Khizr Kahn – A Bitter, Lonely Man 11

Mr Kahn lost his son, Captain Humayun Kahn, an American war hero to an suicide murder attack in IRAQ in 2004. That’s the year I lost my son to suicide.

Our family is no stranger to losing  sons.

My brother was killed in Korea. Another brother was Missing In Action in World War II (long before I was born). My Dad didn’t vote Democrat again after the Korean war.

I say these thing not to diminish the death of Mr Kahn’s son, or to criticize Mr Kahn’s grief. I say it to tell people that I understand Mr Kahn’s pain as only a father of a deceased son could. I understand, just like my parents understood, the futility of a child being killed in a war thousands of miles from home.

It’s not fair.

I believe that Mr Kahn allowed himself, and his son’s legacy, to be used for raw political purposes. Shame on those running the Democrat National Convention for doing this disgraceful thing, even if Mr Kahn allowed it.

Mr Kahn’s  message was a criticism of Donald Trump’s proposed policy of limiting Muslim immigration into the United States until individuals could be checked-out for terrorist connections.  Mr Kahn resents this proposal, and says that if Trump’s proposal would have been in effect when his family immigrated, his son would not have been able to fight for the United States.

Stop right there.  Captain Humayun Kahn was killed by a Muslim. It was Capt. Kahn’s job to keep these terrorist Muslims out of the United States.  He was doing his job, and he knew it.

So, why is Mr Kahn so bitter? First of all, he lost his beloved son, a hero to all of us. Secondly, he seems to ignore why his son died.

Mr Kahn and the media are critical of the racial animosity sometimes felt against Pakistani’s. I am afraid this is a natural feeling given the proliferation of extremist madrasa schools in Pakistan, and the horrible, corrupt Pakistani government that gave long term shelter to Osama Bin Laden, murderer of thousands of American citizens.

As a Christian I love Mr Kahn and am praying for his and his wife’s comforting in this time of great sorrow and pain. I cannot relieve that pain and suffering, but God can help Mr Kahn as he helped us after our son died.

Donald Trump’s Muslim policy proposal is rational, and will save American lives. It is a counterfactual argument that if the policy were in effect years ago, the son would not have been in the USA to fight and die for that country.

Counterfactual means that it did not happen that way. Mr Kahn knows that when they immigrated conditions were different, and that arguments about what could have happened are pure speculation with no hint of truth. Then was then, and now is now.

Now is the time to beseech God for protection from Muslim terrorists so that more Captain Kahn’s do not have to die, either overseas, or here at home.

 

 

 

 

The Big Creation – Evolution Debate Reply

The debate was on debatelive.org, and was between Bill Nye, “The Science Guy”, and Ken Ham, CEO of Genesis Answers. The facility was the Creation Museum in Kentucky which Mr. Ham apparently runs. Bill Nye is well-known as a so-called science expert, and Ken Ham is a young-earth creationist. The young-earth creationists say that the earth is only about six thousand years old as opposed to the scientific view that it is four and a half billion years old.

The debate was a classic exchange of evolution arguments against Biblical based creation. Bill Nye used fossil evidence, radiometric evidence, and other things like genetic findings. He tried to concentrate his presentation against the young-earth hypothesis of the creationists. In doing so he repeatedly made a mistake in expressing that people who believe the Bible don’t understand science, or scientific principles. I agreed with him about the young-earth hypothesis being incorrect, but thought it was beyond the pale to imply that Christians, especially Christians in southern states, are ignorant of science and mathematics. That was pretty shallow of him.

The young-earth creationist view comes by counting Old Testament  generations from Adam to Jesus who lived at at a known time. I think they believe it was two thousand years from the world’s creation to Moses; two thousand years from Moses to Jesus; and two thousand years from Jesus to the present. There is uncertainty in their method, but I don’t feel like delving into all those scriptures and counting generations and years.

Of course, the four and a half billion year age of the earth comes from estimation using geological and astronomical data. Ken Ham’s retort to this sort of measurement was to define two types of science; present day observational science and historical science. His point was that since we were not present when the earth was created, we cannot ascertain age using current scientific methods. Ham says that all we are doing is making unwarranted assumptions.

In this Ham is wrong. Science is science, and it should always be based on observational data. The way we estimate the age of  things formed in the past is by using well known constants that were valid in antiquity, and are valid now. Think Carbon 14 dating, radioactive decay of uranium or other elements. There are many methods of physically dating rocks, bones, and vegetable substances. However, there are uncertainties in many methods, and these are usually expressed as a plus and minus accuracy. Ken Ham argues that none of them are accurate, and I think his argument is based on wishful thinking rather than any concrete evidence.

Nye did not classify the uncertainty of many of the dating methods. It is things like that get lost in so-called debates. He pointed out that there were lots of physical things that are dated older than the six thousand years of Ham’s creationist world. For example, the well known Bristle Cone Pine trees of California can get very old. The age of these trees is measured by counting tree rings, and involves very few assumptions. At least one is nine thousand years old. Ham had no reply to this example.

Ken Ham was absolutely consistent. If he didn’t have a physical explanation, he relied on the Bible. When Bill Nye said he didn’t know how matter was created, Ham pointed that there was a book that explained all that, and the book is the Bible. That got a few laughs in the audience.

Nye also exhibited a good deal if ignorance about the Bible and Christianity. For example, he accused Ham of being inconsistent when Ham explained that the Bible had many parts, not just a description of creation and laws. Bill Nye had no knowledge of the Book of Psalms which is poetry and songs.

Mr Nye also seemed to have no appreciation of the way science is always changing. Not all science changes, but almost every day some theory or scientific finding is overturned. That’s the way science works. Nye spoke of science as if it were a monolithic, unchanging thing. Science is a process designed to use evidence as its basis. When new evidence becomes available,  older theories are many times invalidated.  Trusting in science for an ultimate truth is risky, indeed.

Bill Nye has a degree in mechanical engineering, and as such, is an intelligent person. Unfortunately, his knowledge is lacking in some cases.. Ken Ham is nothing but stubborn, and it is sometimes disappointing when he hides behind the Bible rather than give an answer other than the evolutionists make too many assumptions.

The purveyors of evolution do make a lot of assumptions, and then tout those assumptions as science. For example, they fossil record is not satisfactory to me to explain evolution. What is more convincing are the genetic records. Even though I am a Christian, I accept the principle of evolution.

I don’t believe evolution detracts from the glory of God. When you look into the miracles of nature with science, it is hard NOT believe in God. Mr Nye would be well advised to thank God for our ability to scientifically explore all creation. Mr Ham would be well advised to keep an open mind.

Note: You may be interested in this article on the Federalist blog by Cathy Resienwitz. She calls creationism as believing in the “God of the gaps”. Interesting, and I agree with her.

Existential Stuff Reply

This seems like a good time to discuss beliefs and observations about a couple of basic questions. Does God exist? Why cannot the existence of God be proven.

There is a blog by Dr Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Dr Spencer is a decorated scientist and a pioneer in climatology who helped develope satellite technology to measure the earth’s surface temperatures, a much more reliable and consistent measurement than the older surface thermometers. Dr Spencer is also a Christian. I hope you enjoy his blog at this link. It was written in response to a journalist who knew nothing about science or Christianity.

You see, science is only a process that is imperfect at best. All it can do is compare physical entities and judge proof on that comparison. If you have no data you have no proof. So, if you have no physical evidence of God, you have no proof of God’s existence. Also, if you have no physical evidence of a random creation of life, you have no proof. This is a sword that cuts both ways.

Spencer makes the point that it takes the same degree of faith to believe in a Creator as it does to believe in a random process of particles accidentally creating life.  It takes a LOT of faith to believe in random.

When someone says they don’t believe in God because we cannot physically prove the existence of God, I have to question what they really believe. Do they not believe in God because they cannot see, feel, smell God?

Do people believe creation started in a random dance of electrons and other quantum particles banging together in some sort of cosmic march of the sugar-plumb quarks? Do they believe that space aliens brought life to earth several million years ago, or that life was transported to earth in asteroids and comets?,

Much of the science we read about in news releases, or done in the past has proven to be false. It is the job of the scientific process to disprove old ideas as new hypotheses are generated. This happens every day.

It looks like you have to work as hard to believe in nothing as to believe in God.

What If Jesus Doesn’t Come Again? Reply

If Jesus doesn’t come again that would mean a broken promise. That would un-hinge the entire Christianity thing. Big problem.

This brilliant subject came to me this morning, and it occurred to me that I had never doubted the scriptures at all. As far as I was concerned, Jesus is coming again. This promise was made about two thousand years ago, but we have not seen our Redeemer since.

So, if we are waiting for the Second Coming and it never happens, just when will we as individual Christians figure it out? Yeah, I know this is some pretty loose philosophical thinking, but it is my thinking.

If Jesus does a no-show, does that mean no eternal life? Does it mean that He doesn’t sit at the right hand of God? What about those pearly gates. Will they still be there? Will St Peter get tired of waiting and go out to a permanent lunch?

Christians take everything on faith. That’s a pretty important concept. Everybody, every day takes much of life on faith, like faith the banking system won’t fail, or faith the old Ford will start once more to get them to work, Some people say they don’t believe in God, but put their faith in science. Science gets an overhaul every few years as new discoveries are made, and old beliefs are trashed. I don’t think it would be smart to put one’s faith in science.

Is the Second Coming  just a ruse to keep little guys like me going to church, giving money, and witnessing my faith to the world? If when year after year Jesus doesn’t come, does this mean that I have fallen for a Jesus trap? Am I like the misbegotten souls who hide away in caves waiting for the end of the world?

When I became a Christian I didn’t do it for insurance on the off-chance that God exists. When you become a Christian, you are in it lock, stock, and barrel. You are in for real. That’s why we believe the second coming will be real, even if it happens long past our lifetimes.

We know what to expect.  That is what our faith demands.

Chick-fil-A And Gay Marriage 2

This subject has been going around all week, and I have waited until now to address my feelings on the matter.

The CEO of Chick-fil-A stated his Christian beliefs in an interview that he believed in the traditional marriage definition. Now, not only the media, but certain politicians have charged that the company itself it against gay people and gay marriage. Of course, this is all politics and convenient, incorrect interpretation by a liberal media.

There is nothing wrong with preferring marriage to be between a man and a woman. There is nothing unusual about this, at all. Just because I don’t always agree with this traditional definition doesn’t mean that I do not respect those with whom I disagree.

What we have seen is a complete lack of understanding of our First Amendment right of free speech from the Mayors of Chicago and Boston. Maybe we should expect this because both are politicians, and they are in the business of buying votes. The irony is that the Boston mayor says he will oppose Chick-fil-A’s expansion in Boston when he has no right or duty to do so. If Chick-fil-A goes to court, the mayor will be defeated in a battle costly to the City of Boston.

Boston and Chicago have picked lose-lose positions. They come across as anti-democracy, and anti-freedom. Both cities are run by crooked political machines.

In my opinion the argument about gay marriage is silly. Some people will tell you that a civil union is OK for homosexuals, but marriage is out of the question. Who are they kidding? A civil union, by any other name, is a marriage. Most unions are marriages, including just living together. Just ask some of those Hollywood live-in actresses if they can convince a court that living-in is a marriage. Of course it is.

You can argue that God doesn’t define marriage that way.  With the risk of offending our Maker, I don’t believe God sees any difference between a civil union, a marriage, or a live-in lover. It all comes down to the same thing.

Legally, there are many differences, but people wrote the laws, and people can change them. The morality was decided a long time ago, and all we have done is legalize immorality.

If there is any threat to the institution of marriage, we have already put it in place by accepting live-ins, civil unions, and anything that allows people to cohabit without assuming responsibility.

As I have said many times, marriage as an institution is threatened by married people who do not keep vows, and do not stay married. Homosexual marriages would be such a small number that its effect on the institution would be negligible. Plus, many of them will not be contributing to the gene pool.

There is no reason to castigate Chick-fil-A because its chairman has certain beliefs. The ravings we have heard are silly, and not well thought out. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with gay marriage that is not already going on, either in civil unions, or as live-in lovers.

What do you think?

Take The Long View 4

relief of Roman Soldires

Roman Soldiers conquered the civilized world.

Just like Obama said, whenever conservatives get upset, we cling to our guns and our God. It seems like the natural thing to do.

Since I believe in God, I have to cling to Him in good times and bad, praising him. There is nothing contradictory about that. It just underlines the severity of the difference in what the American people believe, and the actions and beliefs of our government.

It is interesting to think about how Jesus viewed the oppression of the Romans in His time. The Romans did not hesitate to tax their subjects. Plus, they would take what they wanted, counting that theft as spoils due to the victor. When asked a loaded question about the Roman government’s policy of taxing, Jesus basically pointed out that their nation had agreed to subjugation to the Romans, and could not refuse to give to the Romans that which they demanded. In Mark 12:17, Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that as a mandate, the health care law would be unconstitutional. However, when viewed as a tax, it is acceptable under the Constitution. In plain language we have surrendered our wealth to the whims of a government by allowing them to levy taxes. Therefore, any tax we see now is justified under that principle.

We have made our beds, now we must lie in them.

Our salvation from this problem lies within ourselves. All we have to do is to vote the oppressors out of office.

In the short term we have a problem. In the long term, we can solve the problem.

What World Do You Live In? 2

Picture of a duck in the water.

Duck picture from Wikipedia

“She is like a duck. She gets up in a new world, everyday.”

This is what my Dad said about one of my cousins. My Dad was right. My cousin never lets the bad things in life get her down, and is always in a good mood. It is like she shakes off her worries every night, and gets up the next morning  with a whole new attitude.

There are people who spend their days worrying about the basics of life, and we need to recognize this and help them.

There are also people who spend their days worrying about all the little things that can affect them. These people can avoid a lot of their worry.

I think most of us are caught in between, having times of depression and worry, interspersed with times of security and happiness. Maybe that is a good definition of happiness, not worrying about things.

Having spent a career as a salesman, I know that one’s fundamental attitude about life will determine whether you are happy and successful. Life is all about attitude, and you can choose how you see things. Sometimes, we encounter defeats and losses, but your attitude determines how you are ultimately affected.

Life is also about perception, how we perceive ourselves, and how others perceive us. If we encounter life each day with a positive attitude and a willingness to work our problems, others will perceive us as happy, successful people. Success breeds success, and you will find yourself going from one successful encounter to the next, all because you started the day with a good, positive attitude.

What can you do to get yourself into that positive attitude each day? There are many ways to do this.

You can think positive thoughts. That’s a good start.

Dale Carnegie classes have an exercise that will get you going. Just repeat the words, “Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic…” while performing vigorous exercise, and you can achieve two things. Your pulse rate is physically quickened, and because your blood is flowing a little faster, your mental processes are kicking into a higher gear. Try it.

Another piece of wisdom from Dale Carnegie, and countless others, is to pray. Ask God each day to shoulder your worries, and give you the confidence to fight and win the countless little battles you will encounter. By the time you run into a big problem, you will be way ahead of the game. Prayer can work miracles.

Dale Carnegie was a tremendously successful person, and his career was spent making others understand how to be happy and successful. This was due in no small part to Carnegie’s Christianity. Therein lay the source of his success.

I choose to live in a world figuratively full of sunshine and happiness. I love each day, and enjoy the blessings that inevitably come my way. I pray that I am not a worry to others, for healing the sick, and  I pray for competency in our political leaders. Yep! Since they are in office it would be nice if they did the right thing, occasionally. God has a lot more influence in those cases than I.

What kind of world are you living in? I believe most people are happy most of the time. Maybe that is because I don’t like to hang around people who gripe and complain about their situation.

Life is too short to spend your days worrying about things you cannot control. That’s God’s job.

Whitney Houston Was A Christian 6

Her funeral was a celebration of her life and how she affected others. This is the way Christians do things. We are sad when our loved ones die, but we also celebrate their lives and their union with Jesus. This is a major difference with Christianity as opposed to other religions.

Whitney Houston’s funeral was held at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. The church’s name is telling of Christians. The name, New Hope, connotes the hope that Jesus Christ gives us. We are forgiven our sins, and believe that anybody can receive God’s salvation. It is free, and the new hope for mankind.

Whitney knew this, as did the members of New Hope Baptist Church, her home church where she was raised. She knew that no matter how bad things got in life, she was comfortable with her place in eternity. She was gifted with a most beautiful voice, and a career few of us can imagine. She also fell into an abusive marriage with Bobby Brown, and was prey to drug addictions.

God has forgiven her. She is in his presence, now.

As I listened to the sermon by gospel singer and pastor, Marvin Winans, I understood his message. He said with relation to mankind that “you don’t just appear…”, meaning that there is a reason for your appearance in this world. Whitney Houston undoubtedly had a purpose.

We are all sad at her leaving, but we must not forget her faith.