Friday, July 25, 2008

Going on Holiday

That's right: holiday. Or, as we say in the US, vacation. I just like saying holiday as it sounds so much more invigorating & European.

Mrs. TBAR & I are headed to Vancouver, Canada. Never been to Canada before. I have had many a Canada Dry ginger ales, but never visited. Been looking forward to this week since I was 10 years old & happened upon a magazine with an article about the place.

I announced to all my friends in elementary school that I was going to British Columbia one day. They had never even heard of it, much less able to point it out on a map. Such a sad state of education we've always had in the US.

In high school, I even talked about this trip. So to that certain young lady who tore my heart out & stomped all over it --- well, I'd better not say anything.

But I'm all over that now ...

So Mrs. TBAR & I are going to be leaving in about 2 hours for the airport. My oldest is home from college & has already agreed to clean out the garage, mow the yard, prune the shrubbery, wash all the bed linens & even take care of the cats while we're gone. Just hope the house is still standing when we get back ...

We're off to go North of the border.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What Would Jesus Do? Really.

A friend of mine once made a comment about the "world's" decadence & asked: Knowing what their fellow man is going through, how can they live like that?

It hit me like a ton of brick.

And it's true.

There are people all over the world who long for US poverty levels as their label of success.

Churches all over the world plead for just religious toleration --- much less religious

The more I see, the more cynical I am becoming. The American church has crossed the Rubicon somewhere in my lifetime & quite possibly burned the bridge too. Jesus is now the All American Boy. Faith is equated with patriotism. Orthodoxy is seen in political terms instead of Biblical
principles. Militarism has replaced good works. American policy has usurped missional efforts.

The church has begun using God as an excuse ... an excuse to bully. "God Bless America" is now a battle cry instead of a prayer. We bully the non-Christian here & abroad with our money, power & influence. Instead of calling for the lost to know Christ, the church prays for God to watch over our military as we impose our American Policy by force. How do we ask God's blessing in a way that doesn't effectively pray God's curse on others?

This is not to say that America is always wrong. Not so. Not so at all. This is the best & greatest nation on earth. God has blessed us mightily. We have a good thing going. But I fear the church is less concerned about our fellow man than we are trying to help Caesar spread political influence.

The poor, the weak, the oppressed, the disenfranchised, the less
everything are seen as a political objective instead of real people needing ministry ... instead of needing Christ.

Is the church really living Christ when we:

  • Eat all we want & then some, while people all over the world are begging for scraps?
  • Gorge ourselves in luxuries but don't even bother to consider that real people look on us as indulgent & abusive?
  • Act in such a way that the world sees us as thieves of natural resources just to fill our excess?
  • Claim, Blessed are the peacemakers, but the rhetoric from most pulpits is You're not Christian if you're not for the GOP policies & the war in Iraq?

The Biblical understanding of blessing is different than is being presented by many religious leaders. The Bible is clear: With blessing comes responsibility. God's blessing is never intended to be only for personal or national prosperity. God's blessings are intended to be used to bless others.

Nations will ultimately be judged not by how strong are their armies or how rich & powerful their people are, but by how the poor, the marginalized, the foreigners & the enemies are treated.

And the church will be measured by the discipleship efforts, not the political power it wielded, fostered, gained, used, manipulated or imposed.

God help us to remember that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Brother, Don't You Walk Away

I have been reading Ron Donkin's blog (Thin Places) for several months. Good blog. He has turned me on to a band I've never heard of: The Hooters.

These guys can play.

They've got several good songs/videos that can be used in some sort of topical event at church. Think I'm gonna use this one.

Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup--where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, "Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I'll handle the works department." Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That's just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?
-- JAMES 2:14-20 The Message

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Godslinger Going After School Prayer

According to the Denver Post, a group has begun a petition asking voters to decide if students should be allowed 5 minutes each day for prayer, meditation, or silent reflection.

Here's a quote from the article:

Bishop Kevin Foreman and his 2-year-old Final Harvest Christian Center received state approval Wednesday for a petition asking voters whether Colorado statutes should be changed to provide students five minutes for private meditation at the beginning of each school day.
During the five minutes, the petition states, the students could invoke private or group prayer or have personal meditation or reflection time.
"We answer to a higher power, and all things are possible," Dawson said of the tight schedule.

So, the quote shows it is certainly an attempt to have the state set aside a prayer time each day for the students.

My question is: Why? Why take another 5 minutes out of instruction time? It will mean that the school day must be extended by 5 minutes.

Also, can't --- no, shouldn't--- the kids pray on their own time? Why make a spectacle of it? Didn't Jesus say go into the closet to pray & =not= do it publicly for show?

Students are already allowed to pray silently all day long, or organize prayer meetings before or after school. So why does the Bishop feel the state should force kids who don't want to pray into a 5 minute session while other kids do?

This is about control. It is not enough that the Bishop wants his congregants to pray before school each day, but now he wants everyone's kid to do the same. The Bishop is not concerned that other kids & parents may pray at home before school. No sirrreeee. The good Bishop wants =all= kids to pray that specific 5 minutes before school.

Another Godslinger forcing his religious views on others. When my kids pray is none of the state's business. How long my kids pray is none of the state's business. Even =if= my kids pray is none of the state's business. The state should accommodate prayer, but never facilitate.

The good Bishop should direct his congregants in spiritual matters & stay out of the conscience of others.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Godslingers

When J. Gerald Harris, the editor of the GA Baptist newspaper, Christian Index, wrote an analysis praising our GA Baptist Colleges for promoting a "Biblical Worldview" to our students, I took notice.

Now, I'm not so happy about the direction of our GA Baptist colleges.

Harris made this statement:

Sincere Christians embrace a biblical worldview and seek to impart that worldview to others by teaching and living out the principles of God’s Word.

One would think a Christian college would be committed to teaching and reinforcing a Biblical worldview. And, indeed, there are some colleges teaching classes in apologetics and creationism to insure that their students have a Christian perspective on life upon graduation. However, if Christian colleges and universities do not have a biblical worldview their very existence is suspect. [emphasis mine]

Do what? Teaching "creationism?" Have we not realized that there is no debate in the scientific community that evolution is the process by which what is,
is? The evidence for evolution is overwhelming --- preposterously overwhelming. That doesn't mean there aren't questions, but we are simply not educating if we are teaching creationism in our Baptist colleges.

Too many of our Baptist leaders are starting with the interpretation & reading
into the Bible. That is bad theology. We start with the text & ask what does it say. Then we move to the evidence, both internal & external to determine its meaning. Then we arrive at the interpretation & then make the application. I'm afraid Mr. Harris & our Baptist leaders have begun with the interpretation they desire & force the text to repeat it --- then proclaim that interpretation as the "Biblical Worldview."

Of course, that "Biblical Worldview" is an euphemism for a very narrow doctrinal position, coupled with an even more narrow political stance. You're not a "sincere Christian" --- as Harris put it --- if you don't agree with the hierarchy's interpretation of Scripture or have different political views. After all, Jesus is the All American Boy, & all "sincere Christians" believe in privatizing social security, lower taxes, & the Patriot Act. You'll find that reference in II Opinions 4:7.

I fear the SBC is no longer concerned about educating disciples insomuch as wanting to recruit a gang of Godslingers. With a trusty 1611 Shooter, success is measured not in changed lives, but in notches of control. We tell our young people that questioning is of the Devil; thinking is not tolerated; ideas are not welcomed; & truth is only defined by an already formed interpretation. It is not enough to say "the Truth will set us free;" now it is the truth as the majority leaders decide it to be.

If the "Biblical Worldview" doesn't have every
i dotted & every t crossed, there is chaos in the Borg's Collective. With both barrels a'blazing, anything that doesn't fit the Official Interpretation is riddled with the deadly lead of accusation. The Godslingers shoot first & ask questions later. Hollow point bullets of Legalism are fired at our Baptist young people. Assimilation has taken the place of discipleship. Truth is set by interpretative fiat.

When dogma replaces education, we are no different than the Islamic Fundamentalists. Truth should not be feared but embraced.

I am a Christian. I will put my profession of faith up against Mr. Harris' or anyone else for that matter. However, I resent being told that I am not a "sincere Christian" & that my profession is "suspect" if I don't hold the interpretation of scripture that Mr. Harris,, want to impose. Perhaps Johnny Hunt & Mr. Harris will agree that all our Baptist schools should adopt the legalism of Tennessee Temple, but they don't speak for all Baptists.

GA Baptists deserve better. We demand a Christian education, not a Godslinger indoctrination.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

UPDATE --- The Church in MO CIty Hall

As I had posted previously, Steve Helms is a clerk in one MO county & Steve has the idea that faith can be given a Most Favored Status by his official gov't office. Even after a citizen complaint, the Good Clerk believed that his poster was appropriate, despite the fact the poster was clearly sectarian. As long as it was his office, Helms said, the poster stayed because it reflected the Judeo-Christian heritage of our nation's founding.

Well, it would seem the lawyers convinced Mr. Helms of the error of his ways. According to the News-Leader, the lawyers agreed that he had no legal standing for his poster.

Let's hope his history was corrected as well.

Nonetheless, Mr. Helms has ordered 100 copies of the poster & has said he will give a copy to anyone who wants it.

That is the way it should be.

Gov't must remain neutral in matters of faith at all times, even when it is the faith of the majority --- even when it is my own faith. We Baptists have a history that knows all too well what happens when the majority decides minority faiths are heretical & unworthy of an audience: oppression. It wasn't just in Colonial America where the minority faiths were persecuted: history is replete with this guaranteed reality. Where church & gov't intersect, there is a danger that one or both will begin to control the other & the result is always a means of using the majority faith to coerce others.

Maybe this seems not that big a deal to many people. It was, after all, just a poster. But it could just as easily have been a display on the courthouse lawn; a revival service before a council meeting; an Official Call for Prayers towards Mecca; or even a sacrifice to the Big Oak Tree Out Back, right there in the council chambers.

Let there be no chinks in the Wall of Separation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pastor in Chief

Newsweek has as its cover story a reporting on Obama's personal views of faith. Specifically, the report asks: "what does he believe, and how did he arrive at those beliefs?"

Here's a quote:

Obama has spoken often and eloquently about the importance of religion in public life. But like many political leaders wary of offending potential backers, he has been less revealing about what he believes—about God, about prayer, about the connection between salvation and personal responsibility.

So what? Big deal. What does it matter? OK. Next topic.

I don't get it. We enshrined religious liberty in our framework of gov't
document. We settled that question better than two & a quarter centuries ago. There is no religious test allowed, per the Constitution. Why? Because we know from experience that when people begin voting theology in state matters, both gov't & faith become corrupted & tyrannical. Take a look at Colonial America or Iran. History has shown us that in =every= instance --- without exception --- where faith & gov't have commingled, the result has been an unbearable oppression. That's why we don't allow an official religious test.

And common sense would also say it is why we don't have an =unofficial= religious test for office either. To do so is an invitation for disaster.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dear Tech Support --- A Funny

Came across this one in my email box. Don't know who thought this one up but he or she can't be a Baptist --- too much humor in 'em for that.


Dear Tech Support:

Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0. I soon noticed
that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a
lot of space and valuable resources. In addition, Wife 1.0 installed
itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system

Applications such as Poker Night 10.3, Football 5.0, Hunting and
Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6 no longer run, crashing the system whenever
selected. I can’t seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while
attempting to run my favorite applications.. I’m thinking about going
back to Girlfriend 7.0, but the uninstall doesn’t work on Wife 1.0.

Please help!



Dear Troubled User:

This is a very common problem that men complain about. Many people
upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0, thinking that it is just a
Utilities and Entertainment program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and
is designed by its Creator to run EVERYTHING!!! It is also impossible to
delete Wife 1.0 and to return to Girlfriend 7.0. It is impossible to
uninstall, or purge the program files from the system once installed.

You cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is designed to
Not allow this. Look in your Wife 1.0 manual under
Warnings-Alimony/Child Support.” I recommend that you keep Wife1.0 and
work on improving the situation. I suggest installing the background
application “Yes Dear” to alleviate software augmentation.

The best course of action is to enter the command C: \ APOLOGIZE,
Because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before
the system will return to normal anyway.

Wife 1.0 is a great program, but it tends to be very high maintenance.

Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep
3.0, Cook It 1.5 and Do Bills 4.2. However, be very careful how you use
these programs. Improper use will cause the system to launch the program
Nag Nag 9.5. Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance
of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommend Flowers 2.1
and Diamonds 5.0!


DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Secretary With Short Skirt 3.3.
This application is not supported by Wife 1.0 and will cause
Irreversible damage to the operating system.

Best of luck,

Tech Support

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Strip Search 13 Year Old Girls --- for Advil

13 year old honor student. No history of substance abuse or even use. A classmate already in trouble pointed the finger at this 13 year old. Assistant principal does a strip search.

And what evil narcotic were they looking for?


That's right, ladies & gentlemen. The gov't War on Drugs has put a battle entrenchment in our middle schools & we're gonna fight against Advil.

Well, the 9th Circuit Court of appeals has now ruled that the gov't will need to point its legal attack elsewhere . . . like meth labs or something. The court ruled that a school may not strip search a student based only on the word of another student who is facing disciplinary action.

In other words, just like the Salem Witch Trials where the accused pointed the finger at someone else to get sympathy for a lighter punishment, the danger of that happening with middle schoolers is proportionally much, much greater. The result is that innocent kids get humiliated.

The court said any reasonable school official would not subject a 13 year old with the trauma of a strip search because of the danger of Advil:

. . We reject Safford’s effort to lump together these run-of-the-mill anti-inflammatory pills with the evocative term ‘prescription drugs,’ in a knowing effort to shield an imprudent strip search of a young girl behind a larger war against drugs. . . It does not take a constitutional scholar to conclude that a nude search of a 13-year-old girl is an invasion of constitutional rights. More than that: it is a violation of any known principle of human dignity.

And the court was evidently really ticked off at the assistant principal, ruling that she was financially liable in the case and cannot claim qualified immunity.

In other words, the parents will own that assistant principal's home, car, contents --- everything. She violated the students civil liberties in an egregious manner.

I mean, let's look at the facts here:

  1. Not a bit of evidence that the kid had the Advil. Even worse, there was never an indication that the kid was hiding it in her underwear.
  2. Repeat: not a shred of evidence the kid had Advil. None. Wait! There was the accusation of another kid that was already in trouble for having prescription strength ibuprofen – the equivalent of two over-the-counter pills of Advil. (And why on earth might a teen aged girl have ibuprofen?)
  3. Not any attempt to get more info that the accusation may have some validity.
  4. Not even an attempt was made to contact the student' parents prior to conducting the strip search.

Now I understand the Zero Tolerance Policy. I understand there must be accountability & parents/students should have such medication with the school to prevent real problems. Got it. Not a problem.

But this is where sanity has gone completely out the window. When a school official believes that a strip search of a 13 year old girl under these circumstances is warranted, then the danger is War on Drugs itself.

Notice what she said & the reaction of the principal (click here for link):

"I was embarrassed and scared," Savana said in an affidavit, "but felt I would be in more trouble if I did not do what they asked. I held my head down so they could not see I was about to cry." She called it "the most humiliating experience I have ever had." Later, she recalled, the principal, Robert Beeman, said "he did not think the strip search was a big deal because they did not find anything."

News flash, Principal Beeman: it =IS= a big deal when you humiliate a 13 year old girl like that. There is ample evidence to show the serious psychological repercussions of being strip-searched at age 13. Check out the National Association of Social Workers & the Rutherford Institute.

Here's the pdf of the ruling.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Teaching Religion in Public Schools

There are many commonly held beliefs out there that are just wrong, most of which are easily refutable but vindication takes a while. For example, Copernicus told us in 1514 that the earth is not the center of the universe. Let's not forget that in 1633, Galileo was declared a heretic for “following the position of Copernicus, which is contrary to the true sense and authority of the Holy Scripture.” And it was also in 1633, that the first Baptist in America, Roger Williams, was kicked out of Boston for declaring there should be separation of church & state --- 22 years after the first Baptist in the world, Thomas Helwys, wrote a book that said the same thing. Helwys wasn't ashamed of it either: he signed his name to it, mailed it to the king & for his efforts he was thrown in prison only to die a few years later: a prisoner in chains but a conscience that was free in Christ.

The Catholic Church finally admitted in 1992 that Galileo was right, something that any grade schooler knew for the last 200 years. Helwys & Williams & the rest of the Baptists were vindicated with the passage of the 1st Amendment that included the principle of separation of church & state, though many still don't understand their own history.

So let's state the obvious: religion takes a while to admit its interpretation is wrong, despite the clear facts of science.

Charles Darwin published "Origin of the Species" 149 years ago but some folks still hold to a religious interpretation of the Bible that the science says is simply not so. Science has never said the Bible is wrong. In fact, science doesn't involve itself in religion at all. The problem is that some religious =interpretations= don't like what science has to say.

In the meantime, some folks are trying to put their religious interpretations in the science books. Instead of of calling it "Creationism" it is given a more hip title: "Intelligent Design." Same tactic; same interpretation of faith; just different name.

The state of LA has now decided that teachers should be allowed to bring “supplemental materials” into the classroom when discussing evolution & other "controversial" topics. That's right, folks. The LA legislature has decided that since their religious idea contradicts the science, then it must be "controversial," never mind that there is =no= legitimate debate among the overwhelming scientific community about evolution. None. There are questions, sure, but no debate whatsoever that Evolutionary Theory is spot on.

And such goofball legislation makes us look bad. The New Scientist is a weekly international publication & points out that LA is simply trying to get religious ideas taught alongside the science.

The National Review is quick to point out that the Discover Institute, a religious group trying to disprove the science of evolution, has been behind all this in LA & says:

Some local school board will take the Act as a permit to bring religious instruction into their science classes. That will irk some parents. Those parents will sue. There will be a noisy and expensive federal lawsuit, possibly followed by further noisy and expensive appeals. The school board will inevitably lose. The property owners of that school district will take the financial hit.

Where will the Discovery Institute be when these legal expenses come due? Just where they were in the Dover case — nowhere! What, you were thinking that those bold warriors for truth at the Discovery Institute will help to fund the defense in these no-hope lawsuits? Ha ha ha ha ha!

Schools should be about education, not debating religious ideas. If parents want the kids to get a religious education, then let the religious institutions handle that; they are much better at it than the local Board of Education. Science is about fact, not faith. Attempting to back door religious doctrine into a classroom only serves to subvert a child's education.

Let's hope it doesn't take another 150 years for Darwin to get vindication in LA.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

City Hall is not Church

It is a simple concept: the gov't doesn't give any faith a Most Favored Status. None. It doesn't matter if it is Islam, Pagan, Christian or Idol of the Big Oak Tree Out Back. We don't give any faith any special status.

Except for Greene County, MO. Evidently, the 1st & 14th Amendments don't apply there.

Steve Helms is the Green County Circuit Court Clerk. In the lobby of his gov't office, is what he bills as a "patriotic" poster, complete with the American flag & Statue of Liberty. But wait! There's more, Ronco product users! There is also the dedication to the Ten Commandments & to "the one who gave it all for us, Jesus Christ."

According to the, Helms has declined to remove the poster saying that it reflects the "Judeo-Christian ethics the country was founded" & that the separation of church & state means only the state is to stay out of the church. Helms goes on to say that it is his office & he makes the decisions.

News flash, Mr. Helms. It ain't your office. It belongs to the people of Green County & the Constitution is the law of the land. You don't get to make up rules to suit your faith preference when your office must represent the entire county. As an agent of the state, it is not your call. The Constitution says there is no Most Favored Faith. And just to give some notice, there are no Judeo-Christian principles on which our nation was founded. Our Constitution is an entirely secular document, even being blasted by the state churches of the day as a "Godless Document," complete with calls to reject both Jefferson & Madison in their elections, & have a new Constitution adopted that recognized Christ as Lord. Sorry, Mr. Helms, but that didn't happen & your version of history is a little lacking with facts.

If Mr. Helms wants to decorate his home, his car or any of his personal property, that is his right. More power to him. God bless him & good luck. But when a govt employee is acting on behalf of the state, it is wrong for that agent to show favoritism. It is unconstitutional.

I would suggest Mr. Helms get a very good lawyer who will tell him that he is on very shaky legal ground here & he will simply get back into compliance with the law.

Then again, Helms has said he won't, relying instead on the August 5 vote as a referendum on his office's endorsement of faith.

One way or the other, I don't think Mr. Helms is going to like the outcome. The citizen who formally complained has said he's going to the mat.

Going to be interesting.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dobson's Misinformation Campaign

Telling those fibs with donation money. Hey, at least it is tax deductible for the givers.

Colorado SB 200 was signed into law by CO Gov. Bill Ritter. The new law is an anti-discrimination bill which, among other things, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public accommodations. It also defines "sexual orientation" to include transgender status. Seizing on this, Dobson's Focus on the Family is now running a controversial advertising campaign against the bill in Colorado newspapers. According to today's Pueblo Chieftain , the ads claim the new law has made all public restrooms unisex. The ad depicts an innocent little girl coming out of a bathroom stall with a man in boots waiting to use it.

Of course, the law (click here for the pdf document) has not been interpreted by anyone but Focus on the Family as forcing all restrooms to be unisex. And there have been 20 states pass similar laws. Nope. Not one incident of the law being used to claim the legality of using the opposite sex's restroom, according to Jennifer Veiga, a Denver attorney who sponsored the legislation.

And the Pueblo City Attorney Tom Jagger thought the argument by Focus on the Family was equally disingenuous, saying: "Until I get some clarification on that, I would seriously disagree with the (Focus) interpretation. I read the (Colorado Municipal League) advisories on legislation and there was no mention of that in terms of public accommodations."

But all that doesn't mean Focus on the Family won't use every opportunity to misrepresent things, now does it? You should know better than that. According to Focus on the Family, there has already been one incident at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport where a man walked into a women's restroom. A young Focus female employee was startled to find him there --- & just so happens she didn't report it becauseit is claimed she believed Focus on the Family's smoke screen about the new law.

Come on. We all know people walk into the wrong restrooms all the time by mistake. And surely Focus on the Family doesn't think we're that naive --- had that really happened at the airport, it would have been a =perfect= test case. I bet FOF is begging for such an incident for a test case. So please excuse me if I see that little tidbit of info has stercus tauri.

English-Only Graduations? And Mandated Prayers, too?

Two cousins, both American born to Vietnamese patents, have set off a legal firestorm down in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.

The co-valedictorians both addressed the audience in English, both both also used the Vietnamese language as well. One speech had only 1 sentence in Vietnamese while the other speech was at length.

And that has upset some folks.

Board member Rickie Pitre says: "I don’t like them addressing in a foreign language," Pitre said. "They should be in English."

Houma Courier
has an article. And here is the Biloxi Sun Herald.

So, obviously, the ACLU has given warning to the BOE since there is no law that requires English to be spoken by anyone. Oh yeah, the BOE wants to mandate a prayer, something that is clearly unconstitutional.

Looks like another legal action.

McDonald's on Don Wildmon's Hit List

The American Family Association & it's leader, Don Wildmon, has decided that McDonald's is an evil, sinful, & dangerous organization to our Christian Faith. So what shall we do? Boycott McDonald's.

The Mississippi group has launched BoycottMcDonalds.Com and is calling on supporters to steer clear of the golden arches. AFA is unhappy because McDonald's gave money to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and supported Gay Pride events in California.

Great. Now I have a spiritual reason to not get the Combo #1 with a side salad & a Diet Coke --- no ice. Have to be healthy & say "Amen" at the same time.

Don Wildmon & the AFA are a good indicator of what we shouldn't do, instead of what we should do. In the case of AFA, past performance is an indicator of future results. That means complete embarrassment is just around the corner.

The church should be about making disciples. Let's concern ourselves with Grace instead of embarrassing ourselves with things that look like we're either homophobes or bigots.

Here is the article from Baptist Press.

And let's not forget the AFA Press Release --- if you can stomach it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

CA Wildfires

I've been reading Roy Donkin's blog on-&-off for several months now. Don't know how I found it, but he provides a refreshing look at life.

Roy is the pastor at Cambridge Drive Community Church in Goleta, CA, & his last post was Sunday, July 6, 2008, & said the wild fires had gotten within 4 blocks of his house.

Kinda puts a new perspective on things.

He did say he thought the fire had slowed down & things were "getting back to normal," but I'm not sure what that really means.

Say a quick prayer for Roy, his community & his church. I'm sure he would appreciate it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

SBC Speeding Over the Cliff

There are a few schools/churches that come to mind when one thinks of extreme legalism. Bob Jones University in SC is one. First Baptist in Hammond, IN. And then there is Tennessee Temple University.

Now Johnny Hunt, the newly elected president of the SBC, is trying to make TN Temple University an SBC school & bring Fundamentalist church Highland Park Baptist along with it.

Legalism watch out. The SBC is no longer just flirting. We've now openly proposed.

Here's the Ethics Daily article.

Thanks to Stephen Fox for the lead at .

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Theocracy Just Down the Road

According to this article, the Seat of Theocracy is just down the road. About 10 miles to Midway Presbyterian & only 15 miles to Trinity Chapel --- just a very short drive my house.

Now before I post something that really chaps your butt, let me make sure I send you the Boudreux's Butt Paste for the right reason. There are some fine folks at both Midway Presbyterian & at Trinity Chapel. Many of those folks are good friends of mine. I've got got great clients who attend both churches. My wife attended Midway Presbyterian before I snagged her into the glorious light of being a Baptist. (OK. It was just a funny.) This is not directed at the people in any way.

I do, however, have strong disagreement with your theology & your attempt to remove the 1st Amendment protections of the Establishment Clause & the Free Exercise Clause. You have every right to call for whatever political movement you so desire, but don't manipulate history or doctrine to justify the politics..

Just read the article. It should rattle everyone. Our Constitution is at stake. If anyone else advocated the overthrow of the Constitution & our system of gov't, it would be termed treason. Why this is not similarly termed is beyond me.

If you thought Theocracy & Reconstructionism were something a long way off in some other place or some other time, think again.

. . unless judges “acknowledge God,” they “should be impeached. . ."

. . . Gary North, a top Reconstruction theorist, wrote in his 1989 book, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism. “Those who refuse to submit publicly…must be denied citizenship.”

. . . DeMar’s lecture focused on the “three governments”—family, church, and state—all of which, he told me, should be ruled by God-fearing men.

. . . DeMar told me . . . he’d execute gays only if they were caught indulging in sodomy. “I’m happy to just drive them back into the closet,” he said

. . . And, perhaps most importantly, the state is “God’s minister,” as DeMar puts it in Liberty at Risk, “taking vengeance out on those who do evil.”

. . . Gary North wrote in 1982, in an effort to reach Baptists,“We must use the doctrine of religious liberty…until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”

. . . [DeMar said]“All governments are theocracies,” he said. “We now live in a secular humanist theocracy. I want to change that to a government with God at its head.”

4th of July Reminder

The Religious Right is a political group more so than anything else. It isn't concerned about doctrine: it is concerned about implementing doctrine into law. All other interpretations are both enemies of God & enemies of the state. It doesn't matter if it is in the US or Iran or Afghanistan or Northern Ireland: Dominionism kills our relationship with God, the relationship with our fellow man, & our relationship to liberty. It replaces the Sword of the Spirit with the Sword of Caesar. The Religious Right is a reminder as to why we have the 1st Amendment --- people can't resist forcing their religious interpretations onto others if others won't willingly acquiesce.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Catchin' the Flack

Seems I'm catching some flack for my call out of Cal Thomas in my blog a few days ago.

First, I'll admit my unintentional misspeak: the article was not written by Cal Thomas for Baptist Press. That was an unintentional wording that I clearly shouldn't have implied. What I should have said is that there is a piece by Cal Thomas picked up by Baptist Press.

Second, the politic of all this is just so unsavory. People lose all sense of fairness in the political season. Of course, that is the point I was making with the Cal Thomas' piece --- why is it even written at all? What was the point of it, save to throw a barb that hints "if you vote for Obama you're voting for an unbeliever & God is gonna get you for that."

Let's keep it real. What possible purpose is there to this article? And why is Baptist Press even bothering with it? Unless it is to cast doubt to some who are marginal, why is this even being discussed?

There is a reason we don't meld faith & politics. Everywhere else in the world that ever attempted to have a Most Favored Faith or a Blessed Be Gov't of Faith, there has been a mess of both.

Some folks just can't stand it when the Sword of the Spirit cannot be wielded as fast as the Sword of Caesar.

And Big Daddy Weave got on this one, too. Check out his blog. Good stuff over there.

Just my $0.02. Your mileage may vary.

No Matter What They Say, Waterboarding is Torture

In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, journalist Christopher Hitchens admits that waterboarding is torture. That is the opposite of what he used to say. But now, Hitchens has written an article entitled "Believe Me, It’s Torture" & he admits that it is torture. He speaks from first hand experience too: you can watch the video of his experience.

Everything completely goes on you when you’re breathing water. You can’t think about anything else. It would be bad enough if you did have something, suppose they wanted to know where a relative of yours was, or a lover, you’d feel, ‘well, I’m going to betray them now, ’cause this has to come to an end, I can’t take this anymore.’ But what if you didn’t have anything? What if they’d got the wrong guy? Then you’d really be in danger of losing your mind very quickly.

Good question. What if they do have the wrong guy? It won't be the first time. (Link.)

Daniel Levin was the former acting assistant attorney general to John Ashcroft who did the same volunteer assignment in 2004. At that time, Levin was working on the Justice Department's official legal position on waterboarding. So he volunteered to see what it was like --- what better way to make the determination, right? His conclusion: it is torture. What happened to his official Department of Justice position paper? Well, it never got finished because Alberto Gonzales became attorney general, before he could complete a second memo that would have limited the military’s use of torture. (See ABC News Link.)

The Constitution prohibits torture. We've signed treaties saying we won't do it. The Army adopted policies saying we wont' do it. The US denied for years we ever used it --- until we got caught with the overwhelming evidence. Now, we admit we only use it --- when we "have to."

There are times when I'm not proud of how we do things. Treating the Constitution as a suggestion instead of the rule of law is a dangerous proposition.