Sunday, December 28, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Recently, at the university where my ministry is located, there was a little outburst of that smoldering flame that is ‘creation vs. evolution.’ For some time now, certain scientists have tried to ‘run out of the neighborhood’ anyone who brings even a hint of an intelligent designer into the discussion of origins.
I have been amazed over the years at how vehemently the idea of any intelligence behind the observed order in living things is often rejected. It is as though a deeply-held faith in some is challenged by such an idea.
Christendom has often been lambasted for sometimes insisting on a certain orthodoxy of belief. Yet some in the community of scientists seem to insist on their own version of orthodoxy with a zeal that makes many Christian believers seem tame in comparison.
I once witnessed a discussion between a man with a Ph. D. in biology from Florida State University and a (former) NKU science faculty member. At one point in the discussion the fellow from Florida State suggested that he was not certain of the age of the universe.
At that point the NKU science faculty member stood up and said, "If you do not think the universe is at least four billion years old, we have nothing further to discuss!" and curtly dismissed the fellow from Florida State.
It is this kind of cavalier dogmatism (which is unfortunately not rare as it should be among scientists) that some of us find puzzling, distressing, and not quite in harmony with the spirit of free and open inquiry.
Not long ago a psychology professor here tried to put his two-cents worth into this discussion. He asserted that faith and science need not be at odds. He then claimed that the assumption that creationists are few and ignorant is false. Finally, he pointed out that faith is not (contrary to popular opinion) ‘believing that for which there is no evidence.’
(This is a short summary. Read the whole article here.)
Whether you agree or not, these are certainly relevant points worth making.
Along, then, came this brilliant response:
Are you KIDDING me??? Carbon dating is (a) science that (b) proves that the earth is more than 6,000 years old. Period. No ifs, ands, buts. Any reasonable search demonstrates that those who reject this proven theory are Christianists, not Christians. Seems to me as if this joker of a faculty member is a Christianist, not a Christian. Really sad that NKU students are being taught by some fool who puts religious dogma ahead of science. Science and faith are NOT mutually exclusive, but apparently "NKU" and "integrity” are, given that NKU employs such a fool. [edited slightly to improve readability]
Here, on public display, is a small part of the problem in this discussion. The psychology professor said nothing about the age of the earth, so the carbon dating business is simply not to the point.
‘Christianist’ is a hip, relatively new term coined to denote those who think Christianity is ‘superior’ to other religions - in other words, those who think the claims of Christianity are true. (Heaven forbid that Christianity be true!)
So, in other words, according to this respondent, a Christian should not think Christianity is true. As strange as that is, I won’t explore it just now.
Finally, the respondent calls the psychology professor a ‘joker’ and a ‘fool.’ Yes, such thoughtful labels make an irrefutable argument.
Here is an example of an open mind, a denizen, I presume, of modern academia. Call your opponent a couple of bad names, and, case closed.
We can only hope that, whoever this respondent is, he does not claim to be a scientist. Scientists are surely a much better bunch than that.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The newsletter at my university recently carried this notice:
Episcopal Campus Ministry
The Episcopal Campus Ministry is now having meetings on Wednesday at 4:30 PM in the Interfaith Meeting Space in UC 206. We are in desperate need of new members. Anyone who is part of the Episcopal Church, or a moderate-to-progressive Christian, or is wanting to know Christ for the first time is more than welcome here.
Desperately seeking ‘moderate-to-progressive’ Christians. What, exactly, are these?
There has come to be a rather standard, though somewhat loose, meaning behind this phrase. These are ‘Christians’ who are not too worried about sound doctrine - they might not even think there is such a thing. They are ‘Christians’ who are willing to tolerate, or even support, leftist political causes. They are ‘Christians’ who are willing to tolerate almost anything, except those who are not willing to tolerate almost anything.
Are such as these really Christians in any significant sense of the word? Could anyone come to ‘know Christ for the first time’ from those who hold to this version of ‘Christianity’?
Of course, even the person of Jesus Christ is severely reinvented by ‘progressive’ Christians. In this context, Christ is disconnected from scripture and history, so he is easily reinvented. He becomes a ‘moderate-to-progressive’ Christ.
Just what we all need.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
So how do voters (as a group - apologies to you sane individuals out there) get themselves into these messes?
Of course, many people are stupid. Some are misled. Others vote without much care for the outcome.
But this little ditty, sent to me by a friend, does illustrate something important. It illustrates of the 'bread and circuses' phenomenon that is at least as old as the later Roman Empire:
The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade in 2008. The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president. We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote. To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot.
The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia's mother. The day arrived when they were to make their speeches Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Every one applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium. Her speech was short and concise.
She said, "If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream." She sat down.
The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream."
She surely would say more. She did not have to. A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it. She didn't know. The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream. Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a landslide.
Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered ice cream, and fifty percent of America reacted like nine-year-olds. They want ice cream.
The other fifty percent know they're going to have to feed the cow.
The problem is even worse than this because the cow-feeders are even less evenly distributed than that. Check this page at the National Taxpayers Union and you will find that, in regard to national income taxes, the burden of 'feeding the cow' is much more top-loaded than that.
I recently overheard a young school teacher musing about the election. He had heard, he said, that Obama would increase the salaries of school teachers. It was as thought he thought that, somehow, magically, Obama could produce a higher salary for school teachers - or anyone else for that matter. (Well, he is the 'Messiah' after all!)
We want ice cream. We want someone else to provide it. We don't care what the result, just so we get our ice cream. WE WANT ICE CREAM!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Barack Obama's Poor Understanding of the Constitution
The Founding Fathers were correct in the way they set up the Constitution
When things go very wrong under a possible Obama presidency, you will know why. Small comfort that will be, but you will know.
Here is it, the day before the big election of 2008, and one thing has become very clear to me: democracy is not a good idea. Not in its current incarnation, at least.
We forget that the United States was not founded as a democracy. It was, rather, a representative republic. The Founders mostly feared democracy, and for good reason. They knew that once people discovered that they could vote goodies for themselves, there would be no end of that until the nation was destroyed.
Bombarded as I was by campaign adds in the last week, I noticed something important. When candidates are not busy bashing one another in sometimes stupid, personal ways, they appeal to the “look what I got for you” approach. It is as the Founders predicted.
There are many people who should not be allowed to vote for anyone or anything. How can we detect who should and shouldn’t vote?
I propose a little twist on something from our history. Remember “No Taxation Without Representation!”? What we now need is “No Representation Without Taxation!”
If being elected depends upon promising to take from some to give to others, we are going to continue to get more and more of the mess in which we now find ourselves. So I propose that only those who pay significant taxes at the level of government in question should vote for candidates at that level. In fact, I might be good to give those who pay more a greater number of votes.
I know that leaves many details to work out, but you get the general idea. If you want to vote for President of the United States, then you must have receipts for taxes you paid to the national treasury. If you want to vote for the governor of your state, you will need to present receipts for taxes paid to your state.
The “one man, one vote” principle is completely unfair. It allows those who pay nothing to vote to take more from those who do. That is not right. It is a system designed to encourage legalized theft. And when legalized theft becomes the norm (we are there even now) then life becomes less good for everyone.
I propose this knowing that it would cut me out of some elections. I have no problem with that. Good is good, right is right, and fair is fair.
(On a related note, check out this article that questions the wisdom of getting as many people as possible to vote.)
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The October 22, 2008 ‘Christian Standard’ (and I now doubt that it is either of those) carried “Interview with Nikki Grimes.” Nikki writes children’s books and poetry. Sounds fairly innocent, doesn’t it?
I’m thinking “See Jane Run” or perhaps “One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish.” Nikki, we are told attends Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, California. She is just a nice lady helping kids read, right?
Perhaps not. She is the author of:
Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope
written by Nikki Grimes
illustrated by Bryan Collier
Simon & Schuster, 2008
From the Book:
One Sunday when Barack was sitting in church,
Barack heard God say, "Slow down,
Look around you.
Now look to me.
There is hope enough here
to last a lifetime."
tears rolling down his cheeks.
Suddenly he knew for certain
Hope would last long enough
for him to make a difference.
[found at: http://www.nikkigrimes.com/books/bkbarack.html]
“One Fish, Two Fish” is much better than this garbage. I’ve heard some of what Barack heard down at his church, and it wasn’t about slowing down. (I think Nikki is confused with what they preach at the church on T.V.’s Mayberry.)
Among others, Patricia C. Hays of Columbus, Ohio (in her letter to the editor of October 28, 2008) wondered what something like this was doing in the ‘Christian Standard.’ Patricia visited Nikki’s website, and found this little gem:
I know one thing. Come November, Barack Obama has got my vote! And no matter what happens in the election, he is a man who has made history: the first man of color to win a major party nomination for President of the United States. That's why his story is an important one for young readers to know. That's why I wrote Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope.
I have no interest in Mr. Obama’s color. But it has become clear that Obama is an adherent of liberation theology - which has nothing to do with ‘liberation’ or ‘theology’ in any good sense, and much more to do with a Marx-inspired socialism.
With Patricia Hays, many of us are wondering what this is doing in the so-called Christian Standard. And if something Obama-endorsing like this is there, why is there nothing pointing to other candidates?
Let me offer some suggestions as to why it is there.
It appears that what used to be the Christian Standard has decided that hip and trendy trumps Christian. Obama and a poet who sings his praises are trendy. John McCain, Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, and all the other candidates for president this year are not hip or trendy. For one thing, they are not ‘of color.’ Well, of course they have a color of some kind, but it is not a hip or trendy color for presidential candidates.
Barack H. Obama is a good spokesman for his religion, liberation theology. He takes Christian terminology and invests it with new meaning, while not always making that meaning completely clear to some audiences. That allows him to sound ‘Christian’ when in fact he is something else.
Yet, down at the ‘Christian Standard’ they can’t seem to figure this out. I don’t know Patricia C. Hays of Columbus, Ohio, but I will assume she is an ordinary, nice Christian lady who reads the ‘Christian Standard.’ If she can figure this out, but the editors at the ‘Christian Standard’ cannot, then there is good chance that those editors didn’t try.
Or perhaps they just don’t care anymore about being a truly Christian Standard.
Before I get to the main point, it is necessary to explain something. Please trudge through this, because it helps make the next part clear.
Elections have become a time of sorrow recently for those who love liberty. The problem can be seen in the very word ‘liberty’ itself. At one time the word referred to the absence of government constraint on human actions.
The advocates of anti-liberty have been cleverly at work, and now ‘liberty’ has been infused with a new meaning: the ability to do things because government supplies resources.
So now we have liberty A and liberty B. Confusing, isn’t it? Liberty A is what government doesn’t do, while liberty B is what government does. Some like to call these ‘liberty from’ and ‘liberty to’ - but it is still confusing.
What is also confusing is the fact that, in order for government to increase ‘liberty to’ it must decrease ‘liberty from.’ Why? Because ‘liberty to’ requires that the government hand out checks, subsidies, and so forth. But to get the money to do this, governments take things from people, and that taking reduces ‘liberty from.’
When governments take things from people, their ‘liberty from’ government shrinks - there is simply no way around this.
This second version of liberty - liberty to - is really a bit of double-talk. It was invented to make the lack of liberty sound like more liberty. That, of course, is exactly what double-talk is meant to do.
‘Liberty to’ is really a reduction of liberty, a bit of propaganda from those who really don’t like the idea of liberty. But that’s another story.
A Small Interlude
This helps us understand something important. Everything governments do or don’t do fits into one of those two categories, with perhaps one small exception.
While some would disagree, I contend that when government punishes things like murder, theft, and fraud, it is doing something that helps make liberty possible. Some might ask, “Doesn’t interfering with theft limit liberty?” But trying to protect people from coercion from other people does not limit liberty - it helps make liberty possible.
Beyond this area, whenever government attempts to ‘do’ something for someone, it must reduce true liberty, that is, ‘liberty from.’
Understanding all this makes elections of late a very sad time for those who love liberty (meaning, remember, ‘liberty from’). It is very difficult to find candidates from either major party who want to increase ‘liberty from.’
It is not just the fault of politicians. Many Americans want things from government. When government tries to give them these things, government must take things from people. Remember, governments produce nothing, so everything they ‘give’ must be taken from someone.
If you think about some of the candidates this election season, you can see all this at work. As is typical of late, the Democrats want government to take a lot from people so as to be able to give a lot to people. The Republicans want to do the same sort of thing, though sometimes on a smaller scale. So both parties are willing to squelch liberty - it is just a question of how much.
This means that those who love true liberty have no one for whom they can enthusiastically vote. We can choose the lesser of two evils, or we can vote for small parties that have little chance to win a national elections, even though some of them are much better supporters of true liberty than either of the major parties.
That means there is little chance to see real gains in true liberty anytime soon. Depressing, isn’t it?
Which Brings Us to . . .
Barry Goldwater apparently became a quirky, eccentric fellow in his old age. When he ran for president in the 1960's he was much-maligned and dismissed by many because of his overwhelming loss in his election bid against Lyndon Johnson.
But before he ran for president he wrote a book titled The Conscience of a Conservative. While I would question a few things in this book, there is a section (see pp. 15-23) which concludes with one of the most eloquent and insightful statements on liberty that has been made in recent history:
Who will proclaim in a campaign speech: “I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”
This election, I will vote for someone or other, but to little effect for the advancement of true liberty. But I will ask, “Who will proclaim?” and I will watch and wait. Liberty, like all valuable things, is rare.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Book Review: Churches that Make a Difference
By Ronald J. Sider, Philip N. Olson, and Heidi Rolland
Reviewed by Flynn Cratty
“Fourth, the authors betray a lack of discernment about the place of political advocacy in the life of the church. In recent years, many evangelicals have expressed a desire to talk about more than abortion and marriage. The authors of Churches That Make a Difference take this several steps further, highlighting churches that advocate for improved public transportation, more favorable zoning laws, and a larger Earned Income Tax Credit. These policy proposals may all have merit, but there is no biblical position on the Earned Income Tax Credit. Churches should speak publicly on political issues only when they can speak with the authority of the Scriptures, because that's the only authority Christ has given the church.”
As you can see, this is part of a book review. The book being reviewed is co-authored by Ronald Sider. As such, you can be almost sure that it will have problems, since Sider is given to a sort of watered-down North American version of liberation theology - which, we should note, is not a truly Christian theology.
Our reviewer also disagrees with important points in the book he is reviewing. But he takes an approach in his critique that is both too common, and very misguided. The reviewer’s response to “political advocacy” on the part of churches is to claim that much of such advocacy is misplaced because, for many issues, “there is no biblical position.”
While in some cases this might be true, his example is not a good one. He claims “there is no biblical position on the Earned Income Tax Credit.”
This is false. Here is why. Biblical teaching prohibits all kinds of theft. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a form of theft. Therefore, Biblical teaching does have something to say about the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Some would dispute that this policy is a form of theft. But whenever it involves forced wealth redistribution, it crosses the boarder into theft. While it might be legal for me to get a ‘refund’ check from the government even when I have paid no taxes, that ‘refund’ is taken from by neighbors by force and delivered to me. That is a classic case of theft, and the fact that it is legal does not change the moral case, nor the Biblical teaching about such moral cases.
Christians who fail to point this out are not ‘salt’ or ‘light.’ They are just dupes of our immoral culture.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
- Barack H. Obama
Besides revealing that Obama is an economic moron, this statement tells us something else about BHO. That something is hiding in the phrase, “the wealth.”
Whose wealth is “the wealth?” If I own something, then it is certainly morally acceptable for me to “spread it around.”
If I am the rightful owner of ten shiny silver dimes and I decide to give one each of them to ten of my neighbors, then I am a good and generous fellow. But suppose I find some fellow fortunate enough to own twenty shiny silver dimes, and threaten him with harm if he doesn’t fork over ten of those dimes to me. Even if I distribute those to ten of my neighbors, I am still a despicable thief.
Suppose, instead of doing this on my own, I enlist the power of the government to help me in my immoral project. Now I am not just a thief, but a cowardly one at that.
If it is my wealth, I am at liberty to spread it around anywhere I wish. But if “the wealth” belongs to someone else and I want to “spread it around” then I am Barack H. Obama - a coward and a would-be thief.
Back at Barack's 'church' in Chicago, did they have an Eighth Commandment? Perhaps they had a special, edited version of the Bible.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
[From Christian History, a publication of Christianity Today.]
Martyrs of Free Speech
In the face of resurgent Islam, the blood of the ninth-century Cordoban martyrs poses a pressing question to Christians.
For many, the word persecution has become almost synonymous with the experience of Christians suffering for their faith in Muslim lands. Just last year, several cases reached the attention of the public . . . A recent article in the Wall Street Journal pointed out the growing international problem of radical Muslim attempts to ban and severely punish any criticism of Muhammad or Islam, even in Western lands.
[The article dwells on events in medieval Spain. It then concludes as follows.]
If Muslims forbid Christians (or anyone else) to criticize their religion, is this persecution? How should Christians respond?
Just as the Christians of Cordoba wrestled with how to respond to Islamic power and the limitations Islam placed on them, so must we consider what it is that we should be about as Christians when faced with a resurgent Islam. Does our faith compel us to be publicly critical of Islam? If we are attacked for such criticism, is that indeed persecution? Does criticizing Islam advance the kingdom of Christ, or are we needlessly putting fellow believers at risk? The blood of the Cordoban martyrs—and many other Christians who have died for attacking Islam—continues to cry out for answers to these questions.
As you can see, this is from a Christianity Today publication. It is a good example of why this generation of Christendom, and the western society founded upon it, is in danger of collapse.
Are these questions really so difficult to answer? Perhaps, if you are a part of the ‘weenie’ version of Christianity. Let’s not criticize Islam. Let’s not criticize anything. All Christians should just keep the Christian faith to themselves. Mentioning it to others might offend someone, and if those "someones" are intolerant bullies, they might become violent.
Should those malcontents, like Stephen in the Book of Acts, have spoken out publicly against some of the Jewish leaders? They did stone him, as you might remember. Just stirring up trouble, he was.
Christendom in certain times and places went through stages in which some of its adherents behaved in this way. On further review, we saw the error of our ways, and - more consistent with the Christian faith - became advocates of social-political freedom.
Islam is a false religion overall, even if there are pieces of truth within it. In free societies, people should be able to believe - and criticize - anything they wish.
But if ‘Islamic power’ - or any other power, for that matter - attempts to squelch the freedom to state a view of religion in public, it shows itself to be an illegitimate ‘power.’ That kind of ‘power’ must be opposed by the force of free people everywhere, to whatever extent is necessary to maintain freedom.
That an article in Christianity Today would be so ambiguous on such points shows just how impotent Christianity has become today.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Anatomy of the Mortgage Meltdown
Sloppy press coverage about the financial crisis has spawned a host of widely believed myths. Take, for example, one of the popular names for it--the subprime mortgage meltdown. This is a misnomer: houses financed by subprime and prime mortgages were foreclosed upon at equal rates and at the same time. Instead, the crucial distinction is between adjustable-rate mortgages and fixed-rate mortgages, according to University of Texas at Dallas economist and Independent Institute Research Fellow Stan J. Liebowitz.
"The main driver of foreclosures was adjustable-rate mortgages, both prime and subprime" writes Liebowitz in his new Independent Policy Report, "Anatomy of a Train Wreck: Causes of the Mortgage Meltdown," an adaptation of his chapter in a forthcoming book on housing in the United States.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (and mortgages requiring very low or no down payments and no income verification--so-called "no doc" loans and "liar loans") were the highly combustible raw ingredients that served as kindling for a financial meltdown ignited by the end of the housing price surge. Lenders promoted these "innovative" loans ceaselessly--but not without a big push from the federal government. At the behest of Congress, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conducted a profitable but risky scheme to promote increased homeownership. Unsurprisingly, the status of Fannie and Freddie as government-sponsored enterprises sent a false signal to borrowers, lenders, and investors that these loans were safe, and so the usual precautions were tossed out the window.
"Since the housing and regulatory establishment consisted of mighty government agencies and highly educated academics," continues Liebowitz, "it was not unreasonable for the lenders to assume that the claims made for flexible underwriting standards were correct. Unfortunately, the claims were not correct although most of the housing and regulatory establishment continue to argue otherwise."
"Anatomy of a Train Wreck: Causes of the Mortgage Meltdown," by Stan J. Liebowitz (10/3/08)
And to add some moral perseptive, this is another example of the immorality of governmental attempts at social engineering. The government wanted to loan money to people who couldn't afford to buy a house. Now those who paid their house bills are expected to pay to clean up the mess made by those governmental social engineers. It was the long way around to something that is best met with the cry "Stop, thief!"
Monday, October 6, 2008
Preach and Reach
Despite his liberal record, Barack Obama is making a lot of evangelicals think twice.
John W. Kennedy | posted 10/06/2008 09:29AM
Find the compelte article at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/october/18.26.html
Below are some excerpts from the article above. While the article is about what various evangelicals thinks of Obama, I have gleaned some revealing sections below. Find my comments in bold red after each section.
As the junior U.S. senator from Chicago, Obama has for years been beholden to working-class voters, African Americans, feminists, gay-rights groups, and pro-choice advocates. But for the first time since Jimmy Carter ran in 1976, a presidential candidate from the Democratic Party is enthusiastically courting evangelicals and Catholics.
How do you “court” people who are presumably Christians when your real sympathies lie with these groups? Even though some of these groups might sound neutral, they are not.
What, exactly, are “working-class voters”? Just how many people, besides some who are on the government’s dole, do no work? If someone works very diligently and makes a small fortune, is he then booted out of the ‘working class’? Unfortunately, ‘working class’ has become a code word for those who lean toward Marxist ideas, even though they may not know that name.
Likewise with “African Americans.” That is not just a racial description. It has become a class description, and it is a ‘class’ that American Marxists and liberation theologians have long used to try to drive a wedge between people.
The rest of those categories need no comment. With these groups as your friends, you are no friend of Christians. So I must conclude that any ‘evangelicals’ or ‘Catholics’ who allow themselves to be courted by Obama are not Christians.
Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals, says . . . he found Obama reflective and willing to bridge divisions. Cizik told CT, "He's willing to tackle problems that the Bush administration hasn't, like health care and climate change."
Obama is willing to bridge divisions. He is very willing to build a bridge from right to wrong. He then stands on the shore of wrong and beacons us to join him on the wrong side. While I don’t have much sympathy with the Bush administration, I must at least give them credit for trying to keep the government - to some extent at least - out of areas where it does not belong: areas like health care and ‘climate change.’
Here is a snapshot of Obama's voting record:
* He voted three times in the Illinois Legislature to stymie legislation designed to keep alive newborn survivors of abortions.
* He voted in the U.S. Senate to block a bill to require that at least one parent be notified if a minor had an abortion in another state.
* He declared his first act as president would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would again legalize "partial-birth" abortion and would use tax funds to pay for abortions.
So what then, exactly, should Christians support here - the “let’s kill some more babies” position, or the “let’s make it easier to kill more babies” position? Just make sure babies can easily be killed, and Obama will be happy. But what kind of Christian can even imagine supporting this?
In August, the Obama campaign launched an outreach designed to harness the energy of supportive evangelicals via low-profile house meetings and community-service projects. Among the political action committees stoking young pro-Obama advocates is the Matthew 25 Network, founded by 33-year-old Mara Vanderslice. The organization debuted on the Web in July, calling voters to back Obama because he, like Jesus, "cares for the least of these."
As far as I can tell, Obama does not personally “care for the least of these.” The Obama family has sufficient money to help a lot of needy people. It appears that their perverted substitute for that is lobbying for government programs that will waste much to help very few. And if that is what the “Matthew 25 Network” is all about, then it appears to be paying homage to The State Almighty rather than the God of the Bible and the Christian faith.
"There's no question Obama is a Christian, but he is definitely of a postmodern, liberal, and, to some small extent, black liberation theology perspective," says Stephen Mansfield, author of The Faith of Barack Obama.
Here we have an excellent and concise example of double-talk. Postmodern, liberal, and black liberation theologies are something, but that something is definitely not Christian. So if Obama is any of all of those - and it seems clear that he is - then he is not a Christian. These things are all perversions of the Christian faith, not the Christian faith itself.
Obama noted [in a speech at a Call to Renewal conference] the pluralistic reality of society. "Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers," Obama said. "And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson's or Al Sharpton's?"
First, who said anything about expelling anyone from the United States of America? The genius of the United States is a nation that has a foundation in some of the ideas of the Christian faith, but that is tolerant of anyone who would like to join in the fun. By ‘tolerant’ here I mean not the recent idea that all of these religions can be equally true, but the idea that you are free to hold religious views in the U.S. - even false ones.
I don’t advocate teaching the Christian faith in government schools, because I am opposed to the very existence of government schools. Obama seems to assume that James Dobson’s ‘Christianity’ and Al Sharpton’s ‘Christianity’ are just two very different views, the truth of which we can not assess. In that, he proves himself a postmodern, and thus NOT a Christian.
But after securing enough delegates to ensure the Democratic nomination, Obama moved toward the political center. This has exposed him to charges of pandering to conservatives. "A good candidate listens to arguments pro and con and sometimes changes his mind," [Tony] Campolo argues.
Tony Campolo is a prime example of someone who has managed to slide out of the Christian way of thinking, while still deceiving himself into thinking he is on the side of Jesus. I don’t think Tony Campolo is stupid enough to believe that Obama has just “changed his mind.” Obama will not change his mind about any important position. I think Campolo knows this. So draw your own conclusions about Tony Campolo.
"There is no doubt that if Obama is elected the first African American president, it will be a huge step toward racial reconciliation in this country," [Ronald] Sider says. "It will show that the majority of white people have moved beyond racism."
Ronald Sider, himself a North American liberation theologian, is also doing a bit of race-baiting here. People who vote for Obama will have moved beyond many things, none of which are racism. They will have moved beyond the Christian faith, beyond common sense, and beyond human rights of life and liberty.
Obama repeatedly mentioned his faith during the talk, which at times resembled a revival meeting more than a political speech. "Our faith cannot be an idle faith," Obama declared. "It requires more of us than Sundays at church. It must be an active faith, rooted in that most fundamental of all truths: that I am my brother's keeper, that I am my sister's keeper.
Well then, Barack, start “keeping.” Open your wallet, head off to the slums of Chicago, and start doling out your own dough. When you have unloaded at least 90% of it, come back and let us know how things went.
For those who had doubts, Obama recited his salvation testimony from his days as a community organizer in Chicago in the 1980s. "I let Jesus Christ into my life," Obama declared. "I learned that my sins could be redeemed and if I placed my trust in Jesus, that he could set me on a path to eternal life."
This quotation tells us something very important about the Obama confession of faith. Notice the second sentence quoted here. Obama says he learned that his “sins could be redeemed.” That is close, but significantly, and revealing, different from the Christian faith. In the Bible, people are redeemed, lives are redeemed, and bodies are redeemed, but not sins. While redemption is parallel to “the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7), sins are not redeemed. This hints that Obama, while attempting to parrot the Christian faith, is not really familiar with it. He is supposed to be a brilliant man who has spent many years in the Christian faith. Yet he gets this strikingly wrong.
Also, notice Obama thinks Jesus “could set me on a path to eternal life.” Not ‘the’ path, but ‘a’ path. Was that just a slip? Perhaps, but remember that Obama is a postmodern ‘Christian’ - which is to say, no Christian at all. That makes the difference between ‘a’ and ‘the’ very significant, and also very revealing.
Carbon-Offset Sales Brisk Despite Financial Crisis
By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 6, 2008; A01
This is strange territory. The Dow is down. Wall Street needs a bailout. But in the Washington area and across the country, there is still a bull market in environmental guilt. Sales of carbon offsets -- whose buyers pay hard cash to make amends for their sins against the climate -- are up. Still. In some cases, the prices have actually been climbing. . .
But there is also a cultural factor, the legacy of a complicated decade defined by a "green" awakening . . . many people have learned to pay to lessen their climate shame -- and, at least for now, they don't think of it as a luxury purchase.
"I was feeling really guilty because I was basically traveling to three continents in the last month: 'I've spent basically six days on an airplane. I've got to fix this,' " said Michael Sheets, 27, who lives in the District's Logan Circle neighborhood.
So a few days ago, Sheets paid $240 to a Silver Spring-based vendor, Carbonfund.org, choosing its offsets because they were more than $100 cheaper than a comparable package from another offset seller. He got back an e-mail saying that the 52,920 pounds of greenhouse-gas emissions attributable to him for the entire year . . . "I feel much better about it," said Sheets, human resources director for an online-education company in Northern Virginia. "I don't feel as guilty about flying to Vegas tomorrow for the weekend."
Find the whole, sad story at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/05/AR2008100502518.html?wpisrc=newsletter
This is why we are doomed.
It’s not terrorism. It’s not the economy. It’s the stupidity.
If people want to give away money rather randomly, that is fine. That they can be so easily convinced to give it away for this reason reveals an underlying ignorance - and some truly perverse stupidity - that will spell the end of western civilization.
Of course, many of those who push the “environmental” hysteria and it’s associated pseudo-guilt want just that - the destruction of western civilization. Anything as beneficial as western civilization (I know it’s not perfect, but it is so much better than so many alternatives) is bound to have enemies among those who hate humanity, as so many environmentalists do.
But the fact that there is a “bull market for environmental guilt” means that far too many people have accepted the faulty premises of environmentalism. That fact points to an underlying ignorance and stupidity that I think will make the survival of western civilization impossible.
This underlying problem seems to resist any educational remedy. Environmental stupidity has become a brand of unfalsifiable hypothesis, which shows just how far away from science it has moved. Yet it is rapidly becoming the orthodoxy in the ‘education’ establishment and the domain of politics.
At this point these ‘carbon offsets’ are just the pointless foolishness of many willing victims. You will know the end is near when these foolish victims add power to their own personal foolishness and require us all to become practicing fools. Without some rather drastic changes and decisive action, that time seems close at hand.
That is why we are all doomed.