Roundup

Just Brilliant! Three Things Only a PhD Can Believe – read it for the explanations.  It reminds of the quote by the philosopher J. Budziszewski: “Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that you must be highly intelligent and educated to commit. God keeps them in His arsenal to pull down mulish pride, and I discovered them all.”

Absurdity #1 There Are No Universal Standards

Absurdity #2 There Are No Essential Differences Between Men & Women

Absurdity #3  There Is No Clear Dividing Line Between Humans & Animals

Study: Christians Who Tithe Have Healthier Finances

. . . researchers compared tithers to non-tithers using nine financial health indicators, and found that tithers were better off in every category. “The weird thing is, a tither looks at that and says to himself, ‘Well I’m better off because I give.’ A non-tither looks at that and says, ‘Oh, they give because they’re better off,’” said Brian Kluth, the founder of the study.

The Takeaways: Some of the more interesting findings from the study include:

• 77% of those who “tithe” give 11%-20% or more of their income, far more than the baseline of 10%.

• 97% make it a priority to give to their local church.

• 70% “tithe” based on their gross income, not their net.

• 63% started giving 10% or more between childhood and their twenties

• Tithers carry much less debt than most people and are financially better off than Christian non-tithers—80% of “tithers” have no unpaid credit card bills; 74% have no car payments; 48% own their home; and 28% are completely debt-free.

• What keeps non-tithing Christians from giving: 38% say they can’t afford it; 33% say they have too much debt; and 18% said their spouse does not agree about tithing.

Has anyone tried the 7 minute workout?  Here’s an article about it and here’s an animation you can follow.  At a minimum it looks like a decent workout if you are short on time or traveling and don’t have equipment.  Potential buzzkill: The original article mentions repeating it 2-3 times.  Hat tip: The Christian Alert.

Triage: Obama Summons Media Lapdogs to Secret White House Meeting – I’m not surprised, but you would think that at some point these “journalists” might have just a tiny bit of shame.  But Obama owns them.

What Christians Do About Modern-Day Slavery

1. Pray for the victims.

Pray for the estimated 27 million slaves in our world today who are in bondage within affluent countries like America to Third-world countries like Haiti.

2. Raise awareness.

Raising awareness about this issue may not sound like an action point, but it is an extremely important component in tackling slavery. People need to know that this is happening, so it can be reported and prosecuted. . . .

3. Don’t look at porn.

As evil and degrading as pornography is, here’s another reason to never look at it. Porn is part of the problem. If you are looking at pornography, you are perpetuating the satanic industry of sex trafficking. . . .The authors show various connections between pornography and sexual exploitation. Many of the individuals who appear in pornography are slaves. They have been trafficked, drugged, manipulated in some way, and are forced to be part of this wicked business.

Then there are the forces of supply and demand, and the way that pornography creates more and more demand for the commercial sex industry. Pornography is like the gateway drug. People get addicted, and then they want something more. Pornography fuels prostitution (heightening the demand for prostitutes), and a higher demand for prostitutes means more lucrative opportunities for pimps, which means more women and children exploited by them for these purposes. So if you’re looking at porn, even if you’re not paying for it, you’re showing the advertisers and producers of pornography and all those involved in the sex business that demand is high, which then motivates them to shame and exploit even more people.

Think about that the next time you’re tempted to click on that website. Your momentary “pleasure” is contributing to the absolute devastation of women and girls and boys around the world.

4. Use your gifts.

What are your particular gifts and abilities that you could apply to the problem of human trafficking? There are many different sides to this, and many ways to address it. There’s the political aspect. We need stricter laws against these crimes. . . Lawyers need to vigorously prosecute these cases. Police officers need to know how to deal with these cases, so that a girl doesn’t go to jail because she’s assumed to be a voluntary prostitute, when in reality she’s a sex slave. Business professionals can address the issues of poverty that make many susceptible to being exploited. Doctors and nurses can help to care for victims of human trafficking.

. . .

5. Men, take a stand.

Northwestern student govt nominee’s confirmation blocked because he is a ‘heterosexual white male’ – Gotta have diversity!  Which means none of you white heterosexual males!

The same thing happens in corporations. The “diversity” organizations at Compaq and HP were the least diverse groups in the company. They were all black females, except for one guy, who was a gay black. I know a Liberal who did a magazine cover photo for a diversity group and she sheepishly admitted the same thing: It was all black females. If I were in their position I would have been insulted. They didn’t have any prominent roles in the rest of the company.

Ironically enough, our Christian Employee Network Group (which Compaq officially approved and HP did not — even though they approved the gay groups) was the most diverse group in the company. At some lunch time Bible studies I led we would have great diversity in ages (literally 20′s through 60′s), races (black, white, Asian), disciplines (accounting, manufacturing, etc.), levels (administrative coordinators through directors), and even denominations. All the other groups were as homogeneous as could be.

Worse yet, how does this square with Christian organizations being forced to include non-Christians as members? Note that this guy isn’t asking to be in a gay group, just a “diversity” group.

The shamelessness of pro-abortionists: Democrats in Congress Respond to Gosnell by Attacking Pregnancy Centers.  Then again, what would expect from people who support the legalized killing of babies?

Let’s see. Kermit Gosnell has just been sentenced on three counts of first degree murder in the deaths of three unborn babies aborted alive and involuntary manslaughter of a woman who died of a drug overdose during her abortion.  Another abortionist in Texas is reportedly under investigation for Gosnell-like behavior,” he says. “So what is the pro-abortion congressional response to this litany of horror stories. Well, according to The Hill Newspaper, “Dems look to crack down on anti-abortion ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’” Yes, that is their response, which is applauded by the likes of (surprise, surprise) NARAL Pro-Choice America and the National Abortion Federation (NAF).

Unlikely common ground

One of the few things that nearly everyone agrees upon — conservatives and liberals alike — is that the sex-slave trade is immoral and should be stopped.  There are a few liberal extremists that try to argue that prostitution is somehow empowering for women, but even most of them agree that kidnapping people or tricking them into slavery is wrong.

So what should be done?  Here are some ideas:

Reduce the supply

1. Institute the death penalty for slave traders.  Hey, it was good enough for the Israelite theocracy!

Exodus 21:16 “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.”

Seriously, there needs to be some serious consequences for something so evil.  Put a few of them to death and that would save countless people from becoming slaves.  Or at least make it life without parole.

2. Increase education for at-risk groups, so they know the scams the traders use (i.e., offering jobs as nannies in other countries, then taking their passports).

3. Expose and de-fund Planned Parenthood, because they systematically hide statutory rape and sex trafficking.

Reduce the demand

1. Publicize the names and pictures of the customers and punish them.

2. Reduce access to pornography, which certainly fuels the demand for these girls.

Roundup

Speak the Gospel — use deeds when necessary – Seems that St. Francis probably didn’t say “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”  I didn’t realize that when I wrote Taking St. Francis too literally, but the content there still applies.  Even if he had said it, a cursory review of his life would show that he said it as hyperbole.  He was all about using words to share the Gospel.  Hat tip: The Pugnacious Irishman

Does the Old Testament condone slavery? – Excellent post on a common objection to the Bible.  Very clear and concise.  Read it and save the link.

Absolutely not.

The Old Testament speaks of slavery often, and lays out rules on how slaves were to be treated. This has caused some to become confused…but a basic understanding of the context for ancient near-eastern slavery shows that the Old Testament does not condone slavery. Let’s look at some common assumptions . . .

Hat tip: Wes from Facebook

Author: More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians – how about your church and your kids?

Hey WordPress users: I just started using the Zemanta feature.  When you write posts it prompts you with suggested tags, related links and public domain pictures.  This is a big time-saver!

To add Zemanta, go to Users > Personal Settings in your Dashboard. You’ll see a new option near the end of the page that lets you add Zemanta to your posts. Click “Help me find related content (images, links, related articles, and tags) to use in my posts.” Hit “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page. You can turn it off at any time.

Hypocritical Al Sharpton Doesn’t Know the First Thing About Martin Luther King’s Legacy

Al Sharpton is a professional bigot. During his long career the Reverend has incited two anti-Semitic pogroms; the Crown Heights riot and the firebombing of the Jewish-owned Freddy’a Fashion Mart in Harlem. Each of the Sharpton-incited pogroms resulted in deaths, but now for some unknown reason Reverend Al believes he is the caretaker of religious tolerance in the country, as well as the protector of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy of peaceful protest.

Hat tip: The Other McCain

Evolutionary psychology: Evolutionary psychologists get stressed and start to cry over the evolution of crying

Darwinism requires that stupid, materialist explanations based on survival be preferred to obvious ones that start with the reality of the human mind and human cognition, so far as I can see.

Quick responses to common objections to Christianity

A common objection to Christianity and God’s existence is “What about the Crusades?!” or some other wrong done in the name of Christ.

That argument fails on many levels.  Feel free to copy and paste these without attribution.

1. You don’t judge an ideology by those who violate its tenets.  Don’t blame Jesus when people do the opposite of what He taught.

2. I make it a habit not to apologize for things that happened 1,000 years ago and that I didn’t do.

3. If there is no God then there is no moral grounding to criticize any of those things.

4. None of those things disprove the central claims of Christianity, such as the physical resurrection of Jesus, his divinity, etc.

More here.

Roundup

Let’s see: Harry Reid says opposing the health care bill it is akin to promoting slavery, yet his party favors public funding of abortions for the poor?  Hey Harry, black human beings are already destroyed at a rate three times that of whites.  Isn’t that high enough for you, and isn’t that the real racism?

Why does the RNC just oppose government funded abortions in their purity test?  I realize that the issue in the health care bill is front and center, but let’s not forget that all abortions kill an innocent human being. 

Christian man fired after gay rights group contacts his employer to complain – Your freedoms are eroding at a rapid rate, people. 

More on Kevin Jennings, the most ironically titled Czar of them all.  What a sick freak. 

He is Barack Obama’s Safe Schools Czar.

He is a supporter of men who openly and vocally support pedophilia.

. . .

Kevin Jennings, however, is not just a gay man, but a man who believes in the full gay rights agenda, where men and boys can have sexual relationships free of prudish moral people frowning.

Jennings has championed NAMBLA’s [the North American Man Boy Love Association] causes and lauded a pedophilia advocate.

He even wrote the forward to a book called “Queering Elementary Education.” That’s right, Jennings wrote the forward to a book that, in its own description advocates the aggressive homosexual agenda among elementary school students. From the book: “queering education happens when we look at schooling upside down and view childhood from the inside out.” No irony is intended apparently in that description.

Americans of moral decency should be stunned to know the President of the United States would put in charge of “safe schools,” a man who encourages predatory relationships between young boys and grown men.

Barack Obama has done exactly that. Has he no shame?

And here are some of the tips from GLSEN, which Jennings led for many years.  This group is one of the most vile and perverse I’ve come across, because they target children. 

Also read the Washington Posts’s Obama’s Buggery Czar — Jennings’ group made sex between children and adults look normal.

People who support organizations like Planned Parenthood  or GLSEN are spectacularly evil and/or ignorant. 

Pro-choice and pro-slavery reasoning

This is a rerun from 2007.

pro-choice-baby.jpgA couple readers were offended by one of the points in the Nancy Pelosi and bad pro-abortion reasoning post, so I thought I would clarify and expand on those thoughts.  Here is the offending section:

Ms. Pelosi also uses this poor reasoning to defend abortion:

“If you don’t want an abortion, you don’t believe in it, [then] don’t have one. But don’t tell somebody else what they can do in terms of honoring their responsibilities,” Pelosi adds.

Slave-owners used the same argument: “If you don’t like slavery, don’t own slaves.”  But of course both arguments make a major, unproven assumption, namely that another human being isn’t involved in the equation.   

The most important thing to note is that I never said pro-choicers were pro-slavery.  I merely pointed out that slave-owners used bad pro-slavery reasoning that ignored the humanity of the slaves, and pro-choicers who use similar reasoning are ignoring the humanity of the unborn.   If people understand what I am saying there and are still offended, then I’m prepared to live with that.

It is a well documented fact that both pro-legalized abortion and pro-slavery people have used this type of reasoning on an extensive basis:

  • “It is acceptable, because they aren’t fully human.”
  • “If you don’t want one, don’t have one.  Don’t impose your moral values on me.”
  • “They are better off this way, otherwise they may be unwanted, poor or disabled.”

Slavery and abortion both deny the humanity and dignity of living human beings who have beating hearts and can feel pain. 

Slavery was once legal in the United States, but it was always immoral.  Abortion is currently legal, but it has always been immoral. 

When one human being gets to decide whether an innocent human being has enough worth to live freely – or to live at all – profoundly bad things happen.

Exodus 21-22

ex21.jpgGreetings!

Slavery is often referenced in the Bible but it was radically different than U.S. style slavery.   Did people in the U.S. try to twist the Bible to justify their actions?  Yes.  But a thorough reading of the Bible, in context, crushes those arguments.  These people were obviously stolen from their homeland, and to say the slave owners didn’t love their neighbors (the slaves) as themselves is a massive understatement.  Here’s a terrific article that analyzes slavery in the Bible.

People often have trouble with these passages because we tend to be ethnocentric (“the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture or the tendency to view alien groups or cultures from the perspective of one’s own”).   Some things in other cultures are just plain wrong, but other things made sense for them at the time.  As always, we need to read these passages in the context of their book and of the whole Bible.

21 “These are the laws you are to set before them:

Hebrew Servants

2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.

5 “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

Personal Injuries

The next passage deals with various crimes.  I have written on my other blog about capital punishment and how while Christians don’t have to support it, there is nothing un-Biblical about it.  It was God’s idea (Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.) and reiterates it multiple times.  However, we need to be just and fair and impose any penalties in the manner He prescribes.

12 “Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death. 13 However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place I will designate. 14 But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death.

15 “Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death.

16 “Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.

Verse 16 is very important as it distinguishes between the type of slavery regulated by God and the type once practiced in the U.S.  Biblical slavery regulations were not about those stolen from their lands and taken to other countries.  That practice was always wrong.

17 “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.

18 “If men quarrel and one hits the other with a stone or with his fist and he does not die but is confined to bed, 19 the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the other gets up and walks around outside with his staff; however, he must pay the injured man for the loss of his time and see that he is completely healed.

20 “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

22 “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Verses 22-25 are sometimes used to support a pro-legalized-abortion view, but if you go back to the original Hebrew the pro-life standpoint is quite clear.

26 “If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth.

28 “If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull must be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. 29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull must be stoned and the owner also must be put to death. 30 However, if payment is demanded of him, he may redeem his life by paying whatever is demanded. 31 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter. 32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull must be stoned.

These may seem like some odd commands, but keep reading and notice how they outline certain principles.  Accidents are treated much differently than deliberate actions or irresponsible actions.

33 “If a man uncovers a pit or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit must pay for the loss; he must pay its owner, and the dead animal will be his.

35 “If a man’s bull injures the bull of another and it dies, they are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally. 36 However, if it was known that the bull had the habit of goring, yet the owner did not keep it penned up, the owner must pay, animal for animal, and the dead animal will be his.

Protection of Property

22 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

2 “If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; 3 but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed.

“A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft.

4 “If the stolen animal is found alive in his possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—he must pay back double.

5 “If a man grazes his livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in another man’s field, he must make restitution from the best of his own field or vineyard.

6 “If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocks of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution.

7 “If a man gives his neighbor silver or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if he is caught, must pay back double. 8 But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges to determine whether he has laid his hands on the other man’s property. 9 In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges. The one whom the judges declare guilty must pay back double to his neighbor.

10 “If a man gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to his neighbor for safekeeping and it dies or is injured or is taken away while no one is looking, 11 the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath before the Lord that the neighbor did not lay hands on the other person’s property. The owner is to accept this, and no restitution is required. 12 But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, he must make restitution to the owner. 13 If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, he shall bring in the remains as evidence and he will not be required to pay for the torn animal.

14 “If a man borrows an animal from his neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, he must make restitution. 15 But if the owner is with the animal, the borrower will not have to pay. If the animal was hired, the money paid for the hire covers the loss.

Social Responsibility

16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

18 “Do not allow a sorceress to live.

19 “Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must be put to death.

20 “Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.

21 “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.

22 “Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.

I love that section!  God takes widows and orphans very seriously.  Woe to those who take advantage of them!

25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunset, 27 because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body. What else will he sleep in? When he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.

28 “Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.

29 “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.

“You must give me the firstborn of your sons. 30 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

31 “You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

See the compassion of God in the Old Testament?  People often misunderstand the Bible (or more likely, haven’t studied it) and insist that the God of the New Testament is kind but the God of the Old Testament is not.