Archive for March 1st, 2006

Re-Post: Self vs. Savior — Conversation with a Humanist

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006
Self vs. Savior — Conversation with a Humanist
By Tim Wildmon
March 1, 2006

(AgapePress) – My e-mail address is public so, as you can imagine, I get plenty. Mostly just advertisements for Mexican banks, Canadian drugs, or items of an extremely personal nature. Extremely personal. Between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. I will receive around 100 messages. The first 30 minutes of my weekday morning is spent clicking through e-mails and deleting 90% of them without even looking past the subject line. And, because of the nature of my work — and the fact that I am somewhat opinionated — I get my share of detractors.
A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from a young college student named Clark who was upset with me for several reasons. He started out by saying that our country’s founding fathers were not Christians, but rather deists. When I pointed out to him that deism says that God is not active in the affairs of men and that America’s founding fathers — even Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin — believed in divine providence and prayer, he changed the subject. His other problem with me was the fact that I am against same-sex marriage. He said it was people like me who were fostering hatred towards homosexuals. Said that the American Family Association was made up of a bunch of fools. He later made some other less-than-positive comments, but that was the essence of it.
I told Clark I was a Christian and that I believe in the Holy Bible as the Word of God, and that is where I got my value system. I cited the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. He told me my “moral compass” was “broken.” I asked him what he believes in. He told me he is a “humanist” and believes in the “innate” goodness of man. I told Clark that was great, but I wanted to know what that meant exactly. How does a humanist define “good,” for instance? Clark didn’t really have an answer.
A humanist is someone who basically believes that man is god. Not in a New Age spiritual sense, but rather the humanist does not believe God exists, and therefore he sees life though a purely secular prism. Any form of religion, to the humanist, is man-invented superstition. It is unprovable. And in America, humanists find Christianity particularly bothersome.
Humanism teaches that there is no such thing as moral absolutes. While the Christian and the Jew would say the Ten Commandments are given to mankind by Almighty God as rules by which we should conduct ourselves, humanists do not believe there is such a “rule book” for life. Whereas the Christian believes that to violate a commandment is to sin against God (which then requires repentance and forgiveness), there is no such concept of “sin” to the humanist.
While one might not agree with the Christian view of morality (and even Christians sometimes disagree on context and definitions), at least we have something to point to (the Bible) and a logical reason why it then affects our thinking and our behavior so strongly. However, as I found out with Clark, while a humanist finds fault with Christianity, there is nothing for him to fall back on as a superior moral value system. They have no moral value system other than the one each man makes up for himself which, in the end, comes down to being a matter of personal opinion. And personal opinions, like noses, are something we all have.
To the Christian, morality is objective truth given to us by God. To the humanist, morality is subjective opinion given to them by … well … themselves.
What I found with Clark, as I have with other humanists, atheists and agnostics, is that they revel in pointing out hypocrisy among Christians. And while hypocrisy is a bad thing, it does not negate the truth of the Christian message. It merely means that Christians are exactly what the Bible teaches all human beings are — sinful creatures in need of help from God. We need to be saved from our sin that separates us from God (salvation) and we need the power of God to live the life He desires us to live.
Clark and I went several rounds back and forth with each other. Each time I asked him for some resource outside himself to prove the validity of his beliefs, he would change the subject, usually with another criticism of Christians.
I challenged Clark that if the Christian value system is such a bad one, name a better one. He has not done that to date. But if you think about it, when Clark tells me my moral compass is broken, isn’t he passing judgment on me? And that is precisely why he wrote me in the first place, telling me (with respect to homosexual marriage) I had no right to judge other people. Clark, you are confusing me, man.

Tim Wildmon is president of American Family Association and American Family Radio. He also leads tours of Washington, DC, and Mount Vernon twice a year focusing on America’s Godly heritage. Information is available at SpiritualHeritageTours.com.

Abortion Ban Bill Advances in Mississippi House

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

More news from the abortion fight. Pray for these states as they try to put a stop to unnecessary abortions.

JACKSON, Miss. — A state House committee voted to ban most abortions in Mississippi, which already has some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation.
The bill approved by the House Public Health Committee on Tuesday would allow abortion only to save the pregnant woman’s life. It would make no exception in cases of rape or incest. The bill now goes to the full House, which could vote next week, and then to the Senate.
South Dakota lawmakers passed a similar bill last week that was intended to provoke a court showdown over the legality of abortion.
The Mississippi lawmaker who introduced the near-ban, Democrat Steve Holland, said he acted because he was tired of piecemeal attempts to add new abortion restrictions year after year.
Holland said he has voted for some abortion restrictions and against others in the past. “I have a strong dilemma within myself on this,” Holland said. “I can only impregnate. I can’t get pregnant myself.”
Mississippi already requires a 24-hour waiting period and counseling for all abortions, plus the consent of both parents for minors who seek the procedure. Republican Gov. Haley Barbour favors restrictions on abortion, but he has not spoken about the current legislation.
The state has one abortion clinic, in Jackson, and its leaders plan to fight if more restrictions are imposed.
“We’re realists. We know we’re in a state where the Legislature is anti-choice,” said Susan Hill, president of the National Women’s Health Organization, which runs the clinic.
The South Dakota legislation went to Republican Gov. Mike Rounds on Tuesday, and he has 15 days to act. Rounds has said he’s inclined to sign the bill into law.

Israel Kills Islamic Jihad Leader in Airstrike

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Nothing like some more anti-Israel media bias, but I must admit, I’m surprised at the source. Of course since the pali terrorist scum always blame Israel when they blow themselves up, it comes as no surprise that they are doing it again here.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Islamic Jihad’s top military commander in Gaza was killed Wednesday in a car blast that rocked a busy street in Gaza City, knocking out electricity and wounding two other people.
The Israeli military, which carries out pinpointed attacks against militants in the coastal strip, said it was not involved in the death of rocketmaker Khaled Dahdouh. And the Palestinian Interior Ministry said no missile parts were found in the incinerated car.
But Islamic Jihad accused Israel of killing Dahdouh in an airstrike and vowed revenge for his death.
Islamic Jihad — unlike the militant Hamas group that swept Jan. 25 Palestinian elections — has been the target of recent Israeli attacks on militants. The group has disregarded a year-old informal truce with Israel and carried out all six suicide bombings that have taken place in that time.
Violence also spilled into the West Bank, where Palestinian militants shot and killed a Jewish settler traveling on a road Wednesday near the settlement of Tapuah, military officials said.
The ‘Al Aqsa Martrys’ Brigades, a group affiliated with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party, took responsibility for the shooting. Israeli troops were searching for two gunmen who fled the scene, Israel Radio said.
A second shooting just miles away left an Israeli man seriously wounded, the Israeli military said. The man was shot in the neck in a drive-by shooting near the settlement of Karnei Shomron, it added. Nobody claimed responsibility.
The violence came as Hamas prepared to take over the Palestinian Cabinet and Israel heads into March 28 parliamentary elections.
Islamic Jihad has rejected Hamas’ offer to join a Palestinian government. Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis, has largely stuck to the truce, though it has not renounced its violent campaign against Israel.
A Palestinian Interior Ministry report said it was unclear whether the car was parked or traveling over a speed bump when it exploded. It said no missile parts were found in the car, but offered no explanation for the blast. A witness, Ahmed Abdel Khalouk, said he was sitting about 100 yards from Dahdouh’s car, which was parked at a speed bump, when he saw a large man walk over to it and open the driver’s door.
“There was a huge ball of fire, and debris from the car covered the entire area,” he said. “I think the car was booby-trapped.”
Islamic Jihad said Israel killed Dahdouh in a missile attack after failing to kill him nine times before.
“The Zionists will swallow the same bitter drink that each Palestinian family has drunk from before,” group spokesman Abu Dajana said.
Dahdouh, 45, was behind the development and manufacture of a new generation of longer-range homemade rockets that militants have fired recently at southern Israel, Islamic Jihad said. He also planned and participated in several attacks against Israeli targets in Gaza and the West Bank, it said.
The blast took place in the residential area between Islamic University and the Finance Ministry compound in Gaza City. It knocked out electricity in the area and damaged several cars parked nearby. Hospital officials said two people were wounded.
Samira Daoud, 32, was standing on the balcony waiting for her children’s schoolbus to arrive when the blast occurred.
“The explosion shattered all the windows of my apartment and some of the flying shrapnel from the windows hit me in the face,” Daoud said, her face splattered with blood. “I ran to the street to see if my children were there, and I saw a man lying outside of the car with a big white beard, and he was bleeding.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, meanwhile, warned European leaders of the danger of funding a Hamas-led government, saying there was no guarantee that Hamas wouldn’t use aid money to harm Israel.
“Nobody wants to give money to a terrorist organization,” Livni said in Vienna, Austria, on a first stop of a European tour.
The European Union announced Monday it will provide $143 million in emergency assistance to the caretaker Palestinian government aimed at preventing its financial collapse, but has so far kept silent on what it would do once Hamas — considered a terrorist organization by the EU and the U.S. — takes office.
In other violence, three masked gunmen kidnapped the director-general of the Palestinian Lands Authority in Gaza, witnesses said.
Palestinian farmers in Gaza also canceled plans to destroy 200 tons of produce that they have been unable to export since an Israeli-controlled crossing was closed Feb. 21, because they expect Israel to reopen the passage on Thursday, Palestinian border officials said.
The Israeli army did not immediately confirm that the Karni crossing — the main cargo passage between Israel and Gaza — would be opened on Thursday.

Re-Post: MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.
The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.
Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.
We reject cultural relativism, which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of “Islamophobia”, an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.
We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.
We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.
12 signatures
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Chahla Chafiq
Caroline Fourest
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Irshad Manji
Mehdi Mozaffari
Maryam Namazie
Taslima Nasreen
Salman Rushdie
Antoine Sfeir
Philippe ValIbn Warraq

“I lay down my life”

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.
I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.
This command I received from my Father.”

John 10:17-18 (New International Version)

A Moment of Silence

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

We arrived at the school during the “Moment of Silence”.
Someone standing with us, who was unfamiliar with the process asked “Did someone die”?
Answering her, I said “Yes and three days later He came back to life”.

Judge rules against image in classroom, says teacher’s rights limited on campus

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

What gets me most about this, is the comment made by the school principal. Check this out:

Principal Crispin Zanca contended the school’s policy gave discretion to remove a wide variety of postings “regardless of whatever expression or demonstration of personal interest they may possess,” including offensive materials such as profanity. News articles must pertain directly to the class subject matter, the principal said.

So now in York County, Va schools, Christianity is compared to Profanity??

A federal judge has ruled against a public school teacher who filed a lawsuit after administrators removed Christian-themed postings from his classroom, including a depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge and news clippings about the faith of President Bush and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.
William Lee – a Spanish teacher at Tabb High School in York County, Va. – was represented by the Christian public-interest group
Rutherford Institute in U.S. District court, arguing his free-speech rights were violated.
The postings, removed at the beginning of the 2004-05 school year after a parent complained, included news articles about Bush’s Christian faith and Ashcroft’s prayer meetings with staffers.
But Judge Rebecca Beach Smith wrote in her opinion the case “is not about what free speech rights Lee has as an individual expressing himself on private property,” according to the Associated Press.
“Rather, this case is a question about what free speech rights Lee has as a public school teacher-employee,” she said.
School officials also removed from Lee’s classroom a flier promoting the National Day of Prayer.
Lee’s attorneys argued his bulletin boards were a limited public forum for the private speech of teachers, but Smith insisted they were part of his curriculum and, therefore, not protected by the First Amendment, the AP said.
Principal Crispin Zanca contended the school’s policy gave discretion to remove a wide variety of postings “regardless of whatever expression or demonstration of personal interest they may possess,” including offensive materials such as profanity. News articles must pertain directly to the class subject matter, the principal said.
Zanca allowed Lee to keep postings about the religious practices of Inca and Mayan civilizations, a photo of Boy Scouts praying in memory of 9-11 victims and an article and accompanying photo of a flight technician with “Pray for America” on his helmet.
As WorldNetDaily reported, in 2004 a California teacher sued after being prohibited from providing supplemental handouts to students about American history because the historical documents, including the Declaration of Independence, contained some references to God and religion.
According to the suit, Stephen Williams’ principal ordered him to submit his lesson plans and supplemental handouts to her for advance approval. Aside from Williams, a Christian, no other teachers were subject to the advance-screening requirement.

Why are they not Screaming?

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

“As their ancient, deeply civilized culture of love, art and philosophical reflection is hijacked by paranoiacs, racists, liars, male supremacists, tyrants, fanatics and violence junkies, why are they not screaming?”

-Islamic writer, Salman Rushdie, writting of the silent Muslim majority. Published in the New York Times.

Christians Riot over Desecration of Jesus

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Thousands of Christians, across the nation, spilled into the streets after morning church services Sunday, rioting and burning cars in protest over a pornographic toy company’s release of products modeled after the images of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Moving into the heart of major cities across the United States, the rioters targeted pornographic novelty stores, bookstores that carry magazines such as “Playboy” and “Penthouse”, movie theaters showing the movie “Brokeback Mountain” and for good measure lingerie stores. Smoke filled the noontime air as crowds chanted “Our God is an Awesome God and Jesus is our Lord and Savior”.
Plans were being made on Wednesday to announce an edict against the owners of the pornographic toy company. One pastor of a major Christian church was reported to have ordered the “physical death” of all those even remotely responsible……

Oh wait….this never actually happened.
I mean, yes, the toy company is making sex toys in the image of Jesus, Mary, Judas and Moses, but the Christian response was, well, a lot different. I made all the other stuff up in order to show the difference between how Christians respond to the desecration of our holy icons versus how islam responds to the “desecration” of theirs.
Jesus teaches us to “love your enemies”. As for the article about the sex toys, Agape Press has done a good job of reporting this, but because of the subject matter, I will only post the first paragraph and the link here. I do encourage you to read the whole article.

CAUTION: The following story contains descriptions that some may find offensive
(AgapePress) – In what is further evidence of the porn industry’s disdain of Christianity, an Internet-based sex toy company has begun selling items modeled after religious icons.

Read the rest here.