Rob Huddleston has pointed out (as has Jay Bush) that Bob Corker's recent ad shows that he is desperate and in trouble, largely at the hands of Ed Bryant. The polls also show that a Van Hilleary withdrawal would greatly enhance Bryant's chances of victory, despite the 10% or so residual vote Hilleary would get because his name is already on the ballot. This reality is worth noting because rumors are circulating in some circles that Congressman Hilleary will announce a withdrawal from the race today.
As much as I think such a withdrawal would do wonders for the conservative movement, I agree with Kleinheider that Hilleary likely will not do so, not because Hilleary cannot accept defeat, but because he has come too far at too great an expense to withdraw when voting has in fact begun. I still believe Bryant can win the Primary, but the campaign must engage in an all-out blitz that makes Corker's efforts look puny.
I wanted to give everyone a heads up that I will try to blog over the weekend but I may be offline and away from blogging until Sunday. The move is happening in earnest now and the computer is scheduled to come down and be moved today.
The World will return to regular blogging at the earliest possible opportunity.
In the debate over the President's impending veto of legislation that would greatly expand stem-cell research, many of the proponents of the legislation on both the left and the right (and there are many on the right) have failed to address a critical question:
What about the slippery slope?
I wouldn't expect certain people on the Left to care, since they seem to be fixated on the idea that aborticide is just fine. However, there is a distinct possibility that at some point in the future, we could farm embryos to harvest these stem cells from. I am very aware that the Senate also passed legislation that prevents embryo farming, but I am deathly afraid that we are going down a long slippery slope that has profound ethical implications for the future. I wouldn't for a single minute want to deprive anyone of a cure for cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinson's disease, or one of the many diseases or illnesses that it is believed embryonic stem cells could cure. Beyond the fact, however, that the effects of embryonic stem cells have yet to be proven to cure these diseases, even if stem cells could yield many cures, do the ends justify the means?
The idea that we are creating babies in test tubes at all and then playing God by using the bodies of the test tube babies for our own ends reminds me of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-8:
And the earth was of one tongue, and of the same speech. And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it. And each one said to his neighbour: Come, let us make brick, and bake them with fire. And they had brick instead of stones, and slime instead of mortar. And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven: and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of Adam were building.
And he said: Behold, it is one people, and all have one tongue: and they have begun to do this, neither will they leave off from their designs, till they accomplish them in deed. Come ye, therefore, let us go down, and there confound their tongue, that they may not understand one another's speech. And so the Lord scattered them from that place into all lands, and they ceased to build the city.
The Lord did this because mankind believed that he could reach to Heaven and gain an equivalency with God, the moral of the story being that we as human beings should never assume that we can or should do things that ought to be within the realm of God alone. Likewise, I am forced to wonder if many in the scientific community who advocate this sort of research are viewing the world through the prism of atheism or agnosticism where they might not see the inherent dangers of playing God.
The stem-cell research debate is not as clear-cut politically as abortion itself. There are a lot of good people (Congressman Jimmy Duncan or Nancy Reagan for example) who view this as an opportunity to bring some good out of something that is otherwise a great evil. I fear, however, that in our attempt to do something wonderful in finding cures for these many diseases, we as a society will lose sight of the reality that these tiny babies are human beings, indeed so many others have lost sight of that fact already. We will take for granted that these unborn children are there to be used and disgarded by us and for our purposes, rather than recognizing that they are a human being and that-tube or no tube-they are made in the image of God.
I fear that the day may come that we are headed to the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre of Brave New World fame (after all, the World State could conceivably exist in some form). If you think that could never happen, recall that many things have happened that many people said could "never happen" when something was started to bring some good out of something otherwise bad.
Today I thought I'd simply leave here a tribute to a man who, even though he is passed from this world, remains for many of us the last great leader of the conservative movement. Let's all go out there and win one for the Gipper.
I am posting this because I think that it is highly inappropriate for my weblog to have 666 posts. Upon logging in today I noticed that the total number of posts on this weblog was six hundred threescore and six.
Well, I am not the least bit fond of that number since it is the number of the Man of Sin, and this is not the blog of the Antichrist. We are firmly committed to the Kingdom of God here at the World, and we want to make sure that our number of posts reflects that.
That said, rumors are flying that the U.S. Government is going to bill American citizens for evacuating them from Lebanon. If this is true, I find it highly inappropriate considering that Beirut has an American University located there. It is the primary job of the federal government to protect American citizens, and that government had best get to doing that.
I have taken a lot of heat in the past for my criticisms of Israel, and specifically U.S. overinvolvement with the Jewish State and general policy of support for Israel at all costs. It is often said that Israel is "an island of stability" in the Middle East and that it is the only stable "democracy" in the region. If by the use of the term "democracy" we mean a nation where its people enjoy basic human rights and have good reason to expect that their human dignity may be respected, it is reasonable to say that we can find Israel to be greatly lacking in that regard.
While I find Israel's policy on gun rights for citizens to be one of the most free in the world and I also support Israel's unique policy on military service for all able-bodied citizens, that country still has miles to go on the human rights front and even the press freedom arena. Many American Christians, particularly those of an evangelical or fundamentalist hue, assume that the Israeli government is friendly to Christians because many ministers are friendly to Israel (this is largely because of a certain view of biblical prophecy that interprets mention of Israel in a prophetic sense to mean the modern state-I may deal with this view in an entry at a later date). If you are a Christian and you live in Israel, however, you are viewed with a great deal of suspicion. If you are a Christian from a Jewish background and you convert to Christianity, you are often treated as though you are dead by your family, friends, and the larger society. If people can get past the "dead" treatment, a Christian is often viewed at least with suspicion, as though their first loyalty is not with Israel.
A great part of the reason for that suspicion is that a majority of Christians in Israel/Palestine are Arabs and/or Palestinians and have been for a very long time. At the time of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, there were over 500,000 Arab Palestinian Christians. Today, there are fewer than 100,000. Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, was once a majority Christian city, but today Christians comprise around 5% of the population of the town. Not only do the Muslim terrorists harass Christians in the Palestinian territories, but Israel also treats these people as non-entities in terms of having any serious rights. Many Arab Christians have come to America, so many in fact that the majority of Arabs in America identify themselves as Catholic or Orthodox.
When the U.S. takes sides in Arab-Israeli disputes, we further damage our profile in a region where it isn't just terrorists that distrust or dislike the Jewish State, it is the average citizen-the man on the street. That is why the President took the wrong approach when UN ambassador John Bolton was instructed to veto the resolution condemning Israel-the right approach would have been to abstain from the vote. That doesn't excuse the actions of Hezbullah in the least, that organization is a ruthless and merciless terrorist group-but their feud is the result of kidnapping Israeli soldiers, and the United States should not take any action to expand that war to include us-especially when our troop levels are stretched dangerously thin fighting wars on two fronts.
Most importantly, we should hold Israel to the same standards that we hold the other powers of the earth. When we speak of human rights and human dignity, those standards need to apply to Israel as much as the U.S. applies them to many other powers. Failure to do so could inadvertantly drag our country into World War III.
Some time ago in my post on the first Senate debate, I had a note on the bottom of that post stating that things were happening in life at present at a rather rapid pace and there were very good reasons why I found myself temporarily unable to be as involved in political campaigning as I would like. I also said that when the time came I would explain just what was happening that caused such political pause in my normally politics-filled election year dossier.
As some regulars might know, Nicole and I have been looking for a house for some time now. Well, we finally found a house, and by the end of this month, we should be fully moved into that new home. Our new residence is located in White Pine in Jefferson County. If any of you are familiar with that area, you know that that it isn't too far from the Hamblen County Line, and it also gives Nicole and myself some small measure of peace and quiet away from the rigors of urbanity.
Because we have both been consumed the last few weeks with moving or preparing for moving, I have had little time to campaign or to assist others with their campaigns, despite my deep desire to do so. Indeed, it is because I suspected a move of some sort may be pending that I reluctantly abandoned seeking a seat on the Knox County Commission during the early part of the term-limits crisis. Consumed as we have been with the move, I have had little time to involve myself in the late political scene, and I felt it would be a disservice to the candidates that I so strongly support to promise more assistance or time than I can presently give.
However, none of that means that I am withdrawing from politics or public service or helping candidates and causes that I believe in-far from it. As soon as Nicole and I are settled, I intend to jump right back into the fray. Perhaps when we become a bit more established, I will seek public office-if that should be the will of God.
In the meantime, I haven't changed my official residence just yet, and I am still writing from Knoxville, though we are now making frequent trips back and forth. Hence, I will still be able to vote in Knox County one last time, and I intend to cast that vote sometime this week.
I want to thank a number of people who have been so gracious and helpful to me, and who have been appreciative of my written work at this weblog: Knox GOPChairman Brian Hornback has been supportive of me and has encouraged conservative and Republican bloggers to keep on with what we are doing. State Representative Stacey Campfield has been and will continue to be a dear friend and fellow-laborer in the Cause. I appreciate his friendship, assistance, advice, and support more than he realizes. Rob Huddleston has been a source of advice and support and has been a great assistance in knowing the lay of the land, as it were-and I know Angela will be a wonderful Republican Committeewoman. Time would fail me to mention everyone who has supported me but Terry and Lee Frank, Mark Saroff, Steve Hall, and so many others-if I missed you, it sure wasn't on purpose. I hope many of you will keep regular contact with me and even pay us a visit from time to time-and of course I am more than happy to help my friends in any way that I can.
A conservative journal of social, cultural, and ecclesiatical affairs grounded in a realistic Catholic Christian worldview. It is my hope that this site will be a reflection of Christ,the teachings of His Holy Church, and of the basic vision of a Christian social morality.