Politics and U.S. Current Events
Posted 1/22/15 at 9:46 AM | Zebulan
It seems more and more I read about Christians being fired or ousted because of their beliefs. Their beliefs have not changed, but there's a new call that it's unconstitutional unless you aspire to a new belief system. This new belief system goes against what the Bible has said for thousands of years, that homosexual acts are sinful. Our judges have ruled multiple times that you must buy in to the new religion of the country and that 'Infidels' will be punished. There is no law passed by our lawmakers that has caused this, no lawmaker would touch it, but our judges have taken it upon themselves to enforce this unwritten religion. Our lawmakers have allowed this to happen and in the process have rendered themselves impotent.
This is a very powerful new religion, this system of beliefs. They have parades, they have loud masses, they take donations, they meet and praise in their victories. Pretty much the same as any other religion. But the big difference is that they have invaded our schools. No religion is supposed to be taught in schools and as you can see in the articles on this site, they invade at a very young age. Their beliefs are taught, enforced on our children. There is no room for deviance, there is no room to question, you must be a believer or you will be called out an INFIDEL and be punished. Where the 'world' has worked very hard to keep any mention of religion out of our schools, with an emphasis on Judeo-Christian beliefs, they have slipped in this new system of beliefs. For years they have tried different methods to get the masses to accept as normal what the Bible calls a sin and they have failed, but not utterly. Now they have the judges on their side, they have the schools, they have social media. Believe or face Jihad! FULL POST
Posted 1/19/15 at 1:15 PM | Thomas Reed
When the boy David walked out of the camp of Israel to fight Goliath, he represented Israel. This would’ve been true even without the specifics of Goliath’s challenge. The army represents the nation on the field of battle and their champion, usually the king, represents the army. It is pure substitution and is the same for all armies before and since. It’s the same for police and fire-fighters and any others who place their bodies in between danger and those they “love.” In this sense, all these functionaries, as also any mother or father rescuing their children from fire, water, animals, you name it, they all imitate the work of Jesus at the cross.
Jesus did not fight the devil at the cross. He had fought the evil one throughout his life, whether by simple righteousness against temptation or by healing, exorcism and resuscitations. He was “the strong(er) man” who invades the house of “the strong man” and despoils his goods (Matt 12). Though Jesus did not “fight” at the cross, he did place himself in between those he loved and the coming danger, God’s just wrath on their sins. He represented sinful humanity to God’s judgment just as champions, soldiers, police, firefighters, parents, etc represent the defenseless to their attackers.
This is heroism: the willingness of one to sacrifice themselves for another. At this point, it is a purely functional concept. In Jesus’ case, it necessarily involved his perfect righteousness. That is not the case, nor even possible, for any other human hero. Demanding such inhuman righteousness can only result in disappointment or “gotcha” politics (for the sake of partisan score-keeping or to justify nihilism). Such is the game presently played by the left-media regarding Chris Kyle and “American Sniper.” They know better than to question his military record directly. They have no compunctions about attacking his presumed sterling character on any other point. Of course, whispered accusations of deception in other areas taint the reports of his military record in ways only genuinely ignorant, knee-jerk, partisan civilians can appreciate.
Besides ignorance, it’s a straw man argument. Other than his skills and function, Kyle was a man like any other man, flawed, subject to temptation, feet of clay and all the rest. We recognize this truth with MLK, Jr’s adulteries and plagiarism. He was heroic on a grand scale and deeply flawed in the mundane. To the left, this should be (but isn’t) their excuse for Clinton’s treatment of women, though it never seems to apply to their presumptions of Bush 43’s treatment of drugs or alcohol. Of all people, Michael Moore should make this argument for himself. The category issue, however, is important. You can’t use this logic if your flaws apply to the same category as your presumed “heroism.” Even the left knows Moore is a fraud and a liar, while he peddles his “grander truths.” For all the ways Al Gore pissed away his Boy Scout image, in the White House and after, it is his carbon footprint that undermines his enviro-religion credibility (not to mention the actual science ...). Those who name Kyle a “hero” do so for his military service record, nothing more. We all be humans, here, and need redemption.
I don’t know if Kyle lied about any other aspect of his life. I don’t know if he knocked Jesse Ventura out in a pub brawl (I certainly hope he did; somebody needs to). Kyle’s death should’ve mooted the case but Ventura’s ego won’t let it go ... I don’t know if there are any actual deceptions behind the unspecified plurals bandied about in various Michael Moore interviews and Variety columns. I wouldn’t believe Moore if he told me the time of day or the color of the sky. Doesn’t mean he’s wrong; only that he has a well-deserved reputation as a hypocritical, fraudulent pig (no offence to pigs; they produce bacon, which is heavenly; Moore produces ... aaaahhhh ... low-grade “fertilizer,” which is so stinky even his fellow-traveler leftists shun him).
But in what way was Kyle a “hero”? For racking up the most long-distance kills? Moore, in an irony he will never appreciate, takes the “John Wayne” approach. Snipers shoot people from a distance and even in the back. It’s cowardice not courage. There are two problems here. First, war isn’t about “fairness.” It’s about winning. Fairness, as presumed in that context, would only mean endless fighting to a draw. The whole point of war is to be unfair. It is to overwhelm the enemy with superiority. A sniper is cheap “air superiority” (among other things) for a ground conflict that conserves multi-million dollar expenditures in bombs, fuel, aircraft, and pilots. It is way less vulnerable to SAMs, which are a kind of anti-aircraft sniping. Thus, Moore is an idiot.
Second, the Greeks invented the western way of war at some point between the fall of Troy and the Greco-Persian wars. Each city-state fielded their farmers in the spring (when they should’ve been planting) and butted heads in an agreed upon site until one was literally pushed from the field and scattered. Guess what? The Spartans “cheated.” They enslaved the Helots and became professional soldiers who trained 100% of the time. They easily defeated all the part-timers and claimed superior virtue while doing so. Athens “cheated,” too. They used their navy. So, humans are non-linear and will always find a way around any set of traditions or rules that seeks to linearize them (see ‘problem #1’, above). This brings us to non-western warfare.
The western way of war produces decisive victories and oceans of destruction. And it really sucks to try these strategies against non-westerners who Simply Refuse to Follow The Rules!! AArgh! (mild sarcasm, here). Technically, “the western way of war” is symmetrical. The alternative is “asymmetrical” or guerilla warfare. These form a spectrum with many way stations in between. The US’s conflicts (wars?) in Iraq and Afghanistan faced this dilemma. The enemy is too smart to butt heads on our chosen field and we are pretty locked into our symmetrical paradigm. What to do? Send our guys out in their small units with various kinds of ‘third-dimensional’ oversight: fixed wing, rotary wing, drones, and ... snipers. By the way, this is not only an “asymmetrical warfare” tactic but a tried-and-true warrior concept from the beginning. It includes David’s sling and all archers from the first guy to string a bow. In other words, snipers are the same as any other soldier, here, no more or less heroic for their expertise; no more or less moral than the guerilla enemy forces. The only people who complain are those on the receiving end. This is a measure of effectiveness not of courage (or cowardice). Did I mention, Moore is really an idiot?
Is Kyle’s heroism found in the number of kills (justified solely by a uniform)? Clearly not; first, that fails to distinguish between murderers, prison executioners and those who willingly face danger. It implies heroism is a graduated scale based on taking scalps. This typically civilian reasoning exposes a conceptual gap between the conduct of war and its unit-level purpose (as opposed to its policy or strategic purposes). This is a product of TV and movies that glory in the visuals of death and has little to do with reality, for example, 007, “Enter the Dragon,” or “Lone Wolf McQuade.” That is a nice way of saying, only stupid people say things like that. All soldiers are supposed to kill the enemy. Second, this is a measure of talent and practical skills not of ‘heroism’, a presumptively moral quality.
The sniper, among other things, protects his own while they go about their business. He defends his vulnerable comrades from his counterparts among the enemy. This is pretty heroic.
We should not, however, dismiss skill in the calculation of moral virtues such as heroism. Within the military, there is a pecking order that goes beyond rank. It is pegged to training and the difficulty/danger of various tasks. The sniper is not the former typist with nothing better to do in his off hours. He stands at the top of the heap for combat arms and he got there by more than mere talent and luck. He achieved it by overcoming a series of extreme difficulties and proving his will more than matched his physical talents.
There is a direct link between physical fortitude and moral fortitude, between training and virtue. The soldier with the most training has demonstrated, whether in actual combat or not, the greatest fortitude, physically and potentially, morally. His peers recognize him for doing so. This is precisely the same as the NT admonitions to endure hardships, even persecution, even unto death. Further, Kyle did 4 combat tours in Iraq. I may be wrong but I believe most soldiers involved in that conflict served 1 or 2 tours, making “4” as extraordinary a number as “160.” In the “African Queen,” Bogie, as an aging drunk, pulled the boat through the swamps but he almost had a nervous breakdown at the thought of leeches. Then he got back into the water. Going back was the measure of courage. Kyle went back into far more dangerous waters 3 times.
In a free country, we have freedom of speech. Even if indirectly, Kyle fought for Moore’s right to abuse him verbally. For we the living, let’s leave heroism to Kyle and the like, and leave the gyros to Moore.
Posted 1/19/15 at 2:22 AM | Candice Lanier
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister and activist. He led the Civil Rights Movement in the US from the mid-1950s until 1968, when he was assassinated. Considered the most influential leader of the Civil Rights Movement and whose message has resonated globally, his objective was to overturn Jim Crow segregation laws and to ensure equal treatment and protection of all under the law.
He played a key role in the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize in addition to several other honors. King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech continues to be one of the most lauded and cited in history.
Posted 1/14/15 at 5:17 PM | Larry Fell
COMPARE/CONTRAST “THE RELIGION OF PEACE” AND CHRISTIANITY
The news has been full of stories about attacks on Christianity for the past several years. Also prominent in the news in the new year of 2015 is the Islamist massacres in France, most notably at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the magazine that has enraged the followers of Muhammad for publishing "offensive" cartoons. Yup, 12 people dead because of satirical PICTURES! And yet, the POTUS, one Barrack Hussein Obama, refuses to marry Islamists to the terrorist acts. Even though the link between the two is self-proclaimed by the Islamists and is fairly obvious to anyone who sits back and thinks about it for half a second. So let's do a bit of comparison, ok?
Question: How do the Bible and the Qur'an differ in directing their respective believers to deal with people of other faiths?
THE BIBLE: FULL POST
Posted 1/14/15 at 2:40 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis and Michael Ashcraft
In the latest episode of escalating Islamic savagery, the Nigerian group Boko Haram strapped explosives on 10-year-old girls who blew themselves up in a crowded market, killing at least 20 and injuring just as many over the weekend.
There were conflicting reports about whether the attack was by one suicide bomber or two – or if they were separate incidents orchestrated by three girls.
Apparently, Boko Haram uses girls because they don’t attract attention as a security risk and because they can hide the explosives easily under their hijab. Boko Haram is using a combination of brainwashing and threats to get the girls to carry out attacks.
Boko Haram’s leader (Abubakr) “Shekau is a lunatic,” says Rudy Atallah, CEO of White Mountain Research, as reported in Business Insider. “There’s nothing between his ears except radicalism. He’s a self-absorbed and narcissistic guy who believes he has a solution to the world.” FULL POST
Posted 1/13/15 at 6:38 PM | Bethany Christian Services
Today’s guest post is contributed by Michelle Simpson. Michelle is a pastor's wife and mother of three beautiful children. She is passionate advocate for orphans and the unborn—holding fast to the truth that each life is indeed sacred. In February 2014, God gave her family the precious gift of their son and brother, Josiah, through Bethany's waiting child program.
When my husband, Ricky, and I began volunteering with a relief organization a few years ago, they showed a video about the world’s orphans. One statistic struck my heart the most: If all the orphans in the world held hands, they would reach around the circumference of the globe, twice. In response, Ricky and I began praying about what God would have us do. We had thought about adoption . . . for the future. As I was pregnant with our second child, it seemed God was stirring my heart consider adoption. It was about eighteen months later when we began the adoption process. FULL POST
Posted 1/13/15 at 9:28 AM | Margaret Brown
It's a very scary world in which we live today. Perilous times! It’s a truth we can’t deny, nor is it a fact that we, as individuals, can change. As Christians, however, we know the One who can change things, and we know the way to move Him: Prayer...praying His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. (Matt. 6:10)
Did you ever consider the words: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven?” It’s straight from the Lord’s mouth to our hearts. It is exactly what we were told to pray. So what does it mean? Simply this: God’s will in Heaven is God’s will for those of us on earth, too. There are no worries in heaven! Instead of being fearful of the day in which we live, we need to change our focus to the One is who is in control. Jesus also said, "Repent: for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand," (meaning it's right here, right now). We also need to stop judging what others are doing (we don't have to answer for them, only ourselves), repent, and get into a place to be mightily used by God.
Change our focus from earthly things to Him.
It’s the only way to win this war in place on the Christians in America. FULL POST
Posted 1/12/15 at 6:41 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis and Michael Ashcraft
While liberal scholars and journalists work feverishly to dispel the notion that Islam is inherently violent, the latest voice of alarm comes from within Islam as the president of Egypt calls for “a revolution” to tame radical Islam.
Extremists are “making enemies of the whole world,” said President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as quoted in the Huffington Post. “So 1.6 billion people (in the Muslim world) will kill the world of 7 billion? That’s impossible… We need a religious revolution” that would include an upgrade of interpretations of texts birthed out of Mohammad’s warlike rise to power.
“It is unbelievable that the thought we hold holy pushes the Muslim community to be a source of worry, fear, danger, murder and destruction to all the world,” he said in unusual remarks from a Jan. 1 speech, as quoted in the New York Times. FULL POST
Posted 1/12/15 at 4:49 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
A sad family legal battle will play out in an Atlanta courtroom this week over ownership of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal Bible – the same one President Obama used to take his oath of office at his inauguration two years ago.
King’s estate, which is controlled by sons Dexter King and Martin Luther King III, is suing daughter Bernice King to recover the Bible and King’s Nobel Peace Prize medal, which she holds, so the estate can possibly sell them, according to the L.A. Times.
Bernice King says the well-worn Bible and the Nobel medal were two of her father’s most prized possessions. “There is no justification for selling either of these sacred items,” she said in a statement. “They are priceless and should never be exchanged for money in the marketplace.
“While I love my brothers dearly, this latest decision by them … reveals a desperation beyond comprehension.” FULL POST
Posted 1/11/15 at 4:56 PM | Candice Lanier
Globally, 61 journalists were killed in 2014. The Middle East was the deadliest region, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in the organization's year-end report. Almost half of the journalists killed last year died in the Middle East, with Syria being the deadliest country for journalists for the third year in a row. At least 17 journalists were killed in Syria as the civil war rages on. A total of seventy-nine journalists have lost their lives in Syria since the conflict began in 2011.
These deaths represent a decrease from 2013, a year in which 70 journalists lost their lives. But, the past three years have been the deadliest worldwide since 1992 when the CPJ began documenting journalists' killings.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) contributed to 2014 being the deadly year that it was for international correspondents. And, included in this death toll were American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, whose abominable beheadings by ISIL jihadists were published by the terrorist group in online videos back in August and September. FULL POST