Saturday, December 15, 2007

Prolife Prochoice Gun-toting Non-violent

Following the shootings in Colorado, the religious blogs have been ablaze. Some folks have been saying that religious organizations can't have armed guards. Others are saying that it was God's good blessing that lethal force was available to stop a murderous rampage.

I'll just admit that I'm torn on the issue. A fellow seminarian returned his concealed-carry license when he came to seminary, and I can respect that. (He didn't give up his guns, but since he couldn't have them at seminary he thought it best not to have a usable license that he wasn't going to use.) Yet I also grew up with a pistol packin' padre. (I never knew about it until we were in a very rough section of Virginia Beach, VA.)

What I think I can safely say is this: if there is any grey area that allows someone to be pro-life by conviction, but pro-choice in practice then the same license should be granted to someone who is non-violent by conviction, but pro-gun ownership.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Seminary or Cemetary

"I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every institution that does not unceasingly pursue the study of God's word becomes corrupt. Because of this we can see what kind of people they become in the universities and what they are like now. Nobody is to blame for this except the pope, the bishops, and the prelates, who are all charged with training young people. The universities only ought to turn out men who are experts in the Holy Scriptures, men who can become bishops and priests, and stand in the front line against heretics, the devil, and all the world. But where do you find that? I greatly fear that the universities, unless they teach the Holy Scriptures diligently and impress them on the young students, are wide gates to hell." - Martin Luther

CPMs of the world, take note!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Shucksmas

Apparently John Shuck has his panties in a wad over the House of Representatives voting to give a hat-tip to Christmas. He invokes the almighty wall of separation between church and state. Funny...from this blogpost, you'd think he didn't like walls that kept blood-thirsty religious nuts from damaging otherwise democratically run institutions.

What really gets my goat, however, is that he pretends to be taking the high-road of neutrality in church-state relations. I might be able to swallow that if he'd posted something similar when the House passed an identically worded resolution honoring Ramadan. But let's face the facts: the guy hates Christmas almost as much as he hates the virgin-born Lord of the Church.

update: I almost forgot to mention this. I admit that, as a Reformation junkie, I don't get as worked up about Christmas as I do about Easter or even every single Lord's Day. Moreover, the whole "war on Christmas" bit is overplayed by folks in my camp. Nevertheless, I find this anecdote illustrative.

I was examined for candidacy at First Elizabethton, where John serves as guru. The presbytery meeting was held in December, so the nice elder that was hosting us wished us "Happy Holidays." A moment of silence passed, after which an astute elder seated behind me shouted "And a MERRY CHRISTMAS as well!"

First Liz regularly hosts awareness events for other religious celebrations. However, I'm afraid they've forgotten (more likely forsaken) their own....

A Surprise from NPR

On Wednesday morning, NPR's writer's almanac featured this poem. I recommend visiting their page and hearing Garrison Keillor read it.

"Upon Seeing an Ultrasound Photo of an Unborn Child" by Thomas Lux, from The Drowned River. © Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990

Upon Seeing an Ultrasound Photo of an Unborn Child

Tadpole, it's not time yet to nag you
about college (though I have some thoughts
on that), baseball (ditto), or abstract
principles. Enjoy your delicious,
soupy womb-warmth, do some rolls and saults
(it'll be too crowded soon), delight in your early
dreams — which no one will attempt to analyze.
For now: may your toes blossom, your fingers
lengthen, your sexual organs grow (too soon
to tell which yet) sensitive, your teeth
form their buds in their forming jawbone, your already
booming heart expand (literally
now, metaphorically later); O your spine,
eyebrows, nape, knees, fibulae,
lungs, lips... But your soul,
dear child: I don't see it here, when
does that come in, whence? Perhaps God,
and your mother, and even I — we'll all contribute
and you'll learn yourself to coax it
from wherever: your soul, which holds your bones
together and lets you live
on earth. — Fingerling, sidecar, nubbin,
I'm waiting, it's me, Dad,
I'm out here. You already know
where Mom is. I'll see you more directly
upon arrival. You'll recognize
me — I'll be the tall-seeming, delighted
blond guy, and I'll have
your nose.

h/t to my twin

Oh, and since this is a theological blog, use this as an opportunity to think through the possibility of traducianism vs. creationism as pertains to the human soul. While you're at it, pick a fight with your pastor about how many angels can dance on the point of a needle. (My baptist friends already know the answer: Angels don't dance....or, if you've read Good Omens, pp. 256ƒ, the answer is one.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bumper Sticker Theology

There are some cities where people tend to wear their brain on their bumpers. Don't get me wrong, I like bumperstickers. But many fall short of the truth. That's why I want to start making some with more truthiness or, as the case may be, faithiness. Here's my first stab.

What do you think?