Monday, December 7, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Anything is discrimination as long as it gets you your 30 seconds of fame:
A heterosexual couple have been refused permission to register for a civil partnership.
Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle said they want to challenge "discriminatory" UK laws which restrict civil partnerships to same-sex couples.
They plan legal action after their application was denied at Islington Register Office, north London.
A spokesman for Islington Council said the pair's request was refused because "the council must follow the law".
UK law only permits heterosexual couples to marry and only permits same-sex couples to form civil partnerships.
We think gay people should be able to have a standard marriage and straight people should be able to have a civil partnership
Couples in a civil partnership have the right to the same legal treatment across a range of matters as a married couple - including inheritance, pension, life assurance and maintenance rights.
However civil partnerships can only be conducted by registrars, not members of the clergy, and the partnership cannot legally be called a "marriage".
Mr Freeman and Miss Doyle, both 25, from Islington, have been in a relationship for four years.
Mr Freeman said: "It would be lovely to formalise our relationship but we are completely turned off by the whole institution of marriage because it discriminates against gay people."
He added: "We think gay people should be able to have a standard marriage and straight people should be able to have a civil partnership."
Miss Doyle said: "We want a choice and all other couples should also have a choice, irrespective of their sexuality."
Their bid was supported by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
Mr Tatchell said: "The ban on heterosexual civil partnerships is heterophobic. It is disciminatory and offensive."
He added: "I applaud their challenge to this unjust legislation."
An Islington Council spokesman said: "The law dictates that a civil partnership is only for couples of the same sex.
"The council must follow the law, of course, and so we have not been able to accept Mr Freeman and Ms Doyle's application for a civil partnership."
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Essentially, Deconstruction is a system of evaluation by which the subject is judged by its own merit, devoid of outside influence. A book may be evaluated by how it makes a student feel or what it makes them think rather than by what the author intended it to mean or who the author's target audience was. A historical text may be evaluated simply by whether or not the reader's opinion jives with the presentation of the book, rather than examining the author's background and point of view at the time the text was written.
"Deconstruction focuses on a text as such rather than as an expression of the author's intention, stressing the limitlessness (or impossibility) of interpretation and rejecting the Western philosophical tradition of seeking certainty through reasoning by privileging certain types of interpretation and repressing others. It was effectively named and popularized by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida from the late 1960s and taken up particularly by U.S. literary critics."
- Oxford American Dictionary
The problems implicit to such a system should be explicit, however not many give it enough consideration to even realize the implications of such a philosophy. So, lets look at its potential natural escalation from a logical perspective:
Deconstruction abolishes the standard for meaning, education becomes relative, "knowledge" is placed above scrutiny or question by becoming inscrutable and questionless. Meaning, being left unattended by any absolute standard, is de-legitimized, and we become confused as to any sort of standard at all. When standards become confused, we lose our sense of equality; with no sense of standardization, we have no measurement of conformity for equal status. Without a measurement of equal status, we notice more readily that others have privileges we do not, so we determine that in order to be equal we must evenly distribute those privileges. Once we begin redistributing privileges, we notice that others get more preferential treatment in the distribution system than we do, so we clamor for more until there is no more to give. When we run out of privileges to distribute, no one has any privleges left. When people run out of privileges, they grow angry. When people grow angry, they become violent. When people become violent, they kill each other.
On a timeline, we're about 50 years into the cycle. We've lost our standard for meaning, we've confused ourselves as to any standard at all, we've lost our sense of equality and everyone ascribes to being in some sort of minority be it ethnic, locational, or even preferential; all the new minorities clamor for the privileges enjoyed by "the majority" (i.e. anyone other than themselves, including other minorities; thus is the minority minset: "us against the world"). So the minorities pressure the people in power until they start to receive a tip from the hand of the distributor, then other minorities notice and clamor for their own piece of the pie. Before long, the pie has been entirely distributed, and the distributor has to resort from scrounging from pieces of pie already been handed out and even promising pie that doesn't exist to pacify them. The people grow tired of their insubstantial share or unfulfilled promise of a share, and become angry; because they identify themself primarily by the minority they have aligned themself with, they determine that the distributor is discriminating against them because of their minority. This escalates to violence.
So the question being, with the government already in the hands of those who seek to deal with the public via distribution of the wealth; with riots already being inspired by ethnic identity; and with constant public displays of racial, sexual, mental, and ideological pride growing ever more provocative and/or destructive, what is the next step?
Ethic wars? Genocide? In other parts of the world, it already happens. The question is, how much longer will our "democratic philosophy" keep us afloat? The answer is unclear, but history shows us that one thing is nearly certain: one day someone will take power, and based on the selective identity that someone is associated with, he will tear the country, if not the world, apart. Caesar's Rome, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, the Warlords of Somalia, Saddam's Iraq... are we next in line?
It should be noted that the implicit goal of a Democratic system of government is to pacify the people by pleasing the greatest number possible. The people vote, the voice of the majority is heard, the government acts. By catering to minorities, we effectively destroy what made our nation successful by undercutting its basest ideology.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
"We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights."
ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.
ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.
ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure..
ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness... Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language. You have the right to learn it or go back to wherever you came from!
ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, you have the right to remain silent.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Sign me up for this selection of new holidays by Michael Rozeff. Some of them sound like a realistic way to starve the kleptocratic government.
Unelection Day. This is the day on which voter turnout became zero. Well, not really zero, but such a small number that voting became meaningless. It is the day when oodles of people pressed so few levers and buttons that they de-legitimized the State and it withered away from lack of support.
Unregistration Day or Unpermit Day or Unlicensing Day. This is the day when oodles of people stopped registering with the State. They stopped registering for political party affiliations. They stopped registering their vehicles, from automobiles to bicycles to boats to snowmobiles. Youths stopped registering for public schools. They stopped registering for the military draft. They stopped registering for passports and driver’s licenses. They stopped registering for Social Security and Medicare. Businesses of all kinds stopped registering for licenses. Inventors stopped registering for patents. Doctors stopped registering for medical licenses. People stopped registering for professional licensing of all kinds, from accounting to architecture to lawyering to zoo-keeping. People and businesses engaged in transportation and communications no longer applied for licenses. Hunting licenses stopped. No one registered their pets. Immigrants no longer had to register. No one registered to vote. No one got a tax registration or identification number. No one registered guns, from handguns to automatic machine guns. People stopped getting marriage licenses who did not want them. No one registered for jury duty. No one who did not want them had to get permits or licenses from the State.
Uninspection Day. This day commemorates when people stopped getting inspections done by State order. This is the day when State inspectors were barred from entering anyone’s premises unless they wanted them on there. On this day, State inspectors had nothing to inspect. They could not hunt for environmental infringements, safety violations, or anything else.
Unrequirement Day. On this day, manufacturers, shippers, wholesalers, retailers, and all other businesses from the smallest to the largest stopped obeying State requirements having anything to do with labor, hours worked, pay, overtime, workweek, hiring and firing, safety, and unions. Businesses chose the hours they wanted to. Manufacturers no longer paid any attention to State regulations concerning products. They freed themselves to produce whatever they wanted to. They no longer obeyed regulations on energy, safety, the environment, product size or design, or anything else they wanted to ignore. Retailers sold whatever products they wanted to. Whoever wanted to transport mail in any form could do so. Whoever wanted to provide judicial services could do so. Whoever wanted to provide police or defense services could do so. Whoever wanted to produce drugs could do so.
Unholiday Day. This day celebrates the day when people stopped celebrating official national holidays.
Uncensus Day. This is the day when oodles of people stopped sending in their census forms and stopped answering doorbells and knocks at the door when census takers came around.
Untax Day. This is the day that a network of programmers launched software that enabled anyone to stop paying withholding tax. This is the day that people in great numbers vetoed the income tax by using software that disabled automatic tax deductions. This is the day that people gained the capacity to disable paying sales and excise taxes and did so in large numbers. This is the day that government was brought to a grinding halt.
Unlaw Day. On this day, people en masse ignored the drug laws. Because of Untax Day, the State authorities could no longer enforce the drug laws. All people charged with victimless crimes demanded jury trials, and the juries stopped convicting people of victimless crimes.
Airport Freedom Day. This comes under the rubric of uninspection day, but it is such a special annoyance that it is separated out here. This is the day when oodles of people refused to undergo any inspections at airports. They bulldozed past airport inspectors. They lifted them bodily and carried them outside the air terminals to the parking lots where they fed them with hot dogs, potato chips, and soft drinks. No one was hurt. Inside the terminal, all machinery for inspection was dismantled by scores of people with the appropriate tools and blowtorches.
Ridicule Day. This is the day when oodles of people showed up at the offices of elected officials and jeered at them. They carried them from their offices and unceremoniously tossed them into portable swimming pools before escorting them to their vehicles. They locked them out of their offices. The rest of the day was spent celebrating.
Ungovernment day a.k.a. Independence Day. This is the day when the State no longer forced anyone to be under its rule who did not want to be. Also known as Freedom Day.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I give up. I'm 95% convinced there's no hope left for humanity as long as they refuse to operate on an objective level. As long as people practice deconstructionism, determining meaning by their own one-sided biases, there's no point in even trying to speak any kind of logic, as everything will only ever agree with them. Logic was slain with our patriotism and any sense of individual honor we have left.
I feel like Will Smith in I Am Legend.
If there's anyone left out there, anyone at all, here's something to maybe help keep hope alive:
"Never in the field of human conflict have so many owed so much to so few." - Sir Winston Churchill [House of Commons, August 20, 1940]
"Minstrel Boy" - traditional Irish song
The minstrel boy to the war has gone
In the ranks of death you'll find him
His father's sword he has girded on
His wild harp slung behind him
"Land of Song," said the warrior bard
"Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy right shall guard
One faithful harp shall praise thee."
The minstrel fell, but the foeman's chains
Could not bring that proud soul under
The harp he loved ne'er spoke again
For he tore its chords asunder
And said, "No chains shall sully thee
Thou soul of love and bravery
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery."
Lest we forget...
Brave men who carried the greatest virtues:
Love. Honor. Patriotism.
Monday, February 9, 2009
1. Neglect of the body -- the church is meant to be a place of sanctuary for its members, and yet this function has been abandoned in all but the name of the worship room in most Baptist churches I have attended or observed. From the time of the early church, the meeting place has been the place for the church to come together, be encouraged, prepared, strengthened, and refreshed for their outward ministry in their community. In the modern day Baptist church, the meeting place has become the place of evangelism, and because of this, very little real growth occurs. It seems that the entire denomination has become so consumed with "winning souls" that no other concern may bother them. They evangelize in the church and send people out as missionaries to other countries to evangelize there. The problem with this evangelism-driven system is that the members of the church themselves become neglected, being dealt with only in ways that will keep them in line and keep appearances good so that non-believers who visit might be more receptive to the message. When this occurs, the body withers from the inside out, and most of the church becomes apostate. Attendance and tithing dwindles, the church grows stale, and the administration wonders why, usually opting (much like our government) to start new programs and open new branches of the church in order to get more people involved; but, in the long run, the heart of the issue remains untouched, and the church either dies or converts itself into a glorified social club. Has your church reached this point? Ask yourself, and you must be honest, do people go to Sunday school and Bible studies because of the excellent, thoughtful teaching going on, or because they get free pizza (or coffee and donuts, depending on the age) and they get to hang out with their friends? Once a church has hit this stage, members are encouraged to cover up their problems in order to keep everyone comfortable rather than address them that they may be solved with the aid of their spiritual family. Marriage issues are overlooked, drug problems are swept under the rug, behavioral and disciplinary issues are ignored, and people simply put on their church faces once a week to smile for Jesus. However, if a soul prays for Heaven, yet lives like Hell, for which destination is it headed? If a church can't even maintain the faith of its own flock, how can it hope to bring others successfully into the fold?
2. Trivialization of the Gospel -- Growing up in a Baptist school, I cannot tell you how many times I was witnessed to. We had chapel services every other week, and every single service was either evangelistic/revivalistic or oriented on foreign missions (and sometimes both, just for good measure). Everyone had a different take on the Gospel, everyone had their own opinion, and everyone challenged us to do our best for God. Basic psychology tells us that any repeated action is normalized by the brain in order to remove distractions and remain alert. If someone pokes himself with a pin repeatedly in the exact same spot, eventually that spot will become numb to the poking. It's not that the sensation is no longer taking place, instead it's that the brain is ignoring that impulse that says "pain" so that it can be alert and ready for other things. The same as when you enter an area with a foul or strange smell, or spray on strong cologne or perfume, after a while the smell seems to vanish, when in reality the smell is still there, but your brain has stopped recognizing it so that if a new element is introduced, it is recognizable and not masked by the previous odor. In the same way, by repetition over the years, the Gospel becomes commonplace, and it becomes progressively harder to inspire people to react to the message. By feeding young people the same message over and over, the church effectively drives them away. I believe that this is the primary reason for the rates of young Christians leaving the church when they leave their parents and go to college or move out on their own. The Apostle Paul says that mature Christians must leave behind milk and move on to meat and solid foods (spiritually speaking, of course). By never moving past the basic Gospel, the church deprives its members of the deep theological truths that they need to explore in order to grow and become strong in their faith, and so some leave because they are simply sick of the same old story again and again with no real substance, and the rest leave because they are confronted with new ideas and have no way to combat them, which leads me to my third point.
3. Inadequacy of education -- A common modern-day stereotype of a Christian is an ignorant bigot with unfair prejudices and no reason or rhyme to their beliefs except the mantra, "The Bible tells me so." To many, to be a follower of the Bible is to be ready and eager to buy bull. While stereotypes can be unfair, it seems to me that oftentimes this one is far from incorrect; however, this is not the fault of the individual believer so much as the fault of the church as a whole, primarily its administration. Often it is the cause of a heavy missions focus which spawns a neglect of the body, yet it is also frequently caused by the simple ignorance of church leaders (and sometimes all of the above). Modern day Christianity is a perfect display of the inadequacy of seminary and doctorates in the education of the men and women of God. One can be well versed in the knowledge of the Word and still mishandle it horribly. How much a man knows is greatly undermined by how much he understands, and this is the dividing line between not only knowledge and wisdom, but wisdom and application. Ancient Israelites knew the scriptures intimately, and yet they constantly strayed; Solomon was gifted with great wisdom, and yet he also strayed. Man is not infallible, and he must never forget that God always knows what to do better than he does; yet, in our arrogance, we abandon the Word of God Himself in favor of our own ideas. Our churches operate largely on decisions of men based on church mission statements based on ideas of men based on the Bible. By the time the original Biblical thought passes through to where it is carried out, it has often departed far from its original intent; and so we carry on and on about whether to baptize by submersion or by sprinkling and we never even realize that we are ignoring the broken hearts and wounded souls seeking the love of Christ. They come seeking Salvation, and find only squabbles and legalism, then they are met by Muslims or Buddhists or members of some other religion actively seeking self actualization, and they move on from our doors. We never equipped them to understand the Bible and its facets, we never equipped them to understand other religions, and often we teach them only to fear what is unknown, so whenever new ideas come around, good or bad, rather than engaging them with the truths of Scripture, the members of the church either abandon Christianity in light of new things or they retreat into their hidey hole never to emerge.
4. Emotional overdose -- Where in the Bible does it say that Christianity is an emotional experience? I want desperately to know, because I still haven't found it. In fact, whenever the scriptures speak in reference to themselves, our instruction is to meditate on them, as in, with our brains. Christians from the early church to the Rennaissance were scholars of the faith, avidly studying and divining the nature of God and His relationship to mankind. This is where the vast majority of our modern doctrines and traditions come from: the work of our ancestors, because we no longer do this work for ourselves. Rather, in the modern church, we have thrown intellectual matters to the wind in favor of something emotional, something we can feel, and it is these feelings that we pursue above all else. This is understandable, considering how inadequately the church educates its followers, because people don't know what there is to know about Christianity anymore. In fact, many of the old doctrines have become infamiliar to the modern church, and thus have become an object of fear rather than part of a proud heritage. If a Christian minister were to offer to teach his congregation about the conflicting natures of Christianity and Islam as the world's premier monotheistic religions, most of his congregation would either stop listening seriously, feeling intimidated, or be shocked and offended that he was about to talk about a false religion in their holy sanctuary. However, if a Christian minister were to tell the people to stand to their feet, raise their hands, close their eyes, and pictures themselves in the arms of Christ and try to feel His presence, rather than feel as though they were being treated as lunatics, most would either follow along eagerly, hoping to feel close to Jesus, or remain seated uncaringly. By robbing Christians of the knowledge and understanding of Scripture, they are left only with an emotional attachment to the church, seeking feelings that may or may not be elusive, depending on the person, and spawning only two kinds of followers: the emotional, obedient servant, following and never really knowing why, but not caring because of their conditioning not to; or the apostate "follower" who comes to church but never really shows much interest in anything but doing fun things with friends afterwards. Neither is equipped to handle themselves in the real world, surrounded by people of different beliefs, as is exemplified by this, this, this, this, and many others.
These are merely some of the factors that lead to the rampant spiritual apostacy we see in our churches today; however, we can do nothing about them until we see a reform in the leadership of the church. Followers are generally only as good as their leaders, and the Bible calls spiritual leaders to a higher standard than laymen. In order to instruct, one must be readily and constantly instructed, not by men, but by the Word (which can be gleaned from the Bible and from rubbing brains with other Christians, but the Bible is the ultimate, final authority). Christ spoke to sinners with nothing but love, yet He openly rebuked and chastised the Pharisees and Sadducees for their legalism and hypocrisy. The church is in desperate need of tough love from the top down, and unless it receives some, lowers its pridefully bloated head and allows itself to be instructed once more, it will continue its blistering fall into the pitfalls the Bible warned us about, yet we stumbled right along into anyway. If God is to speak to us, how will we ever know it if we refuse to quiet our own noise and bustle long enough to hear?