Curtis Dahlgren
"3/16"; When you ignore Chapter 1, you may end up in Chapter 11 (a best of)
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By Curtis Dahlgren
March 16, 2009

"For years we have been shushed like children, and told that there are no simple answers." President Reagan

IT'S TIME FOR CHRISTIANS TO STOP GOING TO THE BACK OF THE BUS, or the MTA, as Boston Catholics might say. Even as liberal Republicans tell us that the "Era of Reagan is over," the other side of the aisle is cheering a "news poll" that claims that there are fewer believers in God. Aside from obvious ominous possibilities, I suspect that one thing that's going on now is that the "church" is going Underground (as I've been warning would happen now for years). When the President says that "politics" must stay out of science, what he really means is that "Religion" must stay out of it AND BE SHUSHED.

I noticed this morning on the calendar that it's 3/16/09, which reminds one of John 3:16. Much has been spoken and written about that passage, rightly so, and someone even wrote an entire book about it. When I was 13 and in catechism class, the minister asked, "Can anyone say John 3:16?" The first kid to raise his hand said:

"Sure. John 3:16!"

That's probably as deep as some people ever get into thinking about the ramifications of religion, or the role it played in the founding of the world's most liberated country. I heard recently that that kid's life didn't turn out so well. In my own family, each and every generation descended from my grandmother Greenberg has had less religion and worse and worse socio-economic woes. Thus I say, those who ignore Chapter 1 often end up in Chapter 11.

I'm talking about the first book the Apostle Paul wrote, to the Romans. Now don't bail out on me here, because this column will be a short one, but it has more to say about our government "bail-outs" than anything else written on 3/16.

In "science," there's a reaction for every action. A body moving in any direction tends to stay in motion in that direction. Gravity isn't just a "good idea"; it's the Law. And two bodies falling from the Empire State Building will fall at the same speed, no matter what they weigh. Do a Google search on the words "Law of Nature" and you'll find oodles and oodles of quotes from America's Founding Fathers. They believed in both science AND religion. Just ask Ben Franklin and/or Thomas Jefferson.

Speaking of John 3:16, however, "God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son," if the intellectual Saul, er Paul, had written that one, the sentence would have contained umpteen independent clauses fully explaining every possible implication of the previous verse. Paul wouldn't have written "Judge not that ye be not judged" without about ten modifiers explaining the opening clause.

To simplify the theology of the matter (and theology is one of the most over-thought-out subjects as well as under-comprehended), I like to periodically read the other chapter 3, verse 16s in the rest of "the Story" (RIP, Paul Harvey).

For example, Peter's first 3:16 is part of my favorite passage: "For so is the will of God that you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men as FREE . . using your LIBERTY as bond-slaves of God (by doing well)."

That's the Dahlgren paraphrased version, for clarity's sake, but Peter's first book was addressed to the "strangers" [Gentile believers] scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia [Asia Minor]." In other words, to Paul's congregations in the part of the world at that time which was not as directly under the thumb of the Romans as were the people in Judea. They actually had more freedom of thought and freedom of speech in the northeastern [Greek] part of the Empire, and they used it (on Mars' Hill, "all the Athenians spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or hear some new thing").

Okay? Peter's second letter seems to have been written to believers in general, and 3:16 says of Paul: "Also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things [HOPE, etc.] in which are some things hard to be understood, which those who are unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." [Paul's writing style of long compound sentences give excuses for unstable people (even ministers) to "redefine" Christianity. Peter says "Beware."]

Another writer of long sentences was Jude, whose little letter commands Christians to "contend" for the Faith that was once delivered. Sounds a little "divisive," but SO BE IT. He wasn't trying to be "politically correct." And his verse 16 said (and still does):

"These are murmurers, complainers ['victims'], walking after their own lusts, and their mouths speak great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of self-interest."

This was a prophecy of the Cult of intellectual Humanism, both secular and Darwinized "religiosity." Jude says to us (humanity as a whole):

"Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of them, saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute Judgment upon all, and to convince all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

People "don't know from Adam" what they're talking about, but in great "swelling words" they talk as if they were the most highly evolved generation in the history of the world. "Mockers in the last time walk after their own ungodly lusts." DO YOUR OWN THING, THEY SAY. "If it feels good, do it." And every man did what was right in his own eyes "religious lunatics be damned."

Back to John 3:16, "anyone who believes in Him 'should' not perish, but have everlasting life." BUT just three sentences later, the same passage says:

" . . this is the condemnation that light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil; for every one who does evil hates the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

SOME PRACTICAL CONCLUSIONS:

Just as there were two trees in the Garden, there are two sides to the Coin of the Realm of the Kingdom of God. "CHOICE" is a favorite catch-word these days, but the politically correct are so wussy that they are afraid someone somewhere might be "offended" by "In God We Trust," or "One Nation Under God." And when President Obama left the door open for human cloning (to keep "politics" out of science research) that really meant that religion must butt out!

The White House has issued 17 "executive orders" since January 20th, nearly two per week. And not one of them was channeling the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, nor George Washington's. More like, the spirit of Benedict Arnold, not in God's name but in the name of "Tolerance" (so-called).

More than once I've quoted the Nov.-Dec. '99 issue of The Humanist ("The Trouble With Tolerance," by J. Eric Hazell):

"Aggression in the guise of tolerance has been a common feature in the United States since its inception. Maryland is often lauded for being the first colony to pass legislation allowing freedom of religion. But the 1649 Act of Toleration was an assertive measure, a preemptive strike enacted by a Catholic minority that feared persecution from a growing Protestant majority. This minority wasn't saying, 'We will tolerate you,' but, instead, 'You have to tolerate us.'" [a difference with distinction, to be noted]

The author goes on to say, "Intolerance is just as important and just as necessary as tolerance. You'll not hear anyone extol the virtues of intolerance, unless, say, politicians speak of drug offenses. But advocating tolerance without qualification is ludicrous.

"Do I tolerate my child's world view by letting her eat all the candy she wants? . . . If it's 1960, do I tolerate the cultural tradition of systematically denying civil rights to African Americans? . . . There are all kinds of things we do not tolerate and for good reason."

If I may digress, it was the intolerance of the "reverend" Martin Luther King, Jr. and thousands perhaps millions of Christians that greatly aided the Civil Right movement. That was a "good" thing then, and the views of Christians are just as relevant now as they were then. Defending the Promises of the Declaration of Independence and the sanctity of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness "at this point in time" is no different. The humanists advocating a "secular society" and cheering the demise of Faith are in fact betraying Dr. Martin Luther King's dream. Of all people, President Obama ought to understand that.

But one more quote from The Humanist magazine:

"The issue then, is not that we should be tolerant, but what we should and shouldn't tolerate. The question like it or not is what is right and what is wrong. . . Tolerance then, as praised and practiced by those who preach it most, is often a mask for aggression an attempt to impose a fairly specific world view on society. . . In other words, much of what passes for tolerance epitomizes the exact thing it condemns."

That's why this column is needed; you won't even find quotations such as this available in the mainstream news media, or Academia anymore. Even "republican" politicians, I mean the RINOs, have given up all the arguments in favor of poll-tested catch-phrases. Whereas the first Republican President laboriously researched and "reproved and rebuked" the myths of "conventional wisdom," today's "republicans" too often throw in the towel because it takes too much "effort" to make the case. Into this vacuum, the floodgates of REAL intolerance are opened.

Canada is supposedly more "advanced" than us, and pundits and preachers are not only intimidated, but sometimes arrested and thrown in jail. One could become a "political prisoner" up there for reading your personal Bible in your own church (lawyers claim that that's a "public place"). That's why I referred to "Chapter 1" and "Chapter 11" in the title of this piece:

In Paul's very first sentence in Romans, he says, " . . we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations . ." He then goes on to define "obedience to the faith" in the rest of Chapter one and I won't even bother quoting it. It contains words now defined as "hate speech" in many nations (and coming soon to a nation near you). Christ said that Christians would be hated by ALL nations, and that doesn't disinclude America.

Already, newspapers and radio stations would be leery of accepting advertisements that quoted verse 27 of Chapter one (which virtually names AIDS by its "scientific" name). Is it any wonder that newspapers, one by one, are filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Chapter one of Romans says, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools [and they are without excuse]." Chapter 11 says:

"Be not high-minded, but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee."

He was speaking as a Hebrew to the Gentiles about age-old issues of Gentile-Hebrew controversies. Chapter 11 is a warning spoken to the Gentiles, and to those who at least think that they're Gentiles (and not all are).

If anyone wants to channel the spirit of "Abraham Lincoln," be aware that Lincoln called America "God's almost-chosen people." While one cannot "legislate" morality, a cartoon strip once said, "IMMORALITY IS EASY."

And there used to be a margarine commercial that said, "YOU CAN'T FOOL MOTHER NATURE." The blessing of unlimited stem-cell research using throw-away body parts of unborn babies has pushed us over the edge of a slippery slope of historic proportions. The only question remaining, almost, is whether embryo farming will fall under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture or Health and "Human Services."

If the USA becomes the USSA, don't say you were never warned. Here are some of the "Crazy Headlines of the Week":

- Obama Administration ends use of term "enemy combatant" [as if war is semantics].

- Hillary Clinton on Palestinian TV; calls Israel an "occupying force" [Hamas rockets OK?].

- El Salvador election goes to "ex" rebels and "former" guerrillas [more refugees headed to the U.S.?]

- Irish Republican Army rises again [more "former" Rebels, I guess].

- President Obama assures Wall Street: "The economy is fine" [no comment]

- Hugh Hefner puts family home up for sale [Chapter 11 next?].

- President of Czech Republic complains about Global Warming conference [no dissent].

P.S. May I "ramble" for a moment? I live north of Green Bay's "frozen tundra" and yesterday I drove across a lake on ice three times, even though spring may be breaking. Up here, we seldom give much thought to the condition of the ice in the Arctic Ocean, but we pay attention to the ice we're driving on.

By the way, in some circles of Academe, being "Lost in the Fifties" is the very worst epithet that can be hurled at those "intolerant fundamentalists." But I moved up here to get back to the 1950s. It's "neat" to have strangers wave at you from oncoming cars without using any obscene gestures. It's "neat" to have dirt from the dirt roads on your car and the roadsides "neat" (mostly unlittered). It's "neat" to have both fundamentalism and FUN. Up here, we even have ice fishing derbies on Valentine's Day, with the females there having as much fun as the males. BY THE WAY (dumb question of the day):

Why are the "Feminists" anti-feminine"? I'll take Doris Day or Donna Reed over Madonna or Ms. Whats-her-name any day! In my class, we didn't have any "Brittany"s or "Tiffany"s, but we had a lot of "Mary Ann"s! And they didn't have to come to school half-dressed to get our attention. As Doris Day said, "Vulgarity begins when imagination succumbs to the explicit."

Speaking of epithets, maybe that's why Hugh Hefner is heading for Chapter 11. And paper companies are laying off workers. Even the Indian casinos are going into Chapter 11.

You probably thought I couldn't do it, but my "rambling" has brought this column full circle. It was supposed to be a short one, but I broke my promise, like whats-his-name. Jude 16 spoke of our modern "murmurers and complainers" who claim victimhood and hire a lawyer at the drop of a hat. Or else they write a tell-all book with no shame whatsoever. My quote for the day is from "Now, Voyager" by Bette Davis:

"I didn't want to be born. You didn't want me to be born. It's been a calamity on both sides."

And Judy Garland said, "I've been in bondage since I was a fetus . . I became a thing instead of a person."

They could have made life easier -or longer by finding a way to honor their parents. One of my favorite "3:16"s is in Proverbs:

"Length of days is in her right hand [wisdom's] and in her left hand riches and honor."

Both "health" and "wealth," in other words. There you have it: When we disregard Chapter 1, we may well end up in Chapter 11. You can't fool "Mother" Nature or the Laws of Nature.

PPS: Just a few words more.

As I say, life is a paradox, and today's intellectuals consider themselves the very most-evolved of the most-evolved generation of all time. However, there's a book out entitled "The Dumbest Generation; How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future" by Mark Bauerlein (Conservative Book Club).

It seems counter-intuitive, but a 2004 study of students in 31 countries concluded that "computer availability at home shows a strong statistical negative relationship to math and reading performance."

A 2007 Pew survey showed that 56 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 possess "low knowledge levels" while only 22 percent of those 50 to 64 years old. That might explain another crazy headline I saw this week:

The most recent polling data show that though Americans over the age of 30 are asking more questions about the "Global Warming" blitz, and half of them are skeptical, there has been NO change in the minds of those between age 18 and 30. My conclusion is that these kids, who have the "low knowledge levels," have been so brain-washed in the public schools that they may be hopelessly deluded.

The educrats boast of teaching "critical thinking," but the sad fact is that kids aren't being given both sides of hardly any issues. "Critical thinking" to our highly-paid, much-petted intellectuals is by definition just teaching kids to parrot what the indoctrinators want to hear.

Abba Eban once said:

"Propaganda is the art of persuading others of what one does not believe oneself."

I don't think even Alfred E. Gore believes that "man-made global warming" is a fact, but it was a convenient way to get power. Remember the "ozone hole" that was going to kill us? I assume that that one wasn't scary enough, or people couldn't focus on it, so now the seas are rising and they're going to drown us? Come on! "Follow the money," and right now the money is "green."

I have the July-August issue of "Fast Company" magazine, and this is really the Crazy-headline-of-the-week:

"Tree Huggers Corner a Trillion Dollar Market"

That's the headline at the top of the cover, and it's a preview of my next column. More to come on "carbon offsets," cap-and-trade, and other scams by our Ivy Leaguers.

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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