Saturday, December 31, 2011

Now what would Alexis de Tocqueville say about America today?

In 1831 a French visitor to America observed the following about our young nation: 

"The religious atmosphere of the country was the first thing that struck me on arrival in the United States.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

In 2011, 180 years later, are we more religious or less religious then we were back then? Are we now better off, or worse off because of it?

If that French visitor returned today, the last day of 2011, he would find a majority of self-absorbed, uncaring irreligious people looking to government instead of to God for solutions and for their sustenance.

What Alexis would find today is a blatantly obvious vicious contempt and disdain that many, especially those in power and in positions of influence, have for Christians and Christianity. He would see the mocking, the marginalization, and the malicious malignment of Jesus Christ and of His followers everywhere.

He would find a tolerant people.  A nation that is ‘tolerant’ of homosexual perversion. A nation that is ‘tolerant’ of the wholesale genocide, the mass murder, of innocent pre-born babies in the name of ‘a woman’s right to choose.’ A nation that 'tolerates' evil and tyrannical religious, political and militaristic systems such as Islam and atheistic communism. A nation that pays more respect to political correctness than it does to truth.  

He would mostly find a society corrupted by an atheistic secular humanistic philosophy that has so infested and infected all aspects of the culture – academia, churches, religious institutions, entertainment, media, politics, business, science, government, and the courts. Secular humanism is now the ‘religion’ of many in the nation and it has and continues to steadily poisoned our society.

Even our President, an avowed secular humanist atheist himself, by his words, by his policies, and by his deeds, has gleefully claimed that our nation is not a Christian nation.

Alexis would especially find Christians and a Christian church in desperate need of repentance and spiritual revival both individually and corporately.

He would find a nation on the brink of collapse and decay: moral, economical and spiritual.

If individual Christians and the Christian church do not repent and seek God, we are doomed. We have eleven months to right the ship. If we do not elect a conservative president and a more conservative Senate and House, then we are doomed.

We are a crossroads in this nation. 2012 will be a make or break year for the U.S. Let us each do our part to be useful instruments,  as our forefathers were before us, of Divine Providence to turn this nation around, to deliberately begin once again to create the religious atmosphere that de Tocqueville found when he visited this country two centuries ago!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Voting Record of Ron Paul

This is a series of articles which gives voting record information about 2012 presidential candidates.  Most of the references given are from, an official government website which is part of the Library of Congress.  Hopefully, this information will help you to make a decision about who you are going to vote for.  Also included is a brief biography and information about endorsements made by the candidate.  Today's candidate is Ron Paul.

Ron Paul                                  

Ron Paul is an OB/GYN and has delivered over 4000 babies.  He has been married to his wife for over 50 years.  He was an Air Force flight surgeon during the Vietnam War.  (He is one of only two candidates who have ever been in the military.)  He has served 11 terms in Congress and has run for President twice before (1988 and 2008).  He received more campaign contributions from those active in and veterans of military than any other candidate in both 2008 and in this election [1].  He was recently chosen to be the chairman of the House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee.  His son Rand, a Tea Party favorite, was recently elected to the U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

He has never voted for a Congressional pay raise and has never taken a government-paid junket.  He doesn’t participate in the lucrative congressional pension benefits program.  He always returns unused portions of his congressional office budget to the treasury. 

One criticism I have of Mr. Paul is that he has missed several important votes.

Ron Paul has announced that he will not run for reelection to Congress.


Ron Paul is the author of the Sanctity of Life Act of 2011, which would define human life and personhood as beginning at conception and would nullify Roe v. Wade. [1] He used to cosponsor the “Right to Life Act” (now known as the Life at Conception Act), but has not in the last several congresses. [2] He is not a cosponsor of the Sanctity of Human Life Act in the current congress. [3] (See also Judicial Activism.)

He has never voted for any budget that includes funding for Planned Parenthood. He has never voted for a Department of Health and Human Services appropriations bill.  These bills always make federal funds available for abortion providers.  Although, if these bills did not pass, some people would likely have their Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits cut off.  [4] He has introduced the Taxpayers’ Freedom of Conscience Act to cut off all taxpayer funding of abortions (both domestic and foreign) and so-called “family planning”. [5] He has supported many other measures which limit the access of funding to abortion providers. [6-10] He voted for the Stupak-Pitts amendment to Obamacare.  (This would have prevented most abortions from being funded with Obamacare money.) [11, 12]  He said, “I will veto any spending bill that contains funding for Planned Parenthood, facilities that perform abortion and all government family planning schemes.” [13]

[4] You have to check through a lot of records to verify these facts since so there have been so many of these bills voted on over Ron Paul’s 20+ years in Congress.

Constitutional Separation of Powers

Ron Paul is a cosponsor of the Sunset All Czars Act. [1] He is also a cosponsor of the Enumerated Powers Act which would require Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of laws. [2]


Ron Paul is outspoken critic of the war on drugs.  He has sponsored bills to legalize hemp [1] and marijuana [2].  He also cosponsors legislation which would eliminate the legal distinction between crack cocaine and other forms of cocaine. [3, 4]  He was a cosponsor of a bill in the last two congresses that would allow federal tax money to be used to distribute syringes to drug addicts for the purpose of preventing the spread of AIDS and hepatitis. [5]

Economy and Jobs

He has been a consistent supporter of the National Right to Work Act which would prevent workers from being forced to join a union. [1, 2]  (See also the Monetary Policy and Taxes, Spending, and Budget Issues sections.)


He is the sponsor of the Family Education Freedom Act [1] which would give a tax credit of up to $5000 per year to anyone who spends their own money on K-12 education of their children.  Another bill [2] he introduced would give the same $5000 tax credit to those who donate to charitable organizations which use the money to provide scholarships or instructional materials for K-12 education.

Energy and the Environment

Ron Paul has introduced legislation to stop unnecessary regulations on offshore oil drilling and the building of refineries. [1-5] He voted no on Cap and Trade [6] and cosponsored a bill to prevent the EPA from enacting it without the approval of Congress. [7] He has supported many other bills to prevent the regulation of greenhouse gases. [8-10] He is a cosponsor of Michele Bachmann’s bill to repeal the ban on incandescent light bulbs.

Gun Rights

Ron Paul has never voted for any bill to outlaw any type of weapon. [1] He has voted several times (as far back as 2001) to make it legal for airline pilots to carry guns to prevent to terrorists attacks. [2]

[1] Again, you have to check through a lot records to prove this.


Ron Paul voted no on Obamacare and voted for bills to repeal it [1,2,3,4] and several bills to repeal parts of it [4,5,6,7] and to allow states to opt out of it [8].  He supports legislation to eliminate the provision that federal officials are exempted from Obamacare. [9] He supports legislation to make it easier for Americans buy prescription drugs from other countries. [10] He supports legislation to repeal the mandate portion of Obamacare. [11, 12] He supports a bill to allow Medicare recipients to elect (instead of regular Medicare benefits) to receive a voucher for a health savings account.[13] He supports tax deductions for medical related expenses [14] and ending federal excise taxes on medical devices [15, 16].

Illegal Immigration and Border Control

Ron Paul voted “no” on the DREAM act, which would have allowed some illegal immigrants to receive financial aid for college and other federal benefits paid for by American taxpayers. [1, 2]  Ron Paul voted for Secure Fence Act of 2006. [3, 4]  He introduced a bill called the Terror Immigration Elimination Act of 2007, which would have limited the issuance of student and diversity immigrant visas to aliens who are nationals of Saudi Arabia, countries that support terrorism, or countries not cooperating fully with United States antiterrorism efforts. [5]

Judicial Activism

Ron Paul is the sponsor of the most aggressive anti-judicial activist bill to be introduced into the Congress.  The “We the People Act” would prevent federal judges from striking down state laws against abortion, prevent them from forcing states to accept gay marriage, and would prevent them from prohibiting religious freedom and freedom of speech in public places.  The bill authorizes the removal of any judge who would defy it. [1] He is a cosponsor of legislation which would prevent foreign law from being used in federal courts. [2]

Marriage and Gay Rights

Ron Paul supports the Defense of Marriage Act [1] and the Marriage Protection Act. [2-4] He voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. [5] He voted “no” on hate crimes legislation which would have protected homosexuals from “hate speech”. [6, 7]  He voted against a Defense Appropriations bill which contained a hate crimes amendment. [8] He voted to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which had prevented the openly gay from serving in the military. [9]

[1] Ron Paul was not in the congress at the time that the Defense of Marriage Act was enacted, but has on numerous occasions verbally indicated his support for this bill.  His support is further indicated by his cosponsorship of the Marriage Protection Act, described in the next note.
[2] The Marriage Protection Act is a bill which would make the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act not subject to judicial review.
[8] (find Division E in the enrolled bill.  The roll call is at

Monetary Policy

While no one else has supported Ron Paul’s bill to abolish the Federal Reserve [1], his bill to audit the Fed [2] was very popular in last Congress.  He got the support of every Republican in the House of Representatives plus over 100 Democrats.  But the bill didn’t pass because the Senate rejected it.  He voted against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which gave the Federal Reserve more power. [3, 4]  He introduced legislation to solve the debt crisis without raising the debt ceiling.  His solution was to cancel the $1.6 trillion debt that the Federal Government owes to the Federal Reserve.  There is no need for the taxpayer’s to pay this money back since the Federal Reserve simply printed the money out of thin air anyway. [5] He has introduced legislation to repeal legal tender laws. [6]

National Sovereignty

Ron Paul is the sponsor of a bill which would get the U.S. out of the U.N. [1] He opposes the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.  [2, 3]  He voted against the Peru Free Trade Agreement. [4, 5]

Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech

In addition to the “We the People Act”, Ron Paul also voted for the Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005, which would have prevented the ACLU and other similar groups from receiving lawyer’s fees from the taxpayers when they win cases having to do with supposed violations of the “Separation of Church and State”. [1] He is a cosponsor of a bill to preserve freedom of speech on the internet. [2] In the 105th Congress (1998), he cosponsored a resolution to make an amendment to the Constitution of the United States clarifying the meaning of religious freedom, but then voted against it. [3, 4]

Social Security

Ron Paul supports legislation to prevent illegal aliens from receiving Social Security benefits. [1,2]  He supports legislation to stop taxing Social Security benefits. [3] He is in favor of repealing a law which says that senior citizens are ineligible to receive Social Security benefits if they decide not to participate in Medicare. [4] He supports legislation to make it illegal for the government to spend FICA taxes for anything but Social Security benefits.  [5]

Taxes, Spending, and Budget Issues

Ron Paul voted “no” on Obama’s economic stimulus bills. [1, 2]  He voted for the Bush tax cuts [3, 4] and the 2010 extension [5-7] of them. [3] He has cosponsored legislation to end federal inheritance taxes. [8-9] He has cosponsored a bill to end the Alternative Minimum Tax on individuals. [10] Ron Paul has sponsored a bill to eliminate taxes on tips. [11] He has cosponsored the Telephone Excise Tax Repeal Act of 2011. [12] He voted for the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011. This repealed the law which would have required you to file a 1099 every time you buy something for $600 or more from a small business.  [13-15]

He always votes “no” on raising the debt ceiling. [16-18]

He has cosponsored a bill to cut congressional pay by 5%. [19] He cosponsored a bill that would require that unused portions of each congressman’s budget be used for federal deficit or debt reduction. [20] He voted to end taxpayer funding of Presidential campaigns. [21] He supports legislation (the End the Stimulus Advertisement Act) to ban the use of taxes for highway signs that indicate that a project is funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Obama’s Economic Stimulus Bill). [22]

[5] I know that Ron Paul voted for the tax cut extension from word of mouth.  The vote for this particular bill was done by voice vote and was not recorded in the archives of the Library of Congress because Congress passed a measure to suspend the rules regarding voting procedure for this bill.  Below are a link to the text of the legislation and an alternative link which has the unofficial vote tally.


Ron Paul supports the Retired Pay Restoration Act [1] and the Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act [2, 3] which would allow veterans to receive both disability and retirement pay and would provide tax relief from them.

War on Terrorism

Ron Paul voted for the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) in Afghanistan immediately following the September 11th attacks. [1] A month later, he introduced a bill to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal against Al Qaeda. [2] He voted against the AUMF in Iraq in 2002 [3] and has been an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq and the handling of the war in Afghanistan.  He has voted to withdraw troops from Iraq as early as 2007 [4] and now supports an immediate withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan. [5-7] He voted in favor of legislation requiring a withdrawal of troops from Pakistan in July of 2010 [8, 9] and also has recently voted against funding the wars several times. [10] He supports legislation to order Barack Obama to immediately withdrawal troops from Libya. [11, 12] He is one of ten congressmen who are actually suing Barack Obama for unconstitutionally invading Libya without congressional approval. [13]

He is generally against sanctions.  He is not a cosponsor of the bill to continue sanctions against Iran until they give up their nuclear program. [14]

Ron Paul voted against the both the Patriot Act and the Protect America Act. [15-17] He opposes the use of government mandated body scanners and pat downs at airports.  He has sponsored the American Traveler Dignity Act which would have made it illegal for TSA agents to do anything to anybody which would be illegal if anybody else did it (i.e. groping people, etc.). [18] Ron Paul voted to allow prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to be tried in U.S. courts. [19, 20]

Paul’s (Worst) Endorsements

Ron Paul endorsed San Francisco Republican and gay-marriage supporter John Dennis in the 2010 election for Congress. [1, 2]

Ron Paul sent out emails in support of Congressman Lamar Smith despite the fact that Smith voted for the war in Iraq and the bailouts.  Smith was running against an opponent whose positions were perfectly aligned with Paul’s. [3] When confronted about this, he said, “I made an agreement with the Republican Party to support the [Texas] incumbents.” [4]

But the two example cited above are not typical.  In 2008, Ron Paul endorsed about 30 candidates for Congress.  Michele Bachmann was one of these candidates and was typical of the others on list. [5]

[5] I can’t find this list on the internet, but it did appear on the website of one of Ron Paul’s Political Action Committees (the Liberty PAC) during the 2008 election. 

Newt “Green Grinch” Gingrich

The tough talking, but spineless politician, is at it again.  He did a commercial with Nancy Pelosi touting job killing environmental regulations.  He has taken campaign contributions from ethanol-producing corporations hoping to get their cut of your tax dollars.  Now the Newt “Green Grinch” Gingrich is in hot water for two counts of violating elections ethics charges.  He took walking lists which didn’t belong to him and sold them under his company and took the profits personally.  

Randall Terry is Running For President

Randall Terry is a long time pro-life activist who was best known for leading Operation Rescue, an organization which was notorious for daring tactics to stop abortions which included blocking abortion clinics.  I do not necessarily approve of this and I am not going to make an endorsement of Mr. Terry, but I post this for your information.  Terry is running as a democrat, so anyone who is registered as a Democrat and can't change parties for this election at least will have a more principled choice in the election.  Or if you are a Republican and think that the field of Republican candidates contains no one you can trust with your vote, and you live in a state where you can still switch parties, then you also have an option in the primaries besides not voting for anyone. Read more about Randall Terry at

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Obama Regime's New (Last) Year

Photo found on VotingAmerican

“Huge crowds will gather in NYC next week to ring in the year 2012.

“And members of the Obama White House will gather in DC to ring in the last year of their administration.”

--- NewsBusted, Episode 12/23/2011 

NewsBusted is a conservative comedy webcast about the news of the day, uploaded every Tuesday and every Friday. Their newest NewBusted episode includes the excerpt above.

See right panel of this blog and click on the picture to watch this 2-3 minute comedy YouTube video.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A CHRISTmas Message: What Makes America Unique

May I remind everyone that the signers of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain also declared dependence on the Supreme Judge of the world and Divine Providence?

We know the Supreme Judge of the world to be the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is His birth we celebrate at Christmas.

It is faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His word that makes the United States, America.  This faith and obedience has been blessed by God making the United States  a great nation.

As more and more godless nihilists are placed into leadership positions, and the word of God is ignored, rejected, or disobeyed, the nation consequently declines in its greatness.  The people in positions of power in America today –- in Congress, in the media, in mainline churches, in academia, in Hollywood --  are all working towards America's eventual destruction.

Can you observe this taking place? The Judeo-Christian Bible clearly does:

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalms 9:17).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Obama: Is He Number Four or Number Two?

Cartoon found on ConservativeBytes on12/24/2011

Late Night Takes Hugo & Huma

Late Night Jokes

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Obama a clown and an embarrassment. You don't talk about our president that way. Our vice president, sure, that would be fine.

Anthony Weiner and is his wife, Huma, have given birth to a baby boy. He posted a photo of the new baby on Twitter, but people are afraid to open it.

These jokes are courtesy of which periodically sends out an email compilation of late night jokes, few of which are worth repeating . . . these were the exceptions.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Times That Try Men’s Souls (and Pocketbooks)

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country;  
“But he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

--- Thomas Paine

On December 23, 1776 General George Washington had his weary soldiers listen to these stirring words. Thomas Paine’s words inspired, invigorated, and motivated Washington’s badly beaten broken, hungry, shivering soldier-patriots to press on, despite the odds against them, to take Trenton and Princeton in key battle victories over the tyrannical British…
Likewise, today 235 years later, we watch RINO Speaker of the House John Boehner’s needless and silly surrender to the devious Democrats and despotic and demagogic President on the Social Security contribution relief gimmick.  In 2011 the TEA Party Movement and its principles have seen a series of terrible defeats, suffered under the ineffective GOP leadership of Boehner and Senate Minority Leader the feckless entrenched RINO Mitch McConnell.

Despite the glorious 2010 victory in the House, this year the GOP leadership has squandered the opportunity to build on that victory. Instead, they have done the opposite.
The relative small army of tested, committed individuals in both houses of Congress is up against the mighty forces whose goal is maintaining the status quo on the one side (Boehner, McConnell). At the same time this weary rag-tag army must fight the powerful forces pushing socialism (Obama, Reid, Pelosi, the media, academia, etc.) and Islam (State Department, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, etc.) on another side.

Thankfully, there is a core of strong conservative in both houses of Congress. There is Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Jim DeMint in the Senate. However, for every Paul, Lee and DeMint, there remains a dozen or more Chuck Schumers, Dick Lugars, and Rob Portmans. In the House we have some solid conservatives including Allen West, Michele Bachmann, Jim Jordan and Louie Gohmert.
Unfortunately this year, many in the GOP fold, both the old timers and the newcomers, like sheep just followed Mr. Boehner off the cliff, like lemmings. Especially hurtful and discouraging was the fact that many in the freshmen class -TEA Party espousing conservatives - were corrupted and/or intimated by their own leadership. Many caved in and compromised on key TEA Party principles and issues that got them elected in the first place, such as – the charade called the Debt Deal, the increase of Debt Ceiling, multiple Continuing Resolutions and now this stupid insignificant political ploy – the Social Security Contribution Relief gimmick. Many refused to stand their ground and to push ahead on controlling or even capping the spending or demanding a budget.

Unfortunately the congressional-soldier-patriots, these true conservatives receive little, if any, support from and often had to battle against the very leadership that was placed in power by the TEA Party Movement in 2010.
However outnumbered these modern-day congressional-soldier-patriots in the House and Senate fought vigorously and valiantly. But they badly need reinforcements. They’ll also need more moral, monetary and Movement support in 2012 from We the People, more than what we even provided them this year.

Therefore, American patriots, TEA Party participants, rally around the troops. They, we, both face a new year and an enemy more cruel and wicked than the British – Elite Establishment RINOs like John Boehner and avowed Socialists like Barack Obama, who are in power. We will battle those Establishment-friendly RINOs like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich who want to be in power. Let’s put forth a great effort in 2012 to save this nation from the Status Quo RINOs, the Occupy Wall Street Protestors and their Liberal backers and Supporters, and the Islamic Appeasers …


(1.)      A New Year, A New Speaker of the House! How About making someone like Colonel Allen West the New Speaker? We desperately need some real leadership in Congress. Someone who will fight for principle and not for the status quo.

(2.)      Select and then elect a real conservative nominee who will lead our country out of the socialist cesspool that the current Occupier of the White House has created for us. We don’t need a Mitt Romney who will just effectively manage that cesspool. Nor do we need Newt Gingrich who will further define and refine the cesspool. We need a Michele Bachman, Rick Perry, or Rick Santorum who will obliterate the cesspool and restore the principles that the George Washington and of late the TEA Party has fought for.

(3.)      Elect a dozen or more new conservative Senators, reinforcements for Paul, Lee, and DeMint, who will make things happen for good. People like Ted Cruz in Texas or Josh Mandel in Ohio would positively impact the needed change in Washington

(4.)      Elect another large group of Congressman who will stick by their principles against all odds and will not compromise principle. Fire all those in Congress, Republicans and Democrats, who voted for the Debt Deal or for increasing the Debt Ceiling.

A League of His Own: Johnson, Roosevelt, Lincoln, and Obama

Fourth Best or Very Worst?

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez found at The Tree of  Manre blog on 122311

NewsBusted: Obama is no Tebow

In last week’s GOP debate Rick Perry compared himself to Tim Tebow. But we here at NewsBusted wonder why nobody has compared President Obama to Tebow.
“Probably because whenever Obama drops the ball, he blames someone else!”

--- NewsBusted, Episode 12/16/2011

 NewsBusted is a conservative comedy webcast about the news of the day, uploaded every Tuesday and every Friday. Their newest NewBusted episode includes the excerpt above.

See right panel of this blog and click on the picture to watch this 2-3 minute comedy YouTube video.

Tim Tebow interviewed by Sean Hannity

Hat tip goes to the CableNewsGuy on YouTube for the video below. Forthright interview with controversial young NFL quarterback and refreshing reminder of what America was and hopefully still can be.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Star of Bethlehem Found?

I watched the DVD “The Star of Bethlehem” by Rick Larson a few days ago.  This definitely deserves an investigative report on this blog.  The DVD has been out for over a year, but I just recently got around to viewing it.  I want give you my take on it.

When reading the account of the star in Matthew, a Christian is faced with two possibilities.  Either the star was simply a miraculous occurrence which cannot be explained or it is something that we would recognize today and could potentially discover what it is by extrapolating the trajectories of the stars1 backward to the time of the birth of Christ. 

I must say that the idea that we must find a scientific proof or scientific explanation for events which occurred in the Bible is somewhat overused, at least by some.  I find little value in trying to explain how the waters parted at the Red Sea (or Reed Sea as it was) by showing the wind blew at just the right speed, direction, etc.  These details just don’t matter and no one can ever be sure of their particular theory anyway.  Its almost as silly as trying to say that the wind blew in the just the right manner to cause Jesus to walk on the water.  Miracles do not have to be explained scientifically, you just accept them by faith because you believe in God’s Word.

This whole idea of “looking for something that fits” sometimes leads people to see things as fulfillment of Scripture when it really isn’t.  These kinds of issues should not be accepted without much scrutiny.  The date of Christ’s birth and the date of the visit of wise men are unknown and Larson has a lot of space and time in which to find the two corresponding stellar events described in the Bible and then conclude what the dates are. 

Having said that, at least at first, I think the mystery of the Star is something that seems more interesting to delve into.  One reason for this is that laws of motion can be used to determine exactly how the stars were arranged at any given point in time, barring Divine intervention or miscalculation due to undiscovered forces2.  But you can’t wind by time and see what happened at the Red Sea.  For the moment, let’s assume that the Star obeyed naturalistic forces in the events described in Matthew.  Let’s put Larson’s theory to the test.

Now I must say that Larson takes this way beyond just finding out what the Star was.  He describes other astronomical events surrounding the birth and death of Christ.  I will briefly comment on these first. 

Even before I did any investigation on this subject, some alarms went off in my head about what was said about the constellations and the difference between astrology and authentic interpretation of Biblical signs in the sky.  Yes, one of the differences is that the astrologer believes that the stars are not just signs, but actually control the events.  But it is certainly not the only difference!  There is nothing in the Bible that says that the constellations Leo and Virgo have the symbolism attributed to it in the DVD.  These things were myths from pagan religion.  This is like looking at a horoscope and using it to interpret the Bible! 

How, then, you might ask could it be that such coincidences could occur at the time of Jesus birth?  Remember that we do not know for sure exactly when Christ was born.  Several years can be looked through until you find something that seems significant.  It probably isn’t a coincidence that Jupiter crosses a constellation representing a lion.  A lion is considered to be king of the animals in many cultures.  It would have made sense for the original astrologer to choose a star in this constellation to be the “king” star and a planet that frequently crosses it (more frequently than the DVD leads you to believe, according to AIG) to be the “king” planet.  And Leo doesn’t particularly look like a lion; it could just as easily be some other animal.  And think of all the symbols that are associated with Jesus: Lamb, Shepherd, Rock, Root of Jesse, Bright and Morning Star, etc.  With so many symbols, it is likely that if you look hard enough you’ll find something that looks like it in the sky.  But that wouldn’t be a real Biblical sign because the Bible doesn’t tell us to look for these things in sky.  It is dangerous to mix mythology with the Bible in this way and convince people that it is real because someone could use this idea to look for symbols in the sky and use it to predict future events which only God can foresee.  Also the constellation Virgo does not fit the description given in Revelation 12.  It has about 13 stars, but the description in Revelation says that the woman has a crown of 12 stars.  Virgo doesn’t even have a crown, much less 12 stars in it.  

Larson also describes an eclipse which supposedly fulfilled Joel’s prophecy (the moon would be turned to blood) by making the moon look red at the death of Jesus.  These events necessarily depend on Christ’s death being at 33 A.D.  That date is plausible3, but in Larson’s timeline, Christ’s birth was about 2-4 B.C.  That would make him about 35 years old when he died.  But his ministry began when he was 30 years old (Luke 3:23) and didn’t only last about 3 years4?  Halley’s Handbook calculates the date of Christ’s “coming” to be 26 A.D. (see Dainel 9:25) which (according to Halley) corresponds to beginning of his ministry, not his birth.5 According to the AIG article, the eclipse was only a partial eclipse which would not have produced a reddish colored moon.  Furthermore, this would not be a literal fulfillment of the prophecy, which I always favor.

The most interesting part about this movie is the Star itself and particularly the explanation of its motion as seen by the wise men as they approached Bethlehem.  Larson claims that the Star is really the planet Jupiter and that it was in conjunction with Venus at the time that it “went before” the wise men to Bethlehem.  Assuming a naturalistic explanation, the fact the Star “stopped”6 over Bethlehem could only be accomplished by a nearby object such a planet.  For purposes of this discussion, I am considering the motion of the Star (and all other heavenly bodies) to be relative the earth7.  In this perspective, the planets are revolving around both the earth (i.e. its rotation) and the Sun simultaneously.  These two simultaneous motions are what make possible the stoppage in motion of a planet relative to the earth. 

This stoppage in motion is described by Larson as a momentary change in direction (to the opposite direction).  But did this planet (Jupiter), according to Larson’s calculations, actually stop?  If the Star was moving either toward or away from the earth during the instant in which it “stopped” then it didn’t really stop, but only appeared to stop from the view of the observer who could not necessarily perceive that this was the case.  A literal interpretation would not allow this additional movement.  I am not saying that this is the case in Larson’s scenario (he didn’t describe it in that much detail in the DVD), but I must be skeptical until I see otherwise.

Did the planet actually stand over where the child was lying in a manger?  (I am just seeing if you are awake.  I really mean that house that Jesus was staying at the time that the wise men came, not stable that the shepherds visited!)  Again, I am a literalist, so the Star must have been collinear with the child and the center of earth.  That is the definition of “over”.  If Jupiter did not really stop over the child but only appeared to be over Bethlehem from the wise men’s line of sight, then this does not count.  Again, I don’t know whether or not Larson considered this detail.  If this were really true that Jupiter actually did all these things, then it is a very amazing and definitive proof of the events described in Matthew.  But according to the AIG article, Jupiter would have appeared near the horizon at the time of this conjunction. If this is the case, Larson's claim does not fit the biblical account.

What was the real star of Bethlehem, then?  Every reliable source that I have been able to find says that there is no naturalistic explanation for the Star as described in Matthew.  (Some articles attempt an explanation which includes Divine Intervention to move the star in the manner described in Matthew.  Some of these may be plausible, but are highly speculative.)  You just have to accept that it was a miracle that God performed at the proper time.  No scientific explanation is needed.

In conclusion with having done just a brief investigation of the “Star of Bethlehem” DVD (or even just giving it a little thought), I have to say that I don’t come to same conclusions that were arrived at by Mr. Larson.  There are many arguments which can be used to refute its claims on both a scientific basis and a theological basis.  Basically, the DVD exaggerates many things.

(1) For purposes of this discussion, “stars” include planets, comets, asteroids, meteors or anything else which would have been considered a star at that time.  The ancients were not mistaken that other objects are stars, but it is merely a matter of semantics.

(2) Couldn’t it be possible that gravitational field could have been disturbed by an object that is not now detectable?

(3) Assuming a Friday crucifixion, the date of Christ’s death was either 30 or 33 A.D.  See for a discussion of this.

(4) That is the weak link in my argument.  I have no definitive proof that Jesus’ ministry wasn’t much more than three years.

(5) It is interesting that Larson establishes that the Magi were from Babylon and may have been influenced by Daniel who wrote the prophecy of the seventy-sevens, which predicted the coming of Christ.  However, as mentioned above, it was not the date of his birth, but the beginning of his ministry that was predicted.

(6) “…it came and stood over where the young child was.” Matthew 2:9

(7) Larson uses the language of a Heliocentrist and affirms the Copernican claim that the earth revolves around the Sun and rotates about an axis.  But he explains that retrograde motion is the apparent motion of an object relative to the earth’s frame of reference and purports that this is what is being referred to when the Bible says that the Star “stopped” over Bethlehem.  But I, being a literalist, take it and all other passages referring motion of heavenly bodies to be absolute motion.  This view is referred to as geocentrism.  The question of which view is correct is not relative to this discussion.  However the fact that the literalism from which geocentrism springs is very relevant will be made manifest in the rest of the article.

Suggested Additional Reading:

Ohioans For Ohio Ballot Initiative

Here is a new sovereignty amendment for Ohio from Ohioans for Ohio.  It is much simpler than the sovereignty amendment already certified by the Attorney General and prepared by People's Constitution Coalition of Ohio.  This new amendment can read in its entirety at

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The (Kim Jong) IL is G O N E

Hat tip goes to where I first saw this video dishonoring the late North Korean communist despot. Or as Rush Limbaugh said yesterday Kim Jong Il just became Kim Jong Dead!