Sheep, Shepherds, and Wolves

nazareneMuch has been said this week, some of it here, about ISIS and the Christians of Mosul. It is right for us to weep, and gnash our teeth over the fate that is overtaking our brothers and sisters. Many of us lay much of the blame at the feet of our politicians, I think that also correct. But understand this, we, especially in Britain and America, elected them, they are our representatives, and they act, or don’t act, in our names.

We have other leadership though, and that is the leadership of our churches. And where are they? These are our brothers and sisters, literally in Christ at risk. We are taught, all of us, to turn the other cheek, yes. But they self identify as the shepherds of the flock. I grew up around, not so much shepherds, per se, but around cattlemen, who are not very different. One thing I know, is that cattlemen detest wolves, there is a reason why it is nearly always an open season on wolves and coyotes in our societies. they are destructive of our herds and flocks. And so, they must be destroyed.

That is part of the role of the shepherd. usually and ably assisted by the sheepdog, and I think nearly all of my readers will know who self-identifies in that role. They are there, and they are ready, but it is not their decision to make, that is for the shepherd, and if they vacillate, and prevaricate, and attempt to placate and live with the wolves, the flock shall suffer the losses.

Usually, I find Judge Jeanine Pirro, a bit strident for my taste, which is why I don’t usually run her videos here, and also I like to lighten-up a bit on the weekends when her videos become available. But this week she is correct. She is Catholic, and faults the Pope, I don’t disagree but her net is too narrow, where is the Church of England, where are the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Evangelicals, the Fundamentalists, and yes, the Orthodox as well, all the rest who comprise what was once called Christendom, and was the force that made men not only Holy, but free?

We can speak of The Church of the East, that never believed in earthly power, it was a glorious church, spreading from Nineveh (close to Mosul) all the way through China and India, as well as Eastern Russia. But it is gone, lost nearly even to history, and now we in our time, are perhaps witnessing its final destruction. In many ways, it is comparable to the fall of Constantinople, except that the Orthodox faith was able to continue.

And so, as you watch Judge Jeanine, ask yourself if this is what our faith teaches, or if our shepherds, and yes, our sheepdogs, are meant to protect the flock, or merely to lie down with wolves, and coyotes. I know my answer. What is yours?

 

As my co-author, Jessica, so eloquently reminds us this morning on her blog. We are not condemning all of Islam here. Like any large group of people, Islam has its bad actors, wolves and coyotes if you will. The problem seems to be that the predators have taken over their sheepfold and are attempting to take over ours as well.

 

This is from the old version of the Lutheran Service Book, as printed in the old Lutheran Hymnal, from General Prayer I

All who are in trouble, want, sickness, anguish of labor, peril of death, or any other adversity, especially those who are suffering for Thy name’s and for Thy truth’s sake, comfort, O God, with Thy Holy Spirit, that they may receive and acknowledge their afflictions as the manifestation of Thy fatherly will.

Audacity

The audacity to aim for a new apogee

The audacity of a civilized people to defend themselves.

Make no mistake, the IDF is on the front line, in defense of all civilized people, for truly

There are barbarians at the gates.

I have been told that the friend of a friend, a young woman who, in college, married a Muslim, is very distressed that she has received bad comments on the street. As I said last night, her distress distresses me, but these are becoming hard times, when western civilization has little leadership, and so the barbarians are restless. I recognize that in years past, the chasm between Christian and Jew on the one hand, and Islam and the secular humanist on the other, did not seem so wide. But I am afraid, unless she can find a way to recant her choice, she will have to live with the consequences of choosing darkness. May God have mercy on her, for it may not be possible for man to.

It bothers me to say that because I think many, likely including her, made this choice lightly, thinking that joining Islam was a cultural choice, like going to the Methodist church instead of the Lutheran, that in many ways it was the same. In truth, the leadership of the Christian churches have encouraged this, all the while knowing, or at least they should have known, that Christianity, like Judaism, is a religion of life, while Islam is a religion of death. We are now starting to see that decisions have consequences, even when we didn’t think so when we made them. God help us all.

On a lighter note, for it is indeed Saturday

The audacity of proper English

 

The audacity of silver linings at perigee.

 

This week has felt a good bit like this hasn’t it?

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

 
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

 
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats

 

 

Islam’s War on Women

sharia freeGood News First

I would guess you remember Meriam Ibrahim. She’s the 27 year old Sudanese, married to an American, who gave birth a few weeks ago while shackled in a Sudanese prison. That sentence was averted some time ago but she was denied permission to leave the country. Yesterday after belated efforts by the Department of State (pressured by Congress) and with a huge assist from the Italian government, she received a blessing in Rome from the Pope, himself. Reports say she is resting up and soon will be traveling to the United States. Thanks be to God.

Apparently, not so, at least right now…

There was a report yesterday that made the rounds very quickly, and appeared to be legitimate, that ISIS had issued a regulation (or Fatwa, depending on source) requiring all females in Mosul to undergo FGM by Saturday. Apparently, it was a fake report, which is fine. Thing is, though, the fact that it was picked up so widely (I first saw it on “the Other McCain”) basically means that we have become so accustomed to the Islamic War on Women, that we assume the most horrendous rumors are true. I know that’s true for me.

When I read that report, the one reaction I did not have was that it was so barbaric that no government would do such a thing. To me it’s of a piece with Hamas hiding behind women’s skirts and carrying infants on fire missions (both confirmed) in Gaza. But still the media (especially the European media, including the BBC and The Telegraph) wants to blame Israel for the deaths of children, notwithstanding the thousands of rockets that have rained down on Israel, and the missiles taken from schools by the UN and returned to Hamas.

And along that line: This

My friend, Isabella Rose, on her site Reclaiming the Sacred, wrote yesterday on her experience, living amongst Muslims, in Europe. It is a story that should shock and dismay you. Here is an excerpt.

I really could not believe that the Muslin religion was definitely intended to be one of violence and war.

After all, in undergrad school, I had met a very kind Muslim girl, who was beyond polite to me, and I never had any thought but that she was but a good person, devoted to God, only under some different “path” than what I had come to know.

Yet during the course of one of my first few weeks abroad, a Coptic Christian from Egypt, who worked for a group of local Muslims, separate from the ones that I lived with, invited me out for a drink one night.

As we sat across from one another, in the dimly lit pub, he explained to me how much he supported my country.

I was shocked.

Aren’t all Europeans against America? I thought.

That was what I had always been told, at any rate.

But no, to him we were anything but the bad guys.

“You have no idea what the Muslims have done to my people,” he explained, as he recounted his family history and that of many others.

In so many words he went on to say:

“These Muslims that I work for here – they are nice people. They will be polite to you, and very kind. But if they could, they would me and they would kill you.”

via Reclaiming the Sacred

She will also tell you about, and show you, if your stomach is strong enough, the fate of this girl, actually a young Christian woman..It is not for the faint of heart. Isabella also quotes her Coptic friend as saying

They were only prevented by the laws of Christian nations – at least, until one day they could overturn those laws, and convert them to the laws of a Muslim state.

I completely agree with her, and if we are correct, there are three, and only three solutions.

  1. Surrender. You can if you want to. I and many others will not.
  2. Quarantine/Embargo Essentially cut off all contact between civilized people and Islam, this is essentially what we did from the repulse at Vienna until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It is a difficult, and wearying method of life
  3. Conquest. In a war of biblical horror, It would be very like the war in the Pacific during World War II, because we will be able to take very few prisoners.

The day before yesterday, here, I spoke of the end of Christianity in Mosul, which will for the first time, since the time of Christ, Himself, be free of Christians in the next week or so.

Some of my friends in the United Kingdom think that this should be a common war for us with Russia, I don’t really disagree with them but, I find it unlikely that Russia will see it. Russia, like Europe, is a dying society, it is no longer reproducing itself, most likely, within 50 years it will be owned by China, just as within a hundred years, Europe will be part of Islam. Unless we change it. Demography is after all, subject to change by the people being studied themselves. But I see no sign of it.

Crossposted to The Conservative Citizen

One Man or Woman and Leadership

forn984hYesterday, my friend, Juwannadoright, wrote on the power of the individual. She wrote in the context of the environment, and how if we picked up after ourselves rather than littering, it would make a major improvement. She also extended her point in her reply to the comment she had made, to note that our leftist/statist opponents tend to use the collective to avoid personal responsibility, much like five year olds do. I expect that most of us have scores, if not hundreds, of examples of this. Anyway, here is a piece of her article.

Recently I commented on a piece regarding “global warming/climate change” that appeared in The Huffington Post.  My response was very simple.  I offered the opinion that I didn’t know whether “climate change” was a reality or a fabrication, but I agreed that mankind does make an impact on our environment – the most obvious being in the form of litter and pollution.  I went on to explain that if one accepted that and disliked either litter on our streets or in our air, he or she should take whatever steps possible to reduce or eliminate taking actions which would result in those conditions.  Personally, I think that is a pretty non-controversial statement.  I went on to offer a simple list of ten things which each of us could do now to work to reduce both litter and pollution – until we wait for science to discover the “ultimate solution.”

Although several people checked the “Like” button, the only written response I received was from someone who apparently had a different world view.  He excoriated my naiveté, thinking that “one person could make a difference.”  Of course, he failed to recognize that I do realize that if only one person out of six billion does something positive, that will indeed be meaningless.  His statement was, of course, an expression of his belief that only through the power of government “enlightenment” would we be able to ameliorate “climate change.”  But he overlooked something far more fundamental which I pointed out in my response.

via CAN ONE PERSON MAKE A DIFFERENCE? | juwannadoright.

As is nearly always true, I completely agree with her but, it also made me think about some other things.

I, and those like me, which means traditional Americans in this context, are the culmination of a very long line. Jess said this in her article Saturday

 It is redolent of American virtues: self-reliance; a sense of personal responsibility; but a willingness to do the right thing to help others, even at personal cost. You might say these are human virtues, and I would agree; but they are exemplified by the America which, at great cost, sustained the free world during the Cold War Years, ensuring that the gains from the defeat of Fascism were not lost.

OK, she was speaking of me, and it is not for me to claim those words are true of me, that’s for others to decide. But I surely aspire for them to be, and I do believe them to be a fair assessment of what American exceptionalism is all about. That paragraph ended this way, “Other countries are countries – America is a dream.” and that is completely true.

But it didn’t start here did it.

  1. What if Martin Luther, fully expecting to be burned at the stake, had not said, “Hier ich stände, ich kann nicht anders“? Would the church still be selling indulgences to the peasantry of Europe?
  2. What about Stephan Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who led and unified the barons of England, to force King John to sign Magna Charta? The basic guarantee of individual freedom wherever the common-law runs.
  3. And maybe more to the point these days, what about King John himself, a king so bad, that for nearly 800 years there has never been (and likely will never be) another? Surely an example of a negative great man.
  4. What about, Henry VIII who wanted a successor so badly, that he took England out of the Catholic Church, thus paving the way for the First British Empire?
  5. What about Oliver Cromwell, who in the name of Parliament overthrew and executed, by law, an English King?
  6. What about William of Orange, who supplanted James II, and assumed the crown under conditions that made him expressly subservient to Parliament, and committed to the rights of English freemen?
  7. How about Thomas Jefferson who wrote those rights into the heritage of Americans, or James Madison who wrote them into the law?
  8. And finally how about an obscure staff major in the American Army, nearly due for retirement in 1940, who four years later would both lead the greatest allied army of freedom ever seen, and mount the largest amphibious landing in history, and would end up the fourth ranking general in American history, after Washington, the one man who could have lost the Revolution, behind Pershing, whose insistence on keeping American forces together as American forces, has as good a claim as any for winning World War I, and behind his own boss, General Marshall, who managed to build and supply the greatest American army in history, while arming and feeding America and our allies. In 13 years that staff major would be president of the United States, and would set many of the policies that caused the collapse of the Soviet Union, and so this man, more than any other, is who Europe, from Brest to the Urals, owes their chance to be free. Well done, President Eisenhower.
  9. How about Ronald Reagan, or Maggie Thatcher, or Pope John Paul II, would the Soviet bear still stare balefully at the free part of Europe without them?

The left likes to denigrate the importance of the individual. Why? I think it is because they are afraid to think for themselves, and so they hide behind other’s skirts. I know they are afraid to be responsible for themselves or anything else. But if you look through history you will always find, from Alexander the Great on, a man (or a woman) who believes so much in something that they will bet their life, and their eternal soul on it, and those are the people who have made our world, and everything in it.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

But in truth you will be more, you will be qualified to be a leader of men,

not merely children to the free candy store

Three years of NEO!

633701545

Three years ago this week Nebraskaenergyobserver made its debut on the Internet. So first, congratulations to my dearest friend Neo. Blogs are like Gibbon’s description of empires – they rise and fall and the sands of history cover them and their place knows them no more. It is, as I know myself, easy enough to start up a blog – it is the maintaining it which is the hard part. So, I think three years is something to celebrate.

Neo’s blog is a window on the world. He is part of an America which many of us admire, but which many foreigners (and quite a few Americans) never visit – the ‘fly-over States’. I spent a year in the mid-West twenty years ago, and retain a fondness for it and all it represents; this is one of the reasons I am fond of this place. It is redolent of American virtues: self-reliance; a sense of personal responsibility; but a willingness to do the right thing to help others, even at personal cost. You might say these are human virtues, and I would agree; but they are exemplified by the America which, at great cost, sustained the free world during the Cold War Years, ensuring that the gains from the defeat of Fascism were not lost. Neo, like many of his readers, has an admiration for the ‘greatest generation’ and a keen sense of patriotism. He is proud of America for what it has done and for what it represents. Other countries are countries – America is a dream.

That is why for him, and for so many, the past few years have been ones of grim realisation: realisation that, to use a Churchill quotation, our leaders have failed to ‘rise to the level of events'; we have great events and small men; nor is that a partisan political point; since Reagan and Thatcher the ‘free world’ has wanted a figure of stature.

As we look out from the prairie, the aspect is dark: the ‘Arab spring’ has given way to a winter of discontent, as the whole region is buffeted by the storms of radical Islam, a phenomenon which our secular, liberal elites fail to grasp; yes, these people really do believe women should be neither seen nor heard, they do believe in stoning homosexuals, and they will chop your head off. In Israel, the one democracy in the region is in a permanent state of siege, with only the US really supporting her; and across Europe, the complacency of a political elite is being rudely shattered by the realisation that President Putin is up to something and will not be stopped by being told he is being naughty. Super Powers may want to retire, but when they try, they may find themselves draw back from the plow.

In the meantime, America itself changes, and values which were once universal are relativised; social cohesion, always a difficult thing to achieve, is threatened; and faith in the rule of law is challenged by the rule of lawyers, in whom few place any confidence: the difference between a confidence trickster and a politician is that they both take your money, but only the latter demands you like him for it.

All of these trends Neo covers, but he also provides us with a great historical perspective, good company, good music and great movies, as well as a wry sense of humour which says that even if the world is going to hell in a handcart, it’s five o’clock somewhere – hence the clip – so join me in raising a glass to our friend Neo :)

You cannot rewrite laws to achieve your political agenda

The EPA was directed to set standards for radi...

The EPA was directed to set standards for radioactive materials under Reorganization Plan No. 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We feature Marita Noon here fairly often, she is one of the best on energy affairs, and I have found her point to be correct almost always, and her conclusions are just as trustworthy. This comes via RedState. a site I like although do not always agree with (depends on the contributor, mostly). Here’s Marita.

 

Now that the dust has settled on the Supreme Court’s 2014 session, we can look at the decisions and conclude that the Administration received a serious smack down. Two big cases got most of the news coverage: Hobby Lobby and the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recess appointments. In both cases, the Administration lost. At the core of both, is the issue of the Administration’s overreach.

Within the cases the Supreme Court heard, one had to do with energy—and it, too, offered a rebuke.

You likely haven’t heard about Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—and may think you don’t care. But with the session over, UARG v. EPA makes clear the Court’s trend to trim overreach.

The UARG v. EPA decision came down on June 23. None of the major news networks covered it. Reviews of the 2014 cases, since the end of the session, haven’t mentioned it either. The decision was mixed—with both sides claiming victory. Looking closely, there is cause for optimism from all who question the president’s authority to rewrite laws.

A portion of the UARG v. EPA case was about the EPA’s “Tailoring Rule” in which it “tailored” a statutory provision in the Clean Air Act—designed to regulate traditional pollutants such as particulate matter—to make it work for CO2. In effect, the EPA wanted to rewrite the law to achieve its goals. The decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia for the majority, stated:

“Were we to recognize the authority claimed by EPA in the Tailoring Rule, we would deal a severe blow to the Constitution’s separation of powers… The power of executing laws…does not include a power to revise clear statutory terms that turn out not to work in practice.”

Emphasis mine and via Marita Noon: You cannot rewrite laws to achieve your political agenda | RedState.

 

What she says here is correct. valid , and beyond a doubt completely true, in point of its effects, both allowed and disallowed.

 

But there is a wider point here as well. We have talked a good bit about how ‘administrative law’ is simply unlawful and unconstitutional. The main article is here, there are others here as well, and there are more coming.

 

This is important, folks. The use of so-called administrative law, which is really the old prerogative power of king’s which drove both the English and American Revolutions come back again, in slightly new camouflage. It is just as pernicious to the ‘Rule of Law’ now, as when it was used by the Stuarts or the Hanoverians. Or indeed by King John, leading to Magna Charta, itself.

 

It’s an unlawful practice that has grown because we have neglected the lessons of history, and the price of correction is getting higher constantly.

 

%d bloggers like this: