"I readily confess that as a young man I had to go through the hell of despair over the apparent meaninglessness of life, through total and ultimate nihilism until I could develop an immunity against nihilism. I developed logotherapy. It is a pity that other authors, instead of immunizing their readers against nihilisim, inoculate them with their own cynicism, which is a defense mechanism or reaction formation, that they have built up against their own nihilism. This is a pity, because today more than ever the apparent meaninglessness of life has become and urgent and topical issue on a worldwide scale." -- Viktor Frankl--in "The Will to Meaning".
In the last day or so, a number of things have circulated regarding Muslim views on homosexuality.
1. In the Koran, we can read instructions to punish and kill those who indulge in homosexual behavior. In a BBC interview, the interviewer actually reads this out to an Imam straight from the Koran and he weasels out of it. "Yes, for me, I would never do it and the Koran condemns it, so I must be faithful to it. But no, he never ever would hurt a soul or condemn anyone for it, even a Muslim homosexual. This Muslim homosexual has to figure it out for himself." Em. This is a complete contradiction.
2. There is another talk on Youtube , where a pretty reasonable sounding Imam explains to the people that since Muslims live in America, they must be subordinate to the laws there, but they can still keep their own moral code. Homosexual behavior, continuous sexual innuendo on TV--even aimed at children--the sexual way of looking at females is all "unhealthy". But he would not kick anyone out of the mosque for immoral behavior, such as alcohol drinking, adultery, etc. because they are not really unbelievers. They are just people fallen into sin.
Since the government does allow this "unhealthy" behavior, such as homosexuality, the Muslim must also "tolerate" it, but not agree with it. And in fact, LGBT rights activists have been important allies in protecting minority rights of Muslims and should be acknowledged for that work and support. Nevertheless, lately, the culture has become such that Muslims cannot be "tolerated" by LGBT because of their stand on issues, and they feel that they have come under threat and oppression by LGBT groups. It is becoming intolerable not to be "tolerated." Tolerated does not mean that you agree. The rules for dealing with people who are hostile to you are different from the rules for people who are helpful to you.
3. The Orlando shooters father made a video to express his grief. My impression was that he was not awfully grief-stricken, as far as grief-stricken goes, and as far as Muslim expression of emotion sometimes goes. He said he taught his son that Allah will do the punishing. We don't need to punish the sin of homosexuality.
4. An Orlando preacher preaches that homosexuals should be killed in an accent free English. He calls it an act of compassion.
5. The shooter was active in the scene, himself. He claims allegiance to ISIS. He is also said to have been very careful about scouting out the scene and preparing for the attack. The debate is now whether he was a man trouble with his own sexuality, or a homophobe, as far as these sorts of lables go. (The word homophobe is used rather losely, one finds, attacking anyone who is critical or in disagreement. In this case, since the shooter went out to kill, the lable "phobe", as in hater, would be reasonable.)
Regarding the Stanford rape case, the National Review analysis is quite good. It finishes with this valid complaint about the so-called hook-up culture.
"Turner is a criminal, something liberals as well as conservatives should be able to agree upon. One can understand the judge taking the defendant’s age and lack of priors into account in sentencing, but to cite his drunkenness as a mitigating factor is peculiar. Oh, you were drunk when you robbed the liquor store? Reduced sentence. It may not be a crime to get blind drunk at a bar or party — but it’s reckless. Here is the truth that the Left will never acknowledge — the hook-up culture they celebrate and defend is the greatest petri dish for enabling rape and sexual assault imaginable. It does women no favors to tell them that the way they drink is irrelevant. It may not be a crime to get blind drunk at a bar or party — but it’s reckless. The Stanford woman’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit. Again, that doesn’t make her a criminal, but who can doubt that, but for that, she would not have become a victim? Here is what the Right must come to grips with: Some of the women “crying rape” were truly raped, even if their attackers were not knife-wielding assailants jumping out from behind trees. The anti-constitutional adjudication system erected by universities to hear sexual-assault cases is a disgrace. The judicial system isn’t the whole answer either. Most cases of rape have no witnesses. They reduce to he said/she said. Those who care about innocent young people of both sexes whose lives have been blighted by the current mess need to step back. The problem is hook-up culture."
Recently, in Canada, the one and only clinic where operations on genitals were performed for individuals going through a gender transition, was torched and suffered a bad fire. The immediate suspicion was that there was a so-called hate crime.
It turned out, however, that the fire was set, while there were operations going on and people on the premises, by a person who had had the surgery there a little while ago.
The news article appeared in the National Post, HERE.
Jayne was arrested in British Columbia.
After that I had a discussion with an individual who has transitioned from male to female, here . The assertion was made that transitions are about 99% successful, which I don't believe, judging by the suicide rates, HIV infection rate and violence suffered and perpetrated, as well as testimonials one comes across. And of course, the torching of the clinic news story. It seems to me more likely, that someone who has gone to these extreme measures to deal with some disaffection in life, now called dysphoria, will NOT find it cured by becoming "female", as this is not really possible.
I have known one person personally, who was hermaphrodite, and transitioned male (he was a father and family man) to female. She never looked, sounded, or acted in a feminine way, no matter how hard she tried. I am not sure what objective was in effect met. Was it worth the trauma all around?
The debate became partly how many "regretters" there are out there, that is how many people regret the decision to transition.
I also said, that as a woman, I am offended to the core, that someone would assert that they can become a "woman" by dressing up and other superficial changes. This was not acceptable to the individual I was speaking with. I said that the idea that you can become a woman outward appearance was further evidence of a male attitude to femaleness.
In order to demonstrate to those who thought that they can become female that this is indeed preposterous and a way of talking that shows lack of understanding, I put together this list of recent events, articles and news stories, to see if it could sink in that a man cannot become a woman and actually barely knows what a woman's life is really like.
So often I have heard it said that apologetics can't do a whole lot for people and that only the gospel can turn a heart.
When I say "but I find this and that really helpful and I find it quite convincing", then they say that is only so because I believe already.
That could be.
What changes a mind?
I don't find that I am really so much in the business of trying to change a mind, but to learn and to bolster and to analyze. You may take from it what you will and what you like. You have a mind and a heart.
So, why "apologetics"?
I don't know. -- It does help me.
When I listen to Swineburn, or read David Berlinksy, as I did recently, or contemplate the complexity of a single cell, and the impossibility of getting organic life from rocks without a miracle, it does help me believe. I find it profound. If I find it profound, would I not think that there are others who find it profound? Am I not supposed to talk about it?
And then there is all this opposition. Don't talk about this. Don't talk about that. Keep it in the church, don't bother me with it. And so on. It makes one think. It makes one think that it is convincing other people, too, but they just don't want to admit it. Otherwise, they would refute it. But they don't. They just throw rocks or walk away.
Richard Dawkins proposed that life might have been seeded on earth by aliens. Now there is something that does not convince. Creation has to be excluded from all discussion because it is not "scientific". Science will find the answer, it is always asserted. There is a faith. -- Science will find an answer how we got life from inorganic material? Science will find the answer how we got the big bang from Nothing? Science will find an answer to the question of the incredible complexity of living things and the fine tuning of the universe? Physics will make sense of the incomprehensible revelations it is finding out about and can't really compute? We will get answers that will make sense to us? Even if we find answers to some of these questions, will we know how mind, consciousness, sensory perception, love, emotion, justice, and such essential intangibles come to be?
Last night, I slept fairly well, but something I watched on Facebook/Youtube was busy in my head. I went to sleep with it and I woke up with it. There was a panel of distinguished looking men who were very erudite and well-spoken explaining the threat of Islam to Europe. It was international with Swedes and Englishmen sitting together. The cataclysm coming is civil war, apparently. Sweden is already lost, and England must fight for its life. America must never let it happen on the North American continent. The demographic time-bomb is ticking in Great Britain, as the Muslim population doubles every so often and has children early on in young marriages and plural marriages, on top of that. --So much about what the gentlemen had to say.
In regards to shared humanity, we know that Muslims are dear and precious people, loved by God and neighbors, but the ideology is one of terrorism and submission of everything in its path.--And this is in the Koran. We have read it. --Also, Muslims are exhorted to dissimulate and so you can't be sure if your neighbor is your friend or foe, that is if Muslims even attempt to assimilate so much as to live outside an enclave. The police, the media, the elites, the authorities are folding in face of the onslaught of hostility and assertiveness. On whose shoulders will it fall to defend the nation and the culture?--It seems it falls up on the population itself together with some brave spokespeople. So-called populism is on the rise in many European countries and one wonders what kinds of beasts are being birthed with some of these movements. Slovenia has a neo-nazi governor, now.
All this continues to unfold rapidly. Before 2014 we had hardly worried about these developments. ISIS changed everything. The cruelty before our eyes is so despicable and the refrain that Islam has nothing to do with it rings very hollow. We don't believe it and we don't believe those who keep repeating it. This explains the rise of Donald Trump to me. We are sick of lies and we worry about our nations. Barack Obama still reigns as the prince of peace, but ideas have brought told and untold disasters upon whole populations.
Meanwhile, the fire rages in Northern Alberta. The call it "the beast." It is huge now. It did not get dealt with soon enough. Dry conditions, old forests, led to this inferno that keeps on adding to the population of evacuees. There are places for them to go. Where will Europeans go?
Europe is like the dried up forest in the North. It is ripe for a burn. The burn will come, sometime, like an earthquake at a fault line will surely come. It is inescapable. Will it burn to the ground so new seeds can sprout or will it be like the Middle East, where Christianity has been displaced from its cradle of birth almost completely?
It is like a Biblical size punishment, something like Noah's flood, something like the tower of Babel, something like slavery in Egypt, something the exile, something like the death of the first-born, something like a crucifixion, something like the destruction of Jerusalem where only a few stones remain.
God always preserved for himself a remnant. From the root and a shoot a tree can grow again.
Thus the Jews have always survived, though few in numbers, as Jesus predicted, and Christianity grows in the underground quite well. It is like a fire under the ground. You think you have stamped it out, but it smolders and glows. Still, the Lord says often enough: smarten up or I will turn over your lamp, too. We can lose all the oil in our lamps and the Lord can also throw them over. And the darkness will be dark and there will be gnashing of teeth. Fear the One who can make this happen.
The beast of the fire in the North is being fought with a thousand firefighters. It won't go out and stop consuming everything before it until the weather changes and rains come. The weather has changed some. Without the firefighters it will continue to destroy homes. Spiritually, we are the same. Destruction will reign without the help of the Lord without the Word of the Lord. And if we are complacent, we will surely be engulfed. Maybe the Christian West will wake up. May it be so.
There is a fire, a different fire which is good. It is often kindled when things look very bleak. A spiritual zeal and need can arise and new work is done. It is the fire of Pentecost, of Babel undone. We speak to each other in a language we understand. It is the gift of fire from above.
In Berlin and Hamburg people are worried to walk the streets now, in places. People don't want to send their children out unsupervised any more. You could always do this in Germany. Put your child on the public bus, let it roam in the forest, walk down the street to see grandma, without a worry. It was a safe country. But also in Berlin and Hamburg, Muslims are becoming Christians in considerable numbers. These Christians are severely tested in the refugee homes living among those who pray how many times a day for all to see toward Mecca. Through lack of participation in this worship, they stick out. The enmity is more than palpable.
May the Spirit of the Lord turn us all to Him and his love.
See: "Das Wunder von Stiegliz" in German language
"There would seem to be an unbridgeable knowledge gap between such a person and the object of his desire. He reports a longing for the first-person experience of being a woman, but it is an experience he has never had. No number of observations of womanhood can amount to a first-person knowledge of being a woman. Hormone treatments and surgery might ape some aspects of being female, but he would receive these after his initial gender-dysphoric symptoms, not before. Though the psychological states of transgender persons are real, some of their reports seem not just troubled, but utterly unintelligible. Maybe, however, this transgender person means that he wishes to live as if he were a woman, rather than to be a woman. Nonetheless, living as if one is a woman is not the same as being a woman, which is what gender identity is taken to mean. Living “as if” one is a woman appears to conflict with the idea that one’s gender is determined by one’s deepest self-perception. Surely the very concept of identity is what one is, not what one pretends or wishes to be." ------------ As a woman, I take very, very, very great exception that any such male would have the slightest clue as what it means to be a woman. The whole idea makes me furious and I don't get furious that often.