- Islam is a fascist political ideology more than a religion.
- Islam, the ideology uses religion as a cover to promote their supremacist designs through
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Especially at issue are these two prevailing attitudes toward these two religions by their respective adherents.
Islam: Religious, cultural, political, and military activity are inseparable from the practice of Islam. Islam is no longer Islam without its political and military components. The Islamic ideology is a fairly recent phenomenon in America. It originates from non-Western cultures with radically different
Friday, December 17, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
A local church book study group will soon be discussing Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order”, written in 1996. I’m not sure why this 14-year-old book was chosen for discussion. But I will make sure that the group is aware that one of Huntington’s “trusted advisors” in reviewing and commenting on his manuscript was Fareed Zakaria. This is just a hunch, but knowing what I know about Zakaria, I’ll bet that he influenced Huntington to be softer on Islam in his book than he would otherwise have been.
Most popularly known as a TV news and foreign policy commentator on ABC television, Zakaria has a broad foreign policy background. He was a managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, a columnist for Newsweek, editor of Newsweek International, he has written on a variety of subjects for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and most recently authored the book The Post-American World (2008), and named Editor-At-Large of Time.
He has done all of these things while maintaining a distinct bias for all things progressive and Islam. Zakaria self-identifies as a Muslim.
While his publicists claim he is straight as an arrow centrist and unbiased, Zakaria’s background and actions reveal otherwise.
His religious upbringing was supposedly secular, but included the honoring of Muslim holidays. His father, Rafiq Zakaria, was a politician associated with the Indian National Congress and an Islamic scholar.
Note that most of Zakaria’s career has been devoted to predominantly left-leaning organizations and publications. Forbes, in 2009, referred to Zakaria as one of "The 25 Most Influential Liberals In The U.S. Media".
His most recent book “The Post-American World” manifests his multicultural, progressive upbringing and education when he advocates "a more organic international system in which problems are addressed through a variety of structures and solutions can create its own kind of layered stability." This mimic’s George Soros’s and Barack Obama’s heartfelt desire for a one-world government – a new world order.
Speaking of Obama, our multiculturalist, third world President is a big fan of his fellow Islamist. This is not just guilt by association, but guilt by striking similarities.
Zakaria has spoken out strongly in favor of the Ground Zero Islamic mosque in Manhattan. In fact he returned an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) award granted years earlier because the ADL came out against the ground zero mosque. In a Time editorial, Zakaria stated he believes the mosque should be built to enhance the cause of Muslims like Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, which Zakaria calls “a moderate Muslim clergyman” despite solid evidence to the contrary.
He has publicly criticized Glenn Beck for claiming roughly 10% of the world’s Muslims are terrorist or have terrorist tendencies. This argument demonstrates that Zakaria is the Muslim apologist and Beck is the realist. Most reliable sources estimate that the proportion of the worlds 1.5 billion Muslims willing to invoke violent jihad range from 7% to over 15%. Beck is likely on the conservative side of “pretty close.” Remember what historic, orthodox Islam teaches: Supremacism, with a large dash of intimidation and terror to achieve their goals. The most devout Muslims practice it to the letter. Assuming 80 or 90% of Muslims are not “devout” Muslims, that leaves 10 to 20% who are. And they practice or believe what Muhammad preaches.
Just as the folks who advise the president shape presidential policy and politics, so too do the folks who advise authors of books shape the content and conclusions of the book. Beware of Zakaria’s “moderate” Islamic influence.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
We often hear from Americans, including many Christians, that we should in no way obstruct the establishment of new Islamic mosques in this nation. That sounds fair and reasonable, doesn’t it? Such defense of this assumed right is based on the assumption that Islam is principally a religion, and that the practice of historic orthodox Islam as promoted by the preponderance of Islamic leaders today does not threaten our nation, form of government or our freedoms –it is just another religion, like Christianity, that seeks peace, human well-being, and honors the same God.
The sad truth is that those assumptions are mistaken.
The Islam in vogue today, and as promoted in Islamic mosques across the United States is more political ideology than it is a religion. In fact it is a supremacist, fascist political ideology that has subversive designs on the US government and our constitutional freedoms. It’s inseparable Sharia law requires our freedoms and common law, Judeo-Christian-based legal system to be subverted and replaced by crude dark ages laws of the middle east.
And the final topper is that the funding for the great majority of Islamic mosques in the United States is from Saudi Arabia, namely the Wahabbi’s, among the most Mohammedesque sects of Islam.
Unfortunately the defenders of Islamic mosques in America are ignorant of the subversive intent of the funding, the teachings, and actions that emanate from these ideological violent training center. Such advocacy is the equivalent of advocating new Nazi training camps in the US in the late ‘30’s and early 40’s. Such advocacy would be quite ill-advised and suicidal.
The way to counter the Islamic threat is not by placating the establishment of new mosques as if they serve the same community function as new churches. Each new mosque needs to be seen as the establishment of a new terror cell in your community. Short of deporting all Muslims, the best way to counter the Islamic threat is though education of individual Muslims. They must be informed and convinced of the better way – preferably Christianity, but any other way than their self-destructive, parasitic culture that condemns rather than forgives, destroys rather than builds, kills rather than saves. Christianity should be held up as the ideal because in its purest form it forgives rather than condemns, builds rather than destroys, and saves rather than kills.
Admittedly there is very little of this type of convincing occurring in the US because we have not yet, as a nation, admitted the scope of the Islamic problem and the danger of our ongoing pandering and placating.
Friday, December 10, 2010
There is no doubt that income taxes are excessive. There is no doubt that our current tax and unemployment policies discourage productivity and encourage “The View/Oprah-addicted” to maintain their slovenly behaviors.
It is also true that conservatives would benefit immensely by learning lessons on semantics from liberals and progressives (LPs). The LPs choose the words that make their socialist agenda sound attractive to the average lazy-minded and indiscriminate American.
One of the best examples of the LPs use of semantics is the DREAM Act. Wow! The DREAM act. Sounds pretty good. No need for concern about that. How many Americans are aware that the bill results in amnesty for millions of illegal aliens? That DREAM stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. For every illegal alien minor granted citizenship based on loose and unenforceable criteria, dozens of related family members both inside an outside the US get a ticket to citizenship. The DREAM Act is a dream for illegals and a nightmare for our economy, national security, and our culture.
Moving now to the semantics relating to the extension of Bush era tax cuts. Income taxes were too high during the Bush administration. Congress cut the tax rates across the board. Unfortunately, there was a time limit on the duration of the cuts – to December 31, 2010. The opponents of the tax rate cut extension calls such action “reducing taxes for the wealthy.” Conservatives argue, getting part of it right, that this is not a “tax cut for the wealthy” – it is extending the reduction of tax rates for everyone. What is being missed by conservatives – and the point of the whole argument – is that the wealthy are the most productive. We are talking about INCOME tax rates here – which is a tax on PRODUCTIVITY. Excluding the wealthy from the extension of the tax rate cut is increasing the tax on the most productive individuals in the nation – a disincentive for production.
OK, let’s hear it. DO NOT INCREASE TAXES ON PRODUCTIVITY! That will ultimately result in lower overall tax revenue for government or higher taxes on the middle class.
And quit encouraging the predisposition of American humans toward a slovenly existence by continuing to pay them for not working. Man, can we do anymore to destroy the success of our nation? Quit calling it “unemployment compensation.” After six months call it what it is: An employment disincentive. After 12 months, call it blatant counterproductive socialism.
Conservatives need to become much more aware – and much more creative – with their use of terms and their popular inference. LPs have the upper hand in this skill set. Conservatives need to take a page from the LPs semantics lesson manual.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Mike McCallister is running for US Senate in the State of Florida in 2012. He is an early favorite of tea partiers – probably because no other Republican has declared yet. He ran a distant third in the Republican primary for governor.
What is startling about Mike is his inability or refusal to communicate his position on national security issues, the sources of the threat, and the role and intent of Islam.
During his campaign kickoff speech on December 6th in a Tea Party meeting he said, and I paraphrase, “… this war was unlike any we've ever fought as it is not against a country, but against a culture of religious fanatics...”
That is substantially all he said about the reason we are fighting two wars and spending hundreds of billions on homeland security. That answer is so vague and broad brush that it could apply to any group of people that political correctness declares to be “fanatics.” Christians who profess belief in and actively promote the Bible as the word of God could be declared “religious fanatics” by secular progressives. Sorry Mike, you are a bit vague in identifying the enemy.
A friend emailed to me a summary of his platform. There was not a word about homeland security or Islam, the ideology we refuse to admit is behind our engagement in a war in two Islamic nations.
In my attempt to fill in the obvious gap of critical information in his platform, I emailed him with this question:
Please describe for me your understanding of Islam, and its threat to the US, if any. Is it historically and currently a “religion of peace” or is it intrinsically a warring, supremacist ideology?
Thanks for your insights.
My name Islamic Threat Committee Tri-County Tea Party, Florida
And his reply…
This I would discuss in person not by email.
And my follow-up, understanding that some folks have an aversion to emails…
Please provide a phone number so we can discuss.
And his reply…
I will at your TeaParty on Dec 6.
[He said very little on the topic at the Tea Party meeting]
And my follow-up, expressing shock at his refusal to answer…
Thank you for your reply.
I am, in fact most of us are, looking for candidates who will speak and WRITE the truth with courage. Initially, not knowing anything about you, I am disappointed that you, for whatever reason, feel you must avoid making your understanding of Islam known in writing. Islam, as an ideology, has forced America to be engaged in two wars, spend billions of dollars on homeland security, and subject our traveling citizens to invasive, humiliating searches. And you don’t want to put your understanding of Islam in an email. Do you not have a position paper on the subject?
He apparently does not. Further email exchanges followed. The stonewalling continued - no answers whatsoever were forthcoming concerning his position on homeland security, national security threats, the role of Islam, or our roles in two wars in Islamic nations. In fact he resorted to pomposity and condescension in lieu of transparency and forthrightness.
He strikes me as an academic in the worst sense, maintaining an air of high-minded superiority above the capacity of common folk to understand or have a need to know. One of his campaign aids even bragged on his behalf that his CV (“Curriculum Vitae” for low life like myself who are ignorant of such acronyms) has 9 pages. Nine! I was so impressed I looked up how many pages of CV Bill Ayers has. He has 34 pages! Wow. On that basis Ayers would make a better Senator than McCallister!
Please, Republicans and conservatives - we do not need a stonewaller on national security issues. Usually stonewallers are ignorant about the issues they are stonewalling. And if not ignorant, they have information they don’t want to share because they think so little of the capacity of their audience to understand what they are saying. So whether McCallister is a stonewaller or an excessively pompous colonel matters not. Neither one would make a good senator. A Col. Allen West he is definitely NOT!
I pray for other conservative options in the coming months.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
The headline reads:
Watching our State Department and US Presidents, not just Obama but even back to Bush and Clinton, you would think that Saudi Arabia is one of our good buddies. There is constant schmoozing between the respective leaders. Remember Obama’s deep bow?
Even the government of Saudi Arabia appears to be helpful on occasion when we hear they aided us with some intelligence gathering against “extremists, or they urged us to take out Iran’s nukes as we read recently via Wiki Leaks.
But we also know that Saudi Arabia is the primary funder of Islamic terrorists not only in the middle east, but in the United States and around the world. In the US, Saudi Arabia is officially funding Islamic training centers and middle east studies programs in major cities and universities. These centers and programs advance Islam and teach disdain for our culture, religions, and form of government. And where did the Islamists involved in the 9-11 attacks come from? Saudi Arabia.
The obvious questions I seldom hear asked is “why do we treat Saudi Arabia as an ally?” Is it because of our lust for oil? Our need for Saudi intelligence on terror groups? Because Saudi Arabia is one of the more stable Muslim nations? Or is it because of our ignorance of Islam and its agenda against us?
Saudi Arabia plays both sides. Like feeding a desperate addict, the Saudis drip feed us oil and snippets of intelligence we crave. We are more dependent on them than they are on us. Knowing what our government knows about the continuing heavy funding of terror by the Saudi’s, we are undoubtedly the numbnuts. If it was a single government official carrying out this sort of innane policy “on the sly” he would be fired or impeached. But we have our entire federal government officially carrying out this policy in the open. What insanity that is.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Arachnophobia, homophobia, and Islamophobia are the most famous fears of the past decade.
The word “phobia” has two principle definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary at Answers.com:
- A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.
- A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.
Phobias are most often considered irrational fears but not necessarily always. Take the fear of spiders, for example. Most spiders are capable of biting humans, though not all cause serious illness or death. But some can and do. If Cousin Hank has experienced the wrath of a Black Widow spider up front and personal, then his “phobia” is not irrational to him. Most people don’t allow themselves to get close enough to a spider to distinguish between a Black Widow and the friendly spider next door.
Black Widow Spider
The Black Widow Spider is the deadliest spider in North America. While the instant of the bite is not painful, the later symptoms of the Black Widows bite include localized pain in the back and abdomen, sever cramping of the abdominal muscles, nausea, labored breathing, tremors, profuse perspiration, high blood pressure, restlessness, fever and occasionally, death.
Those who have not experienced the bite of the Black Widow like Hank has may consider Hank to be “phobic.” But Hank knows better through experience. He is not being irrational at all.
Homophobia is interesting. It is not really an “irrational fear” as much as it is an aversion. From the perspective of those who do not have an aversion to gays or the gay lifestyle, they will label such aversion as “irrational” because they don’t have the point of reference to homosexual behavior that the alleged “homophobes” have. The point of reference of those who do have an aversion to homosexuality typically originates from religious beliefs, most notably from various passages of the Bible. Homosexuality as understood by those having an aversion to it is related to un-Godliness, immorality, lack of self-control, and a degenerate culture. As John McCain correctly noted in testimony before Congress, a significant proportion of those in the military are evangelical Christians who take their Christianity seriously. And serious orthodox Christians have believed through the centuries that homosexuality is wrong, thus the “aversion” to homosexuality. If and when the “don’t ask/don’t tell” policy is repealed, military leadership will be required to convince all their underlings that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, despite deeply held beliefs to the contrary held by both leadership and underlings. Cognitive dissonance results, followed by distraction, conflict, and many leaving the military during wartime – not a good result.
Those who legitimately warn of the Islamic threat are called “Islamophobes” either by Muslims or by those who don’t understand Islam. Islamophobia, like Arachnophobia and homophobia, is a derisive term intended to discredit the opinion, concern, or fear of the individual who has been negatively affected by or who has a legitimate concern – in this instance about Islam. I recognize that just as not all spiders are poisonous, not all Muslims are terrorist or desire to subvert our government and culture. However, Islam does teach and promote these things. Consequently we cannot, with certainty, know which Muslims believe and practice these historic, orthodox teachings of Islam. As it turns out, most so-called “moderate” Muslims are found to have quite a bite. Like the Arachnophobe, most alleged Islamophobes cannot get close enough to the object of his “phobia” to know for certain there is no threat.
And then there are the “Fedophobes”: The alleged irrational fear of the federal government. Those who believe the federal government should do everything to protect us from ourselves consider the federal government their friend. The bigger the better – even if we need to go into irreversible and suicidal debt – the bigger the better. The more the Feds can “protect” us from ourselves, the better. They consider anyone opposed to the federal government’s intrusive role into everyone’s life to be phobic toward the federal government.
From the perspective of the alleged Fedophobe, the engorged Federal government, like a bloated tick, is sucking the blood out of the formerly highly regarded human qualities of personal responsibility, initiative, hard work and sense of accomplishment. This problem is obvious to the Fedophobes. But apparently not so much to those who hold a “big-brother” Federal government in higher regard than these essential human qualities.
Use of the word “phobic” against others is a dual edged sword, much like using the word “bigot” or “racist” against someone. The name caller often lacks understanding of the problem and himself becomes the object of the name he is calling.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Here are several random thoughts about the Wiki Leaks debacle:
This was evolving months ago, yet our administration has done nothing to stop it. See Palin comments here.
Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.
MIKE HUCKABEE, former Arkansas governor, referring to the person responsible for leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks
Apparently Senator Lieberman doesn’t believe Wiki Leaks, the organization, rises to the level of “terrorist organization” as King does, despite it’s leader’s seditious methods and his attraction of leftists who would love to bring their country down a peg or five.
Appropriate agencies need to investigate the military’s malfeasance in protecting secret documents, new safeguards put into place and individuals associated with the security lapse demoted, fired, or prosecuted.
I wondered why our nation over the past decade or so has been so passive in keeping national secrets. It seemed every other week the New York Times or Washington Post exposed classified information from an undisclosed source. What gave with that? I wondered what the consequences of this indifference might be. Now we know. This Wiki event is just the natural evolution of that long-standing passive disregard for the importance of national secrets and national security.
Some believe this release of such massive amounts of US secrets could not be pulled off by just by an Army private and a hacker by themselves. They believe that enabling, if not orchestrating this sabotage goes all the way up to the White House. Motive? To give us a “teachable moment” to demonstrate why the internet should be controlled by the government. This is worth reading.
Julian Assange and confused, troubled and likely-to-spend-a-long-time-in-prison-if-not-shot Bradley Manning, remind me of the traitorous whistle-blowing by Christopher H. Pyle in the late ‘60’s during the Vietnam War. Unhappy about the military’s essential involvement in defending dozens of cities and college campuses from rioting leftists and disgruntled blacks, he, too, was proud of revealing military secrets, believing he was the be all and end all of human civility and righteousness. Such people suffer from a god complex and a bizarre need for self-worth however they earn it. It matters not to them if national security is compromised, international relations damaged, allies are humiliated, or people are killed as a result.
Some, both on the left and right, are happy with the Wiki Leak’s outings. It is in vogue and satisfying to see our nation embarrassed; our opinions or gut feelings affirmed by the revelatory leaks. But on the whole, our nation’s vulnerabilities and secrets were and continue to be exposed to the detriment of all US citizens – except those who thrive on sadistic rubbernecking and destructive behavior.
And finally, don’t take as gospel all the message in the leaks. Case in point: One news story reports that the leaks reveal that “China knows less about NKorea than thought.” That assumes that the story line told by China concerning North Korea as revealed in the leaks is true. Come on now, China has supported, aided, and defended North Korea every step of the way. That “revelation” is too contrary to the facts to be true.
Saying “violent extremists come from all religions” is like saying aids comes from all people when we know aids is non-existent in 99.9% of the world’s population. There is a clearly identifiable minority of the world’s population that is the source of aids. There is also a clearly identifiable minority of the world’s population that is the source of “violent extremism.”
Painting all religions with the same broad brush of harboring violent extremists is blatant bigotry against religions. That is exactly what U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton practiced when he stated “The fact is that violent extremists come from all religions and no religion at all. For one person to blame a group, if that’s what happened here, is uniquely anti-American and will be pursued with the full force of the Justice Department.”
It is unfortunate that U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton is so irresponsibly ignorant of world religions and the behavior of people who practice them. This is a classic case of the distorted use of moral equivalency.
Let me ask you, Attorney Dwight Holton, who exactly are the violent extremists in the name of Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism, Baptists, Mormonism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses? Attorney Dwight Holton, have you considered the number of violent acts of terror committed by violent extremists in the name of Islam every day?
Attorney Dwight Holton, have you any understanding of the violent, supremacist orthodox teachings of Islam as understood and promoted by the great majority of Islamic leaders in the world today? Are you suggesting, Attorney Dwight Holton, that other world religions teach or practice anything that comes close to the teaching and practice within Islam? How dare you, Attorney Dwight Holton, equate the behavior of those in any other religion with the behavior of those who practice their violence-prone Islamic ideology.
We can all agree that whoever torched the mosque in Oregon (which Attorney Dwight Holton acknowledged is not known) committed a crime that should be punished. But to suggest that we are all prone to violent extremism when there is only one clearly identifiable group among the world’s population that earned its infamy for their violent extremism is unhelpful and ignorant.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
The Heritage Foundation released a new “backgrounder” titled “EMP attacks – what America must do now.”
An EMP or electromagnetic pulse attack, is one of the most likely types of attacks expected from terrorists within the next few years. Islamic cells have access to the technology to deliver and detonate the nuclear explosive to carry out such attack. They have the motive – they have an expressed desire to destroy the “big Satan”, the United States. And millions of jihadi Muslims are working diligently to create the opportunity. Means, motive, and opportunity are falling into place.
While our nation hopes to prevent an EMP attack, the US is also preparing to withstand the consequences of such attack. That’s what the Heritage Foundation report is all about. Families can also prepare. Take a look at checklists HERE and HERE.
For a realistic fictional account of what life in the US would be like after an EMP attack, read the book One Second After. That book is a kick in the pants to prepare.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Remember the feeling of anticipating your last day of school in June? Each year, when summer approached, your thoughts raced toward the end of the final week - the anticipation of summer vacation. You couldn’t wait! And during each of those summers you experienced the joys of the freedom to do the things you really wanted to do.
Years later you embarked on your career. And, then too, you had your vacations. But as you progressed though your career, the anticipation of your one or two week vacations became a bit less exciting each year. The anticipation became routine, until vacations turned into tedious ritual. You knew you had to go back to work.
But now you approach your 60’s, and experience a new form of anticipation - The ULTIMATE Anticipation. Instead of growing stale, like it did through your career, this anticipation now grows stronger, the way you anticipated summer vacation when you were in school. This new, revived anticipation is for your retirement – the ultimate summer vacation!
You may have some vague musings of what you would like to do with your ultimate anticipation. Or you may have definite plans. Some people want isolation, solitude. They may head out to the mountains or rural area in the west. But most of us want to continue our social interaction, stay active, stay engaged with life, and do things we’ve wanted to do but never made time or had the opportunity to do.
Is there an “ideal” place to bring fulfillment to your anticipation? Is this place in your existing town? In a different town? In one of hundreds of retirement communities? Which one? And why? What should you look for?
I began my search several years ago while in my mid-50’s. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I’ve had my share of financial setbacks so I knew I wouldn’t be retiring in one of the many places advertised in “Where To Retire” magazine that require a “million-dollar-plus” nest egg. Maybe a mobile home somewhere in central Florida where my dad and my wife’s dad were quite content. But wait, I really loved the North Carolina mountains. Maybe a small cottage on the edge of a mountain town. Or maybe one of the “Sun Cities” sprinkled around the country. Time passed. The casual reading, the mailings, and the occasional visits to potential retirement places increased. But none of these options were very exciting. What was missing?
Only recently did my past catch up with me: My career as a City Planner. What types of communities did I like best during my 35 years as a planner? Would those qualities energize me today? I worked in Boca Raton, North Lauderdale, and Destin, Florida, as well as St. Louis and several communities in Northern Virginia. Among all these work experiences, my favorite, the one that energized me most, was Coral Springs, near Fort Lauderdale.
Why Coral Springs? What was different? What was so compelling about that place? Back in the early 1970’s it was brand new – rising out of swamp land, literally. But it generated excitement and enthusiasm. Visitors, prospects, residents, builders, entrepreneurs were filled with anticipation. It was a planned “new town.” Its’ roads, water, sewer and drainage systems, its commercial areas and residential subdivisions, its’ parks and school sites were all planned in advance. It had comprehensive and effectively enforced deed restrictions. They preserved the aesthetics of residential and commercial areas. The community had a strict, equitably implemented sign code. It promoted exemplary landscaping and street tree planting programs as next to godliness.
But most important is why this happened. Corals Springs began as a 25 square mile area on the fringes of Broward County, Florida, - owned, planned and developed by a single private company. Few of its successes were possible with fractured land holdings in a typical city with its contentious political processes and competing interests. The most successful City-building is a long-term affair, extending decades. The vision and unity of purpose must be constant, something only a singular controlling entity can sustain.
And guess what kind of people this community attracted. Those who don’t care about the quality of their community? Litterbugs? Street gangs? The something-for-nothing crowd – those who complain about taxes but demand more government services? Hardly! The planned quality of Coral Springs attracted residents and businesses that were head-over-heels about their community. Guess what the highest values of the City government became over the decades? It mirrored its residents and business leaders. The City of Coral Springs became the first state or local government in the nation to receive the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a Presidential honor that recognizes U.S. companies for organizational performance excellence. And Coral Springs is indeed a beautiful City.
The funny thing is I could never afford to live there. Not during any one of my 11-years as the City’s Director of Planning in the 70’s and 80’s. But the fond memories remained and resurfaced in a “grand ahaa!” moment - my forth visit to The Villages, Florida in late 2007. The qualities of Coral Springs jumped out at me in The Villages. The planning of the infrastructure, the squeaky clean appearance, the immaculate and vibrant town centers, the abundant recreation facilities – and most of all the pride of its 70,000 residents attracted to those qualities and excitedly brag about the uniqueness of their new home town. My wife and I decided “this is the place”1.
There are dozens of planned retirement communities across the nation. There should be a book written that explores and contrasts the one community that is unique among retirement places: The Villages, Florida. It is unique on many levels: The location, the vision, the planning, the scale, the level of maintenance of facilities, landscaping, and infrastructure, the form of government and professional management. And, most of all the mind-boggling array of opportunities that exist to fulfill the “ultimate anticipation” of retirement dreams brought to life.
1 An early marketing motto of Coral Springs, Florida, by Coral Ridge Properties, the developer of that “new town.”
The “special ones” get a pass.
Whew! The TSA is refining its security procedures. Oh wait. Instead of targeting the only group known to commit aircraft terror, Muslims between the age of 16 and 50, it continues to target the entire US population, with a few new exceptions. This “refinement” is giving a pass to:
- Members of Congress
- Airline staff
- And possibly: Exemptions for Muslims in Burkas
Has such Burka exemption been approved? The “Freeman” website claims it has not. We shall see.
But this IS true: “Cabinet secretaries, top congressional leaders and an exclusive group of senior U.S. officials are exempt from toughened new airport screening procedures when they fly commercially with government-approved federal security details” according to the Associated Press on November 23.
The Heritage Foundation has it right: “The best security is intelligence and law enforcement that finds and stops the bad people before they get near the plane. Pretending that everyone is a risk, as the TSA does now, is a weak substitute for intelligence. Most of this physical screening going on now has no place in primary inspection lines. There should be some common-sense screening at the airport, but let’s stop pretending that that is the best line of defense. The TSA must back off forcing all travelers to go through body scanners.”
The solution: Admit the source of the terror threat and focus invasive security measures on those individuals. Don’t turn the rest of us into cattle.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The Pope made the news today with his pronouncement that it is ok for male prostitutes to use a condom. And news outlets are jumping all over his statement as a crack in the Catholic prohibition of condom use – perhaps the beginning of universal acceptance, they hope. Well glory be, break out the 12-pack.
The first thing that comes to mind is – you gotta be kidding. Why would he say such a dumb sounding thing? That’s like giving assassins the green light to use silencers on their Lugers so they don’t damage the hearing of their victim.
Oh, this is the first step toward a moral prostitute, he says. Huh? Well, I guess ya gotta start somewhere. Couldn’t the same be said about rapists and adulterers? I can hear it now: Condoms are the first step of rapists and adulterers toward morality. Go for it!
More reaction to the Pope’s statement here.
Apparently the last thing the Pope wants to do is upset the AIDS activists!
I have to add this to my long list of indicators of the decline of Christianity. Or maybe I just misunderstood the story.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Christians, especially evangelical Christians, are often portrayed as boorish hucksters in the view of the liberal media. Books like “Losing Our Religion” and others chronicle the low esteem and mocking suffered by Christians and Christianity at the hands of secularists and progressives.
Do Christian authors and media evangelists do some things to help earn their reputation? Sometimes. One thing they do is juxtapose their smiling, carefree face with their message of coming poverty, destruction, and mayhem. There is a disconnect between their serious and dire message, and their personna as represented in their photos promoted by their publicists.
Here are several examples:
Their messages do not warrant a smile.
Each of these men represent the most visible aspects of evangelical Christianity. Look at the titles of each of their recent books and the major themes of their messages. They are all writing on subjects that are supposed to be serious, life threatening, or life changing events - cataclysmic events where thousands if not millions of people are starved, destitute, or killed. Yet on each of their publications resides a smiling face. The above photos are replicas of what appears on their books.
Now I know their message is ultimately about the salvation of the Christian and their arrival at their ultimate destination through all the trauma and drama. They will claim they have reason to smile.
But getting there is going to be hell for a lot of people. Wouldn’t we take their message more seriously if their photos looked serious? It isn’t rational to smile when writing about economic Armageddon, the world’s end, a coming war, or economic collapse. It appears these men don’t really believe what their books claim – their smiles betray their message. There is a definite disconnect between their message and the mug shots.
But what about Glenn Beck’s books? He portrays himself as a clown on the cover of many of his books. Most covers, Broke, and An Inconvenient Book, for example, show him doing silly things to emphasize the topic of the book. But at least he appears engaged in the topic amidst his silliness. The other writers discussed above don’t pretend humor, yet are smiling as if their message is irrelevant.
These flip photos may be one small reason why secularists can’t take them seriously – they don’t appear to take themselves seriously.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Note to the Obama Administration: Quit insulting and demeaning American travelers with your assumption that we are the terrorists. Stop your inane and invasive “broad brush” security screening techniques against children, the elderly, and infirm. Use common sense. Recognize the source of our security threat – Muslims - the only source of aircraft terror in the United States. Your FBI and CIA already have lists of who they are, both domestic and foreign. Focus the invasive demeaning searches on the ones who earned them.
As we urge those whose mind is wandering away from an urgent matter: Focus. Focus!! Focus on those who are the source of the problem – not on those who are not.
It is quite audacious that Muslims are refusing to submit to these enhanced screening techniques when they are the only group of people who have caused us to require such scrutiny.
Ann Coulter has more on this here.
How about simply acknowledging two critically important but ignored realities:
- The only people in US history who attempt to destroy planes1 have been Muslims doing so in the name of Islam: When you hear Allahu Akbar shouted while on a plane, or smoke coming from someone’s shoes or crotch, you can be pretty sure Islam is involved.
- Islam is not a religion of peace. More accurately, consider Islam the subversive political organization that it is and prohibit Muslim travel into this country, or at the very least focus the hyper-searches on them and not on the 99.9% of the rest of us.
A few websites have popped up in opposition to these new “enhanced” security practices. Yet they ignorantly persist that this overbearing practice has NOTHING to do with RELIGION. True! Nothing to do with religion, but EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM.
What is it about the mindset of our nation’s leaders that would demean all citizens when we well know where our focus should be? Are they fearful of provoking Muslims? Are they complicit in Islamic efforts to demoralize this nation? We have to wonder.
It is so much better to curtail the erroneously perceived “rights” of a small group of subversives to preserve the legitimate rights and dignity of the 99% of the rest of us than to put us all under subjugation to humiliating procedures to protect a few subversives. If Muslims aren’t prohibited outright from flying in and out of the US, at the VERY LEAST, they ought to be subject to an exhaustive grilling by highly trained counter-terror interrogators in the mode of security measures used by Israel’s El Al airline.
Most Muslims are “moderate”, you say? Then why do most “moderates” turn out to be Hamas or Jihad-promoting radicals when the truth becomes known? Islam is not a religion hijacked by a few radicals. Islam is a radical religion trying to be hijacked by a few moderates. Islam, in the historical, orthodox form as practiced by Muhammad and the great majority of Islamic leaders today, is, at its core, a radical, anti-western, fascist ideology. Moderation in Islam is a perversion by the less devout.
There are a handful of Muslims who claim to be both “moderate” and “devout.” Such combination is an oxymoron. One such Muslim is M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.,a well know “moderate among moderates.” He is self-proclaimed as “devout” while exhibiting signs of being a “true” moderate. Now that is truly mind-boggling. I’ve asked him what parts of the Qur’an, Hadith and Sura he has dismissed as un-Islamic. He did not reply to my email although his web site condemns the many radical and violent sections of Islamic scripture (as of this month). Unfortunately, the Qur’an itself prohibits Qur’anic deconstruction. I do know that I would not be telling the truth if I claimed I was a “devout Christian” while at the same time I argued for dismissal of a third of the Holy Bible and Christian tradition. I would rightly be called an apostate.
And what about “freedom of religion?” Islam uses religion as a proxy to achieve political ends. The “prayers” five times a day are equivalent to war chants before battle, a form of mental self-flagellation to hypnotically imbue hatred of the infidel into the Muslim psyche. Islam is a fascist ideology in a religious cloak.
Those who wish to continue to be associated with an ideology controlled by radical fascists who promote violence, terror, and subversion have a right to so associate. But such association infers that they agree with the ideology and practices of the leaders of their ideology. And the crop of Islamic leaders today are no friend of the United States.
I’m glad to see I’m not alone on this. Here is an example of another who has the only effective solution.
It is good to see that we Americans are finally getting a spine regarding the onerously broad brush our government is painting us with. Enough is enough. Maybe this “last straw” will motivate us to finally get to the root of this problem: Islam and those who practice it.
1 A series of hijackings in the 60’s and 70’s associated with the Cuban revolution were carried out by people interested in illegally traveling from point A to point B, not for purposes of suicide terror attacks.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Yikes! I just read that Obama is preparing for another outing - to Europe this time – likely set to embarrass us yet again and offend more of our allies.
Note the nations that Obama has spent the most time with and the nations he either ignores or thwarts. Then take a look at the voting record of nations in the UN. What percent of the time do various nations vote with the US at the UN?
The nation that Obama has thwarted the most votes most often with the US: Israel – 56% of the time, the highest among all UN members.
The nations that Obama has most catered to vote least often with the US at the UN. These include:
|United Arab Emirates||8%|
These voting records are based on 2007 data, pre-Obama, but are still likely to be valid.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Obama, much like a chicken missing its head, is strutting around Asia and now at the G20 conference trying to convince other countries to send jobs to America or to convince China to boost the value of its currency to its detriment.
How effective has that been? Not at all. Why not? Because most world leaders are not as gullible and as ignorant about world economics as Obama and his staff of socialists appear to be.
Here is the situation:
The US (including government and corporate leaders) for years has been promoting “free trade”, believing that the US is invincibly productive and we will “kick butt” in the world’s marketplace as we import cheaper products from other countries for our consumers. Sounds great; a double win, right?
Over the same period, we have acquired a Ruth's Christ Steak House taste for environmentalism and union labor perks when we can only afford McDonald’s to remain competitive with world markets. Our environmentalism, with really questionable and unsubstantiated cost/benefits, has cost our industries billions to implement and comply. And Congress keeps spitting out the regulations, prompted by eco-terrorists, oblivious to their negative consequences. Expensive perks built into labor union contracts and government insistence on motivation-wrecking minimum wages and unemployment compensation in most of our work places have been unsustainable.
These two factors, our out of control and unsustainable environmentalism, and our out of control and unsustainable union perks have increased the cost of production and the price of our products to the point where we are not competitive in world markets.
Is there any wonder why our manufacturing base has plummeted, why so many of our former jobs are now overseas, and why our unemployment rate is so high? We have gotten excessively clean, pampered, and greedy. Take a look at this video of a new Ford plant in Brazil, and note the last 15 seconds worth of comment, “…if only the UAW would allow it…”
Several European countries are a few years ahead of us in demonstrating their excesses. Greece and Ireland are notable examples. Greece had to impose drastic cutbacks government employee compensation triggering riots by angry workers. The European Union bailed them out. Ireland is near insolvency and will soon be looking to the EU for a bailout. Great Britain found it necessary to drastically increase college tuitions that used to be free a few years ago. The result was destructive student riots.
The US has no one to bail us out. But unless we stop our foolishly excessive environmentalism and reverse our uncompetitive worker expectations and demands, we will be on the losing end of the free trade stick.
How do we expect to compete in world markets when other nations produce things we used to make for half the price due to lower labor costs and non-existent environmental costs? We can’t and we aren’t.
Perhaps we need to cut back on our free trade binge until we can get our costs of production somewhere close to competitive with world markets. Bring jobs back home. Trade war? We’re in one now. Is a monetary war any better? Are the results much different? Sure, if we brings jobs back here, some consumer items will be more expensive for awhile – our costs of production are high. But the consequences of this will be more apparent motivating companies and our policy makes to reduce excessive costs and regulations. At least more people would have jobs to pay for them. When anyone proposes a plan to cut government costs and balance the federal budget, most Americans sound like a bunch of squealing pigs at supper time. The squeals in response to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform report is a perfect example.
The benefits of bringing jobs back to America will likely be more long lasting and beneficial than printing a trillion dollars of valueless money (quantitative easing – sounds relaxing, doesn’t it?). The more accurate title is “devaluing the dollar.” This will cost each of us 20% more dollars, on average, to buy anything. It’s another way of increasing the price of everything while we STILL lose jobs to overseas. Or, more likely, while we collapse our entire economy because we insist on ignoring the reality of the root causes of our failures, with the dollar losing credibility around the globe. Worse, the credibility of this country is falling even faster than the dollar.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Islamic experts Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, and Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-born American psychiatrist held a debate on the topic:
Can there be a truly moderate Islam compatible with liberal-democratic notions of human rights and democracy? Is "radical Islam" a modern phenomenon or is Islam itself inherently radical?
Mr. Pipes and Ms. Sultan agreed on some specifics, for instance, that Western governments must not welcome non-violent Islamism and should monitor the hate being taught in Muslim schools in the West. Overall, however, Mr. Pipes, while not denying what Islam has been or is, insists that Islam, like other religions, can and will change. Ms. Sultan was significantly more pessimistic and declared that historic, orthodox Islam, as practiced and taught by Muhammad and as practiced today by those we call “radical” is an inherently radical religion and cannot be reformed short of deleting significant portions of the Qur’an and other sacred Islamic scripture which, incidentally, is forbidden by the Qur’an itself.
Mr. Pipes primary concern with Ms. Sultan’s position appeared to be that if Islam itself is the problem, that leaves the West with no solutions. That seems to be a case of whistling in the dark – denial of reality. He add that, to truly reform Islam, Western governments must begin to empower genuine moderates. However, most “genuine moderates”, after periods of exposure to the light, appear to be in bed with the radicals. Mr. Pipes needs to do a much better job of defining and vetting “genuine moderates.”
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Update 1: 36 hours after the sighting, the US govt. officially concluded that the vapor trail was caused by an aircraft – although there was no evidence provided that any aircraft were in the area at the time.
Update 2: (November 21) World Net Daily’s take on the contrail – watch the video:
An unusual vapor trail, the sort that many associated with the launch of a rocket or missile, was observed 35 miles off of LA in the Pacific. The problem is, no one claimed any knowledge of a rocket being fired anywhere near this location. It’s reported here and here. The direction it was headed was not certain; some reported it heading west, some south.
A retired military officer provided off-handed and implausible speculation that the missile was a “show of force” by the US. How likely is it that an unannounced and denied missile firing was a publicity stunt by our military? The man was grasping.
Another officer noted that the official military word was they don’t know what it was but there is “no threat to the homeland.” Hey, that sounds familiar. If they don’t know what it was, how can they claim there is no threat? That’s like what they say right after a terrorist attack: “We don’t know why they did it but it wasn’t a terror attack.” No threat to the homeland indeed. Ahh, it was an isolated incident.
Other plausible explanations are that it was a rocket fired from a Chinese sub to subtly intimidate. Another explanation is an attempt, or a test from an undisclosed source for an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on the US. Look up “One Second After” on Amazon and EMP attack here and here.
In fact, a near-coast missile firing is the the most likely method for launching a nuclear device 50 to 100 miles high over the US and detonating it resulting in the destruction of most electronic components over a radius of a several hundred miles. The consequence is the crippling of water and sewer systems, banking systems, communications systems (TV, radio, computers, internet), commerce, most forms of transportation, and the electric power grid for weeks if not months. This is not science fiction but one of the most likely forms of attack feared by national security experts.
There are some unofficial suggestions that it was simply a contrail from an airliner at 30,000 feet. That is plausible. But two days after the event, no one, civilians or military, has confirmed that there was a jet in that approximate location at the time this video was shot. Why not? It seems easy enough to confirm if there was.
If the contrail is simply from an airplane, why has no one in our military establishment who are well-versed in such phenomenon come out and made such reassuring statement – now three days after the event? So, in either case, this is an odd event and worthy of further inquiry.
What is a good Christian? The answer is quite different from the answer to “what is a good Muslim.” As it turns out, a “good” Muslim is a “bad” Muslim. What does that mean? It means that a Muslim who is “good” from the Judeo-Christian, or even from the historic western civilizational-moral perspective is a bad Muslim, a Muslim who isn’t doing what Muslims are supposed to do, based on the teachings of their Qur’an, Sura, and Hadith. A good Muslim needs to do what Muhammad did, act the same, think the same. And some of those things are downright immoral, cruel, deceitful, and uncivilized –from the western perspective.
Below is a video debate (almost two hours long) between two experts on this topic. Robert Spencer, and one of his college professors, Peter Kreeft, discuss the question Is a Good Muslim a Bad Muslim. It is very informative and worth the time – highly recommended.
As an aside, Kreeft is a professor in Thomas More College, a Catholic institution. During the debate the question of whether Jews/Christians/Muslims worship the same god came up (see 49:16-25 on the video). Like bobble-heads, everyone at the debate nodded in the affirmative, even Spencer, surprisingly. He might have had something else to say about the ignorant assumption, but he didn’t say it. Incidentally, even President Bush believes this, and, less surprisingly, Barack Obama.
In fact, Kreeft referenced Section 841 of the Catholic Catechism:
The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”
That statement flies in the face of everything Muslims and Christians profess. There are so many differences between the God Christians profess and the god Muslims profess that the above statement is entirely blasphemous from the Christian perspective, as well as from the Muslim. That is a statement that is spoken out of ignorance at best, and out of a sense of a deceitful and vile ecumenical spirit at worst. The attributes of the Judeo-Christian God and the Muslim Allah are as different as day and night – a partial explanation of why Islam teaches what it does. Much has been written about the very significant differences between God and Allah. Here is one source among many describing these gross differences.
Monday, November 08, 2010
While in India this past week, President Obama asserted that “Islam embodied a religion of peace, fairness and tolerance” and “that the religion was being distorted by a few extremists.”
He went on to explain “The phrase jihad has a lot of meaning within Islam and is subject to a lot of different interpretations, but I will say that first Islam is one of the world's great religions. More than a billion people practice Islam and an overwhelming majority view their obligations to a religion that reaffirms peace, fairness, tolerance. I think all of us recognize that this great religion in the hands of a few extremists has been distorted by violence.”
Then explain this to me, Mr. Quasi-Muslim:
1. Why is the public face of Islam represented by the likes of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born radical Yemeni cleric who has called for the killing of Americans in a new video message posted on radical web sites. There are hundreds like him around the world who are also the public face of Islam. Where are the “moderates?”
2. And when we hear from the “moderates”, why is it that upon further observation they turn out to be not so moderate? Recent cases in point include
- The leader of the Orlando, FL, mosque, Muhammad Musri, who seemed so moderate when he confronted the Gainesville pastor who wanted to burn the Qur’an, turns out to be involved in funding Hamas terrorists.
- The Muslim proponent of the 9-11 Mosque in New York City, Feisal Abdul Rauf, turns out to be a not-so-secret Islamic terrorist enabler.
- Recently promoted “moderate” Muslim Major Nidal Malik Hasan turns out to be a violent jihadist when he murders 13 people at Fort Hood, TX.
- And here is a list of actions of Muslims in the name of Islam around the world. They must be “moderate” because they are only doing what Islam teaches.
You are a grand deceiver, Mr. President. You are skilled in Islamic taqiyya and white-washing a vile ideology. You are right, Mr. Obama, millions of Muslims around the world are kind, gentle people, until they learn and practice their “religion.”
Friday, November 05, 2010
…or is it politics?
Now that George Bush is making the rounds selling his new book, it’s time to give some attention to his absolute silence about the affairs of state during the past two dismal years experienced by our nation.
Some believe that Bush has shown real “class” because he refrained from criticizing the awful things Obama has done to this nation. In fact George himself said he has refrained from critically speaking out because “I respect the Presidency” and “being President is a tough enough job.”
But now that he is marketing his new book his “class” expediently morphed into criticism. Googling “George Bush + Obama” reveals pages of current news stories where George finally feels compelled to be critical of Barack.
and many others.
His passivity over the past two years appears to be a Bush trait. My recollection of his dad’s performance while seeking his second term was “indifference” to the campaign, a “low-key” attitude so low that it appeared he really didn’t care all that much.
That is the same message that George Jr. has portrayed over the past two years – indifference. Anyone who was really concerned about his nation would speak out. I respect both Dick Cheney and daughter Liz for speaking out in behalf of their nation and their beliefs about Obama’s destructive reign. And I doubt that they felt the Office was being disrespected by their voice. To the contrary, the Office is being disrespected by The One who occupies it.
George gives me the distinct impression that he just played the game while he was in that office – his silence of the past two years betrays any real concern and demonstrates that he perhaps has no beliefs strong enough to overcome his desire for seclusion – except when it is time to sell his book.
God forbid if conservatives had the spirit of George Bush going into this election - there would be 40 or 50 more democrats.
Do you believe George and the Republican party choreographed a silent-George during the lead up to the election because he would have been a liability if he perked up and said something? Perhaps. But over the past six months many of us would have loved to have George back to counteract the hopie changie thing that wasn’t going so well. On the other hand, he may not be much different than his cohort, Barack.
From the “he must be as dense as wet dog doo” department, here is B. Hussein’s reaction to the democrat policy dissing results of Tuesday’s election…
Obama Acknowledges Failures, Says ‘Leadership Isn’t Just Legislation’
November 5, 2010 9:56 AM
From Steve</A itxtvisited="1">
NEW YORK (CBS) — After a suffering a “shellacking” in the midterm elections, President Obama acknowledges what many have seen as his chief weakness – failing to sell the importance of several legislative milestones to the American people.
“I think that’s a fair argument. I think that, over the course of two years we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that, we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn’t just legislation. That it’s a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone,” Mr. Obama told 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft in an exclusive interview set to air Sunday.
He thinks he didn’t do a good enough selling job. There is only so much smoke one radical, Muslim sympathizer can blow. What? Not enough taqiyya?
No, Mr. President, it really is about your socialist, America-loathing and America-destroying policies. You communicated just fine.
So what can we expect from this man over the coming months? I expect he will do everything in his power to further his agenda, his power will further erode, and we will have battle royals in Congress and with the President. “Will he seek a second term”, “will he be granted a second term”, and “will he survive to the end of THIS term” are questions that will likely be asked. It will be fascinating to watch.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
How many times have you heard liberals and the democrats slander conservatives over the past few months by saying “they don’t have a plan”, “they haven’t articulated what they want to do”, “they are the party of ‘no’.”
I submit that such is not the case and the democrats merely decided to become deaf.
Dems and libs have chosen to ignore the clear plea articulated by conservatives throughout this election cycle, as restated by John Boehner, house Republican leader, last night when he said:
With their voices and their votes, the American people are demanding a new way forward in Washington. And I'm here tonight to tell you that our new majority will be prepared to do things differently... to take a new approach that hasn't been tried before in Washington - by either party.
· It starts with cutting spending instead of increasing it.
· Reducing the size of government instead of expanding it.
· Reforming the way Congress works and giving government back to the people.
· And for all those families asking 'where are the jobs?,' it means ending the uncertainty in our economy and helping small businesses get people back to work.
The people's priorities will be our priorities. The people's agenda will be our agenda. This is our Pledge to America ... this is our pledge to you!
The is the conservative agenda. Seems pretty clear to me.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
If facts don’t get you out the door to vote, maybe the lyrics and emotion of Krista’s song “I am America” will do the trick.
As Atlas lamented: Big klutzy government denies votes from our soldiers fighting on our behalf while Obama works to insure that prisoners and illegal aliens vote.
Monday, November 01, 2010
I enjoy studying religions. I have been involved in a number over the decades including Catholic, Presbyterian, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, and Baptist. I have explored Lutheranism, Methodism and Independent/non-denominational sects. Of course, the reason why there are so many thousand denominations is because of differences in Bible interpretation or points of doctrine that are felt to be so critical as to cause schism and formation of new denominations.
And the reason why various sects earn the title of “cult” is simply because they have strayed away from the main stream definition of orthodoxy which primarily relates to how the Godhead is defined, the role of Jesus in salvation, and whether any alternative or supplemental scripture is assumed sacred, meaning critical to the other major components of the faith. The obvious non-orthodox religions that have violated orthodox standards are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and its permutations, and Christian Science. Each fall short of orthodoxy in a number of ways, but are arguably still legitimately “Christian” in many ways.
Having explored and participated in Mormonism for a few years, I have appreciated many of the qualities of that faith system and its adherents. However, as with any human attempt to understand the things of God, compounded by the fact that I, Human, don’t understand God perfectly, I interpret that that faith system falls short in a number of areas. The Christian less tolerant than I will find a dozen other horribles of Mormonism. But the four most important to me, important to the point of provoking my desire to avoid the practice, are these:
God’s role in creation was limited: My understanding of Mormon teaching of God’s role in creation is that God merely formed pre-existing mass into his creation. He did not create everything – he did not create the formless matter. Who did? Another greater unknown God? The reality is that God is the sole creator of everything, including the formless matter that he formed into his creation.
Disobedience was required by God to enable human progression: My understanding of Mormon teaching of the role of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden is that God required disobedience in order for humans to progress, becoming aware of pain, joy, good and evil. While the orthodox view also has its problems (it appears that God had to implement his Plan “B”, the sacrifice of His Son, to atone for human failure in the Garden), the Mormon version that requires human disobedience of God’s commands in order to progress, is counterintuitive to the character of God, and seems even worse than "Plan “B”.
Second class citizenship in heaven for those not “sealed”: The “sealing” of marriages and other rituals based on certain standards on earth is required to ascend to the highest levels in heaven. While Mormons don’t attach any other criteria except baptism and belief in Jesus Christ to attain heaven, their class system once we get there is very works oriented. I suppose the Mormon system attempts to provide advance information about the level we achieve in heaven, while the orthodox system leaves such placement entirely up to God. I would rather be surprised.
Elements of Mormonism akin to elements of Islam: There are several elements of Mormonism that are eerily similar to Islam. One big one is the arrival of a new prophet (Joseph Smith/Muhammad) who creates new Scripture (Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants/Qur’an, Sura, Hadith) that reinterprets the Old and New Testaments. Granted, there are many more dissimilarities than similarities. But the similarities I mentioned seem enough to create strange bedfellows between the leadership of the LDS church and leadership of American Muslims. The little bit of research I have done on this indicates that there is about the same degree of misplaced ecumenicalism promoted by Mormons with Muslims as there is promoted by mainline Christian denominations and Muslims. Part of the reason is that the Mormon perception of Muslim persecution is sensitized by their own 19th century persecutions. This sympathy blinds them to the fact the Islamic ties are not in their interest due to the historic, orthodox, and often deceptive disdain of Muslims toward Christians and their use of unsuspecting Christians as pawns to further their own supremacist interests.
My criteria in selecting a new church was seeking messages that not only accurately reflected orthodox Scriptural teaching, but just as importantly, applied it not just to personal lives, but to our culture and politics as well. Part of this application included the comparison and contrast of Christianity with other belief systems such as Islam so that we have a collective understanding of the world around us – making us aware that not all is sweetness and light. Mainline and Mormon denominations continue to remain oblivious.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
First, I love study Bibles. They make it easy and inviting to understand the Bible in a number of ways. They typically provide explanations of Bible text via copious footnotes on the same page as the text. They have substantial introductions to books of the Bible and often significant introductions or discusson about individual chapters or themes of one or more chapters. They not only explain the text in the context of time, place, people, culture, and issue involved, but often include personality and word studies and key lessons or application to current moral, cultural, religious, and political challenges.
Most study Bibles are written by and for conservative/orthodox protestants meaning that they focus on interpretations of traditional Christianity, although there are nuances of more liberal or conservative interpretations noted by the really well-informed. In other words, study Bibles are written by and for Christians who take their faith seriously – who take the Bible seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they really want to understand with as much accuracy as possible what it says, what it means, and how it should affect their lives and the culture around them. They take it as truly the Word of God.
My first study Bible was acquired about 26 years ago, the NIV Study Bible. Since that time I have acquired and used:
- The MacArthur Study Bible
- ESV Study Bible (on Kindle)
- NET Bible (on Kindle)
- The King James Study Bible
- The Life Application Study Bible
- The NLT Study Bible
- The Apologetics Study Bible
- The Holman Study Bible
The Patriot’s Bible (that I don’t own but have skimmed through) is not actually a study Bible. It is more of a traditional Bible with numerous articles about American patriots and founding ideas and documents interspersed that undeniably demonstrate America’s Christian heritage.
The Life Application Study Bible makes the best connection between Scripture and the application to today’s life issues. However, such application is centered on moral, personal behavioral, and attitudinal issues. For the most part it avoids discussion of conflicting interpretations, conflicting cults and religions or governmental/political issues.
The Apologetics Study Bible on the other hand does get into distinctions between orthodox Christianity and the unorthodoxy of various Christian sects, Mormonism, Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well Eastern religions and Islam. However there are fewer than 60 explicit examples of differences with these other belief systems sprinkled throughout the 66 books of the Bible. We know that there could be dozens if not hundreds of differences from conservative, orthodox Christianity pointed out for each of these belief systems.
Especially lacking are Christian refutations of the legion of distortions and contradictions of the Bible and Christianity promoted by Islam. All of the Christian sects combined do not pose the challenge to Christianity and our Bible-based liberties to the degree posed by Islam. And most Christians remain ignorant of these distortions.
The Bible is for all time. However, appropriate application of Bible truths and principles to the changing human condition and cultures vary virtually decade by decade, or certainly century by century. In this decade and through the next several, resurgent Islam will be a growing challenge to Christianity. Study Bibles are well-suited to address such challenges by focusing on passages and doctrine designed to overcome contradictory, un-Biblical, and potentially Satanic cultural and belief systems.
Muslims and the majority of secularists as promoted by the main stream media provide a continuing flow of disinformation about the relationship of Islam to Christianity. Their obsfucationist, taqiyya-infected propaganda mills lead the ill-informed to believe that Islam is peaceful, that Christianity is corrupted, and that Islam is merely an extension of Christianity – indeed that Christ was Muslim!
There are hundreds of specific instances of Islamic corruption of Bible passages and Biblical themes that need to be made easily available and digestible to Christians. An Islamic Challenge Study Bible is needed. It might even be more inclusive, becoming an Islamist/Secularist Challenge Study Bible since Islamists and Secularists are in bed together in opposition to Christianity.
The most obvious areas for footnotes, special articles, introductions, timelines, and “You gotta be kidding” inserts in such a Bible are these:
- Rewriting history: Islamic revisionists attempts to transform 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian history.
- So you think Ishmael, not Isaac, was Abrahams sacrifice?
- No, Muhammad, Jesus was not a Muslim
- One hundred differences between the nature and character of Allah of Islam and the God of the Bible.
- Abrogation in the Bible and the Qur’an: Peace to war in the Qur’an; war to peace in the Bible
- Literalism vs. spiritualizing in the Bible and the Qur’an
- Distinctions between a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist Muslim
- Love in the Bible; hate in the Qur’an
- Grace in the Bible; retribution in the Qur’an
- Distinctions between Bible writers and the Qur’an writer
- End times: The anti-Christ and the Islamic Mahdi; Christ’s second coming and the anti-Mahdi.
- The attitude toward lying and deceit in Christianity and Islam
- How Bible principles and Qur’anic principles are typically played out in the lives of believers. Include the lives of famous, devout Christians contrasted against the lives of infamous devout Muslims through the centuries, and highlighting those in the present day.
- Worldly alliances with evil forces: the alliance of secularists and Islamists
- The influence and dangers of Pagans in the Bible contrasted with pagans (unbelievers) in today’s culture.
The ICSB project would not likely have a comment on most verses in the Bible as the best good study Bibles contain. However, I would anticipate three levels of commentary:
Level one: 1,000 or more footnote comments sprinkled throughout the 66 books noting and defending against Islamic and secular distortions.
Level two: Several dozen short articles, one half to a full page each, going into more depth on topics such as Islam’s Jesus, Isa, or the concept of abrogation, taqiyya, grace-intolerance, love/forgiveness-hate/retribution, debunking moral equivalency, talking to a Muslim, confronting superior attitudes toward Islam or hostility toward the Bible; some basic apologetics principles.
Level three: Several more lengthy articles; e.g. the life of Muhammad contrasted with the life of Jesus. The character of Allah compared with God the Father. Short history of Islamic conquests and methods. Current events of Islamic inspired intolerance, supremacism, and terrorism. Ten or 15 others.
Effective integration of these comments in appropriate context of Bible text is critically important. It should not appear that articles are placed randomly. The American Patriot’s Bible appears to suffer from this.
Include a number of timelines of Judeo-Christian and Islamic history.
Include maps of lands occupied or controlled by Jewish, Christian, and Islamic populations over the millennia.
Include Islamic word studies sprinkled about the text, plus a multi-page Islamic Glossary of Terms.
An integrated topical index would be extremely helpful; essential.
So, how about it Crossway, Zondervan, Nelson, Holman. Can you put together a team of Bible and Islamic scholars such as Joel Richardson, David Jeremiah, Joel Rosenberg, Robert Spencer, David Horowitz, the experts at The Center for the Study of Political Islam, Dr. Steven Masood, Dr. James F. Gauss, and a number of others qualified to become a noteworthy team to build such a study Bible?