Archive for July, 2012

Was Sarah Palin a mistake?

Posted by    |    July 31st, 2012 at 5:40 am

Sarah Palin speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 11, 2012 (Credit: Gage Skidmore via en.wikipedia.org)Dick Cheney thinks John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was “a mistake.”  “I like Governor Palin,” he told ABC News Sunday.  “I’ve met her.  I know her.”  However, he believes that “based on her background—she had only been governor for, what, two years—I don’t think she passed that test of being ready to take over.  And I think that was a mistake.”

Palin was in the news over the weekend, posting a tweet and Facebook photo showing her support for Chick-fil-A, which she called “a great business.”  She is the latest political figure to insert herself into the controversy, after the mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco have said they will try to keep the restaurant out of their cities.  New York City’s mayor, a supporter of same-sex marriage, nevertheless disagreed: “Trampling on the freedom to marry whoever you want is exactly the same as trampling on your freedom to open a store.”

Read the entire story at Was Sarah Palin a mistake? on the
Denison Forum on Truth and Culture

Making sense of suffering

Posted by    |    July 28th, 2012 at 5:40 am

Aurora Colorado District 1 Commander Kevin Flynn looks at the memorial for the victims of the movie theater shooting in Aurora, July 25, 2012 (Credit: Reuters / Rick Wilking)New technology sounds an alarm when sensors recognize components in the room common to all bullets.  This morning’s USA Today website tells us that the company manufacturing this technology has been contacted by numerous movie theaters in recent days.  Two weeks ago, who would have thought that such security would be necessary?

It’s been a tough week.  Yesterday afternoon, Janet and I attended a funeral I could not have imagined a week ago.  Dr. Brian Newman was the 51-year-old Minister of Married Adults at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.  During the years I served there as senior pastor, he was one of my favorite staff colleagues and a dear friend.  Last Saturday he collapsed at home with bleeding in his brain and never regained consciousness; he died the following Monday morning.  I still cannot believe he is gone.

Read the entire story at Making sense of suffering on the
Denison Forum on Truth and Culture

Hotel replaces Bible with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Posted by    |    July 27th, 2012 at 5:40 am

Manager of Damson Dene Hotel, Wayne Bartholomew replacing copies of the Gideon Bible with copies of racy best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey (Credit: Jonathan Denby)A hotel has replaced their Gideon Bibles with the erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey.  The Damson Dene Hotel in the Lake District of England has made the change in all 40 guest rooms.

Hotel owner Jonathan Denby explained: “Tonight millions of women will be curling up in bed with a good book and you can bet your life it won’t be the Bible.  More likely than not it will be Fifty Shades of Grey.  I haven’t read the book yet—I’m not in the target audience—but I’m told it’s a ripping good yarn and everyone who’s in the target audience loves it.  This made me wonder about the sense of providing a book, the Gideon Bible which no one reads, and many dislike, in the bedside cabinet of our hotel rooms, instead of a book which everyone wants to read.”

Read the entire story at Hotel replaces Bible with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ on the
Denison Forum on Truth and Culture

Chick-fil-A and gay marriage

Posted by    |    July 26th, 2012 at 5:40 am

The entrance to the Chick-fil-A headquarters in College Park, Georgia (Credit: Mav via en.wikipedia.org)Mike Huckabee, former presidential candidate and Arkansas governor, has announced that August 1 will be “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” His Facebook post begins: “I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld.”  Huckabee says that “no one is being asked to make signs, speeches, or openly demonstrate.”  Rather, he simply wants people to eat at Chick-fil-A on August 1.  He made it clear that the company is not proposing or promoting the day.

What are these “vitriolic assaults”?  Why has Chick-fil-A been targeted?

Read the entire story at Chick-fil-A and gay marriage on the
Denison Forum on Truth and Culture

Atheists rename baseball team

Posted by    |    July 25th, 2012 at 5:40 am

The Saint Paul Saints will wear these uniforms when they host A Night of Unbelievable Fun, sponsored by the Minnesota Atheists, on Aug. 10. (Courtesy St. Paul Saints)The St. Paul Saints will become “Mr. Paul Aints” on August 10.  Why?  Because their game that night is being sponsored by a group called Minnesota Atheists.

The letter “S” in all Saints signs and logos around the stadium will be covered.  There are planned references to Big Foot, UFOs and other targets of the skeptical community.  “We want to show that atheists can have fun,” the group’s president explains.  Since they expect to have only around 70 atheists at the game, I suspect their purposes are more centered in publicity than baseball.  If so, they should feel good about their strategy.

Read the entire story at Atheists rename baseball team on the
Denison Forum on Truth and Culture

The “Bratty” Little Girl at VBS

Posted by    |    July 25th, 2012 at 5:40 am

Last night at VBS there was a little girl that was the last one to be picked up. While we waited for her ride she playfully called me “butt-head” and other names that’s weren’t all that bad, but inappropriate for a little girl age 7. At one point she leaned over and said, “I’m gonna pour my Koolaid on your head,” and then she proceeded to do exactly what’s she said she would. My only thought was, “What a bratty kid.”

Then after a few minutes of asking questions to the little “bratty” kid I found out more about her. She told me she’d just moved here to live with her grandparents, whom she didn’t really know, because as she explained, “My daddy is in prison and my momma just went to jail too.”

My heart broke as I realized I judged the little “bratty” kid way to quickly. No telling the tough life she’d already been through.

I need to do better at not judging and jumping to conclusions before i know the whole story. I was reminded again last night that perspective is an very important thing.

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Why did God allow Aurora?

Posted by    |    July 24th, 2012 at 5:40 am

People grieve during a vigil for victims behind the theater where a gunman opened fire on moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado July 20, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)I saw The Dark Knight Rises yesterday (my review), but it was hard to focus on the movie rather than the shooting that will forever be linked to it.  One pastor in Aurora told his shell-shocked congregation yesterday, “When our world goes periodically crazy, a flood of questions can come into our minds.  The question we all probably struggle with is: Why did God allow this?  My response is: I don’t know.”

Others are less unsure.  One evangelist attributed the shootings to divine retribution: “we said to God, ‘Get out of the public arena’” while lawsuits “have chased away any fear of God in the land.”  As a result, “we’re reaping what we’ve been sowing as a society.”

Read the entire story at Why did God allow Aurora? on the
Denison Forum on Truth and Culture

Praying for a warlord

Posted by    |    July 21st, 2012 at 5:40 am

Leader of the Lord's Resistance Army Joseph Kony speaks to journalists after a meeting with U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland at Ri-Kwamba in southern Sudan November 12, 2006 (Credit: Reuters/Stuart Price/Pool) Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, an African militia that has abducted more than 30,000 children in Uganda over 26 years.  He forces the boys to fight in his rebel group and sells the girls as slaves.  Nearly two million people have been displaced by fighting his militia has initiated.

His story is remarkable and frightening.  Kony was born in 1961 in northern Uganda.  His aunt, Alice Auma, was the tribal mystic of the Acholi people.  She convinced many in her tribe that God wanted them to unseat the government and initiate a paradise on earth.  He inherited his power and movement from her, claiming that he is a spokesman for God and a spirit medium.

Read the entire story at Praying for a warlord on the
Denison Forum on Truth and Culture

Praying for the future leader of Islam

Posted by    |    July 20th, 2012 at 5:40 am

A closeup of Recep Tayyip Erdoga, Prime Minister of Turkey, with a Turkish flag in the background (Credit: Reuters)Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003.  He grew up in Istanbul, selling lemonade and sesame buns on the street as a child, and eventually became mayor of the city.  He was a semi-professional soccer player in his youth and has been a committed Muslim all his life.  Why is he part of our series on conversions that would change history?  Because of the role of Turkey in the modern world and his role in that rising country.  

The modern nation of Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923 as a secular state.  Women were not required to wear Islamic clothing; men often wore Western suits.  The government functioned as a parliamentary democracy where clerics have no official office.  (By contrast, as we saw on Tuesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei is the de-facto leader of that nation.)

Read the entire story at Praying for the future leader of Islam on the
Denison Forum on Truth and Culture

Praying for the leader of Israel

Posted by    |    July 19th, 2012 at 5:40 am

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Likud party meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem March 19 (Credit: Reuters / Baz Ratner)Benjamin Netanyahu is the most powerful figure in Israel today and one of the most significant leaders on the world stage.  He was born in Tel Aviv in 1949 and grew up in Jerusalem before moving to the United States as a teenager.  He and his family lived in Philadelphia, where his father taught Jewish history.

In 1967, Netanyahu returned to Israel to fulfill the military obligation incumbent upon all Jewish youth.  He volunteered for an elite unit and was wounded in an operation to release hostages from a hijacked airliner.  During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he led a commando team that made strikes deep into enemy territory.  After six years in the military he was discharged with the rank of captain.

Read the entire story at Praying for the leader of Israel on the
Denison Forum on Truth and Culture