Wednesday, November 25, 2009

a pretty crucifixion

If there is one thing that Burke and Taylor have done in their book especially towards the very end of it, it is to provide what seems to be the best example I can think of of what much of emergent and postmodernism is about.

In the conclusion, they start with a bit about Dali and one of his paintings. It's one of Christ being crucified, but unlike others that had been like it, his idea was different.

But Dali was oppsed to this kidn fo action. "MY aesthetic ambition was completely opposite of all the Christs painted by most of the modern artists, who have all interpreted him in the espressionistic and contortionistic sense, thus obtaining emotion through ugliness," said Dali. In contrast, he set out to make Christ "beautiful as the God that he is."

Indeed, Dali seems to have succeeded. Unlike other paintings where Christ is emaciated, deathly pale, and sickly looking, the Christ of Saint John of the Cross appears youthful, muscular, and contemporary, more like a male model than the classic image we have come to expect from religious Christian art.
Burke and Taylor, A Heretics Guide to Eternity, p. 222

One thing that always kind of surprises me, when dealing for example with Sojo types, is just how much they hate Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Granting, I have known of times when some people seemed to have gotten too taken up with morbid details of what may have happened, but there is also the opposite error of trying to prettify and sanitize it, too. One would think that they would embrace it, what with all their self-proclaimed love of the underdog and how they are mistreated.

Salvadore Dali understood something that I think we, who are interested in religion, often do not. Our religious needs and points of identification change with the times. Dali replaced the image of Jesus as suffering Savior from another time and place with the God of beauty and grace. He desired a Christ who represented the nuclear age, so rather than focusing on his body, this painting captures mostly Christ's outstretched arms and bowed head, forming, in Dali's view, a perfect circle, the representation of the nucleus of the atom.
p. 223

I know little about Dali, though I know Francis Schaeffer comments about his art in at least one of his books. The point for now is, though, that intentionally on his part or not, Dali's painting, and by extension Burke and Taylor's approval of the project, create an almost mythical, fictitious air around the crucifixion.

Their crucified Christ is a male model. It (it is too much to call it 'he') hangs gracefully upon the cross. It is an object of human beauty. It is, in a word, safe, sanitized. It is the modern world, looking at itself as god, and prettifying the picture for their own ends. From what I've seen of the painting being discussed, Christ isn't even nailed to the cross, the body is free of any marks, there is no crown of thorns, no whip stripes, His precious blood is not in evidence at all. The face is hidden, so the question of the beard cannot be answered.

The crucified Christ of the Bible is not that construct. His real body was beaten with real whips and fists, real thorns were pushed onto his real head, real nails were hammered into his wrist and ankles, and he died a real, ugly, painful death. I will not go into morbid details here, but I doubt even the most "espressionistic and contortionistic" piece of art could ever fully crasp what the Son of Man and Son of God endured.

And to take the focus away from Christ's body is to take it away from the fact "This is my body which is broken for you".

Why is this so distasteful to them? Why do they react so violently against the idea that Christ's death was a substitute for us and our sins? Why are they so eager for us to put it behind us, and look at a safe, sanitized Jesus?

I think it has to do with their view of man. They want to view man as good. If man is good, there was no need for Christ's sacrifice. It is only if man is sinful that Christ's sacrifice means anything.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

accepting mclarin's challenge

Discernment websites ...

Since McLaren has issued this challenge, I hope that he has a way of finding out about this response, and responding in turn.

I wonder if some of the "discernment websites" that enjoy featuring and critiquing the work of many of my friends and me would be willing to host some discussion on this bill currently proposed in the Ugandan parliament.

I'd be interested in reading whether participants in those blogs agree with the Ugandan bill, and if not, why not. (Details after the jump)

Here's what McLaren gives as details.

Andrew Marin gives an excellent overview of the situation here. He says ...

Let me make this clear:

I don’t care how conservative your theological belief system is, killing people or imprisoning them for being gay or lesbian is wrong and should never, ever happen.

Notwithstanding, according to the bill, I, as a straight person, would also be imprisoned if I don’t turn in gays and lesbians to the Ugandan government.

....Please spread the word. No Christian (or person in general) should ever let this happen on our watch.

Jesus was once confronted by a group of people bring an adultress to Him to be in some sense tried by Him. Jesus' response was to point out the accuser's own sins, and then to tell the woman to not commit her sin any more.

In other words, Jesus' response to NOT to say that woman had not sinned--she had, and He and her accusers knew it. And when Jesus had dealt with the accusers, he also dealt with what she had done.

One may disagree with what a people do, while not agree when others make unfair laws against them. So, for example, I do not agree with Buddhism, but do not support the Chinese government's treatment of Tibet. I think that abortion is murder, but that does not condone the murder of a Dr. Tiller.

You are not looking for a reason, though, Mr. McLaren, but merely an emotional response. You are merely looking to accuse, as the rest of you post shows most clearly.

This bill shows where misguided zealotry can lead, friends - the kind of misguided zealotry right here in the US that I posted about recently, the kind that Paul wrote about when he said (2 Cor. 3:6),

You can see why I believe we need a new kind of Christianity. I hope there will be some robust discussion about this Ugandan death bill on the discernment websites and others too, and some constructive action as well.

Your attempt to equate this bill with those who await the end of this current administrations incompetent management is simply a disgusting display of partisanship and liberal bias on your part. You who accuse, check your own eyes first.

the convoluted emergent thought process

Sometimes, an emergent writer simply insults our intelligence.

Christianity is the only to reach God, certain Christians argue, because the Bible says so. It tells us that Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."...

...but I don't believe it can be used to argue that Christianity is the only true religion. First, Christianity as a religion did not exist when Jesus spoke those words...
Burke and Taylor, A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, p. 107

Is this a true statement?

We know that it wasn't until a few years after Pentacost that the people in Antioch first started calling them Christians, or that language's equivalent. I'm unsure of what they were called before then, and to an extent, it doens't matter--things changed with Jesus, no matter what name you put on those changes.

As such, then, I think that his argument that Christianity as a religion did not exist when Jesus was on earth is a matter of symantecs, and not of fact. Already with Him, things were changing--He called the people to believe in Him, and accepted their worship of Him. He called people to follow Him. His death was the sacrifice for their sins.

So, Burke argument is irrelevant--the statement Jesus made then is just as true now.

Compounding this point are two additional facts: no one actually recorded Jesus' words at the time he spoke them, so we have no proof that they are indeed his words, and what he did say, he said in Aramaic, which means that nothing in the Bible as translated into any other language can be taken literally anyway.


If you're puzzled by that last statement, no matter the language you may have read it in, I don't blame you.

First, if Burke wants to claim that it's may be possible that what Jesus said here is something that He may not have said, then how far is he willing to take that line of thought. It's obvious Burke doesn't like what is being said by Jesus (far to exclusionary for his taste, no doubt--God in the flesh should have known better). But is Burke willing to say that he doubts any of the statement recorded of Jesus that he likes? Is he going to doubt that, for example, Jesus may not have told any of the parables that it was recorded that He told? Or maybe Jesus didn't say anything about the peacemakers being blessed?

That's the thing--he can't cast doubt on the authenticity of statements he doesn't like, without casting that same doubt on ones he does.

Which isn't even bringing up what he's doing to Scripture in the first place. His argument reminds me of what 'progressives' like the Jesus Seminar do, claiming Jesus said this but not that, or did this but not that, based mostly on their on materialistic worldview and philosophy., along with an unhealthy dose of political and social liberalism.

Second, his claim that we can't take a translated statement literally is nonsense. He can translate that any way he wishes, as can anyone who wishes to say his statement is profound and not abject nonsense.

But more important, to read this as a literal statement requires that I take the other statements he makes about himself as literal. For example, Jesus declares that he is the bread and the vine and the Good Shepherd. Does that mean that he is literally a loaf of bread or a plant? Of course not! These are metaphors, clues to something about his character and person.

Now for the kicker...

In his book Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh forever changed my understanding of the Christian life when he spoke of Jesus as the Tao, the way.
p. 126

So, Christians take Jesus' statement literally about Himself being "the way" (which the context of the verse supports), that needs to be destroyed (or, as pomos say, deconstructed; or, as I say, spun). But when someone from outside of Christians uses the same word in a different way, well, that's just...profound!!!

And his attempt to weasel out of the words reminds me of something Lewis said about the Bible being a book for grown-ups. When Jesus said He was the way, a grown-up knows what that means. The disciples certainly knew it.

To say that Jesus is the Tao is to acknowledge that the way he walked in the world is the path to follow. It is not about competing with other faith traditions. It's about living out a way of grace, love, forgiveness, and peace.

This is simply salvation by works, a heresy which is the farthest thing from anything in the Bible.

The message of the New Testament is consistent--repentence and forgiveness of sin, and belief in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. None of it involves works. Burke and Taylor make it only about works, even belief in Christ is optional in their opinions.

Monday, November 23, 2009

the cheapness of words

First, take a look at this statement.

With God’s help, we seek to keep this a Christ centered church with a warm and friendly heart, an open mind and an adventurous spirit. We further seek to keep it a church that cares, that heals hurt lives, that challenges the best in all of life and that is inclusive of all people.

Perhaps it reads...fairly well? If you have some experience with how some use words, there may be some warning bells going off, but by and large, the words seem good enough.

Read down a bit further.

As part of a reform-minded or progressive Protestant tradition, Church of the Foothills is an accepting, caring, open and affirming Christian congregation that welcomes and includes all people of every ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, economic status or religious background.

And, finally, this.

Play depicting Jesus as gay packs church

SANTA ANA - A play depicting Jesus as a gay man played to an appreciative audience in a packed church sanctuary tonight while a handful of protesters outside called it blasphemous.

The play depicts Jesus as a gay man living in 1950s Corpus Christi, Texas, playwright Terrence McNally's hometown. The cast of 13 portray Jesus and the 12 Apostles.

The Church of the Foothills in Santa Ana received hate calls and letters in the past few days since media publicity of the performance.

One more thing

Corpus Christi (play)

Corpus Christi is a passion play by Terrence McNally dramatizing the story of Jesus and the Apostles. It depicts Jesus and the Apostles as gay men living in modern-day Texas. It utilises modern devices like television with anachronisms like Roman occupation. In this version, Judas betrays Jesus because of sexual jealousy.

Seeing what kind of play they approve of, you can see what this church does and doesn't mean by being "Christ centered".

ht a little leaven

apparently they don't like ALL street theatre

What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff?

The other night I headed into downtown Philly for a stroll with some friends from out of town. We walked down to Penn's Landing along the river, where there are street performers, artists, musicians. We passed a great magician who did some pretty sweet tricks like pour change out of his iPhone, and then there was a preacher. He wasn't quite as captivating as the magician. He stood on a box, yelling into a microphone, and beside him was a coffin with a fake dead body inside. He talked about how we are all going to die and go to hell if we don't know Jesus.

Some folks snickered. Some told him to shut the hell up. A couple of teenagers tried to steal the dead body in the coffin. All I could do was think to myself, I want to jump up on a box beside him and yell at the top of my lungs, "God is not a monster." Maybe next time I will.

Yeah, apparently emergents don't like ALL attempts at being hip, creative, and relevant. A guy doing cheap like illusions, no problem. A guy who may have been trying to save people'e souls, that's just unacceptable.

There was a prophet who once broke a jar to illustrate a point, and the people who saw it mocked him, and the priest who heard him had him beaten and put in prison (Jeremiah 19 and 20). Mockers are so much more sophisticated nowadays--they write articles in national magazines, mocking those who tell the people the truth, and the one they mock has no chance to respond.

Perhaps the man Claiborne holds up to mocking will never read this, but if that should happen, consider please these words the prophet spoke.

11 But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior;
so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
their dishonor will never be forgotten.

12 O LORD Almighty, you who examine the righteous
and probe the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance upon them,
for to you I have committed my cause.

So, God, Mohammed, and Buddha walk into an AA meeting...

For all of the attempted humor of the title here, the truth is that, again, real life is stranger than fiction.

First, ht to Mr. Silva and Christian Research Network for telling me about this. Very interesting, especially in light of the undisciplined five-year-old who insists on throw tantrums here for the past few days.

Is God ‘A Recovering Practitioner of Violence’?


Is God ‘A Recovering Practitioner of Violence’?

The first link is to CRN. The second to a blog called zoecarnate. This excerpt if from z, though some or all of it can be found on CRN, too.

More explosively than his challenging theses, it was at this conference that Brueggemann posits that “God is a recovering practitioner of violence.” As Geoff Holsclaw summarizes – “By this he means that God used to think violence was a good idea, but then gave up on it. However, like all addicts, He has relapses. Of which the cross is either the final deliverance, or another relapse.” Of course this is potentially disconcerting, as we don’t like to imagine the repentance of God – and yet, this is precisely what is suggested in Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan (thanks, Jack Miles!).

So, we have emergents taking seriously the concept that God is an addict to violence, and that while he's trying to get over it, he does have relapses.

I remember hearing something some time ago, along the lines of "In the beginning God created man is His own image, and since that time man has tried to return the favor".

When emergents have to throw God under the bus, the game is over. When emergents need a God who can't control His own actions, they may as well adopt atheism. And when their God is equivalent to the drunk staggering down the street, they have left all ideas of His Lordship in the gutter.

And if you it's just empty rhetoric that I say these people consider themselves "smarter than God", think again. That is exactly what they say.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

repeating myself

One really should make the effort of looking at what another has written before say that person has not written about something. To be fair, EP has reached the point where it is now 'not small', though it is probably rather miniscule compared with some other longer-running, more busy blogs. Still, a couple of hundred entries is still rather sizable. Simple because a book of about 300 pages is small compared to, say, War and Peace, doesn't mean it's not a rather substantial read.

Having said all that, here's a blast from the past (coming up soon, the Best of EP--you have been warned).

resistence is not futile

AAR Panel part 1-- roughly 57 minutes in

Tony Jones--When I spoke at the National Cathedral in May, at a conference around Diana's book, that they were nice enough to invite me to, the evening before I spoke, Marcus Borg spoke, and Marcus Borg for the umpteenth time was asked in the Q&A an old--I remember this so vividly--an old man came up to the microphone in the center aisle of the nave of the national cathedral, and said "Dr. Borg, what about the empty tomb?". And he said, probably for the umpteenth time, verbatim, this is what he said, "If I had to bet a dollar or my life, I would say the tomb was not empty, or there was no tomb." I was in the back, sitting around a circle with people my age who came from a mainline church in Wichita, and if you're a mainliner in Wichita, you're not really a mainliner in the way that people on the east coast think of mainliners, or people in Minnesota think of mainliners. In the fly-over territory, you don't get to be a liberal mainliner at a big mainline church in Wichita. You are a bit evangelical, even though you're a mainline church, because you're in Wichita. And they were extremely distressed by this response, and it got me to thinking, that emergents don't have a problem with paradox. And it seems to me, and this is the risky thing that I do in the book, I really think that Marcus Borg and John Piper, who's a right-wing baptist pastor in Minnesota, very five-point Calvinist reformed hyper-reformed guy, that they're basically doing the same thing. They're both looking for an air-tight Christianity. For Borg it's logical positivism, it doesn't make sense that God would upset the laws of physics and do things like resurrect people or have miracles or things like this, so let's do away with those things and make Christianity more believable. For Piper, it's a purely fideistic system, in which the laws of physics matter not at all, and what matter is you know what the Bible says and that's it. And so leads to Creation Science and leads to you know these kinds of interpretations of scripture of which we're all familiar. Those are both part of the modern enterprise, modern apologetics on the evangelical side is built on, and the modern ecumenical movement on the left side is built on it--looking for rock-solid indubitable foundations not to be questioned. And it's this search that emergents find no interest in. And so yes, indeed, the six questions that Scot talks about that he hears his students in evangelical university asking...

minute 1:06
Diane Butler Bass--I really, I just have to jump in real quick, and then we can go to larger questions, but Tony, if Marcus Borg was sitting here and had misquoted you, I would jump in and defend you. Marcus did indeed say exactly what you said, but then three minutes later, he said that "but that in no way undermines the confession of the early church that Jesus lives and Jesus is Lord" and so then he went on to say that he does indeed--I mean I remember how startling it was there in the great high alter of the national cathedral, we got this incredible faith statement, personal faith statement, from Marcus Borg, saying that he does indeed believe in that confession and that he makes that confession proudly with the early church, and so what he actually did was although the way that he got about it was perhaps logical positivism, he came to a place himself of incredible paradox, that he made a faith statement that in a way contradicts old style liberalism and he did it in front of a crowd of some 350 people. And so you both were actually working out of your point of tension or wanting to work out of a paradox its just that your paradoxes where in different places and I wasn't entirely sure that that you were--there were a couple of people who blogged about that as well, heard the second part of what Marcus said and I did hear it because I went downstairs and was attacked by somebody from the Institute of Religion and Democracy and they were going on about how you know this was just old style liberalism and it's the same old same old and on and on and on and I said "Did you just hear what Marcus Borg said upstairs, if you weren't listening, Marcus Borg just said that he believed in Jesus Christ." And he said "Oh yeah I heard that but it just doesn't matter"

I Corinthians 15
15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain.
15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins.
15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Romans 10
6. But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down)
7. "or 'Who will descend into the deep?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8. But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
9. That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
11. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

So, here's the deal--Marcus Borg basically bets his life that Jesus did not really resurrect from the dead (even though Butler Bass says that "he does indeed believe in that confession", which I suppose means he's saying that he does believe in Christ's resurrection in some non-literal sense). Paul makes the resurrection central to our hope in Christ and our salvation. And Paul leaves no doubt that "now is Christ risen from the dead", and not in some metaphorical of 'spiritual' sense.

Borg tells us that it is only in this life that we have some kind of hope in some kind of still-dead Christ. Butler Bass' contention that Borg believes in Jesus Christ is wrong. He may have constructed some imaginary or mythological "jesus christ" in his own mind, much like how cults take the name Jesus Christ and add and take away from what the Bible says about Him, but the "jesus christ" Borg believes in is not the one in the Bible, and the person from the Institute of Religion and Democracy was right to say that what Borg said didn't matter.

For my part, I think I'll stick with Paul. After all, he actually met the risen Christ on the Damascus road. Plus his writings are scripture and true, while Borg is just, well, another crank.

Sorry, but Borg will not assimilate me.

Consider what's being said in the emergent debate linked to above.

Marcus Borg claims that "If I had to bet a dollar or my life, I would say the tomb was not empty, or there was no tomb."

For a summary of Borg's views on what he calls the pre-Easter and post-Easter Jesus', look here.

Despite this, Borg wants to also say that "but that in no way undermines the confession of the early church that Jesus lives and Jesus is Lord".

This is in an emergent debate, and this statement is made by the emergent Diane Butler-Bass.

Butler-Basse claims to have said to someone "Did you just hear what Marcus Borg said upstairs, if you weren't listening, Marcus Borg just said that he believed in Jesus Christ."

So, to the emergent Butler-Basse, Borg's claim that the Jesus of the Bible is largely a mythical figure made up by the early church, the Jesus was really only a man, does not in any way contradict the statement the Jesus lives and Jesus is Lord.

If the person who has been disrupting this site wishes to repudiate Butler-Basse's claim, and say that Borg's statement is in direct contradiction to scripture and has no place in emergent, than he may do so. If he does not, than he is merely showing that any claims of the part of emergent that they believe in the lordship of Christ is simply them playing with words and ideas, trying to disguise their real intention behind religious words.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

the more things change...

To think of Christ as the center and norm of all humanity made a certain sense in the Ptolemaic universe, which had the earth at its center. It continued to make sense, however strained, in the Coperican universe, which had the sun at its center. Today, Christocentrism cannot make sense in the Einsteinian universe, which has no center and in which every structure is a dynamic relationality of moving components.
Tom F Driver, quoted in A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, p. 97

Oh, my.

You know, way back when, someone forgot to tell God that the earth actually orbits around the sun.

And Jesus, well, when He said that only He was the way to the Father, well, He just didn't know about molecules and atoms and quarks and stuff.

But we today, well, we're smarter than God. And we know that those statements have to be discarded, because our voices have thundered from on high (though there is no up there, we believe we know).

So, because Einstein was born, God is taking Muslims in to Heaven.

Or something like that.

sound the trumpets!!

Remember when Jesus told the people to not make a big deal about doing good? Not to, for example, have trumpets blasting when they give alms, and all that?

Keep that in mind when you read this.

On December 19, 2005, Time magazine annouced an interesting trio of people as its Persons of the Year: "For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and reengineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are Time's Person of the Year." Who is seen to be doing the most good in the world today--or at least having the most influence? Not the church, it seems, or any of its representatives, but the creator of Microsoft and his wife and a rock star.
Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor, A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, pp. 84-85

I know many Christian people who will never have the rock-star status or wealth of those people (and they won't curse us with Windows Vista, either). Some of them have left their homes, and gone to other places to take the Gospel, and some of those places are hostile to that endeavor. Others have families and homes and jobs, not much wealth or status, but live Christian lives among those around them. Some are preachers who have lives faithfully for many years among their peoples, have experienced hard times, done weddings and funerals, and are there to comfort when things happen to their people.

But, no, they get slapped in the face by Burke and Spencer, because Time magazine picks other people as their Persons of the Year. Maybe those people I know just need better PR people, and to make a bigger noise when they bother to do something good.

Perhaps this is one things meant by Jesus' statement about many who are last will be first.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

credit where it's due

I don't have much respect for Sojo. They are a bunch of libs trying to disguise themselves as evangelicals and whatnot, and their positions are horrid. And how they have treated Sarah Palin, either by silence when her daughter was the subject of someone's sick joke or by blatant attacks, has shown me a lot about them.

Saying that, I give credit to one writer, who does defend her in regards to Newsweek's cover photo of her.

I don’t have a problem with the lead title, but that image of Palin is demeaning. Let’s call it straight: It’s sexist. She is a politician — one of the very few visible female politicians. Why would they take a picture from a shoot from some time ago from Runner’s World magazine (and use it without permission from RW)? What is the point of her with her “running legs” for a political article?

While I do have a problem with the lead title (mainly, it's misleading--she's bad news for the DEM), it is a bit of a wisp of fresh air to see a Sojo writer actually defend her. Such a rare gem should be noted, even if it isn't faultless.

ah, those tolerant libs (update)

The Hills article has posted a correction, so it's fair to put it here.

DeGette says Stupak won't have the votes to keep his amendment

She also said that religiously-affiliated groups like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had pushed for the Stupak provision, should have a place in the process, but not the final say.

"Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country," she said. "I've got to say that I think that the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups should have input."

Note: An earlier version of this post misquoted Rep. DeGette as saying the bishops should not have input, but when in reality, she said they should. The post was updated at 6:00 p.m. to correct the quote. We regret the error.

While I do think the corrected statement a bit strange in light of the first statement about separation, without any other proof I'll accept that there was an error that was corrected.

ah, those tolerant libs

FRC Calls on President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid to Repudiate Diana DeGette's Religious Bigotry

Emphases mine

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins today called on President Obama and Congressional leaders to repudiate comments made by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) to The Hill's Michael O'Brien that "religiously-affiliated groups...should be shut out of the process" in the health care debate because of their support for the Stupak/Pitts amendment. She told The Hill, "Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country," she said. "I've got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn't have input."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"Rep. DeGette's comments are stunning. According to her, if a group of people who are in association with one another because of their Christian faith, they should not have a voice in the crafting of public policy. What she is asserting is that if your ideas and actions are a product of your faith, you're a second-class citizen and your voice should not be heard.

"Rep. DeGette's comments serve to only further confirm that this takeover is not about health care, it is about a radical social policy in which the expansion of abortion, at taxpayer expense, is at the very center of this effort.

Monday, November 16, 2009

they fear her

As Rush Limbaugh says, liberals will tell us themselves who they fear. Since Sarah Palin has had a book published, one that is already a best-seller, Sojo has come out with what I can only term a "hit piece".

The whole thing reeks of liberal elitism. To give you some low-lights in it...

It is hard to imagine a scenario in which one would undertake such a study and come to the conclusion that the impact she has wielded on culture has been even marginally positive...It is hard to imagine a single intersection with culture at which Sarah did not cheapen the quality of our public discourse. Now, with the publication of a “best seller,” we get to hear even more gems of wisdom...Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Jim Cramer, and Bernard Goldberg are all examples of folks whose participation in public dialog leave our public discourse more impoverished... What ponderous chain does someone like Rush Limbaugh bear for his “contribution” to public discourse? He used to refer to himself as having “talent on loan from God.” I used to wonder what Rush thinks God will say when Rush returns that talent, in light of his use of it...A willing and interested audience, coupled with freedom of speech and the freedom to market virtually any idea, no matter how harmful, the reduction of our age to a “sound bite” mentality, are all things that contribute to an environment in which negative influences on public discourse are allowed to flourish.

Everything about this entry is disgusting, and puts the lie to Sojo's supposed claim to want dialogue with others. They don't, likely they never did.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

when the willfully blind speak

Coming on the heals of what happened at Fort Hood, I can think of only one apt response to Claibornes little rant here

Step one: Find sand.

Step toe: Firmly insert head.

Fortunately for him, there are people out there defending his right to say such stupid things. While I respect Claiborne's right to say what he wants, I reserve my respect not for him, but for those who protect him and his rights.

And when he tries to undermine their ability to do so, then I have no use for him except as an example of what NOT to do.

And the fact that he posted it on Veteran's Day is simply insulting.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

a (couple of) heretics' guide to heresy

I have a slight taste for horror.

It's not my favorite genre, though often when horror elements are added to other genres, they add a good bit to them. I have no taste at all for slasher horror, or anything Saw or Hostel. Silent Hill was ok, and probably the creepiest recent movie I've seen was I Am Legend. The sci-fi/horror Alien movies are favorites, too.

One of the more interesting horror writers was Lovecraft, he who brought us Cthulhu and his ilk. While not matching King or Koontz in his writing volume (which may be a good thing), his stories did have some interesting elements, including glimpses into realms that are essentially other-dimensional, where our laws of physics are trumped by others, where the lines and angles of structures just don't behave like they do in our world.

Reading Burke and Taylor's "A Heretics Guide to Eternity" felt a lot like that. Attempts to find reason and sanity are too often lacking, and one is left trying to make sense of...well...what???

For example, consider these two statements.

One of my other earlier titles for this book was I'm a Universalist Who Believes in Hell.
p. 196

And a couple of pages later.

I may be a universalist,...but I also believe in Hell. Do I mean a place filled with fire, brimstone, and flames that burn bodies forever in eternal torment? No.
p. 198

So, he's a universalist who isn't a universalist, who believes in Hell but doesn't believe in Hell.

While you're making sense of that, I need to go feed my Puppy of Tindolis.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

blaming with lies

In my last post, I linked to a post at Sojo. Reading the comments to it a few minutes ago, I found this whopper by someone who calls him/herself BlueDeacon.

Conservatives will try to paint this as an attack by a violent Muslim. In truth, it's really because they don't like people who don't look like them. You see, conservatives need to have an enemy to be successful. It's all about fear and racism.

Remember, this is the same place that has banned me from commenting on their blog. BlueDeacon has been there a while, and this isn't the first time this person has spewed this kind of lies and filth. Apparently saying this about conservatives doesn't get one in any kind of trouble there.

So, let's see.

Conservatives will try to paint this as an attack by a violent Muslim.

Well, it was.

In truth, it's really because they don't like people who don't look like them.

Yeah, because all Conservatives look alike. Sure. There are no conservatives of any other races or colors at all.


You see, conservatives need to have an enemy to be successful.

Actually, it's liberals who need enemies--conservative Christians, social conservatives, pro-lifers, pro-marriage, insurance companies, doctors, anyone making a profit, capitalists, soldiers, Republicans, and so on.

It's all about fear and racism.

Yeah, because liberals aren't trying to paint every critic of our President as racist. And Jackson and Sharpton aren't waiting for the next incident they can go ballistic over.

What a moron.

Friday, November 6, 2009

blaming the victims

When something happens like at Fort Hood yesterday, it's quite natural to view the victims as, well, victims, while the one who committed the act as one who was, to put it mildly, wrong.

Unless your a progressive, then you try to spin things so that the person who did it was really the victim. Such as how a person at Sojo has done.

Fort Hood Shootings and the Prophetic ‘IF’

In Fort Hood, if the reports and claims from the police and military are correct (we already know that a number of falsehoods were reported as facts), an officer, a physician, trained to heal traumatized people from the maiming of their souls, was refused an exit from the soul-destroying prison he begged to leave.

If the reports are accurate, it seems that he broke, choosing murder rather than the nonviolent forms of resistance he might have chosen. In that sense he replicated the violence of the war he abhorred and the violence that kept him in the Army against his will –- replicated the violence instead of resisting it in a deeper way.

I don't know what reports he's heard or read, and my own knowledge of the incident and the people involved is far from complete, but I've heard none of that. What I have heard is that the perp was already talking and writing about terrorists being in his mind people to admire.

It's simply crazy how people like those who write at Sojo are so quick to blame those like the police (as in the incident with the Harvard prof a few months ago, and even when it became clear that the office had acted correctly) and the military, while essentially making excuses for the person who committed the act.

No, it's not simply crazy. It's distasteful. Our soldiers are doing good work, more so than these Sojo elitists, actually putting themselves at risk for the sake of the freedom of a nation on the other side of the world, and this elitist progressive twit has nothing but sympathy for the one who killed some of them yesterday, and disparages their efforts in other places in the article.

If – IF, the prophetic word — If we seriously want to help grow a grassroots democracy there, we might send teams of women from American community banks to provide grassroots micro-loans to those who are prepared to use them, especially women, while abandoning the self-destructive effort to impose democracy with Predators. Then Fort Hood might help Americans grow into a new relationship with the hundreds of millions of Muslims who seek to shape their own futures in peace.

Yeah, because American democracy didn't come about through war, right? That whole American Revolution thing? War of 1812? Civil War? World Wars?

At least, not in this person's universe. In the real one, it's a bit of a different story.

back at it

Well, I did say maybe...

It's been an adventurous few weeks, and not always in ways I would have chosen. Nonetheless, here I am, and after a few days of considering, I've thought it best to re-start the EP entries again.

So, to the few who check in here every now and again, and weren't driven off by the earlier declaration of an end, here we go again...