News/Politics 11-29-12

What’s news today?

I have no idea, I’m on vacation.

🙂

So today we try something a little different.

As KBells suggested, an open News Thread.

You folks decide what’s news!

68 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-29-12

  1. Semi-news but mostly for discussion: the WaPo editorial page today writes that:

    “Mr. Leahy is set to press his committee Thursday to adopt a series of changes that would establish the confidentiality of e-mail and other electronic communications. Service providers would be prohibited from handing over e-mail, and Mr. Leahy would get rid of the strange 180-day rule that the government can now use to compel disclosure. To access any e-mail content, law enforcement officers would be required to obtain a search warrant from a judge after demonstrating probable cause. ”

    the whole editorial piece is here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/keeping-e-mail-private/2012/11/28/8f962436-39a8-11e2-a263-f0ebffed2f15_story.html?hpid=z5

    Privacy laws that cover your mail box have not kept up with electronic e-mail. Do you think the amendments are, heh, warranted?

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  2. I’m inclined to agree with Ricky about Leahy. But just because it’s Leahy and Vermont. Actually, I agree that something should be done about cyber security.
    OTOH. If people were prohibited from using data that is posted, lots of “free” stuff would go away.
    Ain’t nothing free. That means:
    Everything cost somebody something.
    If Facebook and blogs can’t use your data, they can’t provide you “free” use of their system. As someone said, “If’ you’re not the customer, you’re the product.”
    If you post on Facebook of WorldMagBlog, the data belongs to them.
    AJ is providing a free service because he doesn’t have ad’s.
    But most aren’t.

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  3. Okay, this guy is probably a jerk, but should making fun of someone get you jail time? Sounds like something that could eventually be used against people you disagree with to shut them up.

    “A northeast Ohio man accused of making fun of a young girl with cerebral palsy has been sentenced to a month in jail.

    Canton Municipal Judge John A. Poulos ordered the maximum sentence for 43-year-old William Bailey, who pleaded no contest Tuesday to reduced misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and aggravated menacing.

    The (Canton) Repository reports that Bailey was caught on cellphone video at a school bus stop in October making fun of how the 10-year-old disabled girl walks. The video of him seemingly imitating her limp was disseminated online and on local TV news. Bailey denied he was mocking the girl, saying he was reacting to name-calling directed at his 9-year-old son.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/28/ohio-dad-gets-jail-for-mocking-girl-with-cerebral-palsy/?test=latestnews#ixzz2DcM7ePnw

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/28/ohio-dad-gets-jail-for-mocking-girl-with-cerebral-palsy/?test=latestnews

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  4. I see in the Times-News that Obama and Romney are going to have a private luncheon at the White House.
    It’s over Mitt. Don’t go there. Ain’t nothing good going to come of this.

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  5. I’ll make a deal with you. You lend me $100,000 now and I’ll pay you back a million when I win the lottery.
    I see where Obama wants to make a deal. You guys raise taxes now and I’ll cut spending next year.
    You can’t beat that for a deal. A gift to the Republicans.

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  6. I”m not going to pay any attention to the current farce that is going on in Washington. When the Chinese, the Germans, the Saudis and others start to tell us what to do to put our house in order, I will pay more attention. That will be entertaining and instructive.

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  7. Totally unrelated: I was bothered by a news story the other day. A British foster family had their foster children removed because they were racist. It was determined they were racist because they belong to the party that wants the UK out of the EU, not because of anything they said or did. They will be allowed to foster again, but only white children. You may have covered this, I have been busy. But it is of special interest to me. What does that do to the children? One more move from a safe and secure home where they were loved. The couple planned to adopt them.

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  8. Not that I am aware of. What we have experienced is negative reception with the arrival of seven teenagers and some young ones. Inevitably, when we prepare to leave, at least one person approaches and says something along the lines of, “I was so scared when you got here but your kids are so well behaved, it is amazing! They are fun to talk with and be around. You are lucky to have them.” To which we respond, “It is a gift from God. Thanks.”

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  9. What we tell our children is that people are watching. They expect mostly bad from them due to their “races” and their age. Prove them wrong. People who never imagined they could like a black person or Hispanic find themselves engaged in conversation, giving and receiving hugs, etc. It has been a good thing.

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  10. Of course, dealing with a lot of social workers has not been so positive, though the ones we have had bring us children or supervise us have been wonderful. Initially, as you may recall, we were told repeatedly that we could not handle children of other races.

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  11. Our experience has also been mostly positive. Occasionally a curious child wanting to know how I could be his mommy and that one weird incident where the lady from Michigan thought he said he couldn’t go in the club house because he was black and I think someone on the World Mag blog asked me if I was going to raise him white. I don’t even know what that means.

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  12. drivesguy, I the article said “but they do consider “the will of the biological parents.” Apparently this was not the decision of the social workers alone but probably made after a complaint by the biological parents.

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  13. So kbells, could we assume that the child was taken away from the biological parents for bad parenting by social services? This begs yet another question, why did the biological black parents object to having their child adopted by white parents?

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  14. It is possible that the bio parents gave the child up for adoption voluntarily. In that case the bio parents have a say so in who adopts the child. Our child’s bio mother picked us off a list of interested adoptive parents.

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  15. Sad situation. Moving a child under three is a huge thing for their ability to bond. Sad that they would let the child bond with the parents for five months and then move him again. Not in the best interest of the child at all.

    As you may recall, we were selected for a group of six from N Carolina but the worker really did not approve of us. Before we got them, they were split up and then we were told we were no longer needed as a better match had been found. Poor children.

    Yes, parents do have a say. They say what religion they would prefer the child be raised in but that is often disregarded with a shortage in the religion. We have a shortage of black people willing to adopt and an excess of black children to be adopted. Basic math would indicate, if you find a family of another color it is okay.

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  16. I have not read or watched any reports about Romney’s lunch meeting with Obama, but following the general policy of WV Don’t handicap yourself by paying any attention to facts or empirical knowledge, I will speculate that Obama converted Romney to Islam and/or Romney converted Obama to Mormonism. Both Islam and Mormonism are “false cults,” unlike Christianity, which is a “true cult.”

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  17. Don’t let it bother you, Random, that you’ve already admitted there is no moral right or wrong. For intolerant people, it’s nice when they can get enjoyment out of being intolerant, isn’t it?

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  18. The U.N. General Assembly votes, 138 to 9, to recognize a Palestinian state, with 41 nations abstaining

    What does this mean? The UN which are filled with nation’s that hate Israel, can now bring War crimes and Hate Crimes against Israel, which Palestinian and their allies in the United States and the World have desire to do.. Israel has no place to look to for some type of protection from the evil group called Hamas; the UN is now official backing a terrorist group.

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  19. “Israel has no place to look to for some type of protection from the evil group called Hamas; the UN is now official backing a terrorist group.”

    Roynr, read Zechariah 12.

    It seems to be coming to a head, doesn’t it?

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  20. Random, we never claimed to be tolerant. We believe some things should not be tolerated. But when those who claim to be tolerant are intolerant of us that makes them hypocrites. We are just holding them to their own standards.

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  21. kBells, but also recognize something that really confuses the issue: based on Random’s understanding of morality, hypocrisy isn’t an *actual* moral wrong. It’s just something things do, like photosynthesis or something.

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  22. Mumsee and Solar Pancake, try it. (Being tolerant of somebody besides other Christians.) Perhaps won’t like it, perhaps never having tried it. It’s probably an acquired taste that takes a while to get used to.

    Solar: “Morality” exists because God creates morality? How do you know God (a being that doesn’t exist, but I am playing along for the sake of argument) is moral? Oh, God is moral because He declares Himself moral. Makes lots of sense. Of course.

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  23. Drivesguy, I read your link. That’s disgusting. 1. There is no such thing (to me) as “Christianity” or “Islam.” There are people who call themselves “Christians” and people who call themselves “Muslims,” some of whom (by my standards, that Solar Pancake does not think exist because I don’t claim they come to me by an (imaginary, to me, but apparently real to Solar) being called “God.” Anyway, some of whom behave badly (because I would not want to be beheaded). Would you?

    In Roger Williams’ times some Christians beheaded each other with great frequency and vigor. In our time, Christians do such deeds much less frequently. Apparently, in Roger’s time, there were much fewer “real Christians,” (though of course they thought they were). By my unqualified judgment, Roger was one of the few “real Christians” of his time, and because of his sterling efforts and example, one of the reasons Christians today behave a lot better than they did in his time.

    Not all Muslims run around beheading (etc.) today. I was teaching a class a few years ago with about 8 people from Afghanistan in the class (all from same extended family). None of the women wore head scarfs, none of the people (of either sex) attempted to behead anybody in the class. I (silly me) thought they were just ordinary, reasonably well-behaved people. As were many Muslims I’ve known over the years.

    I know this is incomprehensible to Solar (and perhaps everybody here), but I don’t kill people because I don’t want to be killed. I don’t torture people because I don’t like to feel pain. I don’t rape people because I would not like to be raped.

    I presume that everybody here doesn’t kill people, torture people, or rape people. (Don’t tell me if that is not true of you, because on this fairly anonymous forum it would be difficult to report you to the appropriate authorities.) Perhaps you feel temptations to do such things? And only knowing about Jesus is the only thing that prevents you?

    I find that hard to believe, but many surprising things turn out to be true. For example, in the week’s news there is some astonishing news about black holes. But as there is nothing about God or liberals in astronomy, I doubt anybody here is surprised or even interested.

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  24. kBells,

    I disagree. I do claim to be tolerant—of some things. And intolerant of others. Much like everyone else on the planet. Perhaps you meant something like Christians don’t tout “tolerance” as a universal and ultimate value. If so, with that I agree.

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  25. C’mon, Random. Think this through. You need to establish some consistency here–or, more accurately, some coherence, as Ree refers to it. You say,

    Anyway, some of whom behave badly (because I would not want to be beheaded). Would you?

    Great. How far does that get us? How about asking the beheader? He doesn’t want to be stopped from beheading. Does that mere wish of his make beheading *good*?

    Certainly morality must be transcendent (which necessarily involves God), and not like your formulation, which leaves us no morality except “whatever is right in one’s own eyes.”

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  26. By the way, I did read that article and will be turning my telescope toward the Perseus constellation at the first opportunity, if I remember. So, what came first? The galaxy or the black hole?

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  27. Random keeps talking like intolerance is a “bad” thing–like really, morally, bad. But he can’t even claim there *is* a moral “bad” or good. Nothing in any aspect of his philosophy gives us grounds for believing otherwise. Strange that he would judge us as deficient when his morality extends no further than his own wants and desires.

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  28. Boy, we do go in circles. People behave well. People behave badly. In our world and time, there is no evidence of God intervening to make sure the “good guys” win. It was no sure thing that Hitler (and friends lost). We might all be speaking German and saluting Hitler’s heirs. It was no sure thing that we are not ruled by a Soviet run by Stalin’s heirs.

    If Hitler had won, or Stalin had won, we would live different worlds

    In such wolds, all the Christians (if any were alive) would be hiding and passing notes about Christ by hand, or all of you would be telling each other how great Communism is.

    The world just is. Whomever sins the battles of the times decides morality. Even today, where things turned out pretty well, you can find a place like North Korea, where millions of people live in a place very close to George Orwell’s vision of a very secular Hell as imagined in 1984. A few North Koreans escape, but most are probably fairly convinced “Big Brother Kim” is protecting them from evil South Koreans and evil Americans.

    Most people don’t kill (including I guess you) because about 95% of us are not sociopaths, because most of us are reasonably well socialized by our parents, relatives, and society, and because we know we will get in trouble if we kill or steal. It’s not perfect. We see many examples of people who behave badly in our society. We can see examples of societies run by sociopaths with normally decent people conditioned and frightened into conforming to bad behavior. Again, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, with a clear trail going back to at least Sparta.

    You go in circles. God is good because God says He is good. God is coherent because God says He is coherent. I use the words “good” and “bad” because they are commonly understood by most humans and they provide a framework that allows society to work after a fashion. I obviously can’t help it if you don’t understand such a simple concept, but as I am crazy I keep trying.

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  29. It’s possible Random thinks verbosity makes validity, I don’t know. But Random, can I assume you do realize, then, in light of all you said (which could have as easily been stated by your sentence, “The world just is” without all the fluff) that there’s nothing really *wrong* with intolerance?

    What’s confusing, though, is that in a world that “just is,” there is no “bad,” “perfect,” etc., but you keep right on using those terms like they actually *mean* something. Incoherent, my friend. That’s where the going-in-circles action is really at.

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  30. I don’t know, off the top of my head mumsee. Are you tolerant of homosexuals? If you tell them that Jesus loves them and you love them, but neither you nor Jesus wants them to get married, are you being tolerant? Are you tolerant of Muslims? If you tell them that they believe in an evil, sick religion which beheads people, and they should become Christians, are you tolerant?

    It’s actually a very tangled skein to untangle. I am not tolerant of murderers. An aunt was murdered as a young woman in college. (Crime never solved.) I suppose Solarpancake would say I have no reason “his own wants and desires.” for not being tolerant. One of my former high school students murdered her husband. After a “life sentence” that didn’t run more than 40 years or so, she was released. When her victim’s brother made threats against her after the release, I notified relevant police agencies. I figured that we have an (imperfect but better than lynch law or personal vengeance) justice system. Was I being too tolerant or not tolerant enough? Unlike Ree or Solarpancake, I don’t have a line to God or think the Bible tells me what to think or do in such cases.

    I am not tolerant of rapists, including the people who engage what is called “statutory rape.”

    I have known young people who were victims of statutory rape, including one of my sisters, who was impregnated and raised the baby as a single mom. (Not speaking of my youngest sister, the fundamentalist fanatic. She seems to be tolerant of homosexuals, such as my daughter. She is in my opinion a logorrhea-ic narcissist fanatic on the topic of “young earth” creationism. I can’t stand her and avoid her as much as I can. As she has now come upon hard times financially, I am very reluctant to provide her any financial assistance. As far as I can tell, she made little provision for getting old, depending on being a “companion” to a richer church member who has dropped her or been removed from her by her family. Am I intolerant to not help my sister?

    So maybe you are the most tolerant person in the world, and perhaps I am being unfair to imply that you are not tolerant. As that naughty ex-President, Clinton, might say, “Depends on what you mean by the word ‘is.'”

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  31. Why would it be “unfair” to imply someone is intolerant, Random? Is intolerance truly a moral wrong?

    Random has referred to two precarious perches from which to spout moral platitudes: 1) What Random wants, and 2) what 95% of people agree on. Why should anyone care about 1)? What Random wants is hardly anything to base morality on. And what’s so great about 95% of us? I suppose a few centuries ago, Random would have joined the 95% of the population that was intolerant of homosexuals and basically didn’t have much problem with slavery.

    But then to complete the circle, we have to remember that there’s no real moral right or wrong so all these aspersions Random tosses out can just be dismissed anyway.

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  32. Random, I think a lot of people confuse tolerance with affirmation. I am tolerant of Gays. I don’t harass them. I don’t want to hurt them. If someone else physically attacks them or their property, I am all for sending that person to jail and I will tell them Jesus and I love them. but I do believe they are wrong and if you ask me I will tell you that and I believe it is my right say that out loud and to teach my child that. But their agenda seems to be approval not tolerance. The same with Muslims. I believe in freedom of religion. I believe they have the right to gather in their buildings and worship how ever they want. I believe they have the right to raise their children in those beliefs and anyone who physically attacks them or their property should go to jail But I believe they are wrong and I believe their religion leads to a destructive culture and I do not believe they have the right to spread that destruction into a free society and pointing out that destruction is not intolerance.

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  33. Solar: I don’t know that it is “unfair” to imply someone is intolerant. The issue is difficult. People argue about it all the time.

    “Precarious perches” seems to imply that there are “secure perches.” Do you have a “secure perch” for whatever you believe in? A book written thousands of years ago, about a man claiming to be a “Son of God” who supposedly was “born of a virgin” and and supposedly “rose from the dead?” By the way, aside from quibbling with me, what DO you believe in?

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  34. KBells, I appreciate that you are tolerant without affirming. It’s interesting to me that relationships among people of differing beliefs have gradually become more tolerant of each other. I don’t know if you are reading anything that I have written about Roger Williams, or are familiar with Roger Williams. In his day, it was fairly common for people of different beliefs to torture and kill each other. Now it is not as common, though it still occurs.

    It seems fairly common for Christians to “white wash” and deny how people have changed. At one time, Christians tortured and killed each other and people of differing beliefs. Who did the same to Christians.

    We are not completely free of such behavior, but it has changed. “I believe they have the right to gather in their buildings and worship how ever they want.” (etc.)

    I have read worldmagblog and now wandering views for over six years. I haven’t kept every word that I’ve read, but I have seen change occuring. For example, on wmb a person posting as “yeah” (screen name) suggested that the Old Testament made it correct to kill practicing homosexuals. Only until I had complained quite a bit did anyone agree with me such behavior was offensive. Let me see, now Solarpancake may pop in and say, it’s only my opinion it is wrong. Solarpancake, would you kill practicing homosexuals?

    At one time, such killing was not uncommon. Are you saying I am lying? Are you saying?

    Well, I am not sure you are saying. Aside from trying to tell me that I have no basis for what I like or not like, I don’t know what you believe, what you approve of or disapprove of. Well, maybe Ree can come in and help.

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  35. Amen. What does being tolerant mean? I believe it means what KBells said. Yes, I tolerate homosexuals. But I do more than that. I love them. I welcome them into my home. Don’t you think it is possible that children who have been abused might turn out to be homosexuals? No, I do not encourage them to take a marriage and make it what it is not. Nor do I encourage my unmarried children to engage in intimate relations. Yes, I tolerate Muslims and have had many of them in my home. As well as atheists and agnostics and Buddhists and Mormons. And, to many of them, I have spoken of the love of Jesus Christ.

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  36. Random: I believe in that “Son of God,” born of a virgin, and the Book he inspired. Whether he exists and/or did what is claimed of him is an issue worth discussing, but it’s not the conversation we’re having right now. The point is, if we Christians are right, the eternal creator of the universe is not a precarious perch. If he has made moral pronouncements–and if morality is actually bound up in his eternal character–there’s nothing precarious about it, and it’s entirely justified and *coherent* to make moral judgements and claims, etc.

    But if *you’re* right, it makes no sense at all to be indignant about things, aside from whatever mere physical and chemical stimuli prompt your brain to feel. And that is just no good perch at all from which to claim moral superiority, or even to just make snide comments about tolerance or that stuff.

    You refer to torture, then ask, apparently with a straight face (?), “Who did the same to Christians?” Are you serious?

    You continue to go on and on about the treatment of homosexuals, as if that treatment is a bad thing. Doesn’t it make sense that I ask the *basis* of your moral objection? If you have no good basis for that objection, beyond the mere opinion of just *you,* then why do you think we should be influenced at all by what you’re saying? That’s a pretty clear point of contention, but you keep referring us back to just your opinion or how the world “just is” or how a certain percentage of people believe, etc. You’ll have to give us something less precarious than those things. Give it a shot, my man.

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  37. Random apparently doesn’t see the pitfall of his referring to how people have changed over time. Just a few posts ago, he mentioned, in defense of some moral position he held, that 95% of people essentially feel the same way. OK, so what was wrong, then, with how people treated homosexuals or slaves or Christians or whoever centuries ago, when a majority may not have held that behavior as wrong?

    Or who’s to say a century from now, given that people change, that 95% of them will believe it’s morally just fine to torture asians? Does that make it OK? Or is there some *less precarious perch,* some transcendent, objective standard, that enables us to coherently condemn such behavior? I’m hoping it’s the latter, but maybe that’s just because of the era in which I was born and the coffee coursing through my synapses.

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  38. Stephen,

    What do you mean when you talk about tolerating something or someone? Because as others have said, it sounds like you’re talking about affirmation, not tolerance. But to most of us here, we affirm the things we approve of, we tolerate the things that we don’t agree with, but consider allowable, and we don’t tolerate things that we believe are not allowable. Is that not so for you?

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  39. Random, first of all do you see where I said anything about you at all. I merely spoke about the current misunderstanding of tolerance.
    Secondly, by constantly bringing up this “yeah” person are not just as guilty of judging all Christian based on this one extreme example as this people you claim judge all Muslim by a few (a day) Muslim terrorist.
    And yes people have changed but have you noticed that most of the good change came out of cultures with a strong Christian background. That is one of the great things about Christianity. It changes people.

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  40. kBells, you refer to “good change” having taken place over time.

    I suspect Random would agree, to some extent, or regarding certain things. But what I would be most curious about is, how would Random know any change was “good”? Are those things determined only by majority rule? How do we know that what we *think* are good changes really aren’t *terrible* ones?

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  41. kBells,

    I remember Yeah, and I don’t remember him being the lunatic Stephen makes him out to be. He was a theonomist, and I’m pretty confident that his views, if fleshed out, were much more nuanced than Stephen makes them out to be. In fact, I suspect that he would have been pretty much in agreement with this view by Pastor Doug Wilson.

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  42. Our pastor also is a theonomist — but, as Ree rightly points out, there is a spectrum (filled with nuance and gradations) when it comes to those specific positions within theonomy.

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  43. The Wilson article linked by Ree is a good one. I’ve never given any thought to what, if any, the penalty should be for practicing homosexuals (I’m speaking to Random here, since he asked me my view), but Wilson’s *approach*–where his priority is to make faithful application of the Scriptures–is great, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the deliberations on legislative floors consisted of legislators calmly and respectfully exegeting Scripture–not unlike what is seen at synods of sound churches? Anyway, that sounds pretty cool to me.

    But something Wilson mentions calls to mind something else related to what Random has been talking about, and that is the fact that, at one time in history, at least, God did prescribe execution of homosexuals. As Wilson points out, even that law had its nuances. But the question is, are we Christians ashamed and apologetic that God did that?

    Still, before getting to that question, I sure wish Random could tell us how it makes any sense to issue moral pronouncements when the ramifications of his beliefs make moral pronouncements meaningless.

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  44. But something Wilson mentions calls to mind something else related to what Random has been talking about, and that is the fact that, at one time in history, at least, God did prescribe execution of homosexuals.

    Indeed. And adulterers, too. But people shaped by PC sensibilities don’t get so up in arms about that one. I guess because we still have their permission to frown on adultery, and they can’t get any political mileage out of making an issue out of that one? Or maybe because, if they acknowledge that god proscribes other sexual sins besides just homosexuality, it would detract from their narrative in which followers of the God of Scripture are portrayed as homophobic bigots? Or perhaps for the more Biblically literate, calling attention to an association between homosexuality and other sexual sins would be too blatant a reminder of the mercy that the Lord Jesus bestowed on the adulterous woman who was about to be stoned by a bunch of self-righteous scribes and Pharisees and on the Samaritan woman at the well. Who knows?

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  45. Still, before getting to that question, I sure wish Random could tell us how it makes any sense to issue moral pronouncements when the ramifications of his beliefs make moral pronouncements meaningless.

    I think that Stephen (Random) has answered that question by acknowledging that he considers his moral pronouncements not as an acknowledgement of an actual transcendent truth, but rather as nothing more than “things that Stephen doesn’t like.”

    Of course, to come that conclusion takes some real herculean efforts at “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.” But I take comfort in the fact that at least he’s been put in a position where he’s had to consciously think it through and settle on that position because I think that the the more clarity that’s brought to a person’s rationalizations, the more difficult it is for that person to sincerely hold them, and the closer that dam of rationalizations is to breaking. I see it as a period of preparation for the gospel by the Holy Spirit. And I say this not only in regard to Stephen. It hits much closer to home for me because my own son professes this same opinion.

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  46. I appreciate Ree’s honesty, though each point she makes seems to drive me further into error. I am imagining and theorizing (realizing each admssion I make will only enhance tortured hair splitting and “nuancing” by her and other Christians.)

    For example, just imagining here, IF, I were married to a terrific guy (imaging I am a woman) who just happened to belong to a “pretty good” religious belief but not the “correct” belief, and if I had a “pretty good” family, but at least two not professing to the “correct” belief, and if I had a “pretty good” son, professing to a “not bad” line of thinking, but certainly incorrect, I (just speculating here) might be eager to convince someone not in my family to think and believe correctly. This reminds me of a term in psychology (perhaps a “false” science): displacement..

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  47. But the question is, are we Christians ashamed and apologetic that God did that?

    How in **** do you know that “God” did that? Is it because “He” said it in the “Bible?”

    How do I know the Bible is true?

    Oh, yes, the Bible is true because the Bible tells me that the Bible is true. Irrefutable.

    God is Good because God defines himself as Good. The older I get, the more I experience I have, and the more I read of the “persuasive” arguments from people such as Ree and Solarpancake, the more I am convinced:

    1) I exist. (Obviously delusion.)

    2) The universe exists. (Even more deluded. I think the Hindus and Buddhists call this delustion “Maya.”

    [Wikipedia: Maya or Māyā (Sanskrit माया māyāa[›]), in Indian religions, has multiple meanings, usually quoted as “illusion”, centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us. Māyā is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality in the phenomenal Universe. For some mystics, this manifestation is real.[1] Each person, each physical object, from the perspective of eternity, is like a brief, disturbed drop of water from an unbounded ocean.. Perhaps Ree’s husband can explicate this further than my obviously deluded understanding]

    3) I will die and cease to exist. Every day, I say to myself, “Stephen, you will die. You will cease to exist. You won’t go to Hell. You won’t go to Heaven. You will cease to be. Then all your delusions will cease.” I imagine myself lying on a death bed and thinking, “Well, it’s kind of a shame, but it’s been a pretty good life and I’ve been mostly fortunate and now it’s time to say goodbye with ‘cheerful despair’ rather than religious delustion. But I guess it’s a matter of taste. I am sure some people will save, “Here I come, God, ready or not!” Good luck. If there is a God, and he is indeed “good,” I am not sure He will be as happy to meet you as you hope He will.

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  48. There’s nothing “pretty good” about my husband’s idolatry, nor about my son’s nihilism. But, who knows, Stephen? Perhaps there’s something to the rest of your theory. God often uses our deepest sorrows and longings to spur us on to the work for which He would use us.

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