Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Best Dog in the World

I am a dog person.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that I will like your dog though, mainly because I think my dog was the best canine that ever wagged across the planet on four legs.  Let me tell you the story of the world’s best dog. 

It was a beautiful summer day back in 2002 that my family and I went to the rescue shelter to see if we could find a dog to become a part of our pack.  There were plenty of rambunctious and decidedly loud dogs in the shelter that day. They all rushed the gates as if to say, “Pick me!  Take me home!”  Strolling from one dog pen to the next, no particular dog stuck out at first, and then we saw a sweet puppy in the back of one of the runs.  She wasn’t frightened or timid, but simply well-mannered and hesitant.  It was as if she had been passed over by many potential owners far too many times to get her hopes up again.  Indeed, she had been passed over so many times that if she didn’t get adopted within the week, she would have been euthanized.

We asked the attendant if we could take this sweet dog to the visiting area to see how she would act with us.  She immediately came up and nuzzled my wife.  She did not jump up on us or act like an uber-hyper dog in need of a Ritalin prescription.  She was affectionate but not obnoxious.  Something just seemed to click with all of us and felt very right.  Somehow you just know. She was THE dog. 

She was obviously a mutt and was about six months old.  The veterinarian told us she was most likely a mix of Lab, Sharpei, and Pit Bull.  You could see a little of all three in her.  Whatever she was, she was the sweetest dog I have ever seen, and she was now ours.  The shelter had named her “Star”, which I immediately discarded as her name.  I wasn’t going to give my newest family member some stripper’s name.   She just didn’t look like a “Star.” Her coat was somewhere between a deep tan and auburn color and she had big golden-brown eyes that melted your heart.  We decided that Cinnamon would be our new puppy’s name. 

Dogs are wonderful creatures.  They aren’t like cats, which are the progressives of the pet world, who think that they are entitled and act as if your only purpose is to serve them.  Dogs seem to understand human emotions and react accordingly.  When my daughter or wife was sad, she would come nuzzle and comfort them.  When everyone was happy, she did the silliest things, seemingly just to amuse us.  She was in every way a member of the family. 

Cinnamon was very smart and learned lots of tricks, including the best trick of all, to weasel her way into all of our hearts.  There is nothing quite as gratifying at the end of a long work day as to come home, open the door, and have your dog wagging her tail so hard that it is going in circles like a propeller, just out of sheer joy of seeing you. 

Cinnamon would always listen to my then-teenage daughter’s stories and troubles that a teenager doesn’t seem to want to share with her parents.  Cinnamon would lay on the floor next to the bed to be close to my wife as she went through countless surgeries over the years.   And she was always wagging her tail. 

Cinnamon loved kids and other animals.  Whenever I would be doing yard work out front, she wanted to run off to play with the neighborhood kids.  Many people, at first seeing Cinnamon from a distance, were afraid of this “vicious” pibble. (“Pibble” was what my daughter misunderstood “Pit Bull” to be.)  After meeting her, folks could tell their fears were misplaced.  Cinny loved everyone and every critter.

Indeed, one day while mowing my front lawn, the neighbors across the street let their new little Chihuahua out front to do his business.  Cinnamon saw this as an opportunity to meet a new friend and went trotting across the street to say hello.  The Chihuahua didn’t like other people or dogs and immediately let Cinnamon know this by biting her on the nose.  Cinny was shocked at the rudeness of the Chihuahua’s reaction and probably assumed it was some peculiar breed of cat.  Anyway, she tucked her tail, yiped loudly, and came racing back to me at full speed.  I was caught in a rather embarrassing dilemma.  It wasn’t like I could call animal control and tell them that the neighborhood Chihuahua just beat up my Pit Bull.  Needless to say, Cinny stayed close by my side whenever that “cat-tankerous” dog was outside thereafter.

Over the years Cinny was there for the good and the bad times we had as a family and we couldn’t have loved her more. Eventually, my youngest daughter grew up and set out on her own adventures. But Cinnamon was always ecstatic with her propeller-wag happy-puppy dance whenever she came back home to see us.  Then suddenly, my wife of 23 years passed away.  Cinnamon and I were both devastated.  But Cinny always seemed to know when I was at my lowest and she would come up to me, sit down beside me, look inquiringly with plaintive eyes, and just nuzzle me.  She was my buddy before, but we really needed each other after my wife passed.

Well, life moves on and I eventually came to terms with the passing of my wife and the family has somewhat adjusted.  It will never be the same but we must move forward.  God is very good and in His love and mercy He brought a new love into my life.  I have asked her to be my bride and she has foolishly agreed.  We decided to buy a new house to start our life together and so we purchased one about an hour north of my old house. 

The day we moved was hectic, as one might expect.   When the movers left our new home that evening, Cinnamon was acting strangely.  She wanted to stay outside in the cold and just didn’t seem to be herself.  I eventually coaxed her into the basement, but the thought of going up the stairs must have seemed like a daunting task to her with her arthritis as she just stayed at the bottom looking up the stairs at me.  As Cinnamon was always such a faithful friend, I figured the least I could do was to bring her dog bed downstairs for her to sleep on.  She got on her bed, but I was concerned with her strange behavior.  I sat in the chair beside her bed and stayed with her until morning.  At dawn, I went upstairs to take care of a few things and when I went back downstairs, just ten minutes later, my beloved dog Cinnamon had passed away.  It just happened to be the anniversary of my wife’s death that day.

Needless to say I was distraught and devastated.  My fiancĂ© comforted me as I wept.  I called my daughter and told her I needed her to come over that day as soon as possible, without telling her why.  When my daughter arrived, I told her the sad news through many tears for both of us.  We then wrapped up the best dog in the whole world in her blanket, and gently lowered her into a grave we had dug in the rose garden at our new home.

Life goes on.  That chapter was now closed and so looking forward, I turned the page and opened a new chapter of my life.  Cinnamon was with me for the better part of thirteen years.  She was a loyal and faithful member of the family whose only response to every situation was love.  There is a prayer, “God let me be the person that my dog thinks I am.”  I know I would be a far better man if only I was what Cinny thought I was.  Cinnamon is gone now, but I smile when I think of her.  

My beautiful fiancĂ© just happens to have a wonderful dog that is now a part of my life.  His name is Luke and he, like Cinnamon, only wants to love and play with us.  Life is good; in fact, it is indeed a dog’s life.  And if there is a heaven for dogs, I know my Cinnamon is sitting beside my wife and wagging her tail in propeller-circle fashion.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Blog Introduction: Canoeing with God

Once every so often, a new blog comes along that truly is worthy of one’s time in reading it and keeping it on one’s favorite list to return to again and again.  My very best friend has started writing just such a blog.  It is entitled “Canoeing with God”.
My friend, Nicole, is an exceptional writer as she is able to paint vivid scenes with her words and communicate her points seemingly without effort.  She is a freelance journalist credited with myriads of published articles, essays, and even a documentary over the years.

On her latest project, Canoeing with God, her writing encompasses stories about life, and always how that life leads us to Christ.  In some of her posts, she begins to tell her continuing story of her past and how, through many exceptionally difficult trials and tribulations, it lead her to find and develop a wonderful loving relationship with Christ. 

In between those stories of her past challenges, she weaves in occasional stories of everyday challenges too.  Always, she finds God in the ordinary, and not just the extraordinary events of life. 
Nicole is a rarity in that she is very clear-eyed in how she sees the world, and yet she manages to do so, through God’s grace, with great optimism.  All too often we tend to become cynical as we grow older, particularly when one has been through the various heartaches that Nicole has.  And yet she finds the good in people and the love of Christ in all she does.  It is an attitude that comes out in her marvelous writing. 

When I first met Nicole, I noticed she had a tiny little model canoe adhered to the dashboard of her car.  I asked her about the significance of the canoe, and she responded, “If you notice, there aren’t any paddles in it.  God has them.”  And so He does.  And He leads her canoe wherever He chooses, just as He does for all of us.  It is simply up to us to trust in Him as He leads us through both the calm, serene waters and the turbulent rapids of life.  Nicole shares her journey in her wonderful new blog of precisely how she has done that thus far.

I would unabashedly like to give Nicole and her blog, Canoeing with God, my whole-hearted support and recommendation for all readers out there that have similarly traveled life’s difficult and beautiful streams.  In other words, I recommend it to everyone!

Monday, March 2, 2015

ISIS Brutality and The Nation of the Cross

Two weeks ago, ISIS terrorists lead a group of twenty-one Coptic Christians to a deserted beach along the Mediterranean Sea in northern Libya.  They then forced these Christians to kneel in the sand before black-clad, masked barbarians who summarily executed these martyrs of the Christian faith by beheading them.  Many of the martyrs could be seen saying words of prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ just before their grisly executions.

The New York Times reported last Friday that nearly 300 Assyrian Christians in a town in northeastern Syria have recently been taken captive or killed by ISIS barbarians.  This Christian community is one of the oldest in the world, with some of the people even speaking a modern-day version of Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ.

Everywhere throughout Iraq, Syria, and beyond, the ISIS terrorists are enslaving, burning alive, burying alive, beheading, or even crucifying any person that does not bow to their perverted and vile version of Sunni Islam.

Their intent is to draw western nations, particularly the United States, into a religious war with them.  They seek to enrage us and make us fearful of their inhuman brutality.  Their ultimate goal is to unite the entire world under one Muslim caliphate ruled by Sharia (Islamic) law.  They think the only way to do this is to hasten the return of the Mahdi, the Islamic messiah, to unite the Islamic world. They believe that bloodshed and chaos are required for this to happen.  So accordingly, ISIS is killing or subjugating anyone that does not adhere to their wretched faith.

Indeed, after the beheading of the Coptic Christians in Libya last week, these pernicious barbarians sent out a video entitled, “A Message in Blood to the Nation of the Cross.”  In other words, these terrorists have sent their challenge directly to the United States.  A challenge they will execute upon, whether we accept that challenge or not.  Theirs is a challenge that all Christians must convert to their mutated strain of Islam, become enslaved and pay a religious tax, or be put to death.

While I suppose America can still ostensibly be called the “Nation of the Cross”, often times today many people, including Christians, really don’t understand the full implications of the cross.  Many see the cross as some sort of an adornment… nothing more than a piece of jewelry to be worn.  The true significance of what the cross once was is lost upon most people.

The cross was a brutally effective instrument of torture in ancient Roman times.  It was an instrument that evoked great fear.  The Romans crucified those that were a threat to their laws and sense of order as an example to other would-be revolutionaries and rabble-rousers.  This is why Pontius Pilate had Jesus Christ crucified on Calvary. The cross of Christ stood near one of the gates into the city of Jerusalem, as a sign to His followers and others coming into the city for Passover that a similar fate awaited them if they vexed the Roman Empire.

Of course we Christians know the rest of the story.

Christ willingly allowed himself to be scourged and then crucified in expiation for all of our sins, including mine.  He did it out of a perfect love for us all.  He suffered a horrific death… a death on a cross.  And in so doing he conquered death, rising on the third day.  Christ took that instrument of barbaric torture and trembling fear and he turned it into a symbol of our very salvation.

Christ’s early followers then took up the cross, as it were, and appropriated it for themselves as their symbol.  No longer was the cross only an instrument of fear used by the Romans to maintain order.   Christians taunted the Romans with the sign of the cross by proclaiming our God is far greater than your symbol of torture, fear, and death.  Through your crucifixion of Him on a cross, He conquered death.  Your cross holds no sway … no fear… over us anymore.  Indeed, it has now become the greatest symbol of agape love possible because of our loving and merciful God.

As Tertullian noted so long ago, the blood of Christian martyrs is the seed of the Church.  He is right.  ISIS barbarians can continue their attempted reign of terror across the Middle East, but death to Christians --to Christians living in the “nation of the cross” -- know that their deaths are only temporal.  Our lives are eternal because our salvation was purchased two millennia ago by our God, who accepted a hideous death on a cross.

ISIS, your threat of terror does not envelop us with fear.  For just like those brave martyrs on the Libyan beach two weeks ago, we do not fear your instruments of terror.  While Christianity does indeed seem to be waning in many parts of the world today, the United States of America is still “the Nation of the Cross.”  It is something that even our enemies acknowledge, even if they do not understand. It is for our beliefs and love of Christ Jesus that we will stand even stronger, together as a nation. We will not come undone.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Non-Existence of Evil

Evil does not exist.

“What?!?!” you say.  “How could a conservative Catholic ever truly believe such a thing?”

Good question.  Glad you asked!

When I say that evil does not exist, I do not mean that it doesn’t exist in some progressive morally relativistic way.  I mean that evil, in and of itself, does not exist.  It is not the equal and opposite of good.  In fact, evil requires good in order to define itself, whereas good does not.  You see, evil is actually the absence of good, whereas good is not the absence of evil.  Evil is something contrary to God.  It is an absence of God, who is goodness itself.

“T. Paine, what have you been smoking?  I thought you were against illegal drugs!”

Hold on, a minute.  Let me explain.  And yes, I am strongly against illegal drugs, but that is a topic for another post.

Let me use an analogy.  Let’s take light and dark.  Dark only exists in the absence of light.  Its very dependence counts upon there being no light.  If you light a single candle in a massive warehouse, it is no longer completely dark.  Light and dark are not equal and dualistic opposites.  Light actually exists in the world.  Dark does not.  Without darkness, we could still scientifically analyze light.  We know its speed, its wavelength, and its particle-like properties.  What is the speed or wavelength of dark?  We cannot tell you because it does not exist.


Still not buying this?  How about another analogy then?

The same is true for hot and cold.  Cold is merely the relative or perhaps complete absence of heat.  It does not exist unto itself.  Heat actually exists.  We can measure heat’s temperature, which is a function of its molecular energy.  When molecular motion ceases completely, that is what we call “absolute zero”.  There is, however, no maximum temperature where “cold particles” no longer exist.  There is no “smoking hot” converse to absolute zero, with the possible exception of my beautiful wife.    

The same concept can be applied for evil.  As I said previously, evil is metaphysically dependent upon good.  It, like dark and cold, does not actually exist itself.  Evil is an absence of good.  Indeed we cannot understand the very concept of evil without understanding good.  The reverse of this is not true, however.  We do not do good things because we seek evil.  Conversely, we do not need to understand the concept of evil to understand and do good in the world.  Evil is not the opposite of good, any more than light is the opposite of dark.

“Whoa, T. Paine!  That is heavy, man!”

Lightness is not the opposite of heaviness; it is a lack thereof.

“Stop that, dude!”

Okay, sorry.  Back to our discussion on evil not existing.

As I was saying, evil is an absence of good… an absence of God.  As a “thing” in and of itself, it does not exist.  We can see the actions, the results, of this lack of good in the world though, just as we can see the darkening results as we extinguish more lamps in a room.  We can see what happens when we remove ourselves from goodness.  It is through that drawing away from good that we become selfish, greedy, and narcissistic.

Ironically, evil actually pays homage to good, not only in its very definition, but in the actions of it.  Evil is always perpetrated in the pursuit of some real or perceived good.  Someone may commit an act of evil in pursuit of a good such as pleasure, honor, love, etc., that they think will come from that act.  For that person, the ends justify the means.

Let me give you some examples.  Abortion is an evil that is unfortunately chosen for the perceived good of the mother sometimes.  The destruction of God’s creation in the environment is often done under the perceived good of economic development.  ISIS and other similar Islamic terrorist organizations see their acts of evil as necessary in order to convert the world to their perverted brand of Islam.  All of these acts of evil are paying homage to perceived goods.

And while evil actions and unspeakable atrocities occur daily throughout the world, the fact of the matter is that evil only exists in the world because of a consciously chosen decision to turn away from goodness.  It is through the misuse of our God-given free wills to turn away from Him… to turn away from good… that allows evil to exist.  It does not exist on its own.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Extremist Islam, Christianity, and a Prayer Breakfast

Nearly 1400 years ago, in 638 A.D. a large Islamic military force sacked the city of Jerusalem over the course of three days.  In the process of doing so, they destroyed more than 300 churches and monasteries and put many Christians and Jews to death or into enforced servitude.  Over the following four centuries, as the religion founded by the Islamic prophet Mohammed grew, so did the conquest of other Christian lands in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and indeed as far west as Moorish Spain.  Those people living under the rule of their new Muslim conquerors were constantly persecuted if they refused to convert to Islam.

In 1095 A.D., after putting up with over four and a half centuries of continued unprovoked Muslim aggression and oppression of Christian lands and people, Pope Urban II preached for men from all of Christendom to march to liberate Jerusalem.  Those Christian men, women, and children who were forced to live under Muslim rule in those lands were to be set free. Thus was the start of the first crusade.  Other crusades followed over the next several centuries.

Today, no thanks to revisionist history and Hollywood license, the crusades are synonymous with the evils of the Christian faith.  Indeed, there were certainly atrocities committed during the Crusades by Christian Knights and warriors, just as there are in any war.  That said, the overall stated purpose of the Crusades as preached by Pope Urban II was a noble cause.

Nearly a millennia later, President Barack Hussein Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast last Thursday pointed to these supposed “evils” of the Christian Crusades in a seemingly school yard attempt at saying, “See!  They did it too!”

“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. Michelle and I returned from India -- an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity -- but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs -- acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhi, the person who helped to liberate that nation.

So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today's world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. But God compels us to try."

 ~ President Barack Hussein Obama 2/5/2015

Yes, we as fallen and flawed men and women of faith - of ALL faiths - will always fall far short of the lofty ideals and tenets of doctrine espoused by our various religions.

But, there is indeed a profound difference.

Christian “extremism” is largely something that was last commonly found centuries ago in the Middle Ages.  Islamic extremism is something found occurring this week.  Christian “extremism” is something largely relegated to the history books.  Muslim extremism is a clear and present danger today and is a very real threat to all of Western civilization.

So, what was the point of President Obama bringing up real or imagined evils of Christianity at the prayer breakfast when such have not been a threat to America’s way of life in anyone’s lifetime today?  It would seem that he invoked those “evils” as a way of trying to mitigate the recent actions of Islamic extremists.

President Obama further gets it wrong in pointing out the evils within our own United States history.  Indeed it was Christians following the true dictates of the faith that were abolitionists and were largely responsible for the precipitation of our bloody civil war to right the wrongs of slavery.  God created us to be free men and women and we are charged with the moral and ethical duty to “love thy neighbor” accordingly.  Nowhere else in history has a nation fought amongst itself to champion such a Christian ideal.  It was indeed true Christianity that ended American slavery; it was not the justification for keeping such an evil institution in place.  Indeed, slavery still exists in the world today, and is largely practiced by adherents of extremist Islam. 

Despite President Obama’s tale of seeming moral equivalence, and the implied statement that “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” rhetoric, there is a profound difference between Christian extremism and Muslim Extremism.

The Christian faith teaches us to “love our neighbor” and to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”  Unfortunately, for millions of extremist Muslims throughout the world, the new crusade of hate that al Qaida, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, and other such groups are waging is one they see as being commanded by their god and countenanced by his holy book.  It is a war, not unlike the one waged 1400 years ago against Jerusalem, where the Islamic extremists wish to kill or enslave all those who refuse to convert to their perverted brand of Islam.  Even Muslims that do not hate enough are subject to the extremists’ persecution.

The Islamic faith is waxing ever stronger across the world today, while Christianity throughout much of Europe and indeed the entire world seems to be waning.  With the growth of mainstream Islam, so too will the number of extremist Islamic adherents increase.  And, with that growth in Islamic extremism, the battle will continue to be brought ever closer to our own doorstep yet again.

America, as a Christian nation, is very tolerant of those having differing faiths and cultures, and this is indeed a very good thing.  That said, we must not kowtow to political correctness.  It is not racism, intolerance, or bigotry to point out evil wherever it might be found.  The ability to fight evil is greatly weakened when we refuse to call it what it is.  Sadly and most dangerously, President Obama seems to fail to acknowledge that extremist Islam is even the enemy.  Instead he equivocates and says “we all do it”.
How do we fight, let alone prevail, against an enemy that we refuse to even name?

How is it that we have turned our backs time and time again on this existential danger after seeing first-hand the convictions of Islamic extremist hatred for us as evidenced in Beirut, Mogadishu, the U.S.S Cole, Khobar towers, the embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, the World Trade Center on two different occasions, the Pentagon, and myriads (more than two) of other such terrorist events.

No, Mr. President; the sins of extremist Islam and extremist Christianity are nowhere near in moral equivalency.  In fact, if we are to survive as a nation, I would submit that robust Christianity and a willingness to protect and fight for all that is good and holy as predicated by this faith founded in God’s love, is indeed going to be our last and perhaps only hope.  Extremist Islam is the enemy and the problem.  It is only through true Christianity that we may find the solution to this problem, Mr. President. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ascending Secularism

About a year ago, a traveling exhibition of The Dead Sea Scrolls went on display at the local museum near where I live.  These early manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible dated as far back as the 3rd century before Christ and are the second oldest known manuscripts of the type in existence.  The finding of these scrolls was a truly remarkable discovery.  I figured it would be fascinating to see these in person, so I sauntered on down to the museum to spend the afternoon perusing them.

Immediately upon entering the exhibit, I noticed the museum placards describing various artifacts and scroll fragments were all listed in the ridiculous Before Common Era (BCE) and Common Era (CE) notations.  At first I was borderline amused, which quickly turned into extreme annoyance.  A museum placard at the beginning of the exhibit explained with politically correct reasoning that the museum did not want to upset those people viewing the exhibit that might be offended by the notations of Before Christ (BC) and Anno Domini (AD) [Latin for “in the year of our Lord”].


I would bet that anyone that was interested in coming to see these scrolls which were a part of the Hebrew Bible (aka part of the Old Testament) would probably not be offended by the non-secular “BC” and “AD” notations.  While I had been aware of the ever-encroaching foolishness of political correctness manifesting itself in hyper secularism, this really sent me over the edge and made my teeth itch.  Had the most remarkable religious discovery of the 20th century fallen victim to politically correct secularism?

Secularism.  What the hell is that?  It is not necessarily the same thing as atheism, although the two often go together like the ACLU and hypocrisy.  Secularism, in the classical understanding of the term, is used to mean those things that dealt with earthly matters or the temporal order.  Today, the term seems to be used in the context of an absence of religious belief or participation thereof.  Indeed in the modern era, seemingly more and more people embrace a type of purely self-sufficient humanism – a secularism aimed at one’s material flourishing without any consideration whatsoever of a transcendent order and reality.  And that in and of itself is fine with me, if such is a person’s choice.  More power to him or her. After all, we still live in a free country – well, kind of anyway.  

That said, America as a nation was founded with an acknowledgement of our “firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence” and those most precious inalienable rights bestowed upon us not by the government, but by our Creator; thus states our Declaration of Independence.  Regardless, the idea was that Americans could worship as they choose, in public and indeed in government buildings and institutions, or they could choose not to do so.  Today, with the rise of this seeming virulent secularism, some twisted notion that faith should never intrude into the public arena seems to be the rule of the day.

And so we see this infectious secularism now spreading to a historical religious exhibit at the local museum in the guise of BCE and CE notations. This is really nothing more than a mere change of a name.  It is as if some secularist decided, “Don’t bring this Lord stuff into the debate!”  Okay.  Fine, but then tell me, what is the single defining event that separates BC and the silly BCE from AD and the sillier CE?  Is it not the birth of Christ regardless of the terms?  I suppose if one were to ask some quasi-scientist or politically correct historian what was The Event that delineated BCE from CE, he could shuffle his feet and mumble something about a non-theologically significant event --- or he could tell you about Christ.

Whether one accepts the divinity of Christ or not, the historical fact of His existence and the undeniable fact that He changed the history of the world since His human incarnation is the lone event that ends the era “Before Christ” and ushers in the era “In the Year of Our Lord”.  The changing of the names of the eras to something that is politically correct does nothing to change the actual event that delineates those eras.  Rather it simply points out in glaring fashion the degrees to which secularism has ascended in our Western culture today.

The BC/AD to BCE/CE debacle is only one small thread in this new secularist tapestry being woven by many of the politically correct and secular humanists today.  There are other issues on the secularist’s loom that they are trying to remake too.  For example, a denial of our country’s history and its founding as a Christian nation is a pervasive meme found taught by many of higher academia’s teachers today.  Even President Obama has insisted in the past that we are not necessarily a Christian nation.

The secularist’s axiom seems to be as science and reason spread, religious belief will wane.  The notion that science and faith are inextricably linked seems like an utter impossibility to the secularist, and any mention of God or faith in the public sphere is something to be shunned lest it lead society backwards into the dark ages of superstition and the supernatural.

Because of these new ideals, public prayer or Christmas nativity displays are often banned in many cities today.  And yet debauchery is on display in some of those same cities with gay pride parades and the like where members openly mock Christ and those things that a majority of Americans still consider sacred.  Even during the Christmas season, it is often seen as an affront to PC Secularists to wish someone “Merry Christmas!” instead of the more benign and ambiguously indifferent “Happy Holidays”.

And what have we gained by this metastasizing secularism?  Are we a kinder, more generous and caring people because of this?  Is ours a society that strives to take care of the least of our brothers and sisters in desperate need?  Or do we simply focus on the humanistic secularism that says we must “get ours first and foremost” in a Darwinian survival of the fittest?

It has generally been my experience that those people whom are the most militant in their secularism are often times the most disagreeable and abrasive of souls too.  They seem to be very unhappy, and indeed how could they not be?  If one believes in nothing more than materialism and temporal matters alone, how could one be truly happy?  Love, beauty, and life itself are not magnificent gifts from God to the militant humanist secularist.  They are subjective things to be used as tools for a means to an end to further one’s earthly gains.  With such an outlook, I suppose I would be grumpy and acerbic too!

Unfortunately though, it is not enough that they alone hold this merely as a personal opinion.  Rather, it becomes incumbent upon them to spread this secularist mindset to all of society so that nobody might be offended by God, His son Jesus, or religion at all.

Myself having once traveled down an atheistic, if not secular road before, I found life to be very unfulfilling.  It was lacking in purpose – in meaning – and certainly in true agape love.  My heart was restless and often very saddened until, through God’s grace and mercy, I eventually was lead back to Him.  Indeed I pray that this secularism is nothing more than a trend that will eventually pass like a strong winter storm.  In its passing, we will once again come into the Spring of God’s blessings and perhaps many of those lost secularists will return or perhaps for the first time come into Christ’s fold. Their need to replace or wipe away any vestige of things that are overtly religious or even having religious connotations, such as replacing BC and AD with secularist substitutions in our museums, will no longer be necessary for them.  Perhaps these would-be secularists can then finally find some semblance of peace.  St. Augustine said it best regarding God, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they find rest in you.”