Monday, May 28, 2007

Sheehan About To Discover Her Real Friends

Cindy Sheehan, America's best-known war protester, is calling it quits. Three years after her son died and 22 months after gaining national attention for an uninvited camping trip to President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, Cindy is throwing in the towel. And if Cindy thinks things are bad now, she need only wait because she is about to find out who her real friends are - virtually nobody. Cindy is about to find out that she was nothing but a left-wing whore being used by the socialists in this country to advance the agenda of the old SDS. In fact, she is about to find out that those who supported her are actually glad her son died and pushed into her service as their pawn.

Zealots for all causes lack basic common sense. It's the nature of the beast. But when you claim to be humanitarian and live in a dream world where terrorists do not exist, you use whoever is convenient. And Cindy Sheehan was used by the 'hate America' crowd to advance an agenda. Now that she is no longer able to be used by the socialist johns for political pleasure, she is yesterday's bad news and will be treated as such. The left-wing in America may not have a monopoly on cruelty, but they certainly make those who attempt to think for themselves pay. If you don't believe me, just ask Teresa LePore and Charles Burton, two Democrats who tried to be fair in the Florida Recount and got tossed from office for failing to follow the marching orders of the left-wing nuts.

Perhaps Ms. Sheehan needs to call Candace Gingrich, the half sister of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Because of her lesbianism, Candace was ripe for use by the left. The moment she ceased to be of use to them, however, they set her aside. The same goes for Anita Hill. And now it's Cindy Sheehan's turn.

Cindy is upset that the Democrats have failed to end the war. Well what did she expect? The Democrats made sure not to promise anything last election - and they have done a great job at changing absolutely nothing except to increase the investigations going on in Washington. Cindy needs to remember that there is something FAR more important to the Democratic Party than how many people die in Iraq: the retention of political power. This is what makes the Democrats different from the Republicans. Democrats try the ruse about how they care about the common man and the helpless. But given a choice, they - just like their Republican counterparts - will cave in to the man who can write the check to pay for the next election. The only difference is that the Dems add hypocrisy to their initial sin of unconcern.

Every single Democrat in the race right now fears being seen as 'soft' on terrorism or national defense. So they will go along in the hopes of simply picking up the tent stakes and going home after they take the White House. The only way it will happen is if a Democrat wins with a Democratic Congress. And then we can thank them all for the $7 a gallon gasoline when terrorists take over the oil wells we abandon in Iraq. So what does that have to do with Cindy Sheehan?

I oppose the war in Iraq. I have opposed it from day one. However, never once have I called the terrorists 'freedom fighters' as did Ms. Sheehan. I suspect that this had more to do with a line one of the socialists gave her than anything else. As long as she was productive for them, she was a hero. But Cindy is about to find out the only thing more lonely than a Louisianan waiting for a rescue from Katrina is a left-wing socialist who no longer serves her master.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Jimmy Carter Knows Bad When He Sees It

Jimmy Carter, the only Democratic President after FDR to have two vetoes overridden by Congress, opened his mouth and inserted his foot deeply last week when he declared George W. Bush to be "the worst (President) in history." The moment I heard this comment, my first thought was, "If anyone would be an expert on lousy Presidents, it's Jimmy Carter. Here's a guy whose military budget couldn't even keep eight helicopters functioning in his failed rescue attempt on the hostages in Iran." The fact is that for all of his professing Christianity, Jimmy Carter is one of the meanest politicians that ever came down the pike. Let me put is this way: my grandfather, a yellow dog Democrat of the Depression era, had no use for Jimmy Carter, who was governor of Popeye's home state for four years. He only voted for Carter twice because he hated Nixon (and thus his successor), and he hated Reagan.

Jimmy Carter, quite frankly, was a joke of a President whose name invariably winds up in the bottom ten of every survey ever conducted of the historians. The only category in which he excels is providing moral leadership, hardly star quality in an era when his competitors covered up a break-in, sold arms to Iranian terrorists, and got impeached for perjury. Carter could have had an affair as President in full view of the country and his morality would rate ahead of those three competitors.

Carter, however, has long gotten away with the ruse. In 1970, he distributed leaflets of Georgia Governor Carl Sanders embracing a black athlete to the heavily lily white (and unenlightened) South Georgia populace, running as a covert segregationist while professing to deplore it. In 1976, he tried to blame Gerald Ford, who was stuck in a dead end job in the House of Representatives at the time, for Watergate. In 1980, he promised to 'whip' the 'ass' of Senator Ted Kennedy. That same year, he did everything but say that if Ronald Reagan was elected, a nuclear holocaust would result. The facts are that Carter is every bit the vicious and mean politician that he claims to abhor. And his latest blast shows a man clearly attempting a comeback to redeem his pathetic legacy as President.

Carter is lucky, of course, that very few Americans remember his Presidency. For those under 30, it made the Bush administration look like Camelot. In 1976, he ripped into President Ford for a 'misery index' of 12%. The misery index was a campaign gimmick achieved by adding unemployment to inflation. In 1980, Carter's misery index was three times as high as Ford's, a fact that must have brought glee to the 14% of the nation that didn't have a job. This led a prophetic Ronald Reagan to intone: "Recession is when your neighbor loses his job; Depression is when you lose yours; and recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his."

Can anybody name a single thing the man did as President that was GOOD? Even Bush's arch critics have no choice but to praise him for the post-09/11 response (pre-Iraq). Bush also skillfully negotiated the release of hostages held by the Chinese in his first months as President and unlike Carter, they weren't held for 444 days. So what did Carter do?

He pardoned the criminals that avoided the Vietnam War - probably to inflate the voter rolls for the Democrats in the future. (It hardly helped as the Dems have lost 5 of 7 Presidential elections since then). He had a brother he couldn't disown and a mother who thought professional wrestling was real. He had a daughter who told him nuclear disarmament was the most important issue in the 1980 election, and he blamed the country for losing faith in his leadership. Finally, this pious advocate of the little man proposed doing away with the home mortgage deduction in the 1976 election but never proposed an alternative means of savings.

When it comes to lousy, Jimmy Carter retired the title a quarter of a century ago.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Response To Dr. Thomas Strouse, Part One

Dr. Thomas Strouse, a member of the Dean Burgon Society and the dean at the Emmanuel-Newington Theological Seminary in Connecticut recently posted a reply to Dallas Theological Seminary Professor Daniel B. Wallace regarding an article Wallace wrote about why he does not believe the King James Bible is the best translation today. The purpose of today’s blog is to respond to a number of erroneous assertions on the part of Dr. Strouse.

There was a time when Dr. Thomas Strouse was my favorite KJV Only advocate. He seemed sober and relatively kind in disagreement. That all changed, however, when I came across an article posted online last fall with the typical snide rhetoric that is seen in virtually every advocacy of the KJV. It is a response to Dallas Seminary Professor Daniel Wallace’s article, “Why I Do Not Believe The King James Bible Is The Best Translation Today.” Strouse’s reply contains a number of rhetorical arguments that really do not answer what Wallace set forth in his tome. This, however, seems to be the way it is with KJV Only responses: they preach to the choir but the man in the pew weighing the argument remains unconverted.

The readers of this blog may think that I consider Dr. Strouse to be ‘intellectually challenged’ (for lack of a better word). Nothing could be further from the truth. Strouse has a B.S in Industrial Engineering, an M.Div. in Theology and Biblical Languages, and a Ph.D. in Theology from Bob Jones University. Indeed, these credentials make his arguments all the more reprehensible and irresponsible. A short critique of Dr. Strouse’s article found at follows.

Strouse begins by using hyperbole more fitting for the cover of the National Enquirer than as a response written by a man of his education. He accuses Wallace of leveling his ‘best volley of shots’ at the KJV. His very next sentence accuses Wallace of attempting to destroy the credibility of the KJV and further alleges that Wallace’s challenges are ‘unbiblical, illogical, and outright deceptive.’ It is interesting that in the grand tradition of King James Onlyism, this is always the starting point: accusation. Nevertheless, fairness mandates that Dr. Strouse be given a hearing. Strouse responds to each of nine arguments that will be numbered and dealt with in this critique.

Under argument one, the following inflammatory terms are used: “ignorant” and “quickly dispatched of the Bible.”

Strouse argues that God has preserved His Word by giving the Jews the oracles of the Old Testament (Romans 3:2). Strouse claims this is a biblical argument. But it is his attempt to claim that the New Testament teaches the means of preservation that is truly amazing to behold. This is the fundamental flaw in KJV Only thinking: even if it is conceded that the passages they allege teach preservation really do so, they always follow with a non sequitor when they claim that preservation is in the KJV. Interestingly enough, Strouse realizes the futility of arguing that the Bible teaches preservation in the KJV. He instead embarks upon a more adventuresome task: he claims Jesus told the disciples to ‘observe or preserve’ the Scriptures. Strouse notes that the Greek word translated ‘observe’ (tereiv) can also be translated preserve. Strouse knows, of course, that the determining factor as to whether it means observe, preserve, or both is the context. And the context is clear that Jesus is telling the disciples to teach them to OBSERVE all He has commanded them. Is Strouse proposing a cultic methodology? “It says this but it really means this AND that.” Such is the methodology of cults. Furthermore, is there even one translation that renders Matthew 28:20 as ‘preserve?’ I checked twenty-one different English translations including Strouse’s alleged preserved Word of God (the KJV) and the translation on which Wallace worked (the NET) and not a single one of them renders it ‘preserve’ nor does a single one of them cite ‘preserve’ in the margin as a possible rendering. Nor did Jesus tell them to ‘observe or preserve the Scriptures’ as Strouse alleges. Jesus told them to teach the new disciples they would make ‘all that I have commanded you.’ Only by reading his presupposition into the text can Strouse argue this point. Strouse then further attempts to claim that the Bible teaches that God would preserve His Word through the institution of the church by – and there is no other charitable way to put it – making up the facts as he goes along. He alleges that six perfect copies were made of the book of Revelation shortly after the original was written. Strouse further alleges: 1) those who copied the Apocalypse did not add or detract any words because of the mandate against it; 2) the church was the chosen vehicle through whom preservation occurred; and 3) Jesus Himself started the ‘Received Bible’ movement in the first century.

What is quite interesting, however, is this: for all of the claims that Strouse wishes to make regarding the KJV and TR Bibles, he is left hung on the horns of a dilemma that his own argumentation has created. If, as Strouse alleges, six perfect copies were made, why are there no two copies that completely agree anywhere on the face of this earth including within Strouse’s own TR tradition? If, on the other hand, Strouse’s claim was never true to begin with, it would not only explain the existing evidence, but it would also lead the skeptical inquirer to question why Strouse ever attempted this argument in the first place. Strouse can claim anything by faith that he wishes. But his argumentation is sorely lacking objectivity on point one. He imports a different meaning for a Greek word solely to support his theological a priori, and he alleges that six perfect copies were made. If God is in the preservation business as Strouse alleges, was God suddenly unable to keep scribes from making slips of the pen after those six alleged copies (that Strouse has never seen by the way) were finished?

Strouse’s special pleading reaches a new level when he alleges that Paul is talking about ‘received Bibles’ in I Thessalonians 2:13. This is not only a historical anachronism; it is also a very poor reflection of reality since Paul is talking about them receiving the Word of God, and Paul cannot possibly mean the completed canon since he wrote a number of letters after I Thessalonians.

The fact is that despite his protestations otherwise, the Bible nowhere tells us how or where God preserved His Word. The fact that Strouse must find support for his theology by changing a Greek word and rendering it as no translation renders it as well as his claim that Paul is talking about the Received Text demonstrate the lack of straightforward support for the view he espouses. One final point: if the KJV is really the Word of God, why does it not render Matthew 28:20 as ‘preserve?’