Love is Love

Except When It's a Lie

It would be easier just to let this go unchecked but, that wouldn’t be very loving. When you truly love somebody, you don’t go out of your way to lie to them. Believe me I know there are different kinds of love. I love my dogs differently than I love my wife, differently than I love my parents, differently than I love my siblings. I even love other men besides myself. Let’s be honest though, this whole “Love is Love” business isn’t really about love at all. It is about saying that same-sex couples should be able to express their love for each other the same way that a heterosexual couple can. At its core though that is impossible. The love between a man and a woman is different than the love between two men or two women. No amount of calling it the same changes that fact. Not even the President of the United States of America can change that fact.

The ultimate reason this is a lie is because it goes against what God says. The evil one has the world fooled, and is battling against anyone who would dare speak the truth. What bothers me the most is that our President seems to think he knows better than God. He says he’s learned “lessons in humility”, but if you’re willing to call God a liar, I’m not so sure you have. Just yesterday Barack Obama spoke to the Illinois legislature. He recounted his first experience on the floor of the legislative body, “I was passionate, idealistic, ready to make a difference… filled with a heightened sense of purpose…. I thought I had made some compelling points with irrefutable logic… [Pate Phillips] said, ‘kid that was a pretty good speech, in fact I think you changed a lot of minds… but you didn’t change any votes.'” Mr. President, you may succeed in changing a lot of minds about “Love is Love”, but God’s vote on the matter is the only one that counts. Leading people astray has always had severe consequences.

Going along to get along sure would be easier, but truth be told, I wouldn’t be loving you very much if I knew that this idea that “Love is Love” is rooted in a lie, and I covered it up. You’d find out soon enough that what God thinks about it is more important than what I think about it, or what the President of the United States thinks about it. And you would discover too late that it is better to be on God’s side and be hated for it, than to go along with the crowd in the interest of getting along.

Escalating Violence

The Human Condition

As disturbing as the escalating violence is that seems to keep occurring in large, and small ways the nation over, there is something that is even more disconcerting. We’re wired this way. It is important to notice that I didn’t say, “they’re wired that way.” In truth, each of us react to injustice, whether perceived or actual. The reason for it is because that’s the way God made us. Our nation has insisted on taking God out of the equation, and this is what happens. With God banished, somebody needs to administer justice. Somebody needs to be feared. The police cannot be everywhere, nor can the looters, rioters, snipers, gunmen, and other terrorists. But because we’ve removed the fear of God from the equation, we’ve eliminated the only One who can be everywhere at once.

Many of the people who are destroying property in the name of justice are cowardly wearing hoods and masks, as if somehow that hides them. Marginalize God all you want, but a mask and a hood aren’t going to do the trick. There isn’t a one of us who can hide from God. If God can find someone in the abyss of hell, he can find me anywhere I might think I can hide. Yet that didn’t stop Adam, and it doesn’t stop me from trying. Why is that? We’re wired that way!

So, if we’re wired this way, and it’s faulty, how do we go about changing the wiring? That’s the great news. Jesus paid the price to change the wiring on the cross, and now I can be redeemed. I can let him change the wiring. The problem is that we think that Jesus is done with the work on our lives since our eternity is secure. The truth is I am still a diamond in the rough, and I think I’m ready to be set in the wedding band. I don’t consider my own life honestly and soberly. I think of myself more highly than I ought, and I buy into the culture that says, “nobody else is going to look out for me, so I need to look out for myself.”

Couple this looking out for myself, and being outraged over the perceived mistreatment of others, and the misguided idea that nobody should have any weapons for self defense and the defense of others, and you have a society that is out of balance ready to go full tilt on a hair trigger. So, our solution is to regulate guns? To excuse away riotous behavior giving them space to express themselves? No! Murder is already illegal by whatever means it is accomplished. And riots? Does anyone really think we should give them space?

Halloween & Elections!

We buy candy every year to hand out to trick-or-treaters who come to our door.  We’re happy to do it.  It is interesting to see the costumes, or in some cases the lack of them.  This year I saw a couple of Jokers, and thought of the Motley Fool.  But if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know there’s something else coming.  And you’re right.  You can tell quite a bit about the character of the kids who come to your door.  When they say, “Trick or treat”, and I say, “Pick one”, many of them do exactly that, and I’m impressed.  Then there was one young girl who asked, “how many?”  I responded with my standard, “Pick one.”  And she did.  A very polite young girl.  Those that know me well are waiting for this one.  “Trick or treat”, they said.  I said “Pick one.”  I think they were trying to pick one, and got two.  One fell on the ground, and they picked it up, and put it in their bag.  I had no problem with that.  Now here’s what you’ve been waiting for.  Her brother grabbed as much as he could fit in his hand.  I had to say, “Whoa there, JUST one.”

You didn’t think I was done with my story did you?  Good!  Because I have a lesson we all need to learn from this experience.  You would never be the person who takes more than somebody is willing to share, but if you aren’t then both of your neighbors are.  How can I make that statement?  Well, look at it this way, at least one out of every two people in this country are receiving more generosity from their government than they are paying for.  In fact a significant number of your neighbors (because you’d never do it) are not paying any income tax at all.  They’re like the kid thrilled with getting candy for free, who looks at the full basket of candy I have, and instead of taking one, takes as many as they can grab with their hand.  Maybe you’re tempted to say what’s wrong with that?  What happens if during the course of the evening I run out because the first ten kids take handfuls?  What do I do when the next 20 kids come to my house?  Are they going to be “mad” at the first 10 kids?  Maybe, but my guess is they’re going to be “mad” at me because I didn’t buy enough candy.  What if I can’t afford more candy?  What then?  Will they know that?

This pretty much defines the life of a small business owner, or any business owner for that matter.  People want businesses to give away their product without making a profit, because profit is “bad”.  Or having a profit is seen as being greedy.  News flash, if business owners are not able to make a profit, there’s no incentive for them to be in business.  They won’t be able to afford any candy to give away to the kids for Halloween.  Citizens are more than willing to push the taxes on those “wealthy business owners” and their businesses, asking them to “pay their fair share.”  If only it was their fair share, but in reality business owners and successful people are being asked to pay more than their fair share.

I’m pushing back, and asking everyone to pay their fair share, including the poor.  If you think your fair share is too much, elect people to represent you who promise to reduce the size and scope of all layers of government.  If they are not able to get the job done, don’t elect them again.  You see, term limits are a bad idea.  They force us to get rid of people who are getting the job done, in the name of stopping those who are not getting the job done.  The thing is, there are already term limits.  We just have to have the resolve to enforce them.  Every office has a length of term, otherwise we wouldn’t keep on having elections.

For once, ignore your party affiliation, and think about what electing the individual means.  If they’ve held office for any length of time, have they helped the country?  Or have they helped their own political career?  Have they been self-serving, or have they truly taken on the tough challenges and solved them?  I’d say there are 16 trillion reasons to say they have not tackled the toughest challenge!  It is time to elect people who are serious about resolving our debt problem.  The way you can tell they are serious, is if they are willing to curb government’s voracious appetite for spending more than tax revenues support.  In order for me to not run out of candy, I need each child to take just one piece.  In order for our government to not run out of money, we need to make sure our government isn’t doing more than it needs to do.  We need to make sure we aren’t trying to take advantage of our government, because when we do we are really stealing from our neighbors, or from the kids who come later.  That’s the real greed.  The businessman’s profit allows him to keep meeting the needs of society.  The businesswoman’s profit allows her to build up reserves for a rainy day.  And if our government operated this way, and instead of a 16 trillion dollar debt, we had a 16 trillion dollar surplus, then President Obama can talk about making any investment he wants to make to get our economy going again.  But honestly, he wouldn’t have to because we wouldn’t be in this problem in the first place.  And there wouldn’t be a person in their right mind who would want a two term limit on somebody who was able to turn a 16 trillion debt into a 16 trillion dollar surplus.  Unfortunately, President Obama took a 10 trillion dollar debt and turned it into a 16 trillion dollar debt.  That’s the wrong direction.

Well, Trick or Treating has come to an end here, so I’ll wrap this up.  Let me know what you think!

 

Defy God At Your Own Peril

There is more meaning to my title than the obvious.  Yes, we each defy God at our own peril.  I’m also calling into question President Obama’s presuming to speak for our country, and defying God at OUR own peril.  It is bad enough if he chooses to defy God personally, but because of his position, as I mentioned, he speaks for our entire country.  If President Obama is willing to defy God when it comes to the definition of marriage, what else is he willing to defy God about, that we are not aware of?  Oh, sure we know about abortion too.  Do you see a trend?

I will remain silent no longer.  I will not sit idly by and allow this pronouncement by the President of the United States to go unchecked.  I, like Paul claiming the rights of a Roman citizen, am claiming the rights of being a citizen of the United States of America.  I am speaking out to all who will listen.  President Obama does not speak for me, nor does he honor God, or the institution of marriage.

Here is why this is so significant.  God designed marriage when he created Eve for Adam.  And God used the model of marriage to define Christ’s relationship to the church.  By redefining marriage, what is really being attempted is to redefine God. God cannot be redefined by his created beings, although we sure try.

President Obama cites the “Golden Rule”, as part of his decision making process on this issue.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  The only problem is Jesus himself when the woman who was caught in adultery was brought to him, dealt graciously with her.

10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”11 “No one, sir,” she said.“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  – John 8:10-11

The “Golden Rule” cannot be used as a justification for breaking another law of God.  The woman wasn’t condemned, but she was told to “leave” her “life of sin.”  So it is that I don’t condemn a person who practices homosexuality, but for their own sake, they should leave their life of sin.  The same can be said for each one of us, if we are honest.

Here is yet another problem with the “Golden Rule”.  If I apply it with the fear of God and my faith, then what I want is different.  Allow me to explain.  If I’m doing something in my life that God would call sin, and somebody sees that in my life, I would want them to come and confront me.  So it stands to reason then, applying the “Golden Rule” for me would mean drawing attention to the sin in a friend’s life, so that they can turn from it, since that is what I would hope a friend would do for me.

God calls adultery, and homosexual behavior sin, not me.  I can call both of these behaviors lawful, and acceptable, but that doesn’t change what God thinks.  Just like our nation can say it is lawful to abort the life of an unborn child.  It doesn’t change the fact that God calls it murder.

Let me be perfectly clear.  President Barak H. Obama, you are defying God, the righteous judge.  History is replete with the devastating results when leaders defy God.  The sad thing is, those leaders may think they are getting away with it.  But, they are not, and will have to give account to God for leading even a secular nation like ours astray.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galations 6:7

Please join me in thinking what God must think each time he hears President Obama conclude a speech with “May God Bless the United States of America.”  Hypocrites.  I pray that President Obama repents, while he still can, or he may hear words he never thought he’d hear from the only one who can save his soul from hell.  “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

Oil and Water, Republicans and Democrats, Right and Wrong

I am reminded of a line from the movie Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does”.  President Obama is accused of working halfheartedly at the problem in the Gulf of Mexico.  This sticks because he’s been entertaining, attending baseball games, and putting in appearances on the scene to make it look like he’s doing something.  The press is by and large quiet about this.  Then, somehow The Washington Times (along with the rest of the media) found it’s voice to say this:

Lawmakers from both parties on Sunday criticized BP PLC Chief Executive Tony Hayward for taking part in a yacht race along the English coast two days after testifying on Capitol Hill regarding his company’s role in the oil spill.

Before I go on to the matter of what Rep. Barton said, let me make note of the blatant double standard.  It is fine for the President to do other things besides spend every waking moment on the crisis.  But it is not appropriate for the BP Chief Executive to take a break?  Honestly, what can the BP Chief Executive, or the President really do beyond setting up their teams and providing leadership?  As far as that goes, based on what I can see, BP has taken ownership of this problem, and it is their key focus.  The President it seems is more interested in how things look.

In addition, have you ever stared at a problem for an extended period of time?  Have you ever found yourself running into the same challenges preventing you from solving your problems each time you tried?  I know I have, and history is replete with examples of how answers have come from the least expected places, and from getting away from the grind of the problem.  Take penicillin for example.  The Wikipedia entry contains this quote:

Fleming recounted that the date of his discovery of penicillin was on the morning of Friday, September 28, 1928.[14] It was a fortuitous accident: in his laboratory in the basement of St. Mary’s Hospital in London (now part of Imperial College), Fleming noticed a petri dish containing Staphylococcus plate culture he had mistakenly left open, which was contaminated by blue-green mould, which had formed a visible growth. There was a halo of inhibited bacterial growth around the mould.

Resist the urge to think that I am saying we should pray for a “fortuitous accident” to solve the current crisis, although at this point any way of getting the problem resolved would help the Gulf ecosystems, and the lives and livelihoods that depend on it.

I also realize that people in elected positions from each party are saying things that are being parsed in every way imaginable.  I am currently thinking about the comments made by Rep. Joe L. Barton of Texas.

Rep. Joe L. Barton, Texas Republican, on Thursday accused the administration of extortion after it secured a $20 billion compensation fund from BP for victims of the oil spill, calling the move a “shakedown.”  – The Washington Times

I agree with the congressman!  But wait!  I do believe that BP should pay, and that the amount they pay should be substantial, perhaps even more than $20 billion.  But they should not do it because any government tells them to do it.  They should do it because it is the right thing to do.

Here are some facts and hard questions.

Natural disasters happen, and our hearts go out to the victims.  Sure, some people blame God for those, but in the end, blaming God does little to mitigate the human suffering.  Instead we mount global relief efforts and work to reduce the suffering.  What if this oil spill was the result of an earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico instead of an oil-rig explosion?  I submit that as difficult as capping this well is, it is easier than resolving the problem we would have if it wasn’t a man-made rupture.

Since “Life is like a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get”, I figured I’d add my thoughts on solving the current crisis.

What do we know?  It will take months to plug the leak.  Oil will damage ecosystems.  How does oil damage ecosystems?  It coats feathers, sticks to marsh plants, and destroys the beauty of beaches.  My approach is simple.  We know what oil is attracted to.  We know what it doesn’t mix with.  Why not bring the things that oil is attracted to closer to where the oil is coming from.  Instead of dispersing it, work on containing it.  Currents move oil in water like lint moves in air.  We all have lint traps on our driers at home.  Why not build giant oil traps?

Now, some will say, what about the oil that has already damaged the coastal areas?  I don’t know.  That’s why I would look for ways to take the fight to the oil, instead of waiting for the oil to wash up on shore.  I would look for ways to move a more acceptable “shore” to the oil.  The oil is going to damage something… far better that it is something we are willing to sacrifice.

What would be even better is if the oil could then be separated back out of whatever was used to absorb it.  I know they extract oil from shale or tar sand.  Why not do this intentionally in reverse?  This would turn the oil into a solid, and keep it from damaging coastal ecosystems.

I hope this generates discussion with a view towards a solution to this crisis that makes the best out of a terrible situation.  I hope it also demonstrates the futility of placing blame.  There will be plenty of time for that… or maybe with the perspective of a decade, we will look back and see that we are all to blame.

How are we all to blame, you ask?  Well, we ask more of government than it can deliver with the resources that government has.  We fail to take personal responsibility.  We fail to demand accountability in government, and continue to elect the “lesser of two evils”, because a member of congress helped solve our personal problem with government, so we feel we owe them.

The bottom line is this.  What is right must prevail.  Perhaps the problem is, among other things, that we have things backward.  Instead of individuals trying things that may turn out to be wrong, we have policy that’s wrong preventing people from even trying things that turn out to be wrong in an attempt to find out what is right.  In the end, the destruction is an unnecessary self fulfilling prophecy.

It is time to rewrite the story.  It is time to do things right.  It is time to admit failed attempts, not as failure, but as yet something else that didn’t work, and keep trying.  It is time to stop the blaming, and simply get down to the business of solving the problem.

Talk is cheap, including what I’ve had to say in this piece.  Is it too much to hope that what I’ve said will make a difference?

The Power of the PERSONAL Press

I read local news online, and occasionally something will catch my attention and annoy me to response.  Here is the quote from The Times Letter to the Editor.

| Saturday, June 13, 2009 |
If the American people want to know what kind of jerk George W. Bush was, they should go see the movie “W.” Bush failed in almost everything he did, including being president. His father was getting tired of bailing him out of trouble. He couldn’t hold a job, and he was considered to be an alcoholic.

Look what he did to this country in his two terms in office. We are in one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. We have 10 million people unemployed, and many more are going to lose their jobs. We have 3 million foreclosures on homes, and the numbers are climbing higher.

Bush should be brought to trial for war crimes for starting the war with Iraq and Saddam Hussein with a lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Bush is also responsible for the deaths of more than 4,000 American soldiers and 170,000 Iraqi people. Look at the way our government tortured its prisoners during this senseless war. The American people should blame themselves for allowing this communist country to elect our president with the electoral college instead of the popular vote.

Is this really how the American people want to live in a world of communism like the Russian people did many years ago? Bush also stated on national television that God told him to become president. What a joke — and the joke is on the simple-minded American people.

– R***** K********, L*** V******

I debated whether this even deserved a response, but it was a short debate!  Here is my response :

Facts and logic are stubborn things.

Presidential elections produce failures, yet President Bush succeeded twice, some failure! Prior to being president, he was governor of Texas. Prior to that he was trusted to be the General Partner of the Texas Ranger’s baseball team, sounds like a job. Bush admits being an Alcoholic, and avoids drinking for that reason.

Now for his two terms as President. He inherited a weak policy toward terror. We were repeatedly attacked, yet the muted response was some sort of minor air strike, if anything.

Then, the unthinkable happened. We were attacked in a major way on 9/11/2001, less than 8 months after Bush became president. Since that date, there has not been another successful attack on the United States, in large part due to Bush’s unpopular policy of taking the fight to the terrorists, and subjecting captured terrorists to torture. Those 4,000+ US soldiers gave up their lives defending your right to voice your opinion! In a communist country you would be dead by now.

Have we really forgotten how the terrorists treated our country? Torture seems too tame.