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Showing posts from December, 2007

top 10 posts last week of 2007

These posts appear in the shared feeds section all week here at the Umblog, or you can bookmark this page, or add it to your feeds with the RSS link.

1) I guess the Bush administration believes anything goes in the name of security. Please read Dahlia Lithwick's "The Bush Administration's Top 10 Stupidest Legal Arguments of 2007."

2) Enjoy these two independent supporter made Huckabee ads. He's the Republican that thinks arts funding needs to be restored to schools.

3) In a rarity on the internet, C. Michael Patton, a Calvnist, defends Arminians.

4) Who coined the word genocide and how did he change the world? Read or listen to this speech on the Polish Jew Raphael Lemkin, or just read about him here.

5) Anyone can be a sheeple, even conservatives.

6) Something new for house wall construction made from waste straw, Enviro Board.
7) Amusing Headlines of 2007.

8) Is there a revival on Christian campuses
9)Curious Christian love in Bethlehem.

10) Affirming the importance of…

50 churches burned in India for Christmas

From Compass Direct News but easily found on Google news also
NEW DELHI, December 28 (Compass Direct News) – At least four Christians are feared dead, many injured and more than 50 churches and 200 homes are either destroyed or damaged in Orissa state in anti-Christian violence that began Christmas Eve. Violence by Hindu extremists continues in some pockets despite the state imposing a curfew and deploying hundreds of police officers. Extremists have pursued Christian leaders into forests where they fled. The Delhi Catholic Archdiocese fears a repeat of 1998 attacks on Christians in Gujarat, followed the next year by the burning alive of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his sons in Orissa.

Peace on earth! (not at Wounded Knee Creek though...)

Is character never really known until no one is looking? As I read history after history on genocides and atrocities I conclude that what men do in secret is irrelevant about their character. The true test of character is what is done with power. Dee Brown’s history, Bury my heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian history of the American West, 1970 & 2000, chronicles America’s use of power over tribes in the 1800’s. It ends with a Christmas story. The U.S. cavalry had captured Big Foot’s Sioux tribe on their way to Pine Ridge to dance the Ghost Dance with the Oglala Sioux under Red Cloud. They wanted freedom of religion. They had been forbidden this dance of anticipation of Christ’s return and resurrection. The tribe was herded in the severe cold and snow to Wounded Knee Creek. There were, by the soldiers count, 120 men and 230 women and children. The next day, as they confiscated all the Indians’ firearms, one Indian rifle went off. The soldiers had placed field guns on rises above the…

Top 10 posts 3rd week of December 2007

These posts appear in the shared feeds section all week here at the Umblog.Remember this post, Thank God for Mitt Romney? Well Fox news had 21 questions on Mormonism for the LDS to answer. And now the apologists are creating a midrash on those answers.
Evidence Ministries chimes in. 
Parchment and Pen blogger Rob Bowman also.
Don't forget Mormon Coffee (did you catch the entendre there?).
James White digs the details and goes in depth.
Bonus: How about the LDS revelation reversing its racist stance on blacks in the priesthood. Now it's being discussed on the Sunday morning political shows, see the Acton blog.
Just because you are born-again, and not a Mormon, doesn't mean you won't fall under the sway of bad leadership. My friends offer some organizational psychology in a post called Reality and Good Leadership.Some people may perceive homeschoolers as cultists. They aren't usually. Check out this family of 10.Read this interview with the YWAM Arvada director on the hosp…

Cinema review: The Hiding Place (1975)

Last night we watched The Hiding Place on DVD. It had two strikes before we watched it, when it was made and who made it. I feared early 70's cinematography and outfits and hairstyles. It was made by Billy Graham's outfit, World Wide Pictures Inc. However, this movie rocked! The moviemaking was great and there was not a whiff of the Christian amateur feel. It's a powerful story on its own, but that hasn't stopped filmmakers from ruining a story before. My wife enjoyed the book. Corrie Ten Boom makes a cameo at the end of the movie and reaffirms the line in the film that no matter how deep the pit we are in, God is deeper. Here is a summary of her story. She, her sister and her father hid Jews from the occupying Nazis in Holland. They were eventually betrayed. They were arrested. The hiding place of the Jews was not found so they lived to escape. Her father died in jail. She and her sister ended up in a Nazi concentration camp. Her sister eventually died in the camp. Th…

Johnny Cash, A testimony of temptation

I fell off the wagon

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I went to the library and got out a few books on indigenous genocides. Vacation is coming up and I have plenty to do around the house, but I was getting the shakes without a book to read. First up is the classic, Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. So far, the first 3 chapters are like a high velocity fist in my face, not comfortable.

Feel free to peruse other posts on native americans, genocide, atrocity, and book reports.

YWAM memorial service

A YWAM friend pointed me to this video of "Highlights of a memorial service held for the Youth With A Mission staff members who were shot and killed on December 9, 2007. This 14-minute video is an inspirational celebration of their lives and a powerful message of forgiveness and hope."

Lakota Indians secede from U.S.

As the news breakstheir website host prevents anymore hits because they exceeded their bandwidth. [update: it's back up now.] Here is the rundown.
They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference. Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said. The treaties signed with the United States are merely "worthless words on worthless paper," the Lakota freedom activists say on their website. The treaties have been "repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life," the reborn freedom movement says. Withdrawing from the treaties was e…

What to do when a mad gunman shows up?

This article was printed in Slate after the Virginia Tech shootings. It assumes you don't have a firearm yourself, which in no way am I advocating.
To disarm a gunman, you'll need to take his focus off his weapon and his plan of attack. To do this, you might throw chairs, laptops, or fire extinguishers at him, or set off the sprinkler system or fire alarm. Then, you'd want to pick up a desk or some other shield and charge right at the killer. There's a chance you'll be killed in the process, but if two or three people rush at once, there's also a chance that somebody will take him down. (Unarmed civilians who band together have a much better chance of surviving an attack.)If you're already within a step or two of the gunman, you might be able to grab his weapon. If he's facing you, quickly reach up and take hold of the barrel, and then aim it away from your body. The move should be as clean and economical as possible. The gunman will reflexively pull the…

The story from YWAM Arvada

An interview in CTMatthew was in the building for half an hour talking with students, and then he asked to spend the night. Tiffany was called to the front because she handles hospitality. Normally, we would not have someone spend the night without knowing them or arranging ahead of time. After that, Matthew said, "Then this is what I've got for you," pulled out a gun and began shooting. How much more do the pacifists want? As I wrote before, Matthew Murray was committed to violence. It was an act of God that he was quickly locked out of the building. After firing a few shots, he had his foot in the door, and at some point his foot slipped and he fell back. The door slammed shut on him and automatically locked so he could not get back in again. I contend it was also God's hand the next day that left him wounded from multiple gunshot wounds. His suicide was a continuation of his rampage against all that bear the image of God.

The pacifists at Witherington's blog re…

70th anniversary of the Nanking atrocity

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Nanking fell to the Japanese on December 13th, 1937. This amazing sculpture (AP photo) is in the newly expanded Memorial Hall. "The Hall is [sic] built in the eighties when a number of Japanese politicians and writers claimed that the Massacre had never ocurred and history textbooks were rewritten by the authority describing the Massacre as a minor incident." The entranceway exhibits an abundance of skeletons exhumed from the massacre. About 300,000 died at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army, see more facts and pictures.

See my book report on Iris Chang's history, The Rape of Nanking. I have other posts on atrocities and genocide and human rights and history worth reading too.

Pacifists and shooters on a rampage

I'm continuing the discussion with the pacifists at Ben Witherington's blog.
The monkey wrench in this proposal [approaching a killer with a song or a prayer or a command in Jesus' name] was that Jeanne Assam had been fasting and praying for the past 3 days. We don't know how she engaged him. Is it proper to assume she engaged him with her gun aimed at him? On the other hand, she might have seen someone try to engage Murray and seen Murray respond with heavy fire. She might have presumed Murray just murdered someone before her eyes, someone without a weapon, just like the 2 the night before, and the 2 in the parking lot.

Is the assumption being made that the Arvada missionaries did not engage Murray with love?

My presumption is that Murray was engaged with love by 4 people before encountering the one who had been praying and fasting for 3 days who had a firearm and the training to use it and engage people like him. He demonstrated a commitment to violence regardless of th…

Thank God for Mitt Romney

If it weren't for Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy, the theological discussion our country is having wouldn't be so broad. Political blogs and faith blogs are overlapping. Here is a good introduction on the differences by Rob Bowman at Parchment and Pen. Here is an example of a friendly conversation about faith with your Mormon friends at Mormon Coffee.

I have several posts sharing my conversations with Mormon missionaries in the Mormon category.

WWJD in New Life church narthex with shooter?

Ben Witherington, whose blog I enjoy, advocates the non-bullet method, tackling would be OK though. In the comments, I've tried to advocate the position that the security guard's use of non-lethal, high velocity lead was as effective as a tackle. A couple other commenters were friends of those in Arvada.
my first comment reads
I support dying so that others may live, that is indeed Jesus's example. But even if Jesus took a few bullets from Murray, Murray would have had plenty more for more people who were not willing and not necessarily believers either. return fire prevented any further opportunities for Murray. Waiting for a blind corner to tackle Murray with a chance of success gives him more time to shoot and kill others. i attempt a brief syllogism-like argument at http://umbl0g.blogspot.com/2007/12/shooter-killed-by-church-security-guard.html
i don't think this is a situation one can ask what would Jesus do, because he'd probably pull a Neo from the Matrix and s…

Will the YWAM shooter go to heaven?

I presume the knee-jerk response to this question is a loud "No!" But it's more complicated than that. He was raised in a Christian home, was home schooled, attended church most of his life, and attended a Christian college. What is not known at large at this time was whether he made a profession of faith or was baptized ( a form of public profession). Most Christian college applications require a testimony of one's coming to faith. The other extreme answer, "Yes!", comes from the subscribers of theology who believe "once saved, always saved." But this position is nuanced by those who find situations like this and, in order to save the theology, conclude any proclamations of faith were external and not internal, essentially, the hypocrisy eventually caught up to him. He was an actor, and not a true believer. Those of more ancient persuasions may consider him apostate.

Here is a useful history of apostasy from the Catholic encyclopedia. Perfidiæ is …

Colorado shooter's online rants

On a web site for former evangelicals, Murray had posted a rant against Christians in the hours between the shootings. Story here. “You Christians brought this on yourselves,” Murray wrote, according to the station, which did not identify the site. “All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you … as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”

The language in the post is almost identical to the text of a manifesto written by Eric Harris, one of the teens who carried out the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, The Denver Post reported.

The online posts spanned several weeks, the station said, and in an earlier one, Murray appeared to reject offers of psychological help.
“I’ve already been working with counselors. I have a point to make with all this talk about psychologists and counselors ‘helping people with their pain,’” he wrote, according to KUSA.UPDATE: the posting was a plagiarized version of the Columbine manifesto. A diatribe was po…

very good Colorado shootings round up

Mollie at Get Religion has a great link roundup including more information on Jeanne Assam.

contrast of YWAM shooter and victim

Philip Crouse, 24, was one of the victims at the YWAM Arvada base. He was a teenage skinhead who had a dramatic conversion to Christ at age 18. His life was changed by Jesus. Matthew Murray, also 24, killed him. Matthew was home schooled, grew up in a church where family members served on staff or volunteered. He even attended the Arvada Discipleship Training School but didn't finish due to unspecified health reasons 5 years ago. One had nothing spiritual and received a great inheritance. The other had a great spiritual inheritance and threw it away. God always welcomes the repentant. As reported by his prophet Ezekiel
18:21 “But if the wicked person turns from all the sin he has committed and observes all my statutes and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. 18:22 None of the sins he has committed will be held against him; because of the righteousness he has done, he will live. 18:23 Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the sovere…

The church security guard speaks!

Here is a just released interview. It was Jeanne Assam who suggested beefing up the security in the wake of the previous night's shooting. "Assam worked as a police officer in downtown Minneapolis during the 1990s and is licensed to carry a weapon. She attends one of the morning services and then volunteers as a guard during another service." The circumstances were not good. New Life's Senior Pastor Brady Boyd called Assam "a real hero" because Murray "had enough ammunition on him to cause a lot of damage."..."There was chaos," Assam said, as parishioners ran away."...Boyd said there are 15 to 20 security people at the church. All are volunteers but the only ones armed are those who are licensed to carry weapons.
About 7,000 people were on the church campus at the time of the shooting, said Boyd.

shooter NOT killed by church security guard!

UPDATE: The last bullet was his own. But the security guard still deserves credit for stopping the rampage with her deadly force.
Here is the quote. The black-clad gunman who attacked worshippers at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, initially killing one and wounding four, was killed by “a courageous security staff member,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers said.update: Security guard is Jeanne Assam, see post for more info.
Conflicting emotions well up when I read this. The first is "Whew." The second is "who?" The third is "why?" Then guilt, for being glad someone was killed, then justice, for being glad a random murderer was stopped forever, then satisfaction for the innocents that were protected. It is a fact that some churches have security teams that carry concealed weapons for protection. Large churches, especially, are an attractive location to pychopaths who want to go down in infamy, just like malls and school are. And like malls and …

pray for the YWAM shooting victims

See follow-up post to this one.
one report
The first shooting occurred in Arvada, a suburb of Denver, in the early hours of Sunday when a young gunman opened fire at a Christian missionary center. Two staff members in their mid-20s were killed and two others wounded. [follow up post and links on victims and shooter - jpu]
The gunman fled the shooting in Arvada before authorities reached the scene.
About 12 hours later five people were killed -- including the suspected attacker -- in a shooting near a church in Colorado Springs.
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa told AFP there was "one gunman down" and "four deceased, possibly one wounded" in the incident but said the toll was "preliminary."
It remained unclear if the shootings were related but police in Arvada said they were working with their counterparts in Colorado Springs to determine if there was a link between the two assaults, said Arvada's police chief, Don Wick.
more news here
YWAM's homepage h…

Pearl Harbor (66th anniversary)

This is my third annual post on Pearl Harbor. See the 2005 and 2006 posts. For more background information I recommend a few other posts. Racist Laws of nature. The Japanese atrocity in Nanking. The book report on Sea of Thunder.

Thank you to all who serve in our military, and all who served in the Pacific Theater of World War 2.

Gitmo rights

The Supreme Court of the U.S. is hearing a case on whether those incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay have habeas corpus rights. In brief this right is the name of a legal action or writ by means of which detainees can seek relief from unlawful imprisonment. The writ of habeas corpus has historically been an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action. (Answers.com) Here is a debate at the Federalist Society. Here are Google news links. Unfortunately, Huckabee doesn't want to take a stand before the court rules. For myself, as a resident alien, a citizen of heaven, temporarily on earth as an ambassador, a sojourner in this country, I'd like to offer my heavenly homeland's approach to these things. Treat others as you want to be treated, with such corollaries as don't hate your enemies but bless them. Consequently, if I were captured for allegedly working with terrorists, and then confined without trial for years, I would wan…

Candidate matcher

This website helps narrow down the candidate that most agrees with you by letting you pick issues and weight them. No surprise that Huckabee is my match, 89%.
HT: Crunchy Con
The ABC News Match-o-matic which is the same as USA Today's quiz also scores Huck as my candidate. I like the questions asked there. Joe Biden came in as my number 2 match, but unlike Candidate matcher, there are no abortion questions. John McCain came in third for me.

passive solar home construction

Here is an interesting method from The Natural Home team. Basically, dry stacked cinder blocks, stuccoed, not mortared and a greenhouse across the south side.

See other posts on houses and conservation.

Top 10 posts last week of November

Bloggers seemed to benefit from ebbing tryptophan blood levels this past week. As always, you can subscribe to my shared feeds where I cull these winners from or simply visit the blog regularly and look at the list at the top. The headings link to other posts on mine on that topic.
Church A pastor responds gracefully to the strip club with a nativity on its roof at the Ooze. Titles and offices and gifting in church. Pastor or what? Another way of understanding Willow Creek's Reveal survey results. Human Rights Delay tactics in India's courts continue for Christians in the untouchable Dalit class. Interview with Jim Dawes, author of  That the World May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity. Effects of illegal immigration. Is it a federal priority? Stem cells The skin cell method is simpler as well as ethical than embryonic stem cells. Mormons Two gospels? Native Americans How casinos affect the way tribe members are treated.