Fallujah Murdering Hordes

I do not know what the moral response is in this situation (perhaps only God knows). What would Jesus do if He were a citizen of the United States and He saw the news stories of Muslims roadblocking, burning, mutilating and murdering His fellow citizens? I must confess, I have absolutely no idea.
(I cannot recommend viewing the graphic, disturbing and saddening pictures here; view at your own discretion. I pray God’s mercy on both the families of these people and those who murdered them.)
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His loss

A French movie distributor will not show The Passion (the controversy will never go away, will it?) in any of his theaters. He says it is “fascist propaganda”. That’s a good talking-point, but who is really being fascist? See, fascists are the ones who censor art, news, dialogue, etc. with which they disagree. (Perhaps not incidentally, notice the difference between the above story and this one. What, exactly, is “exhibition activity”? The Independent interprets it one way…)
Oh, those crazy French!


Lobbying on behalf of pregnant drug-abusing mothers who kill their children

Regarding Melissa Ann Rowland’s alleged refusal of a C-section that would have saved one of her unborn children: Why can’t I have the right to kill those who interfere with my convenience and the fulfillment of my potential? Hmm, I guess it might have something to do with taking responsibility for my actions and my choices.
In the story I read (link no longer works), Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (a group that apparently lobbies on behalf of pregnant women who use drugs!), says this: “Part of this assault on motherhood is to portray certain women as selfish people without regard for their babies.” Think about this statement for half a second, and, if you consider yourself a thinking person, you should be able to see the inherent stupidity. “This assault on motherhood”? Who is assaulting motherhood here? The woman who protects her child or the woman who kills it? (Or the woman who uses drugs while she is pregnant?) The way I see it, it makes it hard to protect motherhood if the woman kills the thing that makes her a mother. I hate to have to point out the obvious facts, but apparently someone’s got to do it.
Or how about the second part of the statement: “to portray certain women [like those who kill their children?] as selfish people without regard for their babies.” Now where would we get an idea like that? Maybe from the fact that THEY KILL THEM?
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Balaam’s Ass

“1. is men’s hearts that are failing for fear 2. see the carnage strewn on the shore 3. are the lifeboats full to capacity? 4. is there room for just one more? 5. you will feel like the great wallenda… 6. as he stepped out over tullulah gorge 7. I will bind myself to the truth 8. and speak it like balaam’s ass once more…” —Bill Mallonee (Vigilantes of Love), “Balaam’s Ass“, Blister Soul
“And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaams’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass…” (Numbers 22)

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Reparation…or holding a grudge?

“For the last eight years every victim group in the world but one has been given its day in court,” Fagan said in a press conference. “The only group that remains is Africans or African-Americans.”


Will $10 billion bring closure to ten disgruntled, 21st century African-American descendants of 19th century slaves?

Being half-African American myself, I know that $10 billion could bring some closure into my life…closure to my loans, school tuition, unpaid bills, etc.
Since victimization is so profitable, could someone email me the number of a good genealogist?

The “Failure” of National Security

I read in the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch (and other online news sites) that the government failed in protecting its citizens on 11 September 2001. Also, thanks to the most recent book by Richard Clarke, this slogan has spread like wild-fire. Everywhere someone is making the comment that the Bush administration purposefully ignored strong signs of an attack and allowed 3,000 Americans to lose their lives. Nothing makes a historian, such as myself, more angry than revisionist history and/or blatant ignorance of facts. The media and the conspiracy-theory community at-large would have us believe that both the Clinton and Bush administrations (especially the Bush administration) knew, but did nothing, about the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, both administrations (again, especially Bush’s), purposefully took measures that allowed continued terrorist threats and acts, including, but not limited to, the 9/11 disaster.

The idea that the two administrations (or regimes as some would like to call them) willfully and congnizantly pursued a policy they knew would fail against terrorism is a desperate cry from a man, or group, who knows that by spreading the blame to the government, perhaps he can be seen as a hero who has come to rescue us ignorant Americans from the clutches of a vast right-wing conspiracy. I am looking in your direction, Mr. Clarke. It should be noted that Mr. Clarke was an active participant in both the Clinton and Bush administrations, and if we are to believe that he knew of these discrepancies in the policies of the two Presidents, and did nothing, then perhaps Mr. Clarke is to blame for not having the intestinal fortitude to stand up for the safety of his fellow Americans. But back to the train of logic that Mr. Clarke has brought us to. Given these “facts” about the Bush and Clinton administrations, and the present actions being waged against them in the 9/11 hearings, one could (and should) posit that President Franklin Roosevelt purposefully pursued a failed policy of American security from 1933 to 1942, because after all, until late 1942, early-1943, the Germans and Japanese were winning the war. Or perhaps President Wilson purposefully pursued a failed security policy from 1914-1918; and then again, Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover and Roosevelt all pursued a failed security policy that failed to keep the Second World War from beginning, and failed to fully disrupt the tensions following the First World War, and failed to bring about the peace promised by the League of Nations. These leaders all failed to see every possible scenario that could have existed following the defeat of the Central Powers in 1918. Where are the trials? Where are the hearings? Where is the media circus? Where is the witch-hunt?

Yes, we as a nation make mistakes. Yes, our government makes mistakes. Yes, it was a mistake that we cut back our intelligence following the collapse of the USSR. Yet it was we Americans who urged it – with our unwarranted deep suspicion and paranoid conspiracy theories about our own intelligence being the real enemy. We are all to blame, and it’s time we move on and stop the internal bickering and concentrate on our war against this trans-national army of thugs. It is by these mistakes that we as a nation have learned to adapt to an ever-changing future in an ever-changing world. Our government is not all-seeing, nor does it have arms that reach into every crevice of life. Nor should it! Our doctrine of freedom precludes that. Until we as Americans face reality and understand that not every disaster in history is a conscious act of some conspiracy, we will never be safe, and we will never sleep with the comfort that our government and our neighbors have a vested interest in maintaining national security.

I do want to conclude with one thing. The media has jumped all over the Bush administration for failing to prevent 9/11. Have they forgotten that President Bush was in office less than a year when it happened, and was continuing the anti-terrorism policies begun by President Clinton (whom the media love). Furthermore, during the 8-year administration of President Clinton there were 5 terrorist attacks by Al-Qua’ida, yet the administration was unsuccessful in capturing or killing any high-ranking leaders of the terrorist organization.

Well, I’ve been gone for a while, but it’s time to…

Well, I’ve been gone for a while, but it’s time to start bludgeoning the darkness again!

I saw The Passion of the Christ last night and it is everything that I expected and more. I do not, as a rule, let tears run down my cheeks in movies, but I could not stop them during this one. It is brutal, violent and sickening…and it is, as a representation of the Gospel of Christ, salvific, faith-strengthening, and destructive of self-delusions.

One of the previews prior to the movie was for The Alamo; I await the reviews that will warn of anti-Mexican violence as a result of that film (I dare to predict that you will read at least one review with such warnings).

I had two primary thoughts during The Passion. The first was, “This is my Lord?” It is offensive to our oh-so-pious American Christian minds that our God should be so ignominously put to death. (Perhaps our Protestant pieties are what prevent us from accepting the fact that the violence was at least as severe as depicted, and perhaps more so.) But the thought that immediately followed the previous one was the words of our Lord in John 6:67, after many were offended at His teaching about eating His flesh and drinking His blood: “Do you want to go away as well?” And my answer, because of the faith that God has given me, could be none other than Peter’s: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn. 6:68).

Yes, that is a depiction of my Lord on the screen, as He crushes the head of the serpent, Satan; as He willingly gives His life for the world; as He gives us His Body and Blood in the Sacrament; as He allows Himself to be scourged and whipped and beaten, because it is in those stripes that we are healed; as He is nailed to the cross and dies for our forgiveness.

In a similar way to how the Lord of the Rings movies formed how I see the characters when I read the books, this movie will forever form how I picture the suffering and death of Christ (even if certain incidents in the film were results of artistic license). How fitting during this time of Lent, as we focus on the Passion of the Christ–not as an abstract, historical event, but as an historical event that is made real to us and for us in our Baptism, and when Christ gives us His very Body and Blood at the altar every week. This film may offend our pious sensibilities (and it probably should), but it is pure Gospel through and through. There is no question that Jesus knows from the very beginning what He will choose to do, and that He does it willingly. In the film, Mary is our example of what faith in Christ looks like. She suffers when she must view her Son’s suffering, but she knows that it is necessary for her salvation and for the salvation of the world. Protestants could do well to recover some sense of reverence of Mary as a great saint of the Christian faith, to whom we might look for example.

Those are my initial thoughts, but I plan to see it again.

I was also struck by the irony that comes across in some of the (un-)critical reviews of the film. The people who argue that so many of the things that are in the Bible are historically inaccurate or false are the same exact people who now argue that Mel Gibson included things that weren’t in the Bible. Oh, now they’re concerned about accuracy! There is a wide gap between saying that things that are in the Bible are false and saying that movie creators cannot take artistic (or in this case, theological) license with things that are not in the Bible. But then, distinctions have always been hard for these people to make.