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Posts by darrellmaurina

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  • Anti-Defamation League: Huckabee 'completely out of line'

    08/05/2015 8:27:21 PM PDT · 46 of 50
    darrellmaurina to justiceseeker93; Yehuda; MadMax, the Grinning Reaper; Eleutheria5; Hildy; SJackson; GoneSalt; ...
    29 posted on 7/27/2015, 3:52:38 PM by justiceseeker93: “The ADL’s historical function is to speak out against anti-Semites and anti-Semitism, not against philosemites concerned about the survival of Jews and Israel. Greenblat here is doing just the opposite of what ADL is supposed to do. He should be either praising Huckabee for his remarks, or at worst, be keeping quiet.”

    Thank you for PINGing me to this discussion, JusticeSeeker.

    I realize this is an issue on which Gentiles probably need to keep (mostly) quiet. Jewish conservatives cannot and should not be perceived as doing what non-Jewish people want them to do.

    I'm PINGing this to the people on this thread who I know or think are Jewish Freepers, plus some others who have commented on this thread, and a few other high-profile Jewish Freepers.

    I realize time may be on the side of the Orthodox, and of more traditionally observant Jewish people in other branches of Judaism, with their larger families and the increasing assimilation of liberal Jews due to atheism and intermarriage. I also understand why Jewish conservatives do not want to act rashly to break ties with organizations which have spent not just decades but a century or more defending Jewish life in America.

    But there simply must be a time to say, “enough is enough.” Lots of Gentile conservatives who are supporters of Israel are sick and tired of being accused of being anti-Semitic. If someone like Huckabee, with his very long history of support for Israel, can be attacked by the Anti-Defamation League, can anyone who is a conservative evangelical Christian supporter of Israel avoid such false attacks?

    Is faithhopecharity right when he wrote this:

    24 posted on 7/27/2015, 3:04:11 PM by faithhopecharity wrote: “I think the Jewish people need a new organization to replace ADL, an outfit that will actually fight for the civil rights and liberties of Jewish people suffering discriminatory abuses.”

    I'd really appreciate hearing from Jewish Freepers on what you think about the possibility, either short or long-term, of either fixing or replacing ADL.

    If your answer is, “Give us time, the liberals are dying off,” I can understand that answer. There's no sense in asking Jewish conservatives to act like secondary-separation Christian fundamentalists, breaking ties with every group that has problems. That's not your tradition.

    But lots of Gentile supporters of Israel are annoyed when we see things like this. Sometime eventually something should be done. Maybe not today, but someday.

    I think seven decades of evangelical Christian support for Israel has adequately proven our bona fides on this matter.

  • Larry Wilmore Blasts Donald Trump, Ted Cruz Over Same-Sex Marriage on #BigGayMonday (Video)

    07/03/2015 8:24:20 PM PDT · 28 of 29
    darrellmaurina to 2ndDivisionVet; SoConPubbie
    I may never understand why the Republican Party takes people like Romney, Christie, and Trump, who may be the best candidates who can realistically be elected as Republicans in states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, and runs them for president.

    I can throw lots of brickbats at Trump, but he might make a decent candidate for the US Senate or the New York governorship. He'd certainly be lots better than the Democrats who that state usually elects.

    But what works in the DC-NY-Boston corridor doesn't work nationwide. People don't win races in Iowa, South Carolina, or even New Hampshire by running the way they do in New York, New Jersey, or Massachusetts.

    The only good things I can see about Trump and Christie being in this race are 1) their brashness will make comments by hard-core conservatives seem less radical than they would be if Jeb Bush were the main moderate Republican running, and 2) Trump and Christie may well have the effect of dividing the GOP-e voters.

    The GOP-e has done a great job in numerous elections of pitting numerous conservative candidates against each other, with the result that the least conservative major candidate comes out on top. Divide-and-conquer works. Doing a divide-and-conquer routine against the GOP-e could very well happen this year, and that's not a bad idea.

  • JENNIFER RUBIN: Trump, Cruz and Paul emerge as Todd Akin Republicans

    07/03/2015 7:57:17 PM PDT · 62 of 62
    darrellmaurina to 2ndDivisionVet; All; Diamond; Charles Henrickson; SoConPubbie
    Look... unlike most people who talk about Todd Akin, I actually live in Missouri and actually saw how he ran his primary campaign to the point that he came out on top in what was mainly a three-way race. Perhaps more relevantly, I saw how his primary opponents ran their campaigns and failed to reach strongly committed conservatives and former conservative Democrats, often evangelicals, who in recent years have become Republicans.

    And then I saw how in the general election, one single stupid comment, based on wrong information he apparently sincerely believed to be true, got turned from a molehill into a mountain. A female Democratic candidate who had a long history of prosecuting rape cases was able to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat by attacking a Republican man who appeared to be clueless about the effects of rape on women's bodies. Her efforts were aided in large measure by Republicans who, once private efforts had failed to convince Akin to drop out, decided to go public with their attacks on him. I understand they were trying to protect other Republicans elsewhere, but Missouri has become such a deep red state in recent years that I still think Akin might have managed a victory if the Republicans hadn't publicly and repeatedly attacked him, doing the work of the Democrats more effectively than the Democrats.

    There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the Todd Akin debacle. In many cases the wrong lessons are being cited — for example, that Christian conservatives are stupid idiots who need to be milked for votes but never allowed to win primaries.

    But I'm not at all sure Akin’s example has much of any relevance to Trump or Cruz.

    Here's why.

    Trump's entire brand is brashness on parade. When Akin said something stupid, it made him look stupid and therefore a bad candidate. When Trump says something which for other candidates would destroy their campaigns, Trump says it again in a louder voice and keeps shouting, claiming he has the courage to say what others won't. He's been acting that way for decades in business and on his TV shows. Voters expect it and are inoculated to the effects of his comments.

    As for Cruz, he's a trained lawyer who thinks on his feet. He may someday say something stupid — most candidates do, sooner or later — but so far he gives every indication that his more fiery and radical statements are done deliberately and are well-aimed guided missiles, not scattershot. Maybe in Jennifer Rubin's world of Washington it sounds like a career-killer to encourage people to ignore Supreme Court rulings, but in the deep red states, and for a lot of conservative voters in light red and purple swing states, Cruz is throwing out exactly the kind of red meat that it takes to attract workers in primaries and caucuses. Right now, getting an on-the-ground organization is key, and since Cruz can't buy ground troops like Bush or Trump, throwing out red meat is a real good strategy.

    For whatever it may be worth, I personally think the biggest lesson to be learned from the Akin experience is to "stay in your lane." Every pro-life Republican will be asked about rape and incest exceptions; it's a predictable question and there's no excuse for not preparing your answer in advance. If you don't have medical knowledge, stay away from things you don't know and stick with what you do know. Relying on advice from experts is necessary once elected since you will have to vote on subjects you don't personally understand. But in a campaign, you're talking in sound bites, and you'd better make sure the sound bites you dish up aren't served from a can of worms. If you don't know your comments are correct, keep them to yourself before you get them checked by people who do know.

  • Ted Cruz: States should ignore gay-marriage ruling

    06/30/2015 6:22:12 AM PDT · 113 of 129
    darrellmaurina to conservativejoy; cripplecreek; P-Marlowe; napscoordinator; Gamecock; wagglebee; AmericanInTokyo; ...
    59 posted on 6/29/2015, 9:19:24 PM by conservativejoy: “I think this is going to mobilize evangelical Christians. Despite all the media propaganda, there is a majority that supports traditional marriage, across all demographics.”

    Yes, but more than the white evangelicals who have formed the core of the modern “religious right.” This is an issue which infuriates lots of traditional Catholics, black evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, and even a fair number of secular people.

    The margin of victory in California against gay marriage — a deep blue state — was provided by Hispanics and blacks who usually vote Democrat.

    Getting to 50 percent is key.

    The radical left is overplaying its hand. There are a lot of people who don't think the government has any business telling two men or two women what to do in their bedroom who don't think bakers, florists, and pizza places should be shut down because they won't cater to a gay wedding. Some of those people are even supporters of gay marriage who don't think gay marriage will affect anyone except gays, and then they wake up and get angry when told that people who oppose gay marriage will be forbidden from objecting to it.

    If I were a supporter of gay marriage, I'd sit quiet and let people get used to the “new reality” of the recent Supreme Court decision, rather than giving Republicans a wedge issue to turn out huge numbers of angry voters who know the next president will appoint at least three and possibly more Supreme Court justices.

    However, the extreme wing of the group pushing gay marriage shows no indicator they're slowing down. On the contrary, they're pushing the accelerator on the car.

    That may well work in places like San Francisco and Greenwich Village, but it's poor politics in lots of other places.

  • Ted Cruz backs county clerks denying marriage licenses to gay couples

    06/29/2015 6:50:25 AM PDT · 56 of 56
    darrellmaurina to xzins; P-Marlowe

    State laws differ, but recording of a deed will almost always require involvement of the county or some other unit of government. Same for recording a marriage.

    I am honestly not clear what I think about recording that marriage. An argument could be made that recording a second marriage of an adulterous spouse is also sinful. And if that’s the case, we have a much bigger problem than homosexual marriages.

    The deputy clerk involved in the article I posted happens to be a conservative Anglican and has views of marriage which come from a theological tradition different from me, so I’m not comfortable explaining the details of her view. But for someone from a church owing its origins to Henry VIII, I can see why recording marriages involving serious sin short of homosexuality would not be as much of a concern as it would be to many conservative evangelicals or Roman Catholics.

  • Ted Cruz backs county clerks denying marriage licenses to gay couples

    06/29/2015 5:12:25 AM PDT · 52 of 56
    darrellmaurina to Jack Black
    48 posted on 6/29/2015, 6:48:45 AM by Jack Black: "expecting individual county clerk’s to form the resistance to this law is not a realistic plan."

    I tend to agree. But Senator Cruz is a lawyer and he has spent decades dealing with the courts. Surely he knows many clerks, and knows this is absolutely not the job that these people signed up to do.

    Many of these deputy clerks are young women in essentially secretarial roles; the older ones in supervisory positions are often grandmotherly types.

    Stranger things have happened in history. Maybe we're about to see a huge revolt of young women and elderly matrons taking action and "growing a pair" when our mostly-male political class did nothing.

    Is Senator Cruz's goal to have lots of clerks protesting in the streets, shouting that homosexual activists have declared a war on women? It might make a great sound bite and photo op, but I'm not sure it will work.

    Senator Cruz must have thought this through before making his proposal. Perhaps Texas clerks are made of tough stuff willing to risk jail time. I surely hope he has an idea what to do if he's going to put lots of women in their 20s and 50s on the front lines of this fight.

  • Ted Cruz backs county clerks denying marriage licenses to gay couples

    06/29/2015 5:07:48 AM PDT · 51 of 56
    darrellmaurina to xzins
    47 posted on 6/29/2015, 6:48:09 AM by xzins: "Every county has countless people authorized to solemnize their marriages. I suspect it would be easy to authorize someone to solemnize homosexual marriages."

    Agreed about solemnization of marriages. But at least under Missouri law, and probably the laws of most other states, only a very small number of county officials are authorized to do the paperwork to issue the license and then records the marriage in the official records. In at least one of our adjoining counties, there are a grand total of two people in the entire county who can do so -- the elected circuit court clerk and his deputy clerk.

    There are work-arounds. Even in the smallest counties, another county employee outside the circuit court clerk's office could be trained and deputized to handle marriage licenses. If absolutely nobody is willing to do the paperwork, a deputy clerk could be brought in from another county.

  • Ted Cruz backs county clerks denying marriage licenses to gay couples

    06/29/2015 4:30:11 AM PDT · 46 of 56
    darrellmaurina to justiceseeker93; 9YearLurker; Olog-hai; GeronL; Charles Henrickson; SoConPubbie; AmericanInTokyo; ..
    44 posted on 6/29/2015, 5:29:02 AM by 9YearLurker: “What happens if no government employee in a county believes in gay marriage sufficiently to step in in this employee’s place? Then I’d guess the county would have to hire someone else to do it—or maybe there’d then be a hardship provision by which they can compel an employee to act—or get another job.”

    Not having anyone willing to sign the documents is a very realistic possibility in conservative rural counties.

    There are work-arounds which would respect the conscience of circuit court clerks who have sincere religious objections. (More below on that.)

    My worry is that the liberals are not stupid. They have had plenty of time to think these things through. What will happen if some rural county somewhere tries to accommodate sincerely held religious convictions, inconveniences a homosexual couple by making them wait a day until a clerk is available, gets sued, loses the lawsuit, and sets a precedent which removes the accommodation for everyone else?

    Here's an example of how this could work. The smallest county in our four-county circuit has only two people in their circuit clerk's office, the elected clerk and his deputy. On the other hand, two of our four counties are fairly large and one of those is in a university town. I am certain at least one deputy clerk somewhere in the circuit is willing to do the paperwork.

    I suppose the circuit judges could arrange for a deputy clerk willing to do the paperwork to be sent to a county where a homosexual couple wanted a marriage license, on a basis comparable to judges being sent from one county to another within the circuit when conflicts of interest happen, or even obtaining a deputy clerk from outside the circuit if no clerk anywhere in the circuit will do this.

    That could work, but only if the homosexuals consider that to be a legitimate accommodation to the beliefs of those who disagree.

    Will that happen? Recent history with bakers, florists, and pizza shops does not give reason for optimism.

    Here's a worst-case scenario.

    With the exception of Poland, where the Roman Catholic Church was so strong that the Communist Party was forced to let practicing Catholics into government, most civil service positions in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and China were closed to practicing Christians, either by outright prohibitions on Christians or by requiring people to agree to do things which sincere believers could not do, leading to a situation in which liberal Christians and people who didn't take their beliefs seriously could cooperate with government but sincere believers could not. Similar issues existed for Jewish people in the former Soviet Union, where observant Orthodox Jews faced severe problems but secular Jews sometimes rose to significant positions in government.

    I don't think most American liberals think that way, at least not yet. Churches have had a very long history in “progressive” and liberal causes, and most secular liberals know enough black evangelicals and Hispanic Catholics to regard them as well-meaning people, even if they don't agree.

    But it's quite possible the hard-core leftists have something like that on their agenda, i.e., driving people out of government service who can't conscientiously accept certain things.

  • Ted Cruz backs county clerks denying marriage licenses to gay couples

    06/29/2015 3:15:19 AM PDT · 43 of 56
    darrellmaurina to Olog-hai

    Not disagreeing with regard to the Supreme Court having decided to make rather than interpret laws. I’m frankly not sure what the best way is to handle this.

    I’m glad I’m not a county official responsible for registering marriages. Thousands of those clerks are going to have to make decisions, knowing that whatever they do could cost them a great deal more than they counted on when they signed up for what’s ordinarily a pretty routine job.

  • Cruz: Clerks Should be Able to Opt Out of Gay Marriage Licenses

    06/28/2015 11:40:47 PM PDT · 93 of 94
    darrellmaurina to GeronL; Charles Henrickson; SoConPubbie; AmericanInTokyo; napscoordinator; xzins; wagglebee; ...
    92 posted on 6/29/2015, 1:02:52 AM by GeronL: “The leftists are going to create a religious test to hold office, apparently.”

    I am afraid you're right. I don't think it will work, but I think that is precisely what some want.

    I'm also glad I live in Missouri, and in a very conservative county in Missouri where even most of our local Democrats are conservatives, rather than living in a more liberal state or county.

    Case in point — I never said anything on Free Republic and kept the issue local, but last summer I got subjected to an attack by homosexual activists which backfired badly and actually helped me a lot locally, with no discernible negative effects at all beyond taking up a lot of my time. Even some of our local homosexuals got mad at the radical activists. The homosexuals who came to my defense believed — correctly — that the attacks on me, generally from newcomers to our area, were making local homosexuals look bad who had tried for years to live quiet lives.

    I think most conservatives who believe in limited government aren't very interested in telling two men or two women what they can do in private on their own property, but it's also clear the radicals want more than toleration. They want acceptance and probably even more than that.

    The homosexual community is itself divided between “in your face” people and those who want to be left alone. The extremists in the homosexual community are not doing their cause any favors outside places which are already quite far left-wing.

    Time will tell what happens. I don't think our country is ready to see bakers, florists, and pizza places put out of business for refusing to cater to homosexual weddings — at least not yet. In my county, once it became clear the radicals had made a major mistake and their tactics were causing people to rally to my support, I actually got accused of creating the controversy to gain support. (Zero truth to that; if I'd wanted the controversy to blow up nationally, I would have posted on Free Republic last summer, and I was quite happy to see the controversy go away.)

    But it's also clear that a majority in some parts of our country is quite willing to do that sort of thing.

    I'm glad I don't live in one of those places.

  • Ted Cruz backs county clerks denying marriage licenses to gay couples

    06/28/2015 11:03:34 PM PDT · 39 of 56
    darrellmaurina to GlockLady; Olog-hai; All

    It’s not just Texas where this is going to be an issue.

    Here are three articles about a deputy clerk in my county (first from a conservative Christian magazine, then a response from a liberal organization, and then the Christian magazine editor’s response with links to other coverage).

    This could blow up in our county soon. A homosexual couple tried to get a marriage license on Friday in our county and was denied. We’ll see what happens Monday.

    Our state governor is a Democrat who (if media reports are correct) has told our state’s circuit court clerks to issue gay marriage licenses. That means our clerks cannot expect the protections which a Texas clerk may have.

    Personally I’m conflicted on this issue. The clerks are administrative officials; I’m not at all sure we want them making policy or refusing to enforce laws. I sympathize with the argument that a Mennonite or Quaker clerk might refuse to issue gun permits, or a Muslim clerk might refuse to issue a liquor license. The difference is that in those cases, the voters would probably throw the clerk out of office in most counties. In our county, I have little doubt that a clerk who ran on a “no gay marriage” platform could win by a landslide.

    To make matters more complicated, the supervisor of the deputy clerk profiled in this article is a conservative Democrat who has served for years, generally got re-elected by large margins, just last November won re-election by a large majority over a Republican, and was almost the only local Democrat to win last fall. I have no idea what she will do beyond defending her staff’s religious convictions. The elected circuit court clerk is herself a Southern Baptist, for whatever it may be worth, and many of her deputy clerks are evangelicals.

    My guess is that sooner or later one of the deputy clerks in our county will agree to do the paperwork, but it may take some time to find one willing to do so.

  • Cruz: Clerks Should be Able to Opt Out of Gay Marriage Licenses

    06/28/2015 10:58:10 PM PDT · 89 of 94
    darrellmaurina to VinL; All; cripplecreek; Antoninus; wagglebee; Lazlo in PA; napscoordinator; AmericanInTokyo; ...

    It’s not just Texas where this is going to be an issue.

    Here are three articles about a deputy clerk in my county (first from a conservative Christian magazine, then a response from a liberal organization, and then the Christian magazine editor’s response with links to other coverage).

    This could blow up in our county soon. A homosexual couple tried to get a marriage license on Friday in our county and was denied. We’ll see what happens Monday.

    Our state governor is a Democrat who (if media reports are correct) has told our state’s circuit court clerks to issue gay marriage licenses. That means our clerks cannot expect the protections which a Texas clerk may have.

    Personally I’m conflicted on this issue. The clerks are administrative officials; I’m not at all sure we want them making policy or refusing to enforce laws. I sympathize with the argument that a Mennonite or Quaker clerk might refuse to issue gun permits, or a Muslim clerk might refuse to issue a liquor license. The difference is that in those cases, the voters would probably throw the clerk out of office in most counties. In our county, I have little doubt that a clerk who ran on a “no gay marriage” platform could win by a landslide.

    To make matters more complicated, the supervisor of the deputy clerk profiled in this article is a conservative Democrat who has served for years, generally got re-elected by large margins, just last November won re-election by a large majority over a Republican, and was almost the only local Democrat to win last fall. I have no idea what she will do beyond defending her staff’s religious convictions. The elected circuit court clerk is herself a Southern Baptist, for whatever it may be worth, and many of her deputy clerks are evangelicals.

    My guess is that sooner or later one of the deputy clerks in our county will agree to do the paperwork, but it may take some time to find one willing to do so.

  • Ted Cruz: Constitutional Remedies to a Lawless Supreme Court

    06/27/2015 9:58:27 PM PDT · 240 of 330
    darrellmaurina to Publius
    52 posted on 6/26/2015, 7:27:54 PM by Publius: “I reside in a small farming village a few miles from the Canadian border. It's a conservative little town with a lot of Dutch ancestry. There is a Dutch restaurant a few blocks away that offers large country breakfasts, and I go there often.”

    You're outed as a Lyndenite!

    (Grand Rapids and Holland on my end.)

    Have a good day, Van der Publius!

  • Victory in 2016. The left may well regret this week (vanity)

    06/27/2015 9:50:47 PM PDT · 175 of 188
    darrellmaurina to LS
    167 posted on 6/27/2015, 7:47:20 PM by LS: “Some, like our county GOP, saw a Tea Party coup (good) but the guys we put in, while ideologically pure, were 100% incompetent. That set us back years-—all that tryst wasted.”

    Pay serious attention to what LS said.

    I know nothing about his local political situation, but I do know quite a bit about what happens when people who say the right things and believe the right things don't have enough basic competence and acquired experience to actually run things right.

    The liberals value experience in government. Those of us who are conservatives and know the business world understand the value of “time in the chair,” and learning how things work.

    For some reason some conservatives think putting inexperienced and unqualified people in political positions will work better than putting inexperienced and unqualified people in jobs in private business.

    Competence counts. So does experience.

    Obviously a highly competent and experienced person who wants do bad things is dangerous. But getting somebody who wants to do the right things but doesn't know how to do them isn't helpful, either, and can sometimes actually be harmful if it causes voters to turn against conservative candidates.

  • Donald Trump Donated Heavily To Democrats, Especially During Election Which Put Reid And

    06/27/2015 5:44:41 PM PDT · 135 of 138
    darrellmaurina to Mariner; SoConPubbie
    Look, anyone who has spent time in a blue state, let alone being a successful on-the-radar businessman in a heavily blue urban area, knows it's necessary to pay off people to get things done once you're big enough to matter. If you're going to do business in someplace like NYC or Chicago without much of a viable Republican Party, that means donating to Democrats.

    Republicans don't usually work that way. A conservative Republican elected official in an urban part of Texas or Georgia or some other red state will respect the right of a liberal businessman to run his business without interference. But to be fair to Trump, I think Republicans need to give him some credit for being able to survive in business in a city which is not just liberal but which has a long history of seriously corrupt government.

    Yes, Donald Trump should be asked to explain those donations. If he says the Clintons kissed his you-know-what to get his money, make Trump explain what he got and what the Clintons got out of the bargain. The answers might prove fascinating.

    If Trump were running for governor of New York or mayor of New York City I might think he'd be better than the alternatives. He's a NYC version of Mitt Romney who understands business but unlike Romney, likes to drink, womanize and swear.

    Romney was probably about the best Republicans could get as a candidate in Massachusetts. But as conservative Republicans we can do better on the national level and don't need to get people like Romney or Trump.

    Let's be honest; Trump wouldn't even be a possible contender at the national level with his views and his personal history if it weren't for his money and his showmanship. Somebody needs to explain to him that while he may be able to buy his way into power in NYC political life, Republicans don't work the way NYC liberals work. We actually care about what somebody believes, not just how big their checks are.

  • Ted Cruz: Constitutional Remedies to a Lawless Supreme Court

    06/27/2015 3:26:25 PM PDT · 231 of 330
    darrellmaurina to SoConPubbie; PlateOfShrimp; Isara
    32 posted on 6/26/2015, 6:43:39 PM by SoConPubbie: “And I say that as the keeper of the Ted Cruz Ping list, and I am pretty sure that Ted Cruz would be JUST AS emphatic as I am in his response to your scurrilous idea.”

    This article is useful and I'd already shared it yesterday with a number of people from the original source before reading this today on Free Republic.

    Please add me to that Cruz ping list. It's way too early for me to make a commitment, but a committed social conservative who can get support from the more secular parts of the conservative wing of the Republican Party is probably what we need. Being Texan and of Hispanic origin are added pluses, especially since the only way we can get enough of a majority in the Senate to actually remove Supreme Court justices, or even break the 60-vote filibuster needed to get new conservative justices appointed if a current justice dies or resigns, probably involves mobilizing Hispanics and blacks on the homosexual issue who usually vote Democrat.

  • Carly Fiorina: If US Supreme Court rules for gay ‘marriage,’ we should support their decision

    06/19/2015 9:25:46 PM PDT · 72 of 75
    darrellmaurina to AmericanInTokyo; wagglebee
    3 posted on 5/12/2015, 8:38:55 AM by AmericanInTokyo: "I am glad these things are coming out early in the game, and people are saying how they feel way upstream to allow us to make intelligent decisions and determine which candidate or candidates most closely align with our own viewpoints."


    Caffeinated Thoughts is run by Shane Vander Hart, a conservative Christian in Iowa who is doing great work by asking hard questions to candidates, and also made national news in the 2012 primary cycle -- work which in an earlier generation would have been done by conservative newspapers in Iowa and New Hampshire and other early decider states.

    Vander Hart deserves some serious compliments for his work.

  • Jacob's Journey: Life as a Transgender 5-Year-Old

    04/30/2015 6:52:39 PM PDT · 69 of 69
    darrellmaurina to tbw2
    We concur. Many liberals are inconsistent and that unavoidably leads to contradictory positions. Sometimes that becomes full-blown hypocrisy.

    Since most liberals do not base their beliefs on acceptance of a formally adopted written Constitution, or (in the case of moral matters which are not the province of government) acceptance of a written Scripture “to be the rule of faith and life,” it's hard to see how it could be any other way. A liberal may well have core values which he or she sincerely believes, but if those values come in conflict with what is perceived to be proper “political correctness,” it's hard for someone who does not have a formal written authority external to him- or herself to know how to handle those contradictions and conflicts.

    Presuppositions count. Forcing liberals to re-examine their actions and understand the presuppositions which led them to those actions can produce interesting results as observers, and sometimes the liberals themselves, realize they are being inconsistent.

    Creating “cognitive dissonance” can work.

  • Rubio: I’d attend a gay ‘wedding’. Walker: I have. Santorum: I wouldn’t. Cruz: Pass.

    04/30/2015 1:13:15 AM PDT · 103 of 104
    darrellmaurina to SoFloFreeper; wagglebee; Salvation; Admin Moderator
    My apologies to all reading my last post. I have no idea why I read “Jeb Bush” when the article is clearly referring to “Marco Rubio.”

    There's no way I can edit. Can the Admin Moderator please change “Bush” to “Rubio” throughout my post and change this sentence as follows:

    CURRENT: “But coming from a top-tier presidential candidate who grew up as the son of a president, this answer shows Bush wasn't prepared.”

    REQUESTED FIX: “But coming from a top-tier presidential candidate, this answer shows Rubio wasn't prepared.”

    I'm sick but that's no excuse. I blew it and I should know better. I'm going to step away from the keyboard and stop posting until I'm no longer sick. I can't let this happen twice.

  • Rick Santorum: America Will Never Be Whole if it Continues to Kill its Children in Abortion

    04/30/2015 12:53:56 AM PDT · 21 of 21
    darrellmaurina to conservativejoy; Russ; wagglebee; Salvation
    18 posted on 4/20/2015, 3:06:26 PM by conservativejoy: “Yes, it was reported during his primary run last election. She also had an affair with the abortion doctor, before she was married to Rick.”

    That was widely publicized during his presidential campaign and his earlier career in Pennsylvania politics. I think it's been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mrs. Santorum is a sincerely repentant sinner. Nobody keeps up with that kind of change long-term, at great personal cost, unless they mean it.

    Sometimes people on the wrong side of important issues really do change, not for political convenience, but because they've been personally converted (which usually makes radical changes) or because they have been convinced that their previous views were wrong.

  • Rubio: I’d attend a gay ‘wedding’. Walker: I have. Santorum: I wouldn’t. Cruz: Pass.

    04/30/2015 12:18:30 AM PDT · 102 of 104
    darrellmaurina to SoFloFreeper; wagglebee; Salvation
    37 posted on 4/21/2015, 10:20:31 AM by SoFloFreeper: “They are trying to do a Todd Akin or a George Allen moment...get a sound bite like ‘legitimate rape’ or ‘macaca’ and beat it into the ground. Wise up, Republicans.”

    I'm not disagreeing as to media motive, but it's a legitimate question.

    We now know that Jeb Bush is willing to attend a ceremony celebrating something most conservative Republicans consider a horrible sin. He defends that position by saying it's comparable to remarriage of a divorced person.

    Not all sins are equal. Bush may honestly not understand the doctrinal issues involved; after all, he's a convert to Roman Catholicism and hasn't placed church doctrine front-and-center in his prior campaigns. If he were running for the state legislature, I might give him a pass. But coming from a top-tier presidential candidate who grew up as the son of a president, this answer shows Bush wasn't prepared.

    The parallel to Akin is actually a good one. There was NO excuse for Akin not being prepared to answer a question on abortion which every conservative Republican should expect to get from the media. With the Supreme Court decision coming soon on gay marriage, every conservative Republican needs to be prepared to answer gay marriage questions.

    We just had our Todd Akin moment, and it's Jeb Bush who made the Akin-like statement.

    Fortunately it's early enough in the campaign that we still have time to find out what Jeb Bush really believes. Bush supporters also have time to find a different candidate if he doesn't fix this fast.

    I liked Santorum's answer. I can live with Cruz's answer at this stage in the campaign, but he'll keep getting asked until he gives a clear answer. Walker's answer needs to be understood in the context that HIS OWN LOCAL CHURCH went pro-gay, and he left it. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he did things years ago in a "moderate" American Baptist Churches USA congregation that he's since decided are wrong, but I need details on what he believes now, not only what he did in the past.

    And by the way, I live in Missouri. I voted for Akin in the primary and the general election. I also saw the Akin mess firsthand and the huge damage it created not just for him but for numerous other Republican candidates. I still believe his campaign could have been saved, but he has only himself to blame for what happened because he failed to prepare for an obvious question.

    Let's be glad this is happening in April of 2015, not the late spring or early summer of 2016 when the candidate has been selected and we have to figure out how to play a game when the candidate made a major fumble.

  • Jacob's Journey: Life as a Transgender 5-Year-Old

    04/29/2015 11:41:48 PM PDT · 66 of 69
    darrellmaurina to tbw2; ilovesarah2012; wagglebee
    46 posted on 4/21/2015, 11:15:43 AM by tbw2: “Camille Paglia, a lesbian feminist, said she was glad they didn’t have transgenderism when she was young. They would have tried to turn her into a boy, instead of letting her be who she is.”

    In a day not that far down the road, this is coming to our towns and we need to know how to respond when moms and dads bring their “transgendered kindergartners” to school.

    Use liberal logic — Paglia is a good example — to get inside liberal heads and show them how they are being inconsistent with their own views.

    This girl may well be a tomboy. Why should a budding future feminist be given a message that being male is better than being female? After all, can't women do traditionally male things?

    Perhaps these parents have a problem with “internalized male chauvinism.” Instead of celebrating their daughter's desire to be a woman doing traditionally male things, they secretly still value men more than women, and need to accept that men and women are equal, so women don't need to change into men.

    I'm not saying that will work. More than bad logic is going on when parents want to change the gender of a kindergartner. But sometimes liberals spend so much time in their own narrow liberal world that they've never run into a conservative who seriously challenges their views and can create “cognitive dissonance.”

    But at an absolute minimum, making arguments like that may help keep other people from following the confused parents down their path.

  • Bobby Jindal calls out the business community for bowing to pressure over same-sex marriage

    04/29/2015 11:22:49 PM PDT · 31 of 31
    darrellmaurina to Andy'smom; Dr. Thorne; Jim Robinson; onyx; Brian Kopp DPM; P-Marlowe; xzins; Antoninus; ...
    26 posted on 4/24/2015, 1:44:46 PM by Andy’smom: “Why has this become a concern of NASCAR?”

    Great question. And unlike some of the other big businesses on the list fighting against states like Indiana and Arkansas whose legislators had initially tried to take a stance protecting small businesses opposed to being forced to support gay marriage, conservatives might actually win in forcing NASCAR to change its stance objecting to defense of traditional male-female marriage.

    Remember the Dixie Chicks and the role of Free Republic in that. Making NASCAR back down is a winnable fight, and for similar reasons.

    Picking winnable battles makes good sense and scores points by proving the other side can't just walk onto the field and win every battle they fight. NASCAR isn't Apple. Just how many gays are huge fans of NASCAR? If we can't win over race car drivers and fans, we have a bigger problem than we think.

    I'm sick and tired of listening to defeatism from conservatives. We need to be taking the battle to the enemy. The gates of hell are defensive weapons. We're supposed to be playing offense, not defense, and certainly aren't supposed to be in full scale retreat.

  • Arkansas House passes its own "religious freedom" bill

    04/11/2015 6:55:18 PM PDT · 66 of 68
    darrellmaurina to wagglebee; TheOldLady; trisham; BykrBayb; manc; Jim Robinson
    59 posted on 4/1/2015, 10:49:08 AM by wagglebee: “Jim just zotted the homosexual troll, unfortunately the troll didn't even get to play before the lightning hit.”

    Thank you for standing firm on this issue, Jim. I am increasingly annoyed with political leaders who have a solid conservative record “caving” under pressure from radical activists on this issue. The problems in Indiana and Arkansas are, unfortunately, likely to be the sign of things to come if we don't learn to stand up and say “No!”

    There's simply no reason for this caving by conservatives. Libertarians aside (which are a different issue), most gay activists have an agenda which is not in any way compatible with conservative principles. We'll never get their votes. They want to defeat conservatives of all stripes — moderates and RINOs included.

    So why are we caving in to demands and pressure?

    It doesn't make any sense.

    And it needs to stop.

  • Hear Rob Bell support same-sex marriage, say Evangelicals need to 'repent'

    02/17/2015 6:04:21 AM PST · 50 of 50
    darrellmaurina to Gamecock

    More on this mess, with Rob Bell speaking on Oprah:

    Rob Bell on gay marriage: ‘We’re moments away’ from church embracing it

  • GOP strategist Greg McNeilly sees West Michigan's attitude on gay marriage shifting

    02/07/2015 7:31:24 PM PST · 22 of 24
    darrellmaurina to Lee N. Field
    Read this link:

    I'm the reporter mentioned in the article about things that happened **WAY BACK IN 1992.** I've been involved in this fight for a very, very long time, and frankly, if I weren't a Calvinist I would have given up long ago.

    God is sovereign. He rules. We don't. And bad things happen when we forget that.


    Quote for those who don't want to click through to the link:

    “One of those leaders was the director of the counseling center at Calvin College. He invited Jim to give a lecture as part of an annual series on sexuality at Calvin College in February 1992. Advertised on posters around campus, Jim's presentation was titled, ‘What Would You Say If You Knew I Was Gay?’ While there were only about 70 people in the room, among them were a reporter from the student newspaper and a reporter from a conservative religious news service. Word about Jim's radical testimony spread, and two months later The Grand Rapids Press and the CRC’s national magazine The Banner ran stories about Jim's proclamation that he's gay and believes it's okay with God.”

  • GOP strategist Greg McNeilly sees West Michigan's attitude on gay marriage shifting

    02/07/2015 7:19:06 PM PST · 21 of 24
    darrellmaurina to Lee N. Field
    Agreed on the CRC and homosexuality.

    Google my name and that of Rev. Jim Lucas. I was directly involved in the homosexual fight in the 1990s in the Christian Reformed Church. I think my work was at least partly responsible for delaying what now appears to be inevitable.

    The DeVos and Prince families have deep ties of many generations to the CRC, but made the decision long ago to put their time and effort into broader Christian conservative issues rather than trying to save the Christian Reformed Church. If I were in their shoes I might have done the same thing. I'm not going to try to stand in judgment on their ecclesiastical choices, especially because it is now clear, decades later, that the battle to save the Christian Reformed Church is lost.

    By cutting away from the perceived “narrowness” of the Dutch Reformed tradition, the DeVos and Prince families may have thought they were on the right side of history, making common cause with broad evangelicals.

    However, I hope the experience of Mars Hill Bible Church and Rev. Rob Bell, along with almost equally bad things coming out of the Willow Creek model, has given fair warning to those families that churches without confessional foundations can be blown by every wind of doctrine, and end up in places just as bad as where the Christian Reformed Church is headed.

    My citation of the Belgic Confession's warning that “this holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain people” should carry some resonance with someone steeped in the Dutch Reformed world.

    Salvation is by grace, not race. And God will raise up people for Him if the covenant people He called prove unfaithful to His word.

  • GOP strategist Greg McNeilly sees West Michigan's attitude on gay marriage shifting

    02/07/2015 6:11:29 PM PST · 19 of 24
    darrellmaurina to TADSLOS
    18 posted on 2/7/2015, 7:57:27 PM by TADSLOS: "The Amway DeVos family."

    I know. And I know it all too well.

    I hope my citation of the Belgic Confession's warning that "this holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain people" still carries some weight with the current generation of a family which is justly proud of generations of covenantal faithfulness.

    God will not be mocked, and he has a habit of raising up weak people to shame the strong when they have become proud of themselves instead of submissive to a sovereign God.

    There was a day when the Dutch ancestors of the DeVos family were a tiny group of persecuted people who sung things like this after the "Sea Beggars" defeated the military of one of the most powerful nations on earth: "Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining / Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine / So from the beginning the fight we were winning / Thou, Lord, wast at our side, all glory be thine."

    The DeVos family is justly proud of generations of covenantal faithfulness. For the last several generations, their work has been a positive influence in many ways.

    But walking, standing, and sitting with homosexual activists carries great dangers of compromise. Psalm 1 and Psalm 2 tell how that story begins and how it ends. It does not end well for those who compromise.

  • GOP strategist Greg McNeilly sees West Michigan's attitude on gay marriage shifting

    02/07/2015 5:53:20 PM PST · 16 of 24
    darrellmaurina to Republican Wildcat; cripplecreek; Darksheare; wagglebee; Dr. Eckleburg; drstevej; ...
    (I am copying this to the GRPL list because of the historic role of the DeVos family in the Reformed world and their current choices. It's really an issue of Christian politics, not Reformed theology, but this is our problem due to the people involved.)

    14 posted on 2/7/2015, 6:06:37 PM by Republican Wildcat: “I think it is more fatigue than anything else - people are getting tired of hearing about this “oh, just let them get married and shut up about it!” The problem is that will only be the beginning - as the movement is not about expanding “rights” but about taking them away and destroying people who don’t want to participate - such as bakery owners or photographers who do not want to participate in same-sex weddings - they must, or be destroyed for who they are and what they believe.”

    I agree. That is precisely the problem.

    I believe in following the Constitution and its original intent, unless amended by formal process. It is patently obvious that homosexuality was not just socially unacceptable but also a criminal offense when the Constitution was written. Even Thomas Jefferson, probably correctly regarded as one of the most “liberal” of the Founding Fathers on social and moral issues, didn't object to criminalizing of homosexuality in Virginia. (At most, the argument could be made that he didn't think it was worthy of the death penalty.)

    That means if we want to argue that it is Constitutional for a state to criminalize homosexual conduct in private between two consenting adults, there can't be any serious doubt that the original intent of the Constitution would have allowed it. And I don't think anyone can seriously argue that the 14th Amendment was intended to apply to homosexuality.

    While it would be Constitutionally permitted, I'm not at all convinced that the government — given the utter lack of moral consensus in modern America — ought to be prosecuting homosexuals as criminals for private conduct on private property.

    If all homosexuals wanted was to be left alone, the current state of the law would allow that. I can live with that. I don't want the government regulating people's private conduct on private property unless there is a commonly accepted moral framework to do that, and we no longer have that level of moral consensus.

    The problem is that the radicals in the homosexual movement aren't interested in toleration. They demand nothing short of full acceptance and applause for their “gay pride.”

    That's what the gay marriage debate is about. Not tolerance, but normalization for now, and down the road, penalizing those who disagree with the “new normal.”

    The DeVos family invited a viper into their house when they brought this man into their private circle of advisers and supporters. Those are strong words, but the words are warranted by the severe condemnation of Romans 1:26-28.

    We need to look carefully at the results of that compromise. Maybe they did the right thing years ago. Maybe not. I don't know.

    What I do know is they gave this homosexual activist a platform not only within the libertarian or “economic conservative” wing of the Republican Party, but a platform in a family which was once among the strongest advocates of social conservative views in Michigan.

    Compromise has consequences.

    Those consequences may be necessary — to use Darksheare’s Nazi appeasement example, it's hard for me to see how we could have won World War II without some sort of alliance with Joseph Stalin, once Hitler broke his word and invaded the Soviet Union — but they are always risky at best.

    I think this is a clear lesson on why we need to be careful before inviting homosexuals to work with us. They may be conservative on some issues, but they have a radically different set of core values, and at the absolute minimum we need to understand the dangers and risks of cooperation with people when we are in fundamental disagreement.

    Since things on Free Republic have a tendency to get back to the people about whom comments are made, I'm going to add something in the event that the DeVos family sees this.

    It has been decades, but you once knew me. Your family has known my family dating back to the days when "Gov. Romney" referred to a man in Michigan, not Massachusetts.

    There are some serious ironies about a man with the name of Maurina calling the DeVos family to reconsider the Christian principles underlying political actions.

    You are the heirs of the theological tradition of Abraham Kuyper, not of gay activism. Please reconsider your roots.

    Your family has confessed for generations of covenantal faithfulness these words: "This church has existed from the beginning of the world and will last until the end, as appears from the fact that Christ is eternal King who cannot be without subjects."

    A little later, the Belgic Confession says this: "this holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain people."

    God cannot be a king without subjects. You know that, or should know it, from generations upon generations of covenantal catechesis. If you will not do what God requires in political faithfulness, he can and will raise up others to do what you refuse to do.

    I'm not "calling out" the DeVoses here. I don't know their hearts.

    What I do know is they have taken a bad step, and probably several bad steps, down a very bad road.

    For generations, the DeVos family sang psalms such as this one:

    "That man is blessed who fearing God / From sin restrains his feet / Who will not stand with wicked men / Who shuns the scorners seat."

    There is something seriously wrong when a convert from outside the Reformed world has to be writing things like this to a covenantal family known for generations as warriors for Christian activism in the sphere of the civil magistrate.

    Please reconsider your actions, look at the temptations of Psalm 1 to walk, stand, and then sit with wicked men, and turn to Psalm 2 to find the ultimate fate of those who "vainly dream that in triumph they can wage war against the Lord Supreme." Your family has sung those words for generations. Take them to heart before it is too late.

  • GOP strategist Greg McNeilly sees West Michigan's attitude on gay marriage shifting

    02/07/2015 2:03:25 PM PST · 3 of 24
    darrellmaurina to wagglebee; cripplecreek
    For all:

    Note that we have multiple issues here. This man is the former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party and he was the campaign manager for Dick DeVos’ 2006 run for governor. The DeVos family isn't perfect, but it's a well-known Republican political family which in the past has been staunchly opposed to homosexuality.

    This is secular politics, not a church, and we can't be absolutely opposed to working with people who share some but not all of our positions. Otherwise we will find it very difficult to get to 50 percent in many districts and states. Down here in the Bible Belt where most Democrats I know are still opposed to homosexuality, it's possible to win elections while pushing pro-gay people not only out of the Republican Party but out of the political mainstream entirely, making them unelectable.

    But this case shows clear dangerous. Coalitions and compromises, while necessary, carry risks and it looks like the risk just blew up in the face of Michigan Republicans.

    And by the way, I'm a native Michigander. I was active in politics before I became a Christian and I am very much aware that the “good old days” were not very good at all when it came to moral values.

  • GOP strategist Greg McNeilly sees West Michigan's attitude on gay marriage shifting

    02/07/2015 1:54:58 PM PST · 2 of 24
    darrellmaurina to cripplecreek; wagglebee

    Please ping the gay agenda and Michigan lists.

  • GOP strategist Greg McNeilly sees West Michigan's attitude on gay marriage shifting

    02/07/2015 1:54:18 PM PST · 1 of 24
  • Free Republic Action Network (FRAN) : Fifty (50) new Facebook State Chapters : Just Click to Join !

    01/24/2015 4:34:38 PM PST · 9 of 11
    darrellmaurina to Patton@Bastogne

    Just sent a message to join the Missouri group, which so far has one administrator but no members. I doubt I can do much by way of practical work but I am definitely interested in support.

  • Issue Gay Marriage License, Lose Your Salary, Texas Bill Would Tell State Employees

    01/15/2015 2:47:11 PM PST · 30 of 31
    darrellmaurina to Old Sarge
    15 posted on 1/13/2015, 10:50:49 AM by Old Sarge: "You can’t shame the shameless. You can only damage them financially."

    I like your quote and plan to shamelessly steal it.

    I suspect you won't mind ;-)

  • Firebombed French Paper Is No Free Speech Martyr

    01/09/2015 11:52:18 PM PST · 55 of 57
    darrellmaurina to detective; wagglebee; All
    Detective, thank you for posting this, and Wagglebee, thank you for PINGing it out.

    But for everyone else, please note that Detective made clear right at the top that this is an article from more than three years ago.

    Time Magazine and the author may have a different opinion about shooting people than about firebombing a building. After all, guns were used in the attack and we all know what liberals think about guns ;-)

    On a more serious point, somebody ought to do some research in the Time Magazine archives and find some articles from the Luce days about the Middle East. Luce, for all his faults, was a virulent anti-Communist, a defender of individualism, and a supporter of free speech and free enterprise. It would not surprise me if his magazine decades ago had some severely negative comments about Islam and its role in human history.

    I don't know but I'd like to read comments by anyone who does know, or who can take the time to do the research.

  • Bachmann: Obama embraced 'agenda of Islamic jihad'

    01/02/2015 4:39:11 PM PST · 54 of 54
    darrellmaurina to justiceseeker93
    37 posted on 12/25/2014, 6:25:42 PM by justiceseeker93: “Would anyone have any idea as to the real reason(s) Bachmann stepped down?”

    I'd like to know, too.

    I don't agree with everything she has said and done but I do like her courage.

  • The ‘Science’ of Eugenics: America’s Moral Detour

    01/02/2015 11:17:58 AM PST · 34 of 34
    darrellmaurina to wagglebee
    4 posted on 12/23/2014, 11:42:42 AM by wagglebee: “I bet I'll snare a few trolls on this thread.”

    Please don't warn them first.

    Your reputation as “Grand Inquisitor” depends on letting idiots say idiotic things because they haven't been warned of the consequences in advance.

    While I realize there are some true bigots in conservative circles, I strongly suspect that a number of the people you have snagged over the years are long-standing liberal trolls who come on this site to discredit conservatives by making us look like bigots.

    I won't use the name, but I found it very interesting that one of the people who spouts bigotry that is just barely within the realm of tolerable conservative views started spouting vile stuff on an unrelated thread about women and free access to — ahem — “questionable” pictures. One of your colleagues called him on it and he ran back into his hole quickly, perhaps to avoid being exposed.

    “Outing” people as bigots sometimes requires an out-of-the-box approach to see what their views are on **OTHER** subjects. Closet liberals tend not to be good at hiding all their core convictions, even if they're trolls acting like “redneck haters” to discredit the conservative views they claim to support.

  • In North Korea, hackers are a handpicked, pampered elite

    01/02/2015 8:51:04 AM PST · 14 of 14
    darrellmaurina to minnesota_bound
    11 posted on 12/6/2014, 6:49:04 PM by minnesota_bound: “I would like to know how to hack into computers but I do not want to live in North Korea. Their school is too hard. You fail at hacking you go to a gulag.”

    If all that happens is you go to a gulag after you make a member of the Kim dynasty mad, you're lucky. Saddam, the Assads, and the Ayatollahs have never had anywhere close to the level of control over their countries that the Kims have over their nation of victims.

    The North Korean rulers are true evil.

  • My 14-Year-Old Daughter Was Told She Wasn’t Really Raped Because She Didn’t Have an Abortion

    01/02/2015 7:34:36 AM PST · 18 of 52
    darrellmaurina to wagglebee
    The soldier in the case, who was acquitted of rape, “referred all other questions to his attorney, Mark Prugh, who declined to be interviewed.”

    FYI, Mark Prugh is a member of the Pulaski County Democratic Central Committee and chairman of the Pulaski County Democratic Club. He's also a retired Army JAG officer and a West Point graduate who started his career in the infantry before deciding to go to law school.

    I get the point that even the worst criminals deserve the right to an attorney. As conservatives we need to follow the Constitution and the right to an attorney is settled law. Mark knows his stuff, and as a retired JAG officer who has done serious hard-core stuff before transferring to JAG, he knows how to put on a good defense for his clients in a court-martial. Under the American system of justice, we need to respect the verdict of the military court to acquit this soldier via a 3-3 split jury decision.

    That means the legal issue is settled. But cases like this can hurt lawyers later on when they run for office and have to explain why they defended certain types of clients. This is going into my files for possible future reference.

  • My 14-Year-Old Daughter Was Told She Wasn’t Really Raped Because She Didn’t Have an Abortion

    01/02/2015 7:18:08 AM PST · 16 of 52
    darrellmaurina to wagglebee
    ACK!!!! This court case apparently happened in my back yard and for some reason got virtually no media attention locally. I knew nothing about it — nothing at all — until I read about it on Free Republic.

    Here's some additional media coverage from out-of-town media elsewhere in Missouri:

  • Jan. 6 House Speaker Vote: Conservative Coup Against Boehner?

    12/31/2014 11:55:54 PM PST · 41 of 42
    darrellmaurina to Patton@Bastogne; cotton1706
    Can someone educate Freepers on Rep. Blackburn's positions if she's going to be a candidate to oppose Boehner?

    I found this on Wikipedia: “In November 2007, she ran for the position of Republican Conference chair, but lost. She joined Mitt Romney's presidential campaign as a senior advisor. In May 2007, she resigned her position in the Romney campaign and endorsed former U.S. senator Fred Thompson for president.”

    That's not necessarily a red flag, but it does raise questions which should be answered.

    On the positive side, she appears to have solid social conservative credentials despite her early support for Romney: “She is Presbyterian and her church, Christ Presbyterian Church, is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America. She is a member of The C Street Family, a prayer group that includes members of Congress.”

  • Christians have abandoned politics. And millions are DYING because of it.

    12/31/2014 10:11:40 PM PST · 158 of 161
    darrellmaurina to rusty schucklefurd; wagglebee
    Here's another article by the author of the article posted by Wagglebee which Rusty might like to give to the self-identified Calvinists in his church who have a problem with political action.

    A comment needs to be made about Jonathon Van Maren's reference to “many” being uncomfortable with pro-life activism. That needs to be understood in the context of some pretty militant stances Van Maren has taken — public displays of graphic images of aborted babies, for example — and the fact that his own denomination does have an element within it which draws accusations of “hypercalvinism.” I think Van Maren’s article, though it is written with his own denominational context in mind, may be of use to Rusty in giving to the members of his church who oppose political activism on supposedly Reformed grounds.

    No matter how strict the Reformed members of Rusty's church may be, as members of a Baptist church, unless they are “hardshell Baptists” or “Primitive Baptists,” they are not going to be anywhere near as strict in their Calvinism as the Netherlands Reformed Congregations. So maybe Van Maren’s article will help them “see the light” on this matter of political activism from a Reformed perspective.


    The Reformed Case for Pro-Life Action
    Written by Jonathon Van Maren on Saturday, 26 November 2011.

    We live in a culture where openly sinful behaviours are increasingly becoming the norm while opposing them is labelled “judgemental.” It is therefore good to consider whether or not those who hold to objective Christian principles are morally obligated to act out in defence of Christian beliefs. Of the many public sins that plague North America, abortion, the decapitation, dismemberment and disembowelment of unborn children throughout all nine months of pregnancy by the millions is undoubtedly the most horrific—and the most prevalent. (Example: At least 25 percent of unborn children are slaughtered every single year.)

    The idea of public pro-life action, however, seems foreign and somehow “un-Reformed” to many. While it can safely be assumed that none of us would at least openly claim to be pro-abortion, many find themselves ill at ease with decisive action on behalf of the unborn. Here I do not refer to good pro-life events such as “Walks for Life” etc., but rather witnessing on behalf of the unborn children to the public at large—actions that will directly save the lives of children and will also involve contact with non-Christians. After examining the Bible and our Reformed heritage, however, it becomes very clear that speaking out to defend the Christian idea that all life is sacred is one that is not only encouraged, but demanded.

    What does the Bible Say?

    Reformed people are generally quite familiar with the Bible verses confirming the child in the womb as a human created in God’s image. (See Isaiah 46:3-5, Psalm 127:3-5, Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 119: 73, Luke 1:41-42 etc.) In contrast, consider how God speaks in Scripture of the sin of child sacrifice, of which abortion is a clear form. While ancient people sacrificed their children to Molech, we sacrifice our children on the altar of our own lusts, ambitions, pleasure, or convenience. In Jeremiah 7:31, after decrying the wickedness of the people, the prophet writes: “And they have built the high places of Tophet…to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came into my heart.” The act of child sacrifice, whether in ancient or modern times, is so evil that it never even entered God’s mind that people could do this to their offspring. God further condemns this sin in many places in the Bible—see Deuteronomy 12:31, Ezekiel 16:20-43, Psalm 106:37-42 and Jeremiah 19:3-11.

    The Bible clearly confirms the unborn child as a human being requiring protection, and condemns child sacrifice in the harshest terms. At the same time it demands that we intervene on the behalf of the helpless. Jesus commanded His followers to love their neighbour, which by the biblical definition of human life unquestionably includes unborn children. Consider also the Good Samaritan, who helped the wounded man regardless of the sacrifice and inconvenience towards himself, while the religious people of the day walked on by. The most explicit command God gives us to intervene on behalf of the helpless is found in Proverbs 24:11-12. There He states: “If thou forebear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? Doth he not know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?”

    These texts from Scripture show us that abortion is not only evil, but also that sacrificing children to the idol of one’s own lust is considered to be an especially grave evil, and one which God is not willing to tolerate. It is impossible to deny that children are being brutally slaughtered in North America. It is equally true that we cannot pretend that we are ignorant of this fact. The Bible clearly states that we have a duty to protect our unborn neighbours—and that God will judge nations and peoples who “forbear” from this duty. The question is: are we willing to do so publicly?

    What does our Reformed Heritage say?

    Both John Calvin and Martin Luther, who were unquestionably the “radicals” of their day, spoke out against abortion specifically. Luther commented on the greatness of “the wickedness of human nature” that would cause people to “kill and expel tender fetuses, although procreation is the work of God.” John Calvin stated in his commentary on Exodus that “If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.”

    Is there, however, precedent among our forefathers for action which takes us into contact with the world at large, using avenues that fall outside of the Christian community? The answer to this question is an emphatic yes. While a careful examination of our past reveals that the majority of our most esteemed forefathers were willing to face the outside culture—Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, to name the most obvious ones—the writings and actions of our forebears also show that taking action against worldly public sins is not only right, but required. The idea that speaking out publicly against murder is somehow “un-Reformed” would have been very foreign to these men.

    Reverend John Newton was a proponent of public advocacy as well. After his conversion, the former slave trader wrote many hymns such as “Amazing Grace” and an autobiography entitled Out of the Depths, but also encouraged others to take action against sinful injustices against the weakest members of society in the public sphere. William Wilberforce, the British Parliamentarian who spent his whole life crusading against (and eventually abolishing) slavery, was one of them. He approached Rev. Newton at the age of 26 to explain that he had undergone a religious conversion and felt he should perhaps leave politics. Instead of giving his blessing, John Newton urged him not to leave politics—but rather to use his position in Parliament to fight against evil. It was Rev. Newton who urged Wilberforce to take up the fight against slavery, and even assisted him by testifying against the slave trade in front of Parliament. Both Newton and Wilberforce knew it as a Christian’s duty to take decisive action, against all opposition, on behalf of the weakest members of society.

    The founder of the NRC denomination, Rev. G.H Kersten, also advocated against ‘putting our candle under a bushel,’ but rather to fight for Christian principles in the public square. He said that “there is a withdrawal from the world, non-involvement in politics, and a lack of Christian schools. Thus we are going further and further astray.” His well-known biography by Rev. Golverdingen states that Rev. Kersten himself felt drawn into politics because “he could not resign himself to the passivity he observed in the congregations.” Rev. Golverdingen notes that “Rev. Kersten also berated the indecisiveness and indifference toward national interest by some members of his own circles,” even preaching a sermon where he compared those who refused to defend Christian principles in the public square to the tribe of Reuben refusing to join Deborah in going to battle against Sisera and the Canaanites. As we know, Rev. Kersten himself eventually became a politician in order to defend Reformed principles in the public sphere.

    To close, I note how J.C Ryle deals with Christian interaction with the world in his well-read work Practical Religion. Ryle states: “When St. Paul said, ‘Come out and be separate’, he did not mean that Christians ought to decline all intercourse with unconverted people, and refuse to go into their society. There is not warrant for such conduct in the New Testament.” He further noted: “To know nothing about what is going on among mankind, and never to look at a newspaper,—to care nothing about the government of one’s country, and to be utterly indifferent as to the persons who guide its counsels and make its laws—all this may seem very right and proper in the eyes of some people. But I take leave to think that is an idle, selfish neglect of duty…Christians who plume themselves on their ignorance of secular things are precisely the Christians who bring religion into contempt.”

    Defending the Sanctity of Life

    It seems that there is an increasingly prevalent attitude among Christians that it is somehow wrong to ‘offend’ people, and that since pro-life activism will inevitably offend people, it should therefore be avoided. First, I must point out that a message that involves telling the culture at large that they are murdering their children isn’t going to be popular. If it was, we wouldn’t have the problem. Second, it is an extremely un-Christian and un-Reformed idea that just because our message of truth might not be welcomed by the world, and thus persecution may result, that we should avoid it. If Christians are so at peace with those who believe that killing unborn children is permissible that offending them is “un-Reformed”, it is perhaps necessary to take a second look at this unholy alliance and consider whether or not it is right in the eyes of God who values all life created in His image. If churches are indeed the consciences of nations, and those consciences have fallen silent, we can scarcely be surprised that things have gone horribly wrong.

    The Bible demands that we protect our unborn neighbours. Our Reformed heritage shows us that our forbearers did not feel that it was in any way sinful to oppose evil in the public square. Abortion is the greatest evil in our society, an evil where the innocent blood of millions cries out for justice. We cannot withdraw ourselves from our biblical mandate laid out with such clarity in Scripture to protect unborn children with weak excuses that ignore the demands of Scripture and the examples and writings of our forefathers. Hence, Christian pro-life advocates should not have to defend their action. Apathetic Christians should have to defend their inaction.

  • Christians have abandoned politics. And millions are DYING because of it.

    12/31/2014 9:54:40 PM PST · 157 of 161
    darrellmaurina to rusty schucklefurd; P-Marlowe; wagglebee; nobdysfool; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; PieterCasparzen; ...
    Just a quick note.... here's the bio of the author of the article that Wagglebee posted: “For our website, Jonathon approaches pro-life issues specifically from a Reformed perspective. Jonathon was raised in a Reformed Christian home and currently attends the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Norwich, Ontario.”

    For those who don't know, the Netherlands Reformed Congregations are about as strictly hard-core Calvinist as you can get. This is the American wing of the Dutch denomination which back in the early 1900s thought Abraham Kuyper wasn't politically conservative enough. On theological matters, their Puritan piety would be familiar to Jonathan Edwards but their ecclesiastical practices are quite a bit stricter than what Edwards practiced or advocated.

    I trust that biography makes pretty clear that, at least for the author of the article we're discussing, being Reformed is in no way contrary to political activism.

    Back to lurking...

  • Christians have abandoned politics. And millions are DYING because of it.

    12/31/2014 1:01:14 AM PST · 152 of 161
    darrellmaurina to rusty schucklefurd
    I'm planning to bow out of this discussion at this point. It's important, but I'm the wrong person to be taking the lead.

    I don't have the time to do this justice, and there are others who are more active Freepers and can do a job which will be at least as good and probably better than I can do.

    Rusty, I do not know you personally, but based on what you have written, I believe your questions are sincere. I've watched enough Calvinist-Arminian debates to tell when someone is asking real questions and when they're just trying to “score points.”

    Also, I know your questions are important, and as is always the case with these online discussions, others are watching and listening who don't speak up but have the same questions.

    For that reason, I trust you will accept my response not as “ducking” questions, but rather as saying they deserve to be answered by people who have the time to answer them properly. I am not in the habit of doing things halfway, and I'm the wrong person. Starting things I can't see through to their conclusion is not following Christ's warnings in Luke 14:38-30 about counting the cost before beginning a project, and a theological debate on this issue, while it is clearly important, is not something I should be getting into now.

    I wish you well in your music ministry and other aspects of your church work.

  • Christians have abandoned politics. And millions are DYING because of it.

    12/31/2014 12:22:09 AM PST · 151 of 161
    darrellmaurina to rusty schucklefurd
    Thank you for your response back, Rusty.

    You are asking some very good questions about the difference between Calvinism and fatalism. I sense that some of the people who were PINGed by me on this will take up your questions and will probably do a better job.

    My primary concern here is not to defend Reformed doctrine — that's not the topic of this post — but rather to make clear that a person who says he's a Calvinist and cites his Calvinism as grounds for somehow abstaining from participation in politics has come to a position which has no basis whatsoever in Reformed history.

    That's why confessions are important. If I want to know what the Reformed faith teaches about something, I should check what the historic confessions teach on that issue and look up the Scripture proofs they cite.

    I am quite aware there are nuances of difference between the major Reformed “families.” The Dutch Reformed, the Anglo-American Presbyterian tradition, the Puritan tradition of Reformed Congregationalism, and the Particular Baptist tradition which has been embraced by the Founders movement within your own denomination are not identical on all points.

    But rejection of political involvement as being somehow incompatible with a Reformed view of divine sovereignty is utterly foreign to Reformed theology. It's not what Calvin taught, it's not what Knox taught, it's not what Owen or Cromwell taught, it's not what Kuyper taught, and it certainly is not what any of them practiced.

    I'm trying to be gracious to people whose views I have not heard firsthand. But based on what you have described, these people seem to have completely misunderstood some important parts of what it means to be Reformed.

    My guess — and without hearing them directly this is only a guess — is that these people were some sort of world-flight pietists before they became Reformed, and after they became Reformed, they accepted the Five Points of Calvinism without realizing that being Reformed is much more than just the Five Points. Or maybe they were in a highly politicized church which placed culture wars before sound doctrine, and when they became Reformed they failed to comprehend that Christianity is supposed to be lived seven days a week, not just one day.

    What counts for my purpose here is to say, with respect, that these people in your church are doing no favors for the doctrines they defend if they cause people like you to believe Calvinism leads to a withdrawal from the world.

    There are people out there who advocate a world-flight mentality. Most make no claim to be Reformed. Any who do make such a claim have to deal with the plain and simple historical fact that nearly all Calvinists have taken the opposite approach.

    I hope this helps, Rusty. Others may and probably will respond to you on the question of whether Reformed doctrine is right or wrong. My concern is not so much to argue the question, but rather to say these people in your church have wrongly understood what it means to be Reformed, and they really ought to spend more time reading Reformed history and theology before presenting themselves in ways that bring discredit on the doctrines they seek to defend.

  • Christians have abandoned politics. And millions are DYING because of it.

    12/30/2014 1:42:03 PM PST · 145 of 161
    darrellmaurina to wagglebee
    Wagglebee, I know this is your thread, not mine. And I mean it when I say I don't want to derail the subject. I hope you will permit the post I just made for two reasons.

    First, as the original topic title said, “Christians have abandoned politics. And millions are DYING because of it.”

    Rusty is dealing with people in his own church who are advocating aberrant views and saying it is somehow un-Reformed or sub-Christian to be involved in politics. That teaching truly **IS** dangerous and needs to be refuted.

    Second, I believe it is possible to refute that false teaching without getting into the broader Calvinist-Arminian conflict. These people in Rusty's church call themselves Calvinists but they apparently are advocating things which have no foundation whatsoever in the Reformed faith.

    To get into a Calvinist-Arminian conflict would be derailing this thread. I hope nobody will do that.

    But I do think it is both appropriate and important to make clear that people who call themselves Calvinists and want Christians to exit from politics can claim no support from historic Calvinism.

    Your patience with my post will be appreciated. And I agree that if this subject gets into details of theology, a new thread needs to be started on the religion forums. I'm up to my arms in alligators and I simply do not have the time such a discussion would require and which it would deserve.

  • Christians have abandoned politics. And millions are DYING because of it.

    12/30/2014 1:27:25 PM PST · 144 of 161
    darrellmaurina to rusty schucklefurd; nobdysfool; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; PieterCasparzen; Springfield Reformer
    Rusty, I've been debating with myself for several days on how to respond. I do not want to derail this thread into a theological discussion, but you're asking a legitimate question and I don't want to leave it unanswered.

    I'm going to try to limit my answer to something that can be discussed without getting into details of theology.

    I am sincerely sorry you have “run into reformed thinking Christians in (your) own church who think getting involved with politics is a waste of time and even theologically unsound because, in their view, whatever is has been ordained by God.”

    Put bluntly, that makes as much sense as a Roman Catholic saying it's okay to have three popes at the same time, or a Baptist saying people need to be fully immersed in milk. Nobody would claim that someone advocating such strange ideas, even if they still affirm the institution of the papacy or the need for baptism by immersion, are accurately teaching what it means to be Roman Catholic or Baptist.

    Calvinism is much more than the Five Points. If people want to call themselves Reformed, they don't get to pick and choose what parts of the system of doctrine they affirm while rejecting others or adding strange new ideas.

    Without knowing what denomination your church belongs to, I can only assume from the fact that there is doctrinal diversity on this issue that your church is not part of an explicitly Reformed denomination, but that it is part of a denomination which is not explicitly opposed to Calvinism, or perhaps it is a nondenominational church. That's one of the problems of broadly evangelical American churches which may not have a strong set of detailed doctrinal standards as part of a historic confession of faith, as opposed to a brief “statement of faith” which covers only a few key items. Apart from clear confessional standards, diversity can develop due to an honest lack of knowledge of doctrine or due to a deliberate desire to get away from sound doctrine. Either way, it can create confusion which helps nobody.

    I do not know these church members, but here's what I would say to them if they said the things to me you are reporting that they have said to you.

    I would tell them that Calvinism has a definition which is much, much more than the Five Points. A person who calls himself a Calvinist needs to identify himself with one of the major Reformed confessional standards, whether that means the Westminster Standards, the Three Forms of Unity (Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and Canons of Dort), the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, or perhaps one of the lesser-known confessions such as the Savoy Declaration or Helvetic Confession which were once much more important than they are today.

    While Lutherans, Anglicans, and other historic branches of Protestantism understand the importance of what I just wrote even if they are not in agreement with Calvinism, a question often comes up from modern American evangelicals of why we need confessions. That is a very big question, but a very short answer is that it is arrogant for us to assume that modern American evangelicals living in the early 21st century somehow have a monopoly on truth. Can any of us really claim that the modern American church is doing well, or that it is doing better than it has at previous periods of church history? That, quite bluntly, is an attitude that often comes from a spirit of arrogance. We need to submit our own views to scrutiny, not only of our local church but also those throughout history who we believe have correctly understood the key teachings of Scripture. When a modern believer comes up with some new idea that has no foundation whatsoever in the core doctrines he claims to affirm — which seems to be the case for these professing Calvinists in your church — that modern believer needs to ask some hard questions about why nobody else in church history has ever come up with those new views. Or if those views are not new but have historical precedent, that believer needs to see what fruits were borne from the beliefs he holds.

    I know there are differences within the Reformed faith on a number of secondary issues, and there have been differences of emphasis on which items are considered more or less important, but there is no part of the Reformed tradition which has **EVER** taught what you say these people are telling you.

    I'm going to try to answer a different part of your question which is necessarily theological without trying to argue for my own views.

    Yes, Calvinism teaches predestination. But a key difference between being Reformed and teaching “fatalism” is where one places the emphasis. A Reformed person begins with the doctrine of total depravity — that since the Fall of Adam, there has been no such thing as a “good person” walking the earth. The one exception was Jesus, who was sinless, and we killed him because of that.

    A Reformed person, when asked questions like “why do bad things happen to good people,” responds by asking who the good people are. Reformed doctrine teaches that we are not just sick or weak but rather **DEAD** in sin, that we deserve ten thousand times worse than whatever we get in life, and the only reason we are able to breathe the air and drink the water and live another minute is God's grace to undeserving wicked sinners. Jonathan Edward's famous sermon illustration of the loathsome spider being held over a fire by a thin thread which could be snapped at any moment is an accurate example of how Reformed theology views the unregenerate nature of mankind. Total depravity really **IS** total, and that teaching has consequences for the rest of life.

    If one starts with the twin doctrines of total depravity and unconditional election, the rest of Reformed doctrine falls into place. It leads not to fatalism — i.e., “whatever will be, will happen anyway” — but rather saying that because we are sinners who deserve damnation, we are supposed to respond in gratitude for our undeserved salvation.

    I realize this is far away from the original topic of the post. But I sense you are asking a sincere question, and I want to answer it.

    I'm PINGing Nobdysfool, Gamecock, Alex Murphy, and PieterCasparzen from the Great Reformed Ping List, as well as Springfield Reformer, not because I want to derail the thread, but rather because most of them are more active Freepers than I am and I think they may be better equipped to answer further questions on this, perhaps via a new thread in a different forum.

    I sincerely hope this helps, Rusty.

  • McCain's big purge

    12/30/2014 12:32:36 PM PST · 47 of 50
    darrellmaurina to cotton1706; C19fan; Din Maker
    BTW, there is a duplicate thread here by C19fan which hasn't yet been locked:

    And also a thread here by Din maker which has been locked:

    Just a suggestion... Maybe it would be a good idea for the admins to lock both duplicate threads and post a link here to this thread so we keep the discussion in the same place?

  • McCain's big purge

    12/30/2014 12:27:20 PM PST · 46 of 50
    darrellmaurina to cotton1706; Hildy
    PING to Hildy, a **VERY** long-term Freeper who is an elected Republican county official in Arizona. I'd like to hear her on-the-ground evaluation of this.
  • Belgian euthanasia doctors tour the “inspiring venue” of Auschwitz

    12/20/2014 7:59:48 PM PST · 26 of 26
    darrellmaurina to wagglebee
    14 posted on 12/1/2014, 2:53:40 PM by wagglebee: "I've got a list of several who are still on here, I typically trap a few each month."

    The Grand Inquisitor at work! ;-)