Gov’t insurance would allow coverage for abortion

I saw this article this morning on Yahoo that Obama’s health care plan will inculde abortion as a covered medical benefit.

Tragic that we as a nation are now moving in a direction in which abortion is a right.  A right that our government will be obliged to fund and support.

It is grieving to think that in the name of taking care of people and helping preserve their lives, other people will institutionally will be allowed to be terminated.

President Obama has been facing many crazy conspiracy question from paranoid seniors that he is planning to round some of them up, take away their health care and kill them.  While this is wildly absurd and nothing more than fear mongering by those who are adamantly opposed to Obama’s health care agenda; it is becoming increasingly accurate in regards to unborn humans.


The Culture Wars And Why They Will Continue

Here is something I wrote during seminary and am becoming more convinced that it might be correct.

It has become common for young Christian leaders to have apathy towards a right-wing Christianity that is constantly at odds with the culture around them.  Younger Christians are standing up and saying they want to move past the tired culture war debates that have persisted over the last 30 years.  But I have begun to wonder if this is really possible or just a naive idea.

Don’t get me wrong I think that some Christians, past and present, have too tightly tied together biblical principles and political values.  And the result has been that for many of the unchurched in our nation Christianity is a group of hypocritical bigots who are just trying to establish a puritanical theocracy.

But is it possible for biblical faithful Christians to move past the culture wars?  As much as I would like to say yes the sad truth is no, in fact I think the culture wars will only escalate in the coming decades.  And while they may go dormant with one side winning more than the other they will only boil more intensely as time goes on.

My point of this post is not to rally the troops or to prepare you to pick sides but more of to explain why I think this is the case.

Up until the Enlightenment humanity had a shared theistic/deism/Christian worldview.  This worldview grounded morality and explained how people ought to act and behave.  It was the grounding, to use the proper philosophical term, of why people acted with virtue.  We had a shared civil morality that grounded how we governed and interacted with each other.  With the Enlightenment this all changed.

Nietzsche proclaimed that God was dead and with the rise of Darwinian evolution we were freed from the need to believe that God created the cosmos, therefore if God was not needed for creation he was not needed to ground our morality either.  Such statements that we find in our Declaration of Independence that ground the worth and value of humans not in what they can do or achieve but rather in their orgins/ontology no longer made any sense.  It became impossible to tell anyone why they should not steal, or harm others, other than to make secular arguments from utilitarianism about working for the greatest good for the greatest number.  But even with utilitarianism there is no grounding for the “ought” why ought one comply with what is good for the greatest number and for that matter what is good and who gets to define it?

With this moral confusion fascism, communism and uber-nationalism took root.  The history of the twentieth century bore the fruit of these new human ambitions with events such as WWI, WWII, and the atrocities of Pol-Pot in China. Secular intellectuals who put such hope in these ideologies did not return to faith for the grounding of human morality and meaning rather they reached into despair that any truth about the world was possible, thus the rise of postmodernism.

Truth became subjective (true for you but not for me), minimalistic (as long as I don’t hurt anyone) and ever changing depending on one’s culture.  Morality was turned into a hodgepodge of sentimental consensus and preference.  Which effectively stripped it of a sturdy basis to speak out against moral evils.

Without a grounding for morality no moral consensus can be reached, which is why we are in an ongoing culture war.  Human rights, and morality once grounded in Creator God are now subjective instead of objective.

Without God and grounding our morality in him we are left with no real resource to say what is good or evil, right or wrong, or how humans ought to live. And these are really the root issues and matters that undergird all of the culture wars, and why they will only intensify over time.  For the Christian, human rights, morality, and truth are knowable and rooted in God.  For many secular liberals nothing could be more absurd and disdainful.  As time wears on this cultural divide will only make itself more apparent in our elections, educational systems, entertainment, and laws.

Of course I am not advocating a “us vs. them” posture.  I am simply attempting to explain the culture wars and why they will continue.  It will be the responsibility of every mature follower of Jesus to deftly navigate these perilous culture waters and love both the truth God has objectively given to us and our neighbor.


President Obama and Cultural Relativism

President Obama in a recent interview with the BBC says America cannot impose our values on others.

Yet I am not quite sure which “values” Obama thinks we cannot impose upon other nations or if he really means this.  Obama says in one paragraph that democracy and rule of law are universal but then in the next sentence that we can’t impose.  The vagueness is enough to cause inertia.

So basically what Obama is doing here is trying to refute Bush’s previous statements of spreading democracy, while still saying democracy should be universal…confused?

Well it gets even more puzzling.

“The danger I think is when the United States or any country thinks that we can simply impose these values on another country with a different history and a different culture,”

Yet is this really the danger?  Is the danger in telling Sudan that they should not commit genocide?  Is the danger in teaching the Afghan’s they should let their daughters learn to read and not stone them when they are raped?  Is the danger in telling China that it is wrong to imprison people for years with no due process?

This is really the quandary of liberal cultural relativism.  It is moralistic to the core but selective in which morals to tout.  It really does not believe that since all cultures are different they are equal.  This is more doublespeak and leads only to feel good ambiguity.


Obama’s First Supreme Court Pick; Sonia Sotomayor

Interesting Pick on Obama’s part.  If the GOP tries to slay her in the confirmation hearings then they risk doing irreversible damage to their appeal in the Latino community.  And while Sotomayor may not be a full fledge activist judge (an approach to law that approves of making policy/law from the bench) there are some troubling points about her resume.

1.  Here is a quote that many have found tough to swallow, especially if your a white male!

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life”

Let me try this on as if it was a statement by Chief Justice Roberts. “I would hope that as an educated white man with a wealth of life lessons, would be more inclined to reach a better decision than a Hispanic woman who has not lived my life.”

Point being that while Sotomayor’s statement may not be racism it is at least identity politics, and an attempt to promote race preference as long as it is the right kind…

2. In the court case Ricci vs. DeStefano,  Sotomayor affirmed that it was acceptable for the New Haven fire department to not promote any of the white firefighters who passed a promotional exam, due to the fact that no African American candidates passed.  Once again we see a selective race/ethnic judicial mindset that favors some races over others.

Of course I think Sotomayor will get appointed and will sail through her confirmation hearings, but at the very least I hope some Americans will learn about the different judicial philosophies that shape our courts and the lives of Americans.


John Piper’s factors in this Election

Wow!!! Some great things to think and pray about.


The Election and Moral Responsibility

My buddy Michael Foster and myself have been having a discussion on Facebook about the election and moral responsibility. Here’s how it’s gone:

Mike: I will not vote for the lesser of two evils. The child-murder supporting socialist or the old war-monger with his ill-equipped hockey mom? No, no.

Me: perhaps voting based off highest level of efficacy in achieving the highest amounts of your ideals?

Mike: Matt, isn’t that same thing as lesser of two evils but reversed.

Me: I can completely understand having a moral issue SUPPORTING either candidate. I am not convinced the same issue exists in VOTING for a candidate. In the case we are faced with another moral dilemma that our postmodern hearts have grown hard to: civic responsibility. We all comprise a Representative Democracy, which in terms of being “subject to one’s authorities”, might just mean that we are subject first and foremost to the constitution.

So how can we think that the blatant evil policies of both candidates somehow abdicates us from the moral responsibility of participating in the political process? Which has led me to ask the question, “Of the policies that I am morally convinced are good for people, which candidate can most effectively accomplish them?”

Does this leave the blood of innocent children, either here or in Iraq, on my hands? I am an American, their blood is already there.

Care to join the discussion?


Political Pandering, Individualism, And Community

Adam made an interesting comment about how a coming recession would provide unique opportunities for blessing others and the Kingdom of God to show through.  It really got me thinking about how much truth is in that comment when we remember that much of the New Testament was written to communities in exactly that situation.  They were facing dire economic situations and circumstances and Paul called them to care for each other and come together in unity.  The book of James is a great example of this as community and care amongst believers was not a small group sign up type of thing, but we must in order to survive type of thing.

Being that the Kingdom of God is routinely paradoxical, it would make perfect sense for God to use something like financial calamity for the good of those who love him.  If we would listen to our developing world brothers and sisters we would understand that God has been doing that for centuries.  Some of God’s greatest gifts and blessings are often those that are forced upon us, through circumstances we would not on our own choose.  Yet even as I type this and think about how a severe recession would have many communal blessing, I bristle at the idea. Why?

Well just like most Americans I am an individualist.  I want to do my own thing.  And at the core of the matter being reliant on others is a scary and foreign idea to me.  I think most Americans feel this way and that is why when panic sets in, or our needs seem to be in danger of not being met, we look to the government to make it better.  The government is better to be reliant on because its impersonal, not like community where there is true vulnerability in admitting need and weakness.  That is much more personal.  I am already hearing rumblings of a SECOND stimulus check possibly in the works.  In addition, all that I have heard both McCain and Obama talk about is how they will make people’s lives better.  How different this is then the clarion call of JFK, instructing us “to not ask what our country could do for us, but what we could do for our country.”  We have strayed into deep individualism and the consequences are that we now view government as having the sole responsibility of maintaining that.

Now I know there are serious issues going on that deeply effect people’s lives, and they are thinking about how they can take care of their family and make their house payment, I really don’t want to make light of that.  My point is simply that all the political discourse we now have is centered around what is best for people right now.  There is no discussion about the long term good of the nation, or the generations to come.  Nope politicians have become functional saviors/Santa’s that we go to their rallies and metaphorically sit on their lap, and tell them what we want.  And if they do not deliver, well than “he’s not my President.”