Posts belonging to Category Politics

New perspective on money?

Follow The Money: The Money Trail Through HistoryFollow The Money: The Money Trail Through History by Ruben Alvarado

I was surprised at how much I gleaned from this book. The author does a good job in establishing how money has been used throughout history. It begins with the ancients, follows the Assyrians and Babylonians, to the Persians, Greeks, Romans, and on down to the feudal system of Europe until today. Special attention is given to the United States, as it has been the primary financial powerhouse of the world since WWI. The interesting figure in the book is the economist James Steuart, whose views of money and credit are little known today. It is somewhat technical at times and I had to reread spots, but it was worth it.

He was a good one

Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of ChristendomDefending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom by Peter J. Leithart

Recently I finished Peter Leithart’s book, Defending Constantine. It is a scholarly work that describes how Constantine operated as emperor. It begins as a biography, explaining the setting of ancient Rome and how Constantine came to power. After the biography, Dr. Leithart approaches the questions many have raised over the years about the rule of Constantine. He provides a good summary of the sources on Constantine’s life and discusses the disagreements among historians with erudition. However that is not the primary focus of the book. The focus is to answer an age-old critique. (more…)

Politics as Usual

The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the CountryThe Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country by Laton McCartney

This book is rare in that it is non-fiction history that reads better than many novels. It is a factual retelling of the Teapot Dome Scandal which took place during the 1920’s under the Warren Harding Administration. The author, Laton McCartney, is a gifted writer. He made the characters come to life in a way many authors can’t. The story epitomizes the human condition. Murder, bribery, graft, adultery, and courtroom drama make just some of the details of the book. Not that I approve of those things or enjoy reading about them, but I like history that doesn’t gloss over some sins and ignores others.

I will grant that the author is very liberal and I suspect he might have an icon of Franklin Roosevelt somewhere but that doesn’t take away from his abilities. It just means I doubt his talents would be used to write about the Obama, Johnson, or Roosevelt administrations.

I picked up a few lessons from this book.

1.) Politics is no worse now than it was before; it just receives more political coverage now than before.

2.) Total depravity isn’t going anywhere. Men with power sin in big ways, men with little power sin in smaller (that is to say, less expensive) ways.

3.) Giving the national government power over something doesn’t mean it will be better taken care of. It does mean that there will be more opportunities to abuse that power.

All in all, I would recommend this book to fans of history as well as to those who enjoy intrigue of all shapes and sizes. It’s worth your time.

View all my reviews

In the lead for my vote

One of the foreign policy problems closest to my heart is the plight of Christians in foreign countries, especially the countries we’ve recently been at war with.  By now it’s no secret that our military escapades have paved the way for radical Islam to take over countries like Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and pretty soon, Afghanistan (we’re in talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan right now because we want out). The problem has been that no one will talk about it.  The Republicans and Democrats are in very close proximity on this front; they all want more war and more military. We are threatening to go to help the revolution in Syria, which means that soon their president, as bad as he is, would be overthrown and another Christian-hating government would take his place. It is frustrating that no one in power has been willing (Democrat or Republican) to speak about this problem.

Then along comes Rand Paul.  Senator Paul appears to be one of the smarter senators to come along in my generation.  I appreciate my own Senator, Jeff Sessions, for his stand against immigration “reform,” but Senator Paul recently made a speech citing the plight of Christians in countries where we’ve engaged militarily. Then he called for and end to U.S. aid for countries that target the Christians of their countries. He makes it personal, telling the crowd that it’s their tax-dollars that go towards persecuting Christians. I know Paul is preparing for a likely White-House run in 2016, and I certain don’t want him to peak too early, but I like these words more than any words  I’ve heard from a politician in a long time.

Learning submission where we are

“Before we can even think about ruling a nation we must learn how to exist under the present order and still accomplish the bulk of our goals. Like the Israelites under the Babylonians and Assyrians, we must learn how evil the gods of our conquerors are — and how evil their law-orders are — before we can call upon the name of the Lord and expect deliverance. Like the church under the Roman Empire, we must be subordinate before we can lead. We are in a wilderness; we need to bring ourselves under the dominion of the law of God in our local relationships before we can expect to be put in seats of power nationally.” – Gary North, Tactics of Christian Resistance

What changes the world?

“It is not tanks that bring down governments; it is pamphlets, Bibles, photocopy machines, mimeograph machines, carbon paper, typewriters, samizdat (underground) literature, secret prayer groups…” – Gary North, Tactics of Christian Resistance

Taking the lead

The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, is taking the lead in the proper way.  Recently he led his people in a prayer of repentance.  This is the entire text of the prayer.  (Sorry for the formatting difficulties.)

“Father God in heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank you for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank you for all your goodness to us.
I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness. (more…)

It’s time to die

You can find a plethora of statements as to why Mitt Romney lost the election last week.  Most of them tend toward calling Republicans to embrace amnesty for illegal aliens to needing to be more hawkish militarily (I guess we’ve been too timid in our method of forcibly spreading democracy around the world).  Others are still longing for the return of a new Ronald Reagan.  Therein lies a serious problem.

Peter Leithart diagnoses the problem of wanting to return to the days of Reagan. (more…)

Why we still need the electoral college

During this election season, there is quite a bit of conversation about the pointlessness of the electoral college.  As a teacher of high school students I’ve heard it every year of my career.  “My vote won’t count.”  “We need to choose the President based on the popular vote.”  And my favorite, “The electoral college hurts minorities.”

Dr. George Grant has provided a fantastic explanation of why our founders wanted to elect the President this particular way and why we need it still today.  This issue is too important to give up to popular democracy.  If you don’t like the electoral college, read this article and see if it doesn’t change your thinking.  If you support it, memorize the arguments and be ready to explain those who don’t believe in it.

The day after

This morning I woke up and what do you know…the sun was shining.  Then I proceeded on to the most important news of the day:

“Fret not thyselves because of evildoers, neither be thou envious of the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land and verily shalt thou be fed.”

Then I read that my Father has engraved me on the palm of His hand.  Afterward was Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening for today on the above mentioned passage.   Amanda and I prayed together after discussing the need for the body of Christ to repent of her refusal to be salt and light and then I went to work.

The reason for this personal recounting of my morning was to say that the end of the world didn’t arrive last night.  Jesus is still at the right hand of the Father and He is meeting the needs of His saints through the work of the Holy Spirit.  There is a temptation for those who followed the election closely to have post-election depression, especially if your candidate lost.  Don’t give in to it.  This can stem from our fleshly desire towards self-pity or any number of other factors.  For many their lives have been centered around who will win the Presidency and now it’s over.  Don’t let it rule you.

Meditate on God’s promises; don’t fret because of evildoers; trust in the Lord and do good.