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Showing posts from July, 2013

The Left apparently doesn't get it when it comes to Reza Aslan's lies and deception

Nobody claims that Reza Aslan- who is lying when he claims to have a Ph.D in religion and that he is  being a professor of religious studies (he teaches creative writing), and has resisted admitting to being a Muslim- does not have a right to write a book about Jesus.

It's just that he doesn't have a right to lie about his qualifications for being considered objective.

It seems that the Huffington Post, among others, has some problems understanding this.

Abby Normal, average citizen

There's a scene in Mel Brooks' classic "Young Frankenstein" in which the Doctor (Gene Wilder) asks Igor (Marty Feldman) what name was on the jar containing the brain which he took for the monster after dropping that containing the brain of philosopher and saint Hans Delbruck. "Abby somebody," Igor replies. "Abby who?," the Doctor asks. "Abby Normal," Igor sheepishly replies.

It was in December of 1973 that a majority  of the American Psychiatric Association Board politically stacked in favor of change voted to remove homosexuality from the official list of psychiatric disorders.  WHen the APA convention voted to submit the decision to a referendum of the membership, a gay lobbying group called the National Gay Task Force obtained the APA mailing list sent a letter to the membership appearing to come from the APA Board saying in part that would be a serious and potentially embarrassing step for our profession to vote down a decisio…

Orientation isn't the issue

Pope Francis made an offhand comment yesterday to the effect that there was nothing wrong with (celibate) gay men being priests. The gay lobby here in Des Moines and at least one local television station treated this as a great breakthrough.

In one sense it was. Sort of. John Paul II, as I recall, prohibited the ordination of men with a known homosexual orientation altogether, in part because of the degree to which not-so-celibate gays had established a "network" dominating certain seminaries. But the fact is that homosexual orientation is a comparatively recent concept. Traditionally homosexuality has been thought of in terms of behavior, not psychosexual orientation.

It is in that sense- and that sense only- in which Christianity has a problem with it (this is not to say that it isn't comparatively easy to find bozos who still refuse to make the distinction- more about which in a moment). But while the Faith has always condemned lust of any sexual flavor- treating peo…

Now for some good news

At least one Western democracy seems to be taking a baby step back toward its founding values- even if the E.U. human rights court had to intervene to get it to do so.

Come to think of it, for a human rights court to actually uphold free speech in itself is news.

In any case, after 130 years, it's no longer against the law in France to make fun of the president of the Republic.

HT: Drudge

Anti-Christian bigot Weinstein is at it again

An Air Force chaplain has been officially reprimanded for repeating the cliché, "There are no atheists in foxholes" in print.

An atheist organization, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), complained that  Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes, through his "use of the bigoted, religious supremacist phrase, ‘no atheists in foxholes'...defiles the dignity of service members.” The MRFF suggested that Col. Reyes violated military regulations in so doing.

It isn't clear what regulations they mean. But Col. Reyes's base commander has apologized to the MRFF for not quashing the article. But the MRFF is not satisfied. It responds, “Faith based hate, is hate all the same,” and called for Col. Reyes to be "appropriately punished."

The MRFF is the organization founded by anti-Christian bigot Mikey Weinstein, who considers orthodox Christians "fundamentalist monsters" who seek to "impose a reign of theological terror" by expressing their belie…

Bravo, Gov. Christie!

I alternate between being amused and annoyed by the wholly irresponsible, purely theoretical, ivory tower dogmatism of the libertarian movement, whose defining characteristic seems to be a stubborn insistence on policies suitable only in Thomas More's Utopia- and a 1789 Utopia, at that.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, many of whose constituents bear the scars of 9/11, has taken on Rand Paul and the other libertarians in Congress, who can't seem to get it through their heads that there are people out there who want to kill us and our children, and that it's not our fault.

Asked about the narrow margin by which a bi-partisan libertarian coalition failed recently to defund government surveillance programs, Christie called  Paul and his allies "dangerous."

“You can name any one of them that’s engaged in this," Christie said, "... these esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and ha…

Earth to the media: Zealot is Islamic apologetics, not history

Reza Aslan is author of the bestseller Zealot, an attack on Christianity which had become a best-seller and is being touted by the secular media as a scholarly work of objective history.

The trouble is, Aslan isn't a trained historian, and there's nothing objective about it. Zealot is a work of Muslim apologetics, an attack on those aspects of Christianity which Aslan's Islamic faith disagrees with. And it's based on- Aslan's opinion.

But you'd never know it from the liberal media.

As John S. Dickenson points out in the article linked to above, if a Christian wrote a similar book attacking Islamic beliefs about Mohammed, you can pretty well count on the media making the author's bias quite clear and dismissing it as sectarian screed. In fact, the author's life would be in danger. Riots would break out all over the Islamic world, and there would be no danger that anybody would take the book as anything but a Christian attack on Islam.

Yet Zealot- which i…

An Odd Christian tale

I've been addicted to Dean Koontz's "Odd Thomas" series ever since the first one appeared in 2003. I just finished the most recent in the series, Deeply Odd.

For the uninitiated, Odd Thomas (his name may be a misprint on his birth certificate after an abortive attempt to name him "Todd," but that isn't clear) is a short-order cook in his twenties, the child of a wealthy but aloof father and a mother who used to threaten him with a gun. Somehow, he's turned out rather well. A kind, gentle, wise young man, his life is complicated by a gift: he sees dead people.

With one exception (I won't spoil the surprise), they can't talk. He can touch them, and they feel just like everybody else. But they have to carry on their side of his conversations with him by pantomime. His side-kicks have included Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Alfred Hitchcock.

The world-view of the books is a strange combination of Koontz's own  Roman Catholicism and spir…

Is the purpose of human rights commissions to stamp out human rights?

The storied intolerance of the Left for anybody who disagrees with them is becoming more and more a clear and present danger.

The mayors of two great American cities have expressed the belief that a restaurant chain whose owner contributes to efforts resisting gay "marriage" should not be allowed to open restaurants in their cities; Mayor Emanuel of Chicago actually made the prohibition stick, and intimidated Chic-fil-A's owner into promising to stop making such donations. Institutions and and companies owned by people who oppose abortion or birth control on religious grounds are being forced to pay for insurance plans covering them anyway. Pharmacists are being required to violate their religious beliefs by filling prescriptions for birth control pills and even abortificants. These are tough times for the First Amendment in America.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

And yet, where is the outrage? And even more conspicuously, where is the coverage of this blat…

It came from outer space. Maybe.

A giant virus ten times the size of most and sharing only six percent of their genes has been discovered off the coast of Chile and in an Australian pond.

Scientists say the Pandoravirus is not a threat to humans. But it may have come from Mars or some other planet. Or from a long, long time ago, before modern virii developed.

Perhaps it explains Rand Paul. Or maybe he brought it with him.

HT: Drudge

I hope not, Mr. President!

POTUS says that Trayvon could have been him a few years ago.

I really, really hope not.

I'd hate to think that the President of the United States used to break people's noses and sit on them and pound their heads on the sidewalk.

Meanwhile, Iran's mullahs- who also don't believe in fair trials and letting the evidence determine their result- have joined in the criticism of the only verdict the evidence in the Zimmerman case allowed and the nutty insistence that it somehow represents racism.

HT: Drudge

Kudos to an historic Missouri Synod president

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has traditionally served a peculiar function in the Church Universal: reminding Christians who are mostly disposed to forget it that truth matters, and that to express a false unity is a lie. This is a witness especially needed in this post-modern age, in which the Church increasingly  seems willing to stand for anything- and thus ends up standing for nothing.

But as Matthew Block observes, recently-reelected LCMS President Matt Harrison has added a new dimension that has often been missing from that witness: a recognition that honesty also requires the acknowledgement of that in which we do honestly agree.

Good for him.

HT: Real Clear Religion

The insanity continues

In Baltimore, an Hispanic man is beaten by a gang of African-Americans yelling, "This is for Trayvon."

A white man in Mississippi is kidnapped and beaten in retaliation for the Zimmerman verdict.

In South L.A.,  cars are stomped on, bystanders attacked, and a Wal-Mart stormed by demonstrators unhappy with the verdict. Victims included two local CBS journalists.

The insanity isn't all on one side, either. Legendary musician Lester Chambers was attacked by a member of his audience and hospitalized after dedicating a song to Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman's parents are in hiding for fear of their lives.

Maya Angelou- quite properly upset over the racial profiling aspect of the incident- apparently doesn't understand that the jury found that it wasn't because he was black that Martin was shot, but rather because he was trying to kill George Zimmerman.

Incredibly, a suburban Chicago church has displayed a message on its marquee saying, "It's safe to

Holder should keep his mouth shut and his hands off

Attorney General Eric Holder's gratuitous characterization of the shooting of Trayvon Martin as "unnecessary" seems to put him in direct conflict with the findings of the jury in the case.

If he has even the vaguest notion of bringing a Federal prosecution against George Zimmerman, he needs to get over it. Fast.

I can think of nothing that would shake the confidence of Americans in the integrity of our legal system more completely- or with better reason.

Just chill, General.

Through the Trayvon Martin looking-glass

Well, the NAACP is right about one thing.

The Trayvon Martin case is indeed a modern lynching.

But the victim is George Zimmerman. The facts don't seem to matter to the Left; its determination to make Zimmerman a cold-blooded racist assassin and Trayvon Martin an innocent victim transcend any allegiance to reality. It's a key ingredient in the current Leftist Kool-Aid; the facts simply don't matter

I don't see how anybody who paid the slightest attention to the trial could miss the point that there was never a case against Zimmerman. The trial should never have happened.

I am beginning to wonder whether the  Left is channeling George Orwell on this case. Zimmerman was acquitted because the evidence left no other option.

Can you say "Duke lacrosse team?"

Or given Al Sharpton's involvement, how about Tawana Brawley?

Criminal trials need to result in verdicts based on the evidence. Nothing good results when they become political crusades- especially when tho…

The Left's attempt to lynch George Zimmerman

National Review's Rick Lowry gets the Zimmerman trial fiasco exactly right.

Another good summary of the evidence can be found here.

George Zimmerman acted like a jerk, and somebody died. He can't escape the moral responsibility for that fact. But there is no conclusive evidence that he did anything that deserves actual imprisonment. In fact, the bulk of the evidence seems to indicate otherwise

Trayvon Martin, on the other hand, sat on Zimmerman and bashed his head against the concrete. That's the tale the bullet wound tells. Zimmerman  didn't get that broken nose and those wounds on his scalp because he was beating on Trayvon with his head!

While the witnesses differ, it was clear from the outset that there was nothing resembling enough evidence against Zimmerman to get a conviction. Even liberal stalwarts like Alan Derschowicz have said that the charges shouldn't have been brought . We've know all along that there was reasonable doubt at the very least.

But …

Iowa just may be irrelevant next time out

It's still a long way to 2016, but as of now the crazies have the upper hand in the Iowa Republican Caucuses.

Rand Paul won't be the nominee. If he is, the Republican party will go down to an historic landslide defeat. I, for one, couldn't vote for him.

If Iowa's Republicans pick Paul, it would be tantamount to not holding the caucuses after all. It would simply mean that Iowa would be irrelevant.

HT: Drudge

ELCA apostacy leads to biggest church split in U.S. history

Here are the statistics on the congregations who have left the ***A after its decision to abandon what the Bible and the Christian faith teach about homosexuality.

The really amazing part is that even now, there are people in its congregations who are in denial. And then, of course, there are the ecclesiolators- those who believe that the ELCA's authority trumps that of Scripture.

Truly sad. Tragic, in fact. In becoming willing to adulterate the Faith in order to accommodate the secular culture, the ***A  has simply become irrelevant.

The abortion issue is going to bite the Democrats

Ever since Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973, the polls have quite clearly shown two things: first, that about two-thirds of Americans favored it, and secondly, that about two-thirds opposed what it said.

Most Americans are not lawyers. "Roe v. Wade" has become code for "legalized abortion," and most Americans think that at least some abortions should be legal. Hence, the popularity of the code.

The Democrats have dug themselves quite a hole by their absolutist position on Roe, given the fact that such a large majority of Americans oppose abortion for most of the reasons why abortions are performed in this country. I predict that  Republicans are about to  make them regret it by fighting to restrict abortion rights rather than eliminate them. While I disagree with Chris Stirewalt in equating this strategy with embracing gay "marriage" (if there is a "middle ground" in  the gay "marriage" debate, it's civil unions, and the curren…

Good God!

Derek Rishmawy herein spells out for today's theologically illiterate Man on the Street (and especially the theologically illiterate neo-atheist critics of orthodox Christianity) a rather important point: "total depravity" does not mean that we are all little Hitlers and John Wayne Gacys.

It means that the moral reflection of God's goodness in our hearts is distorted in every aspect.

God kinda sets the bar rather high, goodness-wise.

HT: Real Clear Religion

In Europe, freedom of religion- like freedom of speech and of the press- is in serious danger

The United States isn't the only country in which religious freedom is threatened by intolerant secularists.  European courts are gradually becoming openly hostile to religion.

In many European countries- notably England, whence comes our own traditions of free speech and a free press- it is already possible to impose ruinous fines and even jail time on people who express opinions deemed politically incorrect.  And even the Kremlin is shocked by British laws limiting freedom of the press.

So much for Europe's vaunted  concern for human rights.

HT: Real Clear Religion

Harrison re-elected

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Matt Harrison, a confessionalist, has been overwhelmingly re-elected as the head of the largest church body in the United States with any moral claim to the name "Lutheran."

President Harrison received two-thirds of the votes. Missouri revisionists did not mount a strong challenge.

HT: Real Clear Religion

HUZZAH! Chelie elected to Hockey Hall of Fame!

Chris Chelios, the Chicago kid who for over a decade was one of the best defensemen in the NHL, has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Chelios started his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens. But he came to the team he rooted for as a child, the Blackhawks, in a trade for the great Dennis Savard in 1990. He played his best hockey for the Hawks, and ran a restaurant/bar, "Chelie's Chili," south of the Stadium on Madison Street. It became my customary haunt after attending the game, and I spent a couple of New Years Eves there after cheering on the Warriors of the Four Feathers. One year I even got to kiss his sister at midnight! ;)

Cheli is one of my all-time favorite Hawks. The blood in his veins was Blackhawk red. He literally broke down and cried in 1999 when Bob Pulford and "Dollar Bill" Wirtz traded him away in one of their patented bonehead moves.

He bought a restaurant in Detroit and moved his family there, eventually leaving the Red Wings and …

Get ready for the Zimmerman acquittal riots

Day by day, George Zimmerman's acquittal in the Trayvon Martin case looks more and more certain.

The latest blow to the prosecution: expert testimony that Martin was sitting on Zimmerman when he was shot.

There was never a case against Zimmerman. Only because of politics is this trial even taking place. But it seems that when an African-American is killed by a white man under any circumstances in which there is the slightest amount of ambiguity,  the latter is considered guilty in this society until proven innocent.

And perhaps thereafter.

Meanwhile, Broward County law enforcement officials are preparing for riots if (or rather, when) Zimmerman is acquitted.

Sadly, as Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Meara,  points out, Zimmerman will never be safe.  He will live in fear for the rest of his life- ironically, a victim of racism, racial profiling, and the spirit of the lynch mob.

HT: Drudge

Thank you, Pope Francis

Pope Francis has issued his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei  (The Light of Faith). It faithfully presents the consistent teaching of the Scriptures in every part and of the Christian faith as it has been confessed always, everywhere and by all on the subject of marriage- namely, that it consists of a lifelong union between one man and one woman for the purpose of procreation and the nurturing of children.

The encyclical seems to mostly be the work of Francis's predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The current pontiff simply added touches of his own.

Their Holinesses write,

I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage," he said. "This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and lovin…

"...That that nation might live..."

The summer I turned fourteen, our family took a vacation in the East, culminating at Washington, D.C. but stopping and lingering at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

It was the centennial year of the battle. As hard as it is for me to accept this, that trip was half as long ago as the battle itself was at the time.

Sometimes I shock myself by how old I've gotten!

There are certain places where I am filled with awe and reverence so profound that it's hard to express it . Lincoln's tomb is one of them.  So  are Lincoln's home in Springfield, and Ford's Theatre, and the Peterson home across the street from the theatre where Lincoln actually died. So, in fact, is virtually any site associated with Abraham Lincoln.

The same holds true for  the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, and virtually any Civil War battlefield. But as sensible as I am of the sanctity of the fields of Manassas, for example- or even the battlefield at Chantilly, a town where I worked fo…

The 5 to 4 Constitution: why kritarchy and the rule of law are mortal enemies

If more or less borrowing the artificial word "democracy" from Greek gives us a term meaning "rule by the people," the actual form of government we in the United States (and Canada as well, btw) might well be described as "kritarchy-" "rule by judges."

The U.S. Constitution's vaunted "balance of powers" has turned out to have a fatal flaw: an over-developed power of judicial review, which some hold to have originated in an attempt by the Supreme Court to save face in the case of Marbury v. Madison.Others argue that Marbury merely made use of a principle inherent in English law.

In either case, Article III of the Constitution, which deals with the judiciary, does not grant the Supreme Court any authority to nullify laws duly passed by the Congress or by state legislatures on the ground that they are unconstitutional. But once it became accepted that the Court had such a power- a "super-power," if you will, potentially ov…