Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The less God, the more troubled times in our country

After singing ”White Christmas” at the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in New York City earlier this month, Darius Rucker was accused of racism. Apparently a black person mentioning anything white showed profound insensitivity to black people following recent grand jury decisions on the police-involved deaths of two black men. It doesn’t matter that the word “white” in the title refers to snow, not skin color. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if instead of looking for evil where it doesn’t exist, we would begin putting more focus on the other word in the song’s title – Christmas, particularly how God showed His great love for us by sending His Son into the world for our salvation? If we did this, maybe we could begin eliminating some problems facing our country, from actual racism to other forms of immorality. As it stands, though, it seems the more we lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas – especially the root of that word, Christ, the worse things get in our country.

For instance, as we all know, in many ways the word “Christmas” has been largely reduced to a tool for generating profits in the marketplace. Of course that’s when it’s even referred to as Christmas, instead of as “holiday” or some other ambiguous term designed to mean nothing and offend no one, except practicing Christians, maybe. Each year stores open earlier and close later – and are even open on days like Thanksgiving now -- so that material-focused consumers can get their shopping done, while stress levels only seem to skyrocket.

And do people even know why they’re putting themselves through all of this? I recently overheard a young mother explaining to her little boy that Christmas means “presents, and hot chocolate, and snowflakes, warm mittens and love.” She got one part right. And while it’s true and good that this time of year brings out the love in many, say through extra donations to charities and families in need, for instance, if we truly knew the “Reason for the Season”, wouldn’t charities be well-funded all year round?

It doesn’t stop there, though. What used to be called “Christmas Vacation” by most public schools is now “Winter Break.” This is an unsurprising outcome of the precedent set when official prayer was stopped in public schools. Prior to 1962, prayer in school was used in school districts all over the US in many varieties. Some teachers used ad hoc prayers; others implemented structured prayers, such as the Lord's Prayer or Psalm 23. And in New York, students prayed each day: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee and beg Thy blessing over us, our parents, our teachers, and our nation.”

It was this simple, loving prayer which came under fire and went to the Supreme Court for the landmark decision to stop school prayer.  Since then there have been increased calls to remove all references to God not only from public schools, but from the public square in general under the deeply misunderstood concept of “separation of Church and State”.  The examples of this misunderstanding get more alarming every day.

For instance, the US Army recently disciplined a Christian military chaplain for making references to the Bible during a suicide prevention seminar Nov. 20. What does it tell us about where our country is heading when a Christian minister gest reprimanded for citing Scripture? And does the removal of God really help our society?

Since removing official school prayer in 1962, criminal arrests, teen suicides, illegal drug activity, child abuse cases, and divorce have all increased exponentially according to statistics from the US Census Bureau, the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the US Department of Commerce, respectively. Is this all just a coincidence?

When God was removed from school, sex education was brought in – with some school districts now targeting children as young as five years old about activities that seem perverse even to adults. Consequently, as the school’s involvement in sex education has increased -- without any firm foundation to discourage sexual experimentation -- promiscuity, premarital sex, and unplanned pregnancies have exploded. In addition, while God has been shunned, moral relativism has been celebrated, and, not surprisingly, when right or wrong becomes relative to the individual, a natural consequence is to self-approve immoral behavior.

Please don't anyone freak out. I'm not calling for mandatory school prayer or a theocracy. But asking if there is a correlation between removing God from schools and the decline in our culture is a valid question that I believe warrants thought.

This country grew to be the greatest country in the world when it operated under Judeo-Christian principles. What’s so beautiful about the Christmas Season is that it reminds us that we are loved by our Creator, and in that love, there is hope – not only the hope of our redemption and salvation, but the hope that we can all come to see each other as members of the same family in God. Maybe for the New Year we can resolve to concentrate on that love of God inherent in Christmas and work toward bringing Him back into our public square, which is sorely in need of His presence. Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy, peaceful New Year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Denying link between Islam and terrorism is a foolish mistake

When will our world's leaders unbury their heads and acknowledge the link between terrorism and Islam? No, not all Muslims are terrorists, but pretty much every act of terrorism we've seen in the past couple of decades have been enacted by Muslims in the name of Allah.

But liberals want us to think that Christians are the real threat. They want us to believe that Christians are trying to take away other people’s religious rights, Christians are trying to destroy science education, Christians are radicals and potential home-grown terrorists.

Of course there are some Christians who are sick in the head and do bad things. But they are denounced by practicing Christians, not praised like Muslim terrorists are, as indicated by the dancing in the streets we saw by many Muslims after the Sept. 11 attacks. And to the argument that it's only a small percentage of Muslims who are intent on killing those who don't praise Allah, keep in mind there are about a billion Muslims. Even a small percentage of that means millions of radical, deadly Muslims scouring the earth for their latest targets to kidnap, rape and behead.

Meanwhile Christians in America are getting in trouble for praying in public, for putting a crucifix on their desk or even, as in the case of one fire station, putting up a “Happy Birthday, Jesus” sign during the Christmas season. Even a Christian military chaplain was recently punished for citing Scripture during a suicide prevention seminar he was leading. 

But murdering Christians because they don't embrace Islam? Beheading a woman in Oklahoma because she refused to convert? Holding Sydney-based cafe patrons hostage for hours and killing some of them because they're not Muslim? Slaughtering hundreds of Pakistani children at school in the name of Allah? These are just isolated incidents carried out by misguided criminals, according to world leaders and many in the media. 

What is particularly disturbing, is that in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis, almost immediately afterward, the hashtag #illridewithyou popped up in Twitter in support of Muslims. Why was there no #illprayforyou hashtag in support of the hostages and the victims who were killed?

In fact, the day after the hostage showdown in Sydney, Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott proclaimed that ISIS - the group responsible for the hostage situation at the cafe - has nothing to do with any religion. I guess he doesn't know that the first "I" in ISIS stands for Islamic.

In a press-conference response to the beheading of an American journalist by ISIS members, our own denier-in-chief Barack Obama said earlier this year that ISIS is neither Islamic nor a State. I guess he doesn't know that the first "S" in ISIS stands for State. Then again, he had to get back to the golf course immediately after that conference so probably didn't have time to do his fact checking.

If these radical Islamists wanted to keep their fanatic beliefs to themselves, that would be one thing. But they don't. They have announced repeatedly their intentions to take over the world and kill anyone who doesn't adopt their beliefs. From what we're seeing, they're living up to their promise, and anyone denying the threat they represent is a fool.

What do you think?  Click on the comments link in the bar below to share your thoughts. No registration necessary.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Making girls out of little boys*

Young men are being totally raked over the coals in this culture by the high powered engines of radical feminism. The feminist extremists, which includes some men, and their “men-are-despicable” philosophy occupy the high ground in every institution – largely because they have played the victim card to perfection.

They control the education establishment, the media, the entertainment world, the courts and even the various religious bodies – and they have done this by taking aim squarely at
authentic masculinity.

So today, older boys and younger men dance to the music of feminist rage – not to mention quite a few older males as well, who still knew better back in the bra-burning days of the 1960s.

The masculine has become so belittled and denigrated that boys do the easiest, laziest, most gratifying thing available and simply retreat into video games and pornography, and are  drugged up by the feminzai-controlled education system which diagnoses 1 in 7 American boys as having ADHD -- and then writes a prescription for them for Ritalin – a powerful mood stabilizer – merely for being boys.

The scourge of society in the past 50 years has been the lack of the authentic masculine, because an effective authentic masculinity would have never allowed this highly charged destructive radical feminism to emerge and kill the men. 

Last week at Georgetown Hilary Clinton gave a speech. She strode up to the podium in her pantsuit and strongly suggested that women are better at foreign policy and governing than men are. They are better at building coalitions and reaching consensus than men, she said – apparently, she’s never heard of Queen Elizabeth I or Moa Tse Tung’s wife.

During the University of Virginia frat rape story – which has turned out to be much more fantasy than reality – the feministas were tripping all over themselves on various TV outlets breathlessly denouncing men in high drama – again pushing the victim angle saying women were objects of hate.

So, where are all the men? We see idiot men in TV commercials and sitcoms. We see serial killer men in movies. We see sex-crazed men in music videos and we see effeminate men in religious realms.

But where are the real men? There are still many who exist - I personally know many - but by and large, they’ve been sidelined because strong authentic men are an obstacle to the weak, effeminate, emotion saturated high dungeon of radical feminism.

And it is precisely this that must be fought against – shrill radical feminism must be confronted by confident authentic masculinity.* 

Now the question is, how do we bring back the real men from the shadows into the light?

*From Michael Vorhis/ChurchMilitantTV.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Assisted suicide: Relief at the expense of life itself

Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, invited public debate on assisted suicide when she announced through the Compassion and Choices organization her decision to move to Oregon to take advantage of its “right to die” law, where she died by lethal prescription on Nov. 1. It is a tragic case. But was Brittany’s decision courageous and a victory for freedom, as advocates of assisted-suicide claim, or does it undermine the sanctity of life?

Brittany chose death, she said, to spare her loved ones from seeing her suffer and because she also, very understandably, feared the physical suffering her doctors promised she would endure. I don’t know what Brittany’s thoughts on God were, but the issue evokes the often asked question, “If God is all powerful and good, then why does He allow bad things to happen to people?”

The question is rooted in atheism, which directs us to observe the evil around us as proof that there is no God. But although suffering does exist, God does not will that we suffer, just as He did not will that Adam and Eve sin. And while nobody, save masochists, wants to suffer, some believe it can actually be redemptive.

Catholicism, for instance, teaches that suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can aid in the physical or spiritual needs of oneself or another. And when Christ tells us to "take up your cross and follow me” (Mt.16:24), we are invited to that union with Him in our own suffering.

Of course not everyone holds this biblical view and I don’t assume to know what Brittany believed or experienced. I only know my personal experience in watching my own mother’s battle with terminal brain cancer and how her lifelong witness of faith, especially during that difficult time, brought me to a more full understanding that her suffering was not from God, but the grace to endure it was.

This is what saddens me about Brittany’s suicide and all those who do the same. Do they seek to escape their suffering because of a lonely fear not rooted in unity with God? I don’t claim to know their reasons, but when we do remove God from life’s challenges, we’re left only with our human fears and the decisions we make based on those fears. And where will such decisions ultimately take us as a society?

In a world that prizes free choice above all else, Brittany’s highly publicized “death by choice” is applauded by some as a victory for freedom, which plays right into the culture of death that has taken such ghoulish hold of our world. Just as abortion is packaged as “liberating” to women, we are now seeing the disturbingly misguided concept that all choice is good choice – “as long as it’s my choice” – being applied toward achieving our own deaths. How terribly sad.

But if we use freedom as the basis for ending life, then at what point can we put a limit on that freedom? The simple answer is, we can’t. If it is seen as cruel to suggest someone should endure suffering, then why shouldn’t society advocate lethal prescriptions for everyone the instant a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer is made?

And why stop there? Under the premise of freedom, we shouldn’t expect a diabetic to endure the challenges that come with that condition. Nor should we expect someone heartbroken by unrequited love to withstand that sort of suffering. In fact, why not advocate death for anyone whose quality of life is not what they expect? A visit to any pro assisted-suicide chat room will show you this is precisely what is being encouraged now.

Maybe this explains why so many young people today choose suicide when bullied. They’ve grown up witnessing that personal comfort is valued over human life itself. What lessons are youngsters being taught that suffering is a part of life and that their own lives are sacred, even if not perfect?  

Interestingly though, when we hear of someone’s suicide, such as recently with Robin Williams, there is an outcry over the tragedy of it because by nature we see suicide as a heartbreaking choice. How, then, is it any less tragic just because someone publicly plans her suicide with a physician’s assistance? 

In a way, it’s even worse, because by normalizing death as a solution to life’s problems, more people will opt for it, and eventually it may no longer be the suffering individual’s despair – but our own despair over someone else’s suffering -- that becomes justification to end a life.

Case in point, there are end-of-life counseling directives in Obamacare, and the first expense slashed under the health law was billions of dollars to treat the elderly. How many “suffering” people are encouraged to die to save money altogether or because a “compassionate” society desensitized to death – but not to suffering -- decides on someone’s behalf that suffering should be rejected? And just who decides how much suffering is too much?

This is what happens, though, when we blur the boundaries of life’s value: We subject ourselves to others’ notions of what life should be, while providing protective cover to those who would seek to have us die.

I pray for Brittany’s soul and for her grieving loved ones. I also pray that life, not death, is what our culture exalts, despite the challenges that life brings. And while we should always seek new and better ways to reduce suffering, assisted suicide offers relief only at the expense of human life itself; human life that has God-given dignity and unseen purpose, from conception to natural death.