Daily Archives: 1 Dec 2011

Call to Revoke the Tax Exempt Status of Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church

This appeared in comments to the earlier post on the topic and it deserves a post of its own-

Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable

December 1, 2011
for Immediate Release
Contact: Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Press Advisory:

Civil Rights Leaders Call on IRS to Revoke Tax Exemption for Kentucky Church that Bans Interracial Couples

Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson and other civil rights leaders on Thursday, December 1 called on the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax exemption for the Gulnare Free Will Baptist church in Pike County, Kentucky. The church formally voted to bar interracial couples. This clearly violates the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1983 in the case of Bob Jones University that the IRS can deny tax exemption to any organization including religious institutions that sanction racial discrimination. The ruling firmly established that churches have no legal right to discriminate at taxpayer expense. The revocation of the church’s tax exemption will be a powerful reminder to religious institutions that discrimination will not be paid for by the taxpayers.

“The Gulnare Free Will Baptist churches action barring interracial couples is a shameful and disgraceful insult to the nation, “says Hutchinson,” “By revoking the tax exempt status of this church, the IRS and the nation will send a strong message that bigotry in any form will not be tolerated by the taxpayers, especially bigotry in the name of God and religion.”

The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour
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Streamed on http://www.kpfk.org/programs/181-hutchinson-report.html

Read Calvin’s Institutes Through in 2012

In a few weeks I’ll have more to say about this.  In the meanwhile, I want to recommend the best edition of the 1559 Institutes I have yet seen.  It’s published by Hendrickson and you can get a copy from CBD for $23 including shipping.

I saw a copy of this relatively new edition at SBL in San Francisco and decided to wait till I got home to order (since my luggage was already stuffed and I didn’t want to pay extra for the overweight luggage fee).

It’s laid out like a normal book (and not in the rather annoying 2 column format) and it includes a vastly improved index.  Further-

This limited edition of John Calvin’s Reformation classic, Institutes of the Christian Religion, commemorates the 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth in 1509.

This beautiful new jacketed cloth volume features:

  • An eight-page, four-color insert on coated stock, including a frontispiece featuring the title page of the original publication and a timeline of the Reformation and of John Calvin’s life
  • Two ribbon markers
  • Gold foil and embossing

It really is an impressive edition indeed.

So, if you’d like to join in in our reading through the Institutes in 2012, get yourself a copy.

Racist Much, Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church?

A small baptist church in eastern Kentucky has voted to ban interracial couples from joining the congregation and from taking part in all church functions other than funerals.  The vote to ostracise couples of different races was held at the Gulnare Freewill baptist church last Sunday. It has prompted a bitter dispute in the local Pike County and thrown up hatreds and antagonisms that had been hidden beneath the surface of the community for years.

So the Guardian.

Alas, this is the sort of thing that happens when Churches are pastored by persons unqualified either intellectually or, more importantly, spiritually.  No theologically accurate reading of the Bible allows such prejudice and in fact, a close reading of the Moses story reveals that his wife was African.  When Aaron and Miriam confronted him (they must have been members of Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church) God worked wondrously in their biased lives, plaguing them with the whiteness (of leprosy) they so craved for Moses’ wife.  (Go read Numbers 12).

I’ve not before given a Dilly to an entire congregation, but this congregation deserves it for its explicit racism and it’s horrific ignorance of biblical revelation.  Gulnare Freewill Baptist, here’s your Dilly-

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A New Twitter-er: The Biblical Studies Department of the University of Sheffield

Here’s their Twitter page.  You’ll surely want to take note (since Sheffield is- it has to be said- on the cutting edge of biblical studies).  They also have a blog which you’ve probably heard of (though on the blogroll here it’s titled ‘James Crossley’ who is the instigator of it).

The Nation’s Most Loathsome, Contemptible Judge

His name- Richard Baumgartner.

Why?  Because as a sitting judge he presided over the murder trials of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom and while doing so he was a drug addict and a frequenter of drug addicts.

In a hearing Thursday, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood granted motions for new trials for the four people convicted in the Christian-Newsom murders.

Proving the theological truth that no person’s sin is private-

Former Knox County Judge Richard Baumgartner presided over the trials of Letalvis Cobbins, LeMaricus Davidson, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman.  Davidson is on death row. Cobbins and Thomas are serving life sentences and Coleman received a 53-year-sentence.  The victims, Channon Christian and her boyfriend, Chris Newsom, were carjacked, raped and murdered in January 2007.  Baumgartner, who became a drug addict and bought extensively from a convicted felon in his drug court, pleaded guilty to official misconduct in March and was later disbarred, leading these convicts to seek new trials.

And now, because this selfish drug addict judge was more concerned with getting high than fulfilling his duties, the families of the victims have to endure the pain of trial all over again.  Baumgartner needs to be in prison himself for the rest of his life- locked up with the animals who, like him, care more for self than anything.

Read the rest of this ‘judge’s’ nauseating acts at the WATE 6 link above.

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Bad Teacher, Worse Mother

HuffPo tells the reprehensible tale of the pedophile teacher who convinced a student to live with her… and mom allowed it.

Leonore Ulaszek, 36, was removed from her Hoffman Estates High School classroom in September and submitted her resignation in November, the Chicago Tribune reports.  Ulaszek reportedly began tutoring a minor male student last year, NBC Chicago reports. The tutoring began in the classroom, eventually moving to a restaurant and then at Ulaszek’s apartment. When the student’s mother discussed plans to move out of the district, Ulaszek allegedly suggested that the student live with her, as to not disrupt his academic progress.

And mom let it happen!  Mom is just as guilty as pedophile and more so because the boy is HER responsibility.  Raise your hand if you’d move and leave your child with a person not a family member…

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A Book the German Bible Society (Or Hendrickson) Needs to Publish

We’re all (aren’t we?) familiar with the fantastic Biblia Sacra Utriusque Testamenti Editio Hebraica et Graeca.  So my question is, why hasn’t the DBG (or Hendrickson) done the same thing for the LXX and the NT so that we could have Rahlfs/Hanhart and NA27 bound together in one handy edition?

Come on guys- let’s see this by Christmas next year!  What do you say?

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Eating People: Christians and Accusations of Cannibalism

Andrew McGowan has a paper titled Eating People: Accusations of Cannibalism Against Christians in the Second Century uploaded to Academia.edu that various and sundry might find quite useful. Give it a read.  Its from the Journal of Early Christian Studies 2 (1994), so it’s quite dated.  But still worth the time.

Suddenly I’m reminded that I’m hungry…

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You Can Still Win a Copy of the Common English Bible

All you have to do is let me know why you want it and I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.  It’s a grand translation and quite useful indeed.  Especially for persons unfamiliar with the Bible and afraid to use older translations because they make little to no sense.

Doug Iverson has already won and so has Kyle Owenby.   I’ll be giving away one copy each week for quite a few months (through the end of January).

If you’d like to learn more, visit here.  And if you’d like to interact with the CEB folk, you can do it on Facebook or Twitter.

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It’s Not Snow, It’s Just Thick Frost!

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Consequently I’m having to warm up the car before I leave to make some calls because, unlike the other people I live with, I don’t get to part under the carport or shelter….  I think there are many of you who know exactly what I mean…

[But that just proves how nice I am.  Better I defrost than they do…]

When the Prince of Peace Comes…

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Or, as the Common English Bible has it- ‘Then they will beat their swords into iron plows and their spears into pruning tools.’

I like very much what Keil has to say about this saying from Isaiah 2:4-

Since the nations betake themselves in this manner as pupils to the God of revelation and the word of His revelation, He becomes the supreme judge and umpire among them. If any dispute arise, it is no longer settled by the compulsory force of war, but by the word of God, to which all bow with willing submission.

With such power as this in the peace-sustaining word of God (Zec 9:10), there is no more need for weapons of iron: they are turned into the instruments of peaceful employment, into ittim (probably a synonym for ethim in 1Sa 13:21), plough-knives or coulters, which cut the furrows for the ploughshare to turn up and mazmeroth, bills or pruning-hooks, with which vines are pruned to increase their fruit-bearing power. There is also no more need for military practice, for there is no use in exercising one’s self in what cannot be applied. It is useless, and men dislike it.

There is peace, not an armed peace, but a full, true, God-given and blessed peace.

It is in war that the power of the beast culminates in the history of the world. This beast will then be destroyed. The true humanity which sin has choked up will gain the mastery, and the world’s history will keep Sabbath. And may we not indulge the hope, on the ground of such prophetic words as these, that the history of the world will not terminate without having kept a Sabbath? Shall we correct Isaiah, according to Quenstedt, lest we should become chiliasts?

“The humanitarian ideas of Christendom,” says a thoughtful Jewish scholar, “have their roots in the Pentateuch, and more especially in Deuteronomy. But in the prophets, particularly in Isaiah, they reach a height which will probably not be attained and fully realized by the modern world for centuries to come.”

Yet they will be realized. What the prophetic words appropriated by Isaiah here affirm, is a moral postulate, the goal of sacred history, the predicted counsel of God.

Sometimes the ‘oldies’ really are the good ones. And I don’t know about you, but the cessation of all conflict would be very welcome.

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If You Read Dutch and Are Interested in Melanchthon…

(And really, who isn’t interested in Melanchthon?) There’s a new book that you may want to lay your hands on-

Melanchthon was van groot belang voor de Reformatie. Hij was een brug tussen lutheranisme en calvinisme, tussen kerk en onderwijs, tussen humanisme en reformatie. Dit boek tekent hem als bruggenbouwer in vele facetten van zijn werkzaamheden.

Frank van der Pol (red.)
Philippus Melanchthon – Bruggenbouwer
ISBN: 9789043518529
400 blz. gebonden

Hit the link above to order a copy.

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This Will Make Folk Angry

From the Telegraph

An image of an obese passenger squeezed into an economy airline seat has reopened a debate about how airlines deal with growing numbers of oversized passengers.

Come on! How is that 1) safe, 2) fair, and 3) acceptable? The guy clearly can’t be comfortable. The poor guy next to him obviously isn’t comfortable. He can’t be in a seatbelt. It’s just appalling for everyone involved.

The picture, posted on an aviation blog, was reportedly taken by a flight attendant to illustrate to airline managers the difficulty of dealing with passengers who cannot fit into seats. It is unclear if the man was aware his picture was being taken or whether the flight, on US carrier American Airlines, took off with the passenger spilling out of his seat. Airlines already offer extended seatbelts to larger passengers to comply with safety rules but a number of carriers now insist obese customers buy an extra seat.

The guy should be in a row by himself with all the armrests up- and I don’t say that to seem unkind. It’s the only way he can safely fly.  And it’s the only way that the other passengers can fly safely, and (relatively) comfortably as well.

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Advent Scripture for the Day and Luke’s Heilsgeschichte

46 Mary said,
“ With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
47 In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
48 He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
49 because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
50 He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
51 He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
52 He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy,
55 just as he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever. ”  (Luke 1:46-55, CEB)

If that sounds very familiar it should- it echos, intentionally, the song of Hannah at the birth of Samuel.   Luke purposefully ‘continues’ the story of God’s mighty deeds in the Old Testament, linking them with the mighty deeds of God in the days of Jesus and John the Baptizer.  Luke, even more than Matthew (and certainly more than Mark and John) , wishes to demonstrate the continuity of Salvation-History.  Luke is the theologian of Heilsgeschichte.

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Will the Christian-Newsom Murders be Re-tried?

The judge who presided over the trials of the 5 beasts who brutally murdered Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom was evidently a drug addict getting supplied by a drug dealer that had been in his court and now the convictions handed down in those hearings are in jeopardy.

Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood will hear arguments Thursday and Friday by lawyers representing the defendants in the January 2007 slayings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. The defendants, Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman, are asking for new trials based on evidence showing the judge who heard their cases bought prescription painkillers from a felon. Former Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner resigned after hearing the four separate trials of the defendants.

Thanks loads Judge Bum.  Your drugginess may have the effect of putting the families of the victims through yet another trial with the potential that those animals who murdered two kids may be freed.

Drugs are for dopes.

More information about the crimes and the trials that convicted the defendants can be found here.

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