| 2007 Articles |
Friday, 20 April 2007
One thing about human nature is undeniable: we don’t like to be told what to do. Whether it’s children rebelling against their parents, adults agitated with their bosses, or all of us struggling with the dictates of our government, mankind’s common desire is to call our own shots. This innate desire to be in charge is precisely what makes the worldview and the philosophy of the modern left so appealing to people. The left’s worldview teaches that there are no absolutes, there is no truth, and reality is whatever you make it. In other words, taking a page out of the serpent’s playbook in the Garden of Eden, the left says to anyone who will listen: “accept our thought stream and you can be the god of your own little universe.”
Contrast that philosophy with the Christian worldview that teaches ethical restraint, demands moral responsibility, and promises eternal judgment for those who violate God’s laws, and it isn’t difficult to realize why so many gravitate to the supposed “liberty” of the left. To them, Christianity shackles individuals and holds them back from the freedom they could experience if they didn’t have to worry about moral accountability. Of course, the great irony is that the exact opposite is true.
A recent report from the Center for Disease Control provides just one example of this phenomenon. According to the CDC, there is a new strand of the sexually transmitted disease Gonorrhea that is resisting the antibiotics doctors have to treat it. What has occurred is this: someone who utilizes their “freedom” to engage in depraved sexual behavior develops the disease, and they are prescribed a powerful antibiotic like Cipro or others to treat it. But they fail to take the full dosage or complete the treatment as directed, allowing the disease to build up immunity to the drug. Then, engaging their “freedom” again, they infect someone else through promiscuity, and the resistant strand of the disease spreads.
The situation has become so serious that the CDC has told doctors to stop prescribing Cipro altogether, and medical professionals like Dr. David Stevens now predict a day when Americans will be dying in epidemic numbers from a disease that used to be treated by antibiotics. “The [drug] that they’ve moved to now is one of the last ones we have,” he said. “If this has resistance, doctors are very unsure what they’re going to do next.” So much for the “blessings of freedom.”
The truth is that freedom and liberty are great things, but if they aren’t tempered with moral responsibility (that comes from, say, religious principle), those very things destroy lives. In their thirst for absolute autonomy and independence from all authority, the left fails to recognize that just as there are physical laws that govern our universe, there are moral laws as well. No one with a brain would declare “I don’t believe in gravity today,” and then walk off the edge of the Empire State Building. Whether or not we in our ignorance choose to believe in the law of gravity, it unquestionably exists, and violating it brings consequences. In the same way, choosing not to believe in a standard of appropriate and inappropriate behavior…pretending that there is no right and wrong…doesn’t change the fact that there is one, and we violate that standard at our own peril.
This brings us full circle: the left would have us believe that following the commands of the Biblical God strip us of our rights and privileges. With Gonorrhea now infecting 700,000 Americans (13% of our population) maybe it’s time to get serious and recognize that the rules and regulations put in place for us by God (like heterosexual, monogamous sex within the bonds of marriage) aren’t there to destroy our freedom…they’re there to protect us from being destroyed by our “freedom.”
Peter W. Heck
Wednesday, 21 February 2007
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was reportedly all smiles last week after she and her Democrat colleagues passed a non-binding resolution disapproving of President Bush’s call to send more troops to Iraq. This non-binding resolution (“non-binding,” of course, being politician-speak for “worthless”) was to show America just how committed the Democrat Party is to changing course in Iraq. But Democrat leaders might want to stop congratulating themselves on their meaningless vote that accomplished nothing long enough to consider just what type of commitment they demonstrated.
For months now, leaders of the Democrat Party have told America the deplorable nature of our involvement in Iraq. From Pelosi to Reid, Kerry to Obama, they have told us the war is “un-winnable,” that it’s a “quagmire,” that America is becoming less safe, gaining nothing, and “wasting” the lives of its brave soldiers. The left’s mouthpieces in the mainstream media have assisted in trumpeting the message with their macabre body count (as though success or failure in war is measured solely by the amount of lives lost) and by sticking a microphone in the face of any elected Congressman willing to announce how wrong we are for continuing this “illegal war.” The Democrats have been relentless in their criticism of President Bush, his advisors, and the entire mission in Iraq. “We support the troops, not the mission” has become the rallying cry for the political left. And their tireless campaign paid off in November when war-weary voters handed a Congressional majority back to Democrats. But then, in their climactic moment of triumph, having been given the authority and the power to take action and reverse this disastrous war policy that they have been bemoaning for months…the Democrat Party leaned in to the microphone and gently whispered, “Pass.”
Make no mistake, Pelosi and her Democrat cohorts have the constitutional authority to end our involvement in Iraq. While the President is the Commander-in-Chief, the Constitutional system of check and balances gives the “power of the purse” to Congress. With one vote, Congress could put an end-date on our participation in the conflict. And don’t worry about those silly Republicans. The Democrats enjoy a healthy majority and could pass the bill without one single crossover vote. And even if they didn’t want to pull us out completely, they could at least take a vote to de-fund President Bush’s proposed troop surge. And yet, they don’t. Instead they pass a meaningless resolution that has the legal significance as when they declare July “National Peach Month.” So why then, if they are apparently so opposed to this war, doesn’t the Democrat Party end our involvement? I can come up with two reasons, neither of which speaks well of the newly elected majority.
One, the Democrat leadership doesn’t really believe what they’ve been saying. They don’t really believe that the war is a lost cause, that our soldiers are incapable of winning, that we are wasting American lives in a hopeless quagmire. In fact, they know the opposite to be true, but they merely say such things in an attempt to capitalize politically. Let’s hope this isn’t the case. Tearing down a Commander-in-Chief in a time of war, and attempting to manipulate public opinion against the mission of your own soldiers while they are in the field of battle, simply for the sake of winning more votes, is a despicable and revolting strategy.
Option two is not much better, however. If the Democrats truly do believe the things they are saying about this war, and yet pass when given the opportunity to stop it, it can only be because they don’t want to be held accountable for making a decision. If they vote to stop the funding and end our involvement in Iraq, they run the risk of alienating voters who might disagree. Apparently, their obsession with power is enough to outweigh their allegiance to doing what they believe is right (bringing the troops home). There’s a word for that type of behavior: cowardice.
This sham of a vote will eventually sink in with Americans. And when it dawns on them that their newly elected majority in Congress is either (1) playing political stunts during wartime, or (2) is too cowardly to lead, I doubt they will be impressed. Who knows, that just might wipe the smile off Speaker Pelosi’s face.
Peter W. Heck
Monday, 15 January 2007
Standing in a crowded room of Joe Donnelly supporters at the UAW Local 685 just two weeks after the newly elected Congressman had won his seat, my presence was no doubt a surprise to some. After all, I had actively supported Donnelly’s opponent, former Congressman Chris Chocola, in what had become a bitter contest between the two. Yet, the Donnelly victory party had been advertised as open to the public, and I wanted the opportunity to meet the new representative from Indiana’s second district.
Though provoking a few startled glances, I felt very welcome at the event and eventually had the opportunity to meet Donnelly. Our conversation was brief, but lasted long enough for him to thank me for coming and to assure me that though we might not see eye to eye all the time, he was determined to change the tone of partisanship that had come to plague Washington. I told him I appreciated that, and turned to walk away. As I did, the Congressman grabbed my arm and said, “You do know that I’m pro-life, don’t you?” I replied that I knew he had campaigned as such, and that I would be praying he would remain that way when he arrived in Congress and faced the inevitable political pressures to compromise his convictions.
Last Thursday, Congressman Donnelly faced those pressures for the first time, and passed with flying colors.
House Resolution 3, the so-called Stem Cell Research Enhancement Bill of 2007, came to the floor of the House as part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s first 100 hours agenda. The bill, if signed into law, would radically increase federal funding for this controversial practice of destroying human life for the sake of extracting stem cells for research.
The hysteria the left has created surrounding embryonic stem cell research is a smoke-and-mirrors routine designed to create false hope in desperate people in exchange for votes and political power. There’s a word for that type of politicking…despicable. Despite years of research, embryonic stem cells have failed to produce one cure, one therapy, even one potential treatment for any disease, malady, or illness. But listening to the left around election time, that tidbit of reality never seems to make the campaign commercials.
Meanwhile, amazing medical miracles are being achieved through ethical adult stem cell research, which does not treat human life as a crop (for planting, harvesting, and discarding). Whereas the total number of clinical trials for embryonic stem cell treatments is a whopping zero, adult stem cell treatments currently stand at 1,229 according to Carrie Gordon Earll, a bioethics analyst for Focus on the Family Action.
Further, a recent study from researchers at Wake Forest and Harvard reveals that stem cells derived from the amniotic fluid surrounding live humans in the womb (as well as the afterbirth) are amazingly flexible and may offer the best hope yet for finding cures and treatments.
As Earll astutely observed, it is sadly ironic that while medical science continues to demonstrate human embryos are much more valuable to us alive rather than dead, the Democrat controlled Congress is actively pursuing laws that will destroy them for nothing more than the advancement of a political agenda.
But it is that insatiable quest on the part of Nancy Pelosi and the leadership of Congressional Democrats to advance this unethical practice of destroying life that makes Congressman Joe Donnelly’s vote on Thursday so impressive and admirable. Despite being a freshman Congressman and facing enormous pressure from a party leadership seeking to please the far left interest groups that financed their campaigns, Democrat Joe Donnelly made a principled decision to keep his campaign promise and reject this bad legislation.
Admittedly, after viewing the organizations that contributed to his election bid – far left groups like MoveOn.org – I was skeptical of Donnelly’s commitment to the values he was articulating on the campaign trail. But last Thursday Donnelly chose principle over politics, bucked his party leadership, and remained faithful to his constituents. In this era of American politics, that isn’t easy to do for a tenured Congressman, no less one who has been on the job less than a month. This is certainly not the last test of character Donnelly will face…not for a man claiming social conservative principles in a party led by the likes of Pelosi. But for the moment, Donnelly has given us all—Republicans and Democrats alike—a breath of fresh air. He’s a politician who kept his promise…and in this day and age, that is a unique quality. Let’s give credit where credit is due.
Peter W. Heck