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August 27, 2003

Psalms 18-21 are now up in Reflections

In reflecting on the psalms I am often impressed with how many of them are written out of deep pain and anguish of heart. I canít help but make a comparison with some of the great old country songs that deal with the hurt and disappointment of life. They dealt with broken love affairs, drinking too much, prison, and a raft of other real life problems. Davidís psalms are in a whole different category, but the comparison lies in writing out of pain, fear and hurt. Both in country music and in the psalms, something has to be going on in the soul. Even in the Psalm 21, which is generally upbeat and thankful, enemies are a very real danger. Our lives seem to be shaped more by failures and disappointments than by success and happiness. It is fascinating how many great man and women have overcome their misery and been made better by the process.

August 25, 2003

Reparations for Egypt

The first time I heard this, I thought someone was just kidding. But now it turns up in the New Republicís Daily Journal of politics.

Dr. Nabil Hilmi, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Al-Zaqaziq, and other Egyptian nationals are preparing a massive lawsuit against, as they put it, "all the Jews of the world" to recover with interest the value of the jewelry, ornaments, precious fabrics, even cooking utensils they snuck out of the land of their captivity "at midnight" some 4,000 years ago.

TNR editors wondered the same thing I did, that establishing the historicity of the text is a dangerous thing for Arabs to do. The texts are clear evidence of the existence of two Jewish temples, temples the Palestinians claim never existed. And the editors raised the question that came to mind the first time I heard it:

But this matter of the timelessness of recompense raises another issue for the tort lawyers. There were perhaps 600,000 Hebrew slaves in Egypt, and they were in bondage for 400 years, up to that very night of their escape across the dry Red Sea. Now, 600,000 slaves, toiling for 400 years, each of them due a living wage, plus interest calculated from the beginning, of course ... well, it may not come to however many trillions of tons of gold the learned law dean estimates. But it's not small potatoes, either. But, then, the Hebrew slaves stole these also.

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton could file amicus briefs with the court.

August 22, 2003

Festival Seminar Schedule is now available. See the link to the left.

August 21, 2003

The Middle East, Again

The Associated Press headline today read, "Hamas Abandons Truce After Israeli Strike." That sort of headline is enough to send a man gibbering off into the night. Didnít Hamas abandon the "truce" when they blew up that bus full of kids? How on earth can the Palestinians expect civilized people to take them seriously when they kill twenty people on a bus (including kids and a baby), claim credit for the bombing, and then scream that the truce is off when the Israelis retaliate? Think about that. They felt that blowing up a bus was acceptable conduct under a truce! I donít know whether I am angry at Hamas for thinking we are that stupid or the Associated Press for treating the story with any kind of dignity. If it werenít so horrible, I would think it was a Monte Python sketch.

As far as I can tell, the entire Palestinian side of this dispute is populated with a set of highly dangerous clowns. I do not see any justification for the United States government to put any pressure on Israel for restraint. As for Israel, they have no alternative but to build their wall. The Palestinian leadership is dangerous at best, evil at the worst. Iím convinced, and it wasnít the Israeliís who convinced me. The only condition under which any Palestinian leader will accept peace is the complete destruction of the state of Israel.

August 20, 2003

College Course: How to be Gay.

I thought someone was kidding. I heard that a college level course was being offered on how to be gay. I had no idea. Syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro:

"How to be Gay" is a real course at the University of Michigan. The course description states: "This course will examine the general topic of the role that initiation plays in the formation of gay male identity ... In particular, we will examine a number of cultural artifacts and activities that seem to play a prominent role in learning how to be gay: (including) camp, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste, style and political activism."

Do you think this is just an isolated incident? According to Shapiro, "English departments around the country have become brainwashing centers for the militant gay movement." Examples include the University of Pennsylvania with an English course titled "Theories of Sexuality." At the University of Maryland, English 265 is an introduction to gay and lesbian literature. Thereís more, and it is even creeping down into high school English departments. Gay militancy is winning the hearts and minds of young people everywhere.

Of course, homosexual leanings are not in the genes because homosexual behavior does not reproduce. Homosexuality depends on recruiting. Apparently the venue for recruitment is now the English departments of universities. Coming soon to a high school near you. Read Ben Shapiroís column by clicking here.

Middle East Peace?

The situation looks more bleak by the day for peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Yossi Klein Halevi, writing in The New Republic today opines:

With the latest bus bombing in Jerusalem, Abu Mazen's grace period has ended. Israel has swallowed repeated terrorist attacks since the ceasefire began at the end of June, but the relatively small number of casualties allowed the Sharon government to continue offering Abu Mazen concessions. . . .Now, though, Sharon will be unable to bolster Abu Mazen without a Palestinian crackdown on terrorism. Abu Mazen likely will plead for more time, but he just doesn't have any."

Halevi points out the tragic dilemma that Israel has, in Abu Mazen, found a partner who understands that the Palestinians only hope is to put an end to terror. What makes it tragic is that Mazen is too weak to do anything about it. Halevi concludes:

One Israeli negotiator who knows Abu Mazen from the Oslo years told me recently, "Whenever we got to a difficult moment in negotiations, Abu Mazen would suddenly remember that he has to visit his son in Qatar. Or he'd fly off to Morocco for vacation. He's not capable of making the hard decisions."

Increasingly, it appears that Israel's only viable solution is the Wall.

August 15, 2003

About California

I know Ann Coulter gives some people heartburn, but sometimes she is just too funny to ignore. Only a week ago, she wanted to give California back to Mexico. Now, she figures Mexico would decline the offer.  For her very amusing, if painful, assessment of the state of affairs in California, click here.

August 13, 2003

Mark Steyn is a Canadian columnist whose work can be found in a number of places. This column turned up in the Jerusalem Post of all places. Mark figures it won't be long until the Bible is banned--at least in Canada. He cites this item which you may have heard about:

In Saskatchewan, The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix was fined by the Human Rights Commission for publishing an advertisement quoting biblical passages on homosexuality. Fining publishers of the Bible surely can't be far off. The coerciveness of the most "liberal" cultures in the Western world is not a pretty sight.

That's right. The ad did nothing except quote the scriptural passages on homosexual conduct--no commentary, no railing. And the paper was fined for it. I wonder what is going to happen when some of my radio programs are played for delicate Canadian ears. I don't get exercised over the issue, but in at least two recent programs, I read the passages from scripture that deal with this question. They will be playing soon. Watch for the programs here, and read Mark Steyn's column at this link.

August 10, 2003

The Judging Of Kobe Briant

Did Kobe Bryant really rape that girl or not? I donít know, but it seems certain that something happened in that hotel room that shouldnít have. The media are milking the story for all it is worth (and then some) but they arenít being that helpful. They donít have any reliable facts and wonít have until the trial. But it seems to me that there are some useful lessons that young men and women could take away from this story.

For example: Shouldnít young men learn that just because a woman is willing is not a good enough reason to jump into bed with her? Suppose Kobe Briant is telling the truth and it was consensual sex. Shouldnít he have realized what a risk he was taking, not only with his own family, but with his career, with his influence on kids? More important, what about his effect on this young woman. How was he to know her emotional vulnerabilities. How could he know that she had attempted suicide and could have been sent over the brink by this experience? When you have sex with someone you donít know very well, you risk doing that person irreparable damage.

Then there is the damage to yourself. When I joined the Navy, they made me sit through films about what could happen to me if I had sex with a woman I didnít know. They had graphic pictures of what could happen and more than one young sailors passed out while watching the movie. Their objective was to keep from having diseased sailors on their hands, and it may have worked in some degree. Of course then, there were, what, 7 or 8 venereal diseases? Now there are over 50, and one of them is AIDS. We used to call them venereal diseases, but someone finally realized that stupid youths needed to know what that meant, so they changed it to sexually transmitted diseases.

Then there is the girlís family to consider. What if she has three strapping big brothers who look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and who will want to wring your neck when they find out you had sex with their little sister. Or, what if she has a husband with a great big .357 magnum, and the attitude to go with it? Or what if she is a crook with blackmail on her evil little brain?

How far do I need to take this? How stupid is it to do what Kobe Briant did....at the very best?

Now, what do you think young women should take away from this case? Number one: Men are dangerous. All of them. No exceptions. Number two: The law cannot protect you from rape. Really. Colorado has some of the toughest rape laws in the country. Did it protect this girl from rape, if indeed she was raped? Coloradoís law says that if a woman says no at any point in the process, the man has to stop. If they are both voluntarily stark naked and in the shower together, and the woman says no, the man has to stop. If they are all the way into bed (use your own imagination) and the woman says no, the man has to put on his clothes and go home.

Right. And there is a tooth fairy. If I had a nineteen year old daughter, I would want her to understand that the primary beneficiaries of Coloradoís rape laws are the lawyers, not young women. How stupid do you have to be to believe that the law is going to protect your virginity when you wonít? The laws make a lot of money for lawyers. They may even help prosecutors get convictions. But wouldnít it be better not to be raped than to be raped and have the attacker convicted? I really hope this Colorado law is not giving a false sense of security to young ladies.

Men are dangerous. All of them. Donít go into a manís hotel room and close the door. Men are dangerous. Donít have too much to drink when you are out with a man. Men are dangerous. Donít get intimate with a man and expect him to stop because the law says he has to. Men are dangerous. All of them. You donít necessarily have to be afraid of men. But your should treat them with all the respect you would treat a loaded shot gun.

It would really be nice with all the hype on television about this case if the talking heads would spend a little time talking sense to young people about things like this. They might save some lives. I only have my radio program, but Iím talking about it. Watch for my program, "The Judging of Kobe Briant," coming in a few weeks.

August 9, 2003

Gay Bishop

The world is still deciding what to think about the Episcopal churchís decision to ordain the first openly gay priest as a bishop of the church. This is a man who left a wife and two children to live with another man. Cal Thomas wonders what the church would have thought if he had done the same thing and moved in with another woman? That kind of conduct before has cost not a few ministers their jobs, I suspect.

Good Manners/Good Morals, By Allie Dart


August 7, 2003


Reflections on several new Psalms are now available. Also Galatians is now finished and online. It is helpful to study Galatians while listening to the radio programs discussing the book. Those programs are available from the CEM home office. Send and E-mail and request information on how to get the Galatians programs from the Christian Origins series.

Gay Backlash?

Just this morning two friends were complaining about too much gay news, here comes this from Fox News Web.

"All this in-your-face stuff ó every time you pick up a newspaper or turn on the T.V., it's gay, gay, gay all the time. I think the average Joe is saying enough is enough," said Peter Labarbera, senior policy analyst of the Culture and Family Institute.

The flip reply?

"That's why God made the remote ó if you don't like what's on the television, change the channel," responded David Smith of the Human Rights Campaign.

Yeah, well, thatís the problem the first guy was complaining about. When you change the channel to get away from it, you run smack into it somewhere else. Polls indicate the gay lobby may be overplaying their hand. Backlash may be setting in. One can only hope.

August 1, 2003

A Gay High School?

Soon, the nations first public school for gay, lesbian and transgender teens will open in New York. To many, this seems like a strange development and all the stranger because it is being supported by public funds. The reasoning is that gay kids are harassed in public schools and cannot learn. One commentator wondered why the schools couldnít exercise discipline and make their schools safe for these kids. Another obvious question is, how do we know these kids are gay? I am certain I went to high school with gay guys, but I had no idea who they were. Coming on the heels of the Supreme Court decision legalizing sodomy, the school seems even more bizarre. It suggests that citizens are acknowledging that gays are in a category like handicapped students who may indeed need special schools so they can learn.

It isnít clear where the opposition to the school will come from as straight parents may be pleased to know that gay kids are no longer in class with their sons and daughters. But, one lawsuit may already be on the way. Bronx minister and state Sen. Ruben Diaz yesterday questioned the need for the school and threatened legal action. "People with special needs ó handicapped, blind or [those] with other physical handicaps ó need special schools," Diaz said. "Normal people should compete in the same schools." 








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