Sunday, July 5, 2009

Conservatives Still Have Their Heads on Straight!!!

I caught this symposium on C-Span TV last week -- a re-run from June 3, when...

"Participants spoke about the state of the Republican Party and the future of the conservative movement. They spoke about a number of issues including the philosophical roots of conservatism, economic and social policy, and building outreach programs.

The title of the 2009 Bradley Symposium, sponsored by the Hudson Institute, was "Making Conservatism Credible Again."

A transcript is found here.

I was impressed with Rich Lowry, the youthful editor of National Review. His concluding remarks were as follows:

As conservatives,we have to believe that reality is on our side at the end of the day. We believe three things, if you want to boil them down:

(1)The market is the best way to allocate capital.
(2)The world is a dangerous place that requires a toughmindedness in confronting it.
(3)And three, you can’t have a healthy society without traditional social structures and without virtue.

And we don’t believe these things because they’re convenient or popular. They’re not always popular or convenient. We believe them because they are true, and because they are true, they will be vindicated. Eventually.

I was really pleased to hear them all speak in favor of our traditional social institutions, including strong families and the value of virtue.

Columnist Mona Charen was present and asked about the problem of 40 per cent of children being raised in single-parent homes --and how that affects culture and the future.

A response to her question by MITCH DANIELS:
Mona, first of all, you have – as you have for a long time – directed us to the number one social
problem facing the country. I tell audiences in my state – of all kinds, all the time – that if they gave me the proverbial wand, my one wish would be that every child in our state grow up in an intact family to the age of eighteen, in which
case every social pathology that tears at our hearts would diminish dramatically. We all know this.

Even after age 18, divorce of parents is traumatic for the kids and poverty-causing for women, especially --though the economic damage to divorcing men can also be considerable.

I was encouraged to see that the conservatives of the think tanks are not about to give up on their ideals as they have been encouraged to do. They don't see that conservatives need to change --though they haven't been pleased with the GOP for its waffling and weaknesses when it comes to defending core conservative principles--as they seek to widen their tent.

It will take education --better education--to teach the next generation the values of conservative --and Christian ideals.

Christian educators need to do a better job. I was astounded to hear this weekend that a certain church college even has a gay dorm. Obviously the Bible means very little to such a church-school in these days.

However, Jodi, a commenting blogger here says my source is inaccurate, since she works at that school. I'm relieved. My source was credible with connections to that church and college, but evidently had wrong info as to official dorm policy--I called the college also and they denied having any gay dorms. But I discuss in the comments below another concern I have regarding so-called Christian college dorm policies which that college DOES have.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


jshb said...


It is unfortunate you are willing to spread such untrue rumors on without finding out the facts. I work at Goshen - which is an incredible college's whose core values are Christ-centeredness, passionate learning, servant leadership, compassionate peacemaking and global citizenship - and I know that the college has never had a gay dorm.


Barb said...

Jodi, I wonder if the fact is that gays are choosing the same dorm and so one of them has that reputation. The "rumor" was indeed in the category of "I heard" --just this past weekend from someone in Archbold with college and Mennonite connections/knowledge.

Because you wrote (and I'm astounded that you noticed my blog --how did you? google Goshen?) I called that person who said they'd check further from their source as to the real definition of "gay dorm."

I called the college and they denied having a gay dorm, as you said, but I learned that they do have co-ed visitation on the single sex dorm floors --and can have closed doors --daily. This is not smart for any college regarding co-ed students, much less a Christian school --but I know that co-ed visitations in the Christian dorms is nothing new --but closed door is very left-ward for a Christian school. I don't know if they've all caved to closed door dorm visitations or not.

Students want to be treated as adults --but this is unnecessary temptation and endorsement of a privacy not needed. Hetero-sexual intimacy is a natural urge and thus pre-marital and extra-marital sex are tempting and "absolute privacy" with one's beloved can be a "stumbling block" to our "weaker brethren." Yes, students CAN drive off campus and rent a motel --so let them pay for it --and not those who donate toward their Christian education. That's just way too accommodating to the temptations of the flesh.

I will modify my blog itself so Goshen doesn't show up at Google in this context. I don't think comments show up in google, do they?

At any rate, good for your vigilance to defend your workplace and set the record straight.

What is the college's and the Mennonite position? on sexual orientation and tolerance for that which the Bible calls an abomination, displeasing to our Creator --who created us in His image as male and female --for purposes of intimacy and procreation and foundation of family?

July 6, 2009 10:14 AM

Barb said...

My friends, Evangelical Mennonite critics of Goshen, think there is very little evidence of Christ-honoring in the college's public ceremonies --like graduation. That the school bears greater resemblance to secular colleges than Christian.

I've long known of the Mennonite reluctance to evangelize --to focus on the good works without the Word --having spent some days at Mennonite Central Committee. I know of their peace positions that incline them toward the democratic party for voting --but where are they today on family issues such as abortion? Are pacifism and compassionate generosity their only Christian concerns --for which they credit democrats more than republicans on flimsy evidence --considering that Republicans want to KEEP the peace and also work for peace and are more generous givers than democrats --even among those of low income. (acc'g to J. Stossel's study among others.)

Jeanette said...

I have had a Mennonite friend I wanted to blog with me awhile ago. He sent me a pamphlet on their beliefs and I think you are wrong on this issue.

They are opposed to abortion and many of them have large families. I would say they are much like Quakers.

They do not believe in bearing arms in the armed forces, but also believe instead they should do community service for the time they would have been in the armed services.

Barb, if a person is a Christian and raised in a Mennonite home, you can bet your bottom dollar they are not going to dabble in pre-marital sex. There is nothing wrong or tempting to have them in a dorm with people of the opposite sex.

These are good, hard-working, God-fearing people and I hope you correct your own interpretation of them.

Jeanette said...

To answer your question on their voting patterns, they usually do not vote, but the one I know did vote for Bush both times, though he feels it is not his duty to vote in elections of this world.

They are totally devoted to the Kingdom of Christ.

Barb said...

Well, you know your one Mennonite, Jeanette--and the ones I know are called "evangelical mennonites" who live where there are many Mennonites --and they say the mainline branch of Mennonites have become terribly liberal --and that you can hardly tell in their ceremonies that they are christian --such as graduation. They don't want American flags on their platforms either --so you can see how the extreme left might attract some of their youth.

Like Catholics, they are pro-life --but like Democrat Catholics, do they vote it? Do they help shape this country by voting at all? If they don't join us in voting pro-life, they are, in effect, opposing the christian stance on life, not helping to save any babies. I think our view of and position on abortion, and voting for pro-life, are simply not arguable for christians of the Bible. It's basic to all our other views on just wars, welfare,family, etc.

Remember, I said we were at MCC for awhile in Pa. I know them to be "good people," as you say, full of good works --but very reticent and non-demonstrative in expressions of faith--and their leading intellectual young people are in sync. with democrats because they ARE pacifists. Never mind that Johnson, Kennedy, and other democrat presidents were NOT any more pacifistic than GOP and got us into more wars than GOP.

Even in their charitable works abroad, they don't say they come in the name of Christ --but in the name of the MCC--as though it does not matter if people ever hear of or accept Christ or not.

One Godly Mennnonite girl, wearing the cap, attended my college and was a wonderful Christian --I found another great girl friend at MCC --though we have lost touch. I visited her in her farm home one time. Many bonneted Mennonites would attend Winona Lake Bible Conference events --which were all very evangelistic in nature. So I know the church has good roots, good people --but are they in fact, very leftward in their political non-support, and in their reluctance to evangelize, and in their non-involvement (those who are) in politics/voting?

Jeanette said...


I have just sent an email to my Mennonite friend, Truthseeker, who knows the Bible better than I do, and asked him to come over and explain what he believes. I know there are different branches, but I believe he can show you things I can't. Blessings on you.

Barb said...

I understand those who shun political involvement and support --like the Amish --but while we are to be in the world, but not OF the world, ought we not care about LAWS which involve aspects of good and evil, right and wrong, and have consequences on people --and about taxation for infrastructure we all use, like parks, roads, museums, etc. --and thus VOTE?

Barb said...

Barb, if a person is a Christian and raised in a Mennonite home, you can bet your bottom dollar they are not going to dabble in pre-marital sex. There is nothing wrong or tempting to have them in a dorm with people of the opposite sex.

HUH? Are you kidding me? People raised in Christian homes are certainly dabbling in pre-marital sex. It's one of the strongest temptations there is, because God did put the drive for sexual unity within us --for purpose of procreation.
I think it was Dobson who said "absolute privacy predicts [or tempts toward] intimacy absolutely." That's why parents and colleges should not completely abdicate their chaperoning responsibilities.

being Christian doesn't turn off the turn ons between sweethearts!

I'm not talking about co-ed dorms --where boys and girls share the floor --and even share rooms and public bathrooms--in some of our secular universities. Institutions and parents are plainly stupid if they think some or many kids will remain abstinate given access to a boyfriend or girlfriend in a co-ed dorm --or in closed door visiting hours.

I'm not calling it co-ed if the boys have boys' floors and the girls have girls' floors --many Christian schools have that --to meet their space needs --but they don't yet have co-ed floors and co-ed rooms. But the co-ed, closed door visitation, is too hot to handle for even normal red-blooded american Christians who are in dating relationships.

I wonder if secular schools still have the co-ed rooms,floors and bathrooms. I was astounded when this became reality--and I'm not talking about unisex, single stall bathrooms either --but the ones with multiple shower and toilet stalls that both boys and girls can enter. Are there still really parents who want this kind of arrangement for their kids? Not me --not in a million years!!! but I understand it to be a reality --and part of treating your unmarried children as adults! Ridiculous!

Truthseeker said...

Hello Barb,

I am Jeanette's Mennonite friend known as Truthseeker.

I am in a fellowship within the Southeastern Mennonite Conference, which is considered a conservative conference. However, within the Mennonite spectrum there are many differing views held on many social issues, just as there are in any religious community whether Protestant, Roman Catholic, or even within the many non-christian belief systems.

As far as our stand, speaking of Southeastern Mennonite Conference, we don't vote for reasons more associated with our stand on our application of the doctrine of non-resistance, which is a Biblical form of love for all, and respect for the sanctity of life in general, so it differs from pacificism in how most people understand the word today. We do not use the methods of Ghandi, or even in the adapted manner of Martin Luther King, which are pacifistic methods of non-violent resistance, these are not the same as non-resistance that Jesus taught in the gospels and by His life, especially in the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew's gospel account.

Primarily our understanding of being in and not of this world is from a two kingdom view of life; as Christians we are members of the kingdom of God (or of heaven, terms used interchangeably in the gospels) as well as living within an earthly nation; this is what Jesus taught in his ministry prior to his offering Himself up for the sin of mankind. As disciples of Christ we desire to live as he did, we strive to be like Him in all matters of life. One way is that we chose no side in political matters and while we do honor the king, giving tribute, honor, custom, and respect to all in authority, as spelled out in Romans 12 and 13, we don't focus trying to make any government operate on Christian ideals/values since that is not what Christ taught in His dealings with the political Jews or Romans of His day.

Truthseeker said...

Part 2

Thus we serve more as ambassadors of the kingdom of God through the ministry of reconciliation which Christ has commanded us to be doing; being peacemakers on all levels of life as much as we can, and bringing others to the Prince of Peace and Life as Lord and Savior upon repentance of sin. That is, we seek reconciliation between God and Mankind through the finished work of Christ on the Cross, by the power of His resurrection from the dead.

The real issue we face in life is sin; regardless of what that sin maybe; adultery and fornication are just two closely related parts of our struggle, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual in nature matters little, it is still sin, as is spelled out in Galatians 5 verses 19-21.

In contrast the life of a Christian is to be typified by Galatians 5 verses 22-26.

Working with people that are caught up in the sin is our calling as Christians, no matter the sin. Working with homosexuals is just as important as working with those trapped in heterosexual sins or in any of the other sins cataloged above. Same for those caught up in the sin of abortion; protest and assaults on abortion providers is not the answer to the problem, but a recognition of the sin in the lives of those that end up seeking abortion. Helping people one on one is the kingdom way; not trying to convert an earthly nation on a political level, but the people within the nation.

It may happen that abortion could be stopped in this country, but I highly doubt it. The homosexual agenda will continue as well, along with the assault on traditional marriage, which has already suffered greatly with the sin of divorce and remarriage which is, unfortunately, just as much of a sin within evangelical Christian circles as within secular society.

Finally, Mennonites are just people, they have the same proclivities to sin as anyone else; all are either redeemed or unredeemed in the eyes of God based on their faith in Jesus Christ. We do strive to live holy since God has called us to so live; 1Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Unfortunately, if you want to find Mennonites that allow sin, you will find some just as you will find such within Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, or within any other faith practice. Unfortunately sin is still rampant in human life; thus, those faithful servants of Christ have much yet to do until He comes.

Jeanette said...

I wish to pass along my thanks to my dear friend Truthseeker for taking the time to comment on this piece.

He is a wonderful Christian man devoted to Christ. I have learned much from him. He has strong family values and children who have achieved much.

He has told me if this doesn't answer all your questions for me to let him know and he will respond.

My comment about Christian people not committing fornication is that if they really love and follow the Lord they will stop themselves before they go beyond the point of no return.

I was young once too and my husband and I loved each other enough to not give in to those emotions, and we were alone in our apartment to be after we got married. We would be married in a couple of weeks and it would have been easy to give in to those desires, but thankfully the Lord stopped us before we got to that stage.

Unmarried or homosexual sex are not the only sins and should not be our total focus. I always trusted my children until or unless they proved they should not be trusted. As far as I know they were chaste before marriage because they knew the values taught to them as children up to their ages.

A sex sin is no stronger than taking the Lord's Name in vain, stealing, coveting etc. All are sins and God treats all sins the same. They are sins.

I hope this makes sense to you. I never drilled sex into my children as something to think is dirty but as something that is beautiful in a marriage and in a marriage only.

They have remained faithful to their spouses and their spouses have remained faithful to them. They married Christian people, and though my son is backslidden he still has his Christian values. He doesn't even say damn or hell in his language.

My children are not perfect, but I trusted them and they didn't want to lose that trust or to disobey God's law about sex.

They have sinned other ways every day of their lives, just as I have, but that's why Jesus died for us. His blood washes away our sins and though we don't mean to sin we still do because we still have our human nature.

Again I thank Truthseeker for telling you some of his beliefs. He's a wonderful person I have come to love dearly.

Barb said...

Welcome Truthseeker. I realize there are variants of Mennonites --some still in the head covering; some not, e.g. I do not disagree with you on any point --except this: (and I do respect your sincerely bible-based position)

Jesus is talking to Jews who didn't have a vote in Rome --but they were allowed their own religious practices and government, to a point. They resented Rome's yoke --an insult to their national sovereignty and pride. As for oppression, their own Herod was oppressive. When Jesus addresses them about forgiveness and turning the other cheek, it is personal, i.e. regarding our personal relationships --and it ALSO applies to Israel under Roman rule --and our feelings of hatred for any individual or group or enemy. And He certainly says peace should be our goal and not victory and the spoils of war through battle. Which is what USA demonstrated in helping Germany and Japan after WWII --instead of making them U.S. territories.

I don't Jesus ever meant that we should allow the town bully to victimize women and children (or the Germans to gas the Jews) in the name of a misbegotten pacifistic ideal when we have the power to prevent such abuse and stop the suffering.

There is a place for voting, national participation in law and justice --and some would say a "just war" --to stop the bullies and terrorists of the world --to relieve suffering in the name of the Golden Rule. We would want to be liberated from cruel oppression--we would want to be saved from stoning. Israel didn't have the strength to overcome rome by any human means --nor was it necessary. Jesus did save a woman from stoning --and yes, in a pacifistic way. But he also said that "whoever harms these little ones, were better a millstone were hung about his neck and he were cast into the sea." Not a very pacifistic image. sounds like justice to me--though we know there is eternal justice to come --as vengeance belongs to the Lord in eternity.

Democracy --and the right to vote--is supported by Christian ideals --the equality of persons in God's eyes, (all have His love; all can be saved. All can receive the Holy Spirit and have God's insight --which can be used in a vote.) By our votes, we who are Christian are also demonstrating that we believe in God working through His Body, all the people together, to enact HIs will --but that works best in a nation where a majority are believers in the Body of Christ with the same views of right and wrong, good vs. evil.)

The Golden Rule and Love thy Neighbor teachings tell us that other people are as important as we think ourselves to be and should have the same rights we want for ourselves.

Barb said...

On the subject of temptation: I bet most Christian people raised in functional Christian homes would agree with me, that sex presented the biggest temptation to them--and still does via porn for many men especially.

With only 2 weeks to go to the wedding, Jeanette, that, in itself, would help to deter pre-marital sex in your apartment, given your Christian conviction and chastity thus far--even though you had the opportunity. What's two weeks? It was worth it to go the distance. And would be in anycase, but not all Christians today think they can be married whenever the urge comes upon them--nor are they as strong as you in their resistance to this temptation--nor as chaperoned as young american ladies used to be--before our day.

with girls in a dormitory trying to win a boyfriend by meeting his urgent desires --or by mutual desire --the temptation toward pre-marital sex, given birth control, privacy and access to attractive partner, is more strong than the temptation to take the first smoke, or drink, etc --because sex is a natural bio-drive as planned by God to bring us to marriage. The girl believes the experience will bind them together and is eager to give herself to him; the young man needs tremendous self-control to resist opportunities given young couples today --with girls who are said to be less driven sexually, but nevertheless, giving in to the opportunity for "love."

Barb said...

There is no reason for Christian dorms to allow closed door temptation via visitation for members of the opposite sex as the Mennonite college does. Leaving the door open is a recognition that sex is a powerful drive and thus, temptation when privacy is available.

In the secular dorm, my son in law's roommate wanted him to stay out of the room so he could have sex with his girl --my son in law refused to leave --so the couple had to find some other venue. It is unfair to roommates when the dorm room becomes a "bedroom" for couples. Which it will be for some --even in a Mennonite or Christian dorm --given the closed door policy.

You mentioned cursing, Jeanette --cursing is a temptation particularly when it is habitual in the family that raised you or commonplace among your peers --and because it is commonplace in media.

People raised in functional Christian homes who are committed to Christ will be less tempted by most sins, including cursing --than by sex --because sex is a god-given drive --and sin-free when you get to the church on time. Sex is good in the right context, while other temptations are never good. E.G. the temptations to steal,lie, curse, hate, be cruel,do drugs, etc. don't tempt the strong believer very much if at all--but a Christian couple who loves can find it difficult to wait for the wedding simply because they are designed to get it together, hormonally, for God's purpose of procreation. It is Satan himself who uses that desire to lure people into porn and illicit relationships --and yes, sex without marriage with all its attending risks--risk of pregnancy and break-up--and disease for the promiscuous.

For the record, I also do not consider sex to be dirty--and didn't teach my children that it was. None would say I taught them that.

Jeanette: My comment about Christian people not committing fornication is that if they really love and follow the Lord they will stop themselves before they go beyond the point of no return.

Yet, you say you and your children sin daily due to imperfection --even though you love and follow the Lord.

I'm saying that SEX is the one thing they WILL be most tempted to do --even though they love the Lord and desire to be His --because the sexual desire is God-given. The desires to lie, steal, get even, hate, lose temper and be selfish --these are not God-given desires but originate with Satan --and I really believe it is easier for the good christian to avoid THOSE temptations than the sexual one with their fiancee --given privacy and frequent togetherness.

When sex has its outlet in marriage, however, the temptation to adultery, porn and homosexuality is clearly of Satan --a perversion of God's natural design for sex. There are many sexual outlets --but only one sanctified by God for procreation--the heterosexual bond in marriage.

Barb said...

I see there is a limit now in number of words or characters to our comments--so my last 3 posts came from one response!

Jeanette said...


I don't disagree with you in principle. Sex is a powerful urge, but it is not the only sin. That was my only point.

Secondly, Truthseeker has found a church where he believes its teachings and to tell him he should vote would be to tell him to forsake his faith.

He did vote, reluctantly, for Bush twice, but though he is not forbidden to vote by his church he is guided by a Higher Kingdom and prays for our leaders as commanded by Paul.

This is all we can ask of him. I'm not going to forward your response because then I would be asking him to defend his faith and we both know what an awkward position that is given the right circumstances.

I can attest to his Christian beliefs and his acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life and soul.

Not all churches are evangelical, and from photos I have seen of his daughters they also wear the veil on their heads. He has a link on his blog to a family whose wife had two bouts with cancer and was told she would never have children. She married and she and her husband now have a house full of beautiful children and she writes the most beautiful and inspiring things on her blog. Every day things about how grateful she is just for her family and her simple lifestyle. They work hard and are not rich, but they have a lot of love and the children are very sweet.

She homeschools her children and is often tired, but always takes the time to praise the Lord as her husband does on his blog.

They have their reasons for not voting and it's not our place to tell them they should. At least that's my opinion and you can disagree if you wish. :)

Barb said...

I think it's important for Christian people to be able to articulate their respective positions on peace, voting, politics, etc. --without calling it an offense.

Barb said...

BTW, I don't question his Christianity, Jeanette. You seemed to think I did.

and I wouldn't expect you to forward something to him. Didn't he post for himself? Yes. So I guess he can come back and respond if he wants. I don't disagree with his rationale for any statement he made, actually. Although I have a different rationale for national involvement by christians. I understand his to be Biblically based --as mine is also.

Barb said...

While sex outside marriage is not the only sin, it is a powerful temptation because of God's design of our bodies for marriage and procreation. I feel it is more tempting to Christians than other sins for the young before marriage --tempting to get the cart before the horse --which I doubt is as displeasing to God as other sins if it ends in a lasting marriage --but it is sin, nevertheless, because of the risk to the relationship --and the risk of making a baby before the wedding --which is an embarrassment to a Christian couple that may have even tempted some to the greater sin of abortion for fear of disclosure. I 've heard that happens but hope it isn't true.

All sin is sin because it is bad for US. Righteousness is how we fare the best. Obedience to God or parents protects US. However, all sin is a form of idolatry, I suppose --worshipping some thing, some experience --more than the Lord.

Jeanette said...

I never thought you questioned Truthseeker's Christianity and I apologize if I came across that way. I was just describing him to you.

He did post at my request. If you scroll up you will notice I told you I had emailed him to come over and tell you his beliefs.

He told me if it didn't answer your questions to let him know and he'd try to answer them. That's why I said I was not forwarding anything to him. He's free to come back and read/comment if he wishes.

I vote and have always voted since I turned 21. That's my belief and I have no problem with it.

Barb said...

forgive me, J, if I sounded contentious --or paranoid --didn't mean to be.

I hear Obama's at 49% approval rating in Ohio. People here are waking up.

I want to see John Kasich take on Sherrod Brown in the Senate. I guess we need a republican to fill Voinivich's seat, also --I suggest our former sec'y of state --that AFr. Am. Christian guy. very sharp. He lost to STrickland, but I think GOP has just been too unconcerned at the state and local level --or too busy with church and jobs and families to get involved.

I can get excited for Ohio's chances with those 2. GOP has to get excited to restore some balance to the senate.

Jeanette said...

No problem, Barb. I see Obama is -8 in national polls as far as what kind of job he's doing, and it looks like it's just going to keep going down.

We're busy with birthdays. Number two granddaughter turned 11 yesterday (lives in TX) and number one granddaughter turned 12 today along with celebrating her father's 37th birthday. We're spent out! Literally. :)

Barb said...

We are all involved with wedding music for a young friend this weekend.

Barb said...

We are all involved with wedding music for a young friend this weekend.