July 18, 2011

God in the Machine

So I have a clock radio.

It's nothing special, just a mid-range AM/FM device with two alarms, and I keep it tuned to a local AM classical station for my wake-up music.

Well, something changed with that this morning.

Instead of symphonic music, I was awoken to some beautiful Christian contemporary music--soft rock, I guess you would call it--and so I glanced over at my wife.

"Did you change the station?"


The song ended as we snuggled up in bed, and then I heard an unfamiliar voice announce the stations call letters and place on the dial. We were listening to WMHK-FM, 89.7.

Out of Columbia, South Carolina.

206 miles away.

And the signal was clear as a bell.

My radio dial was lying to me, still trying to tell me I was tuned to an AM station on the lower end of the band.

WMHK is a 100,000 watt station that is occasionally heard as far away as Florence, SC (81 miles away) and Charlotte, NC (92 miles away), but we're more than twice that distance, tuned to another station, on another band, and we're getting their signal like their broadcast tower is in our back yard.

I'd love to hear the technical explanation of how this happened, but I'm content with the minor miracle just as it is.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:25 AM | Comments (11)

May 21, 2011

Abandoning Faith, Grace, and Joseph

Abby Haddad Carson (left) and Robert Carson say Saturday is Judgment Day; the children, Joseph, Faith and Grace, right, do not.

It's been bugging me since I read it yesterday:

The Haddad children of Middletown, Md., have a lot on their minds: school projects, SATs, weekend parties. And parents who believe the earth will begin to self-destruct on Saturday.

The three teenagers have been struggling to make sense of their shifting world, which started changing nearly two years ago when their mother, Abby Haddad Carson, left her job as a nurse to "sound the trumpet" on mission trips with her husband, Robert, handing out tracts. They stopped working on their house and saving for college.

Last weekend, the family traveled to New York, the parents dragging their reluctant children through a Manhattan street fair in a final effort to spread the word.

"My mom has told me directly that I’m not going to get into heaven," Grace Haddad, 16, said. "At first it was really upsetting, but it's what she honestly believes."

Abby Haddad Carson and Robert Carson are followers of Harold Camping, a self-styled end times prophet, who claims that his interpretations of the Bible say that the Rapture begins today.

As a result of following Camping's teachings, the Carsons have all but abandoned their teen-aged children, Faith, Grace, and Joseph. The children are of course embarrassed by their parents, but that embarrassment goes beyond the normal awkward teen phases to point to a much deeper problem, where their parents have abandoned the children spiritually, and have consigned them to what they expect to be Hell on Earth.


What kind of parent does that? They have told their kids point-blank that "we are going to heaven, and you are not." They have not prepared for their children's future, because they feel they have none. And now the future is here, and they are all awkwardly trapped in a Maryland McMansion, all quite alive, and all quite uncomfortable, one would assume.

The Carson parents have no moral authority over their children anymore. They abandoned them spiritually long ago, and preemptively abdicated all responsibility for their future lives from this moment onward. How can they any longer be effective parents when they have lost their credibility?

This awkward realization is going to impact a very small community of end times believers when the sun comes up today and tomorrow and the day after that as it always has. They're going to realize they were fools.

But are they going to understand why?

Are they going to understand that they fell for Camping's false prophesy because they do not want responsibility over their own lives? Once they make that revelation, will they end their lives in despair, or will they try to get the therapy they need to discover why they are so willing to abandon the lives and children the real God gave to them as the most precious of gifts?

While I fear the former and hope for the later, odds are that many of these weak-willed followers will listen when Camping finds the "error" in his end times math and resets the end of the world several more years or decades into the future (he had already done so once before). They will still follow the false prophesy of a near-time Revelation, and continue to create the Hell on Earth for their families, a fate that they so ironically sought to avoid.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:53 AM | Comments (9)

July 09, 2010

North Carolina Democrats Boot Pastor For Using 'Jesus' in Prayer

So let me get this straight:

Ron Baity of Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem was asked to be honorary chaplain of the state house of representatives in Raleigh, but his tenure was cut short because his prayer invoked Jesus?

Baity's troubles began during the week of May 31. He said a House clerk asked to see his prayer. The invocation including prayers for our military, state lawmakers and a petition to God asking him to bless North Carolina."

"When I handed it to the lady, I watched her eyes and they immediately went right to the bottom of the page and the word Jesus," he told FOX News Radio. "She said 'We would prefer that you not use the name Jesus. We have some people here that can be offended.'"

When Baity protested, she brought the matter to the attention of House Speaker Joe Hackney.

"I told her I was highly offended when she asked me not to pray in the name of Jesus because that does constitute my faith," Baity said. "My faith requires that I pray in His name. The Bible is very clear."

When the clerk returned, Baity said he was told that he would be allowed to deliver the day’s prayer – but after that – his services would no longer be needed.

I would be very, very interested to know if a Muslim Imam has ever been asked to deliver a prayer in front of the NC state House, and if he was, whether or not Democrats dared throw him out for invoking the name of Mohammed in his prayers.

I suspect that like easily offended Democrats everywhere, Hackney and his fellow Tarheel liberals are being very selective in how they enforce rules regarding prayer. It would also be very interesting to know if Democrat demands for the pastor to alter his prayer are grounds for a First Amendment inquiry.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:02 PM | Comments (11)

May 11, 2010

Smashing Darwin

This has to be one of the most bizarre mash-ups of 21st century Internet technology (YouTube) and 19th century metaphysics (Evolution vs. Creationism) I've ever seen (via Ben Smith):

I'm amazed that any political group can run an ad like this anywhere in today's presumably educated United States. I like to think of myself as a decent Christian if far from perfect one, and I'm offended by this PAC ad.

I've got a news flash for these folks: evolution may be just a theory, but it is a far more credible theory based upon all the known laws of physics (which I will remind every Christian, are also laws laid down by God as surely as he laid down the Ten Commandments), than the literalist argument of a creation story where the Earth was created in seven 24-hour days. I don't see how any rational person can look at the wonderful world the Lord has created for us, the layers upon layers of splendor and complexity and logic and beauty that should support belief in an all-powerful and benevolent God, and come away with the thought that all the science God created to explain this universe to us is superseded by a metaphor created to convey that most complex act of creation ever to barely literate iron age men.

Likewise, it is undisputed by an educated person that the Bible has been repeatedly edited, revised, and translated by all too human hands, and it is not the literal word of God as it was first revealed. If anyone cares to dispute this point, I'd ask them to please provide their Bible, written in first-century Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew.

I'd also expect them to be able to explain why they are not using all of the Bible, and instead are using the abbreviated Douay-Rheims Bible favored by Catholics, or the even more abbreviated King James version popularized by Protestants.

But even more bizarre than a Republican PAC arguing that Bradley Byrne believes in science and reason is Byrne's argument that he does not.

As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God. As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school textbooks. Those who attack me have distorted, twisted and misrepresented my comments and are spewing utter lies to the people of this state.

You're on your own, folks.

I'm leaving this one before someone starts burning heretics, which in Alabama, I presumably am.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:31 PM | Comments (20)

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I have a hyper toddler and her older sister raring to go downstairs and tear into their presents, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

May your Christmas be magical and filled with happiness.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:44 AM | Comments (4)

August 31, 2009

What Kind of "Man of God" is This?

I said several weeks ago that I thought carrying firearms to political events was needlessly provocative and counterproductive; now I find out that the man who carried the Bushmaster Carbon-15 rifle wants President Obama to die, and belongs to a fringe storefront church where the pastor proudly reiterates the same message. Lovely.

Charles has the video, which is utterly indefensible.

I think Barack Obama is an arrogant, incompetent ideologue. I disagree with almost every political position he holds and many moral positions as well. I think his Presidency will do far more harm to this country and to this world than good.

That said, we should be hoping that he ends up making the right decisions despite his incompetence and foolishness, or that at a minimum, that the makes mistakes that we can learn from and rectify.

Wishing death upon him—especially something as agonizing as cancer—is not the wish of a true follower of Christ's teaching, and to hear a so-called pastor praying for that makes me wonder if it is Christ he actually serves.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:05 PM | Comments (16)

July 22, 2009

But Father, I Want Attention!

I'm not the kind of person to force my faith on others, and I'm fine with other people practicing their faiths as long as that doesn't entail suicide bombings and beheadings.

That said, I saw this item today about atheists getting "de-baptisms" and it struck me as an "eye-roll" event.

If atheists don't want to believe in God that is their right, but the mocking practice of de-baptism is very much the act of a spoiled, petulant child flopping angrily on the floor at Walmart, demanding attention because he wasn't allowed a candy bar at check-out.

It seems a desperate act hoping to provoke a response for God.

Sorry, kids. It doesn't work that way.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:24 AM | Comments (15)

May 19, 2009

A Tiny Lemur Didn't Murder God Today

If you've been online today you've probably stumbled across—or have been bombarded with—the story of "Ida," a 95-percent complete, 47-million-year-old fossil of a nine-month-old Darwinius masillae.

Ida is a lemur-monkey that has been declared the fabled "missing link" that proves Darwin's theory of evolution as a biological bridge between higher primates and other, less advanced cousins.

The Scientific team's Revealing the Link web site attempts to provide some context for what is assuredly one of the most important scientific finds in recent memory.

The presentation and implications of the find have made atheists like Allahpundit giddy with the thought that a find proving the theory of evolution somehow negates the existence of God. That sentiment, of course, has sparked a predictable battle between the Biblical absolutists AP was no doubt intending to goad, and his fellow atheists. It has spurred an epic 600+ comment thread at Hot Air.

Charles has spurred a similar thread (700 comments as I write this) at Little Green Footballs written with a less combative tone.

I'm obviously missing something central to the wars being held in these comment threads, so someone please help me out—how does the existence of lemur fossil prove that God doesn't exist?

It's an absurd argument, of course, and a complete non sequitur.

While Charles Darwin fell away from the creationist view of the world espoused by Christianity as a result of his findings and contemporary works such as Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, I see very little in his work that disproves God.

What Ida does is provide more support for a scientific theory, and in so doing, it erodes the absolutist view of the creation story told in the Book of Genesis. It doesn't disprove God. It simply once again highlights the failings of people.

If you believe that every single word in the King James/Good News/NIV Bible that you own is the absolute, undiluted and infallible utterance of God complete in every way and accurate in every detail without ambiguity or literary device, then frankly—and I mean this will all brotherly love—you're a bit touched in the head.

You're also historically illiterate.

We know for a fact that there were three separate views regarding the substance of Christ 325 years after his death among Christians and that the modern view of the godhead was only cemented by a series of vote during the first Council of Nicea, three centuries after his death, not as the result of a divine act.

We know of the apocrypha (which may or may not have been inspired, but are certainly excluded) and we know that Paul's first first letter to the Corinthians, dealing with sexual immorality, was lost to the sands of time.

The Bible, translated and mistranslated through various languages, edited in subtle ways and subject to a wide range of all-too-human failings, is the best of the Word of God we could retain. It is not perfect. It is full of allegory and allusion and prone to our misinterpretation of what it means in our all too finite and convoluted minds.

So Genesis says the Earth was created in seven days, and describes the creation of the universe and our way in it, and a fervent literal belief in that account is incompatible with the most commonly held theories of evolution.

We're left with the choice that the choice to interpret Genesis literally is wrong, that the very text of Genesis is wrong, or that the theory of evolution is wrong. At least, those are the choices most arguing the issue like to frame.

But I have a nagging doubt that like so many human arguments, that this is an argument of false choices and that the reality is probably both far more complex and infinitely more simple.

I believe in God unreservedly. I also believe in evolution and plate tectonics and the fossil record. I do not find these to be incompatible, simply because some of my fellow humans declare I must believe either/or.

As great as the Bible is, it isn't perfect, and it is sometimes contradictory, and while to believe as I do is self-serving, I want to make clear that I question the various stenographers, translators, and publishers, not the author.

As for evolution, I find it is a great theory to explain how species adapt and persevere and thrive, and utterly consistent with the world I can touch and feel.

But science, as wonderful as it is, is far from perfect and is as full of holes as any religious text.

The best scientific minds cannot begin to explain how randomly occurring minerals and elements found in the mud of the universe formed molecules and those molecules randomly formed themselves into nucleotides and then into RNA and DNA and then into even the most basic single-celled life.

We see no scientific evidence of life having ever simply erupted from rock or sand or mud or water, and yet all of biology hinges on the very very fact that at some point in history, such a transaction must of have occurred. Physics, chemistry, geology, and all other scientific fields similarly fail to explain our origins. Does this mean that science doesn't exist?

Science, as wonderful as it is, can tell us only that the universe we know is roughly 4.6 billion years old, and that it probably started with a big bang. But it cannot tell us what existed 4.61 billion years ago, and offers no workable hypothesis about where that matter was prior to it's dispersal or where it came from, or how it got there, any better than when God simply spoke:

L E T   T H E R E   B E   L I G H T

...and there was.

Science helps explain the world around us, and our place in it. So does religion, and the two are often at war as men seek to use one or the other to explain the world in a way that best advantages them.

That assuredly has no bearing on God, who must be terribly amused at all our theatrics. He must sometimes wonder about what his favored creation has done with the massive computational and emotional engines he gave it, to conjure the thought that He could be undone by the mere revelation of another of his creations.

How silly we must seem.

And roughly as consequential as a primate frozen in stone.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:00 PM | Comments (32)

August 18, 2008

Another Miracle in Galilee

Even God seems to be against Barack Obama, because in His wisdom, He highlights a living example of the candidate's most inhumane views.

The woman underwent an abortion and the baby, weighing 610 grams, was extracted from her womb without a pulse, hospital officials said.

A senior doctor pronounced the baby dead and she was transferred to the cooler.

Five hours later, the woman's husband came to the hospital to take what he thought was his dead baby girl for burial.

When the baby was taken out of the cooler, she began to breathe. The premature baby was then taken to the intensive care ward, where doctors were attempting to save her life.

Luckily for the baby, Barack Obama was not there to vote against care for the abortion survivor after she was discovered alive, as he has done here in the United States.

Real Messiah: 1, ObamaMessiah: 0

Related: The moral courage of ferrets.

Update: The baby passed early Tuesday.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:52 AM | Comments (12)

No Common Ground?

The progessive blogosphere and Andy Sullivan—but I repeat myself—have decided to accuse former POW John McCain of stealing a story from Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian sent to the gulags (forced labor camps) for writing ill of Stalin in a letter to a friend... a typical application of the Soviet version of the Fairness Doctrine.

Here is McCain's story:

Solzhenitsyn's tale read:

Leaving his shovel on the ground, he slowly walked to a crude bench and sat down. He knew that at any moment a guard would order him to stand up, and when he failed to respond, the guard would beat him to death, probably with his own shovel. He had seen it happen to other prisoners.

As he waited, head down, he felt a presence. Slowly he looked up and saw a skinny old prisoner squat down beside him. The man said nothing. Instead, he used a stick to trace in the dirt the sign of the Cross. The man then got back up and returned to his work.

There are, of course, no recorded instances of crosses or other Christian images ever being recorded in prisons. I jest, of course.

In Kilmainham Gaol, in the spot where a mortally wounded James Connolly was strapped to a chair before a firing squad on May 12, 1916, a cross stands. Of course, it came later.

Mamertine Prison was originally constructed around 386 B.C. but is best known for it's upside-down crosses because it's most famous alleged resident, Saint Peter, was crucified upside-down. While we don't have any witnesses that crosses or the Christian fish symbol was written in the dirt of the prison floor during the incarcerations of Peter and Paul, it seems likely such imagery was commonplace, and I'm reasonably certain neither Saint was familiar with the Russian writer who came nearly two millennia later.

Christian imagery is common in prisons around the world long before Solzhenitsyn was born, spreading as Christianity spread.

With the brutality of man's inhumanity to man common throughout the history of prisons, is it surprising in the least that in prisons around the world, guards and prisoners, enslavers and slaves, found a shared common ground in Christianity?

To disbelieve such things are possible is to not renounce John McCain, but to insist jailers are not human, just unfeeling robots incapable of grace or compassion. But I prefer to think that God is in all prisons.

It's one of the places where he's needed most.

Update: Uh-oh. Another U.S. Navy pilot who became a POW in North Vietnamese prisons is telling similar stories of surprising North Vietnamese Christan compassion. Are progressives going to try to assail his honor as well?

Why not?

They already drove him out of the Democratic Party.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:54 AM | Comments (22)

July 11, 2008

PZ Myers: Save Me From Their Freedom of Speech

So here is a philosophical question for you.

A university employee—an associate biology professor, if that matters— has gone out of his way to publicly pronounce his intention to desecrate a core religious symbol of a well-established religion, and promises to post pictures of that desecration to a personal web site.

Should that associate professor be surprised if outraged followers of that religion—or people of other religions, or no religion at all—find that his pledge of desecration is offensive? Should he be amazed that a common response to his intentional affront be a call to have his position with the university terminated? Should his position be terminated?

Such is the situation for PZ Myers of the University of Minnesota-Morris, who went well out of his way in protesting a college student's misuse of an Eucharist (consecrated communion wafer) by blasting the Catholic faith in particular (and Christians in general), asking readers to steal and send him a Eucharist, which he would then desecrate:

Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers? There's no way I can personally get them — my local churches have stakes prepared for me, I'm sure — but if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I'll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. ...

...[I] will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web. I shall do so joyfully and with laughter in my heart...

I know this probably comes as a shock to many of you, but Myers' intolerance and contempt has him in a bit of hot water. He is receiving threats, and University President Robert Bruininks (email) has been getting messages calling for Myers to be terminated.

In an attempt to rally a defense of his actions, Myers is hoping to inspire a letter-writing campaign of his own in an attempt to save his job.

It's all quite interesting.

Apparently Myers thinks freedom of speech is the freedom to use that speech to abuse others and call for their beliefs to be mocked and violated, without any consequences.

Vox Day has an amusing take on the matter, while a smattering of liberal blogs (including a generally reasonable post by Jeff Fecke) have lept to Myers' defense.

My own response to Mr. Myers would be that while he does have the freedom of speech, he is not free from responsibility for his speech. He has the right to say what he wants (with all the usual caveats), but others also have the right to express their opinions in response, including calling for his firing.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:56 AM | Comments (44)

December 14, 2006

To the Other Extreme

From Jim and Tammy Faye's kid (my bold):

While the current state of Christianity might seem normal and business-as-usual to some, most see through the judgment and hypocrisy that has permeated the church for so long. People witness this and say to themselves, "Why would I want to be a part of that?" They are turned off by Christians and eventually, to Christianity altogether. We can't even count the number of times someone has given us a weird stare or completely brushed us off when they discover we work for a church.


Weird stares? I can't imagine why.

I'm sure they mean well, but I don't think they "get it" any more than those on the Jerry Falwell end of the Christian spectrum they rail against.

Their response to those Christians they feel are too judgmental is to condemn them. Missing their own message, much? They then responds to what they considers too-judgmental Christianity with a very cavalier "it's all good" approach that I somehow doubt is any more correct or Christ-like. They simply fail in the opposite extreme.

While Jesus Christ never touched on the subject directly as it wasn't a direct theological social concern of the day, I'm pretty sure that Jesus, as a (mortally) unplanned pregnancy himself, would not appreciate Bakker and Brown's flippant dismissal of abortion as something we can "agree to disagree" on.

I'm no theologian, but I'm pretty sure Jesus would be in favor of loving children, not scraping them out of the womb as an inconvenience.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:35 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 13, 2006

Good, But Not Safe

Months ago, many liberals got bent out of shape over a Christian-themed video game called Left Behind: Eternal Forces. The game is based upon the very successful Left Behind fiction series, which is based upon the seven-year post-Rapture period described in Revelations. provides a brief synopsis of book one, from Library Journal:

On a flight from Chicago to London, several passengers aboard Capt. Rayford Steele's plane suddenly and mysteriously disappear. When Steele radios to London to report the situation, he discovers that the incident on his plane is not an isolated phenomenon but a worldwide occurrence. As Steele begins his search for answers, he learns that the Christ has come to take the faithful with Him in preparation for the coming apocalyptic battle between good and evil and that those who have been left behind must face seven dark and chaotic years in which they must decide to join the forces of Christ or the forces of Anti-Christ.

While I've neither played the game nor read the series of books, it doesn't seem to be something worth getting upset about. The general plot seems to reflect a basic good vs. evil storyline, so why all the fuss?

Cue the latest round of liberal outrage from Ilene Lelchuck of

Clark Stevens, co-director of the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, said the game is not peaceful or diplomatic.

"It's an incredibly violent video game," said Stevens. "Sure, there is no blood. (The dead just fade off the screen.) But you are mowing down your enemy with a gun. It pushes a message of religious intolerance. You can either play for the 'good side' by trying to convert nonbelievers to your side or join the Antichrist."

The Rev. Tim Simpson, a Jacksonville, Fla., Presbyterian minister and president of the Christian Alliance for Progress, added: "So, under the Christmas tree this year for little Johnny is this allegedly Christian video game teaching Johnny to hate and kill?"

Both groups formed in 2005 to protest what their 130,000 or so members feel is the growing political influence and hypocrisy of the religious right.

In Left Behind, set in perfectly apocalyptic New York City, the Antichrist is personified by fictional Romanian Nicolae Carpathia, secretary-general of the United Nations and a People magazine "Sexiest Man Alive."

Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia's side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics. Every character comes with a life story.

When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game.

"That is so obvious," he said.

The game is based on a series of fiction books, which is in turn based upon the Pretribulationist variant of the futurist view of the biblical prophecy interpretation of the Book of Revelations. Put bluntly, it's fiction based upon fiction, based upon one of many interpretations of the most difficult to understand book in the Bible.

So why are liberals so upset? Aravosis complains that the game promotes mows down people based upon religious differences. Pandagon gripes that:

The object of the game is to convert heathens, Muslims or Jews; if they don’t come over to your side, you can kill them. – God Gameth, God Bloweth Away.

But the simple fact of the matter is that the gameplay is far, far more benign than many of the more popular video games on the market. In most games, you either kill your enemy, or they kill you. This game allows you the option of at least talking to your opponents, and trying to persuade them to convert to your point of view. Shouldn't that be commended? Not if you’re a liberal, apparently.

I strongly suspect that the real problem of the liberal left with this game are far more visceral than even they realize.

They've grown up somewhat convinced that true Christians are all "turn the other cheek" pacifists, and as such, liberals feel free to mock, revile, and persecute Christian beliefs, Christian symbols, and Christians themselves without penalty of threat of danger—things they would never do to far more outrage-prone Muslims. This game, featuring both non-pacifist Christians and the clear refutation of the secular, "devil may care" way of life, scares them.

This game is a reminder for some, and a wake-up call to others, that the God of Christianity, as C.S. Lewis once alluded, is good, but not safe. No wonder they are terrified.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:13 PM | Comments (28) | TrackBack

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say this—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
Psalm 107: 1-9

From me and mine, a Happy Thanksgiving to all, especially our servicemen and women overseas. You are in our prayers.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:41 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

October 20, 2006

More Liberal Outreach Towards Christians

Iowahawk had a fall-down funny spoof of a letter from DNC Chairman to banjo-plucking, cross-burning Christian conservatives earlier this week that encompassed the disdain many far left liberals seem to have for religiously-oriented traditional values voters.

AFP decided today to join in the fun, with the slight difference being that they were attempting to provide not satire, but news:

The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

"He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Rumsfeld is "a man whose patriotism focus, energy, drive, is exceeded by no one else I know ... quite simply, he works harder than anybody else in our building," Pace said at a ceremony at the Southern Command (Southcom) in Miami.

Rumsfeld has faced a storm of criticism and calls for his resignation, largely over his handling of the Iraq war.

As is typical of the left-leaning media, they seem amazed that leaders in these modern times pray for guidance from a power higher than themselves, and thought that detail was so newsworthy as to make it this story's lede. Other elements, such as Rumsfeld's controversial leadership style, and an apparent show of support at this ceremony from the military estalishment are far more newsworthy elements of the day's events to most people, but not so to AFP.

AFP seems to want to portray Rumsfeld's faith in God as an unpleasant aspect of his personality... perhaps another reason he should resign. I can only wonder what AFP must think about the 77% of Americans that also share his Christian faith. "Horror above horrors," they seem to be saying, "those people pray to Jesus."


Of course, I'm only speculating about what AFP appears to mean. I don't have to speculate, however, about the contempt for Christians dripping from the lips of liberal bloggers.

Cernig seems comfortable comparing Christians in the Bush Administration with al Qaeda terrorists:

Both the Bush administration and Al Qaida extremists like to claim God is on their side. One of those claims has to be wrong, and since it is a matter of faith which has no chance of objective proof this side of heaven I wish they would both just shut the f**k up about it.

Agnostic conservative/practicing liberal Andy Sullivan drips contempt in his Christianism Watch:

Surely the military leadership can be a place where expression of religious faith of one particular variety is restrained. Especially when we are at war with Islamic extremists, and when we must take every care to make sure our millitary [sic] actions aren't perceived abroad as religiously motivated. And surely military decisions should be made on an empirical, pragmatic basis, rather than on messages from Heaven.

The Agonist mockingly suggests that we should be building shrines to Rumsfeld:

High on Martin Luther's 1517 list of grievances was the concept that itermediaries[sic] between God and Man were necessary; that certain select individuals (a.k.a. "priests") relayed Divine will to the rest of us who were too stupid, spiritually inept or otherwise religiously-challenged. Conversely, the Great Unwashed could pray to saints to relay requests to The Big Guy.

After reading this I wonder if we should be building little shrines on our front lawns to Donald Rumsfeld.

Think Progress was wise enough to keep their contempt under wraps and simply chose to provide the lede, knowing that their commenters would do the damage. Sadly, a Christian Democrat was one of the early commenters, asking rather reasonably:

Rummy is on another level, and should be rightly criticized from all angles and positions, but at the end of the day, how can any sane person say they don’t listen to god? I mean, each soul engages uniquely with God in contemplating divine mysteries according to its innate ability, and this engagement persists for all eternity, for the mysteries of the godhead are inexhaustible, as is the enthusiastic application of the souls’ intellectual ability.

He was quickly shouted down...

For all your flowery rhetoric, you are very obtuse.

We all know what the general said -that God is actually telling Rusmfeld what to do, not that he is merely seeking divine guidance.

Do you actually talk to your god?

And again...

How can any sane person say that god is talking to them?

There is, of course much more, both on the Think Progress thread (including another suggestion that Christians = terrorists) and elsewhere around the blogosphere.

I personally know very few people that are either moderates or conservatives (Democrat or Republican) who feel that a belief in God is a political proposition, and yet so may secular leftists are quick to equate the religious faith of our nation’s leaders as a trait of one political party. From there, they seem to tie their hatred of the Bush Administration to a deep-seated and abiding contempt for Christians. Of course, many of them were likely contemptuous of Christians when Bill Clinton was in the White House as well, they just had fewer outlets (no blogosphere, no mySpace, etc) with which to voice their disgust.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:08 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

September 20, 2006

Catalytic Conversion

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI spoke at his former university, and during the course of his talk he made reference to an obscure conversation between a Byzantine Christian Emperor and a man described as "an educated Persian."

The emperor in question, Manuel II Paleologos, noted:

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

In the week since Pope Benedict made reference to Manuel II's comment, Muslims have rioted, burned at least seven churches, murdered a nun, and one Muslim leader has even called for the Pope himself to be executed for insulting Islam. Muslim extremists have committed acts of senseless violence in trying to argue that they are a "religion of peace," and seem quite oblivious to the fact that their behavior only reinforces observations made centuries before.

The Pope has issued non-apology apologies thus far, diplomatically stating to Muslims and other critics essentially that, "I'm sorry you aren't smart enough to understand what I meant."

The Pope spoke on the subject again today:

Pope Benedict XVI has said he has "deep respect" for Islam and hopes that his recent remarks that sparked anger from Muslims lead to dialogue among religions.

The pope on Wednesday acknowledged his remarks were open to misinterpretation, but insisted he had not intended to endorse a negative view of Islam.

"I hope that in several occasions during the visit ... my deep respect for great religions, in particular for Muslims -- who worship the one God and with whom we are engaged in defending and promoting together social justice, moral values, peace and freedom for all men -- has emerged clearly," Benedict said during his weekly audience at the Vatican.

"I trust that after the initial reaction, my words at the university of Regensburg can constitute an impulse and encouragement toward positive, even self-critical dialogue both among religions and between modern reason and Christian faith," the pope told thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square. Security in the square had been stepped up.

As others have noted, I doubt very seriously that the Pope chose to use this rather obscure text accidentally, or without understanding on some level that it might sow the seeds of discord in a world Muslim community, that frankly, seems to need very little instigation to become outraged. Other Catholic luminaries, including the current Archbishop of Sydney and the former Archbishop of Canterbury have supported the thrust of the Pope's comments.

I'm now starting to wonder if this is part of a designed attempt to lead Islam—particularly the often silent voices that claim to be the "moderate Muslim" supermajority—to look within itself and confront the extremists and fundamentalist sects within it. It seems quite possible that the Pope is very sincere in his respect for Islam as a fellow Abrahamic faith. His choice of words last week may have been chosen as a catalyst, and his stated desire for "promoting together social justice, moral values, peace and freedom for all men," is precisely the goal of the Church.

It would be very encouraging if moderate Muslims seize upon this opportunity to look inward, become introspective, and determine that the terror of al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terror groups are not compatible with a "religion of peace." The Pope seems to have created a situation where moderate Muslims can take back their faith from the warlords who have twisted the word of God to meet their own very human desires for empire.

Domineering political forces within Islam are forcing the religion towards a tipping point where the faith will either have to fully embrace a violent Jihad against the rest of the world, or fight an internal Jihad to bring back peace to the religion of peace.

It seems odd and at the same time encouraging that a Catholic Pope seems to be offering moderate Muslims a chance to affect their own Reformation. I hope they are wise enough to capitalize on that possibility. The alternative—the increasing isolation, radicalization and militarization of Islam—promises a dire future for the world at large and Islam in particular if the current trend is not reversed.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 15, 2006

Uncomfortable History

Several days ago, Pope Benedict XVI recounted comments made by 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel II Paleologos.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Predictably, Muslims around the world are upset by the recollection:

Turkey's top Islamic cleric, Religious Affairs Directorate head Ali Bardakoglu, asked Benedict on Thursday to apologize about the remarks and unleashed a string of accusations against Christianity, raising tensions before the pontiff's planned visit to Turkey in November on what would be his first papal pilgrimage in a Muslim country.

Bardakoglu said he was deeply offended and called the remarks "extraordinarily worrying, saddening and unfortunate."

On Thursday, when the pope returned to Italy, Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said, "It certainly wasn't the intention of the pope to carry out a deep examination of jihad (holy war) and on Muslim thought on it, much less to offend the sensibility of Muslim believers."

Lombardi insisted the pontiff respects Islam. Benedict wants to "cultivate an attitude of respect and dialogue toward the other religions and cultures, obviously also toward Islam," Lombardi said.

On Friday, Salih Kapusuz, a deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party, said Benedict's remarks were either "the result of pitiful ignorance" about Islam and its prophet, or worse, a deliberate distortion of the truths.

"He has a dark mentality that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages. He is a poor thing that has not benefited from the spirit of reform in the Christian world," Kapusuz blurted out in comments made to the state-owned Anatolia news agency. "It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades."

Would Salih Kapusuz really like to look at the history of the spread of Islam before saying the remarks were "the result of pitiful ignorance?"

I strongly suspect not.

Mohammed himself spread the religion he created by the sword from the Battle of Badr onward. The faith was installed throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Europe by the strength of the sword as much as conversion. From Saudi Arabia through the Hindu Kush ( Kush comes from the Arab root "kushar", or slaughter, literally meaning "slaughter of the Hindus") to Andalusia in what is now modern day Spain, violent jihad in the name of Allah has been the constant companion to the spread of Islam. Islamic violence still marks every corner of the world touched by the amusingly titled "Religion of Peace."

Islam remains the only major world religion that has a primary prophet that advocated and practiced violence to spread his faith. Mohammed led campaigns from Badr to Uhud to the Battle of the Trench and beyond, establishing a long tradition of nearly 1,400 years of violent jihad.

Kapusuz can make reference to the Dark Ages if he would like, but Christian Europe slowly emerged from the Dark Ages through the Renaissance and Reformation; five hundred years later, Islam has yet to emerge from barbarity, a fact revealed every day in newspapers in every nation around the world, as they print stories of Muslims killing "infidels" and subjugating their own people to draconian rule in societies that have been in cultural stasis for over a millennia.

Muslims are of course free to follow their own beliefs, but it is quite telling that they are unwilling or unable to come to grips with the reality of their own history.

Muslims can cry "foul" all they want, but the simple truth of the matter is that the observations of Islam from a man who died 581 years ago still ring true.

How have Muslims responded to Pope Benedict's retelling of Emperor Manuel II Paleologos's 14th century observation?

They've responded with demands for an apology, predictable threats of violence, and perhaps the bombing of a church in Gaza.

It remains to see how many people may die as Islam proves how peaceful it is.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:44 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

August 21, 2006

Forcing God's Hand

This just in from CNN:

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday that Tehran will continue to pursue nuclear technology, state television reported.

Khamenei's declaration came on the eve of Iran's self-imposed August 22 deadline to respond to a Western incentives package for it to roll back its nuclear program. The United Nations has given Tehran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment.

The supreme leader's remarks also came the day after Iran's armed forces tested surface-to-surface missiles Sunday in the second stage of war games near its border with Iraq. (Full story)

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has made its own decision and in the nuclear case, God willing, with patience and power, will continue its path," Khamenei was quoted as saying by the broadcast.

He accused the United States of pressuring Iran despite Tehran's assertions that it was not seeking to develop nuclear weapons, as the United States and several of its allies have contended.

"Arrogant powers and the U.S. are putting their utmost pressure on Iran while knowing Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons," he said.

Iran on Sunday said it will offer a "multifaceted response" to the incentives proposal.

For those who have been following these rumors for the past few weeks, the promise of a "multifaceted response" is an ominous, if uncertain, portent:

This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the Hojjatieh movement of the ruling mullahcracy in Iran are so radical that they were banned in 1983 by Ayatollah Khomeini, and it is this sect of Shiite Islam that seek to force the return of the 12th Shiite Imam, Muhammad ibn Hasan. Followers of the three major world religions all believe that the world will one day face an End Times scenario, but only this sect feeling that forcing the hand of God is within their grasp:

...rooted in the Shiite ideology of martyrdom and violence, the Hojjatieh sect adds messianic and apocalyptic elements to an already volatile theology. They believe that chaos and bloodshed must precede the return of the 12th Imam, called the Mahdi. But unlike the biblical apocalypse, where the return of Jesus is preceded by waves of divinely decreed natural disasters, the summoning of the Mahdi through chaos and violence is wholly in the realm of human action. The Hojjatieh faith puts inordinate stress on the human ability to direct divinely appointed events. By creating the apocalyptic chaos, the Hojjatiehs believe it is entirely in the power of believers to affect the Mahdi's reappearance, the institution of Islamic government worldwide, and the destruction of all competing faiths.

Because of the belief of the Hojjatieh that they can, with human hands, bring about Apocalypse, the significance of tomorrow's date sets up in their eyes a divine opportunity that the rest of the world would be wise to treat with all due seriousness.

Considering the magnitude of the threat, I would be quite unamazed if the long-range F-15I "Ra'am" and F-16I "Soufa" and other aircraft of the Israeli Air Force were not now sitting in their hangers fully-fueled under heavy guard, wings heavy with the weight of the most terrible weapons known to man, as Dolphin-class submarines and their American counterparts patrol the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean with their own cataclysmic payloads.

It is fully consistent with the Hojjatieh sect's philosophy to try to "wipe Israel off the map" in hopes of triggering the expected result, and fully within Israel's sovereign rights to respond with all due mortal force to a nation seeking its annihilation. The Hojjatieh seek an end to their world to bring forth Muhammad ibn Hasan, and that they may be able to burn Israel to the ground in the process of bringing forth their Hidden Imam only makes the attraction of Apocalypse stronger.

Do the Hojjatieh seek to end the world on their terms? If is is indeed their plan, I pray that they now reconsider.

The three major religions that arose in the Middle East and propagated around this world all believe in a Creator, One that created All. If these major world religions are correct, then God alone is all powerful, and only God alone can chose the time and place of the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. By attempting to force God's hand, to attempt to control the End Times, the Hojjatieh are creating a great sin on a scale never before imagined, spanning across all nations, all believers, and faiths. The Hojjatieh seem primed to seek to create the greatest blasphemy of all.

As a Christian believer in a just and powerful God, I feel certain that while millions if not tens of millions could die if the Ahmadinejad and the other Hojjatieh have their way, that their deaths and the deaths of their unsuspecting victims (growing more unsuspecting every day) will only bring an end to lives, not a beginning of paradise.

Man cannot force or control the hand of God. A Pharaoh once tried, and the firstborn of all of Egypt died as a result. If Ahmadinejad's attempt to play God is realized, then the firstborn of the Middle East will only be a fraction of the overall toll.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:22 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

July 31, 2006

Ultimate Gun Blogger


If it ever makes it as a Weblog Awards category, John Donovan of Argghhh! wins, without a doubt.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 09, 2006

God and Man at Krispy Kreme

When I was a kid we went to Sunday School. Often as not, we'd learn something about the Bible or being a Christian through a story pulled from the Bible, and other times, we learned from parables made up to teach Christian moral ideals. I'm old enough now to read things of my own choosing and have done so for many years, but the power to teach contained in a simple parable still never ceases to amaze me.

I was sent the following parable in an email from my father this morning. If you are a Christian this is something you might want to pass along to others. If you aren't a Christian, and are of another faith, perhaps you might find this disturbing, and find yourself asking how your "donut" is paid for.

If you are one think who thinks the very concept of religion is stupid... well, this was written for you, most of all.

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course his or her freshman year, regardless of his or her major. Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him.

"How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Dr. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can...yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good. I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

"Sure." Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.

When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own pushups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten pushups.

Scott said, "Hey, I said I didn't want one."

Dr. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No."

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten....Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten pushups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room.

When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your pushups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO, don't come in Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut."

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut."

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?" Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda.

Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone, I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not. When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?" As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, 'into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding, "Not all sermons are preached in words."

Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not only His Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"

I'm not (overtly) trying to convert anyone, but this is a pretty good parable of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, and it might strike a cord with those who have become immune to a message that is told often, but told often badly. I think of this parable and what I picked up in the fast-paced novella Dinner With a Perfect Stranger and it makes me sad to see the 1,400 years fighting and dying going on around the world in the name of a certain other prophet and his god.

Steve in the story above paid for your donut whether you wanted it or not, and while he would offer it to you, it was never forced upon you.

That other prophet operates quite differently, doesn't he?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:33 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

April 23, 2006

A Perfect Stranger

Ever wondered why only one faith could be right? Where loves comes from? Whether it is possible to "earn" your way into Heaven?

I read Dinner with a Perfect Stranger tonight, and my head is reeling. At just 100 pages and written in a conversational style, you hardly feel you are reading it as much as overhearing it, and what you get out of it is profound. I'm not much into book reviews as a rule (I've done one before, I think), but I feel compelled to suggest it. It really is that good, and that impactful.

I see via Amazon that A Day with a Perfect Stranger, a follow-up novella, is going to be released July 18. I will be getting a copy.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack