Obsessed - Anno Domini
7-9-15
I've long thought it, long known it...and the longer I live on the planet the more I wonder is it becoming as obvious to everyone else?  I'm ta;loing about our obsession with sex.  No, not pointing the finger at anyone here, no fault-finding 0 I'm just as quilty (moreso) as everyone else.  We like it.  We think of it fairly often (don;t we?.  We like to talk about it.  We certainly like t engage in it.  And, we all have very strong opinions about it.

Including the High Court opinion.  Did you know I was going to go there?  Sure you did...this is a blog largely about sexual behavior and the consequences thereof.  The justices made gay marriage the law of the land.  At first glance, we may say, "So?" and go on with our business. It really doesn;t affect me.   Well, think again.   They're relating it to the 14th amendment, which reads, in part, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."  They're saying all states must allow gay marriage, and that it is a civil rights issue, tat it must now be the law.  (I say must now be, because there's a difference of opinion as to whether the justices can legislate, which they are clearly attempting to do here, or whether what they issued was an opinion, which will be tried in courts again.  And that is a fact, because most of the states don't want it. Yet, that, sadlym, is the trend right now - the states vote on something and make it law, and judges deem it unconstitutional and strike it down.  So, really where we are now, is a particular viepointruling over the rest of us through judges.  Our republic has been a good experiment, but it's failig...a small part of the populace is beginning to contro a lot of things.

But, wait, now - if it's good, what's wrong with that?  First of all, we're a republic, not a democracy - a democracy is majority rule. This isn;t the majority.  But the question is asked here - isn't this good, though?  Shouldn't they have the same rights as everyone else?

No.

Not if, by "the same rightsas eberyone else," you ,eam that clergy shpould be forc3ed to conduct their weddings, allow the use of the church buildings, florists make arrangements, bakers make their cakes, et al, if it violates their conscience.  And it does.  Which violated the 1st amwendment, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."  For their rights to be carte blanch, many peoples' 1st amendment rights would be taken away.  So, if we're going to say that the court's opinion should be the final word, then we have to find a wy that allows the 14th mendment for gays to be upheld, and the 1sy amendment rights of everyone else to be upheld - which means they have the right to refuse service to gays if it violates their conscience.  And to be able to say so without it being deemed hate speech.

And I haven't even yet said anything about the morality of the high court opinion.  A civil marriage is one thing.  Forcing everyone to say that gay marriage must be held to be a real, true marriage, i.e. one in accord with the Scriptures and sanctioned and uopheld by the church - well, sorry, that's not going to happen.  And for many of us, never will.  God spoke through the biblical writers - he defined marriage through Moses in Genesis as the union in every way of a man and a woman, the Lord Jesus affirmed it and Paul did , as well.  Many of us wo truly believe the Bible to ne the written word of God cannot deviate from this, and somehow try to re-define marriage in a way that doesn't offend other people.  Those who hold to the Bible as I do will uhold it and, as Paul wrote, "tell the truth in love."  Yes, he said do it with the love of God.

 Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Anno Domini

It's cold this first month of the New Year...normal in OKC, but these wind chills are insane!  We want to get back inside and get warmed up, pretty quickly.  Yet for some, our outward self is getting warmed while our hearts remain cold.  Last year, we say a huge outpouring of love and support to storm victims - and appropriate...children lost their lives.  Some are still being assisted in various ways, and we should be ready and willing to help our neighbors in need.  But not sex offenders.  No, it's pc to hate all who have committed a sex crime (or have been accused of one), no matter what it might be.  We as a society are very good at reacting to what we perceive to be reality...don't confuse me with the facts, they're all the same, they're all animals.  The fact is, they are not.  Yes, there are some who commit heinous crimes against children, but the statistics consistently show that, given treatment and opportunity, even these will change and function normally in society.  That's a fact.  Most people are ignorant of this truth, and it is in the best interest of some to keep it that way.  Legislators, for one - it is difficult, we acknowledge, for those who know the truth to attempt to educate others and submit good legislation that benefits all - indeed, it may even put their job in jeopardy.  We get that, and we support them, even if they're not brave enough (or compassionate enough) to do that.  Let's pray for our legislators.  And let's not give up (due to weariness) the difficult task of informing our neighbors of these truths - that everyone should have compassion and another chance extended to them, and that most of those who do will be successful.   It is easier indeed to have hard, cold, frozen hearts toward sex offenders - we have been taught to hate them.   Jesus said in Matthew 24:12 that one characteristic of the end times is that due to evil in the world, most people's love will grow cold, and that people will betray one another.  I have seen this, that people some thought were friends 'threw them under the bus' when they found out they were sex offenders.  They didn't take the time to find out what happened, what they were charged with, what they really did (or did not do) - they just reacted.  Their hearts became hard and cold, and closed to showing any compassion and the love of Christ to those who have been accused of/have committed heinous crimes.  Yet Christ reached out to those kinds of people, loved them, and brought them to where they could be forgiven, made new in Him and truly changed.  It is easy to have compassion  toward storm victims.  It is not as easy to be compassionate toward those who are sex offenders.  May God help us in 2014 to be compassionate to all, to be willing to extend the forgiveness, love and life of Jesus Christ to all.  Let us allow our frozen hearts and minds to be thawed, and become human again.  It is cold outside; let us not continue to be cold in our hearts. 

Obsessed - Anno Domini
7-9-15
I've long thought it, long known it...and the longer I live on the planet the more I wonder is it becoming as obvious to everyone else?  I'm ta;loing about our obsession with sex.  No, not pointing the finger at anyone here, no fault-finding 0 I'm just as quilty (moreso) as everyone else.  We like it.  We think of it fairly often (don;t we?.  We like to talk about it.  We certainly like t engage in it.  And, we all have very strong opinions about it.

Including the High Court opinion.  Did you know I was going to go there?  Sure you did...this is a blog largely about sexual behavior and the consequences thereof.  The justices made gay marriage the law of the land.  At first glance, we may say, "So?" and go on with our business. It really doesn;t affect me.   Well, think again.   They're relating it to the 14th amendment, which reads, in part, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."  They're saying all states must allow gay marriage, and that it is a civil rights issue, tat it must now be the law.  (I say must now be, because there's a difference of opinion as to whether the justices can legislate, which they are clearly attempting to do here, or whether what they issued was an opinion, which will be tried in courts again.  And that is a fact, because most of the states don't want it. Yet, that, sadlym, is the trend right now - the states vote on something and make it law, and judges deem it unconstitutional and strike it down.  So, really where we are now, is a particular viepointruling over the rest of us through judges.  Our republic has been a good experiment, but it's failig...a small part of the populace is beginning to contro a lot of things.

But, wait, now - if it's good, what's wrong with that?  First of all, we're a republic, not a democracy - a democracy is majority rule. This isn;t the majority.  But the question is asked here - isn't this good, though?  Shouldn't they have the same rights as everyone else?

No.

Not if, by "the same rightsas eberyone else," you ,eam that clergy shpould be forc3ed to conduct their weddings, allow the use of the church buildings, florists make arrangements, bakers make their cakes, et al, if it violates their conscience.  And it does.  Which violated the 1st amwendment, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."  For their rights to be carte blanch, many peoples' 1st amendment rights would be taken away.  So, if we're going to say that the court's opinion should be the final word, then we have to find a wy that allows the 14th mendment for gays to be upheld, and the 1sy amendment rights of everyone else to be upheld - which means they have the right to refuse service to gays if it violates their conscience.  And to be able to say so without it being deemed hate speech.

And I haven't even yet said anything about the morality of the high court opinion.  A civil marriage is one thing.  Forcing everyone to say that gay marriage must be held to be a real, true marriage, i.e. one in accord with the Scriptures and sanctioned and uopheld by the church - well, sorry, that's not going to happen.  And for many of us, never will.  God spoke through the biblical writers - he defined marriage through Moses in Genesis as the union in every way of a man and a woman, the Lord Jesus affirmed it and Paul did , as well.  Many of us wo truly believe the Bible to ne the written word of God cannot deviate from this, and somehow try to re-define marriage in a way that doesn't offend other people.  Those who hold to the Bible as I do will uhold it and, as Paul wrote, "tell the truth in love."  Yes, he said do it with the love of God.

Christmas Day               For Me

Scholars believe Mary was probably 13 or 14 when she and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem for the census (different time, different culture for sure).    Many believe Joseph was considerably older than Mary, and she may have been his second wife.  Whether true or not, we see Joseph as a loving yet strong man who protected Mary and our Savior Jesus as He came into the world.

 

They must have been tired as they arrived. I remember my wife and I arriving in Orlando on our honeymoon at 2 a.m., and I realized I didn't have the confirmation number for the shuttle to the hotel I had already paid for.  We were tired and irritable, and just wanted to get there and rest (no, really!).  So I suspect I have an idea how Joseph and Mary felt as they arrived after their long journey.  We all do, at the end of a long trip and finally arriving - we just want to get there and rest.  At least we had a room reserved - they had none.  Some kind soul offered them his stable (possibly the innkeeper?) and Mary there gave birth to our Savior.  Imagine the sights and smells in that stable...some believe it was a free-standng building, some believe it was a cave...in either case, our infinite God who created all things humbled Himself and allowed Himself to be enveloped in His finite creation, a young woman, and to be born as a baby.  Wow.  And the best part of all is that He did it for each of us - because He loves each of us.  He was born in physical poverty so that we might be spiritually rich in Him.  The incarnation is the beginning of the story of the cross and resurrection, where He took our sins and gave us His life.  We may say, 'He came into the world for ME.'  When we look at the Christ-child in the manger, may we rememer that - He came into the world for ME.  C.S. Lewis said, 'The Son of God became a man so that men could become the sons of God.'

 

Wishing you a blessed and joyful Christmas!

 

Sex, Lies & Reality

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 Anno Domini

Christmas is now over and we've entered into a New Year again.  I don't make new year's resolutions, but I do
make time to see what God might be leading me to do in the new year.  Even though Christmas is over again,
the truth of Christmas that the angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds is true for us all, all year long.
Luke 2:10,11: "I proclaim to you good news of a great joy which is for all people: a Savior, which is Christ
the Lord, is born for you this day in the city of David."  What is this "good news of a great joy"?  Christ the
Savior is born for "all people".  Our Lord was born for those who offend against other people (which would be
all of us) - including felons and sex offenders.  If we believe in Jesus and His forgiveness and new life, we must
realize that this is for all people - including felons and sex offenders.  He offers us and them forgiveness and
a new life...are we willing to allow them to have that new life He offers them?  Happy and blessed New Year - to you and to all!

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 Anno Domini

I've decided to call this blog Anno Domini.  Why?  it means 'in the year of our Lord'.  When Christ rose after He died for us, He rose in triumph.  The universe is His and His kingdom is here.  We as believers are to advance that kingdom.  Part of my calling to do that is this - this blog and our radio show is part of what Buster and I do to advance the kingdom of God in the earth).

 

Ex post facto law is evil - let me just bluntly say that and let it sit there for consideration.  It isn't just morally or constitutionally wrong - it's evil.  Why?  Ex post facto law (epfl from here on) punishes an offender 2x, 3x, 5x, 20 times - whatever, ad nauseum.  That is unconstitutional.  If the Constitution is good for all people, it's good for an offender...or it's not good at all.  Epfl breaks up families.  One may say, 'well, that's what that offender deserves'.  Maybe so...but I would say who has that right to say what people deserve and what they don't?  Remember the line in the awesome Clint Eastwood movie Unforgiven - 'Deserve's got nothing to do with it'.  That's the case here - we need to stick to the rule of law first.  Does the offender's family deserve to be without him/her?  I should say not - they didn't commit a crime.  Society is negatively affected when epfl is applied:  it makes offenders homeless and without a support system and stability, increasing their chances to re-offend.  Locking them back up doesn't negate the new victim he/or she made; it's a little too late.  The goal should be to stop epfl from being applied, for the betterment of all.

 

Fri, November 15, 2013  Anno Domini

 

I am reminded of my first post on this blog - that we're all guilty.  So I want to say right here that I am in no way saying that those who have committed offenses aren't guilty and shouldn't have consequences.  Rather, God uses consequences to bring them to repentance.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says that "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away, behold, all things are become new."  A person who repents and allows Christ to take over his/her life is a EX-felon and an EX-sex offender - and the recidivism rate for a sex offender who successfully completes treatment is 3%. less than all other types of felonies.  Fact.

That being said, I watched News 9 Oklahoma City's story from last night from Lori Fullbright, Inside the Mind of a Sex Offender.  The story overall was balanced, in my opinion.  Things brought up that I liked: all sex offenders are not equal, all offenses are not equal, and should be handled differently.   All sex offenders aren't pedophiles, which is a person who has sexual attraction toward a child; nor are they all predators, which are those who continue to go after victims.  And not all are child molesters.  And I have to say something here - the media wants ratings.  They have to push the 'bad news' stories because they elicit an emotional response - and I think we would all agree that the phrase 'child molester' does just that - it brings a response. I was particularly bothered when Kelly Ogle said, "I know it seems like every time you turn on the news police have arrested another child molester."  I'm going to call this one like I see it - poor journalism.  The choice of the words 'child molester' was a purposely-chosen phrase to elicit a response.  Kelly, it is poor journalism to suggest that it seems like every day a 'child molester' is arrested - it would have been better-worded, 'police have arrested another person accused of a sex crime."  Your implication, Kelly, is that all sex offenders are child molesters - which you know is absolutely not true.  But even worse than that is the smirk on your face when you said it - do you consider that to be funny?  That sex crimes occur?  And that you used a phrase to elicit an emotional response and which also, the way you worded it, propagates a lie?  I normally find you to be professional and compassionate, Kelly - but opinions belong on your "Two Cents" feature, not on a news story.  And smirks in a news story on this particular topic are uncalled for and are in very bad taste.  This calls for compassion and professionalism, sir, not smirks and emotionally-charged wording. 

Wed, November 13, 2013, Anno Domini

Offenders Less Sex Offender -y?

I'm reading an article from the Gazzette (front page of this site) covering the recent Oklahoma State Supreme Court's decision to remove sex offenders from the registry whose conviction or disposition of case occurred prior to 2007.  The title of the article suggests a mistake was made in that judgement because they are still sex offenders.

 

No one is denying that.  What some of us are denying is the constitutionality of ex post facto law, which the Constitution forbids.  What is that?  Those are laws that are punitive in nature which are passed to further punish someone who has already been convicted of a crime.  In this case the law is forcing sex offenders to register longer than ordered by the court when they were convicted.  Some were ordered to register for a couple of years, some 5, some 10, some longer, or for life, depending on the crime and what the judge orders.  When the court metes out punishment and conviction, that case is closed.  Barring further offense, it is unconstitutional to add further punishment for that crime.  Yet this occurs every day with federal laws which make states re-assess a sex offender's risk to re-offend, and then classify them into differing levels, or tiers, which then may change how long that person must register.  85% of sex offenders, under the tier system, must register for life in Oklahoma, no matter the offense.  If the court ordered another length of time to register, and the tier system requires longer on the registry, this would be punitive and make the new law ex post facto.

 

If an offender was ordered to register 10 years after he/she completed parole or probation, and the state added more time on the registry (with no subsequent offense by the offender), that is unconstitutional.  The new ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court orders the DOC to remove those from the registry in conformity to the sentencing court's order, whose convictions were before 2007, when the federal laws were passed.

 

The Gazette asked the question as to whether these were "less sex offender-y" to say they aren't, and so voicing their disapproval of the court's decision.  Truth is, it's irrelevant whether anyone disagrees or not - the fact that making people register longer then their court ordered is unconstitutional.  If we don't uphold the constitutional rights of these - when will they come after yours and mine?

Something else to consider: when a felon, including a sex offender, truly reforms, they are no longer felons or sex offenders.  How can I say that?  The next blog will address that.

 

 

 

Mon, November 4, 2013 Anno Domini

 

This is my favorite time of the year.  Lotta beauty to see...the leaves are brown and gold, and some are still green.  And it's cooling down, which I like a lot.  We're expected to have a little sun today, and rain tonight and for the next couple of days.

 

I was saddened to hear of the events at LAX.  Now, to be honest, I am one of those who has a problem with some of what TSA does - it's degrading.  Our dignity as human beings needs to be respected...and sometimes they don't do that.  Don't get me wrong - I appreciate what they do that helps keep us safe.  I don't want anyone getting on a plane with a gun or bomb (of course I still wonder how the 'underwear bomber' was able to get past the security checkpoint and attempt to blow up that plane and all those people in it...).   But let's face it - some of what they do is overkill.  I disagree with the scanners that, despite what they claim, is just too revealing. 

 

But no matter what I think of some of their methods, I appreciate the end result of some of what they do - our safety.  And even though I think what they do is overreaching, I would never wish any of them harm.  The last I've seen, there is no determined motive for this guy and his actions in that terminal.  But if I was a betting man (and I'm not!), we're gong to find out this guy was marginalized or persecuted in some way.

 

Now don't everyone start yelling at me all at once...nothing justifies what he did.  But let's go back to Columbine...others and myself said at the time that this will happen again.  When people are marginalized, bullied, persecuted, or what have you, they often will react.  They will retaliate.  And more people will be hurt.  Our tendency is to say something to the effect of, "Well, they need to get some help!  That's not my problem!"  True. But when people get marginalized, when we're not supportive of them getting the help they need, things like this happen.

 

Same with felons and sex offenders.  When we marginalize them, and make it difficult to re-enter society - when we make it difficult for them to have jobs and place to live, it is not only not good for them...it is not good for our communities.  Statistics show that when ex-felons (including ex-sex offenders) are able to have a support system, when they  are participating in treatment, and when they have a residence and gainful employment, their recidivism rate is lower...there is less chance of them re-offending, of offending against our families.  When sex offenders are faced with laws that make it difficult for them to find suitable housing, they go homeless, they fall 'off the radar' - and lose their support, treatment and stability.  Law enforcement loses their ability to keep track of them.  And the chance of their re-offending increases.  We don't have the funds to build enough jails or prisons to lock them up.  The best answer for all is to not marginalize them...which will make our communities safer and better. 

 

 

Tue, .Rocktober 15, 2013 A.D.

A cold front just moved in to the OKC metro, and it's grey and chilly outside.  Weather like this tends to make me a bit introspective...I am thankful for God's grace in my life, for full forgiveness in Christ, for my wife, daughter and family.

 

Yeah, yeah...what does that have to do with sex?  I'm glad you asked me that question. Here's my answer.

 

 Every one of us is a sex offender in front of God.

 

You say, "Excuse me?  I'm not a sex offender!  I haven't done anything like that to a child - don't call me that!"  Maybe not.  Yet it all really depends on what your definition of a 'sex offender' is.  Paul said in his letter to the Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  And James wrote in his letter 2:10, "For he who keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at one point is guilty of breaking all of it."  So, if I lie, does that make me a murderer?  No, not technically...it means you're just as guilty as if you had murdered.  Same with sexual offenses.  You may not have done a certain thing, but we've all done something wrong sexually.  Yep.  You say, "No, I haven't done anything."  Really?  How about sex outside of marriage?  And Jesus told us in Matthew 5 that it's a sin to lust in our hearts. "Oh, well, yeah, but..."- no buts.  We're all guilty.

You say, OK, what's the point?  You're starting to aggravate me.  The point is that we're all guilty of sexual sin.  Every one of us.  So in the eyes of God, we're all sex offenders. 

Yeah, but I didn't do anything that bad!  That may be true...but we've all sinned, sexually sinned, and so we're ALL guilty in the eyes of God.  That means the finger-pointing has to stop.  It's easy to call attention to someone else's sin so we don't have to look at our own.  We should say, "OK God, I'm sorry for MY stuff," and not judge someone else.

That's too much to ask.  Is it?

 

Anno Domini

  blog

 

December `9, 2013 Anno Domini

Well, here we are again - the time of the yearly celebration of birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord.  I love the Christmas season, and really enjoy celebrating it, as most of us do.  Yet I am saddened about something at thi time of the year..there are those that, due to ex post facto law (epfl), are unable to see wives, children and family members - this due to the epfl of travel restrictions placed on them by probation and parole departments.  Even worse is the fact that, due to the epfl of residency restrictions, many are homeless and without family and a support structure here in the holiday season.  And it has been below freezing several days already this holiday season.  That isn't just sad, that's cruel, and at the worst, criminal.  The only biblical, the only Christ-like position I can see to take on this is that they need to be exposed for the evil they are and the detriment they cause, and work must be undertaken to remove these inhumane laws from the books. Our God shows mercy to all, and if such named persons are truly repentant and have changed their lives, a just society must offer them a true and full opportunity to re-integrate into society - including an opportunity for housing, employment, family contact and a support system.  Anything less than this is short-sighted and increases the chance for more victims - in short, as I said before, cruel, criminal and evil.  Let us consider these things at this time of the year, and consider what each of us might do to influence change happening in this area - for the good of victims, families and offenders, and society as a whole.  All of us here at SLR wish you and yours a very joyful Christmas and a blessed, productive and compassionate New Year!