Reflecting: Tripping Myself Up

This from my books blog.

MaddyTree Books

My fine arts training sometimes trips me up.

I earned my degree in a fine arts major where art (and certainly the artist, no matter that said artist status was a month old) was taken deadly seriously and endless lazy hours were to be spent on “critique” where the most subjective and inaccessible thoughts were encouraged, the best absurdities were rewarded with conferrance of validity.

“Validate your forms.”

“Is this piece ‘caressable’?” This discussion went on for two cringe-filled hours.

It took me years to deprogram myself. I had to be removed from that environment and clear my head with the work of real life; I had to re-configure everything I understood about being an artist, what art was for, how to relate my art to other people, whether to make my art relatable to other people…It’s a complex labyrinth and many who contemplate its meanderings never emerge in this life. Pity…

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Martyrdom: A Context for Pro-Life Thinking

“I thank God because he gave me the force to die free…”

This was the last praise of a woman who died at the hands of atheist torturers in Albania. It is one tragic story among thousands, and one inspiring example for some who are following.

Albania was declared the first atheist nation in 1967 by its Communist rulers. In this tiny nation, Christianity was a minority faith. Catholic clergy was targeted for extinction. Of 135 clergy, 131 were tortured and killed. Over 2,000 Christians were also cruelly executed. Yet Catholic believers still worshiped in secret and kept the knowledge of Christ alive there. This tiny minority was tenacious and the government’s efforts to eradicate it failed.

This article explains how some in Albania have taken direction from those who were martyred for their beliefs, and applied the cost of martyrdom to the debt of reviving a defense for the most vulnerable human lives.

I will venture to say that most pro-life advocates in our western first world lack the orientation that these advocates have. We understand the equation, but we do so from relative comfort. Some speak from the vantage point of their own sad experience, but many speak without personal history and from a theoretical position. In the end, all of us are called to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, and every voice is valid.

But the believers in Albania speak for the unborn from a place where advocacy has meant death, and standing firm in your faith has meant martyrdom.They say this:

“Albania is a land of martyrs, and we know that we have hope because they have built before us…We are here today because they gave their life for Christ.”

 Albania’s pro-life movement inspired by modern-day martyrs


How the Abortion Movement Echoes Radical Slavery Rhetoric

“As crowds cheered abortion as a positive good in Philadelphia, they emulated those who cheered human bondage as a positive good in the antebellum South. They would do well to heed the august warning of George Mason, a revolutionary-era patriot. Slavery, Mason warned, is a

slow Poison, which is daily contaminating the Minds & Morals of our People.”

Abortion as a Positive Good: How the Abortion Movement Echoes Radical Slavery Rhetoric

For the Men

We are called to care for each other to a counter intuitive and astonishing degree. Self-sacrifice on both sides is the way of life called for in marriage.

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25

Lest you think this language is hyperbole, and that you probably won’t be called upon to put it into action unless you’re aboard the Titanic II, letting your wife get on the lifeboat while you remain on deck, let me assure you that you are living this every day. Or you’re not.

You are called to lay down your life for her, and she for you, every day.

As a wife I might do this by simply being kind and engaged with my husband when life is distracting and irritating. Or I might pour my effort into creating a warm and comfortable home, managing resources economically, doing my part in raising self-directed and wise children to adulthood, or promoting kind and considerate behavior. If you’re wondering why I call this “laying down your life”, you probably haven’t tried it.

As the man in the equation, one of the ways you can lay down your life is by taking care of your wife. Protect her, defend her. Speak up when she is disrespected. Your wife (or fiancé) is probably tough and tenacious, nevertheless, you ought to take care of her like she’s a fragile and precious treasure.

Protection is not based on the weakness or inability of the protected. We protect what we value. We protect our loved ones because they are ours; unique and irreplaceable.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. I Peter 3:7

If someday you have children together, she will have the minute-by-minute responsibility to oversee your children.  She will be making decisions constantly on the minutiae of managing a household and X number of people all at various stages of development. At the same time, she must keep her reactions to the stress to herself, which requires wisdom, patience, perseverance, energy, selflessness. In practical terms she must think about them rather than herself throughout every day.

That last one is where you come in. Your responsibility is to think about her when she doesn’t have the luxury.  Guard her needs, her dignity, her health. You will look out for her while she looks out for the kids. Keep in mind that you must take this responsibility because she may not. Don’t wait for her to ask for help.

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33

You say she’s the strong one? The one with the ideas? A driven career woman? Your job description doesn’t change.

Let’s not join in with the world’s nonsense thinking. Don’t ask her to do your job and hers.  Did you think managing and physically maintaining a home, and nurturing and raising children was not a full time job? Did she have lots of free time on her hands with nothing to do? Was she not pulling her weight? Or was that job not meaningful enough?

Each couple’s response to economic reality is personal, and I won’t second-guess a working wife’s wisdom.  But neither of you should buy into the new paradigm that leaves unquestioned the premise that women’s lives are only meaningful when they contribute their share to the world of work.

Please don’t ask her to do her job, and expect her to earn her half of the economic partnership. One career added to a 24/7/365 task is more burden than you can carry; why do you expect it of the one God calls the weaker vessel?

Remember in what way Jesus Christ “gave up his life for her”, the church. The Church is us, all of us who believe in Jesus as the Son of God, the Redeemer who died on the cross as a substitute for us sinners who deserve the punishment. He who was without sin willingly became the sin-bearer:

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

He made himself utterly vulnerable; he did not protect or reserve himself.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7

He gave his life for her even when she didn’t understand or appreciate it. He did it because he had created her with infinite value and he had a claim on her; she was his. This was no selfish motive…her true home was with him, and to wander from home would be tragic and destructive for her.

He had created Her, yet he died to make her his own forever.

He gave to the uttermost; he gave everything for His Church, his Bride. What does this look like for a guy in his everyday life? How will you lay down your life for your bride?

The Jesus God

Messages from the Mythical

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
Hebrews 1: 1-3

Human beings like to construct a God who we feel we are justified in rejecting. That way we can rationalize doing as we please, being accountable only to ourselves. We all do this. We prefer a Straw God.

But the book he wrote says we ought to recognize him by His Son. God = Jesus Christ.

We ought to see in Him not the god who commits genocide, the god who punishes disobedient children in eternal torment, the god…

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Apparently I Have a Cabal

According to one blogger who disagrees with me on various issues, I have a cabal: a pious banning-cabal to be more specific. I must warn my fellow cabalists to adopt their new identities.

Kudos to insanitybytes for this “Rave Reviews”idea.

Oh, she’s stark raving nuts, i know. Literally, that woman should only be given plastic spoons to eat with.

Oh, dear. I just looked through your blog, madblog. It screams, “FUNDIE!”
Conversation stopper for me.

…strikes me as the product of a somewhat delusional or maybe even borderline psychotic personality.

…human ignorance and gullibility, which…you epitomize.

…people like you promote Yahweh and the bible as truth and the millenia of abuse and human misery has resulted in situations such as ISIS etc. and the crap we are currently seeing with the ZIKA virus.

…why people like Madblog make me sick to my stomach with their disgusting hypocritical morality.

The… cognitive dissonance boggles the mind.

Why not sit down to a nice roast puppy this evening? You could even put a juicy apple in its mouth to make it fun!

…the vitriolic, self-righteous method in which people like Madblog pursue it will gain nothing but alienation.

…milch cow… (my personal favorite)

I knew a lady like Madblog once…

…you cannot ‘argue’ (dispute, discuss, rationalise) with a mad dog.

 …this particular Christian’s case she feels compelled to hammer the issue that morality can only derive from the Christian deity, Yahweh, while carefully avoiding any mention whatsoever of said deity or the goat herders to whom this morality was dictated to.

When a person demonstrates that type of willful ignorance, that willingness to lie, then there’s really not much you can do with such a person but contain them so they do not infect society at large.

What Madblog has given us here is a stunning view of the Christian mind in action when it comes to inconvenient facts. We should thank her.

Can anyone spell, M A D N E S S ?…

…Yes, M A D B L O G, in her response to you below.

And today’s winner, this vein-popper from one blogger on one comment thread:

Like the rest of the pious banning cabal, Madblog states her beliefs and accusations as if facts and, when challenged or corrected by facts, refuses to alter them. If one continues to try, then she becomes even more strident but adds the spice of dismissiveness into the mix with more moderation. Any further corrective responses are interpreted by Madblog to be examples of unsolicited rudeness and meanness and vindictiveness, resulting in what she interprets to be her unfair persecution… especially if they come from some godless baby killing heathen, but a burdensome cost that is the result of her piousness and one she bears with a sense of victimhood. She is never wrong, just a sinful yet meek Seeker of Truth (TM)… a truth from divine insight into all her claims, of course, but also granted to like-minded believers who share her piety and ever-so-humble self-righteousness…

Oh, poor wittow you… so misunderstood (we understand just fine), so picked on (yes, brute facts are so… well… brutish), so victimized (imagine, the gall of other people actually caring about what’s true rather than go along with your deceitful beliefs repackaged as if immune from reality’s facts).

Yes, Madblog, once again you are the victim. But what you won’t wrap your head around is the fact that you are deserving of contemptuous treatment because you treat facts with such blatant contempt and dismissal. You cannot seem to summon forth the intestinal fortitude to admit that you were wrong, that you claims were factually wrong, as if the sky will fall and the world will shatter should you ‘lower’ yourself to the same standards of respecting what’s true that so many others submit to willingly.

But not you. No way. You’re too special a snowflake (what with God Himself whispering insight into your selected ears… [But I’m not worthy, Lord! Look how humble I am!). Everyone else should treat you and your diversionary comments (meant to avoid the issue of you getting your facts confused with your incorrect beliefs) with respect and just go along with your exemption… because you deserve it, of course. I mean, God Himself selected you – humble as you are – so hey, we should too and presume your disregard for facts is perfectly reasonable and quite acceptable.

Umm… no.

The problem here, Madblog, is not with others. It is entirely with and on you.

By all means let’s have an adult conversation, but that involves you giving up your demand for special privileging from facts. Without accepting that ground rule, your comments are without truth value. AT ALL. They are devoid of any intellectual integrity and lack any respect for what is the case; rather, they just become bullhorn pronouncements of your beliefs imposed on a reality we share accompanied by a demand by you that we treat them with equivalent respect to what’s actually the case. Ain’t gunna happen, ever, except by mewling apologists who are willing to forego their own respect for reality and grant to you the privilege you demand….

…And this goes to the heart of my criticism of Madblog’s commentary methodology shared by her cabal: she brooks no criticism from reality. It’s not a question of ‘framing’; it’s a question of integrity and honesty. Without those, I do offer contempt to a commentator who says she desires respect for her contribution but is unwilling to offer it to commentary saddled by inconvenient facts and troubling questions…

According to Madblog who says she’s no advocate for the gun lobby (there a Red Flag), his point is a fiction, is a product of buying into propaganda, of falling for the media’s intention to deceive. Not Madblog, of course…. she can see through the Left Wing media fog and get at The Truth (TM). Her argument revolves around the point she thinks has not been reported in the media that the bill failed because it goes against the principle of having the right to a well armed militia (interpreted by non-Wild West Americans Supreme Court Justices to be the right for individuals – including suspected terrorists and terrorist sympathizers – to arm themselves however they see fit). She then claims that the perception of a ‘Wild West’ mentality by Americans to justify this massive gun ownership by the civilian population of the United States determined to avoid any reasonable restrictions on firearms and ammunition available to the general public designed for maximum kill potential over the shortest time possible is actually a Left Wing media fiction.

Now, this goes far beyond how an issue is framed. It delves into making claims that are factually incorrect and offers no counterbalance to the points raised by X. Madbolog, as she does on her own blog when challenged by compelling contrary evidence, simply declares that this mountain of evidence is nonsense and waves it away. Challenging that assertion leads her into claiming victimhood. She’s right on script. And so on.

There is no means to have a reasonable and rational discussion with such a person who uses this methodology to protect her beliefs – no matter what they are, no matter how they are framed – from honest inquiry…

…You’re so dishonest recognizing when your beliefs do not mesh with compelling evidence from reality that you can’t even do that much. That’s why you earn allies like X who suffer from the same faith-fueled colossal arrogance and intellectual hypocrisy. This method you think armors you against making factual mistakes makes you in fact foolish….

...No, we wouldn’t want reality to intrude on your very correct and godly beliefs. You don’t do reality. You only do your beliefs. That’s why you ban anyone on your blog who insists we respect what it has to say in the whatever the matter under consideration may be…

And that’s edited for context. When cited for rudeness by blog owner, this:

Although I think your criticism of my tone is fair, I would prefer it to be qualified as ‘contempt’ which I think includes the others and I come by it honestly. Doesn’t mean I have to say it, however, but I think it serves those who might wish to take Madblog’s ‘request’ to heart when she asks us “fellow bloggers, you’re hearing a lot of sensationalized crap. Please be more discerning.” Well, my commentary IS just that: more discerning because it is filled with justifiable contempt for Madblog’s tone, style, content, and method.


…You just can’t make this stuff up.