Daily Archives: 11 Feb 2019

We Thank Thee, Lord…

We thank thee, Lord, for the stalwart souls who write corrective tomes on ecclesiology today, because they alone have the key to the church’s proper implementation…

When You’re a White Woman, They Let You Get Away With Molestation

A former Ripon High School teacher who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a student has been placed on probation.  Samantha Marco, formerly Samantha Fitzpatrick, now of Belington, W.Va., has been given a withheld sentence, and placed on probation for three years instead. She received the news today (Monday) in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court.  The 29-year-old has been awaiting sentencing since November, when she entered the “guilty” plea for the single count of sexually assaulting a student by school staff.

Prior to that, she’d been facing charges also of child enticement-sexual contact, exposing a child to harmful material and resisting/obstructing an officer.   She received the charges based on allegations that, while teaching English at Ripon High School during the 2016-17 school year, Fitzpatrick had sex with a 17-year-old student.  During her “inappropriate relationship” with him, they had exchanged texts, Facebook messages and phone calls.  She resigned from her teaching position May 3, 2017, five weeks before the end of the school year. The Ripon Area School District administrators cited “unreliable attendance” as a factor for her resignation.

When you’re a white woman, they let you do whatever you want…

On ‘Student Evaluations of Professors’, Again

Well we all know they’re bad.  Now there’s reason to understand that they are bad all around.

Research on student evaluations of teaching suggests that the gender and age bias most colleges pride themselves on avoiding contaminate those evaluations, along with other nonacademic factors — like “sexiness.” Since many institutions of higher learning use these surveys to determine whether faculty keep their jobs or get raises, their unreliability matters. But the impact these student reviews have on the quality of education raises even more troubling issues: Students give better evaluations to people who grade them more generously.

Instructors who figure this out could give higher grades to secure tenure or a bigger raise. Grade inflation offers persuasive evidence that some faculty members have succumbed to this temptation. In other words, standards decline, so students learn less as the cost of their education rises. Ironically, this happens because students are now considered customers, so colleges want to keep them happy.

Evaluations encourage students to place total responsibility for the quality of their education on their instructors. I first encountered them in 1968, when I began my first full-time job, as an instructor of American literature. I had just finished a year as a graduate teaching assistant, during which students debated the reading among themselves and did not hesitate to argue with me once class began. I enjoyed these encounters enormously and suspect my students did, too. So, I was shocked in my first American-literature class as an instructor to discover that the students refused to participate in class, even after I threatened them with a longer syllabus unless they did so.

I got a terrible rating, and its publication humiliated me. The ignorant comment that I needed approval so badly that I asked questions and usually accepted and worked with the responses remains imprinted on my brain 50 years later.

Go read it all.  And if you are in Administration, discuss it with your board.  These evaluations are poison.  Their proponents are the academic equivalent of anti-vaxxers.  With thanks to Roberta Mazza for pointing it out.

This Is What It Looks Like…

When you’re a ‘church’ but you take a certain measure of delight in the dreadful treatment of children by monsters just so that you can feel morally superior.

Signs of the Times

This is What Happens When Twitter Let’s Just Anyone Put ‘Theologian’ in their Profile

This is the self-made theology of the toilet chamber.

Signs of the Times

Southern Baptists Need to Repent- And To Set Up a Database of Pastors so that Abusers Can Be Tracked

It’s time for the old men running the SBC to catch up with the times and commission a database of ALL pastors and staff of ALL Southern Baptist Churches, including any criminal complaints or convictions.

It’s time.

Use some of those millions you spend of ridiculous things like Lifeway books and set up a database.  Do it.  And do it NOW.

The only people who could possibly object are those who have something to hide. Here’s a snippet-

It’s not just a recent problem: In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state. They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives. Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions.  About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. Church volunteers.

Read the whole and then DEMAND a database so that these vile predators find no place in the SBC ever again.

Sure, they can repent.  And sure, they can be forgiven.  In prison.

Evidently You Have to Be Mentally Ill To Work For Fox News

How else to explain the stupidity of so many of their talking heads.

Fox News host Pete Hegseth explained on Sunday that he doesn’t wash his hands because “germs are not a real thing.”  Following a commercial break, Fox & Friends co-host Jedediah Bila revealed that Hegseth had been munching on day-old pizza that was left on the set.  “Pizza Hut lasts for a long time,” Hegseth replied, defending himself. “My 2019 resolution is to say things on air that I say off air. I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years. Really, I don’t really wash my hands ever.”  “I inoculate myself,” he continued. “Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them. Therefore, they’re not real.” Hegseth argued that his unsanitary habit leaves him immune to sickness.

What’s not real is Fox ‘News’.

The Newest Edition of the Zürcher Bibel

Includes the Deterocanonicals-

  • Judith
  • Tobit
  • Baruch
  • Jesus Sirach
  • Wisdom of Solomon
  • 1 Macc
  • 2 Macc

Along, of course, with the rest of the Old and New Testament books.  TVZ have sent a review copy of this edition, for which I thank them.

Stay tuned.

Fun Facts from Church History: Melanchthon’s Lectures on John

Melancthon1Melanchthon held lectures on the Gospel of John at the University of Wittenberg from February 11, 1522, until around March 11, 1523.*

So Luther took the notes and had them published, writing a witty and brilliant preface which begins

I have already purloined our Philip’s Annotations on three Epistles of Paul. And though he was not at liberty to rage against that thief Luther for it, he nevertheless thought he had been most satisfactorily avenged against me in that the little volume had come out so full of errors due to the negligence of the printers that I was nearly ashamed and regretted having invested my stolen goods so poorly. Meanwhile, he has lutherbeen making fun of me, hoping that henceforth I would abstain from such theft, having been taught a lesson by my predicament. But I, not at all troubled by this derision, have grown even more audacious, and now I take his Annotations on John the Evangelist not by stealth but by force, while the author resists in vain. But I do not wish to adorn them with words (they will commend themselves to the reader), lest I should have to endure his scornful frown again.*

The rest is just as good.

*Timothy J. Wengert, “Preface to Philip Melanchthon, Annotations on the Gospel of John (1523),” in Luther’s Works (ed. Christopher Boyd Brown; trans. Heath R. Curtis; vol. 59; Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2012), 5945.

Dull Witted and Coarsely Ignorant

jeromeI am not dull-witted nor coarsely ignorant – qualities which my enemies take for holiness, calling themselves the disciples of fishermen as if men were made holy by knowing nothing.  – St. Jerome

Brady Takes Piper to the Theological Woodshed

Deservedly so.  Christian is right, Piper’s genuinely wretched theology (why is he looked up to?) is truly harmful.  If you’re one of those silly YRR people, do yourself a favor, put Piper and the other celebs down and pick up Brunner.

This Should Be Of Interest

17th century British book illustrations. You know you want to look.


Ignorance of providence is the ultimate of all miseries; the highest blessedness lies in the knowledge of it.  — John Calvin