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Saturday, December 17, 2016

News Weakly - 12/17/2016

You Don't Get That Right
Two Christian filmmakers in Minnesota wish to decline providing their services for gay weddings. Minnesota law says they cannot. Launch the lawsuits.

Why is it that fashion designers can refuse and encourage others to refuse to provide dresses for a First Lady they don't like, but Christians cannot refuse to violate their constitutionally protected religious freedoms? They call it "free speech". But Christians don't, apparently, have that right, either. It is the product of the denial of rights "endowed by their Creator", leaving us with rights endowed by ever-shifting public opinion.

A Christmas Tale Twist
Erik Raymond at Gospel Coalition wrote an interesting Christmas piece. He starts with the rank immorality in the cave at Zoar when Lot's two daughters got their dad drunk, fornicated, and bore two sons. This is bad news. Really bad news. It gets worse in that the two sons were Moab and Ben-Ammi, the fathers of two tribes, the Moabites and the Ammonites, who did horrible things to Israel in the desert -- the sin of Baal-Peor (Num 25) and the worship of Molech (2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chron. 28:3). So, it's worse. So where's the good news in all this?

If you recall, there was a famine in the land of Judah, so a man from Bethlehem went to Moab (Ruth 1:1). He had two sons who married Moabite women. One of those women was Ruth. After her husband died, she married Boaz ... and became the mother of the line of David on down to Jesus (Matt 1:5-6).

Our redemption, then, came from the line of incestuous offspring, a thoroughly idolatrous race that tormented God's people. Our Redeemer is the redemption of those of the worst kinds of evil. Sin is bad, but sin does not win. Now that is good news.

The Peril of the Cross
The ACLU and a local resident are suing Knightstown, Indiana, for including a cross in Christmas decorations. Actually, the lighted cross has been atop a tall evergreen tree for a number of years; there are no other decorations. They are suing for removal of the cross, monetary damages, and agreement that the cross violates the First Amendment.

"Monetary damages?" you ask. Yes, indeed. The poor resident in the suit was "forced to come into direct and unwelcome contact" which cause him "irreparable harm", so he's demanding monetary damages. Who knew that seeing a cross could cause irreparable damages to the viewer? Do you suppose it's all crosses, or just the ones on trees?

On the Up Side
You may recall the news item (one that I included in my October 15, 2016 News Weakly segment) that the UN in their finite wisdom had named Wonder Woman as their "ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls". That, in short, was ludicrous. (Okay, maybe "ludicrous" isn't short.) But on the up side, they figured it out and have decided to drop Wonder Woman. I love the title from the Guardian story: "One less woman in politics".

Unfortunately, the reason they removed her ... well, the reason was the complaints, so the reason for the complaints was not what you might think. "A cartoon character for this? You're not very serious about it, are you?" Not at all. The reasons they complained? Well, she was "not culturally encompassing or sensitive". That is, she is too white and too strong. And it was inappropriate "when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls." So, Trump, and she's too shapely and scantily clad. The wording in the petition was "Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent warrior woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character's current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots -- the epitome of a pin-up girl."

In other words, there is a very narrow band in which "empowerment of women and girls" takes place. It does not include white, shapely, pretty, or, strong women. Good for them. They figured it out.

Legal, Moral, and Allowed
Have you heard of the Family Movie Act of 2005? It was a law enacted by Congress that allowed the development of technology to sanitize potentially offensive movies for home use. It's legal. So when a new company, VidAngel, tried it, they got shut down. You see, it's legal, but that doesn't mean that you're legally protected or it is allowed to happen. Hollywood won't allow it.

It is true that just because something is legal does not mean that that you should do it. In this case, just because it's good to do and it's legal does not mean that you actually can do it.

Crying "Islamophobia!"
We've all been told it's a bad thing to "Cry 'Wolf!'" No one told Yasmin, apparently. Yasmin Seweid was the pretty 18-year-old Muslim girl who went missing on a New York subway. She was found and claimed that she had been assaulted by some young white men invoking the name of Trump, declaring her to be a terrorist, and telling her to get out of the country.

Turns out, Miss Seweid made up the story. She had violated her curfew and fabricated the "hate crime" story to cover it up. She blamed it on Trump and attackers who didn't exist, knowing that the current atmosphere of Trump haters and anti-bigot bigots would give it plausibility. The question is, will we listen the next time a Muslim makes the same claim? We should, but things like this don't help.

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