Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just a simple song

This one's not very sophisticated, is it?  Not very "theological."  Kinda saccharine, to some people.  But if you have children, compare it to the previous post, and see how it sounds to you.

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Child marriage: "Muhammed is our model"

This video is three years old.  Not three hundred.  It has not exactly"gone viral" on the Internet, but it's available on many sites, and should be available everywhere.  The person in this video is not a fanatical "extremist" or a babbling madman: he is a professional "marriage officiant" in Saudi Arabia, the most sacred of all Muslim nations, home to Mecca and Medina.  Here is the official view, from an official wedding officiant, of child rape:

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Some one might object, "Well, he's a Saudi; this is merely a cultural thing" (as though that would excuse it).  If such were the case, why haven't his brother Muslims around the world risen up to denounce his views?

From Mangled Thoughts, an Australian political journal, dateline 2011:

Australian Muslims refuse to condemn Dr. Ahmad al-Mu’bi


Why? They cannot be permitted to wriggle their way out of answering why they refuse to condemn that pederast.

How violent he is, is imagninable but not nice to dwell on. Bye the bye, from the photo of Ahmad al-Mu’bi on the MEMRI site, the sod looks exactly what he is.

The explanation of Ahmad al-Mu’bi’s call for the enslavement, assault and rape of infant girls is contained in the item immediately below – “Brumby, Hull, Szoke and Sisely must have these bigots on trial”.
As it is, there is already a serious problem:

Muslim girls being whisked off to the Middle East, by force, to be bound in pre-arranged marriages to thugs. One recollects the account of a girl who was incacerated in a house until she caved into marrying a cousin. She managed to escape and make it back to the UK before ‘enslavement to primitive beast day’. She was lucky. It is a grave matter that doesn’t dsiturb ‘mutlticultists’.

Now infant girls! Ponder also, readers: In Iran, in Pakistan, under Taliban, teenage girls and women, innocent or rape victims are convicted under Shria of adultery, buried up to their chests and stoned to death.

But, living in Brackistan, in accordance with decree 209342, issued by Steve Bracks, John Brumby, Bronwyn Pike, Justin Madden, Rod Hulls, and the Commissars of Right Thinks – Helou, Szoke, Sisel, and a number of justices in regular courts, I do my duty as the property of the Government of Brackistan – in accord with the anti-Bill of Rights, and denounce as bigots any who condemn such holy practices.


© 2011 


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hollywood's favorite lie?

When someone lies to you, how do you feel about it?  Do you resent it?  Does it make you angry?  Does it make you less likely to listen to anything that person has to say - - - especially if he or she lies habitually and intentionally?


Perhaps it doesn't anger you.  Good for you: you're an easy-going, forgiving type of person (although maybe a bit of a sucker).  But how do you feel when someone lies to one of your children ... or all of them ... from the time they come into this world?  That's a little harder to take, isn't it?  


When people lie to you, or to your children, do you call them liars, and deceivers, and push them away ..... or do you invite them into your home and call them "entertainers?"


If you're like most people in the Western world, China, and India, you do the latter - - - and you do it enthusiastically.


We all know that the "news media" lies to us.  We live in a world where everybody has a gimmick, or something to sell, or someone to promote, and we've become very cynical about our politics and even our "religion."  But, for some reason, people don't seem to get cynical about their "entertainment."  A man who can explain nuclear physics seems to lose all of his critical abilities when he sits down in front of his television; a woman who can teach mathematics or program computers becomes an intellectual and emotional sponge when she walks into a movie theater.  I'm talking about me, and I'm talking about you.  This tendency affects us all.  And it most assuredly affects our children. We love our "entertainment," and we will not live without it.  And, just as much as the lying "news media," it turns us into sheep.


"What will we watch tonight?"


Let's use the generic term for the entertainment industry: let's call it "Hollywood."  Of course, it doesn't just cover movies and television shows made in Los Angeles: it includes the BBC and the Canadian Film Board and Bollywood and every live drama from the Broadway stage to the local high school play.  But we'll call it "Hollywood," like some folks call any kind if facial tissue "Kleenex."


And Hollywood is a liar.  With the possible exception of the major news reporting outlets, and the various governments from Bejing to Washington, Hollywood is the greatest liar of all - - - and it affects everyone who's likely to be reading this.


What are the lies that Hollywood tells us?  Some of them are political: "American Southerners are all racists, American blacks are all noble;" "Vietnam veterans are all psychotic or emotionally crippled."  Most are personal and ethical: "There's no such thing as absolute morality, what's right for you may not be right for me;" "You can drink and use drugs with no ill effects;" "Sexual promiscuity and serial adultery are glamorous 'life-styles;'" "Women are more valuable than men, and children are more valuable than adults;" "Abortion is always right, and using tobacco is always wrong." These are just a few of the lies they constantly drum into our heads, until we receive them without protest.  We might not believe them, we might not agree with them, but we tolerate them, because it's easier than thinking, or making a fuss.


These lies, whether taught by Hollywood, in the classrooms, or just mindlessly repeated by our peers, are what the Bible calls "the rudiments of the world:" the basic beliefs that people are expected to believe, in order to "get along."  But the Bible warns us against buying into these lies: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8). Believing these things may be easy, and might help you "fit in" with the world, but they'll spoil you: they'll ruin you, and make you rotten.  Ultimately, they'll damn you.


And right now, Hollywood is pushing the oldest and most outrageous lie of all, and it's being done in such a subtle manner that you wouldn't recognize it in fifty years.  In fact, it's been going on for longer than fifty years, but Hollywood has only kicked it into high gear in recent decades.  It's so subtle that a majority of the writers and producers in Hollywood don't realize what they're doing; they think they're just making money.  And, in this case, "Hollywood" even includes print publishers.  Look at the following pictures, from contemporary culture, and see if you can spot the trend: it won't be hard!


 1968

1968-1971

1968


1978
1970

1972 - present

1983


1991-1999

2007-2008

2008-2011

2005

2010
2010

 2008-present

2011

And this, of course, is only a tiny sample of the cultural artifacts centered around the themes of vampires and zombies: arguably the two hottest properties in Hollywood right now - - - whether we're talking about children's television, syrupy Harlequin/Silhouette romance novels, television series on cutting-edge cable, or "young adult" "literature" (the fabulously successful Twilight series, pictured above, has inherited and bids fair to expand the "Harry Potter" crowd).  Some of it is heavy and serious (The Historian, a reworking of the Dracula story, or Anne Rice's execrable literary droppings); some is intended to be humorous and light (Paul is Undead, in which the Beatles are revived as zombies).  In the vampire genre, sex is always a big element, as witness the bodice-ripping Silhouette books or the "True Blood" television series; but the lovable Count on "Sesame Street" or "Little Dracula" are certainly not sex symbols.  And sex rarely plays a part in the zombie genre.  It seems that vampire lore centers in "romance," going all the way back to the exotic Bela Lugosi; whereas zombie films and books are more humorous, gross-out gore fests.  But they have something in common, don't they?  The big lie.  One of the biggest lies of all.

No more pictures.  Instead, a few statistics.  Most literary historians say that the first vampire novel was Varney the Vampire by James Malcolm Rymer & Thomas Preskett Prest: published in 1847, it preceded Bram Stoker's Dracula by exactly fifty years.  And, as the Rice and Meyer books show, vampires have been a literary staple ever since, although the vast majority of books have been published in the last forty years: Rice's Interview with the Vampire, in 1973, really kick-started the genre.  Zombies are more a cinematic than literary tradition, perhaps because of the romance/gore factor.  In any event, the two genres have ballooned almost unbelievably.  The first "recognized" vampire film was "Nosferatu," in 1922: according to the Internet Movie Database, over 500 films have been made since with the word "vampire" in the title: thus, such movies as "Dracula" aren't even included.  A site called "The Vampire Database" lists 663 entries.  Both of these numbers refer to motion pictures: television productions, from "Dark Shadows" to "True Blood,"  are not included.  According to Wikipedia, a source I disdain for any serious research, but which is useful for fluff like this, there have been over 570 full-length movies made about zombies.  Again, this doesn't include television.

So, what's the point of all this?  Why are we even discussing it?

In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I have enjoyed horror movies all my life, ever since I was a little boy, in the 1960s, watching the old Universal classics on television. (I enjoy ice cream, too, but I don't eat it every day or every week.)  I'm not a prude, and I'm not squeamish.  But I don't enjoy all horror movies, any more than I enjoy all westerns; and, when I watch a movie (any movie) I don't suspend my critical faculties.  I'm all in favor of enjoying the ride, "suspending my disbelief" while watching a silly action movie; but I have a bloodhound's nose for propaganda, and it doesn't get past me.

There are some really vile horror movies out there right now, that have nothing to do with zombies or vampires: e.g., the "torture porn" films like "Saw" or "Hostel."  There are horror movies being made that are so disgusting, and so nauseating, that hardened critics are unable to sit through them (and I won't name them). So, why am I focusing on these more traditional films?

Because they're the ones promoting the lie.  The big lie.  The original lie.

The Hollywood types aren't trying to sell this lie explicitly; they probably don't even know they're doing it.  But Hollywood, with its magic and its drama and its spectacle, is the greatest device ever made for manipulating emotions.  And the Enemy of our souls knows it: and he's the one promoting the lie.

What's a vampire?  Someone who dies .... but doesn't really.  Someone who can't die.  Someone who approaches his or her victims with "the promise of immortality."

What's a zombie?  A reanimated corpse.  He or she died; but, no matter how horribly they died, they came back to life. 

Death isn't final after all, is it?

Now, the Hollywood writers and producers, the novelists and television executives, the movers and the shakers, don't believe that.  They'd laugh out loud if you suggested it.  But everything we read, and especially everything we see and hear, has subliminal messages - - - intentional or unintentional.  I'm not saying that the "creative types," the show business types, are deliberately trying to tell us that we'll never die. Of course they're not.

But I know someone who does say that.  And he's been saying it for a long time.

He said it most blatantly to Eve: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Gen 3:1-5)

And he says it still.  He rarely says it overtly, or in such blatantly propositional terms: unlike Eve, we have about four thousand years' worth of evidence that, yes, everyone who's born will die.  We want to believe otherwise .... but the evidence isn't there!

So, the Enemy whispers it into our subconscious.  The toddler sucks on her baby bottle, as the cute "Count" entertains her on "Sesame Street;" her four year old brother watches "Little Dracula" (or something worse, nowadays); the adolescent girls swoon over "Twilight," and the teenage boys laugh at the zombie films; and, with each passing moment, the big lie is soaking into their brains: "death isn't final!  Don't worry about it! And don't try to prepare for it!  See the funny zombie, staggering down the road?  See the beautiful vampire girl, and the handsome vampire prince?"

Do you think I'm being excessively dramatic, or imagining a problem that doesn't exist?  Sadly, you're mistaken.  Police in many jurisdictions have been forced to deal with toddlers or young children who somehow got hold of a gun, and shot someone they loved .... and then cried, uncomprehending, because the victim didn't get up.  It wasn't supposed to be final .... it wasn't final on TV ....

But it is.  For everyone.  I'm never going to be a zombie; you're never going to be a vampire.  But we will both be corpses, unless Jesus Christ returns to earth first.

And, although this has seemed like a Halloween post, it's really an Easter post: because, as Muhammad and Gautama Siddartha and Moses all lie mouldering in their graves, Jesus Christ is the only One, the only Human Being in all history, Who wouldn't stay down.  Because He was and is God in the flesh .... and He is the Master of death, and life.  

And His life, which is eternal, is available to us ... if we want it, and are willing to receive Him on His terms.  

Forget Hollywood.  Recognize reality: and then find the true Reality, in Jesus Christ.  He is risen.

He is risen, indeed!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Studies in Islam: Child Brides

The indefatigable Dr. Wafa Sultan, describing both the Islamic propensity for pedophilia, and the tragic story of her own niece: and, a moment later, an equally tragic story, of another little girl, driven to attempt suicide by "the religion of peace." 


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"Islam is not a religion"


This is Dr. Wafa Sultan, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite people in the world.  Although I do not look to the mainstream press for my heroes, it may be worth noting that Dr. Sultan was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World," and is a founder of Former Muslims United .  In this video, she expresses herself, with typical eloquence, on the difference between Islam and true "religion."

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Incomparable

Heading into the weekend, a treat: one of the greatest Gospel songs you've never heard.  This is a classic performance by Mahalia Jackson, with the Falls-Jones Ensemble, of "Move On Up a Little Higher."  She was one of the greatest singers of all time ... because she sang for the greatest Saviour.


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One these mornings, soon one morning 
I'm gonna lay down my cross, get me a crown 
Soon one evening, late in the evening 
Late in the evening I'm going home to live on high.



Soon as my feet strike Zion 
Lay down my heavy burdens 
Put on my robe in glory 
Going home one day and tell my story. 
I've been coming over hills and mountains 
Gonna drink from the Christian Fountain 

You know all God's sons and daughters that mornin' now 
Will drink that old healing water.
And we gonna live on forever, we gonna live on forever 
We gonna live on up in glory afterwhile. 
Oh Lord, I'm going out sight-seeing in Beulah 
March all around God's altar 
Walk and never get tired 
Fly, Lord, and never falter 



I'm gonna move on up a little higher 
Gonna meet old man Daniel 
Gonna move on up a little higher 
Gonna meet the Hebrew children 
Gonna move on up a little higher 
Meet Paul and Silas 
Gonna meet my friends and kindred 
Gonna move on up a little higher 
Gonna meet my loving mother 
I'm gonna move on up a little higher 
Gonna meet the Lily of the Valley 
I'm gonna feast with the Rose of Sharon 
It will be always howdy howdy 
It will be always howdy, howdy 
It will be always howdy howdy and never goodbye.


 
Oh will you be there early one morning 
Will you be there somewhere round the altar 
Will you be there oh when the angels shall call the roll? 
God knows I'll be waiting 
Yes I'll be watching somewhere 'round the altar 
Well I'll be waiting oh at the beautiful golden gate.


 
Well, well soon as my feet strike Zion 
Gonna lay down my heavy burden 
I'm going to put on my robe in glory.
I've been coming over the hills and mountains 
Gonna drink from the Christian Fountain 
You know all God's sons and daughters that mornin' 
Will drink that old healing water.
Meet me there early one morning 
Meet me there somewhere on the altar 
Meet me there oh when the angels shall call the roll.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The story of New Echota

In the long history of the persecution and attempted genocide of the American Indians, there are plenty of atrocities to consider: Wounded Knee, the Sand Creek Massacre, the forced sterilization of about 70,000 Indian women by the federal government between 1930 and 1970, and many more.  But one of the most poignant stories in Native American history is that of the town of New Echota, Georgia.


New Echota, a tiny settlement in northwest Georgia, was the place where the Indians tried to do things the white man's way - - - and the white man wouldn't stand for it.


As many generations of American schoolchildren were taught, back when American schoolchildren were taught, there were, out of the hundreds of Indian tribes (or "nations") in North America, a small group which were called "the Five Civilized Tribes."  (This term is not as widely used as it used to be, fortunately: because the Plains Indians, for example, were quite "civilized" - - - their civilization simply didn't resemble the European model.)  These tribes, all located in the American Southeast, were the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw nations.  To a greater or lesser degree, all of these tribes attempted to imitate or emulate or assimilate into the culture of the European settlers: hence, the settlers considered them "civilized." For example, the famous Cherokee silversmith Sequoya reduced the Cherokee language to writing, creating an actual alphabet and dictionary, which is still in use today.  This was the first time in history that an illiterate people had created, ex nihilo, a system of writing.



Bilingual notice in Cherokee newspaper

But of all the "civilized" tribes, the Cherokee were the most determined to assimilate, or at least live in harmony with, the white men who were obviously taking over the continent.  This was not a gesture of desperation, but an act of good faith; if the white man had something to teach, the Cherokee were willing to learn.


To his eternal shame, however, the white man - - - with the exception of some Christian missionaries, such as Methodist founders John and George Wesley, who both ministered in Georgia - - -  had not come to this continent to teach.  He had come to conquer.


The most dedicated Cherokees decided to demonstrate their ability to adapt to the white man's politics and culture.  And the little hamlet of Newtown, Georgia, was where they tried to do it.


In Newtown, the main leaders were Samuel Worcester (a missionary and Bible translator from Vermont) and Elias Boudinot, a Cherokee whose brother, Stand Watie, would later become a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army.  Between 1819 and 1825, Boudinot and Worcester helped the Cherokees organize an entire tribal government along the lines of the white model in Washington.  Renaming the settlement New Echota, the Cherokee government consisted of an executive, legislative, and judicial branch, in the form of a Principal Chief, a National Council, and a Supreme Court.  New Echota became the official capital of the Cherokee nation in 1825.


Also on the site of the tiny capital were the offices of the Cherokee Phoenix, the first Indian-language newspaper. The paper was circulated throughout the Indian nation, as well as the United States and even Europe. The reconstructed print shop of the newspaper still stands, as do many of the reconstructed buildings. The portrait above the fireplace depicts Sequoya, inventor of the alphabet.





Visitors to the New Echota site today can also see the Council House (below), various dwellings, and other rebuilt structures.




Sadly, this experiment in the white man's civilization was doomed to failure.  The state of Georgia wanted the land - - - without the Indians, civilized or uncivilized.  One can see, from the tiny buildings, that New Echota was hardly a teeming metropolis that threatened to disrupt anyone's way of life; nevertheless, the white settlers in the area simply couldn't tolerate it, and organized the notorious Georgia Militia - - - a group arguably more vicious than the Ku Klux Klan would later become - - - to persecute and harass the Indians.  (As we will see, there was another factor in the equation, too.) Also known as the Georgia Guard, this group was so ruthless that, by 1835,  Cherokee leaders actually fled to Tennessee and other places when they had to hold meetings, for fear of reprisals.


It finally ended in 1830, when the genocidal maniac Andrew Jackson prevailed on Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act, intended to move all Native Americans to an area west of the Mississippi River.  Although the United States Supreme Court expressed some qualms about the Constitutionality of this Act, it finally decided that it had "no original jurisdiction" that would allow it to void the Act. (The Supreme Court does have "original jurisdiction," as opposed to "appellate jurisdiction," in matters of treaties; but they ruled in this case that no treaty existed, because the Cherokee were not a real nation.) White and Cherokee leaders, notably John Ross, fought the Act; but as the Confederate States would learn a few decades later, you may be able to fight city hall, but you simply can't fight the federal government.




The Indian Removal Act may or may not have been influenced by the discovery of gold in northern Georgia in 1828, prompting the "Georgia Gold Rush."  The Indians were in the way.  It may be hard to imagine that the federal government in Washington might be so base as to displace indigenous peoples, or attempt genocide, over such things as gold or oil, but one might be excused for having suspicions.


Elias Boudinot, co-founder of New Echota, saw that removal was inevitable; he therefore stepped down from his position of leadership (he had been editor of the Phoenix) and attempted to lobby for a more orderly, humane scheme of relocation. This caused deep divisions in the Cherokee nation. Finally, at a meeting in Boudinot's home, the so-called Treaty of New Echota was signed in 1835, ceding the land to Georgia in exchange for lands in the Indian Territory now known as Oklahoma.  This Treaty was not valid, according to Cherokee law, but it was good enough for Washington.




Boudinot was not a traitor (although some saw him that way); he was a compromiser, or, some would say, a realist.  He went to the new land with his people, and was eventually assassinated.


The signers and supporters of the Treaty of New Echota moved west immediately. Those who wanted to stay, relocated to Red Clay, Tennessee.   That got them out of the way of the gold-crazed Georgians, but it wasn't good enough for Washington. 


"If you have tears, prepare to shed them now:" you'll be in good company.  In May, 1838, General Winfield Scott, commanding a force of 7,000 troops, arrived on the scene, and began moving the remaining Indians to the new lands at gun and bayonet point.  This long march to what would become Oklahoma was one of the saddest events in American history, and saw the deaths of thousands of Indian men, women, and children.  It was called the Trail of Tears.


And it's just one small chapter in the story of America's treatment of its native population.  Words are not adequate to tell the whole story, but words are all that remain.





Sunday, April 3, 2011

Studies in Islam: Teach Your Children Well

The "religion of peace" temporarily abandons pedophilia in favor of pedagogy.  Jesus had some words for these people: "Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones" (Luke 17:1-2).


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