The Propaganda of Qana August 1, 2006Posted by June in Around the World, News, Politics, War on Terror.
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This is something that was mentioned on Rush’s show today that I thought was important to see for myself and to post here. It took me a while since this computer is having trouble with a majority of the photos on webpages; but I viewed this.
I must warn you that, while there is not a lot of blood in the photos, they are rather graphic. Proceed with caution, especially since you will be seeing them one after another and described with much detail.
1. Milking it?
Here you are taken through a series of photos that are supposed to be spontaneous, candid shots of rescue workers (or, rather, worker) removing children from the rubble at Qana. What becomes obvious by the time you reach the end of that post is that these “rescue” workers are not really rescuing these children but, rather, exploiting them in a most despicable fashion by parading their bodies and posing with them for the cameras.
Here is a look at “Green Helmet”, the star of the previous photographs and his history with the previous bombing of Qana in 1996.
Here is the truth about Qana that the majority of the media is not reporting. Hezbollah purposely planted and launched rockets at Israel and Israeli civilians from near this building that was filled with women and children, hiding like skulking cowards behind the skirts of women and the innocence of children and setting them up as sacrifices for the cause of Islamofascism.
Is it really coincidence that there are so few men who are victims when the rocket launchers were so close to this area? Are we to believe that women and children were operating these machines? Let’s not forget the fact that Hezbollah has occupied Lebanon but is actually funded by Iran and Syria. Whether or not the Lebonese government is supporting Hezbollah, as well, is up for debate. It is a little questionable as to why Lebanon did not ask for help in ridding itself of these terrorists, especially after the UN resolutions they signed saying that they would do so if Israel gave up Gaza, which Israel did.
In any case, these Hezbollah terrorists are the same kind of people who strap bombs onto their own kids and send them in to blow themselves up as long as they also take out Israelites with them. Why would they think twice before putting other Muslim people’s children at risk if it means winning the PR war. I am reminded of a Palestinian mother who is hailed as a hero for sending her sons in to bomb Israelites and of the money Saddam paid to people whose children have done so. Another reminder is the photo in this post on Brent Roos’s site.
Also, very interesting is the updates at the bottom which I will post here. I’d like people to take particular note of the Update at 8:10 pm:
Also, the Security Council is meeting today, with Kofi asking it to condemn the attack.
Update at 7 pm: Olmert has issued a statement claiming that Qana has been used as a base for launching missiles against Israel, backed up by IDF video footage showing missiles being launched (broadcast on BBC News 24 on the 7pm bulletin). Blair, speaking from California, says, “these atrocities must not be allowed to continue”.
Update at 8.10 pm: According to Israel National News, Senior IDF officers say there is a contradiction in the timing of the bombing of Qana and reports of the explosion. Air Force Commander Amir Eshel left open the possibility that Hizbullah terrorists blew up the building or that an unknown cause set off explosives which were stored in the structure.
He explained that recorded information shows that Israeli Air Force planes bombed the building between midnight and 1 am and that the next attack at 7:30 am was up to 500 yards away. He said reports of the killing of civilians came around 8 am. “It is not clear what happened” between 1 am and 8 am, he said.
A Bit Delayed July 27, 2006Posted by June in Blog.
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What can I say? I’ve been tired as of late. I never really talk about my personal life, do I? *shrug* There isn’t much of interest. There are a few twists and turns here and there. Been trying to gather my courage for what I must do; but maybe there’s a new path? Heh. Been playing Kingdom Hearts and KHII for too long? Maybe. 😀 (FMV sequences and the theme song are better in the first; but controls are better in the second. I loved the addition of one world in particular in the second one. Care to guess which one?)
I’ve been thinking about a piece on what it’s like to be a mixed kid after I finish my next series, though. Depends on the timing.
Also, I’ve been asked to do a breakdown on an animation sequence. Seeing what I can do there. That would take time, lots of time.
The Vast Masses Cheer My Return July 19, 2006Posted by June in Blog.
Mwah ha ha ha!! Okay, so maybe not vast masses but, hopefully, a nice little sum of people.
*Sigh* What is with these spam posts recently? I’ve got two that got past the Akismet spam filter and five that I have just removed from the filter. One seems to be genuine praise, at least. Thank you for your kind words; but I can’t take all of the credit for the design of this site. This is mostly a template on WordPress. But the praise for the header I will take. 😀 😉 Thanks! I like it. 😀
I wrote about the details of the header and what it exactly is composed of here.
I’m looking forward to doing a nice little article on God’s grace. Coming soon.
Chemical Munitions in Iraq June 24, 2006Posted by June in Around the World, Executive Branch, Politics, War on Terror.
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Okay, before I go, I will post this link here. This is a developing story that will be interesting to see where it goes as more of this document is unclassified.
Now I shall bid my adieu's until July 17.
***scroll for updates…FoxNews.com coverage***
Emerging buzz seems to be focused on why it took so long to release info about 500 chemical-weapons shells found in Iraq. Allah's got video of Santorum and chock full of links.
Some will claim that the release is strictly for political purposes. They may have a point, but I doubt it will have anything to do with domestic politics. If Bush wanted to use it for that, he would have done so in October 2004 and not in June 2006. This information changes the picture about our pre-war intelligence in time for the Iranian confrontation — and I suspect that the White House wants to declassify it in order to convince European leaders that our intel actually paid off.
Glenn Reynolds has the press conference transcript with Santorum and Hoekstra.
Here's the declassified summary of the key points from the National Ground Intelligence Center report on the recovery of chem munitions in Iraq.
Allah will have video/analysis of anything interesting from Santorum's appearance tonight on Hannity and Colmes.
Power Line weighs in. John Hinderaker:
This is certainly significant, but what they're talking about is old munitions left over from, presumably, before the first Gulf War. This doesn't appear to constitute evidence that Saddam's regime had continued to manufacture chemical weapons in more recent years. What it does demonstrate is that the picture with respect to Iraq's WMDs is much more nuanced than the usual "he didn't have any" mantra. There is no doubt about the fact that Saddam had, and used, chemical and biological weapons. Nor is there any doubt about the fact that he eagerly pursued nuclear weapons. Further, the Iraq Survey Group report says that he had every intention of resuming his programs as soon as the coast was clear and the U.N. sanctions were behind him. Add to that the fact that hundreds of chemical weapons, at a minimum, were secreted in various locations around Iraq–as also shown by this document–and it is reasonable to conclude that, even though the CIA and nearly all other observers over-estimated Iraq's WMD capabilities, the fear that Saddam might use such weapons, or slip them to a terrorist group, was well-founded.
Scott Johnson adds an e-mail from Michael Ledeen:
Please point out to your readers that Negroponte only declassified a few fragments of a much bigger document. Read the press conference and you will see that Santorum and Hoekstra were furious at the meager declassification. They will push for more, and we all must do that. I am told that there is a lot more in the full document, which CIA is desperate to protect, since it shows the miserable job they did looking for WMDs in Iraq.
Update: Santorum and Hoekstra on H&C here.
Vacation June 24, 2006Posted by June in Blog.
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Well, it's that time of year: summer.
It's a time when families finally get together, gather all of their junk, and head out for that little destination of relaxation. What I am trying to say is that I'm going to be absent for the next three weeks. My dad is flying in from China and taking us to Florida. I will be back on July 17.
'Til then, see ya'll later.
Thank God for the American Soldier June 20, 2006Posted by June in Around the World, Conservatism, Executive Branch, Politics, War on Terror.
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I just want to take some time to reflect on the brave men and women in our military and to highlight a moving comment by one on another blog.
I wish I could go through all of history to thank each and everyone of them for risking their life or paying the ultimate price to ensure that I am able to write this and my other thoughts on this blog with complete freedom today. There are people in my father's home country who are arrested for writing things that criticize the government; but here I am, free to write what I please so long as it is not intentionally libelous.
(P.S. Since these are long paragraphs and since putting this in blockquotes makes it all the harder to read, I am going to divide some of the paragraphs at strategic places to make it a bit easier.)
“Remarkably, for many prowar Christians, the sight of suffering doesn’t help them to empathize with the sufferer–it just makes them angry (scroll down to see typical comments). They don’t want to know how others are hurting. They want to enjoy Father’s Day with their families with not a care in the world about all those fathers in this country, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan who’ve lost children and will continue to lose children to this sinful war. And Friend, that’s not Christian.”
I think your comments seem to by-pass a crucial question, and instead you focus on emotional questions which are just as strong in both directions. The emotional straw-man, “fathers who have lost children,” can be used to move people in any direction, right and wrong. But the question of whether War is ever justified must be answered first. I think that your article is heart felt and I would not imply that you used your father’s death as a tool to coerce people into thinking the way you do. However, I think that others reading this article must understand that if they believe War is ever justified, the fact that fathers and mothers lose sons and daughters and so on is not a determinative factor. It is a determinative factor when you are coming to your own conclusion about whether War is ever justified. But once you determine that War is sometimes a necessity, the fact that people will die ceases to hold weight in whether the War is just.
I myself am a Christian. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he became a man in flesh, was the only perfect person, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. In other words, I believe it is more than a good way to live and that Jesus was more than just a man who had some good things to say. I know many real Christians who are pacifists and I know many real Christians who believe that there is biblical support for War under certain circumstances. If you are a pacifist, and believe that killing in all contexts is wrong, and you are truly seeking God’s guidance in coming to your decision and keep seeking, I could not question that. I say the same for those who support war. There are good arguments in both directions. The debate between Just War theory and Pacifism within a Christian context is long and I am not attempting to have that here. But I am saying that there are true Christians, seeking to follow after Christ on both sides of the debate. And I am saying that once one concedes that Wars are sometimes justified, using the fact that people die and accusing those who support it as not empathizing with those who are affected most by the loss is intellectually dishonest. Unlike one of the comments, I believe that Jesus is the answer. Unfortunately, we are all not Christians and we that are Christians are not perfect. That’s Sin. And that’s exactly why we need Christ because we cannot do it on our own. You can see it in this war. Sin and our desire to do things our way is the root cause. Then we pass it on to the next generation and the next. And it gets to the point where almost all solutions imaginable have horrible flaws. The ONLY solution is Christ and what he did for us.
I have carried the bodies of the dead in this war. I have left my wife and child more than once to participate in both Iraqi freedom and Enduring freedom. I see the faces of those who were with them while they died … before the bloggers see a number or a picture on Yahoo news. I don’t say that to say that I am more qualified to speak on the matter. It would be entirely possible to care about it less than someone who doesn’t experience it first hand. I say it because for me, it’s not something occurring in a distant land. I do however hope that If I were to die, my death would not be used as a commodity or for people think I was ignorant in my decision. You (or your dad?) call them well meaning kids who had no idea what they signed up for. This is quite offensive to the majority of us who know exactly what we did when we signed up. I think some people thought it was a free handout for some education cash or just another job. But Most of us do it because we owe those who came before us for our freedoms and we want to preserve it for our children as well. For the majority of us who know why we are here, fighting side by side with Afghani’s and Iraqi’s who are willing to die because they know what it was like to live the way it was before and they would die so that their families and children don’t have to experience that again.
We don’t remember what that is like. We can contemplate the metaphysical universe; disagree with each other without facing death and the raping of our daughters or wives before our very eyes. Those who had the ability to do those things have lost that power, and they want it back. I am glad that those people are no longer dominating (I’m not saying you all aren’t glad). But I’m not surprised they are still fighting to get what they had back! The biggest problem with the current debate in the U.S. is the microwave mindset. Do we really think that the people who have had violent control over everyone else for so long would just hand it over in and instant? They know our society is not known for its patience. They will fight for generations while we think that success can only be measured by time.
You could argue that there was a better way to end the reign of violence and atrocity that existed before our arrival. I can think of a few. Doing nothing was not an option, and it was quite evident that Clinton’s approach of steady presence of troops and firing of missiles into Baghdad to show them he meant business did not work either but only served to make things work without any measurable success. There are other options of course. But Bush had to make a choice from the state of the world as is when it was handed to him, and we must do the same. The war exists. The people of Afghanistan and Iraq are fighting side by side with troops from all over the world to ensure they don’t have to live under the violence they experienced previously. How can we love our neighbors in the state of the world we are now in? With violent people trying to regain their power, it is to teach those who want to live and let live to protect themselves and to restrain those who would impose violent control over them.
You mentioned people:
“termed by newscasters as “terrorists” in the early years of the war, or as “insurgents”, the dehumanizing catch-all label used ever since to describe Iraqi and Afghan victims from 6 to 60.”
While language and rhetoric is powerful, and can be used to shape opinions and mask extra insight into situations, I really don’t see your point here in this context. Claiming the word insurgents is dehumanizing is kind of silly. Dehumanization is a horrible tactical tool used by lots of people throughout history and now. Rwanda used it against each other, Hitler used it, it occurs in African nations today on a large scale, it occurs in much of the world to the detriment of women, it occurred in the south in the United States for a long time, and it occurs right now by refusing to use the word baby to describe a living being with a completely separate from her parents and completely human DNA structure. Lets make it more clear. Those human beings, Those people who have a mother and father, who rape other people to get back at those who love them. Those humans who kill women for being raped. Those human beings who decide that everyone must follow the rules they set forth or face death. Those persons whom God created in his own image, who chose to saw a person’s head off rather than give up their power. Those people who teach children as soon as they can speak to hate, and who strap bombs to their six year old children to blow up random people. Those types of people need to be stopped. Why don’t you think of another word to describe them and get back to me. I know that there are people who do horrible things on both sides of this war. But you know what, we send the people to jail when they go outside of the narrow limits of attempting to stop only those who are violent against us. We criticize their action and rightly so. But we cannot take a position that because we are imperfect, that others who do evil things must be let alone to continue their atrocities. There is no conflict between the commands that we should not judge others lest we be judged and the command that we defend those who cannot defend themselves. They are in perfect harmony with loving our neighbors as Christ has loved us.
I think the comments regarding those who support the war being spoon fed from Fox or wherever contribute nothing to the debate. Media is the scapegoat of every side and of every issue. You said your dad “grew up in the era of newscasters like Walter Cronkhite. It’s understandable that he expected the news on TV to be actual news, not White House/Pentagon political manipulation.” I think I started to question your seriousness here for a second. But please don’t take that as an insult. I do believe you are serious when you wrote the rest of the article. In Russia you have state run news, in the US you have News influenced by yes the administrations, and also the academic ivory tower, the media and the newscasters own beliefs etc. Today we have blogs, internet, tons of news stations and papers from every persuasion. Back than we had 3. Russia had 1. It’s true that it certainly makes it harder to wade through information today. But the values of free speech and keeping people honest favors many outlets. I believe that the ability to obtain truth is increased the further our avenues of searching for it are opened. Those who want Fox off the air are not different than those who want the New York Times or CBS to go under. Same people, wanting to get rid of a source for the same reason: they disagree with the conclusions they draw and the methods they draw them. Both CBS, FOX, ABC, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal all have articles and programs that make me cringe every once in a while. They don’t hide their agenda’s very well. The more paternalistic side of all of us in these debates probably wants to limit the number of people who are persuaded by bad reasons to come down one way or another on a issue we’ve already made a decision on. But the best way to do that is intellectually honest dialogue rather than some of the tactics used in your article and the comments that followed.
I think what you did, like pointing out how all the images are of burning streets and that the middle eastern clothes we see seems to emphasize the otherness of the people in these countries, is a good thing to point out. Emphasizing that we are all human is essential. A picture of difference can be used to support or attack the war. A picture of a burning car can be used to gather support for hatred of an enemy or for hatred of the United States. It’s a messed up game. The important thing to continue to do is to point out the human interests involved. Looking different should not be used to increase hate for the “other”. We need to see each other as humans. The problem is that you didn’t mention the enemy’s failure to do the same. It didn’t mention the sawing off of heads and the atrocities conducted against the general population of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Or what about the events on 9/11? Somehow missing from your memory about your dad’s concerns. What is your purpose and agenda in mentioning one and not the other? Is it justified when they do it because they are an “other” to us? Is it justified because they couldn’t defeat us using conventional tactics? Should they fight as we do? Should they fight at all? Are we just more advanced than them? Or is freedom only for the westerners? You know the good thing about this war is that before it became in our interest to protect ourselves from these violent people, we didn’t really have to worry about what was going on to the general population of those countries because they were just the “other”. This war, despite the fact that it our own interest was a catalyst for it, caused us to confront the “other.” Before, the “other” was held in oppression and violence but it wasn’t on our mind. Today it is. We need to continually confront the other and come to them in the name of Love. Part of that is to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Not only that, but the people who hated us need confronted too. They don’t have a right because of their status as “other” to commit violence against other human beings. The person who made a comment about “How fashist is to impose your own way of democracy using state terrorism” is interesting. I have a question for her or him. Where did you get your definition of the word fascist? Does another language and another color or culture mean that a few people should be allowed to dictate violence upon all who disagree? How Eurocentric is it to think that westerners are the only ones who should have a choice in how to live and what to wear and what to believe? Why is state infringement of borders more offensive than one human infringing upon the life of a bunch of other humans? We need compassion and we need to do all we can to prevent the destruction of human life, innocent and non-innocent. But political opportunism and complacently allowing the people who want to regain their violent stronghold over the people in other nations is not helping humanity in any way. You know, our lives could be easier if we didn’t have to think about the evils that occur in the rest of the world. We could just focus on ourselves and try to increase the pleasure meter in the places that we can see. It’s a lot easier to apologize for failing to stop the Rwandan genocide than it would have been to try to do something about it. Are you tired of this war? Does it hurt that you have to think about people that lost loved ones? Good. I hope we can start using that pain to think of ideas to stop it in these two countries, in our own countries, and in the future.
The Genealogy of the Messiah June 18, 2006Posted by June in Christianity, Religion.
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I saw this and knew that I just had to post this immediately. Not only does it establish Jesus as the heir to the throne of David; but it also shows how much God regards women, how important her line is.
Agh!! It's going to be so hard to cut pieces out of this article to highlight the most important parts because you need to read the entire thing to get the full impact. If you wish, only read what I post; but the best thing to do is click on the link and read for yourself.
by Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
November 1, 1987
Genealogies established one's Jewishness, one's tribal identity, one's right to the priesthood and one's right to kingship.From all the genealogies in the Hebrew Scriptures, two observations become apparent. With very rare exceptions, only the male line is traced and only men's names appear. The descendancy of wommen is not given and their names are only mentioned in passing. Since biblically it was the father who determined both national and tribal identity, it was reasoned that only his line was necessary.
The pattern of genealogy in the Hebrew Scriptures is followed by the New Testament pattern where two genealogies are found: Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38.
In Matthew, Joseph plays an active role, but Miriam (Mary) plays a passive role. Matthew records angels appearing to Joseph, but there is no record of angels appearing to Miriam. Matthew records Joseph's thoughts but nothing is recorded about Miriam's thoughts. On the other hand, Luke's Gospel tells the same story from Miriam's perspective. From the context of each Gospel, it should be very evident that the genealogy of Matthew is that of Joseph, and the genealogy of Luke is that of Miriam.
The question then raised is: Why do we need two genealogies, especially since Y'shua (Jesus) was not the real son of Joseph? A popular and common answer is: Matthew's Gospel gives the royal line, whereas Luke's Gospel gives the real line. From this concept, another theory arises. Since seemingly Joseph was the heir apparent to David's throne, and Jesus was the adopted son of Joseph, Jesus could claim the right to David's throne. On the other hand, Luke's Gospel gives the real line, showing that Y'shua himself was a descendant of David. Through Miriam, he was a member of the house of David, but he could claim the right to sit on David's throne through Joseph, the heir apparent. Actually the exact opposite is true.
To understand the need for these two genealogies, it is important to understand the two requirements for kingship in the Hebrew Scriptures. These were developed after the division of the kingdom after the death of Solomon.…
One was applicable to the southern Kingdom of Judah, with its capital in Jerusalem, while the other was applicable to the northern Kingdom of Israel, with its capital in Samaria. The requirement for the throne of Judah was Davidic descendancy. No one was allowed to sit on David's throne unless he was a member of the house of David. So when there was a conspiracy to do away with the house of David (Isaiah 7:5-6), God warned that any such conspiracy was doomed to failure (Isaiah 8:9-15).
The requirement for the throne of Israel was prophetic sanction or divine appointment. Anyone who attempted to rule on Samaria's throne without prophetic sanction was assassinated (1 Kings 11:26-39; 15:28-30; 16:1-4, 11-15; 21:21-29; 11 Kings 9:6-10; 10:29-31; 14 8-12).
With the background of these two biblical requirements for kingship and what is stated in the two New Testament genealogies, the question of Jesus' right to the throne of David can be resolved.
In his genealogy, Matthew breaks with Jewish tradition and custom. He mentions the names of four women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba (who is the one to whom the pronoun "her" in verse six refers). It was contrary to Jewish practice to name women in a genealogy. The Talmud states, "A mother's family is not to be called a family." Even the few women Luke does mention were not the most prominent women in the genealogy of Y'shua. He could have mentioned Sarah, but did not. However, Matthew has a reason for naming these four and no others.
First, they were all Gentiles. This is obvious with Tamar, Rahab and Ruth. It was probably true of Bathsheba, since her first husband, Uriah, was a Hittite. Here Matthew hints at something he makes clear later: that while the main purpose of the coming of Jesus was to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel, the Gentiles would also benefit from his coming. Second, three of these women were guilty of sexual sins. Bathsheba was guilty of adultery, Rahab was guilty of prostitution and Tamar was guilty of incest. Again, Matthew only hints at a point he later clarifies: that the purpose of the Messiah's coming was to save sinners. While this fits into the format of Old Testament genealogy, it is not Matthew's main point.
Matthew's genealogy also breaks with tradition in that he skips names. He traces the line of Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, by going back into history and working toward his own time. He starts tracing the line with Abraham (verse 2) and continues to David (verse 6). Out of David's many sons, Solomon is chosen (verse 6), and the line is then traced to King Jeconiah (verse 11), one of the last kings before the Babylonian captivity. From Jeconiah (verse 12), the line is traced to Joseph (verse 16). Joseph was a direct descendant of David through Solomon, but also through Jeconiah. The "Jeconiah link" is significant in Matthew's genealogy because of the special curse pronounced on Jeconiah in Jeremiah 22:24-30:
As I live," declares the LORD,
"even though Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim
king of Judah were a signet ring on my right
hand, yet I would pull you off…
"Is this man Jeconiah a despised, shattered jar?
Or is he an undesirable vessel?
Why have he and his descendants been hurled out
and cast into a land that they had not known?
"O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD!!
"Thus says the LORD, 'Write this man [Jeconiah] down childless,
A man who will not prosper in his days;
For no man of his descendants will prosper
Sitting on the throne of David, Or ruling again in Judah.'
No descendant of Jeconiah would have the right to the throne of David. Until Jeremiah, the first requirement for messianic lineage was to be of the house of David. With Jeremiah, it was limited still further. Now one had to be not only of the house of David, but apart from Jeconiah.
According to Matthew's genealogy, Joseph had the blood of Jeconiah in his veins. He was not qualified to sit on David's throne. He was not the heir apparent. This would also mean that no real son of Joseph would have the right to claim the throne of David. Therefore if Jesus were the real son of Joseph, he would have been disqualified from sitting on David's throne. Neither could he claim the right to David's throne by virtue of his adoption by Joseph, since Joseph was not the heir apparent.
The purpose of Matthew's genealogy, then, is to show why Y'shua could not be king if he were really Joseph's son. The purpose was not to show the royal line. For this reason, Matthew starts his Gospel with the genealogy, presents the Jeconiah problem, and then proceeds with the account of the virgin birth which, from Matthew's viewpoint, is the solution to the Jeconiah problem. In summary, Matthew deduces that if Jesus were really Joseph's son, he could not claim to sit on David's throne because of the Jeconiah curse; but Jesus was not Joseph's son, for he was born of the virgin Miriam (Matthew 1:18-25).
Unlike Matthew, Luke follows strict Jewish procedure and custom in that he omits no names and mentions no women. However, if by Jewish custom one could not mention the name of a woman, but wished to trace her line, how would one do so? He would use the name of her husband. (Possible Old Testament precedents for this practice are Ezra 2:61 and Nehemiah 7:63.) That would raise a second question: If someone studied a genealogy, how would he know whether the genealogy were that of the husband or that of the wife, since in either case the husband's name would be used? The answer is not difficult; the problem lies with the English language.
In English it is not good grammar to use a definite article ("the") before a proper name ("the" Matthew, "the" Luke, "the" Miriam): however, it is quite permissible in Greek grammar. In the Greek text of Luke's genealogy, every single name mentioned has the Greek definite article "the" with one exception: the name of Joseph (Luke 3:23). Someone reading the original would understand by the missing definite article from Joseph's name that this was not really Joseph's genealogy, but his wife Miriam's.
Furthermore, although many translations of Luke 3:23 read: "…being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli…," because of the missing Greek definite article before the name of Joseph, that same verse could be translated as follows: "Being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph the son of Heli…".1 In other words, the final parenthesis could be expanded so that the verse reads that although Y'shua was "supposed" or assumed to be the descendant of Joseph, he was really the descendant of Heli. Heli was the father of Miriam. The absence of Miriam's name is quite in keeping with the Jewish practices on genealogies. The Jerusalem Talmud recognized this genealogy to be that of Miriam and not Joseph and refers to Miriam as the daughter of Heli (Hagigah 2:4).
Also in contrast to Matthew, Luke begins his genealogy with his own time and goes back into history all the way to Adam. It comes to the family of David in versees 31-32. However, the son of David involved in this genealogy is not Solomon but Nathan. So, like Joseph, Miriam was a member of the house of David. But unlike Joseph, she came from David's son, Nathan, not Solomon. Miriam was a member of the house of David apart from Jeconiah. Since Jesus was Miriam's son, he too was a member of the house of David, apart from Jeconiah.
In this way Jesus fulfilled the biblical requirement for kingship. Since Luke's genealogy did not include Jeconiah's line, he began his Gospel with the virgin birth, and only later, in describing Y'shua's public ministry, recorded his genealogy.
However, Jesus was not the only member of the house of David apart from Jeconiah. There were a number of other descendants who could claim equality with Y'shua to the throne of David, for they too did not have Jeconiah's blood in their veins. Why Jesus and not one of the others? At this point the second biblical requirement for kingship, that of divine appointment, comes into the picture. Of all the members of the house of David apart from Jeconiah, only one received divine appointment. Luke 1:30-33 states:
And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Miriam; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Y'shua. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.'
On what grounds then could Jesus claim the throne of David? He was a member of the house of David apart from Jeconiah. He alone received divine appointment to that throne: "The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David."
While Matthew's genealogy showed why Y'shua could not be king if he really were Joseph's son, Luke's genealogy shows why Y'shua could be king. When he returns, he will be king.
Two things may be noted by way of conclusion. First, many rabbinic objections to the messiahship of Jesus are based on his genealogy. The argument goes, "Since Jesus was not a descendant of David through his father, he cannot be Messiah and King." But the Messiah was supposed to be different. As early as Genesis 3:15, it was proposed that the Messiah would be reckoned after the "seed of the woman," although this went contrary to the biblical norm. The necessity for this exception to the rule became apparent when Isaiah 7:14 prophesied that the Messiah would be born of a virgin: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel." Whereas all others receive their humanity from both father and mother, the Messiah would receive his humanity entirely from his mother. Whereas Jewish nationality and tribal identity were normally determined by the father, with the Messiah it would be different. Since he was to have no human father, his nationality and his tribal identity would come entirely from his mother. True, this is contrary to the norm, but so is a virgin birth. With the Messiah, things would be different.
In addition, these genealogies present a fourfold portrait of the messianic person through four titles. In Matthew 1:1 he is called the Son of David and the Son of Abraham. In Luke 3:38 he is called the Son of Adam and the Son of God. As the Son of David, it means that Jesus is king. As the Son of Abraham, it means that Jesus is a Jew. As the Son of Adam, it means that Jesus is a man. As the Son of God, it means that Jesus is God. This fourfold portrait of the messianic person as presented by the genealogies is that of the Jewish God-Man King. Could the Messiah be anyone less?
Illegal Immigration: Our Weak Spot in Security June 16, 2006Posted by June in Bureaucracy, Conservatism, News, Politics.
An Amnesty by Any Other Name
Article obtained from here since NY Times put it under password after a little while of being up.
Two decades ago, while serving as attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, I was in the thick of things as Congress debated the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The situation today bears uncanny similarities to what we went through then.
In the mid-80's, many members of Congress — pushed by the Democratic majority in the House and the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy — advocated amnesty for long-settled illegal immigrants. President Reagan considered it reasonable to adjust the status of what was then a relatively small population, and I supported his decision.
In exchange for allowing aliens to stay, he decided, border security and enforcement of immigration laws would be greatly strengthened — in particular, through sanctions against employers who hired illegal immigrants. If jobs were the attraction for illegal immigrants, then cutting off that option was crucial.
Beyond this, most illegal immigrants who could establish that they had resided in America continuously for five years would be granted temporary resident status, which could be upgraded to permanent residency after 18 months and, after another five years, to citizenship.
Note that this path to citizenship was not automatic. Indeed, the legislation stipulated several conditions: immigrants had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible. Sound familiar? These are pretty much the same provisions included in the new Senate proposal and cited by its supporters as proof that they have eschewed amnesty in favor of earned citizenship.
The difference is that President Reagan called this what it was: amnesty. Indeed, look up the term "amnesty" in Black's Law Dictionary, and you'll find it says, "the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provided amnesty for undocumented aliens already in the country."
Like the amnesty bill of 1986, the current Senate proposal would place those who have resided illegally in the United States on a path to citizenship, provided they meet a similar set of conditions and pay a fine and back taxes. The illegal immigrant does not go to the back of the line but gets immediate legalized status, while law-abiding applicants wait in their home countries for years to even get here. And that's the line that counts. In the end, slight differences in process do not change the overriding fact that the 1986 law and today's bill are both amnesties.
There is a practical problem as well: the 1986 act did not solve our illegal immigration problem. From the start, there was widespread document fraud by applicants. Unsurprisingly, the number of people applying for amnesty far exceeded projections. And there proved to be a failure of political will in enforcing new laws against employers.
After a six-month slowdown that followed passage of the legislation, illegal immigration returned to normal levels and continued unabated. Ultimately, some 2.7 million people were granted amnesty, and many who were not stayed anyway, forming the nucleus of today's unauthorized population.
So here we are, 20 years later, having much the same debate and being offered much the same deal in exchange for promises largely dependent on the will of future Congresses and presidents. Will history repeat itself? I hope not. In the post-9/11 world, secure borders are vital. We have new tools — like biometric technology for identification, and cameras, sensors and satellites to monitor the border — that make enforcement and verification less onerous. And we can learn from the failed policies of the past.
Reagan did this with all the good intentions; but it backfired. Why are we making the same mistake once again? Why are we allowing people who broke the law to jump in front of law-abiding immigrants who came into this country legally, going through all the jumps and hurdles to get there.
The government can only let in so many people each year to prevent Americans from being outnumbered and to give the immigrants already here time to integrate and assimilate into the country, like my father did who came here at 19 not knowing a word of English. He did learn English; and he eventually became a citizen through the naturalization process (not by marriage).
By allowing these individuals to flood into our borders then get on a path to citizenship, we are allowing them to prevent law-abiding people from immigrating here because the government must take into account the number of illegals here, as well, when determining how many to let in.
That means thousands of legal immigrants who are left out in the cold or waiting forever to get here.
Besides, most of the people coming here do not want to assimilate. They do not want to become American. They want to force America to become Mexico or Columbia or whatever other country they come from. That's why they run around waving the Mexican flag rather than the American flag. That's why they demand Spanish translations for everything.
But, then again, what can you expect from immigrants who thumb their nose at our government, at our system? People who work hard, who save up to get here, who wait patiently for their green card to be approved — those people are the ones who will value what they get and who will value this country because they had to work so hard toacheive it.
We don't need new legislation. Reagan already signed border security bills into law. They simply have not been put into action. One thing that I am all for, though, is this idea of a wall on the border. Opponents liken it to the Berlin Wall; but I know that it's more like the Great Wall. What's the difference? The difference is that the Berlin Wall was put into place by the Communists to prevent people from leaving the country. The Great Wall was put in place to prevent people from invading. This wall would not be put up to keep Americans in, but to keep invaders out.
This is more than just an immigration issue. This is a security issue. This is a sovereignty issue. If we do not secure our borders, then we will not be able to prevent an attack on this nation. Terrorists could use this vulnerability to slip in with weapons and do us harm. Let's not also forget just how many criminals come across that border, as well. A good number of inmates in American prisons are illegals. The M13 gang is a gang that came over from Mexico. People living in high traffic crossing zones where illegals favor passage have reported vandalism, theft, and even endangerment of their lives by these people.
And if we don't have borders, we don't have a nation. America is the only country in the world required to do this. If you tried to sneak into France or Germany or Mexico or Hong Kong, you would be immediately deported (if not shot when sneaking into a Communist country.).Rush has a great idea. Let's adopt the Mexican immigration laws. If they are good for Mexico, then why are they not good for us?
I can understand why Bush is pressing for a guest worker program. In the Republican Party, there are business lobbyists that want the cheap labor; but they are getting low wages at the cost of our security and at the cost of all Americans because these illegals use many of the government programs that we pay for. Yes, they do pay sales tax when they buy things; but they do not have to pay an income tax that hits us like a ton of bricks along with many other taxes. So we do not end up on top in the end.
The highest concentration of illegals is in agriculture, where they are 24 percent of the people employed. That means three-quarters of the people are not illegal aliens. But when will the glib phrase-mongers stop telling us that the illegals are simply taking "jobs that Americans won't do"?
Besides, even if illegals were doing 70% of the labor, we still have all these welfare recipients sitting around doing nothing because, by law, to get welfare you must be unemployed. So why not put these people to good use by requiring them to do these jobs to get their checks? At least, we'll get some of our tax money back.
Personally, I would prefer security to be the issue that we deal with first. After we secure our borders, we can then worry about what to do with the illegals who are already here. But security of our nation is the most important thing.
Is God Male? June 16, 2006Posted by June in Artist Thinker Articles, Christianity, Philosophy, Religion.
The most recent comment to my blog got me really thinking about something: Is God male?
I remember hearing people say that angels have no gender because they are spiritual beings who don't need one. I don't remember what the reasons for that are; but that made me wonder why God would need a gender.
It's true that God is called Father and Son; but are those gender designations or role descriptions?
To presume that God is male is to presume that God is somehow incomplete:
1 Corinthians 11:11-12
11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
Men are only one half of the puzzle. Women are the other half.
18 The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
One definite indication that God has no gender is these verses.
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
1 This is the written account of Adam's line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."
It is interesting to note that "adam" is the Hebrew word for "man".
Well, as you can see in these verses, God says the He will make man in His own image, in His likeness; yet goes on to say that "man" is both male and female together. This fact is made abundantly clear in Genesis 5 where it says that God created them male and female and called them "man".
Take particulate note of verse 27 in the first chapter, which says,"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
It goes from singular to plural yet still being the same creature. This is also done in the fifth chapter which, as you can see, also goes from singular to plural while still referring to one being.
So what does this mean? Well, if you believe in the Trinity, the meaning becomes quite clear. If you look up at the verses from the first chapter that I have posted there, you will see that God refers to Himself as "we" and "us" and "our". This plurality is made even more apparent in the original Hebrew version, which, apparently, uses the plural form "elohim", meaning "gods" in English. Yet this plural form is used in a singular format.
Man was made in the likeness of God in that they were two separate beings yet one flesh, one person.
So why is this significant to determining the gender of God? Well, if God the Father and God the Son were both male (The Holy Spirit is more of an intangible being that seems to mostly do the bidding of the Father and the Son. This is made more firmly apparent by calling him the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost, using earthly terms that we understand.), then the image is imperfect. One of the two was represented imperfectly.
BUT, if God has no gender but rather the terms "Father" and "Son" are used to give us a picture of what role God has in our life using earthly terms that we understand, then gender would not matter in this picture, in this image of God. All that would matter is that the two be separate beings of one flesh, one person, which they were.
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
So why is God referred to as a "he"? Well, the angels are also referred to as "he". The word "he" doubles as a neutral term for both genders.
So why was Jesus, who was God the Son, a man? Well, there are various reasons why Jesus came down as a man. One would be that, at that time period, sons were viewed as equal with the father but not daughters.
For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Another would be that Jesus had to come down as a man to atone for the sins of Adam, whom the woman is a part of. Take note, Jesus was born of Mary, a woman, but not of any earthly man. This means that Jesus lacks the Y-chromosome from an earthly man that is only passed down from father to son; but this does mean that Jesus had Eve's mtDNA, which is only passed down through the mother. Does this mean that Jesus did not descend from Adam? No, because Eve is Adam. Thus, God's promise to Eve that her offspring would "crush the head of the snake" was fulfilled, for Jesus was the only man ever to be born of only an earthly woman.
Another reason would be that no one would take a woman seriously.
Another reason would be to give the perfect picture of the church being Jesus' bride for whom He died for and whom He is the head of. A man, the head of the house, is supposed to lay down his life for his wife, not the other way around.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
If God was male just because Jesus came down as a man, then God is also a bush since God appeared as a burning bush to Moses. God is also a pillar of fire and a cloud, which God appeared to the Israelites as. The Holy Spirit is actually a dove since that is how the Spirit materialized at Jesus' baptism.
But the most definitive piece of evidence is this:
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
That clearly states that Jesus came in the likeness of a human and was found to be in the appearance as a man.
Now stop right there. Genesis says that man was created in the image of God. If that meant that man looked like God, then God would not have to make Himself look like a human and God would not have to make Himself look like a man because God would already have the appearance of a man. That is more proof that when God refers to "image" He is referring to the fact that Adam and Eve are two yet one and more proof that God is not male.
Jesus was a man, not by nature but by form. His blood could be shed for man to atone for our sins because it was the blood of a man but it was the soul of God, who is perfect.
Teaching Johnny about Islam: The Hypocrisy June 2, 2006Posted by June in Christianity, Communism, Islam, Judicial Branch, Liberalism, News, Politics, Religion.
It seems that in my last posting, which was a news piece on the government requirement of a religion, that I was declared to be whining. I’ve thought about it and decided that that person was right; that so-called analysis was more of a whine than actual thought processes and beneath the standards which I have set out for myself to maintain. So I’m here now to amend that.
Please note that in the following that I speak of atheists who actively seek to ram their beliefs down other people’s throats, not peaceful atheists who don’t get offended at the least little thing.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Where is Michael Newdow? One would think that a person who takes offense to his daughter or any other child saying TWO TINY WORDS that speak nothing of the doctrine of Christianity in an oath of affinity to the country that governs and protects them would be having a fit and a heart attack about something as extreme as the role-playing that the kids in California are forced into.
But what about the 9th Circuit courts, the same court that ruled in favor of the Newdow case? I would like to hear someone tell me how come a child cannot learn about Islam the same way he is learning about Christianity? I would like to know how atheists like Newdow and the court system would view such a course of curriculum for Christianity? For example, again, this is what the kids are being FORCED into as part of a curriculum that is mandatory:
Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . .”
Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: “Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger.”
Chanting “Praise be to Allah” in response to teacher prompts.
Professing as “true” the Muslim belief that “The Holy Quran is God’s word.”
Giving up candy and TV to demonstrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
Designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially “becoming a Muslim” for two full weeks.
Instead we should have kids participating in the following:
Praying aloud Christian prayers that begin with “Dear God. . . .” and end with “…in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Memorizing John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Writing essays on how wonderful Jesus is.
Professing as “true” the Christian belief that “the Bible is God’s inerrant Word.”
Participating in Communion.
Designing Bible covers or drawing pictures of Jesus dying on the cross, taking a Christian name from someone in the Bible and essentially “becoming a Christian” for two full weeks.
How does that sound? If that is added onto this course, then sure, we should allow for this to continue; but this is, instead, what is happening:
In the California course on world religions, Christianity is not presented equally. It’s covered in just two days and doesn’t involve kids in any role-playing activities. But kids do get a good dose of skepticism about the Christian faith, including a biting history of its persecution of other peoples. In contrast, Islam gets a pass from critical review. Even jihad is presented as an “internal personal struggle to do one’s best to resist temptation,” and not holy war.
If the previous shouldn’t be allowed for Christianity, then why is it allowed for Islam? Why is it that atheists can have convulsions about a display of the Ten Commandments which can be passed up with not so much as a glance but be perfectly fine with this? Where is the ACLU in all of this who constantly has fits about such things?
We can debate on the Constitutionality of the words “under God” in the pledge another time when more space can be devoted to it. Right now I am addressing the Left’s interpretation of the First Amendment, which, for those who are not familiar with it, is the following:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of relgion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: or abridging the freedom of speech, of of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
To the Left, the parts on religion, obviously, actually mean to them that Congress shall make no law allowing for Christianity within 1,000 feet of anyone who might have a slight offense to it.
This interpretation, of course, is subject to change if or when the Left tries to outlaw Christianity.