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The Gods of Liberalism Revisited

 

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dakota Voice Has Moved!

You're missing all the fun!!!

Dakota Voice is now at www.DakotaVoice.com!


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Israeli Defense Force Hits the Blogosphere

If you're interested in getting some information about what's going on in Israel and Gaza--you know, beyond the Israel-bashing, "terrorists are victims" crap you get from the "mainstream" media--the Israeli Defense Force has now entered the Web 2.0 age.

The have a blog called IDF Spokesperson where you can catch some of the latest updates about the war against terrorism in the Middle East--specifically as it affects Israel.

The IDF also has a YouTube channel where you can view footage of some of the IDF precision strikes against terrorist strongholds. Unlike the terrorists who intentionally target innocent civilians, the IDF does everything it can to minimize noncombatant casualties.

An interesting post at the IDF blog yesterday points out the number of rockets and mortars fired against Israel since 2005.

In 2007 alone, there were more than 2,500!

Forget for a moment our peaceful relations with Canada and Mexico. Imagine 2,500 rocket and mortar attacks along the U.S. border in the last year.

Imagine rocket and mortar attacks along Washington State, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Imagine the property damage, the fear, the injuries, and the lives lost to these attacks. Since the borders of these states are immensely larger than Israel's borders, imagine these 2,500 attacks spread along the border Vermont.

Or if it's easier to imagine, think of Cuba lobbing 2,500 mortars and rockets at Florida over the past year.

Would we stand idly by and twiddle our thumbs as many demand Israel do? Would we expect our leaders to negotiate with these attackers as many demand Israel do? Would we think of these attackers as "victims" and blame the targets of these attacks as many do Israel?

Or would we do as we did after 911--as any decent and self-respecting nation would do--and retaliate with decisive force to remove the threat and disinvite future attacks?

For too long the West has sought to restrain Israel from defending herself. We are Israel's chief ally; it's time we started acting like it. It's time we got out of their way and let them bring the majority of Middle East terrorism to an end--by boldly demonstrating that it will not be tolerated, and will be met with crippling retaliation.

That is the only way to deal with evil, fanatical forces who are determined to annihilate you. Too many innocent civilians have died in the name of "civility" and "talks" and "negotiations." The job of ending terrorism is long overdue.


Focus on the Family Explains Why Glenn Beck Interview Was Pulled

Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post

By Eric Young
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jan. 01 2009 07:15 PM EST

Focus on the Family got to work this week in explaining in detail why it pulled from its website an interview with a Mormon author.

“We intended no insult,” expressed ministry spokesman Gary Schneeberger, in a statement. “[W]e merely miscalculated on how best to feature Glenn [Beck], whom we greatly appreciate.”

Last week, some time before Christmas celebrations, Focus on the Family took down the interview with Beck amid complaints from the evangelical community over the former CNN host’s Mormon ties.

The interview, produced by a freelance reporter in Colorado Springs and not Focus on the Family, focuses on Beck’s recently released book, The Christmas Sweater, which has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list for Hardcover Fiction for six consecutive weeks and currently ranks at No. 1.

In the interview, Beck talked about what Christmas means to him, how he came to write the book, and what message he hoped readers will take away from the book.

“Sometimes redemption has been made into a word that people don't understand,” he said. “They need to know it's true, it's real. It's not a word, it's a life-changing force. It's transformed my life, who I was to the very core of my being. If it wasn't for me accepting the gift that the Lord gave to me, I'd be dead today.”

Since the interview was published, a number of Christians throughout the blogosphere raised flags and sounded alarms, concerned that Focus on the Family was compromising central doctrinal truths to win the culture war.

“They use Mr. Beck's story as a way to show that hope can be found in God, which is true enough; the problem is that Mr. Beck's god is not the Triune God of the Bible nor is his Jesus the Jesus of the Bible,” commented Dustin S. Seger, pastor of Shepherd’s Fellowship of Greensboro, N.C., in the co-authored blog “Grace in the Triad.”

Beck, however, maintains that the book's message can be and has been embraced by people of different faiths and should not be “censored” because of his own personal religious views. The book tells the narrative of a boy named Eddie who embarks on a dark and painful journey on the road to manhood.

“The Christmas Sweater is a story about the idea of Christmas as a time for redemption and atonement,” Beck expressed in a released statement after the interview was pulled from Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink website.

“Whatever your beliefs about my religion, the concept of religious tolerance is too important to be sacrificed in response to pressure from special interest groups, especially when it means bowing to censorship,” he added.

According to Schneeberger, however, Focus on the Family could not intimate to its evangelical base that the differences in Mormon faith and the historic evangelical faith are inconsequential.

“We can, and do, gladly cooperate with friends outside of the evangelical heritage on common causes; but in no case do we intend to alter our clear distinction as unwaveringly grounded in evangelical theology,” he explained.

But Schneeberger made sure to also distance the ministry from another that had strongly rebuked it for the article’s posting.

“[W]e do not condone the tone of communications put out from UnderGround Apologetics,” he clarified, referring to the controversial apologetics ministry that spoke out against Focus on the Family last week. “And we can without reservation say that the group's news release had nothing to do with our decision to pull the article from publication."

In their statement three days before Christmas, UnderGround Apologetics called Mormonism a cult and chastised Focus on the Family for “opening the door to false religions.”

“[T]o promote a Mormon as a Christian is not helpful to the cause of Jesus Christ,” it added.

Despite such statements and the recent move by Focus on the Family, Beck, who not long ago left CNN Headline News for a multiyear deal with Fox News, said he is “humbled and grateful” that hundreds of thousands of people from different faiths have read his book and have “appreciated its uplifting message for themselves.”

“At a time when the world is so full of fear, despair, and divisions, it is my hope that all of those who believe in a loving and peaceful God would stand together on the universal message of hope and forgiveness,” he stated.

While many Christians today still view the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the official name of the Mormon church) as a cult, more have come to view it as another religion – some going as far as calling Mormonism a fourth Abrahamic religion.

Aside from rejecting the Trinity and their belief in many gods, Mormons believe their prophet, Joseph Smith, was “the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam,” according to the Mormons’ History of the Church.

Formally listed under “cults and sects” by the Southern Baptist Convention, Mormonism was later categorized among “newly developed religions” on the North American Mission Board apologetics page.

Copyright 2008 The Christian Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Rick Warren is no Billy Graham

BY STAR PARKER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL & EDUCATION

Last August I wrote a column critical of Rick Warren's decision to host a presidential candidate forum at his Saddleback Church.

My reasoning then was that America's crisis is moral ambiguity. I argued that Pastor Warren would only contribute to this ambiguity by hosting candidates with opposing views on issues such as abortion and homosexuality and presenting himself as a neutral moderator.

Only Barack Obama would gain, I felt, being showcased as an acceptable candidate by one of the nation's best known evangelical pastors. If John McCain had wanted to clarify his social conservative credentials, he didn't need to go to Rick Warren's church with Barack Obama to do it.

Evangelicals and other Christians listened as Rick Warren called Obama and McCain "friends" and "patriots" and watched as Warren winced no more than would have Larry King when Sen. Obama said it was above his "pay grade" to consider if and when an unborn child has human rights.

Evangelicals had already been hearing from Warren, and left-leaning pastors like Jim Wallis, that they should broaden their primary concerns beyond sex and abortion.

In retrospect, I cannot prove that I was right. But I think the evidence powerfully supports my claim.

Barack Obama picked up five percentage points of the evangelical vote over what John Kerry received in 2004. Those five percentage points amounted to about a third of Obama's winning vote margin over John McCain.

Sure, the Saddleback Forum alone does not explain this shift. But the legitimacy Obama gained that night certainly didn't hurt.

The largest shift was among 18-29 year old evangelicals. Obama got 32 percent of their vote -- double what John Kerry had gotten.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after the forum, Warren was oblivious to the vulnerability of this group. The Journal reported, "... as for the notion that younger evangelicals are ready for rebellion against their parents' ideals, Mr. Warren cites polls showing that the younger evangelical generation is even more concerned about abortion than the older one." True. But this was only one part of the picture.

In 2007 the Pew Research Center reported that Republican identification among 18-29 year old white evangelicals had dropped from 55 percent in 2005 to 40 percent.

A survey done by Greenburg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that 26 percent of 18-29 year old evangelicals, compared to 9 percent of those over 30, support same-sex marriage.

Now President-elect Obama has invited Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inaugural. The NY Times calls this an "olive branch to conservative Christian evangelicals" and many now call Warren this era's Billy Graham.

An olive branch? Rick Warren helped get Obama elected and our President-Elect understands that there is still evangelical gold to be mined in the pastor from Saddleback Church.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright can explain how Barack Obama uses pastors. Obama sat in his church for 20 years and used his words for the title of his best-selling book, then discarded him when he became a political liability.

Regarding the Billy Graham comparison, it challenges even the most creative imagination to picture the Rev. Graham's ever hosting a forum for political candidates.

In an interview, Barack Obama recalled a previous invitation to Saddleback Church. "...I was invited to Rick Warren's church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion." I doubt that Billy Graham would see this in the spirit of his own calling to bring the gospel to all who would listen.

Nor would I see the Rev. Graham signing onto the Evangelical Climate Initiative, as has Rick Warren. This gives Christian cover to the left to raise our energy costs to address still-unsubstantiated environmental claims.

But on global warming, Rick Warren and Barack Obama are on the same page. Perhaps these will be the first post-inaugural chips that our new president will call in.

Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay.

Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine. The 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business, yet served as a springboard for her focus on faith and market-based alternatives to empower the lives of the poor.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Finding a 'New Normal' After Losing Two Daughters to a Shooting

From today's CitizenLink:

On Dec. 9, 2007, teenage sisters Stephanie and Rachel Works were killed outside New Life Church in Colorado Springs. In their new book, "Gone in a Heartbeat," David and Marie Works tell their story of love, loss and an enduring faith in God.




From the transcript:
I think the most important thing is that we can find God in the present moment. I know it seems really counterintuitive when bullets are flying, glass is shattering, people are dying, that God is there. It seems like the evil one has really taken control. But that, in our experience, wasn’t the case and hasn’t been the case. And that has made all the difference in the world as evil walks with us every day. As the theologians would say, He is really omnipresent. He doesn’t leave us or forsake us.

The other thing is that He can give us a peace that we never had. And that comes from grace. We use the phrase that “we were carried in the hands of His grace, from the minivan on.” And we felt like we were just being carried along. We were just kind of actors in a play and not really in control of anything, but everything was happening according to some cosmic plan, and everything was working out very well. We have been graced like I can’t even imagine.

It’s a double-edged sword because at the one time, we were feeling so blessed, and the other time there’s this huge hole that is never going away in this life. That part is never going to be resolved until we cross over and are together again. Other than that, God has been incredibly good to us in every way shape or form. We have a wonderful Church family that has been incredibly supportive. The community has been supportive. My employer has been incredible. I don’t know what else you could ask for. It’s kind of amazing, the whole thing.

We feel radically blessed. I have to admit when I look at other situations, it seems that ours has been somewhat easier. And I can’t really explain that. I wish I could promise everyone that the pain isn’t going to be that bad, ‘cause in our case, it hasn’t been that bad if you look at other things. For us, there’s days we still cry. Some days we just don’t feel like doing anything. That’s just life. That’s just the process we’re in.


 
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