September 29, 2006

U.S. Generosity In the Prevention of AIDS Criticized

According to a World magazine article from this past week, U.S. aid to Africa has risen 67 percent which includes a $15 billion commitment over the next five years to fight AIDS. While that should be a feather in the President’s cap, where AIDS activists are concerned, it is just another failure.

The initiative of the administration is called the ABC approach to the deadly disease which stands for Abstain from sex; Be faithful to one partner; and use Condoms. In Uganda, where the program has been in full force for several years, there has been a rather remarkable decrease in the spread of HIV. But now that U.S. dollars—big dollars—enter the picture, from under the sheets creeps all manner of wretched contenders vying for those dollars and there is one consistent theme.

We demand you must help us in this crisis but “DON’T TELL US WE SHOULDN’T HAVE SEX.” Telling is the comment from locals of a Kenyan fishing village where AIDS is rampant. “Traditionally, among us Luo people most of our customs end with sex…whether it is planting season or when you want to harvest, everything ends with sex.”

Well, that’s wonderful—I say sarcastically but here’s the bottom line. If you want U.S. help for the problem, help which goes to the core of the problem, then you do it the U.S.’s way. Otherwise, you are making the choice—in freedom—to make your decisions, but do not expect the U.S. to fund your lethal habits.

For my liberal critics who will be incensed with such a remark as being a typical example of western imperialism, (or as one critic called it in the article—Neo-Colonialism) get a grip. No one is demanding they change their precious—and deadly—habits of worshiping their genitals. They are free to continue to do so. But IF they want our “neo-colonial” aid for the problem, they will have to adopt the medically sound concepts of

Compassion, humane consideration, and cultural freedom do not necessitate funding pernicious behaviors. That is not disrespecting cultures or shunning multi-culturalism, that is practicing good science and embracing responsible use of what is ours, not theirs.

Our generosity is available but enabling medically risky behavior is like funding the alcoholic’s addiction. Do it with your money, not mine.

No country is as benevolent as America—but that doesn’t mean we can be irresponsible with all we have been blessed.

September 27, 2006

"Banned Book Week" A Crock of Bologna

(The following is a reprint from a column I did several years ago. It was so good I had to post it again!)

Maybe you didn't even know that another "Banned Book Week" just came and went. No big deal since the whole thing is a manufactured crisis but it tends to get some people all red in the face. It's real purpose, I am convinced, is to intimidate parents into silence who might have a concern over questionable reading materials their children bring home from school or the local library.

The American Library Association in cooperation with various fringe organizations like People for the American Way have discovered its a good way to generate contributions to their cause. More on that later.

So last year the ALA came up with 152 incidents of "censorship" but 129 of these were in public schools. In other words, parents exercising their God given, and at least for now, their constitutional right to over see their children's education, were formally listed as censures if they even questioned any reading material given their children. You should also know we're not talking about a hyperventilating parent worked up over Cinderella or the Wizard of Oz. To be sure there are a sliver of incidents where one gets a bit carried away but the majority of concerns arise from episodes like that of Tonda Pratt, the mother of a California 11 year old. She went to school when her son came home upset about a story the teacher had been reading to the class.

I would excerpt it here except I already know from past experience that the Sentinel would not print it deeming it unsuitable for a family newspaper. The irony is, it is suitable for an elementary level public school teacher to read aloud to her class of sixth graders but unsuitable for the adult eyes who read the Sentinel.

Summarizing, the story in question is a shockingly graphic and gutter level depiction of the gang rape of a neighborhood girl as the neighborhood boys have some fun.

Mrs. Pratt followed the guidelines given by the school for addressing such an issue and the school board voted unanimously to remove the book from the elementary school. The book was not "banned" but was only placed in the high school library where it was deemed more age appropriate. Mrs. Pratt was shocked when she Later found out she was officially listed as a censor by the American Library Association.

Lisa Clinton, mother of an eight year old, was likewise stunned when she found out she had been branded a "censor" in a national report without her prior knowledge. She was guilty of asking that her daughter, (no one else's), not have to listen to the teacher read from the Goosebumps series which was giving her nightmares. Instead of honoring her request the teacher handed the eight year old some cotton and told her to stuff it in her ears.

The point is, censorship had not occurred in either situation neither had any books been banned. Still, they were tallied as yet two more "banning incidents" for the ALA's records.

Last year the American Library Association reported that 27 books were "banned" from a classroom or public library. In light of over 80,000 public schools across the country and 17,000 libraries, twenty seven books hardly constitute a portent of an encroaching evil empire where freedom of the press is a thing of the past. But it's a total fabrication. The truth about "Banned Book Week" is that not a single book in the United States has been banned.

Of those 27 supposedly banned books, six were merely removed from a reading list; six more were required to have parental notification; four were relocated to another shelf in the library; 3 were made optional reading; and the rest were restricted to age appropriate levels. This is the essence of the impending national crisis and this is what is empowering "Banned Book Week."

In a telling admission, former People For the American Way staffer, Marc Herman, whose responsibility it was for researching book bannings, told his superiors in 1993 that his findings showed no increase in "book banning incidents" from the previous year. He thought he was bringing good news since "banning incidents" were on the down swing. Instead of being jubilant his superiors told him to make things look worse since such headlines attract the attention of grant foundations and garner contributions from such groups as the ACLU and the American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee.

So you see the book banning scare is another farce. Well sort of. You see there is one book that truly is banned for all intents and purposes. Teachers are ordered to get it off their desks; children are forbidden to read it or even bring it on some campuses. But you won't hear the American Library Association complaining; in fact they whole heartedly endorse the ban. But then the book is the Bible and that's another story.

HIV Testing For Everyone

The CDC just recommended that physicians start routinely testing all patients for HIV. Supposedly 250,000 Americans are infected and don’t know it. Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Only if you forget that, for the most part, HIV is a behaviorally spread disease. In other words, if you do not engage in high risk behaviors, you need not worry about contracting HIV. What are those high risk behaviors? Illegal use of drugs administered with “dirty” needles, homosexual sex, and heterosexual sex with more than one lifetime partner.
In other words, if you are following the counsel of God’s word for life and are not fornicating, are not perverted and are not using illegal drugs, there’s no reason for you to be tested.
I am not at all opposed to testing people at risk including myself—as I used to work in a blood bank. But making a sweeping recommendation based on sinful even if, accepted, if not encouraged behavior, is patently offensive I deeply resent the imposition upon me because of other’s reprehensible behavior.
Adding insult to injury, Inland Hospital just sent out a flier recommending all girls between the ages of 9 and 26 should receive a vaccination for another sexually transmitted disease--the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV.
Here is a verbatim quote from the flier. “Considering that sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in high school and condoms do not fully protect against HPV, this new vaccine is something…to consider.”
As a former Medical Technologist I sounded the alarm about these very issues fifteen years ago in my column called “Looking Up” and how the public school’s condom-based, sex education was actually increasing our children’s risk. Didn’t I reap the scorn of the genitally obsessed leaders in our community! Now the harvest for sowing such sinful and medically unsound seeds, is coming to light.
The truth is, if you follow God’s path for sexual activity, and your husband/wife has also, you will never have to worry about any sexually transmitted disease.

Oh, but wait a minute, that sort of thinking has been quarantined in our culture and we encourage sexual behaviors as nothing more than recreation. And frankly, the conduct in our churches is no different. Come to think of it, maybe testing everyone isn’t such a bad idea.

What a commentary on the state of Christianity in this country. And the few who follow God, pay for all the rest as well. What a rotten harvest.

Muslims Are Offended Again--Go Figure!

Well the people of the Muslim religion are “offended”—again. This time it wasn’t an American but the Pope himself. I have to concede I do not understand how it is that adherents to a religion who not only think nothing of performing the ultimate offense—killing the innocent--but pride themselves on it, get so worked up about a comment or a cartoon. Why do they expect the world to bow to their religion with respect, if not admiration, when they show nothing but contempt for everyone else who does not believe as they do? Truly, it is baffling.

So with this latest round of offense taken by something the Pope said, (just what he said is not easy to find on the world wide web which is also telling) their response has been one of threats to a call for outright war to a prediction that the Pope and the West will be annihilated. Dare I say it? I’m offended!

After the Pope’s remarks, whatever they were, a response came from some representatives of the Muslim world addressing the Pope and Christians as “Worshippers of the cross” said with derisive intent, saying they will “break up the cross, spill the liquor… and demand conversion to Islam or be killed by the sword." Shoot, I’m offended again!

So let’s have a reality check here. Numerous Muslim leaders don’t let a week go by without making extremely offensive remarks or performing extremely offensive behaviors like the blowing the snot out of anyone they can. Where do they get off?

The President of Iran has stated repeatedly and in public that Israel has no right to exist as a nation or as a people and he explained his intention to exterminate them. Talk about offensive. Ayman Al-Zawahri issued a call for Muslims to rise up in holy war against Israel and said [We see] “all the world as a battlefield open in front of us.”

So the Pope makes a statement that just may be, historically accurate and the Muslim world goes nuts with the full support of the godless, Western media. Yet the Muslim world can’t seem to offend Christians, Jews and Hindus deeply enough to matter.

There IS a holy war taking place in our world. It began centuries ago but is coming to the fore. The lines are being drawn between good and evil. More than ever before, the time has come for people everywhere to decide what they truly believe.

September 22, 2006

Prisoners Are Treated Better Than Our Own Military!

When I was in the Army, grass drill—done in the sand of steamy Ft. Polk Louisiana in August, being put in the front leaning rest position, made to do push ups, made to “duck walk” with an M-16 held at arms length yelling “I’m a ******* idiot” and sleep deprivation were part and parcel of our physical/mental training. But by today’s standards of interpretation of Article III of the Geneva Conventions, none of these things could even be done to people who are murderous criminals. Some have said that even not allowing a prisoner to get 8 hours of sleep a night is cruel and unusual punishment. If only I could sue myself, my wife, my children, my relatives, my parishioners for violating the Geneva Conventions…

The fact is, Article III of the Geneva Conventions IS vague! Any reasonable person would be able to understand that, but when your goal in life is to discredit the President and our country any way you can, you grab onto anything, reasonable or not.

What is specifically in question by this administration is the language that prohibits conduct which, “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment."

When you understand that a woman speaking with an Islamic detainee, handling the Koran without gloves, and shaking hands in the wrong way is an “outrage to their personal dignity,” asking for clarification of what is allowed is just plain sensible. Therein lies the problem. We have become a nation of imbeciles when it comes to having any semblance of reasonable disagreements and I believe it is intentional.

At a press conference with Press Secretary, Tony Snowe, a questioner disingenuously stated, “One can[not] ignore the fact that the Geneva prohibitions have lasted almost 60 years without others feeling a crying need to clarify or re-define them, perhaps because doing so…opens it up for everyone else, including some really bad guys, to come up with their own standards…”

My first response is that we live in different times when common sense is neither common nor sensible and a day and age when the worst of society have more rights than the law abiding. My second reply is that the “really bad guys” who gas children, blowup soccer fields and cut off the heads of journalists came up with their own standards of treatment long before we sought clarification, not because of it. Like I said—Imbeciles!

What this means is that to properly understand reporting of these issues you have to retune your vocabulary. When you hear a word like “Torture” used in the media, it can mean anything from making prisoners stand up, *to prohibiting them from praying (like you can prevent that anyway) to making them talk to a female interrogator—horrors of death!

With the events of recent days where many of the world’s most despicable, murderous leaders addressed the U.N. being granted such notoriety and respect, I fear we are not long for the world as we have known it.

*Current military action punished a Navy Chaplain for praying "In Jesus' Name!"
God bless America???

September 21, 2006

Rosie O' is back...Too bad

Well Rosie O—after bombing on her own television show has taken a new position as the co-host of a new T.V. talk show called “The View.” If Rosie’s command of all things important is as astute as her early appearances indicate, I predict she will be history—the sooner the better.

On the air she made a profoundly offensive and wildly moronic claim that reveals her grasp of Christianity, Islam and American history. O’Donnell said, "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state."

Apparently Rosie doesn’t understand the radical Islamic worldview of women and has never seen the female Muslim covered head to toe by her garments or that the faithful Muslim wife is mere chattel to her husband truly bound to the house, is forbidden education, and has no voice in any environment. Rosie must see a different Christianity than the one Jesus taught and lived and forbid the stoning of the woman caught in adultery and she must see a different Islam than the one where the woman is buried up to her neck while men stone her for violating one of the many rules of Sharia.

I’m not familiar with any Christians, radical or otherwise who have strapped bombs to their chests and have gone and blown up a school bus, a playground, or a restaurant but apparently Rosie knows differently.

What I think Rosie does appreciate about radical Islam is that the clerics determine who has a right to speak and when. Rosie, would love to tell Christians they have no right to speak—ever. To Rosie and her ilk, separation of church state—not a constitutional law by the way—means Christians have no rights in our society, no rights in our political landscape and no voice in our society. So when you think of it with clarity, what does seem to be an accurate statement is that the radical Rosie O’Donnell is more threatening to America than radical Christianity.

May the Lord who loves Rosie, open her eyes to the truth.

September 20, 2006

Was It Prayer That Obtained Journalists Release?

I was watching Fox news one night and was listening to the voices of Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig rejoicing after they had been released from captivity having been held by Islamic militants. What Steve Sentanni did not even know until they had been released was that their captors had told Wiig that they were intending to kill Sentanni.

So why didn’t they? Why, in this land where kidnappings rarely turn out with live bodies at the end of the story, were these two journalists, from a news group like Fox no less, released unharmed?

I don’t know why exactly, but when I heard Centanni had been kidnapped, I prayed for him and his cameraman and not just once or twice over the next several days. I honestly cannot tell you whether I pray, as a matter of course, for kidnapped journalists but I can say that I prayed differently for these two men.

Obviously I can’t prove this and I don’t want my comments to be taken as anything more than a “general” observation. But from what I see and hear on Fox News, I am willing to bet that the number of Christians who watch Fox News and who work for Fox News is significantly greater than for the other networks. (Actually this isn’t entirely speculation but has been born out by several polls)

Again, I am NOT saying for a second that Fox News is a Christian organization by any stretch. Fox owner, Rupert Murdoch has many unwholesome credits to his name…but you cannot miss the fact that Fox News does have a greater representation of people who seem to have a Judeo-Christian world view if not faith.

If I am right, could we assume that tens of thousands of people were praying for these two men? I can’t prove any of this like I said, but it should give one pause to consider. Prayer is important and prayer works; not always as we would like, but it is always answered. And prayer offered by Christians—in other words, “In Jesus’ name” are the only truly effective prayers.

"If you ask Me anything in My name,” Jesus said, “I will do it.” John 14:14

So, again, I don’t want to make too much of this, but I find it to be an interesting coincidence; don’t you?

September 14, 2006

The Path to Hypocrisy

ABC aired “The Path to 911” a miniseries based loosely on the 911 report and the leadership of the party of hypocrites is enraged. And why might that be? Simply, the 911 report puts the Clinton administration in particular and the Democrats in general in a bad light on issues of national security. But what of the charges that the movie is not accurate?

First, let me take you back not long ago to a movie called “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t recall the Republican Party having much to say about Michael Moore’s work of fiction and I certainly don’t remember the Republicans ever threatening the producers with legal action over Moore’s cinematographic attack on George Bush and the Republicans. If they had, can’t you imagine the wailing and protests of “censorship?”

Ah, but that is precisely what the Democrats did concerning what isn’t even touted as a documentary as Moore’s movie was.

The Democrats are so ripped about people learning who liberals are, Democrat leadership threatened ABC and Disney productions with pulling their broadcast license if they aired the film. Achtung! As it turns out, they did edit the film.

The report showed that Clinton had at least 8 opportunities to obtain Osama Bin Laden during his administration and that Democrats bungled or ignored numerous national security/terrorist issues throughout. And why was that? Well, one reason the movie depicts was the Pervert-in-Chief’s distractions over the Lewinsky affair.

He was too preoccupied with the removal of the stain from a dress than to address the removal of the stain from the Middle East.

So here you have one of our national political parties implementing—or at least attempting to “forcibly suppress opposition and criticism”—that’s called fascism—as opposed to the imagined fascist epithet liberals so enjoy throwing the President’s way when they have nothing factual to fling.

I am all for accuracy in these sorts of productions; blatant fabrications should have been addressed. What I resent is the tandem set of rules liberals insist upon; one for themselves and one for conservatives. They certainly weren’t complaining about Moore’s inaccuracies in his piece of tripe and I just can’t stomach such hypocrisy.

Boehner Hits A Nerve

There has been so much in the news the last few days I can’t even begin to comment on them all. Life in these United States, where our representative leaders are in view, has gotten down right bizarre if not surreal.
Over the past couple years, President Bush has been called every vile name in our vocabulary; he has been charged with taking America to war by lying, charged with ordering Americans killed in Iraq and all for oil; he has been charged with blowing up the twin towers; spying on Americans and now there is even a feature length movie out about the assassination of the President—the liberal fantasy.
Names like, Pilosi, Reid, Kennedy, Feinstein, Schumer, Kerry, and a list to long to enumerate, go hand in hand with lies, pejorative statements or epithets concerning President Bush. And yet they are all in a tizzy over a remark made by Ohio Representative John Boehner talking to reporters about discussions concerning military tribunals and terrorists.
Boehner said, "I listen to the questions today and I listen to my Democrat friends, and I wonder if they are more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people…"
That’s it. That’s what has them outraged. Maybe you’re scratching your head like me. I’ve been saying that for about the last 4 years, is that really a startling thought to them?

It is simply that liberals want to have sole possession of the microphone of free speech. They demand the right to say ANYTHING, and everything with impunity, even the most bald faced lies conceivable by a warped liberal mind, but when a conservative says something downright reasonable but contains barbs of truth, they snit and fume demanding utter censorship. The always amusing John Kerry said, “I’m not interested in asking Mr. Boehner for a clarification or a retraction or even an apology. His statement was very clear, and equally despicable. His words are beyond redemption.” If Boehner’s statement is beyond redemption, then Kerry—in light of his track record--doesn’t even have a prayer.
Kerry added, “They are, however, sadly, what we’ve come to expect in politics today.” Well I should say so, and on that score, Kerry and his ilk are “trend-setters-supremus.”
The fact is, liberals would have our country in a pile of terrorist rubble if they had their policies in place. They just don’t understand the wickedness of evil still believing that everyone can be talked into holding hands singing Kumbaya.

We cannot play God that is for certain but neither can we ignore timeless principles we see as God attempted to lead His people into a place of peace. His demand for that peace was, “drive the inhabitants of the land out completely.” The reason was simple; try and domesticate wickedness and it will destroy you. (read Joshua and Judges for numerous examples of this principle)

The night is getting darker, and the light brighter and some people’s eyes are burning. We’re in for a long, nasty ride.

September 07, 2006

What'll It be; Parent or Peer?

It’s September and that means the beginning of school as well other semi-year round routines for the typical family with school aged children. For many churches, it means the beginning of another year of youth groups with a new crop of kids who have come of age and are entering their junior high/senior high programs.

So moms and dads, what I want to know today is whether you are going to be a parent to your child this year, or a peer?

Parents tell their children what to do because they know what is best. Oh, sure there is an appropriate time and way to encourage your child’s autonomy and decision making processes but that doesn’t mean absenting yourself or your authority from their lives. It means helping them come to good decisions that will benefit them, but when they fail to see wisdom, it means exercising your parental authority—again, at an age appropriate level--and if need be, making them do what is good and right.

A peer does no such thing. A peer doesn’t want to jeopardize the relationship so the peer usually goes along with what the other one wants lest he or she becomes angry and storms off.

So, moms and dads, what’ll it be this year; parent or peer? You can start by laying a foundation of routine that includes regular attendance of your child at their youth group. And when they pitch a fit about how boring it is, or how the kids are snobs, or how the snacks are crummy, remember, you’re the parent; you don’t need their approval and you can MAKE them do what is good for them, even if they don’t particularly like it!

Let’s face it, if you were given the choice of vinegar or Moxie…Okay, bad example, the choice between cauliflower or a fudge tort, which would you choose? I don’t mean to imply that youth groups are painful for a child but children by nature tend to be negative and if given the choice between a Friday night with their “friends” hanging out or going to “church,” they will choose their friends. So get tough! These are the last couple years of influence you and the church will have on your child, for heaven’s sake, and theirs--take advantage of it!

September 06, 2006

T.V. ads For "Valtrex" Highlight Our Self-Absorbed Culture

“So now, my sons, listen to me… Stay away from the immoral woman! Don't go near the door of her house! If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved. Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body. You will say, "How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! Oh, why didn't I listen to my teachers? Why didn't I pay attention to my instructors? I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace."
Proverbs 5:7-14

This proverb of Solomon was referring to the wisdom of staying clear of sexual temptation, for enticing though it may be, it will destroy every aspect of one’s life from personal integrity, to length of days to daily health. It is written from the standpoint of one who ignored such wise counsel and sure enough reaped everything warned of and regrets not having listened to sound advice.

So there I am one afternoon watching Tiger Woods once again prove he is an extraterrestrial when there is a break for a commercial. This one is for a drug called “Valtrex” which is taken primarily to help reduce the symptoms of the venereal disease called Herpes. Herpes is a unique disease in that it is 100% preventable, but 100% incurable. Once infected, you’re infected for life and contagious during the periodic eruptions.

The Valtrex website says, “Living with genital herpes can be a hassle. When you have a herpes outbreak, it can feel like it takes days out of your life. On this site, you’ll learn how to still enjoy an active life with herpes.”

Isn’t that great? Now that you’re infected, we can help reduce (not eliminate) the consequences of your infection, but heaven forbid that you stop having sex with whomever you want. Just take our drug and you can pick up right where you left off; infecting anyone else you have sex with.

Now you know why 45 million Americans are infected and there are 1 million new cases annually.

Isn’t the Bible amazing? Even old Solomon knew that there was a huge price to pay for “free sex.” And he knew that remorse and regret would follow but the pharmaceutical companies do their best to mitigate the Lord’s hard but loving discipline. I pity the young man or young woman today who has kept themselves pure only to find out that one they are in love with has an incurable disease which they will likely pass on to them if the relationship continues. I wonder how many have had the courage and will to tell their would be, life-time mate, “Thanks, but under the circumstances, ‘No Thanks!’”

“Why didn't I pay attention to my instructors? I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.” Oh, if only we could make them listen…but then why should they? They can just take another pill.

September 05, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter Is Dead

The world was shocked last week to learn of the death of Australia’s famous “Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. When one considers all the ways Irwin could have and even should have died over the years, it’s downright bizarre that he died the way he did.

I have been in the waters of the Bahamas with stingrays swimming below me. Their sheer size is intimidating to say the least. Had I known they are given to using their razor sharp “stinger” to spear a threat, I assure you, I never would have even been in the water.

Irwin was never intimidated by the wild ones he approached and that was his undoing. Still, for the Crocodile Hunter to die in such a fashion would be like Evel Knievel dying from a bee sting. But God always has the last word.

I don’t know what Irwin’s faith was like; if there was any sense of reverence much less awe for the very Creator of the creations to which Irwin devoted his life. But I was disturbed to hear him quoted as saying he would “gladly give his life to save the life of an animal.” Lisa Miller—a close friend to Irwin said, “it was his belief, that by interacting with animals he was actually giving people something to love there, that they could feel that the snake or the crocodile was a human…”

That sort of mindset is very appealing in these days of creation-worship where increasingly, man is viewed as the intruder on this planet. But it’s not only wrong headed, it is—frankly--idolatrous.

God became a man—not to save the fuzzy little creatures of the jungles--but to save mankind. He came that man might live eternally with Him; there is no indication that the squirrel flattened by a car will live again and so exchanging a human life, the only creation uniquely invested with the “Imago Dei”--the Image of God--for an animal, no matter how wondrous the creature might be, is to turn the value which God gives to human life alone, upside down.

I am saddened at the loss of Steve Irwin and more so for his wife and two children. Steve constantly pushed the envelope and now his family is paying the postage.

But it didn’t have to be, and that’s the saddest part of all.