Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. ~ C.S. Lewis

Liberty In Christ: RIP Andrew Kaluza

kaluza 3It was yesterday afternoon that someone messaged me asking if I had heard the news about Andrew Kaluza. I had no idea what he was talking about but went to Andrew’s facebook. It was clear within seconds that he had passed away. I still don’t know intricate details but am told he died in a car crash.

I first met Andrew while I was studying economics at UTSA back in the fall of 2009. He was the president of the UTSA chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. I think I was the only person who didn’t vote for Ron Paul who actually attended their meetings. Andrew and I hit it off very quickly; mainly because we were both passionate about what we believed, loved articulating that through dialogue and debate, and found enough nuances in our belief system to warrant digging deeper.

Andrew and I spent countless hours debating politics but often our conversations veered into worldview, philosophy and my belief in Christ as Lord.

Andrew claimed at the time to be more agnostic, but he asked way too many questions to not have something inside of him that wanted to find concrete answers. He also was way too dedicated to principles of Liberty to be agnostic about anything, let alone faith. Countless conversations ended up in faith, and there we would discuss all of his questions and struggles pertaining to the Lord. Andrew asked many questions.

Andrew was a brilliant man and his desire to fully comprehend that which he believed in is not uncommon. I think it’s often more difficult for intelligent people to submit to the Lord, in order to do so they must admit that God is larger than they can fully comprehend. (It’s a good thing I’m not intelligent)

When I met Andrew he wasn’t pro-life at all, toward the end of us spending time together he admitted to me that abortion was horrific and that he didn’t want it to happen, he even admitted that the unborn child was probably a human, but the libertarian in him couldn’t call upon the government to fix those problems.

Andrew dropped out of school once his dedication to liberty, and getting more college activists educated and engaged in the liberty movement, took over. We would talk over the phone 3-4 times a year and each time he remained excited about liberty movement and all that he was accomplishing through Students for Liberty and more recently the Institute for Humane Studies.

Though faith came up a couple times in our phone conversations we never again dug down deep into Christ like we did when we spent two semesters together. I am grateful that the Lord provided the opportunity to share the gospel with Andrew on multiple occasions but am brought to a sober state when I realize I don’t know where he was spiritually these last couple years.

It’s a damning reminder to NEVER stop pointing people back to the faith that saves all who come.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” – Romans 5:6-9

Andrew found something during the year that I knew him that gave him an intense passion, focus and purpose in life. Liberty.

It ended up engulfing the remainder of his life.

In my work I respect and admire many people just like Andrew and strongly believe that in order to turn our nation back toward the principles that have made us great we must embrace liberty. Only through freedom can a nation grant it’s people the opportunity to succeed and prosper.

But on a more personal note (and a note to our nation too), liberty in Christ is what we are called to, and without it, no amount of college activism, or individual liberty in law, will fulfill our desire to be free.

Every libertarian in America could be given an island to practice their individualistic utopia and, without Christ, they would be just as chained and bound as the rest of us.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty where with Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage…………. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” – Galatians 5:1 and 13

I hope and pray that Andrew had faith in Christ prior to the tragic car wreck which ended his life here on earth.

If you don’t know Christ, run to Him, and He shall grant you peace.

Wendy Davis’s Campaign Video

On the tail end of their worst week yet, Wendy Davis’s campaign posted my comments, made when I was asked for analysis of the race, but recorded in secret, as if it was damaging, or could somehow fix their hapless campaign. I was glad to see they gained little exposure. I look forward to seeing Attorney General Abbott, a tireless fighter for all Texans, elected as our next Governor of Texas. If any other Democrat operatives want my opinion on Texas races, they can feel free to ask me in public.

Evan Smith’s Abortion Avoidance

Evan_Smith_(cropped)This is actually a legitimate question I have.

First, let me say that Evan Smith has done what almost no one else could do. Via the Texas Tribune, of which he is the Editor in Chief and CEO, Evan is able to educate Texans on issues most casual news readers would never have thought to examine. Through the Tribune, Texans have benefitted from more transparency and access to the inner-workings of their state government. The speed at which the Tribune has grabbed the attention and readership of people across the nation is impressive, and largely owed to Evan’s vision of digital news.

Evan has always treated the people that I work with fairly and I believe he strives for journalistic integrity. However, on the issue of abortion, Evan’s actions, and that of the Tribune’s reporting, hint at an extreme view of abortion.

This issue first came to light on January 22nd of this year (my birthday, which is also the anniversary of Roe V. Wade), when Evan decided to post an interview with Sarah Weddington on his front page. He had also arranged an interview between Sarah Davis and Donna Howard on family planning (a.k.a. abortion). For those of you who don’t know, Sarah Davis is one of the 3 Republicans in the Texas House who are publicly pro-choice, the others being J.D. Sheffield and Joe Straus. Lacking from any of these Tribune activities were legislators or activists from the pro-life movement.

My concern was that it could be concluded that Evan and the Tribune had a clear agenda that was polar-opposite of a majority of Texans, and a bi-partisan one at that. As of now, Evan Smith and the Tribune seem pretty in tune with a crowd that supports late-term abortion and sub-standard conditions in the facilities that perform them.

Evan could have also interview Norma McCorvey? Norma actually was Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade and is now a pro-life activist.

I asked on Twitter why Evan and the Tribune decided not to actually have at least one pro-life legislator on their panel to talk about the views that pro-lifers have about family planning? I did get a response from Evan, but it was only to address my interpretation of Sarah Davis’ record.

Evan Smith and Luke Macias

Now, the Tribune neglecting to interview pro-life Texans on abortion, and Evan’s dodge of my questions on their perspective isn’t too surprising, considering the usual lean of the news media. What places all this in crystal clear focus, however, was Evan’s much-touted interview with Wendy Davis at the Tribfest a few days ago.

This was, far and away, the most disappointing interview I’ve seen Evan give.

Wendy Davis wouldn’t be running for Governor if it weren’t for her marathon filibuster against a bill that would ban abortions after 5 months of pregnancy and add higher safety standards on abortion clinics. Despite this, her opposition to this bi-partisan legislation was never even addressed.

Evan Smith has made an art form out of playing Devil’s advocate in Tribune interviews. But when it came to Wendy, he gave a very minor mention of abortion at around the 6:30 mark of the interview, and then quickly moved on to “more important” matters.

When dealing with such a skilled newsman, there’s no possibility he ran out of time, or simply forgot to address the topic. No, what we witnessed this weekend was simply willful neglect of the issue that has spring boarded Davis into the Governor’s race and led to an explosion in hype for left-leaning Texas candidates.

Why not ask why Wendy opposed legislation supported by not only Republicans, but Democrats legislators as well? Why not ask why she opposes banning abortions after 5 months, a measure supported by the majority of Texans? Why not ask why abortion clinics should not be held to stronger safety standards?

The answer is simple. Democrats, and a far too often compliant media, want to ignore the abortion issue because they are desperately out of touch with the American people on the issue. Evan has been superb at asking the tough questions of our elected leaders, but this weekend he went out of his way to set a narrative for Wendy Davis in her race for Governor.

Let’s be clear, Senator Davis is a Harvard graduate and has deftly navigated the Texas political maze to make a run for Governor, but her defense of late-term abortion is the singular issue that catapulted her to stardom amongst the pundits in Austin and Washington. I hate to say it, but the Tribune is held up by many as a new way of reporting the news, as non-partisan and designed to bring important information to the masses. What we saw this weekend, however, is nothing short of journalistic malpractice.

Evan,

I have to ask you, why treat Wendy Davis differently than the other newsworthy officeholders and candidates you interview? How did Texas’ leading professional contrarian forget to ask a candidate for Governor of Texas about her views on abortion and how they differ from the vast majority of Texans?

I’ll wait for a real answer.