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Archive for December, 2013

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Santa Working Out

Santa Working Out

Ronnie Shalvis in a Santa Claus outfit for his Parkour video, doing the move on his teams logo. Click the photo to watch the video of him doing Parkour!

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Video

Santa Claus hits the rooftops!

Santa decides to leave his sleigh and try a few moves. Ronnie Shalvis, my favorite Parkour dude, and his latest video (as of when this was published.) Keep it up Ronnie!


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Run Luke, Run!

Run Luke, Run!

Darth Vader is hot on their trail! Random Pic.
Source: Google Image Search


Source of Human Rights

What, or who, is the source of Human Rights?

Now we’re talking. This is for all those who deny others their natural born rights (getting ahead of myself) like pro-choicers and tyrants alike. I’m going to address a few possible sources of human rights; the state or other men (i.e., the U.N., local governments, democracy), or the God of the Bible.

If the state or democracy granted us Human Rights, that would mean that they could go away; in other words, there would be no human rights. There would be whatever society thinks is OK. There needs to be somebody above fallible man, in order for us to have true, solid, human rights. Because, who defines the right to life? Who defines the right to free speech? Who defines the right to worship God freely? Who defines the right to self defense? If its the state, then they can say that you have the right to defend yourself in certain circumstances, but not in others, or you have the right to live when your young, but not when you’re old.

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Tyrants like Adolf Hitler; they thrived from the destruction of human rights.

These rights I just mentioned are all going away… because men and women are slowly changing in their minds who they believe grants us Human Rights. When this country was founded, it was God, the God of the Bible; the rights were derived from sources like the Ten Commandments, which is fast disappearing this country’s governments and schools.

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Creator God grants us Human Rights

If God grants us Human Rights, then they are then unable to be taken away by other men, without breaking the moral code of God. Lets say that someone was walking down the street, and I stick a gun in his face; if the rights are given by God, and I shoot, I didn’t take away his right to life; I violated it. However, if man gives those rights, and I shoot someone, I was just fulfilling natural selection, killing those who couldn’t fend for themselves, and thus had no right to life. Same with the unborn. The baby has no defense but its mother. Refusing to shelter it is not only refusing, but violating its divinely granted right to life.But, because man wants to be God, and they want power over others, they are trying to shift power away from God, and into their own hands. Unless we acknowledge that God is the giver of Human Rights, there soon won’t be any.

may the truth be with you


Booker T. Washington and Social Acceptance

All men “are created equal.” I believe this from the bottom of my heart, and so did Booker T. Washington, and he explains this in his book, Up From Slavery. He believed, as do I, that racism destroys the character of not only the oppressor, but the oppressed. Not only does the oppressed feel strongly hostile to the oppressor, but the oppressor looks down on the oppressed. Even nowadays, there is still a sort of racism; some of the black population of the U.S. looks down at whites, and some of the white population stay away from the blacks and sneer back. This retards society as a whole; for, instead of of us all working together, we have some people fighting each other; a sort of race war, that is only being encouraged by movies and social media.

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Booker T. Washington speaks very strongly about working your way up; becoming someone respected through the work of your hands. This is important. You can’t force someone else to appreciate you; you need to earn his respect through proving that you are worthy of his appreciation. Instead of using the power of the state to increase your wealth by taking it away from those who created it, you need to earn your own wealth, create your own capital. Have something that people need, and distribute it efficiently. This is how you earn respect in a free society. A free society has no bias based on race or color, unless encouraged, but, in a truly free society, this will not be the case. Of course, there will be some people like that, but, overall, the society will be looking for people to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and carry society two rungs at a time up that ladder of progress.

Related Post From other Blogs: Washington’s Program for Blacks (And Whites) – Perrissa’s School Blog

 

 


Life of Christians: From Pliny the Younger to Constantine

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The Christians during the reign of Trajan were being persecuted severely, all those living in Roman controlled territory being told to worship the Roman gods, and Pliny the Younger, Governor of modern day Turkey, wrote a message to Trajan in 112 A.D., asking counsel on the treatment of Christians. I quote some of this letter (I cut some out because of its length, to see full letter, and the response to it, see here):

It is my custom, O lord, to refer all questionable issues to you. For who is more capable of resolving my doubts and instructing my ignorance?

…I do not know the nature or the extent of the sanctions usually administered against them, nor the grounds for opening a formal inquiry and how far it should be pressed. Nor am I at all sure whether any distinction should be made between them on the basis of age, or whether young people and adults should be treated identically, whether a pardon ought to be granted to anyone retracting his beliefs, or if he has once professed being a “Christ-nik” he shall gain nothing by renouncing it; and whether it is the mere label that is actionable, even if not guilty of a crime, or rather the crimes associated with the name.

In the meantime, this is the approach I have taken with everyone brought before me on the charge of being “Christ-niks”: I have asked them in person if they are “Christ-niks”; and if they admit it, I repeat the question a second and third time with a warning of the sanction awaiting them. If they persist, I order them to be led away for execution…

…from these, I considered dismissing any who denied that they were or ever had been “Christ-niks” when they had recited after me an invocation of the gods and made offerings of wine and incense to your statue… and further reviled the name of Christ: none of which, I understand, any true “Christ-niks” can be induced to do. Others, whose names were given to me by an informant, first admitted the charge and then denied it; they said that they had ceased to be “Christ-niks” two or more years before, and some of them even twenty years ago. They all venerated your statue and the images of the gods in the same way as the others, and cursed the name of Christ.

They also declared that the totality of their guilt or error amounted to no more than this: they had met regularly before dawn on a certain day to chant verses antiphonally amongst themselves in honor of Christ as if to a god, and also to bind themselves with an oath, not in a criminal conspiracy, but to abstain from fraud, banditry, and adulteration, to commit no breach of trust, and not to renege on a deposit. After completing this foolishness, it was their custom to disperse and reassemble later to take food of an common and innocuous type; but they had in fact given up this practice since my edict, issued on your instructions, which banned all associations. This made me decide it was all the more necessary to extract the truth from two female slaves—whom they call “ministers”—by means of torture. I found nothing but a degenerate sort of superstition carried to immoderate lengths…

(Source: Here – Or go to their front page for more Ancient works: http://www.kchanson.com)

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Pliny the Younger

To boil this down; Pliny the Younger basically asks if the punishment for Christians should vary based on age, or gender, or whether they were once Christians but renounced the faith. Trajan’s response is short and simple; continue with what you are doing, you shouldn’t hunt the Christians, but if you are tipped off, deal with them strictly, with no discrimination.

The life that the Christians lived after that until the reign of Constantine was hard; they could always get tipped off for being a Christian, facing death and the rebuke of the community. Though it some times did become worse; they were actually hunted during one Emperor’s reign; on average, it was a lenient severity.

This was reversed, especially with the Edict of Milan; which gave religious freedom to everyone, and Christians who had lost their property would have it returned – they would be “made whole”. And thus, the Christian church survived the Roman Empire and the early persecutions.


Letter Of Pliny the Younger Concerning Christians

This famous letter was written to the Emperor Trajan in 112 A.D by Pliny the Younger, Governor of what is now modern day Turkey. In this letter, he briefly runs over what the Christians claimed to do, none of which were crimes, and how he dealt with them, and asking how he should deal with them.

It is my custom, O lord, to refer all questionable issues to you. For who is more capable of resolving my doubts and instructing my ignorance?

I have never been present at a formal inquiry of “Christ-niks.” Consequently, I do not know the nature or the extent of the sanctions usually administered against them, nor the grounds for opening a formal inquiry and how far it should be pressed. Nor am I at all sure whether any distinction should be made between them on the basis of age, or whether young people and adults should be treated identically, whether a pardon ought to be granted to anyone retracting his beliefs, or if he has once professed being a “Christ-nik” he shall gain nothing by renouncing it; and whether it is the mere label that is actionable, even if not guilty of a crime, or rather the crimes associated with the name.

In the meantime, this is the approach I have taken with everyone brought before me on the charge of being “Christ-niks”: I have asked them in person if they are “Christ-niks”; and if they admit it, I repeat the question a second and third time with a warning of the sanction awaiting them. If they persist, I order them to be led away for execution. For, whatever the nature of their admission, I am convinced that their stubbornness and unshakeable obstinacy should not go unpunished. Others as fanatical who are citizens of Rome I have listed to be remanded to “the City” for trial.

Now that I have begun to deal with this problem, as so often happens, the charges are becoming more widespread and increasing in variety. An anonymous writing has circulated that contains the names of several accused individuals. From these, I considered dismissing any who denied that they were or ever had been “Christ-niks” when they had recited after me an invocation of the gods and made offerings of wine and incense to your statue—which I ordered brought into court for this purpose along with the images of the gods—and further reviled the name of Christ: none of which, I understand, any true “Christ-niks” can be induced to do. Others, whose names were given to me by an informant, first admitted the charge and then denied it; they said that they had ceased to be “Christ-niks” two or more years before, and some of them even twenty years ago. They all venerated your statue and the images of the gods in the same way as the others, and cursed the name of Christ.

They also declared that the totality of their guilt or error amounted to no more than this: they had met regularly before dawn on a certain day to chant verses antiphonally amongst themselves in honor of Christ as if to a god, and also to bind themselves with an oath, not in a criminal conspiracy, but to abstain from fraud, banditry, and adulteration, to commit no breach of trust, and not to renege on a deposit. After completing this foolishness, it was their custom to disperse and reassemble later to take food of an common and innocuous type; but they had in fact given up this practice since my edict, issued on your instructions, which banned all associations. This made me decide it was all the more necessary to extract the truth from two female slaves—whom they call “ministers”—by means of torture. I found nothing but a degenerate sort of superstition carried to immoderate lengths.

I have, therefore, put off any further consideration awaiting your counsel. The matter seems worthy of your consideration, especially in light of the number of persons at risk. For numerous persons of every age and every class, both genders, are being brought to trial, and this is likely to continue. It is not only the town, but villages and countryside as well that are infected through contact with this perverse superstition. I think that it is still possible for it to be checked and directed to better ends, for there is no doubt that people have begun to throng the temples, which had been almost entirely abandoned for a long time. And the sacred rites that had been allowed to lapse are again being performed, and the flesh of sacrificial meat is on sale everywhere, though until recently hardly anyone was buying it. It is easy to infer from this that a great many people could be rehabilitated if they were given an opportunity to recant.

This is the response from Emperor Trajan. It is far shorter than the above letter!

You have followed the correct course, my favored one, in your investigation of the cases of persons charged with being “Christ-niks”; for it is impossible to construct a universal principle applied as a fixed standard. These people should not be hunted down; if they are brought before you and the charge against them is proven, they must be punished. But in the case of anyone who denies that he is a “Christ-niks” and makes it clear that he is not by offering supplications to our gods, he shall be acquitted as a result of his recanting, however suspect his former conduct may be. But anonymous accusations shall not be introduced into the proceedings. They set a bad precedent and are not in the spirit of our age.

Source: Here – Or go to their front page for more on Ancient text etc; http://www.kchanson.com