Monday, August 29, 2005

Silly Me, It's All Bush's fault

US abstinence drive hurts AIDS fight - UN official
This is amazing!  The fact that the United States supports abstinence programs is responsible for people in Africa getting AIDS!  I especially like the following quote:
“Activists in both Uganda and the United States say the country is now in the grip of condom shortage so severe that men are using plastic garbage bags in an effort to protect themselves.”
Besides sounding like a slightly racist Saturday Night Live skit (what size garbage bags, I wonder…), wouldn’t a closed zipper provide better protection than a Hefty Bag?   It might also provide a better moral climate and one more respectful of women.  Or is it the official position of the United Nations that “dem simple black folk in Africa, dey just cain’t help deyselves?”  Gimme a break.  I wonder what those progressive, compassionate souls think of Condaleeza Rice.  On second thought, I really don’t want to know.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Revisionist Mindsets

Pontificator has an interesting comment on the thought processes of Anglican revisionists. Now, I am certainly way too timid to get in an argument with Father Al – my brain would probably wind up looking like the main course in the movie Hannibal. But I’ve run into plenty of revisionists in ECUSA, and in a few other denominations for that matter, and I think that trying to understand them is a matter of futility, if not outright soul-peril. The real issue doesn’t revolve around theological debate, or even power politics for that matter. It revolves around a form of madness.

That may sound pretty darned condescending, but I think I know whereof I speak. Back in my young-and-heathen days, I was pretty good at it myself – engaging in actions that were obviously self-destructive to anyone with at least one eye and a dozen synapses. But me? I believed it was the way, the truth, and the life… Conversion for me has always been a matter of seeing reality more clearly; I have always identified with Paul and the scales-from-the-eyes thing.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people with a revisionist mind-set. Many of them have been friends. We can talk about the weather, the Longhorns, the church rummage sale, or how much money it costs to get our kids through college, and everything seems normal. But when we start talking about matters religious, then it gets real obvious real quick that we might as well be talking different languages. I’ve sat and listened to a seminarian (now ordained) tell me that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” can be interpreted as – well – darn near anything except “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” I even went and checked the Greek – egw eimi h odos kai h alhqeia kai h zwh. A really sophisticated grammatical analysis of that passage changes he translation to, ummm… “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Glad the clergy set that straight for me.

I’ve had people tell me that black means white, up means down, and forward means backward. And they watch the church hemorrhage people, and they watch sexual and financial scandals erupt, and they watch power take the place of love, and they smile, and they talk about how wonderful and holy it all is. I’m sorry – that’s not a disagreement. That is madness. And I’m scared for these people, because many of them have been friends of mine, and watching them spiral into Neverland is like watching a plane going down. You know something awful is happening, and there’s not a darn thing you can do to control it. Romans 1:28 is probably the scariest verse in the whole of scripture: “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

Pater de caelis Deus, miserere nobis.Fili redemptor mundi Deus, miserere nobis.Spiritus Sancte Deus, miserere nobis.
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.Sancta Dei Genitrix, ora pro nobis.

Fetuses Can't Feel Pain?

Fetuses Can’t Feel Pain? – So What
There seems to be an enormous amount of discussion over the report that unborn children fetuses are incapable of feeling pain before the 28th week of pregnancy.  Frankly, given both the source and the nature of the report, I find it a little hard to credit.  But let’s give the devil his due, and say the claims are accurate.  So what?  Is it okay then for me to shoot my wife as long as I anesthetize her first, so she “feels no pain?”

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


My beloved, yet expensive, daughter went to summer school in India this year. She was over there for seven weeks, and I think it was a great experience for her. She got a chance to “embed” in a foreign culture, to study a couple of things she was interested in, and – I hope – to realize that philosophies have consequences.

In any case, she brought me back a souvenir – a statue of Ganesha, the elephant god who rides on a mouse and is the lord of success, the destroyer of evils and obstacles. It is cute, it’s from my daughter, and I therefore have it proudly displayed on my desk at work. I have to confess, however, that I did sprinkle it with holy water. So much for my scientific education and my rationalism.

Now, I can defend the sprinkling – one never knows where an idol like that has come from – but it made me think about how thin the veneer of modernity is that covers my human nature within. If handling a Hindu idol from my own (thoroughly Christian) daughter can make a trained biochemist and IT developer reach for the holy water, what would happen to us all if we really took a hit? I hope that if Al Qaeda ever pops a nuke on us, we respond like rational beings created in the Imago Dei, and don’t turn on one another like sharks in a feeding frenzy. On the other hand, perhaps I shouldn’t extrapolate from my own mildly psychotic self to everyone else out there.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Starting a New Blog

I'm starting this blog to record the insanity as I waffle between churches in search of Truth and Orthodoxy, all the while working in the alternate universes of The Private Sector and Academe to get Beloved-but-Costly Daughter through college and keep everybody housed and fed. We'll see how often I get to update this.

* Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on us.
* Saint Dymphna, protectress of lunatics, pray for us.
* Saint Simeon Stylites, dweller on the holy pillar, pray for us.