Counter-Point to anti-alcohol consumption blog post

Hello, all. It’s MrsLarijani. This is a continuation to a discussion started on Facebook. I knew it would be long-winded. So, I’m using this space.

The original blog post can be found here.

* The Bible says not to be drunk, and the line between having a drink and having too many drinks is just too

The line is not fuzzy if you know your limit. Scripture commands that we worship God with our minds. Elsewhere, self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. We can know that line. The Father commands and the Spirit leads. Drinking can be an act of worship. (Thus saith the Presbyterian. Amen.)

* I don’t want to contribute financially to an industry that capitalizes on the pain, neediness, and addiction of anyone.

This sounds godly enough, but is it true? Wine, bourbon, & beer are multi-purpose liquids. You can use them in cooking & baking. If you live in the South long enough, you know that bourbon has great medicinal value. It isn’t called “Grandpa’s cough syrup” for nothing.

I have seen many ads for bourbon and beer. I am getting to know a local winery owner and operator. I have yet to be compelled toward a drunken orgy or even have one demonstrated for me.

* Alcohol dulls sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

No, it doesn’t. Thus saith the Lord. From the book of Matthew 11:18-19: For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

* I don’t want to exclude anyone or hinder relationships. 

Neither do I. This is why we allow alcohol in our lives. It is not a prominent part, but it is a part of our lives. Praise the Lord.

* I don’t want to point others, particularly my children, toward anything that could potentially become a problem for or hurt them.

Please keep them away from money, food, sex, & artillery then. If you’re not going to teach them to be responsible with it, then – yes – please keep it as far away from them as possible.

* If I chose to drink, it would be for me, to fulfill my own desires and purposes, which is where every sin issue I’ve ever had has started. I just don’t want to go there.

She must be the first woman in history to have never bought a pair of shoes because she thought they were pretty. . . Seriously?!?

Sin is about self. I have yet to ponder on any sin that doesn’t start with self.

At this point, this blogger is fully convinced that consumption of alcohol absolutely cannot ever be a Godly endeavor. I’m sure she wouldn’t say that her desires and purposes cannot ever line up with the Lord’s. She has a dichotomy. I would submit it is a false dichotomy when it comes to this issue.

* If I broke off a piece of the Loritab, Darvacet, Percacet, or Vicadin in my cabinet every time I felt the need to relax, people would say I had a problem. I struggle to see how that is any different than pouring a glass of whatever when I feel the need to chill.

I’ll concede this point. As Christians, we shouldn’t be convinced that the peace of God that passes understanding can only be found in one particular substance. That’s idolatry.

* I just don’t need it.

To quote my husband when it comes to things he enjoys “It ain’t about need!”

*I want to be set apart.

Then be set apart. Go to Christian weddings where Christian brothers are the bartender and will tell you when you need to switch to water or some other non-alcoholic beverage. Be among Christian brothers and sisters who will not consume more than two glasses of wine because they know that is plenty.

Commit yourself to not being controlled by any substance. Including food and money.

Hypocrisy, Islammunist style

Last month, the Pew Research Center surveyed nearly 40 countries worldwide on the question, “Should society accept homosexuality?”

Needless to say, the answer was “yes” in the US and Western Europe. Near the bottom of the list: Pakistan, at 2%.

But that’s not the end of the story. FAR from it.

The survey also looked at the frequency of Google searches for terms related to gay porn, starting in 2004 and continuing to the present.

Pakistan’s world ranking in search volume for the following terms was:

  • shemale sex — #1
  • teen a*** sex — #1
  • man f***ing man — #1
  • gay sex pics — #2

But wait, it gets better. The highest number of hits for some of these terms, including “shemale sex”, come from Peshawar—a bastion of conservative Islam and currently on the front lines of the GWOT.

HT:  New York Post, with more extensive coverage in Mother Jones (extreme left-wing rag)


Rachael Slick, Atheist Convert, Part 3 (A Few Notes about the Awana Culture)

As I read the guest post by Rachael Slick regarding her conversion to Atheism, she included a picture of herself receiving an Awana award, presumably for godliness.

As someone who worked in Awana for many years–and even served as a Commander–I am very familiar with their award system. In fact, I have earned most of the awards as an adult leader, as adults are allowed–even encouraged–to earn the awards. This helps keep the adults on top of their game, and also helps motivate the kids to do their best.

Awana awards are NOT for “godliness”; Awana awards are given for demonstrated proficiency at Biblical memorization and participation in various activities (i.e. the Awana Games, or what used to be the Awana Olympics). Depending on the chapter, adults also receive “service awards” for number of years active in Awana, as well as pins and patches for various certifications (Cubbies, Sparks, Truth and Training, JV, Varsity, Commander/Director, etc.)

Awana provides a lot of structure, and includes time for activities (Game Time), Biblical memorization recital (Handbook time), and teaching of Biblical lessons (Counsel Time). Awana covers a wide swath of age groups, from age 3 through high school. Adults are permitted–even encouraged–to earn the handbook and relevant memorization awards, beginning from grades 3 on up. There are also memorization regimens specifically for adults, such as the Sword Club. Typically, every year, Awana issues a challenge–to both kids and adults–to memorize a particular chapter of the Bible. Past examples include Isaiah 53 and 1 Corinthians 13.

The materials are impressive in their depth, and provide good resources for an effective teaching and learning experience. Done rightly, Awana is an excellent vehicle for providing deep–and enjoyable–Christian education for both children and adults alike.

I like Awana. If my church asked me to start up a chapter today, I’d start one yesterday.

Having said that, I must concede: the awards culture in Awana can become problematic.

I remember going to conferences where older kids–and even adults–were wearing so many awards down their shirts that it resembled a military “salad bar” uniform display. It really struck me as ostentatious. I had a fair share of awards myself, but restricted myself to wearing one bar on my shirt, as I found them to be annoying.

I also saw parents playing the game of “My child is better than everyone else”. The awards became a quick source of pride.

Once I realized that, I stopped wearing my pins altogether. When kids asked me why I didn’t wear them, I told them, “Awards are not a mandatory part of the uniform; I’d rather not wear them.”

I still earned my pins, though. I enjoyed doing the memory work, and I enjoyed pushing the kids to do their best.

Today, if I were a Commander, I would have a simple policy regarding the wearing of awards, and it would apply across the board for kids and adults: except for award ceremonies, Awards may not be worn on uniforms, and–even then–no more than one bar may be worn. I would simply wear a plain shirt.

I think it is great to recognize achievement; at the same time, we won’t wear our crowns in heaven either.

Rachael Slick, Atheist Convert, Part 2 (Training versus Programming)

In my last installment, I focused on the claims of Rachael Slick, regarding her journey from a very conservative Christian homeschooled life to the ranks of the Atheists. As I said, I have no personal axe to grind with her, at the same time, hard questions need to be asked, and unpleasant issues need to be raised. While many would love to pile onto her parents, we cannot absolve her of her own responsibilities.

Now, let’s examine her upbringing. As I said elsewhere, if 10% of her story is true–and I believe much of it–then it seems that her parents, particularly her father, dropped the ball. Badly.

As I read her story, what immediately jumped out at me was the way she was drilled in theology. This is not to say that theological education–and Bible study–aren’t important; in fact, they are. But it seemed to me that her parents were not training her, but in fact were programming her. And there is a fine line between the two.

The impression I get from Rachael’s story is that she was getting the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law was absent. At the same time, she grew up amongst perfectionist parents who wanted to ensure that she had every theological “i” dotted and every “t” crossed, and longed to please them as she strove to achieve something that was not achievable.

I’ve seen the dynamic too many times to count. Some may associate it with the hard-shell Baptist/fundamentalist churches, but I’ve seen it–MrsLarijani more so–in some hardcore Reform circles, too. What’s dangerous is that they all have otherwise pleasant commonalities across the board:

(a) parents are otherwise fairly intelligent, hardworking, devoted believers;
(b) parents are very learned in Scripture, and even relevant creeds and catechisms;
(c) parents are otherwise likeable and affable folks;
(d) they homeschool their kids.*

As they excel in their understanding of Scripture, they often get the idea that, if they can only teach their kids everything they know–all the way down to the best way to argue about hard issues–that they will grow up to be God’s Special Forces, head and shoulders above everyone. If they know every theological term, every item in the relevant creeds and confessions–complete with Biblical references–and even earn the Awana Citation Award, that somehow will get them a leg up on Satan and his wily schemes.

As a result, they drill and discipline their children endlessly, at levels that are not prudent.**

Sometimes, they do it out of fear: fear that, without their work, their children will get seduced by Satan. Sometimes they do this out of pride: their desire to have the best trophy kids in the world, not like “those other children”. If it’s out of fear or pride, we must call it what it is: sin.

Other times, they figure that their kids–with their help–can grow up and be do even greater things than they have. Is that godliness? Is it pride? The answer to that is between those parents and God. But if it originates from pride, it is sin.

The end results can be troubling. Some kids grow up and embrace homosexuality or other sexual licentiousness. Others forsake Christianity for other religions (Islam, Buddhism, even Atheism). Many have severe rifts with their parents. They base their understanding of the heavenly Father on their understanding of their earthly father. While no father will get it completely right, the father who is overbearing will, over time, exasperate his kids.

But what is the difference between training and programming? There is definitely a fine line. After all, Biblical commands are…well…not suggestions. Biblical truths are not up for negotiation. Just as multiplication tables are what they are, the Ten Commandments are..commandments. Sometimes, it is not easy. Sometimes, it seems rote to teach them, but teach them we must.

At the same time, the Scriptures carry much breadth and depth, and understanding how various sections fit together takes years to grasp, and even then there remain mysteries that we may never understand. Still, as one learns Scripture, it is instructive to take time to discuss and reason how those passages speak to the character of God and how He reveals Himself and how He relates with Man.

There is much depth in those narratives, and we must ensure that kids gain insight into that depth. But that is not as simple as teaching multiplication tables. You cannot program THAT. You can plant seeds; you can fertilize; you can cultivate. But you cannot MAKE anyone love God. That begins with God loving them, not the other way around.

At the same time, fertilizing and cultivating are paramount, and those often have huge effect.

Part of cultivating and fertilizing means encouraging them to be willing to ask questions. And when questions are asked, you might want to stoke more discussion by asking followup questions. Encourage them to be inquisitive even as you reinforce guiding principles from Scripture. If you don’t know the answer, don’t pull a canned answer from a commentary. Instead, admit that you aren’t sure what the answer is, and offer to help find it. You may consult commentaries in the process, but it’s important to help them understand process. And don’t squelch questions that they may ask during the process.

Critics will often ask, “What about science?” That is where the culture of cultivating and fertilizing–and dialogue–will allow parents to address science in great detail: the history of scientific progress, what influenced the great minds, how they developed hypotheses based on their observations, how they developed experiments to test their hypotheses, how they developed mathematical means to better understand and communicate their results.

Integrating these factors into discussions of difficult topics–such as evolution–allow for an honest appraisal of what science has actually demonstrated versus the hype, and what drives many to embrace the hype.

It would also be helpful to discuss the development of technology–engineering specifically–to show how knowledge of science is harnessed by engineers to intelligently design systems that perform automated tasks. As one learns human anatomy and physiology–along with robotics–it would be a great chance to discuss the intelligence of the Creator.

Every organism has feedback control systems that function much the same way that flight controls, thermostats, robots, and microcontrollers do. Mechanical and electrical systems are the products of intelligent design; it is not unreasonable to accept the premise that biological systems are also the products of design. In fact, given the mathematical similitude, it is fair to intuit that Man is created in the image of the Creator.

Along the lines of cultivation, do not forget love. Some parents have decided that, in being stern with their kids, they are demonstrating love. While that is often true, it is also true that this is not a complete demonstration of love to your kids. There are times for hard discipline, and there are times for grace, and there are times for general enjoyment and relaxation. Doting on your kids, being goofy and affectionate, playing games with them, showing appropriate affection for your spouse in front of them, all goes a long way toward that end.

None of those things will GUARANTEE that a child will not forsake the instructions of his or her parents when they grow old. At the same time, cultivating a loving, joyful household–even as discipline is unavoidable–will go a very long way.

Fleshing that out is where the spirit of the law merges with the letter of the law.

And you can’t program it.

*Nothing wrong with homeschooling; I absolutely support it. Still, parents can do it for right and wrong reasons. If you do this to “shelter” your kids from a secular school system, you must keep in mind that, at some point, they will need to learn to engage the world. You will need to have a plan–sooner rather than later–to help them toward that end.

**Again, there is nothing wrong with taking Biblical studies seriously, or even disciplining your children: in fact, both are Biblical imperatives. Still, when Jesus came to earth Incarnate, He didn’t rail on parents for their lack of attention to teaching their kids. He did, however, rip people–on all sides–for majoring in the minors. The Scriptures also warn parents not to exasperate their children.

Rachael Slick, Atheist Convert, Part 1

As I said in my intro, while I believe there are some areas where her parents dropped the ball–and I shall get to them in the next installment, as they are instructive–we must be very careful here: they could have done everything right, and that does not–in any way–guarantee that Rachael Slick would have grown up to be the perfect Christian woman that every Christian mom and dad hopes for their daughter to become.

Yes, Rachael Slick is responsible for her atheism. I say that not to pile onto her. In fact, as I said before, I have no interest in her condemnation; quite the contrary: I would love for her to see the error of her ways and enjoy the grace of God.

As I read her account, there are some things that stand out about her:

(a) For one, let’s look at the questions she wrestled with:

As my knowledge of Christianity grew, so did my questions — many of them the “classic” kind. If God was all-powerful and all-knowing, why did He create a race He knew was destined for Hell? How did evil exist if all of Creation was sustained by the mind of God? Why didn’t I feel His presence when I prayed? 

While it is great to feel God’s presence when you pray, that is not a compulsory requirement of prayer.

Rachael, did it occur to you that there is no evidence that Joseph “felt” God’s presence with him as he endured hardships that would make yours pale in comparison? Early in his life, he had some dreams that were indicative of future greatness. And yet those “dreams” were dashed quickly: he was beaten within an inch of his life by his own brothers, sold into slavery by his own brothers, framed for a crime he didn’t commit, forced to spend upwards of at least ten years in an Egyptian prison, during which time even people for whom he had favorable words had forgotten him.

Did it occur to you that, during those years, there were times when Joseph didn’t “feel” God’s presence?

When you look at the hard years that Zechariah and Elizabeth endured–not having children of their own, dealing with the derision of their community that looked down on them as an accursed couple–is there any evidence that they always “felt” God’s presence when they prayed? Think of how many times they must have prayed for a child, and yet–year after year–no baby.

Think of all those years where Jeremiah poured his heart out to his fellow Israelites. They rejected almost everything he said. As they rejected his warnings, he witnessed–firsthand–the decline of his country. He suffered along with them. Think of how many times he must have prayed for relief, only to experience more suffering.

We experience evil, sadly, because of the curse of the Fall. As we experience this–as a result of our own sins, the sins of others, and even the curse of Sin itself–it should provide insight into to the love of God, as it is a miracle that He redeems anyone.

As for the dynamics of Lucifer’s rebellion–which was THE original sin–we know only what God has made known to us. There are mysteries that we do not know, and may never know. A rational Christian faith, however, does not require that I must be able to answer every question to my satisfaction. We must remember that, as fallen, imperfect beings whose range of vision is finite, there are some issues to which–while it is okay to ask the questions and mull over them–it is hardly logically necessary in order to receive the Truth that God HAS given us with sufficient clarity.

And that brings me to the premise of a race that is “predestined” for hell. While that is certainly a very unpleasant premise–and, trust me, the dynamics of how this will be worked out in the final judgment is not for you and myself to settle, as there will be many surprises, some pleasant, others not so much, on that day–it should give one pause as to the gravity of the call of God to repentance. Rather than get bogged down over how God will judge the African who never hears the Gospel, I have a responsibility to answer that news as I am hearing it. As do you.

(b) Let’s look at the dynamic that led to her unraveling:

This changed one day during a conversation with my friend Alex. I had a habit of bouncing theological questions off him, and one particular day, I asked him this: If God was absolutely moral, because morality was absolute, and if the nature of “right” and “wrong” surpassed space, time, and existence, and if it was as much a fundamental property of reality as math, then why were some things a sin in the Old Testament but not a sin in the New Testament?

Alex had no answer — and I realized I didn’t either. Everyone had always explained this problem away using the principle that Jesus’ sacrifice meant we wouldn’t have to follow those ancient laws. 
But that wasn’t an answer. In fact, by the very nature of the problem, there was no possible answer that would align with Christianity.

I still remember sitting there in my dorm room bunk bed, staring at the cheap plywood desk, and feeling something horrible shift inside me, a vast chasm opening up beneath my identity, and I could only sit there and watch it fall away into darkness. The Bible is not infallible, logic whispered from the depths, and I had no defense against it. If it’s not infallible, you’ve been basing your life’s beliefs on the oral traditions of a Middle Eastern tribe. The Bible lied to you.

Well, Rachael, it does beg the question: are you really interested in the answers–because there are some pretty darn good ones and you are totally overlooking them–or are you simply rebelling against your upbringing and embarking on a path that seems right to you, all because that seems more “liberating”?

To answer your question about the Old Testament and the New Testament,

(1) There are some laws–that applied specifically to Temple worship–regarding ritual purity that are no longer in play because the sacrifice of Jesus Christ supersedes the animal sacrifice system.

Now that we have THE Sacrifice–once and for all–the OT laws that pertained to the vagaries of the sacrifice system are no longer in play, because they have been superseded. After all, once THE Atonement has been sacrificed in time and space, there is no need for more sin offerings.

Moreover, now that we have THE High Priest–risen from the dead, sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for us, we no longer need a Levitical priest to go to the “holy of holies” on our behalf. Jesus–sitting at the right hand of God–is all the High Priest we need.

We also have the right–FREEDOM–to boldly approach the throne of grace. Remember Esther? She was worried about the real possibility of a death sentence for approaching the King, who was her own husband. Similarly, it was not uncommon for High Priests to enter the Holy Place and be struck dead; that is why they had a rope with bells attached, so the other priests could pull them out if they died.

Contrasting that, you and I can approach the King of the Universe–boldly–and not fear death.

That is the fundamental way in which the OT relates to the NT.

(2) Along those lines, the OT gives us a portrait of several things:

(a) the nature and character of God;

(b) how that nature and character are reflective in His expectations of us;

(c) our nature;

(d) what life is without Christ;

(e) the futility of humans–even with full knowledge of the Law–without Christ.

The world–without Christ–leaves us with many unpleasant realities. While the OT law was a major step up for women in those days, without Christ the major inequities remained. Purification periods varied for baby girls versus baby boys. Aunt Flo created a monthly dilemma of ritual impurity for women. Anyone stricken with leprosy was–barring a miracle–ostracized from society.

And slavery–a most unpleasant topic–was reflective of the human condition. People don’t generally choose to be slaves; they cannot do anything to earn their way out of it; while in slavery, they are subject to the will of their master.

Even then, Scripture provides (a) a pathway to freedom for Israelite slaves, (b) a marginal incentive for Israelites to free non-Israelite slaves, and (c) each of those things are a portrait of God’s love and plan for redemption.

Ditto for leprosy: a leper could do nothing to cure himself, as leprosy was incurable. Barring provision from God, a leper was subject to life as an outcast. It is a portrait of who we are, sans Christ. The compassion that Jesus showed to lepers is indicative of the compassion we are called to show to those who do not know Christ.

When a covenant was put into place, it was binding until either (a) the death of one of the parties, (b) one of the parties broke the covenant and was then subject to death, or (c) the covenant in force was superseded by a new covenant.

While God’s morality and character are absolute, the nature of His relationship with humanity changes. The OT Covenants are reflective of God’s extension of love in their pericopes, even as they pointed to Jesus Christ. In Christ, we have a covenant that supersedes the old. As a result of that, some terms and conditions of the old covenant–that were tied to systems that were specific to the old covenant–are no longer in play. They weren’t nullified; merely superseded.

Still, we get very specific directives for Christian living in the New Covenant, and those have many commonalities with the Old. The most important one–to love God with all heart, soul, strength, and might–is still in play. Jesus decreed that. Ditto for the command to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. As Jesus said, all other commands hang on those two.

And that leads me to the next point:

I was no longer a Christian. That thought was a punch to the gut, a wave of nausea and terror. Who was I, now, when all this had gone away? What did I know? What did I have to cling to? Where was my comfort? 

I didn’t know it, but I was free.

For a long time I couldn’t have sex with my boyfriend (of over a year by this point) without crippling guilt. I had anxiety that I was going to Hell. I felt like I was standing upon glass, and, though I knew it was safe, every time I glanced down I saw death. I had trouble coping with the fact that my entire childhood education now essentially meant nothing — I had been schooled in a sham. I had to start from scratch in entering and learning about this secular world. Uncertainty was not something I was accustomed to feeling. Though I had left Christianity intellectually, my emotional beliefs had yet to catch up.

As David pointed out in a comment in the last thread, it sounds to me that your abandonment of Christianity is more of an effort to get away from the guilt of what you know to be wrong: having sex with your boyfriend. It reminds me–from my readings about Alfred Kinsey–of Kinsey’s rejection of Christianity. Rather than accept that your human lusts are what they are–and that any serious Christian will battle with them, sometimes unsuccessfully, and often find need to go to the throne of grace–you’ve chosen to punt on the truth so you can feel better about yourself.

If God is right, then you’re in major sin. If God is wrong, then you can go on guilt-free. You’ve embraced the latter.

While there is much to critique about your upbringing–I’ll get to that in the next installment–it DOES come across to me that you are overtly spiting your parents, and your nonchalance at doing this strikes me as breathtaking in arrogance.

and now, for her finale:

Someone once asked me if I would trade in my childhood for another, if I had the chance, and my answer was no, not for anything.
 My reason is that, without that childhood, I wouldn’t understand what freedom truly is — freedom from a life centered around obedience and submission, freedom to think anything, freedom from guilt and shame, freedom from the perpetual heavy obligation to keep every thought pure. Nothing I’ve ever encountered in my life has been so breathtakingly beautiful. 

Freedom is my God now, and I love this one a thousand times more than I ever loved the last one.

You are showing that you understand neither freedom nor pleasure.

Even if we were just discussing matters in our temporal world, your arguments don’t hold water.

(1) It may strike you as a surprise that the most sexually-satisfied demographic group is married, conservative Protestant women. It is also empirical that devout Catholic couples–i.e. conservative–not only enjoy sex more, but have it more frequently, than anyone else.

Ergo, it seems to me–based on hard evidence–that your abandonment of Christianity, which was rooted in no small part in your desire to have guilt-free sex with your boyfriend, is actually a step toward less (not more) pleasure in that regard.

You’re trading a birthright for a bowl of soup. Thankfully, if you repent, you can get your birthright back. Esau, OTOH, is still hosed.

(2) You are looking at freedom in a vacuum, as the greatest virtue. I understand how tempting that is; after all, I’m a libertarian in my political leanings. Still, where in your calculus does love–including charity–factor?

I say this not to kick dirt in your face, but rather to call you to at least give thought to reconsider…

Atheist Daughter of Christian Apologist Speaks Out, Introduction

I question how “notable” Matt Slick is. I’m better-read on Christian apologetics than the average bear, and I’d not heard of the guy until reading this guest piece by his daughter Rachael. I think it is a worthy read, as there are important lessons to be learned.

While I am not as quick to pile onto her dad–and blame him for Rachael’s atheism–there are definitely areas where he apparently dropped the ball. Badly.

Before I get into that, some observations about Rachael:

(1) She bears responsibility for her own atheism. We must not fall into this trap of saying, “If only her parents had been like X, she’d be a wonderful Christian gal!” While there are some areas of contributory negligence on their part, it is also true that they could have done everything right, and the outcome would be the same. I say this not to condemn her–if she rejects God, then she’s already there, and my true interest is in helping her get out of that–but just to point out that it would not be prudent to jump on the “let’s kick the parents” bandwagon.

(2) While she raises some good questions that she encountered in her journey, the answers she said she received are not indicative of the quality that reflects a basic understanding of the Scriptures in terms of how the OT relates to the NT.

It seems that, for all the apologetics and Biblical memorization to which she was subjected, she has lost the forest in the trees. I’ll elaborate more later.

(3) In celebrating her embrace of Atheism, she now proclaims:

Someone once asked me if I would trade in my childhood for another, if I had the chance, and my answer was no, not for anything.
 My reason is that, without that childhood, I wouldn’t understand what freedom truly is — freedom from a life centered around obedience and submission, freedom to think anything, freedom from guilt and shame, freedom from the perpetual heavy obligation to keep every thought pure. Nothing I’ve ever encountered in my life has been so breathtakingly beautiful. 

Freedom is my God now, and I love this one a thousand times more than I ever loved the last one.

That tells me much about her lack of understanding of Scripture, not to mention empirical realities. How much of that is on her, and how much of that is on her parents, I’m not going to judge. Still, she’s either lost the forest in the trees, or she has flat-out rejected the truth, or some combination thereof. Again, more later.

But if 10% of her story is true–and, FWIW, I believe most of it–then there are definitely some serious takeaways for parents and teachers alike.

More to come.

Better Yet…

Talk show host Tom Joyner is offering Rachel Jeantel–the much-maligned prosecution witness in the George Zimmerman case–a chance to attend college tuition-free.

At face-value, that is a very kind and charitable gesture. But seriously, given that the market that is already saturated with college degrees–it may be an dead-end offer.

I would suggest that she take him up on the offer of tutoring to prepare for college; that will involve developing communication skills that will be conducive to success. Then she should go to a 2-year school and learn a trade.

That would cost Joyner less money, while better-preparing Jeantel for success in the work force.

I will bloviate more about her case later, but, to make a long story short, I felt bad for her.

She was not a credible witness; at the same time, how on earth did she get so far through the education system?