Children of Crime

Quite simply, it is never fair and never just to punish the innocent children of guilty criminals.

If a man or woman are guilty of any crime, why would anyone also jail their uninvolved and innocent children? Think about how absurd this would be, if we as a society and culture punished the children of criminals who had nothing to do with the crime of their parents:

  1. Crime: Dad gets wasted and starts driving on the road. Kills another driver, and does not survive the accident himself. Punishment: Throw the man’s daughter in jail and torch her license.
  2. Crime: Mom gets wasted and starts driving on the road. Kills another driver, and does not survive the accident herself. Punishment: Throw the woman’s son in jail and torch his license.

Sounds insane, does it not? Yet, it gets crazier still when the criminal survives but his/her innocent child is punished instead! Imagine this:

  1. Crime: Dad gets wasted and starts driving on the road. Kills another driver, and survives the accident unscathed. Punishment: Throw the man’s daughter in jail and torch his license, but let the man go free–no questions asked.
  2. Crime: Mom gets wasted and starts driving on the road. Kills another driver, and survives the accident unscathed. Punishment: Throw the woman’s son in jail and torch his license, but let the woman go free–no questions asked.

Now, mix in the death penalty, and it goes manic-mode:

  1. Crime: Dad gets wasted and starts driving on the road. Kills another driver, and survives the accident unscathed. Punishment: Execute the man’s daughter, but let the man go free–no questions asked.
  2. Crime: Mom gets wasted and starts driving on the road. Kills another driver, and survives the accident unscathed. Punishment: Execute the woman’s son, but let the man go free–no questions asked.

Now consider this:

  1. Crime: Dad cheats on Mom. The mistress gets pregnant and carries Dad’s child. Punishment: Abort (execute, kill, murder) Dad’s daughter, but let Dad and his mistress go free–no questions asked.
  2. Crime: Mom cheats on Dad. Mom gets pregnant and she carries the boyfriend’s child. Punishment: Abort (execute, kill, murder) Mom’s son, but let Mom and her boyfriend go free–no questions asked.

And does it really make any more sense if this was the case:In Expectation

  1. Crime: Dad rapes a woman. Woman gets pregnant and carries Dad’s child. Punishment: Abort (execute, kill, murder) Dad’s daughter, but let him live, and the woman no longer needs any help since her problem is gone (please ask questions).
  2. Crime: Mom is raped. Mom gets pregnant and carries the rapist’s child. Punishment: Abort (execute, kill, murder) Mom’s son, but let the man live, and Mom no longer needs any help since her problem is gone (please ask questions).

So how much sense does it make to murder innocent children when their parents are the criminals, the adulterers and adulteresses, the fornicators and betrayers and cheaters? Why slap capital punishment onto guiltless babies when their mothers and/or fathers are responsible for the crime, the evil? Why is abortion even seen as a solution when it butchers innocent babies? And if the parents are innocent victims themselves, why also victimize the children, and how does doing so solve anything?

These are questions we must ask ourselves as a culture and society, because innocent children are dying and their own guilty parents want them to, so they [the parents] can live freely without them, without punishment, and yet… without the chance to learn to love their children.

LIFE-GENDER

CNS-LIFE-GENDER — Behind the scenes- the model of a fetus in the womb. On Mother’s Day, one of the most startling broadcasts will be In the Womb on National Geographic Channel. Pictures of unborn infants are not new but this two-hour Brit documentary uses the latest in 3-D scanning technology to provide exceptional images of a baby girl from conception to birth. Her mouth opens, she swallows amniotic fluid, hiccups, learns innate reflexes when startled, seems to recognize familiar voices and music, selects a favourite thumb to suck (at 11 weeks), dreams (but of what?) and generally is awake about 10 per cent of the time. (CP PHOTO/ Alliance Atlantis/ HO) *Calgary Herald Merlin Archive* DATE PUBLISHED THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2005 DATE PUBLISHED THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2005 *Calgary Herald Merlin Archive*FOR CNS LIFE PACKAGE, APRIL 2, 2010

 

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Children of Dust

Don’t get me wrong — I love Christmas, and Easter, and Advent… but there’s a special love for Lent. I asked myself, “Why, Evan? Why do you love Lent? Lent’s so dreary, so deprivational, so austere…”Ash Wednesday

Well, I love Lent because it helps me live simpler, so that I may simply live! Lent helps me remember that I eat to live, and not live to eat. The hunger of fasting reminds me how mortal I am, that I need someone higher than myself to guide me, lead me. It puts my life in the proper perspective, and actually makes the little things in life more meaningful.Smiley Face with Ashes

And as a Catholic Christian, Lent (especially on Ash Wednesday) smacks me in the face, smears my brow with dust, reminds me that I am dust, and to dust I shall return… we are all mere children of dust.

Yet this is beautiful, because I don’t stop there. None of us stop there. Though all our possessions will return to dust, we don’t end there. Depending on our Faith in Christ, our dust will rise, reassemble, get an upgrade, and then the real life begins!

And I WANT REAL LIFE!

I want Resurrection! Didn’t you see the preview Jesus gave us when He rose? Didn’t you see how He wasn’t some zombie or half-dead corpse? Didn’t you see how He didn’t exact vengeance on Peter (for denying Him)? Didn’t you see? And don’t you want that kind of life, love and forgiveness yourself? and for your beloveds?

God is Chinese?

Of course not. I just wanted to have a catchy post title.

But written Chinese seems to have an interesting unknown history to most. Let me show you what I noticed a while back:

Male and Female

Pictured above are two Chinese words. If you do not know Chinese, and you had to choose, which character above (the left one or the right one) would you think represents female? Which do you think represents male? Take a minute and just guess… we’ll see if you’re right!

On the left, we have the Chinese character for male. On the right is the character for female. And most of the time, people unfamiliar with Chinese guess correctly! When thought through, it makes sense that this is so, on a few levels.

First, the male character is rigid looking, straight lines, angular and rectangular. It mimics the frame of a man’s body. The female character sports more curvature, and it even looks like it has its two legs crossed, as a sitting woman. Now that’s merely the look of the two ideographs. Let’s break it down further:

Chinese ideographs are pictographic, they represent ideas via images, and each pictograph holds a meaning. Some pictographs are simple, and others are more complex. A complex pictograph is made up of things called radicals, and a radical is actually other simple pictographs. An analogy: H2O is a symbol for the water molecule. It is one whole complex pictograph. However, the H can also stand alone as hydrogen and the O can stand alone as oxygen. The H and the O are simple pictographs that can also be radicals that come together to form a complex pictograph: H2O.

The same works for Chinese characters, and some complex pictographs can have even five or more distinct radicals! Anyway, the male character is composed of two radicals: one atop, one under. The top radical resembles a rice paddy, or a field with plow lines for farming. The radical alone is the word for field. The bottom radical is the word for strength or power, and a closer look shows that it resembles a flexing arm, or even a plow!

In the Paddyfield

[This shot of a rice paddy generously provided by: Tricia A. Mitchell]

In ExpectationThe female character is only comprised of one radical, which means exactly what it already is: female. But notice that it appears to be emphasizing something, something special. In the character, there is an empty space in the center, there is a womb.

In the Genesis account of Creation, after the sin of Adam and Eve, a consequence is laid out for the selfishness of our first parents: Adam from now on must work, must use his muscle to tend the fields and grow his own food (Genesis 3: 17-19), and Eve will now bear children in pain (Genesis 3: 16). See the emphasis? See the point of the consequences represented in the Chinese characters? And is it a coincidence?

There are more Chinese ideographs that have similar and even more extreme coincidences. But don’t take my word for it… see for yourself from Pastor Kong Hee in Singapore!

Slaves at the Superbowl

SlaveTwo teams went to the Superbowl this year. One team was excited to be there, came from near and far to have a good time, and left with wild memories of conquest and domination.

The other team was forced to be there, trafficked from near and far into a Colosseum, and left in pieces after use, rape and molestation. This team could only hope to forget every memory.

I am not talking about the Seahawks and the Broncos.

Unlike the Superbowl, this match-up happens everyday.

I am talking about this:

Don’t let them be part of the slave-trade. Children and women deserve better.

Don’t let them keep the slave-trade going. Men are meant to defend.

Don’t be part of the slave-trade. You can help.

Don’t be ignorant, find out more here.

AntiTrafficking Hotline

Happy Chinese New Year!

Humankind is expressed in many different cultures.

The Faith of the Catholic Church is also expressed in many different cultures, different forms, different rites. And since the Lunar New Year (aka: Chinese New Year, Tết, and Spring Festival) is today, I thought to share a few photos (from a photographer by the name of Tommy Chiu) of a beautifully expressed Taiwanese-Chinese Catholic Church, in the fullness of religious freedom (click the photos to zoom in!):

[The view from the street! Notice how warm it looks... lush plants, subtropical... definitely not amidst polar vortex.]

[The view from the street! Notice how warm it all looks… lush plants, subtropical… definitely not amidst polar vortex.]

[Look! There's a mural! You can tell by the clouds this ain't Medieval or European or American or anything like that. Betcha neva seen Jesus look like that before!]

[Look! There’s a mural! You can tell by the clouds this ain’t Medieval or European or American or anything like that. Betcha neva seen Jesus look like that before!]

[But we all know the real razzle-dazzle of a reverently raised Catholic church is inside! I mean, Benedict XVI did say that stained windows look dark and dreary outside, but from within... BAM!]

[But we all know the real razzle-dazzle of a reverently raised Catholic church is inside! I mean, Benedict XVI did say that stained windows look dark and dreary outside, but from within… BAM!]

[The ceiling! There ain't an inch untouched by brush in this church! That's what I'm talkin bout! The beauty of God moves us to create beauty!]

[The ceiling! There ain’t an inch untouched by brush in this church! That’s what I’m talkin bout! The beauty of God moves us to create beauty!]

Now there’s a lot going on up here, but let me tell you about one thing: the golden dragons. In Chinese culture, a dragon is not some wicked serpent of fire-breathing tendencies. Instead, Chinese dragons are benevolent, wise, generous, and celestial, yet also powerful and terrifying. In a word: angelic! I believe that us Chinese would have represented the angels in Heaven as dragon-like, not human-like (as the Western cultures have beautifully done, however).

[Here we are, gazing up as we move through the nave.]

[Here we are, gazing up with childlike wonder as we move through the nave.]

Notice the Christian symbols in all the circular frames on the ceiling? Also, the icons of the Stations of the Cross lining the wall, just below the windows?

[Red columns support the ceiling here, probably columns of wood since Traditional Chinese architecture for sacred spaces tended toward precious woods (like teak) rather than precious stones.]

[Red columns support the ceiling here, probably columns of wood since Traditional Chinese architecture for sacred spaces tended toward precious woods (like teak) rather than precious stones.]

[Looking up at the sanctuary, we see a Chinese depiction of the Holy Trinity: God the Father in the center, God the Son (left), and God the Holy Spirit (right).]

[Looking up at the sanctuary, we see a Chinese depiction of the Holy Trinity: God the Father in the center, God the Son (left), and God the Holy Spirit (right).]

The Son (Jesus Christ) is holding a lamb, the Holy Spirit has a dove, and I actually can’t tell what the Father is holding in this icon. We also can see images of the Communion of Saints all surrounding the Trinity (One God of Three Persons) in a cloud of witnesses. I even think I see Adam and Eve, on the right, dressed in fig leaves.

[Peering up, we notice the doves descending, a sign of the Holy Spirit's descent upon Christ at His Baptism, and at our baptism.]

[Peering up, we notice the doves descending, a sign of the Holy Spirit’s descent upon Christ at His Baptism, and at our baptism.]

[The fresco here, right above and behind a very Chinese tabernacle, illustrates the Last Supper.]

[The fresco here, right above and behind a very Chinese tabernacle, illustrates the Last Supper. Can you tell Jesus and His Apostles are using chopsticks?]

[Then of course, we tun around and see what's behind us: a mural of God in Creation-mode, among other stories and saints.]

[Then of course, we tun around and see what’s behind us: a mural of God in Creation-mode, among other stories and saints.]

You can see the Seven Days of Creation account here, one “day” represented in each circle. The 8th and 9th Stations of the Cross are also visible: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem (left) and Jesus falls the third time (right). Along the bottom, we see various saints.

[A close up of the mural's left. Notice the Genesis story in the circles.]

[A close up of the mural’s left. Notice the Genesis story in the circles.]

[And here's a close up of the mural's right. See the dinosaurs? See Adam and Eve?]

[And here’s a close up of the mural’s right. See the dinosaurs? See Adam and Eve?]

[And before you leave, make sure to stop by the shrine of our Lady: Mary the Mother of God. Baby Jesus is in there, too!]

[And before you leave, make sure to stop by the shrine of our Lady: Mary the Mother of God. Baby Jesus is in there, too!]

Chinese Miraculous MedalOh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

The Forbidden Christian

Last week we saw Yuna Kim’s Catholic faith fearless on the world stage.

This week, a research organization has once again named North Korea as “the worst country in the world for Christians.”

If you didn’t know the drama: North Korea and South Korea (where Miss Kim calls home) share the same border. They are one country divided by bombs and barbed wire. They are now neighbors, each with soldiers staring down the other side, fingers on their triggers — just waiting. It’s been this way since the end of the Korean conflict in the 1950s. And the South’s capital — Seoul — is only 120 miles from the North’s: Pyongyang. That’s right, those two cities are closer together than Detroit is to Chicago.

Many of us know that North Korea is probably the worst country in the world for anyone, but the paradox here is jarring. Let me help you see it: Christians are forbidden on the north side, and on the south side are Christians free and flourishing. North: Christians are hunted and sent to prison camps. South: Christians are winning Olympic gold medals. And South Korea is home to probably the fastest growing Catholic community in the world.

Zooming out, here’s the big picture:

The map details the 50 nations openly hostile to faithful Christians (I say faithful because a Christian in-name-only is no Christian at all, and I say openly hostile because there are plenty of regimes and nations that persecute us indirectly and in secret.). From my own ethnic background, I see Vietnam at #18, and China at #37. You can click on the map to download the full report, or here to see country by country profiles of persecution.

So please, remember that “often completely unaddressed in the West is the fact that Christians are the largest persecuted minority in the world.” We — faithful Christians — always have been the most persecuted, and always will be. Why? And why so many?

Why? Because Jesus is offensive. He tells us we must become perfect. He tells us we must sacrifice. He tells us we must not lust. He tells us we must carry a cross just like He did. In a world that says individualism and license-to-do-anything-without-consequence is supreme, He tells us we must be less us and more Him. And He tells us that this world is not our home, that we are made for better, and the world is insulted by that. The world does not want us to be better than it. It wants us to worship it, to die with it, sleep with it and rot with it.

And why so many? Because committed Christians are among the most convinced of their Faith. Nobody dies for what they know is a lie, or for a hobby, or a social club, or a free time fellowship. But if what they believe is True… and if they are convinced, convinced absolutely by reason and faith that Jesus rose from the dead, if so! then there is no force in the universe that can sway them to admit that the Truth is a hoax. They would die and disown the world rather than lie and disown Christ.

And those Christians among us who refuse the world?

What else should we expect from the world that even dared to butcher God Himself?

So the persecution will continue, and probably worsen. And that’s when the courageous and faithful Christians rise. And some have already rose. They live and died in those hostile and forbidden nations. They are more renown in Heaven than we are. They are the saints and martyrs.

May those saints pray for us Christians who are too busy being comfortable to seek greatness.

Made for Greatness

P.S. It is in honor of these persecuted Christians that I named my publishing entity Banned Books Press. And the most banned book of all: the Holy Bible.

Yuna Kim Taught Me How to Pray

After I saw her, I was never afraid again.

Yuna Kim

She is Yuna Kim, South Korea’s most popular celebrity/athlete/pop icon/etc. I knew nothing about her until she demolished her competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

And she demolished with grace! After earning her gold medal (and South Korea’s first gold in skating ever), the sports channel showed a montage of athletes in various states of competition and ecstatic victory. But for Miss Kim, I saw something that made me scour the internet for an explanation. I was confused when I saw:

As she skated onto the ice for her final program, she made the Sign of the Cross, clasped her hands together, bowed her head, and prayed.

There she was: on Olympic ice, before dozens of HD cameras broadcasting to billions of TVs, LCDs, smartphones, before millions of her adoring fans (especially the boys — duh) at home and around the world. And there she was, praying in public.

She was so humble about it, that you’d almost miss it! Unless she actually prays this way before her every skate. WHICH SHE DOES.

And it occurred to me, that if Yuna Kim could be that devoted to Christ before the world’s gaze, then what reason do I have for cowering? What reason do I have to be afraid of praying before others? Who was watching me? Do I have dozens of cameras broadcasting my public prayer around the planet? Do I have millions of fans ready to judge my next move? Does anyone care what Evan does?

No.

And even if they do care, I’m not about to let Yuna pray alone.

P.S. after investigating the internet, I found out that Miss Kim had decided to be baptized Catholic in 2008 as Stella Yuna Kim, named after the Blessed Virgin Mary – Star of the Sea. In a world like today, deciding to be Catholic takes guts and grace. Seriously.

P.P.S. My personal favorite Yuna Kim skate (trust me, you gotta see this):

Keep an eye out for Yuna in February during the 2014 Sochi Olympics!

Happy New Year!

Sochi 2014

[See the next posts about Yuna Kim here (The Forbidden Christian) and here (A Meme for the Queen)!, and my interview on CNA!]