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Showing posts from February, 2008

Cinema review: The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

I had never heard of this masterpiece until Rod the Crunchy Con blogged about it recently. It's a French documentary that interviews several people from an area of occupied France in the Auvergne region. One is a proud Nazi, one a communist who was a resistance fighter, one joined and fought for the Nazis on the Eastern front, some were English who aided the resistance or the invasion. I think Ken Burns learned everything he needed to know on making documentaries from this film. It is a 4 and a half hour monster of sub title reading unless you understand French. Some are unrepentant. Some are repentant. Some were outcasts before the occupation but achieved redemption by resisting despite the risk of capture and torture and execution. Collaboration preserved many French lives unless they were also Jewish lives. Anti-Semitism bubbled up easily after the Nazi occupation. The worst atrocity mentioned in the film was the deportation of Jewish adults to the camps, but the Germans didn&#…

Pro-Life African-Americans

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King has crisscrossed the land for years now, sharing her own experience of abortion and the painful confession that in this, she had blindly committed the same sin as slavery. She devalued human life and turned it into property to be dealt with according to her own whim...There can be no forgiveness for the shedding of innocent blood…except by the shedding of innocent blood. But the blood of Christ satisfies the just demands of a God rightly offended by the sin of child-sacrifice....
African-Americans, Dr. Johnny and Pat Hunter started L.E.A.R.N. in the 1990’s; and called abortion “black genocide.” They have documented the ethnic cleansing nature of the abortion industry by pointing out the racist/eugenics philosophy of Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger and her targeting of minorities for abortion, forced sterilization and contraception. While this explicit racism may be a thing of the past, they point out that 9 out of 10 abortion bu…

Obama and infanticide

Former Senator Rick Santorum writes
Justifying the killing of newborn babies is deeply troubling, but just as striking is his rigid adherence to doctrinaire liberalism. Apparently, the "audacity of hope" is limited only to those babies born at full term and beyond. Worse, given his support for late-term partial-birth abortions that supporters argued were necessary to end the life of genetically imperfect children, it may be more accurate to say the audacity of hope applies only to those babies born healthy at full term. Obama's supporters say his rhetoric makes them believe again. Is this the kind of change and leader you believe in?

the abortion industry and adolescents

Some candidates support Planned Parenthood, the nation wide abortion provider. They have no problem with helping underage girls get abortions, not reporting the age of the father or if the father is a relative. Those are serious accusations. Would you like proof? How about 800 instances?
We have over 800 tape recordings that show how Planned Parenthood and NAF abortion workers secure business from victims of statutory rape by undermining parental authority, encouraging children to lie and promising minors that their employees will ignore mandatory reporting laws. Hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinic and National Abortion Federation clinic employees have been caught on tape expressing their willingness to conceal the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl by a 22-year-old man. Even though many of these Planned Parenthood and NAF employees openly acknowledged that statutory rape is a crime and that they are required by law to report it, they made it clea…

Planned Parenthood accepts racist pledges

Will Planned Parenthood care if the money is designated for minority abortions, to reduce minority populations? Watch this video...



HT: Joe Carter

Candles for Men - Mandles

weekly pastoral accountability

This form (PDF) is required every week at John Piper's church from the pastoral staff. Wow! It is awesome. It is noted on their blog here. It's not only about sexual temptation but also about health and rest. Any Christian could use this with an accountability partner.

doodle prayers

A neat article in Christianity Today about an impulsive pray-er who doodled while praying and turned it into her method of praying. She has a book with her prayer doodles in them. See some examples. A snippet of conversation between the author Sybil MacBeth and Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours which I'd still like to own and use someday found here.

Obama vs. Lincoln

This is another part of my conversation with a Christian Obama supporter...

I’m glad you believe in the intrinsic value of life. I’m a believer in intrinsic human rights. If you peruse my blog much you’ll see I’ve surveyed the history of genocides and atrocities and the role of Christians in those both as accomplices and as prophets. At this time in our country’s existence, all humans under 9 months gestation lack basic human rights. In our pluralistic country this requires a political and legal solution, unless the Lord brings a massive revival.

The human rights violations in the treatment of immigrants, minorities, Iraqis, and capital offenders are also important, but since more children die every year in the womb than all these others combined I don’t see how you can de-prioritize this greatest need. Obama is a repackaged Lyndon Johnson, who accomplished many great social changes, through legislation, including welfare, which Clinton ended. Welfare removed the concern of poor mothers…

Obama, NYT and my midrash

Sometimes, blogs are simply a Midrash on the NYT. Here's my contribution today. William Kristol writes in his Opinion piece today.
John Kennedy, to whom Obama is sometimes compared, challenged the American people to acts of citizenship and patriotism. Barack Obama allows us to feel better about ourselves.This is my observation of the enthused that I know.

Obama likes to say, “we are the change that we seek” and “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Obama’s rhetorical skill makes his candidacy appear almost collective rather than individual. That’s a democratic courtesy on his part, and one flattering to his followers. But the effectual truth of what Obama is saying is that he is the one we’ve been waiting for.Has the Messiah arrived and is his name Barack?
Barack Obama is an awfully talented politician. But could the American people, by November, decide that for all his impressive qualities, Obama tends too much toward the preening self-regard of Bill Clinton, the patronizing eli…

Obama vs. pro-lifers

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An article by a former abortionist nurse who repented after watching a live birth abortion baby die...Obama insinuated opposition to abortion is based only on religion, lecturing pro-lifers like me to "explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all."

I don't recall mentioning religion when I testified against live-birth abortion. I only recall describing a live aborted baby I held in a hospital soiled utility room until he died, and a live aborted baby who was accidentally thrown into the trash.

Neither do I recall religion being brought into the partial-birth abortion ban debate. I recall comparisons made to U.S. laws ensuring animals being killed are treated humanely. I recall testimony that late-term babies feel excruciating pain while being aborted.

Obama stated pro-life proposals must be "amenable to reason."

OK, Sen. Obama, let's reason. Explain why you support abortion for wha…

Top 10 posts 3rd wk Feb '08

A dose of great links this week from posts of interest around blogdom. The links I point to throughout the week are here and can be subscribed too here.

1-Global Warming corresponds to Sun's activity, link from Acton Institute Power Blog. See more under science.
2-Procreate of perish? See more at abortion.
3-The machine that is DNA and the improbability of its evolution. See more under creationism.
4-33 things on Intelligent Design.
5-Turn your exposed recumbent trike into a covered all weather machine. See more under biking.
6-Obama's rhetoric is from the Lyndon Johnson era. See more under politics.
7-Christian life under Sharia law at CT. See more under Islam.
8-Characteristics of Christian counter-culture from Doug Groothius. Found by Justin Taylor. See more under church.
9-Artist hangs herself over grief for her aborted twins.
10-Planned Parenthood opens a 78,000 sf facility in Texas with more "procedure" rooms for late term abortions.

a note to Obama's pro-life supporters

Some more from my side of a conversation I am having.

Your candidate can't even see the immorality of pulling a baby out of the womb up to its head then sucking its brains out. Neither can his competitor or the previous Democrat in the White House. You like Obama's proposals for legislation to provide health insurance and education for all children, but not all people believe this is affordable and believe it's a privation of their hard earned money. Like abortion it is a divisive legislative proposal. Why not support legislation to protect the human rights and dignity for 1 million infants because it is morally correct? Much of the country didn't support civil rights in the 60s, yet the morally right laws were made despite strong opposition. Leaving it to the states was a disaster. A federal solution was needed. Abortion is not unique in our country's history of issues in need of moral legislation despite deep division. We have done it in the past and we can do it…

Obama's cold hearted voting record

from an article here. He is so pro-abortion he refused as an Illinois state senator to support legislation to protect babies who survived late-term abortions because he did not want to concede -- as he explained in a cold-blooded speech on the Illinois Senate floor -- that these babies, fully outside their mothers' wombs, with their hearts beating and lungs heaving, were in fact "persons."...Is this the candidate for those who want to love their neighbors as themselves? Who seek to care for the least of these?

State and federal versions of this bill became an issue earlier this decade because of "induced labor abortion." This is usually performed on a baby with Down's Syndrome or another problem discovered on the cusp of viability. A doctor medicates the mother to cause premature labor. Babies surviving labor are left untreated to die...Even restrictions like these are hard fought in this nation. And Obama is fighting against these.

"Number one," sa…

Reasons for abortion

Lawrence Finer, et. al, "Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives" Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Vol. 37 No. 3 (Sept., 2005) p. 110.

Social Reasons (given as primary reason)
- Feels unready for child/responsibility 25%
- Feels she can't afford baby 23%
- Has all the children she wants/Other family responsibilities 19%
- Relationship problem/Single motherhood 8%
- Feels she isn't mature enough 7%
- Interference with education/career plans 4%
- Parents/Partner wants abortion <1%
- Other reasons <6.5%
TOTAL: 93%
(Approx.)

"Hard Cases" (given as primary reason)
- Mother's Health 4%
- Baby may have health problem 3%
- Rape or Incest <0.5%

TOTAL: 7% (Approx.)

Taken from the National Right to Life page.

reasons for right to life legislation

These data on U.S. abortions are from the National Right to Life.

There have been over 48 million abortions since 1973.The annual number of abortions went from 744,600 in the first year of legalization, to a high of over 1.6 million in 1990. In 2003, there were 1,287,000.There were over 3,500 abortions per day in 2003, 146 per hour, about one every 25 seconds.For every 1,000 live births, there were 312 abortions in 2003.There were more that 148,000 second and third trimester abortions in 2003.In 2003, more children died from abortion than Americans died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars combined.A 2004 survey of women seeking abortions indicated that only about 7% of women cited typical “hard cases” (rape, incest, or some health concern with either the baby or the mother) as the primary reason they were seeking abortion.An April 2004 Zogby Poll found that 56% of respondents support legal abortion in only three or fewer circu…

Embryos and the image of God

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This is a conversation for believers. If you aren't a Christian this argument will be meaningless to you.

Are there any humans not made in the image of God?

Do diseased humans bear God's image?

Are disabled humans made in God's image?

Does a baby bear the image of God?

Is a baby in God's image 1 second before exiting the womb?

Is a baby in its 2nd trimester made in God's image?

Is a baby in its 1st trimester made in God's image?

Is a baby in its 1st second made in God's image?

Should it be a legal right to kill these who bear God's image even if it horribly inconveniences a woman for 9 months?
Should we vote for people who think otherwise?
Some candidates believe in the death penalty but not abortion. Some believe in abortion but not the death penalty.
"53 prisoners were executed in the USA in 2006, bringing to 1,057 the total number executed since the use of the death penalty was resumed in 1977.
Around 3,350 prisoners were under sentence of death as of 1 Janu…

Obama and embryo lovers

The context of these posts is a "conversation" on a Christian recording artist's page, in which he advocates for Obama. Hence it is only my half of a conversation.

So the current method of Pro-lifers in the political arena is not adequate in your opinion? It's the method Wilberforce used to end slavery in England when most of the country did not care about slave rights. He used persuasion and politics and laws, it's a 3 legged stool. Persuasion never stops. Advocacy of human rights for the unborn continues in all political administrations through the blogs and the rallies and the protests and the prayer vigils and the pregnancy support centers and some churches.

Political advocacy for human rights for babies come from legislators and appointed judges not from Obama's party. He will put a halt to those efforts on the political and legal fronts or push it backwards, as will Clinton, just like Clinton before them.

The problem is that abortion is more than somethin…

Indian mascots

If you were a minority, you might not like your likeness used as a mascot. What if you were invited by a school to help develop a mascot based on your history? It's happening in Connecticut.

What use a pro-life prez?

Joe Carter points out it is much more than appointing judges.

Pro-life and pro-Obama?

Claim #1
Someone pointed me to an article by Frank Schaeffer who writes at the Huffington Post a blog titled, Why I'm Pro-life and Pro-Obama. The summary statement is because people will be so inspired during Obama's reign that they won't want to abort children anymore. Perhaps he is implying that people are so depressed now during Bush's reign that abortion is a reasonable choice most often. This train of thought isn't based on logic, but if I were to play along with it, I'd point to the Clinton reign. There was great hope for the man from Hope. Schaeffer claims his tryst ruined everything for babies in utero. Clinton reigned during the last great economic boom and era of peace. What better conditions for having babies. But abortion numbers didn't change that much.

Claim #2
If Christians adopted more, then people would more likely bring children to term, submitted by Anonymous here. Well Christians are going so far as to adopt embryos left over from in vitro …

Rhetoric without a cause: Obama

John Mark Reynolds succinctly summarizes my problem with Obama's phenomenal rhetoric-without-a-cause by comparing him to previous great statesmen.

Great rhetoric is safest when turned to great causes. It is most dangerous, and cloying, when serving smaller political goals that conflate party triumph with national renewal...

So he is great and unifies but what is his greatness for and to what are we unifying for or against?

Martin Luther King is another fine example of a moment meeting a great man. Segregation was a great cancer and the racism of the sixties a cause that demanded the high words of King. He was fighting obvious evil and using his mind and power to rally all of America to a cause greater than self. When the greatest victories were won, there was no diminishing of his speaking ability or of King’s great intelligence, but the evils more subtle and the solutions more questionable. His heroic life was cut tragically short, but before his great rhetoric could find a cause wo…

Stand Up Girl

I came across this website while checking my spelling on in utero. The Stand Up Girl writes
If you're pregnant, scared, and alone -- I know... I've been there. The last thing you want is people talking at you. Take a breather, a time out, and check out my site. It was info like this that really helped me...
It's a hip culturally accessible site to help pregnant moms who are freaking out about being pregnant in horribly inconvenient times of their lives. There are lots of great 1st person stories here.

Top 11 posts Valentine's week 2008

A dose of great links this week from posts of interest around blogdom. The links I point to throughout the week are here and can be subscribed too here.

1-What is Biblical fasting? Fred Sanders has thoughts and quotes. See more under Bible.

2-Black History Month vs. Mormonism at Mormon Coffee. On the other hand a new Mormon diary made public raises the number of Indians killed in Utah on Bear River, 493. Rob considers this America's worst massacre. See more under African-Americans and Mormons.

3-Learning from Wilberforce's abolition methods for the fight for life today at Stand to Reason. See more under abortion.

4-Advice for good blogging from 1927 at Touchstone. See more under blogging.

5-Rowan Williams, the Christian archbishop of Canterbury, mistakenly thinks its time for some Sharia law in England. See more under Islam.
A-Anne Applebaum at Slate has thoughts at Slate.
B-Christopher Hitchens at Slate also thinks abrasively at Slate.
C-Rod Dreher links to some more thought…

My bug dealer on Colbert

David Gracer fed me my first cicada and I've been hooked ever since. Here are the pictures to prove it and some research on entomaphagy with a link to David's page.

Haiku for my Valentine

When dining with you
I never taste my food. You
capture my senses...

Haiku for my Beloved

Last night as we sat
On the couch, 'twas my pleasure
To enjoy your eyes

recumbent cycling at 12F

We have an arctic air mass parked over New England right now and I'm not feeling my global warming. I added an extra layer on my top. My usual winter cycling layers are flocked surf shirt (long sleeve), poly shirt, fleece jacket, and a thin anorak as a shell. Today I added a cotton shirt and wore two pairs of gloves. I was fine below the waist with my usual kit of tights and sweats and a thick set of fleece socks in my Merrells. My toes did get a little cold today. My hands still got cold. Wearing ski goggles for the first season this year has been great. I never realized how much heat I lose from my face. My face sock was freezing onto my beard. My nostrils were freezing inside, literally. At some points I couldn't breathe through my nose because it was clogged with ice crystals.
But I'm a big baby. It's not like I'm training in Alaska to bike the Iditarod Trail race like Jill.

Song of Songs 2 sermon

I preached yesterday in my home church, Calvary Chapel Southeastern Connecticut. My text was Song of Songs 2. The audio file is available as well as a picture from our wedding reception in 1994.

Finding Jesus in Song of Songs 2

Review the text here.
See my previous thoughts on 2:1-3, 4-7, 8-17, .
"Among the thorns" – he wore a crown of such
"Sweet fruit" – Jesus enjoys the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He says we can only bear fruit as we remain in him and none without him.
"Banquet Hall or vineyard" – our conversion
"Two hands" – fully committed to him and not looking backwards with longing to what we left
"Don’t force love" – don’t try to be Billy Graham, be who he made you to be. Finish first grade before moving onto college.
"Through the lattice" – we see imperfectly, but we will see perfectly (1 Corinthians 13)
"Let me see your face" – our plea with Jesus
"Catch the foxes" – if it causes you to sin, cut it off
"Until the dawn arrives" – don’t give up. It may be dark, but it will become light. It may be Friday, but Sunday is coming. This is the season of Lent.

But wait, those are mostly her lines. In this poem, though…

My man's nice ride: Songs 3:6-11

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As has become my habit lately, I am looking at this epic love poem out of order. I wanted to jump to another unique part of this poem. Much of the adorations in this poem are focused on the external features of each other. In this section, the 2nd half of chapter 3 Beloved expresses her appreciation for her Lover’s accomplishments. The NET is not certain who the speaker is here but I see these as Beloved’s lines. The setting could be a wedding, since there seems to be a great deal of pomp and circumstance.


3:6 Who is this coming up from the desert

like a column of smoke,

like a fragrant billow of myrrh and frankincense,

every kind of fragrant powder of the traveling merchants?


Solomon knows how to make an entrance as expected in royalty. He arrives from a distance, making a trail of dust, but dust that is mingled with some really good smells. Perhaps back then sensitivities and allergies to perfumes were not a common problem and there was no such issue as wearing too much of them. I’m sure…

Gabion house

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update Jan. 2011: a post on its application in relief work in places like Haiti here.
I've talked about this idea before. Then I found out about the Hesco wall shelter. But a German architect did it, a house covered in gabions. Materialicious had the pictures. Treehugger still does. The website is all in German so I'll need my wife to interpret, but he does have pictures here. More pictures on another blog here, scroll to bottom, with this insight. Weighing around 80 kg each, the baskets can be removed individually. This enormous mass (40tonnes) has a buffer effect in winter and summer. No external guttering was allowed to detract from the sculptural effect – rainwater flows instead down a waterproof membrane behind the layer of stones. The thing I would do differently is allow all sorts of greenery to grow up the walls. Now that would be sweet.

Tragedy in the marriage: Songs 5:1-9

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I’m jumping ahead to the most bizarre aspect of the epic love poem. It starts with passion that becomes miscommunication which leads to violence against Beloved but ends in adoration of Lover. As usual I am using the NET and the italics are their suggested speaker identities. I’ll keep my comments short interspersed but make a controversial suggestion after the reader sees the context.

The Lover to His Beloved:
5:1 I have entered my garden, O my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh with my balsam spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk!
The Poet to the Couple:
Eat, friends, and drink!
Drink freely, O lovers!

This follows the standard tone of this poem. Farming metaphors for physical intimacy. Their passion is unbridled. Their freedom to each other is at its maximum.

The Beloved about Her Lover:
5:2 I was asleep, but my mind was dreaming.
Listen! My lover is knocking at the door!
The Lover to His Beloved:
“Open for me, my sister, my darling,
my dove, my …

Yes we can stop abortion

If only Barak Obama saw the evil of abortion. But this inspiring speech can motivate pro-life people, too. My fear is that he would be a replay of Jimmy Carter's administration. So much hope, so much disappointment 4 years later. Hats off to the Black Eyed Peas for putting this together.

ambiguous Iriqouis quotes

My last two quotes from The Ambiguous Iriquois Empire from Francis Jennings, 1984. He leads a chapter with quotes from two previous authors on the subject of relations between the natives and the invaders. This week I saw a normal sight with new eyes. A sign post on the street declared a settlement date of 1613, or thereabouts. Ok, but, what about the non-Europeans who had lived and fished and hunted and farmed there thousands of years before? By these signs, they are historical nobodies.

Having established strong and vigorous colonies in the trying years of the seventeenth century, the English extended their power over the Indians as occasion warranted and as the weakness of the Indians permitted. Smaller, dependent tribes were gradually amalgamated or destroyed by the eroding effects of white contact. Disease – of which the frequent smallpox epidemics were the most costly – swept away many of the smaller tribes and decimated many of the larger nations. Yet throughout the eighteenth c…

FirstDay cottages

Yesterday, I came across a website I had seen a long time ago. FirstDay Cottages sell timber frame kits for clueless first time home builders. Their timber frame construction has a lot of grace for mistakes yet is very strong and tight. It seems they use some of the ideas seen in the Alaskan REMOTE house. I found a few bloggers describing their efforts as they build. Two brothers and their families are building one, the Skyline Canadian, in the Berkshires of Mass. Another family is making one in the hills of upstate New York, Wood and Stone.

Black suffrage

On February 3rd, 1870 Congress passed the 15th amendment.

Amendment XV
(The proposed amendment was sent to the states Feb. 27, 1869, by the Fortieth Congress. It was ratified Feb. 3, 1870.)

Section 1
[Right of certain citizens to vote established.]

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2
[Congress given power to enforce this article.]

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

February is black history month. As I have in past years I hope to learn more and share what I learn.

[Bizarrely enough, on this day in 1913 the next amendment was passed which established a federal income tax.]

A bowl of super links Feb 3rd 2008

It was a double dose of great links this week and since the football title game is today, I fell free to offer a top 15 list from this week's posts of interests around blogdom. The links I point to throughout the week are here and can be subscribed too here.

1-As a non-meat eater I feel no guilt as I read this article in the NYT about the global effects of increasing beef consumption, not to mention personal health effects. Rod Dreher has some guilt. See my other posts on food and conservation.

2-How are Jesus and his Father one? A beginning exploration of the trinity by Rob Bowman. See my other posts on theology.

3-Some Greek thoughts on the Great Commission of Jesus by Dan Wallace. My other posts on Greek.

4-Some links to the raw facts on abortion. See my other posts on abortion.

5-Barn houses. See my other posts on houses.

6-A breech home birth that went well. I don't have other posts in this genre, maybe family?

7-The idol of personal pleasure. I'll file this in my 10 Command…

Groom's song: Songs 4:1-7

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This is a continuation of the Song of Songs series. This is a look at 4:1-7, Lover sings Beloved a wedding night song. I will get back to chapter 3, but Valentine's Day is getting closer and I wanted to cut to the chase. Italics indicate the NET Bible assumption of who is talking. All Bible quotes from the NET.

The Lover to His Beloved:4:1 Oh, you are beautiful, my darling!Oh, you are beautiful!Your eyes behind your veil are like doves.Your hair is like a flock of female goatsdescending from Mount Gilead.

I have been to a couple weddings during which the groom sings a song to the bride. It is simultaneously impressive and awkward for me. It’s awkward because the bride starts crying and I’m a New Englander who is uncomfortable with such public displays of emotional intimacy. Here in New England we won’t greet anyone until we’ve seen them over a year and can no longer ascribe it to coincidence. Someone we see that much must live around here and is not a tourist. It’s a sad way of thin…

Yurt lives

One about constructing a yurt from an inadequate kit, yet having the skills to handle it.

One sustained with rain water, a wood stove, a couple solar panels, a gas grill, a small wind turbine and some batteries in Ontario.

Adoption as empire building among the Mohawks

This quote from The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire by Francis Jennings, 1984 provides wonderful insight on how tribes managed to maintain their population levels despite war and disease. They believed in adoption. They also believed in torturing to death some of their enemy captives. But adoption was as likely an option for an enemy combatant. Maybe the U.S. should try this method on their enemy combatants instead of torture.

The original conception of the Mohawks was the melting pot – that favorite image of superpatriots everywhere. They would not create an empire but rather become one by incorporating conquered peoples in themselves and literally remolding them into Mohawks through adoption into families and thus “naturalizing” them as full “citizens” of the tribe. This practice never ceased….In 1657 Jesuit Father Paul LeJeune reported that “At Onondaga there are Indians of seven different nations permanently established; and, among the Senecas, of no less than eleven.” (95)