Real diplomacy. The Pope met with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. A Limerick.

“Thank you for your courage. Stay strong.”

RETRANSMISSION OF OSS102 TO PROVIDE DIFFERENT CROP - In this photo provided by the Vatican paper L'Osservatore Romano Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, Pope Francis is placed a lamb around his neck as he visits a living nativity scene staged at the St. Alfonso Maria de' Liguori parish church, in the outskirts of Rome, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. The Epiphany day, is a joyous day for Catholics in which they recall the journey of the Three Kings, or Magi, to pay homage to Baby Jesus. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho)
RETRANSMISSION OF OSS102 TO PROVIDE DIFFERENT CROP – In this photo provided by the Vatican paper L’Osservatore Romano Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, Pope Francis is placed a lamb around his neck as he visits a living nativity scene staged at the St. Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori parish church, in the outskirts of Rome, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. The Epiphany day, is a joyous day for Catholics in which they recall the journey of the Three Kings, or Magi, to pay homage to Baby Jesus. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho)

A message she’ll cherish life-long.

The Pope prayed for Kim

and so Kim prayed for him.

The angels chimed in with a song.

150903-kim-davis-mug-535p_2a10fb4a29fd25fb6bf13a4680f1087c_nbcnews-fp-360-360Background: On the flight back to Rome, Pope Francis was asked if he supported individuals, including government officials, who refuse to abide by some laws, such as issuing marriage licenses to gays.

“Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right,” Francis said.

Earlier this month, a county official in Kentucky, Kim Davis, went to jail because she refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple following a Supreme Court decision to make homosexual marriage legal.

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, an Apostolic Christian (conservative Protestant)  says she met briefly with the pope during his historic visit to the United States and he told her to stay strong.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn’t deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome he had no comment on the topic.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her husband met privately with Pope Francis last Thursday afternoon at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for less than 15 minutes, said her lawyer, Mat Staver.

Kim Davis herself has a checkered past with children out of wedlock, been married and divorced multiple times before her conversion. After she got redeemed by the blood of Christ she made a vow to obey God’s law.

Pope Francis, a Roman Catholic is a Pastor at heart and recognizes true faith when he sees it, so he initiated the meeting.

This is true diplomacy.

My father’s testimony. A song.

A poem on the road to Heaven.

There is a road that’s leading heaven bound.

A strait and narrow, not like others found.

It ends abruptly at a raging sea,

Don’t doubt, your faith your wanderer’s staff shall be.

That road is leading homeward just the same

through evil seas of sin and guilt and shame.

There is a bridge appearing on the scene;

To land that no-one mortal ever seen.

This land of hope and grace and peace sublime.

Thank God, You let me find that road in time.

Written by my father (in Swedish) in 1978.

The first verse can be sung to Finlandia, the second verse to Eventide…..

©Lars Bilén 1978 (1912-2004), tr. Lennart Bilén 2015

The evolution of evolution. An elusive quest for truth.

The evolution of evolution. An elusive quest for truth.

Ever since Charles Darwin’s book, “The origin of the species” evolution has been used to justify the social bias de jour, from white supremacy to male supremacy, to evolution of thought, evolution of speech, evolution of social behavior. The argument is: “There is no god, therefore all has congealed by chance, we are all animals anyway.”
In my childhood in Sweden our family lived is a small community where grades 3-6 were taught together in one class. This meant that the teacher did allow a lot of freedom to explore on my own books in the school library. They had not thrown away any old books the last forty years, so I had quite a selection of old textbooks to choose from. Cephalic_index_svgOne in particular caught my eye. It was about anthropology and classification of races by skull index (Cephalic index, see fig). It was originally based on the works of the Swede Anders Retzius (1796-1860). His research was to classify old bone fragments, but his findings were now extrapolated to explain the evolution of man. There were pictures of people of all kinds of races, with the Nordic, blond and blue eyed being the most evolved, and the black race, with some exceptions much closer evolutionary to the apes. Not only that, but since men have 40% larger brain volume on the average than women, men are further evolved and that is the reason women should not vote. Being 9 years old I believed everything, since it was in a book. I especially liked being superior to girls.
The next time evolution was taught it was the standard stuff with the horse’s hoof being a nail; fishes grew legs instead of fins and so on. We also have a lot of rudimentary organs, not only the appendix, but tonsils and tailbones too. Since the organs are rudimentary, we can remove them without impunity, especially tonsils. And this time around in evolutionary teaching dogs can evolve to look quite different, but people are all equal, and girls are as smart as boys (especially the blond Lithuanian girl that later emigrated to Canada. I had to admit she was both cute and smart).


gamma-garden-8[5]The third time around, this time in high school biology we tackled some of the hard stuff, mutations being a necessary ingredient for evolution. I read up on radiation gardens, where we can grow superior plants, since we know that at least 10% of mutations are beneficial, just weed out the bad ones and superior plants will emerge.
The radioactive gardens are now but a memory, since it was discovered that nobody could find any positive mutations that way. The closer you got to the source, the worse it got.
It turns out that positive mutations are rare indeed. The ones most commonly found are in viruses, but they are positive only from the virus’s point of view. Survival of the fittest tends to weed out bad mutations, but does nothing to explain the mechanism for speciation creep; it tends to reinforce the speciation boundaries. The genetic code that allows adaptions in species is already there, so when the changed environment occurs, we are changed accordingly. None of the mechanisms we have used to explain evolution holds up to examination. The mathematics is just not there. And a system this complicated and beautiful, where so many parts of it are at a mathematic optimum is not possible to bootstrap. The mathematical probability that this could have occurred by chance is less than the chance of finding the right elementary particle in the known universe. We are left with the humbling fact that we do not know the mechanisms. Yet the textbooks still explain discredited mechanisms as evolutionary facts to yet another generation of kids, thus depriving them of the wonder that there is something beyond themselves, which they can try to grasp. They are left not realizing that there is always one more level of understanding that is beyond them. By not accepting any explanation other than what can be deduced from observation and then presenting them as sufficient facts to explain a mechanism that cannot mathematically have occurred, the scientific community is violating the fundamental rules of scientific exploration. Do not present as fact a mechanism that has no possibility of having occurred by chance.


The last words of Buddha, Krishna, a humanist, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Who has the right message?

The last words of Buddha, Krishna, a humanist, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Who has the right message?

The first person mentioned is Buddha. When he saw his death was near, he addressed all the monks assembled at his side, and these were the buddha-vid2-lozengevery last words he spoke:

“Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting.
Work hard to gain your own salvation.”

After that the Buddha lapsed into the jhana stages, or meditative absorptions. Going from level to level, one after the other, ever deeper and deeper. Then he came out of the meditative absorption for the last time and passed into nirvana, leaving nothing whatever behind that can cause rebirth again in this or any other world.

The passing away, or the final nirvana of the Buddha, occurred in 543 BC on a full-moon day in the month of May, known in the Indian calendar as Vesak.

The second person of interest is Lord Krishna. In his younger days, Sage Durvasa had cursed him saying that would die of a wound in his left krishna-deathfoot. The sage had been offended for some reason and had cursed young Krishna in a fit of anger.

As his last act in life, Lord Krishna decided that it was time for the curse to take effect and so sat down to meditate while exposing his left foot.

A hunter soon approached and mistook the Lord for a deer. And as was predicted he shot him in his left foot. On realizing his grave error he was filled with remorse and grief. But Lord Krishna consoled him and asked him not to be scared or sorry as these were the ways of destiny.  These were the great Lord’s last words on earth. This happened 18th February 3102 BC (the start of Kali Yuga).

Margaret Sanger and KKKAs an example of a humanist I have chosen
, founder of Planned Parenthood. While these are not her final words, she faded into obscurity during her last years, but they reflect the thinking of a modern humanist (or feminist if you choose)

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population….”

To get a glimpse of the differences of the three monotheistic faiths, let us go through the last days of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad and see what a message they delivered to us.

Moses had delivered his people out of Egypt and was now, at the ripe old age of 120 years ready to enter the promised land. But because of Moses disobedience God (YHWH) had told him that he was not allowed to enter into the promised land. He was however permitted to see it. So Moses recited his song and the blessings  on the tribes of Israel (Found in chapters 32 and 33 of Deuteronomy) ending with:

mosestombstoneDeuteronomy 33:28-29 (King James Version) Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

After that Moses went up Mount Nebo and saw the promised land Deuteronomy 34:4 (King James Version) And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.

After that Moses died and to this day no one knows the place he was buried. The Bible goes on to record: Deuteronomy 34:10-12 (King James Version) And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.

This indicates there never was another prophet like Moses. But Moses promised another prophet was to come after him. This is found in Deuteronomy 18:14-18 (New International Version, ©2010) 14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.” 17 The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.

We have two candidates: Jesus and Muhammad.

What about Jesus? Was Jesus a prophet?

541px-Jesus_ascending_to_heavenThe first reaction is: Of course, he was a prophet. Look at all he did and predicted. But that totally misses the point. Was He a prophet? Or was he more than a Prophet?

In the Old Testament of the Bible there is an old book called Job. We do not know much about him except he was before Moses and has a reputation of being “patient as Job”, refusing to turn from God when a series of misfortunes happened to him. He was looking forward to a redeemer: Job 19:25-26 (King James Version) For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Was Jesus that redeemer? What does “redemption” mean? Christian belief is that the reason Jesus came to earth was to redeem mankind back to God. Because of sin man is incapable to do it himself, so God had to do it. For this reason Jesus came as God incarnate to die on a cross for our sins. According to prophesies given by Isaiah about 800 B.C. in chapter 53 Jesus rejection and crucifixion was described. The earliest preserved copy of Isaiah dates back to second century B.C. so the prophecy is secure. These are Jesus last words on the cross. They confirm it was Jesus that died on the cross and not someone else.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). The word of divine forgiveness.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46.) Jesus became sin for us.

He said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” (John 19:26-27). The word of love.

I thirst!” (John 19:28) The word of humanness.

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) The word of promise.

“It is finished!” (John 19:30). The word of redemption.

“Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46). The word of death.

Many people stop there, as if these were Jesus’ last words. But death was not the end of Jesus. On the third day Jesus rose again and gave instructions to his faithful for forty days.

Jesus last recorded words were:    “It is not for you to know times or seasons (of his return) that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” After that Jesus was taken up to heaven.

MuhammadtombThe last person in the trio was Muhammad. He had received messages from the angel Gabriel, very complimentary  about the Jewish people, the people of the Book, but while in Mecca he was not accepted as a Prophet so he moved on to Medina where he was accepted by some followers.

They asked the Jews whether he was the Prophet Moses spoke of, but the Jews said, No, not at all, he is an imposter and not the Prophet.

That changed things and the angel Gabriel told him to change the direction of their prayers from Jerusalem to Mecca, since they are in opposite direction of each other if you are in Medina. This forced people to disclose their true adherence.

From that moment on Gabriel changed his instructions to Muhammad and the feud was on. Muhammad and his team started to attack Jewish villages and force them into subservience. After a raid on a Jewish village a young Jewish girl poisoned Mohammed’s food. He never saw it coming (what a Prophet!), nor did the angel Gabriel warn him, so he ate it. He never recovered from it and died two years later.

Muhammad’s last recorded words before he died was: Volume 2, Book 23, Number 414: Narrated ‘Urwa: Aisha said, “The Prophet in his fatal illness said, ‘Allah cursed the Jews and the Christians because they took the graves of their Prophets as places for praying.”‘ Aisha added, “Had it not been for that the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have been made prominent but I am afraid it might be taken (as a) place for praying.

So Mohammed chose to curse Christians and Jews and join with his fellow martyrs.

You can judge for yourself which message to believe, which message is peaceful, and which message is the true message from God.

I have decided to follow Jesus. He is the risen Savior, his tomb is empty. All the others are dead, and have their tomb.

The four chaplains day, Feb. 3, 2014.

Feb. 3 is “Four Chaplains Day” in America by unanimous act of Congress in 1988, under President Reagan. I had never heard of it until pointed out by Rees Lloyd, but their story is truly inspiring, and ought to be taught in school, printed in newspapers, and retold in radio and TV.

On Monday, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m., ceremonies will be held dedicating a permanent plaque at Mt. Soledad National Veterans soledadMemorial honoring the selfless heroism in World War II of the Four Chaplains – Rev. George Fox (Methodist), Rabbi Alexander Goode, Father John P. Washington (Roman Catholic) and Rev. Clark V. Poling (Dutch Reformed).

Times have changed. This is the same Mt. Soledad which cross has been deemed offensive by a Federal Judge in Dec. 2013

The judge said it’s “unconstitutional.”
Todd Starnes at FOX News reported:

A cross atop Mount Soledad in California is an unconstitutional religious display on government land and must come down, a federal judge in San Diego ruled late Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the cross, which honors veterans, must be removed within 90 days — a decision that could result in the case being sent back to the U.S. Supreme Court. Burns immediately stayed his order pending an expected appeal.

The original lawsuit was filed in 2006 by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Jewish Veterans of the United States of American and several other Southern California residents.

“We support the government paying tribute to those who served bravely in our country’s armed forces,” the ACLU’s Daniel Mach, said in a statement to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. “But we should honor all of our heroes under one flag, not just one particular religious symbol.”

Bruce Bailey, president of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, expressed disappointment in the ruling.

“It is unfortunate that the Ninth Circuit left the judge no choice but to order the tearing down of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross,” Bailey told Fox News. “However, we are grateful for the judge’s stay that gives us an opportunity to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Now back to the story of the four chaplains:

It was on Feb. 3, 1943, that the troop ship Dorchester, with 900 soldiers and the Four Chaplains aboard, was torpedoed in the dead of night on its way to Greenland. The explosion ripped through the Dorchester from below the water line. Many troops drowned below decks as the Dorchester flooded and swiftly began to sink in the frigid sea.

The Four Chaplains acted to calm and aid the troops, in part by distributing life jackets to those who became separated from their own in the chaos and darkness created by the torpedo blast. When there were no more life jackets, each of the Four Chaplains, knowing that it meant certain death, took off his life jacket and put it on a soldier without one. They continued to help troops into lifeboats, until no room was left.

Then, as surviving soldiers who witnessed it later testified, the Four Chaplains went to their deaths together, their arms linked, praying for the troops and singing hymns, until the Dorchester sank and they disappeared beneath the sea, selflessly sacrificing their lives “so others may live.”  in so doing “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11, KJV)300px-Escanaba-Dorchester_rescue

It was and is an awe-inspiring, magnificent act of quiet heroism, of selfless service and sacrifice for others, of faith and love lived, an example to be celebrated, commemorated and emulated, and never to be forgotten. (The Four Chaplains story in more detail is available in this previous column of Rees Lloyd.)

Congress awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross to the Four Chaplains in 1944. The Medal of Honor was proposed but was not awarded due to the requirement that it can only be awarded to combatants. In its stead, Congress later created a Four Chaplains Medal and an unprecedented Congressional Medal of Valor in 1961. The American Legion continues to advocate that an exception be made and the Medal of Honor be awarded to the Four Chaplains.

A measure of how the Four Chaplains are honored and revered by veterans of today is expressed in statements issued by two of America’s greatest living military heroes, to be delivered on their behalf at the ceremonies dedicating a plaque to the Four Chaplains at Mt. Soledad on Feb. 3.

Retired Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady, Medal of Honor (Vietnam), considered America’s most decorated living veteran, who has described the generally unknown or ignored humanitarian acts of American troops while in war in Vietnam in his book, “Dead Men Flying: America’s Battlefield Angels” (WND Books), issued this tribute to the Four Chaplains:

“As one who has been honored by many great men up to and including the president of the United States, no honor has been more satisfying than my Humanitarian Award from the chapel of the Four Chaplains. Their legacy of courage and sacrifice is vital for our nation’s survival. Our youth need to know that courage is the key to success in life and that God will give us all we ask for. You can’t use it up – and their faith is the foundation of their courage. Sacrifice is love in action, the source of happiness and our eternal inheritance from the Four Chaplains.”

Retired Adm. Jeremiah A. Denton, seven years and seven months a prisoner of war in Vietnam, later U.S. senator (Alabama) and author of the classic book on the tortures inflicted on American POWs by their communist captors, “When Hell Was In Session” (WND Books), issued this statement on the Four Chaplains:

“The Four Chaplains proved their faith with ultimate sacrifice – not in a flash of combatant action – but with peaceful discernment, humble devotion and extraordinary valor. They lived this life knowing God’s real presence and eternal promise. Blessed with men of this caliber, our nation must do the same.”

These tributes of Gen. Brady and Adm. Denton will be included as other veterans and patriots honor the Four Chaplains at Mt. Soledad, beneath the cross there honoring veterans – which the intolerant secular extremists of the ACLU, which has become the Taliban of American liberal secularism, have been suing to destroy in an abusive and fanatical litigation attack now in its 24th year.

For more information about the Four Chaplains Day ceremonies, which are open to the public, and all are invited to attend and honor the Four Chaplains at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m., read more at

Fundamentalist Christianity vs. Fundamentalist Islam; What difference does it make now?

Fundamentalist Christianity vs. Fundamentalist Islam; What difference does it make now?
A few years ago when Rosie was on “the view” she made the following statement: “Fundamentalist Christianity and Fundamentalist Islam: There is NO difference!”
Now I am a fundamentalist Christian. I was not always one, nor did I know what it meant. Reading through the Bible (I always loved old Christian music and playing a record of a cantata of J.S. Bach over and over one night I realized he knew something I do not know, I must find out what that is) I started to read the Gospel of Matthew. Nothing moved me until chapter 27: 62 Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ 64 Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.”That was when it hit me. I believed in God, but like the Pharisees I made sure Jesus was not risen, certainly not bodily. I liked the concept, but refused to accept the reality. What convinced me was the honesty in the language “that deceiver”, referring to the Lord Jesus. The Pharisees could only have said that if they in some way believed but refused to accept the claim he was to rise again. In a flash I saw my problem: If Jesus is not risen I miss out on Christianity.
The other thing that made me believe the Bible to be true was the Dead Sea Scrolls. As a child I had been told the book of Isaiah had been written after Christ. There was no other way to explain the many prophesies other than to say it had been modified after the birth of Christ. Then they found a complete scroll of Isaiah written at least 140 B.C. This convinced me the whole bible is true.
These are the five pillars of Christian Fundamentalism:
• The inerrancy of the Bible in the original languages
• The literal nature of the Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ’s miracles
• The Virgin Birth of Christ
• The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross
• The bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ
That is it. That defines a Christian fundamentalist.
Islamic fundamentalism may be best defined by what they do not believe in:
• Freedom from religious police
• Equality issues between men and women
• Separation of religion and state
• Freedom of speech
• Freedom of religion.
Are there any agreements between Christian and Islamic fundamentalism?
They believe the Bible is corrupted but the Quran is true to the last letter.
They believe the accounts of the Old Testament (the Book) when they do not conflict with the Quran.
They do believe in the virgin birth of Christ. (We can agree about something).
They do NOT believe Christ died on the Cross (it only seemed so unto the Jews), no substitutionary atonement exists. That is why the cross is so offensive to Muslims.
They believe Christ was directly translated to God, but since he never died he could not have been resurrected.
They believe Christ will return again and tell all Muhammad is greater.
They believe Jesus was a Muslim (as was Moses and Abraham).

Prayer breakfast before watching television at the Oval Office.

Every now and then there is a speech or a song that moves me to the core.

Besides numerous experiences during my youth, the first surprising memorable experience was Whitney Houston’s rendition of the National Anthem during the “Desert Storm”. She had never sang it like that before, nor did she again, but the Country was ready to hear it.

The second one was a documentary about Marian Anderson, about when she sang at the Lincoln Memorial. Such grace could only have come from deep conviction.

The third amazing performance came from Sarah Palin at the 2008 Republican convention. I had heard about her 80% approval rating in Alaska, how she had won and promptly put a bunch of corrupt politicians in jail, how she stood up to the oil companies, which no one had been able to do in over 30 years, how she negotiated the gas pipeline proposal that had been in limbo for 30 years, how she put the corporate jet on E-bay (the sale finally went thru a broker), put thru a major ethics reform, and that she was a Christian that walked the walk.

I heard the speech, and was still blown away. Such biting humor and delivery!

The fourth one from Dr. Benjamin Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. last Thursday

See for yourself:

What was President Barack Obama’s response after the remarks?
“I do worry sometimes that as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we’ve been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast seems to be forgotten – on the same day as the prayer breakfast. You’d like to think that the shelf life wasn’t so short. I go back to the Oval Office, and I start watching the cable news networks, and it’s like we didn’t pray,” Obama said.
This is our President. Any speech that doesn’t idolize him and his ideology goes in one ear and out the other.

After this speech he planned to go back to the Oval office and…… watch television??

That explains a lot.