Where's the birth certificate

Free and Strong America

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Media's Double Standard when it comes to Race

The Washington Examiner is reporting that an email was sent out last Wednesday to Department of Education employees from Secretary Arne Duncan's office asking them to attend race hustler Al Sharpton's much smaller counter rally, to Glenn Beck's Restore the Honor rally (above) in Washington D.C. last weekend on the anniversery of Martin Luthr King Jr's famous I Have a Dream speech . Could you imagine if a Bush appointee sent out an email to employees asking them to attend such a rally like Beck's? I wonder how that would have been received. Condemnation probably would have been immediate and one would expect that there would be calls for the Secretary to step down. But since Duncan is a member of the favored party, no such calls will be forthcoming from the Mainstream Media complex for his scalp.

One might with equal reason assume that a challenge offered by columnist Mychal Massie to Sharpton and others will similarly be ignored. Massie specifically points out that "Walter Fauntroy blasted Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally and said the Ku Klux Klan and the tea party have to be "used interchangeably." To which Massie began to educate Mr. Fauntroy on the historical inaccuracies in his comparison...

"First of all, Fauntroy should acquaint himself with factual history. It was the Democratic Party, which he belongs to, that founded the Ku Klux Klan. Secondly, as long as he and liberal Democrats are offended that Beck would have his rally on the same date and venue as Dr. King's march, they should explore another piece of factual history.

The Ku Klux Klan was founded on Dec. 24, 1865. Shouldn't he, as a minister, be offended that the party he belongs to and shills for founded a terrorist hate group whose expressed purpose was to terrorize, intimidate and murder Jews, Blacks, Catholics and whosoever else they would, on the sacred eve of Christ's birth? As a minister, which should be more offensive, Beck's rally or that tidbit of fact?"

Concerning his debate challenge, Massie adds..

"Specific to that point, I say it's time for the likes of Fauntroy, Marc Morial of the National Urban League and Al Sharpton to defend their rhetoric. Over the years, I have quietly offered to debate these types – now I throw down the gauntlet and publicly challenge them. I will personally secure a venue to debate any one, or all of them together, pursuant to the legitimacy of their comments. After all, perhaps they have been misquoted or taken out of context. Perhaps they intended to say something else.

Fauntroy, [Marc] Morial and Sharpton are brave attackers in the comfort of their minions – but my challenge is now on the table to see if they have the collective backbone to face me in a debate. It's easy to throw stones from behind a fence, but let them step out and defend themselves publicly.

After all, it's just little ol' me. They can't be afraid to face me in a debate. Fauntroy and Sharpton are former presidential candidates, and Morial is certainly accustomed to making accusations from the secure confines of the National Urban League. Here is their chance to defend their convictions, in a public forum, against a lowly essayist such as myself.

C'mon boys, are you going to step up, or are you cowards talking loud and saying nothing, for the sake of fomenting discord?"

I don't really know that much about the respective records of Fauntroy or Morial regarding race relations. However, in the case of Sharpton, it would be highly inconsistent for him to accept such a debate when he has built an entire career upon "fomenting discord" and dodging the facts in efforts of self-promotion and the continued balkanization of American society.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A target rich environment

I had no idea that the guy even had a blog but here it is. Justin Vacula has a blog. Yes folks, THAT Justin Vacula, the epitome of the quarrelsome and irritating type of atheist that was responsible for the manger scene being taken down from the Luzerne County Courthouse. That Justin Vacula.
For JQP and any other non-atheists that pass through here occaisionally, a cursory perusal of his blog would indicate that he is highly reliant on the same tired, old arguments often trotted out by Hitchins and Dawkins. The types of arguments that might sound alright in the beginning, but upon further examination, it becomes apparent why they refuse to debate anyone even remotely knowledgable.
This is going to be fun.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Edmund Burke on Atheism

Ellis Washington, who is easily one of the most underated columnists in the Western hemisphere, just knocked another one out of the park. In this week's article, Washington analyzes the writings of political theorist Edmund Burke and demonstrates that they ring ever so true today as they did more than 200 years ago. According to Washington, in Burke's writings on the bloody French Revolution, he wondered..

"How could such sublime precepts like Liberté, égalité, fraternité devolve so rapidly into the bloodlust autocracy of the Jacobins? Perhaps one cause was the anti- Christian materialist atheism of the Enlightenment and the propaganda generated by French philosophers like Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot; that all evil was to be found in the nobility and the church, and its allegation that all virtue and righteousness belonged to the secular rationalists and the common people. It is no mistake, then, that Maximilien de Robespierre, a devotee of Rousseau, and the poor working-class radicals, the sans-culottes, enflamed by propaganda, perpetrated the Reign of Terror, murdering the nobles, the clergy and destroying the Christian church.

Burke, a student of history and traditions, understood that humanity's love of chaos was viral throughout history, regardless of gender, time period, race, social class or circumstance. The problem is sin. The impact of these vices can be comprehended and their impact upon society lessened, but they cannot be conquered by man without abolishing him, so deep and intractable the curse of sin is. It was this sin problem being ignored by man's great modern technological advances that prompted the Christian apologist C.S. Lewis to write, "The Abolition of Man" (1943). Against this secular utopianism, the French revolutionaries arrogantly proclaimed that they were establishing a Republic of Virtue, and then engaged in many cruel, maniacal crimes against humanity that live on in infamy to this day.

(Author Benjamin) Wiker argues that the primary basis of Enlightenment Age brutality was the utter hatred of Christianity, for in rejecting Christianity, those following Enlightenment philosophies rejected original sin. In rejecting sin, French revolutionaries tragically and foolishly assumed that the origins of human misery in history could be remedied entirely by human action (humanism), that the origin of the corruption in political life was not in the soul but in defective and unjust social structures, particularly in Christianity – a religion holding that because of original sin human nature and humanity was in a fallen state of nature and must be redeemed.

The diabolical strategy of the French Revolutionaries was to demolish the social institutions, eliminate the social orders, exterminate Christianity, and upon its ashes build by force an entirely new secular order based upon humanism and rationalism, where all problems that have plagued mankind from antiquity would magically vanish."

Now doesn't that just sound familiar? When leaders start spouting off about re-ordering society based on secular ideals and and simultaneously start throwing organized religion in general and Christianity in particular under the bus, be afraid. Be very afraid. History would tell us that from the French Revolution to the Great Leap Forward, and beyond, that people should become guarded and suspect of any such moves by political leaders.

Washington ties this in wth the current regime presidency by describing Team Obama thusly...

"The French Revolution is not some bygone series of unfortunate events. The same depraved spirit that gave humanity Darwinian evolution, the genocide of Marxism and Hitler's anti-Semitic, anti-Christian pogroms is now being manifested in the Age of Obama through utopian socialism, welfare-state progressivism and liberalism.

Like the atheists and secular humanists of the Age of Enlightenment, Obama arrogantly decreed that America is no longer a Christian nation. He is evidently dismissive of America's constitutional principles and clearly hates the historical role America has played in the world, which places him at constant odds with American constitutionalism and exceptionalism. Obama hates our Judeo-Christian heritage and detests America's historical allies."

He left out 'destroying the US economy by either cluelessness or design'. But then the list of Obama's ineptitudes is so extensive, who could blame him? Hold on tight folks. I can't see it getting any better any time soon.

Above picture: The Execution of Louis the XVI, 1793

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Who is this punk?

Andrea Lafferty over at Big Peace reports that the fight over the Ground Zero Victory Hamasque has just gotten even more interesting...

"On Sunday I was honored to be a speaker at the rally against building the mosque at ground zero put on by the Coalition to Honor Ground Zero. As the rally concluded, thousands of the participants marched the one block from the rally site to the actual site of Ground Zero.

I noticed a man in black shirt with a phone camera aggressively questioning and haranguing a gentleman with the sign, “No Sharia Here.” He was very aggressive, disrespectful and condescending; apparently, he did not like the gentlemen’s answers about Shariah and pushed the point: “Why do you feel threatened? What are you afraid of? Why can’t you answer my questions?”

My instincts told me to document the scene, and I took out my camera. I originally thought he was a supporter of the mosque (they’d gathered in much smaller numbers a few blocks away), or some kind of fringe reporter for a small, even fringier leftist paper. When I challenged the man in the black shirt, asking him to tell me what media outlet he worked for, he refused to answer. He walked away.

But there was cameraman was standing nearby, watching the scene play out. When I asked, he said he worked for ABC News. I then asked if the man in the black shirt was with him. The ABC cameraman said, “yes.”

Sure enough, a few blocks away, I observed the man in the black shirt getting into an ABC News truck and putting on the sound equipment. When he saw me with my camera, he attempted to hide. At that time it became clear the man in the black shirt was an employee of ABC News. The ABC cameraman also witnessed his colleague’s aggressive behavior–and did nothing to stop him.

Clearly, the ABC employee’s role at the rally was to provoke a confrontation with participants so ABC News cameras could record it and then use the footage. The ABC employee was literally making news."

Many of us have known for years that the vermin in the media have been working hand-in-hand with leftist causes for decades now so this hardly comes as any suprise. The New York Post meanwhile, had this to say about the stabbing of Muslim cab driver, Ahmed Sharif...

"Some are going to say the attack, which occurred in Midtown Tuesday evening, is part of a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes — and was driven by intemperate rhetoric from opponents of the mosque. But this is a complicated story. For one thing, the alleged attacker, Michael Enright, worked with an organization that very much favors the project. For another, the cabby, Ahmed Sharif, says he’s opposed to it — though Sharif does say that he’s worried that debate over the planned project might have played a role in the attack. Surely, he can be forgiven that concern — reason enough for all parties to the debate to practice rhetorical moderation."

The insistance that the Victory Hamasque just has to be so close to Ground Zero is a news story that is taking on a life of it's own and in today's continuous news cycle, the above news stories only came to light after another piece that I had wanted to highlight caught my attention. It seems that the FOX News affiliate in New York (FOX News 5) decided they wanted to interview The Man Behind The Hamasque, a real estate developer named Sharif el-Gamal . It seems that just a couple of years ago, el-Gamal was waiting tables in Manhattan and decided to give real estate a try. That I could only devise such a lucrative career move that paid off with such a stunning return so quickly...

".. just a few years ago, el-Gamal was waiting tables in some fancy Manhattan restaurants.

Naturally, we wanted to talk to Sharif el-Gamal to learn more about the man and his plans, but apparently he didn't want to meet us. We made repeated requests for a sit down interview with him, left him multiple voice mail messages and he never returned any of our calls. We even went to his office and talked to colleagues, but we were turned away. He left us with no choice: We had to go find him...

Today, el-Gamal's holdings included at least four buildings in Manhattan, including the site near Ground Zero, one in Chelsea, and two residential buildings in Washington Heights, where tenants seem to like him.

Records show el-Gamal bought the Washington Heights properties in 2007 for a little less than $3 million each.

Ken Brandman, president of N.Y. Commercial Real Estate Services, knows el-Gamal well. He, too, was a bit surprised to hear el-Gamal is the developer in the mosque near Ground Zero.

"I don't think he has a lot of money," Brandman said. "I'm sure he didn't buy it with his own money."

Soho Properties bought the site for the mosque for $4.8 million in cash. Just four months later, with Manhattan's real estate market collapsed, el-Gamal made an even bigger deal.

With credit super tight, and prices plummeting, he paid $45 million for a 12-story commercial building in Chelsea that sold three years earlier for $31 million.

"It seems like a lot of pay in a downturn, considering it went for considerably less during the boom," said Stuart Elliott, the editor of Real Deal magazine.

El-Gamal, the waiter turned mogul, plunked down another $5 million as down payment on the Chelsea building.

"Something's up with that deal," Ken Brandman said. "Unless someone gave him a lot of money, or he won the lottery, than somebody else put up the money."

Fox 5 News has learned that el-Gamal did have help from a man named Hisham Elzanaty. Mortgage documents show that Elzanaty is the guarantor on the $39 million loan el-Gamal's company secured to buy the building.

We repeatedly asked El-Gamal where he raised the money, where it was coming from, but he refused to answer our questions and [ran] from us. He also did not answer the question of whether he would consider relocating the mosque".

If you arent ready to start breaking things and throwing your monitor out the window by now, then this video of a deranged, left-wing seditionist cursing out a holocaust survivor (in his 80's for crying out loud) at a demonstration against the Victory Mosque certainly will if you have so much as an ounce of American blood in your veins. So I ask you, which side of this issue are you on? The one in which freedom of religion is anathema to it's very core? Or the side that figures that a holocaust survivor recognizes this for what it is, has lived through this nightmare before and doesn't want to see it happen again?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?: The Rise of Modern Capitalism and the Protestant Work Ethic

In continuing our series on the book What if Jesus had Never Been Born? by Dr. D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, we find that modern capitalism arose in large part through the efforts of the Protestant church and specifically through the teaching of John Calvin (above). Kennedy-Newcombe go on to cite author and historian Richard Dunn who informs us of the effect of Protestantism on the development of capitalism...

"Was it mere coincidence that the most dynamic businessmen were to be found in Protestant Holland and the most vigorous industrial growth in Protestant England, both states heavily tinctured with Calvinism? Why were the Huguenots [French Calvinist] so prominent in the business community of Catholic France? Or Protestant Brandenburg-Prussia under the Calvinist Great Elector almost the only seventeenth-century German state to exhibit increasing prosperity?" [1]

Indeed, Kennedy and Newcombe state that such writers as Ernst Troeltsch and Max Weber actually "blamed" Calvin for the start of capitalism.

Calvin is credited for transforming the school of thought that was quite prevalent at the time in which money was to be lent without interest. Calvin saw this Biblical admonition as actually classifying usury as the charging of excessive interest and thus lending was instituted that benefitted both the lender and borrower and the world has not been the same since. Kennedy-Newcombe conclude the chapter by saying...

"Accumulated capital or profit is transformed into tools and implements, which seperates the technological [twenty first] century from the poverty of the Middle Ages...

Jesus said that "whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant" (Matt. 20:26). And in the parable of the talents, Jesus said that God has given us certain amounts of wealth, as He has seen fit in His sovereign will, and we are responsible for how we use it."

I only hope that those who are blessed with having more than most will keep in mind that they will be held accountable one day for how they utilize their wealth
. It seems that in this day and age, politicians utilize class envy to soak the "rich" and create division when having material wealth in and of itself is not a problem. The political class focusing on the possesions of others and trying to create jealosy to balkanize society certainly is though.

[1] (Source cited by Kennedy-Newcombe), Dunn, Richard S.; The Age of Religious Wars, pg 117, Norton and Company, 1970

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On Pornography and the Leftist Mindset of Feminists

In today's American Spectator Nathan Harden reviews a new book titled Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by feminist Gail Dines. First, Dines gives an eye-opening account of the disturbing nature of today's pornography...

".. if you grew up in the age prior to the Internet, the word "pornography" might evoke images of a blushing Playboy centerfold, or perhaps some flimsy-plotted film with a delivery man, a desperate housewife, and just a bit more sex and nudity than an R-rating would allow. In reality, mainstream pornography today is far more brutal, more graphic, and more violent than most could imagine if they hadn't seen it for themselves..

The material she covers is truly shocking, and, often, difficult to read. I physically gagged more than once while reading her descriptions. Every sort of bodily waste and fluid, and every conceivable method by which a woman's body can be pushed to the limit, often at the hands of two or three men at a time, is commonplace in today's porn.

Forget about Hugh Hefner and his silk pajamas. These days porn is dominated by Gonzo filmmakers. In the Gonzo genre, the emphasis is on "real" rather than scripted scenes. Such films are cheap to produce. In the Internet age anyone with a camera and a computer can sell porn to the world. In order to stand out, porn producers are coming up with ever more extreme material. If the girl is crying, vomiting, or even bleeding, that's Gonzo gold. According to Dines, it is not uncommon for pornographers to film close-ups of the injuries that have occurred to the girl's body, once a scene is over.

Dines argues persuasively that porn today is not simply about men looking at naked women, or watching sex acts. Rather, the goal of much of it seems to be to depict the maximum amount of humiliation for the girl on screen. One website proudly offers its customers the opportunity to "access total degradation.""

I admit I was suprised to learn how mainstrem such violence had become in the pornography that is so readily available today. One could assume that the widespread viewing of such violence can only have a negative impact upon society and as the above cited article states, kids that are eleven years old represent the average age in which American males are first exposed to pornography.

Harden observes that as a feminist, Dines seems torn in that despite some advances brought about by the feminist movement, which included a high-water mark of bra burnings at the 1968 Miss America pageant (pictured above), she finds herself increasingly allied with conservatives these days in the battle to warn others of the danger of pornography. Harden continues...

"It is easy to see why Dines and other anti-porn feminists have a hard time reconciling their "conservative" views on porn with their liberal views on personal choice. Feminists, after all, have been saying for a long time that a woman should be able to do whatever she wants with her own body. The question is: if a girl allows a man to urinate on her on camera in exchange for a thousand bucks, can a feminist really approve the transaction merely on the basis of the girl's consent?

Porn pits the principles of choice and equality against one another. As a liberal, Dines believes the basis of morality is the unrestrained freedom to choose any sort of lifestyle one desires. As a feminist, she also believes that gender equality is an inviolable moral standard...

Choice is the holiest word in feminism. To comprehend a moral order that originates outside the domain of personal choice, one must acknowledge a higher law -- one above human will. As a liberal, the very idea of a revealed moral standard conflicts with Dines's commitment to personal choice. Dines understands that porn is wrong; but I don't think she really understands why.

What is wrong with porn is that it debases the modesty and dignity of the human beings who make it, as well as those who consume it. In the sixties, feminists spent so much energy throwing off the strictures of religion and tradition. They never realized that chastity itself was a form of power. They never realized that the moral restraints they discarded were vital to the equality they so desperately wanted."

I think that Harden nails it when he states that feminists (and liberals in general) are resistant to the idea of a revealed, higher form of moral law. It's almost as if they think that through man's own strivings, we can all become better people if we just try a little harder, find the correct terminlogy to properly identify a moral short-coming or throw just a little more federal money in the direction of a particular the problem. Such thinking doesnt work, it hasnt worked and try as they might, they are unable to come up with a better moral code than that adopted long ago in the Christianized West.

Whether it is concerning the fight against pornography, the reemergence of the practice of sex-selective abortions, or the practice of suttee, Christianity has led the way on all of these issues and remains the strongest ally a feminist can have in bringing about dignity to women.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What Religion is Barack Obama?

"There are elections in America now. Along came a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia."
Col. Mu’ammar Al-Qadhafi, June 11th, 2008

Takes one to know one, right? Heh-heh. Well, let's not so glibly dismiss this assertion by the leader of Libya when we can examine what Obama has said and what actions he has performed in order to form a hypothesis as to what religious beliefs Obama adheres to, if any.

Earlier this week, a Pew poll came out indicating that 18% of Americans believe that Obama is a Muslim. Not to be outdone, another pole by TIME magazine put out this past week indicates that the actual percentage of Americans that believe that Obama is a Muslim is closer to 24%. The second (TIME) poll was conducted after the president weighed in with his support of the Ground Zero Victory Hamasque in lower Manhattan, 2 blocks away from where the World Trade Center once was. (NOTE: To get an idea of how eerily close the Hamasque supporters want to set up camp next to Ground Zero, this link provides an aerial photo that really puts it into perspective).

This polling data caused White House spokeman Bill Burton to state 2 days ago that "The president is obviously a Christian. He prays everyday." I don't know about you, but I was never under the impression that the act of prayer was something that fell exclusively within the realm of Christianity.

Rush Limbaugh chimed in on his daily radio program and offered up his take on the statements by Burton...

"So nothing is "obvious" about Obama's Christianity, Mr. Burton, and the telltale sign is that you even have to say it. We're polling it! You see, Obama's Christianity is the opposite of obvious. "What do you mean by that, Limbaugh? What do you mean! How can you sit there and say 'Obama's Christianity is the opposite of obvious'?" Well, glad you asked. Let me 'splain it. He has a Muslim name: "Barack Hussein Obama." He had a Muslim father and an extended Muslim family in Kenya. He was partly raised and educated in Indonesia by a Muslim stepfather. He has Muslim half-sisters and brothers, one of whom continues to reside in a three-by-five-foot hut in Kenya. His mother was a self-proclaimed and unaffiliated atheist. Obama professed no religion and belonged to no church until he joined Reverend Wright's Trinity Church in Chicago....

They're going to great lengths. But he's not "obviously" a Christian. We have to take that on (ahem) faith, if I may use the word. We have to accept his Christianity on faith, to believe that he's telling us the truth because his Christianity is not obvious by any intellectually coherent definition of the word. (interruption) Well, no... The reason why some people are confused is Obama has spent 20 years listening to a racist, bigoted preacher who has a special place in his heart for the Nation of Islam who used to be a Muslim. It's not obvious, Mr. Burton, that your guy is a Christian."

There are those that point to Obama's former affiliation with Jeremiah Wright's traveling sideshow Church of Christ as evidence of Obama's claimed Christianity. However it is seldom brought up that Wright himself is a former Muslim as indicated by Limbaugh. In fact, Jeremiah Wright once sat down for a little of the old face-to-face with the aforementioned Mu’ammar Al-Qadhafi on a trip to Libya with the contraversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in 1984.
  • Does anyone else here remember Nicholas Kristof's 2007 interview with then candidate Obama in which "Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

  • And who could forget the 2008 interview with George Stephanopoulis in which Obama openly referred to his "Muslim faith"?

  • Additionally, we can recall how NASA director Charles Bolden was told by Obama that "he wanted to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering." and thus we are left to puzzle over how such a self-esteem project geared toward a particular religion would be viewed by the Left if such efforts were trying to uplift Christianity or any other religion for that matter.

  • Throwing more gasoline onto the speculative fires was writer Jack Cashill's article this past week in which he informs us "“Barry was a Muslim,” his (Obama's) third grade teacher told the Los Angeles Times in 2007, but this was a rare acknowledgement by the media. In general, they approached the subject in damage control mode."

All of this evidence begins to pile up quite quickly and it seems not only quite reasonable to wonder what Obama's beliefs are but to examine if they could be anything BUT Islamic in nature. Not that that in and of itself would necessarily be a bad thing. It would just reflect upon the perceived honesty of a man who, it seems, might embrace anything from the non-theistic belief system of his parents to liberal Christianity to Islam in order to proffer up the image that he thinks provides him with the best political leverage in whatever situation he so happens to find himself in.

"The American President told me in confidence that he is a Muslim,"
Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, April 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Anti-Abstinence Presidency

Could someone tell me why a college prof has been denied the results of a survey on abstinence?

"The taxpayer-supported survey from 2008 found that around 70 percent of parents and their teenagers believed that teens should wait until marriage to have sex. Despite release of the study's summary and its highlight at two major public health conferences last year, the Department of Health and Human Services is withholding the full results according to Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Foundation.

"When a researcher [Dr. Lisa Rue] asked the HHS for the full results, she [was told it] is not public information and it has not been released to the public and so you don't have access to it," relates Huber. "[I find that] a little incredulous since it was shared publicly at two different venues."...

In a short article about her efforts to obtain a copy of the "National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents" (conducted by Abt Associates), Dr. Rue says that having been denied access twice by the Obama administration "leaves me to reflect on the role of cultural values with regard to prevention science."

The University of Northern Colorado assistant professor continues: "If we are truly interested in learning how to prevent two critical epidemics currently devastating our country (out-of-wedlock child bearing and sexually transmitted infections), then the nationally representative findings provide momentum and support for accessing cultural values of parents and children which promote optimal health choices for adolescents."

Of course not. Don't allow such findings to become public or much talked about for that matter. Doesnt fit the template. After all, we're all just sex-craved little lemmings, slaves to our own desires, with no hope of ever changing. Why not do it in the road? The authors of the above article request that those who are interested in the results of the survey should petition the Obama administration through the Freedom of Information Act in order to obtain the results. Is this theor idea of "transparency"?

Heritage.org has come up with a list of where there actually have been successes in implementing abstinence programs in different parts of the US. For example...

"Taught over 20 class periods by certified and program-trained health educators, the Reasons of the Heart (ROH) curriculum focuses on individual character development and teaches adolescents the benefits that are associated with abstinence until marriage.

A 2008 study evaluated the ROH curriculum's impact on adolescent sexual activity among seventh grade students in three suburban northern Virginia public schools. The researchers also collected data on a comparison group of seventh grade students in two nearby middle schools that did not participate in the program. Students in those schools instead received the state's standard family life education, which included two videos on HIV/ STD prevention and one on abstinence.

The evaluators surveyed seventh grade students in all five schools before and after the program. They found that, a year after the program, 32 (9.2 percent) of the 347 ROH students who were virgins at the initial survey had initiated sexual activity, compared with 31 (or 16.4 percent) of the 189 comparison group students. Controlling for the differences between the comparison group and ROH students, the study reported that ROH students were half as likely as comparison group students to initiate sexual activity. The evaluators concluded, "This result appears to compare favorably to the reductions in initiation achieved by some of the abstinence programs [evaluated in earlier studies]."

One famous author concluded that "abstinence never killed" anybody and I whole-heartedly agree. Would anyone like to speculate as to what the rational reason is that the Obama administration is trying to completely eliminate abstinence education in favor of a wider distribution of condoms instead? It would seem that one program would encourage teens to think about their actions and desires and the other would send the message that they should just give themselves over to them.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On Obama, Edith Piaf and the Victory Hamasque at Ground Zero

William Kristol ties them all in together for us here...

"Despite criticism from Republicans and others, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he has 'no regrets' over the comments he made about the right of Muslims to build an Islamic center near the former site of the World Trade Center in New York."

In alluding to "Non, je ne regrette rien" ("No, I regret nothing"), the French song famously performed by the great Édith Piaf, is President Obama subtly indicating that the battle for the mosque is over?

After all, it's well known Piaf dedicated her 1960 recording of the song to the French Foreign Legion--and that, in 1961, when the Legion's 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment had backed the failed coup attempt by the French military, the Legionnaires left their barracks singing "Non, je ne regrette rien." It's a song of lost causes. Sounds like "no regrets" is Obama's gentle way of preparing his allies for the fact that the Ground Zero mosque has become a lost cause."

And just how close is this nightmare of an idea from being over? In a seperate article, Kristol quotes Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, former editor of the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and a director for Al-Arabiya TV as saying recently...

"I cannot imagine that Muslims want a mosque on this particular site, because it will be turned into an arena for promoters of hatred, and a symbol of those who committed the crime. At the same time, there are no practicing Muslims in the district who need a place of worship, because it is indeed a commercial district....The last thing Muslims want today is to build just a religious center out of defiance to the others, or a symbolic mosque that people visit as a museum next to a cemetery....[T]he battle against the 11 September terrorists is a Muslim battle...and this battle still is ablaze in more than 20 Muslim countries. Some Muslims will consider that building a mosque on this site immortalizes and commemorates what was done by the terrorists who committed their crime in the name of Islam. I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a symbol or a worship place that tomorrow might become a place about which the terrorists and their Muslim followers boast, and which will become a shrine for Islam haters whose aim is to turn the public opinion against Islam"

So as we can see, even fair minded Muslims are calling for the mosque not to be built. Contrast that to the, *ahem*, "bridge builders" who continue pushing for the construction of the Victory Mosque and refuse to even meet with the Governor of New York to discuss the possiblity of moving it to another location due to the uproar they are causing.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has decided that her party's prospects in the upcoming mid-term elections isn't quite abysmal enough and is calling for investigations of those who are opposed the Hamasque. That way, they can positively guarantee the outrage of the American people and the mosque doesn't get built and the Democrats lose both the House and the Senate. One is left wondering where the Dem's ever found such a modern day kamikazee squadron to advise them on policy matters.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

President Abraham Lincoln: Saint or Sinner?

Coming in at Number 1 on John Hawkins's list of The Seven Greatest Presidents in American History was Abraham Lincoln. Before getting into the reasons cited by Hawkins for his decision to rank Lincoln at #1, I thought I would provide some counter points of view to this decision given that some Libertarians, among others, have a less than favorable view concerning Honest Abe.

John Quincy Public, a/k/a JQP, a/k/a Jquip of the blog Job's Goat that I link to on the right, had this to say about the Kentucky-born and Illinios-raised statesman....

"He was largely normal as trial lawyers go. Low men that have no regard for the written law nor anything passing as sound in terms of logic. And they are all as successful as statesmen; which is to say that they've nearly all been really good failures. Which is hardly surprising given that a statesman's job is to find non-violent compromise whereas a lawyer's job is to win at all costs.

But Lincoln the man doesn't exist and he would be hardly remembered if not for a foolish bet made to garrison forts Pickens and Sumter by cover of night. He is instead a central figure of sainthood in the modern religious cult of American politics. And blamed as the Patron Saint to the Chewbacca Defense of Democracy. That the majority rules, and such a majority can be morally constructed by mortal attrition of your opponent.

The proponents of his mythology are seemingly far too comfortable with juntas and banana republics to remain as unarmed as they are. And our continued civil peace relies on the notion that their opponents, heavily armed, will never take the Lincoln religion to heart.

If we are to be a nation of laws then it is of great importance that Lincoln be returned to his place in them as a man and lawyer. If we are to embrace his pedestal then we should be done with it and hold all national elections in a standard caliber and shell casing."

Indeed, such criticism is mild when compared to Vox Day's (who I also link to on the right) opinion of the man.

"Lincoln is a secular saint for the same reason that the Roman Senate deified Octavian Augustus - he was the first emperor of Imperial America. Lincoln was, without a doubt, the worst president [of] the United States of America because he murdered what had been a free and voluntary republican confederation in the name of a Federal Union imposed by violence.

Naturally, the would-be totalitarians of today revere him. But every freedom-loving American, black or white, should mark the end of the Republic by him. Sic semper tyrannis."

Now for the opposing view that Lincoln was one of, if not THE greatest president of all time. Hawkins writes...

"Lincoln is criticized by some libertarians and Paleocons these days because they say he could have avoided the Civil War entirely by buying all the slaves. Even though Lincoln apparently took the idea seriously, the historical evidence suggests the idea wouldn't have worked. Lincoln also gets dinged for dramatically curtailing constitutional rights during the war, but as the old saying goes, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact." In a bloody Civil War that could have legitimately meant the end of the union, it was better to break the rules and win -- than go by the book and see the nation that the Constitution was meant to guide split into two hostile halves.

Those issues aside, Abe Lincoln is the father of the Republican Party, the man most responsible for ending slavery, and his leadership was crucial to guiding America to victory in the Civil War. Had Sherman not taken Atlanta when he did, it's entirely possible Lincoln could have lost re-election in 1864 to General McClellan, which could have easily led to the war ending in a draw and a very different history for this country. "

One item that is often cited by those who are critical of Lincoln was his decision to arrest members of the Maryland State Legislature with pro-Confederate leanings. As this md.gov website explains, "For the Federal Government, however, there was no question about which side Maryland had to take. If she seceded, Washington D.C. would be surrounded by hostile states, effectively cut off from the rest of the Union."

I consider myself to be a pragmatist on most matters and I feel that Lincoln's preservation of the Union was, on net balance, a positive thing for the world. I recall how one writer brought up how world history might have been decidedly different had not a strong United States entered World War I (or World war II even) and instead we here on the North America continent were a balkanized lot consisting of North, South and Western, seperate political entities. Additionally, would such seperate countries have had the will, resources and influence to provide an effective counter-weight to the Soviets during the Cold War? We will never really know of course but my suspicions lead me to be thankful that steps were taken to maintain what is the United States as one nation and not several.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

James K. Polk-The Best President that you rarely ever heard of.

Following his list of the 7 Worst Presidents of the Last 100 Years, John Hawkins has now come out with his list of the The Seven Greatest Presidents in American History which we can discuss. Here is the list as proposed by Hawkins for the greatest presidents...

#7. Sarah Palin [2012], quote "In the spirit of giving Barack Obama a Nobel Prize for what he was going to do as President, Sarah Palin is getting the number seven slot for what she will surely do when she defeats Hillary Clinton in 2012, after Hill crushes Obama in a brutal primary." Hawkins adds that he was just kidding and now we can get down to the real 7.

#7. Dwight D. Eisenhower

#6. James Monroe

#5. Ronald Reagan

#4. James K. Polk

#3. Thomas Jefferson

#2. George Washington, and

#1. Abraham Lincoln

Some might find the above list to be a bit contraversial. The choice of Lincoln at #1 would merit it's own thread. However I thought we might take a moment to examine the presidency of one of the least known presidents on the above list, that of James K. (Knox) Polk (pictured above). According to Hawkins, ...

"Polk accomplished so much in his lone term as POTUS that he called it a career without bothering to serve to a second term. While he was President, Texas joined the union. Polk signed the Oregon Treaty with Britain, which brought Oregon, Washington, and Idaho under our control. He won the Mexican-American War, which added California, Nevada, Utah, and a large portion of Arizona -- among other states, into the Union. Add it all up and Polk expanded the territory of the United States more than any other President."

According to whitehouse.gov, James K. Polk is...

"[O]ften referred to as the first "dark horse" President, James K. Polk was the last of the Jacksonians to sit in the White House, and the last strong President until the Civil War.

He was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, in 1795. Studious and industrious, Polk was graduated with honors in 1818 from the University of North Carolina. As a young lawyer he entered politics, served in the Tennessee legislature, and became a friend of Andrew Jackson.

In the House of Representatives, Polk was a chief lieutenant of Jackson in his Bank war. He served as Speaker between 1835 and 1839, leaving to become Governor of Tennessee.

Until circumstances raised Polk's ambitions, he was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination for Vice President in 1844. Both Martin Van Buren, who had been expected to win the Democratic nomination for President, and Henry Clay, who was to be the Whig nominee, tried to take the expansionist issue out of the campaign by declaring themselves opposed to the annexation of Texas. Polk, however, publicly asserted that Texas should be "re-annexed" and all of Oregon "re-occupied."

The aged Jackson, correctly sensing that the people favored expansion, urged the choice of a candidate committed to the Nation's "Manifest Destiny." This view prevailed at the Democratic Convention, where Polk was nominated on the ninth ballot.

"Who is James K. Polk?" Whigs jeered. Democrats replied Polk was the candidate who stood for expansion. He linked the Texas issue, popular in the South, with the Oregon question, attractive to the North. Polk also favored acquiring California."

So we see, not only did achieve quite a bit in only one term of office before his health began to fail, he quite literally came out of nowhere to accomplish it. Insofar as his religious beliefs according to adherents.com...

"Although Polk was a religious man, his faith seldom equaled the stern beliefs of Sarah's outspoken devotion. Raised a Presbyterian, Polk had never been baptized due to an early family argument with the local Presbyterian minister in rural North Carolina. At age thirty-eight, Polk had a religious conversion to Methodism at a camp meeting, and thereafter he thought of himself as a Methodist. Out of respect for his mother and wife, however, he continued to attend Presbyterian services. But whenever his wife was out of town, or too ill to attend church, Polk worshiped at the local Methodist chapel. On his deathbed, he summoned the man who had converted him years before, the Reverend John B. McFerrin, who at last baptized Polk as a Methodist."

I hope you enjoyed reading up on Polk as much I did. Tune in tomorrow and we'll discuss the interesting choice of Hawkins to elevate Abraham Lincoln to the number 1 position on his list.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Will the Bible's Admonition Against Homosexuality be Termed "Hate Speech"?

Following a ruling by a California judge that in effect, negated the votes of 7 million Californians, same sex marraige will continue for the time being in the Golden State. One question being raised in the wake of the ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker is if Proposition 8 was overturned is if it will be considered "hate speech" for ministers to deliver sermons in which the Biblical admonishions against homosexuality are brought up. Judge Walker wrote in his ruling that "Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians." There is already an example we can examine from Sweden in which a minister was arrested for speaking out against homosexuality. Liberty University Law School dean Matthew Staver has weighed in on Judge Walker's ruling...

"It’s an astounding statement by a judge, and if that finding were to be upheld, it would criminalize Christian beliefs, because the Bible and Christian beliefs historically have clearly indicated that homosexuality is sex outside of marriage – and is contrary to God’s design,” Staver told CNSNews.com.

He added: “For this judge to say that Christian beliefs or religious beliefs contrary to homosexuality are actually harmful -- what that essentially says is, that if that’s the case, then you’ve got to change your religious beliefs, and if you don’t, you’re going to be penalized as result. That is a very dangerous aspect of this court decision."

The above cited CNS News article goes on to interview Christian counselor and former homosexual Joe Dallas who had this to say about the judge's ruling...

"For a judge to say that it is literally damaging to homosexual people when churches simply express and maintain a clearly defined biblical approach to homosexuality, is to introduce the concept that the ‘damage’ that’s being done to homosexuals needs to be stopped. That damage will have to be stopped by silencing the Church,” Dallas said. “There’s really no other way to read that particular finding....

By 1984, I had been an active member of the gay community for about six years. I also was a Christian and I realized I was going to have to make a choice between obedience to the teachings of the Scripture – or expression of my sexual feelings,” he told CNSNews.com.

“A clear look at the Scripture and a re-evaluation of my faith reminded me that my relationship with God was far more important than sexual satisfaction. And so, I pursued a life of repentance from homosexuality and abstinence from any sort of sexual behavior outside of marriage,” he said.

The author of 11 books on Christianity and sexuality, Dallas said he would not want to see a law passed requiring all people to make the same decision he did.

“But believe me there are many other men and women who have made a similar decision and I have had the honor of working with them over the years,” Dallas said.

“Clear biblical teaching on human sexuality did not damage us,” he said. “And let me say this plainly: clear biblical teaching on human sexuality does not damage anyone. Can that teaching be misapplied? Can people use it as an excuse to harm people? Well, of course – but the same could be said about clear biblical teaching on parenting children.

“Most people, whether Christian or non-Christian, would agree that parents should have authority over their children and that there should be consequences for misbehavior when children misbehave. Now some people have misused that authority as an excuse to physically abuse their children, but we wouldn’t be silly enough to say that because a small minority has misused that teaching and caused harm, that therefore the majority should abandon that teaching – and the same is true here."

I think there was a serious miscalculation on the part of those advocating same sex mariage in that they probably thought it would be a breeze to pass such legislation after numerous countries in liberal Europe adapted such legislation. But Europe is not America and I predict that the level of opposition to such sweeping legislation to reorder society will bet met with much more organized and widespread opposition here. Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention had this to say about Judge Walker's ruling..

"The confession of faith of the Southern Baptist Convention, which states what the Bible says about the family and about marriage – those are not the products of centuries of hate or animus toward homosexuals. They are adherence to the revealed teachings of the Creator of the universe -- God Almighty. These are religious affirmations of revealed truth,” Land said.

“It is quite clear that God condemns same-sex relations as particularly abhorrent. And if that is indeed the case, and we believe it is, it is an act of love towards those who are engaged in such relationships to tell them that they are violating the most sacred laws of God,” he said. “It would be indifference – or worse – to not tell them.”...

“Let me spell it out for you, If they say that telling what the Bible says about homosexuality is hate speech, and cannot be allowed -- we will be arrested in our pulpits. We will obey God rather than man,.."

In addition to the Southern Baptist Convention, Judge Walker's 136 page decision went on to criticize the positions of such diverse groups as the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as well. We might well see that through one man's strivings, such equal opportunity, myopic criticism will serve to unite the different segments of God's church in a way they never could have hoped to come together on any one issue if they had faithfully tried to do so on their own.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On Obama, Political Suicide and the Mosque at Ground Zero

Fresh on the heels of back-to-back home runs by Nile Gardiner on his recent articles comparing the Obama administration with L' Ancien Regime along with listing 10 key reasons why the Obama presidency is in meltdown, Chairman Zero has unexplicably decided to weigh in on the contraversy to build a thirteen story mosque and Islamic center a mere stone's throw away from Ground Zero of the attacks on 9/11. Quote...

"We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who have led our response to that attack – from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us always remember who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for. Our enemies respect no freedom of religion. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam – it is a gross distortion of Islam."
President Barack H. Obama

Is this some sort of sick joke?

Seriously. Please explain to me why we should show deference in this particular matter to a religion in which the very idea of "Freedom of Religion" is anathema to it's very core. It staggers the imagination. Unless President Obama could guide me toward the largest Episcopal church in Saudi Arabia or the 3rd largest Pentecostal gathering there, I'm calling Complete BS on this one.

Not to be outdone by the above columnists, Fred Dardick explains in perfect clarity how such an idea of the construction of a mosque on this site sets in the minds of many people on these shores...

"For you liberals who somehow got forwarded this column and still don’t know what Sharia law is, allow me to enlighten you. It is the literal interpretation of Islam that leads to the widespread abuse and enslavement of women. It’s also called the reality of “that woman in Iran who’s waiting to see if she’s going to get stoned to death for adultery” rules. Who knows if she really committed adultery? In Islamic societies all a man has to do to give his wife the proverbial dirt nap, is simply claim she did.

Under Sharia law, men are the judge, jury and executioners of women, and Obama apparently thinks Americans are too stupid to know this. While Obama may be able to lawyer his way around the Ground Zero mosque as a “religious tolerance” issue, the rest of us know a load of bs when we see one...

Not only do Americans view the structure as anything but a bridge to understanding, Islamists around the world will also rightly perceive the mosque in a very different light than the simple “right to build a place of worship”. They will see it as spitting in the face of evil America and hold it up as a shining example in their enslaved societies to promote hatred of the West. It will become a “stupid Americans let us build a mosque on their graves, so let’s finish the job and kill them all” kind of thing.

Ever wonder how the Islamic Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem got built smack dab on top of the ancient Jewish temple mount? I can promise you, it was no attempt to “build bridges” either that put it there. It was more like “let’s take over the Jews most treasured religious site and plant a mosque on it to show them who’s boss”. That’s why Jews pray at the Western Wall, because if they tried to visit the top of the temple mount, the Arabs would riot.

Every time Obama speaks to Muslims, it’s always how wonderful and understanding Islam is compared to our knuckle dragging Judeo-Christian customs. Rather than apologizing endlessly for America, and in this case our opposition to the Ground Zero mosque, how about being honest for a change, champ?

Over the past 100 years, America has brought peace and prosperity to billions around the world, while at the same time Muslims have been slaughtering and enslaving their neighbors, especially women, wholesale. Talk about the war that never ends. Shia vs. Sunni violence has been going on for centuries and, by the looks of Iraq, will continue for centuries more.

The irony is if our President, who clearly feels his #1 job is reaching out to the Muslim world, had half a brain in his communist head, he would be out there speaking forcefully against Sharia law and educating his fellow Islamists to the dangers of a literal interpretation of the Koran."

Not that I thought that Obama stood a good chance at re-election before this latest display of political ineptitude, I think that he completely destoyed his chances at another term with his position on this particular matter. Time will tell, of course, but I think that all attention would wisely be focused on the upcoming Republican primary to gauge who will be the next US president. Thats IF of course, the Lizard Queen doesn't smell blood in the water and attempt to dethrone the usurper-in-chief herself.

Lightning strikes 13-year-old boy at 13:13... on Friday the 13th

You can't make this stuff up. Link

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Ultimate Consequences of White Liberal Guilt

White Liberal Guilt can make voters do some pretty strange things. For example, when one considers how a political novice of questionable birth, alleged ties to shady domestic terrorists and with no executive experience whatsoever, (not even a hot dog stand), after not even one full term in the US Senate, wound up being elected the leader of the free world, the force of such collective guilt begins to come sharply into focus.

Christopher Orlet has just reviewed French author Pascal Bruckner's latest offering, Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism and informs us of the following...

""Our past crimes command us to keep our mouths closed," writes novelist Pascal Bruckner in his engaging new book-length essay. We dare not speak out lest we open ourselves to charges of hypocrisy by every tin-pot dictator or terrorist leader. How dare we condemn bin Laden when Custer massacred the Sioux? Oh, wait, the Sioux massacred Custer. You get the point.

This kind of fuzzy thinking is freely on tap in Western Europe and in the current White House. "From existentialism to deconstructionism, all of modern thought can be reduced to a mechanical denunciation of the West, emphasizing the latter's hypocrisy, violence and abomination," Bruckner writes. It was a conceit that reached its peak in 2001 when so many Western intellectuals praised the Twin Tower attacks as America's comeuppance, when the oppressed finally struck back.

This faux remorse is actually a ragged disguise masking feelings of moral superiority. We have become our parents and the rest of the developing world is our naughty kids whose misdeeds can be blamed on their parents' sins (colonialism and racism). No wonder their development remains stunted...

This collective historical guilt is puerile and destructive, Bruckner writes. Our good deeds vastly outweigh our bad. "There is no doubt that Europe has given birth to monsters, but at the same time it has given birth to theories that make it possible to understand and destroy these monsters." No culture has been without sin, therefore none of us should be pointing fingers or throwing stones. But if, god forbid, somebody does start throwing stones -- or bombs -- some one needs to have the moral courage to put an end to it."

And who is going to stand up to the emerging threats from the criminally-minded dictators of today such as Chavez, Kim Jung Il or Ahmadinijad if not the United States? Britain? I doubt it. France? Puh-leeez. No friends, I really don't see anyone with the backbone to stand up to these thugs except possibly the United States. However not with the current commander-in-chief who probably couldn't lead a dog on a leash if his life depended on it.

The next presidential election will be on November 6th, 2012. I pray that we hold on as a country and as a civilization until then. Even then there's no guarantee that the Republicans will offer up someone with the fortitude for the challenges that person will face, to do the hard job that no other country is willing to do. But it's hard to imagine them nominating anyone worse than the inept man-child masquerading as a head of state that we currently have the displeasure of being humiliated with.

You Can Get Off of the Plantation Now

While participating in a debate in 2008, Professor Ellis Washington (whose archive I link to on the right) of Savannah State University played the role of John McCain (as if McCain were half the conservative that Ellis Washington is) and his opponent portrayed Barack Soetoro Obama in a no-holds-barred affair of aggressive argumentation. At one point during the heated exchanges that took place, Washington declared....

"What is wrong with you people?! How long will you allow your minds to be shackled by Big Government liberalism and the Democratic Party? In the early 1930s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised you a "New Deal" and got your forefathers hooked on the drug of welfare and government handouts. In the 1960s, LBJ gave you the "Great Society" and over $5 trillion dollars in new welfare spending to fight what LBJ called his "War on Poverty," yet poverty over the past 40 years has grown exponentially. Even worse, there is a poverty of the spirit that is particularly acute in the black community that remains undiagnosed and unacknowledged … even to this day.

Ladies and gentlemen, when will you say I don't need your welfare, your universal health care, dental care, Social Security, food stamps and government cheese? I'll buy my own cheese. [Slams fist on the table] "GET OFF THE DAMN PLANTATION!"

Yes, get off the damn plantation indeed. Don't be afraid to set out on your own and through your own strivings become a success in your own right. Don't rely on the government to get you by. Do it your own damn self.

In a similar vein, in an article by Connie Hair, former presidential candidate Alan Keyes describes what it's lie to be an black American that dares to differ with the Obama administration.

"Keyes said the notion that he owes allegiance or a vote to Obama simply because of his skin color was constantly pushed on him by the American media, “Oh don’t you feel proud of Barack Obama?”

“Why should I feel proud of someone who wants to destroy the unalienable rights of unborn children; proud of someone who in fact wants to return this entire country to the condition in which my ancestors sadly found themselves?” he said.

The aim of the “Obama faction” Keyes said is to re-institute slavery, this time to government.

“What did it mean to be a slave?” he asked. “Your master guaranteed your food, your clothing, your shelter and a job! Sounds interesting doesn’t it?”

(It actually sounds like the Democrat Party platform.)

“That’s exactly what the Obama faction and the leftists and socialists and the so-called liberals want to pretend is what all Americans should aspire to,” Keyes said. “But I think having grown up having to wrestle with that heritage of slavery—understanding its true meaning—I have seen through that phony promise of socialism and government-dominated largesse.”

“It simply means that we shall all become slaves on the government’s plantation. It simply means that we shall all sacrifice the dignity that God intended for us when he endowed us with those unalienable rights that are the basis for government by consent.."

There's really nothing particular to any one race about the appeal that some people find so enticing, that of the ever present Nanny State with it's allure of cradle to grave socialism under the guise of, among other things FREE (*snicker*) Healthcare! Yayy!

Such reliance upon the government for so many different things in life detracts from personal freedom and personal responsibility and ultimately serves to just keep making government bigger and bigger. One thing that Michael Savage has brought up in the past is that any welfare recipient should immediately forfeit is the privilege to vote. After all, why should someone be allowed to vote themselves more benefits? If that is ever eliminated, then perhaps we can examine the ability of legislators to vote much of the same largesse for themselves. Then perhaps we can explore the possibility random drug testing for both groups who owe their existance to the taxes that we pay

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Doubting the Gospel of Thomas Part II

Pardon me for taking so long. I've gotten a little sidetracked by a project and I haven't had much the time to comment lately, but I can squeeze in a quick entry here. Tristan Vick has posted a response to my earlier entry titled Doubting the Gospel of Thomas in which I took issue with both the dating and authenticity of the Gospel attributed to Thomas. You can read TV's entire criticism here.

In order to move the discussion along, I have decided to concentrate a just a few of the points raised in the rebuttal by Vick. I don't wish to become bogged down, debating every jot and tittle and it really doesn't make for very interesting conversation when a debate becomes like that. Should we make progress on these points we can move on to others. However, I think we could all agree that the points I wish to raise to Vick's rebuttal are quite germane to the discussion of the authenticity of the Gospel of Thomas. They cut right to the heart of the matter and if either Vick's or my points cannot be reconciled with the vast majority of those who are/were qualified to write extensively on the subject, then the arguments begin to break down and it can be clearly shown that one of us is not on the side of the clear majority of serious scholarship on the matter. First, TV mentions that...

"I don’t quite see how using GTh (if truly an independent source pre-dating the Gospels) to establish that Jesus was a real historical figure, is in anyway a canard. In fact one would have to question the agenda of any Christian who’d deny the GTh as evidence which supports the claim that Jesus of the Bible may have actually been a real historical person—even as such a claim is on shaky ground."

I didnt state that the document proported to be from Thomas did not support the historical existance of Jesus. I merely raised doubts concerning it's authorship and any early dating assigned to it.

"Although the authenticity of the Jesus sayings of GTh may be in dispute, it should not go overlooked that so are the Jesus attributed sayings in all of the Gospels."

In this quote of yours, you cite Robert M. Price as your source. I specifically requested that "that we take off the table any so-called "expert" that is even loosely affiliated with the highly dicredited "Jesus Seminar"" whose work "is so quirky and so severely criticized by non-Seminar members-probably 90 percent of Gospel scholars around the world."[1]

Even the secular publication The Atlantic stated that the Jesus Seminar "draw[s] on the liberal wing of the New Testament academy." [2]

"As many as 200 scholars participated in the JS over the years, but the final group dwindled to 74. People dropped out for various reasons. Some expressed discomfort with how the most radical fringes of New Testament scholarship were disproportionately represented on the JS. Others voiced disagreement with Funk’s propagandistic purposes of popularizing scholarship in a way designed explicitly to undermine conservative Christian credibility." [3]

"Of the remainder, eighteen had no published papers on the subject at all. Thirty-six of the scholars came from Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Claremont Universities, which were criticised for having the most-liberal New Testament study programs in any university." [4]

One former (JS) Fellow stated that "Although its founding ethos stressed the importance of open, public debate among professional participants, publicity prior to and during meetings often set up findings well in advance of discussion, with results that distorted, not only the conduct of the Seminar, but the way in which its findings were reported. For example, Fellows were known to deny to the press that Jesus had ever prayed; he was portrayed as a Cynic philosopher despite evidence to the contrary that was always overwhelming; and Galilee has been treated as an urban, non-Jewish environment despite archaeologists’ findings to the contrary. Added to all these factors, the drive for results sometimes led to a retaking of votes, both within a given meeting, and from meeting to meeting, producing the effect of a push-poll in an election campaign." [5]

I think that these above statements speak for themselves and there is no shortage of others should anyone wish to look it up.. Either the Jesus Seminar is well accepted as representative of scholarship on the subject of the New Testament, or they are far outside the mainstream of the vast majority of scholars. I will now leave it to you to demonstrate if the latter is true or not.

"...due to the fact that The Gospel of Thomas is at least as old as the Synoptic tradition, perhaps earlier (as we’ll discuss below), then Christians need to account for the similarity in over half of the 114 of the sayings of Jesus which Thomas shares with the Gospels and Johannine sayings."

Tristan, either you are arguing on a whole other level than me and thus leaving me behind in the dust of my own confusion, or you are demonstrating that you fail to understand this entire subject on a very fundamental level. The vast majority of Bible scholars date the Gospel of John around the year 90 A.D., which of course was a few years after Mark, Matthew and Luke are believed to have been written. The dating of John really isn't disputed in any meaningful way and if it is, it's only by a couple of years. [6] Could you please explain to me how Thomas could possibly predate the synoptic Gospels when it contains material from the Gospel of John which unquestionably was written later? I admit, I'm a bit perplexed here by your method of argumentation along with your unique dating technique and a bit of clarity on the matter would be greatly appreciated in order to move the discussion along.

[1] Strobel, Lee; The Case for the Real Jesus, pg. 31, 2007, Zondervan

[2] http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/96dec/jesus/jesus.htm

[3] http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t017.html

[4] http://www.conservapedia.com/Jesus_Seminar

[5] http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/chilton1.shtml

[6] http://www.carm.org/apologetics/evidence-and-answers/when-were-gospels-written-and-whom

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Advocating morality doesn't make people bigoted

It's the title of today's article from Cal Thomas. In reference to the recent overturning of California's ban against same-sex marraige, Mr. Thomas starts out his article by stating that "A nation that does not see in law a right to life for its unborn children and a court that allows more than 50 million of them to be killed claiming a nonexistent "penumbra" in the Constitution is not about to acquire a moral -- much less a constitutional -- backbone when it comes to same-sex "marriage." " I couldnt agree more. Mr Thomas continues his line of thought by pointing out how the American people have become increasingly de-sensitized to how low we as a society are plummeting to in reference to our collective morality.

"No less a theological thinker than Abraham Lincoln concluded that our Civil War might have been God's judgment for America's tolerance of slavery. If that were so, why should "the Almighty," as Lincoln frequently referred to God, stay His hand in the face of our celebration of same-sex marriage?

There is more than one way to experience bankruptcy. America under the Obama administration is on the verge of economic insolvency, and now Judge Vaughn Walker has joined a conga line of similarly activist judges who are accelerating us down the path to destruction.

We have been spiraling downward for some time, beginning in the '50s with the Playboy philosophy that gave men permission to avoid the bonds of marriage if they wanted to have sex. In rapid succession came the birth control pill (sex without biological consequences), "no-fault divorce" (nullifying "until death us do part"), cohabitation, easily available pornography, and a tolerance for just about anything except those who deem something intolerable.

Such persons are now labeled "bigots" when once they were thought to be pillars of society...

What we tolerate, we get more of, and we have been tolerating a lot since the Age of Aquarius generation began the systematic destruction of what past generations believed they had sacrificed, fought and died to protect.

None of this should surprise anyone who takes the time to read and understand what happens to people and nations that disregard God. A Google search provides numerous examples for the biblically illiterate.

Two in particular stand out: "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint," which is paraphrased in the Living Bible, "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild." (Proverbs 29:18); and "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit." (Judges 21:25)"

While it is questionable to compare same-sex unions to traditional marraige insofar as the metrics of length of commitment and fidelity are concerned, that doesnt stop the Mainstream Media Machine in this country from painting others who don't tow the official party line as being bigots. Dennis Prager (pictured above) mentions in his article from today the recent murder spree at a Connecticut beer distributorship which left eight people dead. It seems that when a worker named Omar Thornton, who happened to be black, was fired for stealing beer, he went on a murderous rampage against employees. Did the Mainstream Media report this as merely an incident of workplace violence? No. Did they chalk up such unhinged behavior to the man being a psychopath who finally snapped? No. The first thing that the vermin in the media seized upon was alleged racism that the man had been experiencing. From Prager's article...

"Just as leading liberals would not ascribe Islamist motives – until there was no possibility of denying them – to recent Muslim attacks on Americans, the liberal media, i.e., almost all news media in America, do not brand these Connecticut murders for what they are: racist. That is why Thornton told the 9-1-1 operator, "I wish I could have gotten more of the people (i.e., whites)."

We are repeatedly told by liberal whites and blacks that America needs an honest dialogue on race. Needless to say, they don't mean it, because the moment a white or black says anything critical of black behavior, he is labeled racist or Uncle Tom. So most non-liberal whites and blacks just keep quiet.

One result is this morally upside-down reporting of the murders in Connecticut.

Another example is the liberal narrative on blacks in prison – "there are more black men in prison than in college." Every decent American regards this fact as a major tragedy. But most Americans believe that the fault lies primarily with the black criminals, not with a racist society. Most Americans believe that blacks who mug, rape, rob or murder commit those crimes for the same reason whites do – they lack a sufficiently strong moral conscience...

But the dominant liberal narrative is that while white criminals are criminals, black criminals are largely victims.

Another example was the liberal narrative of the 1992 "Rodney King" riots in Los Angeles. It was perfectly expressed by the major newspaper of that city, the Los Angeles Times. During the riots, in which innocent Koreans, whites and others were beaten, maimed and killed, and innocent businesses burned to the ground, the daily special section on the riots in the Los Angeles Times was titled "Understanding the Rage." When blacks riot, whites are the reason. When a black murders eight whites in Connecticut, whites are the reason.

One terrible consequence of this liberal attitude toward black violent crime is that too many blacks come to believe that less is expected of them morally than from whites. And the truth is that most Americans on the left do expect less from blacks."

Additionally, the Catholic Apologist recently wrote an entry about how parents are increasingly incapable of civility toward one another. If that's the case, then what can we expect from the next generation? I don't see any of his getting any better any time soon. As we gradually move towards a more secular society here, I see no reason to rejoice and celebrate such a cultural shift based upon the morality, or lack thereof, that such societal change brings with it.