Saturday, July 18, 2009

On the Outside Looking In: The Reality of the Duty to Die in the West

The slippery slope of the culture of death continues to slide. Although America has not, as a nation, adopted euthanasia, many in the West have and this creates a number of problems. Recently a British couple committed suicide together by drinking a lethal poison. The wife was sick with terminal cancer, the husband was not. So out of love for each other, the two died "peacefully" with one another. And the children are proud of their parents for their decision and supported them the whole way.

This creates a number of problems. First, there is the legal problem: it is still illegal to practice euthanasia in England. This couple had to travel to another country in order to gain accessed to their right to die together. The question is what does England do about this? Should they prosecute the children for encouraging and aiding their parents in this? The children have already said publicly, "Even if they arrest us and send us to prison, it would have made no difference because it is what our parents wanted."

Another issue is what this says about Western culture. Already Oregon and Washington state have legalized, even through the ballot box, euthanasia. It is tempting to see this case as typically, but it is not. It is sad to see anyone die for any reason, but should we encourage it? The right to die quickly becomes the duty to die. In a culture of death, it is rare to find such stories of romance and commitment like this regarding suicide and euthanasia.

As the West continues down the slippery slope of death, it will become more and more difficult to stand against the tide. Like most moral issues, man will usually compromise and give in to the pressures. Eventually what at first seemed repugnant, in this case euthanasia, infanticide, etc., will become the normal. As time goes on our conscience becomes more severed and we accept more and more especially whenever these issues are promoted with stories of romance and love like this.

But if the truth be told, this story is rare. As we stand on the outside looking in, we must realize where this roads takes us. Government, doctors, and insurance companies will determine who should live and who should get treated, not families, not loved ones, and not the patients themselves. And the more control the government has over health care, the lesson freedom the individual has over treatment, prevention, or surgery. It becomes less about saving or curing lives, and more about removing life unworthy of living and promoting the healthy and the strong.

We've been down this road before and the blood of many in the 20th century are constant reminders of what such a culture looks like. Let us take stock and really think these things through while on the outside looking in before we are inside wishing we were out.

For more:
World Magazine: Suicide in Switzerland
Painting is of the death of Socrates

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Great Magician: Obama Thanks the LGBT While the World Mourned Michael Jackson

The key to a good magician is distraction. Get the audience to focus on one hand while setting up the trick with the other. Get the audience to look elsewhere while the magician works his "magic" where the audience isn't looking. The same happens in the world of politics. It is easy to get things done whenever the public is distracted.

The past few weeks, the public has been distracted. Several celebrities have died and Michael Jackson's death has been particularly interesting. Jackson's death has been given wall to wall coverage from the mainstream media. And so, while Americans were watching their favorite Jackson videos and unending documentaries on his life, legacy, and music, our President continued working. Though the news was stalled, lingering on Jackson, everyday life in the world and the Whitehouse continued.

While all the world was mourning the lost of pop singer Michael Jackson, our President was hosting a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender reception thanking them and vowing to fight for the movement. Virtually no one has reported on it and if it weren't for the Internet and talk radio, virtually no one in America would have been aware of this speech.

The President declared the month of June to be the national month for LGBT pride. The climax, it would seem, of this declaration came on June 25, 2009 when the President gave this speech in a room consisting of the leaders of the homosexual movement. The significance of this date was that it marked the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall protests which was led by homosexuals in their fight for "freedom," many of whom were present at the giving of this speech.

The President gives those in the room, who represent the LGBT movement in America, credit for his election as president. He begins, "It's good to see so many friends and familiar faces, and I deeply appreciate the support I've received from so many of you. Michelle appreciates it and I want you to know that you have our support, as well. And you have my thanks for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard and care about their communities - and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender."

The President then shares sympathy for the homosexual community due to prejudice from those "who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would you the rights that most Americans take for granted. And I know this is painful and I now it can be heartbreaking . . . For we know that progress depends not only on changing laws but also changing hearts. And that real, transformative change never beings in Washington."

The Presidents attack against "old attitudes" and "worn arguments" is itself an old attitude and worn argument. Homosexuals and proponents of the gay rights movement consider persons like myself too old fashion and unwilling to change. Rather, persons like myself are unwilling to compromise our faith, our values, our families, our convictions, and our rights. Without going into detail, I have already raised the argument that the sexual liberation movement does not end with homosexuality. First will come homosexuality, then issues such as polygamy and other sexual issues will be fought for with the same arguments.

Furthermore, I am surprised to hear the President say that change doesn't happen in DC and yet he ran on a campaign of "change" and vowed (even in this address) to force change by enacting legislation. Grant it, his argument is that change doesn't begin in DC, but rather legislation reflects national opinion. If that be the case, then why have the majority of states to vote on the issue define marriage as between one man and one woman? Furthermore, why have many states who marry homosexuals done so through the activism of a single judge? Obama may not think that movements begin in DC, but certainly they are oftentimes forced on the unwilling through the gavel of a judge or the stroke of a pen from a politician.

Next, the President seems to connect the gay rights movement with Civil rights. I have to say that I strongly disapprove of this connection. What blacks rightly fought for and achieved during the age of Civil Rights was equality over something that they, nor their opponents could control: that is, their race. Homosexuality is not biological, but chosen. One can blame it on their upbringing or experiences, but in the end, it is a choice. The President said:

Indeed, that's the story of the movement for fairness and equality -- not just for those who are gay, but for all those in our history who've been denied the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; who've been told that the full blessings and opportunities of this country were closed to them.

It's the story of progress sought by those who started off with little influence or power; by men and women who brought about change through quiet, personal acts of compassion and courage and sometimes defiance wherever and whenever they could.

That's the story of a civil rights pioneer who's here today, Frank Kameny, who was fired -- (applause.) Frank was fired from his job as an astronomer for the federal government simply because he was gay. And in 1965, he led a protest outside the White House, which was at the time both an act of conscience but also an act of extraordinary courage. And so we are proud of you, Frank, and we are grateful to you for your leadership. (Applause.)

It's the story of the Stonewall protests, which took place 40 years ago this week, when a group of citizens -- with few options, and fewer supporters -- decided they'd had enough and refused to accept a policy of wanton discrimination. And two men who were at those protests are here today. Imagine the journey that they've travelled.

It's the story of an epidemic that decimated a community -- and the gay men and women who came to support one another and save one another; and who continue to fight this scourge; and who demonstrated before the world that different kinds of families can show the same compassion and support in a time of need -- that we all share the capacity to love. So this story, this struggle, continues today -- for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot -- and will not -- put aside issues of basic equality. (Applause.) We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love.\

And I know that many in this room don't believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that. It's not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago.

So then, the fight for gay rights is a fight for civil rights. One must wonder what else could be considered a civil right, especially regarding sexual identity and preference. We can legislate morality against bestiality and pedophilia, but somehow homosexuality is different. Does the pedophile not love the little child too? What if it is consensual? Do they not love each other as the homosexual or heterosexual partners?. If sexual preference is a civil right issue, I ask the question, where does the madness end?

The President then makes some serious promises to his listeners and supporters from the gay community:

But I say this: We have made progress and we will make more. And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. And by the time you receive -- (applause.) We've been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration. (Applause.)

So progress has been made and more progress will be made through DC afterall. The President then details what progress he has already made:

Now, while there is much more work to do, we can point to important changes we've already put in place since coming into office. I've signed a memorandum requiring all agencies to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as current law allows. And these are benefits that will make a real difference for federal employees and Foreign Service Officers, who are so often treated as if their families don't exist. And I'd like to note that one of the key voices in helping us develop this policy is John Berry, our director of the Office of Personnel Management, who is here today. And I want to thank John Berry. (Applause.)

I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination -- (applause) -- to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law. I've made that clear.

I'm also urging Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which will guarantee the full range of benefits, including health care, to LGBT couples and their children. (Applause.) My administration is also working hard to pass an employee non-discrimination bill and hate crimes bill, and we're making progress on both fronts. (Applause.) Judy and Dennis Shepard, as well as their son Logan, are here today. I met with Judy in the Oval Office in May -- (applause) -- and I assured her and I assured all of you that we are going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill into law, a bill named for their son Matthew. (Applause.)

In addition, my administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status. (Applause.) The Office of Management and Budget just concluded a review of a proposal to repeal this entry ban, which is a first and very big step towards ending this policy. And we all know that HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health threat in many communities, including right here in the District of Columbia. And that's why this past Saturday, on National HIV Testing Day, I was proud once again to encourage all Americans to know their status and get tested the way Michelle and I know our status and got tested. (Applause.)

The President goes on to discuss issues such as the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military. By now I'm sure you know where he stands on that issue.

Before talking about the events at Stonewall, the President said:

Now, even as we take these steps, we must recognize that real progress depends not only on the laws we change but, as I said before, on the hearts we open. For if we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that there are good and decent people in this country who don't yet fully embrace their gay brothers and sisters -- not yet.

"Not yet." And the President intends on doing all that he can to open the hearts of those who resist the gay agenda. Although America will likely, eventually, fully accept homosexuality as a normal lifestyle, it will not happen without a fight. Though the President can make many promises, keeping them will be much more difficult. If the President wants to be re-elected, he will have to play his cards right. The gay community is already beginning to feel abandoned by the Obama administration and so he must do something before loosing their support. At the same time, to force the homosexual agenda down America's throat will certainly destroy any chance he may have to get re-elected in 2012.

In the end, what is most appalling about this speech is how little anyone has cared or noticed. Virtually no one in the mainstream media reported it. Though Michael Jackson's death was a significant news story, the media fell asleep at the wheel. As viewers, we should expect news that affects our lives, not just news that will increase the ratings. Sadly, we get the latter rather than the former.

There are some things more important than the death of Michael Jackson. As a parent, I am concerned about the future that my son will grow up in. And I fear that I will have to tell him, "sorry son, we were too busy watching celebrities sing their favorite Michael Jackson tune on TV, while the culture was secretly decaying at rapid speed." Our world is changing and rather than caring, we flip through the channels and watch another special about the life, legacy, and career of yet another dead celebrity. God save us from our idolatry and ignorance.

For More:
President Obama's Speech can be assessed at the Whitehouse website
Whitehouse: President Obama Declares June to be national LGBT Pride Month
Crosstalk: Obama's Message to the Gay Rights Movement
Punishing Prejudice By Being Prejudice: The Lesson and Legacy of Hate Crimes
Politics Is Thicker Than Promises: Lessons Learned From Obama And the Gay Community
The (In)Tolerance of the Homosexual Movement: See, I Told You So
The (In)Tolerance of the Homosexual Movement: A Response
Where Does The Madness End? Where the Homosexual Agenda Leads - Part 2
D'Souza: The Equal Protection Hoax
Colson: A New Form of Discrimination
Mohler: "An Enforced Secularism" -- A Threat to the Pulpit
A Day of "See, I Told You So's"

Here is the video of the speech:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Heteronormativiy: Another Word for Heterophobia

Its' Disney's fault that there are so many heterosexuals out there. No really. I'm serious. If you don't believe me, listen to the argument made by the University of Michigan researchers Emily Kazyak and Karin Martin who after watching several hit Disney and other major cartoon-movies dating from 1990-2005 who argue that the way romance is depicted in these movies has led to what they call "heteronormativity."

No really. I'm serious.

Kazyak and Martin consider movies like the Little Mermaid have contributed to heteronormativity. One website reports:

"Despite the assumption that children's media are free of sexual content, our analyses suggest that these media depict a rich and pervasive heterosexual landscape," wrote researchers Emily Kazyak and Karin Martin, in a report published in the latest issue of the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) publication Gender & Society . . .

The results, say the researchers, illustrate two ways that the children's films "construct heterosexuality": through "depictions of hetero-romantic love as exceptional, powerful, transformative, and magical," and "depictions of interactions between gendered bodies in which the sexiness of feminine characters is subjected to the gaze of masculine characters."

"Characters in love are surrounded by music, flowers, candles, magic, fire, balloons, fancy dresses, dim lights, dancing and elaborate dinners," the researchers observed. "Fireflies, butterflies, sunsets, wind and the beauty and power of nature often provide the setting for - and a link to the naturalness of - hetero-romantic love."

The SWS press release on the research blamed what they called the "old ideals" of romantic relationships, specifically those found the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, which in many instances inspired the films' storylines, for "such heavily gendered depictions and glorified portrayals of heterosexual relationships."

The team says the results point to heterosexuality achieving a "taken-for-granted status" "because hetero-romance is depicted as powerful."

"Both ordinary and exceptional constructions of heterosexuality work to normalize its status because it becomes difficult to imagine anything other than this form of social relationship or anyone outside of these bonds," they concluded.

"These films provide powerful portraits of a multifaceted and pervasive heterosexuality that likely facilitates the reproduction of heteronormativity."

So . . . it's Disney's fault that the far majority of relationships throughout history, even prior to 1990, have been heterosexual relationships? Shakespear wrote Romeo & Juliet instead of Romeo & Fabio or Juliet & Margaret because Disney had "normalize" the "status" of heterosexuality? Yes, blame Shakespears heteronormativity on Disney cartoons.

This must mean that if Disney wasn't so bias, maybe they would have made Timon and Pumbaa from the Lion King a romantic couple rather than two friends living hakuna matata. Those homophobes!

The logic of this argument is quite ludicrous. Did these researchers not consider that many decades prior to 1990 where movies consisted of heterosexuals falling in love? What about the centuries prior to the birth of Cinderella and Snow White where the far majority of love stories consisted of one man and one woman falling in love? Could this repetitive pattern be the result of nature? Is it not obvious that heterosexual relationships work? Even the Greeks, who celebrated homosexuality and allowed the practice but not the marriatle status of it, understood that hetersexual relationships was the only way for a society to continue.

Heterosexuality is normal because it is natural. Though many might be appalled by such a statement, I dare ask where is ones proof to argue against it? I am not just talking about debate over the "gay gene," but about an array of history where heterosexuality, even in cultures where homosexuality is embraced and allowed, is clearly the dominant norm. Sure, homosexuality has been around for a long time and so has pedophilia, bestiality, and polygamy, but none of them are normative like heterosexuality. Why? Because the far majority of persons born are attracted to the opposite sex because God made us that way not to mention the fact that it works: one can only procreate whenever opposite genders meet.

The motive behind this research should be our focus here, not the argument they are making. It is easy to write this proposed conclusion off as the meanderings of academic elites who have lost their minds, but it is much deeper than that. Scripture is clear that man is fallen and corrupt. Corrupt man is content with his corruption. Corrupt man prides in his corruption and thus will organize and articulate their corruption in order to normalize, legalize, and enforce their corruption. What these researchers present is not common sense or even science, but the outworking of a worldview. In order to normalize homosexuality, there must be theories to explain why it doesn't appear to be normal. A culture as lost as ours continues to go out of its away to explain the prejudice of nature in order to articulate their corruption.

The researchers go on to argue

"Both ordinary and exceptional constructions of heterosexuality work to normalize its status because it becomes difficult to imagine anything other than this form of social relationship or anyone outside of these bonds," they concluded.

"These films provide powerful portraits of a multifaceted and pervasive heterosexuality that likely facilitates the reproduction of heteronormativity."

The SWS press release concluded: "President Obama may have declared June to be Gay Pride Month, but entertainment for children therefore continues to perpetuate a less inclusive message, leaving those outside its confines with little to build their own dreams of happily ever after."

In other words, Disney is preventing millions of American children from experiencing "their own dreams of happily ever after." To these researchers, to portray heterosexuality as normative is prejudice and implies that heterosexuality is natural and best. Such implications is dangerous and must be re-examined. Such logic is not only foolish, but dangerous. The purpose of this research is to call on the makers of children movies and even books to re-examine their biases in order to allow the message that homosexuality is as normal as heterosexuality to young children . . . our children.

The secular worldview is not content with just normalcy, but enforcement. It is amazing to see what intentions they have towards children. Parents must be even more careful and diligent and monitor what their children are watching, reading, and being influenced by. If these researchers get their way, Snow White will be saved by a princess and Cinderella will find her true love not in a man with a slipper, but in a woman who rescues her from her evil step-sisters.

These researchers call on us to recognize what is happening here. Homophobia, as a result of Disney's homonormative standards, is a prejudice that must be removed. Such an argument is oftentimes rooted in a heterophobia mindset. Only those subject to heterophobia would do such research and make such ludicrous arguments. If Emily Kazyak and Karin Martin are concerned that Disney and other G-rated movies are producing homophobes, then how is producing heterophobes any better?

I am concluding that this whole debate is getting out of control. The debate over homosexuality runs deeper than relationships and equality. It seeks to redefine what is normal and natural. The movement is not only content with a voice in the public square, but demands an audience with our children. As a parent, I must constantly be on guard against the attacks our perverted culture makes toward my child. No longer can we assume that cultural entertainment, education, and enlightenment is OK for my child to participate in. This research is about more than movies and entertainment, but a movement in our culture to replace God-given natural attraction for man's perversion, and if elections can't be won now, perhaps they can brainwash our children and force their worldview down our throats in the near future.

Parents beware. Too much Disney, and you may be subjecting your children to heteronormativity.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Punishing Prejudice By Being Prejudice: The Lesson and Legacy of Hate Crimes

Of the many laws in our country, perhaps the most controversial and ambiguous are laws against hate crimes. Exactly how one defines a hate crime is a matter of opinion. To prosecute a hate crime at times threatens Constitutional issues such as free speech, freedom of religion, and the freedom of expression. It furthermore threatens the State created line of separation of State and Church. Therefore, to pass hate crime bills, the bill must be very specific (thus prejudice) or ambiguous (thus open for interpretation). Both can be dangerous.

Recently, US Attorney General Eric Holder was asked a question regarding a recent hate crime bill and how it would be prosecuted. He was asked a hypothetical question. If a homosexual was attacked because of a sermon preached by a pastor, would the pastor be guilty of a hate crime? Holder answered, yes. But if a pastor is attacked by a homosexual, would the proposed hate crime bill protect the pastor? In the end, Holder admits that it would not.

In response to this question from Republican Senator Jeff Sessions (Alabama), Holder said:

Well, the statute would not – would not necessarily cover that. We're talking about crimes that have a historic basis. Groups who have been targeted for violence as a result of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, that is what this statute tends – is designed to cover. We don't have the indication that the attack was motivated by a person's desire to strike at somebody who was in one of these protected groups. That would not be covered by the statute."

In other words, if you are a straight-white-Christian-man this bill does not protect you. Here is an example of selective protection given through the use of hate crime laws and one of its many dangers. The danger here should be obvious, but sadly, too many miss it.

Eric Holder also stated that the murder of Army Private William Long in Little Rock, Arkansas would not be considered a hate crime, even though Private Long was killed by a black, Islamic convert that admitted to shooting Private Long simply because he was wearing an American uniform.

In response to a question about this particular crime, Eric Holder said, "There's a certain element of hate, I suppose. What we're looking for here in terms of the expansion of the statute are instances where there is a historic basis to see groups of people who are singled out for violence perpetrated against them because of who they are. I don't know if we have the same historical record to say that members of our military have been targeted in the same way that people who are African- American, Hispanic, people who are Jewish, people who are gay, have been targeted over, over the many years."

Sadly, too many want to make such laws about sermons and personal beliefs (religious, political, moral, etc.), but really, in the end, it is about reverse prejudice. Too many well-intentioned lawmakers feel that racial and sexual minorities have been considered outcasts and denied their rights for too long and thus seek to equal the playing field. What they do, in the end, is punish prejudice by being prejudice. They raise the bar of equality by silencing out opposition. Did no one really not think about protecting the pastor in this situation? Is he not as worthy of protection as the homosexual? This is not an issue of sexual orientation or religious belief, but about the laws responsibility to show no favortism.

But this is the danger of hate crime laws. Not only does it endanger Constitutional rights, but is oftentimes used to protect some and not others. And if it selectively protects, it selectively threatens some and not others.

As a Christian and a pastor this concerns me. This is not just about homosexuality but about anything that might be said in a public forum like a sermon. What if I preach a sermon on hell? On the sinfulness of abortion? Or on the corruption of the culture and the destruction of the family? What if these sermons offend someone? What if that someone is a minority? Suddenly I become a danger to society for simply professing my religious belief.

In the end, what is put on trial is not a pastor or his sermon, but the faith (and therefore the Book that defines that faith) of the pastor and his adherents. We become guilty by association. See the slippery slope? Already in other nations religious texts like the Bible have been considered hate speech and is therefore a danger to society.

The danger of such laws and how Holder articulates them sends us down a slippery slope in which there seems to be no return. The Constitution is under assault. Our nation finds itself following the footsteps of other Western nations who have used such laws as an excuse to prosecute and silence the Church. Any religious belief that stands contrary to the fickleness of the culture will be deemed as inappropriate and criminal. This is, in the end, an attempt to silence some in the defense of others. And with it, democracy dies.

Democracy and freedom can only thrive whenever dissenting voices are allowed to speak. Yes the shouts can at times turn violent, but to selectively protect one over another is nothing more than the sort of prejudice that we are seeking to overturn. Therefore, lawmakers should think twice before before voting on a bill that would make them appear sensitive to the needs of minorities, while at the same time trample on the freedom of others.

Let freedom ring and let freedom sing . . . even if we get our feelings hurt every once in a while.

For more: