Divided We Fail

Conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians and all concerned Americans must look past differences, join together in the critical fight for our freedom and liberty

Despite being a principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and despite being perhaps this nation’s greatest champion of limited federal government, Thomas Jefferson likely could not even garner the Republican Party nomination today, nonetheless the presidency.

Thomas Jefferson, see, considered Jesus Christ to be merely human, not divine. And those who make up the base of today’s GOP, it seems, are absolutely, unequivocally and increasingly incapable of seeing the forest for the trees.

Identified as a Protestant, as a Unitarian, an Episcopalian and a Deist, Jefferson rejected outright the idea that Christ was truly the Son of God while, at the same time, revering Him for His ethical teachings, His moral foundation, His principled life. Morality, Jefferson wrote, could be derived from any number of sources – and while religion was certainly chief among those sources, to him the concepts of morality and religious faith were not mutually exclusive.

In his 1848 book, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, B. J. Lossing wrote about this aspect of our third president’s character:


In religion he was a freethinker; in morals, pure and unspotted; in politics, patriotic, honest, ardent and benevolent. Respecting his political character, there was (and still is) a great diversity of opinion, and we are not yet far enough removed from the theatre of his acts to judge them dispassionately and justly. His life was devoted to his country; the result of his acts whatever it may be, is a legacy to mankind.

That’s not to say that Jefferson was Godless. Far from it. In fact, the remarkable story of the deaths of Jefferson and his famously pious predecessor, John Adams, shed light on his faith and conviction. The older Adams had often quipped that he would outlive the younger Jefferson but both men, the two principal authors of the Declaration of Independence, died nearly simultaneously on the morning of July 4, 1826, fifty years to the day of its signing in Philadelphia. By all accounts, the last words from the devout Adams were, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” ironic because it is rumored that the messenger dispatched to Monticello with the news of Adams’ death passed the messenger carrying the news of Jefferson’s own death to Adams’ home in Quincy, Massachusetts. Jefferson’s last words were, “I resign myself to my God, and my child to my country.”

For conservatives, Jefferson should be the perfect presidential candidate. This is the man who famously wrote that “[n]o free man shall be debarred the use of arms,” the man who eliminated a number of taxes, cut the federal budget and still managed to reduce, by a third, the national debt run up by big-government advocate Alexander Hamilton. This is the man who, in this fledgling nation’s first encounter with radical Islam, effectively fought and suppressed the Barbary pirates.

In today’s Republican Party, however, Thomas Jefferson would be a non-starter. His religious beliefs, after all, were a far cry from yours, from mine, and from those in the GOP’s conservative base. In a time when we are in sore need of fiscal responsibility, legislative accountability and a contraction in the overall scope and reach of the bloated federal government (not to mention aggressive anti-piracy measures), the Republican Party would likely stifle and sabotage Jefferson’s own campaign in favor of someone—anyone—who, if nothing else, accepted Jesus Christ as the Son of Man and their own personal savior.

Don’t believe it? Look at the reaction to any story, article, commentary or profile written about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Sure, the guy is articulate. Sure, he turns around failing businesses for a living and has made a fortune doing so. Sure, he can engage in a compelling debate about derivatives and treasuries and the nitty-gritty details of our economy without the help of a single TelePrompTer, nonetheless a dozen. But, by golly, the man is a Mormon.

Forget that, once out of the liberal hellhole that is Massachusetts, the man has passionately and effectively and consistently argued the merits of fiscal and social conservatism. Forget that he could, in a state of economic turmoil, be perhaps the most competent and confidence-inspiring politician on either side of the aisle. Forget that, in 2012, he could systematically take apart and argue against each and every fiscal policy put forth by our floundering president. Forget all of that, because Mitt Romney had a history of liberal-pleasing accomplishments in the bluest of the blue states. Forget all of that, because those sharp-dressed, bushy-eyed youngsters with their Book of Mormon and their prophets and their Joseph Smith came to your front door during the football game last Saturday, and something about the encounter just rubbed you the wrong way.

Though from a slightly different perspective, the same thing goes for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Forget that these two individuals are just about the greatest departure from typical Washington, D.C. politicians this country has seen since Ronald Wilson Reagan. Forget that Palin and Huckabee connect better with average Americans than perhaps any political figure in American history. Forget that each have a proven track record of fiscal discipline and respect for life, and show tremendous potential in terms of political instinct. Forget all of that, because Palin used to attend a church where attendees spoke in tongues and because Huckabee himself is a former pastor, and you don’t want no zealots in the White House, regardless of their extrinsic merits.

The Republican Party, and by extension the United States of America, has a big problem on its hands. Just like in 1960, when the television—and, to a lesser degree, Jack Kennedy—defeated Richard Nixon’s bid for the presidency, the GOP lost in November 2008 not because of ideology — but because of image. And, unless this country is broken up and sold wholesale to the Chinese and the United Arab Emirates, unless America falls into a state of total, wide-spread disaster, the upcoming presidential election in 2012 may not reach fruition any differently.

Look at the staggering amount of ignorance to any and all substantive issues during the previous election cycle. Look at the unfathomable indifference to any and all controversies, conflicts of interests and radical partnerships which would have doomed the candidacy of any politician save for Barack Hussein Obama. And look at the continued support the president receives today, in the face of a faltering economy and a shockingly embarrassing foreign policy excursion overseas. Sure, Obama’s support may not be at the same frenzied levels as shortly after his inauguration, but any comfort in declining favorability levels should be offset by any number of random workplace or social interactions, wherein “so, what’s the problem with socialism, anyway?” seems to be the emerging mantra from the ignorant left.

The Republican Party simply will not prevail in 2010, 2012 or beyond unless those of us who care deeply about the direction in which our nation is headed put aside our petty differences, look past the details, and focus on the weaknesses of our ideological adversaries.

Look at it like a heavyweight boxing match. One boxer may want, with every fiber in his being, to punch his arrogant opponent right square in the mouth. Oh, it would feel good. Oh, he deserves it. But, in this case, that opponent has a broken rib. A critical weakness. Such a weakness would matter little to a fighter working the ring with emotion and just waiting for the perfect opportunity for a shot to the chin; a tactician, however, would work that weakness into a bloody pulp. Hit the rib. Punish the rib. And maybe get in a shot to the mouth as the opponent crumples to the canvas.

The GOP needs to do what is necessary to win. It needs to be a tactician, carefully and surgically taking apart the Democrats, starting with that party’s most overt weaknesses.

Look around you today. Look at your televisions. Look at the number of Americans walking the streets today, dressed in their Red, White and Blue and protesting the ever-expanding influence and reach of our bloated federal government, the total departure from the ideas and ideals on which this nation was founded so many years ago. Look at the fear in their eyes, the uncertainty about where America will be in six months, nonetheless five, ten or twenty years because of the slide toward socialism facilitated by these narcissistic, ignorant, egomaniacal and power-hungry fools. This is where we need to hit the Democrats. This is where we need to hit them, over and over and over again until they crumple to the canvas of history for much longer than a simple ten-count.

That’s not to say that conservatives should somehow forget about the sanctity of life. That’s not to say that conservatives should refrain from shaking their head in disgust when the White House takes credit for the work of three Navy SEALs. That’s not to say that we cannot point and laugh when the president of the United States, proclaimed by the left to be an oratorical and intellectual giant, stumbles due to a frozen TelePrompTer, or when his solipsistic wife gives the next visiting monarch a fist-pound and a playful slap on the buttocks.

We must not, however, lose sight of the critical need to win. Without success, our values and principles are doomed. All of them.

It may be so darned tempting to square up and throw a hook at our opponent’s pretty little face, but we need to stick to the broken rib. If we continue to stand up and express loud outrage at each and every detail coming out of this White House, not only will we lose our voice by 2012 but, when our vociferous dissent is truly required, when the president and his socialist flunkies move down their master list of contraconstitutional aspirations and work to ban guns, or raise taxes, or hijack the Census, our voices will be nothing more than background noise, the same stereophonic hiss heard in response to everything from the successful rescue of a kidnapped boat captain to the bathroom habits of the White House dog.

In 2008, “Change” resonated for a reason. Imagine what we could do with a more substantive and focused mantra than “Change,” especially if each and every word and aspect of that message resonated with each and every God-fearing and patriotic American, from all walks of life and from coast to coast, concerned about our nation’s future and fate. Imagine if that message could be articulated by perhaps not the favorite candidate among all, but certainly the one that emerges, like Barack Obama did in this age of populism, superficiality and Bush Derangement Syndrome, as the perfect political weapon for his or her time and place.

Thomas Jefferson may have been uncomfortable with the concept of water turned to wine, with the Virgin Birth and with the Resurrection, but he was able to see past his difficulties with Christ’s divinity and loved Him for His godliness and His teachings which, according to Jefferson, contained the “outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man.” Jefferson turned out to be a pretty good president, and perhaps among the finest of Americans.

On this day, April 15, 2009, it is time for each and every American concerned for the future of this great experiment in freedom and enterprise to likewise set aside petty personal differences in favor of respect, to look past the details in favor of the big picture, to resist the temptation of emotion in favor of reason, logic and precision. America needs us, my friends. She needs us now, and She needs us to work together in this critical, epic and historic fight.

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Comments

  1. Ayamo says:

    And again a very good article of yours. Just minutes after I’ve read the last one.

    I think it will be interesting to see IF and HOW the MSM will report on the Tea Partys today.
    The MSM were BHO’s greatest asset he had in the election.

    I bet Jefferson would approve the Partys.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let’s deal in facts, Jeff. Most do not care Romney is a Morman. His RomneyCare has bankrupted his state not helped it. Get real and deal only in facts. He is not fiscally conservative. Here are the facts:

    Romney refused to sign the “No New Tax” pledge during the 2002 campaign for Governor.

    “Romney’s blind eye to nearly $100 million in new tax revenues the budget actually contemplates suggests the Republican governor wilds a selective description of the word “tax.”” (Boston Herald 6/27/03)

    “Bay state motorists have quietly been forced to swallow a 2-cent hike in the gas tax since April, after the Romney administration signed off on a 400 percent increase in an obscure petroleum cleanup fund.” (Boston Herald 6/27/03)

    Romney signs a property tax reclassification bill letting cities and towns hike taxes on local businesses. (Boston Herald January 17, 2004)

    “Mr. Romney, who closed a $2 billion hole in the Massachusetts budget without raising taxes (fees, however, increased by $260 million; and corporate tax loopholes were eliminated, yielding another $255 million), derided Washington for “spending too much money.” Asserting that “pork is always dispiriting,” the governor elicited a wave of applause when he cogently observed that “pork being spent at a time of war is particularly dispiriting.” In its “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2004,” the Cato Institute gave Mr. Romney an overall grade of C. Perhaps related to the fact that a Massachusetts governor faces a Democratic-dominated (roughly 85 percent) legislature, Mr. Romney received a spending grade of D from Cato.” (National Review 3/15/06)

    “In fiscal 2005, the only Romney loophole proposal the Legislature rejected was a plan to raise taxes on hotel rooms rented over the Internet through such travel discounters as Expedia.com and Travelocity.com. The loophole Romney was aiming to close allowed the hotels to remit to the state an occupancy tax based on the discount hoteliers offered the Internet firms, not the marked-up rate ultimately charged to consumers. Some $18 million would have come the state’s way if Romney had his way. Everyone knows that one way or another travelers would be the ones paying the difference.” (Boston Herald 12/21/04)

    “Almost five years after he refused to sign a “no new taxes” pledge during his campaign for governor, Mitt Romney announced yesterday that he had done just that“. Asked about the discrepancy between Romney’s position now and in 2002, Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Romney’s campaign, said that Romney raised taxes as governor.” (Boston Globe 1/5/07)

    “Trimarco is pushing to raise the tax by 10 cents over three years, with the rate linked to inflation to allow for future increases.” (Boston Herald 1/18/07) Trimarco was a Romney appointee.

    “Yes, former Romney Secretary of Administration and Finance Tom Trimarco and Mary Connaughton now think it’s just a nifty idea to raise the gasoline tax 10 cents so the state can take down the tolls on the entire Massachusetts Turnpike.” (Boston Herald 1/19/07)

    “After refusing to endorse President Bush’s tax cuts when he was governor, Mitt Romney has now made them a central part of his presidential campaign, stirring accusations that he is changing his position to appeal to GOP primary voters.” “In 2003, Romney stunned a roomful of Bay State congressmen by telling them that he would not publicly support Bush’s tax cuts, which at the time formed the centerpiece of the president’s domestic agenda. He even said he was open to a federal gas tax hike.” “The tax-averse Cato Institute gave Romney a “C” on its 2006 fiscal report card, saying the former governor acted aggressively to combat overspending, but failed to hold the line on taxes.” (Boston Herald 2/8/07)

  3. T the D says:

    AMEN! You said it all.

    ~T the D
    http://twitter.com/Trish1981

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good morning, Jeff.

    Excellent article. Here it is, 5:00 AM on the west coast, and an old guy like me should still be sleeping instead of reading your blog and making a comment (but I CAN go back to bed if I feel like it, so I won’t whine any more).

    In any case, your point is well taken, and, as one of the Christ-followers, I give the same argument a lot of thought. I certainly don’t want a “theocracy”, but I would like to live in the country of our heritage, one that doesn’t work so hard to destroy the very values that it was founded on and served so well to make it the greatest country in the history of mankind.

    And, I must confess, I am one who has said that I would not vote (at least in the primary) for a Morman. For this, Goddessdivine and one or two other Morman friends, handed me my head on a platter (and, from her perspective, probably rightly deserved), but I try to make decisions based on informed principle, not bigotry, and I will continue to do so.

    In the case of the “Mormon thing”, my position is based not on their religious values or practices on a personal level – I have had much professional and personal experience with many, many, Mormons and have found them to consistently be great persons – but rather that I want no national leader who has pledged alligiance to a closed ORGANIZATION that requires supre-national, unflinching, fealty – not a religion per se. I feel exactly the same about the Masons, among whom I have many close friends. I have great antipathy (I got that word from Obama) towards any organizational association that regards all persons sort of equal but some more equal that others because of a common, secret, inviolable association, the penalty of disassociation being death (Jon Krakauer’s “Under the Banner of Heaven”) or eternal damnation.

    I know that I often comment from the position of a born-again believer in Jesus Christ and His all-sufficiency for salvation, but I would ask no one, in a political sense, to believe as I do. I find no conflict between my beliefs and the Constitution, so all I ask is that any leader be committed to that set of priciples (and not belong to a supra-national organization).

    That having been said, there ARE values that are not specifically mentioned (although amply implied) in the Constitution that are “deal breakers” for me, such as the right to life of the unborn at any stage of development. Hopefully, we can agree on such priciples (and Romney, in his attempt to be successful in his Massachusetts political endeavors, failed this test).

    Guess I’d better shut up and go back to bed before someone comes and breaks down my front door, but again, my own positions notwithstanding, you make great points in the most erudite manner and with high intellectual integrity. I mean that seriously, so keep up the good work.

    Old Bob

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,
    I understand your point and to some extent I agree with your premise….we must have a substantive counter to the liberal agenda which involves more than finger-pointing and indignation. However, if WE do NOT point out the hypocrisy and danger of this administration, WHO WILL? Surely, not the MSM…POLITICO published results of a survey and found that Obama is perhaps the most trusted President of all times..duh, so is that why all these people are protesting today because we TRUST him?….not that I put any faith in polls but don’t we have to stand up and dispute these so-called factual assertions? I just don’t have it in me to water down my pro-life stance or my belief in smaller government and my absolute conviction that this liberal agenda is part of a massive, calculated overthrow of our system of government and life in this country. I know when we seem to object to every aspect of this liberal plan, we appear to be whinning and monotonous so we need to approach those with differing views from an educational perspective…we must have a command of the facts in order to be effective so we must learn more about the founding documents, learn more about technology, learn more about HOW this agenda threatens our basic way of life, learn more about voting records (Republican or Democrat), learn and be vocal about what is being taught in our schools. It will take a tremendous AWAKENING to halt this ‘train wreck’ and it requires something from all of us, if we truly love this country. I do agree that personal differences should be put aside in our discussions so that we can focus on the differences in philosophy. However, when it comes to “right” and “wrong” we must be able to speak with conviction as to why we believe what we do. Some issues like abortion demand a forceful, no-compromise, no apology given conviction because I believe the defense and protection of the unborn will have far reaching effects on the future of our society. I will NEVER sugar-coat my opposition to this abomination!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, First I want to thank you for being a real man and admitting your shortcomings. We all have them and I think we all have to keep working to correct our faults. From a previous comment on another blog I just want to say I don’t hate anyone even if I disagree with their views. To me a sin is a sin is a sin and we all sin every day even if we don’t realize we are doing it. Forgiveness is wonderful if we just remember to ask! I can not and will not give up my Christian values in order to “fit in” with the rest of the world. My Sister has a live in boyfriend and they both know I don’t agree but they also know I love them. My Cousin is gay and lives with her partner. They know I don’t agree but that I still love them. I guess what I am trying to say is Christians shouldn’t be ” silenced” just because we don’t agree that our tax money is going for abortions (even overseas) or for gay marriage agendas. The Tea Party in my town today is all about being taxed too much, not social issues. I have talked to Democrats, Republicans and Independents that plan to be there. Black, White, Asian and Hispanic, so don’t think this is a one party “protest”. God bless America and keep us in His loving arms.

    Sally

  7. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,
    Nice post.

    I see what you are driving at but to compare Jefferson to our day is a little unfair. We are all products of popular culture and have to deal with the cultural hand dealt to us at any point in time.

    The populace that Jefferson dealt with is wholly different than today. The populace was mostly a self-governed people whose lives were guided by Biblical principles whether or not each individual was a professed born-again Christian. Just take a look at the New England Primer at that time where children learned the alphabet through a catechism. Had Jefferson lived in our time, it is hard to say how he, given his personal worldview, would have dealt with our problems stemming from moral bankruptcy.

    That said, I understand your point. I don’t think we need to qualify or disqualify anyone based on the church affiliation. We have to look at a man’s character. I don’t dismiss Romney because of his Mormonism but because of his dishonesty (flip-flopping on issues). Likewise, I don’t embrace 0 simply because he claims Christianity — I look at his principles and personal character to make my assessment. I find Palin refreshing because she walks her talk and is so transparent.

    I think Newt is brilliant but I could never vote for him because he takes the path of political expediency and has not shown himself to be a man of character (think: Newt’s personal life while disparaging Clinton’s!).

    Until we start holding (wo)men accountable for the things they do and the person that they are, not just what they say, we’re doomed. We have to quit accepting lame apologies and “Now I see the light” sob stories. A person’s whole life is an open book and the decisions they’ve made in the past are part of the mosaic of who that person is. High office calls for a higher standard. Let’s quit making excuses for them to suit our own personal agendas!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Turn off MSNBC permanently. If they cannot report the NEWS to America they shouldn’t be in business of reporting the news. This is NOT a Republican event because Republican’s lost the election. This is NOT a right-winged conspiracy. This is NOT racists unhappy that their is black man is in office as the head of Homeland Security has stated). THESE ARE AMERICANS THAT BELIEVE SPENDING MONEY (WE DO NOT HAVE) AND GIVING UP OUR LANDS IN EMINENT DOMAIN AS COLLATERAL FOR THESE LOANS IS WRONG. THESE ARE AMERICANS THAT ARE STRUGGLING AND ARE TRIED OF BEING TAXED. THESE ARE AMERICANS THAT STILL BELIEVE THIS IS A COUNTRY “OF THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE”. We cannot SPEND our way out of this problem, even the President said in his speech this was TEMPORARY for the government to step in to help with the spending. When the fall comes and it will, because of what the President is doing our country will NEVER RECOVER. MSNBC does NOT care about the people of this country any longer. Turn them OFF America!

  9. mdb says:

    I was struck most profoundly by the description of Thomas Jefferson’s moral foundation. I consider myself a conservative in the sense of limited government, states rights, etc. However, I am not a religious person. The unyeilding and aggressive nature of the religious right is a constant reminder that conservatives can be as closed minded as those on the far left. It is a severe turn off to hear large numbers of conservatives proclaim the importance of individual freedoms with the right hand and denounce those who do not agree with them about religion, abortion, etc with the left hand. In my mind, if the religious right does not stop pushing away those who do not conform to their religious beliefs, it will be the death knell of the republican party. They have become blind to the fact that conservatives of all stripes want their religious freedoms protected while those (not all) on the left do not. If you cannot see your way to working with those that do not have the same religious beliefs as yourself, then you are just promoting a kind of religious tyranny and have proclaimed yourself morally superior to all others. That’s not likely garner any support for conservatives.

  10. mdb says:

    After posting my first comment, I read a couple of the new ones & felt the need to reiterate an opinion I expressed that was brought up by a couple of other posters. Abortion. a couple of folks here mentioned that the issue of abortion was a deal breaker for them. I'm going to assume (please correct me if I'm wrong) that those who say this would never vote for someone who supported "choice". The issue, after all is not anti vs. pro. It's about whether an individual has the right to decide for themselves. I have no idea how I would decide if faced with the choice. I have never been put through that crucible. However, I sure would like to have the choice & not have somebody tell me I can't do it because they don't think it's "right". I can't stress enough how that projection of one's religious beliefs onto others will only drive people away. Even those that would choose as you would given the opportunity.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m very glad to have discovered your page just yesterday. I especially appreciate your post on judicial activism from a lawyerly perspective.

    That said, I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that you did not mention Rep. Ron Paul, M.D. (R-Texas).

    -JEC

  12. Anonymous says:

    We have to stop caring about what the MSM does. They are now only about corruption, bread and circuses. They fall on the side of other weakened and corrupted groups of power in history, using it to corrupt others.

    We have a window of opportunity to act now and with some show of force and strength. If we let it go we will surely be the victims of the already recognized tyrants and their lemmings. I don’t think we can stop with this first organized protest. We must next protest strongly against the treasonous acts coming out of the agencies like Homeland Security, International law abidence above our own Constitution, harrassment (keeping evidence and records) of conservatives and traditionalists, and shame and take names of judges and/or corrupt attorneys who threaten the average citizens. IOW, make sure the tax protesters are also well informed in all of the other areas of freedoms being denied.

  13. Michelle in Texas says:

    Jeff, excellent article!

    To Anonymous on the West coast, 4/15 9:02am: Many US Presidents have been Masons, so have many Mormons. There is no conflict of interest, because the Mormon faith believes “…in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” Any questions can be answered at http://www.mormon.com or .org.
    In many wars, faithful Mormons have fought alongside their compatriates on both sides.
    ’nuff said. I’ll step down off of my tree stump, now.

    Keep up the great work, Jeff.

  14. Gail B says:

    Well, Jeff, one thing that you have done is to get people to thinking instead of bashing! That’s a good thing!

    Excellent points have been made on this comment thread, and I do understand where people are coming from.

    My personal fear is that the next candidate who will be asking for our support and vote will be another shyster (sorry, but that’s how I see him) who will say one thing but mean something entirely different, for an entirely different objective, than what the people need and want for themselves and beyond what the Constitution allows. This is what happened when Obama campaigned–he said one thing but meant something entirely different, or even lied about it. The laws he’s hammering to be passed exceed Constitutional limits. I think that others are in fear of the same destructive end and want to ensure that the conservative (regardless of party affiliation) will stick to his guns on integrity, smaller government, lower taxes for a thriving economy, and good judgment in domestic and foreign affairs.

    I do NOT understand why no one is busy typing up papers to ask the SCOTUS to declare such legislation unconstitutional!

    There’s a lot going on that we don’t understand or that we are perhaps in denial about (because that zone is more comfortable, for the time being).

    I hope that made sense–it did to me!

    Jeff, you’re the greatest! You are really KEEN on things!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Michelle in Texas, for your thoughtful and sincere (and honest) comments.

    What you say is true, but I just have this strong distrust for any society or association – makes no difference whether it’s religious or secular – that has secret (I knolw that you would prefer to call them “sacred”) vows, signals, and preferences. It’s not a bigotry thing; I’ve just seen it in action too many times and refuse to endorse the practice.

    Actually, I think that I’m the opposite of “bigot” and my distrust is certainly “non-denominational”. But I’m your friend and you are mine.

    As for the person (not you) who spoke in opposition to my position on abortion, would you also like to have the “choice” to commit murder of a birthed person if you felt that was in your best interest? Iknow you wouldn’t, but isn’t the only difference that you can hear one scream and the other can’t?

    Old Bob

    Old Bob

  16. Gail B says:

    JEC (Newcomer):

    Look over to the right, in the grey section, under “LABELS” you will find Ron Paul’s name with (7) beside it. Check them out!

    And, welcome to America’s Right, our conservative “family gathering place!”

  17. Gregory Meyer says:

    Jeff, I love your inclusion of Jefferson, into the theme of a conservative base rethinking themselves. He was a thinker’s thinker, and we all need to be inspired to think harder now about what differences can be split getting to the next RIGHT conservative POTUS in 2012. Thanks. PS I think the Immaculate Conception would not have concerned Jefferson much as a dogma not empirically resolvable, nor about Jesus himself. More likely he would have raised an eyebrow at the Annunciation/Virgin Birth.

    Greg

  18. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Great point, Greg. Very good point.

    Thank you.

  19. TROUBLESHOOTER says:

    WHAT IF GOD GAVE A TEST AND WE THE PEOPLE FAILED?
    From time to time I’ve reviewed the last election results from within the county and community in which I live…considering myself a born-again sinner AKA Christian I lament over the fact that the golden opportunity for ‘change’ was entirely overlooked by the voters not only around me but across the several states as a whole. The Constitution Party platform still reflects the fundamentals but went one step further: it provided candidates who didn’t just confirm a trust in Almighty God but more importantly embraced His only begotten Son…Jesus Christ. The good book is a history of individuals and the nations they were a part of who God almighty seemed to be continually testing…if ye love me etc. and like the people of the book failure of such resulted in hard times until a heart felt repentance manifested itself in a change of direction/ focus towards the very loving Almighty God in which we move and have our being. Collectively we failed the test as evidenced by the results of the 2008 election… ye reap what ya sow…and sometimes you get to go through hell before ya repent and change direction. How wise is it to continue trusting the need for change to come about via the two party system entrenched with the oligarch’s? REPENT and rev-up the Constitution party and call for a Continental Congress!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I feel compelled to comment only that Jesus Christ could not have been only a good and wise teacher. Christ claimed to be the Son of God. By any standards, if He was not the Son of God, he could not be considered good or wise. Therefore, He must be who He claimed.

    Jeff, thanks for being there (here)!

  21. mdb says:

    To anonymous (the one with whom I’m exchanging positions on abortion). You believe that abortion is murder. Herein lies the crux of the matter. I don’t know that I’ve heard anyone say that they condone murder in the context of the debate on abortion. From that standpoint, there is no apparent moral conflict. However, the great gray area revolves around the question of “when does life begin?”. Some say “at conception”. That opinion implies that all abortion is murder. Others draw assorted lines in the sand that fit into their religious, moral, and scientific beliefs (note that I did not say “facts”). Those who disagree with you on the answer to “when does life begin?” are just as “moral” as you in that they don’t condone murder. That brings me full circle to my orignal point. Conservatives need to recognize and be tolerant of others religious beliefs, and to recognize that the conservative concept of individual freedom allows for individuals to arrive at equally moral conclusions even when they are different. I respect your concept of abortion as murder and your decision to live your life that way. I respect your right to express that opinion and try to bring others around to your way of thinking. If you cannot do the same, you are just trying to impose your own specific religious concepts upon others. You are saying that your answer to “when does life begin” is the correct answer. Absolutely live your life based on your answer, but thinking that others are morally corrupt, or criminal because their answer is different is insulting and offputting to those people. I don’t expect or want to change your mind on this issue. I just want to make the point that your particular denial of a different, moral viewpoint on the subject only alienates others to the point where we end up with Barack Obama as president. As this article made great pains to point out, those who think like you would probably not vote for Jefferson today, and that is a shame.

  22. Anonymous says:

    “mdb said”

    I understand your point of view, and I respect it. If I came across as trying to convince you (or anyone else) to believe as I do, I apologize. I only mean to be honest about my beliefs and how I respond to them.

    In my view, life – both the creation of and the termination of – is God’s business. Hence I choose not to support either abortion (and here I’m talking about the termination of the fetus for convenience or as a means of birth control, not the case where the life of the mother at stake) or euthanasia.

    And I also understand and agree that I may have to make a choice between not voting and voting for the continuation of “pro-choice” policies, but that is exactly why I have said numerous times on this blog that, to me, “winning isn’t everything”.

    I’ll leave the “winning” part of our future up to God; I’ll stick with values and accept not winning if that’s the way it turns out. Thankfully, I think that I have a place at the table (of opinions on this blog) because I find no conflict between my Biblically-based views and the Constitution.

    In closing, if all of the “professing believers” had had the same priorities as mine, Obama would not have won the election, so what we needed was not a “big tent” but folks who are faithful to what they say they believe in.

    Sorry.

    Old Bob

    P.S. Jeff, I wouldn’t go too far out on a limb regarding Jefferson being a “moral” person. His actions relative to his slaves (the only ones he ever set free were the ones that he fathered with Sally Hemmings) would indicate a huge hole in that characteristic. As a student of history, I really don’t rank him anywhere near the top of the list of true moralists. Maybe on a par with FDR.

  23. Gail B says:

    From the NY Times, quoting Obama:
    “We’ve passed tax cuts that will help our economy grow,” he said.

    If Obama KNOWS that tax cuts help our economy grow, WHY the gargantuan national debt (thanks to him, Pelosi, Reid, and the liberals in Congress) that tax dollars will have to pay back?

    Just wondering!

  24. Anonymous says:

    mdb…thank you for keeping level-headed and putting into words effectively without the typical name calling, petty, immature attitudes I see so often in regards to this controversial issue…i too would like to be able to choose, and having never faced an unwanted child forming in my body, i can’t answer for those who have….but i would like to be able to decide without the government telling me i have no choice…God would judge me for that act and i fear no man for that reason

    to the america’s right family, readers and writers alike, thank you all…your presence here is greatly appreciated

  25. Anonymous says:

    MDB

    I hope you never have to face that decision too. My sister in law had problems early in her pregnancy and was hospitalized. We were all heart broken when a doctor came in and told her she had lost the baby. This couple had tried for 10 years to have a baby and they were both devistated. She was told she would need to have a D & C but she wanted to wait until she had a second opinion from her family doctor. This was on Saturday, then on Monday she went in for her doctor to do an ultrasound. The baby was there with a strong heartbeat! Hannah, our precious little girl is now 8 years old and we still call her our little miracle. God had a hand in this woman's desire to seek another opinion and I just can't imagine our lives without her.

    Sally

  26. Marie says:

    I just got back from a Tax Day Tea Party in Santa Ana, CA. It was great! My favorite sign in the crowd said, “In America, we don’t spread the wealth, we spread the opportunity to EARN it!”

  27. Michelle in Texas says:

    MDB and Old Bob, thank you for your comments.

    I’m not a very deep thinker, though I believe that education is the key to forward the progress of humanity.

    Life begins at conception. A mother has her free agency to choose whether or not to commit murder. We all have that choice each day of our lives. The unborn and the very young, however, cannot defend themselves.

    I know that if Governor Palin weren’t kept on a short leash early in her VP candidacy, if Mr. Obama (I will never call that man my president) had his birth certificate exposed, his non-graduation from Columbia exposed, his falsified selective service registration exposed, and the source of his funding for Harvard Law exposed, the election would have turned out very differently.

    Does the name Nicolae Carpathia ring a bell?

  28. Jan says:

    Jeff,
    As usual you have produced an excellent article. I applaud your insight and inclusion. I happen to agree with you 100%. I am a born-again sinner completely sold out to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As such it is my responsibility to focus on my relationship with Him and those areas in my life that I need to repent of and alter. It is not my responsibility to change other people. That is God’s business. He is the one who changes hearts. He uses His people to accomplish things but it is still He that changes hearts. I am to live my life in accordance to Biblical guidelines. As such my walk is a testimony of my faith. When Christians are seeped in “legalism” they cannot see anything but rules and regulations. Let us all remember that we were all unsaved at one point. Only by the grace of God can I stand here today a changed person adopted into God’s family. I am no better than any other person on the face of this earth. The inability to accept anything less than those who proclaim Jesus as their Savior limits the ability to grow ourselves. Many times I have experienced “Christians” who are far crueler than individuals who are not Christians. This is an unfortunate aspect of legalism. When I stand before the Lord I will answer only for myself, my thoughts, and my actions. I won’t answer for you, or my children, my friends, my boss, or even the President of the United States. They will all have to answer for themselves for their own lives. Our job as Christians is to hold true to our relationship and righteousness, and of course to evangelize. Just as we should accept non-Christians in our church (since it is God’s job to work out their heart) we should accept that there are good, moral, decent non-Christians we can support in government. Todd Agnew performed an excellent song relating to Jesus not being welcome in his church because the blood on His feet might stain the carpet. I will stand against abortion, gay-marriage, murder, rape, theft, etc. because those are just some areas my Lord directs me to protect (and avoid myself.) I do not think however, it is my responsibility to force my ideals upon others. God is far bigger and better at dealing with that issue than I ever will be. I will love all my neighbors as myself and trust the Lord to work all things according to His will.

  29. suek says:

    mdb…

    It’s against the law to kill a Bald Eagle.

    It’s also against the law to damage the egg of a Bald Eagle or remove it from it’s nest.

    Care to guess why?

  30. Anonymous says:

    I am also back from tea parties, Marie, one in Fairhope, AL and at the USS Alabama Battleship Park. Although we were advised by the board of the park that we could not have an organized protest there, some of us decided to go there anyway…many were veterans who fought to preserve our freedoms and yet they are not permitted to gather and express their unhappiness with our government…how insulting to our brave men and women. I wonder if the board would have denied access to certain other groups if they wanted to meet there? The Tea Party in Fairhope was great with music, respect given to the Veterans who were attending as well as to all branches of service. It was orderly and the feeling shared by most was that it was not about Democrats or Republicans but Americans. We all realize that we must keep the energy and dedication up and continue to put the pressure on our elected officials. Patriots are fantastic and I am pumped after being among the best of America…I believe we can get our country back! Don’t mess with ‘right wing radicals’, Janet Napolitano, we are coming to clean up DC!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I’m with you Old Bob. With my Sovereign God, we don’t have to win to win. :-) I did vote for lesser of two evils in 2008 but that was my last time and many evangelicals agre. We are tired of being GOP lap dogs. If they continue to put RINOs up there, I’ll be voting Constitution Party.

    Old Bob said: I’ll leave the “winning” part of our future up to God; I’ll stick with values and accept not winning if that’s the way it turns out. Thankfully, I think that I have a place at the table (of opinions on this blog) because I find no conflict between my Biblically-based views and the Constitution.

    In closing, if all of the “professing believers” had had the same priorities as mine, Obama would not have won the election, so what we needed was not a “big tent” but folks who are faithful to what they say they believe in.

    Sorry.

    Old Bob

  32. mdb says:

    One final comment that's not really specific to abortion, but regards Bob's "big tent" comment. I've heard the term used at least want to agree with the concept sacrificing ideals to enlarge the tent is not an attractive policy. However, in my mind there is a big difference between enlarging the tent and convincing folks that they are already inside the tent. IMO the conservative concept of individual freedom already includes those that support the right to choose and those that abhor any form of abortion. My conundrum lies in the contradiction of individual freedom and NOT having the right to choose. Sure, this is not a conundrum for those that think all abortion is murder. After all, murder is illegal now & nobody is saying it shouldn't be. Oops, I'm getting back into the abortion debate when I really didn't mean to. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that regardless of how you feel, if you make your tent too small and exclude all those who do not think as you then you are destined to 'lose' in the political arena. Bob pointed out that he'd rather lose on that stage than lose on his stage of faith. That's perfectly fine. But, the ramification of actions intended to "win" on the stage of faith just might be a whole crop of unintended consequences. For example (back to abortion for this), you vote against a candidate because he/she is not a strong enough anti-abortion advocate. The candidate loses as a direct result of lack of support from the religious right. Perhaps the religious right votes go to a 3rd party candidate running on a single issue anti-abortion platform (a small tent indeed). You would have ended up voting your conscience. You would consider yourself a "winner" because you voted true to your faith. However, the politcal winner was a pro-choice advocate. The political winner enacts laws/policies to provide federal funding for abortions both here and abroad. You, as a taxpayer, are now actually providing money to pay for those same abortions that you consider murder. Perhaps, in other lands, that money is being used to force people to have abortions. This is not what was intended by your small tent vote. That is essentially what is happening with Barack Obama today. I don't really have answers to these problems, just questions. However, the dangers of adhering unswervingly to dogma are real dangers both in this world and the next. BTW, very interesting comments from all. Thanks for the stimulating and pleasant dialogue.

  33. Jan says:

    mdb @12:48
    In regards to your post concerning Old Bob’s remarks on voting his faith – as a Christian I believe I will be held accountable for how I voted just as I will be held accountable on all the other areas of my life. When we chose to vote our faith we are standing up for the very tenets of our faith. As such it would go against my very nature to vote for a politician who supported abortion. If he/she is elected his/her actions will be judged by God but I am confident in that I did not use my support to put him/her there. I think this is partly what Old Bob was talking about in his post. I understand your position and would welcome all people with or without faith into the party but our individual resolve should not be compromised because “times are ‘a changin.”

  34. mdb says:

    Jan,
    You say that you will be held accountable for how you vote and that you are standing up for the tenets of your faith when you do so. I was posing a kind of moral thought exercise by saying that the obvious vote is not necessarily what you want to be held accountable for. The old saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" has stood the test of time (can be dated back almost 1000 years) because it really is a universal truth. Unfotunately, with something like a vote, we don't get crystal clear feedback & we can never predict the "what ifs" when trying to choose a candidate. That's why I think it's worth asking the questions like "Will my vote for candidate A result in fewer abortions than if I vote for candidate B" regardless of the public stances of the candidates. If your desire is to see fewer abortions in the world, that seems a logical question. If your real goal is a desire for eternal salvation, then is the number of abortions is irrelevant next compared to voting specifically for an anti-abortion candidate? I doubt anyone would actually say "yes" to that, but the contradiction is still there (the proverbial elephant in the room). Yes, you do get to choose the path you think is right. Until, that is, someone takes away your right to choose it. Our freedoms are a relatively new and unique condition in history & they can certainly be taken away especially if we help give them away. BTW, I find it a bit ironic that, as a pro-choice advocate, I am asking you to really think about how your vote affects numbers of abortions. On the other hand, I don't WANT abortions to happen either, I just want the right to decide not to have one all by myself.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I too would like to express my appreciation for the respectful comments on a very personal issue. It sounds to me that everyone involved in this discussion desires to make the “right” choices in both spiritual and politcal matters. That we can agree on.

    I understand all of the “rational” tradeoffs and “unintended consequences” and I too struggle with them and try diligently to avoid dogmatism. But, just as our political opinions can converge on the Constitution, I hope that, for those of us who profess to be Christians, that we can reach agreement with the Scripture being the point of convergence.

    So, with this in mind, I would like to make the cautionary comment that, as I believe it says somewhere in Proverbs, “There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is destruction.”

    Old Bob

  36. JasonZ says:

    Hi all:

    I’m thinking we’re wandering a bit off topic. I believe the issues of religion and abortion are vitally important, but this post was about how we as Americans (Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, whatever flavor) were going to strategize the elections of 2010 and 2012.

    Along that line, I have a major question: does the Republican Party (or even the word “Republican” have such a tarnished image that in order to succeed, we need to change our “brand name”? We all know in our hearts what “Republican” stood for, at least in the days of Reagan and Bush 41 … but even most of us wonder about some of the things we Republicans were responsible for during the terms of Bush 43 … we grew the size of the government; we did nothing about immigration; we were not transparent to the votersin our actions and decisions.

    Today, we look at the Romneys and Sanfords and Jindahls and we recognize their great principles and potential as candidates … but we’re almost apologetic that they are Republicans … how can we run a campaign that hopes to get the votes of a majority of the American people on that basis?

    The Republican Party is about 140 years old … we’ve had great Presidents who weren’t Republicans, but whose principles we’d all agree fit where we want to be … is it time to create a new party, in name, in structure, and in clarity of beliefs, to carry that banner forward?

    America is looking favorably at “change” and has “hope” in the future … but not Obama’s change and hope … should we create the new party of change and hope for 2010 and beyond?

    JasonZ

  37. JasonZ says:

    I hesitate to bring this up, but I will … our Founding Fathers included Christians of all varieties; deists (like Jefferson); and some like me … Jews.

    I believe in Scripture and I believe in the morals and ethics found in the Old Testament. I do not believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

    I suspect my beliefs in fiscal, national defense, immigration, and governmental structure matters are very similar to most of the people in this discussion.

    Regarding abortion, I am also physician and in my medical training, I was asked to participate in performing abortions. I refused, on religious grounds. The patients involved were treated by others, who had beliefs different from mine.

    Is there room for me in this discussion? Can we accept, as the Founding Fathers did, that we are more than an exclusively Christian party and that what religion we should to practice is a personal choice?

    JasonZ

  38. Anonymous says:

    To “JasonZ”:

    As for me, if I ever create the impression that I disrespect those whose views and beliefs are different from mine, it is I who have no place in the discussion.

    My intent is to “give a reason for the faith that is within me”, not proselytize. And the only reason that I speak of these things on Jeff’s blog, which I understand to be a political statement by Jeff and the other contributors – not a theological forum – is because, for many of us, spiritual considerations inform our political actions.

    Old Bob

    And I never forget that I, as a Gentile, am the one who was “grafted to the vine” .

  39. Jan says:

    Jason
    I also agree that regardless of what religion you profess there are certain standards that we must not compromise on. I personally do not care if you are Morman, Jewish, Christian or atheist. As long as we do not waver on our resolve concerning the issues like those you mentioned it should not matter the individual choice of religion.
    Blessings, Jan

  40. Mary Thom says:

    I hope that people will be fair to Mike Huckabee with regard to his brief statement during the campaign season regarding Mormonism. Although he may not hold to Mormon beliefs or agree with them that does not mean that he is prejudiced against those who hold to the Mormon religion.

    I am not a Mormon and believe firmly that their beliefs are false, but I am not a Mormon hater. I would vote for someone who is not of my religion. I do not look down on them. However, I personally would never vote for Mitt Romney because I have studied his record, and I could never be sure that he would promote the things I feel are important if he became my President.

    I do join with the rest of my fellow Americans who are fighting for smaller government, fiscal responsibility, strong borders, and policies which promote good, solid values.

  41. Grace 77x7 says:

    mdb,
    I realize that abortion is not an easy issue. But it is important to be aware that there is a lot of heavy-duty propaganda out there.

    The answer to when life begins is not the relativistic gray area that you have been led to believe & it is not simply a religious issue. This issue has been answered definitively by science (specifically embryology) – it is now known with factual certainty that life, in every sense of the scientific definition, begins at conception.

    You have the right to choose whether or not to participate in the biological act that potentially leads to the creation of a new life, but once that new life is here, your rights are supposed to end where that person's rights begin.

    Depriving an innocent person of their right to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness is consistent with pretty much everyone's definition of murder.

    What we are currently confronting is a culture that increasingly wants to eradicate those lives that are inconvenient. As soon as we start defining some humans as disposable, we create a line of demarcation that is dangerously subjective & arbitrary (which is why we see it keep moving further & further inward).

    Of course there should be room for differences of opinion – but facts need to be acknowledged as facts.

  42. Grace 77x7 says:

    Jeff, great article, however, I have to say touching on one point here (and based on your previous article regarding Romney) – Obama had a track record that told everyone exactly what we would be getting, but people preferred to project their hopes onto what he was saying instead. Did we got the Obama of his record or his rhetoric? Obviously, he is the man of his record.

    So how on earth could we possibly unite behind Romney who is essentially the GOP version of Obama? Despite how the MSM harped on his Mormonism, if you look at the polls, few people knew let alone cared about his religious beliefs.

    Despite Romney's rhetoric, it's his track record that has so many of us refusing to trust him – not his religous background.

    Back when Romney & Huckabee were splitting the conservative vote to give us McCain, Romney's camp was blaming Huck for it. But I was watching the polls & the majority of Huck supporters had made it plain that they would back McCain if Huck bowed out because they did not trust Romney. (I'm not cheerleading for anybody – this is simply fact easily checked via google)

    Too many people do not trust the man – with good reason. Moving past the primaries – what has he done of note since the primary race? He was part of the chorus advising McCain that we needed to support Bush's TARP asap or the economy would collapse.

    Then – when polls showed that people were angry about the bailouts – Romney said MI's auto industry should suck it up – after campaigning in MI that he was going to do all he could to help them. Not exactly a man whose word holds much value. Is that economic prowess? It's not even political prowess.

    I'm sorry, but you'll have to seek unity with a different candidate. Romney's just politics as usual. With our problems, what we need right now is politics as UNusual…

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