Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Oklahoma Democrats have long maintained they were more conservative than the national party. But that is not true, as evidenced by the platform resolutions adopted at the 2007 Oklahoma Democratic Party state convention. One of the resolutions adopted deal with the broadcast “Fairness Doctrine.”

The resolution reads,
“The Oklahoma Democratic Party believes that democracy can not succeed without an informed citizenry or the active participation of informed voters. Most citizens rely on print and broadcast media for the information they require to make their decisions, and they deserve to have full access to accurate reporting along with genuine discussion of issues that clearly presents the diverse points of view. The media has been subverted from its true purpose of information with clarity, accuracy and fairness by the effects of deregulation and by the destruction of the Fairness Doctrine. Therefore, in order to fairly educate the public, to win support of the party’s positions and elect candidates the Democratic Party must:
(1) Work to reinstate protection of fairness in the media through federal regulations such as those known as the Fairness Doctrine, which was adopted in 1949 by the FCC but removed in 1989. Such regulations would, for example insure that equal time be provided to all candidates running for office and attenuate the controlling power of wealth.
(2) Urge that the restrictions on the number of media outlets owned by a single individual, corporation, or entity be reinstated so that credibility, fairness, and relevance are not stifled by the power of wealth to control the public right to know.
(3) Congress and the FCC should prevent the federal administration and other public entities form using public funds to pay for editorial comments or advertising to promotion partisan political agendas.”
The policy of the FCC that became known, as the "Fairness Doctrine" was an attempt to ensure that all coverage of controversial issues by broadcast media be balanced and fair. The FCC took the view, in 1949, that station licensees were "public trustees," and as such had an obligation to afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view. In 1985, the FCC issued the Fairness Report, finding that the fairness doctrine reduced the quality and quantity of public affairs programming, did not serve the public interest, and probably offended the First Amendment. Nevertheless, the FCC refused to repeal the fairness doctrine. Instead, the Commission took the politically prudent path of suggesting that Congress do something. Congress did nothing, but eventually after losing several court cases, the Doctrine was repealed by the FCC in 1987.
The broadcasting market reacted immediately to the death of the fairness doctrine in 1987. The volume of public affairs programming began growing quickly. Much of this growth was in talk radio, and the most popular of the talk radio shows — particularly the Rush Limbaugh show — were conservative. This new style of conservative talk radio was not genteel and balanced. It was loud, opinionated, and highly rated. It was market driven. People listened to it for not only information, but also entertainment. Democrats had no one to compete with conservatives on air so they attempted to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. a number of time the past twenty years, but have failed. Liberals still like to talk about how to stop conservative broadcasting. Take for example this conversation Senator Inhofe had with a couple of colleagues.
On Thursday June 21, 2007, US Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) appeared on the John Ziegler evening show on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles. Inhofe discussed with Ziegler a conversation he overheard, and then joined, with Senators Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer where they discussed the need for a "legislative fix" to "have balance" in talk radio, after complaining about talk radio being "nothing but far-right-wing extremists." Their solution was a reinstatement of the “Fairness Doctrine.”

Oklahoma Democrats are right there with Hillary and Boxer. They want the taxpayers or private enterprise to give them the broadcast time that Republicans are paying for. For five years, Georgia Williams and I hosted a weekly two-hour political talk show called The Grapevine. It was broadcast live on Saturday mornings throughout SW Okla. We purchased a two-hour block of time and sold advertising to pay the cost. We never asked the station owner to give us the block of time. We didn’t lobby our Congressman for a grant to pay for the time. Our mission statement was “if there is no market for our dibble, then the advertisers will quit and we will go off the air.” When we voluntarily gave up the show in 2005, it was because it was so time consuming.
With this resolution, Oklahoma Democrats are attacking the free market system and free speech. They are expecting private enterprise and government to pay the bill so they can get their message out. That’s not the pioneering spirit that built Oklahoma. This resolution reveals the Oklahoma Democratic party has turned blue and has all the liberal leanings of the national party.
What will it take for conservative Oklahoma Democrats to leave their party? What will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Pro-life Oklahoma Democrats have to be upset with their party leader after Governor Henry vetoed legislation that would have prohibited taxpayer money to be used for abortions. Oklahoma Senate Bill 714 passed both houses of legislature with strong bi-partisan support and has a good chance of still becoming law if Henry’s veto can be overturned. The bill would have gotten the state out of the abortion business, but alas the Governor has delayed and perhaps derailed the proposal. It depends on whether the legislative Democrats who voted for the bill will vote to override Henry’s veto. A great deal of pressure will be put on those Ds who stood up for life, but it would only take one in the State Senate to kill the bill. What makes Henry’s veto ironic is that the same day the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a nationwide ban on the barbaric abortion procedure known as partial birth abortion.
Partial birth abortion is a method of late-term (after 20 weeks) abortion that terminates a pregnancy and results in the death and intact removal of a baby. This procedure is most commonly referred to as intact dilatation and extraction (Intact D &X). This barbaric procedure means the body of the baby is drawn out of the uterus feet first, until only the head remains inside the uterus. Then, the physician uses an instrument to puncture the base of the skull, which collapses the babies’ head. Typically, the contents of the baby’s head are then partially suctioned out, which results in the baby’s death and reduces the size of the baby’s head enough to allow it to pass through the cervix. The dead and otherwise intact baby is then removed from the woman's body. Eighty percent of the babies aborted by this method are normal and most are viable.
It is uncertain whether a baby experiences pain during the first trimester of development, when most abortions occur. However, recent studies have shown that the baby most certainly does feel pain by the end the second trimester, when late-term and partial birth abortions are performed.
Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, a pediatrician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and testifying on behalf of the Bush administration to defend the ban on partial-birth abortions said he believes unborn children suffer "severe and excruciating" pain because "the fetus is conscious" during the abortion procedure. “The baby shows increased heart rate, blood flow and hormone levels responding to pain during the abortion,” Dr. Anand said. "The physiological responses have been very clearly studied," he said. "The unborn child cannot talk ... so this is the best evidence we can get."
Thankfully, the US Supreme Court banned this barbaric procedure which was nothing short of infanticide, but rest assured, the fight over abortion is far from over. Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California) and Congressman Jerry Nadler, D-New York have reintroduced the Freedom of Choice Act- Senate Bill 2593 and HR 5151- which says The United States was founded on core principles, such as liberty, personal privacy, and equality, which ensure that individuals are free to make their most intimate decisions without governmental interference. Reproductive health decisions are best made by women with consultation with their loved ones and health care providers.

Boxer and Nadler left out someone on their list for consultation before an abortion-the Creator- the giver of life? Why didn’t their provision urge women to seek out what God has to say about abortion? Simply put, it’s because the Bible does not teach a pro-choice position. It teaches that life begins at conception and that God is the giver of life. It also sets forth punishment for those who accidentally or intentionally abort a child.

In Exodus 21:22, it states If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

Throughout the Bible, it mentions the child in the womb. Job said he was fashioned by God in the womb. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit while in his mother’s womb and Jeremiah was consecrated to the Lord while in the womb. There are at least a dozen more passages. God is definitely pro-life.

So how do Oklahoma Democrats who are Bible believing Christians stay in a party that champions abortion? For years, state Democrats argued- that’s the national party, but locally we are conservative. Not so now- when a Democratic Governor will not take a stand for the unborn, your party has left you and the values for which you stand. The Democratic Party is no friend to the unborn. Align with a political party that believes in the sanctity of life- the Republican Party.
Monday was Memorial Day and Fox News showed a few people in Washington protesting the war in Iraq. A lady that was interviewed said she was a devout Christian and that the Bible was against war. Was the lady right- does the Bible teach that war is wrong? Should Christians condone the war in Iraq or any war for that matter?

The first record of war in the scriptures is found in Genesis 14, when Abraham battled four kings for abducting Lot. Abraham trained 318 men for battle and defeated the four kings. In Genesis 14:19-20, it says that God sanctioned the war and in fact was the source of victory.

In Luke 3:14, John the Baptist did not tell the solders to leave the military when they asked him it meant to repent. He instead exhorted them to live a godly life while in the military. In John 18:36, Jesus acknowledges the right of the sword to earthly kingdoms. Romans 13:3-4 and 1 Peter 2:13 grants governments the right to use force to restrain and punish evil.

So what was Jesus teaching on the Sermon of the Mount when he said that we are to turn the other cheek? He wasn’t telling us to lie down and let evil overtake us. The Lord is telling us that much of the time the most effective way to overcome evil is by not resisting. If someone says a mean word, it is far more effective to respond with kindness than with another mean word in return. However, I don’t think that Jesus is telling us never to respond to evil with force. Jesus himself drove the thieves away from the temple with a whip (John 2:15. Also understand the Lord is not talking to governments at the Sermon on the Mount, he is talking to individuals. Our personal response to evil should be to “turn the other cheek,” but government’s God-given responsibility is to punish those who commit civil crimes like murder, acts of terrorism and war.

Therefore, when a Christian is under the authority of the government and authorized to fight in a just war on the nation’s behalf, it is appropriate for him to fight. For he is not fighting as a private individual, but as a representative of the government to which God has given the power of the sword.

A Christian solider should strive to love one’s opponents in war as people, remembering that he opposes them as agents of the opposing government, not as private individuals That might be tough in battle, but it gives an idea of how personal and governmental sphere overlap one another in scripture.

When Rome begin to fall back in 410 AD, Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo viewed it from his vantage point on the North African coast and worried about how the fall would impact Christianity. He penned his famous defense, The City of God. In it, he wrote that for a Christian to participate in war, it had to be a “just war.” Augustine’s “Just War” doctrine has seven tenets.

(1)Competent Authority. A war must be declared by politically responsible authorities and not by private individuals. (2) Probability of success- A war should not be undertaken if there is no obvious hope for success. (3) Last resort- A war must be a last resort after sincere efforts have been made to resolve the controversy peacefully. (4) Just Intent- The object of a war must be peace and reconciliation and not the unlimited destruction of the enemy state. (5) Just Cause- The war must be an act of defense in response to armed aggression. (6) Proportionality- The good brought about by a war should outweigh its evils in cost and destruction to both sides and the means used should be proportional to the harm cause. (7) Discriminate means- Military actions should not be waged that directly intend to take the lives of noncombatants (civilians or innocents)

Throughout history, some have sanctioned the “Just War” doctrine, while others have condemned it. Some have used it to support almost every war their country has fought in- others have used it to oppose every war their country has fought in. I believe the war in Iraq qualifies as a “Just War.” Pacifists will disagree.

Pacifism is harmful. To let someone murder when it is in your power to stop them is completely contrary to our moral sentiments. If a Hitler or a Saddam Hussein is on the move and seeking to bind the world in tyranny and destroy entire ethnic groups, it would seem very clearly wrong NOT to oppose him with force.

Consistent pacifism would have to eliminate the police, not just the military. If we were to conclude that governments should always turn the other cheek and never resist evil, then we should logically commit ourselves to getting rid of the police force and the criminal justice system.