Simple Bounty

Finding Beauty, Grace and Sanity in a Busy World

The Israeli Palestinian Conflict January 6, 2009

Filed under: Current Events — katieosborne @ 1:50 am
Tags: , ,

Anyone who knows me or has read my blog on a semi-regular basis knows that I am extremely concerned about what is happening in the Middle East and concerned about the propaganda and misinformation U.S citizens are constantly fed about Middle East events. I am frustrated by the way the current conflict in Gaza is portrayed in such a cut and dry manner. I am frustrated by so many people I know who see Israel’s relationship with the rest of the Middle East in black and white when it appears to me as anything but. On the extreme are some of my family members who believe Israel can do no wrong and the U.S. must support them at all costs – no matter what immoral thing that may cause our country to do – or face the wrath of God.

I think sometimes it is hard for Christians, especially dispensationalists (which I’m not), to know exactly how our nation should rightly relate to Israel. The dispensationalists’ view is clouded by their eschatological beliefs, and they see all that is happening in the Middle East as the necessary movement toward Christ’s return. And indeed, they often try to do all that they can to “help” God bring about the end. They support Israel without question because the Jews are God’s chosen people, and because of this, for some reason, they believe that everything Israel does is right and just. At least this is what I have gathered from discussions with such people.  They believe God will reestablish many of the Old Testament functions of the nation of Israel and that the Temple will be rebuilt and the sacrificial system will once again be in place. Therefore, in their eyes, modern day Israel must maintain a firm grasp of their region and regain all the land they were originally given by God. The dispenationalists, as well as many other Christians, do not distinguish between the political State of Israel and God’s people Israel, and this is where I believe much of the trouble lies. In addition to this view, I know there are many who will argue that we must support Israel because they are a democracy, and this argument is one that I hope to address when I have more time.

I think that I have a rather rational outlook on this situation based on what I do know, but I’m willing to admit that I am still learning and thinking this all over. I don’t think that it is appropriate to take the position that we must support Israel at all costs and neglect to question any of their actions.  I would love to hear other Christians’, particularly reformed Christians, perspective on how we are to view the policies and actions of the modern day state of Israel in relation to God’s biblical commands, and what kind of involvement the U.S. should have with Israel.

I have been trying to keep my eye on what is currently happening in Gaza, but I admit, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to become informed on the details of what is taking place, and like most Americans, my knowledge of the details of the history of the strife between Israel and the Palestinians is woefully lacking. But, I am trying to educate myself.

There are very basic untruths regarding this situation that should be common knowledge, but because of media misinformation, are widely unknown. For instance, the Palestinians are being blamed for breaking the cease fire, when it was actually Israel who originally broke the truce on November 4th 2008 by performing a raid that killed five people. Another fact that is essential in forming a clear and educated position on what is taking place is that Israel is illegally occupying the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and the Palestinians there are ill treated and starving as they live under Israeli military rule. This occupation is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is only common sense that an occupied and abused people will rise up and do what little they can against the powerful force that dominates them, is it not? Yet, the U.S. media portrays the actions of Hamas as terrorism against Israel, completely neglecting the terror Israel has wrought on the Palestinians. The acceptable position is that Israel is protecting itself. They are not aggressors. End of story.

Here are some pictures of the death and destruction in Gaza, juxtaposed with the meager damage that Hamas has done with their homemade rockets in Israel. The woman who put these photos together collected the pictures of Israel from Zionist sources, so she can’t validate the accuracy of them. It is possible that they are merely fabricated by the Israelis, and damage is even less extensive than shown in the photos. At any rate, I did an image search for pictures that show damage to Israel, and I couldn’t come up with much that looked different from those in the link above.

I am not trying to suggest that Hamas is innocent. What I am trying to communicate is that contrary to most media reporting, Israel is not innocent either. This is a complex issue, and I think it’s really important that we understand that instead of treating it as a black/white, good/evil issue as many are prone to do. It’s a lot easier to do that. It takes a lot less effort and care. But it’s wrong, and it’s unfair.

I found this video to be thought provoking. It is a few years old, from what I can tell, but completely relevant to what is going on now.

I hope to write more on this situation as I learn and think more on it.

 

The Shoe Throwing Incident December 18, 2008

Filed under: Current Events,Politics — katieosborne @ 2:07 pm

I promise I won’t keep talking politics – I want to get back to Christmas – but I have been so irritated by what I have heard from the media regarding this incident. People are either simply laughing about it (and I do admit, Bush does look rather comical as he’s ducking those forcefully hurled shoes) or they’re using it as an excuse to say, yet again, “look how we’ve succeeded in Iraq.” Funny, how they can spin almost anything taking place in that country into proof that we are “winning.”

Apparently, because this journalist wasn’t immediately beaten and dragged away to his execution (though he is in the hospital having suffered a broken arm and a head injury from being hit with the butt of a gun, and he faces up to 15 years in prison), it is proof of a flourishing democracy in Iraq. Even if this is true, which I do not believe it is, does that justify the uncountable number of innocent dead, the complete destruction of their infrastructure, their neighborhoods, their families, and the fact that we arrogantly waltzed into a country that posed no serious threat to us and became agents of terror and destruction? Hey, maybe, just maybe, this guy has a right to be angry. Maybe he lost a wife, a child, a brother at our hands. Or maybe he’s just enraged about what has become of his country in the name of “spreading democracy.” Whatever the case, his act is a symbol of resistance, a statement against our foreign policy, and a sentiment that many in the Middle East, and elsewhere, would like to express themselves, had they the courage and the opportunity.

 

Ron Paul on The Financial Mess October 17, 2008

Filed under: Current Events,Politics — katieosborne @ 11:59 pm
Tags:

Funny, during the presidential primaries the media did all it could to either ignore Ron Paul or make him out to be a crazy. Now, in the last few weeks, they all seem to want his opinion, since his warnings and predictions were right.

I’ve seen a lot of good clips, but I particularly like this one from today.

 

Country First September 8, 2008

Filed under: Current Events,Politics — katieosborne @ 1:38 pm
Tags: ,

I watched just a bit of the RNC last week, and I found their “Country First” slogan quite disconcerting, though not at all surprising, I suppose.

The intent is patriotism. But it’s not. It’s pure fascism.

According to the Republican Party, it seems clear that the State is of more value than the individual, and the greatest thing an individual can do is to serve it, no matter what the cause, no matter what the personal sacrifice. This is patriotism?

Ron Paul said last week in his Rally For The Republic speech, “A true patriot defends liberty and the people. Simply naming an act the Patriot Act and voting for it doesn’t make you a patriot.”

Especially as a Christian, I must adamantly disagree with this notion of “country first.” I love my country. I love the land, the ideals it was founded on, but my country is not first in my life. God is first, followed by my family. My allegiance does not lie with a government – especially not an immoral one. The collective is not more valuable than the individual, and I believe serving the needs of other individuals is of much greater value than serving the government.

I am not arguing that there is never a time to leave one’s family to fight for one’s country. But those times are few and far between; they are not the normal way of things. I believe we must fight when our individual liberties are being threatened and destroyed. Funny thing is, these days, the greatest threat to our liberties has come not from some foreign enemy, but from our own government.

Consider the following statements:

“Society’s needs come before the individual’s needs.”

“It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of the nation, that the position of the individual is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole.”

“The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.”

Sounds like sentiments that could have come from the mouths of prominent leaders of our country, but those words were spoken by Hitler.

And do Hermann Goering’s words below not ring with the truth of what has happened to our nation over the last eight years?

“Naturally the common people don’t want war. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist  dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”

What we need is not country first; it’s liberty and justice first. Everything else will follow from that.

 

ACOG Wants To Ban Homebirth August 6, 2008

Filed under: Current Events,Politics,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 10:45 pm
Tags:

This really makes my blood boil. If you know much of anything about childbirth and the politics that go along with it, you know that ACOG is pretty hostile to certified professional midwives and homebirth. But now, with support from the AMA, they are actually planning to draw up legislation in hopes of making homebirth illegal.

From ABC news:

The American Medical Association has agreed to support proposed legislation that, some physicians say, could make make having a planned birth in one’s home difficult, to virtually impossible.

As of now, no actual legislation has been drawn up, but the AMA has agreed to back a measure called “Resolution 205,” a request to support the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) position that home births are not safe.

“We are against home births, period,” said Gregory Phillips, an ACOG spokesman.

Women who give birth outside of a clinical setting risk putting themselves and their newborns at risk, Phillips told ABCNEWS.com.

In an e-mail to ABCNEWS.com, AMA board member Steven Stack, MD, wrote that the AMA “stresses that the safest setting for delivering a baby is in the hospital or a birthing center within a hospital complex.”

It’s nice that ACOG makes such statements as though they are fact without even bothering to provide evidence to support their assertions. They are not even speaking truth. What arrogance. But of course, if one doesn’t know otherwise, and a medical professional makes such a statement, he is believed; no questions asked. Ask most people, and they will say the same: homebirth is dangerous and unwise. Yet it’s simply not true.

The most thorough study done on the outcomes of homebirth in North America shows that homebirth is associated with similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births, and has much lower rates of medical intervention.

Instead of attacking midwives and the threatening the constitutional rights of women and families for self-serving purposes, ACOG should be taking a serious look at what is going wrong with childbirth in American hospitals and focusing their energy on fixing it. When one third of births end in major abdominal surgery, something is wrong. When the United States is ranked 41st in maternal mortality, something is wrong. When the United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the modern world, something is wrong. Something is wrong, and it’s not homebirth.

 

Frightening Vaccination Bill June 16, 2008

Filed under: Current Events — katieosborne @ 12:10 am
Tags: ,

I don’t know what the chances are of this becoming law, but there is a bill in the New York State Assembly right now calling for mandatory vaccination of all children, on the prescribed schedule. This includes a yearly flu shot (which still contains Thimerosol) and the controversial Gardisil vaccine which is supposed to protect against a couple strains of HPV that can be contracted through sexual activity. Gardisil has undergone little testing before hitting the market, it’s efficacy is questionable, and it has been linked to many serious side effects, including miscarriage and death, yet parents would be forced to subject their young girls to this shot. The bill will also allow the administration of vaccines for sexually transmitted infections to minors without parental consent. Those who are unvaccinated will not be allowed to attend school; it sounds like this includes state college.

Regardless of how you feel about vaccinations, we should all be outraged that the state is attempting to force it’s agenda on families in yet another manner. Short of home schooling, and I suppose private school, or moving out of state, parents will have no choice but to vaccinate their children with every shot mandated by the government, on the schedule recommended by the government. I’ve said it before, but the State views our children as theirs and continues to chip away at parents’ rights to raise and care for their children as they see best.

 

More On FLDS Kidnapping May 22, 2008

Filed under: Current Events — katieosborne @ 7:21 pm
Tags: , ,

The appeals court has ruled that the State acted improperly by taking the FLDS children and placing them in the foster care system. It’s unclear when the children will be returned to their families, and the State plans to appeal the decision. But hopefully the families will be reunited soon, and they can begin healing.

As a side note, I came across this article today regarding the State’s order to have the children immunized. (The community is largely unvaccinated). As a parent of an unvaccinated child, I am completely infuriated that the government has the ability to make such a decision. They truly do believe our children belong to them.

  Crimmins said the state requires all children in custody to be immunized for their “health and safety.” He said no one would be forced to get inoculations; older children specifically would have the opportunity to decline the shots.

I don’t quite understand how it can be a requirement, yet they say the children can reject them. If this is true, unfortunately it won’t help the youngest children, those at greatest risk for being negatively affected by the shots, since they’re not able to make that kind of decision. In fact, it is absolutely ridiculous to allow children to make such a decision at all. That is the job of the parents who hopefully have educated themselves on the benefits and risks of vaccinations.

Since most haven’t had any, I wonder how many shots they plan to pump them full of at once to make up for lost time.

What a disaster. This whole thing. At least the children will hopefully be returned soon.