May God prosper those in Iraq who are truly working for freedom, and may it be freedom for all, even Christians.
You may have heard that certain strip clubs are registering voters (final story on the page) and trying to get them to vote Democratic. Why? Because of “blows to freedom by Republican leaders.” But that’s not all. The owner of one club in Cleveland, Ohio, said, “What starts in adult entertainment as censorship eventually trickles down into journalism, art, film, music.” Now that’s a new one: the censorship trickles down from strip clubs to “journalism, art, film, music.” (Spit your Pepsi away from the keyboard when you laugh.)
474 years ago today, 25 June 1530, Philip Melanchthon led a group of Evangelical theologians to the city of Augsburg, where they presented their catholic confession of faith before Emperor Charles V. In response to the imperial summons, the Evangelicals said the following [from the Preface to the German Text of the Augsburg Confession]:
“Most serene, most mighty, invincible Emperor, most gracious Lord. A short time ago, Your Imperial Majesty graciously summoned an imperial diet to convene here at Augsburg. The summons indicated an earnest desire, first, to deliberate concerning matters pertaining to ‘the Turks, that hereditary foe of ours and of the Christian name,’ and how this foe ‘might be effectively resisted with unwavering help’; and second, to deliberate ‘and diligently to consider how we may act concerning the dissension in the holy faith and Christian religion and to hear, understand, and consider with love and graciousness everyone’s judgment, opinion, and beliefs among us, to unite the same in agreement on one Christian truth, and to lay aside whatever may not have been rightly interpreted or treated by either side, so that all of us can accept and preserve a single, true religion. Inasmuch as we are all enlisted under one Christ, we are all to live together in one communion and in one church.’ Because we, the undersigned elector and princes, including our associates as well as other electors, princes, and estates, have been summoned for these purposes, we have complied and can say, without boasting, that we were among the first to arrive.
“Moreover, Your Imperial Majesty graciously, most diligently, and earnestly desired, in reference to the most humble compliance with the summons and in conformity to it, as well as in the matters pertaining to the faith, that eah of the electors, princes, and estates should commit in writing, in German and in Latin, his judgments, opinions, and beliefs concerning said errors, dissensions, and abuses, etc. Accordingly, after due consideration and counsel, it was proposed to Your Imperial Majesty last Wednesday [22 June] that, in keeping with Your Majesty’s wish, we should present our case in German and Latin today, Friday [24 June; but postponed to Saturday 25 June]. Wherefore, in most humble obedience to Your Imperial Majesty, we offer and present a confession of our pastors’ and preachers’ teachings as well as of our faith, setting forth on the basis of the divine Holy Scripture what and in what manner they preach, teach, believe, and give instruction in our lands, principalities, dominions, cities, and territories. …
“We now once again adhere to these actions [calling and participating in a council], and neither these nor any subsequent negotiations shall make us waver (unless the matters in dissension are in a charitable and friendly manner finally heard, considered, setteld, and result in Christian unity, according to Your Imperial Majesty’s summons), as we herewith make public witness and appeal. This is our confession and that of our people, article by article, as follows.”
In 1994, Gene Edward Veith, Jr. presented Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture for the reading world. Veith offered then a warning for those individuals overlooking the new danger on the horizon. He writes, “…despite the demise of the Cold War, the world is not a safe place. Modern wars featured global confrontations between powerful nations united with their allies. Vast military forces, armed with high-tech weapons of mass destruction, met each other on fields of battle. There is little prospect of such a war now, with America the only remaining superpower. The postmodern brand of warfare, however, is terrorism.
Now that the furor over “The Passion of the Christ” has died down, leave it to Alessandro Camon at Salon.com to come up with new ways to blame Mel Gibson (and Christianity) for the world’s problems. (Apparently without irony, the “sponsored-by” link at the top of the page is to the ACLU.) Not only is “The Passion” anti-Semitic, it also is a terrorist act like the act of the Islamic terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center. “You can fly into the building in the name of Allah? We can reenact the torture and crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the name of our own God… Our guy’s sacrifice was not only purer, because he didn’t bring any innocents along for the death trip, but it was also more painful. We can reach back into our spiritual history and find our own, superior certitude.”
Camon cites “detractors” who called “The Passion” pornographic, but he does not say how this is so. Where is Christ sexually exploited in the film? Oh wait, he’s not, and that destroys the whole point of Camon’s ridiculous waste of “journalistic” time. Instead, he makes it about some undefined notion of “torture.”
He makes supernatural leaps of logic, for example:
“Perhaps the relationship between a U.S.-made blockbuster about Christ’s pain and the pain inflicted by our soldiers abroad is closer and more inevitable that the notion of ‘irony’ would suggest, because many of the torturers are no doubt heartland Americans, many of them surely devout Christians — the core audience of ‘The Passion of Christ.’ They are the people Bush directly addressed when he characterized the war as a crusade, a fight against evil in the name of the God.”
Not only are the soldiers bad people, they’re “no doubt…devout Christians”! Camon wouldn’t know a devout Christian if it hit him between the eyes with a Bible. It’s just another excuse to fabricate connections between the “evil” heartland (read: “flyover”) of America and the bad stuff that people do. (And don’t forget, these weren’t just nominal Christians; they were devout!)
Man, the press is religiously ignorant. “Members of Victorious Life Church won’t be preaching the gospel as they distribute 30,000 bottles of cold water across the Tampa Bay area Saturday,” begins the story. It then reports these comments by the organizing pastor: (1) “Basically, we do something called servant evangelism. It’s about showing God’s love in a practical way.” E-van-gel-ism. What about that signals not preaching the “gospel” [sic]?
(2) “People really don’t know that Jesus died on the cross to set them free,” [Pastor Tracy] Larson said. “We’re just out to preach God’s love.” Yep, nothing about preaching the Gospel there.
So I came across “Music for America”, which Pedro the Lion is now supporting. I kind of figured Dave Bazan’s politics were leftist, but, hey, everyone’s entitled to his own opinions. But one of the Mfa bloggers, Mike Connery, recently posted on the types of jobs created by the Bush administration. He doesn’t like the fact that Bush is claiming to have created such-and-such millions of jobs, but that very few of them lead to careers. Instead, they are “McJobs,” or low-paying jobs with no future. He writes, “In summary – we work hard, bust our asses for four years getting a degree, take on unpaid internships to get experience, maybe take some post-graduate courses or even a degree, and now we’re working McJobs.” However, he makes no connection between those who have degrees and experience and then work “McJobs.” Where are the facts on that? It seems much more likely that the Bush administration has created millions of jobs for those with little education and little experience. I say, quit whining and do what you need to.
He also wants to ask the Labor Secretary: “Since March 2001, the economy has lost 1.3 million jobs. Do you consider that a success?” Unfortunately, when one accesses the link supplied by Mr. Connery, one finds the title “Solid gains continue as job market hits ‘sweet spot'” and these comments:
* “The nation’s job market continued to expand impressively last month, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting that employers added 248,000 payroll jobs in May. This increase is in addition to upwardly revised gains of about 350,000 in both March and April. The average monthly gain over this period, 315,000 per month, is the best three-month gain since early 2000. Payrolls have grown consistently since last September, adding 1.4 million jobs, with two-thirds of this growth occurring over the last three months.”
* “Over the past year, hourly wages are up 2.2%, just about the rate of inflation.” [Not amazing, but not bad either.]
* “Clearly, the overall expansion has solidly caught up with the job market. The economy appears to be in a “sweet spot,” where sustained gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the context of lower rates of productivity growth (relative to the first few years of the recovery) are leading even the most cautious employers to begin hiring again. However, these employment gains are coming late in the recovery, and labor market slack remains. Also, the quality of jobs in expanding sectors remains below that of jobs in contracting sectors. But if this sweet spot continues, these problems too will abate and the benefits of growth will begin to be more broadly shared.” [So, everything is not perfect, but things are looking pretty good for the future.]
Also, government was the only industry to cut net payrolls, which can hardly be bad!
Essentially, the problem is that George Bush has not solved every single economic problem in the known universe.
These people just have a need to find someone on which to pawn off their problems, and, wouldn’t you know it? it’s the Bush administration. Same people who get blamed for everything from Abu Ghraib to Democratic hangnails. I’m tired of this garbage. If I don’t have a job, how is that the President’s problem? Better yet, would it be the President’s problem if John Kerry were President? Because I have $50 (Monopoly) dollars that says nothing will change if Kerry is elected. But what would these idiots whine about if there wasn’t a Republican in office?
[On the other side of the music-and-politics spectrum, see conservativepunk.com. Thanks to Bunnie for the link.]
Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan (isn’t that the name of the character in the Tom Clancy books?) is in trouble after divorce papers reveal that his wife accused him of taking her to bizarre night clubs and asking her to perform public sex acts with him. He denies it.
If these allegations are true, I hope Republicans will have enough decency to ask him to withdraw from the race, just as Clinton should have been impeached–both for adultery and perjury. We’ll see.
Update: Jack Ryan has dropped out of the race: “‘It’s clear to me that a vigorous debate on the issues most likely could not take place if I remain in the race,’ Ryan said in a statement on Friday. ‘What would take place, rather, is a brutal, scorched-earth campaign — the kind of campaign that has turned off so many voters, the kind of politics I refuse to play. Accordingly, I am today withdrawing from the race.'”
Another hostage has been savagely murdered in Iraq. This time it is a South Korean named Kim Sun-il. But the South Koreans are not giving in. If only all people who pay lip-service to the “war on terror” showed the resolve the South Koreans are showing: they are sending 3,000 more troops to Iraq.
The terrorists were trying to barter with Sun-il’s life to dissuade South Korea from sending more troops. But here’s the key paragraph from a news report: “Kim’s abductors originally threatened to execute the hostage by Tuesday if South Korea didn’t call off its planned deployment of about 3,000 troops to Iraq. The kidnappers then extended their execution deadline during negotiations, according to Ahmed al-Ghreiri, an employee of the NKTS security firm that had been acting as an intermediary. But his captors apparently changed their minds and decapitated Kim anyway.”
Anyone who believes that terrorists will stop murdering people if their demands are met is only asking for more beheadings. Giving in to murderers will not save a single person.