...and as a result, I'm not sure when I'll be doing the bloggin' thing. I've got a couple of things swirling around in the noggin', but little time to focus, what with all the merriment abounding over the next few days. And to make it all a bit more challenging, our second oldest has been hospitalized over what seems to be food poisoning. After a few days of sick-to-the-stomach-ness and it's attendant unpleasantries, she had finally dehydrated to the point of kidney failure and now is being treated to constant IVs and daily transfusions in order to get her back to square one. We've been seeing those platelettes go from around 4 to double digits and will continue until she's in the triple digits once again. So the holidays will be enjoyed bedside in a city hospital with dinners to take place next week or the week after, recovery allowing.
But we still are filled with the Spirit of Christmas and it is at this point that I wish to say to all who visit here, no matter who you are:
One of the biggest frustrations of debates in the blogosphere is the constant denegration of someone's sources as "biased" or "slanted" to one way of thinking at the expense of another. When person A makes a point, person B insists on evidence or sources. When the evidence or source is presented, person B denies its credibility due to bias. But bias does not imply dishonesty, underhandedness or the purposeful manipulation, distortion or ommision of facts and details pertinent to the issue. Either the info is true or it isn't and only when a source has been proven to have engaged in any of the above behavior repeatedly in order to support an otherwise unsupportable position can it truly be cast aside as lacking credibility.
For example, recently Les had dismissed my use of a Human Events article because, well, it's Human Events, and gave me another link to another article by the same Jed Babbin, I guess to show his bias. Well, OK. Jed's biased. But is what he reported true or isn't it? That's all that really matters. And we won't always know for sure, but if the guy or the source has no history of bad reporting, what difference does his bais make? Another example is seeing some lefties claim that Bush is a heartless creep for vetoing the SCHIPS deal. But rightwing people explained that Bush supported the plan but not the Dems idea of how much more to fund it. He, too, was up for increasing the funding, but not as much as the Dems wanted. So the lefties in question have diminished credibility for lying, not for being lefties.
In any case, the point of posting this is that I'm inviting everyone who cares to offer examples of who they think is UN-baised. It can be a periodical, like a newspaper or magazine. It can be a person, like a columnist or talk-show host. If anyone disagrees with another's offering, please cite examples of how they slanted a story away from the truth rather than simply denying their objectivity. Have fun.
Another downside is the impact on the language. Now that it's Christmas time, how many people, for even a split second, experience a mental double take singing, "Don we now our gay apparel."? Fairies are mythical creatures of magic, faggots are bundles of sticks and for a time actually meant a derogatory term of a woman or a child. For these and other words, homosexual connotations have come about only recently. I remember an episode of "WKRP" wherein newsman Les Nesman was out on the ledge about to jump because someone referred to him as a queer fellow and others heard it and thought he was a homosexual. Now, I refuse to use those terms except in their original meaning (unless I'm feeling surly, but even then, I'm far more likely to use a more generic term like, "rat bastard!"). I use only "homosexual" and its abbreviation, "homo", which has garnered me heat. Apparently, calling them what they are is akin to the dreaded "hate speech". So this downside is the redefinition of words for the benefit of 2% of the population, including, if they have their way, "marriage".
And this is yet another downside. Marriage. Those of us who oppose homosexual marriage are now accused of feeling that our personal marriages are at risk. This one is stupid. It's the institution, not a specific marriage that is at risk. And in the Netherlands, where such marriages are legal, out of wedlock births are around 60%, as people no longer place the same importance on the instutution now that it has been granted to homosexuals. Whether or not that's the actual reason is something I'm not prepared to say. Let us just say that it has gotten that bad since the change has taken place.
And here's a downside that is sure to raise a few hackles, whatever that is: Law enforcement agencies claim that on average, murders committed by homosexuals are more brutal. Another source says spousal abuse is far more rampant, with, strangely, lesbians being the worst for knocking each other about.
Well, that's enough. There is more, but I'm done. Needless to say, these stats aren't offered to imply that every person of the persuasion is hellspawned vermin to be shunned and cast out into the wastelands. I've known a few homosexuals in my 52 years and liked them personally. I've also known a few drug dealers in that time and got on famously with them as well. It doesn't mean I agreed with their lifestyles. But all I've put down can be checked at the sources mentioned in the first post and from there one can decide for one's self whether to believe it or to offer proof that any of it is blatantly false.
As to that, I insist that for anyone who wishes to decry my sources as biased, you'll get no argument from me. You'll still have to prove they lie. Bias doesn't mean dishonesty or underhandedness. And for many, if not most, especially among people of faith, opposition to homosexuality isn't intolerance (except for the bad behavior in which they engage), but concern for our society and the homosexuals themselves. And that IS the truth.
Well. I began the last on the 10th, but just published it now. Why Blogger dates your stuff from when you start composing rather than when you publish, I don't know. I also don't know why it won't indent in the typical and traditional fashion. Damned technology!
Another downside of the movement is seen in the conflicts their self-promotion has caused between them and the rest of us. It has, per it's agenda, gained a lot of ground in the demonizing of those who oppose them. People of faith, that is, people who truly wish to adhere to their religous beliefs, believe God exists as surely as the person next to them or as the chair upon which they are sitting. He is tangible and real and thus, the desire is to not only live accordingly, but to spread the Word in hopes of bringing others to the faith. This becomes a problem when a small segment of society has convinced others that thousands of years of tradition and belief is wrong. Those that still adhere to those traditions and beliefs are now seen as intolerant, controlling, oppressive, fascist-like. All because we choose to believe what our Holy Books teach us, rather than the interpretations of so-called progressive, post-modern, liberal theologians who see things never seen by traditional theologians in the previous 4000 years. In countries where homosexual supporters have succeeded in gaining state sanctioning, clergy have faced legal ramifications when preaching the Word, and all who dare speak against the movement risk charges of committing a hate crime for doing so. Hate crime. An assinine term if ever there was one and wildly inappropriate here. In short, our Constitutionally protected freedom of religious expression will be at risk should the movement succeed in its goals.
In the same manner, our freedom of association is likewise threatened, as employment laws are twisted to accomodate the movement in all its varied versions. So, if some ugly dude with a voice like Barry White is feeling pretty, it's likely that the place where he works will have to pay for gender reassignment surgery through the company insurance plan. It won't be seen as elective because he can't help the gender confusion under which he lives. And the employer now has far less say as to how his company, an extension of himself, is represented by his employees. If he's a devout person of faith, he'll be forced to enable those who engage in sinful behavior. Even religious organizations will be impacted.
It has impacted our school system already. A man in Massachusetts is prohibited under a restraining order from tresspassing on the grounds of the school where his kindergarden aged son was being taught about same-sex parents. The parents have no say if the district has enough well-meaning but certifiably goofy liberals in the majority running the schools. They are told to like it or pull their kids out. Talk about forcing an ideology down the throats of others! Christians are constantly accused, but these jerks are guilty! It's no secret that this is an incredibly hot-button issue, but the parents don't get a say. There has never been sexually tinged issues like this in schools for kids so young ever before the movement began gaining the support of the left.
And it gets worse. Junior high was the average point at which sex-ed, or "health class" was offered in schools. It was all very clinical as to how the parts worked and what they did. But now, the kids are being indoctrinated like a freakin' gulag to create more supporters for the cause and often doing so without parental notification. In Illinois High School District 214 (if I'm not mistaken) summer reading lists contain books that are really porn literature, exposing kids to all sorts of sexual hijinks, and of course, it's supposed to be a good thing. At Stevenson HS, a closed door seminar with students lectured by homosexuals was to be "between us" as the school said. "Let's keep this between us. No need to let anyone know outside this room what we talked about, including your parents." (Visit CultureCampaign.org for details on these two incidents.) And of course, the Gay-Straight Alliance presents its pro-homo propaganda in almost every high school in the nation, in many cases providing actual "how-to sex literature" for those who think they might be homosexual or just curious. Isn't that nice? And don't forget about the incredibly stupid annual day of silence, which would be improved upon if they added another 364 days.
Sidebar: This is not to say that I would not want kids who question their sexuality to have some place to go in their schools, to feel safe in their schools, and to be protected against abusive behavior during this hormonally charged period in their lives. But encouraging any kind of sexual exploration and experimentation does NOT make their lives easier. It only opens them up for more heartache, including the potentially fatal health risks. This is actually the worst time to be telling a teenager that it's OK to be a homosexual since he might only be feeling the effects of his hormonal activity. It exacerbates the most confusing time in a kid's life, and whatever he feels about himself during this period will most assuredly pass away if left alone. But to insist to the kid that the feelings he has prove he's homosexual is frankly, child abuse. Sexually speaking, there is no feeling upon which a teenager should be encouraged to act. Instead, he/she should be guided to endure until adulthood when his/her actions won't impact his/her entire family, and possibly for naught if the feelings aren't true.
This post is in response to a request of sorts by Les who insisted that I prove to him that a downside exists to the pro-homosexuality movement. Most of what I'll write here is personal opinion, of course, but it's based on things I've read from various sources. Some of those sources include, but are not limited to, Americans for Truth, Concerned Women for America and articles from Conservapedia.com, as well as various columns, articles and interviews to which I've been exposed over the course of time. Though some of the sources may be faith based, I would hope that supporters of the movement would suspend outrage and focus on the points presented. But to that point I would like to say that I believe totally in the ability of faith to promote incredible degrees of change within a person, whether that person has faith in a deity or only his own self, as long as that faith is strong. An important point to remember. At the outset, I want to emphasize that I in no way, shape or form condone harrassment or attacks on anyone simply for their being a homosexual. They are still people, of course, and are equally deserving of kindness and respect like anyone else. It serves no noble cause to point them out, ridicule or physically assault them. Next, I feel strongly the need to declare that the concept of homophobia is a big, steaming pile of crap. I reject any accusations to that affect, so spare yourselves the keystrokes.
When Les and I were discussing like mature adults this topic, I left off with what I called the first evidence of the downside. We find ourselves in our current situation as a result of what has gone before, namely, the sexual liberation movement of the 50's and 60's. What is going on now could never have begun without it. Thus, this is a natural progression of the bigger picture problem of promiscuity, a tangent which has become its own distinct negative on our society. As this snowball has been working its way downhill, we are seeing a push from polygamists for consideration using the same arguments of the homosexuals. (This is apart from the dude recently put in jail for polygamy, some radical and abusive Mormon rejected by the larger organization.) And in the last year, a film was given some props at a festival, I believe it was Sundance, on the topic of bestiality. But Rick Santorum was just a homophobic boob. Sure, these are not on the scale of the homosexual movement. Give it time, especially if all goals are met by the movement. So support for the homosexual movement is like pushing that snowball faster down the hill of the moral degradation that began fifty years ago and continues to this day.
The obvious downside is in the realm of public health. I read where one medical person stated that homosexual sex is ideal for the transmission of disease. As in, custom made for it. In an earlier discussion, Les was quick to point out that many of the sexual practices of homosexuals are engaged in by heterosexual couples. This is true. But the frequency of of outbreaks of STDs is highest among homosexuals. One source stated that as much as 80% of new AIDS cases still come from the homosexual community, roughly 2-5% of the population. The same holds true for many other diseases, such as syphillis. This is due to the fact that, just as using tools for purposes not intended by their design damages them, so too with the human anatomy. Right from the start, the physical expressions of homosexual lust are harmful. Not so the primary physical expression of hetero lust. To support the homosexual agenda is to invite problems that could overburden our health care system and without a doubt, health care insurance. It would be akin to being forced to insure stunt people or rather, insuring everyone against the possibility that they would engage in dangerous stunts. Things will get more expensive. And this would be true keeping in mind the 2-5% aspect.
I'm going to end it here as I have serious reservations regarding the space limitations of a single post.
I'm currently reading "Truman" by David McCullough. I really enjoyed his book, "1776" and had a mild interest in reading this. It's almost 1000 pages and I wasn't sure if I wanted to interrupt the adventures of The Three Musketeers to dive into what might be a boring tale about ol' Give 'em Hell Harry. But McCullough does history like a novel so I figured what the heck. I borrowed the book from my son-in-law and began to plod along. The one issue I was most interested in exploring was the dropping of the bomb. This issue has come up in other discussions at other blogs, including a very respectful set of postings at ELAshley's old blog on the anniversary of the Hiroshima event. I thought I'd get a pretty in depth perspective from this book.
But I'm only at page 166 thus far. Harry just won his first political campaign as a local judge, but it sounds more like a county commissioner type of job. He'd deal with finances and doling out patronage jobs.
But here's the part that stood out for me: The area of Missouri where Harry lived, Kansas City, Independence and there abouts, was a strong Democratic region. Republicans were a tiny minority and the real drama of campaigning was found in the Dem primaries. There were two major factions at the time. One was called the "goats" who followed the Pendergast machine, and the other was the "rabbits" who were lead by a guy named Shannon.
Frankly, the Dems did a lot for people at the time and it didn't matter what party you said you were from. If you had need, they'd be there, but they did ask for a vote as the only payment. (Hmmm. Sounds like they're setting themselves up some victims; cultivating an entitlement mentality.) But it was in the campaigning where they did shine. From the book:
"The difference between the two factions was mainly a matter of style. The Goats liked to win with strength, with big turnouts on election day. The Rabbits were known for their cleverness. But both sides could play rough---with money or by calling out the saloon bullies. Strong-arm tactics at the polls, ballot-stuffing, ballot-box theft, the buying of votes with whiskey or cash, bloody, headlong street brawls, all the odious strategems that had made big-city machine politics notorious since the time of New York's Boss Tweed, had been brought to bear to determine which side within the party gained the uppor hand. 'Stealing elections had become a high art,' wrote one man, 'refined and streamlined by the constant factional battles...' "
I especially enjoyed this part regarding the repayment of help rendered:
"All that was expected in return was gratitude expressed at the polls on election day. and to most of his people this seemed little enough to ask and perfectly proper. Many, too, were happy to be 'repeaters,' those who voted 'early and often' on election day. The woman who worked in the hospital laundry, as an example, started as a repeater at age eighteen, three years shy of the voting age, and enjoyed every moment. She and several others would dress up in different costumes for each new identity, as they were driven from polling place to polling place in a fine, big car. It was like play-acting, she remembered years later. She would vote at least four or five times before the day ended. 'Oh I knew it was illegal, but I certainly never thought it was wrong.' "
Wow. Imagine that. Democrats cheating. Like Hugh Hewitt said in his book, "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat", Dems really have been doing this a long time.
Today's American Thinker (yeah, I know. But they've just had some interesting little articles lately.) had a column on the University of Wisconsin-Madison and their "Think Respect" program. The article was actually on how this idiotic program withered away from non-participation. What struck me was that someone in a position as lofty as a dean at a major university could be so stupid as to think it was a good idea in the first place. What was called for was turning in or reporting anyone who engaged in any behavior or speech that was deemed offensive by any of a number of groups of apparently overly sensitive people. Yeah. I want my daughters to go and whine about being called a "chick" or a "broad" or a "Christian" or a "conservative". Oh wait. The last two wouldn't garner them the time of day.
In any case, it's nice to know that even if the kids are hopelessly indoctrinated already, that they still retain the sense to know crap when they see it. A student wrote in the school paper how they were capable of dealing with inappropriate speech without the help to the faculty. Good for them. Let's hope they see political correctness for what it is as well.
I have been mulling over the events following my posting of "Apparently I'm Weird". It saddens me that Geoffrey has decided to no longer visit here. I know that there are some that may say, "Good Riddance". I'm not one of them. I don't deny that I have some problems when conversing with him. He routinely misrepresents what I say. He assumes things about me which have not been printed, and then insists that I don't know HIM when I haven't made any statements suggesting such. I have sought to clarify his positions when I'm unsure where he's going. I don't feel he's given me the same consideration. I've said as much already.
Yet despite these troubles, I insist he's welcome here anytime he feels compelled to comment. As with any visitor, this doesn't mean he'll get special treatment. If I dont' agree with a comment I'll say so. If I think a comment is stupid, I'll say so and explain why. To me, this is what these little debates are all about. I don't take anything too personally and don't see why anyone should. There has yet to be any blatant verbal abuse by anyone to the degree that would invite a right cross were it to happen on the street. A little snarkiness, sarcasm, and some outright jabs are perfectly acceptable here.
My comments in that post were not so much a commentary on Geoffrey exactly, but as they were based on discussions between us at his blog, they were perfect for the point I was trying to make regarding the topic. But frankly, I don't see how the disparity between our views of sexuality is any different from our opposing positions on any other topic. He got hung up on my choice of words, words that were deliberately chosen for their descriptive nature. He chose to assume my use of the words chosen implied definitions and accusations not of my meaning.
I once called a really goofy poster at another blog a "putz" for the outlandishness of his views. They were pretty "out there" comments in my opinion. Others agreed, in fact. But this dude took a word that is defined as both a term for a horse's genitalia as well as a term to mean an idiot. He chose to inist that I was calling him a horse's penis, when I was using the more common meaning, that he is an idiot. Geoffrey has taken a similar path upon reading my usage of the term "bastard" to describe the nature of his great-grandmother's birth. Neil also thought it inappropriate. (ER did as well, but he's fond of Geoffrey) But though I've never heard of the horse connection for "putz", the actual definition of "bastard" is still in use as well as it's derogatory usage. Here, it would have served Geoffrey well to inquire as to my meaning, though since his telling of his family history came first, it's kind of insulting that he chose to take it as he did.
Nonetheless, I'm really quite sorry that it turned out as it did. I'm sorry that he has that tendency. I'm sorry that he took everything I said, as he has taken so much of what I have said since our meeting, so wrongly. I don't see how I can do this weighing each word for potential offense to someone, anyone, at any time, and still be able to express myself.
The bottom line is that although it might be moot at this point, Geoffrey is still welcome. If he thinks I'm a jerk, I can't change that opinion if he won't seek clarification for comments he finds offensive. I can't change it if he insists on assuming he understands whence I come when clearly he does not. But he is still welcome. It's just a freakin' blog.
With the day almost over, I want to wish all a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for all who visit and participate here. Despite recent tensions, I hold no hard feelings to anyone and feel honored that anyone would spend any part of their day mixing it up with me. I'm amazed at how many comments come in and I appreciate each and every one of them and those who entered them.
Enjoy the day, thank the Lord, ignore the revisionists, eat, drink and be merry.
I offer an article from today's American Thinker by Bruce Walker concerning Nazis and Christianity. (That would be 11/17/07) I thought it piggybacks well on my recent post regarding Nazis and Homosexuality, and it even helps to understand the previous info as well. I do this for the sake of any who insist on using Nazi Germany as an example of Christian oppression, which has always been a pathetically laughable postition for anyone to take. Anyone who understands Christianity at all has to admit that though there are examples of Christians committing atrocities, it is difficult to find any that can be traced to Scriptural teaching. I'm not saying Scripture isn't used in such a manner, but rather, that it can't be based on any accurate interpretations. The Word is often twisted for selfish means, but unlike Islam, there are no directives of any kind that can be reasonably interpreted to condone such oppression. This will provide a little something while I finish a rant on a different topic.
I've been taking a lot of heat recently over at Geoffrey's blog, What's Left In The Church. The reason?
I like sex. I like it a lot. A whole lot. I like it very, very much. I enjoy it immensely and look forward to every opportunity. It's a wonderful way for a husband and wife to spend ten minutes.
OK, that last was a joke. I can go twelve, thirteen minutes easily. But the point is that it is between me and my wife. That's as it should be. Anything I did before marriage was not as it should be. Though it was fun.
But all jokes aside, at least for a bit, the problem I've been having at Geoff's, among others, is that I now am viewed by him and his, ah... um... "ilk" as something strange for the reason that I see sex for what it is, a selfish act of self-gratification. I see it, and the desire to engage in it, as the bane of our society. Geoffrey tells his very young daughter that it is a wonderful gift from God. I wonder if he feels the same for any spasm the body might produce. In any case, I requested Biblical support for that belief and at the time I began this post, I'd not seen such support. It's been a couple of days now, but perhaps he'll grace us with such here.
This discussion actually ran over a few of his posts, and without stopping here to go check for sure, I think it began at his post about JK Rowling "outing" Prof. Dumbledore. Naturally, this scholar of Biblical proportions thought that was just peachy and really nothing whatsoever over which anyone should have concern. I protested that I thought that such things are entirely inappropriate for young readers and why should such crap be put before them whilst they seek to enjoy their innocence. As it was not depicted openly in the books (from what I understand), what possible reason could there be for it anyway, except to promote the behavior as "normal"?
So began a back and forth about the goodness and holiness of sex and how it's natural and a beautiful thing that is shared in many different ways by many different people and how it's a wonderful expression of love.
CRAP AND NONSENSE!
But this is what he teaches his kids and as far as our debate, has expressed nothing regarding when it is appropriate and when it is sinful, which, for a semanarian and spouse of a preacher, seems rather lacking in the parental responsibility department. I don't know. Perhaps he simply neglected to add that to his rebuttal. I hope so. For as it sat, he's pretty much given his kid the green light to get it on as soon as she's up to it, with only some perceived feelings of love to justify it and make it "OK". And when, or if, she comes home pregnant with no ring nor license to show for it, why, he'll support her and not scold or say "I told you so" which he really couldn't say since he never did.
So here it is again, sex is NOT love. Sex is lust. End of story, really. We attach these lovely notions to the act for the sake of romance and all that, and truly, between spouses, it ain't so bad to do so. But it's a stark lie that society has come to embrace more and more over the years. Sex is a biological act with a specific purpose. The pleasure is a function of that act that ensures the act ever gets done and the species survives. But we have taken that pleasure and made it primary over the true purpose and now what are the consequences? They are many. Among them are:
*Over 40 million abortions since Roe v Wade. Those are of the surgical variety. Untold millions more from chemical abortions due to the use of birth control and morning after pills. A result of putting sex on such a high pedestal that it towers over the value of human life, as the spineless have chosen to redefine when life begins to accomodate their weakness.
*The proliference of STDs, with younger and younger sufferers all the time, including babies born with them due to their parents immaturity, as well as younger girls getting pregnant.
*High divorce rate and the invention of No Fault Divorce.
*The push to normalize abnormal relationships and behaviors.
*The rise in child abuse.
*Rap videos, internet porn and sex as a constant in advertizing, films and TV shows. This just compounds the issue as it gives credence to the nonsense of sex as being as necessary as food or sleep.
I was the subject of ridicule by Geoff and his friends, particularly his sister, the only one besides himself allowed to freely insult to whatever level she desires, for my use of the terms "crotch-centered" and "bastard".
It seems Geoff's grandmother is a bastard (or was it his great-grandmother? I forget. No matter.). Now that sounds harsh based on the common usage of the word today (I'm partial to the term "rat bastard"), but that she was born of two who were not married to each other justifies it's use, since that's the definition of the word. I asked him if he was proud to learn such about his great-grandparents (or was it great-great-grandparents? I forget. No matter.), that they engaged in sex without benefit of marriage. He never really answered the question, and I never implied that he should hate them for it. But that's the route he took and it shows he has no regard for the appropriate time and place for sex as dictated by traditional values and standards. This is where "crotch-centered" come into play. What else would you call someone who is so unwilling to control one's urges? The possibilities are many. Few are endearing.
The point is that engaging in sexual activity carries with it serious consequences. It is the dismissing of those consequences, redefining them, risking them even when acknowledging them, that is the cause of so much suffering in the world. Rather than making the world go 'round, as the romantics among us insist, it serves to make it grind as those consequences manifest when it is abused. When the sexual urge is allowed to define and/or control us, it dimishes us. As Christians, it results in spiritual impurity (and can even within a proper marriage), and as human beings, it makes us very much like animals who are unable to resist their instinctive drive.
The sexual urge is no different than many other urges that should be controlled if we are to call ourselves mature adults. The urge to take what doesn't belong to us, to strike those who offend us, to over eat, to avoid work, to gossip, to eat jello with our hands in the closet. How we respond to our urges demonstrates the level of our character. How our society now responds to the sexual urge has shown our character is lacking.
I challenged Geoffrey for he and his wife to abstain for a month. There's no reason why he should and as a married couple they certainly aren't oblidged. I once suggested it to my wife as a Lenten sacrifice, and she was not up for it. For my part, there's little else that would seem a great sacrifice for such a ritual. But Geoffrey mocked that suggestion as well. OK. Fine. But that he wouldn't even consider it is telling. But it's a sad state of affairs if one can't or won't for such a brief period of time, even to honor one's Lord.
But I've rambled enough. I don't know if I've even made the point I was hoping to make. What I do know is that the consensus opinion of sex is harmful and the evidence is overwhelming that this is so. Mock me if you choose. It won't change the truth of it.
I was listening to R. C. Sproul today and he spoke on something I thought was relevant for me considering some of my opponents. Much of what he spoke about had to do with the idea of getting insight from the Holy Ghost (I'm feeling nostalgic for the term "Holy Ghost"). There are among these opponents those that have formed their positions on Christianity on Scripture, but also on their prayer meditations wherein the Holy Ghost revealed truth to them. Thus, for some, they have come to much different understandings regarding the faith, the Bible, and the concepts of right/wrong. Some have come to their pro-homosexual positions this way.
Well, the point Sproul was making was that God's Revelations to us can only be found in Scripture. He was saying that there have been no revelations since. And he clarified the difference between "revelation", which we received from Biblical study, and "illumination" which the Holy Ghost can provide. I found it humorous to hear him say how if he had a dollar for every time someone said they came to an unChristian or unBiblical notion after having prayed for answers or help. They don't seek the answers from the Bible, but convince themselves they've received revelation, which often is in contradiction with Scripture. It's the same thing I, and other conservative Christian bloggers and posters, have encountered in our debates and discussions. The bottom line is that the revelation needs to conform with Scripture, whether it comes from "prayerful meditation" or other sources.
Also in the same lecture, Sproul spoke of the early church restricting lay reading of the Bible. I've heard of this even in more modern day churches, mostly Roman Catholic. Some of the early churches would actually chain the Bibles to prevent their being taken. This practice is often held up as an example of the desire by the church to control people. Sproul explained that the practice was to protect the people from themselves. Martin Luther wanted to provide for the people the opportunity to read God's Word, but his opponents feared that the people were not educated in the proper way to read the Bible, and this could lead to numerous, perhaps countless, factions forming as everyone would come to different conclusions. This wasn't a looney fear considering how many different denominations exist today. And it's certainly what I have seen in these blog debates, that some feel that everyone needs to find what it means to them. I've always opposed this notion, not to tell people what to do, as I am often accused, but that the point is to determine what God means by Scripture. A true study requires removing one's self from the equation and simply determining what God wants. He has indeed revealed much in Scripure. Not everything, but plenty. Certainly all we need in living our lives here on earth.
Second, through one of the many newsletters I receive that clutters my email for far too long, I learned of a place called "Conservapedia.com" that was started to compete with Wikipedia for it's alleged left-leaning slant. I've never really used Wikipedia before, nor have I ever used this font, but I decided to add Conservapedia to my favorites and I'll probably add it here as well.
From the Conservapedia article I was reading, I came across an article (or perhaps it was a book---it was rather long and I didn't read the whole thing) that was about homosexuality in the Nazi party. I had never heard of this before. I had heard of the homosexuals executed by the Nazis, but this is the first time I heard that such executions were less about the victims' sexual preference than for their opposition to the Nazi party. It seems that for all intents and purposes, the party was actually formed from a homosexual society, as they were rife in Germany from the late 1800's on and that Hitler was chosen as the mouthpiece due to his oratory prowess. The article spoke of Hitler's desire to hang with homosexuals and it referred to the many circumstantial points suggesting he might also have had those tendencies, along with other deviancies. One angle was that he wasn't necessarily even bi-sexual, but dug hangin' with homosexuals.
Also, the article spoke of two main factions of homosexuals in Germany at the time. One came from a 19th century dude who's writings lead to the coining of the term "homosexual", and this fellow (who was molested in his youth) believed he was a woman in a man's body. His was a feminine version that was snubbed by the other faction, which was comprised of much more manly homosexuals who were often pederasts. These guys sought to pattern themselves after the ancient Greeks and Spartans and from these came the Nazi party. It's a fascinating article (or book) and it seemed to draw from homosexual sources for some of the info it relates. I didn't think to jot down the author's name since I wasn't really planning to talk about Nazi homosexuals, but I would think that using the phrase "Homosexuals and (or in) the Nazi party" at google will get you there if you're interested. The irony for me is how conservative and/or fundamentalist Christians are called "Nazi-like" for their opposition to homosexuality and the homosexual agenda, when so many homosexuals comprised the upper echelon of the Nazi party during the 1930's and 40's. It was suggested that they were chosen for their willingness to get nasty. Ain't that wild?
As if to prove the worthlessness of the award once and for all, the Nobel Prize was just awarded to AlGore for his fight against climate change. Seems to me it would make more sense if he actually changed the climate. Seems to me it should be given to those who base their beliefs on facts and not specious conclusions which are heavily disputed. Well, they've given the prize to other idiots. This just follows the pattern.
Just a quick note to say what a bunch of incredible wackjobs are those idiots who are working toward the removal of Columbus Day from the list of federal holidays. Talk about crackpots. That anyone gives these morons the time of day baffles me. Some of the ridiculous comments I've heard today on Medved's show, as well as the general tone of their "message" that bores me to no end every year on this date, shows a complete lack of serious historical study. Actually it just shows how freakin' stupid they are. Jeez.
It's incredible how one discussion can digress into an entirely different discussion. The Michael Vick case has morphed into an abortion debate. At least it has in my local newspaper, as readers have sent in their opinions on the subject and began making comparisons between the two topics. That is to say, that some have misgivings that their fellow man can be so outraged at what Vick has done with animals, while so many millions of unborn have been put to death without the massive outcry. Of course proponents of the practice will argue that the pro-lifers have expressed quite enough outrage.
The arguments surround the difference between "legal" and "moral". Neil's blog has recently touched on this. In the letter-to-the-editor to which I refer, the writer submits an article from the May 2004 issue of Discover magazine as the most readable summary of scientific data that she's found. So I Googled it and read it. The article speaks of the woman's egg cell and the complexity therein and how it can be a few months before fertilization when it's destiny, whether it will result in a full term pregnancy or not, is determined. Everything must be just so within the cell in order for everything to work out and a large percentage, as high as 80% apparently, will not even attach to the uterine wall after fertilization. So it's being prepared for the possibility of life, or rather, a successful period of gestation. In addition, the article speaks of the first three days from fertilization as a continuation of this process as the DNA from the sperm is added to the process. It's in these areas that the article seeks to submit that a rethinking of the beginning of life begins.
Poppycock. None of this very interesting and fascinating article supports that rethinking at all. All cells have purpose. Some have a more complex purpose. The purpose of the egg is to be prepared to join with the sperm in order to begin the process of procreating a new human being. That the egg may fail in it's purpose, that it may not attach to the uterine wall, that it may be flushed or morphed or in any way prevented through the natural means by which all such unfortunate cells are judged from continuing the process in no way creates an argument that the unnatural taking of this cell and destroying it is justified. Not in the least.
The fetus, which here means any stage of development in the womb, that fails anywhere along the way is no different than a college star athelete dropping dead of an up to that point unknown heart ailment right after the Celtics select him as their first round pick. It just happens. Was Len Bias(?) unworthy for having such a defect? I think not. I also don't think that the knowledge of which egg is viable and which isn't (were it possible to know for sure) gives anyone the right to make the ultimate decision. At this stage of the game, we're way to far from knowing with any degree of certainty, thus, all pregnancies must be treated as the development of a separate, unique and worthy human being who's life must be protected.
By the way, the main scientist interviewed for the article was on his way to inspect some eggs that he was involved with in an assisted fertility. At the start of the article, this leading expert in the field held out almost no hope that the eggs were good enough to survive the first few days of pregancy. He'd seen enough to know. The article ends with him saying, "Good news. She's pregnant!" Yeah, that's good news, alright. But the real news is that even the best still aren't good enough to judge who will live and who will not. Why should anyone else think they are?
One more thing: check out the Discovery article. It's way cool.
Been real busy doing very little lately. But deferring to Les's concerns, I've decided to begin with the announcement of the new NBA season pre-season opener between the beloved Chicago Bulls and the lowly Miwaukee Bucks. Though anything can happen in a pre-season game, as coaches try to check out their new players and the players themselves try to mesh with each other and run new plays, I anticipate a Bulls victory. This will cap a fine October in the never-ending battle for supremacy between Chicago and the land of Cheese. It began with the Cubs outlasting the Brewskies for division champs (only to be followed by the Cubs quick exit from post-season play, but what the heck), followed by the come from behind in Lambeau by the Bears. As everyone knows, the Super Bowl is great, but beating the Pack is a must.
Medical update: At about 2 1/2 months after surgery, I ask the doc about the average turn around time on the ACL deal. He said that they assume 6 months for the new ligament to totally graft properly. This means that ju jutsu is still out of the question for a few months more.
Bowling, however, is another story. After a shaky start in the first week, where I had my knee wrapped too much to really get into my shot, I've logged continual 600 series to steadily raise the average to it's current 208 level. I'm quite pleased, but I've still got some bugs to work out, particularly my continuing struggles with the 10 pin. All last year I dealt with a mental block regarding this easy spare and the summer hasn't diminished it whatsoever. But if I can get a game or two of nothing but shots at the 10 pin, I'm sure I can break the bad habit. Those opens'll kill ya. In any case, the concern for my knee has forced me to take it easy and this has helped my game considerably. You'd a thought the John Daniels and beer would have been enough...
Just a brief word to address what might escalate without a public service announcement like this: Though I would hate to be inundated, I can be easily contacted via email for anyone who cares to check out my profile. I mention this to allow anyone with concerns regarding other commenters an avenue for expressing those concerns. I would hate to lose any visitors who have, in my opinion, provided good fodder for debate and discussion because I bought an extremely large fodder container and it needs constant refilling. (Next to marriage, my greatest joy is being a fodder.) I don't want to ban anyone. I'll put up with a lot as long as it doesn't get too wacky. Slam somone's opinion if you want to. If that's all you intend to do, go elsewhere. Slamming requires a counter opinion. Without hanging yourself out there, you won't be allowed to trash someone else's opinion. Overall, I'd prefer no one insult a guest of mine. That's my job. Feel free to insult me if you like, I don't mind. A good insult is entertaining. A bad one provides an opening for me. A cruel one gets your sorry ass dismissed, particularly if it's toward a visitor, particularly if it's toward a visitor's picture of him/herself. It's called "civility" and to me, one can be civil and snarky at the same time. It's kind of a talent some are born with, but can be learned. I'll let you know when you haven't learned it yet. Oh yeah, and somebody tracked mud in here and I just had the carpet cleaned.
This morning's paper had an AP report on Hillary's health care plan. She said it isn't government run, though the cost to the government would be $110 billion per year, but it is government mandated. The plan requires businesses to provide coverage, and it would require people to purchase insurance, either through their jobs or through a Medicare inspired federal plan. Richardson and Edwards are kinda pissed at the old girl, calling her basically a "copy-cat" for offering a plan similar to theirs. HEY BOYS!!! YOUR PLANS SUCK, TOO!!!
The sad part is that some of the GOP candidates are suggesting versions of their own. My question for all is, where do you get off demanding that anyone offer anything, or that people purchase what they don't want? Using a number of 47 million uninsured, candidates have postured themselves as caring, compassionate leaders. But according to others, like John Stossel for example, that number includes millions who are young, single adults, for whom health care isn't an issue. It includes millions with the bucks to afford health care on their own terms. It includes many who are in a transition period, meaning they don't have coverage at the moment the stats were assemble, but will have soon with the start of a new gig, but were thrown into the overall number of uninsured. It also includes, illegal immigrants who shouldn't be here anyway. Thus, the number is probably halved at least. And of that number, there is probably a good percentage that are completely irresponsible in their lifestyle choices.
So what of the remainder? Perhaps the focus should be on educating them on what it takes to aquire coverage, how to make better lifestyle choices, how to avoid further complicating their situation. Perhaps the caring, compassionate leaders should be seeking ways to allow for the charitable donating of funds on a voluntary basis for those truly in need. I'll bet that John Edwards can probably lift around 100 families with his own wealth. He feels their pain. He should give till it hurts.
So the problem I have is obvious and simple: where do these Democratic buffoons get off thinking that they are caring, compassionate leaders through the forced donations of those with dough? And where do they get off thinking they can mandate the health care choices of the entire population? Aren't they the party of choice? The whole insurance game is a big pain in the ass as it is, but there is a simple dynamic present within it that is being mucked up by the Dems "compassion". That dynamic is that someone, the insurance company, offers for a premium to cover any medical costs incurred by the insured. It's how they make their money. The health care plans suggested by the Dems would force them to insure those who WILL require medical attention. This will raise the cost of insuring everyone.
What we have here is the Dems creating a concern, health care, and setting themselves up as the saviors. No thanks. Keep your hands out of my wallet.
Today will bring memorials and remembrances, recollections and retellings, of that day that will live in infamy, the day when horror and evil struck our nation and felled 3000 of our people. May they rest in peace.
And may their deaths not be forgotten, nor the threat of the enemy we face not be ignored. My sense is that the crafters of the Project for a New American Century were wrong and that even an episode more dastardly than the attack on Pearl Harbor has not been enough to truly wake many in this country, say nothing of the world, to the dangers that loom for all in the form of Islamic radicalism.
September 11, 2001 united this country and it with the world. Twenty minutes later, it was business as usual. Partisan politics, philosophical divisions, and the usual irrational fear and loathing of the United States of America by too many of it's foreign neighbors went into overdrive as President George W. Bush put the stopping of terrorism into it's proper placment on the national priority list. He boldly took steps to quash this evil that has elements worldwide and was and continues to be met with self-serving opposition and timidity. Like a true leader, he procedes despite the obstructive rhetoric of his political opponents within and outside his party.
Now, six years later, and with the current report by Gen. David Patraeus informing us of the reality in Iraq and the progress and prognosis there, we have yet to see half the nation on board with the fact that there is indeed a true threat to us and the world, nor any signs that they have clue one on what to do about it. Instead, it's the same old story of contradicting and obstructing of the administration, as if Bush is the cause of the evil and madness that resulted in the attacks on our nation, and the sole motivation for the anger against the West by religious luntics from the Middle East.
Perhaps it's not a matter of anyone forgetting 9/11. Perhaps it's simply that too many refuse to see it for what it was, is and will continue to be even after they will no longer have George W. Bush to kick around anymore.
It has happened in the course of other discussions, the concern that God might endorse "genocide", as in the destruction of cities like Sodom and others, either through his awsome power directly, or through the use of the Hebrew armies. And then today, as I listened to Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, a caller asked about that very topic of Hank's guest, R. C. Sproul. During the discussions of which I took part, the problem that was raised was one of reconciling such an action with a God who then, in the form of Jesus Christ, preached peace, kindness to enemies, not returning evil with evil, etc., etc., etc. R. C.'s response included justice, which is a point I tried to make, as the people of the town were so worthy of destruction. He also spoke of the children of the town being sinful creatures, since we are all sinful creatures worthy of destruction. He also spoke of how there were definitely others worthy of destruction whom He chose to spare, that being the Hebrews themselves. This is to say that His sparing one group shows how merciful He can be, by contrasting how He deals in retribution for those who do not accept Him and prove it by their behavior.
Then, RC spoke of those who are happy to accept all the goodness and mercy and "nice" things that God so readily bestows upon us, the salvation He offers, but reject the other side of God's nature that is where justice lies. Yet He is indeed a jealous and wrathful God though many don't think that's very "God-like". In an interview on the Dennis Prager radio show, "Bishop" Spong said that very thing regarding the vengeful and destructive aspects of God's nature as demonstrated in those Old Testament stories. Prager replied, "No. You just think it isn't "Spong-like"." The meaning, of course, is that so many simply accept the "nice" God attributes so as to feel good about to whom they give their praise and glory. Regarding my rather fundamental views, I had a blogger say to me, "I want no part of YOUR God!" as if I made Him up out of my own desires. Well, if it were that simple, why would I make up such a "hard ass" to worship, and not the squeezably soft, snuggle-puppy god so much in vogue with the progressive liberal post-modern Christian?
As RC said in a sermon on his radio show this week as well, this is a God who created a being, Adam, gave him the world, literally, with only one restriction, don't eat the fruit of THIS tree, which he then proceeded to do. Since then, mankind has been in rebellion. It is in our sinful natures to be in rebellion. He has every right to take this creation of His and trash it for our impudence, has shown that He can do it anytime He likes, and instead, gave us the Perfect Sacrifice, His only begotten Son, sinless, to carry on HIS back the collective sins of mankind, and then sacrificed Himself for our sakes. If He didn't have it in Him to be so destructive, He would not be a truly just God, but by being so, it shows the true extent of His Love for us that when we deserve as much, He offers us Salvation. Amen.
Yesterday marked the passing of Dr. Dennis James Kennedy (76) of complications from the heart attack he suffered last December. He was pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries in Florida, which grew from an initial 45 or so members to a mega-church with a radio and TV ministry as well. He was a staunch and unapologetic defender of the faith with a strong concern for the state of America and her culture. He will be greatly missed, but I've little doubt that Christ will open his arms to D. James saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
1) With all due respect for Les, a lefty and Bucks fan who shows class and good humor in his reasoned and rational comments (not that others don't, mind you), a point he made on an earlier post kinda nagged at me. He said words to the effect that when he looks at a zygote, he just doesn't see a person. That may be so, and indeed, it doesn't look like what we think of when we hear the word, "person". But that doesn't mean what he sees isn't a person. A guy in a Hollywood level gorilla costume doesn't look like a person, either. The point is that looks alone don't tell the tale here. It is a person by virtue of the manner in which it came to exist, together with it's human DNA. I almost typed "and what it is destined to become". That would leave open the possiblility of someone saying that it is destined to become human but isn't yet, when in fact it is, but is destined to become an octegenarian awaiting double bypass surgery. It's simply a case of looks being deceiving, or, judging this tiny book by it's cover.
2) I've been taking heat at Geoffrey's blog, and elsewhere for comments regarding "honor" and how it relates to certain actions in wartime and other things. It seems it's hard for some to distinguish between when a particular action taken by two different factions might be acceptable and when it might not. It's an "ends justifying the means" debate that my opponents can't seem to resolve in their minds without putting their own at risk, or without accusing our own leaders of very nasty character. I will soon discuss this trait and it's relationship to such specific actions soon.
3) A recent post at Carol Liebau's blog presented a Newsweek Int'l article detailing the changing attitudes toward America from our Euorpean neighbors. This change has been a positive one with the elections of France and Germany's new leaders. Great Britain's new PM leans our way as well it seems, but is trying to avoid being seen as a Blair clone. In any case, the article spoke of many in Europe having a proble with our "unilateral coalition" in Iraq. Can a coalition be "unilateral"? It's an interesting article posted a day or so ago. Check it out.
I've been having the same debate with the same lefty at two different blogs. It started at Serial Extremist where ELAshley put up several posts in reference to the anniverary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. It also came up during a discussion at Casting Pearls Before Swine. There, Mark was posting on illegal immigration, an issue that always provokes mention of WWII.
So my friend Dan, who is very confused about most things, is very concerned about war crimes. He is insistant that our leaders answer for anything considered outside the mandates of several conventions regarding proper behavior during wartime. He's a rock. He's unrelenting. He stands firm for the rule of law without question or exception. (Not really. Only about this.)
For my part, I insist that the action he won't tolerate might be justified. I think Truman was justified. Dan likes to cite two or three generals of the time who disagreed and I insist there were likely two or three who were in full agreement with Truman. Either way, the decision was Truman's and Truman's alone to make. He based it on what he felt were the likely consequences of action vs. non-action, drop the bomb vs. not dropping the bomb, and believed the non-action course to be the most risky to us and our allies.
Since that time, there have been many who claim that the bombings were not justified and that they constituted a war crime based on our own laws alone. Some, mostly those from the comfort and safety of sixty years later, insist that there's never a reason for such extreme action. Again, considering I was not cursed with making such a decision, I defer to Harry's judgement.
So the real question here is, what do honorable men do when faced with great risk and few options? Do they abide by the law even when doing so will result in the worse consequences? Or do they do what's necessary to preserve life, or as much of it as possible? There's a saying bandied about in the world of martial arts that goes like this: "I'd rather be judged by twelve men, than carried in a box by six." This has to do with the use of lethal force when confronted on the street and whether it is better to risk one's life or the judgement of a court of law. The same dynamic played out for Give 'Em Hell Harry Truman. I have every confidence that the leaders we elect are likely to make such judgements from the same place Truman was when he made his, rather than rashly. Thus, though the life saving actions they take may be on Dan's and the law's list of war crimes, rational men will spare them and pray that such decisions need never be made again. It's a good prayer to pray now.
In a move more symbolic than substantive, Ehud Olmert met with Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank town of Jericho on Monday. This was the first time in seven years an Israeli prime minister visited a West Bank town. Very little was accomplished, other than Olmert expressing the desire that real peace talks begin soon.
But I have to side with columnist Chaya Gil who won't hold her breath given the history of such attempts, particularly if peace is contingent upon Israel giving up land. Since Israel has left Gaza, literally hundreds of Qassam rockets have rained upon Israeli towns. " ...on July 29, two terrorists tried to infiltrate Israel from Gaza and two rockets were fired-one landing on a college campus and injuring a woman. It is sheer luck, and perhaps the bad aim of the Hamas terrorists, that prevented more deaths of Israeli civilians."
Also from Gil's column:
"The Israeli public has shown countless times they want peace, they welcome peace, they are ready for peace. Israel's government has shown good faith in dealing with the Palestinians. Despite the continued terrorism, Israel recently released 250 prisoners who were members of Fatah. Israel allowed Gazans, who had fled to Egypt a few weeks ago to avoid the vicious fighting between Hamas and Fatah security forces and were trapped, to return to Gaza through Israel. "Did you see the celebration on Israel's humanitarian gestures on the Arab street? No? That's because there were no celebrations and virtually no acknowledgment of Israel's efforts."
She goes on to express the sentiment that talk is cheap, and especially so in that region, and also that it can't be disregarded that the Hamas charter still calls for the complete destruction of Israel and the total occupation of that area by Palestinians.
I have to agree. Talk is indeed very cheap there and the hatred for all things Israel will be a difficult aspect to overcome. So I hope something comes of any talks and I hope it's truly satisfactory to both sides. I'm not holding my breath, either.
I can't say that I held an aversion toward reading during my formative years, but I also can't say that I was a voracious reader. When told to read a book for whatever reason teachers tell kids to do so, I went ahead and actually read the book. And all along the way, there were books, mostly novels, that I enjoyed reading. I recall having to read "Great Expectations" in high school and thinking, "This is cool!", or sentiments to that effect. And I was always fond of "A Christmas Carol", so as I actually began to seek out books to read for pleasure, I chose Dickens. Thus far, I've read pretty much every book he's written and have most of them on my bookshelf. (I hope to complete the collection with copies from the same series by the same publisher, but have yet to try and contact them to see if they are still available. Otherwise, guess it's off to E-Bay.)
What I found most enjoyable was the way Charlie would spin a tale. He'd take his time with various details, such as meals and such. And I also like the way the main characters maintained such a sense of character and morals and honor and all the attributes that were once held so precious, at least in books, if not in real life. Currently, I'm reading "The Three Musketeers" for the first time (for pleasure I've decided to read "the classics"), and have found the same sense of what it means to be a man of honor and virtue (though the Dumas characters aren't really the most virtuous of men), or more plainly, what it meant to be a man. It is said that George Washington sought to be such a man and from most sources, succeeded.
What do we have now? We have anti-heroes. Stories of today, though often as riveting, often depict characters as heavily flawed, most likely in the belief that such people are more realistic. To have such people rise above their flaws and resolve the issues of the story line would possibly be something to which many might find easier to relate. It's like "real life".
Seems to me, that this parallels a theme in today's culture. I've been told that romantic notions of how people should conduct themselves is unrealistic and that it goes against human nature and that people just aren't like that. I suppose that might be true to some extent, but why accept it? That's where I have a problem. In so many ways, we're given to believe that mankind is incapable of better things. The weird part is when a person of faith speaks of us all as sinners, the same people who think that teens won't stop having sex, that people are unable to control their desires, those same people go nuts.
But I prefer to believe that while we all are indeed sinners, we are also indeed capable of transcending our base natures and rising to become something better. The classic novels that appeal to me describe without embarrassment the ideal man and woman, those possessing a will to attain that transcended Godly character that can only leave behind a better world for having existed as such. I not only believe we all are capable of becoming more like such characters, I believe it is imperative that we work toward such lofty goals. If we aren't actively and consciously seeking to become a force for good amongst our peers and in the world, can we possibly become better than a force for something far worse? I think it's pretty obvious the answer is "NO!". If an athlete doesn't work to become a better athlete, he will only be an inferior one. By the same token, we must always be aware of how we act, to what we lend our support, what we allow by our silence or inaction.
I don't know what of the above might provoke discussion. I just felt like rambling.
While I have been recouperating, I have been mostly just hitting the various blogs I usually visit and spewing Vicodin enhanced comments all over the place. Then I saw a good suggestion by Geoff, which was to post something upon which people can converse. He thought my thoughts on Israel would be a good topic. So here goes:
When I was a wee lad, I used to wonder about the troubles between Israel and the Palestinians. As a product of a Roman Catholic elementary school, as well as a product who enjoyed religion classes with all the OT stories, I would naturally feel inclined to side with Israel and I'd think, "Why would anyone want to mess with the Chosen People?" As I entered my teen years, and I see the stories of Vanessa Redgrave (or was it Lynn?) marching with the Palestinians against the Zionist oppressors, I'd wonder, "Don't the Jews remember what it's like to be oppressed?"
Of course being much older now, I have very little sympathy for the Palestinian cause and could quite probably be considered a Christian Zionist. Of course I pity the average Palestinian citizen who is trying to live life under the crappola of Palestinian leadership. I mean, jeez, the money Arafat syphoned into his own pockets from international largesse should have provoked his own death by the hands of Palestinians.
But they have been led by one jerk after another, and then, as if things weren't bad enough, they go and vote in Hamas the first chance they get. Hard to get worked up over such a stupid people.
Now Israel has pulled out of various areas thanks to Ariel Sharon, and what happened? The Palies trashed the place. As I understand it, there was a whole area that would have provided food and such just by walking in and taking it over and instead, they destroyed everything because it belonged to the Jews. What a bunch of idiots. And of course, they use the new territories as a place to launch more mortar and rocket attacks into Israel.
So what of Israel. I now believe that, conceding the liklihood that they have engaged in certain over the top practices over the years, they generally have acted like normal civilized people toward all those scumbag nations trying to exterminate them. Palestinians living in Israel have a much higher standard of living than do those outside of Israel. Israel IS civilization in a part of the world where there are really only pockets of it and much of it pretense at that. Israel is a tight ally of ours and deserves as much support as we can lend them and we shouldn't be too quick to jump up and demand restraint when Hezbollah, Hamas or Iran decides to start up with them.
The United Church of Christ, the denomination of which my congregation is a part, supports divesting in Israel, and they speak against "Christian Zionism" as if it is only about end times considerations. Just another reason why I'd like my church to bail on the UCC. The fact is, abandoning Israel is akin to supporting all the fanatical and fascist elements of the WOT. This is a bad idea and in a time when there are so few in the world willing to call Evil by it's name, I see supporting Israel as a no-brainer.
By the way, the thread that just dropped off with the posting of this one is, as they all are, still open for comments.
Tomorrow, at 08:30, I'll be making my way to a local hospital to undergo a 3rd arthroscopic reconstruction of my left knee. The last one I had was about 18 years ago, which repaired the ligament originally torn in 1986.
I was entered into a martial arts tournament and after spending hours staying loose and ready, they called my ring and I was paired with an opponent. This dude had a great burst off the line and from the "Hajime!", he was laying a side kick into me which I caught on my block. A hard charger, the momentum of his kick sent me sprawling. Though it caught me somewhat unaware, I had dealt with such an attack many times. When we squared off again, I had a few different things rushing through my mind. As he burst again, I let fly a roundhouse kick to his head which caught him perfectly. Unfortunately for me, his momentum again kept coming and my foot got hung up on his shoulder just enough to jam my supporting leg down into the carpet. My knee couldn't handle the torque and it popped to the nausea of everyone within earshot. I flopped around a bit trying to overcome the admonitions of the judges who were frantically trying to make me lie still. Good idea except that my leg was bent underneath me. Once I pushed them out of the way, I was able to straighten the leg and breathe easy. It didn't hurt then. I tried to stand on it, but it wasn't to be. I had to forfeit and sit with a bag of ice on the balloon my knee had become.
Naturally, I had to sit and watch. I wanted to see if my opponent, to whom I bore no malice whatsoever, would prevail. To lose the first round to a guy who will just go on to lose the next round just doesn't do. He went two more rounds before elimination and just missed placing. I could have beaten him, though. (What else can I say?)
For the uninitiated, in this type of tournament, you have usually two minutes to outscore you opponent or reach whatever the rules say is the limit. In this one I believe it was three points with any score only counting as one point. There is a judge in at least three, if not all four corners with a center referee who can break ties. You spar with your opponent until one lands a legit technique, and the fight is stopped. If you have at least two judges who see the same technique score, a point is awarded and the fight resumes. It's a light contact event, and control is important, though some fine shots can be administered to the body without penalty. I wasn't a black belt so there was a no contact rule for the face area, and only light contact to the head, and moderate to the body. This is subjective depending on the judges and the apparent skill level of the participants. Excessive contact results in the victim getting the point, and continued excessive contact results in disqualification. The winner advances to the next round. The first Karate Kid movie represented this basic tourney system fairly well, but by the time of that movie, hand and foot pads were required, and now headgear is also mandatory.
Anyhow, I tore the ACL in my left kneed and some cartilage as well. The arthroscope was still fairly new and they didn't do a whole lot with it. They removed the torn cartilage, but that was the extent of it. To do more would have required opening the knee as in days of old and six months in a cast. A few years later, I tore the ligament the rest of the way and by then they were able to deal.
Now, I'm not sure what is going on. The pain in my knee came about rather gradually and I couldn't point to any one incident to explain it. The MRI was inhibited by the assorted screws and staples still in my knee from the last surgery (which they should be able to remove tomorrow), so they couldn't get a good look. Overall, it doesn't seem anywhere near as dibilitating as before, but crank it the right way and I'm forced to spew expletives.
My main concern is recovery time. Bowling season begins around Labor Day and there are a lot of people who have my money. I intend to get it all back as well as a great deal of theirs. Now, my time to practice and get in game shape is limited. Fotunately, the knee won't affect my beer consumption. And of course, I need to get back into healthy shape as well, and resume my ju jutsu training. All in all, the next month and a half will be intense. Wish me luck.
Visiting Carol Platt Liebau's blog today, I saw her post about Cuban health care. This was in response to the movie "Sicko", which apparently only shows the level of care afforded to non-Cubans. I went to the link provided there and spent some time checking out all the different offerings and thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to include the site in my Places of Interest section. So I did. The site has a section for useful idiots. I can't see how Michael Moorechipsandcandynow won't be given a place of honor on that section. Check it out. Check out Carol's blog, too.
One of the main problems I've observed with blogging, is the unwillingness for anyone involved with a given debate to let themselves admit the other guy has a point. That perhaps the other guy is right. One side makes an argument, and the opponent disputes it. The first guy offers some kind of support, maybe a link to an article, a book, whatever, and the second guy accuses the first of using biases materials. So the second guy offers his evidence for his argument, and the first guy questions the second guy's stuff. It never ends. What's the point?
Now, I've seen some pretty lame stuff offered as evidence, and I've seen some that, frankly, I just don't have the time to study at length. But it's hard to debate without it, with only one's own perspective based on life experience and such, because that's the least respected source of all.
It leaves me wondering, "What's the point?"
Originally, it was just fun matching wits and debating, arguing, being snarky. Now, it's just spinning one's wheels. Oh well. Gotta keep them bearings oiled.
I haven't visited all the blogs I like, but of those few that I have, I didn't see anything about Scooter. Though I felt a full pardon was in order, I'm happy George commuted his sentence. In a "much ado about nothing" case, it would have sucked out loud if Libby had to do time. Without backing out to double check, I think it was the article that Yahoo.com offered that spoke of Libby as an example of the administration's stifling of dissent. This is laughable. Wilson's article was proven to be garbage and distortions and that's considered dissent? A break is required for me here. In all I've read about regarding this case, I don't even see where there was an attempt to "out" anyone, though there was a leak. Too bad the leaker didn't take any heat at all.
In any case, I think one has to credit Bush with consistency. He said he didn't want to mess with the decision in the case, but you know he didn't want to see Libby crucified. He satisfied both with his commutation. Libby was convicted (despite how wrong it was), and Bush showed respect for the process by NOT pardoning, though a pardon isn't necessarily a show of disrespect for the process. After all, he was tried, convicted and sentenced, and, he still has to pay big bucks and has a criminal record...for not remembering. At least he's free.
It was a hard fought battle, but I think everyone survived. I think it's pretty clear that I've covered all the bases regarding the beginning of human life and personhood. New fighters may engage, but please read through the many comments to avoid rehashing that which has been settled. Any real evidence in support of a counter argument will be greatly appreciated (but probably exposed as more subjective opinion).
So the question is, what now? I've done nothing but articulated the pro-life position and in a manner that suggests I know what I'm talking about. Not hard, really. It's so obvious to anyone who looks objectively. I suppose it would begin with a repackaging of the facts as presented and a better marketing approach than what has been used thus far. That's the first step in changing hearts and minds; presenting the facts in an easy to understand and indisputable manner. And present them without question to people in power. Eventually, enough people will begin to understand that which they didn't even try to understand. Some will experience an epiphany or a paradigm shift and they will no longer be able to see the issue as the so-called "pro-choicers" insist it be seen.
For the pro-choicers, their claims must be vigorously refuted. The issue has never been about controlling women, as too many want you to believe, but about saving lives. And it's about personal responsibility and dealing with the consequences of one's actions. Not killing them.
And it's about prevention. How do we prevent a pregnancy. It's awful. It's agregious. It's unthinkable. But the best way is something sure to cost the lives of millions due to it's stress and impossibility. It's the most dreaded and hated method of all. Yes, my friends. It's
Oh yes, it's that bad. It will be so terrible. People will be walking along and just drop dead because they haven't done the nasty in two months. Sex is like air, water, sustinence.
But truly, people have satisfied themselves with half measures and the psycho need for sex has driven them to create pathetic and misleading arguments to assuage their guilt and abdicate their responsibilities. But just imagine what the world would be like if folks stopped lying and controlled their urges! Wow! Delaying self-gratification for the good of the self and one's community! What a concept!
For the young, education. Not the how to, but the what if you do. They especially have to understand what happens and what the product of their actions really is. They must know the "A" word is the only sure way to prevent, not only pregnancies, but all the STDs that are now rampant amongst their older brothers' and sisters' peers. And teach them character and virtue and honor and maturity. And that'll be even harder without religion.
But for the politicians, hammer 'em. Let them know that their position on abortion affects your vote. Let them know that if they claim to believe as you do that they'd damn well better prove it if they're elected.
For parents, encourage them to be parents. This "kids are gonna do it anyway" crap has to stop. It doesn't work that way for 90% of 'em. Kids need and want parents, so parents have to lay down the law and enforce it with extreme prejudice. Lives are at stake here.
For the spineles, the weak-willed, and the totally selfish and uncaring, for all those who insist that sex is what makes the world go 'round, get out there and develop the 100% effective contraceptive. And not a "birth control" pill that only prevents a normal birth but doesn't prevent a conception, which is what a "contraceptive" is supposed to do. If you can create that foolproof method that's as effective as abstinence, you'll be rich and you can pretend you're really responsible.
Over at Casting Pearls Before Swine, Mark discusses the goofiness of a man being charged for two murders because the woman he killed was pregnant. It's not that he shouldn't be charged with two murders, but that in a world where a pregnant woman is allowed to decide whether she's carrying a child or a lump of tissue, don't they need to know how she felt about her pregnancy before charging the guy?
Of course each state has it's own rules regarding such things and in the state where this crime occurred, they may have more sense. But it seems the whole issue, indeed specifically the Roe v Wade decision, was premature. Should there not have been some federal interpretation of what constitutes a human being, a person, someone worthy of the rights afforded all United States citizens under the Constitution? I'm not aware that this has ever taken place.
Personally, I think it's pretty obvious. I've stated it consistently in every such discussion of which I've been a part. The act of sexual intercourse is designed by God (or nature, for you heathens) as a means of producing an offspring, thereby insuring the existence of the species for another generation. Basic biology. It's more often done for the pleasure it provides (at least during the act), but that pleasure is built in to the whole procedure to guarantee that it even gets done (imagine if it didn't feel good---who'd do it without being forced?). The product of that action is another human being, as soon as fertilization takes place. How could it possibly be anything else given the purpose of the act that brought it about, or, more specifically, invited it into existence? From that first moment, there is life there. Of this there is no dispute. It is a living "thing". But it is an entirely human thing, a human being.
There have been all sorts of arbitrary points after fertilization that have been used to suggest that until that point, there's no human being, no person, no child. None of these points have been anything more than subjectively chosen in order to keep alive the hope that one won't be convicted in any way of murdering a child, and they can continue engaging in reckless, self-gratifying sex.
So I welcome any effort to explain how there can be any point in the process through which we all did journey where one isn't yet a human being worthy of all the respect that should be shown to any other human being.
I want to start a blog roll and link list. I don't know how and can't seem to find helpful hints that apply to my situation. Perhaps I have a blog that requires Html knowledge. If so, I really need help. Mark gave me some input but it doesn't seem to apply. Of course I can't seem to find a way to talk to a person representing Blogger. Any tips will be greatly appreciated, particularly if they are in the most basic Run Spot. Run. language possible. Thank you in advance.
One thing I'd like to see addressed by candidates or even someone in Congress is to reverse the IRS code regarding political speech by non-profits. Lyndon Johnson apparently couldn't hack the smack dished out by ministers and such regarding his policies and ideas. So in his arrogance, he decided to silence at least this segment of society by having the IRS lift their not-for-profit status and tax the hell out of them if they should engage in political suggestion. How freakin' unAmerican!
Now some may say this conforms with the separation of church and state. But seeing as how that's mythical and also unAmerican, better support for such a heinous policy is required. No matter what the tax status of a group or organization in this country, the members are still citizens and as such have a right to voice their opinions, concerns and philosophies as regards the political process and it's participants. To think that their religious faith, or whatever ideology of the group in question, should prohibit them their Constitutional rights to free speech, and the very speech the First Amendment was designed to protect, is simply preposterous, and, as I said, unAmerican.
I'm surprised this hasn't been dealt with since Johnson had his hissy fit in the first place. I would imagine that most politicians fear the idea of defending their positions against Biblical teachings that might contradict them, but hey, get some stones! Churches were given their status due to the notion, one with which I wholeheartedly agree, that they serve a vital purpose within our society. To have a church nearby was considered a good thing. Now? May God have mercy on us all!
Recently, I believe it was Senate Bill 2, further attempts to stifle the work of grass roots organizations to rally the people or merely inform them, was narrowly defeated (at least I think it was). Reversing the Johnson policy would also protect speech in the same way.
It will take a while to decide just how I want to do this blog thing.I'm not sure of how I want itto look. I don't really know exactly.
I don't know how I'm going to handle the comments, whether they'll be moderated, use that goofy word verification or what. I'm told spam can be a problem if I don't use some of the tools that, when posting at other blogs, have pissed me off. I'm also not sure of how I'll handle wackjobs who might visit and overstay their welcome. I'm inclined to let them spew their childish remarks, letting them prove to all who might read them what fools they really are. Then again, some may not return if such pathetic types are not reigned in. For now, I'm just going to see how it goes and adjust from there. Overall of course, I prefer mutual respect, but that doesn't preclude a little snarkiness now and again. Some of it is quite fun. I reserve the right to refuse admittance for any reason that strikes my fancy. Just remember, feet off the coffee tables.
Hello. Welcome to my humble blog. I've been vascillating on whether or not to actually post anything here. I've been involved with some discussions on a couple of other blogs to which I'll eventually link. I was advised as to what my first topic should be based on the response the advisor got when he posted on it. The discussion to which I referred ran along the same issue. I will begin by answering a few points and then we'll see what happens. So sit back, as this could take awhile, and please use the coasters and ashtrays. Yeah, you can smoke here. The ventilation is excellent.
To begin, a little background. There was a variety of points raised and debated surrounding the discussion on the topic of liberal views on homosexuality within the Christian church. Some retain the traditional views and others offer a "welcoming and affirming" atmosphere. The latter brings with it, in most cases, no condemnation of the practice whatsoever, but does condemn the traditionalist or "fundamentalist" for bigotry, intolerance and general nastiness for holding fast to what the traditionalist believes are still relevant Laws of God. The traditionalist is accused of being unhip to the New Testament teaching regarding faith in Christ above works, when in fact, the traditionalist uses the Mosaic Law as a guide to living the type of life a Christian should, as a manifestation of his faith.
Naturally, the challenge is put forth to explain which of the various Levitcal mandates are still in play, that is, if you buy into the Levitacal admonition against a "man lying with a man " as he would with a woman, then by all means, one must abstain from shellfish and by golly, stone that kid when he gets out of line.
So, in order to address these and other points relevant to the overall discussion, I offer this exerpt from a paper authored by two gentlemen by the names of Derrick K. Olliff and Dewey H. Hodges. The paper in it's entirety can be found at http://www.reformed.org/. Scroll down the menu on the left and click on "Social Issues".
I've found that this piece is aligned quite well with my take on Mosaic Law and why I feel it is still relevant as a guide to Christian living. What I haven't found is how to cut and paste it to the body of this post, thus, I'll try to see if I can put it in the comments section. Wish me luck.