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Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 4 comments

Another Year is Dawning

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year in progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.

James 4:13-17

"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."

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LA Times: Liberal Admits Not Loving America

Saturday, December 27, 2008 3 comments

I found this LA Times piece and could not believe that even one liberal was willing to admit this. Here is some of the article:

I don't love America. That's what conservatives are always telling liberals like me. Their love, they insist, is truer, deeper and more complete.

But I've come to believe conservatives are right. They do love America more. Sure, we liberals claim that our love is deeper because we seek to improve the United States by pointing out its flaws.

Fox News' Sean Hannity loves this country so much, he did an entire episode of "Hannity's America" titled "The Greatest Nation on Earth." In that one hour he said, several times, "the U.S. is the greatest, best country God has ever given man on the face of the Earth." One of the surest signs of love is it makes you talk stupid.

Conservatives feel personally blessed to have been born in the only country worth living in. I, on the other hand, just feel lucky to have grown up in a wealthy democracy.

When a Democrat loses the presidential race, real lefties talk a lot about moving to Canada. When Republicans lose, they don't do that.

This doesn't mean I'm not fascinated by American history, impressed by our Constitution or don't appreciate our optimism and entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, I love everything Hannity listed on his TV special other than Madonna. But there are plenty of things I don't like about America: our foreign policy, our religious fundamentalism, our provincialism, our intellectual laziness, our acceptance of sweat suits in public.

I still think conservatives love America for the same tribalistic reasons people love whatever groups they belong to. These are the people who are sure Christianity is the only right religion, that America is the best country, that the Republicans have the only good candidates, that gays have cooties.

I'll never experience the joy of Hannity-level patriotism. I'm the type who always wonders if some other idea or place or system is better and I'm missing out. And, as I figured out shortly after meeting my wife, that is no way to love.


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Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 3 comments

Luke 2:1-20

"And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them."



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Congress Gets A Raise

Monday, December 22, 2008 5 comments

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense lawmakers get an automatic pay raise every January, and this year is no different. The problem this year is that the economy is in the dumps and they giving bailouts like they are going out of style.

Members of Congress will be receiving a $4,700 pay increase this year, even though more than two million of their constituents have lost their jobs. Congress has set up a structure where they automatically receive a cost-of-living adjustment or pay raise every year unless they act to stop it.


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Free Christian Courses

Saturday, December 20, 2008 1 comments

RBC Ministries, who is known for publishing Our Daily Bread is offering free online biblical courses. I have not taken any of these courses. I actually just stumbled upon it. I don't know how credible they are since the aren't worth any academic credit, but they are at no cost and go towards a certificate they provide.

Obviously this is not for those seriously looking at going into ministry, however if your looking at learning more this may be worth looking into. If anyone has taken one of these courses or has heard anything please let me know.


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Obama's Choice For Education Secretary Pushed For Gay High School

Thursday, December 18, 2008 5 comments

Obama's selects Arne Duncan who is the head of Chicago Public Schools and pushed for a gay high school. The following is taken from a Chicago Tribune article:

The Chicago Public Schools' first high school designed for gay, lesbian and transgender teens is among 20 new schools recommended to the school board today by CPS Chief Arne Duncan...

"If you look at national studies, you see gay and lesbian students with high dropout rates...Studies show they are disproportionately homeless," Duncan said. "I think there is a niche there we need to fill.

"Supporters have said the Pride Campus would help students find a safe school environment because studies have shown that gay youth are at a greater risk of dropping out of school and abusing drugs and alcohol, and are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide. A 2003 district survey shows that gay and lesbian youths are three times more likely to miss school because they don't feel safe.

Is this the type of person America wants for their Education Secretary? Don't forget about an older post of mine about Chicago Public Schools involved in a program to pay students for good to even average grades.

To top it all off, Obama has now invited Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. Is this a smoke screen to calm down evangelical conservatives? Thus far the only thing that is happening is that Obama is making everyone angry by playing both sides.


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Companies That Use "Christmas"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 1 comments

For those who care what stores are politically correct and which ones are not, here is a list by Focus on the Family.

"Christmas-friendly" retailers — prominent acknowledgment of "Christmas"

Bass Pro Shops*
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Best Buy
Circuit City
Eddie Bauer
Lands' End
Linens 'n Things
Neiman Marcus
Pier 1 Imports
The Home Depot
Toys "R" Us

Christmas-negligent" retailers — marginalized use of "Christmas"

Barnes & Noble
Dick's Sporting Goods
KB Toys

"Christmas-offensive" retailers — apparent abandonment of "Christmas"

American Eagle
Banana Republic
Lane Bryant
Old Navy

Check this site because it does get updated.

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Mall of America Accommodates Muslims

Sunday, December 14, 2008 4 comments

This year Muslim leaders from the Twin Cities area were able to persuade Mall of America, the largest enclosed mall in the United States, to set aside a room for prayers. Muslims appeared excited that Mall of America reserved prayer space for them and promised to continue doing so in the future. “It is about time,” Jamad Barrow said. “I’m happy to hear that the mall is trying to accommodate and appeal to the Muslim community.”


- Do you expect more places to do this?

- Why do you think they are so accommodating?

- Will this spur more demands?


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Courthouse Employee Ordered To Take Down American Flag

Friday, December 12, 2008 2 comments

Ralph Silvestro, a legal clerk in Philedelphia proudly displayed an American flag he had taped to the side of his work computer. Silvestro served in the Navy for six years and in the Air Force Reserve for another six, the miniature American flag affixed to his computer was a symbol of his patriotism. He never thought it would be a problem especially working in a courthouse.

No one complained about the flags. Then on Sept. 23, Silvestro got an e-mail from his supervisor. The email said "the flags must come down. They are not appropriate for the workplace." He also had a pirate flag, which he had no problem taking that down, but was confused to why take down the American flag. "I served this country for 12 years. I could have died for this flag, but I can't hang it up. What's up with that? I don't understand," Silvestro said in an interview earlier this week. Silvestro added: "For me, this is about my rights being taken away from me in a building where your rights are supposed to mean more than anything."

When asked if Smith had violated Silvestro's constitutional rights, perhaps infringing on his freedom of expression, a civil-rights lawyer said: "No."

"Here's the thing: Your boss rules your life," said Mary Catherine Roper, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania's Philadelphia office. "Your employer gets to make the rules."

As long as Smith applies the same rules to everybody evenly, meaning no staffer is allowed to display the American flag at the public counter, Smith is on solid legal ground, Roper said.

"People really have no idea how much control they have to give up when they go work," Roper said. "Workers generally don't have a lot of rights."

- Are you surprised at this story?
- Do you think patriotism is low?

Full Article

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Conversations With God

Thursday, December 11, 2008 0 comments

A friend recently told me about this book targeted for teenagers. It is a bit dated as it was published in 1996. It is called 'Conversations With God' where the author Neale Donald Walsch has a conversation and he responds as if he were God. If that already did not put up a red flag there is a website that provides his chapter on abortion. Here are some of the stuff you will find: (Author/god response in bold)

"I want to get back to my question. Can you tell us anything about when life as we know it starts? At what point does the soul enter the body?

The soul doesn't enter the body. The body is enveloped by the soul. Remember what I said before? The body does not house the soul. It is the other way around.

Everything is always alive. There is no such thing as "dead". There is no such state of being.

That Which Is Always Alive simply shapes itself into a new form-a new physical form. That form is charge with living energy, the energy of life, always.

Life-if you are calling life the energy that I AM-is always there. It is never not there. Life never ends, so how can there be a point when life begins?

So I guess he thinks we are infinite like God. We have no beginning or end?

"It never begins. Life never "begins", because life never ends. You want to get into biological technicalities so that you can make up a little "rule" based on what you want to call "God's law" about how people should behave-then punish them if they do not behave that way.

What's wrong with that? That would allow us to kill doctors in the parking lots of clinic with impunity.

Yes, I understand. You have used Me, and what you have declared to be My laws, as justification for all sorts of things through the years.

Oh, come on! Why won't You just say that terminating a pregnancy is murder!

You cannot kill anyone or anything."

Well he just eliminated the 6th commandment.

"So my earthly reality is not reality at all?

Did you really think it was?"

I am convinced he copied this is from the 'Matrix'

"Everything We are doing, We are doing in concert with each other. Our reality is a co-created reality. If you terminate a pregnancy, We terminate a pregnancy. Your will is My will.

No individual aspect of Divinity has power over any other aspect of Divinity. It is not possible for one soul to affect another against its will. There are no victims and there are no villains.

"So with regard to abortion or war, buying that car or marrying that person, having sex or not having sex, "doing your duty" or not "doing your duty," there is no such thing as right and wrong, and I have no preference in the matter.

You are all in the process of defining yourselves. Every act is an act of self-definition.

If you are pleased with how you have created yourself, if it serves you, you will continue doing so in that way. If you are not, you will stop. This is called evolution.

Obviously I think this guy is way mislead and misleading many young minds.

Full Chapter

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Newsweek Makes Biblical Case For Homosexuality

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 1 comments

Newsweek has a cover story (or should I say hit piece) using the Bible to defend homosexuality. Instead of summarizing the entire article I have some excerpts from it followed by a link to the article and a link to a rebuttal.

"Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust."

"If the bible doesn't give abundant examples of traditional marriage, then what are the gay-marriage opponents really exercised about? Well, homosexuality, of course—specifically sex between men. Sex between women has never, even in biblical times, raised as much ire."

"The Bible does condemn gay male sex in a handful of passages. Twice Leviticus refers to sex between men as "an abomination" (King James version), but these are throwaway lines in a peculiar text given over to codes for living in the ancient Jewish world, a text that devotes verse after verse to treatments for leprosy, cleanliness rituals for menstruating women and the correct way to sacrifice a goat—or a lamb or a turtle dove. Most of us no longer heed Leviticus on haircuts or blood sacrifices; our modern understanding of the world has surpassed its prescriptions. Why would we regard its condemnation of homosexuality with more seriousness than we regard its advice, which is far lengthier, on the best price to pay for a slave?"

"The Bible endorses slavery, a practice that Americans now universally consider shameful and barbaric. It recommends the death penalty for adulterers (and in Leviticus, for men who have sex with men, for that matter). It provides conceptual shelter for anti-Semites. A mature view of scriptural authority requires us, as we have in the past, to move beyond literalism. The Bible was written for a world so unlike our own, it's impossible to apply its rules, at face value, to ours."

"Gay men like to point to the story of passionate King David and his friend Jonathan, with whom he was "one spirit" and whom he "loved as he loved himself." Conservatives say this is a story about a platonic friendship, but it is also a story about two men who stand up for each other in turbulent times, through violent war and the disapproval of a powerful parent."

How would you answer Newsweek? If you aren't sure take a look at this REBUTTAL


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Debate Over Bailout

Monday, December 8, 2008 2 comments

Peter Schiff takes on Lansing, Michigan Mayor Virg Bernero.

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UNC Keeps Christmas Trees In Storage

Saturday, December 6, 2008 1 comments

As many bloggers posted about the atheist sign in the Washington state capital this past week (Video). I came across an article in which the University of North Carolina decided not to display Christmas trees in their main libraries this year. Displaying the Christmas trees in the lobbies of the libraries has been a long tradition.

The decision came after complaints from employees and patrons who did not like the Christian display. When making the decision the chief librarian contacted other universities such as Duke and N.C. State and found that no other local university displayed Christmas trees.

The chief librarian was quoted as saying “We strive in our collection to have a wide variety of ideas,” she said. “It doesn't seem right to celebrate one particular set of customs.” This goes back to the classic argument of just because we acknowledge/celebrate one thing doesn't mean we have to do the same for all. To explain the stupidity the question was raised about having MLK Jr. day and not having a KKK day. While that illustration is not to be taken literally, just to show that we don't have to accommodate all views.

- Have you witnessed a decrease of public Christian displays?
- Do you ever hear of any complaints?
- Do you think there is a level of tolerance between Christmas trees and nativity scenes?


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Good News For Gun Buyers In Jersey City

Friday, December 5, 2008 1 comments

A state appeals court today struck down a controversial Jersey City law seeking to limit the number of handguns people can buy. Jersey City tried to limit people of purchursing only one handgun per 30 days. The unanimous appeals panel said Jersey City exceeded its authority and didn't have a right to enact a local law since state law already regulates the sale of handguns.

"All Jersey City's law did was stop people who have gotten a permit, including a background check by police, from buying guns. It impacts only law abiding citizens. Criminals don't buy their guns from dealers."

Yet this isn't necessarily a victory for gun supporters. The decision was based on the City's authority not on people's rights.


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Chicago Students Receive Money For Good Grades

Thursday, December 4, 2008 2 comments

More than 1,650 freshman public school students in Chicago have received money for good and even average grades. The money is coming from a Harvard University education research laboratory and private. "Every five weeks, students receive $50 for A’s, $35 for B’s and $20 for C’s. Students get half the money now and collect the rest only if they graduate." Money for C's, are they serious!?

Chicago is not the only ones doing this nor did they start the trend. "New York City has a similar program that rewards students for grades. Since 2005, Bronzeville High School, formerly the Bronzeville Academic Center in Chicago, has paid out more than $45,000 to 41 students who have maintained a 2.5 grade-point average, have an 85 percent attendance record and show leadership qualities, officials said."

So what is the purpose of this? "Roland Fryer, the Harvard economics professor heading the program, told students he dropped out of school and began selling drugs until family members and others “invested” in him. “This is investing in you. This is what it’s all about,” Fryer said." Isn't there enough incentive to just have a job? Why do we feel we have to entice or actually a better word may be bribe kids to do things that is expected of them? I don't like school, but I do what is necessary to improve my life.


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Gay Version of the Bible

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 4 comments

An American film producer is publishing a gay version of the Bible. It will be called the Princess Dianna Bible and is set to release in the spring of 2009. In this version God creates Aida and Eve not Adam and Eve. There is also talk of a two-part mini-series after it is completed.

Max Mitchell the film producer says "There are many different versions of the Bible; I don't see why we can't have one." He then asks "There are 116 versions of the Bible, why is any of them better than ours?" Is this guy for real? You cannot just change something (especially the Bible) to make it fit your agenda.

When asked about how he came up with the idea he said "I got the idea for the Princess Diana Bible from Horror In The Wind," he added. "After the world becomes gay, religious people create The Princess Diana Bible, which says that gay is right and straight is a sin. Then they burn all the King James Bibles."



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