Sunday, January 30, 2011

A little on the cold side today in PG



Hi: -16°

Partly cloudy. Frigid. Temperature of -16°C. Winds ENE 14km/h. Humidity will be 69% with a dewpoint of -20° and feels-like temperature of -23°C.

Lo: -31°

Partly cloudy. Frigid. Temperature of -16°C. Winds ENE 14km/h. Humidity will be 91% with a dewpoint of -32° and feels-like temperature of -43°C.


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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Real State of the Union ...

In a word picture, we are at the homecoming banquet in our hometown as the coach is giving a speech. He has entered his third season of leading the team. Many game plays for the last two years resulted in losses and more interceptions than several of the previous coaches combined. The enrollment process is a problem while scholarships are being given to kids from other communities who do not love our town but the school board doesn't care. His game strategies have strengthened our competitors while the coaching staff is ecstatic and the head of the school board keeps assuring everyone that the rate of progress is awesome! And while the sports program is falling apart, they are leading the school to spend itself into debt.

And yet throughout the speech, was is the euphoria all about as the crowd is on its feet? He is an effective speaker, distancing himself from what has happened. But to separate rhetoric from the results of his administration, what is this trill to clap while he promises more new plays and strategies?

So now, wouldn't that be a shock? Would you really expect a standing ovation? Know this! It would never happen in my hometown because those people are way too sharp. And it would never happen in any of the cities where the pros live! True sports fans are not aborigines from the backside of some desert, people without an education or the ability to think about football. And they still always have a sense to win.

And yet it works on Capital Hill. With all of that hair spray and polished shoes, they appear to be smart people. But standing ovations! Somebody explain it to me.

from our old friend - Charlie Carlie

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Billy Graham delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

This was brought to my attention by an older pastor friend. (Happy Birthday, Doc)

A question about the Bible? Go ask an atheist

Although most Americans profess some level of Christian faith, surveys suggest atheists and Jews know significantly more about religion

Read more:

It does not exactly inspire confidence about the future of North America to learn that atheists and agnostics are less ignorant about religion than most Christians.

The United States is the most religious, most Christian, developed nation on the planet. The Bible infuses American politics. But, paradoxically, the rate of religious literacy south of the border is dismal.

A disturbing poll by the respected Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals that U.S. atheists and agnostics, as well as Jews and Mormons, know more about religion than do most of the strong majority of Americans who are Protestants and Catholics.

However, even while these four subgroups show a relatively decent ability to name Genesis as the first book of the Bible or that most people in Pakistan are Muslims, the overall level of religious literacy in the U.S. remains about as low as a drunken beer hall argument.

Fewer than half of Americans can name the four Christian gospels, according to the Pew survey of 3,400 adult Americans. That's the same grim statistic that describes how many know the Dalai Lama is Buddhist, the Koran is Muslims' holy book and that Martin Luther inspired the Protestant Reformation.

One-third of Americans falsely believe, according to other polls, that evangelist Billy Graham delivered the Sermon on the Mount. (It was Jesus.) And more than half of Americans do not recognize that Judaism is a religion.

Religious knowledge surveys are good at serving up black humour too. An early poll showed one in 10 Americans believe Joan of Arc was Noah's wife. Another one in five believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were a married couple.

The implications of this religious ignorance are huge for the U.S., where more than nine out of 10 believe in God and 85 per cent profess some form of Christian faith.

However, I suspect smugness is not in order for Canadians (four out of five of whom believe in God, and two out of three who show at least a lingering loyalty to Christianity).

I would guess Canadians would do only slightly less poor than most Americans on the Pew Forum's quiz, which you can still take online (if you dare).

On average, U.S. atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons correctly answered between 20 to 21 of the Pew Forum's 32 questions on Christianity, world religions and laws governing faith in public life.

White evangelicals, however, averaged scores of only 17, while white Catholics and mainline Protestants were able to answer just 16 of the questions.

Why is such cluelessness dangerous for us all?

Boston College Prof. Stephen Prothero has outlined some of the worries in a best-selling book titled Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know -and Doesn't (Harper San Francisco).

Prothero's arguments go far beyond concern over how North Americans are becoming unable to understand the Biblical references of a host of writers, from Shakespeare to William Faulkner, Robertson Davies to Mordecai Richler.

Nor would many North Americans now understand the Jewish link when TV announcers refer to "David and Goliath," says Prothero. Or when politicians urge compassion for strangers by citing the New Testament story of the Good Samaritan.

What is even more significant is that Christian illiteracy runs rampant at the same time two out of three Americans believe the Bible has the answer to all of life's important questions.

During the recent Bush administration, nine out of 10 members of the U.S. Congress said they always consult the Bible before voting on legislation.

The frightening social implications of North Americans' lack of knowledge about the Bible they profess to take so seriously -- or about other religions -- is perhaps most important when it comes to foreign affairs.

The U.S., Canada and other quasi-Christian Western nations are embroiled in long wars against two Muslim countries, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet, in an era marked by the West's "war on [Islamic] terrorism," most North Americans' understandings about Muslims remains at a "kindergarten" level, Prothero maintains.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York, some politicians tried to counter claims by the powerful Religious Right that "Islam is a religion of war" with the sweeping generalization that "Islam is a religion of peace."

Swept up by emotions, however, the majority of Americans had no knowledge on which to make any judgment. The Pew Forum study found that half could not name the Koran as the Muslim holy book, or Ramadan as an Islamic festival. Fewer yet knew any differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

Given that most Americans profess some loyalty to Christianity, Prothero is also justified in worrying that their devotion to church leaders and the Bible is increasingly governed by sentimentalism ( "All that matters is I love Jesus") and super-charged moralism.

What happened to the Christian emphasis on intellect? With notable exceptions, a majority of American Christians don't bother to look up what Jesus actually said in the New Testament, or how various Christian denominations have handled important ethical questions.

This is not to let Canadians off the hook. I worry that Canadians, who are more inclined to be atheistic or agnostic than Americans, might take comfort in believing they would do better on the Pew Forum's religious knowledge quiz.

That self-satisfaction could even be more of a temptation in British Columbia, which has the most atheists on the continent -- 14 per cent of the population, compared to four per cent in the U.S. As an atheist Vancouver Sun colleague told me: "I'm not surprised at the Pew findings. We know what we're rejecting."

Which might be true, but only to a point. While the religious knowledge of the new celebrity foes of faith -- such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris -- is no doubt better than the U.S. average, it often falls frustratingly short. Dawkins et al. almost always find ways to avoid dealing with the insights of religious intellectuals.

Instead of believing that Canadians, and critics of religion, may have reason to feel good about their level of religious understanding, I would maintain the relatively high number of atheists in Canada, combined with the incredible diversity brought to this country by Asian immigration, make up strong reasons that Canada is in a position to lead the way on building more religious literacy.

Canadians need to know not only what Christians and Muslims think. They need to understand what beliefs fuel the actions of their next-door neighbours, who are often likely to be Buddhists, Jews, Hindus or Sikhs.

How can we better educate Canadians about their own religions, about the faiths of others, and about the philosophical beliefs behind secular humanism?

I join Prothero in suggesting we follow the European model and make world religion courses, also called world view courses, a regular and mandatory aspect of kindergarten-to-Grade 12 education.

As much as many university academics might hate it, I also suggest it would be beneficial to require one religious studies course of anyone wanting to obtain a bachelor's degree in Canada.

North American religious illiteracy threatens both our well-being as members of a civil society, and raises the spectre of grave misunderstandings in foreign policy.

Educators should not give in to the kind of unfounded anxiety that has traditionally barred efforts to make world religion courses a part of every Canadians' education.

Many in Canada's education system seem to have the same false belief of three in four Americans, who admitted to the Pew Forum pollsters they didn't know public school teachers are allowed to read from the Bible and other sacred texts as an example of literature.

As long as there is no sectarian preaching in public-school classrooms, there is absolutely no law in Canada or the U.S. against teaching facts and history about religious and other value-laden world views.

What exactly should be taught about religions in our schools?

Educators can start with the 60-page Dictionary of Religious Literacy that makes up the last third of Prospero's book. It covers almost everything that a reasonably informed adult should know about religion -- from Islamic fatwas to the Last Supper, from Reform Judaism to the Second Coming.

The time has come for many more Canadian educators to be teaching about Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Martin Luther and the Vatican, as well as about noted atheists such as Albert Camus and Bertrand Russell.

I can almost guarantee most people would find such world view courses revealing, and possibly even life-changing. At the minimum, for anyone with an open mind, they would at least be a bit of fun.

Read douglas todd's blog at

Monday, January 10, 2011

The English Standard Version Exposed By Dr. Ken Matto

The English Standard Version is an updated version of the Revised Standard of the National Council of Churches. The NCC has never been a Christian organization but is a Socialist organization like the World Council of Churches. When you purchase an ESV, you are helping fund the NCC which is another enemy of Christ and true Christians. You will see that the ESV is just another rewrite of the corrupted manuscripts which underlie every other modern false version. You will also see that the ESV, like the NIV and the Holman Christian Standard Bible have absolute agreement with the Roman Catholic New American Bible and the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation.

The ESV is based on the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible as found in Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (2nd ed., 1983), and on the Greek text in the 1993 editions of the Greek New Testament (4th corrected ed.), published by the United Bible Societies (UBS), and Novum Testamentum Graece (27th ed.), edited by Nestle and Aland. -- From the ESV official Website

The Historic Legacy of the ESV The ESV stands in the classic mainstream of English Bible translations over the past half-millennium. The fountainhead of that stream was William Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526; marking its course were the King James Version of 1611 (KJV), the English Revised Version of 1885 (RV), the American Standard Version of 1901 (ASV), and the Revised Standard Version of 1952 and 1971 (RSV). In that stream, faithfulness to the text and vigorous pursuit of accuracy were combined with simplicity, beauty, and dignity of expression.

The words and phrases of the ESV grow out of the Tyndale-King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV, with the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for the ESV text. Archaic language was brought to current usage and significant corrections were made in the translation of key texts. But throughout, the translators’ goal was to retain the depth of meaning and enduring language that have made their indelible mark on the English-speaking world and have defined the life and doctrine of the church over the last four centuries.

(From the Official ESV Website) The King James verse will come first with the tampered portion underlined.

KJB - King James Bible

ESV - English Standard Version

NWT - New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses

NAB - New American Bible of the Roman Catholic Church

Matthew 8:29 KJB: And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

ESV: And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?"

NWT: And, look! they screamed, saying: "What have we to do with you, Son of God? Did you come here to torment us before the appointed time?"

NAB: With a sudden shriek they cried: "Why meddle with us, Son of God? Have you come to torture us before the appointed time?"

Matthew 17:21 KJB: Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

ESV: Omitted

NWT: Omitted

NAB: [This kind does not leave but by prayer and fasting.] (Placed in Brackets)

Matthew 18:11 KJB: For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

ESV: Omitted

NWT: Omitted

NAB: Omitted

Matthew 19:9 KJB: And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

ESV: And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery."

NWT: I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery."

NAB: I now to say to you, whoever divorces his wife (lewd conduct is a separate case) and marries another commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

Matthew 27:35 KJB: And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

ESV: And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.

NWT: When they had impaled him they distributed his outer garments by casting lots.

NAB: When they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among them casting lots.

Mark 6:11 KJB: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

ESV: And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them."

NWT: And wherever a place will not receive you nor hear you, on going out from there shake off the dirt that is beneath your feet for a witness to them"

NAB: If any place will not receive you or hear you, shake its dust from your feet in testimony against them as you leave.

Mark 9:44, 46 KJB:{ 44} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. {46} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

ESV: Omitted

NWT: Omitted

NAB: Omitted

Mark 11:26 KJB: But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

ESV: Omitted

NWT: Omitted

NAB: Omitted

Mark 15:28 KJB: And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

ESV: Omitted

NWT: Omitted

NAB: Omitted

Luke 2:33 KJB: And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

ESV: And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.

NWT: And its father and mother continued wondering at the things being spoken about it.

NAB: The child's father and mother were marveling at what was being said about him.

Luke 4:4 KJB: And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

ESV: And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'"

NWT: But Jesus replied to him: "It is written, 'Man must not live by bread alone.'"

NAB: Jesus answered him, "Scripture has it, 'Not on bread alone shall man live.'"

Luke 9:55 KJB: But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

ESV: But he turned and rebuked them.

NWT: But he turned and reproved them

NAB: He turned toward them only to reprimand them.

Luke 9:56 KJB: For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

ESV: And they went on to another village.

NWT: So they went to a different village.

NAB: Then they set off for another town.

Luke 17:36 KJB: Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

ESV: Omitted

NWT: Omitted

NAB: Omitted

Luke 23:17 KJB: (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

ESV: Omitted

NWT: Omitted

NAB: Omitted

Luke 23:38 KJB: And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

ESV: There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."

NWT: There was also an inscription over him: "This is the king of the Jews."

NAB: There was an inscription over his head: "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."

John 3:15 KJB: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

ESV: that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

This came to me via an email.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Could this happen in North America??

Somali Islamists ban men, women from shaking hands

Somali women holding banners reading "Allah is Great" march in  Mogadishu, Saturday, Jan. 1, 211, during a mass demonstration in support of the recent AP – Somali women holding banners reading 'Allah is Great' march in Mogadishu, Saturday, Jan. 1, 211, during …

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalis say Islamist insurgents have banned unrelated men and women from shaking hands, speaking or walking together.

Residents of the southern Somali town of Jowhar said Saturday that the al-Shabab insurgents threatened to whip, imprison or execute anyone found breaking the recent edicts.

Resident Hussein Ali says he will no longer greet women he knows for fear of punishment.

Student Hamdi Osman says gunmen are searching buses for improperly dressed women or women traveling alone. She says she was once beaten for wearing Somali traditional dress instead of the long, shapeless black robes favored by the fighters.

The insurgents have already banned women from working in public, leaving many families completely destitute.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011