HERE IS WHAT TO EXPECT

Hillary Clinton announces her VP pick (from here)
Hillary Clinton announces her VP pick (from here)

By now I expect everyone who wants to know knows who Hillary Clinton picked to be her running mate. Nevertheless, I doubt most watched their speeches. If you are serious about politics, then you have to know the opposition.

My previous post (here) was about Socialism. The Democratic Party, the party of Thomas Jefferson, now advocates Socialism. What does that mean in practice? Democrats get elected by pitting us against each other.

Who is Tim Kaine? He is a glib, grinning hatemonger. He expertly demonizes his opposition. He pits those he thinks he can persuade to vote for him against those he knows will not.

What qualifications do Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine have to run anything? They don’t, but if they get elected they will give America a pay raise. With whose money? They will tax “the rich”, of course. Under the reign of Barack Obama, have you noticed how much poorer the rich are getting and how much richer the poor are getting?

In his “acceptance” speech yesterday, Kaine even had the nerve to throw in these lines.

FOR ME, THIS DRIVES HOME THE STAKES IN THE SELECTION . NEARLY 2 MILLION MEN AND WOMEN PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR THIS COUNTRY AS ACTIVE DUTY, AS RESERVISTS — THEY DESERVE A COMMANDER IN CHIEF WITH THE EXPERIENCE AND THE TEMPERAMENT TO LEAD. [APPLAUSE]WHAT DOES DONALD TRUMP SAY ABOUT THESE AMERICANS, THE 2 MILLIONS? HE CALLS THEM A DISASTER, AND JUST THIS WEEK, DONALD TRUMP SAID AS PRESIDENT, HE WOULD CONSIDER TURNING AMERICA’S BACK ON OUR DECADE-OLD COMMITMENT TO OUR ALLIES. AND ALL OF YOU REMEMBER MONTHS AGO WHEN HE SAID ABOUT US AND IT CALL THE, JOHN MCCAIN, THAT HE WAS NOT A HERO BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN CAPTURED AND WAS A PRISONER OF WAR, AND HE WANTS TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF? WAS SERVICE MEMBERS ARE OUT THERE ON THE FRONT LINES, — WITH SERVICE MEMBERS OUT THERE ON THE FRONTLINES, THIS IS AN OPEN INVITATION FOR VLADIMIR PUTIN TO JUST ROLL ON IN. EVEN A LOT OF REPUBLICANS SAY THAT IS TERRIBLE DANGEROUS. (from here)

Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine just want to turn our military forces into yet another dependent constituency. If we are depending on Clinton to be our commander-in chief, God help us.

John McCain is not a war hero because he was captured. Being captured does not make war heroes. So why is McCain a war hero? What Trump apparently forgot is that even after being tortured McCain refused early release (from here). Nevertheless, McCain’s been playing this card for over 40 years, and Kaine’s just picking up the card hoping he can use Trump’s offhand remark to turn veterans against Trump. Kaine’s interest is identity politics, not actual issues. He almost certainly does not give a damn about the fighting effectiveness of our armed forces. And yes, I know he has a son. So why is Kaine rooting for Hillary Clinton, someone who puts Top Secret information on her own private email server? We spend ten’s of billions trying to protect our secrets, trying to keep our military and intelligence operations secret, and she just sticks stuff out there?

Does Donald Trump think our military forces are a disaster? Would he leave our allies in the lurch? No and no.

  • Kaine did not say why or when Trump called our military forces a disaster, but eight years under the command of Barack Obama have not been good for our military. That has been a disaster.
  • Trump’s idea of insisting our allies either pay us or pay for their own troops is hardly equivalent to leaving our allies in the lurch. In fact, coming from the VP pick of Hillary Clinton such an inference is hypocritical.

Before he makes his speech, watch Tim Kaine sitting behind Hillary as she introduces him. You will see a man who is ecstatic. Why? Why did Hillary pick Kaine? She needs a good attack dog. Kaine fits the bill, and he knows it.

LOVE: IS IT OUR CHIEF IDOL OR OUR MOST PRIZED VIRTUE? — PART 2

fatter_disasterWe live in era when the world seems to be unraveling. Is it unraveling? If it is unraveling, why?

Here we continue with part 2 of LOVE: IS IT OUR CHIEF IDOL OR OUR MOST PRIZED VIRTUE? What is the subject?

How The Idolization of Love Corrupts Church and State

What Is Idol Worship?

Word Origin and History for idoln. mid-13c.,

“image of a deity as an object of (pagan) worship,” from Old French idole “idol, graven image, pagan god,” from Late Latin idolum “image (mental or physical), form,” used in Church Latin for “false god,” from Greek eidolon “appearance, reflection in water or a mirror,” later “mental image, apparition, phantom,” also “material image, statue,” from eidos “form” (see -oid ). Figurative sense of “something idolized” is first recorded 1560s (in Middle English the figurative sense was “someone who is false or untrustworthy”). Meaning “a person so adored” is from 1590s. (from here)

When we idolize something, we put that person, place, or thing before our Creator. We foolishly put our faith in a person, place, or thing that is not worthy of such trust (Note again the origin of the word “idol”.). For the sake of what we can get from our idol, we sacrifice our self (in service) to our idol, and we risk our soul. We don’t “love” our idol, but it does consume us when we try use it to get what we want.

At gotquestions.org, here is how the author begins his post on the differences between ancient and modern idolatry.

Question: “What are some modern forms of idolatry?”

Answer: All the various forms of modern idolatry have one thing at their core: self. We no longer bow down to idols and images. Instead we worship at the altar of the god of self. This brand of modern idolatry takes various forms. (continued here)

The various forms he lists involve stuff (materialism), self (pride), state (mankind), and self-indulgence (various forms of gluttony).

How Does The Idolization of Love Corrupt The Church?

Most Christians have memorized at least one passage in the Bible. We call it The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), but it is really a model prayer. This prayer puts the focus on God and obedience to Him. When we recite it — and mean what we say — we humble ourselves and beg forgiveness for our sins. But this is not the way prideful men want to imagine God, and we have a wonderful capacity for self-delusion.  So it is that once we take our eyes off God, we focus upon what we want. In Grammar Lesson – ‘AS’ and ‘AND’, irtfyblog provides an example of how that works. Here is an excerpt.

So, knowing how a word is defined and used in a specific language, a reader can develop a better understanding of what the writer is trying to convey. Hence, the command:  “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

Since we know that ‘As’ is defined as a word used to compare and refer to the extent or degree of something, we can then see that the meaning of the command is really:  “Love your neighbor in comparison to or to the degree of which you love yourself.”

If God had said, “Love your neighbor AND love yourself,” that would have changed the meaning of the command entirely.

Since we very much like to love ourselves, so it is that many of us look for excuses to change the meaning of the Bible. When the folks at gotquestions.org addressed this question, “Why is idol worship such a powerful temptation?”, they considered this matter.

There is another form of idolatry prevalent today. Its growth is fostered by cultures that continue to drift away from sound biblical teaching, just as the apostle Paul warned us, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:3). In these pluralistic, liberal times, many cultures have, to a large degree, redefined God. We have forsaken the God revealed to us in Scripture and have recast Him to comply with our own inclinations and desires—a “kinder and gentler” god who is infinitely more tolerant than the One revealed in Scripture. One who is less demanding and less judgmental and who will tolerate many lifestyles without placing guilt on anyone’s shoulders. As this idolatry is propagated by churches around the world, many disillusioned congregants understandably believe they are worshipping the one, true God. However, these made-over gods are created by man, and to worship them is to worship idols. Worshipping a god of one’s own making, however, is particularly tempting for many whose habits and lifestyles and drives and desires are not in harmony with Scripture.

I call this form of idolatry the idolization of “love”.

How do our churches support the idolization of “love”? So that we can focus on the God of Love, we ignore much of scripture. We ignore Hell. We ignore the condemnation of sin. Fearing we deserve the same, we ignore the stories of Israel’s sins and suffering. We also ignore the sins and the suffering of Israel’s enemies, of Sodom and Gomorrah, of the peoples before Noah’s Flood, of Cain, and of Adam and Eve. Refusing to seriously consider the future, we set aside the coming Wrath of God in Revelation.

When was the last time your pastor warned of Hell and damnation? Does your pastor slyly step past the scary parts of the Bible? How many people do you know who read those parts? How many people do you know who have read the Bible?

Is there a Hell? Is there a punishment for sin? If not, then why did Jesus die upon that cross?

We have to study and revere the whole Word of God. Any church that refuses to do that will in time unravel.

Deuteronomy 12:29-32 New King James Version (NKJV)

Beware of False Gods

29 “When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, 30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

For the sake of what they imagine they could get from a demon god called Molech, the Canaanites and their Hebrew imitators burned their children alive.  For the sake of distorted notions of love, we abort hundreds of thousands of children every year.

How Does The Idolization of Love Corrupt The State?

Churches Don’t Provide Character Education

When churches begin preaching sloppy notions about love and ignore much of the Bible, the morals of a nation must suffer. Then the nation itself must suffer. Without a moral people, we cannot make a constitutional republic work. Neither the people nor their leaders will restrain themselves and abide by the law.

There is a certain irony in that. Consider all the rules, regulations and laws we suffer under now, and ignorance of the law is no excuse. In a highly technical society with potentially lethal hand-held power tools; big and even more dangerous cars, buses, and trunks; powerful chemicals; and so forth, we have to have lots of rules, regulations and laws. We cannot just point to a song and chant “What the world needs now is love, sweet love”. We have to understand that loving your neighbor means stopping at red lights. In fact, we have to teach our children and each other what real and sincere love looks like.

Yet too many Christian churches do not teach about the effort required to love. They should. Consider how Jesus summarized the Bible.

Matthew 22:36-40 New King James Version (NKJV)

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Did Jesus say that this passage is all we need to know? Didn’t Jesus spend three years teaching His apostles. Did not even the Apostle Paul, a brilliant scholar, have to spend 2 – 3 years in the desert before he began his work as an apostle (Galatians 1:11-18). For similar reasons, each of us needs to study the whole Bible. Just as the apostles could not teach others how to be good Christians without the instruction of Jesus, we cannot properly live as good Christians without studying the Bible.

An Example Of The Problem

The Bible is a book of wisdom that tells us how we should try to live with each other. Government is an institution we created to keep us from destroying each other. Because we must empower government to control us, government is an institution we can either use properly or abuse.

Here is a very simple, straightforward example. The Bible gives us a personal responsibility to love and help each other. The Bible speaks of voluntary giving, not government-run charity. Yet we have let legions of politicians persuade us that they have the right to take money some people and give it to other people. These politicians give us excuses. “It is for the children.” “It is for the disabled.” “It is for the old.” And so forth.

What at bottom is the excuse for government-run charity — welfare? The politicians defend the welfare state as modern man’s means for loving his neighbor. In fact, what has happened is that the conniving politicians who run these schemes just create large voting constituencies dependent on government handouts.

Government cannot love us. Government welfare is not about love; it is about votes. The Bible does not make exceptions for government handouts. Even when we use the government to do it, when we take the property of another person, that is stealing.

Government Cannot Provide Character Education

Since the time we turned the education of our children over to politicians, each succeeding generation has had less and less familiarity with the Bible. What have the politicians put in its place? It is a vague thing we call Secularism.

Why would our leaders choose to do such a thing? Why would they set aside the Bible, which contains invaluable wisdom, for Secularism. Well, there is nothing new in this. In fact, when Americans chose to prevent the government from establishing a state religion, that was new. Unfortunately, we risk losing what they won.

In the 1830’s Americans started sending their children to schools run by their local governments. Those public schools, ostensibly for the sake of religious freedom, gradually begin separating the religious content out of the curriculum. When state governments and the Federal Government sought to stick their noses into the government-run education racket, Federal and state officials accelerated the process of separating out religious education content. Hence, when the Supreme Court ruled against school prayer, the judges merely finished a process that was almost complete.

Unfortunately, a secular education cannot and does not instill virtue into children.  Therefore, everyone expected parents and churches to somehow make up for this deficit, but relatively few parents and churches ever taught children what was needful. In fact, as some have observed, the way the public schools teach subjects like sex education (handing out condoms to teenagers.) and history (religion starts wars) is often at odds with what churches and parents want children to learn.

Conclusion

If we want to save our republic, we have to focus on a more serious problem. We each have to repair the damage to our souls. We must study the Bible.

2 Chronicles 34 tells the story of a revival in Judah. The priests had lost the Book of the Law in the temple.  When the priests finally began looking towards God again, they then were able to find His Word again (in the Temple where they lost it). The question for today is whether we can do the same.


Continued: A Review Of What Others Have To Say

FROM THE GULLIBLE CITIZEN TOM TO THE GULLIBLE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES

Pilgrims John Carver, William Bradford, and Miles Standish, at prayer during their voyage to America. Painting by Robert Walter Weir.
Here is an example of what people once thought of when they spoke of fellow travelers. Pilgrims John Carver, William Bradford, and Miles Standish, at prayer during their voyage to America. Painting by Robert Walter Weir.

Recently, I got this comment from a fellow who calls himself “The Night Wind.”

The Night Wind

That’s just the tip of the iceberg:

http://sputniknews.com/world/20160607/1040919175/assange-russia-media-conference.html

Sputnik? Aside from the fact the news content was atrociously anti-American, I was suspicious of the name. What does sputnik mean?

sputnik (n.) Look up sputnik at Dictionary.com
“artificial satellite,” extended from the name of the one launched by the Soviet Union Oct. 4, 1957, from Russian sputnik “satellite,” literally “traveling companion” (in this use short for sputnik zemlyi, “traveling companion of the Earth”) from Old Church Slavonic supotiniku, from Russian so-, s- “with, together” + put’ “path, way,” from Old Church Slavonic poti, from PIE *pent- “to tread, go” (see find (v.)) + agent suffix -nik. (continued here)

As this article indicates, Russia launches ‘Sputnik’ media offensive to counter US propaganda, sputniknews.com exists to promote Russian propaganda. It is similar in nature to rt.com.

The name “sputnik news” is ironic. The word “sputnik” first gained familiarity in the West when the USSR launched a series of satellites named Sputnik. Since  artificial satellites generally orbit the earth, most satellites are in fact a “traveling companion of the Earth”.  oxforddictionaries.com, however, describes a slightly different origin for term “sputnik” which adds a bit of perspective.

Russian, literally ‘fellow-traveler’. (from here)

What is “fellow-traveler”?

fellow traveler noun
1. a person who supports or sympathizes with a political party, especially the Communist Party, but is not an enrolled member.
2. anyone who, although not a member, supports or sympathizes with some organization, movement, or the like.

Read The Night Wind’s comments defending (here and here) sputniknews.com. The Night Wind is something of a fan of Vladimir Putin. Thus, the Night Wind’s comments suggest that that old KGB agent’s propaganda is having some success.

Are The Night Wind’s complaints about the Western news media legitimate? Sadly, the answer is yes, but reading Russian propaganda hardly constitutes a solution.

What makes us so vulnerable to such propaganda in this country? We need to think about that, and we need to formulate a solution. So let’s consider the nature of the problem.  What factors make it more difficult than it once was to discern the truth in the news?

  • The mechanics of our government have changed drastically. When it originated, the Federal Government had little power. Except for a few items, those actually enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, most government operations — what little there were — in the United States were state and local. Then we could see for ourselves what was going on and speak to our leaders face-to-face. Yet the Federal Government now spends nearly twice what our state and local governments spend.
  • Why has local government diminished? To make local government work, we must be engaged in our local communities, but power-grabbing politicians have nearly torn our local communities apart. Unlike previous generations of Americans, we are not skilled in the art of community organizing. We would not even use such a phrase the same way. Our forbears would have thought of organizing to perform a charitable work. We think of community organizing getting the government to spend other people’s money.

Our forebears spent most of their day engaged within their local communities. They worked, educated their children, went to church, and played (even the adults) with their immediate neighbors.  Today not many of us do that. We spend our days tens of miles from home at our jobs, and we waste hours traveling on government-run roads that don’t work. Then we compound the damage. We educate our children in poorly managed government-run schools that discourage parental involvement. We may not go to church, and most of us spend hours a day escaping our “problems”. We “play” on a TV or Internet, or we just commiserate with each other by boozing it up with friends.

What do I think we should do? Well, turning sputniknews.com or rt.com for information is not going to help us. We know these people are trying to deceive us. Instead, we need to decrease the power and importance of government. We need to diminish the vast wealth our government controls. We need to make lying to us less attractive and less profitable; we need to bring government closer to home where we can keep an eye on it.

  • We need to stop giving politicians OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY to pay for public infrastructure. The worst kind of politicians sell access to OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. When we pay for our roads, for example, with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY, in return for campaign donations and various “favors”, politicians put the roads where developers want them. Then, in return for more for campaign donations and “favors”, politicians strangle what they had the gall to call a parkway with stoplights.  If we want decent transportation system, then we have to pay with our own money. We have to pay tolls. Then, developers will have to pay for their own roads.
  • We need to stop giving politicians power to redistribute the wealth.  Politicians use the power redistribute the wealth to buy our votes.  That has nothing to do with true charity; such charity is just stealing. Yet we have based our education system, our retirement systems, and our health care system upon such notions of charity. Because true charity is based upon love, government cannot effectively provide charity. Whenever government tries to provide charity, larceny will result. Human nature is such that any government system that spends OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY for the sake of OTHER PEOPLE must become corrupt, too costly, and eventually useless.
  • We need to put the kibosh on the identity politics. What just happened in Florida illustrates the gravity of the problem. Because of the fact they tend to vote Democrat, some of our glorious leaders want to import all the poor, dark skin people they can into this country. That includes Muslims. Yet as events keep demonstrating, our leaders have no way whatsoever of screening out Islamic terrorists from a peaceful Muslims. So why then is the LBGTQ crowd voting for Democrats? Consider their choice, our choice. Is it more important to force our views on others or to be left in peace to pursue our own definition of happiness?

Why do we have to drive so far and spend so much time traveling to work? Everybody wants to live in the country in a big house with a big yard.  So politicians have subsidized what we wanted with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY (so-called parkways), and they have protected big yards with zoning laws.

Why do we have expensive schools that don’t work? Everybody wants a fabulous education for their children. So politicians have subsidized what we wanted with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. They have built costly schools and staffed those schools with expensive teachers and administrators, members of public employee’s unions who kindly contributed to and worked for their reelection. Therefore, since those schools must be run by the government and secularized, we have created socialist institutions promoting the glories of Big Government.

Why don’t local communities provide charity, and why is our country going broke? Everybody wants a fail-safe financial safety net.  So politicians have subsidized what we wanted with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. Thus, we have food stamps, Social Security, Obamacare, and dozens of other programs that cost too much.

Why do politicians keep insisting that it is a small world and diversity means everyone must be politically correct? Everybody wants the assurance that everyone else likes them just as they are. We want everyone to think like us, and we don’t want anyone better or worse off than we are. That is, because every little community would be different, we cannot get by with local government. Otherwise, we actually would have diversity. So we have to nationalize every problem and make everyone think about everything and do everything the same way.

Therefore, as the result of too much government, we don’t have time to spend in our local neighborhoods, we don’t have much reason to talk to our neighbors, and we have trouble believing anything the news media wants to tell us.

You don’t believe me? Then please explain why we have to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for president.

 

MAKING AN IDOL OF REASON — PART 1

Fête de la Raison ("Festival of Reason"), Notre Dame, Paris (from here).
Fête de la Raison (“Festival of Reason”), Notre Dame, Paris (from here).

A Rally For Reason?

I live close to our nation’s capital, Washington D. C. So I suppose I could attend the so-called Reason Rally. In fact, I had the opportunity to go with a group that plans on preaching the Gospel to the lost. I decided not to go. Since I figured anyone attending that rally would refuse to listen, I decided it would be more profitable to blog instead.

Here are some sympathetic articles that describe the rally

For the time being, because Atheism still is not popular, the big names are staying away (see Reason Rally Speakers & Entertainers).

So why are the self-proclaimed “reasonable” people having a rally like this? Well, this sort of thing is nothing  new. The victors of the French Revolution (1789 until 1799), infamous for chopping off heads, celebrated a Cult of Reason. Unhappy with the Catholic Church, the revolutionaries wanted to replace the worship of the God of the Bible with the worship of human reason, but these worship leaders turned out to be quite unreasonable.  These people were against Christ, but they had nothing substantial to offer in His place. Human reason alone cannot and does not provide us the answers we need.

So why then are the self-proclaimed “reasonable” people having a rally like this? Why repeat such a foolish and bloody mistake? In our era, most people are not very familiar with history. Most people are also quite unfamiliar with the Bible. We have reached the point that we try to practice Biblical values without ever having read the Bible.  So it is many people have only a vague idea where the values they uphold came from.

What is funny is that those who deny Christ often do so because they don’t think Christianity measures up to their own moral values. Yet where did they get their highfalutin values? They may attribute them to their own higher reasoning, but then they would have to forget the humility of such as Isaac Newton.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. — Isaac Newton

None of us begin our lives without learning from others, others who learned from others.  We can, however, do a sorry job of teaching the next generation, and that we have been doing for several generations. So it is that “learned” ladies and gentlemen pretend to uphold Atheist “values” that often sound like those (or, supposedly, even better than those) found in the Bible. That is, they offer us their idols (stuff, sex, state, and self) and some form of salvation based upon works. If we just follow them and their formulas, we will have paradise on earth, and maybe heaven too.

Does that sound harsh? Well, consider the arrogance of holding a rally for reason. Only those attending the rally can reason? Consider also this is not just a rally for a religious view; it is a political rally, and the attendees claim “reason” as their own, their rallying point. Their opponents? Well, they don’t reason.

Nobody is stopping Atheists from believing what they want to believe. Christians may think that religious beliefs and political beliefs are related, but Christians don’t use the political system to impose their beliefs on others. However, men all too often have used “reason” as an excuse for abusing the rights of others. In fact, men have used their supposed greater capacity for reasoning as an excuse for enslaving other men.

Continued