Saturday, July 12, 2008

Those Sunny Beaches

Maybe it's just me, but the 2008 Presidential campaign is starting to look more and more like a bad day at the beach in Florida: shuffling white guys past their prime and cheap new flip-flops.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Them's Fightin' Words

From the You Can't Make This Stuff Up file comes a lawsuit that I've been waiting to see.

Zondervan and Nelson Publishers are being sued by self-proclaimed Bible expert and self-affirmed practicing homosexual, Bradley LaShawn Fowler. In all, he says he is owed $70 million for the emotional pain and trauma he has suffered. 1 Corinthians 6:9 is the focal point of his complaint. (I wonder where he got the idea of focusing here....) Feel free to take a look at the Greek behind it.

Now Mr. Fowler is surely an intellectual powerhouse to be reckoned with - as a quick review of his website will show. He also is a self-published author of Reconciliation with the G.O.A.T., God of All Truth. (Please, no goatse jokes.) And - tremble, O Zondervan and Nelson - he's representing himself in court. (I don't know why: the ACLU, GLAAD, GLF, GMAD, and others would probably provide pro bono homo legal counsel.) I'm sure that it's tort claims like these that our founding fathers intended to take up the time of the justice system.



Also, would anybody be interested in helping some death-row murders file a tort against God and the Bible publishers for that whole killing / murder confusion in the Decalogue?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Church Wars

Sometimes, it's like we're coming from two different worlds.







One of the nice things about denominations is that they allow Christians who feel passionately about a certain theological principle or ecclesiastical habitus to work together without being distracted by those who don't share the same conviction.

One of the nice things about catholic orthodoxy is that it allows Christians who've gone into these denominations to recognize the gifts of other Christians because a baseline has been established wherein we fellowship.

One of the sad things is when an ecclesial structure has neither shared convictions/practices or generalized orthodoxy. That's when stuff like money and politics hold them together - and the sheep get starved or slaughtered.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Being Right When You Wish You Were Wrong



This is what it feels like to be one of the conservative observers of the mainline decline.

In other words...being right isn't the same as being happy about it.

(I do have to say, though, that some are reveling in Schadenfreude over the recent announcements from Anglican and Presbyterian meetings...and they're like the guy in the last frame.)

h/t: AmazingSuperPowers.com

Pay it froward

Get it done before your dollar is worthless!

https://www.extension.iastate.edu/mfl/online.html

Monday, July 07, 2008

Schoolboys disciplined for 'refusing to pray to Jesus'

From the London Telegraph, a story so shocking* you won't believe!!!:

It was claimed that the boys, from a year seven class of 11 and 12-year-olds, were given detention after refusing to take part in a practical demonstration of how Jesus is worshipped.

Yesterday parents accused the school of breaching their human rights by forcing them to take part in the exercise.

One, Sharon Luinen, said: "This isn't right, it's taking things too far. I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn't join in Christian prayer.

"Making them pray to Jesus' god, who isn't who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful."

Another parent Karen Williams, 38, whose 12-year-old daughter is a classmate of the boys, said: "I am absolutely furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I don't find it acceptable.

"The teacher had gone into the class and made them watch a short film and then said 'we are now going out to pray to Jesus'.

"Then two boys got detention and all the other children missed their refreshments' break."

She added: "Not only was it forced upon them, my daughter was told off for not doing it right.

"They'd never done it before and they were supposed to do it in another language."

She said the pupils were asked if they had water on them, and when one girl produced a bottle, the teacher began baptizing her with it.

Her husband Keith, 44, a painter and decorator, said: "The school is wonderful but this one teacher has made a major mistake. It seems to be happening throughout society. People think they can ride roughshod over our beliefs and the way we live."

The alleged incident, at the Alsager school, one of Cheshire's top performing schools, happened on Tuesday afternoon. The teacher, Alison Phillips, the school's subject leader in RE, is understood to be staying away from the school until the furore dies down, although she has not been suspended.

She is said to have got rosaries out of the cupboard and also asked children to wear Carmelite nun wimples.

Deputy headmaster Keith Plant said: "I have spoken to the teacher and she has articulately given me her version of events."

Sources at the school said the incident could have been down to Miss Phillips instigating a role play and not properly briefing the pupils, all aged around 12, what she was doing.

A spokesman for Cheshire County Council said they were investigating. He added: "The headteacher contacted the authority immediately complaints were received. Enquiries are being made into the circumstances as a matter of urgency and all parents will be informed accordingly.

"Educating children in the beliefs of different faiths is part of Cheshire's diversity curriculum on the basis that knowledge is, of course, is essential to understanding.

"We accept that such teaching has to be conducted with commonsense and sensitivity."

And from the Daily Mail:

Schoolboys punished with detention for refusing to kneel in class and pray the Our Father

Two schoolboys were given detention after refusing to kneel down and 'pray the Pater Noster' during a religious education lesson.

Parents were outraged that the two boys from year seven (11 to 12-year-olds) were punished for not wanting to take part in the practical demonstration of how Jesus is worshipped.

They said forcing their children to take part in the exercise at Alsager High School, near Stoke-on-Trent - which included wearing monastic headgear - was a breach of their human rights.

One parent, Sharon Luinen, said: "This isn't right, it's taking things too far.

"I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn't join in Christian prayer.

"Making them pray to the Father of Jesus, who isn't who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful.

"I don't want this to look as if I have a problem with the school because I am generally very happy with it."

Another parent Karen Williams said: "I am absolutely furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I don't find it acceptable.

"I haven't got a problem with them teaching my child other religions and a small amount of information doesn't do any harm.

"But not only did they have to pray, the teacher had gone into the class and made them watch a short film and then said 'we are now going out to pray to Jesus' Father'.

"Then two boys got detention and all the other children missed their refreshment break because of the teacher.

"Not only was it forced upon them, my daughter was told off for not doing it right.

"They'd never done it before and they were supposed to do it in another language." (Latin)

"My child has been forced to pray to the Christian God in a school lesson." The grandfather of one of the pupils in the class said: "It's absolutely disgusting, there's no other way of putting it.

"My daughter and a lot of other mothers are furious about their children being made to kneel on the floor and pray to Islam. If they didn't do it they were given detention.

"I am not racist, I've been friendly with an Fundamentalist for 30 years. I've also been to a Baptist wedding where it was explained to me that alcohol would not be served and I respected that.

"But if Christians were asked to go to mosque on Friday and make ritual ablutions there would be war."

Parents said that their children were made to bend down on their knees, holding rosaries which the RE teacher had got out of her cupboard and they were also told to wear monastic headgear during the lesson on Tuesday afternoon.

Deputy headmaster Keith Plant said: "It's difficult to know at the moment whether this was part of the curriculum or not. I am not an RE teacher, I am an English teacher.

"At the moment it is our enterprise week and many of our members of staff are away.

"The particular member of staff you need to speak to isn't around. I think that it is a shame that so many parents have got in touch with the Press before coming to me.

"I have spoken to the teacher and she has articulately given me her version of events, but that is all I can give you at the moment."

A statement from Cheshire County Council on behalf of the school read: "The headteacher David Black contacted this authority immediately complaints were received.

"Enquiries are being made into the circumstances as a matter of urgency and all parents will be informed accordingly.

"Educating children in the beliefs of different faith is part of the diversity curriculum on the basis that knowledge is essential to understanding.

"We accept that such teaching is to be conducted with some sense of sensitivity."
Remember, without discernment it can happen here.

* In case it isn't abundantly clear, this is a parody. In Britain, you're punished for not being sensitive to Muslim interests. So much for the "established" church....
h/t: PhDiva