Sunday, November 26, 2023

Oklahomans and Texans should guard their conservative values!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     There has always been a love/hate relationship between Oklahoma and Texas and it goes beyond the annual OU/Texas Red River rivalry.  When it became a state in 1845, Texas had to give up some of its land to Oklahoma territory.  That’s why the Sooner state has a panhandle.  A half century later (1896), Greer County, Texas was taken from Texas and given to Oklahoma, after it was determined the Red River’s true stream was not the north fork flow. 

     A dispute between the two states in 1931 was over a toll bridge at the Red River between Colbert, OK and Denison, TX resulted in a war.  The quarrel resulted in Oklahoma Governor ‘Alfalfa Bill” Murray declaring martial law and sending the Oklahoma National Guard to prevent Texans from entering the state.  Murray showed up at the bridge site armed with a revolver.   Texas Governor Ross Sterling sent Texas Rangers to the bridge to defend Texas highway workers.  Eventually the dispute was settled, but it is still known as the ‘Red River Bridge War.’

    In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Texas efforts to build a pipeline to import water from Oklahoma.  The clashes between the two states are ongoing. Oklahoma historian Bob Blackburn describes the two state’s relationship as a swaggering boastful big brother (Texas) clashing with an accomplished but self-conscious little brother (Oklahoma).  Three observations:

     First, both states are growing in population.  Texas has grown +16% in population the past decade- Oklahoma +6%.  Many of those relocating to Texas/Oklahoma are fleeing liberal states because of politics.   They seek more conservative, traditional values in their government.  But a conservative Republican in California is often a moderate in Oklahoma and Texas.   That could change the political landscape in both states.

     Second, some are fleeing Texas.  Texas experienced a surge in popularity during COVID, which drove up housing prices by 30%.   Many Californians moved to the Lone Star state because housing was less than in California. They didn’t factor in Texas’ high property tax, but many are moving back to Cally.  Nearly 500,000 people have left Texas in the past two years.  During that period, the state experienced a net gain of 200,000 in spite of those exiting.   Many of those leaving cite the ‘too conservative’ politics in Texas as the reason they are departing.   

     Third, migration could change the two states’ politics/voting from red to purple.  Statewide elected officials in both states are all Republicans.  The GOP controls both state legislatures.  Oklahoma’s federal delegation (5 House/2 Senate) is all Republican.  Texas’s federal delegation is mixed.  It has 38 seats in the House and 13 are Democrat.  The Democrats have gained 5 seats in the last decade.  The Ds represent urban areas of the state.  Much like Oklahoma, the larger population area residents are not as conservative as their rural counterparts.  Expect that trend to happen in the Sooner state. 

     Oklahoma and Texas have a great deal of shared history.  They share a reliance on the agriculture and energy sectors in common.   The two state’s political values and governing are similar.  Citizens in both states love to hate the other in sport’s rivalries.  The truth is the two states have much in common, including a real threat to their political identity from newcomers. 

     Georgia was once a reliable Republican stronghold, but today has four statewide Democrat elected officials.  Oklahomans and Texans should guard their conservative values or they will see the same thing happen in their state. 


Sunday, November 19, 2023


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     Thanksgiving is a holiday tradition that dates back to the 1600s in America.  In 1621, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoaqs celebrated a good harvest with a day of thanksgiving and prayer.  From that time until 1863, states observed a thanksgiving holiday at their own discretion. 

     In 1863, President Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving for all states.  On Halloween Day in 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a presidential proclamation changing Thanksgiving to the next to last Thursday in November.  FDR made the date change to boost the economy and give retailers seven more days to sell Christmas gifts.  The proclamation/date change was controversial.  Opponents called the holiday ‘Franksgiving,’ for the next two years.  On December 26, 1941, Roosevelt signed a Joint Resolution of Congress changing Thanksgiving in the U.S. to the fourth Thursday in November.  Three observations:

     First, Americans have a great deal to be thankful for in 2023.  The U.S. is far from perfect, but citizens in the U.S. have more freedom and liberty than anyplace on earth.  Americans are, for the most part, able to pursue a dream that others across the planet can only wish for.  That blessing didn’t come cheap.  Past American heroes gave their life to protect that way of life. 

      No other country in the world has the illegal immigration issue America has.  People, of all races, creeds, and religions, from across the globe seek to migrate to the U.S. because it is better than where they are.  Americans should recognize God has shed His grace on them by allowing them to live in the land of the free and home of the brave.

     Second, America’s blessings come from the hand of a sovereign God.  Americans don’t naturally run faster or jump higher than citizens in other countries, yet the U.S. is the envy of the world.  Americans should never pound their chest or pat themselves on the back and take credit for those blessings.  They should humbly recognize God has blessed their country in spite of Americans wickedness and depravity.

     The decline in the number of people who hold a biblical worldview in America is down by a third since COVID.  In a Gallup poll survey last year, 81% of American adults said they believed in God(down 15 percentage points in 10 years), but less than half of that number actually attended a church service in the past year.  Taking the blessings of God for granted may very well result in the loss of God’s favor on America.

     Third, gratitude should not be celebrated just one day a year.  Americans should be appreciative and thankful every day.  Having a continual attitude of gratefulness and recognizing acts of kindness others bestow on them could change America from the polarizing, angry, divisive place it has become. 

     Thanksgiving Day in America has become a day for gathering of family for feasting, and watching sports.  Some don’t even recognize it as a day of thanksgiving and call it ‘turkey day.’  Even with those who celebrate thanksgiving, little time is taken to recognize God’s blessings.  Charlie Brown (Peanuts) asked a profound question about Thanksgiving: “What if, today, we were grateful for everything?”   Good question!  Why not indeed?


Sunday, November 12, 2023


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     Last Tuesday was election day in America.  The Democrat incumbent governor in Kentucky was reelected.  A pro-abortion ballot initiative passed in Ohio.  Democrats gained full control of the Virginia General Assembly.  The GOP governor in Mississippi was re-elected and a Republican was elected to the NYC city council from the Bronx.  Based on the success of the Ds, mainstream media and political pundits immediately begin to predict 2024 was going to be a disaster for the GOP.  Three observations:

     First, forecasting future elections is next to impossible.  Trying to tie one race to another is foolhardy.   Prognosticating 2024 elections now is like divining when an earthquake, solar flare, or asteroid will occur- no one knows until it happens. It is still too early to predict which political Party or candidate will win next year’s elections. 

     After every election, talking heads and self-described experts take a small sample size, extrapolate, estimate, conclude and predict future election outcomes for the sole purpose to ‘influence’ those future elections.  They try to wag the dog.   That is done on both ends of the political spectrum. Take all of them with a grain of salt.  The truth is no one knows the future, but God Almighty.

     Second, elections are won by those who vote.  That sounds too simple, but the fact is turnout is the key in every election.  Early analysis of Tuesday’s elections indicates Republican turnout in Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia was less than Democrat turnout.  Why did GOP voters decide to stay home?  Was it apathy or deliberate sabotage as an act of protest?    Was it a distrust of the electoral system?  Was it the candidates themselves?  Most certainly, it was candidates!  Ultimately, candidates win or lose races.  A political Party provide the infrastructure and ballot access, but getting voters to the polls is the responsibility of each individual candidate.    

     Mark Levin says the GOP candidate for governor in Kentucky wasn’t conservative enough.  He could be right, because down ticket Republican statewide candidates swept their races.  What Levin doesn’t tell you about the governor’s race is the Democrat governor was an incumbent.  Incumbents win 96.4% of the time in all races.    

     Third, without unity, Republicans will lose in 2024.  Some Republicans blame the poor showings in Tuesday’s elections on the leadership of the Republican National Committee (RNC).  Some blame illegal immigration. Some blame Party ‘messaging.’ Some blame the RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).  RINOs blame the extremists. Extremists blame the establishment.  Some blame earthquakes, solar flares, and asteroids.  Republicans, at all levels, are engaged in a circular firing squad; a self-destructive internal conflict with mutual recriminations.

     There is no unity in the GOP.  Reagan’s 11th commandment (Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republicans) is ignored.  Cliques, packs, tribes and bands dominate the Republican Party and interaction with those outside the clique/pack/tribe/band is condemned.   Jesus said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  No house is more divided than the GOP.

      Tuesday’s elections were not a disaster for Republicans.  It’s disappointing Ohio GOP voters stayed home and didn’t vote down the pro-abortion bill.  But the other races were lost by candidates, not by the Republican Party. 

     As the economy continues to struggle, prices continue to increase and wages lag behind inflation, 2024 looks to be a year of opportunity for Republican candidates.  Most Americans vote with their pocketbook.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Absolute truth has been traded in for Moral Relativism!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

      A theocrat is a person who rules or governs as a representative of God or a deity.  Contemporary examples of a theocracy are Iran, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.  Some believe recently elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, (R-LA) is a theocrat.  While asked about his worldview on Fox News Speaker Johnson responded, “Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it.  That’s my worldview.”  According to Marci Hamilton, a liberal political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Johnson’s admission he will base important decisions on the Bible proves he will ignore the U.S. Constitution and replace it with a battle of the faithful against the infidels.  Hamilton, who describes herself as a Christian believer, says religion is a ‘leap of faith,’ not susceptible to reasoned discourse.  In other words- there is no absolute truth- relativism.  Three observations:

     First, is a Biblical worldview in a leader incompatible with the Constitution?  The mere fact that question is being asked seems bizarre.  The founders of the United States were overwhelmingly Christian believers.  In a study by the University of Houston on the founders, they found 34% of all the quotes attributed to the founders were from the Bible.  Those men believed the Bible and it guided their life.  Matthews concern about elected officials using their power to establish a state religion mirrors that of the Danbury Baptists.  They sent Thomas Jefferson a letter expressing concern the founders were trying to establish a ‘state’ religion.  Jefferson’ response was each man was free to worship- or not worship- as he sees fit.  The first amendment protects that right. 

     Someone with a biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to love and serve God.  For 200 years, there was little debate that America was founded by Christians based on Christian principles.  But with the growth of secularism in modern culture, absolute truth has been traded in for moral relativism: the teaching that knowledge, truth and morality exist in relation to culture and are not absolute. 

     Second, everyone has a worldview.  A worldview is formed and influenced during childhood and redefined during the young adult years, making it the decision-making outlook through adulthood.  Worldviews are influenced by childhood upbringing, family, religion, friends, geography and education. Johnson is being attacked because he said his worldview was based on the Bible, but every person has a worldview.  A secular humanist believes the material world is all that exists.  A Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification.  A worldview is a combination of all a person believes to be true.  Their worldview becomes the driving force behind every motion, decision, and action.  Every elected official, regardless of Party affiliation, has a worldview- and a right to it.  A person’s worldview will affect their response in every area of their life.  All 535 members of Congress have a worldview that guides their actions.

     Third, there is no evidence Johnson will govern as a theocrat.  The Speaker is an attorney and a constitutional expert.  He recognizes the Constitution is the founding document that guides America.  While the Christian Bible- and the principles therein- was used as a guide, the founders were clear that Christianity not get preferential treatment.  They insured all theological thought to be given the same treatment in the marketplace of ideas.  Calling Johnson a theocrat is a red herring.   

     In a recent poll by veteran pollster George Barna, those holding a biblical worldview in the U.S.  has fallen to a mere 4%- a drop of a third from three years ago.  Barna said the new lows among American adults could effectively spell the ‘extinction’ of biblical beliefs in our nation.  “When you put the data in perspective, the biblical worldview is shuffling toward the edge of the cliff,” Barna says.  Barna says young people in particular are the most aggressive at rejecting biblical principles in our culture.  In a world of relativism, it’s refreshing to have a leader like Johnson who believes there is still absolute truth.