Category: Roger Taylor

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Progressivism Takes Its Place among the Major Religions


Many on the left will be repulsed by the notion that they are following the dictates of a religion.  They view themselves as the ultimate secularists.  It may be that they cannot see the forest for the trees.  Progressives have great passion for their cause, and we have seen throughout history the way religion can incite the greatest passion, often leading to murders and wars.  Perhaps if we look at Progressivism through the religious prism, we may better understand the actions of its minions.

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all profess an all-knowing and all-powerful supernatural being: God.  Progressives may say they do not belong to a religion because they do not believe in God.  But Progressivism professes an all-powerful State.  The State is Progressives’ god and determines what is moral and immoral and has the power to destroy whom it wants.

Unlike with the pope in Christianity, there is no single authority figure in Progressivism.  This does not disprove Progressives’ religious nature.  Islam has no single authority figure, either.  Since Ataturk abolished the caliphate in the 1920s, no political figure claims to unite Islam.  I suspect that George Soros considers himself the de facto Progressive caliph.  Al Gore is an imam of the Green denomination.

What about sacred texts?  Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have the Gospels, the Torah, and the Quran, respectively.  The Progressives have The Communist Manifesto.

Christianity has a well organized clergy in the form of priests and ministers.  The clergy in Progressivism is implanted in other professions.  Progressive clergymen are found in abundance in the increasingly left-leaning universities.  Many professors use their classrooms as their pulpits.  They are aided and abetted by Hollywood, the media, and many politicians. 

Just like Judaism and Islam, Progressivism has dietary laws.  As of yet, they are not codified and are fluid, based on the current fads.  They all seem to agree on avoiding GMO foods.  To do otherwise would be a sin against Mother Earth.

There are fundamental differences between Christianity and Progressivism that make them incompatible with each other.  Christianity teaches that mankind is sinful and cannot save itself.  Progressivism believes that men can be perfected to create an ideal society.  Christianity believes that God cares for each individual.  Progressives believe in the collective at the expense of the individual.  Christians believe in the Ten Commandments as a moral code.  Moral codes are irrelevant to the collectivists.

Christianity had great influence on our Founders, and its idea of individual freedom has become part of our national DNA.  In order for Progressivism to conquer America and discard our Constitution, it would be necessary to destroy Christianity or render it impotent.  We see this in many initiatives.  The Bible tells us holy matrimony is between a man and a woman, without air-quotes.  The Progressive response was to get the courts to allow marriage to be redefined to include same-sex couples.  Maybe the next response will be marriage with your pet.  The Bible defines only two sexes: male and female.  Now we see the nonsense of multiple “genders.”  Christianity values the sanctity of life.  We now have legal abortion and euthanasia.  Unfortunately, many liberal churches are adopting many of these notions, and some are doubting the divinity of Christ.  Much of the Christian flock has gone astray, and this makes the Progressives happy.

There is a central tenet in Christianity that commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love our enemies.  This is agape love and has more to do with compassion and respect.  Following this teaching is one of the things that makes being a Christian so difficult.  We, as Christians, often succumb to the temptation to hate unjustly.  But there is great wisdom in eschewing this kind of hatred.  That raw passion destroys the hater and often leads to dangerous mob actions.

Progressivism issues no edict to avoid hatred and prefers to use it as a tool.  In that sense, Progressives are following in the long tradition of Islam.  The Quran does not require you to love your neighbor.  On the contrary, it states 109 times in various suras (chapters) to fight the unbeliever.  These are not countered by an equal number of suras extolling peace and tolerance.  Some suras incite violence, such as K 47.4: “When you meet the unbeliever, smite their necks.”  (Has Kathy Griffin been reading the Quran?  Who knew?)  There is disagreement on this, but Muhammad is often quoted as saying the apostate from Islam should be killed.

Just as Muslims believe that the whole world should be converted to Islam, Progressives believe that the whole world should be converted to their leftist agenda.  They cannot both succeed, but right now they are often on the same team to fight the influence of Christianity, their shared opponent. 

Progressives in America have been whittling away at our heritage for more than a century.  And after eight years of Obama, who promised to fundamentally change America, the left became arrogant.  They were convinced that their Marxist trajectory of history was within their grasp.  They just needed to elect Hillary to seal the deal.  They were already destroying the nuclear family, holy matrimony, harmony between the sexes, and the sanctity of life.  They savored this anarchy.  But along came Donald Trump to sabotage the agenda.  Donald was considered one of them at one time, and now he has joined the other camp.  He is now an apostate and is spewing heresy.  He is an atheist to Progressivism.

Progressives may hate Christianity, but it is much more efficient to focus their anger on the man in their faces every day: Donald Trump.  They want to kill the apostate, either physically or politically.  So Trump Derangement Syndrome can be thought of as an extreme religious intolerance. 

As a Christian and a physician, I am concerned about the health of those harboring this much hatred.  It is not healthy.  Maybe we can convince them to adopt an attitude of agape love for their enemies.  It would be much more holistic, rather than hellistic.  Maybe they can sit around the campfire and sing Kumbaya.  When that happens, I want a front-row seat at the Air and Water Show to watch the pigs fly.

In the meantime, I will just cling to my guns and religion.  I sincerely hope we do not need the guns.

Roger Taylor is a physician in private practice.  He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago and has a plethora of interests.

Many on the left will be repulsed by the notion that they are following the dictates of a religion.  They view themselves as the ultimate secularists.  It may be that they cannot see the forest for the trees.  Progressives have great passion for their cause, and we have seen throughout history the way religion can incite the greatest passion, often leading to murders and wars.  Perhaps if we look at Progressivism through the religious prism, we may better understand the actions of its minions.

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all profess an all-knowing and all-powerful supernatural being: God.  Progressives may say they do not belong to a religion because they do not believe in God.  But Progressivism professes an all-powerful State.  The State is Progressives’ god and determines what is moral and immoral and has the power to destroy whom it wants.

Unlike with the pope in Christianity, there is no single authority figure in Progressivism.  This does not disprove Progressives’ religious nature.  Islam has no single authority figure, either.  Since Ataturk abolished the caliphate in the 1920s, no political figure claims to unite Islam.  I suspect that George Soros considers himself the de facto Progressive caliph.  Al Gore is an imam of the Green denomination.

What about sacred texts?  Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have the Gospels, the Torah, and the Quran, respectively.  The Progressives have The Communist Manifesto.

Christianity has a well organized clergy in the form of priests and ministers.  The clergy in Progressivism is implanted in other professions.  Progressive clergymen are found in abundance in the increasingly left-leaning universities.  Many professors use their classrooms as their pulpits.  They are aided and abetted by Hollywood, the media, and many politicians. 

Just like Judaism and Islam, Progressivism has dietary laws.  As of yet, they are not codified and are fluid, based on the current fads.  They all seem to agree on avoiding GMO foods.  To do otherwise would be a sin against Mother Earth.

There are fundamental differences between Christianity and Progressivism that make them incompatible with each other.  Christianity teaches that mankind is sinful and cannot save itself.  Progressivism believes that men can be perfected to create an ideal society.  Christianity believes that God cares for each individual.  Progressives believe in the collective at the expense of the individual.  Christians believe in the Ten Commandments as a moral code.  Moral codes are irrelevant to the collectivists.

Christianity had great influence on our Founders, and its idea of individual freedom has become part of our national DNA.  In order for Progressivism to conquer America and discard our Constitution, it would be necessary to destroy Christianity or render it impotent.  We see this in many initiatives.  The Bible tells us holy matrimony is between a man and a woman, without air-quotes.  The Progressive response was to get the courts to allow marriage to be redefined to include same-sex couples.  Maybe the next response will be marriage with your pet.  The Bible defines only two sexes: male and female.  Now we see the nonsense of multiple “genders.”  Christianity values the sanctity of life.  We now have legal abortion and euthanasia.  Unfortunately, many liberal churches are adopting many of these notions, and some are doubting the divinity of Christ.  Much of the Christian flock has gone astray, and this makes the Progressives happy.

There is a central tenet in Christianity that commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love our enemies.  This is agape love and has more to do with compassion and respect.  Following this teaching is one of the things that makes being a Christian so difficult.  We, as Christians, often succumb to the temptation to hate unjustly.  But there is great wisdom in eschewing this kind of hatred.  That raw passion destroys the hater and often leads to dangerous mob actions.

Progressivism issues no edict to avoid hatred and prefers to use it as a tool.  In that sense, Progressives are following in the long tradition of Islam.  The Quran does not require you to love your neighbor.  On the contrary, it states 109 times in various suras (chapters) to fight the unbeliever.  These are not countered by an equal number of suras extolling peace and tolerance.  Some suras incite violence, such as K 47.4: “When you meet the unbeliever, smite their necks.”  (Has Kathy Griffin been reading the Quran?  Who knew?)  There is disagreement on this, but Muhammad is often quoted as saying the apostate from Islam should be killed.

Just as Muslims believe that the whole world should be converted to Islam, Progressives believe that the whole world should be converted to their leftist agenda.  They cannot both succeed, but right now they are often on the same team to fight the influence of Christianity, their shared opponent. 

Progressives in America have been whittling away at our heritage for more than a century.  And after eight years of Obama, who promised to fundamentally change America, the left became arrogant.  They were convinced that their Marxist trajectory of history was within their grasp.  They just needed to elect Hillary to seal the deal.  They were already destroying the nuclear family, holy matrimony, harmony between the sexes, and the sanctity of life.  They savored this anarchy.  But along came Donald Trump to sabotage the agenda.  Donald was considered one of them at one time, and now he has joined the other camp.  He is now an apostate and is spewing heresy.  He is an atheist to Progressivism.

Progressives may hate Christianity, but it is much more efficient to focus their anger on the man in their faces every day: Donald Trump.  They want to kill the apostate, either physically or politically.  So Trump Derangement Syndrome can be thought of as an extreme religious intolerance. 

As a Christian and a physician, I am concerned about the health of those harboring this much hatred.  It is not healthy.  Maybe we can convince them to adopt an attitude of agape love for their enemies.  It would be much more holistic, rather than hellistic.  Maybe they can sit around the campfire and sing Kumbaya.  When that happens, I want a front-row seat at the Air and Water Show to watch the pigs fly.

In the meantime, I will just cling to my guns and religion.  I sincerely hope we do not need the guns.

Roger Taylor is a physician in private practice.  He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago and has a plethora of interests.



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The Quest For Objective Truth


The quest for objective truth is much more difficult than many people realize.  It requires integrity, perseverance, and the ability to assess our own weaknesses and prejudices.  My perspective is that of a practicing physician of over forty years and my interaction with life, death, suffering, healing, and recovery.  I also have a strong basic science background.

Many of the so-called progressives believe that we all have a personal truth and one cannot say that one truth speaks for all.  That position is anemic on scientific principles and moral clarity.  Progressives are mistaking truth for opinion. 

The most fundamental approach to finding the truth of the nature of the universe is through physics.  The first giant intellect of physics was Sir Isaac Newton.  His inverse square law of gravitational attraction and his laws of motion were the bedrock of science for centuries.  His notions were testable and reproducible and seemed the ultimate truth.  He is also credited with the invention of calculus.  But the whole paradigm of physics changed with Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schroedinger, Max Planck, Edwin Hubble, and many others in the twentieth century.  They brought us a plethora of new, testable ideas such as the General and Special Theories of Relativity, quantum physics, subatomic particles, and many more.  The context here is that it is still an exciting time to study physics, as there seems no end to discoveries.

As we move farther from basic science into the applied sciences, the acquisition of truth becomes ever more elusive.  In Hamlet, Queen Gertrude sternly admonishes her adviser Polonius to give her “more matter with less art.”  I like to think of this as the sine qua non of modern medicine.  The emphasis is to strive for evidence-based medicine (more matter), and the art of medicine is often downplayed.  But the subjective art of medicine is a valuable, though imprecise tool.  Using all of the tools of observation,  an impression is formed.  And yet, that impression may not be the truth.  People don’t have bar code identifiers.

The gold standard for assessment of therapies is the randomized, controlled clinical study.  But even when we think we have a brilliant and conclusive study, we can be dead wrong.  For example, chronic hypertension is associated with an increase in myocardial infarction, stroke, and kidney failure.  A class of anti-hypertensives known as beta-blockers was shown to lower blood pressure effectively.  But it did not lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.  We were looking at the wrong end point.  Other medications are better at this prevention.   For more on this, read Ending Medical Reversal, Improving Outcomes, Saving Lives by Vinayak K. Prasad.

Another facet  we have to contend with in medicine is self-deception.  There are three manifestations of this.  The first of these is the placebo effect.  Although it sounds cynical, this was the most effective clinical tool used in medicine for centuries.  We still use this effect inadvertently and even overtly to our advantage.  When patients are given a placebo, a harmless faux treatment that they believe will help them, they have a 30-50% improvement in their condition, depending on the malady.  This is not imaginary.  There is a real physiological effect, and the exact mechanism is not clearly defined.  Even if you tell some of the placebo group he is getting a placebo, up to 20% of such people will still have a positive outcome.  Clinical studies are invalid if the placebo effect is not controlled for.

The opposite of the placebo effect is the nocebo effect.  This happens when people are convinced that something harmless is, in fact, harmful, and they can become very ill.  We all know many people who are convinced they are ill when there is nothing wrong.

A third kind of self-deception is when people are taking or doing something harmful to themselves but firmly believe they are getting better.  An extreme example of this happened nearly one hundred years ago.  William J.A. Bailey, a self-proclaimed doctor of questionable character, had several companies and sold concoctions.  His most lethal was the patent medicine called “Radiothor,” laced with small doses of radium.  It was recommended to an East Coast socialite, Eben Byers, after he suffered a shoulder injury.  He was promised that it had near miraculous healing power.  Between 1927 and 1932, Byers consumed around 1,400 bottles of this, all the while slowly dying of radiation poisoning.  On his deathbed, he had a brain abscess, several cancers, missing teeth, and a rotting mandible.  He begged for just one more bottle of his precious potion, convinced that it would finally cure him.  Self-deception is powerful.

When governments foist a false scientific narrative, the results are often destructive.  One such debacle occurred in the Soviet Union from mid-1920s to 1964 and was centered on a botanist, Trofim Lysenko.  The modern scientific community accepted Mendelian genetics to explain inherited traits.  Lysenko believed in an older view that plants and seeds could be acclimated to extreme elements, whereupon the offspring would be resistant.  His ideas became the official dogma of Russian botany.  With Stalin as his ally, opposing views were suppressed.  Russian scientists who disagreed were ostracized, imprisoned, or executed.  Lysenko destroyed Russian genetic science.  The Russian people suffered many crop failures and other privations for this.  This pairing of false science with government control is known as Lysenkoism.

Today, Lysenkoism is alive and well in climate science.  Our climate is a nonlinear, chaotic system influenced by scores of variables.  To think a single variable, the life-giving carbon dioxide, is the world’s thermostat is both naïve and nonsensical.  Just as with Lysenko’s false botany, governments have embraced climate alarmism.  Skeptics have been ostracized but not yet fined or imprisoned.  This has the flavor of totalitarian control.

We see evidence of false narratives all around us.  Trump Derangement Syndrome is a big nocebo effect.  And a whole generation of college students are rejecting their God-given right to individual freedom for the false narrative of Marxist glory.  They fail to see that their indoctrination is as healthy to society as Radiothor was to Eben Byers.

As a practicing physician, I have to remain cognizant of the biases and errors that are rampant in medical studies.  A prudent stance is that new studies are  wrong until proven right.  There are very few visionary Einsteins.  It makes sense not to be the first to adopt a new idea, nor the last.

The quest for objective truth takes great wisdom, and we frequently fall short.  Following false theories and dogmas causes real suffering for individuals and society.  We must forge on for the sake of ourselves and our progeny.

Roger Taylor is a physician in private practice.  His medical degree is from the University of Chicago.  He has a plethora of interests.

The quest for objective truth is much more difficult than many people realize.  It requires integrity, perseverance, and the ability to assess our own weaknesses and prejudices.  My perspective is that of a practicing physician of over forty years and my interaction with life, death, suffering, healing, and recovery.  I also have a strong basic science background.

Many of the so-called progressives believe that we all have a personal truth and one cannot say that one truth speaks for all.  That position is anemic on scientific principles and moral clarity.  Progressives are mistaking truth for opinion. 

The most fundamental approach to finding the truth of the nature of the universe is through physics.  The first giant intellect of physics was Sir Isaac Newton.  His inverse square law of gravitational attraction and his laws of motion were the bedrock of science for centuries.  His notions were testable and reproducible and seemed the ultimate truth.  He is also credited with the invention of calculus.  But the whole paradigm of physics changed with Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schroedinger, Max Planck, Edwin Hubble, and many others in the twentieth century.  They brought us a plethora of new, testable ideas such as the General and Special Theories of Relativity, quantum physics, subatomic particles, and many more.  The context here is that it is still an exciting time to study physics, as there seems no end to discoveries.

As we move farther from basic science into the applied sciences, the acquisition of truth becomes ever more elusive.  In Hamlet, Queen Gertrude sternly admonishes her adviser Polonius to give her “more matter with less art.”  I like to think of this as the sine qua non of modern medicine.  The emphasis is to strive for evidence-based medicine (more matter), and the art of medicine is often downplayed.  But the subjective art of medicine is a valuable, though imprecise tool.  Using all of the tools of observation,  an impression is formed.  And yet, that impression may not be the truth.  People don’t have bar code identifiers.

The gold standard for assessment of therapies is the randomized, controlled clinical study.  But even when we think we have a brilliant and conclusive study, we can be dead wrong.  For example, chronic hypertension is associated with an increase in myocardial infarction, stroke, and kidney failure.  A class of anti-hypertensives known as beta-blockers was shown to lower blood pressure effectively.  But it did not lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.  We were looking at the wrong end point.  Other medications are better at this prevention.   For more on this, read Ending Medical Reversal, Improving Outcomes, Saving Lives by Vinayak K. Prasad.

Another facet  we have to contend with in medicine is self-deception.  There are three manifestations of this.  The first of these is the placebo effect.  Although it sounds cynical, this was the most effective clinical tool used in medicine for centuries.  We still use this effect inadvertently and even overtly to our advantage.  When patients are given a placebo, a harmless faux treatment that they believe will help them, they have a 30-50% improvement in their condition, depending on the malady.  This is not imaginary.  There is a real physiological effect, and the exact mechanism is not clearly defined.  Even if you tell some of the placebo group he is getting a placebo, up to 20% of such people will still have a positive outcome.  Clinical studies are invalid if the placebo effect is not controlled for.

The opposite of the placebo effect is the nocebo effect.  This happens when people are convinced that something harmless is, in fact, harmful, and they can become very ill.  We all know many people who are convinced they are ill when there is nothing wrong.

A third kind of self-deception is when people are taking or doing something harmful to themselves but firmly believe they are getting better.  An extreme example of this happened nearly one hundred years ago.  William J.A. Bailey, a self-proclaimed doctor of questionable character, had several companies and sold concoctions.  His most lethal was the patent medicine called “Radiothor,” laced with small doses of radium.  It was recommended to an East Coast socialite, Eben Byers, after he suffered a shoulder injury.  He was promised that it had near miraculous healing power.  Between 1927 and 1932, Byers consumed around 1,400 bottles of this, all the while slowly dying of radiation poisoning.  On his deathbed, he had a brain abscess, several cancers, missing teeth, and a rotting mandible.  He begged for just one more bottle of his precious potion, convinced that it would finally cure him.  Self-deception is powerful.

When governments foist a false scientific narrative, the results are often destructive.  One such debacle occurred in the Soviet Union from mid-1920s to 1964 and was centered on a botanist, Trofim Lysenko.  The modern scientific community accepted Mendelian genetics to explain inherited traits.  Lysenko believed in an older view that plants and seeds could be acclimated to extreme elements, whereupon the offspring would be resistant.  His ideas became the official dogma of Russian botany.  With Stalin as his ally, opposing views were suppressed.  Russian scientists who disagreed were ostracized, imprisoned, or executed.  Lysenko destroyed Russian genetic science.  The Russian people suffered many crop failures and other privations for this.  This pairing of false science with government control is known as Lysenkoism.

Today, Lysenkoism is alive and well in climate science.  Our climate is a nonlinear, chaotic system influenced by scores of variables.  To think a single variable, the life-giving carbon dioxide, is the world’s thermostat is both naïve and nonsensical.  Just as with Lysenko’s false botany, governments have embraced climate alarmism.  Skeptics have been ostracized but not yet fined or imprisoned.  This has the flavor of totalitarian control.

We see evidence of false narratives all around us.  Trump Derangement Syndrome is a big nocebo effect.  And a whole generation of college students are rejecting their God-given right to individual freedom for the false narrative of Marxist glory.  They fail to see that their indoctrination is as healthy to society as Radiothor was to Eben Byers.

As a practicing physician, I have to remain cognizant of the biases and errors that are rampant in medical studies.  A prudent stance is that new studies are  wrong until proven right.  There are very few visionary Einsteins.  It makes sense not to be the first to adopt a new idea, nor the last.

The quest for objective truth takes great wisdom, and we frequently fall short.  Following false theories and dogmas causes real suffering for individuals and society.  We must forge on for the sake of ourselves and our progeny.

Roger Taylor is a physician in private practice.  His medical degree is from the University of Chicago.  He has a plethora of interests.



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What's Progressive about Abortion?


It used to be that supporting abortion as a member of the Democratic Party was in style, but according to Tom Perez, the Democratic Party chairman, it is now compulsory.  He has said pro-life Democrats are not welcome in the party.  Whatever happened to diversity?  This abortion stance is so rigid that it is beginning to look like their raison d’etre.  But in the collectivist mindset, how can this unsavory practice be doing the most good for the most people?  Let us explore some issues.

 

For more than two thousand years, some women have wanted to terminate their pregnancies.  Terminating a pregnancy belies the real truth that one is terminating a fetal life.  In the ancient world, a surgical abortion would have been impractical and dangerous.  There would have been a high incidence of hemorrhage and fatal septicemia.  Some women allowed their abdomens to be beaten to enhance a pregnancy loss, but this ran the danger of uterine rupture or abruptio placenta, both fatal before modern surgery.  So most women resorted to abortifacients, and most were herbal.  There is no verifiable evidence that these nostrums and potions had much efficacy.  One reads about using the oil of pennyroyal, or tansy, or the now extinct silphium, but there is no real data.  A lot of anecdotal success probably relied on the natural spontaneous abortion rate of at least 20-30%.  In extremis, some women swallowed doses of turpentine or mercury.  Most women who did not want the baby carried it to term rather than succumb to these horrendous methods.

 

The ancient Greeks and Romans had another solution for the unwanted life: infanticide.  To be sure, they did not call it that, but it was a passive form of murder.  Unwanted infants were left exposed to the elements to die of hypothermia, starvation or predation.  The paterfamilias held the ultimate power and decided which boys were not fit and which girls were just too many girls.  The Spartans had a more institutional system.  The father brought the newborn to the ruling elders, and they decided which were to be exterminated.  The other Greek city-states were appalled by the Spartan tradition, but not because of the infanticide.  The Spartan system eliminated the father’s right to choose.  (Does that sound familiar?)  So the cradle of Western civilization had no compassion for the occupants of the cradle.  The exceptions in Europe were the Etruscans and ancient Germans.  They raised all of their children.

 

But starting about two thousand years ago, Western Europe began to go topsy-turvy over its attitude toward children and the unborn.  This revolutionary change was the adoption of Judeo-Christian values.  From its earliest history, the Jewish nation abhorred child sacrifice.  This is one of the reasons why the Canaanites were considered an abomination worthy of extermination.  They sacrificed infants and children up to the age of four to the god Moloch.  The children were burned alive. 

 

But it goes beyond the proscription of child sacrifice.  It was understood that the child in the womb and the born child were part of the same continuum.  There were not separate words for “fetus” and “child.”  A woman was pregnant with child, not pregnant with fetus.  The Ten Commandments do not condemn abortion because they already condemn murder.  Both David and Jeremiah were told that God knew them in the womb.  God would not speak of knowing a lump of lifeless flesh.  This dovetails completely with the Jewish tradition of taking care of widows, orphans, and the poor.

 

Christianity continued this ethic and was probably a greater influence because of its adoption throughout the entire Roman world.  Christians also recognized human life in the womb.  Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth shortly after she was informed she was pregnant with Jesus.  Elizabeth’s baby in utero, John the Baptist, jumped for joy at the recognition of Jesus in Mary’s womb.  Like the Jewish tradition, this confirms personhood.  And there was another dimension.  Jesus told his disciples to bring the children to him, and he exhorted them to be more childlike.  For the first time, children were cherished for being children and were allowed to have a childhood.  And children were safe in the womb, with few exceptions, for almost two thousand years.  This, it would seem, was real human progress.

 

Everything changed in the twentieth century.  With advances in surgery, one could have an abortion procedure and hope to survive.  Although abortion was illegal, many self-proclaimed visionaries began promoting it as part of the program of family planning.  Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood, paved the way for abortion throughout the United States.  She leaves a complicated legacy.  Her apologists insist she was a champion of women’s rights, especially the poor.  Her detractors rightfully point out the she was a leading figure in  American eugenics.  She believed in racial purity and that all misfits should be sterilized.  It is difficult to put a positive spin on her own statements.  In the journal The Birth Control Review, in 1919, she published an article entitled “Birth Control and Racial Betterment.”

 

Many American eugenicists were irked by Hitler commandeering their movement.  He also believed in racial purity.  And the left now has a very short memory of ever supporting such notions.

 

Then, in 1973, the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion on the nonexistent constitutional principle of a right to privacy.  In the last 50 years, 1.5 billion – I repeat: billion – abortions have been committed around the world.  The enormity of this is staggering.  In America, 50,000,000 to 60,000,000 abortions have been done.  A full 12.5% of American women have had abortions, but there are 233 induced abortions per 1,000 live births.  That means that some women are using abortion as primary birth control.  Between 2007 and 2010, in America, 36% of abortions were against black babies and 21% Hispanic.  These two groups make up less than twenty percent of our population.  It sounds as though Margaret Sanger’s descendant minions are working on her goals of racial purity.

 

Considering the Judeo-Christian tradition of the recognition of the fetus as fully human, one well versed in this tradition will not acknowledge a “right” to choose the fetus’s death.  The fetus was not given a vote.  You are free to choose any other surgery or life choice that does not infringe on others.

 

There is one subset of women who are pro-choice (pro-abortion) who don’t really care if the fetus is human.  In true collectivist fashion, it is an inconvenient life and must be exterminated.  It does not fit the collective.  Curiously, this is the only instance in the collectivist mindset where individuality is honored.  But what if the collectivist state decides it wants to increase the birth rate and outlaws abortion?  There goes the vaunted right to choose.  Collectivism is not a very friendly bed partner.

 

I would contend that most women who have an abortion are not flippant about their choices.  They need to find a rationale to assuage guilt and to not feel like despicable people.  The problem is that every mental construct has a plausible refutation.  Some feel that a zygote is not human because he does not look like one.  But he has a complete and uniquely human and individual genome.  The zygote is a cornerstone, with a complete blueprint of a human,  and just needs the Carpenter to finish building.  Some feel that the fetus is not human until he can be felt in the womb at 16-18 weeks.  That is an ancient notion of quickening.  But we now know that the fetus is moving less than four weeks from conception and can be seen by ultrasound.  Some say the fetus is not human until he can live outside the womb.  That means that a 30-week baby in utero in 1950 was not human, but a 24-week baby in utero today is.  Some say the fetus is not human until he is born and takes the first breath.  But that requires some magical thinking.  Why would a single breath of air suddenly imbue one with all the attributes of humanity?

 

And the law is schizophrenic on the subject.  If the fetus is not human, how can you be charged with a double homicide if you kill a pregnant woman?  If you do a 24-week partial-birth abortion and rip the fetus in pieces, it is just an abortion.  If the child is delivered spontaneously alive during an abortion procedure and you strangle him, then it is murder.

 

All in all, the abortion debacle is a hot mess.  One can trace it to the rejection of Judeo-Christian principles, especially promulgated by the collectivist left.  We are in the midst of a new Dark Age as regards to respect for all human life.  Abortion may be part of the progressive agenda, but it is not progress.

It used to be that supporting abortion as a member of the Democratic Party was in style, but according to Tom Perez, the Democratic Party chairman, it is now compulsory.  He has said pro-life Democrats are not welcome in the party.  Whatever happened to diversity?  This abortion stance is so rigid that it is beginning to look like their raison d’etre.  But in the collectivist mindset, how can this unsavory practice be doing the most good for the most people?  Let us explore some issues.

 

For more than two thousand years, some women have wanted to terminate their pregnancies.  Terminating a pregnancy belies the real truth that one is terminating a fetal life.  In the ancient world, a surgical abortion would have been impractical and dangerous.  There would have been a high incidence of hemorrhage and fatal septicemia.  Some women allowed their abdomens to be beaten to enhance a pregnancy loss, but this ran the danger of uterine rupture or abruptio placenta, both fatal before modern surgery.  So most women resorted to abortifacients, and most were herbal.  There is no verifiable evidence that these nostrums and potions had much efficacy.  One reads about using the oil of pennyroyal, or tansy, or the now extinct silphium, but there is no real data.  A lot of anecdotal success probably relied on the natural spontaneous abortion rate of at least 20-30%.  In extremis, some women swallowed doses of turpentine or mercury.  Most women who did not want the baby carried it to term rather than succumb to these horrendous methods.

 

The ancient Greeks and Romans had another solution for the unwanted life: infanticide.  To be sure, they did not call it that, but it was a passive form of murder.  Unwanted infants were left exposed to the elements to die of hypothermia, starvation or predation.  The paterfamilias held the ultimate power and decided which boys were not fit and which girls were just too many girls.  The Spartans had a more institutional system.  The father brought the newborn to the ruling elders, and they decided which were to be exterminated.  The other Greek city-states were appalled by the Spartan tradition, but not because of the infanticide.  The Spartan system eliminated the father’s right to choose.  (Does that sound familiar?)  So the cradle of Western civilization had no compassion for the occupants of the cradle.  The exceptions in Europe were the Etruscans and ancient Germans.  They raised all of their children.

 

But starting about two thousand years ago, Western Europe began to go topsy-turvy over its attitude toward children and the unborn.  This revolutionary change was the adoption of Judeo-Christian values.  From its earliest history, the Jewish nation abhorred child sacrifice.  This is one of the reasons why the Canaanites were considered an abomination worthy of extermination.  They sacrificed infants and children up to the age of four to the god Moloch.  The children were burned alive. 

 

But it goes beyond the proscription of child sacrifice.  It was understood that the child in the womb and the born child were part of the same continuum.  There were not separate words for “fetus” and “child.”  A woman was pregnant with child, not pregnant with fetus.  The Ten Commandments do not condemn abortion because they already condemn murder.  Both David and Jeremiah were told that God knew them in the womb.  God would not speak of knowing a lump of lifeless flesh.  This dovetails completely with the Jewish tradition of taking care of widows, orphans, and the poor.

 

Christianity continued this ethic and was probably a greater influence because of its adoption throughout the entire Roman world.  Christians also recognized human life in the womb.  Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth shortly after she was informed she was pregnant with Jesus.  Elizabeth’s baby in utero, John the Baptist, jumped for joy at the recognition of Jesus in Mary’s womb.  Like the Jewish tradition, this confirms personhood.  And there was another dimension.  Jesus told his disciples to bring the children to him, and he exhorted them to be more childlike.  For the first time, children were cherished for being children and were allowed to have a childhood.  And children were safe in the womb, with few exceptions, for almost two thousand years.  This, it would seem, was real human progress.

 

Everything changed in the twentieth century.  With advances in surgery, one could have an abortion procedure and hope to survive.  Although abortion was illegal, many self-proclaimed visionaries began promoting it as part of the program of family planning.  Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood, paved the way for abortion throughout the United States.  She leaves a complicated legacy.  Her apologists insist she was a champion of women’s rights, especially the poor.  Her detractors rightfully point out the she was a leading figure in  American eugenics.  She believed in racial purity and that all misfits should be sterilized.  It is difficult to put a positive spin on her own statements.  In the journal The Birth Control Review, in 1919, she published an article entitled “Birth Control and Racial Betterment.”

 

Many American eugenicists were irked by Hitler commandeering their movement.  He also believed in racial purity.  And the left now has a very short memory of ever supporting such notions.

 

Then, in 1973, the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion on the nonexistent constitutional principle of a right to privacy.  In the last 50 years, 1.5 billion – I repeat: billion – abortions have been committed around the world.  The enormity of this is staggering.  In America, 50,000,000 to 60,000,000 abortions have been done.  A full 12.5% of American women have had abortions, but there are 233 induced abortions per 1,000 live births.  That means that some women are using abortion as primary birth control.  Between 2007 and 2010, in America, 36% of abortions were against black babies and 21% Hispanic.  These two groups make up less than twenty percent of our population.  It sounds as though Margaret Sanger’s descendant minions are working on her goals of racial purity.

 

Considering the Judeo-Christian tradition of the recognition of the fetus as fully human, one well versed in this tradition will not acknowledge a “right” to choose the fetus’s death.  The fetus was not given a vote.  You are free to choose any other surgery or life choice that does not infringe on others.

 

There is one subset of women who are pro-choice (pro-abortion) who don’t really care if the fetus is human.  In true collectivist fashion, it is an inconvenient life and must be exterminated.  It does not fit the collective.  Curiously, this is the only instance in the collectivist mindset where individuality is honored.  But what if the collectivist state decides it wants to increase the birth rate and outlaws abortion?  There goes the vaunted right to choose.  Collectivism is not a very friendly bed partner.

 

I would contend that most women who have an abortion are not flippant about their choices.  They need to find a rationale to assuage guilt and to not feel like despicable people.  The problem is that every mental construct has a plausible refutation.  Some feel that a zygote is not human because he does not look like one.  But he has a complete and uniquely human and individual genome.  The zygote is a cornerstone, with a complete blueprint of a human,  and just needs the Carpenter to finish building.  Some feel that the fetus is not human until he can be felt in the womb at 16-18 weeks.  That is an ancient notion of quickening.  But we now know that the fetus is moving less than four weeks from conception and can be seen by ultrasound.  Some say the fetus is not human until he can live outside the womb.  That means that a 30-week baby in utero in 1950 was not human, but a 24-week baby in utero today is.  Some say the fetus is not human until he is born and takes the first breath.  But that requires some magical thinking.  Why would a single breath of air suddenly imbue one with all the attributes of humanity?

 

And the law is schizophrenic on the subject.  If the fetus is not human, how can you be charged with a double homicide if you kill a pregnant woman?  If you do a 24-week partial-birth abortion and rip the fetus in pieces, it is just an abortion.  If the child is delivered spontaneously alive during an abortion procedure and you strangle him, then it is murder.

 

All in all, the abortion debacle is a hot mess.  One can trace it to the rejection of Judeo-Christian principles, especially promulgated by the collectivist left.  We are in the midst of a new Dark Age as regards to respect for all human life.  Abortion may be part of the progressive agenda, but it is not progress.



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When the Single Payer Becomes the Single Player


American medical care and its financing have been transformed over the last century.  Up until about 1920, American medical care in was quite primitive.  It is quite possible that before then, it would have been healthier for the average person to not visit a doctor.  But then several factors coalesced.  There were new pharmaceuticals, widespread acceptance of the germ theory, improved anesthesia and surgical techniques, vaccination, and standardization of medical education.  People began to gain confidence that if you were admitted to a hospital that you might actually go back home instead of dying, as was the previous experience.  Although these new advances look inexpensive to us, the cost was onerous for its time.  People dreaded the cost of hospitalization.

Although it was the heyday of the Progressive Era, Americans had no stomach for nationalized health care.  Free enterprise filled the void.  Some hospitals in Texas began offering a group of teachers a small monthly fee to cover the cost of possible hospitalization.  This was a true insurance plan much like car insurance.  It covered only the cost of the hospital.  You paid for all of your routine medical bills as they happened.  This eventually became Blue Cross and it spurred the growth of other iterations on this theme.

It was not long before national policy and politics got involved, just like that unwanted relative that visits and never goes home.  During World War II there was a shortage of workers to manufacture war materiel.  To attract workers, they were offered healthcare benefits, and this became standard.  At the same time, the businesses were allowed to write off these costs from their corporate taxes.  By the early 1960’s almost 70% of American laborers had health insurance.  This did not cover the poor and the elderly, so Washington gave us Medicaid and Medicare.  These programs were mandated to cover some or all of medical care expenses.   Gone were the days where you paid for everything except the hospital.

But now we are seeing the progeny of the law of unintended consequences.  Private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid are all third party payers.  The whole system was flush with lots of money and medical services bloomed.  Patients became indifferent to the cost of services, because, after all, someone else was paying for it.  A sense of entitlement also ensued.  The feeling was that if I am paying for this insurance, then I demand the premium (expensive) coverage.  Patients no longer shopped around for more economical care.  There was no longer any pressure from consumers to control costs.  Price competition was gone.  There have been many impotent attempts to control costs with HMOs, hospital utilization committees and pre-approval, to little effect.

And even if patients still demanded cheaper fees by shopping around, the costs would still go up.  Every high-tech improvement in medical care comes with an almost exponential rise in cost.  Every new CT scanner is over one million dollars.  Robotic surgery equipment is around two million.  Cancer drugs are often hundreds of thousands of dollars.  And there are many fees I find hard to justify.  For instance, at our local hospital, it costs over $20,000 just for the privilege of being wheeled into the OR.  That is just the cost of using the room.  It makes me sound old, but I remember when you could have open heart surgery, stay in the hospital for more than one week, and have a total bill of around $20,000.

And let us not forget that with all of this money flowing that the predators and scavengers are just outside the camp.  The costs of defensive medicine are real.  Just ask any high-risk specialist or emergency room doctor.  It is hard to leave the ER with a bill of less than $1000.  Tort reform is sorely needed.

And then came President Obama to save the day with the “Affordable Care Act.”  That is one of the most incredible misnomers of all time.  With an increase in mandated coverage, insurance for middle America has skyrocketed, with horrendous copay costs.  Insurance companies are being driven out of the marketplace.  Recent comments from the allies of Bernie Sanders sound like this was the intent all along.  They have said that Obamacare was just the first step toward a single payer system—socialized medicine.  They needed to bankrupt the medical insurance companies because they are too wealthy and strong.  In the transition, the American public would be inured to these high costs and would welcome the federal government with open arms.  After all, we already have Medicare and Medicaid.

We still could go down the road too often traveled, to collectivism known as socialized medicine.  Of course, the sanitized name is single payer.  Its proponents claim the moral superiority.  After all, they are providing the greatest good for the most people.  Everyone will be equal.  What a Utopia!

I know the left hates her, but Ayn Rand, who lived under communism in Russia before coming to America, had this to say in 1946: “The greatest good for the greatest number is one of the most vicious slogans ever foisted on humanity.  The slogan has no concrete specific meaning.  There is no way to interpret it benevolently, but a great many ways it can be used to justify the most vicious actions.”  She gives examples.  Nazi Germany decided that the greatest good would be killing the Jews.  They were after all, the majority and could define the greatest good.  The Chinese Great Cultural Revolution killed off over 100 million people for the greater good.

Many will protest that those are extremes of collectivism and that it is unfair to use these examples.  We are far too civilized for that and we are talking about collectivizing medicine, not the whole society.  But in socialized medicine, the government owns you.  Sooner or later you are of no concern for the greater good.

I pray for wisdom in Washington, but there seems to be a dearth of it.  I am beginning to think that the greatest good will be to replace many of our politicians with real conservatives.

American medical care and its financing have been transformed over the last century.  Up until about 1920, American medical care in was quite primitive.  It is quite possible that before then, it would have been healthier for the average person to not visit a doctor.  But then several factors coalesced.  There were new pharmaceuticals, widespread acceptance of the germ theory, improved anesthesia and surgical techniques, vaccination, and standardization of medical education.  People began to gain confidence that if you were admitted to a hospital that you might actually go back home instead of dying, as was the previous experience.  Although these new advances look inexpensive to us, the cost was onerous for its time.  People dreaded the cost of hospitalization.

Although it was the heyday of the Progressive Era, Americans had no stomach for nationalized health care.  Free enterprise filled the void.  Some hospitals in Texas began offering a group of teachers a small monthly fee to cover the cost of possible hospitalization.  This was a true insurance plan much like car insurance.  It covered only the cost of the hospital.  You paid for all of your routine medical bills as they happened.  This eventually became Blue Cross and it spurred the growth of other iterations on this theme.

It was not long before national policy and politics got involved, just like that unwanted relative that visits and never goes home.  During World War II there was a shortage of workers to manufacture war materiel.  To attract workers, they were offered healthcare benefits, and this became standard.  At the same time, the businesses were allowed to write off these costs from their corporate taxes.  By the early 1960’s almost 70% of American laborers had health insurance.  This did not cover the poor and the elderly, so Washington gave us Medicaid and Medicare.  These programs were mandated to cover some or all of medical care expenses.   Gone were the days where you paid for everything except the hospital.

But now we are seeing the progeny of the law of unintended consequences.  Private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid are all third party payers.  The whole system was flush with lots of money and medical services bloomed.  Patients became indifferent to the cost of services, because, after all, someone else was paying for it.  A sense of entitlement also ensued.  The feeling was that if I am paying for this insurance, then I demand the premium (expensive) coverage.  Patients no longer shopped around for more economical care.  There was no longer any pressure from consumers to control costs.  Price competition was gone.  There have been many impotent attempts to control costs with HMOs, hospital utilization committees and pre-approval, to little effect.

And even if patients still demanded cheaper fees by shopping around, the costs would still go up.  Every high-tech improvement in medical care comes with an almost exponential rise in cost.  Every new CT scanner is over one million dollars.  Robotic surgery equipment is around two million.  Cancer drugs are often hundreds of thousands of dollars.  And there are many fees I find hard to justify.  For instance, at our local hospital, it costs over $20,000 just for the privilege of being wheeled into the OR.  That is just the cost of using the room.  It makes me sound old, but I remember when you could have open heart surgery, stay in the hospital for more than one week, and have a total bill of around $20,000.

And let us not forget that with all of this money flowing that the predators and scavengers are just outside the camp.  The costs of defensive medicine are real.  Just ask any high-risk specialist or emergency room doctor.  It is hard to leave the ER with a bill of less than $1000.  Tort reform is sorely needed.

And then came President Obama to save the day with the “Affordable Care Act.”  That is one of the most incredible misnomers of all time.  With an increase in mandated coverage, insurance for middle America has skyrocketed, with horrendous copay costs.  Insurance companies are being driven out of the marketplace.  Recent comments from the allies of Bernie Sanders sound like this was the intent all along.  They have said that Obamacare was just the first step toward a single payer system—socialized medicine.  They needed to bankrupt the medical insurance companies because they are too wealthy and strong.  In the transition, the American public would be inured to these high costs and would welcome the federal government with open arms.  After all, we already have Medicare and Medicaid.

We still could go down the road too often traveled, to collectivism known as socialized medicine.  Of course, the sanitized name is single payer.  Its proponents claim the moral superiority.  After all, they are providing the greatest good for the most people.  Everyone will be equal.  What a Utopia!

I know the left hates her, but Ayn Rand, who lived under communism in Russia before coming to America, had this to say in 1946: “The greatest good for the greatest number is one of the most vicious slogans ever foisted on humanity.  The slogan has no concrete specific meaning.  There is no way to interpret it benevolently, but a great many ways it can be used to justify the most vicious actions.”  She gives examples.  Nazi Germany decided that the greatest good would be killing the Jews.  They were after all, the majority and could define the greatest good.  The Chinese Great Cultural Revolution killed off over 100 million people for the greater good.

Many will protest that those are extremes of collectivism and that it is unfair to use these examples.  We are far too civilized for that and we are talking about collectivizing medicine, not the whole society.  But in socialized medicine, the government owns you.  Sooner or later you are of no concern for the greater good.

I pray for wisdom in Washington, but there seems to be a dearth of it.  I am beginning to think that the greatest good will be to replace many of our politicians with real conservatives.



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Is America a Christian Nation?


Former President Obama has said that America is not a Christian nation.  Was that far left atheism, pro-Islamic proselytizing, or just wishful thinking? 

A few months ago a young second generation Iranian woman came to my office.  I asked if she had Assyrian (a persecuted Christian group) heritage.  She said that her parents were secular if not atheistic Muslims and made no effort to enforce any belief system on her.  She said that she had decided to become a Christian.  She answered my unspoken question by stating that she wanted and needed a personal God.  Has she converted because of American values or Christian values?  Are they the same?

Christian teaching is that God is Love and he is good all of the time.  We are told that God hears everyone’s prayers and gives us what we need even if we cannot yet appreciate it.  We have a very personal relationship with God.  If we truly love God in return, we will want to follow his commandments to please him.  We will not do it because we are forced to.  And in Matthew 22:21 we are told that God considers the church and state to be separate.  We also are reminded that man is by nature sinful, and if left without direction will tend toward evil. 

Our Founders were well aware of this when they conceived of our American vision of sound government.  You can see that the Bill of Rights has a Christian provenance.  Our Bill of Rights actually forces the government to respect the rights of each individual.  If our God sees us as individuals, then our government sure as hell had better.  Our Constitution also codifies the separation of church and state.  And because of the sinful nature of men, our Founders felt it necessary to deny the use of absolute power by government.  Our executive, legislative, and judicial branches create checks and balances and are meant to render attempted tyranny impotent.  Americanism has a very definite Christian fingerprint.

This is in contradistinction to Islam.  Allah is described as all powerful, but not defined as love.  Muslim scholars are also offended if you say that Allah is good all of the time. If Allah chooses to be cruel, that is his choice.  He will not be confined to being just good.  Allah has many rules to follow and they must be adhered to precisely to have any chance of going to Paradise.  But if Allah chooses to send you to Hell (just for the hell of it), then so be it.  You are required to pray five times per day, but it is not universally accepted that Allah always hears your prayers.  Allah comes across as being capricious.  But Allah, it is said, will send you directly to Paradise if you die for Islam, hence the suicide bombers killing ‘the infidel’.  Islam means ‘to submit’.  Your will, your body and your entire future are not yours.  You must submit your entire being to Allah. 

But Islam is more than religion in the American sense.   There is no separation of mosque and state.  Islam is the government and the religion.  You are not allowed to question authority.  You do not have a voice in changing Sharia law or what is said in the Quran or the Hadith.  Islam is the original totalitarian regime. 

A curious sidebar is the current cozy relationship between the radical left and the radical Islamists.  They both desire all controlling totalitarian government and hate the precepts of freedom in America.  Their difference is that the radical left does not believe in Allah.  Their Allah is big government.  They erroneously think that humans can be forced into becoming perfect (in their vision).

Now back to the original question.  Is America a Christian nation?  Overwhelmingly the answer is yes—for now.  For more than two hundred years immigrants of many nations, ethnicities, and religions have come and assimilated quite nicely into American culture.  They have not been offended by the Christian nature of our founding.  I am very fond of many secular Muslim friends who enjoy the fruits of our liberty.  But for fundamentalist Muslims, there is a great chasm between their culture and ours.  There is total disagreement about the nature of God and government.  Indeed, our way of life is anathema to them. 

Many people believe that we should open our borders to anyone to come here.  They say that American ideals of fairness and religious tolerance dictate the need to do this.  And it is tempting to say yes, because we are a giving and generous people.  But it begs the question.  Should we open the floodgates to people who will not assimilate, and whose goal is to fundamentally change America (sound familiar) to a system that does not respect individual freedom, and to force Sharia law upon us.  Let us hope for wisdom in Washington.  It will not happen, but if the radical left were to fully embrace Allah, then God help us.

Former President Obama has said that America is not a Christian nation.  Was that far left atheism, pro-Islamic proselytizing, or just wishful thinking? 

A few months ago a young second generation Iranian woman came to my office.  I asked if she had Assyrian (a persecuted Christian group) heritage.  She said that her parents were secular if not atheistic Muslims and made no effort to enforce any belief system on her.  She said that she had decided to become a Christian.  She answered my unspoken question by stating that she wanted and needed a personal God.  Has she converted because of American values or Christian values?  Are they the same?

Christian teaching is that God is Love and he is good all of the time.  We are told that God hears everyone’s prayers and gives us what we need even if we cannot yet appreciate it.  We have a very personal relationship with God.  If we truly love God in return, we will want to follow his commandments to please him.  We will not do it because we are forced to.  And in Matthew 22:21 we are told that God considers the church and state to be separate.  We also are reminded that man is by nature sinful, and if left without direction will tend toward evil. 

Our Founders were well aware of this when they conceived of our American vision of sound government.  You can see that the Bill of Rights has a Christian provenance.  Our Bill of Rights actually forces the government to respect the rights of each individual.  If our God sees us as individuals, then our government sure as hell had better.  Our Constitution also codifies the separation of church and state.  And because of the sinful nature of men, our Founders felt it necessary to deny the use of absolute power by government.  Our executive, legislative, and judicial branches create checks and balances and are meant to render attempted tyranny impotent.  Americanism has a very definite Christian fingerprint.

This is in contradistinction to Islam.  Allah is described as all powerful, but not defined as love.  Muslim scholars are also offended if you say that Allah is good all of the time. If Allah chooses to be cruel, that is his choice.  He will not be confined to being just good.  Allah has many rules to follow and they must be adhered to precisely to have any chance of going to Paradise.  But if Allah chooses to send you to Hell (just for the hell of it), then so be it.  You are required to pray five times per day, but it is not universally accepted that Allah always hears your prayers.  Allah comes across as being capricious.  But Allah, it is said, will send you directly to Paradise if you die for Islam, hence the suicide bombers killing ‘the infidel’.  Islam means ‘to submit’.  Your will, your body and your entire future are not yours.  You must submit your entire being to Allah. 

But Islam is more than religion in the American sense.   There is no separation of mosque and state.  Islam is the government and the religion.  You are not allowed to question authority.  You do not have a voice in changing Sharia law or what is said in the Quran or the Hadith.  Islam is the original totalitarian regime. 

A curious sidebar is the current cozy relationship between the radical left and the radical Islamists.  They both desire all controlling totalitarian government and hate the precepts of freedom in America.  Their difference is that the radical left does not believe in Allah.  Their Allah is big government.  They erroneously think that humans can be forced into becoming perfect (in their vision).

Now back to the original question.  Is America a Christian nation?  Overwhelmingly the answer is yes—for now.  For more than two hundred years immigrants of many nations, ethnicities, and religions have come and assimilated quite nicely into American culture.  They have not been offended by the Christian nature of our founding.  I am very fond of many secular Muslim friends who enjoy the fruits of our liberty.  But for fundamentalist Muslims, there is a great chasm between their culture and ours.  There is total disagreement about the nature of God and government.  Indeed, our way of life is anathema to them. 

Many people believe that we should open our borders to anyone to come here.  They say that American ideals of fairness and religious tolerance dictate the need to do this.  And it is tempting to say yes, because we are a giving and generous people.  But it begs the question.  Should we open the floodgates to people who will not assimilate, and whose goal is to fundamentally change America (sound familiar) to a system that does not respect individual freedom, and to force Sharia law upon us.  Let us hope for wisdom in Washington.  It will not happen, but if the radical left were to fully embrace Allah, then God help us.



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