2024 MACKY SAYS NO TO THE HOMOS! [Huh?]
Let me first make a few comments about the recent death of my sister Laura.
It’s especially sad- because for many years my sister looked forward to one day living with me and my family.
Over the years- she would make statements that when my mom passed away- she would like to move to Texas.
For those unfamiliar with our family situation- my sister had some devastating effects from years of drug addiction.
I know- and have worked with lots of ‘mainline’ drug addicts thru out my life.
And I can honestly say- Laura had some of the worst effects I have ever seen.
I’m not sure why- but it was obvious that she had some very bad effects early on.
As I young kid- in my early 20’s- when I went back home- from Texas- on various visits- I could see that something happened.
Sort of like when you might have a family relative who has some type of mental disability- the other family members are aware that something is not right.
Don’t get me wrong- you still love and care for that person- but you know something is dysfunctional.
So- this was our families experience with my sister Laura.
As I mentioned in the last post- she looked up to me- maybe more than in a normal sibling situation- because early on I did influence her with my faith in God.
When I really got involved in the ministry- I passed this type of Evangelical faith to my sister.
But- I was one of the few Evangelicals I knew- that was not anti Catholic- at all.
So- over the years- when I would see that Laura- like many Protestants- took a strong anti Catholic view- I tried my best to counter balance it.
She was a huge fan of the famous radio preacher Harold Camping.
Now- those of you who have read my blog will realize that I do not hold to the very popular End Times scenarios that you see on the American church scene.
Camping was a staunch End Times type of guy- who of course was famous for his false predictions of the End of the World.
But- because I realized Laura looked up to him- a lot- I was careful when I refuted his views about stuff like this.
For those not too familiar with Theology- Camping also held to what’s called Calvinism.
The jist of this is the belief in the doctrine of Predestination- that those who are saved are the Elect.
That God chose those from before time- and these are the ones who ‘in time’ get saved.
Now- ‘wars’ have been fought over this doctrine.
Suffice it to say that the original reformers [Luther included] did indeed hold to this ‘Augustinian’ view [Saint Augustine- the very influential 4th/5th century Catholic bishop from Hippo- North Africa- taught the doctrine of predestination. This has made him both a favorite among many Protestants- as well a Catholics].
So- I was able- over the years- to have good talks with Laura- because I was familiar with lots of the history- as well as what the bible teaches- on this stuff.
As a matter of fact- in a little while I will be going to church- at the Catholic Cathedral here in Corpus Christi.
I basically made it my Home Church as I spend my last week in Texas.
So- over the next few weeks- maybe I will share some of the talks I had with Laura over the years.
When I told my family a few months ago that I was moving back to the area- I know my sister was really looking forward to it.
That’s why it’s sad that she died a week before my return.
Okay- being I mentioned Africa [how’s this for a segway?] let’s talk a little about the Presidents recent trip to the continent.
This past week President Obama has been touring the continent.
His visit has been overshadowed by the poor health of the great civil rights leader- Nelson Mandela.
For a week or so he has been on what most think is his final leg of the journey- that he’s ready to die.
So the President has been aware of this- and met with the family and has handled it well.
But- he did indeed get rebuked publicly by the president of Senegal- Macky Sall.
As most of you know- the Supreme Court struck down the DOMA law last week [Defense of Marriage Act].
This law was enacted by President Clinton- it limited the Federal govt. from recognizing gay marriage.
It is interesting to note that both Clinton and Obama praised the decision to strike it down as a great day for civil rights in our country.
Whatever your view on this is- the point is the law was signed by Clinton- and only a year and a half ago- Obama himself was against gay marriage.
So- it is a little disingenuous to label those against gay marriage as bigots- unless you too believe that Obama was a bigot just a short time ago.
Any way when he was in Senegal he spoke about the SCOTUS ruling and hailed it as a great day.
Now- Africa is a continent that has a lot of states/countries that have laws against homosexuality.
Senegal is one of them [there are about 38 states who outlaw it on the continent].
So- when President Obama gave Senegal this rebuke.
Their president rebuked back!
He said they were not ‘Homophobic’.
But- as a majority Muslim nation [about 95%] they are not going to accept gay marriage- and that’s that.
Macky was praised by his people- and the media- who are very open about the subject.
A few headlines from some of the outspoken papers read;
‘NO- WE CANT’ [as opposed to Obama’s famous Yes We Can].
‘FIRM- YET SUBTLE’
And the most outspoken of all-
‘OBAMA MAKES A PLEA FOR THE HOMOS- MACKY SAYS NO’ [Ouch!]
So- as you can see- Senegal has no intentions on changing its stance any time soon.
I find it interesting- because Obama has been rebuked recently by China [Hong Kong]- Russia- and now Senegal!
I don’t cheer when I see this- but I recognize that we are in trouble in the world.
It was surreal to see our plea to Hong Kong [and now Russia] that they should turn over the Whistle Blower Snowden- out of respect for the ‘Rule of Law’.
Then to hear Holder [attorney general] use the same language.
This last year we have seen- on actual news video- both Holder and other high ranking Obama folk- actually lying to congress- on national TV.
James Clapper- a top intelligence guy- when asked if the US govt. was collecting large amounts of data- any data- on US citizens.
He responded ‘no- not that I know of- not intentionally’.
Then- when it came out that indeed the govt. was [thru the now infamous Prism program].
Clapper said ‘well- I gave the best- least truthful answer I could’.
Actually it is a crime to lie to congress- so the ‘least truthful’ is still a crime.
As you can see- when these same guys publicly appeal to the rule of law- in rebuking Hong Kong and others- it seems laughable.
And when the president of a small state in Sub Saharan Africa publicly rebukes the leader of the free world.
Then yes- we know there’s trouble on the horizon.
NOTE- The Supreme Court also struck down parts of the voting rights act of 1965. Under this law the Federal govt. had strict oversight of any changes that some of the Southern states made to their election process. Of course the purpose of this law- which was noble when enacted- was to protect the rights of minorities in the South. Over time [according to the majority- and a belief Chief justice Roberts has voiced in the past] as the landscape changed- some viewed this act as not being necessary any more- that is for the federal govt to basically take the ‘right’ from the state to govern its own affairs.
Some think the court- in a way- was acting schizophrenic- saying in the Gay Marriage case- it acted Liberal.
But in the Voting case- Conservative.
I don’t see that.
The court- in a way- acted ‘conservative’ [I really don’t like these distinctions- but it’s hard to explain this without them] in both cases.
Judicial ‘conservatism’ simply means the court should be wary in overturning existing law- the will of congress and the President.
Now- most pundits will say Chief Justice John Roberts flinched on this when he ruled with the majority liberal opinion- and allowed Obama Care to stand.
Either way- in these recent rulings- at least in the two I mentioned above- you could argue that the court still ruled conservative.
Because both of the above rulings said ‘let the states decide- have more control over the destiny of the people in their states’.
So- in a way- you could view both of the decisions as conservative in a way.
It should be noted that justice Anthony Kennedy- the ‘swing vote’ for the 9 who sit on the bench- played that role again.
He sided with the 4 liberals on the DOMA ruling- and went the other way on the Voting Rights Act.
Let me note- even though these debates rile up the ‘religious’ electorate.
I try and keep a balance between my religious convictions- and the actual effect of the rulings.
For instance- though I am not a proponent of Gay Marriage- yet- as voiced in Kennedys opinion- there is a form of discrimination that same sex couples experience by not having the same ‘right’ to marry- as heterosexual couples have.
This extends to all types of benefits and stuff.
So- even though I don’t side with some- even in the church- who are pro ‘Gay Marriage’.
Yet- I think these concerns- about equality in general- need to also be looked at.
NOTE 2- being I’m kinda doing a weekly news update- let me mention the drop of the Dow last week.
Why did it happen?
I find it interesting that basically nothing has changed- like I have been commenting for 2 years now- the European debt crisis is still there- even worse.
The outlook for the U.S. has also been ‘re-adjusted’ downward- growth for the year was originally estimated to be about 2.4 %.
Now- they are saying about 1.5.
Globally- Chinas economy is also worse than previously expected.
Why is that a big deal?
China was considered to be the hope for the rest of the ailing world economies.
They were a power house a few years ago- not so any more.
Our markets fell- for one day- because Ben Bernanke ‘hinted’ that the Fed might stop ‘digitizing’ money next year.
The Federal Reserve has been buying US debt- to the tune of 80 Billion a month- for the past year or 2.
Now- what the Fed actually does is simply ADDS NUMBERS to the accounts.
Like if you simply looked at your bank account on-line- and added multiple zeros to it.
That’s it- that’s how the Fed has been ‘adding’ money into the system.
How does that help- why do they do this?
The hope [which has worked somewhat] was that by doing this- it reduces the ‘cost’ of borrowing money [keeps the % rate low] and in the end it would make it easier for the economy to recover.
Is that the only effect this has?
It also ‘inflates’- in my view- falsely- the market.
This extra 80 billion a month- finds its way into the market- it boosts the DOW.
Understand- the market is up- because this money is doing that- not because the global market is doing good.
So- the Fed hinted they might stop doing this next year- and the same day the markets went down.
Then how do you explain the recovery?
Simple- the Fed gave in [to this pressure] and said ‘no wait- we didn’t mean it- okay- we will keep printing fake money’.
And the ‘children crying in the market place’ were happy again [this reference is from Jesus- he said this generation- the one of his day- were like kids crying- they just wanted their way all the time].
So- in my view- the world markets- not even adding in the tremendous unrest in the Arab/Muslim world [the problem- as I write, that Egypt might go thru another overthrow if things get out of hand in the ongoing protests- The Syrian war- spreading beyond it’s borders. The unrest in Turkey- geez- we are even seeing unrest in Brazil!].
These are all bad signs- I am not an alarmist- I am not predicting the End of the World here- but I see a real denial among some of the financial advisors- they just don’t want to see the writing on the wall.
NOTE 3- Augustine.
I personally am a fan of Saint Augustine. He is one of the famous church fathers of the early centuries.
In my view he holds a distinct place- he is admired by both staunch Protestants [Reformed Theologians]- and Catholics.
The original Protestant Reformation of the 16th century had 3 key figures.
Martin Luther [Germany]- Ulrich Zwingli [Swiss] and John Calvin [studied for the priesthood in Paris- later took a key role in Geneva Switzerland].
One of the key beliefs- of at least 2 of these 3- was the doctrine mentioned above- Predestination.
It is a common mistake in our day to see historical documentaries [I have seen some] that refer to Calvin as someone who believed in Predestination [true] and that Luther disagreed with him.
That’s wrong [but you have to study theology to find this out- a brief reading of church history does not show you this- that’s why some of the well meaning documentaries you might see on the History channel get this wrong].
Okay- Martin Luther was a Catholic Monk- under an order called the Augustinian order- named after St. Augustine.
Even though he would break away from the church- and the Lutheran church would form- yet he held to the original belief that the founder/namesake of his order taught.
Now- you do indeed find many verses in the bible that speak about God choosing us- and not us ‘choosing him’.
Or chapters [Romans 9] that say Gods choice of us has nothing to do with our own goodness- but he chose us because he loved us.
So- this teaching does indeed have scriptural backing.
But- you also have scripture to back up the opposing view- which is referred to as Arminianism.
Named after another church leader- Jacob Arminius.
He held to the Calvinist view at first- but as he began studying- to defend this view- he came to the belief that this view [at least among its more radical adherents] was wrong.
These 2 groups- Calvinists- Armenians- became enemies as the Protestant Reformation grew.
The followers of men like John Wesley [founder of the Methodist church] disagreed strongly with those who held to the Calvinist view.
In our day- you still have adherents of both views- seeing the ‘other side’ as non Christian.
It’s sad- but this is just one- of thousands of teachings- that have had this effect.
The Catholic leaders warned of this at the time of the breakaway- which took place in the 16th century.
They feared that once you made a clean break from the historic church- that the ‘breaking’ would never stop.
As you look at the scene over the past 500 years- it’s hard to say they were wrong.
One last note- many modern Protestants do not hold Augustine- or any of the men mentioned above- in high regard at all.
Some hold to a belief [another popular one in groups that are Restorationist- as opposed to Reformist] that all of the early Christian expressions got off course [apostatized] and that the only ‘true’ church- just happens to be the group they are in.
Once again- this type of belief simply increases the division in the church- in my view.
Many reject men like Augustine- because of his influence by the Greek philosophers- they charge that some of the early church leaders were too much into philosophy.
For instance- one of the first Christian schools ever founded was in Alexandria- Egypt.
In the 2nd/3rd century Origen- an early church father- would take over the school and teach Christian theology.
But- the school was basically a school that first taught Greek philosophy.
Origen is respected by many [like me] but officially the church does not recognize him as a legitimate Church farther.
Because he did indeed hold to some views that were not Christian based- like the pre- existence of the soul.
This belief comes straight from Greek philosophy- not Christianity.
He also believed in what we refer to as Universalism- that at the end- everyone gets saved- even the Devil!
So- this debate has gone on for centuries- the debate over how ‘Platonic’ so and so is- or did men like Thomas Aquinas [ 13th century- another favorite of mine] simply mix Aristotelian thought [Aristotle] in with Christian teaching- and thus water down the true faith.
This is also the reason many [most] Protestants do not teach Philosophy- as a basic plank- in their seminaries.
I think this is a big mistake.
Philosophy- as a field- deals with the basic issues of life.
Why are we hear- what’s the purpose of mans existence- etc.
For the Protestant church to have basically abandoned this field- this left the secular world to shape it as they wish.
But- the Catholic Church has indeed engaged in this field- and in my view- has presented a better world view- than the secular philosophers.
Okay- now this post is becoming an entire study!
That’s it for now- I have lots of posts like this on the blog- if you want- just look them up there.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook] - I have posted lots.