By Dr. Tony Beam.
If you are a science fiction fan you know that a popular story line in science fiction stories is the alternative universe theory. From Star Trek to Lord of the Rings fiction writers have advanced the idea that there are multiple alternative universes in various time frames that allow for all sorts of fantastic storylines and otherwise implausible and illogical outcomes. In Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Peregrin Took (Pippin) finds the allure of Saruman’s crystal (palantir) to be irresistible. When he takes it from Gandalf he is treated to a vision of what Middle Earth will be like if Sauron’s forces are successful. It is an alternative universe that happily for the Hobbits never comes to pass. In Star Trek The Next Generation it seems the crew of the Enterprise is always messing with the “space/time continuum” creating all kinds of rifts in time that allow those pesky alternative universes to pop up.
I had always assumed these alternative universes were bogus but when I read that the Attorney General of the United States was going to address a council of African American church leaders I immediately thought we must have slipped into one. Can you imagine what would happen in the real universe if a Republican Attorney General addressed a group of Evangelical pastors with tips on how to get their parishioners to turn out on election day? The time/space continuum would rupture and every liberal, leftwing politician and member of the media would spontaneously combust. But Democrat Eric Holder can call a confab with the Council of Black Churches and announce that, “some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement now hang in the balance” and the media watchdogs refuse to bark.
My knowledge of history may be a little fuzzy but I think I would have remembered if the civil rights movement was threatened by legitimate investigations into voter irregularity. State Legislatures in South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and a host of other states have tried to tighten up loose voter laws that have allowed the dead to rise on Election Day. In South Carolina, 953 people who had passed on were listed as having voted in the 2010 election. The South Carolina Election Commission investigated 207 cases and declared all but ten to be the result of “clerical errors, bad data matching, errors in assigning voter participation, or voters dying after being issued an absentee ballot.” Immediately, left wing websites and talk shows published the fiction that “95 percent of the cases” were attributable to something other than fraud. What they don’t say is that it was 95 percent of the 207 cases investigated, not 95 percent of the total number. That leaves us with 746 cases yet to be reviewed.
A strong but fair voter ID law like the one passed in South Carolina that would provide free picture ID’s to all who could not afford one would put to rest most questions of voter irregularity and would pose no unreasonable burden on any voter. If a person were not willing or able to go to the DMV to get a free legitimate picture ID why would they be willing or able to show up at the polls on Election Day?
According to Fox News Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered Florida to “halt its push to remove ineligible voters from the voter rolls.” An initial search by election officials in Florida suggested up to 182,000 voters may be ineligible to vote because they are not American citizens. According to the same Fox News story, “Earlier this year state officials sent to local election officials a much smaller list of more than 2,600 voters and asked supervisors to start the process to remove them from the rolls.” Responding to criticism from the Holder Justice Department Florida Department of State spokesperson Chris Cate said, “Bottom line we are firmly committed to doing the right thing and preventing ineligible voters from being able to cast a ballot.”
If would be nice if the Federal Justice Department would make the same commitment to enforcing existing voting laws instead of sending Attorney General Eric Holder out to accuse Republican led states of attacking civil rights laws.
Joel Gehrke, a staff writer for The Examiner (washingtonexaminer.com) reports that the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus sponsored event for pastors, Emanuel Cleaver said the event was “designed to educate pastors on what they’re allowed to say about politics in church while encouraging them to keep black turnout high.”
I can only imagine what would happen if those words had come from a conservative republican encouraging Christians to turn out and vote their conscience. Maybe we are in an alternate universe after all.
Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and the Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina, Dr. Tony Beam received his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and his Doctor of Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.