Paul Ryan, family guy

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, probably the most level-headed and maybe smartest guy in the GOP, has ruled out a run for president in 2012, says The Weekly Standard. Interestingly enough, one of the qualities that would make him a good president is also one of the reasons that he won’t run: his priorities.

But the 40-year-old congressman has consistently tried to quash the notion that he might run for president and did so again last night during the $50 per person fundraising cruise on Lake Geneva. “No, no there isn’t,” Ryan replied when asked if there’s any chance he would run for president.

“I want to be a normal person,” Ryan continued. “Other people can run for that thing. Other people can’t do this,” he said, pointing to one of his three young children sipping a kiddie cocktail.

Many politicians say they won’t run for higher office because of their family, but Ryan really seems to mean it. “I lost my dad when I was a little kid,” he said. “So I’m very sensitive to that issue. I’d be on the campaign trail in a month, and I’d be crying myself to sleep because I hadn’t seen my kids for eight or ten days. Right now, I can handle it when I don’t see them for three or four days.”

It’s a shame that, thanks to the news media, running for president is a no-go if you value family like Ryan does. That’s not saying that politicians with young children, like Barack Obama, are cheating their children of their father if they run for president. But Ryan’s not taking any chances.

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Tepid tea party

Finally, a Tea Party held on a day–Thursday, April 15–other than a biblical feast day so I could attend. Unfortunately, I also left in disgust.

I’m good with Tea Partiers on most issues: less government, less taxes, balanced budgets, individual liberty. What I heard at the Peoria riverfront for an hour or so didn’t surprise me, but didn’t really enlighten me, either. It was pretty routine stuff. Just good, I thought, to be together and let the Powers know that some people do care about these things and are willing to take time out of their day to make that statement. Plus, I hadn’t been to a protest since I was in college, and it was a gorgeous day.

Things were OK, kind of boring, until one of the emcees spiced things up by announcing that some people shouldn’t have so many children. At that point, I left.

The discussion between the male emcee and whoever the woman was up there with him had devolved to our tax money going to support those in need. The woman said we did need to help women with children, and we do. There are ministries in Peoria that do that well, and there is need for more. Churches and other charities need to do a better job. But then the emcee jumped in with something along the lines that “some people” shouldn’t have children, or so many children. I can’t remember the exact quote.

And that’s the problem with movements like this. Even leaders at events like today’s buy into an anti-life line. “If you can’t afford kids, don’t have them.” Well, yeah, I guess. I do agree that couples need to be responsible: Have kids if you’re married and if you can afford them. If you can’t, then wait. Maybe. I believe God will provide no matter what, and that it’s the extended family’s job first and the church’s job second to help with that. Problem is, many of these women who would take the emcee’s advice would either be aborting them or using abortive contraception. For him to throw something like that out lends credence to the claims that the Tea Party movement is racist, since many racists complain about blacks having a lot of children. It certainly doesn’t paint a family-friendly picture. It’s reactionary garbage, is what it is, with no thought behind it. It was an ugly moment at an otherwise boring event.

Pro-homosexual book in Scholastic book fairs

From the Illinois Family Institute:

The famous — and soon to be infamous — Scholastic Books has decided to include the pro-homosexual book for 9-12 year-olds, Luv Ya Bunches, in its middle school book fairs. This troubling book is already in the Scholastic Book Club catalogue, which is distributed to elementary school children. 

Meaning that at the very least public school children will have the opportunity to buy this trash.

Thanks, WCIC!

the irredeemable public schools

On the heels of Barack Obama’s effort to impose unprecedented control over the lives of citizens through his health care effort comes his plan to insert his cult of personality into the lives of children whose parents have sent them to public school.

The lesson involved includes follow-up discussion on why it’s important to listen to the president and other authorities as well as other things supposedly learned from the One’s monologue.

One of the people upset about the Sept. 8 address is a woman whose children were in public school, pulled out for homeschooling, and are now back in the public school system. Talk about confusing.

Writing on Pajamas Media, Barbara Curtis says this:

Having kids in public school today is actually a profound responsibility.

Actually, it’s a profound abdication of responsibility. You have allowed the government to intervene between you and your children. You have given authority over your children to the government. Parents with children in public schools upset about Obama’s planned speech to their kids really have nothing to say about it. When they registered their children for public school (thanks WCIC!), they gave up that authority. There may be some things a public school will allow them to have input about, but by and large, you’ve handed over your children.

Curtis said she “worked” for 24 hours to make sure her children’s school would not be subjected to Obama’s speech and followup assignments. But her link to the e-mail exchange with the superintendent of the school district in question only showed that the district was planning to have teachers stream the speech later anyway. Curtis actually accomplished nothing. 

She also points out that

that there are teachers, principals, and administrators who see themselves on a mission: to rescue students from the “provincial,” “backwards,” and ignorant parents of the progeny in their care. …

Like most liberals, many liberal teachers see conservatives as evil and stupid. Posing as the tolerant class, they dehumanize and vilify those philosophically opposed to their political agenda. They will do their best to “deprogram” your children and convert them to the religion of liberalism. …

The key for parents is to take the time to find out from your kids what is going on in school. Ask good questions. My grandson says that his economics teacher is pushing ObamaCare — in other words, giving only one side of the argument and not equipping children to see both sides and think for themselves. My grandson will be gathering information calling ObamaCare into question. Our children need to be encouraged to learn how to debate and they need to see us as strong role models.

What Mrs. Curtis is doing is homeschooling her children in order to help them survive government school. The only thing she is modeling, though, is confusion: She is sending her children to public school only to have to teach them at home how to counteract what the public schools are doing to them. This doesn’t even involve how, as a Christian, she and her husband also have to counteract the humanistic teachings their children are subjected to.

Her approach assumes that government schools are redeemable. They are not. They are so entrenched in how they do things that no matter what measures parents take, their children will always be subjected to objectionable material. Mrs. Curtis shouldn’t be surprised that Obama wants to use the public school system to further his agenda. Any local control those systems had was long ago surrendered to state and federal influences.

Of even more concern is that Mrs. Curtis is a Christian author and speaker who has influence over Christian families.

Ensign’s downplay of his adultery

It’s beyond obnoxious for Republican Sen. John Ensign to downplay his adultery with his friend’s wife by saying that at least he didn’t do anything “legally wrong.”

  1. He broke God’s Law in several ways, including adultery, bribery and deception.
  2. He has negatively affected many lives.
  3. He has, like so many others, embarrassed the Church.

There’s probably a lot more to be said. But it goes to show that gross sin isn’t the sole province of any political party or movement.

Ensign should, just as any of us do when we sin, admit our sin without downplaying it and humbly seek forgiveness.

By the same token, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

The whole situation also shows how easy it is to live a Christian veneer while justifying sin in the rest of your life. Let each of us beware.

More on public education

Voddie Baucham posted this recently about public education (emphases mine):

Education is discipleship; whomever we allow to educate our children is discipling our children.  “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40 ESV). 

If I knew for a fact the school down the street could ensure better test scores for my children, I still wouldn’t give them my children!  I am commanded to bring my children up in the nurture and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4), and to do so by teaching them God’s statutes when I sit in my house, when I lie down, when I rise up, and when I walk along the way (Deut. 6:7).  I am also admonished not to place myself, or by extension my children, under false teaching (Col. 2:8), or to expose them to teaching that undermines God’s Law (Matt. 5:17-20).  Instead, I must teach them to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5), to refuse to be “conformed to the pattern of this world” (Rom. 12:2), and meditate on God’s Law day and night (Ps. 1:2). 

Yes, the academic argument is a potent one.  However, it pales in comparison to the biblical/theological argument for Christian discipleship through education.  Still, one wonders how any parent who truly loves his or her child and wants the ‘best’ for them could look at a study like this and still drop them off at the local government indoctrination center later this month.  But anyone who has been engaged in this discussion longer than a few days knows exactly what the answer to this charge will be… “OUR SCHOOLS ARE DIFFERENT!” (I even heard this argument from a woman in a school district in Georgia that had lost it’s accreditation!)

Parents do love their children.  Unfortunately, many parents are simply misinformed, and quite inert when it comes to the education question.  Prayerfully, studies like the “Progress Report” and updates like “The Continuing Collapse” will open a few more eyes.  In fact, I have met and/or corresponded with at least half a dozen families this summer who decided to leave government schools as a result of information they have received from these and other sources.  It seems there are some minds ready to “unplug from the Matrix” after all.

The study he refers to in the third paragraph is here.

Registering a complaint about WCIC’s plans

WCIC-FM, 91.5 in Peoria, is recruiting 150 volunteers to staff Peoria School District 150’s registration process.

I have no doubt that the intentions of WCIC and the volunteers are good. But I still believe that to do this is to aid and abet an enemy of the Church — or, at the very least, an impediment to the Gospel.

Dave Brooks, station manager at WCIC, told me that:

As a station we’re committed to challenging and encouraging the Christian community to put faith into action. We want to do what we can to make the Peoria area a better place to live, work and raise our families. We want to engage with the love of Christ in the marketplace of ideas.

And while Dave has said he believes the volunteers will be “expressing the heart of Christ” to the schools and children by helping out, offering a “cup of cold water to them,” WCIC is also in essence agreeing to muzzle itself from offering the Gospel: A District 150 rep told me that no volunteers will be free to share their religious beliefs and/or minister to the children or parents.

That’s fine and good, since it’s 150’s turf, but it doesn’t do much for “expressing the heart of Christ.” Agreeing to get involved in a volunteer effort for a biblical reason and, at the same time, agreeing not to mention anything biblical seems a bit contradictory. You could make the argument, I suppose, that they’re showing and acting out the Gospel rather than just talking about it. I don’t think it quite flies, though. A different argument that would hold more cold water, though, would be that registering kids for school isn’t the time or place for offering the Gospel — although is there really a time or place when the Gospel shouldn’t be offered? Should we ever agree to that?

The point, though, is that they shouldn’t be there at all. In my opinion, they are helping an organization that doesn’t exactly have the best interests of the Church at heart.

(Then again, what do we do about the Bible-believing, committed disciples of Christ who are employed by public school districts? I don’t think they should be working in them, but I also know that it’s between them and the Lord. That’s my feeling about the individual volunteers in this situation as well.)

Please understand I’m not saying we should ignore the public school system. Helping the children who attend the government schools in Peoria or other communities directly is one thing. Peoria Dream Center, for instance, has a laudable program which provides poor students of any school with school supplies. Local churches participate in Bear Buddy programs, forming direct relationships with children to encourage them in their studies and in life. Organizations like the Women’s Pregnancy Center are allowed to conduct abstinence workshops. Good News Clubs are allowed to meet on school property afterhours. South Side Mission caters to public school students by tutoring them after school is over.

All are good examples of ministries being able to step into children’s lives and show them that the Body of Christ cares.

WCIC’s effort to provide volunteers for District 150 registration, however, only shows the government school bureaucracy that the Body of Christ is ready to help it in its efforts to harm the Church’s efforts to spread the Gospel and a holy way of life.

It is no secret that public school systems these days are hostile to the Bible, or at least living in a court-ordered neutrality. Teaching of Scripture is forbidden in them; prayer is significantly curtailed. This perhaps was an inevitable turn of events as the nation became more pluralistic and as humanism gained a foothold in more facets of American society, especially the government’s educational system. It’s the way it is and doesn’t look likely to change.

However, public schools also actively oppose Bible-believing Christianity. Evolution, for example, is taught as fact. Tolerance of lifestyles described in Scripture as abominations is encouraged. In addition, public schools also are stages for sexual immorality, drug use, gang activity and indulgence in the darker aspects of our culture — inevitable outcomes of a godless institution.

I feel that to aid in this process is an embarrassment to the Body of Christ. It sends the message that the government school system, with all of its hostilities to biblical ways of life, is perfectly acceptable to the Body of Christ in the Peoria area. As I noted above, there are other ways to help children; helping the bureaucracy that rules them academically and culturally is not one of them.

Dave Brooks, of course, disagrees. I’ll let him have the last word:

I feel I understand the reason you raised concerns. If by our effort to help with District 150’s back to school registration 91.5 WCIC is implicitly condoning everything being promulgated in classrooms of public schools across the listening area I would share your concerns. Hopefully most listeners will not draw that conclusion.

I look forward to your comments. I also ask you to take poll below:

A night without meteors

Last night was supposed to be the height of the Perseid meteor shower. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken in a good shower (meteoric, not fluidic; I had had one of those earlier after pulling weeds in the garden), so I was hoping for a good show.

It may have gotten good at some point, but not when I was watching. I saw one, maybe two.

But it was still a good night: sitting on lawn chairs out in the yard, in the country, the “only” sounds being thousands or millions of insects doing their nighttime thing, some barking dogs and a pack of howling coyotes a mile or two away; the only light a neighbor’s back porch light; the occasional bat (owl?) cruising through the yard; a perfectly clear sky with thousands of visible stars shining down; temperatures in the 70s; and no mosquitoes.

The best part? My kids, in their pajamas and housecoats, sitting with me. My 8-year-old son on my lap, asking if meteors could be this color or that color or this color or that color, because if they could be, then he just saw one; my 10-year-old daughter in the chair next to me, as close as she can get, both her arms wrapped around my right arm, especially once the coyotes started their chorus, telling me she’s scared and then asking if we could stay out a few more minutes.

Nope, didn’t see many meteors. I even got up at 2 a.m. and went outside for a few minutes to see if they were really kicking up by then because I had told the kids if they were, I’d get them back up. But they weren’t, so I didn’t.

But that half hour or so in the front yard with my two middle children was better than the best meteor shower anyone would ever see.

‘Family friendly radio’ says, ‘Yay, the kids are gone!’

I used to get a kick out of that office-supply store commercial that featured happy parents dancing down the aisle as they bought school supplies and dejected children walking behind them. After a while, though, it struck me as sad, another example of how our society has devalued family — that a parent would be so happy to get rid of their kids that they’ll dance.

The yay-the-kids-are-gone attitude is now being used as a promotion by WCIC-FM, 91.5 in Peoria, which used to use the slogan “We’re Centered in Christ,” but now calls itself “Family Friendly Radio.”

Here’s how “family friendly” WCIC is:

Mom and Dad’s Secret Celebration!
School Bells Never Sounded so GREAT!

Mom and Dad, we know you’re going to miss those great afternoons around town with the kids and those hot days spent running through the sprinklers!  Family vacations are where it’s at!  But, deep down, we know you relish the quiet that will take over the house when the kids go back to school!  

So, here’s your chance to celebrate!  Mom and Dad, be listening August 10 through August 21 for the sound of the kids getting on the school bus. Be the ninth caller when you hear it and you’ll receive an eco-friendly bag perfect for back to school shopping and stuffed with 91.5 WCIC gear. Plus you’ll be in the running to win the Grand Prize: 

* A Trip to Chicago *
* White Sox Tickets *
* Gas, Food, and Spending Money *

* Hotel Accomodations *

…But Shhhhhh!  Don’t tell the kids about the Secret Celebration!

Thanks to Hoerr’s Berean Bookstore for their support! 

This is just plain sad. It’s “family friendly” to “celebrate” sending your kids off to school? What does it tell the children whose departure to school is being celebrated?

Here’s what American evangelicalism has come to: Thinking the same way about our families the way the world does. WCIC should change its slogan from “Family Friendly Radio” to “Worldly Culture Is Cool.”

I understand that parents might need a break from time to time from the stresses involved with raising children, and that they need some time as a couple. But this contest represents a worldview that, No. 1, it’s OK to send your children away from the home to be educated, in many cases to government-run schools, and, 2, things are better when that happens! And I also know that when I’m at home alone, without three kids bouncing around and chattering, I feel totally at sea. My wife and children are gifts from God.

But Dave Brooks, station manager at CIC, says the promotion is only a “wink”:

I guess the playful tone, the “wink” of the promotion does not work for you.

I’m sorry. As much as I would like to see this as a lighthearted, playful promotion, I don’t see any “wink.” If it was meant to just be a playful wink, it failed. WCIC and Hoerr’s Berean Bookstores need to get better copywriters. It’s made all the worse by the emphasis on “family friendly radio.”

Yeah, real friendly.

Palin’s clear: It’s all about her

Sarah Palin’s resignation as governor of Alaska should be a warning in two ways:

  1. She wasn’t willing to complete the job which she asked the voters of Alaska to allow her to do. If national attention was getting in the way of her performance as governor, she should have taken steps to mitigate it, even if that meant definitively ruling out any future campaign for president. If she wants to run for president or U.S. senator, can she be trusted to finsih the job she says she wants?
  2. Rather than using her resignation as an opportunity to be a mother to her family, which includes two younger children, one of whom has Down syndrome, Palin apparently plans to use her free time for other political ventures. This is the main reason I opposed her candidacy for vice president in 2008. Moms need to be at home when their children are growing up. Her nomination was a slap in the face at those who espouse family values.

In other words, the resignation is all about her.