Friday, May 8, 2009

The Pope, And The Impotent Pilgrimage

Pope Benedict XVI has departed on a Mideast pilgrimage of peace. His first stop will be in Amman, Jordan to meet with Muslim religious leaders; then onto Israel where he will meet with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders. What isn’t clear is if he will be meeting with anyone who will actually want to meet with him. Local Catholic religious leaders have already been quoted as saying they will be on edge with every word that will be spoken. In 2006, the Muslim community made life very difficult for the Catholics and Christians that remained in the region, and their fear is that the same sort of rhetoric will again leave them dealing with the aftermath.

The underlying narrative of the Middle East today is political and religious violence. Pope Benedict XVI lands into a family feud that has gone on for thousands of years. This may be an oversimplification of the facts but the Ishmaelites (the Arabs), and the descendants of Isaac (the Israelites) have been fighting over the same promise land since it was promised to their father Abraham thousands of years ago. The scriptural truth is that God promised to prosper both sons (Gen. 21), and he has. The question has always been who has a right to the promise. No government envoy, ambassador, celebrity, pope, preacher or pilgrimage will fix this one. It’s all been attempted. What is very clear in ancient scriptures, is that God loves both peoples. The difference in the way Jesus handled the situation when he traveled, was to change one person’s life at a time, feeding crowds, healing children and talking about his father. He wasn’t trying to make two religions come together in peace; he was showing who God was in his every day actions. This is where the real change takes place; this is how nations are touched.

While the pope talks about peace, prays in mosques, and apologizes for past remarks; thousands are frightened and homeless fleeing the bloodshed in Pakistan. Would Jesus be in Jordan trying to get along with people who didn’t want to talk or see him, or would he be in Pakistan or Sudan healing children, feeding crowds and talking about his father.

When there is justice to be done you’ll never find Jesus dwelling on descendants. Social justice starts with believing that one person’s life is as important as the other.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

CEO OBAMA, Why There's No Hand Wringing

The much awaited bank stress tests are beginning to "leak" out, and no big surprise, some of the biggest banks in the world need billions to stay afloat. Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America are just three that reportedly are going to be at the White House for a hand out. The remarkable thing is that in the past it was the consumer and the consumer watchdog groups that warned the public of unreliable lending practices or instability in a financial institution. Now it's the government telling us what's good for us and what's bad. This wouldn't seem like such a big deal if the government wanted what's best for you. For many years the government though has shown it wants what's best for the government.
What seems to be happening here is the the Obama administration through various tactics will force major players in business to take the money. Let's say a government report is issued giving Citi a D-. Citi may or may not be in that kind of financial shape. The question is never what is or isn't, but what appears to be. In this economy just the appearance of instability is the death nell for a major bank. The Obama administration though has stated, that none of the 19 largest banks will fail. How can in one breath the administration sound off on instability, then turn around and offer guarantees like that? The reason is power. The administration is on course to be a major shareholder in the most powerful businesses in the world. When you take the money, there is no turning back. When you let big brother in the door, whether it be personal wiretaps "for our own protection", or helping these "weak" banks, "for our own protection". When he is there, he is staying. When these so called "stressed" banks, take this cash, they are letting the bully in the door. The Scriptures tell me that "a borrower is a slave to the lender", If I'm in the position to pick my master it's never going to be a government.

Carrie Prejean Is No Hero

She is hailed from the right as being a hero, from the left, a closed minded bigot. Let’s look at this thing again. Whether you agree with what she said or not, her voice has ruffled the feathers of many people. Everyone from the red faced preacher spitting five rows back to the drag queen trying to hide her…his adam’s apple.

There are reasons she was in the pageant. She’s beautiful. She is fairly well spoken, and extremely confident. This must be why every Christian from PTL to TBN wants to hook the Jesus wagon to her, and have her lead us on to glory. The American Christian is extremely bad at finding heroes. We hesitate to search the inner-cities for the woman finding the homeless needed shelter, or the volunteer in the teen pregnancy office holding a girl’s hand telling her it will all be OK. Nope, it’s Miss California who told her opinion on gay marriage. We saw the pretty face and the courage to speak in the face of certain criticism, and we made her the new Billy Graham. It’s not fair to her or the Christians who have to put up with this crap. Now the Christians who anointed her can’t back peddle quick enough after topless photos became public. Now it’s time for the next wave of persecution to come over her, from all the Christians who will say,” you let us down Carrie”. Funny, she didn’t ask you to lift her up in the first place. She just gave her “personal” opinion.

On the other extreme, why is it now wrong for someone to give an opinion? She didn’t ask for an amendment to the constitution. She didn’t lead everyone in the sinners prayer. This kid was asked a question. She stated her love for the country that allows these things, then gave her “personal” opinion. For a group that praises open mindedness and tolerance, the gay community is showing a lack of both. The hypocrites are lining up on this one and it’s kind of fun to watch.