Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ironies Abound

Jazz Shaw posted this ironic bit:

People Who Publish Lists of Gun Owners Cry Foul over List of Muslims.

If you understand that every Muslim is potentially dangerous, but that only a small percentage actually commit jihad, while registered legal gun owners are even more law abiding than the average citizen, the hypocrisy of the Leftists' position becomes perfectly clear.

The Fascist States of America

Perhaps as a result of the passage of time, the isms of the 20th Century have lost some of the power to scare people, and in any case, seem no longer to be taught. The Soviet Union officially disolved itself in December 1991. Before that, then existing fascist governments were defeated in World War II at great cost in treasure and lives. But just because the governments which embodied these ideas collapsed or were defeated doesn't mean that the ideas on which they were originally formed died with them.

Communism, Socialism, and Fascism lie as a continuum from absolute totalitarianism to slightly less totalitarianism, to more hidden totalitarianism. They are all products of the Left, which seeks everywhere and always to unify what they term as the "masses" behind an idea, and seek to place in power a leader who embodies and represents the ideal. Any dissent from the ideal is suppressed by prohibition, prison, torture, and death.  In all such systems of government, the individual is treated more or less as an interchangeable cog in a machine.  An individual has worth so long as he can perform some task that state finds of value, and is discarded once he no longer can or will perform. The isms of the 20th Century can be summed up as collectivism

In collective systems, the state attempts to take over the role of God, and is, of course, a jealous god, brooking no opposition.  Christians and Jews who raise objections to any policy the state imposes, especially on Biblical grounds, are seen as enemies of the collective, to be dealt with as they always deal with enemies of the collective, by prohibition, prison, or death.  So, for example, when Hobby Lobby objects to Obamacare requirements to provide abortion in its offerings, and cites their Christian beliefs, they are sued.  Must not have any dissent.

The plight of the Little Sisters of the Poor in their fight against the government is illustrative. The Little Sisters rightly claim that life is a gift from God, and that no one has the right to take that life, except for God himself, who granted it in the first place. Even worse, we are especially enjoined not to kill our own children. But agents of the state, ignoring our founding documents, refuse to recognize a power greater than themselves. They insist that the Little Sisters will follow their imperious decree, or will be punished. Over the years since the progressive era began, roughly 120 years, we have seen our government at all levels impose more and more collectivists laws, rules, and rulings. The individual is being squeezed out of the public square, along with any religion that does not recognize the state as the all powerful. Rulings like Roe v. Wade and the more recent Obergefell the Supreme Court has steadily taken decsions out of the hands of the States, and made a collective decision for all. In doing so, they have minted new rights as though they were demigods capable of such. The jailing of Kim Davis for refusal to follow the ruling is, of course, a typical collectivist reaction. The individual must bend to their rules, no matter that God himself is against it, and no matter that thousands of years of human history argue the other way.

Eileen Toplansky has an excellent article that makes our current situation explicit at the American Thinker entitled Is America on its Way to Fascism? toplansky writes:
As personal liberty is eroded in this country and Americans are uninformed about the "violence and terror of totalitarian communism and fascism," a reflection of Ebenstein's ideas is very much warranted.

When countering whether fascism is a threat to democratic nations, Ebenstein maintains that "the danger in a democracy like the United States is not outright fascism ... but the insidious and unnoticed corroding of democratic habits[.]" Consider the burgeoning growth of intolerance against dissenting ideas that permeates so many American universities.

Ebenstein maintains that "the danger of not recognizing this pre-fascist attitude is that, should it become full fledged fascism (as it well might in an economic depression or in some other disaster of the sort that periodically shakes men's faith in democracy) recognition of it as a threat may come too late for those whose earlier judgment was too lenient." That so many people cannot see the inherent danger of a Bernie Sanders is disturbing...
Note, though, that Eberstein was writing in 1954. In the years since, the collectivists have taken over the media, academia, the foundations, many mainline Churches, and have made headway in the halls of government. Under succeeding administrations, the Constitution has been shredded one piece at a time, until Nixon could utter that if the President did it, it wasn't illegal, and Obama simply ignores it. But why shouldn't he when even the Supreme Court ignores it. When reading George Orwell's classic take 1984 in the 60s, most of us viewed it as a cautionary tale, little realizing that some of us read it as a handbook. The joke is on us.

 Toplansky closes with this:
Americans need to tremble at the stealth totalitarian forces that are encircling the nation – and be reminded that "[t]hose willing to repress individual liberty for the sake of a strong state" create a citizenry of "docile instruments."
If anything, I suspect Toplansky is understating her case.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Being Thankful for the Left?

Sultan Knish says that in fact we should Be Thankful for the Left, and after you read his post, you will see why. The Sultan, the alter ego of Daniel Greenfield writes:
There is no light without darkness and without evil, the good often fails to find their own voice. It is in the presence of slavery that we remember the worth of freedom. Men and nations are forged in war; not only the war of shell and shot, but the war of ideas. War teaches us to fight for what we have. Wars of ideas teach us to stand up for what we believe.

It is because conservatives are basically hopeful and confident that we are also prone to extremes of despair. Too many us were shocked at the decline of our society because of our great confidence in it. The faith that conservatives have in America makes them vulnerable to being crushed by the latest victory of the left.
I have experienced the despair of which he speaks, personally. The Left is on the march in American society seemingly everywhere. Campuses are on fire again, as they were in the sixties, but now it is over perceived minor slights and insults. The ferociousness of such protests belie the reasons given, so that it is obvious something else is going on. The "Affordable" Care Act is proving to be anything but affordable for many families, and oh by the way, doesn't provide actual care. Global warming climate change has been so thoroughly debunked and shown to be massive hoax, that it is quite literally unbelievable that it sill on the political agenda of the Left. No matter how compassionate one may be, it has become obvious that the open border policy has not worked, and that we must change our immigration policy and begin to actively enforce existing laws. Meanwhile, to anyone who thinks even superficially about it, even leftists must believe that the very people who are the problem with guns in their hands are the same ones who will not be stopped by another law on the books. Even some very liberal friends now carry a firearm, or are asking how to go about obtaining a permit, or what things to look for in a defensive handgun. Despite all this, I encounter conservative thought in the general public only occasionally. Glenn Beck used to say we surround them, but that has not been my experience.

Leftists seem to be impervious to actual facts on the ground, or what they believe are facts are not.  As Reagan so colorfully put it, the problem isn't what Leftists don't know, it is what they know that isn't so.  In the Leftist mind, using the government to steal the results of your work and distributing it to individuals and companies they like is a form of Christian charity, and if you object you just are not as compassionate as the Leftists.  In their twisted thought process, the Bible is a myth, so the ancient Jewish homeland actually belongs to the Israelis' ancient enemy, and David's ancient capitol of Jerusalem should be in Palestinian hands,  This kind of thinking would also make a person believe that ancient aliens built the Pyramids, and not the Egyptians.

To counter the despair that conservatives have felt, particularly over the last seven years, Greenfield gives us a little perspective:
Eight years of Obama is bad, but try sixty-nine years of Communism on for size. That's what generations of Russians had to live through. Ask some of the conservative activists in Europe who have never had any of the freedoms that we still take for granted whether they've given up hope. Ask people from countries where criticism of Islam can mean death, whether they've given up hope.

There are countless tales of courage over the last century of men and women who did not stop fighting, who did not stop teaching their children so that they would not stop resisting. And those stories have not ended. They continue today in Europe, Asia and South America. And those people would envy the conditions under which we fight, where we can protest without being shot or sent to prison, where we can have a shot at winning elections if we try hard enough.

Where we are, compared to 100 percent of the rest of the world, still free.
Whenever faced with history, and I have a chance to think, I am always humbled. It is all true, and I have little to complain about. Then there is this:
Besides these prosaic challenges, the daily routines and the occasional tragedies, there are uncommon challenges that we face when the foe comes to our gate and demands that we bow and become slaves. This is the challenge that we face as a society, a nation and a people. It demands more of us and it ennobles us. It makes us a great people and a great nation, rather than only another people who seek to live in comfort with no thought for anything else.
May I remain faithful, Father, that all is going according to your plan, and may I do my part as a good and faithful servant. Amen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Politics and Organized Crime

Dinesh D'Souza has an article today at Fox News that askes the question What Does Politics Have in Common with Organized Crime?. It turns out, quite a bit. D'Souza was the man who violated campaign finance laws (which frankly are Unconstitutional) and the administration decided to make an example of him and teach him a lesson. D'Souza
In 2012 I exceeded the campaign finance limit by giving $20,000 more than allowed to the Senate campaign of a college friend of mine, Wendy Long. Relentlessly prosecuted by the Obama administration for this comparatively minor infraction, I was sentenced to eight months of overnight incarceration in a confinement center. The Obama administration clearly wanted to reach me a lesson—and I learned one, although not the one they intended.
My theory of government is that small tribes characterized man's organization until these small tribes joined with others to become larger, seeking to better defend themselves from other marauding tribes. At some point, the most ruthless thugs began to acquire status, and eventually came to lead these larger collection of tribes. Naturally, being thugs, they made war on other thugs, causing more tribes to come together seeking protection. Eventually, the thugs began to take on titles, called themselves "noble" passed these titles and privileges to their heirs. Eventually, to bring order out of chaos of the various warring thugs, the most ruthless thug made a claim to rule over the rest, and if they could make these claims stick, called themselves "kings." The first real change to this feudal system came when a rag-tag army managed against all odds to defeat their king, and established a constitution for themselves that limited government to certain specific tasks deemed necessary to a national defense and the regulation of commerce between the sovereign states that made up the new nation.

Unfortunately, we have allowed what is, frankly, a criminal organization to take over our country that once had a limited government.  Despite powers invested in the Congress to do something about this intolerable situation, the members of Congress seem not to be inclined to take the necessary steps.  What does this say about us that our Congresscritters don't seem to feel compelled to do what we ask?

In any case, read D'Souza's article.  Consider, if you have forgotten, Fast and Furious, Obamacare, the IRS scandal, the Bengazhi scandal, the current attempt to bring ISIS terrorists in through the front door, and the ever present attempt to disarm us.  Then you decide.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Closer Look at real Thanksgiving Day

When I was in school, the Indians, later to become Native Americans, later still to become outraged and offended Original Americans, all of which is wordier and even less descriptive, were being rehabilitated along the lines of "the noble savage."  Formerly the Indians were thought of as savage, godless barbarians who deserved whatever horrors we dished out to them, which was not true.  But neither was the newer version.  In any case, in this morality play, the hapless Pilgrims arrived on the shores of Plymouth unable to fend for themselves, but were met and guided by friendly Indians of the noble savage variety, who showed them how to plant corn and hunt turkey.  The colonists learned so well that they held a great feast and invited the Indians to the ho-down and all lived happily ever after.  The end.

This was intended to instill in our callow minds the virtue of sharing.

Now, sharing is a Christian virtue, under certain circumstances.   This is important, you must be sharing your own stuff.  Let's say you have some used clothing that you can no longer wear because you your girth, but it is still like new.  Taking it down to the Salvation Army store is both good stewardship and a form of sharing with someone who is not as far along that expanding waistline thingy. If, on the other hand, someone comes along and asks you if he can use that Toyota truck over there, and you say "yes," even though the truck actually belongs to your neighbor, that is not sharing. It also is not sharing unless it is done voluntarily.  If I come up to you, point a gun and say something like "please donate to the PolyKahr fund," even though I say "please" and use the word "donate," it is still stealing.  And that is why liberals get no "virtue" credit for sharing funds collected through taxation with others.  They also can not claim compassion or any other virtue.  Instead, what they have done would be classified as stealing, and they would be put in prison for it if it were done by you or me.

This brings up an interesting point.  Many times liberals will argue that the fund of taxes collected is like a community fund, similar to a church or the NRA, and since they pay taxes too, they should have an equal share in saying where those taxes should be spent.  First, as I pointed out above, taxes are compelled by force of arms.  Just ask anyone in jail for not paying his taxes.  The government can maintain the fiction of "voluntary" payment, but that only lasts so long as the average persons tax burden is a nuisance.  At some point, people begin to seek out ways to avoid paying taxes.  A church or the NRA are completely different, because they can not force anyone to pay.  Instead, they must offer something that people want to pay for.  If the NRA, for example, does not meet my needs, I will not join.  Indeed, for many years I did not join because the NRA talked about the Second Amendment as if its main focus was hunting.  If liberals, using their own money, want to start a fund to give welfare checks to needy families, they are welcome to do so, and would find many conservatives who would contribute as well.  But liberals instead want to use other peoples money and then pat themselves on the back for being compassionate.  Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

The story of the Puritan pilgrims is in fact available to us today in the form of the detailed journals kept by the Governor of the colony, William Bradford.  Bradford's journals reveal not the rosy picture of corrupt and vile Europeans meeting uncorrupted noble savages who save them from destruction.  Instead, Bradford's reveal something about the nature of men, everywhere and at all times.  But for that story I'll take you to the Heritage Foundation where Michael Franc writes that the Pilgrims Beat Communism with Free Market.

 In the purest sense, of course, that isn't entirely true. The original Christians living in Jerusalem in the immediate aftermath of the events of Easter, did in fact have a communal existence, though it wasn't "communism" as expounded by Karl Marx.  You can read about it as described in the Acts of the Apostles. Everyone brought their goods together and the needy were fed and their other basic needs were met. And it worked for a time. Indeed, such communal living has been practiced by small groups of tight knit people since man first stood upright. The Puritans wanted to return to that pure form of Christianity before it became corrupted by the church hierarchy, thus the name "Puritans." Communal living can be sustained right up to the point when people begin to go hungry, or begin to freeze at night. In other words, when competition for limited resources sets in. As Franc writes:
The most able and fit young men in Plymouth thought it an "injustice" that they were paid the same as those "not able to do a quarter the other could." Women, meanwhile, viewed the communal chores they were required to perform for others as a form of "slavery."
There it is, the corruption at the heart of man's every evil act. The cure of course, was the parceling out of the land to each family. Each family could then grow their own food, with the implicit threat that if you don't work, you don't eat. So it has ever been. Franc again:
On the brink of extermination, the Colony's leaders changed course and allotted a parcel of land to each settler, hoping the private ownership of farmland would encourage self-sufficiency and lead to the cultivation of more corn and other foodstuffs.

As Adam Smith would have predicted, this new system worked famously. "This had very good success," Bradford reported, "for it made all hands very industrious." In fact, "much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been" and productivity increased. "Women," for example, "went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn."
We celebrate this week our own thanksgivings, remembering to be grateful for the many blessings we have, and continue to receive. In that sense, perhaps the morality play version of the original Thanksgiving day may be more appropriate. But we shouldn't erase history, because those who do are indeed doomed to repeat it. Karl Marx's version of communism shares in the basic error that communal systems always do.  When resources are limited, one must distribute those resources by rationing, and the imposition of force (that means guns for the more obtuse.)

On the other hand, and as so many on the left have noted, capitalism, as now practiced is better by only a thin margin. Without Christian charity, capitalism devolves to dog eat dog, and must ultimately be controlled by excess regulation and enforcement by (yes) government force. Both systems, with out a Christian basis, lead to rule by a strong man and a further crippling of God's plan. It is only be following Christ, that man can be truly free.  Christianity can not be legislated, but must be freely chosen be each person.

Grace and peace to you, gentle readers, from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Monday, November 23, 2015

Our "Elites" No Longer Believe in our Values

I don't have a lot of time today, so I am forcing readers who wish to delve into this topic to go and read Rotten elites give a bad name to elites by Kevin Williamson over at National Review. It is a rather longish article, but the writing is worth savoring in any case. The point, for others who don't have time, though, is:
The problem isn’t elitism per se. The problem is that at Princeton and Yale and in Washington and New York, our elites are rotten — the rotten fruit of dying institutions and an unmoored culture whose commanding heights are populated by people who no longer believe in the values at their foundation. That is how we have come to conflate quality and celebrity and to spurn the life of the mind for the life of the hive. Order ultimately will reassert itself, and it will be uncomfortable.
The old saying that if we can not control ourselves, we must be controlled by someone who will and can is not out of line here. The conservative movement has been making this point in one way or another for decades now, but it seems some people will not listen. Of course, they will cite a host of reasons for their misbehavior, but in the end, these "reasons" have nothing to do with it. Rather, the misbehavior stems from an excess of self will and self centeredness: the "I know better than you" syndrome. And when it becomes "I know better than you how to arrange your life" what was mere busybody nattering becomes fascism. Like celebreties who are famous for being famous, our elites have become similarly elite for who they are rather than what they do. It is a sad commentary on our popular culture today.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rendering unto Caesar

I am often tempted, as I am sure many Christians are, to chuck it when it comes to politics. After all, if you follow the MSM, and how can you not, we are losing on all fronts, be it gay marriage, abortion, the silly 2 years old attending our universities, or recently the issue of Syrian refugees. Many Christians, in fact, have given up on politics for exactly the reasons stated, and to avoid sullying their otherwise spotless reputations by getting down in the dirt. The old saying is that you never argue with a pig because doing so just gets you dirty and the pig loves it. But John Nantz, over at has a different take in his piece entitled Giving Caesar his Due. Nantz notes that when the pharisees attempted to trap Jesus by forcing him to declare that paying taxes to the Romans was a sin:
The Lord asked the Pharisees to produce a denarius, the principal Roman silver coin, and said, “Whose image and superscription hath it?” The priests responded, “Caesar’s.” Then Christ said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” At this, the Pharisees were dumbstruck. The Bible says, “they could not take hold of his words…marveled at his answer, and held their peace.” With this Christ delineated two duties that are complimentary, codependent, not mutually exclusive.
This points to one issue many people have with reading the Bible in general, and that is that many times a simple statement contains within it multiple and layered meanings, which can only be ascertained by carefully thinking about them.  It is not enough that you do not murder, but you mustn't even think of murdering in you mind.  Christianity, correctly practiced, is hard. The ten commandments, correctly understood, are radical.  Jesus was speaking here of taxes, but it pertains to the entirety of our civic duties, including the duty to speak out, loudly and often, when corruption and anti-religious bigotry shows up in the public square.
Neither Christ nor Thomas Jefferson approve of the notion of “separation of church and state.” Liberals have been very successful in creating the false dichotomy of faith and politics. The separation notion is a thinly veiled fiction derived from an innocuous sentence in a letter drafted by Jefferson. One would think that the separation notion was engrossed in elegant cursive and set in the grandeur of The Bill of Rights. But, in fact, it is based on a throw away line, seized on by desperate minds, and swelled into morbid obesity by the hostile anti-Christian...
We have an obligation as Christians, to know and understand both the Bible AND the Constitution, and we must be willing to stand up for both. Remember that if you are doing the Lord's will, you have prayed and listened, and know what you are doing is right, then you can not sully your reputation in the eyes of the Only one that counts.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Religion of War

Daniel Greenfield, over at Sultan Knish has a thought provoking article on Why Islam is a Religion of War. Greenfield notes that:
Islam is not only a tribal and materialistic religion, but it is closely linked to the honor-shame code of its Arab originators. Islam is not primarily an inward spiritual experience, but an outward expression of tribal honor. Its religious expression is the upholding of the honor of Islam and its expansion in the same exact ways as the honor and expansion of the tribe are upheld.
Whereas most religions can accept being in the inferior position because their fundamental faith in spiritual, rather than material-- Islam has little to it but the material. Even its paradise exists in the form of the sort of physical pleasures that its followers crave, fancy robes, exquisite banquets, golden couches, and of course that famed appeal to the dedicated Jihadist, "curvaceous virgins... and an overflowing cup" (Koran 78:33-34). Islamic Heaven is a grossly exaggerated version of the kind of loot that Mohammed's followers expected to find by following him in the first place, gold, jewels, silk, spices and young girls.
Out of such such petty greed and lust did Islam initially expand. Its code was that of the tribesman, to lose face or engage in vendetta. Except Islam's face and vendetta did not involve a single man or a clan, it came to involve over a billion people, who found meaning in working toward the final conquest of Islam. The global triumph of a desert raider's clumsily hammered together mass of Jewish and Christian beliefs and tribal customs and legends, and his own biography, used as a tool of conquest, forging temporary unities out of quarreling tribes and clans.
You really should read the whole thing, but the point I keep trying to make, that Islam is not a consistent, logical, religion from which one can make reasonable determinations of right and wrong. Instead, one must determine what is "permitted" by reading the Hadiths, the sayings of Mohammad.  And anything seems to be permitted if you can get an Imam to say so.  They don't have prostitution in Islamic societies, for example.  Instead, a man who wants to have sex goes into a house of unmarried women, marries the one he wants, and after he has had his way with her, divorces her.  As long as the letter of the law is obeyed, as they say, it is permitted.  It is why the religion demands submission. It is why there seem to be so many Imams, Ayatollahs, Sheikhs, and whatever other titles they give to their "holy men." It is also why Islam permits its adherents to do things that Christians believe are evil.

Islam is also not concerned with what is in a man's heart. It does not care that a man hates his neighbor, or schemes to have his wife, as long as he observes the pieties. That may indeed be the reason Muslim women may not be allowed out unescorted, because more men would try to take them by killing the men to whom they are currently married.  As in the above example, in God's version of marriage, a man is supposed to love, honor, and respect his wife, as she is supposed to love, honor and obey him.  The idea of "marrying" a woman in order to have sex with her, then divorcing her is unheard of.

By contrast, Christianity is very concerned with what is in your heart. Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is that you should love God with all your heart, and all your mind, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.  If you love your neighbor, you will not try to break up his family.  You will come to his aid in times of trouble.  Christianity demands that one constantly examine his motives, and only act when his conscience is clear.

Islam is fundamentally insecure, which is why the Muslim street is so volatile, so quick to become outraged, at the first hint of a slight or insult.  Their god Allah demands revenge, because...well he just does.  Muslims, in turn, must carry out this revenge because they are afraid if left unchecked, the rest of us will find out just how weak Allah really is.  Muslims know in their hearts that Islam is materialistic and avaricious.  They sense that the real God does not want these things for man.  The so called radical Islamist take great delight in its evil, but I suspect even pious Muslims must know deep in their hearts that what they call a religion is a shabby shadow of true Christianity, and they must know that God has chosen Israel to be the repository of His reconciliation with man by taking on the sins of man on Himself.  It is a shame that more people are not true disciples of the living God, but one needs only read the Gospels to find Truth there.

Greenfield also writes about the culture war we are in, and it explains why the Left seems to make common cause with Islam.  His essay is entitled This Culture War We're In In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God, that what we fight is not flesh and blood, but the devil himself.  Read both of these articles and see if you don't find a great many similarities.  It may explain why the Left seems to have made common cause with Islam, although the Left would be among the first to be slaughtered.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Here is the Problem with Obama's ISIS Policy

An article in the American Thinker today illustrates the problem with the American strategy to stop ISIS.  The article, entitled One Picture to Sum Up Obama's Idiotic Policy shows...well, just go and have a look. I'm sure you will see it quickly enough.

One can not know for sure what is going through Obama's mind, but one suspects that a fundamental sympathy with Islam, combined with pressure from Iran to treat ISIS with kid gloves is causing him to try to appear to be doing something while not really doing any real harm.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Gods of the Copybook Headings Returns

James Arlandson has an article over at the American Thinker today entitled Will Breaking Moral Law Break America? Gentle readers, you should go read it whether you believe in natural law, or more traditionally in a Biblical basis for moral law. I believe the Bible itself does not prescribe a "religion" as such, but rather that man makes a religion out of what God teaches us as natural law. Certainly, you will find a great deal of self serving religion in the Bible, but as Christ pointed out, the commandments were made for man, and not man for the commandments.

Citing the ancient Greek play Antigone Arlandson notes that in her defense of her actions against the King's law, Antigone calls to the King's attention natural law, which not even the gods dare to break. The argument is the same as we now make for civil disobedience. Legislatures, and courts may declare certain things, but in breaking natural law, and requiring citizens to accede in the folly, they sow the seeds of disaster. A legislature may declare that from now on, pi equals a finite 3.14. But pi actually is infinitum. Perhaps for a small scale calculations, 3.14 yields sufficiently precise answers, but as the scale becomes large, the errors become similarly large, and eventually may become disastrous.

Arlandson then lists a number of areas where our legislatures and courts have declared things to be true despite natural law.  He makes the point that these things have been traditional for a reason, and that breaking with that tradition brings with it consequences that are as predictable as the sun rising in the east.  For example:

1. No, I don’t want to reopen the same-sex marriage debate, but the great unwritten, unshakable traditions teach us that a man and a woman, whether artificially or in person, are the only way for humankind to reproduce, whether actual or potential. Therefore nature has always favored the opposite-sex couple—humans didn’t irrationally favor them. Nature did. Humans just used reason and followed what nature taught them. Homosexuality in ancient Greece? Yes, but they also knew where babies came from and arranged conjugal marriages accordingly. Now, however, an unwise committee of neo-monarchs on the Supreme Court has broken everlasting, living wisdom
. Arlandson goes on to list six other areas where our political "leaders," to the applause of editors and academics have made declarations against natural law. We, as a society, are already reaping the nasty consequences, yet nobody seems to be willing to admit that these bad ideas should be changed. Instead, our politicians keep doubling down, making our inevitable disaster worse and worse.

I am reminded of a Rudyard Kipling poem entitled "The Gods of the Copybook Headings." Back when I was young, when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth, and we didn't have cell phones, personal computers, electronic calculators, twitter, facebook, or whatever passes for the latest fad. Instead, we used to have something called a "pen." A pen was a devise for marking on "paper." In order to make these marks legible, so that others could read them, it was necessary to practice what was termed "penmanship." The copybooks, in which penmanship was practiced, typically had uplifting sayings, from whence we didn't know. But we did recognize them as statements of profound moral teachings that were broken only with grave consequence.  You can find Kipling's poem here. I will quote the last stanza:
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
You can call it a prophesy if you want, I call it the predictable result of failing to head the gods of the copybook headings.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lying for Islam

Today's post concerns a little understood doctrine of Islam called "Taqiyya," in which the Muslim is permitted, even encouraged. to deliberately lie to advance Islam. Of course, with a little thought one can quickly see that once a person internalizes this doctrine, it becomes very difficult to separate when one is lying for Islam, and when one is lying for purely personal gain. It is the exact opposite of our Christian doctrine wherein we are supposed to be truthful at all times. Indeed, the more I study the workings of Islam and the behavior of Muslims, the more I understand the attraction of the secular Left to it, for in both, every day is opposite day.

 Carol Brown has a piece on taqiyya over at the American Thinker today entitled The Taqiyya Factor. It is required reading for anyone who wants to navigate in this brave new America. Brown writes:
Taqiyya is an Islamic doctrine that allows Muslims to deceive non-Muslims. As in lie to them. Dr. Sami Mukaram, author of Taqiyya in Islam, writes: “Taqiyya is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it… Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era.”
Thus, for example, when a Muslim commits an act of outrageous jihad, yelling "Alahu akbar" as he kills someone, the MSM routinely quotes some Islamic figure as complaining about a "backlash against Muslims."  That there has never been a backlash doesn't stop them from complaining about one.  Remember when that special snowflake Muslim woman wanted to have her driver's license photo taken while wearing a burqua that covered her face entirely.  When the State of Florida refused, she complained of being "discriminated" against.  Of course, to "discriminate" means to single out one person for special, usually extra legal, treatment.  In this case, she was being treated the same as everyone else who obtains a driver's license in Florida, thus was not being discriminated against.

Brown again:

The obvious problem with lying is that once you know a group of persons will intentionally deceive, everything they say or do is called into question. And therein lies one of the rubs with Muslims. How can any non-Muslim know when a Muslim is telling the truth or telling a lie? We can’t. For the sake of self-preservation, one must err on the side of caution and maintain skepticism at all times. Because taqiyya can only work if the person being lied to is uninformed.

As Daniel Pipes wrote (emphasis mine): “…Taqiyya has been used by Muslims since the 7th century to confuse and split 'the enemy'. A favored tactic was 'deceptive triangulation'; to persuade the enemy that jihad was not aimed at them but at another enemy. Another tactic was to deny that there was jihad at all. The fate for such faulty assessments by the target was death.
Brown asks how any nation can survive such an onslaught. Clearly, we must be sure of our Christian heritage, and its doctrines, and we must be ready at a moments notice, Put on the "Armor of God," but also be prepared to defend your life and the lives of those around you. In yesterday's post, I pointed out that we Christians are called to defend ourselves and those we love, but self defense can only be justified when you are being physically attacked, and must stop the moment the attack stops. Revenge is the Lord's. More importantly, we must be prepared to resist those who would conquer and subjugate us.  Martin Luther left behind a summary of his teaching on the Bible in the form of The Large Catechism. While this was written in the 1500's, remember that God's truths are unchanging from age to age, and that human nature has no history. If your particular denomination has no such document, may I recommend Luther's as a good place to start.

The older I get, the less of a religion I make of Christianity. For outside the writings of the Jewish priesthood, the Bible teaches not a religion, but how to get along in this world in a moral manor. The Good News, of course, is that God has come into the world to take our eternal punishment for us, and freed us to do his will in the world.  But the first thing one has to do is tell the truth, at least as one knows the truth.

 Grace and peace to everyone who reads this from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Update:  Victor Hanson Davis has an article at Townhall entitled The Fiction of "Truth." The article deals with whoppers the Left tells to advance their twisted agenda, but as I pointed out above, I think this is part of the reason the Left is attracted to Islam. Both can only advance by lying about their true purpose and deceiving us until it is too late. It may be unpopular to speak about the Devil in today's world, but evil does exist. In a former time, it was thought that the Devil signed pledges from people in blood to give their eternal souls over to him for something they wanted today.  But the Devil is much subtler than that,  Instead, he convinces people that the only way they can achieve what they want is through lying.  Of course, these people never ask themselves the important question: if lying is necessary to achieve our goals, how good are our goals in the first place?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Lutheran Take on Gun Control

I have to start getting ready to go to the Doctor's office for my semiannual checkup.  The Doctor likes to make sure I am still alive, and of course, collect a fee.

Meanwhile, I will send you over to the Armed Lutheran to read an excellent explanation of where Martin Luther stood on gun owners.  You will find it at The Lutheran Perspective on Gun Rights.

 For those not steeped in the Lutheran church, and I find many today who are refugees from other faiths, Martin Luther was a monk, a priest, and a serious and devout scholar of the Bible. At a time when the only translation of the Bible that was available was the Latin Vulgate, and most people could little read their own language, let alone Latin, and at a time when books still had to be copied laboriously by hand, the Gutenberg press was yet to come, the priests and monks could largely tell people whatever they wanted them to hear. In an attempt to reform certain practices that had grown up in the Church, and which were decidedly non Biblical, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Whittenberg castle church on October 31, 1517.  In honor of this event, the Lutheran Church still celebrates Reformation Sunday at around that time each year.

Eventually, Luther was excommunicated and, more by default, founded the first protestant denomination. The Armed Lutheran takes paragraphs out of Luther's Large and Small catechism (which when I was young, every child of the age of 12 or so began studying for two years before we could take first communion) and supplements these with his own understanding. Obviously, guns were not common, though they had by then been invented, but the principles remain the same. Essentially, to not defend life when you have the power to do so is to spit on God's great gift of life:
Then there is the Lutheran interpretation of the Fifth Commandment: You Shall Not Murder. This is often interpreted, incorrectly, as “You Shall Not Kill” and used to support pacifist teachings which are not Christian. There are two meanings to this commandment, one civil and one spiritual. In the civil realm, God grants governments the authority to take life when waging just wars or executing criminals for their crimes.

In the spiritual realm, this means that we are not to “murder” our neighbors in our hearts with thoughts, words, or hands. Keep in mind that our “neighbor” is everyone else, not just the guy living next door.

In Luther’s Large Catechism the commandment is compared to a wall, or a fortress around our neighbors, so that we do not hurt or harm him. When arguments and tempers flare, “God — like a kind father — steps in ahead of us, intervenes, and wishes to have the quarrel settled so that no misfortune comes from it and no one destroys another person.”

“For where murder is forbidden, all cause from which murder may spring is also forbidden.”
Note that I said that if you have to power to defend life, but do not do so, you are guilty of murder as well. What then of regulations and laws disarming citizens? Are not those who vote for such laws, and who agitate for such laws also guilty of murder? I should think so, if they do not provide means to defend the people gathered in these "No Gun, Victim Disarmament Zones". The Armed Lutheran seems to agree.  And what of business like the Aurora theatre?  The company board of directors and the management are guilty by the same reasoning:
Anti-gunners are fond of blaming gun rights groups like the NRA whenever there is a mass killing. The truth is, from a Lutheran perspective, those who support civilian disarmament are guilty of murder. Those who voted for so-called “Gun-Free” schools, are as guilty of the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary as the shooter was. The owners of the theater in Aurora, Colorado are as guilty as the shooter was. Moms Demand Action and Mike Bloomberg and the companies they shame into banning guns will all be guilty if and when a murder occurs in one of those businesses.

In short, God gave us life. It’s a gift we must cherish and protect. God forbids us from killing in anger or malice. He calls on us to defend life against those who would take it. He condemns those who take innocent lives and those who refuse to defend them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Can anyone confirm FBI spending $80 million for a new gun?

An intriguing article appeared at the American Thinker today entitled Why is the FBI Spending $80 million on a New Gun? by Jonathon F. Keiler. But I haven't been able to find it at any other gun site I frequent. Does anyone know if this is true? Spending $80 million for yet another 9mm pistol purchase seems over the top.  It also seems that a number of FBI special agents do not need to be armed most of the time, as there work seldom takes them into harms way.  Also, if it is a 9mm they now want (again) they can buy Glocks for, what...$450 a piece?  That would only be $4.5 million.

Go read the article, but note that I am taking it with a grain of salt until I can confirm.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

So called Interfaith Dialogs are not

Dr. Mark Christian is a convert to Christianity who used to by a Muslim Imam.  He knows whereof he speaks, so I take him at his word when he says that Islam is dangerous.  I also take him at his word when he says:

It should come as no surprise, then, that among Islamic apologists, the divinity of Christ is a heresy offensive to Allah.  You see, if Jesus is divine, then Allah and the God of Abraham cannot be one and the same.
But I am getting ahead of myself. First, you need to read the whole article, which is over at the American Thinker, and entitled Interfaith Dialog: Increasing Understanding or Compromising Faith? As Christians, we find there are a great many temptations to compromise our faith, because one does not want to seem to be a bad neighbor. The culture war of the Left with its sexualization of nearly everything, is destruction of the nuclear family, celebrity worship, its philosophy of material wealth above all, its insistence on irrationality over reason and evidence, becomes a distraction from the things that are truly important.

Christian writes further that:
Do Muslims believe we worship the same God? Perhaps, but the contrasts between Allah and the God of Abraham are too stark to ignore. The Christian God commands us to love one another regardless of faith. Allah requires his followers to kill those who do not submit to Islam. There are myriad contrasts equally jarring, but there's no reason to go into all of them here.

Either God and Allah are different beings, or both God and Allah are schizophrenic deities incapable of maintaining even a modicum of consistency. I would expect that neither Christians nor Muslims would find themselves comfortable with the latter description.
Our God is the same from age to age, a consistent being no matter what.  Allah, on the other hand changes as his movement grows in power into an all devouring beast.  This is reflected in his "holy book" the Koran, and gives rise to the practice of taking more recent pronouncements to have more weight than older ones.  Note too that taqiyya, the doctrine of lying in order to advance Islam is sanctioned.  Does God ever tell you to lie?  For Islam, and the Islamists, the pursuit of these things is for one purpose: to either convert us to Islam, or to kill us.

Sound harsh, unbelievable even?  After all, that nice Muslim you know who prays five times a day, doesn't drink, and speaks with perfect, if accented English seems harmless enough.

If you still don't believe it, try the Gatestone Institute site What we learned attacking Christians by yet another Christian convert from Islam, who again was an Imam. Note that this listing isn't a one off, but is a continuing, month by month series, each installment of which is mind numbing to the point that you just can't read it any more.

So, what's to be done?  Obama intends to seed the U.S. with jihadi terrorists by slipping in some 10,000 to 20,000 of them and spreading them throughout cities across America.  Since nothing has yet been able to stop him from doing exactly as he pleases, and the Congress and the Courts appear to wish to hand him everything he desires, we must take action.  We must begin carrying arms with us, and of course, obtain training in their use.  In this regard, too many in our congregations think that because Jesus taught love, that therefore defense of self and others somehow is anathema to Christians.  Let John Calvin set you straight:

We do not need to prove that when a good thing is commanded, the evil thing that conflicts with it is forbidden. There is no one who doesn’t concede this. That the opposite duties are enjoined when evil things are forbidden will also be willingly admitted in common judgment. Indeed, it is commonplace that when virtues are commended, their opposing vices are condemned. But we demand something more than what these phrases commonly signify. For by the virtue of contrary to the vice, men usually mean abstinence from that vice. We say that the virtue goes beyond this to contrary duties and deeds. Therefore in this commandment, “You shall not kill,” men’s common sense will see only that we must abstain from wronging anyone or desiring to do so. Besides this, it contains, I say, the requirement that we give our neighbor’s life all the help we can … the purpose of the commandment always discloses to us whatever it there enjoins or forbids us to do” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 1, Book 2, Chapter viii, Part 9).
(A Hot Tip to the The Captain's Journal) As noted in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, there is a time for everything, and now is the time to prepare. The middle East is already gone.  We may be able to rescue some, but many have already been killed.  It may also be too late for Europe, though the recent run on guns in Austria gives one hope.  America may be the final remnant, and we will be in a rear guard action at that.  Yes, all things are possible if we stand with God.  But that means that we must begin to get into spiritual condition as well.  "  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.…" Ephesians Chapter 6.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Heavens Display God's Glory

Jerry Newcombe asks the questions which has haunted the 20th Century, and seems to be a continuing controversy in the 21st century: does science disprove God?  You can go read it at in a piece by the same title here. Newcombe writes:
A Pew Research Poll released last week reports that fifty-nine percent of Americans see science and religion in conflict. But they also found that, “highly religious Americans are less likely than others to see conflict between faith and science.”

I’m not a scientist, and I don’t play one on TV. But it’s amazing to me to see how some scientists like to claim that somehow science has disproven God.
I was trained as an engineer. I had to use mathematics, physics, and chemistry to do my work. I used a number of sub specialties of physics as well, including structural mechanics, hydraulics, some gas dynamics, and so on.  As a student, immersed in the study of these various topics, and attempting to manipulate them in ingenious ways to design something that makes peoples' lives better, I will admit that it can seem as if science has all the answers.  But after you leave school, and have time to contemplate what you have learned, it becomes fairly clear that all of these tools are built on an assumption:  that the universe is rational.

Therefore one can posit that our God is a rational God, who does not change his mind on a whim.

Therefore, the laws of the universe are discoverable.

Science is the tool by which we can discover these laws.

Belief in the rationality of the universe is first and foremost, an act of faith.  Everyone ultimately has a faith that the world will act the same today as it has in the past.  You would be very surprised and probably scared if you jumped in your car, and it started floating away, right?  But, just as a hammer is a tool to pound things with, but it has no meaning beyond its usefulness when one needs to pound something, so science itself conveys no meaning.  It is a tool to explain what is happening.  One must ask the next question:  why is the universe rational?  That question can lead one on a journey to true faith in God.

Newcombe again:

Alfred North Whitehead said that Christianity is the mother of science because of “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God.” A rational God had made a rational universe, and it was the object of the scientists to---in the words of the great astronomer Johannes Kepler---“think God’s thoughts after Him.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Find One Thing and Do it.

Grace and peace to you gentle reader, and may you find inspiration today.

 If you follow the news at all, it must seem as if Satan is marching on all fronts, and winning the war. That is, of course, what he wants you to think. If you are like me, you must get discouraged and occasionally lose faith. Here is a recipe for keeping your faith in the face of constant loss: find one thing you are passionate about, and do it. Bore into it, write a blog, inform people.

Carol Brown has a good article on what to do, with illustrative examples, at the American Thinker today, entitled Pick One Thing and Fight Like Hell. Brown writes:
The dismantling of America leaves one breathless as we face of an avalanche of horrors. We’ve been dealing with a long roll out of evil with more to come. It shocks the mind trying to absorb it all. What can citizens do to stop the fundamental transformation of our nation? How can we function effectively to save our country? And how do we do so in a leadership vacuum?
How can we expect our soldiers to risk it all and never surrender, yet allow ourselves to throw in the towel? How can we speak with reverence and awe about George Washington’s soldiers trudging through the snow, and not fight with all we’ve got -- a fight far less grueling than anything our soldiers have faced? How can we allow others to step forward to the front lines yet not step into the fray ourselves?
How, indeed. While there is yet time, while we can turn the tide with easy actions, let us do it. Pick your battle, and fight like Hell. Wade

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Two today

First up is a piece by Michael Brown over at entitled Spiritual Suicide: When European Churches Sell their Soul to Islam. Micheal Brown:
Last month, in Sweden, the Bishop of Stockholm “proposed a church in her diocese remove all signs of the cross and put down markings showing the direction to Mecca for the benefit of Muslim worshippers.”

As reported on, “Calling Muslim guests to the church ‘angels’, the Bishop later took to her official blog to explain that removing Christian symbols from the church and preparing the building for Muslim prayer doesn’t make a priest any less a defender of the faith. Rather, to do any less would make one ‘stingy towards people of other faiths’.”
This is utter madness. We are called to The Great Commission, which is a call to baptize everyone on earth and give them the Good news.  For those who do not know it, the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28, verses 16 to 20 says:

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
A principle way that we try to follow the Great Commission is by modeling, or in other words, by being good examples of God's life changing Grace in our own lives. If people can see a change for the better in us, it adds credence to the message. There are people in public life who model the saving Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Glenn Beck is one, and Bob Beckel of the Five on Fox News is another. These men are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but their lives have been changed, for the better, by God through Jesus. Neither man is a saint in the popular sense of the word, nor an angel with wings, but I suspect that those that have been helped by them see them as angels.

Second, we have an American Thinker blog piece by Ed Straker entitled Which is better; open carry or concealed carry laws? Please go read the piece. It is short, but then come back. Have you read it yet? Good. Straker writes:
I think this is right. Concealed carry is a valuable tool, especially in schools, where one lunatic can massacre large numbers of people without worrying about getting shot himself.

Open carry is a little dicier. If you come from a rural culture where many people carry guns, you might not bat an eye if you see someone with a pistol. But in many suburban and urban cultures, it is very unusual to see someone with a gun. When I see a person with a gun, I think, "Is this a person who is just exercising his right to protect himself...or is this person carrying around a gun because he is quick to use it?" I think this because I, like millions of others, grew up in a culture where we just didn't see people with guns.
If you will allow me an opinion on the subject, I think Straker is correct as far as he goes. This is a bill that would allow guns inside schools, something a majority of teachers and principals of schools oppose on the grounds that it might "scare" children and take away from the learning environment. I think that if guns are concealed, then students should not be aware of them most of the time. I also think children are much tougher than the teachers are letting on, and they will easily become accustomed to guns in the school, particularly if it is explained to them that teachers carry guns for the protection of the students in their charge. It also doesn't hurt that students "learn" that there is evil in the world, right and wrong, that adults have to deal with such things, that teachers are there to pass on a great many lessons, not all of them related to the classes they teach.

One does a great deal of growing up when one takes a concealed carry class.  Yes, you learn the laws, and you learn about your weapon, how to shoot it and hit a target, some of what happens when you do.  But if you are a thinking student, one also has to come to grips with what it might mean to have to shoot another human being.  You never shoot to kill, but killing may be the outcome.  What of your eternal soul?  How do you forgive the other party, how do you live with yourself?  Wrestling with these questions makes a deeper and more respectful person.  One who eschews confrontation for the sake of both.

On his last point, I do see the value of open carrying as a political tool, but our schools are not meant to be political tools, and those of us on the conservative Constitutionalists side should not make the classroom a political battle ground.  A concealed carrier looks like everyone else, but maybe a little better dressed.

May the peace of the Lord be with you all today, and may you all see the miracles which happen all around us today.