The Holy Days have made this a busy month! There have been several items in the news that I want to draw your attention to. I want to get them to you before they get too stale.
Los Lunas, NM Hebrew tablets, the sexual minefields of young girls, the hypocrisy of PETA, a criticism of Christians for not helping the poor, economy causes rise in convenience abortions, “Religious Right” deals with change of leadership, Vatican meddling in US politics and assisting those in distress have all come across the news recently.
Los Lunas and the Jewish Perspective
Those who have been around the Church of God (COG) for any time will know that ancient Israel, especially Dan, travelled far and wide. There have been Hebrew writings found in the Americas that prove the ancient Israelites were not only a power to be reckoned with but had the means and know-how to travel extensively.
A colleague in the Helium Writer’s Group on LinkedIn published some links to the Los Lunas, New Mexico site where a form of ancient Hebrew was found. AlwaysPerfectlyWrite wondered if it was an April Fool’s joke and writes a summary of the research, particularly the Ten Commandments tablet, in “Why This Post Just Has To Be Different From All Other …”
Here is the direct link to the Ancient Hebrew Research Center on the Los Lunas archaeological site.
We have mysteries such as the pyramids and Stonehenge. There have been discoveries of ancient civilizations who had steam powered devices.
It really is amazing how much modern people underestimate the ancients, isn’t it? Keep that in mind when someone scoffs at Noah’s Ark.
Girls and the Sexual Minefield
Nurturing Faith has a book review on Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America Too!) by Carol Liebau. The review, titled “The sexual minefield our girls face”, starts off:
Girls by many measures are doing better in today’s world than boys, according to statistics related to academic achievement levels, college attendance rates, professional and career opportunities, or even crime/death rates. There is one notable exception, which Carol Liebau contends in her new book Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America Too!). She believes that the area of sex “is a minefield more challenging, difficult, and pressure-filled than ever before” for girls. She shares some very frank and brutally honest examples of sexual misconduct in our schools and society that she backs up with voluminous research.
Some shocking statistics are included. For example, the average age for 1st intercourse in a 1999 sampling is 15. In 2005, 46% of high school girls had had full intercourse. The influence of media is in itself shocking. A teen is 3-6 times more likely to be involved in intercourse when they watch TV without family present.
This is definitely a call to let the Bible and not the culture bring up our children.
PETA and Hypocrisy
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animas (PETA) is well known for its antics such as spraying ketchup on fur coats and stripping naked and covering themselves with signs that say “We’d Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur”. You know, the ones that call the killing of animals “murder”. Well, now they are accused of being more interested in using its annual $32 million to fund its campaigns than doing any real good. It turns out that 96% of the animals they were given charge of were put to sleep. Even accounting for the sick and traumatized, that’s a huge percentage!
Speaking of Hypocrisy… Who’s Helping the Poor?
Have the various social programs to help the poor been hit hard by the economy? Shouldn’t some of that “stimulus” money being thrown about help the least in our society? An atheist takes Christians to task in “Calling all ‘Christians’: It’s Easter, so where’s the love?” by Ed Tubbs. You probably won’t agree with everything he says, but it makes you wonder where our priorities are in this country.
Speaking of the Helpless: Convenience Abortions on the Rise
Liberal critics often say that abortion is not a primary means of birth control, but it is well known that a significant number of women get more than one abortion. Now, another figure is showing the folly of that argument. On 4 April, the Telegraph.co.uk in “Vasectomies and abortions on the rise as economic meltdown hits US families” stated:
Clinics are reporting a surge in women seeking abortions and men requesting vasectomies because they say they cannot afford to have more children.
“Some women are taking a long hard look at the situation they find themselves in and deciding to terminate their pregnancies because of the economy,” said Barbara Zdravecky, president of a Florida wing of Planned Parenthood, the country’s leading provider of abortions.
The ancient Canaanites were vomited out of the land because they practiced child sacrifice to their gods. How much less does God think about this country when we sacrifice our unborn to the god of convenience?
Could this be why our leader is running around the world groveling? Stay tuned for “The Groveling of America”.
The Evangelical Right Received Another Blow
… as “Dr. James Dobson Steps Down as Focus on the Family Chairman”. Dr Dobson founded the ministry 32 years ago. His wife, who is prominent as the chairperson for the National Day of Prayer Committee also left the board of directors. Dr Dobson has been doing a gradual transition to the “next generation of leadership” for about 6 years now. However, he will remain active with the ministry.
This is actually a sign of wise leadership to have a transition plan rather than “hold the reins of leadership too long.”
However, the secular world is not viewing the departure in quite as positive of light. The Telegraph wrote “US religious Right concedes defeat” on 10 April 2009. They write:
Unease is rising that a nation founded – in the view of evangelicals – purely as a Christian country will soon, like northern Europe, become “post-Christian”.
…A growing legion of disenchanted grassroots believers does not blame liberal opponents for the decline in faith or the failures of the religious Right. Rather, they hold responsible Republicans – particularly Mr Bush – and groups like Focus on the Family that have worked with the party, for courting Christian voters only to betray promises of pursuing the conservative agenda once in office.
Mixing religion and politics is always messy business, and Dr Dobson himself has not been immune to various criticisms. Last election, he came very close to advocating not voting because the Republican frontrunner was not pro-life enough.
The Telegraph article also repeats the belief that by becoming engrossed in politics many conservatives have forgotten the Gospel.
The COG has traditionally held the view that involvement in politics is to be avoided. We have seen over the past 8 years the fruit being born by such involvement. A supposed “Christian” was elected to the White House only to lead to several severe problems at home and abroad. The backlash was inevitable.
Again, has our moral downslide led to “The Groveling of America”?
Mankind cannot govern himself. That is the ultimate lesson we need to learn. Human governments will fall to the One Kingdom when Christ returns. God speed that day!
Interference From the Vatican
It is such a shame that I get more US political news via a UK publication than the US. The Telegraph wrote on 11 April 2009 that the “Vatican blocks Caroline Kennedy appointment as US ambassador”.
Whether they can actually “block” or “veto” (UK Guardian) her as a nominee remains to be see, I guess. If so, it certainly would be yet another case of “The Groveling of America”.
Make no mistake about it: The Vatican is a political entity, not just a religious organization. What we have here is one sovereign state interfering with another. This would be similar to Italy, Russia or France trying to block an appointee.
The Catholic Church wielded considerable power during past resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire. Much of Europe is nominally Catholic, and Pope John Paul showed the power of the Church in helping to bring down communist influence in Poland, which led to the dissolution of the USSR. The Catholic Church will once again wield considerable power within a unified resurrected Holy Roman Empire prior to the return of Jesus Christ.
No One Helps Rape Victim on New York Subway
MSNBC Today reported on a young woman, Maria, who was attacked and dragged down the steps and raped twice by her attacker. The printed version “She cried rape — and no one helped” retells the story of how the attack was witnessed by a NY City subway clerk and later by a train conductor. Both the clerk and the conductor notified the command center but did nothing else. The assailant was able to escape by the time police officers arrived.
Maria lost a lawsuit where she alleges they could have yelled over the intercom or some other similar action to scare her attacker off.
It’s hard to know in advance what you will do in a similar situation. Do you think you would have just sat there waiting on the police?
I have seen some online comments here and there that criticized her for being on a train so late by herself. I will state that just because it is someone’s right to be on a train late at night does not mean it is a safe thing to do. While it doesn’t excuse the actions of the attacker or the onlookers, there is a saying that an ounce of prevention is worth an ounce of cure. If she had to travel on the train that late by herself (which isn’t that clear, but let’s assume so), she would have been wise to have at least carried pepper spray with her.
We are told that the last days would be perilous times. Jesus also instructed us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. It is not wrong to point out that people must take precautions in potentially dangerous situations. You would criticize a fireman for not wearing protective gear, wouldn’t you?
According to the write-up, Maria blames the onlookers more than the attacker. She assumes he is mentally disturbed. Whether he is or not, though, seems to me to be beside the point that he needs to be caught and punished for his crime.
In all honesty, we have an obligation to do what we can where and when it is needed. That doesn’t mean to act foolishly, but we are responsible for one another. James tells us:
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
~ Jas 2:15-17
Why am I reminded of a story at the end of the Book of Judges? You know, the book that says “every man did that which was right in his own eyes”?
Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.
And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.
Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.
But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.
Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light.
And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.
And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.
~ Jdg 19:22-28
Wickedness and violence will certainly increase as people exert their “rights” to have sex with anyone, any time and any place. However, the expendability of certain classes of people will also be a predominant mindset.