October 27, 2004

Jonah Goldberg's latest column

I endorse this opinion, not only because I agree with it, but because our daughter, Rebecca Dong Lan, is almost the same age as Lucy Tighe, and I feel the same way with respect to my daughter.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

Jeff Jacoby commentary

Jeff Jacoby is skeptical of John Kerry's claim to religious belief.

Each of us can do more to love our neighbor and to live up to the Judeo-Christian values that American history so strongly affirms. But promiscuous God-talk in presidential campaigns doesn't elevate our spiritual profile. It feeds the suspicion that religion is being invoked for cynical political reasons. Is Kerry right with his God? I certainly hope so. But for nearly 22 years he managed to keep that part of his life extremely private. I wish he would have kept it that way.
Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 01:15 PM | Comments (2)

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven

A little more than a year ago, I wrote these words, about the Episcopal Church, which had just ordained Gene Robinson as a bishop.

I don't think this is the point where the ship has hit the iceberg. I think the iceberg was hit many years ago when bishops like John Shelby Spong were allowed to become spokesmen for the Episcopal church, men who do not believe in Christ's divinity, nor the Resurrection, nor the Atonement, and who find no relevance in the Bible. So the church hit the iceberg a long time ago. In my view, it's probably at the point where the ship is just about vertical and about to snap in two. People are jumping ship, and the ship will sink. The Episcopal Church will soon no longer be recognizable as a Christian Church, as heterodox as the Unitarian Universalist Association, which took action similar to this way back in 1984.

The Episcopal Church is now promoting a ritual honoring "The Queen of Heaven". As heterodox as the UUs? You bet. The Unitarian Universalist Association has had a Cakes for the Queen of Heaven Religious Education program for a long time (my former UU congregation does it). In fact, the book by that title was written by a UU minister, Shirley Ranck, back in 1986. About the only difference I can find between the Episcopalians and the UUs is that the UUs are much bolder in admitting that this is a spit in the eye to orthodox Christian faith.

Hat tips to Jason Steffens (Antioch Road) and Amy Welborn (Open Book)

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2004

Prayer Request

My dad is in need of prayer due to deteriorating health. Blogging is going to be inconsistent, probably until after Thanksgiving, as I give more time to other priorities.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 07:47 AM | Comments (4)

Faith and Politics

Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Denver, has an op-ed in the online New York Times, Faith and Politics.

The theologian Karl Barth once said, "To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world."

That saying comes to mind as the election approaches and I hear more lectures about how Roman Catholics must not "impose their beliefs on society" or warnings about the need for "the separation of church and state." These are two of the emptiest slogans in current American politics, intended to discourage serious debate. No one in mainstream American politics wants a theocracy. Nor does anyone doubt the importance of morality in public life. Therefore, we should recognize these slogans for what they are: frequently dishonest and ultimately dangerous sound bites.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 07:41 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2004

Yellow Ribbon Theory

Also mentioned in The Corner today: a theory that those yellow ribbons that say "Support Our Troops" are on cars belonging to Bush supporters. I think there's something to that. Starting around mid-September, I've been counting the number of cars that have both a Kerry bumper sticker (or anti-Bush) and a "Support Our Troops" ribbon. So far I've seen just one, and I work near a blue-state town where there are many more Kerry signs in yards than Bush signs. Seems none of them are willing to say "Support Our Troops" however.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 09:19 PM | Comments (1)

Students for Life

A pro-life ad in the Daily Princetonian, Princeton's campus newspaper, is mentioned in The Corner. I agree, and it's good to hear such a clear and strong message for life here in a pro-abortion state.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2004

The Nuisance Issue

So, Senator Kerry thinks terrorism is a nuisance.

James Lileks fisks this horrendously naive sentiment.

And I'll add one more. This is a grand nuisance. Look at the time of this post. This is what I'm working on right now.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 12:09 AM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2004

Abortionists for Kerry

Abortion providers are supporting John Kerry, and for good reason. His administration, if he is elected, will be better for their business.

And just this little note: anytime someone suggests a common-sense restriction on abortion, such as stopping late-term abortions, groups like Planned Parenthood responsd to the effect that there are hardly any late term abortions done. But this statement hides an important viewpoint, to groups like the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), late-term abortion providers like George Tiller are heroes, and they are dedicated to continuing their work.
An excerpt from a prayer by Unitarian Universalist minister Deborah Mero at the 30th anniversary service of Roe vs. Wade cited in link above:

We honor those who brought us choice, Sarah Weddington, Fay Wattleton, Justice Harry Blackmun and all of this generation, Kate Michelman, Gloria Feldt, Dr. George Tiller, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, and Frances Kissling who have worked tirelessly to affirm women's right to choose abortion and provide safe and legal reproductive health options. And we vow to carry on their work.

Now before anyone attacks me for justifying the violence done to Tiller or his clinic, let me just say this right now: I do not support violence against any person or their property, and I support the prosecution of people who conduct such violence. However, being a victim of violence is not a virtue. Tiller is no hero.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 03:29 PM | Comments (10)

October 08, 2004

UU Ministers on "Marriage Equality" Caravan

Two Unitarian-Universalist ministers are riding on the "Marriage Equality" Caravan, whose goals are "to focus attention on proposed amendments to write discrimination into both state constitutions and the U.S. Constitution, and 'to demand a repeal of anti-gay measures like the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' "

Bear in mind that these ministers are reprensentatives of a liberal denomination that believes in the separation of church and state so much that some of its members are trying to revoke the tax-exempt status of churches trying to promote the Federal Marriage Amendment. Now of course, the participation of two ministers is not exactly an explicit endorsement by the denomination, but on the other hand, the link is from the UUA website which implies that the denomination is promoting their cause. Here's another link showing that UUA support for gay marriage goes as far as explicit and extensive political lobbying.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2004

VP Candidates' Debate

Dick Cheney won this hands down. Edwards looked polished, but exasperated by Cheney's calm enunciation of his conservative principles and common sense. Edwards kept complaining about Cheney's association of Iraq and Al-Qaeda, but Cheney corrected him that regardless of Saddam's involvement with 9/11, he was still a supporter of terrorism, citing his financial aid to families of Palestinian suicide bombers. When Edwards mentioned the tenuous link for the third time, he was sounding desperate.

Edward's criticism of the Federal Marriage Amendment was lame. He says he supports a man/woman definition of marriage, but Senator Kerry voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, so the record seems to say that they would do nothing to defend it.

I don't remember hearing it come up, but on another issue, abortion, here's how the Democrats voted on two abortion-related bills during the last year:
Partial Birth Abortion Ban:Kerry Nay, Edwards did not vote
Unborn Victims of Violence Act:Kerry Nay, Edwards Nay
It is interesting that Edwards, who made tons of money putting OB/GYNS out of business, seems to be able to channel the thoughts of the unborn (Best of the Web, third item) (NYTimes) while not even considering them to be deserving of legal recognition when their life is ended by an act of murder.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2004

Presidential Debate

I've been real quiet - pretty much like out trip to Lancaster PA last week. I've been back, but computers have been kindof stressful lately so I've often left it turned off when I got home or just read news and stuff - also haven't had any subjects jump out at me to blog about.

The Presidential debate was a big disappointment to me. I haven't changed my mind, I'm still voting for President Bush, but I thought he came off sounding unprepared. It was bad enough that I turned off the TV after an hour and read the closing comments on NRO the next morning. I thought Kerry sounded very polished. Comparing the debate to sports, I think I would describe it as hitting a single. He's on base, another batter up tomorrow. The debate was not a victory however. There are a few problems Kerry has though, and he can't change them through any amount of preparation or smooth speech: his voting record, his varying positions, and his statements to the Winter Soldier Investigation. I was talking with one of my erstwhile Unitarian Universalist cohorts last night at a dinner party (imagine someone like Ellsworth Toohey from Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead), who said that he really appreciated the debate, it was so much more democratic than all that ugly campaigning. On the other side of the room, another woman was talking about how great the 527 groups were, inspiring grassroots participation, and her involvement with George Soros's America Coming Together. At one of these dinner parties last year, the discussion was centered around the need for more campaign finance reform, to get private money out of politics, and to have publicly financed campaigns. Amazing how the outlook has changed when the rich donor is supporting Democrats.

I acknowledged that Senator Kerry did a good job in the debate, but I also expressed the point of view that negative campaigning serves a purpose.

He said "no! It's just a bunch of lies and distortions."

I said "so? A person's voting record is public. Public statements and so on."

He said "yes, but it's distorted. There's all sorts of compromises and details missed in examining one's voting record."

And I said, "But still, how one votes over a long period of time reveals core beliefs, and should be a picture of how one would vote in the future"

I acknowledge that a lot of what this man said is true. There are lots of convolutions in legislative procedures, but there are strong currents of belief underlying those votes. John Kerry has consistently voted pro-abortion. He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act. These votes speak louder than his token statements that "life begins at conception" but he isn't willing to impose his values on others (he hasn't thought through what that implies morally, or he literally thinks it should be legal to murder people if one has no religious compunction against doing so), and his statement that marriage is between a man and a woman (but isn't willing to take any action to prevent a court from mandating otherwise). And of course there are the Senator's votes to cut intelligence spending and defese spending. My sparring partner seemed to think that none of this should matter. Zell Miller's speech? "Doesn't count! He was angry, not honest" (as if one can't be angry and honest - sheesh!).

Still, he would not be convinced. He asserted that the candidates' statements should be considered at face value, with absolutely no consideration of their past (yeah, right), their character, or their ability to deliver what they promise. Actually, it's more likely he's going to vote for the letter "D", and I think it's likely he's voted that way for a very long time now.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 10:06 PM | Comments (2)