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April 30, 2009

Daily roundup

Jonathan Edwards Is Spinning in His Grave over THIS Spin

Gay activists are attempting to put a positive spin on the defeat of their effort to get the Presbyterian Church USA (in which I was married many years ago) to rescind a church rule requiring members of clergy to agree to "fidelity in marriage  . . . or chastity in singleness." Presbyterians shot down the measure for the the third time in a dozen years, according to Beliefnet, although in lesser numbers than previously.

Tricia Dykers Koenig, a spokesperson for the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, which supports allowing practicing homosexuals to serve as clergy (despite emphatic Biblical teachings to the contrary), says, "The big story here is that . . . our understanding of what it means to be created in the image of God is broadening." 

No, Ms. Koening--it's being corrupted. Our understanding of what it means to be created in God's image should reflect God's own teaching, which is spelled out in His own book--not in position papers published by activist groups. This book teaches that all humans are created in God's image. But it also teaches that we live in a fallen world, where people suffer from all sorts of maladies and evil desires--including, tragically, the desire for intrinsically disordered sexual experiences. Biblical writers variously describe same-sex behavior (not desire) as "detestable" (Lev. 18:22), "wicked" (1 Cor. 6:9-10) and "vile" (Romans 1:26). Scripture is equally clear on the qualities church leaders should demonstrate (1 Timothy 3:1-13): Their behavior should be "above reproach," which would seem to eliminate those who engage in behavior biblical writers describe as "vile."

We have more nonsense from Daniel Burke, the author of the Beliefnet piece, who writes: "Like most mainline Protestant churches, the 2.3-million member PCUSA has struggled for decades to balance biblical injunctions against homosexuality and society's evolving standards of gay rights."

Continue reading "Jonathan Edwards Is Spinning in His Grave over THIS Spin" »

Understanding Why We Suffer

We all experience periods of suffering in life. If you or someone you love is currently suffering and in need of encouragement, I suggest you check out two lessons by Dr. Ken Boa, available at his website. I know you will be strengthened by what Ken has to say about suffering from a biblical perspective. 

Sustaining revival

Jwesley John Wesley, one of the great revivalists and founder of the Methodist movement, on the danger of revival:

I fear, wherever riches have increased . . . the essence of religion, the mind that was in Christ, has decreased in the same proportion.  Therefore, I do not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of true religion to continue long.  For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality; and these cannot but produce riches.  But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches.  How then is it possible that Methodism, that is, the religion of the heart, though it flourishes now as a green bay tree, should continue in this state?  For the Methodists in every place grow diligent and frugal; consequently they increase in goods.  Hence, they proportionably increase in pride, in the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life.  So, although the form of religion remains, the spirit is swiftly vanishing away.  Is there no way to prevent this? this continual declension of pure religion?  We ought not to forbid people to be diligent and frugal; we must exhort all Christians, to gain all they can, and to save all they can:  this is, in effect, to grow rich!  What way then, I ask again, can we take that our money may not sink us to the nethermost hell?  There is one way, and there is no other under heaven.  If those who gain all they can, and save all they can, will likewise give all they can, then the more they gain, the more they will grow in grace, and the more treasure they will lay up in heaven.

(Image courtesy of Project Canterbury)

It was the best of books

Scarton2 Today marks the 150th anniversary of the greatest novel ever written,* and the big event is being commemorated at you-know-where. If you're a fellow Tale of Two Cities fan, head on over!

*Of course, you're free to disagree with me on which novel is the greatest. But let us have no smart-aleck attempts to complete my (mis)quotation above with ". . . it was the worst of books." I am not above asking Roberto to sic his whale on you. 

The Point Radio: Too Far Gone

No mess is beyond redemption....

Click play above to listen.

NC Woman Hopes to Cash in After Dog’s Deposit,” Associated Press, 18 March 2009.

April 29, 2009

Daily roundup

Biblical Smacktalk

Joakim Noah You know, you really can find everything in the Bible, including some good examples of smacktalk. I think I'm going to use this the next time I want to intimidate someone in a good game of Settlers of Catan. (Lori, this needs to be your quiet time as you work on your smacktalk skills; you know I'm talking to you. Don't bring me anymore of the Pride and Prejudice trash talk next time you come to my house; "no compliments to your mother" is not the same thing as saying "your momma's so old she still owes Moses a dollar.")

But seriously, or at least somewhat seriously, I was just thinking today that I need a little more swag. The thought popped up rather suprisingly as I was reading about one of the Gators I liked watching most, and how his college antics are playing out now that he's playing for the Bulls in the NBA. Apparently, while I love to love Joakim Noah, other people love to hate him. Noah doesn't let it bother him; he thrives on the jeers. In fact, Greenburg tells us that the seersucker-wearing, 6-foot-11 center with the hair that just won't quit is pretty comfortable in his skin. And that's where the swagger comes in. It's game-play.

It's sort of shocking really to find that boasting has a place in the Bible. I don't expect it there. But when I do a search I discover that while most kinds of boasting are bad, there are a few kinds that get a holy high five. Here's the low-down on the swag that's legit:

1) When behemoth Philistines insist on dissing your God, it's okay to holler back. Come prepared with a slingshot, though.

2)  When you know your Dad really can beat up their dad, but that He chooses to show justice, kindness, and righteousness instead.

3) When your homeskillet gets it right, it's okay to boast on the day of the Lord.

Now, I need to get back to my hoop shot. As one king said (at least in my translation), it's one thing to boast when you're putting on the jersey, it's another thing when you're taking it off.

(Image © Kathy Willens for the AP)

Prayer isn’t a crime

But it might look like one

A motorist passing by a dilapidated Lowcountry business mistook three people walking about with their hands raised in the air for victims of a robbery in progress.

With their hands held high in prayer, Love House Ministries Pastor Randy Roberts and The Parish Church of St. Helena (Episcopal) lay prayer members Roz Dixon and Karen Kusko — all wearing business attire — were walking outside a run-down building they hope to turn into a respite. The group was praying that God would deliver the building for their needs.

Five Beaufort County Sheriff's Office vehicles responded in minutes after the call came into dispatch. Cpl. Robin McIntosh said it was reported as an armed robbery.

Europe Syndrome

What's happening? Call it the Europe syndrome. Last April I had occasion to speak in Zurich, where I made some of these same points. After the speech, a few of the twenty-something members of the audience approached and said plainly that the phrase "a life well-lived" did not have meaning for them. They were having a great time with their current sex partner and new BMW and the vacation home in Majorca, and saw no voids in their lives that needed filling.

~ Charles Murray, The 2009 Irving Kristol Lecture, March 12, 2009

Author and political scientist Charles Murray recently delivered the address at the American Enterprise Institute's annual dinner. His talk was entitled "The Happiness of the People" and is posted on AEI's website.

Murray's lecture is a great worldview read. What he calls the "Europe Syndrome" is a way of thinking ... in other words, a worldview. Though Murray admires Europe in some ways, he unpacks some of the core beliefs of the modern worldview that has shaped Western Europe -- a worldview that is spreading like the swine flu among many of America's elites and current leaders. Murray describes a core belief of this worldview in the following way.

Human beings are a collection of chemicals that activate and, after a period of time, deactivate. The purpose of life is to while away the intervening time as pleasantly as possible.

If that's the purpose of life, then work is not a vocation, but something that interferes with the higher good of leisure. If that's the purpose of life, why have a child, when children are so much trouble--and, after all, what good are they, really? If that's the purpose of life, why spend it worrying about neighbors? If that's the purpose of life, what could possibly be the attraction of a religion that says otherwise?

Government's job, therefore, is to minimize unpleasantness so that we can while away the intervening time between our activation and deactivation. European-style social democracies are quite successful toward this end. This line of thinking also explains current European trends such as below-replacement birthrates, increased leisure time, fewer hours spent working, and lots of beautiful but empty cathedrals and churches.

Continue reading "Europe Syndrome" »

E-Book Implications


I'm not sure if I'm ready for the revolution. Here are just a few implications this WSJ piece points out:

  • exacerbating our already short attention spans
  • more book buying, less book finishing
  • chatter in my novel?

(Image © Geoffrey A. Fowler for the Wall Street Journal)

Margaret Sanger’s Real Views

Main_sanger A year or so ago, the Women's Studies program at my university sponsored a bulletin board in praise of Margaret Sanger. I wanted to gag, because every poster hailed Sanger as some great female liberator.  Obviously, none of the students who created those posters had ever bothered to move beyond the propaganda and actually read what Sanger wrote, especially her views on eugenics. This article sheds light on Sanger's destructive philosophy -- and shows just how little our current Secretary of State knows about a woman she is in "awe" of.   

(Image © AP)

The Point Radio: Worth Living For

Middle school isn't what it used to be....

Click play above to listen.

Eilene Zimmer, “Teen Angst Turns Deadly,” Psychology Today, Jan/Feb 2009.

April 28, 2009

Daily roundup

Why Islamic leaders don’t apologize for Armenian genocide

A Washington Times article, written by Julia Duin, excellently explains the problem of Islam as an actor in international politics. With countries such as Iran playing an important role in the relations between world leaders, it is important to understand why Muslims, of any sort, have never apologized for the Armenian genocide. Even in his recent trip to Turkey, President Obama never referred to the acts against the Christian Armenians as "genocide." Any clarity and understanding we can glean from this tragedy will assist us in identifying future consequences of Western/Islamic relations.

The Turks of the Committee of Union and Progress, or the “Young Turks” as they were known in the West, decided that the best way to save the Muslim Turkish nation was to reduce the Christian population, which happened to be mostly Armenians. Subsequently, all Christian Armenians were driven out of the Ottoman capital at the end of swords and bayonets. The cause of death for most Armenians was murder, starvation, and exhaustion in concentration camps. 

So, I ask the question: Why have Muslims, especially those that make up the 99.8% of the Turkish population, never apologized for a genocide against Christian Armenians?

As Duin points out, Muslims have no concept of national repentance. Georgetown professor John Voll explains that Muslims don't believe in original sin, because God didn't curse Adam and Eve; rather he just expelled them from the garden of Eden. 

Additionally, Muslims do not believe in apologizing for things that happened in the past. Even if Muslims did have this sentiment, the current Kamalist Turkey is a separate political entity from the Ottoman Empire which perpetrated the genocide--though I doubt the descendants of a nation murdered by extremist Muslims feel better about this trivial legal distinction.

Friday, April 24, was Armenia's Genocide Remembrance Day. Let us join them in prayer for the lives lost and the families left behind in the name of Islamic political power.

At some point, it just has to stop, doesn’t it?

Embryo bank Well, we should have seen this coming, of course: the British now have a choice to make, whether to let their government allow human "embryo banks" to be used for more than procreation efforts. That means having those nice little humans around for....spare parts. Read more here.

I think we really need to start bringing these kinds of absurdities to light more often, because we seem to be living in an age where most people think this kind of "progress" is inevitable. Why? Because so many people don't care, and those who keep pushing this mad agenda are determined folk.

But that kind of thinking would have prevented Wilberforce from working to end the slave trade. So instead of nibbling around the margins on these topics, how about let's start drawing some real lines in the sand and holding our elected leaders accountable? If you support anything like using embryos for spare parts, no more re-election for you. All that many politicians really respect is power. If they think they can get away with a controversial vote to cultivate a biotech donor, they'll oftentimes do it. 

So it's up to us to let them know what fates await their careers if they go there. Write your leaders and encourate your friends to do the same if this monstrous effort blows across the Atlantic to our shores.

(Image © EPA) 

A Reading for Christian Pandemic Preparedness

Plague_of_rome While I'm skeptical that the swine flu will ever reach truly pandemic proportions, it's still a good time to stop and brush up on Christian emergency preparedness. I dusted off my volume of Eusebius' History of the Church, and give you excerpts here from the time of the reign of Maximin, who ruled between 286 and 305 AD. 

Notice that when pestilence and famine come, Christians do not a) run, nor b) hoard. Instead, they stay and tend the sick and dying. They also give of what they have. I know that if such times ever come to us, there will be a cloud of witnesses cheering for us to act with such self-sacrifice.

Hundreds were dying in the cities, still more in the country villages, so that the rural registers which once contained so many names now suffered almost complete obliteration; for at one stroke food shortage and epidemic disease destroyed nearly all the inhabitants. ... Some people, shrunken like ghosts and at death's door, tottered and slipped about in all directions till, unable to stand, they fell to the ground; and as they lay face down in the middle of the streets, they implored passers-by to hand them a tiny scrap of bread, and with their life at its last gasp they called out that they were hungry--anything else than this anguished cry was beyond their strength. ...No less terrible was the pestilence which consumed every household, particularly those which were so well off for food that famine could not wipe them out. Men of great wealth, rulers, governors and numberless officials, left by the famine to the epidemic disease as if on purpose, met a sudden and very swift end. Lamentations filled the air on every side, and in all the lanes, squares and streets there was nothing to be seen except processions of mourners with the usual flute-playing and beating of breasts.

Such was the reward for Maximin's loud boasts and the cities resolutions against us, while the fruits of the Christians' limitless enthusiasm and devotion became evident to all the heathen. Alone in the midst of this terrible calamity they proved by visible deeds their sympathy and humanity. All day long some continued without rest to tend the dying and bury them--the number was immense, and there was no one to see to them; others rounded up the huge number who had been reduced to scarecrows all over the city and distributed loaves to them all, so that their praises were sung on every side, and all men glorified the God of the Christians and owned that they alone were pious and truly religious; did not their actions speak for themselves? (p. 366-367).

Re: Broken for you

Mark Hemingway has an update in The Corner on the controversial Obama painting, including this quote from the artist:

I wanted to create a dialog politically but not religiously. I didn't mean to make fun of anybody's religion; maybe I did so naively but I didn't mean it that way. In the bible Jesus is The Truth and comparing Obama that way isn't something I meant to do at all.

Apparently, I've upset a lot of people. And I've decided that's not what I wanted to do and I'm not going to display it in the park on Wednesday ... art is meant to be somewhat provocative but the religious element went way farther than I had anticipated.

Read more.

Smiling at Evil

Obama Chavez We've all been treated recently to photos of our president smiling broadly and making cooing noises toward dictators like Hugo Chavez.  Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an Obama supporter, is disturbed by this seeming show of affection for modern-day Hitlers, if for no other reason than that it is "disheartening" for those living under tyranny to see the leader of the free world cozying up to despots and terrorists.  Read his article here and tell us what you think. 

(Image © AP)

The Point Radio: Foolproof Suicide

They're dying to make sure they leave this world....

Click play above to listen.

William Adams, “Foolproofing Suicide with Euthanasia Test Kits,” Time, 13 April 2009.

April 27, 2009

Daily roundup

True thirst

In this week's Washington Post Magazine, columnist V. C. Chickering wrote about discovering her need for church at a tough time in her life:

I've been bad-mouthing organized religion since the late '70s, when my father had a spiritual epiphany on our living room couch and announced that he wasn't going to church anymore. My mom had always been a member of the Drinking-Coffee-Alone-in-My-House Church, so that was the end of that. But then, last March, in a perfect storm of personal calamity, my marriage imploded the same week that my best girlfriend and I broke up. The events weren't directly related, but it was colossally bad timing. I was in dire need of people who would be nice to me for less than $125 an hour. So off I went to church.

After trying out several different churches, she finally found what she was looking for:

I met with the good reverend later that week. She asked me about my current situation, gauging my level of safety (high), competence (adequate) and sanity (mezzo-mezzo). I told her that I didn't think of myself as churchy and detailed my reservations about organized religion. She listened, nodded and occasionally agreed. I told her I wouldn't be taking the Bible literally and would be thinking of Jesus as a very enlightened and wise man. She was okay with that, too.

Coincidentally(?), the pastor at my own church preached this weekend on the woman at the well to whom Jesus offered living water. As he pointed out, when Jesus made the offer, she thought He was simply offering to make her life easier, because she thought that was all she needed. Until He made it clear to her that He was offering much more than that, she didn't realize yet just how thirsty she really was.

I understand the need for comfort, for someone who will be "nice" to you when you need it. I really do. But my prayer for V. C. Chickering is that one day she will know she needs more. I pray she will recognize her true thirst for the true God, and ask Him for the living water.

North Korea Freedom Week

RTEmagicC_China_NKentrytoembassy North Korea Freedom Week began yesterday. If you're in the Washington, D.C., area, there are many activities -- prayer vigils, rallies, film screenings, information sessions, and more -- in which you can participate. If not, you can still help spread the word about human rights violations in North Korea, and pray for the oppressed. You can also read this op-ed about why President Obama should make human rights issues a priority when dealing with the North Korean government.

Later this week I'll review the Korean film The Crossing, described by the Wall Street Journal as "a 'Schindler's List' for North Korea." Special thanks to Dr. Katy Oh Hassig for the information about North Korea Freedom Week and also for lending me her copy of the film.

(Image © North Korea Freedom Coalition)

The Soloist

The-soloist To fix or befriend? That is the question that plagues journalist Steve Lopez (played by Robert Downey, Jr., in the poignant true-story film The Soloist, which premiered Friday).

When Lopez, a popular columnist for the L.A. Times, stumbles across Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a schizophrenic homeless musician, a story is born. Soon, Lopez finds himself caught in the tension between crafting a brilliant story about a Juillard student turned homeless man, and looking out for a guy who simply needs someone to care.

But for Lopez, that tension is soon overshadowed by a deeper tension: to help Ayers or simply be his friend?

Like any well-intentioned citizen, Lopez tries to help Ayers find housing, medication, and cello lessons. Those good designs end with Lopez lying flat on the floor under Ayers's foot. Here, Lopez must make a choice: to give up on Ayers because he is beyond changing, or to love him unconditionally, schizophrenia, homeless shopping cart, and all.

As the curtain closes on Ayers and Lopez sitting next to each other enjoying the glorious strains filling an L.A. concert hall, it becomes clear that helping and befriending aren't all that distinct. Perhaps, they are even one and the same.

I usually dread paying $10.50 for movie. But this film earned every cent. It's not an armrest-gripper, but rather, a simple story of friendship that transforms. That's one plot that never grows outdated. In short, go see it!

(Image © DreamWorks)

Steven Curtis Chapman Shout-out

On Thursday night, the Dove Awards honored singer/songwriter and longtime friend of Prison Fellowship Steven Curtis Chapman with the Artist of the Year award. Chapman, who lost his daughter Maria Sue in a devastating accident last May, has been a wonderful example to all of us of what standing firm in the face of tragedy looks like. He's wrestled openly with doubts, but continued to see the opportunities this tragedy brought as occasions to share the hope within--and he has done that faithfully. Chapman performed "Cinderella" at the ceremony. It's a beautiful song he dedicated to Maria. He tells the story behind it here:

In related news, the orphans' ministry of Steven and Mary Beth Chapman recently unveiled a new name and new logo. After stumbling over the long name Shaohannah's Hope and misspelling it too many times to count, I like the simpler Show Hope. It keeps the continuity with the original and is a lot easier to say and remember. And the website looks super snazzy--hats off to all our friends over at Show Hope! If you're not familiar with the work of this wonderful nonprofit, take a few minutes to see all that they do and how you can get involved.

Broken for you

Obama cross

Every once in a while, people try to convince me that no one is really treating Obama like a messiah -- that it's all just hyperbole coming from his opponents.

Something tells me that these people aren't paying attention.

(Image © Michael D'Antuono; H/T Some Have Hats)

The Point Radio: Shine Your Light

How can you make the world a better place?...

Click play above to listen.

Gina Dalfonzo, “The Beauty That Matters,” The Point, 15 April 2009.

Sermons about Sex

This Florida church has landed in hot water for teaching a series on the biblical view of sex. Why? Because they meet in an elementary school. Evidently, it's OK to teach elementary students about homosexuality and condoms during the school week, but when a pastor advertises a series on what the Bible has to say about sex -- well, that is deemed "obnoxious and inimical to the best interests of the school board." Anyone else see something wrong with this picture? 

April 24, 2009

20, 50, 120: How Many Siblings Do You Have?

Basketofbabies2 In the sixteenth century, members of the Hapsburg dynasty suffered deformities and severe and deadly health problems which were preventable. Trying to hoard the throne, members of the Hapsburg clan had intermarried. These incestuous relationships caused genetic malformations. 

One would reason that in our enlightened era of medical advances, we would not be confronted with the same problems which plagued the incestuous Hapsburg dynasty, but I wouldn’t be so sure. 

Fertility clinics are impregnating an excessive number of women with sperm from a single donor. Wendy Kramer used artificial insemination and brought to term a bouncing baby boy. She was curious to see if her child, Ryan, had any half-brothers or sisters. What Ms. Kramer found out horrified her—Ryan has at least 120 siblings.

So be careful who you fall in love with, because you the person you are with just might be a half-sibling. Ryan’s biological father, by far, is not the only one who has an inordinate number of descendants. Hard numbers are difficult to come by, but yearly estimates are staggering. Elizabeth Marquardt from the Institute of American Values says there are anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 children conceived via sperm donation. A portentous vision of the near future looms, in which applications for marriage certificates (that is, if marriage as an institution isn’t redefined into extinction) will include a line for the donor’s number.

Continue reading "20, 50, 120: How Many Siblings Do You Have?" »

Daily Challenge: Walk the Walk

St. Patrick's nephew, Sechnall (St. Secundinus) wrote a poem about his uncle, outlining his many virtues (humility, love for God and people, a devoted prayer life, a life filled with good works). 

These stanzas in particular caught my attention since they challenge me to make certain my walk matches my talk:

Christ's holy precepts he keeps in all things,
His works shine bright among men,
And they follow his holy wondrous example,
And thus magnify God the Father in the heavens.

Greatest indeed will be called in the kingdom of heaven
The man who fulfills with good deeds the holy words he teaches,
Who by his good example is a leader and model to the faithful,
Who in purity of heart has confidence in God. 

’Your future is great’

Although I'm not a parent myself, I think James Lileks has some good thoughts here on messages that we knowingly or unknowingly send to kids -- and how those messages affect them.

As for Earth Day, I don’t mind the planting-trees-and-picking-up-trash part - the kids did that last Saturday, which is good. Labor and sweat on behalf of a cleaner city. I put in eight trees last year, so I’m holding up my end. At least the arboreal part. But I’ll have none of that YOUR FUTURE IS BLEAK stuff; I grew up with that, and it was a dark cloud hanging six inches over my head for most of my childhood. If it wasn’t ecocatastrophe that would leave us all living underground or stuck in a small smelly apartment with Edward G. Robinson pedaling a bike for ten minutes of lights, it was nukes, or that “Late Great Planet Earth” stuff that really depressed me. I suppose some kids thought it would be keen to be around when God called the game on account of sin, but I thought it was a raw deal. Can I just have a life down here first ? What’s the hurry? You have all the time in the world. You invented it.

[My daughter] was excited to tell me that they’ve discovered two new planets, and they could have water. I told her I thought there were many planets out there like ours, and I thought some of them had life. Maybe someday she’d learn they had heard a radio signal from one of them. Your future is great.

The Lines, They Are a-Changin'

After decades of eschewing the label "Religious Left," Jim Wallis—founder and editor of the socially liberal Christian magazine and activist community Sojourners—seems to have found peace with the nomenclature.

"I wanted to gauge your interest in the first big mobilization of the Religious Left in the Obama era—a signal of the shift in power dynamics," Wallis states in a new press release promoting an anti-poverty conference in Washington, D.C., this weekend. "This is the Religious Left filling the hole created by the decline of the Religious Right but now we have the political power and ear of the White House—definitely a new trend and a 'first' within this new political era."

Ted Olsen of Christianity Today's Politics Blog points out that this is a clear shift in Sojourner's approach. Wallis has repeatedly said that he does not see himself as part of the "Religious Left," claiming that he is instead seeking to provide a "moral center" for those religious people tired of political posturing of both left and right. On Sojourners' website, Wallis claims, “The alternative to the Religious Right is not the Religious Left. It's time to transcend the old polarities of our public life.”

It appears that Wallis feels that having "the political power and the ear of the White House" justifies the maintaining of the old polarities—at least until his agenda has been adopted by the new administration.  I'm interested in hearing how Mr. Wallis differentiates the current approach of Sojourners and that of the "Religious Right" he has spent several decades decrying.

Ask Miley. Or Don’t.

Miley "I want to be a role model," Miley Cyrus told the L.A. Times. "And my job is to be a role model. But that shouldn't require me to be a parent. I'm going to make mistakes. While your kids are growing up, I have to grow up too."

That's advice blogger Perez Hilton should have kept in mind before asking Miley to weigh in on Miss California Carrie Prejean's comments on gay marriage. In a Twitter to Hilton, Cyrus wrote:

Jesus loves you and your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! That's like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz he's gay and that is wrong and very sad! Like I said everyone deserves to be happy. I am a Christian and I love you — gay or not. Because you are no different [than] anyone else! We are all God's children!

Of course, at this, everyone's hands fly in the air. Here we go! Another teen star gone south (or, at least, liberal). Another one who's lost forever.

Since when did we ask the 16-year-olds in our lives--pop star or not--to offer an authoritative opinion on gay marriage, or really anything, for that matter? Furthermore, Miley's comment to Hilton was not offered in an official interview or public statement. It was over Twitter!

Now, I'm not saying that I agree with Miley's position or that she should have offered it. I am saying that we ought to examine whether a Twitter sent from a teenager ought to achieve newsworthy status, and whether we ought to give gravitas to a 16-year-old's opinion on the issue anyway. Nor can we conclude that this opinion is Miley's hard and fast stance on the issue from now until the grave. She's 16, folks.

Continue reading "Ask Miley. Or Don’t." »

The Point Radio: An Honest Face

Looks can be deceiving....

Click play above to listen.

Rebekah Kebede, “Creditworthiness May Be Linked to Looks,” Reuters, 17 March 2009.

April 23, 2009

Daily roundup

Oh, No!

It's Take Your Annoying, Runny-Nosed Child to Work Day again...the day on which, if you go to the airport, an employee's child will drop your luggage (happened to me once), slowly serve you the wrong order at a restaurant (you can't get snarky with them because they might cry), etc. I wonder if the man who carries the nuclear football at the White House brought HIS kid to work today--you know, just to show her how the buttons work.... 

That's right....I hate this kind of stuff, and not just because it was invented by feminists, who changed it from "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" after people pointed out that it was sexist (boys left behind in the classroom were often given assignments involving how sexist men are). I dislike it because 1. as Chuck once pointed out in a BreakPoint commentary, it celebrates moms who work outside the home at the expense of those who take care of their children full-time, and 2. there are certain places children simply don't belong, because--surprise--they behave like children.

So--I'm really glad I'm working from a home office today and not planning to go out. The only creature irritating me is my miniature dachshund, Boo Boo, who growls and barks whenever I'm on the phone because she's learned that I'll throw her treats to shut her up.

What the HECK?

Baby shaking At some level, I understand why some people like to play violent shoot-'em-up video games. Even though I usually don't like it, I get it. But WHAT was supposed to be the point of this?

(Image © Sikalosoft/Apple, which should be darned well ashamed of themselves)

Plan B: Abortion for Kids!

The Food and Drug Administration will soon release a new policy that will allow 17-year-old girls to gain access to an abortive medicine known as Plan B. Though many consider it nothing more than contraception, it has the ability to kill off a fertilized egg by preventing it from attaching itself to the uterus. Therefore, it is an abortifacient.

Although it should come as no surprise that the new administration would move forward on opening up new abortive opportunities to children, we should be appalled by the reasoning.

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman has made the claim that the Bush Administration allowed politics rather than science to guide their decision to refrain from giving 17-year-old kids abortifacients. Given all we know about a baby's development--the heart pumping within 3 weeks of conception, brain activity within a month and a half, etc--what "science" are abortion supporters clinging to in order to justify killing babies? It's strange how the left loves to cry out, "Follow science, not your faith," and yet when it comes to abortion, they ignore the facts to continue their political pandering.

The question of when life begins is dead. There is no question. The left has never distinguished a point of viability in the womb where they are satisfied in not aborting. The fact that partial-birth abortion even exists, and is argued for by educated people in positions of power, shows us how morally depraved the pro-abortion movement has become. 

Abortion-rights advocates march under the banner of "women's health," but as time goes on we hear less of that and more of "women's rights." It's a quick fade to black when this awful practice tries to act in the name of good because it's morally inconsistent to claim that women deserve rights while roughly half of abortions are of baby girls. As Mother Theresa said, "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." 

Continue reading "Plan B: Abortion for Kids!" »

Someone bring me the dunce cap

Dunce3 I was going to write about this post on the anniversary of Charles Darwin's death. And then I realized I had absolutely no idea what the author was talking about. Anyone want to translate?

(Image courtesy of MySanAntonio)

The Point Radio: A Certain Hope for an Uncertain Future

What will the future hold for you?...

Click play above to listen.

Read Matthew 6:25-34.

April 22, 2009

Daily roundup

Update on Isabella

Isabella The Isabella Miller case goes on, with hearings upcoming on April 24 and May 21. Please keep the situation and all those involved in your prayers. And there's now a website where you can learn more about the case.

(Image © Barbara Curtis)

Why, indeed?

Biden debate

I didn’t hear the outrage when Joe Biden said that he and Barack Obama are against gay marriage. No incendiary language, no insults, no four letter obscenities.

Why is it acceptable for Obama and Biden to have this opinion but not a conservative female? 

Andrea Tantaros, "Miss (Liberal) USA?" April 21

(H/T Big Hollywood; image courtesy of TheBostonChannel)


Fatherknows "New Regency and 20th Century Fox are teaming to turn the classic TV series 'Father Knows Best' into a feature."

I can't even begin to imagine. . . .

(Image © The Museum of Broadcast Communications)

Bound to Happen: Christians Penalized in Workplace


Frankly, I'm surprised we don't hear more about Christians having their jobs threatened for not going along and getting along with every facet of political correctness. This story from Britain tells the tale.

It goes without saying that we live in a highly pluralistic age and that we must be civil and possessed of a Christ-like demeanor towards all those at work. But what hypocrisy abounds when everyone is taught to honor one group's beliefs while Christian perspectives are viewed with grave suspicion. 

The writer here puts the old saying well: "And yes, it’s quite possible to condemn someone’s actions and behaviors, but love the individual as you love yourself."

The truth is that sincere Christians oftentimes care more than the average person for gay people, whom we know to be made in God's image, even if they, like we, engage in behaviors that do not glorify their Creator. There is no hierarchy of sins in Christianity. Only sin. And while many gay people may honestly not know how it is that they arrived at their orientation, Christianity simply and consistently asserts that it is not something God intended for them.

Sincere Christians should not be homophobic, nor should they feel the need to sacrifice their understanding of God and human sexuality just to fit in. Rather, they should try, when possible, to show any gay co-worker that they see in them a fellow human being and rejoice in all the true gifts God has given them. A person is far more than his or her sexual orientation, important though it is, and on that basis there is much common ground to be found.

If only our workplaces would allow such candid, healing conversations to take place. But instead, we all tiptoe around one another, solving little.

(Image courtesy of LaVrai.com)

Four-year-old girl wows America, offers hope

Holding the microphone close to her little mouth, Kaitlyn stares confidently out into the audience, and begins the first few lines of her favorite song, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me ..."

About a year ago, on her way to an audition for America's Got Talent, then 4-year-old Kaitlyn Maher told her father, "Daddy, I want to see the sparkles come down." Gently, Reuben told his young daughter that it would be nice if she would make it all the way to the Top 10, but that if it didn't happen it would be okay.

"Daddy, I'm going to ask Jesus," Kaitlyn responded, bowing her head to ask Jesus to let her see the confetti fall at the night the winners of the show are announced, but adding that if it wasn't His will, she didn't want it.

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The Point Radio: Our Happiness Hang-up

Is our culture obsessed with happiness?...

Click play above to listen.

Carlin Flora, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” Psychology Today, Jan/Feb 2009.

April 21, 2009

Daily roundup

School Girl Told to Choose: Country or Parents

(Adapted from my original post at The Living Rice).

This story from CNN caught my attention. A Filipino family is making news in Japan because of immigration matters that left a 13-year-old girl separated from her parents.

The parents of Noriko Calderon have been deported back to the Philippines for entering and working in Japan illegally. Noriko was asked to choose between her parents and the country she considers her home. Part of me feels bad that this has to end this way. This could be very traumatizing for a 13 year old. However, part of me also feels that somehow, justice has been served for the parents who have broken serious immigration laws in Japan. They should have known that their actions and disobedience to the law have consequences. I somehow know how they feel because a few years back my family faced a similar tight spot with my wife’s U.S. immigration status. It was a tough decision, but we decided abiding by immigration laws is God's best for our family, rather than violating them.

In the U.S., there may be as many as 20 million illegal immigrants today, and many families may be in the same ethical dilemma and threatened with separation. Is there a balance between showing compassion to “aliens and strangers in our midst” and upholding the rule of law in immigration? If you were to propose a solution, what would it be?

Miss Runner-Up: A Better Crown Is Coming

If you're ready for something that will alternately make your blood boil, and make you proud, take a look at this interview on The Today Show with Miss California and the judge, Perez Hilton, whose own intolerance led him to say that had Miss California won he would have run on stage and ripped the tiara off her head. For what? For stating her beliefs in a way that clearly was not meant to offend, but was spoken truly from the passion of her convictions.

Apparently, a "perfect Miss USA" would be as intolerant of views that differed from her own as Perez. Apparently, a "perfect Miss USA" would give a neutral and meaningless answer rather than dare have a conviction.

I, for one, like to recall that there are better crowns coming. And one of them, I believe, will be for Miss California.