So which stories / issues / topics grab your attention this weekend?
Legislation expanding background checks to cover most private transactions involving firearms has cleared the Delaware House of Representatives by 7 votes, now heading to the upper chamber. Various amendments were tacked on. One would prevent the establishment of a 'gun registry'.
Speaking of weapons, search warrants reveal the Sandy Hook elementary school shooter, Adam Lanza, assembled an incredible arsenal of guns, knives, swords, and ammunition, including three samurai swords. Too bad authorities can't interview Nancy Lanza from the grave. Was she aware of all these weapons? Did she attempt to remove them from the Lanza household?
The National Rifle Association backpedaled ferociously after reports that the warrants noted two NRA certificates, one for Adam Lanza and one for his mom.
Speaking of ammo, G.O.P. foes of President Obama's health care overhaul got some new political ammo this week: A study from the Society of Actuaries projected the nation's costs could go up an average of 32% by 2017 for insurers serving the individual health-care market. Insurers would almost certainly pass on those increases to consumers through higher premiums. (Although some Northeastern states - not Delaware - could see decreases, according to these projections.) Critics said the SOA analysis contains many speculative assumptions, for example, huge increases in the number of Americans buying insurance on the open market in future years.
Friday's NEWS JOURNAL carries a story just below the masthead headlined, "Fisker 'teetering on the edge'". The start-up auto company placed its U.S. workers on unpaid leave. Fisker is desperately trying to find someone to invest in, or buy, the company before the mid-April deadline for paying back a federal loan. The WALL STREET JOURNAL reports Fisker is taking steps for a possible bankruptcy filing. One suspects most Delaware auto workers long ago gave up hope that auto production would resume at the former General Motors plant off Boxwood Road under the Fisker flag.
Believe it or not, we're about a month into the sequester. Polls suggest about half of Americans take a wait-and-see stance on sequestration. They're waiting for more shoes to drop.
Actress Ashley Judd has decided against running for the United States Senate in Kentucky. With her Hollywood connections, she would've raised tons of cash, but that's precisely the sort of image that would have doubtless worked against her in the Bluegrass State. Three strikes against her: Residency questions, because she's been living in Tennessee; strong vocal support for President Obama, when the President lost Kentucky by almost 23 points; and her criticism of the coal industry's mountaintop removal practices. Kentucky Democrats hope their Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes runs for the Democratic nomination, hence setting up a general election contest against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (assuming some Tea Party-backed candidate doesn't deck McConnell in a G.O.P. primary).
A mayoral candidate and the former police chief of the western Chicago suburb of Villa Park has apologized after a nude photo of him - holding his 'junk' - surfaced on an adult website. 50-year-old John Heidelmeier will stay in that suburb's mayoral race. Earlier, Heidelmeier was abruptly removed as police chief. For this?
An Alaska Republican congressman - Representative Don Young - used the derogatory term, 'wetbacks' when referring to immigrants, particularly Mexicans, during a broadcast interview. Discussing how automation has replaced workers:
"My father had a ranch; we used to have 50--60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes..." Buzzfeed first brought attention to that interview aired on radio station KRBD. But this may be the least of Representative Young's problems. The House Ethics Committee this week indicated a special panel would investigate whether Young failed to report gifts on his annual disclosure forms, misused campaign funds, and lied to Federal officials.
New research from computer scientists Jed Crandall & Dan Wallach: China censors material on the internet with great speed. 30% is deleted within half an hour; 5% within five minutes of appearing on line. It may not be the Chinese government or party apparatus itself, but Chinese companies that censor sensitive items.
The top subjects censored, according to this research?
Support for Syrian rebels; accusations of Chinese government lies; Beijing rainstorms; judicial independence (or lack thereof); freedom of speech; one-child policy abuse; group sex; human corpse plants in Dalian; human rights news.
NCAA mania reaches fever pitch. Wouldn't it be spectacular if the Blue Hens somehow beat Kentucky in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and next faced Connecticut in the NCAA women's tournament? Can you just imagine, considering Elena Delle Donne spurned UConn?
CBS Sports analyst Doug Gottlieb created a tempest as he was helping to kick-off the network's coverage of the NCAA men's Sweet 16 when he joked he was there to offer a "white man's perspective" to the pre-game show. That occurred during the pre-game sequence before the Marquette--Miami game. Gottlieb's fellow panelists: Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley, all African Americans. Greg Anthony made a face. Kenny Smith said Gottlieb had "jumped right into it". Some viewers tweeted that Gottlieb's remarks were "awkward" and "racist". ESPN football analyst & former NFL player Mark May tweeted that Gottlieb should be "canned". But Charles Barkley, in turn, defended Gottlieb against those after his head.
Barkley: "I know this has nothing to do with the game. I wanna say something about Doug Gottlieb. He made a joke earlier tonight. All those people on Twitter who are going crazy, which I would never ever do, listen. Me, Kenny, Greg Anthony, and Greg Gumbel didn't take that personally so all you people at home who've got no life who are talking bad about Doug Gottlieb, get a life. It's no big deal!"
Gottlieb later put out this statement through CBS: "It was not a smart thing to say and I apologize."
Have a wonderful Easter weekend. Please double-check your comments before posting as I won't be around to review spelling, etc.
Posted at 7:58am on March 29, 2013 by Allan Loudell
AllanLoudell: Do your headline and closing mean you think only Christians read your column? I saw no Passover greeting for last weekend.
This seems to reflect the pervasive Christian mind-set that the US is a "Christian nation." That nobody should mind having Christian holidays dominate society. That nobody should mind being pressured to participate in Christian prayers in public meetings or school classrooms. That non-Christians are just a tolerated anomaly.
Curious that on Easter, the common meal for Christians is ham (another Leviticus "abomination" and a slap in the face for Judaism and Islam).
Fri, Mar 29, 2013 8:39am
I briefly considered typing "Holiday Weekend Forum" but that seemed idiotic. (Actually I was thinking of you!)
I think Easter can go as both religious and secular.
In contrast, I never would have typed "Good Friday/Weekend Forum".
By the way, given my upbringing, I'd be as incensed as you over the recitation of a sectarian prayer at a public meeting.
Ham for Easter? Never knew!
Fri, Mar 29, 2013 9:15am
AllanLoudell: Why no Passover greeting on Palm Sunday weekend? It's strange how some people can support Israel but be oblivious to Judaism. Then again, from some comments here, it's not so much support for Israel but hatred for Palestinians and all Muslims. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Fri, Mar 29, 2013 12:34pm
Being Jewish and Judaism are no more synonymous than being American and Christian. Yes, there are two holidays that relate to the Christian Faith (Christmas and Easter), but I don't believe either are federal holidays. Employers are not mandated by the government to give employees time off. The Easter Ham certainly is a Christian Comspiracy to purposely piss off Muslims and Jews. Thanks goodness they have found a champion on this blog. Although my family always has lamb, I am certain this pisses off someone.
Fri, Mar 29, 2013 3:39pm
The NBA record for diversity is horrendous. It's all black males and there are not enough white males to reflect their population in society.
The NBA needs to start affirmative action programs so that the NBA 'looks' morelike America. Strong programs in whiteschools to encourage baslketball, offer a whites-only scholarship for whites trying to play basketball.
The NBA is racist and needs to be corrected with affirmative action.
Fri, Mar 29, 2013 3:50pm
Christmas is a federal holiday. Easter is not but always falls on a Sunday. Many state and local jurisdictions have Blue Laws which restrict certain activities and business on Sundays. This, of course, puts businesses operated by Jews and Jewish employees in any business at a distinct disadvantage because they are required by law to close or limit operations on Sunday and to observe the sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.
Then there are all the public meetings that insist on starting with a Christian prayer.
Fri, Mar 29, 2013 5:18pm
teatime: It scares me to agree with you so much. How come it's OK to talk about how disproportionately-gifted Blacks are in sports and music, but not say they do poorly in school? No, we have to come up with excuses that they, as a group (exceptions noted) don't do well academically. It's the tests' fault. It's the teachers' fault. It's our fault.
What's really disgusting is Black groups pushing to place limits or quotas on the number of Asians admitted to state schools in some states. Asians, with their own history of discrimination, are doing too well and taking spaces away from unqualified Blacks.
We had two major affirmative action cases before the Supreme Court this week. I grew up believing discrimination was wrong when it supposedly worked in my favor. Now I'm supposed to approve of it when/because it works against me.
And the media (present company included) treat affirmative action as settled, right, and proper, and therefore opposition to it is largely marginalized. The media are among the most infamous practitioners of affirmative action along with academic and government. To fill the schedule with people like Rush and to embrace reverse discrimination and quotas seems - at least - inconsistent.
Blacks are 13 per cent of the population, so they should be 13 per cent of professional sports teams. Until we go back to merit in school admissions, hiring and everything else.
Fri, Mar 29, 2013 11:43pm
smith/rice: Blacks are about 98% of professional basketball teams and at least 50% of professional football teams. That doesn't look like discrimination to me.
You shouldn't be so scared about agreeing with Teatime. Both of you appear to be confused as to your political identities. I would classify Teatime as a Librecom.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Mar 30, 2013 11:06am
Tonyi figured it out, yes its an "evil Christian conspiracy" to tick off the Jews and Muslims as my family does have Ham at Easter.
As Tonyi pointed out there's probably someone offended that their family eats Lamb at Easter [those people are eating "Lamp Chop" for dinner] - for those who aren't Babyboomers "Lamp Chop" was a puppet that Sherri Lewis used in her children's program that aired in black and white when we were kids on NBC-TV. One of the other popular puppets she used was "Charlie Horse".
Seriously, for the Christian it is NOT an issue as the Lord gave St. Peter that vision in Acts where God told him that no food was unclean, so yes Christians can eat at Red Lobster, or order Pork Chops at their favorite restaurant, and yes have a cheeseburger. God gave us that freedom.
Now if I were having a Jew or Muslim to my home as a dinner guest, I would not serve those things, because I wouldn't want to be disrespectful of their beliefs. I have that freedom in Christ, but the Love of Christ has compassion and gives me the Grace to NOT shove that in their faces, but to respect their traditions as I'd want mine respected. The old Golden Rule thing that Jesus taught us.
As far as the discrimination thing goes, we've been reverse discriminating since the 1970's. The black middle-class is growing like crazy, whites are marrying blacks, whites are adopting black babies, we have black doctors, lawyers, chemists, supervisors over white employees, heads of corporations, blacks go to any college they choose, Federal House and Senate members, as well as a President who needed significant white votes to win the election both times. So what has happened for the past 40 years has made a significant difference for black America, if they chose to take advantage of it, which many blacks have done, thus today's large block of black middle class folks. Someone who died in 1950 would not know this America, and that's a good thing, the change needed to happen.
I believe it's time to upgrade the system so that NOW the best-qualified person gets the job, thus ending all forms of discrimination, NOT going backward to the old ways either.
I remember a number of years ago, one employer advertising they were going to be hiring 400 new employees that year, only minority and women, white males need not apply. That is just as wrong as if they had said we'll be hiring 400 new employees this year, only white males, minorities and women need not apply.
So maybe that employer got the best-qualified people that year, maybe they didn't, because they weren't allowed to apply. My point is, when I'm going on the operating table at the hospital, I don't give a darn about the skin color, the gender of the doctor, but that whomever is handling the knife is the best at the job my money can buy. Same when I fly in a jetliner. I don't care if the pilot's white, black, yellow, red, brown, male, female, gay or straight as long as they are the best qualified pilot to fly that airplane.
The opportunities are there for all, so let's level the playing field so that the best win, which may not be the white male, but a black female, but the point is, if we say we don't want to discriminate, then let's stop discriminating period.
Just because blacks are 13% of the population doesn't mean they should only fill so many spots if they are more blacks qualified say, in basketball maybe there will be more blacks than in hockey where there is far less black participation and interest. The point is you hire the best, not to meet some quota. So maybe we have more black engineers than black surgeons, but have more Asian violinists than Mexican violinists. The point is you hire the best, not to fill a quota where you have to lower the skill set so instead of rewarding and getting the best you settle for the mediocre. No wonder America is fading as a world leader. We no longer strive to be the best, we strive to give the mediocre the jobs while ignoring better skilled persons, just because of their skin color or gender. THAT is just plain stupid, in my opinion.
Sat, Mar 30, 2013 1:58pm
Teatime: If the NBA did as you suggest regarding recruitment of more white males, I guarantee you the National Association for the Advancement of Liberal Colored People and the American Criminal Liberties Union would be suing the hell out of 'em.
The double-standard is brazenly clear. If you think it's bad now, wait until the gay-rights crowd lobbies to make child rape and sex with animals legal.
Sat, Mar 30, 2013 2:42pm
MikeFromDelaware: You seem willing to pick and choose whatever in the Bible supports what you want to think or what you want to do. Your god says one thing to Moses and "never mind" to St. Peter. All-knowing but unable to make up his mind.
You need to face the truth. Your St. Paul was the ultimate con artist. First he kills followers of Jesus. Then he sees an opportunity. Judaism appeals to a lot of goyim. But they don't want to do the old snip-snip and they don't want to follow all those dietary laws and other pesky rules. So he invents Judaism Lite, a watered-down, more convenient, more user-friendly form of Judaism. He never met Jesus but claims to know Jesus better than people who actually did. The goyim like statues, so he dropped one of ten commandments. They liked having more personal deities, including goddesses. So he added saints and the Virgin Mary to pray to (Jews had a goddess, Mrs. Yahweh or Astarte, a fertility goddess, but they got rid of her).
And the gospels and Acts were written decades after Jesus, so the writers didn't know Jesus either. It's easy to make prophecies about stuff that's already happened.
So, enjoy a bastardized and compromised form of Judaism. It's nice to have a religion that asks so little and can be whatever you want it to be.
Funny, you should quote St. Peter. I thought you gave up on being Catholic.
More than a century ago, Freud realized that dreams don't say anything about god. They only tell us about ourselves. And people can say anything they want and say it came to them in a dream.
MrPizza: It's even scarier to agree with you. I guess the stopped-clock theory applies here.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Mar 30, 2013 6:00pm
Billsmith: From what I see, Lutherans [and neither do any other Christian denominations that I know of] don't have a problem with St. Peter, [the former fisherman converted to being a fisher of men by Christ] or any of the other Apostles including St. Paul. Simon-Peter was a brother in the Lord, and yes the first person Christ appointed to lead the church on Earth. Sorry you have some hang-ups with Peter and the church Jesus put him in charge of leading.
Frankly, you do seem to have a lot of hang-ups, repressed anger, etc., towards the Christian Church, Christians, and possibly Jesus himself. I now see why some of the others believe you are Mark Rice, he is very much like you.
Understand something Billsmith, I can not ever convince you to follow Christ. It doesn't work that way. I've discussed this stuff with you and in the past with Mark Rice to possibly help him and now you to get passed whatever has put a barrier between you and Jesus. I wasn't any more successful with MarkRice than I've been with you [guess it was a good thing I wasn't a pastor]. For that I apologize for not being able to serve both my Lord and you better in this regard. I'll pray for you as I have for MarkRice that somehow the Holy Spirit will be able to break down that wall and help both of you allow Christ back into your lives. God wants no one to perish, including you and Mark Rice.
Sat, Mar 30, 2013 7:09pm
MikeFromDelaware: For the record, I find much to admire in what's attributed to Jesus in the gospels. From my reading, Jesus' teachings and the principles of Judaism were corrupted by St. Paul.
You say you are now a Lutheran. Luther, and Lutherans generally, reject the idea that Peter was put in charge of the apostles and find no historical evidence that Peter ever went to Rome. They also find no historical evidence that Rome claimed to have authority over other territories of the church until well into the Dark Ages and after Rome and the Western territories were separated from the Roman Empire. I just encourage you to examine what you are told, by preachers, teachers, or talk-show hosts. After all, that's what Luther did. And since you cited the Book of Acts, go back a study the account of the apostles' meetings and see who appeared to be leading the meetings.
My anger at "Christians" is their propensity to tell others how to live, to push their views and their ideas on others. Christianity has a long history of forcing itself on others. Today, it's the religious right (so-called social conservatives). Their leaders have stated it's their intention to create a theocracy in the US, like Israel and Islamists countries.
Christians have no respect for the beliefs, ideas and practices of others, yet they demand that for themselves. Doesn't sound like "the golden rule" to me.
I'm glad to hear there are others like me. Actually, there are a lot of us who don't follow televangelists or the tea party.
I don't believe. I guess you could say I don't believe in it. But if I were creating the world, I'd set up reincarnation and keep giving people the opportunity to perfect themselves. Your idea of heaven doesn't appeal to me at all, nor does the idea of a supreme being who consigns people to eternal torment (even if he doesn't like doing it).
I imagine you must be afraid that if you think too much about these things, you will sink into the Sea of Galilee. But maybe you can learn to swim.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Mar 30, 2013 11:06pm
I'll ask my pastor about Peter and Lutheranism. Even so, he was an Apostle and God did give him that vision, obviously Luther and Lutheranism don't renounce Peter, or the vision he had, or how God did use Peter in his ministry.
Sun, Mar 31, 2013 6:34am
MikeFromDelaware: I urged you to think for yourself and you want to go ask your pastor. I think I see your problem.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Mar 31, 2013 8:10am
Billsmith: No you don't see the problem. I believe you see a problem, because I don't come to the same conclusions as you.
I've been to many different churches as I've explored and learned what they believe so I could figure out what I believe [they aren't necessarily the same thing] which is why I'm not still a Catholic or any of the other denominations I've been a part of during my life as a follower of Christ.
Me going to the pastor is to find out the so called "Lutheran" spin on Peter. Sure they and no other Protestant group consider him to be the first Pope, but he was a leader, and Jesus did choose him to lead and to be the first leader, we Protestants just don't use the term Pope. After Pentecost he was far better at his calling than prior to being touched by the Holy Spirit.
Believe me when I say to you I don't follow the herd. I'm any pastor's worse nightmare, I do ask questions. What I've found is some pastor's, the good one's who really are called by God to pastor a flock are delighted to have someone ask questions and be that interested in growing in their walk with the Lord. The others usually get their "nickers" in a twist and give you the ole, this is how we do it, etc. No asking questions is a good thing to do.
Sun, Mar 31, 2013 9:15am
All this firestorm about Doug Gottlieb is no different than the way those without a life treated Rush Limbaugh over Donovan McNabb. There was absolutely nothing racist about what Rush or Doug had to say. In Rush's case, the comment was about the sports media's use of race and not a personal stab at McNabb or any other black person. Only race pimps like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton find racism in every mention of race because it gives them a chance to grandstand and pat themselves on the back while exploiting the minorities they claim to champion for the sake of the almighty dollar.
For those of you needing clarification about the scripture "The love of money is the root of all evil", this is a glaring example of it.
Sun, Mar 31, 2013 10:44am
Mrpizza: I am in agreement with you twice in one weekend, regardless of who else you think I am.
For once, I agreed with Rush. The media did hype McNabb over and above his performance on the field because they were so enraptured with the idea of a Black quarterback. In much the same way, they hyped Obama over Hillary as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Gottleib's comment was sort of dumb and added nothing, unlike Rush's, which was a valid observation. It was more like Rush calling Sandra Fluke, a "slut." There were valid criticisms he could have raised but put his foot in his mouth instead.
It also bore a resemble to Don Imus' calling the members of the Rutgers' women's basketball team "nappy headed ho's." Again, valid observation using terms taken from a Spike Lee movie but badly presented.
Of course, when minorities claim they are offended, one is guilty and there's no question of proving them innocent.
Speaking of the double standard: Remember when Michael Vick was arrested for dog fighting and Jesse Jackson said it was racist persecution and dog fighting is part of Black culture?
MikeFromDelaware: I think you mean "knickers." Short for "knickerbockers." Make sure your pastor does not rebuckle them below the knees.
I say living in a question is an even better thing to do.
Sun, Mar 31, 2013 11:35am
Black filmmakers did a movie called "White Men CAn't Jump," but of course nobody got offended by it.
However, Doug Gottlieb, a white commentator, made a comment about a "white man's perspective' and somehow this is racist.
AS usual, the media has amazing double standards on racial issues.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Mar 31, 2013 1:44pm
Mrpizza, Teatime, and Billsmith: I agree with all of you, yes there definitely IS a double standard about the race issues. One side can say and do whatever and its OK, the other side is guilty for just thinking it, much less saying anything about it. Can hardly wait for Political Correctness to have run its course and be discarded in the trash heap of history.
Billsmith: Thanks for the upgrade on spelling Knickers, sometimes I just have a "brain freeze" and I know its wrong and just can't get it and naturally spell check didn't offer the correct spelling and I was pressed for time so didn't have time to get up and get my dictionary, an old Funk and Wagnalls from 1970, to find the proper spelling, so thank you. I guess I should pony up some money and buy a newer dictionary. Consider how many words that are now in use that weren't in use back in 1970. On the other hand, the old dictionary might have words like Knickers that a dictionary of today might not have have, as apparently my spell check doesn't have it when nickers is used instead.
By the way, the Bach and Handel was fantastic at my new church home in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod where we did become official members this morning.
The Choir, the Organist/Music Director (who is very gifted both as an organist and as a vocalist (Tenor), were terrific. If that weren't enough, the Music Director brought in a brass quartet and a percussionist complete with two Tympani. The Lutheran Mass ended with Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. Martin Luther who loved music would have been blessed.
Wishing you all a blessed Easter Sunday/Resurrection Sunday.
Sun, Mar 31, 2013 4:24pm
On this day:
1492 – The Catholic Monarchs of Spain issued the Alhambra Decree, ordering all Jews to convert to Christianity or be expelled from the country.
And there is a movement in the Catholic Church to canonize Queen Isabella as a saint.
There was a large Jewish population in Spain before 1492 because of the religious freedom and prosperity Spain enjoyed under 800 years of Islamic rule.
MikeFromDelaware: I can't imagine anyone wearing knickers and being opposed to gay marriage. ;)
You might also ask your new pastor whether it's considered "couth" for you to call the communion service a "mass." High church Episcopalians do that sometimes but where they call the Pope, the anti-Christ.
I see some Catholics have got their knickers in a bunch because the new pope washed the feet of some women. The apostles were men, so only men get their feet washed.
We spoke of Pope Anthony Quinn a while back. I forget to mention that Morris West, who wrote Shoes of the Fishermen, wrote four novels about the Vatican. One about a pope from behind the iron curtain. One about a pope who resigns. One about a homosexual scandal in the priesthood. Pretty good record of predictions.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Mar 31, 2013 9:18pm
I've been visiting numerous Lutheran Churches for, both ELCA and LCMS during the past 5 years that I've been exploring Lutheranism and have been calling the service the Lutheran Mass and have never, once been corrected by anyone, pastors or laity. So apparently its OK to call it the Lutheran Mass, because that's what it is, a Mass. Different than a Catholic Mass in that its not called the Sacrifice of the Mass, because Lutherans don't believe Jesus has to be crucified again on the cross each week. The Lutheran Mass is a celebration of what God through his Son Jesus Christ has already done for us. Also, in the Lutheran Mass, there are no prayers for the dead, no prayers to the saints or Mary. But other than those things, the Masses are the same.
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 8:47am
More signs of racial inequality and double standards: young black rappers use the 'N-word' on songs, in concert, and in public with complete impunity. Nobody flinches, nobody notices, when this obscenity is shouted by young African-Americans.
However, if somebody from another racial group uses the "N-word," you know there will a great public outrage.
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 9:40am
MikeFromDelaware: Until World War I, Lutheran services were mostly in German. This practiced eroded during and after that war and Lutheran congregations adopted (with some modifications) the English language liturgies from the 1924 Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
Both Luther's liturgy in German and the Anglican liturgy were adopted from the Latin Gregorian liturgy (6th century).
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 10:50am
Is Mr. Loudell off today on Monday?
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 1:09pm
Billsmith: thanks for the history. The Gregorian chants of the Psalms, I especially enjoy.
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 3:26pm
Hope all had a good break from work... I always wondered why I was repelled by Easter Ham, and now I know... Thanks...
I look forward to the time when we agree to recognize the three top religions, all rooted in the same God, and give banks, schools, and government days off at Christmas/Easter, for Hanukkah/Passover, and for Hajj Day/Ramadan... and make them mandatory... I don't plan on changing my religion; I'd be grateful for the time off.
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 3:54pm
Kavips: "Top religions?" That pretty much marginalizes Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, Baha'is, Confucians, and adherents of other reigions who greatly outnumber the three you mentioned, and many of which pre-date them.
I suppose it's progress that you a willing to include other Christian denominations, Jews and Muslims in your "top religions." It wasn't that long ago Christians wanted to kill them all. I guess in the case of Muslim, a lot of Christians still want to kill them.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 4:22pm
A change of subject. Here is an article about the latest court case against Obamacare. Enjoy.
MikeFromDelaware: You just became a Lutheran. You can't be checking out the Moonies already.
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 11:37pm
Teatime: I think Allan Loudell is out of town for a bit. Amy Cherry is filling in on the newscasts.
Billsmith and Mike FD: Thanks, guys. This has been a great Easter forum. God bless.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 2, 2013 8:16am
Here's another story that might be of interest from Huffington Post, about the Obama Administration keeping the Press at arms length:
"Capitalizing on the possibilities of the digital age, the Obama White House is generating its own content like no president before, and refining its media strategies in the second term in hopes of telling a more compelling story than in the first.
At the same time, it is limiting press access in ways that past administrations wouldn't have dared, and the president is answering to the public in more controlled settings than his predecessors. It's raising new questions about what's lost when the White House tries to make an end run around the media, functioning, in effect, as its own news agency."
I guess Allan is taking a few days off. Hope he went somewhere warm.
Like him or not, Pat Buchannan asks some questions about the trend of our nation:
"If we Americans cannot even agree on what is right and wrong and moral and immoral, how do we stay together in one national family? If one half of the nation sees the other as morally depraved, while the latter sees the former as saturated in bigotry, sexism and homophobia, how do we remain one united nation and one people?
Today, half of America thinks the country some of us grew up in was bigoted, racist, homophobic and sexist, while the other half sees this morally “evolving” nation as a society openly inviting the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah and that is hardly worth preserving."
I have one concern about the whole same sex marriage debate. What about the slippery slope of approving 'anything goes' culture?
In all seriousness, what happens 10 years from now when pedophile groups fight for the right to have pedophile marriages? Would anybody opposed to this be castigated for not having tolerance? Would pedophiles demand that the government recognize the rights of adults to marry children?
Let's think about the slippery slope before we traipse into the politically-correct view that gay marriage is okay.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 2, 2013 1:28pm
Teatime: Here is an example of what you're talking about. Remember that female school teacher [don't remember where she lived, story had national attention] who had an affair with one of her minor students? I believe she did serve some time in prison, anyhow, when the boy turned 18, they married. They would have married when he was a minor if it had been allowed and not considered a crime.
Tue, Apr 2, 2013 3:38pm
Yes. I purposefully so did marginalize those "other" religions. They are not in the big time yet, and one has to draw the line somewhere.
Religion tends to provide some comforting structure to all we do not know. As our civilizations are young and innocent, that covers a lot. As we learn more science, and we discover even more of what we do not know, it grows even more....
If you noticed, all the religions I spoke of, are tied into the monotheistic God who revealed himself to Abraham. As Americans who accept all religions, I think giving holidays off for three of the same root, is a good place to begin, instead of our current traditions wrapping all America around just one branch emanating off that root.
I think that thanking Jews and Muslims for not having to go into work for a day, would be a great bridge to open the doors of understanding...
It would also make our own Christian Heathen more acceptable of their own limitations of following one single sect of one single line. God is just too big for one religion.
Tue, Apr 2, 2013 5:05pm
Let's think about the issue at hand. Not some issue that may or may not come up decades hence.
Homosexual acts used to be a crime. Homosexuality itself used to be a crime. Cops raided gay bars the way Elliot Ness once raided speakeasys. Homosexuals were persecuted, beaten, or jailed. Do you "good Christians" want to bring that all back? It wasn't so long ago. Things started changing when the Supreme Court overturned anti-sodomy laws, which "good Christians" endorsed, supported, and defended, using the same arguments you all are making now.
Back then gays stayed in the closet. Their gay lifestyle revolved around secretive, furtive, anonymous sexual encounters in backrooms, public restrooms, gay discos, gay bars and gay porn theaters. Often these venues were operated by the Mafia who preyed upon their gay customers in various ways.
Now members of the gay communities are talking about and seeking committed, life-long marital relationships and families. It's surprising you "good Christians" would oppose such responsible, even conventional, behavior. Unless you hate gays (and call them by other names).
Christianity has a long history of homophobia. St. Paul. St Augustine of Hippo. Both were quite likely self-loathing homosexuals themselves.
This week, NPR did a story on the progress toward gay marriage. They cited polls showing not many people agree with you on this. They also pointed out the legislatures of four states will be voting on legalizing gay marriage in the coming month. One of them is Delaware.
When it's over, you "good Christians" will have to find some other "threat" to get worked up about and somebody else you want to tell how to live.
Tue, Apr 2, 2013 5:07pm
"Yes. I purposefully so did marginalize those "other" religions. They are not in the big time yet, and one has to draw the line somewhere."
Check the stats. There are far more followers of those "other" religions than there are Yahwists. And many of those religions have been around a lot longer.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 3, 2013 8:01am
I found this commentary and if it is close to being true, hmmm we as a nation just might be in a heap of trouble in the near future. See what you think.
I'm very serious about my question: What happens when pedophiles ask the government to recognize legal marriages between adults and children?
Wed, Apr 3, 2013 10:22am
teatime: The government will laugh in their face.
I really have trouble taking these "slippery slope" scenarios seriously. Slippery slope is considered a logical fallacy but it seems a lot of people don't follow the rules of logic.
But if you look at what has actually happened in recent decades, where society has seen greater sexual and reproductive freedom and a more judgmental attitude in most areas, the trend regarding pedophilia has moved in the opposite direction. Pedophilia is considered more abhorrent. Children have more legal protections - and legal restrictions - in general. The age of consent has been raised. The age required to marry has been raised.
In 1958, rock singer Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13-year-old cousin - legally. He was not charged with anything. At about the same time, Elvis, while in the Army began a relationship with a 14-year-old "military brat," who moved into his house in Memphis shortly after when Elvis' two-year hitch was up. Again, not charged with anything. Both continued their careers. Several years later, Elvis married Priscilla Presley - then 21.
Marriages to barely post-pubescent girls were common in many parts of the country decades ago, and were performed in, and sanctioned by, recognized churches (as well as the law). Not any more. Today, fringe church groups that engage in underage marriages are raided by law-enforcement officials (with members of those groups decrying infringement on their religious freedoms).
Notice it is religious organizations most likely to be associated with organized pedophilia. Fundamentalist Mormons. Roman Catholic priests (as the church fights marriage by gay adults).
A few fringe groups of pedophiles have tried to justify their "lifestyle." You haven't heard from them because nobody pays attention and nobody takes them seriously. This brings us to another logical fallacy: Reductio ad absurdum.
Gay acts are legal. Gays can legally cohabit. What they are asking for now is on the more practical level. To take the marital income and estate tax breaks. To be able to make end-of-life medical decisions for a partner. And most of all, not to be relegated to a second-class legal status. Since your religion teaches "the golden rule" and you want these things yourself, you might give their concerns greater consideration.
But whether you do or not, the Supreme Court has already said they have the right to do the things you find "abhorrent" and you claim your god finds "abhorrent."
Your arguments here sound like desperation. You just don't like gays, gay acts, and the idea of gay marriage. You really cannot argue against this issue just because you find gays "abhorrent," so you argue against pedophilia. Maybe deep-down you still buy the completely discredited notion that gays are pedophiles. And deep down (or maybe not so deep), whether you talk scripture (like MikeFromDelaware) or your slippery slope to pedophilia, the real issue is you either hate gays or are uncomfortable with homosexuality. Just tell the truth about what's really going on with you.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 3, 2013 3:25pm
I found this article interesting and a bit alarming. I'm not a money/banking expert, but if this prediction is even close than we could see the Future Crash of 2015. Here's an excerpt from the article:
"For three years, the Federal Reserve was the largest buyer of Treasury securities, scooping up two-thirds of all U.S.securities sold at auction, driving interest rates down to practically nothing. In the process, the Fed built up a $4 trillion-dollar balance sheet and no one asked where that money was going to go.
How did the Fed pay for these securities?
They "printed money." And look what they got out of thin air: Interest-paying U.S.government bonds that produced an annual profit of more than $80 billion!
The Fed magnanimously turned over most of those profits to the Treasury every year. Media editorials congratulated the wise men for their financial acumen and their sterling sense of responsibility."
Changing the subject but the NRA's plan to fortify schools has a price tag of $26.5 billion across the USA. It would cost Christina $5,000,000; Brandywine $3,000,000; and Red Clay $6,400,000, to do what the NRA recommends.
Banning high-capacity clips and assault weapons and mandating background checks would be almost free..... zero-cost...
The NRA organization is nuts.
Wed, Apr 3, 2013 6:56pm
MikeFromDelaware: First you quote the Washington Times, owned by the Rev. Moon's Unification Church (who claimed to be Jesus).
Now you quote the Examiner, owned by right-wing Denver oil billionaire (with a B) Philip Anschutz.
You really shouldn't believe everything you read.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 3, 2013 8:45pm
Billsmith: I also quoted from CNBC, a sister company with MSNBC and NBC, all left-leaning organizations that also have their biased slant.
I, at least, am willing to check out both sides of the political spectrum, in terms of news-gathering organizations. It would appear [based on you comments] that you'll only read from sources you agree with, sort of like a lot of folks who only listen to Rush, or watch Fox News, or MSNBC.
How about reading the articles and commenting on their content?
Wed, Apr 3, 2013 11:32pm
Following is an article about the firing of a basketball coach. I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but I was quite intrigued by the coach's name. When you see it, you also will find it a hoot:
MikeFromDelaware: Point is you don't seem to evaluate the content. It's fine to read a bunch of different sources. I wish you applied that approach to religious scholarship, as well. But you don't seem to evaluate what you read critically. And you don't seem to recognize the difference between a "news gathering organization" and a blog advocating (and justifying) particular viewpoints. You seem to see a difference between Rush and "All Things Considered" but you don't seem to see a difference between the Washington Times and the New York Times. Bloggers operate under a different set of rules (many even acknowledge this) and they don't let facts get in the way of the ax they want to grind. Both blogs you quoted are run by people with a definite agenda and they use those blogs to advance that agenda (for their own benefit).
You also tend to repeat what you hear without checking it. NBC is left-leaning. How do you know? Rush told you so? Ignore the fact that until recently NBC was owned by GE, the largest US defense contractor. Now Comcast (have you looked at their political donations?). But forget facts. Rush called them "left-leaning." You really love to pick up labels and attach them.
Thu, Apr 4, 2013 8:00am
Yes, billsmith/mark rice, I am uncomfortable with aberrant behavior, whether that's two men together or an adult and child together.
My whole point is that we have a very random set of mores in our society. We say it's okay for two men to be together, only because these groups have gathered enough political clout to advocate their position. It's still wrong, though.
Right now, adults with children is taboo as it should be, but what happens when the pedophiles gain enough political clout to start lobbying for pedophile marriages? It's still wrong, but it would be allowed if this group gathers enough political strength to make it legal.
Again, what do we do when pedophiles push for marriage equality?
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 4, 2013 8:12am
Welcome back Allan.
Billsmith: MSNBC is about as far left as you can get politically. About the only thing they don't do is have the hammer and sickle in the background and the Red Army song of "Meadowlands" playing as theme music. They are the left-wing cousin of Fox News, which of course is the right-wing version. Neither are fair and balanced.
I don't necessarily agree with an article, commentary, or blog, but was using them as a catalyst to try to have a discussion on that particular subject. I quite often learn things of interest that I may not have known or considered [at least to my puny brain] by reading what you all here have to say on a given topic. So that makes coming here fun and interesting.
Rather than discuss the topic, it appears that you would prefer to pick at the writer or reporter of the article, or the company that published or broadcast their piece.
I rarely if ever listen to Rush, and on those rare occasions, I tune out after about 15 minutes [there's only so much pompous, bombastic, Tom Foolery one can take - I feel the same way about Rick Jensen, Glenn Beck, and Hannity, and yes somedays I feel the same way about Al Mascitti]. But even Rush, like a broken clock, can be correct some times.
The Wash Times is conservative; the NY Times is liberal. Rev. Moon owns the Wash Times; he doesn't write the articles, he just makes money from it [I stay at Marriott Hotels even though the Mormon Church owns a major piece of that business and makes money from their hotel chain]. The Wash Times does bring up stuff the NY Times might ignore, just as the NY Times might bring up stuff that the Wash Times might ignore, so both serve a useful purpose in being catalysts for discussion of issues.
That's what I was trying to do by posting those links. Obviously, I wasted my time.
Thu, Apr 4, 2013 5:49pm
Teatime: And I say being a self-righteous, ignorant, hate-filled bigot is wrong. I suppose we should be grateful you troll message boards to vent your prejudices which may make it less likely that you feel need to go out and beat up "queers."
MikeFromDelaware: You don't know what you're talking about. The Rev. Moon started the Washington Times for the stated purpose of advancing a political viewpoint. Look it up. He also bought UPI for the same stated reason, and most of the staff quit.
You are correct that the Rev. Moon doesn't write articles. He's dead. He said he'd come back, so maybe he'll start writing again.
And no, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not own a "major piece" of Marriott Corporation. The Marriott family, who are LDS members, control the company, which is publicly traded.
I have no problem if you pick up opinions (to agree with or disagree with) from opinion articles or blogs. My problem is when you present them as factual bases for discussion of issues. As a general rule, I don't click on links to sites I don't know and when I'm given little or no information about the article I'm asked to read. If someone can't bother to summarize it, I won't bother to read it.
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 4, 2013 6:01pm
Billsmith: Some of us don't have that much time to spend searching or writing and have simply found something that we found interesting. I always laugh when Allan says to double-check your stuff as I'm going to be off and won't be here to double-check spelling, etc.
I'm quite often writing this stuff during a break at work, so I've got a few minutes, so it is what it is, too bad if it's not Pulitzer Prize material. I guess all I can say is too bad if you're too lazy to click on the link, that's your choice. So we end up not having what might have been an interesting discussion. It's not the end of the world.
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 12:07am
I have to disagree with the idea there is any leftist major newspaper. I know there is a lot of finger-pointing at MSNBC and NY Times, but that is primarily a tactic used only by the right when they publish facts that prove the right is wrong. The right IS wrong on almost everything.
Of course, some people like to listen to the right because it reinforces all the wrong things they were taught. Just like secret communists used to listen to Pravda on their shortwaves in their parent's basements... (nod to Allan and shortwave)....
But in reality, MSNBC is nowhere near what we used to hear from real commmunists, real socialists, and real Marxists. As Bill Smith pointed out, these are owned by giant corporations.
I would say the right is just radical. The news sources cited above are centrists... Left would be Radio Havana Cuba if it still exists...
Back to conservatives always being wrong.... Here are some off the top of my head....
1) Conservatives opposed to the American Revolution
2) Conservatives opposed to freeing the slaves
3) Conservatives opposed women’s suffrage
4) Conservatives opposed to minimum wage and child labor laws, the 8-hour work day, weekends, sick leave… etc.
5) Conservatives opposed to the humane treatment of animals
6) Conservatives opposed to the Social Security Act
7) Conservatives opposed to clean air and water
8) Conservatives opposed to the Civil Right’s Act
9) Conservatives opposed to Medicare
10) Conservatives opposed to Equal Protection Under the Law
11) Conservatives opposed to everyone being allowed to vote.
12) Conservatives opposed to billionaires paying taxes; let the middle-class do it for them.
13) Conservatives opposed to allowing Hispanics into the USA.
14) Conservatives opposed to the playing of soccer.
15) Conservatives opposed to the study of science.
16) Conservatives allergic to true facts.....
Why do they keep getting it wrong? Here are some of their faulty assumptions ...
“We’ve reached the limit”
“You’re on your own”
“The Bible tells me so”
“It’s what nature intended”
“Life is fair”
“Our betters know what’s best for us”
I'm not just pointing out today's foibles. Conservatives used this since ancient Rome... The reasoning seems plausible only in a vacuum. As soon as someone challenges and investigates the principals, one sees only one true tenant of conservatism: I'm powerful and I'm going to stay that way. Screw You...
That has been the unchanged Conservative mantra through most of our civilization.
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:10am
So, Bill Smith are you opposed to adults having sex with children? In that case, you are a hate-filled bigot---bigoted against pedophiles.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:53am
Kavips: Simple Biology in the Science world tells us that homosexuality in humans is wrong. The plumbing isn't designed for that. It is NOT natural. Humankind would have been extinct way back at the time of Adam and Eve had mankind been a majority of homosexuals than hetrosexual. Which is why God created Adam and Eve, and not Adam and Steve, or Amanda and Eve. So that is a case where Science [Biology] proves the Bible position is correct.
Remember the Bible is NOT a Science book, but a collection of books on faith, standards of living as set by God, and God's plan for mankind. So to use the Bible as a Science text book is a misuse of the Bible.
So even though I can agree with most of your list above, trying to paint the homosexual issue with the same brush is not correct. Homosexuality is not the "norm". If those folks wish to do that in the privacy of their homes, that's between them and God, but why drag all of us into it? Simply because the GLBT community wants our society, including the churches, synagogues, and mosques to accept their lifestyle as a fine alternative way to live, and consider it "normal".
Funny in all the discussions I've have with folks in the LGBT community, I've never had any say this isn't true. Instead they just attack the Christian community as closed-minded bigots. So it goes beyond they doing what they want to do in their homes and being left alone. That's why Civil Unions aren't acceptable to the LGBT folks, because even though CU's give them all the benefits a married hetrosexual couple gets from the government, insurance, etc, the CU still says what they're doing is NOT "normal". They want you and I to say its "normal", and a Christian [who's studied the Bible], or anyone who's studied Science can not truthfully say that, because homosexuality in humans is NOT "normal".
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 9:27am
teatime: I responded politely to your "slippery slope" question about pedophilia before. You ignored my reply. Now you have gone from the "slippery slope" to equating homosexuality and pedophilia. Apparently, even you realize your position on homosexuality is untenable bigotry, so you change the subject to the "red herring" of pedophilia.
MikeFromDelaware: You try to come off as a nice guy but your mind is equally closed and your position is also bigoted. Is this what you got from Jesus? I hope you are prepared to be judged yourself, since you do a lot of judging. You were raised Catholic and apparently you still hold to the idea that sex and marriage are only for reproduction - and you wish to impose those ideas of sex and marriage on everyone else.
"Plumbing," as you call it, is irrelevant. Your use of the term here reflects Christianity's disgust with the human body. All those "unnatural" acts you associate with homosexuality are being performed every day - every minute of every day - by heterosexuals, even by married heterosexuals. These "unnatural acts" are also being performed - in nature - with great frequency by out primate cousins, who are not tainted by "original sin." Go visit the primate house at the zoo. You might learn something.
You Christians have tried to (and succeeded in) outlawing everything except straight, missionary-position sex for purposes of reproduction with no artificial means of birth control. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has struck down all those laws in past decades. Gay marriage is your "final frontier." And whatever the Supreme Court decides to do now, polls - several of them - show most of the voting public does not accept your rigid, self-righteous sexual intolerance. You homophobes will lose at the ballot box (as you would have lost on abortion and did lose in many states, had the Supreme Court not intervened first).
And when you say the LGBT community wants churches to accept gay marriage you lie - "bear false witness." However, there are any number of churches, more open and loving, more in concert with Jesus' teachings, that do welcome gays and perform gay marriages. I'm sorry you didn't try one of those. From what you've written, you seek out denominations which are less tolerant, not more.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 11:06am
Billsmith: Because I don't agree with YOUR views, I'm not a nice person and bigoted. Yea, you libs are really an open-minded bunch as long as it's YOUR view of the world that's accepted.
I've had numerous conversations with folks in the the LGBT community and they've not one time said, no that's not true. Many have in fact said, 'YES, we want to be considered NORMAL'. Some have said the stuff about wanting churches to accept their lifestyle and others could care less as long as the "secular" society sees them as normal, so I didn't lie. End of discussion.
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:35pm
MikeFromDelaware: You are bigoted because you hold bigoted views. And because you want to impose your views on everyone else. You can think whatever you want about gays, about marriage and about gay marriage. But you want to use the force of law to keep gays who want to marry from marrying. Why? Because you think it's wrong and not "normal." Talk about forcing your view of the world on the world.
Gays have not said they intend to force churches to accept gay marriage. Forcing your views on others is what people on your side do. But I can understand why you would expect others to do unto you as you have done unto them.
I can't imagine a gay person wanting to sit down and talk about this with you given your mind is already made up. How much of the talking did they actually get to do while you were trying to save their souls?
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 10:03pm
Billsmith: Actually the gay/lesbians got to say quite a lot as we were having a conversation and a discussion, not a monologue or sermon.
I'll say it again, SOME GAYS/LESBIANS HAVE SAID that yes they want to force churches to accept their lifestyle, NOT all, but SOME. As I said earlier, some didn't care about that at all, but some definitely did and were rather adamant about it.
I've also had some gay/lesbians say that IF they ever get real control of this nation, people like me would be the first they go after to eliminate, because they believe that the church and Christians in America have kept them from being able to do what they want. So don't give me a bunch of crap of me being bigoted, biased, or intolerant, because I've experienced all that same stuff from the gay/lesbian community as well as from liberals like you.
So let us just agree that we disagree, because on this issue I have my beliefs based on God's holy word, as I understand it, and you have your beliefs based on whatever standard you've accepted. You're not evil, I'm not evil, we just have different beliefs.
Actually I've already accepted that our nation will legalize gay/lesbian marriage [I may not like it, but America today is like the 21st century version of Ancient Rome], but my concern is about churches being forced to do what they don't believe in.
Sat, Apr 6, 2013 8:00am
"SOME GAYS/LESBIANS HAVE SAID that yes they want to force churches to accept their lifestyle."
MikeFromDelaware: Who? When? Do you have links to statements from a recognized gay rights organization? Or is this something you thought you heard when you were haranguing a gay person about his "sinful" and "abnormal" life?
This is another of those red herrings, like pedophilia, people like you manufacture to oppose gay marriage. Instead of following Jesus, you are operating out of Joe McCarthy's playbook. I notice none of the feminist groups have gotten around to forcing the Missouri Synod to ordain women - or the Catholics, for that matter. How do you explain that?
Again, it's people like you who want to force things on people. Don't assume everybody else is like that.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Apr 6, 2013 11:31am
Billsmith: No organized gay/lesbian group, but a number of gay/lesbian people I personally know and had a very honest and open discussion with them. It was very friendly. We all sat, talked, and drank ice tea for 4 hours in THEIR living room. I didn't have a Bible or any religious tracts, etc, with me. We were friends sitting having a serious discussion over ice tea.
They expressed their beliefs and views and I expressed mine. A real conversation. I listened to them and they listened to me. No one called the other names or said you're so intolerant, or you're a homophobe, you hate gays, etc, etc. Shame it can't be like that here and elsewhere.
You'll be happy to know that they didn't get saved that day, but I learned a great deal of what they and their community feel, and the hurts they've received, etc, and because of that discussion, is what started me digging deeper into the scriptures to find that "loop hole" in the Bible, I mentioned in an earlier post. As I said before, there isn't one.
What that conversation did for them AND for me is help both sides see the other as real people, not some group who we're opposed to. I think about them and the other gay/lesbian friends and relatives I know and ponder how I can somehow reach them for Christ, not how to get them to change and not be gay/lesbian, that's an issue for God, not one of his creations, but how to help them to receive that love and grace that can ONLY come God and his Son Jesus Christ.
I know of a religious gay man, who I used to work for many years ago, who's a Roman Catholic. He and I had an interesting conversation years ago, one night after work. I rarely run into him, but every once in a while I've run into him and we always stop and say hi and converse for a few minutes before going on our ways. He's a person who loves Christ, who prays to be delivered from being a homosexual as he told me, no one chooses to be the "odd ball". He lives in fear that if his church ever figured out that he's gay he'd be asked to leave [you'd not know it from his appearance - he's not a "flamer" or a"flamboyant gay"]. We prayed together that night as I told him to never allow anyone to tell you that God Does NOT love you, BECAUSE that is a lie, God loves you too and went to the cross for your sins just as he went to the cross for mine, etc, etc. I realize you won't get or understand where I'm coming from, but believe me, my heart aches for folks like the one's I've discussed here. It is one of the great failings of THE church, is how do we reach these folks for Christ without compromising what God's word says? A bit of a paradox, but with Christ, all things are possible. So thus my search, study, and prayer. Be at peace.
Sat, Apr 6, 2013 11:52am
MikeFromDelaware: ("...they didn't get saved that day...")
It's interesting that you know who has been saved (and who hasn't).
You keep bringing this all back to the Bible and the Bible calls for gays to executed. You tried to wiggle out of that one before but even you are selective in applying scripture. Even you take what works for you and disregard the rest. If your god is willing to change his mind and let you have bacon and shrimp cocktails, why wouldn't he let gays have a chance at happiness in this life?
This is an issue because of the extreme sexual hang-ups of Saul of Tarsus and Augustine of Hippo, who repeatedly perverted Jesus' teachings to suit themselves.
Instead of looking for "loopholes" in the Bible and holding "interventions" to "save" gays, maybe you should be very quiet and see if the holy spirit talks to you. It still happens. The holy spirit did not retire 2,000 years ago.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Apr 6, 2013 1:37pm
Billsmith: You end this with one point I totally agree with, so you get the last word:
"the Holy Spirit did not retire 2000 years ago."
Sat, Apr 6, 2013 3:53pm
MikeFromDelaware: Then maybe you should allow for the possibility that even if the Bible is divinely inspired, it isn't the last word. If the rules can change between 400BCE and about 90CE, maybe they can change some more between then and now.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Apr 6, 2013 5:24pm
Billsmith: I get your point. Jesus made the changes, from an eye to an eye to turn the other cheek or He who has not sinned may throw the first stone, etc vs the Jewish Law of their day. The dietary laws did change also happen as a result of the Holy Spirit's prompting of Peter with the vision in Acts.
There are some Christian scholars who too question those scriptures about homosexuality in the Episcopal, United Methodist, the Presbyterian USA Church, and the ELCA Lutheran Churches.
I've learned about some of the Biblical scholars in the ELCA Lutheran Church [a pastor friend of mine told me] about some professors he had, both were Hebrew scholars, one has the traditional view of homosexuality, the other this newer "progressive" view, yet both are Hebrew scholars -they really understand the language, can speak and read it fluently, etc,etc, know the history, etc, etc. Scholars like these two are the reason the ELCA Lutheran Church says they accept the idea of gay/lesbian pastors and marriage, but give each congregation the freedom to decide for themselves as to whether their local church will accept a gay/lesbian pastor [so they can refuse to have a gay/lesbian pastor and the synod would send them someone else- also a congregation can prefer a gay/lesbian pastor it works both ways] and same with gay/lesbian marriages.
The ELCA in a statement somewhere on their website says [I'm paraphrasing the essence of what they said] the ELCA, as a church body, after over 15 years of study and debate, is pretty evenly split as to what the scriptures say and can not reach a consensus on this issue. So we allow each local church to decide what they want to do rather than the denomination forcing them to go one way or the other. Again that is a paraphrase, so any error is mine, but you get the flavor of what they said.
The United Methodists debate and vote on this issue every four years at their worldwide General Conference. They as a denomination are like the ELCA in being split, but unlike the ELCA the UM church has kept their original language and when some of the "progressives" wanted the language in the Book of Discipline to reflect the lack of consensus, they were voted down, thus the original language remains.
A side note, the African part of the UM church has grown tremendously as most Christian churches have on the continent of Africa. As a result, they now get more delegates at the General Conference and its their votes that have kept the UM church from supporting gay/lesbian pastors and marriage in the UM church [the American and European delegates apparently favor, not all, but enough that without the African votes the UM church would change].
So as you can see, I don't make my decisions in a vacuum. I'm listening, reading, studying, and praying, and waiting to see what God's plans are.
The frustrating thing for me is there are many folks who apparently are gay/lesbian who are or would like to be followers of Christ and because of some of what gets said, a barrier has come between them and knowing the Living Christ.
You talk about the Holy Spirit giving an updated message to the church. Who knows that may be happening, but I'd think, just as Peter, the leader that Jesus picked for the early church, was picked to get that update [the vision], someone or better several leaders from different parts of the church like: Evangelical leader like Billy Graham or his son Franklin, the Pope [Pope Francis], the President of the LCMS [Pastor Matthew Harrison], the Superintendent of the Assembly of God [Rev/Dr. George O. Wood] would all receive a vision. Note I picked churches that are conservative and not in favor of that issue.
Who knows, if it is God's will, then it will happen in his timing and the church will know it and accept it [if those men got that vision that would be miraculous and the world and the church would take notice. Again, who knows, God is the creator and he can do anything, after all he spoke all this into existence so he can make any changes he chooses. He's the boss, not us. Nothing is impossible for God and his Son Jesus Christ.
Sat, Apr 6, 2013 7:29pm
MikeFromDelaware: Very interesting. One thought. I notice in your list of people as "most likely" to receive a vision, you named church leaders, the "usual suspects." If you look over scripture, god mostly did not talk to people like that. The old testament prophets were generally not members of the priestly caste. The apostles were working-class laborers from the boondocks, not rabbis. The people you mention may think they know god and what god wants. Socrates said wisdom is not knowing. Maybe "visions" as you call them happen every day but only people who are really open, who really don't know, ever get it. And then most of them may not ever talk about it.
How would you know if god talked to you?
You might also want to re-check the Lutheran position on whether Peter was picked to "lead" the church.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Apr 7, 2013 8:47am
Billsmith: The reason I picked the usual suspects is they are well known even by a lot of the non-faithful and have an easy access to the media, because of who they are. So if all four of these guys got a similar vision and were in agreement [that in itself would be a miracle] yes the media would take notice as would THE church.
If some unknown said he or she had a vision they'd be written off as some kook. Or one of those televangelists on radio or TV claimed to have the vision, he too would be written off as the latest scam by a wolf in sheep's clothing to fleece the flock and to line his/her pockets. They have no credibility with many in the church and definitely with the non-faithful.
I picked leaders from the conservative wing of the church, because sure the ELCA Lutherans, United Methodist, Presbyterian USA, and Episcopal leaders might claim a vision as they already are in favor of it, thus they'd have an axe to grind and the vision thing would help their cause.
Peter was in a similar position as one of the churches early leaders [like it or not he was a leader, maybe not Pope, but a leader -I'm not saying a great leader, but still a leader who the Holy Spirit chose to give that vision to].
Sun, Apr 7, 2013 10:37am
MikeFromDelaware: The early church recognized seven patriarchs. One of them in Rome, who was considered patriarch of the West. Western Europe was considered the fringe of civilization. The patriarch in Constantinople (the capital of the empire) was considered senior, "first among equals" (analogous to the chief justice). In the great schism of 1054, the Western (Latin) church broke away from the churches of the East (Greek language). The major issue was the Roman claim of supremacy.
I mentioned this before but if you bother to re-read the Book of Acts, you will see that when it describes the meetings of the apostles, Peter is not running the meeting.
Not only do you not want to think for yourself and find out things for yourself, you'd rather listen to preachers, popes and scripture than to the holy ghost when it talks to you.
Too bad the Missouri Synod didn't have you take confirmation class. You'd have learned Luther's interpretation of Matt 16:18 is that Jesus is referring to what Peter said in Matt 16:16 and not making a pun on "Peter." Although the New Testament was written in Greek (in which the apparent pun occurs), Jesus and those around him spoke Aramaic (and read Hebrew).
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Apr 7, 2013 6:19pm
Billsmith: I have a Lutheran Study Bible [the ELCA version] and this is what they say in their notes about the Roman Catholic view of Peter and his successors to be the rock, the Pope, etc. They explain the Protestant view that what's important is Peter confesses that Jesus is the son of the living God. The continuity of the church then is based on its message and on continuing to tell that message. So far I totally agree.
The notes continue Peter struggled to understand the meaning of his confession and of Jesus' death for the world. Even after the resurrection, Peter still continued to struggle to understand the full meaning of Jesus' death and resurrection. So far all of this I knew, but now comes the new stuff, probably what you are referring to, the notes say: "Jesus promise makes Peter who he is. It was important to Luther that we not idealize the apostles. Jesus sends people who still wrestle to understand what it is all about to spread the good news throughout the nations. Jesus makes more of people than they can make of themselves."
Even so, Peter was still a leader. In today's first scripture reading in church this morning is Act 5:27-32 where the apostles were taken to the high priest for preaching about Jesus. Peter is the apostles' main spokesperson and it says in verse 29 But Peter and the apostles answered. Why doesn't it simply say the apostles answered? THAT's my point. Peter wasn't just one of the 12 he was a leader, may not have been the only leader, but still a leader. So yes, I get the idea that Peter wasn't Pope or the grand leader, but he was a leader, and improved with boldness, etc, after Pentecost.
I totally agree that he sure wasn't infallible, quite the opposite and thank the Lord for that. That way anyone of us can be used by God.
Mon, Apr 8, 2013 7:18am
MikeFromDelaware: The Book Acts depicts Peter as a spokesperson for the group. That's different than being the leader and very different from being the absolute authority the Church of Rome claims.
As I have read your posts, you seem to seek the certainty that comes from following authority. Not bad, in and of itself, but people who need certainty try to eliminate doubt by eliminating anything and anyone contrary to authority.
Luther's position was that the pope (or papacy) is the anti-christ. Michelle Bachmann did not make that one up. You are still a Catholic to the extent you think there should be and must be that kind of centralized authority. Luther taught the priesthood of all believers. The papacy discouraged science and reasoned inquiry. Instead of thinking for oneself, they teach people to have the church tell them what to think. So instead of logic or original research, people subject to Catholic brainwashing will quote someone.
Even so, you pick and choose what parts of scripture you want to follow and cite (like everyone else). The Bible sanctions slavery (and condemns slaves rebelling and seeking freedom). It also sanctions polygamy and treats women as quasi-property. You are willing to either overlook those passages or allow that they no longer apply. The fact you are not willing to do that on the issue of toleration of homosexuality says more about you than about god.
By the way, holy spirit did talk to me. It has probably talked to you, or tried to.
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