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Showing posts from July, 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.

ADDENDUM: Realistically, changing demographics also played a large role. The middle class is vanishing in Chicago as well as everywhere else, and the German and Northern Eur…

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 a bigot who hates 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 ins…

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 79% of the committee's meetings despite the VA scandal?

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.

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 …

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

Surprise, surprise: Crazy Ron supports Putin on airliner shoot-down

You can pretty well count on Ron Paul, aka "The Imp of Perversity," to be exactly, 180 degrees wrong on practically any issue. After all, he's the guy who claims that America is to blame for 9/11.

And now he's the guy who's taking Vlad Putin's side on the shooting down of that Malasian airliner.

His following among LCMS Lutherans, btw, is yet another concern of mine in the realm of ethics, as well as sanity.

HT: Drudge

Former deputy border chief: Obama administration has undone post-9/11 progress on southern border

Gays, lesbians, bisexuals 2.3% of population: CDC study

For decades, we've heard that ten percent of the population is gay. That figure is based on the Kinsey Report, which counted as "gay" anyone who had ever had a homosexual experience.

But as the years went by, study after study in country after country has shown that only two to three percent of the population is actually gay. Now a CDC study has confirmed that, in America, only 2.3% of the population consider themselves gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual. Only 1.6% claim to be gay or lesbian.

Of these, only a tiny percentage who live in states in which same-sex "marriage" is legal avail themselves of the opportunity to "marry." The fact of the matter is that there is no great demand especially among male homosexuals for "marriage."

Marriage isn't the issue here, and never was.

The issue is the mainstreaming of sodomy.

Mayor Preckwinkle of Chicago?

Karen Lewis, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, is thinking of running against Mayor Emanuel. She leads The Godfather by nine points in a new poll.

And Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle leads Emanuel by 24 points.

Emanuel does lead declared candidate Robert Shaw and Alderman Robert Fioretti of the 2nd Ward, who is considering becoming a candidate.

Whether "progressives" Preckwinkle or Lewis would be a better mayor than the man who believes that people who disagree with him about same-sex "marriage" shouldn't be allowed to own restaurants in Chicago isn't clear. But Rahm Emanuel does not deserve a second term.

His intolerance for dissent alone merits a refusal by Chicago's voters to keep him around.

HT: Drudge

'Lutheran'- Orthodox dialogue founders on LWF post-modernism

In view of their frank rejection of the sola Scriptura and the sola Fide (universalism is widely accepted among them), there is good reason to question whether the churches of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) are actually, in any historically meaningful sense, Lutheran at all. But it seems that their dialogue with the world Orthodox tradition is breaking down over a more fundamental (excuse the expression) defection on the part of the LWF.

In the words of a 2011 evaluation of the dialogue between the LWF and Orthodoxy by the Orthodox participants,
This Inter-Orthodox evaluation, then, attempts firstly to take stock at this junction of what has been achieved during these thirty years of conversations, secondly to evaluate it in such a way that it is not jeopardized because of divergences and especially because of controversial responses to current issues and problems which have arisen through the challenges of modern society, and thirdly to stress that it does actually provide the…

I think even Neil DeGrasse Tyson would agree with me on this one

The Left replies heavily on peer reviewed studies to reinforce its position on controversial subjects. But given the percentage of scientists who are left of center themselves, human nature predicts that an error or flaw in procedure which is spotted in a study supporting a conservative position is more likely to be spotted by peer review than the same error made in a study supporting a Leftist position.

Or sometimes, "peer review" is just rigged.

In other words, peer review is only as good as the peers doing the reviewing are honest and objective.

Here's an example of peer review failing to do its job.

HT: Drudge

Aussie judge: Time to revisit the incest taboo

I'm used to thinking of Australia as being at least a little behind the U.S.- and certainly Europe- in its spiral toward the social, ethical and cultural drain.

Maybe not.

An Aussie judge has suggested that maybe the time has come to revisit the incest taboo.

After all, he says, babies who display birth abnormalities can always be aborted.

After civil marriage being defined as a union between couples of different genders, I predict that marital monogamy will be the next cultural institution to suddenly become passé; after all, given the behavior of even long-term gay male couples, that sort of follows logically.

But don't bet against the incest taboo being among the next two or three.

HT: Drudge

38 journalism organizations protest Obama administration's efforts to manage the news

38 journalism groups, led by the Society of Professional Journalists, have attacked the Obama administration's “politically-driven suppression of the news.”

The text of the SPJ letter, signed by representatives of the other groups, to the President can be found here.

The letter includes the following:

The stifling of free expression is happening despite your pledge on your first day in office to bring “a new era of openness” to federal government – and the subsequent executive orders and directives which were supposed to bring such openness about.

Recent research has indicated the problem is getting worse throughout the nation, particularly at the federal level. Journalists are reporting that most federal agencies prohibit their employees from communicating with the press unless the bosses have public relations staffers sitting in on the conversations. Contact is often blocked completely. When public affairs officers speak, even about routine public matters, they often do so confid…

Pickett's Charge: Lee's greatest blunder

Today is the 151st anniversary of the ill-advised assault on the Union line at Gettysburg known to history as Pickett's Charge.

Lee's lieutenant, James Longstreet, warned against the attack, correctly perceiving that the advancing Confederates had no chance of succeeding and that a slaughter was in the offing. Several of Lee's other subordinates agreed with Longstreet, who argued that the Army of Northern Virginia should instead move around the Union left and place itself between the Army of the Potomac and Washington, forcing Gen. Meade to do the attacking and take the massive casualties.

In fact, Meade had originally preferred a defensive line along Pipe Creek in Maryland which was an even stronger position than the Union troops held at Gettysburg, and had the Confederates managed to slip past the Union left by night, they might have occupied it. If they had, the subsequent history of both the war and of the nation might have been much different.

But Lee persisted in …

Iowa GOP coup! Sane Republicans fire Paulista chair, take control of party

Forces loyal to Gov. Terry Brandstad seized control of the Iowa Republican State Central Committee at the party convention earlier this month. Now the other shoe has dropped: they have forced Rand Paul supporter Danny Carroll out as state party chair, and replaced him with centrist Jeff Kaufmann.

Kaufmann is a former Speaker Pro Tempore of the Iowa House.

Former party executive director Chad Olson, who was fired when the Paulistas took over the state party machinery after the 2012 caucuses, will get his job back.

Partly because of the highly democratized caucus system, which effectively gives control of the party to the most motivated (and usually the most extreme) elements of the party, the Iowa Republican party tends to be to the Right of the party nationally, just as the Iowa Democratic party tends to be to the national Democratic party's Left.

The coup offers hope that sane conservatives rather than extremists will be able to assert themselves in coming months, in order to max…

The Supreme Court gets one right for a change

In the case of Burwell, Secretary of Health And Human Services, Et Al.,. v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., Et Al.,the United States Supreme Court did nothing more or less than find that the First Amendment is constitutional.

The logic is simply that the owners of companies have the right to freedom of religion. Red herrings about whether "corporations are people" are beside the point; they are owned by people. Similarly, the argument that hormone replacement therapy needed for legitimate medical reasons other than birth control will be denied people is also a read herring; such use of these drugs does not fall under the reasoning of the Court's decision. Hobby Lobby has made it clear that its problem is not with birth control, but rather with four specific birth control drugs- all of which are abortifacients!

The Obama administration's war on religion and the individual conscience has suffered a setback which all believers in the Bill of Rights, whether religious or not,…