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Wednesday, February 28, 2007
It's stories like this one that made me create this blog. If nothing else, I can help open people's eyes to how totalitarian the rest of the world (in this case, Europe) truly is.
Earlier this month, a German teen-ager was forcibly taken from her parents and imprisoned in a psychiatric ward. Her crime? She is being home-schooled.
Home-schooling has been illegal in Germany since Adolf Hitler outlawed it in 1938 and ordered all children to be sent to state schools. The home-schooling community in Germany is tiny. As Hitler knew, Germans tend to obey orders unquestioningly. Only some 500 children are being home-schooled in a country of 80 million. Home-schooling families are prosecuted without mercy.

Last March, a judge in Hamburg sentenced a home-schooling father of six to a week in prison and a fine of $2,000. Last September, a Paderborn mother of 12 was locked up in jail for two weeks.
All German political parties, including the Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel, are opposed to home-schooling. They say that "the obligation to attend school is a civil obligation, that cannot be tampered with." The home-schoolers receive no support from the official (state funded) churches, either. These maintain that home-schoolers "isolate themselves from the world" and that "freedom of religion does not justify opposition against the obligation to attend school." Six decades after Hitler, German politicians and church leaders still do not understand true freedom: that raising children is a prerogative of their fathers and mothers and not of the state, which is never a benevolent parent and often an enemy.
The situation is no better in Europe as a whole. Last year, the European Court of Human Rights upheld Hitler's schooling bill, saying that "schools represent society, and it is in the children's interest to become part of that society. The parents' right to educate does not go so far as to deprive their children of that experience."

We already know that the American political left believe that the government should raise our children, how long before those thoughts become majority opinion in this country as they obviously have in Europe?

To modify Dylan Thomas, the world has gone gently into that dark night.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Once again, without further adieu, Mark Steyn's article from the Western Standard this week.
This is the way the world ends, with childish jingles of "Food Not Bombs," the anarchist chic of Emma Goldman anarcho-rock, and a mournful experimental cello obbligato.
Great, now psychologists are saying that we've been telling our children that they're special too much. No offense to psychologists reading this, but you can always count on a pseudo science like psychology to change its mind more often than Elizabeth Taylor changes husbands.
Today's college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.

"We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back," said the study's lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. "Kids are self-centered enough already."
[Co-author W. Keith] Campbell said the narcissism upsurge seemed so pronounced that he was unsure if there were obvious remedies.

"Permissiveness seems to be a component," he said. "A potential antidote would be more authoritative parenting. Less indulgence might be called for."
It's kind of funny how Christian principles keep being proved correct.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Every Friday, Dennis Prager spends an hour of his 3-hour long radio program discussing happiness. He always provides a unique and much-needed perspective on the moral necessity of people being (or at least acting) happy as much as possible. With that in mind, his weekly column today addresses that very issue.
When we think of character traits we rightly think of honesty, integrity, moral courage, and acts of altruism. Few people include happiness in any list of character traits or moral achievements.

But happiness is both.

Happiness -- or at least acting happy, or at the very least not inflicting one's unhappiness on others -- is no less important in making the world better than any other human trait.
The pursuit of happiness is not the pursuit of pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure is hedonism, and hedonists are not happy because the intensity and amount of pleasure must constantly be increased in order for hedonism to work. Pleasure for the hedonist is a drug.

But the pursuit of happiness is noble. It benefits everyone around the individual pursuing it, and it benefits humanity. And that is why happiness is a moral obligation.
Bill Cosby first gave the Pound Cake speech in May 2004 at an event marking the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. It's a powerful indictment of the black hip hop culture, but should also serve as a challenge to all Americans (especially parents) to fight back against the moral and cultural decay occuring in this country.
People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! Then we all run out and are outraged: “The cops shouldn’t have shot him.” What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand? I wanted a piece of pound cake just as bad as anybody else. And I looked at it and I had no money. And something called parenting said if you get caught with it you’re going to embarrass your mother." Not, "You’re going to get your butt kicked." No. "You’re going to embarrass your mother." "You’re going to embarrass your family." If you knock that girl up, you’re going to have to run away because it’s going to be too embarrassing for your family. In the old days, a girl getting pregnant had to go down South, and then her mother would go down to get her. But the mother had the baby. I said the mother had the baby. The girl didn’t have a baby. The mother had the baby in two weeks. We are not parenting.
What’s the point of giving them strong names if there is not parenting and values backing it up?
Therefore, you have ... these sweet beautiful [children] born by nature -- raised by no one.
When you go to the church, look at the stained glass things of Jesus. Look at them. Is Jesus smiling? Not in one picture. So, tell your friends. Let’s try to do something. Let’s try to make Jesus smile. Let’s start parenting.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Alas! And did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Isaac Watts penned these words in 1885 for the hymn, "At the Cross." Since then, "worm" has been replaced with nicer, more seeker-friendly words. Now many churches are more likely to sing the lyrics "I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God, you call me friend." While somewhat Scriptural, the song ignores the fact that Jesus calls us friends ONLY if we obey Him and follow Him. However, crooning that Jesus is our friend fills the pews a lot more easily than singing that we are maggots. Which leads me to this "review" of Friends of God, a recent documentary by Alexandra Pelosi. While I don't agree with everything the reviewer, Michael Linton, has to say (for instance, he neglects to mention that Focus on the Family primarily took issue with how stay-at-home mothers are portrayed in the film and he tends toward legalism), he makes some very good points about the spiritual loss of perspective in the Western evangelical church. Today, many Christians in this country appear to care more about finding worldly fulfillment and purpose in their lives and much less about following God's commandments, being content with their lives, and reaching the lost. As the writer of Ecclesiastes put it after spending his life pursuing worldly things,

Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot...He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
Jesus expounded upon that Solomonic idea of simple living, applying it to Christians: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." He DID NOT say, "Once you find a purpose for your life and feel happy, let me know, I might be able to use you." The Christian life involves sacrifice and contentment. The only purpose we are called to have: Live like this isn't our only life to live.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The media is asking the typical questions in response to the recent multiple murder/suicide shootout at a shopping mall in Utah, but completely avoiding the elephant in the room. The shooter's name was Sulejman Talovic, an 18-year-old Bosnian refugee. Know what that means, media? There is an extremely high likelihood that he was Muslim. Instead, the American media has focused on learning if he was abused when he was a child or grew up in an alcoholic family. Perhaps he just decided he didn't want to wait any longer for his 72 virgins. If that turns out to be the case, watch the media drop this story as fast as they can. Just like they avoided mentioning the Muslim who shot six Jews in Seattle last summer. It was a "hate crime," not terrorism. Or four years ago with the Beltway snipers, I never once heard the media use the M-word, even though the shooters were both Muslims. Connection, anyone??? By the time we realize and acknowledge that jihad has fully come to this country, it will be too late.

UPDATE at 2/15/07:

Confirmed, the Utah shooter was Muslim. However, the FBI has ruled out his religion as a possible cause of his actions while still saying they have no idea why he did what he did. The PC police must be on the prowl.

UPDATE at 2/16/07:

It's sounding more like the shooter was just a troubled kid. Of course, the family calls him a "good boy." And the media neglected to mention what his "four prior minor juvenile offenses" were. One included threatening to cut a girl's throat with a knife. Yeah, sounds like a good boy to me.

Either way, the fact remains that the media will do everything in it's power to not mention the M-word. All I'm asking for is some journalistic honesty. I know, I know, that's become an oxymoron.
Monday, February 12, 2007
I just finished reading Mark Steyn's new book, "America Alone." I can't recommend it enough; if you are going to read only one non-fiction book this year, make it this one. Steyn gives powerful examples and evidence to back up his thesis that the world is quickly headed towards a new Dark Ages and that America appears to be the only country standing in the way of that future. His is a thought-provoking analysis of the demise that most of the world (especially Europe) is on track for within the next 50 years. Yet Steyn also has the ability of consistently pulling a chuckle from the reader even with such a dour subject matter.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Have you all heard? The latest report about global warming is out; as is the verdict, apparently. We need to run for the hills...seriously, people, start running, cause if you're currently at a low elevation, you'll probably be underwater by sometime next week. Or by 2089, who's to say? Let's ask Al Gore, the world's premier atmospheric scientist. He says that the polar bears aren't having fun anymore. Now, instead of sitting back and enjoying an ice-cold Coke with her cubs, a mother polar bear now has to watch as her dear ol' iceflow melts out from under her.

Ok, seriously now, the hysteria about global warming is really getting annoying. The science behind it is junk, and the main proponents of it are the who's who of moral idiots and political class clowns. Unfortunately, I fear that many Christians and conservatives are being led like sheep to believe that it's the greatest threat to mankind. Last year, a bunch of Christian leaders, including media darling Rick Warren, signed the "Evangelical Climate Initiative," which basically called for legislation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Thankfully, other Christian leaders, including Dr. James Dobson and Chuck Colson, wrote a rebuttal letter asking them to not sign the initiative. They are not necessarily disagreeing with the premise of global warming, but that human beings are the main cause and that the ideas put forth thus far to combat it would actually benefit humanity.

That leads me to Mark Steyn's most recent article. In it, he points out how "global warming" is not really global at all. And just because someone feels that their little nook in the world is feeling warmer these days doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the world at large. Just as me saying that this week's sub-zero temperatures here in Minnesota were evidence against global warming is crazy, so is the claim that a snowless January in a northern U.S. state proves climate change. Yet I hear this all the time from friends and co-workers. "It's 20 degrees over the normal temp today, must be global warming."

From Steyn's article...
A few years ago, the little old lady who served as my town's historian for many decades combed over the farmers' diaries from two centuries ago that various neighbors had donated to her: From the daily records of 15 Januarys, she concluded that three were what we'd now regard as classic New Hampshire winters, ideal for lumbering or winter sports; eight had January thaws, and four had no snow at all. This was in the pre-industrial 18th century.

Today, faced with eight thaws and four entirely snowless Januarys, we'd all be running around shrieking that the great Gaia is displeased. Wake up and smell the CO2, people! We need to toss another virgin into the volcano. A virgin SUV, that is. Brand-new model, straight off the assembly line, cupholders never been used. And as the upholstery howls in agony, we natives will stand around chanting along with High Priestess Natalie Cole's classic recording: ''Unsustainable, that's what you are.''
As always, test everything to see if it is of God. Whenever popular opinion is leaning one way, almost always lean the other way, as we are told repeatedly in Scriptures that man's wisdom is NOT God's wisdom.

1 John 4:5
Sgt. Eddie Jeffers is currently serving in Ramadi, Iraq, and had this to say about the shameful lack of support for the war.

Here's a sample of what he wrote...
We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor...we cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not. And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It’s supporting our President, our troops and our cause.
Go to the above link and read it all for yourself.
Friday, February 02, 2007
I am slowly updating this page now that Blogger upgraded its system and my previous template was lost.
In the most recent edition of City Journal, John Leo wrote this column describing at length the fight that is currently happening on our university campuses over free speech. Appropriately, last night, one of the speakers Leo mentions (Daniel Pipes) as having had past disruptions during his speeches was shouted down by a group of Muslim students (or thugs as I like to call them) at UC Irvine. This video was taken during the event. I was able to make out two very telling statements by the Muslim group's student leader near the end of the video when he is addressing his fellow protesters. First, he states that soon the nation of Israel will be wiped from the face of the earth. Second, he says that their "brothers are taking care of things over there in their own way." So, basically, they are all for killing every Israeli and don't seem to have a problem with the suicidal methods that their fellow Muslims are employing to that end. Someone better be keeping an eye on these people.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
More books were translated into Spanish (400 million total speakers) this past year than have been translated into Arabic (350 million total speakers) in the last 1000 years. So much for Gutenberg's work.

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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »