Archive for the Top Posts Category

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.

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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.

Hey Republicans! We Should Practice What We Preach

Posted in Politics, Top Posts with tags , , , , on January 10, 2010 by raingeg

Yesterday news broke that Harry Reid made some comments during the 2008 elections about then candidate Barack Obama being “light skinned” and not having a “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” As far as I’m concerned Reid didn’t say anything that isn’t true and he didn‘t say anything that was really all that bad. Did he choose his words poorly, sure, but don’t we all?

Today Republicans John Cornyn, Jon Kyl and Michael Steele have all called for Harry Reid to resign, a move that I just can’t back. They’re all right in asking the question, what if a republican had done this? We all know that if a republican said something like this every leftist would be up in arms and they would call for a resignation. But that’s because they’re leftists. We republicans really need to decide if this is a battle that is worth waging. In the short run, maybe, it might be worth it in a symbolic sort of way, but I have my reservations. In the long run, I think this is a mistake.

I am not in favor of the over sensitive society that we currently have. Reid was already having problems in the polls prior to this news and I imagine that trend would have continued despite the controversy. Conservatives are supposed to be the ones that are against political correctness, not the enforcers of it.

I realize that there is hypocrisy on the left. They wanted Trent Lott out for saying something that they deemed inappropriate, now Harry Reid does something very similar and they kiss and make up, I get that. Get this, we’re not the left! Are we not supposed to be above this? Why, all of the sudden, do we insist on playing by their rules?

You want to know what makes me mad about the whole thing, the fact that we once again had to endure this canned “I‘m sorry” “I accept” routine. Whether its celebrities or politicians, they all do it. They apologize and make up and we all get to watch it happen knowing that they’re just going through the motions to maintain their image. Its Harry Reid we’re talking about here, he may be some pretty bad things, but he’s no racist.

Pointing out hypocrisy is one thing, turning into a hypocrite in the process is a totally different ball game. The problem with our society is that we want to have standards, but we don’t want to apply those standards to ourselves. In the game of politics we need to learn, if the other team stinks, let them loose the game on their own.

UK Priest Tells Church to Shoplift

Posted in Economy, Politics, Religion, Top Posts with tags , , , , , , , on December 24, 2009 by raingeg

In the U.K. a priest has said that its ok to shoplift, but only if you steal from a big business. This is all done as a way for people to stay away from violent or degrading actions like mugging or prostitution. Where on earth do these people come from?

Father Tim Jones is the man behind the new call to shoplift. So if prostitution and mugging were compared to heroin, shoplifting from big businesses would be the methadone that is supposed to “solve” that problem.

What does this stem from? The idea that the Christmas season has become too commercialized and everyone just feels the need to spend, spend, spend and in hard times some people just can’t.

Jones does do something good here, he’s using this issue to call attention to problems with the welfare system in the Britain, though, sadly he seems to be advocating more welfare. “I offer the advice with a heavy heart and wish society would recognize that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay has created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope.” Unfortunately that doesn’t really seem like a plea for less government involvement, instead the exact opposite. That is still not an excuse to steal. Why are people so eager to look for excuses to sin?

Jones says that it doesn’t break the eighth commandment because “God’s love for the poor outweighs his love for the rich.” What a ridiculous claim. First, I think God has enough love to go around. Second, there is no biblical proof that God has more or less “love” for the rich and the poor. The rich are held to a higher standard than the poor, that is true, but that is different than love, I don’t think God has a love-O-meter and only has a finite amount of it, the implication puts an everlasting God into a finite world and that cannot be done. Thirdly, the poor cannot simply blame the rich anytime they want to sin.

Can we admit already that the welfare state cripples the incentive for the individual, and apparently now some portions of the church, to do anything to help the poor. Jones says “Let my words not be misrepresented as a simplistic call for people to shoplift. The observation that shoplifting is the best option that some people are left with is a grim indictment of who we are. Rather, this is a call for our society no longer to treat its most vulnerable people with indifference and contempt. Providing inadequate or clumsy social support is monumental, catastrophic folly.”

The main question that we must ask ourselves here is, why is there inadequate social support? Could it be that government never does a good job at providing social support? Could it be that as the government gets more and more evolved in the peoples lives that the people become less and less apt to give of themselves? The U.K. is arguably further left than the United States, but American leftists always looks with reverence at the European system and say “that’s what we need to do!” And look at what effect it has on the people of their country.

The more the government gets involved, the less the individual gets involved. When the government is taking all of the peoples money individuals don’t have the ability or the desire to do anything about problems that rid society, because they think the government has it under control.

I’ll leave you with this in closing. The church, no matter what denomination or location, cannot keep letting society guide it. We need to adhere to sound biblical principals and not ask ourselves if society approves. Jones should have been telling the well off of his congregation to start helping the poor, instead of giving the poor permission to sin.

Thoughts About Modern Fatherhood

Posted in Humanity, Life, Politics, Top Posts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2009 by raingeg

Fatherhood is sacred, as is motherhood, but in different respects. The father figure is one of the main ingredients of the glue that holds a family unit together. The father is supposed to be a leader, a guardian and a man that can occupy the emotions of both strength and love at the same time.

Sadly, fatherhood has become something of a minor role in some parts of society. Men, it seems, are thought to be sperm donors. The role of the father as we knew it has become archaic and old fashion, in a society where old fashion ways are bad and progression is the only good. And a good amount of men seem to not want to own up to their duties as fathers.

In Hollywood, fathers are bumbling idiotic figures, that always seem to be at the mercy of their children and at the other end of a much smarter and more sophisticated wife. In some cases the Hollywood father is too controlling and too demanding of his children, they never give him the ability to be both a wise loving father and a father that has a firm grasp on his household.

Society has cultivated this image of the father, in a world where instead of correcting our societal errors we tend to just make a U-turn and call that a solution. I say this in respect to the role of women in this country. A role, that to our own disgrace, did not give women the same rights as men. But that doesn’t mean that women can replace the role of the father. Certain people in society seem to want to push the idea that women don’t need men in any capacity, aside for their sperm. But the roles of men and women in respect to parenting are different. I will never deny that there are men out there that are equivalent to the scum that one might scrape off the bathroom floor. They exist and I will get to them further into this piece. I say this not to diminish women in any way, shape or form, I only say it to make the point that we must not lessen the role of the male father figure in society in the name of equality, effectively making the role of mother and father both irrelevant. I fear that if we continue down this road, much of the good traditions that we carry on from the past will get thrown out because they are connected, solely by time, to the bad traditions.

President Barack Obama, to his credit, seems to agree with this premise. He has said since the beginning of his presidency that he believes that fathers need to play a large role in the place of the American family.

Unfortunately, liberal policies have put the father in the position that we are in now. Abortion has become sort of an insurance policy for men looking to have a night of pleasure. They need not worry about getting a woman pregnant, they can always have an abortion. Yet that shows a total lack of respect for the woman and her feelings.

Taking away the emphasis on commitment and marriage before sexual intercourse has destroyed the family unit. Now men and women don’t see the need to get married before moving in with each other, and they don’t see the need to get married before they have sexual relations with each other. If a woman gets pregnant this puts the couple in an odd position. Some couples end up getting married, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but when it doesn’t it is not a pretty sight. When the parents don’t get married the mother generally takes care of the child. How many times have you heard the term “single father?” I should say hardly ever.

Single mothers are becoming norm and the only answer that the left has to this problem is to say that the mother can take it, she is a strong woman. But I think that there should be no shame if a single mother wants to say that it is hard and that she cannot take it. And if the woman does go there the only answer that the left then has is to bring the government into the problem. A problem that could have been avoided if only two people had been responsible and taken into account the consequences of their actions.

And to address the bathroom scum that I referred to earlier in the article. To the “men” that treat women and children like that, I have very little respect for you. When I say that fatherhood is sacred I really do mean it. There is nothing that is good about being a single mother, and if you think for one second that you should just turn and walk away, for any reason, you are sadly mistaken. This includes a child’s mother that wants nothing to do with you. I know single mothers and I know their children, and the strongest emotion that I have for any “father” that decides to put zero effort into raising their child, that they helped create, is contempt. If I were in your shoes there would be nothing, not time or space, not anything, that would keep me from having a daily loving relationship with my child! My heart breaks for the child that grows up not knowing you, not learning from you and not having you there for them. My heart also breaks for the woman left alone. I can only hope that one day you see the mistake that you’ve made. And for the women that want to push the father away, if he is making an effort give him a chance.

When it comes to children they grow up fast. You don’t want to miss a minute of it. I’ve learned all of this from watching my niece grow up. Its only been a year and a half and watching her grow and turn into a person has opened my eyes to what it might feel like to be a father. There is nothing like the embrace of a child. There is nothing like feeling needed by a child. If there is one thing that I hope and pray that I can accomplish in my time here on this earth, it is to become a father.

Can a Church Hold Its Members Accountable? Tobin v. Mathews (Video)

Posted in Humanity, Politics, Religion, Top Posts with tags , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by raingeg

Is it wrong for a church to hold its members accountable? That is the real question that has been brought to the forefront, as the Catholic church addresses its members, who happen to be Congressmen and women, that seem to not take their faith seriously. Blinded by their liberal ideology, the left will do anything they can to advance their agenda, even if it means turning their back on the teachings of their church and it seems the Catholic church has had enough of it. The church asked Patrick Kennedy to stop taking communion in 2007 because of Kennedy’s actions on abortion legislation.

This week on Hardball with Chris Mathews, Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin was vigorously questioned by Mathews on the churches position.

Since when did John F. Kennedy become the standard for how we must measure the people that we choose to represent us? Mathews brings up Kennedy as if he were the end all be all in the debate over how ones religion should affect ones personal decisions. Do I think that there are congressmen and women that allow their religion to affect their decisions? Yes, and that could very well be one of the main reasons why they were elected by the people that they are supposed to represent. Mathews brings up this quote from John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religion:

“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish–where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source.”

That is how former President Kennedy believes he should act when it comes to his actions in public office, something that I strongly disagree with. Whether or not he should allow his beliefs to influence his decisions is completely up to him, he has that right. But just as he has the right to not allow his religion to influence his actions as a public official, he can just as much allow his religion to influence his decisions, who‘s to say he can‘t. I think that a person will be elected because they want to uphold a certain moral values within society or they don‘t, and if they are not elected, it shows that the people do not agree with what that person will do.

The nature of voting on something means that at some point you will have to disagree with someone’s position and push the values that you believe in. Whether its influenced by religion or something completely subjective is beside the point. “This isn’t about values” Mathews tells the Bishop, with all due respect, it is about values. Values are certain principals that are accepted as something that should be upheld within society. All law imitates from values. In regard to abortion people have different values, which proves that the argument, while about law, is also about values, as law is shaped by values. Do we not get our laws that punish murder from a certain value that say’s that it is not good to murder another human being? Do we not get our laws against stealing from a value or principal that says that it is not good to steal from another human being? This is about values.

But that is all tangential, we must center this on the original question, is it wrong for a church to hold its members accountable? I say no. If a person is freely joining a church they should know that a church can freely kick them out. If the church does not agree with what they are doing they can tell them to leave. And that is not even happening in this case, the Bishop just doesn’t want Kennedy to receive communion, he is still allowed to be a member of the church.

Contrary to what Mathews say’s the Bishop and the church is not meddling with the law and has not “gone into the area of law making” and has not “assumed an authority” anymore than a voter does when he or she elects a certain person to represent them. The church is a separate entity from the government, and that allows them to take certain stances on public policy, though it cannot tell an individual how to vote or who to vote for. But this case is unique, they are not addressing Kennedy as the individual, but Kennedy as the man who works as a public servant and his actions as that public servant.  Kennedy is freely a member of the Catholic church and the church can recommend whatever it wants to its members, who once again are not forced to join. Kennedy is Catholic that happens to be a congressman, would it be any different if there was a plumber that was an open adulterer that had to be dealt with? No. Kennedy has made his choice and the Bishop believes that he is openly contributing to murdering innocent people, how can he honestly allow that to go on in his congregation, he can’t and obviously he won’t.

I don’t happen to agree with the Bishop in regard to abortion. I do not think that it should be outlawed all together. First, the power needs to be given to the states to decide what happens with abortion. I do think that abortion should be outlawed for the purpose of convenience. I don’t think that a woman should be able to have an abortion just because its not “cool” to be pregnant or its socially degrading to walk around with a baby. And the evil that is partial-birth abortion should be outlawed all together. However, I do think that we need to at least allow for the doctor to make an educated decision as to which patient has a viable chance of surviving, either the mother or the baby, provided something goes wrong with a pregnancy. That doesn’t mean that we should always put the mothers life before the babies, it should be whoever is more viable, which sometimes might be the baby. The left likes to use “the life of the mother” issue as a way to make current abortion law seem more useful than it really is, just so they can keep it on the books. Don’t get me wrong, the life of the mother matters, but to me, just as much as the life of the baby.

What should the punishment be? Again, that should be handled by the states. And as we all know there are different degrees of punishment, perhaps there should be a different punishment for partial-birth abortion and another for a regular abortion. This is all something that would have to go through the process of becoming law on the state level. Should jail time be involved, probably not, but it is nonetheless being punished somehow and is using the law promote a values within a culture that cares about life more than convince.

No Shave November With The Presidents

Posted in Humor, Politics, Top Posts with tags , , , on November 3, 2009 by raingeg

It is “No Shave November” and I wanted to find a way that I could honor the month in a way that would blend politics and not shaving. So I’ve decided to honor United States Presidents that had facial hair. Here’s to the hope that we will once again see a President with a beard or any type of facial hair. Please don’t take any of the too seriously.

1. First up is Martin Van Buren. He doesn’t really have a full beard, but he does have some very large “Mutton Chops.”

2. Second, we’ve got good old “Honest Abe” the 16th President. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and was President during one of the most tumultuous times for our country, and he had a pretty good beard. This style of beard has now become synonymous with Abe, that’s why its awesome. Abe sports the classic “Chin Curtain” and he sure does wear it well.

3. Ulysses S. Grant might have been known for the victory over the South, but here and now he is to be remembered for his amazing beard. Grant has what is called the “Short Boxed Beard.”

4. Rutherford B. Hayes, do I really need to say anything about this mans facial credentials? Just look ant the grandeur of the beard he has. Its sort of a cross between a “Hollywoodian” and a “Van Dyke.” I like it!

5. James Garfield, yet another great beard as we make our way towards the end of the 19th Century. It seems there was a good amount of time that Presidents had beards. His beard is fairly similar to that of Hayes as far as style goes, it is a bit more kempt than Hayes.

6. Chester Allen Arthur has himself a set of “Friendly Mutton Chops.”

7. Grover Cleavland was a man of firsts. He was the first President to be elected and then re-elected after four years away from the White House. He was the fist to marry in the White House, don’t forget that the woman he married was only about 20 years younger than him. He was also the first to have a mustache without any chops.

8. Benjamin Harrison wore a “Short Boxed Beard” and did quite a good job of doing it. Maybe the beard compensated for what he lacked in height.

9. Theodore Roosevelt was the first of two Roosevelt’s and the first President in the 20th Century to have facial hair. He wore a good old mustache and he wore it proudly.

10. William H. Taft, there’s not much to say about Taft, other than he had a pretty good “Handlebar” mustache and he was the last President of the United States to have facial hair.

Almost made it:

There you have the Presidents with facial hair. Lets all remember this November to honor those Presidents that proudly wore facial hair, in hopes that one day we will see another.

For all of the beard name information click here.