Saturday, July 15, 2006


Many of us have found ourselves, as with other matters, on both sides of the Iraq war debate. There was a time when I was just as staunch in my defense of the Iraq war as I am now in questioning it. While I identify with conservatives I do not believe that this forces me into the position of supporting the Iraq war (or any matter) without questions, concerns, or reservations.

There are many good conservatives, libertarians, Christian Reconstructionists, and Republicans who have difficulties with the current war in Iraq. In fact, if polls are any indication, I would dare say that there are many good Americans who have difficulties with the Iraq war! An entire book was dedicated to the debate and a conservative magazine was created primarily for providing a conservative voice of dissent over the Iraq war. Conservative and libertarian writers such as Gary North, Pat Buchanan, Thomas Flemming, Leon Hadar, Samuel Fancis, Lew Rockwell, Rep. Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, James Bovard, Fred Reed, Doug Bandow, Srdja Trifkovic, Chilton Williamson Jr., Taki Theodoracopulos, and many others have dedicated much time and effort to writing against the Iraq War. It would be a gross mischaracterization of the debate to insist that support of the war is strictly a "left-right" debate.

Unfortunately the debate often becomes one of downright hatred for the opposing school of thought. This goes both ways. In my estimation, Paul Craig Roberts has gone from a reasonable dissenter to a rabid journalist. I have followed his articles for some time and have seen him go from sensible to downright furious. Yet, at least in my experience, this kind of treatment is far more common when coming from those who agree with the current war than it does from those conservatives who oppose it. I have witnessed pro-war conservatives derail anti-war conservatives as radical pacifists, isolationists, and accusing them of hating our country or "blaming America first." Worse yet is when they are called leftists, commies, terrorist sympathizers, and traitors. I have heard of (and have dealt with) people who have gone so far as to call anti-war conservatives traitors and tell them that they should move to Europe or Canada because of their dissent!

I felt that I should post this entry in hope of expressing my concerns, frustrations, and experiences with fellow conservatives who would use my last post as a justification to question my patriotism and my conservative convictions. It is my hope that everyone will begin taking a hard look at their stance on war (when, how, why, and towards what end war should be fought) and the role of the US in international affairs (interventionism) in order to arrive at a more reasonable position. My hope is that we will do it sooner rather than later; my fear is that we will ignore it for now and face it only when it is too late.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Back in high school I was the MVP of the golf team for 3 years. During that time I would golf regularly. Actually, I would hit about 500 balls on the range and play close to 18 5 days a week. I was 3 strokes off of the "full-ride" scholarship cut in the city tournament. The top-10 are given a full-ride to the State Universities. While I was ranked 6th in the city (3 of the top 5 golfers in the state were from my hometown that year) I shot 7 over on the last 3 holes to take 13th out of close to 100 players. After the first double-bogie I thought I was out of the running and just gave up hope. Turns out, I could have bogied the next two holes and still made the "full-ride" cut. If I would have pulled myself together and played "poor" golf (for me) I could have attended the University of Michigan or Michigan State and played on their golf team. History played out differently.

Since then golf has been more of a burden than a pleasure. Maybe this is not all that odd? For a few years after high school I golfed just over "scratch" but those days have been long gone. Now I am lucky to get away with a low 40's (3 or 4 over par on 9 holes). With every passing year I get to play less and less and my scores keep getting higher and higher.

While I was playing today I began to think about Christian mediocrity. For some time I have been frustrated with the low level of expectation that Christians have. From Church unity to politics, from business to art it seems that Christians are satisfied with mediocrity. At times it seems that we are not only satisfied with it but go so far as to praise it as if it were in fact excellent! We insist on secular politicians who give lip-service to hot-button conservative issues, put up with denominationalism run amok, and think highly of movies like Left Behind and Bells of Innocence (I am left wondering what else Church Norris had in mind when he chose to act in this movie other than to make it very clear to the world that his film career had come crashing to a pathetic end). Why we jumped off the excellence band-wagon is beyond me but there is no doubt that Christendom has been B-rated for some time.

When I double-bogied on that one hole I allowed that to determine the excellence of my next performance. When you think that there is no hope you have little initiative to do better than you did prior to the double-bogie. The old maxim of "why shine brass on a sinking ship" is all too relevant here. Worldviews matter. Eschatology matters! If we could see the forest for the trees and realize that our mediocrity and apathy is the cause of the ship sinking we may just have what it takes to lift out heads high and fight hard for the full-ride.

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