Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Why We Do What We Do-Christians in the Public Square

As we turn the page into 2007, I think its important to refresh ourselves about the importance of our witness in the public square.

What would Jesus say and do?

Consistently, Jesus and other biblical writers spoke about the importance of being salt and light. They saw the role of Christians in the culture as vital; a beacon of light to dark and dying societies.

Most of us today like to think that we live in illuminated times-that our cultural problems are really not that bad.

I would beg to differ.

Our cultural peccadilloes are enormous-abortion, homosexuality, drugs, poverty, crime, etc. If God gives us a pass he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology. There is no shortage of opportunities.

So what should your response be? A great starting point is in 1 Corinthians 8:6-7, where Paul writes, "for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord. Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone knows this."

Here's why we do what we should do. My pedigree as a Christ-follower starts with my view of life anchored in the fact of who God is. Collectively, humanity has departed from this wisdom and chased other gods. Whether it be in the political arena, the workplace or my neighborhood, people need to be touched by Jesus!

More than ever, Colorado's public square cries out for believers to be engaged. Many would have us moderate our views. I say no to that notion. I say that we more godly values in the public square.

*1 Peter 3:15

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Contraception Bill Returns Again

For five years abortionist Democrats in the Colorado legislature have been trying to pass a law requiring hospitals to provide contraceptives or contraception information to "rape victims."

This year it may pass with Democratic control of the legislature and a friendly new Democratic Governor.

Here's the issue and the problem. Democratic supporters of this issue argue that rape survivors deserve this type of emergency information. Okay. They also state this will shrink the number of unwanted pregnancies and provide a "compassionate" response to the crime of rape.

Let me preceed my comments by saying that rape is a horrible crime worthy of no one. It is one of the most de-humanizing acts any human can foist on another person.

Having said that, the breakdown with this law starts with the institutions which would be mandated to carry this law out-hospitals. On the surface, it sounds reasonable, but in reality its a Trojan horse.

First, this law would run roughshod on hospitals who operate with moral principles, particularly Catholic ones, ordering them to act. Its troubling to think that the government could be empowered to order private institutions to violate their moral views. Second, it assumes that every "rape survivor" has truly been raped. I would never diminish the anguish of any rape victim, but I am cognizant that some may see this service as a path to free birth control. Third, the dispensation of emergency contraceptives could be harmful without the consultation of a doctor with a history of the patient. Finally, there is no evidence that this type of service reduces unwanted pregnancies.

So there it is. This is still a bad idea for Colorado.

Here's a good story on this issue.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Celebrating Life

Today marks the 34th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision to legalize abortion-on-demand.

Incredibly, it is estimated that 45 million babies have been aborted in part by this tragic decision. And this may be under reported.

While many media polls trumpet the President's low poll numbers, being popular and doing the right thing are not necessary inclusive.

Thus,standing true to his pro-life convictions, President Bush weighed in by stating that, "America was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth."

Bravo for the President.

Being pro-life assumes several premises. First, that you believe in personhood at the moment of conception; that all life is valuable-the disabled, terminally ill and
unwanted. Second, being pro-life gushes respect for the dignity and humanity of every person. Finally, being pro-life complements being pro-family.

Without human life, human families fail to exist.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Value of Personhood

Governor Ritter's recent decision to refund Planned Parenthood's operations has reignitied an old debate- the value of life, specifically unborn and elderly persons.

Let me start by saying that abortion is a slippery slope. The ideology of euthanasia finds its roots in abortion. While doctors, ethicists and philosophers may argue when a unborn person establishes personhood, scripture offers a clear position- and its a position historically held until the recent era of abortion.

In the Old Testament book of Psalms, chapter 139 offers a compelling description of God's intentional procreative work. Specifically, verses 13 through 16 delineate God's pre-birth design and personhood for every unborn human.

But there is hope around our nation in the life battle.A new proposed law in Georgialikely will pass through that state's legislature and become law.

Changing the hearts and minds of men and women is a large task. But its a battle which demands our attention.

There is work to be done here in Colorado. More than 9800 abortions were reported in our state in 2003!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I Want Peace Too!

I want peace too! But it occurs to me that there is a difference between true peace and appeasement. For peace to breakout, there must be two parties who desire the same outcome. Unfortunately, it doesn't work well when one side wants to kill and impose their system (ie Islamofacists).

Most Americans do not remember Europe's historic "peace" with Adolf Hitler in 1937. The Eurpeans thought they had a real lasting deal for peace. It didn't last long. Two years later, the world was engulfed in World War II.

Yesterday's Martin Luther King Marade participants talked about his dream of peace. Noble stuff from a noble man. But true peace cannot exist until evil is vanquished. America faces overt evil in our world today. Victory will give true peace. Appeasement will not.

Tax Dollars for Colorado Abortions?

Seldom can you give a fox a chicken and tell it not to swallow.

Last week, our newly minted Governor Ritter made his first mistake as Guv. In his first state of the state address to a joint session of the Colorado legislature, he proudly announced that he would refund Planned Parenthood's (the fox) "pregnancy prevention and family services with tax dollars (the chicken). His rationalization- we need to prevent more unwanted pregnancies and Planned Parenthood is well-equipped to provide this service. Again, seldom can you give a fox a chicken and tell it not to swallow.

Several years ago, then Governor Bill Owens cutoff state tax dollars to Planned Parenthood because of their inability to prove that tax dollars (chickens) were not being used to aid their abortion services. A subsequent audit proved Owen's original premise. Since that time, Planned Parenthood's lobbyists and political allies have plotted and planned to get their hands on your tax dollars once again.

They have found a friend in Bill Ritter.

Sources tell us that Ritter has "privately" pro-life. Yet, what good is that? Its akin to saying that you don't want harm to come to your neighbor yet failing to call the fire department at 2am as their house burns, not wanting to disturb them.

Guv Ritter has invited the foxes into the hen house. Sadly, this act is a payoff for key political support leading to Ritter's election. Planned Parenthood will not get its hand caught in the cookie jar again. They will be more stealthy this time around, erecting legal and corporate moats to protect their state funding of their "services."

This is a bad start for our new Governor. And the foxes will enjoy their dinner.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Christian Fascists? The Rising Tide Against Christians

One of my favorite Christian writers and thinkers is Chuck Colson. Today's installment from Mr. Colson in his Breakpoint (www.breakpoint.org) column should be seminal reading for all believers who are engaged in our present cultural struggles.

It hits the nail on the head describing the ideological challenges we face.

Here it is in its entirety.

America's Secular Jihadists
Atheists on the Offensive

January 12, 2007

Just a few months ago, I thought it was insulting to be called a "theocrat." I was wrong. "Theocrat" is almost a compliment compared to what the Left is calling Christians now.

According to a New York Times review, we Christians are fascists—that's what the Nazis were. And if we're not stopped, we'll try to take over America. It's an illustration of how vicious the invective has become against faithful Christians.

"Of course there are Christian fascists in America," writes Rick Perlstein in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. How else, for example, to explain the cadres who took former Chief Justice Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument on tour?

Perlstein was reviewing the latest in the recent crop of hate books about the Christian faith, this one titled, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, written by Chris Hedges. He details all the wacky killings, like the Aryan brotherhood over the last twenty-five years, and then concludes by saying that Christians are about to do the same thing. Talk about guilt by association.

The really dangerous thing here is that, by writing this kind of stuff, they are likely to embolden some nut to start shooting pastors and Christian leaders.

Perlstein was honest enough to admit that there has been no violence from Christians lately—but he reminds us that there used to be, and may be again, driven by all those violent Left Behind books.

Gee, what a backhanded compliment! We're not as bad as we used to be—or will be in the future.

American Fascists is just the latest book in a long line of anti-Christian literature to hit the best-seller lists—all reviewed and promoted by the New York Times. Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion, suggests that the government may have to stop parents from sharing their religious beliefs with their kids, calling it a form of child abuse.

What's behind this witch hunt? Two things.

First, it's an effort to drive Christians out of public debates, like abortion and same-sex "marriage," and sadly, there are signs it might be working.

Second, as Sam Schulman noted last week in the Wall Street Journal, atheists are trying to move heaven and earth (so to speak) to destroy belief in God.

In the Victorian age, it was atheists who were gentlemen, rather civilized, though held in low public regard. Today, atheists are trying to turn the tables: turning religious faith into "a cause for personal embarrassment."

To the new atheists, religious belief is both misguided and contemptible, "the mark of people who need to be told how to think and how to vote," Schulman writes. Belief in God is "a form of stupidity"—or so they say.

But the faith these atheists present is a parody of the faith that thousands have given their lives for, and for causes like ending the slave trade and human rights causes today. Look over the history of Western civilization, as Rodney Stark, the great sociologist, writes, and you'll see that Christianity has been the source of all the great reforms and advances of Western civilization.

The best response to these attacks, of course, is just a loving assertion of the truth and a renewed effort to silence the critics by doing good.

And in the midst of these best-selling books that try to embarrass us out of our faith, we ought to remember the words of the Apostle Paul: "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for all those who believe."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Welcome Aboard Guv Ritter!

Below are excerpts from a letter not-sent to our newly minted Governor, Bill Ritter. Here we go:

Welcome aboard Guv Ritter! You are number 41...As one of those "evil" socially conservative Republicans, I will try and stay out of the spotlight as much as possible. Some of your political allies see us akin to mold. Honestly, I thought that I would be penning a congratulatory letter to your gubernatorial opponent, Bob Beauprez. But its you not he who sits in the governor's high-backed leather chair today. Your friends and allies are in overdrive telling us how focused, teachable and visionary you are. We have even heard that you are bipartisan. Time will tell. But one thing is for sure-your office is no longer the Denver District Attorney's suite. Humbly, I would like to offer three gentle suggestions to you. I know that a lot of folks are telling you how to govern and what your first acts should be, so here's my two cents worth:

1- Don't let the job create a wedge between you and your family. They will still be your family long after your guv job ends.

2- Don't rush to judgment. My mom always told me that haste makes waste. What might look good now stinks a year from now.

3- Be cautious who you keep time with. Pandering and patronage are long-held political tools to get politicians to embrace an agenda. Get out of Denver a bit and see how the rest of the state lives.

Finally, I know that you have political debts to pay but remember you are every Coloradans governor, even us evil Republicans...


Jim Chapman

Wisdom in the Public Square

In Colorado, the advent of January means several things: great skiing and the ignition of our state legislature. For the next five months, debates over the issues facing our state will ensue- from illegal immigration to health care to education.

For the next two years, Colorado Democrats will have unparalleled political power. Their hold on both houses of the state legislature and the governorship may usher in a very different direction for Colorado. Time will tell. But, Coloradans have a great opportunity to participate in making our state strong. Your ideas do count!

2007 also marks a great opportunity for believers. As Christians, we have a responsibility to witness to whomever holds the power, pointing towards godly ideas and solutions. The New Testament book of 1 Peter addresses our need to offer sound, godly and insightful answers for our beliefs. The underlying assumption is that Christians will be in the public square and that they will witness for God no matter what the context or setting may be.

All ideas, either good or bad start somewhere. Let's be the one's who initiate the ideas.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Democrats Rule the Roost: Our Predictions for 2007

The Democrats rule the roost in Colorado.

For the first time in nearly 50 years, the Dems control both houses of the state legislature and the governorship. A mere eight years ago, the Republicans held the power in Colorado with similiar numbers. Time has certainly changed the political landscape.

As we head into 2007, here's our short list of things we expect to happen with the convenience of our state legislature and the inauguration of our new governor Bill Ritter.

*Refunding of Planned Parenthood with tax payer dollars. Unfortunately, our new governor may put aside his personal pro-life beliefs and succumb to pressure from his political abortion minded allies. This reversal may be his first executive order.

*Concerted effort to limit CSAP- the annual measurement used to measure public education's effectiveness and efficiency. Teacher unions contributed huge dollars to the Ritter campaign. They expect some CSAP relief. A coat tail effect will be future review of all school-choice options, including home schooling.

*Increased efforts to pass additional special rights for homosexuals and transgendered people. Expect to see new laws which guard the "rights" of these groups particularly in the workplace. Also look for efforts to grant homosexual couples the right to adopt children and dare we say, some type of a civil union option.

*The smorgasboard of issues to include emergency contraception services, embryonic stem cell research et al. Expect higher taxes.

The Dems rule the roost for the next two years. Let's hope that the voters made the right decision.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Finding Your Dad for the First Time

Katrina Clark looks and sounds like a normal 18 year old college freshmen.

She's smart, precocious, buoyant and has the world by the tail-at least that's what it appears like on the surface.

But Katrina Clark is the first wave of children who are becoming adults who were conceived through artificial insemination. Her mom was a single-parent. Despite a caring mom, Katrina's heartache has been for the father she never knew.

This story reflects a growing (and troubling)trend in America of non-traditional families and the children they raise. I believe that these new "family systems" will gain ink in 2007.

We are quickly jettisoning the parameters of family, which have stood for a millennium, for untested familial arrangements. More often than not, lawmakers and judges have constructed familial arrangements not based on what's best for a kid but to satisfy the claims of adults.

What do you think?

Here's the link to the story about Katrina Clark. It will touch you.