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The Narrow Mind

I believe it can be scientifically demonstrated that there is a direct relationship between how easily one gets offended and the narrowness of their mind.

 

Yes, this statement is supposed to be a joke. But what makes us offended? It is when we ascribe our own beliefs about someone’s motivation to their speech or their conduct. We assume we know more about the intent of someone than they do themselves. We apply our own prejudices, biases and understanding about life into someone’s speech, rather than opening our mind, and stepping back and really asking ourselves, “is this person really the person I think they are?” Sometimes they are, often they aren’t, but too far frequently we are so quick to react. Just because we ourselves may assign certain judgments to a situation, doesn’t mean everybody else thinks the same way. This is something we have to seriously consider before jumping to conclusions. It takes an open mind to do this. You can’t do this when you are offended.

 

An example is the Confederate flag. For some people, yes, it is a symbol of racism and slavery. But there are other people who simply do not share that association. To them, it represents Southern pride, community, what have you, completely devoid of anything having to do with racism. It is easy to immediately brand them as having a racist motivation for flying the flag, because that’s OUR particular association. It takes patience and a really open mind to dig deep behind the true reasons why people do things.

 

Did you find yourself suddenly bristling at my mentioning of the Confederate flag just now? Question is, why? I’m not defending the flag. I’m simply trying to make the salient point that too often we try and force our own associations into somebody else’s motivations. For some, the Confederate flag is the symbol of American racism, that’s all it can ever be. Since that’s how they view the flag, everybody must as well, therefore it makes sense that by extension, those people would be racist. And now we’re offended. For the Confederate flag flyers, they get angry that those accusing them of all sorts of horrible things cannot understand the more delicate nuances behind what the flag means, and therefore, they get offended back. They refuse to understand the sensitivity that others may have to the flag, and instead vow to fly it stronger and higher out of spite. In the end, walls are erected, and the divide grows.

 

The Confederate flag is a perfect example of what I’m talking about, but there are so many other examples out there. Too many times the past few months, I’ve seen people get outraged over articles that reinterpret what a certain political figure has said, out of context, in order to portray that individual in a predetermined construct. Talk about Fake News, they’re all FAKE, right and left! Go to the source and consider the context, not only of the entire speech, but of that person’s collective works and speech as a whole. And do so with an open mind. Respond, don’t react. Walk away. Seek truth. If we do, I think we will be amazed at what we become.

A Word to the Right Wingers

This message is directed to all of my conservative, right-wing, Christian friends, especially if you voted for Trump. If you are at all even remotely observant, you would have discovered the absolute backlash against you and what you stand for all over Facebook today. All kinds of horrible and vile things are being said about who you are and about your motivations, that you know is completely untrue. Unfortunately these straw men portrayals have been perpetuated by a political party and media wishing to use these attacks as a political tool and an effective campaign strategy. This has been going on for generations, so much so, that it has become a truth to so many people.

You are told that you are the most despicable type of evil that exists, and that you must obviously be motivated by hatred, racism, sexism, you name it. You know that none of these things about you are true. You know your heart and your motivations. You know that there is nothing more that you long for than to end this bitter division and to come together as one nation. But you’ve also discovered, like me, that trying to convince people of your true nature, through words, is pointless.

If you wish to stop this backlash against you, you have only one option–to prove them wrong through your actions. That is your challenge over the next four years. You have to live like Christ lived. You have to accept your victories with grace and reach out in love to all people. You need to make it very hard for their character assassinations against you to stick. As Saint Peter said, live in such a way that false accusations against you don’t make sense. And false accusations will come. They will always come. Conduct yourself in a manner that makes them look silly.

I’m officially going to take a stand for decency. Unfortunately, I don’t see a whole lot of it since the elections. And this saddens me greatly. Screw political parties and their leaders! If we allow them to divide us, we let the WIN! Relationships mean much more to me.


PS: A long time ago, I discovered very quickly that the people who where violently opposing my political stances were doing so based on a premise about what I stood for and my motivations that was completely flawed. I errantly believed that if I could simply reassure them with persuasive word that what they thought about my politics was incorrect that we could at least open up a conversation and find some common ground.
So I became a crusader. I used Facebook, this blog, and other social media outlets as a forum, looking forward to getting a conversation started. But boy was I so wrong. Over time, I discovered that this was not the case. People preferred to hang on to their misconceptions, despite my pleading, and I lost a lot of dear friends as a result of it. When I discovered it was a worthless effort, I withdrew, preferring simply to be an observer. If I’m going to be crucified for my beliefs, I’d rather it be for my love of Christ, not over stupid politics. Only rarely will I make an exception… and I feel that now is one of those times.

PPS: I’ve watched with alarm over the past 24 hours people justify all kinds of retributory acts, including violence, against anybody who voted for Trump and for the Trump presidency. Their excuse is that it’s totally okay if it’s done in the name of “protesting the great evil.” This made me beg the question, what if, just what if, you are wrong about your assumptions of Trump and his supporters? What if he has had a change of demeanor recently? What if it is possible for him to moderate toward the middle while in office? Would that be welcome news to you? Would that provide the proper relief you need to put your fears to bed? Are you willing to put at least a glimmer of a hope that he does the right thing?

Vote YES! on Amendment 71

sworn enemies 05-01-08

For this cartoon, I’m resurrecting an oldie. I first published this cartoon in 2008! Almost ten years ago, that’s how long I’ve been deeply concerned about this issue. Finally, FINALLY we get to vote on an amendment that proposes to fix this problem.

Our state constitution is the easiest amend in the nation. The problem is, it should be very DIFFICULT to amend. It’s the freakin’ constitution! What we’ve gotten over the past couple of decades is citizen legislation via our amendment process, and it’s created all kinds of problems, not among least are amendments that actually contradict each other. Since our constitution can not be “corrected” without a majority vote of the people, it becomes arduous and cumbersome to fix those mistakes. This is why we have an elected legislature! Budget issues, traditional legislation… these are issues that should have no place in our Constitution.

The other problem is that constitutional amendments have been put on the ballot and passed solely on the support of the urban areas, without any input from the rural areas, ostracizing them from the rest of the state. It allows easy access to cement into our constitution laws that could potentially pit the interests of the urban areas against the interests of the rural.

Amendment 71 will fix that, requiring a small percentage of petitionary support from ALL Colorado counties before it can be added to the ballot. It still allows for the citizen legislature. It just keeps it more fair.

I’m alarmed at the opposition against this amendment, and most of it is based in misconception and falsehoods, obviously being spread by the outside special interest groups who are enjoying tampering with the sanctity of our state. Saw a whole slate of people who said their primary objection is that John Hickenlooper supports it, therefore it must be bad. Yeah, well, so does Bill Owens (Republican, remember him?) and every other sensible lawmaker who has served this state. Others have noticed that conservative groups are backing it, therefore they can’t support it. Soooo… let me get this straight, half of you reject it because some Democrats are supporting it and the other half are rejecting it because a bunch of Republicans are supporting it. Are you guys nuts?!? Perhaps if you could see beyond your partisan loyalty, you’d recognize that maybe the reason BOTH sides support it is because it is a GOOD IDEA!

Others have strongly objected to the idea that it would allow the rural counties to have veto power over the initiative process. Um… yep. It’s exactly that mindset that we need Amendment 71. If you’re trying to ram a BAD law into the Colorado Constitution, then that rural county veto would end up being the only stop gap that we would have. If you don’t want them to veto your Constitutional Amendments, DON’T MAKE BAD LAW!

It’s the exact same reason why our founding fathers assigned two senators to every state, regardless of size. In our republic, the little guys still deserve a voice. That’s why I support Amendment 71 and encourage you to do the same.

Common Ground

Whatever side you are on, you have to admit, this is a WEIRD election. I’m not trying to make a political statement with this piece (so no hate!), I’m just trying to be funny. And I’m not trying to go after your particular chosen candidate (I’m actually jabbing both, an equal opportunity offender.) After decades of bitter political rivalry, it’s good to see the two sides finally have something in common…

common-ground-web-bhummel

The Force that Is The Donald

trump-go-roundFor the most part, I have been sitting back watching the Republican primary race unfold, a bit detached from everything, and somewhat amused. Reading the copious blogs that I do, apparently, I’m in the minority, as the Republican infighting has become fierce. And at the center of it all is Donald Trump.

It has become quite clear to anybody who is honest that the Democrat party is now the Socialist party of America. I’m not bagging on it, it’s merely an observation, and even honest liberals I’ve talked to say the same thing. The Republican party is going through an identity crisis, trying to decide whether it wants to fill the slot that the Democrats left open, or move back to its classically liberal (and by that, I mean more in the sense of libertarianism… it’s been documented that the term “liberal” has been hijacked by the progressive left, a term once belonging to the Republicans and once standing for individualism, liberty, personal and fiscal responsibility) roots on which it was founded.

And in the middle of this epic battle, enter stage right, Donald Trump! The non-politician, uncouth, politically incorrect fireball has swooned a YUGE majority of Republican voters and the political class cannot figure out why. Liberals are going nuts, eager to exaggerate Trump’s antics in order to further the false narrative of all conservatives being the worst reprobates ever to walk the planet. And with Trump commanding 30% in the polls, it’s not hard for them to try and lump everybody in that camp.

However, let’s peel back the hype a little, step outside our political allegiances, and let’s break this down rationally. This, at least, from how I see the world.

To start, Donald Trump is the product of bully politics, not the cause of it. If you are not a conservative, then you probably do not understand just how frustrating and demeaning it has been when the Democrats and the media successfully tar, feather and brand conservative ideas as being hate-based. Even during the most egregious violations of first amendment rights, conservatives who dared to defend those rights were charged with all sorts of anti-(fill in the people group here). The classic example was when Hobby Lobby questioned why they should be FORCED to purchase something for their employee, simply because she wanted it, when it violated their religious objections (aka, the contraceptions). Heck, I’m against being FORCED to purchase ANYTHING for my employees, let alone something I disagree with. And yet, we were told that because of our LIBERTARIAN and FIRST AMENDMENT stance on this issue, that we wanted to roll back woman’s rights, stick women in the kitchen with bare feet, deny them voting, etc. It was infuriating, because women’s rights had NOTHING to do with the issue, but bully politics was shown to be highly effective.

Pick any issue, and the results were the same. Voter ID? You’re a racist. Religious freedom? You’re a homophobe. Border security? Bigot. Fiscal Responsibility? Hater. Republicans in Congress gave lip service to defending all of these things, but in the end, the false accusations made almost every single one of them cave to the Democrat’s demands. It’s as if Republicans were at the playground, getting bullied, beat up, and lunch money stolen by the mean Democrats. Republican voters are so sick and tired of being bruised and battered. All of a sudden, Donald wanders onto the playground and socks these bullies a few times in the nose, leveling the field a little bit. Perhaps his method isn’t the right way to handle it, but does it matter? Republicans have turned the other cheek so much that they’ve run out of cheeks! They don’t even know if he is a conservative, but they don’t care, he’s taking it to the establishment, and he’s not afraid to fight.

Obama has probably been one of the most divisive presidents in recent history. He has made no bones about the fact that his real enemies are conservatives. Instead of defending truth and justice, blind of partisan politics, he attacks and intimidates conservatives, using every department of the federal government he can get his hands on. You can only beat up somebody for so long before they snap. Republican voters do not want to simply switch the balance of power. They want revenge. They want paybacks. They want liberals to have a slight taste of the injustices they have suffered since 2008. To them, Donald represents that. When liberals began attacking the Donald, instead of cowing like most Republicans, he swung harder. That’s attractive to a lot of people.

Look, I’m not saying this is my position, it’s just my assessment of a lot of voters in the party based upon what they are saying on the various blogs and political forums. I happen to lean more libertarian. I also like to sit and observe, often times with amusement, the political sphere before I come in heavy with assumptions and judgments. I am the perfect portrayal of the political middle, at least from where I’m standing. 😉

It’s debatable whether or not Trump would make a good president. I would hope that before swearing to take an oath of office that he would read through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, from foreword to final period, so that he knows that the president should have limited powers. I do worry that we will trade a left wing tyrant for a right wing one, and I’m not even sure he’s even all that right wing. People point out that he used to be a Democrat and that he can’t be trusted. Well, Reagan used to be a Democrat too, and he turned out okay. Who knows? All I know is that the inclusion of Trump in the race has made this a very interesting election season indeed.

Defending Choice

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To read the article this cartoon is illustrating, go here.

http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/review/september-2015/

The Supreme Court has ruled that homosexual marriage is the law of the land, based upon the belief that gay marriage is somehow a due process right. Marriage itself, perhaps, maybe, but as originally defined. This had nothing to do with denying anybody the right to marriage, but rather whether or not individual states could define what it looks like. Perhaps changing the definition to include same sex partners makes sense from a secular humanist worldview, but the problem is, last poll I checked, approximately 60% of Americans still identified themselves as Christian.

This ruling created a very sticky situation for many Christians who hold strong beliefs about sexual purity. How much of the power of the State is going to try and interfere with those beliefs and do Christians have protections to live and conduct their lives around those beliefs? As the Kim Davis situation has demonstrated, apparently, Christians are to conform or else….

When the cake lady first made the news, I thought, well, heck, only an extreme leftist kook would think it is okay to deny religious freedom to a sole proprietor. Getting into the mix of the debate, boy, was I sure wrong. The number of people who assumed that once you run a business you no longer have religious freedoms was shocking. So what are those protections for then? The closed door of one’s private home? To some, yes.

The reasons were broad, and the misconceptions were many. Because I feel like the ease at which people were willing to castigate the Christian business owners was so great, and because of the dangerous precedent this creates, I really feel like I need to address each debating point brought up. The LGBT movement has done a great job labeling any spoken word that isn’t lock step with their agenda as being hate-speech, thereby shutting it down. But, what is more hateful? Destroying the livelihood of a fledgling mom and pop business, bringing upon the couple poverty and ruin, simply because they wouldn’t do what their competitors down the street were happy to do? Or talking about such issues?

 

Christians do not have the right to force their views on others.

This is the first and most common objection. And I absolutely agree with them. Problem is, the Christian photographer did not go and seek out the gay couple and tell them they couldn’t get married. I would take issue with that. Rather, the gay couple came to her and told her, “by force of law, you have to photograph our wedding.” Excuse me, but who’s forcing who in this situation? Who is getting their freedom denied? The gay couple can simply pick up the phone and find another photographer. And if you know anything about the photography industry, you’ll know that 99% of photographers embrace homosexual marriage. The issue has never been about lack of accommodation.

In some cases, such as with the baker, the business owner even offered an alternative, a friend who would do exactly what the gay couple wanted. They were in essence saying, “I cannot do this because it would violate my beliefs, but I don’t want to deny you the right to these services, so here is the number of my friend.” By still pursuing the lawsuit, the gay couple in essence responded with, “You are not allowed to have those beliefs. We’ll do what we can to change them.” Who is being more tolerant here?

 

The 1964 Public Accommodation Act forbids Christians from denying service to anybody.

Boy, have I heard this one, and boy is it being misapplied in this situation. The problem is, using this objection is trying to paint over this whole situation with a broad brush, refusing to acknowledge or recognize certain very clear distinctions. If the Christian baker said to the homosexual couple, “get out of my store, you are gay,” I would defend the gay couple. That’s not what happened. The baker mentioned that they made birthday cakes for the couple in the past. So clearly, they are not denying service to the gay couple. The distinction is whether or not an artisan or craftsman, like the bakers, can decide what kind of products they produce. Or whether the state has the right to dictate to them the object of their art.

The analogy I keep hearing is, “Well does that give an auto mechanic the right to turn down a gay couple because it’s his religious beliefs?” This argument is not even analogous. Of course, the auto mechanic has to serve the gay couple. If they are doing the same transmission work on the gay couple’s car as anybody else’s, then, yes, they have to serve them. I defer back to the birthday cake example. Now if the gay couple came to a car airbrusher and asked to have “Gay Pride” spray painted on the side in rainbow colors so they could drive their car during Pridefest, the airbrusher should have the right to say “no, this is not the type of product I wish to create.” And if I was that airbrusher, I would protect my butt by referring them to a friend who would. The issue isn’t that he doesn’t want to serve the gays, the issue is that he doesn’t want to support that message!

That’s a huge distinction that keeps getting lost. The examples are numerous. Should a printer be forced to print porn if they disagree with it? Should a restaurant owner be forced to cook meat, in order to “accommodate” all of us meat eaters? No! In all cases, even the most leftist would say, if you want meat, go to a restaurant that makes it.

The other giant hole in the accommodation argument is the fact that most of these people finding themselves in trouble are actually independent freelancers, without a storefront or retail space. To the photographer, the caterer, the musicians–they are literally saying come and BE IN our wedding, or else we will destroy you. This has nothing to do with accommodation on the part of these freelancers.

 

I would be happy to take on a Christian project, even though I’m not Christian, I don’t understand why you Christians can’t do the same.

This is usually the final retort I hear. And to it, I say, that’s great! That’s your choice. I wish to support your right to make money however you see fit, and if that means creating art and product that violates your core beliefs, more power to you. No doubt there are some Christians that would still bake that cake, even in spite of their beliefs. The point is, that is your CHOICE, and that’s what I am defending.

If you decided NOT to create a Christian product (say an illustrator turned down a job from Focus on the Family), I would support that choice as well. In the case of the pizza shop, GoFundMe shut down the  GoFundMe page that was set up to help the pizza business offset the costs of being targeted by a liberal reporter because the cause was in violation of their beliefs. GoFundMe refused their service to a Christian because of their beliefs! And these same LGBT people applauded GoFundMe for this courageous decision without even recognizing the sheer irony of it. Do I support GoFundMe’s right to do this? While I disagree with the decision, the answer is yes.

The judges who are siding with the LGBT movement in these cases are doing so for the purpose of advancing a personal agenda and without any amount of compassion for the Christians. It’s not enough for Christians to live and let live, as many have. They must change their thinking about homosexuality. If we cannot persuade them, then we will force them, by the power of the state. Lives ruined, First Amendment redefined… that’s what this cartoon is about.


PS, I’m not making any judgements on homosexuality, one way or the other, with this particular post, as I feel it would detract from the greater point that I’m trying to defend, and that is of freedom. I have many friends and some family who have chosen this lifestyle, and God bless them, I love them dearly and they are wonderful people. Sometimes defending freedom means defending people with whom we disagree.

Transparency

benjamin-hummel-transparency-2015The first time I ran this cartoon, I was very sick and my drawing of Hillary was embarrassing. I’ve since redrawn it and I’m quite pleased with the caricature, in fact, I think it rather funny, which is the point of caricature to begin with.

I cannot say with any measure of certainty, whether or not Hillary Clinton did illegal things with her emails, server, etc. I can make assumptions and I will let the legal experts sort it out, but I am amazed at the absolute lack of scrutiny made by the Democrat party. Seriously, if this were a Republican, his entire party would turn on him and he would be mincemeat within a week, guilty or not. That’s what I’m hoping to draw attention to (draw attention…, see what I did there?) with this cartoon. I am so fed up with the blind allegiance to these political candidates, on both sides. Is it not beyond the realm of possibility that this human being you have put up on a pedestal could have acted inappropriately, if not illegally? Wouldn’t you want to search for the truth, in order to hold everybody accountable? In America, are we all not responsible to the law? Or are those in power exempt?

No more needs to be said than that. Hope you enjoy the cartoon!

Relics of an American Past

relics-benjaminh-2015

So if you are waiting for my response on the Supreme Court’s decision last Friday, here it is. To sum up what it is really about, let me quote for you the first posting I saw on Facebook the following morning from someone I considered a friend. “The fight is far from over as long as we still have Christians in America,” as she posted a picture of James Dobson. In response, she received several likes and approving comments, many of them taking the occasion to Christian bash.

For the record, I will neither come out condemning nor condoning marriage redefinition, so as to not sully the greater point I’m trying to make. I entertained the idea of using the time to clarify the Christian doctrine of sexual discipline, but apparently such held beliefs are hateful, and it doesn’t matter how many times Christians online have tried to spell out in love and with compassion what they believe in this matter and why, they are completely ignored, misrepresented, and distorted, with few attempts by the other side to try and achieve mutual understanding. Realizing it is a lost cause, I gave up. My biggest concern now is the right of conscientious objection, and after reading that Facebook post, I believe my concerns are legitimate.

In Colorado, the legislature eventually decided to legally change the definition of marriage to include same sex individuals. While I may disagree with that ruling, I completely support the legislature’s right to do so, as that is their constitutional authority. However, it is NOT the role of the court to make such decisions.

Marriage redefinition was already spreading across the nation, with 23 states already having laws that allowed it. It was pretty easy to see that within five years, it would become legal in all 50 states. Such decisions should be left up to the states, as the Tenth Amendment clearly states. But the Supreme Court completely ran right over the Bill of Rights in this decision. For those who are celebrating the decision because you agree with it, my question is, are you okay with the fact that it came about illegally? Are you okay that you got your way by violating the Constitution, and by giving excess powers to a branch of government that should not have it, according to the Constitution? If this was a conservative decision that came about in the exact same manner, would you legitimize it like you are doing with this decision? And the biggest question now is, will you have tolerance for those whose ideas and beliefs about this subject are different than yours?

Finally, the broader point is this: Between the president’s illegal executive orders and the Supreme Court, a lot of law has been created over the past 6 years. It is the job of Congress, when this starts to happen, according to the Constitution, to be that check and balance and to bring about retribution to a lawless president and a lawless court. There are plenty of actions available to them to allow them to do this. Unfortunately, we now have an inept Congress, unwilling to speak up or act out when their rightful power is taken from them. Our founders clearly wanted laws to be created only by the representatives of the people, taken from a broad swath of the country. The president only represents one ideology, his own, and if all power is left to him, he is free to make decisions that marginalizes large portions of the republic. This is something the founders feared the most, which is why they severely limited his power in the Constitution. But if the Congress is unwilling to stand up against it, the onus is on them, and in the end, they are the ones who are making themselves obsolete, relics of a bygone era.

Jeffco Sick Outs

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I was actually working on this cartoon before the fallout from all of the staged protests that have occurred the past week or so. This cartoon was triggered by a video of the teachers union, during a recent conference here in Colorado. In the presentation, the speaker encourages out of state union members to come in and be “boots” on the ground to protest the lawfully elected board members of Jefferson County. This kind of intentional rabble rousing infuriates me. If the conservative right was to protest every single election we don’t agree with, we’d never get any other work done. And certainly when we do finally protest, when things swing too far left, we immediately get tarred and feathered as racist, sexist, pick your own epithet.

But what’s more infuriating is the complete distortion and lies being fed to these high school students about this issue. These kids have no clue about the source of their protests. In order to hide the fact that it’s about disgruntled election results, the unions have convinced the teachers that it’s somehow about pay or the latest, it’s somehow about taking away American history.

I’ve had conservative friends who mistakenly spoke out saying that they support teachers and that if the teachers are protesting then they must have a legitimate beef against the school board. All the school board did, their only pinnable crime, is that they said, “let’s talk about creating an advisory board to review the history curriculum.” And with that, the distortion begins. Kids on streets claiming that the school board wants to take slavery out of the curriculum?! Obviously, these ignorant children have been fed this poison from somewhere, perhaps from the very teachers that we are bending over backwards to protect?

Look, I’m not against the teachers. Some are probably just as hoodwinked by the unions as the kids they indoctrinate. All the board is suggesting is creating a system of accountability over what is being taught to our impressionable youth (and the student protests demonstrate just how impressionable they really are!!!). It is as if you worked in an office and one day the boss says, you know what, I’m going to form an advisory committee that will review employee performance to make sure it is in line with the objectives of the company. Should the employees suddenly protest such a move, what does that telegraph about their performance?

Not that I’m equating the content of the curriculum with the performance of the teachers. No doubt they are doing their very best instructing the kids, but if the material is incorrect or irrelevant, or perhaps too biased one direction, then all of their best efforts cannot overcome this. The fact that these kids believe that the board wants to remove slavery from the curriculum demonstrates just how little they even really know about the subject. If American history was properly taught, they would have learned that the Republican Party was formed as the Abolitionist party!

Seriously, though, I was in high school once. I remember exactly how it was. Any chance to get on TV and get out of class, we would take. We probably couldn’t even care less about what we were protesting. That wasn’t important. What was important is that it was 80 degrees and sunshine on a September day. Hello! Give me some cardboard, I’ll write down something stupid, and then I’m out of here. The real issue is that the media is turning ordinary teenage angst into some sort of deep meaningful, heartfealt protest movement, when in reality, it isn’t.

About Hobby Lobby

Apparently FB has exploded today, so I felt compelled to respond. Since I need to maintain a reputation on social media, I think I’ll use my blog as a forum to respond. In reality, it’s a bit dangerous to interject, for many of the voices out there are sounding like fools and to respond to a fool, one becomes one himself. It’s a risk I’m willing to take, I guess.

Several are now making the argument that if Hobby Lobby can force their religion on their employees (again, not happening, a complete straw man) then what next, forcing a Jehovah Witness to drink blood? This doesn’t even make sense. And actually that argument works in favor of Hobby Lobby, the failure to see so is almost comical. What next? How about forcing Christians to pay for abortion pills? Isn’t that what is at stake here?

Another argument is that Hobby Lobby won the right to deny women health care. Wow. Really? Do you really believe that’s what happened, or you just posting this complete lie to trump up your cause? Anybody working at HL can get whatever treatment they want. I have not heard of a case where the CEO of HL follows his employees to Walgreens to make sure she doesn’t acquire certain pills. All this is about is the money. The issue is whether HL should be forced to pay for it. They are not denying anybody anything. Remember, the employees work FOR HL, not the other way around. A person works at a job in an agreement to do labor in exchange for compensation and benefits, but even the benefits should be determined by the company, should it not? It is the owners who make the decisions that either make or break the business. They need the employee to help make it happen. By agreeing to help HL run its stores, does that suddenly give the employee the right to demand that their employer suddenly pay for a bunch of controversial birth control pills? By forcing HL to pay for the controversial pills is it not that the employee, via the government, is forcing ITS worldview (religion) on HL? If we are talking about Constitution liberties, should not HL be afforded theirs?

In the end, those who are screaming foul at the Supreme Court decision, when you break it down to its simplest point, are upset that the government does not have the right to tell a company what it should pay its employees.

I find it rather curious how outraged some are over the idea that Hobby Lobby won protection against being forced to pay for something that violates their religion. Somehow, this is a grand crime against humanity, meanwhile real hate crime is being perpetrated all over the Middle East… teenagers in Israel are being murdered in cold blood for being Jewish, Sudanese woman sentenced to death for marrying a Christian, Iraq being taken over by force, girls being kidnapped and sold into sex slavery in Nigeria. Shouldn’t we be collectively focusing our venom on these real human violations?

 

Tolerance

tolerance-by-ben-hummel-2014
This cartoon is in response to the recent banning for life of Donald Sterling from the NBA. I want to start by making two things clear. Sterling is a buffoon and said some stupid things. And two, I respect the NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to do whatever he feels is best.

That said, I’m a bit troubled by how far Silver went with this punishment. While what Sterling said was offensive, they were mere words. Adam Silver came out and said that he will not have intolerance in the NBA, which makes me wonder, which was more intolerant, Silver banishing for life a guy who said racial remarks or the remarks themselves?

Again, don’t misconstrue where I’m coming. I do not support anything of what Sterling said, and to be frank, I think Sterling is a spoiled idiot, but is that enough to warrant this kind of punishment? Sure, something should have probably been done, but banned for life, with the final objective to force him to sell his property? This may seem all fine and great to most of the public, but do they realize what kind of slippery slope that puts us on? Silver went on to say that this serves as an example and the NBA will not tolerate speech that is in any way racist or homophobic.

In today’s hypersensitive society, one could easily twist and take out of context anything any enemy of theirs says in order to enact a bitter revenge. I cannot believe some of the things that are being labeled as “racist.” If you disagree with a minority on stuff like policy economics, it’s labeled as racist, and according to Silver’s rhetoric, that’s possible grounds for banishment. And what about the Christian NBA player who holds a particular belief about homosexuality? Will they now be told to change this belief or be banned from life?

And then there’s the hypocrisy. There are basketball players who have impregnated several women, some accused of rape, who obviously see woman as nothing more than objects, yet they continue to play, despite the obvious sexism. Likewise, what if what Sterling said was anti-Semetic instead? Or made horrific slurs against Christians? Would these same people be as up in arms?

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Unless, of course, those words are your own.

A final PS. People took to the streets and cheered after the punishment came down, without realizing what exactly they were rooting for. They were cheering for less freedom. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that they saw Sterling as the old rich white guy and they just wanted to stick it to him. In that case, they were celebrating the politics of revenge. If racial harmony is the objective, revenge is the device that will destroy it. Societies that operate on revenge eventually plunge into chaos, distrust and sometimes even civil war. While Sterling should be properly reprimanded, (with a punishment that actually fits the infraction), as a society, we need to be willing to forgive his actions and move on. The failure to do so only fosters a deeper racial divide. That’s not what I want for this country.

What a load of !

what-a-load-of-toon-by-ben-hummel

The Colorado Legislature just banned the future sale of so-called wasteful, inefficient, high volume (in other words, effective) toilets and other plumbing fixtures. Really? Was that really necessary? While that might sound good to some people (yay, we’re saving the planet), what it is not is FREEDOM.

The truth is, the so-called “high-efficiency” toilets don’t always save water. While that may be true for some people in some communities that have high pressure water systems, for the many rural and mountain communities on well water, these toilets are a disaster. They require several flushings in order to properly and sanitarily dispose of the waste. How is this efficient? The rural home owner should have the FREEDOM to purchase whatever toilet they feel best suits their needs and their worldview. You don’t see the mountain man trying to stop an earth lover from purchasing a high-efficiency toilet. To each man his own choice of toilet.

This is a case of “mind your own business” in a huge way. The constant drumbeat by those on the left is “stay out of our bedrooms,” when conservatives try to push sexual morality. Well I say to this, stay out of our bathrooms!

I have a horrific and aggressive auto-immune disorder in which I suffer from major… ahem, let’s call it lower intestinal duress… in other words, poopy problems. I feel as if I can speak with authority about this subject matter. [um… this next paragraph is going to get graphic and personal in a hurry… you had your warning, so like, yeah, move on to the next toon if this is too much for you] The way my malfunctioning gut often works is that it stops for a few days and then in one big movement, unloads drastically. We’re talking it would make an elephant proud. I have been on those high-efficiency pots and it has required the use of coat hangers and several flushings in order for the material to finally be done away with. In my case, the “inefficient” toilet would actually be more effective in the long run! Fortunately, I have one of those at my current residence and am thankful. I should be allowed to choose whatever throne best fits my derrière, as I know my buttom best!

Phew! That said, this legislation stinks like the anti-freedom load of crap that it is.

Justin Bieber

bieber-caricature-web

I’m not one to really follow much of the celebrity gossip. The furthest my gossip train goes is my local polititan and that’s about it. However, I realize that in order to expand my appeal in the marketplace as an editorial illustrator, I should start doing more apolitical individuals and I should try and have my pen on the pulse of the American tabloids, so to speak.

Thus, I’ve been putting together some ideas that would be a little more mainstream.

This first one was actually a class demo. I had been thinking about doing a caricature of Justin Bieber for some time, actually. His notorious brawls has been giving him a black eye, and I’m speaking figuratively, here. Perhaps he thinks this out-of-control tough-boy thing is attractive and helps his image, but to me, and my guess is that I’m not the only one, I’m starting to find it disgusting. Honestly, I feel sorry for the kid. He’s a product of the internet generation, sensationalized and thrown into this world of unreality in which he was able to hit fame with a meteoric rise. Virtues like responsibility and self-control have not been taught to him as they may have to someone else who may have to struggle harder for their daily survival.

Generally, my class demos are hit and miss. On this one, I think I hit it out of the ball park. Doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it makes me smile.

I plan on doing a few more in the more mainstream series coming up. Stay tooned!

Defending the First Amendment

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments about whether or not Hobby Lobby should be forced to pay for their employees’ contraceptives and abortions, despite religious objections, as a part of Obamacare. Four justices have already voiced that they will side with the government. I find this to be mind bogglingly shocking. These people were put there to DEFEND the Constitution, with the very first Bill of Rights being to protect religious freedom. It should be a slam dunk case, with Hobby Lobby winning easily. That fact that FOUR of the justices think otherwise is frightening. What on earth is their justification?

Their argument is that Hobby Lobby is a corporation and that the First Amendment does not apply to corporations. Say what!? First off, that makes zero sense. Corporations are nothing more than collections of people and it is my understanding that the First Amendment applies to ALL people. Corporations are owned by people, staffed by people, managed by people. Corporations are people and in that respect they are no different than government. They reflect the values and integrity of the individuals that make them up.

But even if corporations are some strange separate artificial intelligence entity, what good is the First Amendment if it doesn’t apply to EVERYBODY?? When the government can start to pick and choose who gets protected by the First Amendment and who doesn’t, you have entered into dangerous territory, and the fact that four justices think that it’s their job to decide who doesn’t get protected by the First Amendment means that we are already there!

I brought this point up to a liberal friend and his response was, “Well, I don’t like Hobby Lobby pushing their religion on their employees.” What does that have to do with the issue? Hobby Lobby is not forcing the employees to do or not do anything. The government IS forcing Hobby Lobby to do something it finds objectionable. If Sue Employee wants to have an abortion while under the employ of Hobby Lobby, Hobby Lobby will not stop her from doing so and frankly, I don’t think Hobby Lobby cares what Sue Employee decides to do with her life outside of Hobby Lobby. But why should Hobby Lobby be FORCED to pay for that abortion? It’s Sue’s abortion, not Hobby Lobby’s. She should pay for it herself, if that’s what she wants, or find somebody who does want to pay for her abortion.

Even though Hobby Lobby does not get involved in Sue Employee’s personal life, if Hobby Lobby, or any company for that matter, wishes to establish for themselves a code of ethics on how they feel their employees should conduct themselves outside of employment, I would defend their right to do so. Sound extreme? Well then, work for another company. We do not have forced employment in this country. Nobody is forcing anybody to work for any company. Why is it that so hard to understand? If Sue Employee wants her employer to pay for her abortion, she can get a job with one who will.

What does the First Amendment specifically say? It says “Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof.” The Obamacare mandate violates this on both accounts. First, it denies Hobby Lobby their free exercise of their religion. I bring this up and I hear liberals say the First Amendment is supposed to keep people from forcing their religion on others. No, it doesn’t. Considering the fact that a lot of the signers of the Constitution were ordained pastors or ministers, I doubt that this is what they had in mind when they signed it. No, the First Amendment ALLOWS people to proselytize, Bible bash, witness, share, whatever you want to call it, to one another. Don’t like it, tough, it’s their freedom. What it DOESN’T allow is for government to force ITS religion and yes, secularism IS a type of religion. By forcing Hobby Lobby and anybody else to pay for contraceptives, the government is establishing that this is their worldview (religion) and this is their way of forcing you to acknowledge it. The failure to understand this is a failure to understand the First Amendment.

Unsupervised… er, Manned Drones

So there seems to be a lot of snooping around lately. People are furious at Obama, as they riot in the streets in protest in Hong Kong and other Asian countries. And of course, you are well aware that I’m no Obama fan, so in my mind, it’s about time he received some bad press.

I’m not naive, however. I understand that many of these violations of privacy were made possible during the Bush Administration. What cracks me up now is role reversing the two parties are playing. Democrats, who once were furious at Bush for starting the program, are now defending Obama for expanding it. And Republicans who argued for the necessity for the Patriot act, are shocked that the Obama administration decides to use it for their own. And you have Miss Alabama saying that she’d rather have the government track her calls than have her privacy encroached. (?) The hilarity has reached fever pitch.

If you have paid any attention to my blog for the past 6 years, you’ll know that when it comes to erring on the side of either privacy or safety, (or freedom or safety), I’ll pick freedom/privacy any day. It doesn’t matter who the president is. I didn’t defend the Patriot Act under Bush, I’m not a fan of it now.

I guess it comes down to who’s in charge. Republicans trusted Bush and were comfortable giving him that power. They didn’t believe he would abuse it. Dems are comfortable with giving Obama all of that power today. Personally, I’m wary of an administration that has already demonstrated a willingness to specifically target groups and individuals with opposing political ideals. And just because you think you are safe with your own party possessing that kind of power, always remember that your party won’t be in power forever. Will you still be cool with the other party having the same power? Tell you what, I bet you the founding fathers wouldn’t have trusted any party. The executive branch needs to be severely limited, regardless of who is in charge.

Back to the cartoon. I listened to Robert Mueller admit they have used drones on US citizens. But he quantified it by saying that it’s okay because they are limited by all of this oversight. And I had to laugh. Out loud. Really? Oversight. Well, shoot. It’s too bad the IRS didn’t have laws telling them they couldn’t single out certain political groups. If only they had oversight, none of this would have happened! Like the government has ever listened to their own regulations. Puh-lease. Hilarity once again.

IRS Scandal

In case you live under a rock, or in case you get your news from MSNBC, the big scandal of the day is that the IRS is targeting conservative and Tea Party groups.

Yawn. This is news? I mean, I guess it is in the fact that it’s finally being reported, but no doubt this has been suspected for a long time.

My biggest frustration with all of this is the Democrats. When are you going to start cleaning house? What boggles my mind is that honest, hard working, freedom loving Americans are so loyal to their own party, that they are unwilling to rid it of corruption as it has taken over. I’m sorry, using the IRS as bullies to shut down political opposition (aka speech) during two election cycles is tyranny. There is nothing else you can call it. Sure it’s your guys doing it, so you’ll look the other way, but you same people screamed foul at W for barely even sneezing!

The Republicans have NOOOO problem jettisoning politicians the moment they are accused of wrong doing, whether or not such accusations are even true. Remember Tom Foley? Tom Delay? Dan Maes? Why can’t you Democrats do the same?

Of course, these attacks by the IRS are justified according to Democrat Harry Reid. According to him, because these conservative non-profit groups are sometimes fronted by rich (gasp!) people, they shouldn’t be allowed to qualify like the liberal non-profit groups (fronted by rich people). So, let me get this straight, rich people shouldn’t have free speech protection? Actually, yes, I’ve had some liberals tell me, and with all sincerity, they say money should be removed from speech so that it becomes fair. Then they pat themselves on the back for being so freedom minded.

Money does make speech easier, but guess what, it exists on both sides. Need I remind you that Democrats have outspent Republicans on every major national election since 2006? Money is speech and there shall be NO law restricting it!

Other prominent liberals have justified these IRS attacks by saying violent and racist groups like the TEA party should have extra scrutiny placed on them. WHAT?!? I’m confused. Do these liberals really believe that the TEA party is racist and violent, or are they just saying this as a convenient way to quickly demonize and dismiss their opposition? Every time a liberal tries to pin the TEA party as violent, I ask them, based on what? Can you name for me an actual violent incident involving a TEA party member? I can tell you how many times TEA party members have been falsely accused after any number of terrorist attacks, only to be quietly exonerated later. (Gabby Giffords, Aurora shootings, Boston bombings.) Perhaps they only remember the first media accusations and not the later correction?

And the charges of racism? Sooooo… let me get this straight. Smaller government and fiscal responsibility are racist?

This is a tactic often used by dictators. Falsely accuse your political opponent of the worst possible immorality you can think of. (In America, right now, that’s the charge of racism.) Then because they are so immoral, you can justify perpetrating whatever injustices against them you want, you know, like IRS harassment. It’s how Hitler got an entire German country to turn against the Jews.

What are your values? Forget party allegiance. Take the time to investigate the people on your side and those from the other side. When anyone, Republican or Democrat, engages in unethical activities in order to gain political power, the entire nation should be holding them accountable, not just the opposing party.

Side Note: Phew! Sorry this is so long. But it’s like the adage, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can even put on its shoes. Lies are easy to spread as one liners on Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else. “The TEA party is racist.” Once it’s out there and people start believing it, just saying “no they’re not” will not suffice. Unfortunately, it requires long documentation and rational explanation in order to set the record straight and even then, people are slow to believe. That’s the beauty of cartoons sometimes. They can hammer home a truth much quicker and more poignantly than words.
Post Script:  Even I was subjected to harassment by the Obama campaign. Back in 2008, I posted Obama’s position on Orphan Works based upon a Newsweek article. A week later, I received a phone call (area code New York City) from a lady claiming to be on the Obama election campaign, telling me they were going to sue me for libel if I didn’t take down that post, citing a Time article in which Obama was quoted as taking the opposite position. Of course, I took it down, but does that mean Obama might have read some of my cartoons? Cool.

A Conservative’s Response to the Latest Shootings

I have remained unusually quiet these past few weeks in response to the shootings in Aurora, Oregon and Connecticut. The reasons are two-fold. One, my own suffering with my health has made it difficult to respond to much of anything. My time on the social media and blogosphere is way down as I battle daily pain and mental fogginess.

But that is no excuse for disregarding the pain of others. I confess I can have that tendency sometimes. I am not proud of this fact about myself and it is something I must keep working on.

However, the main reason is that my initial and still very strong reaction is one of anger and heavy controversy. I debated for weeks on whether I should put this out there, knowing it might cause some to be offended. But if I don’t say what I believe to be the truth, what culpability then is mine?

And if you are one who is easily offended, just know that I am not forcing you to read further.

Obviously we have a problem here. The frequency of these shooting binges is rapidly increasing. What is being done about it? Why are there that many killers who snap like this? Were not innocent adults in a movie theatre bad enough? Must we go after children now?

You can bank on the fact that within five minutes of any of these types of shootings the cry for gun control rings out. And it is tragedies like these that sharpen people’s opinion in that direction. While I’m not a fan of guns, I recognize that the problem is not the tool itself. A gun does not make a killer more likely to kill. A gun makes a killer more ABLE to kill, yes. A gun death is a quicker, easier death than a machete death, but if you remove the gun, you have not solved the problem. The killer still exists and he will find a way to kill, whether he acquires a gun illegally or utilize some other weapon.

The second solution being proposed is to put our society into a police state. After tragedies like this, it amazes me how quickly so many are willing to blindly trade in their freedoms for a little sense of security. Sure, I don’t mind extra long lines and pat downs in order to get into my local McDonalds, as long as I’m safe, right?

The problem is, for some of these murderers, their stated goal is to erode our freedoms. And when we capitulate in order to protect against them, we have lost twice as a society. And as we have observed, the more rules we put on OURSELVES in the name of “protection” the more these murderers work around these rules to commit their crimes, which inevitably leads to more rules placed on US.

In both of these knee-jerk solutions, we have not dealt with the core issue. We have not stopped the creation of these killers.

Violence has always existed. It is at the core of humanity. We look at fifty years ago as a bucolic time in America, but we tend to gloss over the lynch killings in the South, done in the name of justice and righteousness. The problem is that as a society, we have allowed moral relativism to blur the lines between right and wrong. We all have dark fantasies that creep up into our minds from time to time. It is called our sin nature. Most of us are quick to rid ourselves of them when they occur.

These young killers did not wake up one day and say, “Huh. I think I want to kill children today.” Getting to this point of depravity takes time. It is a slow indulgence into their dark fantasies that fosters over time. I do not believe for a moment that the Sandy Hook killer was just mental and therefore he somehow couldn’t help himself. No, whether the theatre shooter or the elementary school shooter or whomever, they made a calculated and deliberate decision to look a soul in its eye and remove its life. Perhaps by the time they had arrived at that murderous moment, there was an element of removal, as I suspect there would have to be in order to do this kind of horrific thing. However, getting to that point was a daily decision to not put to death their murderous fantasies, but to engage them instead.

The problem is that today’s society makes indulging in these dark fantasies much easier than it used to be. I may sound fuddy-duddy, but I point my fingers first at the entertainment industry. We have video games that glorify violence through hyper-realistic graphics, allowing players to become the mass murderers of their delusions. Instead of putting to bed these dark desires, we cultivate them through these games. The step from being a murderer in a fantasy world to becoming one in reality, then, becomes smaller.

Now I know the gaming community will scream foul at the last paragraph, as I have heard them try and defend themselves after all of these tragedies. I’m not saying ban video games. Angry Birds is not going to make people want to go out and kill pigs. There are certainly gray areas on this issue, but I am never shocked when we read the profiles of these killers to find that they played violent video games. There is a realm where it is too far, and I do not think it’s that hard to figure out. The problem is, nobody has the guts to stand up and say, no, this is immoral. As a gamer, do you have the moral fortitude to draw your own lines? If not, why not?

And I don’t want to just pick on gamers. The glorification of violence is everywhere. It’s in our movies, it’s in our books. I never saw the “Saw” movies, but after reading the description, I could not understand how they could be so popular. Why would anybody want to take their mind to that place?

We have allowed post modernism to tell us that there is no such thing as an absolute right and wrong. After 50 some years of preaching this, we wonder why we suddenly have teenagers that see nothing wrong with killing people point blank. We have an entire party that won an election based on an idea that killing unborn children should be a right, and then we scratch our heads when one kills children five years out of the womb.

This is controversial, yes, but do we want to solve this problem or not? Do we want a prison society filled with killers or do we want to finally address the issue of the human heart?

Ultimately, we are a land that has turned against its Creator. Any society that has done so in the past has seen the consequences. I do not advocate that government should do anything about this. On the contrary, government should back off and let the church work. Love needs to be our motto. Truth needs to be our banner. We need to reach the hearts of the individual with the amazing Good News of Jesus Christ. He alone can save us from our darkness. It starts with Him. But the decision rests with me and you.

 

Post Script: In all of this, it’s easy to arm chair quarterback, but the fact remains, there are people hurting today and we must not forget this fact. My heart breaks for those families and my prayers go out to them, especially as we approach the Christmas holiday. I cannot know or imagine their pain and fear. Lord, cover them with your Mercies today, shower love upon that community. May we rise up as a Body of Believers in love for our fellow man.

HHS Mandate

In case you have been living in a bubble the past few years, let me explain this cartoon for you. Obamacare has a provision which mandates that all employers, regardless of their religious objections, provide their employees with abortive and contraceptive care services.

To me, it was quite obvious what an obtrusion of religious freedom this mandate really was. In my narrow world-view, I could not conceive how anybody could choose the side of anti-freedom in this debate.

Then the attacks came and I quickly learned that those in favor of the mandate, through some twisted logic, labeled the mandate as being for freedom, and the churches as being against freedom. And in typical liberal fashion, it did not stop there. Many liberals then went on to conclude that because churches were against this mandate, they must somehow also be against women in general. Thus, conservatives must also want to deny women voting rights, working rights, fair pay, all the way down the line!

I remember a heated debate I had with a liberal friend. What was frustrating was that I just wished he would consider where I was coming from, even for a moment. A church is protected, by the Constitution, with their own freedoms. A church should be allowed to have a conscientious objection to covering abortive care, if it violates their tenants. But according to this man I was talking to, how dare the church push it’s views on its workers (he actually used the word ‘dare’).

I gently tried to explain to him, that the worker voluntarily chooses to work for the church, knowing their stance on these issues. If the worker does not like the church’s position, GET ANOTHER JOB! Nobody is forcing that worker to stay there. If the worker feels like they are being proselytized while at their church job, guess what, it’s the church’s building, the church’s payroll, the church’s right to believe and preach whatever they want. Freedom is allowing the church to have these positions, even if they are contrary to your own. If you don’t like it, too bad. That’s the consequence of a free society.

According to my friend, the church, by not refusing to pay for this lady’s contraceptives, is denying her access to care. Huh? The church is not stopping her from getting whatever contraceptive stuff she wants. If she wants it, she can pay for it. (And that goes for a lot of things by the way, from food, to vacations, to BMWs). If the church followed her to Walgreens and told the clerk not to sell this woman contraceptives, then yes, that would be a problem. But that’s not what is happening here. And again, I stress, if the woman wishes for somebody else to pay for these services, find another job that offers it as a benefit.

And I might add, if the lady lives a life that is promiscuous, the church should have the RIGHT to fire her if it violates some sort of ethical code they might have on chastity. There’s plenty of other employers who will hire such a woman. The church should have that freedom.

I could not get my friend to see where I was coming from and before long, the debate was starting to get so heated that I figured I should simply end it for fear of losing a friend. Following our debate, I began to see liberal talking heads repeating his same arguing lines, almost verbatim, without regard to the points conservatives have been desperately trying to make. Our voices are small, and the liberals have placed a bet that this is a winning issue for them on this election.


Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me say one other thing, and this goes back to something Joe Biden said in the VP debates. He said that while he is pro-life, he wouldn’t force his morals on other people. This is a tired, old, worn debate I’ve heard most of my life. Every time I hear it, I begin to deconstruct it logically in my mind, and it simply does not make sense. I wish that just once, somebody would throw this back at whomever uses this line in future debates, simply because it is a logical fallacy.

Let me break it down for you. First, don’t tell me liberals don’t like to push their morals on other people. Please! What do you call smoking bans? What do you call the ban on the incandescent? What do you call soda pop bans? What do you call bans on manger scenes at Christmas time? Or crosses at memorials? EVERYBODY tries to push their moral world view through politics. And it’s a good thing, too. We all agree that murder is morally objectionable. Therefore, as a consensus, we have banned murder. If we were to truly hold to the idea that it’s not up to us to push our morals on other people, then we should allow murderers to kill, because it’s not up to us to push our morals on them.

As you can see, that’s utterly preposterous. The same holds true for abortion. If deep down in the soul of your convictions, you truly felt that abortion was murder of the unborn, it would not matter what the other person felt about the issue. It’s morally objectionable to you, and you would work to try and stop it. Since abortion is the law of the land, you would have to go about your work through the legislative process, but ultimately, trying to win the hearts and minds of people to see why you find it so objectionable.

Here’s another analogy. Let’s take another issue, say, pedophilia. Let’s say we lived in a society that found sexual violation of child to be no big deal, so they legalized it. But you thought it was awful. Would you say, oh, I’m against pedophilia, but I’m not going to push my morals on other people? Of course not! You would say that this is a horrible act and you are going to work to ban it!

The same holds true for abortion. To say that you’re against abortion, but you’re not going to push your views on other people tells me that you really are not against abortion at all! If you found it to be the despicable act that I see it to be, then you would work just as hard to stop it as I try to do.

Abortion is an extremely divisive issue and it does not lend itself to much humor. I apologize for the length of this column, but if you are still interested in reading more, I implore you to read an excellent article on this topic written by a friend, PA Ritzer. His article can be found here.

 

Happy Halloween

Yeah, yeah, I know. Many of you liberal folk out there would be saying the same thing if Obama doesn’t win the election. It just depends on perspective, I guess.

Michael Bloomberg, aka Super Nanny

Okay, wait, what is this? You might find yourself asking, as you look at my most recent offering. Yes, it’s not pen and ink and it’s not digital. It’s totally old school, a layering technique involving pastels, colored pencils and oils. And it just also happens to be a recent class demo.

While his identity is obscured by his superhero attire, that is indeed a caricature of Michael Bloomberg, who has made it his mission to ensure that nobody in New York City makes a mistake, according to his standards of right and wrong. Large sodas? Really? You’re going to ban large sodas? What does that say about how he thinks about us? Obviously he thinks were too stupid to make our own informed decisions, therefore, we need big government to intervene.

So let me ask you, forgot your political allegiances for one moment, is it really the role of government to make sure its citizens eat correctly? Why is that any of their business? So what if certain people are obese and diabetic? Why should the government care? Isn’t that the result of freedom? Isn’t that far more important.

Don’t get me wrong, I think our bad health habits are a problem. And you’ll probably never catch me drinking a super sized big gulp of soda (although, once in a while I would like to have the freedom to enjoy one occasionally). However, I do think that our poor health habits stem from a much deeper problem from a lack of self control in this country. The issue isn’t that we eat too much or drink too much. The issue is that we have lousy self control, and I think is a direct result of the breakdown of the family, due to policies and moral shifts brought about by the liberal agenda (to tie that altogether is a whole other essay, and since I’m not an essay writer, but a cartoonist, I’ll defer a more detailed explanation about all this to more educated writers like Thomas Sowell and Ben DeGrow.)

I also believe that a lack of exercise is more to blame than anything we eat. With schools cutting recess and gym, is it any wonder our kids are getting fat? Poor exercise as a youth leads to poorer habits as an adult.

I’m not a libertarian on this issue. On any of the ills that we indulge in, whether smoking (tobacco or pot), alcohol, overeating, lack of exercise, I’m all for education, TV commercials, national awareness. But freedom demands that we still be given the choice. And let us be the ones to suffer the consequences of our actions, good or bad. It’s not the government’s role!