Saturday, January 3, 2009

Some Thoughts On Gaza

Hamas opted for war, and they're getting it
Israel's enemies -- and even many of its supporters -- are urging restraint, ignoring the fact that Israelis have been displaying remarkable restraint....
...No nation can be expected to put up with such attacks for long, yet Israel held its fire for months. But when Hamas announced a few weeks ago it would not renew the truce and then stepped up its rocket attacks, Israel could no longer ignore the obvious. A full scale war was being renewed against it by an Islamic jihad that declares that Israel has no right to exist, and is sworn to destroy it....

Why Israel Struck
...Besides halting the rocket attacks against its territory, with this offensive against Hamas Israel is also breaking the circle of terror, with which Iran has surrounded it. Hezbollah, Iran’s ally in southern Lebanon across from Israel’s northern border launched a similar rocket campaign in 2006 that resulted in a full-scale Israeli offensive. More than four thousand rockets were launched into Israel during that conflict, which Hezbollah has meanwhile made good in expectation of the war’s next round.
Like Hezbollah, Hamas is also sponsored by Iran. According to intelligence experts, Iran has spent large amounts of money to arm and train Hamas, supplying the Sunni terrorist organization with Hezbollah advisors. Besides its ultimate goal of destroying Israel, Iran is using Hezbollah’s and Hamas’s aggression against the Jewish state to enhance its prestige in the Muslim world vis-a-vis Sunni Muslim regimes it wants to undermine....

The Necessity of Israel
Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons. -- Associated Press, Dec. 27
WASHINGTON -- Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel-Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating.
Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger. Hamas, which started this conflict with unrelenting rocket and mortar attacks on unarmed Israelis -- 6,464 launched from Gaza in the last three years -- deliberately places its weapons in and near the homes of its own people. ...

Cease terror, not cease-fire
...Hamas leaders ordered the cross-border attack against Israel in June 2006 in which two IDF soldiers were killed and Gilad Schalit was taken hostage. They grabbed power away from Fatah the following year, transforming Gaza into a spoiling-for-a-fight Islamist stronghold. Hundreds of Palestinians have lost their lives as a result of Hamas's warmongering.
They locked themselves into the old Arab mantra of "no recognition, no negotiation and no peace." They refused to honor agreements the PLO signed with Israel. They oppose the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. And they've kept Gaza an impoverished basket-case. ...

Voted for Prop 8? You're fired

From WND:

...Kevin Snider, chief counsel for PJI, told WND of a worker at a financial company who was asked before the November election how he would vote on the issue of homosexual marriage. The employee gave an evasive answer. Following the election, the employee was asked repeatedly how he voted.
When it was learned the employee had voted in favor of Proposition 8, he was written up for discrimination, Snider reports, and fired within a couple of days.
WND reported earlier of a pair of radio hosts who were fired, they believe, because they questioned on air a local politician's call to boycott businesses that supported Prop. 8.
"I voiced my opinion," radio host Marshall Gilbert told WND. "I voted yes on Prop. 8, and I was fired over that."
While some employees have been fired outright, others have been harassed by fellow workers or risk losing their jobs because of protesters hounding their companies.
The Los Angeles Times reported
the story of El Coyote, a coffee shop that became a target of protest after the manager's name was put on a blacklist for giving $100 to support Proposition 8. Mobs of protesters harassed El Coyote's customers, shouting "shame on you," until police in riot gear settled the crowd.
The customers, the Times reports, abandoned the once-thriving business, and now El Coyote's 89 employees, some of them openly homosexual, have had their hours cut and face layoffs if the customers don't return soon.
Advocates for homosexual marriage have even set up a website,, which lists hundreds of California residents, churches and businesses that donated money to the Proposition 8 campaign, urging sympathizers not to patronize those on the list. ...(more)

Back From Travels and Thanks

Drove back from MO on New Years Day and was pleased to find that the blog had not gathered cobwebs. New contributors JD and Magister Christianus (Latin teacher can you tell? :-) )took time from their holiday schedules and posted a few thoughts. Many thanks to the both of you and Merry Christmas (today is the 10th day of Christmas if you're counting) and Happy New Year to you and the 10's of folk who visit here every now and again.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Feds Couldn't Even Manage the Ranch?

The following is from a little local newspaper in Westfield, Indiana. It is not available online, so I am transcribing it here.

Back in 1990, the government seized control of the bawdy Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, attempted to run it. Alas, the feds failed miserably (surprised?), and the joint was shuttered. Fast-foward 18 years. Today, we are entrusting our nation's economy and $850-plus billion to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whorehouse and selling booze. Now, if that doesn't make you nervous, what does?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why Protestant/Catholic/Orthodox?

I have emailed this question to several friends, but have received surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) few responses.

I have been a Protestant my entire life, yet I acknowledge what R.R. Reno described as "the insanity of [the] slide into self-guidance." (Catholic Matters, Richard John Neuhaus, p. 65). I also whole-heartedly agree with Neuhaus himself when he says, "The allegedly autonomous self who acknowledges no authority but himself is abjectly captive to the authority of the Enlightenment rationality that finally collapses into incoherence." He adds, "Confronted by such truth claims, we necessarily ask, 'Sez who?' By what authority, by whose authority, should I credit such claims to be true?" (ibid., p. 70)

And so I ask: If you are Protestant, why are you Protestant and why are you not Catholic or Orthodox? If you are Catholic, why are you Catholic and not Protestant or Orthodox? If you are Orthodox, why are you Orthodox and not Protestant or Catholic?

Note that whatever question applies to you is actually in two parts, asking a positive affirmation of why you are what you are and an answer of why you are not what you are not.

Thanks in advance to all who search deeply and share good, honest thoughts.

The God We Pray To

V. Gene Robinson, the first openly sodomite Episcopal bishop, said in NY Times article that referenced Rick Warren's pick as the one to deliver the inaugural prayer, "[T]he God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know." I have never talked with Rick Warren, but I am under the impression that he worships the triune God of the Christian faith. If so, then Gene Robinson is admitting that he does not. Now, I had thought that the Episcopal church worshiped that same God. Would this statement alone not consitute grounds for Robinson's removal?

Then there is Timothy McCarthy, "a historian who teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an unabashed Obama enthusiast who served on his campaign’s National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Leadership Council." (See NY Times article.) He tells op-ed columnist Frank Rich in that article that Rick Warren should "recant his previous statements about gays and lesbians, and start acting like a Christian."

Don't you love it when non-Christians tell Christians how Christians should think?