Dec 30 2008

Every freedom has its limits

Category: Bush,Islam,religionharmonicminer @ 10:43 am

Bush: ‘I am a lowly sinner seeking redemption’

I have found that faith is comforting, faith is strengthening, faith has been important. … I would advise politicians, however, to be careful about faith in the public arena. …In other words, politicians should not be judgmental people based upon their faith. They should recognize — as least I have recognized I am a lowly sinner seeking redemption, and therefore have been very careful about saying (accept) my faith or you’re bad. In other words, if you don’t accept what I believe, you’re a bad person.

And the greatness of America — it really is — is that you can worship or not worship and be equally American. And it doesn’t matter how you choose to worship; you’re equally American. And it’s very important for any President to jealously protect, guard, and strengthen that freedom.

A nice man to the last of his presidency, President Bush misses the point.

It DOES matter how you choose to worship, if that involves celebrating violent jihad. The President used the term “Islamofascist” only a couple of times in his presidency before the state department wimps recoiled in horror from the truth, and begged him not to say it anymore.  Too bad.

The president has acted, all too often, as if he doesn’t need to talk the talk, but only needs to walk the walk. 

In context, I can’t fault his handling of most aspects of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars; not that he’s been perfect (far from it!) but his positions and actions have been reasonable, and the tendency to see clearly in hindsight shouldn’t blind us to the failure of most people to predict what has actually happened.  The wars still needed to be fought, and he fought them.  Simple as that.

But I can and do fault his use of “diplo-speak” because it has left the American people very confused.  The president had a hard time getting his message across via the media, and seems to have just given up near the end of his first term, as far as convincing the populace of the rightness of his policies. 

The problem is not that, “If you don’t accept what I believe, you’re a bad person.”  The problem is if you think you faith gives you the right to kill me because your religion isn’t mine, too.

Christianity and Islam are not morally equivalent religions.  They do not equally teach peace.  They do not equally teach justice.  The pretense that they are alike in some significant way “under the surface” is a deadly one.

So while I cherish religious freedom, I think we need to keep clear eyes on those who would use that very freedom against us.

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Dec 10 2008

Is the president-elect an Evangelical?

Category: Obama,religionharmonicminer @ 11:27 pm

Is Barack Obama an Evangelical?

Is Barack Obama an Evangelical?

Read it at the link.

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Nov 26 2008

Foundation of our nation

Category: religion,societyharmonicminer @ 10:00 am

“It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”

–James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785

There are very similar quotes from most of the founders.  It’s pretty simple.  This is not a chicken or egg question;  precedence is clear.  They knew what came first.  They believed that if you lack a fundamental foundation for moral behavior, it is far less likely that you will be a citizen who ever looks much beyond immediate short-term self-interest, to what is good for the society as a whole.

Events have not proved them wrong.

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Nov 19 2008

What lovely people

Category: left,religionharmonicminer @ 1:25 pm

Once again the radical Left tramples on the civil rights of others, stooping to invading a church’s worship service.

Worshippers at a Bible-teaching church in Lansing, Mich., were stunned Sunday when members of a pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization named Bash Back interrupted their service to fling propaganda and condoms around the sanctuary, drape a profane banner from the balcony and feature two lesbians making out at the pulpit.

Continue reading “What lovely people”

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Nov 15 2008

Dobson’s view of our future, or Wallis’?

Category: Obama,religionharmonicminer @ 9:56 am

Before the election, James Dobson created and circulated an imaginary “letter from the future”: “Letter From 2012 in Obama’s America”

The ability of the letter to sway the election is gone, of course.  We have a little space from the election now, and can take a breath.

But the letter is still a useful document for staking out some territory about some likely outcomes of the Obama adminstration.  For the most part, because these outcomes depend largely on packing the Supreme Court with leftists, and involve known Democrat plans in Congress, there may not be much we can do to avoid these outcomes by political activity, except maybe a successful filibuster of far-left judges.  But maybe forewarned is forearmed, and just maybe there is something we can do by the 2010 congressional elections to slow it all down.

You can read the Dobson letter by clicking the link above: it will download a PDF to your computer, which you can save, print or just view. I have not reproduced it here because it has many formatting features that would be lost, including many footnotes with sources for quotes and policy positions that  Obama and others have taken.  It is a fairly clear distillation of the warnings given by many in the center-Right about the Obama presidency.

Jim Wallis, of Sojourners, and frequent spokesman for the Christian Left, replies here.

The following will only make sense if you read Dobson’s letter and Wallis’ response first.
Continue reading “Dobson’s view of our future, or Wallis’?”

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Nov 13 2008

Obama really concerned about abortion?

Category: left,Obama,religionharmonicminer @ 10:25 am

Does anyone reading this think there is ANY evidence that Obama is actually concerned about the frequency of abortion?

Continue reading “Obama really concerned about abortion?”

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Oct 20 2008

Evangelicals, politics and society: what the Left wishes was true, but isn’t

Category: election 2008,left,philosophy,politics,right,theologyharmonicminer @ 2:17 pm

J. Daryl Charles, author of “Between Pacifism and Jihad“, comments on an example of journalistic wish-fulfillment in which David D. Kirkpatrick prays earnestly for the “crack-up of Evangelical politics”. Well, to be fair, he only cheerleads what he wishes was the end of Right-leaning evangelicalism.  After pointing out that the trends present in mega-churches and the “emerging” church are not dispositive of the major part of evangelical Christendom, Charles, whose knowledge of evangelicalism is wide and deep, provides plenty of examples that were in Kirkpatrick’s backyard, but which he failed to notice…  maybe the fences were too high in New York City, so Kirkpatrick had to go to the midwest to find something to write about.  Ending graphs, though Charles’ entire take is worth reading:

And yet, had Kirkpatrick done his homework, his research would have taken him, not to Wichita, Kansas, but to his own backyard and New York City, where evangelical congregations are vibrant and socially engaged. Consider, for example, the very large and increasingly influential Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which embodies what is salutary, healthy, and encouraging about Protestant evangelicalism. But because Redeemer, given its simultaneous commitments to theological orthodoxy and social responsibility, has been making a difference in the city for almost two decades (and doing so without a so-called leftward political shift), such evidence would undermine Kirkpatrick’s thesis. Similar examples abound in metropolitan areas nationwide.
Continue reading “Evangelicals, politics and society: what the Left wishes was true, but isn’t”

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Jul 26 2008

The next great awakening? Part 1

Category: Intelligent Design,science,theologyharmonicminer @ 9:49 am

I’m planning to do a few posts on the convergence of science and theism. This is the first. I’m thinking out loud a bit here, and hoping to get some input from other folks as we go. This one is just about the general background. I’ll give more specifics about things I think are important in upcoming posts.

I have the sense that what is happening now in the sciences will have as much impact on future theological developments as the invention of writing had on accuracy of cultural transmission of revelation (the preservation of scripture, what made the redactors able to do their work), or the printing press (the dissemination of scripture, which basically fired the Reformation).

We tend to think of science as having arrived at some advanced point, with just a few details remaining to be filled in. (This same conceit was common in the late 19th century.) What if we are barely at the beginning, with just a glimmer of where it can lead us?

And especially, what if we learn more and more that points to a Creator, and Design, in very powerful ways, something more than just an anthropic principle (not knocking it), something that is so clear that no rational person can really deny it, and would be embarrassed to be seen trying to? If you cannot imagine any possible fact or set of facts that would lead in that direction, you need to get out more…

Continue reading “The next great awakening? Part 1”

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