Saturday, June 25, 2011

One more of the boys

Is it me, or do these look like the pictures for the cover of an album?

When all else fails - the Fab Four!

Not that fab four, I mean my boys.  I guess with our schedule being crazy, me delving into my new career at Aflac, and trying to get my Mom moved around, what little time I have left over goes to the family.  Right now my sister-in-law is in from Florida helping with the moving.  But when time is scarce, I can't see spending too much time on a computer when I have four wonderful boys waiting to be played with.  Here are the latest in a series of action shots.  It was at the Harding Memorial in Marion, after my Fathers Day dinner. 

The gang

The only way you can get a picture of our youngest is if someone holds onto him

Our oldest looking casual

Our twelve year old, as enigmatic looking as ever

An unusually laid back shot of our usually over-the-top soon to be eleven year old

I'm not sure what our ten year old is doing, but it got an uncharacteristic public burst of laughter from the older two

A note about the recent posts on gay rights

It might appear that I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on this issue.  Some might think it's because of some latent sexual identity problem I have.  Not really.  First, it's because I don't have time to blog much due to various reasons.  Second, when I sit down it seems as if the latest gay rights story is what everyone is talking about.  Third, the Gay Rights Movement is about the only thing getting what it wants right now. 

Our rather dull and incompetent president, who is no doubt a good family man and decent fellow, continues to fail on almost every front.  I mean it.  The guy is a joke at this point.  If everything was equal and he was a Republican, (and be honest, a white Republican), why there probably would be calls to remove him from office.  As it stands, the liberal propaganda machine in our educational, media, and entertainment industries are bending over backwards to find something - anything - for which they can praise him.  And in 2012, woe be to him who dares criticize him. 

But in fairness, he has done well for gay rights.  He may be accomplishing nothing overseas.  He may be plunging into one non-war war after another.  He may be playing with our military for purely political reasons, promising to reduce our troop numbers to twice what they were when he took office.  He may be assuring us that the economy is better since gas is all the way down to only about a 1.50 over what it was two years ago.  He may be looking desperate as he can't figure out how to fix the debt, the unemployment, and our soon to collapse entitlement system.  But by goodness, he has gone in there and given his all to gay rights supporters, and for that we Americans thank him.

It's been the dual sides of this that has hit me when I've had time to sit and blog.  On one hand, while everything is floundering, while wars, genocides, pandemics, economic collapse, and hopelessness continue to grip America, the West, and the World, the GRM continues to have such disproportionate power to see to it that its desires are addressed if nothing else is given the time of day.  And on the other hand, the very movement born under 'there's no absolute moral truths, nobody has a right to legislate morality, we should all live in peace and agree to disagree' continues to use the crushing iron gauntlet of censorship, oppression, ostracizing, and general eradication of those who refuse to go along with the demand for conformity and group think. 

It's a strange brew.  When all else is falling apart, the only thing making headway is a movement founded on diversity and peopled and supported by among the highest income earners who are increasingly demanding society punish all who fail to conform to its dogmatic demands.  Again, a thousand years from now I can't imagine what people will think when they look at this, the twilight of Western Civilization.  But I have a pretty good idea of why they will think it.

Gay Rights victory in New York!

There's a shock.  Actually, what continues to shock me is just how many Americans are still dragging their heals when it comes to supporting gay marriage.  What with the entire popular culture machine, the Democratic party, the national news media, and our public and higher education systems firmly behind the movement to ramrod gay rights into American society, I'm amazed at how many are still on the fence.  In addition, given the growing ostracizing and public denouncements of those who do not follow the dogmas of non-heterosexual normality, it's even more amazing.  It's almost as amazing as the ability of a movement backed by endless billions of dollars worth of support by never ending streams of millionaires and billionaires and political power brokers, a movement that has among the highest standards of living and is generally set apart for the usual rights most already enjoy, to continue to insist it is the weak and helpless party in this entire drama.  Even while they force entertainers and other public figures to grovel and beg forgiveness whenever the movement is insulted, they still manage to hold a flail in one hand and a wilted daisy in the other, claiming that its weakness is the only part upon which we should focus.

Of course we see that the good old Republican dominated senate of New York made all of this possible.  Increasingly, the GOP is tiring of the old social and religious conservatives.  And while debates can be made as to whether abandoning the only party left that's even close to traditional world views and values is a good idea, a strong case can be made that just leaving both parties to their fate is the only direction to take for a conscientious voter. 

It's especially heartening to see that one of the prime movers of the gay rights victory is none other than an openly Roman Catholic GOP senator.  Once again in one swipe showing just how abysmal is the moral track record of the Republicans, and the educational and devotional track record of the American Catholic Church.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Goodbye Columbo

I am saddened to learn that the great Peter Falk has died.  He was one of those stars the camera seemed to love.  Put him in any scene next to any accomplished actor - and you always went straight to Falk.  There was just something about his bumbling, sloppy, frumpy way that endeared him to millions.  Of course to most of a few generations, he is an will always be Columbo, walking out of that sunset with the eerie music for the TV mystery movie of the week.  He would wear his drooping overcoat, cigar in hand, and just when the bad guy thought he finally was about to leave, he would pause and then come back for one more 'Ahh, there's just one more thing.'  It was priceless.  And so was Mr. Falk.
I hated to learn of his own struggles with Alzheimer's, as that was the plague of my own Dad in his later years.  I know what that is, and what it does.  By the time it is over, you feel that the loved one has long since left.  But in his day, he was the consummate scene stealer.  It is as if no part he ever played didn't fit him.  From working with Blake Edwards, to being the kindly grandfather in The Princess Bride, he seemed to be just right.  The tributes in the article say it well.  Falk was, in a way, Columbo.  A short, physically less than stellar man with one eye and a speech impediment, and yet he moved mountains in his chosen craft. 

How inspiring.  Goodbye Peter Falk.  You will be missed.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sexual Orientation and some other diversity

OK, I'll stop in a minute.  I said there would be light blogging, but when I sit down to write one post, I'll often see a couple other stories that leap out at me.  In this case, I thought I would check on my OSU Alumni page and see if there is anything in the news about any tickets for the 2011 football season.  Either tickets will be sold out because everyone is dying to see what happens, or there will be truckloads available.  So I go to the site to see that there is no news yet.  OK.  Then a link catches my eye: Diversity.

Diversity.  That's one of those words today that doesn't mean what you probably think it means.  Growing up, that meant a society that embraced live and let live, agreed to agree to disagree, and believed there was no real absolute moral truth anyway, so you certainly couldn't legislate it.  Well today, it mostly means celebration of non-heterosexual lifestyles.  And Voila!  I click on the link and this is what I see:
The Office of Equity and Diversity provides leadership, oversight, and an infrastructure for the College of Education and Human Ecology's initiatives. The key objective is to help the various units of the college diversity, our student body, faculty, staff, and programs to foster a climate that recognized and celebrates cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, linguistic, socio-linguistic, sexual orientation, and other diversity.
You see that?  Foster a climate that recognized and celebrates (I'll assume they mean recognizes) ethnic and cultural, socio-linguistic(?), and sexual orientation.  Oh, and some other diversity, too.  I assume that's where religion fits in.  That just made me laugh out loud.  Sex,drugs and bathroom humor are the only thing the Left really has to sell.  The censorship, elitism, thought control, and government acquisition of our daily lives doesn't go down too well without the promise of orgasms and endless partying. 

So homosexuality - the linchpin in any sexually permissive society - continues to be the one single issue that matters.  Vague cultural and social issue? Sure.  Ethnic?  Of course.  Some other forms of diversity?  Yeah, to a point.  But there's Sexual Orientation above all!  When billions flounder, millions die, war and genocide and poverty and natural disasters and the end of Western Civilization all lurk on the horizon and in the daily headlines of out age, we make sure the really important issue is handled properly.  Sigh.  I can't imagine just how stupid this period of time is going to look to people a thousand years from now, but I can guess.

Our government protecting us from lemonade stands everywhere

Just a quick post.  If you want to know what's wrong with our country in a nutshell, if you want to know why we seem to be charging headlong toward the ash heap of history, read this story.  There was a time when such industry would have been celebrated by all.  But in our age of billion dollar bureaucracies, endless reams of forms and files, eternal procedures, and intelligence sans common sense, you get the authorities rushing in to put a stop to these ambitious youngsters and their dangerous lemonade stand trying to raise money for pediatric cancer.  Why is America what it has become?  There you have it.

Clarifying my take on Catholic blogging

After I reread my post yesterday, you know the one that said I wouldn't be posting much, I thought I needed to clarify.  Readers of my blog who have followed it for the last several months, ever since I first started the thing, know there has been a little issue about just how Catholic my blog is.  I have repeatedly explained that I don't see myself as, nor do I want to be, a Catholic Blogger.  Yet my little title summary seems to suggest at least some Catholic behind my posts. 

Well, the actual obvious 'Catholic Identity' might not always be there.  I post a lot on politics, social and cultural trends, the media, and occasionally things like history or religion. Occasionally I'll reflect on something, or post on something that moves me or gets me to thinking. Once in a while my posts might reflect an overt Catholic perspective.  As often as not, a person could be forgiven for reading a rant on the latest attempts to squelch freedom by way of Gay Rights, or what this or that politician has done, and conclude nothing at all about my faith.

Now I've explained that, in a way, my faith often informs just what I think is important.  After all, it wasn't some innate culturally impressed notion that has caused me to reject human homosexual normality.  As an agnostic, I had no problem with the stuff.  Live and let live was my motto.  Though I think I would have been somewhat dismayed at the modern Gay Rights 'celebrate us or watch your butt' approach to its agendas, I wouldn't have cared one way or another about the lifestyle.  When I became a believer, however, I was forced to confront the fact that the overwhelming witness of Scripture, and the Christian Faith in general, has always been to reject that particular lifestyle.  So when I see the creeping 'there ain't room enough in this world for the two of us' approach of Gay Rights today, it's my faith that compels me to take notice from the POV that I write. 

But still, I can see where folks might see that as a cop out.  Just me trying to wade one toe in the pool, while allowing myself the freedom to wander around and post on anything under the sun whether it pertains to the Catholic Faith, my Catholic Faith, or anything Catholic at all.  In a way, they would be correct.  I said long ago that I just started this blog because some individuals I know persuaded me to start a blog so I could have a platform for putting down my thoughts and insights.  So I did.  And I didn't want to be confined to a single 'type' of blog.  If that has cut me out of this or that little blogging community, so be it.   It was just so I could toss out some ideas, and hear back from those who read my ideas.

But a few things have happened.  First, the comments section disappeared.  Something went screwy with the blog some weeks ago, the whole thing went down for a day or so.  The Comments boxes vanished, and I've not had the time or the desire to look into where they went and how to get them back.  Visitors may not return when they see no comments available.  But to be honest, that's OK.  Though I appreciate those few who did come by and post their thoughts, they were few.  And while there is always the quality, I noticed that once I stopped a few readers from coming in and just insulting people and saying stupid things (and yes, I know that sounds harsh, but some of the things were nothing else, even by the most gracious assessment), the number of comments dropped off exponentially.  It's as if the Bloggosphere is where people want to go in order to behave in ways we would never behave in any other setting.  And when I said I want good, reasoned debate that is polite and not just a drive by insult-fest, folks stopped coming by. 

Yes, I was still visited by some great people who continued to comment and give me insights and suggestions, and I'm very thankful for that.  But if I had to have folks coming in and acting like little brats in order to increase the number of comments and visits, I would rather have no comments at all. So for those who kept coming back with reasoned insights and thoughtful and polite comments, I do miss you.  But I will let it be for a while at least, enjoying not seeing random and anonymous folks swinging by, throwing out insults and the latest intellectually vacant talking points from various radical sides of any given debate.  Someday I might find a way to bring back the comments, but it will be a while.

Another thing has also impacted how I do this blog is the Catholic Bloggosphere.  Why don't I want to be a "Catholic Blog"?  Well, because of what I've seen happening in the Catholic Bloggosphere, that's why.  And when I have time, I'll drop back by and post on just what I mean, and the sadness I have over what I've been reading in so many Catholic blogs over the last year or so.  Right now, I have places to go and people to see.  I'll be back, and continue this little train of thought then.  Till then, TTFN.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Where I will be for many moons to come

Having started a new career at Aflac, I am more or less the beginner of my own business.  That means, as any small business owner knows, work, and work, and work, and work.  And lots and lots of time.  Given that I do guard my time with my family, and do it jealously, I'll be giving what time I have left over to them.  I might actually be able to do more with our parishes because if the schedule can be back breaking, it is at least somewhat normal, and it is mine to (usually) plan.  After the first couple months that is.  Until then, it will be many hours gone, training, getting certified, passing tests, and doing all that fun stuff. 

So while our good president continues to focus on the one thing he seems passionate about, and leaving those other things like the economy and foreign wars to just multiple and divide as the course of events move themselves, I will rest at ease.  I may pop in once in a while to cheer on the Gay Rights movement for being the one demographic that commands the attention of our illustrious leader while all other things are collapsing, but otherwise will have to pick and choose the time I have to post.

I also will take this time to reevaluate my identity as a blogger.  I have not tried to be a "Catholic Blogger", for there are too many temptations to go off the straight and narrow doing that.  In my six years of looking toward Catholicism, I have been saddened by just how many Catholic blogs can end up sounding so, well, Protestant.  Sort of 'it's their Catholic Church and everyone else is wrong."  And because the Church lets so much of its discipleship be done by lay people (not a bad thing), there is a tendency for those blogs to attract a particular brand of followers who enjoy being told their way is The Way, the Truth, and the Life, and nobody will get to Jesus through the Church but by them.  Yet I also know that as a Catholic, the way I see the world is defined by that title, and it should mean something.  My blog says 'Catholic Musings", and during this time of light blogging, I will revisit just how that will impact what I write - letting the Catholic influence, without going the way of 'Dave's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Blog.' 

So we'll see what happens.  Things may not change at all.  But for a while, it will be light, lighter than other light periods have been.  It has been a wild, eventful year.  And hopefully and prayerfully things will turn around and all of the events will finally yield blessings and happiness.  In the meantime, please keep coming by.  I'll toss things out when I can.  I still take emails and prayer requests.  Till then, enjoy this, one of my favorite Youtube videos of all time, in celebration of all the tests and testing I have had to pass so far (not as bad as a math test, but after 20 years after the last exams in school, they feel like advanced math tests!):

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A scandal named Weiner

I'm not one who follows every political scandal under the sun.  The emphasis placed on this or that scandal is often up to the whims of the media, who recently had its bubble deflated when thirteen thousand emails of Sarah Palin didn't turn up a smoking gun.  I can't remember the last time a politician was forced to release over ten thousand emails, but then I can't remember a politician that the MSM both hated and obsessed with like Sarah Palin.  Alas, it looks as though they will have to build some faux narrative to tell the "real story of Sarah Palin' by way of the non-revealing emails.

Part of me thinks they were hoping to find something that would take the focus off Anthony Weiner.  A year or so ago, he was a rising super star in the Democratic Left.  Willing to say up yours, shut up, you hate the sick, and just about anything else to the Republicans, even while standing next to them in an interview, he was the darling of Left wing media, blogs, and politicians.  So it had to come as quite a blow to find out that he has been doing some of the dirty thing when it comes to keeping his pants zipped. 

At first, he denied it, and the press dutifully followed his lead, either focusing on hacking, or emphasizing the myriad other sex scandals in history.  Since he admitted he has been doing the naughty thing with women he doesn't happen to be married to, at least electronically, the MSM has rushed out to spin it again, wondering if such things should really force a man to resign.  After all, during the Clinton sex/perjury scandal, we were told that such things as sex, sexual misconduct (can there be any such thing in our modern culture?), lying, character, truth, values, morals, no longer mattered.  Certainly that should still apply.

According to at least one poll of his constituents, most don't care either.  Perhaps we've reached a time where such things really don't matter.  We truly have bought into the notion that what a person is individually has no bearing on what they are publicly or corporately.  We reject the notion that if a man treats his own family this way, he might treat others (like us voters) the same way.  Or we just imagine that all have sinned, there is none who are righteous, no not who cares?  Apparently some, as a growing list of Democrats are begging for him to leave, though that could be less because of some lofty moral standard and more because he is taking away the steam they were building by convincing Americans that the GOP wants to end Medicare and kill senior citizens. 

I dunno.  I'm only spending about three ounces of care when it comes to this story, as he never impressed me anyway.  He came off as boorish and rude, and his denials, lies, victimization, and whining have done nothing to change my opinion.

CNN takes on biblical literacy

And gives plenty to talk about.  It was an interesting article.  Like most things in the press, however, it said more than it needed to in some areas, and less than it needed to say in others.  For instance, it could have focused more on quotes that not only are not in the Bible, but also fly in the face of the traditional Faith of the Bible.  For instance, 'God helps him who helps himself', or 'God won't give us more than we can endure'.  Not only are those not in the Bible, but they actually contradict the overarching messages of the Bible.

Some of what the article says, that Satan never tempted Eve (it was a serpent), are taking a purely literalistic scholarly look at the Bible, and ignoring the role of theology and doctrine.  The idea that Satan tempted Eve is not some strange spin, but solid biblical theology going back to the beginning.  That's different than Ben Franklin whipping out his own private spin on things and adding where he saw fit. 

Others, such as the Three Wise Men, are known to most who have any training in the Bible.  We know that the Bible never said there were three.  That number comes from the gifts.  But it is an ancient tradition that is outside of the Scriptural corpus, and we don't know if it is right or wrong - the Bible is silent about it.  We also know that the Gospel of Matthew is different than the Gospel of Luke's account, though Hallmark and Department stores were more than happy to combine the two in order to force a singular consumer based day of getting giving.

More problematic were the article's occasional attempts to move into its own version of 'what the Bible really should have said.' One thing that has gotten much attention in our anti-spanking media has been the revelation that 'spare the rod and spoil the child' isn't really in the Bible.  Problem?  It is. Not in those exact words, but the essence is clearly there:
 "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14)
So while the exact phrasing isn't 'spare the rod, spoil the child', in this case it is a simplification of what is in the Bible.  Yet already the web is abuzz with folks saying 'see, the Bible never said you should spank your kids!"  Well, it certainly said you should discipline them, and used the imagery of using a rod to do so. 

So like all things when you hand religion over to the press, expect - at best - some interesting points, a few neat discussions, some mountains made from molehills, and a few flagrant errors and factual inaccuracies, often in order to advance this or that latest ideal that the press has embraced.

By the way, I see some Protestants have also taken issue with the article's assertion that this practice of adding to Scriptures is more prevalent since the Reformation.  I don't know if it is or isn't.  I know that the Protestant sensitivities about keeping it in the Bible means most Protestants would worry about such things more than informed Catholics, who are aware that just because something - like the Three Wise Men - isn't in the Bible, doesn't mean it's not worth retelling.  Of course the Reformation and its focus on individual interpretation may have had an impact. I'm sure that would be difficult to get down to, by way of axes to grind and defenses to put up.

Tracy Morgan gets a dose of liberal tolerance

Turns out Tracy Morgan, from 30 Rock, has offended gays.  That does it.  You do that today, and you are toast.  Though Tina Fey has come out and assured us that despite not endorsing the pro-homosexual agitprop, Morgan is really an OK guy, and with groveling and penance he can be forgiven this most heinous of sins, many aren't buying it.  It's interesting because, of course, homosexuality has thrived in the world of post-Christian values, where F-Bombs, up-yours, and general disrespect and hateful humor has been the lifeblood of its cultural output.  Religion, families, parents, schools, education, hard work, America, Catholicism - you name it.  These things have been fair game for decades.  And those on the left have consistently blown beer out their noses whenever this sort of rant was aimed at a Republican, a minister, an old time traditionalist.       

But now, it's aimed at homosexuals. And?  They. Can't. Take. It.  Part of it, of course, is what I mused on earlier, that homosexuals want everyone forced to celebrate their lifestyle.  One chink in the armor is one child saying the emperor might be naked after all.  It also goes to show what I suspect, that there are three groups in our society regarding homosexuality.  There are those who oppose it.  There are those who support it.  And there are those who don't support it but are afraid for their reputations and careers and are forced to pay lip service to the Leftist gospel in order to continue to pursue their dreams.

I'm not saying I'm a big fan of Morgan's humor. I'm not.  I don't get into that style of humor at all, and think modern comedy is just a pile of brainless slop, wrapped in F-Bombs and crude bathroom humor in lieu of actual talent and insight.  As Groucho Marx once said, anyone can be funny by being dirty, but being funny and clean takes talent.  Plus, I don't like it when Catholics are made fun of thus.  I don't like it when conservatives or Republicans or Democrats or Jews or Christians or Jesus or teachers or ministers or anyone else are dealt with that way.  I also don't think what he said was appropriate about the subject at hand.

But that's me.  I don't like it when that type of hate disguised as comedy is aimed at anyone.  Apparently many celebrities and those on the Left only dislike it when it's aimed at their taboos and sacred absolute truths.  When it's aimed at those whose putrid, rotten, stinking guts they hate? They're the first to raise a beer and yell, "More!  That was F***'n brilliant!" 

Note: If you go to the link on Tina Fey, watch out. That's US Magazine, and you'll be hit with a dozen pop-ups even with a blocker active. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sorry about the blogging

I know it's been light here, but I see some faithful readers have been stopping by for visits.  Still haven't had a chance to look into getting the comments back up.  I'm sure it will be something simple.  Just haven't had the time.  I've had many things I'm dying to talk about, not the least of which is some run ins I had a while ago with a fundamentalist pastor who sent me reams of letters begging me to save myself from the Harlot of Rome.  It was some time back, but I found some answers recently, and thought it would be good fun.  I'm also anxious to muse on Sarah Palin's strange defense of her Revere talk, and her critics' strange inability not to obsess with her.  And of course various religious, historical, political, and cultural topics that float my boat at any given time.

But things are still wild and stormy around here.  In the process of moving my Mom around, and now my sister.  Kids are finishing up with school with all the million programs and awards assemblies that entails.  Plus I am starting a new job, perhaps a career?  Selling insurance of all things.  We'll see how that goes.  As usual, I'm cautiously optimistic.  Since there were simply no, none, nil positions that opened up for me in Catholic Church life, I had to hie to the secular world.  Given that Catholics who are former protestant pastors were in such low demand in our current job market, I took what seemed the best combination of potential, flexibility of schedule, and least amount of up front financial commitment on my part (in this case, none).  I've passed all the tests so far, and hopefully will finish up with that part soon.  I'll know more in a few weeks how things will pan out. 

In the meantime, hang in there, keep coming back, tell your friends, and hopefully in a little while things will settle down.  I told my wife it seems that the last six months were upside down.  She said they were upside down if I think of everything that happened.  Still, as always I find solace in various things: my family, my wife, God, the Church, and my boys.  And with that shameless segue, I thought I would leave you with yet some more pictures of the fab four in their latest shenanigans:  The older three on their way to wrap up concerts for the year.  Our youngest, still not having tapped into his inner Mozart, finding more carefree pastimes to entertain himself.  Enjoy, and hope to be back soon (usually I say this followed by days of heavy blogging!).  TTFN.

Our fifteen year old, dressed to the hilt for a spring concert, happy that he will not be a freshman next year.

Our twelve year old, fresh from a glorious academic record, and being our only duel singer/musician so far

When our ten year old isn't wowing us with his acrobatics...

he's tapping into his inner artist and fashion guru at his concert.

Not to be distracted by the myriad activities, our youngest finds pure pleasure in discovering a sprinkler - the stuff summers are made for.

Monday, June 6, 2011

We Remember

June 6, 1944
To the Normandy veterans, WWII veterans, and all veterans everywhere: Thanks

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Antisemitism San Fransisco style

When news came that San Fransisco will be voting to ban the religious practice of circumcision, still an important part of Jewish and Muslim religious practice, cries of antisemitism filled the air.  Not so, proponents of the ban insisted.  It was simply an attempt to impose our values eliminate a painful and medically beneficial unnecessary procedure.  Of course that many such proponents would not think twice of allowing the same babies to be aborted a few months earlier seems to escape some, but that's beside the point.

No, it is all about those precious post-delivery babies!  Now, the post-modern Left is all about bigotry, censorship, oppression, and dangling debauchery and decadence to increase support for the cause.  That line between the 'Left' and 'Liberals' is sometimes a bit fuzzy.  When Joe Lieberman went Independent a few years back, many became concerned that there seemed to be a bit of classical antisemitism coming from the Democratic side of the aisle.  Republicans, sure, we know they're racists.  But these were Democrats throwing this around.  Some began to get the idea that we were seeing the seeds of a new racism, a new bigotry on the horizon.  Others insisted you can't blame the whole Left for the actions of a few (unlike blaming all Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and other traditionalists for the actions of a few).

Enter the San Fransisco circumcision ban.  Despite protests to the contrary, many are starting to see this as a clear attack on traditional religious practice in general, and an attack on traditional Judaism and Islam in particular.  And while proponents insist nothing of the sort, suddenly we have this:

WTH?  Monster Mohel?  Complete with hook nose and 1930s era Nazi like antisemitic imagery?  And the hero is a blond haired, blue-eyed crusader against the evil Jewish caricatures?  My first thought was, this had to be published by opponents of the ban to make the pro-ban gang look like Nazis.  But as of now, I've seen nothing of the sort, and it actually looks like it was published by the pro-ban side.  Egad.  I'm still holding out hope that something this flagrantly antisemitic is not part of an official legal campaign in our country, and it is a hoax or something along those lines.  But I must admit, part of me is concerned. Even if it is official, I'm sure it doesn't represent everyone who supports the Ban.  But the fact is, that this sort of thing is attractive to that particular brand of hate-based bigotry and tyranny that is emerging from the far Left side of the tracks. I've said it before, if anything is capable of surpassing the evils of the Nazis, it will be the post-modern secular Left.  And that's worth remembering for everyone involved.

Sarah Palin, Paul Revere, and Propaganda

Did you hear?  Sarah Palin is an idiot.  If you haven't heard that, it means you've been stuck on a deserted island for the last three years or so.  Across the Internet, across the blogosphere, across the cable news outlets, a story has brewed that rivals Dan Quayle's infamous potato disaster.  Ah yes, I remember that well.  Dan Quayle misspelled potato, and for weeks we heard discussion after discussion, joke after joke.  Because obviously none of us, nor those making fun of Quayle, have ever, ever made a mistake before.

So fast forward to today, where obviously people still never say anything wrong.  Ever.  In our speeches, our talks, our conversations, our off the cuff remarks, we nail it 100% of the time.  No doctoral thesis was ever so exact as our most casual dialogue with a friend at a ballgame.  I have to assume this, because the premise of the attacks on Palin, versus what actually happened, appear to be somewhat different.

The premise is this: Sarah Palin, who we all know to be a mindless dolt, completely flubbed up the story of Paul Revere.  Remember him?  If you've studied American History in the last couple decades, you could be forgiven for not knowing the story.  But despite a deficiency in our historical curriculum, apparently there are legions of Revere scholars out there ready to scoff at Palin's deplorable mauling of Revere's famous ride.

OK, that's what most headlines and commentaries are saying.  But now let's unpack this.  First, watch the video on The Upshot's page here, or watch it here on Mediaite, which shows CNN's Brooke Baldwin dumbfounded by Palin's take. 

Now, are you finished?  Did you watch them?  The one on Mediaite is best, for its shows that this was not a speech, or a prepared lesson, or a formal dissertation.  It wasn't even an interview.  It was an off the cuff response to something said or asked that I have yet to see on any of the videos covering this.  Was she asked something?  Did someone say something?  I don't know.  But it's clear that she is simply talking off the top of her head, giving a reason for being there in Boston with her whole express tour.  That's important, because the first attacks stories I saw gave me the impression that this was some formal response to a question in an interview, or something said during a speech.  It wasn't. 

Second, let's consider the subtitles.  Yes, subtitles.  Even though I can understand what she said, just about every attack story has included the subtitles, or text, or transcript (pick your favorite term) of what she said.  Here it is, in case you missed it:
He who warned, uh, the…the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and um by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that uh we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free…and we were gonna be armed.
A couple of things.  First, take any talk or speech other than the most disciplined, well written and well delivered speech (like one of Palin's prepared speeches), and you can make just about anyone look bad.  I spent much of my life as an evangelical pastor preaching extemporaneously.  At the time, my messages could be rousing, and were often well received.  But when I listened to them, or watched a video, or worse, read a transcript it could be bone chilling.  Every pause, hiccup, um, uh, you know, was there to see.  That's true with all but the greatest speakers, and in casual conversation, maybe even them.  Take the next time President Obama is saying something off the top of his head, include every um and uh, and see how it makes him look.

Also, there is the big - BIG - issue that everyone is ultimately focusing on: that she said Revere came to warn the British.  Now, we all know that Revere would never have said 'The British are coming!" because the colonists at that time still considered themselves British loyal to the crown of England.  Most likely the Regulars, or the Red Coats.  But here, Palin seems to say Revere came to warn the British.   I figure that can go two ways.  When George H.W. Bush said, in a speech, that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1981, I saw several news stories and comedians making fun of it.  But it was so obviously wrong - the guy lived then and fought in WWII - I had a feeling he really didn't think it was 1981, that he actually knew it was 1941. 

Likewise, since the gist of Palin seems to be to use Revere's ride to make a point about warning against the potential future loss of our freedoms, and since I doubt she thinks that Revere was working for England, and that the Colonials were the baddies, I'm inclined to assume it was a verbal typo, she meant something more like 'he warned that the British', or something of the sort.  Of course technically, she would be correct, since we all know that the Colonists were actually British citizens, which is why he would never have said, "The Britihs are coming!" But that's probably giving Palin more credit than most will give her.  No, I'm willing to assume a mere mistake, one that people make when speaking over and over and over and over again.

Another thing?  Well, the other 'problems' are a bit fuzzy, since there really isn't anything else to jump on, even if you read that horrible sounding transcript.  The most hilariously 'Look at me!  I'm an idiot trying to prove how dumb Palin is by saying bone headed nonsense!' account is from Frances Martel over at Mediaite:
Palin’s version wasn’t exactly the official History Channel rendition of the tale, and she delivered it in a somewhat stumbling fashion, but the thing about the Midnight Ride is that it is precisely the sort of historic event where everyone seems to have it wrong. For one, Revere didn’t warn the British were out to take anyone’s arms, as he didn’t yell out “the British are coming!”, as the myth goes. He had to be quiet to not let the British know that he knew (sorry, but no bells either) they were coming– to seize weapons stores, actually– and history notes that his warning was likely something far less epic-sounding, like “the Regulars are coming.”
Wow, where to begin.  First, that Martel uses the History Channel as a standard of historical accuracy alone speaks volumes.  Second, we've already covered that Palin probably didn't mean Revere was warning the British.  Though if you notice, Martel doesn't take that interpretation, but seems to think Palin is falling back on the old 'The British are coming" version.  Uh oh.  Over at Outlook, they make it clear that Palin is saying he was warning the British!  Oh no.  Looks like we have a classic case of 'We know she's stupid so she must have said something stupid.  Now let's figure out what it was."

Then he says Revere would have been quiet.  Well yeah, to a point.  Perhaps, just maybe, Palin was using figurative language when she spoke of ringing bells and firing shots into the air.  Maybe she was just hoping to inspire more psychotic killers to go on rampages.  You never know.  I'm surprised someone hasn't come up with that spin.  No, there's just not much to see here.  She stumbled some, and bumbled a little.  They all do that.  We all do that.  Who hasn't, once or twice in their lives, gotten their tongues tied trying to say something? 

Could she have thought it?  Could she think that Paul Revere was really going out and literally ringing bells and firing shots in order to warn the British that the British were coming (meaning all the wrong things about the British in the process) to take away their First Amendment Rights?  Sure.  But unless she confirms that is what she meant, I'm going with she was trying to use colorful speech to apply the lesson of Revere's ride to our modern situation as she sees it.  She got a little tongue tied in the process, used common verbal tics that people who aren't trained in public speaking often use (and those who are sometimes use in casual conversation), and she misspoke about who Revere was trying to warn.

All in all, nothing more than Obama's um and uhs, Bush's 1981, or Dan Quayle's potato.  Maybe not the most eloquent speakers, but hardly a basis for dismissing their intelligence. Of course, if you already don't like them, it's all you need to justify your dislike.  If you like them, or try to be real about things, you see them as the simple mistakes and imperfections that they are.  And like most things, how you react to this probably speaks volumes for what you think about the subject in the first place.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Carson Holloway reflects on gay marriage

Some excellent points in this.  The biggest question: why do Gay Rights activists want gay marriage so badly?  We can see that countries in Europe that allow gay marriage do not suddenly live in peace and harmony.  In some cases, there are still calls for those who resist accepting homosexual normality to be punished.  Meanwhile, emotional and psychological problems, including suicide, continue to dog the gay community in these tolerant societies, often out of proportion to the overall population.  So gay marriage does not seem to equal happiness and societal tolerance and coexistence.  At least not yet.

So why?  Why do they want this?  Carson Holloway suggests it is because they want equality of recognition.  That goes with my hunch.  Why do homosexuals in pro-homosexual countries continue to struggle?  Why do many call for censorship of religious views even though they legally have what they wanted?  I've always guessed that it is because deep, deep down, they believe, possibly even fear, that their lifestyle is not so natural after all.  That the appeals to the animal kingdom, moral relativity, and anti-religious bigotry needed to endorse the life are shallow at best, and do not ultimately change that nagging feeling that there is something wrong in what they are doing.  Instead, then, of changing and resisting the innate urge to live outside of natural human interaction, they try to force even more public acceptance.  Hopefully, if every crevice and cranny in the world is accepting homosexual normality, then that nagging doubt will finally go away.  

In other words, if we dispatch the pesky boy who insists I'm naked, and make it a law that everyone else must say I'm not naked but indeed have a wonderful new outfit, then I won't worry anymore about the possibility that I'm really naked after all.  I don't know if it's true, but it's a hunch I have.

Ye Olde Canterbury Tales Board Game

Check this out.  I'm still not sure if it's a put on or not.  If it isn't, I think this would be way cool to play.  But then I've been in a Chaucer kick here recently, and the timing couldn't be better.

Much as I understand the concept behind Separation of Church and State

I'm beginning to sympathize with the likes of Angela Hildenbrand.  Originally, it was just this type of public religious expressions that I imagined the Court wanted to discourage, because the First Amendment does make it pretty clear that government shouldn't be sponsoring this religion over that one.  Of course the First Amendment applies to federal government, but we all know how that has evolved over the centuries.  So it's enough to say that someone compelled to be in a government setting shouldn't be forced to endure the evangelizing desires of a religious advocate.  Fine.

Unfortunately, you would have to be either blind, stupid, both, or part of the agenda to miss that many are taking the SCOTUS spin on the First Amendment and using it to further their own belief systems at the expense of the right to promote others.  Whether it's some suggesting that public officials with traditional Christian beliefs shouldn't run for public office, or the likes of Barry Lynn proudly stating that a religion's relationship with public funding is directly related to its beliefs and doctrines, or simply the radical secularists attempting to exploit this constitutional interpretation in order to censor and prohibit the free exercise of religion in America, it's clear that the SCOTUS spin is now being exploited in order to violate the very essence of what the Founding Fathers wanted in the first place.

So on one hand, I can see that this case, especially with the support of the Liberty Institute, would seem to violate the heart of the First Amendment by any fair reading of it.  Yet I can also see that others who continue to exploit 'Seperation of Church and State' for their own interests are no less in violation of the heart of the First Amendment, and in some cases are in even more flagrant violation of the Founding Fathers' intentions than any evangelist could hope to be.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sam Harris rejects free will

He can't help himself!  Heh heh, I just had to say it.  Anyway, Harris takes neurology in hand and examines everything through the prism of neurology.  That's not unusual  In most scholarship, folks can't resist using their pet subject as the all explaining answer to everything. So a neurologist sees everything as being explained by neuroscience.  A biologist sees it explained with biological theory.  A physicist, physics.  A sociologist, sociological factors.  And anthropologist explains everything anthropologically.  You get the point.

So Harris uses neuroscience to explain why we really don't have free will.  Basically, it's just the same old same old that folks have wrestled with for eons, or at least centuries.  One valiant reader braves the scorn to point this out:
The Scholastic­s knew much of life is automatic. Aquinas wrote that habits and customs could predetermi­ne the will long before Harris came along.

Liberum arbitrium is better translated as free judgment. The will is the intellecti­ve appetite. It is impossible to desire what we do not know. The will is determined toward what is perfectly known. E.g.: that 2 2=4 is perfectly known, so the will must assent. But that "This program will help the poor" is not perfectly known, and so the will is indetermin­ate toward it. Some other program may work better. There is "play," which is all "free" really means.
In short, as much as Harris may hate to admit it, once again he has taken a caricature of what people mean when they say free will, dismissed it as well he should, proceeded to explain what most people mean when they say free will (if, in fact, they say it at all), and declared it a bold, new revelation. 

Of course some theological traditions scoff at the notion of free will.  Most, however, have some form of understanding of free will, though usually not quite so superficial as Harris's tale would suggest. In fact, many of the musings sound very close to what Harris is trying to say, they simply use terms that are not confined to the world of material science.

So, in the end not much here.  Just trying to take what religious folks have been kicking around for centuries, removing any but the metaphysical he seems willing to accept, and then repackaging it for those who believe there is no divine reality.  OK.  Fine.  Have at it. I often find it amusing that so much of what Harris does is merely religious talk for the non-religious.  But then, what can you do with a fellow who dogmatically believes that dogmatic beliefs are a foundational problem in history, and wants to eliminate all the religions he disagrees with because he sees them as evil because of all the religious people in history who wanted to eliminate all the religions they disagreed with.

Farewell Jim Tressel

My three older boys at the Ohio State Spring Game 2011 (you can tell it's not an actual game because we aren't crammed in like sardines, though after this week, the games may look like this for a while).  Didn't realize that this would be the last time we saw Jim Tressel in the Shoe, even though he wasn't coaching by that point.  Oh well.  I hate it when dynasties come to an end.

Go ahead and jump

More hijinks from my 10 year old in his gymnastics class.  Not the best landing I've ever seen, but as usual, he had fun doing it.

When the rain comes

Just to keep the last couple months of rain in perspective, these photos were taken at a small reservoir up in Mount Gilead where I grew up.  Typically, there is a small overflow with a tiny trickle making its way through a ditch.  Sometimes it picks up and can become a little brook, usually in the height of the rainy season of spring of autumn.  But seldom more than that.  Here it was only halfway through the two month deluge we had to endure, around mid-March I think.  I believe the area I was standing on to take the pictures had been under water only a day or so before. 

The good news is, now that I've planted my garden, we should be done with all that pesky rain for at least a few more months!

Just because Romney is right

About one thing, doesn't mean I'll vote for him.  I'm not saying I won't vote for him.  But little he has done so far leaves me confident that he can be the inspiring leader to get down to America's core and help it with key problems.  Certainly his half-handed, limp wristed stand behind various religious and social issues near and dear to my heart leaves me cautious.  Yes, Obama has failed.  Anyone but die hard Democrats and mainstream journalists can see the writing on the wall.  Obama has not clue one what to do, seldom does anything, and when something is accomplished, it's usually because he pawned it off on Congress.  And giving Congress something to do because you can't has to be about as low as you can go.  Congress?  Come on.

He is indecisive.  It's almost a joke when he goes around the world to throngs of adoring fans only to be told no by every government he visits.  If he has a foreign policy, I can't recognize it.  The only major thing he has accomplished has been his health care legislation, which most Americans don't want and most agree will help little and hurt much.  He has continued to make strides for the Gay Rights movement.  But otherwise, I'm at a loss. The economy continues its ponderous lumbering in some direction, unemployment stagnant, inflation starting to become so obvious even the Fed might recognize it in the future, and gas prices are pretty much giving the middle finger to any attempt to keep them in check.

Most of all, Obama has turned out to be a shockingly bland president.  He doesn't inspire.  He doesn't enthrall.  He looks as if he is just hoping the next few years go by without anything major happening.  Even when he came out following the death of Bin Laden, many argued he put too much on the table, sending mixed messages and making more chaos where it shouldn't have been.  In short, he is a poor leader.  And in a position like the presidency, one must be a great leader to be great.  Sure, the MSM will do everything to spin the news and rewrite current events to keep him in office.  But the harsh realities of our country, unless they make a major turn around, will speak louder than any news anchor.

But in it all, he will be reelected if the GOP doesn't put someone in who is any better.  And Romney, for all his business acumen, lacks much credibility in the eyes of many.  Huckabee didn't stand a chance in our post-modern, anti-religious age.  Palin and Bachmann are basically giving the White House back to Obama.  Ron Paul has some ideas that are worth something, but his radical libertarianism and isolationist philosophies, added to a psychotic gleam in his eye during some interviews, doesn't make him the one I want near the button.  It won't, and shouldn't be, Gingrich.  If the GOP fields someone like that against family man Obama, expect well deserved charges of 'Hyopcirts!' to fly against the Republican party.  So I dunno.  I just know that for 16 years, presidents who had no business being reelected were reelected because the other side dropped the ball.  We'll have to see if we can make it an even 24 years.

Catholic Online asks a useless question

Does President Obama feel that he is above the law?  Now, I'm not saying in most cases such a question is useless.  Personally, I think questions like this are always useful.  I think one of the great traditions of our civilization, going back to Magna Carta and beyond, is that the lawmaker is accountable to the laws he makes.  I know, I know.  Magna Carta probably gets a little too much credit there, but this is a blog post.  I can over simplify if I want.  For a more detailed explanation of what Magna Carta was and wasn't, and what it did and didn't do, consult any Medieval history text from before around the mid 1980s. 

Anyway, back to my point.  I'm sure it is a worthwhile question.  It is something we should - should - care about.  I just fear we don't.  In our age of no principles, just pundits, I fear all we care about is winning. Getting what we want.  So many today could care less if Obama overstepped his authority, or if George W. Bush did, or Clinton, or anyone.  As long as Our Side Wins, that is what matters most.  Of course if the other side is in power, suddenly it is of utmost concern.  But that's not how you do principles.  Principles apply to anyone, King and Peasant alike. 

Punditry, unfortunately, applies principles whenever convenient.  It is wrong if it makes the other side look bad.  It is right if it makes my side look good.  And I fear we've come to that point today, where far too many in our Wiki-world don't care a wit over what Obama does, as long as, in the end, my side wins.  Hence Catholic Online's worthwhile, but ultimately futile, question.

Ascension Thursday

As a former Baptist, I sometimes forget the myriad holy days and special feast days that are peppered across the Catholic Church calendar.  A bulwark of traditional, historical Christianity, the notion of so many days dedicated to this or that period in the life of Christ (let alone the saints), was largely forgotten in modern Evangelical practice. 

Protestantism is a product of Western European post-Renaissance thinking.  Most denominations, in fact, are products of American culture, flowing with the latest trends and fads.  Sometimes resisting, sometimes conforming, often without realizing either.  I know.  I'm the first to notice that some of what the Catholic Church does seems to be more influenced by outside forces than revealed through the sacred Tradition passed down from the Apostles.  But Protestantism, especially the non-liturgical brand that Baptist life found itself within, is particularly vulnerable to being caught upon the latest wave.

So for most Baptists, the main holidays were Christmas (with a Christmas eve service), and Easter.  Some had Good Friday services, most would have something special on Palm Sunday.  A growing number were rediscovering celebrations such as Maundy Thursday or Advent.  But that was it.  Other holidays, such as Mother's Day, July 4th, Memorial Day, New Year's and Thanksgiving would round out the average Church Year.  In later years, Super Bowl Sunday was becoming a popular event.

So outside of the historic traditions of the Catholic/Orthodox, it's easy to forget that Christmas does not end on the 25th, or Easter on the Monday following.  Historically, Easter is just now coming to an end with Ascension Thursday and Pentecost.  What does Ascension Thursday commemorate?  Well, the name speaks for itself.  It marks the the Ascension of Jesus, when the Paschal Candle that was lit at the Easter Vigil is taken away to mark the departure of Christ from the world.  That's a nice little reminder that this season - that's right, season - is come to and end. 

For most of Protestantism the uneasy dance done with our secular world, that only cared about such holidays as Christmas or Easter as far as toys and candy bunnies could take it, has run its course.  Many are waking up to the fact that we can no longer mimic what goes on outside of the Church walls, because it is no longer concerned with what goes on inside the Church walls.  Not that it ever was.  But there was a day when the faith and devotion of the general public demanded at least lip service from Madison Avenue and Wall Street.

Today, with the rise of post-Christian and anti-Christian culture, those who only worship Mammon or Baal need no longer pay any service at all.  They can throw the toys out sometime in September, then start tearing things down by about December 23 to make way for the next consumer spending frenzy.  Likewise Easter is good from around late February until the day or two before Easter Weekend, when it's time to set out the summer barbecue section in the store.

Just what Protestant and Evangelical denominations are doing to meet this shift is beyond my guessing.  From the traits of post-doctrinal denominations, I fear the decisions are not always the best.  Again, Protestantism is so intertwined with the Western Cultural Tradition that I'm afraid at least part of it must die with that tradition.  But within the historic Faith, manifested in the Catholic/Orthodox traditions, it's nice to be reminded that we celebrate as the Church has for centuries.  Long before department stores.  Long before the United States even existed.  In some cases, long before Western Civilization itself existed.  And when you think of it that way, while watching the Paschal Candle removed for the season, it's not hard to agree with Chesterton when he said that the Catholic Faith is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.

[Y]ou shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. 
And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Carl Pope reflects on the Aspen Environment Forum

And the creepiness ensues.  Naturally, the whole point of the article is 'look out, too many [not me] people in the world!'  Obvious uneducated women are to blame.  Religion, for resisting the notion of population control, is also given its fair share.  A few strange notions, such as the educational lacking of American women and what appears to be a kudos to China for its, ahem, approach to educating women for better population control, find their way into the piece.

But the really creepy stuff is, as usual, found to be in the comments section.  From 'darn right religion is evil', to 'we can always hope for some famines and plagues', the contempt for human life and unacceptable beliefs at the dawn of the 21st century takes all that existed at the dawn of the 20th century, and multiplies it.  Why?  Because at the dawn of the 20th century, Europeans had developed the classic 'too many of you, just enough of me' philosophy of population control, and applied it to their own nations or civilization.  That is, Europeans in general were just fine, they just didn't want so many darkies, or poor, or Jews, or whatever.  Today, that same contempt is there, but in keeping with the rabid individualism and focus on the eternal Me, it becomes 'all humans are a pox upon the earth who need to go...except for me and the cool, hip folks I personally say are worth hanging around.'

I can't imagine what the next cataclysmic genocide to hit humanity will look like, but I have a pretty darn good idea of what it will be founded on.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Liberals in American television?

You might want to sit down for this, but according to a new book, Primetime Propaganda, due out soon, it looks like liberals were not only producing the TV shows America has been watching for 40 years, but have been using these shows to advance their social and political agendas.  I know.  That's like finding out water is wet.  That MASH had liberal and anti-gun and anti-military agendas, that Alex Keaton on Family Ties was the bad guy because he liked Reagan, that Rosanne and Desperate Housewives promoted radical feminist and gay rights agendas, that any one of a thousand shows twisted stories, hired actors, and censored ideals in order to advance a leftist agenda should be news as old as the passing of the butter churn.  Still, it's interesting to hear them actually admit it.  When Chevy Chase admitted that - horrors! - Saturday Night Live was pretty much liberal and used its writing to dig at non liberals, everyone seemed as shocked as when Paul McCartney admitted he and John were mostly in it for the money (you know, imagine no possessions! he, he, he).

But by now, with DVDs of old TV shows and cable replaying old episodes, it's obvious that television fell into two categories.  One was the obvious preaching category of Family Ties, All in the Family, MASH, Maude, West Wing, and others that used the platform to stack the deck and advance obviously liberal, often secular agendas.  The others were shows like Cheers, Frasier, and Seinfeld that didn't advance agendas as much as simply assumed a liberal universe sans traditional values.  Either way, the shocking thing continues to be that with our education system, our new media, and now obviously our entertainment industry so firmly in bed with a single ideology, that there are still many Americans who reject it.  Goes to show just who the free thinkers might actually be.

By the way, kudos for the book and article for admitting what many also suspected, that ideological nepotism was par for the course, as in Dwight Schultz (of A-Team fame) being turned down for St. Elsewhere because of his support for Ronald Reagan.  Nice to see liberals who talked the talk about tolerance, diversity, and open mindedness were so afraid to actually walk the walk.  Makes you wonder just what other lofty beliefs they trumpeted but nonetheless had no intention of living.

America's Duma strikes again

A federal court has ruled once and for all that schools cannot have prayers, invocations or benedictions in their graduations.  No matter what. This is America after all. That's good news for liberals and secularists.  Especially those, like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (or more accurately, the Establishment Liberal Religion and State), who want to exploit the SCOTUS's questionable 1948 decision of religion's role in America to advance their own religious doctrines and agendas.  After all, many see the SCOTUS decision as a blank check to basically push all religious freedom out the door unless it is the religion that conforms to the Gospel of Post-Modern Secularism. 

It's also good that we continue showing our citizens that what 300 million Americans may want is irrelevant.  It's what you want that matters.  Sort of like showing our kids, rather than telling them, that it doesn't matter what the other kids want to play, it only matters what they want.  And if they can't get what they want, nobody can have anything anyone wants.  Is it any wonder that our country is going down the toilet tubes of history?

FWIW, I can actually see this decision and in another time and place might agree.  But since the agendas of those behind the decision have been made clear in recent years, that these decisions are being used to impose doctrines and dogmas held by one exclusive class by using the SCOTUS decision to censor and oppress those who fail to conform, I'm less than agreeable at this point.