Archive for the ‘Reason’ Category

Talk with people who disagree

04 Jan

I’m at an independent (Christian run) coffee shop listening to someone talk about how religion is horse-**** (she’s said this extremely lady-like term at least 15 20 times in the last few minutes to describe people who disagree with her) and what idiots people are for wanting prayer in school or Christmas to be called “Christmas.”

Clearly she’s not thinking objectively and is speaking out of real anger and disrespect, likely in reaction to something negative she experienced. It also seems that she’s getting her impression of Christians from news stories who portray religious people as dolts, as I don’t know people like those she describes.

Her friend is listening and agreeing with everything, about how right they are, how ignorant everyone is who disagrees, etc.

As ignorant and inappropriate as the discussion sounds, it reminds me of a few recent gatherings of people equally like-minded loudly agreeing on political and religious issues, declaring anyone who disagrees to be an idiot. The attitude is identical.

We should be talking to people who disagree with us, not just those who will pat us on the back. We should have enough respect for people who differ from us to not refer to them as “full of horse-****” or use more church-friendly terminology to insult them as people. None of us are the standard for truth, and all of us can have our opinions refined and corrected if we’re willing to listen.

But we don’t listen. We’re more concerned with saying that we’re right rather than becoming more right by realizing we always have room for growth; we always have room for our views to be refined or changed altogether.

We’re equally as guilty and judgmental and derogatory to others – not loving our neighbors as ourselves – as the potty-mouthed woman in the coffee shop. We’re just slightly censored potty-mouthed people in churches.


The Moral Case for the British Empire [Prager University]

20 Aug

A new course from Prager University was released today. Like all courses, this is a 5 minute video giving an overview of a certain topic with information that likely wasn’t presented to you in your undergraduate or graduate studies.

The Moral Case for the British Empire. Taught by H.W. Crocker, Author and Historian.

YouTube Preview Image

The British empire governed on Judeo-Christian values of freedom and peace-making. The largest worldwide empire was the empire the governed the least; without displacing cultures and often ruling side by side and through local leaders.

Ghandi said that he believed the best government was the government that governed least and that he found the British empire guaranteed his freedom and governed him least of all.

The British empire was the force that caused widow-burning to cease in India, and was the greatest force in ending the global slave trade.

My Take

The course does not present the empire as perfect, or deny there were abuses. For example, the abolition of slavery necessitates the presence of slavery first.  The emphasis, however, is that the British empire was a force that overall led to freedom, peace, and life. This is true especially in comparison to other empires throughout history. It’s this kind of comparative analysis that is emphasized in the course. Not that the British empire and everyone associated with it was perfect, but that it was the Empire with the most positive ethics and effects.

In the United States, we find that the freedom founded at the beginning of our nation carried on these ideals, not because the founders were against what Englishmen stood for, but because many were Englishmen  who were fighting for the continuation of the same values.

Another worthwhile course from Prager University. I’ve included the video above, but you can also enroll in Prager University for free and accrue credits just by watching the 5 minute videos online, taught by Dennis Prager, Adam Carolla, Jonah Goldberg, and many more.


A Gay Chick-Fil-A Employee Speaks Out… and Continually Contradicts Self

02 Aug

Sandwich, fries, and a drink From Chic-Fil-AThe Daily Beast has an article today written by a closeted homosexual employee of Chick-Fil-A, who states she wanted to vomit when she heard people singing God Bless America and wished that her customers would die of asphyxiation.

The self-contradictions really show the double standard that epitomizes this writer and probably those trying to shut down Chick-Fil-A because the president holds a different political opinion than they:

On the one hand, PLEASE DON’T PROTEST MY WORKPLACE. If you do, you’re just being self-righteous:

Boycotting Chick-fil-A doesn’t hurt the company. It hurts the employees. And it’s hard enough working for a place that doesn’t think you should get married. But it’s work. Don’t take it away because you feel righteous.


We had two protestors outside, and I took five minutes to run out, hug them, and tell them: if I weren’t working here now, I’d be out here with you. 

On the one hand, hoping someone goes hungry for boycotting, you know, food is evil: arrogant, self-righteous, and desire for others to suffer:

One kid, age 19, said “I hope the gays go hungry.” I nearly walked out then and there. That epitomizes the characteristics of these evangelical “Christians”…

That arrogance, self-righteousness, and desire for their opponents to suffer: that’s the least Christ-like attitude of all.

On the other hand, wishing the family value advocates die is just fine:

I remember thinking, under stress, “I hope they choke.”

One of the silliest parts:

no one called the restaurants and said “Hey, you may be flooded with customers. Thaw extra chicken.” Not one of the employees in those congregations gave the restaurant a heads-up. That sort of consideration wasn’t even an afterthought. The ministers, and through them the congregants, didn’t think about the consequences of their actions, or who it might screw over. And it ended up screwing us rather thoroughly.

August 1 as Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day was national news for more than a week beforehand, declared from Mike Huckabee on Fox News, not just a few local pastors. If your management or franchise owner wasn’t paying attention to a major news story about her/his business, that’s their fault, not your customers’ fault.


Money out of (Conservative) Politics

16 Jul

I’ve been approached by petitioners for Planned Parenthood and Green Peace near the REI Flagship store or on the street near The House of Commons (a great place to buy Lapsang Souchong tea) in the 15th and Platte area of Denver. Today I was approached with a new one:

Petitionista: Would you like to sign a petition to help get money out of politics?

Me: I don’t know.

Petitionista: Are you familiar withCitizens United? That’s when the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people!! and they can give unlimited amounts of money, anonymously, into politics. I’m trying to help get this on the ballot for the 2012 election.

Me: So, does this work on getting all money from all groups out of politics, like corporations, unions, and so on, out of politics? Or just corporations?

Petitionista: Right now we’re just focusing on corporations.

Me: So, unions seem fairly one-sided on which end of the political spectrum they give money to, so your petition is to block unlimited campaign contributions by corporations, but leave unlimited contributions to unions that give to only one side?

Petitionista: Yes. We’re only focusing on blocking corporations, not unions.

Me: I’m not signing your petition. It seems like a very dangerous thing to try to allow unlimited funding from only those who are on one side of political issues.


A Reagan Forum with Dennis Prager – 5/1/12

11 May

Here’s a very worthwhile video of Dennis Prager speaking at the Reagan Forum on May 1 this year:

YouTube Preview Image

Turning “Follow the Money” into Heroic Leadership. Obama on Gay Marriage.

10 May

How is Time considered credible to anyone with garbage like this?

They say the arc of history bends toward justice.

Who says it? Who are you quoting, or rather, misquoting? It was the Republican Baptist Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. who made this quote by Theodore Parker famous. Parker, it seems, was referring to the end of slavery, a world wide immorality that characterized the entire world until movements of Christians in England and Republicans in the US changed everything. King would respond to the question of how long it would be until equal rights with “Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

So “Toure” starts by framing the argument on MLK’s belief that denial of people’s Declaration rights (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness) would end, but misquotes King to remove the absolute morality (inserted “history” and removed “moral universe”), which was the basis of King’s statement.

If that’s true then as a nation we’re having a hard time bending on the issue of gay rights.

Ok… If the arc of history bends toward justice, we’re having a hard time bending on one issue. So if the arc of history doesn’t bend toward justice, then we’re not having a hard time bending on this issue? We’re only at sentence 2 and the writer’s ability to construct sentences is already in question.

“gay rights.”

This is a curious phrase to apply to a discussion of marriage. My marriage is a marriage and would be regardless of whether the state recognized it. People were married before the government granted marriage licenses, thus it doesn’t seem that the government’s distribution of certificates actually affects marriage.

What are rights, anyway? Looking back to the founding documents, we see rights to life and liberty, to speech, gun ownership, the press, etc.

  • The Right fights for the right to life, even for unborn humans and people in comas. The Left seeks death in both cases.
  • The Right fights for the right to liberty (to do what one wishes with one’s self and the product of one’s labor without infringing on these same rights of others) by pushing for less regulation and lower taxation. The Left believes the government can decide what to do with you (Obamacare) and your stuff (taxation and redistribution of wealth) better than you.
  • The Right fights for the right to the pursuit of happiness through pushing for private property ownership and less regulation. The left fights against this, believing you are too dumb to pursue happiness and can’t be trusted with tough choices such as what food to eat and what snacks your kids can buy.
  • The Right fights for the right to free speech and press by pushing back against Leftist policies like the fairness doctrine.
  • The Right fights for the right to bear arms. The Left consistently seeks to limit this right.
  • The Right fights for the free exercise of religion by working to preserve people’s ability to live out their religious beliefs. The Left has made it illegal to do so in many situations and with Obamacare are working to force religious hospitals and other businesses to either cease exercising their religion or cease providing health care.

Rights are consistently defended by conservatives, and consistently assaulted by progressives. Apparently they’re just seeking progress in taking away your rights.

But this week will be remembered as an historic turning point because President Obama threw political caution to the wind and came out as the man who can put principle over politics in announcing his support for marriage equality. “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Robin Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.

After Joe Biden came out of the closet as a gay marriage supporter, news broke that several big dollar donors would stop supporting Obama unless he changed his position to support the same. That’s what the article’s author means when he “threw political caution to the wind and came out as the man who can put principle over politics” : He did what would get him more money. Wow. Caution to the wind, principle over politics. Reversing positions to get more money. That’s inspiring! It’s heroic!

With Obama’s declaration that he “personally” thinks one thing, and publicly thinks the opposite, believing the federal government should stay out of it, we have clarity: instead of still trying to hold both sides on the issue, he’s… trying to hold both sides on the issue. So, with his public policy as the president remaining exactly the same, what’s changed?

  • Obama’s earliest record on the issue was in 1996, when he answered questions, in writing declaring “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages” as he ran for Illinois Senate.
  • In 2008 he spoke on stage with Rick Warren, saying “For me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union… God’s in the mix”

The only change here is that Obama’s temporary pro-traditional-marriage position was picked up when it would benefit his running for office to claim Christian values, and dropped when politically expedient as a fundraising effort for re-election.

The “Toure” article goes on to get facts wrong, contradict itself, and commit most logical fallacies you could name. If you enjoy pain, you can read the entire article. It’s disappointing that this type of poorly written inflammation of an article is considered reputable and worthwhile, but I’m not a leftist, so I’m not calling on people to destroy him and his employment as he has done with Rush Limbaugh.


On Reading Old Books

04 Apr

With the advice of C. S. Lewis and the help of 25 Books Every Christian Should Read, I’ve begun reading and discussing old books.

Really old books.

old books on a bookshelf

I’ve recently read On the Incarnation by Athanasius (who was born before 300 AD), The Confessions of Augustine (born before 400 AD), and am in the middle of The Sayings of the Desert Fathers who were contemporaries of both Athanasius and Augustine.

The way these men saw the world, the way they thought, the way they followed Christ was very different from how we process the world.

When you give a book recommendation, what do you recommend? What about recommendations for Christian books?

With 2,000 years of church history, why do we tend to recommend only books from the last 100 years?


Romney: I’m “entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God”

22 Feb

Who can still believe that Romney is a fiscal conservative?

Take 1:

YouTube Preview Image


you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on the 99 percent versus one percent — and those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent — you have opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God. – Mitt Romney

This was a representation of those on the right who have a problem with the president speaking of Americans in classes of people, and pitting them against each other. Many conservatives lean toward a flat tax or a fair tax rather than the progressive tax that penalizes those who create wealth in order to redistribute their property to those who haven’t been creating wealth.

Obama had previously proposed in his “Jobs Bill” limiting deductions on the wealthiest Americans, which would result in fewer donations to charities, and would in effect be a war on non-government charities. The idea is consistent with Obama’s perspective that government is the answer to every problem. He’s simply working on putting charities out of business. First with the “Jobs Bill” reducing contributions, now restricting the exercise of religion on employers.

In addition to dividing Americans into classes, many conservatives object to the language of people paying their “fair share.” The questions are significant: Who decides my fair share? What is “fair”? Why is my “fair share” different than someone else’s? In America, do we even have shares to pay?

Take 2: Today Romney announced his newest tax plan: Drop everyone’s tax rates except for the 1%, who need to pay their fair share:

Romney said his plan to limit mortgage interest and charitable contributions deductions would not impact middle income families. Instead, he noted, he wants to “make sure the top 1 percent keeps paying the current share they’re paying or more.”

Romney’s plan is everything he criticizes in Obama: Dividing Americans, and picking and choosing who to penalize because they aren’t paying their Fair Share.

Romney simply declared today that he is ” encouraging the idea of dividing America based on the 99 percent versus one percentandentirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God

We have a liberal, 2 conservatives, and a libertarian running for the Republican nomination. Gingrich continues to lose steam, but will make a great advocate for conservatism. Vote Santorum.


Thomas Sowell on Occupy Wall Street [video]

17 Oct

Thomas Sowell discusses the liberal-organized “Occupy Wall Street” protesters, responding to a quote from his book, “No society ever thrived because it had a large and growing class of parasites living off those who produce.”

“I can’t imagine when I was their age that I could have enough money to hang around in a park not doing any work, not bringing in any income… Whenever they are interviewed they are incoherent. They will toss out a few scraps of  rhetoric and they feel that they’ve said something. They can’t tell you really what they want, they can’t tell you what they’re really complaining about, other than that the world is not built to their specifications.”

He also discusses and explains why Herman Cain would be a better president than Obama.

YouTube Preview Image

Intellectuals and Society by Thomas Sowell

23 Sep


I’m only 70 100 pages into this 317+ page book by the author of Basic Economics, but I can’t wait to talk about this with others.

Sowell writes about the trends among intellectuals ( those whose occupations – professors, authors, columnists, many politicians – are in dealing with ideas rather than the mundane things of business or the application if ideas) and how they influence society.

I highly recommend this book. It is supremely helpful in understanding the truth obscured by politicians, professors and the media, and also contains enough to be formed into the prescription for how to combat bad ideas ( like the Obama job killing jobs act that was just advertised in Pandora through my ear buds).