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Posted October 31, 2012 | comments 16 Comments

Reader commentary: Above all else, values matter!

By Janet J. Ferguson

America needs a compassionate but unbending Christian testimony in our culture.

"God commands you to choose for rulers 'Just men who will rule in the fear of God'. The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty, and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted ... Public revenues will be squandered ..., and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded."
-- Noah Webster

"If America is to survive, we must elect more God-centered men and women to public office, individuals who will seek divine guidance in the affairs of state."
-- Billy Graham

If a man will not defend innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death, does not understand that marriage is only between one man and one woman, will not defend our religious liberty, and does not value our Judeo-Christian heritage or our Constitution, neither can he be trusted with decisions about the economy or our national security. Character counts!

With the election only days away, valley voters could cast the deciding votes for both the presidency and the U.S. Senate. And while the economy and foreign policy have dominated the debates, valley voters are also concerned about family values issues.

There are stark differences between the two presidential candidates on these issues: Mitt Romney opposes taxpayer funding for abortion, Planned Parenthood, and embryonic stem cell research. Barrack Obama supports them .

Mitt Romney supports the ban on human cloning, the repeal of the estate tax, parental choice in school, state marriage amendments, the federal Defense of Marriage Act and a marriage amendment to the Constitution. Barrack Obama opposes these.

Obama opposes appointing conservative justices and he supports government control of h ealth care. Obama opposes religious liberty. Romney supports religious liberty.

Mitt Romney supports appointment of conservative justices. Romney opposes government control of health care. Romney supports our religious liberty!

There are stark differences where the Senate candidates stand also. Who we choose is critically important because, if George Allen wins, the Republicans could take control of the U.S. Senate.

If Tim Kaine wins, the Democrats are likely to retain power.

To help us with that decision, it is important for us to focus on core Biblical issues of life, marriage, and religious liberty.

A Marine once described what he called "moral courage" and "physical courage." The latter has to do with battlefield bravery, the kind of sacrificial conduct that causes a soldier to fall on a grenade, attack an entrenched position, or risk his life to save a friend.

Moral courage is about taking a stand for truth and conscience regardless of the political or personal consequences. Christians should display this kind of courage with kindness and winsomeness, but with unequivocal firmness.

"Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues." Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, "for upon it, all others depend." At a time of moral crisis in our country and our world, there are few qualities we need more.

This may be the most important election of our lifetime. The presidential and Senate candidates hold sharply different views about core Biblical values, including life, marriage, and religious freedom.

Obamacare has given politicians unprecedented power over not just our health care but how we practice our faith. This new law forces people of faith to pay for and subsidize the taking of innocent human life.

As Billy Graham has so clearly stated in a series of full-page ads in major papers across the country, the choice we make as "values voters" will shape the direction of America for generations to come.

Our challenge is clear: help elect 'God-centered men and women,' urge others to do the same, and thereby to help rebuild America's Judeo-Christian foundation."

Who should be in control of your faith? Bureaucrats in Washington or you?
 
Janet J. Ferguson is a resident of Edinburg.

16 Comments | Leave a comment

    My personal platform for good government is included here:

    http://www.realityisfree.com/mygoals.html

    I suggest that the writer offering this opinion check the Ten Commandments (Google them if unfamiliar with the term) and pay particular attention to number 9. Being a Christianist does not give one license to prevaricate.

    Ms Ferguson - The statement "Who should be in control of your faith?" can only be answered by you. BUT you should not attempt to force your faith on others.

    That is way we have separation of church and state. Nothing wants to cloud this separation more than your comments.

    The idea of a democracy is respect, you show none.

    While there is no physical proof of the existence of a Deity that non-believers require, they cannot disprove His/Her/Its existence.

    We are back to faith, which disbelievers say is not enough. The basis for my faith is using my five senses and marveling at the wonders around me. I choose to believe that they do not exist by accident. Subscribing to the "big bang" theory (which I do) does not preclude the existence of a Deity. No one has ever been able to explain what (or "who") started the bang. And it is only a theory.

    So let believers have their faith without disparaging or belittling it (or them). We accept your disbelief, understand it, and most do not fault you for it. We simply have different beliefs.

    As a practical matter, in addition to my faith I take comfort in putting my money on God. Sort of like rational drivers put their money on a safety belt.


    face the facts, there is no magic invisible man watching over you.

    horus is laughing at the "faith"ful. just like every other myth and fable, so too is this jesus guy.
    fake, fraud, lies,deceit, and don't forget kiddies, a king had your book written . don't be a chump and fall for the grift.

    If a parent were to choose to withhold medical treatment for a child do to "Faith" based decisions this forum would be over run with people commenting on how outrageous and that the parents should be jailed or if Janet's husband said" Janet does not make her own decisions ,I will decide the best coarse of action for her." It would cause an outpouring of support for Janet to make her own decisions and not her controling husband.
    Lets face it people, the right to choose is by all your christian standards a gift from God. Man has the right to choose right or wrong, the choice is still his/hers to make. Free will is the one thing that humans have above all others or "In Christian theology, God is described as omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; a notion which some people, Christians and non-Christians alike, believe implies that not only has God always known what choices individuals will make tomorrow, but has actually determined those choices. That is, they believe, by virtue of his foreknowledge he knows what will influence individual choices, and by virtue of his omnipotence he controls those factors. This becomes especially important for the doctrines relating to salvation and predestination." Either way this is a modern society that we live in, there should be no possibility of a woman being forced to carry to term a an act of rape, the risk of life do to complications of pregnancy or the ability to choose if a child would not have the emotional and financial support needed to become a productive member of society.
    All of you so called christians that want to tell everyone what they can and can not do with their own body should go and visit an orphanage to see where these unwanted children will end up or put you money where you mouth is and foster some of these "unwanted angels". Either way the decision should be the individuals to make, the government should and for now can not tell christians how to worship neither should religious zelots create or uphold archaic ideology in the modern world.

    Just as there is no Constitutionally permitted religious test to become a candidate for public office, we can rest assured religious fanatics will bring forth a religious qualification test of their own making once the candidate has declared.

    I can't help noticing that quite a few pro-life activists revere the fetus second only to the way in which they cherish the Confederate flag. The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has -- from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness.

    Billy Graham, the country's senior Protestant, is a gaping and mendacious anti-Jewish peasant. Every time that a conflict impends in any formerly Biblical land, this elderly nuisance starts driveling about the last days and the end of time. Perhaps we can hear a little less about how "people of faith" possess moral advantages that others can only envy. Might this not be a moment where the light of reason, and the defense of a society that separated church and state and valued free expression and free inquiry, be granted a point or two?

    At the solemn memorial service for the victims of 9/11, held in the beautiful National Cathedral in Washington, an address was permitted from Billy Graham, a man whose record of opportunism and anti-Semitism is in itself a minor national disgrace. His absurd sermon made the claim that all the dead were now in paradise, "called into eternity", and would not return to us even if they could. I say absurd because it is impossible even in the most lenient terms to believe that a good number of sinful citizens had not been murdered by al-Qaeda that day. And there is no reason to believe that Billy Graham knew the current whereabouts of their souls, let alone their posthumous desires. But there was also something sinister in hearing detailed claims to knowledge of paradise, of the sort that bin Laden himself was making on behalf of the assassins.

    Graham regularly warns of the approaching battle of Armageddon and the appearance of the Anti-Christ. He likes to emphasize the Bible's assertion that the Second Coming will occur after the gospel is preached to all nations. This could not take place, Graham insists, until the rise of radio and television.

    But there is a reason why religions insist so much on strange events in the sky, as well as on less quantifiable phenomena such as dreams and visions. All of these things cater to our inborn stupidity, and our willingness to be persuaded against all the evidence that we are indeed the center of the universe and that everything is arranged with us in mind.

    Religion poisons everything.

    Ms. Ferguson has written an excellent thoughtful commentary. I applaud her for her efforts, and encourage others to write such commentaries and letters. "ThankGodForMakingMeAnAtheist, on the other hand, besides having a name that contradicts itself, has, as usual, written a comment that contains little truth, and concludes with the words that should read "atheism poisons everything. Devil's advocate is aptly named, and write as if he has forgotten that this country was founded upon religious principles, that the First Amendment gives us the right to freely exercise our religion. That includes expressing our beliefs that some things are wrong. He seems to want the right to do that, while denying our right to do that. Thank you Ms. Ferguson.


    Mr. Bost,

    First, I conclude your understanding of irony is somewhat incomplete, causing confusion about what is the meaning of my screen name.

    Second, many writers use the concept of irony to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.

    Third, no doubt if you are a religious person, depending upon your faith, you may understand a creation myth/story of some sort that describes the world and everything it contains (including me) was created due to the handiwork of a maker, a deity (a god) who possesses magical powers unknown to science or mere thinking mortals such as yourself.

    Fourth, an atheist person (me) denies or disbelieves the existence of a deity, a supreme being or a god. Therefore, an atheist does not have a religious belief; I also do not have a belief in magic, the tooth fairy, the easter bunny, a soul, santa clause, reincarnation, big foot, satan, the devil, heaven, hell, fairy dust, and many other things that can exist only within an imagination.

    So, if you can combine the above 4 explanations into one concept and then generate a phrase that is appropriate to accommodating irony instantly recognizable to a religious person and an atheist person, you can easily understand why my choice became the screen name I use.

    Reduced to the lowest common denominator even you should understand, Mr. Bost, the irony is, of course, if an atheist does not believe in a god how is it then possible for an atheist to thank something that does not exist?

    And so Mr. Bost, do you believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute?


    To Janet Ferguson - Well said. For now anyway we still have freedom of speech and you have a right to comment without receiving verbal abuse. I have been amazed at some of the mean spirited comments I have read lately when a commenter dares to critique Obama's policies. Especially those aimed at a Ms. Silek who I do not know but I believe she has a right to her opinion. Those who support Obama's policies seem to think no one else has a right to an opinion unless it reflects their ideas. Instead of bringing folks together Obama administration has been very divisive by intent and we are a nation seriously divided.

      Hello SadieB,
      Welcome to the big kids' playground. You are correct... you can make all the comments your heart desires (I don't think it is a "right").

      As for making comments with impunity or immunity, I doubt you can prohibit somebody responding to your opinions with their own comments and opinions (flattering or critical). If you are confident or bold enough to speak out about what is on your mind, you are subject to receiving responses (complimentary or abusive).

      Having said all that, by what logic do you blame Obama for being "very divisive"? Is being black divisive? Be prepared. Whatever your response, I or one of the other members of the loyal opposition will unload with partisan opinions why Republicans, especially Cantor, Boerner, O'Connell, and the "Republican Party Of No" are not blameless for their obstructionist activities placing political party interests before the best interests of America.

      I would love for an honest critique. But what keeps appearing is far removed from honest. When a public "opinion" is offered and is based upon and sharing even more falsehoods, those who value honesty as a "value that matters" should speak out.

      Sadly all the right offers when their wolf criers appear is a pity party for said wolf criers when "mean spirited" people call a liar a liar. The party supposed to be grounded in "christian principles" and "traditional values" is increasingly morally lacking.

      Perhaps you find nothing wrong in those that would tell lies about Americans killed while serving their country, but some of us do.

      Jon Stewart said: "I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.".......Sad when we get more reality from the comedy channel than we do from "news" sources.

    What is being talked about here consists of two parts...

    1. A system of ethics and morals, and with the tacit assumption that any such system can't stand on its own, thus requiring...

    2. A solid foundation, a controlling governor.

    Right off the bat some of us think the system can be set up and enforced by mutual agreement, which creates the foundation, the framework. Whether or not this is possible, a detailed investigation of the traditional foundation should be part of our decision process.

    As for the "traditional" foundation, is it real or is it imaginary - a construct?

    If it is real, then it must have a defintion and an accurate description which is real and tangible and most definitely NOT virtual. Moreover, it must have a LOCATION.

    So, "cut to the chase". Where is that location?

    http://www.realityisfree.com/whereisgod.html

    It is a wild time around the current "Tower of Babel", with new words being created "on the fly" just because they "sound good". So I looked up one of them. It still doesn't make any sense, but here it is anyway:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=teabilly


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