Category Archives: books

‘Liberal Fascism’: why the Left wants to ban, well, …pretty much EVERYTHING

Liberal Fascism 7717Given so much of our news today, I’m more convinced than ever that Jonah Goldberg’s 2009 book, ‘Liberal Fascism‘, is essential reading in order to understand the workings of the militant Left.

For instance, take a look at this passage from page 23 (italics/bolds/underlinings are mine):

“…since we must have a working definition of fascism, here is mine: Fascism is a religion of the state.

It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure.

Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the “problem” and therefore defined as the enemy…” 

Now keep that in mind as you review this news report, which eerily illustrates Jonah’s main premise:

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Background Noise

actor at mike goodI went to see a play the other night. It doesn’t matter what play, really—I mention it only because of what was primarily wrong with it: I could not hear the actors’ lines as well as I ought–I estimate I missed 30% of the play’s dialogue.

This was not because the acoustics in the theater were bad—far from it. It wasn’t because I was at the back of the house: I was in row J. The problem wasn’t the actors’ ability to project—or not the main problem, anyway. No, the real issue was that the director had chosen to have ambient sound effects (street noises, music, wind, etc.) playing continually under almost every scene. The resulting background noise, which was supposed to define and enhance the scenes, became like the annoying buzz of an insect which you can’t kill, a faucet drip you can’t fix, a clock you can’t stop from ticking.

How often do we miss important messages in other realms of life, because of annoying, distracting or obscuring noise? Competing demonstrations have been known to try to drown each other out. We’ve read recently some writers who theorize that certain political topics (Syria, for one) are deliberately amplified and spotlighted in order to keep our attention away from the real show, which is going on in a dark corner somewhere.

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 But sometimes, we are our own noisemakers. When it comes to hearing what’s really important, how often do we make a space of quiet and stillness so that we have the right conditions in which to listen intently?

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Discouraging Excellence: 9-yr-old reading champ’s success depresses other kids, told he should “step aside”

books 2Tyler Weaver of Hudson Falls, NY, is the five-time consecutive winner of his local library’s reading contest. In this age of increased video-game skills and decreased reading skills, most would agree that such a story should be celebrated. Which is probably why Tyler’s mom contacted the local paper.

And that’s when it all went bad.

The paper called Hudson Falls Public Library Director Marie Gandron for a comment on 9-year-old Tyler’s success, and they got a doozy:

(The Hudson Post-Star) – During a phone call Tuesday to Gandron, the library director said Tyler “hogs” the contest every year and he should “step aside.”

Other kids quit because they can’t keep up,” Gandron said.

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“And When I Come To Die…”, a meditation

crossThis past Thursday, I was reminded of the truth that life is fragile and brief. The husband of an acquaintance of mine was killed in a car accident while returning from vacation. My acquaintance, who was driving in a bad rainstorm, remains hospitalized in critical condition, not even knowing that her spouse is dead, killed on impact when their SUV left the road and hit a tree. Their children, other family,  friends, church members,  all are stunned and grieved.

If you’re a praying person, would you please pray for them, for the Lord’s comfort and mercy?

How easy it is to forget, when things are going well, that our circumstances can change in an instance:  A heart attack, a drunk driver, a lightning strike, a head injury–life-ending for someone, and life-changing for everyone else.  Continue reading

Toxic Knowledge: How to control an unwieldy weapon

baby tire

This is NOT Lucy…not that she wouldn’t try this, however…

Daily, even hourly, I hear my granddaughter exclaim, “I can do it! Let ME do it!” At which point I can anticipate hearing a howl or shriek of frustration at least 50% of the time, because in her zeal to do whatever it is she knows how to do, she has acted rashly and dropped, spilled or broken something, or she’s fallen down and hurt herself.

In Lucy’s case it is empirically true that “a little learning is a dang’rous thing.” But in her case it’s because knowledge is imperfect, and accompanied by impulsivity and lack of finesse. How is learning dangerous for adults?

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We Have Everything We Need

John Adams

“Tyranny can scarcely be practiced upon a virtuous and wise people.”

-John Adams (diary, 31 July 1796)

St peterBy his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.

Therefore…make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Continue reading

Bad News, Good News

Marie

Yep, that’s Marie!

I’ve just come home quite late from attending my oldest niece’s ballet performance at Masterworks in Winona Lake, IN.  Founded by Patrick Kavanaugh, this annual four-week arts camp brings together young people (age 14 to 26) who are passionate to hone their natural abilities in a God-honoring atmosphere, with Christians who are professionals in the various artistic disciplines.

The performance was outstanding, and uplifting. I can see clearly how much Marie is growing, as a dancer and as a believer.

The bad news is I’m just too tired to write anything worth reading for Sunday. The good news is that I’ve recently found a fellow WordPress blogger who writes an excellent short devotional blog, 843 Acres, each Monday through Friday. Continue reading

A Poem for Mother’s Day, from a great mother: Ruth Bell Graham

RuthGrahamPhotoOne of the mothers I admire most (other than my own dear departed, whom I wrote a bit about here) was Ruth Bell Graham. Her courage, devotion and persistent life-long faith are inspiring to me. She loved and prayed for a prodigal; her writing refreshes my hope for my own prodigals. Below is one of my favorite poems of hers.  I offer it to all praying mothers, in honor of Mother’s Day. May we all bow before the Infinite Wisdom.

Had she been another mother:

Had I been Joseph’s mother
I’d have prayed
protection from his brothers:
“God keep him safe;
he is so young,
so different from
the others.”
Mercifully she never knew
there would be slavery
and prison, too.

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