Archive | February, 2013
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Interesting that the News Services Now Go With Whatever Gender a Person Calls Himself!

28 Feb

Interesting that the News Services Now Go With Whatever Gender a Person Calls Himself!

And the wider issue is that this child is not the only child who needs appropriate schooling in that school.

We have truly become a nation of individuals who don’t care whether others lose their rights when we claim ours.

By claiming a right to the girls’ bathroom at an age where he either can’t yet have sexual reassignment surgery or it isn’t happening for some reason . . . this child is claiming the right to not only use a toilet in a private stall but also to use gym showers with girls as his body develops into an adolescent male’s body.

In a world where 20% of our girls are sexually molested, most before adulthood, I don’t suggest forcing a girl to change her clothes next to a person with male equipment.

Does she not have the right to avoid trauma, too?

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Women’s Thursday: A Majority of the Human Race is Never Born

28 Feb

A Majority of the Human Race is Never Born

 

Writing about abortion, I have been running into statistics like those expressed in this chart about the miscarriage rate.  As you can see, it is estimated that 75% of pregnancies spontaneously abort before the mother knows she is pregnant.

Beyond that, be careful with interpretation.  The next statistic means that 10% of the 25% of pregnancies that survive the first few days will then go on to spontaneously abort in the next period.  Then 5% of the pregnancies that have survived the first two periods will spontaneously abort in the next one . . . and so on.

If we read that incorrectly and assume that 10% of the original pregnancies will spontaneously abort in the next period, then 5% of the original pregnancies in the next period after that, we end up with a chart that seems to imply that almost 100% of all pregnancies spontaneously abort.  Added to our 20-25% intentional abortion rate, that would make a birth rate of, say, 0%!!!

Now, for those of us who regard a fertilized egg as possessing an eternal soul from the moment of conception, there is a staggering thought here.

Take just a moment to contemplate that far more than half of the human race never gets to the birth process.

We pretty universally agree that those who have a soul and never reach the age of accountability go to heaven automatically.

So over half the human race will be in heaven without having ever taken one breath on this planet.  Without having made a choice to follow the God of the Bible.  In fact, He chose for them.

Now, I want us to dare consider another thought.  In the matter of election that can be so controversial, is it possible that God chose for the rest of us, too?

I know some Arminian folks are aghast at this idea.  Choice is very important to them.  They call it “free will.”

But is it as important to God as it sometimes is to us?  We love our choices, but does He see them the same way we do?

Especially the choice to be saved.

We willingly acknowledge that He knows who will be saved in the end.

Could He also have chosen them, chosen for them to come to the part of their life where they get saved?

It’s just a thought . . .

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How Thomas Barrow on Downton Abbey turned me against a Universal Draft!

27 Feb

How Thomas Barrow on Downton Abbey turned me against a Universal Draft!

In the second season of Downton Abbey, Thomas the footman turns into Thomas the medic and gets deployed to the front in World War I.  While in the trenches, terrified with everyone else of the incoming rounds, he purposely raises a hand with a cigarette in it above his trench to draw incoming fire.

It works and wins him a trip home to England, where he gets to employ his medical talents till the end of the war in relative safety.  (And he gets to continue his scheming, maneuvering ways, but that is the fun of watching the Thomas character, isn’t it?).

The U.S. and Great Britain did not enter nor fight the world wars in the same way!

My sister-in-law (in England, but aware of the history of our family both there and in Ireland) reminded me of that this morning when my Facebook page contained a discussion of the proposal that women in the U.S. register for Selective Service (the draft).  The idea is that now that women have been cleared for combat for three full weeks (if they qualify and if they volunteer) it is now time to make combat mandatory for every woman, in case of a war breaking out in the future.

If you know me at all, you know that I am not in favor of that proposal.  I don’t want to stand in the way of those rare women who do well with fifty pound backpacks, but I don’t think all of us should be training to that standard.  We are not inferior to men.  Just different.  And less suited for combat, on the average.

However, there is always that idea that women get choices while men get told to “man up.”  Combat is one of those areas.  Selective service registration has been, too.

It goes along with the idea that a woman can choose to be a homemaker/homeschooling mom or choose to have a career, while a man who stays home to tend to the homestead or to homeschool his children will usually be made a laughingstock.

Not sure how to remedy all that.  And that is not the point of this post anyhow.

But I do have a remedy for the universal draft in the U.S.   Don’t do it (see article above, about the counterproposal to stand down the requirement for men to register for selective service).  Don’t do it for anyone.

As my sister-in-law reminded me, a trained, professional Army does better every time.  We got into the habit of manning our forces at the last minute as a war began because we were pushed into World War II unwillingly.  It worked out pretty well that time so we have used it as a modus operandi ever since, taking our forces from small to large during the Korean War and the Viet Nam war by means of the draft.

Call it a money-saving gesture.

And call it foolish.

We get the Army we are willing to pay for.  And if our frugality keeps us from training and paying soldiers until we need a fullscale mobilization, it is wicked to grab a bunch of civilians, turn them into soldiers overnight against their will, and send them off on a wing and a prayer to hopefully avoid death and disfigurement.

That doesn’t matter, morally, whether they are male or female.  It may insult our sensibilities more when they are female, but morally it is the same issue.  Forced service.  Related to slavery.

Even when everyone in the ranks agrees that it was done equitably, between the rich and the not-so-rich, it is still forced service.

Our constitution provides for a strong national defense, making that a responsibility of the federal government.  As we have seen since right after Viet Nam, if the military is paid well enough, you can keep it manned without a draft.

And that, my friends, is a federal government bill that should be paid because the states can’t do it on their own (nor should they).

Whatever happens with sequestration, it remains a federal responsibility . . . (if we must have fewer troops, then we will need to serve in fewer places accordingly.  We can’t do everything anymore!).

Who would have thought that Thomas Barrow and my sister-in-law would combine their voices to talk me into a persistent belief in an all volunteer military??!!  Thanks, Carol!

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Things to Say When You Suspect you Might be Hearing Gossip!

27 Feb

Things to Say When You Suspect you Might be Hearing Gossip!

Do we really want to stop gossip in our local church?  Do we realize that gossip/dissension/accusation are Satan’s way of dividing the local church?  Do we understand that gossiping, or being passive when we should be active against gossip in others, plays right into Satan’s hands?

I have never been part of a church that collapsed and had to shut its doors, but I have been in several situations where there were people openly trying to bring down a pastor’s ministry.  I don’t know if they thought enough ahead to realize that there might be a power vacuum after that.  Or that the power vacuum could implode the whole church so that it ceased to exist.

Just on a sheerly practical level, what do you do with a multimillion dollar building when everyone who once gave to build it has moved on except for a handful of people?  If nothing else, once your tithes and labor have gone into constructing a church, why would you then turn around and labor at tearing down everything for which it stood?

These are questions to which I can find no valid answer.  Maybe there isn’t one.  Maybe our pride blinds us enough to the possible consequences of gossiping and/or dividing a church that no one has ever really thought through logically to ending with that empty church building that must be sold.

We should think through to that.

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The Bible is not about you! (nor me!)

26 Feb

The Bible is not about you! (or me!)

Before you shut down reading the title, please read the article.  It is one of the best I have seen lately.  It absolutely provides the balance for my realization that Christ died for me in particular, not for a nameless group of humans.  In fact, He died looking down through the centuries straight at me.  Knowing, in advance, my name and my sin and my shame, the pure Son of God went to the cross to redeem me from the kingdom of darkness.

Balancing that is the fact that salvation is God’s plan, God’s way.  I am part of His script for history, and not the other way around.  I say that in the most loving and reverent of ways.  Once I was saved, I did not subsequently get the right to reimage the Bible to make it all about me.  It is still all about that pure Son of God Who went to the cross for me, for us!!!  Hallelujah, and let’s delve into it to learn more about Him!!!

Really? Really? Ganging up on Overweight People . . .

25 Feb

A friend writes on Facebook that she is aware she is overweight but “when did we overweight people become public enemy number one???”

I will trace the history of this a bit, but first I have to show the total illogic of it.

Ask anyone who is going on about “fat people” what their objection is to people who are overweight and you will hear something like this sampling:

“They cost too much to insure.  They raise the premiums at work for everybody in our company.”  

“Yes, but do they raise the cost much higher than the cost to insure sexually active people against AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases?  AIDS requires a lifetime of very expensive drug therapy.”

“It’s none of our business what people do in their bedrooms.”

“Ah, but are you saying it is our business what they do at their kitchen tables, and in restaurants?  Is that because it is easier to observe?  So things are only wrong if we can see them occurring?” 

“Well, they also choose to let something easily handled go totally out of control.  If they would only go to the gym and watch their portions like the rest of us, this would not be a problem.  It’s all about self-discipline”.

“I understand our insurance premiums also cover a multitude of substance abusers, between alcohol and drugs.  Is self-discipline with food in a different category than self-discipline with alcohol and drugs?”   

“There you go blaming the victim.  People with addictions to alcohol and drugs deserve our compassion, not our judgment.”  

“But people addicted to food deserve our judgment?  Why is that different?”

“They get in my way walking, especially when they have to ride those little scooters in Walmart.”

“Okay, now you are finally saying what your true objection is.  Overweight people inconvenience you by not being invisible like people usually are with sexual issues, alcohol issues, or drug issues.  It’s really all about your convenience, isn’t it?”  

“They are just not nice people.”  

“I don’t hear you calling for laws against hypercritical, petty, vindictive people . . .”

“Fat people slow me down.”

“But you have no problem with the people who race to the front of a line of backed up cars, then cut in at the last minute, with potentially lethal consequences to you if you are in that first car.  That kind of thing could slow you down permanently.”

“I only want to make laws to get overweight people to reduce.”

“Wow!!!  Busybody much?”

You see, fifty years ago there were laws against all kinds of sexual contact outside of marriage.  The sexual revolution of the 1960’s turned those laws on their ear.  We decided to be “anything goes” sexually as a society.  

However, we are at heart judgmental people.  So when we stopped judging people for whom they loved (and believe me, this is not just about gay relationships because we also have stopped judging people for extramarital affairs and serial monogamy that produces five children by five different fathers and  . . .), we had to find a new target.  For a while, that was alcohol and drug abusers.  We then located our compassion for them.  

But . . . we still needed a target.  Ergo, those who are overweight.  Fifty years ago, butter and gravy were good things and everyone expected a woman to plump up after having children.  For her mate, it was optional.  

All that to say, we could outlaw rude, cold, mean people but they can become invisible in a moment by temporarily shapeshifting into a nice person.  And then where would we be?

No, we need someone who always looks the same.  Always looks on the fringes of acceptability.

“Ah, there we go.  Let’s single out people who are overweight, and already probably pretty embarrassed about it, for some special humiliation.  Ah, yes, that is a good place to fling our judgmental venom.  Not!”  

You see, I was there 105 pounds ago.  And I will never forget how much I felt I had to work harder and contribute more than others in every group just to justify being taken seriously.  For yes, society does have a standard by which obese people are instantly judged to be less gifted than others intellectually.   

I will never forget how it felt and I will always advocate compassion toward those who struggle with their weight.  Or even those who don’t struggle with it, but just accept it the way it is.  

Why is that our business again? 

Military Suicides

22 Feb

I had the perfect Associated Press article bookmarked for inclusion with this post, but it no longer exists.

That is okay.  The statistics are easy enough to Google, for anyone who feels compelled to check them.

The military suicide rate is up, against the number of battle casualties.  My coworkers and I on a military base were talking about this.

The number of battle casualties is way down.  There is a reason for that.  We are out of Iraq.  By this time next year, we will be out of Afghanistan, God willing.

Our battle casualties at this time next year should be zero.

So the military suicide rate should be way up against that statistic!!!

However, since we have a Department of Veterans’ Affairs and every life is precious, we do support continued research on military suicides, and interventions, where appropriate.

The number of military suicides, even related to PTSD, is still a lower percentage than the number of civilian suicides.

But civilians don’t have a Department of Veterans’ Affairs to help them stay away from suicide.

So military suicide research and intervention will continue.  For civilians, not so much.

Just one of the differences between us.  And one for which this veteran is thankful.

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