Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sermon for September 19-20

The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 19-20, 2009
Text: Mark 9:30-37

Dear Friends in Christ,
Sometimes a person doesn’t have a frame of reference that allows one to understand. This was one of the themes of the movie “The God’s Must Be Crazy.” In the movie, a pilot of a bush plane in Africa dropped a Coke bottle out the window. It landed, in tact and was picked up by an African bushman. At first they viewed this bottle as a gift from the gods. They were soon arguing over possession of it. So they resolved to get rid of it. One of their warriors was dispatched to travel to the land of the gods and return the bottle. The bushman soon found himself in a bewildering world of automobiles, poachers, and all other sorts of other people. Everything he encountered puzzled him. He could not understand any of the things he saw.
In the matters of religion we see the same things. There are many assumptions that people have that make it impossible for them to understand what God is saying. For the Jews in the first century, one of the assumptions was that they were right with God because they were part of the covenant nation and they were keeping the covenant. They didn’t have idols and such. They made their regular sacrifices and so forth. They read the Old Testament, but they didn’t understand it because they had made some false assumptions. Furthering this also was the idea that God’s salvation was an earthly thing. The Sadducees even went so far as to deny the whole concept of eternal life. They argued that God’s relationship with man was about blessings in this life. With this framework of understanding many longed for the coming of the Messiah - and many feared it. The priests were all for the Messiah so long as they could control him and he could guarantee them victory and rulership in Israel. But they feared a Messiah that they wouldn’t control. The Pharisees were more mixed on this. This was in part because they were less of a cohesive group. They exercised rulership in the synagogue, but this was a diffuse power base. So the Messiah would have to first elevate them to power before they could truly rule. The Zealots or revolutionaries were certain that the Messiah would be one of them. But again they were divided into factions themselves, so from which faction would the Messiah arise? Each group was certain it would be their faction. The Essenes had the most strictly religious view of the Messiah. But they were off in the desert just hanging out reading their texts. They weren’t really active among the people.

It is in the context of this mishmash that Jesus tells His disciples that He is going to Jerusalem to die and rise from the dead. They didn’t have a sense of needing a redeemer from their sins. They already thought that were right with God because they were Jews. It is the questions of Nicodemus from John 3. Nicodemus really reveals what everyone was thinking. Yet, Christ tells Nicodemus that we are dead until life is poured into us by the Holy Spirit. Christ in John 3 connects this to Baptism which He would institute at the end of His ministry. Since, like Nicodemus, the disciples don’t see themselves as dead in their trespasses and sins, they don’t think that they need a Savior from sin and death. And thus when Jesus says, hey guys, I’m gonna go up to Jerusalem and get schmucked, they don’t get it. They don’t even have a frame of reference that would allow them to understand.

This lack of understanding is revealed in what happens next. The disciples started to argue amongst themselves which of them was the greatest of Jesus’ disciples. Which of them was the most important. Peter, James, and John probably pointed to fact that they had seen the Transfiguration. John probably added that he was Jesus’ closest personal friend. Judas pointed out that had the treasury and thus was greatly trusted by Christ. Andrew likely chimed in that he was a disciple before many of the rest. And so it went. Jesus asks them about this, but they are suddenly embarrassed. There is probably some fear that Jesus will point out that one of the others is the greatest.

Jesus knows what they were talking about. We need not puzzle over this. In human terms he might have heard enough of the conversation to know what it was about. But then He is God after all. And God does know all things. So even if He didn’t over hear them, He still knew. His response again really attacks the idea that their whole frame of reference was wrong. Greatness before God is not found in pride and power, but in service. Those who serve are the greatest. And of course none serves more than Jesus Christ. Christ becomes a sinner in our place and bears our punishment. That’s pretty much as last as you can get. But in taking this place, Christ is also offering the mankind the greatest service ever rendered. He is making us right with God the Father by taking our sins upon Himself. Then when we are presented by Christ before the Father, we are wearing Christ’s clothes - that is His righteousness. This is the service Christ performs for us.

Christ then sets a small child in their midst. Some legends say that this child grew up to be the church father, Ignatius of Antioch, but that is no importance. What is important is what this tells us about greatness in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. What do we mean by receives - as in receives a little child? Welcomes? Yes. Provides for? Yes. That would include providing for their earthly and heavenly needs. And when one provides for a child they become a servant of that child. Their life is no longer their own. They are not free to come and go as they wish. They must see to the needs of the child - that they eat, that they go to bed and get good sleep, that they say their prayers. So what Christ is saying, is that being a faithful and godly parent is one form of greatness in the kingdom of God. Greatness is not found in super churchmen. One is not great because they preach to ten thousand people each week or are on television. Greatness is not being the smartest theologian. Greatness is found in homes, in fields, in workshops, in schools and the like whenever people, who cling to their Savior for forgiveness and life, faithfully serve their fellow man in their daily lives. As Lutherans we call this the doctrine of vocation. It is the idea that all honest and legal work is God pleasing. It is God pleasing because by it we serve our fellow man.

In the early Middle ages everyone had a great fear of Viking raiders coming in their long boats. What happened to these great and feared warriors? No, they didn’t all just move to Minnesota. They became Christians. Now, they understood that greatness was not found in skill of their swords, but in working their farms, grazing their animals, and raising their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. You see the Vikings came to understand what the disciples did not. To be great before God, one must be a servant, just Christ was a servant. He became our greatest servant of all by bearing our sins to the cross and giving us life and salvation.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Crime Mission

According a story on the Fox News site, Douglas Perlitz was a missary working in Haiti for Project Pierre Toussaint. This was funded by Fairfield University - a Catholic institution. He was recently indicted on sex abuse charges. It is alleged that he used his position to lure children into his homes and had sex with them. The mission work was just a cover.

The question must be asked, what went wrong? Surely, this was funded with the best of intentions. Surely, this has horrified almost all of those involved with this project. I can't say, since I don't know all the details. But one thing seems to be clear to me. It appears that Perlitz was working alone for the most part. In the book of Acts, missionaries usually went out in pairs or even larger groups. Most protestant missionaries to the developing world are husband and wife teams. In many of these cultures one is not considered an adult until one has a wife and children. So one simple safe guard would be to have people working in teams of two or more. It's not fool proof. But if one person sees something is amis, they can intervene. It would greatly reduce the chance of this happening in the future.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sermon for September 12-13

The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 12-13, 2009
Text: Mark 9:14-19

Dear Friends in Christ,
When people think of demons, they might think of the movie the Exorcist or more recently the Exorcism of Emily Rose. Both are based on true stories by the way. In the case of the Exorcist, the author of the book took a real case and turned it into a fictional account. He set it in the 1970's as opposed to the 1940's and so on. In the real case, it was a young boy who was demon possessed. I’m not certain the cause of his possession, but normally this would happen because of dabbling in the occult. The parents had a mixed marriage on paper. One of was Catholic and one was Lutheran, but in reality they were nothing. They practiced no religion. The first attempt to exorcize the demon took place in St. Louis, and it was done by two Lutheran theological professors from Concordia Seminary. Yes, that’s right, two of our professors attempted to exorcize the demon. They succeeded initially, but the parents didn’t take things seriously enough and quickly were back to their non religious ways. There was no follow up instruction for the boy or anything like this. The demon returned. This time a Catholic priest was called and the family was required to sign an agreement that the child would be properly instructed in the Roman church once exorcism was completed. Today the man is a practicing Catholic with no memory of his demon possession.

Demon possession can serve an even more subtle purpose than capturing little boys. In the 1600's a German pastor was confronted with a girl that was possessed by a demon. He was exorcized the demon, but the experience of it changed him. This pastor began to teach all sorts of false doctrine. He became of the leaders of the charismatic movement of his day. He led many astray with his false doctrine. And so we must ask, who was the demon after? Perhaps the pastor was the real target. Thankfully, to date, I’ve never had to deal with a case of demon possession. It might make a great topic for a movie, but in the real world it is a terrifying thing.

Our text is about a demon possessed boy. This must be said up front. The symptoms look a great deal like epileptic seizures. Some have tried to treat this text that way. But if we read it closely, Christ Himself confirms that it was a demon. So as much as we might like to say that this was more of a healing than a casting out of a demon, we cannot. This was a case of demon possession.

The father of the boy brings him to the disciples. The disciples had recently returned from the preaching trip of the 72. When they had been out preaching they had cast out demons. But this one resisted them. Why? Was it simply too powerful for them? Did they lack faith? Or was their something else happening here? One possibility was that they were not commissioned to cast out demons at that time. They were sent out with that authority, but now that their mission was completed, did they still have it? So it could simply be that they were not sent.

The scribes were making hay with their failure. They were attacking the disciples for failing to cast out the demon. Their glee did not last long. Jesus comes and speaks with the father of the boy. Their exchange is interesting. Jesus’ first response is to condemn the lack of faith of everyone. The boy is brought to Jesus and immediately goes into a fit. Jesus asks how long the boy has been like this. We don’t know why Jesus was asking this. Perhaps it was a way of calling the man to repentance for some sin. Perhaps the father of the boy had dabbled in the occult, opening the door for his son to become possessed. We don’t know for certain. The ancient father, The Venerable Bede, simply noted that this child’s possession was a mark of original sin. For if we were not born under bondage to sin and the devil, the possession of a young child like this would not be possible.

The man begs Jesus to cast out the demon, if He can. Jesus appears almost to mock to the man, by throwing the words back in His face. But this is more than Jesus saying of course I can. The man responds by saying that he believes, but then adds, God help my unbelief. This is not the only time we hear this line in the Gospels.

What Jesus is doing is contrasting His own perfect faith in God the Father, with troubled, impure faith of the man and even that of His disciples. All things are possible for the one who believes. Yes, but you see Christ is the only man who has ever had perfect faith. Jesus then casts the demon out. The boy appears then to be dead. Jesus reached out and takes the boys hand. It should noted that the Greek phrase here is exactly the same as when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. I would suggest that we should understand from this text that the boy died as the demon left him. Jesus now raises him from the dead.

This is really a text about faith. What most Americans have is faith in faith. But faith, in itself, is just empty hope. If I trust that a rock would get me to heaven, I would be greatly disappointed, no matter how much I believed. Further, faith in faith is a form a self righteousness. One who does this is trusting in their own faith. In other words they’re trusting in themselves. Faith only becomes of value if the object of faith can deliver what we desire of it. So faith in a chair is not misplaced at all if I trust it to hold me when I sit down. If I trust that same chair to heal me of disease or make me smarter, my faith is misplaced. A chair cannot deliver these things. So for eternal salvation we must trust in the forgiveness of our sins given in Christ Jesus for the sake of His death and resurrection. This is the only thing that can deliver life and salvation to us. This type of faith in Christ is of great value indeed. It is of value because Christ delivers these things to us.

The other point that needs to made is that no human being has pure faith. Sin still clings to us. The devil, the world and our flesh raise doubts in our minds and hearts. So we are all really in the same boat as the father of the boy - I believe, God help my unbelief. The intent of Lutheran preaching is to provide perfect assurance. But human beings will still carry some doubt because of sin. But the assurance is always in the Word and Sacraments. The assurance is in Christ and what He has done on our behalf, and what He continues to do on our behalf. We can look to our Baptism, Holy Absolution, and the Supper and say, Ah, here is Christ present with me to deal graciously with me. Here is my salvation. If we look within ourselves there was always be doubt, because there is always sin. But in Christ, there is perfect assurance.

Sermon for September 12-13

The Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost
September 6, 2009
Text: Mark 7:31-37

Dear Friends in Christ,
The first permanent colony in what would become the U.S. was in fact the Spanish colony at St. Augustine, Florida in 1565. The first Christian service in the future U.S. was a Roman Mass celebrated there. But St. Augustine was not primarily a religious colony. In 1606, the English settled in Jamestown, Virginia. Again one of the first thing they did was celebrate the Divine Service, this time according to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. But again Jamestown was not primarily a religious colony. That would come in 1620 with the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. But Plymouth was small and never really grew all that much. In 1630 the Massachusetts Bay colony was formed. They established several settlements including Boston and Salem. This was a religious colony on a grand scale. It is also the place where universal public education has it’s roots. Each community was required to provide land for a school house and money for a teacher so that the children would all learn how to read. Why was this important? So that they could read the Word the God. New England Puritanism was a very intellectualized form of Calvinism. It was believed that young minds had be made open to God’s Word. Lutheranism has likewise valued education for similar reasons. However, in Puritan New England the purpose for studying the scriptures was to create the perfect Christian nation. In Lutheranism, the Scriptures are studied so that people know God’s plan of salvation.

The text before us seems straight forward. But it is not so simple as one might expect. On one level the story is that a man came to Jesus who was deaf and Jesus healed him. But on another level, there is more happening than it would first appear.
Jesus takes the man aside. He doesn’t command that he begin to hear or to speak. He commands him to be open. Mark even gives us the actually Aramaic word that Jesus used - Ephphatha. Now Mark was teen during Christ’s ministry and was an eyewitness to some of the events he records. He also received a great deal of additional information from Peter. So some have said that Mark is really Peter’s Gospel. In this case, as in much of the Gospel, we don’t know which is the source for this. But the detail suggests that either Mark or Peter was a direct eyewitness to this.

Now, I think everyone would agree that it was nice that Jesus healed people. The healing miracles, in general, teach us how Christ undoes sin and the effects of sin. Because of sin we live in a corrupted world - a world where there is disease, infirmity, and death. But there is often more to each specific type of healing.

The Jews of the first century did not make any images. Because the Roman emperor’s image was on common coins they could not be used in the temple. They had to have special coins that only had words inscribed upon them. In the synagogue the Word of God was read each week. The Word was considered so holy that one had wash their hands before and after handling the sacred text. Would that we treat our Bibles so reverently! But a deaf man could not hear the word read. And very likely, a deaf man could not be taught to read either. This was not because of incapacity, but because instruction was normally done orally. They didn’t have the special ways to teach the deaf that we have today. Today of course Lou Feregno was a successful body builder and played the Incredible Hulk on television. Curtis Pride played major league baseball. Such are the accomplishments of deaf people today. But in the first century deafness closed all doors. Most of all it prevented one from hearing the Word of God. This was, to a Jew, catastrophic. It destroyed one’s life. Christ was not just allowing this man to hear the birds chirp. He was opening him to the Word of God. And we know, as St. Paul says in Romans, that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. (Rom. 10:17) So Christ was opening the man up so that He could have faith in Him, and thus be saved.

Sin is a form of deafness. It stops up our ears so that we cannot hear God’s Word. It clouds our reason so that we cannot understand God’s Word. And we like our sin. There is a famous prayer attributed to St. Augustine - “O Lord, make me chaste, but not just yet.” We need to be healed of the deafness of our sin. We need to be opened to Word of God. Thus we confess in Dr. Luther’s Explanation to the Third Article, I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him... Sin has made us deaf as the proverbial post. The Holy Spirit, working through Word and Sacrament, opens our ears and makes us able to hear God’s Word. For some of us the first Word of God that we heard was the Word connected to the Water at our Baptism. For others, the first Word that they heard was when someone preached or taught that life giving Word. But all these Words tell us the same thing - your sins are forgiven. You are right with God. You are a Child of God. All this is so because Christ shed His blood to pay for those sins that stopped up your ears.

The Word opens our ears and makes them holy ears. They are now holy ears to hear God’s Holy Word. We desecrate our ears which God, in Christ, has made holy, when use them to hear vain and corrupt things. This is why it is never just a little song or just crass and vulgar words. When we chose to hear such things, we are now making unholy that thing which God has made holy. Some Christians, particularly some in the Pentecostal camp, teach that God forgives our sins, but then it’s up to us and if we fall into sin again, we cannot be forgiven. But this is not at all what God does or intends. He continuously forgives our sins and reopens our ears. He continues to instruct us both in the forgiveness of sins and what forgiveness does to us, how it makes a us new creation. He continues each day to speak those precious words to us - your sins are forgiven. And we do indeed hear those precious words.

Jesus said to a deaf man “Ephphatha!” that is be opened. He opened the man to hear that life saving Word of forgiveness. So also Christ, through the Holy Spirit, opens our ears. He says to us “Ephphatha!” And we are indeed opened to His Word by the forgiveness of our sins. This Word then creates faith and life within us. All this from one simple word spoken by the living Word.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I want to put a plug in for a blog on local politics in North West Wisconsin. Many of our local issues are repeated around the state and country. If you knew the lovely lady that run this site you would agree that it is appropriately named.

September Newsletter

From the Disk of the Pastor
September 2009

Dear Friends in Christ,
The Lutheran Confessions express a high view of the office of the Holy Ministry. What do we mean by saying that? We are saying that God has established the office and it is not optional.
The sedes doctrinae or Seat of Doctrine for the office of the Ministry is John 20:21-23: "Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.'" With these words Christ gives the office of the ministry to the apostles. They in turn have passed it on to the church as a whole. We do not believe that a pastor must be able to trace the ancestry of his ordination back to the apostles, though probably most Lutheran pastors could. This is because we still teach that the normal way a person is placed into the office is by another pastor.

The Bible uses a number of terms for clergy. The most common would be shepherd, overseer, and steward. Shepherd is often today rendered as pastor. Christ calls Himself the Good Shepherd. Pastors are to be a reflection of Christ, who calls, disciplines and calls back the flock to faithfulness to the word. Episcopus is the Greek word we render as overseer. It is the equivalent of the English word bishop. Every pastor is bishop or overseer in that place. Overseer carries with it the idea of authority. A pastor carries God’s authority to carry out the work of the Gospel in that place. Dr. Walther, in his book “Church and Ministry” states that a pastor is owed full obedience by his flock when he correctly speaks the word of God. The Lutheran Confession state that we are to be obedient to our pastors for the sake of good order, so long they do not demand things that are contrary to the word of God or otherwise tyrannize the flock. As the writer to the Hebrews says: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Another way in which pastoral authority is expressed is through the Church Order. What is a church order? It is our hymnal and its attendant materials. It has always been understood in orthodox Lutheranism that we are bound to follow such orders, and when pastors and congregations significantly deviate from them they are in a form of rebellion and acting in a way that displeases God. The third term that is used is steward. A steward is a servant, under the authority of his master. A Pastor is a servant of the Word - that is Jesus Christ. While he serves God’s people, he is there to give them what God intends for them.

The early Lutherans used the word “priest”. This was the Old Testament term. A priest stands between God and man, speaking man’s word to God and God’s word to man. Certainly a pastor does this. He reads the Scriptures and preaches. This would be God’s word to man. He also leads the congregation in prayer. This would be mans word to God. So Lutheran clergy are priests, in this sense. But starting in about 1600 we started using other terms such as pastor. This does not mean that priest is wrong, but rather there was simply a change is custom. And certainly, it could be argued, pastor is a specifically New Testament term for clergy.

The office of the ministry is not optional. The definition of the Church is pastor and people gathered around word and sacrament. The Church is not just the people. This definition requires that a Christian congregation have a pastor. Otherwise it ceases to be Church. This is why a vacant congregation must have a vacancy pastor so there is a pastor responsible for that flock. You can’t have a congregation without a pastor, even for a for short time. This is the order that Christ has established. It was confirmed by the apostles who appointed pastors in the places where they preaches. Timothy and Titus are two such pastors. Nor are pastors simply hirelings of the congregation. They are servants of Jesus Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (I Corinthians 4:1)

Rev. Jody R. Walter
Psalm 119:104-105

Denomination Votes to Allow Drunken Clergy

I heard about this on Pirate Christian Radio. It's from www.sacredsandwich.com I could never be this witty.

Posted on 31 August 2009

Hot on the heels of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s decision to allow the appointment of non-celibate gays to the clergy, another prominent Christian denomination has decided this week to allow practicing drunkards in the pulpit.

Meeting in Las Vegas, leaders of the Evangelical Lukewarm Christians in Apostasy (ELCA-Not the Lutherans) voted in favor of giving their local congregations the authority to choose ministers or lay leaders who may be in “lifelong, monogamous relationships with alcohol.”

Said the denomination’s president, Ben Halifax, “Since the Lutheran ELCA has courageously decided to ignore the condemnation of homosexuals in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10, we figured it was time for our own denomination to ignore the verses’ reference to drunkards and immediately loosen our outdated and unloving restrictions on boozehounds.”

A motion to also include the acceptance of clerical fornicators, adulterers, idolators, thieves, revilers, and swindlers was tabled until next year’s meeting.

The surprise decision to liberalize the church’s drunkard policy came at the perfect time for the denomination’s small branch in Torrance, California, where popular pastor, Glen Morehouse, had been barred from ministry last year due to his open and committed relationship with Johnnie Walker. With the historic vote, Morehouse can now officially stagger back to the pulpit and still maintain his alternative lifestyle.

His eyes reddened by tears of joy and 80 proof Scotch, Pastor Morehouse commended the ELCA (Not the Lutherans) leadership for allowing him to continue in his Kingdom work. “I jes wanna shay, it was sush a prooouu moam comin’ ta shee thish inna histacle vent… Ya no whaa um sayin’? Uh-oh… I thin’ um gonna thro up…”

Martha Wackenhut, Torrance church member and designated driver, also commended the decision, but was much more articulate. “We’re thrilled that the national leadership has finally recognized Pastor Glen’s value as a non-sober man of God,” she said on behalf of the congregation. “Whenever we’ve needed his pastoral advice and leadership, he’s always been there for us on his favorite barstool down at O’Malley’s. Quite frankly, if this vote hadn’t gone through, we’re pretty sure we would’ve lost Pastor Glen to the Presbyterians.”

Advocates of change in the ELCA (Not the Lutherans) rejoiced after the vote and were later found at the Hard Rock Cafe celebrating their victory with mojitos and Jagermeister shots. “We’re toasting to greater fairness tonight,” explained Pete Lutowski, executive director of Bottoms Up, a drunk rights advocacy group within the church. “Drunken clergy are now free to be who they are and enjoy the love and companionship of their alcoholic buzz.”

“Bottom line, this is a heart issue,” added Lutowski. “Okay, it’s a liver issue, too, but it’s mostly a heart issue. It’s time to quit acting like pharisaical tee-totalers who are hung up on judgmental prooftexts and start showing some Christian love to our drunken brethren who want nothing more than to give out sloppy back slaps and shout, ‘I love you, man!’ to an unsaved stranger. If getting sloshed is so wrong, how come Jesus changed water into wine and jump-started the first Christian drinking party two thousand years ago?”

“A-mehn, bruther!” shouted Pastor Morehouse from the floor.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guilt vs. Shame

Occasionally a topic crops up where religion and politics cross in such a way that only someone like myself with my dual topic blog can address. Guilt and shame is one such topic. It's world view issue. It's a religious issue. And it is a political issue.

In the west, we have a guilt culture. What we mean by this is that things are right or wrong. It doesn't matter if you can get away with something. It doesn't matter if no one knows. We are accountable to an objective standard of right and wrong. Why does the west look at the world this way? This is the influence of Judeo-Christian religion. God's law is objective and plays no favorites. King David is guilty of murder and adultery the same as anyone else who does these things. It does not matter if the world knows or not. We ourselves know in our hearts and God knows. In fact, while we can lie to ourselves, we cannot lie to God. He knows our hearts and our actions better than we ourselves do.

In much of the rest of world society operates as a shame culture. Shame is about the public face. It doesn't matter if you are a pedophile so long as you don't get caught. There is no sense of right and wrong at all. Only that which promotes honor before the world and that which causes shame before the world. Further, shame cultures tend to clannish. By this we mean that what I do affects the entire group.

In a guilt culture, the remedy is repentance and forgiveness. Thus, each person must recognize their sins, confess them to God, or in some cases to the offended parties, and receive forgiveness. It is the responsibility of each individual. In a shame culture, there is no repentance. You simply cut out that which causes shame. Thus if a girl is raped, her family might kill her to remove the shame. This girl from Ohio that converted to Christianity has a very real fear born from the fact that Islamic society is a shame culture. Converting from Islam is a great shame for her family and the broader Muslim society. In some circles it is indeed open season on this girl. Her life is indeed in great danger, even in Florida.

So now, we have a court case over a religious conversion being driven by the differences between a guilt and a shame culture. Let's hope the judges have the wisdom to understand these differences and thus protect this girl.

Service Nation and 9/11

One of the first things that President Obama did when he came into office was to declare 9/11 a national day of service. His cronies quickly organized an agency to carry this out. What they created was an umbrella of supposed service organizations. Many were blatantly political like AARP, La Raza and number of radical environmental groups. (It should be noted that it appears that La Raza is no longer affiliated with Service Nation.) The umbrella was blatantly political as well. In the first incarnation of their web site the first thing you would see was Obama's face. Obama is no longer front and center on the web site.

What is the real agenda here? Why was 9/11 chosen? I would contend that the real reason for this whole business was to redefine 9/11. What is 9/11 supposed to be? It is supposed to be a day of solemn remembrance. It is supposed to be a day to remember those who died and why? That why is because a group of evil, demonic men, in the name of a violent religion, delivered a sucker punch against the U.S. Cowards that they were, they committed an act of war against non combatant men, women, and children. 9/11 is a day to nurse our righteous anger against those who did this, and those who supported them. The very notion of righteous anger is that it is a correct and proper thing. We are supposed to be angry about this and we are supposed to hold this against those who did this, until such time as there is righteous judgement. Forgiveness requires repentance. I've not heard anyone repent of the 9/11 attacks. After the time that justice is achieved or time has made this moot, it is still to be a day of remembrance, to remind us of the constant vigilance needed to protect liberty, and to remember those who have fallen in the cause of liberty.

President Obama clearly has, as part of his political agenda, a desire to make us forget was happened on 9/11. I don't know just why this is. I fear it may be sympathy with the Islamic world. Many of the organizations involved in Obama diabolical scheme are liberal groups from which you expect no better. But other groups have been suckered into this, like the Lions Club International. Now Lions Club claims to be non political. But by its participation in Service Nation, Lions Club has made itself as political as the Democratic Party. It has become an unwitting agent for Obama's liberal agenda. One wonders how many other formerly good organizations will be destroyed by Obama and his devilish Service Nation initiative.