Sunday, May 29, 2011

Boycott Israel?

For decades, when they haven't been squatting, stealing, and slaughtering the innocent, the Palestinians and their supporters have constantly called for "boycotts" of all Israeli products, as well as Israeli tourism and any other interaction with the Jewish state that doesn't involve bloodshed.  Many entertainers refuse to perform in Israel, a few out of conviction, most out of fear; and many companies avoid Israel because they're simply cowards, and have been successfully terrorized by the Palestinian organizations.  The latest is the founder of Linux, the open-source software giant.  Quoting from "Globes: Israel's Business Arena:"

"The Palestinian boycott has spread to the Israeli high-tech world. Richard Stallman, who initiated the free software movement and launched the Linux operating system, has cancelled his lectures in Israel following Palestinian pressure, according to Gal Mor's blog 'holes in the net.'
"Stallman was scheduled to visit Israel in July and to speak at Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and Shenkar College. The Palestinians initiated the visit, but when they understood that Stallman would also be speaking at Israeli universities they told him they would no longer fund the trip. In response, Stallman announced that he would cancel the speaking engagements in Israel, and would be satisfied with visiting the Palestinian Authority regions only.
"'I am sorry for the disappointment that I have caused,' wrote Stallman."
(29 May 11 16:04, Globes' correspondent)
Without commenting on the case at hand, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to view the following presentation regarding "boycotts" of Israel.
 
video

Yes, it'll do that, all right!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Studies in Islam: Polygamy 101

Here, an able teacher from the Religion of Peace explains the practical and theological reasons for the practice of polygamy. Interestingly, he asserts that non-Islamic men and women have no such need, because they are universally promiscuous. This has not been my perception, to say the least, although I can't blame ignorant Muslims for thinking so, if they pay any attention to Western media. But I will let our Muslim homeboy speak for himself. Have I mentioned lately that Islam is the most barbaric and vicious excuse for a "religion" ever to curse the face of our planet?


video


Friday, May 20, 2011

President Haman

For thousands of years, Jews have celebrated the delightful holiday of Purim, in which they commemorate the events recorded in the Book of Esther: the ascent of the brave, beautiful young Jewish woman who became Queen of Persia, having married King Ahasuerus; the plan of the evil counsellor Haman to exterminate the Jews; and Esther's bold intercession with her husband to save her people.  Purim is the most boisterous and rowdy holiday on the Jewish calendar, as adults and children gather together to hear the story, and make raucous, mocking noises at every mention of Haman's name.  Haman was executed for his scheming against the Jews, and even today, among Gentiles, a common expression is that someone will be "hanged higher than Haman."




There have been many Hamans throughout history, of course, who have attempted to destroy the Jews, and they've all failed.  Some people have compared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Haman, which has great historical resonance: in addition to his threats to destroy Israel, Iran is, of course, the former Persia.


But they've got it all wrong.  Today, Haman lives in the White House, and goes by the name of Barack Obama.


This week, the current President of the United States, in a major speech on the Middle East, endorsed the Palestinians' decades-old demand that that Israel agree to retreat to its pre-1967 boundaries: i.e., to that part of the country that Israel owned before liberating the Sinai Peninsula,  Judea and Samaria (or "the West Bank"), the Gaza Strip .... and Jerusalem.  (Lest I be accused of taking his words of of context, the current President's entire speech can be found here, at the official White House website.) To illustrate what this would mean for Israel - - - a nation so tiny that, if dropped in Lake Michigan, it would completely disappear - - - one might look at maps of the country before the "Six-Day War" of 1967, and today:


pre-1967


Israel today

The land liberated by Israel in 1967, shown in teal on the above map, is referred to by the Palestinians as "the occupied territories."  In other words, they don't belong to Israel at all; Israel is merely occupying them, as ruthless conquerers.  Until this week, that has not been the position of the United States government.  

In setting forth his plan for what he calls "a permanent peace," the current President of the United States said: "The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation."

Wait a minute, Mr. Current President.  In the first place, it's not a "dream" any longer: the Jewish and democratic state of Israel has existed since 1948, whether you like it or not.  In the second place, no documents on earth are  more carefully worded and  thoroughly vetted than Presidential policy statements.  When you refer to "occupation," you are using the words of the Muslim Palestinian terrorists you profess to oppose.  This was no slip of the tongue; this is how the current President really thinks.  

After hundreds of words of boilerplate about our "friendship" with Israel, he delivered the knockout blow:  "The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.  We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states."

To be sure, the current President is not the first to endorse the "two-state solution," or the establishment of a Palestinian nation (although there has never been such a thing in all of human history): every President since Carter has endorsed this concept, although none so enthusiastically as the current President and his immediate predecessor.  But the call for a retreat (that is precisely the correct word) to the pre-1967 lines is new. It's new for an American President, that is; it's what the enemies of Israel have been demanding for years.

Things are different today than they were in 1967.  Islam is on the march throughout the world, a process which really began with the Iranian revolution in 1979.  Demographically and by means of terror, propaganda, and the cooperation of Jew-haters in the mass media, the Muslims are making strides scarcely dreamed of before 1967.  Iran has, this past week, officially "gone nuclear."  Israel cannot defend herself, cannot exist, if pushed back to the old borders.  She will be pushed into the sea, if the Palestinians and the current President of the United States have their way.

Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the current President, and said "No deal."  Next week, he will address a joint session of Congress, and his words will be interesting.

Israel is not a pawn to be moved about a tyrant's chess board.  Israel is God's nation on earth, the apple of His eye, and He will be its ultimate Protector.  But this is the time for Israel's friends, and God's people, to make known their opposition to this treachery, and to support Israel in any way possible.  President Haman must not have his way.





Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Affliction

It's one of the oldest questions in the world .... maybe the oldest.  It's a question that has caused more doubt, and more heartbreak, and sometimes more guilt, than any other. It's caused honest bafflement, and dishonest cynicism, and even false religious doctrines. And it's a question you've asked, even if only subconsciously.


"Who's responsible for affliction?  And, to be specific, who's responsible for my afflictions, or the afflictions of those I love?"


The question is as old as Job .... and the story of Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  An apparently righteous man, suddenly robbed of his children, his riches, and even his health .... and his friends, who tried to comfort him, but were too hung up on their own preconceptions and "certainties" to offer him anything but guilt.




And the question is still asked, every day, every night, every hour: sometimes silently and bitterly, sometimes audibly, pleadingly.


"John!  Where's my baby?  Why won't they let me see my baby?  What's wrong with our baby?"


"Why did this have to happen to our daughter, pastor?  She's a good girl!  You know what she's like!  She's the sunlight of our lives!  And some drunk driver comes along...."


"You mean I'm paralyzed, Doctor?  For life?  This will never get any better?  Why?  Why me?"


"No!  You've made a mistake!  Our boy was scheduled to come home in six weeks!  He just sent us an email from Afghanistan a few days ago!"


The questions can't be counted, because the tragedies and afflictions are innumerable.




We expect "bad people" to suffer, although seeing them suffer should give us no pleasure.  But what about "good," decent people?  What about born again, saved people, who have trusted Jesus with their lives and their eternities?  Who causes all the affliction?


Some people say it's "fate," whatever that means; some try to be stoic, and "tough it out," and say, "Well, it's the luck of the draw.  You win some, and you lose some."  But it's hard to be stoic at certain times, no matter how "tough" you are.....




Others, from every religious tradition on earth, blame tragedies and afflictions on Satan, whether they give him that name or not.  This is understandable among unbelievers; but it's a mistake that Christians, who have God's perfect revelation in the Bible, shouldn't make.  Sadly, many do.  Pentecostals and "charismatics" teach that all sickness and suffering, from a head cold to a fatal automobile accident, is from Satan, or his unclean spirits, and that God would never do anything to cause pain to His children.


They're wrong.  They may be fine people, but they don't understand God or His ways, because their teachers and preachers have lied to them.


I'm not a philosopher or theologian, and chances are that you're not, either.  But even if we were, this problem would be too big for us.  It's baffled philosophers and theologians since Job's time, and before.  Like Job's "counsellors," who probably loved him, our opinions are worthless.  This is a question that only God can answer.  And He has.


Did you ever read about God calling Moses to the "ministry," and what Moses said?  You probably have.  God told Moses to take a message to Pharaoh .... but Moses had a problem. An affliction.



And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. (Exodus 4:10) 




He stuttered, or had some sort of speech impediment.  He wasn't reluctant to obey, like Jonah; but he had a legitimate physical infirmity, from which he'd apparently suffered all his life.  But of course God knew about it.  In fact ... God claimed responsibility for it!



And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? (Exodus 4:11)


Moses couldn't speak plainly .... because God had made him that way.  And as a matter of fact, God says, He also made the deaf without hearing, and the blind without seeing.  God claimed total responsibility.


And, when you think about it, God had pretty good reasons: if Moses had been an eloquent man, or a natural leader, or a "great communicator," people would have attributed the deliverance of Israel to human ability, and not to God.  


"Okay," someone says, "That makes sense for Moses.  God did great things with him.  But why would God make my daughter a quadriplegic, or give my sister breast cancer, or...."




I don't know, but God takes full responsibility.  And if the example of Moses isn't enough......



And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? (John 9:1, 2)



This was not an idle or stupid question.  The Jews of Jesus' time believed in prenatal sin.


Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  (John 9:3)


Never mind what Benny Hinn or Kenneth Hagin or the faith healers say: that's the Lord Jesus Christ speaking.  And He said that the man was born blind so that God could be glorified - - - as He was, when Jesus healed him, and he became a mighty witness.  


When God the Father takes responsibility for human affliction, in the Old Testament, and Jesus reiterates the fact in the New Testament, I'd be very careful about saying that "the Devil did it."


(I know that the Enemy was the agent of Job's suffering; I've read the book.  But he couldn't do anything without first getting God's permission - - - and, even then, he couldn't go an inch beyond God's permission.  Nobody ever claimed that God can't use the Enemy as His errand boy.)


Again, someone says, "All these Bible stories may be true, but how can God be glorified by affliction today?  People don't even think in terms of God any more!"


They do when they're hurting.  They do when they're heartbroken.  They do when their lives are in ruins - - - and that's part of the answer.  Someone said, "When a man sees a child in pain, he tends to look upward, if only to curse."


One of the great Presbyterian preachers of the twentieth century told a story about a young pastor and his wife - - - who was very, very pregnant.


The big-time preacher was speaking at the young pastor's church.  During one of the meetings, the pastor received word that his wife had gone into labor, and been rushed to the hospital.  (This was in the middle of the twentieth century, before Lamaze and "birthing suites" and such.)  Everyone in the congregation smiled as the young pastor dashed off to the hospital, leaving the visiting preacher to finish his sermon.


When he arrived, his wife had already given birth ... but the baby wasn't with her, and she was nearly hysterical.  "John!" she cried, when she saw her husband.  "Where's our baby?  Why won't they let me see our baby?  What's wrong with our baby?"


The baby had been born with Down's Syndrome.  In those days, it was acceptable to refer to such infants as "Mongoloid."  After conferring with the doctor, the young minister returned to his wife and took her hand.


"Darling," he said, "God has blessed us with a Mongoloid child."  And the young couple wept together, for a long time, in each other's arms.


Later that night, the young woman's mother phoned the hospital from out of town. Bravely, in faith, the girl said, "Mama, the Lord has blessed us with a Mongoloid baby. We don't know the nature of the blessing .... but we know it's a blessing."


In those days, the telephone systems in hospitals weren't computerized; they had 24/7 switchboard operators.  And, at the time of this conversation, an operator was eavesdropping on the young mother.  She was a notorious gossip, and a bit cruel; and, by dawn, she had spread the word around the hospital about "what that crazy preacher's wife said."






The following Sunday, the famous visiting preacher had finished his meetings, and the young pastor returned to his pulpit.  He preached an "ordinary" sermon, nothing very special; his heart probably wasn't really in it.  But at the end of the sermon, he asked if anyone would like to come forward and receive Jesus Christ.  He did this every week.  It was a small church; few people ever came.


But, on this Sunday, there were nearly twenty nurses from the hospital in attendance. Nurses who had heard the story, and had been watching the young couple and their new baby.  


And, one by one, they all came to the front of the church, and received Jesus Christ, according to John 1:12.


One couple was "afflicted" with a Down's Syndrome baby.  And nearly twenty adult women came to know Jesus Christ as a direct result.


Who's responsible for affliction?  God Himself: and He's a loving God, in Whom alone life makes sense.


Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number. (Job 9:10)


O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)





Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Love letters from the Philistines

Once again, the lovely voice of Islam is heard loud and clear.  These two clips deal with Hamas, which is often portrayed (with Al-Quaeda) as "the worst of Muslim extemists."  But that's inaccurate.  The terrorists and haters are the true face of Islam; a "moderate Muslim" is a Muslim who has chosen to ignore the commands of the Koran and Hadiths.  Hamas is in the forefront of the the war against God's nation, Israel, but they are not the "exception" to "the religion of peace:" they are its most faithful representatives.

video

And, as was seen briefly in the previous clip, Hamas is not neglecting the "education" of the Philistine children.  ("Palestinian" is merely the most recent term for the Philistines of old; in fact, if you listen to them talking, they pronounce the word "Palestinian" as "Philistine.")  This clip was made when Hillary Clinton was a Senator, and she spoke well.  As Secretary of State, Hillary has impressed me as something approaching a voice of reason in the Obama administration, but compared to her peers in the Cabinet, and Obama himself, that's not saying much.


If this clip doesn't break your heart, you're made of sterner stuff than I.

video


Sunday, May 15, 2011

"The Hidden Life"

"Hide thyself by the brook Cherith" (1 Kings 17:3).
      
      God's servants must be taught the value of the hidden life. The man who is to take a high place before his fellows must take a low place before his God. We must not be surprised if sometimes our Father says: "There, child, thou hast had enough of this hurry, and publicity, and excitement; get thee hence, and hide thyself by the brook--hide thyself in the Cherith of the sick chamber, or in the Cherith of bereavement, or in some solitude from which the crowds have ebbed away."
      
      Happy is he who can reply, "This Thy will is also mine; I flee unto Thee to hide me. Hide me in the secret of Thy tabernacle, and beneath the covert of Thy wings!"
      
      Every saintly soul that would wield great power with men must win it in some hidden Cherith. The acquisition of spiritual power is impossible, unless we can hide ourselves from men and from ourselves in some deep gorge where we may absorb the power of the eternal God; as vegetation through long ages absorbed these qualities of sunshine, which it now gives back through burning coal.
      
      Bishop Andrews had his Cherith, in which he spent five hours every day in prayer and devotion. John Welsh had it--who thought the day ill spent which did not witness eight or ten hours of closet communion. David Brainerd had it in the woods of North America. Christmas Evans had it in his long and lonely journeys amid the hills of Wales.
      
      Or, passing back to the blessed age from which we date the centuries: Patmos, the seclusion of the Roman prisons, the Arabian desert, the hills and vales of Palestine, are forever memorable as the Cheriths of those who have made our modern world.
      
      Our Lord found His Cherith at Nazareth, and in the wilderness of Judea; amid the olives of Bethany, and the solitude of Gadara. None of us, therefore, can dispense with some Cherith where the sounds of human voices are exchanged for the waters of quietness which are fed from the throne; and where we may taste the sweets and imbibe the power of a life hidden with Christ.

- - - Mrs. Charles Cowman, Streams in the Desert, 1925




Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another great fight

This past Saturday, boxing fans were treated to a magnificent fight, which perhaps they had not been expecting. On the undercard of the much-ballyhooed match between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley, the 31 year old Mexican Jorge Arce scored a gutsy and spectacular victory over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, the heavy favorite. Vazquez is no slouch: the son of three-division champion Wilfredo Vazquez, Junior was the undefeated Junior Featherweight Champion. Vazquez Sr. and Jr. were the first Puerto Rican father and son to ever become world champions, and in the same division. Arce's record, coming into the fight, was 56-6-2, with 43 wins coming by knockout. He is now WBO Super Bantamweight Champion, making him the first Mexican to win championships in four divisions.

The highlight vid below makes the fight look much more one-sided than it really was. Vazquez was no pushover, and he fought a great fight. (Arce is the one with hair; Vazquez is the one with the tattoos.) But Arce beat him like a Chinese gong.  The fight was stopped in the twelfth round, when Vazquez's corner threw in the towel - - - and a water bottle, because Referee Joe Cortez was so intent on the action that he didn't see the towel. 


In the main  event, the Pound for Pound champion, Manny Pacquiao, beat Mosely by unanimous decison.  Pacquiao dominated the fight, but not as convincingly as he should have.  Everyone, from the fans to Pacquiao himself, was disappointed by the main event, but the Arce-Vazquez battle almost made up for it.


WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel has invited Arce to Puerto Rico to pick up the belt, and to have his accomplishments recognized.  Given the historic rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico, this is a gracious move.

video


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Islam: women, animals, and cars

More wisdom from the imams on the proper role of women. In the first video, we hear the startling news that, in Europe, women actually marry animals, and that there are "official" organizations dedicated to the propagation of such unions. This does not increase my desire to revisit Europe.

video

While we're learning about the weakness, both moral and intellectual, of the female sex, here is a scholarly Muslim explanation of why women should not be allowed to drive cars. The lying jackanapes has the audacity to say that women are more "liberated" in Islamic countries!

video


Jerry Clower: frivolous lawsuits

Once again, the great Jerry Clower delivers himself of a few home truths, as only he could do. I should preface this video by saying that I am not an enemy of personal injury lawyers, who provide an invaluable service to people who have been seriously wronged. No one can read about the tragic case of the little girl disembowelled by a defective swimming pool drain, in which John Edwards (a rotten man, but a great lawyer) won the largest award in North Carolina history for the girl, without realizing that there's a vital place for civil litigation. But it can become absurd, and when it does, it should be pointed out. Having said all that, enjoy the video!

video


Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Indispensable to sanity"

A.W. Tozer was one of the greatest devotional writers of the twentieth century: his knowledge of God, and his ability to relate that knowledge to the everyday lives of men and women, was a magnificent gift.  The book from which this is taken is found in the "Good Books" section of this blog.  A few words about why the knowledge of God is important:


"The human mind, being created, has an understandable uneasiness about the Uncreated. We do not find it comfortable to allow for the presence of One who is wholly outside of the circle of our familiar knowledge. We tend to be disquieted by the thought of One who does not account to us for His being, who is responsible to no one, who is self-existent, self dependent and self-sufficient.


"Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have not technique for discovering. To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, not submit to our curious inquiries: This requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him. Yet how He eludes us! For He is everywhere while He is nowhere, for “where” has to do with matter and space, and God is independent of both. He is unaffected by time or motion, is wholly self-dependent and owes nothing to the worlds His hands have made.

"Perhaps some sincere but puzzled Christian may at this juncture wish to inquire about the practicality of such concepts as I am trying to set forth here. “What bearing does this have on my life?” he or she may ask. “What possible meaning can the self-existence of God have for me and others like me in a world such as this and in times such as these?

"To this I reply that, because we are the handiwork of God, it follows that all our problems and their solutions are theological. Some knowledge of what kind of God it is that operates the universe is indispensable to a sound philosophy of life and sane outlook on the world scene."





- - - A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York, Harper and Row, 1961)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Miss USA vs. the Police State

Those who stoutly deny, or refuse to even consider, the possibility that America has become a de facto police state, need look no farther than the heavy-handed excesses of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  The TSA was one of the agencies created after the 9/11 attacks, on November 19, 2001, and was soon absorbed into the hastily-created Department of Homeland Security.  Allegedly geared toward insuring the safety of air travellers, the TSA soon became one of the most blatant and highly visible faces of the long-awaited American police state, now becoming more and more oppressive under the Bush-Obama régimes.  But enough history; let's hear the words of a fellow citizen, from within the past month. This is Susie Castillo, who happened to "reign" as Miss USA in 2003:

video

Ms. Castillo's case is hardly unusual; horror stories of TSA abuses abound. Ms. Castillo, God bless her, is simply speaking out, unlike most of the sheep who tolerate any police state. Many of these incidents came to light last November, as the Thanksgiving travel season approached.  For example, one of Ms. Castillo's fellow citizens from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who happened to be three years old:

video

Around the same time that the notorious terrorist Mandy was being manhandled in Chattanooga, a nine year old boy in Salt Lake City was being carefully examined, his shirt removed, no doubt for hidden sticks of dynamite or contraband gummy bears:

video

But the TSA certainly doesn't play favorites.  Here, in Charlotte, North Carolina, a 30-year veteran of the airline business, a flight attendant, is humiliated in a particularly heartless manner:

video

Happily, however, there are a few, like Ms. Castillo and this man, who are not willing to offer up their bodies on the altar of "increased security" (which the TSA doesn't provide anyway).  The police state is not endorsed by everyone, it seems:

video

There are those who claim that 9/11 was an "inside job," or that, at least, President Bush had advance warning of the attacks.  I have my opinions, but don't know the facts well enough to argue the point.  But I know fascism when I see it.  Fascism is not a matter of "left" or "right:" there are liberal fascists, and conservative fascists. Basically, fascism simply means the belief that the government should run every aspect of every "citizen's" life.

George W.  Bush believed that.  The current President believes that.  And we now have the police state to prove it. The TSA is but one example.  Politically speaking, the terrorists have won: they've taken away our freedom.  Because our "leaders" wanted it that way.  The final video puts it all in a nutshell.


video

UPDATE: On Nov. 3, 2011, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that her Court had no jurisdiction, and threw Jesse Ventura's lawsuit out.  Ventura has said that he no longer considers himself an American, and is considering moving to Mexico.