|Posted on June 28, 2018 at 10:40 PM||comments (0)|
Feminism has Missed the Mark (but most women go to The Heavenly Kingdom anyway!)
Feminism has come about, I assert, because men have not treated women with love and have committed terrible atrocities against their wives, girlfriends and co-workers. The problem is that feminism has not resulted in men becoming (or, arguably, returning to the status of) gentlemen. Instead, men have become cowed and intimidated by women and the accusations against them (MeToo, etc.) which they cannot deny nor seem to be able to repent of, becoming “P.W.F.”s (sorry for the vernacular, but it get the point across, Pussy Whipped F****ts, i.e. wimps). To put in other terms John Wayne is dead, if he ever existed in reality. (Note Rock Hudson’s passing) But my research has shown that real women do not actually like a wimpy guy, but want a strong, confident, respectful, and loving gentleman. Jesus is here to give you just that, but first some unfinished business.
Up until the mid 19th century, women were considered the property of their husbands and could neither vote, nor own property except in the name of their husband. Even if you are a nostalgic conservative who wanted to return to the “good-old days” we have to realize that men had it pretty good and instead of caring for their property, abused and mistreated it. Even after they were given basic rights, women were killed, tortured, forced to have abortions, disposed of in mental institutions or physical, sexually or emotionally abused, for showing the slightest individuality or creativity. Obviously, men’s behavior was an abomination and has led to our current state of women’s (and children’s) rights, where lawmakers and courts have given women more and more rights, priveleges and power and men’s rights have been more and more marginalized. Some of these rights and powers appropriated by women are legitimate, while some amount to unfair(?), though understandable, emasculation of men. However, this writer is having trouble shedding a tear for the “beastly” men who have done so much damage to women, children, themselves and the planet which we all inhabit. If women were in charge, would there be very many wars, sex abuse, murders and shootings and would we have half as much pollution and ecological degradation? I assert a firm NO! Most women are more honest, kinder, more compassionate, more thoughtful and of a subtle, yet strong character which is lacking in the dishonest, egotistical males who only want to puff themselves up and selfishly pursue money, status, power and the hedonistic pleasure they derive from these ungodly pursuits. (The “almighty dollar”, “King of the golf club”, etc.) Men should have learned by now that money and materialism are an illusion. Love is the only true force in the world and has defeated men (and those arrogant women who refuse to accept their loving nature). Women, two wrongs don’t make a right. Men were wrong, don’t emulate their egotistical love of arrogance, violence, dishonesty, money and materialism.
Women have increasingly become like men, including in all the “bad” things as well as the power, money and status. The following passage was written many years ago in the late 1950s, with the historical quote attributed to the days of the Roman Empire during the years of Christ’s first earthly ministry. This was attributed to a Roman tribune, a significant military leader in the Empire: “You do not know the Roman women! They have lost all womanliness. They engage in business! They have become fraudulent and dissolute men. They move about Rome in their gilded litters, as unaccompanied, and can quote you the latest stock prices with the facility of bankers! Many prefer not to marry, but they have many lovers. To such degeneracy has Rome fallen. I will not filthy my mouth with the list of their abominable practices." (Taylor Caldwell in “Dear and Glorious Physician", p. 161., a book about Gospel author St. Luke) Sounds strangely like a description of women in the early 21st century A.D.! I personally adore petite, feminine, docile women, though I do like a feisty gal now and then. But arrogance was never appropriate in men and it certainly is not a Godly attribute in women today. Why is it so bad to be the assistant to men, according to Genesis, rather than the “Queen Bee” (see below)? We know why. But have no fear, men are being judged and although Jesus will rule with a rod of iron, the rest of the duds, less a few virgin eunuchs and stewardly apostles/martyrs/prophets, will be vacationing warmly in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.
Like I’ve written previously, there is also a strong element of hypocrisy in feminism’s attacks and judgement on men. While sexual harassment is a problem and men have treated women poorly, how can women sanctimoniously attack and judge men for leering at or minor touching when women champion the “right” to kill their unborn children. However, it is lucky for women that God will not punish them for the sins of abortion but will lay this guilt at the feet of the men who for many years were stronger and in the leadership position in society. Rather than be loving husbands and boyfriends, they became lying, arrogant, egotistical bad boys inflicting harm on women. Judgement on men will be harsh and swift. Women who have become cynical and arrogant themselves and who have conspired with these evil men will be judged “and burned with fire for strong is the Lord who judges her,” but will not have the horror of hell (how about a form of purgatory?). (See Revelation 18:7-8: “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”
My goal is to spread the Word of the upcoming Second Coming and the need for all women described above to repent. Young virgins are exempt but would be wise to avoid spoiling your advantage. Remember, heaven or not is your choice and the Heavenly Kingdom is so wonderful, NO MACHO BEASTS (except for Jesus Himself, lol), no pain, sadness, tears, and only love. I tell only the truth and many there be who will not believe me, but I assert it regardless. Be ready because He comes like a thief in the night! If you believe you are a Christian, you must believe me as my interpretation comes directly from the Holy Spirit and Holy Scriptures.
|Posted on June 19, 2018 at 2:05 PM||comments (0)|
“They-a culpa”: Internal Familial Attacks Seek to Destroy Ministry of Love
"But Jesus said unto them, 'A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.'" (Mark 6:4 KJV)
We who preach a strong Gospel message expect to get some criticism, persecution and attacks from detractors and those who do not believe the Scriptural truths which sometimes convict and even condemn our conventional culture, but when the source of the attacks is the evangelist's own family, it really stings and smacks of betrayal and hypocrisy. That’s the situation this evangelist is in. My elderly mother is playing the “wicked queen” and my hateful, spiteful sister (possessed by Satan?) is trying to see if she can destroy me, my credibility, my reputation and my ability to get a job or even the ability to volunteer. With my mother’s help, my sister has done a good job, but not good enough. She has spread defamatory lies (accused me falsely of child pornography, debunked by the police themselves) and poisoned my relationship with the Archdiocese of Hartford (Roman Catholic Church), actually calling our local parish priest and spreading lies and half-truths, and also harming my reputation with prospective jobs, references and volunteer opportunities. I have been suspended from teaching CCD classes even though I am the best qualified in the parish, probably in the whole state. (I studied at the New England School of the Bible) “Sister Satan”, the incorrigible liar, just laughs at me and calls me a liar!. She has blasphemed the Holy Spirit, which is the only unforgivable sin (Mark 3:29), being that she called my Christian work evil. (Sister Satan doesn’t even volunteer herself!) My attempts to get a restraining order against her failed, because the gutless judge “didn’t want to put anyone out” and instead admonished the “young lady [what a joke] to avoid making trouble”. The courts almost always believe a woman over a man, and that’s because most men are liars, but this man is not a liar, he is the Truth-teller. After finding out that my sister met with our priest, I have decided I am leaving the false, hypocritical Catholic church for good. (not that I have any illusions about other churches and denominations)
I believe in honesty, humility, simplicity and love. I greatly believe that our world likes “form”, i.e. image, over substance, where I feel that substance trumps form every time as it is Truth and reality. If you have read my book, you will realize that formal churches are being phased out, whether we like it or not. We need a higher level of faith and love than is found in formal church settings where the goal is money and keeping the flock glued to their seats, which is, of course, failing, as the flock is falling away and churches are closing left and right. There is no monetary or ego incentive for a pastor to show his (or her) flock how to grow spiritually (read M. Scott Peck) if that growth would lead them to higher states of spirituality and maybe lead them beyond the doors of the tithe-paying formal church! Young people from 12 or 13 years on are increasingly avoiding church attendance and affiliation. But those that claim to not believe in “organized religion” really don’t substitute informal spirituality, they just fall away and stop attending church. They don’t believe in any religion. Our 80% of the population who claim to believe in God are mostly unsaved agnostics. That’s not spiritual growth, that’s atheism! My lesbian sister and my angry mother both hate heterosexual men, but you can’t really “blame” them as they were abused at a young age by my grandfather. (along with my two female cousins) This is a family story long hashed out. My sister is the angry bull and my mother is the “Betty Crocker”/ “June Cleaver” sort of housewife where image and a smiling face are everything and no one better tell the family secrets lest the truth get out and besmirch the family image. (she so dominated my gutless father that he even did the wash, besides doing almost everything else including the dishes and of course all the outside work) But the truth is that both my Satanic Sister and my Wicked Queen of a “mother” are very negative people who have a great deal of hatred in their cold hearts and which hatred they are turning on this evangelist, the one who does most of the work around the “plantation” and out in the volunteer charitable world. (at least until my reputation was defamed) They want me as a male slave to do most of the work and then turn around and attack, belittle, ridicule, criticize and order me around. (My “mother” claims she is scared of my evil sister.) Even while lying to the police (and in the process calling me a liar) and facilitating the destructive attacks from my sister including emotional abuse (“you’re a worthless piece of shit”, etc.), threats to destroy me or do false charges, defamation of character, thefts, vandalism (Christmas decorations, $60 headphones, poisoned drink, defaced Christian bumper sticker, scratched car, stolen money, misplaced credit cards and remote controls which turn up magically, etc.), my mother goes to church and says the rosary! At least my sister doesn’t have the nerve to show up in church! Although my Satanic Sister is the prime doer of the abuse, my so-called mother is guilty of colluding, conspiring, inciting and enabling my demonic sister to attempt to destroy my life, reputation and good works. It is unforgivable. And even if forgivable, how do you forgive unrepentant liars? The time is coming soon when the tables will be turned!
Stephen M. Theriault
|Posted on April 6, 2018 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
Contrary to Popular Opinion, We Need Jesus!
I recently posted (on my Avenger-Equalizer Tumblr blog site and webpage) an article from the Wall Street Journal called “The Enlightenment Is Working” which claimed that “The world has improved by every measure of human flourishing over the past two centuries, and the progress continues, writes Steven Pinker.” Mr. Pinker calls those who see problems in our world “nay-sayers and prophets of gloom and doom.” Needless to say, the world has improved in many areas and in many ways. However, to say that the world “has improved by every measure of human flourishing” is grossly over-stating reality and the increasing problems we have in our troubled society. Whether genocide (Jews, Japanese nuclear bomb victims, Bosnians Serbs, Rwandan Tutsis, unborn children) or violent gun deaths as a symptom of our increasingly depressed and dysfunctional (and superficial, lazy and dishonest) society, such as the increasing number of suicides, many by our own returning veterans, drug overdoses due to opioids and other drugs and the increasingly medicated society we live in with a large percentage of our population on anti-depressants, opiates for pain and relaxation, anti-anxiety drugs and anti-psychotics. There is still considerable hunger and poverty in the world, including in this country, though, as Pinker correctly points out, some of the percentages are a bit lower, though hunger has hardly been eradicated. Anyone who doubts this should visit a soup kitchen in major metropolitan areas or take a “country road” into Appalachia in the mountains of West Virginia. A recent series of articles in the Los Angeles Times pointed out that the homeless population is skyrocketing in L.A. and surrounding areas! With shrinking municipal, state and federal budgets, there are less shelters and substance abuse and mental health treatment centers vital to reducing the homeless population. And developers won’t develop low-income housing unless government steps in and provides money and incentives and planning boards end the racist and anti-poverty exclusionary zoning. Of course, there’s also pollution of the air, land, ocean, lakes and rivers, loss of forests and natural areas and vital wetlands due to over-development, water shortages due to over pumping of dry ecosystems, viral contagions, hunger, wildfires and flooding due to poor development decisions, pointless wars, threat of nuclear annihilation, torture, terrorism, etc. I’m not even counting acts of God such as earthquakes, certain floods and wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc. Yes, we (even the poor) have more technology, money, leisure time, material goods, consumer luxuries and digital electronics including computers, tablets, phones, etc. but if our material wealth and luxurious consumerism is making us so happy, why are we so depressed and anxious and suicidal?? If our wars and wartime mentality is so just and wonderful, why are our soldiers coming home with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) so severe they commit suicide or end up in mental institutions? And if the #MeToo/#Time’sUP movement can be believed, women are increasingly the victims of sexual abuse, assault and harassment and child-directed sex crimes are rampant. Racism, sexism, classism, extreme nationalism and other forms of discrimination and xenophobia are not going away, actually these abhorrent events are going up in number since Trump took office. This is true even though we constantly focus on these issues in the press and in our national and world conversation! How has our increasingly technological, scientific and rational enlightenment been a boon to all these “victims” of the modern and post-modern world? Is our namby-pamby and Pollyannaish press simply glorifying the mundane and crass parts of the world economy which produce money, excess wealth and material luxuries? Our computer and cellphone literacy has skyrocketed, while reading comprehension and knowledge of history, geography, literature, languages, etc., continues to decline and math scores fall well below other developed nations. Our texting prowess has soared while our relationships and marriages flounder in increasing dysfunction. Do people talk directly to one another anymore? Clearly a significant part of our population is being left behind in the “enlightened” flourishing! Unemployment is becoming entrenched for many minority groups (many of all races have left the workforce entirely), while poor and depressed areas in our country and in the third world are an embarrassment when we have corporate CEO’s making over $50 million per year and we have individuals with a net worth over $120 billion, while poor and working-class families struggle to survive on the federal minimum wage which is still under $8 per hour! I’ve recently read books by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both titans of the progressive cause, and they cite the increasingly extreme statistics of wealth inequality and the fact that even the so-called middle class is being squeezed. Our tax code and all our laws and corporate bailouts have caused our economic growth to go to the top 1% of wealthy people in this country (could anyone actually use $123 billion?), while the poor and middle class stagnate and fall further behind the so-called American “dream”? It’s even worse in other less-developed nations. Still think we don’t need a Savior?
Some say that our sophisticated technological fixes will solve our world’s pollution and environmental problems, but as we continue to over-develop, can we keep up? Scientists say the earth is heating up and that we could see an increase in extinction of rare species and increasing sea-level rise (especially if major Antarctic ice shelves melt) which could inundate low lying areas and destroy whole communities and ecosystems. We have already lost over 50% of our coastal and inland wetlands (which provide wildlife and aquatic habitat, nutrient storage, pollution filtration and flood control) throughout the world, and we’ve lost a large percentage of our vital coastal mangrove forests (which harbor fish and other sea life and provide vital nutrients and shoreline stabilization) and we are losing coral reefs (vital habitat for fish and other aquatic life) to pollution and development. And we cannot manufacture healthy, natural ecosystems, mangrove forests, reefs, wilderness and wetlands. In some areas of America and other countries, we are losing, to callous greed and over-development, virgin forests and buffers for rivers and lakes as well as open space for suburban and urban populations which are a vital place for wildlife to thrive and for harried workers to decompress. There are less and less untouched old-growth forests left and roadless areas are being impinged by recreational and energy exploitation. Rather than conserve energy and oil, we want to destroy the last vestiges of wilderness in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska! Don’t you think that Jesus could make a big difference in our environment?
I hear people constantly complaining about this problem and that problem, but when a Savior is mentioned, they almost invariably say “I don’t need any help” or “I can take care of myself.” These answers show pride and ego and an unwillingness to confront the reality that this world is pointed in the wrong direction and in need of Godly intervention. Do we want a “Heavenly Kingdom”? Or will we settle for a depressing, polluted and over-developed, heavily medicated “hell on earth.” With Global Warming we won’t need even to go “down there”! If you look online or in the bookstore, there are literally tens of thousands of self-help and psychology books and thousands more inspirational and spiritual guides. But self-help and inspirational guides are only as good as how they are put to use, much as the Bible and in particular, the New Testament is as good as one puts the commands of Jesus into practice! Greed, selfishness and hedonism have gotten us into the predicament we are in. Therefore, we must not only know the Truth, but we must put the Truth into practice every day. As Jesus said, “Deny thyself and take up thy cross and follow me.”
Stephen M. Theriault
Stephen M. Theriault is the author of The Practical Guide to Real Christianity and is organizer/founder of International Citizens Against Corruption and Overdevelopment, one of many groups he has begun. (on Facebook) and Avenger-Equalizer blog. Avenger/Equalizer Blog: www.theavenger.us (also on Facebook and Tumblr, as well as TheJesusReport blog found only on Tumblr.) I am @stevetheriault9 on Twitter.com.
P.S. I strongly assert that if it were not for Jesus’ intervention, we would long ago have destroyed the earth with nuclear war. Pray He keeps His finger on the button preventing our annihilation. I continue to tell the Truth whether or not people are listening.
|Posted on March 27, 2018 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
The Over-Sexualizing of Society and Sexual Hypocrisy
Our highly technologically-linked society is a communications juggernaut when it comes to imparting values relating to sexuality and relationships. Advertising, TV, movies and other media portray sexuality and relationships in a casual and morally hazy and ambivalent light. Young people watch these portrayals and learn that sex is not sacred, nor tied to love or committed relationships and is now considered a sport, where orgasms are not loving or holy but mere opiate-like quantitative “highs. Young people no longer “court” to find their mate and instead engage in all sorts of risky and somewhat perverse behavior which has led to a total confusion of the “rules of engagement.” This decimation of sexuality comes with so much focus on sex that we are “turned on” every time we look at TV, movies, magazines or other media. I’m not saying we should go back to the mid -19th century, as the conservative, fundamental religious groups try to do, but we do need to learn to reclaim some of our modesty, such as the recent focus on girls (and boys) retaining their virginity until marriage, or at least until maturity. Does anyone wonder why there are so many sexual offenders? Girls dress like whores and get drunk at bars. That, of course, does not give these despicable men license to abuse, but if we want to reduce the rate of sexual offenses and recidivism, we have to look at how females portray themselves in public. We have to face it, that half-naked females do elicit a response in males which is not bad in and of itself. But we must be cognizant of the response and make sure that public shows of sexuality are reasonable and appropriate. In other words, if we want men and boys to act appropriately, women and girls must do likewise. Anything else is just hypocrisy. Sexuality and relationships should not be used as weapons!
To reiterate, I’m not saying we can return to the 19th century’s modesty in dress and communication. But we need to look at what we are projecting when we see young girls dressing like proverbial whores. I love the female body, and to a much lesser extent the male body, as I’m heterosexual. God created our bodies in His image, after all, and He wants us to enjoy them. But when the overly pervasive focus on sexual titillation starts to create a society where romance is dying of fright and girls are afraid to go out at night and men are having sex with women and girls they don’t even know or love, then we have to say enough is enough! If we don’t learn to deal effectively with our “lusts” and sexuality in a healthy way, we may lose the moral structure to society.
And another thing related to sexual hypocrisy is the fact that women seem to believe that it’s OK to abort a living, unborn child, yet if a man blinks at them or touches them inappropriately, it’s the gallows for the poor schmuck. Doesn’t that seem a bit ridiculous? We’ve definitely got our priorities mixed up and the fact is that women and feminists have become hypocrites. But as I said, women who have abortions are forgiven and will not be prosecuted and will not lose their salvation. Men are still held to a higher standard and will have all the guilt for abortion imputed to them. See my upcoming blog on feminism and my book The Practical Guide to Real Christianity for more info on this subject.
Advertising, Corporate Profits and Sexuality
Thin, nearly naked models writhe lewdly in commercials for underwear and other products. Large corporate entities rely on enticing shoppers or in selling their brand by any means necessary. We have a culture that says anything that is sexy or alluring is useful to make a sale. These advertisements not only over-sexualize the airwaves but also lead to increases in anorexia nervosa as mostly young girls try to emulate the stick figures they see as sexy and popular. It’s hard to sit in front of the TV without being “turned on” by the sexuality of advertisements, not to mention the sexual content of TV and movies. Any wonder that men are testosterone-driven sex maniacs? We need to tone it down and the place we must start has been usurped by the U.S. Supreme Court which has ruled that corporate speech deserves almost as much protection as political and personal speech and in Citizens United held that corporations are the equivalent of persons for purposes of constitutional law, standing, etc. I strongly believe these rulings are in error and must be reversed if we are to limit the damaging effects of the harmful over-sexualizing of society. This is not censorship, it is common sense. Corporate America should voluntarily restrict their advertising to avoid government having to do so. The only alternative to restrictive approaches to sexuality is to create an open and honest sexual climate where those who truly love are empowered to show that love fully and freely. But that is the Kingdom of Heaven!
Traditional Judeo-Christian Notions of Sexual Morality Are Becoming Out-Moded
Now that we are safely within the 21st century, we must realize that these “end times” require a re-assessment of marriage, sexuality and rules of courtship. If we want to retain our traditional male-female procreative marriage and cohabitation, we must resurrect some reasonable and appropriate rules of engagement and sexual/dating conduct. At the same time, our old-fahsioned views of what morality and religion spoke of as “fornication” and “lust” need to be re-examined and appropriately redefined. One Bible dictionary defines “fornication” as “illicit sexual activity.” That begs the question and has allowed shame-filled clerics and laypersons alike to outlaw and condemn any sex outside of legal and religious marriage. Our definition of sex has changed with the addition or oral, anal and “kinky”, i.e. non-traditional, forms of intimacy. Lust generally has been defined as “excessive sexual desire.” But as we enter the new age of the end times, I propose that we defined lust as “excessive sexual desire without true love” and fornication as “any sexual activity without true, Godly love.” Marriage must also be re-examined itself and I propose that loving, honest open marriages replace the adultery-fraught, easily dissolved game that “traditional” marriage has become. I know this sounds risqué and a little “loose” but remember, we as a culture and society have evolved and continue to evolve. What made sense in 100 A.D. makes little sense today. We can communicate with many people at the drop of a hat, I’d even propose a limited form of polygamy to supplement traditional monogamy. Of course, the end times will see wholesale changes due to the judgement of mankind. So these concepts will have to be modified to fit the composition of the upcoming Kingdom of Heaven. As I sadly pointed out in my book, I can no longer endorse what we currently call marriage, whether heterosexual or same-sex.
Summary and Conclusion
In summary, times are now changing that makes it necessary to re-create the “rules of engagement” and the definitions of our romantic and sexual institutions and the prohibitions against lust and fornication which have created so much fear, guilt and shame and needless sin for centuries. Realize that the Second Coming is imminent and wait for Jesus to re-establish order and morality through “free love” and open and honest relationships. These will come through Judgement and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Pick up your Bible and see that I am correct according to the Book of Revelation and an exegesis of the Holy Spirit’s prescription for a truly Heavenly Kingdom. I continue to tell the Truth, even though many will not believe.
Stephen M. Theriault
|Posted on February 21, 2018 at 1:30 AM||comments (0)|
The Enlightenment Is Working
THE SATURDAY ESSAY (Wall Street Journal)
*Read Steve Theriault’s dissent after the article
Don’t listen to the gloom-sayers. The world has improved by every measure of human flourishing over the past two centuries, and the progress continues, writes Steven Pinker.
By Steven Pinker
Feb. 9, 2018 10:49 a.m. ET
For all their disagreements, the left and the right concur on one thing: The world is getting worse. Whether the decline is visible in inequality, racism and pollution, or in terrorism, crime and moral decay, both sides see profound failings in modernity and a deepening crisis in the West. They look back to various golden ages when America was great, blue-collar workers thrived in unionized jobs, and people found meaning in religion, family, community and nature.
Such gloominess is decidedly un-American. The U.S. was founded on the Enlightenment ideal that human ingenuity and benevolence could be channeled by institutions and result in progress. This concept may feel naive as we confront our biggest predicaments, but we can only understand where we are if we know how far we’ve come.
You can always fool yourself into seeing a decline if you compare rose-tinted images of the past with bleeding headlines of the present. What do the trajectories of the nation and world look like when we measure human well-being over time with a constant yardstick? Let’s look at the numbers (most of which can be found on websites such as OurWorldinData, HumanProgress and Gapminder).
Consider the U.S. just three decades ago. Our annual homicide rate was 8.5 per 100,000. Eleven percent of us fell below the poverty line (as measured by consumption). And we spewed 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide and 34.5 million tons of particulate matter into the atmosphere.
Fast forward to the most recent numbers available today. The homicide rate is 5.3 (a blip up from 4.4 in 2014). Three percent of us fall below the consumption poverty line. And we emit four million tons of sulfur dioxide and 20.6 million tons of particulates, despite generating more wealth and driving more miles.
Globally, the 30-year scorecard also favors the present. In 1988, 23 wars raged, killing people at a rate of 3.4 per 100,000; today it’s 12 wars killing 1.2 per 100,000. The number of nuclear weapons has fallen from 60,780 to 10,325. In 1988, the world had just 45 democracies, embracing two billion people; today it has 103, embracing 4.1 billion. That year saw 46 oil spills; 2016, just five. And 37% of the population lived in extreme poverty, barely able to feed themselves, compared with 9.6% today. True, 2016 was a bad year for terrorism in Western Europe, with 238 deaths. But 1988 was even worse, with 440.
The headway made around the turn of the millennium is not a fluke. It’s a continuation of a process set in motion by the Enlightenment in the late 18th century that has brought improvements in every measure of human flourishing.
Start with the most precious resource, life. Through most of human history, continuing into the 19th century, a newborn was expected to live around 30 years. In the two centuries since, life expectancy across the world has risen to 71, and in the developed world to 81.
When the Enlightenment began, a third of the children born in the richest parts of the world died before their fifth birthday; today, that fate befalls 6% of the children in the poorest parts. In those countries, infectious diseases are in steady decline, and many will soon follow smallpox into extinction.
The poor may not always be with us. The world is about a hundred times wealthier today than it was two centuries ago, and the prosperity is becoming more evenly distributed across countries and people. Within the lifetimes of most readers, the rate of extreme poverty could approach zero. Catastrophic famine, never far away in the past, has vanished from all but the most remote and war-ravaged regions, and undernourishment is in steady decline.
‘Our ancestors replaced dogma, tradition and authority with reason, debate and institutions of truth-seeking.’
Within developed countries, inequality is rising, but real poverty is not. A century ago, the richest countries devoted 1% of their wealth to children, the poor, the sick and the aged; today they spend almost a quarter of it. Most of their poor today are fed, clothed and sheltered and have luxuries like smartphones and air conditioning that used to be unavailable to anyone, rich or poor. Poverty among racial minorities has fallen, and poverty among the elderly has plunged.
The world is giving peace a chance. During most of the history of nations and empires, war was the natural state of affairs, and peace a mere interlude between wars. Today war between countries is obsolescent, and war within countries is absent from five-sixths of the world. The proportion of people killed annually in wars is about a quarter of what it was in the mid-1980s, a sixth of what it was in the early 1970s, and a 16th of what it was in the early 1950s.
In most times and places, homicides kill far more people than wars. But homicide rates have been falling as well and not just in the U.S. People in the rest of the world are now seven-tenths as likely to be murdered as they were two dozen years ago. Deaths from terrorism, terrifying as they may be, amount to a rounding error.
Life has been getting safer in every other way. Over the past century, Americans have become 96% less likely to be killed in an auto accident, 88% less likely to be mowed down on the sidewalk, 99% less likely to die in a plane crash, 59% less likely to fall to their deaths, 92% less likely to die by fire, 90% less likely to drown, 92% less likely to be asphyxiated, and 95% less likely to be killed on the job. Life in other rich countries is even safer, and life in poorer countries will get safer as they get richer.
Despite backsliding in countries like Russia, Turkey and Venezuela, the long-term trend in governance is toward democracy and human rights. Two centuries ago a handful of countries, embracing 1% of the world’s people, were democratic; today, more than half of the world’s countries, embracing 55% of its people, are.
Not long ago half the world’s countries had laws that discriminated against racial minorities; today more countries have policies that favor their minorities than policies that discriminate against them. At the turn of the 20th century, women could vote in just one country; today they can vote in every country where men can vote save one (Vatican City). Laws that criminalize homosexuality continue to be stricken down, and attitudes toward minorities, women and gay people are becoming steadily more tolerant, particularly among the young, a portent of the world’s future. Violence against women, children and minorities is in long-term decline, as is the exploitation of children for their labor.
As people are getting healthier, richer, safer and freer, they are also becoming more knowledgeable and smarter. Two centuries ago, 12% of the world could read and write; today 85% can. Literacy and education will soon be universal, for girls as well as for boys. The schooling, together with health and wealth, is literally making us smarter—by 30 IQ points, or two standard deviations above our ancestors.
People are putting their longer, healthier, safer, freer, richer and wiser lives to good use. Americans work 22 fewer hours a week than they did in the late 19th century and lose 43 fewer hours to housework. They have more opportunities to use their leisure to travel, spend time with children, connect with loved ones and sample the world’s cuisine, knowledge and culture.
Thanks to these gifts, people in a majority of countries have become happier. Even Americans, who take their good fortune for granted and have stagnated in happiness, call themselves “pretty happy” or happier. And despite the panic about “kids today” (heard in every era), younger generations are less unhappy, lonely, drug-addicted and suicidal than their Boomer parents.
As societies become wealthier and better educated, they raise their sights to the entire planet. Since the dawn of the environmental movement in the 1970s, the world has emitted fewer pollutants, cleared fewer forests, spilled less oil, set aside more preserves, extinguished fewer species, saved the ozone layer and may have peaked in its consumption of oil, farmland, timber, cars and perhaps even coal.
* * *
To what do we owe this progress? Does the universe contain a historical dialectic or arc bending toward justice? The answer is less mysterious: The Enlightenment is working. Our ancestors replaced dogma, tradition and authority with reason, debate and institutions of truth-seeking. They replaced superstition and magic with science. And they shifted their values from the glory of the tribe, nation, race, class or faith toward universal human flourishing.
These developments have been gradual and uneven, with many backtracks and zigzags. But the happy developments of the last two centuries are the cumulative gifts of the brainchildren they spawned.
● Disease was decimated by vaccines, sanitation, antibiotics and other advances in medicine and public health, driven by the germ theory of disease and our understanding of evolution, physiology and genetics.
● Famine was stanched by crop rotation, synthetic fertilizer, the replacement of muscle by machinery and the selective breeding of vigorous hybrids.
● Poverty was slashed by education, markets, global trade and cheaper food and clothing, together with social programs that support the young, old, sick and unlucky.
● Violent crime was tamed by a replacement of the code of vendetta by the rule of law, by fairer judicial systems and, most recently, by data-driven policing.
● Everyday hazards were blunted by safety regulations and engineering, driven by an increasing valuation of human life. A similar combination of regulation and technology is ramping down pollution.
● Oppression and discrimination may persist in some places by brute force, but they start to corrode when educated, mobile and connected people exchange ideas and are forced to justify their practices.
● War is being marginalized by the spread of democracy (which inhibits leaders from turning their youth into cannon fodder), global commerce (which makes trade more profitable than plunder), peacekeeping forces (which separate belligerents and extinguish flare-ups) and competent governments (which outcompete insurgents for the allegiance of their citizens). Also driving war down are norms against conquest, enforced by the international community with shaming, sanctions and occasionally armed intervention.
The evidence for progress raises many questions.
Isn’t it good to be pessimistic, many activists ask—to rake the muck, afflict the comfortable, speak truth to power? The answer is no: It’s good to be accurate. We must be aware of suffering and injustice where they occur, but we must also be aware of how they can be reduced. Indiscriminate pessimism can lead to fatalism: to wondering why we should throw time and money at a hopeless cause. And it can lead to radicalism: to calls to smash the machine, drain the swamp or empower a charismatic tyrant.
Is progress inevitable? Of course not! Solutions create new problems, which must be solved in their turn. We can always be blindsided by nasty surprises, such as the two World Wars, the 1960s crime boom and the AIDS and opioid epidemics.
Steve Theriault’s Dissent
But how has enlightened thinking helped millions of unborn children, mass shooting victims, 6 million Jews murdered in 1930s/1940s, Tutsi (Rwandan genocide) victims in 1994, etc.?
|Posted on December 26, 2017 at 1:45 AM||comments (0)|
Who can defend the undefendable?
The names of the men just roll off the tongue: Donald Trump, Harvey & Bob Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, Bill Clinton, Louis CK, Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, Ben Affleck, Roy Moore, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal, George Takei, John Conyers, Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor and many others. Men whose celebrity and power are being stripped from them like so much bacon off a gutted pig. Women are coming out of the woodwork to accuse these actors and moguls of harassment, sexual assault and “inappropriate” behavior of a sexual nature, some with underage persons. What does this mean in the battle of the sexes which began with the 60s and 70s sexual revolution and continues today with men being increasingly thought of as “predators” rather than gentlemen? Has something changed in men or is this just the story of women who finally are coming out of the closet to tell it like it is and to target those who have hurt, embarrassed and assaulted them, often many years in the past? The history of power and celebrity and Hollywood was always about dominant male opportunism and female submission. Women were relegated to little better than prostitutes in order to further their careers both in the entertainment industry and the corporate world, limited as it was in female opportunity. The problem I see with women taking vengeance on these male “bottom feeders” is they are creating a war zone which threatens to subsume our culture in a miasma of indecency and spite. Do we want to watch another famous man on the news each night being taken apart at the seams? It reminds me of the TV coverage of the Vietnam War which after a while became a nightly body count, which the public tired of and which helped bring about tremendous anti-war sentiment. Is this public condemnation and humiliation of men the most productive way women can gain power and justice? As a Christian counselor and an advocate for morality, I understand that taking vengeance seems sweet and satisfying, at least at first. Teaching abused young girls that their abuse is “horrible, “heinous”, etc., and that they should seek justice, vengeance, retribution and restitution only heightens the negative effects of the abuse. But remember Jesus words: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19). Sexual “misconduct” may seem unforgivable and an abuse of power which needs to be rectified, but by who? God will punish men for their myriad sins and lack of repentance. My book states this clearly. The judgment seat of Christ will give everyone what is due them, for “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7). I love women and love justice, but I also love mercy and compassion. Sanctimonious women should watch their motives for a power grab is not true morality unless those newly acquiring power do things differently and repent themselves of hatred and spite toward their “fellow man.” Jesus said: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37) These men will be convicted of their sins, but women should forgive these men as their own sins are being forgiven and they (women) are ushered into the Kingdom of Heaven, coming soon. When the woman was caught in adultery, what did Jesus do? Condemn her? Spit on her? Prosecute her? No, he forgave her. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7) And Jesus doesn’t want to judge us, though the Father has entrusted judgement to Him who lowered himself to our pathetic level and understood the trials, pain and temptations of the flesh. “Ye judge after the flesh[ego]; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.” (John 8:15-16) Not that men are justified in their wrongful acts, but they could be. Sexual offenses are actually the product of childhood abuse and neglect, poor parenting, lack of loving role models and the near impossibility of finding love and intimacy in this hellish world. But men have trouble saying their sorry, which is the first step to repentance. Jesus was not easy on those who hurt children, particularly those who do not make amends: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
Romance is in Critical Condition
In any event, does some of this condemnation seem to be a bit ridiculous? Al Franken was accused of “kissing a woman against her will.”! What is the charge, 1st degree affection? It’s absurd. Garrison Keillor, of Prairie Home Companion, was fired by the Minnesota Public Radio because it was said that he “put his hand on a woman's bare back”! A male coach was considered a dangerous predator because he “hugged one of his softball players too long.”! ?? All these serial accusations and condemnations have also had a chilling effect on sexual relations, romance and male/female friendships and work relationships. Women’s egos are not blameless as they are seeking moral superiority in the negative criticisms, judgement and condemnation of men. Our relationships are deteriorating fast and it is certain that in a few decades (assuming the “end times” are delayed) the word “romance” will be taken out of the dictionary (and maybe replaced with “in vitro fertilization”). Heterosexual loving and romantic affection is no longer politically correct. But that’s for another paper. Not to defend the undefendable but men are having a tough time getting any romance from women, assuming they want it sincerely. Prostitution, strip clubs and rampant pornography are symptoms of our increasingly dysfunctional and disastrous relationships. Any sexuality without love is lust and fornication and is absolutely wrong, it’s just a question of who gets the blame. Because of all this, it’s increasingly hard for healthy relationships to even get started. More on this next.
Gizmos, greed, materialism, strip clubs, porno and hookers!
The extremely sad state of romance, which I’m primarily, though not exclusively blaming on militant feminism, has also led to an exponential increase in males becoming materialistic, exceptionally greedy and sexually depraved. Expensive electronic gizmos and fancy cars (as well as money itself, materialism and conspicuous consumption) have replaced healthy, satisfying relationships and male sexual satisfaction requires strip clubs, prostitution and pornography! Women should realize that when they become judgmental and condemning towards male sexual assertiveness in the attempt to quell sexual aggression, they are helping to bring about the very male sexual depravity they seek to condemn. Men are born with a certain leadership gene, and although some will not become leaders either of the family or of society, they require a certain amount of respect and space to assert their legitimate male dominance. When the attempt goes from punishing serious criminal and moral wrongs, necessary in an ethical world, to the sanctimonious, constant, unreasonable and negative criticism of assertive male leadership behavior and attempts to emasculate and dis-empower “normal” men, you are automatically asking for trouble.
So, women accusers, I urge you to forgive and at least back off and let whatever consciences these men possess (if any) take hold and leave the final judgment to God who knows all, is all powerful and all loving. He will avenge your hurts in the appropriate and effective manner. By the way, I’ve had many women touch me “inappropriately”, i.e. without permission, and I filed no complaints and never asked for $32 million for their attempts at affection.
Sexual sins are not unforgivable!
A man molests a young person, a power broker forces himself on an unwilling victim, a boss gropes his secretary, a man grabs a colleague’s “butt”. It’s all too common, yet how do we characterize these “sins” and inappropriate “predatory” behavior? Remember, pedophilia literally means “lover of children” and touching someone still can mean that someone is expressing affection. If by predatory, feminism means assertive male leadership, then it is unreasonable and harmful criticism. (see Ephesians 5:33) All healthy males are attracted to young virgins, and that’s as it should be.(see 1 Corinthians 7:34, et al) It’s in our DNA which is programmed by God. (sometimes called instincts) Remember that Jesus touched little children with his hands and his Spirit: “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.” (Mark 10:13) The overprotective disciples also misunderstood and thought it was an imposition. Biblical principles say a homosexual man abusing a young boy is doubly egregious, but I will leave that to those who read the book of Romans. Yes, men are bozos and don’t know how to express love towards women and children, if there is any real love in their egotistical hearts. But the level of vitriol and condemnation is way out of proportion, except in the most egregious cases of sexual harassment or assault. In fact, the fear and hatred these women express is harmful to their own peace of mind and it would be better if we “remoralized” (or would it be “demoralized”?) and legalized some of the non-malicious offending behavior in order to spare the young (and older) victims the nightmare of a life scarred by fear, guilt, shame, hatred, spite and vengeance. This may seem controversial, but you will see that it could work. (remember that the law actually creates sin, see 1 John 3:4 and Romans 3:20) The legalistic justice system loves to take people down, but we are called to build our brethren up! Remember, the letter of the law kills our Spirits, but the Spirit of the law brings about salvation. (See 2 Corinthians 3:6) But as Jesus expressed forgiveness for sinners, so are we to turn the other cheek. Jesus was very clear: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39) God will punish truly unrepentant men and send them to burn in unquenchable fire. Men have individually and collectively violated the sacred marriage contract through wanton and malicious fornication and lust. Let’s leave it to Jesus to mete out justice and in the meantime, live our lives like we actually love one another. Men will be judged according to their sins. Rest assured of that. And there is, according to Jesus and the Bible, one unforgivable sin: “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit,” which is defined in Matthew 12:31 and Mark 3:28-29 as attributing the ministry of Jesus and the other workings of the Holy Spirit to evil or the devil.
This fear, guilt and shame-based society will lose and fail miserably when confronted with the Truth. Although many are skeptical and do not listen, I continue to tell the Truth. As for me, if you ignore my skeletons, I’ll ignore yours!
Stephen M. Theriault
Stephen M. Theriault is the author of The Practical Guide to Real Christianity and is organizer/founder of International Citizens Against Corruption and Overdevelopment, one of many groups he has begun. (on Facebook) and Avenger-Equalizer blog and TheJesusReport blog on Tumblr.
P.S. My new book, Confessions of a Crazy Christian, is in the works!
|Posted on November 14, 2017 at 2:10 AM||comments (0)|
Wildfires in Santa Rosa and Meaningful Coincidence
Dear Blog Reader
My half-sister lives in Santa Rosa, California, the site of recent deadly wildfires which claimed over 40 lives and hundreds of billions in damage and destruction. My sister and I have not spoken in probably six years, even though I attempted contact more than a few times during this period. Recently I saw her name appear on someone else’s Facebook page and I sent Donna a “friend request”. The request went nowhere, and her silence really hurt and annoyed me. Strange coincidence that just after the request was ignored, a wildfire of unknown origin breaks out just north of her and my brother-in-law’s house. God’s warning for disrespecting and blowing off this evangelist? I’ve forgiven her, but the coincidence makes a valid point. Carl Jung, famous psychologist, once wrote of the fact of “meaningful coincidences” which are against the odds (the coincidence) and are meaningful in that they impart some message, meaning, sign or warning. Could this be a warning to my sister? Don’t think I’m crazy, I don’t claim to be able to be certain or prove this example of Jung’s “Synchronicity” as he called it. But later I left a message on my sister’s cell phone and when I didn’t hear from her, as I was concerned that the fire had spread to their house, I left a message on my brother in law’s cell. Low and behold, to my astonishment, I received a text message from my brother-in-law (not my sister), which said they were OK, just without power and safe outside of the fire zone. Coincidences like these have followed me since 1999 when my evangelistic ministry began. There are other recent examples. Earlier this year, during the winter, a huge boom shook my hometown, near my section of town, and prompted hundreds of calls to police and firefighters. After a thorough search and contacting military officials and other agencies, no cause could be found for this earth-shaking window-rattling “invisible explosion”. What does that mean? The question is, does the world see the signs, warnings, coincidences and other devastating natural and unnatural disasters that I see, and that are unfolding at a time when the anti-Christ is in power in the U.S. -- and Europe and the world are coming apart at the seams? I’ll list a few of the warnings which are signs that mankind should repent and turn to God and stop fawning over money and materialism: TWA Flight 800 (meaning the Lake of Fire), Air Alaska in late winter 2000(in concert with my “beasts needing Viagra“ analogy), 1st WTC bombing and 9/11 (goes without saying and predicted in my book and earlier during my imprisonment), various earthquakes, myriad wildfires, hurricanes (such as Andrew, Katrina, Sandy, Harvey and Irma), floods, droughts, blackouts at Mass. State prison hospitals (Bridgewater), famines, tsunamis, nuclear and chemical meltdowns, deadly bombings (including Oklahoma City), mass shootings at Columbine, Vegas, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook to name a few, etc. When will our world, and especially the extraordinarily gifted and wealthy America finally realize that we are off course and that God is angry and that there will be hell to pay? Men were the leaders of society and they shoulder most of the blame, as the sex scandals of prominent persons, including Mr. Weinstein, Mr. O’Reilly and the President of the U.S. will attest. Please don’t disregard this warning as I don’t know how long He will withhold His wrath and the Judgement Seat of His Son. Don’t be a goat, become an obedient follower and “deny thyself and take up thy cross.” Although many are skeptical and do not listen, I continue to tell the Truth.
Stephen M. Theriault
Stephen M. Theriault is the author of The Practical Guide to Real Christianity and is organizer/founder of International Citizens Against Corruption and Overdevelopment, one of many groups he has begun. (on Facebook) and Avenger-Equalizer Blog and The Jesus Report blog on Tumblr.
P.S. My two former “best friends” were atheists and weren’t always nice to me, blowing me off, criticizing, judging, condemning, like most men. Funny that their last names are “Rotiroti” (round and around in circles), and “Godfrey”. (“God-free” )?. Coincidence, fate, God??? Atheists choose the former, new-agers choose the middle, and I choose the latter.
|Posted on October 17, 2017 at 8:10 PM||comments (0)|
What happened in Vegas will not stay in Vegas
What’s going on in America these days? Guns, guns and more guns. Killing after massacre, after slaughter. The NRA is meting out cruel justice to the victims, as the blood is on their hands for lack of compassion and common sense and an extreme fundamental zeal for all things called guns which kill and maim. But this event’s ramifications go far beyond the mere politics and policy of gun control and 2nd Amendment rights. From a broader, one might say spiritual perspective, this is lunacy and it is a WAKE UP CALL from God who obviously allowed Satan to tempt, entice or trick this perpetrator into killing 59 and wounding over 500 people. God allowed this to happen for a reason, to let us know that we are at war. The faithful few vs. the atheistic, arrogant, agnostic, fearful, intellectually dishonest and science-obsessed multitudes who are destined for a fiery end. If you have a brain, use it and get on the right side of the conflict. Failure to do so will mean your eternal torment in the Resort at Fire Lake. The NY Times wrote: “The U.S. authorities still don’t know what motivated Stephen Paddock, a wealthy gambler who lived in a retirement community, to meticulously plan and commit a massacre in Las Vegas on Sunday.” A seemingly motiveless massacre has Satan’s hoof prints all over it, and like 9/11 and other natural and man-made catastrophes in the last several decades, it has judgment and warning written all over it. Not many will believe me, but I will still bear the truth for the faithful and for the sinners who still have time to repent. Check out my book and my website, www.theavenger.us for more Scriptural authority and in-depth arguments. Remember, fear of death equals lack of faith. Terrorism only exists in a vacuum of faith, as people fear death and are prone to react predictably to terror attacks. Also, remember that covetousness, i.e. greed and the desire for more and more of everything, especially money and material luxuries, is equivalent to idolatry and idolatry will get you to hell every time.