Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Sunday, February 29, 2004
Love and MarriageComments
I have heard it repeated often in recent days that it is only right that two people who love each other should be permitted to be married, and that wanting to restrict marriage in any way is a "homophobic" attempt to impose religion on people.
Is that really what marriage is about? Two people luuv each other and so religion came up with a way for them to express their belief in the permanence of their love? How ignorant.
For starters, marriage is a pretty universal human institution that spans most cultures and times, probably reaching back tens of thousands of years of human pre-history. No religion or culture has a corner on it. And it's been the same for all that time--one man and one woman, sometimes one man and more than one woman, or more rarely one woman and more than one man. But it's never been two men or two women. And there is a very good reason for it.
Marriage is not about love.
Marriage is the fundamental building block of society, expressly created as the unit in which the bearing and raising of children is conducted. That's it's purpose. Children. Without a stable environment for childhood, society suffers in the long run, and this has been recognized by virtually all societies. Because it takes a man and a woman to procreate, marriage serves the purpose of making a man and a woman jointly responsible for nurturing and raising their offspring. This is the same reason for those "antiquated" laws against cohabitation, incest, premarital and extramarital sex.
No individual gay "marriage" threatens another individual heterosexual marriage. But the institution itself is weakened when it's primary function is forgotten and buried under this false pretense that it is about love between two individuals. My marriage to Daisy Cat is not threatened by the goings-on in San Francisco. But I am deeply saddened that the fundamental building block of society has taken yet another hit.
I'm not blaming gays for this. The institution has been under siege ever since the advent of no-fault divorce and the sexual revolution. And the effect this has had on children and society are there for anyone to see. You have to credit social conservatives for being consistent on this point. Gay "marriage" is just one more nail in the coffin of the institution.
And to think this is being blithely hailed by those who should know better, even on the libertarian right. I'm not going to get into what a Pandora's Box this can become if it is not stopped. Others have done that well enough. Based on the pro-gay marriage logic, what is to stop polygamy, incetuous marriage, or even interspecies marriage? What is to stop criminal gangs from "marrying" each other to avoid being compelled to testify against each other in court? What is to prevent intergenerational marriage to avoid death taxes?
Be careful what you ask for. You may just get it, whether you fully realize what you asked for or not.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:34 AM | permalink
Saturday, February 28, 2004
After the uproar, the Saudi's hastily removed the reference on their travel website to Jews being forbidden from entering their country. But thanks to Google's cache, the original text can still be seen. The Google link and the offending text are attached below for your review.
Thanks to commenter "tz" at Vox's site for the link.
Supreme Commission for Tourism www.sauditourism.gov.sa:
" Visa Requirements
Everyone who enters the Kingdom should have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity and the appropriate visa.
Unless you are a visitor from a GCC country or in transit, all other nationalities require a visa to enter the Kingdom. Visas can be for business, tourist, transit, residency, family, Hajj, or conference attendance.
Visas can be obtained from the visa department in the Saudi Embassy of the visitor's home country or from Saudi Consulates available in all main cities around the world.
The cost of a visa is generally 200 Saudi Riyals however visitors should ensure that they check with the Saudi Embassy or Consulate.
Visas will not be issued for the following groups of people:
* An Israeli passport holder or a passport that has an Israeli arrival/departure stamp.
* Those who don't abide by the Saudi traditions concerning appearance and behaviors. Those under the influence of alcohol will not be permitted into the Kingdom.
* There are certain regulations for pilgrims and you should contact the consulate for more information.
* Jewish People
* If a woman is arriving in the Kingdom alone, the sponsor or her husband must receive her at the airport.
* Every woman must have confirmed accommodation for the duration of her stay in the Kingdom.
* A woman is not allowed to drive a car and can therefore only travel by car if she is accompanied by her husband, a male relative, or a driver.
* All visitors to the Kingdom must have a return ticket.
* Pilgrims must also have all valid documentation and a passport that is valid for 6 months."
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:49 AM | permalink
Friday, February 27, 2004
The Passion--One Person's ReviewComments
It seems to me that the point of this movie is going to be largely missed by people who do not already have an ongoing relationship with Jesus. I suspect it will serve to deepen the faith of those who may be wavering or nominal Christians. But for the unbeliever, well I'm not surprised if it may be a bit off-putting. After all, the scripture says that the message of the gospel is "offensive to Greeks (non-Jews) and a stumbling block to the Jews". Expecting this movie to be widely accepted as a work of cinematic art isn't what I'd expect, even though the charges of hypocrisy against it's detractors may be valid.
Buried in the comments on Misha's site is this moving review by "Fiery Celt".
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: Comment on Why Can't I Leave that Movie Alone?
I saw the movie yesterday...and yes, this film is graphically violent. The violence has a purpose.
It was a raw, emotional, visceral, experience.
A shattering and exhaustive emotional and spiritual journey....
This movie was taken directly from the Gospels.
It is a depiction of the Passion from a Catholic perspective, with the inclusionary reverence for Mary, and her role as the Mother of Jesus.
This is a intense realistic visual tableau of the Stations of the Cross.
I felt like I was being made to bear witness ---
I felt the repeated betrayals from those who loved him.
---Even His own Mother...she hesitated and faltered.
The demonic forces were feeding on every individual person's fear, hatred, ignorance, greed, madness and lust for power.
The few voices of reason,--- from Joseph of Aremethia and Nicodemus were silenced and forcibly ejected from the sight of the Sanhedrin of the crowds.
We were all being made to bear witness to the indescribable torment and torture Jesus had to endure for our sins and redemption.
I forced myself to watch---- to bear witness;
The caning,... the scourging was interminable.
It was wrenching and stark. It was undeniably accurate. It was appalling and abominable.
Just as I thought that it must end... it continued with renewed vigor. His skin, muscles and sinew were flayed from his body.
You could feel and see the 'satanic' fervor and energy emanating from the Roman soldiers as the meted out the torture. They took joy in the act of inflicting pain.
The Satanic presence was terrifyingly palpable and terrible. I realize that I, personally, have felt and seen this presence manifest itself in humanity before. We all have.
Pontius Pilate was a coward---He feared the mob and the resultant wrath of Caesar...Thus he knowingly condemned an innocent man to the horrors of crucifixation. The act of washing his hands could take never away the stain of cowardice and complacent guilt, although he tried.
I kept feeling that we are all guilty...
As He struggled to carry the cross to Calvary,
I kept saying to myself, all the while openly weeping...I'm Sorry, I'm So Sorry, ...Please forgive me---us.
Every time I have denied Christ, I have done this to him. I truly felt this.
Everytime he stumbled and fell. I personally felt it.
The crowds at first were frenzied with bloodlust, Satan moved amongst the throngs.
But his suffering became unendurable, and I kept feeling--- no more,... please no more.
There were a few lights in the throngs---
Individual people who felt the wrongness and injustice of this...
Veronica with her inate her kindness and empathy---and her offer of water---
Even Simon of Cyrene, reluctant and angry that he was made to carry a condemned man's cross, felt the goodness of the Man, and the shame in this miscarriage of justice and denounced the brutality of the Roman soldiers.
Then we are forced to bear witness to the crucifixion.
Only now am I fully cognizant as to what a horrific, tortuous death, this truly is.
Inwardly I'm praying and outwardly I'm weeping. "please let it end"...Please---I'm so sorry that you had to endure this for us. Please let His suffering end. This became a mantra as I watched Him endure the Unendurable.
We feel His Mother's pain. The anguished loss and despair of His followers. We witness the religious conversions and continuing human evil and ignorance at the foot of the Cross.
Even Jesus, in the height of his torment cried out to the Father.
Then He forgives us---All of Us.
Finally He dies......We are all responsible.
He was born to show us the way to G-d and Salvation. He was born to suffer and die for our sins. I know this, yet I feel such sorrow. I feel that I felt that I was not worthy of such a sacrifice.
Lord have mercy on us...and He does.
I checked ticket availability at my favorite theater and the only shows not sold out are too early for me to get to or too late for Daisy Cat (she has to work tomorrow). I'm shooting for Sunday evening.
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:48 PM | permalink
'Passion' critics retract reviews - The Washington Times: Nation/PoliticsComments
After they've seen it, that is. Apparently this didn't stop Kerry, who has not yet seen the film, from blathering and whining about it's supposed anti-Semitism: Kerry Urges Caution on 'Passion'
I have not seen it yet. I probably will this weekend or early next week, when the surging crowds calm down. I plan to take a box of kleenex, because I just get that way with spiritual things...
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:12 AM | permalink
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Tinfoil Hat DayComments
My hat it has no tinfoil
No tinfoil has my hat
And if it's made of tinfoil
Then it is not my hat!
(To the tune of "The Three-Cornered Hat")
I tune in to my usually sensible conservative talk-radio station this morining, only to find they have a conspiracy-theorist on for their morning show, talking about how "the fix is in" regarding oil prices, worthless paper money, the federal reserve, Masonic conspiracies against Christianity, etc. I just caught the tail end of the show, so I didn't hear his full spiel. And I've been reading commenters on some sites I frequent, talking about the coming financial collapse, the desirability of this collapse to foster a Libertarian revolution, and other similar talk.
I have heard all of this for decades. Funny how the world keeps turning.
I know in whom I have placed my trust. It is even printed on those "worthless" federal reserve notes. I don't place my trust in human institutions, nor do I believe anything transpires on this earth that is outside of His notice.
My glasses are not tinted rose, but neither do I see the value of going through this life all bug-eyed and paranoid.
UPDATE: I should add, that some people like going through life bug-eyed. Some folks like reading Stephen King novels, some folks like horror flicks, some folks like believing conspiracy theories. So hey, if that's your thing, whatever...
You could be right, but I'm not losing any sleep over it.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:52 AM | permalink
Monday, February 23, 2004
War on Free SpeechComments
Columns: A phony war defeats free speech
This article illustrates one of the reasons it is important for all freedom-loving Americans to be opposed to the drug war. It is not necessary for one to be in favor of drug use or abuse in order to be opposed to the drug war. The deleterious effect on free speech and other fundamental rights is more than reason enough. There are other ways to deal with the negative effects of addiction than through the draconian hyper-statist tactics currently being employed.
Remember if it is a message about the drug war being censored today, it could be your message being censored tomorrow. Think about the profoundly anti-Christian "hate speech" bill being proposed in Canada. It's not so far fetched to see something like that here. Free speech is for everyone, regardless of whether you agree with the particular speech or not. That's the beauty of our system. Will you help defend it when it needs defending?
Thanks as usual to Drug WarRant for the link.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:42 PM | permalink
IMAO: Frank Answers: Black Holes, Free Oil, Invisibility, What Really Happened to Rachel Lucas, Energy, and President FrankComments
Frank J has managed to get a lively discussion going here in the comments section about Michael Moore, Cats, Buttered Toast and the Pythagorean Theorem.
Check it out!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:05 PM | permalink
Dang! Now that's a compelling button!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:19 PM | permalink
Tucson weather still amazes me. Twenty minutes ago it was pouring buckets on the skylight over my cubicle, as thunder rumbled ominously overhead. I must have blinked, because I just stepped outside to see blue skies and sunshine. Mind you, the rivulets were still running off the roof and down the parking lot gutters. But the only sign of rain was a cloud dumping it's load on the mountains ten miles away, and some white fluffies elsewhere on the horizon.
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:14 PM | permalink
Time to Change PartiesComments
I've decided it is time to change parties. Yes, that's right! And Vox Day can proudly claim credit for my epiphany. Vox has been advocating principles over practical reality for some time now. He has even taken to referring to the president as George Delano (as in Franklin Delano Roosevelt) over his moderate and statist postions on some issues.
It's been tough being a member of a party of diverse interests. It's rough supporting a president whose policies I don't always agree with. Heck! I and everyone in the Republican party could never agree on absolutely everything. So how could I expect the president to agree with me completely?
Well enough of that! I need to change parties to one that agrees with me completely and stands on principle no matter what the cost. All this muddy BS of negotiation and compromise and coalition building and "big tents" full of odd and scary characters...it's evil! That's right, it's downright EVIL. And as a Christian I am taught to never compromise with evil. Now I know that is referring to spiritual evil and not to persons whose politics I disagree with. But it sounded good when I read it, so I am adopting it as my best excuse yet.
But I have discovered that this perfect party does not yet exist. There are the Libertarians, who are pretty good. But they believe abortion should be legal. That's no good, because one of the fundamental constitutional functions of government should be to protect the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So they're out.
There are the Constitutionalists. But they support the war on (some) drugs. That's no good. The war on (some) drugs has led to some of the most egregious violations of basic rights in the history of this country. Plus it has not been proven to work (overall drug usage rates are virtually unchanged over the last thirty years). It is really nothing more than statism at it's worst. So they're out.
Then there's Vox's Christian Libertarian party. But I don't think he is particularly supportive of the war on terror being fought in Iraq, and elsewhere. My party needs to firmly support the effort to clean out the nests of vipers where they breed, with overwhelming force. "Nuke the moon!", I say. So that one is out.
I need a party that supports what I stand for 100 percent, all of the time. That's why I have decided I must form my own party. My party line will be "Leave me alone and I'll leave you alone. And if you don't, you can be sure I will scratch your eyes out and bury you in the kitty litter!" I present for your consideration, the Cat Party!
Never mind the fact that I don't live in a country with proportional representation. Never mind that in this democratic republic, third, fourth or fifth parties stand zip, zero, nada chance of holding any office above that of "dog catcher" (I LIKE that office, by the way). I don't care, because principles are all that matters. In fact I intend to tailor my platform so narrowly that I am the only one that it will appeal to. Yessiree! I intend to stand on PRINCIPLE above all else. I shall proudly bear the title of "Principled Loser".
How great is that?! Since there is zero chance of my party ever holding office, I can mount my lofty perch and pontificate on the moral shortcomings of all those who duke it out in the trenches in the real world of politics. I can look down my nose and "TSK!" disapprovingly as cold calculations are made for the benefit of political advantage. Never will I be held accountable for the failures of my party's administration, because my party will never find itself in that position. I'm immune in my lofty Ivory Tower from all accountability.
I might just need some plastic surgery or a nose prosthesis, the better to look down it at all the lesser mortals beneath me.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:58 PM | permalink
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Senator Tom Daschle Captured By Aliens!Comments
Returned Safely to South Dakota Corn Field, Where He Was Overheard Speaking Softly in Favor of Bush Administration Iraq Policy.
Another alien abduction of the "Steve Dallas" type!
Serenity and Emperor Misha seem to have hit this story pretty much simultaneously.
Serenity says: Remember when you were a little kid and someone would grab your forearms and swing you around and around and around until you were so dizzy that when they put you down, you stumbled around confused and disoriented until you just fell to the ground to wait for the spinning to stop and hoped you wouldn't throw up?
That's how Democrats make me feel.
Emperor Misha's Imperial Jaw hit his Imperial Keyboard. But then he noted the following:
Of course there is an explanation, there always is:
"Daschle faces a re-election race this year against former Republican congressman John Thune."
Phew. Thank Heavens. Everything is back to normal. Come December, Tommy will be a crazy socialist shit again, just as he's always been. The End Times aren't here yet after all.
Go read about it: Rapid City Journal: Serving Rapid City South Dakota
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:25 AM | permalink
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Nazis and the LeftComments
Who were and are the political predecessors, allies and heirs of Nazi doctrine? The left desperately attempts to paint conservative philosophy as being one step away from Naziism. Given an objective examination of Nazi beliefs and conservative philosophy, this assertion is patently absurd, particularly in the case of the more libertarian strains of conservatism. But this article convincingly demonstrates that National Socialism (Naziism) is very close to yesterday's and today's leftist doctrines and philosophies: FrontPage magazine.com
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:33 PM | permalink
OG SMASH STATIST!!Comments
Neanderpundit: Ken Martinez: moonbat, turned up to 11.
Hee hee, nice rant! Another example of left-statist do-goodery run amok. And these are the same people who blather on about how they are the ones who care so much for the poor!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:10 AM | permalink
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Little Miss AttilaComments
I'm not sure what she was trying to imply about not getting carded anymore. Sure she doesn't look 18. But boys, if that woman does not carbonate your hormones just a bit, well...
Let's just say reality outdid the mental image by a good margin. Funny what turning 40 will do to a guy. Younger women still look good, no matter how much they think they are "past the prime". I cringe to think of what that means to me turning 60!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:41 PM | permalink
Saturday, February 14, 2004
I'm off for a week (business/vacation combo). Check my Lynx and my weBlogs of Note, if you haven't already. I'll probably be back posting drivel of some sort by the 23rd.
Happy Valentines Day, BTW!
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:07 AM | permalink
Friday, February 13, 2004
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Far above the earth so high
Like a diamond in the sky...
"Like" a diamond, heck! Some of them ARE diamonds!
A 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carat diamond! This discovery could give the "International Star Registry" a whole new advertising angle.
"Happy Valentine's Day dear! I bought you a ten billion trillion trillion carat diamond!"
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:56 PM | permalink
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Study Concludes Marijuana Eases HIV-Related Nerve PainComments
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:42 PM | permalink
"Show Some Respect"Comments
I am very aware that I am not "preaching to the choir". I know I have a readership that ranges from progressive to libertarian. Therefore I'm not going to make everyone happy, no matter what I say. To the greatest extent possible, I have decided that I cannot allow that fact to color my writing. Trying to please everyone will please no one, and make for a very boring weblog.
I think it is a great idea to go dig up the sources that the opposition is relying upon and attempt to discern their credibility. And if someone wishes to use their weblog to document and report this process, I will happily link to them and give them kudos for their work.
For my part, I have all too often found many of these sources to be a tangled web of spin and illusion, designed to appeal to the prejudices of the audience for which it is intended. I see no value in attempting to untangle such a mess. To me, it makes for novelty reading, but I generally discard it in favor of more straightforward evidence. Be my guest if you want to try. (A good example is some of those essays that were supposed to prove that the war was all about oil.)
But I have no intention of taking this blog into the nosebleed section of "high-minded" and even-handed discourse. It is about what catches my attention, what I think about it, and sometimes what I feel about it. So if I hear Algore gargling and snorting about the war, doing his damnedest to impersonate Howard Dean, and looking every bit the moron that I think he is, then by gum, I'm going to call it like I see it! (Especially when I can link to evidence that he believed every word of what he is now railing against when he was serving as part of the Clinton Administration. Either that, or he was very quiet as he drank the Klinton Koolaid.) If someone feels disrespected, so be it. Comments are very welcome, so long as they don't wander off into troll territory.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:18 PM | permalink
.you yes you. the work of jasonshogreenComments
Now for something a little different: here's a site worth perusing.
Or maybe it's just me. He's an engineer turning artist. I'm an engineer wishing I'd take the time for art. So maybe I can relate particularly. But he's got some great stuff nonetheless!
Thanks to Anna for the link.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:20 AM | permalink
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
IMAO: Know Thy Enemy: John KerryComments
Frank J (the funniest man in the blogosphere) has a collection of Kerry zingers here.
* Sometimes Kerry has simultaneous flashbacks to fighting in Vietnam and being a Vietnam War protestor, causing him to spit on himself.
* John Kerry's hair is the source of his important lookingness. If you shaved off his hair, he would no longer look important.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:13 PM | permalink
Mars Mission Status UpdateComments
Satellite image of the Opportunity landing site. Hole in one!
02_overview_labels-med.jpg (JPEG Image, 800x600 pixels)
Here's a great image Opportunity captured of it's own parachute and backshield, shed during the final seconds of the landing procedure.
Parachute and Backshield
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:34 PM | permalink
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
"Sultan of the Sands"Comments
Little Miss Attila
Heh! Sounds better than "Critter in the Cactus".
So...where's my harem?
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:28 PM | permalink
Monday, February 09, 2004
Genius Trade SecretComments
The secret to appearing brilliant, is to iterate for solutions away from prying eyes.
That way onlookers see problem and solution without any of the intervening steps, false starts, dead ends and wrong ideas.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:24 PM | permalink
Sunday, February 08, 2004
Teh eval D&D!!Comments
OMG WTF?! Dude, you're gonna go to hell if you play taht!!111!
Yeh. I was an avid D&D player back when I was in high school. And look what it did to me.
Let my example stand as a warning to the young...;>
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:44 PM | permalink
Thursday, February 05, 2004Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:32 PM | permalink
I stumbled upon this image in some random browsing this evening. It struck me, because it is much like the images in my own head, waiting to get out onto canvas or paper or other media someday, when I have the psychological space in my life to coax them forth.
"Molly's Swing," Quent Cordair
It is available as a print from HERE (if you have money to burn, that is...)
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:55 PM | permalink
Glenn Reynolds on "Anonymous" BloggingComments
And my view hasn't really changed: I don't think there's anything illegitimate about not blogging under your own name, but I think it raises questions that real-name blogging doesn't. And I think that if you're a blogger who slings personal insults at folks with names while remaining anonymous yourself, well, that's pretty lame. But hey, it's the Internet -- you're allowed to be lame. And the rest of us are allowed to think you're lame. Plenty of anonymous bloggers manage to be civil, but it does seem that a disproportionate number of uncivil bloggers are anonymous.
So does blogging under your "real" name entitle you to sling personal insults, as Glenn has just done here, without recrimination? And how do we know "Glenn Reynolds" is not itself just a pen name?
My "real" name is common enough that I could easily be mistaken for someone else. On the other hand, Desert Cat is uncommon (though not completely unique unfortunately), and I have been known as such online for the last ten years.
As far as I am concerned, I am Desert Cat, and will continue to be known as Desert Cat into the foreseeable future. And unless someone tries to impersonate me, there will be little question as to who you're talking to when you're talking to Desert Cat.
Slinging personal insults is lame, whether your name is Glenn Reynolds or 1337 810gg0rz. And if I think Mr. Reynolds is lame, I will say so, whatever my name.
Which I just did.
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:08 PM | permalink
Sleeping With the GOP: "A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton's Campaign"Comments
I think the title of this article is misleading. Because someone knows someone who's associated with the administration, does not make them a Bush operative. But the spectacle of someone more generally associated with the GOP, running the Sharpton campaign is sweet! Sharpton himself is despicable, if also hilarious, but I've also had the gut sense that his candidacy is helpful to the cause.
If even half of this article is true, then I'm left smirking.
I mean after all:
Republicans For Sharpton
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:25 AM | permalink
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Which Founding Father Are You?Comments
Via Redsugar Muse
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:54 PM | permalink
A Vox reader asks a question that I'd like to take a shot at answering. But I couldn't do it justice in the 1000 word limit in the comments section. So here it goes.
Vox Popoli: "AW writes: Since you are a Christian, how do you reconcile the idea of a literal hell with a loving God. I am not trying to provoke a debate, or anything of that nature. Rather, I am (was) a Christian myself, who is struggling heavily with my faith because of this. As I read the Bible, hell is a place of torture, and I just don't get it. It isn't the idea of separation from God that causes me problems, but the idea of people being tortured for eternity because of temporal crimes, or bad decisions. I realize you don't hold yourself up as a theological teacher, but since you are a person whose opinions I respect, I was just hoping to get your take or possibly a book you can recommend that discusses this issue."
I read a lot of good, if incomplete and pat-sounding answers in the comments section. Vox's take, while expressing well the concept that we live in a fallen world that is largely controlled by the enemy, concludes with the assertion that "you just can't question God on this".
There's no question that God's understanding is far beyond our own, but I have a rather different answer to this question. And it may be sufficiently different from what you have heard to make you want to dismiss it at first, but hear me out.
God does not send anyone to hell.
Hell is the default setting of your life's "software". Because of the fallen world we live in. Because of what the enemy has done. Because of "original sin" and all those heavy theological ideas. It's the default setting. By doing nothing else at all except living in this world according to this world's precepts, that is your destination. It's not God's will to "send" you there. It's where you are now, really.
What God has done in fact, is given you an "out", a free ticket to another destiny, if you are willing to accept it.
See here is how it happens, as I see it. God is holy. Compare Him to light. Just as light, because of it's very nature, has the power to banish darkness and shadows when it shines upon them, God by His very nature cannot be in communion with darkness. His light will overpower it. If we have filled our lives with shadows and darkness, it would destroy us if God were to look upon us. He wants to look upon us and have communion with us because He loves us, but He cannot because it would destroy us as we are. And so, our relationship with Him is broken, and He turns away from us, so as not to destroy us. The Old Testament makes much of this turning away being a result of anger, but it is anger at the sin that has broken the fellowship with us. The Old Testament also makes it clear that His heart is broken as a result of the situation.
Let me illustrate this from human relationships. Let's say you have found a great woman. She is everything you've been looking for in terms of beauty, intelligence, poise, character, and your relationship with her is really great. You think you've found the one you want to marry, and all your plans with her are in that direction. But you are out with the guys one evening, and you run into a real hottie that catches your eye. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, you've got something to hide. And your woman finds out, as they always do. She is heartbroken and devastated. Instead of humbly apologizing and trying to make it right, you act like a dork and try to make exuses--anything but admit you were really, really wrong to cheat on her. Even when she gives you a second chance, you stick to your pride like a stupid mofo. So she leaves you.
Then the regret sets in.
Maybe a few days later. Maybe weeks or months later, you realize what an utterly stupid f*ck you were to give up such a woman for a cheap thrill. Regret. Gnawing, soul churning regret. But she is gone. You're in hell baby. And you're "weeping and gnashing your teeth". You're in hell, and you know you put yourself there. No one is torturing you--you know she left you for a good reason. No, your torture is self inflicted, and the implement of your torture is regret. And you know you're going to regret losing her for the rest of your life.
When God realized what had been done to His creation, He wept, I believe. It was His desire to make a way to restore fellowship. I don't really understand why it works this way, but blood covers the shadow of sin, erases it somehow, so that the destruction that is wrought when God's holiness faces sin and darkness is prevented. Blood represents the loss of life, the destruction that results when holiness faces darkness. In order to restore fellowship, blood had to be shed. But the blood of the sin-filled humanity He loved would do no good. He couldn't restore fellowship by destroying us. The death of guilty humanity would only cover the guilt of the one who died. A nasty catch-22 the enemy had created. The temporary "solution" was the blood sacrifices of innocent animals of the Old Testament. But the enemy did not count on God's love being so deep, that He himself would become one of us in order to pay the blood price that would restore fellowship with us.
Don't ask me to explain the trinity or the concept of how God became one of us in order to pay the blood price for us. Christ became one of us in all ways except that he was not tainted with the guilt of sin. He was therefore able to pay the price that our own blood and the blood of animal sacrifices could not pay. If we accept that payment for ourselves, then when holy God looks upon us, he no longer sees the guilt and the shadows and the darkness that we carry as a result of living in this fallen world. Instead He sees the blood of the One He sent, His own beloved son, as it were. And gazing upon His Son, who lives in us and covers us if we have accepted Him, our fellowship, our communion with our creator is restored.
How heartbroken He is then, if we refuse the gift. In our pride, our arrogance, our insistence that we have done nothing wrong deserving of death or punishment, we keep ourselves in the darkness. And He cannot look upon us because it would destroy us, unless we are covered in Christ. And if we die that way, with the gaze of holy God averted from us, with fellowship with Him broken, then that is our permanent condition.
And the regret--the agony of realizing our stupidity at refusing the one thing that would give us life and light and love and joy-- that regret that would grip us for all eternity is our hell.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:00 AM | permalink
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
The Drug War as a Statist ToolComments
Vox Popoli hits the nail on the head regarding the conservative view on the drug war.
"I never said drugs are safe. They're not. And yet, 100,000 people die every year on the highways but we don't ban cars because 75 percent of those trips are unnecessary expeditions in pursuit of a shopping buzz. Conservatives wet their pants because a few people more people might OD here and there or drop out of the job market if drugs are legalized, and because of this irrational fear, they happily embrace expanding central government power, the only thing that has killed more humans this century than every drug, every car accident, every war, and every murderous criminal combined - and this despite the fact that 20 years of trampling all over civil liberties and the Constitution has only increased drug availability and potency exactly as the Prohibition experiment indicated.
The upshot is that the Drug War is yet another example of short-sighted conservatives being snookered by statists. The centralizers burn to increase central power by any means necessary, and this has been one of their most successful tactics. Remember, back when the country actually was conservative, opium, cocaine and marijuana were all legal. There's nothing inherently conservative about the Drug War, and there's nothing inherently libertine about opposing it. I don't want drugs to be legal so that I can use them, I want them to be legal so government agents don't have an excuse to trample on the Constitution, steal private property and shoot people in the head."
Click the link for the rest.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:47 PM | permalink
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