Friday, January 24, 2020

How forthcoming has China been about the mystery virus?

One can be expected to not get the straight poop from a closed, Communist nation like China.  And that is likely the situation concerning the Wuhan virus. As one source pointed out, more accurate information is likely provided by the rumor mill (people on the ground) than from “official China outlets.”

As of January 26, we are told by official China outlets of 56 deaths from the virus and a mortality rate of 2.8%.   HERE is one report from other sources of 10,000 dead in Wuhan alone.

CORONAVIRUS: Reports of 10,000 DEAD in Wuhan, China

Further, the Daily Mail reports that …

“China built a lab to study SARS and Ebola in Wuhan - and US biosafety experts warned in 2017 that a virus could 'escape' the facility that's become key in fighting the outbreak".”

Little snippets of info are beginning to paint a more troublesome story than has be reported so far.

As you recall over the last few days it has been reported that the source of the virus was from a bat delicacy at a market.  And then we heard it may be from a snake.

Here is a post from an individual familiar with Asian cuisine, and particularly with the types of foods Chinese official outlets attributed to the outbreak:

Poster 1:

I don't buy into this bat/snake folderol. I've eaten fruit bat upon many occasions. Cooked in coconut milk, it's absolutely delicious and considered a delicacy throughout Micronesia. On the snake story, I had some wealthy acquaintances, long ago, that had quail hunting leases outside of Del Rio. The number of times that I ate rattlesnake … I lost count of. Point of fact, someone told me that chicken tastes quite a bit like rattlesnake.

Poster 2:

Knock yourself out, … though I suspect your post is an attempt at weird humor….I'll stick to beef, pork, fresh fish, etc. and a multitude of fresh vegetables and fruits prepared under sanitary conditions. The big problem is that China, most of Asia, India, Africa and various 3rd world countries are unsanitary dungholes.

Poster 1:

…When I lived, in the Marianas…fruit bat is an absolute delicacy. It's cooked in coconut milk. There's actually a hunting/trapping season. And, when hunting quail, outside of Del Rio, we often shot rattlesnakes. One of the reasons that hunting with bird dogs isn't recommended. And, wearing of chaps is highly encouraged. I've eaten a lot of rattlesnake.
I challenge you to find one city, any city, in the PRC that is one-tenth as filthy as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Baltimore, Chicago … and the list goes on and on and on. Filth is piled over two stories in many areas of Baltimore, Detroit, etc.

Me:

So, do you believe the virus lab breakout story has more credibility [than the animal market story]?

Poster 1:

Yes

Here is a photo that has been in the national news over the past couple of days.  Several dozen pieces of heavy earth moving equipment are preparing the ground for the 10-day, super fast track, construction of a large hospital in Wuhan to help treat the infected population, where “only 25 have died.”

Huge efforts are being made by construction workers in Wuhan to erect a new hospital in less than a week on the government's orders. Officials said the medical facility must be built to cope with overwhelming numbers of coronavirus patients

Question for those familiar with the planning and construction of large hospitals:  When is the last time you’ve seen this level of construction activity for construction of a hospital with less than three weeks of advance planning? Survey work alone would take a week or more.  Drawing up plans longer still.  What is the likelihood that a “fully transparent” Chinese government has given us the full story behind this mystery virus outbreak?  How many months do you think the Chinese government has been aware of this outbreak?  And is it a breakout of a weaponized strain from their less than stellar Level 4 lab?

Update January 24:

Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding‏ @DrEricDing, a public health scientist on the faculty at Harvard.

“I’ll be honest - as an epidemiologist, I’m really deeply worried about this new coronavirus outbreak. 1) the virus has an upward infection trajectory curve much steeper than SARS. 2) it can be transmitted person to person before symptoms appear — I.e. it is silently contagious!”

“HOLY MOTHER OF GOD - the new coronavirus is a 3.8!!! [multiplier of new infections from one infected person] How bad is that reproductive R0 value? It is thermonuclear pandemic level bad - never seen an actual virality coefficient outside of Twitter in my entire career. I’m not exaggerating… #WuhanCoronovirus #CoronavirusOutbreak

What does this mean for those who were on a plane or in a crowd with people who showed NO symptoms yet, but who came down with this virus days or a week later?  You probably received it.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The US “Brexit”: UNexit

Should the US exit the UN?

There have been proposals and demands for the United States (US) to leave the United Nations (UN) ever since it was created in 1945.

But US membership and funding of this international “peacekeeping” organization continues.

Funding?  What funding? The US pays the UN about $3.3 billion annually, about 22% of the total UN budget.  Much of this is to promote UN policies and programs contrary to US interests.

https://www.politifact.com/global-news/statements/2017/feb/01/rob-portman/us-contribution-un-22-percent/

But but but…there are benefits to the US remaining a member.  There have been no new world wars since 1945.  We are on the UN Security Council.  We can veto any proposal or mandate that we don’t agree with.  Our membership reinforces our status among the worlds most powerful nations.  The UN sends peacekeeping forces around the world.  Who knows how many holocausts and wars the UN has prevented?

Who knows, indeed.  How many skirmishes and local wars has the UN perpetuated?  How much UN money goes to illicit tribes and armies fighting against freedom? And of the areas where the UN has “peacekeeping” forces funded significantly by the US, are they in the interests of the US?  Not many know that, either. 

In other words, is the value of US membership in the UN similar to the value of Britain’s former membership in the European Union (EU)?  Asked another way, should the US question if its national interests are best served by remaining in the UN as Britain questioned whether its national interests were best served by remaining in the European Union?  They were not.  So Britain got out.

Sure, there are differences.  Britain’s laws and trade were subsumed by EU laws and trade agreements whereas the US still maintains much greater autonomy as a UN member.  All this means is that Britain’s membership in the EU mandated loss of autonomy and influence while the US membership in the UN results in a voluntary loss of autonomy and influence.

Here is why this is the case: 

How many of the members of the UN share US interests?  How many share similar forms of governance, beliefs, cultures, and values?  The UN has 93 member states.  Among these, fewer than a dozen share US values.  The rest are either majority Islamic nations, communist nations, socialist, or nations teetering between socialism and anarchy.

There are 45 Muslim majority member nations.  And by “majority”, it isn’t 51% or even 80%.  A “majority” Islamic nation is typically high 90+% Muslim.  Add to that the dozens of Muslim special interest groups with representatives running up and down halls of the UN lobbying for Islamic interests.  Included among these special interest groups are:

  • Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC, 57 UN Member States)
  • Islamic Development Bank (IDB, 57 UN Member States)
  • Arab League (formerly League of Arab States, 22 UN Member States)
  • Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD, 29 UN Member States)
  • Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, or more commonly, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, 6 UN Member States)
  • East African Community (EAC, 6 UN Member States)
  • Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS, 15 UN Member States)
  • Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS, 9 UN Member States and 1 affiliated member)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the primary Islamic “representative” at the UN, alone is comprised of 57 Islamic nations:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Cote D'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

https://www.quora.com/How-are-Islamic-countries-represented-in-the-UN

And then there are the communist nations including Russia, Cuba, Vietnam, and China.  Add to this the dozen or more hard core socialist nations like Venezuela, most European member nations, and half of the South American member nations and we suddenly realize that over 75 nations of the 93 members of the UN have national interests diametrically opposed to those of the US.

Even though the US has veto power, we don’t and can’t influence most of the policies and programs, not to mention the actions, of the UN.  Who has the most overall, day to day, influence in the UN?  Islamic, communist, and socialist nations.  And between these three, Islamic nations carry the most influence and pay the smallest share of expense.

So, is the US getting a worthwhile return on investment?  Where else could that annual $3.3 billion be spent?  Yet, even outside this UN expense, we are still the world’s policeman at a cost of $100’s of billions beyond that.  And if we were not in the UN, we would still be the world’s policeman if that is the path we wish to continue to follow.  How many of our current foreign military installations, airfields, and special forces interventions formally sanctioned by the UN?  Any?

Is our continuing membership and substantial monetary funding of the UN giving unjustified credibility, power, and influence to that body contrary to the interests of the United States?

Should there be a UNexit by the US, using very similar rationale of Britain’s Brexit? 

You be the judge.

Monday, January 20, 2020

US European-bred Christians becoming the new Native American…

Whites in America will become a minority in the US by 2045, according to the Brookings Institution.  Further given the fact of declining Christian belief among the general population, white Christians will become a minority much sooner if not already.

The rest of the US population smells blood in the water, so to speak; I suspect as did the European settlers here in the 17 and 1800’s against native Americans.  You know how THAT turned out.

Christians of European ancestry are the new Native Americans.  I am one.  We think of ourselves as the founders of this nation – the rightful heirs, settlers, and leaders of the land, government, religion, and culture.  We were for 200 years.

Affirmative action has been a dual-edged sword.  It gave opportunity to blacks in the form of favored access to education and jobs.  But it continues to discriminate against deserving whites long after its intended purpose has been achieved.

Unbridled immigration and open borders continue to increase the rapid influx of Latinos and Middle Easterners both of whose birthrates are at least double those of the “new” native Americans.

The term “people of color” now includes EVERYONE except Caucasians.  Isn’t white as much a “color” as “black”?  The term “people of color” has become an accepted racist term against whites.

What can we expect from this paradigm shift?  Look at American history and human nature for the answer.

Affirmative action will live in perpetuity as those initially favored by it will seek their reparations in the form of retribution via this legalized form of reverse discrimination.

The new majority will embrace socialism, and use the tyranny of the majority, aka “democracy” to achieve their political dominance.  Their political dominance will put the new minority, Christians and Caucasians, in their place.  A new form of “reservation” will be created, shades of the plight of the native American.

Transition will occur akin to a slow boil, but the end result is virtually inevitable.  It is as if the European-bred Christians have little regard for their own faith, culture, and heritage, have a death wish and welcome their own demise.

This is a bumper sticker used by those who have so little regard for their own heritage, religion or culture that they pander to everyone else’s.

Monday, January 06, 2020

What happens next with Iran, Iraq, and US policy?

The left in Congress and the media are pleading “doomsday”, WWIII!, and “Trump is out of control with no plan” in response to his order to remove Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.

These Trump-haters are so full of vitriol against Trump that they have blinded themselves to the facts:

Who was Soleimani?

From the BBC:  “Under his leadership, Iran had bolstered Hezbollah in Lebanon and other pro-Iranian militant groups, expanded Iran's military presence in Iraq and Syria and orchestrated Syria's offensive against rebel groups in the country's long civil war.”

In essence, Soleimani was in charge of terrorism in the Middle East on behalf of Iranian and other jihad-inspired Muslims.  HERE is a link to Soleimani’s “accomplishments”, aka “top ten atrocities” on behalf of the “religion of peace.”

Has the previous United States policy of appeasement worked? 

No.  Our policies under Obama, the not well disguised Muslim, emboldened Iran and like minded infidel-hating nations and bought them time and space to expand their areas of influence and control.  The $1.7 billion Obama sent to Iran in cash was most likely used to fund Iran’s proxy militias to undermine US influence and to further destabilize the Middle East through terror and intimidation.  THAT was appeasement on steroids.

What will Iran do in response?  Here are the possibilities, from most to least likely:

1. Continue  and likely up their game of asymmetrical warfare against Western and more moderate Islamic interests in the region.  These tactics include use of proxy militias and nations in executing terror attacks to intimidate and control, harassment of shipping in narrow regional international shipping channels, and carrying out cyber-attacks against the computerized systems (banking, infrastructure) of first world nations.  In other words, at least in the short term, they will continue what they have been doing, except perhaps a bit more clandestinely, not as readily observably.

2. Through proxies, fire additional missiles at Israel.

3. Directly attack US interests in the region or in the US.

What will the US do going forward?

The US has ended Obama’s regime of appeasement.  The rules of engagement have changed – hallelujah! 

Presidential bluster and threats on our behalf against Iran are essential.  Iran cannot mistakenly believe we will do nothing any longer.  Such talk from Trump unhinges the Democrats, but must be said to minimize stupid actions by Iran.

It is now open season on Iranian military leaders.  The ROE shackles are off.  Iranian militia leaders within Iraq have withdrawn into Iran, supposedly to help ready missile batteries, but more likely to preserve their lives.

We have and will increase our troop strength in the short term in the Middle East to protect our assets.  How long that will be necessary is unknown.  We have and will increase our readiness at home knowing there are Iranian terror cells that are likely to be activated here.

If there is  known to by ANY link between terror carried out in this nation and Iranian influence, the rules of engagement with Iran change further, and significant bombing of Iranian assets becomes more likely.

What about our presence in Iraq?

In spite of the resolution of the Iraqi Parliament, heavily influenced by Iranian interests, by the way, to eject US forces from Iraq, the US can choose to remain, at least for a short while.  While it takes a decision of the Iraqi Executive, currently a “caretaker” government, to change that policy, we could leave sooner than later.  HERE is a not fully verified claim that we may leave sooner than later.  It may be a test, and only a test, of the will of Iraqi leaders. HERE is a later report indicating the above letter was a draft, with no immediate withdrawal pending.  This may be a “misdirect” to confuse everyone, especially Iran –and especially to ferret out where the US presence stands in the minds of Iraqi leadership.

On the other hand, taking out Soleimani despite the explicit rejection to do so by the Iraqi government might have been Trump playing 5-D chess, as someone described, with the full conscious intent being to elicit Iraqi anger as cover for total US withdrawal.  If that is the case, not too many of us are terribly sad.

Despite all this speculation, there is considerable support among Iraqis, notably the Kurds and Sunnis, for the US to remain.  Most Sunni lawmakers and all Kurdish members of parliament sat out the vote – likely out of fear if they overtly voting “no” to the US expulsion vote.

And what about Democrat anti-Americanism?

The words and actions of Democrats in the House, such as hand cuffing the President via limiting the War Powers Act, make them appear to be pro-Iranian and anti-American among most voters.  These actions will motivate the electorate to support Trump as much as the actions of the Virginia Governor sell guns.

A word about “fear”:  Pelosi and her crowd are consumed by fear.  We have indeed become a nation of fearful snowflakes.  A related term is “soft.”  We dare not allow any encroachment into our comfort zones which are many and all consuming.  Fear is the number one reason we have pandered to rogue nations and terror groups.  We are fearful of their threats almost to the point of fearing our own shadows.  Fear is what drives the Democrat party and even most of our Christian churches to cave to every craven thought and act.  We don’t want to offend anyone for any reason.  We fear the potential consequences, even though the potential rewards in both victories and faithfulness are greater than any threat of “offending.”

Friday, January 03, 2020

Thoughts on eliminating the most influential leader of terror in the Middle East…

First, from Jimmy Carter, the peanut farmer, through Barack Hussein Obama, the barely disguised Muslim, US policy has emboldened Iran to become the most prolific source of terror in the Middle East.  Over the past several years Iran had gained influence in Iraq’s government to the point of virtually dictating their every move the government made.  In fact, this past week Iran’s influence was behind the Iraqi government relaxing Green Zone security so that Iran-backed militia could storm the US Embassy.  And Iran for months has been promising violence against both Israeli and US interests in the area.

In response to Trump’s vow to punish Iran for their invasion of our Iraqi embassy, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on January 1st said that US President Donald Trump was powerless to do anything to Iran.  Within 24 hours of that statement, Iran’s most vaunted military leaders were pulverized by US missiles.

So now, not only are the Iranian jihadis in an uproar,  US democrats are squealing like pigs just before a BBQ.  In fact, they are making more noise than the rabid Muslims of the Middle East.  All because President Trump did the job that both Democrats and Republicans failed to do over the past 40 years.

Will this US action cause upheaval in the Middle East?  The better question is:  Have the actions of Iran caused upheaval in the Middle East?  Yes to both.  Of  course, if the US laid down and played dead, as we had before Trump, and dumped plane loads of cash in the hands of terrorists to “placate” them, as Obama had done, there might be a false impression of stability while Islamic jihadis continue their conquest throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Nancy Pelosi is having kittens:  She’s upset she wasn’t notified of the pending attack – but why would we notify an enemy of the US?  And the Islam-dominated United Nations is expressing concern, of course.

Yes, our stock market will react in the short term.  Oil and gas prices will spike in the short term.  Iran and its terrorist proxies and cells will commit a few more acts of terror.  What else is new?

The most important thing:  There was a clear message sent by the US that we will not tolerate Iranian BS, attacks and threats against the US and our allies.

The Democrats would rather criticize, cower, and placate.  They appear to be on the side of our enemies.  I believe that is called “treason.”

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The problem with excessively optimistic Christian “progress”…

Fake news comes in many forms and styles.  We hear the liberal media spout fake news daily, often to bash President Trump.  We hear Trump using some degree of hyperbole in explaining his many accomplishments.

We even hear Christian missionaries, evangelists, and church leaders explain the success in bringing people to Christ.

I occasionally pose a question to Christian leaders while raising concerns about the growth and dangers of Islam and the fact that the Church fails to discuss or address the Islamic threat:

“Do you know how fast Christianity is increasing compared to Islam?”

Their response has ALWAYS been something to the effect of:

“No worries, we have missionaries in [such and such place] and they’re bringing people to Christ by the boatload.”

That response does not answer my question, number one.  Number two, that response masks the ignorance of that Christian leader with regard to the growth of Islam compared to the growth of Christianity around the world.  But I haven’t challenged that response – until now.

So, in the spirit of that challenge, I present the following two minute animation that shows the growth of major world religions from 1946 t0 2019. Enjoy…or not:

If the information presented in this video is accurate, and I have reasons to believe it is, the Churches need a lot of waking up to do regarding accepting the truths about Islam, their growth, their means of growth, and the threat they pose to our national and religious freedoms.

________________________

The questions I asked myself when I received this video from a friend were “what is the source of this data? Who put it together?  What was their motivation?  Can it be trusted?

Here are a few answers to those questions:

The person who put this video together has a YouTube presence on a site called Data Is Beautiful.  This is a link to that sites’ “About” page.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkWbqlDAyJh2n8DN5X6NZyg/about

The source of the data is World Religion Data Base.  This is a link to their site:

https://www.worldreligiondatabase.org/

I cannot vouch for the voracity of either of these sources – and I’d prefer they were not accurate.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Topics churches avoid because they’re considered “political”

There are dozens of topics that the church avoids to prevent even the appearance of dabbling in “politics.”  Any one of the following topics that most churches avoid could be a blog, a book, or a three month college course.  But the toxic and misapplied word “politics” stifles and condemns their discussion in our churches.  So don’t use the word “politics” with its poisoned innuendos.  Call it “governance”: A concept expressed throughout the Bible in dozens of chapters if we really cared for God’s direction.

What are some of these forbidden topics that the Bible teaches, but which the church has banished into impropriety because some might consider such topics “political?”

  • Personal responsibility versus reliance on government.  This distinction takes many forms including government welfare programs, disincentives to work, taking from the “haves” and giving to the “have nots”, tax policy, among others.  The Bible comes down on the side of the individual determining the needs of others on a personal level – from the heart, and not the impersonal, broad brush grant by government to those who may or may not be worthy.
  • The distinction between “socialism” and what the Bible really teaches about government.  No, despite the “social justice” and “social gospel” fads, the Bible does NOT teach these.  “Social justice” implies government mandating redistribution of wealth and resources given to those the government determines are worthy.  What does the Bible really teach?  Hint:  Trusting God more than government – one of the principle driving forces behind the founding of our nation.
  • Sexual perversion.  Somebody we know may practice one of the LGBTQIA sexual preferences (the number of letters continues to grow).  So we certainly don’t want to mention it in church because a friend or family member my be offended.  But shouldn’t we?  God thinks so.
  • Mandating accommodation of perversions (same sex marriage, homosexuality) in our businesses that violate Christian principles and morality.  Examples:  Bakeries, photo studios, and churches are legally forced to provide services and facilities to perverts.  Shouldn’t churches explain and defend the right of Christians to adhere to their beliefs in their businesses?  The silence of churches on these matters leaves many Christians with the belief that businesses that do not bow to serving perversion are excessively radical.  Really?
  • The importance of marriage between a man and a woman.  There are numerous reasons why a male and female, together, make the best role models in raising children.  The Bible teaches this.  And so should the church.
  • The importance of “nations”, “borders” and honoring the integrity of these God ordained entities.  Yes, God created the concept of “nations” as opposed to the globalist, Babel-esque agenda.  And yes, the immigrant “sojourner” is expected to obey the laws of the nation to earn the privilege of being a guest.  This theme runs through many Books of the Bible.
  • Government persecution of Christians and their beliefs.  As our culture drifts further from its Christian roots, government is increasingly emboldened to declare the Christian to be the bad guy, the bigot, the homophobe.  The practice of what was considered “morality” has become “bigotry.”   Being opposed to perverted behavior is now called “homophobia.” Warning of the evils of Islamic doctrine and practice is called “Islamophobia”, no matter how true and accurate the warnings may be.
  • The truth about Islam.  The church has failed to teach the Biblical differences between the Islamic god Allah and God.  No, they are not the same.   And Jesus is not just a “prophet.” Politicians ignore the Islamic threat and lie about its true nature, and intent.  Shouldn’t churches correct the record about Islam or is that too “political?”
  • The false teachings of “separation of church and state” and “you can’t legislate morality.”  More accurately, the intent was “freedom OF religion”, not freedom FROM religion.  And there isn’t a single law that isn’t related to some form of morality.  It is more a question of whose morality and which morality is chosen to legislate.   The Bible clarifies these things  while the churches ignore them.
  • Laws in general. Government’s role in legislating and taxing should be for the purpose of protecting and defending individual liberties, not doing for people what they should be doing for themselves.  The term “general welfare” was never intended to facilitate a “welfare state.”
  • Right to life/abortion.  Do too many women feel put upon by the Bible’s “thou shall not murder” doctrine for the church to speak about this any more?  “My body – my right – to kill.”  Seems a bit selfish, yes? 
  • Love.  Especially “tough love.”  Love enough to urge friends, family, co-workers to trust God and His standards – to do the right and moral thing.  Love involves facing the truth about morality, behaviors, actions, and even government policy.  A permissive, anything goes culture doesn’t seem to care about such things.  Government programs don’t “love.”  Individuals do.
  • The Christian roots of our nation.  These roots are increasingly ignored and denied by our media, universities and politicians.  Shouldn’t our churches, at the very least, be at the forefront of reminding us of our nation’s Christian heritage, and how Biblical principles gave us the freedoms and prosperity that the great majority of Americans enjoy?

The demonization of people of faith through the weaponized use of words such as “racist”, “homophobe”, “bigot”, “Islamophobe”, and even the word “politics” is a means of silencing the Church from speaking on these topics.  The Bible, and traditional Christian doctrine and practice over the centuries did not shy away from the Biblical teachings that have recently been self-declared by churches throughout our nation as being “off limits.”  Why?  And for how long?  I’m guessing until either when the church wakes up, or when the church slides into irrelevance among the amorphous whims of an immoral pop culture.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Answering objections to the Church addressing “governance”

As a layman who has spent over 60 years observing the moral decline of our culture and increasing hostility of our government toward Christianity, I naturally wondered “why?”

One significant reason for this state of affairs is that the Church, over the most recent decades, has avoid discussing major and significant portions of the Bible.

The previous blog post titled “Do you dislike “politics” being discussed in church?” elicited a number of common concerns about the church teaching the portions of the Bible dealing with “government” and which most avoid because that word is associated with the “bastardized” word “politics.”

So I will break down the concerns  expressed about what I wrote and attempt to address them, one by one.

________________________

First, "politics" as a subject in our society has become toxic.

I agree. It is a toxic word.


Reality is, the word itself has become so bastardized; polarized; emotionalized, that in the context of this discussion the definitions are irrelevant.

The word "politics" has not only become "bastardized" as you say, but also weaponized. The word "politics" is used as a weapon against discussing and learning virtually everything the Bible (God) has to say about governance. And it says a lot!

The same is being done with the weaponized words “racist”, “homophobe”, and “Islamophobe.”  The Church now suffers from “politiphobe": One who fears the discussion of anything related to politics or governance.  These words are invoked to silence and demonize discussion.   The Church has succumbed to the demonization of the word “politics” and now apparently the word “governance”, too. "Don't point out what the Bible says because it may offend someone - or someone may disagree" goes the thinking. And they certainly don't want to "offend" and lose attendees or revenue.


It's an impossible leap to overcome it.

I disagree.  It’s difficult, but not impossible.  People have become lazy and careless in their use of words.  They - our culture - purposely redefine words to meet their agenda.  If they don’t want a certain subject to be discussed, for example, such as the economy or immigration, or excessively invasive government, they will call it “politics” with a negative twist.  So we need to be more precise and honest in acknowledging what we don’t want to discuss.  Instead of using the broad brush of the word “politics”, let’s use the words “gossip” or “slander” or “mud slinging” or alleged lying.  These terms describe what many associate with “politics.”  Both our churches and public education system have let us down in this regard.


Secondly, trying to interpret the bible for the sake of governance is nebulous, for the bible is written with many interpretations.

The Bible is much less "nebulous" than the casual observer may assume. Just as in addressing any problem there are various ways to address it. Some ways should be avoided, some ways are iffy, some ways may work. And some ways are essential. These options are available for every mundane decision we make: How to raise a child, how to invest your money, what to have for lunch. That does not mean we avoid learning and discussing such things with other people who are impacted by that decision.

When it comes to running your life, your family, a community, city, county, state, or nation, there is the same assortment of approaches to address the best ways to govern.

Interpreting the Bible is the same.  There are wrong interpretations to be avoided.  Some are “maybe’s.”  Some are “likelies” and “pretty darn certains.” And some are “absolutes.”

The Bible has many more “pretty darn certains” and “absolutes” about governance than the exposure it has been given in the Churches of late. Sure there is a diversity of opinion of interpretation. But that does not mean there is no right way. And there are most certainly a number of wrong ways. That does not mean the topics should be ignored. That does not mean that those who are well versed in the Bible (pastors and teachers) without imposing their own agenda, should avoid teaching and promoting God's words about governance to their congregations.


Those interpretations can be as diverse as the "political" viewpoints of the interpreter. Case in point is the US/Mexico border situation. The bible says (in essence) welcome all refugees fleeing from whatever. So; no border wall. But the bible also asserts we should provide safe haven for our families. So…a wall against possible criminals? Welcome refugees selectively? Politics. Ugh!
Using your example of illegal immigration, two competing doctrines have been cited in the Bible: 1) Obey the laws of the land and 2) Be gracious to the sojourner. There are other principles in the Bible as well, such as the concepts of nations and national sovereignty, no work/no eat, personal responsibility, and many others.  These are rarely considered in the context of illegal immigration, but they should be..

Those with an "open borders" agenda will equate "sojourner" with "illegal immigrant." And they stop right there. End of argument. Let in all the sojourners because that is what the Bible says. False! In fact, there is no equivalency whatsoever between those terms "illegal immigrant" and "sojourner." Add in the social justice warriors’ failure to consider the other relevant Bible principles and their failed interpretation becomes even more blatant.

Back to point #1 above: Reality is, the introduction of the politics of governance in the church may not even be the business of the church.
Wrong.  Major themes of the Bible are all about “governance.”  From self-governance of the individual, to the governance between individuals, to communities and to nations.  These are major themes of the Bible throughout.  Therefore the form and means of governance are most certainly the business of the Church.

The founders of this nation and signers of the Constitution were comprised of pastors, devout Christians, and those otherwise heavily influenced by the Bible. The principles of governance contained in the Bible were a primary influence on the system of government we currently have. But that history is nowhere taught today: Not in civics classes in public schools; not even in our churches.

If God's word is taught and understood, the members of the congregation can form their own interpretations. All we can do is have faith (remember "faith?") all we can do is have faith that the outcome will be God's will.
After the preachers and Bible teachers are finished giving their very best interpretation of what the Bible says about governance, then each churchgoer can reach his own conclusion. But the churchgoers should not be left in the dark to come to their own, blind, conclusions. But as things now stand, most of us are making blind decisions in the dark - and reaping the consequences due, in part, to a silent Church.  “Faith” is not the same as “wishful thinking.” 

That's democracy. Informed decisions by the citizens. Preach God's word; leave the interpretation to the privacy of each individual.

"Preach God's word."  How about ALL OF IT.  What is “preaching?”  It is not merely reading the Bible. 

When a pastor preaches God's word, he is not just reading the Bible and leaving interpretation to the listener's imagination. He is interpreting it for the listener. He is providing the context, culture, related verses, framing examples, etc. So, the pastor should not only PREACH the ENTIRE Bible. He should also interpret and teach the ENTIRE Bible. This is not being done, but it should be.

The essence of this blog is pointing out that only a portion of God's word is being preached. Much of the Bible that applies to our nation and culture today is NOT being preached. Why? Because too many pastors and churchgoers have poisoned what the Bible says about governance by calling it "politics." So, when someone says "preach God's word", I suggest PREACH ALL OF IT.


Leave political interpretations and viewpoints out of it. Amen?

No “amen”.  Rather “God forbid!”  There it is again, the weaponized word “politics” that shuts down discussion of major parts of what the Bible has to teach us.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Do you dislike “politics” being discussed in church?

Do you believe it is inappropriate for “politics” to enter into sermons, announcements from the pulpit, or Christian prayer?  Most churches avoid such topics like the plague.  And in the rare church that mentions anything that can be construed as “politics” there will invariably be those who are put off by such mention, believing that any reference to anything related to politics is inappropriate inside a church.

There are two problems with this intolerance of political talk in the church.

One problem is the definition of “politics.”  The other is a lack of understanding of the content, context, and message of the Bible.

First, the definition:

No, it does not mean “many blood sucking insects fastened to the body”, as in “many ticks”, although politicians can come very close to that definition.

Webster defines politics as “the art or science of government.”  A broader definition is “actions or activities concerned with achieving and using power in a country or society.”  (Collins English Dictionary)  Closely related to politics is power and authority: Who has the power and authority over whom.

These definitions are much different than popular usage of the term which too often includes name calling, lies, and greedy agendas of politicians, special interests, and yes, voters.  These popularized examples of “politics” are as much a perversion of the term as “homosexual” is a perversion of the word “gay.”

With the Webster and Collins definitions in mind, lets look at politics in the context of the Bible.

First of all, the Old Testament is full of concepts relating to governance.  First it was governance by judges, then by kings.  The goodness and faithfulness of the subjects that sanctioned those judges and kings waxed and waned throughout the Old Testament history of Israel.  The major themes revolved around the extent that both the leaders and the people were faithful to or rebelled against God.  Should we be unconcerned about how faithful or faithless our leaders and fellow voters are today?

And then we have Bible prophecy.  The biggie that comes to mind is Isaiah 9:6-7:  “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever.”

There are dozens more examples like this.

And in the New Testament (and in the Old), we have the dynamic tension between obeying government versus obeying God. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  The problem is, we ignore what belongs to God.  Acts 4:18-20 speaks to this problem by saying: “So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, "’Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

The whole Bible, the whole function of God, is to teach us who has power and authority over whom; who governs whom; what is the ideal nature of that government.  The Bible is a book of governance.

Benjamin Franklin, addressing the President of the Constitutional Convention, declared: "I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, That God governs in the affairs of men!” Dang politics!  There it is again – God “governing” in the affairs of men.  Too bad we don’t have more of that – the “God governing” part.

But discuss the failures of our culture or problems with our government during church and all hell breaks loose, or at least, a few whispers about “oh, here he goes again with ‘politics’.”

If there is any problem in the Church, it is discussing too little politics, not too much.  And no, the excuse about losing the church’s tax exempt status is bogus.  We are so far from crossing that line that the danger is irrelevant and such thought foolish.

____________________

Coming soon:  What “political” topics are ripe for discussion in Christian Churches.

Friday, October 18, 2019

The alleged crime of quid pro quo…

quid pro quo
/ˌkwid ˌprō ˈkwō/
noun
"favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something"
______________

International relations 101 quiz – Question #1:

Has the United States EVER given millions or billions worth of equipment or dollars to another nation without expecting SOMETHING in return?

Answer:  No, we never did that.  We have ALWAYS expected something in return.

Yet, our corrupt, leftist. Trump-hating media would like us to believe that a quid pro quo is something new, and that all quid pro quos are a crime.  They use the norm as a perverted excuse to demonize our President.

Beyond that brazen hypocrisy is the fact that not all quid pro quos are equal.  Most are for the common good, like commitments to improve freedoms or requests to investigate crimes or corruption in exchange for help in defending a nation.  Some other quid pro quos may be for personal gain or to further corruption.

If there was any overt quid pro quo in the case of Trump and Ukraine, which is debatable at best, it was to urge Ukraine to investigate the corrupt overt quid pro quo committed by sleazy Joe Biden (and his not so pure son) and the corrupt Obama administration.

Such are the distortions perpetrated by the corrupt Democrat party and many never-Trumper fair weather fiends in the RINO party heartily joined by the equally corrupt media.

A highly respected morning radio commentator, Bob Rose, on a local Gainesville/Ocala, Florida, radio station (WSKY) described what most of us already know to be true.  While he accurately reports and discusses the news of the day, he noted that ABC News, the network source of national news on his station, reports the same news and events with a totally opposite spin, using innuendo and less than subtle distortions of fact to promote their leftist agenda.  He noted that his audience has complained about the station's bipolar political personality, object to it, and plead for the station to jettison ABC  as the provider of the distorted version of the news.

NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, and most other mainstream news and social media sites are all pretending that quid pro quos are a crime that only applies to Donald Trump.