Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rom 1 reply, 52: John Lennox of Oxford discusses Doubt and Confidence

A video treat:



(And as always with Lennox, serious food for thought.) END

PS: Lennox responds to Dawkins' The God Delusion, starting from pointing out that faith in God is known to be generally psychologically and functionally stabilising rather than disintegrative:


Saturday, July 19, 2014

MAN ON THE MOON + 45 years, Sunday, July 20 1969, 20:18 GMT . . .

This weekend, the Apollo 11 Moon Landing happened forty-five years ago to day and date.

 Video:


I remember sitting on the stone ledge of our patio after church on Sunday, July 20, 1969 sipping a drink as radio carried the story of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Then, that evening my Dad tuned to a shortwave station in the darkened living room as we heard, live, the story of the Moon Walk. The next morning, the Gleaner headline was I think two inches high in block capitals.

Let us remind ourselves of this now long ago but still important event in the history of science and technology. END

Friday, July 18, 2014

Matt 24 watch, 245: A Malaysian Airlines 777 airliner, Flight 17, flying at 30,000+ ft over Ukraine has been shot down by a surface to air missile, all 295 aboard are dead

This is yet another outrage, the downing of a civilian airliner flying over Ukraine from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Apparently, by Russian-backed rebels against the Ukraine government.

As  WND reports:
An example of the Buk Missile, HT Wiki
The Pentagon has expressed doubts that the missile was launched by the Ukrainian military and hinted strongly that the Buk, known by NATO as the SA-11 Gadfly, that hit the Boeing 777 came from Russian separatists, who have been taught by Russia how to use the weapon.

MH-17 was carrying people of various nationalities from Amsterdam with an intended destination of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The jetliner was over the war zone in eastern Ukraine, at an altitude of about 33,000 feet, when it apparently disintegrated.

Wreckage of the aircraft and the bodies of the victims were strewn over a nine-mile long area, reports said.
In its analysis of the tragedy, the Pentagon said the Buk missile is capable of reaching up to 72,000 feet. The U.S. intelligence community now is in the process of determining the missile’s trajectory to identify the exact location from which it was fired.

The finger pointing at Russian separatists comes at least partly because of the downing of a Ukrainian military cargo plane from Russian territory close to the border where there has been fighting with pro-Russian rebels.
In addition, Russian separatists also bragged about downing a Ukrainian jet fighter just days before.

And the separatists, in an initial social media account – later removed – claimed to have recently captured a Buk surface-to-air missile system.
Horrible -- and Mr Putin has some serious explaining to do. END

Matt 24 watch, 244: What is going on in Gaza, and why is it that BBC etc routinely portray it as, "XXX Palestinians were killed in Israeli Bombing attacks, and oh yes, a few rockets were fired into Israel with no deaths . . . "

I generally find current news coverage on the Middle East increasingly out of reasonable balance and highly unacceptable. The founding of a terrorist state in Syria and Iraq was a ho hum, with little or no coverage on the significance of what is going on. The reporting on the kidnapping and live on cell phone to 911 murder of three teens for the crime of being Jews was not satisfactory either, and the sense of oh yes we can get back on standard narrative when in a very isolated, rare (and inexcusable) event an Arab teen was murdered -- apparently by Jews, was palpable. 

Something is wrong.

Deeply wrong.

For instance, I just noticed this Times of Israel report, on just how fragile the Israeli rocket defense system that has saved many lives so far is:
A mix of radars and electro-optic devices detect the launch, classify its size and the threat it represents, and pinpoint, in a splotch on a map, the areas that are in danger. 

This process takes seconds. But for the soldiers who receive the air force’s warning, serving under the command of Lt. Col. Levi Itach, the head of the army’s early warning branch, the procedure is filled with operational dilemmas.

Itach suggested, as an example, a Grad rocket with a 40-kilometer range. His soldiers, seated beside air force personnel in a joint command center in central Israel, receive notice of a launch after five seconds. By then they have verified that the object is neither a flock of birds nor a crop-duster tracing the ballistic path of a rocket.

Then the air force’s electro-optic systems analyze the heat signature of the rocket and the trajectory of the take-off and provide, based on the projected kill capacity of the projectile, the Home Front Command with an initial target area.

Five seconds later, additional radars, tracking the behavior of the projectile, narrow the target area significantly.
This continues throughout the rise of the rocket, Itach said, with the stain on the map diminishing throughout, but with the response time dwindling, too.

“Operationally speaking, where do you cut it off?” he asked. “How much time do you leave the citizen? What’s enough time? A 70-80-90-year old; a five-year-old: realistically speaking, how much time do they need?”

The Grad with the 40-kilometer-range, he said, flies for two minutes. The more exact the warning, the fewer people exposed to the siren, the lesser the impact on the national psyche, the lesser the toll on the economy. In the example he gave, he said, the citizens are given 45 seconds to scurry to shelter.

That’s the automatic response, programmed into the system. During the current conflict, he said, his soldiers, sitting “shoulder to shoulder” with the air force personnel, have the authority to decide in real time whether or not to sound the alarm if, say, the projected target stain just touches the edge of a certain sector or city.

They err, though, on the side of caution: the target area, generated by computer model, is multiplied by three in order to ensure civilian safety.

The notion of sparing undue civilian fright, though, and the capacity to do so, is relatively new. On January 17, 1991, when Saddam Hussein fired missiles from Iraq at Israel, the entire populace was instructed to take cover . . .
Translated, sooner of later, under bombardment, this very expensive and delicate system is going to fail at tragic cost, and we already must reckon with the traumatising impact on school children who know they are being targetted by Islamist terrorists dominating a quasi-state for the capital crime of being Jews:



Remember, those are Jewish school children in Jerusalem, the 3,000 years long cultural and religious centre of gravity of Jewishness and Judaism. Yes, few Israelis are  being killed now, but that is not for lack of trying. The horrific suicide bombing murder campaign of the early 2000's, with difficulty, has been suppressed. So now the resort is to rocket bombardment, which has been countered by a fragile civil defense effort at enormous cost. 

No other nation in the world would be in effect asked to sit there and allow its general population to be bombarded at will by rockets fired by pirates. 

For shame!

Eight year old Miriam Monsonego, daughter of the principal of a Jewish day
school in Toulouse, France; murdered in 2012 for the capital crime of
breathing while being Jewish
(And no, this is NOT about being in Israel, perceived as a colonial oppressive Apartheid outpost of Western Imperialism. Remember the murder of an eight year old Jewish girl in France in 2012 for the same capital crime of breathing while being Jewish? Or the ISI-Pakistan backed deliberate targetting and torture-murder of a Rabbi and his wife in the wider mass murder Mumbai terrorist attacks? The Iran-backed bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina? And more, much more? Let me cite Wiki on just what happened to eight yeat old Miriam in France, not Israel:


>>[Mohammed Merah] chased an 8-year-old girl into the courtyard, caught her by her hair and raised a gun to shoot her. The gun jammed at this point and he changed weapons from what the police identified as a 9mm pistol to a .45 calibre gun, and shot the girl in her temple at point-blank range. The gunman then retrieved his moped and drove off.>> 

. . .  No, we must face the fact that we are dealing with ethnic-religious hate and murder of Jews, seventy years after the world recoiled in horror at the gates of the death camps of Nazi Germany and said, never again. And, if you think that the now all too common "colonialist apartheid state of Israel" narrative just outlined is accurate, please out of duty of care to accuracy and fairness, please, please at least read this summary on the modern history of Israel here. In a nutshell, Israel is the legitimate historic homeland of the Jewish people, which for 3,000 years they have been quite willing to share with others who live in peace with them. A national resettlement from exile underwritten by the League of Nations and the UN is legitimate, as is the fact that it is also the land of resettlement of the exiled Jews of the Middle East diaspora, in aggregate at least equal to the Palestinian Arab refugee population. Thus, we have an exchange of refugees, which has been fairly common over the past century. The fact that 1/5 of Israel's citizens are Arabs with full civil rights (and no compulsion to serve in the military -- though many volunteer) speaks further volumes.)

But that is not all, it seems that the now routinely headlined "XXX Palestinians have been killed" narrative is being propagandistically manipulated -- on top of the longstanding deliberate pattern of siting terrorist weapon and military installations in the midst of civilians in order to use them as human shields -- already a war crime.

Which, predictably, we hear little or nothing about.

I add, from Charles Krauthammer:
Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza ceasefire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.

“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel–Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows Hamas’s proudly self-declared raison d’ĂȘtre: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.
Telling. And tellingly willfully ignored or suppressed.

WND's Bob Unruh exclusively reports (based on a MEMRI monitoring report):
. . . officials in the interior ministry for Hamas, one of the Middle East organizations designated by the United States as a terror group [--> and which in Clause 7 of its covenant cites with approval and commitment a Hadith that speaks of an end of days mass slaughter of Jews, the notorious Gharqad Tree Hadith], apparently has another slogan: propagandize all the time.

“Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza,” the group dictated in an advisory to social media activists, bloggers and others who may write about the issue.

And the group said when Palestinians are conversing with Westerners, they should “avoid entering into a political argument … aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it with Israel’s crimes against Palestinian civilians.”

It was the Middle East Media Research Institute that located the guidelines “to Gaza Strip social media users for reporting events and discussing them with outsiders.”

The rules, headlined “Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign,” were released through a video posted on the Hamas website, as well through Twitter and Facebook, MEMRI said.

MEMRI reports the guidelines “are aimed an ensuring preservation of the line of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations; preventing the leaking of information that would be of military value to Israel; bolstering Hamas’ propaganda efforts outside the Gaza Strip, in both the Arab world and the West; and preventing damage to Hamas’ image.”

The analysts said Hamas particularly wants to portray that its actions are a response to “Israeli aggression.”
MEMRI tellingly adds these further excerpts from Hamas' maliciously deceitful -- that's fair and in my view all too well warranted comment -- instructions:
"Begin [your reports of] news of resistance actions with the phrase 'In response to the cruel Israeli attack,' and conclude with the phrase 'This many people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza.' Be sure to always perpetuate the principle of 'the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling [the role of] the reaction.'

"Beware of spreading rumors from Israeli spokesmen, particularly those that harm the home front. Be wary regarding accepting the occupation's version [of events]. You must always cast doubts on this [version], disprove it, and treat it as false.

"Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.

"To the administrators of news pages on Facebook: Do not publish close-ups of masked men with heavy weapons, so that your page will not be shut down [by Facebook] on the claim that you are inciting violence. In your coverage, be sure that you say: 'The locally manufactured shells fired by the resistance are a natural response to the Israeli occupation that deliberately fires rockets against civilians in the West Bank and Gaza'..."
This is an outrage. 

 Gaza has zero percent Israeli occupation, period. 

(And the previous occupation was a legitimate result of a successful fundamentally defensive response to aggressive behaviour and threatened war of genocide . . . or, have we utterly forgotten what was being threatened in May-June 1967 by the Arab states? And, before that?)

From 1999-2000, from the Oslo-Madrid process starting from 1993, a full settlement was put on the table that would have given the Palestinian Arabs 97% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza, with compensating land for adjusted borders. With, a causeway between the two zones. And, was it US$ 15 billions in support, and obviously with much more behind it. This was refused and resort was made to suicide bombing campaigns on flimsy propagandistic excuses.

That is the real underlying context, save for this: by "occupation" too often is meant the mere existence of Israel as a Jewish state.

As a further point,  just ask yourselves, why is it that Israel has taken to hitting specific Gaza sites from the air and has now gone in with ground troops?

The answer is obvious, Hamas and affiliated groups -- having smuggled in 10,000 rockets and more, have again been firing rockets into Israel to harass and target civilians, now reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. 

And they have been doing this while hiding behind human shields, religious sites and even under hospitals.

The cynical manipulation, willful deceit, twisting about of the patent facts as a matter of policy as MEMRI has revealed for the world to see if it is willing and the utter want of basic respect for innocent life should tell us all we need to know about Hamas et al. 

Or, more properly, remind us.

That Western media houses with enormous resources seemingly routinely push the propaganda narratives of such groups without proper balance and correction, speaks volumes.

What should Israel do?

What is necessary, and it seems that a ground incursion that digs out the nests of pirates and terrorists is indicated.  Backed up by effective interdiction of further arms smuggling. And, the captured ring leaders should be put on trial for conspiracy to commit mass murder and use of human shields as a wall of protection behind which they set out to do that. All this, soon, before the pirates acquire weapons of mass destruction such as gas shells, anthrax or other bio weapons or worse, such as a radiation enhanced bomb or even a nuke. The attitude we are seeing clearly points in that direction.

Indeed, the use of the territory as a platform for attacks against civilians etc is properly grounds for occupation. 

Or, more properly, re-occupation; for, nine years ago -- having captured the strip in 1967 as it was part of a platform for aggression with the declared intent of genocide -- Israel withdrew from Gaza and provided opportunity for building a serious country run in the legitimate interests of its population for a reasonable standard of life. Instead, the pirates and terrorists took opportunity to set up bases for terrorism behind human shields.

That context speaks volumes, and none of it to the credit of not only Hamas et al, but also the major news media. 

For shame! END

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Capacity focus, 90: Some thoughts on what good government is like (with an eye to soundly building the Caribbean's future)

Some food for thought on good government [with a particular view to the Caribbean region]:
>>Good Government in a modern democratic state is just, sound, wise, effective & efficient, competent, capable, fair, foresighted, transparent, accountable, participative.

It guards and properly balances, rights, freedoms and responsibilities. It upholds the rule of law, based on a constitutional framework that recognises and protects fundamental rights through structures that duly separate and balance legislative, executive and judicial powers; carefully protecting judicial independence and keeping the executive accountable to an elected legislature. It makes sure that crime, corruption, fraud, incompetence, negligence, abuse, pollution and waste are under control. At the same time, it is not overly intrusive, nor does it impose undue levels of taxation, overly complex or entangling regulation and bureaucratic red tape. It promotes economic productivity and enterprise, while husbanding the natural, socio-cultural and economic environment and resources. It holds education, health, reasonable welfare, children and youth as priorities. It has regular elections that are free, fair and free from fear. It respects and works amicably with a free, fair, responsible press.

Good government also proactively and accurately monitors and promptly, sensibly responds to trends, opportunities, threats, shocks and contingencies. Thus, the natural, socio-cultural and economic environment, heritage and resources are well managed towards a sustainable and desirable future. So also, environmental hazards and/or threats are routinely foreseen and adequately prepared for, mitigated, or adapted to if mitigation is not possible. When disasters happen, there is a prompt and effective response, followed by effective stabilisation and recovery, with due lessons observed, noted, discussed, learned and applied.

Day by day, good government is aware of, respects and promptly responds to (or even foresees) the needs and concerns of members of the community (especially the poor, powerless/voiceless, at-risk and marginalised), and it steadfastly makes sacrifices and prepares for a brighter future today.

The public is well-informed and as a whole upholds democratic values, rights and freedoms, while acknowledging and carrying out the associated responsibilities and duties of good citizenship. The public is also orderly, law-abiding, fair-minded, thrifty, family-oriented and economically productive.

The community, as a result, is stable, productive and by and large peaceful and prosperous, whilst valuing and vigilantly and resolutely guarding and defending the civil peace of justice. >>

What do you think? 

Do our region's governments measure up? 

Where should we be thinking of going from here, as a region? END

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rom 1 reply, 51: A note on homosexualist advocate and pollster Mr Peter Wickham's survey on "homophobia" in the Caribbean

Last evening, on an Antigua-based radio station, there was a regional news item on homosexualist advocate and pollster Mr Peter Wickham's recent survey on "homophobia" trends in the Caribbean.  Where, of course, according to his CADRES organisation, the "religious" and "illiterates" are presented as the reservoirs of "homophobia" in the region.

This, is in a context where through radical activists' demands, Professor Dr Brendan Bain was recently fired by UWI under obvious threats to funding, for the thought-crime of writing the scientifically grounded but obviously politically incorrect truth about the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in an on oath expert witness affidavit to the Belize Supreme Court. Where also, shortly after this, one of the involved activist groups -- JFJ/CVCC -- was soon embroiled in a scandal over circumventing safeguards on age inappropriate content in ways that were tantamount to grooming underage orphans for sexual abusers. (Also cf. here.)

As well, on Friday last, Caribbean listeners heard on the BBC morning news how the World Health Organisation has had to acknowledge that "gays" and "men who have sex with men" are nineteen times more likely to contract HIV/AIDS than the general public. On the strength of this, the WHO is recommending that such men -- even if they do not yet have the HIV/AIDS infection -- should take the antiviral cocktails as a preventive measure.

A few regrettably painfully sharp but needed words are in order -- this is a public discrediting attack dressed up as a "scientific" survey done by a leading pollster in the Caribbean, not merely a statement of personal opinion.

It must be firmly answered.

But before I address what needs to be said, let me point to a video that I think we all need to take time to see, and should show in churches and to youth groups:



(And, sirs, principled objection to a radical, ill-founded agenda is not to be dismissed as a bigotry-based moral "panic." Cynically dismissive talking points in derision of the June 29th Half Way Tree Rally in reply to your aggressive activism are duly noted for what they are.)

Mr Wickham [et al], with all due respect, you threw the first punch.

In fact, it is worse than that, you are (and for quite some time have been . . . ) indulging in the notorious and unprofessional destructive public relations tactic the Americans call, poisoning the well. A well that FYI, whatever you may think about it, many of us in the Caribbean recognise we need to drink from. As in:
1 Cor 6:Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
[NET. And if you imagine the gospel is ill-founded superstition and rubbish, I suggest you and ilk take a timeout to read, view and follow up here on, as a start. (A worldviews issues oriented discussion is here on.) Two current examples of deliverance from homosexuality are here -- Donnie McClurkin -- and here (a lesbian). Suggestions for ministry by former lesbian and leader of a ministry to homosexuals, Janet Boynes, are here. A more structured testimony on the road of recovery is here. I suggest something reflecting the highly successful 12-step addiction recovery model will be helpful for same-sex attraction and behaviour, as well as porn, fornication, adultery, drugs addiction, tobacco, gluttony, greed, drunkenness, thievery and many other life dominating sinful bondages. I again point to My Genes Made Me Do It, for scientifically grounded facts that are usually drowned out in the popular media, on the campus, on the street, and even in churches. Note Rev. Al Mohler's courageous exposition of Gen. 19 here.]

I would dare to suggest that there are in fact many thousands who have been delivered from homosexual entanglement, and millions from alcohol, greed, thievery, general sexual immorality and adultery, swindling and worse, through the gospel over these past two thousand years. The power of the gospel and its truth are not on trial, we are. And, we are responsible to respect and receive the transforming truth of the gospel, not rail against it and seek to poison hearts and minds against it in attempted defence of sinful, patently destructive lifestyles. 

And, while I am at it, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados, please -- on fair comment -- you knew or should have known that Professor Dr Brendan Bain personally led in some of the first responses to HIV/AIDS victims in our region in the early 1980's, and you should have known the equally courageous scientific and public health leadership he showed . . . including in the testimony that just cost him his job. And if you did not know, both your editors should have known. And, all of you knew or should have known this Christian gentleman's character and faith. So, with all due respect, there is much for you to explain in the following words you wrote in a UWI Press book meant to guide the legal, rights response to HIV/AIDS in the region:


 And, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas of St Kitts, also on fair comment, kindly explain to us how the people of the region as a whole came to and drew the following "lessons learned" regarding HIV/AIDS, buggery law and in particular Age of Consent Law:


(I note that yes, "lie" is a strong word -- but at this level it can only be willful misrepresentation to claim that a legal provision against a particular unnatural, insanitary, medically damaging and proved disease spreading act often used to corrupt boys is equal to the attitude of being attracted to people of one's own sex. Attitudes and acts, sir, are categorically distinct.  And, given that despite a buggery provision Jamaica has a quite high "reach" to the homosexual community and given the regional challenge of sexual abuse of underage girls, please explain to us how laws such as age of consent and buggery "must go" if we are to effectively address HIV/AIDS. Especially, as the document just excerpted seems to express part of the "consensus" that just cost Dr Bain his job for the thought crime of contradicting it. For one, I am absolutely sure there is no regional consensus to remove age of consent law. Where, Dr Gomes of JFJ and CVCC etc -- on fair comment --  if you cite this CARICOM document as showing a policy "consensus" on removing Buggery law, that logic implies that the next sentence implies a "consensus" to remove or cripple the force of age of consent law. But in fact, there is no such consensus, just obvious radical activism subverting regional health policy through agendas that must use fronts like this. )

In short, we must put Mr Wickham's survey and implied arguments in context, showing a hint or two about what is at stake, and at what levels in our region. In further short, we face radical and ruthless agendas, with obvious influence in halls of power. This is not merely about what consenting adults do in their bedrooms -- and it never was.

I must now be painfully specific.

With all due respect, Mr Wickham, you are the one pretending and suggesting by the very structure of your survey that to dare differ with you  is to be irrational and next to an illiterate ignoramus. The invidious associations: phobias, illiterates, "religious" are obvious.

Obvious well poisoning, in a context where you recently had to be called out publicly in the Barbados Nation and Barbados Today for unwarranted hostility to the Christian Faith and for cheering on patent injustice on the Bain affair.

Please, bear that in mind.

And please, think again about what kind of matches you are playing with:
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly.

 For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect individual, able to control the entire body as well. And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to get them to obey us, then we guide their entire bodies.

  Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs. So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence—and is set on fire by hell.
 
For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. [NET]
A position as a Newspaper Columnist, talk show host and pollster is a position of responsibility to instruct others, so kindly ponder this warning.

Now, obviously all of this advocacy seems to reflect a topsy-turvy age of newspeak in which too often  light is dark, dark is light, words do not mean what they seem to say, the false is perceived true and the true false, and good is presented as evil, evil as good. Isaiah, prince of prophets warns:
Isa 5:20 Those who call evil good and good evil are as good as dead,
who turn darkness into light and light into darkness,
who turn bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter.
21 Those who think they are wise are as good as dead,
those who think they possess understanding.
22 Those who are champions at drinking wine are as good as dead,
who display great courage when mixing strong drinks.
23 They pronounce the guilty innocent for a payoff,
they ignore the just cause of the innocent.
24 Therefore, as flaming fire devours straw,
and dry grass disintegrates in the flames,
so their root will rot,
and their flower will blow away like dust.
For they have rejected the law of the Lord who commands armies,
they have spurned the commands of the Holy One of Israel. [NET]
I know, I know, you are prone to accuse Christians of imposing their myths and notions in the name of truth and right, and challenge us to define truth.

That Barbados Nation and Barbados Today article did that for you, in the words of Aristotle: truth says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not.

Likewise, that which is right and good and wholesome morally, will contribute to thriving, it will not undermine and destroy individuals, families and societies.  (And that reflects Kant's Categorical Imperative.)

Which is exactly what prof Bain was warning against concerning buggery and promiscuity, associated drunkennes and drugs-taking etc. -- at the cost of his unjust dismissal As in, from the Barbados Today/Nation article:
“All sexually active persons [not just homosexuals, “all”] must be urged to take responsibility for private and public behaviour change as part of a comprehensive national approach that includes individuals delaying their sexual debut, reducing the number of their intimate sexual partners, getting tested for HIV and other STIs in relation to known risky exposure, learning and practising assertive skills in order to avoid coercive sex, disclosing the presence of an STI to prospective partners, using approved barrier protective devices, avoiding the use of mind-altering drugs –  especially during or in temporal proximity to intimate sexual activity, and eliminating behaviours that carry the highest risk of coming into contact with infections . . . .
“In this approach, public and private health and education authorities ensure that everyone in the nation has accurate information and is supported and enabled to take responsibility for the health and safety of self and others.”

Dr Bain then pleads (in vain) for reason rather than rage: “A comprehensive approach calls for honest collaboration rather than confrontation.”
And to what result at the hands of the radical activists you support? Let us read on:
For this, he was fired. Not, because the CHART Centre’s charter calls for abolition of buggery laws (it does not), nor because he violated the trust of the major clients of CHART (public health educators, and so on, or the general public, or even those at risk of AIDS who desperately need to hear and heed Dr Bain’s counsel). No, because he cut across an agenda by speaking unwelcome truth to power.

UWI was cowed by obvious threats to cut funding, and has instead sacrificed academic freedom and has disrespected the right of courts to seek the unfettered truth from expert witnesses in light of their research. Along the way – sadly – the value of a UWI degree just went down drastically, as it seems politically correct indoctrination is now likely to prevail over sound truth, scientific integrity and critical thinking.

All of which should be of sobering concern to every Caribbean citizen and to every parent who is thinking about sending his or her son or daughter to university.
And, what about your hobby-horse?
As for Mr Wickam and his hobby horse, blaming the Christian faith and scriptures for slavery, he needs to ask himself why it is that it was Christians, Bibles in hand, who led the fight against slavery. To the point that the motto of the Antislavery Society that we can see in our textbooks, Am I Not A Man And A Brother?, comes straight from the same Bible, in the Book Of Philemon. Which is in fact one of the earliest, most historically significant undermining works against slavery and oppression of women, based on the heart-softening principle of our equality under God and resulting moral worth that demands respect.
Mr Jordan then rightly called for a return to balance and reasonableness:
It is time for a more balanced, less angry response to issues of our day, especially as the whole region sees one of its major institutions caught red-handed in injustice instigated by radical activists and their appeal to the power of “he who pays the piper calls the tune”.
So, we have a bit of backdrop to address some of the more specific concerns in your latest bit of well-poisoning, in the interests of setting some record straight, by right of fair comment in reply to unjust provocation.

First, the key word and alleged survey variable you used, "homophobia" is patently not a legitimate term, certainly in any context that presents itself as seeking to establish objective and reasonable facts.

By definition, a "phobia" is an IRRATIONAL fear.

So, patently, a major question is being begged here. 

Sir, those who --
a: properly understanding that there is no credible body of scientific findings that grounds the commonly met claims that same sex attractions and behaviour are genetically determined -- have 

b: principled, medically informed and morally grounded objections to same sex behaviour, acts and ongoing radical attempts to warp our civilisation to try to enact under false colours of law that perversion of marriage under false colours of "equality" is as legitimate as Creation-Order rooted marriage and family
. . .  are not to be portrayed as hewing to an irrational fear, at least by the fair-minded. 

Even, 
c: the simple man on the street corner by the Probyn Street bus stand where Clement Payne used to speak, who 

d: looks at the obvious complementarity of the sexes, the pivotal importance of the procreative act of marriage, and the patent unnaturalness, insanitary and damaging behaviour involved in unnatural acts,
. . .  is fully capable of forming a reasonable and common sense grounded objection to the pretence that the inherently disordered is as good as that which it twists.

So, 
e: the whole project of your survey is illegitimate. Which,

f:  needs to be publicly said.
Similarly, for decades homosexualist activists have repeatedly resorted to Orwellian twisted newspeak tactics. 

This needs to be said, also, to help restore sanity.

First, as it is now a commonplace to see the pretence that "how dare you call us homosexuals," I note that this term was introduced in C19 to objectively describe certain sexual behavioural patterns and associated attitudes.

Next, it is quite obvious that the kidnapped word, "gay" is not exactly an apt description of the consequences of the lifestyle that have indisputably been epidemiologically associated with all too typical patterns of homosexual behaviour, as the WHO has just had to admit. 

Nor is this simply a matter of what men do in private, homosexualist activists plainly and openly are seeking to distort marriage and family life, education, views and values, law and much more under false colours of claims about genetically in-stamped behaviour and pretended "rights."

So, there is a reason for principled, informed objection, and resistance to an activist, radical agenda.

Likewise, there is an agenda-serving attempt to redefine what "sex" -- sexual intercourse -- means, as for instance was just pushed into law without proper consultation with the public and over objections from the opposition benches, in Montserrat:




I therefore must object to terms such as "Men who have SEX with men."

Acts such as buggery -- an unnatural, insanitary, medically damaging and proved disease spreading act that imposes unreasonable costs on the region's public health resources -- are simply not to be rendered as equivalent to the procreative act of marriage. 

God gets to define sex, not us. 

Period.

In the words of our Saviour:
Matt 19:He answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [NET]
That holds for Sue interfering with Adam and Eve to break up their marriage, and it holds for Steve interfering with Adam or his son Seth to indulge in perverted behaviour, and it holds for Genevieve interfereing with Eve also. That is, Jesus our Lord and Saviour very clearly established that he stands foursquare on the foundation of Creation Order Marriage and family life. Anything that undermines that is inherently disordered, damaging and destructive. Period.

Where also, no, we do not accept that there is a dividing wall between Jesus and his Apostles in their teachings. Including the man Jesus personally arrested on the road to Damascus, and tutored for three years in the Arabian desert, Saul of Tarsus.

In short, our Creator gets to define that sex is meant for marriage, such that any patterns of behaviour that take it out of that context are wrongful. I know this is unpopular and even viewed as hopelessly old fashioned to the point of being silly, but that does not change the truth. And, the damaging consequences of ignoring the Creator's instructions for our own good, on persons, families, and societies should be obvious to all. 

At least, to all willing to see them.

So, the time has come for us all to take a serious look at what we are doing and to reform our ways in the interests of what is right and good for us. END

PS: Some references that I think will help us:
First, the KF pamphlet on homosexualism, here. And also:



     

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rom 1 reply, 50: You may not be interested in apologetics issues and the dechristianisation tidal wave, but apologetics issues and the dechristianisation tidal wave are interested in you, your young people, your children and your community . . .

I know, we all wish we could set aside these sorts of issues and go do nice simple evangelism, worship, prayer, Bible study, discipleship etc stuff. (And yes, I have stuff on such too, try here, or at basic follow up level, here. The cell manual here may be helpful, and the missions mobilisation "kit" here, too.  [Cf. the PS below.])

The problem is, there is a culture battle on, and we face those who despise -- and wish to anger people against and alienate them from -- the God of the Bible, the Scriptures and Christians who take such things seriously, and they wish to impose an increasingly obviously radical and destructive, foolish cultural agenda. Where, we are in their way and they want us to shut up, or get fired, or worse.

And, they want to poison minds, harden hearts and deafen ears to the gospel.

Including, our children.

If you doubt me, look all around. 

As I have so often charted it, here's what we are up against -- ready or not, here they come:



So, I think I need to draw attention to a comment I found here, which remarks in part:
I have in fact reached the point where I want to go up to pastors and say to them “Please tell me why I should believe that Jesus rose from the dead.” There are two answers that are unacceptable for this one. Now there could be variants on how these answers are said but the answers are still the same.

“The Holy Spirit tells me that Jesus rose from the dead.”

“The Inerrant Word of God says Jesus rose from the dead.”

What’s the problem with both of these? In the long run, they both beg the question. You say the Holy Spirit tells you this? Fine. The Holy Spirit also apparently tells Mormons that the Book of Mormon is from God and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. Do you believe that? Why should I think what you’re experiencing is the Holy Spirit and not something else? You could say “Well if you experience it, you know who it is.” Don’t you think the Mormons would say the exact same thing?

What about the latter? Now I do hold to inerrancy, but I hold to inerrancy as a conclusion and not a presupposition. You want to claim your holy book is the final authority. Fine. Muslims do the exact same thing. Why is it that I should believe what you say about your holy book but I should not believe what the Muslims say about theirs? 

If all you have is your own subjective viewpoint for defending the resurrection, you will not last when opposition comes your way . . . [much more, painful but important]
Yes, again and again, I have embedded Lee Strobel's video on The Case For Christ (and it is displayed in the RH column of this blog):

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel from Slaves4Christ on Vimeo.


Yes, I do so as it is a very useful good first exposure in a bit over an hour. 


We need it.

Real bad. 

As we are so prone to forget, let me note from the Apostle Paul what he taught first and foremost as of first importance, the pivot of Christian discipleship:
 1 Cor 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
 
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 

 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 

13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 

 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope[b] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

  21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27 For “God[c] has put all things in subjection under his feet.” . . . [ESV]
And, like unto it, 
 1 Cor 6:Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. [ESV]
And, yet again:
 Eph 4: (In saying, “He [Christ] ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?[b] 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)  

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[c] and teachers,[d] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[e] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 

 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[f] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. [ESV]
  Yes, we need discipleship stuff, evangelism stuff, missions stuff, stuff on dealing with spiritual entanglements like porn ( cf here, just now), stuff on reformation through the fullness of Christ transforming all things from the inside out, and so forth.

This is not either or, it is all of the above, adequately, in balance. END

PS: Discipleship and reformation stuff from the RH col KF blog: