Friday, July 31, 2020

In other words, ageusia, amnesia, and anosmia

  • Aesopism, noun. A condition, story, practice, or other feature characteristic or reminiscent of Aesop.
  • ageusia, noun. Loss or impairment of the sense of taste.
  • amnesia, noun. Loss of a large block of interrelated memories; complete or partial loss of memory caused by brain injury, shock, etc.
  • anosmia, noun. Absence or loss of the sense of smell.
  • bothsidesism, noun. A tendency to treat all policy debates as if the opposing sides present equally strong arguments, or are equally valid or equally dangerous.
  • clamber, verb (used with or without object). To climb, using both feet and hands; climb with effort or difficulty.
  • coulrophobia, noun. Extreme or irrational fear of clowns.
  • ensky, verb. To place in or as if in the heavens; exalt.
  • esoteric, adjective. Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.
  • fakement, noun. A scheme or device (typically for some dishonest purpose), a ploy, a dodge, a trick; (sometimes more vaguely) a thing, an item.
  • gaiter, noun. A covering of cloth or leather for the ankle and instep and sometimes also the lower leg, worn over the shoe or boot.
  • journalism, noun. The activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast.
  • micro-cheating, noun. Inappropriate behavior that crosses healthy and expected boundaries in a relationship, but stops short of physical infidelity (e.g. emotional affairs, flirting).
  • revanche, noun. The policy of a state intent on regaining areas of its original territory that have been lost to other states as a result of war, a treaty signed under duress, etc.
  • social climber, noun. A person who attempts (frequently by means considered disreputable) to attain a higher social status, esp. acceptance in fashionable society, or is anxious to do so.
  • social contract, noun. Any mutual agreement between specific persons, groups, or elements within a society.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

What Passes for Journalism

journalism, noun. The activity, occupation, or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast.

Houston doctor Stella Immanuel rapidly became an internet sensation, defending the use of hydroxychloroquine to combat COVID-19. Almost as rapidly she because the brunt of jokes, mocking her weird ideas about reptilians and demon sperm. The latter mockery was not just a fun outing, but designed to invalidate what she said about hydroxychloroquine. What Dr. Immanuel said about hydroxychloroquine is that it works, that all 350 patients she had treated with hydroxychloroquine have survived.

Here’s what I noticed. Anybody with a computer can search and find something strange someone has said. Almost everyone will agree that Dr. Immanuel has said some strange things about various subjects. What a real reporter could do, though, is actually research the actual statement Dr. Immanuel made about the actual subject. In two “demon sperm” articles I read, the authors attacked some weird ideas Dr. Immanuel holds – but DID NOT debunk her claim of helping people with hydroxychloroquine. That is the relevant question to COVID-19. That is what a journalist ought to research and report on. Is that claim valid? Did it work? What has happened with her 350 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine? It is  telling that the authors could not or would not address it.

Why? Dr. Harvey Risch, epidemiology professor at the Yale School of Public Health says, “It’s a political drug now, not a medical drug.” This is largely due to the fact it has been touted by President Donald Trump. I don’t want political reports about medical issues. In real time and real life, what matters me is the accuracy of the doctor’s claim that all 350 patients she had treated with hydroxychloroquine have survived. A mechanic may have some weird ideas about the moon, but can he fix a car? A chef may think chickens are aliens, but can she whip up an excellent chicken cordon bleu?

What passes for journalism in 2021 seems to be political opinion parading as fact.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A Biblical Approach, and other music links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Plain Gospel, Jesus Died for Me

I could not find any information online about an old cassette tape I have, so I decided to put this online to preserve the information. Someday I would love to find that this is on a CD.

Gospel singing group from Eva, Morgan County, Alabama is called “Plain Gospel.” The title of the tape is “Jesus Died for Me.”

The group members were: 

  • Phillip Robinson, tenor
  • S. D. Childers, lead
  • Barbara Frost, lead
  • Gayle Frost, alto
  • Charles Frost, bass
  • Sandra Childers, piano
  • Mike Riddle, bass & guitar

The songs on the cassette tape are:

  1. Gloryland
  2. Heaven Will Be Mine
  3. I Call Him Lord
  4. Inside the Gates
  5. It’s So Peaceful
  6. It’s Still the Blood
  7. Jesus Died for Me
  8. Light At the River
  9. My Best Friend
  10. No Other Fountain
  11. We’re Just Pilgrims
  12. What a Meeting

I did not find a date on the liner notes, but this was probably recorded in the 1980s. It was produced by Dawn Studios/New Morning Asheville, North Carolina.

Monday, July 27, 2020

10 Flavors of Works-Based Salvation, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Theology is a cat’s cradle

“As an activity, theology is a cat’s cradle [something that is intricate, complicated, or elaborate] of interrelated though distinct disciplines: elucidating texts (exegesis), synthesizing what they say on the things they deal with (biblical theology), seeing how the faith was stated in the past (historical theology), formulating it for today (systematic theology), finding its implications for conduct (ethics), commending and defending it as truth and wisdom (apologetics), defining the Christian task in the world (missiology), stockpiling resources for life in Christ (spirituality) and corporate worship (liturgy), and exploring ministry (practical theology).”
J. I. Packer (1926–2020)
“Tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society. When you have an immoral society that has blatantly, proudly, violated all of the commandments of God, there is one last virtue they insist upon: tolerance for their immorality.”
D. James Kennedy (1930-2007)

Sunday, July 26, 2020

I sing the mighty pow’r of God

1. I sing the mighty pow’r of God,
That made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad,
And built the lofty skies.

2. I sing the wisdom that ordained
The sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command,
And all the stars obey.

3. I sing the goodness of the Lord,
Who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word,
And then pronounced them good.

4. Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed,
Where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread,
Or gaze upon the sky.

5. There’s not a plant or flow’r below,
But makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow,
By order from Thy throne;

6. While all that borrows life from Thee
Is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be,
Thou, God, art present there.

Hymn written by Isaac Watts

Jeremiah 10:12-13
He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

To dismiss grief, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify when possible.)

“To dismiss grief is to forfeit growth.” -- Luke Martinez

“What feels like rejection is often God’s protection when your heading in the wrong direction.” -- Donna Partow

“The greatest good that God intends for his people, he many times works out of the greatest evil.” -- Jeremiah Burroughs

“Men are not to be flattered in their sinful ways because they prosper in the world, but even then must be faithfully reproved, and plainly told that their prosperity will not be their security, nor will it last long if they go on still in their trespasses.” -- Matthew Henry

“We must recognize that God is at the heart of things and that we exist for his glory, that is to say, we exist for him, not he for us.” -- J. I. Packer

“Good judgment comes from experience; a lot of experience comes from bad judgment!” -- Unknown

“We come to worship, we stand to praise God, we kneel to confess our sins, we sit to receive the Word and the elements, and then we go to bring Christ’s love to the world.” -- Scott Sunquist

“The safest place in all the world is in the will of God, and the safest protection in all the world is the name of God.” -- Warren Wiersbe

“Legalism lack the supreme sense of worship. It obeys but it does not adore.” -- Geerhardus Vos

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” -- John Bunyan

“It doesn’t take a strong person to carry a grudge.” -- Unknown 

Friday, July 24, 2020

In other words, howcatchem and whodunit

  • bastille, noun. A fortified encampment of a besieging army; any of the buildings comprising this.
  • Christophobia, noun. The irrational fear or hatred of Christianity or Christians; intolerance of, hostility towards, or discrimination against Christians.
  • cultural appropriation, noun. The adoption or co-opting, usually without acknowledgment, of cultural identity markers associated with or originating in minority communities by people or communities with a relatively privileged status.
  • derelict, adjective. Abandoned especially by the owner or occupant; also, run-down.
  • don’t-carishness, noun. The quality of not caring; carelessness, indifference, unconcern.
  • dystopia, noun. A society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.
  • howcatchem, noun Informal. A narrative which begins by showing or describing the commission of the crime, revealing the perpetrator’s identity, the plot shows or describes how the detective proves the perpetrator’s guilt; an inverted detective story.
  • indict, verb (transitive). To charge with a crime by the finding or presentment of a jury (such as a grand jury) in due form of law; to charge with a fault or offense.
  • indite, verb (transitive). Compose, make up; to give literary or formal expression to; to put down in writing.
  • nomen sacrum, noun. Any of various words of particular religious significance given a standard contracted form by early Christian scribes; the contracted form itself (sacred name, a borrowing from Latin).
  • pacation, noun. The act of pacifying or appeasing.
  • placate, verb ( with object). To appease or pacify, especially by concessions or conciliatory gestures.
  • psithurism, noun. The sound of rustling leaves.
  • risible, adjective. Causing or capable of causing laughter; laughable; ludicrous.
  • satisdiction, noun. The action of saying enough.
  • sheeple, noun (functioning as plural) Informal. People who tend to follow the majority in matters of opinion, taste, etc.
  • staycation, noun. A holiday spent at home or in one’s country of residence.
  • whodunit, noun Informal. A narrative dealing with a murder or a series of murders and the detection of the criminal, emphasizing search for the perpetrator; detective story.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Parental Authority in Education

Some want to make a black Michigan teenager the new face of systemic racism. The case involves A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention. “Because of the confidentiality of juvenile court cases, it’s impossible to determine how unusual Grace’s situation is. But attorneys and advocates in Michigan and elsewhere say they are unaware of any other case involving the detention of a child for failing to meet academic requirements after schools closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.” The case is a little more involved than just that. The fact that the teenager was already on probation is also involved. A judge ruled that her not completing her schoolwork violated her terms of probation. Recently the Judge denied release of teen girl who was jailed after not doing homework. Whether it is an actual case of racism is open to question. Everything that happens to a person who is black does not mean it happened because he or she is black.

All that said, that this should happen is a result of the liberal Left mentality that the state rather than the parent has the authority in and is responsible for a child’s education. This should not have happened, but, in my opinion, this is an outgrowth of the educational philosophy of the very people who are decrying it. For example, political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry says, “We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.” On the other hand, some philosphies view parents as having authority “because they have special obligations to their children.” New Testament Christians understand parental authority to rear and educate their children as a special obligation entrusted to them by God. “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Colossians 3:20

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Open and shut

Open and Shut: a Study in 2 Kings 6:8-23

The king of Syria frustrated verses 8-12

The king of Syria took steps to encroach on the territory of and defeat his enemy the king of Israel. In counsel with his servants, he planned encampments in which his army would lay a trap for the armies of Israel. These “best laid plans” came to naught, however. God revealed to Elisha the plans, and Elisha relayed the plans to the king of Israel (cf. Amos 3:7). By the Lord’s revelation, the king of Israel saved himself, his armies, and his kingdom. Jehoram of Israel was a wicked king who “wrought evil in the sight of the Lord.” Though he did not serve Baal, he condoned and practice the worship of the calf idols that king Jeroboam had made 2 Kings 3:1-3. Elisha, nevertheless, remained a dutiful citizen of his country, both serving God and honoring the king (1 Peter 2:17).[i]

His plans were frustrated with such consistency that the king of Syria suspected a spy in his midst. There was no spy among them – just a prophet in Israel to whom God revealed “the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.”

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. (Job 5:12)

The man of God protected verses 13-17

If the prophet is the problem, then the king must send an army to fetch him. He sent horses, chariots, and a great host of soldiers to Dothan to capture Elisha. Perhaps the king never considered that the prophet, who knew his private words in planning military ambushes, might also know his secret plans to capture him! Alternatively, perhaps he just thought he had to try something. They surrounded the city, under cover of darkness, preparing to take Elisha.

Elisha’s servant awoke early, saw the siege of soldiers, and was struck with fear. Elisha was not awash in the same fear. His spiritual eyes saw the protection of God, and he prayed for the same for his servant. When the servant’s spiritual eyes were opened, he saw a host of angels surrounding and defending them (cf. Psalms 34:7; Hebrews 1:7,14). He saw them as comparable to (horses and chariots), as well as more powerful than (of fire) the host of the Syrians.

Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. (cf. 1 John 4:4)

The army of Syria maneuvered verses 18-20

The prophet who prayed to God to open his servant’s eyes now prayed to God to close the Syrians’ eyes – “Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness.” God answered Elisha’s prayer. Elisha then told the soldiers to follow him and he would reveal the man whom they sought. The Syrians were confused and confounded, but apparently not aware that they were blind. They could “see” to follow Elisha away from Dothan to Samaria. This sort of blindness Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown called “a mental hallucination.” The blind are easily deceived – yet all too often, the spiritually blind think they see the most and see the best! Elisha had maneuvered them just where he wanted them.

Once in Samaria, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Open the eyes of these men.” God answered. They saw. What they saw was they were in in the midst of the capital city of Israel, Samaria, in the presence of the king of Israel and his host. No doubt, it is they who are now surrounded!

Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart (Ephesians 4:18)

The army of Syria protected verses 20-23

The king of Israel displays the glee of a child rather than the composure of a king. He wished to enjoy that on which he had not laboured (Jonah 4:10). He wished to smite an army he had not captured, even asking twice. Elisha quickly remonstrated, reminding the king he would not normally execute those he has captured in battle.[ii]

Elisha went beyond expectations. He demonstrated compassion to the very host intent on capturing him. He helped the helpless; he saved those without strength (Job 26:2; Romans 5:6). Elisha saw to it that the Syrians were protected, provided for, and eventually even liberated Proverbs 25:21). “When he had them at his mercy he made it appear that he was influenced by a divine goodness as well as a divine power.”[iii]

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44)

The sovereign creator God of the Bible reveals secrets unto his servants the prophets; forsakes not his saints; opens & none shall shut and shuts & none shall open; and has mercy on whom he will have mercy.

[i] Elisha had, however, earlier expressed great distaste over the idolatry of the king (2 Kings 3:13-14).
[ii] Though on some occasions war criminals were executed, the law provided for taking prisoners of war (Deuteronomy 20:10-11; Deuteronomy 21:10).
[iii] Matthew Henry, in his commentary on II Kings.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

BLM matters

I was a civil rights activist in the 1960s. But it’s hard for me to get behind Black Lives Matter. -- “I support BLM’s cause, but not its approach,” said Barbara Reynolds. “Black Lives Matter is a motley-looking group to this septuagenarian grandmother, an activist in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Many in my crowd admire the cause and courage of these young activists but fundamentally disagree with their approach.  Trained in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr., we were nonviolent activists who won hearts by conveying respectability and changed laws by delivering a message of love and unity. BLM seems intent on rejecting our proven methods. This movement is ignoring what our history has taught.”

Longtime L.A. civil rights leaders dismayed by in-your-face tactics of new crop of activists -- “For the veteran activists—many of whom grew up in the era when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached nonviolence—the actions of some of the protesters distract from their message.”

Black Lives Matter leader declares war on police -- “...we want the immediate end of government sanctioned murder by the police. And we prepare to stop these government sanctioned murders by any means necessary.”

Terry Crews Doubles Down On Desire To Unite People Despite Leftist Outrage: I ‘Decide To Die On This Hill’ -- “Are all white people bad? No. Are all black people good? No. Knowing this reality – I stand on my decision to unite with good people, no matter the race, creed or ideology. Given the number of threats against this decision – I also decide to die on this hill...Crews was subjected to vile racial remarks over his tweet, including some who accused him of being a ‘white supremacist in black skin’!”

The audacity of white people who say black people “aren’t black” if they do not agree with them (the white people) is one of the most rampant styles of racism that white people seem to get away with – when the white persons are Left of center and the black person stands to the Right of them.

1,023 people have been shot and killed by police in the past year -- “Despite the unpredictable events that lead to fatal shootings, police nationwide have shot and killed almost the same number of people annually — nearly 1,000 — since The Post began its project [in 2015].”

It is true that proportionately more blacks are killed than whites. According to, 933 people were killed by police officers in 2019. Nearly 23 percent of those killed by police officers were black, while blacks make up only 13 percent of the population. However, looking at another statistic should cue us that this is not the whole story. About 49 percent of the U.S. population in 2019 were male. A whopping 95 percent of the people killed by police officers in 2019 were male! (888 males and only 42 females.) A bare reading of the numbers says police officers are prejudiced against men. There must be more than a bare reading of the numbers if we want to understand the problem and find solutions. I suspect a great number of partisans don’t actually want to find solutions, especially if the solutions do not fit or further their agenda. 

Further, I recently read an article that made some good points about “unarmed suspects.” For example, a bare number may report an unarmed suspect being shot and killed. And while that is true, finding the actual facts of a specific case might show the suspect tried to grab the law enforcement officer’s weapon and ended up being shot with it. I am not saying there are no rogue cop cases. I know some myself. Nevertheless, the truth is not always where it seems to be if we only superficially hear about “unarmed suspects are shot and killed.”

One thing many may not realize is that believing black lives matter is not exactly the same as Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter is an organized body with leadership, membership, and financing – and an agenda that goes far beyond and away from its simple slogan.

Monday, July 20, 2020

American Revolutionary War Patriots, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Convinced as a sinner

Did the Spirit of God ever convince you of sin? Do you see yourself liable to the curse of the law, and the just vengeance of God, for the innate depravity of your nature, and the transgressions of your life? Do you come to Christ humbled and self-condemned: sensible that unless you are clothed with the merits of Him our Elder Brother, you are ruined and undone, and can never stand with joy or safety before the holy Lord God?
If so, lift up thy head; redemption is thine; thou art in a state of grace; thou art translated from death to life; thou art an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Christ. But if you never felt, nor desire to feel this work of the Holy Ghost upon thy heart, this conviction of sin, this penitential faith, all the supposed righteousness of thine own, wherein thou trusted, is but a broken reed; a painted sepulchre; and the trappings of a Pharisee.
Augustus Montague Toplady

Convinced as a sinner, to Jesus I come,
Informed by the gospel for such there is room;
O’erwhelmed with sorrows for sin I will cry,
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

He lifted me

Charles Hutchinson Gabriel wrote He Lifted Me, which was published in Revival Hymns: a Collection of New and Standard Hymns for Gospel and Social meetings, Sunday schools and Young People’s Societies in 1905 (Daniel B. Towner, Charles M. Alexander, Chicago, IL: Bible Institute Colportage Association). Charlotte G. Homer is credited with the words; that is one of several pseudonyms used by Gabriel. It is meter with chorus of 8s.

1. In loving-kindness Jesus came,
My soul in mercy to reclaim,
And from the depths of sin and shame
Through grace He lifted me.

2. He called me long before I heard,
Before my sinful heart was stirred,
But when I took Him at His word,
Forgiv’n, He lifted me.

3. His brow was pierced with many a thorn,
His hands by cruel nails were torn,
When from my guilt and grief, forlorn,
In love He lifted me.

4. Now on a higher plane I dwell,
And with my soul I know ’tis well;
Yet how or why, I cannot tell,
He should have lifted me.

From sinking sand He lifted me,
With tender hand He lifted me;
From shades of night to plains of light,
Oh, praise His Name, He lifted me!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Affliction is not misery, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify when possible.)

“Affliction is not misery. Misery is the abasement of spirit which comes from the loss of God and good.” -- John Webster

“The primitive Christians considered one principal part of their duty to consist in showing hospitality to strangers. They were in fact so ready in discharging this duty, that the very pagan admired them for it.” -- Calmet

“In the land of affliction is where every good soldier of Christ undergoes graceful training.” -- Lailah Gifty Akita

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” -- Unknown, though often attributed to Frederick Douglass

“The thorn is one of the most cursed and angry and crabbed weeds that the earth yields, and yet out of it springs the rose, one of the sweetest smelled flowers, and most delightful to the eye.” -- Samuel Rutherford

“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.” -- Unknown

“There are manipulators in every subgroup of the human race, who are not interested in a conversation that is not an indoctrination.” -- Bob Smith

“It is not the absence of sin but the grieving over it which distinguishes the child of God from empty professors.” -- A. W. Pink

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.” -- attributed to Corrie Ten Boom

“We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom.” -- from the Western Mule Magazine

Friday, July 17, 2020

Popovich pops off

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has ripped the leaders of the state of Texas, calling them “cowards” who do not know “what the hell’s going on.” I also have been sometimes dissatisfied with our leadership re the coronavirus. Nevertheless, I have no confidence that Popovich “knows what the hell’s going on.” Stick to coaching, Greg. You are good at that. You sound peevish and petulant when you talk about politics. (And yes, it is really politics he is talking about, not public health.)

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Cancel culture, the elite of cyber bullying

Cancel culture, the elite bully pulpit of cyber bullying.

Recent attempts to defend “cancel culture” claims that the discussion is not about free speech. Rather, they say, there is a panic because elites and conservatives over “threatened by changing social norms.” Do not buy the lie. No doubt, there are people who are bothered by changes. However, “cancel culture” is clearly the elite form of bullying that kills all discussion – and it is not just elites and conservatives who are in its clutches. True “free speechers” defend the speech of others with whom they disagree, then answer the disagreements with their own opportunity to speak freely. “Cancel culture” demands all bow before its power and be silent.

“I get a sense among certain young people on social media that the way of making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people...People who do really good stuff have flaws.” Former President Barack Obama

Some recent examples of cancel culture
  • Emmanuel Cafferty, fired from San Diego Gas & Electric Company after being goaded into making a hand gesture of which he did not understand the meaning. The recording went viral and he lost his job.
  • David Shor, fired from Civis Analytics after sharing the findings of a study by Omar Wasow, a black professor at Princeton, a political-science journal article arguing that nonviolent civil-rights protests had been more politically effective than violent ones.
  • Madji Wadi, lost his business after it became public that his daughter has made racist tweets—even though he fired her when he found out.
  • Leslie Neal-Boylan, fired from her job as University of Massachusetts-Lowell Dean of Nursing after writing “Everyone’s Life Matters” (in a context clearly against discrimination).
  • Nick Cannon, fired by ViacomCBS after comments on Cannon’s Class were deemed to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
  • Stephen Hsu, Michigan State University senior vice president for research and innovation, resigned under pressure from petitions excoriating his scientific research on controversial topics.
  • Savannah Chavez, the daughter of police officer Ismael Chavez who was killed in the line of duty in McAllen, Texas, uploaded a tribute to her father on Twitter. She received such vile harassment that she just deleted the tribute.
  • Gordon Klein, teacher at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, suspended for declining to grade black students easier after the George Floyd incident.
  • Daniel Maples, fired from Ted Todd Insurance in Fort Myers, Florida, for a context-less 15 second video of his life that went viral.
  • W. Ajax Peris, political science lecturer at UCLA, was referred to UCLA’s Discrimination Prevention Office after reading out loud Martin Luther Kings’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” -- which includes the use of “the n-word.”
  • James Bennet, forced to resign as New York Times opinion editor when the intolerant mob could not tolerate certain opinions—though he much of his job purpose was to bring in varied opinions to the paper.
  • Stan Wischnowski, forced to resign as top editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer after an uproar over the title of an opinion article that suggested that damaging buildings in Minnesota disproportionately hurt the very people taht protesters were trying to uplift.
  • The Church of the Highlands, a multi-racial church of 60,000 people in Birmingham, Alabama, stripped of its lease agreement with the city, and the church’s volunteer work in the community canceled. Why? The church pastor, Chris Hodges, “liked” conservative posts on Twitter.
An employer does not have to let an employee say or do anything they want to on the job. Nevertheless, these examples are of persons not found deficient in their words or actions until hate-filled mobs turned their hostility on them.

Not only firings, the cancel culture extends to treats to life and limb. For example, Catherine Sullivan, a retired professor and University of Georgia alumna, had her location exposed and threats made against her because she disapproved of the university’s decision about names of campus buildings. 

When caught with any backlash, most of the cowardly culprits claim they fired the person for some other reason. Such nonsense should be suspect in light of mewling remarks usually made to the mobs prior to the firings.

The COVID-19 Panic Shows Us Why Science Needs Skeptics -- “The dumpster fire of COVID predictions has shown exactly why it’s important to sustain and nurture skeptics, lest we blunder into scientific monoculture and groupthink.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

By the dim light of nature

John Trapp in his commentary on Genesis 13:9 referenced 1 Corinthians 6:7 “why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?” Then he said, “Aristotle by the dim light of nature, could see and say, that it is better to suffer wrong than do it.”

Some Christians act like they cannot see by revelation what Aristotle saw “by the dim light of nature.”

Think on these things

How is this pandemic affecting our thinking? How might it permanently change us if we don’t set our minds to return to regular civility after this is all over? The covid scare and its “cures” have caused us to see those who come near us as sort of “enemy combatants” – those who might maim or kill us. We must keep a safe distance. No handshakes and no hugs. Maybe we look away, or maybe we stare.

When we first started back with in-person church, it seemed so foreign and strange to keep a distance, not shake hands, and not share in our normal one anothering. Now I am beginning to get used to it. But I don’t want to get used to it! May we never be used to it.

The masks may keep us from trading droplets, but they also hide our expressions. They cover the sympathizing smiles we might be willing to share with our covid co-complainants. For those with some hearing loss, it stifles communication, dulling the voice. I am seldom able to understand what someone with a mask is saying without asking them over several times. (I probably rely more on unconscious lip reading than I realize.) What about those who understand only by lip reading? The masks remove their ability to “hear,” and pretty much leaves them out in the cold.

This is not a commentary on the utility and effectiveness of masks and social distancing. I am not giving any advice on that. However, we who care need to be aware of how this pandemic affects and changes our thinking. We need to compensate when we can. In addition, when this is over and we are not wearing masks and social distancing, let’s not continue to act as if we are – with the mentality of keeping everyone at arm’s length. Let’s make a concerted effort to return to our fellowship of humanity and good old friendliness & hospitality.

My 2 cents, in days of great inflation.

Justice and Open Debate, and other links

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