Good Music 5ive

I can hear you all asking (very faintly), “What about good hip-hop made by Christians?” Good question. Today is Good Hip-hop Made By Christians Day.

Any of the following are eighty-five times better than any of the crap that actually makes it onto the radio.
First, anyone associated with the Tunnel Rats. This would include, especially, LPG (you must get the album The Earthworm, if you can find it) and the solo project by Jurny Big.
Second, Deepspace 5, which includes Mars Ill.
Third, LA Symphony, Pigeon John and Brainwash Projects. I first heard BP on the second 7-Ball sampler when I was still in high school (that version of “Goodtime Hotel” is still better than the CD version). You can find The Rise and Fall of Brainwash Projects here.
Fourth, RedCloud on Syntax Records. Don’t know much about him, but his album sounds good in my car.
Finally, GRITS deserves a mention. Grammatical Revolution was a step up, and I haven’t had a chance to hear much of their new stuff, but they are tight. You can hear songs from their newest album (and see a couple videos) at Gotee.com.

What else do you need in your stereo in the summer heat with the windows down? Got more? Post them.

Timotheos

What is Wrong With California?

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Two examples that the idiot left is taking over in California. (I apologize to any sane people still living there.) First, this nonsense over the Los Angeles County Seal. A lawyer on the Bill O’Reilly show said that “the Constitution trumps history” (whatever that means), and having a cross on a city seal promotes “those religions to which a cross is holy.” Seriously, don’t you just want to take these people behind the woodshed and beat some common sense into them? Name another religion besides Christianity to which the cross is holy.
She also said that the framers of the Constitution would see the seal as a violation. It’s too bad we can’t ask them. Even more preposterous is the claim made by another ACLU attorney, Ramona Ripson, that the seal could cause people to think that everyone is L.A. is a Christian. Does she realize Hollywood is there?
Someone had better alert the ACLU that there are thousands of violations of the First Amendment in Missouri. We can’t just allow all these cities to be named after saints. St. Louis, St. Charles, St. Ann, St. Joseph, Ste. Genevieve? Are they just going to sit back and let Missouri violate the Constitution like that? (That’s not even mentioning the “city of Angels.”) Even the Los Angeles Daily News thinks it is ridiculous.
The second example comes from Thomas Sowell. In Palo Alto, police shot and killed a mountain lion that was in a tree near a school. So, of course (their insanity is getting easier and easier to predict, isn’t it?), people protested the killing of such a “beautiful creature.” That flies as long as it’s not one of the environmentalist’s kids getting mauled. Then it would be the police who didn’t do enough to protect children. Apparently they set up a sort of shrine to the animal. Sounds a little like the Vietnamese worshiping a dead whale. It is completely laughable that people like this continue to function meaningfully in an actual human society. Or maybe their common sense gets the better of their stupidity occasionally.

Timotheos

More Gore

The Day After Tomorrow opens in theaters soon. Well, actually it opens a day after tomorrow, I think. Anyway, this movie portrays climatic catastrophes that are bound to come our way. At least, that is what Al Gore told me. Yes, the former Vice-President has found something to talk about. And it is not about the internet. (By the way, “Balaam’s Ass” would like to thank Gore for making our site possible.) Here is Gore’s lecture on fact and fiction.

“The movie is fiction, of course,” Gore tells USA TODAY. “And it’s important we separate fact from fiction. But it raises an extremely serious issue. We do face a climate crisis. It should be seen as a genuine global emergency.”

Eight Million Tiny Churches

Forget any idea of the communio sanctorum. Forget any idea of the Body of Christ as an entirety. Eine einige, heilige, christliche, apostolische Kirche? Nope. Unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam? Not a chance. Last week, 48 “Catholic” Democrats (including, apparently, some pro-life(!) Democrats) criticized those bishops who condone barring unrepentant defenders of the right to murder children from the Table of the Supper of the Lord.
They called actions by those bishops “deeply hurtful” and “miring the Church in partisan politics.” Rosa L. DeLauro of Connecticut said, “People are really hurt by this.” You almost feel bad for them because they cannot see the irony in calling a position of a church TO WHICH THEY BELONG “deeply hurtful.” What’s hurtful to the Body of Christ is killing its future members. The mire in which the Church is so often stuck is the mire of sin, and the muck of those who defend taking God’s place on matters of life and death.
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Updike’s Poem (from below)

In the most recent Lutheran Quarterly, there was an excerpt of a passage written by Steven D. Paulson, writing in response to Updike’s poem. Referring especially to the line, “Let us not mock God with metaphor,” Paulson writes (in a paragraph entitled, “Our ‘God Problem'”):

Ultimately, the real reason it’s hard to believe in the Resurrection is theological. It’s a “God problem” – when you’re surprised to discover you have a God and aren’t one yourself! Now if the Father actually raised the Son, then Jesus must really have died. And if he died it was at our own hands. What did we do when God sent his only begotten Son? We killed him. What did the Father do with a dead Son? He raised him. And so we have a potent double whammy: We did the crucifixion and had absolutely nothing to do with the Resurrection. With the one we are tragically active, and the other pathetically passive.

I thought this was a very powerful response, and wanted to share.

Karl

Seven Stanzas at Easter

As this Easter season closes with the celebration of the Ascension of our Lord, I believe the following poem by John Updike is appropriate. It is one of the most profound meditations on 1 Corinthians 15 that I have read.

“Seven Stanzas at Easter”
John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that–pierced–died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mch,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

[Written for a religious arts festival sponsored by the Clifton Lutheran Church, of Marblehead, Mass.]
(Verse, 164-165.)

Timotheos

Who Did Want the Abortion?

Well, now the boyfriend says that he did not want fourteen-year old Melissa Smith to have the abortion, which was recommended by one of her school’s health workers. The boy’s mom has it right: “I don’t agree with the law – I have to be present while the police question him, but I didn’t have to be present, nor did the girl’s mum, for them to sign for the abortion.”
It seems that no one wanted the abortion, so how did this happen? Did the health worker propose this abortion without giving Melissa all the information? Was Melissa overwhelmed (she’s fourteen, for pity’s sake!)? Why should the parents have to know, after all, Melissa has the right to choose…er…except she didn’t really want to. It’s a sad case of freedom and privacy out of control. I fear for my daughter when she reaches high school; what if she, God forbid, becomes pregnant? Will the school, without being sure, without checking with her parents (who would be angry and sad, but help her to keep the baby), counsel her to get an abortion? Will they be in bed with Planned Parenthood?

Timotheos