MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

How are things in Iraq?

April 30th, 2006 Viewed 940 times, 1 so far today

Here’s some clips from Say Anything. I’m going to quote his summary and link so you can see the actual text. Either way, it’s encouraging.

The violence is not “mounting.”
Our troops are not dispirited or “worn out.”
Our troops are not “terrorizing” (as John Kerry put it) Iraqis.
Progress is slow, but that was expected:
The war in Iraq is not especially unpopular here at home:
We are making progress.
Iraqis are relatively upbeat despite many countries failing to back up their aid pledges for Iraq:
The Iraqis are beginning to fight for themselves.
Support for terrorism is declining.
Negative media reporting is misleading.
There is a groundswell of support for democracy.

Tony Snow – Press Secretary

April 30th, 2006 Viewed 866 times

So, by now you’ve had time to digest Tony Snow being the next Press Secretary, and the press has had time to discuss it. The headline of this yahoo article has even changed. It used to read “Fox News host to be named White House Spokesman” and it now reads ” New Bush Spokesman Not Blind to Boss’ Flaws.” They are all playing up the fact that Snow has had his differences in print.

How much input does the Press Secretary have, anyway? Bush even said as much when he said that it’s up to the President to make the decision and Tony to explain it. So, does he have input? This MSNBC Article says:

Snow, who in his roles as a pundit on Fox News and elsewhere has rapped
Bush on several occasions, joined the White House only after extracting
a promise that he would become an adviser to the president on
day-to-day strategy. If Bush and his team follow through on that
commitment, the former columnist will be the first outsider to become
part of Bush’s revamped inner circle.

I really like Tony, and I hope he can make a difference– I just don’t know that this is an influential a post as it could be!

Jereboam and Tolerance

April 29th, 2006 Viewed 1083 times

I really like this blog posting from Vox Day, so much that I don’t think my words could add much to it, so I’ll copy it in its entirety:

Jeroboam is one of the men in the Bible who’s been saddled with a reputation as a godless idolater. Throughout the books of 1st and 2nd Kings, the phrase appears like an ominous drumbeat with the description of almost every kingly reign; “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.“ What a terrible legacy to carry down throughout the ages!

And yet Jeroboam had once known the favor of God’s hand, in a way that few ever had. Like David, he had been anointed as king over Israel by one of the Lord’s own prophets, and his ascendancy was promised at a time when it must have seemed impossible. Solomon was a powerful king, the greatest leader Israel had known in its history; he was rich, his armies were strong, and his kingdom was at peace with all the surrounding neighbors. Considering his seven hundred royal wives, he certainly could not have lacked for royal heirs. The thought of Jeroboam succeeding to the greater part of his kingdom would have no doubt seemed laughable, except for the promise of God.

Nor did the prophet Ahijah leave Jeroboam in any doubt as to why God was going to take most of the kingdom away from Solomon. “…because they have forsaken me and worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites….” Jeroboam knew, long before he became the king of Israel, why the Lord had withdrawn his favor from Solomon’s line, and what he had to do if he wanted to found a dynasty that would endure. “…do whatever I command you and walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and commands….”

So it seems like truly epic stupidity for Jeroboam to go and build the golden calves at Bethel and Dan right after the prophesied events came to pass. Why would he turn to the worship of the pagan gods almost immediately after witnessing the power of the Lord’s hand bringing the prophecy to completion right before his eyes? The answer is that he didn’t.

Jeroboam’s first sin was a lack of faith. Despite the accuracy with which the prophecies of Ahijah had come to pass, Jeroboam still feared that the people of Israel would revert to their previous loyalties if they continued to go to Jerusalem to offer their sacrifices to the Lord. So he made it easier for them, by building the two golden calves at Bethel and Dan, intending that the people could go there to worship the Lord instead of to the Temple. The calves were not intended to represent any foreign god, they were a symbol of strength and fertility, and in the pagan religions, served as a foundation upon which the idols of the pagan gods would stand. Jeroboam did not build an idol to any of these
gods, and in building only the calves, was attempting to abide by the commandment not to represent the Lord as an idol. The foundational symbols of paganism were there, but not the pagan gods nor their worship.

Building a new place of worship to the Lord outside of the Temple could not have seemed like a transgression to the people of Israel at the time. In all the years from Joshua’s leadership until the end of David’s reign, they had freely offered sacrifices to the Lord in many places, subject only to the command not to sacrifice on the “high places”, where the pagan Canaanites worshipped their unholy gods. Jeroboam was only continuing in the older tradition, which must have seemed more familiar to many people, and easier since it didn’t involve
a trip into what was now enemy territory. But Jeroboam did violate the Lord’s commands by building shrines on the high places, and appointing priests from tribes other than the Levites. Nevetheless, it must be remembered that these shrines were to the Lord, and these priests were dedicated to the Lord as well. His second sin was of disobedience, not the worship of the pagan gods.

That Jeroboam thought he was still faithful to the Lord is indicated by two things. First, the name of his son Abijah is translated as “My Father is the Lord”. Also,
throughout the book of 2nd Kings, a clear distinction is made between kings who did evil in the eyes of the Lord by worshipping pagan gods, as Ahab, king of Israel, did by setting up altars for Baal and Asherah, and those kings, such as Azariah, king of Judah, who did what was right, but still failed to remove the altars to the Lord that were located in the forbidden high places. Of all the kings, only Hezekiah, king of Judah, did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, “just as his father David had done. He removed the high places” and even “broke into
pieces the bronze snake Moses had made,” because the people had been burning incense to it. So Jeroboam’s sins, though serious enough to justify the eradication of his line and forfeiture of all that God had promised him, did not consist of the return to paganism that most people assume.

But what do Jeroboam’s sins have to do with us today? More than one would think, because the root cause of his sins is a temptation faced by most Christians today. Tolerance is a byword for virtue these days, but it was Jeroboam’s tolerance for that which was wrong which led to his disobedience, and ultimately culminated in the kingdom’s full-blown rejection of the Lord God of Israel. The Israelites did not immediately turn to Baal and Asherah, indeed, it
took them many years to reach that state of apostasy. But the seeds of evil had already been sown by Jeroboam, in his willingness to tolerate forms of worship that God had expressly forbidden.

It is wrong and misleading to suggest, as many do, that Jesus Christ preached tolerance. He did not. “He who is not for me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.” One finds no call to tolerance in this teaching. Jesus preached forgiveness, for all men, but first he called for the repentance of sin. Tolerance is not the same thing as love; the Christian must love the sinner, but neither tolerate nor condone the evil that the sinner commits.

Even in the oft-referenced case of the woman about to be stoned, Jesus told her, “Go forth and sin no more.” It is not for the Christian to judge, as Jesus himself refused to judge while on Earth, but we have been given our commands, just as Jeroboam was given his – to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

It is not easy to do this in a world where even those who claim to be Christian leaders dare to criticize those who would attempt to follow Jesus Christ’s commands, call them intolerant and accuse them of somehow perpetrating hate. But Jesus told his disciples that they would be blessed when the men of the world hated them, and called them evil. If the world labels us intolerant
because we preach that there is no way to the Father but through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we should rejoice and continue to speak the truth, not cower in fear and silence. And yet most of us fail to do as we have been told; we show the same lack of faith and obedience to the words of Jesus Christ that Jeroboam had for the commands of the Lord God of Israel.

The sins of Jeroboam make it clear that it is no virtue to be tolerant in a world of evil, and that it is no vice to be called intolerant by those who reject the Son of God. Jeroboam feared men, not God, and so brought down upon his house a devastating curse of death and destruction. Instead of following his example, let us emulate instead that of the Apostle Paul, who fearlessly preached the good news of Jesus Christ to all mankind.

One Solution to High Gas Prices

April 29th, 2006 Viewed 1321 times

Increase the Minimum Wage:

I am sympathetic to poor people having to pay these $3 per gallon
gasoline prices. I also want to do something to preserve the GOP’s
majority in America.It is a proven fact that gasoline prices have no discernable impact
on the lives of people earning over $60,000/year. It is also true,
according to statistical analysis, that people earning $60,000 per year
or more vote overwhelmingly Republican. Unless, of course, they marry
into or inherit the money like John Kerry or Ted Kennedy, or are
high-earning, idiot celebrities who stumble upon money mindlessly.

Average Joe Pinot Noir (he’s now better than Joe Sixpack) won’t be as stupid as those people.

So,if we just raise the minimum wage to $29 per hour
we will, in one fell swoop, eliminate the impact high oil and gas
prices has on working people and ensure that the Republicans will win
elections from that day forward.

I know there will be naysayers. I can hear them now. And I know it
might increase unemployment a bit. The underground economy and illegal
immigration would probably flourish. It would also likely destroy small
business in America and would be highly inflationary as the Wal-Mart’s
of the world would have to pay a “living wage” and therefore raise
prices.

In fact, this would be a terribly stupid economic move, but who cares? Everybody makes $60,000 a year!

Hey, this would be a raise for me, let’s do it!

Fathers interested in Their Daughter’s Purity

April 28th, 2006 Viewed 1686 times

There is a growing movement among Christians in the United States to protect their children from sexual sins, and away from the casual dating scene. Books like “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and others touting the benefits of courtship are seeing good success.

Focus on the Family discusses Father-Daughter Purity Balls. The basic idea– a prom with Dad with a point– a pledge of purity from the daughter until marriage.

The fathers and daughters paired off as they entered the elegant ballroom of the five-star Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. The dads wore suits or tuxes, the young ladies beautiful ball gowns.

The 100 father-daughter guests — some dads brought more than one daughter, and some of the daughters were as young as 4 — came from around Colorado, and a few from as far away as Pennsylvania. The highlight of the evening was when the dads signed the Covenant of Purity and Protection, witnessed by their
daughters. (See “The Pledge,” right.)

Of course, this doesn’t exactly sit well with the feminist crowd:

I can not even tell you how much it would have creeped me out to have my father take that kind of interest in my sexuality. Or to look into his eyes and *say* the word “sexually.” That’s far too much detail to be shared between a father and daughter, in my opinion. Sure, we all know that a daughter’s sexual activity is probably never far from the mind of her father, especially when she’s dating, but the idea that he would go so far as to have her pledge to him that she will remain sexually pure until she “gives” herself as a “wedding gift” to her husband is creeptastic.

In this worldview, the man is the head of the household, high priest, and all the members of the family are his property. And anyone will tell you that property has value; in the case of the daughter in a family like this, her value is determined by her marriageability, which is bound up inextricably in her purity. That’s why she pledges to be her husband’s “wedding gift” and to protect the value of her father’s property by not giving it away before it’s legally purchased by marriage.

I love the response by RightNation.US to the last quote:

Yeah, that’s exactly right. It has nothing to do with our love for our daughters and concern for their well being. I’m hoping to score several hundred camels for the three-year old.

It’s part of the father’s responsibility before God to lead his family well– especially in guarding his daughters in their clothing choices, friends, etc. Involved fathers create stable children.

The Other Victims of Abortion Speak Out

April 28th, 2006 Viewed 1292 times

The Abortion lobby would like you to believe that no one is hurt during the process, and would really like you to think that it is a positive experience. After all, the woman took control of her body, and didn’t let the “tissue” growing inside her change her life. It ended months of morning sickness, stretch marks, and in the future, physical pain, financial pain, and emotional pain. The reality is quite different for many women– and these women are getting a voice:

Women who have had abortions but are now fighting to outlaw the practice say their numbers are growing and so will their influence, especially after many of them stepped forward to support South Dakota’s new abortion ban law.

Taming the Wild WWW

April 27th, 2006 Viewed 1668 times

It lookes like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is suggesting three new laws for the Internet:

  1. Establish a government mandatory rating system that web developers putting explicit content on the web would have to put on their websites. This would carry a five year prison sentence if not followed.
  2. Imprison those sites that pretend to be something innocent in ads and yet redirect the web surfer to explicit content.
  3. Keep commercial sites from displaying explicit content on their home page if the user does not have to perform an action to see it.

These seem like a good step, but as usual, enforcement of the first one is difficult. What new government agencies will have to be created to be “porn police”?

There is a pretty clear standard: “The definition of sexually explicit broadly covers depictions of
everything from sexual intercourse and masturbation to “sadistic abuse”
and close-ups of fully clothed genital regions.”

However, this can still cause problems. What about the shots of the before and after photos for weight loss products? In a way, it would cause some media outlets to clean up their acts– ie. news photos that catch “wardrobe malfunctions” etc. It would also put some pressure for communities where photos are kept on the web to make sure adult content carried a warning, and that would be good.

But could you ever really catch the web developer? What about the one out of country? There would be ways to skirt it (no pun intended), and it would be hard to police. It also gives the same legitimacy to the stuff that .XXX would, but it would effect .COM, etc.

It’s worth thinking about.

Another Reason Not to Get Close to China

April 27th, 2006 Viewed 1154 times

Or, as The American Princess says,

Reason #102394 We Should Be Rethinking China

The 1999 report of the Alan Guttmacher Institute says that between
500,000 and 750,000 unborn Chinese girls are aborted every year after
sex screening.

Just because they’re girls.

This is where America will see itself at the end of all of this deliberation in regards to stem cells, etc. Not necessarily with the sex of the baby, but with “not optimal standards” like a disease that we think the baby might have in-utero or something of that nature.

I find it amazing that we equate knowledge with the right to do these things, and yet doctors can’t even explain totally how the whole reproduction thing works, and worked fine on its own without hospitals, etc.

Destroy IE!

April 26th, 2006 Viewed 1404 times

In case you haven’t switched to Mozilla Firefox yet, there’s a new group of people out there encouraging web developers to put content on their pages to get you to try the “rebel” browser:

According to the Explorer Destroyer Web site, the group offers
Web-site owners scripting technology that detects whether a visitor is
running IE. If so, an alert will appear advising the visitor to
download Firefox so they can either view the site better or view it at
all. Whenever a visitor to a Web site using the group’s technology
switches to Firefox from IE, the owner of the Web site will get the
referral fee if they have signed up for Google’s AdSense program.

There are three types of alerts site owners can put on their page–“gentle encouragement,” “semi-serious,” or “dead serious.”

If a Web site owner chooses “gentle encouragement,” site visitors
who are using IE will see a banner across the top of the page that
encourages them to download Firefox. A “semi-serious” site will put up
a splash page encouraging a user to download Firefox, with a link for
downloading Mozilla’s browser as well as a link to the Web site.

Those who choose the “dead serious” alert actually block users with
IE from viewing the page, informing them they must install Firefox to
view the site. View a demo of what happens when a user clicks on a site with this rating.

I’ve used Firefox for a long time– it’s my primary browser. There are many cool add-ons, and I’ve made a few converts myself. So, if you’re so inclined, try it out!

I Didn’t Deserve This!

April 25th, 2006 Viewed 1259 times
English: Commentator and author at CPAC in .

English: Commentator and author at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ann Coulter’s latest article takes the current Duke University/stripper situation and puts in into the context of a warning against sin.

However the Duke lacrosse rape case turns out, one lesson that absolutely will not be learned is this: You can severely reduce your chances of having a false accusation of rape leveled against you if you don’t hire strange women to come to your house and take their clothes off for money.

Also, you can severely reduce your chances of being raped if you do not go to strange men’s houses and take your clothes off for money. (Does anyone else detect a common thread here?)

And if you are a girl in Aruba or New York City, among the best ways to avoid being the victim of a horrible crime is to not get drunk in public or go off in a car with men you just met. While we’re on the subject of things every 5-year-old should know, I also recommend against dousing yourself in gasoline and striking a match.

She goes on to talk about how our society has gotten into a position of justifying ourselves because we feel guilty because of the sin that we’ve committed. We have a complex moral dilemma. Without being rooted in the Bible or any moral code for that matter, we are at the mercy of some relativistic whim of the culture at large. A culture that, as she says, paints any crime where a gun was there as the gun’s fault, but does not lay the same blame on a stripper who gets raped.

In this relativistic society, the worst crime is not actually the crime, but of being accused of hypocrisy. Hence the number of Christians and even political ideas that are not discarded based on logic or reason, but because the proponents of such are “hypocrites.” Rape is a terrible thing, don’t get me wrong. But there are ways to prevent it from happening. You need to read her whole article to get the entire breadth– this was an amazing article from her.

She continues to drive home her point in regards to morality and perceived hypocrisy with these closing statements:

This deep-seated societal fear of being accused of “hypocrisy” applies only to behavior touching on morals.

But we’re all rotten sinners, incapable of redemption on our own. The liberal answer to sin is to say: I can never pay this back, so my argument will be I didn’t do anything wrong.

The religion of peace’s answer is: I’ve just beheaded an innocent man – I’m off to meet Allah!

I don’t know what the Jewish answer is, but I’m sure it’s something other than, “therefore, what I did is no longer bad behavior” – or the Talmud could be a lot shorter.

The Christian answer is: I can never pay this back, but luckily that Christ fellow has already paid my debt.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.