Infants Should Never Be Baptized

          To many Christians, Baptism is a binding Sacrament that cleanses believers from their originalbaptism-clip-art sin, assuring them a gateway to Heaven. How does that apply to Infants? What does an Infant believe? How have they sinned? Some Christians believe that we are born sinners, and it goes back to the Biblical account of Adam and Eve. The sin is the eating of an apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil despite God’s warning. The original sin is far less evil than sins that are committed, even by Christians, on a daily basis. Yet, Christians see the cleansing of original sin as fundamental lifelong sacraments, starting at infancy.

Some fundamentalists may argue that the baptism of infants is not biblically supported. The Bible, in fact, does not advocate Infant baptism. It however, state that only believers, who had placed their faith in Christ, are to be baptized – as a public testimony of their faith and identification with Him. An Infant cannot possibly have any faith at all. The baptism ritual often include total immersion of older children and adults. The Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations sprinkle water on infants. (The water is wiped on the forehead in the sign of the cross, while reciting biblical phrases. (Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38, Acts 10:48, or Acts 19:5)) Some independent churches or denominations regularly include this practice for adults.

The baptism of infants began several centuries after most of the bible was written. The Anabaptists did not believe in infant baptism. In fact, if a member were baptized as an infant, they would have to be baptized again as an adult. Anabaptists held that “Infants are not punishable for sin until they become aware of good and evil and can exercise their own free will, repent, and accept baptism.” This idea seems to be far more reasonable and appropriate.

Infant Baptism is like binding a pair of handcuffs on a child that ties them to a belief system for the rest of their lives. A belief system that they could not possibly understand. If forced to hold on to this belief system as they grow, it may help put a stopgap to cognitive thinking, inquiry and creativity. It is unreasonable for priests, rabbis, ministers or parents to predetermine what a person should believe before they have the ability to reason. It is equally unreasonable for them to determine an infant’s function in life.










Robin Williams – Although we are saddened by our untimely loss, we celebrate your life that has touched our hearts and minds and has enriched us all. We hope that part of what made you who you were has become a part of who we are. Your mind, your thoughts, your words and your sharp wit were often too fast and profound for most of us to take in  or understand. Your jokes, your stories, and your acting performances made us laugh, wonder and cry. They helped to make us forget our own troubles and think of how wonderful life truly is and how medicinal laughter can be. Our hope now is that some of what you were and what you believed in will stay with us so we may pass it on to others who will follow. We do not celebrate the ending or the method you used, but we celebrate the life, the memories and the happiness you left with us. Thank you!

William Phifer


 G81-182213THE RAINBOW

            Ancient religious beliefs often contradict what we know and understand today. Those people, who still hold on to those ancient beliefs, are out of step with modern scientific thinking. It is troublesome when those beliefs interfere with education and social and scientific progress. In many religions, it is an all-or-nothing proposition; you believe all the ancient written explanation or you are a non-believer – a sinner, subject to damnation.

Rainbows have appeared on earth many years before the story of Noah’s Ark and the flood was told and retold, written and rewritten about three thousand five hundred years ago. noahs-ark-reconstructionThere are versions of this story in many ancient religions, other than Christianity. As described in The National Center for Atmospheric Research & the UCAR Office of Programs states “. . . the traditional rainbow is sunlight spread out into its spectrum of colors and diverted to the eye of the observer by water droplets. The “bow” part of the word describes the fact that the rainbow is a group of nearly circular arcs of color all having a common center.”

Additionally, the UCAR Office states that, “Most people have never noticed that the sun is always behind you when you face a rainbow, and that the center of the circular arc of the rainbow is in the direction opposite to that of the sun.”

It is not unusual that in ancient times and during times before our modern understanding of science and natural phenomenon, that people of ancient cultures and religions ascribe a deity, a spell, or someone committing a social taboo as the cause of an as-yet-unexplained phenomenon. Most Christians and Jews are familiar with the story about Noah’s Ark, The Flood and God’s covenant to man, symbolized by a rainbow. It can be a powerful symbol for people who believe it is a message from God. However, there is more to explaining and understanding a rainbow.

When an article that starts with a question or statement that already has a scientific explanation, the author should make that answer or explanation clear. If the author does not, he or she is showing a lack of knowledge or an unwillingness to share knowledge with others.

William Phifer


January 21, 2014


The Tea Party has proven themselves consistently narrow-minded. They spend lots of money and energy focused on one issue, destroying the Obama presidency. Their resources are not used to improve the country, advocate fair and just laws and proposed balanced legislation. Many republicans and Tea Party members listen to the most bias, hateful and dishonest “news” program on the air – Fox News. Sure, other news and entertainment programs are biased, but Fox News tops them all.

 The Tea Party has succeeded in making the Republican Party seem clueless and the country more divided and weak. Forcing the shutting down the government over insubstantial and bias budget issues did nothing to force the president to weaken, but it did hurt the country and hurt many lives, included their supporters.

The Tea Party seems to be happy when the republican-controlled Congress says ‘no’ to just about anything supported by The President or the democrats, with nothing reasonable to take its place or to work together for a fair compromise. Any candidate that it supports makes many of us more inclined to support democratic candidates.

It very interesting that Tea Party members and their supporters are condemning Obama’s State of the Union speech before the president has a chance to write it or present it. Tea Party members and Republicans have done this before – every year. The hateful words that many Tea Party members and supporters use to describe and accuse this president of is disgraceful. No president in history of our nation has been treated with this amount of disrespect, not even a president who was forced to resign.

All of us need to reexamine our thoughts, our beliefs and our methods. The president, The Democratic Party, and most citizens love this country as well as many republicans claim to love. We pay taxes and participated in armed services, when needed. We all need to keep an open mind, read, listen and think about what we say and believe. We all need to educate ourselves and work together for the world, for our nation and for communities. Respect for all citizens is the key.

The support of Ted Cruz and his ideas are disturbing. He should never be a candidate for higher office. Tea Party members should ask their fathers or grandfathers about McCarthyism. It almost dragged the nation into political and social chaos. With Cruz, it can happen again. The Tea Party has a habit of endorsing irrational and unqualified candidates. Someday The Republican Party will wake up and realize the negative influence the Tea Party is having on them. We all need to learn and respect the rights and beliefs of others. We need to respect each other and work together to help improve our nation, our city and ourselves.

                                                                                           William Phifer



Dear Mr. President,

I write to you today as a concerned citizen about what will turn out to be a crucial decision you have to make. That decision may affect the integrity, safety and global influence of The United States for many years to come. Bombing Syria, even strategic bombing, where the target is military hardware or chemical weapons production centers, can be seen by others as an invasion by another nation. Do we, as a nation have the right to ‘punish’ another nation? Most civilized nations would agree that using a chemical weapon on civilians is wrong. But are we the policemen of the world? Should we do this even without full support from our allies and other influential nation? 

Your decision will also help further define who you are and the best avenues to a true global peace. I commend your helping to end the Iraqi War and setting a timetable on ending the war in Afghanistan. You were correct in your statement during the G-20 Summit, “I was elected to end wars, not start them.” You further stated, “I spent the last four-and-a-half years doing everything I can to reduce our reliance on military power as a means of meeting our international obligations and protecting the American people.”  The lives of innocent Syrians are at stake, as well as American and any ally combatants.

As president, you have pressures on all side of the issue and your decision; Religious/Cultural Sects, The Republicans, The Democrats, liberals, conservatives, Great Britain, France, Israel, the Middle East, The United Nations and other international and national organizations. I completely understand the issue that brings you to this decision-making process. Given the complexities of diplomacy, worldly influence and politics, I know that the decision cannot be made without considering these aspects.

Mr. President, do not make your decision based on Republican or Democrat support or lack of it. Do not rely on political pressures, polls and comments made by critics in the media. No matter what decision you make, the critic will always be there. The solution should be a peaceful and diplomatic. Mr. President, peace is the way. Find it. Use it! The choice is yours! Make the right choice!

William Phifer

Gun Control


First of all, I care about ‘rights,’ more than anyone will ever know. As a Vietnam veteran, I am familiar with the use of weapons and the destruction that they can cause. Wartime is certainly a period when the use of this kind of force may be necessary. I am also very familiar with the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, “the right of people to keep and bear Arms.” People often cite the need for ‘protection’ in their homes. Statistically, in this country, more innocent family members are hurt or killed by guns in homes than intruders.
But I care about innocent lives that are being cut short by idiots and the guns that are easily available, especially automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles. Drug dealers, thieves, and gang members may not be able to purchase guns in certain cities, but the simple solution is going to other states, towns to cities to purchase them, sometimes at ‘gun sales shows.’ Do not give me that bull about, “guns don’t kill people, people do.” Making guns less accessible to just anyone and making comprehensive back-ground checks is the least that we can do. Laws can be modified to help protect the nation’s citizens. That is what America does!
Unfortunately, what happens to a school in Newtown Connecticut recently is no longer a rare scene. If any of you were the parents of those children who were killed, I would wager that you would come up with a better response to gun control. It does not matter who owns the weapon. It does matter how available it is to anybody in a house or place of business.
Lastly, the NRA’s response to the tragedy was irresponsible, insensitive and irrational. They lobby and fund political groups leaning toward their way of thinking. What the hell do the lives of the innocent and our children have to do with politics? Why do some politicians place party affiliation and loyalty above helping to protect the innocent?


No advocate of gun control is ‘taking your guns away,’ if you are a responsible, law-abiding citizen. Nor is the abolishment of the 2nd Amendment to The Constitution being considered. No one is advocating taking away your right to protect yourself or your family when faced with bodily harm or death by people outside of the law. Hunting for sport or food in areas where and when it is legal will not be denied. Our ‘militia’ will not be disarmed or undermined by not having the ability to protect citizens of The United States.

The restriction of ‘assault weapons’ and the expansion of background checks is a small start that will help prevent senseless killings. Using an assault weapon or specifically, a machine gun to kill a deer makes no sense. Where is the ‘sport’ in doing this? If you have nothing to hide in the present or past, why would you be afraid of a background check? Why would you be afraid of a longer wait to obtain a license to carry and use a gun?

Discussions about gun control end when it becomes a political, demographic or racial issue. It is not and never should be! During the Clinton administration, the Brady Bill was passed and signed into law. It was called, the Handgun Violence Prevention Act. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Act was named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. It was the right thing to do and it had nothing to do with party affiliation or loyalty.

William Phifer



         Based on what I was telling you about Lester Maddox, a former governor of Georgia, I cut and pasted this article just for your information. The title of the article is Controversial Former Governor Lester Maddox Dies. This is an article written by Joy Johnson in 2003. She is a writer for the Internet website, About.Com: Atlanta Georgia. The Following article was subtitled; Two Georgia Political Figures Die within Same Week because former Atlanta mayor, Maynard Jackson was the other political who died the same week. This part of the article focuses on Lester Maddox:
   “Many Atlantans would like to forget that there ever was a governor of Georgia like Lester Maddox, and the fact that he was born right here in the city of Atlanta. While his segregationist views were always a source of controversy, he was too much of a character to simply forget. The man rode a bicycle backwards around the Capitol, performed a nightclub routine, and even ran for President of the United States. For the past several years, he had been waging a battle against cancer. He took a turn for the worse after recent surgery, and died at the age of 87 on June 25, 2003.
         Maddox is best known for the stand he took against allowing black patrons into his fried chicken restaurant, The Pickrick, during the tumultuous civil rights struggle in the South in the 1960’s. Maddox and his supporters resorted to violence, wielding pick handles to bar blacks from entering the establishment, then selling them later as souvenirs.
         He remained absolutely unapologetic about his views on race, claiming that the Constitution should protect the right to disassociate as much as the right to associate. Despite his gruff, outspoken exterior, he had a very tender relationship with his wife of over 60 years, Virginia, and was a devoted family man. He had been battling cancer for several years.
         Maddox did not win the governorship outright. He actually trailed the Republican nominee, but due to Georgia law at the time, because no one had a majority, the decision was given to the State Legislature, which chose Maddox. Despite being such a controversial figure when it came to race relations, during his term as Governor, Maddox appointed more African Americans to state posts than any governor before him.
         Maddox was a staunch conservative, with more than a healthy distrust of the federal government. It was the federal government’s involvement in desegregation that Maddox claimed bothered him the most. Maddox was a symbol of the little man, the working class that had to pull themselves up by the bootstrap and was as hard as nails because of it. However, Maddox also was a dying breed, as showed in the next election, when the polar opposite, Jimmy Carter, became Governor of Georgia, ushering in social reform policies, and a kinder, gentler way of leading the state. Maddox symbolized the last gasp for the old way of life in the South, and the New South that was just beginning to emerge was given life.
         Editor’s Note: I received an email from a family member of Lester Maddox in August 2006. They indicated that in fact Maddox had found religion and regretted his past views. The family member based their conclusions on actual conversations they had with Lester Maddox.”
After reading several articles about Lester Maddox, I realized that some writers were more sentimental about Maddox’s views and accomplishments. As I stated to you, despite his racist attitude, some influential black leaders were able to get him to pass legislation that helped Georgia’s progress and Black progress in particular. These leaders, for the most part, were never given credit for their input when legislation was deemed as progress for Georgia. Maddox never had a clue.




      MSNBC is the best news network to counter Fox News’s distortion of the news and facts. If you examine what Fox News actually broadcasts, what you see is more entertainment and opinion than actual news. No doubt, MSNBC and Fox News are both biased. MSNBC’s approach has to counter-weight the regionally popular and loudly voiced right-winged ‘news’ network. There are regions of the United States and around the world, where Fox is the only source of news.
Fox News has helped to legitimize racial hatred, religious intolerance, regional identity, and the gender gap. The approach is from subtle to obvious. In a time when many of us thought racial intolerance, discrimination, and hate were in the nation’s past, the U.S. presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Hussein Obama reflamed those sentiments. Obama’s father was Black, born in Kenya. His mother was white, born in the United States.
On July 27, 2004, after Senator Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, there was a murmur among the delegates and viewers. “Who was the young senator from Illinois who spoke so eloquently? He may be a good candidate for higher office in the future.” It sounded like a good idea. Some did not take it as seriously based on the history of this nation.
In Springfield, Illinois, February 10, 2007, Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the United States presidency. Fox News began its campaign of misinformation in earnest after his announcement. The tactics that Fox News used and still uses, is not solely based on an anti-Obama movement, although they have devoted a great deal of time and effort for one single goal. The Obama presidency has created more ‘news’ and ammunition for Fox than any other issue. After the Election of 2008, Obama symbolized the entire Democratic Party, which made it even easier for Fox News to attack.
There must be some sort of signed contract between the ‘news’ agency, the ‘reporters’ and the television commentators. The contract may contain a list of do’s and don’ts, and the penalties that can result from defying them. They also have a list of tactic to deal with their own commentators who sway from the biased ‘script.’ Those people are often interrupted, chastised, or the subject is changed. This is also done with guests who are being broadcasted from a different studio. With guests, they have the added tact of either telling them to “shut up,” or they can turn off their microphone or the entire transmission.
Rumors are generally half-truths and lies that are spread from person to person. If Fox News hears or reads such rumors that fit or support their positions, their attempt to deify Obama, or the Democratic Party, they often use it as if it were fact. The ‘birthers,’ those who hold the belief that Obama was born somewhere other than Hawaii, have acquired a great deal of support from the Fox News. Kenyan birth documents, eyewitness accounts and comments made by birther ‘experts’ are rarely challenged by Fox News.
On August 28, 2012, during the Republican National Convention, Ann Romney, the wife of Republican Presidential contender, Mitt Romney, addressed the delegates. After her speech, most of the Fox News analysts highly praise her speech, calling it great, etc. Juan Williams disagreed and said, “Ann Romney looked to me like a corporate wife.” He added, “The stories she told about struggles — it’s hard for me to believe. I mean, she’s a very rich woman, and I know that, and America knows that.” The other analysts seemed shocked by his comments and reiterated their position. After commercial break, Juan Williams was gone! Where did he go and why? Think!
MSNBC, while also biased, presents a more balanced approach news. Their news is more fact-based than rumor-based. They interview people from both sides of the political aisle. They allow their comments to be made with fewer interruptions. Although some become more aggressive when confronted with a difficult interviewee.
It is a personal opinion that Keith Olbermann was the best! Sure, sometimes he was ‘over the top,’ but his comments and approach to television journalism was attention-getting, entertaining, interesting, and thought-provoking. The reason why he was dismissed is well known, but it is insignificant when compared to the impact he had with the network. Someday, soon, MSNBC should reevaluate their decision and bring him back.

William Phifer

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

On September 6, 2012, Arizona’s former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords leads the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. On January 8, 2011, an assassination attempt was made on her life during a meeting in Tucson, Arizona. While others were killed during the shooting, she was critically injured but survived. On January 22, 2012, Gabrielle Giffords announced her resignation from her congressional seat to continue her recovery.
During the days and hours preceding Gabrielle Giffords’ arrival, the delegates and guests were revved up by the speakers outlining The Democratic Party platform and virtues of reelecting Barack Obama as president of the United States. A magic and emotional moment came when Gabrielle Giffords began to walk toward center stage.
There were uproars of tears and cheers as she was being escorted. When she first uttered the first words, there was silence. As he continued, others joined in. From the delegates to the media people, tears were flowing as they join her in the pledge. The tears and cheers continued as she walked away. Her movement and speech clearly showed the tragic results of the shooting. It was the most moving event of the convention. How can one not feel anything during those few minutes?
The NRA, gun lobbyists, right-wing conservative tea baggers, and Republicans running for office are amazingly quiet when tragedies involving guns occur. The Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting and killings, the recent murders in a movie theatre, the killings at high schools and colleges do not seem to concern them too much. They only come alive or get concerned when somebody mentions any way of controlling the availability of guns.
Somehow, they feel that their rights to ‘bear arms’ are being taken away from them. In addition, they feel that President Obama is trying to do away with the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. Some may feel that their right to hunt for food or sport will also be taken away. The NRA is infamous for stating, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” They act as if this statement removes any fault from the availability of guns. Actually, the type of gun control that some propose, does not reflect these ‘feelings.’ It has also become a false political issue to portray Obama as being against the right to bear arms. (In reality, Obama has not made strong statements against gun ownership or proposing much stricter laws to control the selling of guns.)

Party affiliation, ideology, or demographics does not and should not have anything to do with protecting the innocent from crazed people with guns. The ease and affordability of obtaining guns and other weapons is the problem. Democrats, Republican, and all citizens should come together to make and changes in the law to protect every citizen of the United States. Political Partisanism should not be a reason in making decisions about protecting our citizens. It has been accomplished in the past.

On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley Jr. opened fire on Republican President Ronald Reagan just outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. President Reagan was shot by one bullet, which punctured his lung. Three others were also injured in the shooting. James Brady, assistant to the president and White House Press Secretary was one of the injured and became permanently disabled during the assassination attempt. He was shot in the head by one bullet.

James Brady, along with his wife, Sarah, became gun control advocates and lobbied for stricter gun control and assault weapons restrictions. On November 30, 1993, Democratic President Bill Clinton signed into law the Brady Handgun-Control Bill. The Bill was named the Brady Bill in James Brady’s honor. President Clinton also honored James Brady in 1996 with the Presidential Medal of Honor.

This, by far, is the most dramatic and positive reaction to the widespread gun use by criminals, the misguided, and the insane in the United States. It took twelve years, but at least there was a reaction and a positive outcome from both sides of the political aisle. The assassination attempt on the life of Gabrielle Giffords, reminds us of the attempt made on the life of President Gerald R. Ford in 1975 and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. In 1968, the brother of the late president and former U.S. Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, was also assassinated.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ tragic shooting in 2011 and her courageous and moving appearance at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, should remind us all that many of these tragedies can be prevented. If we care enough about innocent lives being destroyed or tragically changed forever, we need to do all we can do to prevent it. It starts with common sense dialogue. Politics, race, religion, or demographics should have nothing to do with it. This is a great nation! We love our nation. Let us turn our tears into action. If we really want to make this nation a more perfect union, let us work together to make sure nothing like the recent tragedies happen again.
William Phifer

President Barack Obama

President Barack Hussein Obama
On November 2008, Barack Hussein Obama, was elected as the 44th president of the United States. He was born in August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. Before he achieved his law degree, he worked as a community organizer. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He ran and won as a United States Senator from Illinois in 2004.
Few would argue that he is an accomplished, well-educated person deserving of interest and praise. This is true without any other details about him. Yet, he has been hounded consistently with unfounded accusation, insults, racial slurs, threats, and general hatred.
He has been openly called a communist, a fascist, a baby killer, a terrorists, a socialist, a Muslim and an Arab. In 2007, when he became a possible candidate for the presidency, this ‘hounding’ started in earnest. It did not stop when he was elected president in 2008. Most of this ‘hounding’ came from the Republican Party’s ‘Tea Baggers’. It continues today in 2012 as he is running for a second term in office. During this first term in office, the Republican Party has made it clear that they will do anything to try to prevent him from succeeding.
Why? His father was a Kenyan (Black), and his mother was an American (White). Although he is just as much Black as he is White, he is identified as African-American. (I generally do not have a problem with that description. It is not a negative. However, White racists treat it as a negative.) White Racists perceive this country as a Write America, and see Obama as a ‘threat’ to that perception.
During President Obama’s first year in office, 2009, politicians on both sides of the aisle were in an uproar over comments made by former President Jimmy Carter. Here is a quote from Jimmy Carter at a town hall meeting at Emory University:
“When a radical fringe element of demonstrators, and others, begin to attack the President of the United States of America as an animal, or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, or when they wave signs in the air that say we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kind of things are beyond the bounds of the way Presidents have been accepted, even with people who disagree, and I think people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced by a major degree by a belief that he should not be President, because he happens to be African-American. It’s a racist attitude… My expectation is that in the future, both Democratic leaders and Republican leaders will take the initiative in condemning that kind of unprecedented attack on the President of the United States.”
I am in total agreement with President Jimmy Carter. The Republicans may not say that they agree. They continue to use these attacks and talk around the issue of race, but it is there. Some Democrats, who are in office, do not want to go as far to say that the main issue is race, but it is.
Many of us are appalled by these racial attacks, accusations and lies. When this is aimed at the United States president, it is even more appalling. For some people, they are still fighting the Civil War. I am saddened and ashamed that the United States has not matured enough to truly judge and treat any person fairly and without bias toward race or religion.

William Phifer

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