Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Heed the message, whatever you think of the messenger
A good old-fashioned sermon below
I have seen the effect an old fashioned revival can have on a community. I have seen lives changed, for the better, in a moment of introspection keyed by something that raspy-voiced old bible thumping preacher said, or a single line of scripture that burned with the intensity of a laser deep into the heart and soul of a person weighed down by the cares and woes of a life squandered.
I have seen, first-hand, those “redeemed” people pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and begin to rebuild it, restore it, and honor it. I have seen this – and it left a life long impression on this scribe.
So – what did I learn? I learned an extremely important truth. It does not matter who the messenger is, what matters is – the message. The power is not in the messenger. The power is in the message. And if that message is truth, then, them believe me when I tell you, freedom is close behind.
Our nation is in dire straits. In my seventy years of life, I have seen America go from a God-fearing nation to a “fearing” nation. Of all those hell fire and brimstone preachers I was exposed to as a child, not a single one of them wore a bulletproof vest, as I believe Mr. Beck did last Saturday. (A faint outline of the vest was visible through Mr. Beck’s shirt. At least, that is what I took it to be.) That, alone, speaks volumes about the state of our country.
Another thing I learned as a youth was this truth: God uses people who are broken, who have failed, who have buckled under the stress of their lives, who are physically imperfect, and who are reluctant to stand out from the crowd, even for a moment, even to work great wonders.
Yes, Moses had a speech impediment. He was reluctant to go back to Egypt where he was a wanted man – wanted for murder. He asked that his brother Aaron be sent instead of him. In the end, he went — and the rest, as they say, is history (at least bible history, anyway.) In the New Testament book of Hebrews chapter 13, verse 31, the writer says the following: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Consider that Mr. Beck may have fallen into the hands of the living God. Look at the life history of the Apostle Paul. Early in his life he took on the task of destroying the early Christian church. After his experience on the Damascus Road, he became the messenger of the gospel to all the Gentiles of the world including those of us who live today, 2000 years later.
I watched the entire telecast of the Restoring Honor Rally, last Saturday, and within ten minutes I exclaimed to my wife that I recognized it as an old-fashioned outdoor revival meeting. Because that is exactly what it was. And, I hasten to add – I don’t see that as a problem.
In the Old South, dishonoring a man could cost you your life. The man whose honor was questioned could demand satisfaction and, more often than not, the debate was settled by a duel to the death on the Field of Honor.
Honor was, and ought to be, a precious thing. The honor of a nation is a mirror image of the honor of that nation’s people. Our very own leaders have called our honor, as Americans, into question. The people are now demanding satisfaction. As was said at the Restoring Honor Rally, Now is not the time to fundamentally change America, now is the time to RESTORE America.
Look, I do not walk in lock step with Mr. Beck, or with any man or woman. Anyone who knows me personally will tell you that of all the birds perched on the power line facing north; I am the lone bird facing south. It is my nature.
I would ask only this: Consider the message from Saturday’s rally. Restoring America’s honor is restoring America. The restoration of America is vital, not just to Americans but to the nations of the world. Consider which nation will slip into the leadership position that America gives up. THAT is truly frightening.
The restoring Honor Rally, last weekend, sent chills of fear through the ranks of the leftists, progressives, liberals, and the very few real democrats left in our government. They have now seen the evidence of just how far they have distanced themselves from the American people. When half a million people journey to the nation’s seat of government to PERSONALLY register a protest, any reasonable person would have to take notice and reconsider the course they have plotted for America. But they won’t.
I submit that half a million gathered on the national mall Saturday was just the vanguard of a nationwide movement retake America from those who are determined to “fundamentally change” her from the constitutional republic The Founders meant her to be into a socialist sewer.
They must be stopped. The Mid-Term Election, on November 2nd. That is our new “D” day.
You may not care for the messenger – but, for the sake of America, for your sake, heed of the message.
A real grassroots protest
Not like the rent-a-crowd "demonstrations" regularly mounted by a small cadre of Leftists
Hugh Hewitt interprets the tremendous support for the Palin/Beck gathering on the Mall last weekend: It's a way for regular people to tell the elites "enough!" -- that it's time to "rewind and restart" the last two years. In my view, what we are witnessing is a collective gag reflex from the body politic at the policy poison we've been force-fed over the past two years.
Indeed, the Obama administration regularly affronts the good sense and good judgment of more than two-thirds of Americans; the most recent example? Its decision to report to the UN the federal government's suit against Arizona's immigration law as an example of the protection of "human rights."
When Jeanne Kirkpatrick decried the "blame America first" orientation of the left, this is exactly what she meant. The Obama administration can't bring itself to discuss the links between terrorism and radical Islam, but is willing to denounce one of the United States for a law that does nothing but attempt to protect a state's security and sovereignty from illegal immigrants.
America repudiated the "blame America first" approach before, and will do so again. Soon. And it can't come soon enough.
Obama's Fictitious "Moderate Muslim Majority"
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “story” as ‘an imaginary account of real people and events’ and ‘a yarn’. President Barack Obama has long dispensed the following fiction to Americans: the Muslim world is divided between “radicals” and “moderates.” Unfortunately, this narrative is at the forefront of US foreign policy, and its lack of basis in reality is leading to the failure of US efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, while raising a false sense of security at home.
Television news provides daily graphic depictions of "radical Muslims." However, if they really exist, where are the "moderate Muslims" that President Obama speaks of so often? Americans are left to imagine what "moderate Muslims" look like, where they might be located, and whether they have organizations with websites they can visit. And, if there are "radical Muslims" and "moderate Muslims,” mustn’t there also be "liberal Muslims? Why doesn’t CNN cover those “liberal Muslim” pro-Israel street demonstrations?
In fact, there are no such groups as “radical Muslims” or “moderate Muslims.” These designations do not exist in the Islamic world. These terms were invented in recent times only because Islamic goals and values are not understood or shared by the West.
In the early 1900's, Europeans began referring to Islam as “Muhammadism,” and Muslims as “Muhammadans,” incorrectly assuming the Prophet Muhammad had the same role in Islam that Jesus did in Christianity. To this day, misunderstandings continue: Westerners describe the mosque as a “Muslim church,” equate the Muslim Friday to the Christian Sunday, refer to the Koran as the “Muslim Bible,” and believe sheiks to be “Muslim priests.”
Westerners also incorrectly group Muslims politically, using Western terms such as “moderate,” “conservative,” and “radical.” So different are Western and Muslim world views, that identical words can have two different meanings. In the West, “freedom” is the right of individuals to participate in the formation, conduct, and lawful removal of governments from power - the basis of constitutionalism and parliamentary government.
For the Islamic world, “freedom” means “independence”from foreign rule, which they equate with “tyranny.” In the West, the opposite of tyranny is “freedom.” In Islam, the opposite of tyranny is “justice.” For Muslim thinkers, “justice” is the ideal, and justice distinguishes good leaders from bad leaders. For the majority of Muslims, bad leaders are those who have Western values and are allied with the West. The rise to power of Islamist political parties everywhere free elections are held in the Middle East speaks volumes.
Because the West considers its development of “separation of church and state” and "secularism" as the highest evolution of humanity, those not sharing Western values are dismissed as “radical,” or essentially “nuts.” Though lacking a shred of evidence, President Obama insists there exists a “vast majority” of “moderate Muslims” who do share Western values. After all, part of the “story” is that "radical Muslims" are just a small group of former "moderate Muslims" who have been "radicalized," as one can become a "radical Muslim" only through brainwashing.
A more accurate description of political loyalties in the Islamic world is that the majority of Muslims are either active or passive supporters of the movement of Islamism. The movement for Islamic Revival or “Islamism,” is an indigenous, grass-roots movement championed by both poor and educated Muslims throughout the Muslim world. "Islam is the solution!" is the Islamist call to action against Westernization and secular governments in the Muslim world, which provide the masses with little hope or future.
Islamists do not consider themselves to be revolutionaries, in the sense of revolution changing society in a new way. Rather, Islamists strive to rebuild internally by applying traditional principles to reestablish the past strength and glory of Islam. A return to success necessitates the purification of Islamic society from secular government systems, legislation, and institutions borrowed from or imposed by the West.
For Islamists, political upheaval, if needed by the sword, is a necessary part of the purification of their society, hundreds of years in the making. Islamism advocates the implementation of Shari’ah (Islamic law) and the restoration of the Koran as the sole authority for government in Muslim countries. Meanwhile, Western military presence in Muslim countries constitutes an affront to Islamists. Islamists believe that dominance by unbelievers is blasphemous, as it can lead to abasement of faith, immorality, and violations of Holy Law.
Discarding President Obama’s fictitious “story” of “moderate Muslims” and “radical Muslims,” the true reality emerges with regard to Iraq and Afghanistan: America has no real allies in these countries, and there is little or no support for secular, Western democracy. Following a US withdrawal, its only a matter of time before the US backed governments collapse and Islamist forces seize power, leaving the American public to ask “what happened to our allies, the moderate Muslim majority?” The answer is that this was only a “story,” a yarn composed by politicians due to their lack of understanding.
Here's a Concept: Let's Not Talk About Race
On a regular basis, we are enjoined, usually by a leading Democrat, to overcome our reticence -- or, in Attorney General Eric Holder's formulation, "cowardice" -- and engage in a hearty national conversation about race.
No, thanks. As anyone with eyes can see, we are far from avoiding the subject -- in fact, it often seems that we are unable to talk about anything else. With our national debt ascending like Jack's beanstalk, our economy coughing blood, a maniacal, extremist regime in Iran close to getting the bomb, a loose worldwide network of Islamic fanatics trying to blow us up, violence flaring along our southern border, the after-effects of a massive oil spill hobbling the Gulf region, and a government in Washington determined to implement a social Democratic agenda despite vigorous public opposition, we are talking, of course, about race.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger gave up her three-decade-old radio program after using the "n" word on the air. Not that she wielded it as an epithet. No, she was just insensitive (no irony intended here, she really was). And racial insensitivity, more than any other kind, is a ticket to American purgatory.
Though Dr. Laura could be flippant and even cruel at times, she was a one-woman corrective to the therapeutic culture that treated everyone as a victim and required responsibility from no one. Over the course of 30 years, she never gave any indication of racist tendencies (and she gave plenty of solid advice to boot). But she touched the third rail one time, and now she's silenced.
Dr. Laura made it easy for her critics by a lapse of taste and judgment. But even in the absence of such blunders, the left can make anything about race.
Two rallies were held in Washington over the weekend. One was hosted by TV and radio phenom Glenn Beck to "restore American honor" (whatever that means), and the other by the Rev. Al Sharpton, to whine about the Beck rally.
The Beck rally happened to fall on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "Dream" speech. OK. Does that make Beck a racist? So said any number of axe-grinders. National Urban League President Marc Morial said Beck's rally is "an effort to embarrass and poke a finger in the eye of the civil rights community."
Martin Luther King III, invoking his father, protested that "his dream rejected hateful rhetoric and all forms of bigotry or discrimination..."
A New York Times story about the coincidence of dates started this way: "It seems the ultimate thumb in the eye: that Glenn Beck would summon the Tea Party faithful to a rally on the anniversary of the March on Washington."
But consider this: The one piece of evidence cited by Beck's leftist critics to prove that he is a racist is that Beck once called Obama a racist! Oh, and then he apologized. Now we're really in the weeds of race talk as only 21st century Americans can do it.
In fact, Beck (who can never be accused of reserve) has become moist (his default mode) when discussing the great legacy of Martin Luther King. He has explained that the timing of the march was accidental but that he has come to think of it as "providential." His rally was rich with tributes to the civil rights icon, and included a speech by King's niece, Alveda King.
Nothing daunted, The New York Times insinuated away. "In the Tea Party's talk of states' rights," wrote reporter Kate Zernike, "critics say they hear an echo of slavery, Jim Crow and George Wallace." Yes, naturally. Just as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd "heard" the word "boy" when Congressman Joe Wilson blurted "You lie" at President Obama. And just for the record, tea party groups don't tend to use the term "states' rights."
Times columnist Paul Krugman, too, is in a lather (his default mode). Denouncing the "ugliness" he sees coming down the pike (that would be a big Republican victory in November), Krugman fulminates that "a significant number of Americans just don't consider government by liberals . . . legitimate." Krugman is aghast that a Republican majority might initiate a "wave of investigations," which would be "dangerous." Well, let's see, these supposedly lawless Republicans will be exercising their right to vote and will elect representatives who may choose to discharge their congressional oversight responsibility zealously. How is that "dangerous" or "ugly"?
In fact, it is the left that regards all criticism as illegitimate. No matter what you say, if you hold a rally opposing the liberal agenda, or attend a town hall meeting critical of a Democrat, you will be tarred as a racist. As the radio host Chris Plante puts it: "The definition of a racist today is anyone who is winning an argument with a liberal."
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.