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Thursday, February 24, 2011

On Atheists and the Amalekites

"Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” 1 Samuel 15:1-3 (NIV)

If there's one point that atheists positively love to hop upon their collective Moral High Horses about and criticize the Christian God over, boy is this ever the one. It's almost as if they think they have a magical ace up their sleeves that they love to play at what they deem to be the appropriate time during online, internet argumentation and then its throw it down with an implied AH-HA! Gotcha! WhuddaboutheAmalekitessmartguy?!

Well? What about the Amalekites? Let's examine the issue, shall we?

Point #1-The Amalekites were not sitting around playing tiddly-winks, committing various, pagan inspired acts of charity and leading the Ancient Near East toward any sort of awe-inspiring enlightenment. Quite the opposite in fact. A famous archeologist, William F. Fullbright, once noted that the Amalekite religion was "perhaps the most depraved religion known to man.” Or, as Mike Woodruff describes for us...

"..the primary reason the Amalekites were to be punished is because they were wicked. The tribes that fall under “the ban” and are to be wiped out are vile. We certainly see that with the Amalekites. They were distant cousins of the Israelites who gained God’s ire by going out of their way to provoke him. They likely knew that the promise God had made was to bless everyone through the blessing of Israel, and they certainly heard of the way God was providing for the Jews; but the Amalekites did not fear God. Instead, they attacked the weakest of God’s people. After giving their promise not to attack, they waited for the Jewish slaves to file through their land on the way to Sinai and then attacked the stragglers—the sick, tired, and elderly. This actually became a bit of a pattern for the Amalekites. They preyed on the weak, and they never missed a chance to attack the Jews.

Even if we leave the Jews out of it, the Amalekites were vile. They burnt their children in front of statues of the idol Molech."

The act of defending child sacrifice never seems to make it's way into the atheist psyche as this item is somehow conveniently glossed over and apparently forgotten. One technique utilized by atheist apologists is to cite what they feel is a lack of evidence that the Amalekites were actually that evil. Paul Edwards encountered this type of, *ahem*, reasoning while discussing the matter with arch-atheist Christopher Hitchens.

"His (Hitchins') initial response was to suggest that the historical record relative to the Amalekites and child sacrifice could not be trusted because it was in the Bible. Interesting that Hitchens trusts the Bible relative to what it says about what Israel did to the Amalekites, but the same Bible can’t be trusted on what it says relative to what it says the Amalekites had done to their own children. (Here is an excellent exposition of the question of whether or not the actions of Israel against the Amalekites constituted war crimes.)"

So You see folks, they just can't have it both ways.

Point #2-The killing of the animals owned by the Amalekites actually had a purpose. Chuck Colson, Norm Geisler, Hank Hanegraaff explain why...

"Why were the Isrealites to kill the Amalekites' animals? In a land without money and banks (these did not exist during the days of Saul), livestock-oxen, sheep, goats camels and donkeys-was a major form of wealth. But God did not want the Isrealites to go to war in order to enrich themselves at their enemies' expense. This solemn task was done to carry out a divine death sentence, not for personal gain."

Point #3-The weight of evidence suggests that God was being hyperbolic when he commanded the destruction of the Amalekites. Joel from Unsettled Christianity explains why he thinks this is most likely the case..

"The question, of course, being that if God said that He would so utterly wipe the Amalekites off the face of the earth – even the memory of them – then why do we remember them in our Sacred Texts? Even today, some Jews still see the Amalekites as those who opposed Israel – from Adolf Hitler to the Palestinians. Those who do so see no problem with the biblical text as they seemingly do not take it as literal as many Christians.

The author who penned the 83rd psalm didn’t see utter destruction for the Amalekites, instead asking God to humble them, among other names, to His Name:

"O my God, scatter them like tumbleweed, like chaff before the wind!
As a fire burns a forest and as a flame sets mountains ablaze, chase them with your fierce storm; terrify them with your tempest.
Utterly disgrace them until they submit to your name, O LORD.
Let them be ashamed and terrified forever. Let them die in disgrace.
Then they will learn that you alone are called the LORD, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth." (Psalm 83:13-18 NLT)

So, what do the biblical literalists do? Do we feign an answer and say that God hasn’t kept His promise yet but will? How could He when he put the history of the Amalekites into the Sacred Text which will never perish? Esther’s author changed the name of the Amalekites and the Psalmist instead sung of the day which they would submit to the Name of the Lord. Where they expecting a complete wipe of memory, especially seeing that they recorded the events?"

In the end, the Amalekites were not completely destroyed. They were however, diminished to the point that they werent quite the threat that they previously were.

If atheists are still going to cling to such a shoddy criticism of God as this one, then they must abandon another pet grievance of theirs, that of the problem of evil, pain and suffering. It seems that when God actually DID do something to a cruel, horrible people who caused pain and destruction, the best that atheists can offer up is that they think they certainly could have done better if they had the chance. Yeah right. Good luck with that line of reasoning. Keep believing that and there's a bridge on Brooklyn that I want to show you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

High Speed Rail, whatever that is..

Thomas Sowell lays out for us the most recent boondoggle pipe-dream advanced by the Obama administration, that of so-called "high speed rail"....

"High-speed rail may be feasible in parts of Europe or Japan, where the population density is much higher than in the United States. But, without enough people packed into a given space, there will never be enough riders to repay the high cost of building and maintaining a high-speed rail system.

Building a high-speed rail system between Los Angeles and San Francisco may sound great to people who don't give it any serious thought – but we are a more spread-out country than England, France or Japan. The distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco is greater than the distance from London to Paris – by more than 100 miles.

In Japan, the distance between Tokyo and Osaka is comparable to the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But the population of Osaka alone is larger than the combined populations of Los Angeles and San Francisco – and Tokyo has millions more people than Osaka. That is why it can make sense to have a "bullet train" running between Osaka and Tokyo, but makes no sense to build one between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

However little President Obama knows or cares about economics, he knows a lot about politics – and especially political rhetoric. "High-speed rail" is simply another set of lofty words to justify continued expansion of government spending. So are words like "investment in education" or "investment" in any number of other things, which serves the same political purpose.

Who cares what the realities are behind these nice-sounding words? Obama can leave that to the economists, the statisticians and the historians. His point is to win the votes of people who know little or nothing about economics, history or statistics. That includes a lot of people with expensive Ivy League degrees."

Kudos to Sowell for saying what those of us with even a modicum of macroeconomical acumen have been postulating for a long time. And to think, what was one of the benefits of high-speed rail that Obama recently touted while on the pre-election, perpetual campaign trail that has hallmarked his presidency? Quote..."For some trips, it will be faster than flying — without the pat-down."

Much like a stopped clock, even the ACLU is correct every once in awhile.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Famously Free-Thinking Left

For a political position that prides itself on "open mindedness" and "inclusion", it's interesting to note that this only applies if you are a like-minded comrade whose thinking is deemed acceptable by the current regime...

"Members of Congress questioned the proposed plan by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to repeal regulations that allow health care workers to opt out of medical procedures for moral conscience reasons.

In a recent letter signed by 46 members of Congress, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked to explain why her department is seeking to repeal conscience protections for health care workers. House members cited two cases where medical workers were put in situations where they were being forced to go against their moral and religious conscience.

“Both of these situations are precisely the type of discrimination against health care providers that federal and conscience statutes were meant to redress,” the letter chided.

The lawmakers expressed strong support for moral conscience regulations and state strong opposition for “any action that would undermine or eliminate the responsibility of HHS to enforce conscience laws that have been enacted by Congress for nearly four decades.”

One of the two cases cited in the letter was that of registered New York nurse Catherina DeCarlo. DeCarlo alleged that she was forced by Mt. Sinai Hospital to participate in the abortion of an unborn baby against her moral and religious conscience.

The other case was that of two nursing students who were being required to sign a letter committing to assisting in abortions in order to be considered for Vanderbilt University’s obstetrical and gynecological care program."

Although it now appears the the Obama administration is beginning to see the light and back off from such a ghoulish, Orwellian position, one still is left to question why they sought to repeal the ability to opt out of certain procedures through such objections in the first place.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Corbett Cracking Down

Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett (R) has announced new inspection mandates in the wake of last month's arrest of a Philadelphia area "doctor" who is charged with 8 counts of murder...

"Seven employees of the state's Departments of Health and State have been fired or have resigned since a grand jury issued in January a devastating report regarding those agencies' shortcomings in overseeing the Women's Medical Society in west Philadelphia, Corbett told reporters. The Republican governor announced a series of changes in each department, including the requirement that each abortion clinic will be inspected annually and will be subject to random inspections.

Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, the owner of the clinic, was charged with eight counts of murder -- one in the death of a 41-year-old woman and seven in the deaths of viable, fully delivered children who were killed outside the womb. The grand jury reported that a February 2010 raid of the clinic found deplorable conditions, which resulted in its closing and Gosnell's medical license being suspended.

The grand jury report found there had been no state inspection of the clinic since 1993 in spite of complaints.

"This doesn't even rise to the level of government run amok," Corbett said in a statement. "It was government not running at all. To call this unacceptable doesn't say enough. It's despicable."

Kudos to Gov. Corbett for announcing such change. Perhaps certain members of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement might wish to leap to the defense of Gosnell and explain how it isn't murder to take the life of a viable, late-term infant.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Iman of Ground Zero Victory Hamasque Praises Shariah Law

"True Muslims that will enter the highest levels of Muslim Paradise are those who pay the ultimate price of sacrifice with the goal of instituting Sharia, Islamic law"

Did any sane person even doubt for a second that this would be the logical outcome of the socially inept action of placing a mosque so close to Ground Zero? You can listen to an audio recording of Iman Abdallah Adhama's words by following this link.

One shudders when thinking about what Adhama must think about the 9/11 hijackers with a mindset like this.

Monday, February 14, 2011

One More Reason to Really Like Ike

Columnist Mark Tooley is fast becoming one of my favorite writers. Today's installment focuses on the religious beliefs of the 34th President of the United States, Dwight David Eisenhower, (above, pictured with Bernard Montgomery). Tooley writes...

"After retirement, the Eisenhowers became active at Gettysburg's Presbyterian congregation, whose young pastor, the Rev. James MacAskill, Ike especially appreciated. Young David as a teenager even found the minister "spellbinding." Having a former president in MacAskill's flock attracted offers of larger churches with greater salaries. Unwilling to see him leave, Ike intervened to ensure a higher salary for the minister. In turn, MacAskill was impressed with Eisenhower's own depth of religious faith and his immunity to passing fads.

Reputed to have cited his appointment of Earl Warren as U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice as one of his greatest errors, Eisenhower disapproved of the 1963 court ruling banning Bible readings from public schools. Ike saw religion as a crucial moral force, particularly for civil rights. He had been the first president to sign civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, and he supported the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. As David Eisenhower writes, his grandfather thought the "Warren Court's bias against the church undermined its promotion of equal rights because sociology was no substitute for moral teaching." In that ruling's wake, Ike delivered a sermon at his Gettysburg church.

"I do not see how any Supreme Court in the world can declare teachings in this vein illegal," Ike preached. "There is no reason for Americans to raise their children in a communist type school that denies the existence of a God." He noted that the "theory of the equality of man is religious in origin." And he observed: "To raise our children in a moral atmosphere is to recognize the existence of a Supreme Overlord."

Having passed through Gettysburg numerous times, it's easy to see why Ike would want to settle there. It is a beautiful area with alot of history associated with it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Famous Quotes Concerning the Global Warming Hoax

Andy Hawkins has compile a Top 15 List concerning the religion known as Global Warming Climate Change. Here are just a few examples...
  • "If you’re 29, there has been no global warming for your entire adult life. If you’re graduating high school, there has been no global warming since you entered first grade. There has been no global warming this century. None" Mark Steyn

  • "This only enables the green crusaders to declare at every opportunity that "everybody" believes the global warming scenario, except for a scattered few "deniers" who are likened to Holocaust deniers.

    The difference is that we have the hardest and most painful evidence that there was a Holocaust. But, for the global warming scenario that is causing such hysteria, we have only a movie made by a politician and mathematical models whose results change drastically when you change a few of the arbitrarily selected variables." Thomas Sowell

  • "As Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace explained, "global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter." No set of facts can disprove the environmentalists' secular religion. In 2004, former vice president Al Gore gave a speech on global warming in New York City on the coldest day of the year. Warm trends prove global warming. Cold trends also prove global warming. This is the philosophy of a madman." Ann Coulter

  • "First, the science. After many years in this line of work, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that global warming is one of those research areas where scientists think they know much more than they really do. In many ways, putting a man on the Moon was far easier than understanding the climate system. Yes, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas — a minor one. And, yes, humans burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide: one molecule of CO2 for every 100,000 molecules of atmosphere, every five years.

    ...Compared to the carbon dioxide that humans produce, Mother Nature routinely transfers 40 times as much CO2, and 24,000 times as much water vapor (Earth’s primary greenhouse gas), back and forth between the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface, every day. Roy Spencer

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why is the Left so Obsessed with Race?

"Now I am going to address a moronic liberal ass clown Chris Matthews on the left. This guy is so obsessed with race, it is defies logic. For a white guy, Chris Matthews seem to suffer from a self identification problem with "white people". Chris believes that everybody who is apart of the tea party movement are "all white". Liberals can't let go of race for one nanosecond." Tyrone from the blog Wake up Black America,

That the Left is obsessed with the topic of race is hardly in dispute. Jonah Goldberg mentions this after he fielded some questions from callers on a C-SPAN interview..

"Speaking of those callers, I must say that the more I think about it, the more revealing they were. I haven’t counted or anything, but it seems to me that a plurality of the lefty callers were simply obsessed with race. I suspect that one or two of them were professionally invested in the topic (the guy who plugged FAIR and Media Matters smelled like a seminar caller to me). Regardless, it was fascinating how so many of them simply needed me/conservatives/National Review/Sean Hannity/et al. to be racists. It’s a small example of how so many liberals ground their identities in race and can’t conceive of the idea that their ideological opponents aren’t racists."

Indeed. As to why they "ground their identities in race", I came across two examples that explore the 'why' of the whole situation. First a helpful, explanatory quote from Ann Coulter...

"If it were true that conservatives were racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist, stupid, inflexible, angry, and self-righteous, shouldn't their arguments be easy to deconstruct? Someone who is making a point out of anger, ideology, inflexibility, or resentment would presumably construct a flimsy argument. So why can't the argument itself be dismembered rather than the speaker's personal style or hidden motives? Why the evasions?"

"With their infernal racial set-asides, racial quotas, and race norming, liberals share many of the Klan's premises. The Klan sees the world in terms of race and ethnicity. So do liberals! Indeed, liberals and white supremacists are the only people left in America who are neurotically obsessed with race. Conservatives champion a color-blind society."

Perhaps most telling is the explanation offered by Representative Allen West, with which I whole-heartedly agree. (He's just much more articulate about it than I am :-)

"Liberal Racism does not believe in One Nation under God. They believe in a Nation of subjects organized into collective groups under which they shall rule, not govern, in a secular humanist based society.

Indivisible, Liberal Racism does not believe in "e pluribus unim", they prefer a balkanized America where they can pit us against each other through their manipulated messages....such as Tea Party racism.

Liberal racism does not believe in Liberty and Justice for All, they believe in freedom defined by a ruling class elite while creating more victims who become dependent upon their dishonest benevolence."

So there you have it. In a nutshell, the Left is obsessed with race because...

A. Their arguments aren't nearly as good, so why not change the topic to an accusation of racism? And,

B. It's part of an overall strategy to pit different groups against one another, impede any progress toward racial indifference, harmony and acceptance and create strife at every turn in order to create various sub-categories of victims.

There. That was easy!