Friday Leftovers! (and no, it’s not chicken and dumplings)

We are truly stupid when we’re proud that we don’t read books. But then again, stupid is the new smart. Particularly when it comes to the Scriptures — clearly even those who hold high office can’t be expected to read, and understand, those esoteric writings that inform the faith of millions.

“I don’t read books,” a Rhodes Scholar and former student body president of Florida State University explains. “Sitting down and going through a book from cover to cover doesn’t make sense.” He Googles his way to the answer. A Duke University professor of literature candidly confesses, “I can’t get my students to read whole books anymore.” These aren’t dropouts scorning literacy but rather the young adults touted as the best and the brightest. Intelligent people are using reason to rationalize intellectual laziness as progress and ridiculing time-tested methods of acquiring knowledge, wisdom, and understanding as outdated. -ICR

A lot of people are arguing that we are facing a “libertarian moment.” I doubt it. What we are more likely facing is a population that has been raised believing that the impossible is possible, so long as you wish for it hard enough. That’s why polling data says we all want more stuff from the government, but we want the government out of our business (we want a smaller government that does more!). The reality is that if we want liberty, then we must have virtue.

Should people get married because they “complete” one another? If so, then why shouldn’t one person marry as many people as it takes to “complete” themselves? And how should the “completers” feel about being used as an object that makes someone else “more whole?” Completionism is a bad model for marriage — Christians need to reject it outright.

How about this idea: we should only adopt laws that will work when those people in the government actually implementing the laws are greedy, selfish, and inefficient. Wait, isn’t that what the Constitution was set up to do? Why are we abandoning it, then? Because we no longer believe politicians are, in fact, greedy, selfish, and inefficient.

It’s no surprise that those who spend their lives playing god with virtual characters should end up thinking that government can, in fact, solve every problem. Nor should it be surprising when each and every one of them thinks their ideas should be instituted by the government, rather than anyone else’s, because, after all, they have a ton of experience in managing virtual people.

Digital Emotions

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The Power of Unintended Consequences, Example Number 9,486,545

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The Creeping Kudzu of Lawlessness

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Kudzu — the very word strikes fear into the heart of anyone who’s ever had to face even a small patch of the stuff. Imported into the Southern United States many years ago as a firebreak against erosion, it has since become a menace. I remember my Grandfather built an arbor and grew Kudzu up the sides to provide his grandkids some shade in the summer, but he always kept a goat handy to eat it down to the roots when it began to spread. And does it spread. A building in good repair, and on a solid foundation, is no match for the creeping vine. Telephone poles, 100 foot magnolias, abandoned cars — almost anything — Kudzu will smother it in a green carpet in a few short years. After it’s covered, the vines will eat into the structure, taking buildings apart inch by inch.

There is almost no better analogy for the spreading lawlessness in our world than Kudzu. It almost seems harmless — a little executive amnesty here for a few million people, a little failure to investigate voter fraud over there, a few hundred guns run across the Mexican border, a few failures to actually ask Congress about sending troops into battle, the loss of six sets of emails that might show how the IRS has been abusing the processing of nonprofits to swing elections… Lawlessness spreads like Kudzu. Soon enough, and it creeps into local police townships holding more outstanding arrest warrants than there are citizens in the town, and police departments seizing property to support their budgets. Give the vine enough space and time to grow, and you’ll find major businesses being fined a billion and a half in what can only be called a hustle, a shakedown, a… You know, the kind the mafia used to be involved in.

Let it grow a little more, and you have major Federal agencies straight out lying about the impacts of their regulations. Sure, the EPA is all about clean air and water, which is why the agency consistently expands its power on the flimsiest of excuses, and doesn’t ever seem to find out it’s regulating something that doesn’t need to be regulated. How many lives have been negatively impacted? It doesn’t matter, because it’s the creeping Kudzu of lawlessness.

Where things get really harsh is when it creeps into life and death situations. For instance, those few hundred guns the US Government allowed to “run” across the border for no particular reason anyone can figure out — how many of those have been used in murders in the last couple of years? Oh, we don’t know? Maybe it’s because we don’t want to know. Or what about a police officer sending email while driving hitting — and killing — a man on a bicycle. With the Kudzu of lawlessness solidly in place across your entire social structure, you can be assured the officer (who’s surely a victim in some way) won’t be prosecuted. The law means nothing for those who are above the law. Or what about a drug company that suppresses information about the real side effects of its product? So long as it’s in the name of the greater good, who cares about the law, right?

The Kudzu has certainly crept in. The only question, at this point, is whether we’re going to let it take over, or whether we’re going to elect some goats with guts to eat it down to its roots.

Liberal Logic on Guns

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Islamic Theology: Week 1

I’m teaching on Islamic theology proper, and how it compares to Christian theology proper, in my Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) class (Coach’s Corner) this week and next. I’m posting the first week’s outline here, and will post next week’s outline next week, after I’ve covered the material in class.

2014-08-04 Islamic Theology 01

Store Private Data Here

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Tobacco Versus Pot

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Equality of Outcome and the Human Spirit

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:27 is, mostly likely, one of the most often referenced verses in my study of worldview and Christian thinking (the others are 1 John 1:9 and Romans 12:1-2, in case [...] [...]

Yum Yum! Leftovers

What often astounds me is the degree to which progressive thinkers are willing to place their faith and power in one man, while decrying the Christian’s faith in one God, and talking about how they place their faith in all men. As an instructive example, Obama has disregarded the law on voter fraud and intimidation; [...] [...]