Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rick Santorum: The Right Standard Bearer

It is truly unthinkable that as conservatives decide who should be their standard bearer to unseat President Obama, they have ignored the one candidate who has all the virtues they look for in a conservative candidate: Rick Santorum.  No one can question his commitment to the principles of Federalism which mandates a government of limited powers, the necessity of defending our national interests, the reigning in of government spending and the reduction of taxes to spur economic growth, and most important of all, the protection of the unborn and the strengthening of the Family. Indeed, Santorum has nothing in his record he needs to explain away, as Mitt Romney does with Romney-care.  Romney derives much of his support from those who say the only issue of importance in this election is the economy and government spending.  Romney does have business experience, but Santorum has a record of accomplishment in reducing government. He was one of the authors and primary sponsors of welfare reform in the 90’s which vastly reduced the size of welfare rolls and mandated that welfare recipients seek employment.  He is well versed in foreign policy and defense matters and has been the only Republican candidate consistently speaking on such matters such as the danger of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.  When Bill Clinton lost reelection as governor of Arkansas, he re-branded himself as a moderately conservative candidate. Santorum has not altered what he stands for despite losing his Senate seat in 2006.  Like everyone else, Santorum understands the importance of the economy in the next election, as well as the issue of repealing Obama-care. Yet he has neither moderated his stand on social issues nor swept social issues under the rug.  This is in contrast to Romney who highlighted social issues in 2008 but has ignored them this election.  The media would like to ignore a candidate who brings social issues to the forefront; this is why Santorum is asked so few questions on anything in the debates.  Yet there are many Republicans who would like to see Santorum and candidates like him marginalized.  These Republicans see issues such as abortion and marriage as distractions in any election. They maintain that social issues are so divisive that they lose elections for Republicans. These Republicans look upon social conservatives as unreliable partners in a coalition with those mainly concerned with economic and foreign policy.  Yet experience has shown that social conservatives like Santorum remain active, reliable partners in the Conservative coalition while those who would wish social issue conservatives would just go away cannot be trusted to stick to their guns.  They are the ones who seek compromise with the left.  Not only is Santorum a reliable conservative, he can articulate conservative principles extremely well.  Romney is also articulate; we just don’t know if what he articulates today is a reliable guide to how he would govern tomorrow.  Michelle Bauchman is also a reliable conservative and would be a good president. Yet she has not demonstrated any ability to move beyond slogans and clich├ęs in articulating her positions. All the Republican candidates are able to make the case against liberalism and the Obama record.  But only Santorum has the imagination and rhetorical ability to articulate a conservative case that is not just a denunciation of Obama’s record but a positive vision people will want to vote for.  That was the difference between a Reagan and a Goldwater; this is the difference between Santorum and the other Republican candidates.  But this is not the only difference.  Santorum understands the nature of our system of government and its foundations better than the rest of the Republican field.  While his support for the Tenth Amendment is just as strong as any other candidate’s, the Tenth Amendment for Santorum is not the foundation of our republican form of government.  The rights of all mankind declared in the Declaration of Independence, which come from God, limit what individual states can do. States can not do whatever they want to.  They cannot violate the inalienable rights of anyone, nor can they violate the principles of God’s laws. This is the answer to those who use the Tenth Amendment as justification for allowing states to legalize same-sex marriage within their borders.  This understanding of the Tenth Amendment far superior to Ron Paul’s libertarian philosophy. As all the other anti-Romney candidates have risen and fallen in the polls, its time to take a look at Santorum. With his conservative credentials and personal attributes, conservatives should be at peace nominating him as the conservative standard bearer.  With such a standard bearer as Rick Santorum, the conservative message will not fail to elect conservatives to Congress and make the current occupant of the White House a one term President.              

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Handel's "Israel In Egypt" : A Recording From 1888!


This is a recording of Handel's "Israel in Egypt" performed in concert at London's Crystal Palace on June 29, 1888 at 2:00 p.m. The orchestra consisted of over 500 and the chorus was made up of over 4,000 voices. All of the singers are gone, but we can still hear their voices! It sounds as if heavenly messengers are somewhere shrouded in mystery beckoning their listeners to the throne of God. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Best Of The Web 2011

12/6 marked the 5th anniversary of Redmptive Thoughts.  Normally I would take this time to reflect on what I have written throughout the year, but I have taken a blogging sabatical which has lasted a lot longer than intended. Consequently, I have written very little.  Within the next few months I will return to blogging. In the meantime, I will bring to your attention those internet articles which succeeded in capturing my attention in 2011.

The Arrest: Illness UnbiddenDouglass Groothius utilizes the metephor of an arrest by a totalitarian state to create a profound picture of what illness does to human beings and those closest to them.  Then he ties this to Christ's sufferings. From Groothius' blog Chronic Illness, Christian Faith, and Other Laments.

Avoidance--A Christian Problem: "Those whose lives are ruled by fear ironically avoid what is necessary to remove it." Ben Witherington speaks of how fear not only ruins lives but also prevents us from admonishing those we love when they need admonishment.  From Witherington's Bible and Culture blog.

1.1 Cheers For Pat Robertson: The one good thing that happens when Pat Robertson makes a statement that embarrasses the Church is that the statement often provokes thoughtful responses from deeper thinkers. Robertson's statement that a husband would be justified in divorcing a wife suffering from alzheimers provoked this outstanding response from Russell D. Moore. From Christianity Today's blog.

Arminians Shooting Themselves In The Foot: William Watson Birch's analysis of the reaction of SOME Arminians to Rob Bell's "Love Wins."  From his The Arminian blog.  See also Roy Ingle's Five Dangers Facing Classical Arminians from his Reformed Arminian blog.

Why The Missional Movement Will Fail, Part 1 and Part 2:  The Missional Movement will fail because it has so focused on evangelism that it has neglected the Church's role of discipleship. From Michael Breen's blog.

Did Youth Ministry Create The Emerging Church? Part 1 and Part 2:  The roots of both the Emergent Church and the Megachurch are to be found in Youth Ministries. Does this make Youth Ministry as has been practiced by the Evangelical Church a threat the Church's theology, ecclesiology, and relationships among its members? By Skye Jethani of the Out of Ur blog.

Sniffing Glue: A Childhood In Christian Pop: Written by a woman who grew up in a Christian home but has since left the Christian faith. She explains how contempory Christian worship led her to abandon the Church.

Heresy Is Heresy, Not A Lithmus Test For Gospel Preaching: Jason B. Hood warns against opening up oneself to the charge of antinomianism in preaching grace. The charge should not be regarded as a badge of honor, as some within Calvinist circles consider it. From Christianity Today's blog. Also from that same source: In Praise of Confidence by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway. Doubt is celebrated in some Christian circles. Is this a good thing?

Bad, Mr. Huckabbe, Bad      Our political and cultural elites condemn Christians who critique Islam while ignoring the treatment Christians and other religious minorities receive in Isamic countries. Should we be surprised? From John Mark Reynolds at The Scriptorium.

The death of Steve Jobs inspired thousands of meditations upon the meaning of his life. Here are three: The Apotheosis of Steve Jobs by Gene Veith (Have we turned Steve Jobs into a secular saint?), Al Mohler writes of how the secular world will remember Jobs and how Christians should evaluate his life, and in Jobs, Dubya, and Leadership, James K.A. Smith points out the similarities in the leadership styles of Jobs and George W. Bush. Smith notes how critics who criticize Bush's leadership style praise Jobs for the very same traits.

Two other posts by Douglass Groothius caught my attention: What is a Library? and Banning Laptops in the Classroom. Both deal with how internet technology has diminished our sense of place and the learning process. Both are from Groothius' other blog The Constructive Crumudgeon.

Can A Christian Work In The Marketing Field? by Roger E. Olson.

The Guided And The Misguided: The moral history of Soap Operas by Martha Bayles published on the Claremont Institute's website.