Saturday, July 2, 2016

No Good Deed Unpunished

   Don't rely on being thanked, or even acknowledged, for actions of kindness, generosity and concern toward others. Those to whom you do good may be infinitely more intent on stroking their own pride than on appreciating anyone who unwittingly exposes their shortcomings by intervening in their problems. They may vilify you precisely _for_ trying to help.                                                

When you learn this lesson about the commonplace ingratitude of human beings, you will be tempted to turn hard-hearted yourself, saying, "All right, let them fend for themselves!" Please don't do that. Please don't give up on being a giver in a world swarming with takers.                                        

It's always _possible_ that one in fifty persons benefited by your deeds _will_ be sincerely grateful.                                                            

Monday, May 30, 2016

Remembering An Absent Friend

  I did not let Memorial Day 2016 pass without recalling the one shipmate I actually saw dying while I was in the Navy. He was a HAY-SOOSE type Jesus: a Filipino named Jesus Paredes. He never made it past boot camp. An undiagnosed heart weakness led to his death by heart attack when we did an exercise run.                                                          
Jesus was the next oldest man to me in my recruit company, a fellow Christian, and a good buddy. Like me, he had a wife. He was trying to earn United States citizenship, a path open to Filipinos due to the long relationship between the United States and the Philippine Republic. His diligence and helpfulness to others during basic training suggest what a good sailor he would have made. ("He who is faithful in a little is faithful also in much.") I never found out what became of his family.                                          
Twenty years later, for my Navy retirement ceremony, I created a sort of banner in Paredes' honor. It showed a man running up a ramp into Heaven, and bore the Biblical phrase "I have finished the race."                 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My Satire MayBe Funny, But Sexual Harassment Isn't

These parody lyrics go to the tune of Joe Walsh's song "Life's Been Good," but the message is not directed against Joe Walsh himself unless he joins the current sick movement. My target (no pun intended) is any entertainer who, by refusing to perform in a place, tries to force people to agree that men should be allowed to invade women's restrooms.


I am a has-been who's older than dirt;
I want my fame back, no matter who's hurt.
Good as a Grammy is being p.c.,
So every tranny is precious to me.

Women's rights became old-fashioned when the new fad began,
Oh yeah.
Ladies have to share the restroom with a cross-dressing man;
This trend works for me so far!

North Carolina wants girls to be safe;
I'll say their minds run on bigoted faith.
I'll take my stand with transgender voyeurs;
We'll change the meaning of "his" and of "hers."

Women's rights became old-fashioned when the new fad began,
Oh yeah.
Now we see pretended women with a camera in hand;
This trend works for me so far!

Time was when women could cry gender war
If men just had a swimsuit calen-dar.
Now girls are losing the ground they had gained,
All so that psychos will never be pained.

Now America's a witness at the scene of this crime,
Oh yeah.
I don't care about the damage done, I just care that I'm
Going to be a p.c. star!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Logic of P.C. Popularity

If you carefully choose a bogus opening premise, you can arrive at all sorts of neat bogus conclusions. Say that you start with: "I need to be one of the cool people, so that other cool people will approve of me and I can get attention at parties." From there, you may "brilliantly" conclude that:

1) A man can just _say_ that he's a woman, and this _makes_ him a woman.

 2) Children suffer no loss by being raised in a home where one sex of parent is intentionally excluded, presenting a daily message that men and women _don't_ belong together.

 3) All wealth and economic assets just fall out of the sky, so distribution is the only factor to consider.

 4) Although the Earth has had climate fluctuations for as long as it has existed, the most _recent_ fluctuations are caused by evil American oil corporations.

 5) Persons with dark skin cannot ever be wrong on any subject, unless they are Christians and/or conservative patriots.

 6) The entire New Testament was made up in the fourth century, never mind the much-older manuscripts.

 7) A Christian expressing _spoken_ disapproval of something is far worse than a Muslim actually _killing_ people dead just for disagreeing with him.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shedding light ONTO Scripture helps us receive light FROM Scripture

Even before Jesus made atonement and carried us beyond the Mosaic Law, prophets operating _within_ the Law were aware that "the letter of the law" was not everything. They were able to deal also with people's character and motives.  

 Here is a bit of background on the Herod family. We know from the Gospels that Herod Antipas (a son of the evil old phony king) had a wife named Herodias; but no one asks why someone who married _into_ the family would have such an obviously derivative name. The explanation is that Herodias _didn't_ marry into the Herod family, she was _born_ into it. She was a granddaughter of the first Herod. I forget which of the many sons was her father, but I'm pretty sure her first _husband_ was Herod Philip. Thus Herodias was married to her uncle; and Antipas who stole her was _another_ of her uncles.    

 Now, the Law forbade sex between an uncle and a niece, or between an aunt and a nephew. So by the letter, Herodias' marriage to Herod Philip _wasn't_ valid in the first place, that John the Baptist should have bothered caring about its dissolution. But John doubtless understood that the Herods, who were part Arab, were not big on Mosaic observance anyway; and in their ignorant world, an uncle-niece marriage might be perceived by _them_ to be valid. Therefore, _within_ that worldview, there would still have been some vestige of moral virtue in Herodias deciding "I'll be faithful here," and in Herod Antipas deciding "I won't intrude on that." But since Antipas and Herodias _didn't_ follow the relatively high road, John the Baptist got on their case EXACTLY AS IF the original marriage had been legitimate in every way.
 It would be cheap and easy, at this point, for Christians to oversimplify by saying: "None of that matters! All that matters is that the Herods were unsaved sinners, which means that _every_ possible action of theirs would be _exactly_ as bad as every _other_ possible action!" But John the Baptist, who I think did have some spiritual authority, cough cough, _didn't_ act or speak as if every possible action by a sinner was the same as every other possible action. He acted as if it would in fact have been _better_ for Herodias not to have left one uncle for another uncle.
 There was a reason for John's attitude. Of _course_ Herodias would not have been eternally saved by the mere fact of staying with her first husband, even if the inbreeding had not been an issue. But if she _had_ been faithful, God could have _used_ this choice on her part as a spark of light-- part of the process of awakening her to spiritual truth. In "Mere Christianity," Mister Lewis writes: "Virtue, even attempted virtue, brings light; indulgence brings fog."
 The next shallow dismissal would be to say: "No action matters! God either chooses to save someone or _doesn't_ choose to save that person!" But no matter how super-duper-sovereign God's work of grace is, it still _reaches_ us through particular experiences. We created beings live among the particulars.
 Unless we think that God's sovereignty means we should go to bed and never DO anything in His service, it is fully appropriate for us to try to understand other people's feelings and wishes. Surely our understanding of our fellow mortals can be at _least_ as useful to God as our being utterly clueless would be.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Crunchy Gesture

    I have    in recent times been annoyed with the Frito-Lay Corporation for falling into line to praise homosexuality. But they made considerable amends on Super Bowl evening, with a commercial which bore a pro-life subtext. Accordingly, today I set out on a mission to BUY DORITOS in multiple stores.  

Now, it's hard to be sure about this, but it seemed to me that in each store I went to, the quantity of Doritos was less than it might have been. So maybe others also decided to give the Frito-Lay Corporation some positive reinforcement; Even a PARTIAL move toward truth should be encouraged.             

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Increments as the Instruments of the Insolent

The word "mining" in the military sense derives from the ore-extraction sense of "mining." When a medieval army besieged a strong castle, one useful method of attack was to dig a tunnel, just like a mine shaft in the sense we would think of, extending under the castle's outer wall. When this tunnel was made to collapse, the stone structure directly above it could not help also collapsing. (It was only much later that the noun "mine" began to mean a distinct physical object that was essentially a type of bomb.) But of course, this ancient UNDER-mining took time, all the more so because the besiegers would rather that their own men avoided being killed by a premature cave-in. So success required patience. As in medieval warfare, so in the modern war of ideas.                                  
                                                                                                                                                                In all of its major strategies, that which is generally known as "the left" operates by increments. And no, I'm not saying that literally everything leftist on Earth has one seamless, unified human command structure issuing orders to every totalitarian liar everywhere. But for people who desire to see an all-controlling monopoly government ruling everyone and everything, without reference or reverence to the Creator of everyone and everything, it comes naturally to be gradual and methodical about destroying basic elements of civilization.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                             G.K. Chesterton wrote that only those for whom the home is sacred have moral ground from which to defy the state. Loyalty to a family competes with loyalty to a government. Sometimes the family is in the wrong, but sometimes not; and worshipers of centralized government want to remove the very possibility that anyone might ever say, "Wait! I can't obey this command, because it would cause needless and undeserved harm to the people I love!" Jesus warned that we must not love father or mother more than we love Him; but collectivist tyrants don't want us loving a distinct, self-directed family AT ALL. Which is why the Soviet Union and other dictatorships have encouraged the peasants to inform on their own relatives, as well as on their neighbors, for actual or imagined rebellion.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

    Therefore, the creation of Soviet-style regimes calls for the value of a family to be eroded in people's minds. But like the undermining of a castle, this can't be achieved all in one stroke. So it is that in the West, the brainless admirers of Communism, as directed by their soulless opinion-makers, have eroded the family without admitting that they were doing so.... by gradually introducing the notion that ALL associations between people equally are families. And in the words of the animated character Syndrome, when everyone is super, no one will be.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The process was built into the very start of secularizing society. If there is no God to define things, well, then the progressive geniuses must "reluctantly" shoulder the noble task of defining human relationships, no applause necessary. Human desire and sentiment became the whole reason for marriage. This first pill went down fairly easily, since of course romantic love is not bad in itself; but the Rousseaus and the Marxes wanted love to be without any transcendent rule to guide it. From love being the cause of marriage, they went on to argue that love made marriage unnecessary. A nice, easy step, still remaining heterosexual. Marriage was an artificial construct, while the reproductive urge was natural, so of course let's prefer the natural -- and get busy fornicating. Everybody else is, aren't they? Already in this early phase, anyone objecting to promiscuity could be vilified as "intolerant" and "hateful."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
I am not hateful, esteemed reader. I know my own failings, and so am obligated to make allowances for other people's failings. But contrary to leftwing dogma, having compassion on human weakness does not mean that we should throw away the model which God provided for us to strive toward.

 Heterosexual promiscuity was dishonestly touted to women as liberating them in particular, because they could assume the initiative instead of just hoping a man would call. But in actual practice, the sexual revolution liberated the selfishness of those males who had rejected God's standards. They wanted to play and not pay --wanted to drink the milk without buying and feeding the cow. Millions of women found themselves used and discarded; so it was necessary for the left to make an adjustment, before moving on to the gay-marriage phase. Women were encouraged to be justifiably angry at men who used them selfishly. Only, this anger must not lead to the restoration of the value of marriage; instead, it must lead to contempt for men as men. Hence the increase in television comedy shows whose male characters were useless morons who couldn't find their noses with both hands in daylight unless a woman helped them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                                             Here, a divide occurred. The left was never going to persuade all men to accept being seen as feeble clowns; thus, they must be allowed to enjoy James Bond movies and other entertainments, where males could still be strong, smart and successful. But these heroes no longer were looking for marriage. So in one lane of the broad highway we saw men who weren't losers, but who weren't ideal-father material either; and in the other lane we saw men who would still get married, but who had almost nothing to offer to their goddess-like superior wives. What the leftwing culture didn't want us to see was men who did things God's way, combining strength with tenderness as Jesus would do.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

This much damage done cleared the way for the "normalization" of homosexuality and then same-sex marriage. Fortunately for the purposes of the left, most Westerners were paying no attention to history, or else they would have noticed the pop culture doing a one-eighty. Back in the Sixties, we had been specifically told that we must forget an artificial construct in favor of what was natural. But in order to set up homosexuals as the new victim-group aristocrats who could do no wrong, it was necessary for pop culture to forget what was natural, in favor of an artificial construct.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
The transgender delusion, coming after all that went before, is like a mopping-up campaign, crushing the last pockets of resistance. Even with homosexuality being praised as the ultimate in love and beauty, at least people still agreed that there were such things as men and women; but now, the transgender movement insists that there aren't even any definitions -- only self-absorbed blank-tablet human spirits, who are whatever they say they are. All the previous phases of cultural sabotage entailed changing values and rules; but the transgender fantasy, an integral feature of post-modernism, is calculated to collapse the very structure of thought itself, so NO ONE CAN any longer discuss coherently what might have gone wrong and what should be done to remedy it.                    

When a population is deprived both of saving faith in Jesus Christ, and of the ability to think logically, it is even more defenseless against enslavement than a population deprived of weapons for physical self-defense. And that is where we have now arrived.