Friday, September 28, 2012

President Obama Campaign redesigns American Flag

 Obama Campaign Redesigns American Flag

President Obama’s re-election campaign has re-designed the American flag … and it’s already making waves.

A new campaign poster wipes out all 50 stars on the flag, replacing them with Obama’s logo. The campaign is putting the flag up for sale, hoping people will dole out $35 for their own copy.
Reaction has been streaming in, including that of Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes, whose Tweets haven’t concealed his own feelings on the poster:

In a recent Fox News Radio article, Starnes discussed the story, as well as what his listeners have had to say in response:

The Obama campaign is now selling copies of an American flag painting that replaces the 50 stars in a blue field with the president’s campaign logo. Critics are calling the artwork creepy and un-American…

…Reaction on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook has been overwhelmingly negative.

“This is so offensive,” one reader wrote. “I don’t know why I’m shocked, but I am. This stoops to new lows.”
Another reader offered this assessment: “Once again, very shameful. This is a disgrace.

“And just what was wrong with the flag with the stars and stripes?” a Facebook reader wondered. “Why must Obama create his own flag?”

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

American Culture: Christianity, Brad Pitt, and Freedom of Speech

Kneel or Perish
Secularists steamroll over cultural landscape, threaten Christian dissent 
By Ed Vitagliano
(American Family Association Journal)
In a letter to the editor of the News-Leader newspaper in Springfield, Missouri, Jane Pitt wrote that she was a Christian and planned to vote for Mitt Romney in November. They were comments that initially attracted very little attention. 

Pitt cited Romney's pro-life views and said he shares her "conviction concerning homosexuality." The letter stated that President Barack Obama "is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same sex marriage." 

That's when the roof blew off the house. It was made public that Jane Pitt is the mother of popular actor Brad Pitt, and a storm struck with all the angry contempt that has come to identify the intolerant left.

There were the usual news media stories accusing Jane Pitt of being "anti-gay," but the worst sort of vitriol assaulted her via Twitter. Crude sexual epithets were used to describe Pitt, she was told to partake in sexual acts in the most vulgar of ways, and outright death threats were hurled at her. 

Jane Pitt has since refused to comment any further on the episode, becoming yet another voice silenced by those on the secular left who hate Christianity. Mission accomplished.  

Cultural totalitarianism

All in a day's work, as the old expression goes. But what happened to Jane Pitt is not the result of recent work but that of a decades-long assault against the Christian foundations of our nation. 

It is not simply an effort to carve out a niche for atheists and other secular rebels who exist within the otherwise religious landscape, according to Peter Hitchens, conservative author of The Rage Against God  and the brother of the late, outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens.  

Instead, he said, this secular offensive is "a dogmatic tyranny in the making."  
Peter Hitchens is British, and since the U.K. and the rest of Europe are down the secular road just ahead of the U.S., it is worth heeding the warnings of Christians who are already experiencing the beginning stages of this tyranny.
Elizabeth Kendal, an international religious liberty analyst and advocate in the U.K., said in a recent blog that Christians in the U.K. and the U.S. are on the verge of seeing the triumph of a cultural totalitarianism that will drive believers to the fringes of a once free society. Already, she said, Christians are being vilified, fired and "dragged through the courts" for resisting the new ideology. 

"These British and American Christians are not being dismissed, expelled, sued, fined, struck off and closed down because of anything they have done," Kendal insisted. "Rather, it is because of what they could not do: generally they could not affirm that all cultures, beliefs or lifestyle choices are equally good." (Emphasis in original.

It is an all-hands-on-deck rebellion against Almighty God in an attempt to replace His laws with a man-centered, morally relativistic ideology that demands that all rivals kneel or perish. 

Hostility toward faith

Hitchens and Kendal are not "the-sky-is-falling" alarmists. Christians are under fire in the U.S., although legal battles are still being fought and all is not lost.

For example, in 2010 Jennifer Keeton, a Christian enrolled in a graduate counseling program at Augusta State University in Georgia, objected to counseling gay and lesbian clients in a manner that affirmed the homosexual lifestyle. 

School officials threatened her with expulsion if she didn't change her views. In order to remain in the graduate program, Keeton was told she could go on probation and embark on a "remediation" plan that included attending gay pride events and sensitivity training.  

When she refused, Keeton was expelled. She sued ASU, but this summer a federal district judge ruled in favor of the university.

A similar case involving Eastern Michigan University also wound up in court. Julea Ward, a graduate student in that school's counseling program, encountered problems when she was assigned a potential client who wanted help regarding a same sex relationship.  

Ward, a Christian, said her religious convictions would not allow her to affirm such relationships, but that she was willing to refer the client to a counselor who could.

The client complained, and EMU officials gave Ward an ultimatum: She could remain in the graduate program only if she changed her religious beliefs.  

Ward sued, and initially a federal district judge ruled in favor of EMU. However, in January the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals reversed that ruling and ordered a trial to commence. 

The appellate court stated, "A reasonable jury could conclude that Ward‚' professors ejected her from the counseling program because of hostility toward her speech and faith."  

Government interests

Even those Christians who own their own businesses are finding themselves squeezed by an oppressive ideology that permits no dissent.

President Obama Executive Order Threatens Freedom of Speech

DHS: Obama Cyber Security Executive Order “Close To Completion”
Threatening Freedom of Speech and First Amendment
Tim Brown

Freedom Outpost

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security andGovernmental Affairs on September 19, 2012 and said that a cyber security executive order is “close to completion” that will grant the president broad and sweeping powers over the internet.

Napolitano said, “DHS is the Federal government’s lead agency for securing civilian government computer systems and works with our industry and Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government partners to secure critical infrastructure and information systems.”
Joe Wolverton, II, at the New American, rightly points out the problem with the federal government’s exercising an authority they are not specifically given in the Constitution.
Precisely which clause in the Constitution grants to the president specifically or the executive branch (of which DHS is a part) generally authority to exercise any sort of oversight of such matters was not cited by Secretary Napolitano.

Naturally, a document written 225 years ago would not include a reference to cyber security, but the principles of enumerated powers and limited government apply to any program or project of the federal government. According to the contract that created the three branches of the federal government, none of those departments may do anything unless specifically granted that authority in the Constitution.

This is a principle of constitutional interpretation often overlooked. Those promoting a larger government with increasing influence on the lives of private citizens commonly defend government growth by insisting that “nothing in the Constitution forbids us from doing” whatever federal program they are advocating.

Had I been living at the time, I would have sided with the anti-Federalists. However, Wolverton goes on to point out that James Madison wrote in The Federalist,No. 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

The reason this is all taking shape into an executive order is because the Congress shot down the overreaching powers of the federal government in the cyber security bill earlier this year. They did so with good reason. Not only was it a stealth bill to introduce more gun control, but back in July it was reported. . .

The updated version of the bill reflects changes to the provision to assign the Department of Homeland Security the role of creating mandatory cyber security standards for infrastructure industries.

The newer version of the bill does not include language for “mandatory, regulatory sections,” but still requires a creation of industry best practice standards for the purposes of protecting critical infrastructure, but rather than making the adoption of those standards mandatory, the owners of the critical infrastructure adopt “voluntary” standards. The bill offers incentives to adopt those standards, such as liability protection, and access to threat information.

Some contend that the revisions are not ideal, however, as it gives the government the power to deny threat information to critical infrastructure owners who choose not to comply with the voluntary standards. Likewise, the incentives are too insignificant to fully incentivize any company to adopt the standards.

My fellow Americans, do we really want the federal government to have this kind of power? Really? I know some will say “yes, we need this,” but before you move too fast, think about it. We’re talking about the incompetent Department of Homeland Security here, under the direction of the President of the United States.

See Complete article and Draft of the executive order

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lifestyle and Christian Parenting

Dinner Topics for Tuesday
If you miss this free download window, you can borrow Epic Stories from library any time at this same link.

A Parable of Two Families

Once upon a time there was a huge fleet of ships.  The mission of the fleet, as set forth by the Admiral of the Fleet, was to travel the Great Waters to the Promised Land. The Admiral wanted to make sure that each ship reached its destination safe and sound with its precious cargo— a family.
The Admiral gave each family the necessary resources for success: one compass, one complete set of navigational charts, plenty of food and money to sustain them throughout the voyage, and plenty of time to finish the course, for the Admiral never issued a command unless he provided a way for his fleet to accomplish the task.

Each family could have the size and type of ship that would meet their needs. They were allowed extras as well, such as computers and television. The Rutt family decided to get a very large new ship, to have plenty of room for all the elegant new furniture Mrs. Rutt had just purchased to impress Mrs. Neighbors.  Mr. Rutt and the children also had many possessions they wanted to be sure not to leave behind. The Rockwell family decided to use the ship they already had, and save their funds for the future. They did, however, bring along their library of the greatest and best books. Soon all was ready, and. . .

The Great Adventure Began

A long time passed.  When they set out on their journey, the families did not realize how long it would take.  But all the ships sailed together, and there was great community among them, making the journey enjoyable.

The Rockwell family enjoyed their many friends, served families in other ships, and used their computer to increase their knowledge and exchange information with other ships.  But every night the entire family would eat dinner and converse together.  The family studied and learned the navigation charts thoroughly so they would be prepared for whatever lay ahead, and checked the compass many times each day.  

Now, the compass was very special.  It only worked according to their diligence and faith, and to the heed they gave to their Admiral’s words.  After their Dinner Talk, they used the television for a family video, a symphony, or a class.  No member of the Rockwell family would think of missing dinner and Dinner Talk.  It was a sacred time for the family.  The Rockwell family kept a steady course, and were happy.

The Rutt family also enjoyed their many friends. They were glad there were so many parties to attend, because they had  become quite bored with the passage of so much time without reaching the Promised Land. When there was not a party, they ate in front of the television, so they wouldn’t miss their favorite sitcoms, and so they wouldn’t fight with each other during dinner.  They passed the daytime hours watching television.  They chatted by the hour on the Internet, so they wouldn’t have to talk to each other.

Then a Great Storm Came

All the ships were tossed about on the waves by powerful winds blowing from changing directions.  Many ships were losing their way.   The Rutt family panicked.  Mrs. Rutt finally dug out the charts from under boxes and piles of stuff they had accumulated over time.  But they didn’t understand the charts.  And the compass didn’t work.   The TV broke, so there was nothing to do.  Then the computer broke, so they couldn’t communicate with other ships.  They looked out and saw no other ships around. They were lost.

The Rockwell family followed the compass very carefully.  At last, through the darkness, they could see the welcome beam of the lighthouse that was shown on the chart.  They made it to a safe harbor at the Promised Land.

Dinner Talk Topic: *Family, Choices
Epic Stories for Character Education, p.50, 51

if you miss this free download window, you can borrow Epic Stories from library any time at this same link.

To address doubts and fortify Biblical faith, non-doctrinal epic stories from the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ, are introduced to the collection of dinner topics. For more information, see Free Download: Parenting and Christian Dinner Topics