Interesting & Amusing (v.1)

Other — By on September 17, 2008 at 2:38 pm

The internet is full of interesting and amusing things. Periodically, I will feature the interesting and amusing things that come across my desk.
Something Interesting
In a couple of days the Acton Institute will be premiering a film at GodblogCon titled “The Birth of Freedom.” The film promises to give an interesting analysis of the relationship between liberty and religion. From their website, here is a brief description of the film:

The American founders said that all men are created equal and are endowed with certain unalienable rights–that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They called this a self-evident truth. Eighty-seven years later, Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed this idea on the Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg. And in 1963 these same words echoed from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as Martin Luther King, Jr. urged America to fulfill the promise of its founding.
But humans are separated by enormous differences in talent and circumstance. Why would anyone believe that all men are created equal? That all should be free? That all deserve a voice in choosing their leaders? Why would any nation consider this a self-evident truth?
For the millions around the world who have never tasted liberty, the question cries for an answer.

And the trailer:

Something Amusing
For all of us Battlestar Galactica fans, here is an amusing side-by-side:
PalinRoslin.jpg
I’m not saying anything, but I’m glad ours is being compared to President Laura Roslin and not Gaius Baltar, the young, popular, politician for change. (HT: Likely Tales)


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  • Daniel

    Jesus would have far more in common with Barack Obama (a community organizer, just like Christ) than he would with John McCain (a warmonger like the Roman imperialists who nailed Christ to a cross). I’m a Christian for Obama because I’m tired of being lied to by the republicans, who blatantly use Christian talking points (abortion, sex education, gay marriage) to pull the wool over our eyes and make themselves richer while small towns go bankrupt, and I’d like the discussion to evolve beyond Republican = Best Christian, Democrat = Satanic Sodomite.

  • Big Mo

    Daniel, please. I understand your anger, but please understand that Christianity should never be tied to any earthly politican party. Jesus was NOT a “community organizer.” Calling Him that is just plain wrong. He was/is no more a “community organizer” than He was/is Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal.
    He was/is the Son of God, and when He was on this earth, He was “about [His] Father’s business.”
    Proof? Look to the Gospel of John, after the Lord feeds the 5,000 (all four gospels record that event). See John 6:14 and start reading from there. After the miracle, the Lord retreated to pray alone, but the crowds followed Him.
    He knew their intentions: they sought more miracles and wanted to make Him king, totally misreading who the Messiah would be. They sought a POLITICAL Messiah who would deliver Israel from Rome.
    But at that moment, at what was most likely the height of his popularity, He preached a sermon so offensive to their ears that all of the shallow followers (the vast majority) melted away. And just a core remained. The sermon was “I am the bread of life…”
    Now, if Christ were a “community organizer” as the current liberal/Obama meme claims, then He would have used His mission to liberate Israel from Rome and make things much better for the people on earth. Instead, he suffered and died for our salvation and the remission of sins.
    That’s not “community organizing” a la Obama or any other earthly organization. That’s God’s plan for our salvation.
    To lower Christ to a “community organizer” misses Christ entirely, and, in C.S. Lewis’ words, makes him a mere teacher — which is absolutely not an option when considering Christ.
    No earthly label — conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat — can be or ever should be applied to Him.

  • Robski

    Actually, it is indeed an option; it is just an option not given by Lewis with his fallaciously limited “Lord, Liar, or Lunatic” set of choices. Lewis ignores the possibility that Jesus has been misquoted and/or misrepresented by his “followers”.

  • Big Mo

    Robski – hardly. Lewis didn’t ignore it, because it’s simply not an option — except to those who dismiss Jesus and His “followers” (nice use of scare quotes, there).
    The evidence supporting the accutracy of scripture is pretty well overwhelming.
    And yes, I’m sure I’ll be flamed for that, but hey — I’m a “follower.”

  • http://c-orthodoxy.blogspot.com Ken Brown

    Palin may resemble President Roslin, but McCain even more strongly resembles Colonel Tigh. Whether that is a good thing or a bad, I’ll leave for you to decide.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I pointed out how she resembles Roslin earlier on!

  • John W

    Big Mo, I agree with most of what you say, but Daniel is rightly upset with our current Americanized version of Jesus-you know the one that support warmongering and government policies that favor the rich over the poor and middle class (and says that anyone who objects to this is guilty of class warfare and a big government librul). This version of christianity believes Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter are legitimate spokesmen for Jesus Christ.
    So yes, the “Jesus was a community organizer” slogan is kind of silly, but it’s a response to the arrogant truly elitist republican convention where Ms. Palin mocked and belittled community organizers.

  • Daniel

    Big Mo,
    I sincerely appreciate your response to my frustration, and I completely understand the point you are making that one cannot label the the Son of God as ONLY a community organizer, in the same way one could not say that Superman is ONLY a crime fighter. If that makes sense.
    The point I was trying to make was not that Jesus was JUST a community organizer. Perhaps non-Christians have tried to claim that, and I apologize if my statement was muddled as a result. The point I was trying to get across was about the character of Christ as He manifested himself on this earth, and the way in which He lived, or rather the example He set for living a virtuous Christian life. And in Christ’s life on this earth, I see far more in common with a selfless community organizer, than I do with a wealthy and alduterous soldier.
    Of course, as you say, the ultimate act of Christ’s love was His self sacrifice for our sins. However, that was not the only act of Christ on this earth, and if that was His only notable act that has any relation to our lives and to our deeds, then the New Testament would be two sentences long, and read:
    “The Son of God was born on this earth, and He suffered and died for our salvation and the remission of sins. Carry on, as you were.”
    Maybe I am misguided, but I truly believe there is so much more that we can learn from the blessing of Christ’s life on this earth than that He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Yes, that is the ultimate lesson, and the ultimate gift. But there is so much more.
    And one thing we can learn from Christ, by comparing His way with the way chosen by the men and women that surround us, is the degree to which others are living their lives according to Christ’s teachings and examples.
    To qoute Luke 4:16-21:
    16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read;
    17 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
    18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
    19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
    20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
    21 And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
    Now, back to my original point. One aspect of Christ was that he sought to preach to poor, and to lift up the downtrodden, and to set at liberty those that are oppressed. This was an aspect of the Son of God. And this is right in line with the actions of a community organizer who preaches to the poor and tries to help the oppressed, selflessly, like Christ, and for no earthly gain.
    Now I ask you, with Christ as our guide and as our example of the right life, the life fulfilling the mission of the Lord God, which candidate on this earth has followed and lived Christ’s example more fully?
    I do not believe this is blasphemous to ask. If we can’t evaluate the intentions of a fellow man by the degree to which they follow the way shown to us by Christ, then I feel we are turning from one of Christ’s greatest lessons for us. The lesson of how to please God with what we do on this earth.
    In sum, is a rich warrior, with seven houses, who committed adultery, then divorced his wife, then worked to help the rich get richer, and the poor stay poorer, and who has no consistent values other than whatever will serve as a means to fulfill his own triumph, living the way of Christ?
    Or is a man, from humble beginnings, who used his talents not for personal gain but for the betterment of the poor and helpless in his community, who is committed to his wife and children, and motivated not by money but by acts of compassion for others, living the way of Christ?
    And as a Christian, and one who finds value in all of Christ’s words and deeds, and who knows Christ also as the great teacher who said, “go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven,” I refuse to be tricked by promises and lies coming from the mouth of a man who has lived a life in stark contrast to the example of Christ’s. I beleive in my heart that the better man to put in charge is the lowly community organizer that has become a symbol for compassion and altruism.
    That is why, as a Christian, I will vote for Obama. And, as a Christian, I find it impossible to understand how anyone who believes in a loving God could vote for a continuation of the greed and war that the GOP has unleashed on this earth.
    God Bless, and Go Obama ’08!!
    Daniel

  • JohnW

    Daniel,
    I hope you will continue to speak out whenever you can. That is the only way to stem the tide of dangerous right wing authoritarianism that has infected Christianity in America today.
    I don’t know if you have heard of him, I just started reading some writings of Washington Gladden from the late 19th century and early 20th century. He is a solid Christian, yet is very progressive and would be considered to “liberal” for most evangelical churches today. His books are available for free download from google books. I recently downloaded:
    1. Church and Modern Life
    2. Being a Christian
    3. The Forks of the Road

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    Robski,
    “Lewis ignores the possibility that Jesus has been misquoted and/or misrepresented by his ‘followers.'”
    I hate to ask the obvious, but if Jesus was totally misquoted and misrepresented, how would we know what he actually said? And therefore how could we possibly know that he had been misquoted and misrepresented?

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    Daniel,
    “In sum, is a rich warrior, with seven houses, who committed adultery, then divorced his wife, then worked to help the rich get richer, and the poor stay poorer, and who has no consistent values other than whatever will serve as a means to fulfill his own triumph, living the way of Christ?”
    I understand where you are coming from, Daniel, but my problem is that you are pigeon-holing both candidates, setting up straw-men that don’t take into account all the facts. Just because McCain served in the military and still supports it today, that doesn’t mean we can sum up his entire character as a “warrior” or “warmonger.” And it is wrong to suggest that Republican economic policy is designed to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Both parties seek to make every American happier and wealthier, they just go about it in different ways.
    “Or is a man, from humble beginnings, who used his talents not for personal gain but for the betterment of the poor and helpless in his community, who is committed to his wife and children, and motivated not by money but by acts of compassion for others, living the way of Christ?”
    Obama isn’t exactly poor either. And it’s difficult to say that a man running for President of the United States, the most powerful office in the world, “never used his talents for personal gain.” And how can you possibly know what Obama’s personal motivations are?
    And (I hate to bring it up, but…) we can’t forget that protecting the innocent lives of the unborn and guarding the sanctity of marriage are also central aspects of Christianity that we can’t let fall by the wayside.

  • Lisa

    When will Americans stop putting fornicators in the White House? Everyone knows that Sarah Palin’s daughter conceived a child out of wedlock. But did you know that Sarah Palin herself conceived her first child out of wedlock? It’s the truth. That’s the reason she and Todd Palin eloped instead of getting married before God.
    The Bible teaches that sex before marriage is the same as adultery. You can hate the sin and love the sinner, but that doesn’t mean you have to vote her into the White House! It’s time for Americans with family values to STOP putting people like CLINTON and PALIN into the White House. Our children deserve better!

  • Robski

    David N.: “I hate to ask the obvious, but if Jesus was totally misquoted and misrepresented, how would we know what he actually said?”
    You added the “totally”, not I, but to answer your question, I do not think we can know for sure what Jesus said. His chroniclers wrote generations after the fact; who can tell what is history and what is legend?
    Big Mo: “The evidence supporting the accutracy of scripture is pretty well overwhelming.”
    For certain parts of scripture, that is true. For others, there is no evidence at all. The novel Huckleberry Finn contains accurate depictions of places and events in the antebellum south, but is is still largely a product of the imagination. The Iliad contains some history, but today it is read as mythology.
    “And yes, I’m sure I’ll be flamed for that, but hey — I’m a “follower.” ”
    I hope you won’t be disappointed if I eschew flamage; it’s not my style. By the way, I put “followers” in quotes because I don’t see how one can be a follower of someone one has only heard of. I tend to think of Christians more as followers of Paul, not Jesus.

  • http://lilith-links.blogspot.com/ Teresita

    Lisa: That’s the reason she and Todd Palin eloped instead of getting married before God.
    If God is omnipresent, then anywhere you get married, it’s gonna be “before God”, no?
    The Bible teaches that sex before marriage is the same as adultery.
    No, the penalty in the bible for adultery is death. The bible says that if a man lies with an unmarried woman he doesn’t have to die, he just has to marry her:
    Exod.22:[16] And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

  • ex-preacher

    Also, the Bible says that a man who rapes an unmarried woman must marry her.
    Deut 22:28-29 “28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”
    Also, there was no punishment for a married man who had sex with an unmarried woman.

  • Big Mo

    Daniel: You asked, “which candidate on this earth has followed and lived Christ’s example more fully?”
    Well, if you try to make the case that Obama is more Christ-like, then you must seriously consider the fact that Obama belonged to a black nationalist church for more than 2 decades, the **primary mission** of which IS black nationalism, and not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    No church should put ANY political or earthly case before God.
    Because of that, I cannot accept that Obama is more Christ-like than McCain.
    McCain, by the way, has admitted his failings and blames himself — no one else.

  • Daniel

    Big Mo,
    Again, I do appreciate that you are offering your opinions on this. But I’m starting to realize, based on your last response, that McCain is your “gut” choice and that you will cite any claim you can to support this choice. And I am not afraid to say I respect that.
    I certainly am guilty of basing some of my support for Obama on my “gut” as well. And his deeds support my gut instinct that this is a man with a good heart, a sound mind, and the best interests of the average working family in his heart. And the deeds of McCain support my feeling that he is not the one to turn this country around for the average family.
    I do not believe that Obama supports radical black nationalism, as he is half white, and was raised by his white mother and grandparents. Again, this is my gut, and common sense. I cannot claim to know what is in his mind.
    So what it comes down to is that my gut, and my knowledge of both men’s deeds, leads me to the belief that Obama is the better man for our country, and that he tries to live his life by Christ’s example. I believe McCain is not a deeply religious man, and uses his Catholicism only when it is politically convenient. That is what I believe.
    And to add one more personal belief in here… I have degrees in Economics and Religion from one of the South’s premiere Universities (Duke). I am therefore very familiar with the concept of “trickle down economics” and the concept of God’s love. In my opinion, these two concepts are mutually exclusive. It is quite accepted in academic circles that although the trickle down theory works on paper, it does not work in the real world, especially now that we have a global economy. All those tax breaks for the rich and for corporations often end up in Fendi purses and Italian villas and foreign sports cars, not in the bank accounts of your average blue collar Americans. It does not all stay in the USA. So beware of any politician, like McCain, who tells you otherwise. It has become a cynical political term used to justify making the rich richer, and nothing more. They know it won’t end up in the pocket of the line-worker or the farmer, so you should know it too. And vote accordingly.
    And lastly, I just want to understand this from Teresita:
    “The Bible teaches that sex before marriage is the same as adultery.
    No, the penalty in the bible for adultery is death.”
    You ARE aware that John McCain began seeing Cindy before he had divorced his first wife, right?
    God Bless,
    Daniel

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    Robski,
    “You added the “totally”, not I, but to answer your question, I do not think we can know for sure what Jesus said. His chroniclers wrote generations after the fact; who can tell what is history and what is legend?”
    Setting aside the fact that most historians date the synoptic gospels within the first century (so, not generations later), I trust you see how your comment fits with the point I was trying to make. All we know about Jesus is what his followers wrote about him, and based on those writings we must go with Lewis’s “Lord, Liar or Lunatic.” There’s no point in saying, “well, his followers could have misquoted him”, when you have no solid evidence for thinking that they did. The Jesus of the Bible is the only Jesus we have.

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    Daniel,
    I have to ask, is there anything about Obama that you think makes him “more Christian” besides his economic policy?
    You say that McCain only flaunts his faith when it’s convenient. First of all, he isn’t Catholic. Secondly, what makes you so certain that the same cannot be said about Obama?
    You dismissed Big Mo’s comment about Obama’s church simply because he has white relatives. But as a Christian I hope you take very seriously the beliefs of your church and your pastor. Obama went to that church for over 20 years and baptized his children there. Are we to believe that he didn’t care what radical views his own pastor held?
    And talk about political convenience! Obama distanced himself from his pastor of over 20 years as soon as the political winds began to change. That’s not exactly strong evidence of genuine faith, no matter what his economic policy may be.
    At least McCain admits that he wasn’t a good person in the past. He shows (as much as any political figure in the media can) genuine remorse and repentance for his past mistakes. What else do we ask of the sinner but repentance?
    I’m glad you see that some of your reasoning is just “gut.” We’re all guilty of that at some time.

  • Daniel

    David N.,
    You asked, “is there anything about Obama that you think makes him “more Christian” besides his economic policy?”
    This is an easy volley. Here are two of the ten commandments that McCain has broken:
    17 You shall not murder.
    18 Neither shall you commit adultery.
    Obama has not broken these commandments, as far as we know. Do the commandments count? Or will you link these particular two commandments to a black nationalist preacher and write them off? If not, on the commandments scorecard, I have Obama soundly “more Christian”.
    And while we are grasping at straws, yes McCain is Episcopalian (the wealthier, WASPier version of the Catholic church), and if people are directly responsible for any position taken by the leadership of their churches, then McCain has a BIG problem:
    From LifeSiteNews:
    “But the bishops of the Episcopal Church have joined the ranks of those working against Proposition 8. All six bishops in the state will officially protest the traditional marriage amendment, according to the Sacramento Bee. The Right Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California, will hold a press conference at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral on Wednesday to represent the church’s position, “calling for compassion, love and equal protections” for homosexual couples.”
    By the guilty-by-association-to-anything-ever logic of the GOP clone army, this would make McCain a supporter of Gay Marriage!
    Please, use the brains God gave you and wake up from this GOP nightmare!
    The last 8 years have been one gigantic disaster after the next, and the latest financial disaster was directly cooked up by McCain and Phil Gramm.
    When McCain suddenly claims he wants to champion regulation, he is LYING TO YOU. Snap out of it people. I am a reformed republican, and you can be too. It isn’t that hard. You just have to be willing to admit you were wrong about a few things. And trust me, people won’t really care when you do. You won’t lose face. And you might just find that people will respect you more because of it. Pride is a sin, after all.
    You can do that, right? Admit you were wrong? I did. And you know what? It was liberating! I didn’t have to scramble to find facts and figures to support my GOP lies anymore. I didn’t have to walk around blaming the liberal elite and the liberal media for our country’s problems anymore… I can actually blame the people that are really responsible: The Republican Party. And I finally got to see the country for what it is: A generally good place, full of good people, and full of compassion, that is being manipulated by a group of powerful, greedy, evil men, who use claims of bringing Christian values back into public life to grab power and rob us blind. For shame.
    I will no longer let these men use my God’s name to fleece the American people. If you are a good, compassionate Christian, you shouldn’t let them either.
    Go Obama!
    And God Bless,
    Daniel
    ps. And don’t get me started on Palin’s church’s practices… African witch hunters and Jews for Jesus?

  • Ken

    Robski: If you are willing, there’s a little book out there by F. F. Bruce called “The New Testament Documents–Are They Reliable?” It is inexpensive, short, and a relatively easy read that should help you understand the issue much better.

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    Daniel,
    I’m trying to keep things civil. I’d appreciate it if you showed some Christian love and humility and did the same.
    “17 You shall not murder.
    18 Neither shall you commit adultery.
    Obama has not broken these commandments, as far as we know.”
    I’m sorry, but this is absurd, for three reasons: (1) Jesus explicitly says that hating someone or lusting after someone in your heart is the same as actually committing murder or adultery, so you have no idea whether or not Obama has broken these commandments. I know I have. (2) Is everyone who has ever served in America’s armed forces also a murderer? (3) My whole point is that McCain has shown genuine repentance for these past sins, especially when it comes to cheating on his wife. What reason do you have to doubt his sincerity? I hope you don’t treat all the repentant sinners you know with the same skepticism.
    “And while we are grasping at straws, yes McCain is Episcopalian…”
    My advice: if you’re going to go off about how we Republicans need to use the brain God has given us and not grasp at straws…you might want to do a little research before making bad arguments. McCain is Baptist.
    In any case, I can see that your mind is made up and there’s no use in trying to continue this discussion. I’m still curious to know how you reconcile your strong concern for Christian morality with Obama’s wanton support of abortion-on-demand, but I’d also like to avoid receiving more personal attacks, so I’ll allow my curiosity to go unsatisfied.
    I appreciate your willingness to defend the minority position on a Conservative blog, but your increasingly vitriolic manner isn’t winning you the moral high ground. Just a friendly word of caution for future discussions.

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    Daniel,
    It occurred to me that you might take the opportunity to latch on to a point that I should have made clearer and use it against me, so let me elaborate.
    Yes, McCain was raised Episcopalian. But he has been a faithful member of the North Phoenix Baptist Church for the last 15 years.
    And this isn’t simply a matter of guilt by association. I’ll let you do your own research into the political views of Rev. Wright and how he used his pulpit as a forum for preaching his radical politics (apparently, with Obama faithfully in attendance).

  • JohnW

    David N.,
    I actually listened to and read the transcripts of the sermons containing the soundbites/excerpts used over and over again in the media to smear Rev. Wright and by extension, Obama. What he said did exceed the boundaries of acceptable discourse in the media, but was for the most part accurate. Our past foreign policy motivates the terrorists much more than “hating our freedoms” (for example overthrowing the first democratically elected and popular leader of Iran in the 1950’s and years of sanctions against Iraq). The CIA even has a term for this it’s called “Blowback” (you may want to investigate this).
    As for the much maligned Liberation Theology, is it really wrong to suggest that God has a special concern for the “least of these”. It seems much more scriptural than believing Christians must always support that status quo of a government that seems to exist to protect the needs of the wealthy to the exclusion of the middle and lower classes (yes, yes, I know Class Warfare….). I don’ believe in class warfare in favor of the rich or the poor, just a somewhat more equitable environment. It’s really quite easy to damn “liberation theology” within the confines of a comfortable and priviliged environment.
    I think the bible calls us to be christians first, not Americans first (and definitely not supporters of militarist neo-cons first). It would be good if Christian would more critically judge and examine what they hear in the media and from some of our so-called evangelical leaders.

  • Daniel

    David N.,
    I sincerely apologize for my tone. I am just fed up with the lies and disasters of the GOP that I once supported. But I need to respect that some others, like you, are not fed up, and have a right their opinions. I didn’t realize I was being too harsh, but I will respectfully apologize for offending you if my tone crossed the line.
    Now, to Big Mo,
    You rail against Obama’s church because “No church should put ANY political or earthly case before God.”
    Well, prepare to be absolutely horrified…
    Here is a video of our GOP superstar, Sarah Palin, being blessed by an African Witch Hunter, Pastor Muthee (you can’t make this stuff up).
    “Muthee’s mounting stardom took him to Wasilla Assembly of God in May, 2005, where he prayed over Palin and called upon Jesus to propel her into the governor’s mansion — and beyond.”
    Palin appears about 7 minutes in:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl4HIc-yfgM
    Now I would say to Big Mo, please explain why this type of politics mixed with Christianity mixed with pagan superstition is OK, despite your previous assertations to the contrary. Please help me to understand this.
    And again, I really mean no personal insult here. I am just trying to have an honest and passionate debate here, because I respect your beleifs, and share many of them. I am a fiesty debater, and over the internet the tone is lost, and if I am coming across as mean spirited, please understand I have nothing but love in my heart for everyone here. I am genuinely concerned that the country and the Christian movement is headed down a dangerous path, and I cannot stand by and let that happen without at least trying to state my case. I want a better world for all of you, and I believe this GOP ticket is not the one to get us there.
    God Bless,
    Daniel

  • ex-preacher

    David N. wrote: “Yes, McCain was raised Episcopalian. But he has been a faithful member of the North Phoenix Baptist Church for the last 15 years.”
    From a story in the Associated Baptist Press:
    “McCain, a lifelong Episcopalian, has been attending the Southern Baptist-affiliated church in Phoenix for at least 17 years. But the presumptive GOP presidential nominee has neither officially joined the congregation nor been baptized, which among Baptists is a public event associated with profession of one’s faith in Jesus. He has continued to list his faith as “Episcopal” in official congressional biographies.”
    http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3229&Itemid=121

  • Daniel

    ex-preacher,
    Thank you. Once again the record clearly shows that McCain’s only true conviction is that he wants to be elected president, everything else is just a way for him to get there.
    Evangelicals for Obama!
    God Bless,
    Daniel

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    ex-preacher and Daniel,
    Yes, McCain was never baptized. But his own pastor defended him in this regard, saying that many of the church’s regular attendees have not been baptized, for a number of different reasons. One reason is often that Christians who were baptized as babies do not feel the need to be baptized a second time (this has been a big problem recently at John Piper’s church). McCain’s pastor has also attested to having long conversations with him about faith, and he hasn’t found reason to call his Christianity into question. But then again, I suppose his pastor is in on the big conspiracy too.
    And since there are so few Episcopals in the US, and even fewer who would ever vote Republican, I doubt that McCain still puts “Episcopal” in official congressional biographies because he thinks it will win him votes.

  • Daniel

    David N,
    Personally, I respect and welcome different viewpoints, and as a university student studying religion, I attended services from all walks of faith, and found far more common ground than division. I believe what I believe, and am happy to tell others why I beleive what I believe, and that is good enough for me.
    I don’t really care whether John McCain worships Christ in one church or another. But many voters in the GOP base do care, and do not respect the faith choices of others, and that is why he attends baptist services. If he was SO committed, you’d think another baptism would be a blessing and a privilege, not an unnecessary formality that they decided could be skipped.
    And I have a major issue with this:
    “(1) Jesus explicitly says that hating someone or lusting after someone in your heart is the same as actually committing murder or adultery.”
    Tell that to the cops… or to your wife and kids.
    This is in the eyes of God. But no sane person would accept that hating somebody is just as bad for SOCIETY as murdering somebody. We may be people of faith, but we have to be citizens of a working society. So try telling that one to the cops!
    And I would argue the same about adultery. I would NEVER cheat on my wife physically. And yes, I probably, on occasion, stare a little too long at the occasional beauty that passes by me on the street (but luckily, my wife is stunningly beautiful, so I’d rather just look at her). But I have heard FAR TOO MANY of my fellow Christians use the words you quoted as an excuse to PHYSICALLY cheat on their spouse. Saying, and I quote one, “I cheat every time I see a pretty girl, so what’s the difference?”
    THERE IS A DIFFERENCE for society. And that is what I am trying to get across. You must think about how you look in the eyes of God, and in the eyes of your community. And I will be damned if you can get your wife to tell me that she’d be no more upset if she caught you watching Baywatch then she would be if she caught you fornicating with the local slut, or your children for that matter. Not to mention that you can’t give your wife AIDS by “mentally cheating”, whereas you could certainly transmit any number of horrific diseases by physically cheating.
    The scripture tells us how to please God, but do not confuse it with the standards of a decent society. If you want to try and convince your own wife that cheating is no big deal because you cheat every time Eva Longoria comes on the TV, more power to you. But I don’t want to be in the same zip code when you do.
    What McCain did in leaving his maimed wife for a young rich plaything may be excusable in the eyes of God, but it ain’t excusable for me. I’m not as forgiving as Christ, unfortunately.
    God Bless,
    Daniel

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    Daniel,
    “THERE IS A DIFFERENCE for society. And that is what I am trying to get across.”
    Really? I thought we were arguing about which candidate is a better Christian, because you brought up the adultery and murder business after I explicitly asked you why you think Obama is more Christian than McCain. Apparently we’ve been having two different conversations. I’ll assume I simply misunderstood you.
    “What McCain did in leaving his maimed wife for a young rich plaything may be excusable in the eyes of God, but it ain’t excusable for me. I’m not as forgiving as Christ, unfortunately.”
    I think this comment says enough. I appreciate your honesty.

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    Daniel,
    I should probably add that the whole point is not to minimize lust, but to make it even more serious. Jesus was addressing people who assumed that they were nearly perfect because they never physically committed adultery. They thought they were fine as long as they only thought about it, and never actually did it. Thus Jesus tells them that lusting is just as bad as actually committing adultery.
    So your friend who said, “I cheat every time I see a pretty girl, so what’s the difference?”, is obviously a poor reader of Scripture and must not attend a good church (or at least he doesn’t pay attention).
    In any case, this all seems to be an unnecessary tangent. The point to be seen here is that Obama is hardly a perfect Christian, and that McCain shows genuine repentance for his past sins, which is all we can ask of him.
    Neither candidate is ideal for the Christian voter, I will grant you that much.
    I’m still waiting to hear how you reconcile your concern for Christian morality with Obama’s abortion views.

  • Daniel

    David N.,
    Thank you for your measured response. I was riled up there. You ask:
    “I’m still waiting to hear how you reconcile your concern for Christian morality with Obama’s abortion views.”
    Personally, I abhor abortion, and I want my president to do everything in his power to reduce the number of abortions, make them more difficult to get, and provide alternatives to it.
    Biblically, though, there is NO EXPLICIT passage regarding abortion, and according to the word of God, a fetus is not a living being and does not have life until God has given it it’s first breath. Thus, on principal, I do not want people to have abortions, as Obama thinks, and I also cannot support an outright ban, both because of historical lessons and because the Bible gives no more life to a fetus than it gives to an inflamed appendix.
    Specifically:
    Genesis 2:7, He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being”.
    In Job 33:4: “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
    Ezekiel 37:5&6, “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.”
    So, personally, I am against abortion unless the life of the mother is at stake, or in cases of rape or incest. But biblically, I can find NO support for an outright ban (except for partial birth and late term, where the fetus may take a breath), and no support for the fetus being anything other than living tissue. According to God, it is NOT A PERSON until it breathes it’s first breath.
    So I have no issue voting for Obama, personally, and do not believe he wants people to have more abortions, as the GOP tries to scare you into believing. And McCain was pro choice before he flip flopped to win this election, so he has zero credibility on this issue.
    In sum, I hate abortion, but can find no biblical grounds to support an outright ban or the criminalization of the practice. Since God didn’t weigh in on this one, it must remain a personal decision, no matter how repellent I may find it to be.
    God Bless,
    Daniel

  • Daniel

    btw… where did Big Mo go? Did his head explode when he saw Sarah Palin get blessed by the African witch hunter? :) Here is a more edited down version with commentary if anyone here missed it:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/25/olbermann-what-if-obama-w_n_129184.html
    He prays in Jesus’s name to protect her from witches. This is not how I worship Christ, asking for political favors, money, and protection from witches, but I judge not.

  • Daniel

    Interesting scientific study on the differences between liberals and conservatives, and how differing concepts of God may be the root:
    “Political conservatives operate out of a fear of chaos and absence of order while political liberals operate out of a fear of emptiness, a new Northwestern University study soon to be published in the Journal of Research in Personality finds.
    “Social scientists long have assumed that liberals are more rational and less fearful than conservatives, but we find that both groups view the world as a dangerous place,” says Dan McAdams, study co-author and professor of human development and psychology at Northwestern University. “It’s just that their fears emerge differently.”
    To better understand the differences between politically conservative Christian Americans and their liberal counterparts, McAdams and Northwestern University co-author Michelle Albaugh asked 128 socially active churchgoers this question: What if there were no God?
    Like the Northwestern study, the preponderance of research finds that conservatives fear unchecked human impulses that challenge the status quo. What McAdams and Northwestern researcher Albaugh also find is an underlying, but different, fear that drives liberals as well.
    “Political conservatives envision a world without God in which baser human impulses go unchecked, social institutions (marriage, government, family) fall apart and chaos ensues,” says McAdams. Liberals, on the other hand, envision a world without God as barren, lifeless, devoid of color and reasons to live.
    “Liberals see their faith as something that fills them up and, without it, they conjure up metaphors of emptiness, depletion and scarcity,” McAdams said. “While conservatives worry about societal collapse, liberals worry about a world without deep feelings and intense experiences.”
    The study findings may shed light on why conservatives prefer more authoritarian leaders while liberals do not, he adds.”
    Food for thought, regardless of which side of the fence you fall on.

  • Mike

    I know Jesus would not be in favor of murder so my pick for president could never be Obama. Also, I know he would not be in favor of taking from the “rich” by force (stealing) and giving it to the poor. Where does God the get glory from that? The beneficiaries of this social welfare will not be thanking God. The Church of Jesus Christ should and would do this, to a much greater degree, if the government did not practice thievery. Btw, Republicans are almost as guilty of buying votes in this way as Democrats are.

  • Daniel

    Mike wrote:
    “I know Jesus would not be in favor of murder so my pick for president could never be Obama.”
    But according to the word of God, it is not murder. You and I may not like it, but to God, terminating a pregnancy is no different than getting your tonsils taken out. You can’t pick and choose God’s words to support your own agenda. And you can’t know what Jesus would do, as you are not the Christ, and you can never approach God’s wisdom. So I think you are mistaken about your preclusion from voting for Obama. Also, McCain is pro choice, regardless of what he is now claiming in order to win the election.

  • John

    Mike,
    You say God “would not be in favor of taking from the “rich” by force (stealing) and giving it to the poor”, but what about the government stealing from the taxpayers to “bail out” big business (i.e., the $700 Billion bailout)?
    What about the nearly $700 Billion for defense spending approved by the congress in the last week. Where are our evangelical leaders speaking out about this? Why don’t we hear about a possible connection between this bloated defense budget and the current economic crisis. It would seem that this would fall into the category of stealing and killing.

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