THE TRAGIC STORY OF 1ST LT. CLINT LORANCE
Millions of Americans may have not heard the tragic story of 1st Lt. Clint Lorance who was handed down a twenty year sentence this past October, 2013, to be served out at Fort Leavenworth, KS. 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, a platoon leader serving in the 82nd Airborne Division, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, forfeiture of pay and allowances, and given a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Military after being found guilty on two counts of murder after ordering his platoon to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men who were approaching the Americans in a battle zone in July, 2012, in Kandahar province.
Prosecutors said Lorance ordered his men to open fire immediately in violation of the military’s rules of engagement, which requires soldiers to hold fire unless they have evidence of hostile action or hostile intent. They said three men on a motorcycle approached the patrol in July, 2012. Two were killed and the third escaped.
Lorance was deployed to southern Afghanistan in March, 2012, after a 1st Lieutenant in his unit got wounded from a bomb, Lorance suddenly found himself leading the platoon, a task considered by many as the most challenging but rewarding military job.
On July 2, 2012, when the platoon leader and his team set out in Kandahar province, the officer’s website claims that army pilots had warned him over the radio about suspected insurgents loitering north, east and west of the platoon. As the troops under the command of 1st Lt. Lorance made their way toward an Afghan village, they spotted men on motorcycles. Suspecting that they were the insurgents they had been warned about Lorance gave the order to one of his soldiers to shoot them.
Commentary by Pastor Dan Gayman
The America public should be outraged at this injustice and for the following reasons:
1) US Military units have been on the ground in Afghanistan opposing Taliban forces since October 7, 2001. The US Military has conducted operations against the Taliban for twelve years in this protracted no win, undeclared war, which is currently at a stalemate, with neither side commanding a victory, and the Taliban essentially waiting for the Americans to exit so they can return to power.
2) The war in Afghanistan is the longest open ended military operation in the history of the United States. The Vietnam War lasted ten long years. It is unthinkable that after twelve years the U.S. Military has not been allowed to bring the Taliban to defeat because Washington politicians limit the prosecution of this war to a conclusive victory and the war languishes on.
3) In modern warfare, there is no clearly defined enemy. No longer can American military units identify the enemy by the uniform they wear. Beginning in Korea (1950-1953), and especially in Vietnam (1963-1973), the enemy has not been identifiable and civilians, including women and children, together with men in arms have turned out to be the enemy of the American military.
4) The American war dead in Afghanistan have topped 2,000 dead and thousands injured many of them permanently. The U.S. has spent billions and billions of borrowed dollars in the prosecution of this war. The US has lost far too much blood and too much treasure fighting in this undeclared war run by the rules of engagement set by politicians and their Pentagon counterparts.
5) Why should the hands of U.S. Military Officers be tied and handcuffed when it comes to waging war? Can you imagine U.S. Army units being given rules of engagement in World War II, World War I, or in any war waged prior to the undeclared wars waged by American forces since the end of World War II in 1945?
6) 1st Lt. Clint Lorance had been told that insurgents were loitering north, east and west of where his platoon was located. When these Afghans appeared on motorcycles what was Lorance suppose to do? Under rules of engagement he had to wait for them to fire and perhaps kill Americans before they could retaliate? This is how politicians in Washington wage war in the 21st Century. When a nation goes to war you wage war to win. You do not continue fighting for years on end and finally retreat from the battlefield as the U.S. Politicians required the U.S. Military to do in Korea (1953),Vietnam (1973), (Iraq, 2011).
7) The U.S. Military could have ended the war in Afghanistan in a matter of days if they really wanted to bring the Taliban to their knees. American airpower could have reduced Kandahar and Kabul to ashes in a matter of hours or days without putting any U.S. troops on the ground.
8) The U.S. Congress should immediately end the authority of U.S. Presidents to wage undeclared wars that squander both American lives and loot the treasury of the country.
9) During the twelve years the U.S. has been waging war in Afghanistan our own southern border has witnessed more than fifteen million aliens invading the U.S. Sadly while we have squandered blood and treasure in Afghanistan fighting an open ended war with rules of engagement our country has been invaded and the Southwestern U.S. essentially occupied by nationals from a foreign country.
10) The American public should demand that 1st Lt. Clint Lorance be released immediately from prison, with full back pay, and a retraction of his dishonorable discharge from the US Military. Both the Senate and House Members from the State where Lorance was a resident should be actively involved in getting his release from Fort Leavenworth.
11) The young men who volunteer to serve in the U.S. Military should never be sent into a war where they are placed under rules of engagement, the enemy not clearly defined, and where mistaking the enemy for a civilian can land you in prison. This is shameful at best and reprehensible at worst.
December 12, 2013
ATHEIST THEOLOGIAN DIES
William Hamilton, death of God theologian, dies at 87, on February 28, 2012.
John Dart on March 15, 2012 at http://www.christiancentury.org/articles2012-03 made the following comments: “William Hamilton, a theologian who declared nearly a half century ago that God was dormant if not dead, was remembered at his death for the media impact made by the “death of God movement.”
The Time cover for April 8, 1966, with its stark words “Is God Dead?” against a dark background, garnered record sales. So did a 1966 book, Radical Theology and the Death of God, coauthored by Hamilton and Thomas J. J. Altizer. “It was Bill who in the ‘60s created the scandal of a death of God theology,” Altizer told the Century, adding that Hamilton was the more articulate.
Hamilton, 87, died February 28, 2012 of congestive heart failure in the Portland, Oregon, apartment that he shared with his wife of 62 years.
“The death of God is a metaphor,” the retired theologian told the Oregonian in 2007. “We needed to redefine Christianity as a possibility without the presence of God.” Hamilton had been troubled by such questions since his teens when two friends---a Catholic and an Episcopalian---died while a third friend, the son of an atheist, survived without injury when a pipe bomb the three were making exploded.
Like Paul van Buren, an Episcopal priest and religion professor at Temple University in the 1960s, Hamilton rejected the existence of God while focusing devotedly on Jesus Christ and affirming that his teachings and example should be followed.
Altizer, who taught for many years at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, said that even before their book came out in 1966 Hamilton explained his ideas on a CBS Sunday television program, which aired a segment from an Ingmar Bergman film, Winter Light, depicting a pastor who decided that God was dead. . . .”
The Baptist-raised Hamilton, born in Evanston, IL studied at Oberlin College before joining the U. S. Navy in World War II. An admirer of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, Hamilton studied after the war at Union Theological School in New York, then earned a doctorate in theology at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. He taught at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, before launching a promising career at Colgate Rochester Divinity School in upstate New York.
Hamilton had tenure and held an endowed chair, but his reputation for radical theology rendered him and his family unwelcome at a local Presbyterian church and eventually at Colgate Rochester. As a result, Hamilton left for a position at New College in Sarasota, Florida, teaching there until 1974 when he became dean of arts and letters at Portland State University in Oregon. He retired in 1986.”
Commentary by Pastor Dan Gayman
On February 28, 2012 William Hamilton, “God is dead” theologian had the opportunity to discover for himself the awesome realization of the existence of an Ever Living, Self-existing, Holy, Omnipotent, and Sovereign God. The moment the spirit and soul departed the body of the dying Hamilton he learned the ultimate truth of his long established theological belief that God was dead. Like so many other atheists before and after him they all eventually come to the full realization of God when at death they suddenly discover the absolute reality of the Living God.
We cannot escape God in life or in death. If we should die in our sins, in a state of spiritual death, unregenerate, unsaved, and lost we shall still not escape the reality of God.
At the death of the body the unsaved sinner will continue in spiritual death in a state of eternal separation from God in conscious suffering. God declares in (Luke 20:38) that “He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.” We cannot escape or avoid the reality of God. (Revelation 6:9) declares that the souls that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held, were under the altar crying out: “. . .How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:10).
Job, a true servant of God ask this question: “If a man die, shall he live again?. . .” (Job 14:14) In answer to this question Job declared: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27).
The Holy Scriptures present ample evidence that there is conscious life following the death of the physical body. We are assured in (II Cor. 5:1, 2, 6, 8): “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven. . .Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:. . .We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
I am 100% confident that if William Hamilton could return from the dead that he, very much like the rich man in (Luke 16:19-31) would want to return and warn his loved ones of the reality of life after death, the grim truth about hades, and the glorious and triumphant joy of those who enter into Abraham’s Bosom (Luke 16:22) a place also called Paradise as in (II Corinthians 12:4; Rev. 2:7) and at this time exists in the third heaven or the abode of God.
Unlike those who die in a state of salvation and are immediately in the presence of Jesus Christ and the company of the redeemed of all the ages, Mr. Hamilton who died an unbeliever, discovered much to his sorrow and everlasting shame that God is real, that Jesus Christ was God incarnate in human form of the Race of Adam, of the Seed of Abraham, from the Tribe of Judah, the family of Jesse, and the House of David. Sadly, Mr. Hamilton very much like the Rich Man in (Luke 16) will have no opportunity to return from the dead and make the journey again.
The fate of William Hamilton was sealed when he died an unsaved soul on February 28, 2012. The single greatest mistake of Hamilton’s life and one that cost him his very salvation was his rejection of Jesus Christ as God and the Savior of those He came to redeem. No member of Adam’s Race will die and be excluded from the Kingdom of God because of their sin. They will not inherit the Kingdom of God because they rejected Jesus Christ the only name under heaven whereby fallen man can be saved.
The Bible teaches “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:27, 28).
At death Bill Hamilton learned something that he never believed in this life. God has told us in His Word that “none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:7, 8). Bill Hamilton lived the lie and taught others that God was dead. To his shame and sorrow Bill now very much alive and in a very conscious state awaits the resurrection of his physical body, the judgment of Gehenna, and the Lake of Fire.
William Hamilton was judged at the very moment of death. His soul was destined for only one of two places: He could end up in Paradise, the Third Heaven, and the abode of God, or down into Hades, the intermediate place where the unsaved dead go to await the resurrection of the body and the judgment of Gehenna (Lake of Fire) and Eternal Punishment (Hebrews 6:2).
Because William Hamilton rejected Jesus Christ, the incarnate God, and the redeeming saving power of His grace, he died a lost sinner, and now joins the company of all those unsaved and wicked souls who died without the saving, redeeming, grace of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Mr. Hamilton now abides in the belly of hell (hades) awaiting his resurrection to stand in judgment at the great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15), the Lake of Fire and eternal punishment of Gehenna which is the second death (Revelation 2:11; 20:14).
For decades William Hamilton witnessed the death of God theology to the young men and women who arrived in his classroom. Only God Himself knows how many young minds he turned from a belief in God into the empty waste land of atheism. Shame on William Hamilton and may God have mercy on all those who facilitated his heretical teaching over the span of many decades, for they too will need the mercy of God when they face His sure and certain judgment.
December 14, 2013