Monday, January 10, 2022

THE AGE WE LIVE IN

We live in an age that demands we accept the notion that a man can have a baby, but scoffs at the idea that God Himself through the Holy Spirit can cause a young girl to give birth to God's own Son.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

ART CRITICS

"Art criticism is never really about the art itself. It is about the critics." (John Guthrie) Hey, that's me!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

I'M STILL HERE

I hope to resume blogging in the near future.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

THE GOD WHO SEES US

A Jewish legend. One day, a skeptical man sets out to test the first-century sage Rabban Gamaliel II. Where, he asks Gamaliel, does your God reside? “I do not know,” Gamaliel replies. “Is this your wisdom,” the man scoffs, “the wisdom of the people who pray to God every day yet do not know where his place is?” Wouldn’t it make more sense, he goes on, “to bow down to the work of our own hands, since we can always see it?” “You see the work of your own hands,” an irate Gamaliel retorts, “but it cannot see you.” From a Commentary Magazine article by Sohran Ahmari entitled They Blinded Us With Science. Here is the link (for some reason, I can't provide the links in the usual way): https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/sohrab-ahmari/they-blinded-us-with-science/

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

JOHN ADAMS' ADVICE TO TWITTERERS, BLOGGERS, AND FACEBOOK USERS

John Adams, Founding Father, this nations first Vice-President (1789-1797) and second President (1797-1801), wrote the following to his useless excuse for a son in law. Of course, Adams never sent a tweet or updated a Facebook page, but what he wrote is still good advice for those who like to share their whole lives with a global audience: "Tell not of your prosperity, because it will make two men mad to one man glad; nor tell of your adversity, for it will make two men glad to one sad." From John Adams (vol. ii) by Page Smith

Friday, June 5, 2020

HARD TO BELIEVE: THE FORCED ORGAN HARVESTING AMONG THE FALUN GONG

There has been a great shift in global public opinion concerning China. Up to a few months ago, China was viewed favorably. Its products were available everywhere and many countries moved their manufacturing base to China to capitalize on its lower cost of production and less stringent labor laws. In the name of growth, China's human rights record has been papered over by Federal, State, and local politicians and business leaders. That has changed due to China's handling of the Corona,or Wuhan Virus. We know now that China kept the world in the dark concerning the virus, allowing international flights out of China. This constituted an intentional act to spread the virus world-wide. We also know that China's Communist Party (CCP) corrupted the World Health Organization (WHO) so that the WHO's response served the CCP's interests. Americans have woken up to the fact that our politicians and business leaders have allowed us to become dependent upon China for vital goods, such as most of our drugs and medical supplies.

As the world's opinion of China changes, it would be a good time for me to bring to your attention a 2016 documentary, Hard to Believe. This well made documentary exposes China's evil practice of forced organ harvesting by the CCP, mainly on those who follow the religion called Falun Gong , but also among the Uighur Muslims and House Church Evangelical Christians. The CCP has a particular fear of the Falun Gong movement. According to journalist Ethan Guttman who is featured in Hard to Believe, at any one time, there are always around 1/2 to 1 million Falun Gong in Chinese labor camps. The CCP removes organs from these prisoners and sells them to foreigners willing to pay large sums to save themselves or loved ones. One former doctor, Enver Tohti, described how he and a medical team were directed to remove the organs of a prisoner who was to be executed. The prisoner was shot so as to avoid the heart. Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas states that people have paid up to $30,000 for corneas, $62,000 for kidneys, $130,000 for livers, and $160,000 for hearts. Matas estimates that 40,000 Chinese prisoners have been killed for their organs in a six year period. Israeli doctor Jacob Lavee discovered that these black market transplants were covered by medical insurance in Israel. Lavee and others led a successful campaign to end that practice. But in the United States, little has been done to end this barbaric behavior. How did this behavior become accepted? Money, money, and more money. Various western interests have sacrificed the moral duty to speak out against China's atrocities to the almighty dollar, or pound, or euro.

Hard to Believe runs 54:45.  HT: I don't remember; I saved the link to Hard to Believe some time back. It could have been China Uncensored, or Helen Raleigh. A website on the CCP's horrific practices is Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting. My computer cannot connect to its website, so I'll provide its twitter address, @DAFOH_org

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: A QUICK PRIMER ON THE TACTICS OF CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

In February, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) gave a short speech proscribing how people of faith should conduct themselves. She delivered this speech at a House of Representatives' hearing on the Trump Administration's policies on same-sex and transgender issues. She brought up the case of Evan Minton, a transgender person, who unsuccessfully applied to a Catholic hospital in California to have a hysterectomy. Even though Evan Minton was successful in having one at another hospital, Evan Minton sued the Catholic hospital for discrimination. A trial court sided with the hospital, which stated that it does not perform sterilization procedures and this policy is protected by its First Amendment rights. The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco overturned the trial court decision, ruling that Minton was illegally denied medical care. The Court of Appeal stated that it made no difference if the hospital was motivated by religious conviction. Here is a link to the background of the case. The source is actually a site supportive of Minton's legal argument.

In her 3:44 second speech, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez begins by stating she doesn't know whether to speak as a legislator or as a women of faith (1st 18 seconds). I'll let that pass with a question: are the two mutually exclusive?

From 19-53 seconds, she introduces the theme by which she hopes to suppress Evangelical belief in the innate differences between men and women. She declares that scripture is being used to "weaponize" bigotry. She correctly points out that slave holders, white supremacists, and those who opposed integrating schools claimed the Bible supported their bigoted views on race. But then she engages in the progressive canard that links the Church's traditional views on sexuality and gender differences with racial discrimination. Her aim is to shame Evangelicals into silence on these issues as well as justify government harassment of those Evangelicals who dare to oppose her viewpoint. Later on, she will use the Minton case to further her objectives.

From 54 seconds to 1:30, the Congresswoman speaks of Christ's message: loving our neighbor and our enemy, welcoming strangers into our midst. She quotes Jesus telling the Disciples that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. She then declares that if Jesus proclaimed this message in the halls of Congress, he would be maligned as a radical and would not be welcome. Lets us suppose for a second that Jesus' message and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's progressive economics are one and the same. If that is the case, how did she manage to become a member of Congress? But her message and Jesus' are not one and the same, and I digress. From 1:31 to 2:04, Ocasio-Cortez declares that all people are holy, all people are sacred. Unconditionally. It is this belief, she claims, that transforms us. I know these were only opening remarks, but she gives us no grounds to agree that all men and women are holy. She doesn't define what a holy or sacred person is.

All people are sacred in that we are all created in the image of the triune God (Gen 1: 26-28). But a person is not to be considered holy irregardless of how that person lives. A holy person is one who lives out holiness in their own bodies, their own conduct. "Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.' " (1Pet. 1: 13-16, NKJV)  All Christ followers are transformed, but not because of their beliefs concerning others. In Gal. 2:20, Paul reveals the source of our transformation: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (NKJV)

From 2:05-2:30, the Congresswoman speaks in general terms in her attempt to stigmatize the Catholic hospital for not performing a hysterectomy on Evan Minton. She states that there is nothing holy about a hospital refusing to give medical care to those in need. Then from 2:31-3:20, she goes in for the rhetorical kill. She specifically links the Catholic hospital's course of action to religious bigotry and sexual discrimination. She states that Evan Minton should receive the same treatment she would be entitled to. According to her, the hospital refused treatment because Evan Minton is transgender, not because of any Christian convictions. And when any Christian institution, or individual Christian, defends religious liberty, it is only to support bigotry. So says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. When a Christian institution defends its First Amendment rights, it is because that institution has been weaponized. And she is tired of this. In other words: Christians, don't dare defend your right to practice your beliefs because the Congresswoman has declared her intention to shame you into submission. And if shame fails to produce the desired outcome, government power will be employed to coerce conformity to progressive ideals. She even confers upon herself the power to decide what is a true community of faith, and what is a corrupted, or weaponized Christian institution. Religious convictions are nothing more than excuses to discriminate. So much for considering traditional Christians 'holy and sacred.."

Some Christians might object to my use of the term "Christian Persecution" to describe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's use of her office to shame traditional Christianity into silence and submission. They might accuse me of trivializing the trials of our brothers and sisters overseas. I understand that. I used to agree with them. My position concerning the use of the term has changed. I will address why I changed my position in a future post.