Saturday, December 11, 2010
With all the advertizing and such, there is still something magical about this time of year. The most hardened cynic must notice there must be something better than chasing after material things. As I pause and reflect, my prayer is that we don't forgot what Christmas is really about, be thankful for what we have in this nation where all seem wealthy compared to the way people live in some countries of the world. And that most of all that everyone would receive the greatest Gift of all, eternal life through Jesus, God's Son.
Merry Christmas to all; Keith/Circuit Rider
Friday, October 22, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A majority of Americans say in a new poll released today that they want pro-life Republicans running the House and Senate instead of the current pro-abortion Democrats who control the majority and work with pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
With Democrats pushing for the government-run health care reform bill that allows abortion funding and overturning other limits on abortion funds in other situations, Americans apparently have had enough.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of likely voters say that if their vote next month determined which political party wins control of the Senate, they'd like that party to be the Republicans. Another 42 percent disagree and want pro-abortion Democrats to remain in charge.
With pro-life elected officials in the top leadership positions in the GOP in both the House and Senate, changing who controls Congress will change key abortion policy and approach.
"This marks a noticeable turnaround from just before the midterm elections in November 2006 when 47% wanted their vote to throw control of the Senate to the Democrats, while 37% preferred putting the GOP in charge," pollster Scott Rasmussen noted.
The identical numbers hold true when voters are asked which party they would like to see controlling the House of Representatives if their vote was the determining factor: 51% say the Republicans; 42% say the Democrats.
"Over 90% of GOP voters want to see their party regain control of the House and Senate, as do 12% of Democrats. Just over 80% of Democratic voters want their party to be in charge of both houses of Congress," Rasmussen noted. "Voters not affiliated with either party want to see Republicans in control of the Senate by a 50% to 35% margin and the House by a similar 52% to 36% margin."
There appears to be more intensity in this election cycle, too, Rasmussen indicates.
"Eighty-nine percent (89%) of voters now say in terms of its impact on their own lives, it is at least somewhat important which party controls Congress after next month's election. That includes 66% who say it is Very Important, 17 points higher than the finding four years ago. Only eight percent (8%) say it is not very or not at all important which party is in charge," he said in his analysis of the poll.
A Democratic-controlled Congress has had a major impact on the lives of unborn children.
In addition to passing the ObamaCare bill that authorizes abortion funding, Congressional Democrats approved establishing an Office for Global Women's Issues, headed by an ambassador-at-large who will report directly to pro-abortion Secretary of State Clinton and promote abortion as an international right.
The current Congress approved overturning the policy against taxpayer funding of abortions in the District of Columbia, which will increase what is already one of the nation's highest abortion rates.
The Democratic Congress defeated a measure to cut funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business and moved abstinence education funding from abstinence groups to Planned Parenthood.
The Senate also started the process of overturning the longstanding ban on abortions at taxpayer-funded U.S. military base hospitals both domestic and abroad.
The Senate defeated a measure to restore the Mexico City Policy to prevent taxpayer funding of groups that promote and perform abortions in other nations and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied pro-life advocates a vote in the House.Buzz up!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new fetal pain law is taking effect today in Nebraska that targets late-term abortions based on the pain an unborn baby will likely feel during the abortion procedure. The law could set a national trend of other states and Congress considering such measures and could lead to a Supreme Court battle.
The Nebraska law, Legislative Bill 1103, relies on significant medical research and expert testimony to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy on the basis that unborn children feel pain.
The legislation has been hailed by pro-life advocates across the country for its innovative approach and focusing the public's attention on unborn babies who have been medically documented as pain capable at 20 weeks gestation.
“This will take off like wildfire,” Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, predicted in comments to the Omaha World-Herald newspaper.
The Nebraska bill has already inspired Sen. Mike Johanns, a Nebraska Republican to press for a similar measure on the national level -- and he used it to challenge pro-abortion president Barack Obama.
“How does anybody -- pro-life or pro-choice -- oppose this?” asked Johanns. “If the baby feels pain ... then it is an issue of human compassion.”
The expected opposition -- in the form of lawsuits from pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood or the Center for Reproductive Rights, have yet to materialize.
Mary Spaulding Balch, a pro-life attorney who is the state legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, says abortion advocates may not want to have a national discussion on the pain unborn children feel because it draws attention to their humanity and need for legal protection.
But Crepps, deputy director of the New York-based CRR law firm, told the newspaper to expect a legal battle.
“National Right to Life Committee can speculate as much as they want, but it is just that — speculation,” she said. "We will file a challenge to this unconstitutional law when the circumstances are appropriate. We will not, however, discuss our decision-making process publicly.”
The pro-abortion law firm worked with late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart, who operates out of the Omaha area, to challenge the state's partial-birth abortion ban in 2000. That case ultimately resulted in the first Supreme Court opinion saying such bans are unconstitutional. The high court later reversed itself and upheld a national ban Congress passed during the Bush administration.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland confirmed to the Omaha paper that it would not file a lawsuit against the new law.
But a lawsuit, Balch told LifeNews.com previously, would give the pro-life movement a chance to push back against prior Supreme Court opinion on abortion.
Balch says the law could make its way to the Supreme Court to alter national abortion law further and set a wide-ranging precedent.
"Although it will be a case of first impression, there are strong grounds to believe that five members of the current U.S. Supreme Court would give serious consideration to Nebraska’s assertion of a compelling state interest in preserving the life of an unborn child whom substantial medical evidence indicates is capable of feeling pain during an abortion," she said.
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act could see the same group of five members of the Supreme Court who backed the partial-birth abortion ban uphold it as constitutional and allow more abortions to be prohibited.
Balch says the genius of the measure is the scientific fact that unborn children can feel pain.
"By 20 weeks after fertilization, unborn children have pain receptors throughout their body, and nerves link these to the brain," she told LifeNews.com. "These unborn children recoil from painful stimulation, which also dramatically increases their release of stress hormones. Doctors performing fetal surgery at and after 20 weeks now routinely use fetal anesthesia."
A first of its kind in the United States, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibits abortion after 20 weeks gestation except when the mother "has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert death or to avert serious risk of substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function or...it is necessary to preserve the life of an unborn child."
When looking at abortion case law, NRLC says it hopes a new analysis can be established that would ultimately lead to overturning Roe.
Balch says the pro-life group wants the Supreme Court to redraw the line away from the viability standard about when abortions can be prohibited.
“What I would like to bring to the attention of the court is, there is another line,” Balch said. “This new knowledge is something the court has not looked at before and should look at.”
Fetal pain is not a new concept and the leading national expert on the topic confirms unborn children definitely have the capacity to feel intense pain during an abortion.
Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center has said he and other specialists in development of unborn children have shown that babies feel pain before birth as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy.
Anand said many medical studies conclude that unborn babies are "very likely" to be "extremely sensitive to pain during the gestation of 20 to 30 weeks."
"This is based on multiple lines of evidence," Dr. Anand said. "Not just the lack of descending inhibitory fibers, but also the number of receptors in the skin, the level of expression of various chemicals, neurotransmitters, receptors, and things like that."
Anand explained that later-term abortion procedures, such as a partial-birth abortion "would be likely to cause severe pain."
Dr. Jean Wright, an anesthesiologist specializing in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, has also confirmed the existence of fetal pain during Congressional testimony.
“[A]n unborn fetus after 20 weeks of gestation, has all the prerequisite anatomy, physiology, hormones, neurotransmitters, and electrical current to close the loop and create the conditions needed to perceive pain. In a fashion similar to explaining the electrical wiring to a new house, we would explain that the circuit is complete from skin to brain and back," she said.
And Dr. Richard T.F. Schmidt, past President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, confirms, “It can be clearly demonstrated that fetuses seek to evade certain stimuli in a manner which an infant or an adult would be interpreted as a reaction to pain.”
An April 2004 Zogby poll shows that 77% of Americans back "laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion."
Only 16 percent disagreed with such a proposal, according to the poll, commissioned by the National Right to Life Committee.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
As Delivered at St John's UCC Boonville Indiana
A Sermon by Keith Kiper
During a British conference on the World’s religions, experts from around the world were discussing the Christian faith. They wanted to know if there was one particular belief that belonged only to the Christian faith. One by one they began to eliminate the possibilities. Incarnation they said? Other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of someone returning from the dead. They debated for some time until the great Christian author C.S. Lewis wandered into the room. “What’s the rumpus about? He asked. The other experts in the room told him they were discussing what made Christianity different from all the other religions. In his usual forthright manner C.S. Lewis responded, Oh that is easy. It’s grace.
Throughout history, humanity has changed opinions on what they believe to be the “truth.” The Reformation was an event in history that was sparked by Martin Luther in his search for the truth. Luther realized that much of that which was being taught in the Roman church wasn’t true. The church teachings in Luther’s day had departed from the truth. Real truth can be found only on the inerrant Word of God, the Bible. Truth never changes, regardless of what we believe truth to be. God’s Word is truth, and His Word states in Psalm 119:89, “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven.”
All Protestants may not agree with everything Luther wrote. Luther did, however, bring the focus back from man’s opinions to the truth found only in God’s unchanging Word. Luther and the early reformers agreed on five major teachings which distinguished them from the Roman church of that time. We can find that these five Central teachings still set us apart as Protestant Christians today. Our goal today is not to criticize our Catholic friends nor demean theirs or any other group that call themselves Christian. We want to focus on what it means to be a Protestant. Some of the early reformers died for these beliefs and our church fathers thought they reflected what the Bible teaches us. Recently Christian author Randy Alcorn (Heaven) mentioned on his blog five characteristic points that he believed shaped the Protestant Reformation. (His words are in italics following each point with my comments following.) I would like to expand on these five points and offer my own input as to their great importance in Christian worship today. . There were other ideas brought forth in the Protestant Reformation concerning the Holy Sacraments and the Priesthood of Believers.I would like to focus on the five points previously mentioned, as I agree with Randy Alcorn that these should still set us apart today from the myriad of pick and choose religions out there today. Let’s take a look at these together.
(1.) Sola Scriptura: This simply means -The Bible alone. -"Scripture alone speaks authoritatively and it speaks to all believers. The Bible speaks to the individual. As Protestants we believe that we do not need an interpreter or so-called modern day prophet. The Bible speaks to us independently of church leaders and organizations." I realize that different denominations may have differing ideas as to what certain passages mean. There are different types of worship services in our world today. I do believe that as Christians, especially Protestant ones, that we will agree on the central teachings of the Bible. Someone once asked the late Dr. Bill Bright what he thought about some of the things in the Bible that we sometimes wish had a better explanation. He replied, “Well, The plain things are the main things and the main things are the plain things. If it isn’t a plain thing, then it probably isn’t a main thing.” Ignoring the main things can have disastrous consequences. When we don’t accept the Bible as literal and whole it affects our respect for human life and how we view others. When we don’t accept the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, then it becomes easy to accept certain evolutionary ideas. When society ignores the truth in God’s Word they will set their own standards. No society in the history of the world has survived long after making that disastrous choice. One of the most fascinating, yet sad chapters in American history is the story of Ota Benga. Ota Benga was a Pygmy who was put on display in an American Zoo along side a Chimpanzee in the early 1900’s. Darwins theory had so gripped the minds of some scientists that they believed Ota Benga was some form of inferior race. Pygmies were hunted down and killed as portrayed in the movie “Quigley Down Under.“ The word “race’ itself is a result of evolutionary ideas. Even more horrifying examples of this type of thinking can be seen in the concentration camps of WW2. This is what happens when society picks and chooses from the truth found in God’s Word and distort what it says. In his letter to the Colossians, we see that Paul is helping a newly established church know that its foundation is the inerrancy of Scripture. He tells them that Scripture living richly within them will keep them united in the faith and strong and focused on the task. Paul writes in Colossians 3:16: “The word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Listen to the keys words as Paul proclaims in our key verse from Romans 1:16,”I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” We are all equal at the foot of the cross. Jesus sees all of us through the same eyes.
(2) Sola Gratia: The second major teaching of the Protestant Church is Sola Gratia or Grace alone. -"This means that only by the unmerited favor of God that Christ went to the cross and paid for our sins. Salvation comes through faith in Christ alone. Man is depraved by nature and alienated from God his Creator. It is through God’s grace alone through the Holy Spirit that we can be drawn to God through Christ." The only mediator between God and man is Jesus. We can go directly to God in prayer. As we mentioned earlier, Salvation is “God’s riches at Christ’s expense.” Jesus paid the price at Calvary for our sin. It has been paid for. We cannot pay or bargain for our Salvation through any human being. We can just simply confess and accept this free gift. Grace means that the cruelest, most vile and evil person can find favor with his Creator. All are equal at the foot of the Cross. The Human mind can no more grasp that concept than it can understand the Holy Trinity. We can know its true. How? True because of the experience in our heart and the changed lives and testimony of others.
(3) Sola Fide: The third major teaching of the early reformers is Sola Fide. This means by faith alone. "The Bible teaches us that only total righteousness is acceptable to God. This righteousness is found in Christ only, not in man. Man is justified by faith alone in the finished work of Christ.-" That very familiar verse in Hebrews 11:1 tells us, ”Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen.” Verse six goes on to tell us that, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” At first glance, these statements made by Paul would seem to contradict each other. The Bible tells us that faith must begin in the heart. Yet, God above is the one who puts that measure of faith there in the first place. This kind of faith, or trust in God, springs from the Christian’s innermost being. This kind of faith allowed early Christians and Reformers to endure torture and persecution. They were sawn in half and burned at the stake. Some died a slow, painful death, so that everyone could have the very Bible we read from today. Our words seem inadequate to describe this kind of faith. The Bible describes many individuals whom God worked through to do great things. Why? Not because they were somehow superhuman. They accomplished great things because they took that leap of faith and took God at His Word.
(4) Sola Christus-“Christ alone.” "This is the fourth major teaching of the Protestant Reformation. All other teachings of Christianity hinge on this statement. Salvation is accomplished by Christ alone. Jesus plainly told us that He alone is the way, the truth, and the life. We have direct access to Him through prayer. Angels, saints, sacraments, priests, churches, and teachers may direct us to Jesus."- But Christ alone was the perfect Saviour, and we have direct access to our heavenly Father only through him.
(5) Soli Deo Gloria-Which means to God be the glory! "God told Moses at Mt Sinai,”I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” (Duet. 20:1,2) Religion and theology should be God-centered, not man-centered."- It doesn’t matter what the other religions tell us, or what we believe personally. Dag Hammarskjold said, “God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a Wonder, the Source of which is beyond all reason.” We should glorify God in everything that we do. In Old Testament times, the Hebrews would take their portable tabernacles with them as they traveled. In the New testament Paul tells us we are the tabernacle in which Christ through the Holy Spirit dwells. Several years ago there was a popular chorus named “Sanctuary.” You may have heard it or even sang it. As we close today, think about the words as I read them to you.
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living Sanctuary for You
It is you, Lord Who came to save The heart and soul Of every man
It is you Lord who knows my weakness Who gives me strength,
With thine own hand.
Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary Pure and Holy,
tried and true
With thanksgiving I'll be a living Sanctuary for you
Lead Me on Lord From temptation
Purify me From within
Fill my heart with You holy spirit
Take away all my sin
Lord prepare me to a sanctuary Pure and holy,
tried and true With thanksgiving,
I'll be a living Sanctuary for You
Let us pray: We thank you and praise you today for sending us Your Son. We thank you for your Holy Word you have given us to guide us in truth. We pray that in yur light, we might see light. Cleanse us each day that we might be the sanctuary and the light that would draw others to you. And the people said,” Amen.”
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The culture of death advances
By Patrick J. Buchanan
© 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc
On Good Friday, as Terri Schiavo lay dying of thirst in Woodside Hospice, Gabriel Keys took her a cup of water. Gabriel was arrested, handcuffed and taken away.
Apparently, no one taught Gabriel that you do not disobey a judge's order, even to bring water to someone dying of thirst. As he is 10 years old, he is probably not yet conversant with the new morality, where a corporal work of mercy can be a crime. Perhaps his parents filled his mind with such subversive texts as, "Whoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones, a cup of cold water" shall not lose eternal life.
Before this column appears, Terri Schiavo may well be dead. If so, another milestone will have been passed in the long retreat of Western Civilization from a Christian-rooted culture of life to the pagan culture of death of pre-Christian Rome.
For Terri Schiavo will not have died a natural death. She will have been put to death by the state. The coroner's report should read: This was a state-sanctioned killing of a woman because she was brain-damaged, and the method of execution was by starvation and denial of water. These are methods most of us would protest if imposed on the Beltway snipers.
Why did Florida put Terri Schiavo to death? Because that was the demand of a husband who refused to divorce her and denied her medical care, while he lived with another woman. Michael Schiavo is the ACLU poster boy for family values.
In the Old Testament, King Solomon ruled that the mother who had been willing to give up her baby to the woman who had kidnapped the child rather than see the baby cut in half should have the child. Our Florida Solomon ruled that the husband who wanted Terri dead should have custody of her, not the parents who wanted her alive.
"Should Congress have intervened?" is an issue that has divided conservatives. But conservatives are constitutionalists. Under the Constitution, no person may be deprived of life without due process of law. This has traditionally meant a trial of one's peers, proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a heinous crime and no cruel or unusual punishment. Though she committed no crime, Terri was put to death in a manner most decent men and women would not use to put a suffering animal out of its misery.
Most conservatives believe in a God who is the Author of Life and has given us the laws by which we must live. Among the first of these is that we must not shed innocent blood. For that is forbidden by the teachings of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and the laws of all the civilizations erected on these faiths. In all nations, killing of the innocent is the most despicable of crimes. Done on a vast scale, these are what were called at the Nuremberg trials, "crimes against humanity."
Americans must face a hard truth. The state of Florida put Terri Schiavo to death. Before Holy Week, she was neither dead nor dying. For 15 years, she had been cared for by nurses and visited by loving parents. She was not dying until the judge ordered her dead, by ordering her feeding tube removed. Then it has taken her nearly two weeks to die, as he blocked the reinsertion of the feeding tube and ordered police to prevent anyone from giving her water.
When the courts failed Terri, and Congress and the Florida Legislature failed Terri, the governor of Florida, who took an oath to defend the constitutional rights of Florida's citizens, should have taken custody of Terri, ordered the tube reinserted and let the federal courts proceed with the de novo hearing of the evidence, while Terri was still alive.
When Gov. John Peter Altgeld of Illinois came to believe that those convicted of murder in the infamous Haymarket Massacre of 1886 were innocent, that a judicial outrage had been committed, he pardoned them. "I am a dead man politically," he told Clarence Darrow.
Jeb Bush should have done the same thing, the right thing. He should have rescued Terri from the death sentence unjustly imposed upon her. If the court held him in contempt, so what? Who does not hold that Florida court in contempt?
From abortion on demand in 1973, to a right to die in Oregon, to a right to suicide in Holland, to involuntary euthanasia in the old folks homes on the old and dying continent of Europe, to America's death sentence for Terri Schiavo, the West advances steadily toward its own death.
As we find more and more justifications for ending life, we also find that not one Western nation has a native-born population that is growing. All are dying. Before century's end, the West ends, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "Not with a bang, but a whimper."Its interesting that this same week, four years (and now five) after Terri Schiavo's senseless death,Assisted Suicide is approved in several states, Harry Reid wants abortion covered under a National Socialized Healthcare plan, and Joe Biden is given an A-plus rating on his treatment of animals...("change" we can believe in?)...keith 1 Cor 13
*I first published this a little over a year ago... With all the attention recently on government "healthcare" I thought I would re-post this article. The way our courts treated Terri should be a warning of things to come under a government run plan.
What John Wesley so aptly said about slavery, still applies today"Where is the justice in inflicting the severist of evils on those who have done us no wrong?"
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer
Johnson said Obama’s bill will not include the same prohibitions set forth in the Stupak amendment--named after Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)--which was part of the health care legislation passed earlier by the House of Representatives. Instead, Obama’s bill allows federal funds to subsidize abortions through the structuring of programs and insurance plans.
“If all of the President's changes were made, the resulting legislation would allow direct federal funding of abortion-on-demand through community health centers, would institute federal subsidies for private health plans that cover abortion-on-demand, including some federally administered plans, and would authorize federal mandates that would require even non-subsidized private plans to cover elective abortion,” Douglas said.
“While it is true that the pro-abortion camp will not be happy with the president for not striking some restrictions it deplores, the fact remains that President Obama could have adopted the pro-life friendly language of the House bill,” Donohue said. “The fact that he didn’t is what matters most.”
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Saturday, February 13, 2010
A Three part series by Keith Kiper
It seems live in a day and time when everything around us is relative. Things that were once considered to be settled black and white issues have blended into areas of gray. Even certain mainline church denominations endorse lifestyles that are contrary to what the Bible teaches about sin and sinful living.
Much of today’s generation could be considered Biblically illiterate, especially when it comes to the matter of a literal heaven and a literal hell. We hear a lot about heaven in our popular culture. After all dogs do go there, don’t they? Most people would tell us they want to go there, even if not right now. It seems we don’t hear much about hell anymore. Sometimes we will hear someone tell another person they should go there. Most would believe that someone like Adolf Hitler should be there. My biggest concern today is that I am afraid that we as the church have neglected what the Bible says about the matter. Scripture doesn’t leave any doubts about who will someday be there.
The subjects of Heaven and hell are often referred to as “last things.” Our Wesleyan Discipline lists these under Basic Principles...
” Heaven with its eternal glory and the blessedness of Christ’s presence is the final abode of those who choose the salvation which God provides through Christ Jesus. Hell with its everlasting misery and separation from God is the final abode of those who neglect this great salvation.” Discipline 2000/ Section 250
Let us look at what the Bible says about heaven and hell. Many theologians will often use these various methods to examine something to consider whether or not it is true. These would include reason, history, experience, and of course Scripture. This is often referred to as The Wesleyan Quadrilateral. I would like to use some of these as we take a look at heaven and hell today. We have different church denominations and political parties today. This is because people have certain beliefs and ideas which they consider important. Many times they believe there is no other way but their way. Sometimes this is true when placed under the light of the Bible. Sometimes we can be wrong, even when we are so sure we are right. Listen to what happened recently in Sarasota Florida.
"An elderly Florida lady did her shopping, and upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun. She screamed at the top of her lungs, I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!” The four men didn’t wait for a second threat. They got out and ran like mad. The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into her car. She got into her car and was so shaken she couldn’t get her keys to work. Suddenly she realized why her keys wouldn’t work. It was the same reason she had wondered why there was a football, a Frisbee and two twelve packs of beer on the front seat. A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into her car and drove to the police station to report her mistake. The police sergeant couldn’t stop laughing when he heard her story. He then pointed to the end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car jacking by a short elderly woman, with glasses and white curly hair. She was also carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed. Moral of the story? If you are going to have a senior moment…make it worthwhile."
That says it all, doesn't it? The Barna Research Group recently compiled some recent numbers.
- Eight out of ten Americans (81%) believe in an afterlife of some sort. Ten percent believe there is no form of life after death.
- 79%, a large majority of Americans agreed with the statement "Every person has a soul that will live forever, either in God's presence or absence."
- Only one half of one percent expect to go to hell upon their death.
"The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have been lying so well and for so long that they've lost their capacity to tell the truth." 1 Titus 4:1-2 The Message
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
God to Palin: ‘You Go, Girl’
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
By Ben Shapiro
Listen to Commentary Podcasts
Over the weekend, former John McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt told “60 Minutes” something shocking about McCain’s former running mate, Sarah Palin. It seems that when Schmidt met Palin after McCain selected her, he was surprised that she was so calm. Schmidt apparently asked her how she could remain so tranquil in the face of such a monumental life change. She responded, “It’s God’s plan.”
Naturally, the media went bonkers over this revelation. The New York Times approvingly reported comic Jimmy Fallon’s one-liner: “God responded: ‘What? Really? Don’t bring me into this.’” The Week asked whether Palin was “simply devout—or delusional?” The Nation suggested that Palin was “a little bit dimmer than we thought.”
Nothing is quite as shocking to media establishment types as someone who actually believes that God takes an active part in individual human destinies.
If you thought the media’s reaction to this was absurd, think what their reaction would have been if they had been around during the days of Moses. One can envision the headlines from local newspapers: “Exiled Prince Claims God Sent Him to Free Slaves: Advisers Say Moses’ Staff Flying at Half-Mast.” (British newspapers would report it slightly differently: “Jewish Nut Job Invades Royal Palace On ‘God’s Mission’: Pharaoh Tells Him to go Jump in the Bloody Nile.”)
The truth is that it is a common article of faith in virtually all major religions that God guides the footsteps of each and every human being. Benjamin Franklin, a not-so-religious theologian, said that the American Revolution could be successful only with the direct help of God. As he put it, “The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”
Yet nowadays, it is considered trite to point to the influence of God in human lives—unless you are liberal. Then it is considered perfectly normal. How many athletes do we see who thank God after each touchdown? How many actors who win Oscars thank God?
Even certain beloved socialist presidents believe in divine intervention on a personal scale. For example, when then-Sen. Barack Obama gave an anti-war speech, Sen. Harry Reid approached him to congratulate him. “That speech was phenomenal, Barack,” said Reid. Reid describes what happened next: “Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: ‘I have a gift, Harry.’”
It is worthwhile asking: a gift from whom? Gaia? Santa Claus? The Easter Bunny?
Clearly, even our atheistic President Obama—a man who avers that religious folk cling bitterly to their God because they’re poor and downtrodden—believes that occasionally, the Deity rests his hand on someone’s shoulder. Unfortunately, unlike Sarah Palin, Obama also believes that God’s presence is redundant to his own.
There’s a reason the media elites allow liberals to get away with God-talk. It’s because the media elites know that liberals aren’t particularly serious about their God-talk. Everyone could see Bill Clinton crossing his fingers behind his back when talking about God, just as everyone can see President Obama laughing behind his hand when he mentions religion.
It’s those benighted morons of the religious right who truly threaten the media elites. The right’s suggestion that God stands behind the vast flow of history scares the living daylights out of the liberal establishment because it threatens their own sense of control. After all, it is not God who made Barack Obama president of the United States—it is the editorial board of the New York Times. And it was not God who discarded Hillary Clinton like a used tissue—it was the brilliant men and women of the alphabet networks.
If the media elites are wrong—if God is indeed a driving factor in history—then things may not go as the media elites plan. Sarah Palin may indeed meet with success rather than media-ordained failure. The tea parties may indeed become a mainstream movement, rather than the fringe movement the media wishes them to be.
And that scares liberals. Because in the liberal view, no divine presence can be directing things. For the left, the only gods behind history are the gods of economics (see Thomas Friedman and Karl Marx), multiculturalism (see John Dewey), genes (see Richard Dawkins) and environment (see Al Gore and Jared Diamond).
Here’s a newsflash for liberals: Incredible as it may seem, Palin’s view represents that of the vast majority of mankind. People across the globe agree with Palin that their lives fit into God’s grand scheme. When liberals laugh at Palin on this score, they risk laughing at billions. And even liberals should understand that billions can impact the flow of history.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
This prolife video, "For Women Who Are Considering an Abortion," is very powerful. The woman is excellent, composed and yet vulnerable, and the human dimension is very strong. Her words about those who have had abortions, after being victims of rape and incest, are right on. Wow.
(Click here if the video doesn't show up for you.)
Those who are preparing for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on January 24 might like to browse the prolife article section on the Eternal Perspective Ministries website, which has dozens of prolife articles. Here's some selected resources from EPM related to this topic:
Is Abortion Right When Pregnancy is Due to Rape or Incest?
Can God Forgive Abortions?
50 Ways to Help Unborn Babies and Their Mothers