Do you wonder how many studies aren’t published because they didn’t give the “right” answers?

Or, the “Left” answers, to be more specific.  See the video at James O’ Keefe Investigation: Rutgers Education Professor in Pay-for-Play | MRCTV to see how a Rutgers education professor agrees not to make a deal until the research shows what he wants it to be.

We know how wildly biased media and education can be, but I’ve never given much thought to how many things the Left can hide in academia.  Think of the studies that allegedly show how well kids turn out in gay/lesbian households.  But what makes you think they wouldn’t hide a study that showed otherwise?

For example:

However, a new in-depth review of 59 studies on gay parenting has concluded that such “strong assertions” about gay parenting are “not empirically warranted.”

Most of the 59 gay-parenting studies involve children of high-income white lesbian mothers or tended to use very small samples; studied children but not teens; and either had no comparison families or compared lesbian-led homes with single-mother-led homes, wrote Louisiana State University family science professor Loren Marks.

These and other weaknesses cannot support broad statements that there are “no significant differences” between being raised in same-sex versus mother-father homes, wrote Mr. Marks, whose analysis was included in the Oct. 15 briefs filed by the House of Representatives in its defense of DOMA in Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management.

The Westar Wolves broke my irony meter

Wolf

The Westar Institute is home of the Jesus Seminar, the group of fake Christians who literally voted on which things Jesus “really” said in the New Testament and which He did not. Not surprisingly, the “Jesus” they ended up with looked remarkably like contemporary liberal culture — in other words, just like them.  They deny his divinity, his miracles, his resurrection and more in making him out to be an early Occupy Wall Street-type rebel.  In other words, no one holding their views should claim to be Christian.  They may have degrees but they speak nonsense, such as what Jesus Seminar member Marcus Borg said here.

Now here’s some news from their new employee Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” CurrieThe Bible Seminar Set To Increase Biblical Literacy – Just In Time.

It is hard to imagine a more ironic title.  These “Christians” can’t go three sentences without creating a god in their own image but they think they are going to increase biblical literacy?  Sure.  Just like their spokesman did a whole sermon explaining why Jesus isn’t the only way to salvation because he insisted that John 14:6 didn’t belong in the Bible but that the Gospel of Thomas did (yeah, what did the early church know, anyway?!).  And he didn’t even realize there were 100+ additional verses to rationalize away to make his point!  He insisted that the Gospel of John was written after 130 A.D., even though atheist textual critics like Bart Ehrman and others place it at 90-95 A.D.  (I think it was written before 70 A.D., but that is another topic.)

The Westar Institute – home of the Jesus Seminar and Polebridge Press – will be launching a new initiative called the Bible Seminar this month to promote Biblical literacy and the timing couldn’t be better.

I agree that biblical illiteracy is rampant.  But looking to the Westar Wolves for assistance is like asking Jerry Sandusky to fight pedophilia.  I mean, he appears to know a lot about it, but there is a difference between a cause and a cure.

You have to feel bad for White House Press Secretary Jay Carney who made the unfortunate mistake recently of attributing the phrase “the Lord helps those who help themselves” to the Bible.  It’s a common mistake.  In fact, pollster George Barna has found that 75% of Americans believe this phrase, most likely from Benjamin Franklin, comes from Scripture.

Again, let’s remember that Chuck distorts every verse he touches.  How can someone get a seminary degree and not know that the New Testament claims countless times that Jesus is the only way to salvation and that Jesus is divine?  That isn’t what makes those true, of course, but they are obviously positions every authentic Christian should hold.

Carney’s mistake isn’t very worrisome.  What is truly concerning are how many Americans, for example, would claim that Jesus is opposed to gay marriage.  Jesus never uttered a word about homosexuality as far as we know – for or against – but people will claim that he did.

Predictable.  Of course Chuck hasn’t read where Jesus reiterated who God made marriage for: One man and one woman (Mark 10).  And yes, that statement was in response to the issue of divorce, but it still indicates God’s plan for marriage.  You can’t get away from it.

And Chuck offers no evidence and uses the “what Jesus didn’t say” argument from silence, which fails on many levels: Arguing from silence is a logical fallacy, Jesus inspired all scripture, He supported the Old Testament law to the last letter, the “red letters” weren’t silent on this topic in the sense that they reiterated what marriage is, He emphasized many other important issues that these liberal theologians completely ignore (Hell, his divinity, his exclusivity, etc.), He was equally “silent” on issues that these folks treat as having the utmost importance (capital punishment, war, welfare, universal health care, etc.), His failure to mention bestiality, child abuse and other obvious sins wouldn’t justify them, and homosexual behavior simply wasn’t a hot topic for 1st century Jews.  Other than that, it is a great argument.

More importantly, note how this false teacher tips his hand by saying Jesus never addressed homosexuality.  Remember, the clear claim of scripture and an essential of the Christian faith is that Jesus is part of the Trinity.  Jesus is God, the Bible is the word of God, therefore the Bible is the word of Jesus.  The original writings turned out exactly the way He wanted them to.  Therefore, all the verses about human sexuality turned out exactly the way Jesus wanted:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.
Also, Chuck is implying that Romans and other writings addressing homosexuality aren’t the word of God.  That’s a peculiar thing for a Christian to say.
There are three types of pro-gay theologians, and Chuck and the Jesus Seminar are in the most explicitly anti-Christian group, the one that believes that the Bible is either not the Word of God, or that most parts of it aren’t.

Our level of Biblical literacy is low in the United States.

Twenty five years ago, The Westar Institute started the Jesus Seminar to bring Biblical scholars out of classrooms and into the public square to discuss the life and ministry of Jesus in new ways.  The project largely focused then on the historical Jesus and sought to set Jesus within his own historical context and to explore the meaning of his life and death free from dogmatic constraints that had for centuries limited our understanding of who Jesus was.  For many Christians the work of the Jesus Seminar was liberating – for the Religious Right is was blasphemous.

Not just the religious right thinks it is blasphemous.  Chuck & Co. are so comfortable in their little Western Liberal religious cocoon that they don’t know what real Christians have believed for 2,000 years and around the world.  I know lots of Christians outside the U.S., and I assure you that Chuck and Westar do not speak for them.

Dr. Stephen Patterson, director of The Westar Institute and George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., notes that the mission of Westar is to “facilitate collaborative, critical scholarship and bring it before the public for the common good.  Lately, however, we have not been heard.  Our evangelical friends are well-organized and well-funded and consequently can raise their voice above all others.  Our new project, The Bible Seminar, is our attempt to re-ignite the fires of the Jesus Seminar and raise once again the voice of critical scholarship in a conversation that has veered far to the right.”

I can’t wait to see their content!

Groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council and figures like Albert Mohler use Scripture to justify all kinds of conservative causes:  oppression of women, opposition to environmental protections, support for U.S. military intervention in places like Iraq, opposition to marriage equality, etc.  But are these Biblical positions? Plenty of scholars who study the Bible would say no and argue that these are political position cloaked in religious language.

Eek!  Bible-believing Christians!  Wait . . . what do they mean by “oppression of women?”  Oh, if you are opposed to crushing and dismembering innocent but unwanted human beings in the womb then you want to oppress women . . . even though gender selection abortions are used almost exclusively to kill females for the sole reason that they are female.

“Marriage equality” = tired sound bite.  “Same-sex marriage” is not, and never will be, equal to real marriage as outlined in the Bible.

The Bible Seminar will help equip those scholars to better engage in public debate and enter into discussion and dialogue with clergy and lay Christians (and non-believers as well) to liberate the Bible from those who would misuse it for their own partisan political purposes.

Yeah, because people would never misuse the Bible to rationalize the government taking by force from neighbor A to “give” to neighbor B and calling it “Christianity,” and they would never use it to justify abortion and teaching 5 yr. olds how “normal” LGBTQ behavior is.

Like the Jesus Seminar before it, the Bible Seminar won’t answer all the questions.  What this project will do, however, is allow the questions to be asked and in the process solicit diverse voices that often aren’t even invited to the table to be part of the discussion.  We can expect the work to be controversial but always exciting.

I used to feel sorry for people taken in by fakes like Chuck Currie and the Jesus Seminar.  Now I tend to think that they get what they deserve: a false god to worship.

Westar is a poster child for Leopard Theology, where they claim that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots, as well as Advanced Leopard Theology, where God is also changing spots and adding/removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling Western theological liberals and progressives.

Jesus warned us many times of false teachers, and He was right.  My guess is that those passages were the first ones jettisoned by the Westar Wolves.

Please note how their “biblical literacy” campaign immediately self-destructs with respect to their anti-Christ mission. Their main point in the past has been dismissing the verses they don’t like as not being of Jesus, or dismissing whole books of the Bible as not belonging.  But they can’t deny what is actually in the Bible.

For example, Chuck can try and deny that Jesus spoke the words of John 14:6, but he can’t deny that it is in the book.  So if they want to debate what the Bible really says — whether they think Jesus said it or not — they are going to lose badly.  They used to cheat by pulling out verses that opposed their made up religion, but if they are going to point to what is in the whole book then they can’t play that game any longer.  

This will be fun.  

Global warming will cause more hurricanes. No, the same number, but more severe. No, wait, there will be less.

Yet another reminder of the Kevin Nealon skits on Saturday Night Live where he’d catch himself in an error and say, “What I really meant to say was . . .”  But the experts are really sure this time!  So you should still radically change your lifestyle, even though the AGW leaders don’t change their lifestyles, and accept an unprecedented and permanent governmental power grab over your life.

First they said that anthropogenic global warming would cause more hurricanes. Then, after that didn’t work out, they said they wouldn’t necessarily increase in amount, but, they would be stronger. And, now that that didn’t work out, we find out, via C3 Headlines

A team of NOAA researchers has recently completed a new analysis and have now conceived a new “consensus” science: global warming will cause less storms to strike the U.S.

As C3 points out, there has been no major (cat 3) strike on the US mainland since 2005 (Wilma). I’ve pointed that out, as well. There’s been no US landfalling hurricanes since 2008 (Ike hit Texas on Sept 13, 2008). Hurricane Irene (2011) was not a hurricane when it came ashore either in North Carolina nor New Jersey.

Going six years with no major strikes is unprecedented. Three years with no landfalling hurricanes hasn’t happened since the 1860’s. So, the Warmists have to rewrite the “science” to match their unhinged alarmism. This is not science, it’s cult members attempting to match things that have happened to their cultish beliefs.

Remember, these are the same type of experts who insist that you are a dolt for even considering that the exquisitely intricate machinery of the universe and life were created by an Intelligent Designer.

Ah, now that’s Communism!

Seriously, it is another great example of how Communism and unions really work.  The leaders make big $$ and live in luxury while the little guys live in squalor.

Via OWS Money Man Spent Night Before “Day of Action” in Five-Star Hotel:

The $700-per-night W Hotel Downtown last week hosted both Peter Dutro, one of a select few OWS members on the powerful finance committee…Dutro, 35, one of only a handful of OWS leaders in charge of the movement’s $500,000 in donations, checked in on Wednesday, the night after police emptied Zuccotti Park.

While hundreds of his rebel brethren scrambled to find shelter in church basements, Dutro chose the five-star, 58-story hotel, with its lush rooms and 350-count Egyptian cotton sheets. He lives only a short taxi ride away in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

“I knew everything was going to be a clusterf–k in the morning,” he told The Post, alluding to Occupy’s own disruption plans. “How would I get over the bridge when they were shutting it down?”

The tattoo artist-turned-Occupy money man took the elevator up to the fifth-floor welcome desk, where a disc jockey spins tunes and guests enjoy a vista of the growing freedom tower.

He said he spent $500 of his own money to get the room because he wanted a good night’s rest ahead of the cause’s two-month ceremony the next day and raucous post-raid protests.

How many people think he was really going to spend his own money on that hotel?

What could go wrong with forgiving student loans?

Lots.  Via Gillespie On Forgiving Student Loan Debt:

Bailout are a bad idea.  Letting individuals keep all their gains while spreading losses to the rest of society works as well in business as it would in Las Vegas.

If you force lenders to forgive loans they will not have the incentive to make more loans and/or will jack up the rates.

This is a transparent vote-buying scheme.  Guess who the recipients of the bailouts will want to vote for?  The problem is that eventually someone has to pay the bills.

The government should not have been involved with this to begin with, because their loan programs just drive up the cost of tuition for everyone.  And they shouldn’t be involved with the solution.

Hope Companions

One of our favorite ministries in Kenya is Hope Companions.  The program helps AIDS orphans not only survive but thrive by giving them skills and helping them start small businesses — sort of a “Junior Achievement finds Jesus” program.  We saw this first hand during our last to trips to Kenya and were so inspired.  These orphans not only become able to provide for themselves but they help their siblings and even other orphans.

Here are some stories about orphans who have benefited from this program as told by Jerri Savuto, a missionary in Kenya.

I do want to share about my two days with Halima and Reegan of the Hope Companions Program.  Whenever we have the opportunity to be with the staff and teens of Hope Companions we are filled with hope for their lives, their communities and this nation.  The Hope Companions Program is the way to help the poor to grow and bloom and not become dependent.  Their successes speak so loudly of the love of God, the incredible work of Reegan, Halima and their staff, what hard work and commitment can do in the lives of the poor and how much hope there is for this world.  Thank you Rev. Greg Jenks for your vision, amazing ability to raise funds and ministry to the glory of God.

On Tuesday November 1st, I joined Halima and Josephine, Hope Companion staff, to visit some of the teens and attend a meeting of two groups, Imani Kagwiria and Imani Kaithe.  I was so impressed with the relationship between Halima and Josephine and the teens and between the teens themselves.  We first visited two homes to take pictures of the youth with animals as requested by Rev.  Jenks.  We visited Doris, whose land is so small she must keep her goats at the home of her Hope Companions mentor, Monica Mauta.  Her goat had recently given birth to twins for which everyone was thankful as Doris will give the baby goats, when weaned, to two other Hope Companion families.  She has a goat because she received it through the Hope Companions Program.  Doris is a successful farmer and raises the goats for milk.  Her joy was infectious and I felt like singing I was so thankful.

We then visited Doreen.  She and her siblings have been living with her grandmother in a tiny, mud house. Recently her grandmother had decided the children would move.  Doreen has been working to fortify the old house she and her siblings will be moving to and building a new, small kitchen.  She had bought many goats and like Doris, one of her goats had just had twins and thus would benefit two other Hope Companion families.  Their first animals came from the program.

After the group meeting we visited Anita and took a picture of her with one of the rabbits she grows to sell.  It was exciting to see these teens being so successful in raising goats, rabbits, chickens and/or cattle.  God’s goodness never fails!

The meeting with the two groups was held in a church up the most horrendous, amazing road I think I have been on in Kenya and that is saying something.  There were at least 25 youth and their mentors at the meeting.  They had been meeting before we arrived and then Halima shared with them and gave me the opportunity to meet them and share with them.  Halima was so gracious and loving and so incredibly encouraging.  One of the groups has educated 11 of their 20 group members this year.  That is astounding but they have a very hard working mentor who is known both in their community and in Maua and was thus able to negotiate with the trainers/mentors of the youth to take an additional youth for a small amount of money.  One of the young men who shared with us was trained to be a mechanic and for just $10 additional he was taught to drive and has his license.  As we left I was filled to the brim with new hope for the future of Kenya and for the future of these young people who are being empowered to work hard and take care of their families.

On Wednesday, November 8th, I accompanied Reegan and Josephine to Tharaka North to visit 5 Hope Companion teens and their families.  We were only able to visit 4 teens as the road was so muddy in one area we had to turn around and come home. What a day we had with those 4 families.

When we arrived in the area we met Peter, the Social Worker employed by Hope Companions to work in the Tharaka area.  Tharaka is about 2 hours from Maua.  The first household we visited was headed by 17 year old Ronald who is a total orphan.  When his parents died he was left with two young sisters, Mariam and Mercy, and an ailing grandmother.  Though he had to drop out of school immediately to support his family he is a wonderful farmer and has taught himself to fix mobile phones and radios.  He shared that he makes about 300 Ksh daily ($2. 75 – $3.00) fixing the phones and radios which supports his sisters in school and his grandmother.  He proudly took us to his farm and showed us how he is growing green grams, cassava, maize and beans.  When asked what his goals were he immediately answered that he intended to provide support and education to his sisters until they were able to care for themselves and to provide food and medicine for his sick grandmother.

Ronald is growing green grams between the maize and he said that if the rain continued the green grams would be ready the end of this month.  He felt he could pick 2 bags (90 kilograms each) of green grams and each bag would sell for 30,000 Ksh ($275 – $300).  As we were ready to leave a boy of about 9 or 10 years old appeared asking for his food.  When we asked Ronald who he was, he told us he was a complete orphan who was mentally challenged and lived with a very old grandmother who could not care for him.  Thus he comes daily to eat a meal with Ronald and his family.  They shared what they had with this young, very needy boy.  It is so amazing to see others give out of their poverty while we give out of our affluence.

Ronald and all the Hope Companions we visited shared that members of their group came and helped them plant, weed and harvest the crops.  Ronald had been at a member’s shamba (farm) the day before helping her.  The groups become family and help each other in so many ways along with becoming the teens’ supportive community.

Our next stop was to visit 18 year old Mercy.  She, too, is a total orphan and the oldest of 3 children – she has a brother 17 and one 13.  When her parents died she and her brother’s lived with her elderly grandmother but there was not enough food for the four of them.  Though Mercy was only about 9 years old she went to live with a family and become a house helper.  She shared that she believed it would be better than the current situation she was in and she could send her brothers and grandmother either her earnings or some extra food weekly.  However, she was mistreated by the family she went to work for and found the situation intolerable and was forced to return to her grandmother’s home after many months.  She then pleaded with her uncle and was allowed to come and stay on the compound in a tiny, dilapidated home.  While living there she joined a Hope Companions Group and was helped in many ways.  She was given some chickens to raise and she now has many.  She planted a kitchen garden to provide fresh vegetables for her uncle and her grandmother and brothers.  She was even able to rent land and has planted crops on the land.  She is clearly a hard worker and it was so wonderful to see how proud she was of the work she did.  We walked quite a distance in deep mud to reach her rented shamba and see all that she is growing.

When asked how things were living with her uncle and family, she lowered her head and stated something to the effect that she is surviving.  When asked about her Hope Companions group she lifted her head and with a huge smile shared that they are her family and supporters and they work together for the better of each other.  When asked if she was thinking of getting married she firmly stated she would not marry until both her brothers had completed school and were on their own.

The third person we visited was Caroline.  We found her working in her shamba, weeding and what a lot of work she had done that day.  She too is a total orphan and has two sisters to support.  A young widowed aunt came to live with her and she supports her also.  Along with growing crops, Caroline has cows.  She received a calf from the Hope Companions and from that has earned money to buy a second and third cow and seed for crops.  I found Caroline so alive and thankful I didn’t want to leave her presence.  These young people are not afraid to work very hard and are literally thankful for every opportunity, everything that comes into their lives.  We all have so much to learn from them.

Our final visit of the day was to Godfrey, a 19 year old with two younger sisters, Mercy and Mariam, and an elderly grandmother.  Godfrey was clearly a hard worker who has a cow, goats, chickens and a pig.  Godfrey received a calf from the Hope Companions and has slowly but surely added the goats, chickens and pig as he has made money from the cow, then the other animals and his crops.  The seeds for planting originally came from the Hope Companions group.  He is sending both his sisters to school and when he talked about his grandmother I was so impressed.  He stated that his grandmother was so important to his family because she had such wonderful stories she told them at night.  None of these homes have electricity or running water so after working in the shamba all day and feeding the animals, being able to sit and hear stories was a great joy to Godfrey and his sisters.  When he talked about his grandmother she looked so proud and happy.

With each family or Hope Companion teen we talked together, prayed together and marveled at their joy, their smiles, the pride they had in their work and their ability to care for their siblings, grandmothers and other family members.   Each teen’s goal was to see that their siblings are educated beyond what they were and have a good start in life.  It is amazing how selfless they are – not like typical Kenyan or US teens.

Donation information here (item 7).

Atheist group tips hands with another self-refuting billboard

In what has become an annual self-parody for atheist groups, they throw tantrums via billboards to spread their beliefs.  In the past they claimed that “you can be good without God,” which of course ignores that they have no grounding for the word “good” if there is no God.

Here’s the 2011 version:

Via Atheist Group to Sponsor Anti-Christmas Billboards Featuring Jesus, Santa & Satan:

“American Atheists announced Monday on their “No God Blog” a new billboard campaign in their continued effort in “laboring for the civil liberties of atheists,” but in reality just upsetting those who disagree with their theological stance. A press release for the American Atheists’ new holiday season billboard campaign reads:

“American Atheists announced today that their new billboard is going up in several locations nationwide, including the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel: the same location as last year’s famous ‘You KNOW it’s a MYTH’ billboard. The new billboard will also be going up in Ohio and Florida.

This year’s holiday season billboard features pictures of Neptune, Jesus, Santa Claus, and the Devil and says, ‘37 Million Americans know MYTHS when they see them. What do you see?’”

Anticipating the inevitability that their billboard will offend others, Dave Silverman, the president of American Atheists, said, “When you question someone’s long-held beliefs and doctrine they are going to be immediately offended and be on the defensive: it’s a known psychological phenomenon.”

Yes, it is a known psychological phenomenon that atheists go nuts when they see a manger scene or a cross, so they have the ACLU sue on their behalf to make them go away.

But here’s the amusing part: Even secular historians are wildly in agreement that Jesus really lived and then died on a Roman cross.  They may not believe that He was divine and rose from the dead, but they believe He really lived.  The atheists are as bad at history as they are at science (where they tend to be pro-abortion and pro-Darwinian evolution) if they believe otherwise.  

Speaking of history, if the atheists are so brave in countering myths why don’t they publicly mock Mohammad’s alleged revelations in a cave, 500+ years after Jesus died on the cross, claiming that it wasn’t Jesus at all? (Koran, Sura 4:157-158)  That might get them the attention that they crave, and would at least put them on the side of accurate history.

Or how about if they did billboards highlighting the myth that gays are “born that way,”  or that they are 10% of the population, etc.?

It is easy to spot a bully: They pick on those they know won’t hurt them back.

My advice to Christians is to treat the billboards the way we treated our daughters when they threw tantrums as very small children: Don’t give them the attention that they crave.  It worked really well for us.  Just narrate to others what the atheists are doing and how illogical their statements are.  After all, if Darwinian evolution was true it would be 100.00% responsible for my faith in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  So why would they want to criticize their pet theory?