"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy"

I will be honest. I used to sneer at the doctrine of election, dismissing it as a cruel and heartless view of God that unfairly and arbitrarily condemns people. I am not alone. As Americans, we generally hate the doctrine of election. We worship self-determination, so the doctrine of election goes directly against the basic principles we hold as Americans.

But as Christians, we do not worship the United States of America. We worship Jesus Christ, who willingly gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins and took the punishment we so richly deserve. As Christians, we look to the Bible for what we should believe about our faith, so our views on election must be based on Scripture.

So what does the Bible say?

  • Ephesians 1:3-5 says that we were chosen “before the foundation of the world” and that God the Father “predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13 says to believers that “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation.”
  • Acts 13:48 says of Gentiles that heard the Gospel that “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”

Those are just three examples, as the doctrine of election is woven throughout Scripture. From God choosing Jacob over Esau to God picking the nation of Israel, it is clear that God is the one who decides.

But that’s not fair. Right? Wrong. We are all responsible for whether we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and God is not wrong for showing mercy on some but not others. As Romans 9:15 teaches, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Instead of looking at it as unfair, we should be grateful that God chose any of us to be saved instead of sending all of us to Hell like we deserve.

As much as I used to sneer at election and as much as my wicked heart still hates it today, it is a beautiful doctrine because it is not our righteousness that brings mercy from God. We cannot look to our salvation with pride and say we are Christians because it was something we did or something we chose. We are fully dependent on God for our salvation and our faith, something that should obliterate our idolatrous pride. As our Lord said in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

Thank you, Lord, for showing compassion on me, a wretched and wicked sinner.

I write editorials for the Evansville Courier now? Really?

Last Sunday, the Evansville Courier wrote an editorial scolding the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization for not including Interstate 69 in its transportation plan. On Wednesday, the Bloomington Herald-Times reprinted the editorial. Here is a comment from an anonymous poster on HTO:

Seeing that this editorial was written by the infamous, Scott Tibbs lapdog liar for the Republican toadies- no wonder it has so many flaws.

Actually, Tibbs’ Editorial is about as truthful as Scott Tibbs actually living the good Christian life. But at least it is entertaining and humurous since it exposes yet another one Tibbs distractions so he can amp up his pitiful blog and control his little world in the google search engine of is name.

The only good thing is that Tibbs embellished Andy Ruff’s bully argument which most everyone in Bloomington agreed with. That is why Ruff and all the others were elected by sweeping majorities into office. They are now doing what they were elected to do.

Off course the Tibbster doesn’t want to follow Federal guidelines because it does not fit his Agenda.

Federal Laws have been violated: 1) EIS for Sections 4,5, and 6 has not been completed. Federal Law dictates that that must be completed BEFORE work begins. 2)Revenue Stream to ensure completion of the project. To date after many requests NONE has been provided to the MPO.

How does these several Billion of dollars of wasted taxpayer money fit the fiscally conservative GOP Model? It Doesn’t!

Governor, I-69 offers a deal

One could say an important Bloomington group has offered our avowedly budget-conscious state government a chance to save $400 million.

That’s not exactly how the Daniels administration looks at the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s decision not to include the extension of I-69 in its local plan.

The proposed 27-mile stretch from Crane to Bloomington, estimated to cost $400 million, is a key segment of the roughly $3 billion “new-terrain” route from Evansville to Indianapolis. Opposed by the city councils of Indianapolis, Bloomington and Martinsville, as well as thousands of petitioners concerned about property loss, environmental damage and sheer expense, the overall project has been accelerated by Gov. Mitch Daniels but will be far from completion when he leaves office at the end of next year.

Opponents argue there’s still time to switch to a vastly cheaper, much less land-consuming route using existing U.S. 41 and I-70. While the state is having none of that, it faces tough questions as it persists with the new-terrain strategy.

If it fails to satisfy the Bloomington/Monroe County MPO’s concerns about environmental and fiscal impact, the state may not be able to obtain federal funds needed for the Crane-Bloomington stretch.

Even if that hurdle is surmounted, the most problematic segment would remain. Funding has not been secured for the conversion of Ind. 37 from Bloomington to Indianapolis into the superhighway, and the formidable forces of opposition include not only tree-huggers and individual property owners but also state legislators and the Indianapolis Perry Township establishment. Tens of millions of dollars in property tax value would fall from the rolls with an I-69 link to the Southside area, whereas I-70 already supplies that hookup.

When the Star editorializes the very same poignant points made by Ruff and others at the recent MPO Meeting serious progress is being made. With I-69 Fast Track Mitch Daniels soon gone, with a Democratic Governor, I-69 can be stopped.

Republican City Councils in Martinsville and Indianapolis have voted NO Against the NAFTA I-69 Superhighway from being constructed as well as very conservative Republican Perry Township in Indianapolis for similiar reasons: No money to complete the project, pollution, environmental problems and congestion headaches, destruction of the character of their place, and a big waster of taxpayer monies- into the Billions of Dollars! I wonder why that is?

Once again it proves the already established fact not to take parrot Scott Tibbs seriously.

Source: Herald-Times Online.

I write staff editorials for the Evansville Courier? Really? I wish someone would have informed me of this, especially since I have already been writing editorials and did not even know it. I do not even recall applying for the job, but apparently I am already doing it. When am I going to get paid? Show me the money!

I suspect I have been infected with the Las Plagas from Resident Evil 4. Lord Saddler (a well known member of the CATABOLIC CABAL) must be controlling my mind. The evil Republican CATABOLIC CABAL has now turned on its own members, kidnapping me, infecting me with Las Plagas, brainwashing me and forcing me to write editorials supporting Interstate 69 without my knowledge or consent. This is shameful. How can I defend myself against this CATABOLIC CABAL?

Thoughts on the 2012 Republican field

I was very disappointed when Indiana governor Mitch Daniels decided he would not run for President in 2012. Many Republicans thought that Daniels – who was re-elected with nearly 60% of the vote the same day that Barack Obama became the first Democrat to win Indiana since 1964 – would be the best chance to defeat Obama next year.

That said, I cannot see why Republicans are so pessimistic about our chances of getting rid of Obama next year. There are even whispers that Republicans should focus on winning the U.S. Senate instead of defeating Obama.

I don’t get the pessimism. I just don’t get it. Look back at 2008. John McCain was a pathetic loser of a candidate, the GOP base was depressed, the Democratic base was energized, the economy collapsed right before the election, and people were sick of George W. Bush.

Even with everything breaking in his favor, Obama still got only 53% of the popular vote nationwide. He should have gotten 60% in that environment, but he didn’t. That demonstrates to me that Obama’s support was a mile wide and an inch deep. That support evaporated in 2010, and that election was a rebuke of Obama.

There are some good candidates who have decided not to run. There are good candidates remaining, however, as well as some good options who have not yet entered the race. I believe any of the Republicans listed below, with the exception of Ron Paul, could defeat Obama. This is not to say any of them are perfect, because some of them (specifically Romney, Paul and Gingrich) have significant flaws. If any of these people won the Republican nomination in 2012, I would cast a Republican ballot, though I would be more excited about some than others.

Herman Cain (WebsiteFacebookTwitter)

Tim Pawlenty (WebsiteFacebookTwitter)

Rick Santorum (WebsiteFacebookTwitter)

Sarah Palin (WebsiteFacebookTwitter)

Mitt Romney (WebsiteFacebookTwitter)

Michele Bachmann (WebsiteFacebookTwitter)

Newt Gingrich (WebsiteFacebookTwitter)

Ron Paul (WebsiteFacebookTwitter)

ObamaCare’s individual mandate, revisited

ObamaCare’s individual mandate is back in the news along with the usual sniping about who supported the policy first. (Mitch Daniels was not one of those people, by the way.) Now is a good time to revisit the issue and two arguments that ObamaCare supporters use to justify the policy that has drawn more heat than any other aspect of the plan.

First, ObamaCare’s individual mandate is not like automobile insurance. Generally, the point of mandatory automobile insurance is not to ensure that automobile owners are protected against the loss of their own vehicles. The point is that people carry liability insurance so that other people are covered in the event of an accident. This is why people who drive older vehicles often only carry liability insurance and not insurance on the vehicle itself. The point is to protect others.

There is simply no comparison here. If I cause an accident, I should be insured so that the other person’s property damage and/or injuries are covered. It is reasonable to require this as a tradeoff for using roads paid for and built at taxpayer expense. I am not required to have insurance to protect myself in the event of an accident. Furthermore, I am not required to purchase automobile insurance if I do not own a vehicle.

Automobile liability insurance mandates are also state -level mandates, which leads to the second point.

ObamaCare’s individual mandate is not the same as the individual mandate implemented by Mitt Romney’s health care reform in Massachusetts. The primary difference is scope and constitutionality. RomneyCare’s mandate is a state-level mandate for the people of Massachusetts, while the ObamaCare mandate is a one-size-fits all national mandate for a nation of 300 million people that stretches all the way across the continent.

When our founding fathers wrote the Constitution, they envisioned a system where the states would have wide latitude in what they are permitted to do. Meanwhile, the federal government would be much more limited in what it is permitted to do, confined to specific areas such as national defense. This is why ObamaCare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, because there is no specific authority in the Constitution to mandate everyone in the nation buy anything.

ObamaCare’s individual mandate was the biggest overreach of a a Democratic supermajority that was prone to overreaching. While we do not have a realistic chance of actually repealing ObamaCare while Obama is President, that should be the first thing that happens after a Republican President takes office in January 2013.

Obama proposes Israel sign a suicide pact

Last summer, Democrats were apoplectic about polls that showed a significant minority of people believe that President Barack Obama is a Muslim. Obama has professed Christian faith multiple times, so how could this be? One needs only look to this story in the Washington Post for a good example of why this persists.

Obama proposed on May 19 that Israel go back to the 1967 borders as a means of making peace with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors. Let’s not forget that the reason Israel took the occupied territories in the first place is because of aggressive military maneuvers by its enemies, who were calling for the obliteration of Israel. Let’s also not forget that this was just 20 years removed from the Nazi Holocaust, so the Jewish state had reason to be worried.

The reality is that Israel faces a number of enemies that would love to wipe them off the map, and the occupied territories are strategically vital to the security of Israel. This is why Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Obama’s call for militarily indefensible borders. President Bush recognized those borders are unrealistic in 2004.

The fact is that it if Israel gave up the occupied territories and recognized Palestinian statehood, it would not matter. Israel’s enemies – especially the Muslim terrorists in Hamas – will not be satisfied with “land for peace” deals. Their goal is the annihilation of the state of Israel. Is President Obama so naïve that he does not understand this? Or is he really so arrogant that he believes he can succeed where everyone else has failed?

Obama’s proposal is not a peace deal, it is a suicide pact. Orrin Hatch is correct to introduce a resolution in the U.S. Senate rejecting Obama’s foolish and dangerous demands on a consistent U.S. ally to appease Muslim terrorists. Indiana Senators Richard Lugar and Dan Coats should support this resolution.

Pure hypocrisy: In order to value diversity, we must discriminate

“Chick-Fil-A has no place on Indiana University Bloomington’s campus, A campus that values diversity!” – Tagline for the “Kick Chic-Fil-A off IUB’s Campus!” group on Facebook.

OK, so let me get this straight: In order for Indiana University Bloomington to value diversity, we must practice discrimination by banning Chick-fil-A from campus for holding opinions that are not approved by militant homosexuals. Somehow, I am pretty sure that discrimination does not honor diversity and tolerance.

Militant homosexuals claim to want “tolerance,” but that is a fraud. What they actually demand is acceptance. If you do not accept homosexuality as a moral choice, you must be censored and/or punished. This is a very intolerant way of dealing with disagreement, but this is nothing new for militant homosexuals at Indiana University.

We saw this in action back in 2003, when militant homosexuals demanded that the university censor Professor Eric Rasmusen’s MyPage site due to politically incorrect statements on his blog. (See previous articles from September 8, 2003, September 14, 2003, September 21, 2003, September 24, 2003 and October 4, 2003.)

Acceptance is very different from tolerance. As Mike Adams points out, “Tolerance presupposes a moral judgment.” Militant homosexuals who demand that Chic-fil-A be punished for donations to unapproved issue-advocacy organizations do not know the first thing about tolerance. For them, it is “My way or the highway.”

Let’s keep in mind that there is absolutely no evidence that Chick-fil-A has in any way discriminated against any student at Indiana University, either in employment or in providing services to customers. If that were the case, there would be legitimate grounds for removing the chain from campus. Simple disagreement with homosexuality is not legitimate grounds for punishment by the Thought Police that militant homosexuals fantasize about.

Finally, read the description for the group written by an alleged “student” at Indiana University:

As many of you know Chick-fil-a is a chain of restaurants that Openly donate food and money to some of the most hateful Anti-Gay organizations in the country including Focus on the Family, the Ruth Institute, the National Organization for marriage, and many others!

Chick-Fil-A is currently located in the basement of The Wells library, a place thousands of students pass through everyday. The library is a place where every student, facility member, and staff member should feel welcomed and safe. This can be hard to do when a company that is so ingrained in the Anti-Gay movement is right under their noses.

As Students we have a voice and the right to stand up and defend ourselves and our University against Homophobia and Bigotry!

Here’s an idea: Learn the basic grammatical rules of the English language, specifically what should and should not be capitalized. Spend more time being a “student” and less time advancing hypocritical censorship.

Previous post: Tolerance and censorship do not mix.

Pro-life arguments banned by HeraldTimesOnline

Back in January, I posted about the Herald-Times‘ quirky religion rules, when the H-T told me that I had to remove a Bible verse from the letter to the editor I submitted about the 2011 Rally for Life. I was told that if I did not remove the verse, it would be published on the religion page instead of as a LTTE. I pointed out that my LTTE was well within the guidelines and it was published as written.

Now, it is really getting strange

A number of polls over the years have shown that a majority of the American people say that abortion is murder. In a June 2000 Gallup poll, 57% said that abortion is murder. Tens of millions of people nationwide and tens of thousands in Monroe County believe that abortion is murder. Obviously, I agree with that position. I do not see how one can view the results of abortion and see otherwise.

On Wednesday night, I made a comment on a letter to the editor about Planned Parenthood losing taxpayer funding. In this comment, I quoted Governor Daniels’ statement that “any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”

My comment was: “In other words, stop murdering babies and you can have the money.”

Because of this statement, my post was deleted.

So what happened? The H-T took some heat for its moderation policies after a Democratic activist accused former Republican city council member David Sabbagh of felony voter fraud for voting in the Democratic primary. One anonymous commenter whined that the H-T allows me to “claim that Planned Parenthood commits felonies” and yet my posts are never censored by the HTO moderators. (See pages 21, 22 and 23 of that thread.) In an e-mail last week, H-T editor Bob Zaltsberg referenced that controversy:

We (and the Associated Press style we follow) believe “murder” is a legal term that refers to an actual charge in a court system. This is consistent with the dictionary definition which is the “unlawful and malicious or pre-meditated killing of one human being by another.”

After a recent HTO exchange in which one commenter said another committed a felony based on that commenter’s point of view and not actual law, we discussed this use of the term “murder” and decided it was in a similar ballpark.

So, the new policy of HeraldTimesOnline.com is that statements such as “stop murdering babies” are suddenly a violation of the HTO terms of service agreement, despite the fact that such statements have never been a violation at any time in the last four years since comments were enabled. The Herald-Times has decided that it is now against the rules to articulate the basic premise of the pro-life movement.

Obviously, the H-T has the right to publish or not publish whatever it wants and HeraldTimesOnline.com is free to impose whatever rules it wants on its website.

It is beyond shameful, however, for the primary news source in Monroe County to censor a commonly-held viewpoint about a controversial social issue such as abortion. Banning statements that abortion is murder is an underhanded and cynical attempt to tilt the rhetorical battlefield in favor of abortion rights. After all, most abortion opponents would not oppose abortion if we did not believe it was murder. This type of heavy-handed censorship is antithetical to the free exchange of ideas that should be the cornerstone of debate and discussion in the comments.

The HTO comment guidelines forbids posters from using “obscene, libelous, harassing, racist, hateful or violent language or images.” Had I named the abortionist at PP and said “X is a murderer” then I could see why the comment would be deleted – even though that individual is a murderer. I did not even name any specific abortion provider in my comment. Any suggestion that my post even approached libel is laughable.

This is a shameful decision by the Herald-Times. If this policy remains in place, there can be no further doubt about the level of integrity at 1900 South Walnut.

Carding for alcohol and common sense

Last year, the Indiana state legislature was subjected to much well-deserved ridicule for a law that required retailers to ask for a photo ID for every customer, with an exception for customers who appear to be at least 50 years old. Many retailers decided to simply card everyone to be certain they were in compliance with the law, leading to the silly scenario of 85-year-olds being asked to produce a photo ID for a bottle of wine.

This law was beyond silly. There was no reason to meddle with the current law, but nanny state ninnies are always looking for a reason to “do something” to solve a problem – even if the solution is worse than the problem. In this case, that solution was forcing every business with a liquor license to card everyone, no matter how old they are.

What is beyond perverse about this situation is that that our legal system allows the murder of children while we fiddle with these petty regulations. My pastor Tim Bayly often says that when you abolish God’s moral law, you do not end up with fewer laws. Instead, always replace it with an infinite number of man’s petty laws. You can murder your child, but you better show ID to buy a beer and “show your papers” to get some cold medicine.

The legislature patched the law to “only” require stores to card people if they look like they are younger than 40. It is still silly. Look, the law should be this: If someone looks like they could be younger than 21, card him before you sell alcohol to him. If not, then don’t card him. Why is this so hard?

No handouts for Planned Parenthood

Printed in the Herald-Times, May 18, 2011

To the editor:

Planned Parenthood of Indiana reported $8,433,018 in total operating revenue for this fiscal year through February 17. PP also reported 8,145,847 in total operating expenses through the same period.

The national organization and all affiliates combined for over $1.1 billion (with a B) in revenue in the most recent fiscal report on PP’s website. Once again, PP’s revenue exceeded its expenses, this time by $63.4 million.

Now Planned Parenthood is coming before the Bloomington City Council for yet another handout. This is ridiculous. This request – and the city council’s inevitable decision to approve the request – has nothing to do with need. Planned Parenthood wants a political endorsement from city government, and the Democrats are happy to provide that endorsement.

We hear every year about helping social service agencies in need. This is a fraud. If this was about need, Planned Parenthood would not get one penny from city government.

It is shameful that the social services funding process has become so corrupted that tax money entrusted to our elected officials is used in such a recklessly irresponsible manner. I have a message for the Democrats who approve this abomination every June. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Petulant Lugar lashes out, insults fellow Republicans

So now we see Richard Lugar’s true colors. Rattled by the fact that he is facing a serious primary challenge in 2012, Lugar petulantly lashed out in a May 9 e-mail to supporters. See the text here.

First, Lugar lashes out at Republican county chairpersons, saying they have been “duped” into endorsing Richard Mourdock. Is this what Lugar really thinks of those who support his opponent? Does Lugar really believe they are stupid? Does he believe insulting these county chairpersons will be more likely to support him now?

Second, you can’t compare Mourdock to Christine O’Donnell (1, 2, 3, 4) or Sharron Angle. With all due respect to both women, neither are proven winners. Angle lost a primary for a seat in Congress in 2006 before losing to Harry Reid in 2010, and O’Donnell ran for the U.S. Senate three times and lost all three times.

Mourdock is a proven statewide vote-getter. He was elected Secretary of State in 2006 with 52% of the vote (in a year where three incumbent Republican members of Congress were defeated) and won re-election with an overwhelming 62.5% of the vote last November. He is also a former candidate for Congress.

Furthermore, Indiana is a solidly Republican state. That can’t be said of Nevada, and Delaware is a solidly Democratic state. Mitch Daniels was re-elected with nearly 60% of the vote in 2008 and Dan Coats ran over Brad Ellsworth with 57.7% of the vote in last year’s U.S. Senate election. Mike Pence will almost certainly be elected governor by a wide margin and Barack Obama will lose Indiana next year.

To suggest that 2012 will follow in the same pattern as Nevada and Delaware in 2010 and that the Democratic nominee will defeat Mourdock is just silly – especially if that nominee is Joe Donnelly, who was barely re-elected with a plurality of 48% of the vote last November.

Richard Lugar has been in office for a long time, and it is clear he feels entitled to his office. He’s not entitled to anything, especially after his votes for Barack Obama’s nominees to the Supreme Court. Lugar supported both the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban, earning the ire of gun-rights advocates. He has more than earned a primary challenge, and it is exactly this kind of arrogant, petulant response that demonstrates why he should be defeated next year.