Since the Inauguration…


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Since Trump’s inauguration, I’ve tended to sit back and simply observe. Everyone has their own stories of the polarizing effects of the election. Three months later, tensions continue to run high. Families and friendships are still split. Protests abound. Social media comments…well, they follow their typical patterns of shallowness and cynicism.

For the record, here’s a few of my own thoughts:

The Constitution is Still Good Policy

Politicians typically get judged on their personality and charisma–sometimes even on their beliefs and credentials. But in America, judgment should ultimately be based on that to which the politician swears an oath to uphold: the Constitution.

Every president since George Washington has taken the same oath.The Constitution is the law of the land. The president is simply elected to preserve, protect and defend it. That’s his job.

A valid evaluation requires two things (at least): time and patience. Time to see what a person does with the responsibility he’s been given. Patience to wait. It’s debatable that Trump is receiving either. Nor is it apparent that loyalty to the Constitution is the benchmark by which he’s being judged.

Economic Freedom is Still Good Policy

Every country has a right to maintain sovereignty over its own economic affairs. The dark side of globalism is what it is at its core: a small conglomerate of international corporations and banking cartels that decide what’s best for everybody.

In reality, they decide what’s best for themselves.

So I’m not especially concerned when an administration stands questions the economic soundness of  NAFTA and the TPP, or when it seeks to lure industry back to America. It’s economic common sense. It’s the same reason I applaud the UK for Brexit. It’s why I’m happy for Iceland’s stance to pay back foreign investors on its own terms.

I think it’s a good thing that the stock market has done exceptionally well in 2017 (though that seems to be changing) and that the job numbers are improving. Perhaps Trump should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Non-Interventionism is Still Good Policy

Trump will make mistakes and he’ll do things I won’t like. I’m withholding judgment at the moment on the Syria situation. Trump is clearly practicing diplomacy on multiple levels. He’s sending strong messages and attempting to garner GOP support.

However, Assad is not primarily the problem. I know he’s not a great guy. Neither was Saddam Hussein. But Assad is simply trying to get his country back. It’s highly questionable, not to mention illogical, that Assad would gas his own people.

The distinction between so-called rebel forces and ISIS/Al-Qaeda soldiers is extremely blurry. Giving any sort of support to rebel forces by a show of military force seems to be counterproductive. There are no good guys in this scenario. Endorsing (intentionally or accidentally) either side is a shaky policy.

And what about Trump’s previous vow of non-interventionism? It is hard for me to see how Trump is going to do both: appear strong and keep America neutral. He has avowed to counter radical Islam. This was apparently the purpose of dropping the bomb in Afghanistan.

But this and other actions will likely have consequences. There will be blow-back. Whether those consequences will be worth present actions is, of course, yet to be seen.

Trump will do well to keep focused on upholding the Bill of Rights, maintaining economic sovereignty and pursuing a non-interventionist policy. These three ideological pillars once made “America great.” They encourage the democratic process, individual rights and religious freedom. Only time will tell if Trump will stay true to this course.



On the Brink of the Election


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There’s palpable tension in the air as we approach the presidential elections. It’s not only because the two candidates are polarizing the country in ways not seen in my lifetime. It’s not only because a businessman with no political experience is running against the first female presidential nominee. And, it’s not only because many people feel that neither candidate is a viable option.

Much of what people are sensing is that which is looming under the surface. The election concerns are simply the visibly churning waters above. What exactly does lie beneath?

1. A largely manufactured race war. Yes, there is widespread and severe economic inequality. Yes, there are serious issues that need to be addressed between communities and police departments nationwide. And yes, there is real racism in American society. But none of these are necessarily new phenomena.

What is new is that more Americans are on some form of welfare than ever before. This fuels the fatherless family syndrome, especially in impoverished communities. Poverty and desperate conditions perpetuate the frustration that often gets aimed at police. And, as always happens, every group is blaming some other group (tribe) for its problems. This is further encouraged when rock-throwing rioters are referred to as “peaceful protesters.”

2. The rise of Islamic terrorism in the US. Of course, this follows on the heels of what’s already occurring in Europe. Yes, Islamic terrorism is a legitimate threat. Yes, it is wrong to assume every Muslim is a terrorist. And yes, many Muslims eagerly embrace the American political system and don’t support sharia law.

But the fact is that government policy and the media keep downplaying the notion that a Muslim could possibly be involved when a terror attack occurs. Then, when it emerges that the suspect is indeed a radicalized Muslim, the obvious motives are obscured under the smog of political correctness. In the meantime, nothing is done to secure the borders or improve the vetting process. And everyone seems shocked when it happens again…and again…and again.

3. The economy is teetering on the brink. Yes, a few select individuals and a number of corporations are doing very well financially. Yes, there are a handful of factories that actually still produce something. And yes, the dollar is still the world’s reserve currency.

Nevertheless, nearly half of all unemployed Americans have given up looking for work. Tent cities are burgeoning in and around numerous cities. The middle class is shrinking, and food costs have risen exponentially. The national debt has doubled since 2008. An increasing number of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. And, adding insult to injury, real wages haven’t risen significantly in decades.

Just one of these three factors–racial tension, Islamic terrorism and economic hardship–is enough to destabilize a society when left unaddressed. But when all three exist within a nation, well, you have the perfect powder keg begging for the stray spark.

It’s no wonder people are feeling uneasy. These are uneasy times.

It’s no wonder Americans are clamoring for a new leader, someone who will reverse the course the country is on.

It’s no wonder that people are fearful for the future. There’s a lot of scary stuff going on out there.

Truth be told, I’m not sure that things can be reversed. Sometimes a nation goes so far that there is no turning back, even if a sincere and wise leader happens to be given the reins of power. Philosopher kings, however, are in short supply.

And when the people of Israel persisted in demanding a king to solve their national woes, well…that didn’t turn out so well.

The types of news stories that I observed once a month a few years ago, or once a week in 2015, I now see daily. It would be foolish to ignore what’s going on in our society. It would be unwise to pretend that looming problems will simply go away.

And I would be fearful if it weren’t for the assurances I have as a Christian. Jesus said,

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on…for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things…So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.

Pretty simple, right? God knows we have needs. God knows the future. And, God is in control.

These verses don’t mean that things won’t get really bad. They certainly have in other parts of the world at various times in history. However, God promises to take care of those who trust and obey Him:

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

And that is the part of the message that is so often ignored.

The question is not: Are you ready to meet the uncertain future in your own limited strength and finite wisdom? The question is: Are you right with God?

God is steadfast in His love and faithfulness toward His own people. Come what may, the Lord will never leave or forsake those who belong to Him.

Jesus died and rose again so that we might be reconciled to God. This is the best news in these uncertain times. This is the only news that will guarantee an eternally secure future.

So with the elections looming, riots increasing, terrorism on the rise, and economic growth stagnating, I can confidently say, by the grace of God, that I am not afraid. I know Who I am trusting for my future security.

Do you?


Scripture reference: Matthew 6:25-34



Maybe Borders Aren’t the Worst Idea


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All political systems can be reduced to a common denominator. To what extent does the system promote liberty? Names, labels and ideologies aside, liberty lies at one end of the spectrum and totalitarianism at the other.

Of course, the ideal is liberty. But it increasingly appears that people are being coerced into embracing the unideal, promoting the collective “good” at the expense of the individual’s rights.

I’m a Christian. I like liberty. It ensures I possess the freedom to say what I want, worship as I please and be left alone to follow my own conscience.

I don’t like totalitarianism. It doesn’t have a good track record historically speaking. Full blown, totalitarianism leads to misery and despair because it crushes the spirit of men and women by removing their freedom of choice.

Though different terminologies might be employed, proponents of globalism lean toward totalitarianism, which is only sustainable through some form of collectivism. Supporters of national sovereignty endorse varying degrees of the libertarian view.

Consider Brexit. David Cameron miscalculated. He didn’t realize that a majority of the British were (apparently) tired of unelected EU bureaucrats making laws from them. They suddenly remembered that they were supposed to be living in a democracy. They shook off the lethargy of passive consent and betook themselves to the polls.

In a word, the British took the first step toward reclaiming their sovereignty. The sweet almost forgotten memories of liberty began wafting back.

The political framers of the American system reasoned something like,

Let’s take care of our country and secure our future. Let’s build our own agricultural and industrial base. That will create jobs in the process. Let’s be very careful about our foreign entanglements. In fact, let’s just adopt a non-interventionist policy altogether.

A man in a white truck kills over 80 people in Nice, France. Though we we’re told not to make any assumptions, human nature dictates that we do. Now we know. It was a pre-planned, coordinated attack. ISIS claims the driver was one of their own. It was terrorism, no doubt. And all indications point toward Islamic extremism.

Europeans are starting to scratch their heads and ask if perhaps the immigration influx of 2015 wasn’t such a great idea. Maybe these hundreds of thousands of young men pouring across the borders weren’t all really “moderates” fleeing from Syria. Maybe when ISIS claimed that it would use Europe’s immigration policy to smuggle its operatives in, it was telling the truth.

Now the clamor is rising for tighter border controls. Makes sense, right? As unpopular as borders are in many circles, they represent more than just geographical boundaries. They represent national sovereignty. They literally and figuratively protect the citizens and cultures residing within them.  

Borders also protect liberty. Globalism insists that everyone conform to the same image. That image is dictated by whatever authoritarians are perched on top.  “No borders” sounds great. Except it doesn’t lead to world-wide peace. It leads to global destabilization.

We don’t celebrate cultural and ethnic diversity by forcing everyone to conform to some international, pre-determined standard. For one thing, it’s not going to work—at least not peacefully. Instead, the solution offered to counter unrest is increased globalization. 

If we all want to experience the collective good we must also all suffer the consequences of collective wrongs. Acts of terrorism become my fault because, in consequence, I might question the wisdom of certain immigration policies. Questioning, I’m assured, will hurt someone’s feelings.

Totalitarians could call themselves technocrats, corporatists, presidents or prime ministers. Regardless of the word game, cultural distinctions and ethnic diversity stand in their way. National sovereignty is anathema.

There was a time when people scoffed at the whole idea global governance. It was a pie-in-the-sky idea floated by the UN. But what nation would ever willingly give up its sovereignty? Yet, that is see what we see unfolding before our eyes.

First, compromise national borders. Then propagate the idea that anyone who has a problem with that is a xenophobe. After the destabilizing effects of mass immigrant influx comes to fruition, offer the “logical” solution: the supposed security and stability offered by global government.

Geo-politics are indicative of underlying spiritual realities. Globalism is coming. The Bible paints it as an inevitable picture of the future. It will completely crush the rights of the individual, allowing “freedom” only to those who conform to its preordained standards. But while we will still possess relatively free societies, let’s stand up for the liberty they claim to represent, at least in the West.

For me, this means I must continue to write and speak what I believe. I must take advantage of the freedom I possess. There is a day quickly approaching, I have no doubt, when my Christian brothers and sisters will be labeled extremists in an attempt to silence us. I will still write and speak then, but perhaps at much greater consequence.

The encouraging fact in the midst of it all is that God is with His people. Don’t know what this means? Take a few moments to read the best news. You too can be ready…

Bursting the Campus Bubble


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The college campus is a social system unto itself. We outsiders refer to it as academia. We expect the freedom and funding that academia receives to give us intellectual advances in civilization. We expect the recipients of higher education to be innovative, productive and on the cutting edge of science, technology and the arts.

We acknowledge that the campus is a bubble, an incubator for young, virile minds. We acknowledge that the time one spends within the walls of this bubble should be an educationally worthwhile season. And though we rib with tongue-in-cheek those professors who never leave its enclaves, we give them a pass because they are preparing others to go forth and carry abroad their messages of intellectual freedom and, hopefully, some notion of ethical obligation.

We don’t expect the bubble to become an end in and of itself. We don’t expect the graduate to enter the real world just as mentally and emotionally immature as when they entered the bubble. We are stunned by the outrageous cost of tuition verses the comparatively meager return. We feel sorry for the person holding a bachelor’s degree who can’t find a job because they majored in popular culture or puppetry or theme park management. In short, we expect more from the bubble.

Instead, we get a multitude of college grads who should have saved their (parents’) money. They should have gone to a vocational school. They should have gotten an entry-level job and worked their way up the ladder. They should have nurtured a creative idea and started their own business. They should have, at the very least, taken a year or two off to travel, meet people and figure out what they actually wanted out of life.

Instead, they learned how to view pornography. They learned how to mix drinks. They learned how to hook up. They learned that capitalism is bad, that western civilization is hurtful and that the most productive thing to do with one’s time is to worry about a statue of a man who had slaves and incidentally penned the Declaration of Independence.

The bubble has betrayed us. Perhaps we ignored it for too long. We assumed all was well within. We shrugged because we were once in that bubble and we turned out okay. Perhaps we forgot that there is a whole generation of people who were raised in a culture of the screen, with a smart phone glued to their hand.

Those same naïve youngsters then go to an institution that teaches them equality is God and no one should be left behind. It teaches them that the worst sin is to possibly hurt someone’s feelings, and that any perceived offense deserves to be punished. It teaches them that only certain people and groups have free speech, that one person can decide what books don’t get read, and that professors can be bullied into submission.

These institutions of higher education foster the notion that nothing is as important as getting a “like” on social media. They encourage narcissism, racial division and a loathing of costume parties. They lure these youth into a bubble, coddle them and send them forth completely unprepared for life, not to mention, in debt.

Yes, the bubble has betrayed us. And we’ve yet see the full consequences of this betrayal on society.

A Small Step for Freedom


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In my first post of the new year I’m pleased to write about a positive development. Irish evangelical pastor James McConnell was found not guilty. This is a tiny ray of hope in the encroaching darkness of religious censorship.

It’s tragic that charges were brought against McConnell in the first place. Thankfully, the judge had enough sense to not overstep the bounds of his legal jurisdiction, correctly stating, “The courts need to be very careful not to criticise speech which, however contemptible, is no more than offensive. It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances.”

Well said, judge. It is not the job of the courts “to censor offensive utterances.” If it were, then speech would simply be judged in the court of public opinion. The problem with Mr. Public Opinion is that he is used by those in authority positions to condemn what they personally find offensive. That’s today’s tyranny.

Today’s tyranny doesn’t don military uniforms. Instead, it parades around in pin-stripe suits.

Today’s tyranny doesn’t pound a podium in the middle of a packed stadium. Instead, It raves and rants about microaggressions and reparations in ivy-league classrooms.

Today’s tyranny doesn’t scream and yell, spittle flying. Instead, it talks in measured and soothing tones while sneering at anger as an inappropriate reaction to the loss of liberty.

Today’s tyranny doesn’t have its detractors disappeared into the night. Instead, it openly, and with a straight face, has pastors prosecuted for “offensive” sermons.

Today’s tyranny doesn’t refer to the perpetrators of religiously-motivated violence as Islamic terrorists. Instead, it demonizes peaceful, evangelical pastors as criminals because they dare to speak their minds.

Today’s tyranny doesn’t take over newspapers and raid its opposition. Instead, it buys off its competition and ridicules “fringe” media.

Today’s tyranny doesn’t blame societal problems on a culture of violence and death. Instead, it projects the illusion that guns themselves are responsible.

Today’s tyranny is the most dangerous yet to be seen because it wears the guise of political correctness. It scoffs at those who disagree as uneducated and backward. It promotes freedom of speech for itself alone.

SO, it’s refreshing to see than in at least in one courtroom in Northern Ireland a judge refused to violate a man’s right to express a personal belief. It’s a small victory for freedom and a not so insignificant chink in the shiny armor of tyranny.

May 2016 see more of the same!


The Pulpit is a Free Speech Zone


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The trial for the evangelical Irish pastor James McConnell is gaining international attention, and well it should be. He is charged with making “grossly offensive” comments from his pulpit, statements that went out as a broadcast over the internet. Hence, the charge specifically reads, “improper use of a public electronic communications network.”

This begs the question, what were these comments that were so offensive they call this man to be brought up on criminal charges? It’s no surprise in our current political climate that the comments in question have to do with Islam. McConnell referred to the religion as “satanic” and “heathen.”

I’m not going to opine on the Muslim religion here. I am going to rant about freedom of speech. If it’s not protected in the pulpit, it’s not protected anywhere.

I’m not sure if Northern Ireland has a First Amendment, per say. But they are a part of the United Kingdom, whose political heritage claims the Magna Carta, John Locke and the balancing power of Parliament. We’re talking about the soil upon which the notion of individual liberty budded. It is in McConnell’s natural right as human being within a supposedly democratic and free society to preach what he desires from the pulpit.

I can see McConnell not being able to make such comments in Saudi Arabia without legal (and perhaps lethal) repercussions. But for him not to be able to say what he said in Northern Ireland is a slap in the face to freedom. Shame on the government of Northern Ireland.

Shame on them because freedom of speech covers offensive speech. After all, anyone’s opinion will inevitably offend someone. To prohibit “offensive” speech is to ban talking all together.

But of course, banning all speech is not the intent. Banning certain kinds of speech made by certain individuals is. McConnell’s evangelical opinions are condemned. But what about the imams in Northern Ireland who preach that Christianity is “satanic” and that western civilization is the “Great Satan”? Maybe I missed the simultaneous trials going on targeting Muslim clerics who’ve made “offensive” statements against Christianity. 

This is nothing less than selective enforcement. Only particular religions and groups enjoy free speech.

The spin placed upon this case by the courts is this: because the statements went out over the internet, they are liable for prosecution. I thought speech was still free on the internet. I guess not.

I’m a Christian. I’m an evangelical. I often preach from a pulpit. And I say what I feel God lays upon my heart. If I were to heed the social critics, I would hang my head in shame. I would apologize for what I believe. I would put duct tape over my mouth and grovel at the feet of political correctness.

But I’m not going to do any of that.

I wrote The Hidden Altar back in 2009 (but didn’t publish it until 2012). One of the main characters is an American pastor who is charged under anti-terrorism laws for a comment he inadvertently makes from the pulpit. I’ve had people that read the novel tell me they really enjoyed the story, but the scenario seemed unrealistic.  

When I read an article like this, it only confirms to me that in fact The Hidden Altar’s story-line is not fantastical. We’re seeing it happen right now.

At risk of getting preachy here, I have to ask. Where do you stand on this issue? Will you tolerate the selective persecution of free speech? Will you remain silent? Today it’s some unknown Irish pastor. Tomorrow it will be an American pastor. Soon enough, it will be you.


I Weep For Huck Finn


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I liked Huckleberry Finn. It’s been a while since I’ve read it. I should probably read it again to see what I think about it these days. Regardless, I am considering buying a few extra copies and handing them out. Talk of book banning always motivates me to promote “seditious” material.

Of course, striking ole’ Huck from a school reading list is nothing new. It’s also merely symptomatic of much, much bigger problems. All I can picture is bonfires surrounded by masses of students, gleefully tossing “offensive materials into the flames as they wear malicious smiles and smugly think themselves progressive. How terrifying. (insert shudder here)

According to this article, …a Montgomery County school removed Huckleberry Finn from its curriculum after a group of students said the book made them feel uncomfortable.”

So feelings have really become the new standard by which we decide what can be read and what can’t? I guess that means I can run around demanding that anything that makes me “uncomfortable” must be struck from society. Even if I could do that, I wouldn’t.

The annoying thing about free speech is that it includes all speech—even the speech you or I don’t like. The satisfying thing about free speech is that Mark Twain is allowed to write what he wants. That means you and I are too.

Some white people in nineteenth-century America used offensive, racially-charged language.

Shocker, I know.

Part of learning who we are and where we’ve come from is reading books that were written in time periods when people spoke and acted in ways that aren’t socially acceptable today.

One way to ensure that a student doesn’t receive an education is to filter the information he receives so that he never learns to think for himself. Another way is just to ignore the parts of history and literature that she might not like.

I think the scariest statement in this article is: 

We have all come to the conclusion that the community costs of reading this book in 11th grade outweigh the literary benefits.

Community costs? Where did that come from? Mao’s Little Red Book?

All I can say is look out when classic literature begins to be sacrificed for community “feelings.” Suddenly it’s normal in a free society to ban a book because someone might get their feelings hurt. Truth be told, the very idea of catering to community costs offends me. 

Libertybased societies emphasize the freedom of the individual. Collectivist societies emphasize the good of the community. In the latter some bureaucrat gets to decide what is best for everyone and enforces that idea via state directive. You and I don’t get to choose what we think is best. It is decided for us.

I’m glad I took the time to read it Huckleberry Finn. You may disagree that my time was well spent. That’s fine. But please, Mr. Principal (or whoever else), don’t pretend that you decree the standard for making judgments on behalf of the community.

I don’t have a right not to be offended.

I accept that.

In this real world in which we live there is no “safe space” from offense. The First Amendment is politically, culturally and socially the safest space for us all.

The Murky Swamp of Libertarianism


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I read with a chuckle today this Washington Post article. The writer is perplexed and annoyed that Trump would go on Alex Jones’  radio show. The charge leveled at Trump is that his “more controversial assertions…come from the murky swamp of right-wing, libertarian and flat-out paranoid sources.”

I’m not a Trump supporter, but goodness me, I didn’t realize that libertarian views slithered out of a murky swamp.

Let me try to understand. Free speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion (the First Amendment) slithered out of a murky swamp. The right to privacy (the Fourth Amendment) slithered out of a murky swamp. The right to a speedy trial and a jury (the sixth amendment) slithered out of a murky swamp. After all, the Bill of Rights is a “libertarian” document.

That must mean that “safe spaces, the banning of classic literature, the promotion of internet censorship, the attack on Christmas, and mass government surveillance floated down from the heavenly spheres.

Apparently, if you question the official story about anything you yourself crawled out of the murky swamp of slimy libertarianism. 

What I find interesting is how obviously terrified the writer of this article is of rising “fringe” media. Apparently I should trust the traditional media outlets but turn my back on information I might stumble across in the backwaters of the internet.

How about this. I’ll receive all my news with a healthy dose of salt, mainstream or otherwise. I’ll do my own research. I’ll come to my own conclusions.

I’ll hold Trump to the same standard that I hold Hillary, or Bernie or Obama. That is, when it comes to my political views, I’ll hold them all up to the Constitution, Bill of Rights and ultimately, to Scripture. I’ll dunk them in the murky swamp of libertarianism (they might meet folks like John Locke and Thomas Jefferson hanging out down there). I might even be tempted to consider an article from a “fringe” website.

I might be tempted to do that because freedom of the press means anyone can take up the reporter’s mantle. What makes me leery is not an investigation of the moon landing. What makes me leery is some reporter from the Washington Post presuming to tell me what I’m supposed to believe and what I’m not.

That, my friends, is totalitarianism. But maybe totalitarianism floated down from the heavenly spheres.

The Drums of War


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Then events that took place in Paris on Friday are tragic and reprehensible. They are examples of real terrorism. We should all be outraged and saddened by the darkness that dwells in the hearts of those who would kill and maim in the name of religion. My prayers are with the French people at this time, for we are all in this together.

That said, let me comment on what is already raising my eyebrows in the aftermath of the Parisian attacks. The first of these are some Facebook posts I saw this weekend. They were reminiscent of what I remember hearing after 9/11. That is, there’s already a whole lot of war-mongering going on.

When I say war-mongering, I mean that knee-jerk reaction that calls for the wholesale extermination of large population swaths in the middle east. I’m not exaggerating. I actually saw a picture posted on social media displaying a nuclear mushroom cloud with the caption “August 6, 1945.” The message was that the “solution” for ending terrorism is to deal with it in the same manner that the US dealt with the Japanese.

Even if this was supposed to be a joke, I fail to find the humor in nuclear holocaust. In case nobody noticed, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed tens of thousands of civilians. Nor do jokes about nuclear war take into account the number of countries that now possess nuclear weapons. There’s no longer any such scenario as a one-sided strike.

I then turn on the radio Sunday morning and hear about the pope throwing around the phrase “piecemeal world war 3.” An increase in international terrorist activity could very well spiral the world into another world war. But we should do all we can to avoid that. World wars never turn out well for anyone, even the “victors.”

Therefore, it’s highly concerning that the pope, who millions of people look to as an authority on spiritual and political matters, would even bring such a phrase as “World War 3” into any conversation or speech. All that does is plant the idea into the minds of people who are already hopping mad and looking for any justification to act in an irrational and rash manner.

It’s not that ISIS doesn’t merit an appropriate response. They have certainly proved themselves a force that needs to be reckoned on an international scale. But recent history should have taught us that rushing into war is is fraught with undesirable consequences (“collateral damage”, I believe, is the blithe expression). Look at Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither worked out too well.

There is no evidence that Iraq had anything do with 9/11. The “intelligence” to justify the invasion has been proved faulty. Let’s also not forget the one million dead Iraqis as a result.

The danger lies in those heat of the moment decisions, or the support that’s given to such decisions by an emotionally-charged rather than rationally-informed populace.

I hear in the distance the drums of war. But let’s consider the innocent. Let’s remember the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about. And, oh yeah, let’s consider the crumbling economy and the fact that international wars always distract people away from reflecting on their domestic woes.

Let’s not be duped again.

Hugging is a Crime in a Culture of Doublethink


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If you’ve missed similar stories like this one over the last few years, you don’t yet know it is now against the rules to hug. I had friends in school that would have had to be tied up to have kept them from this common assertion of their feminine humanity. It was in their nature, simply part of who they were. There was nothing sexually suggestive about it. Hugging was these gals way of expressing themselves.

I also saw some public displays of affection go on in the hallways of my high school that made me blush (or would these days, anyhow). These acts were light years beyond a hug and are arguably inappropriate in any public setting. But this poor girl in question got suspended for only trying to cheer up a friend.

It is the hypocrisy that drives me crazy.

We live in a sex-saturated societyThe US is the top producer of pornographic DVDs and web material, producing in excess of 400 porn films every week. Pornography addiction is rampant. Even “regular” TV increasingly pushes the limits. Now with the internet and smartphones, younger and younger children are exposed to what used to be considered a strictly adult domain.  

Children and teens are bombarded with sexually-explicit material. Some are seeing porn as young as 2 years old and for many children viewing porn often becomes a routine practice by their pre-teen years. Even if parents manage to keep their children relatively protected from the internet, prime-time TV and advertisements bombard our society and teach both explicitly and implicitly that extramarital and illicit sex is normal and expected.

But now, schools suddenly begin to punish children for what…being sexually active? That in and of itself wouldn’t make sense considering what our children are exposed to on a daily basis. But more ludicrously, what they actually are being punished for is hugging. How can society unabashedly promote sexual promiscuity and experimentation and then suspend a girl for hugging her friend?  

It’s not only the hypocrisy and the absurdity that bothers me, but also the mixed-message that is sent in the process.

How does a developing mind process this obvious practice in doublethink? It doesn’t.

Children need clarity. The brain functions most proficiently when instructed according to innate principles of logic and equipped with classical reasoning skills. But when the “pornography is good but hugging is bad” pseudo-rational is peddled, healthy mental development is impaired. What is taught is that there is no reason to reason.

It’s tragic enough that multitudes of children are growing up addicted to pornography. Adding insult to injury, they are then told that innocent hugging is a punishable offence.

It’s a very similar scenario to the gun demonization going on in schools. Children grow up watching simulated violence and playing first-person shooter games. Then a boy happens to bite a pop-tart into the shape of a gun and is suspended from school.

When societies begin to promote decadence and simultaneously indoctrinate in doublethink, look-out. Populations are not primarily controlled by force. That is only the final step. Long before we get to that point, we are manipulated into mental submission and docility. And this mind-control occurs when two opposite messages are offered, destructively implying that both can somehow be correct.

Confusing? That’s the point.