Afghanistan (series)

My Prayer for Afghanistan

Photo credit: “Afghan Children,” Ginny Barahona, 2004, 
Creative Commons

August 16, 2021

Eternal God, Creator of all we see and Lord over all we do not see, we turn to You this night.

We worship You as the God of history, of time and space. You set the world in motion, You made the seas, the mountains, wildlife of all kinds––and You said that it was “good.”

You made man in Your image––male and female You created them––and You said that it was “very good.”

We, to whom You gave dominion over all the earth, have often turned to our own devices. We acknowledge that sin infects every part of creation––beginning with the human heart.

This night we plead with You for the innocents in Afghanistan.

Those who name the name of Christ stand to be cut down in the coming days and weeks. Lord, make them strong to the end; may Your Name be lifted up by their testimony. Nothing is too difficult for you, O God. May Your eternal purposes flower in their lives.

Women and children are vulnerable to brutal attacks by fighters, or to being sold into the hell of human trafficking. Lord, set at liberty those who are oppressed, we pray.

People with unapproved political affiliations await slaughter. Enable those among them who love Jesus to bear strong witness in their final hours. Help them to proclaim liberty to the captives––and captors––alike.

Many from other countries, who are there for reasons of commerce or charity or religious witness, are in danger. Set a hedge around them, we pray, and increase the faith of their loved ones back home.

Give protection and success to our military forces, as they seek to hold back the hand of the oppressor and to deliver those who are in peril. And be very near to their families.

We pray for our leaders. Help them to look earnestly to You and, as they do, please give them all the wisdom that they need.

As a nation, O God, bring us to repentance. Replace open defiance with sincere devotion to Your Word. May the Prince of Peace take up residence in our hearts, that we might bring glory to You and blessing to the world.

Hear our prayer, Oh God, in the mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.


The Diplomatic Fissure of My Lifetime

Photo: The Telegraph, 18 August 2021

British military leaders, and Members of Parliament across the political spectrum (historically our closest ally in the western world), spare few words for President Biden. In British English:

“…throwing us and everybody else to the fire.”


“particularly distasteful and dishonouring”

“absolutely the wrong call”

Mr. Biden’s withdrawal “is, and will be seen by history as, a catastrophic mistake which may well prove to be the defining legacy of his presidency.”

On Wednesday, “General Sir Nick Carter, the head of the Armed Forces, accused the US of ‘shattering’ the morale of Afghan troops when they stopped air strikes.”

“Senior former UK defence figures criticised Mr Biden, with Lord Dannatt, the former head of the British Army, saying: ‘The manner and timing of the Afghan collapse is the direct result of President Biden’s decision to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of 9/11.’”



Passing the Baby in Kabul

August 21, 2021
Lord, bless this child’s life and give the parents hope in You.

According to the Army Times, the baby has been cared for by medical professionals, and has been reunited with the father at the airport. (No information that I’ve found about the mother.) Pray….

August 20, 2021

No image better depicts what our Nation and our Uniforms means to others than this photo.

An Afghan mother, in desperation, passes her baby to a US Uniform.

She may never see her child again, but she knows that child, will have a far better life than the one she knows and from what her mother saved her from.

She knows this because the Uniforms she saw were entirely honorable and displayed the best of our humanity.

Their performance stirred her innermost core of Motherhood when survival became the dominate issue.

All the genetic protective mechanisms that drive motherhood made this wrenching decision.

It is this image that shows the incredible value our Uniforms have in representing what we are all about.

If any Uniform, past or present, that served in Afghanistan, wonders if it was worth it, this photo answers the question.


 For Those Who Served in Afghanistan

A tribute and encouragement for those who served in Afghanistan, from Vietnam Veteran Marine Colonel Keith Nightingale (Ret.).

August 17, 2021

OK. Take a deep breath and put your mind in neutral.

Yes-Afghanistan has fallen and we left a lot of blood there.

No-You and our combat casualties did not serve in vain.

You shined a light in some of the darkest places on the globe.

You did your job. You supported righteous endeavors.

You ensured tens of thousands of terrorists never died from old age.

You showed, for a brief shining moment, what American values are all about.

A moment some others may not be able to share.

You did this in obscurity and without public note, but to those that witnessed, you made a difference that will resonate far past your absence.

You were an American displaying what we as a Nation are surely all about.

Above all else, you were supremely, demonstrably honorable.

Many others cannot say that.

You brought smiles to countless people who otherwise would have nothing to smile about.

For a moment in time.

The “agonizing reappraisals” can be left to policy makers, historians, and the American people. Not your job.

Rest easy, You, those that served, gave our dead and wounded meaning by your presence and participation in something greater than yourself.

You are and were our Praetorian Guard-providing purpose and pride to a Service in which many others, acting on a higher plane, could not match the honor.

You well served the small band of family you were with as your successors will wherever they are asked to serve. As they surely will.

Our Nation depends upon its well of citizens willing to serve for all of us, not just some of us.

Causes and policies will change, but the quality of your service will not and cannot.

That would be a betrayal to what serving is all about and for which we, the 99% who do not fight, expect.

Others may have cause for judgement. You do not.

We have no choice.

You do.

Rest easy. You can sleep well. Some other citizens may not.


Exposé of Biden

August 21, 2021

“Everyone who said for decades that Biden was a lightweight ill-equipped to handle a major crisis has been vindicated.”

This is a long exposé of Biden. It helped me understand how he has brought such dishonor upon America.



The Problem with Biden

August 23, 2021


Glenn Beck raises $22 million in 2 days to rescue Afghan Christians



Satire from the Babylon Bee



August 25, 2021


Behind the Scenes

August 26, 2021


Melania Trump

August 27, 2021


On China (series)

PHOTO: Creative Commons/Joe Tymczyszyn

1. On China: I Love the People

By Jim DeCamp, 4/7/2020

…not the policies of their government  

In the 1890s, my maternal grandparents left Virginia for China. My grandfather, a doctor, built a hospital in a town north of Shanghai, named Love and Mercy Hospital. (Photo in 1894. They shared the Good News of Jesus as they identified with the people.) I have always loved China––her beauty, her people––and been inspired by her history. 

Sadly, in the coming weeks there will be much to report of the brutality and cunning nature of the Chinese government. I do so out of love for the long-suffering people of China, and for the safety and security of people around the world.

2. On China: A New Series

By Jim DeCamp, 4/14/2020

PHOTO: Creative Commons/Joe Tymczyszyn

…toward understanding

The world is changing virtually at the speed of electrons. Take a virus, add confusion, stir in geopolitical tensions, and one is tempted to head for the exits.

But wait: at the human level knowledge answers fear; understanding builds confidence; courage secures the future. And we need all of these virtues.

Yet there’s more. With the God of History there is much more. This series on China rests in the knowledge that the Conductor of the Universe––the “Potentate of Time,” to borrow from Matthew Bridges’ wonderful hymn “Crown Him with Many Crowns”––this Creator of us all, has a sure and certain plan. (To friends who may not share these beliefs: I treasure our friendship.)

3. On China: The Great Wall

By Jim DeCamp, 4/15/20


Security called for a wall, producing one of the most spectacular engineering feats in human history.


> To secure China against attacking nomads from the north.The Chinese military sent smoke and firebrand messages between “fire towers” on the Great Wall, to sound alarms and summon soldiers.

> To ensure revenue and safeguard commerce.Lucrative trade routes passed through the few gates in the wall, where tax and tariff officers waited.

> To protect culture. The creativity and refinement of Chinese art, along with family traditions, were threatened by invaders who thought nothing of such virtues.


> The longest fortified line ever built, totaling over 13,000 miles.

> Interestingly, there was not just one wall, but multiple overlapping and/or disconnected defensive structures.

> Over the centuries there were changes in the threat, as well as new dynasties rising to power. Construction began as early as the 7th century BC. It continued, off and on, into the 17th century, AD.

> Size: about 25 feet high, with a 25-foot base which tapered to about 15 feet at the top.

> Towers up to 40 feet in height––every 300 yards––kept watch. Soldiers and weapons moved rapidly atop the wall to the address any danger.

> Built of “brick or dressed granite shell, filled with earth, and covered with a very hard coating of bricks in lime.” (World Book Encyclopedia, 1957 edition, which I used as a kid.)


> For an individual: You can always do more than you think you can.

> For a nation: Serious needs summon strength.

> For perspective: We live in a thin slice of history. We should be grateful for those who have traveled before us, and sobered by what we may hand our descendants.

> For geopolitics: Every country has a history, culture, economy, military, government, faith, hardships, and a self-image.

> For education: *Serious study* of history affords 1) lessons from others’ mistakes, and 2) knowledge, understanding, and wisdom upon which we can address the crises of our own day.

4. On China: The Belt and Road Initiative

By Jim DeCamp, April 22, 2020


…Preying on weak countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America, the expansionism of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is a threat to international stability and to the U. S.

It has also been referred to as China’s “One Belt, One Road” International Infrastructure Project. Below is a post from 2018. More posts to come on this strategically significant subject.



If you’re interested in the complexities of international affairs, this will be a fascinating article. It discusses:

1. China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) attempts to make economic and political inroads into Asia, Africa, Europe…even South America.

2. China’s use of OBOR to obligate poorer countries in the construction of transportation facilities then, when money dries up, take them over.

3. China’s persecution of millions of Muslims in its westernmost province.

4. How Turkey (headed now by a radical Islamist) had denounced this Chinese persecution.

5. How Turkey, weakened economically by sanctions and isolated politically, needs assistance from and recognition of China.

6. How Turkey, in return, has curtailed criticism of China’s persecution, and has agreed to participate in OBOR.

Further intriguing factors: Turkey has imprisoned many political prisoners including American pastor, Andrew Brunson; the U.S. is leaning heavily on Turkey to release Pastor Brunson; [speculation, though possible] in exchange for the U. S. working with China on a North Korea solution, China may agree to pressure Turkey to release this American pastor.

This kind of plotting goes on every day in almost every country. It’s grist for someone’s term paper. I’d love to read it.

[UPDATE: Pastor Brunson, imprisoned in 2016, was released on Oct. 12, 2018.]

Link to full article: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2018/08/20/turkey-says-it-will-more-actively-join-chinas-one-belt-one-road-after-u-s-sanctions/?fbclid=IwAR2UU_4Uvlw05Y892E–_AZpSMrd3yW0JnHarzbPsA4QVh5GJYxp-1PkQOM

5. On China: Probing Communist China

By Jim DeCamp, April 24, 2020

PHOTO: Ambassador Haley / National Review / Brendan McDermid/Reuters

…investigating/stopping Communist China’s deception and manipulation

Through her new group, Stop Communist China, Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and U. S. ambassador to the U. N., wants Congress to:

✔️ Require American colleges and universities to disclose all Chinese Communist government funding of professors and researchers.

✔️ Investigate China’s initial coverup of the virus outbreak.

✔️ End China’s stranglehold on medical supplies and pharmaceuticals.

✔️ Force China to contribute to international organizations in an amount fitting the second largest economy in the world.

✔️ Support Taiwan by calling out China’s bullying, and allow Taiwan into the World Health Organization (WHO).

6. On China: Suing for COVID-19 Damages

By Jim DeCamp, April 26, 2020

PHOTO: Creative Commons / Studio Incendo

…salient points on behalf of the U. S. and all nations affected

From Jonathan F. Keiler in American Thinker––link below. (Another post to follow on legal grounds for filing suit.)


✔️ Force evidence into the open.

✔️ Serve as future deterrent to China / other aggressor regimes.

✔️ Force Democrats and media to choose: U. S. or China.WHY CHINA SHOULD BE HELD LEGALLY LIABLE

✔️ Security lapses at Wuhan infectious disease laboratory.

✔️ After outbreak known, international travel allowed in and out of Wuhan.

✔️ Attempts to hide the outbreak / failed to manage the outbreak.

✔️ Result: International humanitarian disaster.POSSIBLE COURSES OF ACTION

✔️ International Court of Justice.

✔️ An ad hoc international tribunal.

✔️ Many other countries could join the U. S.

✔️ China’s refusal to cooperate could support unilateral U. S. action.


7. On China: Grounds for Suing

By Jim DeCamp, April 29, 2020

PHOTO: Daily Wire, Tim Spyers/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

…why the Chinese Communist Party is not immune from prosecution.


The first state to sue”On information and belief, the Communist Party is not an organ or political subdivision of the PRC, nor is it owned by the PRC or a political subdivision of the PRC, and thus it is not protected by sovereign immunity.”



Complaint filed by Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman “…Such actions violated a number of international treaties, the complaint contends, including the ‘Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons.’”



Pursue avenues other than corrupt international institutions. “China’s failures render it legally liable under international law, but the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the crisis of ineffectiveness and corruption of international institutions. Instead of focusing on international law, the U.S. should thus protect its national interests by opting for the self-help mechanism.”

NR goes on to illustrate how “China has rendered the U.N. impotent,” and how China has a history of ignoring international court judgements.


8. On China: China’s Deception and the World’s Awakening

by Jim DeCamp, May 4, 2020

PHOTO: The Daily Telegraph / The P4 Laboratory in Wuhan / Hector Retamal/AFP

…viral lies about life and death

From The TownHall (1), The Daily Telegraph (2), The Daily Wire (3)

1. AUSTRALIA, JAPAN, THE UK, THE U.S….world-wide backlash against China’s treachery




3. CHINA INTENTIONALLY CONCEALED THE SEVERITY, HOARDED SUPPLIES…U. S. Dept. of Homeland Security Report, May, 2020.Sec. of State Pompeo: “I think the whole world is united in understanding that China brought this virus to the world.”


9. On China: Inroads into U.N. Agencies

by Jim DeCamp, May 11, 2020

PHOTO: AK Rockefeller, “United Nations Logo,” Creative Commons

…and the growing suspicion China is raising
…three articles from The Diplomat


China already leads four of the UN’s 15 specialized agencies, and five more lead positions are opening up.Meanwhile, China has co-opted the World Health Organization (WHO).


…China’s persecution of political and religious enemies, notwithstanding.

…to influence other countries, to build its own military, to appear as a partner for peace.

10. On China: Increased Pressure

By Jim DeCamp, May 18, 2020

PHOTO: President Trump, Creative Commons / Samira Bouaou / The Epoch Times

…through high-tech manufacturing (1), stock market oversight (2), and by capitalizing on China’s crumbling reputation (3).


The Daily Wire: Taiwan to build $12B chip plant in U.S.: 1,600 high-tech professional jobs, thousands more jobs “in the semiconductor ecosystem.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “The U.S. welcomes Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s intention to invest $12B in the most advanced 5-nanometer semiconductor fabrication foundry in the world. This deal bolsters U.S. national security at a time when China is trying to dominate cutting-edge tech and control critical industries.”



Politico: Long-overlooked sores don’t heal in a day, yet pressure on China could be growing. Bipartisan legislation would force China to comply with U. S. accounting rules. Trump agrees, while sounding caution lest Chinese companies “move to London or…to Hong Kong.”



Victor Davis Hanson in National Review: China’s weakened state is due to its coronavirus scandal, trade war with U.S., one million Uighur Muslims in reeducation camps, crackdown on Hong Kong freedom demonstrators, massive surveillance of the Chinese people. “The world is now both terrified and put off by China….”


11. On China: China Steals U. S. Research

By Jim DeCamp, June 15, 2020

PHOTO: National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland campus/ The Epoch Times

…related to China’s Thousand Talents Program, which pays scientists in exchange for information
…from The Epoch Times (1) and (2), and Breitbart (3) and (4).


“The NIH effort is part of a larger U.S. government campaign to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) infiltration of American academia.”The NIH warned universities in 2018 that some foreign entities had been attempting “…to divert intellectual property and obtain confidential information.”



Dr. James Patrick Lewis, 54, was a tenured physics professor at West Virginia University (WVU) from 2006 to August 2019.” He was charged and pled guilty on March 10, 2020.



An officer in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Xin Wang, was arrested last week at LAX while attempting to leave the country. According to Customs and Boarder Patrol personnel and the U. S. Department of Justice, Xin lied about on his original visa application, had misrepresented his relationship with the Chinese military, and was attempting to smuggle out of the country information pertaining to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health. This information was the product of U.S. government-funded research from the University of California.



He was removed from his Harvard position last January and arrested on charges that he lied about his relationship with the Chinese government. Charles Lieber was indicted last week for allegedly accepting money “in exchange for access to taxpayer-funded research.” As a participant in China’s Thousand Talents Program, Lieber was allegedly paid $50,000 per month for stealing, then passing on to China, proprietary information. China also provided $1.5 million for Lieber “to establish a research lab at the Wuhan University of Technology.”


12. On China: Uighur Genocide

By Jim DeCamp, August 9, 2020

PHOTO: Mukhit Toktassyn (AP) (Screenshot from the AP article)

…of 12 million Turkish-speaking Muslims in NW China
…China’s actions to oppress––and cull––the Uighur population
…from The Associated Press (1), Western Journalism (2), and Amnesty International (3)


> “The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands, the interviews and data show.”

> “Police raid homes, terrifying parents as they search for hidden children.”

> ”The result of the birth control campaign is a climate of terror around having children, as seen in interview after interview.”



> “Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic minority group native to China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, are being hauled off to labor camps and forced to undergo sterilization procedures in an effort to cull their population.”

> This article defines genocide, exposes labor and re-education camps created to subjugate the Uighur people, reveals forced sterilization of Uighurs and other minority peoples, discloses mysterious population declines, and discusses “attempts to erase their culture and Muslim faith.”



> This Amnesty International article contains disturbing evidence of China’s inhumanity toward the Uighur people.

> This article provides many photographs, vignettes, and links to resources, which may inspire further study.


13. On China: BBC collection of reports on China’s treatment of the Uighur people “…one of the most pressing human rights concerns of our age.”

By Jim DeCamp, February 27, 2021


I ask you to pick just one of these reports, then pray:

> for mercy on this generation of Uighur people.

> that U. S. policy would recognize the evidence of genocide, and resist pressure from the Chinese Communist Party.

> that companies doing business in China would refuse to profit from slave labor.

> that the Gospel of Christ would take root and prosper in the massive concentration camps of western China.


See also Epoch Times



The individual liberty enshrined in our Constitution is massive. Our Founders recognized that behavioral guardrails are inspired by the Creator, not by government.

Photo: founders.archives.gov

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
––John Adams, second President of the United States


Substance and Style: Our Critical Need…in a Changing World

The crisis was life-threatening. Until medical aid arrived, my mission was simple: do all I know to keep the person alive!

My thought process was this: “What is the most important thing I must do right now?” A few moments later the situation had changed a little and I again asked, “What is the best thing I can do now?” ….Over and over again I asked myself….

This continued for at least five minutes: trying my best to remain alert and relevant, agile yet determined. That was a serious emergency which––thanks to God and the medics––ended well.

Interestingly, only hours later was I aware of any emotion. Someone had said, “That must have been a scary time!” Only then did I ponder what must have gone on inside of me.

…amidst the turmoil

There is a place for emotion and passion; there are also nuts-and-bolts tasks that must be accomplished. Without the former, we are dry bones; lacking the latter, we flit around from one year to the next.

I know what it’s like for passion to cloud clear thinking, and for policy arguments to lose sight of real people. It’s critical that we find a place for both: righteous passion and sound policy.

…for the task at hand

In my experience, anger-inspired advocacy may make me feel better, but it also builds resistance. Having genuine regard for those I seek to influence––yes, including elected officials––is more likely to see success.

If you have a heart to defend all that is true and good about America, practice your life-saving advocacy with emotions in check.

11 More GOP Senators to Object to Electoral College Votes

By Zachary Stieber, The Epoch Times
January 2, 2021

A group of 11 senators on Saturday announced they’re going to challenge electoral votes during the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress.

“America is a Republic whose leaders are chosen in democratic elections. Those elections, in turn, must comply with the Constitution and with federal and state law,” the group wrote in a joint statement.

“When the voters fairly decide an election, pursuant to the rule of law, the losing candidate should acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election. And, if the voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a peaceful transfer of power. The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations, and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”

The allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election “exceed any in our lifetime,” the group added, noting courts, including the Supreme Court, have repeatedly declined to hear evidence of alleged fraud.

The senators said Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of election returns in disputed states. Once completed, the states would evaluate the commission’s findings and convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.

“Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed,” the group said.

The group includes Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) also plan on joining. They’ll be sworn in on Sunday, several days before the joint session.

The session is the final step in the Electoral College system to certifying a president-elect. Taking place two weeks before inauguration day, the session sees the vice president, as president of the Senate, preside over members of Congress counting electoral votes.

Objections are allowed if they’re in writing and supported by at least one representative and at least one senator. If the conditions are met, objections trigger withdrawal from the joint session and a two-hour debate. The chambers then vote on the objection. It is upheld with a majority vote in each chamber.

According to a tally by The Epoch Times, 40 representatives plan on objecting to electoral votes. They’re now joined by 12 senators. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) this week was the first senator to announce plans to object.

“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on Jan. 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” Hawley wrote in a statement on Dec. 30.

Democrats have criticized the plans, alleging circumstances were different when they attempted objections in 2017 and succeeded with launching one in 2005.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said on CNN that Hawley’s actions were undermining the democratic process, calling the planned objection a “reckless stunt.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s team downplayed the plans, calling the vote counting “merely a formality.”

And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she’s confident Biden will be sworn into office on Jan. 20.

The group of GOP senators on Saturday acknowledged that most if not all Democrats, and “perhaps more than a few Republicans,” will not vote to uphold the objections.

“But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue,” they added. “A fair and creditable audit—conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20—would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.”

At this juncture in our nation’s history…

An outline that helps me make sense of it all.

The Eternal…
“And He shall reign forever and ever.”

> God has a plan for every nation on earth––ours being no exception.

> God has been pleased to use anyone––pagan or saint––to accomplish His purposes.

> God’s warning of judgment will not be diluted by our denials.

> There will be a final line when every mortal will stand before God.

> Jesus Christ did for His people what we could never do for ourselves; namely, offer an acceptable sacrifice for our sin.

> Whatever our political system, economic structure, or human condition, we all have been created in God’s image and are commanded to love God and our neighbor.

The Temporal
“Just the facts, Ma’am.”

> Government at all levels in the United States is to protect the people’s rights and uphold the rule of law, beginning with the U. S. Constitution.

> The survival of our Constitutional republic is utterly dependent on free and fair elections.

> On Dec. 11, SCOTUS did not rule on the merits of the case brought by Texas; its decision was based solely on standing.

> Multiple pathways are available to the Trump legal team which, along with independent groups/attorneys, continues to file suits challenging alleged election fraud and unequal protection under the law.

> Something peculiar happened overnight between Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Wednesday, Nov. 4. Trump led––in some cases by hundreds of thousands of votes––in these six swing states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, George, Arizona and Nevada. The vote counting suddenly ceased in the middle of the night and poll workers were told to go home. When the counting resumed several hours later, hundreds of thousands of votes had been added to Biden, giving him the lead in each of these states.

> Thousands of eyewitness accounts and affidavits––sworn testimonies given under penalty of perjury––attest to illegal conduct by elections supervisors and workers, and threats directed at Republican poll observers.

> Numerous complaints of unconstitutional actions by some governors, secretaries of state, and political party leaders have been lodged.

> In 2020, electronic voting (most notably Dominion voting machines and Smartmatic software) was compromised, and used to delete or reassign hundreds of thousands of votes from Trump to Biden.

> Also in 2020, hundreds of thousands of illegal or invalid mail-in ballots were counted for Biden.

> The alarming influence of other countries, from Venezuela to China, and the apparent complicity of some state and local officials by receiving many millions from Big Tech, have cast a pall over the 2020 election.

> It would seem that no rational person can claim the 2020 election to be honest or legal.

> It is quite possible that SCOTUS will rule on the merits of one or more cases still to come before it. The people’s confidence in the integrity of this election hangs upon those decisions.


Whatever the outcome of this election––whether God delivers judgment or gives us more time to repent––God will remain the Sovereign Lord of History.


> for elected officials at all levels.

> for citizens who carry concerns.

> for the courts that will render judgments.

> for Americans of all persuasions, who must find a way to respond to the final outcome.


> God is on the throne.

> One day there will be a final line.

Appetites, Emotions, and Love

What I know about cooking begins with grocery shopping, proceeds to the microwave, then finds its place in the family lore. Win or lose, we live to eat another day.

Emotions are more colorful and complicated. While I don’t fear what’s in the oven, I share with most of my friends a strong sense of alarm at what may emerge in this land.

My purpose here is not to predict outcomes because no one knows the future––except Almighty God, Who has a plan which will surely come to pass. Rather, I want to share some reflections with my friends because I have a hunch I’m not alone.

I am disgusted by the bald-faced lies that cloud this election, and furious that the truth is suppressed. One party is fueled by evil; the other is consumed with self-preservation. The true and the right have become obstacles instead of sacred goals.

At the same time, I am so proud of the hundreds of courageous poll-working citizens who have testified––under penalty of perjury––to what they actually saw and heard.

I have followed the hearings in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan and Georgia. Some of those who testified have lost friends, family ties, had their jobs threatened, and have been forced to change their phone numbers. In sharing this, some of them were brought to tears.

Several who are immigrants, and now proud citizens, went on and on about their love for this country. They had volunteered to work long hours as an expression of loyalty and love for their new homeland. They displayed courage and grace in the face of insults and intimidation.

When one follows the rules in cooking, the outcome is usually pleasant. Not so, apparently, with elections.

But enough of this…almost.

Love is not namby-pamby. It is the most powerful, enduring, renewing, and noble motivation. It

stiffens the righteous will for the good fight. To be driven by anything else is to live off of one’s savings.

So take inventory of what you’re living for, what you love the most. If it’s love for all that is good and true and right, ask God for more of it because you will need it. If there is gnawing anger, ask God to replace it because it will devour you. He will and He can, because love comes from God.

There is plenty of action ahead. Your country needs you for many days to come. And who knows but what God may smile on our efforts. He can do that, too.

The Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

Ten sentences long remembered

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

—Abraham Lincoln

The Election and Its Fallout

These are 13 areas I’ll be watching over the next month or more: 

1.  Results of some still contested races.

2.  The many court challenges to irregularities.

3.  Additional info on compromised voting hardware/software. 

4.  How/why election-related software––lodged in other countries––could influence U. S. elections.

5.  $$$ from specific countries related to U.S. election machines/systems. 

6.  $$$ that some U. S. politicians and/or family members may have gained through the purchase of these machines/systems. 

7.  An explanation of how/why voting machines in multiple states halted, then resumed, in the early hours of Nov. 4, 2020––seemingly in coordinated fashion.

8.  Info on U. S. Government offices and individuals who may have engaged in election criminality.

9.  The thousands of eyewitnesses to possible crimes who have stepped forward to testify under oath. 

10.  Exposés/political shakeups at the state and federal levels.

11.  Threats to Americans who investigate or testify to election corruption.

12.  SCOTUS decisions.

13.  How the American people will respond.


Rest assured that in and through all current events, the God of history is unfolding His plan for this country.

Rebuilding Election Confidence: Recounting Legal Ballots, Restoring Trust

Links to Breitbart (1), Breitbart (2), and Townhall (3)

PHOTO: AZ SOS Katie Hobbs / AP, From the Townhall Article Below

1. In Pennsylvania, True the Vote sues on behalf of four Pennsylvania counties.

“Their findings, they said, could reveal double votes, votes cast by ineligible voters, votes cast by felons, votes cast by non-citizens, and votes cast through ballot harvesting…The Pennsylvania election process was an embarrassment to our country and an affront to our deep-seated value of protecting Americans’ basic Constitutional right to vote.”


2. Georgia Announces By-Hand Recount of All Votes…in every county.

“…[D]ue to the narrow margins, (Georgia Sec. of State) Raffensperger is requiring a ‘by-hand’ recount in all 159 counties.”


3. Arizona’s Sec. of State Katie Hobbs (D) Refuses to Allow an Independent Analysis of Voting Data.

Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott): “And for the integrity of our democracy, why wouldn’t we want to get to the bottom of these questions?”

Also, “…the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit against [Hobbs] over allegations that Maricopa County ‘incorrectly rejected votes cast by in-person voters on Election Day.’”


Two History-Making Events on November 9

Kristallnacht and the Fall of the Berlin Wall

PHOTO: Wiesbaden Synagogue Burning, Center for Jewish History / Creative Commons

PHOTO: March, 1973. Yours truly looking over the Berlin Wall, from inside free West Berlin.

PHOTO: March 1973. A monument to an East German youth killed trying to cross the wall and reach freedom in West Berlin.

November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht (“Crystal Night”)

Nazi violence was unleashed on the Jews and their property throughout Germany and Austria.

It was so named because of the shards of glass from thousands of synagogues, shops and homes that were attacked. 

This night of terror––spanning two days, really––signaled a brazen new chapter of Nazi tyranny. 

November 9, 1989: The Fall of the Berlin Wall

This 114-mile wall was erected in 1961 by Communist East Germany. It encircled the free city of West Berlin to prevent the people under Communist rule from escaping to freedom in the West. In the ensuing 28 years, at least 140 people seeking freedom were killed by Communist guards. 

The “Fall of the Wall” led to the reunification of East and West Germany. It also marked the beginning of the end of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and freedom-loving people around the world breathed new life.

Beyond Elections: What Kind of World?

A nonpartisan piece

PHOTO: Creative Commons

While one political party may celebrate and the other mourn an outcome, this post is about something universal: something that goes to the core of human existence, something that challenges both parties. It’s this:

In which world will we Americans choose to live?

1. A world with God, or

2. One without


Our nation was founded upon the enduring principle that our Creator bestowed certain inalienable rights, including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Flowing from this creed is the acceptance of a basic moral order; the preciousness of every member of the human family; and the nuclear family, itself.

Enshrined in the Constitution, these God-given individual rights are to be secured and defended by government. Here is found the balance between standards and liberty, between “form and freedom.” The guardrails for behavior in society, while not always observed, are widely accepted. Other people’s beliefs, conscience, and practices are respected or tolerated, if not celebrated.


In a world that is the product of material, energy, time and chance, the human mind is king. The human mind determines who is worthy to exist and who may be destroyed. The human mind codifies what is acceptable behavior and that which falls short.

In this world, humans determine the rules, which vary from one generation to the next. Order is made possible by the exercise of raw power, and no one is safe.


Believe me when I say that this is not intended to be a partisan post. Some in my Republican party have ventured from a world in which God exists, or has anything to say to us. From my vantage point, Democrats have been on this sojourn far longer.

We all need to take inventory.


Where is our assurance that, in the end, we will not give an account for our lives?

The future of our nation depends on returning to the One Who made us, acknowledging His sovereignty over human affairs, and humbling ourselves in repentance.

Like it or hate it; take it or leave it; God will not be mocked. The ancient writings say, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” While first given to Israel, the general principle applies to all peoples.

In which world?

Remembering Fort Hood

…on this day in 2009
…14 innocent lives

PHOTO: Fort Hood Memorial to the deceased, Creative Commons

On November 5, 2009, a heavily armed radical Muslim entered a troop training/processing area on Ft. Hood, Texas, murdering 13 adults and one preborn child, and wounding more than 30.

Ten of the wounded belonged to our unit. As an Army chaplain at the time, I was sent to Ft. Hood to minister to them and their families. It was 10 memorable days.

Over the years as a chaplain, I often ended my prayers with “…Help us always to be ready to meet You….”


The assailant has been convicted on 13 counts of premeditated murder, 32 counts of attempted murder, dismissed from the service, and sentenced to death. He is incarcerated at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and is awaiting execution.

America’s Tomorrow: Relating to Believers Who Disagree

By Jim DeCamp, October 3, 2019
This was written a year ago, yet may have some usefulness in the present. This is post #6 in the series America’s Tomorrow. The entire series may be found under the Politics Tab..

Instruments in God’s hand.  

BLUF (Bottom Line up Front): Discussions of political differences between Christians should:
> Be bathed in the love of Christ for one another, and
> Be held with an acknowledgement of God’s sovereign plan for history. 


Consider these four passages (English Standard Version):

Lead with listening:

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19


Respect those in authority / Be at peace:

“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13


Love other believers:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35


Show regard for others:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

To glorify God in our lives.

Consider these three passages:

Grow in the Lord:

“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:17-8


Serve one another:

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11


Our longing:

 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14

A blend of emotions.

I had looked forward to writing this post more than any other, yet in truth it has been the heaviest to bear. Looked forward to because the Good News is the answer to our nation’s ills; heaviest to bear because we at times dilute the Gospel and distract from the Hope of the World.

The first five posts addressed our nation and world. The next three will be more introspective: (6) relating to other believers, (7) what we think of this country, and (8) how each of us will stand in the future.

I want to “practice what I preach” here, to live out what I write about.

Everyone craves it.

Remember when reality TV was all the rage? “Who’s going to get voted off the island this week?” Adventure with uncertainty riveted viewers.

I wanted to say to these fans: “If you’re looking for a challenge find something important, pour your life into it, and you will have more adventure than you imagined possible.” That’s easier said than done because we are talking about life––a come-as-you-are party––baggage and all.

This is no less true for followers of Christ for we are all sinners, though I would add:

> We have a demanding mission: “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8), and

> We have been given God’s Word and Spirit––all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). God calls us to go to any lengths necessary to follow Him.

The most important lesson on conflict I’ve learned.

How many times I couldn’t begin to say, but very often I have asked, “Lord, whatever made him say that, would You please remove it and replace it with something good from You?” I have found that when praying for someone in this way, I begin to love that person. Now, that’s not my spirit at work!

To pray for someone who has wronged you, for a political opponent, for someone at church––this is the call of the disciple. It is obedience to God’s Word in the power of the Spirit.


…to accomplish His perfect will.

> God exploited a tyrant (Pharaoh) to drive His people out of Egypt (Exodus 6:1).

> God harnessed a pagan king (Nebuchadnezzar) to force His people into exile (2 Kings 25), and another pagan king (Cyrus) to return them to their land (2 Chronicles 36:22-23).

> God used the decree of Caesar Augustus to direct Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem where the Savior would be born, in fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy (5:2).

…to accomplish His perfect will.

> God’s power visited the boy, David, to fell a giant of a man (1 Samuel 17).

> God anointed the Apostle Paul to take the message of redemption in Christ to the gentiles. God said to Ananias, about Paul, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15).

> God inspired the Apostle John to record events that would occur far into the future: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony” (Revelation 1:1-2).

Key to understanding many disagreements. 

More in the next post, but suffice it to say here that the Gospel should unite Christ’s followers, not divide them. However, in many churches people are divided by something that has been banished from church and long since buried, but which will not go away.

I refer to influences that affect believers and unbelievers, alike, every day and night. I have in mind pressures on the family budget, safety in the neighborhood, underperforming students who languish in impoverished schools and grow up in severely challenged families. My heart is heavy for conditions that demoralize whole neighborhoods through intergenerational dependency, and suck the hope out of image-bearers. (This is a very abbreviated list of woes.)

What I’m pointing to is not feelings (which may draw us together at an emotional level), nor Biblical beliefs (which can unite us at a foundational level). Rather, I speak of policies, public policies, that have consequences of the kind mentioned above.

So what to do if fellow believers support policies that perpetuate the status quo?

Trusting God for the hard task.

I’m not thinking, here, about persuading another believer to my position. Instead, my question is, “How ought we relate to fellow believers who disagree on these policy matters?”

If God intends to punish our nation for persistent defiance of Him (see post #2), and if we believe those who espouse these policies are therefore contributing to our demise, how do we bridge the divide with them?

Answer: the love of Christ. The power of the resurrected Lord is greater. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “When God calls a man, He bids him come and die.” It’s the willingness to lay it down for the sake of the Body of Christ. This, this is the pathway to peace among believers.

…to fulfill His sovereign plan (and this is the hard part for me).

If America is to be punished for her wickedness, God may use anyone––including the political convictions of some Christian leaders––to pave the wave for a tyrant’s rise to power.

At the personal level, there have been seasons in my life when God used the misconduct of others to redirect my steps. God is more than able to use anyone and any behavior to advance His perfect will.

…in God’s way.

God uses all kinds of people to shape events for His greater glory: sometimes for our good, sometimes resulting in our hardship, sometimes transforming hard times for our blessing and for His glory.

Joseph announced to his brothers who had sold him into slavery in Egypt, “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good….” (Genesis 50:20a).

Ours is to surrender.

Pray for fellow Christians with whom you cannot agree politically. Converse and seek to persuade; do not lash out. If you must separate, do so peaceably. Who knows but God may be using them to unfold His plan.

Ours is to follow hard after the God of history, Whose ways are perfect, just and upright (Deuteronomy 32:40). May it please God to use each of us as an instrument to display His glory.

The Pied Piper of Obtuseness

by Micah Clark, Executive Director of the American Family Association

October 28, 2020
         Christian pastor and author John Piper is unquestionably a good man, and an influential leader in evangelical circles for many valid reasons, but political discernment apparently isn’t one of them.

         Piper recently wrote on his Desiring God blog, a very convoluted piece about voting in this election. It makes some of the strangest moral equivalencies and false dichotomies that I have ever read from a solid Christian leader.   It is clear that Piper doesn’t like Donald Trump’s personality, pride, arrogance, or bluster.  (Well, who does?)   Yet, Piper goes so far as to specifically place those character flaws on the same level as 60 million abortions since 1973 and the numerous other moral issues at stake this election.     

        Piper seems to completely miss that this election is not a battle of personalities, it is a battle of worldviews.  One worldview offers freedom of religion, the right to life, and free enterprise.  The other worldview is set to rapidly march toward a political belief system that was responsible for 120 million deaths last century.  

         Ironically, John Piper pastors in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Does he really think that those who set his city on fire did so mimicking Donald Trump’s pride?   Does he not know that these people are Marxist revolutionaries, not Trump protegees?    

         I respect Pastor Piper, but I think his article’s premise is fundamentally flawed.  Moreover, much of what he decries could have been applied to Barack Obama, LBJ or Richard Nixon, and perhaps Joe Biden too.   Additionally, there have been many polite, well-mannered politicians like perhaps Woodrow Wilson or Jimmy Carter, or modest judges who never once speak to the media, who did horrible things to America through their offices. 

         Almost all politicians have an above average ego and level of pride that drives them to run for office.  God used flawed persons who did good things (think of King David) throughout the Bible.   He never condoned their personal sins, but they are highlighted because of the good that they did in their leadership positions.  

         Character is important. I am not telling readers who to vote for or against, but as the head of a public policy organization, I urge you vote based upon substantive reasons.  There are certainly criminal things that should, and do, disqualify people for office, but once they are on the ballot and up for a vote, it is almost always their policies that will matter the most over time.  

          Without naming Piper, the Family Research Council addressed this mindset with this good quote in their daily email on Monday:

         “Character always matters, but if a completely virtuous person is not one of your choices, maybe the policies represented by one candidate are more virtuous than the policies of the other candidates… In a situation where all the candidates are flawed, we might be able to find clarity if we allow ourselves to think less about people involved and more about policies that will be affected… In addition, if there is no ‘best candidate,’ it may be helpful to think about the ‘best team.’ No politician works alone.”  ––Joseph Backholm’s “Myths of Christian Voting”

The Enthusiasm Gap

“Practically no one — and that’s not an exaggeration — shows up to Biden-Harris events, while Trump’s personal appearances literally look like rock concerts.”

PHOTO: From breitbart.com article below



Endorsement of Victoria Spartz for Congress

October 14, 2020

My first conversation with Victoria Spartz was at a Zionsville Meet-and-Greet (for another candidate) in 2016. The place was packed and noisy, but I listened to her and liked what I heard. Here’s what impressed me about Victoria:


Whether addressing free market principles, national security, or individual liberty, Victoria Spartz spoke clearly and forcefully. I thought, Here is someone who’s not going to be intimidated by the Left.


Born and raised in Ukraine, Victoria understands the soul-destroying tyranny of socialism. Having emigrated to the U.S. and become a citizen, she treasures the freedom found in the United States of America.


After two years in the Indiana State Senate, I have seen Victoria vote her conscience––which also reflected that of her constituents. For example, she signed the letter asking the governor to call a Special Session of the Legislature!

I am persuaded that she will stand her ground in the United States House of Representatives, as well, on subjects including:

✔️The Constitution. Preserving the 2nd Amendment and protecting the sanctity of all human life.

✔️Immigration. Curbing illegal immigration and streamlining the bureaucratic process to citizenship.

✔️Debt. Tackling the debt not by raising taxes but by cutting the size and spending of government. (This area, especially, is where her forcefulness and the courage of her convictions will need to be applied.)

✔️Healthcare. She knows that present costs are unsustainable, and that the solution lies in greater competition, and patient-centric free market remedies.

✔️National Defense. Her keen understanding of geopolitical threats undergirds her strong support for the United States military.

In addition, please go to https://www.spartzforcongress.com/issues/ for her outstanding positions on Education, Government Transparency and Accountability, Business Regulations, and Term Limits.


Beyond the impressive number of Indiana Republican elected officials, Victoria is endorsed by

✔️ Indiana Right to Life PAC.

✔️ The NRA.

✔️ The Club for Growth.

✔️ Indiana Farm Bureau AgELECT.

✔️ Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader: “Victoria has my complete endorsement….”

✔️ Minority Whip Steve Scalise: “I look forward to welcoming Victoria to Congress next year!”

President Donald Trump needs Victoria’s support. Join me in voting Victoria Spartz for U. S. Congress!

America’s Tomorrow (series)

PHOTO: Creative Commons

1. Introduction

By Jim DeCamp, September 6, 2019

This is the first post in a nine-part series on our nation’s future. If it seems uncharacteristically straightforward, the days are evil and time may be short.


I grew up in South Korea of missionary parents. Born in Seoul, I lived in that beautiful land, off and on, through high school. My father was himself born in Korea, imprisoned by the Japanese in 1941, and later served as an Army chaplain in WWII. He passed on love of freedom, and inspired me to defend it.

The cause of liberty has occupied much of my life. I served nine years as an Infantry officer, then 22 years as an Army chaplain, with overseas assignments in Germany, Korea, and the desert. Since retiring from the Army and from the pastoral ministry in 2011, my oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic” has grown from a professional to a personal credo.

With all of our sins (which we will get to), Constitutional self-governance has made America the most prosperous and free nation in history. America is where liberty lives.


My first allegiance is to the One Who made me, redeemed me, and called me His own possession. I owe everything past, present and future to Jesus, Who gave His life for my sin, conquered the grave, and is coming again.

By His Word and Spirit, my heavenly Father gives understanding and power to walk in His way. It’s a daily journey and, as this series will point out, fraught with challenges. For example, try loving others in the human family unconditionally, sacrificially, and see how you fare. I’ll be the first to admit that I need help! And outside of my family, the first people I am to love are fellow believers….

Jesus said that many would reject His way, and few would follow Him. There is purpose in standing for what is true, and enormous hope in the knowledge that the Creator of the Universe has everything under control. Each detail will, one day, bring greater glory to God, and in this I find great peace.


The integration of faith and citizenship––offering allegiance to God, then to one’s country––is a calling some Evangelicals appear to have lost in the last 25 years. The resulting void in the public square is being filled by very different voices.

Our Judeo-Christian foundation has sustained this country through peace and war, depression and prosperity, evil and repentance, and thus far through revival and rebellion. The legacy we leave to our descendants occupies more and more of my thinking. God, may it not be one of silence.


In September and October of 2016, I posted a nine-part series highlighting the public policy differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The present nine-part series will be more cultural, spiritual, and relational in nature––though political applications may be found.

2. America’s Tomorrow: God Owns the Future

By Jim DeCamp, September 9, 2019

Momentary trials, eternal glory.

I write this post “…not to scare but to prepare.”[1] For those of us who love the United States of America, this post may be sobering. But first:


This post will touch on “the end times.” It is not intended to be a discussion of prophecy, but rather my rationale for what I share in this series. Friends, PLEASE do not approach this series as a forum on prophetic interpretation. Such a discussion could be fruitful, but that is not our purpose here. Other earnest believers differ, and I don’t presume to have it all worked out. What I share is what God has given me a little to understand.


We can all be certain that God has a plan and it will unfold according to His sovereign will. Though it pleased God that we should have partial understanding, the Creator of heaven and earth, of space and time, has no such limitation. God owns the roadmap and the timeline; indeed, the future belongs to Him alone. The One Who has “brought us out of darkness into His marvelous light”––and Who holds our destiny––has a plan. 


I broach this subject of the end times because of today’s geopolitical landscape, and because I must reckon with what I find in God’s Word.

The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., and Jews were dispersed (known as the Diaspora). The trickle of God’s people returning to their homeland became a flood following the unspeakable attempts to destroy them all in the 1930s and 1940s. The Jewish State was reborn in 1948––a milestone in Biblical fulfillment––and was admitted as a member of the United Nations in 1949.

 (See this explanation of U.N. Resolution 181 in 1947, Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948, and other such declarations by nations in the modern world:
http://jcpa.org/video/true-un-created-israel-seventy-years-since-un-general-assembly-resolution-181/ .)

God has prospered this land and nation. Desert––parched for nearly two millennia––is now lush with produce. Israel enjoys a strong economy with some of the largest known reserves of natural gas in the world. A leader in high-tech research, communications, and medical advances, Israel is also forging a new relationship with her Arab neighbors. Israel is an increasingly attractive trading partner, and life within her borders is safe.


The prophet Ezekiel saw a day when the nations would rise up against Israel. Many today see an alliance forming between Russia, Iran, and Turkey (Ezekiel chapters 38-39). According to Ezekiel, Israel will be unable to defend herself against such a massive force. Apparently, no one comes to her aid, because Israel will be delivered only by the intervention of Almighty God. “…Then they will know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 38:23b––ESV)


Where is America in all of this? Most students of Bible prophesy do not see American as figuring in end-time events. But we are talking about Israel’s strongest ally with the most powerful military the world has ever seen! The most prosperous country in history! Mighty nations have fallen before; in fact, history shows they have all met demise.

If these scholars are correct in their understanding, I can only say that this country––this land that I love––has been openly inviting God’s judgment. God has shown His patience with tribes and nations before (over hundreds of years, in some cases), but God will have the last word.


Friends, America has the freedom to thumb her nose at God and is taking full advantage of it. I will discuss these offenses primarily in post #7. For now, the solution lies not in politics, but in the God of the Bible. This is no time to “play the fool,” as a teacher of mine used to say. God in His mercy has given us time to repent, to get right with Him, to come to Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:2: “…the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”


There will be a final line, but you can know God today. God, in His patience and kindness, is forgiving and will receive anyone who comes in repentance. Whatever the future of our country, you will stand before God one day.

“Return to me, and I will return to you,” God said to His people through the prophet Zechariah (2:2). “Come to Me,” Jesus said (Matthew 11:28). Repent and come to Jesus…while there is time. There is no sin He will not forgive if you come to Him in true repentance. Walking in His way brings freedom, joy, and trials…and it ends in eternal glory.

[1] Dr. Ed Hindson of Liberty University, quoted by Behold Israel founder, Amir Tsarfati, in his book The Last Hour

3. America’s Tomorrow: Persuasion in the Din of Strife

By Jim DeCamp, September 14, 2019

PHOTO: “Head to Head” by Don Sutherland, Creative Commons

Ground rules for the taking.

When we see cultural decay everywhere, it’s time to take inventory of our own life. Talk is cheap; our rhetoric must be bathed in integrity so that it can be truthful, wise, and effective.

Whether it is cultural needs or Constitutional principles that are on your heart, this post is for you. This post is about listening well, speaking/writing wisely, taking a close look at ourselves, and surrendering to God.

Timidity or boldness?

“Wow. I’ll never do that again!” said someone who ventured into a volatile subject and received a tongue-lashing for his trouble. Thin skin, of course, can lead people to flee controversy, but there are also other motivators.

We all have a history.

  • Bad memories of past conversations.
  • An aversion to conflict under any circumstance.
  • Unwillingness to engage in hard subjects unless one is assured of prevailing.
  • Fear that one’s core beliefs could be challenged.

Strong stimuli.

In a trash-talk world featuring passion-over-substance arguments, who knows what to expect? But some folks persist in entering public forums. Some motivations for doing so:

  • There are those who feed on controversy; it’s all they know.
  • Others are motivated by raw anger, fueled by past injustice or deception.
  • Many are driven by a political solution for a world losing its center of gravity.  
  • Here’s another approach, old as the hills and scarce as hens’ teeth: LOVE. (May my high school English teacher forgive the mixing of metaphors.)

We will circle back to LOVE as the most enduring, effective force in most communication.

With the Master at the helm.

So…are you one to avoid disagreement at almost all cost, or do you enter the fray for a reason? People of all persuasions are welcome here, though it is Christians––whom Jesus variously described as “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”––to whom I am writing.

Our mission is to glorify God and serve as His hands and feet in this sinking world. His words daily ring out: “Repent and follow me.” “You will be my witnesses.” “I will be with you.”

Power, obedience, protection.

It is not our responsibility to change people; we have no power to do so. What we have been given is the Gospel. And we have heard God’s command to go out into all the world, empowered by His Word and Spirit. The authority to make this happen––and, indeed, all of the results––owe to His gracious work, alone.

So why not end this discussion right here? Because God has something to say about His calling and equipping, and the obedience by which we venture into the world. The admonition to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” presumes we will be in close proximity to danger.  

First preparing the soil in our own hearts.

Christ charged His followers to take His Gospel of repentance and redemption into all the world. We know this message to bring freedom of mind and heart, a new affection, and the promise of heaven.

Yet this message is also the leading edge of a clash between two worlds that have been at war since Adam’s sin plunged all creation into open rebellion against its Maker.

When Jesus declared, “You will be my witnesses,” He was assigning us quite possibly to a combat outpost (so to speak), where there is danger, trial, testing. Soldiers are trained to overcome fear and, with growing confidence in their commander, to obey orders. Christ’s followers are called to take inventory, and to lay aside all that hinders the mission.

Patience in sharing the Treasure.

Truth that winds its way to the core of one’s being may be perceived as a threat. Because of this, many people are more likely to change their mind in the context of a trusted relationship.

Group settings are good for imparting information (as in a classroom) or exhorting others (through a sermon). God can and does move people deeply through these means. Yet most of us may find ourselves in relationships through which God will be pleased to work. Be content to serve where God places you.

Conveying Truth deep within.

Especially when facing hostility, it’s easy to vent passion that will be taken as anger. An experienced believer once cautioned those preparing to testify before a committee, “You can give them a piece of your mind, and it might make you feel better, but know that you just lost any opportunity to influence that committee.”

Pray as you ponder how your listeners may be attracted––or threatened––by your message, and use the wisest words available to carry Truth deep within.

To appeal and not distract.

  • CLARITY…to avoid confusion.
  • CHARITY…to rise above stereotypes.
  • INTEGRITY…without which the message is compromised.
  • PRAYERFUL PREPARATION…employing weapons of the Spirit (love, joy, peace….).

The well that never runs dry.

At the deepest level, military people do what they do out of love––love for freedom, love for their country, love for their family, for their neighbor and their neighbor’s family. Conviction to defend liberty runs deep and is necessarily very strong. Yet this conviction is bathed in sacrificial love.

The battle many of us wage today is rhetorical in nature: we are contending for Truth in the marketplace of ideas. It is easier to blurt out our two cents’ worth and let the chips fall. The fact that we must give serious thought to our message––content and delivery––makes us more dependent on God (if we humble ourselves). And humility puts us in a position to be used by God, Whose mercy never fails.

See Galatians 5:22-23 and Ephesians 6:10-20.

Let’s not kid ourselves, friends: only the overcoming Spirit of God can penetrate our own hearts; and only God’s Spirit will draw the heart of the one who is far from Him.

God’s ways are above our ways. The Bible is brimming with paradoxes of the faith: life in death, strength in weakness, joy in sorrow, victory in defeat.  

By the power and love of God we are made ready for His service. Pray for those who lie about you, and who persecute you. Pray that God will lift them to newness of life, that they may know the Creator of the universe, Jesus Christ.

And––you know what?––if they join the ranks of the redeemed, they will have the same peace and purpose in Christ that we have found. Then, instead of contending against them, we will with joy stand with them in the cause of righteousness.

4. America’s Tomorrow: The Nation Where God Placed Us

By Jim DeCamp, September 19, 2019

PHOTO: Addressing the (Indiana) Hamilton County Commissioners on a free-speech issue, Feb. 12, 2018.

What difference should a country in which we live make in our political involvement?

A modern paradox.

Curious to me is the lackadaisical approach to personal liberty by those in this country who should know better. But it’s also inspiring––those surviving under tyrants who manage to maintain their purpose, morale, and faith.

We in America have freedoms that the persecuted around the world can only dream of. Yet some, it appears, have persuaded themselves that freedom here is undeserved––even underrated.

It’s like two nations, two populations: the persecuted who long to breathe free, and the free who are preoccupied.

Possible explanations.

  • Some Americans may believe that what we have will always be here. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” when asked about threats.
  • Some feel a level of guilt that they should enjoy the fruit of liberty while those in some other countries are denied it.
  • Still others harbor such animosity toward this country that the sooner we taste the yoke of bondage, the better!

Foundational thoughts.

  • Our rights enshrined in the Constitution are worth studying, savoring, and defending.
  • We in America inherited inalienable rights from our Creator––rights that we should freely and faithfully exercise. 
  • Preserving rights that were safeguarded for us is our responsibility to the next generation.

Faithfully using what God gives you.

Should it make a difference in our civic life that we live in a “free” land? (Many people do not enjoy this blessing.)

For example, untold thousands of North Koreans exist in extra-judicial facilities––concentration camps––erected for political and religious prisoners. In some cases, when an individual is condemned to such a camp, the sentence applies to his entire family; indeed, to all his descendants. Some prisoners were born in these camps; it’s all they have ever known. Torture, starvation, slave-labor––these are the stuff of life in North Korean concentration camps. (The victims may be excused for not taking their grievances to the guards!)

If we Americans remain silent about serious grievances in our country––such as suppressing religious freedom––what would be our justification? God has not placed us in North Korea nor Iran nor Venezuela; He has placed us in this United States of America, and our Constitution guarantees the right to redress grievances with the government. It’s easy to enjoy the fruit of liberty while maintaining an unwarranted silence. It’s also dangerous.

Stewardship and a Biblical example.

We will discuss this subject in more depth in post #8. Suffice it to say here that we are responsible to God to be good stewards of our blessings––not the least of which are our individual rights, beginning with the First Amendment.

We are to respect and obey those in authority over us, yet the Bible doesn’t end its teaching there. The political system within which God places us may or may not permit the voice of the people to be heard. The Apostle Paul took full advantage of his standing under Roman law––even exercising his right to travel to Rome and plead his case before Caesar! (“I appeal to Caesar.” Acts 25:11b––ESV).

Should we do less?

5. America’s Tomorrow: Beyond the Ballot

By Jim DeCamp, September 27, 2019

PHOTO: Creative Commons

Does it matter for whom I vote? I want to make the case that it does matter––urgently so.  

This post will discuss three elements of a voter’s decision: party platforms, public policy, and integrity; then add a note of hope.

What to make of them?

“There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between a Democrat and a Republican in this state!” said a friend after we moved to Indiana in 2011. My reply contrasted the respective party platforms, which was not a difficult task. The ensuing years have revealed a slippery, shadowy process, at times. So what to think?

I, for one, think that the platform of a political party is extremely important because a platform gives an indication of a party’s fidelity to the Constitution. It also 1) declares public policy priorities, 2) lays out a vision for the future, and 3) assists voters in making an informed decision.

The nuances in platform language notwithstanding, platforms remain a significant expression of a party’s beliefs and commitments. They also are a standard by which members of that party can be measured, and differences between parties recognized.

What an election is all about.

I’m interested in what politicians say, yet what I care about is how they actually vote. And, in the case of incumbents, I want to know if they are faithful to what they promised the voters.

My friends should know that I want to uphold high moral standards, and hope to see them modeled in others. Upright personal conduct and decency in one’s language––these I want to see, as well. HOWEVER, I cast my political vote based upon public policy commitments made by a candidate…and, in the case of an incumbent, promises that have been kept.

Most often employed when a candidate or party cannot win on policy.

  • Ad hominem attacks. These are assaults on one’s person and are devoid of substantive arguments. They fuel the politics of personal destruction. Example: “She is a despicable person and is not fit to hold elected office.”
  • Ad populum arguments.  These are intended to incite an emotional response instead of foster rational thinking. They are attempts to persuade people that something is true “because many people already believe it.” Example: “Everyone knows that this world will end in 11 years unless we take action now!” See the resource at this link for many examples of ad populum––fantastic predictions that have been proven wrong. 

Wise voters will recognize these distractions for what they are, and will engage in thoughtful conversations over the very best public policy.  

…upon which a platform should rest, and by which policy should be implemented.

“Honesty is the best policy,” Cervantes wrote in Don Quixote. It also tests the soul as few other virtues do. Party platforms are instructive, and public policy is the end result. Yet if a party lacks honesty/integrity in the passage or implementation of its platform, one may wonder how long that party will thrive.

I’m going to leave it there.

Why it matters.

Never has a president faced such relentless and fallacious media assault, withstood an historic coup d’état (which continues), contended with establishment opposition in both parties, confronted a subversive Deep State…AND AT THE SAME TIME fulfilled so many campaign promises as has Donald Trump.

2020 matters.

The lowest unemployment rate in history, including women, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians. A booming economy. Unprecedented support from minorities. A military being rebuilt. Supreme Court justices who revere the Constitution. Lower taxes. Fewer regulations. Early release from long prison sentences for those who qualify. Diplomatic breakthroughs with North Korea that no one––in 70 years––had attempted. New respect around the world. Passionate regard for babies who are being taken out of this world––1.3 million per year in our country, alone. New respect for rights enshrined in the Constitution. Optimism inspired by promises kept.

2020 matters.

These are among the public policy successes inspired by President Trump’s determined leadership. These are why his polls numbers continue to hold strong. These are why ordinary Americans attend Trump rallies by the tens of thousands––many obliged to watch on a large screen outside the venue.

2020 matters.

The alternative.

The opposition party is determined to continue the flood of people whose first official act in this country is to break the law. Defiance of the law by so-called sanctuary cities is undermining the rule of law. Illegal immigration is drawing human traffickers and terrorists, drug dealers, gang members, and violent criminals. More government power and overreach, resulting in less freedom and prosperity for the people––these are the results of the Democrat party’s agenda. Utter disregard for the Constitution. Anti-religious fervor, continued decline of family and cultural, the taking of preborn babies’ lives––now even after birth!, violence in the streets while first responders are attacked––these are among the threats this party’s policies pose to our nation.


My greatest hope.

Our nation faces calamity, though we have begun a political comeback. Indications are that the people want another four years of Trump at the helm. I’m committed to doing all I can toward that end…and looking forward to it!

Yet my greatest hope is not in politics nor continued prosperity nor military might. My greatest––and only real––hope is in the God Who endowed us with inalienable rights; Who created, preserved, and blessed us; Who will forgive if we repent, and once again bestow His mercy. We will survive not on our terms, but on God’s.

“Return to me and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty.

6. America’s Tomorrow: Relating to Believers Who Disagree

By Jim DeCamp, October 3, 2019

Instruments in God’s hand.  

BLUF (Bottom Line up Front): Discussions of political differences between Christians should:
> Be bathed in the love of Christ for one another, and
> Be held with an acknowledgement of God’s sovereign plan for history. 


Consider these four passages (English Standard Version):

Lead with listening:

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19


Respect those in authority / Be at peace:

“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13


Love other believers:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35


Show regard for others:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

To glorify God in our lives.

Consider these three passages:

Grow in the Lord:

“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:17-8


Serve one another:

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11


Our longing:

 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14

A blend of emotions.

I had looked forward to writing this post more than any other, yet in truth it has been the heaviest to bear. Looked forward to because the Good News is the answer to our nation’s ills; heaviest to bear because we at times dilute the Gospel and distract from the Hope of the World.

The first five posts addressed our nation and world. The next three will be more introspective: (6) relating to other believers, (7) what we think of this country, and (8) how each of us will stand in the future.

I want to “practice what I preach” here, to live out what I write about.

Everyone craves it.

Remember when reality TV was all the rage? “Who’s going to get voted off the island this week?” Adventure with uncertainty riveted viewers.

I wanted to say to these fans: “If you’re looking for a challenge find something important, pour your life into it, and you will have more adventure than you imagined possible.” That’s easier said than done because we are talking about life––a come-as-you-are party––baggage and all.

This is no less true for followers of Christ for we are all sinners, though I would add:

> We have a demanding mission: “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8), and

> We have been given God’s Word and Spirit––all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). God calls us to go to any lengths necessary to follow Him.

The most important lesson on conflict I’ve learned.

How many times I couldn’t begin to say, but very often I have asked, “Lord, whatever made him say that, would You please remove it and replace it with something good from You?” I have found that when praying for someone in this way, I begin to love that person. Now, that’s not my spirit at work!

To pray for someone who has wronged you, for a political opponent, for someone at church––this is the call of the disciple. It is obedience to God’s Word in the power of the Spirit.


…to accomplish His perfect will.

> God exploited a tyrant (Pharaoh) to drive His people out of Egypt (Exodus 6:1).

> God harnessed a pagan king (Nebuchadnezzar) to force His people into exile (2 Kings 25), and another pagan king (Cyrus) to return them to their land (2 Chronicles 36:22-23).

> God used the decree of Caesar Augustus to direct Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem where the Savior would be born, in fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy (5:2).

…to accomplish His perfect will.

> God’s power visited the boy, David, to fell a giant of a man (1 Samuel 17).

> God anointed the Apostle Paul to take the message of redemption in Christ to the gentiles. God said to Ananias, about Paul, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15).

> God inspired the Apostle John to record events that would occur far into the future: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony” (Revelation 1:1-2).

Key to understanding many disagreements. 

More in the next post, but suffice it to say here that the Gospel should unite Christ’s followers, not divide them. However, in many churches people are divided by something that has been banished from church and long since buried, but which will not go away.

I refer to influences that affect believers and unbelievers, alike, every day and night. I have in mind pressures on the family budget, safety in the neighborhood, underperforming students who languish in impoverished schools and grow up in severely challenged families. My heart is heavy for conditions that demoralize whole neighborhoods through intergenerational dependency, and suck the hope out of image-bearers. (This is a very abbreviated list of woes.)

What I’m pointing to is not feelings (which may draw us together at an emotional level), nor Biblical beliefs (which can unite us at a foundational level). Rather, I speak of policies, public policies, that have consequences of the kind mentioned above.

So what to do if fellow believers support policies that perpetuate the status quo?

Trusting God for the hard task.

I’m not thinking, here, about persuading another believer to my position. Instead, my question is, “How ought we relate to fellow believers who disagree on these policy matters?”

If God intends to punish our nation for persistent defiance of Him (see post #2), and if we believe those who espouse these policies are therefore contributing to our demise, how do we bridge the divide with them?

Answer: the love of Christ. The power of the resurrected Lord is greater. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “When God calls a man, He bids him come and die.” It’s the willingness to lay it down for the sake of the Body of Christ. This, this is the pathway to peace among believers.

…to fulfill His sovereign plan (and this is the hard part for me).

If America is to be punished for her wickedness, God may use anyone––including the political convictions of some Christian leaders––to pave the wave for a tyrant’s rise to power.

At the personal level, there have been seasons in my life when God used the misconduct of others to redirect my steps. God is more than able to use anyone and any behavior to advance His perfect will.

…in God’s way.

God uses all kinds of people to shape events for His greater glory: sometimes for our good, sometimes resulting in our hardship, sometimes transforming hard times for our blessing and for His glory.

Joseph announced to his brothers who had sold him into slavery in Egypt, “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good….” (Genesis 50:20a).

Ours is to surrender.

Pray for fellow Christians with whom you cannot agree politically. Converse and seek to persuade; do not lash out. If you must separate, do so peaceably. Who knows but God may be using them to unfold His plan.

Ours is to follow hard after the God of history, Whose ways are perfect, just and upright (Deuteronomy 32:40). May it please God to use each of us as an instrument to display His glory.

7. America’s Tomorrow: Loving or Loathing

By Jim DeCamp, October 11, 2019

PHOTO: Independence Day Parade, 1968, Wheaton, Illinois.

My answer to “It’s always been an evil country.”

Where learning starts.

Last month I had coffee with a friend whose beliefs are polar opposite from mine. (A good way to learn.) He pointed to a hot cultural subject and asked, “How would you respond to him in that situation?”

My reply: “It makes me want to have coffee with him.” I was suggesting that I must first listen to the individual before knowing how best to respond to his need.  

Similarly, a helpful response to the evil-country remark above will probably begin with a curiosity to know more.

That’s funny––I had the same question! (Turns out, more than meets the eye.)

For example, I’ve heard the words, “America’s always been an evil country,” from more than one person in more than one context. It’s too important a statement to ignore, yet it’s complex, and an effective reply needs to cover more than one base.

This post brings reflections from three distinct directions: theological, political, and revolutionary. What might there be in each of these arenas that could lead one to utter such a strong statement?

Theological. Political. Revolutionary.

>>>>>THEOLOGICAL REASONS for saying “America’s always been an evil country.”

“The human heart is evil,” based on the teaching of Scripture.

Leading up to Christ’s redeeming work, the Apostle Paul points to the utter sinfulness of each and every human heart: “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23––ESV).

In this sense, every tribe and nation that has ever existed is evil; “all have sinned,” the Bible says. There has been hatred, violence, slavery, immorality, pride––every manner of evil––dating back to “The Garden.”

Theologically, I get that: “America has always been an evil country.” We acknowledge past sins, and for present sins we must repent and move forward as fellow Americans.

>>>>>POLITICAL MOTIVATIONS behind “America’s always been an evil country.”

“Any market-based, small-government system is evil,” from a socialist/progressive/government-centric perspective.

The progressive vision of a powerful central government that rules by dividing the population into groups, that limits free-market opportunity and curbs individual liberty––this vision spurns the notion of limited government and personal freedom.

“America’s always been an evil country” would be a natural response from this way of thinking.

>>>>>REVOLUTIONARY THOUGHTS feeding the words “America’s always been an evil country.”

(For purposes of this post, I make the assumption that those taking the political approach will not resort to violence, while revolutionaries will employ violence as an acceptable means to an end.)

“Only by forceful overthrow of government will our beliefs prevail!” says the revolutionary.

This is the one who is prepared to use arms, not to protect himself from a tyrannical government, but to destroy established authority. This is the one who is fueled not by a well-intentioned dream of equality and justice, but by wrath that lays waste to each obstacle. This is the one whose true intentions lie in the shadows till the proper time.

This is the person for whom “America’s always been an evil country” is a battle cry.

…recognize faults in this nation, yet offer sharply contrasting remedies. 



English poet, Philip James Bailey (1816-1902), wrote in “Festus”:

America! half brother of the world!
With something good and bad of every land.


Some parting reflections.

> What I think.

I love this country. I don’t love her sins, past and present, but I love everything that is good about her. She has the capacity to right wrongs. She is the land of liberty, opportunity, innovation, creativity, and prosperity. She has a generous heart toward the poor and disabled, and has spent much blood and treasure to safeguard liberty around the world. I am not a my-country-right-or-wrong person; I love America in spite of, not because of, her sins.

> What I know.

This country is in open defiance against the Creator, and has been inviting God’s judgment for some time. We have disregarded the created order by attempting to pervert marriage and gender. We shed the blood of the innocent, an act which some now celebrate. We suck the humanity out of whole communities of image bearers––especially in our cities––by shackling them to failing schools, undermining their family structure, and injecting dependency that denies them the fruit of their labor.

> What I implore.

Do not mistake God’s patience for His approval or indifference. Whatever your station in life, now is the time to repent. God will forgive when we come in repentance. In this world, the only safe place to be is within the will of God. As in Noah’s day, those on the outside will perish.

8. America’s Tomorrow: Making Ready for the Day

By Jim DeCamp, October 17, 2019

PHOTO: Paul Arps, 2014, Barbed Wire Fence at Auschwitz-Birkenau/Creative Commons.
PHOTO: Creative Commons

Beware the cunning appeal of persecution.
This post will consider challenges for believers in the not-too-distant future, God’s promised provision, and our eternal hope.

…of what matters.

August, as I begin writing this, boasts “the dog days of summer” when football players may lose 10 pounds quickly. It’s sweaty in the heat, and grass stains are a badge of honor. It is, in a word, grueling.

There’s something All-American about that: hard work, teamwork, sacrifice, reward for one’s labor. It’s about setting a goal, then pursuing it.

And at what price?

Whether one is hoping for a D-1 scholarship, running the race of a patriot, or seeking first the Kingdom of God; there are goals to strive for, virtues to cherish, and a finish line to cross.

There may also be a price to pay…under strange new rules. That’s what this post is about: persecution––which is almost a foreign language here in the States. I am thinking primarily about people of faith and about their readiness.

A gut check.

We Americans have a history of romanticizing war. Whether raw courage in the Revolution, bravery by both sides of the Civil War, or sacrifice in the World Wars of the last century, many are stirred by the selflessness of those who served. Yet there is often more than meets the eye.

In our day, as in years past, many return from war with chilling memories. Their readiness to serve remains; however, after their ordeal the fanciful portrayals of Hollywood seem almost sacrilegious.

I grew up listening to harrowing accounts from Fox’s Book of Martyrs–and of the faithful in our day––certain that I would be true to the end. It is sobering to think that, from my own experience in war, I won’t know how I will react until I’m actually in that situation. So how to make ready?

By my observation, today’s American church is dangerously unprepared for battle. We are confident we will stand, yet we are untested. And few are seeking training opportunities.

Take time to inventory.

Working assumptions can guide the study of a subject, yet unchallenged assumptions invite disaster. I do not write as a champion of persecution; these are lessons learned from my own life and the lives of others.


> Make the glory of God the main thing––the beginning and ending of your life’s calling.

> God is your strength to love your enemy, your power to endure trial, your inspiration to name the name of Jesus.

> Pray today for the hardest to love; they may be your persecutor tomorrow.

> Build courage for that day…by demonstrating it now. (If addressing a school board, city council, or state legislative committee is daunting, what better way to prepare to give a public witness one day?)

…a question, and a challenge.

> “Historically, the church has been more effective/had more power when undergoing persecution.”

There are many examples in church history––including the last century––to prove this statement true.

> We sing, “Like a bride waiting for her groom, we’ll be a Church ready for You.”

This is a positive goal to which to aspire.

Question: What is your confidence that the good statements above will describe you?

Challenge: Ask God right now to build faith, strength, and boldness in your life, in order to bring glory to God on that day.

Sufficient for the calling.

The Bible is replete with faith-builders, with God’s promises:

> “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

> “I will be with you” (God to Joshua, Joshua 1:8)

> “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Jesus to His disciples, Matthew 28:28).

> “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Future glory.

> “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’” (Matthew 25:34).

> “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). 

> “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Focus on faithfulness.

Make ready for the future by embracing the witness God gives you today. No word, no task, is too small.

Trust God’s promises. It may be grueling, but the finish line grows larger. 

9. America’s Tomorrow: Concluding Thoughts

By Jim DeCamp, October 24, 2019

“Faithful to the end.”

Taking our bearings.

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough,” said Albert Einstein.

Intellect may not point to the future, but perhaps wisdom should. For the future is the world into which our children and grandchildren will be born; the future is what we are building every day of our lives; and the future belongs to the God of time and space, holiness and justice, judgment and mercy, history and eternity.

Stir reflection, build resolve, humble hearts.

This series has been devoted to the future of America, the land I love. We have recognized Constitutional self-governance as the political legacy of our Founding Fathers, and the Judeo-Christian worldview as the foundation for a culture that has thrived. We have lamented America’s sins––past and present––and offered hope for spiritual redemption. Post #2, especially, sounded a warning of coming calamity if we do not humble ourselves before Almighty God.

The first five posts pertained to our nation and world. The next three were more introspective: (6) relating to other believers, (7) what we think of this country, and (8) how each of us will stand in the future.

This final post is incomplete, because there’s a lot of living yet to do…

Remarks before the Brownsburg School Board

Brownsburg, Indiana
July 9, 2018

For the background on these remarks see Transgenderism: Rude Awakening in Brownsburg

Good evening, Dr. Snapp, members of the School Board. Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you.

My name is Jim DeCamp. I’m a retired Army chaplain and pastor, and my wife and I live in Carmel.

We have very good friends who live in Brownsburg and whose children attend schools in this district.

I have grave concern about the direction the Board has taken regarding transgenderism, and wish to share this with you.

While my most memorable military experiences were made half a world away––in a hostile desert––I am aware of at least one area of need that is shared by some right here in Brownsburg.

Soldiers in battle may experience great trauma. The resulting inner tension, if left uncared for, may lead them to attempt unspeakable acts against their body or, worse, their life.

Suicide prevention training is required for every soldier, everywhere in the world, every single year. Chaplains are the trainers, and I was very involved in this area. The health and wellbeing of every soldier is of paramount importance.

It is here that I ask you to think with me; the preciousness of each young life calls out for it.

Seeking to bend one’s physical body to comply with thoughts that are in disagreement with one’s body is a formidable task. By their own description at last month’s Board meeting, inner tension exists within young people in the Brownsburg School District.

Young people who embark on this dangerous venture may attempt to end their lives at a rate significantly higher than that of their peers.

Please show compassion to these young people who are in anguish––precious young people––by not encouraging this very dangerous direction.

The medications and surgical procedures are untested; there is no adequate track record for their use with kids!

And please protect privacy and safety for all our young people. Thank you.

I Endorse Captain Dennis Quakenbush for Hamilton County Sheriff

April 18, 2018

After listening to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Candidates Debate* last evening, and based on personal conversation with Dennis as well as his on-the-job experience, I am persuaded that Dennis Quakenbush is the best qualified.

In a Sheriff’s Department of 220 employees and a $17M budget, Dennis Quakenbush is well equipped.

Technical Skills

> Dennis is the only candidate in command staff, where he has served for seven years.

> He is currently Patrol Commander, and has 16 years of law enforcement experience.

> As Captain of the Patrol Division he supervises over 60 full time deputies, administrative personnel, reserve and auxiliary officers.

> With an MBA in business administration, he will steward the people’s money wisely.

Leadership and Diplomacy

> Having the necessary organizational and institutional knowledge, he is fully prepared to lead this large and complex Sheriff’s Department.

> He is currently the Hamilton County Law Enforcement Representative for Emergency Management.

> Dennis already interfaces with County Commissioners, Councilors, and Prosecutors; and he will be the public face of our Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department.

Character and Faith

> Vocation. Dennis Quakenbush chose law enforcement over his corporate career out of a desire to serve his community, and to keep us safe.

> Family and faith. A life-long resident of Hamilton County, Dennis currently lives in Cicero with his wife and four young sons. A member of Genesis Church, he has served as a Sunday School Teacher and Youth Leader. Volunteering with Little Lambs Ministries, on three occasions he has worked in orphan camps in Ukraine.


Current Hamilton County Sheriff, Mark Bowen:

“Having served alongside him for the last 16 years, Captain Quakenbush is the clear choice to administer and expand the protection and safety we cherish in Hamilton County. Keep Hamilton County safe. Vote Quakenbush on May 8th.”

Dan Stevens, former Sheriff (1987-1994) and current Director of Administration for the county commissioners:

“The Sheriff’s operating budget is $17.3 million, which includes 216 personnel, a fleet of over 100 vehicles and the Hamilton County Jail. Your next Sheriff must choose wisely how to spend your tax dollars while adapting to the reality of the department’s changing operational environment, ensuring Hamilton County remains the best place in Indiana to live, work, raise a family and enjoy a safe quality of life,” said Sheriff Stevens. “Dennis possesses the common-sense maturity, the leadership skills, the business management training and the practical law enforcement experience to meet this challenge. Dennis will serve the citizens of Hamilton County well. I support Captain Dennis Quakenbush to be our next Sheriff.”


Captain Quakenbush understands that continued security requires a team effort. He says, “Together, we can keep Hamilton County safe.”

I am voting for Dennis Quakenbush for Sheriff on May 8, and I ask you to join me.


*Thank you, Fiscal Conservatives of Hamilton County, for sponsoring last night’s Sheriff’s debate.

I Endorse Matt Milam for Indiana’s Hamilton County Commissioner.

March 20, 2018

Matt’s connection with ordinary people, his character in a shifting world, and passion for integrity in government were determining factors in my endorsement.

What does the County Commission do?

A list of nearly 40 “General Powers and Duties” of the Hamilton County Commission is here:


Among these responsibilities, commissioners:

> Hold the county’s power of eminent domain.

> Maintain infrastructure including roads and bridges.

> Authorize county contracts.

Serious questions are being raised about how these commissioners do their work, and about who influences them.

The Hamilton County Commission: Well Guarded

> Meeting, as they do, at 1:30 PM on a Monday, it’s difficult for taxpayers to attend.

> Beginning, as they do, in Executive Session that can last an hour or more, business appears to be cooked before commissioners step into the light.

> Receiving, as they do, hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from vendors and contractors who do millions in business for the county, commissioners invite awkward questions which taxpayers are asking.

…..Enter Matt Milam….

Matt’s connection with the people

Matt connects with ordinary people, and it’s a big reason I support him for Hamilton County Commissioner. I want Hamilton County to get to know this good man.

Fourteen years ago, Matt went to the door of every home in Home Place. He led his community in resisting annexation by Carmel. In the process he earned the trust of his neighbors––rare in politics today.

As a county commissioner, Matt promises to promote the best interest of all the people of the County.

Matt’s Character in a shifting world

It’s not hard to identify office holders who accept large campaign contributions from big players, then award contracts to big players. “That’s not right,” says Matt Milam.

Matt backs up his concerns with action. He willingly undergoes the headaches of a campaign. He is the definition of selflessness. He displays the character that he calls for in others.

Matt’s passion for integrity…where it is especially needed today: in government

The most powerful lessons are not taught by the mouth, but displayed in one’s life. At a time when the public is weary of corruption in politics and equally wondering if there is hope, Matt steps up to the plate. We need Matt’s integrity on the Hamilton County Commission.

It’s not the expenditure of money that is the immediate concern here. It’s the possible connection between large campaign donations and the recipients of county money. What’s happening now is odious.

I want my grandchildren growing up in a county where they look up to their leaders, and give them the respect they have earned. I am encouraged that there is one such candidate running for Hamilton County Commissioner in 2018.

Matt Milam is that person. His life displays the character and integrity we need in County government.

Please join me in voting Matt Milam for Hamilton County Commissioner, District 1, on May 8!

I Endorse Will Riley for Judge in Hamilton County [Indiana] Superior Court 1

March 15, 2018

Will was very generous with his time in our conversation, as were the other candidates. The chord was struck with Will by:

> His fidelity to the U. S. and Indiana Constitutions: he spoke freely of these documents as foundational in all his deliberations.

> His inquisitive mind: he had been reading through The Federalist Papers, again.

> His ability to communicate legal principles in understandable ways: he spoke of interacting with law school students, probing their understanding and helping them test their own presuppositions.

> His insight into the role of Judge: fairness to all parties, while upholding the law. He had written, “…we must help those who have lost their way, but hold our offenders accountable.”

> His temperament: personally engaging, while remaining impartial.

> His appreciation for liberty and individual rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

> His remarkable background….

…..Will was one of the lawyers who helped recover $3.9 billion for Indiana taxpayers from the tobacco companies and one of the lawyers who represented the Attorney General of California that recovered $12.5 billion for taxpayers from the tobacco companies.

…..Closer to home, Will tried a 6-week trial in Hamilton County and recovered $17 million for his client and the client’s business.

…..Most recently, Will was a semi-finalist to sit on the Indiana Supreme Court.

> His understanding of today’s world: the relationship between the fabric of culture and law in a thriving society.

Appreciation for Each Candidate

I am grateful to each of the three candidates for giving their time in conversation. I have enormous respect for the background, experience, and contribution that each has made to our state and community.

My questions for each related to:

> One’s view of the relevance of the Constitution.

> The relationship between individual liberty and the fabric of our culture.

> The foundation on which one stands when making decisions.

> How to shore up respect for the law.

> Possible threats to our freedoms.

In this process I renewed one friendship that goes back several years and made two new friends––all of whom I admire.


Some Different, but Not Unrelated, Notes

I couldn’t help but reflect on the process of electing judges; this is a different animal.

For example, that these lawyers are obliged to run a campaign at all is awkward. We are talking about a very political process for an apolitical position. I in turn was obliged to ask different questions––more difficult than inquiring of those running for typical elected office.

The requirement for fundraising and party affiliation could also be complicating factors. Friendships, loyalty, and resources can bring out the best in any of us…as long as they don’t carry encumbrances into the future. As a doctor requires a sterile surgical field, a judge must guard his thinking from matters that do not pertain to the case at hand. I doubt that money and connections are a help in such deliberations.

This is not to suggest there is a better way of finding judges; selection boards and/or appointment systems have their own drawbacks. In recent years while pondering one challenge or another in our country, I have often thought, “The antidote to this is an informed electorate.”

I have done my best to make an informed decision and wanted to share it.

I Endorse Republican State Representative Curt Nisly for Indiana House District 22

March 12, 2018

He is loved in his district as much as he is vilified in Indianapolis. But first:



Republican State Representative Curt Nisly was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 2014, defeating incumbent Republican Rebecca Kubacki in the primary, 64.8% to 35.2%. He then prevailed in the general election over Democrat David C. Kolbe, 70.3% to 24.7% (Independent Michael L. Stinfer garnered 5.1%).


Curt was unchallenged in the 2016 primary, and beat Democrat Brian Smith in the general, 77.39% to 22.61%.

Source: Ballotpedia


Curt Nisly is running for reelection, and has a primary challenger.


> Curt is one of the few in the Indiana legislature who voted AGAINST the gas tax of 2017.

> He voted FOR a balanced state budget in 2017.

> In 2017 he offered an amendment to HB1071 that would have exempted all persons over the age of 18, not barred from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, from having to get permission from the state to carry a firearm. Curt stood his ground by appealing the decision of the Chair, in a successful attempt by his caucus to kill the amendment.

> In 2016, he OPPOSED expansion of the wheel tax.

> In 2015 he voted AGAINST the RFRA fix, in contrast to the vast majority of his caucus.


Curt Nisly said he would protect life, and has authored the “Protection at Conception” bill each of the last two years. Some say this bill has no political future, and I understand their misgivings.

Yet Representative Nisly has persistently raised the plight of the over 7,000 Hoosier babies put to death by induced abortion every year. No one in Indianapolis, to my knowledge, has stimulated the debate like Curt. Ending this massive killing is a serious conversation that must be had, and I honor Curt Nisly for his vision and courage.


For his trouble Curt has been castigated and ostracized, as if there were no room for an independent thinker in a State House of 100 Members. I, for one, would be thrilled to vote for someone with his authenticity, character, and courage!

Curt Nisly represents his constituents of District 22 in Indianapolis; he does not impose Indianapolis thinking on his District.


I am honored to lend my support to Curt Nisly––truly, the people’s representative.

Jim DeCamp

What a pleasure going door-to-door with Curt Nisly today in Indiana’s House District 22.

April 7, 2018

Plus delicious pizza with Curt and Mary.
Great couple, great candidate!
Curt Nisly for State Rep.`


August 5, 2017

Election integrity is the cure.

More registered voters than adults over 18 in: SanDiego County (138%). SanFrancisco County (114%). “L.A. County may be as high as 144%.”

What are you hiding, CA Secretary of State, Alex Padilla?See Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act. (Enacted by Democrats and signed by Pres. Bill Clinton, in 1993––for those determined to believe that its purpose was voter suppression.)

The letter from Judicial Watch “gives Padilla 14 days to respond, and 90 days to correct alleged violations of the law.”


Testimony before the Hamilton County (Indiana) Council…Regarding the Misconduct of a Council Member

June 7, 2017

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Hamilton County Council. My name is Jim DeCamp. I’m a retired Army chaplain and pastor, and I am the Precinct Committeeman for Clay Southwest 1.

One morning in high school, a question entered my mind which I could not shake: “What’s the difference between character and reputation?”

Later I put that question to my mother. She answered with a question of her own: “Should there be a difference?”

I have revisited that question and answer a number of times in my life, most recently in the context of the behavior of a member of the Hamilton County Council, Jeffrey A. Hern––a man with lots of potential, and for whom I truly wish the very best.

Damaging and removing large campaign signs of an opponent, lying to Hamilton County Sheriff investigators and to the public about what he had done, withholding the truth from voters until LONG after the election––and only then as part of a Plea Agreement, as I understand it––this is the stuff of corruption.

Misconduct in a political campaign––resulting in an election that quite possibly would have seen a different outcome––undermines the integrity of this election, and erodes the people’s confidence in Hamilton County government.

More than once, I have requested to meet with Mr. Hern. Last Wednesday, another Precinct Committeeman and I left a voicemail message for him, asking him to sit down with us. No reply.

Thursday, we sent a text message with the same request. No response.

Why this silence by an office holder toward constituents?

Perhaps he has been advised not to speak with anyone about this. How does that relate to the virtue of transparency?

Based on personal conversations as recently as last evening, people in my precinct remember what happened, and they do not like it. Mr. Hern recently was in Hamilton Superior Court. He now stands in the Court of Public Opinion.

His misconduct has cast a shadow over the important work of the Hamilton County Council.

The voters of Hamilton County deserve better.

Mr. Hern, Sir: I call upon you to resign.

Thank you.

Trump vs. Clinton (series)

Trump vs. Clinton: A Deliberate Decision

By Jim DeCamp, 9/19/2016

I am late to the fight, though have no apology for coming nor regret for the delay. The Primary season and the Convention in Cleveland revealed serious matters that, hopefully, will be resolved in due time. But now there is time only to focus on November 8, 2016. As I see it, it’s not a matter of which party wins; it’s about whether our Republic survives.

This is the first of a number of posts in which I will lay out my reasons for voting––and campaigning––for Donald Trump. It’s been a very deliberate process, which I’ll explain in this initial post. But first….


I was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, by missionary parents. My father, who had been imprisoned by the Japanese and served as a U. S. Army chaplain in World War II, led me to love freedom. The proudest moment of my life (up to that point) was the day I turned 18; I went with my father to the United States Embassy in Seoul and registered for the draft. I knew there was now the possibility of wearing the uniform of my country, and I was so proud I could hardly contain myself.

Today, having retired from nine years in the Infantry and 22 years as an Army chaplain, nothing has dimmed this passion for freedom, though I have seen the cost of preserving it. Now, what is left of freedom in America must be defended still, then fully restored!


I have no illusion that the case I make for Donald Trump is an easy sell. My candidate throughout the Primary (who was not Donald Trump) was lied about and attacked by individuals, the media, and his own party. His wife and father were the subjects of salacious and fallacious accusations. While his opponent received hundreds of millions of dollars in free airtime, by contrast he was the object of a media blackout. His principled, Constitutional stands have been answered with vitriol and threats from his party. Yes, I am angered by all of this, myself.

America must have a Constitutionally-committed, serious-minded––and united––major political party. Some of my friends have given up on this vision for the Republican party. Time will tell. I trust that the conflict will be resolved as soon as possible, but that will not happen before November 8.


My purpose here is to encourage support for the one candidate who carries a ray of hope, who provides a foothold––who, if nothing else, may at least buy time––for the recovery of the land we love.

Time is very short––not just till the election but, in my view, for our nation, itself. Laying down past grievances till November 9 will be painful; the other side may mock or seek advantage for the future. But this election is about the future of our Republic, our children…our sweet freedom. The side with the most Constitutional and compelling arguments will win if the people have a voice. And only one of the two remaining candidates has been willing to listen to the people.

1. Trump vs. Clinton: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils

by Jim DeCamp, 9/23/2016

Photo: Nodigio, Creative Commons

BLUF (BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT): Hillary Clinton is so corrupt, and her policies so destructive for America, that I am compelled to vote for Donald Trump who, I am persuaded, loves and wants the best for this country.

Given his opponent, I also believe it is a morally good choice to vote for Donald Trump.


In subsequent posts, we will contrast in some detail Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton in terms of their policy commitments. In this post, we will touch briefly on a number of issues, the outcome of which, I contend, will determine the trajectory of our country for the foreseeable future.

The dilemma in which some voters find themselves this election must be faced, and the decision made. America is on the launch pad, and the clock is ticking.


Some voters are undecided between Trump and Clinton. My wrestling has led me to conclude that––YES––a vote for Trump IS a morally good choice. These points contributed to my conclusion:

* Consider the office being sought. Trump’s style is rough (to be kind), and he has acknowledged unfaithfulness in his personal life. He has hurled insults and accusations, and found it difficult to acknowledge mistakes. Yet I am voting for Trump because I am voting for an office holder, not my pastor. The future of America must override personal distaste.

* The greater good. Both candidates are flawed, but because Donald Trump will do far more good than his opponent, it is a morally good decision to vote for him. The future of America is at stake.

* Quality advisors. Trump has begun to assemble a very able team of advisors––most notably, his running mate, Indian Governor Mike Pence, who describes himself as “A Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican…in that order.” The recovery of America requires leaders who stand for all that made her great.

* My obligation to vote. Just like I ministered in the mud and the blood, I must enter into this “stinky political mess.” There is little that attracts me to politics, besides freedom and what made America great (about which, actually, many volumes have been written!). It’s what politics has become that I dislike––indeed, detest. So will I escape moral responsibility by not voting? I don’t think so. Professor of Christian Ethics, Wayne Grudem: “The prophet Obadiah rebuked the people of Edom for standing by and doing nothing to help when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem: ‘On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that . . . foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them.’” (Obadiah 1:11). Seldom has America needed us more; we will give an account for our political stewardship. 

* My duty as an “exile” calls me (as 1 Peter 1:1 describes Christians in this world). God spoke through His Prophet, Jeremiah, to His chosen people whom He had sent off to far-away Babylon: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7—ESV) Professor Grudem: “By way of modern application, I think Christians today have a similar obligation to vote in such a way that will ‘seek the welfare’ of the United States.” I am certain that America will be in far better hands under Trump than Clinton.

* Vote for a third party, “write-in” a candidate, or sit it out? Any of these three scenarios will deny a vote for Trump in his match-up against Clinton. I fully understand “writing in” a better candidate––believe me––but such an action in 2016, while making an impressive statement, could throw the election to Clinton. Freedom in America, as we cherish it, could not survive a Clinton administration. I am already studying candidates to support in 2018; we will absolutely fight another day! But for all that is holy, and for the sake of our country, please do not “write in” this year.

* So very much hangs in the balance between a Supreme Court of Trump appointees vs. those appointed by Clinton. I plan to go into much more detail in subsequent posts, but pick a subject that is near and dear to your heart––the preciousness of every weak and helpless person, the impact of gender-confusion, sweet religious liberty, the very existence of the traditional family, inter-generational debt, national defense, Israel, terrorism, the Second Amendment, public decency laws, big-government tyranny––the next President will in all likelihood determine the composition of the Supreme Court for 30 years to come. I have laid down a passionate Primary defeat…for the sake of all the above.

Hillary Clinton will be elected––not over my dead body, but––over my exhausted body. I will campaign and vote for Donald Trump in order to defeat Hillary. I ask you to do the same.  


For a more thorough discussion of moral reasons to vote for Donald Trump, I recommend this column by Dr. Wayne Grudem, Professor of Christian Ethics, that appeared in TownHall on July 28, 2016, titled “Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice.


2. Trump vs. Clinton: The Constitution–Power to the People

By Jim DeCamp, 9/27/2016

Vote for Trump…for the sake of the Constitution.

(On September 19, I wrote an introduction to this series explaining why I’m voting for Donald Trump. The first post followed on Sep. 23. This is the second of nine scheduled posts.)

BLUF (BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT): The United States Constitution is the watershed political document of our Republic. Considering the stark contrast between Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s regard for the Constitution and the American people, I will most certainly vote for Trump.

/// thinking cap alert ///


Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), a French economist, statesman and author, lived and wrote at the time of the Revolution of February, 1848, in France. He lamented increased government control over the French people. In his book, The Law, Bastiat wrote, “This [control] will remain the case as long as human beings with feelings continue to remain passive; so long as they consider themselves incapable of bettering their prosperity and happiness by their own intelligence and their own energy…in short, so long as they imagine that their relationship to the state is the same as that of the sheep and the shepherd.”

Another Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, was a contemporary of Bastiat’s. DeTocqueville traveled to the U. S. in 1831 to satisfy his curiosity about this new nation. In 1835 he wrote Democracy in America––his attempt to explain the greatness of this fledgling republic. He reflected, “As I see it, only God can be all-powerful without danger, because his wisdom and justice are always equal to his power. Thus there is no authority on earth so inherently worthy of respect, or invested with a right so sacred, that I would want to let it act without oversight or rule without impediment” (p. 290). Speaking of America, de Tocqueville also referred to “her matchless Constitution.”

I will vote for the candidate who fosters a spirit of independence and achievement, and who cherishes the Constitutional principles of limited government and individual rights.


Edwin Meese III explains the relationship of our founding documents: “Part of the reason for the Constitution’s enduring strength is that it is the complement of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration provided the philosophical basis for a government that exercises legitimate power by ‘the consent of the governed,’ and it defined the conditions of a free people, whose rights and liberty are derived from their Creator. The Constitution delineated the structure of government and the rules for its operation, consistent with the creed of human liberty proclaimed in the Declaration.” (http://www.heritage.org/constitution#!/introessays/1) There is unity in our founding documents, and they are not outdated. (We will discuss it later in this post.)

I will vote for the candidate who better accepts and affirms “the consent of the governed.”


“Asked in a 2012 interview [on foreign soil, on Al Hayat television in Cairo] whether Egypt’s new government should look to other constitutions for guidance, [U. S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg replied, ‘I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa.’” (DailySignal.com, 2016/09/15) Justice Ginsberg has also said that she weighs foreign law as well as U. S. law when forming a legal opinion. (FoxNews.com, 2012/02/06)

Until five years ago, my connection to the Constitution was largely the Oath I had sworn: to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic….SO HELP ME GOD.” Since retiring, I have studied and pondered what I vowed to “support and defend” all those years.

I have great respect for Justice Ginsberg’s accomplishments and the office she holds. She and I obviously have different training and experience, but what separates us most in this conversation is our reverence––or lack of it––for this founding document of our Republic. Ironically, we both took the Oath; look how far we have come, or gone.

I will vote for the candidate more likely to cherish the Oath that will be assumed on Friday, January 20, 2017.


John York at the Heritage Foundation writes, “Some scientific and technological changes do require that we think carefully about the Founders’ intent when they were writing the Constitution. For instance, new technologies allow police to peer into homes without physically entering them, intercept an email or a text message, or track your car from their computer back at the precinct. Whether these things constitute a search or seizure of citizens’ ‘houses, papers, and effects’ under the Fourth Amendment is an important question the Founders do not answer for us directly.

“But by no means are we merely left to guess how the Constitution speaks to these modern conditions. Through the Founders’ own writings contained in the Federalist Papers, notes on the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention and correspondence, thoughtful judges and legal scholars get a clear sense of the spirit behind the words on the page.

“Given the Founders’ concern that government would use warrantless searches to harass and condemn political dissidents, it is hard to imagine James Madison or Alexander Hamilton would approve of warrantless wiretaps, drone flyovers, and email dragnets conducted by federal agencies.”

I will vote for the candidate who respects the Constitution as originally written, and who understands how to apply its timeless principles.

/// You’re almost home! ///

….Our Constitution recognizes individual rights from our Creator, and places government in a subservient position to the people.

Bastiat and de Tocqueville recognized that people should be free––not just from foreign domination, but from a government that rules and overrules its people. This, for them, was only a dream. Yet it is precisely this that is the genius of our “matchless Constitution.” It lifts up the freedom of the individual as endowed by our Creator, while it instructs the government what the government may do. Under our Constitution, the voting public––not the government––has the last word.

I will vote for the candidate who defends the people’s Constitutional rights, instead of seeking to curtail them. SO…


This election is not about two imperfect candidates; it is about the future of America. One course in 2016 is to cherish and defend our Constitution, with its guarantees of individual liberty, limited government, and the opportunity to change and improve our national life. The other direction is to exchange our freedom for government control and the dole, aspiring one day to be like every other country ruled by tyrants.

Hillary Clinton relishes government assistance (read subjugation) for the population. Able-bodied people are sapped of their initiative, denying them the fruit of their labor, weakening the fabric of society. In 1982, Economics Professor Walter Williams wrote in his book, The State Against Blacks, “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, and that is to destroy the black family.” This is one of many examples of Clinton’s vision for ever-bigger government at the expense of the people’s well-being and their Constitutional right to breathe free.

Donald Trump offers the hope of economic and personal freedom, and has spoken many times of his commitment to the Second Amendment, to religious freedom, the right to life, and other God-given rights enshrined in our Constitution.


Given the stark contrast and for the future direction of our country, I will vote for Donald Trump and I ask you to join me.

3. Trump vs. Clinton: Religious Liberty and Life

By Jim DeCamp, 10/1/2016

Vote for Donald Trump for the sake of religious liberty and life.

BLUF (BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT): Donald Trump has promised to protect the right to religious practice for all Americans. Those who have regard for religious freedom––whether they cherish a faith of their own or simply respect the Constitutional right of others to do so––must defeat Hillary Clinton.


Out of the crucible of religious persecution this nation was born. The Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower in 1620, then Protestants, Anabaptists, Quakers, Amish––they came. Fleeing the sword and torture chamber, seeking a future in peace for themselves and their posterity, intent on living in obedience to the teachings of Christ––they came. Many never reached these shores alive, and life in this new land ended in a multitude of early graves. Yet they came. The yearning to worship and live out one’s faith freely proving more powerful than any threat to life, itself––they came. Buoyed by the promises of the God of Holy Scripture, and drawn by the prospect of life eternal with Him––they came.

A century-and-a-half after the Pilgrims, a new generation would declare: “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; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Religious liberty had taken root and, while God had bestowed it, government was to be its guarantor:

> The first words of the First Amendment of the new Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

> And here in Indiana, our Constitution is even more explicit on conscience protection. Article I, Section 3: “No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.”

The cry to be free had been heard.


When religious people live out their faith, everyone benefits. Might there be, among them, some criminals and frauds? To my knowledge it has always been that way. But sincere believers will always live out their faith.

My parents were missionaries to Korea. One day at supper, my father said, “I met with someone at the U. S. Embassy today. This diplomat said, ‘Look, it’s OK for you missionaries to run orphanages, hospitals and schools. Just lay off the religion.’” (In fact, there were lots of other good things going on: widows’ homes, leprosariums, prostheses for war amputees, rescue missions of all kinds, agricultural training etc.)

My dad reflected, “He wants the fruit without the root.”


Today, from shore to shore, God’s people are sharing His love and following Christ’s call to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Right here in Indianapolis…food banks, woodworking training, rescue missions, parenting skills coaching, help with home ownership, free legal advice, medical clinics, home companions, pregnancy help centers, tutors in the Brookside Neighborhood…everywhere one looks God’s people are pouring out their lives for others.

In his book, Deicide: How Eliminating the Deity Is Destroying America, Curt Smith shows how the balanced three-part structure of Family/Government/Church feeds the Life/Liberty/Pursuit of Happiness vision of our Founders. Religious liberty is integral to all that has made America great.

The weak and vulnerable are hurt when citizens are prohibited from living out their sincerely held religious beliefs. Yet that is precisely what some are seeking to accomplish.


There is a rising tide of anti-religious zealotry. Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council: “The weight of government is being used to quarantine faith within the four walls of the church, and that is not religious freedom.” It is with much disappointment that I have seen elected officials in my own party betray First Amendment religious liberty protections.

The left has trained its hostile gaze on sincerely religious people, which is why November 8 is so decisive. I heard Donald Trump speak at the Values Voter Summit in DC on September 9. He repeatedly pledged to protect the Constitutional right of religious freedom for all Americans. Hillary Clinton has made no such claim.


I believe that God’s true followers––whose faith is rooted in His truth––are secure, come what may. Enemies of religious faith cannot touch the root, but they are in a position to sever fruit, thereby inflicting untold suffering upon the needy.

Today persecution takes the form of a $135,000 fine on a small family-owned business, forcing the owners with their five children to close their doors. (There are scores of other examples I could cite.) When religious faith and action is punished, the faithful will survive, strengthened by the promise that God will be with them, and inspired by the example of the faithful from generations past. It is the weakest of the weak who will be most brutalized.


Nowhere are lives more hanging in the balance than by the greatest killer in America today: induced abortion. Yet it is precisely here that believers everyday are offering hope in crisis and––yes––God’s forgiveness and healing for those who have abortion in their history. God offers comprehensive solutions: guidance for living in the context of a personal relationship with Jesus, forgiveness for ANYTHING we may have done, and restoration of a broken life. Oh, to be free….

Not only would personal religious liberty be threatened if Hillary were elected; bringing hope in despair and healing for the wounds of life would be suppressed, as would 240-year-old Constitutional guarantees.


Donald Trump has condemned in no uncertain terms the ghoulish, barbaric practices of Planned Parenthood: selling baby parts for profit; Hillary Clinton continues staunchly to support Planned Parenthood. Donald Trump has promised to appoint Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Justice Scalia; Hillary Clinton, no such respect for the Constitution nor for human life.

November 8 may well make history, friends. Please join me in voting for religious liberty, for human life…for Donald Trump.

4. Trump vs. Clinton: As the Family, So Goes the Nation

By Jim DeCamp, 10/7/2016

For the sake of the American family, and therefore our nation’s future, I am voting for the Trump-Pence ticket, and I hope you will, as well.


(On September 19, I posted an introduction to this series explaining why I’m voting for Donald Trump. The first three of nine planned posts were made on Sep. 23, 27 and Oct. 1. This is the fourth.)

BLUF (BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT): Americans are born, study, live, work, and die in the context of their family. The traditional American family is the only societal structure that will adequately provide for parenting responsibilities; support the educational challenges; statistically minimize poverty, drug problems, run-ins with the law, and youth suicides; sustain work demands; transfer the moral foundation; and confirm the national identity––all of which are necessary for our country to survive. Only the Trump-Pence ticket will defend and protect the beleaguered American family.


The year before retiring, I was influenced by someone who said, “Those of you who are now, or soon will be retired: If you can possibly do so, please invest in the lives of your children and grandchildren. The future of our nation depends on it.”

I decided to do just that, full time. As I studied my new mission, I learned how the American family is being threatened by a corrosive culture, and besieged by Big Money, Big Media, and Big Government.


This post is not about what to do with adult attractions and pleasures; it is about the future of the American family and, therefore, of our country. Ryan T. Anderson, in his book Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, reflected on the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges: “…[I]t has shut down debate just as we were starting to hear new voices––gay people who agree that children need their mother and their father, and children of same-sex couples who wish they knew both their mom and dad.”

Other voices missing in this debate are those of many churches. (But––alas––this self-imposed silence by churches is grist for another post and another day.)


One of the reasons, traditionally, that guests are invited to a wedding is to share in the joy. Yet in some sense, those guests also represent the community, which has a stake in the success of that marriage and family. Anderson writes, “Society as a whole, not merely any given set of spouses, benefits from marriage. This is because marriage helps to channel procreative love into a stable institution that provides for the orderly bearing and rearing of the next generations.”

The next generations….
We are talking about the future of the American family and, therefore, of our country, friends. There was a day when virtually all children grew up in a home with Mom and Dad; today in America that number is under 50%. The statistics of additional challenges for children living without the benefit of Mom and Dad in the home are sobering for each family, and alarming for the nation’s future. Dr. James Dobson said at the Values Voter Summit in September that if Hillary were elected, he did not think it likely that the American family would survive.

There is something very practical AND very near-term that can be done, and it’s happening on November 8. Party Platforms express a vision for America, and the difference could not be more stark.


This is part of the statement on marriage and family adopted by the GOP in July, 2016, and which a Republican House and Senate will support Donald Trump in pursuing:

“Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values.” The platform affirms the numerous benefits of natural marriage to human flourishing, and supported by overwhelming evidence from social science, concludes that “every child deserves a married mom and dad.”


The Democratic Party Platform, also adopted in July, 2016, expresses Hillary Clinton’s it-takes-a-village vision for raising children.

The Democrats look to government and “social support services,” not marriage and family as the foundation of American society. Without mentioning the family or natural marriage, Democrats “are committed to creating a society where children … can thrive physically, emotionally, educationally, and spiritually … [through] civil structures that are essential to creating this for every child.”


One party lifts up the role of marriage and family, Mom and Dad, and rearing children with cultural values. The other party promotes government programs and support services in lieu of the traditional family structure.

I’m not known as an alarmist; I eschew all such talk. An alarmist is someone who stirs people up needlessly. The danger to the American family is real and it is close.

In the Army when calling in artillery that would land nearby, one always ended the call with “DANGER CLOSE!”––a reminder to the gunners that the fate of friendly lives is in their hands. As I ponder how close we are to losing the American family, that artillery warning rings loud and clear.


Four weeks from Tuesday, voters will decide whether to give the American family the opportunity for a comeback. I say “opportunity” because government can only create conditions for restoring healthy families. Moral values, inspired by faith and instilled by moms and dads, are essential if the family is to survive. It is here, fellow believers, that the church must resume its witness in society, or it will share in the fate of the family…as will its children’s children. We defend what we love.

Government cannot and ought not provide guidance in this area. But government must defend the Constitutional freedom of Americans to live their conscience, and government must protect the only time-proven institution that will carry the future of our nation on its back: the traditional family.

At the human level, the only hope for the American family is a Trump-Pence Administration. I will vote for it on November 8, and I sincerely hope you will, too.

What Timing!

By Jim DeCamp, October 8, 2016

In answer to a vulgar tape of Donald Trump speaking 15 years earlier, which had just been released, I wrote this piece. (It was not part of the already-planned series, but was inserted at this point.)



“What timing!” I say to self. “The very day (yesterday) I post an affirmative piece on Donald Trump’s candidacy, this revelation comes out. And what else may still be revealed?”


I received this question from a FB friend (and have permission to share it): “Should the risk of Hillary as president and the hope of a more conservative supreme court overrule my revulsion of Trump?” My answer, in a word: Yes.

I have read parts of a transcript, and may not listen to the tape for the same reason I don’t go to a lot of movies nor watch a lot of TV. I have no need to fall all over myself creating distance from those comments.

Much of the best counseling takes place in private, and I believe Donald is availing himself of the best moral and spiritual advice. My guess is that this has included subjects such as sin, repentance, forgiveness, grace, and upright living going forward. There is mercy at the foot of the Cross. (I claim that Good News every day!)

I do not dismiss such comments because they occurred 11 years ago, nor am I quick to point to hypocrisy of others. In the first case, sin is sin, and it must be dealt with. In the second, the double standard in today’s world is what it is, and it will all come out in the wash. Just as Donald must face his wrongdoing, so will we all––today, or on that Day. Our choice.


On Sep. 23, I posted, “Consider the office being sought. Trump’s style is rough (to be kind), and he has acknowledged unfaithfulness in his personal life. He has hurled insults and accusations, and found it difficult to acknowledge mistakes. Yet I am voting for Trump because I am voting for an office holder, not my pastor. The future of America must override personal distaste.”

I have no quarrel, in principle, with those who say, “I just cannot abide a president who would say such things.” (I hope never to hear words like that from anyone, let alone my president.)

So does it come down to a choice between a candidate who says and does terrible things vs. a candidate who says and does terrible things? 

Not to be flippant; this is hard for those of us who wrestle over the ethical implications of our vote.


On Sep. 19, I began a series of posts explaining why I’m voting for Trump on Nov. 8––considering the dire alternative: “As I see it, it’s not a matter of which party wins; it’s about whether our Republic survives…My purpose here is to encourage support for the one candidate who carries a ray of hope, who provides a foothold––who, if nothing else, may at least buy time––for the recovery of the land we love.”


In the last 18 hours, my thinking has taken these steps: distaste, mourning, prayer for someone who needs grace, prayer for a nation where freedom is on the wane, reaffirmation of my decision to vote…and I’m back to prayer.

I make no predictions and do not know what God’s timeline is for this country. Each of us must vote our conscience. And may God’s will be done.

5. Trump vs. Clinton: Health Care and Mercy

By Jim DeCamp, October 15, 2016

Creative Commons

Health care is another reason I’m voting for the Trump-Pence ticket, and I ask you to join me.


BLUF (BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT): The only thing centralized medicine guarantees is a place in the queue. Only Trump offers the hope of outstanding patient-centric and sustainable health care for all Americans.


Here is the fundamental difference between Trump’s plan and that of Clinton’s:

TRUMP allows the patient, the doctor, the 50 States, and the free market to provide care.

CLINTON makes promises which, while appealing, are utterly dependent upon government to fulfill.

Donald Trump will repeal Obamacare, then rebuild high-quality health care through competition and market forces. Hillary Clinton would seek more centralized control, culminating in a completely government run medical system. When money runs low, the only thing a centralized health system can do is constrict care.


What concerns me most about Obamacare is not the erosion of health care––though that, alone, is enough to oppose it! What concerns me most is the loss of freedom, and the implications it carries to the rest of life.

What could be more freedom-threatening than the private, patient-doctor relationship being replaced by top-down rules and rationed health care? Instead of people deciding with their doctors what treatment is best, people’s care would be determined by bureaucrats, with cost-control mandates delaying and eventually denying the very care that has been promised. Death Panels.

When we are in the Emergency Room, we just want care NOW, and questions of funding, quality, and sustainability take a back seat, understandably. But eventually, those questions must be addressed, and on November 8, 2016, Americans will make a serious about the future of our health care system.


Donald Trump’s plan:

> Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

> Work with Congress to create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality, and affordability.

> Work with states to establish high-risk pools to ensure access to coverage for individuals who have not maintained continuous coverage.

> Allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, creating a dynamic market.

> Maximize flexibility for states via block grants so that local leaders can design innovative Medicaid programs that will better serve their low-income citizens.

For more information, see https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/healthcare-reform

Hillary Clinton’s plan:

> Defend and expand the Affordable Care Act, which covers 20 million people.

> Bring down out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles.

> Reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

> Protect consumers from unjustified prescription drug price increases from companies that market long-standing, life-saving treatments and face little or no competition.

> Fight for health insurance for the lowest-income Americans in every state by incentivizing states to expand Medicaid

For more information, see https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/health-care/

Contrast a creative and substantive cost-cutting measure––Trump’s “Allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, creating a dynamic market” [as we already do with auto insurance]––with Hillary’s vague “Bring down out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles.” Trump’s plan contains solutions, with a private sector way to reduce cost; Hillary offers intentions, imposed by government power.


Obamacare is costing massively more than originally promised; it’s future is not private providers serving the people at government’s behest. Barack Obama’s vision is a “single payer” system, where government controls all. Some medical insurance companies––early supporters of Obamacare––are suffering, along with their customers…by design. Just yesterday (Oct. 14), Bloomberg.com headlined, “More Than 1 Million to Lose Obamacare Plans as Insurers Quit.” See http://www.bloomberg.com/…/more-than-1-million-in…

“While it’s not clear what all the consequences of the departing insurers will be,” Bloomberg Reported, “interviews with regulators and insurance customers suggest that plans will be fewer and more expensive, and may not include the same doctors and hospitals.”

Which leads us to the lie that deceived so many in 2008: “If you like your doctor/hospital/health plan, you can keep them.” Many times this falsehood was repeated by the President. Government control is the goal, and government cannot take enough money away from the people to provide their medical needs.


There is something about human need that calls for compassion, self-sacrifice. My maternal grandparents sailed to China as missionaries in the 1890s. My grandfather was a doctor, and built a hospital near Shanghai––aptly named Love and Mercy Hospital. The realities of financing the hospital were a constant challenge, of course, yet God supplied what was needed in that austere setting.

Like Obama before her, Hillary is not proposing a private-sector solution that relies on market principles and on the generosity of wealthy Americans. Early on, the Obama administration reduced the deduction for charitable contributions. This was hailed as putting the squeeze on the rich; in reality, it was the beginning of a subtle movement to replace private charities with government programs. I see no mercy in that.

As I pointed to in Post #3, “Religious Liberty and Life” (on Oct. 1), there is considerable overlap between religious freedom and service ministries in our country. Today, government is obstructing the free-flow of mercy; this does not bode well for the sick under government-controlled care.


Freedom/Sustainability and Control/Decline are on the ballot November 8. I am voting for Trump-Pence, and I invite you to join me.

6. Trump vs. Clinton: Military Readiness and Foreign Policy

By Jim DeCamp, 10/19/2016

The Trump-Pence team will rebuild national security. Join me in voting for them on or before November 8!

BLUF (BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT): Our nation is in peril, our military depleted, and we have lost the respect of friend and foe. Only the Trump-Pence team will rebuild our military might and restore our standing in the world.


There are all kinds of motivations for wearing the uniform, yet at the deepest level military people do what they do out of love––love for freedom, for their country, for their family, their neighbor and their neighbor’s family. There are other strong motivators in life––fear, guilt, bitterness––but LOVE is the healthiest, the most enduring. And we need THIS motivator because we will be fighting terrorists for the rest of our lives.

I begin this way because America does not have the option of living in denial nor growing weary in the fight. For the sake of generations yet unborn, we must fortify those who defend us, even as we strive to shape a better world.


In Obama’s eight years, the United State military has been decimated, treated with contempt by this administration, and used by the left for social experimentation. Political correctness classes have crowded out combat training and Code of Conduct instruction. Now, forcing females into units whose mission is direct contact with the enemy is lowering physical standards and eroding combat capability––not to mention damaging the health of the women involved.

The first responsibility of government is to secure the nation. Hillary Clinton will continue Obama’s disastrous and disgraceful use of our military. Donald Trump will rebuild it.

In 1991, our car broke down in Montana. Towed into Anaconda, the good people there replaced the differential and had us back on the road the same day. Today our military is in serious disrepair. Restoring readiness requires the equivalent of millions of differentials. There is hope, yet it will take years.

It’s a daunting task, but we can do it. We must. Under Trump-Pence, we will!


Rebuilding our military and restoring our standing in the world will be Job One for the next president. Donald Trump will secure this nation by regaining respect for our military abroad, rebuilding our capabilities at home, and repairing the damage to our ranks inflicted by leftist radicals.

Without security, the land we love cannot survive. Trump’s campaign says, “The American people will come first once again. Donald Trump’s plan will begin with safety at home––which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism.”


The military has unique missions and capabilities, yet it is by no means the only way of promoting our national interests around the world. The Department of State is to interpret and implement our foreign policy through relationships and negotiations with foreign governments.

America has given a fortune to other countries for economic development and to alleviate suffering. Too often, however, these funds have been scammed by corrupt governments and criminal cartels, or wasted through inadequate oversight or end-of-fiscal-year spending sprees.

America is a generous nation, but love is not for sale in the world of diplomacy. It is more important that America be respected for keeping her word: trusted by allies and feared by enemies. Donald Trump loves and wants the best for this country, and will put her interests first.


In 2008, Barack Obama created the expectation that, under his leadership, the world would love America again. Today, with an incoherent foreign policy and a thinly veiled contempt for this country, Obama and his former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, watch as North Korea thumbs its nose at us, the Russian threat grows, and our allies scurry to defend themselves––alone.

Instead of promoting our national interests, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used their high offices to weaken our country around the world. They spotlighted America’s domestic tensions before the United Nations General Assembly, undercut our allies such as Israel, and emboldened––even enabled––a mortal enemy like Iran.

Hillary Clinton utterly failed her leadership exam. She disgraced herself by dereliction that led to four dead Americans in Benghazi––including the U.S. ambassador, the personal representative of the President! Subsequent lies about a video tape, illegal use and/or destruction of classified emails, leveraging the power of her office to enrich her own fortunes––and too many other breaches of integrity to name here––leave the alert American voter…

… with one option––and a good one at that: the Trump-Pence ticket.


Is it any wonder that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are speaking to overflow crowds? Lampooned as American triumphalism, this campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” has struck a chord with the American people. Americans want to be defended against radical Islamic terrorism. They want to live their lives in peace and with opportunity. They have had it with corruption that passes as politics. Many have tuned out those who traditionally brought them the “news.”

Often, when studying a complex or contentious issue, I have thought “…the answer to this is an informed electorate.” Increasingly, Americans are not intimidated nor dissuaded by insults and attempts to marginalize their concerns; they are too busy looking after their families and their jobs. They sense that their country may be running out of time, and they have a candidate in whom they are willing to entrust their lives and their future.

His name is Donald Trump, and I’m voting for him. I hope you will, too

7. Trump vs. Clinton: The Courts and Justice

By Jim DeCamp, 10/21/2016

Creative Commons

Only Donald Trump will appoint justices to the Supreme Court who respect the Constitution and will preserve its protections for our children’s children. I am voting for the Trump-Pence team, and I ask you to join me.

BLUF (BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT): Virtually every Constitutional right Americans enjoy will be either undergirded or undercut, come Nov. 8. Trump will defend our rights; Hillary will wipe them away like the hard drive on her server. Impending Supreme Court justices will do more to determine the trajectory of this country than any other issue in this race.


This one issue––the face and future of the U. S. Supreme Court––is uniting 2nd Amendment patriots, pro-life activists, religious liberty proponents, free speech defenders, individual liberty champions, limited government advocates, libertarians of all stripes…you name it…this is the dividing line in the 2016 presidential race.


Oliver Roeder at FiveThirtyEight wrote on August 1 of this year:

“One of the most enduring legacies of the next president will flow from a few words in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution: the power to nominate justices to the Supreme Court. With the court still shorthanded after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, and with two of its sitting justices older than 80, the next president will shape the court, and through it the law of the land, for decades to come.” (http://fivethirtyeight.com/…/clinton-and-trump-are…/)

The three oldest justices––Ginsberg (83), Kennedy (80), and Breyer (78)––are on the liberal side, while “the oldest of the three sitting conservative stalwarts — John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas — is only 68,” wrote Roeder.

The next two to three nominees will determine the Court––and the future of liberty and justice––for a very long time.


From religious liberty to life, from every basic Constitutional right to the rule of law for decades to come, our vote on Nov. 8 may well impact our descendants more than any other vote we cast.


For anyone who cares about ethics, political calls can be difficult. Evangelicals, and I number myself among them, are well aware of our sinful nature. We do not like to be close to the boundaries of evil. Even distasteful words, or others’ actions, can at times send us fleeing.

Many of us more easily entertain theological mystery––the sovereignty of God and the free will of man, for example, or why a holy God would deign to die for a sinful race––than we embrace the tension of an important political decision. God knew this when He called us to be salt and light, “to build bridges of grace to bear the weight of truth,” to put others before ourselves.

We, of all people, should be advocate for the helpless. The hungry and poor have no determined foes; it is babies waiting to be born who must be protected….and their mothers cared for.

The blood of the innocent will be spared or spilled by the outcome of Nov. 8. God’s people have often risked––and at times given––their lives for others. Our task is not hard. Politics can be smelly and sweaty and scary, but we have the opportunity to be instruments of peace and righteousness. On our way into the polling place, we will ponder that only Trump-Pence will uphold the right to life for the most helpless among us…for decades to come.


There is a wide and committed coalition of Americans that will vote on Nov. 8. Each of the issues mentioned at the beginning, and more, is at stake. I will vote for Trump-Pence, and I ask you to join me.

8. Trump vs. Clinton: Taxation, Energy and Regulations

By Jim DeCamp, 10/26/2016

Donald Trump understands the obstacles to success that government erects, and he will remove them! I am voting for the Trump-Pence ticket. Join me.

PHOTO: Creative Commons

BLUF (BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT): This post contrasts the Trump and Clinton campaigns in three areas:

1) TAXATION. Promote prosperity through free enterprise, or punish success by increased taxation.
2) ENERGY. Stimulate job creation through plentiful energy, or stifle the economy by strangling energy supplies.
3) REGULATIONS. Enable the free market, or suffocate business by overregulation.

The Trump-Pence Team will promote, stimulate and enable; Clinton will punish, stifle and suffocate.


In order to execute its Constitutionally mandated responsibilities, Congress has a Constitutionally authorized means of raising funds. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 of the U. S. Constitution enables Congress to “collect taxes, duties, imposts [tariffs] and excises.” See http://www.heritage.org/constitution…


This post is not primarily about money. At its core it’s about an attitude, and about the Oath of Allegiance to the U. S. Constitution that every elected official assumes.

The military is sometimes involved in “mission creep”––the expansion it its duties beyond the original order. The federal government has been feeding its own mission creep for well over a century (including getting its hands on the people’s paychecks with passage of the Amendment XVI, ratified in 1913, authorizing the federal income tax).

[I’m interested in the backstory behind passage of the XVI Amendment. What was the driving force? What growing attitude did it reveal? Who made a limited-government case against it?]


A voracious appetite for money and power infects government attitudes as well as those of individuals. So where do the 2016 candidates and parties stand on taxes?

“Republicans consider the establishment of a pro-growth tax code a moral imperative” (from the Preamble to the 2016 Republican Party Platform). This reflects the belief that people actually own the money they earn; it is not on loan from the government, which demands more of it back every year.

“Making the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes” (A section heading in the 2016 Democratic Party Platform). This belies an attitude that people’s money represents not hard work, but their greed––from which government must deliver them!


Republicans promote prosperity through free enterprise, and accept individual responsibility. Democrats punish success by increased taxation, then spread the money around. As a successful businessman, Donald Trump knows how to reinvest profits to build jobs and generate wealth. Hillary Clinton, who has lived off the government for 30 years, understands that before government can give, it must first take away.



The 2008 election of Barack Obama introduced Americans to strange–sounding words, like Solyndra and Ener1.

Solyndra, touted as a solar energy panacea, famously filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, after blowing through $535M of the people’s money, given by Obama. Electric car manufacturer, Ener1, crashed, leaving taxpayers with a $118M obligation, again arranged by the Obama administration. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/26/gIQAA5T3TQ_story.html

Hillary Clinton has doubled down on these failed policies, and stonewalled the production of reliable, clean and proven energy sources. The Keystone Pipeline was to bring vast quantities of oil and gas from Canada to the U. S. Gulf Coast, creating jobs at home and more independence from foreign oil. Hillary’s State Department, which had to sign off on this project, steadfastly refused to do so.

The Keystone Pipeline still holds great potential––just waiting for someone to come along and put America’s workers and security first.


“Together, the people of America’s energy sector…can guarantee the nation’s energy security for centuries to come if, instead of erecting roadblocks, government facilitates the creation of an all-of-the-above energy strategy” (2016 Republican Party Platform).

Republicans stimulate jobs and grow wealth through plentiful, clean, economical and reliable energy. Democrat policies stifle the economy by strangling energy supplies.

Donald Trump lifts up “An America First Energy Plan.” He will “Unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.”


“Perhaps the biggest concern about modern America expressed by Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College in southern Michigan, is the unbounded growth of Big Government.” (https://necessaryandpropergovt.wordpress.com/…/when…/)

And it’s not just life-long politicians in Washington who have long since stopped going home. It’s the massive federal bureaucracy––now mirrored in every state––that thrives, not to fix problems, but to apply the rules. Many of these rules are never passed by Congress; they are imposed on the people by nameless, faceless bureaucrats. As Dr. Arnn has written, “Laws are understandable, passed by accountable officials, and apply to everyone. Regulations meet none of these criteria.” (My memory/paraphrase of something he wrote in 2012.)

And so, the Preamble to the 2016 Republican Party Platform declares, “That is why the many sections of this platform affirm our trust in the people, our faith in their judgment, and our determination to help them take back their country. This means removing the power from unelected, unaccountable government. This means relieving the burden and expense of punishing government regulations.”

The most egregious examples of regulatory abuse (although it would take a long time to list them) emanate from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Trump-Pence ticket will lower taxes, stimulate energy production, and rein in an unruly federal bureaucracy. I urge you to join me in voting for Trump-Pence!

9: Trump vs. Clinton: Immigration, and Law and Order

By Jim DeCamp, 10/28/2016

PHOTO: Creative Commons

Donald Trump will restore legal immigration, and protect Americans from terrorists, criminals, and those who illegally supplant them in the job market. I have voted for Trump-Pence, and I urge you to join me.

BLUF (BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT): The issue that ignited Donald Trump’s campaign in the summer of 2015––illegal immigration and its impact on the American people––continues to build support for his candidacy. Hillary’s advocacy of open borders, non-enforcement of the law, and subsidies for sanctuary cites paints a stark contrast between herself and Donald Trump.


Facing reality can be painful and sometimes scary, but it’s healthy. And on this subject of immigration, America’s willingness to face reality may prove to be lifesaving.

In a post on Oct. 17, I quoted Pamela Geller, “The west has lost the will to live.” This was the title of a column she wrote 11 months ago on Breitbart.com; it was about the European nations’ inability to secure their borders. Unvetted migrants were flooding their countries by the hundreds of thousands, swamping communities, overrunning public safety and health resources, and outnumbering law enforcement personnel. The surge in crime––including mass rapes––was unthinkable.

On this side of the Atlantic, one thing is certain: rank and file Americans are extremely concerned about the flood of illegal migrants; they are already facing reality. All they want is a president who will lead on this subject!


There are many legal residents who commit violent crimes, of course; this is a national problem already. Yet to allow masses of people to cross our borders illegally, then commit vicious crimes, then shield them from arrest, prosecution and/or deportation––this is national suicide.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform believes “our immigration laws must be reformed to better serve the needs of current and future generations.” Go to http://www.fairus.org/issue/examples-of-serious-crimes-by-illegal-aliens to see short videos of what happened to these three beautiful young women:

Tessa Tranchant, Virginia Beach––3 min. 27 sec.
Sarah Root, Omaha, Nebraska––3 min. 27 sec.
Shayley Estes, Phoenix, Arizona––2 min. 33 sec.

Forty-five U. S. Border Patrol Agents have given their lives for our country through hostile action. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Border_Patrol#Killed_in_the_line_of_duty


According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, more than 19,000 illegal immigrants were released from custody in 2015. The Center for Immigration Studies reports, “…the 19,723 criminal releases had a total of 64,197 convictions among them. More than 200 of those were homicide convictions.” More than 200 homicide convictions. Even if most of the 19,000 releases were for traffic offenders, our systems is clogged with these cases, delaying or denying justice to legal residents. (For a more detailed discussion of this problem, see http://dailysignal.com/2016/04/28/in-2015-19000-criminal-illegal-immigrants-were-released-from-custody/)

For in-depth immigration articles ranging from border security to human trafficking to violent crimes, see the Federation for American Immigration Reform website: http://www.fairus.org/issues/societal-issues.


> Current immigration policy costs taxpayers $300 billion a year [National Review, Sept. 22, 2016]

> 62 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants used some form of cash or non-cash welfare programs, like food stamps or housing assistance. [Center for Immigration Studies, Sept. 2015]

> Since 2013 alone, the Obama Administration has allowed 300,000 criminal aliens to return back into U.S. communities.

> Illegal immigrants and other non-citizens in our prisons and jails together had around 25,000 homicide arrests to their names. [United States Government Accountability Office, March 2011]

> There are at least 2 million convicted criminal aliens now inside the country. [Center for Immigration Studies, Oct. 2013]

> Nearly 1 million illegal immigrants, including nearly 200,000 with criminal convictions, had been ordered deported but remain at large. [Washington Examiner, July 1, 2015]


Republican Platform:

“Illegal immigration endangers everyone, exploits the taxpayers, and insults all who aspire to enter America legally…Our highest priority, therefore, must be to secure our borders and all ports of entry and to enforce our immigration laws…We oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by breaking the law, have disadvantaged those who have obeyed it.”

Democratic Platform:

While the Democratic Platform does not use the word “amnesty” anywhere, the following quotations illustrate how Democrats seek to cast the issue in any light except the rule of law: “…the enduring scourge of systemic racism to our deeply broken immigration system…The current quota system discriminates against certain immigrants, including immigrants of color…and there are real questions about our detention and deportation policies that must be addressed…we will defend and implement President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans executive action…We will work to ensure that all Americans—regardless of immigration status—have access to quality health care. That means expanding community health centers…” One would note that U. S. law takes a back seat to building a future political base for the Democratic Party.

The Republican Platform takes a strategic, not personal, approach, mentioning Hillary Clinton’s name only once. By contrast, thirty-two times the Democratic Platform invokes the name of Donald Trump.


1. Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one. Mexico will pay for the wall.

2. End catch-and-release. Under a Trump administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.

3. Move criminal aliens out day one, in joint operations with local, state, and federal law enforcement. We will terminate the Obama administration’s deadly, non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets.

4. End sanctuary cities.

5. Immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties. All immigration laws will be enforced – we will triple the number of ICE agents. Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country.

6. Suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur, until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place.

7. Ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported.

8. Ensure that a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system is fully implemented at all land, air, and sea ports.

9. Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet. Many immigrants come to the U.S. illegally in search of jobs, even though federal law prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants.

10. Reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, keeping immigration levels within historic norms.

See https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/immigration/

On September 26, the union representing 5,000 immigration officers endorsed Donald Trump for president (the first time they had ever endorsed a candidate for president).


Addressing the unthinkable is scary, but healthy. And, now, it may prove to be lifesaving for America.

Only Donald Trump promises to enforce the law, maintain security on our borders and in our streets, lift the unbearable social and economic burden of illegal immigration, end sanctuary cities, and honor all those who are waiting to enter our country honorably.

This week I voted for the Trump-Pence ticket, and I urge you to do the same.

Posts in support of Congressman Marlin Stutzman, Candidate for the U. S. Senate in 2016.

July 30, 2016

Facebook tells me that Marlin Stutzman and I have been friends for four years today. My, how time flies! Good man. Good family. Good friend.

Photo: Ruth and I with Marlin at a barbecue at the Stutzman’s place

April 22, 2016

Supporters pray over Marlin Stutzman and his wife, Christy, following a great time of fellowship together.

April 22, 2016

What a great time with Marlin Stutzman and his wife, Christy, today. I look for selfless service, integrity and transparency, and I find all three in abundance in Marlin.

When I started studying this U. S. Senate race last year, I dug deep and asked hard questions. I am completely satisfied and give my full support to Marlin Stutzman.

Friends, we’re rounding the last turn in this race for the U. S. Senate. Pour it on!

April 20, 2016

Todd Young, Big Bucks from Moderates

Someone dropped off a flyer for Todd Young. No surprises in it; most every Hoosier running for office wants to be known as a conservative. No surprises––not even the organization that paid for Young’s flyer: Defending Main Street Super PAC (DMS).

There’s a backstory here. According to OpenSecrets.org, a group that tracks money in politics, DMS has given $62,500 to Todd Young. It is also spending big bucks on two other races this year:

1) $190,000 for moderate North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers who, like Young was elected in 2010 and, also like Young, has disappointed constituents; and

2) $280,536 against conservative Warren Davidson, who succeeded John Boehner in Ohio’s 8th Congressional District.

But why is DMS opposing this Republican, Davidson, who trained at West Point and has an MBA from Notre Dame; who served in the Old Guard, 75th Ranger Regiment, and 101st Airborne Division of the US Army, before entering the business world. Besides, in a special election on June 7, Davidson is facing two opponents: Democrat Corey Foister and Green Party member Jim Condit, Jr.

(We’ll return to Todd Young shortly.)

So why on earth is DMS spending over $280,000 against Republican Warren Davidson who is facing a Democrat and a Green Party candidate? According to the Dayton Daily News on April 18, 2016, speaking of Davidson,

“The man who wouldn’t take health insurance reimbursements as a Concord Twp. trustee, even though it was permitted, and questioned every spending expenditure against its benefit for the residents of the Miami County community, will do the same in Washington, D.C., according to those who know him off the campaign trail.”

The person who followed Davidson as Twp Trustee said, “…he’s going to be a big time fiscal conservative. You’re going to find Warren to be exactly the way he ran.”

There you have it: a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, with the toughest training the Army offers followed by high-speed assignments––a true conservative––yet he is vigorously opposed by the same super PAC that paid for Todd Young’s campaign flyer at my door!

Todd Young voted for John Boehner as Speaker of the House last year; Marlin Stutzman voted against Boehner. Todd Young voted to fund Obamacare in last fall’s budget; Marlin voted against it.

DMS purports to be “conservative,” but it supports politicians the Establishment and Mitch McConnell like, such as Ellmers and Young. And it is opposing a strong conservative running to fill Boehner’s seat.

The Defending Main Street Super PAC gives big bucks to moderate and Establishment Republicans, and this year one of their recipients––to no one’s surprise––is Todd Young.

(Data made available by the Center for Responsive Politics.)

April 16, 2016

Getting ready to go door-to-door for Marlin Stutzman.

There is joy in this journey!

January 16, 2016

Congressman Marlin Stutzman, candidate for the U. S. Senate, speaking with Hoosiers at the Fairgrounds in Lebanon, Indiana.

I am supporting Marlin.

November 12, 2015

‘Great to hear Congressman Marlin Stutzman (with his wife, Christy) this evening in Plainfield…running for U. S. Senate in 2016.

Reining in Unruly Judges

Creative Commons

Earlier today, a friend posted a question apropos of the recent federal judges’ blocking of the President’s immigration/security restrictions. This was my comment:
To your question, “How do we best send a message to these biased judges, with no regard for the constitution or law, that we are tired of our President being undermined?” These thoughts are common sense (and forgive me for digressing from your question), but they helped me think it through.

Yours is an important question, for these judges make little or no appeal to the Constitution. They appear to be raw ideologues who, if their use of the Constitution is any indication, harbor contempt for it. So what to do?

1. BALANCE OF POWER. To the extent these rogue judges can be held accountable, the legislative and executive branches of the federal government need to step up and exercise their responsibility.

2. PUBLIC PRESSURE. Some judges may be influenced by public pressure (sad, because they ought to be invested solely with the Constitutionality of laws). But truthful and measured pressure in the form of letters to the editor, rallies, social media posts, letters to the judges themselves––perhaps even resurrecting a sense of shame––may sway some of them.

3. AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL. Use these rulings as a yuge [sic] example of judicial overreach. What a poignant illustration for young people of an unruly federal judiciary, and of why the Founders provided effective checks and balances.

4. EVERY SENATOR’S RESPONSIBILITY. More than any other reason, Americans voted for Trump because of his promise to nominate judges to the U.S. Supreme Court “in the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia.” Some in the federal judiciary need a Constitutional reawakening, however, one that calls for changes that are deep (requiring fidelity to the Constitution) and wide (applying to judges in every federal district and appellate court). A senator who says, “As long as judicial nominees are educationally qualified, I will vote to confirm them,” is being unfaithful to the Constitutional responsibility of Advice and Consent.

5. SHARP FOCUS, FAITHFUL COMPLIANCE. Amidst the present drama, it is critical that this administration remain focused on all the promises it made to voters. This may require standing up to entrenched interests. If Congress fails to comply with the clear will of the American people––as expressed in the promises and now policy of this duly-elected administration––federal judges will not be the only ones to raise the ire of voters.

6. THE CONTENT OF CAMPAIGN PROMISES MATTERS. Constitutional self-governance will be restored one election at a time…on into the future. Office holders who continue to put self-interest above the people’s freedom, or ignore the Constitution––especially in a day of citizen journalism––will find it hard to hide.

7. POWER AND LOVE. Love is the most powerful, most healthy, most enduring, and most effective force in the world. The love of freedom (from the beginning, religious freedom) inspired our Founders, and it’s alive and well today.

8. THE PEOPLE. At the end of the day, it’s up to this free people.

Five Communications with the City Council of Carmel, Indiana

1 of 5: First Letter to Carmel City Council, August 13, 2015

Mr. Mayor and Members of the Carmel City Council:

Thank you for this opportunity to communicate with you.

I oppose the proposed Ordinance D-2224-15, described as an anti-discrimination ordinance, because it utterly disregards people of Carmel who live by sincerely held religious convictions which are protected by the First Amendment.

For the devout or sincere or observant-––and I want to number myself among them––religion is more than one day a week within the same four walls. Our faith encompasses all of life––”every breath I take, every glance I make.” This includes vocation, entertainment, commerce, academic pursuits––our faith informs and enables us in these areas and more.

I want my faith and life and conscience to be governed by the Scriptures. For example, “For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). Forced participation in a sacramental act that violates one’s conscience, as led by Scripture, is not possible.

These same Scriptures teach me to extend kindness, courtesy, dignity, compassion, forgiveness, respect, honor and sacrificial love to every member of the human family––from conception till natural death. While not perfectly, I have sought as a pastor and as an Army chaplain to care for the sick and wounded, visit the shut-in, comfort the brokenhearted, lift the downtrodden, share hope with the despairing, strengthen the weak, and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Characterizations such as bigotry and intolerance belie a serious misunderstanding of who we are or want to be.

If it is the intent of the Carmel City Council to test those who seek to live for the glory of God, then so be it. This has been done before. My father was five months in a Japanese prison in 1941 over a religious liberty issue.

You, the members of the Council, are in a position to spare the people of Carmel the trauma that will likely be visited on our city by this ordinance. (More to come on that.) I call upon you to vote NO.

Jim DeCamp
Carmel, Indiana

2 of 5: Second Letter to Carmel City Council, August 15, 2015

Members of the Carmel City Council:

What is one to make of the mayor’s appalling rationale for the proposed Ordinance D-2224-15, which you are about to consider? His attempt to equate religious faith with crimes is an embarrassment to our city.

From the mayor’s own statement that introduced this proposed ordinance: “If one were to claim that their religion allows discrimination in treatment of certain groups does it not follow that one can then be exempt from being charged with murder, robbery, theft and other crimes so long as it is done under the auspices of some religion?”

Which lawyer vetted that sentence? Preposterous!

If this is the kind of rhetoric we get from our city before the ordinance is even introduced, what kind of justice will there be in Carmel in the scandalous event that the Council passes it?

If the mayor has in mind so-called “honor killings,” please ask him for a clarification. If not, he should expunge this shameful sentence from his rationale.

The mayor cast a web over all religions. I would not presume to speak for others, but here is an alternative characterization of the Christian faith:

Matthew 5:3-10, the words of Jesus:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The residents of Carmel, whatever religion, are fine and decent people. Regrettably, this proposed ordinance is sowing seeds of mistrust when there was no problem to be fixed, and it is tarnishing our good name. I ask you to take it off the table completely.

Jim DeCamp
Carmel, Indiana

3 of 5: Testimony the before Carmel City Council, August 17, 2015, re. the proposed “nondiscrimination” ordinance, D-2224-15:

Members of the Carmel City Council, thank you for this opportunity to speak with you. My name is Jim DeCamp, a resident of Carmel. You have a long meeting; thank you for your time.

Saturday, I got to thinking about the subject that brought us here, and the now-famous phrase came to mind, “Can’t we all just get along?” Then I thought, “Wait a minute—we do get along in Carmel…very well.” I agree with the mayor: We do not have a problem in Carmel!

I don’t have a quarrel with anyone in Carmel (or any group of folks, for that matter) except those who—are you ready for this?—except those who—I know this will shock you—who vote for this ordinance. With every respect that is due, there is something desperately wrong with it!

I was sitting over there thinking, “I’d could be doing a puzzle with my grandson.” (Perhaps you had similar thoughts!) Then I thought, “Wait a minute, he and the others are why I’m here! We have four grandchildren in Carmel and three in Zionsville. We love it!

I am here for the future of my grandchildren, for the future of Carmel, for the future of…freedom.

In 2011, I retired after 31 years in the United States Army—nine years as an Infantry officer and 22 years as a chaplain. I’ve had several overseas tours, including the desert.

This is the Oath of Office I assumed. In it, I did not promise to obey orders, to go where I was sent, nor to perform particular tasks. Without those commitments, of course, we wouldn’t have much of a military. Yet those commitments flow from something far more foundational. This is part of my Oath of Office [holding it up]:

“I…do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic….SO HELP ME GOD.”

Everything in my life and career drew inspiration from this sacred oath. Everything…including people’s right [as I hold an open Bible] to read their Scriptures, then follow their conscience accordingly.

Budgets, jobs, regulations. These are all important; we wouldn’t have much of a city without them. Yet I call you back to the foundation of it all: the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Indiana. This proposed ordinance is a threat to the First Amendment right of religious freedom enshrined in the United States Constitution. This is the first of five rights enumerated in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

And this proposed ordinance is a threat to the protections enjoyed by Carmel residents in the Constitution of the State of Indiana. Article I, Section 3: “No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.”

Business owners in Carmel are threatened by this ordinance. Tonight, in a growing list of cities across our land, business owners are in litigation because of ill-advised and unnecessary ordinances very similar to the one before you. God forbid that Carmel, Indiana, would ever be on that list! Please DO NOT GO THERE.

I know a little bit about the cost of defending freedom and the Constitution “…against all enemies, foreign and [now] domestic.” This proposed ordinance will do violence to the precious rights of conscience of Carmel residents and business owners. And for these sacred rights, some gave all they had to give.

I acknowledge the pressures upon you from important interests, yet which are subordinate to Constitutional principles. I ask only that you consider your deepest responsibility.

I call upon you to vote NO.

Thank you.

Jim DeCamp
Carmel, Indiana

4 of 5: Letter to Carmel City Council re. D-2224-15, Proposed “Nondiscrimination” Ordinance September 24, 2015

Members of the Carmel City Council:


The purpose here is to shed light on why Christians cherish religious liberty, and to contrast this with some popular characterizations of them.

I will use religious language because it is largely religious people who are in the crosshairs of this proposed ordinance. Not that Christians business owners are the only ones adversely affected by ordinances such as this. Muslim bakeries and kosher delis would be threatened.

And there are people who approve of gay marriage who oppose ordinances of this kind.

Religious beliefs, like any others, may be accepted or rejected. The goal is simply to discuss why Christians consider religious liberty so crucial. There is no presumption to represent other religions, though I deeply respect their rights. Rather, it is to share some of my background–what Christians believe and why they believe it–because if this proposed ordinance passes, they and others may be in the news…or in court. I wish to give a different explanation of them than one often finds in the paper, on radio and TV, and even in testimony before this Council.

This is not new

But first, in a sense there is nothing new about this proposed ordinance.

In 1941, for five months my father was in solitary confinement in a Japanese prison because of religious liberty. The Japanese brutally ruled Korea at that time. As a missionary to Korea, my father defended the right of Korean Christians to live according to their conscience under the teaching of Scripture.

Why not just comply? Because there was an allegiance to his Lord, and he carried in his heart the love of God in Jesus Christ.

Fast forward 75 years

I follow court cases that have already resulted from Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity city ordinances, and recently visited a Christian in another state who is involved in litigation. This man has good will for everyone. Yet after listening to his situation, I said, “You know, you could lose everything.” To which he replied, “How could I not give it up for Jesus, when He gave His life for me?”

Is he a bigot? Really? The power of the love of God….

Uncommon love

In the account of his prison experience, my father wrote that when he was cold, hungry, barefooted, and alone in that cell, he found joy in being counted worthy to suffer for his Lord and Savior. Till his dying day, I never heard a word of resentment. Once someone said to him, “I don’t think I could ever forgive those people.” He replied in his humble way, “The grace of the Lord is sufficient.”

The power of the love of God….

The enabling

What enables Christians to respond in this way?

When Moses found himself on holy ground, God instructed him to remove his sandals (Exodus 3:5). Being in the presence of the holy God does something to His followers.

And when Christians ponder that Jesus died for them, then left behind an empty tomb, and now lives through their day-to-day lives, we believe there is something holy going on there. We hear Jesus say, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15-English Standard Version), and we crave this love.

The high calling

So what are these commandments by which Christians seek to live? Those who accept the Bible as God’s revelation take the words of Scripture as from God, Himself. God said to His people, “You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine” (Leviticus 20:26-ESV). The call to holiness extends to every part of one’s life. Because the proposed ordinance points to sexuality, here we are considering holy living in that context.

Faithfulness to their God

For these believers to be involved in a same-sex ceremony–a sacramental event–is not possible by their conscience under the teaching of Scripture.

I was in Goshen, Indiana, on August 4, observing from the back of a packed theater as their City Council considered an ordinance similar to the one before you. After the Council tabled it, they heard many speakers. One photographer said (words to the effect of), “I am more than happy to take a photo of a gay couple in my studio, but I am not able to participate in a same-sex ceremony.” Living large in the mind of this photographer, I suspect, are the words, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

A threat to sincere people, and to Carmel

These Christians, as well as members of other religions, seek to live by their faith every day. They are good neighbors, upstanding citizens, and generous in their communities. This is why Carmel needs business owners like this, yet this proposed ordinance would do violence to their Constitutional, First Amendment right of conscience. It would also tarnish the name of Carmel.

Everyone knows that this proposed ordinance, D-2224-15, is unnecessary. If it is passed, the Carmel City Council will be trampling on the holy ground of conscience. I doubt that’s a place where anyone wants to be.

I call upon you to vote NO.

Jim DeCamp
Carmel, Indiana

5 of 5: Testimony before the Carmel City Council, October 4, 2015

Members of the Carmel City Council:

The word discrimination is the great discussion stopper. Yet we all discriminate, including the Council.

On September 21, the President of the Carmel City Council announced that those who had addressed the Council on August 17 (regarding the proposed “nondiscrimination” ordinance, D-2224-15) would not be permitted to speak on that subject. There may have been good and sufficient reason for this; sometimes one discriminates appropriately.

This is where D-2224-15 runs aground.

I commend the Finance Committee for its wide-ranging conversation of D-2224-15 on October 1. Yet in nearly two hours of discussion, I heard the words conscience and First Amendment only twice. The elephant in the room was the First Amendment right of conscience.

In addition, the Indiana Constitution, Article I, Section 3, unequivocally protects conscience: “No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.”

Discrimination is often abhorrent, but not always. When people’s sincerely held religious beliefs prevent them from participating in a same-sex ceremony, their conscience is protected by the United States and Indiana Constitutions.

The Carmel City Council conducts itself as though discrimination were not always abhorrent. The people know this, too, and expect their elected officials to respect their Constitutional rights of conscience.

Please vote NO on D-2224-15.

Jim DeCamp
Carmel, Indiana

Concluding Reflections from a Face Book Post, October 6, 2015

Last night the Carmel “nondiscrimination” ordinance passed, 4-3. This is a grave development for anyone who cherishes the First Amendment and religious liberty. It is also a time to take stock in our great God: “The grass withers, and the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8-ESV).

There will be reflections that bubble up from time to time as we take one opportunity, then the next, to uphold the truth. The joy of the Lord will sustain us.

The family in which I grew up had devotions–“Prayers,” as we called it–almost every evening after supper. We sang a hymn or two (stumbling through the unfamiliar ones), my father read from God’s Word, and we all knelt and prayed. In this way, we sang through the hymnbook once a year. Every summer on vacation my father chose a hymn that we did not know and we memorized it.

The hymn below is one of my favorites of those memorized. It speaks of God’s glory, and of the hope and joy His people know as they serve Him. (For you hymnologists out there, the meter is 10. 10. 10. 10., and it is sung to the tune “Field.” It can also be sung to the tune for “Abide with Me: Fast Falls the Eventide.”)

Words by Calvin W. Laufer, 1919

We thank Thee, Lord, Thy paths of service lead
To blazoned heights and down the slopes of need;
They reach Thy throne, encompass land and sea,
And he who journeys in them walks with Thee.

We’ve sought and found Thee in the secret place
And marveled at the radiance of Thy face;
But often in some far-off Galilee
Beheld Thee fairer yet while serving Thee.

We’ve felt Thy touch in sorrow’s darkened way
Abound with love and solace for the day;
And, ‘neath the burdens there, Thy sovereignty
Has kept our hearts enthralled while serving Thee.

We’ve seen Thy glory like a mantle spread
O’er hill and dale in saffron flame and red;
But in the eyes of men, redeemed and free,
A splendor greater yet while serving Thee.