Moral Contradictions

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I'm back...

...my dsl has been hooked up and my office is set up...and wow, New Orleans seems to be in a ton of trouble... I urge prayer and donations to ease the suffering. Wow. Virginia got hit hard last year, but that was a more localized and a smaller scale tragedy - the fact that an entire major city is underwater w/ thousands upon thousands of refugees is beyond my scope of comprehension.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I'm deferring...

...to Jon Stewart's coverage of Pat Robertson's comments on Hugo Chavez. The effect of finding the truth through so many channels of mis-information is spell-bounding.

Video via Crooks and Liars (high speed connection required)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Out of the loop...

...when Pat Robertson proved yet again he's completely senile.

All I have to ask is why have some come to defend him and his statements? Why have those same people charged his detractors with being pro-Chavez? Can't everyone agree that Robertson's missed his daily medication?

Anyways, I hope to get back in the blogging world sometime next week... maybe when my head stops spinning.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Whew!

Well, after 3 straight days of early mornings, tons of packing, moving, and painting, along with very late nights, I'm at work all day today. I look forward to assisting my wife as she runs the lock-in tonight... we then get about an hour and a half of downtime before we turn around and go to Raleigh to visit family. Luckily, we're riding along as opposed to driving. So yeah, this week can be found in the dictionary under Crazy.

I dropped this entry to a personal note to recognize my wife, who is amazing. Closing on our house was scheduled this week thinking she would be done with her August Greek class - we were a week off. So in the midst of preparing for a final while having to plan a lock-in (which was scheduled before she was hired as the Youth and Children's Minister), not to mention a huge life-changing event like moving into our first house, she's held up where so many would fail. She's such a blessing and I'm still amazed at how I got her.

So as I'm without internet for the most part in the next couple weeks as my time becomes occupied with painting, mowing, cleaning, mowing, decorating, and mowing, like I warned before, entries will be sparse.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A glimpse into instinctual humanity

Unfortunately my city (technically not our jurisdiction, Virginia's cities are independent from counties, for those who care) made national news, yet not for a good reason. For weeks we had been hearing about Henrico County Public Schools selling 1000 used iBooks for $50. This caught the attention of folks from as far as Toronto and Florida who wanted one. After several criticisms, officials decided to limit the sale to county residents and sell the computer at the Richmond International Raceway to accomodate the crowd.

Wow. Someone dropped the ball and didn't think the process through, despite obvious signs the sale would be extremely popular.

The sale was supposed to start at 9 but started at 7 because over 5500 showed up. The line was "open" as no barricades were formed. The front of the line was held up by one narrow gate and guarded by only 4 or 5 officers. Once the gates were open, folks from the back ran up and crushed anybody in their way. Eventually over 70 police officers including 20 in riot gear were called along with over 20 fire personnel.

Jesse Sandler said he was one of the people pushing forward, using a folding chair he had brought with him to beat back people who tried to cut in front of him.

"I took my chair here and I threw it over my shoulder and I went, 'Bam,'" the 20-year-old said nonchalantly, his eyes glued to the screen of his new iBook, as he tapped away on the keyboard at a testing station.

"They were getting in front of me and I was there a lot earlier than them, so I thought that it was just," he said.

Um... how many people had to read that part of the article more than once?

Seventeen were injured with 4 needing to go to the hospital. One lady urinated on herself to avoid giving up her spot. Many folks who arrived early didn't receive a computer. Chaos. iRiot. iRage. iOurSocietyIsGoingDownTheTubesFasterThanJamesDobsonDissingBillFristAndCallingTomDelay.

Yep, this example proves that abortion and homosexuality will be the downfall of our society. (<-- sarcasm for those who don't get my attempt at humor)

I'm glad my wife and I are leap-frogging over the county in our move from within city limits to a mile from the raceway and Henrico over to Hanover County. Maybe we'll be amongst more sane and compassionate people than the ones on the other side of the border.


Monday, August 15, 2005

A simple question

My father is a "moderate conservative" and impressed in me the mantra "not to rely on the government". Don't rely on the government for your retirement, for health insurance, for food... I would add nowadays don't rely on the government to protect your land after the Kelo decision. To question any of that bordered socialism, which for many is too close to communism and to perish the thought. Recently even President Bush has launched a "self-reliant" campaign. For the most part, most of us would like to be able to take care of ourselves without anybody's help.

So why do so many religious conservatives rely on the government to bring about God's Kingdom?

Isn't that the church's job? Has the church lost its influence that we need to focus on politics to save us? Isn't politics naturally corrupting anyways? Are we, the church, simply passing the buck? How much time and money has been spent on these Justice Sundays and all the religious 'get out the vote' campaigns and groups to back certain Supreme Court nominees?

Sure that stuff is important, but we as a church have lost our focus. At the very least we're turning off a lot of would-be Christians who look at the vitrol being spewed out and write us off as wack-jobs.

I pray, just like they did in the Simpson's last night (Bart and Homer turns Catholic, Marge and the Protestants won't have it, huge fight, then "why do we fight over the stupid small things we disagree on when we can work together on the stupid big things we agree with?") that we can get over our differences and work to further God's Kingdom through the church.

Cuz that's Biblically based.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Food Lion and today

A few years ago I was at the beach with a good friend and we were looking for something to do on the island one evening. I remembered there was a Food Lion "just a few miles" north, and we set out to find it. The longer we drove, the more my friend doubted my knowledge of its location. Several times I offered reassurement that it had to be just up ahead, even though I wasn't fully convinced for that same doubt crept inside of me.

Miles ticked by and I knew we were getting closer, despite feeling pressure that I had to prove my knowledge of island geography. I knew I had seen the store before, but had I misjudged? Yet, because the island was quite narrow, turning around meant defeat and humiliation. What if we turned around and it really was just around the corner? All that time spent driving away from the beach house would have been for naught.

Finally we arrived, yet we were hurried because it was getting late. We couldn't enjoy it. We were worried about being scolded. We didn't realize just how far we came until we drove the distance back to the house. The drive was silent as we each asked ourselves "Was it really worth it? Should we have found something else closer in to do?"

Sure enough, upon returning the questioning commenced. "We were worried, where did you go? Why did you go that far? There was another store only a few minutes in the other direction!"

Folks, we're being lead on a path where it seems like no one, not even the Adminstration, knows the distance until we can pull-out of Iraq. The longer we head down this path, the more doubt settles in. We are offered reassurement that once we arrive, the journey will be worth it. However, our drivers are historically arrogant in being that they don't like to admit mistakes.

For the above reasons, I'm troubled by what the Washington Post will report Sunday as the lowering of expectations for progress in Iraq. I guess if the Army can lower its recruiting goals to issue press releases of meeting their monthly quotas, the White House can do the same. Essentially, the war we were sold and the sacrifices our soldiers make everyday will be cheapened as our goals are reduced. In my simple mind, that's not cool.

I know it's a tough battle, I know more will die, and I know a lot of good is happening over there. However, the longer we go down this path, the more doubt I have. I am not reassured by articles like these, I'm not reassured by the class I took on middle east history last year, I'm not reassured knowing that one of the steps toward Israel being created was because the British through its hands up with its "white-man's burden" and left Palestine in chaos. We took many unprecedented steps these past few years, justifying them against our high expectations for Iraq. I pray we don't have to suffer the indignity of France and Germany wagging the "I told you so" finger at us.

As more mishaps occur along this path the need to see progress overshadowing suicide attacks grows even more urgent. Time is running short, and the return on our investment in this war is in jeopardy.

I ask the question that so many asked yet were ridiculed as un-American in 2002: Did America bite off more than it could chew? I hope not, for we must succeed. Reading this article makes me question if President Bush really knows the true distance to the next Food Lion.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Justice Sunday II - Full of crap

I've largely tried to ignore Justice Sunday II b/c it's quite tiresome and I believe many people can largely see through it. Just like listening to Sean Hannity take the high ground in an argument, I automatically tune it out.

However, the fact that Tom DeLay is headlining the event is astounding. I mean, really, who better to present as the face of Christianity than such a humble, honest, nice person than him? I truly believe that his transparent and obviously moral life should be the example of all Christians who wish to exercise dominion over God's chosen country.

Figures he's a Southern Baptist... woohoo. Do you understand why I write this blog? Why I am completely saddened by what happened to the SBC, the organization I grew up in?

God save us.

//Truthfully, I believe as the racist past of Tom Perkins is remembered, Ralph Reed's shady dealings with Jack Abramoff is remembered, and as Tom DeLay is presented as the Christian poster-child, more and more (I pray) true Christians will realize the extremism at hand and reject their ilk. As the Religious Right continues to move even farther to the proverbial Right, they'll take less with them. Combine this with the Republican Party's arrogant ruling attitude that makes it seem they believe they will always be in power, and 2006 and 2008 will be quite interesting indeed.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

busy busy busy

Between family commitments, work, and getting ready to move, posts will be few and far between for the next couple of weeks. We move next week and then dsl will take 6 days or whatever to hook up... so yup.

You are warned. :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The real family values problem - Round Two

Jennifer C. Kerr wrote an article for the AP titled "Housing Prices High for Low Income Workers".

If you haven't heard me or anyone else say this, then remember me when this comes true: At the end of the day, when the family values poster children of abortion and homosexuality are "solved" in the eyes of hardcore conservatives, American families will still be worse off than they are now.

Why? What good is protecting the unborn if we're going to bring them into a world where they grow up in some dingy apartment? Or their parents are overstressed because they can barely pay the rent? Forget about vacations - any lost time could put the job in jeopardy, which would put the food and shelter at risk as well.

For many, gone are the days when the mother can stay home with the children. Heaven help any families headed by only one parent or the parents who commute 1-1.5 hours each way to work. How American, how Christian, is a family where the kids get dropped off at daycare before school, go to daycare after school, and at least one parent only gets to spend an hour or two with them before they go to bed? Christians are becoming apart of the "world" because to question the ruthlessness of American capitalism, is well, un-American. Yet there are forces in play in many urban areas which go straight to a family's heart.

How is that American? How is that right? When our families are worse off then ever, are we going to console ourselves with "that's how the free market is?". Yes I believe we need capitalism, but I don't want the free market determining how much time I spend with my future children! It's already determined that I cannot live in my hometown.

Folks, wake up! While we get all hyped up about these issues (homosexuality is still being hashed out and I don't know enough to get in the middle of it, but most everyone can agree that abortion is terrible), politicians, corporate officers, and other higher-ups are making decisions that will affect the quality of our life for years to come. Whether intentional or not, we're distracted, and some are taking advantage.

Many don't blink when told that janitors cannot afford houses. Yet, when our school teachers, policemen, and firefighters cannot afford a home, we're way beyond wrong.

Monday, August 08, 2005

A lesson that we are not God

Church yesterday hit the spot. The hymns were good, the Scripture reading was good, and as usual, Dr. Marsh threw some incredible insight and wisdom on a passage of Scripture I've heard time and time again.

Something he said leading up to Communion struck me. He said something to the effect of 'we don't control who joins us at the table of communion just like we don't control who goes to heaven'. Wow. He expounded on it a little further saying 'we may just be surprised to see who makes it to heaven'.

As communion came before the sermon, he subtlely intertwined the above sentiment around Luke 14:7-14 and titled it "Table Manners". Basically a call to be humble, because how much more glorious is it to be asked to come to the head of the table as opposed to being asked to move down?

After poking through some other blogs, I wonder how many Christians would remember Jesus' instruction in this passage? How many Christians are so righteous and so full of themselves that they just head for the best seat, the best position, etc? I pray that none of us would be like that, and I certainly pray that I keep this parable in mind throughout my daily walk.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Coral Ridge Hour Watch (it's back!)

I've been meaning to follow through with covering the Coral Ridge Hour, but technology and time constraints all worked against me - until tonight.

The "speech" (not sermon, you'll soon learn why) was titled "The Root of the Problem". Here's the writeup:

I am now enlightened
College is the devil!
Raising God above us... in the typical box
You don't say?
Revisionist History
Perversion of Christianity
Final Critiques

I am now enlightened

I just found out what the root of most sin for the past few centuries and today – the teaching of evolution.

Yep, you read that right. Not the love of money, as the Bible teaches in 1st Timothy 6:10, nor the love of power. Evolution.

College is the devil!

Kennedy went on to attack colleges, saying that those who graduate leave without their faith… and if college doesn’t do it, graduate school certainly will destroy all sense of patriotism, nationalism, and faith in God. (Funny he lists his Ph.D. at the end of his name)

Want to know what the problem is with the Supreme Court? The majority are evolutionists. Kennedy asked rhetorical questions such as “Should the Bible be taught in the classroom?” and answered with “Nein”. Not “no”… but “nein”. He did this three times. Interesting.

Raising God above us... in the typical box

Why has evolution corrupted our society? Because of its teachings that man is simply a “twig”… that mankind happened by chance. Never mind the intelligent folks who read the Bible, read the evolution, recognize God’s majesty and our smallness, and conclude that we really don’t know what happened… never mind the ones who say that evolution possibly was the tool that God used. Never mind any sort of compromising thought. In Kennedy’s world, it’s one or the other. Black and white. You believe in creation or you believe in evolution. Period.

He went on to state that all early scientists were Christians. He subjected me and his congregation to a 3-minute detailed listing of the founders of various branches of science and how they were great men of faith. Ostensibly he was trying to prove how evolution perverted science and stripped it of it’s religious faith. I felt bad for the congregation because they had to endure the roll call without pictures… I felt bad for myself because it about put me to sleep.

You don't say?

He mentioned someone who spoke to his church a few years ago and made the “astounding” statement that Creationism isn’t science and shouldn’t be taught as such. Kennedy became very indignant at the thought. I then again realized that if I had any ounce of respect for the man, I lost it after that statement.

Throughout the sermon, he pounded the point that “this is what’s being taught to your children”. By attacking public school and higher education and painting evolution as the root of our current evils, he placed a siege mentality among his viewers and the congregation.

Revisionist History

He proceeded to say that racism is an evolutionary concept, mind you, as all 19th century evolutionists were racists. Excuse me, but evolution popped up in 1859… that whole slavery thing had been going on for just a few years. To say or explicitly imply that evolutionism spawned racism is false. To say it justified it is true, yet it merely accompanied the Bible as justification as well (that whole ‘slaves obey your master’ verse that was flaunted around for so long).

By the way, communism, fascism and Nazism are all borne from evolution. Did you know that? I didn’t. Never mind America’s runaway capitalism in the 19th century (child labor, extremely low wages, etc) or the West’s humiliation of Germany after the First World War as the possible impetus for the above ideologies. Evolution is the sole reason.

Perversion of Christianity

D. James Kennedy Ph.D then ended the sermon with a self-serving prayer and the show cut to just him. In a move that bewildered me, he issued an invitation to accept Jesus as Savior. I don’t quite get how you go from “Evolution sucks, evolution is evil, and evolution is the sole reason for today’s problem” and then connect that to an invitation. I personally believe acts like that cheapen the meaning of coming to Christ and what it is to accept and follow Him.

The show then provided a somewhat decent overview of the Scopes trial… yet then used that to hawk donations to help Kennedy fight the teaching of evolution with a gift of a book that claims to debunk evolution.

He began his conclusion with, “as we’ve seen in the Terri Schiavo case, human life has become cheap and expendable”. I’m not even going to comment on that quote, but I will say I turned the television off as I had enough.

The overriding message I got was “your children are being corrupted by the teachings of this inherently evil ‘theory’, please help me fight this and cure our society… and praise Jesus!” Obviously Dr. Kennedy and I have very different views of the Bible.

Final Critiques

  • This was definitely not “compassionate” conservatism. I’m not sure Kennedy is capable of smiling. He’s stone-cold, deadpan, and I get the impression that watching paint dry is near the top of his hobbies. A tone of arrogance seeped through at times; one can almost use the word “snide” to describe his demeanor.
  • He spoke in absolutes. I’ll give him credit, the overriding theme was predicated with “almost all sin is rooted in evolution”, but from there, the words “almost”, “nearly”, “most”, “all but a few”, and “some” weren’t mentioned. That black and white personality shined through yet again.
  • His congregation is quite old for a church… not to demean older folks, but in the wide shots, I saw mainly white hair and bald spots. While the choir sang, I saw only a few people who could be under the age of 40. From my limited vantage point, I guess the average age is 55, give or take a few years.
  • He started the sermon with 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. From then on he didn’t mention the Bible or refer to any other verses. For 25-30 minutes he railed against evolution. My humble opinion is that Scripture is powerful and not to be handled lightly… I believe he misused Scripture by taking his beliefs and then using the Bible to justify them. What happened to having an open mind and simply looking at what the Bible has to say? Oops, does that make me a “liberal” Christian?
  • - My pastor and my wife’s boss says that most people who come to church are just looking for a good word. They want to learn about Jesus, they want to know more about their faith, but they want to learn how to apply it to their daily lives. They seek hope and help to cope with the problems in their lives and the problems of the world. Dr. Kennedy seems to be of the philosophy that those who come to his church seek to listen to him on his soapbox. Instead of a good word, they need a siege mentality, to be soldiers, to fight for what they believe. Forget what Jesus says, what does the good doctor say? I think from now on I will refer to Dr. Kennedy’s sermons as “speeches”.
  • - By pinning almost everything evil on evolution, he took the church off the hook. Never mind that many Christians in the 19th century used the Bible to justify slavery. Never mind that the same tactics were used against civil rights. Never mind that much of our world’s bloodshed has been justified in God’s name. Instead of turning inward and righting some of the Church’s past sins and teaching his viewers how to make sure they’re not repeated, he simply runs with an arrogant attitude that he’s right and the world is wrong, and we must fight it. I’m sorry, but God is perfect. We’re not, even those who attend church. We’re not above the world; conversely, though we’re not to be of the world, we’re apart of it, and we’re to spread God’s Good News.

I didn’t find any Good News in today’s speech.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Yes we can...

...be pro-troops yet not pro-war.



For those of you who say "the soldiers knew what they were getting into when they signed up"... did anyone know what this war would turn into - a civil war? Yes as a matter of fact some did, but they were ostracized as "anti-American" and "anti-troops". In a country where the approval rating for President Bush's handling of Iraq is at a paltry 38%... why are Marines continuing to die?

The Iraqi insurgents aren't stupid. They read their history books. It's why we quickly conquered the country faster than planned - they knew how to beat us. Guerrilla warfare a la Charlie and the North Vietnamese. The longer they drag it out, the more tired we would become. Quite a few people saw this coming, but were shunned. Now I'm tired of it.

After September 11, we were girded for a long war against terror. We thought a revamping of airport security, building security, border security, and a short war to destroy the Taliban was what we were sold. Obvious and necessary solutions that had widespread support.

If someone gave you over 2 dozen reasons why you should buy a car when you weren't looking for one, would you trust him? What if that person just sold you the perfect car... it was the right car, right gas mileage, right comfort, right price... just right. Yet then he turned around and tried to sell you a monster Hummer... sure, you could drive it, you could make some use of it, but was it really necessary?

Folks, we were sold a lemon... and the justification for our boys being killed is based upon lie after lie.

//Kudos to the First Amendment - if it wasn't for the founding principles this great country of ours, I would be jailed. At the very worst, someone will call me "anti-American", which is funny because I'm being pro-American. I'm tired of seeing Americans die when there are better solutions to protect us. Heck, I'm tired of seeing thousands of people die, no matter what their nationality.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Oh those annoying facts!

They just get in the way! storiesinamerica has a great diary at Daily Kos with some fun quotes from President Clinton's administration regarding Bosnia:

"You can support the troops but not the president."
---Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
---Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
---Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
---Sen Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
---Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain the y have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
---Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
---Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
-Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
-Governor George W Bush (R-TX)

-----------------------------

For those wishing to counter with "9/11 changes everything": that excuse can pass for the invasion of Afghanistan, but not Iraq. I still don't know why we went over there. I still don't know why 23 soldiers have died this month, and it's only been 3 days. I still don't know why we're justifying the ends with torture as means.

I love my country, but there's got to be better ways to defend ourselves. Maybe I'm incorrect, but it seems like the mood of the country is turning more somber as these examples of doublespeak, hypocrisy, and lying come to light. Only these examples have been around for several years... but now we've been in Iraq for close to 2 years... now that we're way beyond "Mission Accomplished" yet over 1800 American soldiers are dead... now that more people recognize blatant abuses of power...

At the same time there's plenty to be depressed about, yet there is so much potential for reforms in the right direction. To promote the America we grew up with and love. To smartly protect her from terrorism. To make her a country worth defending. To put our faith first as Christians and demonstrate God's love while recognizing that everyone counts.

Wow... something big is going to happen in the next 18 months or so... cuz I don't know how much more I or any other average American can take.

Torture Watch

From "Soul of Republican Party at stake in prison-abuse scandal debate" by Joseph L. Galloway, Knight Ridder Newspapers.

No one can call Sens. John Warner, R-Va., Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., and Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record), R-S.C., soft on anything, much less terrorism. They constitute the Republican leadership of the
Senate Armed Services Committee. All three have worn the uniform of our country. One, John McCain, spent long years in the hands of America's enemies as a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton.

The Bush White House is doing all that it can to stop this legislation from passing. Vice President Dick Cheney took the three senators to the wood shed and told them that their law would tie President Bush's hands in the war against terrorism. His bombast carried no weight with the three senators.

On the floor of the Senate, before everyone left on vacation, Sen. Jeff Sessions (news, bio, voting record), R-Ala., sounded the administration line: There is no need for this legislation because we are not dealing with prisoners of war but "terrorists."

John McCain stood up and responded that the debate was not "about who they are. It's about who we are." We are Americans, the senator said, and we hold ourselves to a higher standard than those who slaughter the innocent in Iraq or Afghanistan, or in London or on 9/11 here at home....

.... Please repeat after the good senator who knows about prisons and the torture of helpless human beings:

This is not about who they are. This is about who we are. We are Americans and we hold ourselves to a higher standard of conduct. And, no, the end does not justify the means. Not now. Not ever, when the means include torturing prisoners.


Great column, including more damning evidence that the use of torture came from the top.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Putting two and two together...

...and I get some interesting results.

I read an article linked off Fark.com titled "Masculinity Challenged, Men Prefer War and SUV's."

"I found that if you made men more insecure about their masculinity, they displayed more homophobic attitudes, tended to support the Iraq war more and would be more willing to purchase an SUV over another type of vehicle," said Willer said. "There were no increases [in desire] for other types of cars."

(Do you see where I'm going with this? Let's see if I can pull it together.)

I immediately recalled Sir Albert Mohler lambasting the feminization of men.

Wimps, on the other hand, look to women for emotional support, consider girlfriends to be conversation partners, and look to women for pity. They are shameless. (Source and more reading.)

So, does this mean that Sir Mohler and his audience are a wee bit insecure?

All I know is that I'm:
  • 5'11'',
  • 145lbs,
  • skinny as a rail,
  • living in a 600 sq ft apartment,
  • not particularly wild about our troops being in harm's way,
  • willing to listen and learn about homosexuality to continually compare it to the Bible,
  • one who loves to talk to my wife and look to her for support,
  • currently driving a Civic, as does my wife.
Guess I'm a wimp.

Oy... this is getting difficult

I work at a boot store in the town of Quantico, VA. Quantico is unique as it's surrounded on three sides by the Marine Corps base and another by the Potomac River and Maryland. Technically it's an incorporated town that's part of the county, yet it's not attached. Thus, we have the highest per capita of barbershops in the country as the town's main customers are Marines.

I am up there three days a week... every day new 2nd Lt's come through... Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans walk through... some say "I need boots now because I'm shipping out Saturday". I think the highest rank I've seen walk in is a Colonel from the Pentagon... so yeah, tons of Marines come through that door.

So I cringe when I read that seven Marines die in one day in Iraq, supposedly after the "war" is over. I wonder if I've briefly met them... these guys are my age... oy.

Yes I can't deny war is good for business... but I'm tired of war. I pray when the history books are written, their sacrifice won't be in vain.

Articles like this make me proud...

...to be an American. Yep.

Sigh.

As an American, I thought we were above this level:

They continued with two or three interrogations a month. They weren't really interrogations, more like training me what to say. The interrogator told me what was going on. "We're going to change your brain," he said.

I suffered the razor treatment about once a month for the remaining time I was in Morocco, even after I'd agreed to confess to whatever they wanted to hear. It became like a routine. They'd come in, tie me up, spend maybe an hour doing it. They never spoke to me. Then they'd tip some kind of liquid on me - the burning was like grasping a hot coal. The cutting, that was one kind of pain. The burning, that was another.

What has happened to the America I thought existed? I grew up with so much respect and love for my country, but nowadays I'm having a hard time finding examples which compel me to demonstrate my patriotism.

As a Christian, I'm appalled. I'd really like to hear someone thoughtfully and intellectually give me a justification for torture based on the entire Bible. Not just selective parts like "eye for an eye", but taking the whole thing in consideration. Because from my vantage point, it can't be done.

If we are to be a "Christian nation", we must act like it... in all instances. Just like we cannot focus on selective parts of the Bible and ignore the rest, we cannot seriously strive to be examples of Christianity by focusing on a couple of parts and ignoring contradictive and accompanying Biblical teachings.

Again, may I remind you the way Jesus was killed?