Monday, December 21, 2009

An overlooked Anniversary

Dec. 16th is Beethoven's birthday, and this year, the 65th Anniversary of the barrage that opened the Battle of the Bulge, "Hitler's Last Gamble"
Today, when you feel cold, remember the summer uniforms many of our soldiers still wore while defeating four SS Panzer Divisions, and all the Wehrmacht reserves that the Nazis could hide west of the front line in the Ardennes.
Dec. 21st saw the supposedly weak, undisciplined children of democracy (U.S.Army V Corps) holding the Elsenborn Ridge against fierce and determined assault by Hitler's 12th SS Panzer Division. While the SS is often remembered for their consummate ability to kill unarmed prisoners, this was the Waffen (armed) SS, still composed mostly of volunteers, armed with automatic weapons and backed by dozens of the dreaded Tiger tanks, probably the best heavy tank of the war. Their 55 ton weight limited their range and mobility, and the German factories, though highly productive, couldn't build them fast enough to make a difference. I suspect this was of no comfort to your average 19-year-old draftee, shivering in a foxhole.


Fragments for today: Manna? A hearty meal? Just what God knows I need!

"Clouds & thick darkness surround Him
Righteousness & justice are the foundation of his throne."
Though we can't see God DIRECTLY
we know that TRUTH is underneath.
God's character:
essential righteousness, holiness, perfection
and justice: its outworking in the visible world. (God, and God alone, defines justice; all else is a lot like a child whining "That's not FAIR")

Also of comfort today:
"...these have come so that your faith, which is of greater worth than gold, may be proved genuine and result in Praise Glory&Honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. "

There is a PURPOSE here; God's glory.

Finally, from the Westminster Chatechism:
What is our purpose on Earth & in Heaven?
Glorify God & enjoy him forever: Praise, Glory and Rejoicing

To the praise of his glorious Grace

Monday, December 14, 2009

God, who created every people, and nation, and language

Perhaps I should entitle this
"My Italian Grandparents"

I tried out a couple of different churches while in college, and one of my pastors said something insightful that is relevant to how we pray. After the sermon, I told him something I'd heard once about shameful divisions within Christendom, and too many denominations and so forth. While he didn't have a lot of time at the end of the service to discuss this with me, he did take the time to point out that many of the denominations actually enrich our understanding of God's truth, in that they illuminate our understanding of what Scripture teaches. He had attended a well-known a conservative seminary in the South, so of course he wasn't referring to anything that was clearly against the teaching of Scripture. But his wisdom has helped a lot when thinking of what divides us, or seems to, when we pray.

. In my tradition, group prayer was a “Prayer Meeting” and prayers were simultaneous, and usually out loud, so while we may have heard one another's voices, we weren't really listening to one another. This is fine, if each person was seeking God in an expectant atmosphere, as in Acts 2. But it inadvertently led to carelessness in one's choice of words; it was easiest just to repeat what others were saying, especially if they themselves were being repetitive. Furthermore, we were in reaction to liturgical worship, so anything that sounded like a crafted prayer was quietly frowned upon—even if it was just a quotation of the church's prayer book, the Psalms!

. Thus, even a public prayer during Sunday worship, usually by an elder or a deacon, was unlikely to be memorable—except for a pious old saint who prayed in Italian, his one recognizable word sounding like “City JAIL-uhh.” Perhaps he was always interjecting two words in English (on behalf of his friend who had to sober up every Saturday night in a cell, sort of like Otis in the Andy Griffeth Show?) More likely, this was a four syllable Italian word that he found quite useful as he poured out his heart to the God who created every people, and nation, and language.

He and his wonderful wife (who gently chided me as “my little bambino” whenever I would sneak up on the platform to play after the service) are looking down on us from Heaven as we pray. As much as I'm looking forward to hugging them again, and finishing my Italian lessons, it will be nothing compared to the unity and awe we will share as we cast our crowns before Him in eternal praise, with all the saints from every age.

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, 1824-1863

He was a mediocre student and
a terrible teacher.
But each time he married, it was to the
daughter of a college president.

On August 4, 1853, Jackson married Elinor Junkin (1825-1854), daughter of Dr. George Junkin (President of Washington College) and Julia Miller Junkin.

On July 16, 1857, Jackson married for the second time. His wife was Mary Anna Morrison (1831-1915), daughter of Robert Hall Morrison, the retired President of Davidson College.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On the Brink of Apostasy?

Presbytery of Boston v. Jean Southard
POB Report, 16 NOV 2009
South Boston

I'd like to thank Pastor Rob for his pastoral prayer Sunday, and the other Rob for his extension of Calvin's definition of a true church:
1.Scripture is preached faithfully
2.the Sacraments are administered

3.discipline is lovingly maintained, and

4.mission is a priority.

What stands out from this meeting is the lack of #3. Is appears to many that effective discipline in the Presbytery of Boston, at least among the “progressive” elements, has ceased to exist. Various machinations were successfully employed to make discipline the province of a small, appointed group, rather than a faithful, life-restoring part of our path of following Jesus—the Jesus revealed by God through Scripture, not the vague, malleable figure of “progressive” culture.
Even worse, perhaps, was the fate of #4. A prominent “progressive” member repeatedly attacked Garrett for his work for Jews for Jesus. This wasn't an angry, personal assault, but a cold, calm, apparently calculated denial of the importance of “preaching the Good News to every creature.” All this flows from the denial of #1, a God who has revealed himself in a way accessible to every creature, through Scriptures that can be read and understood by everyone, particularly when read in their own language: English, Korean, Spanish, Red Karen, or Kagayanen. I'm grateful that NPC has remained faithful to the Gospel that gives forgiveness from sin—that is, true freedom, which is not captive to the idolatry of “progress.”

Presbytery of Boston v. Jean Southard

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

William Billings

Who says Aaron Copland (a huge fav of mine) was the first great American composer? Listen to this from William Billings:
Seek not in court or palace
Nor royal curtains draw;
Search the stable, see your God
Extended on the straw

Saturday, October 17, 2009

“Sow the wind, Reap the Whirlwind”

Having undermined truth, beginning in the realm of religion and philosophy, Obama's climate experts are surprised and hurt that no one believes them. On a more practical level, liberals haven't convinced their own followers to get out of their SUV's and walk, so why should anyone else be convinced of a crisis in how we use the resources of God's earth?

Friday, October 16, 2009

The experts have undermined their own credibility

...from this thread:

Thanks for bringing up science and communication. There is indeed a problem: in spite of the obvious health impacts of a lousy diet—and I'm not just talking about the obesity epidemic—people continue to believe food ads: “eat what we tell you to”. There is a widespread cynicism, and it is not wholly the public's fault. The public is lied to all the time: Reagan lied about invading Central America in the 80's, Clinton lied about his affair in the 90's, and so on. The whole notion of truth has broken down, and scientists and other academicians have actually led the way. People have noticed that supposedly intelligent people lie all the time, and aren't trustworthy. The lie that science disproves the Bible, for example, or the embarrassing anti-Christian diatribes by Sam Harris, et al, show an utter lack of accountability. The distinction between Hollywood make believe and newscasters has become pretty slim. bbuudd said:“Simply ignoring the plight of the powerless, the poor, and the weak (ignored by the powerful, strong, and wealthy) because it costs too much is not an acceptable argument."
I couldn't agree more. Al Gore ought not to be bashed, indeed, but he needs to be held accountable for his lavish lifestyle by the media, and by Jim Wallis and company. Jim never talks about personal self indulgence; it's as if he's given up on sexual discipline and the discipline of searching for the truth. If we, as a society have stopped believing in the truth, why should anyone search for it? Why should anyone listen to a self proclaimed expert? When there was truth, there were experts. Now, as a logical consequence of the tenets of our state religion of secularism, neither exist.

Neo-pelagianism, our State Religion

A young relative of mine joined the “Youth Climate Action Network” with the best of intentions. The meetings are held in places with excellent access via public transportation. And she wants a ride in an automobile all the time, at a pound of CO2 emitted per mile! What are they teaching her?? She's a good kid; the fault is with a system of adults who say “Let someone else do it, at the government's bidding.” While technological solutions have relevance, allow me to paraphrase Jacques Ellul and point out that it's idolatrous to believe in a merely political or technological solution to a spiritual problem. Yet our state religion teaches faith in human perfectibility, and that those who believe in human sin and a loving, omnipotent and just LORD of Creation are old fashioned, or fundamentalists, or even worse.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An honest question

We hear a lot these days about laws designed to change OTHER people's behavior. Didn't being a liberal and an environmentalist used to mean "Small is Beautiful" "Living More with Less" and "Tread lightly on the Earth"???
Now Al Gore gets a Nobel for living in a uselessly large and extravagant mansion, and Obama gets a Nobel just for being alive. Am I missing something, or are most of the liberals I know, and know of, hypocrites? Is anyone celebrated for simple living anymore? Naturally, the spoiled rich folks who are TV's talking heads can hardly celebrate folks whose lifestyles put them to shame.
Anyway, enlighten me, correct me, talk to me....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More than you asked for, sir.

Qui Verbo Dei contempserunt, eis auferetur etiam verbum hominis.
They that have despised the Word of God, from them shall the word of man also be taken away.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Progress: the more things change the more they stay the same

“Progress” in 1914 meant we had learned how to kill millions, and could call it “warfare.”
Progress” in 1939 meant we could kill millions of undesirables and call it “evolution of the race.”
in 1974 meant we learned we could kill unwanted millions and call it “medicine”

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sojourners brought up God's Law again here I go:
I'd like to comment on a Christian and his/her relation to the Law. They are indeed the “Terms” of another covenant, which does not bind us. We are bound under the Covenant of Grace. But the Ten Commandments are still a perfect statement of God's views. God hasn't, won't, and doesn't need to change his mind. A God any less perfect would be unworthy of our worship. Jesus not only reaffirmed God's commands, but made a few of them much more difficult to follow (adultery and murder). Interestingly, it seems Sabbath keeping was made a tad easier by “it was made for humans, you know” which says to me that it's perfectly OK to think about what they mean—not as critics, but as those who seek to understand. Another important thing to think about: does this particular law make any sense as public policy in a secular society? For many of the Ten, the answer is, obviously, "No." But that doesn't mean Christians should be shy about "this is what I believe." In Psalm 19, David said “the law of the LORD is perfect”
I am heartened to see that “LetJusticeRollDown” [another poster at] longs to follow in the footsteps of David, the one “after God's own heart.”
Blessings, for Shalom, the loving reign of God's good laws,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Success and failure

It's often been said that baseball is one of the few professions where you can fail two times out of three and be considered a great success. But an abortionist has an even lower standard(morally if not numerically): it's a successful procedure if only one of his patients leaves the clinic in a medical waste container.
(I am of course aware that this is a complex issue. Many factors go into the decision, and people of good will have differing opinions. But it helps to state mine honestly, and to think carefully about yours! Blessings, Witness4peace)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Goverment jobs

Who will work for the “government option” insurance company? Let's see, insurance companies will suffer from the competition, jobs will be at risk, so, if I were an employee at Private Insurance company X, I'd apply for a government job with lifetime tenure! Obama would hire the very people he now chooses to demonize!

Monday, September 14, 2009

From a thread about nationalization of health care
Check out this column from the Boston Globe about what a “right” is, and isn't. The Bill of Rights is about freedom; liberal elitists and their fellow travelers like Jim Wallis have turned it into an entitlement, an obligation that impinges on the freedoms of others. Instead of deeds of mercy, which the Bible commands in no uncertain terms, Rev. Jim is substituting the secular notion of entitlement: something someone else is forced to do for me, for free, regardless of my behavior. There's a world of difference.

True, the Canadian system is technically independent of the US but their people, as patients, aren't. That should be obvious [from their travel to the US for urgent treatment, and their use of our medical schools and privately manufactured medical products]. I know little about European systems; there may be something or a lot to learn from them. But not if we don't get the fundamentals of what is a right and what is personal responsibility straight from the beginning. And not if we don't tell the truth: that Obama and Jim are steering us in the disastrous direction of nationalization regardless of the satisfaction of the majority with many essential aspects of the current private system.
There also was an earlier ref on this site to this column:
It's well known (;_ylt=Akup8mKE8f.5OwsjV4kAZCT34494;_ylu=X3oDMTJ1aWU0OWJvBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwOTEzL3VzX2hlYWx0aF9jYXJlX3ByaW1hcnlfY2FyZQRjcG9zAzUEcG9zAzUEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawM1MG1pbGxpb25uZXc-), that there aren't enough primary care physicians to handle a sudden influx of people with free or subsidized government insurance. True, primary care CAN save costs later on, but will all these new patients pay any better attention than you and I? Ten or 20 million more people being told to quit smoking, lose weight, and exercise? The emergency is not about health care delivery or insurance, but public health—people are failing to take elementary steps to better health. It appears that Obama has no plan to deal with this other than to insist that his plan will solve everything. Yeah, right. That is so wildly optimistic as to border on outright falsehood.
While I am indeed impressed with our new Surgeon General's dedication to the health of the poor, I still feel her weight sends the wrong message: look how far I got by ignoring medical advice. So she is a good, very good, person, but a rotten example of the preventive care that is our only hope for real savings in a plan that refuses to limit malpractice abuse. Please don't dismiss this as criticizing someone with a problem I don't have--in fact, bad food is too readily available and inexpensive to the poor in America. If this is addressed, as a priority far higher than the socialization of medicine, Obama will have done some good.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Continuing the discussion

An exchange on the Sojourners site has been moved here due to technical concerns. Topics: Obama's health plan, sexual mores, Muslims, idolatry, yeah it's kinda wide ranging. Talk to me, please ;-)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Better than God. Really?

God created both women and men in his image. The fact that God is relational, encompassing both the masculine and the feminine, is an unchanging fact that the Church keeps needing to rediscover. When a patriarchal culture reads Genesis 1:27, it notices the “male” and ignores “and female” or somehow discounts it. Every culture, even one as “advanced” and especially one as sophisticated as ours, has this tendency. Our worship of Progress is our projection of human qualities onto God. How could God, already perfect and eternally outside human history and time, get better?

Indulgences and church government.
The “reformation” to which the church is committed is literally that: re-forming, i.e. rediscovering the intent of the structures at the time the Church adopted them. A church hierarchy, developed to serve those inside and outside of the church, instead became a much coveted source of power and prestige, purchasable by the Borgias and their sort, and highly dependent on revenue from the marketplace of guilty souls. While there are doubtless church structures more suited to the Information Age than house churches and itinerant apostles, they are not in any way “better” or an “improvement” over Acts. “Change” is a fact, but Progress is often an illusion.

Science and astronomy.
Some Christians still persist in a belief in a Creation week comprising a sequence of 7 days of 24 hours duration—forgetting that there was no sun until the fourth day, and thus no way that a “24 hour day” had any meaning on days one, two and three. But this error, as obvious as it is trivial, shouldn’t obscure the grander fact the God is the Creator, whatever exact means he chose to use. I just read that Stephen Hawking is still refining the “Big Bang” theory, so who knows when we will find out exactly how God did it? (I can wait ‘til Heaven, but that’s just me.)

Women in the church and elsewhere.
I will grant that, in many obvious ways, the status of women has improved, particularly in cultures influenced by Judaism and Christianity. But this is not a continuous line: even many conservative scholars believe the early church had women leaders. During the era of persecution, the bishop was often the first to be martyred, so moving away from women as bishops saved women’s lives—until the exclusion became dogma, and the many women leaders in the Bible (Deborah, Miriam, Phoebe) and the early church were forgotten. It was NOT the selfstyled “liberal” and “progressive” mainline Protestants who first re-discovered this—it was the lower class, much despised Pentecostals and Salvationists. For example, the Church of the Foursquare Gospel was founded by a woman, and led by her for many years. But in the larger culture, are women really that safe? A female living inside another female has no protection at all. Sexual assault is widespread and devastating. There are few places where you can leave your doors
unlocked any more. Is that progress for women? Some of what we name “progress” has been based on devaluing the precious task of childrearing, and both men and women suffer for our arrogance in valuing tasks based on the market value of the service when performed outside the home. And we still haven’t figured out a way to allow fathers to breastfeed!!

Part of this thread:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jim Wallis circa 1980 where have you gone?

I just read Rev. Wallis again,
and found no hint that he is open to anything but THIS plan, RIGHT NOW. He provides no religious or theological justification for the government doing this, aside from anecdotes that the faith community, as he defines it, is attending lots of meetings and "doing things"--except I heard nothing about prayer meetings, fasting and praying, confession for our personal part in this, just damning of unnamed, sinister special interests. But how is "reform" supporter Planned Parenthood not a special interest? For that matter, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party might just be a special interest:
one that is deeply distrustful of people of faith like Joe Lieberman, and one that is in deep denial about the meaning of the shift in power of 2006-when LIBERAL Republicans lost election after election to CONSERVATIVE Democrats. For all the hope people, including myself, used to place in him as a "third way" it must be blisteringly obvious by now that Jim has moved to uncritical support of liberal Democrats. Why is the “government option” more important than Darfur?
I believe Jim and many of his supporters are pacifists--why are they quietly allowing the President to greatly expand a war in Afghanistan? Afghanistan?? The country that hasn't been conquered by an outside power since Genghis Khan in 1219??? Jim is falling in step with the President's priorities on these things, and it's a sad spectacle.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

You heard it first here

Massachusetts--the state where people want to make lots of laws but no one wants to obey them.
Well, my daughter says she's never heard that from anyone but me. I have a feeling it's a rather common and obvious observation. Defiance of traffic laws is only the tip of the iceberg: I suspect--just a guess here--that Governor Patrick's driving skills are average or even worse than average. Let's hope his chauffeur is better.

Bad news from the moderates

If you think the only critics of the president's plan are die hard Republicans and extremist talk show hosts, read this from what sure sounds like aneutral source to me:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Am I a right winger?

Skimming the articles, you might think I am. Please, friends, read more thoroughly, or at least leave questions, comments and criticisms. (Anything up to and perhaps including ”Go back to Nazi Germany” is welcome, really!) I believe in progressive taxation, not the flat tax. And, in spite of his scr*wing around, I think Bill Clinton was a pretty good President. I oppose overseas wars. I was a vehement critic of the Contra War in the 1980's, and still see that as the biggest blot on the Reagan Era. Wait, you say, wasn't the Reagan Era a huge, undifferentiated blot of right wing-ism, thus PROVING that joyfulreality should be RightWingTotality instead?! Gotcha, you say. I ask: have you noticed that Reagan has been kindly or at least respectfully spoken of by every Democratic Presidential candidate for decades? Are they sincere? If not, then you think Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Barack Obama are liars.*(see note) That hardly makes you a loyal Democrat. If you are an extreme left winger, of course, you will have no problem criticizing any of these as “not liberal enough” But if you think 49 states were wrong in re-electing Reagan in 1984, then might I suggest that you think Americans are fools? Or perhaps you think as this Mondale voter thought way back then, that America was just fooled. Either way, it is dangerous ground on which you stand.
I agree with Susan B. Anthony that abortion is merely another tool by which men abuse women! Check it out—she was an abortion opponent. Does my agreement with her make me a right winger? Think about it! That's what this blog is about, I think ;-)
Witness For Peace (another blogging name of mine)
PS I didn't follow Obama closely enough to recall what he said about Reagan. But he clearly stated that he thinks marriage is between a man and a woman. He was just more tentative and apologetic about it. So, you think he was lying and is in fact is in favor of creating an entirely new, inalienable right to CHOOSE THE SEX of your marriage partners? You're calling a popular President a liar? You gotta choose, which is he? I believe in gay rights, very strongly. They should have, and already have, the same rights as everyone else. I think they, and polygamists, and all of us, should recognize the right of LEGISLATURES to determine the number of spouses we can have, their minimum age, degree of consanguinity, and yes, their sex. Which one of these limitations violates an inalienable right to marriage? They ALL do; it is not inalienable; it is regulated. Regulated not by unaccountable “justices” (many of whom are merely robed activists) but by elected officials in a democracy. Those who are accountable to voters are the ones who should decide.
When GLBT lobbyists (also unelected and unaccountable) chose to make the redefinition of marriage a “rights” issue, the ground for compromise was fatally undermined. I either agree with you completely, or I'm a despicable bigot. Go ahead, post my name on the Internet so people can spit on me!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Beware of what you wish for

Well, I'm back from Digestive Disease Week, and rather than transgastric drainage of pancreatic cysts, which I know nothing about, I'm thinking about the wisdom embedded in certain cliches and sayings, like: "What's the worst that could happen?"
Well, I missed my stop, so this train could drop me off in a bad neighborhood where I'll be robbed, mugged and murdered. My flesh will be devoured by rats and my bones gnawed by stray dogs. There will be nothing left except this name badge that says I was at and took a wrong turn somewhere! I'll be digested!
And the best? Well, instead of simply riding the train to Indiana and then back to my stop, maybe someone will rescue me! I could beg a ride from my uncle, and both of us will spend all evening going nowhere, instead of just me. In other words, my rescue plan wasn't much better than just staying on the train, and I didn't trouble my uncle.
So, what happens when we get what we want? She falls in love with me, we carry on a long distance romance, and I have less time for my calling and my two adorable kids. "Uhh, that's your GOOD scenario?" Maybe what I already have is really good! This train is safe, God is taking me to just the right place, so don't whine about the detours! Hallelujah anyone?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Abortion and Genocide

from a thread comparing abortion today with the violence in the Old Testament:

I don't think Hammerud or I are anywhere close to saying slaughter is something to be emulated today "in some circumstances". While Old Testament faith, like Gideon's, is clearly to be desired, the Holy Spirit empowers us to use Gideon-like faith in OUR situation, on this side of the Cross, in the third millennium, not to see how many soldiers we can cause to be slaughtered in one day. As for justifying it, I'm saying it's a mystery to me, while Hammerud seems to be throwing out one or the other of the various less than satisfactory explanations of “Why in the world did God command that?!” But command it He did! Am I to judge God? It is certainly OK for you and me to scratch our heads and say “I don't get it” and to ask God why He did so, either now or in Heaven!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Suffering and Education

I'm a wimp when it comes to pain—physical and mental. I won't bore you with examples. How can we avoid pain? Education, perhaps: Which sports are the most likely to cause painful injuries? Should I look both ways before crossing the street? [umm, where I live, that's a lifestyle choice, by the way—last week, while driving slowly and quietly through a residential area, a man stepped out between parked cars in front of me on a diagonal path, such that even his peripheral vision had no chance of including me. He finally noticed my car after I slammed on the brakes, and cast me an annoyed (or was it bored) look, as if I had no business driving on the street he intended to wander across. Perhaps I should commend his chivalry, as he took this risk rather than his wife/partner/girlfriend/sister/business associate/?, who was following him at a safe distance. I guess she's the smart one!] Should I smoke to look cool, taking on the distant risk of spending the last years of my life struggling desperately to breathe against my emphysema? Education is great, and answers all of the above questions rather definitively. I've been to grade school, middle school [ugh], high school, college, and even what some folks call a rather distinguished graduate school [see above comment about middle school.] More questions: what do my chromosomes say about the kind of children I might have? Amniocentesis anyone? Fetoscopy? Wow, I can avoid the pain of spending my life tending a dying child; just educate me! Now, I do not have a special needs child, and it is a dreadful prospect, this pain-avoider admits it. Check out for some difficult yet hopeful details on the child two of my friends are raising. So, education will make sure Dean will never be taunted in school, right? Well, maybe—I'm an optimist. But kids also know that kids who are different can be aborted before they ever take up space in a classroom. For every adult who genuinely tries to appreciate human differences, there are a score who are “glad it's not me” or, worse still, wonder why the stupid parents didn't use amniocentesis to, well, nip this problem in the bud! Kids aren't stupid—they pick up these cues from adults. And the do-gooders that inevitably populate groups like my school's “Respect for Human Differences” committee may be sincere, but can they be effective? How many Prader-Willi babies and children are featured in Gap commercials? Abercrombie? American Eagle? Let's see, clothing stores and movie studios spend billions every year to promote “cool.” The Respect for Human Differences committee has a budget of, oh, a few hundred dollars—is that going to outweigh Hollywood and Madison Ave.? Now, there is common grace for every human of every religion. Some things are just wrong, and people know it. So there is a chance that the well-meaning RfHD folks will strike that cord of of grace and do some good. But they are fighting against original sin. Sadly, most RfHD committees are dominated by folks who deny sin, and have a totally unrealistic view of the power of education. In fact, they may be engaging in mis-education in that they promote lifestyle choices as genetic conditions. Or they may promote innate conditions as neutral or positive that are, in their own way, as damaging and destructive as Prader-Willi Syndrome. So, what makes my friend's child valuable? What makes those with poor lifestyle choices valuable? All are made in the image of God. Yes, that comes under “education”—sort of—but it's not a tenet of the ruling elites, so it won't be featured in any educational presentation by the “Respect for Human Differences” committee. And in the background is the not-so-subtle roar of “beautiful is better” “cool is cool” and “life begins when the baby is wanted.” Unwanted babies don't leave the hospital in car carriers festooned with balloons; they leave in medical waste containers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More or less Priceless

In an online forum, I was taken to task vigorously for my initial posting, pointing to Planned Parenthood's origin in the eugenics movement. Finally, neuro_nurse asked what Planned Parenthood does that I oppose [not that whether or not I personally oppose something is particularly important]
Let me tell you a story first, from one of the many missionaries to Haiti supported by our church over the years. Her biggest challenge in preventing “risk taking” behavior among young women in Haiti is convincing them their life is worth preserving from the danger of AIDS! If your life is of little value, why not have fun while you can? How profoundly different from my friend's attitude is the raison d'etre of Planned Parenthood—their consistent purpose year in and year out is to measure the value of individual lives, created in the image of God, and to prolong or terminate that life based on a scale of worth that is inimical to my values and I suspect to yours as well. Nothing has changed except the increasing sophistication of their slogans. The main value that is placed on an unborn life is simply “is this baby wanted” and that, of course, correlates with everything BUT that child's value in the eyes of God. I'm glad rich parents decorate nurseries for their wanted babies, and pass around “baby's first picture” even if it's just an ultrasound. But the unplanned pregnancy looks the same to the baby whether it's wanted or not. We're told there will be less suffering if these lower class babies are “terminated”—that is, there is no intrinsic worth in the baby or ultimately in anyone. So the link to decades past is clear, with no repentance. “Every child a wanted child” “Family Planning” are just better slogans. So that's what I don't like about them—they seem to have fooled many well meaning folks, including you.
Blessings for peace, SHALOM—God's wholeness for all of his creation,

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chubby cheeks or the horrible alternative

Suppose I am a female living inside another female's uterus in January 2009. Whether I end this year wearing a diaper and having my chubby cheeks kissed and nuzzled, or in a landfill having been incinerated as medical waste depends largely on how much money my mother and her family have. This seems a horrible case of injustice, yet most of the Robed Emperors don't allow themselves to look at it that way. It's not a matter of law or courts or legislatures even, it's whether I am “wanted.” If today I am unwanted, I can still end up the year being nuzzled by a family unrelated to my birth mom, bless her heart, through the gift of adoption.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Radical Middle

Isn't there a Beatles song about dreaming about....please enlighten me with a comment, anonymous or otherwise. Anyway, my dream is buried in this exchange from sojourners

A frequent problem is the oppressed becoming the oppressor. By framing gay issues as civil rights issues rather than religious disagreements, the trends you mention could well end up with me being despised as a bigot, much as many people now look down on a good 'ole boy with a Confederate flag on his pickup(i.e. assuming he's a racist). Legally, a sermon on the Ten Commandments could be viewed by a court sympathetic to GLBT issues as an incitement for a drunk to beat up a gay person in a bar nearby that evening. If such a crime actually occurred, the victim could sue and compel the pastor/church to spend a fortune on a legal defense. In California a fertility clinic was successfully sued for referring a lesbian couple to a different clinic for religious reasons. Also in California, people are being denied their right to vote in citizen petitions. So as fervently as I want you to be physically safe, I don't support much of what is now occurring. Your psychological well-being is important, but freedom and the democratic process are important to the nation as a whole.
A plea for Christians to work for the physical safety of GLBT folk overseas even as we oppose gay marriage here in the US for religious reasons. This is the sort of radical middle thing that should appeal to Sojourners Magazine; unfortunately they are more just the Christian left these days. Which is their right, of course, but a disappointment to folks like me who were big fans of Jim Wallis back in the 1980's

I would also like to affirm JamesM: "So many people dehumanize others and think that that is what they are called to do. Maybe if they had a real heart-to-heart with people who have experienced what you have, they would change their tune."///More on hate crimes:Perhaps you[a person I'm debating on] support hate crimes legislation for honorable reasons. I oppose it from the reasons given by this Jewish letter writer, published in response to Cornel West: September 29, 2007
CORNEL WEST and Sylvia Rhue's arguments about hate crimes legislation border on hatred itself, such as when they accuse people who oppose this legislation as being guilty of "falsehoods and bigotry" ("Fabricated fears about hate crimes legislation," Op-ed, Sept. 25).
Hate crimes legislation is unnecessary. A crime is a crime. Hate is a motive. Making a motive a crime is legislating thought. Matthew Shepard was murdered. That was the crime. Perhaps hatred of homosexuals was the motive. Every crime has a motive. Greed can cause theft. Jealousy can cause people to kill the lovers of their mates. Anger can lead to assault and battery. Anger, jealousy, and greed are not crimes. Assault and battery, murder, and theft are crimes. Hate also should not be a crime. We need to keep our senses, even if we don't like the reason that someone commits a crime.
B. M. C.