September 28, 2007

Walking Around Blind?

I'm driving down Western Ave. in Fairfield the other day towards my destination for a healthy breakfast. Hillman's Bakery always sets me up well for the challenges of the day ahead. There's nothing like a chocolate covered cake donut to put you in the right frame of mind--with sprinkles of course.

As I'm leaving I'm driving back down Western Ave. and the traffic, at 7:30 in the morning is substantial. So as I approach the area of Kennebec Community College, I spot a man walking on the side of the road and he's hanging onto a dog; a seeing-eye dog.

As I am intrigued by the guts it takes to walk in the "dark" so to speak, relying only on a dog for your utter and complete safety. I spy the dog take him around a little detour in the walkway and then stop at a cross street. I shoot up a prayer thanking the Lord for the gift of eye sight which we so take for granted.

But watching this man walk with his dog caused me to think about faith. This man was exercising true faith, a practical faith in his service dog. He was utterly dependant on this four legged creature for his safety and the confidence with which he walked showed he didn't lack trust.

So as I'm thinking through this, I realize that if the man didn't trust his dog, if he didn't have faith in his dog's ability to do what the dog had been trained to do, this man's life would be radically different. He would be utterly dependant on someone else to transport him to and fro and his freedom to come and go as he wishes would be essentially eradicated.

So two elements are needed for this man to be "alive." The first is to have a capable helper and the second is to trust the helper to do what he is trained to do.

How utterly like our walk of faith this is. We have a Helper whom the Father sent when Jesus departed for heaven, who is quite capable. "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever." (John 14:16)

But we still need to trust Him. If we don't--by faith--grab the harness of our Helper our freedom is essentially eradicated leaving us spiritually housebound at the mercies of someone else's convenience. I wonder how many Christians are bound to a spiritual darkness as pertains to the vibrancy of life in the Spirit and all because they won't take hold and allow the Helper to do what He has been sent to do. Too bad; there's a world out there that needs your presence.

American Cancer Society Becomes Another P.A.C.

When is a 501 C-3 organization NOT a 501 C-3 organization? When it takes up the cause of one of the key issues of a political party. The American Cancer Society is airing a new television spot that sounds like it was written by a strategist for the party of Democrats. The new barrage of ads is costing $15 million dollars; that's $15 million dollars of contributors donations that those contributors assume is going to research for fighting cancer. I think that is important to know.

In fairness I am not certain that what follows is from the ad verbatim, but it is from their web site and is very similar to the content of one of their new ads.

"47 million Americans do not have health care--Everyone should have access to quality cancer care. Fighting cancer is tough enough without having to fight for the care you need; but many uninsured and underinsured Americans are facing this difficult situation. Winning the fight against cancer depends on improving access to quality cancer care."

I sympathize with the issue. That something fairly drastic needs to be done concerning the absurd cost of health care in this country is a given. But heaven forbid that Washington should become even more entangled with this issue than it already is.

Frankly, it seems that many of the challenges with costs find their genesis on two fronts. The first is our legal system and tort law; the second is governmental regulation.

While nationalized health care sounds good on the surface, all we have to do is look to other countries where they have such a system and the evaluation is clear. It is not working well--at all. They may have "equal access" in Canada but it is access to a leveled playing field that is built on the land-filled cesspool of bureaucratic waste and the nastiness of that waste is percolating to the top.

Health care is so restricted and poor in Canada that Canadians are waiting in line to get into our country for needed treatments and operations. Is that really the solution we want?

The American Cancer Society needs to stick to research and drop its Political Action Committee approach or at least register with IRS and inform its contributors where their contributions are going.

September 27, 2007

Ahmadinejad Lies; Now There's a Story

As we all know by now Columbia University hosted one of the most raving lunatics of our age. Mahmud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, was invited to besiege us with his lies, contradictions and more lies.

Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger gave a stinging introduction. "Mr. President you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator, and so I ask you, why have…so many become targets of persecution in your country…Why are you so afraid of citizens expressing ideas for change?"

Bollinger then asked Ahmadinejad for permission to lead a delegation to Iran to address their students about free speech.

Bollinger moved to the holocaust, castigating Ahmadinejad for his insistence in denying the holocaust. "When you come to a place like this you look ridiculous. You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated. Will you cease this outrage?" Bollinger asked.

Bollinger scored high points in my book for chutzpah, low points for wisdom though I understand the mind of the liberal academic in inviting this man.

Ahmadinejad led off his own soliloquy by chastising Bollinger saying that in Iran, they don't comment on a speech making assumptions before they have heard what was said. (That may be true--for anyone saying anything derogatory would have already been executed…)

Predictably, Ahmadinejad's laughable remark was greeted with loud applause. If I were Bollinger, I would have to seriously think about the result my educational institution was producing in the minds of tomorrow's leaders. The student body's affirmation of this murderer was tell tale but I am sure few noted the connection.

I didn't hear all of the presentation; I didn't need to. When Ahmadinejad was asked about his views concerning Israel, he set the stage meaningless words and what was to come.

The questioner asked, "Do you or your government seek the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state." Mind you, Ahmadinejad, is on record time and time again vehemently and categorically calling for the annihilation of Israel. Yet he answered after the fashion of our own candidates running for office whose lies are so preposterous you wonder why anyone believes them. Ahmadinejad said, "We love all nations; we are friends with the Jewish people."

What more does anyone need to hear? Words so often mean nothing and that is not unique to the streets of Iran. Just last week in the Dartmouth debate Hillary Clinton was asked by Tim Russert if she agreed with her husband's position that in extreme circumstances torture of a terrorist might be justified to obtain for example, the location of a bomb that had been placed. Not only did she utterly lie stating the opposite of her previously recorded view but essentially blamed the United States for the tension and woes of the terrorists

He that lies in a little thing will lie in a great thing, and the one who lies in a great thing will also lie in a little thing. The ravages of sin are not relegated to dictator run countries; we just present them with more perfume and finery.

September 21, 2007

Not Conservative Enough?

President Bush has appointed a new nominee for the office of Attorney General; a judge who apparently is controversial because he "isn't conservative enough."

Okay--admission: I don't know much about this man so I don't know how "good" a conservative he is or not. But my point today is not particularly about this nominee as much as it is about conservatives who need to wake up smell the coffee brewing in the real world percolator. It is a world made up of few people who love the Lord and His ways and everyone else who are here to pursue happiness as they define it.

What this means in a country governed by a plurality of people with varied and sundry ideologies is that it is doubtful you will ever have the ideal candidate, conservative or liberal, simply because we are human and we have different convictions on many things.

I am a pretty conservative individual yet there are some who would say I am pretty liberal, at least in certain areas. The point is there will always be someone more or less conservative, more or less liberal than you. Deal with it.

So this new nominee is or has been part of Rudy Giuliani's team for his nomination for President. For some, that's enough to throw him into the dumpster as a liberal or at least as being "insufficiently conservative." I sympathize as Giuliani indeed has some troubling positions by my way of reckoning but compared to Hillary Clinton??? I trust you get it.

Conservatives need to understand that the realm of government is one compromise after another. Rarely does anyone get everything they put forth in a bill and sometimes you have to swallow hard to accept what you get feeling like you sold out.

We are IN the world. The World we long for will NEVER be established through the ballot box; never.

The quicker you realize that, the sooner you'll lose those ulcers and maybe even vote for someone other than your ideal write-in candidate who will get your vote and maybe his mother's. You can hold your head high having voted your conscience and voted your principle but at the end of the day, our national leaders will be the truly liberal and obscenely godless because the conservative candidate just wasn't "conservative enough."

How well does that make you sleep at night?

Liberal Methodists Defeating Traditional Methodists' Ethics

As the federal hate crimes legislation wends its way through the Congress I have been assured by our State Senators that any such legislation would of course exempt religious organizations. Not only am I skeptical but I believe we are in grave danger of losing our freedom of speech and religion and any exemption for religious organizations, if given at all, would be short lived in our culture of anti-Christian bigotry.

At this same time, the "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" (ENDA) is also working its way through Congress which is yet another piece of law intended to give special protections and rights to the sexually misguided. Is the following report coincidental or is it a shot across the bow, fired by God, to alert His people to the portent of impending eventualities?

From Citizen Link of Focus on the Family--Two lesbian couples who were denied permission to use a church group's seaside pavilion for their civil-union ceremonies have persuaded New Jersey officials to punish the group through revocation of its tax-exempt status.

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, owned by the Methodist Church. The ruling eliminated the Church's tax exempt status of the pavilion alone. It wasn't a large sum of money but it certainly was symbolic and underscores the importance of legislation on a church's right to function as a church and it being infringed upon by the state. When, not if, ENDA and the hate crimes legislation passes, these types of suits will flourish.

What is ironic in this particular case is that the Methodist church involved cited the United Methodist Church's "Book of Discipline" which forbids homosexuality. Yet in countless Methodists churches nationwide, they are the vanguard of homosexual endorsement diluting this particular God fearing Methodist church's Biblical stance.

"Scott Hoffman, Ocean Grove chief administrative officer, told the entire property is
dedicated to the 'perpetual worship of Jesus Christ.' But he said the state thinks 'because
it’s on a boardwalk that it’s not really a church, so they’re defining what a church is, and
I think everybody needs to pay attention to that.'”

Bottom Line is that the old tax exemption enjoyed by religious organizations for decades will sooner than later, be a thing of the past. Ah, how much we have taken for granted.

Sometimes Our Moral Convictions Don't Pass the "Straight Face" Test

Today as I write, the Maryland Court of Appeals actually ruled in favor of marriage. That's right, marriage as we understand it, the union between one man and one woman--go figure.

What is encouraging is also greatly challenging. The fundamental foundation upon which the court's ruling is grounded is problematic for a moral people who fail to deliver in action what we profess by word of mouth. I'll explain.

The court said--"In light of the fundamental nature of procreation, and the importance placed on it by the Supreme Court, safeguarding an environment most conducive to the stable propagation and continuance of the human race is a legitimate government interest." (Maryland Court of Appeals, Frank Conaway, et al. v. Gitanjali Deane, et al.)

More simply put, the best arena for children to be brought into the world and raised best is in the traditional two parent, male and female family. Christians certainly agree with that--in theory; the problem is showing that we believe that by our actions.

What is the divorce rate currently? How many people are cohabiting and/or go from one partner to the next leaving a wake strewn with the flotsam and jetsam of emotionally battered children? These children, permanently damaged by the profound self- centeredness of their parents, usually seeking something called "happiness," toss them aside or try to convince them how much better their lives will be with mom and dad not fighting constantly. Nice try.

So, for starters, let's wipe out half of all marriages as "an environment most conducive to the stable propagation and continuance of the human race…"

Then wipe out the cohabitations along with the intact "marriages" where incest, sex abuse and physical battering is commonplace and wipe out the marriages where the children are raising themselves, and the numbers of those theoretical "environments most conducive to the stable propagation and continuance of the human race" are somewhat minuscule. It is a right argument but hardly a compelling argument by us hypocritical Christians for denying homosexual adoption. Trust me I cringe as I write this but truth is truth.

Bottom line? "We" meaning the so-called moral protectors of society need to put our behaviors where or mouths are. Plain and simple; we are losing ground in the battle for the soul of America and we wear a good chunk of the reason for the moral decline of our country. Sometimes the truth hurts.

September 15, 2007

The Party of No Shame, Shamelessly Continues

That this country of ours is in a world of hurt is a redundancy. This nation's leadership has truly become irrelevant in the sense that nothing--and I mean absolutely nothing--that proceeds out of our elected representatives' mouths is worth listening to because it is absolutely unreliable. While Republicans are not above political posturing, Democrats have become so desperate that in my heart of hearts, I believe they will, and have sold out their countrymen, lock, stock and barrel for a chance to gain the illusion of power.

Before the report by the war's leading and unanimously appointed general was given, Charles Schumer stated, (paraphrasing) "that the relative peace in Anbar is not because of the surge but in spite of it. The military's incompetence has enabled the war lords to take over and that is why there is relative peace."

Schumer tried to back track on that statement but some things spoken cannot be taken back. Why this man hasn't been tried for treason is inexplicable.

When the New York Times ran an ad sponsored by which read, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us" people with souls were indignant. When it was clear that such unpatriotic and treasonous notions were not going to play well with the public, only then did Democratic senators start to criticize the ad. But the damage had already been done; damage that had been anticipated by and hoped for by the party of no shame.

From web log "" an anonymous Democratic senator said, "'No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV. The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us."

Every Democrat I heard speak, trashed Petraeus' assessment in Iraq, accused him of lying for the president and cooking the books in favor of Bush's surge, many before he had even given the report.

How can a society continue in any kind of sane way when its leaders are demonstrated traitors, liars, and reprobates, of the lowest order?

The mechanisms to insure domestic tranquility have been upended and the party of the scurrilous condemn anything and everything that does not fit with their personal agenda. These demi-gods are so taken with their brilliance and wisdom that they lie, cheat and steal and sleep fine at night believing that they alone are the omniscient, sovereign caretakers of the world.

Yes this nation is in a world of hurt.

Another Christian Club Bites the Dust

Let's play pretend today. Pretend that in Anytown, U.S.A. a Muslim group of high school students wanted to start an "Islamic Club." The school allows other such "non-academic" clubs to meet so that would not be an issue. But now let's pretend that this Islamic Club had a code of conduct that was, er, uh, well, Muslim? Actually you couldn't imagine anything different; no pretending there.

But let's say the club's by-laws required members to sign a statement endorsing the Koran? Again--no pretending there; that would go without saying. So let's pretend that the Islamic Club would be concerned that its very name would exclude other religions and were willing to change the name to something more embracing of other beliefs.

Okay, now you would have to pretend because that would never happen. And let's pretend that the school forbid the Islamic Club to form because it was discriminatory against other religions for the reasons stated. Again--you'd really have to pretend because THAT would never happen. The Islamic Club would receive, if anything, favored and special status if not flat out endorsement by the high school.

But now take the exact same scenario only making it a Christian Club. Well shucks and by golly, the 9th circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the Christian Club of Kentridge High School in Kent, Washington declaring it to be discriminatory for the very reasons already stated.

How dare a Christian Club actually have a Christian code of conduct and require its members to pledge their allegiance to the Bible?

But for now the 9th Circus Court--which is a laughing stock more often than not--has disallowed the Christian Club. Advocates for the club however are intending to take this all the way to the Supreme Court and well they should. It will not stand but it is a travesty that hundreds of thousands of dollars will be required to litigate what will be an unquestionable slam dunk for the Christian students and legal fees should be part of the judgment. Only then will this anti-Christian bigotry cease.

Jesus said, these kinds of things would happen, granted, but Christians still have the same rights under the Constitution as anyone else. We can be civil and even polite Christians, without forfeiting our legal rights as citizens. The apostle Paul pressed his rights as a citizen and so must we--while it is still legal to do so.

September 06, 2007

Fame and Fortune Really Are Unhealthy

Two weeks ago the happy go lucky and popular comedic actor named Owen Wilson tried to take his own life. It is an all too familiar tale with the wildly famous and rich being so depressed that the only way to find relief is to kill themselves.

The fact is, being famous is not easy, nor is it healthy. According to Salvo magazine, the average life expectancy of the typical American is 77 years; that life expectancy drops to just 59 years for the rich and famous. "Having it all" apparently comes with a heavy price.

We, the normal people of the world, who tend to struggle to meet the daily needs of life, usually scratch our heads at such stories shaking our heads in disbelief thinking, "They've got everything the world and money has to offer. What's the problem?"

Solomon, writing in Ecclesiastes set out to find what exactly makes for the "good life." And so he made a test of the pleasures of the world with the means to do so. His conclusion is straightforward. "So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind." (Eccles. 2:17)

It may seem cliché but the fact is the only thing lacking is a relationship with the Living God and is everything. Everything without God, is nothing, as the stories in the news and the funerals of the famous attest day after day.

Augustine said it centuries ago. "Our heart shall find no rest until it finds its rest in Thee." Simply put, God is the only one who can make sense of life and give it meaning and enjoyment.

This was another of Solomon's inspired conclusions. "Furthermore," he writes, "as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God." (Eccles. 5:19)

See, there's nothing wrong with fame or fortune but apart from a healthy friendship with the Creator, it will come up empty every time--and the more you strive, the more despairing you become. And that is God's mercies saying, "Here I am. Come to me and I will give you life; not just in the hereafter, but here and now."

September 04, 2007

The Nanny State Grows

Get ready for still higher taxes and still poorer education in our fair state. The "Take it Outside Initiative" has been unveiled by our state bureaucrats and while it is well intentioned, it is wrong headed.

The motive of the program is to get children off their couches and into the great outdoors.

Governor Baldacci stated, "Sometimes we need to lead our kids outdoors. We need to get them away from the iPod and video and text messaging and just get them out to smell the beautiful air and enjoy the beautiful resources we have."

Again I appreciate the sentiment but I resent the wording, "WE"--meaning the nanny state and the nanny's employer--we the tax payers. While it is essentially only a public relations endeavor currently, that is not its intended future.

The online report stated, "Next spring, the governor will host the Blaine House Conference on Youth and the Natural World in order to encourage cooperation between the state and organizations already working to connect young people with nature."

This is reminiscent of Hillary Clinton's, "It takes a village to raise a child" lunacy. It is NOT "We the people's" responsibility to get anyone's children off their ever-fattening bodies out from behind a computer screen and into the great outdoors. It is "Mine the parent!" It doesn't take a village to raise a child ; it takes two parents ideally and at least one with the desire to do it.

Clinton has already stated that if she is elected president she will pump billions into a national preschool. The earlier the government can get your children the better off they will be. No one knows how better to shape the mind and life of a little one like our government. They have assumed the role of parent during the school day, the have assumed the role of parent immediately after school, they have assumed the role of parent in feeding children breakfast and lunch and dinner at some schools, and now they will assume the role of parent in outdoor, weight loss and appreciation of nature. And of course there will be a price tag and oh what a price we'll pay.

Holiday Inn Discriminates Against Christians

Everyone knows the name Holiday Inn. But not everyone knows the level of their Christophobic paranoia but hopefully many will soon.

Holiday Inn has never been very family friendly. Years ago there was a nationwide boycott against them due to their policies regarding in-room pornography. As far as I know, nothing changed.

So when American's For Truth looked for a city and banquet space for their annual meeting, the Holiday Inn of Naperville, Il. signed them right up. The reservation had been secured for several weeks and the menu was already being set. This was your standard business arrangement; nothing complicated until the possibility of homosexual harassment entered the equation.

When Holiday Inn learned that hosting the event could possibly draw protests from homosexual Christophobes, the hotel bailed on the organization. Note--there hadn't been any; it was simply a possibility.

But even the possibility was too much for the corporate moguls of Holiday Inn deciding it could bring negative publicity for the hotel. Being challenged on that decision on the basis of a possible violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Holiday Inn Corporate office did what any conscientious and reasonable international business would do when it comes to Christians. They formally ratified the decision to keep the Christians out.

Now let me reiterate the reason behind their decision. Holiday Inn decided that hosting a wholesome and virtuous, Christian organization could bring negative publicity to the company.

Those who have turned virtue and wholesomeness on its ear--the perverse--decrying the virtuous--are the ones who get their way, discriminating at whim, because of religious affiliation and Holiday Inn bows to them.

In a free market economy the bottom line is pretty straightforward. I am not big on boycotts as they are generally pretty futile and indiscriminate but this is one situation where I can assure you I won't set foot in a Holiday Inn until and unless they change their corporate policy to one of courtesy, not just to the immoral and godless but to the straight and upright as well.