June 24, 2005

Who or What Does the Public Trust?

I read a recent report regarding issues of trust by the American public at large. Some of what I read was quite surprising.
28% of the population trusts the nations newspapers which is down from 37% in the year 2000 and 24% of the population has “very little” confidence. Honestly with everything that goes on with shoddy, inaccurate, fictitious reporting, I am surprised that the percentage of people who still have any trust in the papers is as high as it is.
What really surprised me though were the top three organizations for public trust. The military came in at number one at 74%, which blew me away. This gives insight to the previous stats concerning trust in print media. If you believe the newspapers, the military is made up of a bunch of lying, low-lifes who get their jollies oppressing, torturing and killing innocent people. That was a nice surprise.
In second place fell the police at 63% which also surprised me a bit but also in a good way. One thing is for certain, our police don’t do what they do for the pay.
Third place was the biggest surprise of all. The statistics are not impressive. In fact, they are rather discouraging because while organized religion takes the third spot, it came in with only 53% of the population’s trust.
That means essentially half of the population doesn’t trust organized religion. That includes most of us. Now I can try and tell myself that the reason for the distrust is due to past scandals, and televangelists who still sell a very warped message of prosperity in exchange for a contribution to their ministry. But the fact remains; those impressions affect all of us. Which means we have to be mindful of those biases when people walk into our churches for the first time. We have a one shot opportunity to make a good first impression.
Is your church obsessed with money and a constant haranguing about the offertory? I have been in churches where three separate offerings were taken. I tell you, even as a mature Christian I was uncomfortable what does it say to the visitors? And if I may be so bold, if you don’t have any visitors, maybe that’s part of the reason. Hey, just a thought.

Bogus "Research" Misrepresents Healthy Choices

Another bogus, albeit “scientific” report hot of the press from the Journal of Adolescent Health boldly proclaims that sex education programs which stress abstinence and urge teens to take a pledge of abstinence until marriage, don’t work. The report also makes the inane assertion that teens who take such a pledge are actually MORE likely to engage in riskier sex than those who do not.
Fortunately the folks at the Heritage Foundation reviewed the data that led to such conclusions and came up with an entirely different result. In fact, according to their analysis they found just the opposite.
According to Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, “Robert Rector, senior research fellow in domestic policy studies at Heritage, called the original report, "the worst piece of junk science I've seen in 20 years."
How could two diametrically opposed conclusions be drawn from the same research? Welcome to the world of contemporary science.
In the days of yore, science used to operate on the basis of collecting data and then formulating conclusions based on what the data say. Contemporary science often formulates its conclusions, and then seeks out data—sometimes in a very exclusionary way, to justify desired conclusions. There is no better example of this than the so-called scientific theory of Darwinian evolution. Over and over again, there is a picking and choosing of data based on the desired outcome: The data that supports the theory stays and is touted widely; the data that do not support the theory, even contradicts it, is disparaged, buried and of course ignored.
With respect to the study about adolescents and abstinence, the analysis of the study the journal refers to examined a mere 21 out of 14,000 adolescents—hardly a representative sample.
Rector’s analysis of ALL the data was vastly different. "We found, not surprisingly, that [teens who take a pledge of abstinence] are less likely to engage in sexual activity," he said, "and the riskier the sexual activity, the less likely the pledgers are to do it when compared to non-pledgers."
Actually, despite any research on the subject, the conclusions would still be somewhat irrelevant for as long as there is a God who has revealed Himself to mankind and has given wise guidance for life, His perfect, omniscient counsel is rock solid and doesn’t need the validation of the humanly flawed “scientific” community. Not surprisingly though, whenever “good” science is done, it only ever confirms the truth God ha already spelled out. Would you expect anything less?

June 17, 2005

Judicial Tyranny Continues

Well they have done it again; and we might as well say, again , and again, and again and you might as well just keep repeating this because this IS the wave of the new democracy in America. A Federal Judge overturned Nebraska’s constitutional amendment which banned same-sex marriage.

How many of Nebraska’s citizens voted this into law through the proper legislative channels? Seventy percent of the state’s voting citizenry exercised their constitutional right to craft their own laws and yet one unelected man with a black robe imposed his ideology, his will, his morals, and his beliefs on the entire state.

Honestly, I thought activist judges were a recent phenomenon in the history of jurisprudence but apparently I was wrong.

In the famed Dred Scott vs. Sandford decision of 1856 Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote the majority decision stating that when the constitution was ratified, citizenship was understood to be confined to the white race alone and thus blacks were not citizens; hence, Scott did not have standing in the case.

With the crafty use of legalese, Taney ignored Abraham Lincoln’s address on June 26, 1857 wherein he cited the dissenting opinion of Justice Benjamin Curtis who showed “that in five of the then thirteen states, free Negroes were voters and had the same part in making the constitution as whites.”

Meaning what? Meaning Chief justice Taney used absolutely fallacious, dare I say contrived information to suit his own views.

Justice Curtis also wrote dissenting, “When strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution; we are under a government of individual men who…have the power to declare what the Constitution is according to their own views of what it ought to mean.”
So you see, this has been a problem for 150 years anyway.

Once again, we need to be praying for the appointment of Supreme Court judges who are originalists, (men who believe the Constitution is not a fluid document to be changed at whim by the opinions of a person with a black robe) who are men of integrity and who are men of law. And we must pray the defeat of obstructionist men and women whose bankruptcy compels them to scurrilous tactics blocking the appointment of such afore mentioned people.

Jackson Circus Finally Leaves Town

Well, finally the Michael Jackson fiasco is over and none to soon. I know it is well worn, but I have to say that on the day it was announced that a verdict had been reached and was to be read around 4:30 in the afternoon, it was an absolute carnival of reporting. I was in the kitchen cooking dinner while my wife was in the living room watching Fox News. It provided me a step of removal from the visual of what was on the screen and enabled me to simply listen to the reporting.

“We now hear that the black vehicle with Michael Jackson is 15 minutes away from the court house…” “We now hear the vehicle with pop star Michael Jackson is 8 minutes away from the court house…”

I walked into the living room and said to my wife, “What a circus!” She said, “It really is.”

Then we were treated to the incessant commentary and speculation from all the experts of the possible scenarios of guilt or innocence on each of the ten counts as well as psychologists and attorneys all certain that Jackson would be found guilty based on the fact that the jury, when they entered the courtroom, did not look at the accused but stared squarely at the judge. “He’s going to be found guilty.” “The jury never looks at the accused when they return a guilty verdict” stated another expert.

It all sounded plausible. The only snag in the whole thing is that the experts were wrong. As you know, Whacko Jacko from Neverland ran the table of not guilties on each and every charge.

And as distasteful as it may be at times, our system demands that it isn’t common sense or intuition that is supposed to bring a verdict of guilt, it is evidence that must give a picture of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. And that just wasn’t the case.

Bottom line? Say what you will about the singer; but any parent that allows their children to spend time with this bizarre person ought to be charged with child endangerment and schooled by “The Nanny!”

June 10, 2005

Conservatives Prove Ideology Should Not Be a Factor for Judges

We’ve seen the deplorable antics out of the "party of impediments" to the democratic processes of our government witnessed by the so-called filibusters of unacceptable judicial nominees. Only a late breaking deal struck by spaghetti-spined republicrats and like anatomied democrats canceled out what should have been the dissolution of the filibuster against judicial nominees once and for all. Instead a deal was struck, not a compromise mind you, but a deal. A compromise benefits both parties involved in the compromise. This “deal” benefited the party of liberals with the guarantee of future showdowns over judicial nominees. And don’t you know it’s coming.

If you think you have seen acrimony over federal court candidates wait until the President of the United States exercises his constitutional right to appoint his own candidates to the Supreme Court. So in preparation of that fiasco and the despicable rhetoric that the party of liberals will be using commit what I am about to say to memory.

They have said that only those nominees who are outside the “mainstream” of American thought and values will be opposed. Understand that “mainstream” is defined by them unilaterally. Also understand that the congressional oversight is supposed to be concerning a nominee’s suitability for a judgeship based on his or her legal education, experience, and ability; NOT on their personal ideology. And when they start blathering about Republican obstructionism of past democratic appointees, here this well.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Bill Clinton’s most liberal and left judge ever known to occupy the Supreme Court, believed in a constitutional right to prostitution and polygamy, attacked the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of America as organizations that perpetuate stereotyped sex roles, wanted to abolish mother’s and father’s day for the same reason, and wanted to end single sex prisons so that men could learn to live respectfully with women. In the history of the court, if there was ever a valid reason to deny a judgeship on the basis of ideology, she was it. And yet her appointment was approved 96-3 because the Republicans realized it was part of the President’s spoils of war to be able to appoint his own justices ideology not withstanding.

So when the battle heats up as it surely will, remember this and throw it in their faces over and again. Maybe someone will hear.

June 09, 2005

Koran Mishandling?

911 just may have been the single greatest evangelistic crusade on behalf of Islam than anything else in history. Since that attack on America more about Islam and the Koran has been inundating our news, schools and public venues than the religion and book on which America was founded.

What I am positively weary of is the hyper-sensitivity toward Islam and especially the Koran. If only the Bible received a fraction of the consideration as this relgious work.

I just read three pages of rules concerning the proper handling of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay. It is offensive to me that my tax dollars are being wasted because of this obsession with respecting the Koran. The increase in training and the additional personnel required just to search the Koran of a prisoner or to move it along with the prisoner is ridiculous.
In reality, our troops are not merely being ordered to respect what is a book plain and simple, but are expected to view it, handle it with the same diligence, care and reverence as a faithful Muslim. Sorry, but that is over the top.
Here are some examples of what I mean.

I am quoting from the Joint Task Force Guantanamo Headquarters, Detention Operations Group Standard Operating Procedures, 01 FEB 05 6-5.
(1) Clean gloves will be put on in full view of the detainees prior to handling.
(2) Two hands will be used at all times… in a manner signaling respect and reverence. Care should be used so that the right hand is the primary one used to manipulate any part of the Koran due to the cultural association with the left hand. Handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art.
(3) Ensure that the Koran is not placed in offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet areas.
I am not advocating intentionally disrespecting their holy book, but neither Christians nor the Bible receives anywhere near the kind of consideration terrorists and their faith receive. Something is really out of whack. But then that’s not much of a surprise is it?
Someday…someday it will all be made right. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

June 02, 2005

EHarmony.Com's Founder Severs Ties With Focus

Neil Clark Warren is practically a household name; you hear him on the radio, and you see him on T.V. frequently. I remember listening to Warren years ago when as I was working on a line in a factory in the mid-west and listening to the radio via a walkman which was my mental salvation. To say Warren got his start thanks to James Dobson is not an overstatement. In Warren’s early days, the reach of Focus on the Family was what any aspiring Christian speaker or author would die for and the friendship between Dobson and Warren was etched in Christian love with Focus on the Family publishing Warren’s books early on.
So imagine my shock when I heard Jim Dobson mention at the top of his show a few days ago that Neil Clark Warren was severing his ties to Focus, was buying back the rights to three of his books published by Focus and would never appear on Focus on the Family again.
The reason? Warren told USA Today, "We're trying to reach the whole world — people of all spiritual orientations, all political philosophies, all racial backgrounds," "And if indeed, we have Focus on the Family on the top of our books, it is a killer. Because people do recognize them as occupying a very precise political position in this society and a very precise spiritual position."
Well now that’s interesting indeed; if association with Focus is such a killer, how did Warren ever survive to this point becoming the fourth largest on line dating service in existence?
His answer stretches credulity and what I believe he truly means to say is that he just wants to become bigger still (he spent 50 million last year on advertising alone). Is it fair to say that Warren has been bitten by the bug of greed, power and fame?
That’s not for me to judge but I will say that the way he severed his ties to the very person who gave him his start and the type of sentiments being poured from his mouth smacks of one of those professional athlete prim donnas who forgets the people who gave them their chance.
I feel bad for Jim Dobson; I feel even worse for Dr. Warren. The fall of the high and mighty is great indeed. At 70, I hope Warren wakes up and makes amends sooner rather than later.

June 01, 2005

The Air Force Academy Revisited

A few weeks back I mentioned the scandal at the AirForce Academy where evangelical Christian leaders were being accused of evangelizing underclassmen and being intolerant of other religions. The woman making the charge is a chaplain who didn’t seem to be aligned with a biblical faith.
On the eve of the Academy’s graduation, the school’s top graduate--Nicholas Jurewicz-- sent an e-mail out to all 3,000 students at the academy which had religious tones to it. One of the horrific statements he included in his e-mail was this. "Bear one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ."
The story reporting this mentioned the “constitutional separation of church and state.” To which I must remind everyone listening, there is NO constitutional separation of church and state and my deal still stands. You find me where it is written in the constitution and I will give you $1000. But if you can’t find it, you will give me $1000.
At any rate, this is the real point of my statements today. If, and I underscore “if,” it is true that the cadet did violate a clear and equally enforced rule of the school by using e-mail for such a purpose, the cadet should be punished with whatever is appropriate. We cannot allow our sympathies to run rough shod over such rules and I believe it is sin for the Christian to do so our motives not withstanding.
When Jesus said “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s” it pertains to more than just a coin with his inscription on it. So if a Christian is working for an employer that has policies in place; policies which are in fact constitutional, fair, and equitably applied, the Christian is wrong to willingly and knowingly violate such a rule or he willingly accepts the consequences of violating the rule without complaint or protest.
This was the situation the early apostles found themselves in when they refused to obey the magistrates to not mention the name of Jesus. They said in essence, “You have to what you have to do and we will what we have to do.” And they accepted their punishment.
So think about that the next time you are feeling all high and mighty ignoring some rule or law which you feel you must ignore to keep a good conscience and take the lumps when they come.

The Always Tolerant Left is True to Form

Well, the tolerant left is just as tolerant as ever. Dr. Timothy Shortell was recently elected the head of the department of Sociology at Brooklyn College; that would be the publicly funded Brooklyn College.

In an on-line posting he wrote, “religious adherents" are "an ugly, violent lot" and "in the name of their faith these moral retards are running around pointing fingers and doing real harm to others."

Though Shortell refused to talk with the media he subsequently wrote in the on-line forum that "we should be able to debate the issue in the public sphere without fear of retribution."

I have to say I agree with the Professor. The problem is, it is guys like Shortell who would be the very FIRST to seek reprisals if it was a conservative religious professor in another publicly funded school saying the same thing about someone like him, and therein is where the real problem lies.

These lost liberals, who are truly the ones so full of hatred and insecurity, will never support the idea of an even playing field. We have daily examples of that playing out all across the country. Homosexuals can say whatever they want about anyone who speaks out against homosexuality but not the other way around. The newspapers across this land regularly defame and pillory Christians with impunity, but let it happen the other way around and watch the fury of hell erupt. A professor can trash and demean and criticize religion and people who are religious, but let someone take up the cause of religion and watch all hell break lose with the regular but vapid war cry of separation of church and state.

If Prof. Shortell is serious about debate in the public arena I say let’s dance; but he doesn’t mean it; they never do because down inside buried beneath the years of an apostate faith, they know they haven’t a leg to stand on and so they spew forth their venom, and name calling and hide in cyberspace then play the victim of intolerance.

Give me a break; let’s take the gloves off and let the market place of ideas weed out the warped and wicked. I’m willing to let her rip, how about you?