Daily Archives: 8 Nov 2017

Signs of the Times: America Has a Sickness

‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people’.  Ok, let’s pretend that’s true.  Now we have to ask, why are there so many murderous people in this country?  Why do more killers live in the United States than anywhere else in the world?  For a place that calls itself a Christian nation (which it isn’t- only people can be Christians, nations cannot), it sure seems to have more than its fair share of evildoers.  Why?


The GOP Tax Plan Will Destroy Graduate Education

Read the Forbes essay.

For millions of young people, the American dream is to study the thing you’re most passionate about at the highest levels possible, and then use those skills and that knowledge to build a life you’ll be fulfilled with. For some of us, the American dream includes many years of graduate school and extremely frugal living along the journey to a Ph.D. Traditionally, in a great many fields (such as biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics), the only way this has been possible is through teaching and/or research assistantships, which grant graduate students with a small stipend (in the ~$20K-$30K/year range) to live off of.

These assistantships also come with a tuition waiver, valued at ~$12K-$50K/year, depending on the public-or-private, in-state-or-out-of-state institution. Currently, these tuition waivers are paid by the college directly to itself, on behalf of the graduate student, and are not counted as taxable income. Under the new GOP tax plan, however, those tuition waivers would be taxed as regular income, making graduate school an unaffordable proposition except for those already independently wealthy.

Contact your CongressWretch.

The Hippy Love Fest Jesus…

The hippy love fest Jesus so beloved of some never existed. Jesus called his enemies hypocrites, condemned sin, talked about hell and the folk well deserving of going there, got angry, and drove the money changers from the temple, among other things. #StopMakingJesusIntoAFakeImage

We all know you want Jesus to fit your ideology, on the left and the right, but do try to read the Bible a bit before you ramble mindlessly and ignorantly on about him.

AAR’s Angry Letter to Yours Truly

Dear Jim West,

We, the undersigned, the Executive Board of the AAR and the sponsors of both the Interpretive Dance Section and the Heartfelt Searchers Section and the Buddhist Christian Muslim Gay Advocacy Section hereby write in protest to your recent disparagements of our wondrous cult group.   We wish you to be more thoughtful and kind hearted.  And if you are, we would like to take you out to a Vegan feast featuring cage free eggs and organic tofu grown in the basement of our Director of Narcotics as Religion group.

Thank you for your kinder and gentler self,

Yours in Allah/Buddha/Jesus/Jehovah/Krishna,

The AAR (and we’ve included our photos below so you can see us in Atlanta and come up and say howdy).

Today With Zwingli in His Letters

The 8th of November, 1528, was an interesting day in Zwingli’s life.  Two letters from two colleagues were written on that day.  The first, by his old friend Oecolampadius; and the second, by his new friend Bullinger.  Oecolampadius’ letter discusses various matters and then gets to the meat in a discussion of the descent of Christ into hell.  Bullinger’s is more a tweet than a letter, but it also mentions the descent of Christ into hell.

Oecolampadius writes

Gratia et pax a Christo. Ut monebas, mi Huldrice, Capitoni insinuavi fideliter de civitate nostra impetranda. Is in hęc verba scripsit: “Nescio, quid ad tuas respondeam. Non sumus ignavi, sed oportet ut omnia per occasionem. Queruntur varii varia. Bellua multiceps est status reipublicae popularis. Horrent plerique incertissimas actiones amicorum nostrorum. Sunt, qui Constantiam ob Christi professionem communem sibi de futuris sociis pollicentur. Sed nova omnia gnaris suspecta habentur. Audi nunc alia. Venere huc Metenses quidam; ii nunciant, praeclaram famam apud suos esse de foedere civitatum sanciendo; duodecimus Novembris, quo die fędus meditatum sancietur; nam articulos aiunt conscriptos esse et ferme comprobatos. Verum de ea re nobiscum summum est silentium; tametsi non dubitemus, sic esse conventum inter primores rerumpublicarum Germanię huius nostrę. Reliqua coniice et pronuncia, quid qua occasione interea.” Hęc Capito, in sinum tuum effundi voluit.

Ipse non omnibus nunciis fidit. Cęterum nos hic memores erimus, quid per Christophorum commiseris. Utinam audire nos dignentur nostri. Bernensem tumultum speramus in magnam gloriam Christi cessuram, tametsi a traditoribus illi ecclesię metuamus, ne optimates in periculum, unde vix evadant, introducantur. Versor nunc in “Daniele”. Supputationem LXX hebdomadarum iuxta Eusebii mentem tractabo. Tu si certiorem habes, oro communices; nam omnes alię tam Hebraeorum quam ecclesiasticorum minus quadrant, neque satisfaciunt, quae Bucerus in Mathęum et Capito in Oseam. Certa enim hoc loco expectantur.

Pręterea non te latet, quomodo Benedictus Erasmo nostro in Schaffhusen in materia descensus Christi ad inferos adversetur. Ipse sic definio mecum: animam quidem Christi a corpore solutam, divinam, commigrasse ad patres, quocunque tandem loco illum quieti cum Abraham expectarint, et illos sui revelatione ad maiora introduxisse gaudia, ut ipse primogenitus illis aperuerit paradisum. Scio quidem spiritus locis non circumscribi; definiuntur tamen alicubi esse. Unde et patres mea sententia non impie tradiderunt, Christum ad illos descendisse liberatorem. Si tibi hęc sententia non improbatur, bene; gratię deo, qui ita unamines idem ubique sentire facit. Sin minus, ostende paucis, quid tu sentias, ut, si questio illa vulgo ventilari ceperit curiosius, non dissentias. Facile enim cedo meliora afferentibus.

Basileę 8. Novembris 1528. Oecolampadius.
Huldrico Zwinglio, suo charissimo fratri.

And then Bullinger’s ‘tweet’

Gratia et pax a domino. Rogo te plurimum, Zuingli mi, ut paucis mihi mentem tuam adaperias atque edoceas, quid rei sit, quod Christum ad inferna descendisse confitemur. Sunt enim ex doctis hodie non pauci, qui mira hic comminiscuntur, interim ut nihilo minus ipsi sese torqueant et lectores avidos a se dimittant.

Heilrijch Bullingerus tuus.
Hulderycho Zuinglio, fratri in domino charissimo.

No response has been found- but Bullinger went on to later include a discussion of the ‘descent’ in his ‘Decades’ – in the Sermon on the Apostle’s Creed (First Decade, Sermon 7).  May we find there something of Zwingli’s thought?  Who knows.  But perhaps.