Friday, March 31, 2006

Tolerance, San Francisco style

There is an Evangelical group called “Battle Cry” which sponsors rallies of teenagers in an attempt to draw teens to Jesus Christ and away from the popular culture of sex, drugs and violence. Their rally in San Francisco, America’s most "tolerant" city, was met with anything but tolerance. They were called “Christians fascists, racists, and sexists and were actually officially condemned by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors! (Agape Press)

According to the Center for Local Government at the Claremont Institute, San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno said publicly that “they’re loud, they’re obnoxious, they’re disgusting and they should get out of San Francisco.” How’s that for tolerance!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tax support for Hamas?

The following is from an e-mail I received yesterday from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews:

"There's a bill before the House and Senate right now of critical importance to Israel -- and we need your help to get it passed."

“The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act (H.R. 4681/ S. 2370) would stop all U.S. financial support to the terrorist Hamas government, while allowing the President to bypass Hamas and fund the basic survival needs of the Palestinian people as he sees fit.”

The e-mail goes on to quote one of the Palestinian legislators who said, “The Koran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is our highest aspiration.”

If you’d rather your tax dollars went to something other than support for terrorists, you mnay want to contact your congressperson.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Are we at war--really?

Let’s face it, oil is America’s life-blood and the Middle East has a knife at our jugular vein. If the Middle East were to unite and cut that jugular tomorrow, it would only be a matter of time—probably a relatively short time—before our entire nation started dying. Transportation of food and supplies would come to a grinding halt, companies would start going out of business, and the eventual result would be massive layoffs, hunger and violence in the streets.

A recent documentary on CNN Presents, powerfully demonstrated the potential impact on America from terrorist attacks on Saudi oil fields, or more long term, from China’s increasing demand for oil. If CNN is right, America’s future may be in jeopardy.

This raises the question, Are we really at war, or is our "war on terror" just another PR campaign like the “war on drugs” or the “war on poverty?” If we really are at war, why are we not acting like it when it comes to the energy crisis?

Oh, I know, the President made several good energy proposals in his State of the Union address, but these proposals sound like something we should have been doing since the 70’s, or as if we had another 30 years to get our act together. We don’t have 30 years. If terrorists have their way, we may not have 30 months. If we really are at war, and even if the CNN documentary was only half accurate, we need to start treating the energy crisis like we treated the military buildup for World War II, i.e. a massive effort that affected every area of society.

For example, I’d like to hear discussions about 1) Immediately and significantly raising the gasoline tax by one to two dollars per gallon in an effort to reduce consumption (no, I'm not rich...that would seriously hurt my personal financial situation!)

2) Using this gas tax revenue to incentivize development and mass production of alternative energy cars, and to provide significant tax breaks to make the public a financial deal on a new electric, hydroden, or Ethanol powered car that we can’t refuse.

3) Immediately slashing many of the environmental regulations that keep us from developing our use of coal or domenstic oil sources, and that hinder the building of new dams, nuclear power plants, or electric-generating windills, etc. Of course we need to protect the public from toxic waste and gases, but snail darters, spotted owls, and polar bears will just have to adapt or find someplace else to live...like the rest of us (some of us may have to move closer to our work).

Of course everyone knows that we’re not really going to get serious about the energy crisis because although many Americans self-righteously rant and rave about our so-called “oil wars,” American’s really do not want to pay the price to become energy independent. We apparently don’t care about the potential environmental dangers to Middle Eastern countries or to the oceans on which the giant oil-laden supertankers have to travel to bring us our oil—we just don’t want anyone to mess with our back yard! And heaven help the political career of the politician who would suggest raising our gas tax!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

St. Paul and the Easter Bunny

Last week, a small display of the Easter Bunny was removed from the lobby of the City Hall in Saint Paul Minnesota, over concerns that it might offend non-Christians. No one complained, mind you—but you just never know when someone, somewhere, might be offended by something remotely connected with Christianity--the display apparently said, “Happy Easter (gasp)!

The irony of this is that some conservative Christians really don’t care much for Easter Bunny displays anyway, because such displays detract from the original reason for celebrating Easter in the first place, which is the resurrection of Jesus. Hmm, so maybe by removing this display, the St. Paul City Hall is actually, though inadvertently, supporting Christianity and, in so doing, is violating the separation of church and state! If the ACLU plays their cards right, they might be able to make some money on this yet.

In all seriousness, however, this incident shows just how absurd modern notions of “tolerance” have become. What’s next? Maybe City Hall hasn’t noticed, but the name of their city is St. Paul! Perhaps they should change the name of the city just in case someone, somewhere, might be offended that their city is named after one of the earliest and most influential proponents of Christianity!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Rahman and Sharia law

Yesterday the Afghan court dropped charges against Abdur Rahman, the man facing the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity (see Recliner Commentaries, March 23). While this is good news, it should be noted that the charges were not dropped because Afghanistan now recognizes freedom of religion, but only because they now claim there was lack of evidence.

This was, of course, a purely political solution. It gets the west off their back without having to admit that Islamic Sharia law is, at it's heart, contrary to freedom of speech and religion. Now all Afghan leaders have to contend with are the all the “moderate” Muslims who are clamoring for Rahman’s death.

Friday, March 24, 2006

“The Unit” fighting a new enemy

One of my new favorite TV shows, “The Unit” took on a whole new enemy in the last episode. The special-forces guys in this show are still fighting terrorists, of course, but in the last episode the show’s writers set their sights on attacking Christians. The show’s hero was assigned to go to Indonesia to rescue some Christian missionaries. He didn’t want to go on this mission and was not shy about his contempt for these missionaries. The clear message of this episode was essentially, “these stupid Christian missionaries are meddling in places where they don’t belong, are not wanted, and they are putting people’s lives in danger.”

Of course the program didn’t bother mention that Muslims in Indonesia are not above locking up elderly women for no other reason than for teaching Sunday School to kids who want to attend and have their Muslim parents’ permission to do so. Nor did the program mention that many Muslims in Indonesia are fully willing to slaughter innocent people in large numbers—Christian or not. Nor did the program mention that for hundreds of years Christian missionaries have been feeding the poor, providing medical care to the sick, taking care of orphans, providing disaster relief, and helping people escape such evils as drug abuse and forced prostitution.

Some time ago, some Christian missionaries were providing medical care to needy Muslims in the Middle East. The missionaries were murdered by Muslim radicals. Perhaps all missionaries should stay home because some murderers don’t want them there. That appears to be Hollywood’s message in the latest episode of “The Unit.”

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Death to Christians

Sixteen years ago Abdur Rahman converted from Islam to Christianity while working with a Christian group as a medial aid worker. He was helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan. After four years in Pakistan he moved to Germany for nine years before returning to Afghanistan in 2002, trying to gain custody of his two daughters who were living with their grandparents. During the custody battle it was revealed that Rahman was a Christian and was carrying (gasp!) a Bible.

Rahman was immediately arrested and now faces the death penalty because Islamic Sharia law prescribes the death penalty for Muslims who convert to another religion, and Afghanistan’s constitution says, “No law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam.” Others in Afghanistan have been beaten to death, stabbed, and at least one had his throat slit for converting to Christianity, but this is the first such case brought before the courts since Afghanistan became a democracy (Religious Liberty Newsletter).

Although Karzai, the democratically elected Afghan President, would have to authorize Rahman’s execution, Karzai is under intense political pressure from many Afghans to make Rahman an example to others who might want to convert to Christianity. While liberals in the west try so desperately to present Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, they need to take a good hard look because this is the true face of Islamic “tolerance.”

If this penalty is carried out it could almost turn me into an anti-war activist. I thought we were sending troops to support freedom, not Islam. I’m not willing to send American troops to defend countries—not even democracies—that are going to kill people just for converting to another religion.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Child molestation and Debra LaFave

Yesterday I was forced to come face to face with my own double standard. I was watching a news conference in which Debra LaFave, a 25 year old teacher, was responding to the fact that the prosecution had dropped the case against her. The 14 year old boy with whom she had sex refused to testify. If the prosecution had just dropped the case against a man who had sex with a 14 year old girl, I’d be ranting and raving about how the guy should get the death penalty or spend the rest of his life in prison. But I must admit that when I heard that this boy didn’t want to testify against Ms. LaFave and that the prosecutor was dropping the charges, my initial response was something like, “hmm, she’s cute (yawn)…so what’s on the other channels.”

Don’t get me wrong, I think what she did is terrible, but on the other hand…fourteen years old, that’s ninth grade isn’t it? Although my friends and I were not having sex in the ninth grade, some guys in our class were, and all of us would probably have considered the idea of having sex with a woman like Ms. LaFave as one of our wildest fantasies come true—and telling the story in the locker room could make a guy the envy of all his peers.

And maybe that’s just the problem. Any young, attractive female teacher who knows how to act seductively could probably seduce almost any middle school or high school boy. She has the right assets, he has the raging hormones—she might just as well be setting a match to gasoline. But for a female teacher to have sex with a ninth grade boy may be just as much an issue of abusive power and control as forcible rape.

I don’t know whether Debra LaFave’ actions have psychologically traumatized this boy or whether it was his wildest dream come true—but that is really beside the point. The fact is that society simply cannot allow adults—male or female— to have sex with kids, and Debra LaFave should be doing some long, hard prison time.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Iraq war—third anniversary

Many Americans celebrated our third anniversary in Iraq with mass protests in the streets calling for America to pull out of Iraq immediately. That, of course, is exactly what our overseas enemies want. This would seem to put American protesters on the same side as Al Qaeda. Congressman Christopher Shays said recently that when he talks to the Iraqi people, their number one concern is that America would leave them too soon.

I want our troops home too, the sooner the better—but even many liberals recognize that to bring them home before Iraq can stand on its own two feet would be to flush all those lost American lives down the hopper because they would have then died for nothing. I'm sure that's exactly what Bin Laden wants. Apparently many Americans agree with him.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Iraqi documents

Last month (February 20) Recliner Commentaries criticized the media for not drawing attention to, and pressing for, the release of, 48,000 boxes of documents and recorded conversations created by Saddam Hussein and his government. Last week, thanks to the hard work of Michigan congressman Pete Hoekstra, the Bush Administration agreed to release the documents which are currently being stored in a warehouse somewhere in the Persian Gulf area. Although details still need to be worked out, this is certainly a step in the right direction and Representative Hoekstra deserves our thanks.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Islam and human rights

Since so many foreign Muslims seem to want to undermine or overthrow the West and replace it with more Islamic-friendly cultures or even with Sharia Law, I thought it might be good to take a look at what they apparently want to put in place of western civilization. The following are just a few characteristics of some Middle Eastern Muslim governments as reported by recently updated reports by the U.S. State Department.

United Arab Emirates

  • Arbitrary detention
  • incommunicado detention permitted by law
  • restrictions on civil liberties--freedom of speech, press, religion, etc.
  • domestic abuse of women, sometimes enabled by police
  • trafficking in women and children
  • legal and societal discrimination against women and noncitizens

Saudi Arabia

  • beatings and other abuses
  • arbitrary arrest
  • incommunicado detention
  • significant restriction of civil liberties--freedoms of speech, press, religion, etc.
  • legal and societal discrimination against women, religious and other minorities

Iran

  • summary executions, including of minors
  • disappearances
  • torture and severe punishments such as amputations and flogging
  • violence by vigilante groups with ties to the government
  • arbitrary arrest and detention, including prolonged solitary confinement
  • severe restrictions on civil liberties--speech, press, religion, etc.
  • violence…against women…minorities, and homosexuals
  • trafficking in persons
  • child labor

Syria

  • arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life
  • torture in prison
  • arbitrary arrests and detentions
  • absence of rule of law
  • severely restricted civil liberties--freedoms of speech, press, religion, etc.
  • violence and societal discrimination against women

Egypt

  • torture and abuse of prisoners and detainees, including deaths in custody
  • arbitrary, sometimes mass, arrest and detention
  • denial of fair public trial and lack of due process
  • political prisoners restrictions on civil liberties--freedoms of speech, press, religion, etc.

Pakistan

  • extrajudicial killings, torture, and rape
  • harassment, intimidation, and arrest of journalists
  • limits on freedom of association, religion, and movement
  • imprisonment of political leaders
  • legal and societal discrimination against women
  • child abuse
  • trafficking in women and children, and child prostitution
  • indentured, bonded, and child labor

Oman

  • arbitrary arrest
  • arbitrary and incommunicado detention
  • restrictions on the exercise of civil liberties‑freedom of speech, the press, assembly, etc.
  • restrictions on religious freedom discrimination and domestic violence against women

Qatar

  • civil liberties: restricted freedoms of speech, press, religion etc.
  • legal discrimination against women
  • trafficking in persons

Yemen

  • acknowledged torture
  • arbitrary arrest
  • significant restrictions on freedom of press, and assembly, etc.
  • intensified harassment of journalists
  • limited freedom of speech, association, religion, and privacy
  • trafficking in persons
  • child labor

Kuwait

  • abuse of and alleged torture of detainees
  • restricted civil liberties--freedoms of speech, press, assembly and association
  • limited freedom of religion and of movement
  • violence and discrimination against women, especially noncitizens

For a more complete list, click on the country name.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Child Porn

In the news this morning: Up to forty people have been arrested in a worldwide child porn ring that showed children being molested live over the internet. The youngest victim was less than 18 months old.

I wonder if its time for a Constitutional amendment modifying the “no cruel and unusual punishment” restriction to allow for public stoning or burning at the stake for cases like this.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Is that fair?

Yesterday I wrote about how some wealth foreign Muslims are funding Islamic programs in American Universities, but most Muslim countries wouldn’t dream of allowing American studies, or Christian studies programs in their universities.

Some Muslim countries regularly mock and ridicule Christians and Jews, and yet when a Danish newspaper publishes some cartoons about Muhammad, Muslims all over the world explode in rioting.
The news recently reported that the rulers of the U.A.E. are embarrassed and furious about the Dubai Ports deal falling through. Yet I understand that no U.S. company is allowed to own anything in the U.A.E.!
Is this fair?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Muslim-Christian understanding

“A two-page color ad in today's [March 10) Washington Post celebrates the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding," a $20-million "think tank" at Georgetown University in the District of Columbia. The ad shows one of Georgetown's beautiful Gothic buildings, topped by a stone cross. In the night sky, above Georgetown, is a crescent moon and star--the symbols of Islam. How better to show the kind of "understanding" we will have? Christianity is to be subordinated, Islam is raised high--at a Christian university. Harvard also has a $20 million center from the Saudi billionaire prince. What about the compromise of American liberties? There is no reciprocity here. All the talk on this side of the ocean is about "understanding." Where are the study centers at Saudi universities? Does anyone there present courses on James Madison's views of religious liberty? Does anyone there even suggest that feudal monarchies that deny their people fundamental human rights need to reform themselves? Saudi Arabia is one of the worst violators of human rights on earth. No Christian can even carry a Bible on any street in Saudi Arabia. Converts there are beheaded. According to the U.S. State Department's latest report on global human rights, issued just this week, "The [Saudi] government has not provided legal protection for freedom of religion, and such protection did not exist." Ditto for the freedom to establish political parties. Yet, here we have major American universities bending the knee for Saudi petrodollars. There have been persistent reports of Saudi-funded schools (madrassas) and mosques in America
that teach hatred toward Christians and Jews. And one more thought: has anyone told campus liberals, some of whom went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to keep military recruiters off campus because of the military's "Don't Ask - Don't Tell policy, about Saudi Arabia's policy toward gays in the military?” (Family Research Council)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bill of No Rights

The following piece has been circulating the internet for some time under the name of Representative Mitchell Kaye of Georgia. According to “Snoops” it was actually written in 1993 by someone named Lewis Napper who once ran for the U.S. Senate as a Libertarian. Although Rep. Kaye liked the “Bill of No Rights” and forwarded it to friends, his office always gives credit to its true author to those who ask. All I have to add is, “Lewis Napper for president!”

“We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes. (...get an education and go to work....don't expect everyone else to take care of you!)

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training lay before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from! (lastly....)

ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!!

If you agree, share this with a friend. No, you don't have to, and nothing tragic will befall you if you don't. I just think it's about time common sense is allowed to flourish. Sensible people of the United States speak out because if you do not, who will?"

Friday, March 10, 2006

Gay students and the Christian College

Regular readers to Recliner Commentaries know that I frequently address issues of homosexuality and gay marriage. The following is a memo that I obtained, written by a vice president at a conservative Christian College regarding the issue of gay students (posted with permission):

“I hope it is not a surprise to anyone to know that—if you define “gay” as someone who struggles with same-sex attraction—we have more than a few gay students now. If those students are willing to abide by our covenant and refrain from all sexual behaviour (the same as our [unmarried] heterosexual students) and seek help in understanding and, hopefully, resolving, their same sex attraction with their faith in Christ, then they are welcome in our college community.”

“For some, this resolution comes in some measure of “healing” that allows them to enter into a heterosexual marriage commitment. However, as neither Scripture nor the state…sanction same-sex marriages, other students have found that only resolution of their same-sex attraction and their biblical Christian faith is a lifetime commitment to celibacy.”

“This lifetime of refraining from sexual behaviors may seem out of step with contemporary notions of the human “need” for free sexual expression, but it is an historical Christian practice and the same practice we commend to all heterosexual students who never marry. It is an aspect of the “cost of discipleship” described in Luke 14, which can only lead to a deeper faith in and connection to Christ. In fact, I have encountered more than a few Christian college students whose same-sex attractions have compelled them to forge a far deeper faith than many of their heterosexual peers. I would want to be careful not to communicate anything that heaps condemnation on these precious souls who are striving to work out their biblical faith in Christ with sexual urges, no matter what their origin, that they know to be outside the bounds of Scripture. They are in my mind heroes of the faith.”

Thursday, March 09, 2006

President Bush and war crimes

A 12th grade politics and government class at Parsippany High School, New Jersey has been conducting a mock trial to determine whether President Bush is guilty of war crimes. The teacher and administration would insist, of course, that they are not rabidly anti-American, anti-Bush, or traitors, but are simply helping their students engage in critical thinking.

I might be a little less skeptical if the school had also held a mock trial for Bill Clinton, for example, for lying to a grand jury, or for treason for giving nuclear technology to North Korea, or for war crimes for bombing Iraq (did you ever notice how liberals didn’t seem to mind so much about President Clinton’s military interventions in Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia, etc.?).

But forget about President Clinton. How about a mock war crimes trial in which students examine all the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein? Hey, I’ve got an even better idea. How about holding a mock trial to determine whether the teacher and administration of Parsippany High School are guilty of treason, for aiding and abetting the enemy in a time of war? Ridiculous? Of course, but not as ridiculous as trying President Bush for war crimes while our enemies are trying to destroy us.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

France and homosexuality

“A report commissioned by the President of France's National Assembly has taken a strong stance in defense of marriage! The authors of the report traveled extensively throughout the European Union and North America and concluded…that homosexual unions should not be recognized as marriages, that homosexual couples should not be permitted to adopt children, and that homosexuals should not have access to medically assisted procreation. ‘Marriage is not merely the contractual recognition of the love between a couple,’ the report's authors said…A key to this entire report is a fresh understanding of the right of the child to be raised in a wholesome and stable family environment.” (Family Research Council, Feb 22, 2006).
A link to the full-text of the report (in French) can be found on LifeSite News.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A denial of civil rights?

“In what some call a denial of a basic civil right, a Missouri man has been told he may not marry his long-term companion.” The man claims that all the basic elements of a good marriage are present. He says, “She's gorgeous. She's sweet. She's loving. I'm very proud of her. ... Deep down, way down, I'd love to have children with her.”

So why is the state of Missouri being so heartless as to deny this man his basic civil rights? “It seems the state of Missouri is not prepared to indulge a man who waxes eloquent about his love for a 22-year-old mare named Pixel.”

Once marriage is re-defined as something other than a bond between a man and a woman, there is no end to the “alternative lifestyles” people will dream up. Other excerpts from the article, The Slippery Slope of Same-Sex ‘Marriage” by Timothy J. Dailey, Ph.D. appear below (see the original article for documentation):

“Of course, media stories on same-sex marriage rarely address the fact that redefining marriage logically leads to the Missouri man and his mare. Instead, media reports typically focus instead on homosexual couples who resemble the stereotypical ideal of a married couple. Ignored in such reports is social science research indicating that such idealized "families" are utterly atypical among homosexuals.”

“Kurtz concurs that the ‘gradual transition from gay marriage to state-sanctioned polyamory, and the eventual abolition of marriage itself, is now the most influential paradigm within academic family law.’ One prominent advocate of polyamory, David Chambers, professor of law at the University of Michigan, argues: ‘By ceasing to conceive of marriage as a partnership composed of one person of each sex, the state may become more receptive to units of three or more.”

“Polyamory advocates pay scant attention to the dangers posed to children being raised according to this ‘frat house with revolving bedroom doors’ concept of marriage and the family.”
“A growing body of research indicates that in key respects homosexual and lesbian relationships are radically different than married couples.”

“-- Relationship duration: While a high percentage of married couples remain married for up to 20 years or longer, with many remaining wedded for life, the vast majority of homosexual relationships are short-lived and transitory…A study in the Netherlands, a gay-tolerant nation that has legalized homosexual marriage, found the average duration of a homosexual relationship to be one and a half years.”

“-- Monogamy versus promiscuity: Studies indicate that while three-quarters or more of married couples remain faithful to each other…The same Dutch study found that ‘committed" homosexual couples have an average of eight sexual partners (outside of the relationship) per year.”

“-- Intimate partner violence: homosexual and lesbian couples experience by far the highest levels of intimate partner violence compared with married couples as well as cohabiting heterosexual couples.”

“Many black Americans are understandably offended when gay activists, who have never been relegated to the back of a bus, equate their agenda with racial discrimination. In a statement supporting traditional marriage, several black pastors wrote: ‘We find the gay community's attempt to tie their pursuit of special rights based on their behavior to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s abhorrent.”

“Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman would not deny homosexuals the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights or in any legislation proceeding from it are homosexuals excluded from the rights enjoyed by all citizens--including the right to marry.”

“However, no citizen has the unrestricted right to marry whoever they want. A parent cannot marry their child (even if he or she is of age), two or more spouses, or the husband or wife of another person. Such restrictions are based upon the accumulated wisdom not only of Western civilization but also of societies and cultures around the world for millennia.”

“The eminent Harvard sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin, analyzed cultures spanning several thousand years on several continents, and found that virtually no society has ceased to regulate sexuality within marriage as defined as the union of a man and a woman, and survived.”

“A constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman offers the ultimate protection against the agenda of gay and lesbian activists such as Paula Ettelbrick, former legal director of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, who unabashedly states: ‘Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and ... transforming the very fabric of society.”

Monday, March 06, 2006

GLBTQ

A new category has been added to the acronym GLBT—GLBTQ: Gay Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Trans-gendered, and Questioning. I have no doubt—though advocates would undoubtedly deny it—that the “questioning” category has not really been added to help kids sort out their sexual identity, but to recruit as many into the gay-lesbian lifestyle as possible. After all, those who are for them can hardly stand against them.

Gay people should never be verbally abused or physically attacked so I have no problem with diversity programs that teach people to treat others with decency. There is a big difference, however, between programs that teach respect, and agendas that try to promote and even glamorize gay lifestyles—i.e. programs that attempt to lure “questioning” teens over to the dark side. The promotion and glamorization of gay lifestyles is not just done by Hollywood and the ACLU, but by the National Education Association and even the American Library Association.

Except for Hollywood, society doesn’t generally glamorize smoking, alcoholism, obesity, drug use, etc., because these are dangerous to ones’ health and expensive to society. Why then do we promote gay lifestyles, even to those who are “questioning”? We have all kinds of “stop smoking,” “stay sober,” “lose weight,” and “get clean” programs, and yet our society not only demonizes programs designed to help those who want to escape a gay lifestyle, some people even promote, glamorize and now try to lure “questioning” kids into a lifestyle that may kill them. This is truly sick.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Intolerance by another name

Traveling around the country this Spring is a group of people that call themselves “Equality Ride.” They are traveling primarily to private, Evangelical Christian Colleges, to protest the admissions policies and behavior codes against homosexual sex at these colleges.

I certainly support the right of Equality ride express their views and it is to their credit that they protest peacefully. But let’s be clear: While this group wants tolerance for gays, tolerance is just a code word for, “you had better tolerate, and even approve of my lifestyle choices or we’re going force you to do so by intimidation!” Some tolerance!

When you rip the mask off, Equality Ride apparently has no tolerance or respect for the religious beliefs of others. There are thousands of colleges around the country that would not only welcome them with open arms, but would even support their lifestyle choices. But that’s not good enough for groups like this. They want tolerance for their group and they like freedom of speech which allows their group to express their views, but they don't practice tolerance for the religious beliefs of others and they apparently don’t like freedom of religion that allows religious groups to establish codes of behavior in keeping with their religious beliefs.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cruel and unusual punishment

About twenty-five years ago a gay man named Ricky Ortega became jealous of a relationship his male lover was having with a seventeen year old girl named Terri Winchell. Ortega decided to do something about it so he enlisted the help of his cousin, Michael Morales. Morales raped, stabbed, and beat the poor girl with a hammer and left her half-naked to die. Your tax dollars have been feeding, clothing, housing and providing medical care for these animals for the last twenty-five years. Just when it looked like the appeals for Morales were running out, concerns are now being raised over whether lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. An attorney for Morales said, “…the state doesn't have its ducks in a row for humanely killing a human being. They haven't figured out how to do it.”

I have a suggestion. When I was in the Air Force I once had to go through flight training which included time in an “altitude chamber.” The altitude chamber is a little air-tight room in which a flight crew sits while the oxygen is removed from the air. This probably sounds like a torture chamber in which people are desperately gasping for air but it’s actually not like that at all. Everyone continues to breath normally—and that's the problem. If you are flying at thirty or forty thousand feet and the plane depressurizes, you have no oxygen—but plenty of air. You breath just fine and, unless you are properly trained to recognize the symptoms (chilled fingers, fuzzy thinking, sleepiness, etc.) you may just die without ever realizing that anything is wrong.

My suggestion is to use a modified version of the altitude chamber for executions. We could even add a nice overstuffed recliner, a comfortable bed, a nice high definition TV with surround sound, and a delicious last meal (sleeping pill optional). We wouldn’t have to wait until the murderer goes to sleep since oxygen deprivation causes sleepiness anyway, but just so the poor guy doesn’t have to experience chilly fingers—we don’t want any cruel and unusual punishment—we could wait until he falls asleep before we remove the oxygen. In either case, he'll never wake up again but he'll feel absolutely no pain or discomfort. Just because Morales raped and beat an innocent girl with a hammer, we wouldn’t want him to be uncomfortable, would we?

Personally, I think stoning would be a more fitting punishment but since I don't believe in re-interpreting the Constitution to fit my preferences, I think a modified altitude chamber should help rip the mask off all these challenges to the death penalty--which are really just smoke screens. Death penalty opponents know they can't win by arguing that the death penalty itself is cruel and unusual, so they come up with smoke screen arguments to protect murderers like Morales.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Homosexuality and hatred

In the news this weekend was a group so hateful and heartless that they actually stage protests at funerals! Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas have traveled all over the country with their protests (According to reports, most of the members of this little church are related in some way to the preacher). Believing that God is judging America for its pro-gay stance, this group has recently staged protests at military funerals with signs containing vicious name calling and saying that the deceased is in hell!

Those who read Recliner Commentaries regularly know that I have frequently opposed gay marriage (and will continue to do so) and am not hesitant about expressing my view that it is “sin” for men to have sex with men or for women to have sex with women. But I have to say that this group is so hateful that if I heard they were protesting the funeral of a gay man, I would be inclined to attend the funeral if for no other reason than to help provide a barrier between the grieving family and the heartless Westboro Baptist Church group.

The Hebrew prophets, St. Paul, and even Jesus condemned sinful behavior—but they generally did so with tears, so to speak. St. Paul once wrote that he would be willing to be condemned himself, if that would save his own people, and he insisted that people should “speak the truth in love.” The Prophet Jeremiah is known as the “weeping” prophet because of his love for the people and while he warned of God’s judgment, he did so not with rejoicing, but with tears, calling his people to repentance. Even Jesus, who predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, wept over its fate.

By contrast, the Westboro Baptist Church group actually seems to rejoice in the judgment and damnation others. One of their websites expresses the wish that American deaths in Iraq would rise from 2,288 to over 222,288!

As far as I could tell, their websites don’t discuss issues of repentance, forgiveness, love or grace. They don’t tell anyone how to find forgiveness and peace with God. They don’t even link to websites that try to offer help and hope to those who wish to escape gay lifestyles. All they do is spew hatred and self-righteous condemnation at virtually everyone!

There is nothing recorded in the gospels about Jesus specifically addressing the issue of homosexuality, but according to the Gospels, Jesus generally dealt with prostitutes, adulterers, and other “sinners” out of love and compassion, not with name calling. In fact, Jesus seems to have saved his harshest name-calling for self-righteous religious leaders who looked down their noses at others, calling them hypocrites, blind guides, whitewashed tombs, fools, snakes, vipers, and even sons of hell! Perhaps Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church would do well to re-read their Gospels.