Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Odds and ends 3/11/2014

Erick Erickson writes a terrific piece on the straight and narrow path:

Christ said we should enter through the narrow gate. A lot of the media’s favorite voices on Christendom preach that the gate is as deep and wide as possible for all comers. That’s simply not true. There is only one way. There is only one path. There is only one savior. All truly are welcome. But that one path offends so many not all want to be welcomed.

John 3:10-12 lays out pretty well the three reasons people will not embrace Christ: (v.10) they do not understand the gospel; (v.11) they refuse to receive the gospel; or (v.12) they do not believe the gospel. Many of these useful idiots for Baal sell a gospel stripped of its full meaning and commitment. They should be commended for wanting all comers to come, but need to be cautioned that not all comers will come. They go all Jesus all the time and quickly strip him of masculinity, godliness, justice, righteousness, power, and the ability to save. They try to sand it down so no one can reject it, but often what winds up getting accepted isn’t the real gospel, but a worldly [sic] version of an emo, weepy Jesus who can’t throw a punch that people created and not the real Jesus who will one day return on a white horse, with a sword, to judge the quick and the dead.

Too many of these people, often hipster prophets, make people comfortable in their sin while trying to sell Jesus. One comfortable in his sin rarely sees the need to embrace one who will extricate him from his sin. These peddlers of pop Christianity are useful idiots for Baal because they claim their faith in Christ without ever making anyone uncomfortable in their here and now. Christ made people uncomfortable.

Erickson is a Calvinist, which doesn’t square with his statement “all truly are welcome.” One of the doctrines of Calvinism is that salvation by grace is only for God’s elect, meaning some are condemned to eternal damnation and there’s no avenue for them to be reconciled to God. They are irredeemable. In other words, all truly are not welcome.

This is not scriptural. Granted, we are not gathered to God without Jesus’ agency, but everyone upon receiving the Gospel has a choice. All are created in God’s image, all are capable of setting aside the wants of the flesh and joining Jesus in eternity in heaven.

I believe bibletruths.net sets Calvinism aright:

Salvation is offered to all men on the same conditions. Yes, there are conditions. If there were no conditions, then all men would unconditionally and universally be saved. However, such will not be the case (Matt. 7:13-14). Remember Peter said,

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:35).

To “work righteousness” means to do what God has required of man to do in order to be saved. The scriptures plainly teach: belief; repentance; confession of Jesus’ deity; and water baptism for the remission of sins (Jn. 8:24; Lk. 13:3, 5; Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 2:38, 22:16). All men must accept God’s grace in the precise same way. God does not require some to believe, repent, confess, and be baptized and not require the same of others. God only has one plan of salvation for all men.

Scary graphic at ZeroHedge:

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked departing Texas Governor Rick Perry what he thought about Ted Nugent, who has had choice words for the president. I’ll skip straight to what the governor should have said: “Ted Nugent is a private citizen with a right to his opinion. And the fact of the matter is a lot of people are very upset at the awful job President Obama is doing.”

Wendy Davis jumped at the opportunity to smear Greg Abbott, her gubernatorial opponent, who campaigned with Nugent. The abortion fetishist invoked “war on women,” “civility,” and racism with aplomb. It doesn’t matter how incongruously the Nugent blip fits into the constructed narratives. Dog whistles are for dogs’ ears and dogs’ minds.

Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul is busy policing dissent among Republicans. He’s going to run for president, and he wants to look clean and appealing. That means telling Howard University students they have the right to follow Louis Farrakhan. It also means not extending the same latitude to Texans pissed off at President Obama’s performance.

“In America you can live and be a follower of Louis Farrakhan if we leave you alone, and we ought to.” –Rand Paul, 2013

“Ted Nugent’s derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize.” –Rand Paul, 2014

Brooklyn deserves former Texan Amanda Marcotte, who in the midst of a screed about “homophobia” is forced to admit:

The two laws are not exactly analogous, since Jim Crow required many businesses and accommodations to segregate, whereas [SB1062] would be a case-by-case thing.

Here’s another way they are “not exactly analogous”: Skin pigment is not characteristically equivalent—or even similar—to sexuality.

The Washington Times brings us two examples of liberal suicide in Maryland. File these away until the Democratic primaries next year, when Martin O’Malley sells himself as the competent alternative to President Obama’s 8 years of ideological liberalism.

[Beretta], which manufactures firearms ranging from hunting shotguns to the M-9 pistol used by the U.S. armed forces, began its search for a new location outside of Maryland in March.

“We started our search by looking only at states that have a consistent history of support for and likelihood of future support for Second Amendment rights,” Beretta general counsel Jeff Reh said in a statement.

Maryland doesn’t respect the Bill of Rights.

Gun laws adopted in Maryland last year ban some of the types of firearms that Beretta manufactures from being bought or sold in the state.

“From the moment when we started to consider a location outside of the state of Maryland for our manufacturing expansion, the governor and his economic development team did an excellent job demonstrating the benefits of doing business in Tennessee,” Franco Gussalli Beretta, executive vice president of Beretta USA, said in a statement.

What, no tax credits?

Forget the right to bear arms. The right to change genders—that is the crux of liberty. Maryland is moving forward with its own version of San Antonio’s infamous narcissist ordinance. I’ve bolded the most important part.

“This bill is unfair to me. I don’t want males in [female] locker rooms,” Elaine McDermott, a leader of Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government, told the Maryland House Committee on Health and Government Operations Wednesday.

The panel is taking up a bill that has already passed the Maryland Senate that would ensure protections for people based on “gender identity.”

The bill’s definition of gender identity is fluid itself, referring to a person’s “consistent and uniform” appearance, expression or behavior, regardless of assigned sex at birth — or “any other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity.”

Don’t worry. The judges will sort it out.

Opponents said the law is so loosely written it will permit men to legally enter girls’ and women’s rest rooms and other private spaces for voyeuristic or criminal purposes.

The Catholic Church opposes undue harassment or discrimination against any person, but is against this bill because of its vagueness, impractical application, and attempt to “enshrine in law” the distinction between someone’s “gender identity” versus their “assigned sex at birth,” the Maryland Catholic Conference said.

“Such a distinction manifests a fundamental violation of our society’s basic understanding of the human person, and the complementarity of the sexes bestowed by nature that lies at the foundation of all human society,” the conference said.

God, am I thankful I left that state!

Senator Joe Manchin is the punchline to an unfunny joke.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said Thursday that he would be open to repealing Obamacare, but that he also wants to fix lingering issues with the law, according to the Beckley Register Herald.

“I will vote tomorrow to repeal (the ACA),” Manchin was quoted as saying. “But I want to fix the problems in it.”

Manchin, who holds a seat in a heavily red state, has been one of the more conservative Democrats since taking office in late 2010. However, during the government shutdown, Manchin opposed an effort from the House to defund health care reform, ultimately voting to restore funding as part of an agreement to reopen the federal government.

Manchin has talked out of both sides of his mouth on Obamacare since joining the Senate. Without Ted Cruz forcing the issue, this fool’s fool wouldn’t be forced to expose himself.

Daniel Horowitz ridicules the Democrats’ exploitation of veterans:

Unlike many modern-day functions of the federal government, caring for our wounded warriors is a core responsibility. But as is the case with other government programs, liberals think that doubling down on a woefully inadequate VA system and throwing more money at the problem will improve care for veterans. And similar to most other big government initiatives, Democrats are now using a highly-respected group of Americans as political human shields to obfuscate the harmful effects of their policies.

Plus Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

It pleases me to report marijuana tax receipts in Colorado are flowing in at a third of the projected pace. Breitbart carries the story:

In January of 2014, Colorado only brought in $2 million from recreational pot shop sales, far short of what would lead to a successful prognosis from Hickenlooper’s budget office.

When the sum from recreational pot sales was combined with taxes and fees from medicinal marijuana in January, the total was still only $3.5 million.

At that rate, it will take 52 months to reach the 18-month revenue projection.

Here’s an interesting tidbit:

The state’s first $40 million in pot revenue must go toward school construction.

It’s the same tactic the casino shills used in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, when I lived there. Oppose gambling in your neighborhood? Stop starving the schoolchildren, hater.

Speaking of which, a Baptist pastor in Baltimore has struck a deal with the devil. He shills for Baltimore city officials to promote a casino at Camden Yards. In exchange, his congregants get employment at said casino, tempting the poor with false hopes of riches.

“The job market is bad, yes, but we don’t need the institution of the church pushing people towards desperation of jobs when there are other opportunities... We already know the fruit of this [casino]. Why send my people towards that?” –Bart Pierce

Exactly. Just say no to casinos.

“Diversity” leads to cultural nihilism. Fox News reports:

A school administrator pulled aside four boys and told them to either remove their American flag bandanas or leave the game. The boys complied but returned to lead the crowd in a chant of “USA, USA.”

Camarillo High School principal Glenn Lipman told the Ventura County Star that the students were told to remove the bandanas as a “precaution” – because the two schools have “diverse student bodies.”

Climate scientists continue to manipulate the temperature record to hide the decline to replenish their grant funding.

“He who controls the past controls the future.” –George Orwell

Paula Patton, who earned a mention in “Duh, winning!,” wants to divorce Robin Thicke, which would be doing him a favor. His sexual capital is at its apex, hers is in decline. He has every incentive to seek a divorce and receive legal imprimatur to continue his womanizing ways.

Then again, there’s hope. Maybe he sees the empty deep of sin that his life would be shaped by if he divorced his wife.

“I’m a ‘leave everybody alone’ libertarian with no particular animus towards gays myself, but it is obviously preferable to see an increasingly obnoxious minority locked up and forcibly closeted than see both democracy and the freedom of association completely destroyed and thereby immanentizing the societal eschaton.” –Vox

Assimilate or be deported, is the takeaway from this UK Independent article:

The Government revealed the rule in December that requires asylum seekers who arrive by boat and are in Australia on temporary visas to sign a code of conduct.

A leaked draft of the set of rules allegedly drawn up by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison reveals that asylum seekers could potentially be deported if they: “irritate” people, “disturb someone”, spit or swear in public, “spread rumours” or “exclude someone from a group or place on purpose”.

The document describes “Antisocial” behaviour as “an action that is against the order of society”.

The draft reads that it is intended to set out “how people are expected to behave while they are living in the Australian community on a bridging visa”.

Bowdoin College’s “humanist credo” fails. A strikingly un-self-conscious Owen Strachan writes:

The Offer of the College was touted early and often at Bowdoin. Its late-Romantic tones, featuring a mildly divinized natural order (shout out to Emerson) and its exhortation to adopt a chastened noblesse oblige initially sounded odd to my eighteen-year-old ears. I know from my perusal of the back pages of the alumni magazine that it influenced my peers, however. Many a poor-paying urban teaching career, a long-term environmental research post, or a stint in a developing nation has been launched because of a small college in Maine animated by a humanist credo.

It is because Bowdoin has historically embodied this statement that recent developments at the school have taken me and many others aback. In a move that has reminded many onlookers of heavy-handed institutional actions at Vanderbilt University and Tufts University, the school’s administration presented Bowdoin Christian Fellowship (BCF) volunteer leaders Rob and Sim Gregory with a “non-discrimination” statement. This statement required, among other things, that the Gregorys open BCF leadership up to students of any sexual orientation.

As reported in the Bowdoin Orient, Dean of Students Tim Foster explained that “If someone’s participating in an organization and they are LGBTIQA and they are not allowed to participate in that organization because of their sexual orientation or they cannot lead that organization because of their sexual orientation, then that’s discrimination.” Foster sharpened the point: “And that is a violation of Maine law and therefore also a violation of College law.”

A little to the south of Bowdoin, liberal illiberality is having its day at Harvard. Senior “joint history of science and studies of women, gender and sexuality concentrator” Sandra Korn has found out liberty is not an end unto itself, that it’s what we do with our liberty that is most important.

But there’s a problem. Her ends are to stomp out liberty by squelching dissent against totalitarian social justice/anti-discrimination orthodoxy. She writes:

Student and faculty obsession with the doctrine of “academic freedom” often seems to bump against something I think much more important: academic justice.

In its oft-cited Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, the American Association of University Professors declares that “Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results.” In principle, this policy seems sound: It would not do for academics to have their research restricted by the political whims of the moment.

Yet the liberal obsession with “academic freedom” seems a bit misplaced to me. After all, no one ever has “full freedom” in research and publication. Which research proposals receive funding and what papers are accepted for publication are always contingent on political priorities. The words used to articulate a research question can have implications for its outcome. No academic question is ever “free” from political realities. If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of “academic freedom”?

Instead, I would like to propose a more rigorous standard: one of “academic justice.” When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue.

Last summer was an exciting time, in no small part because the Spurs were in the NBA Finals. As much fun as Game 5 was, and as anguishing as Game 6 was, for me the most memorable game of the 7-game series was Game 3, in particular for the reaction the Spurs’ defense on Lebron James provoked from sportswriters. Put simply, the Spurs packed the paint and dared Lebron James to shoot jumpshots. They gave him free rein on the perimeter, granting him more freedom than he knew what to do with.

Here are my favorite two examples:

“It doesn’t seem fair or accurate to suggest that the Spurs are simply trying to mess with James’ head by backing so far off of him, but they must be enjoying his lack of comfort when it happens. James shot just 2-for-14 outside the paint and 1-for-5 on three-pointers in Game 3, and he often looked like he was attempting not to settle before ultimately deciding that it was the right basketball play to shoot. No one is more calculating than James when it comes to finding the best look, and he’s simply not used to having the best look right there under his nose anytime he wants it. That must be disorienting and confusing, even for a player of his ability.” –Ben Golliver

“Every time he catches the ball, he's asking himself the same question. Should I just take this shot, or is this what they want me to do? Should I drive like everyone says I should, or shoot confidently like everyone says I should? It's as if the Spurs are the parent that gives their kid a "choice" to do something they shouldn't, only they must ‘live with the consequences’ of the choice. The kid gets nervous about rebelling and ends up doing what the parent wants anyway. (Maybe this just happened to me).” –Mike Prada

Rereading this, my bowels go squishy. It was such a diabolical tactic, so Nurse Ratched-like in its simplicity and manipulativeness!

Finally, “Pornography’s Stunning Impact–and What Happened When Some Chose to Give It Up.”

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