April 30, 2008

Mid-week cartoon

"Remember my face, 'cause I don't carry i.d.!"

April 29, 2008

An attack on our common enemy

I've been holding my tongue about this whole Jeremiah Wright business: the anti-American statements, the abundance of racially-ignorant remarks and, the most recent development, Wright's press conference, wherein he stated that the attack was not "and attack on Jeremiah Wright, [rather] an attack on the black church." I wouldn't be writing but for that last statement, so here we go.

It is certainly true that the black church in America is diverse, well-attended, yet widely misunderstood as far as their "church mission" as a whole is concerned. Some black ministers, like Wright, would have you believe that the church's role is to finger-wag at the government's misleading statements, while giving little regard to their own. Others, that racial reconciliation is the key to our salvation. Still others, becoming more rare especially in urban areas, are those churches that simply preach the gospel (or at least part of it), straight from the Bible.

Whose church is succeeding in their unregenerate-reaching attempts? It's hard to say, but that's not the point of this discussion. The real question is, which is more important: maintaining allegiance to the "black church" (and all its foibles and confusions of what that means, particularly in terms of race itself and what is expected- of black people by both black and white people) or preaching the gospel of Christ? Simply put, do we need reconciliation to each other, or reconciliation to God?

If you ask Rev. Wright, he might say the former, or perhaps an increasingly distressing version of it: white people need to be reconciled to black. And the majority of chutzpah-claiming media isn't doing much more than tiptoe around this issue, making mildly affirmative statements about the importance of racial dialogue and the dangers of dismissing Wright altogether.

Sorry? When did the pulpit become a place for anyone- and I mean anyone - to mar and manipulate their audience for whatever personal, anti-Biblical purposes they desire, all in the name of Christ? Where in the Bible does God proclaim anyone to be not only eligible for, but entitled to His favor?

Wait. I forgot for a moment that, yes, I do live in a theological fantasy land. I actually believe that pastors, preachers, ministers and reverends take seriously the responsibility they have to teach the Word, encourage their congregants to think outside of themselves (remember that ol' pearl of wisdom to love your neighbor as yourself?) and not make every single issue of the church one that relates to their personal circumstances.

Let's go back to Wright's statement about this being an attack on the black church. He'd like to think so; that claim serves to properly admonish those who have anything to say against him or his anti-Christian sentiments, putting all of us into a neat little racist package. But unfortunately for him, the statement neither speaks to those of us not plagued by white guilt, nor is it true.

Now, I understand that Rev. Wright is angry about the treatment- from various sources in our country, including the government- of black people. I do not doubt his sincerity and I am sincerely angry, too, about welfare programs, drugs in the inner city, bad schools and the heinously violent acts black people commit against each other. All these problems I consider to be both intrapersonal (existing within the individual mind) and interpersonal (occurring between persons), and furthermore are in total a dilemma we as a nation need to resolve.

But I am also angry that the Rev. Wright does not appear to see the link between the disintegration of the black American family and the compromises with the secular world that the black church has made. The black church "does it a different way," Wright has said. In fact, they have let the secular world influence what was, at a time, a very orthodox example of the Christian faith in the very same way the white Christian church in America has.

They (the black church in America) has let entertainment (over the top worship and music), celebrity attendants (Obama, for one, not to mention all those guest soloists), pride in one's own knowledge, charismatic (but untrained) worship leaders, and, worst of all, the sense of entitlement (so readily served up in humanistic circles everywhere) infest and destroy the real community they once had.

What does that have to do with the black American family? Everything. How entertaining is to stay home and take care of the children you helped create? Booooring. Is it more preferable to rely on how you feel about God, other people and yourself, rather than how you ought to relate to them? Absolutely! Isn't it easier to let someone else read the Word and tell you what it says rather than read it yourself, studying intently? Sheesh, studying is for squares. And after all, isn't it your right to take all this or leave it because everyone else should have to change to suit your needs/desires? They want change? They can do it themselves.

I always go too far with my assumptions, so let's keep it simple. My pastor says, "Call it what it is: sin is sin is sin." Pride is sin. Feeling entitled is sin. Worshipping false idols is sin. And, most importantly, having an unrepentant heart is sin. And that's as common to black people, and Jeremiah Wright in particular, as to every other person on the planet.

April 22, 2008

Major issues of concern for the Christian voter

...in no particular order...

Where does my favored candidate stand on support for Israel? (this addresses the question of whether or not Israel retains any special favor from Biblical mandate)

Who does my favored candidate plan to appoint to the Supreme Court? (depending on who is appointed there will be major implications regarding Roe v. Wade and subtley anti-Christian "anti-discrimination" laws passed)

What is my favored candidate's view on school vouchers and home schooling? (this addresses the question of who should be allowed to teach our children, and what they ought to be taught)

Is my favored candidate willing to compromise with his opposing party in order to move major bills forward in the House and Senate? (the answer to this is a yardstick of sorts, determining generally how stauchly a candidate will stick to his proclamations, regardless of whether or not they are best for the country; this can lead to scary types of government)

What is my favored candidate's view on why we are at war in Iraq? What is his plan for that situation, as well as our continued occupancy of Afghanistan? (the answer to this will give an idea of the candidate's understanding of evil in the world, and how involved we should be in keeping it under control)

What is my favored candidate's plan for legalized abortion? How about stem-cell research? (this one should be obvious; this addresses the candidate's view on the sanctity of life and its contents therein)

What is my favored candidate's view on the status of same-sex marriages? (this addresses the candidate's view of the sanctity of marriage)

What is my favored candidate's plan for border security? (this adresses the question of the rights of citizens under control of their government- under authority; it also concerns the question of entitlement)

What is my favored candidate's plan for illegal immigrants' residency and work status? (see above)

My cat needs a friend...

This could be Pousse and a little tiny kitten friend of his own (if he had a little tiny kitten friend of his own)!


April 20, 2008

Opening Weekend

I think you should all go see "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," a documentary by Ben Stein. And since the length of run-time in the theaters depends on the opening weekend attendance (and it is opening weekend for this movie) you should go see it on Sunday. It has been highly rated and aims to demolish the un-scientific theory of evolution. Check it out on IMDB here.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

April 18, 2008

Friday's opinion by John Hawkins of Townhall.com

"All change is not growth; as all movement is not forward." -- Ellen Glasgow

As people who have followed Barack Obama closely over the last few months have long since realized, there has been very little substance to the man's campaign besides his determination to lose -- oops, I mean "end" -- the war in Iraq.

If you boil Obama's appeal down to its essential core, most of his supporters seem to like him because he's a relatively young, charismatic, black man who talks a lot about "change," "unity," and the "audacity of hope."

But, what does that tell you about how Obama would behave if he gets into office? Very, very little. After all, pretty much anybody, from Napoleon, to Fidel Castro, to Mickey Mouse could run on a platform of "hope," "change," and "unity" because it's so broad and meaningless.
Of course, that doesn't mean that Barack doesn't have an agenda. He most certainly does have one, but it's just an agenda that he tries to avoid talking about because the better Americans get to know him, the less appealing he's going to be.

So, with that in mind, let me take you through a short tour of some of Barack Obama's radical beliefs. In all fairness, I should note that he has flip-flopped on some of these issues after his Barney the Dinosaur style "I Love You, You Love Me" campaign for the presidency got into full swing. But, experience has taught us that you can put a lot more stock into what a politician says before he starts trying to desperately convince middle America to vote him into the White House, than after.

The nine things most likely to be "changed" by Obama's election to the White House:

#1) Weakening America's Military: Barack Obama has pledged, among other things, to make defense cuts during war time, to cut spending on national missile defense, that he won't weaponize space, to slow development of future combat systems, and to seek a "world without nuclear weapons."

#2) Losing the War in Iraq: Obama is promising to throw away the hard earned gains our troops have made in Iraq by immediately removing combat brigades each month, regardless of the situation on the ground, and by having all of our "combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months."
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff publicly warned Barack and, for that matter, Hillary that they could create a "chaotic situation" with their policy that could take the "gains we have achieved and struggled to achieve and turn them around overnight."

#3) Gay Marriage: Although Barack Obama claims to oppose gay marriage, in 2004 he said that he opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the only thing keeping the courts from imposing gay marriage on the whole country. If you want to see gay marriage become the law of the land in your state, no matter what the voters think, vote for Obama.

#4) Pro-Partial Birth Abortion: It's never a surprise to find a Democrat who's a big fan of abortion, but Obama goes above and beyond the call of duty. He had a perfect rating of 100% from NARAL in 2005, 2006, and 2007, opposes "notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions," and he even opposed banning partial birth abortions.

#5) Legalizing Marijuana: Obama, a former (we hope) druggie, who has admitted to using marijuana and cocaine, has said that he favors "decriminalizing marijuana." Perhaps you can't blame him for wanting to make it easier for people to get drugs since, after all, he used them and look how he turned out.

#6) Handing 845 billion dollars of your money to other nations: Obama's Global Poverty Act would commit the United States to spending, over the next 13 years, 845 billion dollars more than what we already do on global poverty. Obama followed that up with a release that said in part, "It must be a priority of American foreign policy to commit to eliminating extreme poverty..."

#7) If you think George Bush is a big spender, you haven't met Obama: Even though the United States is already running a deficit, Obama is planning to push a whole host of new big government programs including a "10-year, $150 billion program to establish a green energy sector," a "$60 billion National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank," and a "nearly universal health care plan (whose annual price tag he low-balls at $50 to $65 billion)." If you're all for tax and spend liberalism and watching the deficit spiral even further out of control, there's no one you should want in the White House more than Obama.

#8) Amnesty and your tax dollars for illegal aliens: Believe it or not, John McCain, the Republican who is most closely associated with catering to illegal aliens, is actually well to Barack Obama's right on the issue.

Obama favors drivers licenses for illegals, wants to give illegals welfare and Medicaid, wants to let them participate in Social Security, opposes making English our national language, and he favors a comprehensive approach to illegal immigration, AKA amnesty, that even John McCain now claims to oppose.

#9) Gun Control: Obama is a perfect example of the stereotypical, liberal gun grabber. Obama has pledged to "Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons," has "opined unequivocally that D.C.'s ban was 'constitutional'," and in 1996, Obama, in a survey, "supported banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns."

original text can be found here

April 16, 2008

Does it make me the biggest sinner in the world because I...

in no uncertain terms HATE the snappy little crunching noise and hours-long lingering smell of microwave popcorn made by coworkers?

The sound makes me want to rake my fingernails up and down the wallpaper in effigy. The smell, caught somewhere between burning plastic and burned, synthesized butter-like product, almost makes me wish it was boiled Noni juice that they were making a meal of (anyone who knows Noni will get the stank of that proposition)!

And this post doesn't make me feel better, either. I'm a cross between someone justifiably incensed by the world and its utterly absurd temptations (everything from believing that microwave popcorn is somehow a 'diet' food to feeling entitled to blog about someone else's innocent afternoon snack) and regular old, run-of-the-mill sinner.


April 10, 2008

Tired of pressing 1 for English?

ProEnglish is the nation's leading advocate of official English. We're non-profit and non-partisan.

Why do Americans have to press 1 for English to call their government?

Why do we have to pay for interpreters for those who refuse to learn English?

That's what Executive Order 13166 requires - at a cost of $billions to taxpayers.

Help us repeal it!

Click HERE to take action!

April 7, 2008

Parisian protesters halt Olympic torch

PARIS, April 7 -- Protesters temporarily halted the Olympic torch relay in Paris Monday, forcing officials to extinguish the flame at least three times and carry it inside a bus for safety, despite a massive deployment of 3,000 police across the heart of the city.

The heavy security presence transformed the torch relay from a joyous celebration of the Olympics into a tense confrontation between police and demonstrators protesting China's crackdown on Tibet last month and its human rights record.

Authorities turned the flame low or extinguished it and put it inside a bus following just behind the athletes. It remained inside the bus about five or six minutes before an athlete in a wheelchair was allowed to continue the relay.

But the relay team struggled at a slow pace as it followed the banks of the Seine and looped back toward the Trocadero across the river from the Eiffel Tower, where pro-Tibet demonstrators pelted the torch bearer -- a wheelchair-bound ping pong player -- and his assistants with bottles of juice, fruit and other projectiles. The flame appeared to go out as the athlete struggled through the melee and was forced once again to retreat with the torch to the safety of a bus. The torch went out at least two other times, although it was unclear whether protesters doused it or organizers put it out when retreating to the safety of buses.

source: washington post.com

Hot Baby Names for 2007!

Just for fun... here are some of the *hottest* new baby names as taken from national newspaper announcements for 2007. For extra points, guess whether these are for boys or girls!

And by the way, don't expect any of these names to pop up in the Owen household! We're old school, baby.

Avalon Azaria Arabella Baylor Brielle Brenner Briar Brecken Cannon Daxton Finley Grayson Graydon Hadley Jaxon Kale Keagan Latham Makai McCall Nyla Quinlan Ryker Ryland Saylor Skyleigh Tenley Waverly Zander Zenden

April 5, 2008

The Dawkins Delusion

"Incredible. Brilliant.

The sad part is that thousand will see this and think to themselves, "but the analogy that the whole joke is based on is faulty, because Richard Dawkins is an empirically verifiable personage"... while having no idea of the unendingly problematic philosophical assumptions involved in the matter they think so simple.

Just ask the Boston Personalists.

Nonetheless, brilliant."

April 4, 2008

Quote of the week

"This contextual analysis of Wright's venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new. It's the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That's why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination."

Charles Krauthammer, on Obama's race speech

( for complete editorial, click here )


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