Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.
Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.
Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.
“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Friday, December 30, 2016
The Islamist Watch lists here the Islamic Field Guide to Useful Infidels.
The profiles that follow illustrate how individuals across a wide range of fields advance Islamist ideas. They were chosen for their prominence and the damage they have inflicted.
Americans have lived with the threat of attack by jihadi groups for nearly four decades. Despite this clear and present danger, some non-Muslim commentators, politicians, and other public figures challenge the idea that Islamism, a radical political ideology with ambitions of global conquest, has anything to do with this violence. We call such persons useful infidels (a variation on "useful idiots," a term widely attributed to Lenin).
Useful infidels employ various methods. Some seek to redefine the threat by arguing that ISIS killers should not be described as Muslim terrorists out of fear that doing so would provide "the type of Islamic legitimacy that they are so desperately seeking, but which they don't deserve at all." Others seek to distract from the Islamist threat by claiming there is a deluge of anti-Muslim hate crimes or non-Muslim threats of violence where few exist.
Some cooperate with Islamist groups, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Others focus on depriving law enforcement of the necessary training and resources to recognize and counter Islamist threats. Or they legitimize Islamists as the only representative and acceptable face of American Islam, to the detriment of moderate Muslims, who are ignored and powerless.
Many useful infidels defame those who speak up about the threat of Islamism, both Muslim and non-Muslim, often accusing them of bigotry and claiming their critique, and not Islamism itself, is the cause of jihad, extremism, and violence. Some go so far as to compile blacklists of those accused of this alleged thought crime.
This demonization has painful consequences by confusing Americans and making them fearful to speak up. Those fighting the threat of Islamism, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, need to express themselves freely, without fear of their reputations or livelihoods destroyed because they stand up to a totalitarian ideology.
The media having an especially important role to unmask useful infidels, this handbook helps journalists in particular to recognize how useful infidels operate to shape public discourse on Islamism and to mainstream specious views. Non-journalists will also find it helpful to understand the hitherto-obscure function of useful infidels. We hope that journalists and scholars alike will build on this first analytic building block.
Here is their list of 15 useful infidels. Go to the web site for detailed analysis on why each person was selected:
While it's not clear he is truly an infidel, I would add Barack Obama to the list. (While he purports to be a Christian, his theology places him well outside orthodox faith. He in fact, seems to hold a hybrid form of faith comprised of elements of both Christianity and Islam. Nevertheless, since almost all Islamic hardliners consider him an infidel, he is eligible for the list.) Obama has done more to shape the government and culture's perspective on Islam than any other individual.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
The study by Canadian researchers found that churches with positive growth rates have at least two things in common: they implement contemporary styles of worship and they stick to a literal interpretation of Scripture. "This study was important because it quantified empirically something that evangelical renewalists have been saying for decades — theology matters," said the Rev. Tom Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News Magazine, a United Methodist publication. In addition to a literal interpretation of Scripture and more modern worship services, the study also found that an emphasis on evangelism was key to church growth.
"One of the reasons that people are drawn to modern churches is because people don't want to be part of a monument." stated Pastor John Daffern. "They want to be part of a movement. One of the greatest beauties of Christianity is that it is living and active."
As reported here,
Sex between married couples will increasingly be saved for special occasions as robots step in to satisfy everyday needs, experts have predicted. Use of artificial intelligence (AI) devices in the bedroom will be socially normal within 25 years, an international robotics conference has heard. Comparing sex robots to the rise of the ebook, Dr Trudy Barber, a pioneer in the impact of technology on sexual intercourse, said the machines would enable people to greater appreciate “the real thing”.
The Bible is explicitly clear regarding the sexual obligation of husband and wife towards each other (1 Cor 7:3-5); "sex robots" will do nothing for the marriage but alienate husband and wife.
And as reported here, a French woman is in love with a robot and wants to marry it. She consideres herself "robosexual".
‘I'm a proud robosexual, we don't hurt anybody, we are just happy.’
Now, Lilly is reportedly engaged to the robot and says they will marry when human-robot marriage is legalised in France.
Egged on by progressive liberals, the culture is becoming increasingly disconnected from reality and retreating deeper and deeper into make-believe fantasy. This is a future no sane person wants any part of. The ready acceptance of it by many graphically demonstrates how insane the world is becoming.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)
Note the admonition to focus on "true" things - an exhortation that most of our contemporary culture willingly ignores. But ultimately truth and reality will inevitably intrude, blowing down the house of cards that progressive liberals are building ...
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matt 7:24-27, NIV)
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
“The new center will ‘counter propaganda and disinformation’ as defined by the center. … The new center will use ‘covert or clandestine special operators and agents to influence targeted populations. … The new center has 10 million dollars to pay select members of academia and journalism to ‘proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies,’ and ‘to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation’ – as defined by the center.”
At the Federal Papers blog here, Kimberly Morin raised some of the obvious questions.
“Who is going to inoculate Americans against the propaganda from the U.S. government? Not only will this increase the size of government, again, but who exactly will be the people deciding what is propaganda and what is disinformation? The very same people in the federal government who push their own propaganda and disinformation onto the unknowing masses? All one has to do is look to the mainstream media to see massive propaganda and disinformation but, of course, the only people who grasp this are those who bother to do any research. The government is fully behind THIS type of propaganda and disinformation; it’s right up their alley.”
At the FreeThoughtProject blog, Annise Smith noted, “For all intents and purposes, the NDAA’s single phrase, ‘dissemination of fact-based narratives,’ summons a near specter to newspeak, the propagandic and revisionist language created by the Ingsox government’s Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s now eerily portentous 1984 ..... Innumerable tongue-in-cheek references to that dystopian classic have been made in recent times, but the new law seemingly cements the parallels – naming the modern iteration of the Ministry of Truth an even creepier, Global Engagement Center."
God is truth (John 14:6). His revealed word is truth (John 17:17). He alone determines truth and truth is determined by His very nature, not by any judgment of man - i.e., truth is still truth even if no one believes it and a lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it. It is the height of fatal arrogance to believe any man can create truth (which is really what this new government agency is empowered and funded to do); all we can do is simply recognize truth. The belief that truth is relative to what one believes was the cause of both Satan's fall and the catastrophic tragedy in Eden.
It's quite clear that the real intent with this new "Ministry of Truth" is not to "discern truth", but to "create" the government's own version of truth - in other words, propaganda. With the government now establishing itself as the final arbiter of truth, this ominous development in conjunction with evolving modern communications technology will far surpass Joseph Goebbells' Nazi ministry of propaganda.
The (many) American Christians that are not solidly anchored in the Biblical Worldview are ripe for deceit.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Anti-Christmas grinches have upped the ante in the annual war on Christmas, moving beyond opposition to Nativity scenes and Wise Men to denying the very existence of Jesus. A new article in Big Think claims that more and more, “historians and bloggers alike are questioning whether the actual man called Jesus existed.”
Trendy atheists like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens also dabbled in the denial of the historical Jesus, with Dawkins asserting that it is possible “to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all, and Hitchens averring that Jesus’ existence is “highly questionable.”
Many of the writings we do have are “tainted,” Philip Perry now pronounces in Big Think, and historical sources are few. Even in the bible, Perry writes, “whole chunks of his life are missing. Jesus goes from age 12 to 30, without any word of what happened in-between.”
.... As Theodore Dalrymple noted some years ago in The City Journal: “If I questioned whether George Washington died in 1799, I could spend a lifetime trying to prove it and find myself still, at the end of my efforts, having to make a leap, or perhaps several leaps, of faith in order to believe the rather banal fact that I had set out to prove.”
In other words, when it comes to history, what you believe depends on what you are willing to believe.
Christians may take some consolation in the fact that more than 2,000 years after his birth, Jesus Christ continues to stir up debate and controversy.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
Funny how bent-out-of-shape unbelievers can get over someone who "never existed". By their very hostility towards an "imaginary" deity, atheists give themselves away. As Shakespeare wrote, "Methinks thou dost protest too much."
Monday, December 26, 2016
There is a tragic story here of a couple being held hostage by the Taliban - an American woman married to Canadian citizen .....
A Canadian-American family held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2012 have been shown in a new video begging U.S. President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump for help, with the mother revealing that she was "defiled" before their children.
... Reuters reported that the couple were kidnapped inside Afghanistan while on a backpacking trip in 2012. Coleman, who was pregnant at the time, has since given birth to two boys, who are now also held in captivity with the couple.
"My children have seen their mother defiled," the mother revealed, and asked both Obama and Trump for help.
"They want money, power, friends. You must give them these things before progress can be made," she added.
Taliban figures uploaded the latest video on social media through the Haqqani network, and said that they are demanding the release of three senior Taliban members in exchange for the kidnapped couple.
However, there is more to this story than meets the eye as reported here from Canada ......
Boyle’s interest in the region and his connections to it go deeper than adventure seeking with his wife.
Boyle had a fascination with terrorism, Canadian counterterrorism and security.
“Anything related to terrorism on Wikipedia, I wrote, pretty much,” the University of Waterloo graduate told the Globe and Mail in May 2009.
He also had an interest in the family of Omar Khadr — the Canadian who was captured in Afghanistan and detained at Guantanamo Bay from 2002, when he was just 15, until he was returned to Canada in 2012.
... it was noted Boyle was Khadr’s third husband, but it was the first of her marriages that was not arranged by her late father, Ahmed Said Khadr, who was killed in a 2003 shootout with Pakistani forces near the border with Afghanistan.
... Terry Ritchie, the mayor of Perth-Andover, wrote in a 2013 Facebook post Boyle’s “co-workers here knew he had converted or was converting to Islam.
“He was given special breaks from his job as a customer service representative to pray at appropriate times, co-workers say,” the post from Ritchie read.
This naive couple unfortunately held a romanticized fictional worldview that was rudely shattered by reality. Too late, they realized that what they swallowed hook, line & sinker was not the key to utopia, but the doorway to hell-on-earth. The same is sadly true of an increasing number in western culture who have been seduced by progressive liberalism. Whether it's the lie of transgenderism, the gullible acceptance of the smiling false mask of Islam, the naive view of the role of civil government, the greedy expectation of free handouts, fictional history, the rejection of traditional marriage, the ready acceptance of Hollywood's never-ending propaganda or the ignorant perspective that man is inherently good - sooner or later the chickens come home to roost. But as progressive liberalism bears fruit and reality ultimately intrudes, many will realize (usually too late to escape the consequences) that what they thought was gold is nothing more than worthless counterfeit. And their dreamed-of utopia burns to ashes.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Apart from God, all other infinities are potential and theoretical, not actual. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384– 322 BC) proposed that there are two types of infinity, a potential and an actual infinity. In a potential infinity, one can keep adding or subdividing without end, but one never actually reaches infinity. In a sense, a potential infinity is an endless process that at any point along the way is finite. By contrast, in an actual infinity, the infinite is viewed as a completed totality. Aristotle rejected actual infinity, claiming that only potential infinity exists. Georg Cantor, who invented set theory over 100 years ago, did so in part for theological reasons, seeing the theoretical infinite sets he came up with as a reflection of the actual infinity of God. The legendary mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss denied that anything infinite really exists, “Infinity is merely a way of speaking” and “I protest against the use of infinite magnitude as something completed, which is never permissible in mathematics.”
Max Erik Tegmark is a Swedish-American cosmologist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He forcefully argues here that actual infinity within the cosmos is impossible and that while a beautiful concept, is undermining modern physics. "... today’s best theories need a major shakeup by retiring an incorrect assumption. Which one? Here’s my prime suspect: ∞"
Consider that any finite quantity plus another finite quantity is always a finite quantity, we shall never arrive at infinity even if we keep on adding forever. Infinity in this case serves merely as a limit which we never attain.
Consider the scenario imagined by al-Ghazali (medieval Islamic theologian who was a forceful proponent of the Kalam cosmological argument for the existence of God) of our solar system’s existing from eternity past, with the orbital periods of the planets being so coordinated that for every one orbit which Saturn completes Jupiter completes 2.5 times as many. If they have been orbiting from eternity, which planet has completed the most orbits? The correct mathematical answer is that they have completed precisely the same number of orbits. But this seems absurd. Think about it: the longer Jupiter and Saturn revolve, the greater becomes the disparity between them, so that they progressively approach a limit at which Saturn has fallen infinitely far behind Jupiter. Yet, being now actually infinite, the number of their respective completed orbits is somehow magically identical. Indeed, they will have “attained” infinity from eternity past: the number of completed orbits is always the same. So Jupiter and Saturn have each completed an infinite number of orbits, and that number has remained equal and unchanged from all eternity, despite their ongoing revolutions and the growing disparity between them over any finite interval of time. This is impossibly insane.
Suppose we meet a man who claims to have been counting down from infinity and who is now finishing: . . ., -3, -2, -1, 0. We could ask, why didn’t he finish counting yesterday or the day before or the year before? By then an infinite time had already elapsed, so that he should already have finished. Thus, at no point in the infinite past could we ever find the man finishing his countdown, for by that point he should already be done! In fact, no matter how far back into the past we go, we can never find the man counting at all, for at any point we reach he will already have finished. But if at no point in the past do we find him counting, this contradicts the hypothesis that he has been counting from eternity. This shows again that the formation of an actual infinite by never beginning but reaching an end is as impossible as beginning at a point and trying to reach infinity.
What about God?
When we say that God is infinite we do not mean that He is really, really big in some spatial sense. God has no spatial dimensions; He is spirit (John 4:24). God exists outside space and time – a quality theologians refer to as the “Transcendence of God”. He created space and time (Gen 1:1; John 1:3).
God is above and outside his creation. To be transcendent means to exist beyond and outside the ordinary range of human experience or understanding. God is above, other than, and distinct from all he has made - he transcends it all. Paul says that there is "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:6). Scripture says elsewhere, "For you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods (Psalms 97:9; cf. 108:5).
Scripture repeatedly affirms the uniqueness of God. There is no one or anything else like Him. As the only actual infinity, He transcends creation. Thus, unlike His creation, God is not limited by either space or time. He is infinite with respect to space – “omnipresent”; God is simultaneously present everywhere in the Cosmos with all of His fullness. He is infinite with respect to time – “eternal” with no beginning or end.
He is infinite with respect to knowledge – “omniscient” meaning He knows everything that can be known. He never learns anything, adding to His knowledge, not does He ever forget anything. He is infinite with respect to power – “omnipotent” meaning he has all power.
Can God literally do anything? No – i.e., He cannot sin. He can do anything that He wills – in other words He is limited by His own nature. God's power is self-limiting unlike our power which is ultimately limited by external force. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God with the power to be able to do literally anything He wills. That kind of power belongs to God alone (Ex 4:21; Jdg. 14:1–4; 1 Sam. 2:6–8; Ps. 22:28; 24:1; 50:10–12; 139:16; Prov. 21:1; Dan. 4:34–35; Isa 45:7; John 6:44; Acts 4:27-28; Rom 8:29; 9:18; 13:1-2; Eph. 1:4-5, 11).
In fact, God has infinite perfection in all His attributes – love, mercy, justice, wrath, etc.
Because He exists outside space and time, we could not know God had He not chosen to reveal Himself to us. The supreme example of God’s immanence of course is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God-incarnate (gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John). His revelation is such that we (as finite beings) can have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with Him despite His infiniteness.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
National security expert Dr. Sebastian Gorka plainly says here what the Obama administration obstinately refuses to publicly acknowledge in this age of terrorism spawned by Islam.
"There is no front line like there was in World War I and World War II. The front line is when you leave your house in the morning or when you go to a Christmas market in downtown Berlin ... ISIS understands this is just about guerilla warfare. They’ve said, ‘You don’t need to build a bomb, you don’t even need to get a gun. Get in a truck and' — literally, they wrote — 'mow the infidel down like grass.'"
.... "the key to preventing or surviving terror attacks like those in Berlin or in Nice, France on Bastille Day of this year was to be "tactically aware."
I would add to arm yourself. Especially if you are responsible for the well-being of others (i.e., children, a wife, etc.)
Despite the painfully obvious, many still have their head in the sand - i.e., the murder of the Russian ambassador in Ankara and the Berlin massacre in a Christmas market have nothing to do with religion but are "economically motivated", according to the naive secretary general of the Italian bishops’ conference.
But what is happening is the poisonous fruit of Islam.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
A prepper’s version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”
by Pat Mclene (with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the fort
Not a creature was stirring, the sentries report;
The rifles were hung by the gun ports with care,
in hopes that this evening there’d be no warfare.
The mid-watch was nestled all snug in their sacks,
dreaming McLene would get off their backs.
And Mom in her balaclava, and me in my vest,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s rest.
When out by the moat there arose such a clamor,
I took up my rifle and cocked back the hammer.
Away to the window I flew at a run,
Tore open the blast door, and threw up my gun.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave my night-vision scope a clear view of below.
When, what to my quartering eye should appear,
But a miniature MRAP towed by eight tiny reindeer,
With a small turret gunner, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than bullets his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Benson! Now Boston! Now Duffy and Niven!
On Tappan! On Lundin! On Cooper and Stevens!
To the top of the glacis! To the top of the walls!
Now dash away! It’s easy! This isn’t the Rawles!”
As liberals that meet ‘The Donald’ will fly,
Quickly to ‘safe-rooms’ where they will cry;
So up to the keep-top the coursers they flew,
With the light armored car – and St. Nicholas too.
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each armored hoof.
As I drew in my barrel, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in camo, from his head to his foot,
And his face was all painted with grease stick and soot;
A rucksack of packages flung on his back,
Like a terrorist bomber he opened his pack:
His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
My first inclination was to shoot for the head,
But my wife grabbed my arm so I missed him instead.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk
I near shot again, but she wouldn’t let go
So I gave her the gun and I reached for my bow.
But he moved pretty fast for a fat little fellow;
Jumping in the chimney as I searched for an arrow.
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his rig, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight: Arrrgggg … !!!!
May your Christmas be merry, your holiday bright
And I wish you a joyfully and sweet silent night.
But come down my chimney without my okay,
You’d best be prepared for a fast getaway
because eight reindeer power will not get you free
when you try to outrun a 50-cal BMG
(A note at the insistence of my wife: No Santas were harmed in the bald-face plagiarism of this poem. Mr. Claus was, in fact, not hit by any flying munitions, although the 50 did remove the ball from his hat. There. Satisfied?)
If you believe the radical shift in American culture on homosexuality over the last 25 years was an accident, you are deluded. The 1989 book, "After the Ball - How America will conquer its fear and hatred of Gays in the 90s" (Penguin Books) immediately became a beacon for the then-emerging homosexual movement. Building on the basic strategies outlined in Marshall Kirk's groundbreaking 1987 article, "The Overhauling of Straight America", this book offered a sophisticated psychological persuasion and propaganda strategy.
Kirk is a researcher in neuropsychiatry. The book describes his co-author Hunter Madsen as having received a doctorate in Politics from Harvard in 1985 and an expert on public persuasion tactics and social marketing, who has designed commercial advertising on Madison Avenue and served as a consultant to gay media campaigns across the country, and appears frequently on national media as an advocate for gay rights.
A foundational work of the modern homosexual movement, this book covers a wide discussion of tactics and observations relating to the homosexual movement. But the overall main psychological strategies are well summarized in a ten-page section (pp. 147-157) titled "Pushing the right buttons: halting, derailing, or reversing the 'engine of prejudice'". Reprinted below, this is the meat of the book which has been re-used and referred to by the homosexual movement countless times.
- Jamming, and
In a nutshell it theorizes how to push the right buttons: halting, derailing, or reversing the "engine of prejudice".
From "After the Ball - How America will conquer its fear and hatred of Gays in the 90s."
Penguin Books, 1989 pp. 147-157.
by Marshall K. Kirk and Hunter Madsen
In the past, gays have tinkered ineptly with the engine of prejudice. Is it possible to tinker more favorably? We present (in order of increasing vigor and desirability) three general approaches [which are vastly better than what we've tried in the past].
These approaches, once understood, will lead us directly to the principles upon which a viable campaign can be erected.
From the point of view of evolution, prejudice is an alerting signal, warning tribal mammals that a potentially dangerous alien mammal is in the vicinity, and should be fought or fled. Alerting mechanisms respond to novelties in the environment, because novelties represent change from the usual, and are, therefore, potentially important.
One of two things can happen: (1) If the alerting mechanism is very strongly activated, it will produce an unendurable emotional state, forcing the tribal mammal to fight the novelty or flee it. (2) If, however, the novelty is either low-grade, or simply odd without being threatening, the alerting mechanism will be mildly activated, producing an emotional state that, if other environmental circumstances militate against it, will be too weak to motivate any actual behavioral response. In the latter case, the mammal may peer curiously at the novelty for quite some time, but will not do anything about it, or to it.
As a general physio-psychological rule, novelties cease to be novel if they just stick around long enough; they also cease to activate alerting mechanisms. There are excellent evolutionary reasons for this: if the mammal either has no good reason to respond, or is for some reason incapable of doing so, it is actually hindered in its normal activities if its attention continues to be taken up by an irrelevancy. You'll have noted this in your own life: if you hear a protracted, earsplitting mechanical screech, you'll either be so alarmed, or so annoyed, that you'll be forced to take action; if you hear a softer--though, perhaps, nonetheless annoying--sound, like the ticking of a clock, and can't shut it off, you will, eventually, shut it out, and may cease to hear it altogether. Similarly with a rank odor, smelled upon entering a room; if you can't get rid of it, you eventually cease to smell it.
Franz Kafka wrote a delightful fable ("The Animal in the Synagogue") that might almost have had Desensitization in mind. His story--never finished-deals with a peculiar animal, the only one of its kind, which has been living, since time immemorial, in a synagogue. The elders take a dim view of this state of affairs; though quiet, the animal emerges from its nook during services and distracts the women (who sit at the back) from their devotions. Moreover, there is no telling, with so very odd an animal, what its habits might eventually prove to be. Suppose it bites? There is talk of mounting an expedition to catch and kill it. But the synagogue is very large and very old, with a thousand bolt- holes in which the animal might hide, and it is capable of climbing high and running fast. Any such expedition would be difficult, and would run the risk not only of failure, but of damaging irreplaceable artwork. The upshot is that the elders call the whole thing off; and, as the animal never gives anyone the least trouble, they get used to its presence, and eventually cease to think about it at all.
Apply this to the problem of homohatred. If gays present themselves-- or allow themselves to be presented--as overwhelmingly different and threatening, they will put straights on a triple-red alert, driving them to overt acts of political oppression or physical violence.If, however, gays can live alongside straights, visibly but as inoffensively as possible, they will arouse a low-grade alert only, which, though annoying to straights, will eventually diminish for purely physiological reasons. Straights will be desensitized. Put more simply, if you go out of your way to be unendurable, people will try to destroy you; otherwise, they might eventually get used to you. This commonsense axiom should make it clear that living down to the stereotype, a la Gender-Bending, is a very bad idea.
We can extract the following principle for our campaign to desensitize straights to gays and gayness, inundate them in a continuous flood of gay-related advertising, presented in the least offensive fashion possible. If straights can't shut off the shower, they may at least eventually get used to being wet.
Of course, while sheer indifference is, itself, vastly preferable to hatred and threats, we would like to do better than that. We turn next to more difficult, but also more vigorous and rewarding, tactics.
The engine of prejudice can be made to grind to a halt not only by Desensitization, in which it is simply allowed to run out of steam, but also by the more active process of Jamming. As the name implies, Jamming involves the insertion into the engine of a pre-existing, incompatible emotional response, gridlocking its mechanism as thoroughly as though one had sprinkled fine sand into the workings of an old-fashioned pocket watch. Jamming, as an approach, is more active and aggressive than Desensitization; by the same token, it is also more enjoyable and heartening.
Jamming makes use of the rules of Associative Conditioning (the psychological process whereby, when two things are repeatedly juxtaposed, one's feelings about one thing are transferred to the other) and Direct Emotional Modeling (the inborn tendency of human beings to feel what they perceive others to be feeling).
Turning Associative Conditioning and Direct Emotional Modeling against themselves, we Jam by forging a fresh link between, on the one hand, some part of the mechanism, and, on the other, a pre-existing, external, opposed, and therefore incompatible emotional response. Ideally, the bigot subjected to such counterconditioning will ultimately experience two emotional responses to the hated object, opposed and competing. The consequent internal confusion has two effects: first, it is unpleasant-- we can call it 'emotional dissonance,' after Festinger--and will tend to result in an alteration of previous beliefs and feelings so as to resolve the internal conflict. Since the weaker of the clashing emotional associations is the more likely to give way, we can achieve optimal results by linking the prejudicial response to a stronger and more fundamental structure of belief and emotion. (Naturally, in some people this will be impossible, as prejudicial hatred is the strongest ) element in their beliefs, emotions, and motivations. Without resorting to prefrontal lobotomy--ah! sweet dreams!--these people are more or less unsalvageable.) Second, even where an optimal resolution does not occur, the internal dissonance will tend to inhibit overt expression of the prejudicial emotion--which is, in itself, useful and relieving.
The 'incompatible emotional response' is directed primarily against the emotional rewards of prejudicial solidarity. All normal people feel shame when they perceive that they are not thinking, feeling, or acting like one of the pack. And, these days, all but the stupidest and most unregenerate of bigots perceive that prejudice against all other minority groups-e.g., blacks, Jews, Catholics, women, et al.--has long since ceased to be approved, let alone fashionable, and that to express such prejudices, if not to hold them, makes one decidedly not one of the pack. It was permissible, some forty years ago, to tell the vilest ethnic jokes at the average party, and, if the joke was reasonably well told, the joker could expect to receive applause and approval from his or her roistering confreres. (Should you find this hard to believe, read 2500 Jokes for All Occasions, a popular 1942 compilation by Powers Moulton, which will surely stand your hair on end.) With the exception of certain benighted social classes and backward areas of the country, this is quite generally no longer the case.
The trick is to get the bigot into the position of feeling a conflicting twinge of shame, along with his reward, whenever his homohatred surfaces, so that his reward will be diluted or spoiled. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, all making use of repeated exposure to pictorial images or verbal statements that are incompatible with his self-image as a well-liked person, one who fits in with the rest of the crowd. Thus, propagandistic advertisement can depict homophobic and homohating bigots as crude loudmouths and assholes--people who say not only 'faggot' but 'nigger,' 'kike,' and other shameful epithets--who are 'not Christian.' It can show them being criticized, hated, shunned. It can depict gays experiencing horrific suffering as the direct result of homohatred-suffering of which even most bigots would be ashamed to be the cause. It can, in short, link homohating bigotry with all sorts of attributes the bigot would be ashamed to possess, and with social consequences he would find unpleasant and scary. The attack, therefore, is on self-image and on the pleasure in hating.
When our ads show a bigot--just like the members of the target audience--being criticized, hated, and shunned, we make use of Direct Emotional Modeling as well. Remember, a bigot seeks approval and liking from 'his crowd.' When he sees someone like himself being disapproved of and disliked by ordinary Joes, Direct Emotional Modeling ensures that he will feel just what they feel --and transfer it to himself. This wrinkle effectively elicits shame and doubt, Jamming any pleasure he might normally feel. In a very real sense, every time a bigot sees such a thing, he is un- learning a little bit of the lesson of prejudice taught him by his parents and peers.
Such an approach may seem much too weak to work, yet bear these thoughts in mind: (a) the procedure is exactly that which formed the prejudicial complex to begin with; (b) the majority of casual bigots do not, in fact, see themselves as unpleasant people and would hate to think that others see them as such, let alone that their hatred has caused suffering and death; (c) there has, in fact, been a major turnaround in the acceptability, in this country, of prejudice against other minority groups, due, in our opinion, in no small part to exactly such counterconditioning and linking; and (d) such an approach has actually been used in TV advertisements, most memorably in an antidrinking ad showing a teenage boy drinking at a party, but not meeting with approval: indeed, as he gets more and more drunk, his behavior becomes more and more obnoxious, and he is regarded by the other partiers with disgust; ultimately, his head turns into that of a heehawing jackass. One can readily see how this sort of thing could be adapted to our own purposes.
Note that the bigot need not actually be made to believe that he is such a heinous creature, that others will now despise him, and that he has been the immoral agent of suffering. It would be impossible to make him believe any such thing. Rather, our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof. Just as the bigot became such, without any say in the matter, through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, his bigotry can be alloyed in exactly the same way, whether he is conscious of the attack or not. Indeed, the more he is distracted by any incidental, even specious, surface arguments, the less conscious he'll be of the true nature of the process--which is all to the good.
In short, Jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even a slight frisson of doubt and shame into the previously unalloyed, self- righteous pleasure. The approach can be quite useful and effective -- if our message can get the massive exposure upon which all else depends.
Desensitization aims at lowering the intensity of antigay emotional reactions to a level approximating sheer indifference; Jamming attempts to blockade or counteract the rewarding 'pride in prejudice' (peace, Jane Austen!) by attaching to homohatred a pre-existing, and punishing, sense of shame in being a bigot, a horse's ass, and a beater and murderer. Both Desensitization and Jamming, though extremely useful, are mere preludes to our highest --though necessarily very long-range--goal, which is Conversion.
It isn't enough that antigay bigots should become confused about us, or even indifferent to us--we are safest, in the long run, if we can actually make them like us. Conversion aims at just this.
Please don't confuse Conversion with political Subversion. The word 'subversion' has a nasty ring, of which the American people are inordinately afraid--and on their guard against. Yet, ironically, by Conversion we actually mean something far more profoundly threatening to the American Way of Life, without which no truly sweeping social change can occur. We mean conversion of the average American's emotions, mind, and will, through a planned psychological attack, in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean 'subverting' the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends--using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard--whether they like it or not.
Put briefly, if Desensitization lets the watch run down, and Jamming throws sand in the works, Conversion reverses the spring so that the hands run backward.
Conversion makes use of Associative Conditioning, much as Jamming does--indeed, in practice the two processes overlap-- but far more ambitiously. In Conversion, the bigot, who holds a very negative stereotypic picture, is repeatedly exposed to literal picture/label pairs, in magazines, and on billboards and TV, of gay- explicitly labeled as such!--who not only don't look like his picture of a homosexual, but are carefully selected to look either like the bigot and his friends, or like any one of his other stereotypes of all-right guys-- the kind of people he already likes and ` admires. This image must, of necessity, be carefully tailored to be free of absolutely every element of the widely held stereotypes of how 'faggots' look, dress, and sound. He--or she--must not be too well or fashionably dressed; must not be too handsome--that is, mustn't look like a model--or well groomed. The image must be that of an icon of normality--a good beginning would be to take a long look at Coors beer and Three Musketeers candy commercials. Subsequent ads can branch out from that solid basis to include really adorable, athletic teenagers, kindly grandmothers, avuncular policemen, ad infinitem.
The objection will be raised--and raised, and raised--that we t would 'Uncle Tommify' the gay community; that we are exchanging one false stereotype for another equally false; that our ads are lies; that that is not how all gays actually look; that gays know it, and bigots know it. Yes, of course--we know it, too. But it makes no difference that the ads are lies; not to us, because we're using them to ethically good effect, to counter negative stereotypes that are every bit as much lies, and far more wicked ones; not to bigots, because the ads will have their effect on them whether they believe them or not.
When a bigot is presented with an image of the sort of person of whom he already has a positive stereotype, he experiences an involuntary rush of positive emotion, of good feeling; he's been conditioned to experience it. But, here, the good picture has the bad label--gay! (The ad may say something rather like 'Beauregard Smith--beer drinker, Good Ole Boy, pillar of the community, 100% American, and gay as a mongoose.') The bigot will feel two incompatible emotions: a good response to the picture, a bad response to the label. At worst, the two will cancel one another, and we will have successfully Jammed, as above. At best, Associative Conditioning will, to however small an extent, transfer the positive emotion associated with the picture to the label itself, not immediately replacing the negative response, but definitely weakening it.
You may wonder why the transfer wouldn't proceed in the opposite direction. The reason is simple: pictures are stronger than words and evoke emotional responses more powerfully. The bigot is presented with an actual picture; its label will evoke in his mind his own stereotypic picture, but what he sees in his mind's eye will be weaker than what he actually sees in front of him with the eyes in his face. The more carefully selected the advertised image is to reflect his ideal of the sort of person who just couldn't be gay, the more effective it will be. Moreover, he will, by virtue of logical necessity, see the positive picture in the ad before it can arouse his negative 'picture,' and first impressions have an advantage over second.
In Conversion, we mimic the natural process of stereotype- learning, with the following effect: we take the bigot's good feelings about all- right guys, and attach them to the label 'gay,' either weakening or, eventually, replacing his bad feelings toward the label and the prior stereotype.
Understanding Direct Emotional Modeling, you'll readily foresee its application to Conversion: whereas in Jamming the target is shown a bigot being rejected by his crowd for his prejudice against gays, in Conversion the target is shown his crowd actually associating with gays in good fellowship. Once again, it's very difficult for the average person, who, by nature and training, almost invariably feels what he sees his fellows feeling, not to re-spend in this knee-jerk fashion to a sufficiently calculated advertisement. In a way, most advertisement is founded upon an answer of Yes, definitely! to Mother's sarcastic question: I suppose if all the other kids jumped off a bridge and killed themselves, you would, too?
We've now outlined three major modes by which we can alter the itinerary of the engine of prejudice in our favor. Desensitization lets the engine run out of steam, causing it to halt on the tracks indefinitely. Jamming, in essence, derails it. Conversion-- our ambitious long-range goal--puts the engine into reverse gear and sends it back whence it came.
These modes are abstract--we've only hinted, here and there, at how they can be harnessed and put to work for us in a practical propaganda campaign . . .
Our goal, being high, is also difficult. The bottleneck in reaching it, however, isn't lack of knowledge of the psychological principles . involved, nor lack of efficacy in the methods available; the principles are known, and the methods work. The bottleneck is purely and simply achieving a sufficient scope for the dissemination of our propaganda. Success depends, as always, on flooding the media. And that, in turn, means money, which means man-hours, which means unifying the gay community for a concerted effort. Let's be blunt: those who aren't with us in this effort, either because they have better ways of wasting their time, or because they think we're politically incorrect, are most decidedly against us, against unification, and against the best interests of the gay community as a whole.
Living within a culture that is furiously and constantly bombarding us with its' own version of carefully manufactured truth, it's crucial that we sift everything through the lens of revealed truth in Scripture. Otherwise, we are ripe for deception. Unfortunately those who are largely ignorant of the Scripture ....... as so many in the church tragically are in this day and age ...... are defenseless.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Most cosmologists will not admit it publicly, but perhaps over a beer they would tell you what is happening. Observations over the last 50 years, culminating with the Planck satellite results (March 2013) set modern science on a counter revolution leading closer to ideas formed 500 years ago. Today’s cosmology is based on two broad principles: The Copernican Principle (we are not in a special place in the universe) and the Cosmological Principle (The Copernican Principle, plus isotropy- the view from anywhere in the universe looks about the same). Starting with early studies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), and in recent years culminating with results from the COBE then the WMAP satellites, scientists were faced with a signal at the largest scales of the universe- a signal that pointed right back at us, indicating that we are in a special place in the universe.
Without getting overly technical, the Copernican and cosmological principles require that any variation in the radiation from the CMB be more or less randomly distributed throughout the universe, especially on large scales. Results from the WMAP satellite (early 2000s) indicated that when looking at large scales of the universe, the noise could be partitioned into “hot” and “cold” sections, and this partitioning is aligned with our ecliptic plane and equinoxes. This partitioning and alignment resulted in an axis through the universe, which scientists dubbed “the axis of evil”, because of the damage it does to their theories. This axis is aligned to us. Lawrence Krauss commented in 2005:
“ But when you look at [the cosmic microwave background] map, you also see that the structure that is observed, is in fact, in a weird way, correlated with the plane of the earth around the sun. Is this Copernicus coming back to haunt us? That’s crazy. We’re looking out at the whole universe. There’s no way there should be a correlation of structure with our motion of the earth around the sun — the plane of the earth around the sun — the ecliptic. That would say we are truly the center of the universe.”
Most scientists brushed the observation off as a fluke of some type, and many theories were created to explain it away. Many awaited the Planck mission. The Planck satellite was looked upon as a referee for these unexpected (and unwelcome) results. The Planck satellite used different sensor technology, and an improved scanning pattern to map the CMB. In March 2013, Planck reported back, and in fact verified the presence of the signal in even higher definition than before!
There are cosmologists and scientists who recognize the signal for what it is, and recent articles have started talking about the need for some “new physics” to explain the results. Even on the Planck mission website Professor Efstathiou states:
“Our ultimate goal would be to construct a new model that predicts the anomalies and links them together. But these are early days; so far, we don’t know whether this is possible and what type of new physics might be needed. And that’s exciting”
Other observations have independently validated the “axis of evil” in recent years, and this adds credibility to the CMB observations. These observations include galaxy rotation alignments to our tiny part of the universe . Very recent reports include observations of alignment between “sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies” and “a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP)”. Also anisotropy of cosmic acceleration in Union2 Type Ia supernova appear to be aligning with the CMB features. All this supports the contention that the Copernican Principle (and cosmological) have effectively been invalidated without even discussing the quantization of various astronomical features about us, which further support the contention.
The question is ‘what will modern science do now’? Will they invent additional parameters to keep the current theories alive (in addition to those already added: dark matter, dark energy, redshift as expansion, big bang inflation, etc.) or will they consider the possibility that we are in a special place as observations clearly indicate?
George Ellis is a world-renowned cosmologist & mathematician; he co-authored “The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time” with University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking, published in 1973, and is considered one of the world's leading theorists in cosmology. He wrote the following in Scientific American n 1995:
“I can construct you a spherical symmetrical universe with Earth at its’ center and you cannot disprove it based on observation. You can only exclude it on philiphical grounds. In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria is choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”
In other words, it is worldview that is inevitably foundational to assumptions. And a lot of cosmologists are experiencing growing uneasiness ...
Friday, December 16, 2016
The original sin of religion reporting is the failure to believe what religious people say. There’s always an “other” reason for their actions. In much coverage of American Christianity, this mindset is obvious: You believe that God ordained marriage as the union of a man and a woman? Well, that’s just bigotry in search of a belief system, religion wielded as a club against the marginalized.
Our nation has consistently misunderstood the challenge posed by jihadist terror, too, in part because our secular leaders and reporters often don’t believe jihadists mean what they say. Too many in the mainstream press believe jihadists are mainly motivated by resentment of colonialism, or by anger over the Iraq war, or by American support for Israel, rather than by the deep and ancient desire to spread fundamentalist Islam across the entire world.
... Then there’s the third sin: the belief that a good Google search or a quick Wikipedia read transforms a reporter into a theologian. Few things are more irritating than the argument that, “If you really believed the Bible then you’d . . . ” followed by a theological interpretation of such profound stupidity that you’d be embarrassed for the reporter if he or she had an ounce of shame.
... in my experience, secular reporters are selectively credulous. They’ll accept at face value a secular activist’s motivations and question their sincerity only when presented with evidence of opportunism. But when it comes time to extend the same charity to a Christian, they either can’t or won’t discard their skepticism that he truly believes the tenets of a faith that they find to be repressive nonsense.
Unfortunately this is not unique to journalism but is increasingly symptomatic of much of the culture. As some abandon the faith (1 Tim 4:1) and drift into apostasy, they become unwitting allies with the forces of darkness who engage the church with rising hostility. The lunacy rampaging through much of the culture is highlighted by Whoopi Goldberg's ludicrous claim that celebrating Christmas is the same as the right to an abortion ...
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Anyone with a clear mind who has taught or studied at a university or whose children are currently enrolled in its troubled precincts knows that the academy has fallen on evil days. Preoccupied with “diversity,” “inclusiveness,” affirmative action, and equality of outcome regardless of input, universities have coddled students into a state of planular emotionalism -- “you are loved” and “all your emotions are real,” goes the mantra at Virginia Tech -- and rendered them incapable of grappling with anything that resembles an unfamiliar idea or an unanticipated event. Considering in addition the number of useless and cost-ineffective courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences (e.g., Gender Studies, Peace Studies, Fat Studies, Black Studies, Aboriginal Studies, Queer Studies, etc.), as well as the dilution of even the more respectable subjects in order to make them accessible to the unqualified, the future of the university looks increasingly bleak -- a “strange Twilight Zone,” as Daniel Greenfield writes, where “none of the sane rules apply.”
... Today, for the most part, the university is no longer recognizable as an institution of higher learning. It has grown moribund, having made a mockery of John Milton’s classic vision of the university sojourn in The Reason of Church Government: “Beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.” The sickness at the heart of the university system is more than the sickness itself. It is the temptation to validate the sickness rather than to attempt its diagnosis -- or even to recognize that the condition exists -- that has fatally compromised the university’s educating mission. It now comprises a cynical leadership laxly presiding over a veritable mob of psychologically unfit and intellectually unprepared students. Distinction has become conceptually extinct.
Forsaking their charter of higher learning and no longer focused on seeking and teaching truth, many universities have morphed into institutions of propaganda for the latest cultural fads no matter how outrageous or ludicrous. Once beacons of lighthouse truth, their light is rapidly dimming.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
1. If you like your health care plan, you can keep it
In selling his health care overhaul, on at least 37 separate occasions, President Barack Obama pledged that Americans would be allowed to keep the plans they liked. In 2013, about 4 million Americans got cancellation letters, and PolitiFact labeled the statement the lie of the year.
2. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot
“Hands up, don’t shoot” didn’t happen in Ferguson, Missouri, but that didn’t stop the narrative from spreading throughout the news media and in Black Lives Matter protests. Faulty witness accounts spread the rumor that Michael Brown had his hands raised in surrender, and mouthed the words “don’t shoot” before being shot by cop Darren Wilson. A grand jury couldn’t confirm the narrative, and neither could the Department of Justice in its own investigation of the shooting. What was confirmed was that Brown fought with the officer and tried to take his gun. The popular “hands up” slogan couldn’t be corroborated by any ballistic evidence, reliable witness statements, or DNA samples.
It was all a lie.
3. The Iran deal was negotiated with moderate Iranians, not the radical mullahs
This was the narrative in the mainstream media while the deal was being made. It was not until an insightful New York Times Magazine piece did we see how the Obama administration snowballed the press with its lies. The average reporter ... is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. “They literally know nothing,”
4. Bowe Bergdahl exchange was hard-fought/negotiated
In 2014, the Obama administration allowed five detainees at Guantanamo Bay to be transferred to Qatar in exchange for the release of Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, who was being held by the Taliban. The exchange was lauded by the press and at the Rose Garden, where President Obama held a ceremony saying Mr. Bergdahl was “never forgotten.”
It was later revealed Mr. Bergdahl deserted his unit, and that’s why he was captured by the Taliban. He’s been ordered to face a general court martial on two charges, which could impose a lifetime sentence. Mr. Bergdahl has requested a pardon from Mr. Obama.
5. Benghazi attack inspired by online viral video
According to the Benghazi Report released this year by Congress, the Obama administration knew almost immediately after the attack on the American consulate it was one of terrorism, but were unwilling to admit it to the American public. The media was all too willing to swallow the administration’s weak lie the attack — which happened on Sept. 11 — was a spontaneous event spurred by protests of an online video that was offensive to the Prophet Muhammad.
6. Climate change will produce more storms like Hurricane Katrina
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the media and liberals like Al Gore were predicting more storms in our future because of the rapid pace of climate change. In 2006 CBS’s Hannah Storm predicted Katrina-like storms would happen “all along our Atlantic and Gulf coastlines,” and CBS anchor Russ Mitchell said there was “no end in sight” for big hurricanes a month after Katrina hit landfall.
On Sept. 18, 2005, NBC Nightly News anchor John Seigenthaler said, “scientists studying the earth’s climate say we are experiencing stronger hurricanes in this century, a trend that’s likely to continue.”
The U.S. hasn’t experienced a storm like Katrina since it hit more than a decade ago.
7. Cuba has great health care; murderous dictator Fidel Castro was good
After the death of Fidel Castro this month, the mainstream media went out of its way to romanticize the leadership of the murderous dictator — saying although the country was communist, he was a great orator who inspired his people and healthcare and literacy improved under his watch.
Mr. Castro oppressed his people for 59 years, torturing and killing an estimated 15,000 of his own citizens who opposed him. His reign was so idyllic, over an eighth of the island’s population chose to go into exile, with about 700,000 coming into the U.S. prior to 1980.
8. Myth of the killer cop epidemic
If you were to listen to the Black Lives Matter movement and it’s sympathizers in the media, you would think that white police officers were out targeting and killing black men at an unprecedented tick. Black Lives Matter, and all of its umbrella organizations, has claimed that every 28 hours a black man is killed by a police officer. The figure comes from an April 2013 report called “Operation Ghetto Storm,” by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The report “is a window offering a cold, hard, and fact-based view into the thinking and practice of a government and society that will spare no cost to control the lives of Black people,” the preface reads.
The Washington Post’s fact-checker gave the claim four Pinocchios, saying the victims studied in the report were not all unarmed, and they were not all killed by the police. The group was including those who rushed and or ambushed police in their report as well as those killed by “police officers, security guards or vigilantes.” A Harvard study has also disproved Black Lives Matter’s notion that there’s racial bias in police shootings. The paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, which examined thousands of incidents at 10 large police departments in California, Florida and Texas, concluded that police were no more likely to shoot non-whites than whites after factoring in extenuating circumstances.
9. Donald Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon is a white supremacist
There is absolutely no evidence of this, but the mainstream media loves to splash the idea around — or at least infer that Mr. Bannon, because of his association with alt-right website Breitbart, is a white supremacist, racist, bigoted, xenophobe, etc.
10. Donald Trump can’t win the White House
Mr. Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said during a Harvard University panel last week that the mainstream media’s narrative saying Mr. Trump could never get the 270 electoral college votes he needed to win the White House was the biggest fake news of them all.
Tracing the source, we see the real pro at "fake news" is the archenemy of all that is good - the great deceiver himself (Rev 12:9). The mainstream media of the world is merely his puppet. No lie comes from truth (1 John 2:21). With deceit commonplace, it is increasingly important that one be highly selective in where they look for truth.
Ultimately, there is only one reliable source of truth ... the Word incarnate and His written word.
Monday, December 12, 2016
In this video, two defectors talk about life in North Korea where they ultimately realize that virtually everything the government had told them was a lie, and they awakened to truth. In reality, that's a good metaphor for people in the west, where the vast majority of people foolishly swallow the ever-changing "truth" of the culture and naively believe they are "free". Deception is pervasive in our modern society and is now more sophisticated than ever. Speaking the truth in North Korea can have grave consequences - even execution. Speaking the truth in our culture can increasingly have severe consequences.
Nevertheless, in a world of lies - dare to tell the truth.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Friday, December 9, 2016
Dead at last, dead at last. Fidel Castro has shuffled off this mortal coil, at the age of ninety.
... Slavery is what Fidel’s revolution was about. Brooking no dissent, he enslaved a nation in the name of eternal class warfare, creating a new elite dedicated to suppressing their neighbors’ rights. He pitted Cubans against one another, replacing all civil discourse with invective and intimidation.
... Flesh-and-blood Cubans had to be forced to attend his interminable speeches, or, as now, his funeral.
Dissenters were demonized. If you objected to his self-anointing as Maximum Leader or disdained his dystopian vision, two painful choices were open to you. Just two.
You could oppose him. But if you dared, even by murmuring in the dark, you faced imprisonment, torture, or death. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans were brave enough to suffer these consequences, but the world beyond the island’s shores ignored them, even denied their existence.
The other option was to beg for the privilege of banishment. Nearly two million Cubans chose that route, but millions more never got the chance. No one knows how many have died trying to escape by sea without his magnanimous permission.
Fidel portrayed those who fled his dystopia as selfish troglodytes. These nonconformists were vilified not just by Fidel but by all those around the world who believed his lies, including many eminent intellectuals, artists, and journalists in free, affluent nations. Lately, the tyrant even seemed to gain approval from His Holiness, Pope Francis, who paid him a very cordial visit.
... in order to admire Fidel Castro in our day, one has to overlook his human rights abuses or argue that in benighted places such as Cuba “social justice” can be achieved only through repression. One must assume that those victimized by Castro cannot be “victims,” because they lack the feelings, desires, and reasoning capabilities possessed by those who live in the First World.
How else but by such bigoted logic could Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, propose that a tyrant who impoverished his country and imprisoned, tortured, and executed thousands of his countrymen had displayed a “tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people”—who in turn “had a deep and lasting affection” for him? Trudeau’s bigotry is subtle but as reprehensible as that of any white supremacist. One must assume that he regards Cubans as inferior to Canadians, for he cannot have been elected Prime Minister of Canada without acknowledging that private property, free speech, elections, labor unions, and a free market economy—all of which are denied to Cubans—are the birthright of every Canadian. If all human beings are equal, then all are entitled to the same rights. This principle, apparently, is lost on Trudeau.
Something very frightening has been made evident in the past few days: the fact that there are many people like Trudeau in this world, who not only are comfortable with the crimes of a cruel despot, but who actually find those crimes praiseworthy.
Fidel’s most amazing triumph was to convince a great number of people around the world that he was a good man, despite all the suffering he inflicted on the people he ruled. Who can measure the suffering he caused? Ask those Cubans whose ranks he has just joined, those thousands he murdered. Ask the thousands who died at sea, trying to escape from him. Ask the dead, yes, if you somehow know how to do so. Ask those hundreds of thousands of Cubans who were crammed into his prisons, and those who were tortured in ways too horrific to imagine, and those who still languish in those dungeons of his. Ask any Cuban who has been forced to attend his interminable speeches, or any Cuban child who has had to spend every summer as a slave in an agricultural labor camp in order to pay for his or her “free” education. Ask any Cuban who has been subjected to an “act of repudiation” by his or her neighbors, or who has in any way run afoul of those other Cubans who run their local Committee for the Defense of the Revolution.
... Fittingly, his arrogant deceitfulness extended past his death. In Havana, tens of thousands of Cubans were forced to trudge to the Plaza of the Revolution, to bow before his ashes. Attendance was mandatory—as it was whenever Fidel needed to be surrounded by a throng of slaves—but the ritual was grotesquely hollow. After they had waited in line for hours, all that those Cubans got to see was a small framed photo of the ex–Maximum Leader and a kitschy display of some of his medals, guarded by four young soldiers. The ashes were not there. They were at the Ministry of the Armed Forces headquarters, accessible only to the top brass of the Castro military junta. For a final time, Fidel had hoodwinked his slaves, and the aging oligarchs gathered around his relics probably laughed.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isa 5:20)
The foolish fawning of the progressive liberal elites over Fidel Castro is a stark demonstration of how deep they have fallen into the rabbit-hole. In Aug 2010, Humberto Fontova warned here about the delusions of the Obama administration regarding Castro.
... This is in keeping with the conventional leftist wisdom on Cuba, which holds that engagement is key to softening the attitude of the country's despot, Fidel Castro. In fact, this fetish for engagement with Castro began before he was even in office:
“Me and my staff were all Fidelistas.” (Robert Reynolds, the CIA’s “Caribbean Desk’s specialist on the Cuban Revolution” from 1957-1960.)
“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except [Republican] Ambassador Earl Smith.” (CIA operative in Santiago Cuba, Robert Weicha.)
Their advice was taken. Thus, January 7, 1959, marks a milestone in U.S. diplomatic history. Never before had the State Department extended diplomatic recognition to a Latin American government as quickly as they bestowed this benediction on the Castro regime that day.
... In July 1960, Castro’s KGB-trained security forces stormed into 5,911 U.S.-owned businesses in Cuba and appropriated them at Soviet gunpoint – $2 billion were heisted from outraged U.S. businessmen and stockholders. Of course, not all Americans surrendered their legal and hard-earned property peacefully. Among those who resisted was Bobby Fuller, whose family farm would contribute to a Soviet-style Kolkhoze, and Howard Anderson, whose profitable Jeep dealership was coveted by Castro’s henchmen. Both U.S. citizens were murdered by Castro and Che’s firing squads.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. (Prov 8:5)
My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
Sha'i ben-TekoaIf articulates truth here in his editorial entitled "The Election's Ominous Results"
Many people who go the polls in our generation are simply not thinking. They are less informed and thoughtful citizens than idolaters.
This is not what the Framers of the U.S. Constitution had in mind in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 when those fifty-five remarkable American men of achievement -- businessmen, doctors, lawyers, farmers, and scientists, argued and drafted that document that has served America so well ever since.
... Jefferson agreed that democracy, in which the demos is the source of authority, would not be possible with a nation of illiterate, uneducated peasants. But, he said, Americans were different. Unlike the illiterate commoners and even serfs still so prevalent in Europe, Americans were, on the contrary, overwhelmingly literate, self-sufficient, independent farmers; a husband and a wife with an ax, some seeds, a plow, rifle, ammo, forty acres and a mule. Some 93% of Americans at the time of the Revolution were such yeoman farmer families. They knew essential math. They could write and keep records. They all had a Bible. They worked together in friendly and communal barn-raising parties; they built churches together and schools for their children. The common man in America was most certainly capable of self-rule, Jefferson said. The Colonial Period had lasted 150 years and self-ruling communities, relatively free of a central power, were the rule.
Now flash forward to our time, and ruminate on the recent election with its astonishing tens of millions of Americans who cast their ballots for that criminal woman with no record of accomplishment as a senator, and a record as secretary of state of one foreign policy calamity after another; she who had been recklessly irresponsible in using a private, secret email server that surely exposed the entirety of State Department communications to hostile foreign powers; this influence peddler who stuffed her payoffs into a charitable foundation, then billed her daughter’s wedding to it. One can only puzzle over the possible reasons that tens of millions of Americans voted as they did when all this was public knowledge.
Some of her supporters, the poorest, likely voted for her in the belief that she would continue the food stamps and disability payments and any other government handouts to them.
Others, though, seemed to have voted for an image of Hillary Clinton completely divorced from who she really is. They voted for what she represented. They voted for an idol. Americans have become a nation of idol worshippers “…as seen on TV!”
... The Framers of America’s democratic republic, up there in Heaven for sure, cannot be pleased with the quality of American voters today. Perhaps on their celestial TV sets they can pick up one of the most important television journalists of his generation, Jesse Waters on FOX-TV, who interviews the man-in-the street and exposes his mindboggling, frightening ignorance about American history, laws and principles.
One hopes President Trump takes cognizance of this looming disaster. If current trends continue, future elections will find ever-growing numbers of American blockheads incapable of critical thought and intelligent self-rule -- just as those European intellectuals feared three centuries ago.
In this age of unparalleled access to information, the willful ignorance of the typical American is astonishing. And dangerous. With a public education system increasingly focused on social issues instead of rudimentary education, the culture has significantly dumbed down from previous generations.
Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, wrote in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."
There has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries. Richard Hofstadter, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his book, Anti-Intellectualism In American Life, describes how the vast underlying foundations of anti-elite, anti-reason and anti-science have been infused into America’s political and social fabric. Famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said: "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Mark Bauerlein, in his book, The Dumbest Generation, reveals how a whole generation of youth is being dumbed down by their aversion to reading anything of substance and their addiction to digital "crap" via social media.
Journalist Charles Pierce, author of Idiot America, adds another perspective: “The rise of idiot America today represents--for profit mainly, but also and more cynically, for political advantage in the pursuit of power--the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they are talking about. In the new media age, everybody is an expert.”
It is not just the culture; the church too is declining - see here. The graph of this index tells the story of the rise and fall of religious activity. During the post-war, baby-booming 1950s, there was a revival of religion. Indeed, some at the time considered it a third great awakening. Then came the societal changes of the 1960s, which included a questioning of religious institutions. The resulting decline in religion stopped by the end of the 1970s, when religiosity remained steady. Over the past fifteen years, however, religion has once again declined. But this decline is much sharper than the decline of 1960s and 1970s. Church attendance and prayer is less frequent. The number of people with no religion is growing. Fewer people say that religion is an important part of their lives. All measures point to the same drop in religion: If the 1950s were another Great Awakening, this is the Great Decline.
From the Winder 2008 issue of Bible And Spade ...
One of the most serious problems facing the Church in the 21st century is the problem of Biblical illiteracy. Simply put, most professing Christians do not possess a sound and coherent understanding of the Bible, beginning with sound doctrine and general Biblical history. Evidence for this sad reality is quite overwhelming. And there are several salient reasons for this dangerous trend.
The Church Has Been “Dumbed Down” by the Culture
The public education system has churned out millions upon millions of young people, while holding to relatively low standards of achievement. We live in a society today where challenging children and teenagers with high standards is considered harmful to their “self-esteem.” Bad grades written in red ink are considered a cause for counseling. Instead of pushing children to excel, standards of academic achievement are lowered. Failure and difficulty, properly controlled by loving parents, should be used to motivate and develop character. Christian children are not immune to these lowered standards. Children in the Church are not properly challenged to learn fundamental doctrine and matters of Biblical history. They are also not properly taught to pursue personal holiness. Instead, Sunday school is designed to keep children entertained. Like most of our society, many Christian parents seem more concerned with appeasing children and entertaining them as opposed to disciplining and educating them. This culture of entertainment creates short attention spans and an aversion to learning.
Regarding the educational and intellectual state of the Church, Daniel Wallace succinctly says:
Those in ministry must close the gap between the church and the academy. We have to educate believers. Instead of trying to isolate laypeople from critical scholarship, we need to insulate them. They need to be ready for the barrage, because it is coming. The intentional dumbing down of the church for the sake of filling more pews will ultimately lead to defection from Christ (2006: 337).
The Church Has Adopted the Cultural Mandate to “Feel Good”
Experience rules supreme in today’s culture. “If it feels good, do it,” and forget the consequences! This mindset is at its worst in the entertainment world, particularly with reality television. One of my favorite pastimes is watching NFL football. I marvel at the athletic ability of the players, the required mental toughness and the nature of the sport. However, these days I have to tolerate players dancing around like they just won the championship after making routine plays that require no such celebration. This chest-pounding, self-aggrandizing behavior is all about doing what “feels good.”
This type of “feel good” approach to life has also infected the Church on a massive scale. Sunday sermons are no longer designed to give praise to a just and holy God and call sinners to repentance, but to make Christians “feel good” about themselves. “God wants us to be happy,” we are told. Experience matters most. This teaching is totally antithetical to what the Bible teaches about man and his relation to God. Randall Price has said it well: “[T]he church remains in a crisis with an experientially oriented evangelicalism” (2007: 26).
Personal experience is important for the individual Christian, but should not hold a place of primacy in the life of the believer. “Christian faith is not being built on the firm foundation of hardwon thoughts, ideas, history, or theology. Spirituality is being built on private emotional attachments,” writes Gary Burge. “In short, the spiritual life has become less a matter of learning than it is a matter of experiencing” (1999).
The mandates for Christian thinking and holy living are found within the pages of Scripture. Therefore, believers must have a fundamental grasp of Biblical teaching as they walk through the process of sanctification, which means they must study it to understand its meaning! And leaders in the Church must teach it to them so they can properly understand it! “Experiencing God” and having good feelings can be dangerously misleading due to the influence of the sin nature and evil forces in the spiritual realm. Gary Johnson explains the pervasive problem in overemphasizing experience and essentially promoting antiintellectualism in the modern American church:
the idea that faith must be accommodated to culture has undermined the teaching of the church’s faith. Popular evangelical faith has developed a bias against theology (not to mention the intellect) and has elevated the bias to the level of a virtue…This is reflected more and more in the pulpits of professing evangelical churches. Doctrine…is purposely avoided (2005: 1).
They focus on practical matters, such as family concerns and personal growth, not doctrine, sometimes mixing psychotherapeutic concepts with biblical teaching. They often emphasize religious experience. They seek to feel God’s love, not understand church theology, a theme that plays well with the decreasing importance of denominational doctrine among baby boomers (Cimino 1998: 2).
I recently received Donald G. Barnhouse’s Romans commentary for Christmas from my wife. It was published in the early 1950s. The preface provides an explanation and background for the writing of the series, which is opposite to the culture of the church today:
When I first became pastor…I began my ministry by preaching on the epistle to the Romans. My first Sunday in that pulpit found me giving an exposition of the first verse of the epistle. The second Sunday I started with the second verse; for three and one half years I never took a text outside of the epistle to the Romans. I saw the church transformed; the audience filled the pews and then the galleries; and the work went on with great blessing” (1952: i; emphasis added).
The modern evangelical Church often claims that this type of teaching is not needed to draw people into the Church. In fact, as stated by Gary Johnson above, this type of teaching is avoided by the Church, for fear of empty pews. The fact of the matter is, that is the exact type of teaching needed to bring about real transformation in people’s lives. The Word of God has divine and mysterious power that radically transforms people. Entertainment programs, comfy couches, soft lighting and candles do not change lives. This is a shallow and unchallenging Christianity that ultimately discourages churchgoers and leaves them unchanged. As a result, churchgoers are not equipped to defend the faith, live holy lives, and profess the good news of the Gospel to a lost world.
The Church Has Allowed Elements of Unbiblical Worldviews to Infect Its Teaching
Most Christians integrate unbiblical worldviews into their thinking without even realizing it. “Christians today have accepted and combined so many ideas from other worldviews and religions that they have created their own faith system” (Vlatch). What’s worse is that church leaders do the same thing, unwittingly leading people to believe things about themselves, the world, and the nature of truth that are contradictory to what the Bible actually teaches. Theistic evolution, long-age reinterpretations of the first chapter of Genesis, “local flood” nonsense, the sundering of much of the Old Testament from its historical connections, postmodernism, relativism, New Age beliefs, and a multitude of other unbiblical ideas have been unwittingly propagated in the Church for decades.
Contentious social and political issues are avoided, although they are explicitly addressed in Scripture or deduced from Biblical teaching, such as just war theory, abortion, homosexuality, the definition of marriage, the nature of man, the problem of evil, the proper role of government, capital punishment, property rights, corporal punishment and the raising of children, etc. Scripture touches upon all areas of life and reality, and is absolutely authoritative in its assertions. Christians must learn to reject views that are antithetical to Scripture, but they must be taught to do so by Church leadership. Instead of inculcating these unbiblical worldviews into individual minds and creating confusion, the Church should be challenging its members to reject anti-Biblical views and allow the truths of Scripture to renew their minds.