Against Flesh and Blood

                  Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.   Eph. 6:12

When Marie Harf made her naïve pronouncement about winning wars by providing jobs she was masking what most of us don’t want to admit. I suspect that if you peel back that silly statement and look at what’s lurking beneath it you’d disturb a whole colony of scuttling nasty truths, some of which Ms. Harf may understand and a whole species she would not even imagine.

One truth is that we are not the America that stormed through Iraq after 9/11. The America that exists today is a decimated, limp-wristed America.
Too few of us have the moral courage to face danger and deal with it. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor no one quibbled about nation-building, the post-Depression generation suffered no prissy hesitations about our moral right to strike back, and they certainly didn’t propose a jobs-for-the-Japanese program. It’s true that even then America had waited too long to get into that war; my mother often expressed her sense of guilt that we didn’t deal with Germany as soon as we knew what was going on there.
We know very well what’s going on in the Middle East – no one’s keeping the tortures and deaths a secret, and yet too few of us seem to care about the thousands of atrocities being carried out in the name of Islam. Instead of young men standing in lines to enlist in the effort to stops these maniacs, we have crowds of teenagers storming a movie theater to see 50 Shades of Gray. The truth is, a country with insufficient moral fiber can’t win a war.

Harf says we can’t win a war by killing the enemy – which makes as much sense as saying that you can’t win the Super Bowl by making touchdowns – but it is true that today’s commander-in-chief, today’s State Department, the current bureaucracy (who value their jobs more than they value freedom and their fellow man) as well as the Democrat half of the general population is not willing – or able – to commit to the sacrifice of going into a real war. They talk like going to war is just a matter of personal preference; as if being willing to involve oneself in military endeavors was parallel to preferring catfish over caviar.

This seems to be true of most people who have emerged from our institutions of higher indoctrination, of most people in the press, of most people in the arts. The rest of us are deemed incapable of discerning the nuances of Obama’s fairytale foreign policy. I’d like to think he has some magic beans up his sleeve and can call down the giants when we need them, but I never believed in Bean-Jack’s prowess, even as a child.

If I know I can’t pull something off – say someone challenges me to hike up Mt. Rainer -- it’s easier to just say it can’t be done than to admit that I’m way too out of shape to manage.  A surgeon isn’t likely to tell you that his own personal skill is inadequate to ensure a successful outcome. He’s not going to suggest that you choose a more proficient doctor. No. He’ll just play down the possibility of success so you won’t be disappointed with the results. Obama knows – somewhere in the bowels of his narcissistic mind – that he couldn’t run a full-out war.

Not only is he temperamentally and experientially incapable of leading a nation in war, he’s spent the last six years demoralizing, demoting, and frustrating our armed forces into paralysis. Our numbers are way down and what military we have is spread way too thin, many of our best generals have been fired, and the VA has ignored its duty of seeing to our wounded and aging veterans. Our soldiers and sailors are hamstrung by impossible rules of engagement and tangled in the web of political correctness. The men and women who volunteer to risk their lives for our freedom find they must watch that freedom drain away through internal bleeding that they can do nothing about. They are disrespected and worse than anything else, told to keep their Christian beliefs to themselves– it’s no wonder that our veterans are committing suicide at an alarming rate.  

Not only can you not run a major war with a weak leader and a demoralized military, but you also can’t undertake any major military effort with a weak economy. Fudged numbers do not make a strong industrial response to the needs of a great war effort. This administration has so worshipped at the shrine of climate change and environmental claptrap that we no longer have the capacity to produce the munitions we may need, and we’ve lost, due to Obama’s one-sided negotiating style, any nuclear edge we ever had.  

Harf’s statement is disingenuous; what she (or whoever it was who gave her the talking points) really was thinking is not that we can’t win a war by killing jihadis, but that we just can’t win. Period.

Though that’s not the worst of it. This administration has no idea what we’re up against, or, they are part of what we’re up against. Two thousand years ago the Apostle Paul pointed out to the believers in Ephesus, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

I doubt if Harf and her ilk in and around the White House have a clear idea of what we’re dealing with here. This isn’t just some rabble-rousers in a distant land. It isn’t just a bunch of guys with too much health and high spirits and too little work, just guys who’ve gotten out of hand. Theirs is devilish behavior; they are doing things inspired by Hell itself.

Since Adam and Eve, Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, the most beautiful, intelligent angel ever created, has been trying to derail this human “experiment.” If man fails to follow God, Lucifer wins his appeal and will not suffer the consequences of his pre-human rebellion; neither will the angels who revolted with him. Key to God’s plan for the human race is Israel and from the day God spoke to Abraham and made him a solemn, unconditional promise, Satan has been trying to prevent the fulfillment of that covenant. The birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ really ruined his chances, but Satan was never much for recognizing his own limitations. He still wants to “be like the Most High.” Judging from the hysterical nature of the Islamic furor today, I’d say that Lucifer is getting desperate.

Desperation intensifies, exacerbates hatred, anger, and aggression. The rabid viciousness of Islamic behavior, the frantic zeal with which they carry out their aggression and their unspeakable depravity speak clearly of Satan’s frantic hopelessness. We see his hysteria in the lightning speed with which anti-Semitism is infecting the whole world. My dear Ms. Harf – we are not witnessing a few people airing their “grievances.” No sane human being expresses a grievance by chopping off heads. Something beyond wicked is heading our way, is probably already here, and you have no idea what you’re doing.

Things look grim and two years is way too long to endure the “leadership” of Barrack-in-the-Beanstalk. However. Scary as it is to be up against the darkest force in the universe, God is on the side of the righteous, so let us be righteous; we were once. Let us speak out and leave the empowering up to the Almighty. Go read Psalm 94 and be comforted. Remember that God promised Abraham a land eternal and He will keep that promise.


The Mad Hatter’s Lament

I am really trying to hold onto some form of sanity here, but ever since I saw a woman bathing in her breakfast cereal, my brain has been crumbling; I find I now live in a world where the president of the greatest, most powerful country the earth has ever known can sit calmly for an interview with a woman in green lipstick (She’s the same woman in the bathtub – is this a bad dream?).

The news is filled with news of newsmen lying – Dan Rather, Jason Blair, Rolling Stone, and now Brian Williams. Can you mistakenly say your helicopter was shot down? Wouldn’t you be pretty clear about that? We all have our Walter Mitty moments, but we don’t broadcast them on national TV as if they’re news. Apparently we’re supposed to believe these people anyway – them and a White House press secretary with the unbelievable name of Josh Ernest.

Lying, of course, starts with not telling our selves the truth. I just watched a documentary about the dating of the Exodus. The experts were both irrational and dogmatic in stating that:
•    The Exodus had to have happened around 1250 B.C., but that
•    There’s no evidence that it happened at that time, therefore, it didn’t happen at all – despite increasing, impressive evidence for the Exodus happening c1440 B.C. (Not B.C.E. – that new designation is just silly – we’re still counting from the birth of Christ.)

Then this week the supporters of the “religion of peace” doused a man in a cage with lighter fluid and burned him alive. They’ve also been crucifying children, selling sex slaves, throwing gays off of rooftops, stoning women, and burying kids alive. And our president (the one of the green lipstick interview) responds by pointing out how bad the Crusades were. Evidently he doesn’t know that the Crusades were started to fend off, guess who? The supporters of his beloved “religion of peace.”

The NSA is spying on everyone, but no one knows where the next terrorist is going to strike and the president gets his information from the evening news – no doubt from Brian Williams, the anchor who lied about being in a helicopter crash.

I keep hearing that the earth’s temperature is rising – hottest year on record, but that’s the same year that sported 2,000 record lows in America alone. What did I miss? The polar ice packs are the largest ever. It snowed in Hawaii this winter. In short, we’re ready to destroy a huge economy, send the whole world spinning out into the darkness just because of a half-dozen computer models that were built with questionable data and government grants.  

I can’t see how it’s connected, but people seem real confused about gender these days. “…[M]ale and female created he them,” (Genesis 1:27) doesn’t cut it anymore. Boys can choose to be girls and have access to the girls’ restrooms and locker rooms, whether the girls are comfortable with that or not. Surgeons claim to be able to work sex-change miracles, and taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill. No one seems at all curious about exactly how effective this surgery is. Even if it actually turns a man into a woman, Facebook now lists 51 different genders to choose from. Will surgeons be able to keep up?

I mean, if Henry is born a male, but thinks he’s female, and if Susan is born female but wants to be male, can they team up and trade parts? If Susan is then attracted to women is she now straight because she has Henry’s equipment? What if it’s Henrietta she’s attracted to? What if Henry had been married to a gay man, and then changed gender, does that dissolve the marriage? It’s all so confusing. And if all I ever did was watch TV, I’d have the idea that a third of the population is gay.

While I’m at it, I should bring up the fact that pedophilia seems to be trending amongst both Hollywood and government elites and gay marriage is now acceptable to 44% of the population. The new AIDS vaccine has continued to fail,* but folks aren’t talking about that.
People are talking about the 3-parent baby options. While this is designed to help parents with genetic problems, I can see it already slipping out of its cage. We currently have inbreeding problems with IVF (some 60,000 IVF babies have been born here.) and anonymous sperm donors – how can a girl know whether or not she’s fallen in love with her half-brother? Or would that be her 1/3-brother?

On a different note, I hear we’ve recovered from the awful recession of 2008, but the number of full-time jobs is the lowest it’s ever been and the number of people on welfare and disability is the highest ever. I’m sure I didn’t just dream that. And health insurance is now cheaper – oh. Right. It’s much more expensive – but the government is going to continue saying it’s cheaper and that seems OK with folks.

But we just spent two weeks fussing about footballs like too little air meant the downfall of society. It seems, however, that a lot of people don’t mind if the president commits impeachable offenses and attacks the integrity of our constitution. That’s OK; just don’t mess with the footballs.  

Football makes me think of school -- our schools, having failed at leaving no child behind, are evidently deciding to just leave them all behind – to frustrate all good teachers out of the profession and cover their own rears with lots of bother about testing, and an increase in the amount of time spent teaching the joys of Islam, the “religion of peace.”

Speaking of knowledge, every time I see one of those man-on-the-street interviews I’m left with my mouth hanging open. Our college students think Che Guevara freed the slaves in 1776 just shortly after Columbus killed all the Indians who taught the pilgrims to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. The students no longer believe in God, but they celebrate the holiday anyway, wolfing down tofurkey and pumpkins. (For this education they shell out $50,000 a year.)

Pumpkins remind me, a teacher I know was recently accosted by an angry parent who flipped inside out because her son had just learned that The Great Pumpkin wasn’t real – apparently the worship of TGP was an important religion in their household – who would have thought?

Meanwhile the rainbow has been shanghaied by the LBGT community to ornament the Gay Pride parades, where people prance about in their birthday suits or in leotards festooned with feathers and sequins – Noah, and Sodom-Gomorrah be damned. People are flocking to the theaters to see Fifty Shades of Sex while their children go to school-sponsored sex conferences where they learn about the wonders of electronic vibration and mutual masturbation.

My head just spins – I keep expecting the Mad Queen to come whirling into the room swinging her flamingo. (That wouldn’t be any weirder than what’s on the news – not that we can believe what’s on the news.) I’m afraid I’ve become the Mad Hatter.

So what to do? Pray, because only God can straighten this out. Talk as much sense as we can. Write truth. Learn –“Study to show [our] selves approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth”(2Timothy 2:15). Practice kindness – not random acts thereof, but constant, consistent kindness. Vote wisely with the safety and prosperity of the whole country close to our hearts.

We are Americans; we don’t have to live in a nuthouse, but if we don’t do something soon, we’ll be stuck in one.




Islam, Churchianity and the 1st Amendment

ISIS just executed 13 young boys for watching a soccer game, and they’ve been throwing homosexuals off tall buildings; Boko Haram murdered thousands just last week. And worst of all, these groups have done it all in the name of religion.
As a “religious” person I find that very difficult to wrap my brain around – how does a person worship a god who demands such atrocities? If we have to include such belief systems in our concept of religion, then how do we define that term?

The word religion comes into English through Old French – probably riding in the boat with William the Conqueror in 1066. It came into French from the Latin words religāre (to tie up) and ligāre, to bind. Very interesting – it’s oldest uses have nothing to do with God.

“To tie up; to bind” – sounds like slavery. But Christ said, “… the truth will set you free.” He didn’t say, “Let me bind you hand and foot.” His Gospel, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16) has to be considered good news and not repression.

According to Merriam-Webster religion means a body of beliefs and practices regarding the supernatural and the worship of one or more deities. That is, however, inadequate. Not all “religions” are centered on a deity. In 1961 in Torcaso vs. Watkins the Supreme Court justices pointed out that, “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others. “ Even atheists are having “church” services these days. So I’m not sure that religion necessarily has anything to do with God or with gods  - exactly.

If we look at the world’s great “religions” we can see some commonalities:
•    ritual practices –anything from baptism to smoking ganga (marijuana) and dancing (Rastafarianism); from circumcision to pulling teeth.
•    prayer/meditation – conscious messages to a deity or a silencing of conscious thought through chanting of mantras, or ritualized prayer  -- memorized and oft-repeated or mechanized as in the Buddhist prayer wheels.
•    a concept of what happens to us after death – heaven/hell, reincarnation, nirvana, obliteration.
•    rules of conduct – often quite onerous, instituted with either the welfare of the follower or the welfare of the community in mind – sometimes with nothing other than the dissemination of the religion as a goal.
•    special holidays.
•    some sort of priesthood – imams, rabbis, shamans, gurus, prophets, witches, commissars-- even temple prostitutes.
•    sacred writings – the Bhagvad Gita, the Torah,, the Qur’an,  the Communist Manifesto,  Origin of the Species, etc.
•    worship of a deity, or deities – either supernatural or human.
•    we also see an effort on the part of the followers to appease or gain the approbation of the worshipped being. This involves anything from volunteering and social work to ritual human sacrifice (either in the form of cutting out the hearts of young virgins or the deaths of suicide bombers. Perhaps these sacrificial behaviors can give us some idea about how the Latin verb meaning “to bind” came to be associated with religion.)

We know that our founding fathers were not thinking about  beheading children or raping young girls when they recommended  “the free practice thereof.” The brilliant men who started this nation started it from a biblical perspective in a context of controversy among Christian sects, not a war between rival religions. Their only lack of foresight is in this area – they assumed everyone knew that their reference was to the Judeo-Christian background from which they came. The Puritans had no problem condemning witches or fighting the Barbary pirates, nor would they have condoned human sacrifice or ritual sex.  

But I digress. We need a clear, morally stable definition of this troublesome word. The Urban Dictionary (which is mainly a glossary of leftist talking points) states that religion -- The biggest lie in human history. It has been responsible for more deaths throughout human history than all other unnatural causes combined.

There may actually be some truth to that – but with two caveats:
•    that we include Satan worship and communism as examples of religion,
•    and that we differentiate between Christianity and Churchianity.

Here’s where we can gain some thinking traction. The West has been now for hundreds of years steeped in the moral traditions of both Christianity and Judaism – our moral compass points always to our true north – Moses’ Ten Commandments and Christ’s famous two. And we associate that moral compass with the book it comes from: the Bible, the Word of God, and therefore to what we’re used to calling religion. This is why it is so deeply disturbing when we’re faced with “religions” that recommend, demand brutality, dishonesty, murder and death.

Allow me to suggest that if we include Churchianity in the list of world religions we would not find the problem so bewildering. There must be some perverse human tendency – original sin, for lack of a better term – that twists every encounter with true divinity into some knock-off that we’re comfortable with.  We saw that happen as far back as Cain and Abel. Cain wanted his own version of religion – not the relationship Abel enjoyed with God; Cain wanted to do it his way.  

It took very little time for the gnostics to invade Christianity, a while longer for the hierarchy of Rome to enter the picture, and even the Reformation didn’t take Christianity back to its biblical basis. Wherever the Bible was ignored amongst Christians, the ugly parts of “religion” start growling. Christians, in spite of their “belief” in Christ, revert to Cain’s emphasis on his own accomplishments any chance we get. Churchianity has run inquisitions, burned people at the stake, abused Jews, started wars, made ritual the center of worship, made prayer into a mockery, and generally speaking, raised pan-handling to a high art. Churchianity is just like the other religions.

The fact is that Christianity – as presented to the people of Asia Minor by the disciples – is not a religion. It lacks most of the attributes of the other religions:
o    It only had one recommended ritual or ceremony– Communion – the up-date of the Jewish Passover, but it was to be celebrated whenever a group of Christians wanted.
o    The emphasis was on private, or semi-private, personal, relational communication with the first person of the Godhead, not so much on public recitation of memorized prayers.
o    Christianity, in its purest sense, has only two commandments, two rules of engagement. In Christ’s own words, ““‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 28:36-40)
o    No special holidays were required.
o    No priesthood was essential – the apostles had authority to write the New Testament and to train men to teach its precepts, but they mandated no other hierarchy..
o    Mainly, the emphasis was not on earning approbation from God. That was the “good news.” Christ paid the penalty for our sin and our belief in His sacrifice eliminated our need to scramble around trying to piece together our own ticket to heaven. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If we think of religion as man’s ruthless climb toward whatever he wants to pretend is at the top, and include Churchianity in that group, then we can look clearly at Christianity, and not only find new appreciation for all that it originally was, but we can also, without confusion, roundly denounce the actions and motivations of Islam, and get on with the business of stopping it.