Rare Kudos to the AP

I feel obligated to say “kudos” to the Associated Press (and others organizations, as well) for actually reporting the huge gathering in Washington D.C. this weekend to protest the administration’s approach to health care and, more centrally, the current spending frenzy that seems to have taken over the U.S. government.

I’m not a fan of the AP, as I find it to be frequently biased — printing opinion as “news,” for example, and calling propaganda “Fact Checks” (James Taranto is great at pointing this out) — but this article actually seems straightforward to me, unless I am missing something.  While it seems odd giving “kudos” to a news organization for simply reporting something newsworthy, given how often I criticize news organizations (example) I also want to give credit where it is due.

Whether it was due to the fact that the power of tens of thousands of people marching on Washington made it unavoidable news or because the news organizations are simply growing up and taking their responsibilities seriously, I don’t know, but the news reports were refreshing to see.

9 thoughts on “Rare Kudos to the AP

  1. pobept

    I think it’s a simple case of to many protesters to sweep under the rug and not report. With a healthy dose of composition from other more reliable and independent new sources, FOX, BBC, REUTERS and such.

  2. Wow, thanks, Mr. Hoffman for your… uh… insight.

    I would spend some time bothering to explain to you that I am not a part of “you people” as I do not vote or participate in politics due to my religious convictions, but your website (not to mention your comment) reveal rather clearly that you are a bitter man for whom facts aren’t the highest priority.

    I hope to hear from you again — without the bitterness and ignorance, of course.

  3. Brian Maxwell

    Mr Smith- you have many opinions on many subjects. Please tell us your opinion whether or not there should be healthcare insurance reform and perhaps more importantly, the question of whether the government should step in (one way or another) to have coverage for the current uninsured Americans. It would help if you could actually back up your answers from the bible. As a side note, I also would like to see LCG render an opinion on this but perhaps like the Iraq War, they choose to remain silent.

  4. Howdy, Brian, and I am happy to comment. It takes us a bit far afield from the point of this post, but I definitely do have opinions and I am well pleased to indulge for a moment and do as you request. However, for the record I do not want this post to turn into some thread about health care, so let’s try not to take this any further.

    Covering the entire topic would take a sermon, so I will try (and likely fail) to be brief, but to discuss the issue one must, of necessity discuss the larger issues in which they are framed. I won’t bring every relevant scripture into reference, but I will mention a few of those that illustrate what I am saying. And I will say more than you probably are looking for, because I want to be as clear as I possibly can. If you want the short version, scroll to the bottom and look at the last paragraph, but the long version will be more instructive.

    [And up front, I will admit to several sympathies: Though I do not agree with all they say I sympathize with those in the health care debate who want to slow the rush in order to discuss the matter in more depth. The Bible clearly warns, “Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28), and I think that — though the verse does not directly apply — there is some meaning in that that advises caution before making big changes. I also have sympathy for those who feel that the national debt is too much to take such on an expensive undertaking as a health care overhaul lightly and who demand a detailed and thoroughly defended explanation of how such an effort will impact the nation’s economy and debt burden, short and long term. I sympathize with those who simply want to see that everyone, from the poorest and weakest to the strongest, is covered, and I also sympathize with those who fear that a good system will be destroyed in a Quixotic search for a perfect one. Finally I sympathize with all on both sides whose views are often mischaracterized and distorted by their detractors, both their detractors in government (including the President and Congressional leaders) and their detractors in the press (including the big names and cable programs — yes, FOX, too).

    However, there is a difference between one’s sympathies and one’s stand, which I will try to explain below.]

    The fact is that all systems mankind comes up with that do not begin with a recognition of God’s sovereignty and an attitude of repentance for sin will ultimately fail. Period. The status quo in health care will fail (of course, some think it already has). The plans offered by Republicans & Conservative Democrats would eventually fail if they were enacted. President Obama’s plans, should they be enacted, will ultimately fail. Perhaps one set of plans will doom the country more quickly than the other, but the end result of both — without God — will be folly. Try as we might, we cannot long continue in any venture without recognizing God first in our endeavors as a nation. This has consistently been the message of the Living Church of God and was so in all its previous incarnations (Global, pre-apostasy Worldwide, etc.). Scripture says repeatedly that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, and the fear of the LORD is in low supply on both sides of America’s political aisle. (Lip service does not count.)

    This is partly because God cannot be captured in the “-isms” that people toss around today. Capitalism does not encapsulate all of God’s approach; Socialism does not do it either. Neither does Statism or “Free Marketism.” People continue to try to look to the “-isms” for solutions, and the “-isms” — ultimately — always fall short.

    On one hand, God is not a pure, free market capitalist. See Leviticus 19:9-10 in which God requires land-owning harvesters to leave some for the poor and the stranger to harvest for themselves. This is clearly a “top down” requirement from a higher authority (actually, THE Higher Authority) and not a “free market motivated” decision (though it should be noted that the poor and the stranger had to work to get those things, to be mentioned later). The special tithing of the third year is another consideration (Deut. 26:12-13) — again, God requires the giving to support those in circumstances where they cannot fully support themselves. God cares about the poor and the fatherless (too many verses to mention for this!) and he expects mercy on the part of those who govern (cf. Daniel 4:27).

    [Admittedly there is a difference between “deserving poor” and “undeserving poor” and mercy can take many shapes, but while some do recognize this, it is also true that many use these facts as reasons to show no mercy at all.]

    On the other hand, God is not a socialist, either. God clearly believes in private property (e.g., Zech. 3:10, Isa. 65:21-22, et al.) and much in the law is devoted to discussing the problem of violations of one’s private property. As mentioned above, He instituted a means for the poor to be able to provide for himself until he got back on his feet (re: Lev. 19), but it should be noted that the poor had to work for those gleanings — they were not handed out. Paul makes the related principle clear in 2 Thess. 3:10. Nearby in v.12, the lazy is commanded to work and to eat his own bread. God stresses in multiple places, such as Proverbs, the benefit of industry and diligence and the ability to enjoy the fruit of your labors. Anyone who would describe the society that God structured for Israel as anything socialist-like or communistic are stretching to the point of pure fantasy and folly.

    The fact is that mankind, without God, is simply continuing to dine on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and his elaborate plans and devices always involve a mix of both elements. What we see in the current health care debate is a matter of wanting to trade in one faulty plan for another, neither of which will address man’s ultimate problem: the need for national repentance.

    As Psalm 11:3 rhetorically asks: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Without national repentance, even the righteous can ultimately do nothing to prevent what’s coming to this country.

    All of this explains why partisan “side-taking” is silly, Brian. And it explains why our message has been consistent from the beginning.

    Now, it might be that you — or another questioner — wishes to say, “Well, that’s in a perfect world, but given our options today, what would be your preference?” That misses the point. I say that ALL of these carnal options are, ultimately, doomed to failure, so are you asking me to pick my favorite losing strategy? It’s a rather doomed-if-you-do & doomed-if-you-don’t situation, isn’t it?

    For instance, let’s say we all should get behind the “government option.” I’m sorry, but that simply requires too much suspension of disbelief. I would have to agree to ignore the fiscal track record of the U.S. government since… well, since seemingly forever. If I prefer more than a token amount of private ownership in health insurance, I will also have to take the President at his word when that word has been contradicted by a hoard of his own personal advisers and appointees — knowing full well that politicians on BOTH sides seem to say whatever they have to say (regardless of the truth) when the cameras are on in order to achieve their goals.

    On the other hand, let’s say we should go the pure private route. Then, I must ignore the inherent seed of doom in the thought that pitting carnality against carnality reliably produces the best outcomes for all. If I prefer a health care system that is founded in anything more worthy than a “Get” mentality — an enshrining of the Gekko “Greed is Good” speech — then I will be ultimately disappointed.

    I’m sorry, but a too-powerful central government cannot be trusted because the leaders lack God’s character, foresight, love, wisdom, and perfect fairness. Yet a too-powerful populous cannot be trusted because the people lack God’s character, self-restraint, greater good mindedness, and unity of mind and purpose. Without God in charge, it is all, ultimately, human folly in the end. He is the one essential ingredient if anything is to last.

    You might as well ask, “Which set of health care abuses would you like to see: those in the U.S., those in the U.K., those in France, those in… (etc.)?” Phrased that way, you tell me: Which set of abuses is more godly, Brian? Which ungodly system to you prefer? Can’t you see the folly of it all?

    So, I hope you aren’t disappointed, but I believing in judging with righteous judgment (cf. John 7:24) and not choosing the lesser of two evils, thank you. God has called me out of this system for a reason — why would I want to sully it by wallowing in it? He has called me — and you, Brian — to devote ourselves to looking for a coming world in which life will be more than choosing which set of abuses to live with.

    [P.S. I know that you might think that this answer was too long, so let me sum up: Without REAL national repentance, all of these choices are simply attempts to build carnal plans on irreparable foundations (cf. Psalm 11:3) — applying “band aids” when the patient is dying of cancer. God has called me (and you, I assume) out of the “fix this carnal world with carnal tools” folly to proclaim the coming of something different — something better. The coming of the only solution that will really work. As for me and my house, I will render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (Matt. 22:21) and accept whatever lot I am handed, while working for God, declaring HIS vision, and praying for that better day to come — and come quickly. I suggest, Brian, that you join me and do the same. Leave the politics behind and join the cause.]

  5. Thanks for this post! It’s educational and a refreshing break from more-of-the-same bad ideas discussed on TV. I look forward to reading more solutions to contemporary problems.

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