Republicans for Environmental Protection: A Sign of Hope

I left the Republican Party several years ago because the party had moved so far to the right. Moderates simply don’t seem welcome in the GOP these days. Every now and then, however, there are signs of intelligent life in the Republican Party.

Republicans for Environmental Protection is a grass-roots group founded in 1995 with the mission “to resurrect the GOP's great conservation tradition and to restore natural resource conservation and sound environmental protection as fundamental elements of the Republican Party's vision for America.”

The group offers a yearly scorecard that reports how Republicans in the House and Senate voted on environmental legislation. I urge you to read the scorecard and write your representatives either congratulating them on their environmental stance or encouraging them to do better.

Republicans for Environmental Protection Web site:

Study Shows Fox News Viewers Are Misinformed

I urge you to check out the following study done for by researchers at the University of Maryland. It surveyed U.S. voters on a variety of issues to determine how well informed the voters were, their sources of news, and how often they watched or read these sources. The survey found that those who got their news from MSNBC or public broadcasting (PBS or NPR) were better informed than others. Those who said they watched Fox News were the worst informed.

Incredibly, the study also showed that the more often people watched Fox News, the more misinformed they were!

For example, those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to falsely believe that:

• most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (the opposite is true)

• most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (in fact, the National Academy of Sciences has concluded unambiguously that climate change is occurring)

• the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (the stimulus legislation included about $288 billion in tax cuts)

• it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (the claim that Obama was not born within the United States was proven to be false in 2008)

It’s alarming that a major news network is misinforming its viewers. Is this negligence, or is Fox News deliberately misleading the public?

Don't Ask Don't Tell: Good Riddance!

It looks like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is finally on its way to being repealed, barring some last-minute dramatics in the Senate.

I have to say it’s about time. Americans should be free to do as they please with their personal lives, and this is especially true for those serving our nation.

Anti-Immigrant Bias is Un-American and Un-Christian

Christian conservatives often point out that our country’s laws are based on Biblical principles. I think this is true to some extent.

Unfortunately, many of my fellow Christians leave their Christian values behind when they debate some current political issues, such as immigration. Conservatives seem willing to deny civil rights to anyone who is here illegally—with no compassion for the immigrants’ families and no regard for the hardships that may have driven these people from their native countries.

It is hypocritical for anyone who holds such views to claim to be a Christian. Christ taught that we should love our neighbors; he did not say we should check their papers status first. Here are just a few examples that anyone who wants tougher immigration laws should ponder:

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. …
Leviticus 19:33-34

Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.
Deuteronomy 24:14

When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.
Deuteronomy 24:21

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

Why Are Tax Cuts for the Rich the top Priority for Republicans?

I can’t understand why the Republicans in Congress have chosen as their most important issue extending the Bush Tax cuts to those making $250,000 per year. Trickle-down economics is a theory, but it has become a core value for Republicans.

Unfortunately, this value is in direct opposition to the Christian values that most Republicans claim to hold dear. the following excerpt from Ethics Daily makes this point clearly:

Americans are in a dream world about cutting taxes. And we had better wake up.

Interviewed in "Sacred Texts, Social Duty," a documentary on faith and taxes, Ralph Martire, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago, said, "There is no data to support the stance that the way you grow the economy is to cut taxes on the wealthy and support corporate giveaways."

Aside from the lack of empirical evidence that cutting taxes on the rich benefits the entire society, the tax-cut religion is a false religion. It's a fictitious belief that protecting the rich will reward society.

The biblical witness teaches the reverse – protecting the poor creates a good society.