Saturday, April 7, 2007

God Is Love

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1 John 4:9

When one stops to consider that the Creator of heaven and earth, of the universe, of all that is, our Creator who knew us from before the foundations of the world loved us to this degree, it is, quite simply, unfathomable. Perhaps the only way we can grasp such a thought is to try to understand and believe that God is, in fact, love.

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.
1 John 4:7-8

Easter Sunday is a significant day of honor for it celebrates the resurrection of Christ. Everything in Christianity hinges on the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection completes the work of God and His plan for our salvation and, at the same time, marks the defeat of Satan as predicted all the way back in the book of Genesis. If the resurrection didn't actually happen, then Christ was a fraud and the Bible is just a bad joke. Verse 9 of John 20 is the key. Your either believe that the resurrection occurred or you don't. We're not going to argue the point at this time.

1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Mag'dalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
9 For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
John 20:1-10

Easter is also a time to dwell on the love of God.

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1 John 4

It is relatively easy for us to love God, isn't it?. It costs us little to love God, and it's amazing that so many don't, but God loved us, even as we were sinners rejecting Him, and He loved us to the degree that He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins so that we might be restored to Him. And Jesus loved us so, that He submitted completely to the will of the Father, even unto death on a cross.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:16-17

You've probably heard the following many times most likely being read during a wedding. It's a template, if you will. A model of perfect love, of the love of God. It provides an insight into the being of God, an aspect of His perfection. On this Easter Sunday, let's reflect on this passage and ponder its message.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth:
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8


We think this is a little premature, but ....


Felonious Speaker

Robert Turner, writing in the Wall Street Journal, thinks Mrs. Pelosi violated the Logan Act in going to Damascus and is thus guilty of a felony:

The Logan Act makes it a felony and provides for a prison sentence of up to three years for any American, "without authority of the United States," to communicate with a foreign government in an effort to influence that government's behavior on any "disputes or controversies with the United States."

Ms. Pelosi and her Congressional entourage spoke to President Assad on various issues, among other things saying, "We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace." She is certainly not the first member of Congress--of either party--to engage in this sort of behavior, but her position as a national leader, the wartime circumstances, the opposition to the trip from the White House, and the character of the regime she has chosen to approach make her behavior particularly inappropriate.

Of course, not all congressional travel to, or communications with representatives of, foreign nations is unlawful. A purely fact-finding trip that involves looking around, visiting American military bases or talking with U.S. diplomats is not a problem. Nor is formal negotiation with foreign representatives if authorized by the president....Ms. Pelosi's trip was not authorized, and Syria is one of the world's leading sponsors of international terrorism. It has almost certainly been involved in numerous attacks that have claimed the lives of American military personnel from Beirut to Baghdad.

Whether Mr. Turner's charge would stick against the Speaker is, in my opinion, doubtful, but that she violated the spirit of the act is not. USA Today seems to agree.


What to Do About Illegal Aliens

The column I wrote for last Sunday's paper was on the demographic calamity that illegal immigration is wreaking on our nation. Democrats and most Republicans, both in congress and the White House, seem indifferent to what many others perceive to be a growing sociological tsunami.

Since I've criticized our political leadership for their lassitude on this issue it's fair to ask what I think should be done about the problem. I favor the middle ground between total amnesty and mass deportations. In my view the current Permanent Resident laws, with modifications, could form the basis for a just solution to a problem that may at this point be almost insoluble. Here's what such a solution might look like:

We need first to seal the border. This is the sine qua non of any solution. There's no point in cleaning the carpets while the ceiling is still leaking. Once the border is relatively impervious to all but the most dauntless and determined then we can address the situation of those already here. I am not opposed in principle to rounding them all up and sending them home, but I'm not sure how feasible that is.

Perhaps a better course, one that avoids the worst elements of amnesty and yet allows us to demonstrate compassion for people who are simply trying to make a living and feed their families as best they can, is to tell those illegals among us that they can stay as long as they like with the following provisos:

They must apply for a Green Card (Permanent Resident card). After a certain grace period anyone without proper ID would be subject to deportation.

They will not at any time be eligible for citizenship nor any of the benefits of citizens. Ever. Nor will their future children, born on our soil, be granted automatic citizenship, though they will be able to attend public schools. Moreover, they would be eligible for citizenship when they become adults provided they graduated from high school.

Any infractions of the criminal code will be sufficient cause for immediate deportation.

At the same time there will be no penalty for businesses who employ them and they will be free to seek employment anywhere they can find it. They would, in essence, be permanent guest workers.

If illegal aliens were willing to accept those conditions they would be permitted to stay without having to hide and skulk and live in fear of the INS.

Although it would require a change to the constitution to prohibit granting citizenship to children of "illegal" aliens it would be a "win" for almost everyone. The immigrants would benefit from being able to work without fear of deportation. The American taxpayer would not be compelled to subsidize welfare and other programs for illegals, the worst elements among them would be deported, and American businesses would not have to be burdened with the task of doing background investigations of every employee to make sure they're legal.

This will not please those who demand that we send them all packing, but it seems to me to be the most practical and humane solution to a problem that has been allowed to fester far too long.

Yes, it entails a kind of amnesty, but it doesn't reward illegals with citizenship as other amnesty programs do, and the amnesty is contingent upon first shutting off the flow of illegals across the border and also upon the aliens keeping themselves out of trouble while they're here. If these conditions would be unacceptable to them they would, of course, be free to return home.


Demeaning Blacks

I was watching a bit of tennis on television the other night and Serena Williams happened to be one of the players. In the course of play the commentator averred that Ms Williams was "articulate." I have never heard Ms Williams speak so I cannot vouch for this assessment, but I do know that were I an African-American I would be incensed at the condescension and stupidity that drips from those words every time they're uttered. Rarely, after all, does one hear a white person described as articulate. It is simply assumed to be the norm for whites.

Joe Biden describes Barack Obama as "articulate." People like J.C. Watts, Harold Ford, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, even John Lee Malvo, have their ability to speak the English language noted and praised with annoying regularity. Implicit in the superficial compliment is the assumption that articulateness is unusual for a black person and thus noteworthy when it's found in one. The ability to speak well is not something expected of blacks, so a lot of people - especially, it must be said, liberals - find themselves noting the eloquence of the extraordinary black person and thus tacitly acknowledging their hidden assumption that blacks are generally inarticulate, even without realizing they're doing it.

As I said, if I were a black man I'd be outraged at this back-handed, mindless racial insult every time I heard it. It'd be like someone saying of me that I'm a black man and I've never been to prison. Not being black, however, I find it merely irritating.