January 26, 2011

Contradictions and the Bible

Why was it that King David sent Bathsheba's husband on the front line to die was a sin? Yet, he would send armies out, many would die and this was not as sin? And that is not to mention all of the people from other places that died in the wars he started. Why isn't that also a sin?

There are some issues with the Bible that leave people dumbfounded. As a Christian, I sometimes struggle with some of these same questions too. But, my inability to understand them does not make them contradictions. So, I set out on a personal quest to find an answer that makes sense. As I mused the problem, I realized that I needed to answer one question... 
"What is sin?"
As I sort out the facts in my head and put the words in order, I can leave you with this assurance... there is an answer. A very real, logical answer. And I am working on some posts about it... sometime... But until then, here is  a real-world illistration... 

We know that when things heat up, they expand. And, when they cool down, they shrink and contract. And this is true with most any material... except for water. 

Why does water seem to contradict the facts? It does expand when it heats up. It does contract when cooled. But, take it's temperature low enough to freeze, it begins to expand.

It isn't until we gain a deeper understanding of how the molecules line up when freezing that we begin to understand why water does not invalidate the facts. The reality is that it actually enhances the evidence and brings us to a greater understanding of why materials expand and contract.

January 21, 2011

Same Sex Marriage - a gay man's view

Finally, I found an article about same-sex marriage worth mentioning. And, the thing about it that suprises me is that the author is gay.
From a legal standpoint, the meaning is quite clear: Civil marriage confers a number of concrete privileges -- tax breaks, adoption rights, hospital visitation -- that are desirable and, in the interest of equality, shouldn't be withheld from gay couples. Socially, extending marriage rights validates gay partnerships. None of these, though, seems to touch on the real substance.
I mention the arguments about tax breaks, hospital visitation here... I have not touched on the adoption rights issues... yet. And I plan to... soon. But, back to the article...

He is also planning on his own wedding and talks about how he is confronted at every turn about what ssm means. He closes with this...
Ultimately, I'm still not sure what marriage "means," but Michael and I can make it up as we go along.
I wish that I knew him personally so that I could see how his view shapes out... just to see the how and why about his thoughts on marriage change. He seems to be onto something. I hope and pray that he gets a real answer.

January 19, 2011

What would you do for a million dollars?

What would you do for a million dollars? Most people would do just about anything. Some would even kill. It always amazes me how someone can rationalize things in their minds. They can even rationalize the most unbelievable of things in exchange for other gains.

Just days before the anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision, it makes national news... it being abortion. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. Kermit Gosnell and  nine of his employees were arrested. The details are so gruesome, that I will not post them, but you can read about them here

Even the pro-choice groups want to distance themselves from this. They use it to illustrate a "dramatic need for safe, legal and accessible abortions, even late in pregnancies." I guess, to them, if everything is pretty and regulated, then that is the measure of safety. They believe that this could never happen if it is regulated. Yet, the report calls it a "complete regulatory collapse."
It shouldn't have happened, yet it did. No regulation stopped it... Even though regulations should have stopped it.
“Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels he is ‘finally finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him.”

January 15, 2011

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday 2011

January 22, 1973
Roe v Wade and Doe v. Bolton

As the thirty fourth anniversary of this landmark case passes, we have seen a milestone taken place. Since then, 53 Million abortions have been "performed."
"Fifty-three million is the population of a medium-size country. Imagine the outcry if the people of Spain (46.1 million people) were destroyed by another nation," C. Ben Mitchell
Many churches will "sponsor" Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on January 23, 2011. (Some churches will recognize it on January 16, 2011.)

But I would like to say, "Thank you." 
  1. Thank you to every woman, couple  and family who made the choice of life.
  2. Thank you to every person and group that helped support anyone who made choosing life easier.
  3. Thank you to every person and group that helped fight for the rights of the unborn. I believe that everyone who has a legal identity has a right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

January 14, 2011

The Free Entrecard Experiment 2.0

Free Entrecard Ad
For a limited time.
Ok. I have learned one thing about Entrecard... it only did two things for me. It increased traffic and introduced me to but a handful of fellow bloggers. But, not one of Entrecard's "droppers" took advantage of my previous experiment. Not one single dropper.

I did get a couple of emails asking me about the experiment. They were not current Entrecard members. A big thank you goes out to those people. It is because of you that I know that my posts are read. More about Entrecard at the bottom of this post For now, here are the experiment details.. 

I have thought things over. I have made it easier. All you have to do is leave a comment with a link to your blog. It is almost that simple.

I will send you the credits that you spent back through your Entrecard widget. Make sure your Entrecard widget easy to find so that I can give you back your credits. 

There is no limit to how many times you can do this, except for those enforced by Entrecard. Do this as many times as you are able. But please leave a new comment each time.

I may change any details listed in this post, comments and on this blog, but will most likely keep it this way. I will keep this open until Midnight on April 30, 2011.

Now, About Entrecard...

It's time for me to rant about what I have experienced. The top "reason to join" is to increase traffic.
By installing the Entrecard business card 2.0 to your site, your web traffic will grow instantly. It really is truly amazing how Entrecard works. 
Well, it does just that. It works as advertised. If that is your goal, then it is 100% what you want. But, It is not all I want.  Entrecard consumed much of my time. I would spend two or three hours a day doing my daily drops. I quickly rose close to the top of my group. It seemed great at first. But, in that time I didn't stop to read a single post unless it had something to catch my eye. Additionally, I was spending so much time dropping, that I had no time left to write for my own blog.

And then it occurred to me... if I wasn't paying much attention to other blogs, why would others who did the same read my posts? 

If you use Google's Adsense, it gets worse. It has a drastic effect on your Clickthrough Rate. It is simple math. According to Google:
Clickthrough rate (CTR) is the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown (impressions).
If you have 3 ads clicked with only 10 impressions, that is a 30% CTR. (3/10 = 0.30 = 30%)

Now, let's see what happens when we increase our impressions by generating "traffic." If we have the same 3 ad clicks with 20 impressions, the CTR drops to 15% (3/20 = 0.15 = 15%)

Let's even the score. If we have 6 ad clicks with 20 ad impressions, our CTR is back to 30%. (6/20 = 0.30 = 30%)

If you increase your traffic, your traffic must increase ad clicks by the same factor just to earn the same rate. For example, increase your traffic by a factor of 2 (double) your traffic's ad clicks must increase by a factor of 2 (double) just to earn the same. If your traffic does not click more, you lose.

January 12, 2011

WBC and Tuscon, Arizona

It seems as if the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) has it's goals set on spreading their message, more hate. You may have heard about them before, protesting funerals... chanting and holding signs that says, "God hates (you name it)" According to their website, they plan on protesting in Tuscon, Arizona. Among the protests are the funeral for a child , a federal judge, the congresswoman who was shot, and a local high school in the area. The funerals are all victims of the recent tragedy there. I am glad to see a law put into place to limit this type of protest.

I searched for information about the group... and found an abundance of gay rights groups that are profiting from the opposition to WBC. But, I finally came across a site that sheds some light on the inner-workings of the group. The estranged son of it's founder calls the church/cult "an incubator of hate."  I think he said it just about the way it is. 

He details the account of how the a leader of the church/cult has lead people using the Bible in the name or "truth..." his own version of the truth. After reading his account, you can see how easy it is for Nate Phelps to reject God. Now father and son both reject the same God... just in different ways and for different reasons. No doubt that his father's "beliefs" have influenced his decision. 

Isn't that ironic?

January 5, 2011

What is the purpose of same-sex marriage?

The topic comes up from time to time where someone either opposes or supports same-sex marriage. In fact... it recently made the news in California and New York. And it will continue to be a hot topic for a long time to come.

I am not a legal scholar, student or otherwise. I oppose the issue... and not just because "the Bible tells me so." I simply do not see a need for government to be involved with marriage to begin with... well, almost.

I do not hate homosexuals. Some of my friends are homosexuals. Most are fine, outstanding people who are typically harder working than others. They tend to be more trustworthy than even the "Christian" who attends church, judges and curses at others. And their sin is no worse than the sin of the one who commits adultery or has an affair.

But... putting my Bible aside, the whole issue boils down to one simple question:
What is the legal purpose of marriage?

Most people will tell you that the purpose of marriage is to express how deep your love is to someone. To show how committed you are to someone else. You may have your own ideas about why two people should get married. And all that is fine. But it does not answer the question - What is the legal purpose of marriage? Does it answer the question of why we need a government's stamp of approval?

There are some good arguments in favor of same-sex marriage. But there are also some flaws in them. Like...
  • hospital visitation rights - they rights are already available in other legal forms
  • employer benefits - these benefits are becoming more available (See here and here)
  • alimony/spousal support - this support is near obsolete and rarely needed in traditional marriages today
  • tax breaks
  • award of child custody and support
Once you strip away the ones that are already available (hospital rights), becoming available (employer benefits), and the ones that are obsolete (alimony), it leaves you with one common denominator...
It's About Family.

Tax breaks. They are meant to aid low income families who have children to care for and support. I would find it hard to believe that they are meant to help couples that don't have children. And, in the case of adoption, there is no need these tax breaks. Shouldn't the couple or family already be financially stable enough to care for and support a child before they adopt?

Child support and custody. If same-sex couple were to bring children into a home, it should be through an adoption. This issue would be settled before-hand. If it is not, then the non-parent should have no rights to custody and no responsibility for support.. Therefore, this subject is mute... almost.

Almost because this is the only answer that I have to my original question - What is the legal purpose of marriage? It defines a family unit. It lays out who is responsible for the natural product of that marriage - the children. It spells out who is legally and financially responsible for those same children. It simulates an adoption where the contract is preset. Otherwise, there is not one single reason the government should have their hands in the business of marriage.

I dare you to show me one reason that says otherwise.
Give me just one reason.

Marriage is not a privilege, it is a responsibility. And, the sooner we wake up and figure that out, the sooner we have stronger families.