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: