Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Anyway, whether in all of this I can return or not before next week, I'll have to see. But the numbers of visitors and readers is growing, and I'm encouraged for such a new blog. Please feel free to comment, though I know that the comment box isn't quite as easy and straightforward as I would like, it's not so bad. As long as folks play nice, they can say what they want. I won't swoop down on them and run them out of town for the sin of disagreeing with me and all the hip people I know. If I'm back soon, I'll see folks accordingly. Otherwise, have a happy and ghost filled Halloween. Next week, we'll actually pick up on some of those other holidays (or Holy Days), like All Saints Day, that our culture has long forgotten.
Speaking of reposting, here's one of my first posts I thought of as I look at the window at the magnificent October clouds rolling by
He was just finishing up. The parking lot was empty. He had been dropped off. I guess he either expected me or a drive home from his parents. It also was a Friday night. In those parts, that meant high school football. Even though we were college freshmen, our connections to our high school Alma mater were still strong. We quickly made some plans to see if there was a home game.
Then, as we were getting into my truck, he paused. He turned around and pointed to the sky. It was one of those fall skies with heavy, billowing gray clouds that just inch across the landscape. I never had really paid attention before. But he said, as he looked up at the sky, 'I love it when I see clouds like that. It's so October, so fall. I just love it.' Now he was never one prone to poetic musings or deep reflections. So his little statement caught me a bit off guard. I looked up and agreed. Then we got into the car and drove somewhere and did something that has gone into the long list of forgotten memories.
I will never forget that moment, though, that scene in my life; that evening, standing in the empty lot surrounded by barren fields and staring at a chilled, gray autumn sky, will stay with me as long as I live. I never see a cloudy fall day that I don't, at least for a minute, travel back in time and remember that instance with a friend long gone in a time long past. It's for that reason I say I suffer from terminal nostalgia. Perhaps, in the overall scheme, that's not bad. After all, remembering is a fine thing, and one that helps counter the tendency today to see everything beyond last Thursday as irrelevant. And while we don't want to look back after putting our hands to the plowshare, we don't want to focus only on the future and forget all that has come before us, and all that God has done.
Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth... Psalm 105.5
Oh, and bonus points. How cool is it that he refuses to go 3D? Thank goodness.
For instance, something to watch out for, as in this case of Mormons are scared, or even killing themselves, because of the anti-homosexual teachings the Mormon faith. If a story says there are legions of individuals doing this, or saying that, see if the story actually bothers to quote one, or at least give a specific example. In fact, while this story gives a few anecdotes, none of the examples appear to have anything to do with Mormonism. Moreover, not one person who committed suicide or appears to be frightened is ever identified as being Mormon. Nor are there any hardcore stats to back up the story's main claim. In short, it claims there is overwhelming evidence to support the growing mantra that 'religion is killing homosexuals', then proceeds to do nothing to support the charge. And example of a non-news story.
Things like this are worth watching out for. Especially as our media, like our academic institutions, have thrown away all pretense of neutrality and have embraced a flagrant agenda that rests largely on, among other things, the eradication of the Christian faith from our public forums.
For my money, nothing invokes the spirit of Halloween more than seeing cars demolished by giant pumpkins dropped from a crane.
By the by, I know why there is silence. Despite the insistence of such notables as Rosie O'Donnell and Tavis Smiley, Christians aren't known for roaming the countryside, slaughtering and butchering their way through the human population. As such, there isn't too much of a security risk that Christians will rise up, burn embassies, blow up Mosques, and shoot Imams as a result of this action. Once again, our actions and reactions show what we really believe, as opposed to what we say we believe.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
After all, it's one thing to say one disagrees with homosexuality, or finds no natural basis for it in terms of human behavior, or has religious beliefs that are in conflict with the gay rights movement. But when you wish harm and death on people, especially young people, and you hold a position of importance in their lives, it might be time to consider a different vocation. It might also be a great time for people who don't conform to the dogmas of the gay movement to rise up and condemn his rant for what it was: a sin filled, violent, hateful rant against fellow human beings. His opinions could have been given with dignity, and respect, and in Christian love. His decision to say it the way he did not only failed each of those tests, but also tarnished the very Faith upon which he claims to base his beliefs.
With that said, I no sooner hear of this than I'm watching CNN with Anderson Cooper. Now Mr. Cooper is fast becoming CNN's answer to Sean Hannity, or Rachel Madow. His biases are becoming clearer, and his contempt for those who don't hold his views more obvious. There are no doubt programing reasons behind this, but that's for another post in the distant future. For now, it's worth noting that Anderson's opinions and beliefs are no longer a separate element from the rest of his show.
I've noted already that a result of this has been the somewhat shameful exploitation by CNN in general, and Mr. Cooper in particular, of the recent suicides of certain young people. These deaths were, for the most part, the result of their being bullied for being gay. Even though some were no more than eleven, they had been bullied 'for years' due to their sexuality (see our desire to indoctrinate our children into a culture of hedonism, above). Of course there are millions of children bullied. The most common reasons due to things such as being overweight, being from a poor family, being small or unusually large physically, and other classic reasons for being picked on. Yet CNN, and MSNBC, and several other left leaning news organizations, along with endless amounts of private, hard left groups, have focused exclusively on the gay suicides.
Their conclusions have been as frightening as the hate filled rant of Mr. McCance. Bullying has to be stopped. What exactly bullying is has yet to be defined. I've heard interviews where it can include anything: criticism, disagreements, dislike of this or that lifestyle choice, and opinion about a hair style. In addition, bullying should be seen as dangerous and hateful. And we all know that today we expect our government to have no patience for hate filled anything. And naturally, dangerous behavior and attitudes should also be controlled. Therefore the not too subtle agenda emerges as 'it's time to regulate speech that we deem to be hateful.' And what is hateful? Apparently disagreeing with the gay rights agenda, or any one of a thousand various left wing dogmas.
The funny thing about this was the first Cooper episode I watched about this issue came right after a CNN segment detailing the pandemic of obesity that plagues our nation. It focused on overweight people's drag on our economy, our health care system, and our national welfare. That some may not be able to help being overweight, that some may have certain physiological conditions that predispose them toward being overweight, was irrelevant. The unflattering pictures and clips shown during the segment made it clear that those who were obese were a problem needing fixed. Their own feelings, insecurities or sensitivities were completely ignored. It affects our wallets, therefore they must change.
The fact that 1 in 5 male homosexuals and bisexuals in America have HIV - that's a higher rate of infection than smokers who will get lung cancer - is completely beside the point. That it may cost millions, if not billions, in lost productivity, health care cost, or general economic burden is never mentioned. Certainly not on CNN. Rather, CNN adopts a purely one sided approach to the issue in light of these recent events: There is no other option in dealing with homosexuality. You will conform. Any other attitude is nothing less than hate and bullying. And since we know these things can cause young people to commit suicide (apparently there was in none of these cases any other issue in their lives), the conclusion is obvious: it's time to regulate any speech deemed threatening or dangerous by our big politically correct brother.
Whether Americans wake up and say they reject such hate filled rants as Mr. McCance, but also reject exploitation by movements such as CNN to impose dogmas and strip away liberties, has yet to be seen. We'll just watch and wait. But take note it's coming. It's coming fast.
But that's the point. Since the entire discussion for maintaining our current approach to abortion rests on saving those women whose lives and mental health depend upon aborting their unborn children, can't we just ask that the doctors who perform the abortion sign off that it was, in fact, based on medical necessity. Restrict all abortions to that criteria, and then insist that the doctors performing the abortions signify by oath that it was only done because it was medically necessary. Fair enough? Since no matter how much pro-life advocates try to focus on the overwhelming majority of abortions that are done purely for reasons outside of the physically or mentally necessary due to rape/incest, couldn't we at least insist the records show that abortions being done are only those most needed? After all, certainly we aren't a society willing to play so fast and loose with the very foundational definition of human life simply to have better sex lives or faster career options...are we? So that seems like a fair call to me. Now let's kick it around.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
As we are reminded of from not only the Weather Channel, but also 1984's The Terminator:
I always loved that scene. It was soooooo early 1980s. We had been assured by the liberal press, intelligentsia, and political machine that if Reagan was elected, our days were numbered. It was no longer that would could be vaporized in a nuclear holocaust, but that we would be vaporized in a nuclear holocaust. Glad to see they were wrong. And the sense of imminent doom that infected a generation began to turn around, as can be seen by the sequel Terminator 2. Of course, some would argue it has returned again, as can be seen by the sequel Terminator 3. But that's for another post. Hopefully, the storms will pass with no injury and little damage. But just in case, I'll be gone today battening down the hatches.
And just a little more fun, the storms might pass. But there are still bigger storms to think about. One is our horrifyingly bad take on history, as President Jimmy Carter demonstrates in an interview. He believes that back in his day "we had almost complete harmony with every nation on Earth" while he was president. Uh huh. Of course the above clip speaks of the silliness behind that statement. But he's trying to change the general perception that he was one of America's worst president after all.
So if folks believe that sort of thing, even if the storms come and go today, there will be more storms yet to come. Till next time.
Monday, October 25, 2010
As a pastor, the number one single issue that I counseled women over was abortion. That is, women who had abortions and later regretted it. Despite the different stories, they were all the same: Never a holiday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, family gathering went buy that they didn't look at that spot at the side of the table and wonder just who could have been sitting there. Of course in Christ we are always forgiven when we seek his loving embrace. God is not the god of wrath waiting to smite us with a well placed lightening bolt. God actually cares for us, and desires all to come to repentance. So difficult that it could be, I always had the Gospel on my side when it came to helping them through their guilt and bereavement.
It's nice to see women coming out and admitting it. Now let's clear our TV schedules because no doubt our wonderful MSM will be spending weeks to come delving into the implications this might have for rethinking the current approach to abortion rights.
Second, it takes time. Most of my posts are, quite frankly, written off the top of my head. If I have a second, I'll do a spell check. But they are usually something I noticed, think about, see, or read that I say 'that would be interesting', or 'I wonder if I'm the only one noticing this?' I sit down and type it out. Since I type around 75 to 80 words a minute, that takes a couple minutes tops. That's fine, since I'm not a full time blogger, or writer, or anything where spending hours at a blog would be justified. But add the element of the picture, and suddenly the amount of time spent per post increases exponentially.
Finally, I'm trying to gauge the success/failure of my blog. I have stats I can read to see how many are visiting. I can see where they come from. I notice that some of the visits are from folks who, apparently, saw a picture and clicked on it - the same way I do when I was looking for images. They weren't really 'visiting', they simply came here by accident. Maybe they liked what they saw. Maybe they're one of the repeat visitors. I just know that when I'm looking at a picture, there is only about once in every thousand clicks that I will bother to actually read the site in question. So it helps eliminate those who came by accident from those who came by topic or repeat business.
Oh, and there is the problem of copyrights. Most net images are probably safe to use on a blog. But I don't have time to get into the legal nitty-gritty, nor do I want to be blindsided in the future. If there is an image I think would really help the post, I may go ahead and go the extra mile. If the blog grows, and more people visit (and quite frankly, more comment - the visits are pretty impressive from what I can tell, but while quality counts for something, it would be nice to see more folks feel comfortable commenting, that's where I get to learn from others), then I might change. But until then, expect few if any pictures unless they are sure to be free of charge, are obviously adding to the blog, or are of my most wonderful wife and kids.
I note this to point out that, had it been a Mosque, Synagogue, gay bar, or just about anything else, the first and only assumption would have been a hate crime based on bigotry. The attacker could have been stark raving insane, foaming at the mouth, but the emphasis not only would have been on the bigotry behind the attack, but what bigotry was already in existence that influenced the attack. Of course, even if there was no connection at all to any bigotry, the narrative would continue and we would be treated to weeks of the MSM hosting specials on the rise of hate crimes, and more importantly, the need to have the government step in and doing something about it.
And then navigates his own maze, fit for munchkins (he did very well):
Meanwhile his intrepid older brothers dared the possibilities of a knife wielding Malachi, not to mention impending rain storms as dark, billowing clouds rolled in:
And afterward emerge victorious, if not shaken from the experience of seeing a flock of crows suddenly fly overhead heralding the coming storm:
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
1. These teens died because they were bullied.
2. Bullying therefore caused their deaths.
3. Because of this bullying has to be stopped.
4. To do this, the causes of bullying has to be stopped.
5. People who oppose homosexuality or criticize it in any way are causing bullying.
6. We have to stop letting people openly oppose or criticize homosexuality, whether in the workplace, schools, or any other public arena of debate.
The mathematics of tyranny and oppression. I've long said that homosexuality, not abortion, will be the hammer with which the Left uses to smash our right to be non-liberal. The recent push to see this through does nothing other than support my theory.
“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”Mollie Ziegler dares to point out an interesting fact. Both NPR, as well as The View (the controversy around which Williams' interview was based), frequently cite the Christian culpability behind Timothy McVeigh's Oklahoma City Bombing. A simple Google Search will reveal, of course, that McVeigh was an agnostic. Yet from the View, to MSNBC, to the Huffpost, to Newsweek, to NPR, we continue to hear about how gracious they are for not blaming Christianity for the Oklahoma City Bombing.
Since McVeigh is on record as professing agnosticism, would someone please tell me why we would even assume Christianity is to blame? Of course this makes me think of nothing so much as this:
I know, there's something special about being able to witness one of the most asinine statements in human history. But that illustrates the problem and the power of the Super Narrative. Why do media outlets continue to invoke McVeigh as proof of Christianity's culpability in the Oklahoma City Bombing? For the same reason that Mr. Smiley insists that Christians are the most violent people in the world, shooting, blowing up, and murdering people everyday. It's the power of the Super Narrative.
If nature abhors a vacuum, the Secular Left abhors the traditional Christian faith. The cultures tied to Christianity - Europe and America - are equally culpable. In fact, little good comes from the history of those cultures but that which can be severed from any ties to Christianity (whether the ties were actually there or not).
The problem is, the Left hates Christianity, and either knows it's lying about such things, but says it in order to whip up hatred and fear of the Christian faith, or it's simply so immersed in its own ideological dogmas - many of which presuppose a hatred of Christianity - that they naturally assume anyone not purposefully professing another identity who has done something bad must be Christian. And if they do profess something else like Islam? Doesn't matter, we can still insist the only reason they did bad was because Europe/America (influenced by the traditional values of Christianity) must have been the cause.
So you see, like Rick Sanchez, Smiley has been fired because of who he spewed intolerance against, not because he spewed intolerance. The very outlets that condemn what Juan was fired for have no problem with those who say the same thing about Christians. In fact, so comfortable are we with the Super Narrative of Christianity's inherent evil, both NPR and PBS, which host fine quality programs that help perpetuate these and other fine anti-Christian myths, are supported by our tax money. Makes me proud to pay taxes.
The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older — came to hear panels that included several best-selling atheist pamphleteersOut of curiosity, does this indicate racism or some form of racist tendency among the atheist crowd? After all, with little more than a few extreme examples, the Tea Party continues to be hammered for being racist. Though the NAACP's attempt to call them so met with criticism from CNN and Anderson Cooper. If you're the NAACP, a left leaning organization, and CNN gets on you, you've done something wrong.
But many MSM stories on the Tea Party racism have focused on the overwhelming 'whiteness' of the movement. MSNBC has had legions of commentaries pointing out that it's mostly white folk who attend the meetings - therefore obviously on the weight of that observation alone there's some racist tendencies. Sooooooo...how about this? Any reason why the MSM shouldn't ask the question of modern atheism and its racial makeup? Or at least if modern atheism is so limited that it may only appeal to a very narrow demographic (not to mention the age of the participants).
Another quick observation came from a quote I posted below:
[Sam Harris] traveled with bodyguards because he receives death threats from both Christians and Muslims.As I said, anyone in the public eye gets death threats. Especially today where you are exposed to the entire planet. Out of six billion people, you're going to get a few loonies. In addition, if your basic message is founded on 'time to eradicate those pesky beliefs I don't like', the vitriol might occasionally stimulate the bad in a few more than the usual loons. No matter what, when the media emphasizes death threats, it often shows a particular sympathy on the part of the media.
But I wondered about the statement that the threats were from both Christians and Muslims. From where? Here at home? Abroad? Did the threat makers sign their names as Muslim or Christian? Did someone say 'in the name of Jesus I threaten you'? 'In the name of Allah you're toast'? Did the NYT, who put that snippet in parentheses, ask for some evidence? Not saying it didn't happen, or that the threats aren't what the article says. But it was a strange and obvious 'look how evil they are, I told you they're evil' aside I would have liked the NYT to back up a little more.
After all, Harris, like most militant atheists, calls for nothing less than the elimination of religions he doesn't like. Someday, they have got to go. So if a member of the KKK says black people threaten him with violence, I have to be honest and admit there might be some bias on the part of the KKK member who makes the accusation. And since Harris is basically taking a similar approach - if not less violent then no less provocative - toward religions he doesn't like, founding his argument on the proposition that religion is the mack daddy cause of human violence, I would have to entertain the thought that he might not be reading the tea leaves without a tad bit of bias himself.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Sam Harris, who wrote “The End of Faith” and is a rock star in the atheist world (he traveled with bodyguards because he receives death threats from both Christians and Muslims).
Harris was the place kicker for the modern atheist movement. A movement that basically says all the hate you read about from days of yore is actually good, as long as you hate the right things. His tendency to dogmatically believe that dogmatic beliefs are the problem shows the glaring blind spot that is common in this movement. That he needs body guards isn't uncommon. Just about anyone in the public eye gets death threats. While I don't condone violence or threats of violence, it's equally hard to have sympathy for a man who can't handle the same hatred and loathing he levels at half the world's population when it is thrown back at him.
For my money, he does little to encourage open dialogue or tolerance on the part of believers. After all, a primary point of The End of Faith was the call to end religious tolerance. If that's the reward religious believers have for tolerating atheism, then I don't much blame them if they would prefer to continue any intolerance of the non-religious that might exist.
Another interesting quote was this:
Mr. Myers is way out of the closet as an atheist — proudly, outrageously so. We’re here, he’s saying. And we don’t believe. And we have science and reason on our side. Get used to it.
A commenter on my very own blog made this observation:
P.Z. Myers says he has reason and science on his side? Does he mean science has proven atheism is true? That's news for Richard Dawkins. And if it isn't, does he understand the limitations of the scientific method?
That caught my attention as well. The science vs. religious people who hate science is one of many ridiculous ideas promoted by our new atheist friends. The fact that many scientists have some belief in religion, and historically a great many scientists were serious about their faith, appears to escape them. Like so many things, it really isn't true. It's not meant to be. It's only meant to be cheerleading for the team. Truth be told, religious believers don't 'hate' science so much as they distrust the exploitation of science to advance non-religious and anti-religious philosophies.
Now I have zero respect or regard for Myers. I see him and I think of the old B&W pictures of Nazis throwing bricks through synagogue windows. I find it interesting that he didn't desecrate a Torah. Like most things born of evil, the modern atheists like Myers picks and chooses who and what to hate. If he had any guts or balls, he would have done the same and risked the wrath of the Jewish community. But he's no fool, and knows when to reign it in.
Generally the strength in the modern atheist movement is found in a sympathetic media, a secularized academia, and an ignorant population. Anyone with philosophy, theology, or history 101 knows that their take on religion and religious history makes your average Creationist's take on science seem credible. But their arguments aren't really meant to persuade. Hoping that their liberalism regarding sex will attract yunguns to the cause, many of whom have spent their entire lives being indoctrinated into the dogmas of the secular movement, the MAs don't sweat credibility. Knowing that there is no accountability of secularism or progressivism since most of the principle institutions of learning and communication are in the same bed, they have little incentive to change. And beyond that, the bulk of their word drool is simply preaching to the choir, knowing that no matter how ludicrous their charge, or baseless their arguments, the faithful of the movement will cheer them on.
There are so many things worth laughing about with the new atheists. But there is some concern. The biggest cause for concern being the eerie similarities their rhetoric has with so much of that spouted during the later years of 19th century Europe. Beyond the contradictions, shallow thinking, and general bitterness and lack of contributions to the human condition and experience, the growing tendency to invoke a sort of mental master race theory about themselves, with calls for the extermination of all those religious thoughts they don't like, should give anyone pause. Hopefully, it's just that they know not what they do.
He was disturbed to say the least. After all, this was nothing other than an official call to show support against belief systems that fail to conform to the dogmas of the Left, in this case the Gay Rights Movement. Now I'm the first to say I don't want any teen to be hurt, bullied, or pushed around. But that door swings both ways. The story, as carried in McPaper, indicates a free support on the part of the media for advancing the agenda. Given that it gives a blank check to organizations such as 'It Gets Better', which defines entire regions as hateful and bigoted for failing to conform to the homosexual gospel, it's difficult to even care what the MSM has to say on the subject.
My boy didn't wear purple. I told him if there was even a hint of intimidation or negative reactions to him for failing to conform, to let me know. Hopefully all will be fine. Who would have thought 50 years ago Christians would have to wonder if their kids would be pressured for holding to traditional Christian values? I guess all those old yarns about a tolerant and diverse society were just lies. Oh well. Live and learn. Next time a movement that promises hedonism and narcissism in the pursuit of tolerance and diversity comes along, we might be more skeptical.
As Europe implodes under the weight of, among other things, catastrophically low birth rates, and only through immigration is America kept afloat, some are questioning whether population growth will even happen, or if it's all been overstated. Others are begrudgingly admitting that low birth rates may not be that great after all. Something that most of the world throughout most of time happened to agree with the Catholic Church about. In fact, the viewpoint that having babies is good is hardly a Catholic teaching, though many label it as such. Up until our super-sophisticated generation of smart people, that was merely common sense.
Abortion is, at the end of the day, the deliberate murder of an unborn baby. We can twist terminology around all day, and it remains the murder of an unborn baby. While the MSM, in its quest to promote the Secular Left, would have us believe the crux of the debate revolves around cases of rape and incest, or the life of the mother, the fact is that the overwhelming number of abortions are for pure birth control. It's the playing with human life in order to have a more vibrant sex life with potential for financial advancement.
When we see pictures like those being shown, it twists our guts. We damn well know what abortion is, but don't want to admit it. And being like people have always been, we're more than happy to support those who will help us sweep the truth under the rug. As Paul tells the church at Ephesus, everything exposed by the light becomes visible. And so desperate are we to indulge in the ugliest aspects of our freedoms, we fight like mad dogs to keep from being confronted with the obvious. We wish the evils to be kept in darkness, so that we won't be hindered by the innocent blood that screams out to heaven for vengeance. Well done and kudos to Ms. Smith.
As a side observation, it's worth noting that the Republican Party in D.C. has NOT endorsed her. This is because, at the end of the day, the Republican party cares about power for the wealthy, a warped and perverted Darwinian Capitalism that favors their own interests. The whole spiel about caring for abortion or gay rights is simply that which religious traditionalists are told every couple years to keep them on the reservation. But that's for another post.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
But I stumbled across his blog a year or so ago, searching as I was for some information on J.R.R. Tolkien. Since then, I've been happy to return, and every now and then Mr. Maliszewski bats one completely out of the ball park. Today was no exception. He posts on a book recounting the production of The Empire Strikes Back. You know, that movie that President Obama keeps mentioning.
Anyway, he reflects on how the movie was made sans CGI. He goes on to lament the current obsession with, and reliance upon, CGI to solve our modern movie making dilemmas. It's a feeling with which I wholeheartedly agree. I have yet to see Avatar, and from all I've heard, it's a movie a mile wide and an inch deep that's more or less a superficial Dances With Wolves and Video Game combination. I also agree that CGI heavy scenes, even in such noteworthy films as Lord of the Rings, can't help but look dated in only a few years. If not dated, they look sallow, stale. Only those movies that used CGI sparingly to enhance and add to, rather than substitute (and cheat) - like the original Jurassic Park - maintain any sense of freshness. But again, they relied upon real places, people and things rather than a mere computer keyboard.
In his post, as he unfolds a growing frustration and general malaise regarding modern movies, Mr. Maliszewski writes this:
Human beings are rightly enamored of technology, but it should always be used as a tool with which to create, not the creation itself.And that kiddies is why I keep going back to his blog, novice though I may be. We are enamored of technology, and if I may add an observation, often end up venerating science simply because it makes such technology possible. But technology should ever and always be a mere tool to be used, not the end all creation itself. Brilliant. Wonderful. I wish I could have insights like that. Someday I might. Right now I'll be content to advise folks to follow the link and indulge in a little nostalgia, and maybe even a few keen insights.
Essentially the 1948 decision did capture part of the spirit of the Founders' intentions, but at the sacrifice of the greater whole. The purpose was to avoid the situation of England and much of Europe, where state and church were one and the same. Where being on the wrong side of the state's religious viewpoint could get one ostracized at best, thrown into the dungeons at worst. The First Amendment was to prevent that from happening. One, by making sure the government would never form or officially support any one faith confession. There would be no Church of America. On the other hand, the second way to oppress and control religion was also prevented, and that is allowing the free exercise. Lest any clever folks say 'we're not respecting an establishment of religion, we're just banning all other religions we don't like', the second clause was inserted to make sure the true heart and soul of the First Amendment was understood: The need for religious liberty. It was never Seperation of Church and State that was at the center, but the need to protect a man's personal religious liberty and freedom. A man could believe anything and come to the American table, including the presidency, congres, the court. He could bring his faith with him no matter how unpopular. The government could not hinder him by favoring another faith over his, nor could it outright banish or punish him for the wrong ideals.
In 1948, the Supreme Court, with wisdom reminiscent of Dred Scott, decided that this really meant that the State and Church should never touch, and most importantly, the Holiness of the State must never be tarnished by the infection of the Church. If that means the second clause must be sacrificed for the sake of the first, so be it. If it means the free exercise of religion can no longer be allowed, tough. If it means all religions be banished to the ghettos, oh well. That would have been bad enough. But what we now see, promoted by groups such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is that this is no longer applicable evenly. While the ACLU chases any and every vestige of Christianity from the public forum, schools are taking field trips to hear the Dalai Lama, or learn about Islam. While liberal religious leaders petition Congress to rule according to their values, Conservative Christians are being told theirs is a religion of hate that has no place in our modern society.
Maybe it's because I'm not a lawyer. And I'm no journalist. But I get the impression that no matter what the Founding Fathers meant, religious liberty or Separation of Church and State, they sure as hell didn't mean an establishment of a singular super-ideology by oppressing and banning all other beliefs, including religious beliefs, that fail to conform to that super-ideology thereof. And since that seems to be the fruit that the tree of the Separation of Church and State interpretation has born, I can't help but question the soundness of that fateful 1948 decision.
For my readers who must labor through my contorted prose and wandering reflections, I offer this respite. Possibly one of the best songs written by Disney in his day - and that's saying something. In a song only Der Bingle could have mastered, Brom Bones sets up Ichobad in preparation for their climactic confrontation :
Monday, October 18, 2010
I know that all of history is based on one's perspectives. But the bias often has been innocent, the factor of one's geographic limitations or the mere boundaries drawn by ignorance of the facts. But the pieces today are deliberate; the refusal of After the Mayflower to name even one Indian atrocity, to show a single dead English settler by reenactment, while giving long and tortured accounts of atrocities done to the Indians, including heart wrenching portrayals by the actors, can only mean one thing: the viewer is meant to hate the Christian English settlers, and celebrate the heroic and perfect Native Americans. Add to that the overall narrative of the special that assumes the American Indians were always good, honest, trustworthy; all of the English were lying, corrupt, racist, and imperialist, and there simply is no other choice. In God in America, the same is true. Only this time it is any attempt to hold to traditional Christian values and world views that is to be hated, and those kind and compassionate non-Christians who only yearn for a society of tolerance, peace, and John Lennon songs are to be cheered. Our tax money at work. Well done PBS.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The MC that Merkal is talking about is from the same mental mold, but nonetheless a little different. Not being in Germany, I can't tell if it's worked beyond the assumptions that Germany itself will not be around much longer.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Well, you won't see a tree lovelier than this beauty I found standing sentinel among the markers of our dearly departed:
A little reminder of God's knack for creating for the pure enjoyment. Trees didn't have to look that good as they shed their summer attire. But they do. The contrast between its vibrant colors and the somber collection of reminders that we are mortal is striking. More striking, however, was another reminder that even the stateliest entity eventually follows the path that all living things must trod. Standing before a tall monument to some former life is this tree:
Meménto, homo, quia pulvis es, et in púlverem revertéris
Friday, October 15, 2010
"Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board"
resigning while calling MMGW the biggest crock to hit humanity since the crock pot. No doubt a little thing like this won't stop the Religion of MMGW. There's just too much power and wealth to be had by now.