Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Is Trump Helping Church Divide Sheep from Goats?

Donald Trump has done a lot of things in his historic run for the presidency. One that truly caught my friend Phil Durt by surprise was what he believes is a dividing of the "sheep and the goats."

People are ending friendships over Trump -- real ones, not just on Facebook or on Capitol Hill -- and Christians have been split as well. Some, like Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore find Trump anathema to Christianity. But lots of others, including broadcaster James Dobson, may not necessarily like Trump, but feel he will at least keep the ship from sinking as quickly as Hillary Clinton.

Of course, those are the theologically conservative Christians. Many on the theological left are quite happy with Clinton and are universally opposed to Trump.

But those on the right are split. Phil doesn't hold that the anti-Trumpers are the sheep and the pro-Trumpers are the goats in his scenario. There are some of each in both groups, he says. And some of each backing Clinton, for that matter.

But the fight is getting most everyone to show their true colors, he said, making it a lot easier discern which really belong in the sheep pen.

Could God have raised up Donald Trump for such a purpose at this time? Phil thinks it's possible.

"For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth,"  Paul writes in Romans 9:17.


Owen Tew is the pen name for Greg Richter, a freelance writer whose work regularly appears on Newsmax. He also has had his work posted on, The Clyde Fitch Report, The Huffington Post and The Hill. Follow him on Twitter at @owentew.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Advice to a Democratic Voter Wanting to Vote Republican

A friend of mine who is a Democrat recently said he would not vote for any of the Republican candidates in a general election. Still, he is considering voting in Alabama's GOP primary on Tuesday, and was wondering who he should vote for. 
Here's my answer:
Depends on which candidate you least like to see as president, should the eventual outcome be a Republican. The nominee is going to either be Trump, Rubio or Cruz. If your goal is to do all you can to stop Trump, I'd say vote for either Rubio or Cruz so they could get closer to stopping him. Alabama this year is awarding GOP delegates as winner-take-all by congressional delegation, so you should probably vote for who has best chance in your area. I don't remember where you live exactly, but OTM or Shelby County would probably be Rubio. Anywhere else in Central Alabama is probably Cruz. Now, if you most want to stop Cruz -- or Rubio -- then vote for Trump. But if you want to vote for the least conservative candidate, vote Kasich. Kasich won't win any delegates in Alabama, but if you just are making a statement of which is closest to your thinking, that's who I'd advise.
Of course, not everyone is in a state like Alabama. Some do winner-take-all statewide, and some proportion the votes statewide. If you're in winner-take-all, just apply the advice I give above statewide instead of by your district. If proportional, vote for whomever you like best out of Trump, Rubio and Cruz.

This is a tweak of the advice I gave Republicans in Iowa ahead of the caucuses, which you can read at The Clyde Fitch Report.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fact-checking Obama on Guns: NRA's Real Opposition to Smart Guns

President Obama and CNN's Anderson Cooper discuss guns. (CNN)
President Barack Obama had an interesting argument during his Thursday town hall on CNN as to why the National Rifle Association opposes the sale of smart guns.

According to the president, "It has not been developed primarily because it's been blocked by either the NRA, which is funded by gun manufacturers or other reasons." (Read my reporting at Newsmax about it here.)

He's right that the NRA has persuaded gun makers not to produce smart guns, which could be fired only by the weapon's proper owner. Such technology uses either a chip worn in a watch or bracelet with must be close enough to the handgun to allow firing, or by recognizing the owner's grip.

Obama makes it sound like the gun manufacturers don’t want to sell such handguns to the public and has thus gotten the NRA to somehow put a stop to it.

There are two logical inconsistencies with that statement.

First, why would someone who makes a product be opposed to expanding their market and producing new products that some consumers want? Some people who don't own handguns now might be persuaded to become customers if they felt they could buy a safer product.

Second, even if they were opposed to making smart guns, why would they need a lobbying group to halt their own production of such a product. If they don't want to manufacture smart guns, they simply don't have to.

But if you parse Obama's words carefully, you'll notice he ended that sentence with "or other reasons."

He's right about that. And here is the other reason:

Back in 2002, New Jersey passed the Childproof Handgun Law, which aimed to decrease the number of children accidentally getting their hands on a gun and firing it – a noble goal.

But the law says that within three years of any gun shop owner in the United States beginning sale of a smart gun, every new handgun sold in New Jersey must be a smart gun.

Gun shop owners don't like this because it limits customer choice. It's like if New Jersey had said that once any candy store in the United States began selling peanuts covered in chocolate with a hard candy coating, that's the only kind of candy that could be sold in New Jersey. As soon as Peanut M&Ms hit the market, you couldn't buy regular M&Ms – or Snickers bars or Cracker Jack.

So you could either sell smart guns in New Jersey or you could sell no handguns at all. Smaller manufacturers would be cut out while the big boys like Smith & Wesson rake in all the money. People who want regular handguns would likely drive to another state to get them if that's even legal.

And smart guns are more expensive than their regular counterparts. A person like me who has never had children and rarely has them visit might feel he is wasting money to buy a smart gun. Or maybe he's responsible enough to keep his guns locked up without having to shell out the extra bucks for a smart gun.

So, yes, the NRA does oppose smart gun sales, but only insofar as New Jersey's law would trigger lack of choice.

"We'll work with the private sector. We'll figure out whether or not this technology can be developed and then give everybody a choice in terms of the kind of firearm that they want to purchase because I think that there will, in fact, be market for that and over time," Obama said Thursday.

We've heard something like that before – something about keeping our plans and our doctors if we like them.