Monday, October 31, 2005
The Bible tells us about people who will profess to be Christians but are not. The moniker they are given is apostate. What is apostasy?
"APOSTASY: the abandonment or renunciation of a RELIGION, such as CHRISTIANITY or ISLAM, either voluntarily or by compulsion. There are frequent Biblical allusions to the EVILS and the dangers of apostasy. It is described as departure from the FAITH 1 Timothy 4:1-3; being carried away by the error of lawless men Hebrews 3:12. The great apostasy, "The Rebellion" 2 Thessalonians 2:3, is associated with the return of CHRIST and the end of the world or JUDGMENT DAY."
The Bible has much to say on the subject of apostasy:
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
2 Peter 2:1-19
1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them into gloomy dungeons[b] to be held for judgment;
5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men
8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—
9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.[c]
10This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature[d] and despise authority.
Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;
11yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.
12But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
13They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[e]
14With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!
15They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.
16But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—a beast without speech—who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.
17These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.
18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
4For certain men whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
8In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.
11Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
12These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.
13They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
16These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
(All scripture taken from BibleGateway.com)
There are, of course, those who seem to take the Bible with a "grain of salt," choosing which scripture holds meaning for them and which scripture does not. This is not to say that certain specifics of the Old Testament were not rendered unneccessary by the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, by his resurrection and sacrifice, once for all, for our sins. What it means is that there is an overall message which the Bible brings us, it forms a whole which is mandatory for the Christian who wishes to understand certain passages. There must be cross referencing done and the Holy Spirit, most importantly, must guide each Christian into truth. But for those people who denounce the Bible as inerrant, what can one say to such? They will not read the Bible and heed it unless it somehow fits into their own relative right or wrong. Once a person has denied the inerrancy of scripture there is little one who believes in the Bible's inerrancy can do to speak to that person. In essence, they have made a choice which can no longer be appealed to on the basis of scripture, instead they will find their truth where they will find it, whether that be among selective passages of the Bible, among the passages of other religions or in the words of men who cannot know the mind of God.
Because we cannot know man's heart we cannot be man's judge. While there may be indicators of Christianity, there is no real way to discern if a man is a Christian or not, however, the Bible gives us clear evidence on how we may recognize false teachers. We can know what a minister of Christ should be doing. We can know what man is called to do, how he should be serving God. For further study on that topic and because it is too lengthy for me to quote, I provide this link: BibleGateway.com Topical Index: Index of M » MINISTER, CHRISTIAN
I don't believe it should be important to Christians to prove their Christianity to one another. It is an impossible task, for one thing. No one but God can judge your heart or mine. It should be enough for us to know that we are to take great care in protecting our doctrine, and great care in which men we allow to affect that doctrine. The Holy Spirit has been given to the Believer, I pray that all Believers take advantage of His want to guide us into truth.
So, the real Christian? Even if he stands up you may or may not be convinced, and you should not care whether you are convincing others of your Christianity. Believers, if focused on answering the call of Christ on their lives, will bear fruit. That fruit will be plain for all to see. Words do not convince, action does.
God bless all who read my blog.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
posted by you on another blog"While I'm touched by your sentiment, I do think, considering the fact that I no longer wish to intertwine my Christianity with my politics or respond to other's intertwining of their politics to Christianity, and since that is basically what you do here, that it would be best for me to move along."
you just really cant help yourself, can you?
Posted by me on MY blog:
Jacke M. said...
You misunderstood what I was saying, Larry p. I am not advocating that our Christian convictions should not play a part in how we vote, I am advocating that in the arena of debate, I feel that politics should be argued from a political standpoint and Christianity DISCUSSED from a Christian standpoint. Of course, when I cast my vote I cast it for the person who agrees the most closely with my stance on social and political issues of our time. And, to be honest, while I would like to leave Christianity and politics separate, I'm not even sure if that is possible. While I am silent about what role my Christianity plays in my political convictions other Christians are busy gathering themselves together in an effort to paint Conservatives as evil, misunderstanding and misrepresenting our reasons for standing against abortion and gay marriage. So, yeah, you are probably right. Perhaps, it would have been better if I had opted to take a break. I think in a perfect world Christians should be able to unite on issues such as these rather than fight about them. I am but one voice, when others are uniting against us we each have to make a decision of whether we will be silent or not. A sin of omission is still a sin. Thanks for the comment. As you can see, I'm still thinking, still learning and still growing, because that is true and because *I am a woman,* :) I always retain the right to change my mind. I think I was right, but I think you are right too. :)
"In a perfect world" do you think we would even *have* these issues? ;-)
Jacke M. said...
No, and in the imperfect world in which we live politics are argued vehemently. Now, the thing is, I'd love to separate Christianity from the political debate but because others won't join me in doing so I don't feel I should necessarily limit myself by firmly separating the two.I'm sure at some point I'll rejoin the battle. You see, one has to be careful about allowing others to shut one up because they dislike your politics.
"I will not go silently into that good night" Who wrote that? Which poet?
Look out Progressive Christians, it appears I let you confuse me for a moment, like I'm supposed to live and let live while you continue to attack Conservative Christians in the political arena! Misrepresenting us and re-defining what and who we are to paint us as haters? Fergit abowt et! ;)
So, anonyomous, as respectfully as I can muster I would tell you to
This is my blog, and Momma Twoop's, and we'll write about any darned thing we please. Thanks for your concern though. :)
For me, it is a health issue. I am greatly concerned that gay groups are visiting our grade school children in our public schools. I am greatly concerned that our children are being taught by their teachers that there is no difference between a homosexual and a heterosexual relationship. I am greatly concerned that the homosexual lifestyle is being promoted and therefore encouraged to young impressionable children as an equal and healthy "alternative lifestyle" to that of heterosexual relationships.
It is easier for a liberal or Progressive to pass me off as an intolerant fundamentalist Christian than to research the higher health risks among the homosexual lifestyle for themselves, so I decided to make it easy for them and bring it all together for them right here on this blog.
In this study:
Study Surveys Mental Health Of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexuals And Their Siblings
October 20, 2005 - The August, 2005 issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, published a research survey of the mental health of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and their siblings.
"Mental Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Heterosexual Siblings: Effects of Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Family," by Kimberly F. Balsam, Theodore P. Beauchaine, Ruth M. Mickey, and Esther D. Rothblum, was funded in part by a grant from the Lesbian Health Fund of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.
"The researchers conducted the research to discover if there were differences in suicidal ideation, depression, and the use of mental health services between gay, bisexual, and lesbian siblings.
The study was conducted by questionnaire. The project eventually included responses from 805 women and 449 men. Of these, 533 identified as heterosexual; 163 as bisexual; and 558 as lesbian or gay.
According to the researchers, "LGB's [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals] ... use mental health services more and are at higher risk for suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and self-injurious behavior than are heterosexual siblings.""
Research Studies Show High Rates Of Gay Emotional/Relational Instability
Lifetime prevalence of DSM- III- R Psychiatric Disorders
Homosexual (SSA) vs Heterosexual lifetime prevalence percentages for:
Mood disorders: Homosexual 39.0% Heterosexuals 13.3%
Major depression: Homosexual 39.3% Heterosexual 10.9%
Anxiety disorders: Homosexual 31.7% Heterosexual 13.2%
One or more diagnoses: Homosexual 56.1% Heterosexual 41.4%
Two or more diagnoses: Homosexual 37.8% Heterosexual 14.4%
Stanford et al. (2001) Arch Gen Psychiatry, Vol. 58.
Study from the Netherlands of 5, 898 adults of which 2.1% self-identified as homosexual.
Why do these studies matter?
In this research paper: "The Health Risks of Gay Sex" by Dr. John R. Diggs, Jr., MD: http://www.corporateresourcecouncil.org/white_papers/Health_Risks.pdf Dr. Diggs, Jr. makes it clear that:
- "Encouraging people to engage in risky sexual behavior undermines good health and can result in a shortened life span. Yet that is exactly what employers and governmental entities are doing when they grant GLB couples benefits or status that make GLB relationships appear more socially acceptable."
Dr. Diggs, Jr. makes his point in the corporate world to point out the health risks as pertains to health benefits given by corporations or governmental entities and how it encourages social acceptance of the gay lifestyle, but we might make the same claim regarding public school curriculum and teachers who promote and encourage the gay lifestyle by making GLB relationships seem more socially acceptable.
Then, go here:
The Innate-Immutable Argument Finds No Basis in Science to read from the words of Gay activists, themselves, that they have come to the acceptance that scientists have been unable to determine that gays are "born that way."
It is questionable, highly questionable, whether gays are born that way or they have chosen the lifestyle, so why promote an unhealthy lifestyle in order to be tolerant of those who, supposedly, have no choice because it is the way God made them? They cannot prove that to be the case and there is evidence to suggest the contrary.
Now, if you live in a little Progressive bubble and you do not believe that gay activists are targeting our children in public school click on this link: Gay Activism in the Schools.
Why does it matter? I don't want gays targeted for violence any more than anyone else wants them targeted for violence, but allowing the promotion and encouragement of the gay lifestyle to our children, by making it seem like a "cool" alternative to the norm we are exposing them to a lifestyle that could take 20 years off their lifespan and leave them open for mental and physical health problems.
Gay marriage further normalizes and asks for the acceptance of this lifestyle as a perfectly healthy alternative lifestyle for our children. This is wrong. Plain and simple. It has nothing to do with hate and nothing to do with a fear of getting some "gay cooties" on us.
Before Progressive Christians throw those stones from their glass houses claiming that Conservative Christians do not support gay marriage simply because they are bigoted haters they might remember their own tone is no less condemning of Conservative Christians than what they perceive as condemnation of gays in America coming from their, evidently, arch enemy, the evil Conservative Christian. I do not condemn gays in America because I think they are "sinners" rather I condemn their lifestyle because it is an unhealthy one and it is being promoted as normal and natural to unsuspecting children who are not being told of the higher health risks associated with it. It's about protecting our children, stupid!
Sunday, October 23, 2005
It isn't my intention to direct this at Progressive Christians or Conservative Christians, but just simple Christians. I've received a few insights regarding judging my brothers and sisters in Christ by their politics. One of those insights is that I shouldn't spend my time looking for reasons to argue with Progressive Christians about their political beliefs. Sure, I still disagree with them, but I think it is very difficult, not impossible, but difficult, to talk politics with someone who so strongly disagrees with my own politics and retain the level of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control which would be pleasing to God. I think it is enough to disagree with at least a portion of their political causes and cures.
Discussing these issues with Progressive Christians did "pay off" for me, because it reaffirmed something I knew all along but might not have realized that I knew. I know, for instance, that my good friends, Ted and Donna, are members of The Church of Christ and I know that they pray in the Spirit, that they speak in tongues, and I have no problem with that, speaking in tongues is, in fact, scriptural under specific guidelines. The point is, that when Ted and Donna are visiting, we don't discuss those things upon which we disagree, we talk about those things which we agree upon. In the faith I practice I believe that we are given our portion of the Holy Spirit the moment we have received God's saving grace through Jesus Christ. Ted and Donna believe that they receive their portion of the Holy Spirit at a later date and that the evidence of that Holy Spirit's indwelling is demonstrated by the gift of speaking in tongues. I don't have to agree with them or quibble with them over that point in order to feel the presence of God in the room when they are with me. I don't have to agree with them on that point before I embrace them. Neither do I have to agree with Progressive Christians' politics before I can embrace them.
I feel that there is ample evidence provided in scripture, however, that a Christian should be transparent in his or her dealings with the world. People should see a difference in the way we treat others, they should see that fruit of the Spirit evidenced in our lives, that love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control should set us apart from the rest of the world. These "fruits" should cause the world to view us as the aliens we are for we do not belong to this world.
In reading the writings of " religious" people we often see platitudes stated, we hear them talk about blessings, about the love of Christ, about trust and faith, but to the non-believer these phrases mean nothing because they have not yet experienced the awesome joy that comes with the acceptance of Christ as Savior, they cannot identify with what it means to be full of a joy, so deep in our hearts, that no matter what dire circumstances befall us we are still happy at heart. They cannot know that no matter what happens in our life that God will use that circumstance to make us stronger through His awesome power. No one can know the love of God until they have experienced that transcendental moment in which the reigns of one's life are handed over to an all powerful God, or the comfort that comes with knowing and accepting the offering of Christ to take our sins upon his shoulders and cleanse us from all those awful things for which we carried guilt year upon year. That is why it is important that we do share those personal stories. That we do show the "world" what Christ has done for us and that no matter what happens in our lives we can survive it and learn from it because of what Christ has done for us and continues to do in our lives every second of every day.
I may have made some enemies while having discussions about theology and the political aspirations of Progressive Christians, I cannot say what is in the hearts of others, I can say what is in my heart, the acceptance that is there for them, the understanding that when others have been short or accusatory with me that they are simple, imperfect human beings just as I am a simple, imperfect human being. We all struggle with that "self-control" from time to time.
So, what will it be? Platitudes or Beatitudes? In order for us to experience the beatitudes we are required to speak out, no one can persecute us for our beliefs if they do not know what our beliefs are and God cannot bless us, as He promised, if we do not speak out for Him.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:3-12.
I am sure that some could argue that I persecuted Progressive Christians in my discussions with them. I would argue that I questioned them and stated my own beliefs and convictions. I have to wonder when asking questions of another or stating one's own beliefs and convictions became an aggressive or hostile act? Perhaps the action of thinking about a question in order to provide an answer might cause some to feel, personally, persecuted. Everyone has to deal with their own questions, come to their own conclusions and I think God leads and guides us as to what those questions should be, what we should be meditating upon, what information we are prepared, mentally, to receive from Him. Sometimes God does use others in our lives, though. I can't presume to know why I happened to receive a sample newspaper on that Saturday which provided the website of IAACT, or why that Sunday morning the Pastor of my Church mentioned it, causing me to come home and look at the article, finding the link to IAACT, but I don't think that there are accidental meetings in this world. It could have been that God wanted me to learn from those at IAACT instead of them learning from me, I certainly did learn something from my encounter with them.
We are all at different points on a path, some people behind us, some people before us, I seriously doubt there is any fellow Christian walking next to us on that path, I suppose that is Jesus' place.
One of the things I have disliked all along is the linking of "Progressive" and "Conservative" to Christianity. In light of that dislike and to be true to my own convictions I will no longer be intertwining Christianity with politics. Politics is one thing, Christianity is another.
In any case, true to form, I suppose I'll keep opening my mouth and removing all doubt of my stupidity.
God bless all who read my blog.
Friday, October 21, 2005
"You are claiming, I suppose, that she tweaked the report because she failed to record the rebuttal?"
The statement which was made concerning the "tweaking" of the article was actually quoted by Bob but made by "Jo" in an article found here: What really happened October 13. CrossLeft, my apologies to Jo for not originally crediting her with that statement.
Progressive Christianity— Bob @ 6:21 am
found here: I am a Christian Too:
I read the article written by Dana Wilkie for which you provided a link and Danforth's speech, or at least her accounting of it, seemed very reasonable and realistic to me. You are claiming, I suppose, that she tweaked the report because she failed to record the rebuttal? It seems to me that she was giving an account of Danforth's speech, not the rebuttal(s) to it.
I took her accounting of it as a stark warning, which I think is not uncalled for, that Progressive Christians not engage in the same rhetoric which they resent among Conservative Christians. This has been my problem with what you have espoused from the beginning, you hate the perceived persecution of the Religious Right so you want, in part, to establish a Religious Left to do unto others as they have done to you? Sorry, that has smacked of hypocrisy to me from the outset and still does, if my honesty perturbs you and others then so be it.
You claim you want to reconcile by recognizing that the Religious Right and Left celebrate a common faith in Christ and yet you want to attack the Right's political and moral stances which are foundationally set on that very faith in the political arena under the banner of Progressive Christianity and counter their values and morality with your own values and morality as though your Christian values and morality are on a higher plane than theirs.
The way I see it is this: You don't agree with the political views of Conservative Christians so you accuse them of hijacking YOUR faith, of speaking for YOU, when all Conservative Christians are doing is speaking on behalf of their OWN convictions. YOU are bringing the battle to THEM by attacking them with such a charge. They have merely stood on THEIR principles. You should and can stand on your own principles and give voice to your own Christian convictions. By doing that it is unnecessary to attack Conservative Christians for doing the very thing you are now embracing. There will always be those on both the left and right who will attack the other's faith, they EACH make THEIR choices, YOU make yours, and I make mine. We are all individuals.
For years I have heard it coming to a head that the various Churches are either inclusive or exclusive. God's Word is inclusive and exclusive, is full of right and wrong, good deeds and sin. To love people is not the same as to accept and embrace the sin in their lives. Please, do me a favor, don't embrace the sin in MY life and tell me it's okay, that God loves everyone and accepts everyone just as they are, that is true, however, God is constantly working in our lives to prune away those things which He does not accept. I know that in MY life when I stray, when my focus gets off of God and onto what I want and I find myself making excuses for sin in my life, God has a way of bringing me back into line, either through circumstances in my life or a word or action by another in my life. Sometimes through his scripture, sometimes through a Pastor or a fellow believer. Danforth is exactly right, the Religious Right has valid and pertinent arguments, Progressive Christians also have valid and pertinent arguments. Both groups can play a role in the bettering of our society, if either side is reduced to a debate against the other about why one or the other's moral objectives are "better" and "holier" than the other side's values and moral objectives, then both sides lose.
We are all members of the Body of Christ? Each of us has a gift to use in order to glorify and serve God and the Church, but most importantly we must all be obedient to God. It may be Conservative Christians' calling to worry about societal questions surrounding the radical gay agenda and abortion, it may be Progressive Christians calling to bring poverty to the forefront, that may, indeed, be our respective roles. I feel all of those issues are of value and that the Christian voice should be heard as a part of those debates. As the cliche' goes, "you do your thing, I'll do mine," by each of us doing the thing for which God has called us, and not pointing fingers in each others' faces and fighting over the Christ that we all serve, we may be able to accomplish some awesome goals. This is an old, old argument you see, one which the Bible speaks to:
"For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary, and those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another."------ 1 Corinthians 12:14-25
But, hey, if you'd rather fight?
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Is a Progressive Christian a "born again Christian?" or just taking the name of Christ in their title?
The more I think about Progressive Christians the less, I realize, I know about them.
I do hope that everyone who might be reading my blog understands that I am not endeavoring to explore Progressive Christianity with any motive other than an understanding about why they believe those positions are justifiable.
One of the recurring questions which I and others, of a traditional Christian viewpoint, are asking is how do Christians, any Christians, select the passages of the Bible they believe to be true as opposed to the passages they believe must or could have been tampered with and changed somewhere along the line in translation. For me, this question is very basic and sets the foundation for all of their beliefs or non-beliefs. For instance, why do they accept the gospel of Christ as truth, though it was translated by human hands and yet not accept other key passages of the Bible because they were translated by those same hands? What determines which parts of the Bible were translated correctly and which ones were not? If one cannot trust the Bible in all matters, how can one trust it in the matter of the plan of salvation? I do hope that commenters to my blog will try to explain this to me in a clear and concise way. In the meantime, here is what the introduction to the Progressive Christian discussion board states at Beliefnet.com:
In this area, Beliefnet welcomes Christians who base their faith primarily on the Bible, do not necessarily believe the Bible is inerrant, and identify primarily as Christians but may find truth expressed in other faiths as well. If this describes you, you are invited to join the discussions here.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Mr. Wallis feels that the "Religious Right" has "stolen" the Christian faith. Is it possible for the Christian faith to be "stolen" by people who collectively talk about their convictions, whether you agree with their convictions or not? Mr. Wallis concedes that one's personal faith cannot be stolen but evidently he believes that a collective Christian faith can be stolen by people who speak collectively about their convictions. I disagree. Certainly Christian leaders Mr. Wallis would identify as "religious right-wingers" have stepped up to lobby the government over those trends which they feel are against their particular interpretation of scripture, in the hopes of bringing legislation more in line with a traditionalist view of Christianity.
On October 13 - 15, Values, Vision and the Via Media launched a Progressive Christian meetup called "A Path to Action National Conference" at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Jim Wallis was a scheduled speaker. The estimates on attendance have been around two hundred people, including the speakers and organizers. Is there a difference in lobbying the government for a liberal standard to be applied to legislation and lobbying the government for a conservative or traditional standard? Doesn't this smack of hypocrisy? I don't like your conservative view of Christianity and don't like you lobbying Congress, feel that you have "stolen" our faith, so I'm going to do the same and "steal" it back? At a time when Christians could be uniting and meeting important issues together, as a unified Body of Christ, instead, we get more division, and all the while we get it while progressives are accusing the right of doing that which they now feel is right and proper? I suppose if you are a progressive it is different somehow.
In order to agree with Mr. Wallis' hypothesis regarding the Religious Right in America, we must first agree that the Religious Right is pro-rich, pro-war and pro-American. Well, I don't believe that is the case. I believe that politically conservative Christians in America support a capitalistic free market society rather than a socialistic one, yes. I believe that politically conservative Christians in America believe there is such a thing as a justifiable war, yes, and as American citizens I would concur with Mr. Wallis that most conservative American Christians feel loyalty and patriotism for their conuntry. Contrary to Mr. Wallis' fairy tale world, that is the historical legacy of Christianity in the United States of America.
Mr. Wallis claims that the Religious Right doesn't speak "for most of us," I suppose that depends upon which "us" to whom Mr. Wallis is referring. Perhaps the two hundred in attendance at the Path for Action National Conference? He cries for an "authentic social witness," as though politically conservative Christians are not "authentically" witnessing to the poor when they volunteer their time and give their money, personally. According to the "us" Mr. Wallis refers to, one can only assume that it is their belief that the United States of America should step in and provide MORE funding for the poor on the global and National stage. The Nation, to which Mr. Wallis feels Christians in America should hold no particular allegiance, is expected to do MORE because its founding was of a Christian nature? I get the impression that until Americans agree to spend 100% of all their tax dollars on humanitarian causes the Religious Left will remain unsatisfied.
It appears that this newly labeled "Progressive" Christianity is all about aiding the poor through a more socialized governmental system. All about becoming more tolerant of lifestyles which the Bible clearly identifies as sinful. All about socializing healthcare so that it is available for all American citizens, rich and poor alike. The newly labeled "Progressive" Christians seem totally unconcerned about the quality of that healthcare's deterioration should Americans accept its socialization and totally unconcerned about the health of our Nation's children, both mentally and physically, when homosexuality becomes a normal lifestyle, no different from heterosexual relationships or marriage.
While there is certainly nothing harmful in the warm and fuzzy Christian ideal of helping the poor, the Religious Right do this as a form of obedience to God, the Father, in their everyday lives. They give their tithes and offerings, they serve in food pantries across the country, they volunteer with Church groups and humanitarian aid organizations such as The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, Samaritan's Purse, Crossroads, and far too many other organizations to begin to list here. Perhaps, because conservative Christians fail to toot their own horns about all of the monetary and personal aid they provide, keeping, instead, the right hand from knowing what the left hand is doing, Mr. Wallis and others are under the belief that the tithes and offerings taken up at churches and the hands on volunteerism provided by those on the Right just doesn't exist. It exists, Mr. Wallis, and our rewards will be in Heaven, not here on Earth in an effort to impress political pundits on the Left.
Yes, Mr. Wallis, the Religious Right are concerned about sexual and cultural issues in America, what you don't seem to understand is that they are just as concerned about the poor, they just don't agree that turning America into a Socialist country is the answer to meeting the needs of those poor.
Mr. Wallis makes some extreme charges against "religious right-wingers," claiming that they collectively either don't care about issues such as pedophile priests and that they follow blindly all words spoken by televangelists. Neither of these is the truth, but there appears to be a mounting effort on the part of the Religious Left to attack the Religious Right with extreme posturing. Besides, I didn't think Mr. Wallis approved of the "focus" the Religious Right was taking on sexual issues? Now he seems to suggest that they don't focus enough on it. Make up your mind, Mr. Wallis.
There is nothing wrong, and everything right, about a Christian who has a heart to help the poor, that is, after all, the way true religion is defined in James 1:27, "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." It is the method of helping the poor where the argument among Progressive and Conservative, Left-wing and Right-wing, Christians lie. American Christians with a traditionalist viewpoint prefer to see the aid administered by Christians as an extention of their personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. American Christians with a traditional viewpoint realize that taking care of the poor and needy among is and abroad is not the solitary calling of our government. We understand that the most important aspect of our government is to protect its citizens and keep them free so that they can continue in their individual efforts to aid the poor in the future.
Mr. Wallis' efforts to paint all those "religious right-wingers" as pro-rich and pro-war is a transparent, liberal, partisan attack against conservatives and, as such, I predict that his brand of politics will get no attention except from his own politically partisan religious choir. So, while the Left continues to focus their attention on everything they perceive the Right is doing wrong in an effort to smear them, the Right will continue to do the right thing, silently waiting for their rewards in another realm, fighting for the traditionalist convictions of the American Christian.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
I am not a theologian. I am a simple Christian. I am a Christian who reads my Bible, prays and attends church regularly because I believe God's Word admonishes me to do so. I am a Christian who serves inside the walls of the building, called the Church, which merely serves to provide a gathering place to protect its members from the outside elements, and I am a Christian who serves outside the Church by giving of my time and resources to community projects, working in the lives of children who would, otherwise, not be exposed to the gospel and training those children according to a Biblical world view rather than a secular one.
My assumption that modern day Christian political alliances were formed from pure motives has been brought into question. My belief is that they were formed in order to give voice to the Christians of our Nation who felt that politics was becoming more secular and our Nation more and more removed from the values and moral principles upon which it was founded. The question has been brought about because I believe the motivations of Christian alliances such as The Moral Majority and The Christian Coalition were pure motivations, that they were meant to further the moral values and principles of the Christian community, at large, rather than to merely promote a political agenda. Well, they were born out of a need to promote a moral political agenda. That is a fact. I still believe, in my heart of hearts, that the majority of Christians hold the belief that abortion on demand is wrong, that homosexual marriage should not be legalized, that creationism should be taught alongside the theory of evolution and that the separation of Church and State was not written to protect the State from the Church but rather so that the State would not interfere in people's rights to practice their religion. I still believe, in my heart of hearts, that the Bible does not call governments to care for the sick, poor and needy, but, rather, individual Christians.
The Progressive Christian Movement was not born out of a desire to promote the values and moral principles of Christianity, rather it was born out of a perceived need on the part of politically liberal Christians, who confuse the condemnation of sin with the judgement of people involved in sin, to separate themselves from the majority of their fellow Christians and condemn them for condemning sin. They separate themselves from Conservative Christians in their effort to draw a line in the sand and pronounce that it is okay for Christians to accept and promote political policies which favor abortion on demand, homosexual marriage and its proponent's political and social agendas. Progressive Christians would have us believe that anyone who does not accept the sins of the killing of unborn babies as an acceptable form of birth control and the legalization of gay marriage, along with the view that government sponsored aid to the poor should be the primary source of the poor's sustenance is unloving, unkind, unforgiving and uncharitable. Progressive Christians entirely miss the point, it is not the people who are involved in sin in this world which those who participate(d) in the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition movements condemn(ed) and judge(d), it is the acceptance of political policies which would implement those sins as normal and commendable, acceptable and desirable which those who support(ed) those coalitions condemn and judge.
In the Progressive Christian movement's attempt to promote and maintain, as legal, the choice of a woman to have an abortion (a cleaned up description of the killing of viable babies for the sake of not inconveniencing oneself, in the majority of cases) and legalizing and normalizing a well documented unhealthy and risky alternative lifestyle (a cleaned up description of sexual perversion) they are doing the very thing for which they condemn Conservatives wrongly, the judgement of their fellow men. In this case they judge Conservative Christians as unloving, unkind and unforgiving, they also judge them as not caring about "the least of these" because Conservatives take seriously the call of Jesus to help the poor among us, personally, individually, and claim that we are uncharitable concerning the poor because Conservative Christians believe that we should work to have enough to share with the poor, individually, rather than calling on our government to suck up more and more of our tax dollars to redistribute for us and absolve us of that personal responsibility.
Clearly our political agendas differ, I do not judge them for their political agenda what I judge is sin, what I am called to do is to love God, love my neighbor as myself, share the gospel message, glorify God, think on whatever is lovely and pure, be concerned with my own sin and to hate all sin. What I am not called to do is to be politically correct, to promote the normalization and acceptance of sin and immoral behavior as an extension of my "love" for the sinner. We're all sinners, I'm a sinner. I work on my sin condition daily, I try to be humble, I work to be loving, giving and charitable in my everyday life. I don't spend my days looking for reasons to hate people whose sins are no worse than my own, but I do not promote sin's normalization in my life. I seek the removal of sin from my life, not its acceptance. I don't spend my days working to promote political policies which feel that killing babies as a form of birth control, normalizing a perverted lifestyle and absolving myself of personal responsibility for the poor and needy around my by calling for the government to take that responsibility off my shoulders as proper. These beliefs make me largely unpopular in the Progressive Christian community. That's a tough break, ain't it?
Perhaps it is a good thing, after all, that Progressive Christians are drawing a line in the sand.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
There are Christians who, rather than buying into the long promoted fallacy that Christians should have no say in politics, began to form broad "coalitions" in an effort to have the Christian voice in America be heard by the political powers that be. Should it come as a surprise to us, now, that those who are, in my opinion, somewhat confused about scriptural principles are launching an all out attack against their own brothers and sisters in Christ? And what does Jesus really say about the Christian Community and how it should behave toward one another? I am not of the belief that Jesus is telling a part of his adopted sons and daughters that they should act thus and so while telling another part of his adopted sons and daughters that they should act just the opposite. So what can we learn from this current development?
First, I'd like to point out that original Christian coalitions were not formed to divide Christ's Church, rather they were formed to give voice to all Christians who felt that their voices were not reaching their legislators in Congress. In the mean time, while Christians were being dutifully silent, secular activism was gaining more and more strength in redefining what has always been considered a Christian Nation. It isn't my intent to go down the path of history in making my case, at the moment. I am much more concerned about the impending division this causes in the Body of Christ, rather than engaging in an historical debate.
On October 13 - 15 there will be a meeting of "Progressive" Christians at the "National Path to Action" Conference in Washington D.C. You can find the information here: Values, vision and the via media conference. I was not satisfied with the bit of information they provided about their political platform so I visited this site: Home Christian Alliance for Progress, where I found a listing of the political stances "Progressive" Christians seem to be united upon. I decided to respond to their stances.
Pursuing Economic Justice
Claims made under this heading are:
- Our leaders act as if we have no responsibility to "the least of these."
- Tax breaks for the richest are the cause of public debt.
- Education, healthcare and housing are labeled as "wasteful" (but Christian Alliance for Progress doesn't say who has labeled them as such).
- Bankruptcy reform is a hard and punitive approach.
Purely biased assessment. Biased toward the "Progressive" or liberal doctrine, of course. Our leaders do not act as if we have no responsibility to "the least of these." There are many social welfare programs to prove that this is a false argument. There is no legislation before our leaders which is seeking to remove funding from welfare programs in the United States.
Tax breaks for the richest in our Nation are not the sole cause of public debt as the Christian Alliance for Progress would like to suggest. There are many factors which must be considered in determining the cause of public debt in America but they fail to note them, instead giving the reader the idea that tax breaks which favor the wealthier in our Nation are the sole cause of public debt. This is too simple an argument to take seriously. Suggesting that public debt is caused solely by tax breaks for the richest in our Nation would be akin to me suggesting that the public school system is the cause of public debt in our Nation and leaving it at that. Silly.
Regarding education, healthcare and housing, I have to wonder who has labeled them as "wasteful?" "The Department of Education's budget has grown by 82.5 percent in real terms from $34.9 billion in FY2001 to $63.7 billion in FY2005. This is the largest increase of any president since Lyndon Johnson." Quoted from TCS: Tech Central Station - The Sinkhole Grows, if anything Congress has thrown more and more money at education and, yet, it has not seemed to raise the quality of education in our country.
I oppose socialized healthcare. Is this because I do not care about the sick in America who cannot afford healthcare? No. It is because I value the high quality of health care in America and do not wish to see it deteriorate.
Regarding the poor among us, the "least of these":
In a March 22, 2002 speech President Bush had this to say:
"We must tie greater aid to political and legal and economic reforms. And by insisting on reform, we do the work of compassion. The United States will lead by example. I have proposed a 50-percent increase in our core development assistance over the next three budget years. Eventually, this will mean a $5-billion annual increase over current levels." (Emphasis mine). Find it here, President Outlines U.S. Plan to Help World's Poor.
A common dilemma is this: How much money is enough money? Another common question among Christians is this: Is it the Federal government's responsibility to dole out money to aid the poor or is it the individual Christian's responsibility? The Bible instructs us, as individuals, to work hard so that we may have something to share with those who have not. Nowhere in the Bible does it call upon the believer to fight for monies to come from the government to aid the poor, always, the Bible appeals to individual believers to help and show mercy on the poor, to not display favoritism. Does this mean the government is to have no part? I don't think so, however, I don't think it should be the focus of the Christian believer to look to the government to do all of the caring for the poor, absolving them of personal responsibility.
I was planning to go down the list of the Christian Alliance for Progress' stances on the political issues of our day and respond to each stance they take, but you know, I think my point could be made just as well without going down their entire list. Christians do not become non-Christians because they have varying viewpoints on the best way to handle the issues of our times. I believe we all want economic prosperity for all Americans, good environmental stewardship, equality for all people (not to be confused with "special" rights based upon sexual orientation), good preventive measures against unwanted pregnancy and to see all Americans have access to health care. What we disagree on are the causes of these problems and the methods by which they should be cured.
Further dividing the Christian Community to promote a liberal agenda doesn't make sense. If, as we say, we are all Christians, then upon what do we base our beliefs? Some of the beliefs of "Progressive" Christians cannot be justified by scripture. That is a fact. For instance, being loving and compassionate toward people is a good principle to stand on, pretending that we must make excuses for sin in a person's life as a method of displaying that love is not. This is why I cannot agree with the homosexual lifestyle. The Bible clearly defines homosexuality as sin, therefore it is sin. I can love a gay or lesbian, value their contribution to society, call them my best friend, however, if I am to believe the Word of God, their sexual practices are a sin. This does not mean that their sin is greater than any other sin or that other sins are lesser sins. As a Christian we should not be condoning any sin, nor does it mean that I cannot genuinely love and care about the person who engages in sin, if that were the case we could not love anyone on this earth, for we are all sinners.
Gays already have as much a right to marry as any other. Radical Gay activists want the "special" right to marry one of the same sex. Due to the vast health issues within the homosexual community, I believe it is my duty to try to protect the children of our Nation from the further normalization of such a lifestyle. You may politically disagree if you want, I base my belief on the Bible and scientific research which proves the increased health risks among the gay community as compared to the heterosexual community.
Last, but certainly not least:
"Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy. Who are you to judge another?" James 4:11-12
We must all be cautious not to sling darts at our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Our first priority should be one of care for each other, not care for the political agendas of the left or the right, Republicans or Democrats. One who judges his brother or sister for trying to follow in the footsteps of Jesus is in grave danger. It is for that reason that I will not say that one who believes Gay marriage should be legalized or that abortion is a viable option for birth control is not a Christian, however, I will not condone such a belief. That would go against everything I know and have learned from the Bible.
What I would say is that while the original Christian coalitions were intended to be a voice for all Christians with, I believe, pure motives, the motivation of those forming these new "Progressive" Christian alliances seem to be doing so with the primary motivation of separating themselves from their brothers and sisters who disagree with the causes and cures of current day political issues. Aware that God looks upon the motivations of the heart even more than the actions one takes...I have to wonder... and I have to remember... it isn't my place to judge.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Date:10/10/2005 11:18:46 A.M. Central Standard Time
Thursday, October 06, 2005
The Peace Network of the Ozarks 2
On October 1st, I posted under the heading of "The Peace Network of the Ozarks 1," regarding the source of the information they had posted on their web site, in hopes that I would be able to post a future exchange with them. I am sorry to report to you that I have not received any further reply from them since their September 27 response that I would be happier if I didn't "do any real thinking to process the information," regarding another matter.
Facts that are not frankly faced have a habit of stabbing us in the back.---Sir Harold Bowden
This was quite a learning experience for me and I'd like to share it. :)
I began my argument at I am a Christian Too with sarcastically commending "Bob" for further dividing the Christian Community by promoting the Progressive Christian "Path to Action" National Conference.
While I was eventually convinced that it is true that "Conservative" Christians have willingly accepted the moniker attached to them by the media, I felt, and still feel, that the willing and voluntary labeling of Christians as "Progressive" is more grievous because it is willingly and voluntary taken. Whereas "Conservative" Christians were unaware at the time of acceptance of their title that it would be used against them by the media to divide Christians and attack "Conservative" Christians as a separate group unrelated to moderate and politically uninvolved Christians, self-labeled "Progressive" Christians cannot pretend to not understand for what they are setting themselves up. Perhaps they are counting on a liberal leaning media to protect them from attack?
To quote myself from I am a Christian Too:
1). The media labeled Conservative Christians
2). Conservative Christians accepted the title without considering the consequences.
3). With the label Conservative attached, people all over the country assume to know what that means. This opens Conservative Christians up for attack by separating them from Christianity as a whole.
4). The media and others now feel it is perfectly acceptable to roll their eyes at Conservative Christians. After all they are not poking fun at Christians, are they? Just those radical Conservatives, just those ones that the media has laid the groundwork for attacking by attaching a label thus attaining the goal of an acceptable form of media assault on Christianity.
5). Christians who take a more liberal view of Christianity than those labeled “conservative” aren’t satisfied with the media attacking conservative Christians and fear being confused with a bunch of fundamentalist, radicals bent on ruling the country, taking it over and instituting a federal religion, they want a piece of the action, themselves, too! You see, they don’t want the general population of Americans to confuse them with fundamentalist radicals bent on ruling the country!!!! :0
6). Christians with a more liberal view on social issues begin to align themselves and decide on labeling themselves as “Progressive” Christians, why? So the media can now label them the good guys? The non radical, non fundamentalist, gentler, kinder Christians who do not want to rule the country? :::sigh:::
You don’t see the handwriting on the wall, yet, darlin’. You have bought into media exploitation of their own labeled “Conservative,” bad-bad Christians who the MEDIA promotes, gives air time to, paints as hypocritical, demeans and attacks. You, instead, meekly and mildly volunteer to attach your own label. Great, now you will see the media continue to bombast “Conservative” Christians with media attacks and you’ll be primed and ready for the media to paint you as a labeled group of extremist Christians at the other end of the spectrum. You fail to see the true enemy in this, Bob. Your enemy is not your brother, it is the one who labeled your brother and you are buying into their spin. I DON’T BUY IT. This is a media assault on Christianity, nothing more. The media takes the most radical of the media labeled “Conservative” Christian, holds them up to intense scrutiny and attacks ALL of Christianity in doing so, you buy the lie that all Conservative Christians adhere, strictly, to every word and opinion of the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of the world and, frankly, you’re just wrong. I have, through exchanges in the comment sections of your blog realized this while you have yet to see it.
In reply to Bob’s specific statement:
“In fact, my liberal politics is in response to what Jesus teaches us, not in spite of it. If that is creating divisions, then so be it.”
Jesus is Jesus. His Words are His Words. It is, frankly, impossible that he is going to, through God’s Word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, tell you, for instance, that gays in the ministry is an acceptable practice and that the SPECIAL right of gay marriage should be written into law when His Word clearly states that it is wrong to engage in such behavior. He is not duplicitous and is not concerned with the politics of the world but rather the sin condition of the world, the salvation of the world. He taught primarily in parables. Concerning the rest of the Bible we have this:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16.
Jesus should not voluntarily be given over by Christians, ANY Christians, as if he were the rope at the center of a tug of war. Scripture must be considered as a whole. Jesus, through the Words He spoke which were transcribed in the Bible, did not specifically address every issue, political or not, during his brief time on the earth, but he did specifically state that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, he did not come to condemn the world but save it. The Bible gives us very CLEAR guidelines about right and wrong. Ignore it if you wish, pretend that some parts are useful and others aren’t. We can understand that with Jesus’ death and resurrection came a new covenant of grace with LOVE OF GOD and then LOVE OF NEIGHBOR being his key teachings. Not love of the world and the world’s, ever so fleeting, opinion of what being a Christian means. We are called to be in the world but not OF the world, we are told that the world will hate us.
I don’t know, Bob, I wonder if you are not trying to appease the world, what is your reason for disassociating yourself from “Conservative” Christians? Is it because you want the world to think you are less radical and more accepting of what the Bible, as a whole, clearly paints as wrong, such as promiscuous sex of any kind? Is it because you want the world to think you are the good guy, not at all like those bad-bad conservatives? Lol. They hated me, they’ll hate you, right? Good luck. "
I didn't receive a reply from Bob to my questions about whether he, and all "Progressive" Christians, are trying to appease the world or not and that greatly interested me. I do know that the article which originally directed me to Bob's blog implied that "Progressive" Christians want people to know that they are pro-choice and believe in gay rights and "love Jesus too." I cannot help but weigh this against what the Bible teaches, that our focus should not be on this world but the world to come. I cannot help but question the motives of those who seek to battle with their own brothers and sisters in Christ over political doctrine and dogma rather than seeking to unify and learn, edify and grow in an understanding of the Lord, Our God. I cannot help but ask myself if God is pleased with Christians, as I put it above, putting Christ in the center of a tug of war between members of his own Body.
As has often been the case I am never satisfied by the answers I get to questions such as these by the commenters at I am a Christian Too. They do not appear to want to directly answer questions or think outside the box. Not to sound like a biased partisan, but they communicate in much the same way as many of the liberals I have debated with over the last two years on the internet. They make their statements, if proven wrong they just pretend they weren't and ignore the tough questions. I do have great respect for some members among the commenters there, but satisfactory answers to hard questions are, nonetheless, in short supply.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Today, October 6, 2005, I sent a new email to The Peace Network of the Ozarks. Following is the text of that email:
" Are you planning to respond to my question about your source for the piece "Interesting Facts"? I am wondering if you compiled this list yourself, through your own research or if you picked it up from a left leaning web site? I ask because left leaning web sites have been known to take statements out of context and editorialize about them making them appear to say something which they did not say, or at the very least omitting pertinent facts.
There are no hot links to these quotes, how is one to verify them without spending a year in research tracking them down? This, you see, is to the advantage of you and your readers who would like to believe in your slanted viewpoint. Seldom will your readers take on the daunting task of verifying these "quotes" for themselves because they simply do not have the time to do so. If you expect to be a credible source for information such as this then you need to provide links for your readers to verify the sources and read the quotes in the context in which they were made. If you did indeed do this research yourself, how difficult would it have been for you to provide the links for your readers to verify them? If you truly are seeking to educate people then it only seems logical that you would take the time to do a thorough and credible job of verifying your facts.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your reply.
I will keep you updated if I hear anything from The Peace Network of the Ozarks.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Are you a Conservative?
Are you a Democrat?
Are you a Liberal?
Are you a Progressive?
Are you a Christian?
Are you a Conservative Christian?
Are you a Progressive Christian?
Are you a Libertarian?
Are you an Independent?
Tell me what you are and I'll tell you everything about you.
Am I the only one in the world who is tired of labels?
green, bladed, swirling grass sea
all around her
There are small flags around her
They are blowing in the wind
Her head is bowed and framed
by two twin blonde "pig tails"
She touches the dirt softly
oblivious to the counter protest
which also, like a sea swirls around her
American flags are pervasive
horns of cars are honking to
Does she understand the moment
which has been captured forever
The quiet solitude, like a ball which
falls from heaven but never touches the ground?
In front of a Methodist Church
The flags, they waive
The people, they shout and whistle...
The horns, TheyJustKeepBlaring
Across the street
Across the street
Not nearly so many cars are
THE WHITE DOVE!
Why do they not honk for peace?
Do you support the TROOPS by telling them
they are fighting for a lie?
Do you support them by telling them
they are fighting for oil?
Do you support them by telling them
they are fighting for evil corporate Amerika?
by lying about a lie?
by propagandizing the loss of civilian life
by bringing the TROOPS home against
their will, without teaching those civilians
you profess to care about how to feed
THE WHITE DOVE?
How to open its cage and let it fly?
A girl sits in the midst of the
green, bladed, swirling grass sea
all around her
There are small flags around her
They are blowing in the wind
Her head is bowed and framed
by two twin blonde "pig tails"
She touches the dirt softly
Monday, October 03, 2005
I was born in 1964 and can say that I don’t really remember much in the way of world, or national, events during the 60s and 70s. What I do remember are flashes of war and protesters on the silver screen when Dad would watch the evening news, but only when the weather or an illness prevented me from being outdoors.
Life was full of the normal activities of the young and innocent:
- playing with my sister who is only one year older and my best friend;
- exploring, holding, touching, feeling every tree, bush, rock, animal and insect I could find; and,
- saving the world from dastardly villains with the help of supernatural powers bestowed upon me whenever I fashioned a bath towel around my neck just so, never really playing the role of a known character, just one of “the good guys.”
My days were filled with the pleasures and wonderment only a young girl who’s a tomboy can experience, playing with nightcrawlers, lightning bugs and toads. Those days usually ended with this tomboy transforming into the best, most beautiful, ballerina known to mankind, twirling and leaping through the living room, trailing one of Mom’s scarves behind me to trace delightfully intricate designs in the air for my imaginary, but, oh, so adoring fans.
Throughout my life, my concerns mirrored most of those my age around me. In other words, I was boringly normal. In high school, I focused on those things important to high school girls who are making, and adapting to, the periodic uncomfortable changes that come with growing up. As a young adult, my concerns were aimed at my immediate environment – friends, family, job, car and having fun. Politics meant nothing to me. That was something “they,” the older generation, dealt with, not me. I was too cool and just too busy to concern myself with such things.
I can remember very clearly when that started to change, albeit slightly. I sat with my parents and listened to Ronald Reagan as a senior in high school. The Great Communicator stirred something within me with his eloquent speeches and apparent love for this country, something which was new. It’s called patriotism. He instilled in me American pride. He made me proud to be an American, and all that entails, in a country with such a great man as its leader. This man changed me, though I still concerned myself with the more pleasant, and not so pleasant, things in my life, none of which included politics.
I continued to listen to President Reagan whenever I could for the simple reason that it made me happy. I liked the old man. Then, as an adult, living on my own, I remember seeing the fruits of his policies. I watched the wall in Germany come tumbling down at the hands of those it had kept separated for far too long. Seeing the stark contrast of people from each side of the fence made a lasting mark on me. One group was gray and haggard looking, almost fearful, as though they were walking out of a prison for the very first time, wanting to hope all would be well, but afraid they were going to be told it was all a joke and be thrown back in. The other group was bright and cheerful, aggressive in showing it, and unafraid of the consequences. I began to pay attention to politics even more at that time.
Years have passed since then and I don’t ever recall making a conscious decision to become a radical. I think I came to it because living in the adult world, working, paying taxes, paying bills, etc., made me realize that I had no choice but to pay more attention to politics. I became aware that things decided in Washington, DC, impacted me and my family directly, something I think I did my best to ignore for as long as I can remember.
Like my parents, I found myself watching the news or reading the newspaper, shaking my head at those things I found foolish, but not doing anything about it. In fact, I didn’t know anything could be done, aside from voting, to voice my opinion. I had no idea how to contact my elected representatives. I’m assuming it was taught in high school, but, remember, I wasn’t paying attention. I had what I thought were more important matters to tend.
That has changed now. I’d be lying if I said my world revolved around politics, however, I do write my representatives and others to voice my opinions. I listen to, and learn, all I can about political candidates and donate financially to those campaigns I support. I advocate on behalf of those I support whenever the opportunity arises. I have attended rallies and protests regarding issues that are important to me. I plan on attending a pro-troop rally next weekend to show my support for those who fight and die to keep America safe and to keep our freedoms and liberties from being attacked. In other words, I insert myself into the political processes of this country as the Founders intended. And for that, I am labeled a radical by some friends and family members.
So there you have it, the list of the horrible things I do which make me a radical. If you pay attention and take part in the process, you're a radical. You can bitch at the kitchen table about what is going on in the world, but you can't do anything else because that makes you a radical. You can't view anything as important enough to discuss it with friends and family, because if you do, you're a radical.
Kidnapping, murdering, bombing, and committing suicide for a political agenda are no longer required to be considered radical. Your brazen participation in the political process as our Founders intended, through peaceful means and within the law, are all that is required according to some.
I thought I should detail for you my journey to becoming a radical so that you’d know how to escape it yourself if you saw it beginning in your life. Don’t pay attention to what’s going on in this country or you, too, will become a radical. You’ll start to fear for your country when you learn of the goals of some of our “loyal” representatives, representatives who are much more comfortable with the policies of Stalin and Kim Jong Il than those policies which exist in the United States. You’ll start to fear for your children when you learn of the goals of those who think your children are the perfect tools for transforming America and mankind into something they were never meant to be. And, because you’ll become angry at those laws passed by activist judges perverting the Constitution, taking away the rights of a great many Americans in order to pander to a few, by all means, do not pay attention. It's better to keep your complaints and concerns to yourself, even though your political and ideological opponents haven't and don't, and don’t dream of doing anything more. Wouldn't want to become a radical, now would you? I suppose your fate and the fate of our country are best left up to everyone else, at least that is what I'm told.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Last night I emailed them a cartoon from Cox and Forkum titled "Frontlines," click here to view it: Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons, this morning I sent them a reply to their posting titled "Interesting Facts":
I'm interested to know where you picked up the little tidbit of information entitled "Interesting Facts?" It smacks of coming from a leftist blog site with nothing better to do than sit around taking words out of context and inserting them into editorial style pieces intended to paint the hated and evil Bush administration in the worst light possible. Did you gather this information yourself from these various news organizations, or are you taking the word of a leftist blogsite? Are you the one who compiled this list of quotes with no links to verify their accuracy or was that the doing of another whom you failed to credit?
I do appreciate that you seem to be branching out into new territory these days in your news gathering, rather than relying solely upon truthout.org for all your information. That is, at least, a start in the right direction. Now, if I could only convince you not to be a strict Koolaidarian and venture into territories which disagree with your philosophy so that you may form balanced and fair opinions based on all of the news rather than choosing to educate yourself on misinformation, out of context quotes, conspiracy theories and lies of omission from the main stream media and left leaning blog sites. But, I'm satisfied for the time being that you have made a small, though not entirely adequate, adjustment.
The last response I received from them was the accusation that I only get my news from what they consider to be right-wing news media, namely, CNN and Fox. This is a common accusation when one has no counter for that with which you have confronted them.
Here is that response:
In a message dated 9/27/2005 6:01:01 A.M. Central Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Just stick with CNN and FOX, Jackie. It will obviously make you happier and you won't have to do any real thinking to process the information.
So, there you have it. If you would like to visit The Peace Network of the Ozarks web site and send them an email yourself, here is the link: Springfield Missouri Peace Group, Progressives in Springfield MO