Kevin C Shinn

Kevin C Shinn

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Christian Misdirection

Evangelical Christians have allowed themselves to become an integral part of the Republican Party's formula for success while at the same time becoming a caricature on social issues. Bearing the banners of "Abortion" and "Gay Marriage" they march in an endless circle of negativism proclaiming to the world what they oppose while at the same time failing to stand for anything. If one were to judge the message of Jesus through the actions of those proudly labeling themselves conservative Christians what picture would our Savior see of himself?
Take for instance the uproar over whether it is more appropriate to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." If there was ever a non-issue, this was it. Conservative Christians desperately wanted to make the argument that for stores like Wal-Mart to greet people with "Happy Holidays" was an insult to Christians. It is an effective technique among them. Announce that they are being persecuted and rally the troops to the defense of the cause.
Of course, conservative Christians are not any worse than the rest of us during the Christmas holidays. It has become the season of consumerism. Retailers count on making 50% of their yearly sales during this period of time. If we, as a nation, were truly wishing to glorify Jesus as our Savior, Easter would be the biggest holiday of the year. Surely if the time of his birth is important to us as Christians, then the period of His resurrection would be of equal if not greater importance.

Another issue that conservatives cling to with zealous determination is the position that medical abortion is equivalent to murder. On the face of this argument, it would appear logical to assume that a fetus which possesses all of the physical characteristics of a human must be a person with a soul as well. Therefore, it is equally as logical to assume that if the fetus is an unborn child then the fertilized egg must have the potential to become a child and thus must be protected from harm as well. It all seems so easy to believe. But as an intelligent, free-thinking Christian, we are faced with a tremendous dilemma on this issue. If a fetus is truly a baby with a soul and a medical abortion is the same as murder then natural abortions, also known as a miscarriage, kill infinitely more children. If this is true, then God's own design has been responsible for more deaths than any other human event in history. In this light, it makes no sense to believe that God is a mass murderer. If we as Christians rightfully reject the idea of our God as a serial killer, then we are left with an emotionally charged problem: “Is abortion murder?”

Then again, maybe it is not so difficult to understand. As Christians, we believe that our soul is separate from our body and at death our body goes back to the earth and our spirit goes to either Heaven or hell. And if the spirit leaves the body at death then the question becomes at what point does God place the spirit in the body? On the back end of life, we recognize that there are times when we allow the body to perish for one reason or another. So why is it so difficult for us to accept that in God’s plan, when the vessel is not acceptable to contain the soul, much like a sculptor starting over, the body simply jettison’s the imperfect container and begins again?

Whatever the answer, it is impossible for a free-thinking human to deny the fact that there is absolutely no way to determine when life truly begins. The recognition of this fact leads to the critical conclusion that when it comes to the decision whether or not an abortion is the right course for a woman to take must be left up to the individual conscience of the woman and not to the legislative or judicial branches of our government. Because, at the end of our life, when we must stand before our Maker and answer for our sins, it will be the ultimate responsibility of the woman to answer for that decision. That is why it is called “free will.”

Finally, with respect to the misdirection I believe many of my brothers and sisters in Christ seem to be following, whatever happened to the true spirit of Jesus? If we truly wish to express our faith in our Savior and to be lights on a hill directing others to live and die as Christ would have us, what is the message we are sharing? How can we ignore the plight of the poor and the downtrodden while actively and openly pursuing bigger and better material goods? It has become standard fare for some of the leading evangelicals in this country to preach the gospel of wealth as a reward for being loyal Christians. Conversely, if one is to believe this course, it means that those who are poor are in such a state of condition because they are not true believers. And if one accepts this belief, one can justify the lack of assistance to those in need by doing so in the perverse name of our Lord and Savior.

In the end, "Happy Holidays," gay marriage, and abortion are not the biggest threat to Christianity in the world today. The biggest threat to our mission as Christians, charged with leading others to the glorious salvation bought and paid for by the blood of our Savior, is that we allow ourselves to be drawn into worshipping golden idols and false prophets and fail to live up to the true meaning of our own ideal. Leadership through service is still the message of Christ.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mitt Romney Bites the Dust

Romney packed it in today, calling it quits after having spent millions of his own dollars in an attempt to buy his way into the White House. And although his personality was more akin to a wax figure than a rousing leader of a free nation, I must admit that his finale was a tear jerker.

Others, having suffered the bitter disappoint Romney experienced on Super Tuesday, might have simply acknowledged that his phony message and plastic expression had been soundly rejected by the masses and wandered back to the mansion and the disciples of Salt Lake. But not Mitt, bless his little heart, he turned it into a downright stirring moment of patriotism that could set the ever lower bar of politics a notch higher for concession speechs. In the face of overwhelming evidence that his campaign was going no where, chose to suspend his efforts for the good of the nation. His pitch being that if he continued on this nation would be split over the best nominee for the Republicans and could actually usher in Armageddon by allowing the Democrats to seize control of the Executive Branch. Instead, in a display of self-sacrifice the knights of Camelot would have cherished, Mitt stepped aside so the nation could better battle the godless terrorists and liberals while at the same time preserving the tax cuts for the rich, Haliburton's grip on the Iraqi oil fields, and Marie Osmond's undying love. Okay, so I'm jealous of the Osmond thing, but the rest of it is bad.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in the Conservative Chronicles as Mike Huckabee positions himself to be the VP choice for the now right-challenged McCain.

Monday, February 4, 2008


In the first game of the season for both teams, the Eagles boy's soccer team earned a hard fought 3 to 1 victory over the Pioneers in Gentry.
Fielding a boy's team for the first time this season, Gentry jumped to an early 1 to 0 lead off a quick shot in front of the Eagles goal. The two teams battled for the next 70 minutes without a score.
With just over 6 minutes left to go in the game, Eagles Senior forward Alex Goikoetxea tied the game after beating the Pioneer defenders to the ball in a wild scramble in front of the goal.
By this point in the contest, the Eagles superior conditioning kicked in as player after player went down with leg cramps for Gentry. With just over 4 minutes remaining in the game, Huntsville's Senior forward Ben Grove gathered in a loose ball and placed it past the Gentry keeper for the game winning goal. Less than a minute later, Grove completed the scoring by outracing the Pioneer defenders to a ball down the middle of the field and slamming the ball deep into the back of the net.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lou Dobbs Doesn't Get It

I must admit that I am a CNN junkie. It is on my television most times of the day, even as I am scanning their website and reading stories of relevance to me. Jack Cafferty, Anderson Cooper, even Lou Dobbs do an excellent job bringing interesting views to the light for us. I appreciate their efforts. BUT....that said, Lou Dobbs simply is wrong with his efforts to get voters to drop out of the two main political parties. I am a life-long Democrat and will continue to be a Democrat. Do I always agree 100% with my party leaders? No, of course not. Then again, do I always agree 100% with my wife and children? Not even close. The answer is not to quit and drop out of the process but to work hard to reform from within.

With my wife, I've learned the most important negotiating tool in two short words, "Yes, dear." However, I do not advocate the same approach in our political parties. Instead, if we really disagree with the direction our party is headed, it is our duty to work from within to effect change. I do recognize the frustrations involved with such a tactic, but the alternative as promoted by Dobbs is to remove ourselves from the process altogether in the assumption that somehow those left behind will be influenced by our absence. On the face of it, the option is absurd. The idea that the problem with our political process is that it is too partisan is naive and childish.

People act out of their own self-interest. Always have and always will. It is the base of human behavior. That said, we must recognize that the two political parties represent distinctly perspectives on governing society. To believe that the Walton's will act from a position that is in the best interest of their workers is ludicrous and without merit. They have accumulated an enormous fortune while at the same time crushing all attempts at unionizing any Wal-Mart. They do this out of their own self-interest and the workers have allowed it to happen against their own needs.

This political season has been refreshing because of the large turn out of new voters in the process. The more people we have involved in the process, the less likely that special interest groups will be able to have an undue influence on the outcome of public policy. Hopefully Lou will figure this out soon. It appears millions in our nation already have.