Double-standard for Molech

I’ve recently heard of a certain group in the U.S. who have received government funding and met proper zoning requirements to erect large a bronze statue on a corner lot in their town. The statue resembles the body of a man with a bull’s head and arms bent at a right angle with hands outstretched as if to hold something. The belly of the statue below the arms has an open pocket area at the top sort of like a kangaroo. The belly is stoked with flammable material and heated to a high temperature, so high that the entire statue glows intensely.

It seems that the people of the town have built the statue with the purpose of disposing of unwanted children. They bring their children, mostly babies, and set them on the arms of the white-hot figure until the bodies are burned up and fall into the belly of the statue. Somehow they seem to think that after doing this their lives will get subsequently better.

Of course the above account is fictional. Such a thing is grossly abhorrent, cruel, and unthinkable and you would have obviously heard about it if it were happening, right?

WRONG. Isn’t it interesting that if this were to happen as described above (just as the ancient Ammonites and surrounding cultures used to sacrifice to Molech) there would be a public outcry so loud and reported on by so many media outlets that it would be a lead story for weeks. After all, this is the United States not some primitive culture devoid of a conscience isn’t it?

YET WHERE IS THE MEDIA when Kermit Gosnell and Planned Parenthood offer services with the same outcomes through different techniques (only slightly less painful to the child)? You see, it’s the presentation – not the practice – that seems to get attention. Molten statues are sensational. Nondescript offices are boring, therefore, child disposal is boring; and besides, it tarnishes the pro-aborts’ well-crafted narrative that the real issue is “health care and ‘choice’ for women” not abominable child sacrifice to the god of self interest.

If you haven’t heard of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, you’re not alone. The media – the false prophets of this age (Jer. 6:14, Ezek. 13:10) – is pretending that he doesn’t exist, but if you can stomach descriptions of his hideous abortion practice go here.

Admittedly, I am having trouble praying for Kermit Gosnell. He deserves to be punished under the full extent of the law for what he’s done, but I know God has saved people who have done things just as or even more abhorrent (see King Mannasseh: 2Kings 21:10-18, 2Chron. 33:1-9 then 33:10-20).

And I’m having trouble praying for my country. I ask God for mercy on our country yet Ruth Graham’s remark from a few years ago rings true, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Pray and inform.


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Super Baal

ravens_champions_1919405It should be no surprise that if you want a good barometer of where the U.S. culture is just watch the Super Bowl. Whereas the ancient Israelites fashioned a golden calf as the focal point for the pagan, Baal-centered religious system to which they repeatedly sunk, the Super Bowl is our annual homage to those things we hold dear.

No, I’m not a prude nor am I averse to celebrating sports. Besides playing and watching sports, my career is built around attracting, directing, and instructing viewers via visual creativity. And I truly didn’t care who won this game. I’ve just become increasingly underwhelmed and disgusted by our biggest sporting event which is a caricature of itself.

_beyonce_72Did Beyonce do a good job on her performance? (Firstly, WHO CARES?!) But for those to whom it’s really important, sure, it contained the pitch-perfect carnality and excess that are the benchmarks of every other other halftime show that we’ve seen ad nauseam. It’s all been done before – and way before us. Just read Ecclesiastes and you’ll find that Solomon has been there and done that and probably with more gusto and creativity than we’ve yet devised. But what did he find at the end of the rainbow? Meaninglessness.

I don’t expect a Mensa test or a soliloquy at halftime of a football game but hasn’t bootyliciousness gotten old yet? (I knew that was a stupid question as soon as my fingers struck the keys.) Yes, banality and emptiness – that’s still what we can’t get enough of and that’s not a good sign.

And let’s just leave the rule book and the referees in the parking lot next year. The ref who got shoved by a player six feet out of the way without a whistle, penalty, fine, or suspension is an apt metaphor for what happens to the rules of the game (and our discretion at large) when “it’s the Super Bowl!” The same thunder-dome standard applied to plays in which one linesman held another for roughly twenty minutes without a call. (See traveling calls in the NBA for further examples.)

Sin never really is very creative.

Posted in Morality, Pop Culture, Secularism | 1 Comment

Gun Control – Part 3: Despite the Evidence

Secular progressives a.k.a. the intelligentsia promote policies based on their own theories about how they believe things ought to be despite the evidence showing how the world really works. As the last post pointed out, disarmament only limits those who respect the law thus facilitating a criminal’s efforts rather than hindering it. Yet the squeals for more gun control persist.

But let’s look at the evidence of how gun control laws work in the real world versus what happens when the citizenry is allowed defensive gun use:

– A 2012 Cato Institute report revealed that in the thirty-one states allowing concealed carry permits the violent crime rate is 24% lower, the murder rate 19% lower, and the robbery rate 39% lower than states that forbid concealed carry weapons.

gun_owners_nyAs a related point, do you think criminals are more or less likely to target licensed gun-owning homes recently published by activist northeast newspapers? Do the residents not listed as gun-owners’ feel more or less safe since this publication? The obvious answers here vividly illustrate the unintended and antithetical consequences that result when progressives follow their worldview. By being unwilling or unable to distinguish between defense and aggression (see Gun Control – Part 1) they unwittingly refute their own argument and further endanger those they wish to protect.

– Colorado enacted its concealed carry law in 2003. Colorado State University decided to allow concealed carry while the University of Colorado prohibited it. From 2004 to 2011 the crime rate at Colorado State dropped 60% while the crime rate at the University of Colorado rose 35%. (Boston Globe article)

– Chicago, which has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country – including requiring fingerprinting and in-home-only gun possession, just reported 506 homicides for the year 2012. 87% of the victims were killed by gun fire, many related to gang violence. If only the gang bangers were more educated about Chicago gun laws or watched a Hollywood PSA maybe this would have been prevented.

– A favorite retort from the Left is that various European countries have more stringent gun laws than the U.S. and their murder rates are much lower than ours. However, this is merely selective reporting to fit rather than test their assumptions. For example, Russia and Brazil have much higher murder rates than the U.S. and tougher gun laws. Gun ownership in Mexico is a fraction of that in the U.S. yet their murder rate is more than double ours. Luxembourg bans handguns yet the murder rate there is much higher than in Belgium, France, and Germany who do not ban handguns. New York City’s murder rate has been far higher than London’s for over two centuries but for most of that time neither city had gun restrictions. Moreover, murders without guns in New York have been far higher than those in London. (numerous studies via Sowell, Intellectuals and Society).

Regarding selective reporting, the media and the Left rarely discuss how many crimes have been prevented by responsible gun owners. This report lists numerous examples.

Policies borne from false assumptions rather than evidence have dire consequences. When those assumptions are assisted by government overreach society will be victimized one way or the other.

Posted in Government, Progressivism, Relativism | 1 Comment

Gun Control – Part 2: Moral Disarmament

Recalling the pacifist movement in France between WWI and WWII, Thomas Sowell in Intellectuals and Society describes how teachers’ unions in France worked toward the “moral disarmament” of students by rewriting textbooks. By emphasizing being “citizens of the world” over patriotism and fighting for one’s country, they believed that a next generation of pacifists would be the key to world peace.

a3The French teachers’ unions were more successful than they could have imagined, yet the outcome was the opposite of their expectations. Whereas in WWI the French had fought the Germans tooth and nail for four long years, in WWII despite being militarily primed they folded in six weeks. Hitler, who invaded France even sooner than his generals recommended, had predicted their collapse because he correctly surmised that the French lacked the fortitude to stop him.

Sowell goes on to describe numerous intellectuals who have celebrated pacifism despite the contrary reality of doing so. In advocating that Britain reduce is armed forces, famous atheist Bertrand Russell stated,

“…if we had neither armaments nor Empire, foreign states would let us alone. If they did not, we should have to yield without fighting.”

He further reasoned that if you declare yourself defenseless,

“…other people, having no longer any reason to fear you, will cease to hate you, and will lose all incentive to attack you.”  

French socialist party head and subsequent premier, Leon Blume, likewise believed that if a nation disarmed, it didn’t incur any more risk because the “moral prestige” it would acquire and the “force of its example would induce all other states to follow.”

Of course history has proven the colossal wrongheadedness of such thinking that relies on a presumed basic goodness of mankind rather than its fallen nature, yet progressive mouthpieces and intellectuals persist in using the same theories to advocate gun control today (confirming Rom. 1:21).

code_pink_blocks_mlkIn a Dec. 24 CNN interview regarding the Newtown school shooting, CODEPINK co-director Medea Benjamin rejected the suggestion of armed security in schools but instead called for “conflict resolution,” “school nurses,” and “guidance counselors” to thwart potential violence. Of course such support services are necessary (does she think they disappeared?), but would sitting down for nice heart-to-heart chat with Adam Lanza have precluded his rampage? His obvious mental derangement and/or evil disposition had ruled out that possibility long ago as his mother’s plans to institutionalize him attest. Once reasoning and counseling are no longer options and if guns are prohibited, what should we then use, harsh language?

The presence of evil is part of the fallen human condition and the secular progressive worldview has been woefully inadequate in acknowledging, assessing, and resisting it. Unless we recognize the difference between defense and aggression and have the guts to embrace the former, we will reap the consequences of the later.

Next time: Despite the Evidence

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Gun Control – Part 1: No Discernment Allowed

One of the most distinctive aspects of our relativistic, progressive culture is its inability to make distinctions. We are either unable or afraid to distinguish between good & bad (except for the idea that distinguishing them is bad), male & female, disagreement & intolerance, ideas & identity, discipline & abuse, and defense & aggression. This gross lack of discernment skills comes home to roost when tragic events such as senseless, random shootings occur. Although it is these situations in which we need the most clarity, knee-jerk political correctness only creates a smokescreen.

Predictable smasmodic cries for gun control from the political Left assure us that the mantra of never letting a “serious crisis go to waste” (thanks Rahm Emanuel) is still in vogue. And right on cue Hollywood headliners who couldn’t summon a thimble-full of discernment if it were written into their scripts, dutifully dramatize each demagogic syllable uttered by anti-gun policy makers. Both groups blame violence on inanimate objects, e.g. guns (“The 2nd Amendment is outdated!”) while at the same time resisting any criticism of media and entertainment (“The 1st Amendment is sacred!”) that glorify their use. Although their current argument is for limiting automatic weapon ownership, this is a certain foot in the door toward further limitations on firearm usage in general – the true wish of gun control advocates for years.

In a new video, Hollywood actors (some of whom star in graphically violent films) demand an end to gun violence by reciting a list of recent shootings. Among them is “Fort Hood.” Keep in mind that Fort Hood is a military base in which guns are endemic (although Hassan attacked an area of the base in which guns were off limits); Hassan screamed his loyalty to Allah during the shooting; and the Left still considers this event “workplace violence” instead of an obvious act of terror. I suppose discernment-needy Hollywood believes that the army should prohibit automatic weapons also? Although the motivations and context of the two shootings are completely different, in the eyes of the Left they are the same because the same inanimate object was the cause in both.

Think about that for a second. It’s like saying that the paper and ink of Mein Kampf is the cause of crimes against humanity rather than Hitler’s twisted ideas conveyed by these materials. Inanimate objects such as guns don’t “do” anything unless a motivated mind puts them to use. It is the condition of the mind and the information it consumes that steers one’s actions. Our culture indulges in increasingly graphic and perverse entertainment and sensory stimulation yet we’re shocked when something resembling it occurs in real life.

Let me make an appeal to one of those self-evident, who’s-buried-in-Grant’s-tomb observations that seem lost on progressives:  Criminals don’t follow laws, so gun control laws have zero prohibitive effect on them. Disarming responsible, licensed, law abiding citizens only makes a criminal’s life easier. Random shooters only stop their rampage when a gun is aimed at them. Not sure why that’s so difficult.

More in Part 2.

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…Like All The Other Nations

But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” – 1Samuel 8:19-20

Israel wasn’t content to be called out by God as a holy (separate, distinct – exceptional) nation. On November 6, 2012 The United States of America officially confirmed its discontent with exceptionalism and decided to become “like all the other nations.” Whereas in 2008 the offer to be like all the other nations was stuffed into the skin of platitudes, this time it was served up on a platter and we took it with eyes wide open.

– We’ve decided to destroy the most exceptional healthcare system in the world in exchange for the government (our fellow citizens) paying for our healthcare …like all the other nations.

– Although we could be energy independent, we’ve decided to forego our own energy resources in favor of less viable alternatives so that we can pay high prices for gas …like all the other nations.

– We’ve decided to pay our citizens not to work …like all the other nations who are currently on fire due to the people suddenly finding out that, “if a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2Thes. 3:10)

– We’ve decided to destroy the definition of marriage in favor of unions that have proven to be destructive for the parties involved, and thus, to society …like all the other enlightened nations.

– And we’ve decided that we want to tax and spend ourselves into oblivion in order to ‘pay’ for all the above.

Becoming like all the other nations is not a very high aspiration is it? The road to get there, socialism, is an easy ride as all downhill trips are – it’s when you hit the bottom that it starts to sting. Let’s pray that we don’t have to get all the way to bottom before we realize that being exceptional is an earned privilege, not a sin.

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Surrender, Worth, and the Gospel

“Infinite resignation is the last stage before faith, so anyone who has not made this movement does not have faith, for only in infinite resignation does an individual become conscious of his eternal validity…” – Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling

I ran across this quote by Kierkegaard yesterday as I was preparing for our church’s Fall festival last night (Halloween). My wife and I and some friends work a table at which we give away Halloween candy and free items while trying to engage people about their spiritual standing. Our goal is sharing the gospel – the Good News. But the Good News wouldn’t be necessary if there weren’t also bad news – the fact that no one is good enough on his own merit to reach a holy God to whom he is accountable. To accept this, a person must come to a point of “infinite resignation”“the last stage before faith” that Kierkegaard describes.

The irony is that although people are not good enough to merit heaven (via the choice to know evil, i.e. sin), they still have “eternal validity” due to being created in the image of God and being loved by him. (A masterpiece found at a yard sale underneath a cheap print is still a masterpiece.)

When the gospel is presented, the natural reaction is for people to seek refuge in their intellect, their self-righteousness, their hedonism, etc. as a reason to reject God.  But by holding on to these earthly impediments to faith, they are choosing an exchange rate for their soul that is far less than it is worth. This is the ultimate self-swindle.

The next time you’re speaking with a person who is balking just as they reach the point of surrender, remind them of the poor trade they are about to make.

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