My $0.02 on the U.S.-Iranian Relationship

09/30/2007: Readers of this blog will understand that I am hardly shy about my heritage: I’m quite proud that my dad’s side of the family is from Iran. My dad was born near the Iran-Iraq border, and was raised in Tehran. We are ethnically Kurdish, and–like most Kurds–my dad and I are unashamed of our love for the United States. My dad is a naturalized citizen who eschews “dual citizenship”. His words: “When you become an American citizen, you are a F***ING AMERICAN!!!” I couldn’t agree more.

I would also suggest that most Iranians have no axe to grind with Americans, and in fact most would like to have the freedoms that Americans enjoy. On the other hand, they aren’t too keen on having another revolution.

A couple weeks ago, I visited my old church, and had lunch with some of the folks afterwards. When I told them I was a proud supporter of Ron Paul’s candidacy, one of the women–a die-hard Republican–challenged me as if I supported Nazi Germany. I told her that–while I would have supported the war in Iraq at the time (and in fact did)–I eschew the neocon agenda of imposing democracy on every living creature. When asked for examples, I pointed out the shameless drumbeat for war in Iran even though Iran is hardly a threat to American national security.

She then remarked, “Did you know that most Iranians want us to invade Iran and overthrow their government???”

Like hell they do!

Here are some quick facts that anyone can understand:

(1) Most Iranians HATE their government and want nothing to do with their Islammunist regime.

(2) Most Iranians want better relations with the United States, as good relations in the past (during the Shah’s regime) made for better prosperity in spite of the Shah’s many faults.

(3) Most Iranians want their country to have nuclear weapons: it is a matter of national sovereignty and they see it as a legitimate defense need, given that Russia, India, and Pakistan–nuclear powers all–are a stone throw away from them.

(4) While Iranians hate their government and wish for better relations with the United States, they are not in any rush to jump headfirst into another revolution even if Americans would back them.

Why the apparent contradictions?

Two times in the last century, the United States has used her CIA to undermine legitimate governments in Iran. In 1953, the Eisenhower Administration teamed up with the British to unseat Mohammed Mossadegh, a democratically-elected President who was quite pro-West, because he desired to nationalize much of the oil industry, which threatened some American and British companies. That is how the Shah came into power.

In 1979, President Carter used the CIA to undermine the Shah and install the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini–who was in exile in France at the time–into power. Khomeini had promised more democracy, women’s rights, and individual freedoms, but when he took power he immediately imposed an Orwellian-style Islammunist totalitarian regime. Intellectuals fled the country; military leaders were executed; entrepreneurs fled for Europe and America.

This, in turn, laid the ground for the Iran-Iraq war, a war–stoked at least in part by the United States–during which the Khomeini regime wasted a million Iranian lives in this fight.

In a nutshell, Iranians understand what happened the last time they had a revolution that Americans fomented: they got what they have today, and they were handed a decade-long war that cost an additional million lives.

In light of those facts, one can understand why Iranians are not exactly high on fighting another revolution, and why they are skeptical of an American President who pledges to stand with them, as much as they hate their own government.

Vox Day Pulls a Satan

09/30/2007: I once preached a sermon like this, minus the expletives of course. (Congregations get persniketty about that sort of thing.) I’m presenting Vox Day’s piece, uncensored.

The Leadership Secrets of Satanas Rexby His Nethereal Majesty Lucifer the Satan I, Lord of Hell, God of This Age, Prince of This World, and by divine proclamation Accursed of God, Banished From Heaven and Condemned to the Pit.

Do you seriously expect to learn anything about leadership from some pinhead who managed to suck his way up to straight As in high school, snowed the admissions board with a cheesy essay about how much he wants to change the world, then rode the Ivy League gravy train into a fast-track slot at a Fortune 500 company? Are you genuinely impressed by petty little pikers whose silver tongues let them grab the brass ring just long enough to jump with a golden parachute before their corporations crash and burn?

I eat guys like that for breakfast. Literally. Their souls, anyhow. Let’s just say you don’t see a lot of Chief Executive Officers in Heaven. Or lawyers.

You want leadership? Then answer me this. Where do you think the world heading right now? To Hell, exactly. And guess who’s taking it there? You’re damned right it’s me!

You want vision? I’ve been planning this global governance thing for more than six thousand years. One world, one humanity, one leader – me! You want foresight? Hell, I saw what needed to be done back when you mortals were running around in bear skins with your bare asses hanging out, divided into fifty thousand different tribes and clans, and every rock big enough to take a dump on was claimed by its own so-called king.

You want management? Let’s see you try ruling over two-thirds of the fallen Host of Heaven, from Seraphim to Succubi. It’s like herding cats, if cats were immortal rebels with the power to destroy entire nations. And if you think you’ve got HR problems, try having secretaries who never wear clothes and are so damn hot that it’s a sexual harassment suit in the making just to stand in the same office with them. (And you’ve seen the statues, let’s face it, ain’t no hiding that thing when the blood gets flowing, you know what I’m saying? Plus, I don’t usually wear pants.)

You want charisma? Who do you think talked the angelic Host into falling in the first place? Here’s the first secret, you don’t talk people into following you, you make them think it’s impossible to not follow you. Hell, even God’s kid knows that, deep down, everybody wants to follow an Alpha. But no one’s more Alpha than Alpha than me, I’m the original O.G.. Look, whose sign is that everybody makes with their hands when they’re banging their heads and rocking out? That’s right. Mine, motherfucker, mine!

…to be continued

SAFE!!! Victim in Child Rape Video Found!

Thank God! The poor sweetie–raped on video by that scumsucking piece of crap–has been found. She is safe, and with family members.

I wish there was an outlet that would allow folks like myself to send care packages for her (and money for therapy she will need).

As for her assailant, he will be found. I hope the cops have a “Teeth of the Tiger” moment and shoot the bastard.

I Agree with Nancy Pelosi

Well…probably for different reasons. Through her Press Secretary, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “As a Catholic, the speaker is confident that Christianity has not been harmed.”

Unlike Pelosi, I find the Folsom Street Fair promo offensive: it makes a mockery of Jesus and the Scriptures.

On the other hand, I cannot say that I have lost one second of sleep over this. Jesus said the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, so please excuse me for not getting in a ruckus over a few perverts wishing to strap it to Jesus. As with Kathy Griffin, I’m more concerned at the Folsom Street folks and their threat to themselves (it’s huge) and unconcerned about their threat to the Church (nil).

Is anyone surprised that a homosexual group has portrayed Jesus as a gay-sex fiend?

Prediction: the day is coming where the same folks will portray Mary Magdalene doing her sister wearing a strap-on. I won’t be surprised, nor should anyone else. As I have said before: we ought to expect the world to do things like this.

Here’s a larger issue, however, for the Church…

While Christians have not portrayed Jesus as a sexual deviant, the Church has, over the years, been guilty of doing the same thing that the Folsom Street folks have done: we have a natural tendency to carve Jesus into our model of life, or interpret Jesus on our own terms, or portray Jesus as supporting a particular side of a controversy or political party.

Many conservatives would have you believe that Jesus was a warmonger. While I hardly consider myself a peacenik–I was unapologetically supportive of Reagan’s efforts in the Cold War but harbor substantial reservations about the neocon agenda–the warmonger model of Jesus is as unBiblical as the Folsom Street distributor-of-gay-sex-toys model.

Many conservatives would have you believe that Jesus was a gun-totin’ NRA member. While I have no objections to NRA membership or concealed carry–I am an NRA member and carry a gun with which I often practice at the range. I do it for the safety of my neighbor!–there is no Biblical evidence that Jesus carried any weapon other than his own word.

Many liberals would have you believe that Jesus was Che Guevara on a cross, as they promote neo-communist confiscatory government. While Jesus commanded generosity to the poor, there is no Biblical substantiation that Jesus commanded any particular governmental system to include democracy. Jesus changed many paradigms in his time on earth, but He didn’t overthrow one dictator; didn’t install any democracies; didn’t institute any governmental charity programs; nor did He command governmental “sword control” or institute a universal “right to keep and bear arms”.

Fact is, Jesus was quite apolitical. He did not sully His good Name with the dirty laundry of political parties or political causes.

And don’t get me wrong: I’ve sent money to conservative groups such as Concerned Women for America. I have an NRA jacket that I wear to work just to irritate the liberals. I am even a card-carrying member of the John Birch Society (even though I take exception when they get into their promotion of conspiracy theories).

I just think Christians in America need to take stock in what’s really important: I am more concerned about Christian misrepresentations of the Biblical Jesus than I am about what a group of sexual perverts does.

The former is more damaging than the latter.

Myanmar: Shades of Romania?

09/27/2007: I remember what happened in 1989, when communist thug Nicolae Ceaucescu used his military to put down pro-freedom demonstrators: he and his wife were dead in a matter of days. For all his efforts, he couldn’t stop the wave of freedom.

Could this be happening in Myanmar? I don’t know. But I have no use for the thugs running the show there. Firing machine guns at peaceful protesters does not win points with me.

That’s not to say that the U.S. government is pristine white on this matter, as the Bonus Army case (1932) and the Kent State shootings reveal. (And who can forget Waco or Ruby Ridge?) However, those incidents are the exception to the rule, at least for today.

Oooohhhh Baby! China Bans “Sexually Provocative” Sounds

09/27/2007: Red China, in spite of their recent taking to free markets, is reflective of the fact that free enterprise alone does not a free country make. Just ask any Christian in China who attends a house church.

China also greatly restricts Internet access, forbids gun ownership, forbids free speech, and has a justice system that systematically ignores justice. Their leadership reeks of a corruption so bad that even Duke Cunningham, Ted Stevens, and William Jefferson would blush. They may not be as bad as Mao Zedong, but I remember watching the onslaught that was Tiananmen Square.

6/4 is 9/11 to a Chinese. I remember that event, and–in spite of his French Open victory at age 17–Chinese-American Michael Chang, a devout Christian, called for prayers for the folks in Tiananmen Square in his victory speech.

Now, in a huge reach for government, China has banned–and I’m not making this up–sexually-provocative sounds. Whatever the heck that is supposed to entail. I’m sure they’ll form a government agency–the Ministry of Sexual Transmission and Reception (MSTR)–to regulate this type of communication. They might even enforce the law by setting up sting operations (that would be MSTR-baiting).

u would never be able to be with a girl ur age again

09/26/2007: That is what a parent sent in a text message to a friend of her son’s.

The culprit: 35-year-old Sheryl Nawahine, whose son is a friend of a Fruitland High School student.

Unfortunately, her husband doesn’t quite understand the gravity of his wife’s actions:

This was a lapse in judgement, and people are going to think what they want to believe. We have been upstanding residents of the community for years. Nothing was handed to us. We have worked hard to build a life here.

Well…if his 35-year-old wife is sending those kinds of messages, including videos and pics, then this is more than “a lapse in judgment”.

While I have no doubt that–if I were the student–I would also have the hots for her, it would be a reasonable expectation that she would have the moral fortitude to teach some things about respect.

Mike Gundy On the Money

09/26/2007: Count me in the minority, but I support Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy for his tirade against Jenni Carlson, whose column attacked quarterback Bobby Reid.

That is a coach with some brass ballistics.

If there is one thing I cannot stand, it’s a leader who lets his people hang out to dry. I have a special disdain for those types. An integral part of being a leader means having your people’s backs.

Besides, we’re talking about amateur athletes playing college ball, not overpaid professional atheletes who whine over broken toenails.

As for Carlson, how would she like it if I questioned her qualifications on the same grounds that she attacked Reid? She attacked his manhood; what if I asked Carlson how many linebackers have put her on her back? How many times has she been drilled by the big boys? The puns abound…

Fact is, I could rip her with every pun in the book, and–as far as I am concerned–Gundy was being nice.

As for Gundy, what he did served to take the pressure off his players. (My theory is that is why Bobby Knight does what he does: as long as people are complaining about him, they aren’t dishing it out on his players.) If I were a high school player looking for a coach for whom I want to play, Gundy would be at the top of my list right now (well…second…behind Joe Paterno…can’t diss my childhood hero).

With a coach like that, I might crash the gates of hell and cut Satan’s proverbial balls off.

Presbyterrorists Still Hunting Down Riverside!

09/25/2007: Last year, the members of Riverside Presbyterian Church in Linn Grove, Iowa voted 74-0 to secede from the Presbyterrorist Church USA (PCUSA). Sadly, that became necessary because the PCUSA had long-since thrown off all vestiges of Biblical Christianity and embraced an agenda closer to that of the Unitarian Universalists than to the Biblical Jesus.

To date, the Prospect Hill Presbyterrorists–the arm of the PCUSA that “oversees” the Linn Grove region, is fighting to recover their property. Not content with losing the congregation, they wish to have their building back.

The pastor, Russ Westbrook–a friend of mine from my seminary days–is fighting to keep the congregation in the building. Admittedly, this is far less important to him as it is to other PCUSA defectors who might be impacted by the outcome of any litigation in this case–it could provide a legal precedent.