What Donald Trump Should Have Said After Charlottesville.

What Donald Trump Should Have Said After Charlottesville: In 1977, the ACLU defended the right of the Ku Klux Klan to march through Skokie, Illinois, through a neighborhood where many survivors of the Holocaust lived, and even defended the KKK’s right to wear Swastikas! The motive of the KKK was not love, but hate. Yet the ACLU argued that censoring certain speech or forms of expression gave the government too much power that could be used against any particular group of people at any time, if that group fell out of favor. In other words, if the KKK could be censored and not permitted to march, so too could gay pride marches be banned. The ACLU holds that the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech, also protects the rights of those who express things we hate and find repulsive. The Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Illinois found that merely expressing reprehensible views is not a legitimate reason to suppress that speech, no matter how offensive it is. The First Amendment is necessary to a democracy and to a free people, lest the government begin to decide who does and who does not have … Read more…

Law, Lawlessness and Legalism

“Judge not, lest you be judged” has been misinterpreted to mean that no matter what anyone does, we should not judge the behavior. He pointed out that we are not to condemn someone for their sins, lest we get condemned for ours, but that does NOT mean we are not to discern what is right and wrong, or identify certain behaviors as sin.Grace does not mean there is no law and we are free to behave any way we wish. Grace is to lead us to holiness, which is the walking in the presence of God and reflecting his character.

Invention #2 in Cm

Invention #2 in Cm  PDF File Invention #2 in Cm ©1985 Jefferis Kent Peterson, Baroque Style Invention

Enlightenment Rationalism and the Problem of Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism has unconsciously imposed an Enlightenment Rationalist Worldview upon the Gospel writers, who never intended the Gospels to be interpreted simply as a strict chronological recounting of historical events. They were writing theological pamphlets intended to prove that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophetic types present in Genesis to Joshua. By arguing as Enlightenment Rationalists, Fundamentalists have undermined their own efforts because they have not understood the original writers’ intent.

Samson Agonistes – The Donald

“If I had my way, I would tear this whole building down.” – Samson and Delilah – Bob Weir, The Grateful Dead I don’t know if God has appointed Donald Trump to win the presidency. I know he is making a lot of people mad, but I see a lot of similarities to the Story of Samson from The Judges. Donald is impulsive, immature, self-centered, vengeful… He has a weakness for women… It is all about the hair… Everyone is afraid he is offending someone and the powers that be (media, the Republican Establishment, etc.), but he don’t care. We are being ruled by Philistines (Political parties that can’t do or fix anything, plus a judiciary that makes up rules as they go). And he may be being used to “tear this whole building down.” Judges 14:1-4 Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. Then he came up, and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of … Read more…

Replacing Scalia, the Politics of Justice and The Role of the Supreme Court

To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions would be very dangerous doctrine indeed and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy… The Constitution has erected no such tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruption of time and party, its members would become despots. – Thomas Jefferson Letter To William Charles Jarvis. Monticello, September 28, 1820.

When words no longer mean what they mean, the Constitution becomes a Rorschach splotch, where justices can read anything into it they want to see and read out of it anything they want to see changed. My point here, though, is not to argue for an originalist interpretation, which I clearly support, but to point out how the Court’s role has veered from that intended by the Founders.

Dante’s Inferno, Pedophilia, and the Catholic Church

Dante’s Inferno is a picture of hell with 9 levels, each with greater punishments for sins committed on the earth. Dante was not afraid to place in hell Cardinals, Bishops, and Popes. Dante’s point was that corruption in the Roman Catholic Church by its leaders was just as worthy of punishment, if not more so, as sinful deeds done by pagans and government leaders. His political activity was not admired by all, but his writing exposed the abuse of power by Popes and church leaders. We hear today that Pope Francis is engaged in a similar battle, facing much entrenched opposition to his attempts to cleanse the church of its sins. This week I met an artist, Butch Casanova, who invited me to his home. There I saw a work of art that reminded me of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He was disgusted by the corruption exposed in the pedophilia scandals that rocked the Roman Church. And putting brush to canvas, he created a great allegory of the cover up by  Bernard Cardinal Law of Boston. He tried to have this work displayed through the Boston media, but at that time, no one would touch it because Bernard Law was feared and so powerful. He has … Read more…

The Quartet: A Review

What if the Constitution Had Not Compromised on Slavery?

The Quartet: Orchestrating The Second American Revolution, 1783-1789, by Joseph J. Ellis. 

Slavery would have lasted much longer…. 

The Hobby Lobby Decision and What it Means for the Church

The Supreme Court upheld religious liberty and freedom of conscience in its 5-4 decision on Monday, and in doing so, avoided the same mistake the Court made when it upheld the rights of slave owners in the Dred Scott decision and ensured the Civil War. The Dred Scott case not only restored the rights of slave owners to recapture runaway slaves in the Northern States, but made those who did not believe in slavery complicit in their capture and return. In other words, it forced those who hated slavery to comply with slavery by handing slaves back to their masters. This legal decision to deny freedom of conscience only served to strength Abolitionist sentiment and helped precipitate the Civil War. Noting that then, as today, we have a sharply divided country on the issue of just “who” is entitled to the protection of life and liberty, that narrowly divided Supreme Court is reflective of that divide. The belief that abortion is indeed murder is a conviction that will not disappear with the stroke of the judge’s pen, as has been amply demonstrated by over 40 years of conflict and social disaffection. However, this decision is a lesson for the Church … Read more…

Sympathy for the Devil: Understanding Radical Islam and the Failure of Neo-Con Foreign Policy

Differences in Eastern and Western Views of War If anyone would like a helpful primer on the motivations Middle Eastern society,  I cannot recommend highly enough a book given to me by a friend who worked at the NSA.  The book is called Balkan Ghosts, by Robert Kaplan, and while it is a travelog, it gives an invaluable history of the clash of East and West over the centuries, including insight into the different perceptions of war.  In the West, due to its Christian heritage,  a theory of just war was developed.  Among those principles in just war theory was a respect for the protection of non-combatants (civilians) and the establishment of justifiable reasons for war, such as protecting the nation from aggression by foreign powers.  Since the late Middle Ages, the West has recognized slaughter of non-combatants as unjust, and nations which ignored those principles were identified as rogue nations (Nazi Germany, e.g.). But the Eastern view of warfare has always been entirely different, in part because the respect for the individual is not native to their value system. While this summary does not do justice to the book, it may begin to expose the vast cultural differences that exist … Read more…

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