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'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children
LifeSiteNews.com ^ | 12/4/2006 | John-Henry Westen

Posted on 12/04/2006 7:52:47 PM PST by Pyro7480

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To: Forest Keeper; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
Their revelation was not as full as ours is, but it was "enough" to correctly believe in the one true God

Their idea of God is nothing like ours. We can all say there is one God, no matter what our idea of Him, but only through Christ do we believe in one true God. It's not God that is faulty but human idea of God that is. Thus, the Muslims idea of Allah is not what we know of God through Christ; otherwise we would have to say that Muslims believe in one true God.

By the same token, the Hindus believe in one God (contrary to popular opinion). In fact, Hinduism is the oldest written religion in the world, predating Moses. Brahman is described as

"unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything beyond in this universe."

"This Supreme Cosmic Spirit or Absolute Reality called Brahman is said to be eternal, genderless, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, and ultimately indescribable in the human language. It can be at best described as infinite Being, infinite Consciousness and infinite Bliss. Brahman is regarded as the source and essence of the material universe. It is pure being."

by the Hindus.

The plain fact is the Jewish idea of God of Abraham is ontologically different from the Christian God. Otherwise, we would all be Jews. We can speculate whether the OT righteous would have recognized Christ as true God, but we can't prove it or disprove it. therefore we cannot with any certainty say that they were true believers.

16,201 posted on 07/19/2007 8:07:58 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Forest Keeper; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
Therefore, we can reasonably ask what the purpose was for the judgment

That is a very good obersvation, because the issue of judgment is somewhat dubious.

The NT says we are to be judged according to our words/deeds

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned -- Mat 12:39

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live -- Luke 10:26-28 
And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation -- John 5:29

But then...it says it's according to what we believe

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned -- Mark 16:16 

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God -- John 3:3
 
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already .... He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him -- John 3;18, 36

Then it also says that those hwo believe are not judged...

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life -- John 5:24

There are more examples of course, each coming wiht its own formula...mumbo-jumbo.

James 2:13 reminds us that

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy

It seems to me that faith is overridden by deeds and that only those who have true faith never sin and need no judgment, and such as how many? Zero! Yet you are telling me that  your sins have already been forgiven, so your words and deeds don't count, and the Bible says otherwise.

I don't know if it is a slam dunk, but there is this: Rev 20:12-13

I don't think so, with all due respect.

I don't understand your distinction. If you believe that you will go to Heaven or hell based partly on your deeds, then what I said is correct. "Worthy", in this case, means worthy of Heaven

We are never worthy; we are simply forgiven. The bible says everyone will be judged according to our deeds and words. There is plenty in each man's repertoire to get him condmened, I am sure. Our only hope is God's mercy and nothing else. But it doesn't mean we cna follow Luther's idiotic pecca fortiter recipe; rather we should be as good as one can be, not as bad as one wants to be. :)

16,202 posted on 07/19/2007 9:06:36 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; .30Carbine; Ping-Pong
Written word is never the same as spoken word, lacking intonations and visual and autority nuances. It can never fully transmit the effect of the spoken word.

As I think you also said, the spoken word can either help or hinder the correct interpretation that God intended. I agree with that.

The best way is for the written word to be read correctly, which is why the Gospel readings in the church are done only by priest...

That's right, the word must be read correctly which is why we look to the rest of scripture for clues on how to interpret.

At no time in the Bible was left up to the untrained and unschooled to read the scrolls.

I disagree on two counts. First, that requires a very strained reading of the following:

Acts 17:11-12 : 11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

For you to be correct, Paul only dealt with priests, and never preached to the people, the way Jesus had. Verse 12 says "many of the Jews", referring to the Bereans. It doesn't say "many of the priests". To presume that the Apostles only preached to priests is illogical. Jesus preached to the masses the same way the Apostles did. The exclusivity and secrecy of the hierarchy had not yet begun. At that time, the open message of God was for everyone to hear firsthand, not just for the elite who would later refine it.

Second, during the time of Jesus, copies of scrolls WERE available for individual purchase by the laity, although they weren't cheap. We can assume they were shared among the people, and that one could go to the Synagogue and read there if he wanted. Here is an excerpt from Reading and Writing In the Time of Jesus. by Alan Millard, Rankin Professor of Hebrew & Ancient Semitic Languages, The University of Liverpool:

"Today the Bible is widely available in a single volume, easy to use and often small enough to slip into a pocket. We do not realize what an advantage we have in comparison with people of the first century. The normal form of the book then was the scroll; a book with pages, the codex, was used at that time mainly for note taking. It developed to become the normal book form over the next two or three centuries. This means that a Jew who owned a Bible in Jesus’s time would have had an armful of scrolls. Since every copy was made by hand, books were not cheap, although we should not exaggerate their cost; a copy of a lengthy book like Isaiah might take a professional scribe three days or so to make, so the price would be his wages and the cost of the materials. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that many individual Jews would own a complete set of the Scriptures, but according to Luke 4, a small town like Nazareth had a copy of Isaiah in its synagogue, so undoubtedly it held rolls of the Torah and, it is likely, the rest of the Hebrew Bible.

Luke reports that in Nazareth Jesus read from Isaiah and his frequent quotations from Scripture show his familiarity with it. ......"

How do you suppose Jesus got His hands on the scriptures as a boy? Magic? No, they WERE available to the public in the Synagogue. It was the same with the Berean people. The priests were not the only ones.

The author then goes on to cite the DSS as evidence that many common people could read and were encouraged to read the scriptures. The sect that likely produced the scrolls had a defined copying room which produced much more than could have been of use for the priests alone.

And how is this different from others? The difference is that priests have the "keys." How widespread is their corruption, FK? and how does it compare to other professions that are bound by the laws of ethics?

In some areas their corruption is as wide spread as it is in any Protestant or Baptist church. In other areas it is much worse. In still others, it may be better. I don't see how the Apostolic priesthood could possibly be comparable to any other profession, because God does NOT zap all members of any other profession with supernatural powers, and supernatural responsibility. One would imagine that God would sort of look after these folks to make sure they are doing His work.

OTOH, perhaps I am applying Reformed standards to Apostolic priests, which would be my error. If God really does just leave them alone, and whatever happens, happens, then I shouldn't have any greater expectations of them. It is just inconceivable to me that Apostolic succession is real if God really does that. It would relieve the claimers of Apostolic succession of any showing of evidence whatsoever that they are really chosen by God, other than their good word for it. By their fruits they shall be known, etc.

Ultimately of course it is a matter of trust. The hierarchy points to a couple of verses, and says that they mean that only the hierarchy can determine what ALL verses mean, in case anyone disagrees with them. They need not demonstrate or prove anything against other scripture, they simply define THAT other scripture.

If those couple of verses are as they say, then whatever they say goes. That is, in the Latin Church. In yours, I know that the people have to accept it for it be in effect. But even in your Church, I would imagine there is a very high level of presumed trust, such that unless something crazy was proposed, that it would be accepted by the laity. So, when we boil it all down, those couple of verses really seem to be the root of most of the disagreement.

16,203 posted on 07/19/2007 9:30:43 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Ping-Pong; kosta50
I can tell you what I believe the scriptures tell us. There are two judgments. The first, at the beginning of the millennium, is to decide on which side of the gulf you go. If you are "of the first resurrection" you reign with Christ during the millennium. If you are considered one of the "dead" it means you are spiritually dead and your soul is at risk of not living eternally.

Thanks, Ping. Now I remember your saying either exactly this, or something very close to it, earlier in another conversation.

To those that are good but have been misled that would be torture. To the truly evil ones - who knows if they would even care.

That sounds like a total rip for all the Ghandis. :) But who knows, maybe everything is upside down in hell.

16,204 posted on 07/19/2007 10:54:27 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
Suffice it to say that one can say Bush was wrong about WMD's but he did not lie. If he did know there were none, then he was the only one in the civilized world that did

No, the UN inspectors did. Various other sources were screaming but no one was paying attention because we were beating war drums too loud. Everyone was itching for a "splendid little war."

His own CIA said it was a "slam dunk"

Those CIA officials who knew better were ignored or their reports "cooked." Colin Powell presented computer-generated cartoons of "evidence" in what was probably the most humiliating moment for the US in the Security Council, because we had no other proof.

We went to war, in part, because crooks like Chalaby and the rest of the ambitious Iraqi emigres were feeding us lies and we believed them because we wanted to believe then and not the evidence.

They were used, as it appears, by the offices of VP Chaney and DefSec Rumsfeldand and his neocon cons, all of whom have either explicitly or implicitly expressed loyalty to Israel, and I just can't believe that the only person who didn't know was none other then the Chief Executive. If he was, then he is clueless (which many believe but I think it's his act because one does not get to be where he is by being clueless, or naive).

And PM Blair was in it too. The smell of cheap oil was irresistible.

British intelligence, Israel, and other allied countries all said the same thing

That's like three Stooges doing the dance together. They are all in it together.

Third, the imminent danger argument was NEVER used by Bush

But he didn't stop those claims either. The British, with Blair's blessing, launched the 48-hour nuclear weapons attack scare. Dick Chaney actually said on more than one occasion that, contrary to all evidence known then, Saddam did have WMDs. You don't think the Israelis were going to contradict him? After all, they had the most to gain form an invasion of Iraq.

One little thing everyone ignored was Saddam's threat to use Yugoslav partisan style tactics -- allowing the enemy to enter the country and then launch guerrilla-style raids until the enemy had bled and lost the will to fight.

That was ignored too. Who remembers WWII Yugoslav partisan tactics?! In other words, clues were there about non-existent WMDs and the dangers of occupation, but the stupidity that was present all along was never lacking. We put our trust in Chalaby (a convicted embezzler), and other Iraqi emigre crooks because they were singing what we wanted them to sing, even though they presented 'evidence" that contradicted all the facts on the ground.

There was no imminent danger, no WMDs, no Saddam-Al-Qaida connection, no need for preemptive strike. Iraq was completely contained economically and militarily between the two imposed no-fly zones and combed inside and out bu UN inspectors.

But, as I said, I have no desire to discuss our stupid politics, or "just war" nonsense. So, I will cease on this topic and let die-hards debate this on political forums.

16,205 posted on 07/20/2007 8:02:38 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Ping-Pong; Forest Keeper
No, it wasn't for nothing. You have taught me that well Kosta. Their martyrdom did give Christianity strength but we shouldn't all be martyrs. Fighting and/or standing our ground will also give it strength and respect. If we were all martyrs there would be no Christianity. Then who would teach the others?

Why does it matter if you firmly believe you get to go to heaven?  The early Christians thought -- the sooner the better. But we have come to "love the world" and are attached to things and people more than to God, aren't we? Let God decide when it's our time, and we should worry to follow in His steps.

Although we profess that God's bliss is infinitely better than anything we can possibly have, we would rather extend our stay here a little longer...a lot longer...what kind of a faith is that? It's our faith, on our terms, and on our time. Why, I don't think it's faith at all! It seems to me, not even the most publicly pious are eager to meet God.

The NT tells us

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him -- Phil 1:29

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps -- 1 Pet 2:21

 


 

16,206 posted on 07/20/2007 8:44:33 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
Their idea of God is nothing like ours. We can all say there is one God, no matter what our idea of Him, but only through Christ do we believe in one true God.

Yes, only through Christ. But Christ was all over the OT and the righteous recognized Him. We know from John 6:46, and 1:18 that no one has seen the Father. However, there are several stories in the OT of people "seeing" God. So, Who could that be? Jesus, of course.

Here is a list of sightings: Hagar [Gen 16:7-13], Abraham [Gen 18-19:1], Jacob [Genesis 32:28--see Hosea 12:3-5], Moses [Exodus 33:11], Joshua [Joshua 5:13-6:2], Gideon [Judges 6:11-23], Manoah [Judges 13:2-22], Isaiah [Isaiah 6:5] Job [Job 42:5]. I think you are making the assumption that since no one had the NT in his hands in the OT, that they could not have believed in Christ. That just isn't so. Not only was there tons of prophecy about His Incarnation, He was actually very active in the OT. Jesus Himself says that the OT testifies about Him.

16,207 posted on 07/20/2007 9:20:48 AM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: kosta50; Forest Keeper
But we have come to "love the world" and are attached to things and people more than to God, aren't we? Let God decide when it's our time, and we should worry to follow in His steps.

No, I don't think so. When I first read the following scripture I thought, but how could you do that? "If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, year, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26)

Now I know how that can be done. First, I have been told and believe that the word "hate" should be "love less". (He would not want us to hate, especially our family when He tells us to honor our parents). We must love our family less than Him. As difficult as that is I have reached that point. His love can save them and I do love Him more. I trust them to Him.

Feeling that way I can honestly tell you that I am ready and wish His time was NOW. I want the evil to stop. I do not love the world more but there are times that I ask for His protection in this life so I can allow Him to touch someone through me.

You quoted: For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him -- Phil 1:29

I have a very blessed life and am strong and healthy physically (and I hope mentally :) I have an easy, happy life with family I love. In that respect I don't "suffer for him", but when I see what is happening in the world, when I see people's head being cut off, disgusting perverts harming innocent children, our innocent children being bombarded by filth on television, radio, schools, drugs, pornography, hate, starvation, stupidity, cruelty - then I suffer and can't wait for it to be over and Him to be in control.

16,208 posted on 07/20/2007 9:33:05 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: Forest Keeper; .30Carbine; Ping-Pong
If so, then the lost don't need any further action by God to come to Him

Yes! :)

It is all up to them

Yes! :)

Therefore, during our lives, nobody "needs" God to get into Heaven

No!

His work is done and He's out of the picture now in terms of salvation

That is the Protestant view.  :(

You are saying that during our lives, after Christ has died on the cross, the whole issue of salvation is COMPLETELY up to us.

No.

The Bible certainly does not teach that

Agree.

When God created satan, he was not evil, but became evil later on his own.

Against God's will?

That is his independence

Reformed denial of free will is what makes any independence impossible. Even if this "independence" is based on God's permission it still depends on His will. Now, that which depends on another factor is not independent.

Just as our freedom is limited, and dependent on God's will, our evil then must be dependent on God willingness to permit it and cannot exist without it. So, God is involved in our evil as well, and therefore evil does not exist independently.

God respects our decisions, by permission. He wills that we make free decisions and He will honor them. He left it up to Adam and eve to make a decisions and they did, and he honored them. But He also warned them of the consequences. He did that in order to make sure they were not His "predestined" robots, but that they come to Him freely as He comes to us.

If evil is not independent of God, then it is a part of God. You've never said anything like that before

Evil is not part of God, it is part of our freedom to reject God. That freedom is given to us by God, but the decision to accept God or reject Him is ours, not His.

Jesus in the desert is NT. You think that is myth?

No, because in His human nature he was subject to temptation.

James 1:13 tells us that God does not tempt, so that only leaves satan as an independent tempter

And the Lord's Prayer says "do not leads us into temptation..." If God doesn't tempt, then why ask Him not to leads us into temptation? The Book of Job shows that the satan is not an independent tempter, but works with God's permission.  The idea that the devil is somehow an "independent," rival, to God comes from pagan Zotroastrianism which infiltrated Jewish beliefs during the Babylonian captivity and introduced divine "dualism." 

In Zoroastrianism, the good god and the evil good battle it out at the end, and the good god wins. None of the apocalyptic theology existed in Judaism prior to Babylonian captivity, which is what makes Revelation a highly suspect book. Christ never taught there was going to be a 'final battle" or that we are "at war," but simply his judgment.

The idea of the final battle and God's armor, and what not is post-Christian teaching that crept into the church.

What are you implying? Is it that Paul was wrong and "armor of God" is not how God wants us to think about it?

I have no idea what he means. If he means the faith in God and trust in Him, then why not just call it that? No armor will stop us from being tempted because our human nature is temptable (because of our bodies). Our resistance to temptation is inner and not outer. It is refusal to follow the "instincts."  It is a struggle within, not without.

16,209 posted on 07/20/2007 9:46:03 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Forest Keeper; kosta50; .30Carbine
"But Christ was all over the OT and the righteous recognized Him..... The Angel of the Lord."

Great finds. The Angel of the Lord is Christ (I believe). Add to your list the scriptures about Melchizedek, which is from the NT but about an event in the OT:

Heb.7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
2.To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation king of righteousness, and after that also king of Salem,, which is, King of peace;
3.Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually.

16,210 posted on 07/20/2007 9:50:39 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: Ping-Pong; Forest Keeper
Kosta: But we have come to "love the world" and are attached to things and people more than to God, aren't we? Let God decide when it's our time, and we should worry to follow in His steps.

Ping-Pong: No, I don't think so

The Bible seems to disagree with you.

For  [in the last days] men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good — 2 Tim 3:2-3

When I first read the following scripture I thought, but how could you do that? "If any man come to Me, and hate not his father...he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26) ... I have been told and believe that the word "hate" should be "love less"

Nice rationalization, as is usually found in commentaries, but the Greek word used (miseo) unequivocally means hate. It is the same word used in Malachi 1:3 (Septuagint), and corresponds to the Hebrew word used in the same verse in the Palestinian Old Testament (sane), "And I hated Esau."

There is no inference whatsoever that miseo can mean "love less," that Malachi 3:1 could read "And I loved Esau less."

The OT simple tells us to honor our fathers and mothers, so that "days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives" — Exod 20:12

I want the evil to stop

We all do.

I do not love the world more but there are times that I ask for His protection in this life so I can allow Him to touch someone through me

Absolutely.

when I see what is happening in the world, when I see people's head being cut off, disgusting perverts harming innocent children, our innocent children being bombarded by filth on television, radio, schools, drugs, pornography, hate, starvation, stupidity, cruelty - then I suffer and can't wait for it to be over and Him to be in control

Our thoughts are the same, but He is always in control. He gave us what was needed. But what have we done with it? Rather than cry and moan, why not ask ourselves what examples are we to the world? Does anyone recognize Christ in us as a nation? Or in us as individuals? Is all the evil in the world in many ways  not our failure?

Have Christian nations been free of wars, malice, murder, crime, arrogance, love of money...etc, etc. etc.? I don't think so. We are to blame for our lip-service to God, even more, than those who don't believe, because we—who cover ourselves with His righteousness—are unrighteous in the way we live, love and desire. Now, there are a few true saints among us...very few.

16,211 posted on 07/20/2007 10:34:08 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
Yet you are telling me that your sins have already been forgiven, so your words and deeds don't count, and the Bible says otherwise.

First of all, I like the comparison you made in setting verses up side by side. Thanks for the scripture. On this, it's not that my words and deeds don't count, they do count. The difference is that we believe that God guarantees that there WILL be words and deeds, which count. IOW, if right after my salvation, I went right back to a life of sin for the rest of my life, then I am not saved. Therefore, words and deeds count. But, God promises that He will not let that happen for His elect. They count, but we don't deserve any credit for them.

We are never worthy; we are simply forgiven.

Different words for the same idea I think.

But it doesn't mean we can follow Luther's idiotic pecca fortiter recipe; rather we should be as good as one can be, not as bad as one wants to be. :)

Well, I suppose if he actually meant what you think he did, then it WOULD be idiotic. :) But of course in context, he meant nothing of the sort. I know we've been over this a million times, so ... We should be as good as we can, that is true. It just doesn't merit us salvation by "scoring" high enough on the "deeds list" at Judgment.

16,212 posted on 07/20/2007 10:41:03 AM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Ping-Pong; Forest Keeper; .30Carbine
Great finds. The Angel of the Lord is Christ (I believe). Add to your list the scriptures about Melchizedek

Christ was not walking the earth before Incarnation. To imply otherwise is blasphemy and heresy. It was taught by Gnostics and we see the same pitfall repeat itself with every generation.

Hebrews has actually created a confusion with verse 7:3 with regard to his lineage. Guys, this is not new stuff! Obviously Christ has a Mother.

The similarity between him and Christ is that both were priests without "descent" (not being of the Levi line). The word Son of God was a title given to any anointed person (kings, prophets, angels, etc.)

16,213 posted on 07/20/2007 10:45:49 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; Forest Keeper
The Bible seems to disagree with you....For [in the last days] men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good — 2 Tim 3:2-3

There is no disagreement. He tells us that is what the end of days will be like and it is. Why does that disagree with me?

Nice rationalization,

It may be, I don't know but I do know he told us to honor our parents so how can He want us to hate them? It makes no sense. There has to be a mistranslation. You cannot "hate" what you love.

He gave us what was needed. But what have we done with it? Rather than cry and moan, why not ask ourselves what examples are we to the world? Does anyone recognize Christ in us as a nation? Or in us as individuals? Is all the evil in the world in many ways not our failure?

He did give us laws to take evil away but our liberal friends watered it down so 20 years after a murder he gets off and murders again. I do cry but I don't moan. I believe in action Kosta, I believe in the sword. If someone doesn't recognize Christ in us then they just see the suface that the liberal media likes to show the world. The evil in the world is NOT our failure but the workings of those against God, our enemies. Our failure would be in allowing them to continue.

Have Christian nations been free of wars, malice, murder, crime, arrogance, love of money...etc, etc. etc.?

No, our very freedom allows evil to work right beside us but again, this is not heaven. It is a time for God to see who will follow Him.

Now, there are a few true saints among us...very few.

Very few is right. I've met some wonderful people but I don't know if even they would qualify. Perhaps He doesn't expect anyone, except Himself, to be perfect and will accept us, warts and all.

16,214 posted on 07/20/2007 10:56:25 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: kosta50; Forest Keeper; .30Carbine
Christ was not walking the earth before Incarnation. To imply otherwise is blasphemy and heresy. It was taught by Gnostics and we see the same pitfall repeat itself with every generation.

It isn't blasphemy or heresy. It is Biblical.

Hebrews has actually created a confusion with verse 7:3 with regard to his lineage. Guys, this is not new stuff! Obviously Christ has a Mother.

He did in the New Testament but not in the Old.

16,215 posted on 07/20/2007 11:08:32 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: kosta50; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
FK: "Suffice it to say that one can say Bush was wrong about WMD's but he did not lie. If he did know there were none, then he was the only one in the civilized world that did."

No, the UN inspectors did. ...

You mean the "Ignorance is Blix" inspectors? Do you really think Saddam was honestly cooperating with them? The UN inspections were just as much of a joke as the UN is itself.

Those CIA officials who knew better were ignored or their reports "cooked."

What was Bush supposed to do, call Tenet a liar (and virtually ALL of our allied foreign intelligence services) and take the word of underling officials?

We went to war, in part, because crooks like Chalaby and the rest of the ambitious Iraqi emigres were feeding us lies and we believed them because we wanted to believe then and not the evidence.

I'm sure Chalaby was part of it, and he turned out to be a bad guy. But I hardly think he was a linchpin. Some of the evidence we did have was an uncompleted inspection by a UN team motivated to NOT find anything (Blix is an admitted pacifist), an obviously uncooperative Iraqi government, the fact that Saddam had already used WMDs against the Kurds, Saddam's own prideful statements that he still had WMDs and was looking to develop more, Saddam's OPEN support for terrorism ($25,000 to families of Palestinian suicide bombers), and Saddam's repeated failure to comply with the terms of the original surrender agreement. He was still shooting at our planes.

And all of this was public knowledge. I'm not sure of the evidence you are speaking of that should have been put ahead of what they DID have. Besides, most of the Dems voted to go to war along with Bush anyway. If Dems ever vote to go to war with a Republican president, then they must have been absolutely convinced too.

[Chalaby, et al.] were used, as it appears, by the offices of VP Chaney and DefSec Rumsfeld and and his neocon cons, all of whom have either explicitly or implicitly expressed loyalty to Israel, and I just can't believe that the only person who didn't know was none other then the Chief Executive. If he was, then he is clueless (which many believe but I think it's his act because one does not get to be where he is by being clueless, or naive).

Is loyalty to the leading functional democracy in the Middle East a bad thing? Israel has always been a friend of the U.S. While pound for pound Israel is better able to defend herself than almost any other country in the world, if we DID pull our support then there would be a mass war in the Middle East. Would that be a good thing for us?

Bush did not need to know if Cheney and Rumsfeld supported Israel, everyone knew, and it was Bush's own open policy. No secrets there. The United States supports and (now) protects Israel. We have done so for 60 years under administrations on both sides. Why should this not have been a factor to consider?

And PM Blair was in it too. The smell of cheap oil was irresistible.

Ah, the old "war for oil" scam. You know, I've never heard an intelligent answer from someone who holds that view on this question: If we went to war for oil, and we now control the oil fields, why aren't we just cleaning up? To my knowledge we haven't gotten a drop of cheap oil for our efforts. Is that just more Bush incompetence? :)

That's like three Stooges doing the dance together. They are all in it together.

The conspiracy is revealed! :)

FK: "Third, the imminent danger argument was NEVER used by Bush."

But he didn't stop those claims either.

What was Bush supposed to do? Whenever he was asked about it, he set the record straight and his own words are part of the record that anyone can look up.

Dick Chaney actually said on more than one occasion that, contrary to all evidence known then, Saddam did have WMDs. You don't think the Israelis were going to contradict him? After all, they had the most to gain form an invasion of Iraq.

How do you know what "all evidence known then" was? You should have faxed all this evidence to liberals in the Congress since they apparently didn't know it either. It is an incontestable FACT that Saddam had already used WMDs. Were we supposed to assume that a mad tyrant would voluntarily dispose of all weapons, and then claim the opposite to the world??? Come on, Kosta. :) Much more reasonable is that the weapons he did have are today sitting somewhere in Syria.

And BTW, while Israel certainly stood to gain, the ones who had the most to gain from an invasion were the Iraqi people.

16,216 posted on 07/20/2007 1:21:03 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
The UN inspections were just as much of a joke as the UN is itself.

The joke was telling the truth. The truth was known, but now one wanted to see it. The Democrats were afraid of being labeled "unpatriotic," or worse, treasonous by such human replicants made by Dick Chaney's Haliburton as Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter. 

What was Bush supposed to do, call Tenet a liar (and virtually ALL of our allied foreign intelligence services) and take the word of underling officials?

Again, the facts were known. Anyone who followed more than one-sided network press knew that there were no WMDs and that there was no imminent danger from anyone in that part of the world attacking the US. Those who did were in Afghanistan.

I'm sure Chalaby was part of it, and he turned out to be a bad guy

Chalaby was known to be a bad guys before we event there. But one has to follow more critical and informed press than Fox News. There was an outstanding warrant for Chalaby by Jordan for embezzling money. However, the Rumsfeld's neocon Israeli loyalists (and I mean by that Israel first) group would hear none of that. Chalaby was their man. It's that old FDR's famous "they may be thugs, but they are our thugs..."

Saddam had already used WMDs against the Kurds

So did the Iranians. During the war with Iran (when we supported Saddam even though we knew he gassed Kurds), this was not uncommon.

Saddam's OPEN support for terrorism ($25,000 to families of Palestinian suicide bombers

Saudi Arabia and all Islamic states do the same; Saudi Arabia actually leading. I don't see us planning to topple Saudi regime any time soon for the slake of democracy, even though their treatment of women is no better than that of the Taliban, and the fact that there is not a single church in Saudi Arabia, and that Jews cannot enter the country.

Nothing destroys one's credibility than transparent hypocrisy.

He was still shooting at our planes

We were still flying over his country.

Dems ever vote to go to war with a Republican president, then they must have been absolutely convinced too

Look, the Congress supported the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution concocted by LBJ and his gang because we wanted an excuse to attack North Vietnam. And the Congress coalesced across party lines and not wishing to be "unpatriotic" by distrusting the government (can anything be more patriotic and America then actually distrusting the government?!) approved of it, to their shame. The same thing happened with Iraq. Our media helped along as well -- some much so that syndicated columnists with some brain called them "presstitutes."

Is loyalty to the leading functional democracy in the Middle East a bad thing?

No, as long as that loyalty is not in our national interest or if it is not doing anything positive for our national interests. we cannot equate our national interests with that of another country.

Israel is better able to defend herself than almost any other country in the world, if we DID pull our support then there would be a mass war in the Middle East

There was no imminent threat of a Middle East war; only entefada started by Ariel Sharon.

Why should this not have been a factor to consider?

Israel wanted to be rid of Saddam, because Israel was somewhat within the range of his hypothetical missiles, but had no resources to invade Iraq. Someone else had to do it for them. Us. The same thing applies to Syria and Iran. Had we not gotten bogged down in Iraq like a bunch of amateurs, we would be invading Iran and Syria I am sure (and still may). The plan was to make Middle East safe for Israel by all accounts. With our blood, money and resources. Pretty clever. And, from an Israeli point of view, perfectly legitimate.

If we went to war for oil, and we now control the oil fields, why aren't we just cleaning up?

Because oil prices are determined by speculation. In some parts of this world, that's a dirty word. We have actually destablizied the region, making it easier for Iran to become a more influential power, as they are closely allied with the Iraqi Shiia population and imams. We have also angered the Saudis who can's stand the Shiites and who don't want a dominant Shiia state on their side of the Strait of Hormutz. Besides, the oil pipes are being blown up daily and the oil production is not even close to what it was before the war. getting the oil from point a to point b is more dangerous and costs more...then there is just plain old Greed. The companies are actually making bigger profits than before the war and we are paying more than twice for gas, all thanks to GW (who's bank account is doing much better along with Chaney's and Rice's because of oil prices).

The conspiracy is revealed!

There is no conspiracy. Only blindness of the populus too busy with heir toys ( blackberrys and text messaging...)

How do you know what "all evidence known then" was? You should have faxed all this evidence to liberals in the Congress since they apparently didn't know it either

The evidence was there and it did not look good for the Bush administration. The presentation of Collin Powell was a joke. It used "intercepted" taped phone conversations of alleged "Iraqi official's" and computer-generated cartoons of two "chemical" trucks. Those who followed more than prefab news reports knew that there was no evidence of WMDs or any imminent threat and that this whole thing was being cooked as an excuse to go to war.

I was reading as much as I could find, and I never believed there were any such weapons to be found. If I didn't there was plenty of evidence for others to do the same. But as always in life, some of us would rather stick our heads in the sand and pretend the sun doesn't shine.

the ones who had the most to gain from an invasion were the Iraqi people

That is really "obvious." They used to have normal schools, and electricity and water, and now they don't know if they will come home from going to the market...try telling them that.

16,217 posted on 07/20/2007 4:21:43 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; .30Carbine; Ping-Pong
[FK paraphrasing the Apostolic view, imo:] "His work is done and He's out of the picture now in terms of salvation."

That is the Protestant view. :(

Where does that come from? God is actively involved with the necessary perseverance of His elect every single day. And it is HIM doing the work, not us.

FK: "When God created satan, he was not evil, but became evil later on his own."

Against God's will?

The term "God's will" can be used in two ways. One is that if God wills something, He causes it. Another is that He allows it as part of His plan. In this case it was the latter. God, as satan's creator, could have prevented him from falling, but He didn't. Since God is no respecter of men (or angels) then it must have been part of His plan. God wanted our experience on this earth to be exactly as it is, and has been, and will be.

Reformed denial of free will is what makes any independence impossible. Even if this "independence" is based on God's permission it still depends on His will. Now, that which depends on another factor is not independent.

Imagine that my 17 y.o. son comes to me with big plans to do a thing. In my experience I know that it would be a huge mistake and tell him so. He remains adamant, but I retain the power to say "no". However, my own plan is to let him do it anyway, on the theory that it would be better for him to learn a cheap lesson now, rather than make the same mistake later and have it be much more expensive. He goes and does the thing and fails horribly. Now, did he do the thing independently, or do you pin responsibility on me just because I could have stopped it? If the latter, then you are forced to also believe that either God is not in control of His creation, or that every bad thing that happens in the world is at least partly God's fault.

So, God is involved in our evil as well, and therefore evil does not exist independently.

God is only involved if you place a duty on Him to prevent. I don't.

God respects our decisions, by permission. He wills that we make free decisions and He will honor them.

OK, if God is a respecter of men, then God is not in control of His creation. I assume that you would say that it was by God's choice to release control to men. This again makes God a mere scribe in terms of His plan. He just writes down what men do, and then declares that as His plan.

FK: "James 1:13 tells us that God does not tempt, so that only leaves satan as an independent tempter."

And the Lord's Prayer says "do not leads us into temptation..." If God doesn't tempt, then why ask Him not to lead us into temptation?

I believe that line is in the spirit of:

1 Cor 10:13 : 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

God does not tempt us, but He does allow us to be tempted. In any event, in the big picture it also serves as a reminder, just like much of the rest of the prayer. To wit: "thy Kingdom come" - does anyone think His Kingdom won't come?, "thy will be done" - does anyone think His will won't be done?, "forgive us our trespasses" - does any believer think He won't forgive?, "lead us not into temptation" - does any believer think He WILL lead us into temptation?

The idea that the devil is somehow an "independent," rival, to God comes from pagan Zotroastrianism which infiltrated Jewish beliefs during the Babylonian captivity and introduced divine "dualism."

satan doesn't merit the term "rival". He is a bug next to God, but he is directly opposed to God.

Christ never taught there was going to be a 'final battle" or that we are "at war," but simply his judgment.

Well, Jesus clearly speaks of the Apocalypse, and you don't believe the parts of the Bible that speak of the battle between God and satan. So, I guess that's all we can say. :)

FK: "What are you implying? Is it that Paul was wrong and "armor of God" is not how God wants us to think about it?"

I have no idea what he means. If he means the faith in God and trust in Him, then why not just call it that? ...

He gave us that metaphor to say just that. The armor is actually God, not our own abilities to buck up and resist. We put on objects that are not of us, just as we trust in God instead of ourselves. This also goes right with my earlier 1 Cor. quote. God provides a way out, etc. Here it is.

16,218 posted on 07/20/2007 5:11:38 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Ping-Pong
The Angel of the Lord is Christ (I believe). Add to your list the scriptures about Melchizedek, which is from the NT but about an event in the OT:

Yes, the more I read the more I agree that the Angel of the Lord is Christ. And that's a great addition regarding Melchizedek. Thanks Ping. :)

16,219 posted on 07/20/2007 5:30:49 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: kosta50; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
Christ was not walking the earth before Incarnation. To imply otherwise is blasphemy and heresy. It was taught by Gnostics and we see the same pitfall repeat itself with every generation.

In the OT Christ did not walk on earth as an Incarnate, but rather as a theophany. There is a difference.

16,220 posted on 07/20/2007 6:05:04 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
In the OT Christ did not walk on earth as an Incarnate, but rather as a theophany. There is a difference

Yes, there is a difference, and the difference is that theophany is Logos' manifestation without humanity. Was Melchizedek, not human?

An example of theophany is mentioned in Isa 9:6 (Septuagint)

For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger1 of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him

1Greek : αγγελοσ (aggelos), angel

 

16,221 posted on 07/20/2007 7:38:19 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Forest Keeper; .30Carbine; Ping-Pong
[FK paraphrasing the Apostolic view, imo:] "His work is done and He's out of the picture now in terms of salvation."

Kosta: That is the Protestant view. :(

FK: Where does that come from? God is actively involved with the necessary perseverance of His elect every single day. And it is HIM doing the work, not us

That's my point: lay back and enjoy the ride. Easy. Comfy. Let God do all the work...we can play and do whatever, sin all you want, all our sins are already forgiven...like a bunch of spoiled brats.

Why does God need to do "maintenance" on His elect, FK? Did He not predestine everything, or does He have to micromanage too, so the "poor" babies can persevere (even though the little premadonnas will persevere regardless because they have already been "saved")?

Since God is no respecter of men (or angels) then it must have been part of His plan

Where does it say "of angles?" Angels are obligatory God's servants; they are not free.

However, my own plan is to let him do it anyway, on the theory that it would be better for him to learn a cheap lesson now, rather than make the same mistake later and have it be much more expensive

That's not comparable. There was nothing "less expensive" having Christ suffer for all of us over something that could have been prevented. Why did Adam and Eve have to "learn" their lesson? Why not just makes them "smart" enough? Is this why mankind has to endure evil of its own making?

Now, did he do the thing independently, or do you pin responsibility on me just because I could have stopped it?

On you, because not only could you have stopped it, but you also foreknew what would happen, and you created conditions that made it inevitable for him to fail -- and die. If God does everything, as you mention above, all "credit" goes to God!

God is only involved if you place a duty on Him to prevent. I don't

No one can impose anything on God. God only offers good. You don't have to take it.

OK, if God is a respecter of men

If the Bible means anything to you, then He is, because the Bible says he is on more than on occasion (but I see why you would not want to "see" those verses).

I assume that you would say that it was by God's choice to release control to men.

He gave us limited freedom, and dominion over all animals on earth. That's not releasing His sovereignty. He merely designated our "playground," and defined limits. Within those limits we are free to accept His blessings or to reject them. That's all.

"lead us not into temptation" - does any believer think He WILL lead us into temptation?

Why mention it then?

satan doesn't merit the term "rival". He is a bug next to God, but he is directly opposed to God

So, if he is a "bug" why is there so much evil int he world? Seems like this may be a lot bigger bug then you think.

Well, Jesus clearly speaks of the Apocalypse, and you don't believe the parts of the Bible that speak of the battle between God and satan

How can a "bug" be involved in a battle with God. It's like a queen ant blocking your way during a stroll!

16,222 posted on 07/20/2007 8:30:13 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Ping-Pong; Forest Keeper
Why does that disagree with me?

It merely states that our love of the world is the manifestation of evil that is in us.

 I don't know but I do know he told us to honor our parents so how can He want us to hate them? It makes no sense. There has to be a mistranslation. You cannot "hate" what you love. 

We seem to have no problem hating our enemies that we "love," even killing them

He did give us laws to take evil away but our liberal friends watered it down so 20 years after a murder he gets off and murders again

Our liberal friends are no angles, for sure. But last time I checked our conservative friends don't walk on water either. If it was only our liberal friends, that would be easy; trouble is bilateral! :)

I believe in action Kosta, I believe in the sword

Ah, yes, the loving swordLive by the sword, love by the sword.

If someone doesn't recognize Christ in us then they just see the surface that the liberal media likes to show the world

I know, I think I saw a halo last time I checked Rush Limbaugh's picture.

No, our very freedom allows evil to work right beside us but again, this is not heaven. It is a time for God to see who will follow Him

So, all that evil is really "good" for us then? Why have a sword then? If we got rid of the evil God wouldn't know who would follow Him! LOL!

Very few is right. I've met some wonderful people but I don't know if even they would qualify. Perhaps He doesn't expect anyone, except Himself, to be perfect and will accept us, warts and all

You mean there is no critical wart mass that will get us banned? So, just how imperfect is acceptable?

16,223 posted on 07/20/2007 9:29:39 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
The joke was telling the truth. The truth was known, but no one wanted to see it.

What is this truth that you keep talking about? Who knew all these facts when you say "the facts were known", and why should anyone have listened to them at THAT time? So far, all I have is an incomplete inspection and the say so of CIA underlings.

The Democrats were afraid of being labeled "unpatriotic," or worse, treasonous by such human replicants made by Dick Chaney's Haliburton as Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter.

LOL! If the libs in Congress voted against their best judgment to put the lives of our troops in danger because they were worried about what Hannity and Coulter would say, then God save our nation if any of them is elected President. :) I guess that makes Kucinich the strongest leader in the lib field because he voted "no". Again, God save our nation. BTW, I didn't know that Hannity and Coulter were products of Haliburton. If Haliburton was smart they would make more of them. :)

FK: "Saddam had already used WMDs against the Kurds."

So did the Iranians. During the war with Iran (when we supported Saddam even though we knew he gassed Kurds), this was not uncommon.

The underlying point was that Saddam DID have WMDs, and the preposterous idea that Bush was supposed to have just assumed that Saddam voluntarily disarmed, while proclaiming the opposite to the world, and while the best intelligence in the world was telling him that Saddam still did have weapons. ANYONE making the assumptions and conclusions you say Bush should have made would NEVER have the courage to protect our nation when it is attacked again. There will always be fringe sources that will speak on behalf of the innocence of our enemies.

Had Bush listened to you and ignored the rest of the free world, and his own CIA, and history, and then if Saddam had developed a bomb (which he openly claimed he was doing) or assisted in the deployment of another enemy nation's bomb over a major American city, then you all would have said "OOOOOPS", and potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans would be dead. A President CANNOT afford to fall back on "OOOOOPS".

Saudi Arabia and all Islamic states do the same; Saudi Arabia actually leading.

I agree with you about Saudi. They are not our friends, imo. I know there is a special relationship between them and GHWB, so it is possible that they are being very helpful behind the scenes, but I have no earthly idea if that is actually so. For now, in my mind they are part of the problem.

FK: "He was still shooting at our planes."

We were still flying over his country.

Saddam invaded Kuwait first. We drove him out and agreed not to finish the job then IF, ....., IF Saddam agreed to certain conditions which he DID agree to. The no-fly zones were part of that agreement. He violated the agreement. In part, that choice on his part is what subjected him to further action. That was definitely a big part of the Security Council's 15-0 vote.

FK: "Is loyalty to the leading functional democracy in the Middle East a bad thing?"

No, as long as that loyalty is not [against] our national interest or if it is not doing anything positive for our national interests. We cannot equate our national interests with that of another country.

I agree. I don't know of any credible argument that says that we should turn our back on Israel and not support them, from the POV of our national interests. A more stable Middle East is far better for us than a Middle East in a major war. If Israel's neighbors believed she is vulnerable, they would attack in a second. I think the ONLY reason they don't is that they know they would have to deal with the U.S. While everyone knows that Israel has nukes, I don't think the Islamists would really care. They would attack anyway.

There was no imminent threat of a Middle East war; ...

I didn't say anyone claimed that. I said that if we withdraw our umbrella from over Israel, there would be a major war almost immediately. That is against our national interest.

Israel wanted to be rid of Saddam, because Israel was somewhat within the range of his hypothetical missiles, but had no resources to invade Iraq. Someone else had to do it for them. Us.

Sure, it was a good deal for them, but we didn't do this FOR them. We did it for our national interest, which includes Israel.

[Continued on next post....]

16,224 posted on 07/20/2007 10:22:03 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: kosta50; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
[Continuing....]

The plan was to make Middle East safe for Israel by all accounts. With our blood, money and resources. Pretty clever.

Close. The plan was to make the Middle East safer for you and me by establishing a friendly democracy in the middle of terrorist alley. Of course our friend Israel benefits greatly if all goes well. With a U.S. foothold in the middle of the action we would have a much greater ability to affect the spread of terrorism in the region, all to our national interest.

FK: "If we went to war for oil, and we now control the oil fields, why aren't we just cleaning up?"

Because oil prices are determined by speculation. In some parts of this world, that's a dirty word. ...

I know about the futures market, etc. And I know that crude oil is fungible. But so does Bush!!! :) Therefore, doesn't your correct answer shoot the "war for oil" theory right out of the water? :) It makes absolutely zero sense to say that Bush went to war for oil, when it is clear that there is no gain to be had there, unless we were just going to steal it or something. Looking at today's gas prices, it looks like Bush hasn't stolen very much yet.

The companies are actually making bigger profits than before the war and we are paying more than twice for gas, all thanks to GW (who's bank account is doing much better along with Cheney's and Rice's because of oil prices).

So, your economic analysis is that when it comes to higher gas prices: "IT'S BUSH'S FAULT!". While that is a popular view among the Paul Krugman's of the world, it doesn't match the facts. Actually, the reason for higher gas prices is not mostly due to a shortage in production, it is due to a shortage in refining capacity. The companies are not making huge profits at the pump, in fact the franchise gas station owners are getting killed with the high prices. No, the companies are making a mint at the refining level.

Why is that? Enter Al Gore-types and other militant environmentalists. 30 years ago, the United States had good capacity to refine crude oil to satisfy the needs of the American people. Do you know how many new refineries have been built in this country in the last 30 years? ZERO! Thanks to all liberals. And since those same liberals filibuster attempts to drill for new oil, to build new refineries, and to build more nuclear power plants, the demand has gone through the roof, while our refining capacity (and domestic supply) is stunted. I'm surprised it took this long to catch up to us.

BTW, did you know why Iran is actually a net IMPORTER of fuel? It's because they don't have enough refineries either. They are actually rationing gas in Iran. Can you imagine that? ...... So, thanks to the leftists, the oil companies have mini-monopolies on the refining level and can charge what they want. They are semi-clean because the liberals won't let them build new plants or drill for new oil, or go get the shale oil that we also have an abundance of. No one cried for the oil companies when they were losing their shirts, so I don't blame them for making a buck now while the getting is good.

The evidence was there and it did not look good for the Bush administration. ... Those who followed more than prefab news reports knew that there was no evidence of WMDs or any imminent threat and that this whole thing was being cooked as an excuse to go to war.

As I said earlier, what is this evidence? I follow what the anti-war Dems are saying today and I don't hear anything credible. Since they only get out of bed in the morning to politically stab Bush in the chest, I would think that if they had such evidence that their buddies in the MSM would headline it for weeks. But I haven't seen anything.

I was reading as much as I could find, and I never believed there were any such weapons to be found.

OK, then what do you think Saddam did with the WMD program that he actually implemented before? Did he secretly dismantle it while lying to the world that it not only existed, but was growing?

FK: "... the ones who had the most to gain from an invasion were the Iraqi people."

That is really "obvious." They used to have normal schools, and electricity and water, and now they don't know if they will come home from going to the market...try telling them that.

I see. Normal schools? Uh-huh. Well, I suppose the first I would tell would be those lying in mass graves, and the victims of the state sponsored rape rooms, and Saddam's torture chambers, and the political prisoners, and all their families, etc. We've certainly made some serious mistakes in Iraq, but if we don't quit, and they don't quit, the lives of the Iraqis and countless future generations will be immeasurably better.

16,225 posted on 07/20/2007 10:30:27 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: kosta50; Forest Keeper
It merely states that our love of the world is the manifestation of evil that is in us.

I understand what you mean by "love of the world" in reference to evil but there is much of this creation that we can love that is of God. Is it wrong to love that?

We seem to have no problem hating our enemies that we "love," even killing them

We are to "love", if possible. It is not possible to love an enemy that wants to tape dynamite to their 3 year old and blow a bus full of people up. It isn't possible to love a man that hits an 85 year old woman to steal her purse, etc., etc., etc.......

Do you really think that Jesus or any of the apostles would have loved them by allowing them to continue their deeds? Of course not. He didn't tell them to carry swords for nothing. (Luke 22:36)

But last time I checked our conservative friends don't walk on water either

True, but they still have their noses above water.

Ah, yes, the loving sword. Live by the sword, love by the sword.

We must live by the sword in this age to stop those that would harm us. We may "live by the sword and die by the sword" but if we don't have a sword we will not only die ourselves but everything we hold dear will fall to evil.

So, all that evil is really "good" for us then? Why have a sword then? If we got rid of the evil God wouldn't know who would follow Him! LOL!

God knows who will follow Him but He is holding His hand out to others too. It is their choice.

You mean there is no critical wart mass that will get us banned? So, just how imperfect is acceptable?

God judges who gets banned so I don't know. I do know that there is only one unforgiveable sin. Only one that will doom us with no chance of His forgiveness.

16,226 posted on 07/21/2007 5:02:21 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: Ping-Pong; Forest Keeper
I understand what you mean by "love of the world" in reference to evil but there is much of this creation that we can love that is of God. Is it wrong to love that?

The Evangelist says it is.  And we believe John wrote what the Spirit revealed:

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  [John 2:15]

We are to "love", if possible.

Can you quote a verse that says that (i.e. "if possible")?  Or are you just making theology on the fly?

The Old Testament says

You have heard that it was said, "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy" [Lev 19:18]

And the New Testament quotes Christ as saying:

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. [Mat  5:44-45]

It isn't possible to love a man that hits an 85 year old woman to steal her purse

But if you could help that man recognize Christ he would repent and would shed tears and would beg God and that woman for forgiveness. And God would save another lost soul. You are confusing love of your enemies with their acts, not their souls. You'd rather see them killed with no chance of repentance, then try to help them accept Christ.

Loving your enemy is recognizing that even someone like that can be saved. But in order for them to see Christ, they have to see Christ in you. And Christ did not revile his enemies, nor did He smite them. And the Bible, which you claim you believe in, teaches you to follow in His steps, and to suffer if need be.

He didn't tell them to carry swords for nothing

And He said two were too many ("enough then"). And He also ordered Peter to put his sword away. And as far as I can remember, He never told the Apostles to use the sword to kill their enemies.

True, but they still have their noses above water

Matter of opinion.

We must live by the sword in this age to stop those that would harm us. We may "live by the sword and die by the sword" but if we don't have a sword we will not only die ourselves but everything we hold dear will fall to evil

Then you must not have much faith that God will protect us (remember walking on water?). What you are saying is what Judaism and Islam teach, not Christianity.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great. [Mat 5: 10-12]

God knows who will follow Him but He is holding His hand out to others too. It is their choice

Holding out His hand to "others?" Is He 'hoping" they would change their minds? God doesn't "hope," God knows. But He is not partial, and He offers His blessings to everyone, the righteous and the unrighteous.


16,227 posted on 07/21/2007 7:33:31 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; Forest Keeper
The Evangelist says it is. And we believe John wrote what the Spirit revealed:....Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [John 2:15]

I stand corrected but it is difficult not to love this beautiful creation.

Can you quote a verse that says that (i.e. "if possible")? Or are you just making theology on the fly?

(Rom.12:18)If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

But if you could help that man recognize Christ he would repent and would shed tears and would beg God and that woman for forgiveness. And God would save another lost soul. You are confusing love of your enemies with their acts, not their souls. You'd rather see them killed with no chance of repentance, then try to help them accept Christ.

I would love to see all souls saved and I would love for everyone to hear and heed God's Word - it won't happen in this age nor in the next one. How could I help anyone accept Christ if they kill me?

And He said two were too many ("enough then"). And He also ordered Peter to put his sword away. And as far as I can remember, He never told the Apostles to use the sword to kill their enemies.

He told Peter to put his sword away because He came to earth to do the thing Peter was trying to save Him from.

He also said: Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Now...that sword may be the "sword of truth", but it may also be one to fight with.

It could be He thought two swords were enough but He told them to take a sword - Then said He unto them, "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.(Luke 22:36)

Also, I just noticed another verse that pertains to a discussion we had yesterday - He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me (Matt.10:37). Here it doesn't say we must "hate" our family but must not love them as much. That shows the other scripture must have been improperly translated.

True, but they still have their noses above water.... Matter of opinion.

True - some of them are bottom feeders (but most of ours are better than most of theirs).

Then you must not have much faith that God will protect us (remember walking on water?). What you are saying is what Judaism and Islam teach, not Christianity.

Of course He will protect us from what we cannot protect ourselves from. I don't think He wants us to stand as a zombie. He provides the bricks and we provide the labor.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.....Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.....Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great. [Mat 5: 10-12]

These all pertain to when you are teaching others about Him. That is when you are expected to turn the other cheek.

God knows. But He is not partial, and He offers His blessings to everyone, the righteous and the unrighteous.

Yes He knows but His grace offers it to them until their last breath.

16,228 posted on 07/21/2007 8:28:10 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: Forest Keeper
Let me get one thing clear before I continue (for lukers and others): accusing those who disagree with this Administration's "official truth" as less than patriotic smacks of fascism and communism, as it is intended to silence any dissenting opinion. I do not appreciate such insinuations. I wore American military uniform for 20-plus years and, if I were called back, I would go in a heartbeat to stand my watch. But I will not allow any chicken-hawk who couldn't find time to give his country three years of his life for her safety to question my patriotism because we don't see eye to eye.

What is this truth that you keep talking about?

There was enough doubt in the cooked 'evidence' not to justify the 'imminent danger' and pre-emptive strike option. The idea was to press on with inspections, and pressure on the regime to cooperate, while being carefully monitored for nay signs of hostile action.

If Haliburton was smart they would make more of them

You get my point, then. :)

The underlying point was that Saddam DID have WMDs

Yes, and so does just about every country on earth. There is a difference between using them locally and inter continentally. Besides, North Korea did 't even hide that it was making or or that it actually had at least one missile capable of reaching the US and we did nothing. How selective can you get?

Saddam's army has proven completely inept in the past (taking over a posta-stamp sized country like Kuwait is not a great feat), especially after ten years of severe sanctions. So, claiming "imminent danger" and 48-hour nuclear strike capability was a deliberate dysinformation with one goal in mind: to create a panic situation and get a green light for a war.

Information such as that launched by the Brits is not something you would release to the public. You would react first and explain later, if the evidence was there, that is.

ANYONE making the assumptions and conclusions you say Bush should have made would NEVER have the courage to protect our nation when it is attacked again

Hello? Are you there? We were attacked by Osama who was in Afghanistan. Our miserable failure to catch him there was no excuse to go after Iraq with no connection whatsoever. Except the neocons saw this as a perfect opportunity to settle some old scores.

Attacking Iraq did not reduce the possibility of terrorist infiltration on our shores, or using domestic "sleeper cells" for that purpose. Saddam held exactly zero chance of attacking us successfully using conventional methods. Preparation for an attack would be detected before it got off the ground. Iraq was under constant satellite surveilence and under no fly restrictions.

Our interballistic missiles would have shot any of his interballistic missiles (which he didn't have) out of the sky with ease. The Israeli air force could have blown the whole operation into smithereens as it has done once before. If we had such incontrovertible evidence that he was capable and was actually committing an imminent threat, we could have resorted to air strikes; not an invasion. Clearly, the WMDs were an excuse. 

Saddam invaded Kuwait first

Kuwait was part of Iraq until the British created it (together with the fake "royal" family) for their oil interest. A little history helps understand how conflicts simmer, and why they boil over when no one expects it.

The plan was to make the Middle East safer for you and me by establishing a friendly democracy in the middle of terrorist alley

You have no clue of what you are taking about. Your knowledge of Middle East history is zero, imo. Everything you spout is replaying recorded Fox News propaganda. Otherwise you couldn't be saying what you are saying. There was no terrorism or instability in the Middle East. The only terrorism that existed after 1945 was Israeli terror tactics against the British there.

Unilateral creation of Israel, even if morally right, was in violation of the UN resolution, involved ethnic cleansing and a cause of instability in the region that has lasted for the last 60-plus years. Israel has been our friend and ally but it has not been a "stabilizing" factor.

It makes absolutely zero sense to say that Bush went to war for oil, when it is clear that there is no gain to be had there, unless we were just going to steal it or something. Looking at today's gas prices, it looks like Bush hasn't stolen very much yet

The oil was certainly a big factor, but not a politically desirable one for public consumption. First, the issue of oils supply to Israel, which has no oil of its own, is a concern. All the oil in the region comes from Israel's enemies. The pipes leading to the Mediterranean go over territories that are hostile to Israel. The only connection to oil is through Turkey, the only Muslim country which has a defense pact with Israel, a deal worked out at great benefits for Turkey, which has received our complete protection and immunity in return.

Saudi Arabia is no friend of ours, as you say, and if its regime became less friendly or fell to the Wahabbi opponents, our oil supplies would be in serious danger as our dependence on imported oil has only steadily risen since the last Arab-Israeli war in the 1970's.

Most of the oil in that region is concentrated in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran and the Caspean Sea. the oil pumps go into the Persian Gulf, and the Mediterranean (via Syria), and Turkey. Controlling the region, or having America-friendly regimes installed there would assure us not only of the world's largest oil reserves, but direct control over them.

This would also assure oils supply to Israel as an added benefit. It would also free us from total dependence on the Saudi oil. That's why we created friendly relations (and installed friendly regimes) with Kazakhstan, and all the countries from the Caspean Sea all the way to Turkey. Our aim is to overturn the regimes of Iraq, Syria and Iran for that reason. That would be in our national interest. the big question is how?

Obviously we can't buy them. Because they are so adamant about Israel's demise, which is not an option under any circumstances, there is no possibility of getting them to agree, as was possible with non-oil producing countries like Jordan and Egypt (no democracies there, by the way; the Egyptian regime has been in power for 40-plus years...and Jordan is run by the king and a rubber-stamp "parliament").

So, the only possible way is to force a change, and for that you need casus belli (the cause of war), and in the aftermath of 9/11 the "mindset" was ripe for that,  but the neocons actually presented the plan to the Clinton administration in the mid 1990's, so the intention was there all along; what was missing was some kind of "urgent evidence" to make the case.

Saddam's torture chambers, and the political prisoners, and all their families, etc. We've certainly made some serious mistakes in Iraq, but if we don't quit, and they don't quit, the lives of the Iraqis and countless future generations will be immeasurably better

No doubt, but it didn't bother us as a matter of principle when he engaged Iran. Then he was just one of "our thugs." he was good for us. And, by the way, by now more Iraqis have died since the invasion then under his horrible regime. Geopolitically, he was a minor threat to us, but he was a stability factor for the region. And, that should be our concern. Now we have a destablizied region, and no potential solution. I seriously doubt the Iraqis will be better off any time soon.

Our myopia when it comes to international conflicts is stunning. We have all the resources and very little understanding of other cultures and root causes for their present state. High tech, low IQ. We react, and apply our standards on them. We rely on disgruntled emigre groups and treat them as if they had no axe to grind and a motive to provide us with misleading information for their own purpose. We engage in nation-building experiments when thousand-year old cultures are firmly entrenched and will not change. My take on the reasons for such misses is that we have become politically correct instead of practical. political correctness promotes and hires as well as fires. It doesn't look for talent and knowledge, but for those who will be politically correct. yes men are not necessarily your best workers.

It's funny how the Taliban mistreatment of women was not mentioned on the news in any significant ways until it became necessary to get people all worked up to attack Afghanistan. Likewise, their disproportionate poppy seed production was never mentioned until then. After all we helped put Taliban in power there. Zbig Bzesinski even called them the "soldiers of God" and CIA was supplying them with weapons and intel to fight the Soviets. Their poppy production and their abuse of women didn't bother us at all.

What does that say about our principles? It says we don't have any. It says we have selective outrage when it suits us. Saudi Arabia treats its women just as badly, and we see nothing about in on public TV. Ever wonder why.

16,229 posted on 07/21/2007 8:54:42 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Ping-Pong; Forest Keeper
it is difficult not to love this beautiful creation

You can appreciate it and love it, but not become attached to it. It is His world and His beauty and His greatness is reflected in His work. Admire it, respect it, but do not grab for it.

(Rom.12:18) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men

But, in context [Rom 12:17-19]

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord.

Paul is telling us not to sin if possible; he never say pick up a a word if you can't live in peace with them. Do not repay evil for evil ... never take revenge does not say "if possible." You must, as much as possible within your heart, to live in peace with others, shunning sin.

I would love to see all souls saved and I would love for everyone to hear and heed God's Word - it won't happen in this age nor in the next one. How could I help anyone accept Christ if they kill me?

Those who believe walk on water and leave everything to God. The Bible is full of miracles (which I presume many use as a talking point but really don't believe), and instances where God spared others because of their prayers and faith.

I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life [Isa 38:5]

He told Peter to put his sword away because He came to earth to do the thing Peter was trying to save Him from

But he never tells them to use the sword to kill their enemies, does He?

It could be He thought two swords were enough but He told them to take a sword - Then said He unto them, "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.(Luke 22:36)

In context [Luke 22: 36-38]

He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied."

The whole section is mumb-jumbo unrelated to anything. If you think someone mistranslated the word "hate," this whole block looks like someone mixed and-mismatched several verses into one nonsense.

True - some of them are bottom feeders (but most of ours are better than most of theirs)

More opinion. Thanks for sharing.

He wants us to stand as a zombie. He provides the bricks and we provide the labor

First you treat as dying for Christ as a "loss." That's because your focus is here and now, on the world. You feel that you have the right to stay as long as you can and that somehow going to the Lord "prematurely" is undesirable, although your birth certificate gives no time span.

Second, you assume that not using evil means "standing like a zombie." There are ways to resist and evade without resorting to evil. There are ways to fight without resorting to evil. That's why we have a judicial system and not vigilante "justice." We must do everything to stop the evil short of returning evil for evil because we do not inflict evil on those we love and if we love God then we love our enemies too and wish them no evil.

Yes He knows but His grace offers it to them until their last breath

God doesn't do things Himself, He uses us to do His work; he used Noah, and Abraham and Moses and the prophets and patriarchs, and the saints for that purpose. So, if we are true believers, ours is to try to make the other person see God through us, to be used by God, but for that to happen we must be God-like enough for His light to shine through us for our enemies to see and believe.

16,230 posted on 07/21/2007 9:34:32 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; Forest Keeper
You can appreciate it and love it, but not become attached to it. It is His world and His beauty and His greatness is reflected in His work. Admire it, respect it, but do not grab for it.

I love that answer and reasoning.

Do not repay evil for evil ... never take revenge does not say "if possible." You must, as much as possible within your heart, to live in peace with others, shunning sin.

True but some of us do not consider it a sin to stop evil. Some of us do not believe it is revenge.

Those who believe walk on water and leave everything to God. The Bible is full of miracles (which I presume many use as a talking point but really don't believe), and instances where God spared others because of their prayers and faith.

Everything I can't handle I leave to God. I do not believe He wants us to leave it all to Him. We, as children of God, should be able to handle many things knowing we are His children.

But he never tells them to use the sword to kill their enemies, does He?

No, I don't think He did.

More opinion. Thanks for sharing.

You are most welcome. I'm always happy to share my opinions with you.

God doesn't do things Himself, He uses us to do His work; he used Noah, and Abraham and Moses and the prophets and patriarchs, and the saints for that purpose. So, if we are true believers, ours is to try to make the other person see God through us, to be used by God, but for that to happen we must be God-like enough for His light to shine through us for our enemies to see and believe.

That is my point. He uses us to work for Him. Some of that work is going to battle. Some of us can spread His light and His Word. We all have different duties.

if we love God then we love our enemies too and wish them no evil.

Again, it is not evil to stop them. I wish they would all go away and live a wonderful life but they choose not to.

16,231 posted on 07/21/2007 10:01:08 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: kosta50; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
Yes, there is a difference, and the difference is that theophany is Logos' manifestation without humanity. Was Melchizedek, not human?

I don't know for sure about Melchizedek. From what I found, many believe he was a regular human, and some believe he was a theophany. I even found the phrase you used about Hebrews "creating confusion". In any event, the main point is still that Christ did make appearances in the OT and the righteous did have faith in Him.

On theophanies in general, I found this excerpt from answers.com:

... The Encyclopedia Britannica similarly defines this as "a manifestation of deity in sensible form."[3] In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Bible is the primary source of events which both Britannica and the New Catholic Encyclopedia cite as being theophanies.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia cites examples such as Gen 3:8a.[4] The same source then quotes Gen 16:7-14.[5] In this case, initially it is an angel which appears to Hagar, however it then says that God spoke directly to her, and that she saw God and lived (Gen 16:13). The next example the New Catholic Encyclopedia cites is Gen 22:11-15, which states explicitly that it was the angel of the Lord, rather than God Himself, speaking to Abraham (Gen 22:11a).[6] However, the angel addressing Abraham speaks the very words of God in the first person (Gen 22:12b). In both of the last two examples, although it is an angel present, the voice of the Lord Himself is spoken through the angel, and so this is a manifestation of Deity. The angel is therefore a preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ.

16,232 posted on 07/21/2007 11:07:40 AM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: kosta50; .30Carbine; Ping-Pong
FK: "Where does that come from? God is actively involved with the necessary perseverance of His elect every single day. And it is HIM doing the work, not us."

That's my point: lay back and enjoy the ride. Easy. Comfy. Let God do all the work...we can play and do whatever, sin all you want, all our sins are already forgiven...like a bunch of spoiled brats.

If it worked like that, then it wouldn't be perseverance, would it. Jesus says that His burden is light, so that means that perseverance DOES take "perceived" effort on our part. All I'm saying is that when I do a good thing, when I really don't feel like doing it, it "feels" like work to me, but it is really God working through me.

Why does God need to do "maintenance" on His elect, FK? Did He not predestine everything, or does He have to micromanage too, so the "poor" babies can persevere (even though the little premadonnas will persevere regardless because they have already been "saved")?

We need maintenance because the system God set up has us ever growing closer to Him. If it all happened in a minute then our existence would be very different on earth. Only God knows why He chose as He did. He wanted us to live in confidence of our salvation, and realize that we still have much to learn. Only God who began a good work in us can complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.

FK: "Since God is no respecter of men (or angels) then it must have been part of His plan."

Where does it say "of angles?" Angels are obligatory God's servants; they are not free.

Yes, that is what I was attempting to say. Just as man is not free to thwart God's plan, neither are angels. So, when satan fell, God did not say "Oh NO, that ruins everything!"

Why did Adam and Eve have to "learn" their lesson? Why not just makes them "smart" enough? Is this why mankind has to endure evil of its own making?

I don't know! :) All I can do is observe that this is the way God wanted it, and it is therefore good. Somehow, it is good that man suffer from his sins. One possibility is that we learn from that suffering.

FK: "Now, did he do the thing independently, or do you pin responsibility on me just because I could have stopped it?"

On you, because not only could you have stopped it, but you also foreknew what would happen, and you created conditions that made it inevitable for him to fail -- and die. If God does everything, as you mention above, all "credit" goes to God!

How did I create the conditions? I didn't suggest it, in fact I argued against it. They only thing of relevance is that I did not put my foot down and stop it. That is not the same as creating the conditions. I did it in order to prevent him from making the same mistake later, in which case he WOULD die. So, the idea is that by allowing it now, it saves his life. I think it is possible that this happens with God.

FK: ... "lead us not into temptation" - does any believer think He WILL lead us into temptation?

Why mention it then?

As a reminder, the same as with the other examples I gave from the Lord's Prayer. The Bible does a lot of reminding. We need it. :)

So, if [satan] is a "bug" why is there so much evil in the world? Seems like this may be a lot bigger bug then you think.

Oh, I agree that we should never underestimate him. Next to us he is very powerful. I just want to be on the record as NOT thinking that satan is some sort of "counter-God". satan has no ability to triumph over the one and only true God.

How can a "bug" be involved in a battle with God. It's like a queen ant blocking your way during a stroll!

To God it might be just like that. :) But, for however many people get to see it, I would imagine it will be quite a large spectacle. :)

16,233 posted on 07/21/2007 1:24:13 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: kosta50
The idea was to press on with inspections, and pressure on the regime to cooperate, while being carefully monitored for nay signs of hostile action.

Since I am obviously anti-UN, I never thought the inspections were honest. I was never really worried about Saddam launching missiles against the U.S., but I was very worried that he (or his sons after him) would develop nukes and give them to those who intended to detonate them in the U.S. (or Israel).

I honestly don't know if there was anything to that yellow cake story, but it would make perfect sense if true. Saddam openly said he had a nuke program, and it fits the personality profile of any dictator to want to be in "the club".

Besides, North Korea didn't even hide that it was making or that it actually had at least one missile capable of reaching the US and we did nothing. How selective can you get?

Of course they attempted to hide it. Clinton cheerfully signed an agreement with DPRK in 1994, in which they "promised" to give up their nuclear weapons program. I am sure that the libs were all SHOCKED when it turned out they had been lying to us all along. (Of course they were finally forced to admit it when they planned and executed nuclear testing.) Who could ever imagine that a dictator would lie? :)

This is what drives me nuts about liberals. They have a genetic inability to see evil in the world for the threat it is. Even now we have a major candidate calling the War on Terror a bumper sticker.

So, claiming "imminent danger" and 48-hour nuclear strike capability was a deliberate disinformation with one goal in mind: to create a panic situation and get a green light for a war.

I'm not certain, but I don't remember Britain ever claiming that Saddam actually had nukes at the time. I thought it was about for whenever they got nukes. Nukes have to be tested and everyone obviously knew that no testing had taken place. That would operate against imminent threat. Plus, I KNOW that Bush never claimed imminent threat, and never pumped it as a reason to go to war.

We were attacked by Osama who was in Afghanistan. Our miserable failure to catch him there was no excuse to go after Iraq with no connection whatsoever. Except the neocons saw this as a perfect opportunity to settle some old scores.

Who ever said that was an excuse to go into Iraq? Not Bush. Both were part of the WOT, but Bush never said that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11. Bush presented the WOT as a global effort, wherever terrorism flourished. Iraq WAS one of the biggest state sponsors of terror at the time.

Attacking Iraq did not reduce the possibility of terrorist infiltration on our shores, or using domestic "sleeper cells" for that purpose.

Not true. The threat was never ICBMs from Iraq, and nobody I can think of in the Bush administration ever said it was. The threat was smuggling in weapons to be used by foreign terrorists, and possibly domestic sleeper cells. Given how porous our border security is, that remains a very real threat today.

Kuwait was part of Iraq until the British created it (together with the fake "royal" family) for their oil interest. A little history helps understand how conflicts simmer, and why they boil over when no one expects it.

My understanding is that Kuwait has been completely sovereign since the early 60's. If one believed that Saddam had a legitimate right to invade Kuwait, then I suppose such a person would also have sympathy for La Raza, which believes that the southwest United States really belongs to Mexico. :)

Your knowledge of Middle East history is zero, imo. Everything you spout is replaying recorded Fox News propaganda. Otherwise you couldn't be saying what you are saying. There was no terrorism or instability in the Middle East. The only terrorism that existed after 1945 was Israeli terror tactics against the British there. (emphasis added)

Please take this in the good humor in which it is intended, but that statement makes Holocaust deniers look reasonable. :)

First, the issue of oils supply to Israel, which has no oil of its own, is a concern. All the oil in the region comes from Israel's enemies. The pipes leading to the Mediterranean go over territories that are hostile to Israel. The only connection to oil is through Turkey ...

I don't understand why this would be a reason to go to war. Why can't Israel buy its oil on the world market, like everyone else does. We buy Iranian oil and they hate us just as much as Israel. There's no way to shut off Israel's oil supply, except for a physical blockade of some sort, and that can't happen.

Controlling the region, or having America-friendly regimes installed there would assure us not only of the world's largest oil reserves, but direct control over them.

I really doubt Bush had such grand designs. I think part of our foothold would indeed go to protecting the oil supply. But right now no one country, such as Iran, (or even a small group) can keep its oil from the U.S. Once on the world market, oil goes to whoever buys it. If Iran wanted to deprive us, they would have to shut down all production, and they aren't going to do that. This shoots down the whole "war for oil" argument right here.

And, by the way, by now more Iraqis have died since the invasion then under his horrible regime.

How can you know that? To my knowledge, the DOD is not releasing those estimates (Rosie O'Donnell's numbers notwithstanding :), and we certainly can't be sure of how many people Saddam has murdered. We have only found some of the mass graves. It is inconceivable that more have died since the war began than he killed. And, you cannot count those who are shooting at Americans, they are the enemy.

Geopolitically, [Saddam] was a minor threat to us, but he was a stability factor for the region.

A leading state sponsor of terror was a stabilizing factor??? Interesting. He invaded sovereign nations, gassed his own people, paid bounty to suicide bombers, grossly violated UN agreements, and bragged that he was developing nuclear weapons. Yep, sounds stabilizing to me alright. :)

What does that say about our principles? It says we don't have any. It says we have selective outrage when it suits us. Saudi Arabia treats its women just as badly, and we see nothing about in on public TV. Ever wonder why.

I agree with your general points in your last few paragraphs. But all any leader can do at any one time is go with what he thinks is best at the time and for the future. Sometimes that means making a "lesser of two evils" choice. Once upon a time, Saddam was the lesser of two evils so we backed him. Times change though, and I don't think that necessarily makes the original decision wrong, FOR THE TIME it was made.

16,234 posted on 07/21/2007 7:20:39 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
In any event, the main point is still that Christ did make appearances in the OT and the righteous did have faith in Him

There was no Christ prior to Incarnation. Christ means Messiah. The pre-incarnation Son of God is the eternal Logos. You can's speak of "Christ" before Incarnation.  The righteous who believed theopany did not distinguish God from God the Word, or God the Spirit. The OT does not have those concepts. They had "seeds" (sporoi), just as other Abrahamic and monotheistic religions have. They did not believe in a Christian God. And it is a guess if they would have recognized Him after the Incarnation.

On theophanies in general, I found this excerpt from answers.com:  ... The Encyclopedia Britannica similarly defines this as "a manifestation of deity in sensible form."

I have no clue what "sensible" means in this case. Does it mean as in "makes sense" or as something "detectable?"  You get to see God without really seeing Him as He is. The appearance is only an illusion. His Incarnate presence was real. Big difference.

The Orthodox (and Catholics)  celebrate the Theophany of the Lord following His Baptism, not as the OT appearances in "sensible" forms.

16,235 posted on 07/21/2007 8:27:02 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Forest Keeper; .30Carbine; Ping-Pong
If it worked like that, then it wouldn't be perseverance, would it.

Perseverance doesn't necessarily mean struggle. Just "holding out." You could be bored on a 7-day cruise and have to "persevere" in boredom but lacking nothing.

The perseverance relates to keeping the faith. We are constantly bombarded with temptations and lust for things and people, and are constantly challenged by other groups and religions or systems that may seem "greener." 

Thus, even if we are not being thrown tot he lions, we are challenged to keep our values, dignity and remain moral beings. the easiest thing to do would be to just say "I give up" and go for the forbidden fruits.

All I'm saying is that when I do a good thing, when I really don't feel like doing it, it "feels" like work to me, but it is really God working through me...Jesus ssays that His burden is light, so that means that perseverance DOES take "perceived" effort on our part.

It's not easy being a Christian if you really want to be a Christian. So, yes, it is an effort. We are reminded of this with every fasting period. Lets we take our faith for granted and drift away. It reminds us that cross comes before the crown.

We need maintenance because the system God set up has us ever growing closer to Him

The Bible says you must believe (and baptized). Protestants tell me after that they are saved. God converted their hearts, God gave them faith. God did everything.  They are saved, for good. What else is there to do? If God wants you nearer, the Protestants will tell me God will do that too. You can't have God doing everything and all and that saying we have to grow closer. If that's how God set it up, than it's not our effort but our destiny and will happen whether we want it or not. It's not our "perseverance."

Kosta: Where does it say "of angles?" Angels are obligatory God's servants; they are not free.

FK: Yes, that is what I was attempting to say. Just as man is not free to thwart God's plan, neither are angels. So, when satan fell, God did not say "Oh NO, that ruins everything!"

Ggod is no respecter of angels?  God is no respecter of men, because he gives to the righteous and the unrighteous. As far as I know, God doe snot give to fallen angels, but he does give to fallen men (because there is always hope for the fallen men to be saved, but none for the fallen angels).

Angelic rebellion is unforgivable because God created Angels as obligate servants and their rebellion is a complete reversal of their nature.  Men was created in God's image and likeness, with limited dominion and capacity to forgive which the angles do not have. Man was not created as God's servant, but as God by grace. Man's rebellion is a corruption, not complete reversal of his nature. The rebellious angels are dead. We are sick. Big difference.

One possibility is that we learn from that suffering

God did not create suffering. Therefore suffering cannot be good. Suffering is the outcome of the fall world and is therefore an manifestation of evil, not learning. Given that we have been unable to stop suffering in our short history, suffering does not seem to have and lasting education effects.

How did I create the conditions?

I put you in the position of God. That's how. When you make a decision as a father, you don't have the foreknowledge and resources available to God, so your comparison is invalid.

Oh, I agree that we should never underestimate [satan].  Next to us he is very powerful. I just want to be on the record as NOT thinking that satan is some sort of "counter-God". satan has no ability to triumph over the one and only true God.

FK, the temptation is in our nature. It's part of our freedom. We need to stop blaming our weakness on the devil and live up to our own evil and reject it. Passing the buck never solved anything.

I would not worry about you giving satan more than he's due, never mind making him "counter-God." He gets all his "life" from us.

But, for however many people get to see [Armageddon], I would imagine it will be quite a large spectacle.

There will not be an Armageddon, FK. The devil is not "counter-God."  At no point is the outcome in question. God doesn't need the final battle -- His is the Final Judgment!

16,236 posted on 07/21/2007 9:11:41 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Forest Keeper
but I was very worried that he (or his sons after him) would develop nukes and give them to those who intended to detonate them in the U.S. (or Israel)

I can understand that, but that threat has not been removed by his removal.  In fact, it may have be increased as a result of further radicalization of Islam (whish perceives our military interventions as "Crusades" for "Zionist' interests). There are 1 billion Muslims in this world (and one of the fastest growing religions). If one out of ten Muslims is an Islamic radical, that's a potential army of 100 million (no fuzzy math this time!). I believe mine is a conservative figure.

So, the question is have we made our world safer, and the answer is no. Just the opposite.

Saddam openly said he had a nuke program

That program was blown to pieces by the Israelis. Active production of weapons-grade plutonium and activities associated with such a project are easily detectable, as is the case with N. Korea and Iran. What's the point of lying? More importantly, you can't hide it. But what was suggested is that somehow the program has "advanced" to the "imminent threat" level.

In a speech to the UN in 2002, a few months before the start of the war, Pres. Bush said "Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering danger." In 1997, Clinton actually said Saddam was a "clear and present danger" (but he was referring to the local region). Yet the UN inspections, and intelligence reports were not as certain as politicians.

In September 2002,  the International Institute for Strategical Studies (IISS), which calls itself the "world's leading authority on political military conflicts," said

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein could build a nuclear weapon "in a matter of months" if he managed to buy or steal raw materials, a defence analyst has warned.
This cover-organization states that IISS
 
has found that Iraq has chemical nerve agents, a stockpile of anthrax and is some way down the road towards nuclear weapons - without yet having the raw material
Of course, none of this was true. The report then continues with "probably" and "it is believed" that Iraq had "tonnes" of chemical and anxthrax supplies, etc. none of which indicated anything but pure (and irresponsible) speculation, assuming it was not deliberate as I suspect.
 
The report was immediately accepted as "fact" by Phoney Tony (Blair) :
 
The IISS report comes after a weekend which saw Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W Bush argue that doing nothing about Saddam's weapons programmes was not an option for the international community.
 
Mr Blair stressed that once the public had seen the evidence "people will see this is not something that has been invented or dreamt up in the last few weeks. This is a real and serious issue.
So, Blair was assuring everyone that this was all true and certain even though the report itself is full of doubtful words and even states that
 
The report said that Iraq's chemical weapons capability did not appear to pose a decisive threat against opposing military forces, who would be protected against such attack, although in small numbers chemical munitions could disrupt logistical operations and threaten civilian populations.
So, it is clear who was doing the lying for our side, and we didn't stop him. The urgency and even panic situation was being created deliberately and without despite facts on the ground to the contrary, by various "analysts" and emigre groups.
 
Let me tell you: I have seen our analysts at work in Bosnia. We ha more luck than brains. Their knowledge of the local customs, language, habits, history, etc. was sorrowful. They used clearly biased sources and treated them as facts. What followed in Iraq did not come as a surprise to me at all, as regards the aftermath.
 
By August 2003 (five months after the war, and when GW proclaimed "mission accomplished"), the Brits fessed up that Saddam was no threat at all and that all hype about him being able to launch  WMDs within 45 minutes was an "exaggeration."
 
The inquiry has already established beyond doubt that, despite government briefing that Dr Kelly was a medium-level official of little significance, he was in fact one of the world's leading experts on WMD in Iraq. It is also clear that Dr Kelly chose to brief three BBC journalists - and presumably others - to the effect that the 45-minute warning of the possible use of WMD was an exaggeration. He said to the Newsnight reporter Susan Watts, as well as to Gilligan that Campbell and the Downing Street press operation were responsible for exerting pressure to hype up the danger. [Guardian, Aug 23, 2003]
In the same article is says
 
We know through emails revealed by Hutton that Tony Blair's chief of staff made clear that the dossier was likely to convince those who were prepared to be convinced, but that the document "does nothing to demonstrate he [Saddam Hussein] has the motive to attack his neighbours, let alone the west. We will need to be clear in launching the document that we do not claim that we have evidence that he is an imminent threat.
Yet it was precisely the hysteria created that cut short the mandated Blix inspections which were to end several month later. In other words, the inspections could have been completed in time prescribed, and there was no need to go for a predetermined invasion date.
 
But, my theory is that we knew very well that Saddam had nothing, and that Blix's inspections would reveal that he had nothing, and would not give us the casus belli we were looking for, so we decided to cut the UN inspections lest they rob us of an opportunity to launch the war everyone was itching for. I am sure the neocons and everyone up the chain knew that there was nothing in saddam's arsenal all along.
 
Please take this in the good humor in which it is intended, but that statement makes Holocaust deniers look reasonable
 
It's a poor choice of words and a poor counter-argument because it has nothing to do with the Holocaust. In fact it degrades it. You are mixing apples and oranges. The only denial is yours, because you don't know the history of the 1947 British Protectorate in Palestine and the Israeli terror tactics used against them.  At that time, the only terrorists and disrupters of peace were the members of the Israeli hits squads (the Irgun  and the Stern gangs) , of which Menachim Begin, the one time Israeli PM, was an active member.
 
It was precisely the formation of Israel that provoked instability (ethnic cleansing and Palestinian refugee problem) and retaliatory Arab terrorism which hasn't stopped to this date. So, we can say a lot of things about Israel, both good and bad, but one thing is certain: Israel was never a stabilizing factor in the region.
 
A leading state sponsor of terror was a stabilizing factor??? Interesting. He invaded sovereign nations, gassed his own people, paid bounty to suicide bombers, grossly violated UN agreements, and bragged that he was developing nuclear weapons
 
Yes, he kept Iran in check and he kept the various factions in Iraq in check. he invaded only one country as far as I know, citing historical right to Kuwait as one of the provinces of Iraq.  By the way, Saddam actually informed the American Ambassador in Iraq of his intentions to invade the country and she did not nothing to dissuade him. As for ignoring UN SC resolutions, Israel is the one that has the longest list of those. Israel is also not bragging but everyone knows it has nuclear weapons and refuses UN nuclear regulatory inspections.

16,237 posted on 07/21/2007 10:59:56 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; Ping-Pong; .30Carbine
FK: "On theophanies in general, I found this excerpt from answers.com: ... The Encyclopedia Britannica similarly defines this as "a manifestation of deity in sensible form."

I have no clue what "sensible" means in this case. Does it mean as in "makes sense" or as something "detectable?" You get to see God without really seeing Him as He is. The appearance is only an illusion. His Incarnate presence was real. Big difference.

I think it just means something easily recognizable to the human. It "appears" real, even though the substance it appears to be isn't true. I read part of a summary of Augustine's Book II of De Trinitate, in which he analyzes the OT theophanies and tries to determine if they are supposed to be the whole Trinity, or individual Persons. The summary said that Augustine doesn't come to any hard conclusions, but he reasoned that the appearances were either by the Son or the Spirit, but not the Father, because of similar language used to describe the Persons elsewhere in the Bible.

16,238 posted on 07/22/2007 12:14:52 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: kosta50; .30Carbine; Ping-Pong
The perseverance relates to keeping the faith. .... Thus, even if we are not being thrown tot he lions, we are challenged to keep our values, dignity and remain moral beings. the easiest thing to do would be to just say "I give up" and go for the forbidden fruits.

Yes, that is exactly what we experience. Therefore, my side does not believe it is OK to go out and do whatever we want. That isn't what Christianity teaches, so we don't believe it.

You can't have God doing everything and all and that saying we have to grow closer. If that's how God set it up, than it's not our effort but our destiny and will happen whether we want it or not. It's not our "perseverance."

God doing everything includes bringing us closer. And yes, it is not our efforts that are worthy of merit, but rather God's. It is our perseverance because God makes it happen for us, not because we make it for ourselves. Reformers believe that the word "predestination" means what the word means. We do not believe, as the Apostolics do, that in effect, man "predestines" himself. That makes a mockery of the word.

God is no respecter of angels? God is no respecter of men, because he gives to the righteous and the unrighteous. As far as I know, God doe snot give to fallen angels, but he does give to fallen men (because there is always hope for the fallen men to be saved, but none for the fallen angels).

I figured out that we were using the word "respecter" differently. You were using it in the strict Biblical sense of giving sunlight, etc. to everyone. That's perfectly good. I was using it in the context of whether God "respects" the decisions of men, and shapes His plan around those decisions (apparently the Apostolic view since God predestines based on men's decision). I don't think THAT happens with either men or angels.

Man's rebellion is a corruption, not complete reversal of his nature. The rebellious angels are dead. We are sick. Big difference.

Rebellious angels are dead and have no hope. Lost men are also dead, but God has predestined some of them to be saved. There's the difference.

God did not create suffering. Therefore suffering cannot be good. Suffering is the outcome of the fall world and is therefore an manifestation of evil, not learning.

The Bible disagrees:

Heb 12:5-11 : 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Therefore, we learn by going through the suffering of God's discipline.

We need to stop blaming our weakness on the devil and live up to our own evil and reject it. Passing the buck never solved anything.

Yes, I completely agree. Plus, we have Biblical proof that the devil can't "make" us do anything:

1 Cor 10:13 : 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

God protects us against "forced" sin.

There will not be an Armageddon, FK. The devil is not "counter-God." At no point is the outcome in question. God doesn't need the final battle -- His is the Final Judgment!

What does one have to do with the other? I.e., why does satan have to be a "counter-God" for there to be a final battle? You are right that the outcome is not in question, but that is irrelevant to whether a battle will take place. EVERY battle in Biblical history was a forgone conclusion. It is not a matter of God "needing" a final battle, but only that He wanted one. In it, satan will be defeated and forever sealed in hell. That's how God wants it to go, and that's great with me.

16,239 posted on 07/22/2007 3:23:22 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper; kosta50
Therefore, my side does not believe it is OK to go out and do whatever we want. That isn't what Christianity teaches, so we don't believe it.

I think that those desires to "go out and do whatever" don't exist after you accept Christ. You may still slip up and do something not very Christian (bad word, unkind thought, etc.) but the desire to do things just isn't there (maybe it's just my age talking).

16,240 posted on 07/22/2007 5:22:28 PM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: kosta50
FK: "... but I was very worried that he (or his sons after him) would develop nukes and give them to those who intended to detonate them in the U.S. (or Israel)"

I can understand that, but that threat has not been removed by his removal. In fact, it may have be increased as a result of further radicalization of Islam (which perceives our military interventions as "Crusades" for "Zionist' interests).

The threat has not been removed, but it has been lessened. Now there is one less government sponsor of the development of nukes intended for the U.S. Al Qaida has already proved that it does not need to be provoked to wage a terrorist war against the U.S. There have been attacks against us since at least the 80's. Bush was the first to recognize it for what it was. Even my hero Reagan didn't get it. The intent of the Islamists to destroy Israel and the U.S. was solidly there well before the Iraq War, or even 9/11.

If one out of ten Muslims is an Islamic radical, that's a potential army of 100 million (no fuzzy math this time!). I believe mine is a conservative figure.

I fully agree. I think there are more than that who are very sympathetic with terrorist actions and could be enlisted to participate.

So, the question is have we made our world safer, and the answer is no. Just the opposite.

I agree with the question, but the answer is unknowable at this time. If we surrender by cutting and running, then the world is MUCH MUCH less safe. However, if there is ultimate victory in Iraq, I believe the world will be safer in the long run. They are going to attack as long as they are alive and can keep recruiting. A stable democracy in Iraq would demoralize them.

That program was blown to pieces by the Israelis. Active production of weapons-grade plutonium and activities associated with such a project are easily detectable, as is the case with N. Korea and Iran. What's the point of lying?

Thanks to Clinton, the DPRK got NINE free years of development without our knowledge, until now it is too late. They have it, and will never let it go. I hope Bush doesn't fall for this latest absurdity of paying them off with fuel oil. That is another joke.

But what was suggested is that somehow the program has "advanced" to the "imminent threat" level.

The suggestion was actually that Iraq was on a path of inevitability, and I think that was correct. The madmen leading the Axis of Evil will never stop developing weapons technology unless forced to.

Yet the UN inspections, and intelligence reports were not as certain as politicians.

I suppose we disagree on how much weight should be accorded to UN inspection reports.

In September 2002, the International Institute for Strategical Studies (IISS), which calls itself the "world's leading authority on political military conflicts," said...

From what I could find, the IISS is nothing more than a private British think tank, like the Heritage Foundation is here. You showed that their findings were hyped to the public, but I don't see any evidence that there was actual reliance on them. Governments have their own independent data that can't be made public. Quoting think tanks is a PR move. Maybe it's unsavory, but in today's world it appears that wars must be "sold" to the public.

Bush and Blair have both suffered tremendous political losses as a result of this war. I still haven't heard a credible argument as to how it would benefit either of them to manufacture the war on false pretenses. War for oil doesn't cut it. I don't think the Islamists hated Britain nearly as much as they hated the U.S. and Israel. What was the threat to Britain's oil supply? As I said before, anyone can buy it on the open market.

So, it is clear who was doing the lying for our side, and we didn't stop him. The urgency and even panic situation was being created deliberately and without despite facts on the ground to the contrary, by various "analysts" and emigre groups.

I'm sure there were politically based "facts" flying around on all sides. Bush was convinced that regime change was in our interests, so why would he question the rhetoric of a like-minded ally?

Yet it was precisely the hysteria created that cut short the mandated Blix inspections which were to end several month later. In other words, the inspections could have been completed in time prescribed, and there was no need to go for a predetermined invasion date.

I am sure that Bush and Blair were convinced, as I was at the time, that the Blix-led inspections were a sham. It made no difference whether the inspections were ever "completed" or not. No weapons would have been found, regardless. Saddam obstructed them from the beginning, and Blix and company thought that was just fine. They just kept negotiating. Again, this was the failure of the hard left to recognize evil for what it was and is.

But, my theory is that we knew very well that Saddam had nothing, and that Blix's inspections would reveal that he had nothing, and would not give us the casus belli we were looking for, so we decided to cut the UN inspections lest they rob us of an opportunity to launch the war everyone was itching for. I am sure the neocons and everyone up the chain knew that there was nothing in saddam's arsenal all along.

If you agree that Saddam was a madman dictator, then what is your theory to explain Saddam's unilateral and SECRET disarming? Iraq was getting really hurt with sanctions at the time. All Saddam had to do was say, "hey come on in and look anywhere you want, we disarmed all by ourselves in the interests of world peace", etc. Yet, according to you, Saddam chose the sanctions in order to protect a weapons program he didn't have!!! AY CARAMBA! :)

It's a poor choice of words and a poor counter-argument because it has nothing to do with the Holocaust. In fact it degrades it. You are mixing apples and oranges.

It was a good choice of words because denying Middle East terrorism is to ignore the facts to the same degree that Holocaust deniers do. While the Holocaust was certainly on an incomparable scale (to date, that is), both it and terrorism are centered on murdering innocent civilians.

It was precisely the formation of Israel that provoked instability (ethnic cleansing and Palestinian refugee problem) and retaliatory Arab terrorism which hasn't stopped to this date. ...

Your quote that I was reacting to with my Holocaust comment was the following:

"There was no terrorism or instability in the Middle East. The only terrorism that existed after 1945 was Israeli terror tactics against the British there."

You said stable Middle East and no terrorism, except for the Israelis. That denies common knowledge. Now you appear to acknowledge Arab terrorism, but only as retaliation. I like to ask this of people with your view: What do you think would happen if magically, all weapons above a machine gun suddenly disappeared from Israel and its Arab neighbors? Would Israel SEEK to launch a major offensive to take over the whole region? Or, would most of the Arab countries SEEK to drive the Jews into the sea? I know the answer for certain. The only side that doesn't recognize the other's right to exist is the Arab side. Arabs don't want to relocate the Jews so they can reclaim "their" land. No, they simply want to KILL all Jews. That's a big reason why I oppose Israel's enemies.

Yes, Saddam kept Iran in check and he kept the various factions in Iraq in check.

LOL! Yeah, Saddam sure kept the Iraqi factions in check alright. All he did was torture and murder all dissenters AND their families. WAY TO GO Saddam! Do you really want to keep defending this guy? I don't know if that is what you are really trying to do, but it sure sounds like it.

16,241 posted on 07/22/2007 8:46:44 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Ping-Pong; kosta50
I think that those desires to "go out and do whatever" don't exist after you accept Christ. You may still slip up and do something not very Christian (bad word, unkind thought, etc.) but the desire to do things just isn't there (maybe it's just my age talking).

I agree with you because you are talking about the fruits of a heart that was really, truly changed. I also think that getting into God's word is extremely important. The basics of salvation are easy enough for a child to understand, but the strength and wisdom it takes to continue to persevere I think come from God sanctifying us. Part of that is growing in knowledge of scripture, imo.

16,242 posted on 07/22/2007 9:28:14 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper
The threat has not been removed, but it has been lessened. Now there is one less government sponsor of the development of nukes intended for the U.S. Al Qaida has already proved that it does not need to be provoked to wage a terrorist war against the U.S

How was it lessoned? Now we have al Qaida in Iraq whereas before there was none.  Hussein's subsidizing of terrorists went as far as Palestinian entefada uprising against Israel. It's the same as the aid being pumped to the Palestinian "martyrs" by Saudi Arabia. It was never directed at us.

The intent of the Islamists to destroy Israel and the U.S. [sic] was solidly there well before the Iraq War, or even 9/11

I have not been aware that Islamic radicals planned on destroying the US. Where did you get that information? Again, Iraq had no connection with al Qaida, which actually launched an attack on us. Removing Saddam could not have diminished al Qaida's desire to hurt us and did not diminish the threat that they might try because there was no such connection.

However, if there is ultimate victory in Iraq

I remember the Vietnam war and there were diehards like you (and in those days like me) who argued the same impossibility...It's not that we were ever defeated outright on the battlefield, but we lost the war the way the French won in Algiers but lost the political war at home and abroad. We  only prolonged the agony and wasted many lives in order to save face, which we lost in the end the hard way.

Thanks to Clinton, the DPRK got NINE free years of development without our knowledge, until now it is too late

Which brings up an excellent point: politicians are not liable. They enjoy immunity and any damage they incur through sheer stupidity or even carelessness costs them nothing. They retire, sell memoirs and live happily until they go to hell. trouble is, they drag an awful lot of people with them. Responsible government is accountable for its actions, the way responsible professionals carry liability and can be brought on charges of negligence. Clinton's kangaroo impeachment was an excellent example of how immune, and what real chameleons the politicians truly are. Do not forget that Clinton could not have gotten off the hook for lying under oath were it not for willing Republicans voting to protect their privileges as Congressmen regardless of party affiliation.

The suggestion was actually that Iraq was on a path of inevitability

That is hardly a justification for war. Suggestions are just that. Hard evidence of inevitability would be signs of troop movements, missile launchers being activated, radar "paintings" of potential targets, etc.

I suppose we disagree on how much weight should be accorded to UN inspection reports

The UN inspections had a mandate and we pressed for them in 2002. When it became obvious that WMDs did not exist the neocons and the bush administration realized that the UN will never approve going into Iraq. Something had to be done, even if circumventing the UN, to make sure the UN inspectors do not confirm absence of all the conjectures and lies about them: pre-emptive strike based on conjecture and cooked up evidence.

Powell's disastrous demonstration in the UN showed that the UN was not willing to rubber-stand our request to invade another country that was no threat to us, its regime's distasteful dictator notwithstanding. When this test failed, it was clear we would have to "go it alone" and before the UN inspections were completed.

From what I could find, the IISS is nothing more than a private British think tank, like the Heritage Foundation is here. You showed that their findings were hyped to the public, but I don't see any evidence that there was actual reliance on them

Public hype was the number one aim because the key to going to Iraq was no longer a UN SC resolution authorizing force (which we would never get based on available evidence), but convincing the American and British people that, already sacred to death by 9/11, that Iraq was an growing imminent threat. The aim was to sell the story to the American people and get Congressional approval. Thus all the hype they could muster was the main propaganda staple, completely dismissing facts, but relying on pure speculations and scare tactics.

Bush and Blair have both suffered tremendous political losses as a result of this war

Actually, it affected their careers next to nothing.

I  still haven't heard a credible argument as to how it would benefit either of them to manufacture the war on false pretenses

Not them, Israel. Saddam was a nuisance for the Israelis only, with his support for the Palestinian suicide bombers. The lying emigre groups with Chalaby at the helm managed to convince the naive and the stupid that the Iraqis would be welcoming Americans and their Christian allies as liberators (of course that was a perfect example of taqquiya or legitimate lying Muslims can exercise to deceive the infidel in order to gain upper hand), and the idea of controlling such vast oil reserves and the geoplitical significance of that to us and the region was intioxicatingly attractive, especially in view of the fact that it would place Saudi Arabia in a subservniant position.

Bush was convinced that regime change was in our interests, so why would he question the rhetoric of a like-minded ally?

Regime change was not our reason to go to war. It was an after-thought strategy concocted after WMDs proved to be non-existent.

If you agree that Saddam was a madman dictator, then what is your theory to explain Saddam's unilateral and SECRET disarming?

He didn't disarm. There were some old weapons left from previous war with Iran and Gulf war that deteriorated. The "tonnes" of anthrax and other biological weapons were concoctions of Iraqi emigres without a shred of evidence. As Deufer's (sp?) report indicated in October 2006, 'just about everything' about Iraq the public was made aware of was untrue.

While the Holocaust was certainly on an incomparable scale (to date, that is), both it and terrorism are centered on murdering innocent civilians

Casual comparisons to the Holocaust are a poor choice because they diminish the horror of the Holocaust.

You said stable Middle East and no terrorism, except for the Israelis,..

...against the British...you forgot or left out that part. The British left Palestine in 1948. Therefore my statement was not open-ended. But, apparently you don't know the history, and you didn't botherto check the facts before firing back.

Palestine was stable. The only instability came from the Israelis settling the region illegally and resorting to terror tactics against the British authorities there, both military and civilian. Examples that come to mind are the bombing of the King David Hotel by Irgun in 1946, and the killing of over 90 people there, civilians included; or the assassination of Lord Moyne, British Deputy Resident Minister of State, by the Lehi organization, aka the Stern Gang in 1944.

The Irgun, by the way, was a terrorist organization and its remnants have morphed into a political party known as Likud (Ariel Sharon's party). Former Israeli PM ( 1977-1983)Menchaim Begin was an active member and the head of the Irgun between 1943-1948, and took part in its terrorist activities and carried command responsibility for its atrocities but was never tried.

The two gangs were actively involved in ethnic cleansing of large areas the UN designated areas where future Arab (Palestinian) and Jewish states were to be formed. Without such ethnic rearrangement of population (the major cause of the Palestinian 60-year refugee problem in neighboring Arab states), Israel could not have become a viable state and proclaim independence in violation of the UN Charter.

This is pure verifiable history and not a denial, certainly nothing even comparable to the Holocaust denials.

Yeah, Saddam sure kept the Iraqi factions in check alright. All he did was torture and murder all dissenters AND their families

We certainly thought so, when Rumsfeld provided him with weapons needed to fight Iranians and keep Kurds and Shiites in check, when we knew he was getting and using chemical weapons and did nothing to stop him.  When we needed him, we looked the other way, then got outraged retroactively when he was no longer "our thug." The same was the case with Romania's Causcescu, making him the recipient of our aid and financial support, even though his human rights violations were an abomination. The list of Latin American dictators ala Pinochet and South Korean generals, or Haiti's Papa Doc and numerous others we used is impressive. Funny, when they were doing good things for us, their inhumanity didn't bother us the least, like the case of Taliban which we helped arm.

16,243 posted on 07/22/2007 10:48:17 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Forest Keeper
Kosta: God did not create suffering. Therefore suffering cannot be good. Suffering is the outcome of the fall world and is therefore an manifestation of evil, not learning.

FK: The Bible disagrees: Heb 12:5-11 : 5 ...

The fact that there is suffering is only the sign of our ongoing sin in the world. God suffered for all of us, past present and future, so that those who suffer may be comforted. That is why He says "I will send you the Comforter (Paraclete)" thre Spirit who proceeds from the Father.

The Spirit is the one who comforts us and heals our spiritual wounds. Suffering does not come from God. Comofrt does.

16,244 posted on 07/23/2007 9:16:55 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50
How was it lessoned? Now we have al Qaida in Iraq whereas before there was none.

That's right. Now Al Qaida is putting its manpower and resources (including money) into Iraq instead of major American cities. I don't think its any accident that we haven't been attacked since 9/11. That's not the only reason, but I think it is part of the reason.

Hussein's subsidizing of terrorists went as far as Palestinian entefada uprising against Israel.

Yes, and our policy is to protect Israel, as a friend.

I have not been aware that Islamic radicals planned on destroying the US. Where did you get that information?

First, from the Koran, we are infidels. Second, from observing the multiple deadly attacks against our nation since the late 70's. The limited damage was only due to limited ability. Once they acquire nuclear technology they will not hesitate to use it in our country. That would have been true regardless of Iraq. They believe that their mission from Allah is, to the best of their ability, to convert all people on earth to Islam, and kill all the rest.

[Re: Vietnam] It's not that we were ever defeated outright on the battlefield, but we lost the war the way the French won in Algiers but lost the political war at home and abroad. We only prolonged the agony and wasted many lives in order to save face, which we lost in the end the hard way.

I was only a wee tyke at the time, so all I know is from the history books. But, from what I do know, you are right on how it went down. There wasn't a commitment to finish the job. I think Bush is determined not to make the same mistakes we made back then. If we quit now like we did back then, there will be massive carnage and Al Qaida will have a national homebase. We'll just have to go back again. What's the use of that? The surge has a real chance to work. Just today I heard that 25 local Sunni and Shia tribes have agreed to put their differences aside for the moment, and join with the U.S. against Al Qaida. That's great news.

They retire, sell memoirs and live happily until they go to hell.

LOL! Yep, I'd say that pretty much sums it up. :)

Clinton's kangaroo impeachment was an excellent example of how immune, and what real chameleons the politicians truly are. Do not forget that Clinton could not have gotten off the hook for lying under oath were it not for willing Republicans voting to protect their privileges as Congressmen regardless of party affiliation.

That's not what I remember. I think the House Republicans did a good job and showed a lot of courage in getting the impeachment. It was the some of the Senate Republicans, like snarlin' Arlen, who let down the whole country by not having a real trial. But the truth is there was never any chance that Clinton would have been convicted. They needed 67 votes and the Democrats decided to stand by their man. 10 Republicans flipped, 0 Dems did. (So, even if the Repubs all held together they still wouldn't have had enough votes, they would have been 12 votes short.) Notice the difference between this and what the Republicans did to Nixon. He was told that Republicans would not support him in an impeachment trial, and thus forced his resignation. Similar net circumstances, very different results.

FK: "The suggestion was actually that Iraq was on a path of inevitability."

That is hardly a justification for war. Suggestions are just that. Hard evidence of inevitability would be signs of troop movements, missile launchers being activated, radar "paintings" of potential targets, etc.

But that isn't the case anymore. Now, in order to kill hundreds of thousands of people, one only needs a handful of men acting under cover. No troop mobilization is needed anymore. Terrorists are not going to fire missiles at our mainland (at least not under a Bush or similar presidency). They will smuggle in WMDs and detonate them in major cities. We have to prevent them from getting the technology for as long as we can. That includes selected preemptive strikes.

The UN inspections had a mandate and we pressed for them in 2002.

That was a diplomatic PR stunt by Bush. He had to show the world that he was trying to avoid war by peaceful means. I suspect he knew the inspections would be a sham, and they were.

When it became obvious that WMDs did not exist the neocons and the bush administration realized that the UN will never approve going into Iraq.

You can thank Saddam for that. If he actually cooperated, and he really had no weapons, then Bush would have been sunk. So, if your view is correct, then Saddam couldn't have been a better friend to Bush.

Powell's disastrous demonstration in the UN showed that the UN was not willing to rubber-stamp our request to invade another country that was no threat to us, its regime's distasteful dictator notwithstanding. When this test failed, it was clear we would have to "go it alone" and before the UN inspections were completed.

Thank God Bush did not accept the view that we need a permission slip from a thoroughly corrupt organization such as the UN (populated mostly by anti-American countries) in order to defend ourselves. So, we led a coalition of the willing.

Public hype was the number one aim because the key to going to Iraq was no longer a UN SC resolution authorizing force (which we would never get based on available evidence), but convincing the American and British people that, already scared to death by 9/11, that Iraq was an growing imminent threat.

Sure there was hype. These days there has to be. If the people aren't behind it, then there won't be any funding to complete it. That's Bush's problem now.

But, do you really truly think that the SC votes based on something as esoteric as "evidence"? No way. They vote based on politics. There is all kinds of bargaining going on behind closed doors for votes. The minute we turn over our national security to the UN SC, as we certainly will under the next liberal administration, then the terrorists will be smiling indeed. That will be the ticket they've been waiting for.

The aim was to sell the story to the American people and get Congressional approval. Thus all the hype they could muster was the main propaganda staple, completely dismissing facts, but relying on pure speculations and scare tactics.

I agree with everything except the last part. I'm sure there were "facts" on both sides. You believed the ones that agreed with your position, as did I. The full story on WMDs is yet to be written. Even the half-wit Blix acknowledged that it made no sense to him that a country who kept meticulous records had none indicating that known weapons had been dismantled. That's because they never were, they were buried or moved. Enough anthrax to kill 100 million people can be stored in a single semi-trailer. With all the notice that Saddam had, it could be anywhere, and we may never find it.

FK: "Bush and Blair have both suffered tremendous political losses as a result of this war."

Actually, it affected their careers next to nothing.

For months now, with no end in sight, Bush has been completely neutered as a President with his polls so low. Had his numbers been in the 60s, he probably would have gotten his amnesty legislation through. (Thank God he didn't :). He is in no position to accomplish anything, and probably won't be for the rest of his presidency. All Presidents care greatly about their legacies. Bush's will certainly depend on the outcome of the war, so he took a HUGE risk with this. This is exactly why Clinton ignored terrorism, it was too messy and it might hurt his image, so he punted everything forward to the next guy. Clinton's number are still in the 60s because of his cowardice, and Bush's are in the 20s because he didn't put himself first.

FK: "I still haven't heard a credible argument as to how it would benefit either of them to manufacture the war on false pretenses."

Not them, Israel. Saddam was a nuisance for the Israelis only, with his support for the Palestinian suicide bombers.

I cannot believe that Bush and Blair committed domestic forces in Iraq for the main purpose of protecting Israel. That is the sort of thing that would take a missile strike to cause. Israel certainly benefited, but that wouldn't be enough to justify going to war in those circumstances. Bush and Blair both believed that it was in their respective nations' national security interests to take action when they did.

Regime change was not our reason to go to war. It was an after-thought strategy concocted after WMDs proved to be non-existent.

To this day, WMDs have not proved to be non-existent since no one can say what happened to the ones everyone knew he already had. They have only proved to be not found. How could regime change have been an after-thought? What was the before-thought? If they did find weapons, there probably still would have been regime change.

He didn't disarm. There were some old weapons left from previous war with Iran and Gulf war that deteriorated. The "tonnes" of anthrax and other biological weapons were concoctions of Iraqi emigres without a shred of evidence. As Deufer's (sp?) report indicated in October 2006, 'just about everything' about Iraq the public was made aware of was untrue.

So, Saddam the dictator just shut down production of WMDs out of the goodness of his heart? Do you believe he thought that he would never be involved in another war again? Preposterous. That defies all reason, and especially for all that is known about dictators. We HAVE recovered documents (and people) proving he had an active nuclear program going, BTW. I'm sure that it was just for energy because Iraq had no other sources of fuel. :)

FK: "You said stable Middle East and no terrorism, except for the Israelis,.."

...against the British...you forgot or left out that part. The British left Palestine in 1948. Therefore my statement was not open-ended. But, apparently you don't know the history, and you didn't bother to check the facts before firing back.

I can't read your mind, Kosta. You never said or indicated your were only talking about "against Britain". Your comments were in response to my "The plan was to make the Middle East safer for you and me by establishing a friendly democracy in the middle of terrorist alley." No talk of Britain-only there. What was I supposed to think? You made no connection to Britain-only.

The two gangs were actively involved in ethnic cleansing of large areas the UN designated areas where future Arab (Palestinian) and Jewish states were to be formed. Without such ethnic rearrangement of population (the major cause of the Palestinian 60-year refugee problem in neighboring Arab states), Israel could not have become a viable state and proclaim independence in violation of the UN Charter.

I suppose one man's terrorists are another man's freedom fighters. I know where you stand regarding the Islamic Arabs and Israeli Jews. :)

Funny, when they were doing good things for us, their inhumanity didn't bother us the least, like the case of Taliban which we helped arm.

All those things you listed certainly happened. Situational politics has been around on all sides since the beginning. Those you support have done it too. So what's the solution? Is the remedy for that to cut and run in Iraq now?

16,245 posted on 07/23/2007 4:03:54 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: kosta50
The fact that there is suffering is only the sign of our ongoing sin in the world.

True, but I don't see what that has to do with our conversation.

God suffered for all of us, past present and future, so that those who suffer may be comforted.

God suffered on our behalf, but He never said anything about not causing us to suffer by His discipline. Two different subjects.

The Spirit is the one who comforts us and heals our spiritual wounds. Suffering does not come from God. Comfort does.

Do you have an alternate interpretation for my quote from Hebrews 12:5-11?

16,246 posted on 07/23/2007 9:41:42 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper
That's right. Now Al Qaida is putting its manpower and resources (including money) into Iraq instead of major American cities

LOL, more rationalizations. If you think al Qaida being in Iraq is a good thing, you really don't see the big picture.

Yes, and our policy is to protect Israel, as a friend

We don't have a defense treaty with Israel, and Israel was not under attack. 

First, from the Koran, we are infidels

Two billion Christians are infidels, and three billion Chinese are infidels, and 1.5 billion Indians (in India) are infidels, etc. Do you really think they can believe they can destroy infidels?

The limited damage was only due to limited ability

Stupidity, not limited ability. Some six million Jews defeated (repeatedly) 100 million Arabs since 1948. Muslims are lousy fighters. They are good at two things: being stupid and showing off and killing like cowards do. It's the worst combination in the world: stupid and cowardly.

They have money, they have resources, they have everything they need. Limited ability is in their lack of talent and lack of courage. The fact that they blow themselves up is not courage any more than Japanese kamikaze attacks were. It's a sign of stupidity, and necessity, because they can't fight a regular warfare, so they attack those who can't defend themselves.

Why even 9/11 would have been an idiotic stunt had it not taken all those innocent lives. From a an operational point of view, it was a clumsy half-haphazrd execution with no follow up.  Instead of spreading out and acting over extended time frame, hitting our economy, they acted foolishly and made a big boom that shocked a lot of people, but only got us angry. Pretty much like the desperate and somewhat provoked attack on pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Anyone who thinks they can destroy America are certifiably lunatics divorced from reality.

There wasn't a commitment to finish the job. I think Bush is determined not to make the same mistakes we made back then

But the mood is the same. The same arguments were used then. To no avail. the people simply lost the will to fight and endless war in a godforsaken part of the world and prop up regimes that have no life of their own but are corrupt and untrustworthy. The American people simply don't see that as worth dying for. I don't blame them. The hardest thing is to reconcile all the dead who didn't have to die for a cause that will not make us safer or better off.

If we quit now like we did back then, there will be massive carnage and Al Qaida will have a national homebase

If they come here we will hunt them down and bomb them and flame them and killed them mercilessly. Recruiting stations will be overflowing. We have enough firepower to steamroll over any country that gives them sanctuary. If it means bombing infrastructures of a dozen countries a week, so be it.

But what makes this argument completely null and void is the porous border this president has allowed to fester and the whole issue of illegal immigrants, of which we now have an army of 12 million. How many of those could be al Qaida illegals? How many of those could be carrying deadly diseases with them because no one stopped them at the border? Does it take an epidemic or national proportions to get Congress and this president to focus on domestic security instead of wasting our young men's and women's lives in a sh*tpot country like Iraq (which we managed to make even more of a sh*tpot),  making the world safer for Israel? What is Israel doing for us and our security problems? Nothing!

 The surge has a real chance to work. Just today I heard that 25 local Sunni and Shia tribes have agreed to put their differences aside for the moment, and join with the U.S. against Al Qaida. That's great news

Your enthusiasms is understandable, but if you trust Muslims you are a fool. They are doing this for some reason that is entirely in their interest at this moment. Tomorrow they may be helping al Qaida. It depends who's offering more. We have no real friends there.  They are all (Israel included) are just using us.

They needed 67 votes and the Democrats decided to stand by their man. 10 Republicans flipped, 0 Dems did

That's my point. They knew all along where each senator stood. But they went through the whole kangaroo process knowing that there will be no conviction. It was just so they can say "we tried." No president will be impeached over something like this. It would create partisan tit-for-tat and make the life of Congress a living hell. Our fat and dumb politicians would not want that, trust me. The impeachment is reserved for almost improbable but possible crimes such as treason or bribery from a foreign country, etc. That would get any president impeached in a heartbeat.

As for Nixon, the case was much more clear cut. The tapes were damaging beyond repair. Nixon also lost Spiro Agnew (a Greek-American Vice President but strangely enough Episcopalian), who resigned because of charged of tax evasion, which happened in the middle of the Watergate scandal. Anybody who was associated with the Nixon White House was either arrested or resigned and wanted nothing to do with it, so the Republican  reaction was not a surprise.

But that isn't the case anymore. Now, in order to kill hundreds of thousands of people, one only needs a handful of men acting under cover

One more reason we need to stop illegal immigration yesterday! But dear old GW is doing nothing of the sort, and neither is our Congress. We are still concerned with political correctness and protecting the untouchable capitalist profit-based system that hires illegals.

They will smuggle in WMDs and detonate them in major cities

Again, we need to close our borders and kick out those who are not citizens of this country and are here illegally. Their children, born here, can come and ask for American citizenship when they turn 18.  Sacrificing our men and women in Iraq will not stop them from slipping through our porous borders.

Being completely helpless to fight a ragtag army of bandits does very little for our image abroad as a superpower. A giant who's not smart enough to watch his back and just keeps swatting thin air earns very little respect.

I suspect he knew the inspections would be a sham, and they were.

They were not a sham, they were actually true! Everything they said turned out to be true and everything Bush said turned out to be a lie. Now, our multibillion-dollar three-letter agencies are either completely incompetent and can't get their story straight or the top leadership was lying. I think the three-letter agencies are not incompetent. 

Thank God Bush did not accept the view that we need a permission slip from a thoroughly corrupt organization such as the UN

The UN doesn't operate like that. The General Assembly has zero power. That's' where most of your third-world banana republic are seated. It is only the Security Council that has the executive and binding power. It is made up of WWII allies, US, UK, France, and Russia. During Nixon, China was added as a permanent member. There are also rotating countries which sit in the SC and have a vote. But permanent members have a veto power.

That SC is where the US was in the position to help Israel the most by using the veto. Not that Israel really obeys any of the UN resolutions; I guess it's that "special relationship" we have with them. So, the UN is not all that bad when it serves our purposes. It's only when we don't get our way that we throw a tantrum and wan to shut down the UN. Nut when it comes to using UN infrastructure to allow Israel unimpeded freedom then we don't mind the "thoroughly corrupt" organization. Besides, the chairman is always our pick. If we don't like him, we fire him and pick another. "It's good to be a king" (from the History of the World Part I with and by Mel Brooks).

But, do you really truly think that the SC votes based on something as esoteric as "evidence"? No way. They vote based on politics

That's a standard accusation, but our evidence was garbage. It was an insult to intelligence.

Enough anthrax to kill 100 million people can be stored in a single semi-trailer. With all the notice that Saddam had, it could be anywhere, and we may never find it

Anthrax is a very poor biological weapon. That's why no country uses it. Smallpox would be a much more dangerous threat, and we are not out of danger because we have porous borders, so who knows what is being brought into the country without our knowledge. But we must be politically correct and not hurt poor illegal immigrants' feelings.

Saddam's real weapons were his poison gas bombs he used on Kurds and Iranians (and vice versa). But he had no long range delivery means, and Israelis have gas masks and adequate anti-aricfrat defenses. Where was the urgency?

For months now, with no end in sight, Bush has been completely neutered as a President with his polls so low

He's a lame duck President. What does he care about the polls? he already ruined last year's elections for his own Party, so if anything his own base is abandoning him because he is a walking disaster. he can't speak, he is cocky, pretty much p&ssing people off with his "I don't care' attitude." It runs in his family. His father alienated a large number of voters and gave republican presidency to the likes of Clinton with his famous "Read my lips. No new taxes." He lied. Like father like son. And then they can't understand why the people get sick of them. People voted for the third party candidate (Ross Perot) just not to vote Republican in 1992. 

So, Saddam the dictator just shut down production of WMDs out of the goodness of his heart?

I wouldn't know where to begin speculating on his motives, least of all would be goodness of his heart. Fact is, we were wrong about him on just about every account.

I suppose one man's terrorists are another man's freedom fighters. I know where you stand regarding the Islamic Arabs and Israeli Jews. :)

Jewish terroirsts killed innocent people, just as any terrorist group does. To me there are no freedom fighters among terrorists. Read up on the massacre by Irgun-Lehi gangs at Deir Yassin in 1948 under the British rule. Some 120 civlians of all ages were killed. This was in retaliation for the killing of 77 Jewish health care workers by the Arabs. My point was not to blame only one side, but the Arans were not resorting to terror tactics against the British who were legally there with a mandate.  Inter Jewish-Arab skirmishes existed for a long time, but the Jewish groups were particularly bent on assassinations of British civilian and military leaders and represented organized terroirsts organizations, which know names, presidents or commanders, etc.

Is the remedy for that to cut and run in Iraq now?

You are young enough to be at the tail end of draft. There is your chance to put your foot where your mouth is. Join the military, give your country three years of your life, and fight for what you believe in. What's stopping you?

I think we would be doing a better job of making the world safer for us instead of some and going hard after any who attempt to hurt us, then bleeding without end in sight in some sh&t-pot country we managed to take apart and can't put together.

16,247 posted on 07/23/2007 9:48:53 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50
If you think al Qaida being in Iraq is a good thing, you really don't see the big picture.

Al Qaida existing anywhere is a bad thing. But, it is better that they are fighting and dying over there than over here.

We don't have a defense treaty with Israel, and Israel was not under attack.

What do you call multiple suicide bomb attacks? But as I said earlier, I don't think Israel was a PRINCIPLE reason that we went into Iraq.

Two billion Christians are infidels, and three billion Chinese are infidels, and 1.5 billion Indians (in India) are infidels, etc. Do you really think they can believe they can destroy infidels?

Yes, absolutely, by the grace of Allah. The whole thing is based on "faith". Allah will deliver their enemies into their hands. I didn't say it wasn't crazy, but that's what I think they believe.

Stupidity, not limited ability. Some six million Jews defeated (repeatedly) 100 million Arabs since 1948. Muslims are lousy fighters.

I agree with stupid and cowardly. Man for man, the motivation to commit murder has to be much less than the motivation to NOT BE murdered. Plus, I think we gave the Jews some nifty toys to play with, but I can't remember when that actually began.

Anyone who thinks they can destroy America are certifiably lunatics divorced from reality.

Yes, these are the people who proudly strap suicide belts to their children and send them into crowds.

FK: "There wasn't a commitment to finish the job. I think Bush is determined not to make the same mistakes we made back then."

But the mood is the same. The same arguments were used then. To no avail. the people simply lost the will to fight and endless war in a godforsaken part of the world and prop up regimes that have no life of their own but are corrupt and untrustworthy.

The mood might be the same right now, but at least we have the "benefit" of the Vietnam experience today. Americans hate losing now more than ever. If the surge really produces some positive results (good signs so far), then I think that mood could greatly change, and change quickly. I think the American people are more starved for good news, than starved to quit today.

We have enough firepower to steamroll over any country that gives them sanctuary. If it means bombing infrastructures of a dozen countries a week, so be it.

Well, if we quit now, that country would be Iraq. Iran would move right in along side Al Qaida and they would rule together. IOW, by surrendering now we will just have to go back later and start all over again, being forced to kill many many more civilians.

But what makes this argument completely null and void is the porous border this president has allowed to fester and the whole issue of illegal immigrants, of which we now have an army of 12 million. How many of those could be al Qaida illegals?

Now THERE we are simpatico my friend. :) I am furious with Bush for his refusal to protect the border, and policy of making it worse with his amnesty plan. I am at a loss to explain why he is doing this.

Does it take an epidemic of national proportions to get Congress and this president to focus on domestic security ...

Unfortunately, apparently. And it will happen.

What is Israel doing for us and our security problems? Nothing!

I don't know about that. They are our eyes and ears over there, I'll bet we get a lot of intelligence from them that nobody ever hears about. Having a stable friend in Iraq will make it all the better.

Your enthusiasms is understandable, but if you trust Muslims you are a fool. They are doing this for some reason that is entirely in their interest at this moment. Tomorrow they may be helping al Qaida. It depends who's offering more.

We don't need to trust them, we'll see what they deliver. I have to believe that there are some Iraqis who can read the writing on the wall. If we leave now, many more of them and their families will die. I have to think there is a sizable number who don't want that. After all, they voted.

But they went through the whole kangaroo process knowing that there will be no conviction. It was just so they can say "we tried." No president will be impeached over something like this.

If Clinton had pulled out a pistol and shot dead a poor, elderly, disabled, gay, black woman on live global television, the Dems would have voted to acquit, saying that either the tape was doctored or that it was a Clinton double, or that it didn't matter because he was such a great president. The House Repubs really did try in good faith, but the Senate Repubs didn't really try because the trial itself was a sham. Had they done a real trial and still lost, then I could live with that.

One more reason we need to stop illegal immigration yesterday! But dear old GW is doing nothing of the sort, and neither is our Congress.

I don't know what else Congress can do. They passed the bill for the fence, and then appropriated the money to build it. I think the money is still sitting there waiting to be used, but Bush refuses. Then, the Repubs in Congress blocked the amnesty bill, thank God.

Again, we need to close our borders and kick out those who are not citizens of this country and are here illegally.

I didn't know if you were for that too, and I'm still with you.

They were not a sham, they were actually true! Everything they said turned out to be true and everything Bush said turned out to be a lie. Now, our multibillion-dollar three-letter agencies are either completely incompetent and can't get their story straight or the top leadership was lying. I think the three-letter agencies are not incompetent.

CIA said "Slam Dunk". That is indisputable. The inspections were not true, they were inconclusive because they were not meaningfully completed. Saddam refused to cooperate, to his doom. As I said before, there were "facts" flying around on all sides. You haven't explained to me why Bush is a liar because he didn't follow the facts that you liked.

[The UN SC] is made up of WWII allies, US, UK, France, and Russia. During Nixon, China was added as a permanent member. There are also rotating countries which sit in the SC and have a vote. But permanent members have a veto power.

I know all the money votes are in the SC. But 9 votes are needed to pass anything. Of the permanent members I only count ONE ally (UK). France has not been a friend in years, and Russia and China love to see America embarrassed at any opportunity. We can't count on them for anything, and any one of them has veto power. That is a permission slip from our rivals against interest. If Hillary gets in she will send "citizen statesman" Bill along with whoever is stupid enough to accept the SOS job under Hillary (just as a tag-along) to kiss rings at the UN and look good for the cameras, all to the detriment of American national interests.

Not that Israel really obeys any of the UN resolutions; I guess it's that "special relationship" we have with them. So, the UN is not all that bad when it serves our purposes.

If Israel followed every UN resolution they would all be dead today. The majority of members hate Israel and would be just fine if they were exterminated. So, the UN is worse than "that bad". They lose points for bringing the resolutions in the first place.

Saddam's real weapons were his poison gas bombs he used on Kurds and Iranians (and vice versa). But he had no long range delivery means, and Israelis have gas masks and adequate anti-aricfrat defenses. Where was the urgency?

Israeli military has gas masks but not a great number of civilians. Some did, but I've never seen a street shot showing most civilians going through their days carrying gas masks. Terrorists could smuggle in and deploy the gas in crowded areas and kill thousands at a time. That was possible at any time. The timing of when we went in was a great combination of things.

He's a lame duck President. What does he care about the polls?

Plenty. Low numbers will hurt the party in general, as you note about '06, so if it happens again in '08, he will be blamed by Republicans for many years to come. No one wants that.

His father alienated a large number of voters and gave republican presidency to the likes of Clinton with his famous "Read my lips. No new taxes." He lied.

I'll give you that one, except for the lying. B41 DID break a solemn promise and paid the price for it. It would only be a lie if B41 fully intended to later raise taxes when he made the promise. I don't think that happened. And B43 did not manufacture evidence to take the country to war under false pretenses. That would be treasonous. Bush may not be a lot of things, but I think he is a patriot. We all saw how 9/11 affected him. Those were not crocodile tears. He's not that good. :)

I think we would be doing a better job of making the world safer for us instead of some and going hard after any who attempt to hurt us, then bleeding without end in sight in some sh&t-pot country we managed to take apart and can't put together.

Then you see it as a matter of crime and not war. That is the key distinction. If it is crime, then we sit back and wait to get hit, and then try to go out and find who did it. If it is war, then we do whatever it takes to kill the enemy BEFORE they hit. Clinton did the former and Bush did the latter.

16,248 posted on 07/24/2007 1:52:58 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper
Sorry, got real busy with other things, and forums, so it's hard to keep up, although I appreciate your points of view on subjects that are not as absolute as religious issues.

But, it is better that they are fighting and dying over there than over here

While our borders remain porous. Of 12 million or more illegals, how many could actually be terrorists? Could they be using Iraq as a diversionary tactic and a psycjological propaganda tool (defeating our will to fight), while they are slipping in by the thousands through our unsecured borders?

What do you call multiple suicide bomb attacks?

Entefada is not connected to what is going on in Iraq. Outwardly maybe, but the cause of entefada are unrelated to Iraq. The only relationship Iraq had to Palestinian terrorists is giving money and material assistance to relatives of suicide bombers (they call them "martyrs"). Other Islamic countries and organizations are doing the same thing, including Saudi Arabia. I don't see us threatening the Saudis. Let's be consistent.

The mood might be the same right now, but at least we have the "benefit" of the Vietnam experience today. Americans hate losing now more than ever

The benefit of any experience is if you remember it. Most Americans don't remember it, or if they do it's a fuzzy memory. Americans hates losing then just as much, which is exactly why we held out against better, concerned more with saving face than lives.

But we are up and against a much more formidable enemy today. Vietnam was an isolated area, including Cambodia and Laos. Muslims are scattered all over the world, a diffuse army of probably 100 million waiting for an opportunity to strike. You can't bomb them, you can't corner them...and they are probably  pouring  across our borders carrying knowledge, pieces of weapons and chemical/biological warfare and we wouldn't know it because we are too concerned with political correctness vis-a-vis illegal immigrants.

It's like someone watching the front door for thieves while they are robbing your blind from the back yard entrance.

Well, if we quit now, that country would be Iraq. Iran would move right in along side Al Qaida and they would rule together. IOW, by surrendering now we will just have to go back later and start all over again, being forced to kill many many more civilians

One thing they don't have is global reach. very few countries have, in fact, only one does, the US. Countries like Iran can affect neighboring countries, but for them to seriously confront us is out of the question. We can actually reduce Iran to a rubble and turn it  into stone age without even having to fly over their territory. We could destroy their bridges, factories, oils wells, roads, railways, electrical grids, crops, waterways, institutions, etc. with nothing but guided missiles.

Ours is to make sure there are none of these goons in our backyard and none can come in. For that to happen we must change our way of thinking. Which we are not prepared to do yet. Once they realized they can do nothing to us without getting clobbered for every attempt, they would stop.

The grave mistake in Vietnam was the fact that we were there. We should have provided every logistical support for the regime of South Vietnam without ground troops (which ended fighting instead of the S. Vietnamese army which was as useless as the present Iraqi one is). We should have obliterated N. Vietnamese facilities and forests and water ways and roads and factories, etc. until they stopped.

This is not Nazi Germany, the last country defeated in a classic war. (Japan was won by overwhelming force; all subsequent wars were won or lost by overwhelming force or lack of it)

We don't need to trust them, we'll see what they deliver

Every time we let them close, they learn more about us, our plans and positions. That is the first mistake. When they turn around they use that knowledge to make friend with the other side, and hurt us. We are surrounded by Muslims in Iraq, FK. They hate  Christians.

If Clinton had pulled out a pistol and shot dead a poor, elderly, disabled, gay, black woman on live global television, the Dems would have voted to acquit, saying that either the tape was doctored or that it was a Clinton double, or that it didn't matter because he was such a great president

Yup, that's the Rats for you.

CIA said "Slam Dunk". That is indisputable.

CIA either lied or was dead wrong. Take your pick.

If Israel followed every UN resolution they would all be dead today.

That's a conjecture.

 The majority of members hate Israel and would be just fine if they were exterminated.

The Israelis are not known for good diplomatic skills. That has worked in their favor more than the other way around.

But the fact of the matter is that about 20-25%of Israel's population is Arab and growing much faster than the Jewish population. It is a mathematical certainty, unless something drastically changes this trend, that Arabs will be over 50% of the population in a matter of decades, and eventually will become the absolute majority in Israel itself.

So, time is working against the Jews there. Barring any population cleansing modalities, which have already been proposed (which smacks of the Nazi tactics applied to the Jews, whit irony!), Israel will disappear as a Jewish state by demographics and not warfare. the date can even be predicted.

It is trherefore in the best interest of Israel's Jewish population to seek a peaceful co-existence with its Arab neighbors and to defy American-imposed views on ethnic minorities as inapplicable in most parts of the world, because some cultures cannot mix  and be safe from extinction.

So, some sort of a Jewish-only state will have to be created that will be acceptable to both sides. Violence and wars will not solve the problem of our Israeli friends, and will not solve our problem that is a direct result of it.

Israeli military has gas masks but not a great number of civilians

Israelis have issued gas masks to civilian population s well.

(sorry for any spelling errors, this is in a rush, so apologies...)

16,249 posted on 07/25/2007 12:44:35 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50
... although I appreciate your points of view on subjects that are not as absolute as religious issues.

Likewise my friend. :)

While our borders remain porous. Of 12 million or more illegals, how many could actually be terrorists? Could they be using Iraq as a diversionary tactic and a psycjological propaganda tool (defeating our will to fight), while they are slipping in by the thousands through our unsecured borders?

What can I say? It sure doesn't seem like the same person could hold both of Bush's policies on the border and Iraq, but yet it's true. So you're right that there could be any number of terrorists here right now. But I still think that the correct policy is to fight them over there, even though Bush is blowing it on the border. One of his policies certainly needs to change in order to match the other.

Entefada is not connected to what is going on in Iraq. Outwardly maybe, but the cause of entefada are unrelated to Iraq. The only relationship Iraq had to Palestinian terrorists is giving money and material assistance to relatives of suicide bombers (they call them "martyrs").

I see what you're saying, and I don't think entefada (intifada?) is working "together" with the insurgents. However, they do have extremely compatible goals. If entefada wins by defeating the Jews, then the insurgents all cheer and vice versa. ALL of them are very happy when Jews and Americans die. I will never forget the video of Palestinians dancing in the streets after hearing of 9/11. Arafat had a heart attack I'll bet. I fell off my chair laughing when I heard that he was donating blood to help the 9/11 victims. :)

It's like someone watching the front door for thieves while they are robbing your blind from the back yard entrance.

Yes, your assessment is right. If a southern border crosser(s) does launch a successful attack, Bush will rightfully bear the blame.

One thing they don't have is global reach. very few countries have, in fact, only one does, the US. Countries like Iran can affect neighboring countries, but for them to seriously confront us is out of the question. We can actually reduce Iran to a rubble and turn it into stone age without even having to fly over their territory. We could destroy their bridges, factories, oils wells, roads, railways, electrical grids, crops, waterways, institutions, etc. with nothing but guided missiles.

My understanding is that Russia still has full ICBM capability and I read that they have tested new road-mobile ICBMs in 2005 and 2006. Besides that, I can't prove but fully believe that Clinton gave (sold) critical guidance systems technology to the Chinese during his administration, and that they will have full ICBM capability if they don't already have it. If the Chinese have it, then North Korea can't be far behind. When that happens, any American hating tin-pot dictator with a fat wallet will have it. I don't think this is necessarily an imminent problem today, but it is inevitable that the crazies will one day have deliverable nukes. While our Patriot missiles performed reasonably well, I'm not aware that we could today repel a mass strike defensively.

Be that as it may, today's imminent problem is the smuggling in of even a dirty bomb or other WMDs, even across the southern border as you stated. That IS global reach. If a device is detonated, killing say, 100,000 people, who are we going to bomb? That's what worries me. No country would ever claim "credit". Only invisible terrorists would. I don't know if we could reasonably determine a country of origin from the blast zone or not. Even if we could, they would just claim it was stolen. No liberal president would ever retaliate based on best evidence. In this grim scenario, this leaves us as sitting ducks multiple times.

Once they realized they can do nothing to us without getting clobbered for every attempt, they would stop.

We'd have to seal the northern border too, and I don't see that possibly happening any time soon, barring a catastrophe.

This is not Nazi Germany, the last country defeated in a classic war. (Japan was won by overwhelming force; all subsequent wars were won or lost by overwhelming force or lack of it)

I've always thought of the Korean War as sort of a tie. How do you see it? And I agree with what you're saying. Germany was the last enemy we defeated in which both sides were comparable, and both fought with the sole purpose of winning. I've seen so many theories on why we did not fight to win in Vietnam I don't know what to believe about it.

Every time we let them close, they learn more about us, our plans and positions. That is the first mistake. When they turn around they use that knowledge to make friend with the other side, and hurt us. We are surrounded by Muslims in Iraq, FK. They hate Christians.

Clearly a significant number of them do. I suppose their choice will be to tolerate Christians for several years and live free, or push us out and live in enslavement forever. That is probably a hard choice for many.

FK: "If Israel followed every UN resolution they would all be dead today."

That's a conjecture.

Yes, it is only my opinion. I just try to imagine all other things being equal and the US and UK not being members of the UN. Given how corrupt I believe the UN to be, I don't see Israel surviving.

It is a mathematical certainty, unless something drastically changes this trend, that Arabs will be over 50% of the population in a matter of decades, and eventually will become the absolute majority in Israel itself.

As to these Arabs being Muslim, it appears that Europe awaits a similar fate. I suppose that we are comparatively lucky in that we are going to be taken over by Hispanics. :) I think they have already passed African-Americans in terms of total numbers in our country.

It is therefore in the best interest of Israel's Jewish population to seek a peaceful co-existence with its Arab neighbors and to defy American-imposed views on ethnic minorities as inapplicable in most parts of the world, because some cultures cannot mix and be safe from extinction.

I agree with you that some sort of two state solution is probably in the Jewish long term interest. I've always been kind of a Netanyahu fan, and I know he hates it, but if what you're saying pans out, then it might be a reasonable way to go.

16,250 posted on 07/25/2007 9:05:37 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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