Letter: Big Oil will stay as long as there’s money to be made | Juneau Empire – Alaska’s Capital City Online Newspaper.
There are many good points being made on this debate right now, so I’m highlighting them.
For those outside of Alaska, this issue will be voted on August 19. SB21 was Governor Parnell’s oil tax reduction plan, which I was opposed to. I favored the Palin-era ACES tax system. When the petition came around to repeal it, however, I opted for stability in the tax environment. I have since changed my mind because I believe Alaska is suffering from abused colony syndrome, whereby we continually forget that it is OUR oil and therefore, we have a right to act like a North Dakota landowner and demand a premium for access to our resources. And, in the end, under ACES (which the taxation system will revert to if SB21 is set aside) the oil companies are still taking home a tidy profit of around 49% AFTER they deduct the cost of producing the oil.
We live in a world of moral relativism, so know what the Scripture teaches is essential.
Someone asked Jesus to identify the “greatest commandment.” It was a trick question. If He answered with any of the 10, He’d be deemed a false rabbi because each of the 10 is the greatest commandment. They’re all equal.
Which tells us something about God, if we’d really consider it. All of His commands are equal and so are all of our sins.
Little digression there. Lela
Jesus answered “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:36-38).
Sadly, a person can hear this command and completely misinterpret it. The emerging church and the casual dabbler in verses will use this as an excuse for believing nothing and holding no moral standards. They’ll take the verse out of context and say that all that is required to be “right” with God is to “love” Him with all of your heart.
But Jesus didn’t make this statement in a vacuum. He was referencing the 10 commandments. His listeners knew that because He was quoting the Shema, which they used (and some still do) in their worship. We also know this because Jesus followed up with a second commandment.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)
If you read the 10th Commandments, you find these two commandments synopsize them perfectly. You can’t understand what Jesus actually meant without looking at the 10 Commandments.
What does it mean to love God with every fiber of your being (Exodus 20:1-11)? What does it mean to love our neighbor as ourselves? (Exodus 20:12-17). It’s very clear and it’s not easy. It looks a lot like morality and it appears to be non-negotiable.
Jesus was no modern philosopher spewing words of easy belief and content-less platitudes. The 10 Commandments provides absolutes in down-to-earth detail.
Road funds best spent elsewhere – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Letters To Editor.
I think this gentleman means well, but he fails to understand why the governor is promoting “roads to resources.” In Alaska, 80% of the communities have no road access to the rest of the world. Roads are involved in over 75% of all business transactions in our nation. Do you see the problem?
In order to make mining feasible in Alaska, we need to build roads so that minerals can be transported. They don’t need to be super-highways. One lane gravel roads will do, but roads we must have.
Maybe the magic petroleum fairy will convince the federal government and the big multinationals to open up even a fraction of our untapped proven reserves — estimated at well over twice what Prudhoe has produced in the last 30 years. Maybe … but we already have miners working in small operations all over the state, struggling to get their resources to market.
There’s really no reason to build an engineering building on UAF or upgrade our local schools if there’s no economy to support the parents of those school children or to provide jobs for those engineering graduates. Roads to Resources does that.
We don’t really need these new buildings and teachers until we have a means to provide access to jobs for the general public.
It’s as simple as that.
When I first began writing, I wasn’t a Christian. I grew up in a non-Christian home where books lined the walls in a place where winters encourage indoor activities. I made up stories when I was little (some people might call them lies, but Mom said they were very imaginative). I first put pen to paper as a 12-year–old for a school assignment. I hated the process, but something kicked loose and I’ve been writing ever since.
Not a lot of my writing from that era has survived, but enough for me to know that I did not write Christian anything as a high school student. And even after I became a Christian, I didn’t immediately care that what I wrote had a Christian worldview.
That came later as the overflow of this new fountain in my life. It wasn’t deliberate. My characters just slowly began to be Christians — but not all of them. I don’t live in the Bible Belt. Most of the people I know are not Christians. I guess it shouldn’t surprise that not all of my characters are Christians.
Story-telling is an ancient tradition in almost every culture and has often been used to illustrate morals and values in a form that can be passed on through generations. Everyone learns differently, but I’d be willing to wager that most young people prefer novels and movies over sermons. My son’s age group is inundated with negative messages through books, television, movies, radio and peers. There’s a reason why horror fantasy is one of the top selling genres for that age group. Our enemy has captured their attention and glutted the market with witchcraft, demons, vampires and werewolves.
I write fantasy in part because I want to take back the genre. After reading fantasy for a number of years and finding almost no Christian influences, a character – Padraig – popped into my head and said “Write about me.” Eventually, a world developed around him and other characters emerged who would become the cast of the Daermad Cycle, of which The Willow Branch is the first book.
I believe writers can weave stories that spark the imagination and also spread a message containing morals and values consistent with Biblical teachings. I’m not saying that fantasy novels (even written by me) should replace Bible study. I’m saying that this genre might be read by those who would not otherwise get the message, so writers who are Christians are doing the Lord’s work when we place the gospel message in some way within our books.
My kids were raised in a Christian home and when my daughter was young, it was a big movement among evangelicals to not allow them to read Harry Potter or the Twilight series. I found how really difficult it was to prevent that inculcation and ended up reading the books with her so that at least I’d know what we were talking about. I learned that I was one of the few parents actually doing that and it gave me the opportunity to reach some non-believing young people, to speak to them for Christ. My personal reach is small, but imagine what might happen if Christian writers were able to market their books to a wider audience and have the kids we never may know connect with Christ through our stories?
I wasn’t looking for Christ when I picked up a book in a fog-bound Alaskan cabin, but God found me there. And that’s why I write Christian fantasy that I hope will appeal not just to Christians, because I believe God can reach people right where they are, through whatever form of communication is available to Him.
Tomorrow is Writing Wednesday, so I’m going to post this now and leave Wednesday alone.
In the last few days, I have quietly slipped over 300 followers on Word Press, 100 on Facebook and my Tumbler account, which hadn’t moved in months, doubled today.
So things are looking up for the launch of The Willow Branch in October. Watch this space.
For tomorrow, however, watch for my interview with Bill Leviathan, author of “Light Me Afire”.