The continuing farce of funding Planned Parenthood

After sixteen years, it is time for the Bloomington City Council to end the annual farce of funding Bloomington’s Planned Parenthood, which operates an abortion “clinic” on South College Avenue, just a few blocks south of the county courthouse. It is time for the councilors to show they are serious about the purpose of this fund.

When the councilors vote to distribute grants from the John Hopkins Social Services Fund in June, they will be giving away $270,000. That is far below the total amount requested, which is $472,004.38. This means the council will be forced to deny over $200,000 in requests be organizations that do not have the backing of a national organization with over one billion dollars in annual revenue.

Following is my letter to the City Council.

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Please do not fund Planned Parenthood

From: Scott Tibbs <tibbs1973@yahoo.com>

Date: Sat, April 25, 2015 11:34 am

To: ruffa@bloomington.in.gov, sandbers@bloomington.in.gov, mayert@bloomington.in.gov, sturbauc@bloomington.in.gov, grangerd@bloomington.in.gov, spechlem@bloomington.in.gov, rollod@bloomington.in.gov, neherd@bloomington.in.gov, volans@bloomington.in.gov

Councilors,

Once again, I am asking you to reject Planned Parenthood’s request for funding from the Jack Hopkins Social Services Fund. Since 1999, this body has approved $42,767.71 in requests by Planned Parenthood, including $2,440.00 in 2006 for cabinetry, files and furniture to renovate the front office.

The guidelines for agencies requesting Hopkins funding state that this should be for a one-time investment. The council reiterated that with the letter to agencies that may seek funding:

Hopkins grants are intended to be a one-time investment. This restriction is meant to encourage innovative projects and to allow the funds to address changing community circumstances. While the Committee may provide operational funding for pilot, bridge efforts, and collaborative initiatives, an agency should not expect to receive or rely on the Hopkins fund for on-going costs (e.g., personnel) from year to year.

Planned Parenthood long ago abandoned any pretense that they were seeking a one-time investment. For the last several years they have been seeking funding for operating expenses and ongoing costs.

This year is a city election year. Now is the time to end these political games and rededicate yourselves to the true mission of the social services fund, and give the money that would go to Planned Parenthood to a worthy and non-controversial organization – one that does not have the backing of a national organization that takes in over one billion dollars every year and runs a huge budget surplus in nine figures.

Rumors and gossip

People.

The man suspected in the brutal murder of an Indiana University student this past weekend has NO connection to Uber. Stop spreading this gossip. Plus, Uber conducts a criminal background check on all drivers. They have a strong incentive to protect customers’ safety.

Just because a new technology exists does not mean that technology is dangerous.

Get with the times.

Evangelizing for Evolution

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. – Psalm 14:1

It is understandable why people of faith would want to proselytize for their faith. But why do people who allegedly have no faith proselytize for their beliefs? The answer is simple: Atheism is a religion.

First, a point of order. The point of this post is not to argue young-earth creationism vs. evolution. Nothing is going to be solved and no one is going to change his mind based on what I say here. My point is attitude and motivation.

Last week, I said on Twitter than I do not have enough faith to believe in evolution. I got a flood of comments in response to that statement from angry atheists. (See those responses here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.)

So what does it matter than some nobody on Twitter says that he does not believe in evolution? Why would anyone be offended by that? How does that affect anyone’s life in any way? In the big scheme of things, why does it matter what I think about the origins of the universe?

The answer is that there is no such thing as an atheist, as Scripture makes clear to us in Romans 1:18-25. Everyone knows that God exists, but most rebel against Him. In centuries past, those who refused to worship the living God would worship idols made of stone or wood. Today, mankind worships itself and its intellect. Scientists are the prophets of the religion of atheism, allowing us to pretend that the world was created without a Creator.

When I say I do not believe the proclamations of the prophets and priests of atheism, I am committing “blasphemy” and heresy against the false god of atheism. Therefore, those who worship atheism are offended in much the same way that Muslim terrorists are offended by people who commit “blasphemy” against the prophet Mohammed. No, I am not subject to being killed for my beliefs, but atheist regimes in the Soviet Union, North Korea and Communist China were (and are) well known for murdering and torturing Christians.

As Christians, we need to recognize the spiritual realities behind the battles over evolution, especially as politicians are ridiculed and shamed and eventually bullied into towing the line on that particular myth. This is a battle between the One True Religion and the latest fakery to lead souls astray. We must see the bigger picture if we are to be faithful.

Christian weakness, capitulation and surrender on divorce

We hear a lot from conservatives who want to protect “traditional marriage” from the prospect (now the reality) of government recognizing the union of two men or two women as a marriage. But those same conservatives are willfully blind to and sometimes even supportive of something that has done much more to destroy the institution of marriage than homosexual marriage ever will. That is the scourge of no-fault divorce.

What is most distressing is how the church – despite the very clear teaching of Jesus Christ on the subject of divorce – has utterly abandoned Biblical doctrine on the subject of divorce. Not only do you never hear sermons about the Bible’s clear teaching on divorce in the vast majority of churches, but many of those churches actually endorse what Jesus Christ Himself described as adultery by performing marriage ceremonies for people who have divorced their spouses without Biblical justification. They are not just silent. They are in open rebellion against Scripture.

Is it any wonder why non-believers see this hypocrisy as a stain on Christianity itself? Is it any wonder why even some Christians become discouraged and abandon the local church due to the hypocrisy?

But aren’t there some Biblical justifications for divorce?

Yes. But when the foundation of such an important truth has been destroyed, it is not appropriate or helpful to start covering the exceptions to the rule. What the church needs to do is reaffirm God’s clear statement in Malachi 2:16 that He hates divorce. We need to rebuild the foundation that has been destroyed through decades of compromise with sin and open rebellion against God’s word that has corrupted the church. Only after we have rebuilt the doctrinal foundation should we start talking about exceptions.

So what can individual Christians do to be faithful to God’s Word on the subject of divorce? We should rebuke, exhort and encourage our pastors and elders to not compromise and take a stand against this sin. If a church will not repent, leave that church and find one that honors God’s Word. Churches will be more likely to repent if their congregations hold them accountable. Most importantly, we should pray for compromisers and rebels to repent of their sin.

Peace through violence?

From Radley Balko, at the Washington Post:

The police official in the video is saying that sometimes, state administration of violence is a prerequisite for peace. In other words, to obtain peace, violence is inevitable.

Of course, sometimes, we do need police officers to protect us from dangerous people. But to begin from the position that peace can come only through violence risks converting a police fear of violence into a guarantor.

Scary.

Seven years in prison is too extreme

When so-called “teachers” in Atlanta were found to have changed students’ grades on test scores, it was a scandal that got nationwide coverage, and rightly so. Many parents wondered if this was happening in their school. As the criminal case draws to a close, though, it is unsettling that a judge has exposed these teachers to an extreme punishment. For fixing test scores, they will spend seven years in prison.

Is it really necessary to send these people to prison for seven years? Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not want to see them ever working in a school again, even as a janitor. They have broken the public’s trust and they have no business in the educational environment. It would be an extreme breach of the public’s trust and a shameful waste of money to ever allow these people to work in a school again.

But what public good is served by sending them to prison for seven years? None. The public is not going to be better off by throwing these teachers in prison.

Now that they have been removed from their jobs, are they still a threat to the community? Will they be able to commit more crimes like this if they are not sent to prison? Again, the answers to both of those questions is no. Removed from their positions of authority, they will not be in a position to commit more crimes like they did in their jobs, and they will not be able to defraud students and parents of a good education. Putting them in prison does not protect anyone.

These people stole an education from vulnerable children in order to make themselves look good. There is no way to defend or excuse their reprehensible behavior. But sending them to prison for seven years is a huge waste of money in addition to being a wildly disproportionate reaction to the fraud they committed. It will heap more costs on the taxpayers, because housing prisoners is expensive.

Putting them in prison does some social good in that it is punishment for the offenders and serves as a deterrent to others who may be tempted to commit educational fraud. But the punishment needs to fit the crime. We execute murderers, but we do not execute jaywalkers. We can also hold these degenerates as an example with a stiff financial penalty. They should also be permanently ineligible for government benefits. The message there would be simple: If you commit fraud in your public job, you can expect to be financially ruined.

This case is an unfortunate example of the over-eager “war on crime” mentality that has filled our prisons. People who commit nonviolent crimes are subject to the “lock ’em up and throw away the key” mentality that was popular from the 1970’s through the 1990’s. But even conservatives are starting to recognize the staggering social costs of this mentality, and there is bipartisan support for meaningful criminal justice reform. Seven years in prison for cheating on tests is an anachronistic penalty that should not be imposed. These teachers need to be punished, but not this way.