April 27, 2007

Assault With a Ham Steak in Lewiston, Maine

Hate crimes--they're horrible, nasty, injurious, right? Uh, well, I suppose that depends on what you call a hate crime. As I was leaving my church building the other night, I asked a woman to have her husband lock the door on his way out. (The key is located in a position that requires some height to obtain it.)

She asked, "Why, because can't you reach it," chuckle, chuckle?

Oh the shame, oh the pain, the humiliation and hatred I have experienced because I am only 5 feet 6 inches tall. This is only one of many such agonizing taunts I have received and receive with regularity. I am thinking of contacting the Attorney General's office as he seems to be right in tune with these sorts of awful incidents!

Okay, enough sarcasm. The incident I mentioned above is true. But I am NOT serious about it being hurtful or hateful. I am serious that Lewiston made national news last week because an adolescent put a piece of ham in a bag and laid it on the lunch table by some Somali students. Muslims can't eat pork.

To be sure the incident was mean, and I don't doubt offensive to the Somali kids. But the child who did it needs to be disciplined from the perspective of a stupid adolescent who did something unkind like so many kids have done in school ever since kids have been going to school. But in Maine--this is a case for investigation!

"Lewiston police are investigating, and Stephen Wessler of the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence is working with the school to create a response plan."

The porcine predator response plan; now that's hilarious except that it's true. I can envision a SWAT Team rappelling through windows subduing the ham sandwich with tazers, mace and a good wallop with a numchuck but then you'd have to worry about PETA getting into the fray.

Wessler actually stated, "having a ham sandwich in close proximity to Muslims is 'an awful thing. It's extraordinarily hurtful and degrading' to Muslims…" No exaggeration there, eh?

The double standard for Muslims and Christians is poignant. Christians are offended, embarrassed, singled out and discriminated against with impunity in the public schools of this state and not by their peers who they can blow off as immature idiots but by the teachers and administrators of our schools. Big Brother is here, and he is not a nice boy.

(See Part two below)

Assault With a Ham Steak in Lewiston, Maine (pt2)

I mentioned in my last commentary the bright Lewiston, middle-schooler who placed a ham steak on the lunch table of some Somali students and how the Lewiston police are investigating it as a "hate crime." So if you place a rose by a nice looking girl who doesn't appreciate the attention is it a love crime?

What this state ignores are the truly degrading and hurtful incidences Christian children experience with some regularity.

Children who have earned the right give their valedictory address have had their speeches sanitized or prohibited for references to God; young children who have brought in their favorite book to read as was the assignment given by their teacher, were told they couldn't read it to the class like all their classmates, because it mentioned God--heaven forbid. And innocent little Christian children have had their hand made posters ripped down (another teacher given assignment) because it contained a cross or some other Christian symbol. And these "crimes" are being perpetrated by adults who hold authority over the children, not by some playground bullies they can ignore or wallop. (That's right; sometimes there really is no better solution than to take definitive action. I had to put up with 2 long years of harassment in high school by Phil Radtke who incessantly harangued and taunted me. One little 10 minute jousting match finally settled it from that day forward.)

Even the liberally biased CNN had Lou Dobbs interviewing the Lewiston Superintendent incredulously asking, "Mr. Superintendent, do you have any sense of proportion? These are children, you're supposed to be educating and one would hope imparting some wisdom and discipline. This is ridiculous."

Thank you Mr. Dobbs. It's worse than ridiculous; it is absolute lunacy and it needs to be stopped but its not just Maine.

Portland Oregon's, "third grader Kelli Bobst auditioned for a talent show at Mount Scott Elementary School with a rendition of 'God's Love Is for You.' Her music teacher told her that she could not sing that song unless other religions were mentioned in it as well."

Unlike so many Christian parents who just roll over, Kelli's mom contacted legal services. The school quickly back peddled but no one ever said anything about the hurt and the humiliation that little girl experienced as those in authority over her disrespected her precious faith.

Hate crimes? Give me a break. When a Muslim Terrorist blows his car up with his own (presumed) little children in it, with the intention of killing some non-Muslim infidels nearby, that's a hate crime.

(cf. "Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations on the Joint Staff, said . . . the vehicle used in the attack [on Iraqi civilians] was waved through a U.S. military checkpoint because two children were visible in the back seat. He said this was the first reported use of children in a car bombing in Baghdad. 'Children in the back seat lowered suspicion, (so) we let it move through, they parked the vehicle, the adults run out and detonate it with the children in the back,' Barbero told reporters in Washington.")

I'm telling you it's getting nasty out there to be a Christian. Jesus warned us but we didn't, and still don't believe Him. And I'm telling you, we are going to need a LOT of prayer and grace not to respond in kind to these situations which promise to escalate against us making it all the more important to be in a support system called a church, a church unified and strong.

April 26, 2007

Partial Birth Abortion Ban Isn't Much To Celebrate

So the Supreme Court has upheld the Federal Ban on the heinous macabre, method of murdering babies called, partial birth abortion. Gee, can't we be proud!

The 5-4 decision came as Justice Anthony Kennedy--a judge with a moderate to liberal record appointed by Pres. Ronald Reagan--wrote the majority opinion. Before we get the party poppers out let me put this in perspective.

Paul Simon wrote there are "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover" and when it comes to abortion there are still fifty ways to murder the life when your lover leaves. I suppose you could say that this is an important ruling and that it "might" pave the way for other rulings respecting life but I am not counting it.

So pardon me if I don't celebrate because I am still part of the once great country that used to respect if not revere the law of God, and as--not if--the judgment of God continues to fall on this nation, I too will suffer the consequences. Why should we be celebrating? Think about what we're saying to God.

"Hey God--we did you a big favor today! Now we will only permit--indeed, nationally endorse and pay for--the brutal murder of children in the womb by chemically burning their skin off, or shriveling them up, or starving them to death, or slicing and dicing them to bits while they're a bit smaller. Aren't you thrilled with us?"

Are we really expecting God to be jumping up and down with pleasure? I think not!

No actually, that we, as a nation--and remember this nation is made up of individuals who put people into office--even had to have a debate over such an inhuman procedure says more about who we are than anything else. As I look at the long history of God dealing with the nations, I see only a promise of punishment toward a people who are so positively wretched.

So where's the heavenly hope? It comes after the punishment--if you have been found faithful. So how's your voting record? See it does matter because as I said, you and me are the ones who make the nation what it is. And we will continue to be held accountable.

Teen Pregnancy; Gee, what to do, what to do?

Ready for a surprise? Somerset County--that's the Skowhegan area--has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state. At 74 pregnancies per 1000 for women ages 15-19; epidemiologically speaking, that's an epidemic.

One student said of her pregnancy, "I really wasn't thinking. I thought I was in love. It just happened and then -- oh wow!"

"It just happened?" Actually, I think Mary, the wife of Joseph, is the only woman in history who can legitimately make that claim. The story went on to say that "state and local family planning agencies are trying to figure out why, and how to address the problem, but have yet to chart a course."

This isn't a mystery; neither the "why" of the problem nor the "how" of the problem is very difficult.

The "why," is that kids have no moral compass by which to form any personal convictions NOT to have sex and so the predominant solution in our morals-be-cursed culture has been educate, and facilitate with the result that it prepares the student to accommodate.

Amanda Hilton, of the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program Health Services, said her agency works to reduce teen pregnancy by "increasing access to reproductive health care."

With respect to Skowhegan in particular, Hilton identifies the REAL problem. "The school department has not always been open to having family planning come in and do programming and provide information. We have heard concerns that school board members are conservative--that nobody wants to upset them." If only everyone was as wise as the godless whose solution is always the same: Give out more condoms, provide free abortions."

Lynette Johnson, of Family Planning Association of Maine, said "education and information are key to prevention." Isn't that pretty much what Satan said to Eve about the forbidden fruit?

Let's get serious here. Until and unless God is brought into the big picture, you may reduce the number of pregnancies but you won't reduce the incidence of what actually causes it. Two decades of comprehensive "how-to" sex education purely from a platform of pragmatism, has been a dismal failure and as the Word of God says, "You will reap what you sow." And, the harvest is costly and plentiful.

April 14, 2007

7th Grandchild Arrives

As I write this, I am waiting by the phone in my office to hear word of my newest grandchild's fate. My daughter who was expecting at any moment fell yesterday--on her stomach--and she was calling me from the hospital. They were checking her baby out and she said they would probably keep her in and induce tomorrow.

15 minutes later that all changed and they were taking her in to do a C-section. Apparently a clot was spotted between the baby and the placenta. My wife has already packed and is in route to Massachusetts where my daughter and family reside.

So, I am a little anxious--pastors are human--and yet I have been praying for my little granddaughter and her parents since her inception 9 months ago. I believe by faith, God is answering that prayer--according to His perfect, all knowingness, not according to my miniscule perspective.

So I jumped into my car to make the very short ride to my office and a song starts playing that I had in the CD player. "I have found myself a hiding place" are the first words to fill the air. The song continues-- "In the shelter of Almighty's love; in the safety of the Savior's arms."

My granddaughter yet to be born was fashioned by the Creator and in [His] book, the psalmist wrote, they were all written, the days that were ordained for [her], when as yet there was not one of them…" How precious are God's thoughts toward my little ones who are His little ones. Yes the same God who spoke the stars into the night sky spoke the twinkle into the eyes of each of my grandchildren.

It's the next day now and my 7th grand child was born and both child and mom have some recovering to do but all should be well. And God is Good.

Not because of the outcome but because that is who He is.

Am I still concerned? I wouldn't be human if I weren't but I am not worried for as I said--I have been praying all along and I know God answers prayers according to His perfect pleasure. How can you ask for anything greater or more comforting.

New Survey--Why People Leave Their Church

Do you ever wonder why people jump churches? Maybe it's just a pastoral thing but then again, have you ever switched churches? Maybe a better question would be, how many times have you switched churches? (Moving away doesn't count.)

According to a recent poll supposedly "doctrine and church beliefs" were found to be the most important reasons as to why adults switch churches. I said "supposedly" because honestly, I don't believe it. I don't believe it because first of all, so few American Christians have ever read through the Bible even one time that they couldn't possibly know sound doctrine from bologna. And with pulpit exposition of the Scriptures being so poor as the norm, again, discernment is impossible.

Rather, I contend that what many Christians might describe as "doctrinal differences" or differences in church belief, more often than not, boil down to unmet expectations or personal preference which, because of the personal nature of both--given our intrinsically self-absorbed demeanor--take on the weight of a biblical absolute.

Now that's not to say that there aren't legitimate reasons for switching churches but the high and lofty sounding reason about doctrine is disingenuous and puts the church that has been left, in a shadow of biblical illegitimacy.

Christians need to be honest with themselves and admit that they usually leave a church because they can't get their way.

The next reason given for why another church may be sought out is due to the preaching at the former church. I am more sympathetic to this reason even though it is extremely subjective.

There's never an excuse for inaccurate teaching of God's Word but I have known numerous preachers who are dead on as to biblical accuracy yet head snappingly boring. As a preacher, I find that inexcusable as well.

Jesus said we "search the Scriptures because in them we have life" and I find life pretty exciting. And if I can't communicate the great words of God with passion and excitement and relevance and integrity, it's probably time to seek another avenue of ministry.

To the preacher I say, listen to yourself now and again and better still, watch a video of yourself. If you can't keep yourself attentive, what makes you think you'll hold your congregation?

The meaning is everything, that's true, but what would you rather watch--A big screen HD presentation or a 12 inch, black and white, with rabbit ear antennae? I trust I have made my point.

Day of Silence Should Be Silenced

Today is the National Day of Silence--another example of public education putting its energy into shaping moral view points rather than academic proficiency.

The purpose of this day is confusing. The Day of Silence website states the following:

"The Day of Silence is an annual event held to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools. Students and teachers nationwide will observe the day in silence to echo the silence that LGBT and ally students face everyday."

Sorry, but I don't quite get the whole "silence" bit. At any rate, the point of my piece today is that students will be supporting the event by refusing to speak during the school day, while conveying written messages in the form of T-shirts, buttons, and stickers, all of which promote homosexual behavior." and therein lies the problem!

You see Heidi Zamecnik of Neuqua High School in suburban Chicago wore a T-shirt the day after a previous "Day of Silence" waste of time, and was told she cannot wear her T-shirt which says, "Be Happy, Not Gay."

According to the World Net Daily, "The Dean of Students, Bryan Wells, told Zamecnik the shirt offended others and she had to remove it or go home."

Top of Form

Wells and Linda Zamecnik agreed the shirt's message could be altered to read "Be Happy. Be Straight." But the agreement was breached when a school counselor crossed out "not gay" in black marker, but did not replace it with the agreed phrase.

Last year a dozen students were suspended for two days for sporting T-shirts that said, "Homosexuality is sin. Jesus can set you free."

Principal Michael Popp told Zamecnik's mother that "school rules bar students from wearing messages that "upset" other students." Unless of course you happen to be offended by homosexuality and then your feelings are just too darn bad.

Well, this one's in court and I will wager that the Zamecnik's will win because these types of cases have been settled over an over to the point of absurdity. But they must each be fought lest we be completely overtaken and truly silenced by the forces of the purveyors of perversion. Yes that is what homosexuality is regardless the cultural slime that says otherwise. There is an Authority Who is always right, and it isn't society.

April 12, 2007

New Stem Cell Results Very Exciting

Here is a quote from one such report which, while veiled, is intentionally misleading.

"research using the most versatile kind of stem cells — those acquired from human embryos — is currently opposed by powerful critics, including President Bush."

Why is this misleading? Because the stem cells used with this great success were not embryonic stem cells but autologous stem cells meaning they were derived from the patients' own blood. I have been saying for years that there has not been a single medical success using embryonic stem cells. But those bent on extermination of the baby in the womb through abortion are dying for an honorable justification for doing so. This is why--my opinion--they insist on pushing for legislation and funding for embryonic stem cell research.

So the statement as part of a news article has no relevance to the story except to confuse the lay listener, getting them worked up to push their legislators to vie for embryonic stem cell research.

As I write LD 1309 is scheduled for a public hearing before the Health and Human Services Committee for April 26, 2007. It is all about funding embryonic stem cell research. The research is lethal to the little children aborted and of course if it passes it will be paid for in part, by you and me.

Don't buy the political rhetoric which puts people like me in a bad light implying we are trying to stand in the way of medical progress. I am all for medical research that shows promise and moral responsibility. Research with embryonic stem cells shows neither. How about letting your legislator know you're on to them.

April 11, 2007

Pedophile Gets a Pass

I have to let you know how messed up our collective system of law is because we no longer have any objective foundation of virtue.

Jack McClellan is an admitted pedophile living in Washington State. He maintains a website that exists for the sole purpose informing other pedophiles where and how to find their targets. If your kid's are listening at this point don't blame me or the station.

So far the story is not unusual but where it gets ridiculous is to know that law enforcement knows all about the web site and about jack McClellan but since he hasn't ever been convicted of a crime, his website--even though it exists as a how to for other sexual offenders, insist they cannot do anything about it. It's perfectly legal.

According to Fox News, "McClellan would travel around to different community events and take pictures of children and post them on his site. The purpose of the web site is to promote consensual hugging and cuddling between men and girls who are aged 3 to 11 and bring pedophiles out of the closet, McClellan told Fox News."

McClellan said, "I guess the main thing is I just think they're cute, a lot cuter than women," he said. "I admit there is kind of an erotic arousal there. It makes me happy simply...I'm doing what anyone else would do with a hobby."

I am an ardent supporter of freedom of speech even offensive speech but even the US Supreme Court limits that freedom when it may incite or cause harm to another person. How in God's blessed name, can this not qualify for such speech?

It's simple really--the same satanically inspired people who think nothing of trampling on one's freedom to speak if it's about God almighty, in the same breath will defend this reprobate's freedom to incite other perverts to doing life long harm to precious little girls.

Please, someone slap me and tell me I am in a nightmare and this is not really happening in this world. But I am all too conscious and all I can say honestly is God help me to be and do what you want me to be in this filthy land of godlessness.

April 05, 2007

Who's Polarizing The Country

I never cease to be amazed at the wanton hypocrisy of those who describe themselves as liberals--priding themselves on their magnanimity, compassion, tolerance, and all around accepting demeanor of all.

As a columnist for the Central Maine Newspapers for years, I often reaped the scorn and condemnation of those on the left because I was unapologetically in the right. Evaluation of my truthfulness or lack thereof never entered the picture. To them, I was simply wrong and hateful because my view didn't affirm theirs.

The sheer hatred of people with differing views is the most hateful it has ever been.

Want an example? When Pres. Press Secretary Tony Snow announced that his cancer was back, here are just two letters of many of similar or worse tones that were posted on the Washington Post's on line site.

"Tony Snow…I hope you die from this cancer, no I hope you suffer terribly and then die like a dog from this cancer. Don't keep Satan waiting."

"I feel nothing for this man and its sad. Bush has polarized this country to the point where I just hate Republicans and I wish I didn't, but its to late." (Note grammar and punctuation are left as it actually was.)

From the first "news" of a "war for oil," which any partially sane individual must now admit is ludicrous, to the currently contrived scandal over the firing of federal judges, the liberal media, in their hatred of this Commander-In-Chief, routinely creates news where none exists.

If I may be candid, the populace at large is not all that astute when it comes to assessing truth from falsehood due to an intellectual lethargy which compels people on both the left and right to accept as gospel, any sound-bite that goes out over the airwaves. If it is said on the radio, or TV, in the print media or a commentary like this, few are willing to do any kind of leg work choosing instead to accept as true whatever fits their personal views.

The net result is precisely what we have today; a very angry and very populace whose anger is not born out of reality, but what they choose to believe reality is. And that makes for a very tumultuous and divided society.

It isn't Bush who has polarized this country but the multitude of pseudo-news agencies who make news rather than reporting it. And it is serving no one, least of all this once great country.

Should the Bible be Taught In The Public School?

The teaching of the Bible could be coming to a school near you! That's right, 1000 schools in 35 states have incorporated a Bible curriculum as part of a well rounded education. From that stand point it only makes sense. Regardless your faith--or non-faith persuasion--you cannot deny the monumental role the Bible has played in shaping this nation's past, and present.

I just finished reading 1776 by David McCullogh and John Adams, for which he won the Pulitzer. The influence of the Bible on our formation of government cannot be overstated when one realizes that 94% of the documents that shaped this country were based on the Bible and much of the greatest art, literature, and music of all time were informed by a knowledge of the Biblical record. Forgetting religion, one cannot truly be considered educated if they are ignorant of this piece of literature.

But lest you think that is some kind of covert sales pitch I assure you it is not for I am opposed to the Bible being taught in the public schools--at least in the current epoch of our secularized culture.

You see the Bible is too special a book to be put into the hands of just anyone with, who- knows-what sort of duplicitous motives. I would prefer the Bible is not taught at all than to be taught with the anti-supernatural, anti-religion axe to grind that often attends any attempt to teach the Bible purely as literature.

That being said, I strongly disagree with the person who wrote the paper saying he didn't want anyone to have to be subjected to--"Your beliefs and superstitions [which] are not necessarily shared by others..."

The problem with the sentiment is that if applied consistently, public education would have to jettison its commitment to their own superstitions and beliefs with respect to a host of non-scientific dogma in the realms of the social sciences, psychology, the environment and of course, their crowning glory called Darwinian evolution.

No, every person is diminished by not having at least a basic understanding of the most influential book of all time. Leaving it out of public education is to the detriment of our culture but under the circumstances, it must be so for now.