Why We Can’t Afford to Outlaw Abortion

In these difficult times, when we are trying to get public spending under control and balance state and federal budgets, in addition to keeping the economy going, it’s a good thing we have legal abortion. Maintaining the access to abortion is the only fiscally responsible thing to do. It’s the truly conservative approach. The evidence is so overwhelming, I’m sure you will have to agree with me.

First, abortion is an industry. We need all the industry we can get. It keeps lots of people employed. In 2005, there were 1,787 abortion providers in the US. Each one of those equals a group of doctors and nurses, orderlies, receptionists, clerks and office cleaners. You know, people with jobs who then pay taxes and buy things from other businesses that pay taxes, and so on. I can’t get figures for the size of the whole abortion industry, but just Planned Parenthood generates revenue of over $1 billion each year. After paying all of its expenses, including all of those salaries and supporting the pharmaceutical and medical supply industries, it runs a net profit of between 8% and 10%.

But second, and more importantly, we have to look at the cost of all of the children who wouldn’t be aborted. There are about 1.2 million abortions performed in the US each year. That number does not include the morning-after pill, because there’s no way of telling how many abortions that has induced. If you just add that there is a lot more than 1.2 million, you’ll have the picture, but we’ll use the lower number for illustrative purposes.

If there were 1.2 million more babies each year, that would mean 1.2 million more children in each grade in our public schools. Schools are generally funded by property taxes, which these addition children would not be generating. The tax base would stay the same, while the numbers of pupils wouldn’t. Spread across grade K-12, that’s 15.6 million additional students.

But it doesn’t stop there. If all of those 12th graders then go to college, that’s an additional 1.2 million college students each year, mostly going to state colleges and universities. Most of those will go to colleges and universities in their home states. You know what that means: in-state tuition subsidized by state budgets. That would place an unreasonable burden on taxpayers. It also means that they will be taking the places of students who were going to be born anyway and should be entitled to those places and the financial aid that goes with them. Is that fair to the wanted children of our states?

It gets worse. Those who would have been aborted will be competing for jobs with those who were wanted, both amongst their peers and those already in the workplace. They will be putting wanted people out of work – people who are entitled to those jobs by birth.

We then have to consider the overall political impact. The only reasons a political party would oppose abortion would be to have those who are not aborted vote for them. An additional 1.2 million eligible voters each year will reduce the voting power of those who already have the right to vote. This could change the outcome of elections.

No, clearly we have to support those who are rightfully born and wanted. It’s the responsible thing to do.

If you can’t see my point, all I can say is that you clearly have not read enough Jonathan Swift.

The New Litmus Test

For almost all of my political life, abortion has been the litmus test for conservatives in the United States. Not anymore.

Some pro-life leaders are worried about “fetus fatigue” (a term coined by Douglas Groothuis in 2008), where it appears that many young evangelicals have given up on making sigificant progress in reeling back from Roe v. Wade. I think Groothuis is correct in part. However, I also think that conservatives, evangelical Christian and otherwise, can only handle one Big Issue at a time. Move over, Abortion – Immigration is here.

All of my friends (and yes, I have a few) who used to go on and on about abortion now go on and on about immigration. The level of perjorative that used to be reserved for those favouring abortion rights or, at worst, abortion providers, are now reserved for those favouring leniency toward undocumented immigrants. In fact, if anything, it is worse. In reading around the conservative blogosphere and even in talking to individuals face-to-face (because people tend to be much less restrained in the pseudonyminous detachment of the internet), opposing views are treated with anger, aggression, and a remarkable lack of civility.

In one sense, the anti-immigration crowd have become the new liberals. I say this only with regard to manners and decorum. I used to occasionally read liberal blogs – mostly if said bloggers strayed over to this or predecessor blogs and left a link with their comment.  The venom and vitriol spewed at virtually anyone in the Republican Party was astonishing. I’ve been around for a long time and met a lot of people of various backgrounds carrying a variety of baggage, but I had never seen anything like it. Now it has become increasingly the common behaviour of those who comment in conservative blogs to do the same thing.

A recent troll commented on another post I wrote about immigration: “You seem to consider yourself a Christian. I don’t think you’re a especially good one, but perhaps you’ve be better off dropping the ‘conservative’ label entirely and just using the Christian one.” If it comes down to it, that would be my choice. I still consider myself a conservative and I believe that my political views – including my views on immigration – reflect true conservative values. I believe in small government and a free market. I believe in the sanctity of life and of the family as created by God. However, if I’m only allowed one, I’ll take the label that has eternal value.

The Heresies of Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage

Currently in Orthodoxy, we have churches divided over which hierarch has jurisdiction over which country. We have issues of whether a calendar devised or approved of by a Roman Pope could be acceptable or adjusted for calculating feasts and fasts. The issues which divide jurisdictions and arguments between so-called Traditionalists and so-called Modernists are matters of straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

The Orthodox Church as well as all Christians worldwide have been brought face-to-face with challenges to the fundamental concepts of life and the very nature of the family. I would suggest that these challenges are at least as significant and perhaps of farther reaching implications than the doctrinal challenges facing the Church of the first eight centuries.

Both of these go straight to the heart of who we are as humans. Both of these are at the foundation of the created order.

The Councils of the Church debated much finer details than these. That the matters facing the Church today even raise questions would have been unthinkable to the Church Fathers. Neither the Arians, nor the Monothelites, nor the Monophysites, nor the Nestorians, nor the Docetists, nor the Donatists, nor the Pelagians, et al., ad nauseum, would have considered, not to mention condoned, abortion or same-sex “marriage”.

This can be put into Christological terms. If we condone abortion because we say the unborn child is not human, we deny the humanity of Christ in the womb of Mary.  To condone abortion is to deny the Incarnation.  That is heresy.

If we say affirm the humanity of the unborn, but say it is permissible to wilfully take the life of an innocent human – neither a military combatant nor a criminal – we condone murder. To say that murder is not a sin is heresy.

Any Christian who says that either the unborn child is not human or that it is okay to willfully take the life of an unborn human is heretic. Any priest, bishop, archbishop, metropolitan, or patriarch who says that either the unborn child is not human or that it is okay to wilfully take the life of an unborn human is heretic.

So if a hierarch says that Orthodox church believes the soul enters the body at conception and, “generally speaking, respects human life and the continuation of pregnancy,”but that the church also “respects the liberty and freedom of all human persons and all Christian couples,” and further that “We are not allowed to enter the bedrooms of the Christian couples. We cannot generalize. There are many reasons for a couple to go toward abortion,” is this heresy?

Any layman or deacon or priest who is under the omophorion of a bishop and any bishop who is under obedience to a hierarch that is a heretic should take appropriate action. Any bishop who is in communion with a heretical bishop should take appropriate action. It could be argued that any heretical bishop is not in the Church. It could be argued that any priest who is obedience to any bishop not in the Church is also not in the Church.

I leave this for you to ponder and/or comment.

With regard to purported same-sex marriage, there is also a Christological issue. “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” Marriage is based in the relationship of Christ to the Church. Just as the Church cannot have two heads, neither can the marriage. To allege that a marriage can have two husbands or two wives is to deny that Christ alone is the head of the Church. It is to deny the very nature of the Church. It is heresy.

It is also a denial of the image of God. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply…’ ” God’s blessing of His image is based in His command to be fruitful and multiply. It is not based in heterosexuality – rather is it impossible without heterosexuality. The sexual aspect is such a given that it need not even be mentioned. To deny it is to deny man as the image of God.

So if a bishop is asked if same-sex unions are a threat to the traditional family, and he says, “Absolutely not. I don’t see that at all…. I would say God bless you,” is this heresy?

I also leave this for you to ponder and/or comment.

My Letter to Metropolitan Gerasimos

I will be posting this letter along with the letter to Rep. Dina Titus:

His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
245 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Your Eminence

As an American member of the Greek Orthodox Church currently living abroad, I was appalled when I learned that a member of your diocese serving in the United State House of Representatives, Dina Titus, publicly declares that she supports ethics of which Orthodox Christians would be proud and uses her position in Congress to look out for Orthodox issues.

Rep. Titus’ ethics are in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Orthodox Church. Rep. Titus openly supports the federally sponsored killing of the unborn. By her words and actions she is declaring that support for abortion is compatible with Orthodoxy.

Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America boldly declared in Washington, D.C. in January of this year, “…the unqualified opposition to abortion that is at the heart of the Orthodox Christian Tradition and is unarguably the teaching and the dogma of the Orthodox Church.” As Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh has said, “It is our obligation as Orthodox to speak up and not remain silent on this issue.”

Rep. Titus has voted in favour of using tax dollars to fund abortion, in House Roll Call No. 571 (the District of Columbia funding bill, H.R. 3170), in House Roll Call No. 643 (the Pence amendment to H.R. 3293), and in House Roll Call No. 884 (the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to H.R. 3962). Such votes unarguably stand in opposition to the ethics of the Orthodox Church. She is openly an accomplice to what the Orthodox Church clearly and unequivocally regards as murder.

As a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, I urge you to fulfil the obligation to speak up and not remain silent. I ask you to call upon Rep. Titus to repent of publicly rejecting the teaching and dogma of the Orthodox Church and Holy Tradition in the Congress of the United States. I call upon you to fulfil your duty to Christ and His Church to guard the holy, life-giving sacraments and demand that Rep. Titus refrain from receiving the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord so long as she spends the public purse to rip the bodies of the innocent unborn from their mothers and pours out their blood upon the altar of convenience.

In Christ,

My Letter to Dina Titus

The Honorable Dina Titus
319 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Dr Titus,

As an American ex-pat member of the Greek Orthodox Church, I was appalled when I read Andrew Manatos’ article on the home page of your website entitled “Congresswoman Dina Titus Sworn-In on Grandfather’s Greek Bible.”

In this article, he claims “Orthodox Christians would be proud of the ethics Congresswoman Titus brings to politics.” Manatos, in an article clearly endorsed by you, equates this to a lack of negative campaigning in the 2008 elections. He also claims that you are looking out for Orthodox issues in Congress.

Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America boldly declared in Washington, D.C. in January of this year, “…the unqualified opposition to abortion that is at the heart of the Orthodox Christian Tradition and is unarguably the teaching and the dogma of the Orthodox Church.”

Inasmuch as you have voted in favour of using tax dollars to fund abortion, in House Roll Call No. 571 (the District of Columbia funding bill, H.R. 3170), in House Roll Call No. 643 (the Pence amendment to H.R. 3293), and in House Roll Call No. 884 (the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to H.R. 3962), you are not looking out for Orthodox issues in Congress. Such votes unarguably stand in opposition to the ethics of the Orthodox Church.

As a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, I am embarrassed that someone of such public prominence would claim to not only be a member of the Church, but claim to bring Orthodox ethics and look out for Orthodox issues, and yet make just as publicly and prominently a stand in absolute opposition to the same.

As a fellow Orthodox Christian, I am obligated to urge you to repentance in rejecting the teaching and dogma of the Orthodox Church and Holy Tradition. As by your votes in the House of Representatives you have publicly stood against the Church, I urge you to publicly repent and declare you intention to conform your ethics to teaching of the Church. Otherwise, do the honest and ethical thing and remove yourself from the membership and communion of the Church.

I would never suggest that you should not vote in accordance with your conscience. However, if your conscience is opposed to the unarguable teaching and dogma at the heart of the Orthodox Tradition, please do not claim to be Orthodox.

Respectfully yours,

How a Bishop Should Respond

In a previous post I mention the conflict between Bishop Tobin of Providence and Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island over the issue of abortion and Kennedy’s putative Catholic faith.

With thanks to Seraphim, who mentioned it in a comment and to Fr John Whiteford, from whose blog he got it, I refer you to Bishop Tobin’s direct response to Kennedy’s claim to Catholicism.

Our Orthodox bishop should take note. Won’t but should.

The Greatest Scandal in American Orthodoxy

After seeing an article about the clash over abortion between US Rep. Patrick Kennedy and his diocesan bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, RI, I decided to look into the voting records of the one senator and five representatives who are members of the Orthodox Church. The results are not surprising, but equally as shameful. I almost don’t know where to start.

The teaching of the Orthodox Church concerning abortion is just as clear and just the same as the teaching of the Catholic Church. It doesn’t matter that it is an issue the Ecumenical Patriarch skirts around, perhaps because it takes away from his main job of opening evironmentalist conferences and exhibitions. And just like the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church has members who have been elected to public office and act in direct opposition to the Orthodox Christian faith. It is not a matter of what they do in their private lives, for which they should go to confession and after which their priest should happily partake with them of the most precious body and blood.

Rather, it is a matter of what they lead their country to do. They have chosen to take a public stand against the teaching of the Church. They have appropriated the public purse for the killing of unborn children. They have otherwise refused to protect the unborn and directly facilitated those who would kill them.

It is the duty of the diocesan bishops of those members of the Orthodox Church who openly and knowingly pay for, or otherwise facilitate, the killing of the unborn to excommunicate those persons. Any bishop who knows what a Congressperson who claims to be under their spiritual authority is doing in this regard is failing in their responsibilities if they to otherwise.

Any Orthodox bishop, including the Ecumenical Patriarch, who praises or elevates such a person in the Church should be causing a scandal far worse than the misappropriation of funds in the OCA, or a drunk Antiochian touching up girl in a casino. Every clergy and every lay person of such a diocese who cares about the integrity of the Orthodox Church should be writing to their bishop.

I already knew the views of Olympia Snowe. She has been one of the most social liberal Republican members of Congress since she entered the US House in 1979. She has been in the Senate since 1995. She has consistently voted against the unborn. Has Metropolitan Methodius of Boston spoken out against her? No.

Pro-abortion senator and archon of the Orthodox Church, as conferred by Black Bart himself, Paul Sarbanes may be out of the upper chamber, but now his son John represents Maryland’s 3rd district. Equally as pro-abortion, this year Rep. Sarbanes has voted to fund the State Department under Hilary Clinton to promote abortion projects throughout the world, fund abortions in the District of Columbia, fund Planned Parenthood to provide abortions, and to provide federal subsidies to insurance companies to pay for abortions. Has Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey taken a stand against him? No.

Rep. Zach Space of 18th District in Ohio may be a Blue Dog Democrat, but he voted with Sarbanes on all but the last of the four legislative measures mentioned above. He also voted with Sarbanes for the DeGette clone-and-kill bill, and the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, among others. I’d like to hear something from Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit on this. If you hear anything, let me know.

Rep. Niki Tsongas is the widow pro-abortion Sen. Paul Tsongas and has been elected serve the 5th district of Massachusetts. She has also voted against unborn life 100% of the time. Still nothing from Metropolitan Methodius…

The Greek do not have a monopoly on Orthodox representation in Congress. The Serbs have Melissa Bean of Chicago in Illinois’ 8th district. Bean actually lives in the adjoining 10th district, but it’s all the same for our purposes. She has also voted against the unborn 100% of the time. Bishop Longin of the Diocese of New Gracanica – Midwestern America needs to say something and do something.

The one that stands out the most as a bad example of Orthodoxy on Capitol Hill has to be Alice Costandina “Dina” Titus, from the 3rd District of Nevada. Not only had she voted against the unborn 100% of the time like the others, she makes the strongest public claim to Orthodoxy. On the home page of her website, she boldly declares “Congresswoman Dina Titus Sworn-In on Grandfather’s Greek Bible” (if it has moved from the home page by the time you read this, try this direct link to the article).  The article, written by Andrew Manatos, notes “Congresswoman Dina Titus’ rise to national prominence is a story that will make all Hellenes and Orthodox Christians proud.” Clearly for Manatos, like so many Greeks, Hellenic culture and background and Orthodoxy are the same. And clearly for Manatos and for Congresswoman Titus, the important thing about being Orthodox is being Greek, not adhering to the unchanging teaching of the Church, particularly about the sanctity of life.

Let me make this clear: Dina Titus’ rise to national prominence is a story that should make all Orthodox Christians, Hellenic or not, ashamed. Has Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco denounced Congresswoman Titus’ votes to fund the killing of the unborn?

There is one Orthodox member of Congress who has not sacrificed the children of America to Moloch. Gus Bilirakis repesents the 9th district of Florida. He has a 100% pro-life voting record. Whether his votes have been guided by his Orthodoxy or by his adherence to the Republican Party and conservativism, I don’t know.

As for the others, I think every American Orthodox Christian who adheres to the teaching of the Orthodox Church has a responsibility to write to every Orthodox Congressperson who votes in opposition to Orthodoxy and call them to account. Likewise, they should write to every Orthodox hierarch who has refused to demand the protection of the unborn and refused to excommunicate those who lead the nation in opposition to the moral teaching of the Orthodox Church and call them to account.

If the Orthodox hierarchy will not stand up, the Orthodox laity must stand up. I’m not so naïve to imagine that either the Congresspersons or the hierarchs will actually listen. The Congresspeople have shown that their loyalty lies with their political party and the hierarchs have shown that their loyality lies with their ethnicity. No matter. Orthodoxy doesn’t change because of either. The unborn are being murdered in their thousands every day and the faithful need to declare to those who are complicit in these murders: You do not speak for me! You do not represent the Holy Orthodox Church, the Holy Tradition and it’s unchanging inerrant understanding of the Holy Scriptures.

I think every Congressperson should be free to vote their conscience. If that conscience says the teaching of the Orthodox Church through the Holy Scriptures is wrong, then they should leave the Orthodox Church. They should excommunicate themselves and go be Episcopalians or whatever semblance of Christian form suits them.

On the Death of George Tiller

I don’t know when I first became acquainted with the name of George Tiller. When I lived in Arkansas, I had friends and acquaintances who were regular protesters at his Kansas clinic. “Tiller the Killer” we called him. There was a time when I prayed Psalm 109 on behalf of the unborn with Tiller in mind. After all, while all abortionist equally take lives for money, Tiller was a special breed of abortionist. He was one of the few who would do late-term killing.

It is possible to make rational arguments about when life begins. People can have reasons for questioning the full humanity of the pre-born in the early stages of gestation.  Some people try to argue that fetuses in the earliest stages of development do not feel pain, though the scientific evidence is growing that this sense begins much earlier than previously thought. I think it is an irrelevant argument with regard to whether or not the fetus is fully human, and it was irrelevant with regard to the practices of George Tiller.

I’m not sure when Tiller believed human life begins, but even if believed it is at or sometime after birth, this does not excuse his actions. The Nazis didn’t believe the Jews were fully human, but that doesn’t excuse what they did. So many of those children who met up with George Tiller were in the latter part of development. Their organs were fully formed. Their brains were working, their blood circulating. And they died. Because George Tiller killed them.

Even now op-ed pieces are being published in newspapers blaming me for Tiller’s death. That’s right. Me. As Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star says:

And if we’re right about that [that Tiller’s murder was motivated by anti-abortion sentiment], then we already know the identities of his accomplices.

They include every one who has ever called Tiller’s late term abortion clinic a murder mill.

Who ever called Tiller “Tiller the Killer.”

That’s me. I called a spade a spade. Or as Hendricks puts it, I fomented blind hatred. Refusal to adopt the spirit of the age, whether it has to do with the unborn or creating rights based upon sexual preferences or any of the areas in which the supposedly radical right wing won’t budge, it always called hatred. Not “disagreement”, not “principle”, not “conviction” – only “hatred”. In fact, any opposition to abortion of any kind is so irrational that the bloggers of the left, like the Daily Kos, call us “Wingnuts”. They make it sound almost unbelievable that dangerously crazy hateful people like me want to the see the unborn born. What an unhinged idea.

Tiller’s chosen profession, and the violence of police against those who protested against it particularly in the late 80s and early 90s, motivated one of the songs I wrote and used to perform. I used to have people walk out of my shows when I sang lyrics like:

I saw perfect baby girl
Wrapped in a plastic blanket
In a garbage can
Lying in a bed of arms and legs
Dismembered remains of children
Slightly less fortunate.

The inviolability of property
Used for the worst atrocity
To take away the sanctity of life
While black-jack toting riot police
With orders from human deities
Crush all who dare object

So am I dancing up and down with Tiller’s demise? No. As the Lord said through the Prophet Ezekiel: “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.”

Probably unlike the man in his 50s in the powder blue Ford and currently in custody, I don’t think that the death of George Tiller has saved any lives. He may have been one of the few in the US to perform very late-term abortions, but there will be someone to take his place. This man, like Paul Hill, John Salvi, and Eric Rudolph, took the law into their own hands and rightly must suffer the consequences. If anything, this act will have the opposite effect, because Tiller will become a martyr to those who do not value the life of the unborn. With a pro-abortion president and a pro-abortion Congress, this will be used to further facilitate abortion and further restrict the lawful actions of those who oppose it.

May God have mercy on the soul of George Tiller. In the Resurrection he will receive his reward, not because God or anyone else hates him, but because of his own choices.

May God have mercy on a country where George Tiller was allowed to ply his trade and where the blood of the innocent cries out like the blood of Abel.

May God have mercy on us all.

Notre Dame is Not a Catholic University

The last vestiges of Catholicism are being torn away at Notre Dame. They are ignoring the local bishop. They are ignoring the provincial metropolitan archbishop. They are ignoring the call of bishops across America. They are arresting pro-life demonstrators, including priests.

That’s right. Priests with pro-life signs are unwelcome at Notre Dame. Only pro-abortion presidents are welcome.

The Congregation of the Holy Cross should disassociate themselves from the university and from John Jenkins, unless Jenkins resigns and Obama is uninvited. The Catholic Church should disavow any relationship whatsoever and from the Congregation of the Holy Cross if they refuse to act. I don’t care how many theology classes are  taught or that over 100 masses are celebrated every week on campus.

When Fr Jenkins approved the Notre Dame Queer Film Festival, he said he was “very determined that we not suppress speech on this campus”. That’s called academic freedom. His diocesan bishop John Michael D’Arcy disagreed, but Jenkins didn’t care. Welcoming debate was too important. However, when it comes to supporting the official teaching of the Church about the killing of unborn children, free speech is suppressed with vigor.

It should not even be an issue.

Does the Obama Administration Consider You a Terrorist Threat?

The current US administration has shown it’s hand and it’s not backing down. They are defining what it means to be a right-wing extremist and how you — and you might be surprised and just a little worried how many of you this includes – might be a terrorist threat. As reported in the Washington Times,

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she was briefed before the release of a controversial intelligence assessment and that she stands by the report sent to law enforcement that lists veterans as a terrorist risk to the U.S. and defines “rightwing extremism” as including groups opposed to abortion and immigration.

The Washington Times has also published the actual government document, available as a pdf on their website. A right wing extremist terrorist threat is anyone who is antigovernment, and specifically singled out are those rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority. As far as the Obama administration is concerned, Congressman Ron Paul joins the ranks of Timothy McVeigh and Mohammed Atta. Thomas Jefferson was fortunately born two centuries too early or he’d be on the list as well.

Anyone opposed to the passage of “new restrictions on firearms” is suspect as well. Then report further says,

Weapons rights and gun-control legislation are likely to be hotly contested subjects of political debate in light of the 2008 Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in which the Court reaffirmed an individual’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but left open to debate the
precise contours of that right. Because debates over constitutional rights are intense, and parties on all sides have deeply held, sincere, but vastly divergent beliefs, violent extremists may attempt to co-opt the debate and use the controversy as a radicalization tool.

So if you are a member of a pro-life group (and who knows what constitutes a group – perhaps you need to be careful which Facebook groups you join), support the Second Amendment, or have served in the Armed Forces, just know that in the Obamanation, you are a threat.

Bill Clinton’s Biological Ignorance

I saw this on the Mere Comments blog. I clicked on the link thinking surely this can’t be true. Surely Bill Clinton knows what an embryo is. Surely someone is capitalising on a slip of the tongue. Nope. Bill Clinton is against using embyros if they have been fertilised and could become a baby. He says it more than once.

You gotta see this.

I have to agree with Bill Clinton. Experimentation on unfertilised embryos is perfectly fine by me.

Obama’s Deadly Confusion or Diabolical Deceit

It is hard to believe that President Obama hasn’t made the connection between science and theology. He’s either not so bright or ever so dishonest. First of all, he calls it difference between facts and ideology. It is nothing of the sort.

I’m sure all readers have seen the video clip of Obama signing the executive order lifting the ban on federal funding for killing embryonic humans. Here’s what he said: “As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research — and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly.”

Here’s what he means: “As a person who wants to claim to be a Christian while offending no one, especially my liberal constituency, I believe we are called to care for those humans whose lives do not offend the abortion rights lobby and work to ease the suffering of a select group of humans at the expense of the lives of others. I believe we have been given this capacity by a Generic Non-judgmental Supreme Being, and the ability to choose our will to pursue this research — and the inhumanity and lack of conscience to think we can take innocent lives responsibly and call it science.”

So what drives Obama? It appears that the US can’t afford to let scientists in other countries get ahead of research in the US. Why? The only thing I can think of is that all of this federal funding will go to creating treatments  that will then make millions and millions of dollars for the health care industry. As Obama said, “When government fails to make these investments, opportunities are missed. Promising avenues go unexplored. Some of our best scientists leave for other countries that will sponsor their work. And those countries may surge ahead of ours in the advances that transform our lives. No, we can’t let other countries transform people’s lives!

And why shouldn’t it be us? “But in recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values.” That’s right if scientists say they are doing something based on facts, then there can be nothing wrong with it. It’s the fact, ma’am, just the facts.

So how can Obama then flip around and say “We cannot ever tolerate misuse or abuse. And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.” So killing humans is not profoundly wrong and has a place in our society. And how, exactly is Obama going to guarantee the government never opens the door to human reproductive cloning?

After all, he has just opened the door to non-reproductive (in other words, embryonic experimental) cloning. Where is the ethical distinction that reproductive cloning is profoundly wrong yet killing embyronic human life is not? What if scientists decide that there is either great research value in a birthed clone or that even greater life-enhancing suffering-easing advancements will be accomplished this way? If those are the scientific facts, what right has ideology or theology to stand in the way?

CNN Misses the Point: Bristol Palin Promotes Abstinence

I get the newsfeed from CNN on my Google desktop and saw the headline “Bristol Palin: Abstinence for all teens ‘not realistic’ “. This was the way CNN summed up her interview with FOXNews’ Greta Van Susteren. It makes a good headline.

But that was just a tiny bit of the interview. CNN didn’t want to emphasise that the media tried to make it look like Governor Palin forced her into keeping the baby – something Bristol refuted vehemently. The whole point of the interview, which was Bristol’s idea, was to get across the message to not have sex, because the consequences can be life-changing. Here’s more of what she said. The ellipses only edit out Greta’s questions, not Bristol’s statements.

“I think everyone should just wait ten years. . . Just because it’s so much easier if you are married and if you have a house and a career – it’s just so much easier. . . I’m not the first person it’s happened to and I won’t be the last, but I’d love to be an advocate to prevent teen pregnancy. . .  Kids should just wait. It’s not glamourous at all.”

Bristol did say, “I think abstinence is like… like… the… I don’t know how to put it, like – the main… everyone should be abstinent whatever, but it’s not realistic at all.” So what did she mean by that?

She continued, ” Because it’s more and more accepted now.”

Van Susteren: “Among your classmates and kids your age?”

“Among kids my age”

Van Sustern asks what can be done to change this. “To see stories like this and to see other stories of teen mums. It something… you should just wait ten years…”

So the lack of realism about abstinence is a matter of this “is” rather than the “ought”. Bristol is not saying that abstinence is not a realistic goal, but rather not a realistic view of the way things are now. A way she wants to change for others.

Video of the  full interview is available on the FOXNews website.

Government Advisor: “Save the Planet – Have More Abortions”

Jonathon Porritt thinks the best way to save the planet is to kill the people. And it probably wouldn’t matter what Jonathon Porritt thinks, except that he’s the chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, which advises the British Government on environmental issues.

Porritt thinks the Health Service is not spending its limited money in the right way. The environment would be better off if they put less money into curing illnesses and more into abortion services and contraception. “We still have one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in Europe and we still have relatively high levels of pregnancies going to birth, often among women who are not convinced they want to become mothers.”

We have a high level of pregnancies going to birth! Even with one of the highest abortion rates in the world, we aren’t doing enough. Too many pregnant women have the audacity to give birth.

He also says that families with more than two children are irresponsible. “I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate. I think we will work our way towards a position that says having more than two children is irresponsible.”

And what do you do with irresponsible people? You have to bring the power of the State to bear to force them into responsibility. That is the implication of what he is saying. We are asking now. We are working to public policy.

Nancy Pelosi wants to limit children so they aren’t a burden on the public purse. Jonathon Porritt wants to limit them so they won’t be a burden on the environment. The message of the Left is loud and clear. Children are a burden, not a blessing. If you won’t unburden the rest of us with fewer children, eventually the State will step in and do it for you.

Joe Klein, Rick Warren, and Heaven

Time magazine political columnist Joe Klein doesn’t like Rick Warren. Why? Because Rick Warren thinks he’s going to hell.

Warren didn’t pick out Klein specifically. No, he just had the audacity to say that Jews are going to hell. He wasn’t preaching a sermon entitled, “All Jews are going to hell” or writing a book called “The Hell Driven Jewish Life”. Someone just asked him point-blank whether Jews are going to hell and he gave an honest answer. It’s not like he thinks Jews are especially going to hell. He just thinks that the only way to heaven is through Jesus.

Klein even gets silly, assuming that also sort of people fit into this category:

Indeed, if Jews–and all other non born-again Christians–homosexuals, feminists, and anyone who has either had an abortion, performed an abortion or reluctantly agrees that it’s none of our business who has abortions…if all those people are going to hell, then heaven’s got to be about as interesting as linoleum.

In fact, neither Rick Warren nor most evangelicals say homosexuals, feminists, or the variety of people Klein characterises in relationship to abortion, are going to hell. But what Klein wants to do is take the focus off of Jesus. That’s the real issue.

Regardless of sexuality, or sexual politics, no one gets in except through Jesus. It’s so basic to the Gospel that all these peripheral issues aren’t even mentioned by Jesus. It’s that whole the way, the truth, the life thing.

Even Jews are welcome, Joe. Jesus first disciples were Jews. Jesus Himself was a Jew. It’s just Jewishness itself is meaningless when it comes to getting into heaven, even if it is believing in that One Jew that makes the difference.

It is also interesting that Klein thinks heaven will need homosexuals, feminists, and people who have had, performed, or politically approved of abortions to avoid being boring. It seems Klein thinks heaven is about entertainment – some sort of extension of Hollywood. I suppose I can see where with that presupposition, and the prominence of homosexuals and feminist in the entertainment industry, he doesn’t see how the Big Heavenly Show can keep everyone’s attention for eternity.

There will be a Big Heavenly Show, with one Big (Bright Morning) Star. We’ve even see previews, and frankly I don’t think God cares that Klein would not be impressed. He would probably find it as interesting as linoleum:

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:

“ Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

“ Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

Freedom From Religion and the Politics of Abortion

The Christmas wars are here. It appears that this year, the atheists are out in more militant strength than usual. There is a new missionary spirit to atheism. Not content with just not believing, more and more atheists want you to not believe, too.

On of the groups that has come to the forefront this year is the Freedom from Religion Foundation. This is mostly because they put an anti-religion sign next to the Nativity scene at the Legislative Building in Washington State. The sign, which concludes with, “Religion is but a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds” made the news because it was stolen almost as soon as it was put up. (The same sign has been used in the Wisconsin State Capitol for years.)

The public face of the FFRF is Dan Barker, who used to be involved in various aspects of Christian ministry, including stints as a pastor and fulltime touring musician. He now goes around debating Christians and writing “freethought” music.

Dan is the co-president of the FFRF with his uber-feminist wife Annie Laurie Gaylor. The FFRF was founded by Annie and her mother Anne Nicol Gaylor.  They aren’t as effective as spokespeople because they didn’t covert from anything, but come from a heritage of anti-religion. Anne’s father regarded religious belief as embarrassing.

Anne made her name as an abortion advocate. She was editorialising in favour of it as early as 1967 in the newspaper she owned with her husband. By 1970 she had founded ZPG (Zero Population Growth) Abortion Referral Service. According to the FFRF website, between 1970 and 1975, she made more than than 20,000 referrals. This was despite the fact that abortion was illegal in Wisconsin prior to Roe v. Wade. In fact, it was illegal in every state surrounding Wisconsin. It was only legal in New York, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. So unless she was referring women to facilities in those states, she was referring women for illegal abortions. She wrote a book called Abortion is a Blessing.

I don’t find it particularly surprising that “freedom from religion” is tied so closely to abortion.  After all, it is religious morality that is the basis for saying abortion is wrong. It is religious morality that says there are certain boundaries for expressing sexuality and abortion is often the solution to dealing with the consequences of operating outside of those boundaries. What better way to support abortion than to attack the moral basis that opposes it.

Its just a bit ironic that it is the philosophy and politics of abortion that comes to the forefront at the Feast of the Nativity.

Giving the Gift of Death

Give the gift of death for Christmas! Do you know someone who needs a little extra cash to get that abortion? Buy them a Planned Parenthood gift voucher.

First alerted to this by Mere Comments, I found a more comprehensive story on Indianapolis Star website. I checked the PP of Indiana website (link intentionally not provided, but easy to Google) and sure enough they can be purchased in increments of $25, $50, $75 or $100.

The website does not indicate how much as abortion costs. You would think that would be a FAQ worth answering. Perhaps they don’t want the casual website viewer to know how cheap life (or death) really is. However, you can probably ring for that information before you buy your vouchers.

Orthodox Oxymoron

I just saw a new oxymoron: a Facebook group called “Orthodox Christians for Obama”. This might as well be a group called “Orthodox Christians for Abortion”. Or if put in the perspective of Obama’s economic policy, it could be called “Orthodox Christians for Theft”.

I could write for hours on this one, but nobody would read it anyway. However, I will happily refer readers to Anthony Esolen’s piece “Rooted in the Christian Tradition” on the Touchstone’s blog Mere Comments. Note that the quotation marks are a part of the title, because Dr Esolen destroys the idea that Obama’s views have any consonance with Christianity.

Platitudes that mimic the language of Jesus about caring for the poor and downtrodden do not make policies that are compatible with the Gospel.

Is John McCain perfect? No. Has his own life been any more a Christ-like example? No. Does he support and promise to promote policies that reflect biblical values? Not entirely, but far, far more so than Obama. McCain supports embyronic stem cell research. Obama supports leaving aborted babies born alive to die alone in closets.

Is this support by some Orthodox folks entirely surprising? No. After all, Black Bart, the Partriarch of Constantinople made the liberal pro-abortion former US Senator Paul Sarbanes an archon of the church.

Lord have mercy.

What the Government Has Planned for Your Daughter

Next week all the 12-year-old girls at my school will get their vaccinations against the virus that causes many cases of cervical cancer. The injection is given to 12-year-olds because it is only effective if taken before a girl becomes sexually active. It will be too late for some of the girls.

The Government now has another plan for 12-year-olds. Under legislation to be considered in Parliament this week, they will be given pills for do-it-yourself home abortions. As long as their unborn child is less that 19 weeks old, they will get the abortifacients without their parents ever knowing.

They will have to be a little creative, obviously. At 19 weeks, the baby is about 7 inches long and weighs about 2/3 of a pound. That’s a lot to flush down the toilet. It’s probably the sort of thing that will require sneaking some sort of small plastic bag upstairs and then slipping out to the bins. Best to plan the abortion near to collection day, so the decomposing flesh doesn’t alert mum and dad. It would be especially nasty to have a dog get into the bin and drag the corpse around the garden.

Then there’s all the blood and related gloop associated with expelling what Dr Evan Harris, MP always prefers to call the “products of conception”. But I guess mum will just think her darling daughter is having an unusally heavy period.

And this will bring abortion to Northern Ireland, which until now, like the counties to the south, has prohibited it.

Imposing Beliefs

It seems like any time anyone stands up for their religious beliefs or acts in some way based upon them, it makes the national news in this country. This in and of itself is a sad indictment on a theoretically Christian country.

Ruth Johnson went to her local Tesco store in Cleethorpes to get the morning-after baby killing pill. Unfortunately for Miss Johnson, the pharmacist was a Muslim and refused to dispense it. That’s right, Miss Johnson inability to get Levonelle made the local newspaper, the Daily Mail, and The Daily Telegraph.

She was not a happy camper. She told the press, “I appreciate we live in a multi-cultural society but what gives him the right to impose his beliefs onto me?” I know, it’s remarkable. She doesn’t recognise it’s actually the other way around. He’s not forcing her to do anything. Her choice of actions are based upon her own desire to kill any child that might have begun to grow in her womb. She believes this is morally acceptable choice. But while we live in a multi-cultural society, what give her the right to impose her beliefs on him? Why should he have to be complicit in the murder of her child?

Tesco stood behind the pharmacist. Well, sort of.  “We do apologise to Miss Johnson for the inconvenience caused. However, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s code of ethics allows pharmacists the right to refuse.” In other words, “We can’t make a pharmacist do this, but we apoligise that this means she has go somewhere else to procure an abortifacient.” They even told her where else she might go to get it. My own five minutes of research indicates that there are at least 26 dispensing pharmacies with four miles of the Tesco in Hewitts Circle.

Miss Johnson claims she is not motivated by her own selfishness. No, she is worried that if pharmacists can refuse to dispense abortifacients because of their religious beliefs, this will deter teenage girls from acquiring them. She is worried there won’t be enough teen mothers aborting their children, especially if they have to walk up the street to another chemist.

Palin the Pro-Choice Candidate

Sarah Palin is pro-choice.

With all the political rhetoric and ideological shorthand being thrown around some people may have missed this. She believes that women should have the right to choose representatives close to home who can decide law and public policy, not nine judges in Washington picked by the President. She supports their right to choose, even if they choose differently than she would, since she would like women voters to exercise their right by choosing representatives who will protect all innocent human life.

That’s because she believes that women temporarily housed and fed inside someone else’s body should have the opportunity to spend their lives making all sorts of choices, even though all of them will make good choices and bad choices, and will have to live with the consequences of their choices. She holds the view that they should have those opportunities even if their father was a really bad person. Some people actually think that one man’s choice – even though that choice led to creation of their daughter’s life – should take away her right to ever make one. Fortunately Sarah Palin doesn’t hold such an extreme view. She doesn’t think a child should be punished for their parent’s crime, and especially not with the death penalty.

For those men or women who will have limited choices in life because their genes have limited some of their abilities, Sarah wants to protect their right to choose as well.

Sarah Palin also realises that everyone has their choices limited by law. Everyone that endangers innocent human life uses their body. She’s not pro-choice when it comes to gang violence. She’s not pro-choice when it comes to armed robbery. She’s not pro-choice when it comes to drunk driving (even though her husband was once charged with it 22 year ago, before they were married).

Some women are saying they want the government to keep its hands off their wombs. It seems to me that Mrs Palin is perfectly happy to keep the government’s hands (or anyone else’s for that matter) off their wombs. It’s only when someone starts putting their hands on it that anything bad happens. Sarah definitely has a hands-off policy when it comes to wombs. That’s the only way to protect the unique human life inside it.

Without a judge-imposed law, both Sarah Palin and Joe Biden know that there will be more women in the United States to make more choices. That’s why Joe Biden, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has opposed the appointment of judges who would limit their own perogative to choose for the American people. He knows that as many as half of the 4,000 people each day in America who permanently lose their right to choose are women. He knows that many women voters in many states will want to protect the right of every human to choose and he want to continue to keep them from having that right.

That’s why I’m supporting Sarah Palin – the pro-choice candidate.

Joe Biden’s Disabled Thinking

I’ve been quite busy with work, so I haven’t had a chance to write anything the last couple of days. I had ideas about which subjects to broach, but having just seen this story, I know now what I want to say.

At a campaign stop in Columbia, Missouri, Joe Biden said: “I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy … and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well, guess what, folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?”

This was clearly aimed at Sarah Palin, because John McCain supports stem cell research. I don’t agree with him, and neither does Sarah, but he does. But it exposes Biden’s attempt to appeal to emotion without any regard for logic or reason. Biden assumes that to care about children with birth defects, it is necessary to choose doing something about them as the ultimate moral action, trumping all others.

Biden is saying that if you really care about birth defects, you cannot believe that the human life of the embryo is sacred. Only people who believe in the disposability of embryonic life can call themselves caring.

Biden also ignores the fact that stem cell research will do nothing for those parents who already have a child born with a birth defect. It will not ease their difficulty one bit. So why would someone who is going to “work in dealing with parents who have both the joy … and the difficulty of raising a child” with birth defects have to support stem cell research? Biden is only playing on the ignorance of his audience.

And Sarah Palin does not opposed stem cell research. She only opposes embryonic research. There is a lot of research that is ongoing using the stem cells of adults. After all, we all produce stem cells. Why doesn’t Biden mention that?

Is this the best attack he can make – to combine logical fallacies and factual errors? Is this what Sarah Palin is up against?

I thought Joe Biden might put some substance to Obama’s empty platitudes. I thought we might see something more than smoke and mirrors- something more than unsupportable policies built on the sandy foundation of emotional appeal and the politics of envy. Is it really any surprise that the Republican ticket is moving ahead in the polls?

Evangelical Leakage

I was surfing around the blogosphere and I have been observing some of the evangelical leakage to the Democrats in this Presidential election. It seems to come from three main sources, the emerging church movement, the black churches, and the apathetic. As I was reading in blogs, especially in the comboxes, I was struck by several things.

First, there is the appeal Obama has because he talks about compassion and helping the little people, especially with the big people’s money. It is spiritualizing the politics of jealousy. After all, Jesus said we should take care of the poor. Jesus didn’t seem to like rich people very much and said they would have trouble getting into the Kingdom of Heaven. The thing the emerging Christian socialist church seems to have missed is that Jesus never said we should rob the rich to take care of the poor.

What I have seen of the emerging “missional” churches seems to be Marxist Mennonite, squishy Anabaptist pietism, drunk deeply from the well of Ronald Sider. Obama is seen as the pacifist, caring candidate, who has adopted the views of the great philosopher Rodney “can’t we all just get along” King.

These churches also seem to be suffering from foetus fatigue. The abortion issue, for a long time the very first litmus test, is getting boring to some. The emerging church is quite wrapped up finding ways to live the word of Jesus in the New Testament and since Jesus didn’t talk about abortion, this has become a side issue. The only problem is that Christians that believe the Bible, whether Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox (in other word, other than a small liberal fringe) recognise that abortion is murder. So it seems that mass murder is not the issue it used to be.

Then there are the black evangelical churches. These had been moving more and more toward the Republican Party because in a election between two white men, it was clear that while neither was perfect, the Republicans have stood for traditional family values and those issues which have been important to all evangelicals. They could see how uncomfortable white Democrats were when they were campaigning in black churches (something with which the IRS would have had a field day if it had been Republican candidates campaigning in white churches, but that’s for another time).

During recent elections, black and predominately white churches were joining together in various prayer gatherings and vigils. They were all praying for the election of candidates that reflected the same set of values.

Now there is a black candidate. As I have said before, he is someone who has nothing in common with them culturally. He is not a descendant of slaves or a victim of racial discrimination. But he is black, mostly because his supporters are suddenly happy to adopted the One Drop Rule, ignoring the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia. Like I have said before, unlike almost all of them, he is actually an African-American. Suddenly the possibility of having a man with similar skin tone in the White House is all that matters.

Sadly, I don’t think that the addition of Sarah Palin to the GOP ticket will swing either of these segments of the evangelical vote. However, she has and will continue to energise the apathetic. These were the ones who got excited about Mike Huckabee. These are the ones the Left really loves to hate. In fact, the more the Left  vent their hatred on Palin, the more energised these people get. They had no reason to get excited about McCain, but now they have one of their own. Hopefully this will stop enough of the leakage.

Albert Mohler on Trig Palin and the Value of Life

Back in May of this year, Sarah Palin was the subject of a blog post by Dr Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mohler mentions then that she is often mentioned as a potential running mate for John McCain, so perhaps he was less surprised than I was when this came to pass.

However, this is not the subject or focus of his post. Rather it is about the Palin’s youngest child, Trig. It is worth a few moments of your time.

The Republicans Now Have the Hottest Ticket

I’m sure I’m not the only one who wasn’t expecting Sarah Palin to get the nod for the VP spot on the GOP ticket. The Democrats may have had the first woman to run for Vice President, but the Republicans have the hottest woman to ever be a VP nominee. Yep, we just won the photogenic stakes.

I think this actually matters. Let’s face it, Joe Biden – as nice a guy as he is, and yes, I cried during his son’s introduction at the Demo Convention – does not bring anything to the ticket. None one is going to vote for Obama because of Biden’s got more experience in foreign policy. The VP is not the President’s chief foreign policy advisor. That’s why he hires a Secretary of State. Then he’s got a Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, National Security Advisor, and a host of other hopefully really smart people.

No one is going to vote for Obama because he’s got an old guy on his ticket as well. No one is going to think, sure, Obama’s young, but there’s an older man who will go from being one of the most powerful men in the Senate to being the tie-breaking vote, in case there ends up being a 50-50 party split.

On the other hand, people will vote for McCain because he has a younger pretty woman on the ticket. She will attract Hillary supporters who wanted their woman on the Demo ticket. It’s the politics of gender. There are those for whom having a woman on the ticket is as important as it is for others to have a black man. And youth balances out McCain’s years in a way that age does not work for Obama. When people are looking for heroes they want Batman and Robin (or Batgirl, in this case), not Batman and Alfred. It doesn’t look good for the side-kick to appear more qualified that the principle.

But Sarah Palin doesn’t just bring women on board. The irony is that not only will she attract Hillary supporters, she will also attract some of the most virulent Hillary haters. She is rock solid conservative. She’s a member of the Assemblies of God. She is a poster-mother for the pro-life movement.  She is the answer to everything Republican voters questioned about John McCain’s conservatism.

And she is a lot better looking than Hillary. She doesn’t look strident. She doesn’t look aggressive. She’s feminine and unlike Hillary, she doesn’t have to work hard to look that way.

Oh, and she has held elective office for longer than Hillary. After all, Hillary claimed to be the candidate with experience. And she could claim this, having served in the Senate four years longer than Obama. Of course, Obama had those eight years in the Illinois Senate and Clinton had never held any other elected office. But I digress. . . Palin has held elective office since 1992 – five years before Obama – though she was out of office between 2002 and 2006. However, during 2003-04, she was Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Unique amongst all the names on the two major tickets, she is the only one to have held office in the executive branch of government.

As a brief aside, I should mention that despite the whim of a group of editors on Wikipedia, the First Lady is never “in office“. Despite her delusions of grandeur, or her ability to henpeck her husband, she is never a member of the executive branch of goverment.

Last night, I thought Tom Pawlenty was both the best and most likely choice. I’m glad I was wrong. Palin has all the advantages of Pawlenty and more. Put another way, she is Mike Huckabee without any of the baggage acquired during the primary season. Sarah Palin makes me want to come back to the States and start canvassing voters.