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Religion, Politics, & Culture: Defined and Explained


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Employer’s Perspective on Immigration

One of the hottest political issues among grassroots people is immigration. A common refrain among people I hear—on conservative talk radio and elsewhere—is that the solution to illegal immigration is to strengthen the borders and stop employers from hiring undocumented workers. This all sounds good but existing law doesn’t allow this to happen; at least not from the employer’s perspective.

The stereotype is that employers will seek-out illegals to work for them and then pay them three bucks an hour in cash and send them on their way. While this probably does happen, my experience doing payroll in the construction industry is quite different. I would like to interject my experience into the public record.

Employers are extremely hampered in dealing with job applicants. This is because both state and federal laws prohibit employers from any discretion in evaluating documents of job applicants. If you agree to hire someone and they can provide you with the necessary documents required for the I-9 form required by the INS and a social security number then the job applicant has met the requirements for being hired. It is illegal to reject an applicant that provides you with these documents. (There is no requirement to see the social security card just that the employee gives you a number.)

At the company where I work, we pay most of our employees that work in the field $20 per hour. They are covered by both worker compensation and liability insurance. They are even eligible for medical, dental and other insurances. All taxes are paid to the appropriate state and federal agencies. This is hardly the slave wages alleged in most horror stories about exploiting illegals.

There are two instances when potentially fraudulent documents are ever brought to the attention of employers. One is when an employer gets a wage garnishment for an employee that they have never heard of before. The problem is that the names don’t match but the social security numbers are identical. Conclusion, our employee is probably not legit. When notified, there are two responses that you will get. Usually the questionable employee suddenly quits. Occasionally, the employee pays the garnishment and continues on at his present job.

The second time that an employer has an idea that an employee has questionable documentation is when once a year, they get a letter from the Social Security Administration that informs them that some of the names submitted on the previous years’ W-2s don’t match the names in their records. At my current employer this is over thirty people. I have tried verifying names and social security numbers in our records (we keep copies of all documents submitted for employment) and submitting them per the instructions provided by SSA but not one name that I submitted was accepted by the SSA.

Supposedly, the SSA has the ability to verify names and social security numbers on a pass/fail basis but this system is worthless. Some of our employees have six or seven names on their I-9 documents. In a computer system that only accepts first name, middle initial and last name how do you enter a name like JOSE DE JESUS CONTRERAS DE LA GUADALUPE?

How will the entry on my employee’s W-2 ever match a social security card with a name like that? Answer: it can’t. Ever. This renders the verification system of the Social Security Administration totally useless. Due to privacy laws and worries of identity theft, they will not help you if a name does not match. It is clear that our government is not setup to deal with Hispanic names and neither is my ten thousand dollar accounting program.

The Social Security Administration could easily give their list of questionable employees to the immigration people for verification but they don’t. In addition, the SSA instructions specifically state that it is illegal to terminate any employee whose name appears in the letter.

I have never known any employer who has been checked by any government agency to verify their I-9 forms or any other employee documents. In fact, employers are not required to keep copies of the documents used for the I-9s; they simply have to see them and sign the appropriate form verifying that they saw the necessary documents. There are two categories of documents that can be used; the usual combination of documents are a social security card and drivers license but others are also acceptable.

The bottom line is that if a prospective hire has the proper documents then they must be treated the same as any other employee. Only the government has the right to challenge their validity. Going after employers as a means of solving illegal immigration is a straw-man argument. If the employer gets the documents at time of hire, then the person is hired. Citizenship or immigration status has no effect on the hiring process. That is the law.  Only Congress can change it and they are very reluctant to do their job.

Posted by william on 06/22 at 06:39 PM
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Posting the Ten Commandments and Leftist Frenzy

Any day now the US Supreme Court will rule on a case that involves posting the Ten Commandments. Many are waiting nervously for the outcome. Will the Commandments be allowed publicly? If yes, the case will stand. If the Commandments are banned, this will heighten interest in the case being revisited after President Bush makes appointments to the Court.

Besides the usual suspects arguing for the myth of separation of church and state, a new group on the Left has emerged with a new argument. Their argument is based on the fear of Dominionists within the “Christian Right.”

If the Supreme Court allows the Ten Commandments to be posted publicly in government facilities, many extremists will view this as a major step to accomplishing the first point of Bruce Prescott’s six point outline on how Dominionists (also called Reconstructionists) plan to take over the United States.

Stripped to its barest essentials, here is their blueprint for America. Their ultimate goal is to make the U.S. Constitution conform to a strict, literal interpretation of Biblical law. To do that involves a series of legal and social reforms that will move society toward their goal. 1) Make the ten commandments the law of the land . . .—Dr. Bruce Prescott

There are a myriad of conspiracy theories circulating in the Left that have no basis in reality. Instead of checking their facts, they use each other as sources for what the other guys are doing. From these distortions, the Left claims that the Right is secretly working to impose a new order that will result in a Theocracy . For the Left to equate posting the Ten Commandments with abolishing democracy and setting-up a theocracy is just crazy. We will see if Howard Dean & company make the claim anyway.

The assertion—that the Right wants to establish a theocracy as part of some grand conspiracy that makes the X-Files look tame in comparison—is a conclusion that illustrates that Left makes the same error in religion that they do in Law; they fail to go to the source documents to find original intent. They cannot comprehend the outline of the subject let alone understand the subtleties of the subject matter. The denial of Truth and absolutes of Good and Evil blind them to the point of view of their opponents. Their defective reasoning results in intellectually lazy leftists that are able to equate such things as the “Christian Right” with the Taliban.

The fact that the Ten Commandments were allowed to be posted in any government building for the first 150 years of this nation’s history and are written above the heads of the judges who will sit in judgment of God’s Law, is a historical fact that the Left chooses to ignore because it doesn’t fit their construct. They ignore the fact that the Constitution recognizes that we have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

The reaction to the Court ruling will be most instructive. Let’s see if I am correct in my assertions.

Posted by william on 06/22 at 06:26 PM
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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Christer Follow-up

Christer Follow-up

Thanks to Hugh Hewitt, Mark D Roberts has a follow-up to Christer Article. This is the first in a series that Pastor Roberts plans to write.

Posted by william on 06/16 at 05:42 PM
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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Christers, Dominionists & Lunatic Humanists

Hugh Hewitt  nailed another lunatic Lefty opinion piece today from the LA Weekly. The article, “The New Blacklist: Corporate America is bowing to anti-gay Christian groups’ boycott demands” by Doug Ireland is highly entertaining to read. The author is infected with the same fever-swamp disease that afflicts Michael Moore and Howard Dean.

Hewitt spent his whole time pummeling a liberal professor from USC that is only mentioned in one paragraph. However, the rest of the article is just as distorted. The author ends the article by appealing to the actors and directors known as the “Hollywood Elite” to fund the fight against Christians before it is too late.

Today’s Christer protests are targeting a different kind of subversion. Chip Berlet, senior analyst at the labor-funded Political Research Associates, has spent over 25 years studying the far right and theocratic fundamentalism. He is co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. Berlet — who was one of the speakers at a conference last month co-sponsored by the N.Y. Open Center and the City University of New York Graduate Center on “Examining the Real Agenda of the Christian Right” — says that “What’s motivating these people is two things. First, an incredible dread, completely irrational, of a hodgepodge of sexual subversion and social chaos. The response to that fear is genuinely a grassroots response, and it’s motivated by fundamentalist Christian doctrines like Triumphalism and Dominionism, which order Christians to take over the secular state and secular institutions. The Christian right frames itself as an oppressed minority battling the secular-humanist liberal homofeminist hordes.”

The fear of Christianity mentioned above is illuminating. I would describe the current state of Christianity in America with two words: reaction and revival. Reaction to the anti-religious secular humanist purging of American society of its Christian roots has reached a breaking point with the wholesale assault on marriage. The family is the basic building block of society and the liberal attempt to abolish the family, as it has been since the Garden, is unacceptable to Christians and those of many other faiths.

I have maintained that “Revival is when the church becomes culturally relevant.” My test is this, if your church locks its doors and never meets again, will your community notice? A church that cannot be “salt and light” in its community and stand for Truth is no part of the body of Christ. While parts of the “mainline” churches are self-destructing, many other denominations are experiencing growth.

I am most fascinated with the above quote by the words “theocratic fundamentalism”; “Triuphalism” and “Dominionism.” I know of no group on the religious right that uses these terms. The Libs might mean “Theonomy” and “Christian Reconstruction” but the particulars of the Liberal descriptions don’t coincide with these views.

I Googled “dominionism” here is the description that I found in Yurica Report

Born in Christian Reconstructionism, which was founded by the late R. J. Rushdoony, the framers of the new cult included Rushdoony, his son-in-law Gary North, Pat Robertson, Herb Titus, the former Dean of Robertson’s Regent University School of Public Policy (formerly CBN University), Charles Colson, Robertson’s political strategist, Tim LaHaye, Gary Bauer, the late Francis Schaeffer, and Paul Crouch, the founder of TBN, the world’s largest television network, plus a virtual army of likeminded television and radio evangelists and news talk show hosts.

This explains what I suspected. The Liberals view Christians as a monolithic group of like-minds folks in a “vast rightwing conspiracy”.

Let’s analyze this group.
Cornelius Van Til can be viewed as uniting Rushdoony, Schaeffer and North. (Schaeffer and Rushdoony were among his seminary students.)
But Colson repudiates Christian Reconstruction. See “God and Politics: On Earth as it is in Heaven” Bill Moyers, PBS Home Video 1997.
Robertson, LaHaye, Bauer and Crouch have different arcs of influence but I know enough about them to say with confidence that they would not agree with North or Rushdoony. Schaeffer didn’t either, he just plagiarized North on a few occasions.

Below is a portion of the essay that I submitted to Hugh Hewitt on this subject two weeks ago:

I think that the Left has redefined the Christian Right in the last few years. The talk about “Dominionist” and the “Theocratic State” that we have heard from the Moveon.org crowd is actually a distortion of writings that can be found within Protestant Christianity.

The actual sources for the distortions used by the Left are from a Christian movement called “Christian Reconstruction”. Christian Reconstructionists also use the term “Theonomy”. The movement is Post-Millennial in their theology and believes that the civil Law given to Moses is God’s model for all nations. Of course any nation that would base its laws on the Bible would be anathema to secular humanists.

The cornerstone of this movement is the book “Institutes of Biblical Law” by RJ Rushdoony. From this book, a movement was spawned. Rushdoony build upon the teachings of Cornelius Van Til, a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary. (Van Til was also influential in the life of Francis Schaeffer.)

Rushdoony’s son-in-law is Gary North. North is by far the most prolific writer of the group. The book he wrote that would be of most interest to you is “Political Polytheism” It is a critique of the United States government in light of their views.

FYI: North and Rushdoony were at odds with each other for most of their lives.

Other contributors in the movement were David Chilton, Gary DeMar and Ray Sutton.

Reconstructionists are few in number but they believe that they are designing a “blueprint” for future generations to follow. They believe in persuasion and that the work of the Holy Spirit will bring about the day when the kingdoms of this world are the Kingdoms of Christ.

One central belief of Christian Reconstruction is that all crime has two victims; the primary victim is God, the secondary victim is the person that is victimized. The punishment of any violation is Restitution. Two examples of Restitution are given to by the following:

People who commit property crimes should be required to work to repay their victims. This is the same class of people that Charles Colson’s Prison Fellowship is targeting. However, the solution under Christian Reconstruction is much different. People with large debts or no skills that would allow them to repay their victims might be forced into a period of indentured servitude (slavery) until the debt is paid.

Restitution for murderers (including abortionists) would be to forfeit their lives.

I think you have heard rants on the left about the return of slavery and capital punishment for abortionists and homosexuals. Reconstructionists look to the Law of Moses and find these things there (because they are) and say that it should be so in our country.

North’s doctoral thesis was on the Puritans and he believes that we can learn from the Puritan efforts to build a society upon biblical law. He doesn’t view the Church becoming the State, but the State exercising its God mandated role and modeling its laws after God’s Law. To the degree that our laws look like God’s law, our nation will be blessed.

In Christian Reconstruction, Deuteronomy Chapter 28 is valid today. Obey God’s Law and be blessed, disobey and be cursed. For them, this is true not just for individuals but nations as well.

Christian Reconstruction is a political theory. Like any good political theory, it proclaims what is wrong with the current system and says what should be in a more perfect world but doesn’t offer any route to get from theory to practice.

Reference materials beside some more e-mails from me:

“God and Politics: On Earth as it is in Heaven” Bill Moyers, PBS Home Video 1997

“Institutes of Biblical Law” Rousas John Rushdoony, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing 1973

“Theonomy in Christian Ethics” Greg L Bahnsen, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing 1977, 1984

“Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism” Gary North, Institute for Christian Economics 1989

Posted by william on 06/15 at 09:32 PM
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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Thoughts on Special Election

On Monday, Governor Schwarzenegger is expected to announce that he will be holding a special election on November 8th, 2005. The centerpiece of this vote is expected to be a ballot initiative to redraw the legislative districts in California. If this plan is approved, the new maps are intended to go into effect for the June 2006 primary.

Also along for the ride are three other initiatives. The first is parental notification 48 hours prior to a scheduled abortion. This initiative includes a judicial by-pass which is a necessary component to withstand judicial scrutiny. The second is a change of public school teacher tenure from two to five years. The third is commonly known as payroll protection.

Reapportionment. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Amends state Constitution�s process for redistricting California�s Senate, Assembly, Congressional and Board of Equalization districts. Requires three-member panel of retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt new redistricting plan if measure passes and again after each national census. Panel must consider legislative, public proposals/comments and hold public hearings. Redistricting plan becomes effective immediately when adopted by judges� panel and filed with Secretary of State. If voters subsequently reject redistricting plan, process repeats. Specifies time for judicial review of adopted redistricting plan; if plan fails to conform to requirements, court may order new plan. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: This measure would have the following major fiscal impact: One-time state redistricting costs, probably totaling a few million dollars. Comparable savings for each redistricting effort after 2010 (once every ten years).

Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy. Waiting Period and Parental Notification. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Amends California Constitution to bar abortion on unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent/legal guardian, except in medical emergency or with parental waiver. Permits judicial waiver of notice based on clear and convincing evidence of minor’s maturity or minor’s best interests. Physician must report abortions performed on minors and State shall compile statistics. Authorizes monetary damages for violation. Minor must consent to abortion unless mentally incapable or in medical emergency. Permits judicial relief if minor’s consent to abortion is coerced. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: The net costs of this measure to Medi-Cal and other programs are unknown, but are probably not significant in the context of the total expenditures for these programs.

Public School Teachers. Waiting Period for Permanent Status. Dismissal. Initiative Statute.

Increases length of time required before a teacher may become a permanent employee from two complete consecutive school years to five complete consecutive school years; measure applies to teachers whose probationary period commenced during or after the 2003-2004 fiscal year. Authorizes school boards to dismiss a permanent teaching employee who receives two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Unknown impact on school district teacher salary costs as a result of changes in teacher tenure and dismissal practices. Fiscal impacts could vary significantly district by district.

Public Employee Union Dues. Required Employee Consent for Political Contributions. Initiative Statute.

Prohibits public employee labor organizations from using dues or fees for political contributions unless the employee provides prior consent each year on a specified written form. Prohibition does not apply to dues or fees collected for charitable organizations, health care insurance, or other purposes directly benefiting the public employee. Requires labor organizations to maintain and submit to the Fair Political Practices Commission records concerning individual employees’ and organizations’ political contributions; those records are not subject to public disclosure. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Probably minor state and local government implementation costs, potentially offset in part by revenues from fines and/or fees.

There may be other initiatives that will appear on this ballot.

Analysis

Russell Crow’s line in Gladiator “Unleash Hell” is a susinct description of the labor unions in California and their plans for this special election. Eric Hogue claims that the unions are prepared to spend two hundred million dollars to stop the paycheck protection and teacher tenure initiatives from passing. The Democrats will go after reapportionment. This leaves parental notification as either political roadkill or a stealth initiative. It will be fun to watch what transpires.

One of the crucial aspects of these initiatives is the ability to withstand judicial challenges when any or all of these are passed. The Governor�s appointment to replace Janice Rogers-Brown on the California Supreme Court is critical in this regard. Watch this process carefully and pray that we get a strict constructionist.

If parental notification has any hope of becoming state law, then look to the US Supreme Court as vacancies are filled by President Bush. Will the Dems filibuster? Will the Republicans get a spine?

Posted by william on 06/11 at 07:05 PM
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European Churches in Crisis

This week in the news there are two contrasting stories related to Christianity in Europe.

The first, from the TimesOnLine, was about the Anglican Church’s implosion as they become more irrelevant to the life of British citizens and how this has resulted in the church planning to lay-off one third of their clergy, eliminate real property and meet more in private homes.

This is contrasted with an article mentioned today by Hugh Hewitt about Denver’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput speaking at a gathering in Spain of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In his speech, the Archbishop tried to remind delegates for the past contributions that Christians have made in Europe and then exhort them to stem the growing tide of discrimination against Christians and other religious groups.

The difference between the aggressive stand taken in Europe as the Roman Church attempts to revive the faithful and the Anglican Church continues to abandon every tenant of their historic beliefs is striking. European culture continues to decline towards secularism at a time when a flood of Mohammedans is overwhelming the Continent. The secularists have undercut the only thing that could stem the tide of Islam.

Will the combination of the African Churches  (the center of both the Roman and Anglican faiths) and the remnant in Europe turn the tide? Only time will tell.

Posted by william on 06/11 at 06:41 PM
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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Failure of Megan’s Law Website

In the last few weeks, we have heard all about convicted sex offenders getting Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs at taxpayer expense but that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Did you know that here in California that convicted sex offenders can remove themselves from the Megan’s Law website?

All convicted sex offenders need to do is submit a form to the Attorney General and poof, they come off the list. So far 2,677 have been removed and another 7,288 are waiting for approval. See the article at KCRA-TV in Sacramento

This is in addition to the sex offenders that the state has lost.

At least 27,577 sex offenders, or 39 percent of the 70,631 ex-cons currently required to register in California, may be “out of compliance,” according to state data provided to the Associated Press.
“We don’t know where they are,” acknowledged Margaret Moore, who until recently ran the state’s sex offender registry in Sacramento.

A closer look at the numbers revealed the department also doesn’t know the whereabouts of another 5,719 offenders who “cannot be accurately categorized.” Many never registered as required after leaving prison, and most have not been heard from since 1995, said Norm Pierce, manager of the Violent Crime Information Center.

All told, California is missing 33,296 offenders, or 44 percent of the 76,350 required to register, according to the data provided to the AP after months of requests.

See the Jan 7, 2005 Article at KCRA-TV in Sacramento

Let"s do the math.

 Total Sex Offenders  76,350
 Sex Offenders Lost by California Bureaucrats  33,296
 Sex Offenders Requesting and Approved for Removal    2,677
 Sex Offenders Waiting on Request for Removal    7,288
 Total Not Listed  43,261
 Percentage not on Megan’s Law Website    56.66

Posted by william on 06/09 at 06:25 PM
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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Nightmare Exposed

I am a parent here in Elk Grove. My child attends a local junior high. Next week there will be a presentation at that school called “Nightmare on Puberty Street”

I was one of only five parents that went to the preview night to review the course material on family life two weeks ago. At that meeting I was assured that only biology would be discussed and that there were no outside organizations coming to the school to make presentations about sexual matters. The school began its family life courses this week

Yesterday, the second day in the family life curriculum, my daughter brought home a permission slip for this program called “Nightmare on Puberty Street”.

On the permission slip, we were given two choices; we could either check the YES box or the one labeled MORE INFORMATION. There was no option on the permission form to say NO. 

Because of the previous assurances from the school and the fact that the permission slip did not give parents a NO option, I immediately became suspicious.

I will share my finding with you in a moment but I wanted to add one more detail. I was told by the school activities director that this presentation, which begins at about nine AM will continue until 12:10 pm. This entire time from nine ‘til just past noon is considered first period. This caused me concern that there might be time allowed for the workshops which accompany the presentation.

This program contains values contrary to those that most Christians that I know would find objectionable and some language that is quite course.

A San Francisco Bay Area theater group reviewed that program (which they liked) and summarized it as follows:

Lasit (the director of the program) is big on creating a show with which kids will identify; he’s also not afraid to have his actors tackle taboo subjects, which is why the show now opens with a discussion of nocturnal emissions (“There’s not actually a bone in there,” a character assures the audience, “it’s just called a boner” to appreciative laughter) before the four vibrant young actors sing and dance their way through peer pressure, gay-bashing, menstruation, name-calling and suicidal tendencies—the real nightmares of pubescence

.
Web Link: Educational Theatre Projects Tackle Tough Social Issues

Kaiser, the healthcare provider is a big supporter of this program and gives you some sample lyrics from the program:

There’s A Name for You is the title of a song from Kaiser Permanente’s educational Theatre Program Nightmare on Puberty St. Read the lyrics and discuss the labels the characters in the play used. Think about how these labels make people feel.

CHORUS (yelling, popcorn style)
Malika: jock
Natalie: brain
Nick: faggot
Jerry: ho
Natalie: punk
Nick: nerd
Jerry: wanna be
Malika: slut
Nick: freak
Natalie: all those words
Jerry: big baller
Malika: no cash
Nick: tweeker
Natalie: attitude

Yes, there is values clarification, self-esteem and confidential resources to see if you might be gay. If you don’t believe me check out the   teacher guide with lessons.

See page 2 for Confidential Hotlines for students to use and page 24 for teacher resources.

This program is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


Inner City Public School Teacher [Visitor]

Dear Sir,

I first saw “Nightmare on Puberty Street” in 2002 in Paramount Unified School District. I was mortified that my students were subjected to it. Recently in my present district I receieved a notice that it was going to be shown and I went to the principal and assistant principal to have a talk. I let them know that I didn’t approve of it, that I refused to show it to my class, and that it was “the hill I’d die on.” I described it to them and they were concerned but the show went on.

I talked to a few colleagues and they either watched the kids who didn’t have permission or forgot to send home the permission slip. The program was faxed to all sites after a promo was received from Kaiser or somewhere about it. Its showing at our school wasn’t properly considered and definately was a “point of view,” not something all inclusive or appropriate for students. One teacher who had attended the school as a student told me that the parents won’t have approved of it. I felt vindicated by his statement.

Cordially

 

Posted by william on 05/05 at 08:28 PM
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