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Saturday, April 15, 2017

News Weakly - 4/15/2017

When I think of a "weapon" I do not think of, say, poison administered to an assassination target. Now, clearly that's just me. This week "White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated during in his daily briefing on Tuesday that Adolf Hitler 'didn't even sink to using chemical weapons.'" The result was a firestorm of tweets, bleeps, and blurts about how he should be fired and all. Why? Well, Hitler did use gas to kill millions of Jews. And, of course, Spicer has apologized.

To me when someone says that an "attack" was made using "chemical weapons", I would never call to mind, "They rounded up a group of people, put them in a gas chamber, and killed them", so I wouldn't have caught it myself. But, of course, Spicer is "Trump's Press Secretary" and "Trump is evil", so anything he says can and absolutely will be used against him ... you know, like a weapon.

Who Knew?
All these news things over all the years and we said, "Yeah, right" ... and it turns out it was? Who knew? When Mitt Romney was running for president in 2012 he claimed to have "binders full of women" that he was trying to hire (in response to a question about workplace inequality). "Yeah, right," they said. Turns out he was.

Back in August, 2016, in the heat of the American presidential campaign, The Daily Mail, a British news source, put out a story that Mrs. Trump provided more than "modeling services" as a model ... if you catch my drift. Now, no one was saying that they were tampering with the election, but Melania did contend that they were lying. "Yeah, right," they said. Turns out she was right.

Trump famously complained that he had been monitored by the Obama administration. Everyone laughed. Then the FBI admitted that they had actually did do some. "Trump wasn't the target." And now we find that last summer they were monitoring communications of a Trump adviser. Vindication? Well, it's about Trump, so, no, but ...

And while we're there, the accusation has been -- implied if not explicit -- that Trump got Russia to hack the Dems to help him win the election. If this is true, I suppose the Russians are pretty miffed right now since the White House is saying that Russia knew in advance that Syria was going to use chemical weapons and, in fact, possibly assisted in trying to cover it up by bombing a hospital where victims were taken. Again, vindication for Trump? Oh, don't be silly. It's Trump. He could get a sign from God and we wouldn't buy it.

But, hey, who knew?

Call It What You Will
So, North Carolina is at it again. First the "bathroom ban", which has since been rescinded. Now they're introducing a bill to "ban same-sex marriage in the state." Never mind that the bill is the "Uphold Historical Marriage Act" (which is not the same as a "Ban Same-sex Marriage Act"). But, hey, call it what you will. (Why has no one called the Oberkfell v. Hodges ruling a "Redefine Marriage Ruling" or the Roe v Wade ruling a "Kill Babies Ruling"? I mean, they were exactly that, but they don't enjoy the same mislabeling as these bills that promote historical marriage.) Don't worry, folks. It won't pass. They made the worst possible gaff by saying, "the Supreme Court ruling exceeded the authority of 'the decree of Almighty God that "a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24, ESV).'” I mean, seriously, quoting the Bible in a bill? And the ESV at that! Not gonna happen.

Call it a "same-sex marriage ban" if you want, but you will do so in the face of God's Word ... and, frankly, that's a dangerous place to be even if you don't know it.

Is That the Answer?
This, to me, is an odd story. Recently Hank Hanegraaff, CRI's "Bible Answer Man", converted to Greek Orthodox Christianity. Having spent years in apologetics and countering heresies and cults, he has departed from Protestant Christianity and stepped into Eastern Orthodoxy. (Here is a brief piece explaining how Eastern Orthodoxy is different. For instance, they believe in the authority of Scripture, but hold that they -- the Eastern Orthodox Church -- alone have the authoritative interpretation of Scripture. They believe in baptismal regeneration, that baptism produces the new birth and that, indeed, the faith of the recipient has no bearing on its effectiveness. And since they believe only the Eastern Orthodox Church has the authority to administer baptism, there is no salvation outside of the Orthodox Church. They teach "theosis", a process in which we participate by our works to obtain salvation and become god-like. Then there's that whole "chrismation" thing. Some examples from the article.) Hanegraaff explained that, while he was "typically more skewed toward truth", his wife was "more skewed towards life" -- concerned about experience -- and now he has gone over to her side.

Talk about Pointed Humor
The headline reads "Bill Clinton Calls Mike Pence’s Strict Marital Practices 'Excessive'". It is, actually, fake news -- a spoof -- but that is way too close to being too pointed.

In another piece on 9 Things You Should Know About The Transgender Bathroom Debate, I thought, "I couldn't have written that any better." Bravo.


Danny Wright said...

I never thought of a cross as a weapon used by Romans either. So I guess I'll have to change my understanding of the cross as well.

Stan said...

See? There ya go.

Alec said...

Hi Stan,

Thanks for your "News Weakly" posts. You bring forward things that are quite thought provoking. In regard to your first item:

Official statements coming out of the White House are thoroughly vetted. This is true whatever the administration in power. Therefore Spicer knew exactly what he was saying, and did it for intentional reasons.

Whenever a public spokesman uses "Hitler" or "Nazi", discussion is derailed. Was he justifying the active development of these things in the present day? A recent test was done in the NYC Subway system during rush hour.

Chemical (and biological) weapons are real and have been used by multiple governments including our own in many modern confrontations including Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, etc.

For anyone interested, these two books are well-written and researched and readily available.

* Michael Carroll. Lab 257: The disturbing story of the government's secret germ laboratory.

* Harris and Paxman. A higher form of killing: The secret history of chemical and biological warfare. (1st edition if you can find it)

It gets harder and harder to avoid being manipulated by massaged messages in the news. God help us to see things as they are, so that we can be good Christians in a world violently opposed to truth.


Stan said...

Hey, Alec! Long time, no hear.

"Whenever a public spokesman uses 'Hitler' or 'Nazi', discussion is derailed."

Indeed. Not even "public spokesman". It's an Internet rule ("Godwin's Law").

"Chemical (and biological) weapons are real ..."

Indeed they are. I was in the Air Force for quite awhile and had large amounts of training on it. My point was not that they don't exist. My point was that "weapon" seems to be the wrong word for what was done by the Nazis to the Jews (etc.).

Alec said...

Long time, no hear
Yes, have been offline from blogs, focusing on some health issues. Things are better now.

"weapon" seems to be the wrong word...