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“We will not obey.”
That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage.
“We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line,” read a document titled, Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage. “We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.”
“While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross,” the pledge states.
The signees are a who’s who of religious leaders including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, National Religious Broadcasters president Jerry Johnson, Pastor John Hagee, and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.
The pledge was co-drafted by Deacon Keith Fournier, a Catholic deacon, and Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel. Also involved in the document were Rick Scarborough, the president of Vision America Action and James Dobson, the founder of Family Talk Radio.
“We’re sending a warning to the Supreme Court and frankly any court that crosses the line on the issue of marriage,” Staver told me.
He said that once same-sex marriage is elevated to the level of protected status – it will transform the face of society and will result in the “beginning of the end of Western Civilization.”
“You are essentially saying that boys and girls don’t need moms and dads – that moms and dads are irrelevant,” Staver said. “Gender becomes pointless when government adopts same-sex marriage. It creates a genderless relationship out of a very gender-specific relationship. It says that it doesn’t matter and that two moms or two dads are absolutely equivalent to a mom and a dad.”
Dobson said the legalization of same-sex marriage could fracture the nation.
“The institution of marriage is fundamental and it must be defended,” he told me. “It’s the foundation for the entire culture. It’s been in existence for 5,000 years. If you weaken it or if you undermine it – the entire superstructure can come down. We see it as that important.”
And that means the possibility of Christians – people of faith – engaging in acts of civil disobedience.
“Yes, I’m talking about civil disobedience,” Staver said. “I’m talking about resistance and I’m talking about peaceful resistance against unjust laws and unjust rulings.”
That’s quite a shocking statement. So I asked Mr. Staver to clarify his remarks.
“I’m calling for people to not recognize the legitimacy of that ruling because it’s not grounded in the Rule of Law,” he told me. “They need to resist that ruling in every way possible. In a peaceful way – they need to resist it as much as Martin Luther King, Jr. resisted unjust laws in his time.”
Scarborough said the pledge was meant to be forthright and clear.
“We’re facing a real Constitutional crisis if the Supreme Court rules adversely from our perspective on same-sex marriage,” he told me. For me there’s no option. I’m going to choose to serve the Lord. And I think that thousands of other pastors will take that position and hundreds of thousands – if not millions of Christians.”
Scarborough is urging pastors across the nation to sign the pledge.
He referenced the “outrageous penalties” being assessed against people of faith simply because they don’t want to participate in a same-sex union.
An Oregon bakery is facing a $135,000 fine for refusing to make a cake for a lesbian wedding and a Washington State florist faces fines for refusing to participate in a gay wedding.
“Christians are being declared the lawbreakers when we are simply living by what we have always believed, and by a set of laws that the culture historically has agreed to,” he said. “Right now the courts are changing the playing field and declaring that what the natural eye can see and natural law reveals is not truth. ... What will we do, and how will we respond?”
Dobson said there’s no doubt that LGBT activists are targeting Christian business owners.
“For about 50 years the homosexual community has had as its goal to change the culture, to change the ideology and if necessary – to force people who don’t agree by use of the courts,” Dobson told me. “I think there’s a collision here and we can all see it and where it’s going to go is anybody’s guess – but it is serious.”
To be clear – the men and women who courageously signed this pledge did so knowing the hell storm that is about to be unleashed on them – and their families.
“We have no choice,” Staver told me. “We cannot compromise our clear biblical convictions, our religious convictions.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is "God Less America."
2 Timothy 3
3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- With debate gearing up over the coming expiration of the Patriot Act surveillance law, the Obama administration on Saturday unveiled a 6-year-old report examining the once-secret program to collect information on Americans' calls and emails.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence publicly released the redacted report following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the New York Times. The basics of the National Security Agency program had already been declassified, but the lengthy report includes some new details about the secrecy surrounding it.
President George W. Bush authorized the "President's Surveillance Program" in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The review was completed in July 2009 by inspectors general from the Justice Department, Pentagon, CIA, NSA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
They found that while many senior intelligence officials believe the program filled a gap by increasing access to international communications, others including FBI agents, CIA analysts and managers "had difficulty evaluating the precise contribution of the PSP to counterterrorism efforts because it was most often viewed as one source among many available analytic and intelligence-gathering tools in these efforts."
Critics of the phone records program, which allows the NSA to hunt for communications between terrorists abroad and U.S. residents, argue it has not proven to be an effective counterterrorism tool. They also say an intelligence agency has no business possessing the deeply personal records of Americans. Many favor a system under which the NSA can obtain court orders to query records held by the phone companies.
The Patriot Act expires on June 1, and Senate Republicans have introduced a bill that would allow continued collection of call records of nearly every American. The legislation would reauthorize sections of the Patriot Act, including the provision under which the NSA requires phone companies to turn over the "to and from" records of most domestic landline calls.
After the program was disclosed in 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, President Barack Obama and many lawmakers called for legislation to end that collection, but a bill to do so failed last year. Proponents had hoped that the expiration of the Patriot Act provisions on June 1 would force consideration of such a measure.
A bipartisan group of House members has been working on such legislation, dubbed the USA Freedom Act. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday that Obama is pleased the efforts are restarting in the House.
"Hopefully, the next place where Democrats and Republicans will turn their attention and try to work together is on this issue of putting in place important reforms to the Patriot Act," Earnest said.
If no legislation is passed, the Patriot Act provisions would expire. That would affect not only the NSA surveillance but other programs used by the FBI to investigate domestic crimes, which puts considerable pressure on lawmakers to pass some sort of extension.
Recently, Reason‘s Ronald Bailey asked what it would take to convince conservatives and libertarians that global warming is real.
If generally rising temperatures, decreasing diurnal temperature differences, melting glacial and sea ice, smaller snow extent, stronger rainstorms, and warming oceans are not enough to persuade you that man-made climate [change] is occurring, what evidence would be?
This has since been picked up by Jonathan Adler at the Washington Post‘s token right-leaning blog, the Volokh Conspiracy. There’s no pressure: Bailey and Adler merely insinuate that you are “obscurantist”—that is, you hate new knowledge—if you don’t agree.
That, by the way—the smug insistence of global warming alarmists on presenting themselves as the embodiment of scientific knowledge as such—is one of the reasons I stopped taking them seriously. In fact, I have thought about what it would take to convince me global warming is real. And it’s pretty clear that Bailey has not thought about it.
He really hasn’t. He’s thought a lot about the various scientific claims made by those who insist global warming is a man-made catastrophe. But he has not thought about how those claims add up or how they would have to add up to be convincing. All Bailey’s piece amounts to is: here is a long list of factual claims that seem to support the global warming scare; how high do I have to pile up these claims before you are convinced?
There is no sense that the proof of global warming has to proceed according to some systematic method, requiring it to clear specific hurdles at specific stages. Which betrays an unscientific way of thinking.
When I refer to “global warming,” and when Bailey and Adler refer to it, that term is a stand-in, not just for the trivial claim that average global temperatures are rising, but for “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”: i.e., global temperatures are rising, it’s our fault, and we’re all gonna die.
I’ve gone on record a long time ago sketching out what stages would be required to demonstrate that humans are causing rising global temperatures, never mind the much more dubious proposition that warmer weather is going to be a catastrophe. Let me elaborate on it here.
There are three main requirements.
1) A clear understanding of the temperature record.
The warmists don’t just have to show that temperatures are getting warmer, because variation is normal. That’s what makes “climate change” such an appallingly stupid euphemism. The climate is always changing. The environmentalists are the real climate-change “deniers” because they basically want global temperatures to maintain absolute stasis relative to 1970—not coincidentally the point at which environmentalists first began paying any attention to the issue.
That’s what makes ‘climate change’ such an appallingly stupid euphemism. The climate is always changing.
So to demonstrate human-caused global warming, we would have to have a long-term temperature record that allows us to isolate what the normal baseline is, so we know what natural variation looks like and we can identify any un-natural, man-made effect. A big part of the problem is that we only have accurate global thermometer measurements going back 135 years—a blink of an eye on the time-scales that are relevant to determining natural variation of temperature. Within that, we only have a few decades of warming that could conceivably be blamed on human emissions of carbon dioxide: a minor run up in temperatures from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Since then, warming has leveled off (despite strenuous attempts to pretend otherwise). I think it’s impossible to claim, on that basis, that we even know what natural temperature variation is, much less to demonstrate that we’ve deviated from it.
(This is putting aside doubts about whether adjustments made to the temperature record, which are necessary to account for things like changes in the locations of weather stations, have managed to screen out “urban heat island” effects or have been biased to exaggerate the extent of warming.)
Various environmentalist attempts to create a “hockey stick” that makes current temperatures look abnormal have been embarrassing failures, involving problems like an improper mixing of recent thermometer measurements with less accurate “proxy” measurements that estimate temperatures farther into the past. And they prove my point about warmists being believers in climate stasis. The hockey stick graphs all assume that global temperature have been basically flat for 2,000 or 10,000 years, so that minor recent warming looks like a radical departure. Who’s really denying climate change?
And if you look at temperatures on the really big scale, we’re all just playing for time until the next ice age comes.
Assuming we can eventually compile a temperature record that is long enough and reliable enough to distinguish the effect of human activity from natural variation, we would also have to understand how human beings are causing this effect. Which leads us to the second big requirement.
2) A full understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms.
We have to know what physical mechanisms determine global temperatures and how they interact. The glibbest thing said by environmentalists—and proof that the person who says it has no understanding of science—is that human-caused global warming is “basic physics” because we know carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide is a very weak greenhouse gas and there is no theory that claims it can cause runaway warming all on its own. The warmists’ theory requires feedback mechanisms that amplify the effect of carbon dioxide. Without that, there is no human-caused global warming. But those feedback mechanisms are dubious, unproven assumptions.
Basic questions about the “sensitivity” of the climate to carbon dioxide have never been answered. Even Bailey admits this.
In recent years, there has [been] a lot of back and forth between researchers trying to refine their estimates of climate sensitivity. At the low end, some researchers think that temperatures would increase a comparatively trivial 1.5 degrees Celsius; on the high end, some worry it could go as high as high 6 degrees Celsius…. In a 2014 article in Geophysical Research Letters, a group of researchers calculated that it would take another 20 years of temperature observations for us to be confident that climate sensitivity is on the low end and more than 50 years of data to confirm the high end of the projections.
Well, fine then. Is it okay if we wait? (No, it isn’t, and I’ll get to the implications of that in a few moments.)
And this leaves out the possibility that the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide is even lower, that other mechanisms such as cloud-formation might serve to dampen temperature increases.
Recently, I was amused at news that new science is debunking the “low sodium” diet fad of the past few decades. It turns out that “the low levels of salt recommended by the government might actually be dangerous” (which is not so amusing). This seems like a timely warning. Like the human body, the global climate is a hugely complicated system with a lot of factors that interact. We’re not even close to understanding it all, and having the government jump in and pick sides risks cementing a premature “consensus.”
The immense, untamed complexity of the climate is reflected in the poor performance of computerized climate models, which leads us to our last major hurdle in proving the theory of global warming.
3) The ability to make forecasting models with a track record of accurate predictions over the very long term.
We don’t know whether current warming departs from natural variation, nor have scientists proven the underlying mechanisms by which humans could cause such an increase. But even if we did know these things, we would have to be able to forecast with reasonable accuracy how big the effect is going to be. A very small warming may not even be noticeable or may have mostly salutary effects, such as a slightly longer growing season, whereas the impact of a much larger warming is likely to cause greater disruption.
It’s pretty clear that scientists aren’t any good yet at making global climate forecasts.
I should also point out that the “catastrophic” part of “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” is a much larger question that is even harder to forecast. For example, global warming was supposed to lead to more hurricanes, which is why movie posters for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth featured a hurricane emerging from an industrial smokestack. Then hurricane activity in the Atlantic promptly receded to historical lows.
It’s pretty clear that scientists aren’t any good yet at making global climate forecasts. Current temperatures are at or below the low range of all of the climate models. Nobody predicted the recent 17-year-long temperature plateau. And while they can come up with ad hoc explanations after the fact for why the data don’t match their models, the whole point of a forecast is to be able to get the right answer before the data comes in.
Given the abysmal record of climate forecasting, we should tell the warmists to go back and make a new set of predictions, then come back to us in 20 or 30 years and tell us how these predictions panned out. Then we’ll talk.
Given the abysmal record of climate forecasting, we should tell the warmists to go back and make a new set of predictions, then come back to us in 20 or 30 years and tell us how these predictions panned out.
Ah, but we’re not going to be allowed to wait. And that’s one of the things that is deeply unscientific about the global warming hysteria. The climate is a subject which, by its nature, requires detailed study of events that take many decades to unfold. It is a field in which the only way to gain knowledge is through extreme patience: gather painstaking, accurate data over a period of centuries, chug away at making predictions, figure out 20 years later that they failed, try to discover why they failed, then start over with a new set of predictions and wait another 20 years. It’s the kind of field where a conscientious professional plugs away so maybe in some future century those who follow after him will finally be able to figure it all out.
Yet this is the field that has suddenly been imbued with the Fierce Urgency of Now. We have to know now what the climate will do over the next 100 years, we have to decide now, we have to act now. So every rule of good science gets trampled down in the stampede. Which also explains the partisan gap on this issue, because we all know which side of the political debate stands to benefit from the stampede. And it’s not the right.
So yes, I know exactly what it would take to convince me that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is really happening. And no, the warmists haven’t even come close.
Who Reads What Newspapers?
1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country.
4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand the Washington Post. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie chart format.
5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn't have to leave LA to do it.
6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and they did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.
7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country, and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country, as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
9. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country or that anyone is running it; but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from ANY country or galaxy, as long as they are democrats.
10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.
11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.
April 29, 2015
Romans 7:1-25 (Good News Translation)
God’s Hopeful Word
Romans 7:1-25: Some of Paul’s opponents were saying that he was making the Law into an evil or sinful thing. Paul wants to make it clear that this is not at all what he is saying. He goes on to explain the real function of God’s Law, which was given to show what sin was really like.
Today’s Scripture: Romans 7:6b
No longer do we serve in the old way of a written law, but in the new way of the Spirit.
An Illustration from Marriage
1Certainly you will understand what I am about to say, my friends, because all of you know about law. The law rules over people only as long as they live.2A married woman, for example, is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if he dies, then she is free from the law that bound her to him.3So then, if she lives with another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is legally a free woman and does not commit adultery if she marries another man.4That is how it is with you, my friends. As far as the Law is concerned, you also have died because you are part of the body of Christ; and now you belong to him who was raised from death in order that we might be useful in the service of God.5For when we lived according to our human nature, the sinful desires stirred up by the Law were at work in our bodies, and all we did ended in death.6Now, however, we are free from the Law, because we died to that which once held us prisoners. No longer do we serve in the old way of a written law, but in the new way of the Spirit.
Law and Sin
7 Shall we say, then, that the Law itself is sinful? Of course not! But it was the Law that made me know what sin is. If the Law had not said, “Do not desire what belongs to someone else,” I would not have known such a desire.8But by means of that commandment sin found its chance to stir up all kinds of selfish desires in me. Apart from law, sin is a dead thing.9I myself was once alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life,10and I died. And the commandment which was meant to bring life, in my case brought death.11 Sin found its chance, and by means of the commandment it deceived me and killed me.
12So then, the Law itself is holy, and the commandment is holy, right, and good.13But does this mean that what is good caused my death? By no means! It was sin that did it; by using what is good, sin brought death to me, in order that its true nature as sin might be revealed. And so, by means of the commandment sin is shown to be even more terribly sinful.
The Conflict in Us
14We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a mortal, sold as a slave to sin.15 I do not understand what I do; for I don't do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate.16Since what I do is what I don't want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right.17So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me.18I know that good does not live in me—that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it.19I don't do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do.20If I do what I don't want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me.
21So I find that this law is at work: when I want to do what is good, what is evil is the only choice I have.22My inner being delights in the law of God.23But I see a different law at work in my body—a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body.24What an unhappy man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death?25Thanks be to God, who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ!
This, then, is my condition: on my own I can serve God's law only with my mind, while my human nature serves the law of sin.
Describe in your own words Paul’s battle with sin. Can you identify with this type of conflict? If so, how? What is the role of the Law in this conflict? What is the role of Christ? What does it mean to you to serve “in the new way of the Spirit?”
Lord God, you know that at times I don’t do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. Thank you, God, for rescuing me from this enslavement to sin through your Son, Jesus Christ. Order my steps this day and help me to serve you. Amen.
Those experiencing inner turmoil and conflict
Romans 15:1-21: The apostle Paul encourages the followers to have the same point of view among themselves.
Baltimore riots: Who will protect rights, lives and property of city's residents?
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
When Freddie Gray was arrested by Baltimore police two weeks ago for no lawful reason and then died of a broken neck and crushed windpipe sustained while in police custody, and no one was charged with a crime, the tone deaf leadership of Baltimore’s government ought to have anticipated the public reaction.
For generations the residents of inner-city Baltimore have grown dependent on the government. The government of that once great city and of the State of Maryland have kept large numbers of folks in Baltimore in near poverty by offering dependence in return for votes -- not personal or economic freedom, not even safety; just dependence.
That lamentable state of affairs has been looking for a tipping point; and in the unexplained death of Freddie Gray it found one. Many peacefully took to the streets to demand accountability by the government that promised it could take care of them. How did Freddie die? Who killed him? Why has no one been charged in his death? These are all legitimate questions that the government has been unwilling or unable to answer.
At a deeper level, even those dependent upon the government need to know whether a culture exists in the Baltimore Police Department where any cops could think that whatever they did to Freddie, that resulted in his death, could be acceptable in American society. How could they not have known that while in their custody his life and safety were legally in their hands? How is it possible that they may have administered some crude, legally undeserved, lethal, ad hoc punishment to him?
Watching all this unfold on set with my Fox News colleagues Megyn Kelly and Shepard Smith late last night, I was moved by the anger and distrust that so many decent folks in the inner-city appear to have for the city government. Watching also were apparently those whose political agendas are furthered by the wanton destruction caused by the mobs, and enabled by police who inexplicably must have been ordered to do nothing to stop the lawlessness. And the mobs must have been watching as well because the longer the police did nothing the more looting and burning we all witnessed.
The Constitution protects free speech, and even gives it breathing room. It protects hateful speech. It protects provocative speech. But it does not protect threats to innocent life and destruction of property in the name of free speech. Looting and rioting not only destroy dreams and property and ruin neighborhoods for generations, they impair the ability of those with legitimate concerns about the government to be heard.
Baltimore needs leadership that serves the people by protecting their lives, their rights, their freedoms, and their property. The people need to break their cycle of dependence. The cops who kill and the rioters who destroy need to be identified and prosecuted. And Freddie Gray needs to rest in peace.
Is the lack of liberty the real reason for the riots, how will we ever know if they do not know what liberty is to start with?
Do you really know what liberty looks and feels like?
Guns can not be eaten
Guns can not be eaten
National policies of empire and war have caused these riots through a variety of paths and channels. The militarized economy is not a healthy economy. Guns can’t be eaten. They don’t provide shelter or warmth. Excessive auto and home loans sooner or later run smack into low incomes that cannot cover the payments. Higher minimum wages throw disadvantaged workers out of work. National policies that distribute military weapons and gear to cops while training them to look upon Americans as unruly enemies create a police state.
Policemen in ghettos find it easier to find minor infractions and beat up on poorer people unorganized to resist. Enforcement of the war on drugs is far more stringent against blacks than whites, and that is due not only to the relative lack of power and organization in the ghettos but also because this enforcement is what whites have wanted and what has been reflected in the politics and laws.
https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/rio... « Less
"Guns cannot be eaten"
Is that right? The people behind the guns can however hunt, and eat. Provide defense of said shelter, of said property.
Guns can provide defense of life, liberty etc....
Defense against a tyrannical Gov. Need be!
What in the world are you people think-in?
Guns in the hands of True Humanitarians are not the DANGER!
Is Obama Gutting the Military?
By Laurence M. Vance
September 9, 2013
I am not a fan of Barack Obama. But since there are a lot of things that could be said about the president—all of them bad—it was perplexing to me why some far-right conservative Christians would lie about him when expressing their displeasure. It was perplexing until I realized that their real agenda was honoring their true god—the U.S. military.
I think the only good thing that could be said for Obama is that he apparently loves his family. I have written on several occasions about his radical associations, his life spent in the service of racial preference, his aberrant Christianity, his warmongering, his welfare statism, his abominable heath care act, his economic ignorance, his disregard of the Constitution, his drug warring, his dangerous views on gun control, his destructive foreign policy, and his overall extreme left-wing views. I believe Obama to be one of the worst presidents in American history. He is almost as bad as George W. Bush.
I have seen it written by conservative Christians that Obama is gutting the military. Well, since the Bible says to “prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21), I think we need to take a look at some facts and figures to see if this is the case or if these conservative Christians are just polluting the air with lies about a man that an abundance of negative things could already be said about.
Obama was elected in 2008 and took office in January of 2009. He was reelected in 2012. During the first two years of his first term, the Democrats controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Democrats have controlled the Senate ever since; however, Republicans regained control of the House in the 2010 election, and have controlled it ever since. This means that every bill signed into law by Obama during the 112th Congress (2011-2013), and every bill that will be signed into law by Obama during the 113th Congress (2013-2015), was first passed, or will be passed, by the Republican-controlled House.
There are two major pieces of legislation passed by Congress every year that relate to the military: the National Defense Authorization Act and the Department of Defense Appropriations Act. Let’s look at the last three times that the Republican-controlled House passed these bills. It should be noted that the federal government’s fiscal year begins on October 1 on ends on September 30 of the following year. This means that fiscal year 2014 begins on October 1, 2013.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2014 (H.R.1960) was passed on June 14, 2013, by a vote of 315-108. The Republican vote was 212-18. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2014 (H.R.2397) was passed on July 24, 2013, by a vote of 315-109. The Republican vote was 220-8. This latter bill authorizes $512.5 billion for
(1) military personnel; (2) operation and maintenance (O&M), including for the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, environmental restoration, overseas humanitarian, disaster, and civic aid, former Soviet Union cooperative threat reduction, and the DOD Acquisition Workforce Development Fund; (3) procurement, including for aircraft, missile, weapons, tracked combat vehicles, ammunition, shipbuilding and conversion, and purchases under the Defense Production Act of 1950; (4) research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E); (5) Defense Working Capital Funds and the National Defense Sealift Fund; (6) the Defense Health Program; (7) chemical agents and munitions destruction; (8) drug interdiction and counter-drug activities; (9) the Office of the Inspector General; (10) the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System Fund; (11) the Intelligence Community Management Account; and (12) overseas deployments and related activities, including military, reserve, and National Guard personnel, O&M, the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund, the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, procurement, RDT&E, and the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund.
But according to the United States Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request Overview Book, President Obama requested $526.6 billion for these purposes. This means that House Republicans approved less spending on defense than Obama requested. Looks like it is House Republicans who are gutting the military.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2013 (H.R.4310) was passed on December 20, 2012, by a vote of 315-107. The Republican vote was 205-30. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2013 (H.R.5856) was passed on July 19, 2012, by a vote of 326-90. The Republican vote was 225-11.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012 (H.R.1540) was passed on December 14, 2011, by a vote of 283-136. The Republican vote was 190-43. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2012 (H.R.2219) was passed on July 19, 2012, by a vote of 336-87. The Republican vote was 224-12.
Whatever the amount of Obama’s two previous defense budgets, the fact is simply this: They could not have been set without the full support of the Republican-controlled House.
But, of course, neither Obama nor the Republicans are gutting the military at all. From the Overview Book, here are the figures for U.S. defense spending beginning with fiscal year 2001:
FY01, $287.4 billion
FY02, $328.2 billion
FY03, $364.9 billion
FY04, $376.5 billion
FY05, $400.1 billion
FY06, $410.6 billion
FY07, $431.5 billion
FY08, $479.0 billion
FY09, $513.2 billion
FY10, $527.9 billion
FY11, $528.2 billion
FY12, $529.9 billion
FY13, $527.5 billion
Obama’s first defense budget was fiscal year 2010. Rather than gutting the military, it sure looks like he is expanding the military. According to Treasury Department data: “Over the past ten fiscal years, inflation-adjusted Defense Department spending has increased by approximately 54 percent.”
What is even worse about Obama’s non-existent cuts to the military is that real defense spending, according to economist Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute, is “well in excess of $1 trillion per year for all defense-related purposes.” And according to defense analyst Winslow Wheeler, “The Pentagon’s budget has increased, over time, much more than the Defense Department tells Congress, and the public.”
But even if military spending were actually what it appears on paper to be, it is still too high. This is because the majority of U.S. military spending is for offense, not defense. The military should be gutted, as I have maintained in scores of articles on the military.
Military spending is basically a jobs program, as retired U.S. Army colonel Andrew Bacevich explains in his book Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (Metropolitan Books, 2010):
Each year the Pentagon expends hundreds of billions of dollars to raise and support U.S. military forces. This money lubricates American politics, filling campaign coffers and providing a source of largesse – jobs and contracts – for distribution to constituents. It provides lucrative “second careers” for retired U.S. military officers hired by weapons manufacturers or by consulting firms appropriately known as “Beltway Bandits.”
So, why would conservative Christians—who consider lying to be a sin—lie about Obama gutting the military when, as I have maintained, hundreds of negative things could already be said about him?
The conclusion is inescapable: the god of some conservative Christians is the U.S. military. It is their “golden calf.” They are Christian warmongers. They are imperial Christians. They are guilty of military idolatry. Their childish devotion to the military has clouded their judgment. Lying about Obama is fine as long as it leads people to pity their gutted god.
Is Obama gutting the military? If only it were so.
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