Why the Iraq weapons of mass destruction issue still matters

1. There really were WMDs (though we’ve known that a long time).

2. Even if they weren’t found, it was still pretty obvious that a murderous beast like Hussein just might have hidden them.  Ya think?

3. Even if WMDs weren’t found, it wasn’t just President Bush who claimed they were there.  You can find writings and video of all sorts of Democrats who said exactly what Bush did (Clinton, Daschle, etc.).  And Bush didn’t just make the claim up.  He was relying on his intelligence, and there are zero indications that they lied — unlike Obama’s IRS, Fast and Furious, etc. scandals.

4. The Left — which includes the mainstream media, of course — knew all of those things yet chose to perpetuate the ironic lie that “Bush lied.”

Bart Campolo’s heretical journey

Forbes magazine had a leadership article on their online site and discussed how Bart Campolo, son of “red letter Christian” Tony Campolo, had left the church. Via Bart Campolo’s heretical and liberating leadership journey:

Once in a while, an apple falls from its tree … and then won’t stop rolling away of its own accord. Bart Campolo comes to mind.

For years, he was a spiritual leader who carried the distinction of being the son of evangelical pastor and social-justice champion Tony Campolo.

That’s one of the many problems of nepotism.  The guy wasn’t even a Christian but he had a leadership role!

Today, Bart is the humanist chaplain at the University of Southern California, a job he has held for a little over a month. [Disclosure: USC is my alma mater and primary employer.]

In one sense, he is the same person he has always been, fighting for the welfare of the sick and the poor. But he is now agnostic, in stark contrast to his legendary father.

In his new role, he will offer encouragement to many like-minded people seeking meaning and purpose; and he will outrage or scare the pants off millions of people with whom he no longer shares a religious identity.

Scared?  Who would be scared?  He was just another wolf who took the sheep’s clothing off.  And the outrage isn’t for him, but for the churches who made him so comfortable as a non-believer and made him a leader.

The younger Campolo’s journey reveals the process by which leaders discover who they are and what they’ll fight for; and the process by which they come, often painfully, to discover their unique, authentic voice.

“We’ve got chaplains on our campus representing 90 specific religious and spiritual traditions, but Bart’s our first humanist chaplain,” says Varun Soni, USC’s dean of Religious Life. “I think he’s a crucial addition, because I think there’s a hunger for an engaged and active secular humanist community. I think the future is going to be less about traditional doctrines and practices and more about people wrestling together with things like significance, identity and how to contribute to society. It’s a broader definition of religion, faith and spirituality.”

Oh, its humanist, all right!  Making gods in their own images.

Campolo’s own path would seem to suggest there is truth to Soni’s hunch. “When people ask me when I started to ‘lose faith,’” Bart tells me, “I usually say, ‘Within about 15 minutes of becoming a Christian.’”

Of course, we know from 1 John 2:19 that if he has left to be a humanist “chaplain” that he never was a Christian.  He was done a disservice by those in the church.  1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

. . . And he would go on to create inner-city ministries around the nation designed to rescue suffering people from unemployment, addiction, sex slavery and other ills.

If those organizations helped people, that’s great.

Yet that faith, from its nascence, was tested on various fronts. Theodicy (the theological attempts to justify why God allows evil) would exhaust him when he would encounter actual victims of gang rape or other forms of cruelty. Gay roommates would challenge his notions of what it meant to love others unconditionally. A severe bike accident a few years ago brought him to a conviction that he wasn’t a soul in a body, but rather a finite, manipulable mass of cells and neurons that would one day be entirely gone.

Theodicy is an interesting topic, of course, but it always amusing that people like Campolo weren’t concerned about evil until they knew someone personally who suffered, as if the countless evil acts to date didn’t count.  And he’s yet another Leftist who sits in judgment of God’s creation of sexual morality.

And he isn’t a very clear thinker if he believes we aren’t souls as well as bodies.  If his worldview is true then he has no grounding for any moral claims.

All along, a sense of intellectual honesty would suggest to him that everyone of religious faith, himself included, played games with scriptures. “We’d underline the parts we like and ignore the parts we didn’t like,” Campolo says. “I underlined some verses about a loving, all-inclusive, God and ignored some other verses.”

I’m glad he admitted how Leftists ignore verses they don’t like!

. . .

Today, Bart Campolo is as animated by his social-justice values as ever. But he no longer sees a religious narrative as the source of those values. He relishes the explanations and speculations of empirical science about the origin and nature of things: “To me, science’s story is even more amazing than any religion’s creation story,” he tells me.

That begs the question.  The real God is sovereign over science as well.  It is all his story.

“And Neil deGrasse Tyson is as inspiring as any preacher I’ve heard.”

Tyson’s speaking (and penchant for making up quotes) is meaningless as to the truth of his worldview.

. . .

What meaning does he draw from that scientific narrative? “The universe is wonderful,” he says. “And life is to be cherished.”

Yes, because God wrote that on our hearts.  But his godless worldview can’t ground that.

He sees in that narrative real evidence that nature selects, in a Darwinian sense, for the values that he holds—indeed, that the mystical concept of “love” itself is rigged into the system, selecting for altruism, community, self-sacrifice, gratitude, compassion and forgiveness.

No, Darwinian evolution would support survival of the fittest, sex trafficking, slavery, etc.

. . .

Campolo notes that many longtime, active members of churches confide to him that they share his skepticism—maybe even his outright unbelief. But they often stay there, silently assenting to what they don’t believe, because they need the identity, the support and the belonging that comes from their existing community.

In the famous parable of the weeds in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus warns that the good wheat in a farmer’s field might have among it bad weeds that were sown by an “enemy.” It was a caution about the presence of “false” members within the church. It also reflects the dilemma of many so-called weeds, who may stay in the church while muffling their own convictions and dissensions.

In that sense, Bart Campolo may be helping lead the planting of a new, humanistic church where the weeds can finally grow free, without apology.

That’s an excellent point, albeit a bit ironic. You just need to take the quotes off of enemy and weeds, and keep reading to find out what happens to the weeds for eternity. For in Campolo’s made-up religion, we’re just masses of cells with no ultimate accountability to a creator. There will be no justice for any evil — ours or those that commit it against us. That view is not only false but pathetic. What kind of community gathers to celebrate that?

 

Leftists cause prison populations to swell then wring their hands over it

Leftists often remind me of Homer Simpson, when he says things like this.

To Alcohol! The cause of… and solution to… all of life’s problems.

Why?  Because they put policies in place that cause problems (just like alcohol can) then they think they have the solution to the problems as well — even though they are just more of the same and/or new things that make the situation deteriorate further.

Example: False teacher Mark Sandlin was lamenting the size of U.S. prison populations in If You Only See One Video This Week, It Should Be This One.  I share his concern, but he thinks the solution is to just watch a video and care more about it.  I’d rather actually do something!

My comment there:

I wonder how many people cheering this video do prison ministry?  I’ve been going into prisons with the love and truth of Christ for 8 years and have found it to be very rewarding and effective.  Of course, we take the real Gospel and not Leftist theology, which is why it works so well.  Not only does it transform lives, families and the prison culture (which is why wardens love the ministry), it dramatically REDUCES RECIDIVISM.  That means less broken families, less victims, less costs to society, etc.

In addition to supporting prison ministries, if you really want to reduce prison populations, stop supporting policies that promote fatherlessness.  I know countless murderers, drug dealers, thieves, addicts, etc. and over 90% of them have one thing in common: Absent or terrible fathers (usually absent).  One example of hundreds: If your Mom’s latest live-in lover views you as a threat and convinces her to put you on the street at 14, there is a good chance you’ll end up in prison.  That isn’t an excuse, of course, but it helps explain why it happens.
The “war on poverty” has destroyed the black family.  They used to have HIGHER rates of staying married than whites.
Also see Charles Barkley’s latest comments about the black culture.  Any culture, regardless of skin color, that uses peer pressure to discourage hard work and education is going to suffer mightily.  Calling people racists for pointing out obvious truths like that is cowardly and counter-productive.
Oh, and of course, stop pushing the anti-Jesus LGBTQX agenda that further mocks the importance of the family.

Why don’t Obama and the other race-baiters say what Charles Barkley did?

Via Charles Barkley Totally Goes There – ‘We Are Brainwashed To Think, If You’re Not A Thug Or An Idiot, You’re Not Black Enough’:

As I tell my white friends, we as black people, we’re never going to be successful, not because of you white people, but because of other black people. When you’re black, you have to deal with so much crap in your life from other black people. It’s a—It’s a dirty, dark secret; I’m glad it’s coming out. It comes out every few years. I wrote a big chapter in my book about it, to be honest with you.

I said, you know, when young black kids, you know, when they do well in school, the loser kids tell them, ‘Oh, you’re acting white.’ The kids who speak intelligently—

They tell them, ‘You’re acting white.’ So it’s a dirty, dark secret in the black community.

One of the reasons we’re never going to be successful as a whole, because of other black people. And for some reason we are brainwashed to think, if you’re not a thug or an idiot, you’re not black enough. If you go to school, make good grades, speak intelligent, and don’t break the law, you’re not a good black person. And it’s a dirty, dark secret, Anthony.

Most, I—I heard Stephen A. [Smith] talkin about it, and it, listen, I hate to bring white people into our crap, but as a black person, we all go through it when you’re successful. Uh, you know it’s like one of the reasons, you know, one of the reasons a lot of black players go broke is because when you’re successful your friends say to you, ‘Oh, you ain’t cool. You ain’t down with us anymore.’

And you end up giving up all your money to these damn losers, and you end up broke again.

But it’s a dirty, dark secret in the black community. There are a lot of black people who are unintelligent, who don’t have, uh, success. It’s best to knock a successful black person down because they’re intelligent, they speak well, they do well in school, and they’re successful. And they don’t..if you think about it—

Anthony Gargano: Well it’s crabs in a barrel, right?

It’s crabs in a barrel. The thing that’s hap—we’re the only race that tell people if you don’t have street cred, with like, that means you been arrested—

Like, like that’s a compliment. We’re the only ethnic group who say, ‘Hey, if you go to jail, it gives you street cred.’ It’s just typical BS that goes on when you’re black, man. But don’t waste a lot of time on it please.

Those are great, but politically incorrect, points by Barkley.  He’ll be labeled an Uncle Tom and worse, of course, for speaking the truth.  This should be must-reading/watching in public schools.  Why don’t false teachers and people like Obama say things like this?  It’s obvious: They’d be out of jobs if blacks followed the advice of Barkley instead of the race-baiters. Hacks like Jim Wallis are too busy profiting from the deaths of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin to care about the facts or to actually help black people.

Michelle Obama’s solution would work — for food stamps, not school lunches

Please use this example every time the subject of food stamps or school lunches comes up.

Via Should Michelle’s Healthy School Food Standards Apply to Food Stamps?

These people think Michelle’s school lunch program is a great idea, until you apply the principles to food stamps.  But aside from the classic Leftist hypocrisy of forcing this poorly thought out solution on citizens other than themselves, it is actually a sound idea — directionally, at least — for food stamps.

The current situation under the Food Stamp President is a worst-case scenario: Tens of billions of dollars of fraud and thoroughly unhealthy food choices that cause medical problems.

The solution to the food stamp situation is simple: No more EBT cards that can be traded for cash (and then alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, Cheetos*, etc.).  Require that people come to a central area to pick up their food.  Ensure that the food is only food (duh, right?!) and relatively healthy food at that — fruits, vegetables, dairy, bread, oatmeal, pasta etc.  There would be a reasonable exception process for those who can’t get the food themselves.

99% of the rampant fraud would disappear overnight, paying for the increased cost of serving better food (e.g., fruits and vegetables) and having plenty of money left over.  Also, by making it more difficult to get the food — but not unreasonably so — you’d eliminate those who just take the EBT cards because it is so easy to do.

For the Leftist “Christians” who would scream bloody murder, remind them of what the Bible says:

Leviticus 19:10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

So for once I sort-of agree with Michelle Obama.  The twist is that I’m not forcing anyone to either eat this food or eat nothing else.  I’m simply saying that if you truly need food, we will provide it.  But it will be healthier food and the chances of fraud will be drastically reduced.

If you really love your neighbor, you will only help them when they — and their families — can’t help themselves.  You won’t indulge them with things that will harm them, and you won’t steal from your neighbors to redistribute to frauds just because it makes you feel “generous.”  It isn’t charity when you give out of your neighbor’s pocket, with Caesar as the middleman.

*I’m not hating on Cheetos.  They are actually my go-to bi-monthly indulgence.  Mmmmmm . . . Cheetos . . . My point is that there is no place in this universe where you are obligated to pay for your neighbor’s “food” that will make his fingers turn a glowing orange color.

The Giver: Two thumbs up

Note: Spoiler alert

I hardly see any movies, but we went to see The Giver and I was pleasantly surprised.  It was family friendly and life affirming.  An overview via The Giver | Movie Review | Plugged In:

Imagine a place nearly free of all pain and suffering, where people are truly equal and everyone gets along. Imagine a place where hatred does not exist, where minds are not clouded by confusion or suffering, where the sun always shines and no one ever lies.

Jonas actually lives in such a world. He’s never known anything but. If there was ever another way, lost as it is in the folds of distant time, it’s best that it’s forgotten.

Well, forgotten by most.

 

Jonas dutifully bikes to the current Receiver of Memory’s house, built at the edge of the known world—quite literally on a cliff that plummets down into who-knows-what. He walks in and sees walls full of what the Receiver calls “books.” For the first time in his life, Jonas is encouraged to ask questions. And then, when the older Receiver—now called the Giver—clasps Jonas’ arms, the boy collects his first memory …

… of snow, fluttering and cold. Of a green fir-forested hillside wrapped in white powder. Of a sled careening down. Of wind-whipped hair and thudding heart and laughter and—

The memory ends. Jonas is back in his safe and serene, black-and-white world. But he’s been given his first glimpse into something that was lost, something both beautiful and terrifying that was banished so long ago.

. . .

 

Specifically, at the core of this story and at the core of the Community is the issue of euthanasia. Few seem to understand that “releasing” people (from the elderly to the not-quite-perfect babies) to the so-called Elsewhere is actually killing them. . .

 

Religion is among the many things eradicated in the Community, and when Jonas is receiving memories, he sees depictions of unfamiliar expressions of worship: a Christian infant baptism, Muslims bowing to Mecca, paper lanterns rising into the sky as part of an Eastern religious ceremony. And when he rides the sled in his first new memory, he slides toward a picturesque cabin where we hear people singing “Silent Night.”

. . .

I kinda feel for the founders of Jonas’ Community. Their intent, after all, was to create a grand and enjoyable utopia, not a devastatingly grayscale version of an Orwellian dystopia—a land so drained of real life that the world itself has lost its color. They just wanted to live someplace nice. They felt the same frustration that we do when we look at this fallen world of ours. They saw too much brutality. Too much hatred. Too much instability. With every generation, we find new ways to hurt each other and the world we live in. Every day, we find new ways to hurt ourselves.

The Giver believes that if humanity’s given another chance, we could do better. We could make better choices. But the Chief Elder isn’t so sure.

“When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong,” she says. “Every single time.”

She’s right more often than not, of course. We do choose wrong. We, as individuals and as a society, almost always choose wrong. It’s in our nature, a nature that’s overwhelmed with sin.

. . .

There’s no foul language in it. No sex scenes. No crude jokes. No gratuitous drug abuse. Hints of youthful attraction and snippets of violence are both restrained in their depictions and used fully in the service of the larger story and moral lesson.The Giver is a challenging film, to be sure. It deals with life, liberty, free will … and euthanasia, after all. But it never once wavers in its responsibility to escort moviegoers onto solid moral ground, to give them loads of positive material to think about and talk through afterwards.

The film focused more on euthanasia than infanticide, but you couldn’t miss the pro-life themes.   I understand that Meryl Streep is pro-choice, so I was surprised to see such life-affirming themes with her in the film.  Perhaps she doesn’t realize how the anti-euthanasia and anti-infanticide themes would apply to the unborn as well?

The approach of the leaders reminded me of Communism (Theme: Hey, once we kill the tens of millions of people who disagree with us, things will be great!).  They identified a problem (people sin) but came up with a solution that made things even worse. Sure, things were better in their world, as long as you stop considering infanticide, euthanasia, drugging people daily, etc. to be wrong.

I loved how it ended with Jonas coming upon a house with people singing Silent Night.  I think Christian films could learn from this.  They often suffer from stilted Gospel presentations, where they might have done better to do something more subtle, natural and artistic.

I also like how the Jeff Bridges character brought back the concept of love, then noted that with love come faith and hope (yes, that’s right out of 1 Corinthians 13).

If you are a movie-goer I encourage you to go see this.

On sports

Note: If you like spending time watching sports and it doesn’t interfere with your other priorities, good for you!  This isn’t about being Captain Buzzill here.  I’m just sharing where I’ve saved a lot of time and broken some bad habits.  

—–

I watch very few sporting events for the same reason I don’t gamble.  In absolute terms, the pain of losing $50 is much greater than the joy of winning $50.  Same thing with sports: The joy of my team winning after a 3-4 hour investment is much less than the irritation of them losing. Same thing for college sports.  Do I really want to let a mistake of some 20 year old on the playing field impact how much I enjoy my weekend?

And consider how in most leagues your team has a 1 in 30 chance of winning the championship.  Even if you are as fortunate as I’ve been as a Lakers / Steelers fan (yeah!), you will still have many more losing years than winning years.

It used to be that your team could win a championship, then you’d read about it for a week or so in Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News and that would be it.  Now you get many times the coverage of every lousy team every week than you used to get in a year.  You can waste much more time than before.

And it isn’t just that these athletes don’t care about you as a person (given that they don’t even know you), it is that they often have contempt for you and your views. At the risk of using a cliche, there is way, way too much information about athletes now.  The more I learn about what they think, the more I dislike them.  Magic Johnson shilling for Obamacare?  Kobe tweeting support for Jason Collins?  (Yeah, because Kobe is the go-to guy for sexual mores, right?)  The Steelers’ owner stumped extensively for Obama just because of his race?  Ugh.  And on and on.

So if you enjoy sports, that’s great.  It can be a great way to spend time with family and friends.  But I found one of the biggest savers of time and frustration ever by being very judicious about what I watch and read about.

Switching gears, how about sports participation?  I’m a huge fan of exercise and its many benefits.  We should all do at least a little exercise.  But hobbies like golf can become their own gods if we aren’t careful.  This was an excellent piece about putting golf in its place.  I’ve known people who golfed both days every weekend then lived with the guilt of drug-addicted kids (possibly unrelated, but . . .).  It is easy to pick on golf because I’ve only golfed twice, and those occasions were under duress (work outings).  As I’ve always said, other than being too time-consuming, expensive and frustrating, golf is the perfect sport.

But before you golf lovers hate on me, I concede that our idol-factory minds can make gods of any hobby.   The challenge is to keep whatever we do in perspective and do it for the right reasons.

So I encourage you to take a zero based budgeting approach with your sports time and see if it is in balance with what you want to accomplish in life.