News. And I won't expect Republicans in Congress to step up to their oversight responsibilities. After all, that would require that they take time out of their busy schedules granting legal status to "undocumented workers" and finding a myriad of unconstitutional ways to spend your money.

What, too, of our Evangelical and Catholic friends who defended the illegal and immoral invasion as a Just War? Will the revelations of deceit cure them of their war fever?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Some Random Thoughts

Happy birthday to my big brother, Doug.

I've noticed that since we decided to leave our church two months ago, sickness has been running rampant in the Dow house. Is God trying to tell me something? This week, Kathy has strep throat, Josh has pinkeye, and Jack seems to have both, as well as an ear infection. Andrew and I are OK, so far, but I'm beginning to wonder if we shouldn't just have someone from the CDC move in.

My mom and dad have been taking two of my nieces to church. Dad usually is stationed at the front of the church greeting members and visitors and generally directing traffic (he likes people more than I do). The other day, my niece Allison, who is five, turned to grandpa and said that she wanted to go into the sanctuary so she could "watch the commercials before the service." If you are scratching your head wondering what I'm talking about, let me explain a couple of things about contemporary evangelical worship. Nearly all evangelical churches have installed large screens at the front of the sanctuary. That way, parishioners don't have to do anything taxing like look at a hymnal--if we actually sang hymns. Naturally, churches use this device much as movie theatres do, scrolling announcements across the screen, showing us pictures from the latest church events, putting up the sermon notes so that no one has to write anything down, and so on. That my bright young niece associates such activity with commercials speaks volumes, does it not? In his great book, 'Amusing Ourselves to Death,' Neil Postman traces the transformation of our culture from word-driven to image-driven. Though I don't necessarily believe that the medium is the message, clearly the tools we use to communicate shape what and how we communicate. Evangelicals once believed that the proclamation of God's Word was THE central aspect of worship. Now we believe that worship is primarily passive and includes such things as listening to soloists or choirs or maybe singing a cheesy praise chorus written three weeks ago that has lyrics that could be sung by a 13-year-old girl to her boyfriend. Or maybe we watch the images scroll by during the "commercials."

Who is in charge of American foreign policy, anyway? Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin was arrested yesterday and charged with passing top-secret information to Israel through the lobbying group AIPAC. Commenting on the allegations last September, Newsweek journalist Michael Isikoff wrote, "Franklin's motive appears to have been ideological rather than financial. There is no evidence that money changed hands." Meanwhile, Bush's embattled nominee to the UN, John Bolton, is being investigated for pro-Israel activities. According to The Forward, Bolton took part in unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials and prevented a State Department memo accusing Israel of violating American arms-export laws from reach Colin Powell's desk. Bolton is also one of the crazy neocons looking to further advance Ariel Sharon's foreign policy by sending American troops into Iran. These guys are absolutely nuts, and they are steering the foreign policy train--with the loud and enthusiastic support of evangelicals, by the way.

Pat Robertson says that Rudy Giuliani is not only a "very dedicated Catholic," but would make a swell president, too, despite his support for unrestricted baby killing, legalized sodomy, and presumably no-fault divorce.

Pastor Chuck Baldwin says with Republicans like Robertson--not to mention Bush, DeLay, and the rest--who needs Democrats.

An interesting article in the generally Christ-hating The New Republic. Ross Douthat says that "progressive" Catholics dismayed about the new pontiff should look around to see what secularism has done to mainline Protestant denominations. Douthat isn't buying the argument that the church should align itself with postmodernity or die:

The Episcopal Church offers the most striking example of this phenomenon, since it would seem to embody everything that a Garry Wills or a Maureen Dowd would like Catholicism to be--the liturgy and tradition, that is, without the sexual prohibitions and inconvenient dogmas. Yet in an era when John Paul II supposedly alienated so many otherwise faithful Catholics, it's Episcopalianism, not Catholicism, that's been hemorrhaging members, dropping from over 3.5 million American communicants in 1965 to under 2.5 million today. Far from making itself more appealing and more relevant, the Episcopal Church's reforms seemed to have decreased its ranks in the United States.

As one more example of the disgusting immorality within Episcopalianism, read this interview that Vickie Gene Robinson gave to Planned Parenthood. I'll quote just a few of the more egregious statements made by Robinson.

Planned Parenthood: Little has been written about your stance on reproductive rights. Are you pro-choice?

Robinson: Absolutely. The reason I love the Episcopal Church is that it actually trusts us to be adults. In a world where everyone tries to paint things as black or white, Episcopalians feel pretty comfortable in the gray areas.

I'm sure there must be individual congregations, and certainly individuals, who are off the deep end about this issue, but for the most part, the stance that we have taken speaks to our people as a mature and adult way of dealing with this — that we protect a woman's right to choose but also say that obviously there are very deep things involved here.

So we encourage our folks to take this very private issue seriously. We urge them to talk to their priests about it and to think through all the questions they might have. And then we absolutely stand behind a woman's right to choose. I think that's a responsible place to be.

Planned Parenthood: You've said, "We have allowed the conservative religious right to take our Bible hostage, and I think it's time we took it back." How can people who are both religious and progressive reclaim religion?

Robinson: It's time that we re-familiarize ourselves with our sacred text, so that we can interpret it for the world, and not let the only voice that Americans hear from a Christian standpoint be those wildly conservative voices.

As a gay man, I find stories in both Hebrew and Christian scripture that have literally called me out. For instance, in the Passover story, I know what it's like to leave Egypt, or leave the closet. The ancient Israelites, instead of finding the Promised Land immediately, wandered the desert, and I know, too, that life doesn't immediately get better for you. At the same time, as a whole community, we're getting closer to the Promised Land all the time.

I think it's time we learn to tell those stories out of our own context again, so that people speaking biblically and from a place of faith are not just wild-eyed conservatives.

Is anyone surprised that this character thinks the Exodus story is about his trip out of the closet and that he has no problems with killing unborn babies, which really is a morally "gray area?"

Immigration Has Political Consequences

“The safety of the Republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment…The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to…corrupt the national spirit…”

Alexander Hamilton

I read recently that during the 1990’s more immigrants flooded into the United States than presently live in all of Central America. Presumably, this trend has not altered under the presidency of Senor Bush.

The demographic tsunami unleashed by mass immigration has economic impacts, as I have discussed on several prior occasions, but there are some obvious political consequences to be wrought as well. After all, as the old saying goes, in politics demography is destiny. Consider this comment from the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups:

In obtaining land grants in Texas, Anglo immigrants agreed to become Mexican citizens, obey Mexican laws, accept the official Catholic faith, learn Spanish, and take other steps to become fully assimilated as law-abiding citizens. However, over the years, it became clear that these settlers, now Anglo-Mexicans, were not becoming integrated into the nation and that Anglo immigration had become a problem…The strains and disagreements led to the Texas Revolution of 1835.

Might the growing Mexican influx and surging influence reverse this process in the American Southwest? In 1997, then President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo told the National Council of La Raza in Chicago: "I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders and that Mexican migrants are an important - a very important - part of it."

Running to secure the GOP nomination in 2000, El Presidente Bush also welcomed the coming demise of European influence in the United States. Mr. Bush said:

America has one national creed, but many accents. We are now one of the largest Spanish-speaking nations in the world. We're a major source of Latin music, journalism, and culture. Just go to Miami, or San Antonio, Los Angeles, Chicago, or West New York, New Jersey... and close your eyes and listen. You could just as easily be in Santo Domingo or Santiago, or San Miguel de Allende. For years our nation has debated this change - some have praised it and others have resented it. By nominating me, my party has made a choice to welcome the new America.

Bush's predecessor likewise embraced the coming demographic revolution. Bubba said, "We want to become a multiracial, multiethnic society. This will arguably be the third great revolution .... to prove that we literally can live without ... having a dominant European culture."

Shortly after these comments, Clinton headed west to exult in the fact that California's white folks were soon to lose their majority status: "Within the next three years here in California, no single race or ethnic group will make up a majority of the state's population. ... A half century from now, there will be no majority race in America."

Who exactly gave these hombres the right to welcome a "new America," and what might it look like from a political standpoint? Elite opinion often dismisses arguments against mass immigration by pointing to earlier waves of immigration from Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, they fail to reckon with the fact that today's stream of immigrants is significantly different from its predecessors.

Political scientist Samuel Huntington has done yeoman work pointing out the worrying features of current immigration policy. He writes, "Mexican immigration differs from past immigration and most other contemporary immigration due to a combination of six factors: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration [in the American Southwest], persistence, and historical presence... Demographically, socially, and culturally, the reconquista (re-conquest) of the Southwest United States by Mexican immigrants is well underway."

There are at least five ways that immigration will influence American politics in coming years. First, traditional political institutions, and especially parties and their campaign tactics, will compete for this new bloc of voters. In doing so, they will adapt to the demands, interests, and values of immigrants by abandoning issues and constituencies they have supported in the past.

So, to take just a handful of examples, we have seen both parties putting forward legislation to legalize millions of illegal immigrants. Discussing the Bush amnesty plan, Phil Kent writes that, "Bush's proposed amnesty, illegal immigrants will be eligible to apply for temporary worker status for up to six years, getting all the benefits of a citizen ranging from drivers' licenses to Social Security checks. To facilitate the amnesty, the president is asking Congress to raise the number of legal "green cards" handed out to immigrants each year, but he has so far not specified how many millions will be needed." Bush's amnesty bill has garnered the support of "conservatives" like Bill Frist and right-wing media such as The Weekly Standard, and the notorious Wall Street Journal.

Likewise, there is the sad spectacle of Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) teaming up with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) to introduce an agricultural guestworker-amnesty bill. Another bill, the DREAM ACT introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), would grant in-state tuition rights and amnesty to all illegal aliens under the age of 21 who have been physically present in the United States for five years.

These and other examples demonstrate that the GOP, allegedly the party of law-and-order and fiscal sanity, will provide carte blanche legal amnesty to law-breakers, and cut them a Social Security check at the same time, as long as their pandering will be rewarded at the ballot box.

A second long-term possibility is that immigrants may import new demands and interests that cannot be met by existing political institutions and may thus create new vehicles to pursue their goals. According to a Zogby poll, some 58% of Mexicans think that the American southwest belongs to Mexico. One might assume that Republican and Democrat politicians will resist such claims. In such an event, it would not be terribly surprising to see new parties form that are more amenable to Mexican irredentism.

Third, mass immigration is likely to create a backlash, creating further racial and ethnic polarization in the country. Our political elites actually welcome such an outcome as it provides justification for further meddling in the lives of citizens. The management of racial and ethnic strife is bread and butter for the State.

Sam Francis coined the term "Anarcho-Tyranny" which he defined as, "both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny—the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes; the criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent through exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation, the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions, such as the family and local schools; the imposition of thought control through 'sensitivity training' and multiculturalist curricula, 'hate crime' laws, gun-control laws that punish or disarm otherwise law-abiding citizens but have no impact on violent criminals who get guns illegally, and a vast labyrinth of other measures. In a word, anarcho-tyranny."

Francis further elaborates on immigration as part-and-parcel of this strategy,

The most obvious sign of what would normally be called anarchy is the immigration invasion. By some serious estimates, no fewer than 11-to-13-million illegal aliens now live in the United States, most of them from Mexico or Central America. The Mexican government actively encourages this invasion and, as the press recently reported, even provides to its own citizens a guidebook on how to carry it out. Our government does nothing serious to stop the invasion, to apprehend the invaders, or to deter the aggression that the Mexican state is perpetrating. The invaders—as residents of Arizona, where some 40 percent of illegal aliens enter the country, constantly complain—threaten the lives, safety, and property of law-abiding American citizens; depress wages; gobble welfare; and constitute a new underclass that is an object of demagogic political manipulation by both American and Mexican politicians. (The illegals in this country cannot legally vote, though that does not necessarily stop them, but they remain voters in Mexico, and Mexican politicians now routinely campaign for their votes inside the United States.) The federal government invaded Iraq, although Iraq never harmed or threatened us, but it does virtually nothing to resist the massive invasion (and eventually the conquest) of its own country and the deliberate violation of its own laws by Mexico.

Fourth, the GOP is DOA. Peter Brimelow and Ed Rubestein have been arguing since at least 1997 that mass immigration would leave the GOP as a minority party as early as 2008, in spite of their best efforts to "reach out" to Hispanic voters.

Finally, mass immigration will shift political power from the heartland to the coasts. Some seventy-five percent of immigrants settle in just six states. Between 1990 and 2000, California lost nearly a million white residents, yet the population of the state increased dramatically due to immigration. California picked up five House seats as a result of reapportionment. Texas, New York, and Florida also picked up seats while Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin each lost one seat and Colorado and Kentucky both failed to gain a seat that they otherwise would have had there been no immigration after 1990. Does anyone else find it interesting that the industrial states most harmed by free-trade policies are the same ones losing representation in the House?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Doing God's Work

Here are a few items that caught my notice lately that demonstrate just how bad things are in the contemporary church:

1) At Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the seminary mascot Chapel Mouse "came out” in celebration of “Queer Week” on campus. Mark Tooley goes on to describe what is happening at American seminaries:

In a column for the seminary newsletter, the mouse sock puppet announced that he was changing his name to Ms. Chapelle Mouse. But do not assume that Chapelle will accordingly be dressing as a female mouse! If you do, you have succumbed to society’s artificial and restrictive gender expectations.

Chapelle, though now professing to be female, will remain male in appearance, to protest the false “construction” of a “binary gender system” by a “dominant society” that assumes that everyone must be male or female in appearance.

“Gender is a fluid and mutable category, open to a range of emotion and identity,” explains the sock puppet mouse. “We cross the boundaries of the traditional binary gender system all the time in our daily lives. In short, Ms. Mouse is a transgendered mouse.”

Chappelle Mouse helpfully explains that how you look to others doesn’t matter. Social constructions of gender may “trap or free you.” She will not be “going high fem” any time soon but reminds us that “female identified” people look great in trousers too. So while her name has changed, her photo has not.

The sock puppet at Episcopal Divinity School has probably been reading Omnigender: A Trans-Religious Approach, by Episcopal writer Virginia Ramey Mollenkott. Omnigender denounces the artificial and harmful static gender assumptions that force transgendered persons, and other curious people, to choose permanently between male and female identities.

That the secular entertainment industry would employ children’s characters to tout new visions of a genderless society without sexual boundaries was probably inevitable. That churches would be far more bold in claiming the promises of the sexual revolution and of a new omnigender utopia is perhaps a little more surprising.

2) With "Justice Sunday" just a distant memory, James Dobson says that Christians must make their voices heard on the judicial filibuster issue. Dobson says, "It will not come to pass without a response -- a massive response -- from people of faith and those who hold to conservative views." I heard recently that 95% of Christians will never share their faith with another person--so much for The Great Commission. Instead, we are being urged to get Dick Lugar's office on the horn and make sure he knows that we are demanding "an up-or-down vote on the president's judicial nominees."

3) In Connecticut it looks like six Episcopal priests may be removed because they disapprove of homosexuality.

4) Here's a thigh-slapper for you. A lesbian Methodist minister defrocked last year after admitting to living with a woman won an appeal against the church's decision. Evidently, the Methodists had not defined what it means to be a "practicing homosexual." Do they need a picture? Here is a little more from the story:

In a 14-page decision, the committee reversed both the conviction and the penalty on the technical grounds that the church has not properly defined the term "practicing homosexual". The committee also held that the church law under which the charges were brought was a new standard that had not been formally ratified by the church authorities and so could not be used to convict Stroud.

Stroud, 34, was originally found to have violated the church's Book of Discipline, which forbids the ordination and appointment of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals."

Stroud told the hearing she was in a committed relationship with another woman and had decided to be open about her sexuality because it was the honest, Christian thing to do.

Her stance was backed by many members of her Philadelphia congregation.

The committee said it recognized that "practicing homosexual" may involve engaging in "genital sexual activity" but that the term had not been clearly defined by the church and so it could not be used against Stroud.

5) Lesbian pastorette Nancy Wilson--no, she wasn't in Heart--has been tapped to lead the world's largest gay spiritual group, Metropolitan Community Churches.

6) Lest you think such nonsense confined to the Protestant, or miscellaneous, wing of Christendom, here is a story from Ohio about Catholic clergy abuse, and there is also evidence that as a Cardinal, the new Pope attempted to obstruct the abuse investigation.

Well, I'm off to church. Hope you have a blessed Lord's Day.