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Archive for July 17th, 2007

Bush Republicans: Catholic Apostasy Is Pro – Business!

Posted by soldierservant on July 17, 2007

The Roberts Court – The True Bush Legacy?
by Gary D. Halbert
July 10, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE:1. You Heard It Here First
2. Two Recent High-Profile Decisions
3. The Liberal Media’s Predictable Reaction
4. Current Make-Up and Future Of The Court
5. What Might The Future Hold?
IntroductionThe appointment of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court may well be the true legacy of George W. Bush. These justices, both young men by Supreme Court standards, will have a lasting impact on American law and society long after President Bush is out of office and long after the fate of Iraq is decided.If you don’t think the composition of the Supreme Court matters, think again. The pending vacancies on the Court were the single biggest issue of the 2004 general election, as I predicted in my October 2004 E-Letter (more on that later). During the most recent Supreme Court session, both liberals and conservatives were watching closely to see if Bush’s nominees would sway the Court one direction or the other.The Court heard 75 cases from October 20, 2006 to June 28, 2007, which sounds like a lot to me, but I discovered that the number of cases heard by the Court has declined steadily over the last few decades. In fact, they used to hear almost twice as many cases. Many of the cases heard in the latest session, of course, were not “landmark” decisions, but it seems that the Court saved the best for last.

The two most explosive cases were Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life Inc. and Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc. In these cases, according to some, the Supreme Court overturned important precedents. Did they? Has the Court swung right?

This week, I’ll examine the impact of these key rulings in the recently concluded session. I will also examine the predictable reaction of the liberal media to these rulings, as well as discuss the current make-up of the Court and its possible future, including which of the current justices are likely to retire next. Will George Bush have the chance to name another justice? Will a likely Democrat president in 2008 be able to reverse what many consider a conservative trend in the Court, or is it even possible?

It looks like we have a lively E-Letter ahead of us, so let’s get started.

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You Heard It Here First

If you have been a loyal reader of my e-letter for a few years you may remember that back in October of 2004 I wrote that a major election issue was the likelihood that the next president would nominate as many as three Justices to the Supreme Court.

Here is what I wrote at that time:

“One of the most important issues is the fact that the next President of the United States will likely appoint three Justices to the Supreme Court, potentially changing the balance of the Court one way or the other for many years to come.”

Why was this an important issue? For the simple reason that the Court was likely to hear several important and potentially landmark cases, as I will discuss in more detail later on. Conservatives felt that George Bush would have the opportunity to replace as many as three Justices who should steer the Court away from its sometimes-liberal interpretations of the law.

Unfortunately, Bush stumbled out of the gate as I pointed out in my October 11, 2005 E-Letter. First, he nominated John Roberts, a relatively unknown DC Circuit Court judge only 50 years old, initially to replace Sandra Day O’Connnor. Making matters worse, it seemed, Bush renominated Roberts as Chief Justice shortly after the death of Justice Rehnquist, thereby passing up Justice Antonin Scalia, the senior sitting Justice and a staunch conservative.

Then, he outraged conservatives even more by nominating one-time Democrat Harriet Miers to the High Court to replace Sandra Day O’Connor. Though Bush defended her up to the end, Miers did the smart thing and withdrew her name from consideration. There is still debate about why Bush nominated a White House staff lawyer to the Supreme Court, and I offered my personal opinion in my October 11, 2005 E-Letter:

“Many conservatives are still baffled as to what just happened, but it is clear that Bush simply wasn’t up for the fight. As noted above, conservatives have waited 20 years or longer for this fight. We were ready. Bring it on. Despite our policy disappointments with Bush, and his big spending, we believed that when it came to the Supreme Court, he would keep his repeated campaign promise. He didn’t .

It is still unclear why Bush was not ready for a fight. Washington does this to people, especially conservatives who don’t really know how to fight ideological and no-holds-barred battles. Argue/justify it any way you want – low approval numbers, war in Iraq not going well, advisors giving him bad advice, etc.

Whatever the reasons, President Bush caved. He was not willing to endure the political fight that would have followed if he had nominated one of the truly conservative choices for the Supreme Court. He broke his promise, just like his father before him.”

Fortunately, on October 31, 2005, President Bush nominated Samuel Alito, a much more experienced and conservative choice.

Two High Profile Decisions

With the confirmation of Justice Alito, the stage was set, and the obvious question was how the new make-up of the Supreme Court would affect its decisions. Of the 75 cases heard by the Supreme Court this term, two of them have drawn considerable recent attention.

Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life Inc. dealt with the lightning rod issue of freedom of speech. This case centered on the unconstitutionality of a specific portion of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill passed in 2002. The specific issue was whether so called issue ads or “electioneering communications,” as the Bill refers to them, can be aired 30 days prior to an election. In a 5-4 decision, the Court found that this restrictive portion of McCain-Feingold was indeed unconstitutional. Chief Justice Roberts had this to say in his majority opinion:

“The First Amendment requires us to err on the side of protecting political speech rather than suppressing it. We conclude that the speech at issue in this as-applied challenge is not the ‘functional equivalent’ of express campaign speech. We further conclude that the interests held to justify restricting corporate campaign speech or its functional equivalent do not justify restricting issue advocacy.

Discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues may also be pertinent in an election. Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor.”

This is clearly a victory for free speech and for its place in the political process. This is not to say that there are not some negative factors associated with issue ads and other such participation, but they are a price to be paid for the freedom and ability to comment on and potentially influence an election. Conservatives, however, viewed this as only a partial victory since most wanted McCain-Feingold overturned in its entirety.

On the liberal side, the following portion of Justice Souter’s dissent warns of the potential negatives associated with this decision.

“After today, the ban on contributions by corporations and unions and the limitation on their corrosive spending when they enter the political arena are open to easy circumvention, and the possibilities for regulating corporate and union campaign money are unclear.”

This may be true in part (more on that to follow). The Federal Election Commission is considering the ruling and may adjust or create regulations as needed to accommodate it.

Critics, of course, blasted the decision as an opening of the floodgates for corporations and unions to slam politicians with issue ads and, in effect, aid their preferred candidate. This is a very narrow view, however, as the ruling allows all advocacy groups the same participation. The entire spectrum of groups from the NRA to the ACLU and everyone in between can air these ads – for better or worse.

The latest ruling does mean we will all have to watch more political commercials come each election season, and some of them can be really awful, but that is a small price to pay for everyone having the ability to be heard.

It is also likely that 21st century media elements (ie – the Internet) played a roll in this decision, as political blogs and videos on YouTube proliferate. Of course, each of the presidential candidates not only has a MySpace page, but also a paid team of Internet consultants. My, how things have changed! Perhaps the Justices took the Internet into consideration in making their decision.

Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc. is another of the controversial cases decided by the Court. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sued the Secretary of Labor, complaining about the use of money appropriated by Congress which was used to fund conferences held to promote President Bush’s Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

The President created this program through a series of Executive Orders. The FFRF maintained that the conferences function as propaganda vehicles for religion and therefore violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a former District Court decision, which maintained that taxpayers have the right to challenge an executive branch program that promotes religion and is financed by congressional appropriation, even if the program was created by presidential Executive Order. In another 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court overturned the Circuit Court ruling. Justice Alito had this to say as he delivered the majority opinion of the Court:

“Respondents set out a parade of horribles that they claim could happen.

For example, they say, a federal agency could use its discretionary funds to build a house of worship or to hire clergy of one denomination and send them out to spread their faith. Or an agency could use its funds to make bulk purchases of Stars of David, crucifixes or depictions of the star and crescent for use in its offices or for distribution to the employees or the general public. Of course, none of these things has happened.

In the unlikely event that any of these executive actions did take place, Congress could quickly step in.”

Justice Souter delivered the dissent in which he said:

“The controlling opinion closes the door on these taxpayers because the executive branch, and not the legislative branch, caused their injury. I see no basis for this distinction in either logic or precedent.

Here, there is no dispute that taxpayer money in identifiable amounts is funding conferences, and these are alleged to have the purposes of promoting religion. When executive agencies spend identifiable sums of tax money for religious purposes, no less than when Congress authorizes the same thing, taxpayers suffer injury.”

Interestingly, Justices Scalia and Thomas (and many conservatives) did not think the ruling noted above went far enough. They would have preferred that the precedent established in the Flast v. Cohen case in 1968, which formed the basis for the Hein v. Freedom of Religion case, be struck down entirely. In fact, Justices Scalia and Thomas were quite critical of Chief Justice Roberts for not overturning the Flast v. Cohen precedent.

The tendency for Justices Scalia and Thomas to feel it necessary to overturn what they feel is “bad law” is very important and could have far reaching impact on the Supreme Court in the future. No doubt, we will see more Supreme Court cases where Scalia and Thomas want to overturn precedents that they consider to be bad law, whereas Roberts will likely only agree if he feels the prior precedent was in fact unconstitutional.

On this point, there are many conservatives who do not believe that Roberts is conservative enough, and I just might agree. However, his greatest value may come some years down the road when the Court shifts to a more liberal makeup again, and it is Roberts (the likely Chief Justice for 2-3 decades or more) stopping the liberals from savaging precedents… A stretch perhaps, but think about it in terms of Hillary or some other liberal being president for eight years.

There were many other decisions handed down by the Court in the latest session, some of which were also seen as a move to the right. For example, in the National Association of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife case, liberals say that the Supreme Court gutted a key provision in the endangered species law.

In Morse et al. v. Frederick, also known as the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case, the Court held that schools could limit students’ expressions of free speech when the message promotes illegal drug usage. The case gets its name from a banner held up by a student during a public parade that said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” The principal of the school confiscated the sign and suspended the student, and was promptly sued (naturally) for abridging the student’s right of free speech.

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Predictable Reaction By The Liberal Media

The reaction from the mainstream media (and liberals in general) to these rulings has been swift and predictable. That reaction can be summed up as follows: an ideologically polarized Court, now right-leaning, has recklessly overturned the sound precedent of prior rulings. Look out! Roe v. Wade is next. Brown v. Board of Education can’t be far behind!

The liberals appear to be in a total panic. Why? They feel somehow hoodwinked that Roberts and Alito are actually right-leaning (I am stopping short of labeling them conservative as it is far too early to say), even though both Justices passed the crucial “litmus” tests of abortion and stare decisis (literally to stand by things previously decided). In the liberals’ view, both Roberts and Alito agreed that they would support prior legal precedents, even if they may not necessarily agree with them.

So, have Roberts and Alito now gone back on their word? No, they have not. Both agreed that it was not likely that they would engage in a wholesale campaign of slashing and burning previous decisions with which they may disagree. Modifiying or refusing to extend such precedents, as in the cases we discussed above, is another matter. This may seem like I am splitting hairs, but it is a very important distinction.

The talking heads and liberal pundits are also raging because of the number of 5-4 decisions rendered by the Court this term. Norman J. Ornstein, a frequent contributor to Roll Call and the Washington Post, had this to say:

“We have fallen into a pattern of key decisions that come down 5-4, with Roberts and the more rigid Samuel Alito joining Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy to throw out precedents established only a few years ago, all driven not by changes in the law or objective deliberations over facts, but by the simple fact that Sandra Day O’Connor left the court and was replaced by a more conservative justice.”

So, 5-4 decisions favoring liberal causes are OK, but when they go against the liberal mindset, we have a problem. What nonsense! Like Justice Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor had become a moderate and a swing voter. Simply because Justice Alito’s interpertations of the law differ from a liberal slant doesn’t invalidate them, nor does it even mean that O’Connor would not have voted as Alito did.

This kind of ranting is typical throughout the liberal media. Again they feel betrayed because Roberts was supposed to be a consensus builder who would strive for more 7-2 or even 8-1 decisions. It could well be that Roberts discovered, given the ideological gap between the two camps in the Court, that consensus building was impossible. In any event, the liberals feel that they were hoodwinked.

Current Make-Up & Future Of The Court

The “Roberts Court” does seem to be evenly divided. On the left are Justices Stevens, Souter, Bryer and Ginsburg. On the right are Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Chief Justice Roberts. Justice Kennedy is now the Courts lone swing vote.

This 4-1-4 balance explains the series of supposedly conservative 5-4 decisions by the Court this term. (Click here to see the Court’s recent decisions.) The importance of Justice Kennedy cannot be stated strongly enough. He was the linchpin of every critical decision this term.

Of course that begs the question: If the Court savaged precedent in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life Inc. and Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc., why did the moderate Justice Kennedy support those rulings? The answer is, of course, that they did not savage precedent, as is evidenced by Justices Scalia and Thomas lamenting that the Court did not go far enough and stopped short of overturning what they considered to be bad law. So, in other words, Kennedy probably went along because he knew the rulings could have been even worse from his point of view.

This is the key to the Roberts Court. While not overturning precedent, Roberts has certainly reinterpreted and restricted it. This is an incremental approach that clearly does not sit well with Justices Scalia and Thomas, but is what can be expected from Roberts. So why not simply overturn as opposed to limit and restrict?

There are likely two answers. First, Justice Kennedy would almost certainly oppose overturning precedent outright. Second, just because something is “bad law” does not make it unconstitutional, and that is the test that must be met in a Roberts led Court.

While Justice Kennedy generally sided with the conservative justices in the first term of the new Court, there is no guarantee he will always do so. In fact, in one of the Court’s more important cases of the year, Kennedy refused to accommodate either side. He voted with the four conservatives to strike down racial-integration plans championed by school districts in Seattle and Louisville, KY, but he refused to go along with the conservatives in joining an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts that exuded hostility to all race-based solutions to racial inequalities.

So Kennedy remains the lone swing vote. Given that, credit must be given to Chief Roberts for his incremental approach that convinced Kennedy to go along with the decisions discussed above.

[Side note: your editor wonders how the Bush administration that ineptly served up Harriet Miers, and passed over Justice Scalia for Chief Justice, could have suddenly been so smart to realize that Justice Roberts was the best choice to lead the High Court. Or was it just luck?]

So, what has to happen for this 4-1-4 balance to change? Well, frankly, one of the right-leaning justices or Justice Kennedy will need to retire or die during a Democrat administration. The replacement of Justices Stevens (age 87) and\or Ginsburg (cancer) by a future Democrat president does nothing to upset the balance.

Who is likely to leave the Court next? I have to go with Justice Stevens, a 31 year veteran of the Court, but I assume he will wait to see if a Democrat is elected in 2008, and if so, then step down in early 2009. Again, it isn’t likely to make any difference in the balance of the Court.

What about President Bush? Will he have the chance to appoint another justice? Very unlikely. Neither Stevens or Ginsburg will retire prior to Bush leaving office, if their health permits. But, if a member of the Court died prior to Bush leaving office, then he would have that chance.

I wonder, though, what he could do with it? Let’s face it, Bush is embattled and has lost a great deal of leverage. That weakness combined with the recent shift in the Court would likely mean that Bush would have trouble getting another potentially conservative judge confirmed before his term expires.

It looks as though the current 5-4 split will likely continue for the foreseeable future. However, I would not expect Justice Kennedy to always vote on the right. Who knows, the next term might be a slew of 5-4 decisions slanting left. (The media will still scream about that, right?)

The Liberals’ Real Concern

While there is much weeping and wailing on the part of liberals about the Supreme Court’s alleged turn toward the right, I don’t think the cases discussed above are their real concern. As I noted, conservatives did not consider either of these decisions total victories, and would have preferred more aggressive action to overturn precedent.

Instead, I think the liberals are gearing up for future cases that may come before the Court which are of much greater importance to them. This is what I pointed out in my October 2004 E-Letter, even before we knew that two justices would be replaced by George Bush:

“To better understand how and why the Democrats have come together as they have, I think it is important to look ahead to some issues that are very likely to come before the Supreme Court in the next several years:

Gun Control – No matter what your feeling about the gun issue, it is very likely that the Supreme Court will face challenges to current gun laws, as well as be called upon to rule on new gun legislation. The Democrats, being for stronger gun control, would love to see a liberal-leaning Supreme Court that could weaken the Second Amendment.

Abortion– Liberals fear that a conservative Supreme Court would weaken current law regarding a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. So the Democrats would like a liberal Supreme Court to maintain the status quo.

Gay Rights – Discrimination against homosexuals, and specifically the issue of same-sex marriage, are almost certain to face the Supreme Court within the next few years. A liberal Supreme Court would likely see the benefits of legal marriage extended to same-sex couples.

Environment– The environmental movement is also interested in having a liberal Supreme Court. This is especially true with oil prices well above $50 per barrel. There will be increasing pressure to drill for oil in environmentally sensitive areas. A liberal Court would be helpful to stop such exploration, no matter what the economic consequences.

Tort Reform – If you think tort reform is a good idea, you can forget it if Kerry is elected. Both Kerry and Edwards are lawyers and Edwards, a trial lawyer, made his fortune suing doctors. I’m confident that neither of these attorneys will ever agree to tort reform. After all, trial lawyers are one of their largest support groups. And if they make the Supreme Court more liberal, any future Republican administration could find it impossible to enact any meaningful tort reform.

Legislation From The Bench– Activist judges often resort to creating law when handing down rulings. Recent examples include the issue of including “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, endorsement of same-sex marriage and overruling a ban on partial-birth abortions. Many of these cases end up at the Supreme Court since they sometimes involve a deviation from controlling legislation. A liberal Supreme Court would likely support judges who create law in the name of liberal causes.

There will be other important issues that will come before the Supreme Court in the next four years, but space prohibits a discussion of all of these topics. Suffice it to say that whether the Supreme Court tilts conservative or liberal, it could have a very dramatic effect on the law of the land in the next couple of decades.”

While none of the above issues has so far come before the Court, they are almost sure to follow in one form or another in the coming years.

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Conclusions – The True Bush Legacy?

If you listen to the mainstream media, you would believe that George W. Bush will be remembered as one of the worst presidents in American history. Even many in the conservative base, myself included, are disillusioned with the Bush 43 presidency. He has let us down in so many ways. Some would conclude that Bush’s only legacy will be the war in Iraq and the fact that he narrowly kept two very liberal challengers out of the White House – Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.

But as disillusioned as conservatives may be with President Bush today, his overriding legacy may be the appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. While it’s far too early to tell whether a permanent shift to the right has occurred, the appointments of Roberts and Alito did “even up the sides” between conservative and liberal justices. Of course, Justice Kennedy is still a swing vote that could go either way.

Even so, I think the Supreme Court is likely to remain at least moderately favorable to conservative rulings in the next decade or so IF – and it is a big if – Chief Justice Roberts continues his incrementalist approach and avoids radical changes to standing legal precedents. In so doing, he may be able to keep Justice Kennedy – the only remaining “swing vote” – on the side of the conservatives more often than not.

The mainstream media, and liberals in general, will pull out all of the stops to make their case to the Supreme Court regarding issues of importance to them in the years to come. Whether such media pressure will have any significant effect on future Court decisions remains to be seen. My thinking is that, considering the lifetime appointment and the gravity of their positions, media pressure won’t mean much to any of the justices. Let’s hope I’m right.

As far as what the future holds in regard to the make-up of the Court, I don’t expect to see any further vacancies occur during the Bush administration unless death or health issues intervene. Even if a Democrat does gain the presidency in 2008, the justices most likely to retire – Stephens and Ginsburg – are liberal anyway, so liberal appointments shouldn’t affect the Court’s conservative/liberal balance.

For the foreseeable future, all eyes will be on Justice Kennedy (age 70), since he is viewed as now being the only swing vote. Kennedy’s death or retirement would likely give a future president the ability to have a significant and long-lasting effect on the balance of the Court – one way or the other. Ironically, conservatives should wish Justice Kennedy good health, especially if Hillary or Obama manages to win the White House next year.

As always, your comments and/or suggestions are welcomed.

Very best regards,

Gary D. Halbert

Gary Halbert is the president and CEO of ProFutures, Inc. which produces this E-Letter. Mr. Halbert is also president and CEO of Halbert Wealth Management, Inc., an affiliate of ProFutures, Inc. Both firms are located in Austin, Texas. Halbert Wealth Management is a Registered Investment Advisor that offers professional investment management services to a nationwide base of clients, and specializes in risk-managed investments and its recommended programs include mutual funds, managed accounts with professional Investment Advisors and alternative investments. For more information about the programs offered, call 800-348-3601.

SPECIAL ARTICLES:

Supreme defeat for liberals.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/a9407c8a-2d90-11dc-939b-0000779fd2ac.html

Justice Kennedy, The Power Broker
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19649904/site/newsweek/

What happens if we abandon Iraq?
http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=070607A

Our Own Worst Enemy (good read from Gen. Haig)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118403572723161796.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

Copyright © 2007 ProFutures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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Posted in America, Christianity, church corruption, fascism, George Bush, GOP, Republican, spiritual deception | Comments Off on Bush Republicans: Catholic Apostasy Is Pro – Business!

Why Are So Many Churches Struggling?

Posted by soldierservant on July 17, 2007

This makes you think if any of these churches are divinely inspired at
all because if they were really doing God’s work you’d think God would
bless them. This was how Jerry Falwell’s ministry and school was. A family member of mine: their church is struggling financially too. They also suffer flood
damage from a lot of these floods we have been having in this area. Thank
God we haven’t suffered where we live here, which a lot of it is due to
living in a semi-elevated area. I never take God’s mercy for granted
because I see all those on the news who lose their homes or even their
lives to bad weather. We are somewhat vunerable since we are in a mobile
home. We had endured with no real problems even though there were times
we had hurricane force winds around 60-70 mph winds. Only some tore off
shingles ,but that was about it. One could say that it is just the
location but I think a lot has to do with prayer too. It is a shame that
some have to suffer tragedy in order to get right with God because if
they were they may not would’ve gone through all that. I know people use
the scripture about God causing it to rain on the wicked and the
just, but that is just rain, not storms, there is a difference. Whenever
scriptures speaks of storms it is never a good thing, it is usually
judgment of God. There are several scriptures that talk about God’s wrath
as a mighty whirlwind (torndoes and hurricanes).That is why nobody can
deny that Hurricane Katrina was judgment of God. Just like the islamic
strongholds as Indonesia that was wiped out by tsunamis. I remember when
I was staying at my grandmother’s I talked about the power of prayer
concerning weather and she used that same old arguement about God
raining on the just and the unjust then I asked her what the need to
pray for if that was the case. She coudn’t answer. If people are foolish
to believe the lies that it is God’s will to suffer then how dare they
pray for healing or anything because they are defying God’s will, so they
say. But back about my relative’s church, they have also suffered several
thefts (maybe that was God’s will, some teach that nothing happens
outside of God’s will). It was due to their lack of diligence so they
sort of brought it on themselves. All these churches remind of the story
of the foolish builder in the Bible where they start building a house
but can’t finish it and end up looking like a fool to their neighbors. That is why I never jump into anything unless I know I can
follow through. Just like I’d never rush into starting a family of my own
if I can’t afford it financially. I wouldn’t want to end up like some who
end up robbing a bank in order to pay for a child’s operation. Of course
there are the megachurches like Kenneth Copeland and Joel Olsteen but
those are compromisers that sold out. I have told Christians about Joel
Osteen, how he avoids the topics of homosexuality and abortion, which
should even offend these George Bush locksteppers, but then again there is no
figuring them out since they still support a president that has done
nothing to stop it. They talk like there was a whole lot of partial birth
abortions going on before they banned it. I don’t buy that. Now Bush is
continuing to fool them again by pretending to be against embryonic stem
cell research. This makes them feel good but is supericial only. Stopping
embryonic stem cell research does not stop abortion but idiots equate it
as that. Besides it is only taxes that are not funding it but it still is
going on. To these hypocrites they think that everything is all right as
long as our taxes are not supporting it. Wrong is wrong no matter whether
taxes are involved or not. I caught a little bit of Billy Graham’s speech
at his library commemoration ceremony on TBN and he said that he was
good friends with Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton even before their
presidencies depite politics. You see he is trivializing evil as just
mere politics,so he is part of their evil. But maybe we need Hillary in
office in order to turn up the heat of persecution and expose the
false Christians for what they are, if she is really as bad as their paranoia makes her out to
be. According to their beliefs Hillary will shut down all the
churches. Maybe that should happen anyway since most of them are
abominations anyway. God doesn’t need these false churches. All these
locksteppers hate the UN but still support Bush who strongly loves the
UN. In fact a lot of what the religious right promotes I can’t find
biblical support for. Like their fight for public prayer, prayer in
schools and such. Jesus taught the opposite. He said for us to pray in
private and not publically as the hypocrites do. Most of the religious
right agenda is a pharisee agenda, not Christ agenda. I went to public
schools a few times but never whined about not being able to pray. There
is a right and wrong time for everything as well as a right or wrong way
of going about everything. That is the way of the hypocrites, wrong time, wrong way, wrong everything. They take everything out of context. Nobody
can stop you from praying if you say a prayer in your heart. That is why
this is such immature, foolish nonsense. I believe this is what the Bible
is talking about when it comes to disrespecting authority. These
hypocrites are strifemongers trying to impose their views on everyone. If
they push for these public prayers then it will apply to these false
religions too. This would be chaos because then each group will offend
the other and only cause problems. This has nothing to do with sharing
the gospel. All public prayers will do is just expose you as a
selfrighteous hypocrite which would hinder the true gospel. I believe
hypocrites bring most of the persecution on themselves because of their
strifeful fleshly ways. All I care is what the Bible says, not what some
neocon pseudochristians think. When persecution comes they will suffer
more greatly than I will because a lot of it will be God putting an end
to this foolishness. Where will these hypocrites turn to without their
vices such as church? It would either force them to get right with God or
to turn their back completely against God. There is so much worldly
secularism in the church. I hear some of the local talk radio shows here
to which most of the hosts claim to be christian. I see their true
fruits. I hear them talking about drinkng and going to the bars. Like a
recent law having to do with covering the drinks with lids to avoid the
drugs slipped into them for date rapes. Anyone in this worldly scene reap
what they sow. The heathens are perverts so what do you expect. If these
hypocrites are no different than the heathens they deserve the same
thing. If you are seeking love among perverts then of course you are
going to get raped. I’ve heard that it was the masonic agenda to dumb
down people and is it ever working. I can’t imagine anyone that can
sincerely think they are a christian when they get drunk and carouse
around. The love of the Father is not in them or they wouldn’t do such
things. If these shows are any indication of how the church really is
then the church is far more worse than I thought.

Posted in abortion, America, bill clinton, Billy Graham, Christianity, church corruption, embryonic stem cell research, George Bush, hillary clinton, homosexuality, jerry falwell, jimmy carter, joel osteen, kenneth copeland, masonry, politics, religious right, spiritual deception | Comments Off on Why Are So Many Churches Struggling?

The Modern Churches To Bible Preachers: “You’re Not Welcome!”

Posted by soldierservant on July 17, 2007

Here is another right on article from Chuck.My only disagreement is the
conflicting scripture where Jesus condemns public prayer while Daniel
promoted it. I guess the main point of Daniel is to not let government
tell you how to worship. 

We often hear pastors, radio preachers, and televangelists refer to
the great prophets and Apostles of the Bible. Rightly, these Bible
characters are lauded as examples for today’s Christians. The
problem is, hardly any of those giants of history would be welcome
in America’s churches today!

On the whole, America’s Christians today do not want to hear the
truth. They want a place where they can be made to feel good,
where they can be entertained, where they can socialize and make
business contacts, and where their children can have a place to
play.

To many Christian parents, it is far more important that their
church have a gymnasium and constant youth programs than it is
that their children hear the truth of God’s Word and learn the
rigorous disciplines of a Christian life. Recreation is far more
important to them than Bible study. In fact, most parents seem to
believe that the only way to “keep the kids in church” is to have
constant, non-stop entertainment. Of course, it doesn’t work.

Furthermore, it seems that most of today’s sermons amount to little
more than “Positive Mental Attitude,” feel-good drivel: “How to
think better about yourself,” “How to squander more money on
yourself,” “How to ‘find yourself,'” “How to pamper yourself,” ad
nauseum, ad infinitum. Comparing the preaching and philosophy
of most churches today to that of Bible characters will quickly
reveal how unbiblical our churches have become.

For example, can you imagine how the average church in America
today would react to the decisions of Daniel and the three Hebrew
children? All four of them were unashamed and unhesitant to
practice civil disobedience. All four of them were charged with
capital crimes by their government and sentenced to death. In
Daniel’s case, all he had to do was not pray out loud to God for
thirty days. Thirty days! I can just hear today’s Christian
pragmatists screaming, “It’s only for thirty days. You can still pray
in your heart. We must obey the government.” Can you imagine
Daniel being asked to preach a message on “How And When To
Defy Your Government” to the vast majority of churches in
America today? Forget it!

Moreover, take a look at practically every single Old Testament
prophet. Ninety percent of their preaching was negative. They
seldom had anything positive to say, especially about the way their
nation’s leaders were behaving. They were often jailed, beaten,
starved, or even killed. They were as familiar with prisons as they
were with pulpits. They were despised by political leaders, rejected
by religious leaders, and shunned by business leaders.

It wasn’t much better for the Apostles and disciples in the New
Testament. John the Baptist was beheaded for “meddling in
politics.” The Apostles were beaten, stoned, and jailed. The
Apostle Paul was especially hated. He was hated by Jews; he was
hated by Romans; he was hated by businessmen; he was hated by
politicians; he was even hated by fellow ministers.

Can you imagine the Apostle Paul preaching a message on
“Conquering Low Self-Esteem”? Get real! Give Paul an
opportunity today to preach to a church of one thousand members
one Sunday morning, and by Sunday night (if they even had a
Sunday night service), there might be fifty people back to hear
him.

It is probably difficult for this generation of Christians to even
comprehend that this fearless, uncompromising, “like it or lump it”
kind of preaching was the kind of preaching that America cut its
teeth on. The colonies and frontier of this nation were filled with
prophet-like clergymen. And it didn’t really matter which
denomination one attended, either; he or she heard the same kind
of preaching.

Whether it was the Baptist Joab Houghton or the Presbyterian
James Caldwell or the Lutheran John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg or
the Episcopalian Samuel Provost or the German Reformed
Nicholas Herkimer, they were all plucky, pugnacious preachers!
Why, I can even recall hearing old fashioned “hell-fire and
damnation” preachers when I was a lad.

It was a “hell-fire” Holiness preacher that led my mother to Christ.
A “hell-fire” Baptist preacher led my alcoholic father to Christ. I
can even recall many trips to the last remaining Billy Sunday
Tabernacle in Winona Lake, Indiana, to hear the great “hell-fire”
preachers from virtually every Protestant denomination in the
country. I remember the crowds of thousands sitting on those hard,
wooden benches for hours listening intently to those masterful
sermons. In my mind, I can still see (and smell) the sawdust floors
where hundreds of people rushed to the front in answer to those
altar calls and the studio high atop the platform where radio station
WMBI transmitted those great sermons over the air. Alas, those
days are gone.

No wonder our people today have become self-centered, sensitive,
and shallow. They seldom, if ever, hear honest, straight-forward,
fearless preaching.

Therefore, the next time you hear someone refer to the great men
of the Bible, ask yourself, “Would that prophet be welcome in my
church today?” In most instances, the answer is a resounding no!
And now you know why America is in the shape it’s in today: the
nation always takes the form of its preachers and churches.

© Chuck Baldwin

When responding, please include your name, city and state. And,
unless otherwise requested, all respondents will be added to the
Chuck Wagon address list.

Please visit Chuck’s web site at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com.

Posted in America, Christianity, church corruption, idolatry, judgment, judgment on America, prophecy, spiritual deception, TBN, trinity broadcasting network | Comments Off on The Modern Churches To Bible Preachers: “You’re Not Welcome!”

GOP Does Not Stand For God’s Own Party, Christians!

Posted by soldierservant on July 17, 2007

I don’t know where people get the idea that the GOP stands for God’s Own Party.  Christians act as though the republican party is exclusive to christians. Back a few years ago I got involved with a republican blog. One time there was an issue about a general who was bold about his faith and they attacked him for it. I came to his defense and said that Jesus is the only way and boy did I ever get flack for it. They called me a religious nut because I would dare speak the truth. They said there were many truths. If that were so then one truth would cancel out another, so someone would be lying. It is that moral relatavism crap. A lot of people falsely claim that other religions are like christianity, which is a total lie. It is true that some may have some semblance of benign teaching, but their fruits expose themselves. The people running that republican blog are not christians but are buddhists or newagers. They live immoral lifestyles like whoremongers and whores and are into that false karma crap. There is nothing christ-like about such people as these. In fact to them they view christians as more of a threat than muslims. They act as though more people have died from abortion clinic bombings than 9/11, not that I am excusing those bombings, but that just goes to show you how distorted the very own republican party is that is antichristian. IT IS TIME FOR THE CHURCH TO COME OUT OF THIS GODLESS GOD FORSAKEN PARTY OR SUFFER GOD’S WRATH. HE WILL NOT TOLERATE YOUR COMPROMISE AND SPIRITUAL ADULTERY WITH THESE GODLESS HEATHENS THAT HATE ALL CHRISTIANS WITH A PASSION. WHAT DOES CHRIST HAVE IN COMMON WITH BELIAL OR DARKNESS WITH LIGHT?EVERY FRUITLESS TREE WILL BE CUT DOWN AND THROWN INTO THE FIRE. SO FAR THE CHURCH HAS BEEN FRUITLESS.THEY HAVEN’T SAVED ANY OF THE LIVES OF THE UNBORN.MAKE NO MISTAKE.THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT OF REPUBLICANS THAT PROMOTE ABORTION. BUSH’S STAFF IS FULL OF
PRO-ABORTIONISTS. BUSH HAS CAMPAIGNED FOR PRO-ABORTION AND PRO-GAY CANDIDATES SUCH AS SCHWARZENEGGER. THE CHURCH HAS THE BLOOD OF THESE INNOCENT UNBORN  ON THEIR HANDS AND WILL BE ETERNALLY DAMNED IF THERE IS NO REPENTENCE OR ANY ACTION TO COME AGAINST THIS.THE FEAR OF MAN BRINGS A TRAP BUT FEAR OF GOD BRINGS WISDOM. IF ROE V. WADE ISN’T OVERTURNED SOON DESTRUCTION WILL COME TO THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE IT WILL HAVE REAPED WHAT IT HAS SOWED. NOBODY IS ABOVE GOD’S LAW,NOT THE PRESIDENT OR ANYONE ELSE. ALL THOSE WHO REMAIN IN THIS COMPLACENCY WILL BE NUMBERED WITH THE WICKED IN WHICH GOD WILL EXECUTE JUDGMENT.GOD WILL NOT TOLERATE THE
ARROGANCE OF THOSE WHO THINK THIS COUNTRY IS ABOVE HIS JUDGMENT. IT IS TIME TO REPENT OF PRIDE AND COWARDICE OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES. YOU CAN’T SAY THAT YOU HAVEN’T BEEN WARNED. Even the homeland security chief Michael Chertoff fears attack from terrorists this summer. You then won’t be able to pass the buck onto liberals when this happen under Bush’s
watch. YOU HYPOCRITES STILL SUPPORT THIS WICKED PRESIDENT EVEN AFTER HE HAS SHOWN UTTER CONTEMPT FOR ALL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS BY TRYING TO REWARD ILLEGALS AND CRIMINALS. HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO ESCAPE THE WRATH OF GOD WHILE YOU ARE AT ONE WITH THIS ANTICHRIST?YOU STILL SUPPORT THIS GODLESS WAR THAT BRINGS MORE OPPRESSION TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE THAN EVER BEFORE. YOU WILL HAVE NO EXCUSE AT ALL WHEN YOU STAND BEFORE GOD! MANY WILL NOT MAKE IT TO GOD’S KINGDOM BECAUSE OF THEIR IDOLATRY OF BUSH AND THE MILITARY, WHICH SEEMS TO BE EXALTED ABOVE CHRIST. YOU MAKE MORE REFERENCES OF THE SACRIFICE OF SOLDIERS THAN YOU DO OF CHRIST’S SACRIFICE FOR ALL. IN ALL THIS POLITICAL HYPOCRISY CHRIST IS LEFT OUT OF IT ALL. YOU WORSHIP THE FREEDOM THAT YOU THINK YOU HAVE, BUT DON’T HAVE, ABOVE GOD HIMSELF. ALL THOSE WHO LOVE AND PRACTICE FALSEHOOD ARE
DAMNED TO THE LAKE OF FIRE (Rev.22:15).

Posted in abortion, America, catholicism, Christianity, church corruption, Fred Thompson, GOP, homosexuality, Mike Huckabee, politics, Republican, spiritual deception | Comments Off on GOP Does Not Stand For God’s Own Party, Christians!

Catholic Supremacy? Do Not Fear The Pope, FEAR GOD!

Posted by soldierservant on July 17, 2007

Yep,it has come out that this pope (Ratzinger or some kind of rat) has  declared the catholic church as the only true church. This coming from a church built on total lies and compromised with pagan religions. The name of this current pope sure fits him. Benedict (traitor) Ratzinger (rat). He is in essence what his name implies, a treacherous rat. I guarantee that all the popes are and will burn in hell for eternity. They have led their
congregations from the truth,leading them to hell. How then will any of these pope rats escape God’s wrath? THE CHURCH NEEDS TO GET A CLUE.C ATHOLICS ARE NOT CHRISTIAN! CHRISTIANITY IS DEVOTED ONLY TO THE TEACHING AND LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST. CATHOLICISM WORSHIPS MARY, ANGELS, AND OTHER SAINTS. THIS LYING POPE SAID THAT THEIR BISHOPS GO ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE APOSTLES WHICH IS A TOTAL LIE! EVEN DURING JESUS’ MINISTRY HE REBUKED THOSE WHO PRAISED HIS MOTHER OVER HIM OR THE GOSPEL (LUKE 11:27). THOSE WHO CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THIS LIE WILL HAVE TO ANSWER GOD FOR THIS. THERE IS NO RECONCILING DARKNESS WITH LIGHT SO FORGET ABOUT ALL THIS ECUMENICAL NONSENSE BECAUSE IT IS LIES STRAIGHT FROM THE PITS OF HELL!GOD DOESN’T WANT FALSE UNITY, HE WANTS TRUE UNITY. THERE CAN BE NO UNITY BETWEEN LIES AND TRUTH.REPENT OF THESE LIES OR THEY WILL DRAG YOUR SOUL STRAIGHT TO HELL! The only way to reach people to the truth is through truth,not lies. It is truely amazing how mindless people are that they can’t seem to understand simple truth. JESUS DIED FOR ALL SINS, NOT THE POPE! THESE CORRUPT EVIL MEN SACRIFICE NOTHING AND ARE EXPOSED BY THEIR FRUITS OF CHILD MOLESTING PRIESTS. JESUS SAID SUCH AS THOSE WHO DO SUCH HORRIBLE ACTS WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER NOT TO HAVE BEEN BORN. IF ANYONE THINKS THE POPE IS SO HOLY THEY GOT IT TOTALLY BACKWARDS. HIS PUNISHMENT WILL BE WORSE THAN THE HEATHENS.IN FACT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WILL BE HEAVILY INVOLVED WITH THE ANTICHRIST.THE FALSE PROPHET IS BELIEVED TO BE THE POPE. Even those involved in satanism know this. CATHOLICISM IS AN ABOMINATION TO GOD.IT IS A RELIGION OF GRAVEN IMAGES. NO ONE ANSWERS TO THE POPE. ALL THE POPES THEMSELVES WILL ANSWER TO GOD AS WELL AS EVERYONE ELSE!DO NOT FEAR THE POPE! FEAR GOD!

Posted in catholicism, Christianity, church corruption, spiritual deception | Comments Off on Catholic Supremacy? Do Not Fear The Pope, FEAR GOD!

Remembering The Lessons Of Germany’s Past And Considering America’s Future

Posted by soldierservant on July 17, 2007

For years, I struggled to comprehend how the good people of
Germany could allow someone such as Adolph Hitler to lead them
into what became World War II. After all, before Hitler’s rise to
power, Germany had a rich Christian heritage. The Reformation
out of the Dark Ages had its roots deeply imbedded in Germany
and surrounding countries.

Furthermore, Germany has long produced some of the most
intelligent and creative people on the planet! Many of the world’s
greatest engineers and scientists have come from Germany and
Austria. When it comes to knowledge and education, the Germanic
people take a back seat to no one.

How, then, could the good, intelligent people of Germany follow
and support someone such as Hitler? For years I struggled to find
the answer to that puzzle. Now, I believe I understand.

Obviously, one does not gain the trust and confidence of people by
portraying himself as a monster.  Does anyone truly believe that
the German people would have supported Hitler if they had
thought he was some kind of ogre? As with most leaders, Hitler
preached faith, family, and patriotism. His speeches were laced
with references to God. He personally claimed Christ to be his
Savior. Even his adopted Nazi symbol was created around the
Christian cross. As far as the German people were concerned,
Adolph Hitler was loyal to historic, conservative Christian values.
Why should they have thought otherwise?

However, it did not take long for Hitler to begin turning Germany
from an independent, peaceful republic into an aggressive global
empire.  And it is at this point that the German people, and
especially the German church, must share culpability for Hitler’s
sins.

First, On March 23, 1933, the newly elected members of the
Reichstag (the German Parliament) met in the Kroll Opera House
in Berlin to consider passing Hitler’s “Ermächtigungsgesetz” or,
The “Enabling Act.” This Act was officially called the “Law for
Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich.”

Opponents of the “Enabling Act” rightly warned that, if adopted,
the Act would make Hitler a de facto dictator. They worried that
the Act would dismantle constitutional liberties. History would
prove that their worries were valid.

At the time, however, it was anything but certain that Hitler would
prevail in convincing German lawmakers to pass his “Enabling
Act.” Then, suddenly, terrorists struck the Reichstag building.

After the Reichstag was burned on February 28, 1933, President
Hindenburg and Hitler invoked Article 48 of the Weimar
Constitution, which permitted the suspension of civil liberties
during national emergencies. As a result, freedom of the press, free
expression of opinion, individual property rights, right of assembly
and association, right to privacy of postal and electronic
communications, states’ rights of self-government, and protection
against unlawful searches and seizures were suspended. Shortly
afterward, the “Enabling Act” was passed, and the rest, as they say,
is history.

Of course, historians have widely speculated that it was Nazis,
themselves, that had set the fire in order to facilitate passage of the
“Enabling Act” and ensconce Hitler as Germany’s Fuhrer. No one
knows for sure who burned the Reichstag, but what we do know is
that Hitler used that act of terrorism to gain the support of the
people as a “wartime president.”

The German people were convinced that their country was under
attack and that Hitler was the leader who could protect them.
Consider the statement of one of Hitler’s most trusted cabinet
members, Hermann Goering, “The people can always be brought
to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell
them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of
patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” (Source:
Transcript of Nuremberg Trials)

Compare Goering’s statement to former Attorney General John
Ashcroft who, in defending the USA Patriot Act (which does much
the same thing as Hitler’s “Enabling Act”) said, “To those who
scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my
message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our
national unity and diminish our resolve.” (Source: Press Report,
Center for Public Integrity)

Is it only a coincidence (or a repeat of history) that Republicans
have introduced a bill in Congress to nullify the 22nd Amendment
thereby opening the door for President George W. Bush to become
permanent president? (Source: U.S. House of Representatives, H.J.
Res. 24 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the
United States to repeal the 22nd amendment to the Constitution”
introduced February 17, 2005.)

Add to H.J. Res. 24 the World Net Daily report that “A former
Bush team member during his first administration is now voicing
serious doubts about the collapse of the World Trade Center on
Sept. 11, 2001.

“Morgan Reynolds, former chief economist for the Department of
Labor during President George W. Bush’s first term, says the
official story about the collapse of the Twin Towers is ‘bogus’ and
that it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed them
and adjacent Building No. 7.”

WND quotes Reynolds as stating further, “Only professional
demolition appears to account for the full range of facts associated
with the collapse of the three buildings.”

Whether the Twin Towers and Building 7 were brought down via
“an inside job” or not, one thing is certain: the attacks of
September 11, 2001 became the catalyst that propelled
Congressmen to quickly pass the USA Patriot Act even though
none of them had read it.

Much is being made over the fact that on Wednesday of this week,
the House of Representatives removed some “sneak and peek”
features regarding public libraries from the Patriot Act. Of course,
President Bush is livid and is threatening to veto the bill without
that segment of the Act included. However, what few people seem
to notice is that a host of egregiously unconstitutional abridgments
of freedom remain intact in the Patriot Act.

Under the Patriot Act, government agents can conduct searches in
your home or business and search your belongings without
informing you and without a court order. Government agents are
permitted to arrest and detain individuals and to hold them
indefinitely, without being charged with a crime, and without
being allowed access to an attorney. In other words, the Patriot Act
(like Hitler’s “Enabling Act”) expunges our Fourth Amendment
protections against illegal searches and seizures and our right to be
secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects.

Furthermore, the Patriot Act (like Hitler’s “Enabling Act”)
destroys our Fifth Amendment right to be held for a capital, or
otherwise infamous crime, without an indictment of a grand jury.
The Patriot Act also eviscerates a citizen’s constitutional right of
Habeas Corpus.

The point is, as with Hitler’s Germany, so, too, the American
people, and especially America’s churches, are willingly and
enthusiastically surrendering constitutional liberties in order to
accommodate President Bush’s desires for authoritarian power as a
“wartime president.”

Consider, too, Hitler’s invasion of Germany’s neighbors. People
cheered as German troops attacked other nations. And even though
those nations had not participated in any attack against Germany,
Hitler had convinced people that preemptive attacks against those
nations were necessary as they would make Germany “more
secure.” Does this or does this not sound just like President Bush’s
justification for invading Iraq?

Once again, please remember that the German people believed
Hitler to be a patriotic, Christian man. As a result, Hitler had the
unflinching support of Germany’s conservative Christian
ministers. How else would they be persuaded to follow Hitler into
the nightmare of the Nazi regime?

Remember, also, that to most German ministers, the Nazi Party
was “God’s Party.” They really believed they were being faithful
to God by being faithful to Hitler. Therefore, should we not be
concerned today when we hear of Christian ministers
excommunicating church members who do not support President
Bush or the Republican Party? Should not “red flags” go up in our
minds when we hear Christian ministers excuse Bush’s
unconstitutional conduct by proclaiming, “Bush is God’s man for
America, therefore, we cannot criticize him!”?

Yes, my friends, it is now obvious to me how Adolph Hitler seized
power in Germany, because the same principles that Hitler used in
the 1930’s are being used by America’s leaders today.

Am I saying that I believe President Bush is another Hitler? Of
course not. I am saying, however, that the same tactics and
strategies being used by President Bush are eerily similar to those
of the former German leader’s. Certainly, we all pray for a fate far
better than that of Hitler’s Germany. But to obtain a better future
for America, it is obligatory that we remember the lessons of
Germany’s past. © Chuck Baldwin Please visit Chuck’s web site at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com.

Posted in America, catholicism, Christianity, church corruption, germany, holocaust, spiritual deception | Comments Off on Remembering The Lessons Of Germany’s Past And Considering America’s Future

The Lesser of Two Evils Rarely Is by Gary North

Posted by soldierservant on July 17, 2007

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north536.html

The Lesser of Two Evils Rarely Is

by Gary North
by Gary North

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In December, 1976, I was a staff member for Congressman Ron Paul. In November, he had lost his campaign for re-election by fewer than 300 votes out of over 180,000. My days as a Congressional staffer were numbered – thankfully.

The Democrats in that month elected Tip O’Neill the Speaker of the House. O’Neill was unopposed. A battle raged over who would be second in command: House Majority Leader.

There were four candidates. The front-runner was Phil Burton of San Francisco, probably the most far left Congressman in the House, with the possible exception of his brother, John. Then there was Richard Bolling, a Constitutional law expert with a lot of enemies. Jim Wright of Ft. Worth was third. In fourth place was John McFall, who was plagued by a scandal.

The rules were clear: the bottom man was eliminated in each round of voting. First, McFall was eliminated; then Bolling, but just barely. It came down to Burton vs. Wright. Wright won, 148 to 147.

Wright was perceived as a moderate, but his success in pushing liberal legislation, first as Majority Leader and later as Speaker of the House, was the stuff of legend. He went along to get along, to cite another Texas Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn. He knew how to work the legislative system. He was to the House what Lyndon Johnson had been to the Senate.

When one vote determines the outcome of an election, anyone who voted can claim to be the deciding factor. One such claimant was Congressman Larry McDonald. He was the most conservative Democrat in the House in 1976. Arguably, he was the most conservative House Democrat in the twentieth century. He was a member of the John Birch Society, and had he not disappeared, along with the never-located Korean Airlines Flight 007, in 1983, he would have become the head of the JBS.

At the initial meeting of the Council for National Policy in early 1981, he and I discussed old times and new times. He made an observation that has stuck with me ever since.

The worst vote of my career was my vote for Jim Wright for Majority Leader in 1976. I thought Burton was a Communist. But if he had won, House Democrats would not have gone along with him on a lot of disastrous bills that Jim Wright pushed through. McDonald had made a choice. He looked at the voting record of two politicians and decided that one of them was the lesser of two evils. In terms of their voting records, this assessment was correct, but in terms of their respective abilities to get bills passed and signed into law by the newly elected President, Jimmy Carter, it was incorrect. McDonald recognized this too late.HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

In 2008, Americans will go to the polls, hold their noses with one hand and with their other hand either punch holes in cards or tap computer screens. They will vote for the lesser of two evils. This unhappy condition is the outcome of decades of campaign reform laws passed by incumbent politicians who wrote the reform laws so that they could remain incumbent, which they generally did. This is the politics of political action committees, huge bankrolls for media ad purchases, and spinmeisters.

Only a terminally naïve voter expects to see much good come out of a Presidential election. He hopes only that the worst outcome will not result.

Hope springs eternal. That’s the problem with hope. It keeps springing because it rarely comes true.

The lesser of two evils, because he or she is not widely perceived as being consistently evil, can gain cooperation from the uncommitted middle. Meanwhile, he or she receives reduced opposition from the ideological hard core on the other side of the issues.

GRIM PRECEDENTS

In 1968, millions of Republicans voted for Richard Nixon. They voted for him overwhelmingly in 1972, the year after he had unilaterally severed the dollar from gold. He had run back-to-back deficits of $25 billion – a huge annual deficit in that era. It is unlikely that the ineffective gas bag Hubert Humphrey would have had the courage to destroy the last traces of the international gold standard. Yet Humphrey almost won in 1968. Republican die-hards had kept this from happening.

In the summer of 1972, Richard Whalen’s book, Catch the Falling Flag: A Republican’s Challenge to His Party, documented the story of the takeover of the Administration by Rockefeller operatives. Whalen had been a speechwriter for Nixon during the 1968 campaign. He knew firsthand what had occurred. Republicans paid no attention to his book in November. “Nixon is ours.” They re-elected him in November.

Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, took control over the Nixon Administration early. He had managed his 1968 campaign. He led the massacre of the campaign’s conservative staffers even before Nixon was inaugurated, as Whalen’s book revealed. He once made this observation: “Watch what we do, not what we say.” They did, and he went to jail, but only because the tapes let the prosecution hear what they said.

Mitchell was closely associated with Nelson Rockefeller. Shortly after his inauguration in 1969, Nixon told of a meeting he had with Rockefeller:

I remember in that respect a conversation I had with the Governor, at which your new Attorney General was present, shortly after I had won the nomination of the Republican Party in Miami Beach and the Governor came in to congratulate me. Mr. Mitchell was there. I started to introduce the two and Governor Rockefeller very graciously said, “I know John Mitchell. You know, he is my lawyer. Or, I should say, he was my lawyer.” Yet anti-Rockefeller Republicans overwhelming re-elected Nixon in 1972, preferring him to liberal George McGovern, an ineffectual politician if there ever was one, as his former Vice Presidential running mate, Thomas Eagleton, had learned earlier in the year. Nixon was perceived as the lesser of two evils.A replay of this scenario took place with George H. W. Bush in 1988. The ineffective Democratic dork from Massachusetts would have had no power to do much of anything. But Republicans voted for Bush. Bush’s White House was run by James Baker, just as Reagan’s had been whenever Reagan wasn’t paying attention, which was most of the time. Republicans did not notice or else did not care if they did notice.

If Al Gore had been elected in 2000, we would not have the Iraq war today. We would have had an insufferable bore in the White House, but not the Patriot Act.

CONCLUSION

There is a lesson here: voting for the lesser of two evils generally produces greater evil. The victor is generally a “go along to get along” sort of fellow. He gets along famously with the power brokers who make most of the policy decisions, either Council on Foreign Relations Team A or Council on Foreign Relations Team B.

Decade after decade, generation after generation, die-hard party voters fail to learn this lesson. Larry McDonald learned it. He learned it too late.

No one has to vote for the lesser of two evils. It is sufficient that voters show up to vote against local bond issues. “None of the above” works just fine for everything else. “Don’t tap that screen!”

June 8, 2007

Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 19-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com

Gary North Archives

Posted in America, Christianity, George Bush, politics, Ron Paul | Comments Off on The Lesser of Two Evils Rarely Is by Gary North