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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Myth of the Talking Snake

"Meanwhile, snakes lack vocal chords, so no, they cannot speak--they never have and never will. At least not with their voices" Tristan Vick, Advocatus Atheist, 2/21/12 Link

I'm sorry, but whenever I hear one of the uninformed referring to a 'talking snake' from the third chapter of the Book of Genesis, my mind immediately goes back to Sir Hiss (above) of the animated version of the film Robin Hood.

I found the above statement by atheist Tristan Vick to be quite amusing to say the least. It only goes to show you that there are skeptics out there that claim to have studied scripture before rejecting it, yet didn't give scripture a fair shake when examining it the first time.

However, Vick is not alone in such a mischaracterization. In fact, not long ago a California atheist group laid bare their ignorance for all to see by referring to the 'talking snake' myth on a billboard. If you're going to be intellectually dodgy, why not advertise the fact?

Right in the beginning of 3rd Genesis, 1st verse, we read that "The snake was more clever than all the wild animals the LORD God had made" (God's Word translation). Some translations substitute 'snake' for the word 'serpent' and 'clever' for 'crafty', but irregardless, even if 'crafty' more accurately describes the serpent, then this would signify at least some level of high intelligence on the part of the creature mentioned here.

We all know that the narrative in Genesis goes on to give account that Eve was (verbally) tempted by this very smart creature to eat the forbidden fruit. However, upon God finding out that this fruit was eaten against His command, we see that God is assigning at least part of the blame on the temptor in this case, the serpent. We read in verses 14 & 15...

"So the LORD God said to the snake, "Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all the wild or domestic animals. You will crawl on your belly. You will be the lowest of animals as long as you live.

I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel."

So if the Genesis account here is to be examined from a strictly literary point of view, then it is entirely consistant that the serpent (or snake) was physically a very different creature before God passed judgement upon it. In fact, simply typing the words [Eve tempted garden image] into a popular search engine will reveal that there are artists out there that that do not depict the aforementioned creature as being like the snake/serpent that we know of today.

"[W]orld-famous Bible teacher, author, and statesman for Reformed theology" James Montgomery Boice, whom Vick seems (unsuprisingly) unfamiliar with, had this to say about the interpretation of Genesis Chapter 3...

"..the idea that Genesis 3 presents us with a talking snake is based on an inaccurate reading of the passage. I know this is the way the passage is generally taken. We have all seen pictures in which Eve is seen standing demurely in the bushes while overhead a snake is slithering down out of a tree to tempt her to eat the forbidden 'apple.' But Genesis does not say that Eve was tempted by a talking serpent. The serpent that tempted Eve, as a result of God's judgement, slithered away into the bushes to the intense horror of Adam and Eve, who wondered if God's just judgement on the serpent might be their own. But when the creature spoke to Eve there is no reason for thinking that this was any other than an upright creature, not dissimilar to Adam and Eve themselves. We must not press this too far, or course, for in Chapter 2 we have been told that Adam did not find a creature suitable to be his companion and helper until God made Eve. Still, this was not a snake and was undoubtedly an extraordinary and beautiful creature."

Boice, James Mongomery: An Expositionary Commentary, Genesis Volume I, pg 159

EDIT: I also wanted to address this statement by Vick, quote.. "Lack of basic continuity is usually a strong indicator of myths and fables. So are cultural morals, talking animals , and repetition. All of which are present".

From E.J. Young in relation as to whether the fall account is a 'fable', "We realize immediately that this is not the case. In the Old Testament, animals do not speak. We have the special case of Balaam's [donkey], but no other cases than that and the speaking of the serpent in Genesis ever occur. Furthermore, if you are going to dismiss this as being a fable, you would have to come up with some sort of moral. A fable has a moral, but there is no moral attached here at all. So to say that the 3rd chapter of Genesis is just a fable is really not to do justice to it."

Insofar as the account being a 'myth', this would indicate that the narrative is NOT meant to be taken literally and Mr Vick is welcome to present any evidence that would indicate that this was the writer's intention.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Abortion, Atheism and Feminism, a reply to Tristan Vick‏

Tristin Vick is touching upon some interesting subject matter over at Advocatus Atheist involving feminism, atheism and abortion. You can read the article in it's entirety here and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to chime in on some of his assertions, so here we go! First off...

"The thing is, people are often extremely opinionated about things related to gender and identity. The reason I tend not to talk about such subjects here is not that I am disinterested but that people usually like to pull out the ad hominems and attack you when your opinion differs with theirs. Nobody seems able to simply agree to disagree. Instead of taking the time to write out a well reasoned criticism, like a civil person, they would rather call you sexist, racist, and so on. Usually, I find this juvenile behavior aggravating as it ends the conversation before it ever has a chance to begin."

I whole-heartedly agree that when someone actually has the wherewithal to actually poke their head up out of their foxhole to discuss any topics considered taboo ranging from feminism, sexism, racism and religion, one is then exposed to the barbs of others. Current discourse seems to be that an unfounded accusations such as sexism, racism, or bigotry are immediately hurled at one who is not like-minded. It seems quite unimportant to the Free-Speech Bigot whether or not they can actually back up such an accusation. The most important thing in the mind of such a lunatic who unthinkingly hurls such unfounded accusations is to simply to make the accusation. Thats all. By simply making the accusation, the Free-Speech Bigot (who btw, is usually quite convinced that they are on the side of the angels) has then changed the course of the discussion from the topic at hand to the motives of the person who initially stuck their head up and stated their opinion on an emotionally-charged subject. Yes, such juvenile behavior is aggravating and best left to the infantile minds that occupy the play area of the pre-school romper room on any given day. Next up from Vick...

"A good example of this is when I recently wrote about the lack of female atheist authors. I theorized that the long tradition of male ownership of publishing companies along with the masculine biological trait to tend to be domineering, all contributes to part of the reason why men want to dominate the philosophical discourse (maybe even the religious discourse overall)."

I think the reason that there is a "lack of female atheist authors" is quite simple, it's because of the fact that atheists tend to be men.

In support of my hypothesis I would cite atheist PZ Myers himself in his blog entry titled The Woman Problem.

It's an odd way to put it, I know, but it gets your attention. I could have called this the Atheist and Skeptic Problem, which is more accurate, but leads people to start listing all of our problems, starting with how annoying we are, and just for once I'd rather not go down that road. So here's the Woman Problem, and it's not a problem with women: it's a problem with atheist and skeptic groups looking awfully testosteroney. And you all know it's true, every time I post a photo of some sampling of the audience at an atheist meeting, it is guaranteed that someone will count the contribution of each sex and it will be consistently skewed Y-ward."

That, and when The New York Times describes a 2010 atheist convention as being "largely white and male" and much like "a Star Trek convention, but older" then it becomes increasingly clear that it's probably not a case of female atheists staying home, but rather that their numbers are few when compared to the overall number of male atheists.

Lastly, I was most intrigued by this statement from TV...

The fact of the matter is, when it comes to abortion, a medical procedure that directly impacts the woman's body, that's the woman's personal and private business and none of mine, or anyone else's, bees wax. Unless the woman is my partner specifically, or the one I am involved with, only then would I feel I had the right to chime in with my opinion with regard to the pros and cons of abortion."

I have a couple of questions here. Exactly who is the 'woman' being referred to here and whose rights trump the other's? Modern science has now made it possible to determine the sex of a fetus after just 7 weeks. Not long ago, one had to wait until the 10th week to determine if the fetus was a male or female. Given that science is usually advancing, isn't it highly believable that the current 7 week time can be improved upon and that someday we can find out the sex much closer to conception?

Why do the wants of the mother who wishes to abort the growing girl inside her ( or 'host' as I will refer to her) have the rights to kill another female? Doesn't the other female in this equation have a right NOT to want an abortion, which is a medical procedure that directly impacts the (very young) woman's body? Who gets to decide the winners and losers in the scenarios and, most importantly, why?

Being that men have the potential to be fathers in life, even at an advanced age, I do think that men can reasonably have a voice in these debates. I have a few ideas as to potential arguments as to which females get to dominate the other females, but I'll let Tristan respond and take it from there.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Is rape a legitimate reason for abortion?

"[M}any pro-abortionists are quick to bring up dire and extraordinary circumstances in order to divert our sympathies from the unborn child to the expectant mother. The most common of these circumstances are pregnancies resulting from sexual assault and ones that directly threaten the life of the mother. These situations need to be taken seriously, but are comparatively rare justifications for the procedure, which is performed more than 90,000 times in Canada every year. This argument...has been employed to justify all abortions, most of which are actually performed as a form of birth control. Anyone should be able to see through such casuistry, which tries to establish a rule based on exceptional cases."
Secular Humanist, Jackson Doughart Link

In examining the question of whether rape is justified in an instance of rape, I came across this email in today's Townhall that columnist Mike Adams recently received from one of his readers...

"I know you always get lambasted by the intolerant left. It means you're doing what's right. Anyway I wanted to send you this message, because I appreciate all your efforts. Almost 30 years ago, when I was 19 I was raped. I learned a month later that I was pregnant as a result. Everyone urged me to abort, but what struck me at the time was that that baby was as much a victim of the rape as I was. And it didn't deserve to be punished for it. I decided to carry the pregnancy to term, and place the baby up for adoption. In 1982, that baby was born and he was given to a wonderful Christian family, and I know that he has been a joy to them. I lost nothing by carrying that pregnancy to term. It didn't hurt me, or cause me to miss out on anything. There is nothing that can't be postponed to preserve an innocent life."

So we can see that delivering the child to term apparently did no harm to this lady. Scott Klusendorf sometimes gets the rape exception question when speaking on abortion and he describes how he deals with it...

"The abortion-choice position [that a pro-abortion 'crusader] defends is not that abortion should be legal only when a woman is raped, but that abortion is a fundamental right she can exercise for any reason she wants during all nine months of pregnancy.

Instead of defending this position with facts and arguments, he disguises it with an emotional appeal to rape. But this will not make his case. The argument from rape, if successful at all, would only justify abortion in cases of sexual assault, not for any reason the woman deems fit. In fact, arguing for abortion-on-demand from the hard case of rape is like trying to argue for the elimination of all traffic laws because a person might have to break one rushing a loved one to the hospital. Proving an exception does not prove a rule.

To expose his smokescreen, I ask a question: “Okay, I'm going to grant for the sake of discussion that we keep abortion legal in cases of rape. Will you join me in supporting legal restrictions on abortions done for socioeconomic reasons which, as studies on your side of the issue show, make up the overwhelming percentage of abortions?”2

The answer is almost always no, to which I reply, “Then why did you bring rape up except to mislead us into thinking you support abortion only in the hard cases?”

Again, if abortion-choice crusader thinks that abortion should be a legal choice for all nine months of pregnancy for any reason whatsoever, including sex-selection and convenience, he should defend that view directly with facts and arguments. Exploiting the tragedy of rape victims is intellectually dishonest."

I hope I've provided you with a little food for thought today. Unfortunately, I've tried Klusendorf's method of argumentation in public discussion forums several times recently and I have always met similar results. If, for the sake of argument, I am willing to set aside the so-called 'hard cases' and I try to get the person I am communicating with to look seperately at the issue that the overwhelming amount of abortions are committed NOT out of an instance of rape, they don't want to talk about it. They just insist that I'm trying to take away a woman's 'choice' on the matter an thust the vast chasm between the pro-abortion/pro-life camps remains and little if any productive talks can take place.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Feel free to leave your comment on this topic below in the combox.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

1st Century fragment of the Gospel of Mark found

"In the latter half of the second century, then, between the time of Justin and Papias, and the time of Theophilus and Irenaeus, the Four Gospels were undoubtedly written or compiled." From theology.web, Link

One of the preferred Big Lies that atheists LOVE to reassure themselves with is the ongoing 'the gospels were not written till the 3rd or even 4th century at the earliest'. Although the above author is a bit more generous in dating the gospels to the 2nd century,according to Baptist Press, a recent find blows even this assertion right out of the water...

"Much of the biblical scholarly world has been buzzing since Feb. 1, when a New Testament professor made a claim during a debate that was news to most everyone who heard it -- a first-century fragment of Mark's Gospel may have been found.

It would be the earliest-known fragment of the New Testament, placing it in the very century of Christ and the apostles.

The claim by Dallas Theological Seminary's Daniel B. Wallace took place during a debate with University of North Carolina professor Bart Ehrman, an author whose popular books claim the New Testament cannot be trusted because the original manuscripts aren't in existence...

..It was dated by one of the world's leading paleographers," Wallace wrote. "He said he was 'certain' that it was from the first century...

.. Apparently, the publisher is E.J. Brill, one of the world's leading publishers of high-quality academic work. Presumably, the volume, when it appears approximately one year from now, will contain not only the first-century fragment of Mark but several other early manuscripts that have been found (though not dating to the first century). The Brill volume will no doubt contain all the technical details as to verification of the date, circumstances of the find, and an assessment of its significance. It makes sense for the details of the find to be withheld until the publication of the volume so that this data can be fully vetted by the scholarly community at that time."

No other literary work from the ancient world is anywhere near as well preserved as the Bible and yet it is still held up to exacting standards by critics who seldom apply such a standard of authenticity to other works which they unflinchingly accept on face value.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The 98 Percent of Catholic Women Used Contraception Myth

"According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, most women, including 98 percent of Catholic women, have used contraception" Source: whitehouse.gov, Link

While the White House and their unthinking synchophants are uncritically parroting the line that "98 percent" of Catholic women have used contraception, there is a rising chorus of questions being raised about the methodology utilized in the cited study that the regime is using to buttress their propaganda...

"During the recent debate over the Obama administration's birth control mandate, White House officials and many reporters have repeatedly said that 98 percent of all Catholic women have used birth control at some time in their life. This claim is being disputed.

The statistics come from an April 2011 study on women and contraceptive use published by the Guttmacher Institute. Reporter Mollie Hemingway stated bluntly on GetReligion.org, "Guttmacher erred in what it claimed were the results of its own study."

The study used a survey of 7,356 females aged 15 to 44 conducted between June 2006 and December 2008 by the National Center for Health Statistics. The sample did not include Catholic women older than 44...

..the sample itself is narrower than even Catholic females aged 15 to 44. A footnote under the chart states, "restricted to sexually active women who are not pregnant, post-partum or trying to get pregnant." (The study defines "sexually active" as those who reported having sex in the previous three months.)"

In sum, the study finds that 87 percent of Catholic females between the ages of 15 and 44 who are having sex, not pregnant, not recently pregnant and trying to not get pregnant have used some form of birth control – a statistic far removed from saying that 98 percent of all Catholic women have used birth control."

Are there any other groups being left out of the (now we're down to) 87 percent? I guess we'll never know being that the last thing that the White House is interested in is finding out the truth in these numbers. This regime, through hook or crook, will manipulate it's way utilizing any method possible into pushing the pro-abort agenda.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On the so-called 'Accomodation' to Catholics by Obama

The following is the most concise information out there that I have come across on the internet re: the Obama Regime's blatant attempt to violate the stated purpose (as per Thomas Jefferson) of the 1st Amendment by dictating to private, religious organizations that they have to provide free abortifacients (including the 5 day after pill) for their employees.

It seems that the president pulled back a bit last Friday when he announced that...

"Women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services -- no matter where they work," Obama said. But, he added, "religious organizations won't have to pay for these services, and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly."

No, instead the onus would fall on insurance companies to provide these abortifacients "free" of charge. Brian Burch over at CatholicVote.org mirrored my sentiments when I heard the announcement by Obama.

"Under the new rule, the government still coerces religious institutions and individuals to purchase insurance policies that include the very same services.

It is no answer to respond that the religious employers are not “paying” for this aspect of the insurance coverage. For one thing, it is unrealistic to suggest that insurance companies will not pass the costs of these additional services on to the purchasers. More importantly, abortion-drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives are a necessary feature of the policy purchased by the religious institution or believing individual. They will only be made available to those who are insured under such policy, by virtue of the terms of the policy ."

Indeed, what assurances would the organization in question have that such morally objectionable items are not provided with that organizations dollars through some sort of clever accounting trick?

But the key question here is why? Why is this regime so intent on providing these services? I doubt that it's for the benefit of women because I don't see this administration lobbying for other such initiatives for women's health ranging from screening for heart disease or types of cancer. So why the emphasis on contraception/abortifacients at this time? Father Dwight Longenecker provides an interesting explanation that he recently heard that can possibly shed some light on the administration's regime's mindset...

"I heard an interesting slant on the HHS Mandate debate on the radio this morning. The commentator noted that left wing journalist and former Clinton White House aide, George Stephanapoulos, in one of the primary debates raised the question of whether states had the right to ban contraception. Romney took the question and was flabbergasted. "No one is suggesting that anyone bans contraception! What's the point of this question?"

The point of the question is this: The Left realize they've lost the debate on abortion. Therefore they are moving the goalposts and deliberately making the debate about contraception. No one could possibly be against contraception right? I mean, everybody uses contraception. However, more and more people are finding abortion to be unpleasant, and are turning away from it in disgust. Although they pretend to ignore it, they see that the March for Life and the pro life cause is young, is growing and becoming impossible to ignore.

So, hey presto, we don't talk about "abortion" any more, but we talk about "preventative health services"--which mark my words--will not only include drugs that cause abortions, but eventually surgical abortions as well. These "preventative women's health services" will all be lumped together and billed as "contraceptives" and nobody can possibly be against contraceptives--right?"

Kudos for Father Longenecker for speaking the truth! I thought the following analysis from Liza Fabrio was quite succinct and thus I will give her the last word on this discussion...

"When we speak of sex this does not, of course, refer to what was once known as conjugal love; that which in an ordered society is a beneficial and great moral good. No, the modern conception of sex is that exercise of bodily functions that exists only for the use of human beings by other human beings solely as instruments of physical pleasure; often perversely so.

This desire for unfettered access to sex is probably one of the greatest reasons for this country's unfortunate descent into the realms of atheism and agnosticism. "A loving God would never be against___" -- fill in the blank with "hookups" or any number of sexual deviations. After all, a creator who did not intend for our bodies to engage in rampant and random sex cannot really be worthy of worship, can he?

This has resulted in the loss of the idea that humanity was blessed with a divine gift which, in our manner of reproduction, differentiates man from beast.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What is Wayne Besen afraid of?

Apparently, media darling and poster child for radical, gay activism, Wayne Besen has a problem with the truth over at Truth Wins Out.org. Last night, he and I got into an interesting discussion over at his blog on the site and I must say, I was shocked at the level of candor exhibited by Besen. During the course of the discussion, I asked the following...


Was homosexuality depathologized by the APA in 1973 through any sort of groundbreaking ‘research’ or was it through pressure, threats and intimidation brought about via radical gay activism? If it’s the former, exactly what study changed everyone’s mind in the psychological community?

I’d really like an answer here.
Comment by JD Curtis — February 12, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

Get with the times. Chambers latest stat is .1%.
The activists put pressure on the APA to review the research. Once that occurred it was easy to see that homosexuality was not an illness.

You have everything ass backwards.

And, yes, they do pray away the gay. You really don’t know a thing about this topic, do you?
Comment by Wayne Besen — February 12, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

Are you really going to make me listen to over 2 hours of discussion to see the context of the relevant statement by Chambers? I’ll be more specific. Does Chambers imply this in a manner that a recovering alcoholics are exactly 1 weekend-bender away from being an alcoholic again? (If you know the point in the interview where the quote occurs, please tell me and I’ll check it out)

The activists put pressure on the APA to review the research

Thank you for your honesty here. I’m not aware of a specific study.

Once that occurred it was easy to see that homosexuality was not an illness

Let me get this straight. Once gay activists put, quote ‘pressure’ on the psychologists, the truth then became clear? I’m not trying to define your position for you here, so a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would be appreciated.
Comment by JD Curtis — February 12, 2012 @ 9:47 pm"

As the evening wore on, it became apparent that not only was Mr Besen not going to answer my direct question to him, but that he had made a slip-up. The last thing anyone over at Truth Wins Out wants to hear about is the truth, and such an admission by Besen, as refreshingly honest as it was, only served to buttress my earlier point that homosexuality was depathologized "through pressure, threats and intimidation brought about via radical gay activism" rather than by any actual "research". Before turning in for the night, I copied and pasted this exchange between Wayne and I for safekeeping and sure enough, the particular exchange had been scrubbed from that discussion thread by morning.

So anytime somebody mentions the site Truth Wins Out, just refer them to this entry for the actual TRUTH. They cannot win their arguments with facts and instead they resort to censorship.

PS. Earlier today I attempted to give Wayne an opportunity to explain why he deleted the above exchange, but when I asked him why he did so over on his blog, my question was quickly deleted by the resident Thought Police.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Obamacare little more than thinly disguised Social Engineering

If you have a moment and this sort of thing interests you, check out George Neumayr's latest offering which pulls no punches in describing the disasterous notion of Obamacare. Here's a snippet...

"On one level, Obama is nothing more than a glib and empty pol, who careens from focus group to pollster. But on another level, buried deep within his cold and rootless personality, he is a man of perverse tenacity, a convinced socialist and secularist who was trained long ago to run the ball into the end zone for radicalism...

Such a deluded Democratic president was bound to overreach disastrously. Obamacare is a "big f -- king deal," Joe Biden whispered into his ear. And it is -- an unconstitutional coup disguised as altruistic legislation that was rammed through Congress by reckless partisan hacks who hadn't even read it.

But the central planners and social engineers from Planned Parenthood had pored over the bill carefully. The passage of the legislation left them giddy with excitement, as they knew its unread provisions would soon turn into nooses for their religious enemies on the right."

Three cheers for Neumayr for calling out Obama and his mind-numbed minions on this deliberate coup on the constitution and the American people.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mr 'Inevitable' has now lost 5 of 8 states

I just thought this was interesting. From Jeffrey Anderson over at The Weekly Standard we read...

"When Mitt Romney won the Florida primary last Tuesday by 14 percentage points, how many people in America imagined that when Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota were contested just seven days later, he would fail to win in any of them? But it wasn’t just that Romney lost. In Minnesota and Missouri, Romney failed to get even half as many votes as the winner, Rick Santorum. In Minnesota, Romney also finished 10 points behind the second-place finisher, Ron Paul (with 5 percent of precincts still outstanding). Santorum beat Romney by lopsided tallies of 55 to 25 percent in Missouri and 45 to 17 percent in Minnesota. Moreover, he beat Romney by 5 points (40 to 35 percent) in Colorado, where Romney won by 42 points (60 to 18 percent) over John McCain the last time around.

In all, the “inevitable” nominee has now lost in 5 of 8 states.

Santorum’s 30-point margin of victory in Missouri was the largest margin posted by any GOP candidate so far this year. True, no delegates were awarded as a result of that vote, but a quarter of a million Missourians still showed up and made their opinions known (more than anywhere else except for Florida and South Carolina).

What’s more, of the five largest states that have held votes so far this year (in order, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, and South Carolina), Romney has won by 14 points, lost by 30 points, lost by 28 points, lost by 5 points, and lost by 12 points."

This race is just starting to heat up and we have a long way to go. For the first time in decades, the later states in the primary process might actually get to decide matters. I thought the following information from PJ Media was interesting though...

"•The NBC-Marist poll taken right before the Florida primary showed Romney leading Gingrich by fifteen points. They asked how voters would vote in a straight Romney-Gingrich race. In a two-man race, Romney’s lead became sixteen points.

•Public Polling polled Missouri voters and found in a four-way caucus race, Gingrich led 30% to 28% for Santorum and 24% for Romney. In a two-way Gingrich-Romney race, Gingrich held a scant 43-42% lead, while in a Santorum-Romney race, Santorum led 50-37%.

•In Ohio, PPP found a similar phenomenon. Gingrich led Romney and Santorum 26-25-22%

. In a two-man race, Gingrich only led Romney by a 42-39% margin, while Santorum would lead Romney 45-38%.

•While not a scientific poll, the blog Hot Air’s reader survey gave a picture of how supporters of each candidate would react to different scenarios. Gingrich held a 45-33% lead over Romney in the most recent site survey with Santorum drawing 22% of the vote. If participants were restricted to Gingrich and Romney, the margin for Gingrich would be 57-43%, but in a two-man race, Santorum beats Romney 61-39%.

All four polls illustrate the point that Santorum voters aren’t all going to break for Gingrich, and three of the examples suggest that Santorum would do a better job of picking up Gingrich supporters than vice versa. Is this polling noise or is there a reason for this trend?"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Piper: Why was it right for God to slaughter women and children in the Old Testament?

In John Piper's recent article, he gives us his take on one of the more popular objections raised by skeptics concerning the claimed holiness of God...

"Was it right for God to slaughter women and children in the Old Testament? How can that ever be right?

It's right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.

God is taking life every day. He will take 50,000 lives today. Life is in God's hand. God decides when your last heartbeat will be, and whether it ends through cancer or a bullet wound. God governs.

So God is God! He rules and governs everything. And everything he does is just and right and good. God owes us nothing.

If I were to drop dead right now, or a suicide bomber downstairs were to blow this building up and I were blown into smithereens, God would have done me no wrong. He does no wrong to anybody when he takes their life, whether at 2 weeks or at age 92."

The response by Piper reminded me of something Brother Gregg once stated during our respective criticisms of the intellectual embarrassment cowardice of Dr. Richard Dawkins refusing to debate Dr William Lane Craig...

"In attempting to comment or characterize actions of God we must start with the character of God. The first question that we must ask ourselves, does God have right to make such a command? The answer is yes. Why? God is absolutely sovereign. God, as both revealed in the Scripture and defined by His character or nature has the right to exercise His absolute supremacy in accordance with His divine perfections. God is infinitely elevated above the highest creature. He is the most high and is subject to no one. God is independent and does as He pleases, only as He pleases, and always as He pleases."

While I agree with the idea that God is above reproach here, I would like to contrast Piper's view that God is intimately involved in the finer details of such affairs by actually "taking life" with a theory advanced by author Vox Day in which he mentions his view on the matter. The belief that Piper appears to hold to is referred to as "omniderigence" by Day...

"I certainly did not invent the concept(omniderigence), I merely constructed the word to describe it. It is a word I considered to be required for describing the logical and theological fallacy of those who interpret omniscience + omnipotence to equal X, X being the singular source of will and action in the universe.

It summarizes the popular idea of God as a detail-oriented puppet master and Man being without free will, merely playing out his assigned role in God's grand master Plan. This notion of an encyclopedic Plan reduces every being, great and small, to insignificant sock puppets in God's grand self-amusement, a concept which strikes me as not only psychologically nonsensical but bordering on the unbearably silly.

Despite its popularity, omniderigence is, in my opinion, a demonstrably anti-Biblical concept. The fact that God knows the number of hairs on a head or when a sparrow dies does not necessarily require Him to personally pluck them out one-by-one, or strike down the sparrow on the oak tree instead of the one on the birch."

I would only add one final thought. A certain apologist (I don't recall right now exactly which one) once stated that God, assuming He exists, is a very different creature than us human beings. And since He is quite different, and eternal, then it follows that maybe He has a much different view of death than we fallible humans do in this plane of existance. We seem to be caught up in the here and now and often view events from the standpoint of this temporary existance. What if God is going to make everything allright for a particular person and 'dry every tear' 500 years from now? Or a thousand? Just thought I'd throw that out there for discussion. Feel free to leave your thoughts below.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Obama muzzles Catholic chaplains

As Obama's poll numbers plummet, it seems that in the waning days of his soon to be one-term presidency that there is a greater urgency to implement his ideals for a leftist utopia. Why worry about violating Freedom of Religion and Free Speech rights when you have a shot at remaking society?

"The Obama administration has been accused of telling Catholic military chaplains what they can and cannot say from their pulpits after the Army ordered Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners from their archbishop.

The Secretary of the Army feared the letter could be viewed as a call for civil disobedience.

The letter called on Catholics to resist the policy the Obama Administration’s policy that would force institutions affiliated with religious groups to provide coverage for birth control, sterilization and “abortifacients.” The Catholic Church believes the mandate represents an unconstitutional violation of freedom of religion.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told Fox News Sunday the Army violated its chaplains’ constitutional rights by barring them from reading the letter – calling for resistance to the contraceptive coverage mandate.

“The Army and the Obama administration said they couldn’t even issue the letter to complain about the Obama administration’s plan on this policy,” Santorum said, calling it a violation of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

“This is the problem when government tells you they can give you things,” said Santorum, a Catholic. “They can take it away but even worse they can tell you how they are going to exercise this new right consistent with their values instead of the values guaranteed in the Constitution.”

For a better idea of what of Archbishop Broglio's letter contained, just click here. The increasingly authoritarian stance of this administration imposing it's will on Americans is troubling and its no wonder that Americans fear the reelection of Obama by a 2 to 1 margin.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A funny thing happened on the way to the coronation

"For all the hype in republican circles about getting behind the eventual nominee, the MSM seems to be pretty quite about these recent poll results...

"Minnesota looks like a toss up with any of the four candidates having some shot at winning. Santorum holds a small edge there with 29% to 27% for Romney, 22% for Gingrich, and 19% for Paul...

Tuesday has the potential to be a big day for Rick Santorum. In addition ... a Missouri survey we conducted last weekend found him with 45% to 34% for Romney and 13% for Paul. Given how quickly things have moved in this race I wouldn't assume Santorum still has that lead, especially given the momentum Romney has after big wins in Florida and Nevada. But nevertheless it looks like Santorum has a decent chance at wins in Minnesota and Missouri, and a second place finish in Colorado. 72 hours from now he may have supplanted Gingrich as the top alternative to Romney."

I say let this whole thing play out and may they best man win. It will only make for a stronger candidate and I don't think Santorum has even hit his stride yet.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mittleberg on the Problem of Evil and Suffering

A recent article over at Christianpost.com highlights 7 Points of Light as put together by apologist Mark Mittleberg. Although they are not in any particular order, I will highlight a few of them for discussion here if anyone is interested.

"First point of light: the world is as Jesus predicted
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble;" it's good to know that we follow a Savior who really gets it – who sees this fallen world for what it is, and who (contrary to many other religious leaders) tells us the truth about it."

Skeptics often fail to realize that if humans, through their own strivings, could attain a scientific, secular utopia where evil and suffering do not exist, this would provide evidence to disprove the existance of God. Instead, it is just as Jesus said it would be.

"Second point of light: evil was not created or caused by God
The Bible is clear: God is not the author of evil. But he did create us as real human beings with the ability to love and follow him … or not. Unfortunately we chose the "not," and brought sin and evil into the picture.

Third point of light: the cause behind most suffering is human
While it doesn't remove the pain, it can be important to remind people who are tempted to shake their fists at God for the suffering in the world that the vast majority of human pain has been inflicted directly or indirectly by other humans."

Apparently, God did not set out to create robots, but humans. Along with creating humans, He gave us the capacity to utterly accept Him or reject Him. It seems that God is not into coercion and one may accept or reject him based on the existing evidence, general revelation or special revelation. Since we have this capacity for such a wide range of reactions to God and His plan for us, people are capable of many different things ranging from good to evil.

Check out all of the points Mittleberg raises and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

(Above image- Ugandan madman dictator, Idi Amin)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Republican Science

Writer David Klinghoffer's latest offering highlights the divide between Republicans and Democrats insofar as how the two groups think scientific theories should be viewed and and the role they should play in our daily lives...

"What's wrong with Republicans, anyway? Scientists and journalists offer a variety of diagnoses. Some say a backwoods element in the population has abandoned the Enlightenment, a result of poor education or religious fundamentalism or both.

Other experts find no convincing sociological explanation and opt for a more scientific (or scientific-seeming) approach, pointing to faulty brain chemistry. A forthcoming book title by journalist Chris Mooney says it all: The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science and Reality...

In coverage of the evolution debate, for example, Darwin defenders have convinced many journalists that only two sides exist: Darwinists themselves versus advocates of a naïve Scriptural view that insists the world is just thousands of years old.

But most Americans understand that a more credible view exists, one that accepts a history of life going back more than 3 billion years but that doubts blind Darwinian forces can account for life's development, seeing, instead, evidence of purpose and design.

There is a persistent sense that we are being manipulated by fellow citizens who use the prestige of the word "science," coupled with the technique of the excluded middle, to intimidate us in service to a political agenda. Not just any political agenda, but one that violates our own experience of who, as human beings, we really are.

At stake is an anthropological view that, on "scientific" grounds, equates humans with animals who climbed too high in their own estimation and need an attitude adjustment. In this picture, government plays the role of zookeeper. We need our modes of transportation and industrial production tightly constrained, our diets controlled, our claim of possessing marks of divine intention or favor firmly denied, our offspring available immediately from conception to be consumed for medical research...

..It's not "science" that we deny but this effort to redefine man in the name of science that we resist."

The entire article is a great read if you have the chance to peruse it in it's entirety.

Meanwhile, over at the DI, their staff has put together a list of 50 peer-reviewed and peer-edited publications supporting the theory of Intelligent Design. Feel free to bookmark that one for the next time you encounter the snarky, internet materialist who tries pushing the fallacy that 'there is no peer-reviewed science' when it comes to Intelligent Design.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Komen Foundation beginning to smell the coffee

Great news today from our friends over at CBN. It seems that radical femi-nazi doctrine is beginning to lose hold over at least one institution...

"The Susan G. Komen Foundation, the nation's leading breast cancer charity, is severing financial partnerships with some Planned Parenthood affiliates.

The move from the foundation comes as Congress investigates whether Planned Parenthood improperly used public money for abortions.

"While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a long-standing partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission," the foundation said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Founded in 1982, Komen has invested more than $1.9 billion in breast cancer research, health services and advocacy. Its Race for the Cure fundraising events have become a global phenomenon."

I realize that they said only 'some' Planned Parenthood affiliates would be affected, but we'll take what we can get at this point. I could never understand why an organization that is so committed to helping women would contribute to another organization that, at the same time, is actively and selectively destroying women.