Reformation Sunday

Turns out this Sunday is Reformation Sunday. These are two of the five points of the Reformation:

“1. Sola Scriptura: Scripture alone is our ultimate authority
2. Sola Christus: Christ alone is our Savior and Lord.”

If Scripture is our ultimate authority, how can Christ be our Savior and Lord?

Finally I have found the reason why Baptists and Church of Christers and a host of others think that God doesn’t speak today. And I think it can be found in Sola Scriptura. Scripture is “our ultimate authority.” Scripture has the last word. And while I think that is true for doctrine, Paul said, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:8), it is not for us to say when God has decided to have the last word in our lives. God can talk if he wants to.

Is there anything in the Bible that says dinosaurs aren’t real? I don’t believe so. I think dragons and Leviathan were dinosaurs. But if they weren’t, would the Bible be the ultimate authority on dinosaurs? No, it wouldn’t.

I think that Martin Luther probably understood that the Bible was to be the ultimate authority on doctrinal questions, but that there are many other things we can know without the Bible.

And I believe, though I have no idea if Martin Luther did, that God can speak to whom he wishes to speak at any time. I think he’s spoken to me. (Despite what R’s debating Christian said about getting his head examined.)

And I don’t think I should refuse to listen to God just because the Bible exists. I mean the New Testament didn’t exist when Paul was writing Galatians. Is he only talking about the Old Testament? Or can we only use the New Testament where it agrees with the Old Testament? I don’t think so. And most of Christendom doesn’t think so either.

This thought process brought up by The Constructive Curmudgeon who wrote the five solas into his blog entry.

A Big Pain

Live Science says that pain is genetic. Turns out BH4 is what controls a person’s “vulnerability to chronic pain.”

Having lived with lots of pain for years and being one who yells when my fingernail bends, I wonder which level of BH4 I have.

Doomed to Repeat

“Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

In that case, Americans will be doomed to repeat the last century. Having read Clayton Cramer’s blog about his wife’s English students not knowing anything about Hitler except that he invaded the Soviet Union, I thought I would give my English students a quiz.

Half the students in one class thought 9/11 was in 2000. (Does that matter? I don’t know. But they were teens when it happened and they don’t know when.) I didn’t ask that other class anything else.

Another class I asked them to tell me who was on our side in WWII. They came up with several reasonable candidates.

I asked them to come up with our enemies and everyone came up with Germany but some people forgot Japan.

I asked them to tell me three bad things that Hitler had done. Committed suicide. Used meth. Killed a single person. (I don’t remember which person. I was in shock. I wrote it down, I think.) Those were the first three.

Then someone said “killed the Jews.” I think “executed 6 million Jews” should be the least people say about that. We are sanitizing history by saying it was the Holocaust. The word no longer has meaning. (Just a thought.)

They didn’t know about the 2 million Armenians killed.

They didn’t know about the Eastern Europeans who were also put in death camps and starved to death.

They didn’t know about his eugenics program. They didn’t know he killed already born people who were mentally or physically disabled.

They didn’t know he sterilized people against their will. “To establish supremacy of the Aryan race in Germany during Hitler’s regime, large population were sterilized by intrauterine injection of silver nitrate during routine physical examination without informing the women.” from Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology. (You know, I looked up “Hitler history eugenics” and most of the articles on the first page talked more about the American ideas about eugenics than about what Hitler did.)

They didn’t know he carried out experiments on living people. To read about the experimentation, you can go to Wikipedia.

I was told about the experiments of tying women’s legs together when they were in labor by someone who was alive during WWII, but I can’t find anything about it online.

Andrea Dworkin, not my favorite feminist by a long shot, has a moving and painful description of her search for the stories of women in the Holocaust museum. (The personal story here, that she was ten when her aunt specifically and graphically informed her of what had happened to her in the concentration camp may have been the beginning of AD’s overemphasis on women. We have certainly left them out often enough in history to need to be reminded of them.)


My niece G is two. She says her prayers with her brother. He says the prayer, she says “Men.” The other night she wouldn’t say “Men.” Her mother told her to, but she shook her head and kept her mouth closed. Finally my sister asked, “Is there someone else you want to pray for?” She said “Suzi.” So they prayed for me. She still wouldn’t say “Men.” “Anyone else?” “The boys.” Then she said “Men.”

Paris is (still) Burning

The Times Online, UK says a year after the France riots started, each day 112 cars are torched and 15 police or emergency services are attacked.

Before next week’s anniversary of the Clichy riots, the violence and despair on the estates are again to the fore. Despite a promised renaissance, little has changed, and the lid could blow at any moment.

The figures are stark. An average of 112 cars a day have been torched across France so far this year and there have been 15 attacks a day on police and emergency services. Nearly 3,000 police officers have been injured in clashes this year. Officers have been badly injured in four ambushes in the Paris outskirts since September. Some police talk of open war with youths who are bent on more than vandalism.

“The thing that has changed over the past month is that they now want to kill us,” said Bruno Beschizza, the leader of Synergie, a union to which 40 per cent of officers belong. . .

Car-burning has become so routine on the estates that it has been eclipsed in news coverage by the violence against police.

Found via Cronaca, one of my daily reads.

American Muslims Think WHAT!?

Muslims for America has a survey of 317 American Muslims.

Here is a small sample of the questions and answers:

5. Did Muslims hijack planes and fly them into buildings on 9/11?
YES 117
NO 139

6. Did the U.S. government have advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, and allow the attacks to occur?
YES 200
NO 70

7. Did the U.S. government organize the 9/11 attacks?
YES 106
NO 151

8. Are the tapes of Osama Bin Laden, claiming responsibility for the 9/11 attacks and threatening future attacks, real or fake?
REAL 126
FAKE 129

9. Did Muslims commit the July 2005 train and bus bombings in London?
YES 140
NO 104

These are AMERICANS.

Found viaRedneck’s Revenge, one of my daily blog reads.

The Battle over God

has been enjoined. We Christians have felt the tide turning against us and have seen evidences of our belief taken captive and destroyed. (Ten commandments anyone? Nativity scenes?)

But now the battle has been described by someone who is not a Christian. He places himself in the category of uncaring agnostic.

“The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it’s evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there’s no excuse for shirking.”

Did you catch that? Let me make it clearer…

“They condemn… respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it’s evil.”

And thus it is that we are in a battle for our faith. For our children. For, I believe, our civilization.

You can read about the “great” atheist fighters at Wired News.

Words we use weirdly

I read on Casting Out Nines a post that discussed words we use in the negative, such as discombobulated, that we never use in the positive, combobulated anyone?

Today I was reading Daring Young Mom and she wrote, “If you’re mad to the point of explosion, wait to talk about it until you’re a little more gruntled.”

I thought it was funny that they came out one after the other, so I posted on them.

Being a Jew in France

right now is very dangerous.

Seraphic Secrets posts about it…

In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire.

In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles; so was a Jewish school in Creteil — all recently.

A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails, and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus in Paris, the words “Dirty Jew” were painted. In Bondy, fifteen men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months.

According to the Police, metropolitan Paris has seen ten to twelve anti-Jewish incidents per day in the past thirty days. Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming “Jews to the gas chambers” and “Death to the Jews.”

A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher’s shop (and, of course, the butcher) in Toulouse, France; a Jewish couple in their 20’s were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne, France. The woman was pregnant; a Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles, France.This was just in the past week.

I call on you, whether you are a fellow Jew, a friend, or merely a person with the capacity and desire to distinguish decency from depravity, to do, at least, these three simple things:

First, care enough to stay informed. Don’t ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight. I remind you of what Pastor Neimoller said in World War II: “First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me”.

A long time ago, years, but I remember it still, I read about a group of Jews in the United States discussing at a dinner party what they would do to hide their children if Jews became a persecuted minority here. The author of the piece was not Jewish and was stunned when he realized that all the Jews, professionals every one, had contingency plans with others being trusted with their children.

I’m a homeschooling mom. I’ll take your children, if this comes here.

Found Seraphic Secrets via Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred, one of my daily reads.

My Name

Apparently my name is so unusual it doesn’t exist.
Logo There are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Oh yeah. What about me?

(Note: I did cheat a bit. I used my first name and my maiden name. My first name when I was born is not the same one I have now. What I put in are my first and middle name now. But the page said no one had my first name either and I certainly do.)

Found via Right on the Left Coast, one of my daily reads.

Profanity: Warning profanity contained herein

Cursing. Cussing.

What does that mean? Well, profanity is from the root word profane which means to take something sacred and make it unholy. So saying “God” or “Jesus” in some form other than a discussion or a prayer, for instance as an exclamation after you smash your finger, is profanity.

Cursing? Well, that’s when you say someone is “damned” or “damn it to hell” or “God damn it.” All of those are curses. All of them are wishing not just bad experiences but the ultimate in negativity on a person or thing. (I am not sure you can damn a thing.)

Cussing… That’s everything else.

My grandfather-in-law says shit is a fine word. It means feces. Piss, I would assume, is the same thing. It means urine. That gets crap, pee pee, poo poo, and tee tee all covered. They’re just words for using the bathroom. If you use them in that context, according to him, it’s good.

But should you use them in any other context? “I don’t give a shit,” when you mean you don’t care, not that you’re constipated. “You’re shitting me,” when you mean you are having a hard time believing the person, not that they’ve digested you and are presently excreting you.

Personally I don’t like them. And I don’t find them useful words in mixed company. Older people are uncomfortable with them. Younger people use them too much, sometimes, because their vocabulary has become limited to the random four letter words. I would rather use a word that people know and doesn’t bother anyone. We are, at this time, still a culture where not everything needs to be talked about with everyone. And so, the radio, which can speak to anyone of any age with a radio near them, has FCC rules limiting profanity. Some people don’t like that. I don’t mind it. I think that a certain level of language is polite. Cussing, cursing, profanity, and random four letter words are not polite language.

My husband asked me, in a discussion whose beginning and middle I do not remember, if I thought f*** was okay to teach a five year old. I told him no. But, I added, I don’t think orgasm is an appropriate word for a five year old either. I think sexual words should be limited to times when most five year old children won’t be around to hear them. And f*** is a sexual word.

What does it mean when someone says to f off? It means get lost, leave me alone. But it’s literal meaning appears to be masturbate. Do I think that is appropriate language out of an adult in a normal conversation? No. Do I think it is okay for grown ups to masturbate? Yes. But I don’t have discussions about the topic while waiting in line at the post office.

How about f*** you? It is usually used to mean get lost, leave me alone, or you’re wrong. But it’s literal meaning appears to be “have sex perpetrated on you when you do not want it,” in other words rape. I am not for that in any form or fashion and I do not think it is ever appropriate in any conversation. You don’t want a lecture from me on the sexual assault statistics? Don’t use it as a curse or a conversation ender.

“Flipping the bird” is a symbol which is a speech. It means, literally, the same thing as above only, apparently, it’s a visual symbol and could limit the physical assault to being perpetrated with a finger. But it could just mean what is meant above.

I know that people say the above things when they are angry, or irritated, or frustrated. But wouldn’t that be a better thing to say? “I’m frustrated.” “I don’t know why you’re wrong, but you are.” “It’s not any of your business and it irritates me that you think you have the right to discuss it with me, or with anyone.”

I think that your personal liberty ends before it hits my ears. So if you are at home and want to use those words, I can’t say much about it unless you are my husband or sons. But if you are in the world and want to have a conversation with me, then I should want to have a conversation with you- or at least want to hear your words. I don’t want to hear those words. I’m not alone in that.

Just thinking…

The Highest Value

in this country is liberty. “…[A]ll men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That’s where we enshrined it.

And it may be the reason for our defeat.

If, as a culture, the highest value is personal, individual liberty, then the good of the group is less important than the choice of an individual. Liberty is more important than law. (So we are okay with illegal immigrants breaking the law to come here and be free. So we don’t want the government to be able to identify when phone calls are coming into this country from terrorists. So we think it is good for Howard Stern to curse on radio.)

If, as a culture, we value the pursuit of happiness over the pursuit of good, then we will never be or have good because we will always be searching for happiness. What is happiness? It is a feeling. Feelings change. They change based on the weather, our diet, the level of vitamins and minerals we’ve been ingesting… We can’t be happy when we’re asleep (though we could be good), so we’re always out chasing the illusive dream and thus we have not only enshrined the pursuit of happiness, but we have made it our life’s goal. That’s an ephemeral and unworthy goal. But it is part and parcel of liberty. We want to be free to do whatever we want when we want and that is our pursuit of happiness. We choose liberty over all else so that we can pursue happiness.

Do we, as a culture, value life? We have made murder illegal, even the murder of a wanted unborn child. But millions of unwanted children have been killed legally. We’ve enshrined, instead of life, the value of privacy. And that is, in fact, just another way of saying we have enshrined liberty. We want what we want when we want it, regardless of the fact that someone else’s death may be the result. We want to have sex. We want to have sex without responsibility so we do (or don’t) use birth control. When a pregnancy occurs, we want to have liberty of life, so women kill their unborn children. The baby can’t save itself. The father can’t save itself. The only liberty here is for a woman to end a pregnancy if she wants. That’s what has happened when our value of liberty has clashed with our value of life; liberty triumphs and life… dies.

We want to have the freedom to do what we want when we want. That has led to debt because doing costs money. No one wants to have debt. That has led to bankruptcy becoming almost common. (We finally decided, as a society, that bankruptcy might not be the best thing to do, so we passed a law making it harder.)

We want the freedom to do what we want when we want. So gays lobby for the right to marry, even though marriage has been restricted on a federal level (in the Defense of Marriage act) to mean a man and a woman and all the states where a vote has been taken have chosen to adopt that same definition.

We want the freedom to do what we want when we want. So marriage has become a short term product with no fault divorces often granted instantly.

We want the freedom to do what we want when we want. So we’ve made that the highest value and made those who “want” to work support those who don’t want to work. We’ve turned our welfare system into a freedom to do what you want system where folks can have more babies to get more money. So if you don’t want to work and you want more money, you have more babies.

Liberty may not, after all, be the best value. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” “I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the Father except through me.” “In Christ there is neither … slave nor free….”


E’s been watching Penn and Teller’s B*S* show.

From something R said to me last night, I realize that what the show is really is P’s (and assumably T’s) belief system and their arguments for that belief system. They don’t want to be polite, so manners are bad. (They “prove” this by showing two wackos with poor manners who think everyone else should be polite.) They want to be polyamorous, so they show a marriage in which the wife took a lover, so the husband did too. They say it is working out well, but I wonder if it is. And by whose standard is it working out? The wife, the husband, the lovers, the kids?

The realization that it is pretty much a propaganda show for their beliefs will help me. I can at least ask E why we should all live our lives according to their beliefs.

Yes, I agree with them that PETA is supporting terrorists and arsonists. But, no, I don’t think God doesn’t exist because he is killed some babies. (I had to work through that theology point as an adult. God is, by definition, good. Anything God does is, by definition, good. Therefore, when God killed the first born of the Egyptian children, it was good. Yes, I don’t “get” that fully, but I do believe it.)

One Good Thing

that has come out of our son becoming an atheist, hopefully temporarily, is that we are having to think through things well. We’re becoming more ready, as Peter put it, to make a defense of our faith.

Grammar Rules!

Live Science has an article entitled “Grammar May Help Fight Bacteria.” Supposedly, thinking of peptide chains like sentences and replacing the nouns gave the scientists “new artificial bacteria-fighters.”

Hah! And you thought grammar was only to get you out of English class.

If you read the post, you’ll see they think they’ve got something that will take out anthrax. Two thingies, actually.