Friday, April 29, 2005

Unfossilized dino blood cells

Who doesn’t like the underdog? The fans of the overdog I guess.
My concentration in UConn's biology program was Ecology and Evolutionary biology. I have been reading creationist stuff, young earth and old earth stuff since elementary school. So this well preserved soft tissue from a T. rex femur sure make the Young Earth creationists look good, and they know it. Pictures.
However, not even all Christians can cheer for the Young Earth guys on this one. Rich Deem has an excellent Old Earth Christian site in which he attempts to explain how this isn’t a victory for the Young Earth crew.
How old is my earth? I don’t know. It seems pretty young to me today.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Justice Sunday - NOT

You would think something called Justice Sunday coordinated with many churches across the United States would have something to do with prayer for the Darfur genocide or something related to prayer for persecuted Christians . Maybe it would be a rally for pregnancy counseling centers or affordable housing .
Sadly it's only to get rules changed on filibusters because the Republicans can't get 10 judges approved. Syndicated columnist Tom Teepen writes, "Senate Democrats, resorting to the filibuster that requires a 60-vote majority, have balked only 10 Bush picks, all for appellate benches." Although abortion is an extremely important issue, rallying churches to thenuclear option is a rally for a method and not the end. Surely, this quick route to judicial salvation that will return us to being God's country has William Wilberforce spinning in his grave. Wilberforce is a political model for today's Pro-life movement. His abolitionist agenda took enarly 19 years to succeed with a law endoursed by Parliament in 1807. It is unfortunate that some American Evangelical leaders feel it necessary to attach themselves to a political party to accomplish God's righteousness. If we, instead, attach ourselves to issues and detach ourselves from parties or partisans then our hopes won't rise and fall with the fortunes of parties or politicians. Hasn't Terri Schiavo's case already demonstrated to us that having "our" judges in place do not guarantee us our policies?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Voyage of the "St. Louis"

Voyage of the "St. Louis"
I like to read WWII history. I couldn't believe what i was hearing Jim Dobson say last night on his FotF show. He claimed Terri Schaivo's court assisted killing was the greatest tragedy of our country. Maybe he meant in the last couple months, but that statement got me thinking on this event from WWII. We refused entry to 930 Jewish passengers trying to escape from Hitler's Germany. They thought they had valid entry visas into Cuba, a country which took in more Jewish refugees than anywhere else in this hemisphere, article, but were refused. The ship was ordered out of Cuban waters. And even though they could see the lights of Miami, our country refused to help them and sent them back to Europe where they were received by Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. Three of those countries were later occupied by Hitler and 250 are known to have died under occupation. Needless to say, I didn't appreciate Dobson's hyperbole.

not everyone felt warm and fuzzy during the Pope's funeral

A Blind Eye, Even In Death (registration req)
This columnist has no sympathy for Christianity, yet he does make a good point. Why did such a "good" Pope turn a blind eye to the Bishop, Bernard Law, who kept shuffling child rapist priests to different parishes? How did Law end up with the privilege of performing the funeral mass? Perhaps the new Pope will make amends. Perhaps the new Pope will downplay Mary unlike J.P. So goodbye J.P. and hello J.R. (Joseph Ratzinger - Germany).

A tale of two churches named Mosaic

- Mosaic Pastor Urges Christians to Act Like 'Barbarians'
That's fine to be a Christian barbarian, I guess. But I'm more intrigued by the claim to fame of having nearly 60 nationalities present and an average age of 27. I don't understand how you can claim success at diversity if you trade all-white, multi-generational for 40% Asian and mostly 20 somthings and their kids. Shouldn't the diverse chruch reach across ethnicity and geneartions? So compare this church in Los Angeles with another Mosaic in Arkansas.
They recently were highlighted in the latest issue of Christianity Today, article. The first paragraph indicates to me the range of ages attending and no where is an average age mentioned. This place only has 21 nations represented but the types of ministries offered do not seem youth centered.
Nevertheless, I'm glad the gospel is being preached at these places. If you've been to either of these places tell me about it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Running Barefoot

This isn't a spiritual thing. I'm a cheapskate and i always buy cheap running shoes that don't last very long anyway. I heard about this guy who is running the Boston Marathon today barefoot. In addition to the health claims I see myself being spared from laying out dollars for shoes. I started this weekend with a couple 3 mile runs on grass. My tender soles are a little worse for the wear but not my joints or muscles. I want to run a marathon this year, maybe the Hartford or the Mystic Places marathon. I participated in a work sponsored sprint triathalon last year and a local nearly-half marathon called the Kelley Race. I will let you know when I'm running on cement and asphalt bare footed and when I am running 50 miles a week.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005

God does *Not* hate Gays

Upon consideration of my last entry I feel it is necessary to clarify something. I have no concord for anything like the God hates f*gs website. No link to that site will be provided here.
So, you might ask, how is it consistent to opposed to gay marriage and not be against homosexual people? This is the impasse that makes dialog difficult between the conservative Christian community and the gay community. Whereas the gay person proclaims his of her sexual behavior is inseparable from their identity , the conservative Christian considers a damaging activity that can be repented of, resisted, and overcome, not unlike an addiction to alcohol.
It is the dirty secret of the homosexual community that people have succeeded, with and without reparative therapy, at reorienting their sexual preference from homo to hetero. It is also obvious that people have turned from hetero to homo but the homosexual community claims that the person was always in denial. For some reason, someone who reverts back to hetero is denounced as someone never truly homo. They claim too much. At the least these data show that sexual orientation is not inflexible.
Whether orientation is genetically pre-disposed, as alcoholism may be, is irrelevant. Assuming that argument, why is this the first birth defect that parents are told to rejoice in? And it is a defect in the biological sense as a non-reproductive predisposition. Homosexuals have more health issues than heteros partly due to the issue of promiscuity, mental health, physical abuse from partners, and physically improper intercourse. data here
I like the comparison to alcoholism because there are many high functioning alcoholics who are not a burden on society yetdoing what feels good to them. But they still bring pain to those who know them best, usually family, who know the loss of potential. Similarly, the homosexual claims they are doing what feels good and right and with consenting adults and not hurting anyone. Although they may not be physically hurting their parents they are denying their family one line of continuity. However, many homosexuals will proclaim the unjustness of their emotional pain inflicted by those of us who want to deny acceptance of their behavior.
This discussion involves many levels of the loss of obligation to community, selfishness, satisfaction, health, coping mechanisms, etc. I will try to hit some of them as time goes on. But, as far as the person before God, we all are sinners in need of his forgiveness. I am guilty of trying to convince God that my sin is not that bad and not my fault and not worth his concern. It just wasn’t about homosexuality. And I, too, got angry with those who pointed out my sin. Repentance is so humiliating. Repentance and humiliation go hand in hand.
See Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Friday, April 01, 2005

Marriage adrift

Not that I am making any new insights here, but today’s opinions weave a tangled web. I subscribe to my alma mater’s, UConn, daily newspaper The Daily Campus to keep up on the basketball teams and also to stay informed of the opinions of today’s college students. Here is a letter to the editor questioning the value of the institution of marriage. Marriage: a misguided Tradition
His arguments against marriage are less sex (necessary for mental health), poverty from the eventual divorce, fidelity (the author is a male), and puts on paper what’s should only be in the heart. I fear this isn’t an April Fool’s article. I don’t think he is gay since this is the normative gay male lifestyle yet they want to have the right to marry like heterosexuals.
Nicholas D. Kristof over at the NY Times also has a problem with marriage. In his March 30th article, When Marriage Kills, he blames the Bush administration for emphasizing Abstinence, Being Faithful, Condoms in that order in AIDS aid to Africa. Since cheating husbands don’t receive enough emphasis on condoms and they can’t be faithful, the Bush administration is at fault for those wives’ infections. He contravenes his theory since the condom message is loud and clear enough for the interviewed prostitute to concede she’ll get 4x more money from the truckdrivers who patronize her if she’ll let them not use a condom.
Elsewhere, Dalia Lithwick, over at Slate, criticizes pro-marriage people for tossing the sacred contract aside in order to save Terri Schiavo’s life, Till Death - or Tom Delay-Do Us Part, the subtitle is The “sanctity of marriage” is suddenly negotiable. She concludes,
There is just no evidence that Michael Schiavo is an unfit guardian. Sure, it would make for a better Harlequin Romance if he'd spent decades pining alone at his wife's bedside; if he hadn't found himself a girlfriend and some kids. But he and Terri were—and still are—married, and the law has always treated that bond as sacred: serious, inviolate, till-death-do-us-part serious, until the parties themselves decide otherwise.
Not only would it make a better Harlequin Romance, it’s the relationship that Jesus has for his church, his bride. It’s the picture he wants believers to live out as living metaphors of his love for us. See Eph 5:25-35
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church--a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor--since they're already "one" in marriage.
No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband. (The Message)
So us pro-marriage people aren’t pro-Harlequin, but pro-self sacrifice, pro-other centered. When Terri’s husband found himself a new wife in deed if not in formality, he disqualified himself from that sacred bond, unless he got Terri’s forgiveness. The “parties,” plural, did not decide anything about the sanctity of this bond. This is what makes the court’s ruling in his favor incomprehensible. If there ever is an example of the letter of the law killing this is it. Yes, technically, they are married. But in reality at best he is a polygamist, at worst a murderer. Which answers the question this letter writer to the Daily Campus why the public tried to answer this “private” decision The Humiliation Concludes. He thinks it is not our place to “to judge someone when he's acting in accordance with the law.” The ultimate sign of the end of the times is his conclusion that “As much as the right to die needs to be explored and discussed, individual lives do not.” As I noted in my previous entry, if his life is in jeopardy from the law, he will prefer his individual life discussed.
The saddest part of this is our culture of death cannot even agree with Stalin who said, “One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.” Our culture is no longer traumatized by one immoral death. We are barely moved by statistics. One million abortions a year in God’s country doesn’t move a lot of people. But that goes back to the point of marriage. What the non-Christian doesn’t understand is that maariage is about dying to oneself, which happens to lead to a greater existence than offered by the swinger style. It was just as crazy then as it is now to hear Jesus’s words from Matthew 16:25-27
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (NIV)
That’s all from this married, pro-life fool for Jesus.