Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Judge Bill Graves - Connect the Dots - Part II

Many Oklahoma citizens unfamiliar with the culture war don't understand how a popularly elected Oklahoma judge could be demoted for simply exercising his constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment rights. The official position is that Judge Bill Graves was not demoted, but simply reassigned to other duties where he was needed more. This position asks the onlooking public to ignore three basic, undisputed facts: (1) that Judge Graves openly criticized an extremely controversial proposition of the Oklahoma Bar Association and the American Bar Association and (2) within weeks thereafter he was "reassigned" to duties that would cause most onlookers to conclude that he had been demoted (3) Judge Graves had over 24oo ongoing criminal cases on his docket when he was "reassigned," including several death penalty cases. The following blog entry (Link HERE) by New York Law School Professor (and gay rights activist) Arthur S. Leonard goes a long way in clarifying this otherwise inexplicable difference in perception between the publics questions and the official position:

Well, sitting judges raving about the "homosexual agenda" and decrying the attempt to curb their desire to enact their religious beliefs against homosexuality in their work would certainly merit the attention of the judicial disciplinary authorities in the jurisdiction where they sit, I would think. Judge Graves has now alerted the Oklahoma authorities of the need to monitor his decision-making with care in order to protect the due process rights of sexual and ethnic minority litigants who may come before him. Although he "covers" himself by saying, regarding "homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals", "Certainly, the three latter groups should be treated with courtesy, fairness and justice like anyone else," he also insists that the BBC, by its proposed rule, "is promoting the homosexual agenda which is to have homosexuality treated as normal and natural as heterosexuality."

Actually, this is a breath of fresh air, to have a judge who is obviously firmly anti-gay come forward and expose his views, including his accurate understanding of the "homosexual agenda." Yes, an accurate understanding, as gay liberationists have figured out that our sexual orientation is actually a normal and natural variant of human existence, and our "agenda" -- to the extent there is anything so formal -- is exactly that: to reverse centuries of demented propaganda against us by helping everybody to understand that we are folks whose differences from others are naturally occurring variations in human characteristics.

A word to the wise, though: every lawyer in Oklahoma should keep a copy of this letter in their files to use in support of a recusal motion in case they are appearing before Judge Graves in a case where they are representing one of the groups demeaned in the letter....
That's blackmail. But, it is an officially tolerated form of blackmail. To understand just how far the animus toward traditional Christian values in the legal profession extends, you need go no further than the following editorial recently printed in The Oklahoma City Journal Record (Link HERE) the "official" legal newspaper of the state capitol:

(Snip) In an April 8 letter to the Oklahoma Bar Association concerning the adoption of the revised code, Oklahoma County District Court Judge Bill Graves vehemently objected to a provision calling for non- discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, or ethnicity. Graves rails against the proposal as coming from the "liberal, pro- homosexual American Bar Association." Graves states that the current canons of ethics cover sexual orientation. He states "homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals ... should be treated with courtesy, fairness and justice like anyone else," which sounds good. But then the judge truly expresses himself by continuing that the OBA is "promoting the homosexual agenda which is to have homosexuality treated as normal and natural as heterosexuality." Graves opines that "the People of Oklahoma do not subscribe to the homosexual agenda."

Whether you agree with Graves or not, his public stance forces the question of whether somebody appearing in front of him might get a stiffer sentence or less judicial compassion because the judge thought the person was a promoter of the so-called liberal, homosexual agenda - or even the litigant's attorney, or the attorney's law firm. A parade of horribles is not hard to imagine. Should an officer of the ABA have his client appear with another attorney, or will Graves forgive the association with the liberal, pro-homosexual body? What if the attorney is gay, or the defendant is gay? Graves is, after all, telling the OBA that he does not feel he should be required to not discriminate, so is it not logical to assume that he might discriminate if given the opportunity?

Graves asserts that the code denies judges their First Amendment rights and is contrary to freedom of religion and the Bible, because there are "numerous Biblical references condemning homosexuality." Graves notes that even many non-Christians and atheists object to the "homosexual agenda." But homosexuality is not a crime and is not condemnable in Oklahoma. Graves ignores the fact that he affirmatively sought the office of district court judge. Perhaps if it is too much for him not to discriminate, he should resign. (Snip)

The writer's position is clear: devout, practicing Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons and Orthodox Jews are not welcome on the bench in Oklahoma unless they recant their faith. The circumstances surrounding Judge Bill Graves "reassignment" could cause the onlooking public to assume that this is also becoming the defacto if not dejure position of some Oklahoma courts.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Judge Bill Graves - Connect the Dots.

In June of this year, Oklahoma City District Judge Bill Graves strongly criticized the Oklahoma Bar Association's attempt to enact the American Bar Association's new Code of Judicial Conduct. His opposition to the proposed changes in the Oklahoma Code of Judicial Conduct was reported in a copyrighted story by the AP (Link HERE) which stated:

District Judge Bill Graves wrote a letter to an Oklahoma Bar Association committee criticizing the suggested changes in the code. These changes are along the lines of wording in the American Bar Association code.

"These policies are not based on laws enacted by Congress or the State Legislature, but on proposals of the liberal, pro-homosexual American Bar Association," Graves said.

He specifically objects to a proposed rule prohibiting judges from holding membership in organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity or sexual orientation."

Graves said the proposal promotes a "homosexual agenda which is to have homosexuality treated as normal and natural as heterosexuality. These are cultural, moral and political issues that should be reserved to the Legislative branch."

Recently, rumors began circulating that Judge Graves had been removed from his responsibilities as a District Court Judge and assigned to duties normally reserved for unelected Special Judges. Judge Grave's reassignment was reported today in the Daily Oklahoman (link HERE):

More than 2,400 criminal cases in Oklahoma County are about to be reassigned, thanks to a controversial order by the county's presiding judge.

District Judge Vicki Robertson shuffled some judicial assignments in a June 27 order.

The order — which goes into effect Aug. 1 — resulted in District Judge Bill Graves losing his criminal docket and being assigned to probate cases, a chore that had been handled by an appointed special judge.

Graves, who declined to comment on the move, had more than 2,400 cases on his docket in July, according to court records.

Those cases will be reassigned to the other six district judges handling criminal cases, according to Robertson's order.

Robertson said specialty dockets like drug and mental health courts have siphoned enough cases that the county does not need as many criminal judges.

"I just had to redistribute the caseload,” she told The Oklahoman recently.

Decision draws opposition

Robertson said she chose to reassign Graves, who made news recently for decrying the homosexual agenda in proposed rules governing judicial conduct, because he had the least seniority among the judges assigned to criminal cases. Robertson could not be reached for comment Friday, but her order has drawn opposition from all seven judges — including Graves — and the Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers

When I addressed the Oklahoma Bar Association Bench and Bar Committee on this issue this spring (Link to comments HERE and HERE), I warned them that this type of anti-Christian discrimination would occur as a result of the passage of the proposed rule changes:

I sincerely believe with all my heart, based upon my own personal experience, that that the new proposed code of judicial conduct will be used by some attorneys and organizations to first “shop” sitting judges and then shape judicial elections and thus establish a defacto , as applied, religious test for Oklahoma judges.

The question is straightforward. Will we use the power of the Oklahoma Bar Association to dictate the religious associations (or lack thereof) of the citizens who serve on our benches? I agree with Justice Joseph Story who said, “The rights of conscience are indeed beyond the reach of any human power. They are given by God and cannot be encroached upon by human authority … Our judges did not surrender their citizenship when they took the bench and are entitled to the same rights of conscience, association and free exercise of religion as any other citizen.

Our founding fathers recognized this problem and drafted strong protections into the language of the constitution. Article VI, Para. 3 of the United States Constitution is straightforward: “ … No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. Article 1 § 2 of the Oklahoma Constitution is equally clear: no religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
It now appears that even legal opposition to the rule changes through the mandated OBA hearing process may be enough to get a Christian judge reassigned to duties usually reserved for his assistants.

This is truly frightening. Ten years ago when I was in law school, my ethics professor taught that any person who opposed gay rights should not be allowed to serve on the bench. That professor will soon become a part of the Oklahoma Bar Association committee which screens and selects the judicial candidates that you are allowed to vote for. At the time, many of us thought that that particular professor was a hopeless radical. But, given what has happened to Judge Graves, you have to wonder if there will be any way in the future for a practicing Catholic, Evangelical or Orthodox Jew to serve on the bench in Oklahoma.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

An Open Letter to Corporation Commission Candidates

Within the next several days, I intend to mail the following to every current candidate for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission:


Dear Candidate:

As you may or may not know, several years ago, the Oklahoma Legislature allowed several Oklahoma Rural Electric Coops to "opt out" of regulation by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Many of the Oklahoma consumers served by these "opt out" REC's live in rural areas of the state with high poverty levels. These consumers, who could normally use the office of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to resolve complaints against an REC without charge, unfortunately have no such venue other than the courts. Practically speaking, if the are having a hard time paying their light bill they certainly can't afford a lawyer. Consequently, these consumers are often left without a remedy and must accept whatever decision the REC makes concerning their account and pay whatever the REC demands to restore service. Since the regulation of public utilities is one of the primary functions of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission:

(a) What do you think about this "opt out" privilege?
(b) Do you think that the Oklahoma consumers served by these "opt out" REC's are receiving their constitutionally guaranteed right to equal protection under the law?
(c) What would you do, if anything, about this situation if you were elected to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission?
(d) Would you support general legislation which requires all otherwise unregulated Oklahoma REC's to:
(1) Limit the total amount required to restore service to a consumer whose service has been terminated including late fees, service charges, disconnect and reconnect fees and deposits to no more than five times the amount past due?
(2) Limit the deposit required by the REC for so-called poor credit risk consumers to no more than two times the average monthly billing for that account?
(3) Require that when a billing dispute occurs, service shall be restored upon payment of the amount past due alone, exclusive of other fees, service charges and deposits until the billing dispute is resolved?
(4) Codify the otherwise legally recognized common law principles that an invoice or bill from an REC represents a legally binding contract upon the parties and any ambiguities shall be interpreted in favor of the non-drafting party?
(5) Require that if an e-billing system is used by the REC that all vital information concerning that account including collection notices, cut off notices, etc. be available through that system?
(6) Require REC's to: (a) accept bank to bank electronic payments from a consumer and (b) do so without charging a special fee?
(7) Require REC's to appoint an internal ombudsman who will give the consumer an opportunity to resolve billing disputes, work out payment plans, etc. before service can be terminated?

I look forward to your response.


Bill Kumpe
Attorney at Law
Member, Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative

Obama's Middle East Policy - A Recipe For Armegeddon

I just finished listening to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on Meet the Press. I should say I tried to listen to him. For twenty years after I got out of the military, I sold computers. I spent a lot of time, when I wasn't actually working, in high priced, high level, psychologically oriented marketing classes. So, I tend to automatically tune out "marketing speak" as soon as I hear it. The real problem with Obama is that most of what he says is "marketing speak." It is intended to develop an atmosphere conducive to a favorable decision without containing anything substantive.

He did say one thing that caught my attention. He said in no uncertain terms that he was committed to the formation of a Palestinian state and the use of the authority of the United States to make it happen.

It is very easy for Americans, who have never heard a shot fired in anger, to dictate kumbyah peace terms to the Israeli's who have been in a constant state of war for their survival since the founding of their nation. American's just don't understand that the Palestinians, and a lot of other people in the Middle East, will not rest until the Israeli state is destroyed and every single living Jew on the planet is either dead or subjugated.

The worst kept secret in the Middle East is that the Israeli's have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them anywhere in the theater. It is no secret that the Israeli's will use their very capable air force to take out targets that threaten their safety. Within days of the formation of any so-called Palestinian state, Israeli warplanes and helicopters would be bombing the places in the new so-called Palestinian state where the rockets and artillery shells killing Israeli citizens were coming from.

But, because the so-called Palestinian state would then be a sovereign nation, the UN, certainly no friend of Israel's and outright anti-semitic at times, would come in on the side of the Palestinians. The United States would be forced to "re-evaluate" its historic position of supporting Israel and whatever decision the current administration made would be the wrong one. Simply put, it would be World War Three and it would be a nuclear war, especially if the Iranians are allowed to finish their nuclear weapons. So, creating a so-called Palestinian State would transform a bloody and probably insoluble regional problem into a world problem.

The Jews have been in a constant state of war in that region for over five thousand years. It takes a uniquely naive' personality to think that in one generation they can end border disputes and racial hatred that has existed since the bronze age. Thousands of years ago, God told Abraham that, "I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee." Israel is perfectly capable of handling its own problems if we keep our nose out of their business. The wisest policy the United States can take toward the "Palestinian Problem" is to keep giving Israel whatever it needs to defend itself and let it take care of its own problems in the only way that the people of that region understand.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I am involved in a billing dispute with a small electric cooperative in rural Eastern Oklahoma, Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative. It is my contention that, among other things, they generated unnecessary service charges far out of proportion to the amount due and then demanded extortionate terms to restore service.

After speaking to Cookson Hill's attorney, I decided to exercise my right as an Oklahoma citizen to file a complaint with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. However, I was informed by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission that Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative OPTED OUT of regulation by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission several years ago.

Wow what a trick. Can I do that? Can I "opt out" of regulation by the Oklahoma Bar Association and continuing practicing law? For that matter, can I "opt out" of regulation by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and stop paying taxes? How about "opting out" of regulation by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority so that I don't have to pay tolls. Can I do that? I don't think so. It must be nice to be small, rural, public utility and be able to choose to ignore the primary state regulatory authority for your industry.

Unhappy with what I found, I began looking for Federal Regulatory authority over Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative. While they are subject to certain provisions of the United States Code under the Rural Electrification Act by and large it appears that they are basically an unregulated public utility. Wow. What a trick. Totally unregulated in operation but operating under a federally mandated monopoly.

So, I began looking for evidence of any contact between Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative and an outside regulatory authority or auditing agency. Returning to my original contention that Cookson Hills had generated unnecessary costs far out of proportion to the amount in question, I "Googled" the terms "Cookson Hills cost analysis." Two documents came up on the top of the list.

The first hit, a FEMA audit of disaster funds granted to Cookson Hills, dated August 9, 2004 (LINK) stated in part:
The Co-op did not follow federal procurement regulations to contract for $907,274 in disaster work. As a result, fair and open competition did not occur and FEMA had no assurance that contract costs claimed were reasonable. Further, the Co-op claimed $255,462 ($209,231 FEMA share) of costs that the OIG found questionable. The questioned costs consisted of ineligible labor costs ($176,080), duplicate costs ($37,974), improperly categorized costs ($17,122), markups on contract costs ($15,442), and an accounting error ($8,844).
A quarter of a million dollars in "questionable" costs. That's a lot of money. The second hit, a Department of Homeland Security audit of procurement policies in electric cooperatives (LINK) stated the following:
As shown in the table below, electric cooperatives used non-competitive, time-and-material (T&M) contracts without cost ceilings, did not maintain sufficient records for procurement history, and did not perform cost analyses.
Cookson Hills was one of nine rural electric cooperatives in the nation cited for failure to perform, among other things, appropriate cost analysis.

So, in summary, what did I find? A virtually unregulated public utility that operates under a federally mandated monopoly that has been cited by the Federal Government for failure to use good financial judgment and appropriate procurement practices.

While speaking to the folks at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, I asked them just exactly who does regulate Cookson Hills these days? They told me that I would have to talk to my legislators about that.

I think I will.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Theological Giant J.I. Packer Says "Gay Rights" An Assault on the Gospel

Canadian theological giant J.I. Packer spoke out on his beliefs concerning the compatibility of gays and the gospel recently. His comments can be heard on the YouTube video below.

Most remarkable about this statement is the fact that Packer is a Canadian and made the statement from Canada where he could be arrested for hate crimes for criticizing the gay rights agenda. Earlier this year, Packer resigned from the Anglican Church of Canada because he believes "many of its bishops are "arguably heretical" for adhering to "poisonous liberalism."

The following is an excerpt from a Vancouver Sun article printed April 28, 2008. A link to the full article is HERE.

James (J.I.) Packer, whom Time magazine recently named as one of the planet's 25 most influential evangelicals, said he hesitated before using the harsh terms to describe the Anglican bishops, but believed he must do so in the name of truth.

(SNIP) Oxford-trained Packer was interviewed at a Friday gathering of about 300 members of the breakaway Anglican Network in Canada, which officially welcomed South American Anglican Primate Gregory Venables to Canada as their spiritual leader -- against the express wishes of Canada's top Anglican, Primate Fred Hiltz.

Packer, 81, said he can no longer serve under Vancouver-area Bishop Michael Ingham, who in 2002 sanctioned a diocesan vote that eventually permitted the blessing of same-sex couples at eight out of 67 parishes.

"He is a bishop who appears heretical," Packer said, comparing Ingham to high-profile progressive U.S. Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong and Scottish Episcopal Church Bishop Richard Holloway.

(SNIP) Known for the way he does not sugarcoat his conservative Christian beliefs despite his soft-spoken, gracious demeanour, Packer said the Bible is the "absolute" authority on divine truth, which clearly describes homosexuality as a grave sin.

Opening his English Standard Version of the Bible, of which he was chief editor, Packer read out passages from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, in which the apostle Paul compares "men who lie with men" to drunkards, thieves, slanderers and adulterers, none of whom will enter the kingdom of heaven.

"That's a very solemn apostolic warning," said Packer, a self-described "Calvinist Anglican" who wrote the book, The Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life.

(SNIP) Packer described the blessings that many of Canada's Anglican bishops' are willing to give to active gays and lesbians, as well as the bishops' openness to diverse ways of interpreting the Bible, as "persistent unrepentant doctrinal disorder."

The author of the 1973 book, Knowing God, which alone has sold more than three million copies, said it is "utterly tragic" that some conservative Anglicans felt they had no option but to leave the Anglican Church of Canada.

Asking himself why God would allow "poisonous liberalism" and its views of God and homosexuality to grow and flourish in Europe and North America, Packer said it must be so the West would eventually realize how dangerous such ideas are -- "so the poison will be fully squeezed out."

(SNIP) Packer urged Anglicans who are adamantly opposed to liberal developments in the Anglican church in Canada and the U.S. to remain "tough" as they re-align themselves under Archbishop Venables into a new non-geographically-based form of Anglicanism.

Dobson Flip Flops on McCain Endorsement!

In a copyrighted story by the Associated Press, Dr. James Dobson announced that he might endorse John McCain, stating:

"I never thought I would hear myself saying this," Dobson said in a radio broadcast to air Monday. "... While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might."

The story continues:

"Dobson and other evangelical leaders unimpressed by McCain increasingly are taking a lesser-of-two-evils approach to the 2008 race." (SNIP)

"There's nothing dishonorable in a person rethinking his or her positions, especially in a constantly changing political context," Dobson said in a statement to the AP. "Barack Obama contradicts and threatens everything I believe about the institution of the family and what is best for the nation. His radical positions on life, marriage and national security force me to reevaluate the candidacy of our only other choice, John McCain."

Earlier, Dobson had said he could not in good conscience vote for McCain, citing the candidate's support for embryonic stem cell research and opposition to a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, as well as concerns about McCain's temper and foul language. (SNIP)

Of his new position, Dobson said in the statement to the AP, "If that is a flip-flop, then so be it."

John McCain is literally the anti-Christian GOP candidate. He has insulted Dr. Dobson and every Christian voter in the country repeatedly. McCain has made it clear that he does not want Dobson's support. Sometimes the only proper course is to remain silent and at least maintain your dignity. But, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, "There are some people who have something to say and some people who just have to say something." It is becoming increasingly apparent that the "Christian Right" is more interested in saying something than having something to say. Otherwise they would not have abandoned their principles for political expediency. I agree with Doug Phillips who said in his blog:

More important than who wins or loses the 2008 election is this: Will Christians look to the Bible as their absolute standard for determining what principles must guide their voting practices? At stake is far more than the presidency. The question concerns the conscience of the Church. We can “win” an election, and yet sell our spiritual birthright. Conversely, we can “lose” an election yet remain faithful to the Word of God, thus preserving the conscience of the body of Christ, and enjoying the favor of the Lord.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Lost Boy

"I'd rather be arrested for shoplifting than ever be an evangelical leader again. There was a certain basic and decent honesty about stealing pork chops that selling God had lacked."

Frank Schaeffer


These days, it is not uncommon for evangelical parents to be in a near constant state of mourning for the spiritual loss of their children. The faith of the next generation, when there is one at all, bears little resemblance to the faith of our fathers. There is no more telling illustration of this situation than Frank (aka Frankie) Schaeffer. Schaeffer's father Francis was literally the spiritual father of the modern evangelical movement and its leading intellectual figure for decades. Frank Schaeffer's bitterness toward the evangelical movement and consistent movement away from traditional Christianity should serve as a cautionary tale for us all.

Evangelicalism has a strong tendency to discount everything said by those who disagree with it, especially those who have left the faith. This refusal to face facts is like coming upon a critically injured person on the freeway and then refusing to listen to their dying declaration about how the accident happened.

Frank Schaeffer is saying a lot these days much of it not very flattering toward evangelicals. A lot of it appears to be motivated by bitterness, anger and self absorption. But, the Frank Schaeffer who is now calling his father an abuser and his mother "controlling" is the same "Frankie" Schaeffer who decades ago warned us what was to come in the culture. His ideas deserve to be heard if not universally accepted.

Schaeffer alleges that the social movement his father founded has been co-opted first by evangelical personality cults and then by political opportunists. There can be no doubt that Francis Schaeffer was the leading intellectual figure in the evangelical movement of the last generation. He and John Whitehead (another story unto himself) are personally responsible for much of what is called the "religious right." By virtue of his proximity, Schaeffer should have knowledge that the rest of us do not. Schaeffer is largely correct in stating that the major evangelical organizations tend to be personality cults and completely correct in stating that the movement has been taken over (and I would add mis-managed into insignificance) by partisan political forces.

Schaeffer has always been scathing in his criticism of so-called Christian art and music and was correct in doing so. Comparing the warmed over pop that most churches now offer as "worship music" to Bach and Beethoven is simply ridiculous. Modern "worship" music with its simplistic melodies and repetitive phrasing, far from elevating the soul and challenging the intellect, tends to anesthetize them the same way that chanting a mantra does in Eastern religions. Placing a Michaelangelo alongside a Thomas Kincaid should end most of the argument concerning the visual arts. Schaeffer is right. The Christian art of our generation is a disgrace.

But above all, Schaeffer is criticized for abandoning the evangelical faith in favor of the Greek Orthodox church. While I cannot condone his action, I can certainly understand and even empathize with his problem. The modern evangelical church really has no place for intellectuals. It has replaced the vibrancy of Christian thought with platitudes and a polyester clad orthodoxy that is at least as constricting as the theological orthodoxy it claims to denounce. In his groundbreaking book, "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind" Mark Knoll quipped: "The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind."

This lack of an evangelical mind is perhaps the underlying reason for the loss of Frank Schaeffer and those like him. I once had a conversation with a charming, incredibly bright lady that illustrates this situation well. Her husband was successful and well respected in their community. She had been a faithful church woman her entire life. She lived what appeared to be the American dream until her youngest child was horribly injured in a freak accident. The child lived for months afterward and she and her husband lived by the bedside as their precious child slipped away.

She told me that during the depths of her depression, both before and after her child's death, that she simply had no energy for "playing the church game" and the faith that should have been her greatest comfort was in fact just another burden to bear. She was in a place far beyond keeping up appearances to bolster the weaker faith of curious onlookers. During this time, she took solace in what amounted to an evangelical liturgy that allowed her, in her state of physical and mental desperation, to still come before God in a meaningful way.

It is in these moments of extremity that modern evangelicalism with its pop culture worship and self centered theology frequently loses its best and brightest. In any congregation there are people suffering through life situations that will not change and bearing burdens that the person next to them could not possibly understand. And, there are people whose souls have suffered such deep hurt that they will never completely heal .... in this life at least. These are often the people with the most to offer their community of faith. But, platitudes from the pulpit don't work with these folks and what passes for worship is likely to annoy them. They need a faith theologically complex enough to embrace the inexplicability of difficult life circumstances and smart enough to engage them. They usually don't find it.

Fortunately for the evangelical pastors, these folks usually go away. Modern evangelicalism is woefully unequipped to deal with the intellectual complexities of modern life and the dark night of the soul that its best and brightest often endure. And so, they slip away, some quietly, but some with a bang like Frank aka Frankie Schaeffer.

I cannot condone Frank Schaeffer's verbal uncovering of his father's nakedness. It displays an appalling and unattractive lack of respect for a man of his father's stature. And I cannot condone his departure from the faith. But, the tale of Frank Schaeffer should serve as final warning to the evangelical establishment. Something is terribly wrong in the evangelical culture and you had better go about righting it before the faith itself is lost to future generations.


A very good discussion of the "Scandal of the Evangelical Mind" can be found HERE.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

McDonalds - Opposition to Gay Marriage = Hate

Liberty Counsel


Liberty Counsel Holds Joint Press Conference to Address McDonalds’ Anti-Christian Attacks

Chicago, IL – On Wednesday, July 16, at 10:00 a.m., Liberty Counsel will participate in a joint press conference with the American Family Association (AFA), Americans for Truth and the Illinois Family Institute in front of the McDonalds restaurant across from McDonalds' corporate headquarters in Oakbrook, IL. Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel, will address the media.

Recently, the McDonalds Corporation contributed thousands of dollars and joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a radical homosexual activist organization that pushes the homosexual agenda, including calling for legalization of so-called "same-sex marriage." In so doing, McDonalds has publicly sided in the ongoing culture war against the majority of Americans who hold traditional family values. For this reason, AFA called for the boycott against McDonalds.

"Unfortunately, McDonalds has chosen to side with militant homosexual activists over people with traditional values," said Matt Barber. "The company has further escalated the controversy by lodging a personal attack against the tens of millions of Americans who support traditional sexual morality and legitimate marriage. While referring to Christians and other people with traditional values, McDonalds spokesman Bill Whitman arrogantly told the Washington Post that, 'Hatred has no place in our culture,' thereby suggesting that people who support the historical definition of marriage are simply motivated by 'hate.' This insult is highly offensive, and anyone who supports traditional marriage should boycott McDonalds and tell the company why they’re doing so."

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented, "McDonalds should focus on food quality and safety issues instead of attacking the values held by the majority of people worldwide. Marriage between a man and a woman is the norm throughout the world. McDonalds' personal attack against those who support the traditional definition of marriage, while siding with a narrow group that promotes a radical redefinition, shows that company executives are out to lunch. McDonalds might as well change their signs to read 'billions and billions insulted.'"


McCain - LaRaza Si, Dobson No!

Presidential hopeful John McCain addressed a latino political group called La Raza Monday. La Raza literally translated means "the race." The motto of this organization is, ""For La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada," which literally translates, "For the (latino) race everything, for everyone else, nothing." La Raza has an ambitious agenda whose overall strategy is referred to as "Reconquista" which literally translates "the Reconquest." La Raza argues that the Spanish territories that have been part of the United States for over a century were illegally seized and should be returned to the Mexican people. This transfer would include the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California at minimum. What exactly would happen to the millions of non-latinos in these states given La Raza's motto is best not talked about.

By any definition, La Raza is a radical organization dedicated to the overthrow of the United States Government, at least in the states named above. If La Raza were composed of white separatists, its leaders would be in prison and the very mention of any association with it would result in immediate and permanent termination of a political career. But, for some reason, I guess the same reason that the generally applicable laws of the United States do not apply to latinos who sneak into the United States illegally, it is not only socially acceptable to be publicly associated with La Raza but actually applauded by some as being "inclusive" and shrewd political move.

I can remember the time when it was politically shrewd to be privately connected with the Ku Klux Klan and other political and social organizations that opposed integration. It wasn't right then and this isn't right now. Racism is racism if it is practiced by a white, a black or a latino.

McCain's inexplicable conduct before La Raza is made all the more egregious by his refusal to meet with key Evangelical leaders like Dr. James Dobson. How can you expect McCain to protect and defend the constitution of the United States when he is willing to appear before an organization dedicated to destruction of the American way of life? Is there any organization, except a Christian organization of course, that McCain would not address in his quest for political power?

When McCain was sworn in as a Naval Officer he swore the following oath upon his honor as officer and a gentleman: "I, John McCain , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic ..." Every honorable serviceman that I have ever spoken to on this issue regards that oath as a lifetime committment that does not end when you take the uniform off for the last time. By his two faced immigration policy as voiced before La Raza, a sworn enemy of the United States, John McCain has violated his officer's oath. How can we expect him to honor the oath of office as President?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Phil Gramm - Let Them Eat Cake

Exactly what universe is Phil Gramm living in? Apparently the same that Bush I was living in when he showed that he had no idea how much a loaf of bread or other basic grocery items cost.

Mr. Gramm, I have a few choice words for you. YOUR recession may be in YOUR HEAD. But, mine is very real. I have a practice, family responsibilities and a lifestyle that require me to drive several hundred and sometimes a couple of thousand or more miles per month. The cost of gasoline has caused me to eat out several fewer times per month, cut out some entertainment entirely and even cut back on some basic items. I am deferring needed maintenance on my vehicles and my properties. And, I am not taking out of town cases any more unless the client is willing to pay my travel expenses.

I suspect that I am not alone in this situation. If you multiply my private situation by the number of Americans similarly affected, you have a ripple going through our consumer based economy that cannot have positive results unless of course you are living in the parallel universe of Democratic utopians who think we make it all work with bicycles, public transportation and a total restructuring of the auto based American lifestyle.

But, this is not just a personal recession. There is no question that the real estate industry is in free fall and the second largest federal bank takeover in U.S. history occurred last week as a result of it. There have already been several disasters in financial institutions and it doesn't appear that we have reached the bottom yet.

Couple all of this with the fact that Israel may very well launch a very necessary pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, denying Iranian oil to the world market and probably locking up the Straits of Hormuz through which somewhere between twenty and forty percent of the world's oil must pass and you have the recipe for a world wide depression that could make the 1930's look like a day in the park.

Gramm's statement is an indication of one of the primary problems in the GOP. Instead of addressing lower and middle class economic concerns like a shrinking job base, unfair foreign competition and competition for existing domestic work by illegal aliens, the Country Club Wing of the GOP has simply made it unfashionable and perhaps even disloyal to talk about it in their company.

Well guess what Country Club GOP Brahmans, gas is over four bucks a gallon, the price of everything in the grocery store is going up, people have less money and too much of the money they do have is going abroad to finance corrupt middle eastern governments that do not support our national interests or the American way of life. Bubba may be poor but he isn't stupid. He knows all of this and then some.

Given the above, the GOP may be in for a rude awakening come November and we may see if Obama can take on the mantle of FDR as a depression president.

History now teaches that Marie Antoinette was not making a callous statement at all when she supposedly said, "let them eat cake." What she is alleged to have really suggested was to remove the taxes on cake and pastry so that the whole output of French bakeries would be available to the general population. But, since history is written by the survivors, her statement has been popularly misquoted and taken out of context.

Whatever version of history you choose to believe, Marie Antoinette at least recognized that there was a problem and showed some sort of sympathy for the plight of her subjects. Phil Gramm does not even do that. His callous disregard for the economic problems of a large portion of the American population have rightly embarrassed John McCain and will probably hurt him and the GOP come November.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Brits Surrender to Sharia Law!

What follows is an excerpt from Cal Thomas's column today at The entire column can be read HERE:


So this is how it ends: not with a bang, but a whimper.

The most senior judge in England has declared that Islamic legal principles in Sharia law may be used within Muslim communities in Britain to settle marital arguments and regulate finance. Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said, "Those entering into a contractual agreement can agree that the agreement shall be governed by a law other than English law."

In his speech at an East London mosque, Lord Phillips said Muslims in Britain could use Islamic legal principles as long as punishments - and divorce rulings - comply with English law. Sharia law does not comply with English law. It is a law unto itself.

And so the English who gave us the Magna Carta in 1215, William Blackstone and the foundation of American law are slowly succumbing to the dictates of intolerant Islam and sowing seeds of their own destruction. (SNIP)

... It is impossible to reconcile this antiquated "law" with English law, so what could Lord Phillips mean when he says that Sharia law can be used in Muslim communities as long as such laws comply with English law? This will mean English law must become subordinate to Sharia law. This is Dhimmitude, an Islamic system of religious apartheid begun in the 7th century that forces all other religions and cultures to accept an inferior status once Muslims become the majority. (SNIP)

... British Muslims who wish to live under Sharia law might have stayed in the countries from which they came - or return to them. But their objective appears to be domination of England, not assimilation. This also seems to be the goal for Muslims in other countries with large and growing Muslim populations.

There is no due process under Sharia law. Lord Phillips has signed the death warrant for his nation if his opinion becomes the law of England. It's one thing to fight a war and lose it. It's quite another to willingly surrender without a struggle.


An excellent article on this subject titled British Muslims Don't Want Sharia can be read HERE.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Oklahoma Supreme Court: Judge Correct in Vacating Tulsa Same-Sex Couple’s “Divorce”

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a state judge acted within his authority when he vacated a divorce unknowingly granted to two women. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case in October 2007 on behalf of then-Oklahoma Speaker of the House Lance Cargill, arguing that the state cannot grant a divorce to two people when the state does not even recognize them as married.

“The opponents of marriage aren’t merely trying to redefine marriage; they’re trying to eliminate marriage. Recognizing a same-sex ‘divorce’ would mean recognizing a ‘marriage’ that doesn’t exist under an Oklahoma law that voters passed by a margin of more than 3-to-1,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “The high court was right to determine that the lower court acted within its authority when it vacated the divorce decree it erroneously issued because it didn’t know the parties involved were of the same sex.”

Seventy-six percent of the state’s voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2004 protecting marriage between one man and one woman. Oklahoma’s marriage amendment also stipulates that same-sex “marriages” performed in other states are not recognized as valid and binding in the state of Oklahoma.

In its ruling, the Oklahoma Supreme Court wrote, “Disclosure that the purported marriage was between two women was not made, and it was not until contacted by the local paper that the trial court discovered this information…. The court has power to vacate when the successful party acted improperly to obtain the decree or if there was irregularity in obtaining the decree. Such actions are shown in the facts in the present matter.”


The preceding is a press release from The Alliance Defense Fun which is available online at:

The full text of the opinion in O’Darling v. O’Darling is available at:

The full text of the amicus brief is available at:'DarlingAmicus.pdf

ADF attorneys filed their friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Cargill in October 2007 (


ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The "Hale Warning" and False Rape Accusations

Until the 1980's, American juries were frequently given what was called "The Hale Warning" in rape and sexual assault cases. Named after its author, a highly respected 17th Century British judge, Matthew Hale, it cautioned the jury: "rape is an accusation easily to be made, hard to be proved, and harder yet to be defended by the party accused, tho' never so innocent."

Like many other traditions in the common law, The Hale Warning did not survive the feminist revolution and has generally fell out of use . However, statistics concerning false rape accusations indicate that perhaps it should return. In the past couple of days I have read literally dozens of articles on this issue. What follows is one of the better summaries of the statistics I found. It is an excerpt from an article (link HERE) by Marc E. Angelucci and Glenn Sacks, printed September 18, 2004, on

According to a nine-year study conducted by former Purdue sociologist Eugene J. Kanin, in over 40 percent of the cases reviewed, the complainants eventually admitted that no rape had occurred (Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1994). Kanin also studied rape allegations in two large Midwestern universities and found that 50 percent of the allegations were recanted by the accuser. (snip)

Kanin's findings are hardly unique. In 1985 the Air Force conducted a study of 556 rape accusations. Over one quarter of the accusers admitted, either just before they took a lie detector test of after they had failed it, that no rape occurred. A further investigation by independent reviewers found that 60 percent of the original rape allegations were false.

The most common reasons the women gave for falsely accusing rape were "spite or revenge," and to compensate for feelings of guilt or shame (Forensic Science Digest, vol. 11. no. 4, December 1985).

A Washington Post investigation of rape reports in seven Virginia and Maryland counties in 1990 and 1991 found that nearly one in four were unfounded. When contacted by the Post, many of the alleged victims admitted that they had lied. It is true, of course, that not every accuser who recants had accused falsely. But it is also true that some who do not recant were not telling the truth.

According to a 1996 Department of Justice Report, of the roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases analyzed with DNA evidence over the previous seven years, 2,000 excluded the primary suspect, and another 2,000 were inconclusive. The report notes that these figures mirror an informal National Institute of Justice survey of private laboratories, and suggests that there exists "some strong, underlying systemic problems that generate erroneous accusations and convictions."

That false allegations are a major problem has been confirmed by several prominent prosecutors, including Linda Fairstein, who heads the New York County District Attorney's Sex Crimes Unit. Fairstein, the author of Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, says, "there are about 4,000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan. Of these, about half simply did not happen."

Craig Silverman, a former Colorado prosecutor known for his zealous prosecution of rapists during his 16-year career, says that false rape accusations occur with "scary frequency." As a regular commentator on the Bryant trial for Denver's ABC affiliate, Silverman noted that "any honest veteran sex assault investigator will tell you that rape is one of the most falsely reported crimes." According to Silverman, a Denver sex-assault unit commander estimates that nearly half of all reported rape claims are false.

The media has largely ignored these studies and experts and has instead promoted the notion that only 2% of rape allegations are false. This figure was made famous by feminist Susan Brownmiller in her 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. Brownmiller was relaying the alleged comments of a New York judge concerning the rate of false rape accusations in a New York City police precinct in 1974.

A 1997 Columbia Journalism Review analysis of rape statistics noted that the 2% statistic is often falsely attributed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and has no clear and credible study to support it. The FBI's statistic for "unfounded" rape accusations is 9%, but this definition only includes cases where the accuser recants or the evidence contradicts her story. Instances where the case is dismissed for lack of evidence are not included in the "unfounded" category.

Sobering statistics.