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Friday, October 28, 2011

My Life Before I met Jesus Christ

Not to give my life story away before its time, but growing up, perhaps my biggest musical influence was Kiss--particularly Ace Frehley. I was in the Kiss Army, my room was smeared with Kiss Posters--the one on top of Empire State Bldg, the 1776 Revolution poster, and the Love Gun album cover poster. I had each member's picture in my wallet. But as a ten year old, I was too busy to pick up a guitar, but had I...

Ace with an Ibanez copy of a Gibson Explorer
  Ace has his book coming out Nov. 1. It's already making waves in the rock n roll community. Ace and Bassist Gene Simmons have a strained relationship. Read the book to find out all the details. I found chapter 1 before the release date. You can click the link to read the entire chapter:

When I was a kid I used to carry around this awful image in my head—a picture of three men tangled awkwardly in high-tension wires, fifty feet in the air, their lifeless bodies crisping in the midday sun.

The horror they endured was shared with me by my father, an electrical engineer who worked, among other places, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, helping with the installation of a new power plant in the 1950s. Carl Frehley was a man of his times. He worked long hours, multiple jobs, did the best he could to provide a home for his wife and kids. Sometimes, on Sunday afternoons after church, he'd pile the whole family into a car and we'd drive north through the Bronx, into Westchester County, and eventually find ourselves on the banks of the Hudson River. Dad would take us on a tour of the West Point campus and grounds, introduce us to people, even take us into the control room of the electrical plant. I'm still not sure how he pulled that one off—getting security clearance for his whole family—but he did.

Dad would walk around, pointing out various sights, explaining the rhythm of his day and the work that he did, sometimes talking in the language of an engineer, a language that might as well have been Latin to me. Work was important, and I guess in some way he just wanted his kids to understand that; he wanted us to see this other part of his life..
The Carl Frehley I knew (and it's important to note that I didn't know him all that well) was quiet and reserved, a model of middle-class decorum, maybe because he was so f.....g tired all the time. My father was forty-seven years old by the time I came into this world, and I sometimes think he was actually deep into a second life at that point. The son of German and Dutch immigrants, he'd grown up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, finished three years of college, and had to leave school and go to work. Later on he moved to New York and married Esther Hecht, a pretty young girl seventeen years his junior. My mom had been raised on a farm in Norlina, North Carolina. My grandfather was from northern Germany—the island RÜgen, to be precise. My grandmother was also German, but I'd always heard whispers of there being some American Indian blood in our family. It was boredom, more than anything else, that brought my mom to New York. Tired of life on the farm, she followed her older sister Ida north and lived with her for a while in Brooklyn.

Dad, meanwhile, came for the work.

There was always a little bit of mystery surrounding my dad, things he never shared; nooks and crannies of his past were always a taboo subject. He married late, started a family late, and settled into a comfortable domestic and professional routine. Every so often, though, there were glimpses of a different man, a different life.

My dad was an awesome bowler, for example. He never talked about being part of a bowling league or even how he learned the game. God knows he only bowled occasionally while I was growing up, but when he did, he nailed it. He had his own ball, his own shoes, and textbook form that helped him throw a couple of perfect games. He was also an amazing pool player, a fact I discovered while still in elementary school, when he taught me how to shoot. Dad could do things with a pool cue that only the pros could do, and when I look back on it now I realize he may have spent some time in a few shady places. He once told me that he had beaten the champion of West Virginia in a game of pool. I guess you have to be pretty good to beat the state champion of any sport.

"Hey, Dad. What's your high run?" I once asked him while we were shooting pool.

"One forty-nine," he said, without even looking up..
I grew up just off Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx, not far from the New York Botanical Garden and Bronx Zoo. It was a middle-class neighborhood of mixed ethnic backgrounds, consisting of mostly German, Irish, Jewish, and Italian families. Ours was pretty normal and loving, a fact I came to appreciate even more after I began hanging out with some serious badasses who were always trying to escape their violent and abusive home lives. Conversely, my dad never hit or abused me as a child, but I often wondered how much he really cared about me since we never did anything together one-on-one. Now as I think back, I realize more and more that he loved me, and that he did the best he could under the circumstances.

It's pretty hard to look at the Frehleys and suggest that my upbringing contributed in any way to my wild and crazy lifestyle and the insanity that was to ensue. Sure, my dad was a workaholic and never home, but there was always food on the table, and we all felt secure. My parents enjoyed a happy and affectionate marriage—I can still see them holding hands as they walked down the street, or kissing when Dad came home from work. They always seemed happy together, and there was very little fighting at home. We had relatives in Brooklyn and North Carolina, all on my mother's side, but I knew very little about my dad's side of the family. There were no photo albums or letters, no interesting stories or visits from aunts and uncles. Nothing. I knew he had a brother who had tragically drowned at age eight, but the rest was sketchy at best. When I tried to ask him for more details, my mom would intervene.

"Don't push your father," she'd say. "It's too painful for him."

So I'd let it go.

People who know me only as the Spaceman probably find this hard to believe, but I was raised in a family that stressed education and religion. My parents also understood the value of the arts and sciences. The way I'm fascinated with computers and guitars, my dad was fascinated with motors and electrical circuits, and he used to build his own batteries in the basement as a child. I know he was very good at what he did because in addition to his work at West Point, he also serviced the elevator motors in the Empire State Building, and was involved in designing the backup ignition system for the Apollo spacecraft for NASA. He had notebooks filled with formulas and sketches, projects he worked on until the wee hours of the morning.

So my parents emphasized learning, and two of their three children got the message. My sister, Nancy, who is eight years my senior, was a straight-A student who went on to get a master's degree in chemistry; she taught high school chemistry for a while before getting married to start a family. My brother, Charles, was an honors student as well. He studied classical guitar at New York University, where he finished tenth in his class.

Then there was me, Paul Frehley, the youngest of three kids and the black sheep to boot.

In the beginning I enjoyed school and team sports, but as I got older, my social life and music began taking precedence over my studies. I remember coming home with B's, C's, and D's on my report card and hearing my parents complain.

"Why can't you be more like Charlie and Nancy?"

I'd just throw up my hands. Between bands and girlfriends, who had time to study?

"You're wasting your life, Paul," my dad would say, shaking his head.

Once, just to prove a point, I told my parents that I'd study hard for a semester and prove I was just as bright as my brother and sister. And you know what? I got all A's and B's on the next report card. (Much later, it was the same sort of "I told you so" attitude that would compel me to challenge the other guys in KISS to an IQ test. Just for the record, I scored highest: 163, which is considered "genius.") Now, I know I drove my parents crazy, but God had other plans for me. It all stemmed from something I sensed at an early age: the desire to become a rock star and follow my dreams. Crazy as that sounds, I really believed it would happen.

You can partially credit my blind ambition to Mom and Dad! You see, if there was a common thread within our family, it was music. Thanks to the influence of our parents, all the Frehley kids played instruments. My father was an accomplished concert pianist: he could perform Chopin and Mozart effortlessly. My mom played the piano, too, and she enjoyed banging out a few tunes at family gatherings. Charlie and Nancy took piano lessons and performed at recitals as well. They eventually started fooling around with the guitar and formed a folk group, but that was never my cup of tea. From the beginning, I was drawn to rock 'n' roll and started figuring out songs by the Beatles and the Stones on my brother's acoustic guitar. One day, by chance, I picked up my friend's new electric guitar and checked it out. I plugged it in, turned the amp up to ten, and strummed a power chord.

I immediately fell in love. It was a life-changing event! I was only twelve, but I was totally hooked. Within a couple of years I had a Fender Tele and a Marshall amp in my bedroom, and I'd sold my soul to rock 'n' roll. There was no turning back.

My parents were not entirely unsupportive of my obsession (Dad even bought me my first electric guitar as a Christmas present), probably because it beat the alternative. There were worse vices, worse behavior, as I'd already demonstrated. See, at the same time that I was teaching myself guitar and forming my first band, I was also running with a pretty tough crowd. So while it may be true that the rock 'n' roll lifestyle nearly killed me as an adult, it's also true that without music, I might never have made it to adulthood in the first place.

© 2011 Ace Frehley

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In light of Mitt Romney, here is the low-down on Mormonism

The founder of Mormonism was Joseph Smith, called "Joe" by the residents of Palmyra, New York, was convicted on March 26, 1826, for his involvement in the Occult, called "glass looking" to find buried treasure, in court case, New York v Joseph Smith. Joe Smith paid the $2.68 cent fine. The court bill can be found in the New York Public Library. Not surprisingly, his conviction happened six years after he claimed the angel Gabriel appeared to him--some conversion right? Smith would put stones in a hat to somehow find buried treasure. I'm clueless how glass could have shown him where treasure was, unless by demonic guidance. There are craters all over Northern New York and Vermont from his digging expeditions.

Joe Smith's mom and dad both write, their son was in the Occult. Mr. "Stoal came for Joseph on account of having heard that he possessed certain means by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye." Lucy Smith, History of Joseph Smith by his Mother. Likewise, his father claimed Joe was a peep-stone addict in the Historical Magazine May, 1870. Joe Smith could not get his revelations straight either. In the Book of Mormon, 1830 edition, he claimed his angelic messenger was Moroni, but in the Pearl of Great Price, 1851 edition, which Smith compiled himself, he wrote the messenger was Nephi. To Mormons, this contradiction--among many others--is their perverbial thorn in the side.

As to the theology of Mormonism, here is proof of their twisted belief that God the Father was once Adam, and Michael the Archangel:
When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organized this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken—HE is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom we have to do.
--Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:50.

Along with their view Jesus was a Polygamist, who was married to Mary, Martha and Mary of Cana, Mormon theology says God the Father was Adam, who had sex with Mary, to form Jesus, the Blood brother of Lucifer! As if that wasn't enough, Joe Smith claimed Mormons were gods:
God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man..In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.
--Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345, 349.

The evidence suggests Joe Smith started as a unitarian, and was influenced by Greek Mythology, thus, you have Polygamy instituted to make vast families for "Celestial Marriage" as with Greek gods impregnating human women in order to populate different planets in the universe. Mormon theology teaches polytheism--even though they deny it now--that the universe is inhabited by human gods "who proceate spirit children, which are in turn clothed with bodies on different planets." Brigham Young actually believed suicide atoned for one's sins:
There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come; and if they had their eyes open to their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins, and the smoking incense would atone for their sins; whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit-world.

I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them. . . . yet men can commit sins which it can never remit. As it was in ancient days, so it is in our day; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, still the people do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves cannot remit,but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man.
--Brigham Young, Tabernacle, September 21, 1856

Walter Martin, the expert on Mormonism, gives this synopsis of this cult:
Pastor Jeffries should proclaim these truths to the country to back up his assertion Mormonism is a Christian Cult. What then of Mitt Romney's Presidential candidacy?
After carefully perusing hundreds of volumes on Mormon theology and scores of pamphlets dealing with this subject, the author can quite candidly state that never has he seen such misappropriation of terminology, disregard of context, and utter abandon of scholastic principles demonstrated on the part of non-Christian cultists than is evidenced in the attempts of Mormon theologians to appear orthodox and at the same time undermine the foundations of historic Christianity. The intricacies of their complex system of polytheism causes the careful researcher to ponder again and again the ethical standard that these Mormon writers practice and the blatant attempts to rewrite history, biblical theology, and the laws of scriptural interpretation that they might support the theologies of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Without fear of contradiction, I am certain that Mormonism cannot stand investigation and wants no part of it unless the results can be controlled under the guise of “broad-mindedness” and “tolerance."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Was Rev. Samuel West Orthodox? Part Deux

Continuing from my previous post on Rev. West, he left no smoking gun about his faith--his friends were not certain either, but he did comment on free will. This is puzzling given the unitarians were a tight group who communicated with each other, no doubt feeling the heat from the Orthodox majority. Although my earlier post clearly shows West affirmed Calvin's total depravity, this early primary source, claims the opposite:
That is, he [West] asserted free will for man in opposition to Calvin's doctrine of fore-ordination and irreparable election, and man's ability of moral choice in opposition to the doctrine of "total depravity."
Should we not take a person's own words over another's testimony? Where are the smoking guns affirming unitarianism from his contemporaries? Reading his Ordination he was an Orthodox Christian: our high priest who offered himself up to God a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the world.. he is to be preached up as the only Mediator between God and man..that he came to redeem us both from the penal consequences of Adam's first increase our knowledge of the doctrines of, the gospel..that through his atoning blood and perfect righteousness..Can anyone imagine faithfully that he preaches Christ, who very seldom in his discourses mentions his name; and who never insists on the doctrine of atonement, with which the new testament so much abounds? Shall gospel ministers leave out the principle end of Christ's coming..?
Where is West's words to refute this? I have read Christians who claim West was a unitarian, however, affirming Arminianism is not synonymous with heterodoxy--at least in the 18th century. Moreover, Timothy Dwight was a sort of Arminian. The fact is, none of these unitarian preachers: Jonathan Mayhew, or Ebenezer Gay, et al., were rationalists in the mold of Thomas Jefferson. Any attempt to label a system of rationalism to any "group" of founding fathers, or founding preachers contradicts the evidence. If Thomas Jefferson truly denied the supernatural, West had a stiff rebuke for him:
[C]an anyone think, that he has faithfully discharge the trust reposed in him, who insists altogether in what is called natural religion, without ever mentioning the pecularly doctrines of revelation? Why should we separate what God has joined together?..Where the doctrines of meer natural religion are insisted on to the neglect of the pecular doctrines of revelation; we can at most expect to find a few fashionable, civil, gentlemen, but destitute of real piety.  
However, there is evidence as to West's heterodoxy:
With reference to Dr. West's position on the doctrine of the Trinity, his granddaughter, Mary C. West, of Tiverton, (recently deceased,) wrote in a communication printed in the Evening Standard of this city in March, 1883, as follows: "If his children were competent witnesses (my father and aunt) I can say that they have often told me that their father was an Arminian Unitarian. * * * I have heard my aunt many times tell this story. When she was a little girl her teacher set her to learning a catechism, — I think it was the Westminster, but at any rate it had the Trinitarian formula in it: 'The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.' She was at home studying her lesson in a loud voice, and her father heard her repeating the above formula and called her to him and held up three of his fingers (as she always did when she told the story), and asked her how three could be one, took the book from her and put it in his pocket, and told her to tell her teacher that he would get her another catechism, which he did. I think the one he got her was called 'The Franklin Catechism,' or 'The Franklin Primer."
Who do we believe? Do we believe West's own words, or this statement years after the fact?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tax Breaks to Corporations Do Not Create Jobs

Tax breaks to large corporations do not create jobs! It is a lie promoted by conservatives like Sean Hannity, who think with their pocket-books and not with the mind of Christ:
Ten major U.S. corporations, including big banks Citigroup and Bank of America, laid off workers after enjoying a tax holiday in 2004-2005 that had been billed as a form of economic stimulus, said a report released on Tuesday..Fifty-eight corporations that accounted for 70 percent of overseas profits repatriated under the 2004-2005 tax break collectively saved $64 billion in taxes, then cut 600,000 jobs through layoffs, the report said..Legislation in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives would let them repatriate those profits at 5.25 percent, the same tax rate given to them under a similar tax holiday during the Bush administration.

Just as they are doing now, companies six years ago said that the repatriation tax break would boost jobs and the economy. But the institute said this did not happen, as earlier academic studies have also found.

"History shows that many 'tax holiday' companies use repatriated profits to reward executives and other shareholders, then lay off workers," said Chuck Collins, co-author of the report from the left-leaning institute. "Corporate tax holidays have resulted in precious few U.S. jobs."

At a time of soaring government deficits, the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan congressional research arm, has estimated that a tax holiday, like the one proposed in the House and favored by WIN America, would eventually cost taxpayers about $78.7 billion over the next decade.
I would assume the 600,000 layoffs were the net result in the study.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Most Educated Founding Father Was Orthodox Christian Hugh Williamson

Williamson was a genius. I would call him an evangelical, but I can't find any of his writings. All I found was a quote from his good friend Dr. Hosack:
As might be expected because of his trade and education his manners, though in some respects eccentric, were generally those of a polite gentleman. Occasionally, however, when he met with persons who either displayed great ignorance, want of moral character, or a disregard to religious truth, he expressed his feelings in such a manner, as distinctly to show that they had no claim to his respect. To such, both his language and manners might be considered abrupt, if not possessing a degree of what might be denominated Johnsonian rudeness.
Williamson was born in Pennsylvania 1735, living a long allustrious life ending at the age of 83. His parents were Scoth-Irish Calvinists, who wanted their eldest son to be a Divine. During his voyage to America from Ireland, their ship was captured by Blackbeard. What an adventure that would have been for a young lad. Dr. Hosack relates early in life, Williamson was very zealous as to morality and religion, attending Dr. Alison's seminary. He was an expert in mathematics, attending the first class at the college of Philadelphia, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1757. The school then hired him in their Latin and English schools. His goal was to become a minister, as he studied divinity for two years, and was licensed to preach. Williamson was then admitted as a member to the Presbytery of Philadelphia, although he was never ordained.

He apparently had bad lungs, could not speak publicly very well, abrubtly left the ministry because of the division within the Presbyterian Church. He received his Master's Degree in 1760, becoming Professor of Mathematics at the College of Philadelphia, resigned three years later, and left for Europe to become a Doctor. Williamson's quest for knowledge did not stop, having then studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and traveled to Utrecht, Holland, to receive his Doctor of Medicine.

Doctor Williamson's life of service is impeccable--a hero to the citizens of North Carolina in the Revolutionary War. He was anti-slavery, a major contributor to Rufus King's Northwest Ordinance. Moreover, Williamson received a Doctor of Laws at the University of Leyden, in Germany. His observations on climate affirm Biblical Inerrancy, the flood, the Exodus, etc.

Was not this most learned man a Divine? Did he not sign the Constitution? Although Witherspoon may be the only Founding Father ordained, was not Williamson licensed to Preach? We should add the name Williamson to that list.