Saturday, February 07, 2009

This is what Voting for Obama gets you

Obama has made it Illegal to use contractors unless they are union in effect.

That means that everything will go up in price.

This is way beyond the pale. Gloves are off. I'm going to see to it that anyone who cares about our country knows about this. I just did.

Public Service Anouncement

Free Matchmaking Service on line.

You're welcome

Hillarious Spoof - Dead Hoboes

I won't say any more. If you like to have your funnybone tickled, this will.

Finally, a little liberal humor emerges....UPDATED

Since it's not yet acceptable to poke the kind of fun at Obama and his supporters as it was during 8 years of Bush with the steady drip drip drip of Letterman (Great Moments), Daley and Colbert, maybe just maybe the funny bone long missing from the liberals could be found again. Ad a public service, here's an attempt at finding humor among the sacred cows of liberalism (or they now like to refer to themselves, Progressives) (Like the change in appellation from Global Warming to Climate Change makes all things right). Some of these are really funny.

Q: How many Obama voters does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. Hoping that it would change is quite enough.

Q: How many autoworkers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: 17 at GM, Ford and Chrysler; 1 at Honda, Hyundai and Toyota.

Q: How many Chicago Democrats does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Bleep you, what am I gettin’ outta this?

Q: How many Democrats does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: It's burnt out on the Republican side, so we're not changing it.

Q: How many MSM journalists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: No need, Obama is the Light.

Q: How many Congresspersons does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None, but they'll allocate a few billion to achieve change under the Obama Stimulus Bill.

Q: How many Daily Kos bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: It was Bush's fault the bulb burned out; it'll get fixed by itself when he leaves office.

Q: How many Minnesota Canvassing Board members does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Depends. They'll only change it if it looks like a vote for Coleman.

Q: How many Oprah Winfrey fans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: The bulb's not so light these days.

Q: How many Cubans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: There have been no lightbulbs since the USSR collapsed.

Q: How many North Koreans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: What's a lightbulb?

Q: How many Hollywood celebrities does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Six to make movies about evil lightbulb companies, twelve to lecture about the unequal distribution of light on late night talk shows and nine to get caught with drugs hidden in cartons of lightbulbs.

Q: How many Obama appointees does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: His team is currently in the process of finding someone from the Clinton Administration who knows how.

Q: How many Caroline Kennedys does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: She's never thought about it but now that you mention it, she'd love for someone to change it for her. You know...

Q: How many President Obamas does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: The bulb is a lot more burnt out than we thought. Clearly, the bulb has deteriorated. It might not be changed as quickly as we would like.

Why change the light bulbs? The burnt out ones will work as well as new ones do when Comrade Gore shuts down the evil fossil fuel greenhouse gassing and nuclear glow-in-the-dark mutation making power plants.

Q: How many Kennedys does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three. One to hold the light bulb and two to drink until the room spins around.

Q: How does Bono change a light bulb?
A: He just holds the bulb and the world revolves around him.

Q: How many union electricians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Five... you gotta problem with that, buddy?

Q: How many gun control advocates does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None, they just pass a law against burnt out bulbs and then walk away wondering how come its still dark.

Q: How many journalists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Three. One to report it as an inspired government program to bring light to the people, one to report it as a diabolical government plot to deprive the poor of darkness, and one to win a Pulitzer prize for reporting that Electric Company hired a lightbulb assassin to break the bulb in the first place.

Q: How many President Elect Obamas does it take to change a lightbulb?
A:’s above his pay grade.

Q: How many people does it take to help Barney Frank put up a light bulb?
A: He can do it all by himself, but it takes an entire emergency room to remove it.

Q: How many progressives does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One: When he/she/it realizes that the bulb not working the light coming on over his/her/its head will be more than sufficient to illuminate the room.

Q: How many progressives does it to take to change a lightbulb?
A: Why would you change it when you can ban it?

Q: How many lightbulbs does it take to change a progressive?
A: None. Some things will never see the light no matter how brightly it shines.

Q: How many Caroline Kennedys does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: She’s never, you know, thought about it but, you know, now that you, you know, mention it, you know, she’d love for someone to, you know, change it for her, you know.

Q: How many Obama voters does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Excuse me. Light bulbs are just another part of the soulless industrial society we should be moving away from in our mission to save Mother earth from warming. Obama's brother doesn't need no stinking light bulb and neither should we.

Q: How many surrealist painters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Fish.

Q: How many (NY guv) Pattersons does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, but there's 4 bulbs in the pack and he hasn't decided which one to pick....

Q: How many Leon Panettas does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Oh, crap, ANOTHER job he's not qualified for!

Q: How many Al Gores does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, and it means another Oscar and Nobel Prize on the horizon for him.

Q: How many greedy, corrupt capitalists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two; one to mix a martini, and one to call the electrician.

Q: How many Union electricians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 17: 4 to form a committee to ensure all OSHA standards have been met at the site of the bulb to be changed; 1 to bring the ladder; 3 to say they have no part of their job descriptions that allow them to climb ladders; 2 to sleep on the job; 3 to not show up at all; 2 to remind everyone that it's Bush's fault that the light bulb isn't working in the first place; 1 to change the lightbulb; and 1 to share a martini with the greedy, corrupt capitalists.

Q: How many progressives does it take to change a light bulb?
A: A couple to observe that the bulb needs changing. A handful to organize a committee on light bulbs. Add a dozen to work on a case study on light bulbs. Throw in another score to form an over watch committee to make sure the case study is following proper guidelines and procedures. Then add a pinch of lawyers to handle the ubiquitous legal matters, and about ten lobbyists to bilk Congress for funding to pay for it all. Then wait 4 years and watch the whole thing get scrapped by the new administration.

Q: How many Caroline Kennedys does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: She’s never, you know, thought about it but, you know, now that you, you know, mention it, you know, she’d love for someone to, you know, change it for her, you know.

Q. How many Kal-Lee_Forn-yons does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. 5. One to change the bulb and 4 to "share the experience."

How many Radical Feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many members of Hamas does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many ACLU lawyers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many Community Organizers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many SAG members does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many politicized musicians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many Liberal left-leaning guilt-ridden self-hating Jews does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many Mimes does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many PETA member does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many ambassadors to the United Nations from Muslim countries does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Q: How many global warmists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: None. Energy inefficient filament bulbs are a carbon-spewing crime against Mother Gaia. We must only use mercury-laden fluorescent lights.

Only a qualified state technician should be allowed to change them. Why? Lightbulbs are not funny, they are DANGEROUS:

1) Lightbulbs contain dangerous vacuum
2) Lightbulbs are made of dangerous glass; if they are dropped, they could explode and cause injury to children, adults and other living things.
3) Lightbulbs get HOT while in operation, so hot that they can cause burn injuries to untrained personnel. OW!
4) DIY comrade lightbulb changers hurt the economy by depriving state-certified and trained lightbulb changing technicians of work! You workers who change your own lightbulbs are not only endangering yourself and others but you are taking the food (and the lightbulbs) out of your comrades' mouthes! Have you no shame?
5) Used lightbulbs must be disposed of in an environmentally friendly state-approved anal-retentive regulated manner.
6) Hospitals are now required to report to the police anyone who was injured while changing or disposing of a lightbulb. Fines and jail time may be imposed. For the greater good.

Q: How many pscyzophrenics does it take to change a Ligh...

They aren't all knee slappers, but it will be entertaining to poke honest fun at the dumb and dumber members of the progressive movement for the next four years (one term O). I hope Obama does well, I wish the people that support him like those two below were brighter bulbs in the box than they are. He wouldn't be POTUS then.

What's not funny is the Pelosi Stock market chart:

Here's who's really ruining things. We have Dumb and Dumber to thank:
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Friday, February 06, 2009

Ten pounds of manure in a five-pound bag

The Great Overreach

By Jonah Goldberg

The stimulus bill has failed. Barack Obama has failed. The Trojan Horse of Hope and Change crashed into the guardrail of reality, revealing an army of ideologues and activists inside.

Now, before I continue, let me say that Barack Obama will still be popular, he will still get things done, and he will declare victory after signing a stimulus bill.

But Obama’s moment is gone, and politics is about nothing if not moments.

The stimulus bill was a bridge too far, an overplayed hand, ten pounds of manure in a five-pound bag. The legislation’s primary duty was never to stimulate the economy, but to stimulate the growth of government, the scope of the state.

By spending hundreds of billions on things that have absolutely nothing to do with providing an immediate stimulus for the economy, Democrats hoped to make a down payment on their dream government. The billions for student aid, expanded welfare and health-care benefits, and bailouts for profligate state governments; the hundreds of millions for better museums and prettier government buildings; and the millions for smoking-cessation programs and bee insurance aren’t just items on crapulent Democrats’ wish list. The budget bloating was deliberate.

Remember what passes for a “cut” in Washington. Any decrease in the rate of increase counts as reduced spending. If you spend 20 percent more this year than you did last year, that’s a spending increase. But next year, that additional 20 percent is part of the baseline. And if your budget grows by “only” an additional ten percent, you’ve just "drastically cut" spending!

The stimulus bill was designed to give Democrats maximum maneuvering room. It would increase non-defense discretionary spending by more than 80 percent in a single year, in a single bill! Moving forward, they could grow government by smaller percentages while seeming to be responsible budget balancers. By putting chips on every square of social spending, they could let it ride for years to come.

Of course, this was more than a budgetary ploy. Democrats had good reason to believe that this was their moment. For the first time in a generation, they truly own the political commanding heights. They’ve won a string of elections, including the momentous presidential contest in which their candidate never really ran to the center the way Democrats normally do. He stayed on the liberal left all the way through Election Day, so liberals figured voters knew what they were getting with Obama. Indeed, that’s why the president keeps saying “I won,” as if that settles the issue. Funny how that argument didn’t work for the last president when he tried to reform Social Security.

Moreover, many actually believed Obama’s own hype. This was the moment for this, that and the other thing. This was the time when we, as Americans, were going to have our cake and eat it too. Future generations were going to look back and remember how Republicans and Democrats, cats and dogs, Klingons and Romulans came together and marched to the sunny uplands of history, where shopping carts have no wobbly wheels; airplane food is free, delicious, and filling; and we get all of our energy from 100 percent renewable Loch Ness Monster poop.

Throw in the media’s shock-and-awe campaign—which has been softening enemy positions with obsequious coverage of Obama as Franklin Delano Lincoln, the Jedi-Lightworking-Messiah community organizer from the south side of Krypton, combined with near-daily autopsies of conservatism and the Republican party (cue Richard Dreyfuss: “This was no voting accident!”)—and it’s no wonder liberals thought they had an open field in front of them.

The economic crisis was almost too good to be true. Like FDR and Lyndon Johnson, Obama was poised to act on Rahm’s Rule of Crisis Exploitation in a way that would not only guarantee a newer New Deal and an even greater Great Society, but would also receive bipartisan approval. That’s why Obama wanted so much GOP support—so as to ratify the left turn to European-style social democracy, particularly when voters cottoned on to the con.

But that didn’t happen. Obama and his party were undone by their hubris. There was just too much muchness in the bill. The once impressive support from conservative economists evaporated. Right-wing radio has been having one long tailgate party celebrating Obama’s overreach. According to the polls, voters are souring on the whole thing. Republicans finally discovered testicular fortitude—and they seem to like it.

There is still probably bipartisan support for a stimulus bill, but only for a measure intended to stimulate our market-based economy rather than one that hastens its Swedenization.

Again, Obama’s presidency has many victories ahead of it, and Democrats still run the show. But the perfect storm of liberalism has dissipated to mere scattered showers.

Check with me and I'll keep you from stupidity

I have a friend who said that to me yesterday. He's a pretty bright guy and has a lot of insight.

But, if I want to be stupid I can do that with or without his help. So I'll pass thank you.

I have offered the same help to others. I have a friend who authored a silly post on his blog. He was serious. It's just that it made him look, well let's just say not very discerning. Several people called him on it. I'm sure he still believes he is right.

I won't offer to help him from looking stupid. He wouldn't take it. Nor would I. Even at my age, at his age, if we want to be stupid, we can do that all by ourselves and wouldn't take help even if it is offered.

I don't know if there's a Bible verse that supports this, but there probably is. I wasn't thinking very Biblically.

Just Human.

I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks

Charles Krauthammer is bemoaning the fact that Barack Obama is a mere mortal:

After Obama's miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell -- and that this president told better than anyone.
I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks.

Read the whole thing, it's worth it.

"We have to Do Something" - Throw that Drowning man a Concrete Block

That would be really stupid. A concrete block will not help, it could hurt, it will hurt.

But, that's doing "Something", isn't it?

That is the argument on the part of the democrats wanting to spend 920 BILLION dollars to "do SOMETHING".

Clank, here comes that concrete block.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Is it Christian to Question what our President Does?

I have been clear on this blog from the day it became apparent that Barack Obama would become POTUS that I will Honor him as MY President, that I will Pray for him for sound judgement, safety from all harm and that the Spirit of God will invade his life supernaturally. I will and I do. If you find me deviating from that promise and drifting into the kind of idiocy the left had toward George Bush I give you full permission to call me on it.

That doesn't mean I endorse or approve of all he does. It means that I will not be easily duped by things he does that are meant to persuaded a willing press and populace toward his policies when they are contrary to the worldview I live in or harmful in my opinion. I grant you that these opinions are my own and I have been mistaken in the past. I will be again. Last I looked, we still have the right to question those in authority according to the constitution. The first amendment hasn't yet been revoked.

To be fair, I am doubly hard on people who should know better that have blindly fallen for his smooth effective public manner. I am extra hard on people who supported and voted for him in SPITE of openly spoken policies towards issues close to the heart of God like innocent life and homosexuality. I have this bad habit. I read his book. It's pretty clear without midrash where the Father's heart is in those areas.

I am openly dismissive of the silly folks who without knowing any of the issues voted for Obama and blindly support him motivated by black racism and white guilt. There is also a group of liberals who without thinking voted for Obama no matter what he espoused, he wasn't George Bush and that was enough. Fortunately that only represents a tiny bit over half of the populace.

Now, to the question at the top of this post. Is a Christian allowed to question and even be critical of what a President does or says? Or does the positive confession rule apply here? I come from a long line of prosperity message preachers who would say you must NEVER EVER say anything negative. It's negative confession if you do. If you get a sniffle, you are to say, "I'm healed, I'm whole, I'm feeling wonderful", even as you wheeze and hack, cough and run a fever. Of course don't go to a doctor. That would be negative confession.

Money is the same. NEVER EVER say I'm short of cash. Just keep on saying "I'm blessed of the Lord and have more than enough to overflowing". Meanwhile the process server just showed up at the door to kick you out of your home for not paying your mortgage. Been there, done that, have too many tee shirts to count.

So, what are we supposed to do when Barack Obama does or says something that appears to many to be wonderful, but to those who see things differently may not buy the idea that it's all sunshine and light in his words? Just say, HE'S a WONDERFUL PRESIDENT, AND FULL OF GREATNESS? Is that what we are to do? Never question. Never look behind the veil. Just give positive affirmation of all he does without question. Kind of like the Wizard of Oz I guess.

I suspect there are some who believe that we are to just be affirming and never ask the hard questions. I do NOT. I think we are in trouble in the country because a large number of people who name the name of Jesus ignored the signs and voted their pocketbook and prejudice without consideration for what is right by God's scale. For that they don't answer ultimately to me. They will answer.

I reject the idea that we as Christians do NOT have the right to question or even to sometimes be critical (which must of issue be negative). I think there is much to question. Give him a chance I have been told. I will, I am, but he has made a few bonehead moves that must be called out. He is not very discerning in his choice of friends, sponsors, mentors and associates. That has been his life weakness. It still is.

To be fair, I have seen sparks of greatness in little things now and then. He has done some things right. On the other hand he had done some things that tell me that in the end we are going to have interventionism in our lives at a level never before imagined. We may not survive as the nation you remember. We are on a precipice.

It will be too late to say I told you so when we go over the edge. So, as long as I can, in whatever forums I am able, I will continue to speak up and speak out on things I see that are simply smoke and mirrors.

He is a good man at heart. I believe that. He is in way over his head. And he has surrounded himself with some dangerous people. His conviction that government can solve most of our problems is fatally flawed. His inexperience is revealed more every day.

It is naive to think that because he is not of the core Washington establishment he is somehow less corrupted by it. Consider the culture of corruption he came out of in Illinois. How is he less polluted now that he holds the highest elected office in the land? What changed?

As long as I have free speech rights on this blog or others who may or may not accept my comments I will speak up.

I am of the opinion that for me to remain silent in the face of an attempt by genuinely evil people to take over the country I love and grew up in would be unchristian. Just as many people of Faith mistakenly did as Adolf Hitler rose to power.

To be absolutely clear, I do not believe Barack Obama is Adolf Hitler, nor is he the Antichrist.

He is however surrounded by many who would like to influence him to evil if they could. Some are in congress and some are influencers like George Soros.

I am a watchman on the wall. So should you be. Sometimes that requires you to question what a leader with good intentions does. I hope you will. When you do, you may be criticized for being negative. Speak up for those who have no voice or are too timid to express it.

Perhaps the real sin is to remain silent.

I'm for Executive Pay Caps (except Mine)

It’s a shot across the bow. One that was needed.

Here’s what I know for sure:
There is a substantial out of balance executive pay standard in the financial industry for sure and in many other organizations.

Bonus pay must be tied to performance over a long term, like 5 years, not quarter by quarter

If you take my money to bail you out, you work for me, until you pay it back I set your salary. If you don’t like it go work for someone who will pay you what you’re worth.

Golden Parachutes for Executives are Lead Parachutes for stockholders. Stop it. Stop it now.

I want every board member who sets salaries in boardrooms in the USA to quit using my money (as a stockholder) to do stupid things. NO ONE, NO ONE is so essential that we have to pay them 50 million a year. EVER.

And the real reason I’m in favor of these executive pay caps, it will stop the rush of companies trying to get free money from the Government, like the auto companies. If they go belly up, so be it. Maybe this stimulus package can be squashed by squashing demand. I can only hope.

'God has a plan.'

That was told you in ’92 by Lord Leonard Cheshire.

‘And that plan is revealed to you by prayer, keeping your mind open, life circumstances and the people you meet.’ How’s the plan going in your life?

From an interview with Peggy Noonan.

It's worth considering.

When the Guy at the Post Office Directs Innovation

I am against the Government's involvement in things that embrace technologies or try to direct innovation by subsidies:
  • Wind Power
  • Digital TV Broadcast Standards (now delayed)
  • Hybrid Cars
  • Fuel Cells
  • Gassification Plants
  • Ethanol Production
  • Most alternative energy foolishness going on

I want the research and development to go on, I just don't want the government involved making those decisions. If wind power is successful, let it win on a level playing field.

This goes equally for phony technologies that Government tries to control because of a bias for or against:
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Global Warming, cooling or anything
  • Wetland preservation leading to phony offsets

This story about how developers of the Transistor which changed our lives 60 years ago were shunned by people in governments because they didn't think we needed it. What great inventions and innovations would exist if government got out of the way, allowed creative people and the market to do the promotion or shunning. Yet in the world today innovation is driven by people that have the same pay grade as your average postal worker. From that article:

Unfortunately, it appears that many individuals in leadership positions fail to grasp the importance of decentralization and individual entrepreneurship–especially in government and especially in Europe. See this rather depressing document called Creating an Innovative Europe (referenced in Michael Mandel’s post here) which contains language like:

Large scale strategic actions are called for in key sectors to provide an environment in which supply-side measures for research investment can be combined with the process of creating a demand and a market.

The Group identifies several examples: e-Health, Pharmaceuticals, Energy, Environment, Transport and Logistics, Security, and Digital Content.

They call for an independent High Level Coordinator to be appointed to orchestrate European action in each area across Member States, different parts of government and the Commission, business, academia and other stakeholders.

Would such a document, written in 1950, have identified “semiconductor electronics’ as a “key sector?” It seems unlikely, based on the experience of Matare and Welker. And, even if the planners had had the vision to understand the importance of the transistor, would a top-down process involving “stakeholders” (like incumbent vacuum-tube manufacturers) have ever permitted it to leave the lab for the production floor?

When government comes up with how to invent anything you end up with this.
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When governments become involved in technology choices, they tend to pursue that which is fashionable at the moment…and in France in the early 1950s, that was nuclear power, not semiconductor electronics. Corporations, too, often pursue that which is fashionable or that which has short-term payoff.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Luther was Right

This is NOT triumphalism. This is good news. This Pope is a great Pope. He is simply saying what we all know and believe. And as a Protestant I thank GOD for him. He is leading the Roman Church into greener pastures. Thank You Pope Benedict for your faithfulness to the Word of God.

After Nearly 500 Years Pope Admits Luther was Right: Salvation is by Faith Alone

Ope Benedict XVIby Jeff Fountain (Protestant leader within the International Prayer Movement ), Christian Today Australia/International Prayer Council

ROME ITALY - Luther would have been amazed at the efforts of the Vatican today to put the Bible back into the heart of the Roman Catholic Church. In October last, bishops from around the world were called to Rome for a three-week synod to discuss how to promote prayerful reading, understanding and proclamation of God's Word. Pope Benedict XVI himself kicked off the synod with a round-the-clock Bible reading marathon lasting a whole week, by reading the opening verses of Genesis. Twelve hundred readers took part, including Orthodox and Evangelical leaders.

Last week, briefly passing through Rome, my wife and I stood in an empty Saint Peter's Square, where the chairs were still laid out for the 20,000 who had attended the pope's weekly public audience on the Wednesday before. On our return to Holland, we read in the newspaper what the faithful had been told that day. The headline read: Pope quotes Luther: Sola Fide. Luther, the pope had told his audience, had been right to insist in sola fide, that a believer was justified by faith alone!

Disagreement over this doctrine had been at the heart of the Reformation in the 16th century, splitting Christianity in western Europe. Yet, said the pope, it was indeed biblical to say, as did Luther, that it was the faith of a Christian, not his works, that saved him. Such faith however could not be separated from love for God and for neighbour, he qualified. Paul wrote about this balance in his letters, especially the letter to the Philippians, he added.

The pope defined faith as 'identification with Christ expressed in love for God and neighbour'. Such love fulfilled the law. Being justified meant simply being with Christ and in Christ. Christ alone was sufficient. Living by faith had radical consequences for the Apostle Paul after his conversion on the road to Damascus, explained the pope. Prior to that, his life had been regulated by all sorts of Jewish rules and commandments. Paul's new lifestyle, based on faith in Christ alone, surfaced in his various letters, especially his letter to the Romans.

Luther had correctly translated Paul's words as 'justified by faith alone', the well-known sola fide, Benedict affirmed, as reported in the newspaper. Some have blamed the widespread lack of biblical knowledge among Italians, on the Catholic Church due to its monopoly on the teaching of the Bible. The Italian newspaper, La Stampa, responded to a recent survey showing that only 14% of Italians questioned were able to answer questions about the Bible correctly, with the headline: 'In the beginning was the Word - but the Italians don't read it'.

Only one in four Italians had read a passage from the Bible in the past year, the survey revealed, compared to three out of four in the USA. Few even knew whether or not the Gospels were part of the Bible. Philosophy graduates confused Paul with Moses and thought that Jesus wrote Genesis, according to the survey. This despite the encouragement of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) for the faithful to rediscover Scripture as the primary source of spiritual life.

So now Benedict is personally leading the way to encourage Catholics to engage with Scripture. The theme of the synod was The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church. The pope told the gathered bishops that true reality was to be found in the Word of God. Many had put their trust in money as the true reality, observed the pope, but this was evaporating in the current global financial crisis.

The Bible Society of the UK has been assisting the Vatican to promote the reading of Scripture through the Lectio Divina Project. This new resource for Catholics provides notes and prayers to go with weekly lectionary readings of the Sunday Mass. I flew to Switzerland last week for an interconfessional gathering of Together for Europe. Talk of the synod there prompted someone to quote Cardinal Kaspers' recent statement: 'The Word divided us; the Word must unite us'.

We began to dream about how Christians in Europe could celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 - less than nine years away - as a prophetic statement by Catholics and Protestants together that the Word that once divided us is now uniting us again. That would be a giant step toward the fulfilment of Luther's original dream of a Bible-centered Church!

Bad Sunday School, Bad Bible Study practice

Peter Beck
Assistant Professor of Religion, Charleston Southern University
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
What Does This Mean To You?

Every Sunday in churches all across America well-meaning Christians fall prey to a philosophical error and they don’t even know it. Worse yet, it has the potential to hurt their spiritual life and the life of the church. They sit in a circle and ask each other, “What does this mean to you?”

What’s wrong with that question? Let me suggest several things.

First, we didn’t write the text in question. Paul or John or Moses or someone else wrote the text. To put it most theologically correctly, the Holy Spirit wrote the text as He spoke to and through the human authors. The text belongs to the author and so does its meaning.

Imagine if someone found a private stash of love letters written by you long ago to your spouse or a loved one. Does the person who found the letters get to determine what they mean or do you as the author get to determine what they mean? The answer is obvious. The author determines his meaning.

Second, while the Bible may be inspired and infallible, our interpretations are not. This, too, is proven every Sunday as we share our take on a given text only to discover that the person next to us sees it differently. While it is possible that we are all wrong, it is impossible that we are all correct when our interpretations differ. (Yes, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. No, that doesn’t mean they’re right or even well-informed.)

There is only one right answer to the simple equation 1+1=_______. What would we think, if, one day, we ask that question of our children and they give 3 as answer? Are they right? Does their opinion matter? Or, has God according to the laws of nature determined that 1+1=2 no matter what our opinion may be? So, why do we believe that it’s acceptable when there’s more than one answer to the question, “what does this text mean?”?

Third, when we solicit everyone’s take on a particular passage with the question, “what does this mean to you?”, we are inviting not just opinions but confusion. Imagine an unbeliever or a young believer who might be exposed to the Babel-like babble generated by that question.

“Class, what does John 3:16 mean to you?”

“Well, I think it means that God ‘begot’ Jesus in the same way that Abraham begot Isaac. He’s really His heavenly Father.” “Using the Old Testament! Good answer, Johnny.”

“Jane?” “I think it means that God is going to save all people since He says He loves the world.” “Interesting.”

“What about you, Bill?” “I’m convinced that since God loves the world that we need to address global warming now, before it’s too late.” “I never thought about that before, Bill. Thanks for the insight.”

Have we helped clarify the meaning the text? Have we rightly expounded the profundity of God’s love as expressed in the Gospel? Or have we obscured the true meaning of the text to such an extent that it’s no longer the Gospel? And, along the way, we’ve confused those in the room who don’t really know what the text means but who now think that the text means all those things and maybe a myriad more. They can’t wait until they get to decide what the text means. Maybe next week!

Fourth, worse yet, we are unknowingly walking into the quagmire called “postmodernism.” Postmodernism argues that there is no universal truth (ironically that statement itself is a statement of universal truth). Thus, what is rigth for you is … drum roll please … right for you. That doesn’t mean it’s right for me. I get to decide that for myself, thank you very much.

The problem is that postmodern philosophy doesn’t work in the real world. What happens when "what is right for me" impinges upon "what is right for you"? We both can’t be right and live together in the world as we know it. The position is self-contradictory, internally incoherent, and ultimately morally repugnant as none us really want our neighbors to do whatever feels right to them at our expense.

Yet, that’s what we do when we ask our Sunday School mates what a text means to them. It’s not that your thoughts on the matter are unimportant. It’s not that I believe you have to have a seminary education before you’re capable of rightly interpreting the Bible. The problem is the question is the wrong question to ask in the first place.

Instead, we need to be asking, “What does this text mean to God?” or “What did the Holy Spirit mean when He inspired Mark to right this verse?” or “What did Isaiah mean when he said that?” Anything but “what does it mean to me?”

In the end, I don’t care what it means to me because if it means the wrong thing to me it doesn’t mean what it’s supposed to mean. Do you know what I mean?

Eddie Schwartz changes worlds

This is just personal. Eddie Schwartz died. He had been sick a long time. As an erstwhile insomniac I listened many nights to Eddie. He's been off the air for years. But, his blizzard reports were always amazing. He was younger than I am. Kidney trouble.

Tupelo Honey or Two Below Honey

Van Morrison had a song called Tupelo Honey. Good song. Now the Minnesotan's for Global Warming have recast it as Two Below Honey. "the High today is two below honey...."

Cute. LONG but Cute.

Conservatives eating their young

This is a case of political Hari Kari that the right doesn't need and shouldn't be involved in right now. Why do we come to blows over religious beliefs? If you are a believer in the religion of evolution I'm OK with that, if I'm a believer in the religion of the Creator and His Creation I hope we still have religious freedom in this country. The state isn't supposed to establish or prohibit the practice thereof. I guess that's not the case among conservatives. This isn't good news. We are eating our young. The left must laugh it's rear off over this internecine fight. Look at the comment at the end of LGF's post. His glee is so misplaced. Can't we cut it out?
From Little Green Footballs.

Ben Stein Withdraws As UVM Commencement Speaker

Sci/Tech | Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 7:56:53 pm PST

Creationist Ben Stein has withdrawn as the commencement speaker at the University of Vermont, after a huge outcry erupted over his support for the pseudo-science promoted by the Discovery Institute, and his ludicrous, highly dishonest anti-evolution film “Expelled.”

And now, of course, he’s complaining that he’s being treated unfairly and suppressed by the atheistic, monolithic scientific establishment. You know, that scientific establishment that leads to killing people.

Ben Stein described the brouhaha over his selection as commencement speaker at the University of Vermont as “laughable” on Tuesday called the whole episode “pathetic.”

In a phone call to the Free Press on Tuesday, Stein said that describing his views as “antithetical to scientific inquiry” was “a wildly unfair characterization.” He said he was by no means “anti-science,” as some of his critics have described him.

“I am far more pro-science than the Darwinists,” Stein said later in an e-mail. “I want all scientific inquiry to happen — not just what the ruling clique calls science.”

Stein’s comments came a day after UVM President Dan Fogel announced that Stein, whom Fogel had invited to address UVM’s commencement in May, would not be coming after all. Fogel said that his selection of Stein generated an intense protest, that he received hundreds of angry e-mails over the weekend, and that after he shared these “profound concerns” with Stein, Stein “immediately and most graciously declined our commencement invitation.”

Asked the nature of those “concerns” at a news conference Monday, Fogel said they pertained to views of science perceived by many to be “affronts to the basic tenets of the academy.”

Allahpundit wonders why it took me so long to post about this; hey, I wanted to let you enjoy some of the glory that results from trying to talk sense into the creationist wing of the GOP. I see from the comments for your post that you’re feeling the love already.

Divorce and the Church

Steve Scott has written a very insightful piece on the sin of the church regarding divorce.

From that piece:

There's a line of thinking in some strains of fundamentalist Christianity, a foul smelling doctrine of marriage, divorce and remarriage that makes anybody who has ever been divorced - even if they were the unwilling innocent (and willing reconciling) party in a marriage that was broken by the other person - an equivalent of the disease leprosy. Toss every imaginable sock of sin into the washing machine with the bleach of Jesus' blood, and out come the socks of murder, lying, theft, abuse, drug addiction, harlotry, whoredom, profanity, all pure white. Yet the socks of divorce and being divorced remain soiled. For many in the church, divorce is treated quite literally as the unpardonable sin and a dead end roadblock to any advance whatsoever in the Christian life. Divorcees, no matter how innocent, have the scarlet letter "D" tattooed branded on them, and are banned from remarriage, fellowship, even simple conversation with members of the opposite gender.
God is judging churches that retain this sin when it should never have been retained.

Just thought you would want to know.

Freezing our EARS off

And if you add an R it's also accurate.

90% of the USA will be below freezing this weekend.
It's zero in St Chuck right now. That's Minus 18 for those in Celsius countries. Cold.

I poke fun at global warming advocates. But, I am well aware of the dire predictions coming from scientists all around the world regarding the cycle of sunspots and the huge global cooling cycle they proclaim we are about to enter into. New glaciation. A global freeze.

I hope it's not true. I like being warm.

BUT, what if? What if North Dakota weather becomes normative in Dallas. That's gonna screw a lot of things up. I'm just saying.......

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

50 Years ago

It's 2009. A momentous year.

I remember 1959, 50 years ago. Also a Momentous year for me.

First, I remember when Buddy Holly Died. 50 years ago yesterday. It seemed like a big deal. It was.

Then in early May, I donned a white robe with many friends and my cousin Jim Lee. We were confirmed by John Bohlman that spring. I had just turned 14 in March. Had my brand new drivers licence.

Then a few weeks later, a summer day, bad news came by phone from Duluth Minnesota. My parents were killed in a truck accident. Everything changed. We didn't know where we would live as kids. My brother and sister and me.

Summer was hairy. Seemed like every thing was in flux. Steven went here. Susie went there. I went somewhere else.

In the fall Bobby and Bill Velline and the Shadows came to the opera house in Ellendale to play a dance. I was young, but I was learning the guitar. Jim and I went to see him. I knew then that there would come a day when we, Jim and I would stand on that stage with John and a guy who's name I have forgotten to play that same room to a record crowd. My cousin and sister Carol sang Angel Baby.

It was all in all a huge deal.

1959. I talked to Jim tonight. We were reminiscing about how many Lee first cousins are left. How many Redlin first cousins are left. How many have died. 2 Redlin. 5 Lee.

1959, Seems a long time ago and yesterday all at the same time.

Bobby Vee must be getting older too......

Why are there empty Pulpits and Ready Pastors?

There are hundreds of churches in the upper Midwest looking for a pastor. They have empty pulpits. All kinds of churches. Here's what the article I am referring to says:

  • These are churches filled with older people
  • These are small churches
  • They want finished seminarians to be their pastors because that's how they always did it before
  • They can't pay enough to attract anyone with big student loans from seminary
  • They are using all kinds of clever strategies to find and share pastors
  • Mostly these churches end up closing

I have a solution to this problem:
  • There are young people in the community, they just aren't reaching them.
  • These small churches can become bigger and self supporting
  • I like eating lobster, but I can't afford it all the time - they can't afford a pastor they can't afford
  • Seminaries cost too much to attend
  • Sharing pastors in the long run fails
  • Churches that close are never opened again.

The truth is there are tens of thousands of ready pastor shepherds willing to come and take those Churches today. They might even take the small amount of money those churches can afford to pay. They would love the people. They might even grow the church. BUT. They don't wear the union label of the particular denomination. They didn't spend the zillions to go to seminary.

They are able, vetted, qualified, ready and willing. I know many personally looking for a church to pastor.

How do we get the two together? First break the back of pride. These churches need to recognize the reality of the situation.

I had a friend, not a seminarian, who took one of these dying country churches in northern Minnesota that had dribbled off to a few dozen people on a Sunday. He built it back up in a small town. Eventually this church was running a few hundred on a Sunday. They even did a building program. He was loved by his parish. It was so successful that the denomination (ELCA) came in and replaced him with a tepid seminarian who the congregation could then afford. This wasn't the local body's decision. It was the synods.

That church has now drifted back to near oblivion.

Give me a man or woman with a heart of passion for Jesus and lost Souls over a professional trained church worker any day of the week. If they are both it is better.

That friend now has a ministry in which he travels the world. He would have loved to stay and pastor that church. I can tell you this, he will never take that kind of thing on again and wait for the inevitable slap in the face.

It breaks my heart, but the Pastor's union is like the UAW. If you belong to the denomination they will destroy the local church body to further the economics of their boys.

If I sound just a little angry about all this, I am.

Souls are un shepherded because of the avarice and denominational protectionism of a few higher ups. This is an abomination unto the Lord. I don't even have to be a prophet to know that.

I'm Tired of Cold Chicken Mc Nuggets

This is worth reading. It's about Church as Usual. My brother just called and said that he has found a place that serves something other than Cold Chicken McNuggets.

Let me sum it up like this - let’s say that you’ve spent your whole life eating cold chicken McNuggets every night. You like them, you think that they taste pretty good and everyone around you rants and raves about how great the McNuggets are. You even have meeting after meeting to listen to people talk about these great McNuggets! After all, they do give you some fuel and sustenance. But the problem is, unbeknownst to you, they’re full of preservatives and processed meat and are only making you fat and unhealthy. Then the day comes when you look outside of your window and see a great table set up in the parking lot just outside the doors. It is absolutely covered with the most amazing food that you’ve ever seen. You decide to go outside and check it out. After walking the length of the table a couple of times, someone walks up to you and says that everything on this table was prepared just for you. You’re in awe as you’ve never even known such a fantastic spread even existed. You walk up beside the table and look down onto a huge plate of home-made fried chicken that sits before you. As it’s still steaming, you reach down to grab a piece. As you begin to eat of it, your senses come alive, the smell, the taste… it’s incredible! After hours of eating to your heart’s, and stomach’s, content, you turn around and see the building that you exited from standing before you. You know full well that within its walls are nothing more than cold chicken McNuggets, likely left over from last night. You now have a choice.

You have a choice.....throw out those old McNuggets, those McNuggets aren't any good for you.

This will take 8 minutes of your time and might change your life

I got this from Nancy Minor. A friend. It's called Cardboard Testimony. I sat and watched it this morning with tears in my eyes. I hope you will take the time and see....

Monday, February 02, 2009

There Ultimately are NO ATHEISTS

I got an email from a good friend last night. The comment was made that it seemed a bit arrogant for me to make a statement as I posted a question for those who think they are atheist.

I guess that was a Freudian slip of faith speaking. It comes from my spiritual convictions. You see, I know there is a God, his name is Jesus and every knee will bow. Not complicated. Not open to discussion. So, knowing that, I am prepared to explain what the Freudian slip really reveals.

By the way, this friend gave an answer, a good answer, one I accept and appreciated (even if I believe in the error of the assumption that there is no GOD). Not everyone was so gracious when my friend tried to forward the response to the author of the post. Every person goes up or down in estimation over time. This one is drifting downward again despite the nice things I said about him in the post above.

I don't think anyone ends up an atheist. Everyone becomes a believer. Every one. There are no atheists in the end.

NOW, please, I use the Personal Pronoun YOU, not for a person, but in trying to write this, I couldn't make any other pronoun work. I tried ONE. It failed.

Here's the truth of the matter:
One can live their whole life up to the point of death denying the existence of God. Then they close their eyes in death. Suddenly in a moment as conciseness drifts away and spiritual awareness emerges, the reality of God slams you like a brick wall. Either you are astounded on how beautiful it all is, how wonderful HE is or you suffer horrible loss in recognition of His reality and your absence from him.

At that moment you no longer can be an atheist. You don't get to create your own afterlife reality. It is what it is. And you will stand before him. When you do, screaming "I don't believe in you doesn't help". No more than jumping off a cliff and screaming "I don't believe in gravity."

He isn't interested in what good you did or didn't do in life if you don't believe. It matters if you are a believer, you will answer for them all. But denying God means you don't even get to answer the question. Just turned away for eternity.

That's why as I contemplate the moments after death, the truth is God is, you were, and then you are not except for being in or out of his presence in conciseness.

I also believe (here it gets hairy) but I read his book, Romans 1, that you are accountable for the light you have and are accepted in him for the light you respond to. That handles people who never heard the name of Jesus. I also believe that responding in faith even to faulty light with a heart towards God is redemptive. Hebrews 11. I am not quick to condemn people of differing faith. I think they are wrong and deceived, but they are responding to the light they have.

In the end, what did you do with the Christ is the question.

So, to all who are atheist in time, in eternity, there are no atheists. Just believers.

So for me to say what I said in the headline is simply that there is nothing else I could say if I know God IS. To Atheists in time, you think you are an atheist, but you won't always be.

Somebody's Lying about Global Warming

Over the last week we have been treated to stories of intense heat in Australia. Pictures even on Drudge showing people sweltering, toasting.

Temperatures in the low HUNDREDS. 115F. Look at this news story. Makes you think the gates of hell have opened, doesn't it.

It all seemed a bit weird to me. Now, to be sure you understand, while the northern hemisphere is having record cold and snow globally, the southern hemisphere is having summer. February is to Australia what August is to the USA. So warm in summer and cold in winter stands. Every Year.

It seems like these stories, even on Drudge, are strategically planted to offset the raging doubt over global warming. If you Google Australian Heat you get hundreds of current stories about how darn hot it is down there.

My BS-O-Meter went off. Something smelled.

So I asked mr Internets (thank you Al Gore for inventing that anyhow) to give me an official weather service readout of all the high temps for the last month.

Whaddaya think? Their highs and lows look about the same as August Highs and Lows do and have historically been in Chicago. Or even North Dakota. I recall many August highs in NODAK well over 100 degrees. And well before Global Warming, 1936 the highest temp was 114 degrees in Bismarck. I'm not impressed Australia. IT'S SUMMER. READ THE CALENDER.

So, Why are we being treated to this line of baloney? Because people are losing faith in Gaia and her ability to punish those miscreants who will not sacrifice future generations on the altar of Human Caused Global Warming. The priests of Gaia and her Pope Al Gore are using the Media (what a surprise) to cause those of us who are faithless to be shunned. A recent Rasmussen poll says 59 percent of those surveyed don’t believe mankind is warming up the planet. Time for the old Groundhog to come out and shake his icy finger at us.

Sorry Al and Gaia. I'm not a believer, come to think of it, I never was. Time to get real here.

Is it a Church or a Prison?

Here a 12 pictures of 12 edifices around the country. Some are Churches, some are utility buildings like a prison.

Can you tell which is which and what does this mean? Take the test.

Cowardice by Hiding from Reality

It seems like the world O Blogs is deteriorating into the open forum and those who choose to avoid controversy.

I read a few of those vanilla blogs, mostly friends of mine.

But I come to watch beauty and burning. Do neither and I'll lose interest.

I have too many good things to read every day to waste time on someone trying to stick to a point of view or be all things to all people.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Alan Knox Once More on how we REALLY live the word of God

Scripture... As We Live It #39

Here is the 39th passage in "Scripture... As We Live It":

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for rationalized, the conviction of things not seen that you can understand. (Hebrews 11:1 re-mix)

If you haven't already, you need to add him to your blog list. He's a keeper.