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, 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.

Erosional Remnant

August 2, 2015

Photo by Jim DeCamp

An erosional remnant is a piece of the landscape that continues to stand tall while its surroundings have worn away. We drove by this one in Montana today. “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge…” (Psalm 18:2a-ESV).

We are listening to Eric Metaxas’ book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. It’s the most inspiring––and timely––book I’ve seen in a very long time. In the 1930s and ’40s, Dietrich Bonhoeffer stood in the strength of God, Almighty.

Erosional remnant, anyone?

Tribute to My Parents

My mother died in February, 2002, following the death of my father by five months. This is a tribute to them both, sent to friends at the time.
Dear Friends,

As she was fond of putting it, my mother, Elizabeth DeCamp, “went to glory” on February 22, 2002. We thank God for her beautiful life––for 93 years this side of the river.

Our family also thanks you for your friendship to Otto and Elizabeth DeCamp over the years. You enriched their lives and, in turn, ours. Thank you from the bottom of our heart.

Their children, Betty, Dorothy, Ed and Jim, have much for which to be grateful. Our parents taught us how to live, and we will gladly carry our debt to them for the rest of our days.

From childhood days in Korea and China, to 37 years as missionaries to Korea, right on through their retirement at Westminster Gardens in Duarte, California, Dad and Mother never wavered in their response to the call of God. Their love for Him was steadfast, and their service faithful. What an example; what a heritage.

Theirs was no easy life, however. As a newlywed, Dad knew loneliness in a Japanese prison cell. Mother was by herself in Tokyo with four little children during the Korean Conflict. They lost their possessions twice, during the evacuations of 1941 and 1950. And in their years of declining health, no doubt they asked, with the Psalmist, “Where does my help come from?”

Before this tribute ends, allow me to give their answer, for it was their treasure. Their lives were changed by more than willpower, and their compassion exceeded what they could muster. They would have been the first to give Christ the credit. Jesus did for my parents what they could not do for themselves: offer an acceptable sacrifice for their sin. Living within them by His Holy Spirit, this God of redemption was their comfort and strength, “an ever-present help in time of trouble.” By revealing Himself on the pages of Holy Scripture, their heavenly Father nourished and led them “in green pastures.”

Theirs was not a private faith; it was for all who would receive. And for the proclamation of this Good News, they gave the best years of––indeed, their entire––lives.

“To God be the glory––great things He hath done.”

The Parable of the Lexicon

Photo: “New Bookshelf, Old Books” by David King, Creative Commons

[The term Lexicon, as used in seminary: dictionary of Greek and Hebrew words.]

            As the hands placed it on the crowded bookshelf for the first time, the lexicon felt somewhat apprehensive. “These are new environs for me. I wonder if my neighbors will be friendly. How will my landlord treat me?” he speculated as he squeezed his way through the first night and day.

            His landlord had just begun seminary. The lexicon didn’t expect to be used heavily at first, but was glad to have been purchased at the beginning of the first year along with other basic works. His maker had said something about being a light that could shine on God’s Word, and the lexicon appreciated the caring hands with which the landlord had treated him. He was into his second week, now, and knew that the hands would lift him into use as the need arose.

            He had seen the hands place into service his neighbors but had almost begun to doubt his own worth when his first moment came. He knew his maker would be happy as the careful hands cradled him. Here he was, being used to illuminate individual words in Scripture. The hands moved quietly but with intent. Occasionally, when his little light needed to be multiplied or focused, he noticed the hands pause, move toward each other, and rest together. This was a curious practice, and he observed it frequently in the early months.

            About midyear an unaccustomed air began to be noticed. The hands moved more quickly now and with somewhat more skill. Although called upon more frequently, the lexicon felt less able to help his landlord. The hands seemed tighter, less sensitive and in a greater hurry. The tender touch was gone. 

            Pausing less often, the hands even reached for the lexicon less frequently. From his vantage point on the shelf, the lexicon observed that the hands were restless. Fidgeting replaced facts, sloth superseded solid study.

            As the lexicon groped for a reason for his lack of use, he tried to think if he had changed.  He was just as capable of performing his function as ever; it’s just that the hands rarely reached for him anymore. Gone were the moments of rest, when one hand settled into the other. They now were like paws, clawing at one another. The work was accomplished but without the joyful touch.  The lexicon wondered what the hands were like outside the study. Far from utilizing the lexicon with care, the hands were even abrupt with the Scriptures.

            The lexicon now waits in silence. He wonders when he will be called upon again to shine his special light. He longs for those diligent, caring hands.

Jim DeCamp