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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Luther South is gone

The high school from which I graduated is no more.

In the old days, when there were four flourishing Lutheran high schools in the Chicago area and nearly every LCMS parish had a parochial school, I would never have predicted this. But then, I would never have predicted the apostasy that has left churches closing right and left (including two of the four congregations I served as pastor), the M.Div an economically useless degree- and our nation in the sad and sorry shape spiritually and morally it's in now.

I'm reading Jeremiah in my devotions right now. It might as well have been written for America today.

I can't say the four years I spent at Luther were, very frankly, the four best years of my life. But I mourn for it anyway. All of us were better when it, and institutions like it, were still around.

Way to go, Mr. Obama.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Letting God decide

At long last, it's time for the other side of the gay "marriage" controversy to be heard

According to the latest Rassmussen polls, Americans favor gay "marriage" by a margin of 48% to 41%.

Yet 78% consider marriage important to society.

At first glance, the notorious instability of lesbian relationships and the rarity of monogamy in long-term male homosexual relationships seems to indicate a disconnect between these two results. The apparent inconsistency is easily explained, however.

The case for gay "marriage" relies heavily on character assassination- the assumption that anyone who opposes it must be bigots who hate hate gays- and intimidation. The strongly pro-marriage revisionist nature of Hollywood and the communications sector generally and the outrageous discrimination against marriage traditionalists in employment and business licensing (remember Chik-fil-A's experience in Chicago, before Dan Cathy was intimidated into promising to go silent on the issue?) have created an atmosphere in which it takes considerable courage to point out the instability and/or promiscuity which gays themselves have long conceded to be problems in their relationships, much less to publicly oppose marriage redefinition. Letters to the editor making the case against gay "marriage" are often simply not published, dismissed as the work of extremist bigots despite reflecting the views of half the nation.

The case simply has not been made. Traditionalists have been demonized, persecuted, rhetorically and financially bludgeoned and intimidated into silence.

Moreover, the marriage revisionists have played the dictionary card quite well. "Homophobia" can mean a great many things, ranging from actual hatred of gay people to simple reservations about the wholesomeness of homosexual behavior (that the problem nearly all traditionalists have is with behavior rather than with the ontological and involuntary orientation of gays makes comparisons to race and ethnicity absurd, and the intimidation factor and control of the means of communication by the revisionists makes it very difficult to make the case. Yet the very term "homophobia" defines the issue even in cases in which there is no element of hatred of ill-will precisely as bigotry, completely begging the issue of how it is possible to be a bigot because one disapproves of a behavior rather than an inherent characteristic of a group of people.

Oh, brave, new world- in which homosexual behavior is hald to be "healthy" and "normal," and support of the traditional marital mores of the ages is considered not only to be "bigoted," but by implication to be psychologically aberrant!

Yet the word "homophobia-" at least in many cases an argument about the psychological condition and moral of sexual traditionalists rather than a neutral word objectively describing their position- has been accepted into the English language and is widely used among the (revisionist) chattering classes as a matter of course.

The same has become true of "marriage equality-" a slogan rather than the description of a position, which (mis)defines the issue as a matter of discrimination rather than a recognition that homosexual relationships are simply not comparable to heterosexual ones in terms of the rational for marriage. The begetting and raising of children, and not mere "love" or affectional attachment, has traditionally been the legal and social justification for the existence of marriage in the first place (Justice Sotomeyer's bizarre question about why we allow senior citizens and the infertile to marry begs the question, there being no practical reason to amend law and custom to exclude them)is beside the point; actually redefining marriage to extend to individuals who cannot reproduce by virtue of inherent biology is a very different thing from failing to go out of our way to forbid the marriage of persons whose inability to reproduce is an accident of age or infirmity. Moreover, even at least one of the studies arguing that children are not disadvantaged by being raised in gay and lesbian families saw fit to include the caveat that the instability of lesbian relationships can undermine the acknowledged need of kids for a stable home. And sexual monogamy is not simply a nice custom; to extend marriage to a sub-population among whom it is generally passe' has obvious ramifications for the institution of marriage itself. I doubt that many of those whom Rasmussen has found to consider marriage important but favor its revision to include gay and lesbian couples have even pondered the impact of gay male promiscuity even within the context of "committed relationships" for the institution of marriage generally.

Nor should that be surprising. The control of the means of mass communication and of mass culture by the revisionists, together with the intimidation factor, has prevented the case from being made well enough for it to even become part of the national debate (such as it is).

Yet there are conservative columnists who could make the case, and make it loudly and repeatedly. Admittedly the columns doing so may not always be published, and doing so would require a certain amount of personal courage. But they could try a lot harder than they have.

And even if such articles are not published in the liberal media, there are conservative magazines like the National Review and the Weekly Standard which have the means to bypass them. Moreover we are not bereft of local dailies of a conservative editorial bent who could do the same thing. Perhaps the net effect would not be as great as equal access to the public square generally. But the relevant arguments could be made widely enough known that the issue need not be decided by default.

Nor has it been decided- yet. Despite the triumphalist rhetoric of the revisionists, poll after poll shows that nearly half of the American people are marriage traditionalists. I acknowledge that some conservative publications- National Review comes to mind- have made good-faith efforts to make the case. But the case needs to be made more often and more loudly if it is to be heard by the public at large.

Yes, the revisionists control the means of communication and the popular culture. But to a considerable extent, they are winning the debate because we are allowing ourselves to be silenced, to be rhetorically outmaneuvered, and to be marginalized.

It's time for traditionalists to fight back. It will take courage. It will take a willingness to risk losing one's livelihood and reputation in a firestorm of slander and character assassination. But the issue is too important to allow the issue to be decided without both sides having been heard.

And given how closely the nation is actually divided on the issue even as matters stand, what might the numbers be if they actually were?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vets rank low on Braley's list of priorities

Iowa Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley has already managed to alienate Iowa farmers with his dismissal of Sen. Chuck Grassley as  "an Iowa farmer who never went to law school."

Seems that veterans are another group for which Braley has little regard. When it comes to the VA scandal, he just can't be bothered.

What's worse: the Senate Judiciary Committee being headed by a non-lawyer like Grassley, or a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee like Braley- who has missed 75% of the committee's meetings despite the VA scandal?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ernst leads by a nose, Branstad by a lot

Joni Ernst (R) leads Bruce Braley (D) by one point in the race for U.S. Senator from Iowa.

Gov. Terry Brandstad leads Democrat Jack Hatch by nine points.

Rasmussen ranks the race to succeed far Left Sen. Tom Harkin (D), who is retiring, as a tossup. They rate the Iowa race for governor as safe for Republican Branstad.

Meanwhile, only 38% approve of the job President Obama is doing on national security.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gaystopo tactics in Newton

Newton, Iowa is the county seat of Jasper County and the former headquarters of Maytag Corporation. It's located eight miles west of Kellogg, where I lived for a little over nine years as pastor of two local ELCA churches.

And I fear that the forces of Leftist totalitarianism have reached even Newton.

Bob Eschliman is a Christian- and the former editor of the Newton Daily News. The News fired him Friday for writing an article in his personal blog criticizing "the Queen James Bible," a falsified version of the Bible which writes out its condemnation of homosexuality.

Eschilman- quite properly- is suing the News. The News had this bizarre editorial response:

“The First Amendment does not eliminate responsibility and accountability for one’s words and actions,” Rung wrote. “While he [Bob] is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”

Huh? How could the reputation of the newspaper be compromised by a criticism of a tasteless, insensitive, and blatantly inaccurate and dishonest exercise like the "Queen James Bible?" Seems to me that its firing of Eschilman not only compromises the reputatation of the News, but destroys any argument that can be made for its journalistic integrity.

The bottom line is that Eschilman is the latest Christian to lose his job for publicly expressing disagreement with the Leftist sexual agenda. I trust that nobody seriously believes that he would have been fired for expressing approval of the tasteless and dishonest parody of the Scriptures his blog entry criticized!

Make no mistake: the current struggle over how society relates to homosexuality and whether disapproval of a behavior is tantamount to prejudice or discrimination against those who engage in it isn't just about sexual mores. The Eschilman case simply drives home once again the critical point that whether it's a newspaper editor being fired for expressing a politically incorrect (though quite reasonable) opinion, or the national Administration carrying on a systematic attack on the religious beliefs of those with whom it disagrees, the First Amendment is what is at stake here.

What's at stake is our way of life, and the freedom to dissent even in the public expression of one's religious beliefs.

Or, as in Eschilman's case, even in objecting to an insensitive, tasteless, and intellectually dishonest public insult to those beliefs.

The patently dishonest "Queen James Bible" can be found here. And no- those other passages aren't matters of "interpretation."

They're matters of those responsible for the Queen James Bible "translating" dishonestly. Moreover, one wonders how many passages expressly and clearly condemning homosexual behavior would be necessary before the perpetrators of the QJB decide that they really mean what they say!

And neither, btw, can one "choose" Jesus. Faith is God's gift through the (unfalsified) Word, not our decision.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2016 front runner?

Voters say the darndest things

A new Rasmussen poll has some very interesting results.

67% believe America is more divided today than it was four years ago. President Obama and Republicans are blamed about equally.

54% believe that the Republicans are likely to retake the Senate this November.

And in another poll (with which I emphatically agree), a whopping 83% say that American voters are not very well informed.

At least they're well enough informed to realize that they aren't very well informed.

In still another poll, 53% say that neither major party represents the American people.

HT: Drudge

Now Obama assaults the First Amendment on "gay rights" issues

The Obama administration's war on religious freedom suffered a setback with the Hobby Lobby decision. So now they're begging the question on gay rights issues.

The Secular Messiah has signed an executive order stripping Federal contracts from even religious organizations which "discriminate" against gays and lesbians.

Joni had better start responding to the Braley mud

Democrats and left wing special interest groups are busy producing commercials spinning things Joni Ernst has said in a way reminiscent of what they did to Mitt Romney in 2012. If Joni is going to avoid allowing them to define her the way Romney let Obama define him, she'd better start answering....

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pedophilia gains favor across The Pond

As American society continues to circle ever closer to the ethical drain, it at least gives one some perspective to reflect that Europe is in even worse shape.