Roundup

Will this be enough for the climate lobby?  Doubtful.  Too much money and power is at stake.

Is this finally proof we’re NOT causing global warming? The whole of the Earth heated up in medieval times without human CO2 emissions, says new study

  • Evidence was found in a rare mineral that records global temperatures
  • Warming was global and NOT limited to Europe
  • Throws doubt on orthodoxies around ‘global warming’

And please don’t be taken in by the “earth hour” silliness.

Earth Hour – it’s the best thing since sliced bread

Earth Hour is yet another way for the disconnected, self-absorbed masses to pretend they’re involved in an issue.

I have written previously on this issue (oddly, that was also a March 31st) and in that discussion observed that the likely cost to the environment to produce candles, t-shirts and all other manner of supporters’ paraphernalia was far in excess of the gains achieved by turning off a couple of light bulbs (but not the TV – how else will they know what everyone else is doing?).

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Jimmy Carter’s new study Bible is a train wreck of bad theology.  See Glenn’s analysis here.  A sample, which includes the fallacious argument from silence:

Huffington Post:  A lot of people point to the Bible for reasons why gay people should not be in the church, or accepted in any way.

Carter:  Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -– he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.  … if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine.
My comment:  Jesus also didn’t mention child abuse, pedophilia, wife beating, bestiality, etc, so I guess he was okay with those?  Christ, being God, had plenty so say about homosexuality in the O.T. and soundly condemned it.  (Notice the behavior is condemned rather than an “orientation.”).  While Christ did indeed address marriage, referring back to Adam and Eve as what marriage was, Carter sanctions same-sex unions, as does his church.

But I will give Jimmy credit for sort of challenging Democrats on abortion.

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Trayvon Martin’s death is still a tragedy, and it is still tragic that the media ghouls and fake Christians are using his death to advance their agenda.  If Zimmerman broke the law he should be held accountable.

Quick questions: Does your media describe Zimmerman as an Hispanic Democratic?  Would they have forgotten to mention his party affiliation if it was Republican?  Do they mention his real school record, his Twitter account activity, show more recent pictures of him and show how the media has doctored his hoodie picture?  If so, you should branch out with your media consumption.

And judging without evidence sure worked well for the Duke Lacrosse players, eh?  Read Ann Coulter’s piece for a good perspective.

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A good summary of perspectives on the problem of evil.  All philosophies have to address it somehow.  Christianity has the best explanations.

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Have conservatives really lost their faith in science, as was recently reported?  Not at all.  We just exercise appropriate skepticism and discernment, especially in two sub-sets of the dozens of branches of science (Darwinism and global climate change).  And we do that with good reasons.  Those two are driven by power, money and materialistic philosophy instead of science .

Actually, almost no one loses their faith in science when it is evidence-based and useful. Who turns down cancer treatments that work?

Rather, people lose their faith in “anything can be true in our multiverse,” “apes think like humans,” “the aliens have just gotta be out there,” “a giant heat wave is engulfing the planet,” “random sorts can produce highly specialized information,” and “my theory explains the origin of life” because – quite honestly – this stuff is not science.

It’s too bad if only identified “conservatives” doubt all the dubious propositions out there. The rest of the crowd will catch up after a while, though. They can’t afford not to.

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No wonder many black people don’t like Darwin’s theory

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Obama promises Planned Parenthood that he’ll never stop fighting for their choice to kill unwanted human beings.

 

Liberalism and poverty: The cause, not the cure

False teacher Chuck Currie’s piece on How To End Homelessness: Fight Poverty reminded me of when Homer Simpson said, “Beer: The cause of . . . and cure for all life’s problems.”  Only in this case, Liberalism just causes poverty, it doesn’t cure it.  If people graduate high school and don’t have sex outside of marriage their odds of being poor are very low.  Yet Chuck et al are the cheerleaders for the anti-God Planned Parenthood-style sexual mores that are destroying this country.  If you really want to fight poverty you’ll spread the Gospel.  Transformed hearts and minds lead to a more moral society, which reduces poverty.

Ending homelessness, Currie says, will take a massive push on curbing poverty . . .

So there is a connection between people not having money and being homeless?  Who knew?!

— including not only creating jobs, but also preparing workers for those jobs —

So why do Liberals oppose all the ways we could create jobs in this country?  Why don’t they support more oil drilling and the Keystone Pipeline, which would reduce energy costs for everyone and make homes more affordable and provide jobs that would increase tax revenues?  Or how about merely not aggressively killing the coal industry? (Sadly, that is one promise Obama is keeping.)

and on making huge investments in affordable housing

Details, please.  What are these “huge” investments and how do they make housing affordable?  Is that code for taking from neighbor A by force to “give” to neighbor B?

and building up programs for in-home support of the elderly, those with physical disabilities and those suffering from other health, mental health and addiction problems.

Yes, many homeless have mental problems and will never be able to maintain a residence in their current state.  But try to institutionalize them and watch the lawsuits fly.

. . . The Half in Ten Campaign is advancing progressive economic policies to reduce poverty that stand in stark contrast to the budget proposal put forward by Paul Ryan and adopted this week by the U.S. House that would increase poverty and homelessness, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

And you can totally trust that source, especially when it is proven that Liberals fail at basic economics.

President Obama’s budget proposals move us in a much better direction.

Yes, and that’s why his budget didn’t get one single vote from Republicans OR Democrats.  I repeat: Not a single vote from Democrats!

I remain strongly convinced from the polls and my own experiences that we Americans are a compassionate people who want our government to advance policies that promote the common good over the needs of the special interests or the wealthiest and most powerful among us. We can end homelessness. We simply need to make the moral investment.

And we should all take seriously the moral claims from someone who thinks that one of our problems is that we don’t have enough abortions in this country. You see, fake Reverend Chuck is pro-taxpayer funded abortions.  As with most liberals, he thinks that killing unwanted human beings reduces poverty.  While pretending to oppose the powerful they think people should have the power to destroy the unwanted.

The real War on Women

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The DNC and the Mainstream Media have created a meme about the supposed conservative war on women.  It goes like this: “You won’t ask the government to force others — including religious institutions — to pay for birth control so women can have out of wedlock sex and early term abortions, so you are waging a war on women!”

The non-hyperbolic versions of the real war on women:

Muslim honor killings:

At least 943 Pakistani women and girls were murdered last year for allegedly defaming their family’s honor, the country’s leading human rights group said Thursday.

The statistics highlight the growing scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens and there is no law against domestic violence.

Despite progress on better protecting women’s rights, activists say the government needs to do more to prosecute murderers in cases largely dismissed by police as private, family affairs.

Planned Parenthood systematically hides statutory rape and sex trafficking victims.

25 million females destroyed in the womb (or as infants) for the sole reason that they are female.  But the Left defends those abortion rights.

Obama cuts funding that helps low-income women in Texas because he loves Planned Parenthood more than really helping women.

Then there is Obama’s problem.  And it isn’t just the 1,000,000 reasons Obama won’t return Bill Maher’s donation, even though he called Sarah Palin a c*nt, and it isn’t just the rest of the media overlooking slurs against conservative women that pale in comparison to what Rush said about Sandra Fluke.

I’ll let the readers decide which positions are truly anti-women.

Finally, don’t miss this by the Wintery Knight.  It is a terrific summary of how we got here, plus more about how radical feminism hasn’t improved the happiness of women.

A few decades back, a vocal minority of women decided to revolt against chastity, small government, low taxes, marriage, courtship, and motherhood. They decided that it was better to be able to have recreational sex before marriage, to put their own careers ahead of motherhood, to liberalize divorce laws, to pay women to have children without being married, to vote for higher taxes, to expand government to offer social programs and redistribution schemes, and to assault the traditional gender roles of husbands and fathers. Most men had nothing to do with starting this revolution, but men in general went along with it because they wanted freely available recreational sex more than they wanted children to be safe in stable, married homes.

Roundup

Big roundup!  Grab a snack and read a while.  I was traveling last week (great visit to see my daughters!) and haven’t done much writing.

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Why does God let us suffer? — An excellent response to one of the most common objections to Christianity.  Side note: Atheists tend to use this as a trump card against us while ignoring that all worldviews must account for suffering.  Our explanation is far better than their’s, because they can never ground suffering with any meaning.

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False Teachings About Hearing Audible Words From God Taking Even Deeper Root in Today’s Church — this is such an important topic, as this destructive false teaching seems to be growing.  I was talking with an inmate during a prison ministry visit and he has been troubled for years because he thought he “heard” (not audibly) God tell him that he would be out “soon.”  He has stayed in longer than expected, so that obviously didn’t happen.  He is still a believer but it has damaged his walk.

As I always say, if you want to hear from God, read the Bible.  If you want to hear from God audibly, then read the Bible out loud.  If God speaks to you it will be unmistakable.  How can I know that?  Because every example in the Bible shows it that way!  The Bible quotes God roughly 3,000 times, and not once do the writers say they kinda sorta thought God might have told them something.

This topic is a good excuse to post this again:

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Contraception use increases abortion rates, and even the NY Times admits it.

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Tolerant leftists threaten to murder 14-year old girl for defending marriage — Can’t you just feel the love?  All she did was state the obvious — marriage is a union of one man and one woman — and people want to kill her.  Why wasn’t this front page news?

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Angry Arminians — They aren’t the reason I switched to Reformed theology despite being in Arminian churches my whole life (for right or wrong it was all about the Bible), but they did make me wonder why they were so angry and made me want to dig deeper.

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The most troubling modern trends — a great summary of where modern thinking has gone wrong: moral relativism, social nihilism, Constitutional interpretation and political correctness.

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The problem with making the morning-after pill as easy to get as a candy bar — Yeah, what could go wrong?

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Obama defends his record with a bunch of misquotes.  But the mainstream media already told you that, right?  Right?!

President Hayes, the TV flash in the pan, the horse is here to stay — they’re all at the Wikiquote page on “Incorrect Predictions.”

. . .

Christopher Columbus? Once upon a time, your average well-informed high-schooler, never mind the smartest president in history, understood that Columbus was laughed at not because everyone believed the world was round: Educated Europeans of his day accepted the earth was spherical and had since Aristotle’s time. They laughed because they thought he was taking the long way round to the East Indies. Which he was.

So let’s see. The president sneers at the ignorance of 15th century Spaniards, when in fact he is the one entirely ignorant of them.

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Leftist fake Christian ghouls use Trayvon Martin death for their political agenda — These “Christians” would have been glad to have the government force you to pay Trayvon’s mom to abort him, but now they are glad to use his tragic death to advance their agenda.  Do they speak out against the New Black Panthers’ “Dead or alive” incentives to kill the Hispanic gunman?  Do they speak out against black-on-black violence?  What was their reaction to the black-on-white hate crime where a 13 year old boy was set on fire because he was white?

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Another reason to like Santorum: The obligatory “Santorum ready to go after Internet porn as president” post.  There are many things Obama could be doing, but won’t.

America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography. A wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences. Addiction to pornography is now common for adults and even for some children. The average age of first exposure to hard-core, Internet pornography is now 11. Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking…

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Jimmy Carter keeps embarrassing himself.  The latest is his use of the fallacious “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality” sound bite.  I used to want to like Jimmy for his Habitat work (even though he was a horrific President).  But alas, he keeps opening his mouth with his terrible theology.

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I’m glad a former elder is speaking out against Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill church.  They  had potential to do good things but it looks like egos got in the way.

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Pro-’Gay’ Liberals Dare Not Discuss This … Homosexual Health Risks — gruesome but true.

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A great summary of home schooling.  I wish we would have done this for both girls and for much longer.  Hat tip: Debunking Atheists.

Homeschool Domination

Discernment in giving

It isn’t enough just to donate money.  We need to be good stewards of what God gave us and ensure we are donating to trustworthy and effective organizations.  I was encouraged by this article by Kevin DeYoung on Help for the Poor that Really Helps.  The ministries we’ve supported in Kenya, Honduras and elsewhere do these things well.

Note how low fair-trade coffee is relative to other endeavors.  Oh, and note how clicking the “Like” button on Facebook isn’t on the list.

Christians can too easily settle for good intentions. We usually support programs that make us feel good without considering whether they actually do good. We need to be smarter about actually thinking through which poverty strategies are most effective. “To answer this question” Wydick writes, “I polled top development economists who specialize in analyzing development programs. I asked them to rate, from 0 to 10, some of the most common poverty interventions to which ordinary people donate their money, in terms of impact and cost-effectiveness per donated dollar.”

These were the results:

1. Get clean water to rural villages (Rating: 8.3)

2. Fund de-worming treatments for children (Rating: 7.8)

3. Provide mosquito nets (Rating: 7.3)

4. Sponsor a child (Rating: 6.9)

5. Give wood-burning stoves (Rating: 6.0)

6. Give a micro-finance loan (Rating 4.2)

7. Fund reparative surgeries (Rating: 3.9)

8. Donate a farm animal (Rating 3.8)

9. Drink fair-trade coffee (Rating. 1.9)

10. Give a kid a laptop (1.8)

Of course, we want to ensure that these ministries are sharing the Gospel with people as well.  Poor people without Jesus go to Hell just like rich people without Jesus do.

The budget and the “Christian” Left

In God’s Federal Budget Priorities? Mark Tooley does a good job of analyzing the problems of the religious Left, specifically the views of the Sojourners group led by false teacher Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis.  The allegedly Christian portion of the “religious Left” routinely denies the deity of Christ, his exclusivity for salvation, the authority and accuracy of the Bible and so much more. We have a term for people who hold their views: Non-Christians.  We aim to share the Gospel with them at their earliest convenience, and we aim to remove them and their false teachings from real churches as soon as possible.

But in the Religious Left’s surreal universe, all persons are intrinsically good but victimized by oppressive social systems, for which they are entitled to endless redress by a mammoth, centralized state, controlled of course by the enlightened Left.

So many serious problems are caused by ignoring the truth of original sin.  And it never occurs to the Religious Left that those systems had to have been designed by all these “intrinsically good” people.

Sanctimoniously, the Sojourners mobilizer bewailed that the “vulnerable” may lack super PACs and “gangs of lobbyists . . .

Sadly, the most vulnerable — innocent human beings in the womb — have the Sojourners and the rest of the religious Left either ignoring or advancing the ultimate social injustice of abortion. They love to quote the “least of these” part of Matthew 25 while ignoring that they all want taxpayer-funded abortions. That means they think one of our problems is that we aren’t killing enough unborn children.

But how can there be “advantage” for future generations if the U.S. federal government is straddled with tens of trillions in unredeemable debt, crippling taxes, bankrupting entitlement programs, an enervating Welfare State, and crippling regulations? The Religious Left’s faithful budget prophets do not explain.

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Traditional Christianity envisions a world of balance in which all persons are called to contribute towards the common good with their own God-given talents.  Traditional Christianity sees all persons as moral agents responsible for their own decisions.  And traditional Christianity sees all persons as sinners who often need rewards, punishments and incentives as well as ongoing challenge and accountability.  But in the Religious Left’s surreal universe, all persons are intrinsically good but victimized by oppressive social systems, for which they are entitled to endless redress by a mammoth, centralized state, controlled of course by the enlightened Left.

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How to pay for all these additional expenses?  Cut nuclear weapons, submarines and aircraft, along with prisons, and immigration law enforcement.

What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Christianity is a very earthy, no nonsense faith embodied in St. Paul’s admonition, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”  The early church fathers and sensible churchmen ever since have believed that governments are ordained mainly to defend their people with armies and police, to punish the criminally wicked, and to sustain public order so that honest people can exercise their virtues freely to the glory of God.

But the Religious Left chooses to see Big Government almost as a replacement for God, the church, the family, and virtually all other human institutions.   They ascribe to the federal Welfare and Regulatory State powers and mysteries that even the most zealous of ancient pagans never ascribed to their favorite golden idols.

The Hunger Games and running on the fumes of Christianity

We went to a sold-out 10:30 a.m. showing of The Hunger Games today.  Apparently this is a popular movie.  My wife is a librarian and likes to keep up with young adult literature.  I haven’t read the books or any reviews of the movie, so what I’ll offer here may have completely missed the point (that tends to happen when I analyze anything artistic — remind me to tell you about my paper on a poem back in freshman English and how much my professor  . . . er, uh . . . loved it.)

Without offering any spoilers about anything not shown in the first 60 seconds of the movie, it was a bit like The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.  Kent Brockman of The Simpsons summarized that in a pithy way: “A chlling tale of conformity gone mad.”  People are randomly selected to die to offer some sort of benefit for the greater good of the community.  Hey, what could go wrong with that?!

Side note: I had a fun 10th grade English teach that had us recreate the killing from The Lottery, only with wads of paper instead or rocks.  One person was randomly selected from each row, then one of those people was picked to stand in the corner while everyone threw paper wads at her.  Good times.

Back to the movie.  I assume that it was some sort of cautionary tale about what might happen.  But I didn’t see it as futuristic, but historical (think Roman gladiators and feeding Christians to the lions) and contemporary (think video games, movies, ultimate fighting and, to a lesser extent, pro football).

One of the main mistakes any society makes is to ignore the reality of original sin.  They think we’ve evolved, when we’ve done no such thing.  Exhibit A: The ancients who wrote the Hippocratic Oath knew abortion was wrong. It was only in our “enlightened” times that we’ve rationalized away the immorality of killing innocent but unwanted human beings. Hey, even Planned Parenthood used to be pro-life.

So I didn’t see movies like The Hunger Games as warnings about what we might do.  We are already doing all sorts of horrific things and are blinded to their evil.

The only reason we haven’t descended further into mayhem is that we are running on the fumes of Christianity, but those are dissipating as I write this.  No matter how hard they try, secularists cannot ground morality in their molecules-to-man worldview.

Everyone knows moral laws exist (see Romans 2-3) but so many people deny God in their rebellion against him (see Romans 1).  When you reject God then, as the saying goes, everything is permissible.  People may deny Christianity, but if they understood history they would realize it under girds the few moral truths they have left (even though they wildly misinterpret those truths).

My prayer is that believers will abandon the prosperity gospel, theologically liberal (read: fake) churches and other falsehoods and man up to share the truth of the real Gospel in love.

P.S. I enjoyed the movie.  Good acting and story line.  Now we need to see October Baby and I will have fulfilled my quota of two visits to the movie theater per year.

P.S.S. I have now read a couple reviews of the movie.  Good review of the movie from a Christian perspective here.  Warning: Plot spoilers.  I also noted from other reviews that the movie works better if you’ve read the books.  I realize that is sort of a “duh” statement, but some of the criticisms of the movie wouldn’t apply to the book.