Friday, April 22, 2016

Don't Complain About Cruz's Tactics

I was going to include an illustration along with my last post concerning Senator Ted Cruz's tactics for defeating Donald Trump at the Republican Convention and forgot to do so. It continues to amaze me that although this election is supposed to be a recall of the establishment and a thorough butt whoopin' to the media elites, we have instead chosen to reward at least the latter by allowing them to force the Lyin' Ted narrative upon us, despite the fact that he is not lying.

Again, don't misunderstand, I am not saying Donald Trump is the anti-Christ or that he is our worst possible option for President. I just don't like seeing a good man get slandered as bad as Senator Cruz has been for the past couple of months. Trump is taking advantage of any political mud that happens to stick to the target by drawing the eyes of possible onlookers to it. If this is not true, he reminds me of a certain competitive person I once knew.

This particular man was a wrestling coach of mine. Along with being an excellent citizen, he was an elite in terms of his athletic ability. So elite, however, that the possibility of defeat could not be chalked up to any failures of his own. I remember one time we were playing basketball as a team (yes, a wrestling team playing basketball). Whenever his team came in danger of losing, he would start accusing the other team of cheating. All of a sudden, everything was a foul or a travel or what have you. Defeat was not in this man's vocabulary. If I recall correctly, his team went undefeated, namely because nobody was going to question his judgment as a player, coach, official. I think Trump has the same competitive nature. But the whining about Cruz's tactics are ridiculous and I am going to use another wrestling analogy to illustrate the absurdity in the complaints.

In the sport of wrestling, when you bring your opponent down to all fours on the mat, you are no longer allowed to lock your hands around them. Any violation of this rule results in a point for your opponent and if it continues, more point get awarded. If it continues after the point value is raised, the violator gets disqualified. There is one exception to this rule against locking hands. You are allowed to lock your hands around your opponent if you are attempting a pinning combination.

Let's say that I am aware of this exception to the locking hands rule but neither my opponent nor the crowd is aware of it. Taking this scenario further, I take my opponent down and lock my hands around him to perform a pinning combination known as a cradle. My opponent becomes confused as to why the official is not stopping the move dead and the fans start shouting "Locking hands! He's locking hands!" My opponent is immobilized by the move and stunned as the official rules him pinned, crediting a victory to me. My opponent stands up utterly outraged that he was ripped off, that I cheated, and starts riling up the crowd. The crowd shouts louder and louder until they start to become absolutely enraged at the possibility that the official and I had rigged the match in my favor. So, should I be punished because I knew the rules better than my opponent and the fans? Was it unfair that I took advantage of the rules and my opponent chose to remain ignorant of them (or at least feign ignorance)?

The reality about Ted Cruz's campaign was that he has been preparing for this moment for the past few years. He understood that he had to slay a dragon and the only way to do it was to understand every strength and weakness it possessed before charging it head-on. He knew that the GOP would take advantage of every loop-hole in the rules they could find. As a result, he made sure that he could play ball with them before he stepped onto the field. This has been the weakness of past candidates that were beloved by the general public. We loved them, but they wanted to win based on merit alone...that's a lovely thought, but their opponents aren't there to be nice and play fair. With our past two nominees it is clear that not every candidate cares about being liked.

I felt like sharing these points would be necessary because we are begrudging a man for being well-prepared. Perhaps that is our problem as Americans, we want people to be elected who are just like us. We want to run into a situation, guns blazing, and ask questions only after the rest of the room is dead. In this respect, Cruz is a dead-eye. He identified all of the targets before he walked into the room and is systematically taking them out according to their threat level. I find it hard to believe that anyone faults Cruz for taking this campaign seriously. The sad thing is that neither he nor Trump have even set foot on stage, yet, against their eventual democratic opponent. When that happens, I want my nominee to be prepared for all of the sleaziness that is certain to ensue.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Smart Campaign Isn't Always Popular

I am quite amused by people's complaints about how Senator Ted Cruz is managing his primary campaign against Donald Trump. He is working hard, winning states, and obeying the rules. And yet there seems to be a massive outrage among supporters of Donald Trump claiming that Ted Cruz is employing the dirty tricks of the Establishment in order to oust Donald Trump and steal the GOP nomination. It is inconceivable to certain people that he can legitimately persuade delegates that will be pledged to Donald Trump in the first ballot to vote for him on the second. These people suspect that Cruz must be bribing, threatening, or using other dirty tactics to sway these delegates into supporting him at the convention.

Before going forward, I want to remind everyone who the enemy in this election cycle is: the democratic nominee, namely Hillary Clinton (it's inevitable). Both Trump and Cruz supporters believe in their candidate and think that anyone other than their pick will be more of the same in the White House. In either case, I disagree. If we elect Hillary, all bets are off. It will be more of the same and even worse, she will take the current administrations antics to new heights. Did we forget that a conservative Supreme Court Justice will be replaced by the eventual Presidential nominee? A lot is at stake in this election and Hillary has made it clear; she does not seek to change hearts, but laws and allocation of resources.

In relation to Ted Cruz's "stealing" delegates from Donald Trump, people have accepted the premise that you can't just change the hearts of people; meaning that Cruz is doing something shady to win the support of Trump's first ballot delegates. If you feel that way, check out this video:

After watching this video you will realize that Ted Cruz's debate skills are nothing to be mocked. Many have mocked him for wanting a debate against Donald Trump, acknowledging that they know Cruz is the better debater, but what good will that do when confronting hostile world leaders? What we see in this video is that Ted Cruz demonstrates that he understands the games that politicians play, he understands ethanol subsidies, and that he knows a path that will prevent politicians from pandering to different groups of people so that all people can get the best deal. The best deal in this, and every instance, is limited government involvement in our lives. In a word, his solution is...CONSERVATISM.

Ted Cruz happens to articulate conservatism better than anyone else in government today, PERIOD! People, whether they realize it or not, have been longing for a rock solid conservative candidate and when they are confronted with the brilliance of Ted Cruz, they cannot help but to submit to the common sense solutions that he provides and articulates in remarkable detail. If you have not watched the video above, do so, and you will know exactly what I am talking about (Iowa makes great use of ethanol subsidies and Cruz was the lone voice advocating against ethanol subsidies).

So how is Cruz winning the delegates from Donald Trump for the purpose of a second ballot vote? By making it clear that he will deliver conservatism to the American people and that he will honor the promises that he makes. If you have not been following Cruz's political career, rest assured he is good for his word. Any politician in Washington that is as hated as Cruz is by his peers is doing something right. Rarely ever will you hear anyone say that Congress is doing an incredible job at serving the American people. Cruz is hated because he has exposed their corruption and is providing people with an alternative.

If Donald Trump is our nominee, I will vote for him without hesitation. But you cannot convince me that he's going to be the right person to fix our country. I believe he would stop much of the status quo nonesense of Washington, but he won't fix anything. In fact, with some of his statements he has made it clear that he doesn't view some of the biggest problems in government as being all that big of a deal. He just promises that he make smarter deals. And I believe him. How could things get any worse with our deal making (barring another democrat President)? He will stop the damage, but he will be reigning in a wasteland left behind by destructive political forces. Cruz happens to know how to reverse the damage that has been done.

When delegates hear the message Cruz delivers, he easily wins their hearts and their votes. Where Clinton would be an absolutely devastating blow to the United States, as President, Trump would be a neutral force that perfects the failed programs Obama has created. He would be totally unpredictable as an occupant of the White House. A Trump President would be much better than another ideological democrat, but compared to a proven conservative like Cruz, why would you want to chance it with anyone else? I'm not saying that Cruz will win the nomination, but it should not be a surprise that he is a light of hope for those who have steadfastly clung to conservative principles.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Creation Museum: Not Just for YECs!

Going to the Answers In Genesis Creation Museum with my wife and 2 year old boy was quite the experience. It reminded me of the beginning of the movie Jurassic World when the young boy walked into the visitor's center to see all of the amazing dinosaur displays as our son was just overwhelmed and overjoyed at the sight of all of the lifelike dinosaur displays in their main lobby. Although it clearly has a Young Earth slant toward its teachings, I contest that the Creation Museum has much to offer to people who might not share the same interpretation of Scripture as the Answers In Genesis ministry.

I might not be the best person to make that statement, since I am a Young Earth Creationist, but I have noticed people's excitement about the prospect of going to the Creation Museum and the incredible responses afterwards from those who were not necessarily young earthers. What is it that makes the Creation Museum such an incredible place for Christians of all interpretations of Genesis to go to?

First, whether you believe they are literal or not, the stories portrayed in the Creation Museum are the stories in the Bible. There is no denying that the Creation Account details six days where God created the heaven and earth, the fall of mankind, and a global flood; so if you believe the Bible is God inspired, why be offended at the artistic portrayal of these events by the Creation Museum?

Second, the theological teachings are solid. The most difficult question people struggle with in this day and age is, If God is so good, why is there so much suffering in the world? I was sitting down with an elderly lady who said that she wished her non-believing son could have seen this place because it made it clear that God is good, but mankind, through free will, has corrupted God's good creation.This point is made incredibly clear.

Third, there are so many secular pro-evolution museums across the world (funded by tax payer dollars, no less) that scream an anti-Bible message with each display. It is a breath of fresh air that Answers In Genesis is teaching that God deserves ALL of the glory for the marvelous creation that exists around us and, of which, we are. And in this department, the beauty of both their artistic depictions as well as their natural exhibits (i.e. the botanical gardens) make it perfectly evident that God deserves much glory for the brilliance of his handiwork.

Young Earth or Old Earth, Answers In Genesis' Creation Museum is a wonderful blessing for Christians across the world. My wife and I have been blessed by it in knowing that somebody out their stands alongside our values as we try to raise our son to understand the truth of God's Word.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Quick Look at: God's Not Dead 2

I have so much to say about the movie God's Not Dead 2...of which I saw about 3/4 of the movie (don't ask). I would typically give you a more thorough overview and critique of the movie, but I am going to make it quick.

It is a GREAT movie! To start off, be ready for God's Not Dead 3. I am sure that it will generate enough revenue to warrant another sequel, but it has also opened the door within its plot for a third installment (stay until after the credits). I love how it exposes biased media sources, Big Education, and even the justice system for being disgustingly anti-God. Granted, the script writers don't pull this off in the most clever fashion but shoot, neither does Hollywood when it picks on Christians for being nothing more than a bunch of ignorant superstitious kooks.

Overall, though, it was a well-crafted, clever movie. For the past couple of years I have been saying that Christians/Conservatives need to stop making documentaries and start telling stories (okay, maybe not in those words, but you get the picture). The brilliance of this movie, as well as the first, is that it creates a scenario where Christians are singled out for their faith and persecuted, all the while the Christian is forced to present factual information to defend their faith against these oppressive forces. In the first movie it was a professor, in this one it is the educational system along with government in the form of a court case. Ultimately, the objective becomes proving the existence of Jesus so that a teacher could be justified in citing a quote from him in a history class.

But that's not all, at the end of the movie it reveals that it was based off of not just one real life court case, but several. I appreciated that because many non-believers might say, "This would never happen in real life." Oh no, it most certainly does; even to the ridiculous extent that it happens in the movie.

My only complaint about the movie is that the first 15 minutes is kind of preachy. Granted, the creators knew who their audience would be so those moments are more so tailored to make believers cheer and affirm the statements that non-believers would perceive as preachy. And honestly, the only thing that irked me a little about these moments was that they seemed forced. Like when the main character's father says, "We seem to have forgotten the most basic right of all. The right to believe in Jesus." It set the stage for the rest of the movie, but if I were the writer, I would have let the movie make that point without directly stating me, it does a good job at that.

As the main character battles to save her livelihood, another plot unfolds. The local government wants all pastors to submit their manuscripts for their sermons or face a penalty for refusing. I love the discussion several pastors have after hearing this announcement because it is exactly how I would envision such a conversation going. Basically, "They certainly don't mean us any harm. This is not an ill-willed request. We don't want to be in violation of the law. No need to cause a stir." The main pastor of the movie steps in and states that it will not end here and that we must stand up against such nonsense. The sad thing about this, is that it has actually been attempted by several local governments in America!

Bottom line: If you are a believer, you will love God's Not Dead 2. If you are not, Warning: The Truth Hurts. This movie will not make many friends among non-believers. But hopefully, it will expose the hypocrisy of liberals of the non-believing community. But I'm not holding my breath for them to acknowledge that.