Saturday, June 28, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
A recent court decision in Canada should send chills down every parent's spine. The ruling is so out of bounds that the news story sounds like a parody -- but it isn't. A Canadian judge ruled that a 12-year-old girl was "excessively" punished when her father told her she could not go on a school camping trip because she had broken rules for use of the Internet.
As the Globe and Mail [Toronto] reports:
First, the father banned his 12-year-old daughter from going online after she posted photos of herself on a dating site. Then she allegedly had a row with her stepmother, so the father said his girl couldn't go on a school trip.
The girl took the matter to the court - and won what lawyers say was an unprecedented judgment.
Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier of the Quebec Superior Court ruled on Friday that the father couldn't discipline his daughter by barring her from the school trip.
This judge needs to be grounded and sent to her room. A 12-year-old girl violated rules and disobeyed her father. The rules, by the way, were intended to protect the girl from endangering herself on the Internet. In posting pictures of herself on the Internet -- on a dating site, for crying out loud -- she defied her father and his authority. After going to the court, she got away with it.
For years, we have been warned that the courts were poised to usurp parental authority. We have seen chilling judicial precedents and the encroaching reach of bureaucrats and government agents. Warnings were offered by prophets like Philip Reiff and Christopher Lasch, who saw the family being stripped of its functions and replaced by an army of eager agents. Parents are supplanted by professionals who are "experts" in raising other people's children.
The Canadian case is among the most chilling yet. The father is appealing the decision, even though the girl has already gone on the camping trip. The family is involved in a difficult divorce situation, but the father was granted custody. Gladly, outrage over the judge's ruling is building in Canada.
Lorne Gunter of Canada's National Post described the ruling as "sputteringly enraging." The Canadian blogosphere has taken notice, as have parents.
Gunter drew particular attention to the fact that the girl's attorney explained that she took the case to court because it involved the school trip: "For me that was really important."
"For me that was really important." So what? Just who are you? Are you the kid's parent? Are you a relative of any sort? No? So why, then, does your opinion matter? And if it does matter, how is court action appropriate? At most, even if you are a close relative, you are limited to calling up the dad and expressing your view that his punishment is over-the-top.
Ms. Fortin insists that while court was a last resort, the situation called for it: "This was not a question of going to the movies or not, or going online or not -- because obviously, I wouldn't have intervened in that."
Just how is that obvious? It should have been obvious that you don't go to court over missing the camping trip, either, but that doesn't seem to have dawned on Ms. Fortin. She called the trip a rite of passage. What will be the rite next time, a missed sleepover, her first out-of-town volleyball tournament with the school team?
The logic of this ruling is not limited to Canada. In 1970, Hillary Rodham, then a young lawyer (and later Sen. Hillary Clinton), wrote a law review article, "Children Under the Law," in which she argued that minors should be treated as "child citizens" who should, under at least some conditions, be able to challenge their parents in court over parental decisions.
This father may win his appeal -- we must hope that he does -- but the damage is already done. This 12-year-old girl has defied her father and been rewarded by a secular court. The judge and the court have now become complicit in the girl's disobedience. This father has had his rights as father denied and his authority undermined. We can only imagine the costs of this judicial malpractice in the life of this girl and her family. Beyond this, the precedent is now set for further judicial mischief.
America's parents had better look north and take notice. This judicial atrocity hits very close to home.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Is man good or evil? The answer to this question radically changes the way we approach everything in life. This affects one's view of politics, government, morality, faith, and everything else. On this post, I want us to look at the issue of politics and how the answer to this question lies as the root of our political views.
This obviously leads to socialism (and eventually Communism), where government controls every venue of life. Wages are monitored. Taxes are raised. Freedoms are lost. But this is not necessarily a bad thing, they would argue, because government has us in their best interest. We, therefore, put our trust in government and believe that they will protect us, provide for us, and meet our needs.
Just look at how politicians campaign. Liberal politicians assume that the nature of man is good. They paint pictures of a utopia that can only come about if we elect them. And this Utopian picture they paint usually involves more government programs, more taxes, less freedom, and bigger government.
For example, John Edwards promised that if he were elected President poverty would end within 30 years. Such a promise is ludicrous, but people bought it and it became a major emphasis in his campaign. Truth is, poverty will never come to an end. But that isn't the point. As a politician, Edwards, and others like him, must paint pictures of utopia in order to gain votes.
His plan to make this happen is exactly what we would expect from a liberal, big government, more programs, and higher taxes. Edwards wanted to raise the minimum wage (which is a bad idea to begin with). It involves going after corporations and taking away their freedom. One can clearly see the Edwards' nature of man coming into play here. Big government is good and the answer to our problems. Therefore, Capitalism is bad, socialism is good.
Just look at one of the current Presidential candidates. Barack Obama promises to talk to our enemies. This is suppose to prevent needless wars and bring about peace. Obama paints a picture, like Edwards' poverty picture, that if he were President there wouldn't be war but peace. Again, a Utopian picture based on the notion that our enemies, and even ourselves, are at nature good. We have misunderstood our enemies, liberals argue. They want peace just as much as we do. Therefore, if only we talk to them, peace will be accomplished. This even applies to our dealings with terrorist. We try to overlook their religious convictions, and believe deep down are persons wanting peace, when in reality, they want our heads on a platter.
The conservative, on the other hand, knows better. The Conservative views man as, at root, evil. Christians call this Original Sin and Total Depravity. It means that man is evil, wicked, and sick. He is sinful and selfish. He serves only himself.
Since man is evil, the argument goes, then government is a major problem. Conservatives realize the need for government and do not wish to abolish it. However, big government becomes an oppressive and useless government. If one man serves only himself, then what does a large group of men, with great power, do? Much the same as the one man, only on a greater scale, with more publicity and honor. Therefore, big government is a major problem and serves no one but itself.
And so, conservatives emphasize small government, i.e., freedom. Our founding fathers emphasized small government in our free society and history has revealed that their approach to government was correct. The smaller the government, the better the governed.
Small government involves low taxes, less policy, less bureaucracy, etc. The goal of the conservatism is to get government out of our lives. Let freedom reign. For big government equals oppression.
This applies also to economics. Capitalism is one of the main tenets of conservatism and it is rooted in a proper understanding of man's nature. Adam Smith realized that man is selfish and began to think about how to take advantage of it. And so, he came up with Capitalism.
Capitalism is rooted in the selfishness of man. Since man wants the best product for the lowest price, then a free market is the best way to give man what he wants. Smith virtually took advantage of man's nature and built an economic system around it. That system, Capitalism, is best summed up as a free market.
How it works is pretty simply. If you have a product that you think people will want to buy, then you can set up your own business and sell it, without government getting in the way (therefore, small government is critical). If you have a great product that is worth the price, people will buy it. If you don't, then you will fail. This benefits both the consumer and the entrepreneur. The consumer wants their money's worth, while the entrepreneur wants their money. Both are rooted in selfishness. Both are rooted in man's evil nature.
This is what makes Capitalism so amazing. It takes a clear problem, selfishness and evil, and turns it into a system that benefits everybody. It is only whenever government gets in the way that the system begins to not work as well. And the current high oil prices is a great example of this. We want cheaper gas and the oil companies see profit in offering it. However, government is standing in the way. And of course it is, government is overgrown. And an overgrown government will always get in the way because it is made up of selfish, power hungry, evil men. It, therefore, breaks the system, rather than help it.
This plays a role in how conservative politicians run for office. They will say that "government is the problem," and therefore fight for lower taxes and smaller government. Reagan was amazing at taking advantage of this. They will encourage freeing the market, lowering taxes, and getting out of the free market's way. They emphasize capitalism and reject socialism.
And herein lies the complaints of our liberal culture. Conservatives are accused of being war-mongers. This is not true. But notice the worldview that lies behind such an accusation. It suggests that if only we talked, then war would not be needed. And here lies the radical difference between conservatives and liberals: liberals see peace through diplomacy while the conservative see peace through strength. And this is rooted in their view of man.
More could be said on this issue, but I think the point is clear. Our political views have nothing to do with Democrat or Republican. It has nothing to do with anything other than one's view of man. If we believe in the goodness of man, then we will inevitably become liberal. If we believe in the selfish, evil of man, then we will inevitably become a conservative.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Within a week, courts in California and Texas issued rulings that, when it comes to traditional marriage, suggest that the so-called “alarmists” have actually understated the dangers.
The first was the California Supreme Court’s decision In Re Marriage Cases. As you probably know, the court, by a 4-3 vote, overturned the state’s ban on same-sex “marriage.”
The decision swept aside a referendum passed in 2000. By a more than 3-2 margin, voters had approved the referendum that read, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.” The court also concluded that the California domestic-partnership law discriminated against gays.
It did so by finding a “right”—sound familiar?—to marry under the California Constitution. As the majority opinion put it, “An individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation.” Oh my.
If all the talk about “loving and long-term committed relationships” sounds vague to you, you are not alone. In dissent, Justice Marvin Baxter asked, “Who can say that in 10, 15 or 20 years, an activist court might not rely on the majority’s analysis to conclude . . . that the laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer constitutionally justified?”
Baxter is right, of course. There is nothing in the California majority opinion that necessarily limits “loving and long-term relationships” to two people, or even people who are unrelated to one another. The biggest impediment is our revulsion at polygamy and incest—revulsions that can be swept aside by activist judges as easily as the millennia-old revulsion toward same-sex “marriage.”
That would only leave the argument that these arrangements pose a threat to the health and well-being of children.
A week later, as if on cue, a Texas appeals court knocked the legs out from underneath that argument. It ruled that the state “overstepped its authority when it removed some of about 460 children from a [much-publicized] polygamist compound” in Texas.
The court ruled that the group’s beliefs, and even its practices, do not put the children in “physical danger.” Neither the court nor the state argued that living in a polygamous setting was, in and of itself, bad for children; their concern was for the potential sexual abuse of underage girls.
Thus, a California court creates a sweeping right to turn any “long-term and loving relationship” into a marriage. And a week later, a Texas court rules that polygamous beliefs, and even practices, are not—per se—harmful to children, unless it puts children in “physical danger.”
To use a suitably biblical phrase, the handwriting is on the wall. The question is: Can we read it? The direction we are headed in is clear.
Happily, there is still a chance to change direction. California voters will vote in a referendum this fall to make “one man, one woman” part of the California constitution. Pray that Christians and right-thinking Californians will turn out in overwhelming numbers to pass this referendum. Because, when it comes to same-sex “marriage,” the four words I never want to say are: “I told you so.”
I want to begin with a video of the infamous speech that Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave as the battle was raging calling on the American people to pray for their nation and her troops:
Isn't it interesting how a President of the United States of America would call for his citizens to pray? Imagine if President George W. Bush called for the US to pray for our troops as they entered Baghdad? The ACLU would go nuts and Congress would have him impeached. Why? Because of Separation of Church and State (which isn't even in the Constitution. I prefer Separation of State and Church. There's a big difference).
Notice also that Roosevelt calls for God to protect America's religion. Another shocker that seems impossible for an American president to do. And what was that religion? Christianity. One cannot argue against the fact that America was founded, not on the Christian religion, but at the very least on Christian morality. The founders, and Presidents for centuries afterward, understood that a free people could not stand united or strong unless they affirm a moral code, and they agreed that the best moral code was found in Christianity.
Today, to say such a thing would make one enemy of the culture. And I'm sure to get some nasty comments for say such things.
And another thing needs to be pointed out here: Roosevelt was a Democrat. Whatever happened to Democrats like this? Today's Democrats would never do such a think as praying for God's favor and blessing upon this nation, unless it could get them votes during a campaign. Secularist in this culture have hijacked an entire political party and have changed the face of our nation into an idol our forefathers never wanted it to become.
I also wanted to post a video of President Ronald Reagan speaking about D-Day: