God’s thoughts on the election.

Cross posted from Monkey in the Middle

From the Jerusalem Post

by Shmuley Boteach

It’s time to play that all-American game, Who is God Punishing Now? Three years ago, when Katrina devastated New Orleans, some on the religious Right suggested that the city with the infamous French Quarter was being destroyed for its debauchery. God poured fire and brimstone on Sodom in ancient times, and rained down lightning and broken levies on New Sodom in modern times.

Fast forward three years and here we go again, only this time God is punishing innocent men and women in Louisiana for the Republican Convention in Minnesota. According to filmmaker Michael Moore, “Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven… that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for Day One of the Republican convention up in the Twin Cities.”

The theme was echoed by Don Fowler, the South Carolina Democratic Party chairman, who joked that the hurricane was God’s favor to Democrats. But Fowler will have to forgive some New Orleans residents, both Democrat and Republican, if they don’t get the joke.

WE AMERICANS are a famously religious people, and can therefore be forgiven for sometimes claiming to know the mind of God. But it behooves us to always remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, who said, when asked whether God was fighting on the side of the Union armies: “We trust, sir, that God is on our side. It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.”

While none of us can know the mind of God, we can know right and wrong based on what all the world religions agree God has revealed to be moral, holy and ethical. I dare say that even atheists and agnostics agree with the general morality propounded by religion.

Based on this revealed, universal morality, here is a list of what we can assume, based on the Bible, God is thinking about the current presidential election.

1. We don’t know if God wants Barack Obama to win or lose, but we certainly know that He is overjoyed that, perhaps for the first time in our history, tens of millions of Americans are looking beyond skin color and seeing all human beings as equal children of God and equally deserving of the highest national office. At the very beginning of the Bible, God made it clear that He created every human being equally in His image – something that it’s taken us Americans several centuries to digest.

2. We don’t know if God wishes John McCain to win or lose, but we know He shines with favor toward Cindy and John McCain for adopting their youngest daughter, Bridget, who is Bengali but has been welcomed as an equal alongside the McCains’ three biological children.

3. America needs leadership, and people must run for president. But God instituted a Sabbath day of rest even in the midst of the toughest contests, to be with family and focus on what is even more important than becoming president. This is especially true for people like Obama and Sarah Palin, both of whom have children whose development cannot be put on hold until after an election. In this sense, both campaigns can learn from the example of Joe Lieberman who, while running for the vice presidency in 2000, refused to campaign on Saturdays and was with his family instead.

4. God loves unity among His children. The first social sin was the fratricidal conflict between Cain and Abel. Likewise, the Bible is clear that slander and character assassination are forbidden. Attack ads, therefore, are ungodly and unjust.

5. God loves the penitent. He shows special grace to those courageous enough to confess their sins and correct previous errors. We should therefore be forgiving both of Obama’s admission to prior drug use and McCain’s confession to moral lapses in his first marriage. America often punishes its leaders for their shortcomings. This is wrong. Righteousness in God’s eyes is defined not as perfection but as engaging in the struggle to be better. So long as our leaders take responsibility for their actions and commit themselves to more righteous behavior in future, we should be inspired by their courage.

6. God delights in stories of redemption and joyfulness. He repeatedly commands us to be happy and rise above slights and resentment. This might explain why He has shined especially brightly on Obama and McCain. The former is a black man, abandoned by his father, who after educating himself in the best universities chose to work with the poor. The latter is a man who lived through hell for five and a half years but rose above the horrific experience of being tortured as a POW to devote himself to inspirational public work.

7. God does not mind that Obama made millions on his book, or that McCain has seven homes – so long as both are charitable. Those making money are required to give at least 10% to charity, and so long as they commit a significant percentage to the poor, we should applaud them for their industry.

8. God created the world with words such as “Let there be light.” He demands that language likewise be used for constructive and holy purposes. God’s favor therefore shines brightly on Obama’s enormous capacity for using words to inspire. But the Bible makes it equally clear that God hates those who use language to sow discord. He therefore commands us to oppose people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.”

God calls on all men of justice – especially those in positions of leadership – to neutralize evil before its words are turned into irrevocable action.

From Monkey in the Middle:

I have been angry of late because I see flaws in what should have been a perfect running mate for John McCain. Angry until I read this. I forgot the basic principles of my faith. Judge not others harshly. It is not my place to have placed judgment on Sarah’s daughter Bristol. This was a family affair and I should have stayed out of it, as should all of us. Sarah should be proud that her daughter made an adult decision, and the love and support that the Palin family is showing Bristol is commendable.

On the same token, although I dislike Barack Obama’s views, I do admire him for the courage to run for President. As I admire my nation for looking beyond his race to his ideas. Many of us opposed to him forget this. What he achieved was something special. For once a black man has entered the Presidential political arena and was accepted as an equal.

John McCain is a man of deep integrity and courage. There is no doubt about that. How and why he chose Sarah Palin is his business, and the country must either except the ticket as he wants it, or reject it. Although Governor Palin isn’t the first woman to be placed as a candidate for Vice President by a major party (Geraldine Ferraro has that honor), she may become our first woman Vice President. And that is a great achievement.

I keep hearing that God is a Republican, or favors the Republicans, and I find this to be an erroneous idea. God is neither Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. God is above party or political thinking. It is not whether God is on our side, but whether as President Abraham Lincoln said:

“It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.”

I trust that I am on God’s side. Are you?

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God’s thoughts on the election.

Cross posted from Monkey in the Middle

From the Jerusalem Post

by Shmuley Boteach

It’s time to play that all-American game, Who is God Punishing Now? Three years ago, when Katrina devastated New Orleans, some on the religious Right suggested that the city with the infamous French Quarter was being destroyed for its debauchery. God poured fire and brimstone on Sodom in ancient times, and rained down lightning and broken levies on New Sodom in modern times.

Fast forward three years and here we go again, only this time God is punishing innocent men and women in Louisiana for the Republican Convention in Minnesota. According to filmmaker Michael Moore, “Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven… that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for Day One of the Republican convention up in the Twin Cities.”

The theme was echoed by Don Fowler, the South Carolina Democratic Party chairman, who joked that the hurricane was God’s favor to Democrats. But Fowler will have to forgive some New Orleans residents, both Democrat and Republican, if they don’t get the joke.

WE AMERICANS are a famously religious people, and can therefore be forgiven for sometimes claiming to know the mind of God. But it behooves us to always remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, who said, when asked whether God was fighting on the side of the Union armies: “We trust, sir, that God is on our side. It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.”

While none of us can know the mind of God, we can know right and wrong based on what all the world religions agree God has revealed to be moral, holy and ethical. I dare say that even atheists and agnostics agree with the general morality propounded by religion.

Based on this revealed, universal morality, here is a list of what we can assume, based on the Bible, God is thinking about the current presidential election.

1. We don’t know if God wants Barack Obama to win or lose, but we certainly know that He is overjoyed that, perhaps for the first time in our history, tens of millions of Americans are looking beyond skin color and seeing all human beings as equal children of God and equally deserving of the highest national office. At the very beginning of the Bible, God made it clear that He created every human being equally in His image – something that it’s taken us Americans several centuries to digest.

2. We don’t know if God wishes John McCain to win or lose, but we know He shines with favor toward Cindy and John McCain for adopting their youngest daughter, Bridget, who is Bengali but has been welcomed as an equal alongside the McCains’ three biological children.

3. America needs leadership, and people must run for president. But God instituted a Sabbath day of rest even in the midst of the toughest contests, to be with family and focus on what is even more important than becoming president. This is especially true for people like Obama and Sarah Palin, both of whom have children whose development cannot be put on hold until after an election. In this sense, both campaigns can learn from the example of Joe Lieberman who, while running for the vice presidency in 2000, refused to campaign on Saturdays and was with his family instead.

4. God loves unity among His children. The first social sin was the fratricidal conflict between Cain and Abel. Likewise, the Bible is clear that slander and character assassination are forbidden. Attack ads, therefore, are ungodly and unjust.

5. God loves the penitent. He shows special grace to those courageous enough to confess their sins and correct previous errors. We should therefore be forgiving both of Obama’s admission to prior drug use and McCain’s confession to moral lapses in his first marriage. America often punishes its leaders for their shortcomings. This is wrong. Righteousness in God’s eyes is defined not as perfection but as engaging in the struggle to be better. So long as our leaders take responsibility for their actions and commit themselves to more righteous behavior in future, we should be inspired by their courage.

6. God delights in stories of redemption and joyfulness. He repeatedly commands us to be happy and rise above slights and resentment. This might explain why He has shined especially brightly on Obama and McCain. The former is a black man, abandoned by his father, who after educating himself in the best universities chose to work with the poor. The latter is a man who lived through hell for five and a half years but rose above the horrific experience of being tortured as a POW to devote himself to inspirational public work.

7. God does not mind that Obama made millions on his book, or that McCain has seven homes – so long as both are charitable. Those making money are required to give at least 10% to charity, and so long as they commit a significant percentage to the poor, we should applaud them for their industry.

8. God created the world with words such as “Let there be light.” He demands that language likewise be used for constructive and holy purposes. God’s favor therefore shines brightly on Obama’s enormous capacity for using words to inspire. But the Bible makes it equally clear that God hates those who use language to sow discord. He therefore commands us to oppose people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.”

God calls on all men of justice – especially those in positions of leadership – to neutralize evil before its words are turned into irrevocable action.

From Monkey in the Middle:

I have been angry of late because I see flaws in what should have been a perfect running mate for John McCain. Angry until I read this. I forgot the basic principles of my faith. Judge not others harshly. It is not my place to have placed judgment on Sarah’s daughter Bristol. This was a family affair and I should have stayed out of it, as should all of us. Sarah should be proud that her daughter made an adult decision, and the love and support that the Palin family is showing Bristol is commendable.

On the same token, although I dislike Barack Obama’s views, I do admire him for the courage to run for President. As I admire my nation for looking beyond his race to his ideas. Many of us opposed to him forget this. What he achieved was something special. For once a black man has entered the Presidential political arena and was accepted as an equal.

John McCain is a man of deep integrity and courage. There is no doubt about that. How and why he chose Sarah Palin is his business, and the country must either except the ticket as he wants it, or reject it. Although Governor Palin isn’t the first woman to be placed as a candidate for Vice President by a major party (Geraldine Ferraro has that honor), she may become our first woman Vice President. And that is a great achievement.

I keep hearing that God is a Republican, or favors the Republicans, and I find this to be an erroneous idea. God is neither Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. God is above party or political thinking. It is not whether God is on our side, but whether as President Abraham Lincoln said:

“It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.”

I trust that I am on God’s side. Are you?

Whatever Happened to DECENT Movies?


This article came to my email and can be found at OneNewsNow.

It poses a fundamental question–where has the decency in entertainment gone?


Most of us–from our youth–remember the Catholics banned movies and books based on morality issues, even if one wasn’t Catholic. They still do, actually, and in the United States it’s known as the National Catholic Legion of Decency. Trouble is, no one pays attention anymore.

In my opinion? Both the Hays Code and the Legion of Decency need to be brought back into the sphere of the everyday. Maybe we wouldn’t have the garbage on TV, the radio (hip hop bullshit), movies, books, etc., that are so rampant today. And, maybe if we quit “rewarding” the makers of this garbage, including the “entertainers” that thrive on shock and immorality, reducing them to the gutters of porn where they belong, we could get the country back on track and rebuild its greatness.

A prime example? Brad and Angelina. Oh yes, they adopt children. SO WHAT? She’s in love with her father (Conservative spokesman Jon Voight), admitted she set out to separate and cause the divorce between Brad and Jennifer Aniston when the two of them worked on Mr. and Mrs. Smith, refuses to marry him, bears a child out of wedlock (yes, my two youngest are also technically “bastards”, so guess what? I get to criticise) and this is held up as exemplary behaviour? In whose deluded world?

Bastard children are glorified (no, they shouldn’t be blamed for being born–their parents should be ashamed of depriving the children of a two parent household, except under severe extenuating circumstances)–IF they’re allowed to be born at all in the abortion death cult atmostphere. Divorce, drugs, partying all night while the kids are left with nanny’s, bedhopping, adultery, belittling God and Christianity, spouting treason, associating with terrorists and their friends–all that’s considered NORMAL.

Because we’ve gotten away from the basic decencies of humanity, simple basic morality. So, yes, bring back the Hays Code and the Legion of Decency. And, while you’re at it, find a way to bring back Joseph McCarthy and Hollywood/Politician blacklisting. Sound extreme? Too bad–extreme times call for extreme measures.

Here’s the article:

Marcia Segelstein – Guest Columnist OneNewsNow.comSeptember 24, 2007 Marcia Segelstein

Movies with no nudity, profanity, and ridicule of religion? Believe it or not, it used to be that way … and it took no government intervention — only public outcry. It can happen again.

Many years ago, my first job out of college was working as a secretary for the Department of Program Practices at CBS. (It was essentially the censorship department, but nobody used that term.) My duties included typing up instructions for the Programming Department regarding what objectionable language had to be cut from various movies that would air on the network. The editors I worked for also had to keep track of instances of smoking, drinking, and if I’m not mistaken, use of phrases like “Oh my God” and other potentially offensive content. In those days, at least, there was concern on the part of the networks — not only CBS — about airing material viewers might find inappropriate.

Since it was long before cable, and the networks had licenses that had to be renewed, TV was pretty innocent. Early evenings were considered family viewing time, and the programs reflected that. The fact that children might be watching was taken into account. Guidelines for standards and practices existed and were enforced.

And believe it or not, there was a time when moviemakers also followed a code of content. Starting in the 1930’s, the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association (which later became the Motion Picture Association of America) adopted the Hays Code. Some of its general principles read as follows: “No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it …. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.”

The Hays Code also included some specific restrictions: nudity was prohibited; the ridicule of religion was forbidden; specific language was banned; the sanctity of marriage and the home had to be upheld; and “excessive and lustful kissing” was to be avoided.

Sounds positively idyllic, doesn’t it … and like an impossible dream now.

And guess what prompted it all? Public outcry. Public outcry over perceived immorality in the movies and in the lives of Hollywood stars. In a nutshell, the public wanted Hollywood to clean up its act. Will H. Hays, who headed up the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association, set out to project a positive image of the movie industry. The Production Code (which became known as the Hays Code) was written, and for eight years Hays tried to enforce it, with little effect. But public pressure continued from organizations such as The Catholic Legion of Decency which declared certain films “indecent” and encouraged boycotts. Finally an amendment to the code required all films to obtain a certificate of approval prior to release. So for the next 30 years, up until the 1960s, virtually all movies made in the U.S. adhered to the Hays Code.

It’s remarkable to think that such standards once existed, and perhaps even more remarkable to think that public pressure was the driving force behind them. Amazing also that the government had nothing to do with it all. In fact, Hollywood studios adhered to the self-regulation in large measure to avoid government censorship.

My, how the world has changed. Take the current movie, The Ten. According to a write-up in WORLD Magazine, the film is a series of ten vignettes in which characters “find new and creative ways to shatter the commandments.” (So much for not ridiculing religion.) In one, a librarian vacations in Mexico where she has an affair with Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. In another, a doctor murders his patients “as a goof,” and ends up in jail as another inmate’s “wife.” That’s where coveting comes in apparently. Enough said.

Today, not only is there no self-regulation, there’s no cohesive public outcry to motivate self-regulation. Occasionally I hear outrage expressed from religious groups over films they consider blasphemous and blatantly anti-religious. But why don’t religious organizations do what the Catholic Legion of Decency used to do and encourage boycotts of “indecent” films — films which lower our moral standards? Surely religious leaders across the spectrum could take the lead in raising public outcry.

Our expectations have been lowered to the point where we expect crude language, immorality and disrespect for religion and family. We’re surprised when a good film is made that doesn’t contain anything offensive. We no longer expect films to be uplifting or to reflect our values. We’ve bought into the lie that “there’s no going back.”

We must raise our expectations, speak out against films that further coarsen the culture, and demand once again that Hollywood clean up its act. We should ask our religious leaders to lead the way. Public outcry helped change the course of Hollywood history in the 1930s. There’s no reason why it can’t be changed again with enough public support. Time to fire up your moral outrage.

Join the Christians Against Leftist Heresy blogroll sponsored by Faultline USA

Whatever Happened to DECENT Movies?


This article came to my email and can be found at OneNewsNow.

It poses a fundamental question–where has the decency in entertainment gone?


Most of us–from our youth–remember the Catholics banned movies and books based on morality issues, even if one wasn’t Catholic. They still do, actually, and in the United States it’s known as the National Catholic Legion of Decency. Trouble is, no one pays attention anymore.

In my opinion? Both the Hays Code and the Legion of Decency need to be brought back into the sphere of the everyday. Maybe we wouldn’t have the garbage on TV, the radio (hip hop bullshit), movies, books, etc., that are so rampant today. And, maybe if we quit “rewarding” the makers of this garbage, including the “entertainers” that thrive on shock and immorality, reducing them to the gutters of porn where they belong, we could get the country back on track and rebuild its greatness.

A prime example? Brad and Angelina. Oh yes, they adopt children. SO WHAT? She’s in love with her father (Conservative spokesman Jon Voight), admitted she set out to separate and cause the divorce between Brad and Jennifer Aniston when the two of them worked on Mr. and Mrs. Smith, refuses to marry him, bears a child out of wedlock (yes, my two youngest are also technically “bastards”, so guess what? I get to criticise) and this is held up as exemplary behaviour? In whose deluded world?

Bastard children are glorified (no, they shouldn’t be blamed for being born–their parents should be ashamed of depriving the children of a two parent household, except under severe extenuating circumstances)–IF they’re allowed to be born at all in the abortion death cult atmostphere. Divorce, drugs, partying all night while the kids are left with nanny’s, bedhopping, adultery, belittling God and Christianity, spouting treason, associating with terrorists and their friends–all that’s considered NORMAL.

Because we’ve gotten away from the basic decencies of humanity, simple basic morality. So, yes, bring back the Hays Code and the Legion of Decency. And, while you’re at it, find a way to bring back Joseph McCarthy and Hollywood/Politician blacklisting. Sound extreme? Too bad–extreme times call for extreme measures.

Here’s the article:

Marcia Segelstein – Guest Columnist OneNewsNow.comSeptember 24, 2007 Marcia Segelstein

Movies with no nudity, profanity, and ridicule of religion? Believe it or not, it used to be that way … and it took no government intervention — only public outcry. It can happen again.

Many years ago, my first job out of college was working as a secretary for the Department of Program Practices at CBS. (It was essentially the censorship department, but nobody used that term.) My duties included typing up instructions for the Programming Department regarding what objectionable language had to be cut from various movies that would air on the network. The editors I worked for also had to keep track of instances of smoking, drinking, and if I’m not mistaken, use of phrases like “Oh my God” and other potentially offensive content. In those days, at least, there was concern on the part of the networks — not only CBS — about airing material viewers might find inappropriate.

Since it was long before cable, and the networks had licenses that had to be renewed, TV was pretty innocent. Early evenings were considered family viewing time, and the programs reflected that. The fact that children might be watching was taken into account. Guidelines for standards and practices existed and were enforced.

And believe it or not, there was a time when moviemakers also followed a code of content. Starting in the 1930’s, the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association (which later became the Motion Picture Association of America) adopted the Hays Code. Some of its general principles read as follows: “No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it …. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.”

The Hays Code also included some specific restrictions: nudity was prohibited; the ridicule of religion was forbidden; specific language was banned; the sanctity of marriage and the home had to be upheld; and “excessive and lustful kissing” was to be avoided.

Sounds positively idyllic, doesn’t it … and like an impossible dream now.

And guess what prompted it all? Public outcry. Public outcry over perceived immorality in the movies and in the lives of Hollywood stars. In a nutshell, the public wanted Hollywood to clean up its act. Will H. Hays, who headed up the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association, set out to project a positive image of the movie industry. The Production Code (which became known as the Hays Code) was written, and for eight years Hays tried to enforce it, with little effect. But public pressure continued from organizations such as The Catholic Legion of Decency which declared certain films “indecent” and encouraged boycotts. Finally an amendment to the code required all films to obtain a certificate of approval prior to release. So for the next 30 years, up until the 1960s, virtually all movies made in the U.S. adhered to the Hays Code.

It’s remarkable to think that such standards once existed, and perhaps even more remarkable to think that public pressure was the driving force behind them. Amazing also that the government had nothing to do with it all. In fact, Hollywood studios adhered to the self-regulation in large measure to avoid government censorship.

My, how the world has changed. Take the current movie, The Ten. According to a write-up in WORLD Magazine, the film is a series of ten vignettes in which characters “find new and creative ways to shatter the commandments.” (So much for not ridiculing religion.) In one, a librarian vacations in Mexico where she has an affair with Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. In another, a doctor murders his patients “as a goof,” and ends up in jail as another inmate’s “wife.” That’s where coveting comes in apparently. Enough said.

Today, not only is there no self-regulation, there’s no cohesive public outcry to motivate self-regulation. Occasionally I hear outrage expressed from religious groups over films they consider blasphemous and blatantly anti-religious. But why don’t religious organizations do what the Catholic Legion of Decency used to do and encourage boycotts of “indecent” films — films which lower our moral standards? Surely religious leaders across the spectrum could take the lead in raising public outcry.

Our expectations have been lowered to the point where we expect crude language, immorality and disrespect for religion and family. We’re surprised when a good film is made that doesn’t contain anything offensive. We no longer expect films to be uplifting or to reflect our values. We’ve bought into the lie that “there’s no going back.”

We must raise our expectations, speak out against films that further coarsen the culture, and demand once again that Hollywood clean up its act. We should ask our religious leaders to lead the way. Public outcry helped change the course of Hollywood history in the 1930s. There’s no reason why it can’t be changed again with enough public support. Time to fire up your moral outrage.

Join the Christians Against Leftist Heresy blogroll sponsored by Faultline USA