By Tom Borelli
The politics of business is getting perilous for CEOs trying to traverse the ideological battle between capitalism and socialism.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is under fire for offering free-market solutions to health care while GE CEO Jeff Immelt is benefiting from adopting a strategy in which the government is his partner.
Indeed, the contrasting approaches to Obama’s political agenda offered by Mackey and Immelt illustrate the risks and benefits of dealing with the president’s statist policies.
Whole Foods – the organic grocery retailer – is in the midst of a public relations crisis stemming from a commentary on health care reform by Mackey.
In his strongly worded opinion piece, “The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare,” published in the Wall Street Journal, Mackey rejects Obama’s proposal because it would result in “a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system.”
As an alternative, Mackey recommends a series of free-market ideas, including high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs), which his company has adopted.
Mackey also seeks to reduce health care demand by encouraging personal responsibility, “with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.”
Mackey’s push for personal responsibility and a free-market solution is not an altruist endeavor, but good business. Mackey built Whole Foods by capitalizing on consumers seeking healthier food, and now he senses another opportunity: in this case, the opportunity to profit from selling foods that help combat obesity and chronic diseases.
Prior to the publication of his commentary, Mackey told the Wall Street Journal he wants the company “to encourage customers and employees to attack the nation’s obesity rate, the prevalence of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”
He envisions meeting that goal by increasing his company’s offering of healthy foods and to educate consumers on having better diets by initiating a Healthy Eating Education program in his stores.
Obviously, this business model could prosper under policies that encourage individual incentives to improve diets.
Mackey’s views spurred outrage among Obama’s left-wing supporters. A Facebook group dedicated to boycotting Whole Foods was created in record time, numerous blogs railed against Mackey and there were protests outside stores in several locations.
With Mackey on the ropes, a union pension fund advocacy group is calling for Whole Foods’ board of directors to dismiss him from the company he founded.
Although Mackey is far from a right-winger, his free-market view of health care and labor made him a target of Obama’s supporters.
In contrast, GE’s Immelt is “all in” with Obama’s policy agenda and it’s paying off handsomely.
Immelt embraces the notion of a new era of capitalism where companies coordinate their efforts with the government. In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club in June, Immelt said, “We should welcome the government as a catalyst for leadership and change.” He added, “America should get busy addressing the two biggest global challenges – clean energy and affordable health care.”
Immelt is doing more than echoing Obama’s campaign rhetoric of “change”: He has GE actively advancing the president’s policies, especially cap-and-trade.
Through its participation in the United States Climate Action Partnership – a cap-and-trade lobbying group – GE helped push the Waxman-Markey bill over the goal line in the House of Representatives. In doing so, the company was able to load the bill with provisions that will boost GE’s sales in “clean energy” products.
Even more disturbing, if true, GE’s support of Obama may have positively influenced the terms of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over allegations the company was “cooking the books” to meet quarterly earnings expectations.
For a mere $50 million, GE settled four instances of accounting irregularities including engineering fake sales of locomotives to accelerate end-of-year earnings.
Following Enron, Sarbanes-Oxley and concerns of Wall Street greed, it’s amazing that GE escaped stiffer penalties from the SEC and show trial inquiries from the anti-business Congress.
But then again, Immelt is on Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and the last thing the president needs is to draw public attention to the possibility that a Bernie Madoff-type CEO serves as a presidential adviser.
Unfortunately, it appears that CEOs whose business strategies are in sync with Obama’s calls for greater government control will be rewarded while those who confront Obama’s plans for America will be punished.
This observation may explain why drug companies are lining up to cut a deal with Obama on health care and energy and utility companies are cutting deals with Congress on cap-and-trade.
Because of the critical role corporations play in public policy, liberty-minded citizens need to be willing to engage CEOs as they do elected officials. Participation at shareholder meetings and tea party rallies at corporate headquarters should be on the agenda.
Otherwise, business leaders will take the path of least resistance. They will join Obama and selling all of us out.
Thomas J. Borelli, PhD. is the editor of FreeEnterpriser.com and Director of the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research.
by Dr. Norman L. Geisler
America belongs to “We the people.” It does not belong to the Congress. It does not belong to special interest groups. It does not belong to the Courts. It belongs to “We the people….” The original Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, declared:
“Providence [God] has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty—as well as the privilege and interest –of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Yes, he preferred those who follow a Christian ethic and voted accordingly. And contrary to a widely misinterpretation of the First Amendment, the Constitution does not forbid establishing morality but only establishing one national religion. It says, “Congress [The Federal Government]. Shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion….” Indeed, historically Congress (upheld by the Supreme Court) did establish the Judeo-Christian morality, including virtually all of the Ten Commandments at one time or another.
Politically speaking, the basic problem in America is that “We the people” have lost control of our government. How have we done this? Three things come to mind. First, “We the people” are not all registered to vote. Second, “We the people” who are registered do not all vote. Third, “We the people” who do vote do not all vote our convictions.
“We the people” are not all registered to vote.
A. 35% of eligible Americans are not registered. So, the people who don’t vote decide almost all the elections. Yet “we the people” complain about our government when we have not all even participated in it. The truth is the “we the people” who don’t vote could change America.
“We the people” are not all registered to vote.
Further, “We the people” who are registered do not all vote. In 2004 only 64% of us voted. And in the off presidential year of 2002 only 43% voted. That is minority rule. But if we don’t vote, we don’t have a voice—and should not voice a complaint!
“We the people” who do vote do not all vote our convictions.
Sadder still, is the third problem: those who are Christians and do vote do not always vote their convictions. Two exit poles of one relatively recent elections revealed that about two-thirds of Americans put issues over character. Indeed, a large percent of people admitted that they voted for a president they did not even trust! The solution to this situation is simple.
First of all, we should vote principle over party
We expect preachers to rave about the need for morality in public like, but listen to the words of a famous non-Christian, Mark Twain: “This is an honest nation–in private life. The American Christian is a straight and clean and honest man, and in his private commerce with his fellows can be trusted to stand faithfully by the principles of honor and honesty imposed upon him by his religion. But the moment he comes forward to exercise a public trust he can be confidently counted upon to betray that trust in nine cases out of ten, if `party loyalty’ shall require it….” (Twain, Christian Science, 359).
That hits the nail right on the head. Most Americans—even politicians—have good private ethics, at least in principle, if not in practice. But how many times have we heard them say: “I personally do not believe in doing X, but I would not vote for a law that forbid others from doing it.” This is a private ethic with no public ethic.
Second, we should vote morals over money.
Recently, a presidential candidate, when asked when human life began, replied: “That is above my pay grade.” I radio talk show host ask me what I thought of that answer. My reply was, “Lower his pay grade!” I could have added, raise his moral standard. The only sitting president ever to write a book was Ronald Reagan—and it was on abortion. When asked a similar question, he replied, “If you aren’t sure, then don’t shoot.” The fact is, we are sure. Human life begins at conception. It is a scientific fact. An unborn pig is a pig. An unborn horse is a horse. And an unborn human is a human. We don’t even need science; we just need common sense.
Third, we should vote conviction over convenience
What would we think of a political leader who said, “I personally do not believe in killing little children (infanticide), but I would not vote for a law that forbids others from doing it.” What about rape, incest, spouse abuse, and child abuse? Is it all right as long as this is part of our private practice but not our public policy? Does anyone really want to live in a country where our civic leaders claim not to practice murder privately but refuse to pass a law to forbid it publicly!
The Persistent Myth: We Cannot Legislate Morality
One of the underlying problems is that even many Christians have bought into the legal and social myth that “We Can’t legislate morality.” But this is constitutionally, historically, and socially wrong. The High Court pronounced: “We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity…. [We are] people whose manners…and whose morals have been elevated and inspired…by means of the Christian religion” (Ruggles, 1811).
Socially, all laws affirm that one behavior is right and another wrong. But right and wrong are a matter of morality. So, all good laws legislate morality. We cannot avoid legislating morality. The only question is whose morality is going to be legislated.
Historically, our leaders had no hesitation in answering this question. In Colonial days,
Sixth President of United States asserted that “If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and “Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free” (The Right Constitution …, Letter VI).
Even the Declaration of Independence speaks of “Nature’s Law’s” that come from “Nature’s God” and are manifest in “unalienable” God-given rights. President John Adams saw it correctly: “Private and public Virtue is the only foundation of Republics.” When the Mormons taught and practiced polygamy, the Supreme Court ruled (Beason, 1889): “Bigamy and polygamy are crimes by the laws of all civilized and Christian countries…. They tend to destroy the purity of the marriage, to disturb the peace of families, to degrade woman and to debase man.”
Mark Twain was right: “[The Christian] has sound and sturdy private morals, but he has no public ones…. There are Christian Private Morals, but there are no Christian Public Morals, at the polls, or in Congress or anywhere else–except here and there and scattered around like lost comets in the solar system” (ibid., 361).
What is the solution to our political and moral problems in America? Well, for starters Christians must vote character over convenience. We must vote morals over money and principle over party. And above all, we must vote life over death.
Since the right to life is the right to all other rights—the dead have no rights—necessarily the right to life becomes the primary moral principle in judging public officials. If Germans citizens had a chance to vote for Hitler, knowing he was engaged in a holocaust, and Hitler had a good plan for the economy and the environment, what would be the overriding issue? Should they vote money over morals. Should they have voted party (Nazis) over principle? But Hitler only killed 12 million human beings (I speak as a fool when I say “only”). Americans, since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion (Jan 22, 1973) have killed 48 million unborn human beings by abortion.
How then shall we vote? For candidates that favor abortion or for those who oppose it? Every Christian—indeed, every moral person—has a moral duty to put conviction of convenience, principle over party and vote for life.
President President James Garfield (1831-1881) wrote: “The people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.” Yes, “We the people” are response, and “We the people must take responsibility for our actions. James Madison “the Father of US Constitution” declared: “Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.” (Memorial & Remonstrance, 1785). Our first president, George Washington, declared in his First Inaugural Address that “There is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness…. [So] the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.” The Wisest man who ever lived put it this way: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).
*Dr. Geisler has a BA, MA, ThM, and PhD (in philosophy). He is an author of some 70 books and has taught philosophy and ethics at the College and Graduate level for fifty years. His articles and materials are available at www.normgeisler.com or www.InternationalLegacy.org.
By Deneen Borelli
August 25, 2009
As Congress considered the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-trade” bill, President Obama rallied House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats at the White House. In making a point, he gestured to Abraham Lincoln’s portrait and said, “He had a chance to affect history. You, too, have a chance to affect history.”
Lincoln is remembered for liberating blacks from slavery. Cap-and-trade legislation supported by Obama, allied lawmakers and now the NAACP would, conversely, enslave all Americans.
Billed as a way to combat global warming, cap-and-trade legislation already passed by the House and now under consideration in the Senate is — at its most basic level — a tax that punishes those who rely on fossil fuels. That unfortunately means virtually every American.
Higher energy costs, higher unemployment and slower economic growth expected from cap-and-trade would reduce living standards, increase dependency and likely chain Americans to government programs.
Back in 2007, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that “most of the cost of meeting a cap on [carbon dioxide] emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline… [and] poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would.”
That makes it particularly troubling when the NAACP, at their recent convention, jumped on the cap-and-trade bandwagon. Politicians are expected to be opportunistic, but a group founded to advance blacks should not promote energy policies preferentially harming those with the least.
Harry Alford, head of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), opposes cap-and-trade. Alford testified before the Senate about this, and made national news when he objected to California Senator Barbara Boxer’s attempt to place a premium on the NAACP’s opinion over the facts presented by the NBCC president.
A NBCC-commissioned study of cap-and-trade by CRA International finds new regulations would:
reduce national GDP roughly $350 billon below the baseline level;
cut net employment by 2.5 million jobs per year (even with new “green jobs”);
reduce earnings for the average U.S. worker by $390 per year.
Alford’s not alone. His skepticism is shared by a majority of blacks.
For example, seventy-six percent of blacks want Congress to make economic recovery — and not climate change — its top priority. This is a finding of a nationwide poll of blacks conducted for the National Center for Public Policy Research by Wilson Research Strategies.
Among other key findings:
38 percent of blacks believe job losses from climate change legislation such as Waxman-Markey would be felt most strongly in the black community. Seven percent believe job losses would fall most on Hispanics and just two percent on whites;
56 percent of blacks believe economic and quality of life concerns of the black community are not considered when addressing climate issues;
52 percent of blacks don’t want to pay more for gasoline or electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 73 percent are unwilling to pay more than 50 cents more for a gallon of gas, and 76 percent are unwilling to pay more than $50 more per year for electricity.
Despite NAACP boosterism, it’s clear black Americans want a stable economy before any risky schemes with questionable environmental results are considered.
A new, punishing energy tax will be an economic burden for those least able to afford it. Coincidentally, these are the individuals Obama claims to want to help most. Additionally, if cap-and-trade passes, it would break Obama’s campaign pledge to not raise taxes on households earning less than $250,000 a year.
As slaves had no representation in early America, black Americans are now finding themselves adrift as the NAACP and President Obama promote cap-and-trade regulation. Emancipation from such regulation, however, is the change all Americans can believe in and benefit from.
Deneen Borelli is a fellow for the Project 21 black leadership network. Comments may be sent to DBorelli@nationalcenter.org. The survey mentioned previously was conducted for The National Center for Public Policy Research by Wilson Research Strategies and has a margin of error of 3.4%.
It can be viewed at: http://www.nationalcenter.org/BlackOpinion.html.
SECRET HISTORY REVEALED
Dems credited with starting group that attacked both blacks, whites
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily.com
The original targets of the Ku Klux Klan were Republicans, both black and white, according to a new television program and book, which describe how the Democrats started the KKK and for decades harassed the GOP with lynchings and threats.
An estimated 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites died at the end of KKK ropes from 1882 to 1964.
The documentation has been assembled by David Barton of Wallbuilders and published in his book “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White,” which reveals that not only did the Democrats work hand-in-glove with the Ku Klux Klan for generations, they started the KKK and endorsed its mayhem.
“Of all forms of violent intimidation, lynchings were by far the most effective,” Barton said in his book. “Republicans often led the efforts to pass federal anti-lynching laws and their platforms consistently called for a ban on lynching. Democrats successfully blocked those bills and their platforms never did condemn lynchings.”
Further, the first grand wizard of the KKK was honored at the 1868 Democratic National Convention, no Democrats voted for the 14th Amendment to grant citizenship to former slaves and, to this day, the party website ignores those decades of racism, he said.
“Although it is relatively unreported today, historical documents are unequivocal that the Klan was established by Democrats and that the Klan played a prominent role in the Democratic Party,” Barton writes in his book. “In fact, a 13-volume set of congressional investigations from 1872 conclusively and irrefutably documents that fact.
“Contributing to the evidences was the 1871 appearance before Congress of leading South Carolina Democrat E.W. Seibels who testified that ‘they [the Ku Klux Klan] belong to the reform part – [that is, to] our party, the Democratic Party,'” Barton writes.
“The Klan terrorized black Americans through murders and public floggings; relief was granted only if individuals promised not to vote for Republican tickets, and violation of this oath was punishable by death,” he said. “Since the Klan targeted Republicans in general, it did not limit its violence simply to black Republicans; white Republicans were also included.”
Barton told WND his comments are not a condemnation or endorsement of any party or candidate, but rather a warning that voters even today should be aware of what their parties and candidates stand for.
His book outlines the aggressive pro-slavery agenda held by the Democratic Party for generations leading up to the Civil War, and how that did not die with the Union victory in that war of rebellion.
Even as the South was being rebuilt, the votes in Congress consistently revealed a continuing pro-slavery philosophy on the part of the Democrats, the book reveals.
Three years after Appomattox, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting blacks citizenship in the United States, came before Congress: 94 percent of Republicans endorsed it.
“The records of Congress reveal that not one Democrat – either in the House or the Senate – voted for the 14th Amendment,” Barton wrote. “Three years after the Civil War, and the Democrats from the North as well as the South were still refusing to recognize any rights of citizenship for black Americans.”
He also noted that South Carolina Gov. Wade Hampton at the 1868 Democratic National Convention inserted a clause in the party platform declaring the Congress’ civil rights laws were “unconstitutional, revolutionary, and void.”
It was the same convention when Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the KKK, was honored for his leadership.
Barton’s book notes that in 1868, Congress heard testimony from election worker Robert Flournoy, who confessed while he was canvassing the state of Mississippi in support of the 13th and 14th Amendments, he could find only one black, in a population of 444,000 in the state, who admitted being a Democrat.
Nor is Barton the only person to raise such questions. In 2005, National Review published an article raising similar points. The publication said in 1957 President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, deployed the 82nd Airborne Division to desegregate the Little Rock, Ark., schools over the resistance of Democrat Gov. Orval Faubus.
Further, three years later, Eisenhower signed the GOP’s 1960 Civil Rights Act after it survived a five-day, five-hour filibuster by 18 Senate Democrats, and in 1964, Democrat President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act after former Klansman Robert Byrd’s 14-hour filibuster, and the votes of 22 other Senate Democrats, including Tennessee’s Al Gore Sr., failed to scuttle the plan.
Hermeneutics is defined as “the interpretation of texts.” In the theological realm, it is acknowledged as the clarification of the Bible. Hermeneutics can be said to be very crucial because without a correct understanding of Scripture, one’s homiletical soundings will only confuse and deceive the hearers. Thus, it is very important that the reader of texts seek to fully understand what God is saying through the writers of the documents. Also, the reader must attempt to grasp the historical setting, the writing styles and tradition, as well as the intended audiences’ perception of their times.
In addition to discerning the rules of interpretation, I hold fast to the belief that if the reader is enlightened by the Holy Spirit, a correct hermeneutic will follow because the reader has already trusted God at His Word and is able to grasp that the Lord can and will preserve His Word for its intended purpose. Therefore, we must submit to the authority of Scripture and allow the Bible to speak for itself rather than bring to the text strong presuppositions that may hinder the readers or hearers from truly perceiving God’s Word.
I will expound on two sections of Scripture to see what messages the Lord is seeking to communicate. It would be wise to examine the grammatical, historical, and literary traditions. The first hermeneutic will come from Genesis chapter 3:1-6:
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
In examining the beginning of this chapter, we see that evil was already present in the garden in the form of a serpent. We also should note that Adam and Eve was not effected by sin and had no direct comprehension of vice. They were created to follow instructions and make choices as rational human beings. The Lord had already determined the characterization of iniquity. Wickedness cannot exist apart from God because it was God who determined what evil was. Since it is He who makes the rules, the definition of malevolence is subject to Him.
The serpent directly contradicted God’s pronouncement: “You will surely die” (v.4). Satan also made some true statements; by partaking of the tree, Adam and Eve would indeed share moral discernment with God, but would not share His immortality unless they partook of the tree of life. The serpent did not explain that though the humans would know good and evil, they would lack the power to do good, and the only real outcome of their enlightened consciences would be guilt and conviction before God.
It can be said that God’s first act of mercy to humans was not letting us live forever after the Fall. Picture the human race living with cancer, AIDS, and all the diseases that ever existed. The earth would be crowded and miserable. Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Stalin, and all the dictators would still be here.
The account we read here was a real event recorded by Moses as the Lord revealed it to him. In this episode the serpent attacked God through His creation. Since the Serpent was later identified as the Devil (see Rev. 12:9; 20:2), he caused Eve to doubt God’s Word. This is the first example I see in Scripture regarding a false hermeneutic. Whenever we doubt God’s Word and believe another source, we err.
Many so-called scholars attempt to convey the notion that the Genesis account is the compilation and wisdom of men. They subscribe to the documentary hypothesis theory which teaches that various documents (literary pieces) were used to compile the first five books of the Bible —-the Pentateuch (or Torah).
These documents were designated by the letters “E” and “J” respectively; “E” was represented by Genesis 1:1 to 2:3, and “J” by 2:4-25. Naming deity distinctively, these passages were thought to differ in the sequence of events in creation, and to depict God differently.
In addition to the original “J” and “E” documents, a Deuteronomistic document “D” and a Priestly Code or “P” was proposed. The outcome of the documentary hypothesis was the virtual total rejection of the Mosaic authorship of the first five books of the Bible.
The human race is bound to God by faith in His word as absolute truth. Because he knew this, Satan sought to tear down the woman’s faith in what God had said by raising suspicions about God’s word. Satan suggested that God did not really mean what He said. Satan sought to criticize the word of God by changing the rules of engagement.
The lesson we learn from the particulars surrounding this event is that we should submit to the authority of God’s Word. This report was given to Moses as the internal evidence in Scripture suggest. The writer of Judges declared that the law was “given their forefathers through Moses” (Judg. 3:4). David, on his deathbed, charged Solomon to walk in God’s ways “as written in the law of Moses” (1 Kings 2:3). Daniel (9:11-13) and Malachi (4:4) specifically refer to Moses. In all, there are fourteen Old Testament books that refer to Moses and connect him to the written law. To reject this data and equate the writings of the Genesis account to other sources is equivalent to questioning God’s word and His miraculous preservation power.
The rejection of the Mosaic authorship of the first five books of the Bible implies the denial of scores of Scriptures that affirm it. Even Jesus Himself, when reminding the religious leaders of their obligation, stated: “Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’” (Mark 7:10). Jesus specifically said to the Jews, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me” (John 5:46). Since Jesus confirmed Moses’ role as author, to deny this claim is to attribute error to Jesus and thus impugn the reality of His divine omniscience.
Adam and Eve were clearly informed that they should not eat of the tree. If they disobeyed, they would surely die. Eating the fruit was not evil; the evil consisted of disobeying God by denying His instructions and invading the divine prerogative of deciding good and evil. The first lie proposed by Satan was a form of antinomianism, denying the judgment of death for sin and apostasy. The woman also added to God’s Word by stating that they were not to touch the forbidden tree.
God declared, “When you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen. 2:17). It is a Scriptural principle that sin is inseparably linked with death. “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezek. 18:4, 18:20). This death was first of all spiritual, though it immediately introduced the aging principle of which physical death is the ultimate outcome.
Satan went even further by stating that Adam and Eve would become like God. This is the most tempting in the history of mankind. Since only God can determine what is good and what is evil, humans have been attempting to usurp this authority every since. Rather than make judgments based on the authority of God’s word, we make our own laws and ratify them by vote. Countries are making homosexual marriages “legal” by vote. They are sanctioning abortion by status quo; and government officials extort money from private citizens and call it a tax increase. Humans now seek independence from God’s word and derive moral knowledge and ethical discernment from their own minds.
The point of this lesson is that there are three sins that contribute to all disobedience. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, as indicated in verse six of Genesis chapter three: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (see also 1 John 2:16).
Some speculate that the fruit that Adam and his wife ate was not actual fruit, but spiritual fruit. This assumption shows a disregard for common intelligence. The Bible speaks about a real tree in a real garden eligible for edibility. The Scriptures even makes a comparison, as Eve stated: “…We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it….” (see Gen. 3:2-3).
If this were no real tree, then every other tree was not a real tree either. The fruit that was on the real tree was, indeed, real. Therefore, Eve partook of it and gave some to her husband, and he did eat. Moses recorded that “…the woman saw that the tree was good for food….” (Gen. 3:6).
Another interesting episode that surely took place was with David and Goliath. Sermon upon sermon has been crafted that revealed the many characteristics of this legend. First we must conclude that this was a historical event rather than a figment of literary imagination.
Some have assumed that the Bible comprise mostly of myths or exaggerated stories. The account of David and Goliath fits into this category as far as some “scholars” are concerned. Let us examine a portion of the text. First Samuel 17:40-43 reads:
40 “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.” KJV
David began his years as the baby of the family. With seven older brothers to help around the farm, David was given the task of watching the sheep in the pastures. But life in the hillsides did not last long. At the age of sixteen or so, he was sent on an errand that would change his life. His father Jesse sent him to deliver some cheese to a few of his older brothers who were in the army and bring back word on how they were doing.
Neither the Philistines nor the Hebrews had regular standing armies; their soldiers were drawn from citizens who spontaneously left their homes and occupations to respond to their rulers’ call for volunteers. Men worked in their fields and only abandoned their daily routine when peril threatened their country. The fact that Goliath taunted Israel for forty days resulted in great hardship for depleted families whose sons and laborers had been absent for nearly six weeks. It was to be expected, therefore, that Jesse should be apprehensive concerning his three sons.
Once at the battlefield, David caught sight of the Philistine armies, and of the giant, Goliath. The confrontation that followed left the giant dead, the invading armies scattered, and the shepherd boy a hero.
The scene was awe-inspiring. The man-mountain had appeared from the tents of the Philistines. He sneered and asked: “Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? Am not I a Philistine, and ye are servants of Saul? Choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us….I defy the images of Israel this day” (1 Samuel 17:8-10). As David heard the challenge, he looked expectantly towards his countrymen. Surely, this blasphemous heathen should be taught a lesson. It was unbelievable; even Israel stood aghast. A mere boy had performed the impossible.
David’s wisdom is seen in three areas. The first thing we should note is that David rejected Saul’s armor. Of all the men of Israel, it would have seemed that Saul himself would be the obvious one to fight Goliath, since “from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people” (see 1 Samuel 9:2).
Saul’s armor would have hindered David’s movement. Also, his dependence on God’s faithfulness would show that the Lord was with Israel.
Second, David chose five smooth stones. He recognized that although he could depend upon Jehovah, he could not always depend upon himself. Some scholars say that David provided himself with extra stones in an effort to ensure that he reach his objective if he were to fail at a few attempts. Others would say that he obtained five stones because Goliath had four brothers (see 2 Samuel 21:22). In any event, David was sure that the Lord would be with him as he challenged a giant over nine feet tall who carried armor that weighed 200 pounds.
In examining verse 40, we see that David chose weapons familiar to him. A shepherd’s accessories included a scrip, which was a small bag filled with food for the day. It was in such a script that David placed his five stones. The shepherd had to face wolves, jackals, and lions, which were a danger to the flock. Therefore, a rod had to be carried. This rod was a heavy oaken club studded with nails in order to drive away the predators. David also used a staff which was an instrument to assist in walking and to direct the sheep.
David’s sling was always close at hand as well. The sling could also be used in herding because a well placed stone in front of a sheep’s nose could turn a wandering sheep back towards the rest of the flock. The many hours spent on the hillside provided David with many “practice” shots.
Goliath was by far the most famous Philistine in the Bible, and he was impressive. He was trained as a warrior from the time he was a boy (see 1 Sam. 17:33). His skills had been honed by battle, and all his challengers had fallen to his attacks. He was undefeated, and his reputation as a great man is recorded forever in the pages of Scripture. Thus, the record also gives him the honor of being felled by a young boy with no battle experience.
Thirdly, David’s show of wisdom was honorable in that he desired that only God should be glorified. When Goliath cursed David, the Philistine used false gods which had no effect upon David.
David’s victory over Goliath came as a result of his faith in God that had already been tested and proven in his life. We can identify five specific factors that led to his triumph:
(1) David had a heart for God. When the Lord had spoken to Samuel, He said, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart”(1 Samuel 16:7). Then David was called. Then the Lord spoke and said: “Arise, anoint him, for this is he” (v.12).
(2) David had a zealous and deep concern for the honor and reputation of the Lord God is Israel. He recognized that Goliath was defying not just the armies of Israel, but the Lord God Himself.
(3) David’s confidence in the Lord’s power had been strengthened by his memory of previous times when he had prayed for and experienced God’s deliverance.
(4) David trusted not in himself but in God to achieve the victory over Goliath and the Philistines.
(5) The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him.
When God’s children face seemingly insurmountable problems and situations, those giants can be overcome if we exercise faith like David and depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is of the most worth to view God’s word as absolute and that he is able to safeguard the Scriptures from harm in an effort to draw more people to Himself.
Even though the Lord used human instruments, He sustained control and allowed to be produced the most magnificent set of documents in the universe—the Holy Scriptures.
Therefore, a correct hermeneutical outlook in Scripture is an indication that the reader has placed one’s trust in the entire word of God. Then, and only then, can we decipher with confidence and mature in our relationship with the Savior and transfer that faith to others who ask a reason for the hope that is in us.
Almost anyone can be president as long as they meet three, and only three, basic requirements. They must be a natural born citizen of the United States and at least 35 years old. They must also have been a resident of this country for at least the last fourteen years. Of all the things our Founders could have required, they picked only these three.
There are no requirements concerning political philosophy and knowledge of how our government works. You don’t even have to have any experience. Instead, they picked citizenship. Why? “The President of the United States was to be a citizen of this country, holding up this country’s values and ideals. He had to be loyal to this country alone.” Whether Barack Obama was born in the United States is important, but even more important is for him to demonstrate his constitutional loyalty to a nation built on Christian principles. Thomas Jefferson said it well enough:
No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.
President Obama has been apologizing for America in every foreign country he visits, and he does it publicly. But it’s in Muslim’s nations that he has denigrated and dismissed America’s Christian heritage most forcefully. For several years, first as a Senator and now as President, Mr. Obama has repeatedly claimed that America is not a Christian nation. On a recent presidential trip to the Muslim nation of Turkey he announced to the world that Americans “do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.” Did he ask American Christians? During a trip to the Muslim nation of Egypt, he declared that America is “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.” The Muslim population in the United States is less than one percent while the Christian population is nearly 60 percent. What’s going on here?
Obama is a Muslim sympathizer. It’s possible that if his birth certificate is released, it might reveal a Muslim connection.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little put off by all of this and even a little frightened. The Muslim world, even if it’s only a minority of a billion radical Muslims, is terrifying. World domination is their goal, and there is no reason why we should be helping them to achieve it. So what do we do about it? While we put pressure on this administration any way we can to stop its tyrannical policies, we need to alert more Americans about President Obama’s Muslim sympathies and refute his rejection of America’s Christian history. That’s why we are offering you two FREE resources. You can help us and help America by forwarding this to 10 of your friends and family so they can get these resources as well.
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August 7, 2009 Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 or e-mail email@example.com
Washington D.C. The Project 21 black leadership network is condemning New York Times liberal columnist Paul Krugman for scurrilously pinning racist motives on critics of President Obama’s health care proposals. The group is calling upon President Obama to condemn all efforts to derail legitimate public debate, specifically including this effort to stifle debate with race-baiting tactics.
“Paul Krugman is the one with race on the brain,” Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie charged. “Specifically, he is using race in the lowest and most repulsive declinations. He is using it because every other argument to stem the growing tide of condemnation for the proposed health care reform bill has failed. Ergo, when all else fails, parade out the race card and attempt to incite blacks into becoming the useful idiots.”
“Opposition to the proposed health care bill isn’t based on race,” Massie added. “It is based on a people who are tired of Congress and the President spitting in their faces. It is the collective resolve of a people who are tired of being tread upon. One would think a Nobel prize-winner such as Krugman could figure that out.”
Krugman’s racial comments generated outrage from many Project 21 members, including:
Joe Hicks (Los Angeles, California):
“I must have somehow missed the articles from Krugman and other liberal and leftist members of the mainstream media that were critical of the activities of ACORN – the radical, leftist group Barack Obama once represented. Somehow, their heavy-handed activities – that many argue bent the boundaries of legality – were just considered to be the organized expression of disadvantaged communities.”
Now the same shameless, clueless writers are trying to convince us that those Americans who rightfully feel threatened by government-run health care and confront Obama’s noxious scheme at public forums are somehow the acts of a ‘mob.’ Krugman reveals his bias by admitting that people are genuinely angry without bringing himself to understand exactly why they are mad. Smearing the rightful anger and concern of everyday Americans as collections of angry, old white folks – or part of the ‘birthers’ movement – shows the elitist disdain that liberal journalists such as Krugman have for democracy in action.”
Joe Hicks is a Pajamas Television commentator and vice president of Community Advocates, Inc. of Los Angeles. He is a former executive director of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission and former executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Deneen Borelli (East Chester, New York):
“Krugman’s commentary shows he is as out of touch as many of our elected officials are with real Americans. What’s happening at town hall meetings has nothing to do with race and everything to do with concern over the rapid expansion of government.”
Americans are frustrated that letters, phone calls and e-mails to their elected representatives have had no impact on significant pieces of legislation such as cap-and-trade and stimulus spending. Americans are taking the next logical step by directly voicing their opinions to their representatives at town hall meetings.”
Deneen Borelli is a full-time fellow with Project 21. She serves on the board of Trustees of The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York and previously served as Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
Bishop Council Nedd II (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania):
“I have nothing to do with the ‘birther’ issue, but I do have concerns about health care. So do the people in my parishes and in the local diner where I eat every day. Living in central Pennsylvania, these truly are the people portrayed in the Norman Rockwell painting about freedom of speech that Krugman reference in his column. To imply these people are now racists is racist in itself.
Approximately half of the U.S. population didn’t vote for Obama in the first place. Why is Krugman shocked that there is opposition to the Obama health care plan, and that people dare to voice their concern at public meetings? The Obama plan inserts government officials into end-of-life decisions for seniors and those among us with the least. That is not a race issue, that is a privacy issue. The Obama plan has given a whole new meaning to the idea of government for the people. This health plan is a bitter pill shoved down people’s throat against their will.
Council Nedd is an Anglican bishop serving the Diocese of the Chesapeake.
Bob Parks (Athol, Massachusetts):
“Why is it when liberals want to make their points, their knee-jerk reaction is to go racial? Paul Krugman is supposedly a journalist. Before throwing out the race card while speculating, he should give us some attributed quotes. Minus that, what he thinks is irrelevant.”
Bob Parks is a Project 21 member and media commentator. He runs the Black and Right website.
Jimmie Hollis (Millville, New Jersey):
“I knew the moment Obama became a presidential candidate that anyone disagreeing with him would be called a racist, and that any opposition to his political views would be seen as racism. The left has always played the race card because it works.”
But I am nonetheless happy to see that people on the right and many in the middle are now beginning to speaking out firmly and with passion against policies they oppose. President Obama should speak out and condemn Paul Krugman racial commentary.”
Jimmie L. Hollis is a Project 21 member and is retired from the U.S. Air Force, in which he served from 1962-1987.
Geoffrey Moore (Chicago, Illinois):
“This is not about race. It is about government control. The system is not perfect, but there is no need to have the government take over control of the entire health care system. The government has not demonstrated the ability to efficiently control costs and provide good service.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who are not up in arms about their insurance. There are people who are somewhat pleased with the coverage they have. The government getting involved will create enormous expense and waste, while creating more problems than they intend to solve.”
Geoffrey Moore is a Project 21 member and marketing analyst in Chicago.
In his Times commentary, “The Town Hall Mob,” available at http://tw9.us/G2, Krugman wrote:
[T]he driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the “birther” movement, which denies Mr. Obama’s citizenship… And cynical political operators are exploiting that anxiety to further the economic interests of their backers.
Does this sound familiar? It should: it’s a strategy that has played a central role in American politics ever since Richard Nixon realized that he could advance Republican fortunes by appealing to the racial fears of working-class whites.
Many people hoped that last year’s election would mark the end of the “angry white voter” era in America. Indeed, voters who can be swayed by appeals to cultural and racial fear are a declining share of the electorate.
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization supported by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21’s website at www.project21.org/P21Index.html.