Obama's Agenda: To Fundamentally Transform America
Quoting Daniel Henninger:
Last year, Mr. Obama began to be criticized by some of his supporters for being insufficiently transformative while holding the powers of the presidency -- this despite passing the biggest social entitlement since 1965, an $800 billion stimulus bill, raising federal spending to 24% of GDP and passing the Dodd-Frank restructuring of the U.S. financial industry. Naturally an interviewer this week asked Mr. Obama why he hadn’t been more "transformative." The president replied that he deserved a second term, because "we’re not done." In term two, it will be Uncle Sam, Transformer. [...]
The question raised by the Catholic Church’s battle with ObamaCare is whether anyone can remain free of a U.S. government determined to do what it wants to do, at whatever cost. ... Anyone who signs up for more of this deal by assuming that it will never force them to fall into line is getting what they deserve.
Ricky Gervais: I Have No Balls
Here’s Ricky Gervais on the cover of some magazine, attempting to look jaded or tough or something, while mocking Christianity:
Scrawled across his chest are the words "I have no balls." Well, he thinks it says "Atheist." But considering that mocking Jesus is about the safest, most politically correct, and least original thing that anyone could do, it’s clear what the real message is. Yawn. Call us back when you grow a pair and start mocking Muhammad.
Right-Wing Nuts Plot Attacks Against Cops
Quoting Joshua Rhett Miller:
Nine suspects associated with Hutaree, which is purportedly a Christian-based militia group, have been charged with conspiring to kill police officers and then attack a funeral in hopes of killing more law enforcement officials, federal prosecutors said Monday. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said agents moved on the group because the militia members were planning an attack sometime in April.
Cue the left-wing nuts in the media and online, frothing at the mouth with their gleeful comments about this, claiming it proves that Christians are dangerous extremists. The nuts don’t care about facts, but reasonable people realize that these kinds of isolated incidents are exceptions, and that these conspirators are not typical Christians, nor do they represent what Christianity is about. As a Christian, I condemn the attacks that these conspirators were evidently planning, and most other Christians would too.
Pope Excommunicates Entire Species of Birds
Due to the large size of their flocks, the [passenger pigeons] were seen as a threat to farmers. In fact, in 1703 the Catholic bishop of Quebec actually excommunicated the entire species.
No word on what the response was from the passenger pigeon community, other than eventually going extinct.
In a recent TED Talk (I forget which one), the speaker told the story of 3 kids playing the 3 wise men in the nativity story. The first kid said, "I bring you a gift of gold." The second one said, "I bring you a gift of myrrh." And the third kid said "Frank sent this."
The Bethsaida Miracle
Quoting D. Keith Mano:
Virgil, age fifty and blind since childhood, has had "successful" eye surgery. Five weeks later "he often felt more disabled than he had felt when he was blind. ... Steps ... posed a special hazard, because all he could see was a confusion, a flat surface of parallel and crisscrossing lines; he could not see them (although he knew them) as solid objects going up or coming down in three-dimensional space."
The article goes on to discuss the blind man in Mark 8:22. Jesus healed the man’s eyes, and the man then said he saw people who appeared to be walking trees. So Jesus laid his hands on the man a second time, and his sight was restored fully.
Quoting D. Keith Mano:
As far as I can judge, this is irrefutable evidence that a miracle did occur at Bethsaida. Back in 30 A.D. the blind did not often receive sight: there were few, if any, eye surgeons and seldom a decent miracle-worker. No shill in the crowd could have faked it all by pretending to be blind -- because only someone recently given his sight would see "men as trees, walking," would see the Cubist jumble that Virgil told Oliver Sacks about. A faker, not knowing about post-blind syndrome, would have reported that Jesus had given him perfect vision.
Gay groups angry at Pope remarks, make up stupid crap in response
Quoting some nut:
I’m someone who was born as male and has a spiritual and female soul, and it’s contradictory that a Pope just thinks of people just made as flesh and not made of a spiritual aspect.
And I’m sure he failed to see the irony in using the word "contradictory" in the middle of that statement.
Seen on a church sign yesterday:
GOD LOVES YOU
AND HE APPROVES
Depictions of Jesus
Curious on your take on this, I was talking to Steve about it and we were curious on some outside input. The recent events with the Prophet Muhammad being depicted in a cartoon, it is specifically in their teachings that you shall not depict any likeness of him. However, in Deuteronomy 5:8, it says "Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth"
So really would this not translate to you should not ever have any depictions of Jesus? In any way shape or form?
Curious as to the take on this.
Just a Reminder
Because every Christmas, I hear the name "Santa" ten times as often as the name "Jesus". It’s more convenient and comfortable to put the focus on a jolly old man who magically delivers gifts to the world, than on the fact that mankind is lost and in need of a savior. But the pleasing lie of the Santa story does not change the hard reality that this world needs Jesus now more than ever.
Thought for the week from church yesterday: when we give (in tithe, or to charity, or just in general), God doesn’t consider the amount we give as much as the amount that’s left over.
The Rich King
One day, a man approached a rabbi to ask him a question. "Rabbi," the man said, "when the Israelites were wandering in the desert for 40 years, why did God make them go out every single day to collect their food? If God was going to supply them with manna from heaven, why didn’t he just give them a month’s supply, or a whole year’s supply, at one time?"
The rabbi responded with the following story: "There was once a rich king, and the king had one son. And on one appointed day each year, the king would give his son enough money to last him the whole year. It didn’t take many years of this before the king noticed that he only saw his son on one day each year."
At church on Sunday, the pastor was preaching about how just as soon as we get past one struggle in our lives, there is another one to meet us. One of our first reactions is often, "God, why are you doing this to me? Why am I faced with problem after problem in my life?" Probably the most common response is that problems allow us to learn and grow, which is true, but in this sermon the pastor was emphasizing a different idea.
Like the rich king from the story, God wants to be close to us; he will provide for us, and he wants us to seek after him daily. It’s so easy to be overly proud of our accomplishments and abilities; problems are reminders that we aren’t in total control of our lives -- God is, and we are dependent on him.
The DaVinci Code Debunked
McLean Bible Church is a church in Washington DC that Kim used to attend while she lived there. Every week they post the new sermon on their website so that anyone who wants to can listen to it, and Kim and I do that pretty often. The senior pastor Lon Solomon is one of the best preachers I’ve heard.
Today we listened to his sermon The DaVinci Code Debunked and it was really interesting. I haven’t read the book nor seen the movie, but I certainly haven’t escaped the constant hype surrounding them. On The Factor the other night, Bill O’Reilly grilled the author, Dan Brown, and it’s clear that Brown has no evidence to back up his outrageous claims about Jesus and the Bible. Pastor Lon’s sermon made that abundantly more clear.
Update: And language-nazi that I am, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to stand too much of the book after having read The Dan Brown Code.
New Thrice Album
Sorry for the lull in activity around here lately; I’ve been really busy these past couple of weeks. But here’s something really cool from the new Thrice album (Vheissu):
This hollow in my chest is filled with reasons not to sing, but I found one: I know we are not alone. We feel an unseen love. We are sons and heirs of grace. We are children of a light that never dims, a love that never dies.
-- Thrice, "Music Box"
So it’s now the season of "Lent" in the Catholic church (not that that applies to me, because I’m not Catholic, I’m Christian), and everywhere you go, you can find restaurant signs that say "Lenten Special." Because the Catholic church forbids eating meat on Fridays during Lent, and because some Catholics abstain from meat completely during Lent, the Lenten specials offered by restaurants are typically fish dishes. You’ll even see fast food joints offering fish -- as if fast food weren’t gross enough, now you can have fast fish.
Well tonight I drove past a Taco Bell and saw this sign: "Lenten Special: 2 Bean Burritos."
Baby got ..... Bible?
So a buddy of mine sends me this link. I became very scared. I don’t know what to think. It seems the guy know’s of moshing but is unable to do it with people half his size. Anthony, I need you to tell me if this is good or bad. If I feel slight nausea should I turn it off or go with the flow?
If God wanted us to use the metric system, Jesus would have had only ten apostles.
During our hike last weekend, we were talking about the religion of Scientology. I decided to look it up and see just what it’s about. Here’s a statement from the official website:
Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and of one’s relationship with self, family, groups, mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being, or infinity.
Scientology addresses the spirit — not simply the body or mind — and believes that man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes.
Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these are:
Man is an immortal spiritual being.
His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.
His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.
Scientology further holds man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself and his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.
Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to believe anything on faith. An individual discovers for himself that Scientology works by applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results.
The ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for the individual.
Sounds somewhat like a western version of Buddhism. The fundamental flaw (aside from just being one of those touchy-feely happy religions) as I see it is their belief that man is basically good. Not only is this the polar opposite of what I believe, but where I live (Earth) it’s abundantly clear that man is not basically good.
One Nation Under God
So now they’re trying (again) to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, because some atheist has nothing better to do than waste my tax money on another fraudulent court case. You know what, the first amendment does not guarantee that atheists will never have to hear the word "God" spoken. Our country was founded by Christians and there are references to God throughout our government. What the first amendment DOES do is guarantee that people have freedom to choose whatever religion (including Atheism) they want to.
There is no law that forces a person to say the pledge, so this is a moot point anyway. A kid could simply omit the "under God" part if he wants, or he could just not say the whole thing. No one is forcing him to say it, and certainly no one is forcing him to believe anything.
If this guy doesn’t believe in God, fine, no problem. But he is choosing to live in a country where the vast majority of people DO believe in God, a country that was founded on Christian principles by Christian people, a country whose leaders have been predominantly Christian for hundreds of years. If he’s going to throw a hissy-fit anytime he hears the word God then he picked the wrong country to live in. His poor judgement is not my problem so I shouldn’t be paying for it.