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Should Christians Carry a Gun?

Adam Dickison said If somebody comes into steal my t.v. should I help them load of the V.C.R. and tv stand too? Maybe give them some cash for gas? I mean is my stuff so important? The gun in connection with protecting my stuff is where I’ve felt out of sync mostly

In a dicussion about Gun ownership on G+

The more I think about this, the more I feel that it is in this statement that we have found the heart of the matter. It is when a gun is being used to protect the “Bigger Idol” of property.

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Paul Tillich and Intellectual Criticism

I enjoy spending time debating; though you could have worked that out from the numerous posts on the subject on this blog. During one of these debates in an attempt to defend the Religious point of view, I made the standard appeal to experience. It was pointed out to me that the experience is often viewed in light of the cultural norms of the experiencee. That is, if you are brought up a Christian, or currently exploring Christianity, you are more likely to attribute the experience to the Christian God.

This means, then, that though the experience can be powerful life changing, however, it is difficult to use it as a definitive proof for a specific form of Religion/Mysticism. Though similar experiences are reported in all religions, experiences very rarely change religion. Nor, in the same way can it be said to point to a divine being, as those who search for inner enlightenment would say that the experience is an example of reaching this state of nirvana.

This, obviously, put me in a rather awkward position. Either I need to say that all revelation point to the divine, and posit a single God, or that all experiences point to a divine, and posit many Gods. Positing a single God, while being in keeping with Christian Doctrine does play fast and loose with the Bible, which at many points does refer to other gods. Though later these gods come to be thought of as Demons, or agents of Satan. This causes another problem in our attribution of Ecstatic experience, who is to say that such experience is not from Satan. Of course the experiencee often attributes the experience one way or the other, but Satan, that great lord of deception could easily convince a befuddled mortal mind.
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Comic Con vs. WestBorough Baptist Church

….. Westborough Baptist Church looses.

Which is not very surprising, at all.

The usual madness that is the Fred Phelp’s clan descended onto Comic Con, USA, only to be faced by a protest held in response. With people holding signs like “Is this thing on?”, and “Odin is God”. The article doesn’t record the response of the Phelps’, but I hope that one day they will, themselves, see the light, and stop their hate-spewing nonsense. It is admirable that they are protected under the Free Speech rules, and so they should be, no matter how distasteful most people find them to be. However, it is also nice when those same rules are used to make the point that most people think them to be distasteful.

For many pictures, check here: Comic Alliance

~BX

Batman On an Elephant. That is All.

Batman On An Elephant

American Episcopate ahead of their time?

Amidst calls for another reformation in the Catholic Church, the American Episcopal Church is busy forging ahead on it’s own. The news that’s making the headlines is of course the consecration as Bishop of Canon Mary Glasspool. This is not because she’s a Woman, the presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church is Dr Katherine Jefferts Schori, a woman. It is more because Canon Glasspool is in an openly Gay Civil Partnership.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, fearing for a split in the Anglican Communion, has repeatedly asked for “gracious restraint” in this matter. Now that the decision has been made to go ahead with the consecration of Canon Glasspool, a statement from the Lambeth Palace (as quoted in the Church times) says that this raises “very serious questions, not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole” (Dember 11, 2009, Church Times). The usual responses have been seen from the Fundamental Christian groups, getting all hot-and-bothered about the way that it might affect them. It of course, raises big questions about the communion, as many African Bishops are against Single-Sex marriages. With this going ahead, it is going to leave the traditional Anglican Communion in tatters, especially if there are no sanctions brought against the American Episcopal Church for going against the communion.

The problem is that someone had to do something. Someone had to say that those three lines in the Bible that have been used for oppression had to be changed. We’re not still fighting for Slavery. We worked out that was wrong. Glasspool is the height of all the arguments that the Anglican Church in the UK have been arguing over. Single-Sex Issues, and Women in the Episcopate. Here, in one woman, we have both. The world will hold it’s breath as she gets ordained, and all the liberals pray that she doesn’t screw up. A good example will ensure that others will be able to follow her.

The one thing that isn’t being said that there was also another development in the USA this week that shows that, despite the most vocal Christian opposition, it is busy actually being more liberal than the rest of the world. Clergy in Washington, Iowa, Vermont, and Massachusetts are able to preside at civil same-sex marriages, and bless them. Essentially, it is possible for Clergy who’s conciousness allows to marry single-sex couples. Yes, that’s right, AMERICA is allowing clergy in some states to bless single-sex marriages.

Yes it may be up to individual faith-communities who they see as married and who they don’t but the LAW of America say that they are married.

The fuss about Glasspool means that this little gem is passing by the fundmentalists. While they are busy pointing up at the Bishop, they are missing the fact that America is working through it’s very own grass-roots revolution.

Now, if only the rest of the Anglican Communion could start moving forward, we may yet be able to avoid a split, and embrace this reformation with open arms.

~BlackXanthus

Apparently, the Americans are misrepresented.


Americans are NOT stupid – WITH SUBTITLE
Uploaded by antoinetheone. – Click for more funny videos.

West Bro Baptists get a taste of their own

I found an article where a community in Seattle faces down the mad, biggoted West Bro Baptists, run by the Phelps’. This family believes that God is punishing the world for it’s acceptance of Homosexuals, they even decided to write an open letter to the family of Heath Ledger asking them where the funeral was going to be so they could picket it, because after the lie that was Brokeback Mountain, the world needs to be told the truth. Especially, so the letter goes, as Heath is now burning in hell.

It’s about time this bunch of crazies were shown that their approach to Christianity will not be tolerated, nor will it be accepted by the rest of us. Handily, here in the UK, one of the most useful thing our mad government has done was to ban the leaders from our country.

Not having that luxury, residents in Seattle set about producing protests against the protesters. Each protest that was planned was met by members of the community, religious leaders, and members of the institution that was being picketed. The anti-protesters were seen to hold hands and sing songs, drowning out the hateful remarks of the Phelps’. I think it would have been a sight to see. Nice to see people finally standing up to these biggots.

Edit:

Some Loyal Readers found some photos

Christian Gamers Guild

So, there I was, idly trying to sit down and to that 5000 word essay that I should have done weeks ago. I’m planning to write one of those pretentious essays on Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, picking out the Theological or Pastoral issues that are in the film.

The first part of wrighting the essay was to find out what the writers of the film were trying to convey. To see if the things that I pick out were intentionally placed there by the authors, or if their aimm was something completely different.

Now that you know what I was looking for, you will understand my surprise when I found the Christian Gamers Guild website. Now, I, like most gamers, had heard the rediculous notion that there were Christians that thought that D&D was in some way “of Satan”. I thought that idea had died sometime out in the eighties. When I first found the website, I thought that it was an old hangup. Something written years ago, and left to idle on the internet. I was surprised to find that the magazine is still being written (albeit slowly), and that the group has had some recent postings (December, 2008).

I don’t really need to write about how rediculous the notion is, but the thing that scares me is some of the things experiences of the users at the yahoo group. Someone lost a fiance because they wouldn’t give up gaming. Not a new result, but it wasn’t due to excessive gaming, but because the fiance thought that gaming was satanic.

It does make me wonder if there are somethings out there that I happen to think are actually satanic. Perhaps I will find them while I hunt around for things for my essay.

~BX

The World Forgets so Quickly.

Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to find yet another post about the things that I have stumbled up on the internet. They may, however, be surprised at the contents of this post.

This is a story about a lady named Irena Sendler. She doesn’t have a Nobel Peace Prize. Nothing so surprising about that. Many people don’t have a Nobel Peace Prize. She, however, is credited with saving some 2500 infants and children from the Natzi’s during the second world war. She’s a mostly unknown figure, her claim to fame coming when four high-school kids from Kansas wrote a play about her called “Life in a Jar”.

During the Second World War, she got a job as a plumber to the Jewish Slums, and used to smuggle children out either in a burlap sack in the back of her truck, or in a fake bottom in her toolbox. She wrote the names of these children down, and kept them hidden in a glass jar that she kept in her back garden. She passed away age 98 of pneumonia in Poland on the 12 of May, 2008. She’s not known about because no-one wrote an academy-award winning film about her.

She saved all those lives. She doesn’t have a Nobel Peace Prize. She is probably one of many unsung heros and heroines from the Second World War. No-one knows about them, so they don’t have a Nobel Peace Prize.

Yet somehow, Irena Sendler managed to get nominated for one. At least, it is commonly thought that she was. The nominees are kept secret for fifty years, so hopefully I will be able to verify this story then. Even if she wasn’t nominated, she should have been.

She didn’t get the Nobel Peace Prize. Al Gore did. Al Gore got a Peace prize for his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”.

I would say that the inconvenient truth is that people today have forgotten the horrors of the Second World War. We only see the documentaries, that is, we see them come up on TV, and turn over to find something else. We know it was bad. We don’t want to be reminded. It’s inconvenient.

I wasn’t born anywhere near the world war. I hear of war all the time on the T.V., but I don’t really understand it. I have this concept that “war is hell” because the T.V. tells me so. IF you do remember the war, tell someone. If you don’t remember the war, find someone who knows and ask them about it. Get them to tell you why it is so important we never forget. Why it is so important that we never, ever again let that happen to our world.

The end of the Second World War was meant to be an end to war. That went well, didn’t it?

Irena Sendler doesn’t have a Nobel Peace Prize. There are at least 2500 people who are a alive today because of her. The Natzi’s when they discovered her broke her arms and legs, and tortured her. She wasn’t the only one they tortured. She wasn’t the only one that tried to do something for the people who were being horribly persecuted.

An Inconvenient Truth has a Nobel Peace Prize. In this world, today, right now, there are people suffering. There are people being tortured, people being subjected, living in tents. There are people doing everything they can to help these people to rescue them. We don’t know who they are.

We found out who Irena Sendler was. She didn’t get a Nobel Peace Prize. She didn’t get one, because we’ve forgotten. We’ve forgotten the sounds of the air-raid siren, the noise of the bombs, the terror, the fear. The watching for the letter to drop on the door mat to tell us that our Dad, our brother, our son isn’t coming home. We have forgotten because the world is a little better. They made it a better place for us. They paid a terrible, expensive price. They paid the ultimate price. Their families paid the price. Do we remember how much it cost?

We didn’t honour Irena Sendler. We hardly know about her, about the others like her. We don’t care. We don’t want to remember. Our inconveinient truth is that we can’t face our own fear, we can’t face the horror that was the Second World War.

The least we could have done was give the woman a Nobel Peace Prize. At least in some way we could have shown her that we are greatfull. Not just to her, but to everyone that hasn’t got one and should.

The world has forgotten so quickly. Will you?

~BX

source: Snopes

History Happened

There is a Black Man in the White House.

It happened, November the 4th, 2008.

A day before the UK celebrates a man who tried to blow up parliament.

Barak Obama now has the eyes of the world upon him, his family, and the new dog he promised his daughters. He doesn’t just have to heal a country on the brink of bankruptcy. He doesn’t just have to try to get them all working together, and bring about a more equality to a country that still heavily remembers black oppression.

He needs to show the world he is not another Doubleya. He has got to show us that he can find the places he wants to attack on a map. He has to show us that he is more than just a man of once wonderful speech.

He can not screw this up. He can make mistakes, he will have to make some unpopular choices. He just can’t screw up. I, like many of the world, was relieved that it was him and not McCain/Palin. I don’t think he’s about to start randomly attacking places that don’t exist.

He has a lot of damage to make up for. A lot of things that he has to get America forgiven for.

God Bless Barak Obama.

Heaven Knows He’ll Need It.

~BX

Cartoon Jesus

Sometimes you find little gems on the internet.

I could this one that depicts the differences between the Jesus of the Bible, and the “Jeezus” that is currently being touted in America.

Enjoy.

~Black Xanthus

Pointless American Security.

Since 9/11, we all know that the Americans have upped security on their Aeroplanes. We’ve all heard of the “no-fly” list, the one that has names of people who are considered linked in some way to terrorists. These normally involve a lengthy stop and question at American Airports.

This happened so often to a man from Quebec that he changed his name. He added the word “Fancoise” to it. It apparently worked.

Am I the only one surprised at that? It means that all this pointless security in America is only there to irritate legitimate people. Anyone who’s actually considering blowing up America is unlikely to use their real name, or indeed a real passport. This means that the list is simply there to irritate people.

Indeed, an actual terrorist could simply have his name legally changed, as our Quebec man has, and boom, legally allowed to fly in the USA.

If this is the kind of security that is meant to keep their country safe, then no-wonder everyone is paranoid. It is likely to happen again, because their security staff obviously have no idea how to keep their country secure. None at all. I presume that every country has a list of people it doesn’t want flying into, or out of, their country. I also presume that unlike the paranoid Americans, they work a system based on name matching, and then against pictures. That is, pictures of what the terrorist is meant to look like, thus, if you don’t look like the person pictured, then your probably not him, apart from having undergone some form of excessive plastic surgery.

I suppose you’d want to look your best before you blew yourself up in search of teaching the West a lesson.

Seriously, though. America, if a name-change is all it takes to get around your plane security, Stop it. Stop it NOW. All your doing is annoying legitimate fliers.

~BX

Original Source: CBCnews

Christian Course Credits Worth Nothing

It appears that the University of California can ignore the credits of some Christian courses that students are presenting with.

Like most countries, the USA has a scoring system. The better you do in your exams, the more points you have to get into University. The University of California has managed to win the constitutional right to ignore high-school work grounded in the idea that the Bible is infallible.

This means that some courses based on the book United States History for Christian Schools published by the University of Bob Jones. This is a Fundamental Christian University with a long history of stating that the Bible is infallible

According to the Judge, it’s because the outcome of this course is that it:

“…instructs that the Bible is the unerring source for analysis of historical events, attributes historical events to divine providence rather than analyzing human action, evaluates historical figures and their contributions based on their religious motivations or lack thereof and contains inadequate treatment of several major ethnic groups, women, and non-Christian religious groups.”

This is why the courses are not being allowed to be used as credits for the U. C. It’s not that the courses are fundamentally Christian, nor that they teach Christian doctrine, but that they exclusively teach Christian doctrine to the detriment of the persons analytical education.

This seems to be a danger with the Fundamental Christian approach. The “young-earth” ideals fly in the face of what Science appears to be able to prove, as well as attributing actions to divine intervention where other explanations are available.

As a Christian, I’m well versed in the idea that sometimes coincidences happen far too often to be coincidences, and I can understand how a theoretical course on the idea that some parts of history could be attributed to divine inspiration would be interested. However, for the course to hold any value for me, it would have to be shown what the alternatives are, what the things leading up to it are, and what, on balance, was the likely cause.

Religious education needs to be sprinkled with a healthy dose of common sense. Courses that ignore this, and as in this case appear to stunt critical thinking fails to produce theologians, that is, people who are willing to think critically about Theology, and help advance both their understanding, and others understanding of their faith.

To study and try to understand the word of what ever religion you subscribe too is a must. Some of them ask very… strange and bizzare things of it’s followers. These things should not be entered into lightly, and very occasionally a critical examination of the texts may point to flaws in this idea, or perhaps what appears to be a misinterpretation.

It is this blind acceptance that the University of California has riled against. It doesn’t show that the student in question is able to think critically about a subject, which is required for most accredited degrees in the USA. I think their stance is a step in the right direction.

~Black Xanthus

Orginal Source: The Register

Watching Grass Grow

Every now and again something floats past that I feel I really must mention. One of those is a website by an enterprising American who allows you to watch his/her grass grow.


Watching Grass Grow

Got nothing else better to do?
watching grass grow

So, err… enjoy!

Black Xanthus

Preparing an Emergency Water Supply

I would like to start this post by saying I’m not an alarmist; I’m a roleplayer.

That means, during many of the random fantasy scenarios that I end up playing in, Water is one of those big unknowns. We all know how to boil water to make it clean for use (not that I think I could actually create fire, but the principle is there, if I ever figure it out), but how to filter it, and how to go about distilling things, however, is a different matter.

The Americans, long in fear of having their country reducude to ruble by their very own insane leader, have of course thought this through.

Being at home, alone and Ill, I found myself trying to think of things to amuse myself. One of them was working through a few ideas for a post-apocalyptic roleplay scenario, and was trying to work out how I can keep people alive. I often find that the biggest challenge facing most of the players is a lack of knowledge.

To this end, I went searching for some tips on how to survive in this imagined post-apocalyptic world. Much to my surprise (though why I should be surprised), I found a treatise that contains not just how to boil water, distill water, and filter water with things that you are likely to find around your house. This, through a bit of thought, and application could probably be extended to things you can make, again with far more knowledge and skill than I actually have, but I try to keep as much in mind as possible.

You can find the information here:
http://www.fcs.uga.edu/pubs/current/FDNS-E-34-CS.html

Hope that helps.

Black Xanthus