Anti-Nonsense Alerts

Monday, January 09, 2006

Putting on a second blogging hat

I've been disappointed by the sparse response to my first blog, which is at:

http://ut-fidem-praestem.blogspot.com

That blog will remain there as long as Blogspot will allow it, but meanwhile
I'm starting another one. Since hardly anyone wants to participate in the
NON-confrontational dialogue I was offering at "Faithful In Adversity," I
shall be rather more uninhibited here. Below you will see an article I put
out via e-mail about a week ago...


DISARMING THE FALSE-GUILT BOMB

Some years ago, a group of Wicca practicioners raised a
stink against the film "The Wizard of Oz." They were outraged
that a witch was depicted as evil--even though another, equally
prominent witch was depicted as good. It wasn't good enough
for them for a film to say that some witches were good; ALL
witches must be above criticism. If a movie showed some
Christian clergymen as bad but others as good, any Christian
who complained about this would be dismissed as a thin-
skinned whiner; but for witches, whose very worldview
entails wanting to bend reality to their personal will, it's only
natural to demand favoritism and call it fairness.
Hold that thought...and turn your thoughts much farther
back in the history of cinema, to the silent era.
Douglas Fairbanks Senior, first of the great swashbucklers,
made a movie called "The Thief of Baghdad," one of the first
great fantasy adventures on film. It was set in a Muslim
civilization, and it portrayed Muslim civilization in a favorable
light. It was not the only American silent movie to do so. (How
did Rudolf Valentino become a sex symbol, if not by starring
in "The Shiek"?)
In 1935, Cecil B. DeMille released "The Crusades," which
(not without factual justification) depicted Saladin as a more
civilized and reasonable man than Richard the Lion-Hearted.
This was in an era when racism still was a very serious
problem in America, yet even racism did nothing to prevent
Muslim culture from being given a fairly friendly portrayal.
Not many years later, Asian actor Sabu starred in
Michael Korda's remake of "The Thief of Baghdad," and in
the new screenplay a very explicitly Islamic spirituality was
clearly shown as the supreme height of merit achieved by
Sabu's character. At least two more adaptations of the story
were to follow in subsequent years; and interspersed with
them would be seven or more films about the Arabian Nights
heroes Ali Baba and Sinbad--all putting Muslim culture in
a positive light.
One of Charlton Heston's earliest leading roles was in
"El Cid." This epic had a Muslim villain, but took pains to
indicate to the audience that this villain was NOT part of
the Islamic mainstream. The Christian hero is made at one
point to suggest that his converting to Islam is conceivable,
but none of the Muslim good guys _ever_ hints at becoming
a Christian. (Making Christianity "exactly equal" to other
faiths always leads to considering it LESS equal--not because
any flaws are discovered in Christianity, but because fallen
human nature has a bias against the gospel.)
Live theater in the English-speaking world has also been
generous to Muslims. Sigmund Romberg's operetta "The
Desert Song" romanticized Arabs; though the hero was really
a European, he sympathized strongly with the Arabs. The
later musical "Kismet" had an all-Muslim cast of characters,
including the historical figure Omar Khayyam. Both shows
also became films eventually.
"Lawrence of Arabia," "The Wind and the Lion," and
Brendan Fraser's more recent Mummy movies have all
made Muslims look good. Topping them all, however, was
Kevin Costner's revisionist Robin Hood film. "Robin Hood,
Prince of Thieves" not only practically made its Muslim
character the star instead of Robin Hood, but in addition
it promoted one medium falsehood and two whopping
falsehoods. Medium falsehood: suggesting that Muslims
invented the telescope. (It was a European who invented
it, after the period when Robin Hood would have lived.)
First whopping falsehood: claiming that male-female
relationships in Muslim societies, _more_ than in Christian
societies, are developed by open communication between
the sexes (when Azim says, "We talk to our women").
Second whopper: when Robin says that the land of Israel
is rightfully Muslim territory.
Add up all these productions, and can you seriously
say that Western media and entertainment have always
portrayed Muslims in a derogatory manner? Not if you
have any honesty, you can't.
But now it's time to remember the Wiccans fussing
about "The Wizard of Oz."
Radical Islam, the system that approved putting out a
murder contract on Salmon Rushdie because he wrote a
book Islamists didn't like, doesn't care how many movies
you make that show Muslim culture as good. If you let
even ONE movie be made that says _anything_ critical of
Islam, you're an Islamophobic bigot. Muslims are allowed
to arrest you in _their_ countries just for talking about the
Lordship of Jesus; but if in a Western country you say
that something's wrong with Islam, you're the intolerant
one. If you're Dutch, you may get knifed for it.
Muslim activists in America, taking advantage of the
level of freedom here which NO Muslim country grants to
Christians, have the gall to claim that our entertainment
media are full of unfairly negative images of Muslims. Of
course, they also claim that there have been many anti-
Muslim hate crimes in America since the 9-11 attacks;
but many if not most of those crimes have turned out to
be fictions, made up by Muslims who knew that Americans
are vulnerable to manipulation by false guilt.
In a time when virtually ALL terrorist threats in the
world _are_ in fact of Muslim origin, American TV and
movies have bent over backwards to pretend that it's
really the old standard white-supremacist neo-Nazis who
are behind everything. Yet when the series "24" actually
got around to having Muslim terrorists in the plotline, the
Council on American-Islamic Relations went ballistic. Didn't
we bigoted Judeo-Christian Americans know that Osama
bin-Laden is really a white South African fascist or something?
But in case too many people figure out that the typical
modern terrorist IS a Muslim and is NOT a white South
African, they have a backup plan. If movie reviews are
accurate, the backup plan can be found in the new movie
"Syriana." Okay, the terrorists are Muslims...but it's not really
their fault. It's the fault of the evil American oil corporations!
Yes, now it all makes sense. Muhammad plundered the
Jewish merchant colonies of Arabia because of evil American
oil corporations. The medieval Turkish empire kidnapped the
sons of Christians to make them janissaries because of evil
American oil corporations. Arabs were taking black Africans
as slaves before slavery got underway in America, but it was
the fault of those oil corporations. American oil tycoons gave
Egypt the idea of refusing to hear testimony from Coptic
Christians against Muslims. And Chechen terrorists wantonly
murdered schoolchildren in Beslan, Russia because of evil
American oil corporations.
Maybe I shouldn't be saying this; George Clooney might
make a movie claiming with a straight face that all the sarcastic
statements above are literal truth. But even if he does make
such a movie, it still won't be enough to make the C.A.I.R.
types drop their fraudulent complaints. (In case you think
I'm too hard on Clooney--did he not make an action movie in
which the big threat was a Serbian terrorist? Come on, now,
how many Serbian terrorist attacks have you heard of? It's
the Albanian Muslims who have ties to bin-Ladin, and who in
addition are deeply into forced-prostitution trafficking.)
I myself have Muslim neighbors. Not only do I get along
just fine with them, but I personally cook food for them at
Ramadan time. They could tell me if they were suffering
from hateful harassment just for being Muslims, and they
know that I would side with them against any such injustice;
but they have no such trouble to report, because THERE IS
NOT any widespread persecution of Muslims in America.
The C.A.I.R. types know that American Muslims are not
oppressed; but it suits them to pretend that they believe there
is oppression, so that false guilt over supposed prejudice will
weaken our will to fight real terrorism. We cannot afford to
let them succeed in this cynical deception.
How about this as a cure for the induced false guilt: let
Americans read English translations of the lying propaganda
which Iranian mullahs and Palestinian thugs broadcast against
Israel--even reviving the long-discredited "Protocols of the
Elders of Zion"--and then compare this for hatefulness with
the American media's average treatment of Muslims. Next,
have people see how long it takes to watch all the pro-Muslim
films I described above. If, after doing this research, you still
think that Muslims have a valid complaint about how they are
portrayed in the West, I have a tropical beach condo in Finland
I'd like to sell you.

Yours for Jesus and America,
Joseph Richard Ravitts

17 Comments:

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

Now, to show that I'm not concerned
ONLY with Islam, here's another of
my past articles, this one being
two or three months old...

PREEE-SENTING THE _VERY_ FIRST
STRONG AND AGGRESSIVE WOMAN
_EVER_ SEEN !!

>> Forty or more years ago, the
British TV series "The Avengers"
helped audiences get used to the idea of women who could fight
physically with men and win. The audiences did get used to it;
after all, they had already seen Wonder Woman comics for years, and
those who followed samurai movies
had seen deadly swordswomen
on the screen. By the time "The Bionic Woman" and "Charlie's Angels" were created, popular culture had almost forgotten that there was ever a time when warrior
women were not regarded as commonplace.
>> Audiences got used to it just fine. But scriptwriters could not get used to the fact that
audiences had gotten used to it. They could not bear to acknowledge
that the novelty had already passed. So they kept on trumpeting
THE VERY FIRST powerful woman...
over and over and over and over.
The patriarchal straw man had to
keep getting knocked down again
and again, with each time the "first" time.
>> Sigourney Weaver in the
"Alien" movies was a bold,
innovative, unique, daring new
character: a woman who could fight her own battles! Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a bold, innovative, unique,
daring new character: a woman who could fight her own battles! Xena
the Warrior Princess was a bold,
innovative, unique, daring new
character: a woman who could fight her own battles! Demi Moore in
"G.I. Jane" was a bold, innovative, unique, daring new character: a woman who could fight
her own battles! Claudia
Christian's character on
"Babylon 5" was a bold,
innovative, unique, daring new
character: a woman who could
fight her own battles! The "Matrix" heroine Trinity
was a bold, innovative, unique, daring new character: a woman who
could fight her own battles! Halle Berry as Catwoman was a bold, innovative, unique, daring
new character: a woman who could fight her own battles! Milla
Jovovich's character in the "Resident Evil" films
was a bold, innovative, unique,
daring new character: a woman who
could fight her own battles! Aeryn Sun of the "Farscape" series
was a bold, innovative, unique,
daring new character: a woman who
could fight her own battles! Guinevere in the recent "King Arthur" movie was a bold,
innovative, unique, daring new
character: a woman who could
fight her own battles! The rewritten-as-female Starbuck on
the new "Battlestar Galactica" is a bold, innovative, unique, daring
new character: a woman who can fight her own battles!
>> Well, since women in Western civilization are so obviously
being kept in barefoot-and-
pregnant subjugation, what we
clearly need is a bold,
innovative, unique, daring new TV series which, FOR THE FIRST TIME
EVER, will depict a woman as being strong and independent, able to think and act for herself. That
series, now to be seen on ABC-TV,
is "Commander in Chief," starring Geena Davis of "Thelma and Louise"
fame as President Hillary Clinton
--excuse me, I mean as a fictional
female U.S. President.
>> The male-chauvinist straw-man characters on this program
plainly have never watched "The Avengers," "Buffy," "Xena,"
"Babylon 5," or the "Matrix" trilogy, since they just can't believe that a woman could be
capable of leadership. I expect, however, that the real message of
the show, aimed at us flesh-and-blood men, will be: "If you don't
approve of a woman leader
practicing far-left-wing
politics, that is one and the same
thing as you opposing ANY and all
women in leadership!"
>> There's a message fit to
fertilize the cornfields of Iowa.
>> Admirers of Ronald Reagan
are typically also admirers of his
ally Margaret Thatcher. The United States Armed Forces are full
of men who have largely
conservative political views, yet have no trouble at all obeying
orders from female officers. Millions of conservative American
men would happily vote for Condoleezza Rice as our next
President, and are delighted to receive the socio-political
insights of Michelle Malkin, Janet Parshall, Ann Coulter, Laura
Ingraham, Star Parker and other smart women. Last time I checked,
none of those women were being kept in slavish submission by
conservative men.
>> So let Geena Davis have her TV fantasy of being THE VERY
FIRST woman allowed to attain a position of leadership. But all
of us who pay attention to actual facts know how far removed her
sulking straw men are from
conservative-male reality. If
this new series proves a hit, it
will prove that many Americans prefer self-deception over easily
available truth. But then, we
already knew that; just look at
the way members of both parties are desperately deceiving
themselves that Palestinian thugs don't mean what they say
about continuing to attack Israel
regardless of how many
concessions are offered. Or look at the way members of both
parties have ignored the totally
predictable damage being done by
millions of illegal immigrants feeding at the trough of America's
welfare system without giving
America any loyalty in return.
>> Given the speed with which
ignored realities can return to
bite us, I think that the great
American self-deception program,
of which ABC's feminist dead-
horse-beating exercise is only a
small part, will not be able to stay on the air much longer. And
if America falls under totalitarianism, Nielsen ratings
will be the very least of Geena
Davis' worries.
- - - - - - - - - -

Yours for Jesus and America,
Joseph Richard Ravitts

Ut fidem praestem
in difficultate!

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger Joe B. Whitchurch said...

Yo Namesake Joseph, I love this blog content. I will confess to not fully reading the Cat Woman, Wonder and Bionic Woman comment on the article. But your 'reality testing' on alleged bias against Islam in the media was a welcome relief to the droning on and on about it in the Christian-dissing chronicles of mainstream media and holly-wierd. Thanks.

I do look forward to more. Visit and post comments at my blog sometime at Puddleglum's Foot. You are a good friend, dynamic Christian, and a great American.

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

Now for an original.


Go back with me to the 1990's, and
let us examine a Ted Turner made-
for-TV movie: a revisionist
Western called "Buffalo Soldiers,"
starring Danny Glover.

In this film, the black cavalrymen
are sent to capture some Indians
who have rebelled and left the
reservation. Since the Indians
had valid and legitimate
grievances against the United
States government, an outcome
in which Glover's character and
his comrades deserted the Army
and joined the Indian rebellion
would have been more morally
respectable than the outcome
they DID have.

As it is, the black soldiers are
shown so skillfully outmaneuvering
the Indians that they have a
chance to capture the Indians
_without_ anyone on either side
getting killed. But then, to put
it briefly, they throw away the
opportunity and let the Indians
go. Okay, Glover, you decided the
U.S. government was wrong and
the Indians were right; you can
make a case for that. But then
the soldiers return to town and
parade around with their flag
AS IF they had been SERVING the
U.S. government--trying to have
it both ways.

If Danny Glover was willing to
be in such a dishonest movie,
we should not at all be surprised
at his joining Harry Belafontsky
in praising and exalting every
Communist regime in preference over
the United States government.

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

If my shoddy server will keep me online long enough, I'll paste in another of my past articles--one which is relevant NOW, as the "DaVinci Code" movie comes ever closer to being released.


"THROW AWAY THAT LOAF OF BREAD!
EAT CENTIPEDES AND BRICKS INSTEAD!
YEA-AY-AY-AY HOLLYWOOD!"

The above title is derived from a C.S. Lewis quote. Go ahead,
look for it. You'll be spending your time better with Mr. Lewis than
with some of the movies looming on the horizon.
First, an analogy. Suppose you go to a restaurant, order the
roast beef, and really enjoy it. You tell your waiter to go tell the
chef how much you liked it; so the chef comes out, thanks you for
the compliment, and says he hopes you'll come back and have his
roast beef again soon. Next week, you return to this restaurant with
friends, urging them all to order the roast beef. They all do. But a
different chef has taken over the kitchen; and what the waiter brings
out to your party is plates loaded with cattle horns, cattle hooves,
cattle eyeballs, cattle hide with hair on it, and other cattle-associated
substances. Claiming not to understand your protests, the waiter,
_and_ the new chef, loudly insist that they have just given you the
same kind of roast beef you liked last week.
That, my friends, is what Hollywood is up to.
Mel Gibson's courageous venture in producing "THE PASSION
OF THE CHRIST" succeeded, NO thanks to the cinema establishment,
in earning the acclaim and support of millions of Americans. The
Hollywood in-crowd, grudgingly and belatedly recognizing something
of Gibson's genius, has now mumbled to itself, "Ah, so people want
religious movies; we can do that!" Accordingly, they are preparing
to bring horns and hooves to your table instead of roast beef.
Tom Hanks is reportedly going to star in a movie adaptation of
"THE DA VINCI CODE." We are supposed to salivate with delight that
"a religious movie" has been made. Never mind that "THE DA VINCI
CODE" claims that the whole New Testament is a fraud, and that we
Christians have been missing the boat by not engaging in sexually-
obsessed worship of a pagan earth-goddess. It's a religious theme,
and that's all that matters, right?
The same thing looks like happening to Christian fantasy lovers.
The Chronicles of Narnia are going to be interpreted on film; but at
the same time, another project is in the works--and I'm told, sadly,
that it will be promoted by the same people who distributed the
"LORD OF THE RINGS" movies--to film a rabidly _atheistic_ fantasy
series, called "HIS DARK MATERIALS." This series clumsily mocks
Lewis' Chronicles by sending characters into an anti-Narnia...where
the great goal for the side of _good_ is to GET RID OF GOD. It makes
the Harry Potter books and films look like David C. Cook Sunday
school publications. But Hollywood will expect this blasphemous
concoction to be welcomed and embraced by the _same_ audience
that loves Tolkien and Lewis. Fantasy is fantasy, right?
I hope and pray that at least as many people will _reject_ these
openly anti-Christian movies as _welcomed_ "THE PASSION OF THE
CHRIST." But I'm not over-optimistic. Back when George Burns came
out with his equally anti-Christian movie "OH, GOD," even though it
specifically and aggressively stated that Jesus was _not_ Incarnate
Deity, and that (recurring theme for the leftist elite) the whole New
Testament is a fraud, there were still Christians--genuine Christians!
--who pulled on their blinders and insisted that, simply because the
script made some vague noises about niceness and faith, there was
nothing in it hostile to Christianity!
Well, I won't be guided by an infra-subculture which admires
Michael Moore and Jane Fonda. I will not be spending any of my
money on "HIS DARK MATERIALS," or on "THE DA VINCI CODE"--or
on any future movie with Tom Hanks in it. I won't accept being served
a cattle skull and being told it's roast beef. This will cause me to be
accused of advocating "censorship"--by the same people who, telling
transparent lies about supposed antisemitism, tried to prevent "THE
PASSION OF THE CHRIST" from succeeding.
But just as many Americans got sick and tired of the extreme left
having monopoly control over TV news coverage, so some have begun
to get sick and tired of Left Coast Christian-bashing. Although, as I have
said, there are Christians who "avoid controversy" by refusing to see
blasphemy while it's punching them in the nose, other Christians may
yet stake out a substantial market share for movies which are actually
faith- and family-friendly.

YOURS FOR JESUS AND AMERICA,
JOSEPH RICHARD RAVITTS

 
At 8:31 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

This just came back to mind, non
sequitir to the Hollywood message:


Back when the United States Women's
Soccer Team defeated the Chinese to
win a world championship, the way
feminists talked about this great
achievement revealed the mental
deficiencies of--I do NOT say, of
women as such, but of feminists.

No MALE players took part in the
WOMEN'S soccer competition; but
because one group of women had
defeated another group OF WOMEN,
feminists took this as proof that
women were superior to men. That
was as if I, at age 54, were to
win a footrace with another 54-
year-old man, and then said that one 54-year-old outrunning another
54-year-old was of itself proof
that 54-year-old men can run
faster than 20-year-old men.

And yet feminists, who reason in
such ways, are taken seriously
when they discuss public policy!

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Joseph,

I am sorry...I didn't know you had a blog up and running until Joe Whitchurch told me. Perhaps you notified in an email, but for some reason I either didn't see it or get it.

Welcome to the blogworld. You should have Kevin forward the URL to his email list.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

Hi, Solameanie!

No need to apologize; the word of
my new blog has not spread far.

Will you help to spread it? I've
got SO many competing priorities
eating at my time.

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

While I'm here, let's see what
else I can take out of storage.
Okay, here's one from 2004:

How many of you know what a syllogism is? Of
those who do know, how many realize why it matters
what a syllogism is when we approach Scripture?
A standard syllogism consists of three parts--
(1) MAJOR PREMISE: Some sort of all-inclusive
condition which is assumed to be true, such as "All
Norwegians are Europeans."
(2) MINOR PREMISE: A narrower statement
having some connection with the major premise, such
as "Olaf is a Norwegian."
(3) CONCLUSION: In this case, that would be
"Therefore, Olaf is a European."
Syllogistic logic, like breathing, can be done
either consciously or unconsciously; but also like
breathing, it IS done, unavoidably. Every time you
read a statement in the Bible, and accept it as fact
because you trust the Bible, you are producing a
syllogism in which the major premise is the veracity
of the Bible. It follows that over-simplistic Christians,
who imagine that any organized progression of
thought must be sinful worldly wisdom, are sadly
mistaken. You cannot believe Scripture without
doing some form of thinking, any more than you
can sing a worship song without ever breathing.
This has needed saying for a long time. Too
many outreach opportunities have been lost because
Christians believed they had to be always in Corinth,
using emotional appeals--never in Athens, where an
audience demands reasoning. Paul "knew only
Christ crucified" in Corinth...but flash!--Corinth was
not and is not the whole world. There is NO danger
at all that the emotional approach will ever be
completely left unused; but there is plenty of danger
that Christians will allow themselves to neglect the
uses of logic and explanation in our witness.
I propose in this new essay series to uncover
some truth about people's failure to think things
through clearly. And in an effort to disarm any
accusations of arrogance on my part, the first
installment is....

THINGS I MYSELF DIDN'T THINK ABOUT
AS SOON AS I OUGHT TO HAVE DONE

Let me begin in the basement of a house: the
house in Rockford, Illinois which was the scene of
most of my childhood. This basement had a working
fireplace, with a wooden mantle above it. One day,
I would estimate at about age eight, I decided that
the plain smooth wood surface of the mantlepiece
would be improved if it were given a decorative
carving. So I took my pocketknife and expressed
my artistic talent, with what I thought were some
really elegant swirling designs, from one end of
the mantle to the other. This resulted in my being
given a new artistic project, one that involved some
sandpaper and a lot more exertion than the carving
had required. My boyish reasoning ("There's an
oxymoron for you!" I can hear my female readers
exclaiming) had operated on a false premise--the
premise that my artistic taste was good enough that
my parents should approve of it. Mom and Dad were
so kind as to impress a lesson on--I almost said "on
my faulty logic," but my logic was not faulty. If my
premise of creative superiority had been true, the
rest should have followed. But my logic proceeded
from the wrong starting point, and I neglected to
consider that my major premise might be unsound.
Much of what God has to do for us to make us grow
in Christ entails rooting out false premises from
our minds. Fortunately, persons who never heard
of a syllogism can still be taught true premises.
Fast-forward now, a little past my acquiring of
a driver's license. Routinely buying gas for a car was,
as I recall, my first experience with using a credit
card. Here I won't even go into anything syllogistic;
suffice it to say that, for some time, in sheer mental
sluggishness, I just did not make the connection
between the magic power of a plastic card, and the
fact that someone still had to be earning the money
which the card invisibly transferred.
Then, during the months which preceded my
becoming a Christian, when I still was treating God's
Word as something I could redefine at will in my
fantasies, I fancied writing a Biblical novel about
the little-noted apostle Simon the Zealot. This, in
part, because he was the one paired with Judas in
the first two-by-two sending out of the apostles, and
so might have been close friends with Judas, yet
Simon did not betray Jesus as Judas did. I dreamed
up some wildly improbable adventures for Simon,
and simply did not think about the fact that there
were thousands of people more knowledgeable on
Biblical and ancient subjects than I, who would be
well aware of how absurd my plotline really was.
Hey, come to think of it--it's too bad that I did
get converted, and that the Holy Spirit did begin
teaching me right attitudes toward knowledge. If I
had just remained in darkness, flattering myself that
whatever fantasy I fabricated was as good as truth,
I could have cornered the market for idiotic novels
pretending to reflect profound metaphysical wisdom.
That's right: I could have been the one to write The
DaVinci Code!
Just kidding. That is, I'm kidding about wishing
to have remained unconverted, not kidding about
The DaVinci Code being idiotic.
All right, now that I've poked some fun at myself,
it's everyone else's turn to watch out! There's a lot
of intellectual negligence, even outright stupidity,
waiting out there for me to expose. May God cause
this effort to be profitable for His service. Amen.

Yours for Jesus and America,
Joseph Richard Ravitts
Columbia, Maryland

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

Okay, if the server will stay
connected long enough, I'll add
the article which followed the
above one. This next piece was
written shortly after President
Bush won re-election...

WHEN OTHERS DON'T WANT
THE REST OF US TO THINK

This week, on C-Span 2, I watched a discussion
group which, as far as I could tell, allowed no
conservative participants except the contrarian
conservative Pat Buchanan. Prominently featured
was a leftist personage from ABC News, Carole
Simpson, who tried a stunt worthy of Michael Moore
and Al Franken. Referring to the recently-circulated
red-vs.-blue voting maps, Ms. Simpson declared in
a fake solemn tone that she was horrified to find
that pro-Bush areas coincided with what used to
be slaveholding states. She used this to press her
argument for continued increases in the supremacy
of the central government. In talking this way, she
was hoping that the audience would fail to think
about such facts as these:
(1) It was a very federal and central entity, the
Supreme Court, which in 1859 handed down the
despicable Dred Scott decision favoring slavery.
(2) In the approximately 140 years since the Civil
War, there have been so many demographic and
social changes in the whole U.S.A., that a mere
superficial similarity in geographic outlines from
opposite ends of this time-span proves very little--
except, of course, to viewers who are conditioned
to react emotionally without thinking about whether
your argument has any validity. Naturally, Ms.
Simpson was playing to just such an audience.
Also this week, I saw more demagoguery from
the Baltimore Sun, a newspaper which had kept
on promoting the story of Mr. Bush negligently
losing 380 tons of explosives after that story was
proven to be a lie. (This is also a paper which has
never let mere facts get in the way of its repeated
claims that Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"
was a work of hate propaganda.) A column raising
predictable slanders against Christian voters was
illustrated by a drawing of a map of America cut
in half by an axe, and the head of the axe was
marked with a cross. The text recycled the usual
tripe about Christians being divisive and hateful;
but for the readers to take its message seriously,
they would have to stop their brains from thinking
about the four decades in which the opponents of
Christianity have been the hateful ones.
Care for a few examples?
How about Dustin Hoffman at the climax of "The
Graduate," clubbing people with a crucifix? Granted,
that's not so impressive; Hoffman could do better than
that--and he did. In the suspense film "Straw Dogs," he
tells a clergyman, "You have to admit that the most
bloodthirsty kingdom of all has been the kingdom of
Christ." He and the scriptwriter were counting on the
audience not to know, and not to want to bother to
find out, the difference between actual Christians
and thugs who falsely bear the name of Christian.
(Yet Hoffman would be outraged if a man posing as
him committed crimes and caused him to be blamed.)
Then there's the crowd of pioneer women in Jane
Fonda's movie "Cat Ballou," screeching "Pray, Jezebel,
pray!" Churchgoing rural females have long been
viewed as fair game for the most unfair caricatures.
And what about the Disney mythic fantasy (post-Walt)
"Dragonslayer"? In that, a Christian priest is shown as
totally powerless to do anything about the marauding
dragon, and is made to appear contemptible as the
dragon incinerates him--in contrast to the wonderful,
noble, mighty pagan sorceror who defeats the dragon
in the end. Or more recently, consider Keanu Reeves'
"Johnny Mnemonic," a sort of warmup for "The Matrix."
In it, Dolph Lundgren plays a psychotic murderer who
shouts "Come to Jesus!" as he attacks people. What
subtlety! And then there's Jodie Foster's revisionist
"Anna and the King," which was so anxious to portray
Christianity as inferior to Buddhism that it set aside
the _other_ bedrock rule of political correctness, i.e.
women being superior to men, so that the Buddhist
male lead could be superior to the Christian female
lead. All of this is only a tiny sampling of how the hard
left has used entertainment to make Christianity look
bad--and I haven't even gotten into the attacks made
on the faith in university curricula!
After all those decades of unrestrained Christian-
bashing...after all the assaults on the most basic of
cultural components, like marriage...Christians have
had the nerve to re-elect a President on the basis of
their consciences...and so the George Soros crowd,
pouting over its defeat, whines that Christians are the
divisive troublemakers! They are emulating the evil
King Ahab, who falsely called Elijah "you troubler of
Israel," when it was Ahab himself who was causing
the trouble.
These Ahabs have suffered a setback, but they
are not quitting. They still place reliance on the
American people to be mentally lazy, susceptible
to manipulation. It is our duty as Christians--and this
is entirely compatible with our elementary gospel
testimony--to wake people up, to get them to pay
attention to what is really going on.
To get them to listen and THINK.

Yours for Jesus and America,
Joseph Richard Ravitts
Columbia, Maryland

Ut fidem praestem in difficultate!

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

A few weeks later, then, I wrote:

SOME THINGS CHRISTIANS
FAIL TO THINK ABOUT

This part could make a book by itself. Unfortunately,
if many Christian teachers undertook to write the book,
they would only succeed in bypassing and forgetting
the same things the readers were bypassing. The book
would be loaded with "stunning new revelations," like
saying that gossip is bad and that believers should
pray regularly. And it would be popular for a year or
two--until another book took its place, making the
same points on the same subjects, and leaving the
neglected truths as neglected as ever.
I shall try to be more useful here.
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard a pastor
call for "a return to the simplicity," I'd be able to build
a church myself. And I would make sure to recruit a
pastor who knows that life is complicated. In actual
practice, "returning to simplicity" often means just
letting the congregation stick with whatever is most
familiar to them (23rd Psalm, John 3:16, etc.), whether
or not this truly takes in all the essentials of Christian
doctrine and conduct. It's a path of least resistance.
It also tends to bring with it a damaging error:
the error of assuming that all the unbelievers one meets
are just backslidden church members, who should only
need a little urging to come back to church. This was
not even true forty years ago, let alone today. You'd
think that churches would get a clue, after four or five
revival campaigns fail to bring in any new converts.
Some, certainly, have gotten a clue, which is how the
"seeker service" came into being; but apart from the
debate on whether this type of service remains true to
the basics of salvation, still more is needed. We need
to be able to operate entirely outside the boundaries
of any organized worship service--out among the
highways and hedges.
Today's unbeliever does not merely need to make
a single 180-degree turn to see Jesus waiting right
behind him. He may need to retrace a long, twisting
series of wrong turns--left, right, upstairs, downstairs,
bridge, tunnel, alley, ramp and interchange--before
John 3:16 can even begin to make sense to him. And
we must be willing to meet him out in the boondocks
where gospel tracts are ignored. Shared secular
interests--work, sports, music, practically anything--
are the meeting-place where we must initially earn
a hearing, thereafter gradually leading the soul in a
God-ward direction. (If you meet an unbeliever who
is ready for John 3:16 at the first encounter, it is quite
likely that someone else did the hard part already,
which makes you the waterer, not the planter.)
Of course, this peripheral activity is not an end
in itself; we do want each soul to arrive at being able
to profit by God's Word. But we need to be as sure as
we can be that we are wielding that sword properly.
How many times I have heard fellow Christians insist
that any Bible-quoting they do is sure to bear fruit,
because God's Word "will not return void." But they
fail to consider that this declaration by God refers to
the original going forth of the Word from the Father's
thoughts through the Spirit's inspiration. Understood
thus, everything in Scripture already has accomplished
great things, long before our grandparents were born,
which fulfills the "not returning void" promise. That
promise is not a guarantee that our Bible-quoting
will never be sloppy and ineffective. In fact, I believe
that the meaning of Proverbs 26:7 includes clumsy
use of Scripture when it says, "Like a lame man's
legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth
of fools."
Now, although human intellectual speculation
("leaning unto thine own understanding," to cite one
of the favorite verses of simplicity addicts) is very well
known (i.e. some folks never tire of hammering at this
point) to be a leading cause of unproductive use of
Scripture, a refusal to do logical interpolation can also
impair our understanding. A good illustration is the
attitude commonly taken toward the Book of Job.
We are frequently told from the pulpit that Job's
experience proves that we should not ask God to give
us explanations of life's mysteries. It may even be said
that it is a sin, a form of unbelief, to ask for answers. A
pastor who doesn't want to tackle complex questions
himself has a ready-made motive to interpret Job in
this way. But such a pastor is overlooking one of those
facts which are "concealed" by their very obviousness.
Despite Job's lack of a full explanation for his
ordeal at the moment he "repented in dust and ashes,"
we all know exactly why he underwent such suffering.
We know, because the Book of Job tells us all about
Satan's challenge to God concerning Job. Yet it never
seems to occur to most of us--because we are taught
(not without some justification) to avoid filling in the
blanks with our own ideas--that the Book of Job (apart
from the ending that reports Job's peaceful death) may
have been written while Job himself was still alive, in
which case Job did get his explanation in this life. If
this is so, then the reason why the end of the book
does not feature God explaining everything to Job, is
that Job as much as anyone else could get the answer
from the beginning of the book!
The detractors of Christianity are fond of accusing
us of silencing discussion, of refusing to let questions
be raised. It is to our discredit that this accusation is
not always false. As Jesus went ahead and answered
the Apostles' questions at the Last Supper, so should
we be willing to hear questions and answer them if
we can. Likewise, we should not think it automatically
sinful to ask questions ourselves. We have no right to
demand answers from God; but it is not necessarily
wrong to request them. And the more we get over the
notion that God hates questions, the less likely we are
to give Christian-bashers any ammunition in this area.
Moving along, another area where non-Christians
are not always wrong to criticize us is the area of
MONEY. Here's a place where the cliche-thinker who
wrote the book would say that tithing is one of the
things which are not thought about enough--and he
would be missing the point. I've been in churches
where the pastors are almost incapable of addressing
any subject BUT the demand for more giving. Over
and over (to the delight of heathens who want to
think of us as greedy), they recite "Bring the full tithe
into the storehouse"--without thinking about just what
the storehouse was in the Old Testament.
Under the Mosaic covenant, the Tabernacle, or
later the Temple, was the ONLY focus of worship and
spiritual service. Apart from a few bands of prophets,
there was no such thing as a parachurch ministry.
This extreme centralization was part of God's program
to prevent Israel from confusing Him with false gods.
But in another instance of the obvious being too
obvious to notice, it so happens that there is no exact
modern counterpart of the unique Jerusalem Temple.
It is a purely arbitrary construct to claim that a church
is the only valid "storehouse," demoting things like
missionary projects to second-class status. Even within
the Mosaic Law there is support for the equal dignity
of parachurch ministries. Deuteronomy 26:12-14, a
passage much less popular with megachurch pastors
than Malachi 3:10, affirms that feeding the poor is just
as valid a fulfillment of the tithing obligation as paying
to enlarge and furnish the church building.
Now, the anti-Christian culture wants to believe that
every tithe-obsessed preacher simply is out to get rich
himself. This is more often false than true; but even
pastors who are not stuffing their own wallets need
to think the issue over in more depth before they start
congratulating themselves for not being greedy. A
minister who is too honest to commit sanctimonious
embezzlement may still be guilty of a subtler fault:
pride in his ability to raise funds. Though not living in
luxury himself, he may be inflating his ego by the size
of the offerings he obtains for his church--which gives
him a carnal motivation to believe, and to teach, that
giving to anything but his church "doesn't count."
Taking the trouble to do some thinking would also
do much to remedy the problem of conflict between
denominations. We need not compromise any of our
convictions to consider intelligently what causes other
groups may have to view things differently; we need
not assume ourselves to be wrong--it may be enough
if we can realize that another denomination is not
necessarily purposely serving the spirit of Antichrist
just because it doesn't agree with us.
Infant baptism is a concrete example. There is
nothing in Scripture that makes a positive case FOR
infant baptism, and I am convinced that God intended
the sacrament of baptism to be performed on persons
who did know what was going on. But this does not
prove that advocates of infant baptism are knowingly
rebelling against God. It's a question of hermeneutics,
which is the effort to understand what was the "aim"
of everything in the Bible. The books of the Bible all
were completed before Christianity was very big in
the Roman Empire; consequently, well-meaning
persons living when it was big, especially after its
legalization, could be pardoned for adopting a
hermeneutical position based on the great change
in conditions. They would have reasoned that the
new opportunity to build a whole gospel-based
civilization amounted to a very different situation
from the situation when the Apostles were baptizing
the very first generation of Christian converts. One
of the greatest perceived improvements would be
the ability of parents to be open and public about
seeking to ensure a Christian future for their children
--which would make infant baptism appear a logical
step. I do not ask my fellow evangelicals to say that
this was a correct step--only to concede that those who
instituted infant baptism just might not have done so
because they got up in the morning saying, "Hmmm,
how can I disobey God's Word today?"
This essay is in danger of expanding into a whole
book. I am going to limit myself to just one more case
of Christians failing to think about the obvious. I refer
to the exhaustive overuse of "If My people who are
called by My name," etc. The overlooked obvious
fact is that this passage was addressed ONLY TO THE
NATION OF ISRAEL. The last time I checked, neither
the United States nor any other Gentile nation was
the Chosen People of the Old Testament covenant.
It is perfectly true that if America uniformly rejects
God, it cannot expect to enjoy His blessings; but it
does not follow that national revival will guarantee
America's protection from harm. This is attested by
the history of nations which are NOT Israel. When the
Second World War began, for instance, there were
some wonderfully faithful and righteous Christians in
the Netherlands, the best-remembered of whom was
Corrie ten-Boom; but God did not make them immune
to being invaded by Nazis. This was in part because
God allows some of His children to suffer the results
of other people's moral failures. If Britain, France and
other strong nations had stood together to cut off Adolf
Hitler's ambitions in the bud as they could and should
have done, the Netherlands would have been spared.
We do not only suffer for our own faults; we are
also affected by the misdeeds and omissions of others.
This is called real life. God's Word is meant to help
us deal with multilayered questions in life, not to let
us pretend that all is two-dimensional. Instead of just
"returning to the simplicity," Christians need to tackle
the reality. If we, having the Holy Spirit, will not bother
to think matters through from every angle in this
complex world, who else will shoulder the task???

Yours for Jesus and America,
Joseph Richard Ravitts

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

On 27 December 2004,
just before my 53rd
birthday, I continued
the series as follows--


SOME THINGS THAT NOBODY
SEEMS TO THINK ABOUT

If two men are carrying a heavy sofa by holding
opposite ends, what will happen if one suddenly lets
go? If two women are playing tennis, and one simply
drops her racquet and walks away, will their game
continue? If two opera singers are singing a duet and
one suddenly begins shrieking curses, will the other
singer be unaffected? In every case, one party can
spoil things regardless of the other party acting in
good faith. You need both movers to carry the sofa,
both players to play tennis, and both singers to
perform the duet.
Anarchy is easier to produce than order.
Disruption is easier than cooperation.
This does not mean that good is inherently weak
as compared with evil; rather, it means that good is
aiming for something more ambitious and complex,
which calls for plural participation.
And that is why one of the most widespread, long-
enduring pieces of "common wisdom" is, and always
has been, completely wrong. I refer to the saying, "It
takes two to fight." While not technically untrue, since
of course a victim can be entirely unresisting even
while suffering violence, it is untrue in the whole set
of ideas for which it is the leading wedge--because
every evil deed or trend has to originate somewhere,
and it can originate without any prior and justifiying
provocation. Cain and Abel were NOT "equally guilty
for quarrelling;" God's Word states explicitly that Cain
in his egotism specifically hated Abel for doing right.
For that matter, what prior provocation did God give
Satan to justify his rebellion? (Satan's opinion on the
subject is definitely undeserving of acceptance.)
J.R.R. Tolkien understood this. That is why he had
his character Eowyn say to a pacifist, "It takes only one
foe to breed a war, not two; and those who have no
swords may still die upon them." Lord bless Peter
Jackson, but he was wrong to let himself be swayed
by political correctness when he adapted this speech
on film. He cut out the first and crucial half of Eowyn's
observation, and the half that remained was reduced
to a feminist line whose only point was about letting
women be armed as opposed to only men. Ironically,
the very same feminists who exult over Lady Eowyn
wielding a sword on Pelennor Fields would adamantly
insist that Miranda Otto, the actress who portrayed her,
should never be allowed to carry a handgun to defend
herself against real monsters on city streets.
Several years ago, when the major L.A. criminal
gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, were waging war on
each other, popular pacifism latched onto the "each
other" aspect of this bloodshed, as a way of promoting
the falsehood that "both sides are always equally to
blame in any conflict." If only these two equally-guilty
groups would stop fighting each other, all would be
peaceful. No one seemed capable of raising what
should have been an obvious question: "If Crips and
Bloods make peace with each other, and quit shooting
each other, will this not free both gangs to spend more
time robbing and killing defenseless honest people?"
If someone had raised this question while the Crips
and Bloods were still front-page news, then more
Americans might have begun to see more clearly
that a far bigger conflict was going on, which could
NOT be cast in terms of moral equivalence--the war
between civilization and barbarism.
One reason why this "both-sides-guilty" delusion
persists is that it allows frightened people to deceive
themselves that peace is attainable by means within
their power. If it really takes both sides to wage war,
then all you need to do is influence one side, and
peace is in reach. And if you only need to influence
one side, then it can be the side which is easier to
reason with. When Saddam Hussein was in power,
every informed person on Earth knew perfectly well
that he would torture and kill anyone he could get
his hands on who dared to protest against his warlike
actions. They also knew perfectly well that George
Bush would not have anyone punished for the mere
fact of disagreeing with his policies. So, through the
magic of liberal self-delusion, the leader who did
NOT murder dissenters became the sufficient target
of protest. And by the often-observed further working
of this magic, the hard left moved from both sides in
any conflict being equally guilty, to the decent and
civilized side being MORE EQUALLY GUILTY.
But not only do millions of Americans (to say
nothing of Europeans) fail to consider how irrational
these rationalizations are; they also fail to think about
something still more deeply buried. They fail to grasp
the fact that corrupted, fallen human nature produces
the condition I pointed out, in which interpersonal and
international cooperation are so vulnerable to upsets.
I have painful cause to be aware that a cancer victim
is not saved from cancer because some of her organs
are without malignancy. Healing requires ALL of the
vital parts to be healthy; death only needs to destroy
one vital part. Likewise, in a sin-stricken world, you
don't for a minute need everyone to be violent for
violence to afflict society, nor do you need everyone
to be disruptive or dishonest for confusion to spread.
And since this IS true, those who do seek to do right
are entitled to better treatment than being told that
they are exactly the same as those who intentionally
and happily do evil.
Speaking of being or not being the same: one
misguided assertion we endlessly hear is that hatred
and antagonism are always caused by us disliking
those who are different from us. But look back at the
Crips and Bloods. Were they fighting each other
because they were "different"? Au contraire, they
were fighting precisely because they were ALIKE.
Both gangs had the same selfish, predatory nature,
and both wanted supremacy in the very same fields
of rape and plunder. If conflict were invariably about
being different, the Crips and Bloods should have
been having a love-in.
Shortly before Christmas, I watched New Age guru
Deepak Chopra being interviewed on Fox News. His
purported wisdom regarding world conflict was to
say, "You cannot kill people unless you demonize
them." This was just a restatement of the cliche that
all evil supposedly is based on "hate"--a cliche very
closely related to the "being different" issue. Five
minutes of clear thinking ought to dispell this cliche
forever. Dictators do not need to "hate" the people
they enslave, to kill them by the thousands. Narcotics
dealers do not need to "hate" the addicts whose lives
they ruin. Dictators, narcotics dealers, and many other
evildoers do not need to start out from a condemning
view of others--only from a narcissistic view of
themselves. It is NOT "hate," but SELFISHNESS,
that produces great evil. When we see hate being
displayed by evildoers, that hate is the fruit, not the
root; it arises from previously-existing selfishness,
which hates those who thwart its desires.
But I can tell you why Deepak Chopra cast things
in terms of hatred. It was like a stage magician's art
of misdirection. If the guru allowed his duped hearers
to reflect on the truth I have stated in this essay, they
might come to realize that the self-adoring "I am God"
nonsense taught by New Agers is itself nothing more,
less or other than the same sinful selfishness which
lies at the root of ALL our problems. Deepak Chopra
has to keep us talking in terms of "hate," or we'll see
that he is promoting the disease as being the cure!
--and not in the sense of inoculation.
And there's still another thing New Age deceivers
don't want us to think clearly about. If we insist that
violent actions are always based on allegations of
moral fault in the victim, then we can be made to
believe--when it suits the deceivers to have us believe
this--that moral disapproval automatically signifies a
desire to do injury to the one of whom we disapprove.
When this false belief is in place, Christians can be
accused of intending violence if they so much as SAY
that, for example, homosexual child molesters are
morally bad. Only when this damnable nonsense is
welcomed can you see such monstrous absurdity as
ultra-leftwing newspapers claiming that a Christian
taking a moral position in words is exactly the same
as Al-Qaeda terrorists flying airliners into the World
Trade Center.
Western civilization has gone a very long way
down the suicidal path of choosing not to think about
things as they are. I don't know if it can ever come
back--which is to say, I don't know if what we see
now really is the necessary descent into the Antichrist
regime, which will only be reversed when Jesus
comes to destroy the Antichrist. Like King Tirian of
Narnia, we must keep on fighting as if that descent is
NOT yet inevitable. I think I have said enough to bring
this "Failures To Think" series to a conclusion. After
all, everything I write under the "Empowered For
Freedom" heading is intended to get people thinking
as they should--and then acting on it.

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger Joseph Ravitts said...

Moving on to another subject, here
is my attempt to preserve for my
readership the last "front page"
article ever presented on the old
website I shared with my deceased
first wife Mary. I wrote this in
October of 2003...

___ WHAT ARNOLD ACHIEVED

Conservative Republicans are disappointed that the governorship of the Flakey State could not have been taken by someone with a firm grasp of basic moral principles, like the right of defenseless pre-born babies not to be murdered for sheer convenience. But since that really was too much to hope for at present, we should take notice of what really is the bright side of the Terminator's victory.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is with liberals at least as much as he is against them; in particular, he joins them in favoring pre-birth child-murder, and special privileges for homosexuals. But the very fact that he is as liberal as he is makes his experience instructive to us in a way that no conservative candidate's experience would be.

It would be no surprise for ultra-leftists to hate and attack a genuine conservative. But when Mr. Schwarzenegger concedes numerous major issues to the left, and _still_ gets pilloried by the leftwing media as if he were a rightwing radical, that tells us something about the present-day character of the Democratic Party. It is precisely the Democrats, the pretended champions of "inclusiveness," who are the rigidly intolerant people. They will not accept ANY deviation from their leftwing dogma; disagree with them on even a few points, and they will detest you. This fact, which is proven beyond any dispute by the way Schwarzenegger was attacked and smeared by desperate Left Coast socialists, needs to be understood--by us, and by anyone whom we can induce to listen.

Bill O'Reilly of the FoxNews cable channel has become an illustration of the same truth. O'Reilly is not at all a hardline conservative; he is, for instance, very favorably disposed toward homosexuals, and he has sharply criticized real conservatives like Ann Coulter. But that's not good enough for hyper-liberals like the woman who interviewed him with unwarranted rudeness on the public radio program "Fresh Air;" as long as he holds ANY less-than-Marxist views on any subject, he is their enemy and will be treated so.

Speaking of FoxNews, it's been interesting to observe how many doctrinaire leftists in the comic strip industry have tried to smear that entire network in the same way as their broadcasting allies have smeared Schwarzenegger and O'Reilly. The "Non Sequitir" strip claimed that anyone who watched FoxNews must be so stupid as to be unable to tell the difference between a horse and a dog. A "Bizarro" cartoon showed a caricature-fundamentalist preacher speaking on behalf of FoxNews as if it were his god. The race-baiting strip "The Boondocks" had its hero say that he wished Ann Coulter, a FoxNews contributor, would be beaten to a pulp by a black woman twice her size. And an installment of "Doonesbury" represented a FoxNews promo spot as saying, "We decide, you concur"
--as if it were the conservative side that was allowing no dissent, a suggestion which "Doonesbury's" creator knows is a lie. FoxNews not only employs liberals like Alan Colmes, Greta van Susteren and Mara Liasson, but gives plenty of air time to leftist charlatans like Susan Estrich and Charlie Rangel; yet anything less than 100% fealty to the McGovern Wing is treated by Garry Trudeau as being equal to membership in the Ku Klux Klan.

Of course, we could fill our whole website with examples of Trudeau's willful dishonesty. It's a marvel that anyone in America still imagines him to have any moral credibility. Consider a very recent instance of his abrasive Bush-bashing:

In an attempt to convince us that he was restating a profound point which proved his anti-Bush case conclusively, Trudeau had his characters yell at the reader, in large lettering, that Saddam Hussein's government was not the instigator of the 9-11-2001 attacks on the USA. This, all by itself, was supposed to make us agree that Mr. Bush could not have had any valid reason for liberating Iraq. Hmmm... For the benefit of all readers whose knowledge of history has been filtered by public schools, I'd better mention here that no German airplanes took part in the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, only Japanese ones. By Trudeau's own reasoning, this fact is enough to prove that Nazi Germany was not America's enemy, and we had no cause ever to fight Hitler. But in the real world, as opposed to the comic-strip world, Iraq WAS involved in the FIRST attack on the World Trade Center in 1993; and Saddam Hussein subsequently DID give aid and shelter to Al-Qaeda terrorists. Garry Trudeau has the same access to this information as we do; innocent ignorance has nothing to do with his premeditated lying. This lying, like the lying of so many other ultra-leftists, is motivated by a spoiled-brat insistence that they must have everything their own way, or else it's "not fair."

Media liberals can be very cunning about disguising their bias. For instance, I recently heard Sam Donaldson claim that he could prove there was no favoritism in the press corps--because Bill Clinton, as well as Republican presidents, considered himself to have been treated roughly by journalists. Donaldson was hoping that we wouldn't think about the fact that Clinton did far more to deserve sharp criticism from the media than the presidents before or after him--and at the same time, was far more inclined than those before or after him to complain like a self-centered adolescent if he didn't get his way absolutely. Relative to how much each deserved bad press, Clinton did get a free ride as compared to Reagan or either Bush. Clinton's complaint proves nothing like what Sam Donaldson tried to make it prove...whereas the fact that Clinton is not currently residing in a federal penitentiary (not for "only sex," but for accepting bribes to help the Red Chinese obtain our missile technology) proves that he has been treated far more leniently than he deserves.

Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger is unfortunately not the only celebrity to dangle a little hope of conservative ethics in front of us and then snatch it away. Do you remember how TV actress Patricia Heaton gained applause from Christians for refusing to be part of a broadcast that featured foul language? Well, since then, as if she couldn't wait to get rid of those uncool morality cooties, she has made a point of being publicly seen acting very chummy with stylish homosexuals.

Homosexual radicals have gone far beyond "equal rights;" they are determined to be an unchallengeable aristocracy, allowed to set the terms of every debate as they please, and allowed to redefine the most basic human relationships as they please. If you dare to contradict them on any subject, they'll smear you as a "hate-filled homophobe." When a gay fashion designer is murdered
BY A FELLOW HOMOSEXUAL, the gay community refuses to consider any possibility that something about the gay lifestyle may lend itself to crimes of passion; but let a young homosexual in Wyoming be murdered by heterosexual goons--who don't even claim to be Christians!--and the gay radicals make a fabulous leap of illogic, to call this crime proof that the Christian faith inherently encourages murder!

Gays, of course, are only one part of the culture of self-indulgence which is rotting the foundations out from under America. It's a red-blooded heterosexual, Michael Schiavo in Florida, who has convinced himself that he has a right to kill his wife Terri, although she is NOT, repeat NOT in a "vegetative state," in order to remove an encumbrance from his chosen life of adultery. But unlike the Florida judge who has played along with Mr. Schiavo, the True Judge cannot be corrupted...and He has an extremely unpleasant surprise in store for Mr. Schiavo when that promise-breaker arrives in eternity!

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger Joseph Ravitts said...

This is going well. I'm even
finding, to pleasant surprise,
that I can relocate items here
whose original form was as
light-colored lettering on
dark background. Thus, I now
bring in what I think is the
oldest article to be still
visible on the old website.
I wrote this in about 1997.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

*** THE GREAT EITHER-OR

Suppose that a helicopter is carrying you into a country completely unknown to you. While still high in the air, you see below you a gigantic pile of ruins: a great stone structure newly demolished, the dust of its collapse only now settling. Tiny human figures are swarming over the rubble, but you are too far away to see their faces or get any impression of their emotions.

The pilot of your helicopter tells you, "That place was a horrible prison, a dungeon of tyranny and injustice. Those people you see are the prisoners, now liberated from an undeserved confinement. The destruction of their prison was the best thing that could have happened to them; now they're free!" But the copilot immediately contradicts him: "Nonsense! That structure was a fortress, which protected those people from their enemies; it also contained the only modern hospital in a five- hundred-mile radius. Having that refuge didn't mean that those people were prisoners---and losing it is a frightful disaster for them!"

Your pilot and copilot cannot both be equally right. The only way to know which of their explanations, if either, is more accurate, is to land the helicopter and investigate more closely. The "Empowered For Freedom" site is here to help you investigate.

If that unknown country is the U.S.A., the demolished structure is that general consensus on Biblical doctrine and morality which sustained our country from its founding until sometime this century. We say "sometime," because the spiritual structure of the U.S.A. was not shattered at a single stroke; rather, it was eroded and undermined. Many citizens nowadays will tell you that this Judeo-Christian consensus was a prison, unnaturally restraining people, and that Americans are better off without it. But we, and many others of both sexes and all races, maintain that it was our fortress, indeed the very foundation of American law and liberty; and that unless it is rebuilt, our individual freedoms are doomed to be lost. Both views cannot be equally true. Either a cruel dungeon, or a saving shelter; it's in your best interests to determine which it was.

Before anyone objects that this choice is too simplistic, let me show one of the complications myself: what I call a "three-sided dualism." The Biblical worldview has always had two major classes of competition: the belief in false gods, and the belief in no gods. Insofar as these two rivals of the truth are also rivals to each other, each will have its own take on the wrecking of the fortress--actually confusing the other falsehood with the Biblical view! Thusly:

A worshipper of false gods--for instance, your standard-model California New Age occultist--may regard Christianity and scientific materialism as allies to each other--strange news to the Christian and the materialist!---because the Christian and the materialist both use organized logic, and both reject the idea of casting magic spells. The occultist, therefore, will believe that he/she beholds the wreckage of atheistic science right alongside the rubble of Christianity in the demolished edifice, and consider it good riddance to both. Meanwhile, the atheist-materialist believes that the Christian and the occultist are more allied to each other than either is to science--because, of course, the Christian and the occultist both believe in supernatural powers at which the materialist scoffs. The materialist, therefore, sees the ruined fortress as the tomb of two supernatural approaches that are both long outdated and worthless.

It is, however, the Christian who actually stands farther removed from the atheist and the pagan than either of those is from the other...because no two false beliefs can be so profoundly separate from each other as all falsehoods are separate from truth. Any Christian adequately educated in history understands that materialism and counterfeit supernaturalism both helped break up the foundations of America's traditional worldview. So, when Christians try to rebuild a morally upright society, although we need not be so hostile to non-Christian involvement as Nehemiah was to the non-Jews who pretended to offer help in rebuilding Jerusalem (intending to sabotage the work), we must deal with non-Christians having a distorted understanding of what it was that collapsed, and what needs to be rebuilt.

To any non-Christian supernaturalist who reads this, I would say: if you've come this far without quitting the site in a huff, you probably are not someone who consciously desires to sabotage truth. Still, you need to be getting spiritual guidance from the right source--the Word of God--if your good intentions are ever to produce genuinely good results. And to the scientific materialist who's made it to this paragraph, I would say: if you even hope to achieve _material_ good in this life, you'd better work on your intellectual honesty. By this I mean that the materialist dismisses every form of faith held by the recognizably religious--yet the materialist himself/herself also operates on faith: faith in whatever scientific theory is in fashion at the moment.

For my part, I did not become a Christian without first considering the merits both of materialism and of occultism. As you continue through our website, I hope that by God's grace Mary and I will be able to show you that the Christian agenda for society is viable and beneficial--because Christianity itself is true and reasonable, not a thing of empty fantasy. So land your helicopter, and get down to digging for the evidence of what I say. In reality, those whose hearts are in Heaven are those who also do the best job of getting down to earth.

 
At 4:17 AM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

Back to the present:

Now that Mary is up in Heaven and
I'm married to Janalee, I expect
to make use of Janalee's own
dramatic testimony of God's grace
in her life, after we've had time
to discuss how to tell it. I will
say that God's hand was plainly
evident in our coming together.

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger Joe B. Whitchurch said...

Joseph, you are putting all your blog posts in the section of your blog that is for people to make comments on the first, original, post.

Here is how to fix this. Go back to your home blog page at
http://empowered-anti-nonsense.blogspot.com/

Then at the top RH side click on 'get your own blog'. Login. Then look under the tab called Post in the upper LH side and select 'Create' to make a New Post, like the cat woman, or the D-Code, or 'Things Nobody Seems to Think About', etc and this way bloggers can see your various ideas on the frontpage of your blog. The blog will even make a TOC for them on the RH side of the frontpage of your blog.

This will help bloggers limit comments to just that one article they are reading. Better management. Is this helpful?

On the page with Post and Create, you can also choose 'template' and seach inside the box with the html code and following the code formating (it is unforgiving if you make a mistake so if you do and don't remember how to fix just logout without saving) you can edit the RH column that says 'blog me' or 'edit me' or 'google' and put in your own links and favorite blogs etc. Hope this also helps and makes all this less tricky.

You can make the changes above and not have to 'save the entire blog' but only 'save indexes' or something like this to save that work. All the best...

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Joseph R. Ravitts said...

Yes, Joe W., it is helpful; I just
have not had time to think about
how to organize the blog better.
_If_ it doesn't take much time,
I'll see if I can do what you
have advised.

 
At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting ideas on color schemes and layout for my site. Got some good ideas here, thanks. My site if interested - fireplace harris

 

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