Richard Mourdock and Rape

There is absolutely nothing extraordinary about Richard Mourdock’s view regarding pregnancy as a result of rape1.  What is extraordinary is that in a country where 70+% identify themselves as Christians2, the view that only God can create life is thought to be extreme.

The use of a pronoun allowed some to accuse Mourdock of saying that God intended the rape to happen, but he was clearly referring to the life that is created in all pregnancies, regardless of how that pregnancy came about.  Human beings cannot create life.  A human can fertilize an egg, which is the means that God uses to create new life, but it is God who brings the new life into existence.

Unfortunately for our country, orthodox Christian views are becoming increasingly marginalized.  Despite the overwhelming majority who claim to be Christians, espousing actual Christian views in public is now seen as a negative.  Although I voted for Rick Santorum in the 2012 Republican Primary, I perceived that he was unlikely to win a national race for President because too many people were turned off by his strong commitment to his faith.  His religious affiliation wasn’t the problem, it was his religious fervor.  I fear that the same will be true of Mike Pence if he runs for President.  Mike Pence will be our next Governor, because he is a superb candidate, Indiana is a conservative state, and he has a weak opponent.  John Gregg has tried to paint Pence as an extremist, which is ridiculous, but I fear that in a nationwide general election, enough people may buy into such accusations to keep him from winning the Presidency.  I hope I’m wrong, and I hope Hoosiers have enough sense to ignore the media’s attempt to stir up controversy around Mourdock.

 


  1. “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” cbsnews.com 

  2. pewforum.orggallup.com 

Who Would Be King

Some people have no desire to be king, but they desperately want to be a king-maker.  King-making often involves king-breaking, in order to create a vacancy.  This desire can cause conservatives, moderates, and liberals alike to engage in stupid, petty behavior.

Overestimating the goodness of mankind

Both socialists1 and libertarians2 believe that citizens should care about the welfare of their neighbors and help the down-trodden.  However, they both underestimate the extent of mankind’s sinfulness.

The socialist prescribes methods for caring for each other, and assumes that people will comply with these methods.  They assume the productive will contribute just as much as before.  They assume the needy will become productive once their needs have been met.

The libertarian believes that people will generally do the right thing on their own, and that the few “bad apples” will be held in check by market forces.  They believe that self-interest is ultimately good, because each individual’s self-interest is best served by working in harmony with their fellow men.  They assume that the majority are forward-thinking enough to see the benefit in helping their neighbors so that society in general, themselves included, can be more prosperous.

Unfortunately for both socialism and libertarianism, there is no limit to the laziness, selfishness, and greed that lives in the heart of man (Jer 17:9, Eccl 9:3).

Under socialism, the producers will scale back, seeing no personal benefit to increased productivity.  The needy will not seek to be more productive, because someone else will provide for them.  Poverty will increase, and the powers that be will attempt to exert more and more control.

Under libertarianism, individuals will seek their own profit with minimal personal effort, and as each person’s goals conflict with others, society will decay into anarchy.  After a period of anarchy, someone will rise to power, seize control and crack down on the anarchy.

So socialists and libertarians desire the same thing, make the same mistake in estimating man’s goodness, and both lead to totalitarian control.


  1. Socialist may not be the best label, but I am using it as a description of those on the very far left of the political spectrum. 

  2. Libertarian may not be the best label, but I am using it as a description of those on the very far right of the political spectrum. 

The Mark Souder Affair

Yesterday it was revealed that Representative Mark Souder has been committing adultery and is resigning his congressional seat.

Some of his detractors are practically giddy. (The only thing they would like better is if it had been a homosexual affair.)  Here is a conservative, evangelical Christian; a staunch proponent of family values; if anyone should take the high road, it should be him.  Yet here he is, caught in the worst kind of hypocrisy.

I’d like to examine that hypocrisy.

Here are a couple definitions of hypocrisy:

  • a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess. (dictionary.com)
  • a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion. (merriam-webster.com)

In a sense, there are two ways in which one can be a hypocrite:
1) Saying something that you don’t really believe.
2) Doing something that is contrary to what you believe.

In a strict sense, hypocrisy mainly belongs in the first category.  As someone has written on Wikipedia, hypocrisy “is not simply an inconsistency between what is praised or admired and what is done.”  The line between the first and second category is sometimes blurry, as our actions typically reveal our true convictions.  However, there is a difference between pretense and inconsistency.

I think Souder’s hypocrisy falls into the second category, of failing to live up to his beliefs.  I do not think that his stated convictions have been a “put on” to appeal to conservative voters.  I suspect that he truly believes in biblically-based morality.  If his affair had gone undetected, and if he continued to serve in Congress, I think he would have consistently voted for laws that affirm Judeo-Christian ethics and strong families.

The reason I’m glad Souder is resigning, is not primarily because I see him as having a hypocrisy problem.  It’s because I see him as having an integrity problem.  Many of the things Souder supported are things that I support too, and I think that his convictions were honest.  The problem is that he failed to live according to his convictions.

Somewhere along the line, Souder allowed himself to believe a lie.

Maybe he believed the lie that his situation was special, and his actions were justified.  This is possible, but I suspect he fully understood that his actions were wrong.

Maybe he believed the lie that the benefit outweighed the consequences.  I’m speculating that he thought they could keep it under wraps, and that this “one little indiscretion” would not impact his work.

This is the type of lie that I’m prone to succumb to.  I know something is wrong, but I think it’s not really THAT destructive, and the payoff is worth it.

Who should get Evan Bayh’s job?

In a little more than a month (May 4), Indiana voters will have a chance to vote in a Primary Election to determine candidates for the General Election in November.

If you’re wondering who will be on the ballot, here’s a list of the Indiana primary candidates for all offices.

Continue reading

Elections

The elections are next week, so I thought I’d share some of my views. It strikes me that people like myself (conservative proponents of small government) frequently bemoan the problems of big government and the fact that decisions are made at a federal level that should be left to local government. However, we just as frequently have little knowledge or investment in some of the local government decisions closest to us. In light of that, I’d like to take a look at the choices many of us will face next week.

To see exactly what races and questions you will have an opportunity to vote on, find your precinct at the Indiana Voters site, then find the ballot you will vote on at the Allen County Election page.

PRESIDENT

I won’t say much on the Presidential level, because we all hear about that race every day. I’ll be voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin. I believe that they come closer to representing my values and their vision for the federal government is closer to what I believe it should be.

CONGRESS

For the 3rd Congressional District, I’ll be voting for Mark Souder. I don’t know enough about Mike Montagano to know what we stands for, how he would vote, and how effective he could be as a congressman. If he wants to shape public policy, I think he should gain some experience in the political arena first. Although Souder may make some decisions I disagree with, in general I believe he votes in a manner consistent with Christian morals and a conservative view of government.

GOVERNOR

For Governor, I’ll be voting for Mitch Daniels. I can’t say that I can think of anything in particular that Frank O’Bannon, Evan Bayh, or any previous governors accomplished. I think Daniels has made great progress at actually effecting positive change in Indiana. My impression is that he is very objective and seeks input from qualified individuals to help him make the best decisions. I have not heard Jill Long-Thomson offer much in the way of specifics that would make her a better choice for Governor.

INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL

In the race for Attorney General, I do not know much about either Greg Zoeller or Linda Pence. Zoeller is the current Deputy Attorney General. Some have indicated that Pence has a background of defending some rather shady characters in corruption cases in Northwest Indiana (google “sidewalks for votes”). Unless I learn something that changes my mind, I’ll be voting for Zoeller. (Note: Zoeller did respond positively to the Indiana Right for Life survey: view pdf here .)

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

One race in particular that I think could have significant impact is the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The teachers unions are backing Richard Wood, who is opposed to vouchers for private education, favors restrictions on homeschooling, and opposes allowing qualified professionals to teach without first getting licensed as a teacher. He also favors increased taxes, abortion rights, and other “rights” to practice immorality. On the other side is Tony Bennett. In responding to questions from the Indiana Family Institute, he did not respond to questions not related to education, but on the three education-related questions in IFI’s voter guide, Dr. Bennett scores high marks in my view. I’ll be voting for Tony Bennett. (Download a pdf of the voter guide here, or an expanded voter guide with comments at focusvoter.com .)  (Also see the News-Sentinel’s endorsement of Bennett.)

FWCS BOARD OF EDUCATION

Another educational race is the local Fort Wayne Community Schools board. Last year the board tried to implement a spending package of $500 million or more that would have significantly raised property taxes. The necessity of some of the spending was questionable, and the board was unwilling to compromise. Only one member of the board voted against the exorbitant spending: Jon Olinger. If you have a chance to vote for Jon Olinger, I recommend him as a reasonable voice on the board who will try to do what is best for the students and the school system as a whole, not being swayed by the administration’s wish list. The man who rallied Fort Wayne to stop the $500 million spending package was Evert Mol, who is a long-time volunteer and tutor in FWCS. He is running against Steve Corona, a long-time fixture on the FWCS board. Corona has had his chance to prove that he will make FWCS schools more efficient and effective, and in my view he doesn’t have much to show. I will be voting for Evert Mol.  (Also see the News-Sentinel’s take on the FWCS board.)

ALLEN COUNTY TREASURER

In the race for Allen County Treasurer, current deputy treasurer Susan Orth is running against Maria Parra. I know little about either one, but my inclination is to vote for the Sue Orth based on the experience that she will bring to the office having already served as deputy treasurer.  (The Journal Gazette and News-Sentinel both endorse Orth.)

ALLEN COUNTY COUNCIL

For the Allen County Council, there are five people running for three positions. I don’t know much about any of them, but I do know I won’t vote for Kevin Knuth. I will probably vote for Moss and Buskirk, the Republican incumbents, and Armstrong unless I learn something that convinces me that Susan Hoot is a better candidate.  (Note: the Journal-Gazette and News-Sentinel both recommend Moss, Buskirk, and Hoot.)

JUDGES

There are five Indiana judges up for votes on whether they should be retained in office. Again, I don’t know much about any other them, other than the fact that Randall Shepard is the current Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. You can review decisions written by various judges at the Indiana judicial retention site. It’s pretty hard to wade through the cases trying to find something that is both understandable and offers a view of their character and competence. The Indiana Right to Life organization reviewed decisions that were made on abortion-related cases. Based on that information, it appears that Theodore Boehm has allowed his personal view that abortion is a basic civil right to cloud his judgment. I will be voting against his retention. Brent Dickson, on the other hand, showed a rational approach that upheld the constitution and basic human dignity. I will vote for his retention. I am also inclined to vote for the retention of Randall Shepard. I will probably abstain from voting on the retention of Carr Darden or Thomas Fisher, because at this point I just don’t know anything about them.

TOWNSHIP ASSESSORS

Other than some uncontested races, the remaining question on the ballet for many of us will be the question of whether “the assessing duties of the elected township assessor in the township [should] be transferred to the county assessor?” A little background on this question: in the past, it has been the duty of an elected township assessor to determine property values for homes in their township. They then turn this information over to the county assessor, who, along with the county council, determine the county-wide property tax rate. There has been a lot of scrutiny recently on the accuracy and efficiency of the assessed values, with some people seeing large swings in value, and some finding their property assessed for much more than it is actually worth. An independent, non-partisan group (led by former governor Joe Kernan and Chief Justice Randall Shepard) studied the topic of making local government more efficient, and presented their recommendations to Governor Daniels. One of their recommendations was to maintain uniform assessments by having assessments be carried out under the authority of the county assessor, rather than performed independently by various township assessors. The state legislature took up this concern this past year, and agreed that assessing duties should be given to the county assessor. However, they only stipulated that smaller townships would be affected. For larger townships, they decided to leave the question up to the voters. 95% (900+) of the townships in Indiana now have their property assessments performed under the auspices of the county assessor, but the largest 43 get to vote on it next week.

Normally, I would advocate that decisions with local impact should be made as locally as possible. However, assessing property values isn’t so much a “decision” as simply a task that needs to be carried out as accurately and efficiently as possible. Since the goal of assessing property values is to establish tax rates for the entire county, it makes sense for the county assessor to hold the responsibility for the assessments. Also, since county assessors now have the responsibility for 95% of the townships, it seems logical to keep the process consistent by putting the other 5% under their authority also. Visit MySmartGov.org to read more about this topic. I will be voting “Yes” to transfer assessing duties to the county assessor.  (Also see the Journal Gazette’s take on this issue.)

How are you voting? Are there facts I haven’t considered?

(Note: In addition to the voter guides mentioned above from the Indiana Family Institute and Indiana Right to Life, the Allen County Right to Life has a similar guide (in pdf format) with responses from local candidates here.)

Quote of the Day

(Don’t expect the “Quote of the Day” to be a daily thing.)

“We are now in our fourth consecutive decade in which both of our major political parties are just totally FED UP with Washington. I frankly don’t see how Washington can survive this onslaught much longer.” -Dave Barry

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/dave-barry/story/672195.html