Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Big Trial

It's really almost scary to blog about this subject, so here I go. It's about the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui and other things. I was shocked this morning when I discovered the date of his arrest. He's the man that is on trial, the only one ever to be tried for the attack of 9/11. He was arrested the 16th of August 2001. I'm not for a moment suggesting, he's not a dangerous character, but how can he be on trial for something that had not occurred before he was arrested? I think this is what is so scary about all of this. We are so bent upon exacting vengeance for something that happened, the actual reality and chronology is irrelevant. I find it ironic that while the trial of Moussaoui is underway, our legislators are debating new immigration laws, because you see, the original reason Moussauoi was arrested and detained was due to a concern regarding immigration. How is it, with millions of people unaccounted for, we can be so sure that a guest work status will not result in granting guest status to those that have ideas other than work? I remember the morning of 9/11, vividly and I remember the weeks that followed. I remember that we declared war on Afghanistan because of the Taliban that harboured Bin Laden. Then I remember, we went to war in Iraq, because there was a determination to go to war in Iraq, the reasons would be varying and forthcoming after the fact. And we sit here under the statement, "if you're not for us, you're against us." It is so polarized, yet without direction. And right before I began this blog, I read the headline that President Bush says Saddam Hussein is responsible for the insurgents in Iraq three years after Hussein was removed. Where is the order? What is the order? I made a casual remark in reference to Lee Harvey Oswald and the fact that at least they waited until after the President was shot to arrest him. Our governing plan seems a bit like the "magic bullet theory" inverted and mushroomed. There are so many things going on and nothing is getting accomplished; with the exception that we are continuously being told how much we don't know is getting done. That, I do believe. I am quite sure that I have no idea how much is going on, but will be told or realize long after the fact.

How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Couldn't You Just Hug The President?????

I don't usually have a great deal of enthusiasm for what our President is doing, but this is truly "blog-worthy." When I mention something here in a negative context, then hear something positive about the situation, I must mention it also. I awoke this morning to the news that the convert in Afghanistan may not be facing the death penalty after all. There is a way "around" this charge. It would seem our president's mental health initiative was included in the democracy we exported to Afghanistan. Good news?!? This gentleman that converted over 16 years ago may be found incompetent to stand trial. Afghanistan has embraced the methods of America in dealing with someone that really believes the Bible and is willing to live and die by their beliefs. Now, you may scoff, and say what do you mean, American methods. I know first hand of more than one situation in this country in which a person has been held against their will for "observation" and considered a possible danger to themselves, due to their religious beliefs in the Bible. I know for a fact, someone that believes G~d heals without doctors is termed "grandiose." I have also heard many accounts of similar situations, by what I would consider reliable sources, but then, I believe the Bible, so I would fall in the category of "questionable" under the mental health initiative that was an Executive Order in, I believe April of 2002. That's right, while we were still in shock and the trauma of 9/11, our president signed this Executive Order. And if you think warning your family about this will help, let me tell you, just as this man in Afghanistan may discover, the Americans that called their families, only found themselves to be even more outnumbered. But, this brave soul in Afghanistan that believes his Bible and trusts G~d may actually be blessed by America's mental health initiative, and for that I applaud our president.
Yes, and all whose purpose is to be living in the knowledge of G~d in Messiah Y'shuah, will be cruelly attacked. II Timothy 3:12

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I Just Don't Understand It, Yet

I read something horrifying, yesterday, and I read something confusing today and I've been reading about something that just defies logic and they all three relate to the progress of America's war on terror. I read about a man in Afghanistan that is on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity, and the sentence could be death. Now, I realize some countries take their religious beliefs much more seriously than America, but the mind-boggler in this, is the man converted sixteen years ago. Did he think freedom of speech and freedom of religion came with the democracy America was supposed to be bringing? I just mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a blog, wondering the outcome of elections in Afghanistan; I guess, now I know. Are Americans fighting and dying and paying for this sort of thing? What is really going on here? I realize the Taliban was supposed to be the reason we went, but I have been reading that a spokesman for the disbanned Taliban is now attending Yale??? And he certainly doesn't meet the academic standard nor the social status that Yale requires out of American students. So, this is our progress report of a few things that pertain to democracy in Afghanistan. Now, on to our next endeavor, Iraq. Turns out the Mission isn't quite Accomplished, but just a few more years. Here's the deal . . . we can't leave Iraq with no government, because al-Qaida will move in and set up terrorist cells. Maybe that's what Saddam Hussein already knew. I am certainly not saying that I agree with Saddam Hussein, nor do I justify his methods of authority, but, now that America has been there and taken him down, we can't calm it down either. The civillian death toll is horrendous according to American statistics and we've lost over 2,000 soldiers since the Mission was supposedly Accomplished. And it's not just the Sunnis and Shiites, like it was in the eighties. Now we have to worry about al-Qaida, because the whole world knows al-Qaida is against the USA and the USA is in Iraq. So, how is the war or terror progressing? Oh, that's right, there hasn't been another 9/11. Well there wasn't a 9/11 ever, before 2001 and we weren't in perpetual war. Rather than repeat and repeat and repeat the same questions and the same mantra. What if we really looked at this situation and determined that what we need is a plan?

For which of you, desiring to put up a tower, does not first give much thought to the price, if he will have enough to make it complete? For fear that if he makes a start and is not able to go on with it to the end, all who see it will be laughing at him, And saying, This man made a start at building and is not able to make it complete.Or what king, going to war with another king, will not first take thought if he will be strong enough . . . Luke 14:28-31a

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pre-Emptive Strike or Turn the Other Cheek?

I heard this morning that our leader has the legal right to declare war on anyone that scares him. Now, of course, this is not a direct quote, but the meaning was clear. The political voice of America really does proclaim the right and the duty to keep the world in line, according to the political voice in America. That is the standard. Now, I don't know how all this has come about, suddenly; it probably hasn't . . . it's just needed in the forefront right now, since approval ratings are so very low. As a minister that also happens to be human, I have great difficulty concealing my utter disdain as the religious right blathers about their godly leaders. I thought it was Islam extremists that declared war on anyone and everyone as they saw fit or unfit and disagreeable. How did a Christian nation get to be so war-mongering, and how did so many Christians get so excited about bloodshed? I guess if you can pay $5.00 or more to watch a simulation of the Crucifixion; blood, violence, and death just aren't a problem. Actually, I got "just pretty creeped out" by anyone that could go and watch that. I realize my beliefs really don't match theirs, and I am truly not interested in theirs, at all; and here they are running the country I live in. Since, I am painfully aware that most people living in this Christian nation don't know what the Bible has to say about judgment and death, I will share with you now. First there are several Scriptural passages that clearly state G~d will protect His people from their enemies, but will use their enemies to bring calamity when they dishonor Him. So, this terrorist attack . . . is America not G~d's people, or have we dishonored Him? or both? And, before the heathen get blamed, there is a Scripture that says G~d's people do not pay for the sins of the heathens, His Son did that. Back to the results of the 2004 election, and the fear factor, and political capital. I have heard so many people say they voted for a godly candidate. And I cannot argue that, Scripture says, people bow down to many gods. I do know, the Son of the G~d I serve, told His followers to turn the other cheek. So, it's not a matter of someone being godly or not, it's just a matter of recognizing the difference between the gods and G~d.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What if People Actually Lived by The Standard They Talk About?

It's been awhile since I've posted. And, like every American, I have a good reason. Well, maybe it's not such a good reason, but it is my reason and it has worked for two weeks now. But, I'm back on track, again . . . I've been listening and reading to a variety of comments on a variety of topics, yet there appears to be a theme. People have opinions and standards, yet if it comes to discomfort or inconvenience for their beliefs, they find a way to justify and rationalize. Oh, it's everywhere, but rather than get personal, I do my best to comment on the socially recognized taboos. Let's talk about politics and religion and the standards set forth by the so-called conservatives. First, did you know that Social Security was never designed to be received by the one paying in? It was established to be more of a financial exchange system. Through the industrial revolution and farm failure, there were an average of 12-15 workers for every one person collecting, and only those that were in need were collecting. Then, came the "m" generation, who determined that they were paying in for their own retirement. I call it the "m" generation, because they have been instrumental in leading the nation toward materialism and taking care of themselves - "me." President Roosevelt was now dead and President Eisenhower was the leader of our nation as materialistism boomed. Then, this same generation swallowed the story of the century about President Kennedy's death and watched the next president give America, medicare. Now, you would think as everyone discusses our founding fathers and their magnificent convictions, someone would be questioning by now, the price for living in America. Oh, that's right, the price is never too high, if someone else is paying. Why would such staunch conservatives as we have now, all over this nation, be settling and accepting the "socialism" introduced by democrats, years ago? And what about evangelicals and the religious right? Do they believe G~d provides or does the government? And, for those that are thinking G~d uses the government, then my question would be: Then why is there a deficit? Do they really believe G~d operates in debt? Not according to the mega-church! And why would a nation that trusts G~d need medicare? Why would a nation that trusts G~d, live in so much fear of flu and war and weather, etc.? What if just half the people that are wanting to make the rules actually lived by the ones they say they believe? What if, the Christian leaders of our country actually lived by Scripture? What if American Christianity was actually based on the Bible? What if the people doing the talking were actually living by what they claimed to believe?
For the kingdom of G~d is not in word, but in power.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Giving Up Whine for Lent

Did you notice the change in the news reports concerning New Orleans the last four days of February? Well, I certainly did. Once the last four days of Mardi Gras were under way, the reports were just one good time after another. I particularly loved getting to read how those in attendance "needed the release." Well, and so did the rest of the country. It was really nice to not hear the griping about how much more was needed, at least for a few days. I read that 80% of New Orleans is not back up and running, but 2/3 of the federal relief funding is already gone. I also got to hear the official declaration that Tuesday, all work and productivity was prohibitied and revelry would reign. Well, wouldn't it be nice for those of us who are funding this "right to revel" to the tune of $3 billion in our hard earned tax dollars to at least have gotten to keep all of our wages for that same day. Let everyone enjoy Fat Tuesday in their own way. Those that went to work, keep all they made that day, and those that want to revel, fund it yourself! But, somehow the real meaning of what Fat Tuesday is supposed to be about, seemed to be even more lost than usual. It is supposed to be leading up to the observance of Lent. So, now that the party is over, and the attendees have "given up" something they don't like or want anyway; you know, there are people who live through horrendous disasters, all alone, and don't get any funding, national support or anything else. They just have to keep on trudging and survive to the best of their ability. There are people who do not have thousands of others that can relate to their tragedy, nor have millions of people sending them help. We sent a financial gift toward hurricane aid in Biloxi, and we got a precious letter of appreciation, not a demand for more! or a question of what took us so long? Now, I am not Catholic, nor do I reside in the Big Easy, but I do have a couple of thoughts on this topic. Why couldn't the town have given up Mardi Gras for Lent? And since they didn't, could they at least give up whining for Lent?
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

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