Sunday, May 24, 2015
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Update: Everyone needs an editor. And on the internet you never run out. This email all the way from Nancy Reyes in Gapan City Philippines: "Harriet Tubman might indeed be a gun toting Republican, but the photo is of Stagecoach Mary, (Fields) the first Black female American mail handler. She has a very interesting story http://www.blackcowboys.com/maryfields.htm."
In a recent vote (26-10 with one abstention), the Connectional Table of our UMC made rather plain that it is prepared to give up on our connectional and covenantal system entirely in order to satisfy the clamoring by a minority of United Methodists for gay marriage and the ordination of openly gay persons. Never mind that the Connectional Table does not in any way speak for our UMC, and whatever pronouncements they make have no juridical force whatsoever. Never mind that going in this very direction on marriage and ordination has led to further membership decline and lots of law suits in the UCC, the Episcopal Church, and various other denominations. Never mind that the real growing part of our church, namely the African part (now about 40% of our church), are almost to a man, woman and child adamantly opposed to moves in this sort of direction. While I was in no way surprised by this vote, what did cause a shock was the willingness to give up on the connectional system in order to achieve a dubious goal.
What do I mean by this? Here is the essence of the matter—- the proposal of the Connectional Table would “allow United Methodist pastors the freedom to preside at same-sex weddings, and it would give annual conferences the right to ordain openly gay candidates for ministry.” In other words, if we do this we are prepared to violate the very nature of connectionalism in two ways: 1) both in terms of turning over the decision making power to the individual clergy member when it comes to who can and can’t be married in the church. The clergy get to decide this on their own, and are not held to any Biblical, Disciplinary, or covenantal standards on the matter that would bind us all. And supposedly this is because of the right of individual conscience, the right to choose wrongly, trumps Biblical and Disciplinary authority, never mind the authority of the teaching of John Wesley on such matters; 2) by allowing conferences to decide the issue of whether or not to ordain openly gay persons, we no longer accept that there are church wide standards for such matters that the bishops of the church should enforce in all the conferences. In short, we are giving up being Methodists with an episcopal polity in these matters and are becoming Congregationalists or even Baptists in various respects. If this proposal sounds familiar it is, because Adam Hamilton made a very similar and equally flawed proposal earlier.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Thursday, May 14, 2015
When galaxies stop making stars, their death is usually a slow process that chokes them of the necessary cool gases over about four billion years.
That is the conclusion of astro nomers who surveyed thousands of galaxies, living and dead, to assess whether the transition is rapid or slow.
In the dead galaxies they detected high levels of metals, which build up during star formation and point to a slow strangulation process.
The work appears in the journal Nature.
It is, once again,The End Of Life As We Know It! Let me count the ways:
- The giant asteroid that could be on course to hit Earth causing massive devastation!
- Or the scenario this year as an obscure Planet X -- or Nibiru -- heads toward or collides into Earth.
- Or that "Unseen dark comets 'could pose deadly threat to earth'."
- That's if we live long enough - doubtful because of the comet Genondahwayanung is on its way back and it pretty much annihilated most life in North America when it came here the first time.
- Not to worry about that, though, since we face supernova and galaxy-attack scenarios.
- And then the massive gas cloud speeding toward a collision with the Milky Way!
- But really, who cares about threats from outer space when out own atmosphere may detonate?
- And then the asteroids.
- Then the black hole death stars!
- And we might be swallowed whole by the sun.
- And there's an intense beam of gamma rays coming our way.
- Then there was the fear that "human society is very quickly headed to a violent and disturbing end."
- Then the earth began to kill people for changing its climate.
- Then there is the voracious, galactic Hoover in Switzerland that will suck the whole planet into a black hole.
- And the massive destruction along the coasts of countries like the USA, UK and many on the African continent, within a matter of hours.
- But don't worry about the universe collapsing since that cannot happen before our galaxy rams into another one.
- Don't forget that The Universe is Going to Collapse anyway!
- Scientists discover supervolcano trigger that could herald humanity's doom.
- The Internet is going to kill every one of us!
- And then there is the stellar Death Star coming right at us. Surrounded by whirling comets, it's like a stellar shotgun!
- And in fact we may not live long enough to suffocate because we will die in the Big Cosmic Crunch!
Thursday, April 23, 2015
The deans of 13 United Methodist seminaries have joined in signing an open letter to, well, that's not exactly clear. We'll just call it an open letter and leave it at that: "Race and the Fabric of Faith: A Timely Letter From Universities and Seminaries."
I have no dispute with the UM deans and support the thrust of their position even if I might tinker with it here and there.
My discomfort is that the deans think that this sort of police misconduct and even deadly criminal conduct exists in a vacuum. It's just bad cops and not much more.
But it is not the police who create a police state. The deaths rightfully decried here took place in a much bigger context than cops and robbers.
These events are the inevitable result of the leftist-progressive state because the leftist-progressive state wants nothing so badly as to expand the scope, reach and power of government into as many aspects of people's lives as possible.
If you want to give people more government, more government will more frequently be given in the form of 9mm hollow points from police guns. Or more beatings or more harassment.
If you want less police violence against black people or anyone else, you must repeal laws and roll back government intrusion into how people live. But this is so antithetical to absolutely everything that progressives stand for that they won't even consider the possibility that their dogma leads to these events. Instead, we who say this will labeled as a "haters" or extremists or the like.
The police state is the creation of the Political Class, and they do it by piling up as many laws and regulations as they can think of. If the laws and regulations contradict each other, so much the better.
From Atlas Shrugged:
“Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.”And that is exactly where we are today.
Update: Glenn Reynolds cites the CS Monitor, "Freddie Gray paid the ultimate price for the crime of clipping a common knife to his pocket."
His closing line is what I've been saying for months: "Hey, lefties: Want more government? This is more government." Remember Eric Garner from last December, whose case led to my post, "Why the size of government matters"?
If we want the government to use less force, then we have to get less government. It is useless and futile to think that diversity or other kinds of training will reduce police violence.Yes, the same question we ask of Freddie Gray's death.
The fact is that for every law on the books, no matter how minor or inconsequential it may seem to you or me, whether felony or misdemeanor, from mass murder to jaywalking - for every law, there can come a time in its enforcement when a cop can legally kill you. There is no exception to this.
The only way we can reduce these kinds of deaths - I say again, the only way - is to shrink government and strike laws from the books. For the real question to ask here is just why was what Garner was doing illegal at all?
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
George Will explains why and how the Left is denying not merely this example or that of speech, but is attacking the very idea that freedom of speech is even an admissible or valid concept at all.
Update: This, too: