Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Significance...

Chely Wright, the country singer sings in her song Unknown:
 
I don't want to be unknown
The little things that make me who I am
I need to share
I need to know that someone cares
That I drink coffee black
That I sing when I drive
That I sleep with the TV on
More then anything
I don't want to be unknown
 
...
 
Unknown
I don't want to be unknown
The little things that make me who I am
I need to share
I need to know that someone cares
 
That I write down my dreams
That I love when it rains
I burn candles when I'm alone
More then anything
I don't want to be unknown
More then anything
No one wants to be unknown
 
I was listening to this song in the car the other day, and it dawned on me that no one wants to be unknown. Being unknown signals that we are insignificant to others and as a result we are worthless; we have no value.
 
Now, I live in South Africa and here there are beggars on almost every street corner. There are also many (sometimes as many as 30 people standing on these street corners) trying to sell something to us from newspapers, to pirate DVDs, to sunglasses, clothes hangers and a host more. What struck me was that when these informal sales people (ISP) approach vehicles, most of these occupants would simply ignore these ISPs. I don't know if you have ever tried to get someone's attention but were simply ignored. It is like a slap in the face. You feel like you are insignificant in their eyes. I am sure that this is exactly what these ISPs feel when they are ignored. When our significance is denied it is our own sense of dignity that gets eroded.
 
Sure, there are many problems caused by these ISPs. They sell stolen goods and many of them have grabbed handbags and cell phones from vehicles waiting for the light to change to green. The very existence of these ISPs in South Africa is a blot against the South African government's ability to deal with two major issues in this country: crime and unemployment.
 
It is not now the time to start blaming the government for these issues, even though I believe that the blame rests squarely on their very soft shoulders. The point that I want to make is that we should as citizens of our various countries try to make changes on the micro level--person to person. What will it cost me to smile at an ISP and to say "no thank you?" Politeness and friendliness cost absolutely nothing.
 
The golden rule has not changed: Treat others as you would want them to treat you! It is no wonder that our world is where it is. We show no respect to others. We all want to be number ONE! Of course the philosophy of number ONE is that only number ONE counts and all must be done to elevate number ONE above all others. If we can all start to help one another instead of just ourselves this world will definitely be a better place.
 
Just thinking...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Microsoft did not support gay-rights bill

I am a great fan of Microsoft (MS) products, and those who always have a million and one bad things to say about those products probably know nothing about them, but have fallen into the international Microsoft bashing parade. However, this is not what I want to bring to your attention today.
 
The New York Times of April 21, 2005 reported that MS withdrew its support for a Washington state bill that would have barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Even though I do not support many of MS's policies such as supporting organisations that perform abortions on demand, I think that we need to take our hats off to MS and give them the proverbial pat on the back for standing up under severe pressure from the 2-4% homosexuals in the US. Whatever their real reasons are, they did the right thing!
 
Gays have now tried for a really long time to change US laws to benefit themselves and put everybody else on the back seat. Laws like these will lead to laws even worse. It will not stop at trying to prevent discrimination against sexual orientation, but it will start claiming that anyone speaking against that abhorrent lifestyle should be jailed for "hate speech!" This effectively will put a stop to free speech in the US.
 
What are gays thinking, wanting to bring in preferential laws like this for themselves? Are they any more special than prostitutes, men who have sex with prostitutes, adulterers or even those involved in bestiality? You see, when the gays get their law instituted, the rest of these will just follow. The next thing to become normative would be people having sex with animals (bestiality), pedophilia, prostitution and much more! It will indeed be a dark day for the US when this happens.
 
What is this sexual orientation anyhow? Have you ever heard of a fish being anything else but a fish? Maybe a fish that is more oriented to being a human! I am a man. My God-given orientation is to be a man. However, Satan has its own version of things that are really perversions. Homosexuality and lesbianism are just some of it. Adultery, transvestitism, transsexualism, bisexuality and bestiality are more perversions brought into modern society by the devil and his free-thinking cronies!
 
Just thinking...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Schism in the Catholic Institution?

It always amazes me that people will join a group or company or marry someone knowing the predefined contracts and rules necessary to join, but once they are in they want everything changed!
 
With Cardinal Ratzinger's election to pope, many--like the Women's Ordination Conference--are already dismissing him as someone who will further divide the church. They claim that the Catholic hierarchy is out of touch with the people in the pew. Allegedly, over two-thirds of US Catholics support women's ordination in the 1500 year old institution. Have they ever thought of the possibility, nay... probability, that over two-thirds of US Catholics are out of touch with God? Just because some feminists, and others who have abdicated in their adherence to the Bible, have decided that women's ordination is correct does not make it so!
 
Gay groups have come out to say that they are dismayed at the election of Ratzinger. According to them Jesus is the loving Good Shepherd who reaches out to the ones separated from the flock while Ratzinger is decidedly anti-gay. Sure, Jesus does reach out to sinners, but he requires that they repent. Without true repentance there is no salvation or forgiveness! Gays feel alienated from the church because of the new pope. Have they ever thought that perhaps they have alienated themselves from the church through their despicable behaviour? Na-ah! They have rewritten the laws of the Bible to suit their own abominable ways.
 
The Human Rights Campaign hopes that the pope will express love and compassion to all. Love and compassion does not equate to acceptance of sin! It will be the duty of the pope, in fact a Biblical mandate, to call sin what it is... SIN! If the pope capitulates to the demands of these depraved groups, then he will prove himself not to be a man of love and compassion. It is his duty to warn people of the approaching cliff and to hedge them away from it! This is how love works! It warns others of impending danger, and when it has the authority, it lso ensures their safety by stipulating proper boundaries!
 
The Human Rights Campaign would welcome positive conversation with the pope. All I can say is that the most positive conversation will follow the following lines:
 
"REPENT!"
"Yes, Lord!"
It is amazing that the Rev. Troy D. Perry, a homosexual activist and moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches calls the new pope one of the most homophobic religious leaders in the world. I would rather say that gays are especially hagiophobic. They have an intense fear of living holy lives. They have no fear of God.
 
The Bible is clear that wisdom and knowledge are preceded by the fear of God.
 
Just thinking...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Killing people using euphemisms

Terri Schiavo came she saw and was conquered. Conquered by a society and a system that no longer upholds the sanctity of life. Western society is obsessed with "choices" instead of life.

"Choice" has become a value to this society. This value of "choice"--which is merely a euphemism for selfishness--has murdered over 40 million babies in the USA since 1973 alone.

As Charles Colson writes:

"'Choice' over what to do with one's own body became the defining value of the 1970s and 1980s--all the while ignoring the fact that choice itself cannot possibly be a value and that value depends on what is chosen."[1] [emphasis by original author]

This culture of choice has gone so far that it has chosen the death of a woman who did not deserve to die. Sure, we will all die one day and we all deserve to die one day and stand before the judgement seat of God. However, none of us deserves to be condemned by the very system that was created to protect and serve the innocent. But, in the new America with a country ruled by despots called judges none is safe anymore. Then on the other hand, as the old saying goes, we deserve the government set over us.

So, why does the US have the government it has? I don't mean a Republican or a Democratic led government. Why does it have a government run by judges bent on the destruction of the true American way? America has slowly but surely turned its back on its past. A past filled with the Bible and personal moral accountability. The founding fathers of the US built their country on this foundation. However, there are many "reinterpreters" today wanting to sever all ties with the proper meaning of the US Constitution and its resultant laws. Udo Middelmann, in his introduction to Schaeffer's Death in the City, explains:

"Turning from the clear teaching of the Bible will not give us a vacuum to be freely filled with personal religious views or preferences. Instead there will be both the experience of the wrath of God and the experience of painful human and even stupid intellectual consequences. The removal of the biblical roots to our life and thought will necessarily dry up the many fruits we have treasured in the past in the form of a responsible, ethical, and creative society."[2]

One of these "stupid intellectual consequences" is how Terri Schiavo was treated by her husband, the courts and even the media. Seeing Michael Schiavo as the devoted husband wanting to rid his wife of a life of misery and pain is like calling Hitler a humanitarian! The courts on the other hand were absolutely despicable! Why would the courts not put any value on hearsay in murder trials, but when it came to Terri Schiavo's will to live or die, that is about the only thing that the courts used to sentence her to death? According to Terri's adulterous husband, more than fifteen years ago, in a casual conversation, Terri allegedly said that in such a situation she would rather die. Right up to the US Supreme Court, the majority of judges--may God have mercy on their souls!--agreed to send Terri Schiavo to her certain death! The only moral fibre that these judges have is that which exists in a golf ball! And the media... What can be said about them? If ever there was an inkling of a conspiracy against life and morality we can find it here. In all their flash polls they did with the American people, the Americans apparently overwhelmingly said that Terri should have been left to die and that the American government should not have tried to intervene. What they do not tell us is that in their polls they have already fed the American people so much misinformation and that their polling questions were set up to get the desired answers. In the week after Terri Schiavo's death, Zogby, a professional polling organisation, did a poll with proper information about the real situation surrounding Terri Schiavo's needs and death. The result was overwhelming. Americans did not want Terri's feeding tubes to be removed and they wanted the government to intervene. Even after Terri Schiavo's death, the highly regarded Time magazine still harpooned the American mind with the drivel of the polls performed by the media. Joe Klein, in his article A New Idea for Democrats: Democracy, wrote that the [Republican] government in signing "the Schiavo legislation all found their just rewards in the polls that revealed an overwhelming public disgust with the political shenanigans."[3] The Zogby poll has proven this notion to be completely false.

We can define a pro-life statement as follows: Protecting the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. This includes opposing abortion and euthanasia; however, it is not necessary to prolong human life artificially.

The constitution gives no right to anyone to kill innocent human beings. Apparently the judges felt otherwise. Neither is there any explicitly stated right to privacy in the US Constitution. It seems that many in the US believe that a person's right to privacy precludes a person's right to life! So, whatever Michael Schiavo wanted to do in the privacy of his relationship with Terri had nothing to do with anyone else. However, these people conveniently forget that Michael Schiavo had to involve other people (doctors) in his murderous mission! Yet, on the other hand, since when could I murder someone in the privacy of my home without the government wanting to hold me responsible for that act? The categorically stated right to life in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments of the US Constitution clearly takes precedence over any privacy issues. According to the Declaration of Independence we are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life.

There is no mercy in killing a sufferer. Killing deformed infants and adults who are suffering does not avoid suffering, but it rather inflicts the suffering of death. Avoiding suffering through euthanasia cannot be justified since the end does not justify the means. Killing the innocent is evil and not good.

Many claim that a person should be able to decide when he wants to die by which method. Physical illness affects the mind and the body. As a result, these stressful situations always lead to difficulty in coming to a well-adjusted decision. Patients may one day want to die and another day want to live. Which day will be reckoned as his final decision?

It is far too easy for voluntary euthanasia to slip into involuntary euthanasia. It is necessary to continue making the elderly and the sick feel "valued" in order to make them value themselves. Failing to do this may make them feel valueless leading them to feel obligated to ask for euthanasia so as not to be a burden.

The last time I checked no one in my family carries a price tag. Perhaps if I owned the mafia a lot of money! Should euthanasia be legalised because it will relieve the family and society from extreme financial strain? According to this rationale we should protect and preserve life only if we can afford it! This is certainly not moral thinking but materialistic. How can we put material value on a spiritual life made in God's image? Thinking that euthanasia will alleviate society of a great burden overlooks the fundamental value of a human life.

There are two types of passive euthanasia: unnatural passive euthanasia--withholding natural means of life support in order to allow a person's death; natural passive euthanasia--withholding unnatural life support to allow a person's death.

Unnatural passive euthanasia is the deliberate withholding of natural means in order to maintain human life. This would include withholding water, food and air. Unnatural means include respirators and artificial organs. As a result, starving someone is called passive euthanasia, but allowing that person's death due to starvation makes one responsible for taking that person's life, which is morally evil. Such an act leads directly to that person's death, which then amounts to negligent homicide. On the other hand, withholding unnatural means, leads only indirectly to the person's death. Natural passive euthanasia is a morally justified category of passive euthanasia.

Unnatural passive euthanasia and active euthanasia directly cause death. Therefore, from a Christian viewpoint, it is morally unacceptable since it rejects God's sovereignty over human life. These means of euthanasia attempt to preempt God of His sovereign right over human life. Since human life is made in the image and the likeness of God it is sacred. Because of the sacredness of human life we ultimately attack God when we kill another person.

Suicide is also a rejection of God's sovereignty over life and an attack on the sanctity of life. God is sovereign over human life whether this life belongs to us or someone else, since it is still created in God's image. Whether euthanasia (not natural passive euthanasia) is self-inflicted or imposed by someone else, it remains a form of homicide. Even the few cases of suicide mentioned in the Bible are condemned by God.

Euthanasia is an intrinsic humanistic ethic. This can be clearly seen from Humanist Manifesto II. Euthanasia denies the divine ownership to life. A secular humanistic ethic rejects God's ownership to life and therefore destroys the barriers that protect human life.

Geisler points out:

"When we do not respect life before birth, it affects our attitude toward life after birth. When we do not respect the dying, it affects our attitude toward the living."[4]

The very same case can be made for killing mentally and physically handicapped infants after birth as can be made for killing them before birth. Abortion and euthanasia go hand in hand. How do these two go hand in hand? Abortion leads to a disproportionately ageing problem, and as result euthanasia becomes the solution to the economic problems caused by abortion.

Terri Schiavo had an unalienable right to life, and the very "reinterpreters" of the law that were supposed to protect her against selfish adulterers like Michael Schiavo, sentenced her to an agonising death by starvation.

My wish and prayer is that the US government will not allow this to happen again. It is now the time, while this case is still fresh in everybody's mind to set about to enact watertight laws that cannot simply be overthrown by judges who themselves act illegally by scrapping legal laws.

Since killing someone by starvation is obviously a homicide, I wish someone will have the guts to sue the relevant judges--from judge Greer up to those in the Supreme Court--together with the relevant senators who voted not to save Terri Schiavo; including the medical staff who disconnected the feeding tube and most of all Michael Schiavo, for the murder of Terri Schiavo. In this case, the notion that government officials cannot be sued while performing official duties must be challenged.

How could people have been so spineless to have followed a command that was so obviously immoral and therefore had no legal grounds?

------------------------------------
[1] Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, How now shall we live?, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, 1999, p120.
[2] Francis A. Schaeffer, Death in the City, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 2002, p12.
[3] Time, April 11, 2005, Vol. 165, No. 15, p51.
[4] Norman L. Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1989, p166.
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