Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Your Political Beliefs (Mathematically Speaking)

Okay, here's a fun "political beliefs" quiz (40 questions, about 4 mins max) on political beliefs that will give you some interesting responses to what your "true" political responses are socially & economically. It was designed by mathematicians & appears to be quite accurate, judging by the analysis on me and a friend.

Yes, it doesn't quite give you every option you want for every question & yes there are caveats to certain questions, but it's a quiz!

Find out if you're a "Capitalist," "Centrist" -> John McCain, "Liberatarian," "Fascist," or "Socialist -> Barack Obama. (Presidential candidates as defined by this quiz, which is also interesting.)

So go take it & let me know what you are. Me? I'm a "Centrist" (which must be why I upset so many people in so many ways! :)

BTW, Phillip Hampton, our original blogger (and an original staffer), is going to take a spin on "Month in the Life" to cover the last 4 weeks of the election. Go check him out, won't you?

Okay, Now I Am Offically Creeped Out

Chances are, if you've already seen this elsewhere, you've already seen the word "creepy" attached to it.

Once again, the vehicle of worship and adoration that should be reserved for a God that will not exactly be treated with deference if they get their way has been out and out commandeered. And the blatant use of children (who fortunately managed to sneak past the Family Planning quotas) to propagate a messianic tone? Sickening.

Watch at your own, Guyana/V-For Vendetta/Soylent Green/all-that-is-missing-is Rembrandt-Lighting peril.

One interesting note as well. Please note the day of the week in which this was shot, as noted by the text at the beginning. How fitting.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

When Pentecostals Sue

Alert Reader Billy sends this:

Former Galleria Hollister Worker Sues Over Dress Code
Lakettra Bennett is Pentecostal and says her religion does not permit her to wear pants or skirts if the hemline does not cover the knee.

Is there a line that has been crossed? Should Christians take matters to court when they have been “persecuted” for a bad dress code? Should we insist on our rights? Or, have we become so non self-sacrificing that we shirk at persecution thinking it’s not God’s will? (Think of the first century church and they were fed to the lions)

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).


“For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. 11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; 12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:” (I Corinthians 4:9-12).


“For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:” (I Peter 2:19-23).

On the other hand, didn’t Paul stand up for his Citizen rights after being thrust into prison and beaten wrongfully? Are we Apostolics to be “dumb sheep” never standing up for our rights?

“And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. 35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. 36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. 37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. 38 And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. 39 And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city” (Acts 16:34-39).

What sayest thou, kind reader?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shades of Grey

As Christians we strive to make moral decisions.  But often the answers are not so clear as we would like them to be.  The evangelical movement, for example, has recently begun to acknowledge that caring for and protecting the environment is a moral choice that had been ignored for decades.  Good stewardship of God's planet means not squandering its limited natural resources.  Newer technologies are allowing us to take better care of our environment on a national, a local, and an individual level.  Such environmentally friendly philosophies, then, are always the moral choice in a given set of alternatives, right?


It would seem so, but this story out of the UK reminds us that applying any moral choice to every situation is a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to technology.  In this case, one scientist, Sir David King, is making the argument that environmental philosophies which encourage organic foods and "traditional farming" techniques are, in reality, keeping Africa poor.  Because improved agricultural technologies have become readily available, they should be alleviating some of the hunger and poverty in Africa as they are starting to in Asia.  Instead, Western Non-Governmental Agencies and aid organizations are emphasizing a "focus on nontechnological agricultural techniques, on techniques of farming that pertain to the history of that continent rather than techniques that pertain to modern technological capability."  Such a focus discourages technologies such as genetic improvements that could protect plants against new diseases,  as well as provide drought resistance, saline resistance, and flood tolerance.  In fact, one organization "worried that drought-tolerant crops may have the potential to grow in habitats unavailable to conventional crops.  The priority of providing food to an area of the world in greatest need appears not to have been noted."  King calls such environmental agendas "well-meaning but fatally flawed." 


Adopting any idea or philosophy wholesale without fully considering the consequences is always dangerous.  And to claim that my personal convictions should be applied to everyone in the world is, likewise, dangerous.  It may be a good moral choice for me to eat only organic foods as a way of demonstrating kindness and good stewardship.  But in Africa, where genetically altered crops could save many lives, to insist on low-tech methods of agriculture is certainly not the best moral choice.   


Sometimes making a moral decision is not as clear as we would like it to be.  Sometimes it requires wisdom simply to live righteously.  When discussing personal convictions and "the right thing to do," perhaps we should always start where Proverbs 9 starts, with the fear of the LORD.


Josh R

Monday, September 22, 2008

What Do You Want To Do Today Brain? The Same Thing We Do Every Day Pinky...


This week it was announced that pornography is no longer the king of the internet.  Social networking sites have taken the top spot as Facebook and My Space become the way to stay connected, get connected, or reconnect with friends all over the world.  Analysts indicate that this reflects a major shift in the way we are communicating as a society.  But it's not just an American phenomenon.  Really, social networking sites have become popular all over the world.  Countries as diverse as Sweden, Korea, Australia, Turkey, Colombia, South Africa, and India are all finding web-based friends.  Facebook is leading the way in the global market with tools that allow users to translate their sites while others like My Space have to create a local version of the site in each new market.  It appears the internet is undergoing a change from primarily being used for entertainment purposes to becoming an important form of communication and a major piece of our lives, not to mention actually bringing a small sense of unity to this diverse planet of ours.


Josh R

Friday, September 19, 2008

Intellectual Skiier Reaches Bottom Of Socialized Medicine's Slippery Slope

Even though Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger was light years ahead of this woman with her brand of racial eugenics wrapped in a woman's right to choose, the aplomb on the public stage is nonetheless sobering. Old and infirm? Do your civic duty. Let the government "put you down."

The veteran Government adviser said pensioners in mental decline are "wasting people's lives" because of the care they require and should be allowed to opt for euthanasia even if they are not in pain.

She insisted there was "nothing wrong" with people being helped to die for the sake of their loved ones or society.

The 84-year-old added that she hoped people will soon be "licensed to put others down" if they are unable to look after themselves.

But is the Baroness doing anything other than front loading the inevitable consequences of socialized medicine? Once health care becomes nothing but a budgetary issue to government--something with inherently no heart or soul--then euthanasia simply becomes a "budget cut."


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Only 7 More Days...

...and The Forum begins! Whether you're seeking something fresh in Apostolic ranks, or are interested in contemporary issues ("Should Apostolics Go Green?" "Apostolics & Race - Is Everyone Welcome in Your Church" "The Emerging Church") or wonder what it's like to interact with like-minded young Apostolics, then you need to check out The Forum in St. Louis!

This year's event is headlined by Wayne Francis, but expect to hear from Jaime Morgans, Ray Crownover, Jeff Tracy, Jared Runck, and the Apostolic Comedy of Josh Fitkin!

It's a one-of-a-kind event you dare not miss!

Glitch In Giant Manmade Atom Smasher With Years Of Planning Causes Failure To Explain Event Bearing Absolutely None Of These Criteria

As referenced below, the machine that some were hoping would create some microcosmic Big Bang has suffered a hangup. But that isn't the best part. The best part is how idiotic the little man in the middle of this picture looks--all in his veiled attempt to vacate God from the court record.

I know what you're thinking. "Wow that elaborate, multimillion-dollar intelligently designed object that takes up a football field's worth of real estate totally reminds me of matterless, outer darkness with no physical laws in effect!"

I know. That's what I was thinking, too.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Evolution vs. Academic Freedom

The ongoing battle between Creationism and Evolutionism reached sad low this week when a British evolutionist fell to friendly fire.  Michael Reiss, a member of the Royal Society resigned his position over a controversy centered on remarks he made concerning the teaching of evolution.  While he does not support Creationism as scientific, his comments were met with purely emotional reaction by his peers.  Ultimately it was decided he had damaged the reputation of the Royal Society.


What reputation-damaging comments did he make?


You can read the full text here , but among the inflammatory rants are such illogical statements as the following:


So when teaching evolution, there is much to be said for allowing students to raise any doubts they have (hardly a revolutionary idea in science teaching) and doing one's best to have a genuine discussion.  The word 'genuine' doesn't mean that creationism or intelligent design deserve equal time.  However, in certain cases... it can be appropriate to deal with the issue.


Wow!  What an apologists!  Actually, no where in all of his comments does he claim to believe in Creationism or give it any scientific merit.  He simply feels that "creationism is best seen by science teachers not as a misconception, but as a worldview."  In other words, one science class is unlikely to cause an entire paradigm shift in many people.  Instead of focusing on correcting or debunking Creationists, educators should be willing to answer questions, discuss, and actually teach science, even to Creationists.


The issue at stake in this discussion is not even Creationism vs. Evolutionism.  It is merely how to teach evolution in a classroom where students believe in creation.  And the issue at stake in the resignation of Dr. Reiss is has nothing to do with origins.  it has everything to do with the academic freedom to raise questions, and freedom of speech.  When scientists are unable to write in a neutral tone without fear of firing--whether they be evolutionists who want to teach creationists, climatologists unconvinced by global warming, or physicists declaring that the universe looks designed--then science itself has suffered a tremendous blow.


Josh R

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palin and Young Evangelicals

As the sole female blogger on Collideoscope I'm regretful that I've taken so long in sharing my opinions on Sarah Palin as the VP candidate for the McCain presidential campaign. I will admit that I think it was a brilliant political move and one that certainly energized my interest what had become an uninteresting political slugfest. It seems that I'm not alone.

While polls have not yet been conducted on the "Palin Effect" on younger evangelical voters it seems that many of them have started paying more attention to McCain and his platform as a result of the addition of Palin to the ticket. And the under-30 evangelical vote could prove to be a vital one.

A Pew survey last fall showed under-30 white evangelicals are increasingly up for grabs politically: 40 percent identified as Republican, down 15 percent from 2005. Most who abandoned the GOP were becoming independents, not Democrats.

On the whole, evangelicals under 30 say Palin enthuses them because she's a fresh face with a compelling family story, a reputation as a reformer and a champion of conservative moral values.

The thing I found most interesting while watching Palin's RNC speech was just how much I felt she resonated with middle America. Her feelings on the military, abortion, family, etc. seemed in lock-step with the views of the people I grew up with, both as a part of my church and as a part of extended social groups. As a young female evangelical she appeals to me largely because she is proof that we don't have to be limited in what we strive for by our beliefs or our sex.

"For a lot of young evangelical women, it's exciting," said Colorado-based author Margaret Feinberg, an up-and-coming evangelical voice. "It speaks to young evangelical women who face a glass ceiling in our workplaces, but also the stained-glass ceiling of the church."

The challenge will be in motivating these newly energized voters to stay engaged and to turn out in November. McCain/Palin also need to find a way to reach those young evangelicals who are more center or left-of-center who are rather unimpressed and who view her appointment as a purely political move and who have serious concerns about the possibility of Palin becoming President should McCain have unexpected health issues. Personally, I think Palin will prove that she is up to the challenge.

This Means I Must Be Einstein!

"Caloric overcompensation following intellectual work, combined with the fact that we are less physically active when doing intellectual tasks, could contribute to the obesity epidemic currently observed in industrialized countries," said lead researcher Jean-Philippe Chaput at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada. Read more in "Thinking Makes Us Pig Out."

Thanks to Alert Reader Steve for the link.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Trig Palin & A More Fitting Political Cartoon

My whole theory as to why Sarah Palin's Vice Presidential nomineehood has the left freaking out can be summed up in three words.

Unaborted Downs Baby.

Twenty years ago, I took it with a grain of salt when I heard Rush Limbaugh refer to abortion as the "sacrament" of the otherwise irreligious left. Now I think he was WAY ahead of his time. Something about that cute little Trig Palin is making them nuts.

I really didn't think the transparency of these things would emerge so soon, but they have. And all it took was for John McCain to nominate Sarah Palin.

At first, the press went straight ahead with the predictable "stupid hick" meme, hoping that McCain would falter on one of his Maverick turns and spirit her out the gate called Eagleton. That was immediately evaporated by crack Internet research and one speech to the convention. Then they tried to explain little Trig's existence as the pregnancy of a naive girl and an embarrassed mother trying to cover it up by saying it was her own. That failed, about the same time that the Daily Kos, notorious for their malevolent sendoffs of dead conservatives, found themselves even too embarrassed to be seen standing next to that smear.

So what did that leave them with? Sarah Palin: A woman who loved her genetically-damaged child enough not to kill it.

This is an abomination too heavy for the left to handle. But again, I, the raven, quoth too much. I'll let the horses usher their transparent malfeasance, right off the bit. Take, for instance, Carol Fowler, the chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party:

South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin today, saying John McCain had chosen a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.” Palin is an opponent of abortion rights and gave birth to her fifth child, Trig, earlier this year after finding out during her pregnancy that the baby had Down syndrome.

Of course , this was retracted the minute it saw print. Er, eh . . . wait. Not exactly:

"I personally admire and respect the difficult choices that women make everyday, and I apologize to anyone who finds my comment offensive. I clumsily was making a point about people in South Carolina who may vote based on a single issue. Whether it’s the environment, the economy, the war or a woman’s right to choose, there are people who will cast their vote based on a single issue. That was the only point I was attempting to make."
And she was trying to make the point without ever once apologizing to the woman she insulted: Sarah Palin.
Even worse, we have the medical community attempting to weigh in with--and I mean this--a "concern" that Sarah Palin's high-visibility amongst the rest of humanity will . . . and I can't believe these words are coming out . . . encourage those with protractible special needs pregnancies to seek methods other than the saline catapult to answer fate's whisper:

Sarah and Todd Palin's decision to complete her recent pregnancy, despite advance notice that their baby Trig had Down syndrome, is hailed by many in the pro-life movement as walking the walk as well as talking the talk.

But a senior Canadian doctor is now expressing concerns that such a prominent public role model as the governor of Alaska and potential vice president of the United States completing a Down syndrome pregnancy may prompt other women to make the same decision against abortion because of that genetic abnormality. And thereby reduce the number of abortions.
Though I guess I won't know until Judgement, I still cannot understand just what exactly it is that Hell accomplishes with this. I for one don't believe that the unborn fill Hell's coffers. But the spirit behind this is almost tangible, and practically ectoplasmically visible.

I just don't know why.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Talking in Tongues Political Cartoon

If you haven't seen the Washington Post cartoon yet about us benighted believers, then here it is.

Phoebe's Blog has a Scriptural response that's worth reading. (She was also the first to flag us on this one.

In the meantime, remember that the point of political cartoons is to provoke thought. This appears to be outright ridicule.

Just remember we're not to respond as the Muslims did about the Danish editorial cartoons of Mohammed, but to turn the other cheek and pray for others. You can send your well-worded, compassionate-but-forceful comments of disappointment to ombudsman@washpost.com or executive.editor@washingtonpost.com.

Got any thoughts on the matter?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Woefully Underdressed Savant Promises Not To Cause End Of World

This will be perhaps my shortest post, ever.

I logged on to Fox News a minute ago, and found myself treated to this story. A story which inaugurates itself with the following, mind-numbing salvo--pertaining to the guy to the right:

A British physicist has claimed he can explain the secrets of the Big Bang Theory, but his controversial experiment has scientists believing he could bring about the end of the world, the U.K.'s Daily Mail reported.
Unlock the "secrets?" Of a "theory?"

Time to turn off the computer. I need to go and find out what "Sherlock Holmes" was "really like."


Friday, September 05, 2008

Me? I'll Be Over Here Blaspheming Like Elijah

I'm always on the semi-defensive when I walk into my local Barnes & Noble, as I am fully aware that they will have erected a shrine to something in there for my immediate visual benefit. Either it's global warming, replete with some ill-written tome on how I can be exactly like Ed Begley Junior, DaVinci Code knockoffs or the pantheon of atheistic drivel that masquerades as independent thought and rationality.

Today, however, I am treated to a Stonehenge-rivaling stack of books that bear the following dust cover to the right:

I don't care who you're voting for. The canonization of Barack Obama has finally hit sickening levels. The messianic gravity assigned to this man--especially by people who hate the real Messiah--is enough to trip my semi-antagonistic gag reflex (apparently, my attempts to lead a public prayer to the bibliophilic monument were considered uncouth, but I digress).
This complaint is not something dredged up by a right-wing talking points committee. We are talking out and out pathology here.
But I quibble using my own words. Quoth the Called:

"Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama."
-- Dinesh Sharma

"We just like to say his name. We are considering taking it as a mantra."
-- Chicago Sun-Times

"A Lightworker -- An Attuned Being with Powerful Luminosity and High-Vibration Integrity who will actually help usher in a New Way of Being"
-- Mark Morford

"What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history"
-- Jesse Jackson, Jr.

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
-- Barack Obama

"Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?"
-- Daily Kos

"He communicates God-like energy..."
-- Steve Davis (Charleston, SC)

"Not just an ordinary human being but indeed an Advanced Soul"
-- http://obamamessiah.blogspot.com/2008/03/not-just-ordinary-human-being-but.html

"I'll do whatever he says to do. I'll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear."
-- Halle Berry

"A quantum leap in American consciousness"
-- Deepak Chopra
"He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians. . . . the agent of transformation in an age of revolution, as a figure uniquely qualified to open the door to the 21st century."
-- Gary Hart

"Barack Obama is our collective representation of our purest hopes, our highest visions and our deepest knowings . . . He's our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence."
-- Eve Konstantine

"This is bigger than Kennedy. . . . This is the New Testament." "I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often. No, seriously. It's a dramatic event."
-- Chris Matthews

"[Obama is ] creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom . . . [He is] the man for this time."
-- Toni Morrison

"Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. . . . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh . . . Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves."
-- Ezra Klein

"Obama has the capacity to summon heroic forces from the spiritual depths of ordinary citizens and to unleash therefrom a symphonic chorus of unique creative acts whose common purpose is to tame the soul and alleviate the great challenges facing mankind."
-- Gerald Campbell

"We're here to evolve to a higher plane . . . he is an evolved leader . . . [he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth."
-- Oprah Winfrey

“I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let’s say, blessed and highly favored. That’s not routine. There’s something else going on. I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered. . . . I know that that was God’s plan."
-- Bill Rush

Just when I thought these people wanted religion out of politics, they go off and melt down all their jewelry and start dancing naked around the abortion plank. What's a theocratic upstart like me to think?

I for one, refuse to pray to the meme. If Obama's skin color alone has the redeeming power I'm supposed to think it has, then why isn't Condoleeza Rice considered his baptismal forerunner?

Sometimes, it seems, a little blasphemy is in order--especially when the god is a false one.

NOTE: If one thinks I'm kidding about this, go here. You'll be treated to a chronicle of photographic canonizations that rival Renaissance-levels of halo gracing the Madonna--all in one place.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

This Means I’m a Billionaire!

Or would’ve been in past years, as 2008 hasn’t been especially kind to my reading commitments.

If You’re Rich, You Still Have Time to Read

Respondents making more than $100,000 annually said their average hours online had grown to 22.1 each week from 10.7, while the time they said they spent watching TV sunk to 18.6 hours from 23.7 in the 2003 survey. And they said their time spent listening to the radio had declined slightly. But they said they're regularly reading an average of 15.3 print publications, a notch above 15.1 five years earlier. Readers making more than $250,000 said they read just as many publications, 23.8 now, as they did in 2003.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Gustav Strikes Us Out

Hurricane Gustav has broken our web master's electricity, so all the new articles are piled up in an inbox he can't reach. Alas! No new articles at the Mothership, but know this - there are a lot of people who aren't going to like the cover wen it runs.

Monday, September 01, 2008

We Are The 90&9!

Alert Reader Kris tipped us off to this sign that hangs in the tabernacle at Minnesota camp. It was apparently signed by Senior campers a few years ago.

As you might guess, we like it a lot. :)