Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Technically, if this is taking advantage of a loophole or provision of of the legal code, is it really un-American?
To many of this perspective, the issue is not so much about exhibiting a love of country as it is about statists wanting to bleed victims dry financially like a vampire with a tapeworm.
For example, golfer Phil Mickelson was about condemned for treason for hinting that he was considering a move from California to Florida in part for tax reasons.
And mind you, that geographic change would have been within the boundaries of the United States.
In a constitutional republic, it is not the business of the centralized authorities as to why an individual decides to move within the system to localities more in accord with that individual's philosophical vision.
Would these same leftwing centralizers have been outraged if Mickelson announced if he was moving from a jurisdiction opposed to gay marriage to one more accepting of that particular lifestyle arrangement?
Multiculturalists and tolerancemongers enjoy nothing more than to look down their noses and snap how out of sync what the United States is doing from that of the rest of the world.
Interesting how one seldom hears of the benefits that might result should America decide to lower tax rates on both individuals and corporations alike.
By Frederick Meekins
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
According to the 7/23/14 Christian Century review of the book “Slow Church: Cultivating Community In The Patient Way Of Jesus”, these authors contend that the individual should stay in only one church.
This is because, “Every time we move from one church to another, we lose a little bit of our patience for all things religious.”
But what if the church is so small that the less desirable regions of the Afterlife will cover over with glaciers before the average person will be able to participate through means of other emptying pockets into the collection plate?
But more importantly, this perspective could easily lead to the fostering of an atmosphere where the victims (oh, I mean members and attenders of the congregation) will put up with increasingly shocking forms of abuse and levels of generalized mistreatment for fear of endangering their immortal souls.
Even if that is not what the authors originally intended, that is most likely what will result in a world characterized by Jonestown, Waco, and the epidemic of sex scandals blackening the eyes of both the Roman Catholic and Protestant branches of Christendom.
According to the authors of a manifesto on the Slow Church Movement, one is to remain in the same church more or less no matter what.
The authors clearly look like Emergent Church beatniks.
One of them is even a Quaker.
That means he does not view doctrine formulated upon the foundation of His unchanging word as the primary way that God conveys His intentions to mankind.
Rather, we are to fumble about being leading by what is assumed to be the Holy Spirit.
But with that given a higher status than the Bible, we don’t really have any proof that the message we are receiving is from the indwelling presence of the Triune Godhead or rather from demonic entities kicked out of the gates of Heaven.
In the end, this Slow Church mindset will no doubt be used to denigrate the character of those that get up and walk out once the gay weddings or the wife swappings commence and be used to applaud as spiritually awakened those willing to go along with such abhorrent practices.
by Frederick Meekins
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Often, the pamphlet contains interesting information regarding the state's geography and natural resources.
Some of the content, however, is outright environmental propaganda.
For example, there is one activity consisting of a maze titled “Scoop The Poop”.
The text admonishes that, by scooping the poop of the 1.3 million dogs estimated to reside in the state, residents of the New Order are playing their role in removing harmful nutrients and bacteria from entering local waterways.
While picking up after Fido might make things more healthy and pleasant for human beings, such an activity can't possibly do as much to restore the Chesapeake as this dinky tractate leads one to believe..
A proverbial aphorism questions “Does a bear take a you-know-what in the woods?”
The title of a book boldly proclaims “Everybody Poops”.
Are these activists going to insist that the digestive effluent of these particular creatures is appreciably different than what is grunted out of the backside of the average household canine?
Unlike most dogs, fish living in the bay just let it rip right there in the bay.
Some of these animals, not unlike many a Redneck, probably consider roadkill fine dining.
One of the goals of bay restoration is to increase the number of animal species depleted by man (especially Whites aspiring to live a lifestyle above that of prancing through the woods 3/4's naked in a loin cloth procuring whatever nuts and berries one can happen to scrounge).
But if increasing the number of animals that live in, around, and above the Bay also increases the amount of #1 and #2 flowing into these sacred waters, then why doesn't it become our obligation to exterminate these creatures as quickly and as thoroughly as possible?
By Frederick Meekins
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
That famous catchphrase is itself non-scientific at best and pseudoscientific at worst.
Even if one grants that the universe is billions and billions of years old (to employ rhetoric of nearly that many parodies of Sagan), on what grounds can one state such an absolute conclusion from the basis of observational science?
For example, in the worldview espoused by Cosmos, it is held that the cosmos began at the moment of the Big Bang.
Thus, if one cannot peek back beyond that point, on what grounds apart from a faith as deeply held by the most adamant of theist does one conjecture that something else did not exist to bring the something into existence?
One can make the case of the cosmos being all there is all one wants.
But if the triumvirate of space, time and matter is all you are going to appeal to, on what grounds do you lodge a complaint should those not wanting such a gospel of nihilistic hopelessness to infect the minds of their children want to blow your brains out?
The last segment of Sagan's trademark mantra dogmatically asserted that the cosmos is all that will ever be.
If we are to exist in an epistemological framework where nothing is certain and there is no purposeful supreme intelligence superintending so that everything continues on a routine path, how do we know some manner of quantum cascade won't take place tonight where one subatomic particle is so knocked off course that all of reality disintegrates back into nothingness?
For did not even the great skeptics such as David Hume concede that, just because the sun rose from time immemorial, that was no guarantee that it would do so tomorrow?
Interestingly, the proponents of the Cosmos invocation might insist that they are providing viewers insight into whatever was or ever will be.
However, what these propagandists are conveniently leaving out are those aspects of the totality they happen to disagree with or cannot flippantly gloss over.
For example, in the premiere episode, an inordinate amount of time was spent badmouthing the adherents of a supposedly non-existent God in the case of Giodarno Bruno who was persecuted for believing that an infinite God could have created additional inhabited planets.
If nothing is to be concealed in the name of approaching a comprehension of the universe as it is rather than how we would like it to be, at any point in this documentary's presentation did Neil deGrasse Tyson --- himself an avowed atheistic humanist --- give an as lengthy presentation about the liberties infringed and abridged by assorted forms of atheism such as Communism in the attempt to maintain a stranglehold on power by preventing the dissemination of not only competing perspectives but as well as facts deemed inconvenient to adherents of that particular ideology?
Thus, if the hallmark of what distinguishes the modern era as supposedly superior to that of the medieval is that by the definition of these terms that we know better and are more enlightened, doesn't that make the atrocities of Communism far greater having been committed by the self-professed adherents of science?
In another episode, Tyson became emotionally discombobulated that if we as a species did not repent of our carbon combusting, global warming ways, we could very well cease to exist.
However, once again, if the only thing that exists is the material totality of the universe and there is no noncontingent intelligence or personality sustaining these complex systems, who is to say existence is superior to nonexistence?
Science writer George Johnson suggested that the tendency to view the universe as designed is an evolutionary holdover that humanity ought to progress beyond.
Then why not this desire for continued existence beyond that of our immediate selves?
For is this for the most part a trait and bias of the human plague infesting the planet?
Swarms of grass hoppers defoliating an area don't reflect if there will be enough to go around decades down the road.
One truism is that any resident of this realm will be subject to some kind of ultimate authority.
One can either settle for that of other flawed human beings that will in the end lead to disappointment and eventually destruction.
Or, one can look to God as the foundation and utilize a number of the tools that He provides such as His word foremostly followed by reason contemplating upon principles derived from that revelation and their operation through the handiwork of His creation.
By Frederick Meekins
Friday, June 20, 2014
As a police officer, Bruce Abramksi was allowed a discount on a firearm that his uncle is reported to have wanted.
As upstanding citizens, Bruce and his uncle facilitated the transaction through a licensed firearms dealer.
All of the involved parties were legally permitted to handle the weapon in question.
Enemies of the Second Amendment herald this ruling where it is illegal to acquire a firearm without disclosing the intent to resell the defensive implement in question as some manner of criminal fraud.
It is argued that this measure will save lives and keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
But, as in the case of many other firearms regulations, this law and now judicial precedent won't save a single person.
For if Abramski's intentions were nefarious, would he have bothered to get a licensed firearms dealer involved?
Abramski's great sin was in thinking that the system could be used in such a way as to benefit the individual rather than to crush the person's spirit under the bureaucracy's ever-tightening grip.
The government is probably more concerned and outraged that Abramski might have ended up with $400 in his pocket without the Beast being rendered its sacrificial oblation.
If the government has concocted yet another excuse to interfere in the otherwise legal transactions of those residing within its borders who do not disclose an ancillary economic intent, could one someday end up going to jail should someone employed at a retailer purchase an item on behalf of a family member through an employee discount program?
Today this mentality elevates profit and trade to the status of a moral evil considered in certain ways worse than outright violence.
What is to prevent these out of control agencies from demanding similar revelations regarding internal motivations regarding porcelain dolls and vintage knickknacks purchased at estate sales for resale on Ebay?
By Frederick Meekins
Monday, June 16, 2014
There indeed are movies and television programs that attempt to lure the viewer into embracing the occult.
However, Maleficent did not really seem to be one of them.
Rather, the magical and mythological elements served more as a backdrop against which to consider more mundane themes and human truths.
Though certainly not a traditional rendition of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale, a number of Christian analysts and cultural critics have done a less than complete job in considering the story as presented.
Before condemning the version of Maleficent in this interpretation of the story, shouldn't it be considered what drove her over the edge?
To gain the throne, someone that she once did have feelings for did slip her a roofie and amputated her wings.
In the story, wasn't that sort of an allegorical depiction of being raped?
Furthermore, you can't just expect Princess Aurora to automatically take her father's side in the dispute as she didn't even know that the crazed king was her father until the time she turned 16. She had never really met the man.
However, though mistaken about her original motives, the Princess had considered Maleficent a presence in the background at least throughout her life.
As much as the legalists oppose dating and displays of casual affection, you'd think the movie would get bonus points for making a fuss that the kiss of the prince hadn't had time to develop from infatuation into true love by the time of their second encounter.
Instead of a kneejerk reaction to classical fantasy motifs, perhaps the viewer informed by a Christian worldview should also take the time to consider the message as depicted in the lives of both Maleficent and King Stephan of how the hurts and temptations of life in this fallen world can eventually warp one's soul to the point where the individual is a distorted version of what they use to be.
By Frederick Meekins
Monday, May 26, 2014
The caption beneath the illustration reads, “The Intelligent Design God is something of an underachiever.” He apparently also has a high tolerance for guff as very few have poked as much fun at the venerated spokesman of a particular world religion with a fetish for explosives and flying jetliners into skyscrapers.
In all seriousness, the cartoon is a jab directed at the work of biochemist Michael Behe who popularized the flagellum in “Darwin's Black Box”. It was the likes of the Darwinists and the naturalists who first categorized the single cell and assorted microscopic organisms as “simple” in comparison to other biological, geological, and astronomical phenomena considered to be complex.
With the concept of irreducible complexity, pioneers of the Intelligent Design movement such as Michael Behe and Phillip Johnson popularized the concept how these simple cells and organisms were anything but with their entire systems breaking down unless all of the components work in tandem and likely worthless without the others. Likewise, these functions are of a magnitude so beyond the sum total of the constituted parts that it is unlikely that they would have arisen on their own over time through the minuscule accumulation of random genetic modifications.
It is not that the proponents of Intelligent Design have totally ignored these other scientific curiosities such as stars, galaxies, and other mind boggling wonders of the physical universe. In fact, a number of these are presented in a marvelous manner that can be appreciated by the scientist and understood by the enthusiastic non-technician alike in “I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist” by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler.
Adherents of the worldviews of naturalism and scientism often stand behind their lecterns before their blackboards clicking their tongues how religious faith and its corollaries of intelligent design or some kind of creation theory cannot be categorized as true science because it is doubtful that the faithful believer would ever renounce their preferred theology no matter how overwhelming the evidence arrayed against traditional revelation and dogma. However, the subtitle of the organization's own newsletter is “Defending The Teaching Of Evolution And Climate Science”.
Just what evidence will adherents of these perspectives accept before themselves surrendering to the epistemological or paradigmatic inevitable?
For example, the newsletter's Dec 2013 cover might spoof the Intelligent Design movement's flagellum fetish. But haven't the Darwinists been harping their finches, fruit flies, and peppered moths even longer?
At the end of the day, no matter how much these creatures might change over the generations, they pretty much remain fruit flies, finches, or peppered moths begetting other fruit flies, finches, or peppered moths respectively not that dramatically different on the genetic or molecular level where it counts from the original. So should geneticists dig deep enough that it is discovered that, despite the considerable material similarities between the species, it is impossible for a chimp to make the leap to human being, will multitudes of academics come forward to renounce many of Physical Anthropology's cherished foundations?
The second area of focus in the mission statement is defending the teaching of climate science. There is hardly a Christian out there walking free this side of the funny farm fence that condemns meteorological forecasting. Even if they don't catch the segment on the 11 PM news or fiddle around with Doppler radar and satellite imagery, even the Amish probably consult their own methods to get some kind of idea what the weather will be like the next day.
The National Center For Science might go out of its way to position itself as one of Feurbach's cultured despisers of religion. However, what this organization really means by the term “climate science” is instead the faith of global warming and environmental extremeism.
And as in the case of the most diehard adherent of traditional theism, there will be nothing to dissuade these zealots that man (especially of the White industrialized variety) isn't the cause of climate change.
Had a warmer than usual winter? It's global warming's fault.
Had a colder than normal winter? That's global warming's fault also.
Had a summer or winter where the weather was for the most part within the range of what one should expect for that particular season? Surely, it was the fault of global warming.
Like any good revivalist, the goal of the ideologues at the National Center for Science Education is not so much to dispassionately impart a set of objective facts for the recipient to then make up their own minds as to whether they will accept them into their existential epistemic framework and then determine how these should be applied to life and policy. For example, it is doubtful the newsletter publishes articles detailing how the world really hasn't warmed for over a decade and how, when changes take place, they are more the fault of solar activity than the failure of the American people to willingly embrace a lifestyle virtually indistinguishable from that of Third World squalor.
One of the greatest gifts parents and educators can bestow upon a child is to cultivate an awareness of the assorted charlatans that will attempt to take advantage of the weak-willed and simpleminded. A considerable number will appear wearing the cloaks of a great many religions. However, just as dangerous are those wearing lab coasts that instead attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting by rattling off numbers presented as statistics and obtuse obscure verbal formulations masquerading as facts.
By Frederick Meekins
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
What about it?
A blurb for the book reads, “A Biblically grounded presentation of the value migrants, immigrants, and refugees bring to all of us.”
Does the text also emphasize the Scripture that also urges rendering to Caesar what is Caesars and to obey those earthly laws that do not violate those of God?
As such, the author shouldn't have a problem with a legitimately constituted government determining by a set of standards agreed upon by the CITIZENS of the particular country in question whom might be granted entrance into that particular country and what reasonable documents authenticate membership in that particular nation-state.
If immigrants are to glom themselves onto the Christian narrative, it should be pointed out that Mary and Joseph went dutifully to pay their taxes.
The couple did not rampage through the streets of Nazareth demanding they be granted a hardship exemption.
By insisting that “Jesus was a migrant”, the attempt is made to imbue this sociological and legal category with the sinlessness and perfection of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
However, as much as I have heard these people carouse and booze late into the night, I assure you they most definitely have not yet reached such a state of flawless sanctification.
By Frederick Meekins
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
What college sports really needs instead are more sex and drug scandals.
As evidence of its claim, the atheist front group is citing the inordinate number of players on the team attending VOLUNTARY Bible studies.
Perhaps even worse, the coach subjects those under his leadership to non-sectarian Scriptural admonitions such as a paraphrase of I Corinthians 9:24-25 reading “Run your race to win, don't just run the race.”
Perhaps, in these times of hypertolerance and multiculturalism, a more Hindu or Buddhist perspective is preferred with athletes adopting an attitude that the race does not matter or doesn't exist anywhere but in the minds of the participants.
Perhaps these subversives would also like to expunge the remainder of the Judeo-Christian patrimony from the remainder of the curriculum.
That is the ultimate goal of these agitators, after all, as epitomized by the infamous slogan “Hey Hey, Hey Ho, Western Civ Has Got To Go.”
If nothing else, at least then we'd no longer be subject to the throwaway snide remark about being one's brother's keeper being elevated to the level of justification for income confiscation and redistribution.
Since the Freedom From Religion Foundation gets such a rush from being all bent of shape, when do they intend to get around to taxpayer funds going to provide prayer rooms and footwashing facilities set aside exclusively adherents of that form of sectarian totalitarianism?
By Frederick Meekins
Friday, April 18, 2014
Provided he is not on welfare, is that really anyone's business?
The parents are pretty much screwed over any way they turn.
Let your kid run wild, and you'll get slapped with abuse allegations.
Not yet your kid play with matches and stick utensils in electric sockets?
You will liable get slapped with a stiffer penalty for stifling exploration and expression.
Let your child, especially the male ones, roughhouse as they please and verbalize whatever comes to mind, and they will be branded as “predators” and “harassers”, ending up on offender registries forcing them to live in tent cities deep in the woods.
Given that numerous parents have no doubt lost their health insurance as a result of Obamacare or have to pay deductibles through the roof so Sandra Fluke can live on her back with her thighs flayed open are those advocating childhoods of feral adventure going to pick up the emergency room tab?
Or are we suppose to gaze upon these injuries simply as a way of thinning the herd?
by Frederick Meekins
Monday, April 14, 2014
Those of a more bookish or scholarly inclination got to enjoy a similar kind of excitement just a few days later when they could pick sides as evangelist Ken Ham faced off against Bill Nye the Science Guy.
The issue at hand was whether evolution is sufficient to account for the existence of life.
Ken Ham, on the one hand, believes that, without appealing to a literal understanding of the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis, all of the foundations upon which intellectual comprehension and a just social order rest begin to break down.
As an avowed Humanist (having been recognized as the 2010 Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association), Bill Nye believes that the processes of the material universe are comprehensive enough in themselves to account for the complexity of the reality in which we find ourselves.
Granted, there are a number of assorted positions between these two poles. Salvation is not determined by disbelief in Charles Darwin's theories but rather in one's belief in the finished work of Christ upon the cross of Calvary. After all, it can be argued that God has a special place in His heart for the dimwitted.
Interestingly, some of the most scathing criticisms directed towards Ken Ham did not necessarily come from the raving village atheists but more from those that would consider themselves Ham's fellow believers. Foremost among them was none other than Pat Robertson.
Instead of commending Ham for the courage to take a principled Christian stand on one of the foremost issues facing the faith in the contemporary era, Robertson counseled, “Let's not make a joke of ourselves.” Apparently he comes down on the side of the debate holding to some kind of theistic evolution or progressive creationism.
It would not be gentlemanly to deny the validity of the faith in Christ of those holding to such a position. However, the perspective holds that God is not powerful enough or is too stupid to create the world in seven literal standard “Earth days” as detailed in the Book of Genesis.
Put that aside for now. But “Let's not make a joke out of ourselves” is a ship that sailed from Robertson's Virginia Beach compound years and even decades ago. But then again, maybe it flew off in a jet taking off from Robertson's private airplane runway or road off on one of this thoroughbred horses all the while Robertson insists global warming is the result of we mere common folks having too much such as automobiles powered by internal combustion engines.
One would think that Pat Robertson might show a little more compassion or understanding to those that say controversial things but which contain considerable truth after they have been reflected upon. After all, was not Robertson the one that pointed out that the true danger of leftwing feminism was that it would encourage woman to kill their babies, take up witchcraft, and become lesbians?
Robertson's whacked out remarks go beyond any of Ham's claims no matter how ludicrous the assertions of the Australian evangelist sound to those building their epistemological house foremostly upon man's reason.
For example, Robertson claims that, if it weren't for the prayers offered by his ministry, the Tidewater area of Virginia would have already been destroyed as a result of an oncoming hurricane. And this was one of Robertson's less shocking flubs, with others going so far beyond Scriptural propriety to actually violate divine mandates.
For example, Robertson suggested that a spouse ought to go ahead and divorce a partner suffering from Alzheimer's. The suggestion was made not as some strategy to secure additional insurance or social welfare in a broken system that penalizes loving couples trying to live properly. Rather, Robertson made the comment so that the healthy spouse could dump the ailing partner in order to find someone else to frolic in the boudoir with.
The Bible establishes that marriage is intended to be a life long arrangement to dissolve upon the death of one of the involved parties. That is why in the marriage vows that the promises are for better or for worse, and in sickness and in health until death do they part.
Who wouldn't rather spend one's declining years (often euphemistically referred to as “golden”) puttering around a Florida retirement community in a golf cart. However, shouldn't one strive to stand by the promise made years ago? It's not like the mate with dementia set out intentionally to lose a lifetime of memories and to complete life as a proverbial vegetable.
Yet these claims made by Robertson on different occasions regarding difficult questions over which sincere believers trying to decipher God's will can disagree are not necessarily the worst of Robertson's shenanigans.
On many Christian television programs, prayer is a regular featured element. In most Christian traditions, prayer occurs when the believer directs communication --- either spontaneous or fabricated --- directly to the triune Godhead.
If most Christian leaders are sincere, they will admit that this communication usually flows in one direction in the audible sense. If some want to insist that the communication or communion can be felt by the parties at either end of this direct line into the noumenal, those that should be spared additional psychological evaluation will admit that what they experience is more akin to a sense of peace and well being that may come over them as they reflect upon the grandeur and power of the Heavenly Father in comparison to what ever burden they are bringing to Him to lay at the foot of the Cross.
If some public religious figure tells you that God TOLD this leader to pursue a particular course of action, the best thing to do is to RUN away as soon as possible. For eventually, the thing that such figures usually insist the Almighty is telling them to do is either sleep with YOUR spouse or to force you to drink the funny-smelling Kool Aid.
Robertson takes his own version of the divine dialog over the boundaries of acceptability in its own particular fashion. The televangelist insists he receives direct replies back from God.
Referring to this beatific telepathy as a “word of faith”, Robertson insists that the Holy Spirit is conveying back to him and a few select minions what amount to press releases regarding these movings in mysterious ways. Usually these are healings that are supposedly taking place at the time the ritual is conducted.
The thing of it is is that these revelations seldom ever happen to be very specific in terms of names and locations. Robertson and his minions insist they see somewhere out in the viewing audience someone being healed of a non-descriptive back pain or stomach ailment.
One would think that if the Holy Spirit deemed it important enough to inform Robertson of these miraculous interventions, the third person of the Trinity would also provide the address of the person being healed. After all, if this was all on the up and up, you think that might be good in terms of professions of faith, ratings, and (of course) the bottom line.
Such a scatterbrained approach no doubt helps Robertson cover his backside. By keeping these claims of precognition or telepathy intentionally vague, the likelihood is increased that at least occasionally some individual will step forward claiming that they were the one that Robertson was talking about.
Ken Ham, on the other hand, is more on the up and up. Even if one does not agree with his conclusions, at least the claims of creationist theory are made on the basis of a logical or evidential methodology that the skeptical can attempt to disprove or refute.
About all we have from Robertson is the claim that God blows in his ear. That isn't really all that much different than what Jim Jones and David Koresh use to say.
Scripture declares that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But in comparing their overall ministries, the antics of Pat Robertson have brought far greater embarrassment to the cause of Christ than the labors of Ken Ham ever have or likely ever will.
By Frederick Meekins
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The evidence provided was that this particular expositor did not believe that there are horses in Heaven.
Unless the speaker can provide irrefutable proof that they have been to Heaven, on what grounds do they have to make such an absolute categorical statement?
Granted, the horse is not likely one that has already trod this Earth before such as Trigger, Mr. Ed, or Flicka.
However, it could be a horse that hails entirely from the celestial realm.
If horses existing in Heaven are beyond credibility, why should we believe other passages regarding what is suppose to be the ultimate home of the Christian?
Perhaps the Pearly Gates aren’t so pearly since a pearl is essentially ossified oyster spit.
If it is beyond the realm of possibility for a non-human or non-angelic life form to exist in the beatific realm, why should we believe that there is a tree there that bears seven kinds of fruit for the healing of the nations?
The point is made that often the Bible employs metaphorical language to convey concepts that the human mind would not otherwise be able to grasp.
However, if the Savior riding into history on a white steed is not to be taken all that seriously, why should we accept promises of His return at all or claims that He entered into the world the first time through the womb of a holy virgin, or that He rose from the dead so that those that believe in Him might have eternal life?
by Frederick Meekins
Monday, March 31, 2014
As a religious sect adhering to a legalistic view of salvation, the Jehovah Witnesses believe that it is a matter of eternal importance to avoid blood transfusions at all costs, even at the price of health and life itself. It is generally accepted that parents have the right to raise their children in compliance with the beliefs of the respective family’s faith. To adherents of the Watchtower Society, this means they ought to be able to refuse medical treatment for their children requiring blood transfusions. However, as the institution charged with overseeing the physical well being of those residing within its boundaries (especially for those unable to do so for themselves), the state might have other priorities as to whether or not an ailing child receives a blood transfusion.
What makes such an example so compelling is the variety of ethical issues of the most visceral variety involved. Foremost among these is the freedom of religion.
Here in the United States, citizens are allowed to believe what they want and pretty much permitted to live according to these principles so long as they do not infringe upon the well being and liberties of others from an activist standpoint. Relatedly, it is believed parents have the right to raise their children in accord with these principles and overall children are better off under the care of parents that genuinely love them than under detached bureaucracies. That said, the state has the obligation to protect the physical well-being of those that cannot do so for themselves. Unfortunately, this may often include small children unable to defend themselves against parents that do not have their priorities in order.
Fundamental to the American conception of human rights is the phrase contained in the Declaration of Independence of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Without life, the other two are essentially meaningless.
As such, in most instances life must take precedence, especially in cases where the individual for whom the decision is being made is unable to make an informed one on their own. If the Jehovah Witness child was a teenager or an intelligent adolescent that refused medical treatment with the consent of the parents, the state should mind its own business and refrain from interference. It is generally considered improper to force treatment upon someone that does not want it since is their own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that is at stake. However, two year olds are unable to make such decisions on their own and it would not be right for parents on their own to deny liberty and the pursuit of happiness to a child whose life is in need of direct emergency medical intervention.
While the state has the imperative and obligation to protect the lives of its most innocent members, that does not mean its agents should eagerly rush in to break up families as is the mindset of many in so-called “child protective services” in a manner akin to Janet Reno bursting in with guns blazing into the Branch Davidian compound. Rather, the notion that one may lure more flies with sugar than vinegar may be a more appropriate strategy.
First, hospital officials should assure the parents that everything is being done to treat the child initially with procedures that do not necessarily involve a blood transfusion. Secondly, in discussions of this kind of case, Roe notes that in certain circumstances an appeal to Watchtower officials might be able to persuade them to permit the transfusion even though it is not in compliance with the sect’s normal policy (120).
Such an instance might also be better handled by the hospital chaplain or Christian acquaintances since it might make the parents even more defensive if confronted by hospital personnel or child protection bureaucrats that hand down edicts with all the compassion of the IRS or DMV. As fellow theists though of a considerably different persuasion, the chaplain or Christian friend could discuss the passages from which the prohibitions against blood transfusions are drawn and explain in a kind and understanding manner how they do not necessarily apply and how God forgives those that ask and that no deed other than the failure to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ for our sins is beyond redemption by His blood.
The bond between parent and child is strong. Under normal circumstances, a loving parent is not going to allow harm to come to that child without taking action.
However, in rare instances where the child is in danger of imminent loss of life and is not competent as to consent to their own medical treatment and parents forbid intervention on the part of physicians, authorities from the various spheres overseeing medical services may be required to use their assorted forms of influence to persuade the parents that it is in the best interests of the child to allow treatment. At first, this should be done in a friendly and conversational manner. However, if they do not relent, higher authorities such as the courts and social services may need to be consulted in a judicious manner that preserves the physical well being of the child as well as inflict minimal damage to the integrity of the parent/child relationship.
By Frederick Meekins
Monday, March 10, 2014
If children are that young and impressionable to the point of being so easily traumatized, what are they doing on Facebook in the first place?
In a USA Today article covering the announcement, the chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns said, “On the same site that people are sharing birthday parties and family reunions, there are photos of AK-47's.”
There are probably just as many photographs of teens getting drunk if one digs deep enough and accounts are notorious of errant spouses utilizing this revolutionary communications technology to abet adultery.
There are valid arguments made from both positions as to the propriety of gun sales facilitated over social networks.
But what is the big fuss over a gun picture?
Online, those guns are probably about as real as the bosoms of the scantily clad models attempting to entice you to click on links for a wide variety of products and services.
Perhaps the most appropriate advice is adapted from the moral libertines any time a parent or even a concerned citizen raises a reservation about the amount of exposed flesh or non-marital boudoir frolicking depicted in the contemporary media.
If you don't like to look at pictures of guns, don't look at them.
By Frederick Meekins
If one was required to show one's hands to the robots in order to be categorized as non-threatening, since the movie was already saltier than it needed to be in terms of profanity, someone should have given the droids the finger.
Samuel Jackson is amusing in his spoof of Bill O'Reilly.
The scene where the senator was kicked off the "Novak Element" was quite reminiscent of the Fox News pundit interrupting guests he doesn't agree with.
Despite the relevancy of the underlying ethical conflict, the film wasn't necessarily an improvement over the 1980's version in all respects.
The more mechanized voice of the title character in the original and Murphy having done to him whatever his corporate masters wanted without any notion of consent on the part of his family since he was "dead" in eyes of the law and thus without any rights was a more dramatic portrayal of the threats posed to fundamental assumptions of humanity by radical cybernetic life extension technologies allowed to get out of control.
by Frederick Meekins
Friday, February 21, 2014
The science side of the controversy contends that religion isn't merely an alternative way of looking at the universe but rather instead a harmful mindset that must by stamped out by science's proclivity to rely upon experimentation and evidence rather than an unquestioning reliance upon faith and authority as is endemic to its epistemological adversary. However, Jerry Coyne in the 10/1/10 USA Today essay titled “Science And Religion Aren't Friends” relies on more untested assumptions than can be found in the average Sunday morning sermon.
It is only natural that Jerry Coyne would have the tendency to end up relying on those things he has bluntly labeled as threats to mankind to make his argument. He is, after all, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago.
Both of these disciplines practiced by Professor Coyne these days are as much about philosophy and politics more so than the collection of objective facts through observation and experimentation. The University of Chicago is to at least be commended for exercising a modicum of caution in quarantining those on the faculty payroll oriented towards imposing opinion rather than simply elaborating actual details of natural phenomena as would a true biologist worthy of recognition as such.
Early in the essay, Professor Coyne asserts, “Evolution took a huge bite a while back [he means out of religion], and recent work on the brain has shown no evidence for souls, spirits, or any part of our personality distinct from the lumps of jelly in our head.” From such an contention, he concludes, “We now know that the universe did not require a creator.”
That's quite a rambunctious leap on the part of the eager professor. It use to be thought that nothing existed below the level of the atom. However, eventually researchers discovered an entirely new kind of universe (if you will) existing in terms of even smaller particles and energy clouds at the subatomic level.
Why can't a similar position be held regarding the mind, soul, and spirit? Though it cannot be denied that these are somehow linked to the material brain, that does not mean these ephemeral building blocks of individuality and personality do not exist because those in lab coats haven't quite pinned them down and sliced them in half with a scalpel.
After all, it is doubtful scientists can conclusively tell us why a certain assemblage of chemicals has the spark of life coarsing through them and others do not. Since a number of their brethren have denied the existence of the Creator, perhaps a number of scientists will endeavor to convince that the phenomena that we call life does not exist either.
Coyne says of science, “Science operates by using evidence and reason. Doubt is praised. No finding is deemed 'true' unless it is repeated and verified by others.” And of religion, he writes, “...rather than relying on reason and evidence to support them, faith relies on revelation, dogma, and authority.”
That is, of course, until someone challenges those sacred cows that often eat at the troughs of big government, industry, and academia. For example, in “Reason In The Balance”, critic of evolution Phillip Johnson chronicled the plight of one professor that dared to buck the herd mentality by simply suggesting that the complexity of organisms MIGHT point to a creator.
At no time did this particular academic fill in to any great degree the detail of this nebulously defined ultimate power or coerce students into swearing allegiance to it. This professor's pedagogical approach was considerably more broadminded than the professor that essentially required students to declare an oath of fealty to the Darwinist position if they wanted the professor to provide the student with a reference for medical school. It would seem though that an aspiring physician believing in a Creator or Intelligent Designer might make a better doctor since such a student would see the patient as made in the image of God rather than as a worthless lump of tissue not all that different from what the orderlies dumped from the bedpans or the tumors zapped with radiation down in the oncology department.
Furthermore, evolutionists make a public display as to how much they eschew dogma and authority. However, can you honestly tell me that each and everyone of them has built from scratch through their own experimental observations the entire tree of knowledge? Is the lowliest among their number going to thumb their noses at names such as Goldschmidt, Gould, and Hawking. The very fact that they rally behind the image of Darwin is testament to how they are prone to bend knee to their alleged betters like many of the religious individuals they heap so much scorn upon.
Among the nondogmatic dogmas of those professing this mindset is that one of the few remaining sins that cannot be countenanced is for the individual to speak out or act in an field where one has not been certified or credentialed by the elites empowered to bring down ruination or at least the edge of destitution upon those failing to curry the favor of these authorities. In academia, reprisals just short of lynching take place if those not bestowed the equivalent of a knighthood in the natural sciences (an advanced graduate degree) dares to speak out regarding evolution and how it applies to the origin of life. However, very little criticism or reprisals in terms of occupational status is inflicted upon the members of this scholastic caste when they venture beyond the confines of their respective narrowly defined fields when making sweeping pronouncements as to how things are to be in religion's sandbox.
Those holding to scientism, the idea that science itself is an ultimate authority rather than a method or a tool, claim that the notion of religion is itself refuted because of the countless unreasonable propositions and doctrines advocated by those for whom an avowed faith is the primary framework through which they construe existence and the universe. As proof, Professor Coyne posits the person of Jesus and how Christians view Him as the Messiah, how Muslims do not, and how those of these respective faiths will incur divine retribution in the eyes of the opposing belief system for their misconstrued perspective regarding this one key figure. The fact that such attention is focused on an individual nothing more than an obscure carpenter and itinerant rabbi residing in a Roman occupied backwater is itself reason to stop and consider that there might be something more to this otherwise first rate failure by the world's standards.
Coyne adds, “I've never met a Chrisitan ..who has been able to tell me what observations about the universe would make him abandon his beliefs in God and Jesus. I would have thought the Holocaust could do it, but apparently not.”
G.K Chesterton remarked, in regards to those horrors that cause even the most devout to question whether or not God actually plays an active part in the world, that these outrages and tragedies were manifestations of the one Christian doctrine that could be verified by a cursory perusal of the daily headlines. That is none other than the reality and pervasiveness of sin.
It is because of the existence of a God and absolute values based on His unchanging character that we are able to say something like the Holocaust is even wrong. For without the principles embodied in holy documents such as the Ten Commandments, who is to say?
Is the barometer of acceptability and propriety to be found in that amorphous moral sense referred to as “world opinion”? If so, that means the Holocaust is only wrong because it was an affront to a majority of the nations of the earth.
In that instance, even if too late to prevent an incomprehensible atrocity and as much in response to other geopolitical factors, world powers came to the rescue of the Jewish people. In an attempt to correct the situation and to prevent something similar from happening again, the nation of Israel was established.
But what of a time foretold in the Book of Revelation when hostility towards both Christian and Jew will be stirred to such a fanatic level by a future world leader known in prophecy as the Beast who, it is believed, will convince the nations of the world to join first in a campaign to wipe out Jerusalem and then attempt an assault on the very Gates of Heaven itself? Are we to believe in one instance the proper thing to do is assist the plight of the Jews or lament the failure to do so and then at some as of yet undetermined point down the time stream attempt to wipe them and allied theists from the face of the earth all because the prevailing consensus demands it?
Coyne assures, “Science is even studying the origin of morality.” The professor assures that atheists embrace the same moral truths as the religious but without something existing above so-called “science”. But where ought we to find these principles?
At the Patuxent Wildlife Visitor's Center, there is a display of a kaleidescopic video montage titled “The Wisdom of Wildness”. The footage suggests that the course we stupid humans ought to pursue is to be found among the less deliberately rational creatures on the rung of what philosophers and theologians have titled the Great Chain Of Being.
If so, who is to say in a naturalistic ethos just what animals we are suppose to emulate? Some animals such as elephants take considerable care of their young and even seem to mourn their dead. It is often claimed that the Canadian geese mate for life and will leave the migration gaggle should the partner be unable to travel onward for whatever reason.
Other animals emulate behaviors that do not comply with what most societies that have been influenced by the light of Judo-Christian Scripture and moral reflection would find acceptable. For example, occasionally female cats will abandon a kitten if she is unable to care for more than one and male cats will sometimes kill kittens that are not their own in order to encourage female cats to mate with them. In order for the couple to copulate, the female praying mantis must rip the head off of its mate and the nature of the female black widow spider towards its mate has become synonymous with a woman that murders her husband.
Before feminists do a victory dance as to these alleged examples of girl power found throughout the animal world, perhaps they ought to tell us why if there is no God establishing the morality by which higher order minds reflect upon the Creator's own rationality and character in order to formulate ethics and values, why these examples ought to prevail over the ones more male-dominated as to how we interpret them?
Male lions pretty much loaf around and look fierce while the females do, shall we say, the lion's share of the hunting and the raising of the cubs. And male sea lions and fur seals are pretty much indistinguishable from breakaway Fundamentalist Mormons such as Warren Jeffes in that they accumulate as many females to themselves as possible while banishing young unestablished males to the periphery of the colony (or out onto the streets in human terms).
Coyne writes, “In contrast, scientists don't kill each other over matters such as continental drift. We have better ways to settle our differences. There is no Catholic science, no Hindu science, no Muslim science --- just science, a multicultural search for truth.”
In regards to the first claim of that particular paragraph, scientists haven't really proven themselves that far removed and above the stains of the, shall we say, sin nature plaguing the remainder of humanity. The death counts under traditional religion run amok are nothing to be proud of and rightly give the sensitive seeker grounds for pause. However, one could properly make a case that these tallies pale in comparison to the 20th century totalitarian regimes that first and foremost dedicated themselves to Darwinian ideals in whose names were often justified the most appalling of atrocities such as the racialism of the Nazi regime attempting to purge the human gene pool of what that vile ideology considered contaminating elements or Marxism's attempt to manipulate social conditions such as education in order to bring about that system's new man devoid of individualism gladly embracing a place as a disposable cog in the technocratic collective.
The second claim in that paragraph insists that there is no particular variety of science but rather a multicultural search for truth. On the surface, that sounds correct as certain facts exist such as the distance between the earth and the moon irrespective of the religious outlook of the researcher ascertaining such an assessment. However, that is only part of the picture.
Like it or not, science arose to prominence as a method for obtaining knowledge about the world in which we live in a time when the Christian perspective was predominant even if not every last practitioner of this epistemological pursuit was an orthodox born again believer. As is attributed to Issac Newton, one of the initial motivations of what would be recognized as science was to think God's thoughts after Him.
It could be argued that the Judeo-Christian mindset as found in the pages of the Bible is the font from which the assorted impulses and brands of modernism (for good or ill) were bequeathed with their concern for the world as it actually exists and how we might improve upon its conditions for the greatest number possible. A consistent multiculturalist cannot view such a mindset superior to one that does not.
Not everyone believes that progress (especially if it is of the technological or economic variety) is necessarily a good thing. There are those that believe such innovations should be opposed at all costs including those tactics lesser bourgeois minds would categorize as violence.
For example, among the Postmodernists that spout this kind of drivel about multiculturalist science are those that do not see the likes of the Unabomber as a homicidal terrorist but rather as some kind of visionary whose artistic masterpieces did not consist of paint and canvas but rather in exploding shrapnel, lacerated sinew, and severed limbs. And unfortunately, this threat once isolated among a few lunatics, has infested the ranks of the Occupy Movement that would have no problem with dragging society back to preindustrial standards of living even though they themselves would be the least likely to survive in a milieu where a lack of self-reliance would spell certain death. But then again, a preference for individual life is one of those pesky values that balanced Christians or even generalized theists drawing ethical inspiration from the Bible can't seem to disimbue themselves of.
It must also be admitted that science came into its own as a research methodology in those settings where God was viewed as distinct from His creation with the natural world under the watchful eye of a single God with the universe operating in accordance with the physical laws He sustains by His own will. Though a number of exceptional minds were able to rise above the blinders of polytheism, there is something about the object you are about to study either being your god, containing the spirits of the entities that you worship, or the distinctions between you and the object ultimately being illusory that will discourage you from learning as much as possible about the given subject at hand.
Granted. Students from cultural backgrounds where Hinduism and Buddhism predominate are noted for their mathematical and scientific excellence. However, such aptitude came more into prominence when these societies came to adopt aspects of a more Western orientation.
Towards the conclusion, Professor Coyne writes, “Because pretending that faith and science are equally valid way of finding truth...not only weakens our concept of truth, it also gives religion an undeserved authority that does the world no good.” But it is only through acknowledging that truth originates in a personal fixed source (commonly referred to as God), it is possible for truth to even exist or to be something that is worthy of individuals and societies even pursuing in the first place.
By Frederick Meekins
Monday, February 17, 2014
What a crock.
Fine and dandy if this is the goal that the Olympics aspires to.
But if this principle is to be elevated to the status of a human right extended beyond this borderline criminal racket, its implications could be downright frightening.
For example, the opening statement postulates that every individual must have the possibility of participating in sport.
What if an individual's parents refuse to grant permission?
Should the child be snatched from the home on the grounds of child abuse?
And conversely, if the International Olympic Committee is so eager to hand down grandiose moral pronouncements, will this august body uphold the principle that it is the human right of every individual NOT to participate in sports, free of coercion?
For example, what about the case of Red China where child athletes are snatched from their families to be mercilessly trained in what are little better than glorified slave labor camps? And to bring the issue back a little closer to home, what of the child whose classmates refuse to let him participate in a playground pick up game?
Granted, such bullying and exclusion is quite saddening.
However, it hardly rises to the level of an atrocity worthy of a UN human rights tribunal. Most of all, it must be asked isn't the International Olympic Committee violating the very spirit of the principles the organization's charter claims to embody.
For example, the charter insists that EVERY individual must have the possibility of practicing sport WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION OF ANY KIND.
So does that mean a 300 pound geriatric alcoholic with equilibrium issues should be allowed to ascend the balance beam during the prime time broadcast?
If not, isn't that a form of discrimination and exclusion?
Fascinating, isn't it that these internationalist organizations renowned for advocating the fundamentals of socialism for everyone else the world over insist that the activities undertaken under their own auspices publicly be characterized by the utmost meritocracy.
By Frederick Meekins
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
But if there is nothing inherently questionable about this pharmacological compound and its preferred form of combustible vaporized conveyance, why shouldn't one be able to use it out in the open?
Should a diabetic be fined if they need to use an insulin pen on a public street?
Should an asthmatic be detained by police if they need a puff from their inhaler while walking down the sidewalk?
WMAL morning host Brian Wilson astutely remarked that this issue focuses around what kind of image Washington, DC wants to project to the world.
But if marijuana is to be considered as no different than anything else an individual wants to take into their body, what is to prevent legislation from being enacted forbidding the consumption of junk food in a public picnic area or even in front of children as part of a campaign to encourage healthy eating and nutrition?
By Frederick Meekins
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The thing of it is is that Jesus is not exactly here right now in the physical, objective sense to tap the individual on the shoulder to convey these intentions.
This pastor warned that the believer must not pronounce religious or doctrinal exhortation without permission granted by established ecclesiastical authorities.
But what if one lives in an era or milieu where one is not likely to be extended such a blessing by nearly any organized authority? Does that mean we are to remain silent?
If we are to dig around in the New Testament for examples upon which to model our actions, it seems to me many of the founding Evangelists continued to speak out despite the overwhelming opposition of religious elites.
When commanded to stop the proclamation of the Gospel, Peter and the other Apostles responded in Acts 5:29, “We are to obey God rather than man.”
You might not be welcomed in a church building, but these days the electronic pulpit is nearly everywhere and available to anyone willing to step forward.
By Frederick Meekins
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
In the August 28, 2013 edition of USA Today, Rem Rieder doesn't hold back in his disappointment at the news of this classic program's return and his overall contempt for the argumentative debate format.
Rieder laments, “Crossfire, which features a conservative and a liberal predictably and tiresomely bickering with each other, mirrors perfectly what is so wrong with today's hopelessly polarized and paralyzed politics.”
Rieder goes on to conclude that these days that there is no real attempt to solve problems or get outside of the Beltway.
Reider attempts to cast himself in the role of the kind of dispassionate analyst he claims that he longs to see heading into public affairs programing. However, his words betray blatantly leftist sympathies.
For example, in listing the identities of Crossfire's new hosts, Newt Gingrich is the only one held up for ridicule. Van Jones confessing to be a self-avowed Communist is glossed over as if such an admission is something normal and healthy.
Gingrich might daydream about space colonies. But in the ideal world of Van Jones where he identifies so enthusiastically with that particular form of tyranny, authorities would seize nearly everything you have worked for (with the exception of Van Jones' lavish CNN salary) and violently eliminate those that continue to speak out against a dictatorial regime despite extensive efforts at reeducation and social manipulation.
One might respond that an observation pointing out a failure to expose Van Jones as a leftwing subversive is reading too much into it. After all, with Kardashian bastards and Miley Cyrus stage humping, the average American no doubt finds it difficult to retain this constant barrage of information at the forefront of their cognitive awareness.
Rem Rieder, however, drops another comment that reveals that there is more to his agenda than a dispassionate pursuit of just the facts.
Apart from the incident where Robert Novak (likely suffering from the early stages of a brain tumor) stormed off the set no longer capable of handling James Carville's banshee-like shrieking, one of most recalled moments of the original Crossfire occurred with the visit of Comedy Central's John Stewart of the Daily Show. During the interview, Stewart lamented how the debate program and especially Tucker Carlson was hurting the country.
The thing of it is, the likes of John Stewart has done more to hurt this country than the number of interchangeable hosts and even greater number of guests exchanging wonky barbs at one another ever could.
Personally, I can probably count on both hands the number of times I have seen the Daily Show. The only segment that sticks out in my mind was of some bozo walking around in a giant penis costume promoting safe sex or some similar propaganda.
If that represents the kind of public affairs programming Rem Rieder thinks is needed to either elevate or save the Republic, we are worse off than most of us realize. It is likely not John Stewart's wisdom as a statesman that Reider is praising but something else entirely.
In the waning days of the Roman Empire, lavish entertainment spectacles were put on for the purposes of distracting the population from the public scandals and disasters that confronted the world superpower of that day.
Granted, in much the same way that politics is said to be a form of show business for the unattractive, programs such as Crossfire, Hannity, and The O'Reilly Factor tend to be a form of pugilism or professional wrestling for the physically puny but verbally inclined. But despite any shortcomings that these programs might posses, it cannot be denied that they at least get across the point that there is something rotten in Denmark (or more accurately, the United States of America in this instance).
That's why the likes of Rem Rieder are more enthused about a perambulating giant penis costume. And the reason behind that might not be quite so obvious as one might assume by that shocking verbal formulation.
Elites talk up the delights and wonders of deliberative democracy. But the last thing they really want are those in the servile classes to passionately hold to any fixed standard or belief that would impede this human capital from being reshaped, deployed, and even eliminated in accordance with the most convenient timetable possible.
This is the sentiment spoken of euphemistically when talking heads, academics, bureaucrats, and elected officials express a nostalgia for a bygone era when legislators would get together at the end of the day to hash out compromises over cocktails or, in the case of Ted Kennedy, cocaine and lapdances. That approach might have been OK when the kinds of things discussed were the equivalent of whether a tax rate would be 9% or 10%.
But these kinds of backroom compromises have gone on for so long and the line of acceptability moved back so far that, for the go-along to get-along to continue, those of good conscience are being pressured into betraying the fundamental values and morals without which a ordered yet free society will surely collapse.
For example, if one the ethical building blocks upon which a just and free society rests is the assumption thou shalt not murder, meaning that it is beyond the limits of acceptability to deliberately take the life of an individual that has committed no crime, where is the moral wiggle room for an abortion of convenience or preference? On what grounds do you kill a life form, that will be no more genetically complete than it would be at the time of birth, without the consent of that individual for the purposes of harvesting that individual's stem cells or other biomolecular components?
Most believe that marriage is a sacred covenant instituted by God Himself predating the codification of organized religion in a time when man's relationship with our Creator did not require the medium of the written word. So on what grounds can that definition be changed on the whims of a jurist or plebiscite and on what basis do those making such a claim complain when these fickle procedures decide to change the arrangement back?
Just where does one compromise on these kinds of issues? For if one does, isn't doing so the equivalent of saying it is allowable to slap your spouse one time across the face but twice is going too far?
As these kinds of social developments continue to unfold, it is becoming more apparent that recognition of gay marriage is not so much about these individuals confessing unending love for one another which they are pretty much able to do so already in parts of the country where most mind their own business and where laws prohibiting illegitimate carnal knowledge haven't been enforced for years. Rather, it is about bringing the destructive power of the state crushing down upon those that do not stand around applauding the new world we are being thrust into.
Don't believe me? Perhaps you ought to ask the bakers and wedding photographers whose businesses have been ruined for failing to embrace diversity to this radical extent. What about their ability to express their preferences without fear of retaliation?
Only time will tell whether or not there is a place for a revived Crossfire in a media landscape where the clash of opinions is more the norm than an entertaining novelty, However, even if this particular program falls by the wayside as a result of attention being grabbed by flashier versions of this classic debate format, Crossfire deserves a place at least in the pages of journalistic and mass communications history for admitting that legitimate opinion worthy of national consideration exists beyond the narrowly defined parameters of the mainstream establishment.
By Frederick Meekins
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
In popular culture and elite scientific circles alike, cloning is being heralded as a process through which humanity will be ushered onto the cusp of a golden age in terms of advances in the areas of agriculture and medicine. As with most advances, those with an entrepreneurial inclination are already positioning themselves to take advantage economically of the opportunities looming on the horizon.
For example, on April 3, 2001, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent US 6,211,429 for a process for animal cloning. One must keep in mind that, apart from agricultural applications, such research is initially tried on animals with the hopes of eventually perfecting the techniques for human usage.
One scholar concerned about the application of this utilitarian mindset to human beings where people could end up being used as something not all that different than barnyard livestock is Paige Cunningham of the Center For Bioethics and Human Dignity. In response, he has formulated a set of principles that could very well stop this tragedy before things get too far out of hand.
The first principle has been stated as the following: “Every human being, however conceived or created, is unique and deserving of protection. From a religious perspective, humans are different than animals and above all animals because humans alone are created in the image of God.” This principle is Biblical as it respects the individuality of the human being as a unique creation no matter how he might have been brought into the world. Even though we might find it unsettling that an individual might be grown in a laboratory and not as the result of a loving (or at least pleasurable) coupling of his parents, that is no reason why, as Cunningham’s declaration argues, such a person should not be granted the same privileges and protections enjoyed by the remainder of our species.
Part of the justification for the first principle, while theologically sound from a religious perspective, that human beings are different than animals because humans alone are created in the image of God, unfortunately may be tougher to sell in a culture contaminated by Darwinian materialism. It is not only from a religious perspective that human beings are different from the remainder of the animal kingdom but in the manner of our fundamental ontology as well. When was the last time someone saw chimpanzees constructing medical facilities or dolphins cogitating on declarations to protect themselves from doing harm to one another? Someone might think they are an animal when it comes to themselves but seldom do they want to be treated like one.
Cunningham’s second principle has been stated thusly: “Every human being has the right to individual autonomy; i.e. that his or her bodily integrity must not be invaded or compromised by others.” The first principle was forceful in its conviction to the point of almost being too explicitly religious in that it overlooked the biological uniqueness of man in favor of the theological,. The second, though well intended, rings with a bit of the vagueness this declaration was promulgated to protect against.
While the Christian can agree with the principle that in most instances that the bodily integrity of the individual must not be invaded or compromised by others, the proposition is not always absolute. Unless enunciated in a strong pro-life context as intended, platitudes about not compromising the bodily integrity of the individual were the very kind of statements that got the ball rolling down the hill of human devaluation in the first place all in the name of “choice” and banshees wailing in the street slogans such as “keep your laws off my body”. One must be clear that the unborn child (either growing in the womb or in the laboratory) possesses the same protections against bodily harm as those enjoyed by the parents.
The third principle, that no person has the right to enslave, own, or control any human being regardless of their stage of biological development is a sound reminder of the basic principles this nation was founded upon, went through numerous struggles to extend to all those living here, and continues to expand into the twenty-first century. This principle does a superb job of upholding the innate dignity of the individual as created in the image of God and the equality of all men before Him irrespective of their power or status.
The fourth principle contends that any organism that is genetically human is a human being. While this statement is necessary in this Postmodern age that loves nothing better than to play word games in an attempt to justify all kinds of moral outrages, in academic circles and the popular press where secular philosophy and the Christian worldview clash almost constantly the position may already be in need of modification.
Though it may sound like science fiction, there is a growing movement called “Transhumanism” that seeks to expand the abilities of mankind beyond the limitations imposed by the biology of the species through genetic or technological enhancements. Some propose to accomplish this by combining human and animal DNA.
Therefore, at some point ethicists, theologians, and concerned scientists are going to have to sit down and hash out what is the bare minimum of human DNA a person can have and still be considered a human being. For example, is an organism with only 90% human DNA worthy of protection as a human being? Such statements may cause one to chuckle, but the matter is so serious, according to Tom Horn of RaidersNewsUpdate.com, that neuroscientists experimenting on mice by injecting human brain cells into the skulls of these rodents are under orders to destroy these vermin if they start to exhibit signs of intelligence.
The fifth principle holds that “A cloned embryo is distinct and separate from the person donating the genetic material, and therefore is a unique being protected in law.” This is a principle that Christians need to be at the forefront of championing.
Often the cloning discussion is framed in terms of setting aside a genetic savings account for a rainy day. For example, if someone needed a spare kidney or liver, one could simply thaw out a non-sentient replicant kept in suspended animation for just such an emergency. However, what really happens when a cloning takes place is more akin to forming a twin of oneself or, if one is unsettled by such age differences between siblings, parenting a child in a non-traditional format. As close as these human relationships are, at no time may we use our family members as spare parts without their consent.
The last principle holds that, “No person or institution has the right to control or profit from any process designed to clone a human being.” While it is a good idea to take the profitability and power out of the cloning process as such an action would cut down on firms entering into this undertaking (including government), if we wait to the point where we attempt to regulate the procedure where it is legislated that the technique must benefit all mankind, things may have already reached the point of no return. Such a response would imply that cloning had already become widespread. Rather, Christians in positions of influence should instead get busy cultivating, as Pope John Paul II use to call it, an ethic of life where blatant disregard for other human beings is such an anathema that no self-respecting scientist would consider participating in such research.
Overall, the policy declaration suggested by Paige Cunningham is to be commended as a good starting point for those within the church to start thinking about these kinds of issues that they may have not taken the time to consider previously but that are about to role over our country and change it in fundamental ways that we do not like unless we rise up now to set things on a better moral path.
By Frederick Meekins
Monday, December 30, 2013
Interestingly, the WRC 4 coverage of the outreach deliberately avoided detailing the background of this recipient of eleemosynary.
For example, the most obvious question coming into the mind of the average viewer not having been conditioned by bureaucratic reeducators is where is the father in the midst of this hardship?
Relatedly, in the age of Maury Povich, since this woman has multiple children, are there multiple fathers?
Maybe if she had taken two jobs prior to procreating, this woman wouldn't have had the time nor the energy necessary to spawn in the first place.
Perhaps this woman should have had a better taste in men instead of now expecting the men that actually have jobs and work for a living to pick up the slack left dangling by the deadbeats.
This woman was no doubt informed of the pending of this Christmas charity over her latest iteration of the Iphone.
Most will no doubt be peeved about the discerning raising these kinds of issues.
No doubt Biblical admonitions about doing unto the least of these and such will be readily raised.
Interestingly, seldom is the one mentioned that points out that those unwilling to provide for their own children are worse than an infidel.
By Frederick Meekins
One such desire that has been a constant throughout the passing millennia has been the longing to have children. Both classic literature and front page headlines attest to the length some will go to to satisfy the parental impulse.
Here in our enlightened and progressive era are those wearing their sophistication on their sleeves for all to see who would say that there is no reason medically or morally why the desire for children cannot be fulfilled for those seeking to have the role of primary adult caretaker in the life of a specific young person.
One venue through which couples unable to have children of their own have turned to is surrogate motherhood. In this arrangement, the genetic material of the husband is implanted for the purposes of impregnation in a fecund woman who agrees to turn over custody of the child (often for a hefty sum of money) to the biological father and his wife.
To those seeing marriage as little more than a contract instituted by human beings with little purpose beyond establishing a stable social order, its slight alteration among consenting adults is of little consequence. However, from an examination of Genesis 16, we see that utilizing a woman other than the wife one is married to in the eyes of God is fraught with consequences that cannot initially be predicted.
From the text, the reader gathers the following facts.
Though God had promised an heir to Abram and Sarai, it seemed to them that they would remain barren since they were getting along in years.
So Sarai suggested that Abram go to her servant Hagar and father a child through her. Being a typical man, Abram readily agreed and took Hagar as a second wife.
After Hagar conceived, like a typical woman Sarai chewed out Abram when doing exactly as he was told by his wife did not turn out exactly as she expected. This happened in part when Hagar copped an attitude that she was more of a woman than Sarai since Hagar conceived, no doubt rubbing it in her employer’s face.
Caught in the middle, Abram let the catfight continue and told Sarai to do as she pleased with Hagar. So since she was mistreated by Sarai, Hagar ran away.
However, Hagar eventually returned to Abram to have Ishmael after being told by the Lord to do so and after being promised that she would be the mother of a great nation in her own right as well.
This text is fraught with a number of ethical issues.
For starters, there is the near universal desire to have a family, which, often a central motivating impulse in normal circumstances, must have been an overwhelming desire when it was prophesied that one’s offspring would come to influence all the world.
Second, there is the issue of the sanctity of marriage. From Scripture, it is taught that the standard is matrimony between one man and one woman as it says two shall become one flesh, not three.
As such, wherever there are two ladies competing to be queen of the castle there will inevitably be conflict.
There is also the issue of Abram stepping up to the plate and taking care of Ishmael and Hagar even if it would be more convenient to get them out of the way.
Some might question what bearing the Abram-Sarai-Hagar triangle has to do with the modern practices of surrogacy.
For today the process is much more clinical. The surrogate is not brought into the family as a concubine or second wife (except in parts of Utah perhaps) and the man does not get to lay back and enjoy the delights of his harem.
However, there is still the possibility of what was undertaken as an effort to acquire some of the most profound joy human beings can experience (namely having a family) spiraling out of control in terms of heartache and jealousy. For example, in the case of Elizabeth Whitehead who was contracted to be a surrogate, wads of cash were not enough to extinguish maternal feelings and a nasty custody fight ensued.
Frankly, a woman would have to be a borderline sociopath to be able to sever the bond with the child that grew within her for nine months.
Secondly, since the child becomes the child of the wife merely as the result of legal maneuvering, one must wonder just how attached she will be to the child as there is likely to be buried deep some kind of resentment that the husband had to turn to another woman (even if no “recreation satisfaction” was involved) to acquire a child. Even though Sarai instigated this ordeal in part to claim the child as her own, she certainly had few qualms about tossing Hagar out on her ear when things got tense.
This brings us to the only ethically viable alternatives for the Christian couple that want to both honor God and enjoy family life beyond the marital relationship.
If the wife is consistent and sincere that it does not matter if the child she is to raise is biologically hers or not, the couple should be informed that adoption is a way of fulfilling this desire that still honors the two-as-one ideal of marriage while assisting a child that would otherwise face this cruel world unloved.
If the couple is insistent that the child must be of their biological lineage, the Christian couple wanting to please God by keeping His commandments must pray for patience to wait upon the will of the Lord if they are to become parents and have fun while trying to find out.
By Frederick Meekins
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
For example, in terms of celebrations on the calendar, on their surface few would be more opposite than Halloween and Christmas.
Halloween, on the one hand, is a reflection that all things in this life come to an end in death and that death is the result of evil having come into the world and how all mortals have at least a passing degree of interest in that particular existential state.
Christmas, on the other hand, is a celebration of the birth of the One who came into the world so that we might have life and life more abundantly held at the time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when nature begins to remind that the preponderance of darkness is itself a temporary thing.
By examining how each of these are viewed and approached in the mind of the secular statist, one gains more of a comprehensive understanding of the irrationality of many of the critics of these otherwise beloved occasions.
A number of these lame excuses were examined in a Desert News article titled “For Religious Reasons Christmas/Halloween Take A Hit In Schools.”
For example, at Inglewood Elementary in the suburbs of Philadelphia, party poopers there canceled the school's student Halloween parade on the grounds that the activity was religious in nature.
Reflection upon both Halloween and Christmas parties reveals that neither celebration will likely manipulate those attending these functions to abandon their mostly deeply cherished beliefs in favor of a whole new set of spiritual paradigms.
For example, the most professedly spiritual aspect of Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of the Christ Child destined to be slain from the foundation of the world in payment for the sins of every person to have walked the face of the earth willing to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
However, at most Christmas parties, seldom does this truth upon which all of cosmic history orbits get all that much in the way of good eats and the gift giving frenzy.
But if Christmas has to be abolished because its true meaning might unsettle those that practice other creeds or who claim to practice no creed at all not so much out of a profound conviction that outright nihilism profess is really the correct way to ultimate truth but more out of a deep-seated hatred of Jesus, then Halloween should be banished from the halls of polite academia as well. But with violence and sexuality rampant throughout many of the nation's schools, can they really be considered all that polite anymore?
Halloween traces its origin back primarily to traditions surrounding the Celtic new year known as Samhain that were introduced to America by Irish immigrants. In pagan times, it was believed that during that particular time of year that the boundaries between the realms of the spirit and corporeal flesh were at their thinnest with beings able to cross over.
As a result, assorted customs developed where the living thought the agitated spirits could be mollified with treats. Eventually, the enterprising realized that they too could get a piece of the pie and whatever other goodies were being passed out that night if they decided to disguise themselves in costumes.
Over time, Samhain evolved into the festival that we have today. To kill a number of birds with one stone, the Roman Catholic Church adopted the days around the first of November as All Saints and All Souls Day since the minds of the natives were already focused upon the departed that time of the year. And a festival similar to the one already in place provided the reluctant with one less excuse as to why they did not want to convert to Christianity.
In its assorted prohibitions and condemnations, Scripture is quite explicit about the believer not having much to do with witchcraft, necromancy, and related things that go bump in the night. Coupled with a suspicion of Catholicism and the rise of alternative spiritualities such as the New Age movement in general or Wicca in particular, a perspective rose to prominence within the more conservative wings of Evangelicalism that the true Christian did not participate in this celebrations that look to as mascots the darkest archetypes such as witches, vampires, and the disembodied spirits of the departed that continue to walk the earth.
However, as Lutheran apologist Gretchen Passintino has amusingly summarized, participating in traditions such as Trick-Or-Treat no more makes you a pagan than opening a Christmas present makes you a Christian.
Probably nearly 99% of children participating in the traditions of Halloween such as parades are not doing so with the expressed purposes of rendering glory and homage unto Satan. Most are merely excited to be prancing about as their favorite imaginary character or as something they would like to be when they grow up and at the prospect of sugary or salty snacks once they have completed their celebratory perambulation.
Your child will be more likely to veer off into the Devil's clutches if they are denied things such as Halloween parades if for no other reason than to slap such ultracontrolling parents across the face. It is often the human tendency to conclude that if something is to be banned to the extent with nothing to replace it other than to sit around and mope (and that includes Bible study when everyone else is running the street gathering candy) it must be better than one can possibly imagine.
Concocting the excuse that both Halloween and Christmas must be banned since these celebrations might ignite the religious curiosities and inclinations of impressionable urchins apparently wasn't enough. The bureaucrats controlling the public school system had to reveal additional cards as to just how incompetent and devoid of common sense they really are.
Dr. Fredrick Withum released the following statement to the press as to why assorted holiday activities had to be canceled in the Cumberland Valley District where he is superintendent. He said, “Twenty years ago, nobody would have ever thought that a principal would have to consider, as a part of their training, what they would do in the event of a shooting in their building or in the midst of an aggravated custody issue within their building in which a national amber alert is issued The best way to make schools safer is to continue to help them be joyful places, but we are going to have to find new ways and new procedures to ensure this is the case."
The first part of this statement is invoked in order to paint those that disagree with what is to follow look like like such critics agree with mass murderers, kidnappers, and all around child predators. The opening statement has very little to do with why Halloween or Christmas festivities need to be canceled.
If students are passing through metal detectors and wanded before entering the building, shouldn't that level of vigilance be able to ferret out any potential ne'erdowell attempting to sneak in an actual weapon as part a Halloween costume?
It is not that students are in any increased danger as a result of Christmas or Halloween parades.
The thing is, like many of the parents that seemingly don't have any energy to take care of their offspring but are seemingly energetic enough to engage in the procreative calisthenics necessary to conceive another or to go on the hunt for another mate, most of the teachers backing this shift in policy are most likely just plain lazy and dislike children to such an extent that they simply don't want to be bothered with supervising physically assertive activities such as traditional holiday parties.
Aside from serving as entertaining highlights of a given year, Christmas and Halloween parties also acculturate the youth with the narratives and traditions of the broader society across the span of time.
Thus, another prime motivator is not only bringing an end to Christmas and Halloween but also Western civilization in which these celebrations are practiced and expressed.
This is highlighted in Dr. Withum's statement when he says, “The best way to make schools safer is to continue to help them be joyful places, but we are going to have to find new ways and new procedures to ensure this is the case.”
Throughout his campaigns and early days of his presidency, Barack Obama talked repeatedly about the need to fundamentally transform America.
There is only so much that the federal executive branch can do at that level. And even if sweeping changed are implemented from above they are often characterized as opposed rather than being transformative in nature.
In order to be the most successful, revolutionary transformation must be inflicted upon those possessing the least experience with things being a way any other than the alterations being proposed. Their acceptance is often the result of being exposed to them over the course of an extended amount of time as resistance is eventually worn down.
It is during the earliest years of education that this sweeping social manipulation is most likely to be the most effective. Hence the emphasis upon finding new ways of having joy.
As one concerned grandmother whose grandchildren attend school in the impacted district pointed out, in many instances that the observance of these holidays in the public school setting are being abolished with the excuse that these celebrations take away from instructional time. Of this, she astutely observed, “That's a bunch of baloney. You're going to tell me that 20 minutes out of the whole school year will do that...?”
She is absolutely correct. It is doubtful that these students are being constantly drilled in the sciences and technologies that will be need to take on and defeat the Red Chinese in the looming Lunar War.
But then again, there might not be enough time left over in the school day for Christmas, Halloween, or even Valentines Day. After all, the students of tomorrow are busy learning why they need to submit to Islamic peculiarities such as Ramadan while being led in classroom chants how there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet while they select their Muslim names or how to put a condom on a cucumber while being told that Heather has two mommies.
In their war to take over America, no front is too trivial to the proponents of totalitarianism. Many have come to realize this in the struggle to redesign the nation's health care system.
However, seizing this essential aspect of our lives and sizable percentage of the U.S. Economy will not satisfy for very long. For even now those having embraced this despotic mindset conspire to proscribe for the citizen which rituals and commemorations bringing to mind ultimate concerns may be expressed in those venues now administered in the name of the state.
By Frederick Meekins