Blogbait 28 March ’13 ff

by andrewlohr

To Free Press 28 March
Abolishing the death penalty guarantees injustice for the victims of murder. Right now there’s at least a slim chance of justice.

The editorial failed to name anyone who has actually been executed in the US and proven innocent. Its vaporous fears remind me of liberals who impose malfunctioning monstrous programs on the taxpayers lest one person suffer, thus causing massive suffering.

We Christians do know one innocent Man who was executed by the only superpower of His days. Was the death of Jesus Christ merely an accident, or did it have something to do with justice? Of the two terrorists executed with him, which one went to Heaven, the one who admitted he deserved the death penalty he was receiving, or the one who asked for a stay of execution?

Five abortionists, who commit murder for hire, have been murdered. At least one of the murderers was executed. Are murderers of abortionists a minority that gets the death penalty too often?

To E J Dionne, Wash post, 18 March
But the war on poverty is a quagmire that has failed: we have more poor than before, and because of these programs they’re more stuck in poverty than when they knew they’d have to work. Keynesianism has failed: we have the great recession and the jobless “recovery.” The GI bill was a voucher bill: can we have the same at lower levels? Jesus is libertarian: generous himself, but not blowing the trumpet before him about how much of other peoples’ money he’s given away.

To National Review re let pope govern, 18 March
I’d like to see him issue an encyclical saying simply “All fornication is sin.  Repent or perish.  This includes clergy.”  
Would fabius allow that married priests exist; for a priest to be married is no sin, and this differs from “gay” actions and from murdering babies?  (For a priest who has taken vows of celibacy to get married is a different question. But we do know Peter was married and we don’t know about Judas Iscariot.) 
Also, evangelical Christians have roots in Jesus and the Bible, but Mormons have roots in a con man who tried to shoot his way out of his unjust imprisonment and lynching, and in a book that has no more to do with American history than “The Lord of the Rings” with European history; though it may sometimes encourage virtues, as a Gandalf-ist religion might, anyone who takes their book seriously as history is showing poor judgment there.

To some theology blog, re article on 5 myths of translation:

Good enough here, but in your NIV 2011 review a couple years ago you used “accurate” to favor one kind of accuracy (idiomatic meaning) over another (more literal), rather than value each for what it offers. (And since “The Message” is in English, it’s a translation in that it puts the Bible from the original tongues into English even if Rev Peterson didn’t refer to the originals).
And re Mk 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11, Burgon did his homework and made a case for those passages, even if none of his followers has reached his level. The modern scholarly majority that rejects those passages tends to publish their position without bothering to refer to anyone trying to prove it. (‘Modern theologians are like a bunch of dogs sniffing each others’ behinds’–David Chilton.) The old NIV footnote said the 2 best mss omit Mt 16:9-20. Burgon says Sinaiticus, tho early, is a bad ms (10 scribes tried to correct it), and Vaticanus has a unique gap that would hold 9-20, i.e. its scribe knew of those verses; and Burgon offers a theory as to how they dropped out of some mss. And most NT autographs went to the “Byzantine arc” around the NE Med; odd copies getting to Alexandria and its textual critics might establish an idiosyncratic local text with local ‘corrections’ there. (Tell us about a definitive refutation of Burgon?) Besides doctrinal ‘corrections,’ Greek stylists had an “Attic” fashion wave that could’ve shortened texts, and later an “Asiatic” waved that could’ve embellished them.

To Bennett cartoon, 16 March
We bearded men born in Pakistan advise you to be careful, Mr Bennett 🙂

Anyone else see any of Doug Wilson’s debate with Andrew Sullivan on the issue? Sullivan thinks marriage is for only two people, so does he want “sharia law” against a bisexual who wants to marry two partners? Or to suppress Islam and some forms of Mormonism which allow polygamy? Wilson’s point is not just that ‘gay’ marriage slides down a slippery slope to worse things; it’s that to prevent this slide, Sullivan has to agree with Wilson in drawing a line somewhere, somehow against what some consenting adults want to do. Wilson draws the Bible and Church line (he’d be patient with polygamists who get saved).

And when every arrangement that anyone wants to call “marriage” is so called, what will “marriage” mean anymore? (When I thank God for Wendy, once or twice a day most days, I thank Him “for bringing us together in holy marriage.”)

Marriage is a grouping. It’s one thing to let sinful groupings happen. It’s another to deny other groupings the right to their own standards, as my ‘sharia’ brother in the White House is trying with regard to contraceptives. Can a Christian photographer turn down an offer to shoot a ‘gay’ marriage? Can a Christian bed & breakfast set standards for who gets into its beds?

It’s another thing to force healthy people to pay sick people to be sick, or to force wise people to pay high-risk people to take risks.

It’s another thing to deny freedom of speech. Can Canadians post lists of Bible references to ‘gay’ conduct? Christians have a duty to speak lovingly–“Repent or perish, and PLEASE don’t perish!” rather than “Repent or perish, and the sooner and more miserably you perish the better, you @##$$%&!” But he who hates his neighbor fails to warn him of dangers before him; the Church needs to preach “Repent!” more, not less, than it does (and not just about the weird sins of a small minority, but about laziness, gluttony, and worldliness, to name three of mine, and of course fornication in general, not just its ‘gay’ form.)

Maybe I should congratulate Clay for his courage in mocking the Koran and Islamic law. (Copy this cartoon before it gets pulled, Bennett fans?)

To Doug Wilson, 15 March: (Blog and Mablog) Doug replied Andrew, thanks.
For more light and less heat,could you replace “paleo-Confederate,” which sounds like a defense of the whole Old South, which is not your position, with, say, “Idaho Confederate,” which means: you and whatever you want it to mean? I doubt any effort you make to define “paleo-Confederate” your way will either placate your critics or offend them in gospel-necessary ways. “Idaho Confederate” might, maybe, more easily convey that you find things to admire in the old Confederates, but also things to dissent from or denounce as sin, and that you’re not “neo-Confederate,” but have your own quirks. (Maybe “Idaho anti-racist Confederate”?? Or just “anti-racist Confederate?”) Not that racism is or was unique to the South (or to whites). Anti-racist you are, and the gospel is: might as well say so, even if it is PC.

Under Moses’ law, false accusations are to be punished as if the accuser has committed the crime he’s falsely accusing of. Al Sharpton and Tawana Brawley should be treated as rapists. Maybe some of your critics should be treated as racists?

“Racial insensitivity” means racial lines are involved and someone’s feelings are hurt, perhaps badly–which I’m not slighting, though it can be overdone. Would you care to extend an olive twig toward Brian Crawford Lovitts (spelling??) by admitting, again, that the atrocities he mentions did, here and there, take place–along with others like outlawing teaching slaves to read the Bible, and laws discouraging manumission? And as he takes the sufferings of his ancestors to heart, somewhat similarly you take the virtues of your southern ancestors (?) to heart while denouncing their sins and trying to keep their sins and their enemies’ sins, and virtues, in balanced perspective? He wants you to say extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. You want him to admit that it can indeed be a vice, else how many abortionists has he shot? (Is he pro-life, if he doesn’t even want to talk about whether black wombs are more dangerous today than in A.D. 1858?) Another point you might have in common is that you’d say the gospel is indeed revolutionary (or something like that, if “revolutionary” is a bad word to you), though the Civil War was in some ways a wrong kind of revolution, even though it got rid of one evil. If he’ll put his hurt feelings on the negotiating table, if forgiveness will get on his agenda (and it probably is, though he may not have applied it here yet), maybe you can address them somewhat?

The book “Emancipating the slaves, enslaving free men” listed six positions on the Civil War (yours was not one of them, though I think the author had read most of the standard literature), and I think it concluded that slavery was indeed the defining issue for secession. I’ll grant you that other things were involved and could be more than excuses, but slavery was majorly involved and the Confederacy was on the wrong side of that issue taken alone, as perhaps you’d grant. I think (and posted to Pastor Thabiti) that the word “slavery” meant different things in the OT, Rome, and the old south. Proving that Moses approved of something called “slavery” does not mean he’d approve of Jefferson Davis’s version, which didn’t feature freedom with supplies after six years as a routine feature. I agree with you that the trend of the Bible is toward freedom but this does not mean immediate manumission in every case in a I Tim 6:1-2 situation.

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.