Thursday, June 04, 2020

Trump or Jesus?

"Mayor Koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts. I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer ... Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will. ... How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? Criminals must be told that their CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SAFETY BEGINS!"--Donald Trump, 1989.
Matthew 5:43-48 New International Version (NIV)
Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Let me ask one more time. Who is right, Trump or Jesus? At most, only one of them can be.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Access Hollywood and the Smoking Gun: Why is it different today?

 Historically, ordinary Democrats and ordinary Republicans thought of themselves as engaged in an in-house quarrel amongst people who agree on certain basics, such as the rule of law, freedom of speech and the press, etc. Thus, Republicans would prefer to be ruled by Democrats than by Fascists, and Democrats would prefer to be ruled by Republicans than by Fascists. Further, it was thought better to have someone win of decent character who is from the other party than have someone of bad character from one's own party win. Now, I think, a lot of people are in doubt about this. Republicans and Democrats see the elections in apocalyptic terms--the other party threatens civilization as we know it, so we have to win, no matter who we have on our side and who they have on theirs. I have been struggling to figure out why, for example, the Access Hollywood tape was no absolutely curtains for Trump, the way the Smoking Gun Tape was curtains for Richard Nixon. And the only thing that comes to my mind is that in Nixon's time politics was an in-house quarrel between people who thought they believed the same things and differ about how we go about getting those things done, while now, for many, politics is, like Star Wars, a simple tale of good and evil, and losing to the other side the worst that could possibly happen.

The George Floyd Defense

Has anyone been actually suggesting a "George Floyd defense" (a descendant of the Twinkie Defense) for people who commit property crimes in the wake of the George Floyd incident? Who actually has said this? I don't mean a generalized "people on the left," I mean real statements by real people.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Is this conservatism?

Trying to get a fix on what exactly constitutes a genuine conservative position seems to be getting harder and harder these days. The "compassionate conservatism" of George W. Bush is an interesting idea--the idea that the government should encourage private agencies to help the poor rather than do it themselves. But what about this, from conservative Christian activist Rebecca Friedrichs.

We should look to the past. So, let’s just take the free lunch program that we have in our schools. It started out being pushed by the unions and their friends for poor children. Well, 28 years ago, I had two students in my class on free lunch. Today almost every single child is on free breakfast and free lunch. So what the unions are trying to do, they’re pushing something called community schools. And in these community schools, we’re giving children free health care, we’re giving them free food, free emotional support, and by the way free political indoctrination for their parents. And so, if these unions and their friends, their politicians, get their way, they would like our schools to be open 24/7. They want to replace the family and families raising their children with our own virtues, they want to replace that with the state. With union-controlled government-run schools. That’s dangerous. That’s communism when you think about it.

This is discussed here on an atheist website.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Is there a charitable interpretation for this?

Here. 

This is my translation.

"If we test fewer people for coronavirus, fewer people will be diagnosed with it, and if they die, fewer of their death will be attributed to the coronavirus. They'll be just as dead, but at least the coronavirus numbers won't get higher, and it won't hurt my re-election prospects."

Uncharitable? Sure. TDS? Maybe,  But how do you interpret it?


An officially pro-choice church: The United Church of Christ

Here. 

Other churches, surely, do not agree with them.

Why Pluto lost it planet status

Why Pluto lost its planethood.

Here. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The age of the earth

Here is some discussion on Christianity and the age of the earth. But there are those who think that the Bible requires you to believe that the earth is only about 6000 years old. What that means is that light from stars more than 6000 light years away must have been created by God in mid-flight. 
This is a defense of the young earth position.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Is materialism the ultimate in science denial?

But, more seriously, it seems to me that there have to be in existence unitary selves in existence in order for the rational and mathematical inferences necessary for science to take place. Some single entity has to entertain successive thoughts in order to, say, prove the Pythagorean Theorem, or infer natural selection from finch beaks on the Galapagos Islands. If there is no single, unitary being called Charles Darwin who observes the beaks, and then creates a theory to explain how the beaks turned out to be the way they are, then no one actually ever finds out that evolution is true. The materialism that is supposed to be based on the successes of the scientific enterprise is actually inconsistent with the possibility of science. It is as if science-lovers have forgotten that scientists have to exist in order to have science, and their materialism, taken to its logical conclusion, is the ultimate in science-denial. (Chesterton would love this).