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Saturday, March 25, 2017

News Weakly - 3/25/2017

In a World Gone Mad
The Bible argues that what is needed for Christians is "the renewal of your mind" (Rom 12:2) because, apparently, sin rots the brain (Rom 1:28). Apparently the Bible has access to today's news stories. Like the one where a mother and her son have decided to "transition" to a father and daughter. I'm not at all clear how it is possible that the world would miss the fact that "mother" and "son" require particular components and relationships that no amount of surgery or medical science can change to "father" and "daughter". But that appears to be the case, given our acceptance of a "men's gold medalist" who now identifies as "Caitlyn Jenner" and we all nod and use female pronouns and decry those who raise an objection. Or the story about the female pastor who identifies as a male preaching a sermon on how God is transgender. (Psst! Confused preacher! "Transgender" is defined as "denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity does not correspond with the gender assigned to them at birth." What possible way can that definition, whether such a thing exists or not, be applied to God who had no birth?) A world gone mad.

Godwin's Law
Godwin's Law is an Internet rule that says, essentially, that if an argument goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler. You know. "End of discussion, you evil person." So, it appears that Tim Allen has proven the rule. Except it was crazy. Actor and comedian Tim Allen told Jimmy Kimmel that being a conservative in Hollywood is like living in '30's Germany. We get it, right? Except it outraged the Anne Frank Center whose executive director demanded an apology to the Jewish people. Now, mind you, Tim did not say it was like being a Jew in 1930's Germany. And Germany in the 1930's was marked by hatred and restrictions of freedoms and in other ways there are indeed similarities. Nor was there outrage from the executive director when someone compared Trump to Hitler. How odd!

Values Clarification
We here in the "civilized" world can't seem to see that God has placed value in human beings as made in His image, so we've made abortion legal. In other places, they're giving human rights to rivers. Yes, rivers. Well, I suppose it's just as irrational as abortion. We value human life ... except when we value sexual freedom over human life. In India they declare the Ganges and Yamuna rivers as sacred while authorities estimate "1 billion gallons of waste enter the Ganges every day" and the Yamuna is considered dead from too much pollution. Makes as much sense.

The $10 million comma
Now, this is no big story -- no huge ramifications or critical issues -- but it is a story right up my alley. Maine milk-truck drivers won a $10 million suit for unpaid overtime on the basis of a missing comma. The state law exempts overtime for "The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods." The truckers argued that they did not do canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, or packing, so they were not exempt from overtime. They argued that the phrase, "packing for shipment or distribution", lacking the comma between "shipment" and "or", made a complete thought (instead of "packing for shipment" being one thought and "distribution" the other). They further explained the missing conjunction between "storing" and "packing" as an "asyndeton", an omission or absence of a conjunction between parts of a sentence for emphasis. (For instance, "I came, I saw, I conquered.") The State of Maine specifically instructs those who draft legal statutes not to use the comma known as the "Oxford comma" or the "serial comma" and the need for the use of the comma is hotly debated, but the court ruled in their favor in this case.

Thank You Very Much
Princeton Seminary gives out an annual award in Reformed theology and public witness. Who would have guessed? They had announced this year that it would go to Tim Keller, one of America's currently most popular Reformed pastors and authors. Luckily, the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA) with which Princeton is aligned protested because Keller takes a biblical view of things like women and LGBT pastors and such, so the seminary tossed that idea right out. I mean, that lowdown dirty pastor believes that God made men and women differently, nay, to complement each other (Gen 2:18-24) and supports male church leadership (2 Tim 2:11-15) and holds, worst of all, that "the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God" ... including those who engage in homosexual behavior (1 Cor 6:9-10). The audacity! Besides, he's a Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) pastor, the heretic. Although the seminary boasts such conservative biblical scholars as Bruce Metzger, James Moorehead, Geerhardus Vos, Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield, and J. Gresham Machen among its graduates, its ongoing dedication to PCUSA theology and denying the award for standing on biblical truth would suggest that a refusal to honor Keller in this way would be a compliment to the man.

"We're sorry; we're not going to honor you because you're too true to Scripture."

"Thank you ... thank you very much."

Just Weird
So, remember all those bomb threats to Jewish community centers of late? Turns out it appears to be the work of an 18-year-old kid with dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Israel. He's Jewish. It seems to be a case of Jewish anti-Semitism. (That's what the Jewish Anti-Defamation League is saying, not me.) The reports says he has some mental problems and the motivation isn't clear, but ... that's just weird.


Anonymous said...

Raise your hand if you find the Kardashian/Jenner reality TV show oddly compelling.


Stan said...

No hands here.

David said...

Even if I had cable, I'd have no interest in that family's "story". Think you're talking to the wrong crowd for that.

Stan said...

Well, there WAS a funny face on the comment, so I didn't think it was genuine, but putting those names and "reality" together doesn't work at all.