Miscellany: Abortion, Global Warming Hits United Arab Emirates, and Tax Evasion (updated)

Obama and The Culture of death” by Miguel Guanipa, eloquently critiques Obama statements about his rescinding of the Bush abortions funding policy:  Obama is not the unifier that his campaign claimed:

By Obama’s own reckoning, the heroic efforts of those who have bravely stood in defense of innocent human life in the womb — and long endured ridicule from the press for their dissenting views — have been reduced to nothing more than pointless efforts to engage in what is ultimately a “stale and fruitless debate”. The unimaginable grief and discord this issue has wrought upon countless lives and relationships at home and abroad have been reduced to nothing more than “petty grievances”. The devout religious convictions of those  who have nurtured an abiding compassion and unwavering fidelity to the fundamental principle that every human life is endowed with inviolable dignity and inestimable worth by the creator of all life, barely rise to the status of “worn out dogmas”.

With the magic stroke of his executive pen, Obama has declared his intentions that no ground will be given and no prisoners spared.

Global Warming

Some scientists have said it’s too late to save the planet from global warming (e.g., here and here).  If so, shouldn’t we eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die?

Deroy Murdock of the Indianapolis Star reports that  Even leftists laugh at [Global] warming:

Nearly 4 inches of snow blanketed the United Arab Emirates’ Jebel Jais region for just the second time in recorded history on January 24. Citizens were speechless. The local dialect has no word for snowfall. ….
Commentator Harold Ambler declared Jan. 3 on HuffingtonPost.com that he voted for Barack Obama “for a thousand times a thousand reasons.” He added that Gore “owes the world an apology for his actions regarding global warming.” He called Gore’s assertion that “the science is in” on this issue “the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of mankind.”

Tax Evader and Obamas Secretary of Health

Tom Daschle: Tax Evader and Obama’s Secretary of Health
Bloomberg reports that Senator Tom Daschle, Obama’s new Health and Human Services Secretary, has paid more than $100,000 in back taxes.  Also, Timothy Geithner, Obama’s new Treasury Secretary, $50,000 in unpaid Social Security taxes.  Al Capone went to jail for not paying taxes.  Many Americans wonder now if this is a new era of IRS leniency in which, if you are caught not paying all your taxes, you can just pay the outstanding bill, and then become a member of the new president’s cabinet.  No wonder Tony Soprono thinks the Feds are always picking on him.  Ed Lasky suggests that it is part of Obama’s secret revenue plan: “Apparently, this is how Obama plans to pay for his outrageous budget-busting “stimulus” plans. Appoint tax delinquents to his cabinet, and watch the money roll in as they cough up what they owe.”  UPDATE (3 Feb 2009):  Daschle is out!  Negative publicity from blogs like Palabre, no doubt, played a role!

5 thoughts on “Miscellany: Abortion, Global Warming Hits United Arab Emirates, and Tax Evasion (updated)

  1. Obama and tax evaders:
    It’s kind of funny and ironic that Obama’s secret revenue plan would be to appoint people who have failed to pay their taxes and then have them pay their outstanding bill. Funny because this would be, indeed, a way to help some rich people return what they have “stolen,” and ironic because that would mean that the non-payment of taxes is the reason for the economic/financial crisis and thus turn a problem into a solution.

    Obama and the culture of death:
    I have questions here. I heard then presidential candidate Obama say plainly that he is against abortion but does not think the government should legally ban it. The reason seems, for him (I’m not sure!), that the government, which governs a nation made of people with different beliefs and values, cannot enforce a law that violates the freedom of others to believe differently. Here is my question: Is abortion an issue so dominant in American politics because of the Christian influence that has for so long played a central role in the nation’s politics? In other words, would the issue be dealt with differently (a belief issue rather than a legal one) if Christians represented, say 3% of a country that were 97% secular? Obama’s position made me wonder if one can be morally against abortion and yet maintain that it is not to be turned into a legal issue. I wonder if there would be any ground for the line Obama has tried to draw.

    For a biblical analogy, I’m thinking of, say, the Sermon on the Mount, which some exegetes believe does not apply to those who are not already in the kingdom. Perhaps this is the wrong example, but I keep thinking about abortion in America as part of a larger issue, that of the relation of the church and the state. [On a side note, I read some statistics that say that the attitude of the governing party (Democratic or Republican) toward abortion has had no impact on the state of the problem of abortion, thus implying that banned or legal abortion continues to affect the American society the same way.

    I wonder, simply, if the church is not fighting a real problem (I believe abortion is a moral, social, spiritual issue with political and economic ramifications) the wrong way? I will allow myself a little straightforward talk here, about things I’ve seen in the church in America, things that confuse and, perhaps, that reflect a bit of hypocrisy. Why, for instance, aren’t people talking about the divorce rate in the church although the Scripture is plain about it? As far as I know, from Genesis to Revelation we have plainly of teaching about marriage, family, and divorce. The only biblical reason for divorce is infidelity, and yet many, in my view, divorce for reasons other than infidelity. This is a “within-the-church-issue,” where we are all under the authority of the Scripture, and yet we barely talk about this scourge. On the contrary, abortion receives far less treatment in the Bible (it is not enough to say that human beings are being murdered–it would be too simplistic, easy, and incomplete as a response) that we need to come to clear biblical picture on this through some theological deductions (which I believe are valid but still does not enjoy the plain teaching in the Bible about, say, marriage-family-divorce). And yet we have made abortion so loud and so political an issue that one would think it is one of the main teachings of the Bible. Meanwhile, many plain teachings of the Scripture are neglected and some, live divorce, could be revealed as serious as abortion.

    I know the fight against abortion is ultimately about defending the voiceless, the powerless, the innocent, and the little ones among us. This, clearly, is a central teaching of the Scripture. At the same time, divorce takes so much a toll, too, and the majority of its victims are equally voiceless, powerless, innocent, and little. How is it, then, that the one issue has become so prominent in our politics and the other is completely absent not only from politics but, sadly, even church talk? Are we hiding behind abortion to avoid talking about the greatest toll on church life and ministry, that which has made us so similar to the world that we are ashamed of talking about it, because, of course, the world would quickly silence us on that issue?

    Someone might also argue, correctly, that because of America’s leadership in the world, what happens here is being exported or copied by the rest of the world, so abortion should be fought. I could not agree more. But, again, what about all the other dirty stuff being exported and no one in the church is raising against?

    There are other issues like divorce that I have found detrimental to the mission of the church in America, issues that are in my eyes so serious and I don’t understand why the church would be so silent about them and talk so much about abortion with, in my impression, so little impact on the wider culture, if not within the church? How many pro-life advocates were for some time in their life undeclared pro-choice, when it the foolishness of their youth and in violation of the teaching of the God in the name of whom they take abortion into politics, they ceded to a promiscuous life style and faced the issue of how to deal with the so-called “unwanted pregnancy” (shouldn’t even this phrase have nothing to do with Christians?)?

    I’m not taking the issue of abortion lightly–it is the last thing I would want to communicate. But I wonder if as a church we have lost sense of our mission and are fighting the good fight the wrong way. I’m wondering how credible we are and how right is the approach we have taken toward abortion. Is the world acknowledging us by our fruits? Or are we attempting in a desperate Parisian approach to hammer the ethic of the kingdom into the head of those who are believed to be uncircumcised? In a word, are we fighting our good fight against abortion the right way?

  2. Global Warming
    I like distinguishing between environmental issues and the more than environmental question of the warming of the globe. I believe the former represent issues that have been part of humanity’s responsability, and the Judeo-Christian faith in particular, since the creation of the earth. I also believe that in the past few decades environment issues have worsened, and I think it is mostly the result of human action. So as part of the creation mandate we Christians should be very present in the global conversation going on about the environment. At the same time, however, we must carefully assess all that is being framed as “global warming” and support what reflects our responsability as well as learn to not let our guards down. It is not all about the environment–there are scientific curiosity, ideologies, politics, economics, demographics, etc., all playing their cards in the debate. One thing I believe: our responsability to care for the earth is not so big that we can completely destroy it and make it impossible to live on. I simply doesn’t think the creator has given us such power, so I listen to global warming debates and get involved when/where I can without losing sight of my theological belief–the destiny of the earth is ultimately in God’s hands, not humans.

  3. Pingback: Double Standard AND Tax Evasion and Stealing (updated) « Palabre

  4. Pingback: Obama and the Culture of Death? « Palabre

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