Friday, May 25, 2007

I Am Challenged Once Again by Jehovah's Witnesses' Deceptive Quoting

If you check a few posts back, the one before the "Why I am not a Jehovah's Witness" one, you can see the email I was forwarded by a JW relative.

Upon further research, I have discovered that the book "Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament" does exist, authored by Jason David BeDuhn. After I gave a scathing reply to my relative about how disgusted I was with the supposed (entirely fabricated) Jeopardy question, and the quoting of this book, my relative replied in a very long, probably quoted from somewhere else, email. In it, my relative claimed that he had found the book, and that it existed and that it said what his former email said.

This is true.

However, it is yet another example of Jehovah's Witnesses selective and deceptive quoting. The very same book that they claim backs up the NWT as the best translation, also sharply criticizes the NWT for it's use of the word "Jehovah" in the New Testament, when it clearly does not exist in the original manuscripts. I tried to point this out to other JW's, but they would not listen.

I ran into this peculiar habit when some proselytizing JW's gave me a copy of the [edit] booklet "Should you Believe in the Trinity?" I did a bit (a surprisingly small bit, I didn't have to look far) of research and found hugely glaring examples of selective and deceptive quoting on the part of the Watchtower Society. Specifically, they quote a book that says that the use of the Cross for the crucifixion of Jesus instead of their "torture stake" was due to influence of pagan religions. It is true that this particular book says this. The book also says however that the following elements of Christianity were also derived from paganism: Virgin birth, son of God, dove, baptism, 12 disciples, resurrection, miracles, and others. All these things JW's believe in, but they quote from a book that supports a single point while ignoring the very same book that attempts to discredit their entire religion.

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and nothing but the HardCoreTruth.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wind farms Now and Future in Arkansas.

I was looking at the AWEA website at the wind energy characteristics of Arkansas. It has a neat little page here that shows the current and planned wind developments.

Guess how much Arkansas has.

0.1 Megawatts. One single small wind turbine in Prairie Grove. And I know that one can't do 100,000 watts, I just think that's the smallest number they had. I think it may be capable of 20,000w in a hurricane.

Here's a pic of that one lonely wind turbine.

The real sad part is that Arkansas ranks 27th in wind resources in the nation. That means we've got more wind resources than half the states. And all we have is a single puny wind turbine. And it's not even in a class 4 area. Arkansas has two good sized class 4 areas.

So, anyone in Arkansas, or anywhere else for that matter, push for wind power.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Secular Rap and Hip-Hop, Unacceptable

I was thinkin' up lesson plans for my young charges for my senior high summer small group, and I got to thinking about what music we listen to.

Music is one of the best ways to remember things. Think of how many Bible verses or famous quotations you know. Now turn on the radio and see how many songs you can sing along with.


So, since all these things are filling the memory space in our mind, what does that that do to us? The Bible says "I will put no evil before my eyes." Why? Because as the Bible also says, by beholding be become changed. The same goes for listening. If you listen to rhetoric of any kind all day long, unless you are vehemently opposed to it, you will start to believe it. That's why I try to limit my talk radio exposure. I don't agree with most of what they say, but I do agree with some. Unfortunately, with increased exposure, I start to get into it, start to feel it, start to agree with points of view that in my own mind disgust me.

So the things we put in come back out. At some point, the media, music, entertainment, and speech we put into our mind will affect us, change our beliefs, and therefore cause us to act in accordance. And this is what I was thinking about: If all you fill your mind with is filth, next time when you go looking around in there during an important conversation or debate, all you'll find is filth.

The filth in music is as bad as usual, and in some cases, more so. While some denigrate women, others praise it as empowering. Violence is praised. Sex is idolized. And I must make a specific point here, it's not the music, I am not downing rock and roll or "the devil's beat," what I am talking about is the words. I'll tell you right now, I love hard rock, rock rap, hip hop and such, but it's the words that are the important thing. I listen to Christian music of the genres above. On the best day, it's positive and uplifting, pointing me toward God, and on the worst day, it's obscenity free good music.

Here's the kicker, any style you can find in secular music, you can find in Christian music, only without the filth. My favorite? Thousand Foot Krutch.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Dr. Gasoline, or: How Learned How to Stop Worrying and Love the Go-Juice.

Once again, necessity has me opening my fat yap to complain about something.

Actually, I am not complaining, I welcome higher gas prices, they prove I am right. Go ahead, look at some of my older posts, you'll find a number of references to higher gas prices, and the reason therefore.

Higher gas prices necessitate action, hopefully, it will get people to stop buying Escalades and Tahoes, and Sequoias. Get ahold of a Corolla, and Echo, maybe a Prius. I ride a motorcycle that currently gets around 47 mpg. My wife drives a Corolla that gets around 34. We've decided that with the children situation, our next car will be a Toyota Sienna Hybrid (or whatever they'll call it by then.)

As you may be able to tell, I like Toyotas. They are the kings in the hybrid biz, and they have been building very reliable cars for a long time. In fact, the most populous car in history is a Toyota, the Corolla. Toyota has most of the factory produced electric vehicles on the road, the RAV4 EV, though there are very few of them. Plus, they have some great plans for hybrids in the future. They plan to offer every one of their vehicles in hybrid form, and there are several much higher mileage machines in the works. The 3rd generation Prii are supposed to make 30% better mileage than the current ones, and there is some talk of nearing the 100 miles per gallon mark.

Anyway, the sustainable option would of course be a flex fuel type hybrid, or better, a biodiesel model, and best, an all electric car. Hopefully with the current state of things, those options will be nearer on the horizon.

Mark my words, gas will go up even more.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Global Warming is Racist. Review of "The Great Global Warming Swindle"

I have a great little docudrama (documentary) for you to watch, it is the answer to global warming, and you can find it here. It's called The Great Global Warming Swindle. If you want to see my review of it as far as environmentalism is concerned, check out my Sustainable Living Blog.

This review is about the section toward the end of the movie that speaks of how global warming politics is holding back the developing world. Developed countries (those who consume and pollute the most) are trying to disallow the use of fossil fuels for power generation in developing countries because of the global warming potential. However, without abundant sources of energy, they will not be able to industrialize in order to have the money to afford other sources of energy like the United States is now starting to invest in.

I am all for renewable energy as you can find out in my other blog, but my rule is that people come first. People are more important, and people make the world. Meanwhile people are dying, and living in squalor in Africa because they can't afford electrical heating or cooking.

So, what do we need to do? We need to focus on providing aid of the correct kind to third world countries. They need education, food, medicine, and technology. And while we bring them those, we can bring them Jesus. They don't need rules and regulations about what they can and can't build. They need stability and help. They need education and thus about a great many things.


Catch Some Rain

My bride was arranging the utilities for our new house today, and we found out that water costs $30 a month up to 2000 gallons, then $6 for every thousand gallons after that.

That is gonna be about twice what we are paying now.

So, it's high time I talk about collecting rain water.

Rain is very pure, very clean, and very sustainable and natural. Something I read said that rain water coming off an asphalt shingle roof was cleaner than regular tap water. There are no utility fees, and no active machines required to harvest it. Furthermore, it can be used for watering plants, or if you want to go a little more intense, you can use it to provide water for your whole house.

All you need is gutters, some pipes, a pump, a storage tank and a few other various electrical and plumbing gadgets and you have your own home water system. You might want to install a filter in there too just for good measure.

Of course, if your area does not get 24 inches of rain or more each year, you may wish to plumb up another source of water as a backup.

We'll probably not go that far in this house simply because we do not plan to live there forever. So, I'll use water collected from the gutters to water the garden. I'll get gutters put on the house, then I'll direct the downspouts to barrels which will hold the water. As an added benefit, this will give me plenty of rain water with which to water my carnivorous plants. I may even bury a pipe from the barrels to the garden to carry the water.

I love weather.

The Global Warming Debate Continues

We've heard of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, but now there is another global warming docudrama. This one is called The Great Global Warming Swindle. You can view the whole thing on Google Video here. I would recommend that you do.

First, I need to make a single point. Many global warming activists like to say that the debate is over, that we need to stop arguing and do something about the problem. Arguments like this are pure falsehood, and as a person who is dedicated to science (just got two Associate of Science Degrees last Friday,) the debate is NEVER OVER. In science, nothing is ever immutable fact, nothing. Immutable fact comes from religion, not science. Science is study, continual study, always subject to revision on discovery of new information, or falsification of old information. But the debate is never over. It's just not in the nature of science for the debate to be over. That is not the way it works. Ignoring the facts and issues at hand, the debate in science is never over. I'll say it again, there is no end of debate in science, ever. And there is no such thing as a scientific consensus. Science is not up to a vote.

Ok, back to the docudrama. I would like to say that the reason I am calling it a docudrama, and the same reason I call AIT a docudrama is this: both use people, and people are not prone to objectivity. Both are edited, and both are meant to convey a point, not an unbiased reporting of information. Both contain elements of truth, as well as elements of untruth. I have weighed the truth in AIT before, so I'll weigh TGGWS here and now. I have done a little research, and this is my review of the film.

The film makes the point that carbon dioxide levels trail temperature changes by a significant amount to time. I have made this point before, but I my reasons were not as scientifically based as the ones presented in the film. TGGWS states that the reason for this is that the oceans hold tremendous amounts of CO2, and when they warm, they are able to hold less of it and it is released, but this effect is quite a bit delayed because the oceans are enormously large, and warming of them takes hundreds of years. Here's an important point regarding the truth of the film. The expert presented to do most of the backing up for this point has since complained that his view was mischaracterized. He still believes in human caused global warming, and says that as the oceans warm it will only get worse exponentially. This point is well taken, but the science of what he says holds true, and the point that CO2 levels trail temperatures still stands. So the point here is this: The essential tenet of the global warming theory, that CO2 causes global warming, is false. Global warming causes CO2.

I won't go through the entire movie point by point, but I'll explore one more, and that encompasses the nature of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and pollutant. Every oxygen breathing creature on the planet exhales CO2. Every photosynthesizing plant on the planet absorbs CO2. Every living thing on the planet is made of carbon and if allowed to decompose would turn into CO2 among other things. CO2 is a small time greenhouse gas, but CO2 is NOT A POLLUTANT! Pollutants do damage, sulfur, nitrogen, and phosphorus oxides are pollutants that cause acid rain that kills plants, trees, and aquatic life. CO2 on the other hand comes from living things and is absorbed by plants who release oxygen which is breathed by living things which exhale carbon dioxide and the process continues.

Here's an assignment for you. Look up the most potent greenhouse gases. You'll find that water vapor accounts for 36 to 90 percent of the greenhouse effect. Try to outlaw that. You will also find that methane is 17 times as powerful a greenhouse gas as CO2 is, so stop farting.

I believe in living sustainably. I believe in renewable power. I believe in breathing clean air. But the air I breathe only contains 0.05% carbon dioxide, that is until after I breathe it. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is virtually inert, and the lesser of several greenhouse gases. But here's a thing that environmentalists forget. The rest of the world cannot afford to live carbon neutral. Most of them don't have electricity or running water or access to medical care. And without the industry to create these things, they cannot afford to invest in clean energy. It's a luxury only we in the industrialized world have, and one we should do our best to utilize.

I think there are one of two solutions to this problem. Number one, we allow third world countries to industrialize using their own non renewable reserves and then help them develop renewable energy as quickly as possible ushering in a world technological age where health and comfort abide. Or number two, we build infrastructure for them, relying on their renewable resources alone. And then there's number three, we prevent them from becoming industrialized and continue to force them to live in squalor and poverty, dying of lung cancer from cooking fire smoke, living to the ripe old age of 40. I hate the use of fossil fuels, but what is the option here? People are more important, plus with our support, they can build power plants that have minimal pollution.

Oh, and today when everyone is trying to encourage a one day boycott of gasoline, here's a better idea: buy a Tesla Roadster or a Prius. Those are the ones I recommend.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Another baby dies due to Veganism

Check out this news story.

This is the second time I have seen a story like this. Last time it was a poor little kid who's little bloated corpse was found to contain nothing but alfalfa juice.

This time it was soy milk and apple juice.


That's right, soy milk and apple juice. Soy milk which has no business being in anyone's body unless they can choke it down under their own power by their own choice, and fruit juice when little babies' bodies cannot handle sugar very well.

The parents said they didn't think anything was wrong until minutes before the baby died.


The baby weighed three and a half pounds. TELL ME THAT'S NORMAL!!!!!!!!

This story disgusts me. I believe justice has been served the parents, they got life. Something their innocent baby didn't get. If I was the judge, I'd also have ordered a good strong pimp slap for both of them.

God gave you breasts mom. They're right there on your chest where God put them, so you wouldn't forget where they are! They even get bigger when you get pregnant so in case you couldn't find them before, you'll know where they are!!! Study after study after study after study proclaims the benefits of BREAST MILK! What's wrong with you LADY!!! And to the dad, you are a MORON!!! At what point COULD YOU SEE THE BABY'S RIBS??!?!?! Of course, if you are vegan, it was probably at birth.

I have nothing against vegans, I have known several, and my father is a vegetarian. But, this is unacceptable, absolutely ponderous. Forget politics, forget religion, lets pay attention to BABIES STARVING TO DEATH!!! There is a point where this kind of extremism should end, and that is right before the point where CHILDREN DIE!

BREAST MILK PEOPLE!!!!! It's good for you, it's good for the baby, it's the way God meant it to be.

Glenn Beck and Mormons

Talk show host Glenn Beck is discussing Al Sharpton and his comments about Mormons as I sit here now, and frankly, he needs to quit whining about religious persecution.

There have been over 65,000,000 Bible believing Christians martyred over the past two thousand years, Jehovah's Witnesses were massacred by the Nazi's, everybody gets a little persecution so he can just quit complaining about a little persecution, the Bible says it's good for you.

Secondly, Mormons have done plenty of persecution of their own, you need read only a little history to learn about the little wars, attacks and massacres on both sides. I recommend the book "One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church" by Richard Abanes. It's a very well researched book by a guy who deals with Mormons all the time. I read it very quickly, it reads like a novel because it's just appalling how people could actually buy what Joseph Smith was selling. Even more appalling is that people are still buying it today.

Anyway Glenn, if you expect to call your self a Christian or someone who believes in God, just accept your persecution and take it like a man. It's part of the territory. And if you expect to deny the historic Christian faith, you're gonna have to stand up to that criticism too.


Solar Air Heater

I was reading the summer issue of Mother Earth News and they have an article on a solar air heater. Basically what it is is a greenhouse that is only six inches wide. It can be made out of a variety of materials but you need a clear face to allow the solar energy to enter.

I've decided there are a number of uses for a solar air heater. In my continuing effort to save energy (money,) I've decided that a solar air heater would work great for a clothes dryer. Of course you'd need a backup for those days when you don't have any sun. But even if the solar part is not working, the important part is that the air can be brought in from the outside, rather than taking nice conditioned air from inside and dumping it outside. I just need to figure out how to mod a dryer to bring air from outside. If I can figure that out, I'll be set.

Another idea is to run the exiting hot air through some kind of recuperator to get back some of the heat to dry the clothes with. Probably the best idea would be some sort of of pipe over a pipe style heat exchanger. Of course, I don't know how much all this would cost or save, so I have to take that into account.

Or I could just go back to how we did it when I was a kid. We had a three string clothes line behind the house in the summer, and we had a two stringer across the living room in the winter. Wood stove heat baby!


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Free Paris?!??!?????!??!???!???????

People are starting to sign a petition to get Paris Hilton out of jail.


She's got nothing to offer the world, she's no Mother Theresa, that's for sure.

I think it was Salman Rushdie who said that Paris Hilton went from cheap hotel to cheap human being. I think it was him, but don't take my word for it, I recently heard him give a speech at the University of Arkansas.

Rich people should not be allowed to skip punishment for crimes, especially for crimes involving alcohol and driving. No one should. That's the way it should be.

I believe in exponential punishment for crime, DUII for instance should come with the following mandatory punishments: first offense, one year hard labor then one year without a driver's license. Second offense, 10 years of each, third offense, 100 years of each.

End of drunk driving problems.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Sweet Light Bulbs

I've been listening to the debate about light bulbs recently, and I think I need to insert some hardcore-ness into the conversation. A lot of people really like CFL's, and I would agree, but there is that mercury problem and all that, but let's see where we can go with this.

Incandescent bulbs are outmoded, that much is sure. Think about this, you live in an average house, you have air conditioning. When you use a regular 100W incandescent bulb, a good majority of the energy that bulb is using is being converted directly to heat. Where does that heat go? It must be removed by your air conditioner, and that costs money. For every 100 watts of power you use in your house that doesn't get washed down the drain, you use another one third as many watts to remove the left over heat from the house, so suddenly now instead of using a 100W bulb, you are using a 133W bulb.

Enter compact fluorescent bulbs CFL's. They use one fourth the power of an incandescent bulb for the same light production. That means one fourth the heat because remember, for every watt you use, it gets turned into heat somewhere in the process due to the law of conservation of energy. So for the same amount of light, you have to remove from the house one fourth the heat. A 100W equivalent bulb is now 25 watts, which due to air conditioning is now about 33 watts. Unfortunately, with CFL's comes mercury, a highly poisonous vaporous or liquid metal. If you were to break a CFL in your house, it would expose you to somewhere in the range of six times the recommended dosage of mercury. On the flip side of that same arguemtn is the mercury created by the generation of electricity from coal power plants. Each CFL saves far more mercury from being dumped into the environment than would be released if it were improperly disposed of. So the conclusion here is, use them, but just don't break them.

Enter light emitting diodes, LED's. LED's are to CFL's as CFL's are to incandescents. LED's use in the range (wide range) of one fourth or less power for the same amount of light as does a CFL. Congruently, they cost in ratio to CFL's as CFL's cost to incandescents, but the price will come down. LEDs on the other hand produce virtually no heat, they operate at quite a low temperature, and to think that they use only a couple of watts, it's no wonder. I have LED taillights in my little pickup, and they replace 23 watt incandescents while using only about 4 watts and they are so much more intense than the originals. I can look in the rear view mirror and see intense red light reflected all over the place.

More and more house style LED's are coming on the market, and all you need to do to find them is just do a search. Also, if you get creative, you can make your own fixtures with LED's because they run at very low voltage. I know of a guy who made custom LED taillights for his electric car that tell him when it's plugged in, or charged. Like I said before, the price will come down, there is alot of research going into LEDs right now, jumbo trons, LED computer monitors, and a great new idea, LED head lights for cars.

Conclusion here, push for LED's, they are the sustainable solution for lighting.

Rudy Giuliani and Roe v. Wade

Was in class so I didn't get to watch the Republican debates last nite, but I did see and hear quite a few clips and reviews.

The one guy I thought I could vote for just up and discontinued himself in my opinion. Baby murder is wrong, and laws making it legal should be overturned. End of story.

Mitt Romney is a pretty decent guy, but let's face it, no one will elect a Mormon. Nothing against Mormons, my grandfather is a Mormon, but there's just too many people against them.

I guess my only option is to wait til Fred Thompson announces, but somehow I think I'll be voting "not someone" again.

The greater of two goods,


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Call for Moderation

In all things moderation, yes?

I am seeing more and more time being wasted on partisan bickering than on the real things that need fixed these days. There are more than Republicans and Democrats. There are people the world over who honestly need help.

I am a registered independent, and I really don't know who's side I am on, see if you can tell me.

I am pro environment,
pro higher taxes on the rich,
against abortion,
anti big business,
for the death penalty,
a born again Christian,
who is disgusted by both Republicans and Democrats,
I believe in Libertarian Freedom,
absolute freedom of speech,
even offensive speech,
but porn is entertainment not speech, and should not be protected thereunder,
I believe in freedom of assembly,
and freedom from permits to do so,
freedom to protest wars,
but not funerals,
I believe in the right to bear arms, without a permit,
because the government may need to be overthrown someday,
but I would never kill anyone other than in self defense, or for capital punishment,
I think all politicians should be payed exactly the median income of the country,
I deplore the idea of property tax,
I don't like subsidies to dirty energy,
I think the president should have a 5 year term, with a revote in the middle of each term so we can decide if we made a mistake after 2 and a half years instead of 4. Oh, and I think the President should have at least earned a Doctorate in something legitimate before he can get elected.

Anyway, I want to be a moderate, I want to draw people to the middle, not to follow people they think are leaders but to think for themselves. It's the truth that's at stake, not the election.


Book Review of "The Apocalypse Code" by Hank Hanegraaff

I recently read the book "The Apocalypse Code" by Hank Hanegraaff. I have been listening to Hank's show "The Bible Answer Man" for years off and on, and I do disagree with quite a bit of the stuff he says, but one thing I agree with him on is Eschatology.

A little background: When I was a kid, my father was Seventh-Day Adventist. Being the kind of guy he was, we got kicked around quite a few churches, most of which were what you might call Historic Adventists, the prophecy pundits. Now when you are in 5th grade and you hear that the world is going to start ending in February of 1997, it's gonna loosen your stool. So as a kid, I was afraid of eschatology, and rightly so. Kids need security and love, not threat of impending world ending doom. In a way, it chased me away from the faith, though I never completely let go of it. When I used to get into trouble in middle school and early high school, my dad would make me memorize sections of scripture, and not the good stuff either, he was a prophecy buff, so I had to memorize prophecy. Woo. I ended up memorizing the entirety of Daniel 8, 12, and Matthew 24. When I got back into the faith, which was partly due to listening the Bible Answer Man radio show, I started reading the Bible again. I read through the New Testament four times before reading Revelation. I hated prophecy that much. So when I heard Hank talking about a far future upcoming book entitled Exegetical Eschatology or E squared, I was intrigued even though he consistently refused to lay all of his beliefs out on the table on the radio show. But the idea that much of prophecy in the Bible had already happened loosened my fear of it, and my fear of the future.

Fast forward a few years, I am married now with a kid on the way, and Hank's book is released. Now titled The Apocalypse Code because people have no idea what Exegetical Eschatology means, the book is an in depth look at the true meaning of scripture as deciphered by scripture, and a special focus on the shortcomings of the dispensationalist point of view, specifically those of Tim LaHaye.

The book is in typical Hanegraaff memory mnemonic acrostic style is laid out using the acrostic LIGHTS.

L is the Literal Principle, and the only one I'll focus on here. Hank has spent alot of time on this subject both on his show and in the book. He shows how the dispensationalist point of view becomes absurd when too many things are taken in a wooden literal sense. Then at other times, they change the literal words of even Jesus to match their eschatalogical model, specifically in Matthew 24 when he says (paraphrased) I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away till all these things have happened. Why cant we just listen to what Jesus says? The futurist point of view holds that when Jesus says "this" he really means "that" and when he says" generation," he means "race" and by "these" he really means "those." This makes no sense, why would he preach these things to people who would have no flaming clue what he was talking about if those things were to be taking place in the far future?

But the truth is that what Jesus and Daniel and John were speaking about was as they said it was, literally. The beginning of Revelation states that the prophesy of Jesus "will soon take place" not thousands of years in the future. By saying that he would be "coming on clouds with power and glory" Jesus was speaking of judgment on Israel, just as it had meant in the Old Testament. And that's exactly what happened. After the Jews had Jesus murdered, he sat at the right hand of the Ancient of Days and judged them, and Jerusalem fell not 40 years after He died.

So if I don't have the pre-tribulational rapture to look forward to, what do I have? I have exactly what Jesus said I did. He said no one knows the day or the hour when the Son of Man comes. He will take all his followers home with him, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth for the old earth has passed away, and there will be no more crying or pain. So I can live just as Jesus said to live, expecting that he will return today or tomorrow, but knowing that it may be many years until he comes. And so I care for the earth he has given me as if it must sustain my descendants for thousands of generations, but fully expecting him to return today.

And that's the hope that I have.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Revenge Doesn't Work

There is a commercial for Glenn Beck's radio show on the local radio station, KFAY AM 1030, where he says that if there is any attack made on United States citizens or leaders, that a retaliatory attack or invasion should be made.

I would submit that this is not a Biblical assertion. Though such actions are consistent with certain forms of Mormon world views, and Mormon history and Joseph Smith writings will show that, but it is certainly not Biblical.

Now forget what I just said about Glenn. He is of no import in this conversation, but I paraphrase him only to expose the point. I believe this is an impressive flaw in conservatism, the tendency to military action. I speak especially of retaliatory military action, but also preemptive action as well.

Now I must qualify my statements by exposing my belief that Christianity is not meant to be a warlike religion, we can leave that to Islam. That is to say, nowhere in the writings about Jesus' life or indeed the rest of the New Testament, is there anything about war or starting a war, or a military action, or nation building, or any kind of offensive violent action whatsoever. In fact, Jesus told Peter that those who live by the sword die by the sword. But we must remember that Jesus also said that the company of the disciples, having two swords among them, was sufficiently armed.

I'll put it succinctly in the words of Rob Bell. "Revenge doesn't work."

Put in the context of scripture, 'Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."' Romans 12:19 ESV. Paul continues: 'To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.' As a nation who many call Christian, are we doing this? Certainly not under the official policy of a President who claims to be a born again Christian. We all remember the scene of the aftermath of 9/11 when the President stood at the site and said that we would find whoever did it.

The Bible speaks against vengeance and revenge and extols the virtue and basic psychological necessity of forgiveness, but what does it speak of self defense? As I mentioned before, in Luke 22, Jesus was satisfied that the disciples had two swords, yet a few verses later, Jesus chastises Peter for using one of those swords. I would submit that this was because Jesus' arrest was something that was supposed to happen, and Peter was acting on his human nature not on the prompting of the Spirit. For a little more insight, let's look into the Old Testament. Exodus 22:2-3. "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed. A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft.” What does this say? If some schmendrick breaks into your house at night, and you kill him, accidentally, you are innocent, but it seems to me that if it is daylight, you are expected not to kill him. Just whoop on him for a while I guess. So if we want to put up a missile defense shield, that's fine, but we really need to fix the base problem, and that is responding to aggression with aggression.

So what do we do when a foreign government or terrorist group attacks us? According to the Bible, we should feed them, perhaps set up some hospitals and schools. What kind of power for good could our country be? I don't know about you, but if some wealthy person had paid for my education, schooling, and food throughout my formative years, when I became an adult and set out on my own, I doubt I'd try to usurp that person. It's just hard to kick against that kind of good. But if I perceived that all my life, a wealthy person had done me and my family harm, while providing nothing for my wellbeing, I might grow up and wish to do harm to that person.

We've heard so many stories of forgiveness and charity in the most trying of circumstances, and those stories had wonderful happy endings, but how many happy stories have resulted from someone taking revenge, someone killing their rapist, or killing the man who killed their relative? What kind of peace and healing can come from that? That's the kind of thing that works in the movies, not in real life.

We are so surprised that Muslim extremists want to kill us all. Why is that? Our lack of knowledge of history feeds this monster. In the 40's, world governments installed Israel on top of a Palestinian society of Muslims, Jews, and Christians that had existed for a thousand years or more. In the 50's, the CIA deposed a democratically elected Prime Minister in Iran simply to regain control of oil supplies. This led to the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the late 70's and the extremist governments therein and neighboring that have given us such problems since then. It took many decades to create this problem, it will take only a few to fix it if we are dedicated to fixing it. Unfortunately, the status quo seems to be the only thing that holds firm. Violence begets violence. It will only get worse.

Fight the Power,