Photo by Chad Runge / Creation Swap

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Wisdom of the World

By dierregi @

The world has gone crazy. It’s no surprise to anyone, or least anyone that isn’t living in a cave or has their head buried in the sand, to see how bad things are all around us. In Iraq, news reports tell us about the horrors of beheadings by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Though, apparently ISIS is small potatoes compared to the governments of Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, and Somalia with regards to torture, persecution, beheadings, and other forms of execution.

Then there’s another Islamic terrorist group called Boko Haram. This militant group is so radical that to say they kill, steal, and destroy doesn’t touch how extreme they are. According to CNN, “(they have) bombed schools, churches and mosques; kidnapped women and children; and assassinated politicians and religious leaders alike.” They’re widely known, however, for recently kidnapping hundreds of schoolgirls. In a more despicable move, the group forced these Christian girls to convert to Islam and to be sold as slave brides, and thus revealing their complete disregard toward the value of human life.

The atmosphere isn’t any better in Israel either. They’re under constant attack by Hamas, another Islamic terrorist organization. It’s not that the rocket attacks are infrequent, either. It seems like Israel is constantly under threat considering 11,000 rockets have been fired since 2005. And for Israel to protect themselves, they use air strikes to target the terrorists. But Hamas is depraved enough to use human shields and then cry foul when civilians are hurt or killed. And to show that nothing is sacred in their attacks toward Israel, Hamas even uses their own mosques as terrorist facilities.

Violence is everywhere. Even in the United States there are problems with anger and the use of violence. Use Ferguson, Missouri as an example. Because a white police officer defended himself against a black man that appeared to have been attacking him, the entire community and a large portion of the country is experiencing civil unrest. Did the officer shoot the young, black man unprovoked? Answering questions to get to the truth doesn’t seem to matter much, it seems. CNN, an international cable news network forgets that people are innocent until proven guilty. But in their eyes, prior to knowing the truth through a trial by jury, they declare the officer to be guilty by saying he “shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen.” Is that the truth? Does the truth even matter? As it is, major cities throughout the U.S. are bracing for protests that could potentially turn very ugly very fast.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Live Contrary to the World

Pic by Balazs Toth

Today we live in a culture saturated with self-serving, self-indulging, and self-gratifying people. It doesn’t take much to see how true this really is. We could point to the level of violent crime in the US, which indicates on some level a selfish desire to inflict pain on others in order to gain some demented level of gratification. Don’t believe that statement? Consider this comment from one Memphis teenager regarding a teen mob attack at a Kroger grocery store, “It’s fun…That’s just what kids do.”

Violence, though, is just one of many behaviors that reflect the reality of a selfish culture. What about a city that votes unanimously about criminalizing homelessness? Yes, it’s true. The city council in Columbia, SC voted to criminalize homelessness. Why? The motive isn’t completely clear as one council member said it was a temporary measure toward “a more sound resolution.” But like most decisions similar to these, it usually revolves around money. Apparently some businesses are voicing concerns on how the homeless crisis is affecting the city. (Read: Affecting sales and the bottom line.) Instead of addressing the issues in a more humanitarian way, it’s apparent that incarcerating, or moving the homeless to “a remote emergency shelter” on the outskirts of the city limits and where they’re out of sight, is a more acceptable alternative.

Another example of a selfish society can be found in Daytona Beach, CA and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The law enforcement in these cities are told to enforce ordinances that make it illegal to feed the homeless. According to the laws of these cities, it’s up to the government to use taxpayer money to meet these needs in the community. The penalty to feed the homeless on your own? Large fines and even jail time. These laws seemingly run contrary in showing compassion to those less fortunate. 

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