Saturday, September 26, 2015

Obama's Religion?

The subject of the religion of a politician is always tricky.  One viewpoint is that it is personal and therefore none of our business.  This ignores the fact that the behavior of people and their policies often has a direct connect to their religion, and in a Democracy it is our business to choose politicians based on how we think they will behave.  Another viewpoint is that someone's religion is inherently unknowable, so why bother?  Then the cynics chime in and note that the only deity that a politician cares anything about is himself.  Another rhetorical angle is the "who are you to question his faith"?  Technically, I believe we all have a faith and I don't question that.  I just want to know "faith in What?"  Is it a faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster that drives atheists?  What is it?  From my perspective, a politician's religion does matter and we can list possibilities and impossibilities regarding the First Religion, but we must acknowledge that only at the final judgment will the nuances be made clear.

First we must consider the American context.  For the last century, if anything correct was taught about Christianity (or Islam) in the government schools, clerics would immediately start litigation alleging a violation of "the Constitutional separation of Church and State".  If anything wrong was taught, this would be defended by the same clerics as "freedom of intellectual inquiry" and that to become mature thinkers, students would need to be exposed to ideas they didn't like.  The result being that most graduates from Ivy League schools these days have notions of religion, history and philosophy that are completely garbled and divorced from reality.  To some extent both Obama and I are products of this same indoctrination program, as are just about all Americans.  To find out more about Christianity, we are typically shaped by the denomination we associate with - if indeed we do associate with one - or else we spend a lot of time investigating matters ourselves, which few do.  Then there is the Bible itself, which is the primary source of Christian teaching, unless you are a Papist or some other group that deprecates the Bible.

So one way to answer this question is to look at the religious organizations that people associate with.  Obama was famously with the United Church of Christ.  This is an extremist sect that uses the Bible, but negates most of the teaching.  For example, it was at the forefront of ordaining gay priests and promoting hyper-promiscuity as if the Biblical command to "love your neighbor as yourself" was primarily to be understood in sexual terms, in spite of all the more numerous commands to restrain your sexual impulses.  I listened to an Easter sermon from Obama's church (a Black congregation) which featured imagery of Christ and the Crucifixion, but then switched to imagery of a lynching, ignored the resurrection, and offered up a conclusion that was purely Victim Theology:  The belief that others have sinned against me, which is the only thing that matters.  Certainly the Black community has suffered, but the UCC has not only been useless in helping the Black family to recover, they have been actively working to make the problem worse by transferring the ownership of the concept of the family to the LGBTQ activists.

Then there was Obama's preacher with his famous "God Damn America" sermon, which has a similar ring to "Death to America".  One is tempted to think that the Mohammedans merely wish for America to die, but Jeremiah Wright wants America to burn in Hell forever.  This certainly reflects the view of a large portion of America.  The Bible teaches us to look at ourselves for the answer, but Victim Theology teaches us to look at others and assume that what ever they have, they got by stealing.  The result is that many who are richer and better off than 90% of the world's population are burning with rage about how they have been mistreated.  Another result is the White House's foray into the War on Cops.

The most curious Christian variant is that of the Social Justice movement.  Orthodox Christians are commanded to do good and charity with their own time and money.  Leftists have famously improved on this by doing charity with other people's time and money.  Just as taking out loans and investing in the stock market permits people to make a huge profit compared to the dumb heads who only invest what they can spare, so a penniless deadbeat can do charity that vastly exceeds what any Orthodox Christian can do.  The deadbeat along with the Pope can look down their noses at the churlish Christians who have constrained themselves by their depravity to never give more than 100% of what they have.

So where was I?  Obama's religion.  I don't see any evidence that his religion has any connection to Islam.  Clearly it is informed by Christianity and the Bible in some sense, but we must keep in mind that even Satan quoted scripture.  I think Obama's religion is simply a reflection of what is preached in the government schools by America's intellectual elite along with many of the modernist churches, which can be characterized as follows:

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.  Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." - 2 Peter 2:1-3

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rise of the Machines

Human Friendly Robot: How can I help you?
Customer:  Disconnect service.
Human Friendly Robot:  You would like to add a sports package?
Customer:  No!
Human Friendly Robot: I didn't understand.  Would you like to add a sports package?
Customer: NO! I DO NOT WANT A SPORTS PACKAGE!
Human Friendly Robot: Let's start over.  What would you like me to do for you?
Customer: Dis-con-nect Ser-vice.
Human Friendly Robot: I understand.  You want our unlimited channels package.
Customer: No!
Human Friendly Robot: I didn't understand.  Would you like an unlimited channels package?
Customer: No! (growling)
Human Friendly Robot: Please stay on the line while we transfer you to a representative.

(10 minutes later)
Friendly Human: Sorry to keep you waiting, would you like to add a sports package?
...

(Note: The above has been abbreviated and is only a small portion of the ordeal.)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Jaundiced View Of The World

Some say that it is not good for a newborn chick to spend a lot of time with a grumpy old loon.  The old loon, however, seems to be getting the worst of this as carrying around the 7 and a half pound weight for extended periods of time is putting a load on the back.  But being an aquatic animal, I shouldn't be surprised that I can swim much further than I can walk, especially when carrying junior.

Anyway, the doctors say that my grandson has jaundice, and if the jaundice doesn't go down they are going to put him under some lights to cure it.  Thus, I have the duty of walking him around in the daylight to get him some sunlight.  No need to worry about sunburn, since I am limited in my carrying time due to old age.  The last checkup indicated that he was doing fairly well, so hopefully this won't be needed too much longer.  It is certainly good news that jaundice is a curable condition.  And it is still a joy to do what I can with this new little one.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Congratulations, you are now officially "Gramps"

They tell me that my first grandson made his entrance into the world early this morning.  I am certainly pleased and looking forward to giving him and my daughter and her husband a visit.  But I am also wondering how many rules of political correctness I am breaking by declaring that I am now a grandfather.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Natives vs Aliens

A note arrived that a nearby park which is part of my daily walking route will be closed so that the creek bed can be widened for flood control efforts.  The portion to be closed is a half mile long and unfortunately include a section of the park that is a conduit between parks.  The plan is to remove the existing trees, widen the channel of the little creek, reinforce the new embankments, and then, "One hundred twenty-one (121) native trees will be replanted towards the end of project construction in 2016".  The closure will continue for about a year.

Looking at this from the positive side, the one year estimate is considerably less than the ten years that it took to build the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal, while the 61 mile long Kiel Canal took eight years.  The canal that Xerxes built across and isthmus in Greece took 3 years.  What has puzzled me more is the need to have native species replanted, since clearly I am not a native species here, nor are the Chinese and Indian Indians who frequent the park.  Why is it that invasive species are offensive in most cases, unless we are talking about homosapiens, at which point the more invasive the better?  But then if we talk about building housing for all the aliens, people start getting sour and grumpy again.