Monday, April 30, 2012

It Gets Worse

A few week (or days) ago, Dan Savage, founder of the anti-bully movement "It Gets Better," gave a speech about bullying at a High School Journalism Conference. At some point in his speech he decides to mention the bible and the "contradictions" and hypocrisy of Christians picking and choosing what they want to believe and practice. Then he said "we can ignore the bullshit in the bible" like we ignore shellfish, slavery, masturbation, menstruation, etc. All during this Christian teens started walking out. When he's done he says "the bible guys can come back in" because he was done "beating up the Bible" and described their reaction as "pansy-assed."



 

To call Dan Savage a coward is an understatement. There aren't any proper words in the English language to describe him. He's been getting a lot of heat the past few days, and he did issue an apology. His apology is pansy-assed. He apologizes for hurt feelings, but then continues on to justify what did. That's not an apology. He isn't sincere because he will always be a hypocrite and a bully and he'll never practice what he preaches. The people who held the conference basically said the kids, as journalists, should have been able to take it. How bad has our society become that we should be expected to sit and take disrespect? I'm not going to go on about how much of a hypocrite and a bully he is because this will not be the last time he sticks his foot in his mouth. I want to talk about some of the stuff Savage got wrong in his "old as time" atheist argument. In his apology he says people have said what he said before and probably better, which is true, but they're still wrong.

SHELLFISH
His argument for our own hypocrisy is OLD and outdated. He's repeating what he's been told without looking it up himself. So why do Christians eat shellfish when the Old Testament says not to? Two reasons:

  1. We are "Gentiles." Old Testament law was intended for Israel, the people he chose to bring forth the Messiah. He wanted Israel to be different/stand out from all the other nations.
  2. Jesus fulfilled the law by dying for our sins on the cross (Romans 10:4) and in Mark 7:19 he declares all foods clean. Jesus came to bring ALL MEN to himself, so there's no need for Israel to stand out anymore. And there's no need to concern ourselves with keeping our bodies pure with what we eat because we have the Holy Spirit who does the sanctifying. God is more concerned with the words that come out of mouths than the food that goes in it.
SLAVERY
Here Dan Savage fails to understand the simple concept of "Historical Context," but I digress. No, the Bible doesn't completely outlaw slavery, but the kind of slavery we are most familiar with is different than what is okay in the Bible. What the Bible condones is what we would call "indentured servitude" or something similar to that. People would sell themselves into slavery to pay off a debt or to provide for themselves or their family, but they were never intended to be slaves for a lifetime. Some would choose to stay on, but most of the time it was six or seven years. Deuteronomy 15 lays out how a slave was to be treated and what was to be done when that service ended. Race-based slavery or the sex trade and all the cruelty that comes with it is a no-no. Did Dan really forget about the Hebrews in Egypt? This website lays it out pretty thick about Slavery in the Bible.

THE CRUELTY OF OLD TESTAMENT LAW
Dan Savage made a crude joke about Newt Gingrich's wife citing a verse that states if a women isn't a virgin on her wedding day then she is to be stoned to death. Then he asks why haven't the GOP made laws regarding this. Same as I said before about shellfish: We are Gentiles. These laws were intended for Israel and abolished (or fulfilled) once Jesus died on the cross. These laws were for a specific place and a specific time period, they're no longer necessary. For us to suggest laws that mirror ones under Moses would be to act as if Jesus never rose from the dead. What Dan Savage also fails to understand is that God loves due process, innocent until proven guilty. Evidence and a required number of witnesses must be provided before anyone gets stoned. God's attitudes and feelings towards these actions hasn't changed. The wages of sin is still death (Romans 6:23).

I'm sure Dan Savage will do this kind of slip-up again because he fails to see what he did wrong and where his argument was wrong. People like him will continue to throw shellfish in our Christian faces because they refuse to believe the Bible is that simple. Are there hypocrites in Christianity? Of course. The people who ignore homosexuality in the bible and scream "GOD IS LOVE" ignore the part where it says "If you love me, keep my commands", but Dan Savage loves those people. I've been a Christian since 2006 and it's been a very rough six years. The most important thing I've learned during those six years is that what people do doesn't change what God has said. People who bully homosexuals in the name of God doesn't change how God says we should treat people. And people who say homosexuality isn't a sin doesn't change how God said it is. There's nothing wrong with the bible, but there's plenty wrong with sinful people who want their own way, and plenty wrong with Dan Savage. My God is bigger than Dan Savage, and He'll have words with him one day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Let the VP Vetting Begin!

Mitt Romney hasn't officially snagged the nomination just yet, so is it too early for him to be searching for a Vice President? Of course not! He's going to get the nomination, there's no point in denying it and he's having trouble getting the conservative base to rally around him. He's not my favorite, but if supporting him means getting Obama out of office then I'll buy a bumper sticker. Mitt is who he is, and I don't expect him to change, so he needs to find someone to fill in the gaps conservatives keep glaring at.

Let's go back to basics: What does a Vice President do? Technically he's the President of the Senate. Its his (or her) job to break a tie in the Senate if it ever comes to that, and he (or she) will announce the winner of the electoral college following the Presidential election. Most importantly, if the President dies or becomes disabled, he (or she) is the one who will take his (or her) place. For the President, the VP can be a confidant and/or an advisor on key issues. Why Obama picked Joe Biden as his VP is beyond me, but oh well. I have no say in it, but I do have my top three picks:

1.) Rep. Allen West (R-FL) - My number one reason for him is superficial, but I'll say it anyway. He is a black conservative, and that drives liberals (especially black liberals) up the wall. It tickles my funny bone to watch liberals scramble for the right thing to say when the subject of Allen West comes up. A BLACK CONSERVATIVE!?!?! It doesn't make sense to them. Ah, but I digress. He's a former military man with great respect for our men in uniform and a love for Israel. He is severely aggravated by the lack of leadership present in Obama's Administration, and I know West would step up to the plate. I think he would be great for Romney with respect to the economy and foreign policy. Also, I'm seeing more and more black conservatives come out of the closet and I think he would be great inspiration. Leadership, plain and simple, is what Allen West would give America. He's also a representative from Florida. Keyword being "Florida".

2.) Rep. Marco Rubio (R-FL) - Republicans are having a hard time with the Hispanic community because of their polices on illegal immigration, which is sad because Hispanics used to be largely Republican. Marco Rubio has said many times he's not going to be VP, but we can hope he changes his mind. He's young, fresh, and he tells it like it is. He's very clear and straight to the point and he's fearless. Plus, conservatives love him. His views on immigration, health care reform, and the economy are pretty much in line with most conservatives, and he's strong. He has that something about him that would make him a great leader.

3.) Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) - His budget for the country isn't perfect, but its a start, which is more than anyone can say for any Democrat in congress. His budget has been shot down before, but he doesn't give up. He has it in his head what our economy needs and he holds on to that. What congress needs is leadership and a push. They're not getting that from Obama (unless it's to benefit him). As President of the Senate, I think he could be that voice and he would be loud. Romney needs someone in his corner who will advise him on the economy and how to approach congress on fixing it.

There are many more potentials, hopefuls, and favorites, but I'm hoping for one of these three.

I pray to GOD he doesn't pick a moderate because that would be disastrous. He needs someone who knows what they want and where to put their feet. He needs someone who's going to make conservatives say, "Now that's a ticket I'll get behind." Romney has appointed Beth Myers to lead the search for his VP, and I'm excited to see what she comes up with.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

And So It Begins...

Rick Santorum dropped out of the race today, and it looks like Mitt Romney will be the nominee, which sucks for me as a North Carolinian because I REALLY wanted to vote in the primary. I didn't get to vote for a Republican in the 2008 primary, but that was my fault. I was still a registered Democrat, and I had to choose between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But that's beside the point. I was sincerely looking forward to watching these grown men try to win my support and then placing my vote. I preferred Santorum over Romney, but I wasn't sold. I wanted Rick Perry, honestly, but the man was terrible in a debate. I liked Herman Cain's common sense (and I still do), but I don't think he was prepared for what was to come. Newt caught my eye, but I think his campaign is a lost cause, and should we even discuss Ron Paul?

The issue with the Republican Party right now is the conservative base, particularly the TEA Party, because the conservative base knows exactly what they want. They know what they want in a candidate, what changes they would like to see, and how they would like to see those changes carried out. Those are admirable qualities and I love being apart of that kind of group. Unfortunately, out of the four candidates we had to choose from none of them were perfect. Mitt Romney is too moderate in their eyes (and in mine), but Santorum was just good enough. Now that Santorum is gone, and Romney is set to carry the torch, what will "true" conservatives and the TEA Party do? The media keeps asking if they will rally around Mitt Romney. They're not going to vote for Obama, that's for damn sure, but my biggest fear is that they won't vote at all.

Yeah, I wanted a true conservative. I wanted Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, or Allen West to run, but its not their time. I accept that. I liked Rick Santorum as a conservative, but he's no longer an option. The way it looks, our options will be Romney or Obama, and we as Republicans have to come to terms with that. I would like to think that once people stop throwing little twitter fits and poking out their lips, that they'll rally around Romney and realize that their disappointment in Obama is bigger than all the things they wish Romney could be. I understand the similarities between Romneycare and Obamacare, but I also know the difference between Federal and State governments, so I'm not concerned. The point is that Obama is a failure and everything he said he wouldn't be. I wanted him to do well because I didn't want the first black president to go down in history as a dud, but he's gotta go.  To all the Republicans, "true" conservatives, and TEA Party people who are crossing their arms across their chest in defiance, I will say this: If Mitt Romney is the guy to represent the Republican Party and you refuse to vote for him, then you have two options,
  1. Vote for Obama
  2. Don't vote at all
Neither one will get you the candidate you so desire, but it will ensure that we get four more years of Obamanomics. Make a decision.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Whatchu Say?



The Trayvon Martin case seems to be never ending, and every day it's something new. This is something CNN did and I know it kills them. They, along with NBC, MSNBC, and ABC, have gone along with the "Zimmerman is a racist who was racial-profiling Travyon" narrative, and its beginning to crumble. As it turns out, George Zimmerman enjoyed mentoring kids through the Big Brother program (which is predominately black youth) and he was one of a few people who stood up for a black homeless man who was beaten some time ago. This doesn't sound like a mad racist, but hey! As long as they got "fucking coons" on tape, they can keep the narrative going. Yeah...about that.

This isn't new news. If I can find the link then I will post it, but a guy enhanced the 911 tape and, to him, it sounds like Zimmerman said, "It's fucking cold." Listening to the entire tape, that makes perfect sense. Remember, Trayvon was wearing a hoodie and Zimmerman was wearing a jacket. It was in the mid to low 60s that night and it was raining. I'm not a resident of Southern Florida, but I am Southern and mid to low 60s with a nice breeze and rain is cold. CNN enhanced the tape once before, and this is their second go-round at it. Increasing the volume and taking out the background noise, it looks like CNN came to the same conclusion.

We don't know all the facts surrounding the case, but the media has been running around as if George Zimmerman has already been tried and convicted. He hasn't even been arrested (yet). The irresponsibility on part of the media isn't irresponsibility. That word suggests an ignorance, but this is blatant. And the deeper they dig, the worse it gets and the richer they can make George Zimmerman, and I would take the media to court for everything they've done. From Matt Gutman (ABC) to Soledad O'Brien (CNN), the only racial motivation regarding Trayvon Martin is coming from the media. This has to be a hate crime. I'm not sure why its so important to them, and I may never understand it. This latest blow to their agenda and their credibility is hilariously satisfying. I may be twisted for saying, but I'm enjoying the implode. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dig Me My Grave

Matt Gutman, an ABC Reporter, has been on this Travyon Martin case like white on rice, and he is part of the media problem I spoke about two or three posts ago. He's chosen a side, though he won't admit it. At first he posted that video saying Zimmerman had no bruises or blood. The Daily Caller exposed his mistake and enhanced the video to show the lacerations and abrasions on the back of his head. His nose is harder to tell. Then Matt Gutman did the right thing and showed the enhanced video on his show...or so we thought. He brought on a doctor to say that the injuries on the back of his head were not life threatening. This doctor who based his opinion on a video and not on actual examination. So of course, members of the "new media", called him out and he got REALLY hypocritical and tweeted this:
"injuries on GZ are immaterial: law protects him if he can prove feared for his life. Full stop. ABC has taken no side."
The law protects him if he can "prove" he feared for his life? Last time I checked, the burden of proof was always on the state. Let's look at this controversial Florida law.
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.
776.013 deals with a dwelling place, residence, or vehicle, so we're not going to go threre right now. Gutman says his injuries are immaterial, yet he had a doctor come on and say how the injuries weren't that serious. So which is it, Matt? He got caught being an idiot journalist and he can't stop digging his grave. In this particular statute, no where does it say he has to prove he's scared. Let's break down the key points here. Let's say for arguments sake that Zimmerman is telling the truth and Trayvon did beat him.
  1. Imminent death - Could Trayvon have killed him? Yes! If you honestly think bashing someone's skull into the sidewalk can't kill someone, then you need to have yourself examined. He could have killed him with that "one punch".  All you need is a doctor to say, "Yes, he could have died."
  2. Prevent great Bodily Harm - Zimmerman's lawyer, friend, and family memebers report he broke his nose and then the injuries to his head. How worse could it have gotten if he didn't shoot Trayvon or if a neighbor had come to help him? There's no need to discuss all the things that can go wrong with a head injury.
  3. Imminent Commission of a forcible felony - Had Trayvon lived he would have been charged with aggravated assault or battery, maybe even attempted murder or murder if it had gone too far. Under Florida law those are felonies (776.08).
The statute uses the word "or," which means they need one not all three. That third point is enough to set George Zimmerman free. If a court asks him to prove he was scared, all he has to do is describe what happened and then his injuries are proof of his statement. The only way to answer that question is to say "look what he did to me." Or have a doctor of some kind say what could have happened or describe the injuries in question. Of course him screaming "HELP, HELP" is probably enough to say he feared for his life.  But I don't think a judge or reasonable prosecutor is going to ask him to prove an emotion. His injuries are material because without them, he's lying.

776.013-3 is the "stand your ground" part of the law that has people in an uproar:

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

This "stand your ground" law is not unique to Florida. I believe 31 states have some kind of "stand your ground" or "castle doctrine" law. And all states have some kind of self-defense law. Many people argue, "Trayvon was standing his ground too." Possibly true, but if the evidence says that Trayvon was the aggressor, then, according to 776.041, the above laws I mentioned do not apply to him.

Legalese can be complicated, but it is not rocket science. Sorry, Matt. You lose again.