Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin

I read this over at Doug Wilson's blog -- Blog and Mablog (I love that title) on McCain's pick of Sarah Palin to be his running mate. I love the part about Obama and evangelicals who would vote for him (emphasis mine).

On the level of political strategy, this was absolutely a brilliant move. Not only was it brilliant, it was brilliant on multiple levels.

First, all the early returns indicate that this has moved discontented evangelicals from "stay at home mad" voters or "hold your nose" voters to enthusiasts. I am not counting here the bedwetting evangelicals who were willing to support Obama, the most radical pro-death candidate to ever reach the national stage. I am not counting them because they don't count. Among real evangelicals, the kind who read their Bibles, the response to Palin has been striking. As I read the responses from various directions, I can only describe it, in terms of its impact, as an electrifying choice. Think about it. McCain has picked a stridently pro-life, devout Christian evangelical as his running mate. There is nothing else he could have done to mobilize conservative Christians for this election, and he decided to do it.

But her appeal goes well beyond evangelicals. I saw one news commentator this morning say (quite accurately) that Sarah Palin appears to have been manufactured in a "vote-getting laboratory." She is an appealing woman in numerous ways on multiple levels.

To deal with the obvious first, she is a pippin. She is a beautiful woman who wears her hair up and has those schoolmarm eyeglasses. So there's the hot for teacher vote, neglected so many times and so callously throughout our nation's troubled history. I am joking, and this is fun to joke about, but anybody who thinks it an insignificant vote-getter is blissfully unaware of the hidden twelve-year-old boy in half the electorate.

And she is the ultimate red-stater -- gun enthusiast, drill for oil now, for Pete's sake, devoted mother of five, athlete and former beauty contestant, son shipping out to Iraq soon, and "I baked a pie this morning, anybody want some?" In addition, her husband is not a mousy little pencil neck -- a commerical fisherman, an oilman, and snowmobile racer. As the governor, she calls him the "first dude."

She steals a good bit of Obama's message of "change" because she made her name by toppling a corrupt Republican establishment in Alaska. There is plenty more of that in Washington, so why not? Obama could try to come back at her with the "too inexperienced" argument, but she has more experience than he does, and she is number two on the ticket and he is number one. So, as a shrewd political move by McCain, this was right up near the top.


Follow the above link to read the rest. I think the Palin pick is a genius move too. Is she experienced enough? Perhaps not -- probably not, but to beat Obama a gamble has to be made. I'm assuming as a sister in Christ she prayed about this a lot before taking the slot. That doesn't mean she'll do well -- it just means she's supposed to be there.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Everything You Need to Know About the Democratic Party

Jay Nordlinger over at The Corner linked this article from the Newark Star-Ledger on a delegate to the Democratic national Convention. Here's the kicker:

Maysoon Abdelhady says she is the perfect Democratic National Convention delegate.

"I was recruited because I'm a woman. I'm a Palestinian. I'm a Muslim. I'm disabled and, because I'm 30 and still not married, people think I'm gay.

"I told all that to the head of the New Jersey delegation but she said, `Excellent--you fill every quota we have!'"

That's just perfect. Not because she's passionate about her party or country and not because she's hugely informed on the issues -- she fills a niche by things she can't help.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blue Like Democrats

Donald Miller -- author of Blue Like Jazz -- prayed the closing prayer at tonight's Democratic National Convention. I'm glad he got the opportunity, but since when did the Democrat party platform become a prayer or creed we recite like the Lord's Prayer or the Apostle's Creed?



Color me unimpressed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Bridge Too Far...

Christianity Today -- online version -- reports on a recently aired UK reality show entitled Make Me a Christian. The Christians who were duped into this think the show is more harmful to the faith than helpful. Gee. Ya think?!? I'm not saying someone can't come to Christ in 3 edited episodes, but when the contestants are a lap dancer, a lesbian, etc. -- the show -- as many reality shows are -- is shown for what it is -- a gimmick.

I'm sure my brothers and sisters over there had the best intentions. I've read enough Theodore Dalrymple and enough UK media to see that they have the same moral rot as the rest of the West. But this is no joke and if British lap dancers and lesbians have the same profiles as American versions -- there's some deep unhappiness there that needs healing.

Also as usual -- the show focuses on sex and makes Christians look as if we're focused only or mostly on sex. Here's the Daily Telegraph story of a vicar from the show who sought to have her parts edited form the show. There lies the rub. Christianity is not a series of "Thou shalt not"s -- though holiness and morality are part of being a true Christ follower. It's difficult to convince me or others one's a sincere believer while living in direct and open and continuous violation of a fairly clear rule in Scripture (and I'm not talking about the more arcane parts of Leviticus -- that's a whole other series of posts) -- say adultery, gossip, lying, homosexuality, drunkenness, etc. This show seems to reduce the faith as "don't sleep with your boyfriend" "don't sleep with your girlfriend", etc.

New Photoshop Contest at Worth 1000.com



A lot more here. Theme classic art and the movies.

h/t: BoingBoing

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Attaboys

I'm so proud to teach at an institution that produces such folks. I am truly blessed to not only teach, but to teach at CBU. Via my friend and colleague Jeff Mooney's blog is a post from International Justice Mission about 3 of our students who kayaked the entire Mississippi River to raise awareness about human trafficking:

Three men have just completed an incredible kayak journey down the length of the Mississippi River to raise funds for International Justice Mission and awareness for its anti-trafficking casework. Timothy Cahill, Ethan Johnstone and Justin Blomgren began their voyage in St. Paul, Minnesota and paddled 1,703 miles to New Orleans, Louisiana, where they arrived nearly two months later.

The trio set out on May 12, 2008 with the goal of raising thousands for International Justice Mission and educating people about trafficking in every town they stopped in as they traveled to New Orleans. The men, who met each other as students at California Baptist University, were inspired by IJM’s casework history of partnering with local authorities to free victims of human trafficking.
The rest is here. Also be sure and follow the links around. IJM does a lot of good and great work on a host of issues including human trafficking.

h/t: SoCal Theologica

It's Official....

Some Obama voters -- "followers" -- have lost their minds and found their religion. Oh my... get a load of this and watch the whole thing for full contact creepiness.



h/t: Dirty Harry's Place.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dying Alone

Modern society, obviously, has a lot to offer in entertainment, stimulation, standard of living, etc., etc. There is a huge downside to modern urban society too. Part of that is a trend in more and more people dying alone -- with neither friends nor family. We're connected via Facebook or MySpace or IM or whatever, but with direct deposit, ACH automatic withdrawal for bills, online shopping, etc. people seem to be more disconnected than ever. The Guardian has an interesting story on this phenomenon in the UK.

There is a balance between individualism and community. While I love individual liberty and all that I think we may have moved too far towards individualism. Not only is it dangerous, it's sad. I think this phenomenon is also at play in the Church (with several exceptions). We so do not want to judge or be judged that there's no accontability or support

Obamessiah (continued)

Yesterday at Rick Warren's Presidential Forum at Saddleback Church he asked Obama when babies get human rights. The Obamessiah's answer? "That's above my pay grade." It's nice to see him pick up some military lingo. It's also nice to see him sidestep the issue. Now besides being dishonest, he's a moral coward. If you want to be President then those concepts are in your job description -- at least in government as he sees it -- where the government is the purveyor of morality.

Obama supports the most extreme forms of abortion, abortion on demand and even voted against a bill to protect infant survivors of abortion procedures. McCain ain't perfect to be sure, but he knows a life when he sees it -- and when he's unsure -- he errs on the side of life.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Proud Papa

Yesterday I took my family to Knott's Berry Farm -- an amusement park in Anaheim (and makers of delicious boysenberry products and jams, etc. in your grocery store). We had a great time though it was a long day (as it always is with 3 lovely little kids!) and I definitely recommend it as an alternative to Disney if you're "Disneyed out", looking for extreme roller coasters, or want to have fun and also want to save a couple of hundred bucks. That being said -- I love Disneyland and it is superior.

Anyway... my 5 year old daughter Sabrina rode her first major roller coaster -- the Sierra Sidewinder. Here's a video that captures it pretty well I cribbed off YouTube. My little girl is growing up.



Now we're going to gear up for California Scream and Space Mountain at Disneyland (when we get back to Disneyland).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Kids Get a New Day Off from School!

The California Legislature -- both houses -- recently passed legislation making May 22 Harvey Milk Day. Who is Harvey Milk? He was a San Francisco City Supervisor killed by a whack-job ex-Supervisor named Dan White in broad daylight in the City Hall. White also murdered the Mayor. He should have gotten the death penalty, but he only got 5 years after his lawyer put up the infamous Twinkie Defense. Dan White drank so much Coca-Cola and ate so many Twinkies that he had a biochemical imbalance exacerbated his depression amounting to a diminished capacity. So the jury -- the Lord only knows why -- gave him 5 years in prison. White eventually took the coward's way out after paroling.

So why does Harvey Milk get a day? He was openly gay. So now they want a day to celebrate in schools -- Gay Lesbian, and Transgendered issues. Great. May 22 will now be a permanent vacation in my house. The worst part is that now I'm going to have to listen to my Dad say "I told you so" about a million times.

The bill (AB 2567) is here. Here is the relevant part for my kids -- the part that gets them a day at the beach or Disneyland or whatever:
 
SEC. 2.  Section 37222 of the Education Code is amended to read:
37222. (a) The following days in each year are designated and set
apart as days having special significance:
(1) The second Wednesday in May as the Day of the Teacher.
(2) April 21 of each year as John Muir Day.
(3) April 6 of each year as California Poppy Day.
(4) May 22 of each year as Harvey Milk Day.
(b) On each of the days designated in subdivision (a), all public
schools and educational institutions are encouraged to observe those
days and to conduct suitable commemorative exercises as follows:

(4) On Harvey Milk Day, exercises remembering the life of Harvey
Milk and recognizing his accomplishments as well as the contributions
he made to this state.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the exercises
encouraged in this section be integrated into the regular school
program, and be conducted by the school or institution within the
amount otherwise budgeted for educational programs.
SEC. 3. Section 6721 is added to the Government Code, to read:
6721. The Governor shall annually proclaim May 22 as Harvey Milk
Day.
I will not sit for this. Does that make me intolerant? So be it. It does not make me hateful or phobic. It does mean I am in charge of what goes in and out of my kids' heads.

I actually live in a pretty red part of California so it will be interesting to see how the parents at my kids' school react.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Al Mohler on the New Atheism

Dr. Mohler has a great blog (on the blogroll at right) and he has a new book on the New Atheism. I love science and it has a great many truths to tell and yet to discover. It is, however, not our only source of true knowledge and can often be a source of fallacy and falsehood. Science once told us the world was flat, that the Earth was the center of the solar system, that Blacks were genetically inferior to Whites, etc., etc. (that humans have made the Earth warmer). The new Atheists are fundamentalist and evangelical in their cause. Here's a snippet of Dr. Mohler's book -- from his blog:

In terms of our own evangelistic and apologetic mandate, it is helpful to acknowledge that only a minority of those we seek to reach with the Gospel are truly and self-consciously identified with atheism in any form. Nevertheless, the rise of the New Atheism presents a seductive alternative for those inclined now to identify more publicly and self-consciously with organized nonbelief. The far larger challenge for most of us is to communicate the Gospel to persons whose minds are more indirectly shaped by these changed conditions of belief.

The greater seduction is towards the only vaguely theistic forms of “spirituality” that have become the belief systems (however temporarily) of millions. These are people who, as Daniel Dennett suggests, are more likely to believe in belief than to believe in God.

The Christian church must respond to the challenge of the New Atheism with the full measure of conviction and not with mere curiosity. We are reminded that the church has faced a constellation of theological challenges throughout its history. Then, as now, the task is to articulate, communicate, and defend the Christian faith with intellectual integrity and evangelistic urgency. We should not assume that this task will be easy, and we must also refuse to withdraw from public debate and private conversation in light of this challenge.

In the final analysis, the New Atheism presents the Christian church with a great moment of clarification. The New Atheists do, in the end, understand what they are rejecting. When Sam Harris defines true religion as that “where participants’ avowed belief in a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought,” he understands what many mired in confusion do not. In the end, the existence of the supernatural, self-existent, and self-revealing God is the only starting point for Christian theology. God possesses all of the perfections revealed in Scripture, or there is no coherent theology presented in the Bible. The New Atheists are certainly right about one very important thing—it’s atheism or biblical theism. There is nothing in between.

His new book Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists is below:



It's almost cliche now but Atheists have just as much, if not more, faith as most Christians.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sickening

I don't usually follow tragedy TV, but the case of 3-year old Maddie McCann who was taken from her parents' hotel room has crossed my radar screen. Now it looks like she was purchased by a Belgian pedophile ring "on order". This is evil incarnate.

I have a 5 year old daughter. I do not know what I would do. This girl will end up dead or being passed on to other pedophiles after she outgrows the age this sick European POS desires. Most likely she'll end up dead or as a prostitute somewhere in Eastern Europe. I pray for her rescue and for her parents. I would be tortured.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Just to be Clear

It's sad to have to even explain this, but since many are too intellectually challenged to think logically or are just plain intellectually dishonest.... I would love to have a minority President of the United States. Just not Barack Obama. He is not ready, he is arrogant, he is plainly ignorant on many subjects. He is a socialist first and foremost and I really think he does noit appreciate what America has been, is, and can be. There are many Blacks who are qualified: Colin Powell, Condi Rice, JC Watts, Harold Ford, Michael Steele, Thomas Sowell, Walt Williams, and I'm sure many others who are slipping my mnd right now. Can the Democrats do no better than Obama?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Obamessiah

I love this. Gerard Baker, Editor of The Times of London reading an op-ed he wrote with musical and visual accompaniment.