Friday, March 28, 2008

The Way of the Dodo

At Vox’s blog, a commenter said this in a discussion about secularism’s corrosive influence on society:

Mr. Day,

I recall a statement by you in support of the institution of Christianity. You summed it up with two words. "It works".

At the time I wondered how does he figure? In many western countries the marriage rate and birth rate among Christians has plummeted, and both the numbers of raghead immigrants, and the number of births to raghead immigrants, have skyrocketed.

By what perverse definition can you conclude that this works? It works to destroy Christian societies?

Humans evolved for several million years on this earth. As they spread around the globe, those societies either prospered or failed. Those that "worked" prospered, those that did not work, failed.

That was all before Christ's time. Christianity really doesn't work. It's just hasn't totally failed yet. It looks like another century or so should do the job though.

Eddie 03.27.08 - 11:06 am #

A strange observation; too bad it isn’t the least bit observant of reality. What does a profusion of ragheads have to do with whether or not Christianity “works?” Perhaps he should consider that importing Islamoids by the baker’s thousand is a relatively recent phenomenon—a product of political correctness and multiculturalism, which find their headwaters in secularism. Of course, that means gleaning information from deeper sources than tonight’s episode of Are You Dumber than a Pre-skeweler?

Christianity works because it’s true; it has a tempering effect on Man’s passions. The current portrait of Western Civilization is one of a world in flight from its roots, a society in which ideals once taken for granted as true now meet with sneers. The unquestionable is questioned; the sacred is profaned; moral virtue draws hisses, while lasciviousness becomes enthroned over all. When secularism usurps Christianity’s place in society, all that remains is “Do what thou wilt, with due consideration to the policeman around the corner.” This is synonymous to the biblical description of a land without God being one in which “every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

Why the surprise about marriage and birth rates plummeting, when denouncing motherhood as a form of enslavement, “no-fault” divorce, sexual promiscuity, and an insistence on a mythological right to abortion-on-demand have become commonplace? I contend that the expectation of stable marriage and birth rates in such a scenario is a position unacquainted with Reason.

It’s interesting how secularists conclude that problems stemming from a rejection of Christian values somehow indicate Christianity’s failure as a belief system. This is like Oprah blaming Jenny Craig for her weight gain, despite her regular, midnight chocolate rendezvous. It seems secularists are looking for a scapegoat for whatever problems assail us, and Christianity fits their bill.

Christian influence too pervasive? “Help! I’m being repressed! Now I can’t indulge in all my favorite sins and continue receiving pats on the head and 'Attaboy!'s from society.” Christian influence too sparse? Why, we’ll just chalk up all the attendant problems to Christianity’s ineffectual nature. Notice how Christianity takes it on the chin, whatever the outcome.

This is an intellectually dishonest stance having less to do with Christianity’s warts and inadequacies than with the secularist’s refusal to address the logical outcome of his beliefs put into practice: a civilization in decay.

It would be humorous, if it weren’t so sad and destructive: For upwards of fifty years, the Eddie’s of the world have dedicated their lives to eradicating or limiting Christian influence on western societies. They’ve captured public education, most institutions of higher learning, the news media, government, and virtually the entire entertainment industry. With the exception of the internet—and radio, to a lesser extent—they dominate the communication outlets of our countries. They’ve indoctrinated our children into the notion that truths and mores higher than Man’s desires are fairy tales. They insist that our “fearfully and wonderfully made” selves are products of mindless, undirected chemical processes and favorable mutations—despite convincing evidence to the contrary. And to top it all off, when the inevitable collapse precipitated by their outlook rears its ugly head, do they see this as cause for introspection, for a reevaluation of their worldview? Alas, no. Rather, they castigate the very people who built from the ground up and maintained our society, who created it from scratch, with God’s help, who stand as its sole guardians, albeit imperfect ones. Oh, the blind irony.

When a civilization expels Christianity as its foundation, another philosophical paradigm takes over. The products of secularism are apathy and nihilism, both of which strive with Christian values. The negative commentary on our society is not a representation of Christian influence, but of its attempted displacement.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Prelude to a Sermon

Overheard during the "hymnal" session at Barack Obama's Church of Blackitude:

My man Barack,
He black.
He ain' white!

When da Man git ya down,
Obama comin' aroun,'
An' he takin' on Hill
Wit'out gittin' shrill.

Now he gonna rep-uh-zent
All da homies an' hoods;
He creepin' to da Black Howse
While da creepin' be good.

An' he 'bout ta bus' a cap
In all da howse niggas.
Oh, it gives me da sniggas
When he pull dose triggas.
He diggin' down deep
Like a l'il black chigga,
An' da itch dat ya scratch
Git bigga an' bigga.

He comin' on strawng
Like da National Det,
Poppin' on da muzzle,
Takin' Hill to da vet.
He a ink-jet threat
To da Lizardette,
An' he tawkin' up da Bible
From a high minaret.
He a big-time Black-powah marionette.
He take yo life in his han's an' play Russhun Roolette.

So git down wif Obama,
Cuz he sellin' da drama.
He don' like Brahma or da Dalai Lama,
But he 'bout ta let loose a big "Yo Mamma!"
To a smelly camel jockey by da name'a Osama.

He givin' free helth care
Wit' style an' flair,
An' he handin' out cheks
To da brothas on wellfare.
He suaver den Kildare
So ya bettah beware!
He dumpin' Hill down a stair
Like a crip in a wheelchair.

Now I gots ta mention McCain--
He insane in da membrane--
Obama gonna hit 'im like a bullet train;
Won' be nuffin' lef' but a greasy ol' stain.
So doncha complain; maintain an' refrain
From callin' him "BHO" or "Barack Hussein."

He bringin' on Change.
If ya find dat strange,
Well, let me explange
His national gearchange.

We need ourselves a whole lotta Progress;
I confess I guess we need ta fix diss mess.
He kickin' sum butt like a bully at recess,
An' slippin' threw da cracks like da monstah in Loch Ness.
I profess I regress when he starts ta impress,
An I can't supress; I jus' acquiesce:
Ever'thing starts ta coalesce
When I break out my trusty ol' Afferkin headdress.
But I digress.

Ya see, Big's gittin' Bigga,
An bettah iz bettah;
Da grass gittin' greenah, an'
Da sea gittin' wettah.
Da sky gittin' blue-ah,
So take dat, crackuh!
Barack keep on gittin blackah an' blackah;
He gonna rock yo worl' like a
Septembah hijackah.

So take heed of my rap,
An don' gimme no crap.
Watch my lips flap
While I steal yo hubcap.
Hear my mind snap
Like a well-oiled mousetrap.
An' whatevah ya does,
Don' ax fo' a recap!

Friday, March 21, 2008

That's Gratitude for Ya

The Washington Post reported recently that Iraq has ordered $100 million worth of military equipment for its police forces from China. The Iraqis claim the U.S. is too slow in delivering arms shipments. Here's the funny part: in light of this complaint/explanation for its behavior, Iraq's security forces already cannot account for the location of 190,000 weapons shipped to Iraq by the U.S. Would Iraq find speedy weapons shipments so necessary, if it actually could keep track of the weapons once they entered its territory?

I think this situation provides us a clear insight into the minds of Iraqi government officials, revealing just how appreciative they are of American efforts on their behalf. Agree with the Iraq war or not, our country has built schools, hospitals, and power plants for these people--at American taxpayer expense, for the most part. Our men in uniform died fighting the revolution Iraq's citizens had neither the courage nor the wherewithal to fight. Our soldiers continue dying in misguided efforts at keeping the Iraqi people "liberated" and "stable" in their government and nation. Iraq repays us by accepting all of this largesse, and doing business with China.

We're spending $12 billion a month in Iraq. The Bush Administration has requested $189 billion for Iraq in the next fiscal year.

It's time the well dried up. Let them dig their own.

Work 'Em If Ya Got 'Em

From Congressman John J. Duncan's Legislative Update:

Best Workers

Contrary to what some think, the U.S. is not losing jobs because American workers are spoiled or lazy. In fact, according to the latest rankings by the International Labor Office of the U.N., American workers are the most productive in the world, by far, mainly due to working longer hours. U.S. workers produce about $64,000 a year in value-added labor--$8,000 a year more than Ireland, the next closest economy. Most countries are not even close to the U.S. in this ranking, with the less-developed nations producing at least three times less per worker. Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest, producing about one-twelfth per worker as in the developed or industrialized countries.

This belies the notion that Mexicans and others are such stellar workers--far exceeding the efforts of Americans--that our economy simply can't function without them. If they're such workaholics, why aren't Mexico and other countries running rings around the U.S., economically speaking? I note that Duncan gleaned his information from the U.N.--not a body well-known for its pro-American stances on a host of issues.

I patronize businesses almost every day, where dark-skinned, jet-haired people work, speaking broken or no English. A few short years ago, American citizens--many of them teenagers--performed these duties. So I ask myself: in a nation with a growing population, where did all those people go? Should we believe that these folks refuse to do such jobs--as we're told by our illustrious president--or should we believe that businesses who idolize the dollar above all else consciously seek out or favor applicants with questionable legal status, or even legal immigrants, in hopes of cutting corners on payday? Which seems more probable?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

"If You Build It, They Won't Come"

Wouldn't that make a good bumper sticker promoting a fence on our southern border?

Monday, March 10, 2008

She Blinded Me with Science II

Scientific theories change over time. So do paradigms. Case-in-point: Preceding Darwin's cloaking of evolution in respectability, and its subsequent popularization, the prevailing understanding of origins in the western scientific realm was one of a Creator who brought all that exists into being. This assessment changed after Darwin--at least in terms of those who controlled the discussion.

Another example is Phlogiston Theory. The American Heritage Science Dictionary describes it thusly: A hypothetical colorless, odorless, weightless substance once believed to be the combustible part of all flammable substances and to be given off as flame during burning. In the 18th century, Antoine Lavoisier proved that phlogiston does not exist.

First postulated in 1702, this theory remained intact for nearly a century.

Even today, some scientists--Stephen Hawking, among others--debate the validity of Big Bang Theory.

From the biblical viewpoint, God's Word does not change over time.

In Mark 13:31, Jesus tells us: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

2 Timothy 3:16-17: 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

One either believes these verses, or he doesn't. But if you do believe, then God's holy Word should be placed on a pedestal far above the assertions and dogmas of sinful, misguided men.

If God's Word remains ever the same, while science verifiably does change over time, then tailoring one's understanding of scripture to science is a mistake. If you accept Big Bang Theory, and this in turn informs your view of scripture, what happens to your lodestar if the Big Bang becomes discredited? Will you continue following the zeitgeist, in crying: "Oh science gods, what's next on your endless list of theories? Please tell me what to believe." Will you continue in the assumption that it is theirs to declare, and yours faithfully to accept? That seems an erratic, unstable method of viewing reality.

I'll put faith in the Word of God, while exercising cautious respect for science, in light of its shortcomings. Better that than placing my faith in science, while pinballing back and forth over fluctuating scriptural interpretations based upon naturalistic science du jour.

All beliefs need a mooring. Will you dock yours in the immutable berth of scripture, or the mined shoals of science?

Friday, March 7, 2008

She Blinded Me with Science

I understand why certain folks have devotional awe of science. Each person approaches science from a different paradigm. On the one hand, some people believe that nothing exists beyond the material, while others have faith in something that supersedes the material universe.

The materialist sees science as humanity's best tool for studying all of existence. So to him, science is the ultimate if not only arbiter of truth.

However, the genuine Christian sees science as a flawed tool, albeit a useful one--an imperfect implement forged by an imperfect people. Science is limited in its capacity to analyze reality. For him, it never can be the paramount or sole arbiter of truth.

The point is that science is a neutral mechanism. The paradigm already in place in a person's mind determines how one views science: as the Alpha and Omega, or as a method of examining merely one aspect of a much broader reality. It is the rare individual who comes to science as a tabula rasa, deriving his worldview from his scientific studies. Rather, science becomes a validator of views long possessed.

There is no such thing as neutrality in the human heart. No one lacks biases. This is why blind acceptance of "scientific" conclusions is dangerous; religious or not, doing so means subordinating oneself to the pronouncements of people who are neither infallible nor objective in their determinations.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thus Spake Wheelie

Have y'all ever read Mr. W. Lindsay Wheeler's babblings over at Vox Popoli? For those who've missed out, let me give a brief summation of his shtick:

1. There's a Jew in every woodpile, and he spends an inordinate amount of time sullying it.

2. Protestants are stupid.

3. Christianity owes as much (if not more) to Hellenism as it does to a timeless, sovereign God's influence and inspiration.

4. One should offer slavish, fawning devotion to human rulers, if the philosopher-kings-in-question fit certain "leadership" criteria--determined, of course, by Wheelie himself.

Now, who could argue with such impeccable reasoning?

Here's a recent Wheelie quote:

Protestants are such simple-minded peasants.

For instance The Flood--that covered "the whole world". Now Protestants think this means today's concept of an earth. Notice the word "concept" that I used. Reading other ancient texts, one comes across a saying of Sargon the Great, and he exclaims, "I have conquerod the """Whole"""" world".

Did he really?

The concept that the earth is a globe, that is round and huge is a MODERN concept due to technology.

The ANCIENT concept is from "horizon to horizon". The ancient peoples had NO concept of a globe of a Pacific Ocean and huge bodies of waters. Their concept of the World was of their eyesight from horizon to horizon. That the Flood was a huge event that covered their world.

And this is why Protestants are such simple-minded fools, and they bring true religion into disrepute, because they are NOT sophisticated enough to understand cultural context, don't make an effort to understand ancient peoples and take things for face value. Applying MODERN concepts to ancient phrases that NEVER had that meaning.

WLindsayWheeler Homepage 03.02.08 - 10:03 am

This entire critique seems based on a false assumption: namely, that scripture is a product of the human mind, not that of God. First, all Protestants don't hold unanimous views on the biblical Deluge; some take the Bible at its word, while others "spiritualize" the text. So his blanket criticism of Protestants is silly and demonstrably inaccurate.

Second, the relevant biblical passages on the Flood indicate a world-wide event, if taken at face-value. Rather than rehash this detailed argument, here, I'll point interested parties to, "A Worldwide Flood?," wherein I discuss the matter at length.

Third, due to the element of divine inspiration, for a Christian to compare the words of Sargon to the words of God seems a somewhat bizarre tactic in making one's point. Sargon was a mere man, and was either ignorant, exaggerating for effect, or perpetrating a deceit. His expressions of hubris or cluelessness shouldn't serve as interpreters of God's message to Mankind.

Fourth, that Earth is a globe is not "a modern concept due to technology." If Wheelie spent more time reading his Bible, and less drooling over the spoutings of long-dead Mesopotamian kings, he might grasp that scripture specifically addresses this topic:

Isaiah 40:22: It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. . .

Outside scriptural confines, the ancient Greeks and Indians understood that Earth was a round ball, not a flat plane supported on the backs of four gigantic turtles, or a piece of flotsam swirling in a celestial toilet bowl, or a Burroughsian raft floating in a lake of fire, or whatever.

Fifth, the "horizon to horizon" myth may have infected some ancient peoples, but not all, for conquering armies and wanderers had travelled farther than the far horizons--many times over, in some cases. They knew that the world encompassed more than what lay within their eyesight, though they couldn't see or experience it by walking outside and looking around. Technological inferiority doesn't equal irredeemable stupidity and ignorance.

And of course, what better method of ending an arrogant, condescending tirade than with a little good old-fashioned name-calling? That hits the spot. Right, Wheelie?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sola Scriptura and Tradition

Roman Catholics and Protestants tussle over many ideas, not the least of which is sola scriptura. Some Catholics consider Protestants wayward brothers and sisters of the same faith, while others have a virulent dislike of the Reformers. I find it interesting that people who elevate the beliefs and philosophies of men to an equal plane with God's Word sneer and label as heretics those who refrain from doing so. However, if one cracks his Bible, from time to time, he might understand the complete disdain revealed therein for Man's maundering over philosophical matters. Here's what Jesus said about the traditions and wisdom of Men:

7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.--Mark 7:7-9

In Colossians 2:8, Paul said: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

In I Corinthians 1:18-25, Paul delivers this critical message on the subject of Man's wisdom:

18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

It seems to me that God has a very low estimation of Man's wisdom, and certainly doesn't consider it on a par with His own. A coherent reading of scripture makes this obvious. If the Bible represents God's wisdom and insight, how can the traditions and opinions of men stand in their radiance and not flinch? That is the ridiculous concept. That is the nigh-heretical view. That is the unbiblical perspective.

The concept of sola scriptura doesn't mean that truth is found nowhere outside scripture. Rather, it is the notion that the Holy Bible is the ultimate authority--never trumped, and never equalled.

Man's traditions and wisdom should subject themselves to God's Word. Not the other way around.

*For further reference, here's a past blog post that I wrote on the same topic.