There is something compelling about dystopian literature. For all the bleakness of living in various totalitarian societies, there’s always that one person who dares to hope. Who courageously fights against the evil overpowering them, sometimes in vain. Such is the heroine Offred, in the Handmaid’s Tale.
Like any good dystopian fiction, you read or watch and see the parallels in our own society. Margaret Atwood didn’t just imagine what the future could look like, she used real examples, things happening even today in various parts of the world to bring realism to her story. The Handmaid’s Tale makes for riveting television. The story is captivating, it is well written and acted. What it isn’t is original………or brave.
At its core the Handmaids Tale is trite, and unimaginative. It’s simply another version of the well-worn, overused theme that Fundamentalist Christians are a cesspool of hypocrisy that subjugates and devalues women. Never mind that women in Western nations, (you know, Christian nations) have more freedom and opportunity than women anywhere else in the world.
To be truly audacious how about a tale that is frighteningly close to becoming reality. A story of life in a Sharia inspired America. Instead of reimagined nun’s habits, the women would wear stylized burkas, men would read from the Quran before raping their servants, and instead of Gilead, we would now be called New Mecca.
Or how about a radical Feminist utopia. A nation run completely by women. Men could not own property, hold any position of authority, or vote. They would live in squalid colonies, waiting to be chosen to donate sperm which would then be artificially inseminated into women ready to bear children. Sex for pleasure would only be allowed in lesbian liaisons with other females. Children once weaned would be turned over to the state to be raised and educated. Freeing the women from the burden of child rearing so they could pursue lucrative careers or artistic endeavors.
Pushing the envelope in Hollywood obviously doesn’t mean what it used to. You would not find any producer or studio in Hollywood interested in making a movie with the above-mentioned themes. In this day of attacks on Charlie Hebdo, the pink hatted women’s marches and violent Antifa protests, I doubt anyone in the entertainment industry has that kind of courage anymore.
I was sitting at my computer, musing about the purpose of mankind. Musing is so much more satisfying than balancing the checkbook (yes, I still do that) or paying bills, but I digress. I cannot believe that an entire race, a race capable of space travel, is nothing more than a cosmic accident that evolved over the eons into the most destructive parasite on earth. No, we are beings created and designed for a reason.
How were we made? To be honest, the Bible really doesn’t give us the details. Were we simply spoken into existence? Did God literally take a handful of clay from the ground and mold it into a human being like a great spiritual sculptor? Was He the catalyst that sparked the primordial ooze into a living blob that slowly over the spans of time, developed into the human species, and all the other forms of life as well? Or are we the product of a biological interaction of a superior being? Based on what we actually know, any one of these scenarios is possible, and none of them diminish in any way the sovereignty of God. But none of them tell us why God created us.
To answer that question is to search for the very nature of God. Something that humans in their present state of development cannot fully comprehend. Was God lonely? Are we really nothing more than pets to Him? Was God bored, so he created a race of playthings? Creatures he could manipulate at whim? Is God a narcissist, so he made someone to feed His need for constant adulation? No, we are called the “children of God” for a reason. Please understand that I am not attempting to presume upon God in any way, but here are my thoughts on the subject.
In any loving functional family, parents do not choose to have children to fulfill selfish desires. It is not a need to have a child to “show off”, or to love us back, that compels us to procreate. It is a deep instinctive desire to pass on our values, our knowledge, and our genetic code, to another generation; in the hope that they can learn from our mistakes and make the world better than the generation before. Having children fulfills our need to love and nurture, and so it is with God.
God is an omniscient being, and it is my belief that God’s intention was to mold us, groom us and teach us so that he could some day share; when we as a race were ready; his infinite knowledge and wisdom with us. Just as any loving parent does not give an infant steak and lobster for dinner, or gives the car keys to a preschooler, the process of teaching was meant to be slow and thorough. By proving ourselves worthy with the little things, God would then trust us with the bigger things.
But Eve was impatient. In some families you have the obedient child. The one who does as he’s told, who pays attention to the teachings of his parents. This child is content with being given privileges equal to the responsibilities he takes on. This child has a special relationship to his parents because they can trust him. When he becomes an adult, they can send him out into the world with confidence. Then there is the headstrong child. Ready or not, this child wants the privileges and wants them now. Too stubborn to listen to the wisdom of his parents, he wants the short-cuts and will turn to those who can provide them. He is a source of anxiety to his parents and is not close to them. As an adult, this child is frequently in financial or moral trouble and turns to his parents for a solution. Eve was this kind of child
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, was not literally a tree, and she did not literally take a bite of a piece of fruit. Through the wily machinations of Satan, Eve became privy to a secret she was not ready to know. A secret she shared with Adam, and betrayed the trust of God. The acquisition of this knowledge, gained through disobedience, was the original sin. This knowledge, obtained without the wisdom to know how to handle it, is the basis for all of our ethical struggles. It is why there is such animosity between the spiritual and the scientific. God did not intend for it to be this way.
The human mind is a powerful and wonderful thing. The technologies that we have developed, the scientific breakthroughs are not inherently evil things. God wants us to know these things. He wants us to use our minds to learn how the Universe works and how to cure disease. But because of Eve’s impertinence we push on gaining a wealth of knowledge, without the wisdom to know the unintended consequences. God wanted us to know how to use the resources of this earth without laying it to waste. He wanted us to know how to heal the human body without creating genetic monsters in the process. He wanted us to know how to harness the abundant energies of the Universe, without creating the means with which to destroy ourselves.
As Christians, we have to fight the temptation to regard science as an affront to God. Remember, it was God who gave us our minds, our capacity to learn and our hunger for knowledge. To use the Bible as our only source of knowledge is to limit our minds. “The Bible said it, I believe it, and that settles it” ; when we do not even fully understand and agree with what the Bible says; is the mantra of a closed mind and a decaying spirit. This attitude will turn us into illogical beings unfit to share the greater truths God wants to share with us when we are ready. For science to disregard the spiritual is to deny an entire aspect of our being. It is through the spirit that God teaches us the wisdom to know how to use our knowledge in ethical ways. It keeps our eyes on the right goal; a mature race, ready and worthy to share in God’s kingdom.
The human race is approaching the adolescence of its existence. We are becoming increasingly dependent on our own technology. We are arrogant and stubborn and too proud to admit to needing God’s wisdom. Maybe this is why the world seems to be such a hostile place now. Like a loving yet wise parent, God is letting us experience the consequences of our actions. It is my hope and prayer that the human race learns its lesson. Before we wander so far from God, we can’t get back.
Saw this video on Chicks On the Right. When will those in the government learn that they work for us. There are those who understand what this country was founded on and will not stand by and let our Constitution be trampled.
This coming May the Boy Scouts of America will make a decision on whether or not to allow gay people into the organization. As a scout parent, I have very mixed feelings about this issue. For more that one hundred years the organization has fulfilled a need that may be greater now than ever before. As our society increasingly seeks to emasculate the male gender, young men need a place where “boys can be boys” while still learning the foundations of integrity taught by the Scouting program. The values enumerated in the Boy Scout Law, trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, friendship, courtesy, kindness, obedience, cheerfulness, thriftiness, bravery, cleanliness, and reverence are values that are sorely needed in all aspects of today’s world. From the White House, to the board room, to the schools, and the media, our society is yearning for men (and women) who will place personal integrity above their own needs for power and glory and wealth. The kind of men Scouting creates, and yet, this same society has sought on several occasions to tear down the tenets of Scouting as outdated or discriminatory. This is a dark place for the organization to be in. The issues are complex and weighty, and there is no solution that won’t hurt the program in some way.
The safety of the boys is the most important consideration in this issue. The idea that allowing gay leaders would somehow lead to an increase in sexual abuse is based more on emotion than fact. Homosexuality, and Pedophilia come from two different mindsets. I would expect any leader, regardless of his or her sexual orientation to keep their private lives, private. Just as it would be inappropriate for a man and a woman married or not to engage in sexual behavior during a Scout function, so would it be for a gay couple. Because the standards of behavior for adult leaders are well established and could apply to any sexual orientation, removing leaders who violate the rules could be accomplished without valid accusations of discrimination.
Allowing gay boys into the organization is more problematic. Navigating the hormonal seas of adolescence is difficult for any teenager. Add in an immature frontal cortex, the judgement center of the brain, and you have a recipe for all sorts of bad decisions. That is why coed groups such as Venturing, have strict rules of behavior. Many of those same rules could be used in a mixed group of gay and heterosexual boys, but it would be impossible to segregate tenting and bathing without discriminating against the gay Scouts. To be fair, there are already gay boys within the ranks who are engaging in camping and other Scouting activities alongside their fellow Scouts without any problem. But this could be attributed to a boy’s trying to hide his homosexuality from the other Scouts. If homosexuality is an acceptable behavior, would gay boys continue to be discreet about it? Regardless of your stance on the issue, this is something that has to be considered and appropriate rules put in place. Other wise it could lead to an incident that could be emotionally devastating to all boys involved.
The solution that the BSA seems to be favoring is to leave the decision up to the local units, based on the criteria of their chartering organizations. This will leave individual troops vulnerable to lawsuits if they choose to exclude gay members. As long as the National Organization is will to offset the legal costs to these troops it may be the best alternative. Solving the problem at a local level will make it possible for gay boys to form their own troops if there are none available.
No matter what decision the National Organization makes, it faces an uncertain future. If they decide to allow gay persons, they will lose the backing of the churches where so many troops are chartered. Many Scouting families, attracted by the emphasis on moral behavior, will leave in droves, possibly crippling the Scouting movement. If they do not allow gays, the organization will face an exodus of members sympathetic to the gay cause. They will also face legal pressures from outside groups who opposed any organization with Christian ties. Sadly, this is a battle the Boys Scouts of America should not have to face. The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the BSA had the right as a private organization to establish its own policies regarding who it allows to join. The state of California is proposing a law, SB323, that will strip the BSA and other organizations that exclude, gays, atheists, and others based on their religion, gender, or sexual identity, of their tax exempt status. This will essentially prevent these organizations from being able to operate in that state. This is wrong. It is not the place of any government, local, state or federal, to remove an organization’s Constitutional rights, in order to promote a social agenda. Indeed it should be society that will ultimately decide whether the BSA is still relevant in today’s world, and it will be society that will pay the price should it decide that the BSA is not.
I have always disliked the “pro-choice”/ “pro-life” titles for the sides on the abortion debate. It simply would have been more truthful to say “pro-abortion”, or “anti-abortion”. Abortion advocates would like us to believe that the moral determination as to whether or not the embryo or fetus inside is a living thing, is a personal decision that each woman must decide for herself. This is scientifically incorrect. Even from the earliest stages an embryo exhibits the basic criteria for being alive. The real moral question that a woman considering abortion must decide, is at what stage and under what circumstances is the taking of that life justifiable? When I ask myself that question it becomes obvious that an abortion should only, ever be considered as the last resort to a dire circumstance. A woman who has been raped is in a dire circumstance. A woman who must choose between life saving cancer treatment that would kill her unborn child or leaving the children she already has motherless, is in a dire circumstance. A woman who is carrying a child with birth defects so severe as to be incompatible with life is in a dire circumstance. Even as a Christian, I could not sit in judgement of a woman, who faced with such a gut wrenching decision, would terminate a pregnancy. Though I might not have made the same choice. A woman who gets caught with her hand in the cookie jar? That’s a different story. There is never a “perfect” time to have a baby. Pregnancies are always expensive, inconvenient and somewhat embarrassing. Those are never good reasons to have an abortion. If you feel that you are not mature enough to raise a child, or that now is not the “right” time for you be a mother, there are options available to you that do not require killing a baby.
I felt it was necessary to clarify my position on abortion, because now I am going to say something that many conservative, Christians will strongly disagree with.
It is time to take Abortion, as a political issue, off the table.
By making a willingness to overturn Roe vs. Wade the litmus test for Republican candidates, we have played right into the hands of our enemies and given them a club to beat us over the head with. This has never been more apparent than in the last election, with its fictitious “war on women”. Even with no basis in fact, the liberal left was able to turn an erroneous perception into a political slogan that became a wave of misinformed women voters that turned the tide of the election. Moderate conservatives have shied away from candidates that they felt were too hard-core, while Evangelicals lambasted the same candidates for being too soft. All the while, the left eagerly exploits the irony that a group that fights for less governmental control of our private lives, fights to give the government control of a very private women’s issue. Our legal system allows many things that are immoral or at the very least bad for us. We must acknowledge that in most cases where the federal government tries to legislate morality, it does a very poor job. Prohibition, the “war on drugs”, “don’t ask don’t tell”, and affirmative action are just a few examples. Can we accept the difference between moral and legal without compromising our values? Absolutely. Unlike the contraception mandate in the affordable care act, that requires businesses run by religious organizations to provide birth control to their employees, even if it goes against their religious tenants, Roe vs. Wade does not compel us to have abortions. The problem isn’t that abortions are legal, it’s that women choose to have abortions of convenience. The real battle isn’t about overturning a law, it’s about changing attitudes about the sanctity of life. We can still continue to put up billboards, hand out literature, educate the public, and provide services and alternatives for pregnant women. We can teach our daughters, granddaughters, and nieces that abortion is wrong in the eyes of God. The battle should continue to be fought on the street corners, our homes and from the pulpit. Just not in the halls of Congress.
Today in stock yards all across the nation, the cattle enjoyed a one day stay of execution. That’s because there was little demand for beef as people crowded into their local Chic Fil A to show their support of Dan Cathy’s First Amendment rights. It was a thirty minute wait for those wonderful waffle fries and peach milkshakes. As my son and I stood in line, I was amazed by what I saw. The line reached around to the back of the building. The drive through line all the way though the parking lot, down the driveway and out to the highway. There were even cops directing the traffic. We had to park a lot away. People even showed up in a church bus.
The mood was neighborly, friendly and festive. What was even more impressive was what I didn’t see. There were no honking horns and hand gestures. No cutting in line. No bored indifferent employees. There were so many “thank you’s” and “pardon me’s” you would’ve thought it was a finishing school exam. Even those who may have disagreed with Dan Cathy’s position showed an enormous amount of class by not showing up to protest. I left with the impression that these people get it. This wasn’t a gay marriage thing, it wasn’t even a Christian thing. It was a Constitutional thing. When the government, be it local, state, or national, tries to silence the opinions of decent, moral, hardworking folks, we just can’t take that lying down. They didn’t during the Boston Tea Party, they didn’t on July 4th, 1776, and we didn’t on Aug 1st 2012.
The liberal feminist movement has long had an arrogant disdain for stay at home moms. Though they try to pretend otherwise, the truth slipped out in Hilary Rosen‘s remarks, and now the Democrats have to do “damage control”. If you listen carefully to the disingenuous apologies, you will hear the true agenda of the feminist movement. It’s not necessarily motherhood that they despise, it’s wifedom, and in their eyes the epitome of subservience is the “stay at home mom”.
Liberal feminists simply do not think it is possible in this “enlightened age” for an intelligent, woman to find fulfillment in caring for a husband and children and managing a household. They think that women who choose this lifestyle must suffer from low self esteems or are brainwashed by some sort of patriarchal cult. Because they see men as nothing more than abusive, condescending sperm donors, they celebrate motherhood by elevating single moms to heroic status. Especially women who choose to raise children without a husband. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not criticizing single mothers, or trivializing the incredible juggling act that they have to perform on a daily basis.
Liberal feminism has created a culture in which women do not just have a choice of having a career and a family they are obligated to. Women are expected to live up to a “super woman” ideal that just isn’t realistic. The result is that today’s women live with an overwhelming burden of exhaustion and guilt. There are many women who would rather stay at home with their children but because of economic and or social pressures feel they can’t. Unless you have a part-time job at a school, there are no jobs where you can be home when your kids are. When you are at work, you feel guilty that you are not home with your kids. If you have to take care of a sick child, you feel guilty about not fulfilling your work obligations. If you call a friend or relative to tend to your sick child so you can be at work you feel like a terrible mom. If you choose not to work and stay home you feel guilty every time your husband works overtime to make ends meet, or you feel guilty when you have to tell your kids no because you can’t afford it.
The real “war on women” isn’t being waged by conservatives, it’s being waged by those liberal feminists and their supporters who claim to represent all women. All women except those who put their families first that is.
I have been thinking about the controversy behind the teaching of intelligent design in the public school system. My opinion is that the classroom should be a place where the free exchange of ideas can take place. That cannot happen in an environment of political indoctrination. That being said lets examine some of the reasons for the controversy.
We are told that intelligent design is not taught because it promotes a religious viewpoint. To determine if that is true we first have to define what constitutes a religion. My Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary’s fourth definition of a religion is, ” A cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.” This same dictionary’s second definition of faith is, ” A belief in something for which there is no proof.” The third definition is, “Something that is believed esp. with strong convictions.”
There is nothing in the Bible, no sermon, no theological study that can prove concretely, without the shadow of a doubt that God does in fact exist. My belief in God is the result of my faith, based on my study of the Bible, my observations of the world around me and the sum of my experiences. That element of faith is what makes my belief a religion.
On the other hand, there is nothing that science can produce, no controlled experiment, no theory, that can prove concretely, without the shadow of a doubt that God in fact does not exist. People choose to believe there is no God based on their study of scientific theories, their observations of the world around them and the sum of their experiences. Without proof of the non-existence of God their believe is also based on faith. This defines Atheism as a religion.
I do not disagree that the theory of intelligent design leaves open a door to the theory of Creationism, but Evolution by its implied indorsement of Atheism also promotes a religious belief. The public education system cannot use the Constitution to allow one belief but not another.
Let’s take a look at the first amendment. It states” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.
According to this principle, Public schools cannot compel nor forbid the teachings of evolution or intelligent design. I say let out teachers truly educate our children by giving them a well thought out lesson on both theories, then teach them how to have a civilized debate on the subject and then draw their own conclusions.