Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Barking Up The Wrong Tree, As Usual

Two recent science-fiction movies, in the future-dictatorship sub-genre, happen to bear similar titles and a shared theme. "Equilibrium" and "Equals" both tell the audience that the way a dictatorship holds on to power is by suppressing all impulsive emotion in the people, forcing them to be logical and calm. Based on what I see of popular culture, the writers of those movies were (as it SO often happens) "rushing about with fire extinguishers when there is a flood."

Well, it's possible that a dictatorship would use that strategy AFTER IT IS ESTABLISHED; but I never heard of any dictatorship anywhere that ACHIEVED power by keeping everyone logical and calm. On the contrary, revolutionaries deliberately appeal to the emotions of a population. Hopes (be they realistic or not), fears (be they warranted or not), and grievances (be they justified or not) have always been what uprisings relied on for fuel.

So don't be quick to say, "Look out, someone's promoting logic and calmness, he must be a communist or a fascist!" Would-be tyrants of course will DO some thinking; and they may use an APPEARANCE of wisdom to inspire loyalty; but be sure that mob hysteria has its place in their plans.

Not everyone who appeals to emotion is trying to enslave us....but EVERYONE who wants to enslave us will have appeals to emotion in his toolbox.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Purity Shouldn't Be Asceticism

The God of the Bible is not a mindless, merciless legalist, eagerly looking for every excuse to punish people for the very tiniest slip. He wants us to succeed, not fail, at being transformed into His moral image; thus, He is patient with us. But this doesn't mean that He doesn't have an ideal of righteous conduct that He wants us to MOVE TOWARD. Sadly, the progress of His children toward a more Christlike spiritual condition is often hindered when some of US turn into those mindless, merciless legalists.

Where this bitter, condemning spirit prevails, even persons who are promoting the right KIND of behavior may promote it FOR THE WRONG REASONS. They may correctly identify some action as sinful, but horribly botch the job of explaining WHY that action is sinful.

One area where this happens a lot is the area of sexual purity. Too many preachers have given only one reason why God would be against sexual sin: BECAUSE PEOPLE ENJOY IT. Just that, without further explanation. So the take-away is that if you feel ANY pleasure that has ANY connection with earthly life, it MUST be evil. I'm not exaggerating. One anger-driven pastor in my experience claimed that a boy and girl doing nothing more sensual than HOLDING HANDS were behaving just as sinfully as if they fornicated. This was almost forty years ago, so by now that pastor has probably had to report in at the judgment seat of Christ and have his work evaluated. Of course I don't know, but I would be VERY surprised to learn that in all of his career he ever helped EVEN ONE PERSON to walk in a truly God-centered purity -- for what I know of his preaching serves only to illustrate why worldly people find it so easy to claim that Christianity is "hateful" by its very nature.

When I talk about the Christian standard for sexuality, I talk about how our sex-related conduct AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE. Both physical sexual intercourse, and the emotional interaction that leads to it or follows after it, will create EXPECTATIONS in the minds of those involved. Unfortunately, the expectations formed in the woman's mind are often TERRIBLY different from those in the man's mind, so that at least one of the partners will end up disillusioned and hurt. Usually the woman. This is only one of the ways in which people may injure other people when sex is in the picture; but this whole area of CONSEQUENCES needs to be more widely understood.

A man who would laugh at you for telling him, "Pleasure is evil BECAUSE it's pleasant," might nonetheless have enough conscience in him that he would stop to think if you told him instead, "SELFISHNESS is evil, because it hurts others who have the same right to be treated well as you have." If the entire world were a church, maybe it would always be enough to say, "Don't do this, because God says not to do it;" but since the entire world ISN'T a church, we need to provide a REASON for being against certain actions.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Strength of Stupidity Is That People Desire and Choose It

A foolish woman raised a panic to the effect that poor innocent American Muslims were going to be "forced into camps just like the Japanese-Americans." Refusing to believe that there could be ANY cause for us to be on guard concerning Islam, she insisted that when Muslim men rape women, it has nothing to do with Islam. So, fatigued though I am from years of having to refute the same nonsense over and over and over, I replied....

Exactly how does anyone BECOME a violent criminal? He has to be able to MAKE EXCUSES FOR his destructive, selfish actions. Which makes it relevant to inquire what sort of role models people choose to admire.

Jesus Christ did not force himself sexually on a nine-year-old girl, nor did he lead armies to conquer people for his own self-serving gain. Prince Siddhartha, the first Buddha, also did not do those things. MUHAMMAD DID. There is a way-big difference among founders of belief systems.

Professing Christians or professing Buddhists, if they commit rape or other violent crimes, are obviously DISOBEYING their faith-founders. But Muslims who commit violent crimes are ACCURATELY FOLLOWING the example of their faith-founder. Wherever you see a Muslim who doesn't wish to harm or enslave anyone, you are seeing someone who has MOVED AWAY FROM the actual roots of Islam.

"Innocent until proven guilty," definitely not a Muslim concept, rightly protects Muslim citizens from being groundlessly assumed to be a threat. But considering that CHRISTIANS in the United States get accused of wanting to commit murder if they so much as raise a SPOKEN OBJECTION to homosexuality, it is not any outrageous bigotry against Muslims if we EXAMINE THEIR WAY OF THINKING. Ideas have consequences; and one Islamic idea which is currently in active practice is that THEY STILL KEEP SLAVES in Muslim countries, when other nations have long since abolished slavery. Not to mention literally stoning women to death for the "crime" of BEING raped.

Where I live, the notion of Muslims being rounded up into concentation camps is laughably distant from reality. Here in the Denver area, so far from being persecuted, Muslims are allowed to stage big, noisy demonstrations, completely unhindered. I have watched this with my own eyes.

Be sure to let me know if you hear of Jews, Wiccans, Hindus or Sikhs mutilating the genitals of young girls. But I won't ask you to report the results if you go to Saudi Arabia and SAY ANYTHING on a street corner that contradicts anything in the Koran. In such a case, you won't be alive to report to me.

Speaking of the Koran, the Fourth Sura therein says that a Muslim husband not only is allowed to punish his wife if she disobeys him, he can even punish her if he so much as SUSPECTS that she MIGHT be disobedient. This is not my "Islamophobia," it's in THEIR book.

When apologists for Islam try to argue that "the Bible is just as harsh," they have to dig back thousands of years, and point to practices that were discontinued long ago. Ironically, Islam pretends to represent PROGRESS BEYOND Judaism and Christianity, but it is Islam that treats women as property RIGHT NOW. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
During the hour or so that followed, the woman could not come up with EVEN ONE FACT that countered anything I had said; ALL she could offer were stubborn emotional denials. These will not do her a bit of good if America falls under Sharia Law.

Monday, November 7, 2016

On the Eve of Something

I have heard more than enough of people saying, "Oh, politics is so divisive and icky, let's forget about politics." But in its Greek origin, the word has nothing at all to do with large numbers of bloodsucking parasites, notwithstanding the tedious unfunny joke to that effect. "Politics" means nothing other than "the public business of a society." So are we concerned about what happens to our society, or aren't we?

The call to ignore politics appears to be coming mostly from two categories of Americans:

1) Doctrinaire leftists, the self-designated Cool People, who figure THEY CAN AFFORD to have less discussion of politics, because they ALREADY ENJOY enormous undeserved advantages: their side's domination of the media and show business, their side's domination of the educational system, their side's freedom from worrying about facts because they play only on emotion, and their side's ruthless concentration on having power. They want THE REST OF US to stay quiet, but you can bet that the leftists WON'T be quiet if they think something's at stake for them.

2) Compliant, submissive people, who may still practice traditional values privately, but who are so desperately eager to appease the Cool People and be accepted by the Cool People, that they will censor themselves, and tell others to go belly-up also.
That's why it is that the Cool People got away with first saying that man-caused global COOLING would destroy the world, then flip-flopping and saying that man-caused global WARMING would destroy the world. That's why the Cool People could first say that an unborn baby was fair game to be killed because it was ONLY part of the mother's body, then later say that the unborn baby was fair game to be killed because it WASN'T part of the mother's body. They say it's all about "the right to CHOOOOOOOSE;" but they didn't raise a peep of protest against Red China forcing pregnant women literally at gunpoint TO have abortions. They spent the whole Dubya Bush presidency insisting that "Dissent is patriotic;" but the instant Barry Soetoro stepped into the White House, they suddenly decided that ANY dissent against HIS policies was racism and Islamophobia. Not enough Americans call the Cool People out on their self-contradictions.

Until recently, the Cool People told us that every woman who complains of sexual harassment MUST be believed automatically. But then they decided that a woman's complaint of sexual harassment must be IGNORED-- if it involves the woman's private space being invaded by a man who pretends to believe HE is a woman. The Cool People boast of being against racism; but they allow the Latino-supremacist Reconquista movement to get away with having the slogan, "Everything for The Race, nothing for those outside The Race."
The Cool People boast of being "compassionate," but many of them are ONLY compassionate with other people's money. They want unrestricted license to enjoy any pleasure that appeals to them, but don't want to be required to think about the harm that some pleasures may bring. They protest, VERY SELECTIVELY, against rough language by a candidate for office; but I can attest from direct knowledge that their freedom TO protest against things is protected by men and women in uniforms who ALSO often use rough language.

I've done what I can. In about twenty-four hours, we'll know if the Cool People have gotten their way. If they get their way, there will be STILL MORE cynical, transparent lying to justify absurd, unworkable policies. The lies will frequently stick to the theme of "equal distribution" of everything -- never addressing the question, "If we lose all our productivity, how can there BE anything left TO distribute?"
I will not close with Second Chronicles 7:14. Well-meaning Christians have been invoking that Scripture nonstop, day and night, for almost fifty years, AND they've been faithfully doing everything that Israel was called upon to do in that Scripture.... but the United States has just kept right on falling down the toilet. When enough citizens of a nation get up in the morning INTENDING to be gullible fools, this will tragically have an effect.

And given the number of American citizens who wanted to believe the LIE that an internet video caused the Benghazi killings, I'm afraid we have a LOT of people who have chosen to be gullible-- because what matters to them is gaining the approval of the Cool People.

Well, I can be killed. I can be imprisoned. Contrary to movies, I can probably be broken by torture. But I at least CANNOT be made to believe in my heart that good is evil and up is down. So I'll do what I can for truth in 2017, whatever the election outcome is. The Cool People had better not hold their breath waiting for me to be fooled.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Glimpse of the Last-Stand Campaign

     A Russian family in my neighborhood has a Trump-Pence  sign in their front yard.             |

Russian-Americans have not forgotten the Soviet Union. They know what it's like to live under the absolute rule of a statist, collectivist central government. They are not particularly eager to see their adopted nation under the absolute rule of disciples of Saul Alinsky.                            

Meanwhile, the media establishment rendeth its garments over how horrible it is that Trump groped women. Even assuming every one of those accusations to be true, Trump did not LEAVE A GIRLFRIEND TO DIE in a submerged automobile. And the same ever-so-righteously-indignant media establishment gave Ted Kennedy a free pass when HE DID leave a girlfriend to drown. Leftists will belatedly come back now and say, "Sexual misconduct is bad no matter who does it;" but they cannot change the fact that they HAVE NOT HELD FELLOW LEFTISTS ACCOUNTABLE for sexual misconduct.
If it weren't for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.                  

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."