Dr. Jim Denison: My Response to the Midterm Election

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My response to the midterm election
November 7, 2018  |  READ TIME: 5 minutes
The midterm election results are not yet finalized, but it is clear that Republicans increased their control of the Senate, while Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives.

At least 101 women were elected to the House, a new record. Two Muslim women and two Native American women are projected to win seats in Congress. The percentage of minority voters was the largest ever for a midterm election, reflecting the increasing diversity of the American population.

With yesterday’s vote, the US is returning to a divided government. Whether you are discouraged or encouraged with the results, one fact is clear: America’s democratic experiment worked yet again.

If a building could speak

The House of Representatives and Senate began meeting in the building we know as the US Capitol in 1800. The structure was expanded in 1850; some of the construction labor was supplied by slaves. The dome was enlarged and crowned with the “Statue of Freedom” in 1863.

Since the House and Senate first met in the Capitol on November 17, 1800, the building has seen the War of 1812 (in which it was partially burned), the Civil War, two World Wars, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and ongoing conflicts with global terrorism. Legislators met there during the Great Depression and the Great Recession.

The Capitol has witnessed presidential administrations from Thomas Jefferson to Donald Trump. It has survived fifty-four midterm elections and significant political turmoil. Over the past twenty-one midterm elections, the president’s party has lost an average of thirty seats in the House and four seats in the Senate.

Like its Capitol building, the United States of America has faced and overcome enormous challenges to our survival.

What explains our success?

We have the advantage of geography, with no national enemies on our borders. No foreign nation has successfully occupied the United States. By contrast, Israel has been occupied by at least eleven empires across its history. 9/11, which killed 2,977 Americans, was the worst attack by a foreign agent on our soil. By contrast, Nazi Germany’s siege of Leningrad in Russia led to more than three million casualties, with more than a million deaths.

We have the advantage of enormous natural resources. The United States is now the world’s leading producer of energy, ranking first in oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and geothermal power production.

Our people are among the most industrious in the world, producing the world’s largest economy and ranking among the world’s leaders in technology. We are far more religious and more optimistic than people in other wealthy nations.

As we’ll discuss tomorrow, our nation faces critical challenges. But beyond question, we are a country with remarkable resources and opportunities.

The heart of the American experiment

Assessing America biblically, however, I believe there is one factor that especially explains our resiliency in the face of political, economic, and cultural turmoil. It was on clear display in yesterday’s elections and is proclaimed in the closest statement to a national creed we possess: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This declaration identifies the cultural DNA at the heart of the American experiment.

It rejects the systems built on class and caste that dominated human history. Prior to America’s founding, the list of nations in which anyone could rise to the pinnacle of leadership was remarkably short. Kings and dictators ruled by right of birth or force.

The vast majority of the human race was consigned to lifelong servitude. A government “of the people, by the people, for the people,” as Abraham Lincoln so famously described America, was both novel and radical.

It was “self-evident” to our nation’s founders because they were steeped in a Judeo-Christian worldview. This perspective values each person as someone made by God in his own image (Genesis 1:26-27). According to Scripture, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female” in God’s eyes (Galatians 3:28).

I believe this emphasis on the innate worth of each person to be the foundational value that explains America’s ethos and success. No matter how frustrated we become with our leaders, we have a regular opportunity to cast ballots for change. The laws that regulate national life are produced by lawmakers who are accountable to the people they govern.

While our democracy is significantly flawed in practice, it contains the seeds of its own continued rebirth and regeneration. And it stands aligned with our Creator in embracing the intrinsic value of his highest creation.

The message America needs most

As we will see in tomorrow’s Daily Article, America’s focus on the individual is not only our foundational attribute but also our primal challenge. For today, whether your candidates won or lost yesterday, let’s recognize the fact that our democracy worked yet again.

But let’s also note that no “democracy” (the “power of the people”) can repair what is most fundamentally broken with the people. With all due respect to President Clinton’s first inaugural address, it is not true that “there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”

Even if America abolishes all poverty, crime, and war, every American will eventually die (unless Jesus returns first). Our greatest problem is spiritual–our sins have alienated us from God, each other, and ourselves. Our only solution lies outside ourselves, in a Savior who can forgive us, heal us, and restore us.

That’s why the gospel is the message America needs most. And it’s why faithful Christians are so vital to our future.

As our nation focuses on yesterday’s results, followers of Jesus know that our future is not dependent on political outcomes. Ten thousand millennia after the 2018 midterms are forgotten, every person you know will be alive, either with God in heaven or separated from him in hell.

Will you reflect the light of Christ to your dark culture today? Will you make him the Lord of your life, resources, and witness? Will you share what every American needs most to hear?

Martin Luther: “It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor.” Will you do your duty today?

NOTE: Life can get pretty hectic around the holidays. That’s why I want you to experience what really matters this Christmas by sending you a copy of my wife Janet’s 2018 Advent devotional guide, Joy to Your World.

As you read these devotionals, you’ll be reminded how the coming of Christ changed everything. And, as you encounter Jesus in fresh and powerful ways, my prayer is that you’ll be transformed as well.

Please click here to assure you’ll receive Joy to Your World in time for the Advent season. It’s our way of saying thank you for your donation today.

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Jim Denison, Ph.D., speaks and writes on cultural and contemporary issues. He is a trusted author and subject matter expert in areas where faith and current events intersect. His Daily Article provides leading insight for discerning today’s news from a biblical perspective.
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From Pastor Dewey Moede……

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18

It is very tough for a Republican to win a statewide race in New Mexico. Steve Pearce gave all he had, but New Mexico chose Michelle Lujan Grisham as its next Governor. New Mexico will miss Steve Pearce in Congress. Yvette Herrell, who won Pearce’s seat in District 2, will have her hands full trying to live up to the standard set by Pearce. We now pray for New Mexico and Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan Grisham.

I pray for unity in New Mexico, I pray for unity in following Biblical principals in all that is done at the Roundhouse! 2019 is going to bring a huge number of challenges to the state. I do not like what I am seeing. There will be a huge push now for legalizing marijuana.

I am very sad that more was not done in New Mexico over the last 8 years under Republican Governor Susana Martinez. So many, like me had great hopes Governor Martinez would turn our state around, that did not happen, it seems we went backwards. I remember interviewing her on KKIM the night she won her first term. My hopes were so very high. It seems like 8 wasted years. Our children suffer because of this, abortion, child abuse, murder, poor education, hunger, crime out of control, and on and one we go. And who will ever forget her famous ‘Pizza Party’!!

Here is an email that Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan Grisham sent out last night…….

I am so incredibly honored to be elected the next Governor of New Mexico.

This is day one of a new chapter in New Mexico’s history – and together, we’re going to chart a new course for our state. That means a thriving economy and investing in clean-energy jobs and the hardworking people of this state. That means affordable health care for every single person. That means well-funded public schools and universal pre-K for every New Mexico child.

Today is a turning point for New Mexico’s families – and there’s no way we would have gotten here without you.

Nothing – and I mean nothing – has inspired me more than the folks I’ve met out on the campaign trail. People who laced up their sneakers early on a Saturday morning to go knock on doors. People who clocked long hours on the phones calling voters. And people who sent us every dollar they could spare – who kept the lights on in our offices and our ads on the air.

I can never thank you enough for fighting with me these past 22 months – for believing with me that a brighter future is possible and for casting your vote for a blue New Mexico. But I can promise you that, as Governor, I’m going to fight for you and your family, every single day, and work hard to justify your confidence in me.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for being a part of my team. I can’t wait to get started.

Michelle

***********************************

I pray that the turning point is to look to JESUS and His Words and Ways, that goes for all, Democrats and Republicans. The Republicans just wasted 8 years. Let us all pray for our Governor-Elect and New Mexico this new chapter is from the Bible.

Election Results, Lujan Grisham Wins Governor Race in NM

Also go here for results NMvote.org

Joe Monahan
Election Day blog at joemonahan.com

FROM JOEMONAHAN.COM–BernCo Tsunami Felt Statewide As Dems Sweep; Herrell Lone Bright Spot For R’s (Maybe!); Dem State House Pick Ups Could Reach 7; GOP Icons Fall; Anti-Trump Sentiment Sends Turnout Soaring; Possible MLG Staff Chief Floats; Udall Announces 2020 Re-elect; Ben Ray To Leadership?

A blue tsunami washed over Bernalillo County Tuesday night, flattening the Republican Party and making possible a Democratic sweep of every major statewide office. The damage was so thorough that it appeared Bernalillo County might have only one Republican state representative in Santa Fe at the next legislative session in January.

Swept away was Republican gubernatorial nominee Steve Pearce who lost BernCo 62 to 38 to Michelle Lujan Grisham and lost the state 57-43.

The two opponents of Senator Martin Heinrich never showed. He won a second term with 53 percent. Dem Deb Haaland managed 59 percent in a three way race to take the ABQ congressional seat.

GOP state land commissioner candidate Pat Lyons was defeated by Dem Stephanie Garcia Richard 50 to 44 with 6 for a Libertarian candidate. She beat him in BernCo by over 35,000. It was the first ever defeat for Lyons, yet another sign of the Dem wave.

Republican foes of Attorney General Hector Balderas, State Auditor candidate Brian Colon and State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg were all overwhelmed as were the GOP opponents of four Democratic women seeking seats on the NM Court of Appeals. The ten member court will now have its most women members in history.

The only bright light for the GOP was an apparent close win–50-49 by southern GOP congressional candidate Yvette Herrell who closed out Democrat Xochitl Torres Small to emerge in a race that drew national interest and money.

Herrell led by about 2,000 votes as of 2 a.m. but Torres Small was holding off on any concession because:

“Dona Aña County had about 4,000 absentee ballots still to be counted. The absentee precinct board was to reconvene at 10 a.m. to continue the tabulation. In addition, there are another 4,000 votes that haven’t been added to the published results yet, for a total of 8,000 votes outstanding, officials said.”

Pretty wild.

AN EXISTENTIAL EVENT

The rout, which will see the Democrats gain as many as 7 seats in the state House, raised fundamental questions about the future of the NM GOP. Former ABQ GOP State Senate Diane Snyder, appearing on our KANW 89.1 FM election coverage, spoke for Republicans statewide as she declared;

We must simply find a way to figure out Bernalillo County.

The D landslide in BernCo was matched by ones in blue Santa and Taos counties. In Taos Lujan Grisham received a stunning 81 percent of the vote; in Santa Fe it was 79%.

It was this county troika that was deadly to the R’s and threatens to undermine them for years to come. The three counties are hardening into Democratic citadels akin to what we have seen in California and Oregon. And Dona Ana is not far behind.

Turnout soared, especially in BernCo where 57 percent of the registered voters came out–over 240,000. That is a shout away from what you get in presidential election years. The anti-Trump vote was galvanized, noted NM House Speaker Brian Egolf, as he surveyed the GOP carnage from his war room at the Hotel ABQ.

Several House seats appeared headed to recounts but the existential threat the R’s face in ABQ (and thus NM) was nowhere more evident than in the ABQ NE Heights seat of the late Republican Larry Larranaga. An 82 year old physician, Bill Pratt, was given little chance of winning but is now on his way to the Roundhouse, an affirmation that the blue creep in big BernCo is now overtaking territory once considered unassailable by Democratic assaults.

YOUNGBLOOD FALLS

ABQ GOP State Rep. Monica Youngblood thought she had a chance. She sent out a letter to her constituents apologizing for her aggravated DWI conviction. But the tsunami showed no mercy and she was drowned in a landslide by Dem foe Karen Bash, a 72 year old retired minister.

UNHEEDED CRIES

Cries for help were heard in other once conservative bastions but they went unheeded. Rep. James Dines fell along with longtime GOP icons Brad Winter and Jimmie Hall.

All were defeated by women who may now hold 31 of the 70 state House seats, a watershed moment in state politics. And the first Muslim ever elected to the state House engineer Abbas Akhil, who unexpectedly defeated Dines, will sit with them.

When all is said and done and in some cases recounted , the state House could go from a 38 to 32 majority to as much as 45 or 46. And it may not get better for a long, long time. The new Democratic Governor will be in her chair when legislative redistricting takes place in 2021.

Michael Lujan Grisham

The Governor-elect’s first order of business was to chastise her staff on statewide TV for not having her acceptance speech placed in the teleprompter. She yelled out for assistance but none was forthcoming so she told the crowd she would “speak from her heart.” She could have read from the telephone book and pleased the crowd, so delirious they were over her smashing victory.

She leaned on familiar themes–universal pre-K, renewable energy and teacher pay–to fill the time. The undelivered speech released to the media was actually quite similar to her ad libbed remarks. No news was made.

But the Alligators have news. They always do. So hold on.

LAWRENCE RAEL

A Senior Alligator reports to us the mystery over who will hold the powerful post of chief of staff to soon-to-be Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham may have an answer. That answer could be Lawrence Rael, a bureaucrat’s bureaucrat who has served as Chief Administrative Officer to several ABQ mayors and who is currently Chief Operating Officer for ABQ Mayor Mayor Tim Keller.

Rael is a native New Mexican who ran for the Dem Guv primary in 2014. The chief of staff position would put him directly in the orbit of the office that he has long thirsted for. He also has the administrative experience to run the day to day affairs of state government, a skill set not readily available on the Democratic bench.

Insiders say the transition of the new administration is still being fleshed out. The Governor-elect could begin by nominating cabinet appointees who could then lead the transition for their departments, but that’s just one scenario. A transition announcement is set for 2 p.m. today.

STEVE PEARCE

Pearce, 71, said in defeat that he is not ready for retirement. Well, he can always watch over his business interests, but as an elected official he is done. However, he will have a say on the future of the GOP because of Herrell’s election to the congressional sea.t Both are foes of the Gov. Martinez/Jay McCleskey wing of the party and will try to rebuild it in their image–not theirs.

For her part, Herrell, who is now the most prominent elected GOP official in the state had this to say:

It’s a good thing for the district that I like to talk. Because I am going to be talking about New Mexico shared values for the next two years.

“Shared values” seemed to be a call for unity by the pro-Trump Herrell. Will she moderate a tad in an attempt to lead the state GOP and in preparation for 2020? After all Xochitl appears ready to try again.

BEN RAY LUJAN

The Democrats reclaimed the US House Election Night and that means the star of NM Dem US Rep Ben Ray Lujan, chair of the Dem Congressional Campaign Committee, is shining brightly. Is a House leadership position in his future? Could be. Sources on the Hill say that the job of Assistant Democratic Leader could be vacated by Rep. Jim Clyburn paving the way for Nancy Pelosi to name Lujan to the job. Pelosi appears poised to retake the Speaker’s gavel.

SENATOR TOM UDALL

Udall stamped out the “not running” in 2020 rumors once and for all in an interview with me on KANW. He referenced our Monday blog in which we quoted insiders who said he was ready to run after months of rumors that he would not. Udall, 70, said those insiders have it right. He is off and running. The Dems lost power in the US Senate last night, but NM turned even deeper blue, making another Udall run an easier task. Truly a mixed night for him.

Thanks to the radio team for the great work Election Night. It was as good as it gets.

Reporting from Albuquerque, I’m Joe Monahan

Democrats flip the House as Republicans add Senate seats in red states
The Washington Post

The most expensive midterm elections in modern times underscored the nation’s deep polarization, but fell short of delivering a sweeping repudiation of Trump. Read the full story

Abortion. Marijuana. Voting rights. These successful ballot measures are transforming state law.
Los Angeles Times

Efforts to make voter registration easier. Marijuana legalization. Limits on abortion. Read the full story

 

Shared from Apple News

Will our new Governor and Legislature address this horrible issue? Its hard enough to get Pastors to pay attention to this very important issue!

From Dr. Guy Clark………

The Santa Ana Pueblo opened a sports betting parlor on Oct. 16, then the state lottery board voted unanimously to offer a sports betting lottery game. The Santa Ana operation is in violation of federal law, and the lottery would violate state law.

The management at the Santa Ana operation has apparently not read the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988, the foundation of all tribal gambling or wants to ignore it. IGRA Section 2710 (d)(1)reads, “Class III gaming activities shall be lawful on Indian lands only if such activities are (B) located in a State that permits such gaming for any purpose by any person, organization, or entity. …” New Mexico has not legalized sports betting, distinctively different from legalized gambling activities already in our state, therefore Santa Ana Pueblo is violating federal law in opening its sports betting operation.

The lottery board is suggesting since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in the suit initiated by the NCAA against the state of New Jersey, the court waved a magic wand and made sports betting legal throughout the U.S. No such thing happened. The court basically ruled the federal government does not have the authority to determine state law regarding sports betting but the states are responsible for deciding whether or not to legalize it. Sports betting has not been legalized in New Mexico, which makes a lottery game featuring it illegal under state law.

Other tribes are working with their state agencies to allow tribal sports betting. The Mississippi band of Choctaw Indians just recently began sports betting operations since their 1994 compact specifically allows tribal “sports pools” if the state legalizes it off-reservation. Their Mississippi gaming control act was amended in 2017 to allow off-reservation sports gambling, automatically allowing the tribe to legally follow suit. Oklahoma has a bill working through the legislature that could approve tribal sports betting. … A handful of other states, including California and Connecticut, have tribes encouraging legislation legalizing tribal sports gambling, but none … have attempted a fait accompli, springing it on the public without proper coordination with their state.

A number of states, including Nevada, New Jersey and Mississippi, have commercial sports betting parlors. … Several other states, including New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, have passed legislation legalizing sports betting but have not begun operation. Over a dozen other states have pending sports gambling legislation. But all  have followed constitutional or legislative processes to obtain permission from their states to operate sports betting, adhering to the Supreme Court decision.

Apparently Santa Ana Pueblo and the lottery board think they are operating in a Third-World country and can ignore state and constitutional and statutory requirements for introducing a new form of gambling. They are the only ones in the U.S. to act in such a brazen, unlawful manner.

Canada, Australia and Britain have been flooded with online sports betting, and the newspapers are full of articles about the spectacular damage done to teens and young adults by the pervasive advertising and resulting addiction to sports betting. We have way too much gambling addiction in New Mexico already. The Legislature should resist any effort to legalize it in future legislative sessions.

Stop Predatory Gambling New Mexico calls on Attorney General Hector Balderas to take Santa Ana to federal District Court to get a cease-and-desist order against the tribal sports betting, and to let the lottery board know it would be violating state law if it attempts to operate a sports betting lottery game and would be prosecuted.

The state needs to get out of the predatory gambling racket.

 

ATLANTIC MONTHLY ARTICLE REVEALS HOW CASINOS ENABLE GAMBLING ADDICTS

 

The Atlantic Monthly published an article last month titled, “How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts.”  It does a good job of revealing how casinos and slot machines intentionally deceive and addict their patrons.

 

This is a long read in the Atlantic, but it is the best article by a major media source on the intentional exploitation of gamblers by casino owners.  One of the best quotes in the article is by Richard Daynard, president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, and the godfather of the anti-tobacco litigation in the 80’s.  He is quoted as saying:

 

“The business plan for casinos is not based on the occasional gambler. The business plan for casinos is based on the addicted gambler.”

 

Read this and think of the possible duty of care and consumer protection violations that are occurring in New Mexico.

 

legislators and the New Mexico public may think that casino legislation is a thing of the past in the state, but efforts of the lottery to legalize gambling on mobile devices, and the effort to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports constitute introductory efforts that would eventually lead to legalized online casino gambling.  This is the ultimate goal of the big players in the gambling “industry.”  We need to make sure that the legislature does not get either of these two gambling expansions legalized in our state.

 

It is time for the government to get out of the predatory gambling business.

Dr. Guy Clark pictured

Don’t Let an Election Steal Your Song…….

 

 

BIBLE MEDITATION:

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:3-4

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

Habakkuk cried out in verse 1, “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and Thou wilt not hear! Even cry out unto Thee of violence, and Thou wilt not save?’” He says, “God, I have been praying and praying. Why is Heaven silent? Why don’t You hear my prayer?”

Then he realized, in such a day, the just are going to live by faith.

Put your faith in God—that He is King evermore. That’s how you’ll live in this day and age. Faith is what keeps us going in dark days.

Faith sees beyond the physical to the spiritual, beyond the present to the future, beyond the temporary to the eternal. Faith does not judge by the appearances of the hour.

Don’t lose your faith. Faith cannot fail. Sin cannot win. Faith is the only message that will see us through, the only force that can change anything.

If we want a better land and life, we have to live by faith. Government cannot make us better; only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do that.

ACTION POINT:

When Habakkuk wrote his book, he said, “It’s for an appointed time” (Habakkuk 2:3). I believe it was for today. He said, “Tell the minister of music not to stop singing.” Don’t let anything steal your song. Keep on singing. Keep on praising. Keep on believing. Keep on loving. Our God reigns! “And the just will live by his faith.”

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