Archive for November, 2007

The Races, Presidentially

November 21, 2007

I see Huckabee has picked up a couple of endorsements lately: one from Chuck Norris, one from Ric Flair.

The Norris endorsement is one to be proud of.  Personally, I’d be more embarrassed by the Ric Flair endorsement, but I’m not a politician. Or a wrestling fan, obviously.

I’d like to like Huckabee, but I wonder sometimes if he’s just Jimmy Carter 2.0.  Jimmy Carter really sold himself as a devout Southern Baptist and a Sunday School teacher, and maybe he was all that and then some.  But he was NOT what many people thought he was when they were voting for him.  That is, voters familiar with Southern Baptist values might have anticipated a devout Southern Baptist would be strongly patriotic, staunchly anti-Communist, steadfastly pro-Israel, and stoutly pro-life.  And many conservative Christians felt comfortable voting for Carter, not realizing what his real positions would be.

Instead, he proclaimed himself to be the “Human Rights” President, but only when it came to snubbing political friends and allies.  When it came to the truly vicious regimes, it was aptly said of Carter that he “never met a dictator he didn’t like.”  In colossally foolish fashion, he co-operated at every step with the Soviets, even sending them wheat at bargain prices, effectively propping up their failing economy, and only when they invaded Afghanistan did he ever seem to realize he’d been had.  Abortion might have concerned many conservative Christians, but it never seemed to bother Carter at all.  His Israel policy was to pressure Israel and beg Palestine  He did get a diplomatic triumph at Camp David, but it was illusory at best in terms of any actual progress.

It may be unfair to compare Huckabee to Carter, but it seems clear that he doesn’t exactly mind raising taxes, or growing the size of government.  He’s conservative compared to Guliani, but he doesn’t seem to be a fiscal conservative.

I do like Fred Thompson, although liking him may not be enough.  But he’s the only one who seems able to explain/defend/persuade his policy so far.  Frankly, if Bush were able to communicate as well as Fred Thompson, his approval ratings would probably be in the high 50’s right now.

Mitt Romney seems to be an excellent manager and businessman, and a decent politician.  But he seems too slick and plastic to be genuine, which is why I don’t say he’s more than a decent politician.  If he were really good, he’d seem more sincere.  Can anyone really pin down what exactly Mitt Romney believes?  Beside believing he should be President?

Guliani, on the other hand, is someone I really shouldn’t like at all.  He epitomizes New York, complete with arrogance, ruthlessness, ambition, and two failed marriages.  These are not selling points for most of America.  Plus, he’s by far the most liberal candidate in the Republican race.

But he did do outstanding work in making New York City a place worth living in, cleaning up much of the mob as a federal prosecutor, and you absolutely have to give him credit for being honest about where he stands.  Besides, anyone who would hand back a check for$75 million from a Saudi prince rather than accept a lecture about how perhaps 9/11 was really our fault earns HUGE points in my book.

That was one of the central problems with Jimmy Carter: you never felt like he was proud of our country, but more that he felt the need to apologize for it.   Carter would have taken the check and promised to start a new program to educate us about our faults as a nation.  Guliani was a better man than to crawl that way.

I’m personally still undecided which candidate to vote for (It’s still early, folks!) , but whoever it is will not be ashamed of who he is, or of the country he is asking to vote him into office.

And it sure won’t be another Jimmy Carter, the worst president of the 20th century.  But I’m repeating myself….

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Happy Thanksgiving

November 21, 2007

I always love the Thanksgiving holiday, because it’s probably the most Christian holiday of the year.  You might think the most Christian holidays of the year would be Christmas and Easter, but they were originally pagan ritual days that the Catholics of the distant past tried to infuse with Christian meaning.  Of course, in modern times, the pagan meanings are the obscure ones and the Christian meanings are the ones recognized by everyone.  Still, no one set out to create Christmas and Easter as holidays: they just took over some pagan holidays and “re-interpreted” them.  Kind of gives them a designed-by-committee feel.

Thanksgiving is a simple holiday, but a sincere one.  Just a day to recognize the blessings we enjoy, and give thanks to God for them.

Thanksgiving is an essential part of the Christian’s life of the heart.  We’re told, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

We don’t always come to Thanksgiving with the feeling that things are going great and that we have so much to be thankful for.  Many times, I’ve had bad times or misfortunes to happen uncomfortably close to the Thanksgiving holiday.  But we’re not told to be thankful to God in every good thing.  We’re told to be thankful in every thing.

Sometimes, we look at our problems and worries, and giving thanks is the last thing on our minds.  But beyond whatever is on our hearts and minds at that moment, we still have good things happening to us and for us.  But it’s when things are not going so great that we really most need to be thankful.

All too often, when our health is bad, we forget to be thankful for our families.  Or when finances are squeezing us, we forget about the blessings of friends, or good health, or the promise of better times in the future.  And sometimes when nothing seems to be going well, we forget to be thankful that we still have hope for tomorrow, and that many of our worst problems are actually temporary.

May this Thanksgiving remind all believers to be thankful to God.

Two thoughts from Scripture to end on:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. — James 1:17

 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift — 2 Cor 9:15