Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The tarnished rule

We all know the words of Jesus:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Pretty clear and straightforward command. But there seems to be a movement to amend Jesus' words thus:

Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.

Offended This is a nifty, subtle morph,isn't it? It means that, before I can act toward another, I must consider, not what is the right thing to do, but what does the other person want and expect. It means that anyone can cry that they are hurt or offended or insulted by something, and the guilty party must apologize abjectly, even if there was no real wrongdoing. In other words, it raises the taking of offense to the level of an inalienable right.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Voting matters

Ballot box The stench of politics grows daily stronger, and I have yet to decide for sure who will get my vote. But two decisions are firmly in place, and have been for some time.

First, I will vote solely on the basis of three issues:

1) Restoring legal protection for all human lives.

2) Preserving the unique legal standing of permanent, heterosexual monogamy, in recognition of the institution of marriage as the basis of civilization.

3) Reversing the trend towards judicial tyranny, and restoring constitutional checks and balances. This is an issue because of items 1 & 2. Namely, the legalization of abortion and of same-sex 'marriage' was thrust upon us mostly by judicial fiat, and not via the democratic process. This simply must be rectified; judicial oligarchy must not be allowed to take over completely.

These things are fundamental. When/if they ever become resolved satisfactorily, I may consider other, lesser political issues, but not until then.

Second, I will not cast my vote based upon which candidates are doing well in the polls or in other states. I ignore polls. Here's why:

1) Consider two hypothetical candidates A and B, with roughly equivalent policy positions, but with one difference: Candidate A is known to vacillate according to popular opinion polls, while candidate B is more solid in his positions, even when they become unpopular. In such a hypothetical case, I would prefer candidate B, as more principled and reliable. I think most voters would concur. We voters ought also to do likewise, voting on principle without watching poll numbers.

2) Watching the polls, and voting only for an electable candidate is circular reasoning.

3) Don't tell me I'm wasting my vote. Besides being circular reasoning, voting based upon how others vote is to be, by definition, a trend follower; it is to allow other voters to dictate your vote. I'd rather be a trend setter.

4) God is watching.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

WI legislative alert

This post pertains only to Pro-Life Wisconsin residents. It has to do with two issues that our state legislators are dealing with in the next few days. (Note to residents of NW WI: Assemblyman Frank Boyle and Senator Bob Jauch are both listed as co-sponsors of both death-promoting measures.)

A.B. 377

Euphemistically called the "Compassionate Care for Rape Victims" (CCRV), AB 377 mandates that all providers of emergency care must dispense the chemically abortifacient 'morning after' pill to any woman who presents herself as a victim of rape. Tyrannically, no provision is made for Catholic or other hospitals to refrain for reasons of morality or conscience, and severe penalties are assessed against non-compliant providers.

This bill has already passed both houses. Due to amendments, both houses must vote on the reworded version. The assembly has scheduled their vote for Wed. Jan 23, 2008, after which (if passed) it will move to the Senate.

The full text can be read here (text) or here (pdf).

S.B. 151

SB 151 is an attempt to make Wisconsin the second state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. In similar tyrannical fashion, doctors who do not want to kill their suicidal patient are required, under severe penalties, to refer the patient to someone else who will perform the murder. What kind of 'conscience clause' is that?

This bill is just now being reintroduced, and is in committee hearings. A public hearing will be held at 10:00 am on Wed. Jan 23, in Room 411 South in the Wisconsin State Capitol. The following are the committee members:

Senator Phone Email
Tim Carpenter (D) Chair 800-249-8173
Spencer Coggs (D) Co-chair 877-474-2000
Pat Kreitlow (D) 888-437-9436
Dale Schultz (R) 800-978-8008
Robert Cowles (R) 800-334-1465

The full text can be read here (text) or here (pdf).


More about this and other current events can be learned at the Crosstalk site, or on the VCY Crosstalk radio program.

The two local (Superior area) legislators are:

Legislator Phone Email
Senator Bob Jauch (D) 800-469-6562
Representative Frank Boyle (D) 888-534-0073

Other legislators may be contacted by calling the state legislative switchboard at 800-362-9472. Even if you do not know your legislators' names, they should be able to tell you and give you contact information.

You may also navigate the Wisconsin State Legislature site to find out contact information. To find out who represents you in the Wisconsin state legislature, go to this "Who Are My Legislators?" page. If you know your legislators' names, go to the Senators' Home Page and Representatives' Home Page and click on the person's name to find out their phone, email, etc.

Let's make some noise!

Friday, January 11, 2008

John's unwelcome light

In response to my complaints against the moral corruption of our culture and my own abysmal failures, someone recently remarked (not via a blog comment) that my 'dark mood' reminded her of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness.

John the Baptist Leaving aside the nonsense of comparing my yelpings with the Baptist's prophetic fierceness, I was puzzled by the adjective 'dark'. Surely John was the opposite - a strong beacon of light in the midst of murky darkness. Of course, sometimes light is an unwelcome thing. The window that, at night, appears clean shows its hidden dirt when the morning sun hits it. I may prefer the illusion of darkness, and regret the light, which seems to make the window dirty. Likewise, John's light was unwelcome, exposing men's hidden, secret sins.

We like John pointing us toward Jesus, but we don't like him pointing out our sins; that seems 'dark'. The question is: can we have it both ways? Can John point us to Jesus without also pointing out our sins and our absolute need of a Savior? The present generation seems to demand this very thing... Tell me about the Good Shepherd, but don't tell me I'm a lost sheep. Tell me about God's infinite love, but not of his hatred for sin. Talk to me softly of pardon, healing, and comfort, but don't mention my need for repentance.

John, true beacon of light, doesn't offer such slick illusions. He offers light, which exposes our sins and points us toward Jesus the Savior.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Divine racism

Immersed from childhood in American egalitarian ways of thinking, we tend to view everything through the lens of equality and non-discrimination, including our religious beliefs. But a serious and honest student of the Bible knows that God is racist. God chose Abraham, and then his grandson Jacob (Israel) for his special plan, setting them and their descendants apart from other peoples. These people are God's chosen race, the apple of His eye. The Old Testament is almost exclusively devoted to the people of Israel. Other races are ignored, or even despised.

The magi Yes, the prophets did foresee (e.g. Is. 49:6, Ps. 72:11) a day when other nations would be given light and would come to adore the God of the Hebrews, the one true God. But this is never presented in egalitarian terms. Rather, as St. Paul says in Romans 11, we Gentiles have been grafted in to God's chosen people, as a wild olive branch is grafted onto a cultivated vine.

When the magi saw the star and came to adore the Christ child, this was the first fulfillment of the aforementioned OT prophecies. The magi were the first Gentiles to recognize and worship the Jewish Messiah, and from that point on the floodgates were opened. Soon, with the preaching of the Apostles, all nations were invited to be a part of God's holy people. This wasn't an egalitarian dumbing-down, but a call to come and be part of God's chosen race. As Pope Pius XI pointed out, we Christians are all spiritual Semites. Grafted in or not, I for one am happy just to be allowed in, to be one of God's favorites, the apple of His eye.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

4-year locusts

Cicada My brother Jim, who lives in central Iowa, has told me about the cicadas that appear there like clockwork every 17 years. I guess it's quite a spectacle when the cicadas come. People make an effort to go out to where they congregate, bringing their children, grandchildren, and cameras. Maybe they bring tape recorders, too, because the most notable feature of a cicada is its noise. If you've ever heard a lone cicada whirring loudly up in a tree, you might imagine the din that must emanate from thousands (millions?) of them all at one time. I suppose, then, it's sort of a relief when the cicadas disperse, and there is relative peace again for another 17 years.

Likewise, Iowans may soon breathe a sigh of relief when their caucuses are finally over, and those other cyclical noisemakers go away. Once again, Iowa will become a relatively quiet flyover state, a place to be ignored for the next 4 years.

Although popularly called locusts, cicadas belong to the order Hemiptera, which also includes aphids, bedbugs, and lice.