Monthly Archives: June 2014

Is Baghdad Burning? Obama’s Leadership Vacuum

President Obama has exchanged Ronald Reagan’s “peace through strength” for “victory through weakness” and he has transformed Theodore Roosevelt’s “Talk softly and carry a big stick” into “Talk boldly and give away your stick.”

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America’s blood and treasure have been squandered by a president who seemingly values neither. As a consequence, the threat from Islamic jihadists has never been greater and America’s prestige in the world has never been lower.

Nevertheless, as Iraq was crumbling, Obama claimed: “The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been. It is better fed then it’s ever been. It is more educated than it’s ever been.”

In Obama’s world, America is stronger when it is weaker and the world is safer when America is disengaged.

Power Vacuum Endangers America and the World

Obama campaigned on ending two wars and he has been dedicated to achieving that goal, regardless of real world consequences. He foolishly insists upon proclaiming timetables for withdrawal based upon political criteria and not military exigencies. As Brit Hume put it, the Obama administration “believes leaving is winning.”[i]

In his rush to exit Iraq and Afghanistan in order to create is legacy as the president who ended two wars, Obama has forfeited the fight and is giving as spoil all of the gains made in the war on terror – a war he contends is already over.

Author Charles Krauthammer noted: “What Obama doesn’t seem to understand is that American inaction creates a vacuum. His evacuation from Iraq consigned that country to Iranian hegemony, just as Obama’s writing off Syria invited in Russia, Iran and Hezbollah to reverse the tide of battle.”

Every time America retreats from the world stage, the good that America could do diminishes and the evil which could be thwarted advances.

A New York Daily News editorial[ii] explained in stark terms the result of Obama’s policy of disengagement: “The world is reaping what Obama helped sow.”

It continued, “But he left no residual force to combat terrorism, having failed to reach a troop agreement with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. In our absence, ISIS grew quickly into a malignant force.”

Also: “When civil war broke out across the border in Syria, Obama proved impotent.”

“Overeager to leave Iraq, gun-shy about intervening in Syria and insufficiently vigilant about the rising threat of ISIS, the President opened the way to an Islamist force of unprecedented power.”

“The toll wreaked by his disengagement from the world and retreat from the use of American influence is severe. While ISIS expands its reach with summary executions possibly running into the thousands, Obama is left to offload onto Maliki all responsibility for the chaos that’s happened and all that’s to come. That’s the easy way for Obama to escape admitting that he blew it.”

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Who’s to Blame?

Craig Crawford is typical of those defending Obama. But his argument actually indicts his conclusion. Crawford said, “Obama has disowned Iraq. … He’s not the face of that.”[iii] Oh, but he is. His precipitous and complete withdrawal precipitated the chaos which ensued.

It is precisely because Obama disowned Iraq that Obama owns it. Obama forfeited the peace which his predecessor had won. America’s absence from the arena gave free reign to terrorists to wreak havoc to their hearts’ content.

Richard Cohen, hardly a neo-conservative, recently noted the obvious.[iv] Cohen asked, “Whose fault is the current debacle in Iraq? … The one person who is not at fault, we are told over and over again, is the current President of the United States.”

Cohen added, “Other than avoiding war, it’s hard to know what Obama wants.”

Cohen’s conclusion? “He now must deal with a region that is so much worse than anyone imagined. Where does the fault lie? Where it always has – where the buck stops.”

Photo: 1) Daniel Borchers; 2) The Clarion Project.

Endnotes:

[i]               Brit Hume, Kelly File, FNC, 6/17/14.

[ii]               Editorial, “What Obama Wrought,” New York Daily News, 6/17/14, http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/obama-wrought-article-1.1832083.

[iii]              Craig Crawford, Media Buzz, FNC, 6/22/14

[iv]              Richard Cohen, “Obama and the wages of inaction,” New York Daily News, 6/17/14, http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/obama-wages-inaction-article-1.1831994.

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E.T. Come Back!

The theology of Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey is exemplified in the cult classic X-Files and its refrain: “I Want to Believe.”

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What do they want to believe?

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A panoply of ideas revolving around extraterrestrial life which visited Earth in the prehistoric past and will return again, for good or for evil.

Many of these “true believers” – with an unshakable faith based on emotional desires – look forward to this ET Second Coming with joyful anticipation. They reject Jesus – who always existed – as their Savior and replace Him with an extraterrestrial who never existed. (Why? To deny the spiritual dimension and, thus, the moral one as well.)

With religious fervor, they would that it be so.

The 1997 movie, Contact, took “place at the intersection of science, politics and faith,” according to film critic Roger Ebert. Contact was also based on a Carl Sagan novel and his notions of the origins of the universe and of life are incorporated therein.

A central observation in Contact is clearly expressed: “If we are alone in the Universe, it sure seems like an awful waste of space.”

It is all a matter of perspective. From the viewpoint of an atheist who dismisses the notion of a Creator or an afterlife, an endless, empty, eternal universe merely heightens the loneliness and isolation of those who believe that this life is all there is.

From the vantage point of a Christian, the universe is far from empty, meaningless, or depressing. It is, we see the testimony of the stars to the greatness and majesty of the One who brought them into being. We see all of the wonders of the universe displaying the glory of God and we look forward with joyful anticipation to that time when we will fellowship with Him – face-to-face – for eternity.

The words of that wondrous hymn, How Great Thou Art, so beautifully express why there is so much more to the cosmos than the creators of Cosmos can imagine.

Related: “Cosmos: A Cosmic Lie” at http://t.co/IMKDX6WekU.

Update: Scientists discover God.

“Right-Wing Terrorists” or Islamic Jihadists

The Left, again, confuses Islamic jihadists with so-called “right-wing terrorists.” These liberal attempts to demonize conservative views resurges whenever violence in America takes center stage in the national media.

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A diatribe against conservatives, which recently appeared on The Daily Beast, is representative of these attacks. The writer, Dean Obeidallah, used a deeply-flawed partisan study (to be addressed in a future column) and deeply-flawed reasoning to suggest that non-existent “right-wing terrorism” is a greater threat than Islamic jihadists.

Defends Jihadists

As noted by acclaimed terrorism expert Robert Spencer,

“This is the same Dean Obeidallah who recently wrote this about the jihadists of Boko Haram, the Congregation of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad: ‘The Nigerian terrorist group that kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls has nothing to do with Islam, and it’s grotesquely irresponsible of the media to suggest it does.’”

Spencer continued:

“So an avowedly Islamic group that has repeatedly proclaimed that it is fighting in order to establish an Islamic state is not Islamic, and it’s ‘grotesquely irresponsible’ to suggest otherwise. The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, must have been ‘grotesquely irresponsible’ when he declared: ‘The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels … The Koran must be supreme, we must establish Islam in this country.’”

The Real Terrorist Threat

As I have noted in previous columns, the Left’s boogeymen – the NRA, the Tea Party, the Republican Party, pro-lifers, etc. – all condemn violence. These organizations and groups all denounce violence perpetrated by people who are demonstrably insane. None of these organizations is extremist, nor are they violent. Indeed, they eschew violence.

There is no “right-wing terrorism.” The so-called “right-wing terrorists” identified by the Left were not part of conservative organizations and their violent behavior proves they did not believe in conservative principles and values. Moreover, these individual extremists and killers were isolated, not part of a group.

In contrast, jihadists are part of a global terrorist network which seeks to subjugate or annihilate all non-Muslims, starting with the “Great Satan” (United States) and “Little Satan” (Israel).

Jihadists – by definition – are willing to use terrorism to achieve their goals.

Jihadists – in word and in deed – have demonstrated their commitment to destroy the enemy (us) and to establish a worldwide caliphate.

Simply put, conservatives proscribe violence; jihadists prescribe it.

Finding a moral equivalence between conservatives (who do not engage in terrorism) and jihadists (who thrive on terrorism) is disingenuous, impedes our efforts to combat the real enemy, and gives political aid and comfort to those who would harm America – jihadists.

Related: “Terrorism Redefined” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-S

“Left Politicizes Las Vegas Shootings” at http://t.co/dPKxyOnxsH.

“Let’s Stop the Insanity Over Gun Violence” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-1o

Cosmos: A Cosmic Lie

Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey is the Obamacare of science. Proponents of universal health care promised the impossible: insuring tens of millions more people who would get better coverage at less cost. Those impossible claims proved, well, impossible to deliver.

Like Obamacare, Cosmos tells tall tales. It presents a worldview asserted to be scientifically sound – proven to be true – despite the impossibility of science to ever prove its accuracy.

The Big Lie

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The Big Lie is a propagandistic term invented by Hitler, who wrote that people are inclined to believe a “colossal” lie because “It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

Satan’s biggest lie is denying the existence of God even though the heavens and the earth testify to His existence and glory. The host and producers of Cosmos have fallen for that lie and they present several colossal lies of their own in this series: among them, the Big Bang theory and the theory of evolution.

Cosmos treats those two theories – both of which deny the existence of a Creator God – as if they were scientific fact despite the fact that science is literally incapable of ever proving those theories to be true.

Why are those theories unprovable? Because no one living here today was alive at the birth of the universe or the birth of life. Science observed neither event and can never recreate either event.

In explaining the existence of a creation without a Creator and of life without a Life-giver, Cosmos upends reality.

Moreover, in denying the existence of a Creator and a Life-giver, Cosmos contends that the Earth is insignificant and humanity is inconsequential. As a direct consequence of those conclusions, animal rights activists, population control proponents, and the environmental movement wage war on mankind in the interests of saving the planet and non-human life from human beings.

Godlike Powers

The very first words of the series reiterate Carl Sagan’s famous epigram: “The cosmos is all there is, or ever was, or ever will be.”

Those pseudo-religious words are catchy, but are they true?

Sagan’s words mirror and mock the biblical identity of the God he denies. Revelation 1:8 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

But could Sagan be right? “The cosmos is all there is, or ever was, or ever will be.”

How could anyone possibly know? In order to know, one would have to have experienced the cosmos in all of its fullness from beginning to end – every second of every particle in every portion of the cosmos.

Only God could do that!

But the producers of Cosmos can’t see that because in accepting Sagan’s assumption, they deny the very existence of the spiritual realm, a realm which cannot be measured or quantified.

Objectivity Redacted

Choosing to deny even the possibility that there might be a Creator is a theological decision, not a scientific one.

The Cosmos host, Dr. Tyson, offered “a simple set of rules: test ideas by experiment and observation, build on those ideas that pass the test, reject the ones that fail, follow the evidence wherever it leads and question everything.”

Sounds great. But science cannot observe the origin of either the Earth or of life. Science cannot replicate either. Science cannot do what Tyson claims it should do.

Tyson repeatedly asserts “question everything,” without questioning his own worldview, assumptions, and conclusions.

Tall Tales

Using slick visuals to capture the imagination, Cosmos tells one big lie after another – all unprovable, untestable, unbelievable. (Except, people tend to believe big lies because they seem too big to be wrong.)

One such tale is that the infinite universe sprang from the infinitesimal. Tyson claimed, “Our entire universe emerged from a point smaller than a single atom. Space itself exploded in a cosmic fire, launching the expansion of the universe and giving birth to all the energy and all the matter we know today.”

This is the wonder of creation without the wonderful Creator.

Which requires greater faith: a staggeringly immense universe of beauty, intricacy, structure, design, and order purposefully created by a wise God out of nothing – or, out of nothing, everything spontaneously and randomly appeared, with design, with order, but without the existence of a higher being?

Consider, what science does observe is entropy: order decaying into chaos – the exact opposite of how the cosmos should be if the Big Bang and evolution were true.

Where did the order come from? Why is it decaying now? Science cannot say, though Christians know.

Another Tyson tall tale: “every living thing is a masterpiece written by nature and edited by evolution.”

Tyson has excised the Creator from the equation, transforming a personal and providential God into an impersonal and mindless process – evolution in nature.

Notice the poetic structure of his scientific claim. Tyson has imbued nature with the ability to write, and evolution with the ability to edit, the “masterpiece” of the cosmos.

Cosmological Faith

Yet another Tyson fantasy: “Our ancestors worshipped the sun. They were far from foolish. It makes good sense to revere the sun and stars because we are their children. … We are made by the atoms and the stars [and] our matter and our form are forged by the great and ancient cosmos of which we are a part.”

The Big Lie on steroids. We are “children” of the stars? We “are forged by the great and ancient cosmos?” Poetry? Yes. Scientific? No.

Stripping God out of existence, evolutionists imbue nature with divine power. They deny the existence of the One who created everything out of nothing but they have faith in evolution and in nature. However, the whole of creation testifies to the existence of a Creator, not the absence of one.

Science and Faith

Cosmos not so subtly likens Christianity to primitive pagan religions. Contrary to history, Cosmos presents faith as inalterably opposed to science, whereas, Christian faith has actually been the inspiration and motivation for many of the major scientific advances of the past millennium.

But Cosmos substitutes the Christian faith of the founders of science for a faith in something that is not science (while calling it science). It has faith in materialistic theories of the universe, not in science.

Claiming Christianity has always opposed science and martyred its leaders, Cosmos attempts to demonize and silence people of faith, even likening us to Nazis and calling us “science-deniers” (equivalent to Holocaust-deniers).

It is their denial of God and of the spiritual realm which animates their unscientific, materialistic worldview. In denying the spiritual dimension, they negate the meaning and purpose of life. If God does not exist, then man is unimportant. Cosmos actually dwells upon the non-special nature of humanity.

One wonders why this so appeals to them? Could it be that the absence of God and the insignificance of man absolves them of accountability?

If there is no God, then there is no moral law.

If there is no moral law, then there are no absolute values.

If there are no absolutes, then we can live life as we choose.

The Cosmos Right Side Up

But Cosmos has it backwards!

The biblical paradigm reveals that all of creation testifies to God’s existence and to His glory. Yet, despite the unfathomable power, wisdom, and glory of a God who can create out of nothing a universe that seemingly has no end, that God chose to fashion human beings in His image so that He might have fellowship with us.

The universe did not randomly materialize out of nothing by itself and life did not appear by chance on our planet for no purpose. Rather, the Creator brought the cosmos into existence to proclaim His existence, and He breathed life into us that we might worship Him and have eternal fellowship with Him.

The Big Lies of the big bang and evolution obscure the incredible truth that God has revealed through His creation, His Bible, and Jesus Christ. Those lies deprive people of the knowledge of God and of the relationship that He wants to have with them.

Far from the purposeless human existence propounded by Cosmos, we should rejoice every day for the gift of life that God has granted us and the relationship that we can now have with Him.

Now that is a cosmic truth.

Update. Nine Scientific Facts Prove the “Theory of Evolution” is False.

Scientific Fact No. 1 – Birds Prove Natural Selection is Naturally Wrong

Scientific Fact No. 2 – Species Without a Link Prove Evolution Theory is Wrong

Scientific Fact No. 3 – Missing Inferior Evolutionary Branches

Scientific Fact No. 4 – Single Cell Complexity Proves Evolution is Wrong

Scientific Fact No. 5 – Human Egg and Sperm Prove Evolution is Wrong

Scientific Fact No. 6 – DNA Error Checking Proves Evolution is Wrong

Scientific Fact No. 7 – Chaos From Organization Proves Evolution is Wrong

Scientific Fact No. 8 – Chromosome Count Proves Evolution is Wrong

Scientific Fact No. 9 – Origin of Matter and Stars Proves Evolution is Wrong

Resource: Answers in Genesis special section on Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey at http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation-debate/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey.

Update: Scientists discover God.

Update: Science concedes Earth must have had a Creator.

Best-selling author Eric Metaxas wrote in the Wall Street Journal article “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God” (Dec. 25, 2014): “In 1966 … astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star. Given the roughly octillion – 1 followed by 24 zeros – planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion – 1 followed by 21 zeros – planets capable of supporting life. … But as years passed, the silence from the rest of the universe was deafening. … As of 2014, researches have discovered precisely bubkis – 0 followed by nothing. …”

Eric Metaxas continued: “What happened? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed. His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly. … Peter Schenkel wrote in a 2006 piece for Skeptical Inquirer magazine: ‘In light of new findings … we should quietly admit that the early estimates … may no longer be tenable.’

“As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero. … In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. … Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life – every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing. Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? … At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? …”

Eric Metaxas ended: “Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that ‘the appearance of design is overwhelming’ … Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said ‘the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator … gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.’”

Left Politicizes Las Vegas Shootings

The far Left never lets a tragedy go to waste and the recent shooting spree in Las Vegas is no exception. This time, liberals get a twofer: guns and conservatives.

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Framing the Debate

Upon learning of the tragic Las Vegas shootings, the Left immediately launched its attack, blaming the shooters, guns, and conservatives.

One particular Op-Ed exemplifies the Left’s hatred of the Right: “Las Vegas Shooting Spree – A Product of Tea Party ‘Ideology’.”

That’s right – the Tea Party is to blame! But is it really? The writer, Adalia Woodbury, …

  • blamed the right-wing media (just as the Left did after the Oklahoma City bombing)
  • asserted the Tea Party is composed of “white supremacists”
  • called the Tea Party “fascist” and “neo-Nazi”
  • claimed the Tea Party is “anti-police”

 Woodbury ramped up the rhetoric, claiming …

  • “[the shooters] hated everyone and everything the right wing propaganda branch of the Republican Party told them to.”
  • “They got a lot of help from Teabagger politicians who legitimized Teabagger ideology …”
  • “the NRA and right wing media played a role in developing the twisted and deadly combination of gun culture and fascist ideology.”

Who’s to blame? According to Woodbury, the Republican Party, the Tea Party, and the NRA.

(By the way, Ms. Woodbury, the term “Teabagger” is a deliberately vulgar term. Stop using it.)

Reality

As a senior legal analyst for PoliticusUSA, Woodbury should know better. She failed to provide any evidence to support her assertions about the Tea Party or the NRA. White supremacist, fascist, neo-Nazi, anti-police?

The NRA, the Tea Party, and the Right-wing media never support what Woodbury charges them with. As a gun control zealot, of course Woodbury does not understand the “gun culture” she decries, nor does she have a grasp of the Second Amendment. Moreover, far from being “anti-police,” the NRA has a close relationship with law enforcement.

As for ideology, the Left equates what it likes to call “home-grown terrorism” with Islamic terrorism, often suggesting the former is a greater threat. But weren’t the Islamist Boston Marathon bombers “homegrown” – radicalized in the United States?

Let’s be clear here: Islamic jihadists and suicide bombers kill innocent people because their jihadist ideology demands it. The organizations Woodbury cites never endorse and always oppose such activities.

When mass shootings occur (such as this one in Las Vegas), the Left habitually attacks the Right, claiming alleged ideological connections to the nut-cases who kill. In doing so, the Left misses the point: the insanity of the culprits. In her diatribe, Woodbury actually used the phrase “right wing nut jobs” to directly associate these killers with the conservatives she hates.

Instead of targeting political organizations with whom she disagrees, Woodbury would be wiser to tackle the root causes of these killings: insanity.

Related: “Terrorism Redefined” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-S and “Let’s Stop the Insanity Over Gun Violence” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-1o.

Remembering Reagan

Ten years ago, the nation mourned his passing while celebrating the life and legacy of Ronald Reagan. Hundreds of thousands of people visited the Capitol Rotunda for his lying in state. See “My Pilgrimage to Reagan” (5 pp.) for a first-hand account of that experience. See also a 1997 “Ronald Reagan Special Edition” (28 pp) with tributes from people who knew him best.

Reagan was an intellectual giant with wisdom, common sense, the common touch, a magnanimous spirit, optimistic faith, and a grand vision of the American experience under the providence of God.

We were blessed to know him.

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