Tuesday, June 29, 2004

FROM THE BEGINNING

What concerns me the most is that it seems many pastors/preachers/ministers are not preaching the word of God but their own brand of doctrine filled with promises, guarantees, compromise and threats based on traditions rather than the word. In one breath they proclaim the Gospel found in scripture and then in another deny the historicity, truthfulness, and accuracy of the very same. It has become apparent that when something the world says doesn't line up with the bible, God's word is immediately questioned rather than questioning our own sinful thinking.

This is the case with Genesis and the creation story, we've allowed evolutionary thinking to creep in under the guise of theistic evolution, or progressive creation, but the bible doesn't say that God created the world in thousands or millions of years, it says specifically six literal, 24hr. days. This compromise has lead to many doctrinal heresies, I guarantee if you line up many of the false televangelists and preachers you would find one common thread among them, they do not hold to a true and literal creation account even though topflight Hebrew academics are unanimous that Genesis was written to convey exactly what it claims, six literal 24hr. days of creation. Are not those who reject this accusing God of misleading His people for thousands of years?

The point I am making is that we are allowing the secular thinking of the world to influence the church rather than the other way around. The Lord said through the Apostle Paul "...Let God be true but every man a liar..." (Rom.3:4a) This ought to be our motto as people of God. People aren't going to receive a message that we don't even believe in ourselves, that we are not living ourselves. You can't believe that the bible is God-breathed if you only believe some of it and throw the rest out because it doesn't fit into some neat little frame of thinking.

We ought to defend and proclaim the word of God as true from the beginning.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

One Nation Under Allah?

I was going to post further about my experience at the Townhall meetup, specifically in regards to the propostion that is coming up for a vote here in Cali regarding Stem Cell Research, but given the recent events concerning the terrorists in Russia and some recent posts by my favorite blogger Lashawn Barber, I decided to post something more relative to keep with the theme. I wrote this post several weeks ago but never posted it, why, I don't know, maybe it just wasn't the right time. I think though, now IS the time.

This link is just one example of how are country is slowly but surely moving towards a secular and eventually a Muslim/Islamo-fascist society. while certain earmarks of Christianity are being filtered out of public exposure, i.e. the L.A. county seal being altered, secular and Islamic symbols, practices and beliefs are being incorporated in to replace those Christian symbols and practices. Case in point is this article about how Muslims are slowly becoming the dominant religion in this small town.

And now recently we had a hostage situation in Russia. Children were being held against their will and eventually killed by Muslim extremists and yet we still have folks defending Islam as a religion of peace. When will we all wake up and realize that our existence in this world is affected by the balance of good and evil. When good people stay silent evil will reign. Even my 8 year old son realized this concept when he asked me about Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego and the fiery furnace. He wondered if they were right or wrong for disobeying the king and not bowing down to the statue. I told him no, they were right and the king was wrong. He then made a profound connection, stating, "...so because they did not obey and were not afraid to speak the truth to the king, God delivered them?" I confirmed to him, yes. He then pointed out that after the three Hebrew boys were delivered, the king acknowledged that their god was the god. We had quite a long conversation about this story and many others in scripture regarding standing up for God's truth. (as we do quite often)

I guess my point here is simple, if Mr. President and other so called Christians who hold positions of power in this country are truly fighting the good fight, why isn't more being done to squelch terrorism? Why does it seem that they are more concerned with pandering to others rather than speaking the truth and acting on it. I figure, if you believe in what you say you do, you will do what it takes to not only share it and expound upon it but act on it as well, no matter what the consequences are.

I believe, in regards to any further Christian persecution, that in the last days it will come not just through the repression of liberties by secular humanistic policies but will be amply enforced and applied through the tenets of Islam. The notions of Multi-culturalism, secular humanism, evolution, and tolerance are all there simply as a prop for the acceptance of the beliefs of Islam in this and any other country. Remember, just as with Christianity, anyone can be a Muslim or hold to Islamic beliefs. Don't be surprised if Islam becomes the perfect vehicle by which Christians in America are persecuted and eventually slaughtered. It already is in other countries.

The time is now to speak up and speak out!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

BWB? (Banking While Black?) IS THIS REAL?

This is an article I stumbled across on the Fox News website under the "Views" section by Scott Norvell. This column usually covers incidents affecting the notion of tolerance and political correctness run a muck in our society. This is one such incident.

Here we have Black people protesting a Bank because, essentially, it wants to improve its security while still maintaining a presence in this particular Black community, a Black community with a high crime rate. But, apparently the Leaders of this community don't see it that way. They FEEL that the security measures taken are racist and is "...demeaning, disrespectful, and discriminating," The full story is reported by ABC 7 news in Chicago.

According to the ABC report, this new branch of Bank One opened at 81st and Cottage Grove in Chicago and a security system was installed at the entrance. I've experienced this here in California, when you enter through the front door you're instructed that only one person can go through at a time, in my case by a security gaurd at the entrance. Then you go through a metal detector and if it goes off you have to put all metal possessions on a counter. Once you're cleared a green light flashes and you can go through a second door which gives you access to the inside of the bank. A Bank One spokeswoman, Melinda McMullen, said in the ABC article that the security system is supposed to detect guns and prevent crime. She also said... "This community is a great community, one where we want to do business. Unfortunately, it does have a high crime rate, so we're doing what we can to do business here in this community in ways that protect both our employees and our customers," Amen to that. Where is the racism here? So protecting yourself or property is racist now? Not to mention, having this security system will ultimately protect these people's money as well, but that isn't important, right? There are several banks right here in Chatsworth, CA. that have similar if not the exact same security system, yet, no public outcry accusing them of racial profiling. Black people need to wake up! Stop playing the blame game! It is down right annoying to read stories like this almost every week. I for one am tired of it!

Instead of wimpering and whining about a perfectly legitimate security system, why don't these people ask the question of why does a bank have to take such extreme measures in this particular community in the first place? Is it really just racism or could it possibly be that there really is a high crime rate? Why not address the true problem and figure out an actual solution to it?

What is truly sad here is that you have a so called Christian leader, a Rev. Michael Pleger of Saint Sabina Catholic Church, leading the way! A white pastor at that encouraging these people to protest. To weak and pathetic to tell them the truth. He mentions in the article that he got involved due to complaints he received from a few in his congregation. I think, most likely, he wouldn't have given it a second thought had they not come to him. No doubt the majority of his parish is probably Black and therefore, possibly to avoid losing any "paying members", he takes up the cause of the "Black struggle". Like I stated before, the foundations have been so destroyed to the point that even our so called Christian leaders cannot tell right from wrong.

Please continue to pray for Black people, that the truth will be revealed to them and they will be set free from their own foolishness.

Sad indeed.

Monday, June 21, 2004

MY POST ON LASHAWN BARBERS CORNER; SCHOOL VOUCHERS

I Believe the solution to our education dilemma lies with first the individual parents being willing to truly educate their children. Then with them mobilizing within their respective communities, holding teachers more accountable, actually disciplining their own children and allowing teachers to do the same, and also, in the case of private schools, involving the church.

I am a product of private Christian school education from 8th grade through College. I found it far more beneficial for me, not because the academics were better, they really weren't much better, nor was there any real prestige, at least not until college. The truth of the matter is that these church going folks believed in the power of education and did all that was within their power to educate the children in the South Central area of L.A., where my Jr. High resides. My high school was the same, a Lutheran school at that. Mostly white teachers in an affluent black community. These schools got the parents involved and held them equally accountable for the success of their children. It seemed quite easy since many of them attended the very church that the school was founded by. There was more freedom on the part of the teachers to discipline the children as well, I mean real discipline, which caused many of us to feel safe, secure and created a stable teaching environment. There were still bullies to deal with, but they did get dealt with, as well as many of the same issues you find in public schools, yet, those issues seemed to occur far less in my experience.

My mother never went to college, my father went but did not finish, both were bible believing, Christian individuals. They weren't perfect and I witnessed their imperfections quite often, but they did profess Christ and taught the truth of God's word to us as well. My father started and ran his own repair business and did fairly well but still had to take on other work to pay the bills. Inspite of this fact, my parents were not rich or even well off, yet they found a way to pay for my private schooling, recognizing that the public schools had failed me and them, miserably. I have 5 brothers and 7 sisters, with me being the youngest at 30 years old. We grew up with two parents in the home. All of us graduated from high school and seven of us finished college at a four year university. I have two brothers who have been incarcerated more than once. Two sisters who had children before even finishing high school and one brother who, for the most part, still leads a life of crime. The ones who graduated college are not among the ones who I mentioned above. Out of the seven who finished college, one is an accountant, another is a corporate lawyer and partner in a law firm, and yet another, coincidentally, is a school principal and administrator in the LAUSD. The rest of us have careers and families as well. I say all of this to point out that the parents are the key to solving much of this mess. Our parents believed in education and saw to it that we got one. All of us were given the opportunity to succeed provided by our parents. I for one remember many long nights of math homework (I hate math) with my father sitting next to me helping me, encouraging me, and, yes, disciplining me when I slacked off. I ended up on the honor roll in high school, acing trig(A+), my worst subject(thanks Dad).

I say all of this to point out that parents have to take action now, on their own accord. Stop relying on the government to pay for everything and educate their own children, either through a private institution or on their own accord through homeschooling, or through public school, but make sure they are learning. In every case you are still paying for education, one way or another, the key, get what you pay for.

It is possible and if more people begin to take the initiative the market will follow suit. Private schools will begin to compete for students through stable tuition costs and offering better access to learning opportunities and technology and public schools will step up the quality if parents force them to by getting involved.

The truth of the matter is that the solution is with the parents, no government program, policy, or institution can replace the power of the family, period. When that foundation is repaired, whether public or private, you will see a change in the over-arching culture. You will see drop-out rates decline, teen pregnancy go down, abortion numbers fall and better behaved children in the classroom, and accountability of teachers will increase.

This is the truth of the matter. If we really want to solve these problems we have to get to the route cause, that cause is not big government, racism, economics, or any other excuse. It starts at home with two parents teaching their own children right from wrong and good from bad. It is not about how well educated the parents are or how much money they make, it is about their own moral character. When parents begin to put Christ back in the picture, the family can and will be repaired. The children will get educated properly, and society on a whole will improve. We will never have a perfect education system, yet, if we begin to put God back into the homes first then the rest will follow.

ANOTHER LINK ON ESC RESEARCH...

Thanks to Kiki B. for looking out. She referred me to this link of another article stressing the truth about ESC research. I hope that more and more will begin to take up this issue and write about it in order to educate the general public, especially those within the Christian community. I've spoken with a few who support ESC not realizing it's true implications and there are also those on the other side who do not support any kind of stem cell research, even though Adult Stem Cell research, as far as has been revealed, is not being used for cloning but for finding cures for deseases, as it should be.

Also, I must correct my previous post in that I stated that Bush has banned ESC research but this is not accurate. He has merely banned federal funding for ESC research. There is still a push by many, such as the likes of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, no big surprise there, to lift the federal ban and allow tax payer money to be used for ESC research.

Just wanted to clarify.

Friday, June 18, 2004

MORE ON BIO-ETHICS...

Some more info and articles on the Stem Cell Research debate.
The first article here talks about the cons of ESC and the Pros of Adult stem cell research. Pointing to many of the same points I brought up before in the last post but with even more detailed info. You may find this quite enlightening.

This article in particular is quite telling. It talks about how some Arab states are banning together to take legislative action towards banning all human cloning out right. This would include Embryonic-Stem Cell research as well. Fascinating!

In the article a Ali Khalifa, a professor of medicine at Ain Shams University in Cairo, says that the use of cloning technology is prohibited because of the danger it poses "to the human personality, human dignity and honor, and human family and society". He also states that "...there is no justification for cloning human embryos and then killing them to extract stem cells for therapeutic purposes, as some scientists are already doing. "[This is] murder in the name of scientific advancement,"
Amen to that, you can make the same case with abortion as well, just exchange "scientific advancement" to egocentrism.

I believe what is at the heart of the matter, the real reason why so many scientists and businesses are pushing for the allowance of ESC Research in the U.S. under the guise of finding cures for ailments such as Diabetes and Alzhimers, in spite of the mounting evidence demonstrating its non-viability as a working treatment, is this; Having the ability to clone oneself offers many a hope of immortality and power. But it also opens a floodgate of moral implications. Will these clones be considered humans? Will they have rights? Will they be able to vote or hold office, or even live in and serve their communities freely? Or...will they be the sole property of the corporation that made them? Slaves if you will. Should these companies be allowed to patent a person? To have legal ownership, not as a parent or guardian but as property owner/operator? Is it even legal and lawful to bring a being into existence for the sole purpose of killing it in order to further one's own life span?

I am sure there are many more questions that may spring up in relation to society at large. I haven't' even mentioned the religious implications! Will they have a soul? Will it be wrong for them to be killed? Should they even be considered human? Amazing indeed! Don't be fooled by all of the rhetoric out there regarding the search for cures, it is not about curing anything. It is about having the ability to play God. Having the perceived opportunity to live forever. Having the chance for absolute power.

Thus is the human condition.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Reagan and biotech Continued...

I just finished reading an article by Chuck Colson about the issue of ESC Research and it's supporters using the death of Ronald Reagan as a means to justify this type of research. Mr. Colson points out one such writer, New York Times columnist William Safire, who apparently feels that the biotech industry will move forward with ESC whether the government likes it or not, and that the government should act to direct it into "morally acceptable ends". Wait a minute, isn't that what Bush is doing by banning ESC in the first place? Banning this form of stem cell research forces many scientists to utilize alternative ways of experimenting and allows the more feasible methods, i.e. Adult-Stem Cell research to come to surface. How would allowing a morally questionable practice be directing it into "morally acceptable ends"?

America putting its stamp of approval on ESC research in the name of so called "progress" is absurd. And riding the coat-tails of a dead president who obviously cannot comment on such an issue is silly and disrespectful. Even though Mrs. Reagan has come out for ESC research, it doesn't speak to what her husband would have supported. Mr. Colson in his article points out that Mr. Reagan would not have supported ESC research and proves and points to security adviser and close personal friend William Clark, who stated in the New York Times that Mr. Reagan, towards the end of his presidency, had signed a "moratorium" on grants for certain types of fetal experimentation. Clark also cites Mr. Reagan's speech given in 1983 condemning the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire" where he strongly expressed his stand on the value of all human life. Mr. Colson writes:

"Clark knew his friend's mind on this subject very well. In his famous "Evil Empire" speech of March 1983, which most recall as solely an indictment of the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan spoke strongly against the denigration of innocent human life, writes Clark. 'And [Reagan] favored bills in Congress that would have given every human being at all stages of development, protection as a person under the 14th Amendment. Reagan also favored a Human Life Amendment which defines life as beginning at conception."

Amazing!

So how can it be that Mr. Reagan stood so strongly against this form of research and now his wife seems to support it all out? Mr. Colson concludes that Mrs. Reagan who is obviously devastated from the suffering and eventual death of her husband, as a result looks favorably on ESC research, and I might ad, without really contemplating its ramifications, but just not wanting to see another suffer the same fate. This is the plight of many in this country and around the world. The scientists and groups in support of ESC do not tell the whole story and they fill these people's heads with altruistic notions and empty promises of medical breakthroughs through the use of ESC research, yet the evidence shows otherwise, as I stated in my previous post. We've got to get the truth out to the people so that they will be able to make an infomed choice and not get caught up with emotion and rhetoric, as Mrs. Reagan unfortunately is right now.



Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Reagan and Bio-ethics...

What say you of the issue regarding Nancy Reagan supporting, urging even, the Bush administration to lift its restrictions on ESC (Embryonic-Stem-Cell) Research? Would Mr. Reagan have supported such a thing? In the aftermath of Mr. Reagan's death, Mrs. Reagan has come out strongly in support of this research in the hopes that a viable treatment for Alzhiemers would be found. She is quoted by the Washington Post as saying...

"Ronnie's long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him," ... "Because of this, I'm determined to do whatever I can to save other families from this pain. I just don't see how we can turn our backs on this [research]." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41586-2004Jun14.html

What is surprising is not that she supports stem cell research, but that she is for one, relying on the government to remedy this issure, and two, she is in favor of a research that, for all intents and purposes, allows the destruction of the unborn (embryonic stem cell research). Why is there such a push for ESC research when there is far more progress being made utilizing adult stem-cells? According to Wesley J. Smith a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and a special consultant to the CBC (Center for Bioethics and Culture)...

"Early human trials have commenced for conditions such as heart damage, multiple sclerosis, corneal injury, spinal injury, and Parkinson's disease, among others, generally with very encouraging results. For example, in Lisbon, Portugal, Dr. Carlos Lima has helped restore some muscle and bladder control in paralyzed human patients using their own olfactory tissues. At least one patient regained the ability to stand with the aid of braces. Meanwhile, mice at the end stage of juvenile diabetes were cured using human spleen cells, a feat that no embryonic-stem-cell experiment has come close to matching. And it was just announced that bone-marrow stem cells have successfully regenerated liver tissue." In contrast, in experiments on animals, ESC has shown to cause tumors, in humans, the body has shown to reject the newly implanted cells, similar to rejecting an organ, and millions of eggs would have to be produced just to create one or two viable samples. This is the dilemma of ESC research, yet it is not put out there for the public to see. Focus is always on the "potential" benefits rather than painting an full and accurate picture of the facts.

This evidence far outweighs any perceived promise resulting from ESC, yet it continues to be pushed by many in the biotechnology community as a viable form of research and potential cure for these very ailments without any evidence that demontrates such. Support for ESC research is so strong that there is even a state initiative (The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative) in California urging tax payers to vote on a bill that will cause the state to have to borrow over $3 billion to fund research into the area of ESC research as well as Adult Stem-cell research, yet what supporters of this bill do not tell taxpayers is that the money will have strings attached, for instance, while moneys could potentially fund Adult Stem-Cell research as well, it will more likely go towards ESC research due to a provision in the bill that gives priority to research that currently cannot be supported or funded by Federal dollars, which means since adult stem cell research is not blocked by Federal restricitions, it will not receive much funding, if any at all, but ESC research efforts would get priority in receiving California tax dollars because that specific research is limited to embryonic cells created prior to August of 2001 and therefore falls under this particular stipulation.

Mr. Smith also notes that not only does the evidence show that Adult stem cell research has more promise, but ESC research has also shown itself to be potentially far more expensive and impractical than utilizing Adult stem cells or cells extracted from the umbilical cord.

Again I ask, if there is visibly more progress being made utilizing adult stem cells and umbilical cells, why is there such a push for ESC? My gues would be it is due to the possible moral ramifications of outlawing such research, if we continue down this line of reasoning that ESC is immoral partially due to the fact that it causes embryos to be destroyed in the process then we can logically deduce that any medical procedure where this occurs can be considered immoral as well. I also believe another reason to be that there are obvious alterior motives that fall beyond the scope of healing that causes ESC research to continue to be considered a "viable" form of research by the biotechnology establishment. The mind is limitless in what it can conceive, especially with the potential of possessing and harnessing such power for selfish financial gain. Ultimately, I agree with Mr. Smith in that we have a culture now that puts science over religion, and specifically morality, making it into a religion of its own and therefore are able to justify such practices no matter what we are sacrificing in return for "progress". For many, what is known as regenerative medicine is the holy grail of science. It is the only sure, secular path to eternal life.


As Mr. Smith rightfully surmises, "...if our goal is to create effective treatments for degenerative conditions in the quickest possible time, pursuing non-embryonic approaches would seem to be our best bet."

Monday, June 14, 2004

A FEW QUESTIONS...

Just a few questions about two leaders...

What is your opinion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his social-political philosphies during the Civil Rights era?


What is your opinion of Frmr. President Ronald Reagan and his social-political philosophies during his administration?


Do you believe that these two men would be in agreement on many social policies?

Would MLK Jr. be in agreement with the Civil Rights establishment today?

Your views are much appreciated.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Why do I blog? Why do I read web logs?

I've been reading weblogs for a short time now and honestly, Miss Barber(of Lashawn Barber's Corner) is the primary blog that I read. Whenever I log on I go straight to her blog site. She is actually why I even started reading blogs, before her I 'd never heard of a "blog". I heard her once on the Jesse Lee Peterson show and she announced her blog address. I enjoyed much of what she had to say on the show so I decided to check out her further writings. Needless to say I was incredibly impressed. In my short life span(30y/o), I haven't met too many Black women who have a solid foundation on right and wrong. Nor have I met many, in person or even online, who share conservative views that are similar to my own. It was quite refreshing to have discovered Lashawn Barber's blog. This leads to why I decided to start my own blog. Miss Barber has inspired me, along with others that I've read. I am definately no writer, speaker, or philosopher, yet I find myself always with a strong opinion and always willing, compelled even, to share it, and I love debate, most importantly, I love the truth. God has planted in me a desire to know, and share. It is so strong sometimes it scares me. So I figured having a blog would give me the opportunity, not only to write out my views but to point out error where I see it and to share the truth of God's word.

In addition, I must concur with the others regarding receiving news, and info that has proven to be far more reliable than mainstream news sources.

MY RESPONSE TO ELLBUR's POST...

ONCE AGAIN ELLBUR'S REMARKS ARE IN BOLD ITALICS.


Jerry,

"When a geographically defined population suffers from poor conditions, those of this population will be at a severe disadvantage. They will unlikely 'succeed.' It cannot be considered their fault, and so the basic arguement that it is simply their responsibility to correct the situation fails."


Why does a geographically defined population suffer from poor conditions? Are those conditions incidental or created? What conditions cause it to be considred poor? When you say 'they' do you mean all of them will unlikely succeed? If so, why wouldn't they? Doesn't historical evidence say otherwise, i.e., Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Ronald Reagan, George Washington Carver, etc..? All started off poor and living in poor conditions, whether socially poor, or economically poor or both. In most cases both, yet managed to rise to acheive great successes. Another question, why could it not be their fault?


"This brings up questions of what exactly responsibility is. Surely it cannot mean that each person acts purely for themselves, for this would destroy the concept of law, and leave unattended all prevention of crime. If responsibility is to be a relevant factor it must be applied correctly."


Then how would you apply responsiblity "correctly"? First, how do you define responsibility? You told us what it doens't mean but not what it does mean. How would the concept of law be destroyed if people acted "purely for themselves"?


The American Heritage® Dictionary (of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.)
Defines responsibility as...


Responsibility
The state, quality, or fact of being responsible.
Something for which one is responsible; a duty, obligation, or burden.



and again...


Responsibility
1. The state of being responsible, accountable, or answerable, as for a trust, debt, or obligation. 2. That for which anyone is responsible or accountable; as, the resonsibilities of power. 3. Ability to answer in payment; means of paying.


it continues...


responsibility
n 1: the social force that binds you to your obligations and the courses of action demanded by that force: "we must instill a sense of duty in our children"; "every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty"- John D.Rockefeller Jr [syn: duty, obligation] 2: the proper sphere or extent of your activities; "it was his province to take care of himself" [syn: province] 3: ability or necessity to answer for or be responsible for one's conduct; "he holds a position of great responsibility"; "young children on a farm are often given responsibilities" [syn: responsibleness] [ant: irresponsibility, irresponsibility]
The American Heritage Dictionary



"Is there reason to believe that people be judged by what they may produce?"


Even Jesus stated that you will know deceivers by their fruit, or what they produce. Yet I would contend that to mean judging one's character and not establishing their worth as a person in our society. Therefore, no, there is no reason to believe that people be judged by what they produce, for this very notion is counterintuitive to the very premise of our Constitution, of all men being created "equal". It is a Biblical or Christian ideology that gives way to this notion of all human life being sacred and valued regardless of what is produced by that life, for this is what compels the Saints of God to preach the Gospel of peace to all men, good, bad, ugly, poor, rich or otherwise. For life is a gift given by God.


"I would say that it is not. Ability of production is an arbitrary variable. Being such that originates with life, it would leave a perfect quality of injustice in society in general. The same may be applied to what apsect of people prevents them from improving their situation in life."


We obviously agree on the premise of not judging people's worth based on what they produce, for this in itself is a communist notion. I would disagree with you though that the same logic be applied when speaking of what prevents people from improving their situation. This very question has many variables and receiving help from state sanctioned programs, or even from neighbors is only a small portion, it has to be. It would be dangerous indeed to suggest that those who are at the bottom of the heap, so to speak, are there because no one will help them, and that the concept of personal responsibility has no major bearing on their situation.


"You said, "foolishness IS geographical, it can appear everywhere and all are capable of committing it." Perhaps I should explain what I meant by 'foolishness is geographical.' I intended to communicate that it describes a situation in which a large population in a specific geographical area deliberately and through no fault of others are harming their own life. This cannot be true, for it violates the principle of human nature that people act with regard to their inclination towards a better life. There must therefore be a geographic variable that is defining poor conditions, which ought to be corrected."


Based on what you stated, do you mean to suggest that when a man decides to rob a bank that he is not acting on his own will but is merely responding to his social conditions or state of being? How do you explain Hitler, Stalin, David Duke, or any other "villain" that has existed in this world? Were they merely responding to their environments and working towards a "better life"? The ideology you infer is a dangerous one indeed, for it is the very seeds of thinking that sprouted communism, socialism, and ultimately racism. It is an evolutionary notion that generates such a premise. It is this misunderstanding of human nature that has allowed this world to have such a reckless and inhumane justice system, that allows offenders of minor crimes to get extreme sentences. We are all built with the ability to discern right from wrong and make a choice from that discernment.


Your notion or premise is flawed here. You assume that people have a natural inclination for a "better" life and state that people wouldn't possibly choose to be poor. I would agree that there are few who would willingly or knowingly choose poverty over wealth, yet you fail to understand that this is not at the crux of our discussion. The truth is that poverty is a result of certain choices made that in its initial and immediate form, would not necessarily allow one to deduce that poverty will occur if no further thought is given as to the reprocussions of that choice. Yet when a person makes these decisions they prove to have detrimental outcomes due to a lack of serious thought, planning, and character to deal with adversity. Case in point, when a person chooses to do drugs as a result of whatever circumstances in their life at that time, there will be obvious consequences to that choice, which , in time, could lead to poverty, yet that person still chooses to do drugs, either without weighing the consequences or merely ignoring them for the immediate gratification. Or when someone loses their job due to layoffs,and allows that event to take a negative toll on their outlook and mental state leading to depression, anger, resentment, lathargy and therefore causes this person to make choices that, for all intents and purposes are unwise. This leads to poverty as well. Therefore my point is simply that while poverty is an issue to be reckoned with in and of itself, it is in many cases, if not the majority of cases, merely a symptom of a greater problem that exists within individuals who find themselves cuaght up in its grasp. As I stated earlier, there are many examples of individuals who, inspite of all of the adversity and setbacks in their lives, managed to succeed in life and overcame poverty. So while it may be unfortunate to be born into a situation of poverty, and that is not your fault, being in that situation is not an excuse to remain in that state of being. Ultimately, the choice lies with the individual as to whether or not he/she is willing to do what it may take to get out of that situation.

Only when we undestand that the human condition is naturally sinful and is kept in check through the fostering of goodness in the form of teaching our youth the value of work, responsibility, frugality, chastity, and that ultimately there is a such thing as moral absulutes that stem from God almighty Himself, can we have a true and accurate depiction of where poverty comes from, how it is perpetuated and how to aleviate it. To this end, I continue to contend that much of the suffering that takes place among the poor, especially among the Black poor is due to a lack of moral character that stems from within, rather than forces from without.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

A RESPONSE TO A POST ON LASHAWN BARBER'S BLOG...

This is my response to a blogger on Lashawn Barber's Corner, I am sure many of you have heard of it and probably frequent it often as I do myself. My response to this particular person was pretty long so I decided to post here on my own blog, since I have one might as well use it right? His/Her comments are in bold italics and mine are plain. We were discussing Miss Barber's latest post regarding Bill Cosby and the remarks made recently regarding Black people, specifically poor Blacks who continue to be irresponsible in raising their children and committing crimes.

Would love to know what your take is on this particular subject.

"Kiki B, your argument about financial choices has some strange implications"

What do you consider strange about being responsible?

"First, it would imply that in large regions of the country, everyone in that geographic area has been making bad choices purely of their own doing. This means that foolishness is geographical, an absurd idea."


This is a foolish statement, for foolishness IS geographical, it can appear everywhere and all are capable of committing it. People make choices all of the time of "their own doing", how else do you make a choice? This is how our lives move forward. It is when one lacks proper moral judgement to make the RIGHT decision that one gets negative consequences, including poverty and crime.


"It also would indicate that every person, regardless of where they are, is given an equal start in life. What with inheritance, paid education, etc., this is clearly not true."

From what I've read here so far, no one has stated such a thing. It is common sense that not everyone starts off on the same level. This in no way means that everyone will finish on that same level they started either. The fact that a person starts off in life poor does not mean they do not have opportunity to succeed. This is demonstrated all thoughout history and is even biblical, that no matter where you start, you can finish at a higher level than before. Many a great leader, historical figure, or otherwise has started off in life poor, one case in point, Bill Cosby.

"Your theory requires that financial intelligence is a racial variable. Again this is not the case."

Financial Intelligence may not be a racial variable but it is a cultural or environmental variable. If you grow and develop in a financially irresponsible environment, chances are high that you will make irresponsible financial dicisions as well. Simple logic.

A good book that demonstrates this notion is "The Millionaire Next Door", by Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danke. A very good and enlightening read. They discuss how many millionaires in this country started out poor or at least as low income and simply adapted to or learned certain frugal habits that allowed them to accumulate wealth over time. A big factor that was discussed was that many millionaires who started out as low income earners, did not pass on their wealth building knowledge to their children and so their kids ended up becoming quite needy,(what they called needing financial outpatient or inpatient care) and incapable of sustaining high incomes themselves. Another thing noted was that there are some "perceived" millionairs that are simply high income earners, yet do not have a high or any net worth. They live and work to consume. They don't invest or save their money, and only earn to spend in order to give the appearance of wealth. Unfortunately this is a problem in many "poor" communities as well. Lets be honest, how many poor people do you know that have VCRs, T.V.s, DVD players, Microwaves, a full apartment or house full of furniture, the latest fashion gear, and so on ad nauseum. The heart of the issue here is morality. Not to say that moral people are rich and immoral people are poor, that really is foolish. I mean to say that being born in this world rich or poor has no real bearing on what type of character you will have in life. Your moral or immoral choices will determine that. Your actual upbringing by your parents helps, in a big way, to determine that, which is why the family, I mean a complete "nuclear" family is so vital and important to this and any country.

So the problem of financial intelligence is prevelant among the rich and the poor and has nothing to do with race but environment and ultimately character.


"Ellbur"
______________________________________________________________

Now I do agree that there are genuinely poor people in this country who may or may not be working or receiving government assistance. This is truly tragic and deserves noting here that I believe these people are the casualties of our consumer culture in certain respects. For example, how is it that there are starving, homeless people in this country when we supposedly have this welfare system in place that is supposed to help them? Why doesn't it? And why are there so many people on welfare and who are getting public housing, yet are fully able and capable of supporting themselves? I have family members who receive welfare, WIC, AFDC and still hold down jobs, have fairly new cars, live in decent housing, wear nice jewelry, so forth and so on.

Is government assistance doing its job? What say you? Where does the solution lay?

Mr. Reagan and Abortion...

I just finished reading, again, an article written by Ronald Reagan on the issue of Abortion and the Roe V. Wade decision. I was practically moved to tears by his elegance and honesty. He appealed so eloquently to the very conscience of the average person in such a way that anyone reading this article coundn't possibly conclude that abortion is moral or ethical. Quite compelling. I admit, maybe it is easy for me to say this given that I am already pro-life, or anti-choice or whatever you want to call it, yet, an honest assessment has to give way to his point, how can a rational thinking individual think otherwise? What comes to my mind is fear, cowardice, anger and most important, the lack of a true moral footing, which is in Christ.

I wasn't always pro-life, there was a time not too long ago where the issue of abortion and its true implications never crossed my mind. It is a pattern that after coming into the knowledge of Jesus Christ, I've noticed among many people, including Black people. Whenever I discuss abortion with one of my older sisters (I have 7 of them you know)she spouts the same political rhetoric that one may hear on t.v., "it is about choice", or "back in the old days women were oppressed and werent' allowed to make choices about their own bodies", etc., etc. Yet when I ask her whether or not the baby is a person or not she says that that is not the point! "Only the woman has the right to make that decision". Amazing!

I remember having a conversation with another of my older sisters who lives out of state. She was telling me about a contest that was sponsored by NOW (National Organization for Women), where you could design a new ad comapaign that would encourage young women to love and appreciate their bodies (can someone say Irony? Or is it hypocrisy?) But anyway, so she says that she wants to design an ad to win the $500 prize. Funny thing though, she wants me to design the poster, me being a Graphic Artist and all. Oh, did I mention that she is a professing, bonified, born-again Christian, saved, sanctified, baptized by fire? No? Well she is, yet she is participating with an organization that supports, promotes even, abortion, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage. Incredible! Unfortunately, our conversation being long distance, I did not get a chance to "enlighten" her on the facts regarding N.O.W., but I never designed that poster either. I think she eventually blew it off.

This brief conversation reminded me of my own plight, of my inherent ignorance of the truth because of the proselytizing that takes place in our churches and my own weakness and cowardice. Many of our so called leaders do not tell us the truth and ,in a way, condition many of us to "Group Think" rather than encouraging us to think for ourselves. I thank God each and everyday for giving me a mind that thinks, and for empowering me to stand up and speak the truth in love. My sister will be coming into town this month, I plan to re-open our discussion about the poster contest in order to find out what her thinking is concerning the N.O.W. organization.

It should be an interesting conversation.

Mr. Reagan notes in his article:

"As an act of "raw judicial power" (to use Justice White's biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court's decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation."

What say you? Is the abortion issue still a "prod to the conscience of the nation."? Or has it fallen along the wayside among all of the other political rhetoric. Has it become merely a platform for a given candidate to use to get elected or to somehow slander another opponent? Have we gotten apathetic?

Monday, June 07, 2004

Making dependency Convenient?

I don't know if any of you out there in Blog land know this already but I discovered this newsletter(click title above) on the Yvonne Brathwaite Burke website announcing that "Paying for groceries with Food Stamp coupons has become a thing of the past".

I've been hearing about Mrs. Burke a lot lately in regards to her support of the ACLU suing the City of Los Angeles in order to have the symbol of the cross taken off of the Seal, and since I used to live and go to school in the district that she supervises I decided to check up on her.

Regarding the ACLU thing, from what I've gathered so far she, along with two other board supervisors, voted to negotiate with the ACLU to have the cross removed.

In regards to the newsletter, after you get past the gaudy, horrible design, scroll down to the bottom section where it talks about a new food stamp program dubbed the EBT program, which stands for "Electronic Benefit Transfer" card. This card will be used by the "participants" as a means of first collecting their "benefits" and then utilizing the card to purchase groceries or obtain cash advances from ATM's. Amazing!
They boast more than 5000 retailers so far (remember this is old news so who knows how many more) that will honor this card, including banks and credit unions. Prior to this interesting tidbit she mentions that over 150,000 "participants" are already using this card and another 140,000 will begin in March of 2003 (like I said, this may be old news to some of you), My math is very rusty, but doesn't that add up to 390,000 "participants"!? Close to half a million, right? Fascinating! How many total residents are in L.A. County? If you know, let me know. I think it is close to ten million. This was not the kicker though, for me, the kicker was the last paragraph talking about the advantages of such a program as EBT. The benefits was, for one, "There will no longer be the stigma of using Food Stamps coupons..." And two, "...instances of lost or stolen benefits will be reduced..." And three, "...EBT will help to mainstream welfare recipients into the commercial banking system" said Yvonne Brathwaite Burke. Incredible!

I don't know about you but I feel so much better now that I can receive handouts from the government without worrying about being "stigmatized" and feeling as if I don't really deserve it, or God forbid, being embarrassed that I am not out working and earning money for a living. Perish the thought. Thank the Lord for Yvonne Brathwaite Burke looking out for the "participants" of the L.A. County Welfare program.

Don't get me wrong here, I am no stranger to AFDC, my mom received it when I was a kid, for quite some time even. And while we were taught to be thankful for what we did have, I always new and understood that it was not a good thing to be on AFDC. This I learned from my father.

Lets clarify, it is good that it was available to us in a time of need, yet it was not a good thing to have to need it.

Somehow over the years this has been forgotten. I am reminded of Ward Connerly in his book Creating Equal : My Fight Against Race Preferences where he talks about a time in his young life when he and his "Mom" had to go on welfare for some time due to times being rough in the Sacramento area. He said that after no more than a month or so he got tired of the visits by the social workers and their condescending questions, and firmly demanded that he and his Mom not receive anymore checks. He then ran across his neighborhood to a local businessman and requested that he help him find work, within a weeks time he had a job making about $20 or $30 more than he was getting from AFDC which at that time (1950's or 60's) was about $60 per month.

This mentality seems almost nonexistent today and only serves as another example of how our foundation has been so damaged. Here we have a newsletter boasting about a new welfare program that makes it easier and more convenient to be in need. Throughout the entire newsletter no mention is made of welfare to work success stories or how the number of recipients or should I say "participants" has dropped or any such language. What is the job of a District Supervisor, or any public servant? To make the lives of the needy easier, better, or niether? How do you define easier or better? And how should one go about doing this? I would love to know your opinion on this matter.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Hypocrisy of Hollywood

To throw in my 2 cents here on Ms. Berry's impending divorce from Eric Benet, while I agree that Mr. Benet is a weak and pathetic man for requesting, demanding even, spousal support, I cannot ignore the hypocrisy taking place regarding this issue among fans and in the media. Keep in mind that they are both adults here who made a choice to get married to each other, they must suffer the consequences of that choice. Also, it seems easy to forget that Ms. Berry has been married before, remember David Justice? I sense a pattern here with Ms. Berry, could it be that she is an angry woman? Could it be that due to this anger she is unable to maintain a truthful relationship with a spouse? I admit that Mr. Benet cheated on her, that is terribly wrong! Yet, it becomes difficult to ignore the simple fact that there seems to be an unwillingness to work through the hardships of marriage on Ms. Berry's part. Isn't that a part of marriage? Sickness and health, rich or poor, good or bad, until death do us part?

It is interesting that they are divorcing over his apparent infidelity and sexual addiction, which he saught counseling for, but no mention is made of her illustrious on-screen appearances completely and partially nude and having pornographic-like sex with other men. Yes, I know many of you will think or say 'that is part of her job!', that is not the same as cheating right? What makes it o.k. for her to have sex, or bare her body on screen and not o.k. for her husband to do it off screen?

I do not feel sorry or sad for Ms. Berry alone. I pray for both of them to get over their anger, bitterness, and weakness and seek Christ for their comfort and strength. Instead of bashing Mr. Benet or Ms. Berry, we ought to pray that they will get over themselves and seek the truth of God. Until this happens she will just be another Elizabeth Taylor clone.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

IF THE FOUNDATIONS BE REMOVED...

I believe what many of us, including our so called "Christian" Black leaders, have failed to realize is that the concept of race has been misinterpreted and is only a means to divide people, and obtain/maintain a certain level of power or leverage.

The only true race is the human race.

While there are different people groups or ethnicities among us and in the world today, what separates us from others is our cultural, environmental, and ethnic backgrounds, not our "race". The true definition and concept of race in regards to this subject is in describing the human race. From one man and one woman came all of us. This is the only correct premise for which the term 'race' is applicable.

This is not only morally and biblically true, it is scientifically demonstrated that, genetically, there is a very small difference between any two people in this world no matter what skin color they are. In addition, our skin color is essentially the same pigment but a different variation of that pigment that varies among people groups around the world based mostly on certain combinations of genes and environments.

I say all of this to demonstrate that the modern notion of tolerance is flawed, and our so called racial differences are really non-existent. The truth is that the only thing that should ever divide a people is whether or not they are for or against God. The truth is that many individuals and organizations have fallen away from the truth found in God's word. Many always say that Black people are naturally spiritual and are generally conservative, but reality says different. Our communities are dilapidated and getting worse, our churches and many of our church leaders are amoral hypocrites. I bet if you were to ask any of these so called Black leaders whether or not they believe that the first 11 chapters of Genesis is true and literal history, they would either say no they don't, or most likely they would dodge or sidestep the question altogether. I have asked several prominent pastors so far this very question with answers that typically have nothing to do with the question, a 'no, not entirely' answer, or they choose to not answer at all.

This is why organizations such as the NAACP, and many black mega-churches continue to flourish while getting more and more immoral, our foundation has been so destroyed that many people don't even recognized a lie when it is right in front of them. When we begin to distrust the very foundation that we stand on then we are destined to fall. Too much compromise on scripture and Christian doctrine for the sake of "unity" or "tolerance" is what ultimately leads to completely forsaking the truth of God. There are many other factors that I can mention that contribute to the compromise of the authority of God's word, especially in the Black community, but I will delve into them later on.

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:3

I challenge any Christian person out there to ask this simple question to your church leaders, as well as yourselves;

Do you believe that the Bible is true and literal history including the book of Genesis chapters 1-11 specifically? Ask them this but most importantly, ask yourselves and ask why? Or Why not?

If they give you an answer, please post here and share what they said. I would really like to know what you may think about this particular point as well.