Monday, October 27, 2003
It can be used for things other than making us think we're so great and powerful. Ever notice how when you take the Bible's word for something, it has a tendency to be found to be true? Weird, eh?
Friday, October 24, 2003
Ever have one of those days where everyone seems to be a jerk to you for no reason?
Yes, I'm still working on my Calvinism/Arminism Foray. However, I've hit a few snags, and so I need to sort those out first.
The CT may expect a response from me in the next few days regarding this.
Thursday, October 23, 2003
WVU fans continue to show why they're often considered the classiest in college sports.
Seriously, what kind of people burn their own town after a win? Perhaps the same kind who throw rocks and cops and paramedics, batteries at the visiting team and their band, pee on visiting fans, and who can't utter a coherent sentence. Err...utter a coherent sentence without cussing, I mean. No idea how I could've forgotten to add the second part...
Yes, our team lost. I was there. We played, um, badly. The highlights for our team were Vinnie Burns' first two punts, of roughly 65 and 70 yards. Absolutely nothing else stands out. So, we lost.
Their fans, either with an inferiority complex or just out of sheer bass-ackwardness, must've really needed catharsis. I don't mind losing so much, especially if it means people will release their aggressions by shouting rather than abusing their girlfriend, doing drugs, or whatever a person does that isn't healthy. You win some, you lose some. However, not only were their fans truly hostile, but they weren't even witty. Walking into the stadium, wearing an orange t-shirt over a maroon sweatshirt, someone yelled out "Stupid color, you'll scare away all the deer wearing that orange. $#^#$" I didn't deign to look at the person. Later on were chants of "A-C-C!" Brilliant. That's right, we are going to the ACC. We are also going to a bowl game. You are staying in the soon-to-be-Big LEast and will be staying home come January. Enjoy setting your town on fire again after the game.
Also, upon returning to our car, we found that all the vehicles parked around us had a copy of a Klan newsletter stuck under their windshield wipers. I didn't read it, since I was driving, but the headlines were along the lines of "Foolish Interracial Marriage Ends in Tragedy" and "Homo Jews Wed in Canada." At Tech, the closest thing to this is the New River Free Press rag put out by the New River Valley Greens and left around campus. I don't think my life would be incomplete if I never returned to Morgantown again.
The road trip to Morgantown was fun, though, going with my friends Will and Andrew and Andrew's friend Nat. We talked politics, listened to ska, and generally had a good time. We wisely wore neutral colors until we got to the game, which provided for interesting conversation with people in gas stations.
"You headed to the game?"
"Where y'all comin' from?"
"Just a little ways from Bluefield [a WV town fairly near the border]"
"I sure hope our boys win."
"Yep, I hope our guys win, too."
"It was a pretty tight game last year, you know."
"Yeah, but we should be ready for them this year."
"Y'all have fun! Go 'Eers! [Mountaineers]
It also provided the best quote of the trip, from a gas station cashier: "I'm busier than a one-legged man in a [butt]-kicking contest!"
Oh well, there's always Temple and UVA to kick around.
Monday, October 20, 2003
It's odd for me to say this, but I'm not sure I was right about attacking Iraq (and Afghanistan). I supported it pretty vehemently, and wrote a lot about the subject for classes and online.
Now, don't get me wrong. I can't think of any conflict of reasonable size that has been managed as well and as cleanly as the War on Terror has been (the Battle of Manila Bay, where the only American casualty was a sprained ankle, seems an unreachable standard). I'm glad Saddam Hussein and the Taliban have been removed from power. I still think that Iraq posed a threat that could have easily become imminent had we acted the way the UN wanted of us. I rejoice that children are free, the tortures are ended, and that liberty is being grown.
However, I'm not positive that we should have done it. It's incredibly easy to say that coming from a well-off American family and being at college, which is why I'm very hesitant and uncertain about the whole thing. We as Christians are not called to kick butt for the poor and oppressed. We're called to feed and clothe them. I don't remember which blog it was, but on one of the ones run by a veteran there was the story of a clergyman who wasn't sure that instead of ministering to the troops in Afghanistan, they shouldn't have simply gone on their own on a mission and tried to spread the Gospel. The Apostles and the early Christians didn't set out to conquer the pagans; they set out to live (and die) among them to show God's love. According to Church history, all the Apostles except St. John the Evangelist were martyred, and he was tortured and exiled. We're willing to kill other people in order to grant freedom to ourselves and to others, but not willing to go and try and be examples. What does this say about us?
In the past, I've approached politics and morality largely from a conservative and Realist perspective, informed by Christianity. When I go to what I hope is a Christian perspective colored by conservatism and Realism, it's scary how things change. If I were drafted into the military, I'm not sure that I wouldn' t be a Conscientious Objector and insist on taking a non-lethal role, such as medic or clergyman. If someone came into my home and threatened me or my loved ones, I don't know that I could kill or even shoot him.
I respect and support our troops. They're doing their job, just like anyone else, and do not deserve to be vilified. I very, very sincerely hope that they return home safe, sound, and on a frequent rotation. I understand that my position may seem incoherent, hypocritical, or any one of several other not-so-positive things. It may be that my views change sharply in the near future as I consider and reject or enhance what I've just stated above. Stay tuned.
Though there are naysayers, I think that a large bloc of Episcopal churches, especially those aligned with the American Anglican Council and Forward in Faith, will soon break off. The AAC and FiF churches do have their differences, and it's possible that the FiF ones will form their own group. However, I think the AAC will become part of a larger body. Let me elaborate.
The homosexuality issue will be up front with the Lutherans (ELCA) and United Methodists (UMC) before too long, and will likely result in many of them leaving their denominations. This presents an opportunity. Methodism sprang from Anglicanism, and it's eerie to hear some Anglican rectors preaching sermons where John Wesley is put forth as an example of how to be (they never were down on him in the past, but were just generally silent on the matter). The Lutherans are pretty similar to Anglicans on an awful lot of things. When I went to an Easter service in New York a few years ago, I thought it was an Epsicopal church. However, it turned out to be Lutheran; the only difference I could see was that they used white wine instead of red, which may just be a parish preference. There are several separated Anglican bodies in the US, as well as several offshoots of Methodism. Meanwhile, the Anglican Church of America and the Reformed Episcopal Church are already merging.
Thus, I don't think it's entirely unlikely that you could see AAC Episcopalians, ACA/REC Anglicans, the Anglican Mission in America, conservatives from the UMC and ELCA, Wesleyans, and Nazarenes joining forces for an "American Church." This group would probably pick up some independent Bible churches, possibly along with the American Baptist Union and Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). Discontents with the Southern Baptist Convention's increasing insistence on Bible literalness might also be attracted.
Of course, there would be many hurdles to overcome, but some of these could be smoothed over. The Episcopalians would want apostolic succession, bishops, and perhaps a ban on women priests. The Presbyterians would want Calvinism and synods. Baptists would want adult baptism. All of these could be overcome over time, I think, especially if only the groups of Lutheran and Anglican/Methodist extraction combined.
What do you think?
Thursday, October 16, 2003
In case you haven't heard about it, a Florida judge declared that a crippled woman's feeding tube was to be removed at 2PM yesterday. She will die of starvation and dehydration within two weeks unless the tube is re-inserted. The woman's name is Terri Schiavo-Schindler, and she suffered a heart attack resulting in brain damage several years ago. Her husband, sole heir to the malpractice settlement against her former doctors, is engaged to another woman, with whom he has already had one child (with another on the way). He has sued to have her "die with dignity," while her family has tried desperately to keep her alive.
Ben Domenech and especially Mark Shea have been covering this. Governor Bush appears to be powerless to intervene, and the Episcopal and Roman Catholic bishops in the dioceses including St. Petersburg have not used their influence effectively, either.
Please pray. Please fast. God works miracles. All it takes is for her to speak or stand up, for some key hearts to be softened, or a good old-fashioned miracle where she lives despite not having food or water. I, she, and we the faithful should take anything we can get.
This is worse than abortion, as impossible at it sounds. This is public and drawn-out. The clergy is doing very little (with a few key exceptions). It's up to the laity. What's facing Mrs. Schiavo-Schindler is the same thing that's facing the Anglican church and will be facing others very soon. Believers see things happening but feel powerless to stop them, and even rationalize away things that we know are sinful. Finally, a line is drawn, and the question must be whether we'll cross it or not. ECUSA has, and the system that is allowing this woman to die has. We ourselves may have. However, our God is the God of miracles and salvation, and hears our prayers. Please pray for Terri Schindler and that we will not take our spiritual corruption to a new low.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
I took Swing lessons. I now know basic East Coast and basic Lindy Hop, plus a very tiny bit of Waltz. The next session starts on the 26th; I'd like to do basic Charleston. I'll be taking lessons with a girl from my Education Curriculum & Instruction class who's very tall (for a girl), which will be a nice change of pace for me.
I've also been listening to a lot (!!!) of ska music lately, especially Catch-22, Streetlight Manifesto, Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution, Hippos, Less than Jake, Insyderz, Liberator, and Voodoo Glow Skulls, plus bits of Gadjits, Beat Soup, Furyus-George, Maroon Town, and Roland Alphonso (links to come in a later post dedicated to ska; there are a lot of free downloads out there). Ska rules.
I've also applied to grad school here at Tech. If it all goes through, I'll be doing dual enrollment next semester, finishing my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and starting my Master of Arts in Education Curriculum and Instruction (M.A.Ed), which would get me certified to teach social studies at the secondary school level. Thus, you'll have one more year of HokiePundit before I move away and either change my name or become an alumni version of myself. That last sentence was somewhere between redundant and nonsensical, so I'll let it stand in order to blend in with the rest of my posts.
And now: I need to finish reading Plato's Republic for my Political Theory midterm tomorrow.
I would have to get back into blogging during midterms, wouldn't I?
Sunday, October 12, 2003
I'm going to link to a piece from over a year ago by Ben Domenech called Pilate on the Beach. It's one of my favorites, and I just thought I'd share it again.
I've been thinking about Calvinism and Arminism lately, and found an idea that I haven't heard articulated before. I'm going to research it a little further, and then present a Theological Foray. Tingle in anticipation.
Yes, after losses to Syracuse for two straight years, including a triple-overtime debacle, we smacked the Orangemen to the tune of 51-7 (mixed metaphors? what mixes metaphors?), boosting us to #3 in the ESPN rankings. I wonder what happened last time we shut out JMU and whupped Syracuse at Lane Stadium? Now, Miami, Pitt, West Virginia, and UVA all have the potential to upset us (sorry, Temple). All of those games except Miami are on the road. HokiePundit will be at each and every one of them. In other football news...
The NCAA Division I-A teams ranked in the ESPN poll as #3, #5, #6, #7, #8, #13, #14, #16, #21, and #24 all lost yesterday, mostly to unranked teams. Sorry Ohio State, FSU, LSU, Nebraska, Arkansas, Minnesota, Pitt, Kansas State, and UVA.
It seems that we're now left with only five undefeated teams, being Oklahoma, Miami, Virginia Tech, Texas Christian, and Northern Illinois. Each of those teams except TCU has knocked off a then-ranked opponent, which has played a fairly weak schedule so far. Looking at the non-Hokie teams' schedules, here are what I predict to be their make-or-break game:
Oklahoma: I'm not sure. I'm going to go with Texas A&M, simply because you can never count them out. They've been spotty this season, but then, so have other teams that've knocked off the top dogs so far. The fact that an aTm win would help Virginia Tech in the BCS calculations makes zero difference whatsoever...
Miami: Ooh! Ooh! They're so special that I'm going to give them two games, facing Virginia Tech and then Pittsburgh. The thing for Miami is that I don't think they have enough to do both, especially with Tennessee in the middle. If they beat Tech, Tennessee and Pitt will probably cream them. If they lose to us and get pumped, they might have a chance to beat those two, but are still out of the race.
Texas Christian: Louisville has got to be it. I would say that all the teams they're facing are weak and that all the teams they will play are weak, but then, it's Conference USA. Unless there's a whole lot o' losing going on at the top, they stand no chance at BCS-dom.
Northern Illinois: They, too, are a MAC team with a weak schedule, but you have to give them credit for beating Maryland and 'Bama. Toledo knocked off Pitt and Marshall this year, and I think they're the only major hump to an undefeated regular season for NIU. Of course, they're still going to have a tough time getting ranked in the BCS unless a lot more teams lose.
I think we've been spoiled these last many years, with undefeated teams winning the national title. There will only be a maximum of four such teams at the end of the season, and NIU and TCU may well get destroyed by big-name teams. As much as it sounds like tooting my own horn, I'm going to with Oklahoma-Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. I do have to admit that a scenario where Virginia Tech barely beats Miami, Miami whups its remaining opponents, and the other top teams all stumble in those weeks intrigues me, as a VT-Miami Sugar Bowl would be the perfect cap to this whole Big East-ACC mess.
Friday, October 10, 2003
Lane Stadium doesn't even get mentioned? Someone just visited websites to do his column...
While I'm ashamed to admit it, my policy until pretty recently towards homosexuality was that so long as they didn't mess with my family or friends, what they did was their own business. Of course, that's not a very love-thy-neighbor attitude, to say nothing of spreading God's word. However, the gay agenda has manifested itself too close to home, in the ongoing spat in the Episcopal Church. Church is family. Forgive my drama, but they're trying to rape the Bride of Christ. I will not tolerate that.
Is homosexuality a sin? Without question, the practice of it is sinful. As for the orientation, that's more of an open question. If it's purely genetic, then struggling with it is not far from being heroic. However, if it's in any part due to feelings of inadequacy, isolation, anger, or anything else, then the orientation itself is a sin. Given that practicing homosexuals, with therapy, can become heterosexuals, there is at least some truth to the latter argument.
Now, I know homosexuals, and in many ways, each one of them is a good person. I also know alcoholics who can be very good. I know people who cheat on their girlfriends, drug users, thieves, and many others who can be good people. However, that doesn't mean that their sinful action is okay. What is needed is love and correction, rather than defensiveness and fear of confrontation.
When they say not to do something, they really put their foot down.
"Actually, I don't really know anything about the ladies either. I mean I do! I mean-WHGT! JGTH! YES I'M AWESOME!"
A terrible way to die,
A terrible way to die,
A terrible way to start the day,
A terrible way to die...
Ready? Okay! So I've just done a little tidying up of the Land o' Links, including updated links to Mark Byron and Joyful Christian, not to mention the re-activation of the Kyle Still Free Press. Now that "Plano" is over, I've got a bit to say, so you should see the self-propaganda engine that is HokiePundit gear back up starting today. In the meantime, I need to go have breakfast with my Bible Study co-lead to plot how we'll next lure our unsuspecting followers into the Gospel. Well, actually, they do suspect. I guess that makes it easier. Oh well...