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Good week at the American Council of Christian Churches Convention

Friday, October 26, 2007

This past week, I had the priviledge to attend the 66th Annual Convention of the American Council of Christian Churches held at Hardingville Bible Church in Monroeville, New Jersey. (The church where I formerly served as an assistant.)

For those of you unfamiliar with the ACCC, the ACCC is a multi-denominational fundamentalist organization of churches that seeks to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3). The speakers for the week included Dr. Bruce McAllister (Director of Ministerial Training at Bob Jones University), Dr. Fred Moritz (Executive Director of Baptist World Mission), Dr. John McKnight (President of the ACCC and Pastor of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Darlington, MD and Rev. David McClelland of the Grace Free Presbyterian Church of Litchfield, NH.

It was great to get together with some strong Fundamentalist brethren and to exhort one another to be "Valient for the Truth" (the theme of the convention). It was also great to get a chance to spend some time with some pastor friends that I do not get to see very often. It was also great to be able to see a number of folks from Hardingville. We have only been gone just under three years, but a number of the children and teens have changed dramatically in that amount of time. WOW!

I hope to write more about this ACCC Convention soon, but time will not permit me to do so currently. I will say that if you can get your hands on David McClelland's address on "Incarnate Truth" it will challenge and stir your hearts. (I assume you could order it from either Hardingville or the ACCC at the links given above.)

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Did Dr. Bob Jones, III violate Biblical principles in endorsing Mitt Romney

Monday, October 22, 2007

As most of you are surely aware and as I mentioned in my recent post, Thinking About Elections, Dr. Bob Jones, III, the chancellor of Bob Jones University, came out last week and endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

In doing so, Dr. Bob raised the eyebrows of many and the ire of many others. All one has to do is take a quick look around the blogosphere to find that many have come out and commented on this event.

As I indicated in my post, I am not sure that this endorsement is the wisest move even from a political standpoint. I doubt the legitimacy of Romney's conservatism - especially in light of his campaigns and performance in Massachusetts where he took much more liberal positions. I doubt the ability of Romney to excite the conservative base (in part, because of his flip-flopping), and I think many people (and not just conservative evangelicals) will hold his Mormonism against him politically.

Since that time I have read a number of emails, blog comments and blog posts, and forum discussions in which the claim was made that Dr. Bob Jones III violated Biblical principles in endorsing Mitt Romney. Dr. Chuck Baldwin (a former candidate for Vice President as a nominee of the Constitution Party) has written an article in which he argues that "Bob Jones Dances with the Devil"

So, is it true? Does Dr. Bob Jones' endorsement of Mitt Romney equate to "Dancing with the Devil?" Does this signal an area of disobdience? What does the Bible say about this and what should we think about it?

It will be my attempt to answer that question without going too long. I apologize in advance for the fact that this will almost certainly be longer than a typical blog post and ask your indulgence in hearing this out.

The Relationship of Believers and Government

When we consider the relationship of believers to government, we find that while there is some teaching in this area by direct statements of Scripture, there is a lot of things that God chose to leave unsaid in this area - or to teach by illustration and principle rather than by direct statement.

When we consider the direct statements, some of the following things come immediately to mind.

1. Believers are to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." In other words - pay your taxes. (Matthew 22:17-22)

2. Believers are to "obey every ordinance of man." In other words - obey the laws of the land. (1 Peter 2:13)

3. Believers are to "honour the king." In other words - we need to treat those in authority with respect - even if we disagree with them. (1 Peter 2:17)

4. Believers are to offer "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks" for "kings" and for "all that are in authority." In other words - pray for your government leaders. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

However, the question that we are faced with in this discussion is not one that fits easily into one of those statements or similar statements. Instead, we are challenged with the question of what is a believers responsibility in regards to the selection of rulers in a secular government. By its very nature, this question is one that leads to difficulty because such a situation did not exist in Bible times.

Israel in Old Testament times was not a secular nation - it was, by its very nature as the chosen people of God, a religious nation with a religious purpose. This truth remained the same whether the country was being governed by religious leaders, judges, or kings. Some have attempted to drag out the qualifications that God gave regarding judges or kings for Israel as qualifications that we insist upon in our candidates for office in the United States. The problem with this is that the United States is a secular government and the situation being discussed today is of such a different nature than what was faced in regards to Israel that the list of O.T. verses that some (such as visionforum) have thrown out regarding the selection of rulers for Israel have to be ripped out of context in order to be made to apply to the situation as we have it in America.

When we come to other nations in the Old Testament - and even in the New Testament - we should remember that even these governments usually had a "religious" element to them. Many of the nations surrounding Israel viewed their ruler as a "god" or at least as a priest or servant of their particular god.

So, barring an exact parallel in the Bible, are there any examples that might educate us as to the nature of the believers relationship to a non-theocratic government ought to be?

I believe there are, but because these thoughts are drawn from historical passages rather than from declarative teachings, we must be careful how strongly we stretch the application of these situations.

I believe an argument can be made for the "support" of a non-believer (even a believer in a false religion) by a believer in a governmental or political situation based on the following:

1. The political roles played by Godly people in ungodly governments in the Old Testament.

While much of the Old Testament records Israel's history, Israel was not always a self-governing nation. There were periods throughout the Old Testament where people of God found themselves under the rule or command of nations that were not only not theologically correct, but were actually antagonistic to God and His people.

One of the examples of this was the situation with Joseph in Egypt. Joseph was a devout believer who God had brought through some extraordinary situations to bring him to a place of being able to preserve Israel by serving as Pharaoh's right hand man in Egypt. God used Joseph greatly and ended up using the wisdom of Joseph to provide food for Israel in Egypt that contributed to the preservation of the line of which the Messiah was to come through. However, as part of his role as vizier in Egypt, Joseph also supported Pharaoh. Genesis 47, for instance, tells us that "Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house" (v. 14) and that "Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh" (v. 20). To use the logic being thrown around by some of Dr. Jones' critics in this regard, Joseph was "dancing with the Devil" since his actions as part of the government were designed to benefit a pagan ruler.

Similar cases could be made from others, such as the godly Daniel in the wicked courts of Babylon and the leader Nehemiah as the cupbearer of Artaxerxes. In each case, you do not find the Bible speaking evil against these men because they assisted pagan, idolatrous men in the realm of politics and government.

2. The implication of the statements in support of government.

In an earlier section of this post, I gave a few of the clear statements of Scripture regarding the relationship of the believer to secular government. We must remember that this statements by Christ and Paul and Peter were not made in a vacuum. They were made in the midst of being ruled by oppressive and wicked governmental rulers.

If Christ can say that we should give our taxes to Caesar (even though Caesar was a wicked man) and if Paul can say we should pray for and give thanks for those in authority (even though those in authority were often seeking his own harm) and if Peter can say that we are to honor the king (even though the king leaves much to be desired in regards to honor), then surely you or I can say that it is not wrong to give support to a person to whom we may not agree in every area - or even with whom we disagree to a large degree.

3. The responsibilities and realities of the American system of government.

Unlike Paul, Peter, Daniel, and the rest, those of us who are citizens of the United States of America are in a country where we are given the opportunity to participate in the process of selecting and electing our own leaders. I believe this gives us a responsibility to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). I believe that part of this responsibility includes supporting politically the individuals who we would like to see elected as President (or other office).

The realities of our system indicate a few things.

* The first reality of our system is that there is no perfect candidate. There never has been and there never will be. Every person for whom we vote or publicly endorse is going to have flaws. The reality of this truth needs to hit home to those who are making this criticism. No matter who your candidate is, they have problems. The choice regarding candidates are not simply "yes/no" but are instead choices of degrees.


For instance, one of the big concerns in this particular endorsement is the religion of Governor Romney. In case someone who reads this has been hiding under a rock, Governor Romney is a Mormon - a member of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Is Romney's Mormonism a false religion? Absolutely. Among other things, Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that man can become gods. (In fact, Dr. Bob Jones made it abundantly clear that he is not in favor of Governor Romney's Mormonism. In fact, the Greenville News article that announces the endorsement quotes Dr. Jones as stating, "As a Christian I am completely opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism" and "I'd be very concerned if he tried to make it appear in any of his statements that Mormonism is a Christian denomination of some sort. It isn't. There's a theological gulf that can't be bridged." Some of the left-leaning blogs out there have even made it a point that to complain that Dr. Jones had to show his "intolerance" by speaking negatively of Governor Romney's Mormonism in the same interview in which he endorsed him for President.) However, if politics and government is about supporting someone's religious belief, then I think that we must admit that there are some serious problems for conservative Christians - especially for Fundamentalist Christians. I don't believe that there is anyone running that I could, in clear conscience and in obedience to Biblical principals, have preach in my church - and I don't think there has been in my lifetime. Is Romney's Mormonism worse than the false teaching that President Bush sometimes spouts (such as in his recent comments that "I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God") or worse than the false Roman Catholicism of Clarence Thomas or the theologically liberal Episcopalian George H. W. Bush? In each of these cases, the religion of these men has significant errors and is far from what the Bible teaches. If we take the position that Governor Romney's religion automatically disqualifies him, are we, by default, saying that these other serious religious errors are somehow less egregious?

* The second reality of our system is that all of us support these flawed candidates if we vote at all. Not only do we understand that no candidate is perfect, but we all also find ourselves in some degree supporting a flawed candidate. Even if we never speak up and endorse someone publically, the very fact that we cast a vote for them indicates that there is at least some sense in which we have supported that candidate. The question, again, then becomes a question of degrees. Do I support this person who I vote for by campaigning for him, contributing to him, or merely voting for him? If I say that it is wrong to support the candidate by endorsing him, how do I justify my vote for a flawed candidate when it comes to election day?

* The third reality of our system is that Presidential politics is essentially a "winner takes all" contest. There is no run-off among the top vote getters. There is no ability to form a coalition after the fact of the candidates who received the second, third and fourth highest vote totals in order to overthrow the election of the candidate with the highest electoral vote total. The 1992 and 1996 election should be recent enough reminders regarding the fact splitting the vote of your opposition is as effective in winning and election as actually getting the majority of people to support you. This is, in part, the logic behind what Dr. Jones was trying to do politically. If those who hold to socially conservative values in areas such as abortion and homosexual marriage split their loyalty among a bung of different candidates in the primary, it will assure a choice between two "pro-choice" candidates in the general election. I agree with this argument, I am just not sure that Governor Romney is the one I would have encouraged the social conservatives to support.

* The fourth reality of our system is that sometimes the wisest move is to prevent something more evil from happening. Proverbs warns us that we have a responsibility to deliver those that are drawn unto death. Many believers and politician could rightfully argue that the election of Senator Hillary Clinton to the office of President would spell a significant setback in the chance of getting the heinous Roe v. Wade decision overturned. Electing a pro-life President could have the opposite effect, as there are already four of the needed five votes to overturn R v. W already sitting on the Supreme Court. Perhaps taking Proverbs 24:11-12 seriously would include trying to do what you can to make sure that someone who is pro-life gets elected.

Proverbs 24:11-12 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?


So, am I following Dr. Bob Jones, III's endorsement of Governor Mitt Romney for President? Not at this time. But, is that endorsement by Dr. Jones the hypocritical comprise of Biblical principles that some have claimed? No.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Washington Post picks up Clinton-Chinatown Story

I noticed in my Sitemeter this afternoon that I briefly had been linked by The Washington Post regarding the Clinton-Chinatown story that I mentioned in my recent post entitled, "There's Something Rotten in the State of ... The Clinton Campaign Contributions".

While the linkage (however brief) was flattering, the good news in this is that at least some of the bigger media are beginning to pick up this story. The Washington Post has an editorial in today's print edition entitled, Dishwashers for Clinton. The subtitle for the editorial is "Once again, a zeal for campaign cash trumps common sense."

I am surprised that Hugh Hewitt has not written something more substantial about this. So far, all I can find at his blog is a little blurb entitled: Fueling the Clinton Machine: Chinatown. Having just finished reading Blog by Hugh Hewitt, I would have expected that he would be doing more to try to move this story along.

Here's hoping someone with the time, money and ability begins to take a real serious look at this issue.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

The Preacher's Daughter

The preacher's 5-year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head, for a moment, before starting his sermon.

One day, she asked him why.

"Well, honey," he began, proud that his daughter was so observant of his messages, "I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon."

"How come He doesn't do it?" she asked.



-- Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I have a much more substantial post in the process, but looking for time to actually finish writing it. (I have finished the first page, but the nature of the topic that it will be a fuller treatment than that.)

Just my thoughts,

Frank

P.S. No, this IS NOT a personal story!

There's Something Rotten in the state of .. The Clinton Campaign Contributions

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I want to get back out of the political sphere here soon, but I found this information and the relative quietness of it in the MSM to be quite interesting.

It appears that somebody (or somebodies) is channeling money to Hillary Clinton's campaign through dishwashers, waiters and other workers at Chinese restuarants in New York's Chinatown district. The L.A. Times Reports on "An Unlikely Treasure-Trove of Donors for Clinton" and comments that:

The candidate's unparalleled fundraising success relies largely on the least-affluent residents of New York's Chinatown -- some of whom can't be tracked down.


While The L.A. Times does not come out and say it, this sure smells like something fishy is going on. How do dishwashers and other similar workers find the kind of funds to give $2,000 to a political campaign - in an area where the median family income was $21,000 according to the 2000 Census? My guess is that someone - or more than one someone - is feeding them the money for the contributions

The Times comments that:
At least one reported donor denies making a contribution. Another admitted to lacking the legal-resident status required for giving campaign money.


Why is this not getting more play in the MSM? Especially in light of the ongoing Clinton-China issues from previous days? I cannot help but imagine that similar questionable contributions to a conservative would have received much greater play in the MSM.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

True Love

Friday, October 19, 2007

I ran across this story recently:

In an effort to crack down on shoplifting at their store, a store recently declared that it would prosecute fully anyone who got caught shoplifting from their store.

Soon, an elderly woman who had been married for 40 years was discovered to be shoplifting. Not wanting to go against their newly stated policy, the store decided to go after this elderly woman and to make sure she went to trial and jail for her crimes.

The day of the trial came and the elderly lady went before the judge. The judge look at the elderly lady and felt compassion on her, but knew he must do his job. He asked her,"What did you steal?"

She replied: "A can of peaches".

The judge asked her why she had stolen them and she replied that she was hungry.

The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can.

She replied, "6".

The judge then said, "I will give you 6 days in jail."

As the judge began to formally render his sentencing, the woman's husband of 40 years stood up and asked the judge if he could say something.

The crowd in the courtroom all stopped what they were doing to listen intently to what this man was going to say.

The judge asked, "What is it that you want to say?"

The husband then replied "She also stole a can of peas."


Just someone else's thoughts.

Frank

Thinking about elections

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

As the presidential primaries rapidly approach, the discussion regarding the candidates for President of the United States is starting to really take off.

Just today, the Greenville News is reporting that Dr. Bob Jones, III has endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina (story here). Earlier this week, Hugh Hewitt psted a memo from Mark DeMoss who made also tried to make the case for Romney (story here).

I know that I am a nobody, but I wonder if we are jumping the gun and I also wander if we are backing the wrong guy.

The comment from Dr. Bob that was immediately under the headline in The Greenville News was "This is all about beating Hillary." Mark DeMoss's post indicates that one of his three requirements was that the person must be "someone who can actually win the nomination."

Here is where I think we are coming close to making the same mistake the Democrats made in 2004. If you step into your time machine a minute, you will recall that up until Iowa, Governor Dean was the one with all of the excitement and momentum among the radical leftist base. However, the establishment Dems feared that Dean would be unelectable to the majority of Americans and were pushing for John Kerry instead. The argument was essentially - "This is all about beating George Bush" and the thought was that the base was so infumed in their hatred for Bush that the base was covered so they needed to find someone who could appeal to the uncommitted without bringing too much offense. John Kerry got pushed because he was viewed as the "safe condidate" and those pushing Kerry won the day with their argument.

Unfortunately for the Dems (but fortunately for thinking Americans), this stategy failed. I think that part of the reason this strategy failed was that a winning candidate needs to be someone that the people feel that they can support - and that they are willing to work for and to tell their friends about, etc. I actually think that Dean may have been able to do a better job against Bush because he was clear on his opposition to the War, he was clear on the other issues. Bush's team managed to successfully go after the fact that Kerry was just playing politics with so many issues and "flip flopping."

It looks to me that this same type of thing is what is happening at this time in the Republican primaries. The social conservatives are trying to find a way to beat Guiliani, who has staked out some pretty liberal social views on abortion, gay marriate, etc. In order to do so, the thinking seems to be that they need to all become unified around one of the socially conservative candidates so that this turns into a two man race - Guiliani vs. Romney -with the idea that if all the social conservatives eggs are in one basket, the basket will be heavy enough to tip the scale.

The problem with this is that I do not believe that Romney has the ability to rally the rank and file social conservatives - especially the socially conservative evangelical voters - to his side.

Here are some reasons why I question the ability of Mitt Romney to excite the socially conservative rank and file are as follows.

1. His record and rhetoric as a social conservative is wishy-washy at best. If you take the time to watch the videos at YouTube of Romney's debates in Massachusetts, you will find that repeatedly he trumpets his views as pro-choice. "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose." (Here is one of many videos that the left will use against him on this - and that causes the little guys like me to wonder where the guy really stands on this issue). I recognize that he is claiming to be pro-life now, but this debate was in 2002 - we are not talking that long ago and the switch in positions at this venture (especially when he talks in other debates about how long his family has stood on this issue - since his mother ran for Senate) will seem too convenient and politically motivated for the average Joe.

2. He has not galvinized the base already with all the money he has on his side. Romney has spent a whole lot more money than Brownback, Huckabee, etc., but he still has not managed to stir up the excitement. The pundits out there keep talking about how great it is that he has raised a lot of money (although a lot of it seems to be money he has loaned to himself). That is true, but what kind of return is he getting for that money? In the August Iowa straw poll, Huckabee came in second with 18.1% and Brownback came in third with 15.3%.

3. Like it or not, the reality is that the Mormonism of Romney will cause many to be cautious about voting for him. Not just among conservative evangelical voters, but in the general election as well. I understand that "we are voting for a President, not a Pastor" has a nice ring to it, but that line did not work when people wanted to dismiss the character issue in regards to Clinton. The reality is that many Americans vote on how they percieve a guy as much as they do on the person's policies. This is especially true of the folks in the "undecided land" who wait until the last month to make their decisions. For many of these people, the election all comes down to their impression of a person - and for many, that impression of Romney as the great Mormon leader will be the one that holds them back.

Imagine if the guys who seem to be trying to get the bandwagon going for Romney would put their efforts behind someone who evangelical Christians could support, rather than a man whose pro-life creditials are shaky at best?

Just my thoughts,

Frank

My Book Review of When You Pray has been published at SI

Friday, October 12, 2007

I mentioned awhile ago that I was in the process of writing a book review of Philip Graham Ryken's book, When You Pray: Making the Lord's Prayer Your Own.

I just wanted to alert my readers to the fact that it has now been posted at SharperIron - article is here. Since SI provides the book for the purpose of review, it is released there first. I will post it here at A Thinking Man's Thoughts and at The FFBC Blog shortly. I know some of my readers do not post on SI, so if you want to make a comment, feel free to do so in the comments of this post - or wait about a week and the whole review will be posted here.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

A Question regarding UNO

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

After the very profitable discussion on Missions Funding, I am going to ask for much more trivial help in this post.

Does anyone know how many cards there are of each number and color in UNO?

The official site says there are 108 cards and that there are 19 cards of 0-9 of each color.

Unfortunately 0-9 gives me 10 number cards and that means that there must be only one of something in 0-9 for their to only be 19 number cards per color per deck.

If anyone has a full deck out there (or knows this info in some other way), could you check and let me know?

Looking for your thoughts (and help),

Frank

There's Something Rotten in the State of ... New Jersey - Part 2

Friday, October 05, 2007

As I mentioned in my last post, there were two recent situations in New Jersey that could have national implications and ought to be of concern to believers.

The last one - which dealt with the attempt to coerce a Methodist Camp Association to allow homosexual civil unions in their chapel/pavillion - I entitled, "There's Something Rotten in the State of ... New Jersey, part 1".

This article is the "Part 2" to the first article and relates to a different moral issue.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that doctors "have no duty to tell a woman seeking an abortion that the procedure would kill a human being." (NJ.Com article is located : here)

The New Jersey Supreme Court is not famous for reasoned and rational decisions and leans heavily Democrat. (Although they have a mostly new set of justices now, they still are 5-2 appointed by Democrats and the 2 appointed by Republicans were appointed by liberal Republican Christine Whitman.)

Notice the following quote:

Acuna said she asked the doctor "if it was the baby in there?" She claimed he told her: "Don't be stupid, it's just some blood."

The doctor testified that he did not recall Acuna asking such a question but would have told her that a "seven-week pregnancy is not a living human being."


If this was the early 1970s, I could understand a doctor not being sure that a seven-week pregnancy is a living human being. But with the advances in technology that allow us to look into the womb and all the things we now know about the process of pregnancy and the development of children in the womb, to make such a claim should cause this guy to lose his license.

If he wanted to make the case that this life was not worth saving or something along those lines, I would still disagree, but at least he could still claim some intellectual honesty. Instead, he is hiding his head in the sand to support the prevailing liberal agenda of the day.

Ridiculous.

One day, I hope that we will look back at the genocide of the pro-abortion agenda the way that many of us view the 3/5ths compromise in the Constitution - how could such otherwise wise men have been so stupid?

Just my thoughts,

Frank

(For a related article on this subject from my archives, see this post.)

There's Something Rotten in the State of ... New Jersey - Part 1

Monday, October 01, 2007

Two recent news stories regarding New Jersey should serve as a warning about what things are like when the corrupt Democratic machine gets complete control of something - especially in regards to issues that are important to believers.

Corruption in New Jersey politics is nothing new - see former Senator Bob Torricelli (D) or former Governor James McGreevey (D) as two recent prominent New Jersey Democrats that resigned amid accusations of corruption. Having lived in New Jersey for 10 years, not much would surprise me with regards to New Jersey politics.

Recently, however, there were two issues that showed up in New Jersey that ought to cause the rest of us to take notice. Since they are different issues, I will address each one with a separate post.

The first issue is regarding homosexual activism and the believer's rights to stand up for the truth from the Bible.

In the continued efforts of the homosexual activitists to silence and intimidate any voices that do not agree with their desire to have their sin viewed as acceptable and moral, a recent attack was made upon the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Associaton for their refusal to allow civil unions in an oceanside Pavillion/Chapel that the Methodist Camp Association owns.

You can read the article in the New Jersey Ledger here.

If you notice in the article, there are a series of cases pending on the groups refusal - on religious grounds - to allow the civil unions on the site. The cost of this stand (in the terms of uthe nexpected tax bill) could reach $378,000. The cost for the other cases pending (including a civil rights descrimination case) could end up being even greater - depending on decisions in the cases.

If you do not think that believers need to stand up and take a position against this promotion of this radical agenda now, imagine the implications down the road for Christian schools, churches, and camp grounds. All that the homosexual activitists need to do is ask for permission to be married on your grounds and if you refuse to allow it, you could be in for some serious trouble.

I am not sure what those of us outside of New Jersey can or should do in this matter, but one thing is certain. We ought to be preparing our ministries for the day when this same attack is made in our individual locations. I am hesitant to name some ministries that I can think of that may soon be facing the same type of attacks (I don't want my including their names in this post to be something that the left uses to find new targets.)

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Maggie Gallagher has a more detailed discussion on this over at Yahoo! News.