jump to navigation

U.S. News’ Erbe Equates Conservative Christians with Radical Terrorists September 25, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in abortion, Christians, culture war, God, liberals, media bias, morality, news, politics, religion, secularism, terrorism.
add a comment

In her September 21 article, Colleen Raezler reported the following:

Bonnie Erbe, contributing editor to U.S. News and World report and host of PBS’ “To the Contrary” recently compared conservative Christians to terrorists.

A soon-to-be published study in the journal Reproductive Health that found states with a high level of residents who subscribe to conservative religious beliefs also have high teen birth rates sparked Erbe’s September 18 observation that Christianity and radical Islamic terrorism share distinct similarities.

Erbe did not find this conclusion “surprising,” and noted that “most of these ‘religious’ states are also so-called red states.” From there she bashed red states as uneducated and poor, and argued that those factors combined with “increased religiosity tend to intertwine and build on each other.” Erbe offered as proof the following example:

It’s been widely reported that Middle Eastern terrorists talk suicide bombers into committing murder by explaining to them that they will be heroes in heaven, their after-life reward will be that they are treated like kings and have all the advantages that elude them here on earth. These promises are believed by people with no money, no education, and nothing to hold onto but their religious beliefs.

So “red state” residents – poor, uneducated and with “nothing to hold onto but their religious beliefs” – are on a par with Islamist terrorists.

What’s not surprising is that Erbe, who has argued in the past that abortion is a “good decision” in a recession and that religiosity “clouds” common sense would look so poorly upon those who ultimately take responsibility for their actions.

I can understand Erbe’s financial need to make a living. Like many of her comrades in journalism, I can also understand why brain in liberally warped. What I cannot understand how she can make such baseless claims while assuming her liberal audience is uneducated and ignorant about terrorists and Christians. One would think a professional media communicator would at least do some research or be honest in her criticism of those groups.

The facts are most modern terrorist and many high-profile mass murderers have college degrees educated people. The father of international terrorism has a degree in engineering. This Egyptian-born murderer was none other than PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. So his protege, Atta, who led the 9-11 terrorist attacks again. America should not forget the teenage domestic terrorists who mass murdered many of their fellow student at Columbine High School were from home with educated parents of high middle class income. The the father of one was a government official.

Like terrorists waging war against the perceived evil empire that threatens their futures, Christians also fight against the corruption moral relativism promulgated by the secular institutions and those who dominate them.

Christians, however, do not have a religion mandate to do violence, Their weapons are truth, morality, and love. Christian hate the life devastating consequences of the commonplace deception in the service of corrupt special interest and life destroying evil.

Death is not a good thing. It is not good when innocent lives are destroyed by foreign terrorist in their fight against an evil government. It is not good when a nation sanctions the killing of unborn children often to save oneself from the inconvenience of having responsibility of raising a children. That is not to say some women have been confronted the decision to end the life of their unborn in order to live.

It is the secularists who are actually most like the terrorists who kill the innocent without just cause. Collectively, they have produced a culture of corruption and death. While they glory in death, so do Islamic terrorists. They are themselves willing to die for their cause. Secularist like Erbe are more willing for the innocent to die for their glorious cause.

When ignorant secular professionals like Erbe spew their venom against opponents of their standards of injustice, they only reveal how poor, blind, and hopeless they really are. They need to discover the liberty that only our nation’s God and Redeemer gives. Only the Creator could possibly repair such screwed up people. He is an expert in social, psychological, and genetic engineering.

Source: Culture Links

Advertisements

Emulating the European Model: Prescription for Failure September 24, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, Chrisitanity, culture war, liberals, multiculturalism, politics, religion, secularism, statism.
add a comment

To say the Obama administration is enamored of the European model would be an understatement—it positively adores it. That’s why the “Change You Can Believe In” crowd is in full gear trying to mimic their economic system, the most visible example of which is its health care program. If only the European model were worth emulating. Sadly, the record is not encouraging.

Every time there is a worldwide economic downturn, the Europeans lag the Americans in recovery. Quite simply, the more market-oriented the economy, the quicker the recovery; European-style socialism trails the U.S. is rebounding precisely because government is anything but nimble. So why the attraction?

What drives the Obama administration to mimic the European model is not its record of achievements; rather, it is the belief that private institutions are not to be trusted. From its opposition to school vouchers to its embrace of a public plan for its health care program, the administration prefers the public sector to the private sector, hands down. It does so in large part because it lusts to take command, whether it be in the form of social, sexual or economic engineering.

Father Knows Best has given way to Government Knows Best. And by creating economic public policies that make men and women more and more dependent on government, the engineers control their destiny, as well as their vote. It does so, unfortunately, at the expense of self-reliance and self-government. As Dennis Prager wisely observes, “the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.” Regrettably, government now dwarfs the individual, the result of which is a diminution in our ability to hold the state at bay.

Statist policies naturally incline toward expansion. Make no mistake about it, the encroachment of the state on civil society is real, the result of which is the creation of a precarious situation for all private institutions. That would include, certainly, religious entities. European observers of all political leanings are quick to point out how genuinely secular those societies have become. The pace of this deracination has quickened, the effect of which has been a movement away from religious indifference toward genuine hostility. Atheism hasn’t been so fashionable since the Enlightenment.

Every statist regime in history has been anti-religious. The church, of course, is rightly seen as a bulwark to the reach of the state. This explains the animus: secularists of this hyper-politicized sort cannot settle for neutrality—they are out to sunder religious traditions and institutions. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that these secular saboteurs are busy flexing their muscles in the U.S., as well as in Europe.

I wrote Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America as a wake-up call. The open assault on our Judeo-Christian ethos has been operative for decades, but never before have we approached a tipping point: we have now reached that stage. The stakes are high as our cultural future hangs in the balance.

From the politically correct programs that mark multiculturalism—a love fest for every civilization save our own—to the sexual libertines who see in Christian sexual ethics a roadblock to genital liberation, we are up against it. Scatological art exhibits are bad enough, but when paired with expressions of Christian bashing, they cross the line many times over. It’s been a long time, of course, since Hollywood found itself capable of portraying Christianity in a positive light, and the fury unleashed against Mel Gibson for making “The Passion of the Christ” underscores the politics involved.

Secular saboteurs show a particular fondness for using the law as a club to stamp out Christianity, torturing out of all recognition the original intent of the Framers; the First Amendment provisions regarding religious liberty have been hit the hardest. Secular elements within the Democratic Party have become bolder and bolder in their disdain for people of faith, driving Catholics out of the party in droves. Perhaps most distressing, the radical secular agenda has penetrated Catholicism, as well as the mainline Protestant denominations, disfiguring them in ways not previously thought imaginable.

In short, Christian bashing is in vogue. That this is happening in a nation which is approximately 80 percent Christian shows the power of a loosely organized, but totally determined, secular minority, and a collapse of will on the part of a sizeable segment of the Christian population. Only a coalition of religious conservatives, across faith lines, can reverse course. Fortunately, as evidenced by the coalition that rallied around Proposition 8 in California, there is reason for optimism.

By Bill Donahue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

A New Victim of Gay Sexual Politics, Evangelical Lutheran Church August 22, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Bible, church, culture war, faith, gay politics, immorality, Jesus Christ, moral law, news, politics, religion, secularism, sex, tolerance.
add a comment

The Washington Times recently reported that a majority of leaders in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently voted to change church law to permit non-celibate gays into the sacred office of the clergy. At the same time, a majority of church leaders changed denominational law to recognize same-sex common law marriage (but by other terminology).

According to the report, “The resolution on clergy, easily the most controversial, passed by 559 ‘yes’ votes (55.3 percent) to 451 ‘no’ votes (44.6 percent). It committed the ELCA to open its clergy ranks to people in “publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”

The vote allowing congregations to ‘”recognize, support and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships,” passed by 619 ‘yes’ (60.6 percent) to 402 ‘no’ votes (39.3 percent) was less controversial than allowing non-celibate gays to represent the church and Christ.

The report noted two responses these developments: Those who believe it will result in many people leaving the church and those who believe it will result in significant church growth. One member of the Metropolitan New York Synod said her gays were the reason her congregation was growing. Leaders of representing most American and foreign synods voiced strong disapproval of these decisions because of their opposition to the teaching of the church.

As with other mainline denominations, the democratic politics and secularly defined social relevance appears to be the most important factors in these decisions.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in American cannot be charge with religious fundamentalism. They have tossed the fundamentals out. The most important fundamental is abiding under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As recorded in the book of Revelation, the risen Christ told the churches in Asia Minor that he hated the sexually immoral politics and practices that were being spread by the Nicolaitans and Jezebel, who was likely one of their leaders in Thyatira. Like the Laodiceans, they can only be charged with being faithful secular fundamentalists.

The still popular song lyric sung by Jackie DeShannon expresses the religious sentiment of modern sexual politics, “all we need now is love … sweet [tolerant] love” not holiness and truth.

The problem with all of this is not whether the church will grow, or split, or gain social relevance. After this testing of faithfulness, the problem will be when and how the Lord will come and fight against the immoral and their supporters. As Christ promised the Pergamum church, he will come and fight against them with the sword of His mouth. If that means anything like his warning to the unrepenting Jezebel, they and their loving supporters will receive the same judgment that the members of the tolerantly immoral cities of Sodom and Gomorrah received.

Those who do not like a God who actually judges and punishes moral crime (sin, immortality) hate the rule of law and especially moral law.

Source:

The Future of Christianity July 15, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Chrisitanity, Christian nation, democracy, God, politics, polls, religion, research, secularism.
add a comment

Is Christianity in the U.S. Doomed? This is the question headlining the front cover the World Magazine. The inveterate optimist and editor-in-chief, Marvin Olasky, answers this question in the article titled “The Sixth Wind?” The content of his positive response to recent gloom and doom of hopeful secularists, atheists, and Muslims comes from interviews with several different authors.

One of his sources were the co-authors of the best seller God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is Changing the World, John Micklethwait and Adrain Woolridge of The Economist. As their title suggests, they fail to see Christianity as a dying religion. On the contrary, it is becoming more relevant as is other faiths.

Jon A. Shileds, who wrote The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right, also see a different picture of the politically involved religious right than the fearsome fascist described by the Left. Here again, his book title suggests what he discovered while hanging around the Right. He witnessed their leaders seeking to train there rank-and-file activist to practice respectful deliberation. He failed to infiltrate their terrorist plots against the left’s political agenda.

Olasky apparently drew on the works of other authors like Terry Eagleton’s Reason, Faith, and Revolution. His book answers the question why people are suddenly talking about God: Because “nothing else–not science, not reason, not liberalism, not economics–works.” Atheism has nothing to offer humans, only God offers hope. Even A.N. Wilson is said to have dropped his atheism.

Olasky finally directly addresses the question whether the trends represent a sixth wind of Christian revival in America. He says, “I don’t know. He says that past experience informs him that there is no reason to be depressed about our current problems. “Truth trumps everything, including liberal cleverclogs.

Olasky’s began his article with poll data that reported a 10 percent drop of Americans who identified themselves as Christian. Previously, 86 percent of Americans claimed to be Christians. Does this mean 24 percent are now atheists or agnostics? No. it just meant 8 percent more (16%) disassociated with any religion or denomination. Most still believe in God and regard religion as important to their lives.

Christianity is alive and mostly well in America.

The problem is the disassociation of the original Christian values from institutional and political affairs. The values of secular fundamentalism–atheistic humanism–pervade our key public institutions like education, big business, and government. If you do the research, you will find Darwinian evolution is underlying dogma justifying both secular fundamentalism and values of atheistic humanism. Our social problems are directly linked to the prevalence of those values in our public institutions. In education, this is called the hidden curriculum that is taught to every child and adult most of the lives most of the time. We all believe what we value and act according ly.

Source: World, June 20, 2009

The Extraordinary Evil of Bernie Madoff July 6, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Bailout, capitalism, crime, economic stimulus, economy, federal government, Federal Reserve, morality, news, politics, secularism, socialism.
3 comments

As I was opening some previously unopened e-mail newsletters, I came across another Bill Bonner financial commentary that I just could not resist posting. An American, held up in London’s financial district, Bonner’s insight are as enlightening and they are through-provokingly ironic. The Bonner bite tickles something between the large funny bone atop the shoulders. And, though the Madoff scandal is not really funny, his accusers are likely chuckling at the rest of us for believing them. That is, if Bonner’s insight are more true than not.

Hmmm … let’s see.

Poor Bernie. The man has been ordered to spend 150 years in the hoosegow. What for? Who did he kill? A century and a half seems a little excessive for a financial crime. You could hold up three liquor stores and rape a whole convent and still not get 150 years. With a little bit of good lawyer-ing, a history of child abuse in the family, and good behavior in the big house, you’d be back on the street in 18 months.

But all the papers seem delighted. “Locked up for Life!” says one of today’s headlines. The judge “threw the book at him,” says another. His victims wanted him to get no mercy. The judge gave him none, imposing the maximum sentence. He is “extraordinarily evil,” said the man on the bench.

Justice has been done. Right?

Here in the building with the gold balls on the roof, we’re not so sure. We stand up for lost causes…die hards…and scalawags. Besides, we’re not convinced that Bernie is extraordinarily evil at all. He seems much more like an ordinary evil to us.

They say he defrauded investors out of $65 billion. The amount is unusual, but the crime is as common as income tax evasion. Who gets 150 years for evading income taxes? Heck, in civilized countries it’s not a crime at all – but a civil misdemeanor, subject to fine and retribution, not punishment.

But didn’t he lie to investors? Well, yes…he exaggerated the returns investors were likely to get from his fund. But if you put every fellow on Wall Street who does that in jail, you wouldn’t have any room for stick-up men and wife beaters.

Isn’t he the biggest financial scammer of all time? Well…he’s the title-holder now. But he has a lot of competition close on his heels. Bernie’s crime was taking money from people under false pretenses…and then being unable to give it back to them. How is that different from the financing activities of the US government?

This year alone, the feds will borrow 50 times as much money as Bernie managed to take in during his whole 20-year career. They can only pay it back by borrowing even more money from more lenders. This is not very different from the typical “Ponzi” scheme, except that it’s the government doing it. Eventually, the suckers are going to lose a lot of money.

And when you balance Bernie’s sins against his virtues, we’re not sure the man doesn’t come out at least as well as many of his accusers. While Bernie was pretending to make his investors rich, the SEC was pretending to protect them from Bernie. In fact, neither were really doing what they claimed. Which is to say, both are guilty of ordinary evil.

As we pointed out yesterday, nothing is as dangerous as good luck. Madoff was not extraordinarily evil; he was just extraordinarily lucky. He was plying his trade when the feds were pumping up the biggest financial bubble in history. No wonder so much hot gas came his way. His luck ran out when the bubble popped. And now a court has found him guilty of fraud and a judge has ordered him locked up for a period equal to roughly the time between the end of the US War Between the States and the resignation of Richard Nixon.

While Bernie is behind bars, the SEC and FED officials are still at large. Both are clearly guilty of dereliction and negligence.

But, what is the point of keeping Madoff in prison? He represents no threat. Rather than pay $30,000 per year to keep him locked up, we suggest that he be forced to do community service work. He should be pressed into service as the next head of the Federal Reserve after Ben Bernanke’s term expires in December. With Madoff in the big office, there would be no longer any illusions about what sort of bank the Fed is running.

What a minute! In other commentary Bonner, John Mauldin, and other financial experts claim that the federal government stimuluses and bailouts are only making the situation worse. They claim when economic misbehavior occurs long enough a correction always takes place. It the world of parents and children a correction is called a spanking or a loss of desert, playtime, texting, or some other consumptive privilege. However, the parental federal government in all of their secular wisdom is desperately trying to convince us that bad behaviors don’t have bad consequences. It’s the mentality that you can steal and kill without the blow-back called justice if, and only if, you play by their unnatural rules. In this case, they are desperate to overcome the moral discipline of capitalism. (No wonder they are pushing socialism so fiercely.)

All of the above reveals Madoff is merely a smoke screen diverting the public attention away from their own misbehaviors. While making the Madoff look like the bad guy, the federal government is getting away with …..

To read the rest of Bill Bonner’s commentary, go to The Daily Reckoning.

Fetal Stem Cells, Parkinson Disease, and Secular gods—promises never to be kept? June 22, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in ethics, medical science, news, religion, science, secularism, stem cell research.
add a comment

The following is from a recent article written by Gregory W. Rutecki, MD and published in Bioethics Weekly, an on-line publication of the The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity.

When fetal stem cells are publicly discussed, three diseases—often represented by their celebrity spokespersons—lead a list of potential therapeutic applications. They are Parkinson Disease (Michael J Fox), paralysis as a result of spinal cord injury (previously the late Christopher Reeve), and Diabetes Mellitus, type 1, (either Mary Tyler Moore or Ron Santo). The media packages the information as foregone conclusions: fetal stem cells are a veritable source of untapped, and then implied, “unlimited” therapeutic uses. A stunning recent series of setbacks in the context of fetal stem cells and Parkinson Disease (PD), however, has not received equivalent publicity. It appears that the promise of this controversial, and as of yet unproven, therapeutic modality for an estimated one million persons with PD, has been scientifically exposed and found wanting.

The journal Nature Medicine published three articles in May 2008 analyzing eight patients from three separate cohorts who received human fetal midbrain tissue transplants 9-16 years earlier for PD.1 The published results led to two insightful editorial commentaries. The studies have dispelled the myth that fetal stem cells are a straightforward panacea for PD. In addition, they propose a plausible theory that these cells, even with continued research, may never work in this regard.

From a scientific perspective, it appears that the use of fetal stem cells is akin to treating a symptom, but not the real disease of PD.

From an ethical perspective, a veritable cornucopia has been opened. “How is fetal cell therapy ethically suspect?” Well, let’s count the additional ways!” Not only has the critical issue of personhood in the donor not been addressed adequately, but now, the May studies have exposed fetal stem cell therapy for PD for what it really is–a potentially dangerous therapy that is not curative, not standardized, and occasionally fatal. How can informed consent be obtained if all these other substantive ethical issues continue to be ignored? As an aside, one study above, was also an example of “stem cell transplant tourism.”6 The patient and family had no recourse if there were legal concerns after his death because the transplant team resided in another country.

It is time to place a moratorium on fetal stem cells for the treatment of PD. Not only has the donor’s personhood been assaulted, but furthermore, scientific data has also questioned safety and efficacy not only in the present, but well into the future.

I posted the above in part because it offers additional evidence against fetal stem cell research as the next means of humanity’s salvation. Humanists and secularists used to criticize the testimony to divine healing by the moral and religious as unreliable and childish make-believe. Yet, it seems that secularists now practice the same type of faith in their god–science. Worse, they are willing to sacrifice unborn humans to their gods for the shabby hope that some of themselves might be saved for a moment from death. The superstitious ancients, e.g. Canaanites, did the same.

No one wants to die, but the inevitable is not the real issue. The real issue is what comes after death. Secularists live in denial, but the religious live by faith in the evidence. Practicing medical doctors have discovered their resuscitated patient continue to live after death. Maurice Rawlings, MD has written several books on his findings and so has Dr. Sabom.

Today, the tables have turned somewhat. Testimonies of divine healing and life after death is often backed by medical evidence. While medical and other science studies reveal the ineptitude of the secularist savior. But, then medical science never has healed anyone. It has often provided effective means to aiding and enhancing the body’s own healing mechanisms. Guess who created the body and its self-healing mechanisms–God.

I cannot resist the urge to mention the supposed global warming issue. In all of the research and debate, the underlying problem is not too many hydro- carbons or depletion of the ozone. The fundamental cause is science’s great inventions. Why isn’t anyone criticizing science? One possible answer is that demeaning the religion of another demonstrates unacceptable intolerance. Money is likely another reason. Just consider how many corporations, politicians, professors, engineers, and scientists have made lots of money helping to ruin our environment.

No fun to be involuntarily fatherless on Father’s Day June 20, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in children, family, gay politics, medical science, secularism.
add a comment

From Norwegian national newspaper “Aftenposten” on May 22, 2009:

Translated into English

I grew up having a sperm cell as a father and can tell lesbians and the adventurous that it has not been fun at all. One is and remains a person without a history and without an answer when the topic of fathers is mentioned, and that is often! It is easier to refer to an adoption or a death. But a father without a name! I can promise you that it hurts! It will never be cool. Neither will it ever be “common.”

Even a desired and loved child has a need for parents of both sexes. Life itself has convinced me that living with a mother and a father makes one mature for the choices one must make as a young adult, make in love for a person of the opposite sex. I regard anonymous sperm donation as a psychological experiment I that I would never impose on anyone.

Ingun Bøhn,
Oslo

Source: http://pfox.org/No-fun-involuntarily-fatherless.html