Thursday, September 21, 2017
Thursday, August 31, 2017
"Victory is won not in miles, but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more." -- Louis L'Amour
Greatness in Texas after Hurricane Harvey
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Chuck forwarded your column of August 17 to me, because he thought your summary of Christian history in response to a question from a reader in Long Island, NY was informative and interesting.
I agree with Chuck, but think you veered off the rails in this paragraph of your otherwise-cogent response:
Christian scriptures note that meeting attendees in Jerusalem sent representatives to the church in Antioch with instructions to that effect, and clarification for the "brothers" (meaning other followers of Jesus) there. The next chapter of Acts even notes that followers of Jesus were first called "Christians" in Antioch. Ergo, Saint Paul was not leading his own faction. He famously rebuked Saint Peter when Peter was behaving like a hypocrite by being too scrupulous in whom he chose to eat with, but Peter accepted that fraternal correction, and the two of them resolved their differences.
You seem to have fallen for the misguided idea that Christianity owes more to Paul than to anyone else. Although he was critical to the spread of the new faith, Paul himself would dispute that (see, for example 1 Corinthians 15:8). Saint Peter was the one on whom Jesus said he would build a church -- and (incidentally) wouldn't that action implicitly refute your quip about how if being Jewish was "good enough for Jesus," then it's good enough for you?
Peter was also the one apostle for whom Jesus paid the temple tax (Matthew 17:24-27). And if it's anecdotal evidence of unity between Peter and Paul (indeed, all of the apostles) that you want (apart from scriptural texts like Galatians 2:9), please note that the Catholic liturgical calendar celebrates Peter and Paul together (annually on June 29).
I know I've stood on the proverbial soap box too long.Thank you for letting me bend your ear about all this, and for treating theological questions with the respect they deserve in your "God Squad" columns.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Anything that influences Google doodles, underscores Yahoo News headline choices, wins Academy Awards, or makes regular appearances in the monologues of late-night comedians with TV shows is part of the dominant narrative. In the first hour of his August 1 radio broadcast, Rush Limbaugh described the dominant narrative as an "east coast parochial" mindset that can be found "in media and in life." (His point was that he hadn't recognized the reach of that mindset -- meaning the influence of the prevailing narrative-- when he started his career almost 30 years ago).
The dominant narrative, for example, maintains the fiction of "unbiased" journalism. It also refers to acts of terrorism as "tragedies," thereby removing moral culpability for murder and mayhem from terrorists (just in case they're simply over-zealous people with legitimate grievances). Those of us who care about the meanings of words know that a hurricane demolishing a seaside town is a tragedy, but when a bomber blows up a crowded mall or a school in that same town, it's not just "tragic," it's wrong.
Scrolling through the web sites that aggregate news stories can be both a time sink and an invitation to cynicism, which is why I don't do it much. But every once in awhile, a confluence of stories gets my attention because it seems to subvert the dominant narrative. That happened this morning.
Regardless of your personal views on the matter, the only correct answer to the question, "Which major political party in the United States officially supports a woman's 'right to choose,' when that phrase is understood to mean deciding to abort her unborn child at any time during her pregnancy?" is "the Democrat party." Imagine, then, the consternation among defenders of the status quo when some Democrats themselves take exception to that policy.
Conventional wisdom also has it that President Obama restored America's reputation in the world, and that our national reputation needed what polish he could give it because President George W. Bush before him had been a "cowboy" with insufficient appreciation for -- to pick one obvious example -- the complexities of Muslim life in the Middle East. But suppose conventional wisdom is wrong? Suppose further that Nikki Haley, America's ambassador to the United Nations, is winning plaudits not because she continues to toe the line established by her recent predecessors, but because she (and the president for whom she works) have deliberately departed from that line?
People who subvert the dominant narrative are chided (penalty box!) or ignored if they seem to be properly credentialed, and dismissed as outliers if they move in the "wrong" circles to begin with (hence snarky comments from progressives about Michele Bachmann's "scary eyes" when she was a conservative member of Congress, and Senator John McCain's longstanding but recently voiced contempt for people who disagree with him).
In short, while peacefulness and perspective can still be found in this polarized world, it's a fascinating and unsettling time to follow news, provided you keep a wary eye on the pet assumptions of the establishment, which never likes its own faults exposed.
(This is cross-posted from WoW magazine, which has a slightly more polished version)
Saturday, July 29, 2017
“Confederate”: Both HBO and its doubters double down on racial canards
Islam’s Veil Slips In California
John McCain Shafts The GOP Again To Kill Repeal Of ObamaCare
The Day The Press Lost Its Power
Obamasurance, a Leak in the Republican Party’s Ark?
Federal Court - Trump Commission On Voter Fraud Request For State Data Lawful
WoW! Forum: How Would You Rate Trump’s Performance After Six Months?
A Scott Adams' Dilbert cartoon that's an Obamacare Rorschach test
Why did D.C. Metro PD Cancel Capitol Hill Sit-Down on Death of Seth Rich?
Police IQ Trends
Maverick Rides Again
A gun: Not just the great equalizer but also the great civilizer
Anthony Scaramucci fires suspected WH leaker and Priebus ally. [UPDATED]
Ayn Rand’s Children of the Damned, a 1971 Prophecy Fulfilled
On race and gender, Democrats have always embraced the Big Lie