Friday, March 23, 2012

My Run-In With A Liberal, and Talk About Oil

I recently got into a discussion on Facebook with a friend of mine from high school regarding the history of oil and gas prices.  He believes that "green" energy is the only way to become energy independent and that the U.S. is unfairly using more than it's share of the world's oil, citing the alleged fact that we produce 20% of the supply but use 80% of it.  This was my rather lengthy reply.

In 1973 the Nixon administration (yes a Republican) began over-regulating the production of oil in the U.S. making it necessary to increase foreign imports (up to 35% of U.S. consumption). In the same year, the U.S. sent military assistance to Israel who had been attacked by members of OPEC.  In retaliation OPEC placed an oil embargo on the U.S. and increased the price for other nations by 70%. Oil in the U.S. then had to be rationed to the people (you could only get gas at certain times, and never on Sundays). 

Since then, more and more regulations have been put on U.S. production of oil starting with Carter's MEOW initiative and creation of the Department of Energy, making it harder and harder to drill for domestic oil and causing us to be more and more dependent on foreign oil. This is not, as some would have us believe, because we are "running out of oil." The U.S. is sitting on one of the largest oil reservoirs in the world, an estimated 2.3 trillion barrels (300 years) worth to be exact. It is current technology and excessive regulation that is preventing us from getting at it.   

The 20% and 80% figures that the Obama used in his reelection speech are blatantly stretched considering that those figures only apply to current tapped reserves; they do not include the amount of oil that is not being drilled or used in the current economy. So yes the U.S. government is being selfish because we refuse to drill for our own oil and would rather drain the supplies of other nations instead.

Special thanks to: Buy and Hold, Antenna Group, and Kiplinger.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Was America Founded a Christian Nation?

There are two ideologies regarding America’s religious heritage: 1. that it was founded on a Christian belief system, or 2. that it was founded on the separation of church and state.  The belief that America was founded as a Christian nation dates back to the Providential Religious philosophy, which states that America’s success was granted by God because it was founded in order to be the proverbial “city on a hill” to be an example of Christianity to the rest of the world.  Evidence used to support this theory is found in the Puritan’s quest from Britain in order to escape persecution from religious tyrants.  The Puritan’s desired the freedom to worship God in the way that they saw fit, and not the way that a king or a totalitarian religious leader told them to (similar to the modern day Catholic controversy).  This thesis does not speak for all people that came to America or the natives of the American continent, and therefore cannot be conclusive evidence that the United States was founded solely as a Christian nation.
The belief that America was founded on the belief in separation of church and state is based in part in the Providential Secular philosophy.  This view states that the Constitution was written in the heart of the Enlightenment period, where religion became less popular and “science” and “logic” replaced it as the socially acceptable school of thought.  The phrase “separation of church and state” is not actually mentioned in the Constitution, but was a phrase that Thomas Jefferson used in a letter to the Danbury Baptists to assure them that the new government would not interfere with their religious practices.  Many who subscribe to the separation of church and state view believe that this works both ways and that the church should not have anything to do with the government either.  History provides evidence to the contrary however, with the examples of churches run on a state level in colonial Massachusetts and Maryland.  These state funded churches were considered acceptable; it was the federal or nationally mandated churches that the American people wanted protection from.
            It is difficult to take the small section of the colonial population (the Puritans) or the colonial equivalent to an email reply from one of the Founding Fathers and base an entire nation’s religious views on just that information.  However, I am more inclined to belief that America was founded as an essentially Christian nation, as the European founders that wrote the Constitution did not base their value system on Islam, Buddhism, Eastern mysticism, or any other religion besides Christianity.  The very words of the 1st Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” indicates that the founders desired to be free to practice religion, not be separated or protected from it.  56 men signed the Declaration of Independence, and 52 of them were indeed active members of their respective churches.  While not all of the colonists, natives, or even the founders themselves were Christians, the United States Constitution was in large part based on Christian principles and values which is why they are such a controversy today.
Locations of visitors to this page