Thursday, July 31, 2014
Nice and simple:
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my views on marriage and family and women working outside the home and whether women are supposed to support their husbands rather than having their own goals and careers. Here are my thoughts on the matter.
In general, I think women are called to be a supporter to their husband's calling. But that does not mean that their contribution is less important. God sees a husband and wife as a team, a single unit. So a husband's calling is the wife’s calling because the two of them are one.
We live in a culture that sees us primarily as individuals who simply make associations with each other. Marriage is generally seen as just a partnership between two separate people. The Christian view of marriage, however, is radically different. The Bible says that the two become one. Not two that have a connection, but one. God doesn't give separate overall missions to each individual person. There is only one overall calling for that one marriage entity. A husband and wife are a family and have a calling together, but the husband bears the primary responsibility for fulfilling that mission while the wife bears the primary responsibility for supporting her husband's work toward the family’s calling.
That is what it means, for example, that the husband is the spiritual head or leader of the family. A husband will answer to God for the spiritual health of his family in a way that the wife will not because it is the man's primary responsibility. His calling, above all, is to lead his family to know and serve God. Other parts of his mission may involve outreach beyond his family such as missions work, serving in the church, witnessing to coworkers, etc., but his primary responsibility before God is to lead his own family and ensure their spiritual health. A wife's primary responsibility in this area is to support her husband's leadership to ensure that chaos does not derail their family's spiritual journey and that her husband has the time and energy to devote to spiritual leadership because he isn't distracted by other minor concerns.
The story comes to mind of Acts 6 and the choosing of deacons to take care of details like feeding the needy so that the apostles could concentrate on preaching and teaching. This kind of hierarchy is found throughout life, not just in marriage. It’s not about inferiority, it’s about efficiency in fulfilling a purpose. It was the deacons' role to handle logistics so that the apostles could spend their time pursuing the main mission of preaching the word and saving souls. In the same way, it is a wife's role to handle logistics of the home so that her husband can concentrate his energy on pursuing the family's main mission for God.
The other thing to consider is that the responsibility for providing for the family is given primarily to the man. It simply isn’t the wife’s responsibility in the same way it is for the husband. Not only are men given the responsibility of spiritual leadership, but they also must provide for their family’s economic needs. In both cases, men will answer to God for how they do so. Providing is a heavy burden given to a man. It requires much time and effort. It is a great support to the husband when the wife takes care of the logistical details of the household so that the husband can devote his efforts to providing and the spiritual training of the children and then, if energy is left, to outside endeavors to further the Kingdom of God.
Now, can a woman handle the logistics of the home, ensure her family is cared for, and still work outside the home? Perhaps, in some cases – especially if they do not yet have children. But no woman is Superwoman. We all have limitations. It's just not possible for any woman to adequately care for children and home while holding down a full time job. The care of children and the home is primarily a woman's responsibility in a way it isn't for her husband. If there are no children, it may be possible for her to care for the home and her husband and still keep a job outside the home, but she must keep the home and her husband as her priority.
Once children arrive, it becomes pretty much impossible for her to work outside the home and still fulfill her duties at home. The funny thing about children is that they need constant care. One cannot care for children and work outside the home too. The choice once children come along is whether to outsource the care of the children to someone else or to do it yourself. I firmly believe that God entrusts children to a husband and wife because he wants them to be the primary influences in their children's lives. That doesn’t happen if the children spend a majority of their waking hours in the care of someone else.
Children don’t just need food and shelter provided to them, they need love, teaching, discipline, a sense of security, and examples of how they are to live. All of those things are best done when the child spends time primarily with his or her parents. Daycare workers, school teachers, and even grandparents simply cannot provide them in the same way parents can. No one loves a child like his own parents do. No one has such a vested interest in ensuring that he grows up with the proper spiritual and moral training. Even if others care about the child, the responsibility for the training of a child belongs to his parents. Daycare workers and teachers and grandparents won’t answer to God for the soul of that child. His parents will.
So, given the needs of children, I am convinced that women are called to be with their children, training and caring for them as their primary caregiver. Does that mean a mother can’t have any job outside the home? In theory, no. In practice, yes. A woman’s priority must be her own family. If she can have her children with her or leave them for only a short time each day, she may still be able to provide the necessary training and care they need from their mother and earn some income. But in doing that, she needs to be sure she is not neglecting her husband’s needs either. Theoretically, a woman can have it all – keeping a job and caring for her family too. The problem is that it is a very rare woman who has the energy to keep up with the constant needs of her children for care, training, discipline, and love and those of her husband for companionship, sex, and a partner in life as well as the logistics of running a household and still have something left for even a part-time job.
What usually happens when a woman has an outside job is that her family simply suffers the lack. Either her children spend a lot of time with other caregivers or teachers or her husband does without the companionship and marital intimacy he needs or some of the household chores descend on the husband, taking away some of his time and energy to train his children spiritually and impact the world for Christ. Often it’s a combination of these. A woman simply cannot meet all the needs of her family when she is spread that thin and, as a result, something important gets left undone.
Of course, there are circumstances where it is necessary for a family’s survival for the wife to work outside the home. That is not the ideal, but it sometimes happens. In that case, the goal should be to do whatever is necessary to make it a temporary situation so that the wife can return to the home and children and be available to meet her husband’s need as well. If that means downgrading the house, foregoing vacations, having the husband take a second job or a better paying job, having the wife work from home, or whatever, the goal should be to work towards having the wife available to fulfill her responsibilities at home. It is vital to the health of her family – both physically and spiritually. There is no replacement for a wife and mother. The family will never be as effective for the Kingdom of God as it could be if the wife is not at home, taking care of her family.
Friday, July 18, 2014
This question has been bandied about by people who don't know guns, as some sort of rhetorical trump. The answer is somewhat complicated for people not versed in the subject, but I'm going to have a whack at it.
The AR15 is a development of an earlier rifle in a larger caliber—the .308 caliber AR10. The "AR" is from Armalite, the designing company, which at the time (early 1950s) was a division of Fairchild Aircraft. Some of the most sophisticated alloys and machining techniques were used in its development.
Keep that timeline in mind—1950s. AR15s have been in military use since 1959, and on the civilian market since 1963—longer than most of you have been alive. If you're just now becoming aware of them, you're 50 years, half a century, behind the curve. There have been improvements in this time, but it's been around for two generations. This might even be your grandfather's gun. The 30 round magazine, by the way, has been STANDARD CAPACITY for 40 years. You don't get to redefine it as "high capacity" just because you've recently become aware of it.
The AR15 receiver is made of light, very strong aluminum alloys, to quite tight tolerances. The barrel and operating parts are various steel alloys, chosen for specific characteristics. The gun weighs 5-9 lbs depending on configuration. This is quite light, at the bottom end for rifles, which makes it easier to handle for smaller people. It's a fact that without the AR15, and its military analog the M16 (which fires in full auto or burst, which civilian AR15s are not capable of), there would be a lot less women in the armed forces or shooting sports. Not only are earlier self-loading rifles heavier, they usually have heavier springs and operating masses, beyond the capability of many women and smaller men, and youths, to operate.
Also, the AR15 operates by what is called "direct gas impingement." Instead of using barrel gas pressure to shove a piston to work the action, the gas directly hits the bolt carrier—the cycling part of the action. There are pluses and minuses to this, but the big plus is a much lighter operating mass. That means a lot less recoil, which makes shooting easier, and more accurate, for everyone, and makes it usable by some small people for whom a bigger rifle would cause bruising and injury.
It generally comes in 5.56mm, or .223 Remington, developed from what was considered a "varmint" round in the 1950s. Again, there are pluses and minuses. One plus is that a lighter cartridge means even LESS recoil. So again, there's an advantage for smaller people. It's still an advantage to larger people, because recoil itself doesn't offer ANY advantage. It's a side effect of shooting. The less side effect, the better. Also, a rifle is more powerful than a handgun. The recent case of a lady firing 5 shots from her revolver http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57562397-504083/georgia-mother-hides-children-shoots-intruder-5-times-during-home-invasion-police-say/ without reliably stopping the attacker is an indication that handguns have limitations.
I mentioned "5-9 lbs depending on configuration." The AR15 is a brilliant design that can be changed in caliber, barrel length and even stock type in a few moments, literally a matter of seconds for most changes in barrel or caliber, by swapping out an entire assembly held in place with two pins. You can shoot .22 for practice, .223 for varmints, or .458 SOCOM in a carbine length for home invaders. You can attach a heavier barreled assembly for long range target shooting or sniping.
And the adjustable stock, that 'evil feature' that makes it an 'assault weapon' to some people, means it can be adjusted to fit shooters of different statures or wearing various clothing –parkas vs T-shirts.
Detachable magazines do enable faster reloading, which is a good thing. Fumbling with a gun while someone is trying to kill you is a bad thing. Also, a detachable magazine makes it easier to UNLOAD a weapon, which also increases safety.
In addition, the military variant, the M16, has been in general use for almost 50 years. Most veterans handled one at some point in their service, so an ergonomically similar rifle, even if castrated of its real military features, is familiar and easy for them to use, and to teach others to use safely.
So, it's a light, versatile, reliable, accurate, easy and safe to use weapon that is excellent for home defense, pest control, recreational shooting and making a political point against invaders and tyrants. Every home should have a few.
As far as the AK47, it has some advantages over the AR15, some disadvantages, and generally costs ½ to 2/3 as much, so it's better for people on a budget.
Now, let's address some of the snide comments people are going to want to post.
Its political opponents like to bleat, "Guns are only good for killing," as if they've discovered some profound revelation, are standing on some moral peak, or have played some kind of trump.
Well, no, that is not true. However, as far as killing, or at least stopping people, it is pretty good, and quite accurate. They also seem to think that killing is a bad thing. It's not. Murder is a bad thing. Killing should generally be avoided, but thousands of years of Common Law, and most state laws, do not prohibit the killing of an attacker, if your own life is threatened. And unless you're Chuck Norris, an AR15 is a much better tool for this than your fists or a kitchen knife.
There's also the possibility of local or national insurrection or despotism. While the US has avoided this so far, it is not an impossibility. It has happened in dozens of prosperous, liberal nations over the last century. If you deny this fact, or the possibility, please stop reading now and go back to your reality shows.
Don't take my word for it, though. Let's see what the Supreme Court has to say:
There are many reasons why the militia was thought to
be “necessary to the security of a free state.” See 3 Story
§1890. First, of course, it is useful in repelling invasions
and suppressing insurrections. Second, it renders large
standing armies unnecessary—an argument that Alexander
Hamilton made in favor of federal control over the
militia. The Federalist No. 29, pp. 226, 227 (B. Wright ed.
1961) (A. Hamilton). Third, when the able-bodied men of
a nation are trained in arms and organized, they are better
able to resist tyranny.
Cite as: 554 U. S. ____ ( 2008 )
The most significant of these commentators was Joseph
Story. Contrary to the Court’s assertions, however, Story
actually supports the view that the Amendment was
designed to protect the right of each of the States to maintain
a well-regulated militia. When Story used the term
“palladium” in discussions of the Second Amendment, he
merely echoed the concerns that animated the Framers of
the Amendment and led to its adoption. An excerpt from
his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United
States—the same passage cited by the Court in Miller34—
merits reproducing at some length:
“The importance of [the Second Amendment] will
scarcely be doubted by any persons who have duly reflected
upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence
of a free country against sudden foreign invasions,
domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of
power by rulers.
...."The right of the citizens
to keep and bear arms has justly been considered
as the palladium of the liberties of a republic, since it
offers a strong moral check against the usurpation
and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even
if these are successful in the first instance, enable the
people to resist and triumph over them."
3. Relationship between Prefatory Clause and
We reach the question, then: Does the preface fit with
an operative clause that creates an individual right to
keep and bear arms? It fits perfectly, once one knows the
history that the founding generation knew and that we
have described above. That history showed that the way
tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the able bodied
men was not by banning the militia but simply by
taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or
standing army to suppress political opponents. This is
what had occurred in England that prompted codification
of the right to have arms in the English Bill of Rights.
also cite as support Tucker and Rawle, both of
whom clearly viewed the right as unconnected to militia
service. See 3 Story §1890, n. 2; §1891, n. 3. In addition,
in a shorter 1840 work Story wrote: “One of the ordinary
modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without
resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it
an offence to keep arms, and by substituting a regular
army in the stead of a resort to the militia.” A Familiar
Exposition of the Constitution of the United States §450
(reprinted in 1986).
All from District of Columbia vs Heller, 2008.
There. Several references to being able to fight a tyrannical government, all from four years ago, from the highest court in the land. DC lost, by the way.
So, yes, the AR15 is made to kill people, and there are some people who need killing, so says common law, codified law, and the Supreme @#$ing Court. Therefore, if you say, "The only purpose of a gun is to kill people," you're not entirely correct, but you are in fact making a statement that supports gun ownership. Thanks. We're glad you've figured it out. One of the main purposes of guns is to kill people who need killing.
"When all you have is a hammer, all your problems look like nails."
No. However, when the problem IS a nail, beating it with a screwdriver accomplishes nothing, and beating it with your fists only causes injury to yourself. One well-placed hammer blow makes the problem go away. Thanks for playing.
Just to reinforce this, here's the money quote from Heller:
"Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding."."
In America we have a constitutional right to own modern firearms for the purpose of killing people who need killing to defend ourselves, our communities and our nation. If you don't like it, there is no law stopping you from leaving. In fact, as an immigrant myself, I'd encourage you to find a nation better suited to your philosophy, as I did, and move there, as I have done. In exchange, I have friends and relatives overseas who'd be happy to swap with you.©2013 by Michael Z. Williamson www.MichaelZWilliamson.com
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