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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Birther Red Herring

Now that the Republicans have regained control of the House of Representatives, many are clamoring for an inquiry in to whether President Obama was born in the USA or not, presumably to prove his Constitutional ineligibility for office. While a conservative, never a supported of the current president, and concerned about how the president's radical Left connections constitute a danger to the republic, Uncle Cephas holds that the birther movement is a political red herring, doomed to failure, and a diversion from the more important task of crafting alternative policies, shrinking government, and exposing a radical agenda.

It is said that the president was born in Kenya rather than in Hawaii. If this is indeed the case, it may prove the president a liar, but it would not constitutionally disqualify him from the presidency.

The Constitution, in Article II, requires that the president be a "natural born citizen" of the United States. This indeed covers persons born in the USA (exclusive of those born to foreign parents in diplomatic status or visiting heads of state). However, it also covers a large number of people born outside the USA. With large numbers of Americans living and working overseas, US immigration and nationality law recognizes that American citizenship can be transmitted to offspring born outside the USA. In the 1980's and 1990's, when Uncle Cephas worked in the Far East and became the father of two sons over there, the requirements were that the US citizen parent must have resided in the USA for five years or more, two of which were after the age of 14 years. Hence, while my sons do not have birth certificates from any state in the USA, they do have Consular Reports of Birth Abroad issued by responsible US diplomatic offices. Further, their earliest entries into their country of citizenship was on passports rather than immigration documents.

If President Obama was indeed born in Kenya, but nonetheless was the son of Ann Dunham, he was born a US citizen. All evidence indicates that Ms. Dunham, however ill-advised her union with Barack Obama, Sr., was an American citizen who met transmission requirements. No evidence has been brought forth alleging that the President was born to any other mother. The President's Indonesian-born half-sister also benefited from transmission requirements descried in American nationality law. Obama's hypothetical birth in Kenya would disqualify him only if it were proven that he was not only born in Kenya, but also born to a couple of which neither parent was a US-citizen.

Should conservatives wish to question the president's fitness for office, let them examine his support for partial birth abortion and the unsavory crowd of Communists, race-baiters, Troofers, and Maoists that surround him. Let them look into the wisdom of pushing through major entitlement legislation at a time when the United States economy is all but bankrupt. Let them look into allegations that Obama's justice department is unwilling to look into possible voter intimidation by members of the New Black Panther Party during the 2008 election. By all means look into organizations such as ACORN. Let them also ask that if Obama was such a brilliant professor of Constitutional Law, where is his published scholarship?

It might also be useful to remind the detractors of Mrs. Palin that Alaska does indeed share a border with Russia--a maritime one passing through the narrow straits between Big and Little Diomede Islands in the Bering Sea, right off the easternmost peninsula of Siberia. The fact that the Left--official, media, and academic--failed to notice such an elementary fact suggests that their Eurocentricity renders them thoroughly unfit to guide American foreign, security, defense, and intelligence policy.

But following the birther line will prove to be no more than barking up the wrong tree.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Robert Spencer of _Jihad Watch_ has just engaged with Dr. Peter Kreeft in a debate on whether the only good Muslim is a bad one--apparently meaning that only a Muslim who disregards much of his religion (contempt for the Kufr, supremacism towards the Ahl-al-Kitab, jihad) is a "good" person.

I have not grown in my appreciation for Peter Kreeft--and not just because he is an apostate from my community of Reformed Christians.

His regard for Islam seems to stem from how it brings a "fear of the LORD" back into a liberalized Western Christendom that has forgotten that beginning of wisdom; and its apparent stand for "morality". Both views, I believe, are thoroughly mistaken.

As someone who has accepted as part of the cost of discipleship the scorn, ridicule, insults, and palpable misunderstandings of many (including those near and dear to me), I can see in Islam only fear of the community and the sword rather than the fear of the living and true God. And, from the standpoint of biblical ethics, Islam is about the most immoral religion there is--and all the more immoral for its pretense of honoring the God of Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and Messiah. At best, Islam is only another "rod of God's anger", like the Assyrians of old (Isaiah 10:5-11,15) raised against the iconodule Christians of the early medieval era, and now raised against the blithely amoral post-Christian West.

Every corrective that modern Christians need can be found in the Old and New Testaments. For too long, our Christian supposed "scholars" and "thinkers" (or, are they supposed "Christian" scholars and thinkers?) have faced issues like Hell, the ban on the Canaanites, and other such things by crying "barbarian!" at Moses our teacher, the prophets, the apostles, and Jesus Christ himself (while pretending to avoid doing such with the last-mentioned). Yet how they bend over backwards to "understand" Islam, along with the grievance-mongering of every third world bandit -cum-liberator-and-president-for-life! This is the only reason why Kreeft can be fooled into thinking Islam's shame culture and fear of community is the same as biblical fear of the LORD.

The God who can raise up the Assyrian as the rod of his anger against Israel and Judah (Isaiah 10:5-11,15) can raise up others against the iconodule church of the 6th-8th centuries and against the careless, clueless, destroyed-for-want-of-knowledge one of the 21st--to say nothing of a culture that welcomes rediscovery of the beggarly religions of ancient Europe as mere "spiritual experimentation". The God who can destroy both body and soul in Hell is fearful enough--and how much greater should our gratitude for His mercy in Christ be against such a backdrop!

Against such things, a god (allah) who can be driven away from the prayers of a congregation by a leader who mispronounces a single word in a language not his own or breaks wind is just plain silly.

And, if we want allies against the Sodomites, how can Kreeft dare suggest that a religion whose holy warriors sing about "peach-bottomed boys" in between prayers and murder is such an ally?