Jun 262013
 

links_image1Barnes & Noble, Nook, in trouble…

Inter-faith marriages…

Supreme Court victories for gay marriage…

Scalias dissent…

Reaction from “religious figures” and Hollywood

“This gives Christian churches the opportunity to do what Jesus called us to do with our marriages in the first place: to serve as a light in a dark place.” This is the link to read for a biblical grip on the matter.

Rock star believes in Jesus...and this is supposed to be more significant than a plumber or clerk believing in Jesus….

Stupid comments on a stupid stunt….

Wendell Berry and the Beauty of Membership

Obligatory Paula Deen article…

“Creation” museum struggling..

Plea of a pastors wife…

The fully human life…

An important theologian you’ve probably never heard of…

  69 Responses to “Links”

  1. Paula Deen….

    I think this was the final straw for this woman. I would not be at all surprised to find out that the network, etc, was looking for a good reason to fire her and jumped at this chance. She has been controversial for a long time: Her horrible, disease-inducing recipes, the fact that her own diet gave her diabetes 2, a fact she kept secret while she still promoted fatty/sugary/salty food and only revealed her illness when she had a chance to make a buck off it by representing an insulin manufacturer, and her representation of a truly awful company, Smithfield Foods. It was time for her to go. She road the gravy train to fame and wealth and I am sure she is still a very wealthy woman. She still owns some restaurants where her fans can still buy deep-fried Twinkies (if they still make them) and she still gets royalties from her horrible books, she just doesn’t get to talk on TV anymore, thank the Lord. I don’t get to talk on TV either. It’s not a God-given right.

  2. Few seem to understand this DOMA ruling does NOT establish gay marriage rights nationwide. All the states that have outlawed gay marriage remain as is. This is wholly about federal BENEFITS in about 1000 programs that now will go to the spouses in the few states where gay marriage is allowed. This is not a Roe v Wade for gay marriage

  3. You are correct, Steve, but it is certainly another step in that direction. I’d say it is inevitable within the next ten years that all states will legalize gay marriage.

  4. Oh it is a victory for that cause…no doubt. But a lot of folks on both sides are overstating what exactly happened.

    In fact, this came to the Court because a surviving spouse in a gay marriage owed over $300,000 dollars in estate taxes which should have gone to her (as a spouse) tax-free if the feds recognized their marriage in New York.

    From what I am reading, the Court actually had the open door in these cases to rule for the Constitutional protection of gay marriage (like Roe v Wade) and chose not to.

    I’m sure our red/blue state divide will get even more entrenched now…

  5. True. Facebook has made politics even more unbearable. 🙂

    These are good links Michael. Thanks!

    I LOVED that Russel Moore article too.

  6. There was a little thing of a 11+ hour filibuster by a Texas senator yesterday supported and assisted by huge crowds in their capital.
    Didn’t agree with her position necessarily, but its a dang good day in America when that kind of thing happens.
    Passion about a cause, followed by proper protocol in democracy is a beautiful thing to see.
    Wish I’d heard about it sooner so I could have watched the live stream over the Internet

  7. As for Bono……his believing in Jesus is no more significant than anybody else believing in Jesus. But the reality is that it is more interesting to most people to see and hear someone of his stature interviewed about his faith than it would be to see and hear someone from the rest of the 99.9% of us who are pretty much anonymous to the large majority of the human population. Bono’s influence and opportunities for influence are much greater than most of the rest of us. If I heard of an interview being done on Bono about his faith, I will be much more inclined to read/listen to it than I would if I heard of an interview being done on John Doe who I know absolutely nothing about.

  8. Bono is no more significant than anyone else, but he’s a good communicator, and an interesting personality. I like to hear him talk about his faith. He really seems to get it in a lot of ways.

  9. Passion about a cause, followed by proper protocol in democracy is a beautiful thing to see.
    —————————————————

    Yes, the filibuster took place and that is all well and good but it was ended well before midnight, but then a mob stormed the legislature, more than the number of cops – meaning the vote did not take place until 12:03 AM when order was restored.

    Here is a link from a non-partisan news service. http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_23543257/texas-abortion-bill-killed-by-filibuster-unruly-mob

  10. I like the article on Torrance, very interesting.

  11. Gays can marry just like the rest of us sinners, prideful, divorced, adulterous, fornicating, drunkard, lying, malicious, gluttonous jerks…such a shocker.

  12. RB,

    The brothers Torrance (James and Thomas) are worth reading.
    They are mainly over my head, but some of the concepts are unique and thought provoking to the extreme.

  13. I can’t see how Paula Deen can recover from this. There’s a certain level of ignorance that can’t be overcome.

    Bono can be a good ambassador if he’s talking about the same God that is in the Bible.

  14. Bono is an Anglican. 🙂 Just say’n

    Xenia- I want to talk on television. I don’t know what I would talk about, but it would create a lot of drama, a few cat fights, some banter, and throwing of things. Even if it only consisted of how to care for marigolds. 😉 It could be called fight club.

    Carry on.

  15. Everyone on both sides is getting worked up too soon. All the ruling realy does it throw it back to the states and says that in those states that recognize gay marriage, those couples get federal benefits. So, if a gay married couple moves from a state that recognizes gay marriage to a state that does not, that state does not have to recognize that union.

    Just simmer down people.

  16. Read the post on pastor’s wives. I empathize greatly, but how does a pastor protect his wife from this?

  17. Thanks for the link up!

    And Kevin? Personally I don’t think that a pastor can completely protect their spouse from this, that it’s something a ministry family just goes through and grows from.

    A pastor should let his church know that family comes first and that they aren’t willing to overcommit themselves to the detriment of their family. And that their family isn’t on the payroll so they shouldn’t have unreal expectations of them.

  18. I like Bono. I did not know he was an Anglican. Good, there are some very good liberal theologians in the Anglican Camp who I think articulate God in the more loving manner he really is.

  19. “Interestingly, the reason for the slowing traffic seems to be creationism itself, since the main exhibit has literally not changed in 5 years. Most museums’ exhibits change as new discoveries are made, as artifacts travel from other museums to visit, or as adjustments in scientific thinking are made.”

    And the remedy: zip-lines, of course.

  20. “… if a gay married couple moves from a state that recognizes gay marriage to a state that does not, that state does not have to recognize that union.”

    Neville Chamberlain reasoning.

    The answer to that claptrap, those evil words, is in the Constitution:
    “In safeguarding the equal dignity of states in the Union, the Full Faith and Credit Clause also protects the rights of individuals, requiring states to respect judgments issued by the courts of the other states that make up the Union.”

    Yes, SCOTUS denied cert in Adar v Smith. But do you really think that will happen next time?

  21. Sorry, but I am from the South, Paula Deen’s type of cooking is mother’s milk to us.
    Eating healthier still won’t stop death. I have seen many people that eat right and exercise still struck down at an early age.
    As for what Paula Deen did, I know the press has no grace to extend unless you are on the same side of their political aisle, but I sure do. So did a lot of members of the offended race this weekend on her youtube post.
    But, I guess people just love to see the media break someone publicly.

    Just found out about the SCOTUS ruling, no surprise there. They don’t want to look like the “haters” and so the slide to “legalized” iniquity continues….

  22. @20 marriage is not a judgement issued by the court… yet.

  23. 9. Yeah…that was my whole point. Democracy in action.
    They tried to shut down the fillibuster with only a few minutes to spare thinking that still gave them time to do a vote.
    They were wrong.
    “The People” spoke loudly and clearly that day at least.
    Not anything to do with sides, just that people were involved in the political events of the day. Not some dictator locked in a room surrounded by their own personal army forcing people to do what they say.

    Democracy is messy…and beautiful!

  24. and I already know you are going to say that I am speaking out of both sides of my mouth…first I say “proper protocol” and then I say the people stopped that vote….

    True enough

    But, I don’t think it’s “proper protocol” to say the woman was out of order when they did just so they could break the filibuster in time to slip in their vote. Didn’t work…

    The whole thing was fantastic…

    And I’m not “pro-abortion” so don’t any body bother to go down that path and start calling me a heretic or say I’m for allowing a billion zillion million babies to die….

  25. London, my understanding is there was a 3-strikes policy when it comes to filibusters. I found it fascinating what the rules were myself – very different from the US Senate. Looks like those “strikes” are to a degree judgment calls from the Lt Gov (i.e. the guy democratically elected to wield that power) and she had her third strike well before midnight.

    So yeah they tried to shut her down. If this is celebrated as a “people’s filibuster” it seems it really will be bad for the nation. Get a mob of a few hundred people to cause chaos in order to stop voting just because one side knows its going to lose.

    I don’t know how a mob of 400 Democrats in a state like Texas which has such a large democratically elected majority Republican can be seen as “the people” or consistent with democracy.

    In the end, my prediction is that Perry calls a special session (rather than wait until 2015 when they meet again) so they pass this. And Obama rues the day he rooted this on since he is the first to complain about filibusters and being shouted down by his political opponents – and that is only going to get worse.

    I don’t see it as a good day for America – no matter what the actual issue is they were voting on.

    Just my opinion.

  26. Paula Deen’s type of cooking is mother’s milk to us.
    Eating healthier still won’t stop death<<<

    My father died from drinking of that mother's milk, in his forties, of a stroke, after the doctor warned him that if he didn't change his eating habits he would die young. He died a lot younger than anyone expected and for the last ten years of his life he was a sick old man- in his forties. He felt he had a God-given right to eat whatever he wanted, a perfect example of "Ain't nobody gonna tell me what to do." If you don't think what you eat doesn't affect your life span, drink some kerosene and see how long you last. There's fast-acting poisons and slow-acting poisons.

    My son, who is in his thirties, has this same attitude. He thinks eating sensibly is a liberal conspiracy to deprive him of bacon and pork rinds. (I am not kidding.) The only thing that's saving him from his grandfather's fate is that he has a job that requires him to be physically very active.

  27. I think we come two very different places philosophically Steve and have no doubt that you would not see it as a good day for American politics.
    I see the passion and people being involved, you see rules and regulations.
    Neither is better, it’s all needed but I doubt we will ever agree.

  28. Sorry about that Xenia, but eating all the “right” stuff and doing all the “right” things still won’t stop anyone from dying.
    I have known health nuts that still died from the very things they sought to avoid.
    The health craze people are just trying to push themselves into every aspect of everyone else’s lives with the promise of “your life span will be extended”. Too often they come off as someone who has set themselves up as judge over everyone else and they sound like it.

    I am glad that is the lifestyle you have chosen, but don’t judge me just because I don’t care to live it.

  29. Well Derek, you can either be healthy or sickly. The choice is yours.

  30. Also, I don’t mind dying. I am looking forward to heaven. But I can spend the next 20 years fit and healthy, able to chase my grandkids on the beach, or fat and diabetic, spending hours at the doctors and creeping along with a walker. I believe the choice is largely mine.

  31. And I am glad you can make that choice, just don’t foist it on me.

  32. Well I don’t think Paula Deen was telling people to eat like that everyday.

  33. Good sense tells people not to jump out of airplanes or to be wing walkers (might die young) – but people do.

  34. Derek, I want to foist it upon you because I care about you.

  35. I can appreciate that honestly.
    But a lot of problems in our country come from well-meaning people wanting to help people.
    The anti-drinking argument showed much the same tendencies as the health arguments.
    I like how CS Lewis put it (and don’t anyone take this as “Derek thinks I am bad” I just like this quote.):

    “One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons–marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.”

  36. I am of an age (61) where many of our friends are starting to sicken and die, largely due to poor lifestyle choices. When you are 65 and weigh 300 pounds and have been diagnosed with a list of degenerative diseases it’s almost too late to change. I have a lot of sick friends who are desperately trying to make changes. One friend is so sick he can seldom make it to church. Another friend, likewise. Another friend had a stroke, another open heart surgery. Quite a few have diabetes. Most are on prescription medication. This is all the result of a lifetime of “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to eat.”

    I also have friends who are slim, trim, and healthy. They are not sick, they can walk for miles. Now even these folks will surely die someday. Avoiding death isn’t really the issue, it’s avoiding bad health. All my overweight diabetic friends huff and puff and are red in the face after doing the slightest bit of work. They are extremely limited in what they can do. I don’t want to live like that.

    When you are youngish (I think you are youngish, Derek?) you think things will continue like they are forever. But the laws of physics and chemistry are still in force. Sure, some careful eaters will die early. We all die. As I said, it’s not so much about cheating death as it is about feeling good an being able to do the stuff you want to do, unless all you (generic you) want to do is sit in the recliner all day and watch TV, which is all some of my friends can do these days.

  37. I just came home from a 4-hour hike. Most of my age mates couldn’t do that, I’m sorry to say.

  38. I made a vow to myself, when I quit smoking. Derek, don’t ever become the smoker who goes around preaching to people of the dangers of smoking. Why? Because those people never made any impact on me and just angered me. They should know what I am going through, because they used to be smokers themselves, but instead they usually become zealots and insufferable.
    I don’t want to be that way.

  39. I am 42.
    Relatively young, though the military is the main reason for my health problems.
    Can’t hear well out of one ear and I have a bum right knee from to many times up and down off of tanks. The knee mainly acts up if left in one position too long, like driving. The drive from SD in the U-Haul was a special kind of agony. I had to stop every hour and a half because my knee was killing me.
    Luckily, my current and my last job involve being on my feet and walking most of the day.

  40. Ok, I’ll stop pestering you. 🙂

  41. I will say this…when you hit 50 the accumulation of choices hit you hard.
    Real hard.
    I grew up with bountiful Southern cooking, real Coke, and lots of good booze.
    I now eat more salads, limit my Coke and have just a taste now and then…because things are breaking down faster than I can fix them 🙂

  42. I feel for my brother.
    He is 4 years younger than me and currently in the Air Force. He is experiencing some type of nerve degeneration in his arms. Not quite sure where it is coming from, but suspect the culprit is Iraq. He was stationed at Anaconda, at Balad, Iraq. They burned a lot of things there on the burn pile that he thinks may be the culprit. I know when you are de-mobing one of the questions on the health questionnaire is “Where you ever exposed to any burn piles?”
    So far, not bad enough for him to be cut for health reasons. I hope if they cut him he gets compensation, ’cause he has a lot of kids.

  43. Love Russell Moore. You should read his book on Adoption. It is SO moving…
    http://www.amazon.com/Adopted-Life-Priority-Adoption-Christian/dp/1581349114

  44. Derek,
    Most conservative Christian folks who know me would place me in the “Godless liberal” category and that’s fine, doesn’t bother me a bit cuz’ for the most part they’re right.

    But ya know what? I think Paula Deen is a victim plain and simple. She’s a victim of a witch hunt. I remember how timid the media talking heads were when Charles Barkley said he hated white people. Paula’s fair game I guess because the standard is double.

  45. Bono certainly has a more significant platform from which to speak than anyone any of us know personally. His public proclamations of his faith are nothing new.

    I see his faith in action is more significant that anyone I will ever know. The man has literally saved millions of lives.

    I’m too old to be a fanboy of anyone, but I’ve always been amazed at how God uses this man.

    I thank God for Bono. To God be the Glory.

  46. Muff,
    With the media, be it conservative or liberal, they will cover for people of the same vein as themselves.

    I don’t think it is just a matter, of a double standard, as it is also an unattainable standard.
    I don’t think there is a person on this planet without a prejudice of some sort. In the South I have seen it from whites towards blacks. From blacks towards whites. In South Dakota, it was whites against Native Americans and vice versa.
    I have my own that I have to recognize and ,with the help of God, defeat a little at a time as they are recognized.
    It is unattainable, at least in this life, to completely rid one’s self of sin.
    \But, when a double standard is applied to an unattainable standard, it causes confusion and problems, because people are unable to see what standard they are meant to live up to, when in reality they never can.

    Funny, the culture can be the worst kind of Pharisees a lot of the time.

  47. Jim,

    I receive that rebuke… 🙂

  48. I have an issue the Church can pounce on and has to some degree, how our service people are treated after fighting in various parts of the world often with misguided leadership, then coming home and getting well not much. It seems many of our vets get the short end of the stick while they serve and after service. From what I have observed there are many fine ministries to service people but the injuries some of those fine people suffered are so extensive that private ministries may not be able to provide all the medical / rehab needed. I cant imagine what they saw and to go back two, three, even four tours. I have little first hand experience but I just want those folks helped to the best of our abilities as a society.

    Many years ago I did come face to face with my own utter depravity I found that I was struggling with racist thoughts towards people of other nationalities. I never said it out loud but deep down I was harboring some real awful stereotypes of other groups. It took a move of God to convict me of my horrid thoughts, it was actually a sermon by Ken Ham about races that really brought me to my knees on this issue. I never thought myself capable of “feeling” that way towards other people but it was true, I did not act on it, did not speak it but I definitely let it into my soul. I must admit it was so healing to confess this, it gave me a new lease on understanding the struggles of other people groups and allowed me to try to help in a new light and a new respect.

    We always need to be on guard of our own thought.

  49. Going past the supernatural to reach the supernatural. In my experience we should accept the supernatural intervention of God but always be aware that all supernatural events are most likely Satanic, basically any supernatural experiences of are of Satan, God does not do miracles any more depending on your point a view. I get the idea God does not do miracles and to even hope for such nonsense is always of Satan. I get that I really do. God will do miracles for apologetic reasons but cant if it supplants the apologetic. Basically reformed miracles are of God but Catholic miracles are of Satan. Personally that is a rather stupid view, I get we should vet miracles for revenue opportunity. I E does it add to the bottom line, and it should always add to the bottom line.I get that.

    Well actually I dont but I count that a personal and moral failing on my part. One should repent of needing I get that as well. I can say I have actually repented of needing in all faith communities, praying God would forgive me for showing even the slightest of need. I am desperately trying to repent of being a human, seeing how God hates such expression. I will admit it is hard to repent of being human a sin God can not forgive. What a strange religion, it promises redemption but at every single turn it rips that hope from a desperate people.

  50. I think it is more accurate to say Bono was raised Anglican, but found his own relationship with Jesus in a charismatic fellowship during early adulthood.

  51. ***Sorry about that Xenia, but eating all the “right” stuff and doing all the “right” things still won’t stop anyone from dying.
    I have known health nuts that still died from the very things they sought to avoid.***

    I know you both dropped this, but I would kind of like to comment on this. I personally don’t think that the reason to eat healthfully should be to live longer. Eating healthfully is more about optimizing your current physical condition whether or not your sick or healthy, will die old or young. Objectively my husband is fairly sick and diet will probably never cure him of that sickness, but maintaining a healthy diet has helped him achieve a more comfortable existence within that sickness than he would experience if he did not eat healthfully. My mother injured her knee when she was in her 20s and it has caused her pain ever since. Again, there’s nothing she can do that will heal her knee, but switching her diet and losing some weight has made her knee injury much less onerous.

    An analogy might be babies and breastmilk. The virtues of breastmilk are extolled and, perhaps, sometimes overstated. Mothers will often talk about how their babies never get sick because they’re breastfed. Other mothers will breastfeed their babies and their babies will still get sick on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t mean that the breastmilk isn’t healthful or isn’t working. Essentially, eventhough the baby still gets sick on a regular basis, they are eating the most healthful food they could be eating and are as healthy as they could be–switching their diet to formula or cow’s milk would not make them healthier and would result in an even weaker immune system than they currently have being breastfed.

    It’s the same with diet. Compared to someone else, a person who eats healthfully, might not seem that healthy. But, relative to themselves they are as healthy as they can be and would have worse problems if they did not eat healthfully.

  52. A day late, but . . . . come on, Michael, nobody said that Bono’s belief in Jesus is any more significant that anybody else. But, he is a very public and compelling person, and I find the interview interesting. Sometimes your “grouchiness” causes you to see things through a dark, cynical lens. But . . . only sometimes:)

  53. I have to agree with J2. In the past year a very good friend and attender of one of our studies saw the nutrition and lifestyle “light.” How did this happen?

    Both of this couple are in their 50s, have two adult children and both experienced life health events. The husband ended up in the hospital on New Years night, developed type 2 diabetes, has high blood pressure and was winded from the slightest efforts. His wife has recently had both knees replaced and couldn’t walk around the block without help. Now neither of these people would be considered “fat” just “middle-aged.”

    The moral of their story is all of these “life” events, the drugs and side effects associated with their care has driven this couple to a more natural, exercise driven and “healthy” life style. Simply put they eat whole grains, a lot less fat, watch their caloric intake and exercise regularly.

    What has all this work and effort done for them? It is helping them stay free of drugs (the heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol kind of stuff) and made life freer in general.

    Will they live longer? Only God knows, but they are living more abundantly in their lifestyles now than when they couldn’t refuse another piece of pie or scoop of ice cream. Amazing that living with greater self-sacrifice actually made them freer. How is that possible?

    Oh and one more thing it didn’t make them any closer to God, this isn’t some “spiritual” thing.

  54. Michael,
    I am a long time Wendell Berry fan. His books and his essays dwell on the theme of local and sustainable communities. In all of his works there is this common thread: You are not at the axis of the galaxy and the needs of those around you and the community at large, should be the prime mover of your actions.

  55. Update on the Texas thing…Special session for that one issue (and two others) called for by the governor next week.

    http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/18704/#.UcxJnjGxVjd.facebook

  56. I agree with J2 and Bob!

  57. Muff,
    I’m a late comer to Berry…just the last couple of years.
    He’s becoming one of those thinkers I want to set aside a few months to study.
    I have a bunch of his books on my iPad now.

  58. DavidM,

    You’re right…and I have a growing aversion to celebrities in religion.

  59. I remember a few years ago Christians freaked out because a well-known actor was seen in public reading Strobel’s ‘The Case for Christ’ – the thought being how influential it would be for this guy to get saved.

    I’ve made the point a few times over the years in messages – that we err in thinking this way. God’s way, as seen in Scripture, is to take earthly nobodies that are committed to Him – Joseph, Daniel – and make them men of influence through trials and suffering.

    We want all to be saved, celebrity or otherwise, but if that happens such a person is just a “babe in Christ” like anyone else and the last thing the Church needs is for that person to go around doing interviews and answering tough questions about the faith from the media – a media that often has a desire to show us in a negative light.

  60. My comment is not really related to the Bono discussion….Bono’s been around quite awhile.

  61. Steve, B.J. Thomas comes to mind. Christians were so excited when he became a believer. He was quickly ushered into the contemporary Christian music and book machine, and it just about chewed him up and spit him out.

  62. Steve @ 62 “the thought being how influential it would be for this guy to get saved.”

    Because Jesus isn’t enough. Men need to worship themselves and feel like “their making a difference” instead of the Holy Spirit saving His bride.

    The church is exactly the same as the world when it comes to gossip, fashion, celebrities, etc. At least that is the impression I received growing up in the corporate church system.

    There is an epidemic of ‘idolization’ that starts at the pulpit. We are far too intermixed with the world. Our ‘relevance’ has become a crutch, instead of a bridge.

  63. Re: Texas…

    I’m not always a fan of our governor, but I’m so glad he did the right thing by calling another special session to get this bill passed. What happened the other night with the mob in the statehouse was not democracy in action, whatever a person’s politics might be. Our democratic republic had a system set up that was flowing quite nicely (along with the representative’s filibuster) until the mob kicked in.

    Whoever shouts the loudest wins, or something like that. Sorry – I’ve got zero respect for those who stormed the Texas legislature, disrupting a legal vote simply so that they could keep Texas abortion mills from meeting the same minimum cleanliness requirements of any other surgical center.

  64. I guess some have decided to support Paula Deen with their pocketbooks.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/paula-deen-surges-past-game-576518

  65. Crowned1

    “The church is exactly the same as the world when it comes to gossip, fashion, celebrities, etc. At least that is the impression I received growing up in the corporate church system.

    There is an epidemic of ‘idolization’ that starts at the pulpit. We are far too intermixed with the world. Our ‘relevance’ has become a crutch, instead of a bridge.”

    Well said, but the problem is no generation ever in history has been able to avoid this stuff. Additionally it is not limited to Christianity, the world is always looking for an idol to worship, a statute to set up and a practice which will make their life more prosperous.

    The hardest part about true religion is there are no rock stars.

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