Archive for the 'Iraq War' Category

Some Some Summer-time!

Days at the pool, nights on the patio, dinners outside, parks, zoos, car-trips, family, sunshine, bike-rides, long-walks, less TV, flowers, trees, red cheeks, highlights, swingsets, driveway play-time, basketball hoops, beaches, long days, BBQ, sidewalk chalk, spinklers, water fights, blowing bubbles, laying out, pony-tails, naked face, endless smiles on my childrens’ faces, boating, popcicles, ice cream sandwiches, cook-outs, laughter, fresh-cut lawn, lush green grass, flip flops, tank tops….

What words resonate summer to you?

In honor of my official “summer is launching” weekend (yes, this is a holiday in my very own mind) I played with imovie and tried to make a little slide show. I have a lot to learn. I have already spent two times as much time on this as I really budgeted for tonight, oh well.

I wish the picture quality transferred better, and I wish I knew how to do a lot more… but It’s always fun to post your first try and laugh at it a year or two later when you are so much better at it 🙂 Anyway, Laugh, Enjoy.

in other news… the boys seem to really be either loving eachother physcially or beating each other physically at all times. Fortunately, I was able to catch a couple of the loving time on camera. I almost missed it. I was cleaning up, JJ was on his computer, and just several feet away they were doing this… all on their own.

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In other news… It’s Memorial Day.
For all those who have given their lives, who have been willing to give their lives, and who have lost loved ones fighting for our country in one capacity or another. May we never forget you or belittle the sacrafice you have made. And may all the troops now serving be brought home safely at the right time. You are in my prayers… and no doubt the prayers of many others.

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War on the View

Oh Boy!

I can not even remember the last time I watched the view… but I just saw this video over on Hot Air, and I am not sure I have seen anything like it on the daily talk shows since that creep Parsons (who claimed to killing Jon Benet) on That one show (don’t even remember the name?) or maybe back to Geraldo getting his nose broken! Looks like the 2 are getting super real with each other since Rosie is on her way out anyway. Check it out.

When is War Okay?

I’m going to open a can of worms with this one.

Let’s take the War in Iraq out of the equation… And the “war on terror” is such a difficult one to define that we should be careful on discussing that one as well.

What I want to know your thoughts on is,When is war okay?

Was World War 1 justified?

World War 2?

Many Christians are against the Iraq war… And I see some of their points, though I haven’t come to a personal conclusion. I know we (US) are there and can’t just run out right now. I don’t know what specific decisions could have been made better. I know that it is good Saddam is gone. Beyond that, we need to defeat the terrorists that are there… but I have no answers.

What about situations like Darfur? What if Iran or N. Korea get Nukes and are determined to use them? What wars were worth it in the past? In both world wars, the death-tolls were incredible!

Check out these Estimates via Wikipedia: (they seem unreal to me!)

World War 1 between 15 million and 66 million (larger number includes Spainish Flu deaths.)

World War 2 between 60 million and 72 million (the deadliest war ever) Included in these casualties is an estimated 50% civilian casualty!

Korean War between 2.5 million and 3.5 million

Vietnam War between 2.3 million and 3.8 million

American Civil War est. 970,000 (including 350,000 from disease)

Current War in Iraq between 214,000 and 655,000 and counting

I could go on….

Every casualty sucks.

So what makes it worth it? At what point is the cause great enough? Was stopping Hitler from taking over the world to form his Arian nation enough?

What constitues a “just war”. I have no clue.

Not

one

clue.

I know that it is a decision you should make with fear and trembling before the Lord, but that’s about all I know.

So for all those Christians that aren’t total pacificts, but are only for “A JUST WAR”, What does a just war look like?

Are Evangelicals Evolving?

I just read an article on Hot Air entitled NYT Studies Evangelicals in the Mist. The article is referring and commentating on this article written in the New York Times. I encourage you to read both articles in full. I want to point out some specific points of interest to me and add my own commentary. I would love to hear your thoughts as well.

First off, to sum up the articles (though I do believe that you should read them for yourself,) They are discussin the shift in Evangelical Christianity from the Falwell and Robertson days in politics to the more centrist view of emerging leaders like Bill Hybels (Willow Creek, Chicago) and Rick Warren (Saddleback, California).

I agree with this. Evangelicals are moving increasingly toward the center rather than the rigid right.

According to the following quote one thing that evangelicals have not ditched is the pro-life movement. Thank GOD! This after all was the very same movement that pulled Fawell into the political scene to begin with.

“The abortion issue is going to continue to be a unifying factor among evangelicals and Catholics,” said the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who is often held up as an example of the new model of conservative Christian leaders. “That’s not going to go away.”

They go on to question the electability of Guiliani with this “new generation” of evangelicals.

The persistence of abortion as a core concern for evangelical voters, who continue to represent a broad swath of the Republican base, could complicate efforts by Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has been leading the Republican presidential field in nationwide polls, to get primary voters to move past the issue and accept his support for abortion rights.

I have speculated before that I don’t know if Guliani is truly electable if the religious right can’t get past his abortion status (of which I am one,) and the Times seems to agree. I have many friends who vote independently and one of the only things that keeps them voting republican IS the abortion issue.

If Guiliani loses a large part of these independent voters can he win? Will those people just not vote at all because they don’t like any of their choices? Right or wrong, I could see that happening among many people I know. They are fiscally democrats, but morally republicans…I could see them either not voting or voting democrat for the sake of social programs.

Evangelicals also seem quite split on the idea of Climate Change. Hybels and Warren signed a call to action on climate change last year. The former head of the Christian Coalition even stepped down last year for his signing of this same document. As the Times points out, this has unified some typically conservative christian groups a long with the more liberal groups headed by Jim Wallace and Ronald Sider (Evangelicals for Social Action). On the other end of the Climate Change debate you have (had) Fawell, Robertson, and Dobson.

The Times also point out,

Another evangelical standard-bearer who did not sign the statement was Charles W. Colson, 75, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, who said in an interview that there were many environmental groups behind the statement that were hostile to evangelical causes. Nevertheless, he said he appreciated the direction that younger evangelical leaders are taking the movement.

As you can see, Evangelical leaders are both united and divided on the topic of climate change.

The former Christian Coalition Leader, Joel Hunter stated,

Mr. Giuliani would not garner much of the evangelical vote because of his liberal views on social issues.

“There always will be in the evangelical movement a strong identification with what we call the traditional moral issues — abortion, marriage between a man and a woman, addiction to pornography,” he said.

A 2004 survey by John C Green attempted to quantify the traditional Christian right evangelical against the newer centrist politically un-involved evangelical,

The two camps are roughly the same size, each representing 40 to 50 percent of the total.

It is estimated that since that survey the number of centrists has grown considerably.

What I am personally noticing is a move toward evangelicals influencing culture change outside politics. The times also points this movement out.

Gabe Lyons, 32, is emblematic of the transformation among many younger evangelicals. He grew up in Lynchburg, Va., attending Mr. Falwell’s church. But he has shied away from politics. Instead, he heads the Fermi Project, a loose “collective” dedicated to teaching evangelicals to shape culture through other means, including media and the arts.

While I think this is crucial… I also believe that we can not at the same time totally neglect politics. It is part and parcel to culture change as much as it is a reflection of culture. I don’t believe we should back out of it completely in our attempts to influence culture through social action, media, arts, etc.

The Hot Air Article commentary on this evangelical evolution points this out from a round-table interview with Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life, Saddleback Church, California) that Rick had said this to Jaun Williams,

Now the word “fundamentalist” actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity, and when I say there are very few fundamentalists, I mean in the sense that they are all actually called fundamentalist churches, and those would be quite small. There are no large ones.

The article then maps out these 5 fundamentals Warren is speaking of:

1. The inerrancy of the autographs (or original writings) of scripture.
2. The virgin birth and deity of Christ.
3. The substitutionary view of the atonement.
4. The bodily resurrection of Christ.
5. The imminent return of Christ.

I don’t know about you… But these aren’t super legalistic in my opinion, and I have seen my share of legalism. These fundamentals seem rather sound. I am surprised that Warren said this.

I know for a fact that my “Large” church adhere’s to these 5 “fundamentals” even though it is a rather centerist church. In fact, every “large” church I have been a part in my life adheres to those fundamentals.

Hot Air pointed this out, saying

A savvy reporter at that Pew forum would have asked Warren, “Which of those five fundamentals represent a ‘very legalistic, narrow’ view of Christianity?” No one thought to ask him that.


And also going on to say,

The answer, by the way, is none of the fundamentals represent a “narrow, legalistic” view of Christianity.

They’re all essential beliefs. Believing in the fundamentals doesn’t make you a fundamentalist. It just makes you a Christian. The fundamentals were put together to unify Christians of all stripes on the basics that unite us. They’re not just fundamentalist in design or intent. So Warren either has his fundamentalism taxonomy wrong, or he has his theology wrong.

I definitely agree with him (Bryan the author) on that.

So what do you think? New Generation? Or is this a generation *trying* to look different? Are we just finding that *the church* can’t be boxed as easily as many would like to think? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? In accepting this are we really *divided* as a church and thus less influential? I don’t know? I really don’t. I am interested to hear others’ thoughts though. Try to maintain a considerate, respectful tone please.

Addition: I would like to add the very obvious, that the war in Iraq has also been a major split amoung evangelicals.

Week News Cap (for my friends who don’t watch the news)

Cult of Communism
It seems Micheal Moore has been up to another one of his mockumenteries.
Shortly after JJ returned from his missions trip to Cuba, I mentioned in a post that Michael Moore had been there 2 weeks previous. This article from the NY Post covers it here Thanks 4simpsons and Verum Serum for tipping me to this.

supreme court
The Supreme Court of the U.S. has decided to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act! Pro-Lifers are counting it as a victory! Presidential Candidates for 2008 Praising this decision are, Mccain, Juliani and Romny. Barack Obama has strongly critisized the decision, while Hillary Clinton has proclaimed it an “erosion of our contitutional right” (Tip to Stevereenie for the quote.)
update: I found this post on The Voice Of Reason blog that quotes most of the candidates response to this supreme court decision. Please give it a read. Quotes more of the Candidates than I have listed.

14_65_041707_vatechmemorial
I find it pretty impossible you do not know what happened at Virginia Tech this week, so I will not re-cap it. But I do want to say something about is how insane it is that threats of copy-cats have happened popped around the Nation. Reportedly, 15 schools shut-down with with these threats. Are there really that many crazies running around? I guess so. Its rather un-nerving. It makes me believe we have been very blessed to not have it happen before.
Debates spawning from this story include:
1. Gun Control Laws
2. Campus Security
3. Laws regarding involuntary commiting of crazy people to mental health facilities.
4. What colleges and/or students have the right to know about the history of a student vs. privacy laws.
5. On what grounds public colleges are allowed to refuse enrollment to a mentally ill student.
6. Campus mass-communication methods.
7. Our we teaching our students to be too tolerant?
8. Whether or not NBC should have shown Killer’s manifesto.
9. Effects of Anti-depressants (I just heard this one, and am somewhat surprised by it.)
I’m sure the list will continue to grow.

People are doing the normal finger-pointing that follows tragedies like this. Some of the fingers are pointing in understandable directions… but let’s not forget that the truest blame lays on this mass murderer. (forgive me for not even wanting to use his name, and you will find no picture of him on this blog.)

Reidjpg
Senator Harry Reid (d) in a speech this week proclaimed that the war in Iraq is lost. Excuse me? Excuse me? Is he the one with the authority to proclaim this? How does this effect morale over in the mid-east? How could you possibly speak something like this when we have soldiers on the field? Popular political blogger Michelle Malkin has had an open invite for soldiers to write in responses to Harry Reid. Check them out on starting here.

alec and ireland
Actor, Alec Baldwin left a voicemail on his daughter’s cell phone that should make any parent cringe. TMZ aired it here. Alec has now tried to go to court to pull the plug on it and has issued an apology.
As a mom, on one hand I don’t want to be judgemental because I know I have lost my patience and wished I could take words or tones back. However, the excessive nature of this rant places it in the emotionally abusive catagory. My hope is that the complete embarassment of this causes this man to get some help, change, and restore relationship with his daughter.


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