Politics, Rants

James Lankford: A quick review

A lot of people I know are fans of James Lankford. He’s Christian and a big name in Oklahoma so he’s pretty set. Here are my impressions of his views from his website. This is quickly thrown together with no citations, spell-checking, or proof-reading. I may or may not come back and spruce things up.

Energy

For the security and prosperity of our country, we must allow more drilling, refining and distribution of American oil and natural gas.

The moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico must be lifted. Every energy company cannot be punished for the mistake of one company. There are thousands of safe wells in the Gulf and they should continue to function for our energy future and economic stability.

The moratorium on drilling is not blocking the functionality of existing wells. The moratorium is on drilling, not pumping oil. Drilling as in using a giant drill to dig deeper into the earth to reach out for oil. Hundreds of rigs in the Gulf are pumping oil while only three or so are drilling. Why on Earth would you try to protect more deep-water drilling knowing that we have obsolutely no technology to handle an emergency situation? There is not enough oil in the Gulf, or anywhere in the country for that matter, for our growing energy needs. We will run out eventually and pushing for more drilling is not a real solution and actually expedites the problem. Here is an MS paint graphic to help illustrate the problem (this is actually an underestimate):

Nuclear, wind, solar, hydro-electric and other energy options should be encouraged through regulatory reforms, rather than increased subsidies.

Wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric all show great promise for the distant future.

I do agree that these energy options must be encourages. However regulation reform is not sufficient. Oil is cheap and alternative energy sources will not be affordable until the price of oil has risen to reflect its coming scarcity. Subsidies provide funding to adopt these technologies before it is too late and we are scrambling. The view that we can further way to convert is sad and will only make transitions more difficult and costly in the future. Oil is not abundant and ever-flowing.

Family a.k.a. I don’t want to blatanty mention this is about homosexuality

At the heart of many of the problems facing our country stands an institution under siege. That institution is the American family.

I agree that the American family is failing — but not because of what Mr. Lankford is alluding to: gay marriage. The divorce rate is through the roof and it’s not because of an infiltration of rainbows. Plain and simple the government has no right to interfere in relationships as it is blatant discrimination to legally discriminate on legal contracts based on gender. There is no gray area here. It’s discrimination. The government must either allow same-sex marriages or not recognize opposite-sex ones, which I believe to be the best option as it removes the government from what is at heart a religious ceremony & contract. Additionally the idea that families are “under attack” is juvenile and only further plays off fear and ignorance.

Families must continue to be honored and protected.

Firstly, a family is not a mother, father, son, and daugter. This idea of ‘normalcy’ only serves to instill fear of things that are different. There is no normal and I don’t want the government forcing it’s idea of what’s normal upon me, my friends, or my family.

Financial

Congress should audit the Federal Reserve and privatize Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. If “big banks” operate in a manner that puts their company at risk, they should be allowed to “fail” so they could reorganize in bankruptcy under new leadership.

I absolutely agree with this. The problem with our current government is that it’s not even capitalist anymore, it’s corporatist.

Healthcare

I do not have the responsibility to dictate for other people the choices they make in their lives.

Why is this not said on the ‘Families’ page?

In the past few months, a small group in the federal government decided that because 10% of the country does not have health care insurance (some of them by their choice), 100% of Americans must change their health insurance.

I am sincerely saddened by this quote for a multitude of reasons. 10% of Americans without health care coverage is 10% too many and those of that 10% that are uninsured by choice aren’t doing so because they don’t want coverage, they do so because it is too expensive for them to consider being worth it. This helps create more of a problem as the uninsured get ill or avoid going to the doctor or hospital when they need to and then others get stuck with absorbing the costs. I find it terribly troubling that so many in the Christian community are perfectly fine with this. They will fight tooth and nail to pay a penny to help pay for the less fortunate to be helped. This isn’t Christian, this just makes you a horrible human being. Secondly, the recent laws passed do no such thing as Mr. Lankford states where “100% of Americans” will need to change their health coverage. This is blatantly false. If you have coverage, it stays the same. Simple yet it’s still being spun here to instill fear.

The same Democrat party that talks on and on about a “woman’s right to choose” what to do with her body just told every man and woman in America when, where, and how they can get health care.

They did not tell anyone when, where, or how they can get healthcare that already has insurance. The health bill unfortunately was gutted beyond recognition (by the Republican extremists) and altered so they are now mandating all citizens be covered or purchase coverage from private corporations. This STILL doesn’t involve telling them when, where, or how they can get health care- only health insurance. A huge benefit to the new health care laws however is the removal of the whole pre-existing conditions mess which will save lives and actually allow people to purchase health insurance that previously could not.

The federal government is working to limit the number and role of insurance companies when we should be removing the barriers so that we have more companies and more competition.

I agree that if we are going to have for-profit health insurance companies that people need to be able to shop around and have options and also the ability to transfer to other plans and companies. Currently everyone is pretty much locked in.

We should encourage individuals to start their own health savings accounts (HSA). These allow people to buy catastrophic insurance and to put their money into a HSA so they can spend it for health care as they wish.

Unfortunately HSA’s do nothing to solve the problem. A single diagnosis can bankrupt families. Normal Americans cannot come close to affording the cost from tragic diagnosis by saving up, and insurance companies can easily drop them or cite pre-existing conditions prior to recent laws. Also unfortunately, many people are poor, despite what Mr. Lankford may think. When it comes between putting food on the table and healthcare, most will cut out the healthcare. This puts further strain on our system. Healthcare coverage is a social issue and would do best with everyone paying into the same system and without the overhead of profit. This is why a single payer system would work best. Everyone would keep their system doctors and hospitals but the insurance company wouldn’t be taking a cut of the money. Unfortunately however those better off financially don’t want to pay for help the poor. How is that a Christian stance here in Oklahoma?

Immigration

Copy-pasta from a comment left by a visitor on his site:

“We cannot bail out every inefficient government in the world by taking on their economic refugees.”
-James Lankford

“When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
-God.

I understand we can’t take on everyone. This just isn’t feasible. However this outright hunt and dehumanization of immigrants is a scary way to approach this. Recent bills to ban healthcare to pregnant immigrants or block healthcare to an immigrant having a baby our outlandish. Strangely enough those most adamently against abortion are also for blocking an immigrant having a baby from receiving healthcare. Are immigrants not humans now? It all seems to be based on fear.

“Thank you , you are right! Something must be done about uninvited nonworking aliens not to mention terrorist coming over our border. Some have the argument that there are jobs that Americans won’t do that aliens will. Most of these picking and farm jobs can be handled by Americans if given the economic incentive and machinery. The aliens are cutting down on American inventivness to create solutions to labor problems.” – Site visitor

Obligatory “They took our jorbs!!!”

National Security

Our security budget is insane. We have enough nukes to blow up the entire planet multitudes over. Why must we always live in so much fear?

Second Amendment

I agree with Mr. Lankford here. If guns are banned then only the government and criminals will have guns. (and if you keep your gun, you have become a criminal.)

Spending

Stop spending so much money!

I concur. Spend less and when you do spend, spend wisely.

Taxes

I certainly agree that our current tax system is a mess and is full of loopholes. There is an entire industry surrounding filling out taxes.

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8 Responses to “James Lankford: A quick review”

  1. On October 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm Mark responded with... #

    “Firstly, a family is not a mother, father, son, and daughter. This idea of ‘normalcy’ only serves to instill fear of things that are different. There is no normal and I don’t want the government forcing it’s idea of what’s normal upon me, my friends, or my family.”

    Didn’t know how else to leave a comment for you…

    A hearty Amen on your comment! My brother has been trying to marry his horse (to make their sexual union legal) for years, but the Government is sticking their noses into his business. They have absolutely NO right to regulate this sort of thing! He was born with this sexual preference and shouldn’t be judged by anyone who doesn’t agree just because they don’t think it’s ‘normal’. What IS normal anyway? His love for his horse is real and they deserve the same benefits as other married couples, including healthcare! What is this world coming to!

    Same goes with my uncle and his gerbil. Family is family for goodness sake!

    And my grandfather and his 13 year old neighbor friend…they’re both consenting. Why is it WRONG!? Says who? They should be able to get married. The sex is great they both tell me. It’s an outrage that the government would tell them they can’t have sex with each other when they’re so in love… just because he’s a minor. Who made 18 or 21 the ‘legal age’ for ANYthing? The GOVernment! Please!

    I’m obviously being sarcastic…for affect. There are SOME people that would (or will one day) desire these relationships mentioned above. Should our government seek to legalize or recognize or protect ALL relationships based upon sexual preference; or how someone feels; or what their natural desires are? I don’t think so and I doubt you do either. Please read on…

    Jesus Christ claimed to be God himself in the flesh. He was either a liar, a lunatic or he was the Lord like he said he was. If he’s the Lord, then you must find out what he said. He spoke like no other person in history. He requires obedience to his commands and abstinence from sin. We’re only going to need one thing before we all die: it’s God’s forgiveness for the sins we’ve committed. I’m not a ‘gay-basher’ or homophobic or a hater of those that are different than me. The Bible states in both the New Testament and the Old Testament that Homosexuality is a sin. It’s obvious from creation that the penis and vagina have one purpose in the physical universe…they are sexual organs for the purpose of procreation. Within the bonds of marriage (one woman, one man) it is a source of physical pleasure as well. Some claim, “I was born this way, I cannot help it!” We are ALL born to sin and are predisposed to one degree or another. Some men may be ‘drawn’ toward the same sex…which is sin when acted upon. Some, many, MOST men are visually hard-wired to look at, lust after, and crave images of naked (or partially naked) beautiful women…pornography; women in swimsuits on the beach; catching a glimps of a women’s undergarments when she leans over or bends over…this is also sin when acted upon or dwelt upon. Jesus says if you’ve looked at someone with lust, it’s the same as adultery. A person that is homosexual and not abstaining or supressing that sinful, lustful desire, is no different than the heterosexual that isn’t supressing HIS natural (but also sinful and lustful) desire to look at and enjoy women (either physically or mentally) outside of marriage.

    There is only Heaven and Hell upon death. The Bible makes it clear that we will ALL be guilty of breaking God’s laws. We need forgiveness from sin (as stated previously). Forgiveness for our lying, our stealing, our taking God’s name in vein, our disobedience to our parents, our lust, our coveting. The Bible says that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire. It says don’t be deceived, no adulterer, fornicator, homosexual, thief…shall inherit eternal life. God is a judge that will punish sin wherever it’s found and he says, “I will by no means, clear the guilty.” On the other hand, the Bible says he’s a LOVing father that wants to give us the gift of forgiveness. Gifts are to be ‘received’. How do you receive God’s gift? Two things we must do in response to this AMAZING offer of grace and love and forgiveness. 1.) We must repent: recognize our sin, turn from sin, forsake it and stop doing it. and 2.) We must put our complete faith alone in Jesus Christ. He paid your fine for you (in His life’s blood) by dying on the cross for your sins. God’s the judge, you’re the guilty criminal. You’ll owe a fine to God on judgment day that you have no means of paying (your ‘good works’ and good life won’t help you…it’s not a scale with bad on one side and good on the other)…’the soul that sins, it shall die’; Jesus Christ stepped in and paid your fine in full. The last 3 words he spoke from the cross are, “it is finished’. In the greek it means “the debt has been paid”. Put your trust in the one who paid your (sin) debt. Don’t trust in your own good works to save you. The moment you do those two things, God will grant you the GIFT of everlasting life.

    Please look into this. I know that homosexuality is a hot topic. But people who try to support that lifestyle with arguments such as, “I was born that way.” Are completely missing the point. Heterosexuals have the same lustful, sinful desires. You’ve now heard the Gospel (which means ‘good news’ in the greek) of Jesus Christ. Why is it good news? Because the bad news is that you (and me) deserve Hell upon death for the law we’ve broken (sins committed) …look at the 10 commandments. The GOOD news is that Jesus paid our fine and made a way possible for us to go to heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father, but by me.” You now will have no excuse on judgment day. You’ve heard the Gospel. I pray that you will respond to God’s gift…don’t reject it. Check out http://www.deathEscape.com for a 3-minute video on death.

    Mark

    PS: I was looking for some support on a WordPress issue and saw this comment you made and felt impressed to respond.

  2. On October 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm Montana responded with... #

    Thank you for posting that comment, Mark. I know Dustin in real life, and I suspect he won’t be too happy with me for agreeing with you, but I am grateful that you came to say what you’ve said here today. I myself have found myself too timid to say such things most of the time, for fear that it won’t be well-received. Ignoring the minor technical errors (typos, etc.), your message is good and hopefully will be understood.

  3. On October 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm Tai responded with... #

    [quote]“A hearty Amen on your comment! My brother has been trying to marry his horse (to make their sexual union legal) for years, but the Government is sticking their noses into his business. They have absolutely NO right to regulate this sort of thing! He was born with this sexual preference and shouldn’t be judged by anyone who doesn’t agree just because they don’t think it’s ‘normal’. What IS normal anyway? His love for his horse is real and they deserve the same benefits as other married couples, including healthcare! What is this world coming to!
    Same goes with my uncle and his gerbil. Family is family for goodness sake![/quote]

    A horse and/or a gerbil are not sentient beings. They are incapable of consenting, let alone understanding what the word “consent” even means. Taking the other side’s argument to the extreme, and in a silly manner, I know is a very commonly used tactic in debates, but in high school debates. I’ve never seen it used anywhere to reasonable effect where the audience, or the person being debated to, saw the tactic and thought that it was a good and honest debating point. The opposite effect usually. How should these situations of non-sentient beings be handled? I am not sure but those are not the situations being talked about here, and so, are off topic.

    [quote]And my grandfather and his 13 year old neighbor friend…they’re both consenting. Why is it WRONG!? Says who? They should be able to get married. The sex is great they both tell me. It’s an outrage that the government would tell them they can’t have sex with each other when they’re so in love… just because he’s a minor. Who made 18 or 21 the ‘legal age’ for ANYthing? The GOVernment! Please!
    I’m obviously being sarcastic…for affect. There are SOME people that would (or will one day) desire these relationships mentioned above. Should our government seek to legalize or recognize or protect ALL relationships based upon sexual preference; or how someone feels; or what their natural desires are? I don’t think so and I doubt you do either. Please read on…[/quote]

    As mentioned already there is a big difference in two consenting human beings. You ask why is it wrong and says who? Well, this type of relationship was very normal for the whole of the world for thousands of years. You see, the life expectancy for humans used to be a lot less than it is today. They also based marriage relationships off of biological guidelines, and partners very often were chosen by parents rather than the two people involved. The biological boundaries are important. Those two people both have went through puberty, are fertile, and believed to be a good match? Lets go about seeing if we can get them together since, as you agree, sex only exists for procreation.

    And as for the “who” part? That is obvious. In one paragraph you, sarcastically, say others don’t really have the right force their beliefs on others. Yet in other paragraphs seem to have no problem with others forcing their beliefs and ways of life on others, but it just so happens the ways of life being forced are your own so you have no problem with it, actually believing that it is as it should be.

    However, deciding if a 13 year old has the cognitive abilities to make such a large life-changing decision is hard to say. Some I would say yes, others I would say no though probably most would fall into a no. Still doesn’t change that there would be some that are. In a perfect world it would be based on each individual but that is impractical in the most basic sense. I don’t know what would be the best way to go about deciding borderline cases such as 13 years old, I’m not a psychologist. So I will refrain from trying to make too many judgments on it.

    [quote]Jesus Christ claimed to be God himself in the flesh. He was either a liar, a lunatic or he was the Lord like he said he was. If he’s the Lord, then you must find out what he said. He spoke like no other person in history. He requires obedience to his commands and abstinence from sin. We’re only going to need one thing before we all die: it’s God’s forgiveness for the sins we’ve committed. I’m not a ‘gay-basher’ or homophobic or a hater of those that are different than me.[/quote]

    If you say so. Part of being Christian is blindly following and accepting what God says because he is an omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent being. God says it is wrong to be homosexual so it is wrong. They will be cast into the lake of fire and deservedly so. By following God’s teachings you are saying you completely agree with that. To be homophobic is to be prejudiced against those that are homosexual. Willing to cast them into the fire based on a generalization and because God/the Bible(cause we all know the two are interchangeable) told you so is just that. To say that you don’t hate them but that you are perfectly fine and agree that they should all be sent to Hell and go through eternal suffering for all time because God made them that way is not very accepting. Yes yes, you said you don’t “hate” them but that they should be cast into Hell for eternal damnation if they don’t see the error of their ways and correct themselves to your way of thinking. That to me sounds more malicious than accepting or loving, or a way to justify it to yourselves.

    In a world were there exists a God that is omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent it is hard to say such a thing as free choice exists and is more akin to an illusion. Each and every person would be created the very way the God wishes. All decisions they make would also be all made according his plan. Looking around at the world the three omni’s don’t seem to fit with the way things are, there is conflict between using the word omnibenevolent and then willingly and purposely causing such pain and suffering. Ahh, this is getting into religion and not politics. Sorry, I will stop there, didn’t plan on it going that deep into it. The rest of your post was just preaching and had nothing to do with the politics that Bolton was talking about in his post, so I will refrain from talking about them.

  4. On October 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm Kev responded with... #

    Mark,

    Not everyone believes that a great big (supposedly) omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient invisible MAN in the sky (which is how most christists seem to understand G-d) sat down over the course of centuries with different secretaries, dictated a book, then ensured it was properly (and incredibly… literally, ‘unbelievably’) edited and translated. (I find it interesting that fundamentalist, literalist christists actually think this happened, then G-d stopped talking to humans because everything was written down now.) In fact, this view point very quickly slides into idolatry, and the worship of the “graven image” of a printed book.

    Maybe Jesus Christ died for your sins. Presumably that means you’re of kosher Jewish origin, with an unattainable set of laws to attempt to follow, and that you’re one of his people that he came along to set free from the inevitably hypocritical trap the old testament god had set. Of course, if you’re decrying homosexuality, you’d better be kosher, and you’d better never eat bacon or play football. To touch the flesh of a dead pig, as for a man to lie with another man, is “an abomination”.

    But that god is not my God; God created the world, and God created me, and God knows what God is doing. You reference a lot of medieval justifications for homophobic theology… I don’t care. This is America, and if you’re trying to legislate your religious perspectives, that’s what we call “theocracy”. If monotheist, moralistic theocracy sounds good to you, go to Iran. There “are no gays” in Iran, after all. Theocracy has no place in any (would-be) democratic republic, in a country where we are supposed to be assured freedom of conscience and freedom of worship.

    Maybe the angry desert god who dictated your much-worshipped book detested homosexuality, and sexuality generally; however God made human beings one of the horniest, sexiest animals on the planet because S/He intended us to be brought together, taking pleasure in one another, and bonding through oxytocin release. Your highly circumscribed view of things only comes because you have placed your moral agency in a book written by men to control the hearts and minds of other men.

    Heterosexual monogamous marriage is not a universal, and same-sex marriage has been practiced on most, if not all, continents in history, including early medieval Europe–before the roman catholic church made its power grab on the civic (village) institution of marriage.

    Also, by trotting out the well-worn and utterly incredible argument that homosexuality is a ‘slippery slope’ to bestiality, you’re comparing real people like me and the people real people like me love to either–in your argument–gerbils or horses. This is outrageous. A more reality-based (and therefore controversial) comparison would be miscegenation: there are two adult humans involved, and the question of whether or not the state or other apparatus of enforcement of popular will has any right to block, forbid, or hinder their union, or to withhold rights readily extended to others. Clearly, in 2010, interracial marriage is no longer controversial almost anywhere in this country, and slippery-slope arguments from the time never came to fruition. More sane than the bestiality “slippery slope” is the slippery slope of your argument: should the church-led government start passing laws against people of different faiths marrying? Different races? Will we decide that 30 years apart is too far apart, even if the younger partner is 30 or 40?

    No legalisation of gay marriage would REQUIRE your homophobic church to marry our people at your altar, and no doubt we’d find your church too tacky and small-minded for our union anyway. There is a religious freedom issue, however, when Quakers, Unitarians, and polytheists of various descriptions wish to be able to celebrate matrimony for same-sex members of their congregations and a vociferous group of people with poor theology and an aggressive desire to tell others how to live work to prevent such union from being reckoned on legal par with their own.

    The real threat to the family is the structure of the family itself: the nuclear family is a brand-new invention, less than a century old, and it has proven itself to be too small, insular, and unstable to be an adequate vehicle for the growth and the maturation of the family members. The bizarre idea that allowing homosexuals back into an institution heterosexuals have already ruined would somehow destroy the institution is chicanery at best: it is scape-goating a small, outside minority group to preserve the apparent moral innocence of a large majority.

    Not that we should be surprised. Christist theology is based on escaping moral responsibility and handing it off to someone else.

    Grow up. I don’t care how your god judges people; my God upholds no bizarre, human-made standard of what is good or right, and doesn’t saddle me with unpayable debt just to justify his son starring in a snuff-film, a whipping boy for unattainable standards and a god’s failure to create beings in keeping with his expectations. I will be held accountable for my own moral & ethical decisions, and I’ll pay for my own sins and reap my own rewards. I won’t try to stop you from your theology of hate and state-approved repression, but by God don’t stand in my way when all I’m demanding is the basic freedom, liberty, and respect that all Americans are guaranteed, not by merit of their ‘grace’ or Christianity, but by merit of our common humanity and common adherence to a vision of democratic freedom.

    And the “I AM” who is the way and the truth and the life? That’s the same I AM burning in the bush in the desert. That I AM truly is the only path to heaven, and if you can’t tell the eternal all-existence from one man who mediated it, you are lost. (You may, however, thank the true God of creation that you have until the very universe itself stops turning to find that truth.)

  5. On November 3, 2010 at 9:21 am Montana responded with... #

    Mark, there’s one more extreme example that needs to be added to the gay marriage analogy: corporations. Why can’t I get a civil union with the Coca Cola company if we both consent to it?

  6. On November 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm Some monkey responded with... #

    Two things: Mark, you’re a moron.
    Montana, you’re a cowardly moron.

    Don’t quit your day jobs; your knowledge of jurisprudence is juvenile, your arguments could be destroyed by even the least of high school debate teams and your metaphysical systems are weak. I can only surmise that the distance between your synapses keeps your brains from outright dying in a maelstrom of cognitive dissonance. Thank you kindly for sharing your insanities; now kindly go back to the extreme fringe that spawned you and bask in your own psychoneurolytic inanities, would you?

  7. On December 13, 2010 at 10:32 pm HAHAHAHA responded with... #

    HAHAHA, Montana getting owned again, both by other fellow brothers. BUWAHAHAHAHAHA.

  8. On April 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm Nina East responded with... #

    I knew I liked you, Dustin. And now I like you even more. :)

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