Vox Day Provides a Gem

07/31/2006: I don’t always agree with Vox Day. Unlike Vox, I consider myself very supportive of our current military efforts while objecting to the larger Bush-Condi-Rummy-Wolfie vision of exporting democracy to every living creature.

However, I’d say Vox nailed this one.

While I disagree with Vox over our military efforts, the fight against Islammunism is more than a military one–it is cultural and ideological and we cannot win while assuming a secularist framework.

After all, a purely secular framework is devoid of the moral clarity necessary to win this fight.

Vox, however, provides a set of truths that are inescapable, and must be understood in this fight:

1. Democracy does not reduce radicalism or inhibit religion.

If you have a Jihadist/Islammunist populace controlled by a dictator, and you allow them democracy, you will be left with a freely-elected Islammunist regime. Carter proved this when he undermined the Shah and serenaded the Ayatollah Khomeini–who was VERY popular at the time–into Iran. Khomeini, in turn, gave us Hezbollah.

2. Exposure to Western culture does not eliminate radicalism. Even complete immersion in it does not guarantee its elimination.

All 19 September 11 hijackers had such exposure; that didn’t stop them. Similarly, every flower child of the 1960s–all of whom grew up in postwar, Capitalist America–revolted against Western civilization. Almost every American university is a rat’s nest of anti-West radicalism.

3. Western shock and awe cannot impose permanant defeat upon an Eastern culture of retreat and regroup.

I’d go one step further: no “victory” (short of the Second Coming) is permanent. That is why the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We beat the Brits in 1783, but now face a more insidious enemy 230 years later: a behemoth federal government bolstered by neo-communists on both the left and right.

4. Technological proliferation is inevitable. This includes nuclear weapons.

We must face reality: sovereign nations will pursue high-tech weapons. The nuclear genie has been out of the bottle for over 60 years. Anyone who thinks it is realistic policy to decide which nations can pursue these weapons is not being rational. As long as we communicate the responsibility and gravity of being in the nuclear club, we can ensure that sovereign nations will pursue the weaponry without threatening America–or her allies–with such weapons.

5. Internal dissension, not external force, ends offensive expansion.

That is how we beat back the Brits; that is how Nicaragua beat back the Sandinistas; that is how Communism crumbled in Poland and the East.

In this fight against Islammunism, I am less concerned with our military capacity–it is impressive and capable of delivering military victory–but more concerned with our spiritual/ideological underpinning.

When our society lacks the capacity to call evil what it is–and secularism, the de facto framework our society has embraced, lacks that capacity–we are not in a position to truly stem the spread of Islammunism.

Reagan earned nothing but derision from our intelligentsia when he called the Soviet Union “the evil empire”, but we won that war because Americans had the moral/ideological/spiritual clarity to see that truth. However, I remain unconvinced that Americans–even Christians–understand the gravity of the struggle we are facing today.

We’re winning on the military end; however, military victories are fleeting. The real fight is right here on our soil–and not necessarily military in nature–and whether we are prepared to fight it remains to be seen.

EU Referendum/LGF Expose Hezbollah Shenanigans

07/31/2006: And MSM has fallen for it: hook, line, and sinker.

Fact is, Hezbollah loves it when children die. Aside from the fact that they are nihilist death-worshipers, they hide behind women and children, using them as human shields (or bases from which to launch rocket attacks).

Then when Americans or Israelis kill them in the course of fighting immediate threats (terrorists), the Jihadists milk their lackeys at CNN, MSNBC, the New York Slimes, Reuters, AP, Al Jazeera, etc. for prime coverage.

Until we accept the fact that we are in a no-holds-barred war–like World War II–and fight it like it is such a war, we can expect a similar pattern: we will win militarily, only to lose on the home front.

Megachurch Preacher Eschews Politics

07/29/2006: I must admit, I don’t know that much about Rev. Gregory Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN. However, I must commend him for keeping political campaigning out of the pulpit.

Unlike Boyd, I’ll provide a disclosure of my views: my politics are very far-right. I’m pro-life on abortion: the issue should be resolved democratically at the state level via legislation and/or referenda. I oppose the large federal government; charity is a personal–not a federal–responsibility. I also support our military campaigns (but oppose the general Bush-Rice-Rumsfeld vision of exporting democracy to every living creature). On economic issues, I’m a free-market libertarian. On immigration: I oppose amnesty while–like Vox Day–I oppose building a wall (as that can one day be used to keep Americans from emigrating). I also support the right to die for every Islammunist who wishes to war against civilization. I oppose gay marriage while opposing the government licensure of marriages altogether.

Now, with all that out of the way, I absolutely agree with Boyd: as much as I love fighter planes and all things aerospace, none of that has any place in the pulpit. While I admire the sacrifices and service of our men and women in the military–if not for my chronic disc problems, I’d be in the Army right now–there is no good reason to use the pulpit to promote the nationalist jingoism that I otherwise support.

Last year, my church–Highview Baptist in Louisville–hosted Justice Sunday, which was effectively an infomercial designed to promote the cause against the judicial filibusters in which the Senate Democrats engaged. On this blog–and in the Louisville Courier-Journal–I supported that cause at that time. In all fairness, the pastor–Dr. Kevin Ezell (to his credit) keeps politics out of the pulpit, and so I figured he had some good reasons for allowing Highview to be a party to Justice Sunday.

I must confess, however, to having second thoughts on that one. Here are the bases for those second thoughts:

(1) With the exception of Al Mohler’s presentation–which, for all my disagreements with him, was quite good–every presentation was political hype. Very little attention was made to educating viewers regarding filibusters and their proper use. It was all promotion of the standard traditional values ticket.

(2) Evangelical leaders–Falwell, Robertson, most of the SBC leadership–have prostituted themselves with a GOP that could give nary a damn about anything Christian. To the GOP, family values is nothing more than a marketing scam to get votes. Their election-year pandering on flag-burning, gay marriage, and immigration reform is a “Hail Mary, give me more votes” play.

At the end of the day, both major parties are colluding to foist a neo-communist agenda on America, and evangelical leaders are following them like dumb sheep. More on that point some other time.

For the record: Dubya ain’t the Good Shepherd.

(3) I’ve long made the observation that the difference between a conservative and a liberal isn’t necessarily what they preach, but rather what they don’t preach. Ergo, many preachers who are “conservative” by SBC standards are really liberal because they don’t preach the Gospel. (Hint: if they spend all this time preaching about American heritage, the glories of free enterprise, and the great liberties we enjoy as Americans, those are all good things, but it ain’t the Gospel.)

Keep in mind that this abandonment of the Gospel is not exclusive to evangelical circles; this is in fact quite rampant in mainline Protestant circles and other circles that embrace Liberation Theology. But the latter is not the issue here.

It is as wrong for conservatives, for example, to demand all allegiance to Israel (no questions asked) as it is for the Presbyterian Church (USA) to invest in Hamas and Hezbollah-related causes. Anyone who thinks Israel is pristine white has never read the Old Testament.

It is as wrong for conservatives to demand unconditional support of every American military effort as it is for a liberal church to make care packages for Vietcong rebels. (I know firsthand that this was practiced.)

The Church can–and should–have frank discussions on these matters; however, as for the pulpit, it needs to be Gospel, Gospel, and Gospel.

Did I say Gospel?

Ruminations about High Risk Behavior, Part 1

07/29/2006: These past two days, I have had reinforcements of serious life lessons. Thankfully, I was only an observer, not the recipient, of the experiences that reinforced those lessons. (I cannot say that about every lesson I have learned in life!)

(1) A church buddy of mine–a former Marine sniper–has landed in the hospital with coronary artery disease. Since he got out of the military, he let his weight get out of control: he is at least 150 pounds overweight. Last year, he had a quadruple bypass. Now, he has blockages in all but one coronary artery. It’s inoperable.

The kicker: he is only a few years older than I am. His physicians have been warning him for years to get his weight down. Now, he’s facing diabetes and coronary artery disease. Because of his condition, he will have a very hard time getting his weight down, as he is limited in the amount of exercise he can perform.

A couple weeks ago, I went shooting with him. Now, he may not be able to do that again.

(2) Yesterday, Mel Gibson–a devout Catholic–was arrested for DUI. Thankfully, he didn’t crash his vehicle, and no one was hurt. He will learn from this, and I hope he gets some help.

(3) As I was driving to Louisville–westbound on I-64–a 31-year-old woman (we’ll call her Rachel, but that is not her real name) rolled an SUV going eastbound. She was wearing a seatbelt, but was partially ejected from the vehicle. Miraculously, she survived: she has some nasty facial cuts, and probably some disc/vertebral damage, but she’s not paralyzed and will likely see a full recovery.

The kicker: the scene reeked of alcohol. It is quite probable that she was intoxicated (although this has yet to be confirmed).

On one level, some rejoicing is in order: no one died in these instances.

One is on thin ice–my one friend must get his weight down, and he must do it the hard way, and he will face substantial risks as he does. Gibson is bound to be embarassed and shamed, but he will live and learn.

And Rachel will recover. If she was drunk, then shame on her. But–to her credit–she was wearing a seat belt. That definitely saved her life!

However, each of these represent teaching moments about taking care of one’s self and avoiding high-risk behavior.

With few exceptions, obesity is preventable. Even if you cannot exercise–some people are handicapped and physical activity is limited if not impossible–you can eat sensibly. This will ensure that your weight is manageable. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, you must take it upon yourself to keep your body fat at under 15%.

As for drinking, it’s all about moderation and responsibility. If your family has a history of alcohol abuse, stay the heck away from the stuff, as there could be a hereditary predisposition to alcohol abuse. Otherwise, keep your drinking moderate: one or two beers OR glasses of red wine.

And if you drink–for crying out loud–stay away from vehicles!

“None got away…never had a chance.”

07/28/2006: Robert Charles Browne is the John Wayne Gacy of our generation. If his claims are correct, he has killed 48 people, mostly young women and children.

Serving a life sentence for killing a child in Colorado, Browne has confessed to 48 murders in states spanning from Louisiana to Washington.

He provided no motive for the killings or his confessions thereto, as authorities are saying he never gave much thought to the killings–before or after the fact. His victims were adults and children (one 13 years). Some victims had been coworkers; others mere acquaintances.

However, all were female, and, as FOX reports, he apparently had a very low view of the opposite sex:

Women are unfaithful, they screw around a lot, they cheat, and they are not of the highest moral value. They cheat and they are users..

If he lived in Iran the right country, he’d be a religious leader.

THIS is Why We Must Defeat Islammunism

07/27/2006: Michelle Malkin reports on a BBC story regarding the Islammunists in Iran–who are running the government (thank you Jimmy Carter)–hanged a 16-year-old girl for “crimes against chastity”. (Translation: a mullah probably complained that her style of dress–not the fact that he was thinking with the wrong part of his body–was the cause of his sexual arousal.)

This is that to which you can look forward if the Islammunists win.

As for me, I think I’ll buy another 1,000 rounds of ammo.

Celizic: Cycling is a Cheater’s Sport

07/27/2006: I wholeheartedly agree with Mike Celizic on this one. If Landis cheated, we are wearing some big-time blinders not to be surprised. Doping among cyclists is a scandal that makes the major league steroid scandal look small-time in comparison.

I can understand why skeptics might charge that Lance Armstrong won his seven Tours through artificial means. If he cheated–and that’s a very big if–then that proves he was worthy of his victories, as he was head and shoulders above everyone else, who got caught.

(In all seriousness, I believe Lance did it fair and square: he was obsessed with cycling, and no one worked as hard as he did to prepare for the Tour.)

On the other hand, almost every top cyclist has been tainted at some point with doping. This is because cycling is the perfect sport in that any form of cheating provides some advantage. Doping through EPO, amphetamines, transfusions, HGH, and any number of anabolic steroids, can enhance the performance of a cyclist.

In other sports, certain substances provide certain benefits that benefit certain types of athletes. Sports that rely on power–weightlifting, discus, shot put, sprinting–see their athletes use mostly anabolic steroids and HGH. Sports that are more endurance-related–cross-country skiing, marathoning–will see more doping with EPO and transfusions. Extreme cycling–like the Tour–requires power, endurance, and the ability to recover quickly.

This means you can expect cyclists to try a myriad of remedies: anabolic steroids, EPO, HGH, you name it.

And let’s face it, if you just suffered a most incredible meltdown in the race of your life, and you have severe arthritis in your hip, you need something to help you recover quickly so you can make a charge.

If you’re Floyd Landis and someone offers a testosterone patch, it might be tempting to think, “Well…if I take a partial dose it might not show up on a test. I might be able to beat this.”

I’m not saying he did it–he’s innocent until proven guilty–but I can understand why he might be tempted to do it.

Like Celizic, however, I am not surprised if he did. Cycling is a sport made for cheating.

That yellow jersey is–all too often–too great a temptation for athletes who are, by nature, perfectionists who are always seeking the competitive edge.

Shocker: Tour Winner Floyd Landis Tests Positive for High Testosterone

07/27/2006: If this is true, it will be the biggest cheating scandal in U.S. sports history.

Floyd Landis–all but given up for done after his meltdown on stage 16 of the Tour De France when he went from 1st to 11th place–turned in the most remarkable comeback performance on stage 17, finishing a mere 30 seconds behind the lead. He would go on to win the Tour, making this the 8th straight American victory.

However, Landis has tested positive for high testosterone levels. This is noteworthy because steroids make for rapid recovery from injuries and stressful performances. This would explain how Landis–who was clearly out of gas after his Wednesday meltdown, with an arthritic hip to boot–could make up almost 8 minutes (in one of the most taxing stages) as though he were well-rested.

If the test turns out correct, then Landis would go the way of Rosie Ruiz and Ben Johnson.

I hope it’s a false alarm, as I don’t want Landis to be known as “Floyd the ‘Roid” or “Steroid Floyd”.

Gay Marriage: WorldNetDaily Doesn’t Get It

07/27/2006: While WorldNetDaily correctly points out that gay marriage has failed every time it has gone before the voters, that does not change one simple fact: it will be legal one day.

Today, in an article with the heading “Queerly Beloved”, they report the following:

Yesterday’s stunning decision by Washington’s Supreme Court upholding traditional marriage is not the only setback dogging same-sex marriage advocates.

In fact, 20 out of the 20 times it has come before voters, Americans have chosen to protect by constitutional amendment the idea of limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

None of that matters. In fact, recent state court rulings in Washington and New York–coupled with the Massachusetts ruling of 2004–will force the issue into the federal court system. If the issue makes it to the Supreme Court (and it will), SCOTUS will strike down all state laws, just as they did with abortion laws in 1973.

I’m not saying I like that fact. I don’t.

Keep in mind that there are two ways of looking at the world: the world as it should be and the world as it is.

Unless Americans (and our court system) willingly embrace the Judeo-Christian framework–and acknowledge that, while the Bible does not substitute for the Constitution, it does play a role in the formulation of public policy that has served us well for 230 years–there is no logical reason to deny gay marriage.

If you want pure legal arguments, there are none: we can make the law say what we want.

If you want pure medical arguments, there is some case, but not enough to justify a ban.

If you want pure moral arguments, the only ones are religious. If you deny all religious underpinnings, then there is no reason to ban gay marriage on religious grounds.

If you want to raise the argument of tradition, then that also holds no water. After all, that a practice is rooted in tradition does not make a compelling case to retain it. To argue otherwise, we’d have to bring back slavery,