Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Soapbox

Doubleheader: Give Me Energy or Give Me…Death?
By Joe Shehan

Today, December 6, 2007 the Congress is arguing the merits and problems of the current Energy Bill that has been slowly making its way to a vote. Not being well versed in the ins and outs of the very complex piece of legislation, I can assure it does nothing that needs to be done to bring immediate relief to average Americans.

Gas prices hovering above $3 a gallon and actually higher than $4 a gallon in California and other states should be an absolute tragedy to anyone who wears the Congressional lapel pin, yet many on the left side of the aisle seem to want to pass the buck off to the energy companies. Like every other major piece of legislation that has been brought to the floor for a vote, the Majority has kept the Minority out of the debate. The bill that is on the House floor was written and pushed through the committee by the Majority.

The real solutions are being ignored for coercive measures that are only supported by radicals that make up the base of the Democratic Party. Higher Taxes and regulations on the energy/oil companies do nothing to lower prices, and it actually increases costs to the consumer. What needs to happen is a gradual transition to renewable fuels, but immediate exploration for local energy sources that can be utilized to help offset the costs now.

When we can keep cars on the road, and families are able to get to work and school, then we can focus on making sure their vehicles can go further on a tank of gas or ethanol or a fuel cell. When people are able to heat their homes for the winter and still by gifts for Christmas or even food for the table, then we can focus on cleaner burning coal or alternative fuels.

Needs should be more important than dreams.

Doubleheader: What about the holy underwear?

Governor Mitt Romney (R- MA) gave a well received speech today at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. The topic of the speech: religion and the presidency. Responding to criticizisms of his faith in Mormonism, Gov. Romney gave a speech in where he declared that he would never “allow the doctrines of any faith” overrule the laws of the land. He was also very adamant about religion not being a litmus test for presidents. Overall the speech was very moving, but still lacked the convictions of a person seeking the highest elected office in the land.

As a Christian, and a non-denominationalist, I agree with Gov. Romney that the constitution guarantees that a religious litmus test will ever be used for any elected office, but I do not appreciate a man running as a “conservative Christian” criticizing (either directly or indirectly) other people who question his beliefs in an extreme branch of the Christian faith. Many Christians question any “Christian” denomination which places its doctrinal documents over the word of God, and they question a denomination that is so secretive of their beliefs that many Christians belief Mormonism is a cult. However, always wanting to give credit where credit is due, I applaud Gov. Romney for taking a stand and defending his beliefs, but his beliefs are exactly what many Christians are afraid of.

Gov. Romney’s record of flip flopping on the pro-life issue is exactly what I am talking about. In his speech he said he would never put the doctrine of any religion above the laws of the land. Much of the opposition to the pro-life movement says that our beliefs are based on our religion. Well, that completely forgets that there are agnostic and atheists who do not support abortion, but this doesn’t make my point. My point is that as of right now the “laws of the land” say that the murder of unborn children is lawful, and he has said his Christian faith says that abortion is against the law of God. So, if he supports the overturn of Row v. Wade is he not putting his doctrine over the law of the land? Gov. Romney has often been quoted as saying his religion does not affect his decision making, and he has been accused that that means his religion is not important too him. I have to agree with this statement.

If you are devoutly religious, your religion forms how you view the world, thus it influences the decisions you make. If you are not devoutly religious, then you are not as impacted by the doctrines and mores of your faith, and then you could say “it does not affect my decision making process”. However if this is true, then you should not be advertising yourself as a devout believer.

If Governor Romney believes what he said today, then his platform is very similar to another Massachusetts official who ran for president and tried to pass himself off as something he was not.

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