Christian Churches that teach Birth Control Mentality

I’m not talking, in the title of this post, about the post-Christian churches like the PCUSA Presbyterians or ELCA Lutherans— both church bodies that are pro-abortion— or the Episcopal church that asked a woman to leave the congregation when she left her job at an abortion clinic because of ethical concerns about abortion.

I am talking about Bible-believing and therefore prolife churches. I have read accounts of women who announced they were pregnant with a third or fourth child, and they got nothing but grief from the people in their church because of it. They were asked if they knew what causes pregnancy, or people pretended they could not count the children in their ‘large’ family. Husbands got the offer to be driven to the clinic for a vasectomy. And this was with much-wanted pregnancies! Is it really anyone’s business if a Christian married couple wants three or four or even five or six children? And what should a woman do when she’s already pregnant with a child that her church members are convinced she shouldn’t want? Get an abortion? Or just complain about the unwantedness of her child?

Birth control mentality is morally wrong because it teaches that human beings— female ones, anyway— are in charge of their own fertility. If they want a child (and have no more than one) they have a ‘right’ to have a child, even if it takes in vitro fertalization and the sacrifice of the lives of ‘extra’ embryos to get what they want. And when a pregnancy is not desired, it is proclaimed that all ‘responsible’ people will be using artificial methods of contraception. Some of which, like IUD or the birth-control pill, cause the death of very young embryonic children.

In reality, no ‘birth control’ is 100% effective. And so it is demanded that abortion must be available as a backup. Prolife Christians want people to choose life, not abortion, but if they are living in the birth control mentality themselves, they are helping people to choose abortions.

I have read of an internationally known prolife activist— a priest— who said that when a country legalized contraceptives (which used to be illegal or restricted), legalizing abortion was not far behind. Because contraceptives are part of the birth control mentality, and that mentality demands abortion when contraception proves unreliable.

Lest you think I am just picking on the Evangelical/Protestant community here, there are I am sure also Catholic parishes where everyone is presumed to be using contraceptives, and the Church’s teaching on being open to life is mocked. No homilies are ever preached in which abortion is called a moral evil, and ‘Catholic’ politicians who vote pro-abortion are lauded as good Catholics.

To be truly prolife, we have to acknowledge that fertility, and children, are gifts from God. We will never have 100% control over when babies come. When an ‘unplanned’ pregnancy occurs, we must consider whether it is not a blessing from God that we didn’t know we wanted. It is a matter of trusting God. And when we are tempted to criticize a Christian sister for having ‘too many’ children, we must think twice and thrice before adding our critical words to what may be a difficult time for our sister.

Prayers for Ruth Bader Ginsburg

When SC Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had her recent fall, I was sad to notice a small number of conservatives offending all the other conservatives by expressing negative wishes about Justice Ginsburg’s health. Big fail! We don’t want our political ‘enemies’ to pass away, but to repent and reform. Or at least to cease doing things that cause harm. Remember the ‘Love your enemies’ thing from Matthew 5:44?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is no spring chicken, and when I see a picture of her, she looks very fragile. We want her to be in good health, but as she is mortal and imperfect, we want something better than just physical health for her. She needs spiritual health. Because we want everyone, even our political or other enemies, even people we don’t much admire, to have a shot at heaven rather than be stuck with the alternative.

The first step in getting good spiritual health is to repent— to turn away from any wrong things we have done, and to be sorry for them, not just for our own sake, but for the sake of not offending God. This is not just for people of a certain political viewpoint, by the way. ALL human beings do wrong things. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God….” (Romans 3:23)

Every person also needs spiritual wisdom to know what is right and therefore pleasing to God, and what is wrong and therefore displeasing to God. And just knowing that God exists and has certain attributes is beyond the knowledge of many people.

And just having spiritual wisdom is not enough if you don’t do anything about it. In the Catholic Church we often talk about the blessed dead as having ‘died in friendship with God.’ That’s not a religious or denominational label. A Christian teaching is that God writes His law in our hearts— which would mean that every single person has some hint of God’s truth— and is free to embrace that truth or turn away from it.

We want Ruth Bader Ginsburg to embrace the Divine wisdom she has access to; to live in friendship with God so she can die that way. As a Supreme Court Justice she has had the power to make decisions which affect the lives and deaths of many people. May God prevent that she make any decisions that prove harmful to others.

Real conservatives don’t want bad things to happen to people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but we don’t want her helping to make any harmful decisions that would expand ‘abortion rights’ or take away religious freedoms. Not just because we would disagree with such decisions. We also don’t want such decisions on Justice Ginsburg’s soul or any other Justice’s soul.

Let us pray.

(Here pray the Our Father/Lord’s Prayer and any other prayers for the spiritual and physical benefit of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. For Catholics & open-minded non-Catholics, add a Hail Mary or three.)

Christian, Catholic authors need Bible Knowledge

If you are a Christian and/or Catholic writer or blogger, whether you like it or not, your readers are going to be taking you for a knowledgable authority on Christianity and the Bible. And so it is your job to become more knowledgable— at least a little.

In earlier generations Protestant/Evangelical Christians often taught that good Christians were ones that read the Bible every single day. Good Catholics were seen as those who attended daily Mass every day, if possible, and would hear the assigned Bible readings for that day. But today people think they have so much less time for such activity, and in addition many listen to preachers like Joel Osteen who tend to be very ‘lite’ on actual Bible teaching.

Many Christians do read the Bible— but they find much of the Bible difficult. Some end up reading the same few Bible passages over and over, and others read, but without much comprehension. What can take your Bible reading to the next level is reading the Bible using a good Bible commentary.

I learned about Bible commentaries when I was in high school or just starting college. I was a Presbyterian at the time, but planning on becoming Lutheran. At that time, a Bible commentary series, the Tyndale commentary series, was available for sale in Christian bookstores and my college bookstore. Volumes were available for the New Testament and the Protestant books of the Old Testament. I wanted a full set of those commentaries! I know I got Romans, and Revelations. But I lost those volumes over the years.

Now that I’m Catholic, I want commentaries written by Catholics— but I like the format of the Protestant commentaries I read when younger. Luckily, there are commentaries for that: the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. So far I only have the one on the Gospel of Matthew.

These commentaries are nice because after every Bible passage it gives parts of the Catholic catechism that clear up points in the reading, and it also tells related passages from other books of the Bible, and if the Bible passage in question is part of the Church’s Mass readings, it tells the Church feast or occasion that the passage is used for.

There are also sections on ‘Reflection and Application—‘ which help prevent your Bible study from being a mere intellectual exercise. Very helpful. The only bad part of this series is that it is new, and only the New Testament books have been covered. Is an Old Testament series in the works? I don’t know, but I’m hoping one is forthcoming.

Both the Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture and the Tyndale Old Testament and New Testament commentaries were written by Bible scholars who teach at seminaries and colleges, or who at least have a comparable level of knowledge. They have deep knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew texts. This is the kind of commentary we need to build our knowledge.

I have a few other commentaries in my collection that don’t measure up to that standard. Some are slim volumes by J. Vernon McGee, an old-time radio Bible preacher. Now, I used to listen to McGee on the radio, but he was not a Bible scholar. And when  you hear what he says about various Bible passages, you can wonder if what he was saying was based on knowledge, or just on a human opinion. For example, McGee believed that the Apostles did the wrong thing when they chose Matthias by lot to replace Judas Iscariot. McGee thought that St. Paul was the man God had chosen to replace Judas, but I don’t know if there is a single Bible passage that would confirm that.

Now, if I were stranded on a desert island with only my Bible and a complete set of McGee commentaries, I would read them, but I would not take McGee’s words as necessarily correct or wise. For that matter, even the best Bible scholars can have unwise or incorrect opinions. But I have more confidence in these two scholarly commentary series, and would prefer to use them since they are available.

Bible knowledge and your writing life: First thing to remember is that you don’t have to use everything you know. Even the most pious of Evangelical publishers does not like to publish books with long church-sermon-scenes and Bible-study-scenes. Such scenes slow down the action and make the work more dull for readers. You want to be planting seeds of faith, not dumping Bible and faith knowledge by the truckload.

  • My reading plan: I am currently reading the Gospel of Matthew with the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series. After I finish, I’m planning to do an Old Testament book, probably Psalms, using the Tyndale series. (I have a lot of OT commentaries from that series since I found a bunch for sale on Ebay.) After I do that, I’m hoping to afford the Epistle to the Hebrews in the Catholic series.

Social Media: Using Emojis on Gab

Gab is a smaller social medium— like MeWe— that is in competition with Twitter and Facebook. It is more free-speech oriented, and I never hear of my friends being banned or suspended on Gab (or MeWe) like they so often are on Twitter or Facebook.

But when Gab was recently taken down and a lot of Gab-users temporarily migrated to MeWe, we figured out what it was that Gab is missing: Emoji! MeWe is really great for emoji— in fact, you can ‘like’ (or unlike) someone’s post on MeWe with any one of a wide variety of emoji. You can use a smiling cat face 😺 to ‘like’ someone’s cat picture, for example.

I wish Gab had that, too. People on Gab, like those on Twitter, sometimes are too intense about what they are posting. I think they could use a smiley face😀, a red heart❤️, or a kitty-face 🐱 once in a while. But I found a work-around and am now using emojis all over Gab!

The first thing you need is to go to the web site Emojipedia and add it to your bookmarks bar. Then, when you are on Gab, have one tab open to Gab and another to Emojipedia. Cut and Paste an emoji you like into your comments or posts on Gab.

The reason emojis took off on social media is that they were a way of showing emotions— like tone-of-voice when you are talking in person. People are very likely to misunderstand what you say on social media— so early on people learned to add a smiley face to make it clear they weren’t trying to be mean or critical of other people.

If you a writer or blogger, and that’s why you are on Gab, to promote your blog or book, positive emojis are essential! You don’t want to have people thinking you are trying to be mean or rude. Sometimes just adding a nice red heart emoji will make it clear that your comment was meant to be encouraging.

What about negative emoji? What if someone praises a left-wing politician you just can’t stand, or claims that Pope John Paul 2 was the Antichrist, and you want to post a thumbs-down or a frowny-face or a poo emoji?

Don’t do it! You don’t want to get a rep as the rude guy who is always fighting online. The best rule— especially for writers/bloggers— is to praise what is good on social media and ignore the rest. Like the song says, accentuate the positive!

  • My social media strategy for Gab is to post Bible verses (in English ✝️ and Esperanto 💚), cat pictures, and stuff in the I Support Israel 🇮🇱groups. I avoid the politics section. I am seeking more followers/people-to-follow on Gab in various groups.


Are you on Gab? Follow me there, I follow back, usually.


And also:


Fallacy: The Ad Hominem attack

George_Soros_-_Festival_Economia_2012_01_(cropped)In the study of logic, one thing we learn is the logical fallacies. A logical fallacy is a mistaken way of thinking. Logical fallacies have been identified— often in ancient times— so we can learn not to make mistakes like that.
When you hear politicians making a personal attack upon other politicians, this is often an ad hominem attack. This is how it works. When you are discussing something— a proposed political policy— and perhaps you feel you don’t have a strong argument— instead of discussing the issue, you start discussing how evil the guy with the other position is.
Why is that a fallacy? Because bad people can hold a good idea just as good people can have bad ones. So, therefore, if you prove another person is a wife-beating swine, it doesn’t prove that the swine’s tax policy proposal is wrong.
You can talk about the policies or ideas of another person, or you can talk about the person himself. When you respond to a statement about an idea with a condemnation of a person with that idea, you are changing the topic. In a way, you may be admitting that you don’t have any good reason to reject the idea you are discussing, when you change the subject by starting a personal attack.
Another way to do something on the line of an ad hominem attack is to associate the disputed idea with a person who is generally regarded as objectively bad. The most popular bad person to use here is Hitler. The idea is bad, you claim, because Adolf Hitler was in favor of it. Or might have been in favor of it. Or was against it but might have changed his mind.
This is a somewhat indirect ad hominem attack. Instead of directly saying Joe, the guy who made a proposal for a tax reform, is a bad man and so his idea must be bad, you connect the idea to Hitler, and (usually) don’t actually say that Joe is just like Hitler for making the proposal.
The ad hominem attack is a type of logical fallacy which is called a non sequitur. Non sequitur means ‘it does not follow.’ In other words, it’s something that is not the point.
Now, if a human being— perhaps a politician— can be proved to be a swine, a racist, an adulterer, a liar, or corrupt, you can certainly mention such things when you evaluating the man’s character. It’s just that the man’s character does not affect whether his individual policies are good or bad. When talking about the policies— the ideas— the character of an individual who has these ideas is a non sequitur.

Life positions, psychology, and people

One of the most important things we could learn about people— either other people or fictional people— is their ‘life position.’ This position shows the conclusion that individual has drawn about himself, and about other people. Transactional Analysis gives 4 possible life positions:
  1. I’m not OK — You’re OK
  2. I’m not OK — You’re not OK
  3. I’m OK — You’re not OK
  4. I’m OK — You’re OK
The first thing we must learn is what is meant by being OK. It’s not defined in the book ‘I’m OK — You’re OK by Thomas A. Harris. Having read the book many times over the years, I conclude that ‘OK” means that you are adequate to do the kind of life tasks that people expect of you. You don’t have to have brilliant intelligence or saintly moral fiber. You just have to be good enough not to stand out among others as less than adequate.
The first life position indicated above, ‘I’m not OK — You’re OK’ is believed to be the universal position we adopt during early childhood, and many of us never change from that position. Think of what the life of a little baby is like. The baby can do nothing at first, and is dependent on others to feed him, change him, bathe him, and comfort him. The baby’s parents may be attentive to the child, or very inattentive, but if the baby managed to live we can assume that some minimal child care and feeding took place. The baby, as his mind begins to be able to analyze the world about him, feels inadequate or ‘not OK’ because he can do so little for himself. Other people must be OK in the baby’s mind, since they are the ones who have the life-skills to bring the baby food and comforts.
That’s the normal position. Even people with great parents and happy childhoods usually feel ‘not OK.’ But what about the second position? It is taken in early life by children who suffer abandonment, physical or psychological. The child in this position concludes, for whatever reason, that other people are not a reliable source of good things. Once he has decided that other people are also ‘not OK,’ he has trust issues and is harder to reach. This life position is one of hopelessness, and the person involved may suffer mental health issues and be hard to ‘reach’ in therapy.
The third position can be called the criminal position, since it can often be found in criminals. It happens when a child experiences abuse from parents or caregivers which seems to outweigh any good things that come from other people. But since the child isn’t abused when he is by himself, he concludes that being alone is OK— less painful, anyway— and that he is OK. At least, way more OK than the abuser. The child thus rejects others as ‘not OK,’ like the abuser is not OK, and also rejects social rules and the law, since they come from other people. The person in the third position is out for himself— since he is the only OK one, and the only source of good things for himself.
The preferred adult position— one that is recommended that adults adopt— is ‘I’m OK — You’re OK.’ You decide that you are good enough— adequate— after all. And that other people are OK too. This is, according to the book’s author, the only position not based on your feelings, but on reason— recognizing that there is no logical proof that you are ‘less OK’ than average. It is an optimistic position, and I am not sure how long a person can stay in the ‘I’m OK — You’re OK’ mode, no matter how much therapy you get. Those early not-OK feelings are still a part of you.
How does ‘OKness’ square up with Christian teachings? I’ve wondered that since I got the ‘I’m OK — You’re OK’ book as a high school girl in therapy. I conclude that being ‘OK’ does not in any way mean ‘free from sin.’ Being ‘OK’ does not give you permission to ignore Christian moral teachings, any more than it makes it OK to ignore the social rules that other people expect of you. And the Christian gospel doesn’t aim to make us ‘OK,’ but redeemed and sanctified.
How do we use the knowledge of the Four Life Positions in your life? The first thing to remember is that it’s normal that everyone around you has feelings of inferiority— not-OK feelings. Are you getting blog comments or social media comments that insult you or put you down? Remember that the commenter probably feels inferior to you. The commenter may feel that insulting you— and believing his own insults— will make him feel less inferior for a while.
On the other hand, you may get some comments or interactions which are kind and flattering, but show that the commenter utterly missed your point. The commenter probably is being kind because that’s a way to make him feel less ‘not OK.’ Being nice to others is a sign of being OK. And sometimes inferiority feelings put a barrier that make it harder for a person to understand what others are saying. They are so busy feeling not OK and in awe of you, someone they perceive as OK, that they may miss a few points. That’s why it’s helpful to be patient with others, and be willing to explain the same things more than once without getting impatient about it. Other people have stuff going on inside their heads that you don’t know about. Don’t worry about the people who miss your point if most of them understood. You’re allowed to feel OK too!
What about fictional people? The key is that everyone either feels not OK, or used to feel not OK before adopting another life-position. So every character, from your Lead to your villain to the guy who gets killed in Act 2 has this not OK feeling deep down. A character who says he feels OK, or adequate, or even competent or brilliant rarely feels that way deep down— at least not all the time. And all realistic characters have flaws. Yes, even if you read nothing but lives of the saints for a year, you will see that even very holy people have flaws.
What about villains? Should they all take the third life position, and be sociopaths? Well, first off that I’m not quite sure that all third-position people are actively sociopathic. And just because someone is a villain doesn’t mean they believe ‘I’m OK — You’re not OK’ or that they are selfish and sociopathic. In fact, many villains (or story antagonists that are not villains) believe that they are the enlightened ones, the kind ones, the just ones. If they do a horrible thing to your Lead character, it will be because they believe it the right thing to do.

Same-Sex Marriage is an Oxymoron

Please actually read article before forming opinion, and look up the word ‘oxymoron’ in the dictionary if you don’t know it. And yes, I know, this post will probably lose me all my blog readers, some because of the SSA, some because of the Christianity/Catholicism.

To me there are many amazing things about the same-sex faux marriage movement. How they got a gay community who considered themselves the opposite of bourgeois married people to fight to participate in the bourgeois institution is beyond me. I guess propaganda really can do anything.

The problem is that the word marriage has a meaning, and substitutions are not a given. A lawyer and client, in American law, have a special relationship. And yet a client cannot sue his ex-lawyer for alimony! A proctologist need not expect to be granted equal rights to perform risky brain surgery. And you cannot have a priest-penitent relationship with your plumber— even if he’s a really great plumber!

Marriage is the union of two unlike elements: a man and a woman. To say that the woman is disposable, and can be replaced by a second man without changing anything, is insulting to women. To say that the man is disposable and can be replaced by a second woman is insulting to men. Pairs of men or of women are different from man-woman couples, and it’s kind of heterosexist to say otherwise.

In the past the gay community firmly rejected the notion that gay persons should form imitation heterosexual married couples. Back before I became a Catholic, I once joined a Lesbian lonely hearts club and appalled them by referring to my desired future partner as a ‘wife.’ Though of course in even earlier times, the gay community divided each sex into ‘butch’ and ‘femme’, masculine and feminine, and all gay couples were supposed to consist of one masculine and one feminine partner.

The thing is, words have meanings and there are required elements. A lifeboat in a ship needs to be an item that will float. Baptism requires water and not, for example, a handful of sand. A book writer has to actually write a book. And a marriage has a man and a woman.

Think about this: suppose I were to write a book of Lesbian fiction about two women who were life-partners as well as partners in solving crimes. And in the very first story one of the women is killed. Would the story be just as Lesbian if the surviving woman married a man? Or does a Lesbian life-partnership require two women, with no substitutions possible?

One big difference between a married couple and members of a Gay life-partnership is that a man-woman married couple, if they are young enough and fertile enough, can experience the birth of children whether they want kids or not. No contraceptives work 100%, and I’ve even heard of cases where a woman went in for an abortion and came out still pregnant. In a Gay life-partnership, children not only don’t happen by accident, they must be planned for and paid for. And they must accept that they cannot become biological parents together, but only one at most can be biologically related to the child, and they must obtain sperm or ova from some human being who will be equally a biological parent with them. Gay men often need a woman to provide the egg, and a different woman to go through the pregnancy— and then they have to hope these women go away for good and don’t seek out a relationship with the child.

Of course, when I was connected with the Lesbian community, there were loads of rumors that science could make a baby from two women, but they wouldn’t, because sexism. A couple decades have passed, and I still haven’t heard of any two-mommy babies, and I’m coming to believe they didn’t know how to make them all this time after all. At any rate, hell will freeze over before poor Lesbians will be able to afford custom-concieved two-mommy babies.

At any rate, this is reality: marriage requires a man and a woman the same way homicide requires a victim and a killer and Lesbian coupledom requires two Lesbians. And people who don’t like to accept realities like that are just not my problem.

As I have revealed in the article above, I am a woman with Same-Sex Attraction (SSA, Lesbian orientation) and I am also a Catholic convert who supports the teaching of the Church. If you are a homophobe or a Catholic-hater, you probably shouldn’t have read this blog post. Comments with homophobic or anti-Catholic hate are not published but will be laughed at. Civil comments, supportive and dissenting, are welcomed.

I have a pro-marriage Facebook page, and a pro-marriage MeWe group. You are welcome to join either or both if you also support marriage (Man & Woman.)

We Support Traditional Marriage — and We’re Gay:
Defend Trad Marriage: Biology & Theology:

Was Mohammed a false prophet?

Some people on the outside of Christianity think that ‘faith’ is about ‘blind faith.’ Some also believe that there is no such thing as a theistic religion that is true, and that only the non-theistic religions like atheism, agnosticism and secularism could be true, and that is why the non-theists have blind faith in their non-theistic religion.
Update/Note: I have been informed by WordPress that an ‘authority’ in the country of Pakistan has claimed that this blog post is ‘blasphemous’ and ‘hate speech’ and must be taken down. But this ‘authority’ has failed to even comment on this post to defend his point-of-view!
But in the real world, different religions make different truth claims, and contradictory claims cannot both be true. Aztecs believed that large numbers of human sacrifices pleased the gods. People in the Judeo-Christian faiths believe that God expressly rejects human sacrifice. Christianity rises or falls on whether Jesus Christ was, in fact, the Son of God (in a unique way) and whether He rose from the dead and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. And Islam is based on the belief that Mohammed was a prophet in the Hebrew tradition, like Moses or Jesus.
A prophet in Judaism & Christianity is someone who has been given a message from God. The test of a prophet is whether he claims words as a prophecy which are not true. God does not give false information to prophets. So, then, what about Mohammed?
First I must say this: by asking questions about Mohammed I am not being mean to Muslims. Muslims are human beings that God loves. If their religion is false, shouldn’t someone tell them? I’ve had people claim my religion is false just because those people have blind faith that atheism is true and that ‘ha, ha, there is no God’ is a logical argument. And if Islam happens to be true, it will stand up to any questioning.
Mohammed claimed that all the words of the Koran were given to him by the angel Jibril (Gabriel.) Since God and His angels know the truth, the words of the Koran would not contain false information or mistakes— if Mohammed were, in fact, a prophet.
The worst sin of all, according to Islam, is shirk, or ascribing a partner to God. According to one modern-day Muslim writer, shirk is worse than murder, rape, child molesting and genocide. And although the Koran does say that Jews and Christians are not infidels like the pagans are, both religions, according to the Koran, are guilty of shirk.
Let’s take the Jews first. In Koran 9:30, it says ‘The Jews said ‘Ezra is the son of God.’ That is utterly false. That is not what Judaism teaches! If Mohammed were getting messages from the angel Gabriel, he would not say this false thing.
What about Christianity? Koran 5:116 says: “When God says ‘Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to people, “Take me and my mother as two gods alongside God?” this shows clearly that Mohammed misunderstood the Christian concept of the trinity. It never included Mary! There are New Testament passages that clearly speak of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, though the term ‘trinity’ was not used in the Bible.
Now, it does not disprove Mohammed as a true prophet that his message rejected the doctrine of the trinity. What disproves Mohammed as a prophet is that he was mistaken about what the Christians believed, and he incorporated this mistake into words he claimed came from God through the angel Gabriel. God would know what the Christians of Mohammed’s day were teaching!
There are many other places in the Koran which clearly show that the Koran was based on Mohammed’s personal and highly limited knowledge of what Jews and Christians believe. It claims that Abraham offered to sacrifice his illegitimate son Ishmael, and not his ‘child of promise’ son Isaac. It presumes that Mary the mother of Jesus and Miriam the sister of Moses were the same woman.
Of course, if a Muslim were to come across this evidence that Mohammed was a false prophet, he probably couldn’t do anything about it. In many Muslim countries, there are apostasy laws. These state that if anyone is a Muslim, he must not leave Islam, and can be executed or imprisoned if he tries. On the other hand, these laws welcome Christians and Jews and others to become Muslims— so long as they never try to leave Islam.
Even in Western nations, there is a perspective that Muslims who leave their faith must die. Americans Ergun and Emir Caner, two brothers who became Evangelical Christians, were estranged from their Muslim father by their conversion, and disowned. So Muslims who question the truth of their faith are in an impossible position, and we must pray that God will help them.
Are you a Muslim who questions? Ask God to guide you to the truth. Read the book below by the Caner brothers, both former Muslims, if you can obtain it. Do internet searches on former Muslims and web sites that tell the story of former Muslims— they will tell you the things that those other Muslims questioned. Don’t endanger yourself or your job by sharing your doubts with Muslims who may not sympathize. If you have questions about Christianity specifically, read a good information source like Dave Armstrong’s blog. Feel free to ask any questions you have here in a comment— if I don’t know the answer, I will try to find out. And at least I will pray for you.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
I am not an expert in Islam or a scholar. Any information in this article came from books I read about Islam. In addition, I have looked up Koran verses in my own copy of the Koran. I find the books listed below useful for those searching out information about the possibility that Mohammed was not a true prophet.


The Making of a Popular Blog Post

I follow a Twitter account that purports to give people advice about social media and how to use it to make your blog or web page get more visitors. They had a post this morning about making your blog post go viral. And I read the whole blog post. It told a lot about why making your blog post go viral is good for your blog or your business or whatever. But the one thing it didn’t tell you was what they promised on Twitter they would tell you: how to make your blog post go viral. You had to buy an ebook from them to get that info.
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! They missed the point of blogging there! A blog gives out interesting or useful information for free. It doesn’t just promote some ebook at the audience. And promising something in your blog post title— and in a Tweet or other social media about the blog post— just makes readers mad. Don’t promise what you aren’t willing to deliver!
To create a popular blog post, first think about your reason for having a blog. For novel writers, it is often to attract readers who might be moved to buy that writer’s books. But they aren’t going to buy because some stranger whose blog they just landed on shills his book at them! No one likes to be advertised at when they had anticipated reading a blog post that might be interesting.
Other bloggers blog to express their opinions about politics or about their religious or anti-religious faith. Or about which recent movies really suck. Or why Star Trek is better than Star Wars. Whatever. To create an interesting blog post, you have to think about what kind of people will be interested in what you are blogging about. And don’t say ‘everyone.’ No one attracts an audience of everyone, and to think what you write appeals to everyone might make it harder to the readers you have a real chance of catching.
Your blog headline must raise curiosity in your readers, and your blog post must fulfill those readers. If you write a blog post on the ten best ways to create story conflict, you have to give those ten best ways. All ten. For free. Because that’s what blogs do.
When you write a post, think about this: why are you qualified to write about that topic? If you have been writing and reading how-to-write books for years, you have a good background for writing posts about writing. If you just decided on becoming a writer a few days ago when this year’s NaNoWriMo began, you probably don’t have knowledge to share yet. Though you can share your experiences as a newbie writer.
Your blog headline must be well thought out. There are loads of things on the internet that will tell you how to write better headlines. But you can also tell by your own reading habits. What headlines have made you click on  a link in social media and read a whole article or blog post? And you must also think— is this potential headline an accurate one, considering the content of the post as a whole?
These days a blog post must have a picture. It doesn’t even matter that much what the picture represents, so long as it doesn’t contain nudity or anything gory. When in doubt, I’ve used random pictures of one of my cats. It’s better than no picture at all.
I’ve seen some blogs— recipe blogs, often— that are filled with video ads, pop-up ads, and pictures and videos to the point that I, with my second-hand computer, can’t even stay on the page long enough to read the post. Maybe these bloggers are somehow making money from all the people who get onto their page and then immediately jump off. But I tend not to go back to blogs that threaten to crash my computer with loads of visual stuff. I’m a reading-oriented person— I can actually read a blog post, I don’t need a video. And no one needs multiple pop-up ads.
The popularity of your blog posts will depend on whether you can write well enough that you are not a pain to read. This means you need to possess the kind of skills that used to be taught in the schools— like correct spelling and English grammar. You also need to have a readable writing-voice. Mostly that means being yourself and avoiding bogging your work down with big words to show off how many big words you know. Read the work of some popular bloggers in your niche. They usually have a friendly, easy style, and they also may be able to organize their subject material in some logical fashion.
What about controversy? Sometimes the way to get online attention is to mention controversial issues. And I do that myself sometimes, so I don’t discourage that. But I believe that if you want your blog to be popular, you’ve got to be relatively civil in disputes. Others may get attention by calling Jane Fonda a traitor. Or, more commonly, calling her a f—king traitor b-tch. But a lot of folks out there don’t believe that kind of harshness is appropriate, especially against a woman. Better to say that Jane Fonda has been not that loyal to the United States. No name-calling needed.
The next step after writing and posting your blog post is to link to it on social media. Now, when people are on Twitter they are not constantly stopping to follow links and read blog posts or articles. But I have noticed that when I share on Twitter my blog posts get more reads and my blog gets more traffic. Since I am on WordPress . com, I can set my blog to post to Twitter automatically. I can also tweak the Twitter post by adding hashtags and such before I click ‘publish.’ But since Twitter is like an ever-flowing river, people that follow me on Twitter may not be on when the Twitter post goes up. So I use Buffer to plan some Tweets of my blog posts over the hours of the day. I have heard it is recommended to Tweet your blog post a couple of times on the day you publish, and then a few times over the next several days. Buffer makes doing that easier. I also Tweet some older blog posts from time to time.
Facebook, on the other hand, is not so friendly to the automated Tweets from WordPress or from Buffer. And Facebook has made Facebook pages— like a Facebook author page or a page for your blog— almost unusable if you lack money for constant Facebook ads. I do post on my Facebook sometimes— but it doesn’t seem to make any difference in my blog stats. I also use newer social media like Gab and MeWe, but I don’t have enough followers in either place yet to make much of a difference.
Here is the REAL secret for getting more blog readers— post good posts. More than once. And feel quite free to post more than once in a day if you have more than one thing to say. Just make sure it might be of interest to your reader base, not just another buy-my-books advertisement disguised as a blog post. You can MENTION your books, but please, don’t try to make your blog readers choke down a post that’s just an ad. Remember, your readers want to read what THEY are interested in. They need to get to know you and your blog, and even when they do, it’s better to be more subtle, less hard-sell, when you mention your books.
For most of us, building up a blog readership and/or an author brand will take time and work. We can’t create a viral blog post at will. In fact, in my experience, the most popular blog posts are never the ones I predicted would interest anyone! So keep on blogging. In time it will pay off.
I often use this space to share some of my social media accounts to get a new follower or two. But with this post, I want to know more about YOUR social media. Please drop a comment on what social media you use to promote your blog posts, and feel free to share a link to your social media account. I will certainly consider following you, and hope other readers do likewise.

Doing #NaNoWriMo on Wattpad this year

Writers, have you ever done NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month? A lot of us have. The rule is to try to write a 50000 word novel in November. Some of the problems are that you are discouraged from planning your NaNo novel for more than a week before the start of November, so some writers get stuck. Others of us come to regard the NaNo rules as suggestions, and I’m one of them.
I’ve been planning my NaNo story for several years now, and the roots of the story go even deeper into my past. I’m not planning to write 50000 words in November. I do want to write about a chapter a day, but my chapters are shorter than the word count that would lead to 50000 words in a month. And I’m posting my chapters on Wattpad.
Which is kind of risky. Wattpad is full of young fanfic writers who lack a lot of the knowledge I had at age 15. If they read your work it may be to get you to read theirs, which might well be unreadable. And if I were over-sensitive to any criticism, I would not dare use Wattpad because I have seen people put very ignorant criticisms on Wattpad works other than my own. And finally, many Wattpad readers expect to read free stuff. They are not going to be buying your book or ebook at any point.
I’m using Wattpad mainly to keep me motivated. If I can pretend I have other human beings waiting for my next chapter, then I may be more likely to write that next chapter. I have a lot of problems finishing work, in part due to the social isolation that so many writers have. Most of us work alone, and no one encourages us that has actually seen our work-in-progress. One can kind of envy writers like Tabitha King, whose husband is also a writer of some sort.
My NaNo novel is starship based science fiction, with a plot inspired from one or more Star Trek movies— a starship full of cadets has to go into real-world action as a result of an emergency. In my story, there are fewer full-adult officers and crew, and in addition to the cadets, there are a lot of refugees who entered the starship while it was parked on a planet to take shelter from an attack. If you are curious, view chapter one here: 
So: are you doing NaNo this year? What is your story about? Do you have any good strategies for NaNo?
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