The Collision Blog

For God’s sake, leave Him out of it!  — May 26, 2015

For God’s sake, leave Him out of it! 

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. This is the message that we share, the message we live, and the message we want others to understand. So why do we make Him bear the burden of our proclivities so often? Somewhere along the lines we’ve lost sight of justice, humility, and righteous anger, and we picked up convenient one liners that we can print on wrist bands and disperse out of a Mary Poppins style bottomless bag of excuses. The person at the receiving end of said bag is the topic of my blog post; his name starts with “J” and ends with “osh Duggar.”

“This is wrong!”

“Judge not. I’m a horrible sinner, who am I to cast the first stone? *Insert various bible verses that have absolutely no relation to the issue at hand, but make the person sound super knowledgeable and more Jesus approved than the other commenters who will soon shower this particular commenter in glorious accolades*”

The point? Well, the victims of said “wrong” act have now been silenced, and if you speak to their victimhood, well, you’re probably not as Christian as the person that used a Bible verse. Your mansion is not going to be as big as their mansion; your crown will not have as many gems. Listen, folks, I’m that kid with the sarcasm that I’m sure makes Jesus shake His head a little in disapproval, I know that already, telling me to stop talking about the Duggars while touting an out-of-context verse is just going to make it worse.

Now, in case you have been hibernating under a very large rock, last week Josh Duggar and his family came clean, and Josh admitted to molesting 5 girls – including 4 of his sisters – when he was 14 & 15. The family reported the incidents immediately to the police, Josh willingly came clean and repented of his actions, his sisters found it within their hearts to forgive him, and he and his victims received counseling. He accepted responsibility, they all prayed, wrote touching statements about God’s mercy and love, about His healing and forgiveness, and then they all rolled up a rainbow and smoked it while singing hymns.

No really, that all happened, just ask many of the (other) Christian bloggers.

The real story: Josh Duggar came clean after one of his sisters mustered the courage to tell her parents. The Duggar family eventually went to the police – after his misdeeds were reported to CPS by a family friend who found out about the abuse – but it was after the statute of limitations had expired. Shucks *snaps fingers*. The girls forgave their brother after the family had a heart to heart (we’ll learn more about what that likely looked like in a bit). They sent Josh to “treatment,” which actually ended up being a couple of months with an unqualified family friend, “hard labor and mentorship,” psychology be damned. The family then went on to mass produce children and earn millions of dollars, then after the news was leaked they came forward and made statements that mirrored the beliefs of Bill Gothard.

After. After. After. After. Catching a pattern? Christians, the fact that you are attempting to frame this story is, well, for lack of a better word; gross. Ridiculous, pathetic, sad, absurd, contemptible, grotesque, unbelievable, preposterous, foolish, nonsensical, outrageous, ludicrous, hair-brained, farcical, bizarre, insane, cockamamie, irrational, shocking, monstrous… well, imagine that, I wasn’t lacking a better word after all.

So what would a family heart to heart look like? Let’s look no further than their homeschool curricula choice. (DISCLAIMER: I was a homeschooler; I support homeschooling, and will probably someday homeschool my children. So haters, don’t hate.) The Duggar family lists the Advanced Training Institute program on their website, and openly uses them in their curricula. They attended countless events for ATI, and have even sent their children away to study various ATI programs. ATI was founded by Bill Gothard, this name will come up later.

Sexual abuse in the family? ATI has you covered with various documents that aid in the healing process. Yes. I am saying this all in my head rather sardonically.

One form in particular: Counseling Sexual Abuse (CSA for short). The CSA asks the question “Why did God let it happen?” to which they provide ideas: Immodest dress? Indecent exposure? Being with evil friends? I honestly wish I was joking.

Girls, that skirt is too short and you should probably fix it, otherwise God might allow your brother to sneak into your bedroom and inappropriately touch you. Just imagine thinking of God as The Father, “Hey daughters, button up that shirt a little higher or I’ll allow Billy to take your innocence.”

Another question asks, “If you had to choose…” and it then lets you pick between “No physical abuse” or being “mighty in spirit.”

Are you going to pout about what your father did to you, 5 year old child? Because that means you don’t want spiritual advancement.

But my favorite, above all, is when the form tells you to “cleanse with rhemes.” Lovely choice of words. Victims of sexual abuse already feel dirty and useless, let’s use the word “cleanse” when telling them to read the bible. That’ll work. Stay classy, ATI, stay classy.

Not only does this form then go on to belittle sexual abuse, minimizing it into something similar to a questionnaire you might be given by a used car salesman, but it condemns the abused by saying that any damage to mind is allowed, not forced. Not only does it force you to wonder if the abuse was invited, but it compares the abused to Daniel in a way that hints at the idea that the abused should almost be thankful for their abuse, and it forces them to choose their sexual abuse as an acceptable option compared to giving up the spiritual progression they might obtain through the abuse. It’s, well, pick one of the various words I listed above. According to Gothard, Dinah and Tamar were pretty much asking for it. Basically, Gothard does a fabulous job of putting the brunt of the responsibility on the victim, then pushes the victim to be thankful. That’s more than likely the ideals that have been pounded into the heads of the Duggar girls for years. The way it was handled by the family serves as proof.

So here are a few lines from Christian bloggers that made me do a double take, triple take, crawl into the fetal position, throw something against the wall, and finally end my spiral into utter disappointment by wondering if I should become Amish just so that I can shun stupidity:

“Is there a point where we say, “You messed up. You were a stupid kid. But you corrected your behavior, turned your life around, and we forgive you. Let’s move on.”

I know all about that point. When my sister was little she cut the hair of her siblings in their sleep. It was like The Last of the Mohicans, they would go to sleep with a braid and when they woke up it would be lying beside them. Jealousy? Maybe. I don’t know, none of us knew, we just figured she was a little freak who didn’t like her sisters to have longer hair. Then she got older, everyone’s hair grew out, and forgiveness was granted. Everybody moved on. You know, because it was just hair.

Victims of sexual assault are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression as adults, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs, 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide, 2 times more likely to attempt suicide, 13 times more likely to become alcoholics. They often suffer from PTSD, anxiety, struggle in relationships, etc. Roughly 30% of children that are sexually abused are abused by family members, and about 60% of children who are sexually abused are abused by a trusted friend of the family. “Children” under the age of 18 are responsible for 23% of child sexual abuse cases, and if the victim is under 6 years of age, that percentage rises to 43%.

62,939 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in 2012.

But you’re right. Let’s move on.

This same blogger went on to say that while other teenagers don’t molest their siblings, they are out getting pregnant, having abortions, and gallivanting away. This was in no way relevant to anything above, but in all fairness, it was never really relevant to the situation, nor to her article either.

Many have pointed out that while they’ve never molested a child, they too have made mistakes. Well, I’ve never cannibalized another human being, but I can say with confidence that Jeffrey Dahmer was wrong and deserving of harsh punishment. I can also say it without feeling guilty because I once flirted with a police officer to get out of a speeding ticket. Do murderers and I have the same offer granted to us by God? Yep. Are our sins comparable? Ummm…no.

I think the part to remember is that sins small and great, unpaid for, leave us in hell. All are offered the same out, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the “levels” of sin. Moses referred to “great sin”; John distinguishes sins; Ezekiel spoke of those more corrupt. Sin is separated as deliberate, premeditated, etc. and while we all have to shoulder the responsibility of our sins, we still have to call out a great harm, as was done in the bible. False modesty is often mistaken for humility. Humility is knowing that I desperately need Christ, no matter how big or little my sins are. I am just as helpless as ISIS, sexual predators, and the like when it comes to obtaining heaven. False modesty is acting like I believe I’m not above ISIS, sexual predators, and the like in my life, and refusing to speak against them. No one believes that, and if they say they do, it serves only as a Christian ego boost.

Now let’s talk about the ever popular one liner: “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” Many Christian’s say this as if they are ready to drop the mic, part the sea, end the war, etc… I truly do appreciate their intentions, and honestly can’t stand the overly judgmental attitudes towards those who are searching for answers. This, however, was a case fully befitting of judgement, and we have used these words dangerously.

Context, my friends.

Jewish law required that those who witnessed the crime of prostitution were the first to throw a stone, but they also had to be innocent. Now go back to how the entire debacle was set up in the first place: Jesus is teaching when along come the Pharisees trying to test Him. If He blatantly said, “Release her!” He would be violating the Law of Moses, and if He said, “Stone her until she stops flopping,” He would have been violating Roman Law. So, Jesus instead turned their game against them by saying a variation of the famous line. How do we know that they were just attempting to trick Jesus? Well, the Law of Moses commanded that both members of the love affair be punished, yet the man was missing. They were not interested in following the Law of Moses, nor the Roman Law, they were interested in a false indictment of Jesus, and thus were guilty of violating laws themselves. Hence, “He who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” It was His way of making them eat their deeds, a way for Him to show them that He knew the game they were playing.

To the point, the passage represents a need for Christians and those who uphold the law to be consistent in order to judge, not perfect. So when you use that verse to justify why we shouldn’t bring a certain sin to the light and demand that it be acknowledged and dealt with, you are doing exactly what the Pharisees did by undermining the law. You are taking a sin and twisting the very words of Jesus to not only excuse, but applaud your dismissal of said sin. You are using the words of Jesus to receive accolades for approving of the disregarding of His abused children. Mull that over.

Regret, apologies, and repentance deliver the soul, not the body. We have no right to judge where his heart is with Christ, we do not have the right to condemn him to hell. We do, however, have the right to judge his actions.

What passages do relate to this issue? Well, look at the Samaritan woman. Jesus ignored the prejudices, the living and breathing ideal that women were no more than an item. He placed worth upon the Samaritan woman by simply being in her presence. In a world where talking to a woman brought about evil, according to rabbinic teaching, Jesus disregarded the expected treatment of women, and instead attributed worth and dignity. Throughout the Bible Jesus attributes worth and humanity to women, He uses them for great purposes, He allows them to follow his teachings, He encouraged them to be cultural misfits and to become more than the lowly beings their society had made them. You want to know the ideals that Jesus was fighting against? Look to the Middle East, look to the slave trade, and look to the bedrooms of little girls that do not rest in peace, but instead fear the physically stronger. Now tell that Jesus who you believe should be allowed to go unpunished, tell that Jesus we should stop talking about poor Josh Duggar, tell that Jesus that simply saying you’re sorry to His beloved creations whom you have defiled is enough. Tell that Jesus that women and abuse victims are not as worthy of the dignity, respect, and appreciation He bestowed upon them.

Josh Duggar did not steal a toy from his sisters, he did not trip them as they walked up the sidewalk, he did not leave his gum in the parking lot for innocent bystanders to step in. He molested 5 little girls. Then he didn’t admit what he had done, he waited for one of those terrified little girls to bring it up. Then their parents protected him, shielded him from the law. FINALLY when it was impossible to hide any longer, they admitted the crime after it was legally too late to be punished. They made him a hero to the Christian movement, put him in a leadership position, and allowed him to judge those who do not live by the Word of God…

“She is far more precious than jewels.”

If you believe that, then act like it.

May I Propose A New Year’s Resolution For Everyone? — December 11, 2014

May I Propose A New Year’s Resolution For Everyone?

Every year in December we all start making goals in our heads: Lose 20 pounds, walk more, gym memberships, new cars, buy a house, etc. and rarely do any of us actually stick to our grand plans. So, I have a resolution to propose, one that we could all use, and one that will greatly benefit our fellow man.

Be rational.

That’s it! No gimmicks, no memberships, and nothing out of your pocket, but it might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. It might challenge you, it demands that you remember what your Faith stands for, what your convictions stand for, and it means you have to question where your allegiance should lie. We have become reactionary, and not reasonable. Passive, and not compassionate. Quick to defend, slow to mourn.

Years ago I watched as someone on a show trained one of their dogs to respond to clicker training. Upon hearing the sound, her dog would respond by doing whatever her master requested of her, and immediately she would be rewarded. At first she questioned it, she was confused, but eventually the response was automatic. Eventually she would respond with or without a reward, because it had become chiseled into her mind that upon the “click” she needed to heed the request of her owner.

In this post, I’ll show you how we are all just a bunch of clicker trained dogs. That’s what this is all about, not just the actions of our government, but the reactions of the people. I’m going to touch on multiple topics, today’s blog is my alphabet soup of opinions, and I’ll probably say enough to offend everyone at least once. Fingers crossed.

This week two large, news worthy topics took center stage: Gruber was questioned about admitting to the fact that the architects of the ACA lied to the people in order to pass a bill that harmed the people. Then arrived the – suspiciously timed – release of the Senate report that detailed CIA interrogation tactics. Last week Ferguson was still in the news, followed by the news about Garner, pouring gasoline on an already thriving fire. It seems as though it is one thing after the other, and very few people have been rational.

Issue #1: CIA Interrogation Tactics

I’ll go ahead and rip this band-aid off first. I was challenged by a post that I read by Matt Walsh. He made an incredibly good point concerning the release of the Senate report, and by “Senate report,” I mean Democrat Senate opinion report. I digress, the point was, if we are going to say we have the moral high ground, we should stand by it. This is something I need to think about when it comes to torture. I’ve never lost sleep over the idea of water boarding a man who would murder my family without a care, but at the same time, can I justify calling America the moral high ground when “rectal rehydration” and “hypothermia” are practices we use on our enemies? Like I said, this is something I need to mull over. This is not to say that the report should have even been released, but it was, so I’ll think it over.

I believe that torture has the potential to save lives, I’ve held that position for quite a while, and will probably continue to do so, regardless of what the “findings” say. The report was written by Democrats, by cherry picking through 6 million documents, and they didn’t interview anyone with the CIA. Personally, I don’t want to hear the bleeding hearts on the left preaching about the suffering of terrorists. I noticed that there were a few practices that we don’t use. For example, we don’t behead them, we don’t fly planes into their buildings and force their innocent family members to burn alive or jump to their death, we don’t steal, rape, torture, and behead their women and children, etc. So my questioning has nothing to do with whether they deserve it, but rather who we wish to be as a country, and what techniques we want to put our stamp of approval on. Let’s all be honest, the level of care that a terrorist deserves would probably be something worse than what Jack Bauer could deliver while armed with a towel, hack saw, and table lamp.

Democrats: “Those poor terrorists!”

Republicans: “Yeah, those poor tortures, beheaders, rapists, and child slaughterers. Give me a break.”

While I might agree with the Republican viewpoint, I have to mull over who we are, not just what they deserve. For example: I’ve studied Calvinism vs. Arminianism (I don’t align with either), but I always hear the same thing from the New Calvinist perspective, “But we ALL deserve hell, Marybeth, so it’s not unfair to say that God made some people with no hope.” My reply has always been, “It’s not about what we deserve, it’s about what He promised.” I see interrogation tactics as the same type of issue, it’s not all about what they deserve, it’s about what we stand for. Put a bullet in their head, I’m not going to lose sleep when the terrorist that looked into the face of a child while he took off their head loses his life. It’s not about how evil he is, it’s about how good we claim to be.

That said, CIA, playing a Janeane Garofalo audiobook as torture? You’ve gone too far.

Like I said, my mind is not made up by any stretch of the imagination, but I am willing to think outside of the box. I’m willing to question the response I’m supposed to give upon hearing the “click.” I love having my position challenged, we all should, and that’s the reason for this post. We have become accustomed to spitting out a canned response before thinking. We hear a news report, a certain politician we support, a tagline, etc. and we don’t even take the time to think through our convictions and responses, we just go dig out that over baked one-liner, or that thoughtless opinion, and throw it back at the world. We become one huge food fight, where nobody even cares what the fight is about, they just want to defend their own.

Issue #2: Gruber & The Really Stupid Voters

Someday that will be a movie title. What can we all take away from this? The Democrats in charge do not care who they hurt. Their reactions are not based off of logic, but are instead based off of defending their own side. They don’t care if you lost your insurance, they don’t care if your Grandparent was denied chemo, they don’t care if you can’t afford groceries AND healthcare at the same time. They don’t care. They care that they were caught, but they don’t care about what this bill has done to families across America. When questioning Gruber, Trey Gowdy dropped the mic, threw down the gauntlet, and made Gruber wish he was never born, and every Conservative cheered and fist bumped over the much needed take down. Rightly so. But I think Issa won the show with a very important question to Gruber, one that I believe was widely overlooked by both Liberals and Conservatives. Issa asked Gruber if anyone at any of the events he spoke at (vast majority, if not all, were democrats) ever stopped Gruber to say, more or less, “Wait a second! You’re openly calling those that vote for our agenda ‘stupid?’” Of course Issa worded it differently, but the point was made, and Gruber said that he had not been corrected by anyone. That, to me, speaks wonders. This wasn’t just an opinion by an MIT Professor going off the rails, this was more than likely the opinion of the room, and anyone who felt differently and didn’t speak out concerning such a detrimental topic to the American people, is nothing but a coward. Period.

Let’s just take a moment here to pretend that the President didn’t know and agree with Gruber’s opinion of the average Democrat voter. Okay. Moment over.

The immediate response is not anger over the lies, as it should be, it is simply anger over the fact that this was made public knowledge. Do you see how heartbreaking that is? We as Conservatives shouldn’t just be attacking Gruber, we should be asking Democrats why they betrayed their own people, why they lied to their own voters. Gruber doesn’t need to apologize to us, he wasn’t talking about our stupidity, we didn’t vote for the bill, but the average Democrat voter did, and we should be using this opportunity to show them as such.

The world we live in today is fogged by our own lack of compassion, we have been thoughtless about choosing our allegiance, and both sides of the fence have failed the people, as well as law enforcement, and our moral compass. We have put individuals in power that have hurt our neighbors, just for the sake of padding our own pockets.

Issues #3&4: Michael Brown & Eric Garner:

Concerning my comments above about immediately choosing allegiance, immediately upon hearing that Michael Brown was killed, the majority of responses were similar to those listed below:

“I’m sure the police officer felt his life was in danger, this kid was probably causing trouble.”

“Hmmmm…Black kid, white cop. Explains everything.”

Days later Darren Wilson had a support page, and the responses changed to this:

“Brown was a criminal, a thug, and didn’t respect authority. #ISupportDarrenWilson”

“Brown was an unarmed black child!!! #BlackLivesMatter.”

No one was in their right mind. No one. Those who right off the cuff supported the officer without having facts just seemed, well, cold. Plus, now everyone knows that you are going to support someone with a badge, with or without facts, and with or without cause. That’s called a gang mentality, friends. Those that immediately jumped to preach on race did nothing but follow the path laid out by the media and an incredibly corrupt Government. So what was the right response? Well, in my opinion, it would have been something like this:

“Wow, heartbreaking news about a guy that lost his life. Praying for all involved, and that the truth, no matter who it benefits, prevails.”

That statement doesn’t condemn anyone, it doesn’t defend anyone. But see, we’ve lost compassion, and as soon as the “click” takes place, we all jump to our own side and defend whichever person we hope is innocent. Basically, we are well trained. Recklessly we pledge our allegiance, not realizing that there isn’t a side to choose. Unfortunately, this happened with Garner as well, and both cases give us the opportunity to see both sides of a horrific coin. In the Brown case we find that Brown’s death, while tragic, was because he gave the officer a legitimate need for self-defense. In the Garner case we find that he should have never been killed, and that the police overused their power.

There is no side to win, and I don’t understand why people don’t grasp such a horrid reality. 2 men are dead. The declaration of innocence in the Wilson case is only justified because the facts were foggy, and the witnesses were conflicting. The majority said that Brown was attacking Wilson, and this gives Wilson the right to exercise self-defense. The Garner case, however, was an entirely different story.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, or you have read my Twitter, you’ll find that I didn’t reference the previous acts of Michael Brown, nor the “thug” mentality that everyone was touting. Why? Because it was irrelevant in my mind. Just like the emotional declarations of dedication from the Wilson followers, and the Police apologists who step over bodies just to defend a badge. I also didn’t base my opinions on the Eric Garner situation on whether or not he had a clean record, or had been arrest 436 different times. I didn’t, and don’t, care. None of it matters.

Last week I once again watched the video of Eric Garner, for what I would guess was the 8th time. It didn’t get any easier to watch, but I kept watching because I honestly wanted to see if I had missed something, I wanted to make sure that I had come to the right conclusion. Each time that I heard him say “I can’t breathe,” my heart broke a little more, and I can honestly say that I cried each time. Then I saw him lying there in the second video, and as the cops did not do anything to assist Garner, other than tap his shoulder and talk to him while he was unresponsive, I questioned what had happened to my country. As Pentaleo waved to the camera like a child while this man lay dying on a gurney, my stomach turned in revolt.

So today, with every bit of disdain that I have for this entire debacle, I’m going to debunk not only the worst excuses that I’ve read, but I’m also going to discuss why the past of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are irrelevant to the discussion, and once again note why we have become a nation of automatic responses with little regard for life. In addition, I’m going to chat about the false narrative that is the race issue.

“Well, don’t break the law and you won’t die.”

Not only is it sad that this is the first defense that most people fly to, it’s also incredibly stupid. Not the kind of stupid that people should have to call you out on, but the kind of stupid that calls for immediate realization and regret. That’s the kind of thing you say and then 5 minutes later think, “Man, that was really stupid.” Not something that the rest of the country should pick up and race around the podium of badges like it’s the most logical sentence proclaimed since Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. It’s stupid, and if you said that, you should be horribly and deeply ashamed of yourself. Notice, I’m not calling you stupid, I’m calling that statement stupid. Beyond that, if you said that before saying ANYTHING else about the human being that lost his life, you should really evaluate your soul. Not in a, “Hmmm…I wonder if that was hasty” sort of way, but more in a “Hmmm…I wonder if I’m desensitized” sort of way.

Let’s break down the issue here:

The death penalty is different in each state, but the main reason it is used is for premeditated murder. In some states, treason, kidnapping, trafficking, espionage, rape of a child, etc. are also listed as reasons, but those are not widely known reasons since the vast majority of the time we hear of someone on death row, it is for premeditated murder. It’s your butchers, your serial rapists/killers, it’s the parasites of society that prey on the innocent, the monsters that give the horror film industry their wild ideas, the father of six selling loose cigarettes on the street.

Oh wait.

This is why the past transgressions of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are irrelevant. Michael Brown was killed in self-defense, and I support the right we have to protect ourselves. If someone breaks into my house, I’m not aiming to wound, I’ll leave it at that. They pose a direct threat, and I am in fear for my life. If you believe that any cop in the Eric Garner case feared for their life, I have a farm in Kentucky that I’d like to sell you. See, Michael Brown’s past was irrelevant to me because I KNOW that people can change, and I pray that they give up a life of crime and be productive members of society, that they find peace. While I hope they are held accountable, I would never say that the death penalty is optional for the crime of being a cigar stealing thug. What matters in the Ferguson case is that Michael Brown went after a police officer, another human being, and that person defended their life. That is what matters to me. How saggy Brown’s pants were does not matter. What matters is that Wilson, badge or no badge, had a right to defend his life.

When you justify manslaughter by saying that he simply shouldn’t have committed a crime, you automatically make the death penalty a logical choice for EVERY crime. Resisting arrest is NOT punishable by death. Period. So stop using that incredibly stupid tagline. If you attack a cop while resisting arrest, then you might have a case.

“I stand in solidarity with the protesters! Because I’m against a police state.”

Since when is burning down buildings a way to lessen the police state? Actually, you’re just giving people a reason, or at least they think it’s a reason, to support a police state, or what they don’t think will turn into a police state. You might not be out there lighting buildings in Ferguson on fire, but supporting those that do is not only dumb, but you should ask for a job in government since you’re currently helping them for free, you might as well get paid. Staaahhhhhhppppp.

“Fact: Garner was arrested multiple times before.”

Fact: So were many high profile pastors, CEO’s, and other productive members of society. People do dumb things all the time, that still doesn’t justify the death penalty. We hope that people change, and until they do, we hold them accountable for their actions, we don’t kill them. He could have been arrested 30 more times for the same crime, and guess what, IT STILL WOULDN’T JUSTIFY THE DEATH PENALTY. They don’t execute people for selling cigarettes. Apparently the fact that due process is for all people, even those with a criminal past, comes as a surprise to some people.

If you need more information on this issue, please see the section dedicated to “Well, don’t break the law and you won’t die” again.

Moving on to “He had a heart attack, the cop didn’t kill him.”

Have you ever been so amazed by what someone has said that you tilt your head sideways and give it a couple seconds so that maybe their brain catches up with their mouth? This kind of reminds me of that. I’m sure that choking him, cutting off his oxygen until he passed out, smashing his face into the ground and creating positional asphyxiation, leaving him to lay there unconscious, etc. had nothing to do with his heart attack and death. Nothing at all. By the way, what’s the price on unicorns in your world, have they gone up with inflation? The coroner ruled it a homicide for a reason, and I don’t think it’s because he owns a Guy Fawkes mask and moonlights as an anti-cop protester.

Prison guards are trained to avoid positional asphyxiation, even with larger inmates. I know this comes as a shock since they’re criminals, and jumping on their back and choking them out should be totally copasetic to the masses, but apparently the people who train Prison Guards realize that even inmates have rights. So those saying that positional asphyxiation just happens, that’s why rules are put in place in terms of force. Accidental abortions happen when you push your pregnant wife down the stairs too, maybe it’s a good idea not to push your pregnant wife down the stairs.

“If he said “I can’t breathe,” clearly he could still breathe at least a little.”

*Blank stare* If you can watch the video and have this response, you’re grasping. That’s like watching a house burn down and having the insurance company refuse to pay you because the microwave was still usable.

“It’s because he was black!”

Are there racial issues in this country? Of course. It’s on both sides. Do either of these instances have to do with race? Of course not, and no one can prove that they do. I could dig up multiple videos and news stories that involve caucasians being the victims of police overreach, but then I’d have to deal with receiving a bunch of pictures telling me to call a crackhead the next time someone breaks into my house.

Beyond that, you do realize that a black superior officer stood by and watched Garner be taken down like an animal, right?

“1,501 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in the last 10 years.”

Heartbreaking number, truly, it is. Whether it’s 1501, or 1, it is a sad number. We should always mourn the loss of an officer. We should always mourn the loss of a father, mother, sister, brother, daughter, son, etc. The problem that I have with this statistic is what it is being used for, and that I found this line on a Conservative site, mocking the “I can’t breathe” case. First we see a cartoon with a grave marked “Police: Killed in the line of duty,” followed by the caption: “We can’t breathe.” So because these 1,501 law enforcement officers have died, somehow Eric Garner’s death is irrelevant. The article then went on to call American neighborhoods “War Zones,” it was at this point that I stood completely still to see if I could feel the Founding Fathers turning in their graves.

Beyond that, this Conservative site is the same one that houses writers who will take Mom’s Demand Action to the cleaners for bending statistics to fit their narrative. Shannon Watts is constantly taking gun statistics and fitting it into her agenda, and we all, myself included, rip her to shreds. She even has me blocked on Twitter, which I consider to be a badge of honor. I, a responsible gun owner, don’t appreciate her false and damaging numbers, and I, an American who cares about our freedoms, don’t appreciate it when a Conservative site does the same. They tout 1,501, but they don’t give you all the facts. Nowhere in the article does it say that more than half of those officers died in automobile or motorcycle accidents, another group from heart attacks, etc. and it is misleading to not mention this information. Especially since the number of cops killed by perpetrators per year was, as of 2013, at its lowest point since the late 1800’s. You mention the facts behind the 1,501 number and all of the Conservatives say, “Well, they were in the line of duty.” but we all know that’s ridiculous, they were going for the shock value. They wanted you to imagine 1,501 officers dying at the hands of people like Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but the reality is that cops usually defend themselves with lethal force when the situation calls for it.

“Well, at first I was mad when I watched the Garner video, but then after the legal definitions were explained to me I realized that what the officer did was justifiable under the law.”

Hmmm… Please add on to that. How about, “I watched the video, and if what the officer did is justifiable under the law, we need to change the law.”

Seriously, is anyone not concerned with the fact that people watched that video, were horrified, and then calmed down after being told that the cop was within the law? Like “Well, I watched that woman get stoned by her husband, freaked out a bit, but then calmed down when I realized that he is allowed to do that.” What, shouldn’t that raise the concern level, not lower it? Everyone was spouting off over whether it was a chokehold or not, really? Like you’re going to watch the video and think, “oh, well, this is not a big deal if his arm is situated like this.” “I just watched a man die tragically, for selling loose cigarettes, but it’s okay because of a definition.” So, after being told that I need to wait for the entire story, that I need to look at the law, and that I need to understand his past and health conditions, I’d like to throw my blanketed response back at you: If you watch that video, and for ANY reason, think that it is okay, I’m going to disagree with you, vehemently. If that is allowed by law, I want the law changed. If we are going to allow this in the name of not paralyzing cops, then we need to embrace the label of “cold barbarians.” If we can’t find a happy medium between this and sitting back and forcing the police to do nothing, then we have finally succeeded at allowing our Government to become that obnoxious kid on the playground who refuses to play unless you let him change the rules.

This happened in Ferguson too. We said that having every cop look like the terminator was bad, and that military equipment should not be allowed, and then suddenly when law enforcement stands back and watches looters burn buildings, people look at me like, “See…I guess you got your way!” I’m to the point that responding to such ridiculous statements is a waste of time.

“People just need to comply with police. Period. It’s not that hard, do what they ask you to do.”

Said Soviet Russia. My problem with this statement is that it’s blanketing ALL issues. If a cop wants to see my ID, sure! If that’s the law, I’ll hand it over. If he wants to search my car without reason and warrant, ummm…no. People need to learn their rights.

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.” – James Madison

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” – Benjamin Franklin

Our Founding Fathers did not only warn of armies that attack other countries and destroy them, the majority of the time, they warned about armies that destroy their own country. Does that mean that I think every law enforcement officer is going to turn on the people? Don’t be silly. But it does mean that I believe the Founding Fathers wanted power over the people to be limited, very limited. Like not choking a guy out over a cigarette tax limited. As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Many people feel that giving government more power will somehow make those who enforce such power side with us if anything were to go awry. People don’t seem to understand that law enforcement officers across our country – good, decent, brave law enforcement officer – are upholding laws against guns that go against our Constitution and tax laws – ahem – that support the nanny state ideals. Why? Because it’s their job. Sure, if the chips fell some of them would not do the government’s bidding, but friends, the reason why the Founders said that it was detrimental to keep control over such institutions is because the vast majority will follow orders, and will even use violence over taxes. Look no further than every other country that has ever welcomed such tactics. When/If gun control is enforced, guess who knocks on your door to collect guns? Do you think that everyone that lived in Russia and Germany were barbarians who didn’t care about their neighbors? You can’t possibly be that foolish. No, they were controlled by a few barbarians who demanded that those beneath them do their job, and guess what, they did.

“Let’s see who you call when someone breaks into your house!?”

I nominate this argument as the worst yet; the champion, the incomparable, the unparalleled. It’s horrible, ignorant, and downright silly. It’s overused, abused, and not even close to logical. It’s like poor rationale on steroids. I’ve covered this before, so now I shall cover it again…

If someone breaks into my house, I’m going to call the cops. Because it’s their job. If someone mugs me, I’m going to call the cops. If someone rapes me, I’m going to call the cops. If someone steals in the store, I’m going to call the cops. If someone hits my car, I’m going to call the cops. Heck, if I want to, I might just have the police on speed dial on my phone, because they’re the first people I’m going to call if I catch someone doing something illegal.

So, I have a wonderful doctor, he is one of the best doctors I’ve ever been to. (I have a point, don’t worry.) He’s a lung specialist, and a darn good one at that. As a chronic asthmatic, he changed my life. I can’t say enough about the man, and I honestly appreciate doctors more than most people because I spent a lot of my life in their care. I don’t care if they own yachts and large houses, they’ve earned them! Years ago, my doctor was on vacation for 2 weeks, but I had what I thought was a particularly bad cold and had to see whoever was available to get some help so that I didn’t step into overnight stay territory. The doctor I saw, in my opinion, was not just a mediocre doctor compared to mine, but she didn’t even deserve to be measured on the same scale. She had no idea what to prescribe me, I basically told her what to give me after she shrugged her shoulders. She wrote me prescriptions, didn’t listen to my lungs, and sent me out the door with access to more medications than the pharmacy could hold, but none that actually did any good. I walked out the door with what my doctor would diagnose as whooping cough 3 weeks later. I was miserable for weeks, couldn’t work, couldn’t sleep, and sick from self-medicating because she didn’t do anything to diagnose the issue.

My point in all of that is to say that I had no issue calling out this doctor, even though it’s a profession that I highly respect. She failed to do her job, and made the hospital look bad. My doctor found out who she was and wanted her location and information so that he could make a call to whoever was in charge that day (I had gone to a local hospital since I knew he was out), that instantly made me trust my doctor even more. Doctors are humans, and just like the entire human population as a whole, there are going to be some people that excel at being good, many that are decent, and some that wear see through Cheetah print pants, a pink sports bra, and curlers to Walmart.

I have something I need to tell you guys: Police officers are human. I love them, I respect them, and I appreciate them, but they’re human. Some of them are going to be outstanding at their job, some deliver Christmas trees to kids, some bring groceries to single mothers, some care about criminals and Mom’s that steal because they can’t feed their kids, some are really sweet and let me go with a warning, some work at homeless shelters, some give homeless men boots during the winter, and some may have grown tired of seeing people hurt and now have a hair trigger personality, and a few others joined simply because they have a superiority complex (They can usually be seen with shirts that say, “Police Officer, because bad-a** isn’t an official title”). Balance is found when we remember that every profession – even those who save lives in the medical world, those who fight wars, fight fire, patrol the streets, and restock your cantaloupe in the produce department – is going to have both good and bad individuals. If you limit their power and remove the government overreach attacking our nation like a plague, you’ll lessen the opportunities to use lethal force, which means you’ll lessen the chance of those few power hungry police officers getting in over their head, which means you’ll lessen the chance of a horrible situation. Add in the fact that we could use more training, and less warrior mentality type attitude encouragement, and we would begin to see a change.

I have something else to tell you: Scrutiny is not attacking. Holding an institution responsible for their actions is not anti-that particular institution. Limiting is not paralyzing. Respecting does not mean I need to worship.

So, when you ask me who I’m going to call when someone breaks into my house, I’m going to call the police, and I’m going to expect them to do their job. Sending videos to my inbox of cops doing good things after I ask us all to be vigilant of how much power we give law enforcement is like me sending you clips of Dr. McDreamy saving someone with brain cancer after you complain about your recent ER visit. It’s irresponsible, and has NOTHING to do with the problem. You heard the click, and you responded by bowing down to your idols. You didn’t do what the Founders told you to do, you instead tried to make me feel unpatriotic, uncaring, and anti-cop while you bounced on the body of a victim with a pogo stick. When in reality, my way creates a positive relationship between the people and law enforcement. So, now that I think about it, maybe you’re the one that supports a system which causes the police to be viewed in a bad light with the public. Chew on that one for a bit.

Do I share videos of the awesome things many cops do? Of course! Am I thankful for the police? OF COURSE! Are they who I am going to call if someone harms me? Of course! Am I going to ignore issues in law enforcement to fancy your narrative? No. I’m not.

And remember who we are. We are not Europe, we are not China, we are America. Our country was Founded on individual rights, self-protection, and a Government that is supposed to run on a hands off approach. The same rights that gave Wilson the right to protect himself, and Garner the right to live and face due process. Respecting the police is pertinent; not fearing what they can become with too much power is dangerous. That means we are ALL responsible to hold ANY guilty party responsible. Badge or no badge. Michael Brown was responsible for his death, Eric Garner was not responsible for his. So, where should your allegiance be placed? Right now I’m talking about politically, of course I know that God is the blanketed answer, but right now I’m talking about us as a country. Look to your left and your right, no matter what they are wearing, be it a police uniform or a waitress apron, they are who your allegiance should be dedicated to. The People of this country. Your first response should be to protect their rights, at all cost. Countless soldiers have given their lives in the name of our freedom, it is our job to respect that freedom. It is our job to protect that freedom from our Government.

So this year, I challenge you to think. Think about who you defend, are you defending the rights of the man behind the badge, or just the badge. Think about who we are, are you putting your opinions to the challenge and ensuring that they can face fierce scrutiny? Think about your neighbor, if they lost their home because their already impossible budget was stretched to the limit because of the ACA, would you care more about Gruber’s remarks? Until we start seeing people, and stop seeing color, uniform, and political party, we will never heal this country.

– MBnew-year-resolutions2

From One Feminist to Another — September 25, 2014

From One Feminist to Another

I’ve seen a lot of both positive and negative responses to Emma Watson’s UN speech. I was asked for my opinion of her speech by a few people on Facebook and Twitter. So, here I am, typing away.

So, without further ado, here is my bucket of thoughts on the matter –

I didn’t hate it, I didn’t like it, personally I felt it was much like my favorite stuffed bear I had as a child. Not Emma Watson, mind you, but her speech. I loved that bear. My bear was soft, fluffy and comforting. It somehow made me think that the Boogeyman would avoid my room. Well, in reality, the Boogeyman never existed, and my bear would have been completely useless if an intruder broke in to kidnap me. My bear would have just sat there in its adorable clown outfit while I was raped and murdered. Emma’s speech was adorable, and completely useless. It was a teddy bear pretending to be a Rottweiler. Not only that, it furthered the idea that us civilized people are ridiculously narcissistic.

Example: The woman living in the Middle East being stoned to death after she was raped is not so concerned about Obama’s White House paying their female workers less.

Example: The homosexual sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia is, I’m guessing, not so concerned about whether your male friend can feel free to let his emotions floweth.

Example: The little girl suffering through genital mutilation is probably not worried about the fact that Emma was called “bossy.”

To quote Justin Timberlake, “cry me a river” came to mind.

Now, I’m not saying that little issues shouldn’t be addressed, but addressing them in a room with world leaders – a large portion of them still allowing women to be brutalized – is wildly silly. It’s like sitting in a room with Michael Vick and his followers and trying to encourage them to support a Tempur Pedic dog line because your buddy Fido seems to be a bit achy in the morning.

“When I was 8, I was called bossy because I wanted to direct a play we would put on for our parents. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media. At 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of sports teams because they didn’t want to appear masculine” she boldly proclaims to the man that thinks women should be held down and mutilated so that they don’t feel pleasure during sex.

“At 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings” she tearfully says while trying to convince a world leader that thinks homosexuals should be beheaded.

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive” she says to a world leader who let dogs eat his uncle.

Side note: For people that claim to respect science more than anyone else, those that applaud the idea that men and women should be treated the same emotionally have completely rejected biology so as to create their own overarching moral system. Period. Men and women are different, suicides and depression increased when we started denying this.

So, in the end you can say, “It was meant for the world, not just for the men and women in the room!”, and yet it will still be about as effective as Obama’s hashtag diplomacy in getting anything done. It is ivory tower theatrics, Thurston and Lovey Howell-esque rhetoric. No offense, Emma darling, but the way I feel about your speech is similar to how your side would feel if Romney complained about money. It’s like a pageant contestant saying that they want to end world hunger while standing in a $2000 gown with a cloud of hairspray looming above their head. It’s adorable, it’s predictable, and “powerful” according to a magazine that will spend more than I will make in a lifetime ensuring that they get the first photo of the next celebrity baby named after a piece of fruit. Excuse me if I don’t raise my glass of Dom Perignon to their ability to relate to the little people and decide what is “powerful.”

Sounds harsh? Yes. Yes it does. Life is harsh.

Moving on…

Emma cited Edmund Burke saying, “all that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.” In actuality, that wildly popular quote was never found in his writings, and for the sake of the discussion I’ll post his exact words:

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

Same meaning, but interestingly enough, I doubt that she would use Edmund Burke as a point of reference in any other way. Why? Well, when he was making these statements, he was simultaneously saying that the preservation of citizens and the success of a country are intrinsically linked to Christianity. He spoke on the rights of ALL men, and the need for restraint of passions frequently. Not to put words in his mouth, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he’d have quite a few words for women dressed in vagina costumes fighting to remove rights from innocent infants. He wouldn’t support the various government programs that are aimed not at equality, but at giving the weaker sex as many handouts as possible so as to keep them enslaved (I didn’t call them weaker, liberals did by their actions). That’s not equality, Emma.

She spent a good portion of time discussing why she believes feminism has lost its zest. She claims that it is all about the false man hating rhetoric. I would challenge that position. I would say that it is because we have stripped feminism of its purpose. We have lost sight, Emma. I would say that we traded principles for weapons grade stupidity. There is a woman that sent her child to school with vagina cookies, Emma. Vagina cookies. Then she told the teacher that didn’t particularly appreciate them that she wished her future husband would abuse her for not happily accepting the vagina cookies. There is a woman who changed into a man, and then fought to teach breastfeeding AS a man. He won. A major part of the 2012 election revolved around the words “free contraception.” We call Beyonce empowering for prancing around in a thong and doing sexual favors for her man because she  “just wanna be the girl you like.” The word “feminism” is rejected by women with brains not only because so called “feminists” act like man haters, but also because they’ve dumbed us down to petty, weak, ignorant, drama loving toys who don’t care about what is happening to our own sex in other countries.

See, Emma, back in the day women’s rights meant something. We started off saying, “WE ARE MORE THAN OBJECTS!!!!” and have now moved to “LOOK, WE ARE SHINY OBJECTS!!!!” and we pretend that it has something to do with loving our bodies. We started off by saying that life in the womb was sacred, now we are just vending machines that can be emptied and reused. The feminist movement started off by saying that we have minds, that we have individual opinions, and that we should have the right to voice those opinions and be taken seriously. Now we have moved towards the idea that if we don’t support Sir Nurses-A-Lot we don’t care about female empowerment. Emma, I can’t take the lady that sent cookies decorated as vaginas to school with her 2nd Grade daughter seriously. Honestly, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if she finger paints on her walls with peanut butter and calls herself Picasso.

Feminists of today do not deserve the title. Say I take a can of Spam and slap the label “Steak” on it… Would that make the Spam a steak? No. It would make me desperate to sell you Spam under false pretenses so as to get a higher profit that I shouldn’t receive. This is what feminism has done. It has taken what the original feminists believed to be oppression, and labeled it by a familiar name that makes other people think that they are doing something worthy of their accolades.

Emma spoke of being sexualized, as though it was unwelcomed. Yet she took home a paycheck from Burberry and Lancôme. That’s not an issue in need of calling in the feminist brigade to save her from the grimy hands of men, that’s an issue that feminists themselves have created. They are not consistent in their complaints. They don’t want to be sexualized, but when they get paid to be sexualized it is beautiful because then it is somehow taking pride in their body. They have decided when they get to be a victim, and that doesn’t work.

The problem is that feminism works kind of like a 5 year-old child left to clean his room by himself. Mom comes to the door and suddenly he’s cleaning, Mom walks away and then he is playing again. Emma Watson steps up to a microphone and suddenly it’s all about respecting ourselves and equality, Emma steps away from the microphone and it goes back to being reruns of the vagina monologues and genital pastries. They fight phantom monsters because going after the real monsters are too scary. They don’t have the ability to be a voice for brutalized women because they are too scared to step out of line and be labeled an anti-feminist. The feminists I know are only as brave as their edgy t-shirts and tampon earrings will permit them to be. Heaven forbid they say something that Wendy Davis, Sandra Fluke, and Hillary Clinton wouldn’t agree with.

Feminism hasn’t become a negative term because it has been given a bad rap, it has become a negative term because the current leaders and voices of the movement are idiots.

Some people may be reading this and thinking, “Well, Emma never said that she blatantly supported abortion, nor did she go into detail on her own personal beliefs.” I concur, but that is irrelevant. What is relevant is who is absorbing her message, and what conclusions they come to. What group did this empower? That matters. As much as I’d love to think that there will simply be a bunch of little girls running around saying, “I’m not bossy” – while I hope they one day grow up into someone that isn’t rendered powerless or weakened by a 5 letter word – I know that it won’t end there.

I know that the people doing a fist bump were the individuals that wish to allow little boys into little girls rooms because they “feel different,” without taking any care to evaluate what that might do to the little girls. Because the child that feeds their rhetoric is important, the other children aren’t. A confused little boy shouldn’t have to use the little boy’s room, but the vast number of little girls who will now be confused just need to “get over it” and learn tolerance.

I know some of the individuals who screamed “AMEN” during her speech are the very people that think slicing an infant’s spine at 8 months along is acceptable.

I know that some of those rejoicing over this speech are the very individuals who have turned their back on women, called Islam the religion of peace, and ignored the screams of the millions of brutalized women. All in the name of the cause though, right?

I know that many of those giving Emma accolades are the very same people that don’t think that I should have a gun to protect myself. They fight on behalf of men that may wish to brutalize me, and yet call themselves feminists.

THAT is what matters.

I would have been more impressed had she pointed to her audience and said something similar to the following:

“We as women will give a voice to the child brides and the victims of sex slavery. We will fight for the women that you have allowed to be brutalized. We will ask good men to join us, and we will stand up to men like you. We will stand strong, we will be powerful, and we will be heard. We will show you that we are not mere objects, that we are not weak, and that those silenced by your governments will be remembered. We will not support a porn industry that has aided in the slavery of women. We will no longer let you insult our intelligence. We will be valued. We will not fall for propaganda that leads to us electing leaders that have empowered you. Leaders that have helped you to continue harming us. We refuse to adapt the victim mentality.”

I know I sound like I’m being hard on Emma. I am. I think she means well, but I don’t agree with her on many points, and I refuse to pretend like I do. I support the original goals of the feminist movement, and I support my ability to come to a conclusion that is not spoon fed to me by the religion of feminism. Because THAT is what feminism was originally about.

– MB

If it quacks like a duck…. — September 4, 2014

If it quacks like a duck….

Some idiot, and the idiot is me, set my alarm clock to the sound of a duck. I guess I thought that, due to my propensity to sleep through tornado sirens, an odd sounding alarm would do the trick… and what better than the joyful sound of a duck. That’s a rhetorical question, for I now have a list of sounds that would in fact be better to wake up to than a duck, and dying cats is one of them. BUT, the important point is that it did indeed do the trick, and I woke up on time. It also made me spend my entire drive to work fantasizing about the various ways in which a duck can be killed. I came up with hundreds during my 20 minute drive, people. Hundreds. And I got creative.

The above serves absolutely no purpose other than to a) creep you out, and b) show you what kind of mood I was in while getting ready this morning and reading Facebook posts and tweets. Everyone has an opinion about the ISIS controversy, and now I have foundation on my pants after reading a post and dropping my bottle in utter shock of the stupidity. (SIDE NOTE: Due to my lack of energy, we’ll blame it on ducks, I didn’t change my pants.) The person that made the comments on this particular status – which was simply one of many people making similar comments & posts – has no idea what his ignorance made me do, nor that my extra cup of coffee this morning was named after him. Seriously, I wrote his name on my McDonalds coffee cup. You’re welcome, Sir. Petty? Yes. But I was tired, and now have to work off an extra cup of coffee containing copious amounts of sugar and cream, as well as remove a foundation stain, because of this particular person. And of course ducks. Can’t forget about the ducks.

“Why is the name —– on your coffee cup?”

“Oh, curious coworker, let me tell you.”

Ok, so this particular person took to Facebook to attack fellow Christians for wanting to take out ISIS. After thoroughly mocking those who want to stop ISIS from beheading human beings, he quoted this set of verses.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:38-48

First I’d like to point out that it’s a bit difficult to turn the other cheek when someone has removed your head. Second, this verse is talking about the victim forgiving, not the people that should step in and stop the madmen from decapitating infants with dull blades. But you know, context is overrated. I adore this verse, it reminds me that I need to forgive the person on my coffee cup, for I was a victim of his dumb comment, or my pants were, maybe they should turn the other cheek (Pun intended? Maybe.)? I’ll need to mull this over.

My favorite so far though is “ISIS needs the gospel more than anyone else.” That is a HUGE assumption. It’s such a big assumption that if I assume unicorns exist, I’d have better odds. Sin is sin, and all fall short. So technically radical ISIS members, while barbarians, are on par with the rest of the world in their need for salvation, including those that are being beheaded by them. Yes, many Christians are being attacked and killed, but many non-Christians are as well. I’d say it’s pretty even if you look at news reports. Since the brave and threatening hashtag diplomacy has taken over, innumerable non-Christians have been beheaded or murdered in some other grotesque way. So basically you’re saying that one group of non-Christians deserves to hear the gospel more than another. Maybe I didn’t read the bible correctly, but from what I understand, when they stand in judgment, those non-believing victims will be held to the same accountability standards as members of ISIS for their unbelief. So claiming that radical members of ISIS somehow need Jesus more is weak and silly, and kind of revolting if you think about it.

Most of these eye opening revelations that I’ve read have, shockingly, come from recent graduates who majored in theology, and now they know everything there is to know about the bible. And most of them believe that God himself predetermined the beheadings, that’s a whole different kettle of fish, and they can make it sound really good if you just give them a chance. Yes, Christians, our churches are filled with people who believe that God Himself orchestrated the beheading of infants. This, my friends, is why I have a “Top 10 Reasons Why We Deserve What’s Coming” list. Many of them have attacked Phil Robertson for saying that “In this case you have to convert them, which I think would be next to impossible, I’m not giving up on them, I’m just saying convert them or kill them. One or the other.” What a hillbilly, am-I-right?! So yes, I’m going to call out the multiple Christians that had huge threads on their timelines that were solely devoted to mocking Phil Robertson for his comment. Not talking about the heartbreaking acts that are taking place in Iraq, no, they were simply saving the world 1 Phil Robertson joke at a time. I even saw some Sarah Palin, George Bush, and Sean Hannity jokes that were thrown in for good measure. I know that Phil didn’t swallow a thesaurus and make his basic argument unnecessarily indigestible so as to appear to be of higher intellect than the fumbling Christians that didn’t spend such intense time (2-4 years) in theological studies – she says sarcastically – but he makes a point, guys.

Checkmate, Evolution.

Last night I made a post about our President’s comments concerning his goal to make ISIS manageable. I won’t comment on that in this post, but I will post a comment that I received on that post. In my post I loosely compared radical members of ISIS (I’m going to talk about the “radicalized” part later in this post) to the Nazi regime. The following comment hit the nail on the head:

And even so, the Nazi mentality – while also purely evil – was more ideological and less religious zealousness. They (the foot soldiers) were willing to fight for the cause but if overwhelmed, overwhelmingly surrendered. The ISIS extremists are – to a person – jihadists who would die for the cause. They are not reluctant soldiers enlisted by their government. They are – each and every one of them – martyrs willing to do what it takes to eradicate the Israelites, the Christians, the Westerners, the enemies of “Islam”, far more willing to die than to face the shame of surrender. There won’t be stories of Christmas truces of both sides meeting in the trenches to sing Silent Night. In order to preserve innocents and innocence, and quite frankly to be good stewards, I agree- They must be met head on. Enough force to turn back an opponent whose only goal and only acceptable outcome is to kill, is to kill first.”

This person avoided having his name written on my coffee cup.

So, let’s break this down by answering 4 important questions:

1. What does “radical” Islam even mean?

I’ve had a lot of well-meaning believers tell me that they have friends who are peaceful Muslims, and they use the term “radical” – as I did above – to describe those that act in violence. This is all fine and dandy, except that you open doors to be labeled a “radical” yourself simply by following the bible. While the Old Testament contains violence, which those defending peaceful Muslims are quick to point out, there is a big difference between the Quran and the Bible. The verses in the Quran are not restrained by historical context, they remain open ended.

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” – Quran (8:12)

“And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder/unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah” – Quran (8:39)

The Quran then goes on to chastise those who are not willing to pick up the sword against those who don’t follow him. So, what we label as “radicals” are actually individuals who are taking the Quran seriously. Those that we label as “peaceful” simply don’t adhere as strictly to the Quran. Following the basic tenants of the Quran are “radical.” So if 80% of Muslims are simply “less devout,” does that truly make the other 20% “radicals”? Yes & no… Having extreme views that aren’t widely shared? Yes. Different and new from what is traditional? No. The 20% who are “radical” walk the walk. So, by standing for traditional marriage, you are a radical Christian if going by the same standards that you place on Islam. Let’s all be happy for once that the majority of human beings don’t strictly adhere to the principles of their religion.

2. Why do you hate Muslims?

I don’t. Let me repeat: I DON’T HATE MUSLIMS. I’m just trying to point out the holes in so many of these weak arguments. “I have Muslim friends” is not anywhere close to being a strong argument for your beliefs. I’m not attacking your friends.

According to various reports, the percentage of “radicals” is anywhere between 15-25%. Low, right? No, in comparison to the Nazi Regime, the Soviet Union, etc. that is high. The other 80% do not matter. I don’t need to hear about your friends, because I am well aware that there are plenty of Muslims living in America that aren’t waiting to behead me when they get the chance. I’m sure they like long walks on the beach, dinner parties, and movie nights. I am aware of the fact that many Muslims serve in the military. I’m also aware that they don’t matter. The Muslims that do matter, are the 15-25% that do want to behead me, as well as anyone that doesn’t agree with them, if they get the chance. They matter. There are incredibly peaceful atheists living in our world, they’re not important in discussions chastising Hitler. The “peaceful” Muslims, Germans, Russians, etc. are irrelevant. This is the same issue that I have with law enforcement – Stop touting good cops during police brutality discussions, because unless they are standing up and fighting against militarization, or police brutality, they are irrelevant to the debate.

Peaceful Germans stood by and watched millions of Jews be slaughtered, so, are they relevant to the bodies bulldozed into landfills? Nope. End of story. If your Muslim friends would like to come out against ISIS, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, etc. I’d love to hear their opinions and offer my support, but don’t use them as your version of the race card to try and say that we shouldn’t attack those that are relevant, as well as the book that they use to justify their killing.

3.They aren’t always like this, right?

A lot of people yelled and screamed about the Iraq war, some didn’t agree that we should have been involved over there at all due to the cost, or felt that it was wrong to retaliate. Some really special people actually believed that George Bush orchestrated it all, bless their hearts. I’m not addressing those viewpoints – even though I have opinions of my own. I’m addressing the fact that much of the push back was due to the fact that news crews were interviewing Iraqis that were on their laptops in more developed communities, and they – as if on cue – whined to the media that America was haphazardly murdering civilians. Kind of like Hamas has done with the IDF? Hmmm…

Anyway, the truth? It is very common during non-war times, just as it is now, for women to be raped, murdered, abused, etc. legally in many Middle Eastern areas. They are not equal with men, and are viewed as property. It is normal for Homosexuals to be found guilty and receive a death penalty. It is normal for Christians to be heavily persecuted. It is also normal for Muslims that strictly adhere to the teachings of their religion to teach their children to do the same. They are raised with a hatred for Israel, as well as Western civilization, and a willingness to die for their faith. Not in a “I’ll die before I’ll deny my God” type of willingness, but a “I’ll sacrifice myself to do Allah’s calling” type of willingness. They are not simply confined to the ME, either. We have seen honor killings on American soil, and beheadings in the UK. Families that legally move here, then daughters slaughtered for becoming too “westernized,” why? Because they strictly adhere to their religion, and while they might not be planning terrorist attacks, this is what their strict beliefs demand of them. Once again, I’m not speaking against your peaceful Muslim friends, I’m just throwing out information concerning radicals.  

4. Shouldn’t we turn the other cheek?

Firstly, the above was a horrid use of Matthew 5: 38-48, and I really wish people would stop abusing it. In a world filled with evil people, often times war is necessary. Otherwise, think of the millions of additional human beings that would have been slaughtered under Hitler and Stalin, and imagine how much longer African Americans would have been held under slavery. War should never be fun, we shouldn’t look forward to killing individuals, but we should indeed be prepared and willing to protect the innocent, by lethal means if necessary, because they are willing to die before letting you save the innocent. Right now subhuman savagery is taking place, and has been taking place for a long time in the Middle East. So, say what you will, but the God of the bible, the lover of justice, and the one that condoned war on many occasions, would not tell you to “turn the other cheek” while watching madmen saw off someone’s head.  The truly detestable and facepalm worthy moment for Christians is when they act like turning the other cheek while the actual victims suffer is somehow a sacrifice and showing of decent fruit on their part. And when you do something that heartless and stupid, you rightfully earn a place on my coffee cup.

As we learn in the Quran, they are not interested in peace. They are not interested in ending the suffering. They are interested in conversion or annihilation. Someone made this point on one of the posts I read this morning, and it was countered with “but you want to do the same thing to them!” Not true, not even close to true. I don’t want to annihilate all Muslims, I don’t want to annihilate anyone, I want them to stop slaughtering others, and due to their adherence to their scripture – which unlike ours, demands them to slaughter – the only way to do that is to take out the individuals who are slaughtering innocents. They were given another option, they do not give us another option. That’s like saying that the person who shoots a mass murderer while trying to stop him is somehow guilty of the same crime that the murderer was committing. No. The murderer had a choice to do what was right, the one defending wasn’t given a choice. It’s not “like” that scenario, people, it IS that scenario. Is that saying that we should proclaim war against the moderate Muslims, the less devout in our own country? Absolutely not.

The point of all of this:

I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m done beating around the bush. While you sit peacefully in your living room patting yourself on the back for touting the “turn the other cheek” argument – and again, inaccurately so – the actual victims are facing quite a different reality. Imagine with me for a moment that the non-Christian victims can hear your words of pacifism. I wonder how impressed they would be with the children of God for bravely typing “I have to turn the other cheek” in response to their suffering, major emphasis on “their.” Stop pretending like our God is a pacifist, because according to the bible, He isn’t.

Forgive me for my bluntness, but the church needs to wake up, specifically the deeply intellectual hippy-esque theological demigods, and they need to do it yesterday. It’s not about left or right, or situating yourself somewhere in the middle so that you can point to the middle and brag, it’s about right and wrong. Period.

Beheading people = Wrong

Stopping barbarians from beheading people = Right

– MB

duck

“God’s Not Dead” and other ambiguous statements… — March 24, 2014

“God’s Not Dead” and other ambiguous statements…

First off, I’d like to note that I love Answers in Genesis, and I’ve used their site for research more times than I can count.

Second off…AiG??? I thought we were tight?! Like baseball and America, chocolate and happiness, pork chops and applesauce, pyromaniacs and matches?! Why’d you go and make a nonsensical post about God’s Not Dead?

In case you didn’t realize it yet, I strongly disagree with AiG’s view of God’s Not Dead. Roger Patterson wrote a review that pointed to what he believed to be the unbiblical nature of God’s Not Dead. In this post I’ll be adding a few of his points, as well as my response.

Being a natural skeptic myself, I tend to take issue with the idea that reason should not be held in high regard. I’m not cold hearted, but let’s just say that C.S. Lewis’s factual and pointed manner makes a deeper emotional connection with me than Beth Moore’s warm and fuzzy encouragement. Both are beneficial, and everyone has their preferences, but that’s the truth. I’m more apt to cry reading Ravi Zacharias than I am watching The Passion of The Christ.

I can be naïve, but not to the point of believing that Christians don’t have their seasons of doubt. I’ve had my share of those seasons, and remembering those moments make me thankful for sound reasoning. Maybe I was guilty of little faith, maybe I’m that annoying kid that constantly said, “nuh-uh”, to the unmitigated madness of those trying to convince me, flawed in my ability to “believe like a child”. But alas, I’m His annoying kid. We’ve often confused the biblical calling for childlike faith with the idea of simplistic faith. But as one apologist put it, we should believe like children, and haven’t we all been shocked by the number of questions children can ask?

So, to start, below is an excerpt from Patterson’s article:

In the first debate, Wheaton boldly declares to his classmates, “We’re going to put God on trial!”

Think about that for a moment. A college freshman is going to place a group of teenagers who are willing to sign away their souls to please a philosophy professor they don’t even know as judge and jury over the omnipotent Creator God of the universe.

While Wheaton sought counsel from a pastor on his decision, he might have done well to consult his Lord who plainly said when He was tempted in the wilderness, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Luke 4:12, ESV). Only a fool thinks he can sit as judge over the Judge of the universe.”

Alrighty. First, let’s break down the verse used. In Luke 4:12 Christ is quoting Deuteronomy 6:16, which, like in the wilderness, was a warning not to taunt God for proof of a divine revelation when he has sufficiently given them proof already. In Deuteronomy it gives a comparison, “as you did in Massah”. So, let’s follow the breadcrumbs: In Exodus we learn that Moses named Massah as such because it signifies “temptation”. The children of Israel were taunting God, giving ultimatums. He had already proven Himself to them time and time again, but they still taunted Him by demanding food, water, cattle, etc. in return for their devotion. If their needs were not met, they attempted to threaten the Almighty God by saying they would no longer believe. Coming to the conclusion that the Lord is not among them out of anger, not sound logic or lack of belief.

Example of such taunting: “Mommy, if you don’t give me a cookie you won’t be my Mommy anymore.”

Affirming their acknowledgment of existence in the very threat itself.

So what does that have to do with the above issue that Answers in Genesis has with the movie? Well, they’d have a legitimate point if Wheaton had said, “We’re going to put God on trial. Everyone sit here, if God’s real, he’ll drop Arby’s roast beef sandwiches and curly fries on all of our desks.”… But he didn’t make such an audacious request, he simply wanted to expose the factual evidence already given to an audience that had never sought out the evidence. Putting the evidence for God on trial, not God Himself. If they have issue with his verbiage, that’s fine, but the rest of their argument falls flat because the actions that went along with “putting God on trial” were no different than their own.

Let’s be honest, the real issue for Patterson is that the Movie didn’t proclaim from the rooftops that the earth is young. With all due respect, all other points were just excessive – and faulty – nitpicking.

Moving along.

Robertson continues with the following:

In approaching the issue in this manner, Wheaton ignores the truth of Romans 1:18–32. The people sitting in those seats and even the professor know God exists. The existence of God is not the question—whether they are willing to bow to Him as King is.

Wheaton could have agreed to the debate and used the Word of God as his foundation, as Jesus did in the wilderness temptation, but he chose to appeal to reason—the reason of fallen men and women whose minds are blinded by the god of this age.”

Reason is the modus operandi of the mind. Biblically, the mind is not merely a physical tool that keeps us alive, it is part of the soul. The bridge between a presupposition and a stable hypothesis is reason; however, there is nothing beyond a hypothesis to be found anywhere but in the Word of God. Wheaton’s foundation was the word of God, the issue is that, once again, he didn’t specify young earth creationism in his dialogue. It’s foolish to dismiss an entire movie and not help promote it simply because it encourages kids to think, but doesn’t clarify that they need to think exactly as you do. I would even go so far as to say this makes them as guilty as the atheists that claim audacious absolutes.

Wheaton’s goal was to open them up to the idea that a God exists, to make them think, not to appease the young earth creationist ideals, or the theist evolutionist ideals.

At the end of the movie all of the students proclaim that “God’s not dead”, but only one student gives his life to Christ. I would venture to guess that the majority of those in classrooms across America have at some point in time heard the gospel, yet walk away from faith because they were offered absolutely no reasoning. He used the bible to prove his point, he just didn’t articulate AiG’s exact position. Once again, he didn’t advocate for young earth creationism or theistic evolution, he simply asked people to think with an open mind.

I also take issue with their assumption that Atheists are simply lying about their belief in God. I would argue that while God writes His laws on the hearts of all men, it is possible that they have developed a suppression of knowledge.

Example: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.” – Romans 1:28

God didn’t suppress their knowledge. They, and the world, in an act of free will built presuppositions that suppressed or belittled the existence of God. So, I could argue that what God’s Not Dead encouraged was not only belief in the existence of God, but they mainly wanted to bulldoze down the presuppositions built by man. It’s the idea of intuitive knowledge vs. beliefs built on human perception. Most atheists are not simply liars that actually believe in God but just aren’t telling anyone because they enjoy being deceitful. We won’t encourage them to think openly by vilifying their intentions. They’ve suppressed their intuitive knowledge like Pharaoh suppressed his intuitive knowledge of what was right in Exodus.

We can see that atheists exercise their biblical intuitive knowledge daily by attributing worth to human life, that doesn’t mean they have conscious awareness of their intuitive knowledge. SO, from that standpoint, it is quite logical to assume that no, their conscious awareness is not in the know that God exists. Yet, their anger towards a God that their conscious awareness claims doesn’t exist is indicative of the fact that intuitive knowledge is present, but deeply buried under the presuppositions of societal views on God. So yes, AiG, the existence of God is the question.

Additionally, if everyone knows about God, why does their site exist? To simply educate believers, or to encourage reasoning from both believers and unbelievers. I’ve always thought it was both.

In other instances, the Christians endorsing the movie are happy to accept the big bang and biological evolution as proof of God’s work in the universe.”

Huh? No, I’m happy to continue researching scientific findings knowing all the while that whether the earth was created yesterday, or 7 billion years ago, the only way it happened is through God and God alone. I’m also completely thrilled if a movie has the power to make students mull over the creator of the universe, regardless of when He demanded there be light.

Ultimately – and in my opinion – and certainly AiG and I would disagree as to whether or not it agrees philosophically with the bible, but the goal of the movie was neither to promote evolution nor creation, but, by Wheaton’s own admission in his opening statement, prove that modern philosophy cannot disprove the existence of God. Plain and simple. Ergo, the title of the movie. And again, in my opinion, mission accomplished.

– MB

Candy & Cosmic Inflation — March 19, 2014

Candy & Cosmic Inflation

Last weekend I went to the movies with my nephews to see Mr. Peabody & Sherman. It was ridiculously adorable, and an all-around feel good movie. My nephew and I were standing in line to get snacks and I told him to pick out a piece of candy. He immediately pointed to the Starburst, and I, knowing that the Starburst in this particular theater have been hard in the past, thought that was a bad idea and didn’t like the choking hazard. The conversation went as follows:

Me: “Oh buddy, why don’t we pick out something else?”

C (6): “But I want the Starburst…”

Me: “Well, they’re not like normal Starburst, they don’t taste very good here. But they have Skittles, and they have the special yummy Wild Berry Skittles here, but pick out what you want…”

C: “Skittles!! But then later we can go to the store and get yummy Starburst, right?”

Me: “Yep!”

Yep, I lied. The Starburst probably tasted just like regular old Starburst, but I didn’t want to make him feel like he wasn’t a big boy, and I didn’t want to dampen his Birthday spirits and tell him “no” without giving a good reason. So, I manipulated his craving by making the object of his interest seem undesirable, and I overemphasized the positives of the snack I wanted him to have; however, he was not aware of my intentions, he thought it was all his idea to buy the Skittles.

Judge me if you must.

In the world of Science, Atheism is a Skittle, while Creationism a Starburst. (Yeah, you can quote me on that.)

Kelly Oxford and Seth Rogen took their genius to Twitter last weekend. If you don’t know who they are, basically they are two elitist actors that have siphoned your wallet for years and are now astounded by your idiocy. They are hilariously entertained by your tiny little brains that reject science. My first inclination when I hear such infinite knowledge of the universe, while claiming there is no such thing as infinite knowledge, is to drop everything and run to the defense of faith. But in a surprising plot twist, I will instead drop everything and run to the defense of science.

Below are points that articulate why I believe Atheists are actually the group that is actively rejecting science, and the below points have absolutely nothing to do with the Bible. –

Christianity and science are not enemies.

This week a major scientific discovery took place and the atheist community is bouncing off the walls in excitement over the coming melt down of the Christian belief system. One commenter actually proclaiming, “I can’t wait for the implosion in the Christian church upon full absorption of the evidence”, another boldly proclaims that this discovery is on par with the top 3 discoveries ever made. Yet, thus far, my faith is not in need of the bomb squad just yet. Their Neanderthal-esque fist pounding is indicative of what they actually find more important, disproving a god they don’t believe in is far more important to them than the existence of new scientific findings.

So what’s the discovery?! Scientists believe they have found proof of Cosmic Inflation, which would substantiate the Big Bang theory. Now, I’m not a scientist, nor are many of the individuals taking to Facebook and Twitter to falsely label people of faith as ignorant. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I have the ability to hold my own in a debate with Richard Dawkins. But I can, with confidence, declare one thing: The Big Bang, even proven, still wouldn’t account for the beginning of matter. Many atheists don’t realize that this is what it comes down to. That’s also why many scientists who don’t believe in God still have respect for those that do.

Thomas Aquinas eluded to the idea that reason begets faith; however, unfortunately that is opposite of today’s church in many aspects. Maybe if this were reversed we wouldn’t see as many “Christians” leaving the faith once they leave the house. His point was timeless in that it wasn’t dependent upon scientific discoveries to substantiate it. The nature of causality: Something cannot come from nothing, regression to infinity via efficient causes is not possible, with no cause there is no effect, a first cause must beget all others, so a supernatural cause exists. Now this is debated by those who ask the very logical question, “What caused God?”…. Now I would say that, while logical, asking such a question is similar to asking, “how many feet does a cookie smell like”. It’s a category fallacy to assume that the smell of a cookie can be measured by feet, it’s a category fallacy to assume that an uncausable being can be held to the standards of a causable creation. His nature alone is beyond our comprehension, and for that matter, causality.

Basically, we have no answer. A) You could call me a fool for saying that an uncausable being caused the universe in all its intricacies, because something cannot come from nothing. Or B) You can exhaust all possible causes for the beginning of the universe and still never find the initial cause. Both of which are a form of belief. I’m not refusing to acknowledge the scientific findings, I’m simply choosing, just as you, a presupposition by which we’ve adapted before we look at all the facts, none of which will ever be able to explain every detail.

So I walk into the kitchen and find a pan of brownies and ask, “how were these made?”, after a considerable amount of research I find the bowl with traces of left over brownie dough, I don’t then proclaim to the world that I have proof that no one went to the store and bought the brownie mix. I’ve already heard rebuttals from young earth creationists, as well as Christians that believe in evolution, and I personally like to absorb it all in before coming to my own conclusions. But I’ll say with confidence that recent findings still leave us wondering how the brownie mix got into the kitchen. Heck, where did the space for the kitchen come from?

We are not infinite beings.

As my favorite apologist Ravi Zacharias notes, to claim infinite knowledge of the creation of the world, while claiming that there is no one being with infinite knowledge, is to take the antithetical position of rationalism. There you sit, with your presuppositions, as I have mine, trying to build your argument in the sand and then convince me that it’s more equipped to withstand a stiff wind than mine because you painted bricks on the cardboard walls. Some point out that no peer reviewed published papers have been published on creationism, yet many creationists themselves have had peer reviewed published papers. If lack of peer review published papers make the theory irrefutably futile, then those that believe it are irrefutably ignorant; by proxy, anything they have published is lacking in credibility. But that just isn’t the case, because many on both sides of the debate are brilliant scientists who have simply chosen one of two unproved theories, yet are still highly regarded in the scientific community.

Assuming that one scientist claiming absolute knowledge of the unproven (evolution) is somehow a work of genius, while another scientist is some sort of a “dreamer” for refusing to claim infinite knowledge is irresponsible.

You can post all the links you want that talk about the “cold hard facts that disprove creationism”, and guess what, they are presupposed viewpoints that still aren’t substantiated. Incredibly brilliant atheists that I hold in high regard still say that there are many unanswered questions, even after this recent discovery. There are many agnostic scientists that claim neither faith nor the great abyss of emptiness, and that’s because while they may not believe in my God, they continue to seek the truth and not some canned version that gives them the excuse they need to dismiss the idea that there is a god. I’m not saying that the evolutionists don’t have their facts, they have theirs just as the creationists have theirs, but much of it comes down to interpretation.

SIDE NOTE: You can believe in Micro Evolution even if  you don’t agree with Macro Evolution.

They’re labeling individuals with much higher IQ’s than themselves as ignoramuses. This never ends well.

I wonder if the new atheists could tell Galileo that he’s a fact-less moron, or tell James Joule that his contributions to the first law of thermodynamics is a joke due to his belief in God, or look astrophysicist Arthur Eddington in the eyes and mock his work in the theory of relativity due to his religious inclinations. Oh to be Einstein, questioning the possibility of a higher being and not even realizing how brainless your silly scientific approach makes you. Speaking of Einstein, even while questioning the possibility of a higher being, he was also the first (correct me if I’m wrong) to even mention the idea of Cosmic Inflation. Or how about Oxford Professor Dr. John Lennox, a brilliant Creationist. Or Physicist Dr. Russell Humphreys, or Wayne Frair, who only has a Ph. D. in biochemical taxonomy….I’m sure that Kelly Oxford would have the upper hand in a debate with him, right?

But see, instead of accepting the idea that both sides of the debate are finding legitimate proof for their claims, they would rather point and call names. Because that’s super scientific. They need to manipulate you into believing that Skittles are the superior treat and that the Starburst taste poorly, and when you believe it without researching the facts, what do you end up looking like? A gullible six year old.

So, as Christians we shouldn’t be dropping our bibles in disgust, or attacking new findings, we should be absorbing them. The more unique and detailed we find this world to be, the more it points to the original cause. And atheists should be more accepting of the idea that there are indeed Christians out there that rejoice in scientific findings, as well as know the long list of errors that have accompanied those findings years later. All in all, neither of us have concrete answers, but when I look at the brilliance in the intricate design of something as simple as an eyeball, I’m pointed to the existence of God. 

Dear Women, Let’s give up! — March 12, 2014

Dear Women, Let’s give up!

Dear Fellow Women,

This week a campaign was launched to ban the word “bossy”. This ridiculous campaign has the backing of various celebrities, politicians, as well as the First Lady; basically, all of the people that I don’t consult when I need an opinion about my vocabulary. Apparently, beneath the layers of our supposed lack of gender equality, a painful barrier was put in place to prohibit women from being strong, successful and confident. This campaign has been initiated to successfully turn a patch of flat land into a mountain. Not to be redundant, but put plainly, they are attempting to turn absolutely nothing into a sexist catastrophe.

The almost unmentionable act being perpetrated on women throughout the world has finally come to the attention of the elitists after years of blindness. Just kidding, it’s really just here in the United States, because in other countries women are more worried about being executed if their burka malfunctions, or being sentenced to a gang rape for doing what Hollywood does on a daily basis.

I digress…back to us:

Bitter? Yeah. They’re bitter. Why wouldn’t they be? Here they thought progress for their fake notion was being made, only to now find that the years of grueling attempts at beating their make believe equality war in to our tiny little female brains were but a pretend waste. In a deserted land of unfair circumstances, success was but a mirage. The shifting sands of society are mere breadcrumbs for the meatloaf women should be making instead of doing things like thinking, voting, or anything else that takes more brain cells than worrying about a word…. But alas, the open door to the future is but a partition in a limo, right, Beyonce?

There we were, forming our own opinions, when suddenly a word protruded through the thick walls of our confidence, throwing us back into the kitchen where we belong.

Bossy.

I was then forced to realize that at various times in my life I, in my deep depravity, had been bossy; however, this revelation brought with it another, the revelation that I didn’t care that I was told I was being bossy. Now, in an attempt to ban the wretched word, the true colors of “strong” women are coming out. The unmitigated weakness of our sex is presenting itself to the world, standing on the pitiful soapbox of feminist propaganda while proclaiming that our heads are full of such flawed grey matter that a mere five letter word has the power to hold us back.

So, I have a solution to this, clearly, disastrous and unprecedented issue. See below:

As women, weakened by the blow of a common euphemism for someone that takes charge, I’ve decided that we should give up. We should pack it in for a multitude of reasons, only a handful of which are listed below –

 1.  We’re stupid.

Clearly we’ve had enough of this personal opinion, hyperbolic individuality crap. Thinking for ourselves is difficult, it’s tiresome; quite honestly, it’s much easier to be told what to do and think. According to feminists, we need pretend cultural catastrophes to push our finely toned bum up the ladder anyway, why not just sit back and believe the lies in the mind numbing display of stupidity they expect us to? So, let’s get on that dance floor, listen to what Jennifer Lopez says, and lift our drinks in the air. Our small minds are better suited for the trivial things in life, like how did Lady Gaga come up with such a brilliant euphemism like “disco stick”, am I right? Or, are our bodies really too bootylicious for you? And, what dress did Jennifer Garner wear to the Oscars? It’s gorgeous, she’s gorgeous, and anyone that looks that good clearly has all the answers as to why I can’t get that promotion.

DISCLAIMER: I have absolutely no idea if Jennifer Garner even went to the Oscars, because I don’t watch them. And I don’t care. Not even a little. My care tank is on “E”. My celebrity care account is in the negative.

2. We’re really stupid.

We desperately need women like Lena Dunham to show us that sexual abuse is pretty funny, being a man’s plaything is our sole purpose in life, and that we need sexualized campaign commercials just to get us out of bed to vote. Oh, and she also teaches us that to further your career all you need to do is remove your clothing. We need words like “bossy” to be banned in order for us to make any improvement for our own sex, clearly our little minds can’t possibly tackle obstacles with the false implications of a word lingering overhead. Dictionaries around every corner, just waiting to fall on the floor and oppress us with dangerous adjectives, verbs that hope to seek out your managerial skills and destroy them. And clearly, since we didn’t realize the brutality of this wretched word before, how could we possibly read a graph correctly, or open an email? Are we even qualified to take the trash out? Let’s face it, with words like “bossy” being tossed around, I think we’re better off playing doctor than being a doctor, right?? Hollywood???

3. We are, without doubt, incredibly stupid. (WARNING: GRAPHIC LYRICS)

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jayz/bigpimpinextended.html <—– Because his wife is somehow our feminist ambassador.

4. We’re dangerously stupid.  (WARNING: GRAPHIC LYRICS)

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/beyonceknowles/yoncpartition.html <—– Because she is somehow our feminist ambassador.

5. Not to beat a dead horse, but we’re weapons grade stupid.

For many reasons, like the sheer fact that the elitists in Hollywood think that they can control the minds of women, the fact that we beg for more dependence on men while screaming about our equality, the fact that we worship those that encourage us to treat our bodies like meal tickets, or the fact that we are teaching little girls that a word like “bossy” has power over them. Acting like a word, used in the right context, is somehow bad for women is beyond ludicrous and insults our intelligence. Believing such hypocritical rubbish just proves my point.

I personally feel that if the original feminists could see us today, they would question our right to vote. So, shall we throw the towel in, Ladies? No? You want to be viewed as an individual with a functioning brain? Then do us ALL a favor and tell the #BanBossy crowd to throw their simple minded pathetic rhetoric off a cliff. Tell them to stop telling you what to think, you know, tell them to stop being bossy!

Sorry if I sounded “bossy” in this post.

Just kidding, I’m not sorry.

In closing, I am lacking in any photos that would go well with this post, so I’ve decided to post a picture of my dog dressed up like Sherlock Holmes. Because it’s adorable.

– Mb

Image

A Rose by Any Other Name… — February 25, 2014

A Rose by Any Other Name…

When I was 9 years old I attended a private school in Pennsylvania, stiff upper-lip teachers, uniforms and all. We read a great deal of books while at school; in addition, we had to list off a number of books that we would read during the year at home. The part I hated most would grow to be the part I appreciate most now: comprehension tests. After each book we had a set of rigorous questions to answer, each pertaining to intricate details found within the book. With the glaring eyes of a teacher staring through you as you stumbled for the answers to the multitude of questions, you quickly learned to actually pay attention when you took to reading your books.

Could my teacher have simply taken us through the areas that answered the questions? Of course. We would have passed the tests with flying colors, received a good grade, and the clouds would have opened up and beamed a heavenly glow around a highly approved teacher. But what good would it do for our actual education, not just the grades on a paper? Nothing. You can teach a child to pass a test, but the result will not be the comprehension of the materials.

Welcome to Common Core.

I could go on a 6 page tangent over the idea that classic literature and personal writing is somehow deemed irrelevant to those that add their approval to such poor standards, but alas, I won’t only focus on this one issue since it is simply one large missing portion of a widely flawed initiative. Ok…For the sake of being honest, I’ll probably focus a lot of this post on said portion. Our society would rather have kids droning on about vampires and Anastasia Steele than topics and stories that challenge the reader to create within their mind a space welcoming of creativity, and that’s the sad fact.

Common Core attempts to prepare kids for the workforce (emphasis on “attempts”), not for college. By high school, common core will place kids years behind the education level in other countries. Can schools do anything about that? They can modify the standards by an additional 15%, but the standards themselves are under a copyright by NGA Center, and the Council of Chief State School Officers; regretfully, they are the only group that has the legal right to change the standards. So if your school says “we modified and only partially adapted” in an attempt to bring levity to the change, realize that they are grossly misleading you, or they have no idea what they’re talking about – both of which should concern you.

Why did states welcome Common Core with open arms, many knowing the issues it would cause? The almighty dollar. Money trumps the future of your child’s education in today’s world, it’s as simple as that. Money and waivers are given to those that welcomed Common Core standards and testing. Period.

Sandra Stotsky, Professor of Education Reform, had the following to say about Common Core standards when she refused to sign off on the standards:

“As empty skill sets, Common Core’s ELA “college readiness” standards weaken the base of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework, decrease the capacity for analytical thinking, and completely muddle the development of writing skills.”

She goes on to note that English teachers are being asked to teach on materials that are beyond their skill set. At minimum, 50% of the curriculum must be filled with informational nonfiction material (questionable material at best); reducing literary material to dismal levels, occasionally minor quotes and sections are substituted instead of allowing students to absorb the full material.

Maybe now is when you might question the importance of literature. “What’s the big deal?”… As infuriating as it is to even hear it be questioned, I believe that we should seize the opportunity to explain.

If not for the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, the original feminist movement may not have been born. No, not today’s feminist movement, the feminist movement that would be revolted by today’s feminists and their ultimate goal of objectifying women across the globe.

“…and women, intoxicated by the adoration that men (under the influence of their senses) pay them, don’t try to achieve a permanently important place in men’s feelings, or to become the friends of the fellow creatures who find amusement in their society…

…as blind obedience is ever sought for by power, tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavor to keep women in the dark, because the former only want slaves, and the latter a play-thing.”  – Mary Wollstonecraft

Literature is an important key to understanding moral customs and cultural differences. We learn about the beauty of a free society and the struggles highlighted for our minds to analyze. We are forced to contemplate good and evil, acknowledge the differences between our fellow man, and imagine for just a time that we are struggling with the lost. Our emotions are challenged, and our compassion developed. It teaches us the benefits of metaphors, comprehension, and depth of character; every person, every stage, every smell, every scene is custom to the reader. Building it inside of our minds while the story unfolds. They are not just a people spoken about in our history books, the characters become a being that we know and care for; we develop a logical response to both good and bad actions through our connection to the character. You may choose to toss it out with the pile of what you deem to be useless art, but I fear that the societal decline that has accompanied the lack of reading and writing is of no coincidence.

Let’s also not forget that our failing vocabulary could use a substantial lift.

See “bling,” “twerk,” “cuz,” “totes,” “peeps,” “adorbs,” “realz,” “dat,” “haz,” “luv,” “YOLO,” “swag,” “outa,” “dat,” “whatevs,” etc…. I rest my case. Do you realize that many of those words won’t even be corrected by autocorrect? Dat should totes make you weep 4 humanity, Peeps, 4 realz.

Our education system is encouraging/forcing kids to waste much of their time on not using their mind to contemplate morals, use critical thinking or build worlds inside their imagination. If time is the true currency, what our schools are doing is as frivolous as flushing your money down the toilet. In reality, it is more so. Once again Stotsky reiterates:

“Teachers and parents are regularly being told that more technical and persuasive writing will boost students’ critical thinking.  But little analytical thinking is apt to appear in letters to the principal about cafeteria food that kids are often encouraged to write in order to practice writing a “persuasive” letter. Reading researchers know there is absolutely no research to support the idea that increased study of “literary non-fiction” or “informational” texts in the English class, or increases in persuasive writing, will increase students’ level of analytical thinking.  There is every reason to believe they will, instead, lower the level.”

To read her full statement, click here.

I would be remiss if I also didn’t note that we had already experienced the failures of universal testing with NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Schools in low income neighborhoods became what Common Core wishes for all schools to become: test preparation programs. NCLB disciplined high performing schools and children on its war path to lift poor performers up. This never works. It’s never worked. Why do we keep trying such doomed experimental programs with education AND economics???

So then we take billionaires and politically motivated organizations and give them the reins to dismantle a democratic institution that has done more to bring equality than any other democratic institution in the USA? We provided opportunity to those who made the choice to seek it out, now we are punishing those who strive for success. Since NCLB & Common Core, there has been an increase in charter schools; meanwhile, thousands of public schools have been forced to close. Public schools that while in poor neighborhoods were the bridge that offered hope and freedom to children that, despite their circumstances, created within themselves the ability to survive & accomplish. Years later we now have increased child poverty, and the continual widening of achievement gaps due to standards that were backed by both sides of the aisle.

Well done, Ol’ Chaps!

Back to Common Core – Not only will children suffer in their reading and writing, but in a world where comprehension is not a priority, math and various other studies will take a detrimental blow. We are already seeing arithmetic problems in grade school students turned into 100+ steps of wasted time. It is making children feel like failures, when in reality, their minds should be built to solve the problem in the most logical way. Horrifyingly, these practices have never even been tested! They’ve turned the United States education system into a giant experiment. The weakness of the Common Core math standards were even noted by the creators of the standards themselves.

But then it gets even better!

We have a nation of kids who have constant entertainment. Video games, television, movies, etc. fill their days. Constantly being fed the narrative. Constantly being mind numbingly entertained. Then we send them to school and expect them to pay attention to the mundane, the redundant, and the unimaginative, then drug them because they are “hyper.”

Historically we didn’t have the issues that we have, and many other countries don’t either, so what gives? Clearly changes in the last 50 years have led us to this point, what were they? Do they have to do with chemicals? Food Dyes? Education? Shouldn’t those be the first questions we respond with before we start pumping children with more pharmaceuticals than an 80’s rock band?

If you or your child exhibit 6 of the 18 ADHD behaviors, you/they can be labeled as an individual who suffers from a “biologic abnormality of the brain” and handed a prescription. Read the behavior list sometime, you’ll likely come to the same conclusion as me: every human being at some point has suffered from ADHD. Imagine the entire population of Nicaragua, that’s roughly how many children in the US alone are on Psychotropic drugs. Kids are diagnosed at an alarming rate. Once signs of a hyper personality are found, parents, teachers, and doctors flock to the easy out like starving castaways who have just come upon a Pizza Hut.

Maybe I’m just primitive in nature, turning from my cave art to watch the spectacle and shake my club in mumbled revolt, but those “symptoms” seem to me to be an epidemic of both the mind and the heart. I’m not a doctor, but I am an observer of society and the downhill slope it’s taking that leads directly to a lava pit.

In a world filled with sensory overload, we’ve lost a huge part of who we are. With every advancement made in video games, the entertainment industry, and now faulty school standards, we slam another nail into the casket of creativity and imagination.  Now I’m not saying that all movies, games, and shows are bad, I’m just saying that as time goes on, our hearts become more invested in things that require little thought process. God created our minds to be used, and when kids are scratching on the walls of conformity we’ve now decided they need a pill instead of a change. They don’t require self-discipline because it’s not expected any longer, and then we have to deal with ADULTS that have no self-discipline.

And Isn’t that a peach….

Welcome to the new America. Start standing up against the change, or conform to the new thought standards, perpetuating a system that creates robots that simply obey the government agenda. Educators & politicians can call what they are doing education, but indoctrination by any other name will destroy as swiftly.

“What appalls me most about the standards is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. We are not programming machines. We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women to be human beings, honoring what is good and right and cherishing what is beautiful.” Dr. Anthony Esolen – Providence College

Defining a Hero — February 11, 2014

Defining a Hero

A while back I wrote Defining a Monster (click here for link to post), this is my follow up:

My 5 year-old nephew runs into the room slamming his fists to the ground, pretending as though he were the star of an action packed blockbuster. Our masked vigilante valiantly fighting the evils of the world that’s located inside his vivid imagination with his staggering height and built muscles, which also only exist in his vivid imagination. He’s still at the age where he thinks that finishing off his potatoes will bring instant results to his muscle mass. I remember being little and constantly thinking of stories in my head, I look at him and just think of the wheels that must be turning. The momentary bravery it takes to fight the elusive “bad guy” that he’s created, and then the innocence of the hero that suddenly needs milk with his brownie and pizza.

As we entered the new year, I noticed a lack of excitement that normally accompanies the determination that somehow gets harpooned into our souls when the clock strikes midnight. It was as if we spent all of 2013 sailing closer and closer to Cape Horn, and as we stood on the ship deck counting down the minutes to midnight we contemplated the dangers of the waters soon to be traveled. Instead of the ball dropping in time square, we saw the high winds, the sharp rocks, the daunting icebergs; all of the dangers ahead would surely find us to be inexperienced sailors in well over our head, and they would undoubtedly take advantage at every possible turn. I don’t think it’s a secret, 2014 is not a number known for its coming joys for America.

Since the new year we have faced insurance difficulties, as well as an updated projection from the CBO for what we should expect for future full-time job loss due to the ACA. The expected numbers more than doubled, and the part time epidemic is set to take hold due to insurance regulations.  Additionally, yet another poor job report was released last week that seems to prove the pessimistic economists to be prophets. I’ll definitely be talking about some of those issues in the coming posts, but today I wanted to do something different.

I am not always the most delicate in my deliverance of opinion. I find the truth to be best when it’s laid out bare; admittedly, concerns over the brittleness of eggshells rarely infiltrate my mind. Reason is of the utmost importance to me, to a fault I might add. There’s no denying that God has His hands full with me and my unbridled skepticism, I surely earn my place on the cross daily. Have you ever played 20 questions with a 5 year old? Now imagine your patience level by question 50. Now tack on a couple million questions and you might have a feeling for what God endures from this daughter of His.

Issues & debates are puzzles, puzzles need to be solved. Period. I have to shut that part of me down sometimes, followed by walking away due to the fact that shutting that part down is normally not a process I’m willing to perform twice. My tolerance level for discursiveness is not what one would note as “desirable“, for me it’s like taking the organized puzzle pieces and throwing them on the ground in an attempt to complete the puzzle. It doesn’t make sense. More so, I find that we are far too delicate in matters that call for unabashed truth, and often brash in matters that call for delicacy. It’s the human condition colliding with Christianity that I wrote about in my last post. So while some may charge me with being too critical of the Christian, “my own kind”, I’ve always been more apt to lean on the side of logic and ignore the social norms of Sunday night potluck positivity.

Growing up I loved things that glowed in the dark; stars on a ceiling, secret notes on black paper, etc. (Clearly I was meant to be a spy.) But I always remember those things being so dull when all of the lights were on. You couldn’t see them or admire their contributions to the dark in a fully lit room. We used to run and find a room that had no windows, the darker the better; every step into the darkness made the secret words on black paper easier to read, every bit of sun that disappeared made the stars brighter. Some may accuse me of dwelling on the negative, or obsessing with the world. That’s their opinion. I don’t dwell on the negative, I just care deeply about those swallowed up by the negative. I’m not obsessed with the world, I simply hurt for those in its grasps. And sometimes, I turn off all the lights and look in the darkness for that glimmer of light that refused to buckle in to the black. My admiration for those glimmers of light and how Christ used them outweigh any assumptions of my obsessions with the repugnance of the world in my mind. To be honest, I am filled with hope, overflowing with gratitude for my Savior, and breathlessly amazed at how He moves in this world. As the song goes, I pray that my heart continues to break for what breaks His.

SO, in honor of the approaching sharp rocks, I couldn’t think of anything more fitting than to write about a few men that saw danger and met it with heroic determination. In a world where Iron Man is idolized and Thor is worshiped, sometimes the most heroic of men go unnoticed. Right now I’m content with my nephew’s infatuation with Captain America and his powerful shield that brings down the evil that stalks the world, but someday I hope his adoration and interests are held by men who didn’t need a shield; men with hearts that shook the world more than The Hulk’s mighty fists ever could. The logic that appealed to the natural instinct of self-preservation in these men was trumped by the logic of human worth and hope, which is itself an act that defies the idea of a Godless world and speaks to the greatest form of proof for Him that we can experience daily. That is why sometimes it’s a good thing to acknowledge the dark.

We do not know what a Jew is, we know only men.” – Words spoken by Andre Trocme when asked by the Nazis to produce a list of Jews. Andre lived in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France during the Holocaust. He, along with his wife, were responsible for helping what is believed to be over 4000 Jewish refugees find homes in his city. He, as the “spiritual leader”, encouraged the townspeople to do the work of God. He continued to tell his followers that when the Nazis came and took him away – for his refusal to provide a list – that they were to continue in the effort to save as many as they could. He woke up every morning to the realization that his life could end, or that he would be imprisoned, and everyday his ethical convictions drove him to continue. Thankfully, he survived the war and passed away in 1971.

Giovanni Palatucci was an Italian Police Official and chief of the Foreigners’ Office. He was put in charge of the Adriatic seaport of Fiume (Croatia). In 1938 the anti-Jewish laws were put into place, and he disobeyed said laws. He forged travel papers for hundreds of Jews so that they could flee persecution. In 1943 the government fell and was occupied by the Nazis. He was ordered to arrest the Jews and have them deported to concentration camps. Simply defying orders would have led to his termination and be of no help to the Jews, so he devised and executed a plan to have over 5000 Jews sent to a refugee camp that was managed by his uncle. He then destroyed records of all the refugees, and they were saved from the imminent doom that would have met them in Nazi concentration camps. He died at the age of 35 after being arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp for his actions. He knew what his actions would cost him if exposed, and yet he charged ahead with a bravery that would put us all to shame.

Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese Diplomat. As vice-consul for a Japanese consulate in Lithuania, he kept his country updated on the actions of both the Nazis, and the Soviet troops. Once the Nazi invasion of Lithuania began, the Jews were scrambling for ways to escape the Nazis that were rounding them up like cattle. It is unknown how many Jews Chiune saved, some speculate that it was 5000, others believe a more accurate number to be 10,000. He was issuing visas to anyone that came to him, writing them for 18 hours a day, violating direct orders in the name of human compassion. Even while he was en route to the train station after being reassigned, he was handwriting visas and throwing them out the car window for desperate Jews. Many of the passports in the crowd were still unstamped when he boarded the train, so he threw his official stamp into the crowd for them to use. Hence why the number of Jews he saved is impossible to even try to calculate.

“I cannot allow these people to die, people who have come to me for help with death staring them in the eyes. Whatever punishment may be imposed on me, I know I should follow my conscience.” – Chiune Sugihara

Chiune Sugihara was finally recognized in 1985 for his heroic rescue of so many Jews. He passed away in 1986.

Does it not concern anyone else that these men disobeyed direct orders, put their lives on the line, one actually losing his life, and yet we don’t speak out about issues because we don’t want to be “divisive” with our dinner party friends? Does that not get to anyone else? Slavery, persecution, etc. are taking place all over the world, and who we vote for decides if we’re going to continue financially supporting those acts. You don’t even have to hide persecuted individuals in your home and disobey the laws of your country, you just have to say the truth! You just have to speak! Educate! Stand up for what is right!

In the next year many families will face financial turmoil. They’ll take on an insurance payment that is equal to, or possibly exceeds, the cost of a mortgage payment. They’ll cut, scrimp, and will no longer save. Is being low on money the worst thing to happen to a person? FAR from it. But this is just the beginning. Families will not be able to afford their deductibles, people will go without healthcare. Healthcare will continue to decline as it becomes less care and more of a conveyor belt health service. People will become numbers, elderly will be declined the care they desperately need. Businesses will start preparing for the ACA, jobs will be cut, unemployment compensation will be insufficient. Families will lose their homes or get creative in their living situations. These are just the facts that we have to step back and recognize them for what they are.

How many of us have heard (or said), “God is in control, I’m not going to concern myself with worldly issues.”?? I know I have heard it PLENTY of times.

The problem: The bible is full of action against evil.

God is in control, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless. As I said earlier about my need for rationality, I look at the world and ponder the theory that silence from Christians is what’s needed, but I find that ideal lacking in any evidence that would substantiate its viability. I’m not asking you to spend this year hiding Jewish refugees in your walls, I’m just asking you to have conversations, to try and educate those around you. Speak the truth. If you don’t know what to speak of, then research the issues plaguing this nation, connect with those who know about those issues and ask questions so that YOU can spread the word. What our government is doing to healthcare has happened elsewhere. What our government is doing to guns has happened elsewhere. What our government is doing with police power has happened elsewhere.

All of those attempts to “reduce crime”, “increase affordable healthcare”, and “make the streets safer” don’t work. In all actuality, those supposed “efforts” make things far more dangerous, careless, and elitist. If you pointed to a wolf and said “that’s a sheep, trust me!”, I still wouldn’t approach the “sheep” because common sense says that it will kill me. Pointing to the ACA and saying that it’s affordable healthcare doesn’t make it affordable, nor does it guarantee that my family will receive healthcare; as a matter of fact, it does the opposite for many hard working families.

Prepare yourself for the midterm elections, learn about your candidates. Don’t just research their opinion on one topic that will benefit your wallet, research what they stand for and how it will affect the rest of the world. The powerful governments “elsewhere” were strengthened by a populous that only cared about themselves, let’s not be that populous. I’m going to make a good number of blog posts about some of the candidates. If you live in a state and would like specific information on candidates, please message us.

Take a moment to thank God for men like Trocme, Palatucci, and Sugihara. Our world can be a dim place, it can be filled with overwhelming hatred and a callousness that makes us weep for the innocent lives that become trapped within its grip for reasons unanswered. But there are heroes that forge through the darkness regardless of what lies wait in the shadows, those men exist in our world today as well. Would you have the fortitude to be one of them?

Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign in sabotage.” – C.S. Lewis

–  MB

Hero

Animal Instincts — February 5, 2014

Animal Instincts

Once upon a time, an average woman made a controversial blog post and made everyone mad.

The End.

Well, it’s been over a month since the last blog entry, and that’s because I’ve been busy thinking of ways to revamp the site. But alas, here I am to spread my Super Bowl & Grammy Awards cheer to the world.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

There’s two camps (euphemism?) in the Christian world today, and while I adore following Facebook posts and Twitter debates that involve both camps, I feel the need to toss my hat into the ring today. But first, let’s look at the two schools of thought:

Camp 1: No, they’re not the Westboro Baptist Church, but their tongues are almost as sharp. (Don’t worry, I’m not suffering from a lack of self-awareness concerning my own Ninjatō that I’ll be wielding for this very blog post.) This camp knows exactly how warm the fire pits of hell are, and they’ll warn all sinners where they are headed if they continue on with their lifestyle. All that Gospel stuff is for the Pastor to preach, the stone tossing is for the neighbors.

“They told me I was going to burn in hell because they love me! Really, that’s why.” – No Unbeliever. Ever.

Camp 2: They have puppy kisses and rainbow confetti. I went there once, but after they braided my hair and made me wear flowers, corduroy, and a bohemian inspired velveteen skirt, I ran. This camp disagrees with any “judgmental” notions whatsoever. We are all sinners, so don’t judge, just love. Politics? Social issues? There’s only one answer: Love. And as for the actual definition of “judgmental”, it’s irrelevant.

DISCLAIMER: I’m going to hold both camps accountable in my comments below, if this offends you, grab your velveteen skirt, or your picket sign, and take the emergency exit known as the small “X” in the top right corner of your screen. Or stay and challenge my thoughts if you so desire, I welcome it.

You know I don’t tweet much.. But Bruno Mars deserves one. What a singer and performer.” – Chris Tomlin

*Grabs popcorn, sits back, waits for verbal WWE match.*

Instantly Chris was called out for being OF the world and how evil *spoken in my Ork voice* his comment was, and then those that called him out were being labeled – branded – as “judgmental”, and told that we all need to learn how to love and be thankful for the gift of Bruno’s voice, silly zealots! It was like a bowl of self-righteous organic sunflower soup. With flax.

So let’s analyze the situation and see what the REAL issue was:

Bruno Mars has a beautiful voice, which I’ll agree with Camp 2, was given to him by God. AND he also has a hit song out right now with the lyrics, “You and me, baby, F****** like Gorillas.”… SO, Camp 1, you get 5 points for accuracy, with a 3 point deduction for delivery. What would the world look like if we approached issues like this from a logical stand point (which some did) instead of infusing it with empty emotional arguments that just make us all out to look like irrational spineless religious imps?

NOTE: There is a balance between standing for what you believe in, silence, and accountability. I am far from perfect, but we should all strive for that balance.

The interesting part about both the Old Testament AND the New Testament is that faith was made evident by actions, not words, in both. Ok, it’s not abundantly more interesting, it’s just a cold hard fact. So should we go along in agreement (also known as silence) with evil in the name of meeting people halfway, like many in Camp 2? No. Should we hatefully tell people that they are going to hell like many in Camp 1? No. Is it biblical to hold other Christians accountable for their actions in correlation with their proclaimed faith? YES! Is it biblical to openly disagree with the mainstream narrative while still loving those that agree with said narrative? YES!

This brings me to my issue for the day: Animal instincts.

Whether it be a study on the bite strength of an alligator vs. a crocodile, or the pecking order in a lion pride, my nephew will watch it if it involves exotic animals. In other news, due to his interest in said exotic animals, I now know too much about them as well; but, thankfully, remembering a few episodes actually helped me today in the break room when I attempted to assert my dominance and fight for the last cup of coffee.

And then I drank Tea.

I digress. One thing is always certain, those in the animal kingdom always go after the easiest food. Now that’s not to say that a lion would choose a rabbit when an antelope is on the menu, but if there are five antelopes, it’s going to seek out the weakest and annihilate it. Facts are, the lion is hungry, and it isn’t focused on the thrill of the kill, it’s focused on the need for nourishment. Even if that means taking one of the young! While watching wildlife shows, we find the idea of an adult lion ripping apart the flesh of an innocent and weak baby animal to be grotesque; but the facts are, that is their survivalist instincts working naturally. Because they’re animals.

So my question: Do Christians have a similar approach?

Today we live in a society that pushes sex from every level of entertainment. Not wholesome biblical sex; but objectifying, casual, consequence filled sex. It fuels an industry that annihilates the gift that God gave, and trivializes the worth of a human being. Women are sold like cattle in our own country, stripped bare of their dignity to the highest bidder with the strongest hand. Like animals. Sold to men who view women as nothing more than a tool for their pleasure; an empty, soulless existence, put on this earth for them to consume. Whether it’s in person, photo, or pornographic movie, men who involve themselves in the industry, or support it, all look at women the same.

It didn’t just “happen”. Yes, there has always been indecency, promiscuity, and abuse. But it is nothing compared to what we see today. A woman in Afghanistan was forced to marry her rapist. Another woman in a Middle Eastern country was gang raped as a court sentence. A child bride died after her violent wedding night. So many others taken to their streets to be tried as whores for being raped. In America, women are sold as sex slaves, probably in your very city. Could it be that the shock value has dissipated because men and women are indoctrinated on a daily basis to believe that women ARE objects?

Yes.

But don’t worry, after you’re used as an object, you can get the results removed at your nearest Planned Parenthood. Why wouldn’t men support this? Objectification without consequence. Girls walk around their high school thinking that it is ok for them to be used with a level of approbation that for most teenage boys is equal to that of their IPod. Why? Because Katy Perry & Beyonce said so. Why? Because Akon wants to “tap that”, and so does Billy, and Billy “makes me feel special”. Why? Because they’ve been taught by the entertainment industry that what’s under their clothes is what gets you places, not what’s inside your mind. And as for the boys? Well…Those ladies on the XXX movie want them, and the girls in the photos want them, and the girls singing about wanting them want them. They’re all empty vessels of fun, why not the girls at school? Unrealistic expectation break down the family unit, the respect, and the plans that God had for us.

Objectification? Yawn.

Sex Slavery? Yawn.

Destroyed marriages? Yawn.

Girls with eating disorders? Yawn.

Thousands of children aborted daily? Yawn. I’ll handle that with a bumper sticker.

Bruno Mars singing about F****** a stripper like a gorilla? Because that’s what the ladies are good for, right? Yawn.

Homosexuality? Get out your pitchforks, tar, and feathers. Us Christians are burdened with glorious purpose and will see this evil to its demise! (Yes. In my head I sounded like Loki.)

Yes. That’s the reality. Why? Because it’s the easiest target, and requires absolutely NO sacrifice on our part. We run our mouth about homosexual marriage, and then we feel good about the persecution because then we can post a quote on Facebook about how Jesus was persecuted first.

As for Chris Tomlin & Mercy Me giving their accolades to Bruno Mars, I didn’t throw a fit when they did it, but when Bart, the lead singer of Mercy Me, returned fire to those who disagreed with his praise, he actually used the words “I’m a huge fan of sex, so is my wife, and so is God…” Well then. Glorifying Bruno Mars, a contributor to the objectification of women, is totally cool. Is music not one of the difficult subjects that all Christians have to face? It guides our youth, manipulates our thought process, and has a power unknown to any other field of entertainment. And let’s be honest, Bart… When he was talking about sex taking him to paradise, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about sex between a husband and wife. So groove to the soulful tunes if you like, but making such a defensive post smells, well, like a guilty conscience.

In my above comments I’m not saying that I agree with homosexuality, or that it aligns with my faith…And I’m guessing that they don’t agree with my faith, and that my faith doesn’t align with their worldview. Well, I’ll be…People with differing opinions, stop the presses ol’chap, I think we’ve found an anomaly. I also have a friend that likes to drink. A lot. I don’t agree with the lifestyle, and she calls me a prude because I won’t go drinking with her, and then we go shopping and I continue to do my best to show her who Christ is living in me.

You see, standing up to an industry that is doing more damage to the sanctity of marriage is, well, hard work. Christian men who “dabble” and “innocently admire” the bikini clad model would have to face their proclivities. People would have to stop listening to some stuff, and watching some stuff; So, it proves to be the strong antelope and rather uncomfortable for the super edgy and world savvy Christian to stand up against. But those homosexuals who are lost sinners and don’t hold themselves accountable to our standards? Well, they’re the young, they’re the antelope with a weak leg that some in the Christian nation have decided to capture and devour for the sake of feeling faithful.

Bravo, Christians. Slow clap.

When you earn your living from a platform supportive of sexual purity, respect, and dedication to God’s word, be prepared to have people question your support of such artists. So we praised Christians for leaving the Grammy’s and those that turned off their TV during the “abomination at the end”, but yet saying anything to a Christian star that should be held to a higher standard about their, possibly unintentional, approval of Bruno Mars is somehow off limits? Because look, he can do the splits and has a good voice… Don’t we realize that those at the Grammy’s wouldn’t have such a platform if we didn’t give it to them in the first place? But Bruno’s voice was “God given”. Yep, and a woman’s body is God given, that doesn’t mean Bruno Mars should objectify it through his music.

So to the hypocrites like myself, maybe we should go through our ITunes library again, maybe we should sacrifice a show that clearly doesn’t show women that they are treasured. Maybe we should find a medium between thinking that “Mercy Me & Chris Tomlin did nothing wrong” and “Mercy Me & Chris Tomlin are evil sinners”. Maybe we should not only love more, but love and respect human beings through our actions. Turning off that song, turning off that show, they are acts of love. Love for the women bound by the chains of objectification, love for the generations of kids that shouldn’t think any of this is acceptable. Love the celebrities, love the homosexuals, love the listeners, love the viewers…That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act against the narrative by supporting those that support your values, and not supporting those that don’t.

Thanks for reading. – Mb

Image

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33 other followers

Build a website with WordPress.com