Ills


02 Apr 2012

A black kid dies violently. Outrage ensues before anyone has complete facts. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson head to the scene to fill the leadership vacuum. Later it turns out that the media has misled us. NBC edited its tapes. Treyvon Martin was not a little boy but a tall 17-year old kid with some history of trouble. There is the distinct air of political and media exploitation. The death of Treyvon Martin has followed a familiar trajectory.

Crimes are disproportionately committed by young blacks. We’re told that “profiling” is some form of unmitigated evil, but this isn’t true if it’s really just about being wise in certain situations. If you’re walking down an urban street at night and you see teenage black strangers in hoodies coming toward you, you can be as open-minded as you want. I’m crossing the street. Just a guess that the high-minded busybodies on TV would do the same thing.

On the other side, imagine you are a law-abiding black man. Wouldn’t you get tired of seeing your ‘brothers’ die? You know a little about your people’s history in America. You see people who look like you getting hassled and arrested by the police, sometimes without cause. You see the police more often as your oppressor rather than your protector (a view I think has merit). When you walk toward white people, they sometimes cross the street. Cabs don’t stop for you. That has to work on a man and create a sense of alienation. You’d probably start seeing slights too.

We don’t know what exactly what happened to Treyvon Martin yet, but it seems to me that charity– benevolent feelings, consideration, sympathy– is something both sides could use when thinking of the other. Maybe you put that away on a deserted street at midnight or with a gun pointed at you, but that’s not most of the time.

10 Nov 2011

If these allegations against Jerry Sandusky are true — and we need to remember how those Duke lacrosse players were falsely convicted by public opinion and cretins like Al Sharpton years ago — it is truly one of the most absurd stories I have ever heard. A guy is caught on two separate occasions sodomizing boys in the shower a decade or so ago, and yet he still has building privileges until earlier this month. If this happened, it is one huge case of institutional “FAIL” (cf. the Catholic priesthood).

And if it’s all true, well, poor Jerry Sandusky. The guy is just living out his lifestyle choice and he gets pilloried for it. Haters! Who made you judge? How about a little tolerance?

Actually, folks, we should be thankful that people still feel like vomiting when they think about some old dude manipulating a little boy into becoming his sex doll. I’ve long thought that normalizing man-boy “relationships” (only “consenting” ones, of course) is the next exit down the perversion highway now that men having oral and anal sex with other men is established as a mainstream lifestyle that must be affirmed and never questioned (and don’t go calling it gross or disgusting either).

22 Aug 2011

Of all the themes espoused by conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh, perhaps the most damaging is this idea of American “exceptionalism.” How can it possibly be squared with the Scripture? It can’t. When the Bible says that all men have fallen short of God’s glory, that includes Americans. And it certainly includes the American government that has, incidentally, safeguarded tens of millions of abortions.

Laurence Vance unfortunately has been affiliated with the Grace Evangelical Society, but on the topic of war he publishes thoughtful articles. Why have Christians been seduced by the warfare state and this foreign policy of endless meddling in other lands? Vance attributes it partly to American exceptionalism.

Many Christians are guilty of nationalistic and political idolatry. They have bought into a variety of American nationalism that has been called the myth of American exceptionalism. This is the idea that the government of the United States is morally and politically superior to all other governments, that American leaders are exempt from the bad characteristics of the leaders of other countries, that the U.S. government should be trusted even as the governments of other countries should be distrusted, that the United States is the indispensable nation responsible for the peace and prosperity of the world, that the motives of the United States are always benevolent and paternalistic, that foreign governments should conform to the policies of the U.S. government, that most other nations are potential enemies that threaten U.S. safety and security, and that the United States is morally justified in imposing sanctions or launching military attacks against any country that refuses to conform to our dictates. These are the tenets of American exceptionalism.

The result of this American exceptionalism is a foreign policy that is aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and meddling. This is why U.S. foreign policy results in discord, strife, hatred, and terrorism toward the United States. We would never tolerate another country engaging in an American-style foreign policy. How many countries are allowed to build military bases and station troops in the United States? It is the height of arrogance to insist that the United States alone has the right to garrison the planet with bases, station troops wherever it wants, intervene in the affairs of other countries, and be the world’s policeman, fireman, social worker, security guard, mediator, and babysitter.

Many Americans seem to think we can do no wrong when killing foreigners. It’s all in the name of protecting our freedom and the American way.

I think it’s time American Christians took off their blinders and repented for following bureaucrats and lawless politicians with their flag pins, and for cheering on mayhem. American exceptionalism is American arrogance. It’s deeply unbiblical.

24 May 2011

…is not so gay, says this incredible, searing article. (ht: Baylyblog)

10 Apr 2011

Although I think both parties are part of the abortion problem rather than the solution since they both support the entire entitlement state that undergirds it, this just takes the cake. Our evil emperor strikes again…

For more than an hour in an Oval Office meeting on April 7, House Speaker John Boehner had insisted that any compromise on the government’s budget include a prohibition on federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Obama already had reluctantly agreed to a provision banning the District of Columbia from spending funds on abortion services — and that was as far as he would go.

“Nope, zero,” he told Boehner, according to a senior Democratic aide. “John, this is it.” The room went silent.

And there there’s this. Listening to the balderdash the last few days, why you’d think that PP was all about breast exams (which shouldn’t be subsidized by the public either, by the way). They always run from what they are, amid clouds, misdirection, and euphemisms. Only 3% of our services involve abortion (never mind that we do 300,000+ a year). Serving women. Protecting women’s health. Blah blah blah.

08 Oct 2010

War has all the characteristics of socialism most conservatives hate: Centralized power, state planning, false rationalism, restricted liberties, foolish optimism about intended results, and blindness to unintended secondary results.

19 Jul 2010

For my entire lifetime, I have been hearing the word “racism.” For 25 years, phrases like “Dr. King’s dream” have been cues to either change the channel or prepare for a tiresome torrent of cliches.

There has always been something tedious and artificial about discussions of racism. The real problem is hatred and pride. People hate or look down on other people for a hundred reasons: they’re pretty, they’re ugly, they smoke, they’re red state, they’re blue state, they’re rich, they’re poor. And yet we single out one peculiar form– racism– above all the others. It’d be as if we all decided in concerted fashion to stamp out gluttons addicted to Moon Pies, or men who lust after green-eyed women. Not that these aren’t evils, but why these specific evils?

There’s little desire to combat sin, of course. The word “racism” has become just another club used by those with political agendas to pummel and marginalize others.

It’s gotten so silly that I’ve heard people say that the “worst thing” you accuse someone of is racism. Really? Worse than adulterer or blasphemer? Worse than sodomite or whore?

29 May 2010

“Animal rights” is one of the great fads of our time. It has bound weak consciences with a false view of creation.

This week, a video hit documenting abuse on an Ohio farm. Farmhands are shown repulsively cursing as they beat cows. The outrage poured in internationally. A domineering, regulatory mindset was on display in spades: Put the farmer out of business! Increase regulation! Stop eating dairy!

It’s good, of course, to expose people who abuse animals. I doubt these people show compassion to people, either. People have always loved animals for good reason: they are a fascinating example of God’s creativity and brilliance. Animals bless us in so many ways. Most of us have affection for our pets. Many years ago, a huge moth flew into a room where I was talking with my former pastor. My pastor scooped it up in his hand, opened the window, and let it go, saying something like “we should spare God’s creation when possible.” Most of us don’t wantonly kill creatures.

Many have made the excellent point that the people protesting the beating of cows often support the slaughter of infants in abortuaries. One’s moral priorities do reveal the heart’s darkness. However, Christians should also consider the intent of the groups who exposed these cruel farmhands. The goal of vegan-friendly groups like Mercy for Animals and the Humane Society of the United States isn’t to prosecute a few wrongdoers, but to introduce more farming regulations. They’d love to end animal farming altogether, but if they can’t do that at least they can make it so expensive that people can’t afford it. This is an unbiblical, evil intent which flows from rebellion against the Creator.

Christians in general need to be more concerned about individual liberties, particularly now that our government is spending much of the nation’s economic output and running up unpayable debts. Interest groups and politicians use events like this cow beating to seek unlawful government power over citizens. The government has been increasingly binding us with silly legalisms that the Pharisees would think idiotic and regulations that Joe Stalin would consider overkill. Cities force us to waste money recycling. New York City has banned trans-fats. Government at all levels is now trying to regulate salt content. The federal government wants to regulate carbon, which is like trying to regulate nitrogen. It’s an idiotically corrupt money-making scheme.

Walter Williams has noted that anti-smoking crusades started in the 1960s with advocates pushing merely for a non-smoking area on planes. Today, smoking isn’t only banned on planes, it’s banned in all private businesses in many states (including Ohio). Government works this way. It gets a foothold, then grows like a cancer.

Remember, they don’t need to seek outright bans on anything. Regulation does wonders to making stuff less accessible. Regulation and “higher cost” are synonyms.

15 May 2010

Envy is a constant of human nature. So is a desire to steward other people’s money, whether they like it or not.

We’ve been hearing a lot lately that almost half of all citizens pay no income taxes. This, it is said, leads to a populace that is more open to tax hikes.

Indeed, tax hikes are sometimes palatable when people are told that only the rich will pay. Why should people be living the high life when I’m struggling to get by?

Those who vote to increase the burdens of “the rich” need to realize something: the joke’s on you. Supply side economists are right about one thing: wealth does trickle down. A prosperous society with a large middle class has more wealth to go around. In the material sense, which is all that matters to the world, the poor benefit from nicer schools, deluxe shopping centers, green space, more security, incredible inventions such as computers, and inexpensive food. Meanwhile, the trees have been kept equal by hatchet, axe, and saw in Cuba. What have they given the world lately? How are the poor doing there?

Still, tax hikes are politically unreliable. They can be dangerous to a politician seeking re-election.

Regulations aren’t dangerous. With every new scandal, the solution is always “more regulation.” The voters agree: “Someone needs to keep an eye on xyz.”

The obvious truth is that regulations lead to the same end as a tax hike: the diversion of wealth from productive to unproductive use (namely, enriching the government and its trough-feeders) and the hampering of the creation of new wealth. The business owner who has to comply with minimum wage laws, health care mandates, handicapped parking spots that sit unused 98% of the time, and a hundred other things must pass his costs along to his customers. He can’t eat all of the costs. Moreover, every small businessman regularly calculates the real worth of keeping his business open. If he can make as much money as a grunt for someone else, then maybe he’ll decide that the freedom of owning a business isn’t worth the hassle and the risk. This hassle increases with every increase in regulations.

The Federal Register is now over 75,000 pages long. Can you think of one item in your home that isn’t regulated by the government in some way? I can’t. Consider all the time and money your workplace spends in various forms of regulatory compliance.

One last thing: Leftists always like to tell us how much they hate corporations, but their confiscatory politics ensure a world of big corporations. The large companies have the economies of scale to comply with the high taxes and the mounting pile of regulations. In fact, large companies often like regulations. They have cozy financial relationships with the government. They like the idea of hamstringing their smaller competitors.

I’d rather the Federal Register be two pages long… double-spaced.

19 Apr 2010

Pastor Timmons had a conversation with Paul Young, author of The Shack. It’s a worthwhile read. Charm. Check. Pragmatism. Check. Gnostic speculation. Check. Denial of hierarchy. Check. Fudging. Check.

12 Apr 2010

The documentary First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women is well worth viewing. It confronts feminism in a friendly but uncompromising fashion. One day, perhaps I’ll blog on it more fully, but one of many points it makes is about the fungibility of abortion funding.

Planned Parenthood receives huge federal grants through Title X (administered by Health and Human Services) and other avenues such as Title XIX (Medicaid). Republicans tout the Hyde Amendment, which supposedly prohibits federal funding of abortions, but money is fungible in any budget. If the government gives a dollar to Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion family planning, then that’s one less dollar that Planned Parenthood needs to find to meet that budget. Non-targeted monies can then be directed over to abortion-related funding. (Not only that, “family planning” services such as contraception encourage sexual activity and thus create more opportunities for “unwanted” pregancies.)

What happened all those years that Republicans had both houses of Congress and the presidency? Title X funding increased. They could’ve nixed it altogether. They didn’t. (I don’t think George Bush was any more pro-life than Mitt Romney or John McCain, but that’s another matter.)

Ron Paul, who is disliked by much of the pro-life movement, is the only one I know of who advocates ending all entitlement funding. The goal shouldn’t be to put strings on Title X funding, the goal should be to eliminate it. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services should be abolished, too. Not one red cent should go to Planned Parenthood for any purpose. Any libertarian worth his salt would agree. How many Republicans would agree?

I know, I know, it’s not politically feasible to eliminate and abolish stuff in the short term. I’m all for interim steps. However, it’s hard to get to a destination if it isn’t really your goal. Eliminating entitlement funding simply isn’t the goal of most Republicans. Pandering while making as few waves as possible is.

Ron Paul and libertarians in general want to pull out the roots of these noxious weeds, not prune their branches. This is what needs to happen. After all, when you prune a plant, it often grows back stronger.

21 Mar 2010

Well, that was a nauseating debacle. I hope Bart Stupak enjoys his mess of pottage.

We might call this the day that private insurance died. I doubt that the imperial throne will need to fight like this again to complete the move to single-payer health care. Economics will do the dirty work. That is, private insurers will exit because they can’t cover pre-existing conditions (imagine selling fire insurance and being required to take people whose house has just burned down. It’s not the best business model). The government will enter in its usual role as the “lender of last resort” (aka. savior), using its printing presses of course.

I predict that we’re 5-6 years away from the health care system being on the verge of collapse. The revenues will be spent (in fact, they’re already spent) long before the “benefits” of this disaster are implemented in 2014. As Massachusetts discovered, it’s a pretty short trip to insolvency.

The people who are going to lose the most in all of this will be the baby boomers. As Gary North has said, expect a hard retirement. If you’re not in shape, think about getting in shape.

Has there ever been an instance in all of history where government involvement in something led to increased quality and lower costs for all? Think public education. The government provides direct funding, cheap credit for student loans, and other forms of subsidy (by the way, artificially-low interest rate loans are a boon for the seller, not the buyer). These actions increase resources. Demand explodes. Prices rocket upward (prices are a form of rationing). The bureaucracy expands, employees get raises, and empowered unions secure large pensions and are able to provide time and money for the reelection campaigns of their benefactors. Meanwhile, students and their parents go heavily into debt. Taxpayers pay through the nose (for example, the Cato Institute notes that public schools cost $25K/yr per student in some cities). High prices increase calls for more gov’t help to make education “affordable.” And so the government responds with more funding, and prices go even higher. Lather, rinse, repeat. One government intervention begets another.

You have to wonder if people will ever figure it out.

I think the U.S. health care system will be on the verge of collapse by 2017 (several years after the “benefits” kick in), but that optimistically assumes that the U.S. economy avoids collapse under the weight of unsustainable debt it has already accumulated. All the money that will be collected is already spent, unless the U.S. can use the revenues as collateral of sorts to borrow even more money at low rates.

Which leads to death panels. I’m not a huge fan of Sarah Palin, but she’s right that death panels are coming. There’s no getting around it, just as I see no way (short of repeal) around the fact that this bill is pretty much the death of private health care. Care will have to be rationed because the money eventually will not be there. This bill’s astronomical cost makes it worse.

The government isn’t going to ration fairly or humanely, it’s going to ration politically. I’m guessing that working-age taxpayers will eventually get first dibs, while old timers with extended problems are going to see their plug pulled. Economic malaise, the lack of free market competition/incentives, the addition of millions of people to the system, and government subsidies are going to make health care even more expensive. The stifling effect of the government on the economy is going to make things even worse, because it really is true that a prosperous society materially benefits all in that society. A poor society does not. You cannot build a prosperous society by attacking production and savings, and that is exactly what big government attacks through its spending, its debt, and its costly regulations.

You can’t legislate away economic reality.

13 Mar 2010

It’s baffling to see how much conservatives direct fire at Ron Paul on abortion. Ron Paul has been pro-life his entire career. Consistent with his views on federal power, he wants to overturn Roe and send it back to the states. He notes that laws can be passed by Congress to restrict the courts using Article III, section 2.

Let’s not kid ourselves. There is no political support nationally to outlaw abortion. The Republicans did nothing when they held the legislative and executive branches. Tactically, Ron Paul would rather get power out of federal government’s hands. Why isn’t this acceptable? Extending federal power over the abortion issue is every bit as likely (and probably more likely) to work against abortion opponents. Sure, the federal government could one day outlaw abortion (and do so constitutionally), but its track record has been to extend abortion. That’s what it did by judicial fiat in 1973. Federal courts have also overturned modest state restrictions.

Furthermore, the explosion in federal entitlement spending has also been the backbone of the abortion industry in so many ways. Ron Paul is also the lonely voice in Washington who wants to eliminate all entitlement spending.

What’s really amazing is how many conservatives have thrown in their lot with Mitt Romney. Have a listen to “pro-lifer” Mitt Romney from 2002. At best, the guy is a phony.

12 Jan 2010

I’m out of the loop with popular culture, but apparently a book called The Shack is very popular. There are many articles and podcasts dissecting its errors. For example, here and here and here.

I first heard of The Shack when family members mentioned that it discusses the Trinity. Just a tip: When a popular work discusses the Trinity, warning flags should go up. Historically, attacks on the Trinity have been at the core of all sorts of heresies.

One of the chief heresies of the last century is feminism. While feminism may seem spent as a political phenomenon, its errors have invaded the church so deeply that they are unrecognized. Feminists hate the doctrine of the Trinity, not only because it speaks of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as “He,” but also because it is a model of godly submission. The Son submits to the father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son in the same way that the church submits to Christ, wives submit to husbands, children obey parents, slaves obey masters, etc. (Ephesians 5:22-24, Ephesians 6). The head is then called to love the one submitting.

Here’s a helpful article on the Trinity.

23 Nov 2009

This is my favorite snippet of his. It’s the funniest way you can spend three minutes learning how politicians think. Republican ones, too.

20 Nov 2009

That’s Peter Schiff on how the health care bill will destroy the private insurance market. The proposed bill doesn’t take effect until after 2012, conveniently bypassing the next presidential election. In 2016, when the scope of the disaster is dawning on people, they probably won’t tie it back to the 2009 bill. Instead, greedy insurance companies and speculators will be blamed, just as oil greedy oil companies are blamed for high gas prices instead of the devalued dollar.

Regardless of whether the health care monstrosity passes, the size of unfunded liabilities (most of which are health-care related) ensures that rationing will ratchet up in the next decade. It’s going to take longer to see the doctor, especially specialists. Fewer treatments will be available. The process will be even more bureaucratic. The wages of big government is poverty.

Start thinking in general about how to deal with your health situations when your doctor’s office is less available. If you rely currently on, say, monitoring your blood pressure regularly and you do this at your doctor, think about getting your own home unit. These are the kind of things where one could expect to see shortages.

Email arose to get around the postal service mail monopoly. Cell phones have circumvented heavily taxed and regulated local phone services. How will the free market circumvent the government health care monopoly?

I think you’ll see more trips to Mexico and other countries for medical care. Walk-in pay clinics? Great idea, although those will be threats to the gov’t system and likely there will be pressure to outlaw them. There is already a huge amount of medical data online, professional and homespun. Maybe we’ll see more businesses arise allowing people to ask questions of specialists on the internet. These will have to be careful with all the personal injury attornies out there. Another way would be to let people buy prescription drugs with cash, without seeing a doctor, but that will never be allowed for various reasons (almost none of them good). Maybe some enterprising people will come up with ways to do various medical tests and solutions at home. More of these would undoubtedly exist if it weren’t for government regulatory oversight that adds huge cost barriers to innovation.

By the way, if any of you make any of these ideas fly, I fully expect to be reimbursed.

11 Nov 2009

It’s an odd thing to sit and watch the country you grew up in being dismantled piece by piece. Some of this, like the end of the U.S. empire that grew up after the World Wars, is likely a good thing for America. However, the reason that the empire will end– massive debt– is not. Nor is the ongoing push for more regulation and more capital creation roadblocks in the name of environmentalism, fairness, etc.

The push toward national health care is probably not stoppable. Young people, who support Obama’s policies far more than older folks, want it. Twenty-somethings don’t understand economics or what makes an economy grow. They just know they’re unemployed and prospects don’t look good. Maybe more slavery will help.

I was recently in an emergency room for the first time. I naively expected periods of calm punctuated by the seriously-ill being wheeled in noisily and hurriedly. It wasn’t like that. It was a leisurely affair, with people sauntering in with their kids. Some were apparently being tested for the flu. Adults were coming in to have casts checked. No one was crying or distraught. In short, it was a lot like my doctor’s office.

I bring this up because emergency rooms are one of the first things brought up by liberal “reformers.” They tell us that further government mandates are necessary to deal with free riders who abuse the system.

Now, of course those who use an ER as a doctor’s office are consuming resources without paying for them. But what else is new? These freeloaders are already living on all sorts of public assistance– housing, food, child care, etc. Free emergency room care is just another brick in the wall of dependency. Liberals aren’t interested in phasing out the massive welfare/entitlement system that makes it all possible, they just want to use a valid point to grow the government further. It’s no different than when they tell us that reform is needed because expenses are climbing out of control… and yet their “solutions” greatly increase costs.

The ER situation is yet another example of the government creating a large mess — in this case, by forcing hospitals to provide free ER care for those who cannot pay — and then telling us that we need more more mandates and cost-shifting to clean it up. Yet again, only the government and its vast “resources” can deal with this one, so everyone scoot out of the way, please!

There’s a better way to handle ER care.

30 Oct 2009

But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business… 1 Thess 4:10-11

Those who are busy-bodies, meddling in other men’s matters, generally have but little quiet in their own minds and cause great disturbances among their neighbours. -Matthew Henry

A thought has been occurring to me lately: Why do people think they can steward my money better than I can?

Imagine if I were granted the right to steward your money for you. Perhaps I’d make you buy cloth diapers. You can forget about that SUV; a used Cavalier will do. Don’t give me that nonsense about an easier way to ferry the kids home from school! You can cram three in the back of that Cavalier if you try. Your kids should be riding the school bus anyway (oh, I forgot, they will be going to public school because the private one costs too much). You can plan to start eating soy instead of steak, chubby. Also, your clothing will be furnished off the Old Navy clearance rack, and Old Shep will be dining on the cheapest 50lb bag of dog food that I can find.

Can you imagine being such an arrogant busybody, nannying the lives of other adults? Well, when we vote for a bond issue, or we support a new tax or a new government entitlement, that’s what we are doing. We are putting a claim on other people’s money. We’re reducing the money that they have available to steward for themselves. In effect, we are telling the government to spend other people’s money for them in accordance with our wishes.

How about we let people steward their own money instead, and let them be answerable to God for it?

I often do not steward my money wisely, but I can guarantee you one thing: I steward it more wisely than the government stewards its money. I’m not $100 trillion in debt, for example.

Granted, it’s not a very high bar to jump over.

19 Oct 2009

Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. -1 Cor 10:25

In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis talked of us peopling the earth with nymphs and elves to express a desire to be united with the beauty we see. Today, we people our animals. My generation watched Bambi and Bugs Bunny as kids, but really, animals were seen as animals.

How things have changed in 20 years.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is unaffiliated with local humane societies. Their agenda is to veganize America. They are supported by many of the usual celebrity suspects. Flush with success in other states like California and Michigan, HSUS began targeting Ohio for farming regulations. Farming groups responded by putting Issue 2 on the Ohio ballot.

Issue 2 is ugly: it seeks to amend the state constitution and it gets the politicians’ noses further under the tent when it comes to regulating farm policy. However, the alternative is very likely an HSUS-supported issue on a future ballot that’ll enshrine activist idiocy in the constitution. Thus you see “Yes on 2” signs galore along rural roads. And it’s why you have groups like the Sierra Club — normally lovers of regulation and government control — opposing issue 2.

The animal rights argument really is theological. Almost everyone believes that animals should be stewarded humanely. However, animal rights activists deny the creation mandate, especially Genesis 1:30. They deny that farm animals are on earth to bless mankind with food. They deny that a man is more important than many sparrows. They seek, in the usual authoritarian fashion, to force others to abide by their bad morality (for now, this will come in the form of higher prices, which is exactly what isn’t needed during a severe recession).

Sadly, animal rights groups have bound the weak consciences of many young people, deceiving them into believing that meat and dairy are evil. There’s no Scriptural basis for this. This is why young Christians who become vegans or announce sympathy with veganism should be challenged.

14 Oct 2009

Two stories hit recently: the coming end of don’t ask, don’t tell and the extension of “hate crimes” protection to homosexuals. Expect the latter to be used eventually against a recalcitrant (i.e. faithful) church.

This came to mind again while reading a recent Baylyblog post on Derek Webb. I’ve never cared for Webb. He’s always supported the earnest and trendy leftist causes of the sort championed by Bono (Bono’s support for a cause should always ring alarm bells). I had my fill long ago of “mold-breaking” artists who are too self-consciously cool and precious. They’re the incarnations of an Ipod commercial.

Now Webb is angered about intolerance. Not surprisingly, this anger is accompanied by cussing. You know, the intentional cussing that is seen a mark of liberation and righteous anger, despite Ephesians 4:29. This is cool stuff in a certain subset of “evangelical” culture.

I used to blog occasionally about old-school legalism (don’t drink, smoke, or chew), but came to realize there aren’t many of these legalists left. Similarly, the “intolerant” (i.e. those who take Scripture seriously) are dwindling. The homosexual train rolls on, unimpeded. Remember the conservative firestorm when “don’t ask, don’t tell” was implemented just 15 short years ago? The new move will occur with nary a peep. The “climate of fear” that the other side tells us about is there, it’s just that the careers at stake are those who dare question sodomy.

And yet people like Derek Webb remain offended.

Too bad. The consciences of a remnant will always be pricked, and the seeds will grow. There’s no stopping it because there is no stopping the kingdom of God. People can be publicly silenced, but unnatural is unnatural, sin is sin, and God is the maker and changer of hearts.

One day the only opinion that will matter is the Lord’s opinion. Who is on the Lord’s side? That’s the question that really matters.

06 Oct 2009

I’m not a fan of George Will, but he has hit on what seems to be Barack Obama’s defining trait: arrogance.

Will also hits on the tiresome political-speak, a feature of every presidency of my lifetime. It’s a reminder of what Orwell said in Politics and the English Language:

[Political p]rose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.

27 Aug 2009

He doesn’t hit the target 100% of the time (who does?), but few writers land harder punches than Gary North. Here is yet another example.

“Keep your eye on the yellow buses.” Indeed.

22 Aug 2009

Well, it looks like the foot-draggers have finally lost out. The mainline Lutheran church (ELCA) voted 559-441 to allow homosexuals in “lifelong” and “committed” relationships to serve as clergy.

At least until the next convention, it has been made clear that the sodomy must be monogamous sodomy. How’s that for a qualification? Could we actually see the spectacle of an “unfaithful” sodomite pastor being hauled before a church court to explain why he cheated on his “life partner?”

Monogamous sodomy makes about as much sense as monogamous bestiality or monagamous whoredom. It’s as if the monogamy lends an air of self-control and virtue to damnable perversity.

Nevertheless, the ELCA– the denomination I grew up in and that family members still attend– is further along than I thought. As usual, the move is accompanied by unbelievably ignorant lies like this:

“We live today with an understanding of homosexuality that did not exist in Jesus’ time and culture,” Tim Mumm, a lay delegate from Wisconsin and supporter of Lutherans Concerned, an gay-rights organization, said during the debate. “We are responding to something that the writers of Scripture could not have understood.”

19 Aug 2009

It seems like The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and other mainline denominations have been debating sodomy forever. While some ELCA pastors are correctly saying that the debate is about the authority of the Word, that ship sailed long ago for the ELCA and the other mainline denoms. It sailed even before they decided that “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man” didn’t really mean “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man.” Sodomy is just the next exit down the highway.

I’ll hazard a guess that all of the mainline denominations would have capitulated on this issue years ago but for one reason: money. Namely, the dollars that older folks throughout small-town America give to the church. The hicks have sadly made their peace with egalitarianism– most don’t even know that it’s a Biblical issue any longer– but they won’t accept sodomy.

Their leadership knows it. They know it’s best to deny the faith at a subdued volume, using measured tones and well-starched collars. Better yet, let’s just talk about unity and teamwork and caring and skip the controversy altogether. How it must annoy these moderate modernists when the loudmouths on both sides start riling things up! Let us have peace, friends.

The mainline churches will continue shrinking. At some point they’ll reach that critical mass where the political activists in the leadership will finally outnumber their foot-dragging modernist brethren. And then the stragglers who still stand on a modicum of Biblical authority will see their leaders get the boot. And that will be that.

18 Aug 2009

This is the best definition I’ve seen, courtesy of some guy on Lew Rockwell’s blog. It’s fitting for progressives inside and outside the church:

Progressive: A self-congratulatory word used by the lemming at the front of the pack to describe himself, as he and his fellows “progress” toward the edge of the cliff.

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