Sunday, February 13, 2011

Priestly Bad Apples

There is an old saying that I often reminded folks to consider: "don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

The meaning behind this simple old saying is that it is the baby which is by far the most important, precious thing. It may be sitting in a pool of filth, scum, and slime. So what? Toss the water, keep the baby.

The same theory can be applied to many things in life, but most especially must always be remembered when dealing with the most important things. One of those most important things is your spiritual life. Christians throughout history have far too often thrown the baby, in this case the Church, out with whatever bath water was mucking things up at any particular time.

In the past, Christians have left the Church, the only one founded by Jesus Christ himself, because they didn't like things that were going on within the hierarchy, or because they didn't believe in some matter of doctrine, or because they had been let down or felt betrayed by some scandal. This is exactly how Protestantism and Orthodoxy began.

The splits, or schisms, within the Church have left many wounds unhealed after centuries, and have left hundreds of millions of true believers in Jesus Christ susceptible to heretical teachings and practices.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Birth Pains of the New Caliphate

It's been a couple of years since I've seriously broached this topic. The recent riotous uprising in Egypt, categorized by the usual American media suspects as attempts at "democracy", bring the topic clearly back to relevancy.

In actuality, the topic has always been relevant, but it always takes something major to wake up the American public.

For the great unwashed, and for those media talking heads who nearly lost their own heads this past week at the hands of these alleged democracy-loving demonstrators, let's do a quick refresher on just what exactly is the Islamic "caliphate", and why we all should be concerned about it.

A very long story begins in the first half of the 7th century A.D. with the birth of Islam under it's founder, Muhammad, a man believed by followers of that faith to be the greatest and final messenger of God. Muhammad first spread this new faith by peaceful preaching and teaching, but he and his followers eventually turned to violent and forcible means.

In the aftermath of Muhammad's death in 632, physical and spiritual battles arose for control of Islam by two groups who we continue that struggle today, 1,500 years later -  the Sunni and the Shiites. The Sunni were larger and stronger, and overall Islamic power was centralized under a leader who was known as the 'Caliph', the successor to Muhammad. The lands and peoples over which the Caliph held control became known as the Islamic Caliphate.

For centuries this Caliphate spread by conquest known as 'Jihad' throughout the lands of the Middle East, across northern Africa, and into both Spain and eastern Europe. By the end of the 17th century, just before the emergence of America as a nation and culture, the Caliphate controlled an area as large as the old Roman Empire.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

For Republicans, Rape Is Still Rape

I am a proud Republican, and more than that, a proud Conservative, which I happily type with a capital 'C' in front.

I do not support every plank that the Republican Party puts forth, nor do I support every politician that takes up the 'Red' banner.

Those who get my vote, such as George W. Bush, sometimes only get it because they are better than lousy liberal alternatives.

I am also a proud father and grandfather of three beautiful daughters and a wonderful granddaughter, the husband of a loving wife, and a brother-in-law, cousin, uncle, nephew, co-worker, neighbor, and friend to many outstanding women.

All that prefaces my position now in full support of a bill (HR3) put forth by New Jersey's outstanding congressman Chris Smith that would essentially end any taxpayer funding of abortions, as well as any tax breaks for health insurance that covers the same.

The usual suspects in the liberal community, from the radical fringe such as MoveOn, to the agenda-driven Planned Parenthood, to supposedly mainstream Democrats looking to protect their political power, are predictably against this legislative initiative.

However, as usual, they don't stop at simply voicing common sense opposition in a debate of ideas. Instead they have stooped to tactics such as using code words, spreading divisiveness, and misinterpretation.

The tactic chosen to oppose the anti-abortion legislation, or as those of us firmly on the side of right and good choose to call it, the pro-life legislation, is incredibly and intentionally ugly. They have chosen to paint Republicans as somehow supporting, denying, or minimizing the crime of rape.