Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Period shaming? How about urine shaming

Kiran Gandhi

26-year-old marathon runner Kiran Gandhi ran the London Marathon without a tampon during her period. She said she ran without a tampon during the race because it would have been painful to run with a tampon and she was also making a statement. "I ran with blood dripping down my legs for sisters who don't have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn't exist. I ran to say, it does exist, and we overcome it every day.” Quick questions: How does her running around with blood everywhere get one tampon for her “sisters” that don’t have access to tampons? Who in the world doesn’t know that periods exist except for some children that may still be too young to be familiar with all of that? It’s not as if it’s some big secret.

Gandhi told People Magazine, “that she decided to run without a tampon to highlight the sentiment of period-shaming and the language surrounding women's menstrual cycles. She wrote on her site that ‘on the marathon course, sexism can be beaten. ‘If there's one way to transcend oppression, it's to run a marathon in whatever way you want. Where the stigma of a woman's period is irrelevant, and we can re-write the rules as we choose.’" Is period-shaming really that prevalent (even if one truly believes that is what Donald Trump meant with his Megyn Kelly comment)? This is taking a problem that doesn’t exist and trying to create one for attention and to further the feminist war on men as far as I can tell. I have never been around anyone that shamed another female for being on her period. I remember one time several years ago being around family that actually wanted discussion of a period to be more public rather than trying to hide it even though it would have been done in a restaurant around other people. So I am not familiar with this period shaming.

First it was feminists refusing to shave their armpits to combat a supposed societal stigma and now this. This does make me wonder about something though. How long is it going to be before people start complaining about urine shaming? I can see it now. Some media outlet doing a big editorial about the stigma against urine and how people should be free to pee their pants wherever they please. They’ll find some attention-starved person to pose for a photo with soaked pants and urine running down their legs yelling, “I stand with urine running down my legs for the people who can’t make it to the toilet in time or don’t have access to one. It’s time to stop hiding this away and pretending like it doesn’t exist. We should be proud of our pee because we overcome it every day. No more urine shaming. Pee pride!”

Friday, August 7, 2015

First 2016 Republican presidential primary debate

I joked before the debate that the one job I would not want to have tonight is a Fox News moderator that has to tell Donald Trump that his time is up and he needs to stop talking. Megyn Kelly was more than up to the task when it came to handling “The Donald” though. I also joked that I thought his podium might be elevated above everyone else’s as he looks down on them, but I guess he was feeling humble tonight. I was discouraged when he reiterated that he would not promise not to be another Ross Perot if he did not win the Republican nomination by not promising that he wouldn’t run as an independent. Just like in 1992, if Trump ran as an independent, he would almost certainly split the vote and guarantee another Democrat President. That is selfish and unacceptable. If I can say one positive thing for Trump, he is very honest and doesn’t water things down. That is his best quality and I wish more people had it, not just in politics, but in everyday life. That is also what I liked about Piers Morgan on America’s Got Talent. He’s very straightforward and doesn’t sugarcoat things (i.e. he doesn’t lie). People who boo him or boo Trump because of their “tone” just prove that a lot of people would rather be lied to than hear the truth. That is why I agree with Trump’s comment during the debate on the danger of political correctness. Political correctness has done as much to harm America as any other big issue out there. It turns people into mushy babies that can’t handle reality. He did have more flaws in what he had to say though, not that he was dishonest. He just wasn’t detailed enough on some answers as he could have been. For example, he accused the government of Mexico of encouraging illegal immigration to the United States. It is not that he was wrong necessarily. He just could have done a better job giving evidence to support his accusation. If he was not prepared to give the evidence, he should not have brought it up. His worst part of the debate though was when he talked about how he gave to politicians and in return they did what he wanted. He calls it making deals, but it sounds like bribery. For all intents and purposes he said, “It’s a broken system and I helped break it.”

When I heard Jeb Bush reference his “record in Florida,” I could just imagine the willfully ignorant in the pseudo journalism community starting to dig into his past looking for some sort of criminal record. He did play with words on the amnesty for illegals question though. Amnesty is amnesty even if he can’t admit it to the conservative base right now if he hopes to have a chance to win the primary. He was also wrong in his assessment that Iraq did not have WMD. Iraq did have WMD. They were just moved. There is lots of great material to support this claim as written by former Iraqi military leader under Saddam Hussein, Georges Sada in his book Saddam’s Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein.

I have made it no secret that I am fully about Ted Cruz in the 2016 primary and I plan on volunteering to help wherever and whenever possible. Like Mr. Trump, Senator Cruz does not believe in soft lies dressed up in politically correct speech that cares more about feelings than the truth. That is why he had the courage to call Senator Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor. McConnell did lie so what’s wrong with saying it? We actually heard someone we know personally say that “lie” is too strong of a word so she has taught her daughter to use other, less-confrontational terms. Jesus was a very confrontational person, to the point of death. He is our example and that is exactly why I am supporting Ted Cruz! Anyone who puts Jesus first, and whose policies actually reflect the Bible like most of Cruz’s policies do, deserves to be President of the United States. He sounds very ambitious in his day one agenda though. That is going to be a long day for him if he does everyone he says he will do on day one of his presidency.

One of the highlights for Scott Walker tonight in this debate is when he highlighted an important truth about no abortion exceptions even in cases of rape or incest. We have no right to play God by trading innocent life for innocent life. That is what people who believe abortion is okay in cases of rape or incest are essentially doing whether they know it or not. That may not be their intention, but the results are the same either way. If anybody deserves death, it’s the rapist, not the baby (Deuteronomy 22:25-27). Save the baby’s life and lets have the death penalty for rapists instead. And this issue of abortion also ties in with the race question during the debate. Black lives most certainly do matter! That’s why we should be worrying less about the handful of cops that are bad and a lot more about Planned Parenthood that continues to perpetuate an American holocaust, especially in the black community. Walker also did well with the question on Iran. There should be absolutely no negotiations with Iran until it radically changes first. This would be a total reversal on the current policy, but a total reversal on Iran policy is what is needed. Iran needs a leadership change from the inside before any negotiations should be taken seriously, which is why the United States should have actively supported and helped the uprising in Iran when it happened a few years back. We missed a golden opportunity there that it may take a long time to get back if we ever get it back.

Another person that I thought nailed the abortion question was Mike Huckabee. All Americans deserve their constitutional rights, including unborn Americans. His solution for problems with Social Security and Medicare with the Fair Tax idea was excellent as well because it would create a system where everyone is paying something. It is not perfect, but it is far better than most ideas out there today because no one is excluded. The number of people paying taxes is expanded and you get more money to fund the programs.

I expected to have the biggest problem tonight with Jeb Bush, but John Kasich actually did worse than Jeb Bush tonight, at least from a Christian voter standpoint. I can’t believe he actually said that the question we will be asked at the entrance to Heaven is whether or not we helped the poor. He displayed complete ignorance of what salvation is about with that statement. Yes, it is true that we will be held accountable with how we treat the poor when it comes to the rewards or lack of rewards we get in Heaven. However, we also will be judged on how we treat the poor, the rich, the black, the white, the women, the men, the children, and everyone else. The biggest problem with his answer though is that salvation has nothing to do with works, including how we treat the poor. Salvation from the penalty of sin (the ultimate penalty of sin being eternal Hell) is a free gift of God that cannot be earned (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is based on faith in Christ’s substitutionary death and resurrection on our behalf that results in repentance from sin. Anything else is false doctrine and should be rejected. Then he dug the theological hole even deeper when he talked about attending a gay wedding and seemed okay with the idea that one of his children would come to him saying that they were gay. By supporting a gay wedding in any way, regardless of how or who it is, that person is an accomplice to the abomination and should immediately repent along with the same-gender fornicators who are getting married. We should not only say “no” to gay marriage, but we need leaders who will work tirelessly to reverse the madness that has been perpetuated on this country by the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional legalization of gay marriage in the United States.

As expected, Rand Paul made a big deal about the issue of rights vs. security. He is very strong on the idea that Americans should trade privacy for security. Right after 9/11, I would have rejected his arguments, but as time has passed and I have had more time to reflect, I can see where he and people who agree with him on the issue of rights vs. security are coming from. Voluntarily handing too much of our privacy to the government in exchange for security is not a smart idea. Security in exchange for perceived safety is what will likely help lead to the rise of the Antichrist and his global government during the Tribulation. Furthermore, I agree that we need to cut spending and especially foreign aid, particularly to our enemies. The line should be drawn with Israel though. We should continue to support them in every way possible. He needs to check his Bible and post-Bible history to really examine what has happened to every nation that has not supported the Jewish people, especially in their time of need.

I love Ben Carson’s sense of humor. If I wasn’t supporting Ted Cruz, he would be a possible second option, but not for that reason. I am all for anyone that says we should abolish the IRS. I also love the explanation of his tax plan and how he referenced the Bible correctly to support his position. A tax system based on God’s tithing plan where everyone pays the same amount is the best way to go (Exodus 30:11-15; Deuteronomy 27:30-32). God’s position on taxes is one that does not support the progressive income tax system we have where the more someone earns, the more they pay. That kind of system punishes success, which is why God also forbids profit taxes or capital gains taxes (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27) because they punish success rather than reward it. The more you tax something, the more you discourage it. The less you tax something, the more you encourage it. I also really liked his answer on waterboarding. He would not go into detail, but sounded like he would do whatever needs to be done to get the information we need. That will be the kind of attitude needed to help win the war on Islamic terrorism once and for all.

There were several references to Hillary Clinton during the debate (big shock). Everyone is assuming again that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee. Didn’t we go through that once already when Barack Obama came along and pulled the rug out from under her? Who’s to say that couldn’t happen again? The one thing I can say for everyone on that podium is that they are all infinitely more qualified to be President of the United States than Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat running for President.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Repentance: a key to salvation

Repentance is necessary for the remission of sins and salvation. Mark 1:4 makes this clear. To take it a step farther, an environment of repentance had to be present in Israel before Jesus could even be revealed in the first place. (Mark 1:14-15). The message of repentance is what Jesus sent the 12 out with (Mark 6:12). Repentance was the first and last message Jesus left with His disciples (Luke 24:47). The early church continued to teach repentance and faith after Jesus ascended to Heaven (Acts 20:20-21). The early church understood how people are brought biblically to Christ.

If today’s modern church is going to see the results they saw, we are going to have to do what they did. (Acts 7:51-53; 28:23; Romans 3:19-20; James 2:9-10). We are to use fulfilled prophecy to prove the inspiration of Scripture and the mirror of God’s Law to show people their sinfulness so that they will see the need for Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross (Psalm 19:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-10). This previously forgotten principle has been rediscovered and put back into popular use because it demonstrates how Jesus and the early church used the law to bring people to Christ. One of the best ways to do this is through the good person test.

Faith is associated with repentance. You cannot have one without the other. They are both essential elements in the salvation equation if we wanted to call it that. Another thing associated with repentance is baptism. Although baptism is not a requirement for salvation, it is the symbolic next step to demonstrate one’s new life in Christ (Acts 2:38; 3:19). Thirdly, we must recognize that no one can do enough good to cleanse the sins from their lives. Many people have the mistaken idea that God has a scale where he weighs the good and bad at the end of your life and if you have done more good and bad, you get to be in Heaven. That is not how it works, as you will have noticed if you have taken the good person test that I linked to in the above paragraph. However, while good works can’t provide us or aid in our salvation, they are legitimate fruits or proofs that we have genuine repentance from sin and are saved (Matthew 3:8-10; Acts 26:19-20). It goes like this: Honesty doesn’t equal salvation, but saved people are honest. Helping the poor doesn’t equal salvation, but saved people help the poor. Not stealing doesn’t equal salvation, but saved people aren’t thieves. Forgiveness does not equal salvation, but saved people forgive. It is not the good works that save. It is the good works that are like the living ID showing someone is a genuine Christian if they trust in Christ.

I have heard people say personally and to others that a person cannot rightly say that someone is in sin or is going to Hell because that is judging them. Then they say something that they think will help them like, “Only God can judge me.” If they truly understood the gravity of that statement, it would not be comforting to them at all. John 3:16-21 says God did not send Jesus to condemn the world, but to save the world. However, anyone who does not believe in Him is already judged and condemned already because they don’t trust in Jesus for their salvation.

The person who repents of their sins and trusts in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead as evidenced by their good works for God has had a true conversion and justification experience. That is what it means to turn from your sinful ways of darkness and follow Christ in the light (Acts 26:17-18). Anyone above the age of accountability who dies without this genuine conversion experience will end up in Hell for eternity (Matthew 18:2-3) because their sins are still on record (Acts 3:19; James 5:20). Justification is when God sees you as if you had never seen because all He can see when He looks at your sin is the blood of Christ that has washed those sins away (2 Corinthians 5:21).