Weekly roundup

money.jpgGovernment run lotteries are an awful joke.  Instead of sending a message that success is possible with hard work and thrift, our leaders tell the poor that the way out is to spend what little you have on a gambling program with the biggest sucker odds of all.

A household with income under $13,000 spends, on average, $645 a year on lottery tickets, about 9 percent of all income.  David Brooks

Concise, thorough and clear summary of the false teachings and false Bible translations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Hat tip: Ms. Green

When Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash – even NPR can see the impacts.  It ain’t pretty.  Hat tip: Gay Christian Movement Watch

Armed with those legal protections, same-sex couples are beginning to challenge policies of religious organizations that exclude them, claiming that a religious group’s view that homosexual marriage is a sin cannot be used to violate their right to equal treatment. Now parochial schools, “parachurch” organizations such as Catholic Charities and businesses that refuse to serve gay couples are being sued — and so far, the religious groups are losing.

I know the pro-GLBTX groups will cheer, but I hope the wimpy middle-ground Christians wake up before their religious liberties are gone. 

Contrary to what all the DaVinci Code School of Theology graduates believe, The Canon was not decided at Nicea

It goes without saying that [Bart] Ehrman is not in the pocket of orthodox Christianity. His non-acceptance of these fables of Nicaean construction of the canon of Scripture are based on the fact that there is no valid historical reason to accept these ideas.

More nukes! – good public policy and a great strategy against Obama.

Ann Coulter made some good points about the Democrats’ non-policy on energy.  They have done nothing and plan to do nothing.  They are getting just what they wanted: Higher gas prices.

Liberals complain that — as B. Hussein Obama put it — there’s “no way that allowing offshore drilling would lower gas prices right now. At best you are looking at five years or more down the road.”

This is as opposed to airplanes that run on woodchips, which should be up and running any moment now.

Moreover, what was going on five years ago? Why didn’t anyone propose drilling back then?

Say, you know what we need? We need a class of people paid to anticipate national crises and plan solutions in advance. It would be such an important job, the taxpayers would pay them salaries so they wouldn’t have to worry about making a living and could just sit around anticipating crises.

If only we had had such a group — let’s call them “elected representatives” — they could have proposed drilling five years ago!

A great choice for McCain to make for VP

Help!  Help!  I’m being repressed!  One of the best scenes from a movie full of classic moments.  You could use this to teach history or political science.  It has subtitles, which help a lot.  Hat tip: Pastor Timothy

 

25 thoughts on “Weekly roundup”

  1. Neil – you beat me to the “The Canon was not decided at Nicea” bit… It’s alright. The more bloggers that get the word out… the fastest (wishful thinking) the myth will stop…

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  2. “Now parochial schools, “parachurch” organizations such as Catholic Charities and businesses that refuse to serve gay couples are being sued — and so far, the religious groups are losing.”

    Perhaps these religious organizations should stop providing public services or receiving government money. I fail to see how this is impacting their religious liberties. If a church parochial school (that receives public money) refused admission to ethnic minorities (or religious minorities, atheists for example) it would suffer the same consequences. If a religious organization cannot provide public services without violating their religious precepts, then they should stop providing them.

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  3. What are you trying to accomplish by listing the “false teachings” and “false Bible translations” of Jehovah’s Witnesses (or of any religious body for that matter)? Why bother? Does it just make you feel better about yourself? Are you just trying to confirm how “right” you are? I recall the Pharisees engaged in similar behavior.

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  4. Hi Edgar – fyi – I “borrowed” the DaVinci Code School thing from you, I think, just like I “borrow” the term “Gandhi-Christ” from TotalT. You guys are great!

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  5. Hi Clean Cut,

    Here’s response #1. I think you’ll find it familiar and hope you see the irony: What are you trying to accomplish by listing these complaints about me? Why bother? Does it just make you feel better about yourself? Are you just trying to confirm how “right” you are? I recall the Pharisees engaged in similar behavior.

    Here’s response #2: Why do you object to evaluating truth claims? You obviously think your religion is the right one. You take pride in defending its claims. So why be hypocritical when I point out errors?

    Many, many passages are devoted to the importance of sound doctrine.

    1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” If we really love people we’ll be truthful with them. Going to Hell unoffended is not a winning strategy. So what I am trying to accomplish is to share the truth – the truth of Christianity and the falsehood of other belief systems such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the LDS.

    So I make no apologies for pointing out what I see as false teachings. If you think I err in my assessments, feel free to point it out. But please skip the hypocritical part about judging me for judging.

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  6. Hi Neil.
    I’m not listing complaints. These are sincere questions.

    My response to your “response #2”: I don’t object to evaluating truth. In fact, I am all for it! However, I don’t believe you included any truths in your comparisons of Jehovah’s Witnesses but rather all that was wrong. I believe all people have some truth. Truth is truth wherever it is found.

    I’m not being hypocritical. I don’t intentionally point out errors in other peoples’ faith.

    Neil said: Why not? And you just pointed out – sort of – that I was in error. Please make up your mind.

    And I never claimed that you or the JW’s didn’t have any truth, just that you have many serious errors.

    I only see the need to share the truth (as I see it) that I posses. I don’t base the soundness of doctrine on the false teachings of someone else.

    I think there’s a more effective way of sharing your faith and “truth”. So I ask the questions out of curiosity and to try to understand why you think that’s the right thing to do. I’m not doing this just to prove something, although I do think you are wrong in several accounts.

    Neil said: Wait, I thought you didn’t point out wrong things in other people’s religions. Or is it ok to just say, “you are wrong on several accounts,” without explaining the accounts? Come on.

    My purpose/motivation is to genuinely seek understanding and have interfaith dialogue on a higher level.

    Effective teaching doesn’t include teaching everything that is wrong so that people learn right–it includes simply teaching the right/truth. Although we disagree that your brand of Christianity is the only real or valid Christianity, that’s not what this discussion is about. I’m past that. And I’m content to letting Christ be the judge of who’s going where after this life. I believe He is more loving and merciful that most people imagine.

    Neil said: Now you are being passive-aggressive. Don’t say things like, “Why bother? Does it just make you feel better about yourself? Are you just trying to confirm how “right” you are? I recall the Pharisees engaged in similar behavior.” and then come back with this double-speak about just seeking interfaith dialogue on a higher level. That isn’t a good work.

    And of course He is more loving and merciful than most people imagine. That is why Christians share the Good News with a lost world. But what does that have to do with this dialogue? Perhaps his mercy and love manifest themselves in sending Christians with the truth about him.

    Either point out where the JW video was wrong, or engage in some specifics on other topics. But don’t come with the judging-you-for-judging / “I just want to dialogue” bit. I’m not buying it.

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  7. So you just want to judge my response? I have no valid points?

    Neil said: I suggest you start from scratch. Your first response was wildly ironic, but I answered it anyway, and the next was passive-aggressive. If you have something to say about the video, go ahead and say it.

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  8. Thanks, Mike. I’m sure the cultists can find someone to claim their translation is true, but it is demonstrably false in many ways. They have clearly added articles in John and Colossians, among other things. The problem with those who try to clean the Bible up to match their views is that they usually forget to fix everything.

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  9. As you wish. You invited me to engage in specifics on other topics. And you said that “if we really love people we’ll be truthful with them. Going to Hell unoffended is not a winning strategy.”

    I’d just like to say that I believe that nobody is going to go to hell, at least permanently.

    I believe that once we pass away, we go to a “spirit world” divided up into either spirit prison (you could say a hell) or spirit paradise. The spirits of those who still need to learn the true gospel of Jesus Christ will be able to learn the gospel in spirit prison and choose there to accept or reject it. In other words, there is still time for people to repent before the Resurrection and before the final judgment.

    Then eventually comes the resurrection of all people who have ever lived upon the earth, and this because Christ was resurrected and broke the bands of death. Eventually Christ will be our judge (and our advocate) and we will inherit a mansion He prepared for us whether that be in the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, or Telestial Kingdom. These are the degrees of glory Paul likened unto the sun, moon, and stars. He wants all people to receive whatever they are willing to receive, but some people resist him. But everyone will inherit some degree of glory, which is even more glorious that mere mortals can imagine.

    As for those sons of perdition who deny the Holy Ghost, however few there may be—there is an “outer darkness” for them that is probably the closest thing to the stereotypical “hell” of our popular culture.

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  10. Thanks for following the guidelines.

    I am familiar with the Mormon view of Heaven / Hell. It disagrees with what the real Jesus taught, so I don’t hold to your view. See his story of the rich man and Lazarus, for example.

    Also see Hebrews 9:27 – “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

    Sorry, no 2nd chances.

    And teaching 2nd chances is a really bad idea. If I’m wrong then I have merely worried people a bit unnecessarily.

    But if the Mormon view is wrong then you are giving people false hope of a 2nd chance. Bad idea, straight from Satan: “You don’t have to decide now, you can always do it in the next life . . .”

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  11. “They have clearly added articles in John and Colossians, among other things.”

    You do realize that articles (a, an, the) don’t exist in biblical Hebrew? It isn’t as clear cut as you make it out. Translators do indeed have to make decisions about what best reflects the original meaning of the text. It isn’t easy.

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  12. I assume you meant Greek, not Hebrew, which is what the NT was written in. And in this case it really is that easy. They were very inconsistent in translating the same words.

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  13. Wow. Two Palins in one roundup. Cool. I like them both. One’s brilliantly funny about politics, and the other brilliant politically (it appears). And along with all her great points as far as being conservative, would it be too much to ask to get a babe on the ticket every now and then? A little eye candy goes a long way toward increasing public interest in the issues.

    Mike,

    There’s a difference between serving a sinner, and helping a sinner sin. In the cases where Christian charities that receive gov funding have refused homosexuals, it was for doing something they know is counter Christian. If those same people needed aid for other reasons, like hunger for example, they would not be turned away even if it was known that they were homosexuals. But Catholic Charities won’t help a homo/les couple adopt, because to do so would be to affirm their sinful realtionship. I hope this helps clarify the situation.

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  14. “Perhaps these religious organizations should stop providing public services or receiving government money. ”

    Mike,
    It wasn’t clear from the article that all/most these organizations are receiving public funds. Are you saying that is the case?

    I do agree that churches/faith-based charities should just really steer clear of public money, a) because of my view on charity in general and b) strings usually come attached with public money and for churches to stay true to themselves they should just stay away.

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  15. Hey Chance – sorry for the posting delay, that got caught in my filter for some odd reason.

    Good point about public money. Some pregnancy centers take a little gov’t money, but at the CareNet location where I’m on the board we refuse it. Too many risks.

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  16. “It wasn’t clear from the article that all/most these organizations are receiving public funds. Are you saying that is the case?”

    Yes, that is the case. They are either receiving public money or they are providing a service to the public. When they do this, they can no longer claim to be a private organization that can discriminate against certain groups. Of course, this works both ways. Gay-owned businesses that provide public services cannot deny service to Christians and vice versa.

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  17. “They are either receiving public money or they are providing a service to the public”

    Perhaps someone can provide some more details on this, ideally with links to something authoritative.

    There is a massive difference between receiving public money and providing a service to the public. The former might be able to have some restrictions, but the latter shouldn’t.

    Even with the former it isn’t a given that they can’t discriminate for some things. Maybe you want an transgender bearded guy in a dress teaching your kindergartener, but I think some people might rightly object.

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  18. Neil,

    Here is a very good discussion about this very issue (Carpenter even discusses the NPR story) at the conservative legal blog, the Volokh Conspiracy.

    http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2008_06_15-2008_06_21.shtml#1213748649

    Dale Carpenter is the Fred Parks Distinguished Chair at South Texas College of Law. He is also the Earl R. Larson Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. He teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, the First Amendment, sexual orientation and the law, and commercial law.

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