Saturday, November 29, 2008

Consequences of Expulsion

Our church family recently got together to watch the movie, Expelled. This very well done documentary by Ben Stein explores the censorship and virulent hatred of academia towards the concept of Intelligent Design. Even on campuses which tout their policy of vigorous academic debate, there is an Orwellian view that some debate topics are more equal than others and Intelligent Design inquiries need not apply.

What is particularly alarming about the stifling of genuine academic pursuit in the realm of origins are the parallels between the mindset of evolutionists and the mindset of the Third Reich. If you haven’t seen the movie, that parallel may seem to be an exercise in hyperbole, but, unfortunately, it is not.

In his sermon last Sunday, my husband cited the work of anthropologic philosopher René Girard and his scapegoat hypothesis. To summarize (in a far too brief manner), tension in society creates unrest to the point that a person (or group) is singled out as the cause of the trouble and is expelled or killed by the society. This person (group) is the scapegoat. An obvious application is that of the Jews in Nazi Germany, but we see it in business settings, in social settings and even in church settings. People who otherwise may have little in common bind themselves together against a perceived enemy/problem.

There is a concern among some Christian thinkers, that Christianity could become a scapegoat. Already in Canada, tenets of the Christian doctrine (opposing homosexuality, etc) are deemed as “hate speech.” The hate speech legislation proposed in our own Congress has had these troubling elements. New hate speech legislation is already being proposed for the 2009 Congress.

Beliefs have consequences. Evolutionists have told generations of students man is simply a more evolved animal. Yet, society is still aghast when people act like animals as happened in a New York Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

If you have not seen Expelled, do so. Immediately. The words of English philosopher Edmund Burke are a call to action, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Educated Populace

One of our Founding Fathers said democracy depended upon an educated populace. This Zogby poll explains a lot.

Now listen as Howard Stern interviews Harlem voters. He attributes John McCain's positions to Obama in the questions.

More and more we are seeing this election was symbolism over substance. People wanted to "feel good" about demonstrating racial prejudice was no more than they wanted to vote on the issues.

Good grief.

Monday, November 17, 2008

List of Fives

A friend tagged me for this, so here are my lists of fives:

5 joys:
1. Helping my husband and going through life with him.
2. Being with my mom.
3. Being with the kids the Lord has put in our lives.
4. Traveling.
5. Being exposed to new insights and ideas.

5 fears:
1. Losing a loved one.
2. Tornadoes.
3. All multi-legged bugs.
4. Forgetting something really important.
5. Liberals in power.

5 obsessions:
1. Battling the bulge(s).
2. Internet.
3. Christmas!
4. Finding the right shade of red lipstick.
5. Finding a Denver-minted Kansas state quarter!

5 Surprising facts:
1. I’ve bungee jumped.
2. I can’t make an edible beef roast to save my life!
3. My gut instinct has never let me down (except when I’ve ignored it).
4. I saw Elvis Presley in concert twice.
5. Once told a friend hell would freeze over before I became a pastor’s wife. ; )

5 things for which you are thankful (from 2008):
1. My mom is cancer free.
2. The Lord’s tender mercies at my mom-in-law’s passing.
3. My church family.
4. My new cookware.
5. Olivia and Nick.

5 goals that you have for 2009:
1. Lose weight.
2. Read more.
3. Redo bedroom.
4. Clean garage so a car can actually go in it.
5. Have friends and family in our home more.

Now, I am officially tagging others: Guinever, Rosie, Coral - you're it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sayonara Stick Shift?

I learned to drive on a manual transmission (and somehow my relationship with my Dad survived this!). I remember being 16 and out with my Dad when he made me stop on a hill with a big truck behind me and take off again.

These days stopping on hills and all the other stick-shift terrors don't phase me. I love the feeling of being Jimmy Johnson when I shift to pass. I love everything about a manual transmission. I love being able to get the jump on a much more powerful car at a red light and then grinning as the muscle car whizzes pass me in a huff. An automatic just doesn't feel like real driving to me.

Alas, my love affair may be ended by force. It seems we manual transmission lovers are few and far between. Here's the sad story.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The King of America?

Good grief. The next four years will provide lots of items about which to blog!

Words have meaning and what words people use often mean a lot more than they realize. The new president's spokesperson chose a word that is, in my view, particularly telling. Here's the link. has already admited a bias in covering the election, now the Washington Post has come clean as well. [Notice both were after the election.]

Friday, November 07, 2008

Say Goodbye to Cheaper Gas

On the President-Elect's web site is the Obama-Biden plan which includes a windfall tax on "excessive" oil company profits. Since corporations don't actually pay taxes but rather pass them on to the consumer - get ready for higher gas prices. If memory serves Jimmy Carter tried the same thing. I see a Carter Administration Redux on the horizon.

While the DNC blathers on about the Bush Tax Cuts only helping the rich, Obama-Biden must be doing "new math" because the numbers don't add up as detailed in this report. The Bush Tax Cuts expire in 2010 and the Democrats have enthusiastically reported they will absolutely let them expire - no extension, no way, no how. So in two years, we will, in effect, get our first tax hike from the new administration.

I need to find my polyester clothes and 8-track tapes because it looks like we're going back to the 7os.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Remembering Michael Crichton

Dinosaurs are in mourning. Michael Crichton has died from cancer at age 66.

Crichton’s books often explored the consequences of scientific advancements without ethical constraints. As a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard with an M.D. from that school, having done post-doctoral fellowship study at the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies and as Visiting Writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Crichton had the educational background to explore these issues.

My favorite book and subsequent movie of his is Jurassic Park. In what I consider the pivotal quote in the movie, on hearing of the great scientific advancements Jurassic Park technicians have made, Dr. Malcolm warns, “Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.”

This theme of ability outpacing morality echoes the sentiments of sociologist and futurist Alvin Toffler in his famous book, “Future Shock”. It continues in our world today as we debate cloning, embryonic stem cell research and more.

Crichton never dodged controversy. In 2004, his book State of Fear was published which questioned the growing concern over global warming. He gave a speech at the Commonwealth Club on the hype which caused quite a stir. He compared environmentalism to a religion. Skeptics of the hysteria over global warming continue to sound the alarm that some “scientific beliefs” were much more faith-based than fact-based. In his 2006 novel Next, Crichton explored the legal and ethical issues of genetic research.

The literary world has lost one of its thinkers. I think I might have to rewatch Jurassic Park soon.