Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our Book in WORLD Magazine!

We've been subscribers to the Christian news publication WORLD magazine for years now. WORLD's mission is "To report, interpret, and illustrate the news in a timely, accurate, enjoyable, and arresting fashion from a perspective committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God."

We used to subscribe to the kids version of WORLD, God's World News, as well. However, our children have recently started to prefer the regular edition. This is especially the case with our two oldest children, Caleb (13 years-old), and Jesse (11 years-old). They have been reading the regular version of World for a couple of years now. They love it.

My wife Michelle and I both enjoy WORLD as well. Before going to bed a few nights ago, I read Marvin Olasky's--WORLD's editor-in-chief--piece on Christian education. Given our involvement in education, before I left for work the next morning, I asked Caleb to make sure that he showed Michelle the column.

However, though we've had the September edition of WORLD for several days now, and though several of us have flipped through the magazine many times, it seems that we all missed something significant (at least from our perspective).

WORLD has a recurring section called "Notable Books" where, usually, several books are featured and reviewed. Our book Debt-Free Living in a Debt-Filled World was reviewed in the "Notable Books" section in the September edition of WORLD.

Here is the review (click on the image to make it larger):



Additionally, prior to reviewing our book and six others, the "Notable Books" section began,
"During the past year, WORLD received more than 100 self-published books for possible review. This past May we had our 14 students at the 2015 World Journalism Institute each choose the books that most appealed to them—and from those to choose one to review. For the WJI students, that’s useful experience for future work in publishing or book reviewing. For the authors who sent their books, thank you. Although some of you will be disappointed not to find your book reviewed here, you have helped in the training of these budding journalists."

We had no idea this had happened. Thank you WORLD! And thank you to our friend Christy Mihalick for alerting us to this!

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Everybody Wants to Rule Their World

When one abandons eternal truth, there is virtually no limit to the extremeness and no end to the amount of folly that will follow. Modern liberalism again demonstrates this well.

Because of his commitment to liberalism, which makes him unable to call the public display of women’s breasts that is occurring in Times Square what it really is (offensive, absurd, gross, and yes, wicked and sinful), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to wield one of the favorite tools of modern liberals: the dreaded “multiagency task force.”

According to CBS, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo “has said he believes the women posing for the photos are breaking the law and undermining efforts to keep the tourist area family friendly.” Imagine that: a liberal complaining that liberal values on full display for the world to see is an affront to a “family friendly” atmosphere. Cuomo likely wouldn’t recognize what is truly “family friendly” even if it mugged him on the subway.

Caitlyn Lewis said, “It is a quality of life issue, and the worst case scenario is that people don’t want to come to Times Square.” In spite of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, liberals don’t seem to be concerned about any “quality of life” issues when it comes to homosexuality or same sex “marriage.” And liberals certainly aren’t concerned with “quality of life” when it comes to life in the womb.

Again, as is the case with the supposed “campus rape culture,” liberals bemoan what they’ve helped to create. Anybody want to give me odds on the voting records of the topless twits plaguing New York? What do you think their position is on abortion, same-sex “marriage,” the welfare state, and climate change? These bare-breasted bimbos are simply more rotten fruit of liberalism.

About the topless women, de Blasio also said, “It’s wrong, it’s wrong.” Someone should ask him, “Why?” Upon what moral standard does his conclusion rest? After all, toplessness is not illegal in New York. And if it’s legal, then it must be moral, right libs? (In other words, shouldn’t the debate be over?)

As the topless women took their act to Austin, Texas, one political observer asked the protestors to “explain reasons why women should be topless.” The number one reason given: “It frees oneself from guilt and sin.”

This sounds a lot like the pro-abortion Satanists recently documented at National Review. As the author David French notes, “The Satanists adhere to such edifying statements of principle as ‘Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!’ and ‘Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!’”

As Mr. French also points out, though most pro-abortionists (and liberals in general) are not Satanists (nor favor the “right” to parade around topless in public), “prominent Satanist involvement in the abortion debate does have a clarifying effect.” Of course, this “clarifying effect” is also present with liberals who clamor for their “right” to be topless in public.

As French concludes, “A person who is willing to kill another person for the sake of preserving their own prosperity or emotional health is declaring that their life is supreme — their existence is at the center of all things. This is the core of Satanist theology. So when Satanists declare their creeds, they strike uncomfortably close to the rotten core of the abortion-rights regime.”

Writing for Patheos, author and philosopher Michael Novak makes note of this “theology of self” when he writes of a two decades-old study on abortion that he only recently encountered. “Two main findings of the study startled me,” Novak writes, “but they are also fairly obvious once one sees them from the point of view of the young women in the study…To such women, having an unplanned child represents a threat so great to modern women that it is perceived as the equivalent to a ‘death of self.’”

Such a theology is not exclusive to Satanists. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has embraced this theology. Nearly a quarter of a century ago, ruling in favor of the “right” to kill children in the womb (Planned Parenthood v. Casey), Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” (Thus, no one should have been surprised at his conclusion on marriage.)

In fact, the desire to make oneself “the center of all things,” or, as it is stated in Genesis chapter 3, to make oneself to “be like God” is almost as old as humanity itself. C.S. Lewis called it “The Great Sin.” The Great Sin, the utmost evil, Lewis wrote, is Pride. “Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison. It was through Pride that the devil became the devil. Pride leads to every other vice. It is the complete anti-God state of mind.” It was an appeal to the pride of Adam and Eve which introduced sin into God’s perfect creation.

“The Christians are right,” Lewis continues, “it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.” The only cure for the disease of Pride, as the life and words of Jesus reveal, is the “death of self,” and a rebirth as a new creature.

Of course, this is not easy. As Lewis also notes, “The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self – all your wishes and precautions – to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves’, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good.’ We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way – centered on money or pleasure or ambition – and hoping, in spite of this to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown.”

There is only one way to “free oneself from guilt and sin.” We cannot find this freedom in the redefining of sin, in the election of one politician over another, in the ruling of a judge, or in uninhibited acts of hedonism. The only way to such freedom is the Way of the Cross.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Josh Duggar is Not Our Standard

If you’re looking to discredit Christianity, you’re going to have to do a lot better than point to the failings of the followers of Christ. Josh Duggar, of 19 Kids and Counting fame, who was recently outed as a user of the adultery promoting website Ashley Madison, is simply the latest in a long line of public Christians caught failing to “practice what he preached.”

Christianity isn’t about what Josh Duggar, Jimmy Swaggart, Billy Graham, James Dobson, myself, or anyone else did or will do. It isn’t about what we’ve said or will say. Christianity is in the words and deeds of one man alone: Jesus Christ.

Christ is our standard. He is The Standard. And we’ve ALL fallen short.

However, the failings of the followers of Jesus do not undo one single eternal truth spoken by God. In spite of the desire of many on the left to use the sin of Mr. Duggar (and other such incidents, the next of which will also soon be plastered all over the liberal media) as an opportunity to disparage Christianity and Christian conservative values (all the while furthering the perverse agenda of liberalism), whether marriage, money, sex, creation, life in the womb, and the like—God has the final say on these and all such matters.

Tellingly, after the hack attack, Ashley Madison said: “This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities.

“The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society. We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world.”

It seems that the moralizers at Ashley Madison have appointed themselves “moral judge, juror, and executioner” when it comes to thieves. In other words, at AshleyMadison.com “thievery” is bad, but adultery by “freethinking people” is okay. So again we see the self-contradictory attempts by liberals at raising their own system of “values.”

Further demonstrating this self-contradictory thinking—along with demonstrating why psychology is more witchcraft than science—Laurie Essig at Psychology Today just doesn’t understand why the hackers “would need to attack a site that is fairly honest about what's going on as opposed to every other dating site where people are lying through their teeth.”

“More importantly,” she adds, “this sort of sexual prudery should not pass for some sort of activism when there are some serious liars on the interwebs.” (“Interwebs?” I have to admit, Ms. Essig’s lame attempt at humor was, at first, lost on me.) She ends her piece by concluding that the Ashley Madison hackers are “the least heroic…hactiprudes who released the personal data of 37,000,000 people just trying to get laid without lying.”

Because of course, everyone using the Ashley Madison site as a means to commit adultery was completely honest with all of their intentions and information. (What a dolt!) So along with thievery, “lying through their teeth” is also completely unacceptable to the adultery apologists.

Again, as C.S. Lewis put it, “There never has been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or (as they now call them) ‘ideologies,’ all consist of fragments from [Natural Law] itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to [Natural Law] and to it alone such validity as they possess.”

In other words, it is folly to lament the actions of liars and thieves all the while promoting and profiting from adultery. The same Law Giver who reveals that theft and lying is wrong also tells us that fornication and adultery are wrong.

Make no mistake about it, if you are a Christian living out your faith in any meaningful way at all, you have made yourself a target. The spiritual forces of evil who seek to “kill, steal, and destroy” are anxious for your demise. In the hyper-sexed culture in which we live, this often means attacks in the sexual realm. (In his public confession, Mr. Duggar also admitted to an addiction to “interweb” pornography.)

With so many eager to harm the cause of Christ, be sure that your sin will find you out. (And will enthusiastically be used against you.) Whether our sins are public or not, God knows it all. As Franklin Graham said to the Ashley Madison users, “I have news for all those worried cheaters out there wringing their hands — God already knew! His holy Word says, ‘Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account’ (Hebrews 4:13). Times may have changed, but God's laws and standards never change — all sin has a price.”

Thank God someone paid the price for us all.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Get’cha Honey for Nothin’, Get’cha Chips for Free
(I want my, I want my, I want my E-B-T!)

The quickest and surest way to make things more expensive for most of us is for someone in our government to attempt to make such things “free” for some.

As I noted earlier this year, the largest “charity” in the U.S. is government (which, of course, brags about it!). Americans gave a total of approximately $3.4 billion (about $2.4 billion from individuals) to private charities in 2013. In the same year, Americans received over $600 billion from means-tested (recipients required to be below a certain income level) government programs (housing, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, and the like). When non means-tested programs (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and so on) are included, the total is a shocking and staggering $2 trillion dollars.

In case you missed it, for over four consecutive years now, the number of Americans receiving food stamps (transactions are now down with an EBT card) surpassed 45 million. About 20 percent of U.S. children receive food stamps. Thus nearly one-fifth of our future electorate is being conditioned to the idea that it is government’s responsibility to make sure they are fed.

Of course, with the current size and role the government plays in our everyday lives, people have come to expect much more than food from their Uncle Sam. And liberals are intent on growing these expectations.

Given the life-changing financial decision Michelle and I made 17 years ago, anytime I see a headline containing the phrase “debt free,” my attention is drawn. This is especially the case whenever the headline is a reference to a plan or scheme devised by a liberal. Most liberals’ ideas of “debt free” involves either printing massive amounts of money or heavily taxing those who tend not to vote for democrats (or at least have no lobbyist to create tax loopholes).

As her campaign falters, Hillary Clinton recently announced her plan to do more of what liberals do best: give away other people’s money. In an effort to politically capitalize on the massive $1.2 trillion in student loan debt that is held by tens-of-millions of Americans, Clinton proposed “to make public colleges debt-free for students, to cut interest rates for people struggling with debt from loans taken out to pay for college, and to expand some existing aid programs to cover more people.”

Her campaign says that the new program would cost $350 billion over ten years, which means that it will probably cost at least twice that much. Liberals are almost as bad at predicting the future costs of federal programs as they are at climate change predictions. (The interesting thing to ponder is which bad prediction will end up costing us more.) Of course, as is almost always the case with these things, Clinton’s plan will not make college less expensive, but more so.

Clinton isn’t alone in her plan to further expand the role of the federal government in education. According to Alex Simindinger, writing in Real Clear Politics, “Affordable, debt-free college is now an economic policy plank for all the Democratic presidential candidates, who believe it resonates across political parties, across economic strata, and with young people as well as with their parents and grandparents.”

In other words, liberals have examined the political landscape and found the next new way—much to Benjamin Franklin’s dismay—to give the electorate the opportunity to vote themselves money. And “affordable?!” Social Security, the oldest, and arguably the most popular federal social welfare program, is, according to Andrew Briggs of the American Enterprise Institute, “the Titanic headed for the iceberg.” And there is virtually no political will in Washington, D.C. to do anything about it.

In 2014 Medicare—which is as popular as Social Security—cost the U.S. government $600 billion, which was just short of defense spending. This spending was nearly double Medicare’s receipts ($342 billion) for 2014. Put another way, Medicare brings in about 11% of federal tax revenue, while amounting to nearly 17% of federal spending. As John Graham of the National Center for Policy Analysis implies, “Medicare devours the federal government.”

In other words, with over $18 trillion in total federal debt, and an annual federal budget deficit of nearly $500 billion, virtually no Big Government social program is “affordable.” Of course, this includes Obamacare.

In spite of the oft-parroted notion that Obamacare is “working,” the law is much more expensive than promised ($2 trillion instead of $900 billion—Democrats will just make this up out of petty cash), fewer people are covered than promised, premiums are rising faster than promised (“23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota), fewer doctors are available than promised (“42 percent fewer oncology and cardiology specialists; 32 percent fewer mental health and primary care providers; and 24 percent fewer hospitals”), and so on.

As is often the case with these programs, Obamacare was sold on a mountain of lies. Because of the desire of many Americans to receive “free” stuff from the government, and because of the refusal of far too many Americans to recognize that such things are never free, we are now saddled with another massive government program that we may never be rid of.

The idea that Americans are getting things “free” from the government may be the lie of the century. A billboard near my home illustrates well this lie:




According to its website, “Peach State provides all of the medical services covered by Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids.” In other words, Peach State is government healthcare in Georgia. PeachCare is Georgia’s version of CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). As a result of the failed efforts of “Hillarycare,” but in order to get at least some expansion of the role of government in healthcare, SCHIP (as it was formerly known) was created in 1997 as a shared federal-state health insurance program for children and pregnant mothers in families whose incomes were too high for Medicaid.

Take note of the advertisement of “Free Dental & Vision Coverage” on the billboard. Such deception is replete when it comes to these Big Government programs. To quote Mattie Ross from True Grit, “You must pay for everything in this world in one way or another. There is nothing free except the grace of God.” If only more Americans were as eager for God’s grace as they were for Obama’s stash.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Liberalism is ALWAYS Ugly

Mark Twain wrote, “All religions issue Bibles against Satan, and say the most injurious things against him, but we never get to hear his side.” It’s seems that Mr. Twain, at least prior to penning the previous quote, never encountered a liberal.

Of course, not all liberals espouse Satanism, however ANY unedited, unbiased examination of liberalism is going to reveal plenty of dark, ugly truths. Whether Planned Parenthood (which I will now refer to as “Designed-to-Exterminate-and-Abuse-The-Hood”—or D.E.A.T.H.), Kermit Gosnell, Ferguson, Baltimore (and most other major U.S. metropolitan areas), Islam, political investigations, immigration, climate change (no matter the costs, the Warmists will get it to “change” one way or another), healthcare, rape, the war on women and blacks, socialism, marriage, parenting, parenting, “husbands and wives,” fatherhood, homosexuality, transgenderism, pornography, the sexual revolution, economics, the minimum wage, Uber, bravery, pronouns, “blackness,” virtually all things hailed or assaulted by modern liberals reveal the corruption of modern liberalism.

As the dearth of information at the links above reveals, the recent videos of D.E.A.T.H. tell only a small part of the story when it comes to liberalism. What do you think undercover videos into the offices of the Obama-led EPA, IRS, or INS would reveal? Have you ever seen significant video or photographic footage of a homosexual-pride parade? Most every voting-age American saw some image of unrestrained liberalism on display in Ferguson and Baltimore.

And speaking of death, forget footage of the loose-lipped lackeys of D.E.A.T.H., why not just video the actual procedures where the “fetal tissue” is procured? If there is really nothing to hide, if it is—like the abortion apologists tell us, akin to watching “open heart surgery” or (more apropos), “an autopsy”—then let the light of truth shine on it for all the world to see.

In the name of transparency, surely there are plenty of eager feminists out there—some who’ve already taken us along as they exercised their “super-great” choice to kill their unborn child—who would gladly allow a video camera to record what really happens when an abortionist slips his instruments of death inside a uterus.

Perhaps a D.E.A.T.H. agent could give a play-by-play on what techniques are best—you know, whether to “crush above” or “crush below”—when trying to obtain “intact hearts,” livers, or lungs. Perhaps, like the QVC network, D.E.A.T.H. could also indicate the price of baby parts and organs as they are ripped from their mother’s womb—of course, with the “highest ethical and legal standards” always on display.

Consider the deception—both the effort and the endurance—that has been, and continues to be, employed in order to convince hundreds-of-millions of Americans—over multiple decades—that what exists in the human womb is not really human, and it’s quite alarming that some don’t even consider the abortion lie our greatest scientific fraud.

John Casey, a former space program advisor to the White House, president of the Space and Science Research Corporation—a leading independent climate research company—and one of the most successful climate researchers and climate prediction experts in America, considers the current Climate Change agenda of today’s left the “greatest scientific fraud in history.”

When one considers the hundreds-of-billions of dollars at stake and the number of lives impacted by the left’s war on fossil fuels—the fuel that literally built America—one can easily see Casey’s point. He’s certainly not trumpeting mere hyperbole. Who knows? The left may be just as adept at killing humans through climate regulations as they have been in the abortion clinics.

Perhaps we need hidden cameras at the next secret climate regulation meeting (or at least a look at the emails exchanged). Maybe someone slipped a tape recorder into Obama’s secret climate change meetings with the Chinese. Whatever the case, as with the unborn, liberals want to keep as many in the dark on the climate as possible. (Remember “Hide the Decline?”)

Abortion and man-made climate change have long been replete with leftist propaganda; however, no fraud of the modern left has been around longer than the foolish idea that human beings came into being purely as the result of naturalistic forces. In other words, no lie of the left is more entrenched than that of Darwinian evolution.

Darwinian evolution is the foundation of liberal orthodoxy. The de-humanization of the unborn is why we’ve seen nearly 60 million abortions in the U.S. The de-humanization of humanity in general is how we end up with environmental wackos telling us it’s time to “phase out the human race.” (And people like these are advising the Obama administration on our energy policy!)

And nothing is as de-humanizing as the notion that all life magically sprang from some single-celled source, that humans share ancestors with both apes and apricots, and that humans came into being through the bloody and godless efforts of “survival of the fittest.” Why not kill humans if we are simply highly evolved animals? Why not kill humans—to “save the planet” or to avoid the work of having to parent a child—if we are nothing more than “amoral parasites?”

Thus, instead of looking at creation and looking for the Creator, Darwinian evolution points people to “science.” For far too many liberals, science is their god. To them, religion, especially Christianity, is a crutch—something for the weak minded, and thus never to be taken seriously. Right and wrong, good and evil are arbitrary and cultural—products of human progress. Such a worldview leaves absolutely no room for the supernatural, and thus, no room for God. Therefore, along with championing “social justice,” for decades liberals have also fought vociferously to expel God from our culture.

And of course, when God is shunned, the results are always ugly.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Untermenschen: The Language of Death

Following the defeat of Germany and Japan in World War II, the first trial held at Nuremburg was for those who were accused of medical atrocities. Twenty-three individuals, 20 of whom were medical doctors, were tried for a wide variety of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Prisoners of the Nazis were subjected to, among other horrible things, blood experiments, sterilization, castration, mastectomies, starvation, amputations, electroshock, and so on. Seeking cures for a variety of diseases, some prisoners (including children) were purposefully infected with typhus, hepatitis, Yellow Fever, smallpox, malaria, and the like.

In order to understand and improve conditions for German soldiers, prisoners of the Nazis were also subjected to high-altitude and hypothermia experiments. Doctors committed to the Nazi cause were also instrumental in Hitler’s euthanasia and Final Solution programs.

As the principal prosecutor Telford Taylor said in his opening statement at Nuremburg, “The defendants in this case are charged with murders, tortures and other atrocities committed in the name of medical science. The victims of these crimes are numbered in the hundreds of thousands. A handful only are still alive; a few of the survivors will appear in this courtroom. But most of these miserable victims were slaughtered outright or died in the course of the tortures to which they were subjected ... To their murderers, these wretched people were not individuals at all. They came in wholesale lots and were treated worse than animals.”

According to author Dr. David Livingstone Smith, such dehumanization played a significant role in the “single most destructive event in human history: the Second World War.” Smith is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of New England, co-founder and director of the New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Studies, and the author of Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others.

According to NPR, in his book, Smith “argues that it's important to define and describe dehumanization, because it's what opens the door for cruelty and genocide.” Before going any further, let me say that from the little I know of Dr. Smith and his work, it is fair to assume that our worldviews are vastly different.

This paragraph from NPR justifies my conclusion:

“Human beings have long conceived of the universe as a hierarchy of value, says Smith, with God at the top and inert matter at the bottom, and everything else in between. That model of the universe ‘doesn't make scientific sense,’ says Smith, but ‘nonetheless, for some reason, we continue to conceive of the universe in that fashion, and we relegate nonhuman creatures to a lower position’ on the scale.”

Of course, from the Christian perspective, having God at the top of the hierarchy of the universe is the only worldview—or “model of the universe”—that makes any sense. Nevertheless, Smith’s conclusions on humanity and genocide are revealing.

In Less Than Human, Dr. Smith asks, “What is it that enables one group of human beings to treat another group as though they were subhuman creatures?” According to Dr. Smith, the answer isn’t difficult to come by. He concludes, “Thinking sets the agenda for action, and thinking of humans as less than human paves the way for atrocity. The Nazis were explicit about the status of their victims. They were Untermenschen — subhumans — and as such were excluded from the system of moral rights and obligations that bind humankind together. It's wrong to kill a person, but permissible to exterminate a rat. To the Nazis, all the Jews, Gypsies and others were rats: dangerous, disease-carrying rats.”

The Germans were not the only dehumanizing butchers of World War II. By the time the Soviets were drawn into the war, Stalin’s government was already quite adept at dehumanization and mass atrocities. In the 1930s, Stalin killed millions of his own citizenry. In turn, upon invading the Soviet Union, the German army killed over 20 million Soviets, about half of them civilians.

In retaliation, and in order to foment hatred towards the Germans, Soviet propagandists provided soldiers of the Red Army with pamphlets describing the Germans as “two-legged animals who have mastered the technique of war”—“ersatz (inferior) men” who needed to be annihilated. “The Germans are not human beings,” the pamphlets read.

In 2010, in Forbes Magazine, Dr. Smith also describes the Japanese brutality of World War II. “For a period of six weeks from December 1937 to January 1938, Japanese soldiers slaughtered, mutilated, raped and tortured thousands of Chinese civilians. Honda Katsuichi’s harrowing book The Nanjing Massacre: A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan’s National Shame describes many of the details of what happened. Katsuichi lets the perpetrators speak for themselves, and their accounts of the atrocities are so horrific that they are difficult to read.”

A Japanese veteran of World War II interviewed for Katsuichi’s book explained how such cruelty was possible. “We called the Chinese ‘chancorro’ that meant below human, like bugs or animals. The Chinese didn’t belong to the human race. That was the way we looked at it…If I’d thought of them as human beings I couldn’t have done it,” he observed, “But I thought of them as animals or below human beings.”

“This is called dehumanization,” Dr. Smith again concludes. “We dehumanize our fellow human beings when we convince ourselves (or allow ourselves to be convinced) that they are less than human and come to believe that, although these people appear to be human beings like us, this is merely a façade. Beneath the surface they are really subhuman creatures, fit to be hunted down and destroyed. The immense destructive power of dehumanization lies in the fact that it excludes its victims from the universe of moral obligation, so killing them is of no greater consequence than swatting a mosquito, or poisoning a rat.”

Smith’s conclusions are quite beneficial as we witness modern liberals’ attempts to defend the killing of children in the womb, along with the harvesting of the baby’s organs, by Planned Parenthood. To justify the slaughter of tens-of-millions of children in the womb, abortion apologists have regularly employed the de-humanizing language described by Dr. Smith. For decades now, liberalism has excluded unborn babies “from the universe of moral obligation.”

This has been on particular display in the recent scandal involving Planned Parenthood (PP). “These are not ‘baby parts,’” insists Jen Gunter. She prefers that the “tissue specimen” be referred to as “products of conception.” The term “baby” doesn’t apply until birth, Gunter declares. She concludes, “Calling the tissue ‘baby parts’ is a calculated attempt to anthropomorphize [humanize—notice that, she can’t even bring herself to use the word “human”] an embryo or fetus.”

Such language is replete within liberal circles when it comes to killing children in the womb. “The right to choose,” is a refrain that’s been around for decades. The recent videos that shed more light onto what PP really does, according to Hillary Clinton, is “really an attack against a woman's right to choose.” Tens-of-millions of Americans have been convinced (or allowed themselves to be convinced) that a child in the womb is “less than human.”

As science and technology advance, the deception about this “choice” is getting more difficult for liberals. This is due not only to pro-life activism and ultrasounds, but also the internet. For those who are willing to look for it, the truth about the humanity of life in the womb is available now more than it has ever been.

Nevertheless, the will to do whatever one wants sexually without the consequences is a powerful force, and those devoted to death are working harder than ever to maintain their lies. In defense of the largest abortion provider in the U.S., liberals regularly extol PP. They are lauded as “awesome,” and regularly promoted as merely “a women's health care provider” who has “extremely high standards.” President Obama himself has thanked PP for their work, and even offered them a “God bless you.”

In other words, in the face of well over 50 million deaths in American wombs since 1973, in order to maintain the façade of abortion as simply a “choice,” liberals have utilized the same language and propaganda as the most prolific murderers in the history of humanity.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cecil vs. Cecile: Dead Lions vs. Dead Babies

On my Quotable Quotes page, I have the "Rules for Self Discovery" by noted author, pastor, and magazine editor A.W. Tozer. They are:
  1. What we want most
  2. What we think about most
  3. How we use our money
  4. What we do with our leisure time
  5. The company we enjoy
  6. Who and what we admire
  7. What we laugh at.
Some time back, I added a number 8: "What offends us." Current events perfectly illustrate the reasons behind my addition. The headlines recently have been filled with news of the death of Cecil the lion. (With multiple links, the news of Cecil's death has been featured at the top of the Drudge Report the last couple of days.) 

The evidence so far seems to make it clear that the lion was illegally and brutishly killed by American, Dr. Walter J. Palmer. Palmer has been labeled a "coward and a killer." PETA said that Palmer should "hang for killing Cecil." Palmer has had protesters swamp his home and his office. (Palmer's a dentist.) Some protesters dressed as "dentist hunters." Echoing much of the media's shock and outrage over this incident Jimmy Kimmel choked up on-air as he described Palmer's actions. Death threats have sent Palmer into hiding. 

Contrast our culture's response to Cecil the lion with the response to the organization ran by Cecile Richards. The gruesome videos--which, again, should surprise no one--that recently shed more light into the nasty business of Planned Parenthood--killing children in the womb--have not garnered nearly the outrage as has the death of a lion. 

As Rush Limbough asked today, "[H]ow in the world can you get teary-eyed and misty-eyed and sad over Cecil and, at the same time, participate in burying what's happening at Planned Parenthood (PP)?" As a piece I will have out shortly notes, the indifference that many have shown PP reveal how devoted so many Americans are to the perverse sexual agenda of today's left. 

Additionally, in a lame attempt to link the death of Cecil the lion to conservatives and republicans, a headline at The Hill.com today declares, "Cecil the lion's killer donated to Romney." The piece is very short and reveals nothing new about the incident other than the fact that Dr. Palmer donated $5,000 to Mitt Romney in 2012, and $250 to GOP representative Jim Ramstad in 1990 and 1992. 

PP, the recipient of billions of dollars in federal tax-payer funds, has donated tens-of-millions of dollars to political campaigns, almost all of which goes to democrats (and I would argue, 100% has gone to liberals). For example, in 2014 PP donated $588,918 to a PAC for federal candidates. $586,095 went to democrats. $2,823 went to republicans. That's 99.52% for democrats and 0.48% for republicans. Have you heard any of this in the media? 

What does it say about us and the media that a single dead lion generates so much sadness and anger, yet so many of us seemingly couldn't care less about the death of tens-of-millions of children in the womb? So tell me (in the comments below), by what are you more offended?

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, July 25, 2015

His Eye is On You, Little Bird

One of my new favorite songs (I just discovered it yesterday while mowing the lawn.):


The lyrics:

Verse 1:
Little girl, little girl with the big round eyes
Little bird, little bird, one day you’ll fly
A breathtaking flight of life you’ll fly
Then little bird, little bird, you will die

Chorus:
Because life, life is a vapor
But the brevity is what makes it a treasure
So feel it all like a love letter
To the One you will live with forever
His eye is on the sparrow
His eye is on you

Verse 2:
What then, what then when it’s all over?
Little bones, little bones the dust will cover
Little spirit, little spirit you’ll live on
With the soul of the bird that goes on and on
Then little bones, little bones
You will rise and little, little girl
You will fly
Fly 

The artist singing is Misty Edwards. She was home-schooled. Her mother was a music teacher and her father a pastor.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Dreadful Duty of Forgiveness

One of the most unpopular and difficult virtues of Christianity is forgiveness. As C.S. Lewis put it, “Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” Sadly, our personal lives recently have been an exercise in forgiving the unforgivable.

On May 4 of this year, while cycling near his home, my father-in-law David was struck and killed by an impaired (alcohol and drugs) hit-and-run motorist. David was a beloved man. He was a husband, a father of four, and a grandfather of 11. He was also a kind and caring brother to four siblings, and a loving son to his parents, all of whom survive him. David was lovingly and intimately involved in each of these lives. He was also a pastor, counselor, and middle school teacher at a Christian academy. He was 64 years old and in very good health (which cycling helped him maintain.)

David was especially involved in our lives. For over 14 years, we’ve attended the church where he pastored. Our four children attend the Christian homeschool academy where he taught. My oldest son Caleb (13 years old), David’s oldest grandchild, was in his Papa’s class. Thus, David was Caleb’s teacher, his pastor, and his Papa. My wife Michelle is the administrator at the same homeschool academy. Including church on Sundays, she spent at least four days a week with her dad.

I spoke at David’s funeral. Much of what I said about his amazing life is here. A wonderful video testimony is here. Michelle wrote a blog post about her dad here.

As I said at the funeral, “Sometimes death does not surprise us. Sometimes it is even welcome. Of course, David’s death does not feel that way at all. Don’t we feel robbed right now? It’s as if something precious to us was taken by a thief in the night. Is that not how death often comes? All those ways that God used David to enrich our lives have so rudely been taken from us.”

Such a loss can certainly leave one angry. This is especially the case when the death occurs at the hands of a remorseless criminal during the commission of a crime. Our ability to forgive has been tested like never before.

We understand well what the families of those slain in Charleston, the family of New Orleans police officer Gary Flot, the families of those slaughtered by ISIS, and the like are going through. The sad truth is, if we live long enough, each of us will have dire things to forgive. What’s more, live just a few short years in this fallen world, and we will all do plenty that will require the forgiveness of others.

As Lewis implied in Mere Christianity, the notion of forgiveness is about as popular as the Christian teaching on sexual morality. In fact, if a man was on trial for his Christian faith (an event that many alive today may get to witness), his thoughts on forgiveness would certainly be a line of questioning the prosecutor would pursue.

Such thinking has long been a part of evangelical America. During the first “Great Awakening,” which occurred during the early to middle part of the 18th century, powerful Spirit-inspired preaching by men like Jonathan Edwards, Gilbert Tennent, and George Whitefield produced a tremendous evangelical harvest in Colonial America.

As noted in A Wonderful Work of God: Puritanism and the Great Awakening, in order to distinguish between the counterfeit works of Satan and the authentic works of the Holy Spirit, one of the “marks” that was considered a “major test” was “the capacity to forgive one’s enemies.”

The recent events in Charleston offer a great example of how followers of Jesus are different from those still lost in the darkness of this world. After Dylann Roof’s heinous act of violence took the lives of nine Christians at a Bible study in Charleston, and after his capture the morning after the attack, the next event that garnered the most attention happened two days after the murders. At Roof’s bond hearing, one-by-one, the friends and family of Roof’s victims were given the chance to speak. For the most part, the media was aghast, for each of these followers of Christ did the unthinkable for those who are guided by a liberal worldview: they offered forgiveness to Dylann Roof.

“We already forgive him for what he’s done, and there’s nothing but love from our side of the family,” said Chris, the teenage son of victim Sharonda Coleman-Singleton. Anthony Thompson, the grandson of victim Myra Thompson, told Roof, “I forgive you, my family forgives you.” The daughter of Ethel Lance said, “I will never talk to her ever again. I will never hold her ever again. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgives you. I forgive you.”

On forgiveness, Lewis also noted, “to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger. It is not that people think this too high and difficult a virtue: it is that they think it hateful and contemptible. ‘That sort of talk makes them sick,’ they say.” After the terrible events in Charleston, several pundits corrupted by liberalism proved Lewis correct.

“Black America should stop forgiving white racists,” was the title of a piece by Stacey Patton in the Washington Post. Patton declared that such forgiveness was “disconcerting.” Seeking to keep the fires of racism stoked, she added, “The almost reflexive demand for forgiveness, especially for those dealing with death by racism, is about protecting whiteness, and America as a whole.”

“I do not forgive Dylann Roof,” began Roxane Gay in The New York Times. She later added, “I do not foresee ever forgiving his crimes, and I am wholly at ease with that choice… My lack of forgiveness serves as a reminder that there are some acts that are so terrible that we should recognize them as such. We should recognize them as beyond forgiving.”

Gay’s refusal to forgive is also tied to her desire to perpetuate the racism meme so loved by today’s liberals. She wrote, “The call for forgiveness is a painfully familiar refrain when black people suffer. White people embrace narratives about forgiveness so they can pretend the world is a fairer place than it actually is, and that racism is merely a vestige of a painful past instead of this indelible part of our present.”

An L.A. Times op-ed says that we should put conditions on forgiveness. Edward E. Baptist writes, “It's one thing for a survivor of trauma to tell a handcuffed and doomed perpetrator that you forgive him. It's another thing to forgive those who can still harm you. You don't do that without a good reason to believe that the person who harmed you has changed into someone who will not do so again.”

Of course, this is not what Jesus taught. When Peter famously asked Jesus if we should forgive up to seven times, Jesus replied “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” In other words, as often as is necessary. One of the last lessons Jesus taught us was on forgiveness. In agony, as He was mercilessly and unjustly dying on the cross, Jesus asked His heavenly Father to forgive his executioners.

In February 1944, because they were hiding Jews from the Nazis, the ten Boom home was raided by German police. Corrie, along with her father, brother, two sisters, and several other family members were arrested. Shortly after the arrest, all of the family was released except Corrie, her father Casper, and her sister Betsie. Casper got sick and died within ten days of arrest. Corrie and Betsie remained in prison and were later transferred to the Ravensbrueck concentration camp in Germany. Betsie would die there, while Corrie was accidently released.

The ten Booms were devoted Christians who believed what the Bible taught, not only about the Jewish people, but also about forgiveness. Corrie had a long career after WWII, ministering to the mentally disabled, foster children, and the like, along with speaking and writing on the Christian faith. She was especially noted for her forgiveness of the Nazis who imprisoned her and her family.

On forgiveness, ten Boom wrote, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” In other words, like we have been taught about love, forgiveness does not depend on how we feel about any particular person or situation.

Therefore, and thankfully, we do not have to have pleasant feelings about those who have wronged us. Neither must we “think them nice.” We are simply to do and say the things that forgiveness requires. We are also not to reduce by even the slightest measure our contempt for wicked things such as murder, racism, lust, greed, and the like. And we must hate such things in ourselves as much as we hate them in others.

Lastly, and “one step further,” showing true love and forgiveness does not mean that we can’t punish—even unto death—those who have done wrong. Christianity teaches that we all live forever (somewhere), thus if justice requires death in this life, so be it. What ultimately matters most is that the condemned be presented with the opportunity to accept the final forgiveness and atonement offered by the final Judge that we all will face and that we all have offended.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Planned Parenthood is Selling Baby Parts? What Else is New?

At Cosmopolitan, abortion apologist Robin Marty said that after reading the emails, watching the video, scanning the press releases, and poking around the primary sources of the latest scandal involving America’s number one killer of children in the womb, all she could do was yawn. Sadly, my reaction was very similar.

No one should be surprised that Planned Parenthood (PP) is in the organ trafficking business. And what if they are not? What if this is—as some Planned Parenthood puppets have claimed—much ado about nothing? Does that really change anything about how we feel about an organization so devoted to death (which gets over half-a-billion dollars in tax-payer funds)?

And so what, if in order to harvest intact organs, the abortionist decides that “I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact?” (The exact words, as caught on tape, used by Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Deborah Nucatola.) Does it really matter where the baby is “crushed?” Either way, a child is dead.

In other words, whether or not PP is hocking the organs of babies, they’re still the same butcherous bunch they've always been. Again, no one should be surprised by this—not in the least.

PP has been caught instructing minors to lie about their age, targeting minorities, misleading teenagers about the dangers of promiscuity, and encouraging customers to cover up rape. Planned Parenthood lobbied passionately in favor of the Partial Birth Abortion (PBA) procedure where a “doctor” (their term, I wouldn’t honor them with such a title) “delivers a living child until its legs and torso are hanging outside the mother and then pierces the child’s skull with a sharp instrument and vacuums out its brains.”

Of course, PP was not alone in lobbying for such savagery. Many democrats partnered with them. Yes, this barbaric procedure was outlawed, but then presidential candidate Barack Obama himself said that he would not have supported such a law, and Americans elected him President—twice. Obama was not only against the ban on PBA, but, as I’ve noted more than once, Obama also lobbied against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA). In other words, before he was elected U.S. President—twice—then state senator Obama spoke out in favor of what could only be described as infanticide.

And PP continues to roll on. Liberals are even pointing out that “the transfer of human fetal tissue is not illegal in the United States. Women undergoing abortions sometimes choose to donate fetal tissue for scientific research and abortion providers do not facilitate these donations without their explicit consent.” Nice.

Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for PP, says that “In health care, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases. (Because, you know, it’s important for those who have just killed a child in the womb to be able to help save a life.) Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different. At several of our health centers (A nice name for a place where so many lives come to an end.), we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider (Yes, because so many “high-quality health care providers” are devoted to death.) does—with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards.” (It takes high ethical standards to suck out a child’s brains with a stiff upper lip.)

Forgive me if I think this will really change things. I’m not very encouraged that, in spite of all the evidence we already have pointing to the truth of abortion and abortion providers, Americans are suddenly going to turn on PP because of the harvesting and marketing of baby organs. Additionally, can I really trust a nation who routinely elects rabid abortion apologists like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, to all of a sudden have a conscience when it comes to the unborn?

Please, surprise me America.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com