1-28-16 Republican 7th Debate: Updated With Observations

Here is a video of the full debate. No commercials.   Watching.  Comments to come. Will observe this. The journalists running the debate have overblown egos. They remind me of children in a schoolyard egging other children to fight.  Sick.

Frankly, even though I don’t support him, I don’t blame Donald Trump for sitting out the debate.  The Republican National Committee (RNC) is not doing its job. The RNC is selling out our candidates.

Fox wants ratings. The moderators want the show to be about them. In this format, the American people lose out.

OBSERVATIONS:

  1. Did Ted Cruz gain anything from being at the debate? Perhaps. He stood his ground and let the Establishment — and Fox News is part of the Establishment — openly demonstrate its hostility to him.
  2. The Establishment candidates, Bush, Christie, Kasich got a surprising amount of time and for the most part softball questions. Wonder why?
  3. The moderators used videos edited to portray Cruz and Rubio as liars.
  4. Moderators Kelly and Wallace were essentially hostile to the candidates. These two took the lead in setting the candidates against each other.
  5. The moderators gave Carson and Paul very little opportunity to talk. They did their best to take down Cruz.

Here, paraphrased somewhat, is the message I think each candidate wants to convey. Each of us needs to examine that message and determine the truth.

  • Ted Cruz:  Who do you trust? I tell the truth, and I do what I said I would do.
  • Ben Carson: Americans are scared. More of the same — more government — won’t fix our problems. It is still not too late to save our Constitution.
  • Marco Rubio:  When I am president, America’s light will shine again…..
  • Jeb Bush: I have a proven record….
  • Chris Christie:  I am a governor and a former prosecutor and tough as nails. Only a former governor is qualified to be president….
  • John Kasich:  Ohio has a great economy because I have a positive attitude.  We can, we can, we can…..
  • Rand Paul: I am for liberty, and I am the one true fiscal Conservative.

 

HOW A CHRISTIAN REGARDS THE CHURCH OF THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER AND ISLAM

Touched by His Noodly Appendage, a parody of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, is an iconic image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster[1] by Arne Niklas Jansson.
Touched by His Noodly Appendage, a parody of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, is an iconic image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Arne Niklas Jansson. (from here)
Christmas 2015 has passed. The showy lights and the gift-giving have passed. The cleanup and post-holiday sales remain. What Christians can take away are memories of family time and thoughts about a God who so loved the world.

There is also that time us news junkies spent perusing the Internet and the local paper. One article I read included the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I wondered. Is the Flying Spaghetti Monster real? Do people actually worship it? The answers to those questions are, surprisingly, yes and yes. The Flying Spaghetti Monster looks to all the world like a spoof. The primary website promoting the “One True Church of our Noodly Lord” obviously poses as a spoof (see here, here, and here) against Christianity.  Yet it would be a mistake to assume the followers of the Noodly Lord are not serious.

Why serious? There is money involved. There is prestige. There is the power to make others think “correct thoughts.” There is the power to influence and control government. There is the worship of the state, and the state is quite real and concrete.

Whether inadvertent or not, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a good symbol for an all-powerful state. The unblinking eyes. Tentacles that reach everywhere. Juicy meatballs that alternatively represent virility and the reward of true believers.

The word 'Allah' in Arabic calligraphy
The word ‘Allah’ in Arabic calligraphy (from here)

What does the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have to do with Islam? Read on.

The followers of Islam worship a god they call Allah. Allah, I suppose, is a bit more traditional sort of god, a warrior’s god. No spoofing. Just worship Allah properly, and his clerics promise paradise and endless sex.

Some, such as those as those who run Wikipedia (here) equate Allah and Jehovah. Others (such as here and here) do not equate Allah with Jehovah.

Is Allah real? Do people worship Allah? Let it suffice to say that the dream of Allah — the wish for Allah’s blessing — is real. Because they wish to believe, people follow Allah with the same self-centered ferocity as those who worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Both statists, the worshipers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,  and Muslims have much in common. Both seek salvation through their own works. Where they differ is that statists seek their reward in this life and Muslims seek their reward in the next. Islam, however, is a practical religion. Muslims, their leaders in particular, have been known to eagerly benefit from rewards in this life.

So what does this Christian think of Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Islam?

  • Both the statists and the Muslims need Jesus just as much as I do.  These are the sort of people for whom Jesus gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).
  • From a political perspective, I find it difficult to choose between a statist and a Muslim who advocates Sharia. It is the choice between a rock and a hard place. Neither group respects the rights of Christians. Well, perhaps that’s not entirely true. The statist (essentially a Liberal Democrat in this country) thinks Christians have the right to a state funded abortion and/or contraceptives. The Muslim thinks Christians have the right to worship Allah.

Anyone who has studied nations dominated by Islam can figure out Islam is antithetical to God-given rights, but what about those who worship at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? What about those Liberal Democrats?

Consider how many Liberal Democrats equate what is moral with what it legal. Consider the Constitution itself. Which is more important to a Liberal Democrat, what the Constitution actually says or what judges says that it says?

What is the basic problem with a Liberal Democrat or a big spending Republican or a Muslim? Consider this verse.

Philippians 1:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

The Christian sees virtue as coming from Jesus. If we have faith in Christ, He justifies us. Christians do not depend upon or even expect virtue to flow from the state. That is, Christians do not believe the state (or the Law (Romans 7:14-25)) can perfect mankind.

Yet both statists and Muslims expect some form of salvation from government or the Law, statists because they worship the power of government, Muslims because Islam ordains a theocracy.

Ironically, both the statists and Muslims prove through their actions the power of sin over man. With cowardly and treacherous glee, statists deride and torment those who recognize their right to make fools of themselves. With suicidal madness, Muslim radicals torture and crush the enemies of Allah. Because their egos demand preeminence, neither group leaves others in peace.

Recognizing and accepting the sinfulness of our nature, the people who founded this country sought a government designed to check our more vile impulses. Hence, James Madison advocated a constitutional republic (see THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY). Even so, unless we are willing to see the need for a constitutional republic, we cannot make one work. So our budgets are out of control, much of our infrastructure is crumbling, our foreign policy is in a shambles,….. our government is tottering.

Therefore, if you do not believe you need Jesus, look carefully at what Islam has produced.  Consider what those who worship at the altar of government are producing. Then take the time to read and study the Bible. Pray to understand why Jesus is the only cure for what ails the human heart.

John 14:1-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

THE SOURCE OF HOMEGROWN ISLAMIC TERRORISM

The Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1880) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau The sick in soul insist that it is humanity that is sick, and they are the surgeons to operate on it. (from here)
The Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1880) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
The sick in soul insist that it is humanity that is sick, and they are the surgeons to operate on it.  (from here)

Why are the United States and Western Europe having so much trouble assimilating new immigrants? When I read this article, it occurred to me that here was part of the answer, at least.

Muslims around the world know that America is a Judeo-Christian country and its Constitution has been based on those canons. They also know that this Constitution respects all faiths, does not force Christianity on the citizens and allows freedom of worship.

It is also a fact that like all others, the Muslims who have immigrated to the United States came knowing in advance that this country was founded by Europeans with Western values, traditions and culture. Yet they stood in long lines, filled out long forms and waited, some for years, to get the green light to come to America. They all took the oath of allegiance to become a citizen and all they expected was freedom and opportunity for a better life.

Many of these Muslims, including Iranians, are secular and fled to America because the Islamic rulers mistreated them and took away their freedoms, equality and human dignity. They came to live in democracy free from Shariah law in a country where religion is separated from the state.

Others came because they were condemned to live in poverty, ignorance and hopelessness. The corrupt Islamic homeland did not provide them with economic security, jobs and a better future for their children. They came to have the opportunity to work and feel proud as a sovereign human being, providing their children a future to grow and prosper. They are grateful for the opportunity that they would have never had in the Islamic homeland.

However, as time goes on, they become indoctrinated by Americans to hate America, they are told that this is not the great country they had envisioned. They listen to National Public Radio and MSNBC and are told by their new compatriots, how unjust this country is. At work they learn from the ideologues that the 1 percent is in charge of this country. They are taught that white people are racists and discriminate against every non-white, and they are now living under the unjust privileged white. (continued here)

This article raised two questions in my mind.

  • Why would anyone want to become part of (adopt the character and beliefs) a nation of people who loath themselves?
  • Why do parents choose to put people who loath themselves in charge of their children? Don’t they realize these people will teach their children to loath themselves?

Finally, one other observation. It is common for those ignorant of Christianity to teach that Christians loath themselves. While it is true that Christians admit they are sinners, Christians also have reason for hope and joy that far outweighs any sense of shame. We know that God loves us. We know that Jesus died for us, that because of His sacrifice our sins are forgiven. We know that because He is worthy, and He loves us, we each have inestimable worth.

FULL OF GUTS?

From here.
From here.

We live in an America now defined by the following phrase.

If it feels good, do it!

How does the Bible describe such a philosophy?

Judges 21:25 New King James Version (NKJV)

25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Does that verse seem a bit obscure? Here is an interpretation that is less literal and, therefore, less idiomatic.

Judges 21:25 Good News Translation (GNT)

25 There was no king in Israel at that time. Everyone did whatever they pleased.

The Book of Judges describes how the people of Israel drifted from God. God wanted to lead them, but they gradually grew to prefer doing what seemed right in their own eyes. Eventually, they even demanded a human king to rule them.

When a man is unwilling to humble himself, not even before God, what is real and concrete slowly begins to matter less and less. What we want to be true is in time all that matters. Hence, we find this sentence at the end of America’s New Female Combatants Are Getting Custom Gear (www.wired.com).

So yeah, men and women are different, and the military recognizes that by building better gear. But underneath it all, every soldier is essentially the same: Full of guts.

To justify treating men and women as entirely equal — no substantive difference — the author of America’s New Female Combatants Are Getting Custom Gear reduces men and women to interchangeable bags of guts. How is that for discernment?

What is America’s New Female Combatants Are Getting Custom Gear about? Because men and women are different, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s new policy of fully integrating women into the military requires the military to purchase combat armor compatible with the female form, an implicit admission that men and women are different. But don’t worry.  The masterminds who lead us still think we are all essentially all the same, just a multitude of interchangeable bags of guts.