Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Stop the presses!!! According to an e-mail I just received from "reliable" sources, a so-called "faction of the US government" and VP Dick Cheney are planning a "false" terrorist attack as a pretext for a war with Iran and suspension of America's civil liberties (intelligence agencies have been picking up increased "chatter" among terrorist groups, according to media reports). This warning was co-signed by such reliable eminent officials as (thankfully former) Congresswoman Cynthia "Cop-Slapper" McKinney and Mother Cindy Sheehan.

So, let's see if we can make sense of all this: The same ilk that accused the Bush administration of not "connecting the dots" and warning the public before 9-11 now gets mad when the government now, well, connects the dots and warns the public. Their solution is, of course, is to impeach Cheney. That's right, let's freeze D.C. with a major governmental crisis. That will solve the problem (well, maybe we should be relieved they've laid off of President Bush for the time being).

No word from this same "peace" group on the not-so-peaceful bellowing of Iran's president, who has publicly promised to wipe Israel off the map (with his puppet master mullahs looking on with approval).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So much for a "new direction"

A national Gallup poll reported this week that Congress (yes, the newly-minted Democratic Congress) has matched its lowest rating ever at 18%. Still waiting for Nancy Pelosi to bring the millenium to Capitol Hill, anyone? That's what you get when you have a national temper tantrum at the polls (in the words of Dr. Jack Wheeler).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

If you didn't get The Observer this month ...

For those who usually receive The Observer e-mail newsletter: if you haven't received it this month (August 2007), please send me your updated e-mail address. Thanks and God bless!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Slanted history

On my library shelf I have a book called The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History by Michael Hart. I dive into it once in a while for historical research or even anecdotes for sermons (for example, Alexander the Great, unlike nearly all other generals, led his forces into battles instead of staying in the back. While he did suffer many wounds, he was demonstrating to his troops that he would not ask them to do something he was not willing to do himself—a good principle of leadership).

The reason I’m discussing this book here is because it demonstrates how modern historians tend to whitewash the history of Islam, while giving no quarter to the Bible as a historical record (let alone as being the inspired Word of God).

Many Christians won’t like this book for the mere fact that, in terms of influence on world history, Hart places Muhammad at No. 1 on the list, with Jesus only at No. 3 (Sir Isaac Newton, by the way, was No. 2). Hart argues that Muhammad was influential in both religious and political realms; plus, Hart splits the credit for Christianity’s spread between Jesus and the Apostle Paul (No. 6 on the list).

Hart’s entitled to his (wrong) opinion I guess, and anyway, I always felt deep down that Jesus shouldn’t be on the list in any event—Jesus is the God of the universe with the Father and Holy Spirit, so how could one put our Lord and Creator on a list to compare Him with mere mortals anyway?

Still, Hart’s observations about Jesus and Muhammad (made in 1978, by the way) are instructive, so far as they prove my above point. Hart’s comments on Muhammad’s rise to power and the violent spread of Islam seem like they are in a tone of wonderment: “…in a scant century of fighting, these Bedouin tribesmen, inspired by the Word of the Prophet, had carved out an empire stretching from the borders of India to the Atlantic Ocean—the largest empire the world has yet seen. And everywhere the armies conquered, large-scale conversion to the new faith eventually followed” (p. 35). Nothing here in Hart’s narrative speaks of these being FORCED conversions—you and your family converted, unless you chose death, slavery or permanent, oppressed second-class status.

Hart also makes completely ignorant claims on p. 39 while discussing the Koran: “Most of (Muhammad’s) utterances were copied more or less faithfully during Muhammad’s lifetime and were collected together in authoritative form not long after his death. The Koran, therefore, closely represents Muhammad’s ideas and teachings and to a considerable extent his exact words. No such detailed compilation of the teachings of Christ has survived” (emphasis mine). Has Hart not heard of the Gospel accounts? Well, he has: “Unfortunately, the Gospels contradict each other on various points. For example, Matthew and Luke give completely different versions of Jesus’ last words …” (p. 49). There’s no consideration that the “contradictory” statements could have BOTH been made by Jesus, or that the varying perspectives given be each gospel writing (far from being “contradictory”) actually show the gospel accounts to be VERY historically reliable. No one seems to question eyewitness accounts by Muhammad’s followers, or those of Socrates for that matter. Only the Bible (including the Gospels) is God’s inspired Word, making it a prime target of “downgrading” by “scholars.” Let’s put it this way: don’t expect a “Muhammad Seminar” questioning the authenticity of the Koran anytime soon.

Hart also takes a swipe at Paul for allegedly being oppressive toward women (taking verses in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy out of context) on p. 64, while ignoring Paul’s words in Galatians 3:28 (“there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”), and his work with the husband and wife apostolic team of Priscilla and Aquila in the Book of Acts. For that matter, Hart doesn’t DARE touch the Koran’s oppressive view of women: a women’s testimony is half of that of a man (Koran 2:282); is entitled to half an inheritance that a man would receive (4:11); compares women to fields to be tilled by men (2:223); and orders men to beat disobedient wives (4:34). But surely, these verses are not taken seriously in today’s Muslim world, right? “The Pakistani Institute of Medical Science has determined that over 90 percent of Pakistani wives have been struck, beaten or abused sexually—for offenses on the order of cooking an unsatisfactory meal. Others were punished for failing to give birth to a male child” (from Amnesty International, April 17, 2002 news briefing, cited in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) by Robert Spencer, p. 70).

Again, Hart’s book in general is very good for concise history and good anecdotes—but it isn’t hard to see the “scholarly” slant towards Islam and against Christianity in his book—a slant that has sadly permeated much of modern American scholarship and the media.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

War of the Worlds

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing: ABC TV was devoting an entire broadcast to what they called was the greatest threat to civilization—global warming. Complete with live action shots from around the globe, they featured melting ice caps, freaky weather aberrations, the works. I was overwhelmed with shock—not at the “shocking reports,” but at the amount of wasted airtime.

It also reminded me of another “shocking newscast” from the days when radio ruled: the famed 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast. The Mercury Theater (featuring Orson Welles) did a dramatization of H.G. Well’s classic novel, with newscast-like acting that made it sound like an invading army from Mars was REALLY landing in New Jersey to take over planet Earth. A mass hysteria occurred during the broadcast, with listeners arming themselves, evacuating their homes and a few even trying to kill themselves. The irony of the whole incident, as Welles noted later in a TV show recounting the incident, is that Americans jumped at believing the phony Mars invasion news reports (why didn’t they just turn the radio dial? It was only broadcast on CBS radio), while turning a deaf ear to a REAL threat that was looming in Europe (you might have read about it: something having to do with Hitler and Nazis trying to take over the world, triggering a REAL war, namely World War II).

It looks like that’s what is happening now with the country jumping to the sound of global warming alarms—while ignoring the steady Islamification of Europe, with remnants of the continent’s Christian heritage on the verge of being wiped out (a phenomenon that is making its way to our shores, slowly but surely). We hardly blink an eye when Islamic terrorists come to within a hair of blowing up a dozen places in Britain, or plot to blow up Kennedy Airport in NY and surrounding places—but we shudder when a chunk of ice breaks off in Antarctica. Is it maybe because we realize, deep down inside, that global warming really IS an illusion, that warming cycles are part of nature? Maybe it’s far easier to watch Al Gore pine about his “inconvenient truths” (then again, staying awake for that COULD be a chore in itself) or watch some innocuous worldwide concert, so we can pat ourselves on the back about doing OUR part to stop tidal waves from coming to New York or multiple hurricanes hitting Florida.

Of course, should we ever come to live in the Islamic Republic of America, you can be sure than global warming will take a back seat to other “big” issues (which would be something to truly shudder about).

Matthew 16:3

My blog is inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:3: “…you know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” I have a private e-mail newsletter I send out, but this site gives me room between those newsletters (which are infrequent anyway) to “vent” about some of these “signs” we are seeing in today’s world.
If you’re looking for news on whether the nutty president of Iran is the Antichrist, you may want to try another blog. I’m basically going to address news items, especially less than well reported ones, that give a good glimpse into the times we’re living in. Of course, I’ll probably throw in some unrelated stuff along the way while I’m at it.