Bryan Fischer
Idaho's governor, Senate on verge of political suicide
By Bryan Fischer
May 6, 2009

It is truly a bizarre experience to watch Idaho's Republican governor and its Republican-dominated Senate demand a tax increase in the midst of the worst Idaho economy in decades. This would appear to the objective observer to be a form of political suicide for elected officials who belong to what is supposed to be the party of fiscal restraint. The longer the $30,000-a-day legislature meets due to obstructionism from the governor and the senate, the worse they look — and should look — in the eyes of the electorate.

Particularly vulnerable: Gov. Otter, who is endangering his popularity and re-election chances by the week, and Sen. John McGee, who has hitched his wagon to Otter's star and has become the leading advocate in the Idaho legislature for raising taxes on his constituents.

There is some speculation that the governor, who doesn't seem to be having much fun, may be thinking of not running again and is determined to leave a tax increase for roads as part of his legacy. This certainly seems inexplicable to many who have watched Otter over his career serve as a fierce opponent of increased taxes and increased government spending.

One cannot help but wonder how much of the governor's intransigence on this matter is due to pressure from contractors who want the tax increase so the state can pay them for construction projects. If so, the proposed tax increase is nothing more than a stimulus package, something we thought Republicans were supposed to be against.

Carrying the governor's water on increasing taxes will certainly put a dent in Sen. McGee's political ambitions, as he daily is giving future political opponents a cudgel with which to beat him about the head and shoulders in future campaigns.

As Rep. Raul Labrador pointed out at yesterday's Tea Party II rally, constituent email has been running 15-1 against raising taxes right now. The senate and the governor are certainly on the wrong side of this issue, both politically and in principle.


Despite the constant drumbeat of accusations that Christians are the gravest threat to civil liberties of secularists, the truth is exactly the other way round.

Chalk another win up for the forces of repression and censorship, as valedictorian Renee Griffith of Montana's Butte High School was ordered to strip references to Christ and God from her graduation speech.

Because she stood on principle and refused to back down, she was banned from participating in the graduation program altogether.

The school had asked graduation speakers to prepare their own remarks and to speak about what they had learned during their time in high school. Apparently you can learn whatever you want at Butte High School as long as it doesn't have anything to do with the Creator who gave us the inalienable right to free speech.

What Renee learned, she was prepared to say, was how to overcome fear by standing up for her convictions. "I learned to persevere...when I had to stand for my convictions....I didn't let fear keep me from sharing Christ and His joy with those around me...I learned not be known for my grades...but...for being someone who lived with a purpose from God with a passionate love for Him."

Well, we certainly can't have high school students talking as freely about God as the Founders did, now can we? She can take comfort in knowing that not even Thomas Jefferson would be allowed to deliver a graduation speech at her high school. The Inquisition lives.

Valedictorian ordered to strip references to God from speech


Teachers who dump on intelligent design and creationism in class by calling them "religious, superstitious nonsense" violate the First Amendment's religious establishment clause, according to a federal judge.

By repeatedly making comments in class that demonstrated hostility to Christian beliefs — over 20 such comments were caught on tape — a California teacher violated court-ordered rulings that government is to remain neutral in religious matters, exhibiting neither favoritism nor hostility toward religion.

The judge, however, did say it was just fine for this history teacher to say to students, "When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth." Also perfectly fine was "When you pray for divine intervention, you're hoping that the spaghetti monster will help you get what you want."

The truth of the matter is that this dust-up shouldn't be a constitutional controversy in the first place. It's a matter for school officials to decide.

If a school wants to let a teacher show snide and utter disregard for the religious convictions of students, they are permitted to do so by the Constitution. If parents were given true school choice, as they should be, and could switch to schools where teachers show respect for religious tradition, it wouldn't be long before teachers like this would be driving trucks for a living.

This case shows the absurdity and linguistic parsing that results with judicially activist rulings that have distorted the original intent of the First Amendment. It was written only to tie the hands of Congress, not a school or a school teacher, and only to prevent Congress from picking one Christian denomination and making it the official church of the United States. — Student Wins Suit After Teacher Says Creationism 'Superstitious Nonsense'


There are two fundamental societal and civil reasons to define and protect marriage: sex and children. A society must decide what kind of relationship is the appropriate, socially sanctioned relationship for sexual intimacy. Scripture and the best in social research agree that the absolute best place, bar none, for sexual intimacy is within the parameters of the monogamous union of one man and one woman in marriage.

The second reason is children. It is critical to every healthy society, and therefore an appropriate matter of public policy, for children to be conceived, born, and raised in an environment that is optimal for their growth and development.

Once again, Scripture and the best in social research agree that the absolute best place, bar none, for children is in a stable environment where they are raised by their married, biological parents. No other arrangement even comes close.

This means that lasting, stable marriages are a legitimate concern for policy makers who care about the well-being of children. Public policy should be on the side of enduring marriages, and should resist legislative attempts to weaken the bond between husband and wife through such things as no-fault divorce.

A perfectly terrible idea has resurfaced in Australia: turning marriages into long-term car leases. Under this concept, every marriage contract would automatically sunset after five years, and could only continue if both parties exercised their option to renew.

The proponent argues that lifelong marriages are "a thing of the past."

This idea is a bad one anyway, but could only be entertained by narcissistic adults who think that marriage is primarily about them rather than the children they conceive together out of their love for each other.

The uncertainty and instability this proposal would create for vulnerable young children could only make a bad situation much worse.

If children come first, as liberals incessantly claim, then renewable marriage contracts should quickly be tossed into the public policy ashbin, along with no-fault divorce. Perhaps it would be better to automatically sunset the careers of politicians who come up with fruitcake ideas like this one.

WETZSTEIN: Until death, or our term, do us part — Washington Times

© Bryan Fischer


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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