The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Strange, Unexpected and Tragic Things

(Late Note: my apologies for the bad links in the earlier post. They have now been fixed.)

Every once in a while I can't help myself and I get "political". Here are Just a few interesting and strange things I encountered in the news today...

John Kerry. It seems our Secretary of State, a man by the way, who shopped for combat decorations and told some whoppers about his service on swift boats in Vietnam, apparently doesn't realize that North Korea already has nuclear weapons. In an interview with Martha Raddatz of ABC News, Secretary Kerry said, "To have a nuclear weapon, potentially, in the hands of somebody like Kim Jong In - Jun just becomes even more unacceptable." Potentially? Uh, Mr. secretary, the North Koreans have tested nuclear weapons at least three times. Kim Jong Un already has these weapons. Ain't nothin' potential 'bout that. Read the transcript here.

Presidential Polls. As of today polling shows that a sizable majority of Americans believe the president lied when he repeatedly told the nation that under the so-called Affordable Care Act -- aka Obamacare -- we could keep our health care plans and doctors, period! The 2014 election cycle should be really interesting, especially for the Democrat House and Senate members who supported Obamacare and are up for reelection. Oh, yeah, as I recall every single Democrat in the Senate and the vast majority of Democrat House members voted for the act...without ever reading it.

Duck Dynasty. Interesting stuff. Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty patriarch, has been placed on indefinite hiatus (i.e., fired) by the A&E Network for his blunt comments about sin and the homosexual lifestyle in a GQ magazine interview. Since then, the vast majority of TV's talking heads have labeled the interview a big mistake by Robertson, who they believe didn't consider what his "inflammatory" words might lead to. One wag, Howard Bragman, of stated, "There's too much money at stake. Although he plays kind of a hick on TV, I don't think he's dumb. I think he gets what's at stake here. And I hope people on his team, the network and his producers get the message that what he did was wrong." Dana Perino, a regular on the Fox News show, The Five, just couldn't stop wringing her little hands over the fact that gays and many others were so very offended that Robertson called homosexual activity sinful and lumped it together with greed, bestiality, adultery, terrorism, and other sins. Well, Dana, duh! Orthodox Christianity -- and here I'll include Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and most Evangelicals, etc. -- all believe and teach this. These things are sinful, but like Phil Robertson, we hate the sin but love the sinner. And like Phil, too, we know we're all sinners.

I suspect most of these inside-the-beltway folks have never watched the show or they'd realize what is truly important to the Robertsons. What all these upwardly mobile, dollar-driven, and PR-obsessed media flacks don't realize is that for Phil Robertson and his family, the money, the show's success, and the "bad" PR resulting from his comments are all secondary concerns. This family is a Christian family that accepts Christian moral teaching. Living and professing their faith is more important to them than a TV show and they will gladly walk away from their lucrative A&E gig rather than compromise their beliefs. Phil Robertson may have been overly graphic in his choice of words, but he spoke only what he and many Christians believe. Personally, I consider him a courageous man. May his tribe increase!

And for those homosexuals who see Phil Robertson and other believing Christians as threats, I suggest they look east and see what's happening to homosexuals in Islamic nations. Indeed, even in India Muslim clerics are issuing fatwas against homosexuals, calling for the execution of gays and unmarried couples who have live-in relationships:  "A person may be burnt alive, pushed from a high wall or be beaten publically with stones if he indulges into either of the two behaviours." I predict the gay activists who have been so vocal about the Robertson clan will say nothing about these atrocities since they're not committed by Christians. The photo below shows two young homosexuals, Mahmoud Asgari, 16, and Ayaz Marhoni, 18, about to be hanged in Iran. Read more here.

Lying is OK. That's right, according to some in the mainstream media it's okay to lie if by doing so you support the progressive agenda. Several media types have recently stated openly that it's perfectly acceptable to lie for politically correct reasons. During a panel discussion, MSNBC host, Toure Neblett, stated, “If a lie is being told to a corporation, it’s not really a lie" -- an interesting comment coming from an employee of Comcast, a major corporation. Panel member Josh Barro agreed, saying in effect that corporations lie in their advertising so we can lie to them. And then there was Matt Yglesias, the liberal blogger at JournoList who confidently included this missive on Twitter: “Fighting dishonesty with dishonesty is sometimes the right thing for advocates to do..."  It's all reminiscent of an interview with Dan Rather back in 2001 when, speaking of Bill Clinton and honesty, he said, “I think at core he’s an honest person...but I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”

Killer of Christians Convicted. Two years ago, on Christmas Eve, a bomb exploded in St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, a suburb of the Nigerian capital. The attack killed 37 Catholic parishioners and wounded 57 more. It was carried out by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, a group that believes Christians must either convert or be killed. This week a Nigerian court sentenced Kabiru Sokoto to life imprisonment for his role in the deadly attack. This was a courageous decision by the court since Boko Haram has not hesitated to target government officials who act against it. Read more here.

The devastation of Nigerian Christian communities is ongoing and over 200 Christians have been murdered by Islamist terrorists in the past six months. Condemning the attacks on Christian communities, Bishop Michael Apochi of the Diocese of Otukpo, stated that “Life has become unbearable for our church members who have survived these attacks, and they are making worship services impossible.” You can read more on the persecution of Nigerian Christians here.

Prince Charles Surprise. The future King, assuming he outlives his mum, is usually very careful not to utter a disparaging word against anything Islamic. But even Charles has apparently been forced to admit that Islamists are systematically killing Christians. For Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, the so-called Arab Spring has resulted only in dramatically increased persecution. At a London reception at Clarence House, the prince informed his guests that "For 20 years I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity to dispel ignorance and misunderstanding...The point though, surely, is that we have now reached a crisis where bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so. This is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution including to the Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time." Read more here.

Inside the Beltway...They Really Hate Us. The Washington Post, the fish-wrapper of record in our nation's capital, has let the cat out of the bag by revealing how the DC types really feel about those who live elsewhere. Because much of America disapproves of how these parasites feed greedily on their money, the Post calls them "haters". (Click here to read the Post piece.)  

Republicans winning big among haters, Post-ABC poll finds

It's been an interesting year. I have a feeling 2014 will be far more interesting. Reading about all the strangeness in the world, I find myself especially comforted knowing that God is in charge...because we sure aren't.

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