Good’ old’ Marie’ Jon’!

Always reliable, always punctuating!

It is a sad day when the President of the United States has to put down a petty insurrection? of the mouth.

Sadly, sad, was that day.

It was bought with the blood of men and woman who have fought for this country from its very conception.

Who will remember the sacrifice of all those men and that woman… what was her name again?

There are those who live in America who seem to have a problem with an organ called the tongue.

We’d read on, but we’re too scared this is going to end up being about the Clenis.

In related news, we can’t wait for this!


Comments: 45


Congrats on the Wonkette mention, guys.


What, is she changing the site’s name to Open Source Marie?

We got a Wonkette mention? Where?


goddamn, the picture on the left (on the PeePo site) has the preznit looking completely vacant.
apparently, the VRWC talking points about Bush being fooled by bad intel have extended to making sure that all pics of the preznit demonstrate clearly that he’s got the IQ of a papaya.


“Saddam Hussein has also provided payment of bounties to the families of homicide bombers.”

can i just mention really quickly how much i hate the phrase “homicide bomber”? the administration started using at a few years back and fox news picked up the habit. i never did figure out their objection to good ol’ “suicide bomber”…eventually, some wise soul must have pointed out that any bomber that kills someone is a homicide bomber (e.g. the unibomber, tim mcveigh, etc.) and they switched back. evidently the clusterfucks at the rant didn’t get the memo.


petty insurrection? of the mouth



Isn’t the tongue a muscle?


“Each lie–cherished by contemptible liars–is told specifically to do harm to the man whom the members of America’s military services call Commander and Chief.”


Even the “head” part of their document has it spelled “People”! Super professional, Marie — I’ll bet Roger L. Simon is shitting himself at the thought of competition!


And I plan to be right there for the launch. Let’s just hope the previous evening’s frost spares Marie’s O-rings…


OK, who wants to launch the same day? Because Wingnuts are irritating, but Wingnuts who can’t write are funny.


So Marie’s alter ego’s Kaye Grogan…who’d’a thought? She’s almost got the cutely incoherent sentence structure melded to wingnuttery and bad punctuation down pat.


Christ!! I can’t go to her link and read her anymore. Two words into it and I want to pull out my editing pencil!! GAH!


With not launched yet, all I could read was the disclaimer.

My favorite part? This:

“Information cited on People Political Website is representative of educated opinion as expressed by selected contributors. While the opinion expressed may be offered as being proven in fact, it is expressly provided as opinion and editorial and should be respected as such.”

Um… okay.


It’s almost like they ran it into babelfish to japanese and back again.


jackd, shouldn’t that be “PeopleGrammatcal?”


Now with twice a day’s supply of apostrophes–or is it half a day’s supply of quotation marks? I’m so confused!


Why is the acronym for Commander and Chief CIC? Because it’s Commander IN Chief you stupid, stupid bitch. (but, i’d still do her)


now now Gus, that’s an Eschaton-type comment.

Hey, notice how the PP coming soon site looks almost more professional than PJs media. Actually, not almost, it does. Can somebody please rig a fake one with the Bush trying the door picks. It’s just too perfect.


Please note that the PP “coming soon” site says “Any Duplication is Prohibited by Law.”

So every time you load that page, you are breaking the law.

(On the other hand, they swiped those pics from somewhere. Heh.)


insurrection of the mouth?

Bush is a dentist???


The Democrat far left is a marauding bunch of mean-spirited fumblers“…blah, blah, blah.

Which Democrat? The one on the far left, of course!

Ole MJ’s kinda like the panda that eats, shoots, and leaves.


What part’s the eschaton comment? stupid bitch, or I’d do her?


I’ll contribute to will edit for food. (Oh, wait–I already do.)

Back off, Marie! I have a Chicago Manual of Style, and I’m not afraid to use it!


organ called the tongue

I call my organ Big Bob. Sometimes I call it Giant Jim. Get it?
You sure a bunch of spin . There are no mistakes in my article. But hay, if you want me to be a brunette that’s blonde I’ll play your game. he he he. Our new Website is looking awesome. I’ll enjoy your looking for our grammar mistakes.

Just one of many your favorite WINGNUT Beautiful looking inside and outside. . Marie


Why, Marie Jon’, I have to say that I don’t believe your mother-organ is English. And as my mother always told me, “Hay is for horses.”
Organ is tongue. The WORD calls the tongue and organ and so do doctors. Many here on this website are of the Jewish faith? No? well where are your brains?
Jewish doctors? No? Jew by name only. No person of real faith degrades and maligns personally others I did not use the word woman in my article as in singular.
Full article…link is above.
I have the full understanding of the proper use of the word tongue. I have the full understanding of commander and chief.
Sadly No then owes me an apology.


“I have the full understanding of commander and chief.”

All your base are belong to us.


the tonge is an organ, and some are organ grinders.


I did not use the word woman in my article as in singular.
Full article…link is above.

err, MJ, the word does indeed appear in the singular form both in the copy linked in the OP, and in the copy you link to. Are we looking at the same article?



“You sure a bunch of spin . There are no mistakes in my article. But hay,…I’ll enjoy your looking for our grammar mistakes.”

She’s making it just too easy. There must be a catch, the cunning minx!


Nothings easy with Marie. Trust me.


I’d also like to mention that the pics of Bush on maries site make it look like he has alzheimers.


I have the full understanding of the proper use of the word tongue.

God, that sounds so dirty.



I have the full understanding of the proper use of the word tongue. I have the full understanding of commander and chief.

Just make sure you have the full understanding of the safety word when playing commander and chief …


The Marie Jon’ school of proofreading: When someone points out a mistake, you ball your fists and do a two-legged stomp around the room yelling “There are no mistakes in my article!! There are no mistakes in my article!! There are…”
My, little Marie writes and people read her words. Where are your articles or do you just play Blog? I’m laughing as well as I’m full of smug giggles.


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by Steve Beren,

Some Democrats, some liberals, and some antiwar activists avoid debating the merits of the liberation of Iraq.

Instead, they assume the war is wrong, mistaken, faulty, etc., and they assume everyone agrees with them. They want to debate, “Why did we make this mistake? Whose fault is it that we are in this unjustified war? Who should be blamed?”

Like defeated presidential candidate Senator John Kerry, they declare the war “wrong, wrong, wrong.” But the majority of American people felt otherwise.

I challenge all Democrats, all liberals, and all antiwar activists to debate the merits of the war against terrorism, and to debate the merits of the liberation of Iraq. But they wish to avoid that debate, because it is a debate they will lose (as in the 2004 elections).

Instead of starting from the false assumption that everyone agrees the war was a “mistake,” I challenge the Democrats, liberals, and antiwar activists to debate WHETHER OR NOT the liberation of Iraq was a mistake. I challenge them to debate WHETHER OR NOT the liberation of Iraq is justified.

Islamic fascist terrorism has posed, and continues to pose, a unique and grave threat to the United States. It is not a question of whether or not we will be attacked at some point in the future – we have already been attacked on 9/11, and there have been attacks in Amman, Madrid, London, Bali, and elsewhere. Islamic fascist terrorism poses a threat to world security and to our individual personal safety. This is absolutely a grave threat, and this is absolutely a
threat of unique urgency.

It is necessary to act pre-emptively to attack terrorism at its roots, cutting off its breeding ground. Spreading democracy to the Middle East is the best and most important way to attack terrorism at its roots. We need to deal with the root causes, not merely deal with the results, after affects, and symptoms.

The Clinton administration correctly identified the need for democracy and regime change in Iraq, but this was primarily a verbal policy and barely put into effect. After 9/11, the importance of actually implementing a regime change and liberation of Iraq become more important than ever.

I believe the liberation of Iraq is totally justified, extremely beneficial to the Iraqi people, and central to advancing the war against terrorism. Rather than seeking to place “blame” for the “mistake” of a “wrong” war, I believe the liberation of Iraq was justified for the following reasons:

The liberation of Iraq is a central front in the war against terrorism, not a distraction from it. It is a war of necessity, not a war of choice, because the backwardness and oppression and lack of freedom in the Middle East are a breeding ground for terrorism.

We must deal with the root causes of terrorism, not merely its symptoms. The best way to attack terrorism at its roots is to spread freedom and democracy and modernity in the Middle East, breaking the bonds of oppression and exploitation that fuel a hateful ideology.

In that sense, Iraq is connected to 9/11, just as Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Iran and Libya and Syria are connected to 9/11. It is not a matter of specific operational cooperation in the 9/11 attacks. After all, in World War II, Germany did not invade Manchuria, and Japan did not invade Poland.

Rather, the oppression and lack of modernity in the Middle East, pervasive and powerful, is connected to 9/11 through a thousand threads of hatred, brutality, and propaganda. The oppression of the Muslim and Arab people by their own governments is truly the breeding ground for terrorism.

This is not a war “against Iraq” – it is a war for the freedom of the Iraqi people. If successful, it will have a salutary affect on the rest of the region. For it is not just Iraq, but also Egypt, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other oppressive governments that oppress their own people, deny liberate, subjugate women as inferior, and propagandize against the West, against democracy, and against Judaism and Christianity.

(Of course, there is a war against the Arab and Muslim people, in which innocent civilians – Iraqis, Jordanians, and others; men, women, and children – are being targeted. That war is being waged by Al Qaeda and its allies.)

This war – the war against terrorism – will be long and difficult, because it is much broader than Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not a matter of “taking out” an individual dictator or terrorist, but a matter of defeating a political movement aimed at conquest and power. “Taking out” Osama Bin Laden or any other individual dictator or terrorist is a part of the war, but it cannot substitute for victory.

Victory means stopping the war drive of the Iranian mullahs, preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and helping the Iranian people win the democracy and freedom they deserve. Victory means a fundamental transformation throughout the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Defeat by such an enemy is unacceptable, unthinkable. The U.S.-led war against terrorism is justified and a noble effort, one that will change the course of history.



The war on terror is real and justified. problem is, who is living in the most terror and of whom? It would seem that DOD surveys show that 85% of 16-17 million iraquis (sp?)live in terror of the U.S. forces stationed there. Do you believe that, on U.S. soil, we should be more afraid that those citizens of an independant democracy? VIctory at this point, to you,seems to involve subjugating muslims to whatever you feel is appropriate. try this- Victory means they don’t try to kill us and we don’t try to kill them. As an aside, I believe that the set of rules that god thought were so important that He wrote them with His own hand in stone says something about killing. I don’t recall anything about it being OK if they are not baptists.


An Oil-for-Food Connection?

The Weekly Standard

If, as the 9/11 Commission concludes, our “failure of imagination” left America open to the attacks of September 11, then surely some imagination is called for in tackling one of the riddles that stumped the commission: Where exactly did Osama bin Laden get the funding to set up shop in Afghanistan, reach around the globe, and strike the United States?

So let’s do some imagining. Unfashionable though it may be, let’s even imagine a money trail that connects Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda.

By 1996, remember, bin Laden had been run out of Sudan, and seems to have been out of money. He needed a fresh bundle to rent Afghanistan from the Taliban, train recruits, expand al Qaeda’s global network, and launch what eventually became the 9/11 attacks. Meanwhile, over in Iraq about that same time, Saddam Hussein, after a lean stretch under United Nations sanctions, had just cut his Oil-for-Food deal with the U.N., and soon began exploiting that program to embezzle billions meant for relief.

Both Saddam and bin Laden were, in their way, seasoned businessmen. Both had a taste for war. Both hated America. By the late 1990s, Saddam, despite continuing sanctions, was solidly back in business, socking away his purloined billions in secret accounts, but he had no way to attack the United States directly. Bin Laden needed millions to fund al Qaeda, which could then launch a direct strike on the United States. Whatever the differences between Saddam and bin Laden, their circumstances by the late 1990s had all the makings of a deal. Pocket change for Saddam, financial security for bin Laden, and satisfaction for both–death to Americans.

Now let’s talk facts. In 1996, Sudan kicked out bin Laden. He went to Afghanistan, arriving there pretty much bankrupt, according to the 9/11 Commission report. His family inheritance was gone, his allowance had been cut off, and Sudan had confiscated his local assets. Yet, just two years later, bin Laden was back on his feet, feeling strong enough to issue a public declaration of war on America. In February 1998, in a London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds al-Arabi, he published his infamous fatwa exhorting Muslims to “kill the Americans and plunder their money.” Six months later, in August 1998, al Qaeda finally went ahead with its long-planned bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Bin Laden was back in the saddle, and over the next three years he shaped al Qaeda into the global monster that finally struck on American soil. His total costs, by the estimates of the 9/11 Commission report, ran to tens of millions of dollars. Even for a terrorist beloved of extremist donors, that’s a pretty good chunk of change.

The commission report says bin Laden got his money from sources such as a “core group of financial facilitators” in the Gulf states, especially corrupt charities. But the report concludes: “To date, we have not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attack. Al Qaeda had many sources of funding and a pre-9/11 annual budget estimated at $30 million. If a particular source of funds had dried up, al Qaeda could easily have found enough money elsewhere to fund the attack.”

Elsewhere? One obvious “elsewhere” that no one seems to have seriously considered was Saddam’s secret geyser of money, gushing from the so-called Oil-for-Food program. That possibility is not discussed in the 9/11 report, and apparently it was not included in the investigation. A 9/11 Commission spokesman confirms that the commission did not request Oil-for-Food documentation from the U.N., and none was offered.

Why look at Oil-for-Food? Well, let’s review a little more history. When Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990, the U.N. imposed sanctions, which remained in place until 2003, when the United States and its allies finally toppled Saddam. But in 1996, with the aim of providing for the people of Iraq while still containing Saddam, the U.N. began running its Oil-for-Food relief program for Iraq. Under terms agreed to by the U.N., Saddam got to sell oil to buy such humanitarian supplies as food and medicine, to be rationed to the Iraqi population. But the terms were hugely in Saddam’s favor. The U.N. let Saddam choose his own business partners, kept the details of his deals confidential, and while watching for weapons-related goods did not, as it turns out, exercise much serious financial oversight. Saddam turned this setup to his own advantage, fiddling prices on contracts with his hand-picked partners, and smuggling out oil pumped under U.N. supervision with U.N.-approved new equipment. Thus did we arrive at the recent General Accounting Office estimate that under Oil-for-Food, despite sanctions, Saddam managed to skim and smuggle for himself more than $10 billion out of oil sales meant for relief.

And the timing gets interesting, especially the year 1998. Not only was that the year in which bin Laden signaled his big comeback in Afghanistan. It was also the year in which Oil-for-Food jelled into a reliable vehicle for Saddam’s scams, a source of enormous, illicit income.

Oil-for-Food was set up as a limited and temporary measure, starting operations in late 1996 with somewhat ad hoc administration by the U.N., and a mandate that had to be renewed by the Security Council every six months or so. Less than a year into the program, however, on October 15, 1997, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan consolidated Oil-for-Food into what was effectively a permanent U.N. department–the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP)–headed by a long-serving U.N. official, Benon Sevan. The Security Council still had to renew the mandate twice a year, but the process became routine.

Saddam began pushing the envelope, and it was quickly clear he could get away with a lot. Just two weeks after Annan set up the OIP, Saddam imposed conditions on the U.N. weapons inspectors that made it impossible for them to operate. Instead of shutting down Oil-for-Food, Annan on February 1, 1998, urged the Security Council to more than double the amount of oil Saddam was allowed to sell, a prelude to letting Iraq import oil equipment to increase production. Annan then flew to Baghdad to reason with Saddam, and on February 23, 1998 (having met in one of those palaces built under sanctions), Annan and Saddam reached an agreement that for at least a while allowed the weapons inspectors to return.

It was a busy time for al Qaeda as well. That same day, February 23, 1998, Osama bin Laden published his “Kill the Americans” fatwa. An intriguing feature of this fatwa was its prominent mention of Iraq, not just once, but four times. Analysts at the CIA and elsewhere have long propounded the theory that secular Saddam and religious Osama would not have wanted to work together. But Saddam’s secular style seemed to bother bin Laden not a whit.

His fatwa presented three basic complaints. Mainly, he deplored the infidel presence in Saudi Arabia (i.e., the U.S. troops stationed there during and after the Gulf War). He also cited grievances about Jerusalem, while not even bothering to mention the Palestinians by name. The rest of his attention, bin Laden devoted to Iraq and “the Americans’ continuing aggression against the Iraqi people” as well as “the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance” and–here is the specific reference to U.S.-led sanctions–“the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war.”

Two paragraphs later, bin Laden picked up this theme again, calling Iraq the “strongest neighboring Arab state” of Saudi Arabia, and then citing Iraq, yet again, as first on a list of four states threatened by America–the other three being Saudi Arabia (bin Laden’s old home and a big source of terrorist funding), Egypt (birthplace of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and of bin Laden’s top lieutenant, Ayman al Zawahiri, who also signed the fatwa), and Sudan (bin Laden’s former base).

UNTIL 1998, Iraq had not loomed large in bin Laden’s rants. Why, then, such stress on Iraq, at that particular moment, in declaring war on America? It is certainly possible that bin Laden simply figured Iraq had become another good selling point, a handy way to whip up anger at the United States. But it is at least intriguing that the month after bin Laden’s fatwa, in March 1998, as the 9/11 Commission reports, two al Qaeda members visited Baghdad. And in July 1998, “an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with bin Laden.”

Later in 1998, Saddam kicked out the weapons inspectors, and he would keep them out for the following four years. The U.N. in 1999 lifted the ceiling entirely on Saddam’s oil exports and expanded the range of goods he could buy. It would keep his deals confidential to the end, and it let Saddam do business with scores of companies in such graft-friendly climes as Russia and Nigeria, as well as such terrorist-sponsoring places as Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Sudan, and such financial hideouts as Liechtenstein, Panama, Cyprus, and Switzerland.

Much of Saddam’s illicit Oil-for-Food money has yet to be traced. There are now at least eight official investigations into various aspects of Oil-for-Food, but none so far that combines adequate staffing and access with a focus on Oil-for-Food itself as the little black book of Saddam’s possible terrorist links. The same kind of bureaucratic walls that once blocked our own intelligence community from nabbing al Qaeda are here compounded by the problem that Oil-for-Food was not a U.S. program, but on U.N. turf. And though the U.N. is the keeper of many of the records, Kofi Annan has displayed no interest in investigating the possibility that Oil-for-Food might have funded terrorists. Nor has the Bush administration pursued the matter with the speed and terrorist-tracking expertise it deserves. Millions of documents believed to contain details of Saddam’s Oil-for-Food deals, quite likely including leads to his illicit side deals, are reportedly locked up in Baghdad, socked away there by Paul Bremer this past spring, awaiting an audit from Ernst & Young that is just now getting underway–and not necessarily focused on possible terrorist ties. The U.N.’s own investigation, led by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, seems interested mainly in the U.N. itself. Various congressional investigators who, unlike the 9/11 Commission, are looking at Oil-for-Food, have had a hard time prying even the most basic documents out of the U.N.

The U.S. Treasury Department, in its hunt for Saddam’s assets, is not looking specifically at Oil-for-Food, but has provided some of the most telling snippets of information. In April of this year, Treasury released a list of Saddam front companies its investigation has so far uncovered, including a major Oil-for-Food contractor in the UAE, Dubai-based Al Wasel & Babel. Along with trying to procure a sophisticated surface-to-air missile system for Saddam, Al Wasel & Babel did hundreds of millions’ worth of business with Baghdad under Oil-for-Food, and was just one of some 75 contractors authorized by the U.N. to deal with Saddam out of the UAE. (As it happens, the 9/11 Commission found that some of the hijackers’ funding flowed through the UAE, but working backward from the al Qaeda end, the trail eventually vanishes.)

But enough of facts. Let’s return to the realm of possibility. Imagine:

From about 1998 on, Oil-for-Food became Saddam’s financial network, a system he gamed to produce huge amounts of illicit income, in partnership with folks who helped him hide and spend it. If some of that money was going to al Qaeda while Saddam was in power, it may still be serving as a terrorist resource today. Amid all the consternation over missed signals and poor coordination leading up to September 11, is it too much to ask that someone versed in terrorist finances, and able to access both the U.N. Oil-for-Food records and the documents squirreled away in Baghdad, take a look–an urgent, detailed, systematic look–at whether Saddam via his Oil-for-Food scams sent money to al Qaeda?

For such a deal, both Saddam and bin Laden had motive and opportunity. And if you read bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa with just a little bit of imagination, those mentions of Iraq, at that particular moment, in those particular ways, carry a strong whiff of what is known in our own society as product placement: a message from a sponsor.

Claudia Rosett is journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a columnist for


Why do we sin?
By Christian Hartsock
Why do we sin? The answer is simple: Because we are humans, and we are weak. So would God love us even more if we weren?t weak? Absolutely not. God is flattered when we as Christians follow Him, but what he gets a big kick out of is that we are following Him despite our weakness. If it were not for our weakness, the love we demonstrate when we follow Him wouldn?t be as emphatic. Furthermore, it says in II Corinthians that God?s strength is made perfect in our weakness.

Now we can approach our inherent weakness in two ways. We can either appease our weakness and relish in sin or we can give up our weakness to God and be cleansed of our sins. We may be ashamed of our weakness but we must never deny that it exists, for it can work for good or for bad. It can facilitate more sin, or it can facilitate humility. When we acknowledge our inherent weakness, we surrender to the Lord and become humble, and humility opens up more capacity in our spirit for God?s strength.

It has also been said that the more sin one has in his life, the more of an opportunity he has to repent and receive God?s grace. But with this notion comes the inevitable afterthought which Paul inquires of in Romans 6:1-2: ?What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer??

Paul is by no means saying that once we are dead to sin we are completely blameless before God. He goes on to say in 7:20: ?Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.? What Paul is saying is that after coming to Christ Jesus we are bound to continue to sin, but we need not fear because it is not because we are yet slaves to sin, but that sin still resides within our mortal coils. We may still get coughs and sore throats from time to time, but we are ultimately in good
health and are cured of a fatal disease which once afflicted us.

But returning now to Paul?s inquiry: Because we are justified in Christ, does this mean that we can go on sinning whenever we want and still receive salvation? The answer is yes, but in doing so we are breaking the greatest commandment, the obedience of which draws us closest to the Lord. In Mark 12:28, one of the teachers of the law asks Jesus, ?Of all the commandments, which is the most important?? Jesus replies: ??Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.?? (Mark 12:30) We are not loving God if we continue to deliberately sin against him and ?repent? at our convenience. If we obey this greatest commandment, then although we will continue sinning on accident from time to time, general obedience to God will be a natural byproduct of our love for him. Therefore, this greatest commandment should encompass all our thoughts and deeds and have an imposing presence in our consciences.

Proverbs 1:7 says: ?The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.? This is because our fear of God will encourage us to avoid sinning so we will not be condemned. But if we only obey Him out of fear then we are not living in His light. Thus, we should obey Him out of love – because we want to make Him happy. When we pet our cats, we do not do so for fear of them biting and scratching us if we don?t, but because we want to demonstrate our love for them. In the same way, we should obey God out of love, not just fear. We will not be saved on account of how little we sin, but how much we love God and submit our lives to Him.

Imagine for a moment a boy in middle school who has a crush on a girl who doesn?t even know he exists. Now, imagine how flattered he would be if that girl, when passing him in the hallway, smiled at him, said ?hi? to him and addressed him by name. In the same way, God has a mad crush on us humans, but many of us don?t even know him. Therefore, His ambition is not to make us fear Him so he can overpower us, but most of all, He wants us to know Him, acknowledge Him, and love Him back with all our hearts.

No matter how much we sin, we can always count on the Lord to forgive us. It wouldn?t be surprising to find out that God is literally offended when we doubt that He forgives us. There is no sin, no matter how great, that He won?t forgive us for, save for blasphemy, and to doubt that He doesn?t have enough love in His heart to forgive us would be an insult to Him. But if we take His grace for granted, however, and persist deliberately in our sinful patterns, we may not be exempting ourselves from receiving his redemption, but we are doing ourselves a monumental disservice by distancing ourselves from Him. We may be forgiven, but we will have to face the inexorable consequences of being distant from Him. James 4:8 says: ?Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.? Being forgiven is one thing, but there is nothing more rewarding than being close to the Lord and filled with His holy spirit.

At times I have done things which I was not certain were sinful or not. I used this uncertainty to justify my behavior in case it was in fact sinful, but this attitude made me feel relativistic and distant from God. Ultimately, I decided not to give my behavior the benefit of the doubt and simply abstain. Furthermore, I made a promise to God that I wouldn?t do it, that way its sinfulness would be made clear to me. When I was uncertain that it was sinful, I could feel that Satan was trying to convince me that it wasn?t, and I honestly was not sure. So I felt that if I had promised God that I would not do it, regardless of whether the activity itself was sinful, engaging in it would without a doubt be sinful inasmuch as it would be repudiating a promise I made to God. Therefore, when it comes to activities which we are not certain are sinful or not, it is best to just refrain. Whether or not they are sinful, participation itself would be sinful, as God would see for Himself that we are risking our obedience to Him for the sake of participating in something we do not need to participate in.

We read in the Gospels about how Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights. Now, He was not tempted like we are tempted, which is sporadically and usually mildly. He was subjected to direct and fierce temptation for over a month straight. There is no doubt that Satan put more effort into tempting Jesus than he has with any of us since the dawn of civilization. And there is no doubt that Jesus was, indeed, tempted. Many may dismiss this account on the basis of the fact that Jesus, being the Son of God, put his supernatural faculties to work, but had he done that, he would not have even been tempted and the story would be meaningless. Jesus, being 100 percent human, struggled like all of us, and overcame. The secret to his success does not need to be a secret, because we can confidently venture that Jesus overcame Satan?s temptation on account of his profound love for God the Father.

James 4:7 says: ?Resist the devil and he will flee from you.? This does not mean that if we resist temptation once we won?t be tempted again. But it means that the more of a pattern we make out of resisting it, the more Satan will sense that pattern and in reaction he will either begin to give up on us, or he will be more motivated to make us stumble. If he gives up on us, we may grow too accustomed to it and be unprepared for his return, but we can also use that freedom to prepare ourselves more. If he becomes more motivated to make us stumble, we can use his temptation as a tool to develop perseverance. James 1:12 says: ?Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.? The key word is ?love.? The more we of it we have and render to God Almighty, the more he will coat us with the full armor of the Holy Spirit, that we may use it to stand strong and resolute as true soldiers of Christ

Christian Lee Hartsock, 18, is a screenwriter, videographer, political columnist. His columns have been run in various newspapers, publications and websites including World Magazine, American Daily, Newsmax, Political Vanguard, Renew America, The Berkeley Daily Planet, Conservative Voice, and others. A native of Oakland, California, Chris is currently a student at Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film and Video Production.


So what’s the deal with the apostrophe?


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