In Bed with the President

Actually, they are nothing at all alike.

1. Voting for president—even if we believe he will become the most powerful man in the world—is not as important as choosing to become one spiritually with another person.

2. Voting for president—even if we are passionate about his ideals and policies—does not obligate us to continue to love him if he chooses to change his opinions about certain things.*

3. Voting for president—even if we are super excited about doing it for the very first time, in what people say (don’t they always) is the most important election ever—is not as big of a decision as choosing whom you want to spend the rest of your life with in unconditional love.*

*I am of the firm opinion that loosing one’s virginity should happen only to the one you have married and intend to spend the rest of your life with. If you hold to a different opinion, those three reasons may not make much sense. They are, however, a Christian way of thinking.

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The U.N. and the Muslim Uprising

A couple of days ago, I posted about the White House’s attempt to get the video pulled from google to help stem the violence in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Now the U.N. has jumped into the fray as well. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave his opinion on what constituted free speech. Here are a sampling of quote. Note, these quotes were taken from the article on Reuters. I have been unable to find the source or the actual text of what Ki-moon stated. It is possible that in the past he has condemned hateful rhetoric toward Christians as well, but I have searched some of his speeches and have been unable to find a statement toward that effect either.

“Freedoms of expression should be and must be guaranteed and protected, when they are used for common justice, common purpose.”

“When some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected in such a way.”

“My position is that freedom of expression, while it is a fundamental right and privilege, should not be abused by such people, by such a disgraceful and shameful act.”

So again, where is the outrage against the humiliation of Christian values and beliefs? No one that I have read seems appalled at this blatant double standard. Could it be that the world is still too afraid of the terrorists to call out this hypocrisy. Have the terrorists already won?

The Slippery Slope

Conservatives like to use the slippery slope argument to point out why things they disagree with shouldn’t be allowed. If you allow x, it will eventually lead to allowing y.

“That would never happen,” cry others.

Abortion is one of those areas. We already see the horrific consequences of so called “partial-birth” abortion. And though the idea of infanticide is not new, it now has a new name: “after-birth abortion.”

The abstract of an article by Dr. Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini from The Journal of Medical Ethics:

“Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

and in the conclusion:

“First, we do not put forward any claim about the moment at which after-birth abortion would no longer be permissible, and we do not think that in fact more than a few days would be necessary for doctors to detect any abnormality in the child. In cases where the after-birth abortion were requested for non-medical reasons, we do not suggest any threshold, as it depends on the neurological development of newborns, which is something neurologists and psychologists would be able to assess.”

The whole article can be accessed here.

Right, no slippery slope exists.

Abortion and infanticide are human rights issues. The left, which never had a leg to stand on in this debate to begin with, is coming closer and closer to losing all credibility in their worship of the god of selfishness.

“You Didn’t Build That”

If you haven’t seen or heard this quote yet from our president, you should know that both sides of the aisle are responding to it inappropriately. It occurred in a speech in VA. Here is the entire text. Many, many people have jumped on the line, ripped out of context that says, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” There’s even a website.

So, three questions for those who like to repeat, repost, and defame our president with this line:

1. Did you read the entire speech?

2. Do you understand why context matters?

3. Why didn’t you quote this line from the president in the same speech: “when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative”

By the way, that line is also taken out of context, too, but that doesn’t mean that the other side should start quoting that either. Truth is always to be fought for and preserved regardless of how badly we want to win.

But the other side of the political aisle has also made a folly. On Obama’s Truth Team website, they claim that the that in his quote, clearly refers to roads and bridges, not business. They are wrong. After listening to the speech, I would agree that is what Obama meant, but the grammar certainly does not refer to roads and bridges. Grammatically, that refers to business.  A mistake? A poorly written speech? Maybe, but let’s put the-need-to-defend-or-defame-at-all-costs aside and speak the truth.

Interpretation and Dialogue?

After President Obama’s announcement that he supports the right of homosexuals to marry, people have weighed in on both sides with renewed fervor. Or does it just seem that way? The dialogue (if we dare call it that) has been going on for a long time; though, I’m not sure dialogue is the right word. It is more along the lines of sound bites and rehashed phrases with little substantive argument on either side, at least in the public square.

For instance, NPR has an article front and center today—2nd article, middle column. The article shows people on both sides of the issue using the Bible for their purposes. The article even has someone quoting the oft used line,

“‘When you read the Bible, you can find justification for almost anything,’ she says, ‘including slavery, the subjection of women and an argument that the sun actually revolves around the earth.'” The she is Susan Russell, an Episcopal priest in California. This is true of course; you can find justification for almost anything—if you take things out of context, which is what many Christians do who are on both sides of this issue—and lots of other issues as well.

For instance (rabbit trail alert!), someone this morning sent me a link for a man who was coming to the area to talk about prophecy. So, I went to his website to confirm the fact that I wasn’t going to hear him. He too was weighing in on the homosexual marriage issue (ok, so it’s not that big of a rabbit trail), but with a different slant: why Jesus was coming back soon. And he used the Bible to show why. But his use of the Bible was no different than Susan Russell’s. He, too, pulled things out of context. You can read the article here, but here is a summary of his logic.

1) God destroyed Sodom for their homosexuality. 2) The author says, “Jesus said as the days of Lot so will it [sic] be the time when I return to the earth.” 3) Therefore, since homosexuality is prevalent now as it was then, Jesus must be returning soon.

Ok, let’s break down this logic. 1) While homosexuality (actually, I think there is an argument for rampant sexual perversion, not just homosexuality) was evident in Sodom, that is not the reason for it’s destruction. The sexual perversion of the day was a part of a greater spiritual issue. In Ezekiel 16 we read that Sodom’s pride, material prosperity, and love of pleasure (including sexual perversion) was her downfall. The author has failed to consider the context of not only Genesis but the narrative of the Old Testament as a whole. 2 & 3) The author takes the “days of Lot” phrase out of its context in Luke 17. Jesus was not referring to their sin, but to their going on with life without a care in the world. They were simply going on with the daily activities of life without ever realizing that they were in peril. That is how it will be when Jesus returns, nothing unusual going on. This is sloppy logic and sloppy reading.

Now back to Russell’s quote. The slavery issue is beyond complex. I think she is wrong—with qualifications, but this post would get really, really long, and that misses the point. The other two: subjugation of women and the earth revolving around the sun (did she really say that?) are another issue. People have believed the Bible says this in part because, I think, Christians have acted that way. Therefore, we assume the Bible gave them permission to do so. Yet, the Bible does not, anywhere give Christians permission to subjugate women, nor does the Bible say the sun revolves around the earth, any more than I say it does when I remark, “What a beautiful sunrise!” To use the subjugation of women issue when bringing up homosexuality is not to give the Bible a clear reading. To use the sun/earth example is a subtle attempt, without any rational support, to paint people who are opposed to homosexual marriage as flat earthers, i.e, ignorant. The irony there is palpable.

What is interesting is the author of the article also jumps into the fray, saying that the Bible condones polygamy (which again comes from a failure to read the Bible in context), without giving any justification. Which is another problem I have. People on both sides of issues invoke the authority of the Bible without giving any meaningful proof. And then people say, “You can justify almost anything with the Bible.”

Actually, you can’t, and to throw out that sound bite in hopes of silencing an opponent shows an inability to engage in rational conversation in hopes of changing someone’s mind. We have lost the art of civil discourse in this nation. And we have lost the art of rational discussion. My hope is that we could return to a rational, civil dialogue and engage the Bible in its context without picking and choosing what we like.

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What the People Want

The French elections have brought an end to Sarkozy’s presidency. I am wondering how far away we are here in America from the types of comments that were reported. It seems at least some of the people didn’t really like the president-elect Hollande, but liked Sarkozy even less. With the debt crisis in Europe (and here as well), one would think that people would vote economics. But it seems that maybe they just don’t have what it takes to endure the pain that will cause. So at least lets be happy while the ship sinks.

“Another Paris voter highlighted this anti-Sarkozy vote, saying she’s backing Hollande, even though his program is ‘suicidal.'”

And the same idea, though worded a little differently…

“‘He’ll raise the minimum wage, increase civil servants. But France is already in debt,’ said Florence Macrez. His fiscal reform project will only increase the pressure especially on the middle class, she added.”

What this screams is not a love of socialism, as some will undoubtedly say, but a vast hopelessness. I would agree that socialist agendas (Hollande wants to raise taxes and increase government spending) have led to the debt crisis, and that people do get used to being cared for by the government to their own detriment, but this just feeds an existence that has been fed so many lies for so long that what has resulted is a hopelessness that pervades all.

The humanist philosophy, which at one time said that man was the measure of all things, has turned on itself and now detests who man is. And the masses have believed it (at least about everyone else). So now they just seek for things to be calm, as one voter put it:

“On behalf of my compatriots, I felt quite insulted. He was so aggressive. I hope things will calm down.”

I met a woman in church one time who said she was leaving because the new pastor seemed too excited. She said church was a place to be calm. She just wanted to come and not be bothered, not convicted, not forced to think. She just wanted to sit and have someone soothe her for an hour. I don’t know if that is the sentiment of the French, but those quotes certainly make it seem that way. Hopefully Hollande can soothe them all as the ship sinks.

What’s a Christian To Do?

If you are unsure how to behave in this politically charged season, you can find no end of advice in blogland. 

Here and here and here and here

Those took all of two minutes to find. Don’t know if you’ll find anything you like or not. 

But, if my opinion means anything to you, here’s one that I thought was right on the money.