Archive for the Religion Category

Koukl on Wealth and Capitalism: Is it greedy?

Posted in Economy, Humanity, Religion with tags , , , on July 14, 2010 by raingeg

Here’s a couple of older posts I found on Greg Koukl’s website Stand to Reason blog. It seems that there are a lot of Christians, particularly my younger peers, that want to buy the left’s ideas (fibs) about Capitalism and greed. I hope this helps you out a little.

Greg Koukl, STR, Wealth and the Bible:

I attended a lecture on “Wealth and Poverty in Scripture,” given by Dr. Jonathan Witt, in which he contrasted two polar opposite theologies–Prosperity Gospel teachings (God wants you to have a concentration of wealth) and Liberation Theology (God wants us to redistribute concentrations of wealth)–and then discussed some passages in the Bible often used to argue for or against private property and wealth.

Since I can cover only a small part of this in a single blog post, I’ll boil down the lecture and my response to it to two important points:

Read more…

Greg Koukl, STR, Are You a Greedy Capitalist?

I’m at the Acton Institute and I’m thinking about greed.  Greed is the essence of capitalism, right?  Michael Douglas captured this sentiment as corporate villain, Gordon Gekko, in the 1987 movie Wall Street.

“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed – for lack of a better word – is good.  Greed is right.  Greed works.  Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.  Greed, in all of its forms – greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

Filmmaker Michael Moore echoes this attitude in his movie Capitalism:  A Love Story, calling the free market system “legalized greed.”  Well, if Hollywood is correct, then a free market economy isn’t an option for the Christian.  Jesus is clear on the matter:  “”Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  Greed is immoral.  But is capitalism based on greed?  No, and if you think so, you’ve bought into the myth.

Read more…

I first heard Greg on Hugh Hewitt’s show and he did a good job defending the faith, I hope you enjoy his ideas.

The End of the GOP?

Posted in Immigration, Politics, Religion with tags , , , , on June 28, 2010 by raingeg

According to an article at FiveThirtyEitht.com last week by Tom Schaller, author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South, the Republican party is on its way out if it doesn’t make some serious changes.

The article titled “The Emerging Republican Minority” sounds a bit more like a Democratic wish list and than it does anything that will help Republicans in the future. For many on the left everything revolves around the leftist trinity of race, gender and class. So, naturally they are going to look at the Republican party through that prism and it just doesn’t work.

FiveThirtyEight:

The Center for American Politics’ Ruy Teixeira, one of the top political demographers in the country, has a new paper out in which he examines the two major party coalitions, with a focus on the current and future prospects of the Republican Party. For the GOP, says Teixeira, things look grim, in large part because the country is becoming less white and more educated. He provides specific data showing how college educated voters are growing, and non-college educated shrinking, as shares of the electorate; likewise for the growing non-white v. shrinking white populations.

“The Democratic Party will become even more dominated by the emerging constituencies that gave Barack Obama his historic 2008 victory, while the Republican Party will be forced to move toward the center to compete for these constituencies. As a result, modern conservatism is likely to lose its dominant place in the GOP,” he writes, adding that “the Republican Party as currently constituted is in need of serious and substantial changes in approach.”

Basically, the Republican party is a bunch of white and uneducated people, and since whites are a dying breed then Democrats automatically have an edge. I don’t know what else to get out of this article than that. This furthers the idea that people on the left only look at the world through their leftist trinity.

Teixeira has some recommendations to the Republicans:

Move to the center on social issues.

The culture wars may have worked for a while, but shifting demographics make them a loser for the party today and going forward. A more moderate approach would help with Millennials, where the party must close a yawning gap, and with white college graduates, who still lean Republican but just barely. The party also needs to make a breakthrough with Hispanics, and that won’t happen unless it shifts its image toward social tolerance, especially on immigration.

The breakthrough with Hispanics is more likely to come from cultural issues because Hispanics are overwhelmingly religious Catholics. But its hard for Conservatives to make a breakthrough with American Hispanics with lefties calling them “bigots” “racists” and “xenophobes.” Coupled with Democrats pretty much bribing Hispanic immigrants by selling them the lie that the American dream is given not earned. Its like their hanging a carrot in front of their faces, letting them get a bite that barley suffices and then pulling the carrot away after an election and giving the individual a bite again only after he once again votes for the guy or gal holding the stick.

Pay attention to whites with some college education and to young white working-class voters in general.

The GOP’s hold on the white working class is not secure, and if that slips, the party doesn’t have much to build on to form a successful new coalition. That probably also means offering these voters something more than culture war nostrums and antitax jeremiads.

Another demographic target should be white college graduates, especially those with a four-year degree only.

The party has to stop the bleeding in America’s large metropolitan areas, especially in dynamic, growing suburbs. Keeping and extending GOP support among this demographic is key to taking back the suburbs. White college graduates increasingly see the party as too extreme and out of touch.

The Republican party is too extreme and out of touch? Current polling would greatly go against this finding (here and here). Now I realize that Teixeira is focusing more on the future of the GOP, but I have to point out again that this is all predicated on the idea that non-white highly educated people are all going to swing in favor of the Democrats, and there’s no guarantee that this will happen. Current data would seem to put that point into question too! The Republican party is a party that is becoming more and more “diverse” (as the lefties like to call it). Now, do I really care about what race an individual is? No, not nearly as much as the left cares about the race of their candidates and those who represent their party. I care far more about what they believe and how they intend to do their job as a servant to the people.

But, for the record, lets look at how “diverse” the Republican party is today! Niki Hailey is a Republican and an Indian woman running for Governor in South Carolina. Marco Rubio is a Republican from Florida who’s parents who came to America from Cuba. Tim Scott is a Republican and a black South Carolinian Congressional candidate. Don’t forget about Bobby Jindal who is also Indian and is the Governor of the state of Louisiana. And since gender matters so much these days think of the women that were just elected in primary races in California, Carly Fiorina who is running for the Senate and Meg Whitman who is running for Governor.

In the long run the GOP has to have serious solutions of its own that go beyond cutting taxes. These solutions should use government to address problems but in ways that reflect conservative values and principles. Antigovernment populism is something the party is clearly comfortable with— witness its evolving line of attack on the Obama administration. But it’s likely not enough to just denounce the other side and what they have done or propose to do in populist terms.

I agree with Teixeira on this one, Republicans need to address problems and in ways that “reflect conservative values and principles.” But the irony of his statement is that all of the suggestions he lays out prior to this are not conservative and do not reflect conservative values. That’s because his suggestions are riddled with leftist cliches and pejoratives. “Anti-tax,” “social tolerance” and “anti-government” are all ways the left sees the right and not the way the right would prefer to be represented.

Schaller writes:

What’s interesting to me about most of Teixeira’s suggested changes is that the GOP is either not doing them, or doing something close to the opposite. If anything, the opposite is happening. Indeed, the single biggest storyline of the past year for conservatives and the Republican Party is the rise of the tea party protest movement.

On immigration, if anything the GOP has taken a turn toward anti-amnesty, fence-building xenophobia. The Republicans may have eased off the gas pedal somewhat on tax-cutting, but the conversational shift to deficit reduction and fears of growing government size still carries strong and familiar anti-government overtones.

This seems to be a bit perplexing to Schaller. They are not pushing left-wing positions and they are winning! Could it be that what the left says about Conservatism and Republicans and what they really are is not accurate? Could it be that the politics of the country is not quite as easy to sum up as those on the left think it is? And could it be that college educated non-whites will vote for Conservative candidates instead of leftist Democrats?

HT:  Memeorandum

I’m Back

Posted in Politics, Religion, Site News with tags , , on June 7, 2010 by raingeg

I’m back to the blogosphere. I have been extremely busy with life, moving my parents out of their house and moving myself, as well as working and dealing with a whole host of other things that life presents us all. I’ll be posting a lot more now that my life is calming down.

The first thing I’d like to do now that I’m finally back to blogging is share this video I found, hope it brings you joy.

Missionary Robert Park to be Released

Posted in Humanity, Religion with tags , , , on February 5, 2010 by raingeg

Tucson missionary Robert Park will be released. I didn’t personally know Robert but I know people that do, seems like a good guy.

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea said on Friday it will release U.S. religious activist Robert Park, arrested in December for illegally entering the country in a journey to raise awareness about Pyongyang’s human rights abuses.

“The relevant organ of the DPRK (North Korea) decided to leniently forgive and release him, taking his admission and sincere repentance of his wrong doings into consideration,” the state KCNA news agency said.

Park, 28, walked over the frozen Tumen river from China and into North Korea on Christmas Day, other activists who helped him said.

He told Reuters in Seoul ahead of the crossing it was his duty as a Christian and that he was carrying a letter calling on North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to release those he holds in brutal political camps and to step down.

On Weddings and the Modern Vision of Marriage

Posted in Humanity, Religion, Top Posts with tags , , , , on January 25, 2010 by raingeg

Marriage is in the spotlight a lot these days as the issue of gay marriage is hotly debated in California. I’d like to turn away from the issue of gay marriage to address marriage and modern conceptions of heterosexual marriage.

Last weekend a good friend of mine was married. It was a very nice wedding and even a couple days after I am still feeling a little elevated by the happiness that it brought me. Pretty much anything sentimental will leave me with a good feeling afterward, I’m just that kind of guy.

One of the most powerful things that I took away from the wedding was its emphasis on purity and Godliness, something that is often left out of marriages in the 21st century.

First, purity is almost completely absent from the marriage scene. Society has put a large emphasis on sex, and that has made purity something that is seen as bad or “uncool.” But just think of all the problems that could be solved with sexual purity before marriage. Abortions would greatly decrease, single mothers would go down, divorce might decrease given the ability to compare lovers would be nonexistent and we would have stronger ideas of what commitment and family are really supposed to be about.

Unfortunately, society decided some time ago, that it is better to follow our emotions where ever they lead us. And if those emotions lead us to a society that has and condones a large number of abortions, has more and more single mother households and a good number of broken families, then so be it, at least we are following our “true emotions.” This is all based on the idea that what comes from within the human is good, noble and true, a notion that I despise.

An excuse often used to promote promiscuity is the need for experience. The claim that one needs experience has become a talking point of a world of humans that seek justification of vile practices and lack in the area of good  judgment. This mode of thinking has made its way into many social debates on sex, drugs, alcohol and war. When it comes to any certain act we find ourselves debating whether or not the given act is moral and ethical, and what is often said is that if you haven’t experienced the act personally you are not qualified to judge its moral and ethical value. This would only be true if the one judging was the only person alive on the earth, a situation that will most likely never happen. If a person can perceive and judge the actual effects of something on a person or a society then experience is not required.

We live in a society that is completely appalled by judgment of actions, even in Christian circles. The “whatever floats your boat” ideology has permeated society, as judgment of right and wrong action becomes based more and more on ones own interpretation of what is right and wrong. We are loosing objective standards in favor of subjective standards, which inevitably makes judgment of another humans actions impossible. And as we get more subjective it almost becomes a requirement that one must experience something in order to judge its moral and ethical value.

Second, Godliness too has made its way out of the marriage process. Just look at some of the reasons that some people get married. Contrary to the Kardashian’s, marriage is not just a reason to stop using a prophylactic. Marriage is however a very strong lifelong commitment, and it requires all of you and more to make it work. Hence the reason for God to be a part of a marriage.

For some, marriage is just a piece of paper, and if it is a piece of paper then what is the difference between being an unmarried couple and a married couple, a bigger sense of commitment? The argument that marriage is the difference between having a piece of paper and not having one makes sense, coming from the world we live in now, where Godliness is a thing of the past. It seems that people put their college degree in higher regard than they do their marriage. Your degree is just a piece of paper, your marriage is not.

The divorce rate now makes sense. Marriage has been reduced to a piece of paper, a stronger commitment (whatever that’s supposed to mean) and a reason to stop wearing a condom. It is now not a binding vow, a life long commitment and a reason to remain pure. And when something gets demoralized as much as marriage has in America and around the world, I don’t have to wonder why we are finally having the debate over changing the definition of marriage and further corrupt marriage. We’ve already changed the definition, it is no longer what it once was, let this be seen as a plea to fix what has been broken and not further damage marriage, because I fear that if we do that it will soon not be salvageable.

Haiti’s Deal With the Devil

Posted in Humanity, Religion, Top Posts with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by raingeg

It seems that every time a large disaster happens there is always going to be someone that blames it on sin. Pat Robertson, yesterday, did just that. I know that he said it was because of a deal with the devil, but in essence that would be a sin. I find it hard, given what the Bible says, to agree with Robertson’s assessment of the situation. The truth of the matter is that it goes far beyond any deal with the devil that Haiti did or didn’t make, it goes back to Adams sin.

Scott Richards of Scott Richards Live put it this way.

So when we are hurting or find ourselves hurting others, it goes back to the fall. When we find ourselves struggling with a sense of emptiness and frustration in the deepest part of our souls, it goes back to the fall. When we at once see the remaining traces of the beauty of creation, and the mind-blowing destruction that same creation can deliver, it goes back to the fall. And so, in a sense, Pat Robertson was right. When Adam and Eve listened to the voice of the serpent, the result was a cursed creation. But that curse isn’t restricted to Haiti, or the coasts of Indonesia and India when the tsunami disaster hit. It effects all of us. And every time we sin, we ratify that same decision that rendered the once “very good” creation into what we live in today. But the good news is, in spite of what we have done, God continues to love us.

Jesus, in the book of Luke, seems to refute Robertson’s claim.

1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:1-9

What message should we get from these words? Turn to Christ, its no matter whether or not you’ve made a pact with the devil. Turn to Christ and you will be set free. You will not be set free from the trials of this world, be it an earthquake or the common cold, that is not the point, we still live in a fallen world.

In the book of Hebrews it says.

23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

That means that you need Christ. So was Pat Robertson right when he said that the people of Haiti need to turn to God? Yes, but lets not limit it to the people of Haiti. We are all sinners and we all need God. Was he right to say that the people of Haiti are more deserving of the destruction because of their deal with the devil? No, as Christ said “unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” We are all sinners and we are all deserving of death, that is why we need Christ.

Brit Hume on Christianity, Many Miss the Point

Posted in Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , on January 7, 2010 by raingeg

Brit Hume is not one of Fox News’ controversial political analysts. Out of what I’ve seen of Brit he doesn’t really stray to far from straight up political analysis. And now were are seeing him all over because he recommend that Tiger Woods turn to the Christian faith for forgiveness.

I wasn’t even going to address the issue until I saw that it was picking up some steam and people are not too happy with Brits recommendation. I ran into a compilation of links on This Week they put together reactions to Brits comments, and it seems that people are vastly missing the point.  Here’s just one example.

A short editorial from the Boston Globe:

“Tiger,’’ Hume said, addressing Woods, who wasn’t in the studio, directly, “turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’’

Yes, but commitment to Christianity couldn’t prevent Bill Clinton from dallying with an intern, Senator David Vitter from contracting with prostitutes, and Senator Larry Craig from being arrested for solicitation in a men’s room, amid thousands of other examples.

Christianity and other major religions provide solid ethical frameworks, but that’s not enough. Whether one is Christian, Muslim, or Zoroastrian, staying faithful to one’s spouse is a test of character, not faith.

I agree with this writer, Christianity would not have prevented Woods or any other person from cheating, but with all due respect, I don‘t think Hume said anything that even resembles that point. He was addressing redemption and providing an example of a religion that offers it.

The hypocritical Christian seems to be a major sticking point for Hume’s detractors. But I, a Christian myself, happen to agree with these people, I’ll always be the first one to point out that the biggest problem facing Christianity is the Christian. This is not a new argument, even the Bible says that everyone has fallen short of the glory of God, we‘re sinners, what would you like us to do stop sinning? Unfortunately that is a no-can-do. Thankfully, Christianity is about grace and forgiveness.

I should point out that This Week did compile a fair and balanced set of editorials and blogs. Go to This Week to read the rest of the blogs.