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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

February:

Persuasion by Jane Austen (ok, so I re-read it, but loved it more the third time.  The tale of a good, intelligent woman on the verge of being forever an “old maid,” whose family ignores her but whom she helps all the same.  There is a handsome man she loved before he was rich, and so turned down at the influence of her family and friends, and very much regrets.  He comes back into her life and suddenly everyone realizes Anne Elliot is the girl they want to marry.  I underlined every word that illustrated persuasion, steadfastness, or persuad-ability.  There are a lot.) 

 

March:

The Preacher and the Presidents by  Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy (a modern history book looking at leadership, politics, and big decisions as associated with Billy Graham.) 

 

A Walk With Jane Austen by Lori Smith (Single Christian girl in early thirties goes to England to trace Jane Austen’s life.  She dreams of love, finds something special, and goes on to share her very human, very female thoughts about life, love, and God – often borrowing words from Jane Austen herself.) 

 To God be all glory, Lisa of Longbourn 

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Have you seen this website?  Abort73.com 
The website is Christian, immense, well-documented, with some videos and some articles and a lot of facts.  Their idea is to educate the youth about what abortion is.  When women are at the abortion clinics, they’ve already made a decision.  They’re already desperate.  They have a “friend” with them to keep them from changing their mind.  And they have been counseled to ignore the lying lunatics outside with signs, flyers, and offers of help.  But what if, before the decision ever came up, everyone knew what the “choice” really looked like?  What if most people chose ahead of time to never have an abortion, because it would be horrific murder of a real live human person? 
Abort73 is trying to get the word out via t-shirts and gear students have at school.  I’m linking it in my blogs to spread it as well. 
What’s more, if you need a fact about abortion, this is a great resource.  Use the search box right at the top to look up your topic, be it birth control, the law, the history of abortion, statistics on abortion, scientists on the progression of life…  Use this to inform yourself and those you know. 
The newest video they made is like a commercial for the personhood amendment we’re hoping to get ratified in Colorado this year. 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn
Thanks to Hank from Lawn Gospel for introducing me to Abort73

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Portrait of a young pig by Joel Sartore
Portrait of a young pig

For my birthday, we had a Pigfest. I blogged a long time ago promising a Pigfest, and challenged you all to discover what it was. Here’s how it went.

Each person in attendance was asked to have a statement prepared for debate. It could be about theology, philosophy, politics, history, or economics. They would state their proposition and explain it if necessary. A timer set for fifteen minutes was started and the debate began, with any person present allowed to play devil’s advocate or switch sides or bring up a new aspect for debate at any time.

A Gentleman's Debate, 1881 by Benjamin Eugene Fichel
A Gentleman’s Debate, 1881

The first proposition was that Imagination is inversely proportional to the amount of toys one possesses. Discussion included types of toys, what happens if one has no toys, the advantage of having a few toys over either extreme, whether we meant toys, or property in general (who defines toy?). The assumption that imagination is a desired goal was addressed, as well as the purpose of imagination and of toys. “Is passive entertainment ever healthy?” someone asked. We talked about different kinds of people, and the kinds of entertainment that are more satisfying because they engage the entertained to interact. Finally at the last minute it was suggested that the relationship is not inverse. If “inverse” were true of toys and imagination, no toys would produce infinite imagination, and that is not the case.

Secondly it was proposed that Evangelical Christianity should be more like Roman Catholicism in that there are wards, and one is expected to attend the nearest church, focusing on involvement in their immediate community. This would mean that problems in churches get fled, not ignored. There would ideally then be accountability in the leadership of the church. The Roman Catholic church, however, enforces accountability with a bishop who is outside of the local congregations, overseeing several churches. Who would enforce the rule? How would it be enforced? Would a Christian be able to exercise their freedom and their conscience toward doctrine? Someone suggested choosing between the three closest congregations. The condition was Evangelical Christianity, so it was argued that one’s own theology defined what one considered an appropriate church/denomination to attend, and most people present wouldn’t change the church they attend (Pigfesters at this event represented at least four churches, and I invited members of several more churches.) If community is the end goal, then why do we have church buildings at all? Why not house churches? How do you hear about/get invited to a house church? If one is going to fix problems in existing churches, wouldn’t that lead to a sort of vigilante church take-over? Wait! Is that happening in some churches already?

Our third debate was on the need for a national language, and that because the majority of the nation speaks English, and our legal and founding documents were written therein, the national language should be English. The first objection was that one would have to define English. English is evolving, as evidenced by the low comprehension we would have of a Middle or Old English document. A national language would enable integration of immigrants, encouraging unity in our country. How would you enforce the national language? How would you integrate those whose birth language was not English? What does a national language mean? Are road signs only in English? Laws? Ballots? Government documents? If one national language is such a good thing, why should we stop at that? Why not a global language? We talked about the tower of Babel, and God’s design in confusing languages.

Next was a discussion of the relative morality of nuclear weapons. The proposition stated that the morality equaled that of using hand grenades or traditional bombs. Brought up was the economics of both the use of and the recovery from nuclear weapons; the effect upon innocent non-combatants, the number of dead, and the number of miserably injured. What is the object of war? To obtain land and property? Defense? Killing the most enemy combatants? Killing the most people? Is psychological warfare moral? Doesn’t the use of morally regulated nuclear weapons facilitate escalation in that it emboldens the less principled (or sane) enemies to use nuclear weapons against innocents or recklessly?

We had a proxy proposition that Lying is justifiable to save a human life. Immediately presented were the biblical examples of Rahab and the Midwives, and contrasting example of Corrie ten Boom’s sister (Corrie nine Bang?). What was God rewarding? Is it ok to give the appearance of lying? God clearly says that He abhors lying, but we are only assuming from examples that it is ok to lie to save lives. Theology and application should be consistent with the whole revelation of Scripture. A Bible story was brought up in which God caused an attacking army to believe there was an army attacking them, even though there wasn’t. Does God use mind control? Will He use it if we don’t take initiative and lie for Him? Is lying ok in other circumstances, like surprise parties? It was argued that life is the highest end, taken from Proverbs 31 where it says to intercede for those being delivered to death. Against that was the position that God’s glory was the highest, that faith in God says that God can accomplish His purposes inside our obedience (as well as outside). What else could Rahab, for example, have done? Refuse to answer. Be creative. Die for the truth. The Holy Spirit will guide a Christian to the proper response in a given situation.

Then we addressed the question Does God tell you what to do and change the plans? The general answer was yes, He does. Then it was asked is God lying. The example was given of Abraham and Isaac, that God tests our surrender. Is God lying, or is our perspective not reflective of reality?

Finally, trying to mix up the topics, I selected a topic from history from my list. This was my proposal: Ancient civilizations knew about and had maps of America and Antarctica. After the strong stand taken against lying in any circumstance, no one wanted to argue with me. There was discussion on the evidence: trigonometry, maps, Columbus’s discovery of America, that Antarctica was mapped pre-ice cap (what if there was a civilization there?). We diverted into conversation on ancient technology (that we moderns don’t understand), Mormon myths, similar architecture in rings out from Babel reflecting the dispersion. From the Bible we talked about Peleg (in his days the earth was divided, whatever that means) and boundaries (between nations that are not to be moved), and the knowledge possible to be acquired in 500 years of life versus the current life expectancy. Evidence was presented that mammoths were found with dandelions that had been blooming in their stomachs as they were frozen, suggesting the climate was more temperate in the arctic and Antarctic in the past, and that it changed rapidly.

Afterward we watched Amazing Grace, the movie about William Wilberforce’s campaign to abolish the slave trade in England. It was positively inspiring. Afterward we passed around the petition to amend the Colorado Constitution defining person as a human from the moment of fertilization.

I’m told, and experienced myself, that the conversation sparked by fifteen minute segments of debate carried on into the next few days. We have all resolved to have Pigfests again.

Feel free to add to the arguments, ask questions, click on the links, host your own Pigfests, comment on your debate experiences, say hi, etc.

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Resolved: The American Federal government is too big. 

The federal government has more employees than is legal or necessary. 

The federal government is inefficient. 

The federal government unjustly over-taxes the people of America. 

The federal government uses tax money (and debt) to fund illegal social, education, and scientific programs and departments. 

The federal government has infringed the rights of states in several areas. 

Resolved: A US president has power to rein-in the federal government. 

A US president can veto excessive spending bills referred to him by rogue congresses. 

A US president can speak out against the abuses performed by the federal government. 

A US president can restrict, resize, or dissolve any of the executive-appointed offices and departments. 

A US president can appoint secretaries, attorneys, and judges who will uphold the US Constitution. 

Resolved: The vote cast by a citizen of the United States for president should be affected by the above resolutions. 

Resolved: The above resolutions are not the only rod by which to measure a candidate. 

Inquired: Which candidates understand and affirm the above resolutions? 

Inquired: Which of those who understand and affirm the resolutions have an applicable plan for reforming the federal government back into legal limits? 

Inquired: Which of those with a plan would be able to implement their plan without destroying the nation?  In other words, would the government and country still be able to function,  or govern and defend itself? 

Ron Paul is almost completely a libertarian.  He offers very conservative principles to the disillusioned, betrayed conservative grass roots.  His speeches are full of the resolutions above.  But I have not heard him describe how electing him as president would make a difference.  What changes would he make, and how would he make them?  How would he deal with the fall-out?  I notice in my own life that God, who certainly knows all of my shortcomings and sins, will prune them a little at a time, so that I can still function.  I believe this is because He loves me, not just the mold of perfection.  I doubt that Ron Paul would have the patience to reform the government in a way that would leave a working system in place.  On the other hand, he has been in the legislature for some time without accomplishing anything aside from building a record for himself (not even a name for himself until he publicized it by running for president). 

Rudy Giuliani does not seem interested in restricting the government at all.  He is a social moderate, who therefore thinks government involvement in social matters are justified.  (On a side note I do not think that murder is a social issue; neither is abortion.) 

Mitt Romney is a businessman.  He has shown his capabilities as an executive.  Making an organization run efficiently and productively is his record.  In business, you do not want to cut the influence of your company, or reduce profits.  Yet in government, that is just what needs to be done. 

Though Huckabee was a pastor more than a businessman, he was also an executive of a state.  As governor of Arkansas did he exhibit any tendencies toward reforming the government?  Granted, he was working with a congress of democrats.  Is there anything he is saying now that indicates he will reform Washington? 

Are these men just going to treat symptoms?  Throw more money at problems?  Cut out the cancer so deeply that you’ve amputated vital organs?  Must we the voters be content with a man of the hour, who can get us through the next four years, but will leave the federal government unchecked in its decent toward tyranny? 

What do any of you readers know about these candidates or the others running?  Are my assessments wrong?  Do any of the other candidates meet the resolutions with strength, vision, and confidence?  Can you reassure me that a vote for Huckabee, which I am intending to cast, will be for the good of America? 

Can we the people do anything now to prepare the field of candidates in the future? 

Please comment. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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In the pro-life movement, there are some tactics less popular than others.  For example, most everyone will support a pregnancy center.  Adoption agencies are good pro-life outlets, too.  Political involvement (like voting or signing a petition if it comes up) is an easy way to do a bit.  You can blog about pro-life, or give money to pro-life agencies.  Even sidewalk counseling, prayer vigils, and clinic protests aren’t that intimidating.  When you discuss loud, convicting protests or stark, bloody posters, then you rub some people the wrong way.  Finally something that really intimidates people is protesting in neighborhoods of abortionists and their accomplices.  (Ok, the idea of doing anything that could get you sent to jail isn’t popular either, but I’m not really advocating those things.) 

 

In fact a blogger who frequently supports Planned Parenthood was just complaining about the pro-life groups in Colorado who protested outside of a contractor’s house.  Her definitely not endorsed article can be read at this link.  I wrote the following as a comment, but I’m not sure whether she’ll post my refutation, so I’m tripling the effort by blogging it. 

 

Obviously contractors (and their neighbors) want to avoid the public opinion that doesn’t appreciate those who cooperate in the destruction of human life.  A good way of avoiding that would be to not participate in the murder of the most innocent of human life.  This is the point of the protests. 

 

Political campaigning is like this.  Members of the community have a right to communicate their position to their neighbors.  And they have the right to try to persuade their neighbors.  The fact that we have to persuade people to spare innocent children is a point in itself. 

 

When Martin Luther King, Jr. was peacefully and pointedly protesting the discrimination according to race, he was applauded (though resisted).  If the people do not gather to speak, their voice will not be heard.  Looking back we don’t feel bad about the teachers, clerks, drivers, and city officials who were made to feel uncomfortable about the policies of racial discrimination.  What they were doing was wrong.  The people knew it.  And the wrong was changed. 

 

Our constitution precludes lines being drawn about free speech, but I wonder where Planned Parenthood’s supporters would draw it.  The protesters are not on private property, but on public sidewalks and streets.  They do not prevent normal neighborhood activity like driving down the road, receiving mail, eating dinner as a family.  We are surrounded everyday by images and messages on benches, roadway signs, signs in yards, slogans on t-shirts.  Some are even directed at certain companies, policies, groups, or people.  Yet there is little outcry against these manifestations of First Amendment rights. 

 

The pro-abortion blogger used the word bully.  A schoolyard bully threatens the extortion of property or the physical health of his victim.  Debate and truth-telling, with no promise of repercussion, is not bullying.  There is no violence being done.  No theft is involved.  People are speaking their minds.  This is the patriotism on which our country was founded, by which it literally came into being. 

 

Pro-life, anti-abortion, anti-choice-to-take-another’s-life protesters are not objecting to the shame Planned Parenthood and their contractors feel over their projects.  We have serious concerns about the legality of deceiving the city officials and the public, of subverting zoning ordinances, and of potentially slandering the name of other companies (in the case of the Rocky Mountain facility, Planned Parenthood filed their permits under the name United Airlines, which unfairly correlates the murder of babies to them).  No one is questioning why Planned Parenthood wanted to hide their plans.  We simply object that they did.  Cities have ordinances to prevent such things. 

 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I went to the rally today.  In the morning we were outside the projected facility, a really beat up building presently, surrounded by wire fences with barbed wire on top.  The area is under development, so maybe when the fence was build there was a need to protect property.  Anway, we marched, prayed, and protested.  My experience marching was holding the hand of a little boy whose mother brought him and his two brothers.  Before today I had never met them.  The rally was an informative kick-off to future efforts.  Speakers included Keith, Will, Eric Scheidler from Illinois, Joe Scheidler also from Illinois, and a lawyer named Tom. 

After lunch we moved inside (side note: earlier this week sleet and snow and freezing weather were predicted for today, but the actual weather was a chilly, clear morning – rain came way after the rally) and heard again the history of this Planned Parenthood facility, and its sister facility with sister tactics in Aurora, Illinois.  Mostly for me it was a time to figure out who these leaders are, what they’re about, and what they’ll continue to do. 

Keith, who is always a quiet person, showed real emotion, between excitement for the turnout, enthusiasm for the cause, and appreciation for leaders of the pro-life movement.  And he quite often was heart to say, “Praise God.”  Will was softspoken and direct, like Gandalf veiling his potency in a thin cloak.  A few weeks ago I heard him answer a neighbor of a contractor who complained he was tired of our protests, “Forty years and 50 million lives!  We’re tired of babies being murdered!”  I am fully aware that my quote has not the slightest hint of the fervor with which it was originally spoken.  Eric told us about the ongoing efforts in Illinois, and how God providentially had the people in place to respond to the last-minute call to forestall Planned Parenthood’s opening there.  Joe gave the Christian admonition to carry on in faith (relying on God), hope (that there are real victories being won through our willingness to be involved and outspoken), and love (for the babies, obviously, and also for our “enemies,” whose souls are at stake.   

Tom the lawyer talked about first amendment rights, testifying of the progressively improving standing pro-life groups have in court.  He advised to always do what a police officer says, even if there isn’t a law.  If our rights are clearly intentionally violated, then we can meet with an officer’s superiors or write letters or if the offense is very direct, we can call a lawyer.  A lot of these people have been in jail.  Sometimes I think of that as civil disobedience, with which I disagree.  The Bible teaches to obey the ordinances of man.  But apparently most of these people weren’t breaking ordinances; they were making authorities uncomfortable, so they arrested them without charges. 

Anyway, I signed the petition (’cause we’re not allowed to sign the ones that we’re circulating) defining person as beginning at fertilization.  Some of the speakers had pretty direct ways of backing pro-choice people into a corner to admit that a baby in the womb is still a living human being.  They report that the abortionists have admitted that they know they are destroying life.  But they don’t tell the women that, because abortion is a business. 

The plans in Colorado are:

1.  Pressure contractors (particularly Weitz Company) through phone calls, emails, and neighborhood protests to cease construction on the Planned Parenthood mega-clinic. 

2.  Increase city, state, and neighborhood awareness of the facility and the dishonest practices employed by Planned Parenthood. 

3.  Preach to those who are working on the building, praying they will, when educated about the project, turn away. 

4.  Define person in the Colorado constitution as beginning at fertilization (collect signatures for the petitions, campaign for the ballot measure). 

5.  Continue to intercede outside of abortion clinics. 

Reported by one of the speakers today was the statistic that the average age of an abortionist in the US today is 65 years, because no new med students want the kind of stigmatized life the abortionists face – a direct result of pro-life protesting.  If there is no abortionist available, even if it is legal, women will not be able to kill their babies.  If there is no facility available, no babies will be murdered either.  The little protests count.  They’re building. 

Pray that the pro-life people of Colorado will be able to expose the lies and greed and ruthlessness of Planned Parenthood and that the facility would be halted and never opened.  Pray that the Christians would stand up for what the Bible clearly teaches.  Pray that the people would understand what abortion is, and reject the practice as barbarous child-sacrifice.  Pray that God will send a revival, using His ambassadors who are surrendered to His service, to Colorado: millions need to experience God’s saving grace for their lives. 

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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What is a strong-willed person? 

Some people are born strong-willed.  Others work into it.  We might think of them as leaders, independent-minded, strong-willed, or stubborn.  They do not go with the flow.  Usually we recognize them in rebellion. 

 

Let me draw a comparison.  The majority of people are driven by emotion and beliefs.  It has been said that facts are far less powerful than what people believe.  These people feel that the most important thing is being sincere.  Inconsistency means nothing.  Life is lived as though relative.  If they felt it at the time, they did it.  They can be impulsive.  I don’t mean they seem impulsive, but that they really are.  (Wisdom can appear impulsive; if someone has an alert comprehension of a situation and an inherent sense of right and wrong, he will confidently choose very quickly and act on that decision.)  If a person is always true to himself, he is able to be manipulated.  His decisions are thus the floating, sleepy subjective of “follow your heart” – almost animal. 

 

However, a different kind of person is always trying to match himself to an outside ideal, whether pragmatic or spiritual (at the altar of self, of parents, of a romantic interest, a hero, a political ideal, or of God). Sincerity is important; only he wants to sincerely be his ideal, and believes reformation of actions will cause the change.  He still has that impressionable emotional side, but is not capable of being manipulated.  His decisions are on facts, rules, and objective evidence.  Standards are set by what he worships. 

All humans are born not worshiping God.  Self might be worshiped, in which case decisions are whatever self wants to do.  Self will be glorified.  Pain and bribery are nothing if the condition is not what the self wills.  Particularly if subjecting to them would profane independence, the terms are not embraced.  Or the idol might be another person, or a book, or TV show. 

 

There are people who begin as the first type of person and are trained or converted into something else.  Subjective manipulation can birth idolatry of a particular thing, rendering the person anchored, and not blown about with emotion any more. 

 

Conversion can happen for a strong-willed person from one idol to another, but it is not a matter of manipulation.  This is caused by more information about the idols.  No amount of pressure effects a change of mind.  I venture to guess that these people are not easily lied-to, either.  They tend to have a comprehensive view of reality that discerns truth. 

 

So eventually a strong-willed person will discover the truth or die in the process.  Discovering the truth and accepting it are not the same thing.  Many strong-willed people live in determined rebellion against God.  They believe in Him, know what His purpose is, and are not pleased.  They have chosen to worship self, and will not be supplanted.  Like the demons, they believe the truth, shudder, but hate the truth all the same.  In fact it is impossible to fully hate what is unknown. 

 

God can convict even an independent person of their sin, and humble them.  He can also establish formerly unstable, wind-of-the-moment-driven people as His worshipers.  I don’t claim to know how He does it.  I do believe that only He can.  When a person is saved, his spirit is made alive, rendering the sinful nature dead with Jesus on the cross.  Then the will has the power, by dependence on the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ life through them, to choose righteousness.  A strong-willed person recognizes that worship is absolute.  When his worship is given to God, his choices are made to God’s standard. 

 

What he worships, he values supremely in a way that the first kind of person cannot understand.  A strong-willed person understands commitment, is a zealous person, and expects fidelity from others.  He sees priorities as life-statements, reflecting not only the preference of the minute, but the direction of the years.  Yet he understands repentance, because it is a complete turnaround, a replacement of allegiance.  Repentance is not simply the recognition that a particular action is no longer popular or pleasant. 

 

A strong-willed person is not emotionless.  He feels just as deeply, and must reckon with the emotions.  But he cannot let them control him if they contradict his convictions.  This can be simpler, but not easier.  Some strong-willed people, when faced with intense emotional situations, feel torn in two. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

PS: Remember.  These are confessions of a strong-willed person.  My conclusions might be a little biased.  The object remains to aid communication between stronger and lesser wills.  Let me know what you think. 

 

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