Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Very Nice Way to End The Day

Florida is the Gate to Hell

Here’s the proof.

An enormous sinkhole has opened up in the town of Leesburg, Fla.,, and it’s hungry. It’s already gobbled up a garbage bin, an oak tree, the back wall of the building housing a salon and racks of supplies. You can watch a video charting its path of destruction above.

The chasm that caused Main Street Hair and Beauty Supply to collapse is about 60 feet wide and 20 feet deep. Although the street surrounding the building has also fallen prey to the pit, officials say the hole isn’t growing. But the slowly sinking building is sparking growing concern for neighbors who live nearby. The sinkhole started after a torrential downpour at the end of June.

There ya go…  We should have known.  First, the state is shaped like a drain.  And second, it’s HOT.  And now it’s opening its mouth even wider for the countless totally depraved Emergents and pentebabbleists headed to their eternal abode.

Syria Massacres its Own: Why Haven’t We Invaded or Intervened?

Assad’s army has slaughtered numerous Syrians in this the bloodiest of days since the uprising (and America and her allies haven’t invaded yet or even intervened as we did in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Bosnia, etc…).  Are Syrians of less value to us?

On Sunday, the day before the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the Syrian military, under the control of President Bashar al-Assad, stormed the city of Hama and other nearby cities in what media outlets are calling the “Ramadan Massacre.” At this point reports of the injuries and fatalities are still unclear. Al-Jazeera is reporting that at least 136 people are dead, while the New York Times puts the death toll at 71. The Syrian government has banned many other foreign media outlets from reporting from inside the country, making it difficult to verify reports of fighting. What is clear, however, is that this may be the deadliest day since the Syrian government began its crackdown on the mostly peaceful protests, claiming the lives of more than 1,600 so far.

Assad must be stopped.  Whatever it takes.

More Bad Press for our Catholic Friends

If it isn’t pedophilia or some other perversion it’s racism

Frank Borzellieri has written for a white supremacist publication, has called diversity “a weakness,” and claims that rising black and Hispanic populations will lead to a “New Dark Age” in America … and he’s also the principal of a Catholic elementary school in the Bronx where most students are black or Latino. Borzellieri, 48, who was promoted two years ago, is still “intimately involved” with the white supremacist publication American Renaissance, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

That’s something the Church can’t, and shouldn’t tolerate.  No one decent should and certainly no Christian can.

Countering the Tea People

Van Jones was President Obama’s special adviser for green jobs when he was hit with a wave of criticism from conservative pundits about his past associations. The controversy forced him to leave his post in September 2009, but it wasn’t the last we’d hear of him.

That same conservative wave went on to make a major splash in Congress through the Tea Party. Jones decided to fight back, founding a group called the “American Dream Movement.”

Some people call Jones’ group a liberal version of the Tea Party. His inspiration, he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, is the silent majority of Americans that oppose Tea Party platforms.

Well not everyone who has problems with the tea people is silent.  Still, if he can muster a finely brewed cup to counter the Lipton-esque reprehensibility of the tea people, good for him.

Miley Cyrus: This week’s Winner of the Dilly!

Why, you ask?

The pop music star and actress [Miley Cyrus] Tweeted “ALL LOVE is equal” on Friday, along with a picture of her new tattoo permanently supporting gay marriage. “Where does it say in the bible to judge others?” Cyrus Tweeted. “Oh right. It doesn’t. GOD is the only judge honey. GOD is love.”

First- all love isn’t equal. There are various sorts of love and ‘erotic’ love is the least sort.

Second, the Bible does indeed urge us to determine the rightness or wrongness of behavior in both ourselves and others. Line after line and page after page God calls men and women to denounce the evils of society. Pick up a Bible, Miss Cyrus, and read any of the Prophets (assuming you can read). Furthermore, Jesus himself declared ‘by their fruits you will know them’. Naturally this means that we are obliged to observe the behaviors of others and call them to account when they deviate from God’s purpose.

Third, take a few minutes to look at Romans 1:24ff.

Fourth, no one among us is your ‘honey’ and we don’t appreciate being demeaned by your so calling us.

And fifth, God is love, but love is not God!  And it’s reprehensible of you to make an idol out of authentic love.

It is a tiresome thing to hear again and again the wicked and defenders of wickedness cry out ‘don’t judge me’. That phrase is constantly repeated only by the guilty and those with a guilty conscience. We aren’t judging you, we are declaring your deeds evil just as the Prophets, Jesus, and Paul would.

Finally, stop attempting to use the bible to defend your perversity. If you aren’t willing to listen to it concerning your need for righteousness of life leave your hands off it altogether. It doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to those who believe.

For all these reasons, Miss Cyrus, here’s your Dilly. Wear it proudly. You definitely deserve it. And never speak of the Bible again.

Bigger than OJ or Anthony, the Mubarak Trial will be Televised

Al Jazeera is reporting that

The trial of Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president, will be held at a police academy in Cairo and televised.  A maximum of 600 people allowed to attend the proceedings on August 3, Ahmed Refaat, the presiding judge, said on Sunday.  A source close to Mubarak, who has been in hospital since April when he was first questioned, said on Thursday that the former president’s lawyer would tell the court he was too sick to attend the trial.

That’s a trial I’d like to watch.

What is ‘The Wrath of God’?

‘The wrath of God consists in God’s not stopping or rescuing people in their wrongdoing.’  – Arland Hultgren

That is, the wrath of God is God allowing people to reap what they sow.  In short, the worst thing that can happen to you is, well, you.

Matt Damon is Smarter Than Most Congressmen

Valerie Strauss has a piece in the Washington Post that’s must reading for all those in education or who have an interest in America’s education policy.

She quotes Matt Damon’s speech at an education rally which contains this paragraph-

This has been a horrible decade for teachers. I can’t imagine how demoralized you must feel. But I came here today to deliver an important message to you: As I get older, I appreciate more and more the teachers that I had growing up. And I’m not alone. There are millions of people just like me.

Indeed there are.  And those in our Country seeking to undermine education are unworthy of respect or support.

The African Memory of Mark: Reassesing Early Church Tradition

A delightful little volume arrived in the mail last week thanks to the kindness of IVP Academic titled The African Memory of Mark: Reassessing Early Church Tradition.

The back cover asserts

We often regard the author of the Gospel of Mark as an obscure figure about whom we know little. Many would be surprised to learn how much fuller a picture of Mark exists within widespread African tradition, tradition that holds that Mark himself was from North Africa, that he founded the church in Alexandria, that he was an eyewitness to the Last Supper and Pentecost, that he was related not only to Barnabas but to Peter as well and accompanied him on many of his travels.

The blurb, however, doesn’t do justice to the volume.   Nor does its table of contents (which you can see at the link above and which I shan’t here repeat).   It hardly expresses the importance of the work nor the fact that it is one of those rare books in the field of biblical studies or church history or theology that actually teaches readers something new and interesting.

Oden’s book is meticulously researched and his opinion that modern scholars are so taken with the mindset of the historical-critical method that they find it nearly impossible to trust even reliable sources is actually quite true.  Skepticism is the hallmark of much biblical research and I confess that it was with skepticism that I approached this volume.  After all, the very idea that we can know as much about the author of the Gospel of Mark as Oden purports is on the face of it absurd.  And from a non-Western, African point of view?  It seems very unlikely.

But here is precisely where the book becomes so important.  It broadens perspectives and opens vistas which many researchers hold to heart to their own harm.

Is Oden correct to take African tradition as seriously as he does?  I don’t think so.  But whether he’s right or wrong isn’t the treasure to be found in this pearl of great price, it’s the journey he takes readers on to a place they most likely have never been.

I for one am grateful.  Genuinely and authentically grateful for a book such as this.  Whatever your methodological perspective, this book has much to teach.  If you want to learn, you’ll read it.  I’m glad I did even though I was apprehensive and skeptical at the start and finish of it.

For No Particular Reason at All

I so wish I had lived in the 17th century and been a member of the office of the Holy Inquisition.

Terrorism in America

Except our terrorists are teenage punks.

Leanne Suter, a reporter for KABC-TV 7 in Los Angeles, was shot in the hand by a pellet from a BB gun on Saturday evening while giving a live news report.  Suter and her photographer came under fire during the 6 p.m. newscast, although Suter was the only one hit, according to ABC News. She was treated at a nearby hospital and released without serious injury.  The Associated Press reports that two boys, ages 16 and 17, were arrested in connection with the incident. According to the report from ABC News (available below), police found multiple BB guns at a residence in the area.

Riddle me this: what’s wrong with people?  Honestly, what’s wrong with people?

My Birthday is Coming Up…

So get together and pitch in and get me the BMW i3 all electric!

Frankly, I’d Join A New American Revolution

George Will writes in two concluding paragraphs of his op-ed an interesting insight-

“Declaration of Independents” is suitable reading for this summer of debt-ceiling debate, which has been a proxy for a bigger debate, which is about nothing less than this: What should be the nature of the American regime? America is moving in the libertarians’ direction not because they have won an argument but because government and the sectors it dominates have made themselves ludicrous. This has, however, opened minds to the libertarians’ argument.

The essence of which is the common-sensical principle that before government interferes with the freedom of the individual and of individuals making consensual transactions in markets, it ought to have a defensible reason for doing so. It usually does not.

It is the ludicrous government which is so revolting.  Americans may well one day get fed up with it and rise up.  When they do, count me in.

Israel Wants to Cash in on Christian Tourism with its Own ‘Site of Jesus’ Baptism’

Read the details here.  What’s so very interesting, to me, is that Israel loves Christian dollars (just ask AIPAC) but it doesn’t like Christianity (it’s against the law to proselytize there).  So, in an attempt to harvest more of that money it wants to set up a rival site of Jesus’ baptism.

Irony, thy name is Israel.

Drunk People Do Stupid Things

Exhibit Z

A drunk father allegedly allowed his 8 year-old son to drive his pick-up truck on a southeast Louisiana highway on Saturday while he slept, until patrol officers pulled over the boy, police said.

The boy was driving the Chevrolet truck on Interstate 12 near the town of Holden, with his father in the passenger seat and his 4 year-old sister in the back seat, Louisiana State Police said in a statement. A passing motorist noticed the pick-up truck was being driven erratically and called police.

When Louisiana state troopers pulled over the truck in Livingston Parish, they found the 8 year-old boy behind the wheel and interviewed the father, 28 year-old Billy Joe Madden of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, police said.

Joel Watts is from Louisiana but when the drunks began to outnumber the sane people he moved to West Virginia. Only those who, like Lot’s wife, have looked back at Sodom and been frozen into besotted pillars of salt have remained in that godforsaken hovel of ignorance and misdeed. Like Billy Joe Madden.

What the ‘Magic Flute’ Can Teach us About the Moment of Crisis

In this fantastic section of Mozart’s God given opera ‘The Magic Flute’ we learn a bit of theology. That is, at the very moment of crisis rescue appears and then, blessedness and fulfillment follow.

Mozart too is among the theologians.

Angry Atheists Don’t Know Zwingli Either

A link here from some atheist discussion page brought to my attention a little essay about Zwingli which was not only rife with errors but grossly so.

I’m not providing the link to the essay because such rubbish doesn’t deserve any attention.  I mention it only to point out that if the angry atheists are as ignorant in general as they are about Zwingli, they really do need help tying their shoes and finding the door.

If you want to know about Zwingli, his history, his theology, and his influence, don’t ask an angry atheist.  They are bereft of knowledge.

Adopt-a-Dead Sea Scroll (?)

They are among the most famous pieces of writing in the world – and for £1,200, you can adopt a page.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a cave in Qumran on the West Bank in 1947, and have spawned countless books and theories about early Christians and the life of Jesus.  The Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority is offering the scrolls up for adoption. There are 15,000 fragments and it costs upwards of £1,200 to have one as your own.

What?

A dedication plaque with the name of a fragment’s ‘parent’ will be displayed with it when it is exhibited.  Jacob Fisch, from the Friends of Israel Antiquities Authority in New York, said: ‘The scheme is designed to raise money for conservation, cleaning and high-resolution photography of the scrolls.

Scheme.  That pretty much says it all.  Where’s all the money going that’s been poured into Scroll projects all these years?  I’m all for preserving them but at over $1700 a page just to have your name on a plaque?

Any Disguise is a Good Disguise in Alabama…

Authorities say a woman who dressed like a man and drew a beard on her face has robbed an Alabama bank.

Police say the suspect robbed the Cottondale branch of the Bank of Tuscaloosa and she may have been involved in another bank heist earlier this month.

Witnesses told officers she had a “drawn on” beard when she entered the bank. Police say she told tellers she had a bomb and demanded money after placing a device on a counter.

Oh boy…  I’m guessing she graduated from the University of Alabama…  Roll Tide…