Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Plight of the Rhino

Unbound: On the Horns of a Dilemma in South Africa -- National Geographic Traveler

A fine piece of writing with a dramatic proposal - shoot-to-kill, not the rhino, but the poacher.

Driven by Asian prosperity and folk-medicine claim's for the healing and and sexual-stimulant power of ground rhino horn (you might as well eat fingernails or hair, because that's what the horns are made of), on the street, it's worth more than gold and heroine.

This National Geographic writer is clear, and so am I - if we want to preserve the rhino who has no defense against poachers with high-powered machine guns and rifles, only drastic measures will do it.

A shoot-to-kill policy, high fines and prison terms.

Yet, this will only deal with the poachers, not the demand.

If anything, it'll only drive up demand.

Most needed: the UN and other organizations need to step up to the plate and challenge Asian governments to counter folk-medicine silliness (not all folk medicine is silly, I know that, but this is) and impose serious penalties on anyone dealing in rhino horn. Not only must measures be taken at the site where the rhino lives, but at the point of demand.

It's high time for China and other Asian countries, dripping with cash, to confront this tragedy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Abortion as "Child Abuse"?

From my good FB friend Craig Hexham:

He writes:

Driving home from work today, came across a billboard paid for by Michigan "Right to Life" [sic]. It stated, "Abortion: the ultimate child abuse." 

Struck me as odd. How about the two year old who experiences weeks and months of abuse--burns, hits, pinches, and neglect, before finally being dashed to death against the living room wall? 

How about the four year old who, in imitation of his policeman father, gets the gun while dad's not looking and kills himself? 

How about the six year old who's repeatedly sexually molested by her grandfather? 

How about the ten year old with medical problems who is stuffed upside down in a trash can at school by his peers because he is small and wears leg braces? 

How about the fifteen year old who is wanted by neither parent when they divorce? 

How about the seventeen year old with skittles and iced tea who is terrorized by a maniac with a firearm? 

How about the eighteen year old who's told he's a man when he's killed his first "enemy combatant? 

...and these are just the ones from the last few days news. I haven't gotten started about the kids in other countries who aren't as "lucky" as the ones I've already mentioned.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Jesus then reminds the disciples of what is prayed in the LORD’S Prayer ever day, all around the world: If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you don't forgive them, they aren't forgiven.
We cannot mistake the words of Jesus as if he were saying “forgiveness is an option.”
“Will I forgive, or will I not?” - forgiveness is never an option in the Kingdom of God. To forgive is divine; to fail to forgive is death.

Forgiveness IS the story.
Forgiveness IS the life and work of Jesus.
Forgiveness IS the heart and soul of the gospel.
Forgiveness IS the power of peace.
Peace with God.
Peace with one another.
Peace among the nations.
God did not fail in the work of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not an option for God.
As if God ponders the question:
Shall I forgive them or not?
Shall I release them from their sin, or shall I hold them accountable?
Shall I forget what they’ve done, so that we can all move on from here … or shall I wallow in my hurt and my pain, and constantly throw it in their face?
God doesn’t play games with forgiveness.
And neither must we.

But forgiveness always comes through the cross.
The New Testament is full of the language of the cross … our cross, our crucifixion, our death with Christ.
With Christ, our old instincts of violence and war are crucified, dead and buried.
The spirit of vengeance and grudge-holding that lurks in our heart …
Bitter memories that take up endless time and dominate our emotions … 
We die with Christ on the cross.
So that the old can pass away, and we’re raised up with Christ, with something new at the center of our life, something new to give away, a better way to live and a better way to love.