Friday, October 31, 2008

My Ballot

Following Layne's Lead:

U.S. President
U.S. President
[X] John McCain (Republican)
[ ] Barack Obama (Democratic)
[ ] Charles O. Baldwin (Constitution Party)
[ ] Bob Barr (Libertarian)
[ ] Cynthia McKinney
[ ] Ralph Nader (Independent)

U.S. Senate
U.S. Senator
A Six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Senators serve state-wide
[ ] Scotty Boman (Libertarian), Professor
[ ] Doug Dern (Natural Law Party), Lawyer
[X] Jack Hoogendyk Jr. (Republican), State representative
[ ] Carl Levin (Democratic), U.S. Senator
[ ] Harley G. Mikkelson (Green), GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE
[ ] Michael N. Nikitin (U.S. Taxpayers), US TAXPAYERS PARTY CANDIDATE

U.S. Representative
U.S. Representative - 7th District
A two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives District covers parts of Washtenaw County and the counties of Eaton, Calhoun, Jackson, Branch, Hillsdale and Lenawee.
[ ] Mark Schauer (Democratic)
[X] Tim Walberg (Republican), US Congressman- Michigan's 7th District

State Representative
State Representative - 71st District
[ ] Mark Eagle (Democratic)
[X] Rick Jones (Republican)

Statewide Ballot Proposals

Proposal 1 (statewide)
A LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE TO PERMIT THE USE AND CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA FOR SPECIFIED MEDICAL CONDITIONS The proposed law would: Permit physician approved use of marijuana by registered patients with debilitating medical conditions including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, MS and other conditions as may be approved by the Department of Community Health. Permit registered individuals to grow limited amounts of marijuana for qualifying patients in an enclosed, locked facility. Require Department of Community Health to establish an identification card system for patients qualified to use marijuana and individuals qualified to grow marijuana. Permit registered and unregistered patients and primary caregivers to assert medical reasons for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana.
[X] Yes
[ ] No

Proposal 2 (statewide)
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ADDRESS HUMAN EMBRYO AND HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH IN MICHIGAN The proposed constitutional amendment would:Expand use of human embryos for any research permitted under federal law subject to the following limits: the embryos –-- are created for fertility treatment purposes; -- are not suitable for implantation or are in excess of clinical needs; -- would be discarded unless used for research; -- were donated by the person seeking fertility treatment. Provide that stem cells cannot be taken from human embryos more than 14 days after cell division begins. Prohibit any person from selling or purchasing human embryos for stem cell research. Prohibit state and local laws that prevent, restrict or discourage stem cell research, future therapies and cures.
[ ] Yes
[X] No

State Education
State Board of Education
Eight-year terms. Two to be elected
[ ] Karen Adams (U.S. Taxpayers)
[ ] John Austin (Democratic), Executive Director, New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan
[ ] Gail M. Graeser (U.S. Taxpayers)
[X] Bill Hall (Libertarian), Attorney
[ ] Scott Jenkins (Republican), Education Consultant
[ ] Dwain Reynolds III (Green), Student, Day Care Teacher
[ ] Jeff A. Steinport (Libertarian)
[X] Kathleen Straus (Democratic)
[ ] Richard Zeile (Republican), School Administrator

State Judges
Justice of the Supreme Court
An eight-year term. One position open.
[ ] Diane Marie Hathaway , Wayne County Circuit Court Judge
[ ] Robert Roddis , Attorney
[X] Cliff Taylor , Chief Justice, Michigan Supreme Court

State University Boards

University of Michigan Board of Regents
Eight-year terms; two to be elected. Statewide race.
[ ] Ellis Boal (Green), Lawyer
[ ] Susan Brown (Republican), Interior designer, 35 years
[ ] Laurence B. Deitch (Democratic), Lawyer
[ ] Denise Ilitch (Democratic), Attorney, publisher, entrepreneur
[ ] John G. LaFond (Republican), Director - Ford/U of M Program Development (retired)
[ ] Eric L. Larson (Libertarian), Anesthesiologist
[X] Kerry L. Morgan (Libertarian), Attorney
[X] Richard Ryskamp (U.S. Taxpayers), Physician
[ ] Joe Sanger (U.S. Taxpayers), Certified Public Accountant

Michigan State University Board of Trustees
8 year term - two to be elected
[ ] Lisa Bouchard (Republican), President and CEO
[ ] David A. Brown (Libertarian), Software Consultant
[ ] Dianne Byrum (Democratic), small business owner
[ ] Robert Gale (U.S. Taxpayers)
[ ] George Scott Romney (Republican)
[X] Joseph Rosenquist (Libertarian), Software developer
[ ] Theresa Storm (Green)
[X] Crystal Van Sickle (U.S. Taxpayers), Unemployed
[ ] Diann Woodward (Democratic)

Wayne State University Board of Governors
[ ] Torion J. Bridges (Republican), Full-time student; heads a communications and technology firm
[ ] Rick Butkowski (U.S. Taxpayers), Retired IT Manager
[ ] Margaret Guttshall (Green), Librarian
[ ] Terry Haines (U.S. Taxpayers)
[ ] Danialle Karmanos (Republican), President of NonProfit - Danialle Karmanos Work It Out!
[ ] Dan Keizer (Libertarian)
[X] Paul Massaron (Democratic), Self Employed, PEM Consulting
[ ] Nicole Michalak (Libertarian)
[ ] Gary S. Pollard (Democratic)

For coverage of other races and candidates, visit:

My Conviction

I believe God has laid something pretty heavily on my heart in the last two days. Over the last month I, like so many other Americans, have gotten VERY caught up in the presidential race. To be honest with you, I've lost sight of what really matters. I still have and will always have my political convictions and preferences, but ultimately, I've decided it doesn't REALLY matter who gets in the office as President. What this country needs is not higher or lower taxes. It's not universal health care. It's not about the War in Iraq. It's not about socialism, free trade or capitalism. What this Country needs is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I will still vote for John McCain, but if either candidate gets in office, will it really amount to a hill of beans? John McCain might get a few Justices in office that will overturn Roe v. Wade, and that would be wonderful. But shouldn't my focus be on evangelizing those who support abortions? Then it is not my job to convict them. It is God's. Frankly, he is much more efficient at it.

So as of today, my focus will be re-calibrated. I will stop campaigning and start praying. I will stop worrying about Barack Obama and John McCain's policies so much and start evangelizing. I truly believe that any failing on the part of our country is not due to Democrats or Republicans. It is due to the falling away from Christianity.

Go preach the Gospel.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Challies review of "The Shack"

Here is a portion of Challies review of the book, "The Shack"

"Throughout the book there is this kind of subversive strain teaching that new and fresh revelation is much more relevant and important than the kind of knowledge we gain in sermons or seminaries or Scripture. Young’s readers seem to be picking up on this. Read this brief Amazon review as an example: “Wish I could take back all the years in seminary! The years the locusts ate???? Systematic theology was never this good. Shack will be read again and again. With relish. Shared with friends, family, and strangers. I can fly! It’s a gift. ‘Discipleship’ will never be lessons again.” Another reviewer warns that many Christians will find the book difficult to read because of their “modern” mindsets. “If one is coming from a strong, propositional and, perhaps, fundamentalist perspective to the Bible, this book certainly will be threatening.” Still another says “This book was so shocking to my “staid” Christianity but it was eye opening to my own thoughts about who I think God is.” At several points I felt as if the author was encouraging the reader to doubt what they know of Christianity—to deconstruct what they know of Christian theology—and to embrace something new. But the faith Young reconstructs is simply not the faith of the Bible.

Eugene Peterson says this book is as good and as important as The Pilgrim’s Progress. Well, it really is not. It is neither as good nor as original a story and it lacks the theological precision of Bunyan’s work. But really, this is a bit of a facile comparison. The Pilgrim’s Progress, after all, is allegory—a story that has a second distinct meaning that is partially hidden behind its literal meaning. The Shack is not meant to be allegory. Nor can The Shack quite be equated with a story like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where C.S. Lewis simply asked (and answered) this kind of question: “What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?” The Shack is in a different category than these more notable Christian works. It seeks to represent the members of the Trinity as they are (or as they could be) and to suggest through them what they might teach were they to appear to us in a similar situation. There is a sense of attempted or perceived reality in this story that is missing in the others. This story is meant to teach theology that Young really believes to be true. The story is a wrapper for the theology. In theory this is well and good; in practice the book is only as good as its theology. And in this case, the theology just is not good enough.

Because of the sheer volume of error and because of the importance of the doctrines reinvented by the author, I would encourage Christians, and especially young Christians, to decline this invitation to meet with God in The Shack. It is not worth reading for the story and certainly not worth reading for the theology."
Read the whole review here.

I wonder if any of my readers have read this book. I've heard a lot about it from my freinds, but I had not realized it was gaining as much popularity as it is. Have you read it? If so, what did you think?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Worth a read

I found this article via Denny Burk. Here's an excerpt:

"Sen. Barack Obama's views on life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic stem cell research mark him as not merely a pro-choice politician, but rather as the most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket.

Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress.

Yet there are Catholics and Evangelicals-even self-identified pro-life Catholics and Evangelicals - who aggressively promote Obama's candidacy and even declare him the preferred candidate from the pro-life point of view.

What is going on here?

I have examined the arguments advanced by Obama's self-identified pro-life supporters, and they are spectacularly weak. It is nearly unfathomable to me that those advancing them can honestly believe what they are saying. But before proving my claims about Obama's abortion extremism, let me explain why I have described Obama as "pro-abortion" rather than "pro-choice.""

Read the whole essay here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I finally went to watch Fireproof on Sunday night.

Let me start my review by saying I did not like "Facing the Giants" very much at all. I thought the acting was bad and the production was bad. (Yes, I do understand that the actors were not paid and that the movie was made on a $100,000 budget.) More importantly, I thought the overall message of the movie was bad.

I can get past bad acting and poor production, but the prosperity gospel does not fly with me. The message that I walked away from "facing the Giants" with, was that if I become a Christian, I will win two state football championships, have a brand new truck given to me and I'll get my infertile wife pregnant. As simple as that. Get saved, life is peachy. That is the basis of the prosperity gospel and the basis of the movie.

Fireproof did not portray the same message. When the movie first started, I thought the same thing: Bad acting, poor production quality. (Kirk Cameron was good.) However, after about ten minutes, the acting and production quality either got better or the story line was so engaging that I forgot all about everything else. I'll go with the former. The plot to this movie was so good, that I was hooked the entire time.

The prosperity gospel did not seem to be present in the story. It explained real and understandable ways that faith in God can strengthen our marriages. It was true to life in the fact that after the main character came to know Christ, his life did not instantaneously and miraculously take a turn for the better. Rather, he was attacked all the harder with temptation and trials. His marriage did indeed come together and work out, but the road there was rocky and torturous.

I would absolutely recommend this movie to anyone. Get out and see it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This man makes me sick.

In keeping with a theme.....

Obama Statement on 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade Decision

Chicago, IL | January 22, 2008
Chicago, IL -- Senator Barack Obama today released the following statement on the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

"Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, it's never been more important to protect a woman's right to choose. Last year, the Supreme Court decided by a vote of 5-4 to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban, and in doing so undermined an important principle of Roe v. Wade: that we must always protect women's health. With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a women's fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade. The next president may be asked to nominate that Supreme Court justice. That is what is at stake in this election.

"Throughout my career, I've been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"When South Dakota passed a law banning all abortions in a direct effort to have Roe overruled, I was the only candidate for President to raise money to help the citizens of South Dakota repeal that law. When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it. And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president.

"Moreover, I believe in and have supported common-sense solutions like increasing access to affordable birth control to help prevent unintended pregnancies. In the Illinois state Senate, when Congress failed to require insurance plans to cover FDA-approved contraceptives, I made sure those contraceptives were covered for women in Illinois. In the U.S. Senate, I've worked with Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on a bill that would make birth control more affordable for low-income and college women, and introduced the Senate version of Representative Hilda Solis' bill to reduce unintended pregnancies in communities of color. As President, I will improve access to affordable health care and work to ensure that our teens are getting the information and services they need to stay safe and healthy.

"But we also know that Roe v. Wade is about more than a woman's right to choose; it's about equality. It's about whether our daughters are going to have the same opportunities as our sons. And so to truly honor that decision, we need to update the social contract so that women can free themselves, and their children, from violent relationships; so that a mom can stay home with a sick child without getting a pink slip; so that she can go to work knowing that there's affordable, quality childcare for her children; and so that the American dream is within reach for every family in this country. This anniversary reminds us that it's not enough to protect the gains of the past – we have to build a future that's filled with hope and possibility for all Americans."

In case you're wondering, it is my understanding that the Freedom of choice act would overturn all bans on abortion, including late term and partial birth abortions. This man is an extremist and the most liberal politician I've ever seen. I still don't especially like McCain, but I absolutely can not sit back and watch this man take office.