Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Judge

From the STR blog:
Isn't it amusing that people who would normally be so quick to chide others not to judge, feel very comfortable concluding that everyone who isn't in favor of same-sex marriage are motivated by hate and prejudice, even when many have given rational reasons for their opinion? Nope...(more and comments here)

Of course the distinction here is between judgement (deciding who is saved and going to heaven/hell) which we are warned against, as this is God's realm not ours, and discernment between good and evil which we are encouraged, ney commanded to do...

Obama Will Meet With Ahmadinejad, But Not McCain?

From the Spectator blog:
The New York Times story on Barack Obama's decision to opt out of public financing includes the following:
Mr. Obama had pledged to meet with Mr. McCain following the primaries to attempt to work out an agreement on financing. That meeting never took place, aides to Mr. Obama said, because a meeting between lawyers for the two sides was not fruitful. "It became clear to me that there wasn't any basis for future discussion," said Robert Bauer, the general counsel for Mr. Obama's campaign.
Those of us who oppose Obama's call for presidential-level talks with Iran have made precisely this point -- that lower-level talks with the Iranian regime have offered no reason to believe that further discussion with its leaders would...

Worldwide Anglican Communion at an End says Nigerian Primate

Sad, but it's time..
JERUSALEM, June 19, 2008 ( - A month before the Lambeth Conference, the leaders of the "conservative", or traditionally Christian wing of the Anglican Church have declared that the Worldwide Anglican Communion no longer exists.
The declaration comes in a 94-page book, titled "The Way, the Truth and the Life," from the church leaders meeting at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jordan.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper reports that in the book, Archbishop Peter Akinola, the Primate of Nigeria, states, "There is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified Communion". The book was prepared by GAFCON Theological Resource Team and provides the theological and historical foundation for the movement of orthodox Anglicans that is meeting in Jerusalem June 22 - 29.

12-Year-Old Grounded for Too Much Internet Use Gets Punishment Overturned in Court

More proof that Canada has gone...I dunno, what comes after stark raven mad? Time to take your government back people, and then we need to get ready to do the same thing. Should have, right after Californica judges started their coup...
From Fox:
A Canadian court has overturned a father's punishment for his daughter after she refused to stay off the Internet, his attorney said Wednesday.
The girl, 12, took her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on Web sites and then posting "inappropriate" pictures of herself online using a friend's computer, AFP reported
. (more)

Iraqi troops move into militia-held city of Amara

From the NY Times:
BAGHDAD: Despite reports of arrests and rough handling by the Iraqi security forces as they swept through the southern city of Amara on Thursday, supporters of the rebel cleric Moktada al-Sadr stood by their promise to lay down their weapons peacefully.
Iraqi troops entered Amara, near the border with Iran, as part of a campaign against militias, seeking in this case also to reclaim government buildings taken over by political parties. The sweep officially began Thursday, although the military and the police have been massing for the operation for nearly a week
. (more)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Israeli Military Demonstrates Ability to Attack Iran, U.S. Officials Say

Over 100 aircraft....from Fox and others:
American military officials say Israel launched a major military exercise that appeared to be aimed in part at demonstrating its ability to stage an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Israel's military refused to publicly confirm or deny whether the exercise was a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack.
But a senior Israeli Air Force official close to the operation told FOX News that the military is preparing for all possibilities with Iran, and during this exercise was testing its refueling capabilities. The source said helicopters were even used to practice how to respond to a downed plane.

Oh Death, Where Is Thy Sting

Like many of us, I struggle sometimes when death takes friends and relatives. It is made all the harder when it seems that such a good and decent person has been taken so soon. In the last week a friend of ours died in a traffic accident on the way to church for choir rehearsal and then a few days later my son's den leader died from cancer leaving a wife and 3 young boys under the age of 9 behind. I came across this devotional and it helped me and my hope is that it might also help you through times such as these which will inevitably come. It still hurts of course, but the pain undergirded with hope- and thus becomes a lighter burden to bear.
One of the most compelling scenes in the Gospels involves a man whose words were never recorded. Lazarus is first introduced in the Gospel of John as one Jesus loves--and one who is sick. The illness had silenced Lazarus to the point where it is Mary and Martha who had to send word to Jesus: "Lord, the one you love is sick" (John 11:3). When Jesus heard the news of his friend's condition, he immediately replied: "This sickness will not end in death." A few days later, Lazarus was dead.There are times when I read this story and I long to say in response, "But it did end in death." Before the story of Lazarus was a story fully marked by the power of resurrection, it was first a story marred by the force of death. Lazarus still walked through the pain of his illness; he still faced the uncertainty of dying. Mary and Martha still grieved at the grave of their brother for four days. And Jesus himself wept.Even for those who look to the resurrection as their certain hope, death is still a jarring occurrence. The journey toward death was harsh and shocking to Lazarus, his family, and his friends. But it was not the final word. There is a voice that can be heard even through the last shriek of death.We don't know how Lazarus reacted to his own death and subsequent resurrection. The gospels do not offer us a single word from the mouth of the one who was raised. In fact, the man at whose grave Jesus wept is known only in the gospels as one who listened. Amidst a crowd drawn by sorrow to a graveside in Bethany, Jesus called out in a loud voice: "Lazarus, come forth!" And the dead man indeed came out, his hands and his feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.There is something about suffering and despair that brings us to strain our ears for the voice of God. Where we have written God off as silent, where we have lived with the suspicion of a distant or demanding ruler, there is a compulsion within our pain that forces us to listen. There is an image of Christ who carried the same burden. And it is met with the promise of one who speaks: This sickness will not end in death.

Me again-You see, without eternity nothing like this can make any sense at all. Without eternity we are without hope and death has the final word. Through the resurrection of Christ, we have hope born of the knowledge that this is NOT the end and that reunion awaits us someday. In the meantime we worship a God who does not stand off, aloof, as we suffer, but one who is with us in our pain, stands with us as we suffer, and weeps with us.
The entire devotional can be found here.

The War on Abstinence

A law against "abstinence only" education? Tell me again why this is being taught by the state? In the schools? From First Things:
The Los Angeles Unified School District doesn’t want Karen Kropf talking to its students. District leaders fear that what she says isn’t “balanced” and that she’s not a certified “expert” in the field. Really, though, they just don’t like her message about teenage sexual self-control and the limited protection of condoms. That, and they’re worried about what the ACLU might say, especially given California’s law against “abstinence-only” education.
Investigating Kropf’s situation, I was startled to discover an alarming trend that has gone unreported: The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have teamed up in an aggressive campaign over the past several years—a campaign to pressure states to eliminate abstinence education and to reject federal funding for these programs. And though their work hasn’t drawn much attention, it has been remarkably successful. A year ago, only four states refused federal abstinence-education funding. Today the number is seventeen. The goal is to get enough states to refuse the federal abstinence-education funding to the point where the ACLU and Planned Parenthood can convince Congress to eliminate such funding entirely.
All this is happening, by the way, as fresh reports arrive almost every month about the benefits of teen abstinence and the effectiveness of abstinence programs.
(more here)

Obama picks Clinton ex-officials as advisers

Oh THAT change...form the Washinton Times:
Sen. Barack Obama, under relentless Republican attack over inexperience on defense issues and reluctance to visit Iraq, moved to polish his national security credentials Wednesday by convening an advisory panel filled with former Clinton administration officials and Iraq war critics.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee met with the panel, dubbed the "Senior Working Group on National Security," to fine-tune policies on war, terrorism and other global threats and to boldly challenge stances of his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. (

German Homeschooling Parents Sentenced to Three Months in Prison

Coming soon to the U.S...I'll lay even money on it.
June 19, 2008 ( - The parents of a homeschooling family in the German state of Hesse have each been sentenced to three months in prison for the crime of homeschooling their seven children. (more)

Pope: Gospel Still Growing in Pakistan

Encourages Bishops to Promote Love for Eucharist
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 19, 2008 ( Benedict XVI says the seeds of the Gospel continue to grow in Pakistan, despite conditions that hinder their ability to put down roots.
The Pope affirmed this today when he received in audience the bishops of Pakistan, in Rome for their five yearly visit. He told them their visit to the See of Peter "not only provides me with an opportunity to rejoice with you over the fruits of your labors, but to listen to your account of the hardships which you and your flock must endure for the sake of the Lord's name."

Murtha Lied; Marines Were Tried (And Acquitted)

On May 17, 2006, John Murtha, he of the unassailable “war hero”/“patriot” mythos, assailed his fellow Marines in Haditha as murderers “in cold blood.” The super-patriot made this indictment, in front of an international audience, before an investigation had concluded. His spurious charges seem to have done those eight men charged little legal damage – but they have caused incalculable harm to the United States armed forces still in the field.
At Camp Pendleton yesterday, military judge Col. Steven Folsom dismissed all charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, the highest-ranking officer accused in the Haditha massacre-of-justice. The ruling makes him the seventh of eight accused in the Haditha skirmish to have charges dismissed. In Chessani’s case, his charges were dropped without prejudice – meaning they could be filed again later, but CentCom could not be part of the process, as there had been fear the judge had an inappropriately close relationship with one of the investigators. Chessani had been accused of violating a lawful order and dereliction of duty in reporting the incident.
The antiwar Left morphed reporting errors into a “cover-up,” much as it deformed a self-defense operation against terrorists hiding amidst Iraq’s civilian population as an imperial assault on 24 blameless Iraqi civilians cowering
“as if in prayer.” (more)

Intelligence Agencies Warn that Hezbollah is Poised to Attack

From Dr Bulldog and Ronin:
EXCLUSIVE: Hezbollah Poised to Strike?Officials Say “Sleeper Cells” Activated in CanadaBy RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSSJune 19, 2008 -
Intelligence agencies in the United States and Canada are warning of mounting signs that Hezbollah, backed by Iran, is poised to mount a terror attack against “Jewish targets” somewhere outside the Middle East.
Intelligence officials tell ABC News the group has activated suspected “sleeper cells” in Canada and key operatives have been tracked moving outside the group’s Lebanon base to Canada, Europe and Africa. (

Enemies of the Permanent Things

Excellent blog as usual from Touchstone's MereComments blog:
...I have wanted to say, "When a high court overthrows over two millennia of western tradition, all English common law, and the express will of the people, to engage in an unheard of experiment touching upon the most intimate matters of human society -- marriage and the family -- and when the people supinely put up with it, at best hoping to tweak the decision or overturn it in some vainly hoped-for election, then it is not the case that civic liberty will soon be lost. It already has been lost. Quit looking at the ephemeral! Your forefathers rebelled over a few high-handed taxes without parliamentary representation. They and their descendants for a hundred and fifty years would have tarred and feathered the silly members of that court, denouncing them as fools and tyrants, and putting them back in their place." Tarring and feathering, by the way, if carried on with a due consideration for sex and age and physical debility, need cause the honoree no permanent physical damage, and yet it is an excellent deterrent.... (there is a T-Shirt/bumper sticker I'd like to see)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What the Counterculture Has Joined Together

Abolishing marriage and the culture that it upholds. From AmericanSpectator:
"A passionate tumultuous age will overthrow everything, pull everything down," wrote Soren Kierkegaard, "but a revolutionary age that is at the same time reflective and passionless leaves everything standing but cunningly empties it of significance." Something like this seems to be happening in California. In the heat of revolutionary fervor, California's leftists once called for the abolition of marriage, which they regarded as an "outmoded" and "oppressive" tradition. But these days they praise marriage as a hallowed institution while they harness it to their original destructive purposes. (more)

Homosexual activists release 'marriage battle plan'

Disturbing but not surprising. from OneNewsNow
Homosexual activists often complain there's no such thing when pro-family groups refer to the "gay agenda." But now nine pro-homosexual groups have made a copy of their battle plan available to the public.

The document is called "Make Change, Not Lawsuits." In it, the nine pro-homosexual groups urge sympathetic activists not to rush to file lawsuits after taking advantage of the court-ordered legalization of homosexual marriages in California.

"... [T]hey are doing the ... 'boil the frog in the water' routine.
They're wanting to ... prepare the ground, prepare the ideas
and thinking so that, one day, you just simply wake up and
same-sex 'marriage' has become commonplace."

-- Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel (

Misplaced "Faith" Kills

It is too bad that when religion and faith are presented in the news, all too often it is in stories like the one referenced below. This is a a really good article from Rick Pearcy's Pro-Existence blog:
In what appears to have been an avoidable tragedy, "Teen From Faith-Healing Family Refuses Treatment, Dies," according to AP. In the midst of such a heartbreak, it must be said, with compassion: This outcome was avoidable not just medically, but also in terms of "faith."For nothing in the information we have from the Creator suggests that living in community with him and each other requires living in alienation from medicine. (more)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Black University Employee Suspended for Objecting to Comparison between Black and Homosexual Discrimination

Good for her. More blacks need to reject this comparison. MLK would reject it but for reasons more theological in nature, but I'll save that for another time..
TOLEDO, OH, May 6, 2008 ( - A black employee of the University of Toledo (UT) was suspended on Friday after expressing offense at a local newspaper editor's comparison of discrimination against African Americans with discrimination against actively homosexual persons, noting that homosexual behavior is freely chosen in a way race is not.
"I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are 'civil rights victims.' Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a black woman," Associate Vice President of Human Resources Crystal Dixon wrote in a guest piece for the Toledo Free Press

Is President Bush considering becoming Catholic?

He could do worse...From the IgnatiousInsight:
Okay, okay, okay: take out a few pounds of salt. Be ready. After all, it comes from a British newspaper (The Telegraph). But here it is, via CNA:
Vatican City, Jun 13, 2008 / 05:50 pm (CNA).- Today as President Bush and Pope Benedict XVI met at the Vatican, the English newspaper, The Telegraph reported that Bush may be considering converting to Catholicism at the end of his presidential term.
The Telegraph indicated that various Italian newspapers have been commenting on the news, especially Il Foglio.
Il Foglio explains that the circulating rumors could be correct: "anything is possible, especially for someone reborn like Bush.” Yet, similar to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, "if anything happens, it will happen after he finishes his period as president, not before. It is similar to Blair's case, but with different circumstances."...(more)

Book Review

In case you didn't notice in the comments of my June 16 posting on Theodicy there is a review of David Bentley Hart’s The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? The review can be found here over at The Wonders For Oyarsa blog site, which is a much better blog than I can ever hope to produce and well worth a visit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obama Grew Up Muslim

I'm not sure it matters but this is interesting. From the bloggers over at doctorbulldog, which make the valid point (below) that it wouldn't matter except that it seems that Obama is hiding it-like so many things...

See, this is one of the problems I have with Barack “the Messiah” Obama. He says on his website that he has NEVER been a Muslim and was NOT raised a Muslim. That is an outright lie, and he knows it! But, I’m guessing that his early Muslim upbringing did not test well with a small voter sampling, and so now he denies it and has his MSM shills busily calling everyone a hate-monger and a tin foil hat candidate whenever the word Muslim is associated with his name…
You know, I would have more (but not very much more) respect for the man if he had initially just told the truth - his early formative years consisted of a Muslim upbringing; but when he got older and was able to make his own choices in life, he converted to Christianity. It’s the truth, it’s simple, and I seriously doubt John Q. Public would have even batted an eye over it.
But, Obama’s “Dream Team” obviously doesn’t think Americans can handle the truth, and so, Barack Obama is kept busy trying to snuff out his own smoldering pant legs…

Malik Obama confirms his half-brother Barack grew up a MuslimBy Israel Insider staff
Apparently the Obamas of Kenya have been reading those scurrilous emails to which Barack likes to refer, because they have no doubt — contrary to the claims of the Obama campaign, that the presidential candidate was raised a Moslem. They take that as a given...(more)

Doctors Who Almost Dissected Living Patient Confess Ignorance about Actual Moment of Death

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman PARIS, France, June 12, 2008 ( - A Parisian whose organs were about to be removed by doctors after he had "died" of a heart attack, revived on the operating table only minutes before doctors began to harvest his organs. The 45 year-old man,...(more)

Howard Dean's Abortion Contortions

Sex, lies and death-from the DNC. The DNC chairman gets his facts wrong.The Dailey Standard:
YESTERDAY MORNING AT the Christian Science Monitor breakfast meeting, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was asked whether the Democratic platform on abortion should be amended. That will be up to Barack Obama and his delegates, Dean said, adding that the Democratic party believes "individuals have a right to make up their own minds in personal matters ... but this party also believes that we ought to significantly reduce the number of abortions in this country."
Given the latter, I asked how he could square Barack Obama's and the Democratic party's support for public funding for abortion--which studies show significantly increases the abortion rate.
Dean responded: "Total nonsense. It's total nonsense that public funding" increases the abortion rate.
according to the Guttmacher Institute, that's not total nonsense.
A 1994-1995 AGI survey of abortion patients found that in states where Medicaid pays for abortions, women covered by Medicaid have an abortion rate 3.9 times that of women who are not covered, while in states that do not permit Medicaid funding for abortions, Medicaid recipients are only 1.6 times as likely as nonrecipients to have abortions....(

Monday, June 16, 2008

Theodicy and the Narrow Escape Syndrome

Theodicy can be summed up like this: familiar cunundrum, that in view of all the evil in the world, if God is good, he is not omnipotent; and, if God is omnipotent, he is not good.
This is an excellent article from First Things about this issue and it quotes several passages from a book that I will be reading next, David Bentley Hart’s The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?
“Indeed we must say this: as God did not will the fall, and yet always wills all things toward himself, the entire history of sin and death is in an ultimate sense a pure contingency, one that is not as such desired by God, but that is nevertheless constrained by providence to serve his transcendent purpose. God does not will evil in the sinner. Neither does he will that the sinner should perish (2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 33:11). He does not place evil in the heart. He does not desire the convulsive reign of death in nature. But neither will he suffer defeat in these things.
“Every free act—even the act of hating God—arises from and is sustained by a more original love of God. It is impossible to desire anything without implicitly desiring the infinite source of all things; even the desire of the suicide for the peace of oblivion is born of a love of self—however tragically distorted it has become—that is itself born of a deeper love for the God from whom the self comes and to whom the self is called. . . .

Report: Smuggling Network Had Blueprint for Advanced Nuclear Weapon

From FoxNews and the Washington Post:
A draft report released by a former U.N. weapons inspector found that the international smuggling ring that supplied nuclear designs to Iran, Libya, and North Korea also obtained the blueprints for an advanced nuclear warhead, The Washington Post reported Sunday..(More)

Strange lights over Texas

From the LA Times:
Stephenville is the largest town in Erath County, Texas, where cows tend to outnumber people. But the town became famous after scores of people reported seeing UFOs earlier this year.
UFO sightings in the town of Stephenville set off a furor of theories, media coverage, even T-shirts. But was there an explanation?

Drill! Drill! Drill!

Drill here, drill now, pay less. From the WSJ:
...But not us. We won't drill.
California won't drill for the estimated 1.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil off its coast because of bad memories of the Santa Barbara oil spill – in 1969.
We won't drill for the estimated 5.6 billion to 16 billion barrels of oil in the moonscape known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) because of – the caribou.
In 1990, George H.W. Bush, calling himself "the environmental president," signed an order putting virtually all the U.S. outer continental shelf's oil and gas reserves in the deep freeze. Bill Clinton extended that lockup until 2013. A Clinton veto also threw away the key to ANWR's oil 13 years ago.
Our waters may hold 60 trillion untapped cubic feet of natural gas. As in Brazil, these are surely conservative estimates.
While Brazilians proudly embrace Petrobras, yelling "We're Going to Be No. 1," the U.S.'s Democratic nominee for president, Barack Obama, promises to impose an "excess profits tax" on American oil producers....(more)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Karzai threatens to send forces into Pakistan

Go to it Hamid!
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened Sunday to send Afghan troops after notorious Taliban leaders inside Pakistan in an angry warning to his eastern neighbor that he will no longer tolerate cross-border attacks.
The threat — the first time Karzai has said he would send forces into Pakistan — comes only days after a sophisticated Taliban assault on Kandahar's prison freed 870 prisoners, and six weeks after Karzai survived his fourth assassination attempt.

Ex-Gays Afraid to Come Out for Fear of Persecution: ABC News Report

If it were genetic of course one couldn't change, but of course there isn't a study out there that says it is genetic.
ARLINGTON, VA, May 7, 2008 ( - Individuals who once considered themselves homosexuals but who have since left the lifestyle, often remain silent about their past life due to persecution from homosexual activists, an ABC News video revealed on Monday.
"A person may not be happy being gay, has anyone ever thought of that?" asked "David," an anonymous man who has overcome his homosexual inclinations, on ABC News.
"I've found feelings could change," David added.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) observed that "David's" desire for anonymity reflects the wide-scale persecution individuals like him face from those supportive of homosexuality.
"Many ex-gays are afraid to come out of the closet because of the harassment they will receive - their names, phone numbers and personal information posted on gay websites, attacked at ex-gay exhibit booths, press releases issued against them, etc," stated PFOX
. (more)

We Depend on Dads

Good stuff from NRO via Sam Brownback
Faithful fathers are important not only for our families, but for our nation’s future.
By Sam Brownback
As we celebrate Dear Old Dad this Father’s Day, let’s remember why dependable dads are so important — for our families and for our future as a nation.
Sometimes I’m asked why I’m so concerned about the institution of marriage in this country. After all, isn’t the decision to marry or not — or the matter of what constitutes marriage itself — a private matter, purely of concern to the individual? Well, the short answer is “No.” If the experience of the last 50 years tells us anything, it is that the consequences of weakening the institution of marriage are tragic for society at large — and especially for the children involved. While the marriage rate has fallen precipitously and the divorce rate has gone through the roof, the percentage of children born out of wedlock increased almost ten-fold during this period. (

Civility Is Better than Tolerance

Bingo! Good point over at STR:
Doug Groothuis writes a great synopsis of the thesis of Os Guinness's book The Case for Civility. Guinness argues for engagement in the public square with civility. And he also makes this important point (which got edited out of the Denver Post published version of the book review):
Unlike tolerance, civility, on the contrary, requires knowledge and courage. Guinness argues that civility is a higher virtue than mere tolerance, which easily devolves into apathy and indifference. Civility is not the fruit of relativism, which despairs of objective moral knowledge.

(more here)