andrewlohr

Just another WordPress.com site

blogbait 13 july-8 aug A.D. 2013

To GreenBaggins re paedocommunion, 8 Aug:
@63/64: Gillespie’s careful study may be one thing and his offhand remarks another. I glanced thru a 3-vol set of his works from Still Waters Revival Books years ago, and recall a series of about 110 notes to himself on various things. One was to the effect that Jesus prayed separately over bread and wine, but we need not follow His example. Well, need we deviate from it? I agreed with Gillespie maybe 80% of the time or more (been awhile), but this didn’t impress me. I don’t think he faced any paedocommunion challenge, so he probably assumed the status quo was right.

@61: No, I’d baptize and commune on assumed faith, as per J.C. Ryle in KNOTS UNTIED on assuming the baptized to be regenerate, but the saints persevere and the non-saints don’t, and we’ll find out later which was which. Surely your baptizing or communing is open to the same objection: if any fall away (and some adult professors do), have you denied the P in TULIP? No, you’ve baptized on presumed faith, not on saving faith. Same here.

Thanks for the remarks on Venema and the other book.

Bedtime issues here. Let me highlight “PC advocates need to take exception to the entire way the sacrament works in the WS” as a key point or condensation of the argument for future reference. WCF on baptism seems to assume it works the was PCers see PC working: we grow into it. No wonder CCers build a wall of separation between baptism and supper. (Pardon the good line; adjust its prosaic meaning as you need to.)
To NR online, Kat Lopez, 8 Aug:
Would it have hurt if the pope had specified “the beauty and truth of sexuality between husband and wife”? I can see people outside of holy marriage taking “beauty and truth of human sexuality” and running with it. Indeed, I wish he’d issue an encyclical saying simply “Fornication is sin. Repent or perish. This includes clergy.”
To NR, re O’care blame (Goldberg):
Really wanna stop it? Just put its “tax” on Form 1040 with the welfare for Presidential candidates, as a voluntary payment. See how many choose to pony up.

Does the GOP House really trust the people this much? If they did, would the liberal bureaucrats, from the b-in-chief on down, dare refuse? What would they look to be if they did?

And/Or: let the House declare that this tax originated in the Senate (which as legislative history is true), and ask the Supremes to strike it down on that basis.

To Doug Wilson’s blog (Fredericka), 8 Aug, re evolution, + slavery
Hey Freddy baby, is it OK if we mildly criticize Pastor Wilson when he needs it yet not throw his babies out with his bathwater? (By the way, he and a black pastor named Thabiti Anybwhile blogged back and forth respectfully–respectfully–over Black and Tan not too long ago.) Doug is not a racist, and repudiates racism as sin. Hallelujah! He’s right that some blacks fought for the south (an old issue of his Credenda Agenda magazine said, as I recall, at one point 5% of Lee’s army was black, and in the 1920s over 200 black CSA veterans applied for pensions in Tennessee. Blacks included at least one sniper, a skilled combat position. Blacks drove Bedford Forrest’s supply wagons.) He’s right, surely, that some slaves and some masters got along OK. And the South may’ve made some good points: I think God/Bible favor small government (“Jesus is libertarian,” tho Doug dislikes the “l” word), and the Civil War enlarged US government (including Confederate govt while it lasted: Davis had more clerks than Lee soldiers.)

Two main criticisms, tho. (1) In the Bible, OT slavery featured freedom with supplies after 6 years as a routine feature. Neither OT nor NT Roman slavery had any problem with manumission nor with slaves learning to read. So Bible “slavery” was a different thing from US “slavery,” which discouraged manumission and literacy. Anecdotes about loving or vicious situations, and statistics (collections of anecdotes), tho true, can be quoted both ways; but slavery as done here was at least sub-Biblical re manumissions and literacy. (2) The Civil War was, I think, centrally about slavery (secession was over slavery), and the South was wrong about slavery/race, and Pastor Wilson admits the South was wrong and the the North’s victory was God’s providential judgment–yet Mr Wilson would’ve fought for the South? Shouldn’t he at least have kept out of the way?

To NY Times on Diversity and Dr Who, 7 Aug:
If Dr Who is one of several Time Lords, could they diversify by adding one who is female/black/Asian etc as a series regular (depending on appeal) while leaving the original in a white British line? (No objection in principle to changing THE Dr.)

Does the diversity you favor extend to conservatives, devout fundamentalist Christians, and ex-gays? Do you want us as people (actors) and as favorable characters in drama, and in media newsrooms and faculty lounges? Do you reach out to us with affirmative action? (“Us”: I’m two of the three.)

Does diversity extend not just to individuals but also to groups? It’d be one thing to stop sending the police after drug users. It’d be another to start sending the police after churches, businesses, landlords, etc who want to draw the line against drug use in their own spheres. Likewise with other groupings that draw lines.

Our President has made clear he’s Trayvon Martin’s President, but is he not also George Zimmerman’s?

Re Mark Thomason’s comment, one way politics divides us is by enriching small groups at the expense of everyone, earmarking instead of benefiting the general (not particular) welfare. A much smaller government would be less divisive; we’d get along better if we weren’t always groping each others’ pockets. Jesus Christ, President of presidents, is rather libertarian, generous Himself rather than sounding a trumpet before him as he gives other peoples’ money to his cronies.

To Chatt Times, 7 Aug:
AndrewLohr said…
ALL standardized testing is an emergency?
Is Mr Bennett being fired for insulting all testers and test advocates? For insulting all baseball players yesterday? For insulting Congress two cartoons ago? Not saying he should be; just asking. Have Maureen Dowd, Tom Teepen, Gail Collins, and Paul Krugman been barred from the Times-Free Press for similar nastiness? Or do too many (not all) liberals like to wallow in this kind of vomit?

To NY Times, Krugman, 5 Aug:
Krugman lies: denial of O’Romneycare is denial of health care. Emergency rooms have to treat whoever comes in, and this came from Ronald Reagan and a GOP Senate in A.D. 1986. It does cost $ 50 billion a year, but that’s cheaper than O’Romneycare.

Krugman lies: the House equals the GOP? GOP governors have managed to govern. Yeah, the House might better declare that O’Romneycare is a tax and originated in the Senate, and hence is unConstitutional, than vote again to repeal. Yeah, the House hates real cuts (tho a GOP Congress gave us the only balanced budgets since A.D. 1969, once President Clinton dumped Hillary and shacked up with Newt.)

For real cuts, create a new tax form on which taxpayers can vote in cuts and vote ourselves a cut of the money saved. The one item we do get to vote on (and don’t get any of), welfare for Presidential candidates on Form 1040, gets voted 89% no last I read. We people are used to making money choices. We might get some serious cuts voted in, since most programs benefit particular small groups (not “the general welfare,” but particular interests), so enabling the majority to push back against each limited special interest is long overdue.

Jesus is the truth, and He’s rather libertarian. Follow Him.

To National Review (Ranesh Pommoru) 1 Aug:

To give us time to sort this out, schedule the primaries as follows: Iowa one week, New Hampshire the next, then three states a week, no more than two of which adjoin, and no more than one of which is among the ten most populous. Draw names from a hat, or reverse the alphabet, and let states exchange with each other as long as the two rules remain followed. Start the primaries as early as need be. (One non-state primary each week).

To Leonard Pitts Jr 28 July
Sir?

(1) We have racists, but George Zimmerman isn’t one of them. If Trayvon Martin had been white, and everything else had happened as it did (however that was) up to the point of pulling the trigger, would GZ have pulled it? If GZ as well as TM had been black, would he have pulled it? So this case, though used or abused to illustrate racism, is not a case of racism. (Everything as it did except that when asked the race of the man he was watching, GZ had said “He looks white.”)

(2) Did the prosecution do anything you wouldn’t want done to you if you were on trial? (Evade a grand jury, affirm dubious things, conceal exculpatory evidence, spring a long-planned second charge at the last minute…)

By the way, under the law of Moses a false witness was to be treated as if s/he were guilty of whatever they tried to have done to the target of their lies. Should the prosecutors be jailed for life, and Al Sharpton treated as a racist as well as a rapist (rapist re Tawana Brawley case)?

(2) Imagine that space aliens offered to stop either the killing of blacks by blacks (93%) or the killing of blacks by whites (7%), but not both. Which would you choose? If the former, would you agree that–though racism and racist killing are real problems–what blacks do to blacks is a worse problem, deserving more attention? Was this case overblown relative to worse problems?

(3) If GZ is a “white Hispanic,” is our President a “white black”? (I’ve voted for Alan Keyes.)

(4) Do you object (I often miss your column) to the stereotyping which says “Everyone in this part of the country, their main objection is that he is a black man.” (A Democrat said this about critics of President Obama, who plans to visit Chattanooga shortly.) I have no objection at all to a black President, only to one who (whatever he wishes) consistently pursues wrongheaded destructive policies. If President Obama were to see Jesus in a dream saying “I’m a libertarian: be thou likewise,” and to obey Him, I’d be delighted. (There is joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents.) Are the critics of Thomas Sowell and Allan West racist, and the critics of Sarah Palin and Phylis Schlafly sexist? I suppose some people may dislike our President’s skin color, but to call all his critics racist is slander. Eh?

Yours,

Andrew Lohr

To Chatt. Times ed 27 July:

Why do voters tolerate fornication/adultery? Because so many voters do the same things. But sin remains sin: one holy triune God, one Vote. Repent or perish–there is joy in Heaven when one sinner repents. The blood of Jesus Christ…washes us from all sin.

Improve Tennessee election law–I’m thinking of DeJarlais, but also a good general rule–by holding runoffs in which, rather than hold a whole new election, the candidates who got votes the first time get to cast as many votes as they got. Say DJ gets 40,000 votes in the primary, Smith 35,000, and Jones 25,000. Then they meet the next day with the election commission, on camera. Most likely Jones and Smith vote for Smith, giving Smith 60,000 votes out of 100,000, a majority and a win. If no majority appears in a couple rounds, whoever has the fewest votes may no longer vote for him/herself; if they do, their votes disappear from the total. (Jones’s votes disappear and DJ has 40,000 out of 75,000 and wins.) People who got write-in votes need not show up in the room, but in a very close election (we just saw one here) their votes count, if they are real unique eligible people. (Littlefield can cast his 3 votes, but Mickey Mouse cannot.)

“War on Women” article”: http://cb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/24/cb.cbt019.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=eeLsdXtmFOqMaUg
To Chattanooga Pulse, article The Tragedy of Willful Ignorance by Janis Hashe, 26 July
There’s racism worldwide (not just here), but George Zimmerman seems not to be a racist. If Martin had been white or Zimmerman black, would Martin be just as dead? And if most of the local crime had been committed by blacks, wasn’t special attention to blacks justified? Special attention to Arabs/Muslims might’ve stopped 9-11.

Is black-on-black crime an outrage? Blacks do 93% of the killing of blacks. An outrage? Did the prosecution do anything against Zimmerman you wouldn’t want done to you? (Dubious affidavit, suppressed favorable evidence? Under the law of Moses, false witnesses get punished as if they’d committed the crimes of which they accused another. Prosecutor to jail for life, please?)

Is “rage” the right response? Jesus Christ includes judgment in His repertoire, but He came to set things right by suffering and by rising from the dead, not mostly by condemning. Measured and just “wrath”, yes, in due course; flailing “rage,” no.

Does Detroit have enough blame to go around? Yeah, management goofed. Yeah, government goofed. Did unions ever do anything stupid (demand too much) or wrong (violent)? I suspect most union leaders of being more politically liberal than most union members. Enlarge the pie, and all the slices can be bigger. Fight too hard over slice size, and the pie will look as if my babies had gotten into it.
(Andrew, husband of Wendy)

To Bennett cartoon 25 July:
d…

Weimer still thinks he’s a hot dog?

Much more inventive cartoon than usual. (Not trying to draw people who mostly look alike). Feel free to run it again with DeJarlais instead of Weiner; such a repeat’d still be above average.

Clinton was impeached for perjury, not adultery, and Congress considered allegations that he had committed rape awhile back.

Back to race, I see New City Fellowship church is doing a conference this weekend, 25-28 July, on multicultural worship. Link to interview with conference leader/CCM/New City chief musician James Ward: http://www.raanetwork.org/2013/07/at-the-center-of-my-life-talking-with-james-ward-on-multicultural-worship-past-present-and-future/#.UfC6H6wUuSo What’ll bring diverse people and races together in love is receiving the love of triune Jehovah, under whose aegis :) there’s plenty for us all.

To Bennett Cartoon, 16 July:
(The cartoon showed a nervous black newspaper deliveryman.)
AndrewLohr said…
Well, this young man is obviously working and going about his business.

And from what I’ve read about George Zimmerman–that he volunteered his own time to help young black people, and also to keep an eye on a neighborhood suffering from crime–I suspect a nervous newsfellow could ask GZ to keep an eye on him, and GZ might well do so.

Does this cartoon make for peace? Does it make for correction of something wrong? Does it pour balm on a tragedy? Not that I can see. What would? The grace, including the law, of a somewhat dark-skinned Asian Jew named Jesus. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” The church I’m in now (Holy Innocents Cathedral) includes black and white people; Chattanooga Bible Chapel included Indians (and I was born in Pakistan); of New City Fellowship I call myself a friendly alumnus.

To Paul Krugman, NY Times, 15 July:
Dr Krugman diagnoses tens of millions of people all at once: “one of our nation’s two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness,” Freud called himself a shrink? “Orc” Krugman and his commenting groupies ooze hate; slaves of Satan who need to repent and be saved lest they get what’s coming to them. C’mon, guys, Jesus shows the standard of love: personal giving!

The Bible warns against favoritism to the rich (often); also against favoritism to the poor. So kill subsidies to rich farmers. Do what for the poor? Gleaning laws, as in the book of Ruth. Make each business leave 2% or so of its income for whatever workfare program it devises (e.g. picking cigarette butts off the parking lot for $3/hour).

I have no job, one wife, two full-time kids, 4 part-time kids, and about $1200 a month in food stamps. Our pantry shelves are overflowing, so’s our fridge; we keep throwing out leftovers. We could get by with less. If Snap was mostly replaced by a few staples, we could get by with a lot less; Bill Buckley of blessed memory estimated 40 years ago that the cost of food stamps could be reduced by three quarters.

If I compare Wall St under President Obama with Main St, record highs with the great recession, the GOP looks good; the Tea Party and libertarians even better. The US economy grew faster A.D. 1840-1860, when the cabinet had six departments and banks printed their own money, than it has grown in any 20-year-period since.

To Bennett cartoon 14 July:
Ha. Well, the military has a fair bit of US influence (nominal Christian heritage), so it’s one of the less bad influences in Egypt, along with the Copts and other Christians. Separation of Islam and state is a good idea (along with separation of atheism and state). The military may–no guarantees yet–improve on Mr Morsi. It might even, if it uses sensible economics as General Pinochet did in Chile, do quite a bit better for many Egyptians.

President Obama encouraged Mr Mubarak to step down, with the likelihood of more extreme Muslims coming to power, and he subsidized the Morsi government with our tax dollars. Anti-Morsi Egyptians tended to give Mr Obama and his ambassador some blame.

(From this distance, reasonable doubt about George Zimmerman’s guilt seems reasonable, and “reasonable doubt” equates with a verdict of “not guilty.”)

To Kevin Williamson on Draco, Nat Rev online, 13 Jul:

Moses wrote down God’s laws abound 1400 B.C.–Jews get around; maybe Draco took a hint or two–and Al Sharpton still hasn’t read the one that punishes false witnesses as if they had committed the crimes of which they falsely accuse others (Dt 19:16-21). Another forbids favoritism for either powerful or poor (Lev 19:15). Another says coveting is sin (Ex 20:17). And Solomon noted that because crimes aren’t punished quickly, everyone commits them (Eccl 8:11).
Re PC to greenbaggins, 13 Jul, perhaps not posted:
First, a big-picture point. The PCA broke off from another denomination about 42 years ago, and uses a WCF modified from the original, so Scripture, not current standards, must be final, and can correct current standards, which may err. Allow for this. Your piece presupposes the standards right. They might be wrong.
You, the Westminster Assembly, and CCs assume infants cannot meet the standards’ standards. But start at the other end. Are there some theologians compared to whom you are “ignorant”? Have you always remembered “all the benefits” of Christ’s death–“all”–as per WLC 170? At Heaven’s gate, will you say “I perfectly understood the Supper” or “Jesus died for me”? So I think you must allow that the standards allow for some imperfection of knowledge; indeed they call for growth. So PCs allow for less knowledge than you require. This is a difference from the Assembly and from CCs, but not necessarily from the theology of the standards if we say children, like ourselves, are doing it according to their capacities.
Again, can a newly baptized infant improve his baptism as WLC 167 requires? Yet we baptize infants at a less capable age than most PCs would commune them. So we let the improve their baptisms later, or according to their capacity, despite the explicit wording of 167? By applying this standard theology to communion, we can commune infants.
So what can an infant do? My sub-3 Sophie says “Jesus loves me best”–a clause she came up with; I don’t think she heard it–and facing a Bible story book she asks for “Jesus on the cross.” She trusts me; she knows I trust Jesus; so I consider that she has learned to trust Him according to her capacity. Doug Wilson tells of a 1-year-old (grandchild of his?) patting his head and his neighbors’ heads to indicate baptism, and, as I recall, making some other sign for Jesus, as the plate or cup drew near. John the Baptist leaped for joy in his mother’s belly. Infants can hear the word, and trust it, beyond their ability to articulate it. We’re showing Christ’s death. Did he die for them? If so, the showing must include them. How are they saved? By faith, or else what of sola fide? (Why is this irrelevant when the standards speak of believers partaking?)
So I think PCs can agree with the standards’ theology but apply it differently. I agree they should be open about this difference.
Besides the theology involved, do you have a personal reason to care as much as you seem to about this on the side you do? The Bible must control (as it, not his hormones though they make him care, must control a young man’s sex life), but I care partly because I recall being thoughtlessly denied communion (after having been admitted at least once?), and I think this conveyed to me that I was not a Christian, or did not measure up, and conveyed this in a harmful way.
http://andrewlohr.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/infant-communion-paedocommunion-feed-gods-babies/ gives my take at length, including 19 or so reasons for PC and responses to 30+ objections, including the PCA’s official objections in the A.D. 1988 majority report. (And since PCs have answered all those objections, and advanced unanswered reasons for PC, and WCF forbids binding of consciences, I think CCs owe PCs answers, or else permission to do as they think right; they are forbidding PC by sheer force, not by Biblical reason.)
Yours in Christ Jesus, from
Andrew Lohr (Covenant College ’84; are you a son of J.C. Keister who was teaching math and science there in those days)?

RE PC:
First, a big-picture point. The PCA broke off from another denomination about 42 years ago, and uses a WCF modified from the original, so Scripture, not current standards, must be final, and can correct current standards, which may err. Allow for this.
You, the Westminster Assembly, and CCs assume infants cannot meet the standards’ standards. But start at the other end. Are there some theologians compared to whom you are “ignorant”? Have you always remembered “all the benefits” of Christ’s death–“all”–as per WLC 170? At Heaven’s gate, will you say “I perfectly understood the Supper” or “Jesus died for me”? So I think you must allow that the standards allow for some imperfection of knowledge; indeed they call for growth. So PCs allow for less knowledge than you require. This is a difference from the Assembly and from CCs, but not necessarily from the theology of the standards.
Again, can a newly baptized infant improve his baptism as WLC 167 requires? Yet we baptize infants at a less capable age than most PCs would commune them. So we let the improve their baptisms later, or according to their capacity, despite the explicit wording of 167? By applying this standard theology to communion, we can commune infants.

More Feb blogbait. Blog contents listed two entries below this.

To Amazon answering a post on a book (“The Misunderstood Jew”) about the Jewishness of Jesus

You can’t keep Him dead more than three days.
Observation, or presupposition?
The murder of Jews is murder, and no Jew in 1800 years has had any more of Jesus’ blood on his hands than you or I, but as to the death of Jesus back when:
If Jesus (the Jew) was big enough to be remembered today, and to rock the Roman boat (the only superpower du jour), can He not have rocked some Jewish boats also?

To David Cook’s col of 27 Feb:

Ha.

You apologize to Newt: he balanced the budget and worked across the aisle on welfare reform, while the economy did OK. Our current President would do well to fire Biden, appoint Newt veep, and resign.

Sell water in small chunks to the highest bidders, rather than ration it to whoever has connections. Al Gore will buy many more chunks than I, but after awhile the next chunk will be worth as much to me as to him. Let prices rise so they tell the truth: use less! Produce more! instead of telling political lies about them and filling the swimming pools of the powerful without letting the poor buy enough to wash diapers.

Saudi Arabia is part of the fertile crescent?

Grain for gas? That feeds Archer-Daniels-Midland while starving the 3rd world. Methanol might excel ethanol. Let prices decide.

To Yahoo:

Forcing healthy people to pay sick people to be sick? “Sick”–that is, stupid and evil.

They oughtta let insurers (and alternative insurance arrangements) charge whatever rates they want as long as they’re clear about it, so that rates reflect risks and tell the truth, instead of telling us the lie that differences in risky behavior make no difference in health. Satan, the devil, is the father of lies. No gender difference; so I have to pay the same rates as if I might become pregnant? They call Obama a genius for this?

To Times (www.timesfreepress.com) ed 31 Jan A.D. 2013

You fear “to distort” a ‘market’ in which everyone pays for one competitor, whether or not they choose its services, and its services are offered at no fee as if they didn’t cost close to $10,000 per year per student, while no one not using other competitors has to pay for them? Some market. Letting people who opt out of public schools take at least some of their money with them would reduce distortion, just as my money leaves McDonald’s if I go to Burger King.

Paying students who leave public schools half of what they save the system by leaving it would leave more money per student in the system; would increase diversity in education by helping students go to all kinds of schools; would increase accountability since schools that don’t satisfy their ‘customers’ would lose money; would increase parental involvement, and reward parents who care, by giving parents real power. You oppose this diversity, accountability, parental involvement, and incentive to improve?

Vouchers, you say, would take the best students out of schools full of poor students. “Ye fools and blind” (Mt 23), are the students for the schools, or the schools for the students?

The students are poor (in more ways than one). What one thing would help the most? Probably intact families would help the most (in more ways than one). So put a moderate sin tax on fornication when it happens to be caught, to increase the number of two-parent households and so improve education, health, and wealth and reduce the corresponding social pathologies. What, Harry, your girlfriends (or boyfriends as the case may be) wouldn’t like this? Wasn’t Dan Quayle right? Wasn’t St Paul–“run away from fornication”–right?

To Clay Bennett cartoon TFP 9 Feb ’13

We all are. If we’re glad our parents gave us a chance, should we let other babies be murdered for the convenience of their parents?

As for the compassion of pro-lifers, give ‘em a call! The very name “Choices Women’s Resource Center,” 423-855-8300, points to compassion not limited to inside the womb. The Chattanooga abortuary used to charge $20 for a pregnancy test Choices (formerly AAA Women’s Services) would give for no charge. Which would you go to for that? I’ve known a respectable middle-class churchgoing family to let an unmarried pregnant woman live with them for several months, until her baby was born. Does Planned Parenthood (Parenthood?!?) arrange such things? Has such a person, or other stranger needing a roof, ever had such a stay with the Bennett family?

Conservatives tend to give of our own, as Jesus gave His own life. Liberals tend to give at the expense of other people, e.g. solve pregnancy problems by murdering the baby, or Messiah problems by murdering the Messiah.

(Did Clay model his beggar’s face on his own? :)

To Times ed, 9 Feb:
Voting could be easier, but those problems don’t strike me as too serious: someone who really wants to vote these days can, unlike, say, southern blacks 60 years ago. I don’t notice this editorial referring to any news about actual particular people unable to vote.

But voter fraud is still a genuine problem the article should not brush off, according to a fairly recent book (within a year?) mentioned in National Review Online. Some Democrat running for Congress in Maryland? got into hot water for it. The video showing a white man letting the poll workers think he was Eric Holder and getting an invitation to vote without ID shows possibilities. World magazine staffers in the A.D. 2000 election had several opportunities to cast unlawful ballots. Everyone now admits Lyndon Johnson stole his senate seat. Vote difficulties may be worth fixing (ID is a reasonable requirement, as it is for other things), but vote fraud hits near the root of democracy, and needs to be fixed. Whatever we think of those elected or of those who elected them, honest voting gives some chance of fixing such mistakes. Fraud may tempt a turn from ballots to bullets. Huey Long couldn’t be voted out. He was shot.

To Paul Krugman NYTimes 11 Feb:

Turn Medicare into vouchers is bad why? I’m healthy; Medical Savings Account, high-deductible catastrophic coverage, and pay for services would work well for me. I’ m white, and my dad is almost 90; blacks with shorter average lifespans may need something different. (Is Social Security racist because whites collect from it for longer than blacks, and classist because white collars collect from it for longer than blue?) My wife has 4 bad disks; she wouldn’t be putting much into an MSA. People differ; vouchers would be a lot more flexible than bureaucracies. A less costly voucher might be worth more than a more costly bureaucracy and program. The same applies to schools, of course, and likely to other tax-paid systems.

As for ignorance, opposing tax-paid subsidies for this or that research differs from opposing research itself, just as opposing tax subsidies for Sesame Street differs from opposing SS itself.

Some comment blamed Christians for ignorance. Hey, Christendom invented science, and the first atheist regime, the USSR, grossly perverted and abused science: Lysenkoism, science of history, curing dissidents in madhouses, central planning. Knowing that dead men stay dead, we claim that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead proves He knew something most men don’t, and something worth knowing. Look into it, on pain of Hell fire. Laughing? Enjoy this life, and we’ll see who laughs last and longest. Do look into it.

To Robin Smith 11 Feb TFP:

So far so good. How can a small voucher excel a more expensive system education? Because with the voucher the family can pursue the education they want, whether the system offers it or not. Because s small voucher will leave more money per student left in the system, if the laws are written that way. If 5,000 students save the system $2000 each by leaving at a cost of $6000 each instead of staying at a cost of $8000 each, then the system has an extra $10 per student for each of the million students staying in the system: a win all around, if the laws are written that way.

Of course, letting any student leave for $5000 instead of staying for $8000 or $10,000 would offer such savings to every district and school, not just to the worst schools in our state, and I think letting parents choose such savings a great idea. Let them spend the money on home, private, other public school, college, education savings account, or plain retirement account–drop out of school, study real life, park the money in a retirement account, and retire a millionaire. Diversity, parental involvement, accountability, flexibility, voluntary savings rather than “cuts,” more money per student in the system–yes! (Rather than bureaucratic oversight, just require voucher users to take any standardized test they choose that 10,000 other students take, and require 4 Tennessee taxpayers to sign off on approving whatever the voucher user is doing. Maybe election offices can, for a small fee, verify these 4 signatures, since they’re used to verifying signatures.

You who represent me, do this: these are my instructions and I pay you to work out the details.

To Paul Krugman, NYTimes, 15 Feb:

Dr Krugman writes: The classic zombie idea in U.S. political discourse is the notion that tax cuts for the wealthy pay for themselves… Has the capital gains tax brought in more tax dollars when the rate was lowered, and fewer when it was raised? Or the income tax? If so, then some tax rate cuts bring in more revenue, and even increase the share paid by the rich. Did revenue increase after the Bush tax cuts?

Dr Krugman’s pet zombie (it has one wing, on the left) ate his footnotes, but Dr Thomas Sowell has written this (rates down, revenues and % paid by rich up) of Andrew Mellon’s A.D. 1920s tax cuts , to name one source. (Since Dr Sowell is black, is Dr Krugman racist for disagreeing with him? :)

Are taxes too complicated? Yes, when the booklet for form 1040EZ has 30+ pages, and the whole tax code brings on my Tax Day Song: Amazing grace, an easy tax / count ten and give God one / the IRS’s laws of tax / ten thousand pages run. Actually, what, 70,000+ pages, not 10,000? (I do propose a complication–add a form on which taxpayers can vote to shut down or trim government programs and give ourselves some of the money–but this form would be voluntary.)

Did the government try to get mortgages to people who cannot, by traditional standards, afford them? Did it try? Dr Krugman assures us that such efforts, if any, did nothing to inflate the housing bubble. I suppose his zombie ate the paragraph in which Dr Krugman admitted this government program failed.

P.S. not sent to Times (it didn’t occur to me then, and I was out of space): the trouble with mortgages and banks included that the taxpayers insure them. If they make a profit, they get rich. If they go broke, the taxpayers take the hit. Heads they win, tails we lose. Cut back on tax-backed guarantees of big business, cut back on crony capitalism, and they’ll have to be more careful, since the skin in the game will be theirs and not (so much) ours.

To Clay Bennett 17 Feb:

“More Guns Less Crime” answers nucanuck’s question, judging by its reviews (I haven’t read it). Marietta is safer than Chicago.

But if Clay’s point is that groups which want to ban guns should be allowed to, I agree with him. (?!!) So does the Free Press editor, as I recall. Since almost all US gun massacres have taken place in gun-free zones–the Aurora joker drove past bigger and closer movie theaters to shoot up one that banned guns–antigun groupings are running risks. Don’t pretend they’re not. Of course guns carry risks too. So do cars: how many Chicago cheerleaders have died in cars lately?

But a free country is one that lets people and groups of people do what many others consider less than the best. A government that tries to make sure we have, or can get, accurate info about risks may be serving us. A government that chooses risks for us–Senator Kennedy, drive Volkswagons: they float!–shows contempt for us as it babysits us.

Y’all remember to bring your loaded assault rifles to the Church of St Oliver Cromwell the Great this morning.

I might add: I’m not keen on big civil penalties either way the laws go, but ideally let gun-free groups police themselves–boss can fire worker for bringing gun to work, or for failing to do so, or lesser internal penalties–and if the civil penalties are against gun-free wannabees that hassle gunholders, I hope the fines or whatever aren’t bad. Marietta requires guns but doesn’t crack down much.

To Times ed 17 Feb:

If he doesn’t tell us what he wants to do he has no mandate to do it if elected. Littlefield had no mandate for a tax increase, sewer fee increase, and annexation. Corker had none for two-way. Kinsey had none for siezing the water company.

We trust a mayor for lots of little routine decisions, but stuff like that he can consult we the people (“mere mortals”) about. Do Burke and the Times want to make sure government of the mayor, by the mayor and for the mayor shall not perish?

Satterfield for mayor.

To NY Times, Paul Krugman, 18 Feb:

$9 is OK but $20 would be too much. Quite a range. What’d be best?

Worker productivity has doubled. In minimum-wage jobs, or jobs overall? Do the guys at McDonalds flip twice as many burgers as they used to?

I’m looking for work right now. I got by on $8.50/hour. I’d prefer $7.25 to nothing. I’d like the option to offer to work for less if that’s what it takes. If Dr Krugman wants to share his Nobel windfall with me my family can use the money, but maybe he’s greedy and selfish, or personally, shares his own wealth with the poor of New Jersey?

One idea for a law for sub-minimum wage workers: require that each of them be given 5 minutes a week with a manager who has real authority to raise their wages to the minimum, and will tell them what to do to earn the minimum.

My friend Melvin Freeman can do some work, but I don’t know that he could earn $7.25/hour. He might do well in a monastery or a workhouse, getting discipline he himself lacks right now. A reasonable accommodation to his disabilities might be a lower wage. I myself am not exactly disabled, but I’d not all that fast physically, and I’m rather nit-picky by temperament, so I could use such a reasonable accommodation myself. Set the ADA on a collision course with the minimum wage, or tell non-helpless people not to work?

Get rid of crony capitalism. $500 million for Solyndra would pay for $2/hour more for 250,000 work hours; 6,000 work weeks; 100 work years.

(Later) uh oh, 250,000,000 works hours, 6 million weeks, 100,000 work years.

To mess with a true price is to lie.

To blog Ponderings of a Pilgrim Pastor” on paedocommunion, with a couple typos corrected

Clear to you, but the opposite is clear to me. Can I go to the heart first, and liturgy rules (your post topic) next? We “show forth the Lord’s death;” he died for our children; so the showing must include them. What was the sin in Corinth? Failure to include at table all who should be included. So, examine yourselves to make sure you’re loving your neighbors, especially the least of them, by including them. PCs do this. Anti-PCs examine themselves for every sin except the one they’re in the act of committing, the very one Paul tells us to check for!

My blog , andrewlohr.wordpress.com, requires a lot of scrolling down; the section “Feed God’s Babies” is on paedocommunion, answering all the PCA’s official objections and 20+ others, and giving 19 or so reasons for PC, and 5 or so that non-PC is sin. (Or find a web archive and find “Feed God’s Babies” on http://www.lohr84.com, which is no longer online.)

To by faith online:

A couple of the denominations at paedocommunion.com let congregations decide for or against paedocommunion, so maybe the PCA could too.
Dr Pipa’s 1st point seems to take professing faith more seriously than baptism re admission to communion (and to covenanting?)
Re his 2nd, God commanded physical eating and drinking for a reason. Including children in showing Christ’s death shows he died for them; excluding shows the reverse. Which is true?
FWIW, I answer 30+ objections to paedocommunion at “Feed God’s Babies” at andrewlohr.wordpress.com (scroll down a lot); also find a web archive and my old site http://www.lohr84.com.

To Chattanooga Time 31 Jan ’13; next is list of blog’s contents

To Times (www.timesfreepress.com) ed 31 Jan A.D. 2013

You fear “to distort” a ‘market’ in which everyone pays for one competitor, whether or not they choose its services, and its services are offered at no fee as if they didn’t cost close to $10,000 per year per student, while no one not using other competitors has to pay for them? Some market. Letting people who opt out of public schools take at least some of their money with them would reduce distortion, just as my money leaves McDonald’s if I go to Burger King.

Paying students who leave public schools half of what they save the system by leaving it would leave more money per student in the system; would increase diversity in education by helping students go to all kinds of schools; would increase accountability since schools that don’t satisfy their ‘customers’ would lose money; would increase parental involvement, and reward parents who care, by giving parents real power. You oppose this diversity, accountability, parental involvement, and incentive to improve?

Vouchers, you say, would take the best students out of schools full of poor students. “Ye fools and blind” (Mt 23), are the students for the schools, or the schools for the students?

The students are poor (in more ways than one). What one thing would help the most? Probably intact families would help the most (in more ways than one). So put a moderate sin tax on fornication when it happens to be caught, to increase the number of two-parent households and so improve education, health, and wealth and reduce the corresponding social pathologies. What, Harry, your girlfriends (or boyfriends as the case may be) wouldn’t like this? Wasn’t Dan Quayle right? Wasn’t St Paul–“run away from fornication”–right? (“Harry” = then editor Harry Austin)

What’s on this blog as of 15 July A.D. 2013

Contents of blog 15 July A.D. 2013

Posted 15 July: Psalm singing: new resources. Some new, and revised old, Psalm versions I’ve done, mostly accordion/voice videos.

blogbait of 31 March ’13 ff, from front computer. Assorted comments.

Posted 4 July: cessationism answered. (The Holy Ghost did NOT disappear with the apostles.)

blogbait 13 March ff (rear computer)

Open letter to Lindsay Lohan

Open letter to Newt Gingrich

Blogbait 27 June and earlier

Blogbait 28 March and earlier

Posted 1 July: blogbait of 1 Apr

Posted 9 March: Feb/Mar blogbait

Posted 28 Feb: my notions of tutoring; TUTORING ADVERTISEMENT! Tutoring Advertisement. TUTORING ADVERTISEMENT!

Posted 26 Feb: letter on evolutionism and creationism

Posted 23 Feb: links to a National Review article on which I posted several comments

Some blogbait from Feb ’13

More of the same (reply to one Bennett cartoon)

Posted 13 Feb: note that my youtube handle is “alohrm3s”, and I post on Yahoo as “Andrew in Tennessee”

Posted 11 Feb: article: who is President: Messiah Jesus or Barack Obama?

Posted 7 Feb A.D. 2013: (copied here from there)

What’s on this blog as of 6 Feb. I’d like a list of titles down the side, but until I learn to do that I’ll post this as a guide to what’s here.

6 Feb A.D. 2013 HOW to cut federal spending: a way that might WORK. / Send this to your congresspeople if you like my method. Article.

1 Feb “bachelor soup” recipe, and how to keep rice from boiling over.

1-2 How to improve churches, countries, and computers. /From my former website, http://www.lohr84.com, which you can find on at least one web archive, but not on the web itself. Mostly churches–”45 theses”–but also 3 Libertarian tracts: “Why all Christians, Democrats, Republicans, reds, greens, and enemies of crime should vote Libertarian,” “Abolish slavery,” and “How I, Andrew Lohr, joined the LP.” This post may have a table of its own contents at the top of the post.

1-2 Praising God: singing Psalms, some new hymns of mine, chords for “The Book of Psalms for Singing,” why sing Psalms? (love God love God’s lyrics), how to swap tunes. May have contents atop post. Note: I’ve youtubed and yahood some Psalms and paraphrases from an A.D. 1927 Psalter and some of my own; they won’t be in this post or blog. Also here is “Take hold: an epistle of Andrew (Lohr).”

1-2 Infant communion: feed God’s babies. If we’re showing Christ’s death, and he died for them, the showing must include them, eh? I think so, I think it matters, and I think I have something to say about it. This post has a table of contents atop the post, and startrs with 3 1-page intros to the topic. About 40 pages worth of material here. “Debates” in that I list and answer more than 30 objections to “paedocommunion,” and also offer answers to anti-paeodocommunionists Reymond, Sisemore, Lee, and Gentry (spelling?)–Lee and Gentry partially so far. Response to Gentry at the foot of this entry, and not listed at the top.

1-2 New gospel tracts. Contents atop post. 14 tracts. Use freely. (Indeed everyone may freely use everything of mine on this blog.)

1-2 Link to a file? on the Chattanooga Times-Free Press website which seems to contain all the comments I’ve posted there over the years.

31 Jan A.D. 2013 Baptism liturgy for my daughter Sophie Lohr, including explanations of details of the ritual (2 doses of oil and so on).

31-1 “blogbait” Apr-Oct A.D. 2012–some stuff I posted as comments on various websites during that time. Not complete.

31-1 blogbait Nov ’12 to Jan ’13

29 Apr ’12 Comment posted to Washington Post website

29-4-12 “Newt and his little enemy”–one comment

27 apr ’12 older blogbait

27-4-12 Letter of taxpayer: how to give ourselves a better country. (Article, i.e. composed, not just a quick response to something).

27-4-12 “Pocchop liturgy”–plan for a church’s services.

27-4-12 Hello World! automatic first post on wordress blog.
Thank you for checking (some of) this out. May it serve you and glorify God.

Psalm-singing: new resources

Grace mercy and peace from Him. All the best in getting Psalms sung, brother. Love God, love God’s lyrics. My wife-darling got me to a Blue Man Group concert; triune Jehovah, yet more dear, got me to…Psalms, eh?

Here are some Psalm singing resources everyone is free to use; I’m not the musician to sell them, but I think I’m enough of a musician to show their potential to a real musician who’s interested. So everyone use freely (even to make money on your own versions of these.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3jW0Up68w0–part of Psalm 103 to part of Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”

http://voices.yahoo.com/video/osama-bin-laden-meets-king-david-3455908.html?cat=9 –A version of Psalm 2 to the tune of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer.” (CCM James Ward thought this might do for children.)

http://voices.yahoo.com/video/psalm-120-wagner-tune-6196782.html?cat=33 — Psalm 120 to the
Wagner tune “Fanget An!’ from opera “The Mastersingers of Nuremburg.”

Most, not all, of my youtube channel is me singing pieces I like from an A.D. 1927 Psalter whose copyright does not keep me up at night. (Two emails to what I think the publisher’s heir-via-church-mergers went unanswered):

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=alohrm3s&oq=alohrm3s&gs_l=youtube.3…366.1454.0.2952.8.7.0.0.0.0.1035.6190.5-1j3j3.7.0…0.0…1ac.1.11.youtube.hYTcSwPtax4

Amazon review of “The Book of Psalms for Singing” http://www.amazon.com/review/R1ZAJRGC4HUPZX.
My website, http://www.lohr84.com, might be findable in a web archive, but I’ve dropped it from the live web. My blog, andrewlohr.wordpress.com, includes some material from the website (including on Psalm singing) if you scroll down a LOT. (It includes trial-and-order accordion chords for everything in “The Book of Psalms for Singing.”)

FWIW and may His praise be glorious.

Yours in Christ Jesus, from
Andrew Lohr

blogbait 31 mar, front computer

Sent to Jamie Arpin-Ricci, to whom Doug Wilson referred 17 June or so

A doctor who tells all his patients “you’re healthy” when some of them need drastic, painful treatment is (1) loving or (2) a murderer? A doctor whose bedside manner makes it hard to heed his accurate diagnosis and triply hard to swallow his prescription is (1) better or (2) worse than the first doctor? May God bless us with doctors better than either, doctors with both the bedside manner and the surgical skill of the President of presidents and Judge of judges.

Was Jesus loving when (like all the prophets and apostles) His message could be summed up in the one word “Repent!”? Was Peter loving at Pentecost when he proclaimed “You murdered the Messiah!”? If such details are how Christian love works, let us, as nicely as may be, do likewise, eh?

I have posted more than once elsewhere that fornication, divorce and adultery are more popular among “evangelicals” than homosexuality is, and may qualify as beams we should remove before tackling “gay” twigs. (Cases and callings differ in details). But you’ve been asked, and whatever your “focus” the question is relevant, would you, as a pastor, go through Mt 18 with a sexual sinner/s–of whatever kind–and, if they won’t heed the church, “hand them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the day of Christ Jesus” as per I Cor? Or do you draw no sexual lines at all? (Not that sexual lines are the only lines to draw–you posted that yourself–but do you draw any? If so, briefly where?)

To Clay Bennett, 19 June

Let’s take “not” out the Ten Commandments and insert it into the Creed–is a joke 300 years old or so. Yet the Creed and the Commandments are still around.

How dare this religious fanatic Jesus stick his nose into politics? Caesar is king, we don’t need another. Let’s crucify him to separate church and state. That goes back almost 2000 years. They thought Jesus was toast; but now Caesar is pizza. (Make mine pineapple with Italian sausage).

Jesus touched lepers and healed them. Dr Sabelius, call your office: the Christians have an appeal above your death panel! Jim Rutz in “Magashift” report miraculous healings of AIDS sufferers. In Africa. I hope San Francisco isn’t racist.

To Clay Bennett, 11 June

Susan B. Anthony was a Republican. Susan B. Anthony Patriot Foundation tax exemption, 77% chance of being stonewalled?

She wanted to vote. Ya gotta say this for women voters, their first President was Warren G. Harding, who inherited a bum economy from Woodrow Wilson and quickly turned it into the roaring ’20s. Too bad Hoover, FDR, LBJ, and Obama–and several others–didn’t channel Harding for their economic policies. (When I ranked Presidents–http://voices.yahoo.com/ranking-presidents-usa-7505256.html–Harding topped those four, judging by results.)

God created Adam, said Not good, and created Eve. Eve’s no clone of Adam; division of labor is a creation ordinance. Obviously it’s been overdone and abused, as the division between bureaucrats and their fellow humans is abused, but it’s real, and it can be underdone, which also abuses people. I hope Clay likes buying pregnancy insurance for himself.

To Doug Wilson, What Plato’s cousin knew, response to responder

Matt,

Yeah, saving faith is active faith: Jesus, and Paul and James, did things. An infant can’t do much (John the Baptist jumped for joy in his mom’s womb). My sub-3-years Sophie has said “Jesus loves me best,” and she sometimes offers someone something she thinks they want. I pray she (and I) mature in showing faith, but maybe she’s started.

Above I wanted to offer Mr Bull a quick reason, on his own terms, to change his view of infant baptism. (The rest of what he says is rather interesting.) I think the Bible’s doctrine of infant capacity is rather higher than what humans tend to assume infants can do (“did this man sin…so that he was born blind”?!?!?) Logic offers 3 possibilities, or perhaps more: (1) infants are lost, (2) infants are saved other than by faith, or (3) infants are saved by faith however limited their ability to show their faith. From Bible, and also logic, I draw (3); I think there’s experiential evidence for it, but I don’t claim to have come up with it by observing infants. Some big name theologians, including Augustine and Calvin, have ascribed faith (or its seed) to infants–“Infant Salvation” by one Firey, c. 1901, has a chapter on Infant Faith. (I glanced at a copy in the Covenant College library, and cited it in “Feed God’s Babies” somewhere in my blog, if you love scrolling, and in my dead web-archived? website http://www.lohr84.com.)

FWIW. Yours in Christ Jesus, from Andrew

To Chattanooga Times opinion 6 June:

Much of what Mr Killian said I agree with, especially in isolation, but do you or he care about Christians persecuted in Muslim countries? You may rightly focus on Tennessee, but do you care at all, or know? In 12 years there’ve been 50+ federal persecutions for “hate crimes” against Muslims; and it may be that all or most of the defendants were guilty; and, yes, this is at least somewhat serious, though stories of students suspended for using the word “gun” or chewing a piece of bread into a gunlike shape make us suspicious of U.S. Justice. Did the 50+ include any murders?

Worldwide, Muslims murder thousands (>100,000?) of Christians a year. Does this bother you at all? Even in your editorial (and thank you for your courage in signing your name to it), a sentence or two noting such facts might’ve provided balance and given your remarks more, not less, force; dittos for Mr Killian’s remarks. 9-11 and Benghazi show us that quite a few Muslims are not Mother Theresa. Comparing Christendom with Muslim countries suggests that Jesus Christ makes for better government than Mohammed. (Older Pakistanis would tell my dad: The further we get from British influence the more corrupt we get.)

Of course we Christians must love Muslims, and many of the behaviors Mr Killian opposed we should oppose. Is he against them when Muslims commit them, however rarely this comes within his day job? If he became the new ambassador to Libya, or were called to help set up the new Libyan justice department, would he find himself giving such speeches to Muslims? (Unlike Tennessee, would he fear for his life?) How many US Muslims denounce Saudi Arabia, which outlaws church buildings, as a bigoted government?

We can well love Muslims by pointing out that their religion leads to bad government–“by their fruits ye shall know them”–and by pointing out that Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6)–and by pointing out that Jesus excels Mohammed in His birth (to a virgin), his life (miracles), his death (for our sins–what love!), his resurrection (what power!), his clear fulfillment of multiple prophecies, his positive influence on government (He’s rather libertarian)–and urging them to forsake Mohammed and become followers of Jesus.
To Clay Bennett cartoon 6 June:

AndrewLohr said…

Funniest ever? How about Henry Payne’s from the ’80s “The dashing new Soviet jockey, Gorbachev, and his sleek thoroughbred?”–the “thoroughbred” being a stationary dinosaur, looking puzzled and thinking “Vroom vroom?”

Bigot? “A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”–Webster online. How’s the view from the sewer, Mr Bennett? nooga? alprova? What would it take to convince you that liberalism is wrong, or even that some liberals have been seriously wrong about some important things? (Some Muslims, even?) The Bible does not whitewash its heroes.

To Charles M. Blow, NY Times, 22 May (reply to one of his posters)

So when liberals accuse conservatives of being racists, are the liberals projecting?

When liberals accuse conservatives of being not true blacks, are the liberals projecting?

When liberals accuse conservatives of keeping scads of people from voting, are the liberals projecting?

When liberals accuse conservatives of pandering to big business, are liberals projecting?

When liberals accuse conservatives of opposing education because we favor diversity and parental involvement via homeschooling and vouchers, are liberals projecting!

I dream of a country where people are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! I dream of a country which overwhelmingly worships a personally generous libertarian named Jesus (of Nazareth). I have a dream today!

To Clay Bennettt cartoon 15 May:. ml

The Tea Party has hijacked how many airplanes to murder thousands of innocent people? Zero, flat absolute zero.

Obviously most Muslims have also not attempted murder, but a few have: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leila_Khaled
And: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_attack#Female_suicide_bombers

Facing facts and racism are two different things. (By the way, is “Just Busted” racist–and sexist–if it puts pretty white girls on its cover out of proportion to their number in the total busted population?) Few Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim, so a bit of a focus on Muslims makes perfect sense.

Comparing Mohammed to Jesus Christ shows why Tea-ites are safer than Sheites. Mohammed, to rob a caravan, started a war during a month in which Arabian pagan neighbors kept the peace. He fought other wars, some of them defensive. He ordered executions (racist against Jews?) When he died, he simply died, and stayed dead.

Jesus rose from the dead, showing God’s power at work in him; he (pardon the theology, but it’s true) “died for our sins,” showing God’s love for God’s enemies turning them into God’s friends; He is God in human flesh; he ordered not just “mercy” but love for enemies and forgiveness of sins; he was conceived in Mary’s womb by a miracle of the Holy Ghost without a man’s help, again showing God’s power…and he didn’t order any executions, murders, or wars while He was here, so that some Christians are pacifists, and those of us who think executions and just wars can be OK Christian behavior like to insist on justice in such cases. (C. S. Lewis has an obscure little essay on Pacifism and Chivalry, anti-militarism and strict self-control.)

No Christian is as good as he, but He influences even cultures, not just actual individual Christians. Would you rather live in Christendom or in a mostly Muslim country? Would anyone here move to Saudi Arabia if the Tea Party wins the next two elections? Clay?

There may be better ways than the TSA uses. I don’t think El Al, the Israeli airline, has suffered a hijacking since A.D. 1968.

To Yahoo sports 7 May re Tim Tebow:

Yeah, he’s given more proof he can do the job in the right situation than most QBs, and almost all backup QBs, have given. And yeah, he’s the guy you’d want courting your sister, or taking your crippled brother to a game. The difficulty, I think, is he plays differently from most NFL QBs–different strengths and weaknesses–so he’s not just a guy you can plug into your offense. You’d have to change the offense to use what he can do and work around what he has trouble with. Denver did this, and got more out of him than most people expected. Jets hardly tried. So he’s a bigger investment than his salary. And teams so bad they have nothing to lose (Raiders?) may not have the tools he’d need to get the job done? Teams so strong they have room for a different quarterback may not think they need one? If I were running an NFL team looking at him as a backup, I’d want at least the offensive staff and offensive players to be ready with work with the Tebow alternative to NFL routine–defense and special teams should also bear him in mind. (And if looking at him as an RB/TE/kick returner, ya gotta bear in mind he just might have to step in at QB.) At least some great coaches work their personnel, not just their system, so he might well be worth a try. I like what I read of him, but I can’t blame teams for facing up to what it’d probably cost to use what he offers.

JJJjjjjjjjjjjj
To Bennett 7 May

So, alprova, if the jury convicts Gosnell and asks for the death penalty, will that be your opinion? If not, were you really waiting for the jury?

And what about O.J. Simpson? A criminal jury found him not guilty of murdering his wife, and a civil jury found that he had indeed killed her. (The civil jury was correct.) Your opinion, o jury of one? (Comedian Mark Russell on the John Hinkley verdict: “This just in: all 12 jurors in the John Hinckley case have just pleaded insanity.”)

While we’re ignoring the cartoon, I’m for juries, for a chance to be judged not just by the establishment but by my peers, but two problems to fix. (1) The problem of relevant evidence being suppressed, which amounts to telling lies to juries. [Were the policemen who went to O.J.'s house really just making a courtesy call to tell him his wife was dead, or did they suspect he'd killed her? Yet couldn't they, these days, have gotten a search warrant from a night judge via phone and fax?] If worthwhile evidence was dubiously obtained, this should not deny justice to the victims of a crime, and does not deny it to the actually guilty person convicted on such evidence, who may have a right to a lesser sentence or even some compensation. An innocent person more likely deserves compensation–e.g. for damages from a search that found nothing–and people who plant evidence or lie (or fail to reveal major evidence?) while seeking a conviction should be punished as if they themselves had committed the crime of which they accuse another. Al Sharpton and Tawana Brawley should be treated as rapists.

(2) A defendant should have free speech to tell the jury anything he wants, and the prosecution to rebut. Did Bernard Goetz get the chance to tell his jury New York gun controls were unconstitutional and he obviously needed his illegal gun against four men with sharpened screwdrivers? Will people this fall be allowed to ask juries to let them go on the grounds that O’Romneycare is unconstitutional, for the Constitution does not let Congress make laws about health/health care/health insurance, and that forcing healthy people to pay sick people to be sick is stupid policy? (Make the jury listen for an hour, then ask if they want more. A man who starts reading the whole Encyclopedia Britannica to the jury deserves what’s coming to him.)

2nd post to same:

Back to the cartoon, even though not everyone makes ignoring cartoons as easy as artist Bennett does. (His wife, I gather, is a capable artiste.) Asay and Henry Payne and even Bruce Plante draw better and use better logic in their cartoons, to name just three.

Any Bible reader knows abstinence has its difficulties, and fornication its attractions. The trouble with the morning-after pill is not just that its use is a human choice to kill babies, bad enough as that is.

The trouble with the morning-after pill is the afternoon before. Sex can be so much fun that the impulse for it easily gets out of hand. (Or not. After one rape in the Bible, the rapist wanted to marry his victim. Her brothers killed him anyway. After another rape, the rapist “hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her.” One of her brothers had him killed too.) So why give the sex impulse a license which we deny to such impulses as to murder Mr Bennett or to steal his car? Surely it needs control; surely Mr Bennett has had to steer himself in the direction of abstinence a time or two.

So remember that if someone who wants sex with you does not want to first make arrangements to take care of you and receive your care as long as you both shall live, s/he is offering you less than you are worth, and asking less than you have to give. Be a promise, not a biology experiment.

And, yeah, remember that fornication is sin, forgiveable if sinners repent like any other sin, but something God sees and dislikes: He made Adam a wife, not a floozie.

And remember your parents gave you a chance: you owe a baby a chance. “Dan Quayle was right:” babies inside marriage tend to do better than those that used to called, as a technical term, “bastards.” A shaky chance is better than none–Jesus and Beethoven would’ve been prime abortion-after candidates–so if someone wants the chance to risk making babies with you, make them take precautions first: get married.

(And marriage is more than a sex license for two. Before you get married, glance through the book “Date or Soul Mate?” with your love interest and see if you’re heading for trouble you’d want to avoid. Better stay out of the canoe if Niagara Falls is half a mile downstream; better to break up as friends who draw a line than as enemies who used to be friends but now have things to fight over.)

Love in Christ Jesus, from Andrew

To Paul Krugman 6 May

When Newt Gingrich was in power, deficit became balanced budget. When Nancy Pelosi was in, both deficit and unemployment exploded. (Keynes is in Hell.) No Demo Congress has balanced a budget in 40 years. Since the Tea Party came in, the deficit has been inching down and the economy inching up. FDR’s stimulus totally failed: the depression went on and on. Warren Harding ignored a depression and it went away. Harry Truman cut federal spending by about half at the end of WWII with little ill effect. Correcting the redline ratio paper shows that debt above 90% of GDP slows growth from 3% to 2% per year, a 30% reduction in growth (look it up to make the numbers more precise; that’s about right); not as bad as the first draft, but still terrible. Could Reagan get spending cuts, or Bush Jr get limits on Freddie & Fanny, through the Democrats in Congress?

Yeah, the GOP is about as guilty of crony “capitalism” as the Democrats, but I was glad to hear Justin Amash and Mike Lee at the D.C. Tea Party rally April 15 denounce this. Rep Amash said big corporations ask for regulations that’ll make business harder for their smaller competitors. Anything against that, Dr Krugman? The Institute for Justice strikes down such regulations. Have you given IJ a donation lately?

To cut spending, subject it to some kind of market: let taxpayers choose, on a new form, whether to keep their money or let D. C. spend it. I bet Big Bird gets the ax if we get to keep even 5% of the dough.

To Pam Sohn 5 May

Since you have no tolerance for racism or classism, and blacks and poor people live shorter lives on average than whites and white collars, tomorrow you will denounce Social Security as racist and classist, since its one-size-fits all nature gives richer whites longer better-paid retirements. Right? Public education faces similar criticism: so use vouchers to give poor people, as well as rich people, choice of education for their children, and choice of retirement.

Observe that the business sector fills many niches: Ford people, GM people, Toyota people, VW people, and even the radical Hyundai extremists, can get what they want at the same time. But the tax-paid sector makes for winners and losers. So shrink the tax sector and enlarge the business sector. The business sector also offers instant accountability: if I don’t like McDonalds, I go with my money to Burger King the next day, not the next election.

Welcome. May you do better than expected.

To David Cook col 1 May

Accountable? Simply divide ALL the education money among all the students for whatever schooling they choose: home, private, public, college, out-of-state…even park the money in an education/retirement/MSA fund and go get a job. Then if parents decide a school isn’t getting the job done, they move their child and their money somewhere else. Instant accountability.

It keeps restaurants improving, because they have to keep their customers happy. Public schools aren’t on that short a leash, so they keep costing more without doing better.

Maybe let parents do whatever testing they want? Send home a catalog of tests at the beginning of the year, and let parents do whatever testing and whatever reporting of results they want. With 900,000 students in Tennessee, the market will demand and supply tests for this purpose.

To Bennett cartoon 2 May

Justice requires (1) that people who didn’t do it get a chance to say so and prove so, or at least claim the evidence fails to prove they did it.

Justice requires spending $250,000 or more to build a soccer field for the detainees. No it doesn’t, tho we did.

Justice requires (2) that people who had a legal right to do it get a chance to say so and prove it. George Zimmerman can claim, perhaps, that a football player was beating his head on the ground and he shot in self-defense.

Justice requires that guys we got with some help from waterboarding be turned loose because the evidence is tainted. No it doesn’t. Can our President raise bin Laden from the dead, or is that above Mr Obama’s pay grade? If a guy is guilty, let the waterboarding reduce his sentence. (We’ll execute him as humanely as possible–make him breathe pure nitrogen?) If innocent, let him waterboard his waterboarders or accept compensation from them, or perhaps even forgive them–there are Christian precedents.

Justice requires (3) that people who did it without an exact legal right can claim it was the right thing to do under the circumstances, and try to prove that.

Justice requires that people who did it get off if they blame someone else. No it doesn’t. Joblessness and deficits both increased under President Obama, but this is President Bush’s fault? No, Obama should have seen they were bad enough already.

Justice requires (4) that defendants who have something to say for themselves get a chance to say it, and the prosecution a chance to rebut. Maybe some terrorist becomes a Christian and, by way of repenting from murderous sins, gives useful information that saves lives or convicts other murderers. Adjust his sentence accordingly.

So set up tribunals to process these guys at Gitmo, or at least take a clear look at each case and say what they deserve and what prevention of murder requires. (We’ll turn you loose–with permanent implanted webcam?) Some might be innocent, some might be safe in looser confinement, some may need to stay locked up (and why not at Gitmo?), some may need to be executed (see if hanging with pork stuffed in their mouths would deter Muslims? Some say it worked for Pershing against Muslim terrorists in the Philippines a century ago).

Analog Science Fiction suggested execution by nitrogen inhalation. Dr Roberta Binkley’s Ancient Rhetoric class at UTC listed the 1-4 justice requires (I may misremember 4).

To Clay Bennett cartoon, timesfreepress.com, 1 May:

How much have you personally given to victims of the sequester?

Was your gift accepted? President Obama wouldn’t let Sean Hannity pay for White House tours.

Private-sector GDP and government spending move in the opposite direction about 70% of the time, so to grow the economy, shrink the government, says politicsdebunked.com:

http://www.politicsdebunked.com/article-list/spendingpattern

Similar point made here (I found politicsdebunked.com in the comments to this article):

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/04/the-austerity-chart-paul-krugman-doesnt-want-you-to-see/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=042913

To Washington Post, Gerson, 30 April

Solutions here. (1) Gasoline and washcloth prices are up 50% under Obama, the current face of leftism. To block inflation, legalize using gold, silver, and foreign currencies as easily as dollars in all transactions. Competition will keep the Fed honest with its paper money.
(2) To keep Social Security from going broke, raise the retirement age by 1 month every three months until as much money is coming in as is going out.
(3) Health, health care, and health insurance are three different things. When insurance pays for bad health choices, care costs rise as healthy people pay sick people for choosing what causes sickness. Let insurance charge according to risk and offer varied coverages. Let people keep some of what they save: medical savings accounts, big deductibles…I think my sister got paid something for having babies at home instead of in hospital. Good.
(4) In education, offer spending-cut scholarships: pay students who leave public schools half of what they save the systems (e.g. $5000 if school costs $10,000), and let the school they leave keep the rest of the money. Other big programs might also offer such vouchers (SS, Medicaid…) A smaller voucher I can spend myself may be worth more to me than a big program.
(5) Get rid of, or rein in, regulations that keep the poor from earning more as producers and spending less as consumers. Endorse the Institute for Justice agenda: unleash shoshiners, hairdressers, taxi drivers…I hear tell D.C. wants to require tour guides to get licenses, despite free speech. Instead, require that board to go get real jobs.
Jesus Christ is libertarian, I like to say.

To Paul Krugman 29 Apr, NY Times

“the depression we’re in”? Not a recession that ended four years ago when the stimulus kicked in, the stimulus that–talk about predictions–was supposed to keep unemployment below 8% rather than kick it above 8% as actually happened? I notice your column says nothing at all about any good the stimulus did. Jobs at $400,000 each, guaranteed eternal like Solyndra?

Recoveries this slow are “rare;” Pelosi/Obama is rivalling Hoover/FDR.

Will you specify some spending cuts and when they begin? I hear tell we have about 10 years before aging demographics overwhelm Social Security and Medicare; 10 years to put our fiscal house in order. You want us not to use the 1st of those ten years; to waste 10% of those ten years. Hint: smaller vouchers we can spend as we please may be worth more to us, and cost less, than bigger programs for retirement, health, and education. The Aussies’ Department of Aborigines used to cost $1600+ per abo’, of which the average abo’ got $97.

Greece (well, Macedon) used to be the only superpower.

Gasoline and washcloths have gone up 50% in 5 years; I’m less sure than you there’s no inflation. (Technical economic arguments can also be made). Block inflation by making dollars compete with gold, silver, and foreign currencies on a level playing field. I don’t drive a Fiat; make Bernanke share the road.

What D.C. taxes, the taxees cannot spend; what it borrows, others cannot, Moving money from one pocket to another cannot enrich us.

To Bennett cartoon 28 Apr

And there’s a memorial for the 50,000,000+ US babies murdered for the convenience of grownups.

In rating Presidents, I rated President George W. Bush a “near failure” at http://voices.yahoo.com/ranking-presidents-usa-7505256.html.

But for an article comparing Presidents Bush and Obama and making clear that there’s something to be said for Mr Bush in this regard, hit http://www.nationalreview.com/article/346355/reading-bush-years.

Unlike hate-filled narrow-minded liberals, we conservatives and fundamentalists know the people we disagree with are fellow humans mostly not devoid of good qualities, mostly able to notice points worth noticing, almost all able, by God’s grace, to repent rather than perish. (Calvinism adds levels of understanding but this level is true for what it is.) “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken”–Saint Oliver Cromwell the Great.

To Chatt Times, 25 Apr

Does the Times collect and remit sales taxes from subscriptions outside Tennessee? Do you look forward to doing so? Or maybe for internet sales thereof, but not snail-mail sales??

Keep it simple. Let a business pay sales tax to its own state for all sales: one tax, not 50 or so plus local complications. When I buy in Georgia, I pay GA sales tax, and the merchant doesn’t have to collect or remit Tennessee sales tax. Amazon wants to discourage competition; US Rep Justin Amash said big businesses deliberately ask Congress for such regulations. Down with such crony “capitalism,” govt in bed with big biz.

To Bennett cartoon, 25 Apr:

And why does Mr Bennett hate people who like production and balanced budgets? Wake up and drink your tea!

I’ve lived in Pakistan before A.D. 1979. They make good tea (chai.) They declared Ahmaddiyyas a non-Muslim minority, showing less than love toward a non-threat (hatred of the less powerful, not just the more powerful). They routinely and perfunctorily showed less than love toward Israel, at a distance, and toward India, a more powerful neighbor. Their attitude toward the US had ups and downs.

Why? Contrast Mohammed with Jesus. Mohammed had his nice moments–they say he cut off his sleeve on which a cat was sleeping so he could go to prayers without disturbing the cat–but he did make wars and order executions, and Muslims don’t ascribe miracles of healing to him. Jesus did heal people, showing compassion and power in ways Mohammed did not. Jesus Christ taught radical love, and showed it at His own expense “in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). So following Jesus brings love and compassion to the fore in a way lacking to Islam and atheism. Even if (as I believe) executions and just wars and politics can fall within the scope and approval of Jesus the King of kings, they weren’t on His to-do list the way they were on Mohammed’s; they’re not what He was about, just as health rather than surgery is the aim of medicine yet surgery has its place. Also, since Mohammed stayed dead but Jesus rose up alive, trusting God rather than reacting to situations can be more part of Christianity. So follow Jesus, the Prince of peace.

To Charles Blow, NY TImes, 11 Apr:

Granted that some GOP politicians have not just freed the slaves, which they did, and gotten civil rights through, which they did along with civil rights Democrats, but also played racial games for political games, aren’t you also playing political games at the expense of serious consideration of some issues?

Surely Rand Paul deserves some credit for loving his enemies, reaching out to a group 95% of which didn’t vote for his own group. Does that 95% show openmindedness? Does it even put pressure on Democrats to do what such a solid bloc wants?

Whatever the exact details and whatever the politics, didn’t Newt Gingrich have a point about a real problem? For awhile between slaver and the welfare state, black two-parent working familes dominated the scene. Not now.

Has our President, ah, kept his word about no new taxes for those making under $250,000 a year? About keeping existing health insurance plans if we like them? About the stimulus bill keeping joblessness under 8%, and down to 6% by now? Does he fly his corporate jet to golf outings?

Is crime, and especially black-on-black crime, a problem?

Did Louisiana respond to Katrina by electing a GOP governor?

Is it racist to criticize Ben Carson, Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas? I see one of your commenters, a white man, calls Justice Thomas a “glorified caddy.”

Doug Wilson said getting beyond race requires getting around the table, saying your piece (however hurtful), listening to others, and not leaving.

To FP opinions, 11 Apr:

Crime may be low but terrorizing evildoers is the government’s business (Romans 13), so try to get it lower. Fast sure sentences for minor offenses works in New York (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

One way the city can lead the country with an innovation would be let city taxpayers keep their share of what’s being spent on things the city need not do. Add a page to the property tax bill listing things we might rather keep our money than pay for (and can give more for if we wish.)Take public art, across the page, for example:

$265,000 a year for 160,000 people. say $1.65 apiece. My city tax bill was around $300. My wife and I have two kids plus four half-kids (custody shared), count as two more for us and two for the other parent, total six people in this household. We’ll take our $1.65 x 6 = 9.90, please. Seriously, lots of things the city does could be put on an optional basis this way–golf courses, hotels…so newcanuck can chip in his extra bit, if he wants, and those of us who’d rather spend our art money on used books and 39-cent videotapes at America’s Thrift Store can do that.

To Robin Smith, TFP, 8 Apr

easy, if Jesus Christ rose from the dead, he knew something Einstein didn’t. (And vice versa, if you wish.) Christian miracles do happen; my wife and her mother have experienced them. (Flimflam also happens, or do you doubt the Bible where it says “all have sinned”? A COGIC preacher’s daughter told me her dad roared with laughter watching Steve Martins’s “Leap of Faith,” knowing men who use those tricks.)

The marriage penalty is monogaphobic bigotry, right?

So: is there a God whom Jesus reveals? Yes. Should we consult His views of right and wrong? Yes. Did He create Steve to deal with Adam’s loneliness? No. Did He create a floozie? No, a wife. Does He love sinners? “God show His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Does He tolerate sins? “Go and sin no more.” “God now orders all men everywhere to repent.” Have the churches preached repentance as Jesus ordered them to (Luke 24)? No, they’ve emphasized the forgiveness of sins without making clear what sins are and how important it is to repent from them; so the good news that Hell is optional has been watered down into vapidity.

To Kathy Lopez, Nationl Review, 3 Apr

Probably two thirds of Americans use birth control, and most of those who don’t are children who don’t pay taxes, and old people who don’t pay much. Maybe 20 million??? avoid them on conscience. (All those figures are guesses.) If contraceptives cost $9/month, taxes on those 20 million can bring that down by $1/month or so? Are the HHS rules worth it for that?

(I, Wendy’s husband Andrew, am an adjective catholic [not trademark Catholic], and we use birth control–badly, two babies in five years:) –but this loathsome paternalistic tyranny breaches the contract of America, which is to preserve the blessings of liberty. Pray for tyrants: Psalm 58 ["Do you indeed speak righteousness...?"])

To Jennifer Rubin, Wash Post, 3 Apr (or so)

Romney’s GOP opposition was lackluster and divided, but because of O’Romneycare (which has increased the wait to see a doctor in Mass from 33 to 55 days), his signature political accomplishment, Romney had trouble closing the GOP deal–never did with me and many–and couldn’t run as a governor, not that he was more than mediocre there anyway. He didn’t make his tent big enough for Gingrich and Santorum supporters annoyed by his friends’ distortions about them, nor for Ron Paul supporters annoyed by bullying and stealing at the convention. With that support he might have won in November. It may be hard to show that conservatism benefits 51% of voters in the short run and 99% in the long run, but that’s the way to go. Ted Cruz, maybe? Those who depend on government (on taxpayers) need something sustainable and sufficient, and the party of Jefferson Davis is defending the problem against any kind of solution. Those who want to produce need simple taxes and regulations, so replace loopholes with lower flat levels, like Social Security taxes. Endorse the Institute for Justice agenda. Empower people by letting them opt out of big programs and take smaller, but self-controlled, vouchers: education, health insurance, retirement…Empower people by letting us vote ourselves tax rebates paid for by spending cuts which we vote for on a new tax form: cut foreign aid by $12 billion and give every American $4 (10% of the savings).

To TFP Bennett cartoon 31 Mar ’13 (I trimmed this version a bit for the paper’s website)

“Roe” herself has joined the pro-lifers. Join her with us. If facing a problem pregnancy, call “Choices” at 267-7943, and see if the pro-lifers will listen and try to help.

“Roe” had lied about having been raped. Her female lawyers, instead of getting themselves pregnant and suing for the right to kill their babies at will, shoved “Roe” forward for a test case. The pro-abortion movement claimed thousands of U.S. women were dying annually from coathanger-quality abortions; that claim is false. They claim modern abortuaries offer high quality treatment, yet throw dismembered babies in dumpsters. The Chattanooga abortuary killed at least one of its customers, and prolifers claim abortion deaths are underreported. And do feminists applaud the “choice” that has killed tens of millions of baby girls for being girls rather than boys, especially in China and India?

But facts such as the above tie in with, or are thrown out by, theories. Today we celebrate the resurrection from the dead of an abortion candidate whose parents were poor and unwed (they offered the Jewish sacrifice prescribed for poor people), who described himself as homeless (birds have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head), and who was executed by the only superpower of that time, whose syringes must have been out of drugs that day–they nailed him to a cross, where it took him a few hours to die. Ouch. As you hold a well-deserved pity party for yourself, consider what he endured because he loves us–that’s the Christian theory, whatever varieties of it different saints hold. (What different varieties notice tends to be worth noticing. When we get so satisfied with what WE notice that we ignore or deny what others have noticed, our pride hobbles us.)

And he didn’t stay dead; check out the evidence. (I suppose “The Resurrection of the Son of God” by N. T. Wright is the most thorough treatment, if you can read 800-page books). Let Easter remind you that Jesus’ power as well as his love are unique claims. Did atheists Marx or Rand die for our sins and rise up alive on the third day? Did Mohammed or Buddha or Joseph Smith love us that much or show God’s power at work that way? Nobody even says so. But we Christians rest on Jesus, on Jesus as described by these claims, and since this is true about Jesus it is safe to ignore Marx, Mohammed, Buddha & co, but dangerous to ignore Jesus who said “No man comes to [God] the Father except by Me.” Whoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father. I’ve mentioned the four main options–Jesus, Islam, Atheism, and Buddhism/Hinduism. There’s no way to avoid believing something, no way to avoid placing all your chips on one bet. Choose with care.

And since the only superpower de jour executed Jesus but God raised Him from the dead, God outranks the only superpower, and followers of God had better consider whether God favors everything currently fashionable. Fornication? Killing babies? Boasting of kindness for giving away other peoples’ money? I have my doubts.

Cessationism answered

My wife’s cat was raised from the dead; therefore atheism and cessationism are false as total worldviews, however accurate in many instances. One single positive refutes a universal negative. Scripture is complete: the Bible distinguishes canonical prophecy from prophecy outside the canon. Similarly, there were apostolic miracles and non-apostolic, e.g. at Corinth, the clearest picture we have. (Does the NT silence about the Lord’s Supper outside the gospels and I Cor prove anything?) How can Benny Hinn blow smoke, and why would Mt 7 warn against such smoke, if there were to be no fire?
(We) Preterists note that Jesus and the NT gave clear warning that the Temple/sacrifice/priesthood business was to cease. If charismatic gifts were to cease, would not something similarly clear be in order?
Charismatics don’t ask cessationist questions because they have miracles and don’t need to. When a miracle is needed and does not happen, there’s a demand for an explanation. This demand arises from living by sight (I saw no miracle), not by faith (the God of miracles is my God.) When John Wimber came to believe in miracles, and to preach them, without seeing any for six months, he was living by faith.
(Andrew Lohr, husband of Wendy)

Blogbait from 13 March

To David Cook 13 Mar Times-Free PRess:
Under one-way it was still lively, at least Saturday nights. Two-way was a waste of 2 million bucks: not the disaster I feared, but a waste. (My traffic engineer brother also opposed it.) A waste, imposed against the popular will–Mayor Corker ducked a vote–and supported by one lie I clearly remember, the claim that one-way kept little cross streets busy: they were dead as a doornail. It’s still a street: use it as one, though maybe turn some unused buildings into parking lots.

To Washington Post, E. J. Dionne on new pope, 13 Mar:
Francis (as he now is) left a palace for an apartment, and God’s Son left Heaven for earth: so far so good. Libertarians can be personally generous. Jesus touched lepers, and Francis has touched AIDS sufferers. In an Argentine financial crisis, Francis insisted that crony capitalist welfare for the rich not crowd out welfare for the poor. OK.

Here in the US where the “poor” own cars, TVs, houses, and thousands of jacuzzis–by Jesus’ standard most of us would be rich–replacing 90% of food stamps with a few tax-paid staples (leave 10% for condiments to make them taste better?)–might cut cost there by two thirds without starving anyone. (I’d miss my hazelnut creamer, but baked potatoes aren’t bad.) Replacing bureaucratic programs with less costly vouchers under our own control could cut costs and empower the poor: schools, insurance…Is it “social justice” when our President sends his own daughters to private school but tries to deny that choice to poor D.C. parents? Is it “social justice” when someone wants to offer tours of D.C. and D.C. wants to make him get a license? The Institute for Justice has a vision of social justice and empowering the poor that puts liberals, who sound a trumpet before themselves about how much of other peoples’ money they’re giving away, to shame. I hope our new pope (if trademark Catholics will allow us adjective catholics the “our”) and his friends pick up on the IJ kind of justice. You too, Mr Dionne. You too, Mr President.

To Washington Post 13 Mar re article about President Obama eating with GOP guys:
Most of the comments show hatred, ignorant of those with whom the commenters disagree, that the column suggests an improvement on. Jesus would talk with anyone, and sometimes demand drastic changes in their life.
Most mass murders take place in gun-free zones. The Joker chose a gun-free theater over bigger and closer theaters.
What if someone’s religion is true? If Jesus rose from the dead, he deserves some kind of special attention. A priori rejection of facts is no excuse. Suspicion, maybe, but not rejection. And I think he lived a rather libertarian life: generous himself, but not blowing the trumpet in the synagogues and streets about how much of other people’s money he’d given away.

Open Letter to Lindsay Lohan

An Open Letter to Lindsay Lohan

“Freaky Friday” exceeded my expectations. “Mine too,” said Brent Benedict, “but my expectations weren’t very high.” Other than that, I haven’t seen any work of yours, though I recall a review which said you manage to give the impression something is going on behind your eyes.

Your life, from the news, may give the opposite impression. How hard, if at all, have you thought about, yes, Jesus Christ? I stopped lusting to smoke when I became a Christian, declared a lady I used to go to church with. But I know Christians who smoke. God doesn’t give us all the same help, but He can and sometimes does. “TYap!”–Thank You (God), answered prayer!

The way alcohol or drugs hit some people, reading hits me. I’ve never drunk too much, but I have stayed up late reading and gotten into a car wreck the next day. So should I stop reading? No, God gave us a book; I need to control reading and not let it control me. “Keep alert, and pray.” Stop drinking? God’s Son turned water into wine, and shared wine saying “This cup is the new covenant in My blood.” Drink that cup, lady, and pray.

What’s in your heart? C. S. Lewis imagined two cowardly soldiers, both getting cured. Good, says one, now I can do my duty without my panic stopping me. Good, says the other, now I can take care of myself without my panic getting me shot for desertion. Their hearts were different. (I forget where Lewis wrote that, and my quote is not exact.)

How is your heart in the direction towards God? Have you thanked Him for making you an attractive and capable lady, well provided for materially? Have you considered that His glory transcends yours and can both offer you more and rightly demand more from you? God the Son, in human flesh like yours and mine, went to a stable and to a cross and to, and from, a grave.

Yes, from: examine the evidence. The first followers of Jesus knew death better than we do, for they lived closer to more of it. Their meat didn’t come from meat factories in Nebraska; it was butchered in the butcher shop a couple blocks away. (I’ve lived in Pakistan; I’ve seen carcasses hanging in those butcher shops.) They knew dead men stay dead. They knew resurrection showed God at work. Cecil DeMille is dead, but Jesus is alive. You can well work for the likes of one, but you’d better live for the other. (If DeMille stops hiring you, remember Jesus was a carpenter; nothing wrong with other lines of work.)

I imagine you have brains and time to pursue this where you are. The news I’ve seen about you hasn’t given me a clue about your interests or life in this direction, but everyone, Christian or not, needs to grow towards God as seen in Jesus Christ. You may have heard of Voltaire’s test for would-be religious leaders: Get yourself crucified and rise on the 3rd day. Only Jesus passes that test, so seek him. You can’t shock him, and you can’t get beneath him–“If I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou are there.”

As a drunk might know about wines, I’ll venture some advice about reading. The Bible is God’s book, and deals with people of every sort. It became livelier to me by the 3rd or 4th time I read it. Read it all, but especially “the gospels,” the parts that tell about Jesus on earth.

Need thoughtful persuasion to follow Jesus? “The Reasons for God,” by Tim Keller, current pastor of a big, thoughtful, artsy church in New York City. “Mere Christianity,” by C. S. Lewis. “The Challenge of Jesus,” by N.T. Wright, a modern scholar (maybe skip the first chapter.) “Evidence that Demands a Verdict,” by Josh McDowell.

Need reports that God does miracles today? (My wife was cured of headaches, and her cat was once raised from the dead.) “The Cross and the Switchblade” by Dave WIlkerson: some drug addicts went cold turkey without pain, but not all. “Megashift” by Jim Rutz, if you can find a copy. “Surprised by the Power of the Spirit,” by Jack Deere. “Pentecostals” may blow a lot of smoke, alas, and some of them, Jesus said, will go to Hell (Matthew 7), but with the smoke is some real fire.

Maybe you know some of these people, and maybe some of them can help you where you are: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2008/09/The-12-Most-Powerful-Christians-in-Hollywood.aspx?b=1&p=14 . And there can be some sparkle in Christians: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-look-30-prettier-why-christian-ladies-prettier-2716451.html?cat=9 “How to look 30% prettier” (an estimate from comparing church to mall.)

Yours,
Andrew Lohr (with Wendy and two and four-half children)

Open Letter to Newt GIngrich

An open letter to Newt Gingrich
Bill Clinton dumping Hillary and shacking up with you after the ’94 elections was the secret of his presidential success, Mr Speaker, so why aren’t you President? You as Speaker were 3rd in presidential succession, you balanced the budget, and you worked with Democrats, so against a partisan wastrel and a middling governor, why aren’t you President? Could you still serve our country in larger ways than you now are?
I think so, and I’d like you to try. You’re not President because you didn’t run as the big man, a successful #3 versus a mediocre governor whose political signature was O’Romneycare and whom you might put in charge of some department to shut it down, and because you ran on scattershot details of the day such as gas at $2.50/gallon instead of mainly running against the failed President Obama even in the primaries.
You may feel too tired or busy to run, so start soon, take it easy, and don’t worry about winning. I think you can have fun and serve the country win or lose, but obviously you need to be ready to lose, as is likely enough. You can still compete on your record as a successful #3 versus the promises and hopes of smaller Republicans, and you can still run against President Obama as he is still running against Bush.
Gov Romney lost because he made his tent too small. Peddling distortions about you and Sen Santorum, stealing delegates from and bullying Ron Paul’s people, cost him support that could’ve put him over the edge. (Conversely, running to the right we do need to reach out to RINOs.) And the GOP, you and others, does need to reach out to poor people and young people in ways he failed at.
The GOP can offer the poor the Institute for Justice agenda: opportunities to try new small businesses to earn a bit more money, and choice of schooling (home, private, public, college, or other) instead of bureaucratic uniformity. Call it “The New Empowerment”: power to the people (“people power”) instead of to the bureaucrats. Let the poor help themselves: paint “taxi” on their cars and sell rides, paint “barber” on their porches and sell haircuts, and so on.
O’Romneycare cannot repeal the law of supply and demand. A GOP alternative must increase supply: let nurses, pharmacists, and others compete with doctors, let new drugs be tried if they seem safe, let us buy cheap Canadian drugs. And it can reduce demand, not via “death panels,” but by letting us keep what we save by being healthy: medical savings accounts, different insurance rates for different risks. Increase competition in insurance and insurance alternatives–let anyone who wants to try something, try it. Trim malpractice. Individualize insurance: take insurance tax breaks away from big companies and divide them among the people (people power again, as with school choice, replacing bureaucratic power and Wall St power.)
How can you and the GOP run against the fornication agenda? Try saying: if you’re worth having sex with you’re worth marrying. Be a promise, not an experiment. You’re more than a crotch, you’re a human being, even if, like me, you’ve sinned and must repent. (I have repented, however hard it may be for my exes to forgive me.) Abstinence and monogamy may be hard work, but they do prevent pregnancy and venereal disease when used. We’re not going to send the police chasing after people having sex, but we’re also not going to send them after people and groups which have standards about sex. Hugh Hefner can pay more for STD insurance than Mother Teresa.
Are you too old? Disclose all your medical records, hammer liberals who fail to disclose all of theirs, and let the people decide. Start thinking now about Veeps (Ted Cruz?)
Are you too proud? Most politicians are very successful people who think highly of themselves. In fact, they consider themselves fit to run other people’s lives for them. The GOP was founded to correct this mistake: to let people be free, even if the master class thinks they can run the slaves’ lives better than the slaves themselves can. The party of Jefferson Davis continues this mistake, redistributing power from the people to the bureaucrats to the benefit of Wall Street. If you doubt that Obama’s bureaucracy is good for Wall St, compare the stock market to the job market! If you truly respect we the people, you won’t be too proud.
Can you win? You face steep odds, but not hopeless ones. Liberalism, bureaucratism, attacks reality: it can buy votes but cannot change human nature. Freedom lets us all use our brains, and this unleashes more brainpower than central control.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.