Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Prayer for the Ages

For those of you who joined me in talking about and praying for the release of Meriam Ibrahim from a Sudanese jail after being sentenced to death for refusing to renounce Christ, our prayers were answered and she returned to the United States in July.
The joy of the Lord moves me to share Meriam’s testimony again.  As I attend the last day of the Value Voters Summit here in Washington, DC, I am overwhelmed to know Meriam Ibrahim is an invited guest to share her testimony of the goodness of the Lord.  I will look and behold the answer to our prayers.
Back stage before speaking to the crowd of thousands at the summit meeting, Sen. Ted Cruz spoke with Meriam.   When he asked her how she was able to stand so firm in her faith under such incredible forces of evil, her reply was simple: “God is with me.”
We are in a time where our freedom to express our religious liberty is under attack and our faith in God’s justice tested.  We’ve experienced our first beheading in the United States yesterday in Oklahoma (allegedly connected to a radical Islam ideology) and the type of evil we see moving across the Middle East is knocking at the door of the United States.  It is of a grotesque sort rarely experienced on American soil.  
Soon, faith in God and prayer will be the only tools left to save this nation.  Our God is our only refuge in these times of trouble.  He says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

God is calling America to return to Him.  Pray that the U.S. will be spiritually renewed in its commitment to Judeo-Christian principles and that He would prevent the evil from which Meriam escaped, namely Sharia Law, from visiting us.  Pray that we as a nation will also say, “God is with me.”

Friday, September 19, 2014

NAACP Kills the American Dream for Blacks

Has the NAACP become an association committed to partisan politics and not its membership?

The NAACP recently opposed the ordinance in Ocala, Florida that made wearing sagging pants punishable with a $500 fine and 60 days in jail.  The venerable organization’s leadership threatened to bring a lawsuit against the city arguing it disproportionately impacted blacks.  In response to pressure, the town’s city council repealed the ordinance this week with a vote of 4 to 1.  Sagging pants wearers are again free to roam Ocala exposing their often dingy draws or worse their bare bottomed butt cracks thanks, in part, to the local NAACP.  For this the NAACP believes it has done the black community a social justice.

While the NAACP was properly aligned with the 60’s Civil Rights Movement that brought institutionalized racism crashing to its knees, the organization seems to have lost its way on the issues that impact blacks in America today.  The NAACP is fundamentally wrong on its positions on school vouchers, minimum wage hikes, and amnesty for illegal immigrants-to name a few.  The organization appears to only be an arm of the Democrat Party apparatus and misses the opportunity to be the voice for those in need of advocacy.  Take school vouchers as an example.

Since the Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954 desegregating public schools, most inner city public schools have been underperforming and leaving the mostly black student populations not proficient in reading and math and consequently unable to compete in the American labor workforce. Black teen unemployment jumped to 38% as of January of this year.   (After public schools were desegregated, white families simply moved their students to private or parochial schools. The public schools were then basically ignored becoming modern-day detention centers for blacks. That remains true today.) 

In Durham, North Carolina, about 2,400 students from low-income families would receive up to $4,200 a year in taxpayer funds under their voucher program to help pay for tuition at private or religious schools. More than 4,700 students had applied for vouchers for the 2014-15 school year before the program was stopped.

Instead of supporting the vouchers that would free black students from these modern-day detention centers and give parents the choice to move the state’s dollars for their students to a better performing school across town, State NAACP President Rev. William Barber called the voucher plan "old wine wrapped in a new wineskin," saying it smacked of 1970s-style efforts in North Carolina to evade court orders calling for the desegregation of public schools in the state.  Notwithstanding the nonsensical nature of his comment, Rev. Barber and his NAACP defeated vouchers in his state but the kids remain stuck in failing public schools.  This is not a victory for black students Rev. Barber!

To add insult to injury, the NAACP endorsed the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by 2015.  They argue the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would generate more than $32 billion in new economic activity, translating to 140,000 new full-time jobs as higher sales lead businesses to hire more employees.  Unfortunately, they are wrong.  Rather, government intervention in wages has proven to hurt the labor force and not help it.  Studies show that when minimum wage is increased, companies hire more teenagers and fewer adults thus crowding out the adult applicants from the entry-level jobs needed to acquire the skills and discipline to advance.   The popular belief that minimum wage workers are poor adults (25 years old or older), working full time and trying to raise a family is largely untrue.  Just 4.7 percent match that description.  Indeed, many minimum wage workers live in families with incomes well above the poverty level.  Again, towing the Party line to pay a higher minimum wage sounds compassionate but the argument distorts the truth and will not achieve the purported result.   Blacks lose.

Finally, the NAACP along with the Congressional Black Caucus supports amnesty for illegal aliens the biggest job killer for blacks.  Illegal immigration is one of the largest contributing factors for the decline in the labor force participation rate among black Americans, according to Peter Kirsanow from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.  The participation rate was 12% for blacks and 80% for whites according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2008 (which was under the Obama Administration), the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights examined the impact of illegal immigration on blacks.  The Commissions’ witnesses were unanimous that illegal immigration has an adverse impact on black employment, reducing job opportunities and depressing wages — especially for black men.

The reason illegal immigration hurts blacks is quite basic, they said. Blacks, particularly black men, are disproportionately concentrated in the low-skill labor market and are disproportionately likely to have no more than a high-school diploma. Likewise, illegal immigrants are disproportionately male and also disproportionately likely to have minimal educational levels. Both groups compete with one another in the low-skill labor market (and the competition is most fierce in some of the very industries in which blacks historically have been highly concentrated), the Commission reported.

The Caucus and the NAACP should recall the words of Fredrick Douglass who said in 1853, “The old avocations, by which colored men obtained a livelihood, are rapidly, unceasingly and inevitably passing into other hands…Every hour sees the black man elbowed out of employment by some newly arrived emigrant, whose hunger and whose color are thought to give him a better title to the place.” 

Having said all that, how can they call themselves the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People when so many of their positions on critical issues facing the black community promote disenfranchisement for the very people they claim to represent?  It is high time the venerable organization focuses on the advancement of black people and not the advancement of their partisan politics.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Badge of Shame

I am visiting Ethiopia this week and  the news from America on Ray Rice is ubiquitous and embarrassing.  Ray Rice is a moron and so are the Baltimore Ravens fanatics who support him.  Rice, who landed a left hook to his fiancĂ©'s (now wife) jaw does not deserve support, needs serious psychological counseling, and  belongs in jail. The question of whether Rice plays football is secondary and whether the victim, Janay Palmer, stands by her man is not relevant.  She suffers from abuse and needs help herself-whether she realizes it or not.  Rice's assault on Palmer is without question.

The National Football League's immediate response to the news (before the full video was released to the public by TMZ) was a two-game suspension.  But then-the rest of the story emerged.

The full elevator video highlighted what the NFL and the Ravens owner likely already knew (although they deny having seen the video).   Rice and Palmer had an altercation in the elevator of the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.  The graphic video not only showed Rice land a left hook to Palmer's face propelling her into the elevator wall, but also showed Rice drag her limp body out into the lobby where she laid face down.  She remained unconscious for more time than I cared to count.  It was gruesome. (Palmer's contribution to the altercation is not relevant to me.  No woman should be treated as Rice treated Palmer-ever!)

Only then did the league and the Ravens respond appropriately; the Baltimore running back's contract was terminated just as it should have been early on.
Domestic violence is a serious matter.  In the U.S.  alone, 3.2 million women have experienced severe physical violence by their intimate partner while 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence by their intimate partner.  These assaults are crimes.

As I watched CNN International, I was repulsed to hear the support of Ravens' fans for Rice but he is not the only one who wears this badge of shame.  Carolina Panthers Greg Hardy and San Francisco 49ers Ray McDonald are among the other current offenders.

Since we have a culture of idolatry, a culture that gets its cues from celebrity, those who can (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell) must send the proper message:  America reviles men who hit women.  Don't do it or you'll pay dearly with your freedom.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Democrat Leaders Find Religion

It seems the new strategy for Democrats is to pull the “God Card” and act like they have religion.  In what seems to be a concerted effort this week, Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden have taken to language reserved for so-called right wing zealots or Phil Robertson.  Not so long ago, delegates hissed, booed, and jeered the efforts to reinstate the mention of God in their platform at the Democratic National Convention.

The convention delegates shouted their disdain at the very suggestion of a biblical worldview that included declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.  Their disdain shows up regularly in liberal policies that promote partial birth abortion, abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, LGBTQ rights, and involuntary redistribution of wealth.  None of these social and economic policies are biblical and are rooted in sin and coercion. I dare not say that Republicans have it all right  either or have a monopoly on faith; however, only 11% of Republican voters are religiously unaffiliated, reported the Washington Post.  But the gall of Democrat leaders to invoke religion when it suits them is amusing.

Joe Biden said earlier this week that the United States would follow the militant group ISIS to the gates of Hell until they are brought to justice because Hell is where they will reside implying, but not saying, that the U.S. intends to destroy the radical group and turn them over to the Devil.   Since a large block of voting Democrats are religiously unaffiliated, I’m just not sure who Biden was talking to about Hell exactly. Certainly his religious fervor was not intended for any religious conservative and no credible argument can be made that ISIS is deterred by his threat. However, Joe Biden may be the only sage in the Obama Administration as frightening as that may be.  Let’s recall that Biden said to the Brookings Institution in 2005, “We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a gigantic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out — equally a mistake.”  Biden got it exactly right, at least on that day, and his boss didn’t take his advice.

Now John Kerry is a different matter. The Secretary of State speaking before a Muslim audience this week pandered and invoked the biblical Creation story to support what he describes as one of the greatest challenges that we face-Climate Change.  Kerry said:

“Our fates are inextricably linked on the environment. For many of us, respect for God’s creation also translates into a duty to protect and sustain His first creation: Earth, the planet. Before God created man, He created Heavens and Earth.
 “Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable” when it comes to the impact of climate change.
“Our response to this challenge ought to be rooted in a sense of stewardship of Earth,
“And for me and for many of us here today, that responsibility comes from God.”

Now, Kerry failed to mention to the audience that only 18% of Americans actually agree that Global Warming is a priority and if that number ever increased, there is certainly no evidence that Americans would or should view Muslim populated territories (some of whom are antagonistic to the US) as a stewardship responsibility from God. It’s an utterly moronic statement.   

He also failed to mention that the Democrats raise millions of dollars from people like Silicon Valley billionaire and Global Warming crusader Tom Steyer who plans to spend $50 million of his own dough for Democrat candidates who support his wacky environmentalist view.   Just the mention of Climate Change by Kerry gets the money flowing.

Additionally, and more to the point, Kerry embarrasses himself further by attempting to invoke the Almighty which liberals find anathema to any other argument.  This is most outrageous.  Just try telling a liberal that homosexuality is a sin or that God detests the innocent shedding of blood (e.g. abortion).  Run for cover. They will make it clear that God and “my” religion have nothing to do with government policy.  (And to be clear, the Bible does not support Mr. Kerry’s conclusion in reference to Climate Change.)

I give Uncle Joe Biden a break; he’s a “good” Catholic and meant no harm by appealing to those who speak in a religious vernacular, I’m sure.  But Kerry’s use of the Bible this week was shameful.  When Democrat leaders like John Kerry find religion and wear it on their sleeve as Kerry did, watch out.  Like Hillary Clinton speaking at a black church in a “Negro” dialect, Kerry invoking God to support Climate Change is as obvious a political trick as his aristocratic air of self-importance.  When the political landscape is clear, it’s not hard to see that ole John is just raising money.  

He should first “study the Word to show thyself approved unto God” before he attempts to use it to support his political hoax.