Jerryaughtry’s Weblog

December 22, 2009

Prosperity Gospel

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 11:09 am

CNN is doing a series on religion and it’s influence on American life. In typical CNN fashion or what I have observed, their series is built around sound bites, making sure all positions are covered; and, consequently, from my perspective, it is very inadequate-no Bill Moyers or Charlie Rose, I assure you.

The segment I watched focused on faith, finances, and mega churches. I wouldn’t have been watching it but flipped to CNN reporter Christine Romans interviewing Joel Osteen.

This guy is so amazing to me that I have to smile and shake my head. I will admit upfront that I could be jealous, but I don’t think so. I’m not organized enough to do what he does, even if he has lots of help.

Osteen is an industry. He runs a mega church and his books are bestsellers before they are written. His gospel is called “gospel lite” by those who take him on and he preaches that wealth and power are rewards for good Christians(prosperity gospel) .

The reporter, Romans, threw him a few softballs and he glibly handled them with the answers he obviously has used before. His general line and comments are, “God says.”  He does? According to who?

Pelting his comments in with Biblical text that he says proves his point amazes me and those throngs of disciples listening don’t even question him.

In my opinion, this is stupidity. Why? Because if Osteen’s people would question him they might realize his preaching a prosperity gospel is about as opposite as to what Jesus intended as could possibly be.

Born In a stable, throughout life, not a place to lay his head, Jesus spent his life lifting up the poor and downtrodden with no thought that he deserved to prosper.

The bullshit that guys like Osteen put out offends my sense of right and wrong.  In fairness, do these guys like Osteen or any of the mega  churches do any good?  I’m sure they do and I guess people are better off there than not going. Maybe?

Related Link:
Can Joel  Osteen Pay his Bills?

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BROTHERS

Filed under: movie review — jerryaughtry @ 5:29 am

Brothers is one of those movies that I expected to have trouble sitting through. However, it really wasn’t. I think that mainly I had read so much and talked to those who had seen it that I was not the least bit surprised. The brothers, one the epitome of the good son and the other a perpetual “F…” up. However, they loved each other. The theme of the movie had already been done in The Valley of Elah. War simply plays hell with the warriors. Tommy, the n’the well younger brother shapes himself up when his brother Sam is killed or they think he’s dead. All the while he is being tortured and eventually forced to kill one of his own. I’m not giving away too much because even this had been done before. The toll on families is a given. Natalie Portman, playing the wife is very good. Jake Guillenhaul and Toby McGuire are also very good but one of the small daughters stole the show. Her facial expressions and attendant actions overall are simply precious. A good movie which should, along with many war themed movies, have more impact but not so. In Brothers, the movie never really hit on any opposition or even asking any sort of basic question of “why are we there” The one brother did briefly. Being a good Marine was more the philosophical tone. There are so many more themes that are lightly touched which could have been but not in 2 hours I guess. For instance, Sam Shepard, playing the straight arrow retired Marine father, Vietnam vet, who tries but wrestles with his own demons and mostly fails.

A last view. Why are these movies not box office successes? My view: the 50% of the American population that “thinks” is in whoping denial that we are in two unwinnable, untenable wars which are draining us in every single way. Thirty five percent of our fellow Americans don’t think at all: they support a position such as war and having their minds made up, also prefer denial. The other fifteen or twenty percent are simply “out to lunch.” They don’t care one way or another and take little or no interest beyond their own narrow limits. And, they don’t go to movies, not war movies anyway.

December 17, 2009

Live In Afghanistan

Filed under: movie review — jerryaughtry @ 1:38 pm

What can the average Afgani farmer look forward too? He can’t feed his family unless he grows poppies as he has always done. Now the government won’t let him. Maybe they will if he pays off officials. There is aid for him possibly if he will not grow poppies. But, it is iffy as most of the government aid designed for him is siphoned off to some government official. Then there is the whole network of drug trafficers who profit big and live rich at every level.

The above is the review of the late nineties British miniseries, Traffick. It is more relevant today than when first shown. And, an absolute concrete example of why there is no “winning” in Adghanistan.

December 8, 2009

AN ABSOLUTE MYSTERY

Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 5:38 pm

I am absolutely agast that we are sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.By any sense of reasoning, this does not make any sense.

The very idea that we could possibly draw down in Afghanistan in 18 months is absurd, given the basic problems we’re facing. Saying it is about as useful as tits on a bore hog. In fact, we have abandoned that view anyway. The SecDef and McChrystalball, along with others has said that the date is fluid and depends on the conditions on the ground. What is that? What amazes me is that every single person who is in the process speaks with one voice. Not a maverick among them.

The generals are honorable persons and McChrystal is one to admire, up every morning before dawn, running, living like a monk. In my almost 30 year military career, I have worked for a dozen generals directly and no telling how many indirectly. I understand the mentality. What the public who cares don’t understand about Gen McChrstal and the other generals above one star. They got where they are through a process that is as political as any could possibly be. It doesn’t mean they are not competent, very simply, they may be or they might not be–in my experience, the best leaders don’t usually get to be generals as they won’t be political. The one exception may be Petreous. I’ve read lots about him and he seems to be more rooted in reality, having said all along that we are not in for a short war. Unfortunately, most do “general think.” They always want more troops and have a military solution to the overall plan.

In my opnion, we have gotten to look to their views too much. We have a civilian chain of command but someone like the President doesn’t have military experience and so he relys on the generals. Their positions are not wrong bur the reality in my view is that 30,000 more troops is absurd.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm Mike Mullen said this: “We are not winning which means we are losing and we are losing. The message traffic out there to recruits keep getting better and more keep coming. And, then he went on to tell the troops at Fort Campbell, we are going to “take losses” Dud!!

Every soldier in Afghanistan costs us a million a year. I know that it doesn’t translate like this but just think what we could do with that money in our own country.

To me, it is very discouraging to see this troop increase. It is Vietnam revisited. In Vietnam, we realized too late that the Vietnamese goverment was corrupt. Karzar said at his inaugural speech, “it will be five years before Afghants can take over and we will need financial help much longer.” The interesting thing about this guy is he doesn’t even try to disguise the corruption. Fraud, etc. Is simply a way of life and this chalatan is our partner in the war. We are a bunch of idiots. We are stupid. Makes me want to move to Ireland. I would if I could figure it out.

I’ve already given my solution. We are not going yo leave, why didn’t the President go with the Biden plan. Keep about the level of troops that we now have, begin to replace them with Special Operations troops who are older and more attuned to fight this kind of war. Rotate them often and by in large fight the Taliban to a standoff. When they realize we are not leaving, I think we might accomplish goals such as Afghants taking over. but hen again, I don’t know but it is better than 30,000 more regular soldiers.

Somehow we have bought into the idea of the “surge” as some sort of panacea. However, if examaned carefully, what we did in Iraq is separate the factions with barriors. I don’t think we cam deny that things are better in Iraq, maybe the surge. But, when we say violence is down, my retort is, says who. With bombings with regularity, one day, almost a hundred. Says who.

HE’s BACK, HE’S BACK

Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 5:27 pm

Yes, Ted is back as in Ted Haggard, the former pastor of the Colorado mega church. Think, you will remember him. He was the voice of family values and the darling to right wing fundamentalists until he was caught frequenting a gay maseuse. The preacher went from a host of microphones, TV, and so many attendees on Sunday morning, they had to go in shifts to disgrace.

Haggard in his return, has closed in on a space close to his old stomping grounds. The Lord probably spoke to him to locate close to his former flock. On his first appearance, so many came that they had to move to a barn. He’s back and like Jim Bakker, probably a TV show is to follow. With Bakker, I actually watched a little of his show one night: same old stuff, selling a dream. Send in your money. And, they are. Redemption is a big issue with people of faith, along with forgiveness. But, it seems to me that the “faith” might be better served if these guys would keep a lower profile. Forget it! Once they have tasted the limelight, with egos as big as all outdoors, they can’t give it up, even with the shame. And, what about those who flock back to them–people are pretty forgiving. And, then again, in my view, let’s try stupid.

December 5, 2009

THE TRUTH

Filed under: Uncategorized — jerryaughtry @ 11:41 pm

If you are going to lie, always tell as close to the truth as you can. Advice that apparently many are taking. A really good friend of mine sent me this long article about a cabinet member frequenting gay bars. I immediately emailed him back and asked if he had checked it out. He said no . At breakfast with a friend, recently, she told about an article she had received from another friend with some wild story of men who were obviously Middle Eastern boarding a plane, being obnoxious, later on supposedly a test to see how plane crews would react. Apparently a total fabrication. My friend never bothered to check it out, merely forwarded it on. These things start somewhere and more often than not, they take on a life of their on.

I am facinated with the trouble and time it takes to put together these elaborate false articles. In both these cases with my friends, they were long articles that had to start somewhere. I am not a conspiracy theorist but I wonder: has some zeolot figured out that they can out and out make up things/lie and get them to unsuspecting people like us to help them spread their message. Maybe? I wonder? Most of us aren’t going to check things out. Here’s a suggestion, hit the delete button and not the forward.
gda

December 2, 2009

POLITICS AND LANGUAGE

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 8:51 pm
Tags: ,

I get so tired of politicians think we are stupid. Change the language and you “hoodwink” Americans: well, at least those who care. 30% are simply unthinking, 25% are out to lunch, they could care less, regardless. That leaves less than fifty percent who are paying attention. If you heard the President’s speech last night, what you heard him say is how he is tying everything

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