Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Phil Cooke asks Jesus to resign His Role To Get People to Like Christians

Phil Cooke
Here's today's Scandal of Christianity.

Today, September 9, 2015, Christian filmmaker (in Hollywood), and media public relations guru, Phil Cooke, wrote the following post (found below in black).

In my opinion, Phil has set a dangerous precedent by advocating the abdication of moral leadership given to Christians by the citizenry through elections. What he advocates is exactly what Christians did in Hollywood, media and entertainment in general. They walked away. Phil Cooke says that Kim Davis should have resigned her job, and walked away from the controversy that, he says, has cast Christians in a bad light. I wonder if he would have suggested that Jesus do the same thing so that Christians would not be eventually thrown to the lions? Of course is doing what Phil (the PR guru) recommends, the void is filled by those with less moral foundation to run the clerk's office. He also says, quite plainly, that that civil law is above God's law. (As Christians, he says, "we don’t get to pick and choose which laws to obey".) 

Phil is a respected filmmaker and Christian in Hollywood. This extended post is necessary, I think, to help Christians not fall into his Politically Correct (PC) state of mind, and stand firmly for what is good, true, and beautiful. See my comments in-between his post, which is below.  My response is in purple. Link to Phil's original post and the comments it attracted.

Why Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis Isn’t A Christian Hero

by Phil Cooke

There have been tens of thousands of social media posts, as well as numerous Christian websites calling Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis a Christian “hero” or “martyr” for her refusal to obey the law and provide marriage licenses for same sex couples. Her refusal, after receiving multiple orders to do so, led to her arrest and she landed in the Carter County Detention Center where crowds have been standing outside chanting for her release. But is Kim Davis a Christian hero for standing on her convictions? Are people right in admiring her and calling her a martyr for her faith?
Like it or not, same-sex marriage is now legal, and as citizens of the United States, we don’t get to pick and choose which laws to obey.
Phil, as Christians our responsibility is to obey God first, and then, and only then, if a civil law doesn't contract God's laws, are we required to obey them.

Friday, August 28, 2015

I Can't Believe in a God that Sends People to Hell

Here's another reason "atheism" is an irrational choice of the will.

Twice today I have encountered so called "atheists" who make the claim found in this blog's title. By itself it's proof that atheists hold to a belief system that requires more (blind) faith that what they decry.

Claiming a disbelief in a God that sends people to hell, assumes several things:

a. That God sends people to hell.

b. That God has the power to send people to hell.

c. That there's such a place as hell, to begin with.

d. That the person's going to hell have no say in the matter and are forced by said God to go to hell.


I don't know about you, but reason (that concept associated with logic) tells me:

1. If you can't believe in a God that sends people to hell, you must believe in a  God that sends people to heaven.

And of course, that begs the question. Is the claimed disbelief because he's sending everyone to hell, or just a few? And if just a few, why is that?

2. If an entity exists that has the power to send people to hell, then what name should we assign to that entity who has so much power over human beings? "He Overtly Condemns?" Can we shorten that to HOC? Can we then believe in HOC?

3. If there's a place called "hell," which is commonly referred to as a place of punishment, doesn't that assume there's a place called "not-hell" that might be a place of reward?

4. Is it possible that the entity that is claimed to be sending people to hell (that some refuse to believe in) loves them so much he allows them to go against his will and desire, and reject him, hate him, not believe in him...and consequently choose hell instead of that other place? Perhaps He (whoever HE is) isn't sending anyone to hell. Maybe we get to CHOOSE. Now, that's  unconditional love. If you want to walk off a cliff and fall to your death, I love you so much that I won't stop you...unless you ask me to stop you. But to do that you have to, ah believe that I can. Right?



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ford Motor Company and LGBT Promoters are the Intolerant Bigots

The unfortunate thing about dictionaries is that they define words based on their usage, and if the usage is ambiguous or equivocal, the dictionary is, by function, destined to promulgate such confusion.  This contributes to social unrest and misunderstanding when words lose their ability to discriminate from one another, and individuals and social groups argue past each other by using the same terms but not the same underlying definitions.

Terms that have fallen prey to such catastrophic use are  "intolerance," "discriminate" and "bigot."

In the social conversations about the acceptance or rejection of LGBT values, individuals and groups that are against LGBT values are often derogatorily called "intolerant," "bigots," and their disagreement with LGBT values "discriminatory."  Where those supporting LGBT values are called "fair-minded," and "loving." But

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sweet Cakes Tolerance vs. Tyranny. Who's the Bully? Brad Avakian?

Regarding: Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon will have to pay $60,000 in damages to Laurel Bowman-Cryer, and $75,000 in damages to Rachel Bowman-Cryer so rules Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian.

Let's define tolerance and intolerance, discrimination and prejudice, shall we?

"Discrimination" is not necessarily a bad thing. The laws of the land discriminate between what politicians determine is right and wrong. Religions discriminate between what theologians determine is right and wrong. Personally, we discriminate between whom we make friends with and who we don't. It's good to discriminate against criminals and bad influences.

The same can be said of the term "prejudice." The law is prejudice in favor of those that obey the law and is prejudice against those that disobey the law. God is prejudice against sinners, and prejudice in favor of the righteous....by his rules of discrimination, by the way.

For a bakery to discriminate against a homosexual couple and refuse to bake a cake for their commitment ceremony, and letting the couple buy a cake somewhere else is tolerant.

Throwing homosexuals off roof-tops to kill them is

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Double Dog Dare

David Lewis Crawford - Family Songs from a Whimsical Heart 
 Approved therapy for parents.
AUDIO - CD



  • Behavior Modificationary Blues (3:41) 
  • Our Love Is Forever (5:58)
  • Double Dog Dare (3:29)
  • Pachelbel Bedtime (3:18)
  • In My Dreams (3:18)
  • Spoiled Bumblebee (1:51)    
  • Heelies (2:57)
  • Walkin' Daddy Blues (3:15)
  • Sabre Dance Morning (2:30)
  • Your Eyes (3:37)   
  • I'm Travelin' On (3:09)  



  •  
    David is an singer-songwriter treasure whose humorous songs are a mellow blend of down-home folk, whimsey and romance, with touches of blues, classical and country. Think Glen Campbell and Allan Sherman. Fans claim his songs are sweet and pure like the smell of fabric softener expelled from a clothes dryer on a hot summer day. Other times they sound like a seal barking for help on a mid-summer glacier flow with several hungry polar bears closing in. Whatever you want to call it, his witty and endearing lyrics are matched only by melodies that lodge in your brain like cotton candy that sticks to the roof of your mouth.
    DAVID LEWIS CRAWFORD: DOUBLE DOG DARE
    50% Discount
    $7.48

    Friday, June 26, 2015

    Protestantism's Moral Relativism the Cause of Supreme's Ruling on Marriage

    Protestantism has been protesting moral truth for almost 500 years. Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants have been protesting each other. Each sees truth in their own eyes and have rejected the infallible truth that God gave the Church. That's why there are tens of thousands of interpretations of the Bible resulting in as many denominations, each refusing the other. So, such Christians, even Catholics who dissent from Church teaching, have no station to complain of the Supreme's ruling on marriage. Like Protestants, the Supremes interpret things as they want. There is no standard. Welcome to Protestant America...and The Scandal of Christianity. 

    Friday, June 12, 2015

    A Christin's Life is Like Architectural Hand-Lettering

    Modeling our life after good architectural lettering provides some simple and clear techniques for living the good life:

    1. Honor the legibility and consistency of your moral life above all else.

    2. Use guide lines (rubrics, hedges) to ensure uniformity and clarity in all your decisions.

    3. Emphasize in your outward actions your inward motivations of love and compassion.

    4. Give your actions a slight upward tilt to convey hope.

    5. Curve your judgments like a balloon to provide fullness and dignity.

    6. Be attentive to the space and time between what you say and what you do. Be accountable.

    (Inspired by Matthew Frederick's 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School)

    Sunday, June 7, 2015

    Spoiled, Bumblebee

    Imagine these lyrics sung by a five-year old daughter confronting her parents in the aisle of a toy store... at the speed and to the tune of Rimsky-Korsakov's “The Flight of the Bumblebee.” Can you do it in 1 min: 49 seconds?

    Spoiled Little Girl:
    Daddy!
    Can I have it?
    Oh, I need it!
    Can I have it?
    Will you get it for me, daddy?
    I can’t live without it, daddy.
    It’s so pretty and I love it.
    Will you buy me what I covet?
    I’ll be good, I promise daddy?
    ...if you let me have it now.
    Please dad. Now I need it!
    And I want it!
    Can’t believe you never bought it.
    It’s the newest in the set...
    ...and it’s the bestest of the best.
    There’s not a toy I love more...
    ...in this entire toy store.
    And this doll is so sublime.
    But for a limited time.

    Determined Dad:
    No! No! No! No! No! No!
    No! No! No! No! No! No!
    No! No! No! No! No! No!

    Spoiled Little Girl:
    I’ll go ask my mom, and
    ...then I’ll tell on you, ‘cause
    You are being very mean to me.
    (she finds mommy in the next aisle)
    Mommy, can I have it?
    Oh, I need it can I have it?
    Will you get it for me, Mommy?
    I can’t live without it, mommy.
    It’s so pretty and I love it.
    Will you buy me what I covet?
    I’ll be good I promise.

    Patient Mother:
    Tell me what did daddy say?
    Tell me what did daddy say?

    Spoiled Little Girl:
    Daddy, daddy he said, “No!”
    But he was being very mean.
    (Sob)
    You never let me have it.
    What I want you never get me.
    You don’t like me!
    You don’t love me!
    And you wish you never had me!
    If you loved me then you’d buy it.
    But instead you make me cry.
    It happens every single time.
    I don’t know why I even try.
    I’m gonna fuss and scream and shout.
    And then I’ll whine and moan and pout.
    And then I’ll pitch a little fit.
    And then my eyes I’m gonna squint.
    I’m gonna lay here on the floor.
    'Cause you don’t love me anymore.
    You never buy me any stuff.
    And when you do it’s not enough.
    What did I ever do except to.
    Love and honor you?
    You never let me have my way.

    Fit to Be Tied Daddy:
    You never listen anyway.
    You’ve got at least a dozen dolls like this at home.
    You never play with them.
    They sit there all alone.

    Spoiled Little Girl:
    (Tantrum interlude)

    That's It Daddy:
    You can act this way while we’re inside the store.
    'Cause the cameras.
    They are all set to record.
    But when we get into the van.
    I’m gonna whip your little can.
    Unless you get up off the floor.
    'Cause I can’t take it anymore.
    Instead of buying that new doll.
    We can go home and play some ball.
    So, let’s go home.

    SPOILED BUMBLE BEE
    David Lewis Crawford, on his music CD
    DOUBLE DOG DARE
    Family Songs from a Whimsical Heart
    "Approved Therapy for Parents and Grandparents"

    Saturday, June 6, 2015

    Do Catholics Read the Bible?

    Excerpt from the book version of

    What Catholics Really Believe 
    by Dr. Ray Guarendi & Fr. Kevin Fete 

    Chapter 2. The Bible 

    DRG (Dr. Ray Guarendi): Thank you. Why can't Catholics read the Bible for themselves?

    FKF (Fr. Kevin Fete ): First of all, the perception is that Catholics don't read the Bible, and that is not true. That's a falsehood. Catholics, first of all, come to Church, and they hear the passages of the Scripture - Old Testament, New Testament, and the Gospel - at every Mass. They are preached the Gospel message in the homilies that are prepared for them by the priest and delivered during the Mass. There are Bible study groups in many, many of the parishes and many of the homes and amongst the families of the Catholic believing community.

    What we have concern with isn't that people read or do not read the Scriptures, but do become their own authority with regard to how the Bible is interpreted. And there's where we have the concern, wanting people to stay within the context of the Scripture themselves and within the Tradition of the Church.

    http://www.ninevehscrossing.com/WCRB-3UP.php 

    Original Production Catholic Television Network, 
    Youngstown, Ohio.
    Producer – Dr. Ray Guarendi
    Director – Rev. Jeff Mickler
    Post Enhancement and Production by SWC Films
    Producer – Stan Williams
    Editor – Michael Sroka
    Answer Guide – Dave Armstrong
    Editor – Stanley D. Williams, PH.D.

     

    Friday, June 5, 2015

    MONOGAMY, ONCE A GOOD IDEA, NOW RULED ILLEGAL


    IT'S ABOUT GRAVITY

    In a previous post the headline read: "Gravity, once a good idea, now ruled illegal."

    I claimed that "gravity" and "marriage" were and are similarly defined by Natural Law. One reader took exception and said that "marriage" was an invention of man. I countered that the term "marriage" was indeed an invention of man, much like the term "gravity." But that the essence of both were scientifically defined by certain unalterable rules, which, if ignored, had undesirable consequences for the health and sustenance of the species.

    In the previous post, I cited "unitive" and "procreative" as the two concepts enshrined in Catholic teaching that suggested where scientists should look for evidence of the natural law effect of a heterosexual couple's sexual union.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015

    Gravity, Once Considered a Good Idea, Now Ruled Illegal

    Gravity, perhaps, is Natural Law's most obvious witness. This essay suggests that the traditional concept of Marriage is a close second.

    Traditional Marriage is best defined by Natural Law—the rules of the universe that describe unalterable reality. It is the ubiquitous presence of natural law's order found in the physical, psychological, and moral realms that defines some of the most astonishing attributes of God—the heavens declare the glory of God. That is, God is revealed in the quantifiable, visible, mathematical, supreme order of the universe and that such order is immutable.

    Yet, some courts and lawmakers think they can mess with Nature. Yes, they can make any choice they want, but they have no choice over the consequences. Only Natural Law will determine the outcome. One such example of the Supreme Court's mistakes in this regard was 1857 Dred Scott Decision that concluded African Salves were property, not U.S. Citizens. Natural Law disagreed... and the consequence was the Civil War, ...which then led to the 14th Amendment.

    But is "marriage," as the Catholic Church defines it, really capable of being defined and defended by Natural Law?

    UNITIVE AND PROCREATIVE

    An often-ignored principle of Catholicism is that its practice and purpose is to succinctly define Natural Law in its doctrines and practical teachings so the faithful can follow nature more easily and thus live more happily.

    Thus, it's not surprising that what the Church says about marriage is vastly supported by medical and social science. But it takes some careful reading to see it. And, it would help society if our Bishops were more publicly vocal and assertive. The Church is called to be salt and light. But it is often lost its saltiness and its batteries seem dead when the dark invades. So, let me try to make a candle and light it...I've got some bees wax here somewhere.

    Paragraph 2366 of the Catechism states:
    The inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.
    In this sentence, the Church claims that marriage is defined uniquely by these two terms alone: (1) unitive and (2) procreative. Pundits might want to add that marriage is "between one man and one woman" or that marriage is a "permanent" relationship. But as we will come to understand, the terms unitive and procreative make such clarification redundant (although for the common communication the esoteric is often not enough and more wordy formulations are necessary.)

    So, is there evidence from science and Natural Law that the concepts of a unitive relationship combined with a procreative relationship are possible for homosexual relationships, or are they reserved for heterosexual relationships?

    ONE FLESH

    A Unitive Relationship implies that the relationship creates "one flesh" through the congeal act. On the surface, this has one (1) meaning—the temporary physical union of the persons. While this is possible on the surface with male-on-male homosexual relationships, it is not possible with a lesbian relationship. Yet, with male-female unions it is always possible.

    If we add the Procreative component, the unitive relationship of a male-female union has a second (2) and more significant meaning. For, only then can the "two "flesh" produce the "one flesh" of a baby. This is not the typical interpretation of the Mark 10 passage, below, but it is true.

    For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. (Mark 10:6–8)
    But there is yet another way that only a male and female can become one.

    WHEN UNPROTECTED SEX IS GOOD SEX

    Getting deeper into science, there is a third (3) meaning to unitive, which we discover goes far deeper than physical copulation, and is more subtle than having a baby...and it is only possible in heterosexual relationships.

    Science has discovered that male semen plasma, apart from conveying nourishing sperm on their way to the female's eggs, contains a host of vitamins and nutrients that benefit the female by providing to the female's blood stream (a) antidepressants, (b) several mood-elevating compounds, (c) antigens that can help prevent breast cancer, and (d) agents that lower blood pressure helping to prevent preeclampsia conditions.

    These discoveries came out of research that studied heterosexual vs. lesbian couples. Women who were in lesbian relationships, or women who used condoms, had a higher probability of depression and thoughts of suicide, higher blood pressure and a higher affinity for breast cancer.

    Thus, unprotected sex, which allows semen plasma to be absorbed into the woman's blood stream becomes yet another layer of meaning to the concept of unitive as chemicals (not just sperm) from male are passed into the female.

    Further, this passing of chemicals reinforces the procreative component of the definition of marriage by making the woman physically healthier, apart from producing a baby. Benefits that are absent in all homosexual unions.

    There is more to consider in my next essay on the natural law and science surrounding monogamy. But, with only the information presented above, the legal attempts to redefine the natural law of marriage suggests that someday a hauteur will ask the courts to upend gravity. I can see the headline now: GRAVITY, ONCE CONSIDERED A GOOD IDEA, RULED ILLEGAL.

    And, that's why I'm Catholic.

    Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D.

    Next Time: What Does Natural Law Say About Monogamy?

    (SOURCES: Aside from the citations referenced in the text, this essay made liberal use of cited medical journal references found in Wikipedia's articles on marriage, semen and polygamy.)


    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    Knowing and Doing God's Will vs. Being IN God's Will

    "Knowing and Doing God's Will" is a lot different than being in it.

    In 2004 I was the captain of our 41-foot sailing vessel FAMILY TIES during a 4-day weekend vacation in the Great Lakes. On board was my wife Pam, our son, Josh, and his family with two young children.

    In the early morning we had motored out of our marina into the Detroit River, out across Lake St. Clair, then up against the St. Clair river's 3-knot current and stayed overnight in Sarnia Bay Marina in Canada. The next day we headed out under the Blue Water Bridge that connects the U.S.and Canada, and east across Lake Huron. We were hoping to sail but there was no wind. It was so hot in the August sun that we stopped in the middle of this huge and deep Great Lake and went swimming.

    Family Ties stops to let her crew go swimming in
    300-feet of southern Lake Huron and a wind-free day.
    Photo by Stan from the dinghy. 
    After an overnight in the Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada marina we headed back to Lexington, MI. Again, no wind. This was no fun. The boat, with it's old engine, cruised at just under 6 knots, and although under full sail, it didn't go much faster. At least there was a breeze that made you think you were going faster.

    That third night we tied up at the Lexington, MI marina in one of the last slips available. After dinner we prayed as a family for wind on our return. Never pray against natural law. It doesn't work.

    The next morning, I turned on the marine weather radio and climbed up on deck to see what the day's "sailing" might hold for us. Having to get back to work the next day, we were to retrace our steps south to the base of Lake Huron, and down the St. Clair River (with the current this time), across Lake St. Clair and home to our Detroit River marina. Because the current was with us, we could do the whole return trip in one day.

    Standing on deck and looking south I began to realize how wrong we were to pray for wind in August ,considering the direction we needed to travel. The wind, in August, naturally comes out of the south and southwest. If I wanted a north or northwest wind it was the wrong time of year to pray for it. One needs to take into account Natural Law when one prays. I groaned.

    Yes, we would have wind today but it would be on our nose, and we didn't have time to tack off on a close haul to the east and then back to the head of the river. But the marine weather forecast out on the lake was for only a 20-knot southernly breeze. Twenty knots is a lot of wind for a small boat, but not for our 22,000 pound, full-keeled, ocean going ketch. In fact, it was about right for a nice day on the Lake, provided we were not plowing into it.

    The ladies fixed breakfast, which we would eat underway, as Josh and I prepared the boat and disembarked. As we loosened the dock lines and backed out of the slip, I sensed something was not "right," ("Right" is in quotation marks because Nature is never wrong, it's only our perception of it or our attempt to integrate with it that can be wrong -- as was today the case.) The wind felt stronger, and we were still in a mostly protected marina. This is the place where I tell you that the motoring controls on the binnacle, just below and in front of the wheel that I was standing behind, were old and confusing to operate. There were two levers. One was throttle and the other was the gear shift. We had owned the boat for five years and I frequently got them confused, especially when backing up.

    On a hot day with no wind, Josh, Stan & Christin
    take the plunge into Huron's depths. Photo by Pam.
    Josh was on the bow, having just pulled aboard the dock lines. My plan was to back to the left (or north), and then head out of the marina aisle to the south, make a left turn and head out into the lake. But as soon as we cleared the end of the protected dockage, our big bow caught the southern wind like a sail and turned the bow north. And with the encouragement of a southern gust of wind, which was stronger than 20-knots now that we were out in the aisle, the boat drifted quickly to the north, directly toward the large wooden and steel wharf.

    Confused by the gust of wind and the bow of the boat turning in a direction contrary to my plans, my "skipper" mojo kicked in and I immediately gunned the throttle and threw the boat's transmission into reverse. We would have to back out of the aisle, except this boat with a single prop did not steer very well going backwards unless we were going at least 2-knots, which is pretty fast for a closed-in marina with expensive boats and all sides. But the wind had pushed us out past our slip and I didn't have a choice. So, I throttled the engine to full speed and threw it into gear.

    Except...I was already in reverse, so "throwing" the transmission into gear meant only one thing -- I had thrown the transmission into forward. Heavy boats take a few seconds to respond to forces on their hull. And when they do, there's a mass of inertia to contend with. They don't stop or start quickly, but when they get moving, they have a mind of their own. Suddenly the boat, with the assistance of the 30-knot stern wind,  and the prop churning at full forward rotations, was headed for the large wooden wharf -- not at 1 or 2 knots but at 4 knots and increasing.

    Suddenly, I realized I had "shifted" the gear, when I should have left it alone where it was -- in reverse. To shift back I had to dethrottle the boat, wait a second for the RPMs to return to idle, and then shift back to reverse, before upping the throttle to back up.

    By the time I did all that, we were inches away from the wharf going a good 5-knots. Josh, who is 6-ft, 10-in. tall, was standing on the bow as the dolphin striker hit the wooden dock. The dolphin striker is a heavy steel cable that runs diagonally from the water line of the hull, to the tip of the bowsprit angled up over the water. From the bowsprit there's another heavy cable that runs to the top of the forward mast. The combination keeps the masts under tension and upright. It's a strong rig, able to withstand gale force winds and the tons of associated forces.

    When the dolphin striker hit the wharf, it smoothly rode up a good five feet onto the wooded wharf. I looked forward to see Josh (who is normally taller than me) way up in the air. Finally, the weight of the boat and the prop, now full spinning in reverse, backed Family Ties up... and down the aisle into the eye of the wind. A man standing on the dock near where we hit looked down at the dock and proclaimed to Josh as the boat backed off back down into the water,  "No damage here. Have a good day."

    Now with the wind behind us, it kept our large bow pointed downwind, and I barely had to steer to keep the boat in the aisle. At the end of the aisle, I had time to lower the throttle, shift, and then gun the engine into forward again to turn the helm around and point the bow toward the lake.

    I could not believe we got out of the marina safely. My heart was pounding in my throat and my adrenalin was pumping

    But as soon as we were into the lake, I was wishing were were back in our slip. The wind on the lake, out from the protected marina, was not anything close to the weather forecast that predicted a20-knot breeze. The winds were howling out of the south at gale force, with sustained surface speed at 50 knots (or 63 miles per hour).  The dilemma was that to return to our slip in this wind, with a large boat such as ours with large exposed freeboard that acted like a hard-sided sail, would be more dangerous than staying out in the lake. So, I checked the engine speed, and turned south.

    Lexington is about 20 nautical miles north of the entrance to the St. Clair River. With 50-knot winds out of the south, (on our nose), the fetch was kicking up 8 to 10 foot waves, that our bow was plowing into. It was going to be a rough ride, and our old 28 year old engine would be under strain. I eased off the throttle, turned the helm so we'd take the waves at an oblique angle, and finally managed to get up a handkerchief portion of the genoa bow sail to give the boat some stability left and right.  There would be no "sailing" today.

    On the trip south our bowsprit frequently buried itself into an oncoming wave sending water over the deck and into the cockpit. But the boat was solid. We all wore personal floating vests, cinched up tight, not so much out of worry from being thrown overboard, but to protect our bodies if we got slammed into a cabinet below, or a steel line above.  Meanwhile, as the floor swayed under their feet, the kids (in their PFD's) tried to maintain their balance while frolicking on the salon floor dodging the sunlight that streamed in the side windows.

    Heading south into 55 knots true wind, 16-degrees
    off the bow. Apparent windspeed was 61 knots (70 mph).

    As we approached the southern tip of Lake Huron and the fetch was reduced, so were the waves. The last several miles were on nearly smooth water, although the wind continued to pipe into the mid fifties.

    I was looking forward to the river and getting out of the wind. But as we passed under the Blue Water Bridge, the waves suddenly picked up again, a ferociousness that made me want to be back in the middle of the lake with 8-10 footers. Here in the river the waves were not only 10-15 feet (crest to trough) but confused and irregular. It took a minute to figure out why, but then it hit me. The river, which is perhaps a quarter-mile wide, acted like a wind funnel for the southern wind as it pushed against the southern flowing river, which at the head of the river, under the bridge was 6-knots. But now, in the river, with other boat traffic, a freighter or two to dodge, and the wild waves reflecting off the shoreline (some with hard cement wharfs that reflected waves perfectly) we tossed and rolled at random...all 11-tons of boat and passengers. It was going to be a rough ride.

    During the day, every few hours, I went below and looked in the engine room as a normal precaution. One year on a trip up this same river, I looked in and discovered water rising from the floor. I traced it to a fitting that was easily tightened and the leak ceased. But vigilance is necessary,  especially with two grandchildren aboard. This time, when I opened the engine room door I was not greeted with water but with flying oil and coolant. The engine was indeed under a strain, and the gaskets were in the process of blowing. I reduced engine speed, but there was no stopping the engine without risking our lives. (The next summer the engine was replaced with a new one that incorporated an updated design which used a simpler single control lever for throttle and transmission. It took all summer, but now the boat easily cruises at over seven-knots and there's no confusion about which way is forward or reverse.)

    The day taught me a lot about God's will—that elephant in the room of every Christian's life that we can never see very clearly.  I've always wanted to know God's will so that I could do it, and thus be in it. (I'm speaking here about the particular decisions in life apart from moral obedience. Among religious people, at least, there's no dilemma about following God's moral will.  We must or there will be a just and unpleasant judgment, either here or in the next life.)

    The practical dilemma is: What is God's will about everything else in my life?" It's not like God uses road signs that clearly say, "Turn Here, Roadblock ahead." The assumption I've always lived with (or wanted to believe) is that we know, do and are in God's will when we are: (a) confident of our knowledge and ability in the task, (b) productive in executing the task, and (c) happy with the results of our decisions and action in the task. If we are insecure, unproductive, or guilt ridden then we were probably ignorant of not doing, or being out of God's will in the first place. But was I in God's will sailing a boat with a weak engine into a gale force wind with my grandchildren aboard?   Am I doing God's will by quitting a good paying job and risking a livelihood for my family by trying to make it as a freelancer?  Is knowing God's will the same as doing it or being in it?

    Here Is What I've Concluded


    We make a mistake when we obsess about knowing and doing God's will and not contemplating with joy of purpose when we're in God's will, even before being able to do what we know. I've come to believe that knowing and doing God's will has a lot to do with understanding natural law, living within it, and making wise decisions. But being in God's will, and relishing it, is perhaps the more difficult and noble task.

    If I make wise or foolish decisions, there is still God's will to live inside those decisions. God's will does not end with the knowledge or the decision, but continues throughout the task. We can argue whether or not I knew or was doing God's will to leave the marina that day with gale force winds on the lake. We can argue whether or not my experience should have told me that wind on the lake would be much greater than it was in the marina, regardless of the marine weather forecast. There was no moral guilt involved, but there may have been a lack of wisdom. (I do not believe it was God's will that I sail home that day, but rather my careless impetuousness.) Or, it may have been that the wind picked-up just as we were leaving and surprised even the forecasters. I've seen that many times on the Great Lakes. What was at issue was how well I was going to bring my skills and knowledge to bear on the present situation and live IN God's will of the present moment—the storm in my face that risked the lives of my family.

    The windstorm on our nose, the water crashing over the deck, the nearly uncontrollable boat motion, all may not have been MY desire (not do I think it was God's), but how I skippered the boat was entirely my decision as to how well I am going to live IN God's will of this natural law storm. My free will was involved in going out into the lake, but it was also involved in how well I embraced God's will of being IN the moment. How well as I going to seize the day, the moment, and make the best of where I'm at right now. (I just got up and helped Pam in the house with groceries. Was the interruption in my writing God's will, or, was my response to the interruption being IN God's will?)

    I have felt for a while now that it was God's will that I should be in Hollywood making movies. I have the knowledge, the connections, and passion. But I'm not in Hollywood. I'm in Michigan where my knowledge does little good, and there are few connections. Does KNOWING God's will and not being able to DO God's will keep me from being IN God's will? Am I in a windstorm that requires me to live well and productively IN the will of God where I'm at?

    Knowing and Doing God's will is one thing. Being IN his will and doing well while in it, is entirely another.

    And that's why I'm Catholic.




    Stanley D. Williams



    Please visit us at
    Roman Catholic Apologetic Meida






    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

    GROWING UP CHRISTIAN

    Cover Treatment Option 1. A recreation
    of Chapter 1: Vision of Adventure

    The autobiography, of my journey of faith, which I've been working on for the past eight-months, has finally been completed...at least the first full draft. Mary Kochan, my editor, has finished reviewing the first 75% and is working on the rest. A few others have reviewed portions of the manuscript and more will come before I seek a publisher. Nineveh's Crossing could publish GROWING UP CHRISTIAN, but I'm hoping for a publisher with larger, mainstream distribution. (Yes, I'm looking for an agent.)

    I thought I would celebrate the manuscript's completion with this post (veering away from another current events editorial) and share with you the book's two cover ideas and the Prologue, which you'll find below. 

    Your comments are welcome.

    The pitch for the book goes like this:

    TITLE: GROWING UP CHRISTIAN: Strange and Funny Stories from the Heartland of America

    TAG LINE: Quintessential Americana with a Twist of Faith

    GENRE: 1950-1990 Americana, Humor, Religious, Autobiography

    HOOK: Rabid Evangelical embraces what he was raised to hate, Roman Catholicism.

    LOG LINE: GROWING UP CHRISTIAN is the peculiar story of a compulsive man's sojourn through America's heartland and the ideological vagrancies of Evangelicalism. In a near-futile effort to save his soul and find a faith consistent with reason, he stumbles onto the natural law logic of Roman Catholicism.

    WORD COUNT: 150,000 

    Cover Treatment Option 2
    Yes, that's me and my family. If you
    misspell my name you come up with
    either "STAIN" or "SAINT."
    PROPOSED DUST JACKET and BACK COVER COPY: Stanley David Williams was named after Scottish pioneering medical missionary and adventurer David Livingstone, and Sir Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh adventurer and journalist sent into central Africa to find Livingstone who was sick with malaria and had lost touch with the outside world. 

    The grandson of adventure-seeking missionaries to India and a postbellum circuit-riding preacher, Stanley David took on the mantel of compulsive perseverance in his quest for knowing the world about him. The aunt who helped raise him claimed, "Stanley never learned to walk. He went straight from crawling to running." The running and frequent escapes from his fenced backyard ended him up on a leash tied to a clothesline. But that didn't stop him from climbing the backyard apple tree and jumping off a limb in a failed attempt to reach the ground.

    His suspension from the apple tree left Stan kicking the air, a fitting metaphor for his attempt to find a reasonable faith that was consistent with his observations of the world around him. As a young man he would often bolt from church services because, in his mind, the pastor had apparently forgotten to read the Bible before he began to preach.  

    If Stan was compulsive and quick to judge he was also persevering…somehow leveraging an uncanny gift of faith. But Stan's faith was not in religion. And that became a problem for those around him in the heartland of Christian America of which he was raised. He knew there had to be a God, but finding a version of the Almighty that was not schizophrenic proved nearly impossible.

    In high school he won a bassoon scholarship to a prestigious music camp, but only because his pianist didn't compete against him. Stan's first job out of college found him training astronauts, a childhood dream, until he discovered that NASA engineers were usually laid off when the rocket took off. He pursued a career in photography but his camera-phobic wife ended up taking the picture that was published around the world. And so it went, every story of his professional life paralleled his search for a reasonable faith which seemed to elude him at every turn. 

    Humorous, strange, peculiar and true. This is the story of what it was like growing up Christian in the heartland of America and wildly searching for something that was on ever corner.

    [End of Pitch]

    Here's the Prologue.

    Prologue - Raising a Red Flag

    It was 1960, and a hot, sweltering summer night. I was 13, in the midst of adolescence and attending an event that would be a sea change in my peculiar journey of faith.

    Mom had me in a white shirt, tie, and creased, wool trousers. I matched Dad's getup except for the tie—his was wider and more colorful. Dad always wore his Sunday best…even to cut the lawn or take out the garbage. Not to be outdone, Mom was arrayed in her best flower-print, silk dress and velvet hat with a fake flower pinned to the side and a fishnet veil pulled over her eyes. 

    We weren't in a fancy place, however. We were in a sawdust revival tent, and my belligerent goal was to get through another evening of fist-pounding, foot-stomping, hell-fire preaching without my Mom cuffing me for not being the ideal Christian kid. 

    I sat next to my 8-year old sister, Hope Ellen, her blonde locks in a curl hanging over her fancy Easter Sunday dress. She had learned, through my mistaken exploits, how to sit still, look pretty, and get Mom to beam at her. 

    The evangelist's lean face was red with emotion and wet from perspiration. After mopping his brow and neck with his white handkerchief, he'd wave it at his audience—trying both to air dry it in the humid August heat, and reinforce the point of his sermon: Our surrender to Communism if we elected John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a Catholic, to the U.S. presidency.

    We were spending several weeks of vacation at our small cabin on the Free Methodist Church campgrounds, hidden in the woods just East of Jackson, Michigan. The campgrounds consisted of about 40 acres of woods on which were located several hundred lots organized along dirt roads and paths. Some lots contained small cabins -- I recall helping my dad build ours -- and on other lots trailers were parked, or tents erected. In the middle of camp was a large barn-like “tabernacle” that seated perhaps a 1,000 people on unfinished pine pews below bare hanging light bulbs pulsing with the beat of a hidden diesel generator. Meals were taken in a large WWII styled steel Quonset hut dining hall, with food served up on compartmentalized metal mess trays. Each day of Family Camp was filled with Bible studies, youth meetings, prayer meetings, and swimming via a bus ride to nearby Gilletts Lake. The days concluded with a two-hour singing and preaching service in the tabernacle. 

    On a few particular nights in 1960, however, there was competition a few miles outside the camp on Jackson Road, near the Dome Ice Cream parlor. There, a traveling evangelist, Dr. Harvey H. Springer, had dumped a pile of sawdust next to the main road into Jackson, erected a modest tent over it, put up a canvas sign, and was preaching -- not about God or Christ -- but against Catholicism. 

    Historically (I'm old enough to feel the need to explain my childhood in such terms), General Dwight D. Eisenhower was completing his second term as President, and the Cold War was hot. Senator Joseph McCarthy had died several years before, but McCarthyism's  "Red" fear was very much alive, thanks to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev's rhetorical threat to take over the United States. 
    Khrushchev was reported to have said, "We will bury you." To which my very Christian, evangelical, Bible teaching, daughter-of-missionaries, mother would passionately respond, "I'd rather be dead than red." 

    She'd say this, and then ask if I didn't agree with her. I never did know how to answer since she was the one that first taught me about Jeremiah's prophecies to the Judean king, Zedekiah that it would be better to be alive and a slave in Nineveh, than dead and a snack for vultures in Judah—yeah, yeah, yeah...I knew a lot about the Bible back then. But you have to remember, I was Evangelical, not Catholic...and Evangelicals go to Sunday School, every Sunday, all year long, their whole lives—learning all about the stories and their meaning in the Old and New Testament. Hezekiah! We could even recite the books of the Bible backwards. 

    It was the beginning of the 1960's—a sea change for American culture. The Kennedy-Nixon campaign of 1960 occurred during the pontificate of John XXIII, and, here in America, Catholics were busy having large families. We lived near the Divine Child parish in Dearborn, Michigan, and it seemed that every other household in the neighborhood was Catholic with 6-12 kids.

    Some Protestants (like my mother) were afraid that Catholicism would take over America -- not by killing people (like the Communists had threatened) but by having babies who would eventually allow Catholics to dominate the democratic process. She had not yet heard of the contraceptive pill, which would be made widely available to the public in a few years. Nor did she know that Catholic women would swarm to use the pill against the Church's prohibition. Mom might have been delighted had she known what the future held. 

    Back in the sawdust revival tent, the perspiring Dr. Harvey Springer was waving his white handkerchief, and preparing yet another, but larger prop. I'll never forget the image or the "logic." 
    He had been railing, ranting, and raging for some time against Catholicism and Communism. The parallels were unmistakable (to him): (a) both institutions started with the letter "C" and ended in "ism" -- suffixes that, by the standards of the English language, identified evil ideologies; (b) both Moscow and the Vatican were determined to take over the world, one by death, the other by over-population; and (c) both were in league with the devil -- Communism outlawed God (neat trick), and Catholicism was the sinister front for the anti-Christ. Americans should fear both, he told us. "The facts spoke for themselves..." and my Mom, bless her rather-dead-than-red heart, joined the ever-louder "Amen!" chorus.

    Then, it came time for the big climax, the coup-de-grace, the clincher. Springer selected two, good-looking pre-teen children from the audience, and led them onto the small wooden platform on which he stomped back and forth. The kids looked like "plants"—they were dressed, brushed, and combed for the part. Yes, in addition to knowing something about the Bible, I was a cynic. I recall the girl was wearing a pretty white dress, with a bow in her curled blonde hair, like she had just posed for a shampoo ad. I really don't remember the boy. Hormones were in the process of permanently altering my interests.

    Springer had the kids stand next to each other facing the audience, hands at their sides, idealistic smiles distorting their faces (they had done this before). Then with great pathos he intoned: "Men and women of America. I am warning you with God as my witness. If you elect John Fitzgerald Kennedy to the Presidency this is what will happen." And suddenly out of nowhere (okay, so I was distracted) he produced a HUGE red communist flag, and, standing behind the kids, draped it over their shoulders like a warm blanket on a cold night, pulling it tight around their necks, leaving only their faces staring sadly (as if on cue) at the audience like a mad Andy Warhol painting.
    The image was complete. The memory indelible.

    My mother acquired one of the Harvey H. Springer, D.D., Th.D. pamphlets, CATHOLICISM IN AMERICA, wrote my name on it and slipped it into my Memories Chest. I found it after I got married when she gave me the chest full of memories from my childhood. The cover (under my name in my Mom's handwriting), pictures two dark clouds overshadowing a map of the United States. One cloud is labeled "COMMUNISM" and the other contains a crude drawing of John Kennedy with the label "CATHOLICISM" written across it. Inside, many paragraphs are underlined in pencil, and noted in my mother's handwriting are directions to "READ," and "Modern Day Persecution" detailing how the Catholic Church in Columbia, in cooperation with the government was killing Protestant missionaries, putting nuns in public schools in Ohio, and how Kennedy was taking orders from the Vatican.

    Springer died at age 60, six years after my exposure to him. He was known as the "cowboy" preacher and was a former communist before his late conversion to Christianity. I do not know if he is related to the infamous TV rebel rouser, Jerry Springer, but there was a similarity in their style and affinity for the sensational.
    At 13, my mind wasn't on theological inconsistencies or political tyranny. The stage theater had held me spellbound, but I found it disgusting. Thankfully, I hid my feelings, because my head still ached from the last slap to the head I had sustained. Besides, Russia didn't sound like a good place to ask for asylum.

    I didn't believe Springer for a moment. But my parents did and so it seemed that the rest of the audience did as well—there were gleeful cheers, and boisterous affirmations while the stomping raised tiny clouds of sawdust. My mother indeed, much of her life afterward, would proclaim out of the blue: "I'd rather be dead than red." 

    ~



    Sunday, May 3, 2015

    What IS and IS NOT

    Whatever You May Think...You're Not Something Else

    Are you shaking your head at the aliens around us? Bruce Jenner decides he's a "woman." A five-year-old girl convinces her parents to let her be a "boy." Two men decide they're "married." Two lesbians arrange to have children "of their own."

    Humans redefining reality has never worked very well. Nature will have the last say; indeed, "pride goes before destruction"  But "pride" is too weak; we're going to need a new term for the arrogance of the age.

    More mundane and less news worthy to the world are the seven women who recently declared that they are now ordained "Catholic Priests". The ceremony was performed in an Episcopal Church by the laying on of hand by a Female "Catholic" "bishop." Hmmm? Clearly, the seven women and everyone else involved in the hoax have either no true understanding of what Catholicism is about, or they think they can change it by disregarding its basic tenants. In a general sense the term "catholic" means "universal." But its an equivocation to think the largest Christian institution in history involves "universalism."

    Is the Church "damaged" by this craziness? Not in the least. In fact, the skeptics are laughing...at these women. The pagans know what a Catholic is, that's why they mock the CINO's (Catholics In Name Only) for not living up to their faith.

    What Catholic means confessional is this:  Whatever the church teaches, I  will agree and follow. These women were excommunicated by simply going through their silly ceremony.

    Protestantism also makes light of Christianity when they declare new doctrine never before taught by the Church through its history. You can't personally change a definition and expect the defining entity to have suddenly change. Christ makes a point about this in John 6, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."  Then, a few verses later John writes, "On hearing it, many of his disciples said, 'This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?' ”

    Do you like Biblical numerology? The disciples that didn't accept Christ's teachings of what Christ said IS, became alienated, and no longer followed him. The verse that describes this is 6:66.

    Do you get the picture? It might be good to question just what and who is a real Christian. But I hate guessing. I was Protestant for years and I was never sure.

    That's why I'm not an alien. I'm Catholic.

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    Saturday, May 2, 2015

    Your Mother, or the Police

    There's a line in Dr. Ray Guarendi's stand-up parent-comedy routine,  "You're a Better Parent Than YouThink" that fits the current spat of news about rioting and misbehaving children.
    As a parent I guarantee that your child will be disciplined. If not by you (which is the preferable) then by his teacher, his coach, his employer, the police, or…and I fear this next one…his wife. (You don't wanna go there, trust me.)"
    Toya Graham is the single-mom of six kids, who was videotaped hitting, swearing at, and chasing her much larger and perhaps stronger 16-year old boy dressed like a masked ISIS terrorist, off the streets of Baltimore after seeing him throwing rocks at police.  She commented later that her pastor was not going to be too happy with her for swearing like she did at her son. She was called a "hero" by some, and villainized by others for letting his behavior get as far as it did. But you saw the fearsome look on the face of her much taller son as he ran off the streets and back home. His life, we pray, will be saved from the fate of Freddie Gray who evidently had a tragic life even before his arrest and death.

    This morning I read another brief news report about a mother in Georgia for calling police after her 10-year old boy who was being rude and disrespectful in school. After the boy refused to listen to his mom, she called the cops, and they pretended to arrest him. They put the young boy in handcuffs and sat him in the back of a police cruiser where they had a heart-to-heart talk.  The boy was terrified, but evidently it worked. After a few minutes they released him and he ran to his mother and hugged her. The next week the teacher at school said the boy's behavior had been turned around. The police supervisor didn't like the idea of his officers "pretending" to arrest anyone. But, the mother defended her actions. "It worked," she said. "He's a changed boy."

    The unrest around the country over claims of police brutality, or the help of police to teach the young boy in Georgia a firm lesson, keep reminding me of Dr. Ray's funny line. But behind Dr. Ray's line, and the reality of the universe is something called Natural Law. 

    Be sure, if you jump off a cliff you will fall. As human beings we may have the freedom to make any choice we want. But we have no choice over the consequence. The nature of reality and the laws that God has established in the universe will ultimately determine our fate. That is true of everything from lying, stealing, sexual immorality, and disrespecting just authorities. You can jump up in the air just so far before gravity will bring you back down to earth.

    There's security in that. You can trust Natural Law to be just and fair. You can trust Natural Law to have your best interests in mine.

    That's why I'm Catholic.

    May the Lord Be With You.


    Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D.


    Editorial at Nineveh's Crossing.com



    Saturday, April 11, 2015

    Atheism's Anti-Logic

    April 12, 2015 

    My daughter has a saying posted on her refrigerator: "Just because it rhymes doesn't mean it's a good idea." I suppose that could be called the fallacy of endings.

    There's also a fallacy of alliteration, which claims that if the beginnings of words are the same they must be related. 

    When I was a child my mother and father took me to hear revivalist Dr. Harvey Springer at a tent meeting outside Jackson, MI. I write about it in my upcoming book about growing up in America's Heartland as a Christian.

    Springer used both of the above analogies to claim that Communism and Catholicism were one in the same because they both started with C's, ended with "ism's," and Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Premiere, and Pope Paul John XXIII were intent on taking over the world, one by our death, and one by us having more babies. In the middle of his hell-fire and brimstone sermon he draped a communist flag over two good looking, straight cut kids from the saw-dust audience and proclaimed in a roar that THIS is what would happen if America elected John. F. Kennedy (a Catholic) president of the United States.

    These were Faulty Analogies, and unfortunately they are used every day to discredit what is true because the truth demands obedience.

    This is where atheism comes in. Yes, it ends with an "ism" so it must also be a cult, or so my mother would say.

    Atheism makes the declarative statement that there is no God because his existence is not visible in the observable and knowable universe with our physical senses. This is also a faulty analogy because it assumes that what is knowable must stimulate our physical senses in a direct way like a hug from mama as she smothers us in her bosom. The atheist claims, if it can't be touched, smelled, tasted or seen, then it doesn't exist. 

    Logically, the atheist doesn't have physical evidence that he or she has experience first hand for 95% of what they believe in. Oh, they see signs and representations of Pluto, and the Higg's Bosn, and they psychologically "feel" guilt…but they're virtually ignorant of such a thing's existence in the same way they demand evidence for God. I would argue that we have myriad of physical evidence that we touch, smell, taste, see and hear that cannot be explained outside a benevolent, intelligence force.

    You must also consider that the atheist's body of knowledge in regard to the universe is a minute fraction of a decimal point of a percentage of what the universe it. A single man's knowledge is smaller than one can imagine, just the way our giant Earth is a spec on a spec, of a spec within a galaxy. So, in context, how can anyone argue logically that they are omniscient enough to declare "there is no God?" 

    They can't, and…

    …that's why I'm Catholic.

    May the Lord Be With You.

    Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D.

    Editorial at Nineveh's Crossing.com