Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.Tom Hanks as “Chelsey Sullenberger,” Sully
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. Galileo Galilei
Many years ago someone whipped out the “God is not the author of confusion” line on me to justify her position. In the moment I disagreed with her application of the principle, but I could not soundly refute it either. I failed to recognize the logical fallacy; she failed to consider the implications of her statement. Continue reading “God Isn’t the Author of Confusion?”
Though already strongly suggested by Cohen v. California and Houston v. Hill, The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has now specifically recognized that a Michigan woman who flipped off a cop after receiving a traffic ticket was exercising her protected free speech pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Continue reading “One’s Middle Finger Is Protected Speech”
Separate areas with sofas, vanities, and even writing tables used to put the “rest” in women’s restrooms. Why were these spaces built, and why did they vanish? Read City Lab’s story title The Glamorous, Sexist History of the Women’s Restroom Lounge
I just finished watching The Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix and I am conflicted more than ever by the death penalty. How does homocide remedy homicide? To what degree is the death penalty entrenched in antiquated Judeo-Christian religiosity? And what do the evolved states of those religions say about the preciousness of life? Does the Talmud not teach that to save one life is to save the whole world? Did Christ not teach that even the most wretched life is still worth sparing? And to what degree is pronouncing the death penalty our attempt to vangloriously exalt ourselves to equality with God to decide who should live and who should die? I think that as a society the death penalty must exist as the ultimate repuditiation and condemnation of intolerable crime. But as a civilization, should we not then immediately commute that death sentence to exile (which is to say, prison)? We euthanize animals in the name of compassion, but we refuse that same compassion to those agonizing in the throes of slow natural death. Yet we force death upon those we condemn in the name of justice for the victims. Is that just a reverse–and a perverse–euthenasia? Using death in the name of compassion, not for the one dying, but for the one already dead? More death does not reverse the finality of the a priori death. And no, I haven’t been the victim of anyone like Ted Bundy, but I can say that the natural death of one who victimized me in childhood brought me no pleasure nor displeasure. It closed the cover of an open book, but it did not erase the contents of its chapters.
Many non-believers scoff at the notion of deathbead salvation. Some consider it unjust, a self-serving means to an end, or an act of fear. But ultimately it makes perfect sense if one understands the subtext of salvation which is not simply the avoidance of punishment for our musdeeds but rather restoration of humankind to fellowship with God. The essence of homo sapien’s free will is that we choose everything on the spectrum of life choices from career and criminality. And everyone’s choices reflect a personal journey toward enlightenment. For some, wisdom comes naturally while for others wisdom comes stubbornly. Regardless of how fast or how slow and how naturally or how stubbornly it comes, ultimately God is simply looking for us to come to a point where we acknowledge that we are but mere mortals whose greatest function is to worship the one and only supreme God of the universe. That is what salvation is: humbling ourselves from our own self-constructed pinnacle of intellect. It is a conscious admission that we must realize out of our free will. Salvation only requires this one act of humble worship. Whether it takes a lifetime to reach this conclusion does not negate its efficacy.
An earthquake is coming to the southeastern United States.
“I like to put it like this: I went to church a lot as a kid and we were always taught to love out enemies. Tai Chi taught me something new: to love the enemy inside me as well. So i don’t look at peace as the absence of conflict anymore; I see it as the acceptance of conflict.”Barry Sloane as “Zachary Heflin,” Longmire S4:E5
Two verses have been on my mind again these last two or three days. The first is John 19:11—”You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above“— and Lamentations 3:37—”Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?” (NIV–1978). Another more modern translation, and the one that I really want to focus on, rendered Lam 3:37 as “Can anything happen without the Lord’s permission?” (NLT–1996). Continue reading “Can Anything Happen Without the Lord’s Permission? (Part 2)”