Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harriet Miers

I honestly didn't have much of an opinion on the whole thing. However, I know better than to think that the White House doesn't have some strategery involved here. The knock on Miers was that she "was no John Roberts." Thus, it's been established that John Miers was an acceptable nominee. If Bush has someone else to appoint, especially a woman and/or a Hispanic, with credentials similar to Roberts', he'll be golden.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Numa Numa

Remember that video of the guy singing and grooving with the Romanian song Numa Numa?

This is even better.

And, in a blast from the past, Milk & Cereal.

Hypocrisy from Virginia Tech?

As I was eating lunch at Dietrick today, I started leafing through the little announcement cards that groups can place in the napkin holders to talk about upcoming events. Here's what I saw:

I didn't actually look at the picture at first. Instead, I was reading through the details (hard to read in this scan) which included the line "But please, no blackface: leave that to the idiots at UVA."

That struck me as a little odd for Virginia Tech to approve, and then I noticed the picture of the Hokie Bird. You should know that Tech is very strict about how university logos may be used. In their guidelines, they say that the ® symbol must accompany any university marks and that the use of university marks should be tasteful. The ® is certainly missing, and I think it'd be pretty hard to say that the Hokie Bird in a black teddy with fishnet stockings is "tasteful."

What really gets me though is that the campus ministry I'm involved with, the Navigators, tried to get shirts made with the Nav logo, the "flying" VT symbol, and a Bible verse. Apparently, Christian organizations may not use Virginia Tech marks if there is an endorsement of religion. Similarly, those of us going to KAA and Kanakuk tried to make shirts that included the words "Virginia Tech" and a Bible verse. No dice. No other college seemed to have a problem with it. Clemson, Mississipi State, Texas A&M, problems at all. Virginia Tech, yes.

So basically, it's okay to have the Hokie Bird cross-dress, so long as there's no endorsement of religion? Figures.

Next Up: "Happy Hanukkah" on the Local Mosque

Figures, doesn't it?

Previously, the sign said "'s like inner jogging!" I always thought that it was laughter, not smiling, which was supposed to be so good for you, but oh well. In any case, call me a traditionalist, but shouldn't a church billboard go just a little bit deeper?

This is News?

Surprising just about no one, a WNBA player announces that she is a lesbian.

I remember that when they rolled out the WNBA, Sheryl Swoopes was one of the three people (along with Rebecca Lobo and someone else) they trumpeted as superstars. I only watched a few snippets of the WNBA, and they seemed pretty good, but it just wasn't the same as watching the NBA. I'm not trying to be down on women's sports; they're just not my cup of tea (I like chocolate milk in mine, for what that says about my cup of tea...). However, professional and Olympic women's teams often have a strong hint of homosexuality about them. A large segment of the WNBA's fan base is lesbians, and one of my dad's female co-workers who played college softball told him that about 80% of the US Women's Olympic Softball team that year were lesbians. I suspect it's easier to hide, in addition to women probably being more sympathetic to it.

One thing that's not clear is exactly what's going on. She says she's a lesbian, but my reading of the story seems to indicate that she doesn't actually get intimate with her partner (not as if it's my business anyway). Two things she said that were repeated in the article struck me, though. First, she was quoted as saying "To me, the most important thing is happiness." This could be benign or, as Mark Shea might see it, really mean "I want what I want, regardless of whether it's right or what it does to my son." The second was the unintentionally revealing "The talk about the WNBA being full of lesbians is not true, there are as many straight women in the league as there are gay." This even more revealing than if she had reversed it and said that there were as many gay players in the league as straight ones. In the quote, the reference norm is gay players, with heterosexuals being the one compared. What it also says is that she thinks that fully half the WNBA is lesbian.

And as much as I don't want to say it, I'm not surprised in the slightest.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Shout Out

We don't need no money,
Salvation is free!
Because the Lord died for you, and He died for me.
So when you come to KAA (U-Know!) you know that we're ferocious


Friday, October 14, 2005

A Question

There are two main kinds of Christian bookstores: Protestant and Catholic. Typical examples include Lifeway Christian Stores (run by the Southern Baptist Convention) for Protestants and Pauline Book & Media Centers (run by the Daughters of St. Paul) for Catholics. Each one mostly sells books, with smaller amounts of things like jewelry, crosses, music, and kitschy knick-knacks. Furthermore, they tend to be very specific about which books they stock. You won't find any Peter Kreeft or G.K. Chesterton at Lifeway (I get the impression they only stock C.S. Lewis reluctantly), and you won't find any Francis Schaeffer or R.C. Sproul at Pauline (don't even think about Rick Warren or Dave Eldridge!).

Among the trinkets, there are typically some things of questionable appropriateness. At Lifeway, for instance, they'll have things about the Prayer of Jabez. I was at Pauline today (I bought me some C.S. Lewis and a JPII encyclical), and they had these little felt scapulars with a sewn-on patch that said something like "whoever wears this will escape the flames of hell." I think it said that it was Carmelite.

Okay, I'm confused. I have defended Roman Catholicism over and over to my Protestant friends and often been accused of being one (Anglo-Catholic, sure, but unless the Roman Catholics get themselves an Anglican Rite, it ain't happenin'), but I have limits. I think there's a difference between, say, a cross which says "in this is salvation" and a piece of cloth that promises the wearer escape from hell. That's a talisman, and it's more evocative of Voodoo and Paganism than Christianity. I understand the Marian doctrines, praying to the saints, apostolic succession, indulgences, sacraments, and papal infallibility (regardless on whether or not I agree with them), though having personal statues and medallions of saints seems very, very, awfully, really close to idolatry. I have enough trouble as it is understanding holy water and how the Pope can bless things like bottle openers, but these scapulars are too much. Could anyone provide me with an explanation of what exactly these pieces of felt are supposed to do? Call me an Anglican skeptic, but how is this not a way of trying to buy your way into heaven? Are these things endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church, or do they pretty much just look the other way?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Mysterious Explanation

The reason I've not been posting lately is because I've been spending a lot of time reading apologetics and praying. It may very well be the case that if I were to have asked my grandmother for a second dance when she were a teenager. I don't think anyone outside my immediate family and my uncle have any clue what I'm talking about by that last sentence, but that's okay for now.

Oh, Fantastic

Josh S and Mark Shea are two of the smartest blogger-theologians out there, and yet they recently got into a limp-wristed slap-fest in the comments section of a post where the Lutheran Josh S takes the Roman Catholic Mark Shea to task for Mark's assertion that it would be theoretically possible to have laywomen serve as Cardinals.

From there it rapidly goes downhill, but includes these highlights:

Mark: Your alarm clock didn't go off. Wake up! The 16th Century is over.
Mark: Some of us have bothered to educate ourselves and not simply salivate over acoustic cues.
Josh: I guess you don't need catechesis when you've got Invincible Ignorance covering for you and a sincere intent to believe as the Church teaches.
Mark: My interest lie elsewhere than in gratifying the polemical lusts of yet *another* unmarried guy with too much testosterone, limited social skills, and a desire to kick the living **** out of somebody for Jesus.
Josh: Knee-jerk insults beget knee-jerk insults. If he doesn't want me to stoop to that level, he shouldn't have in the first place.
Josh: Check your alarm clock, because the 16th century is over. People are now allowed to say stuff without being hauled before Cajetan.
Mark: Like I say, this has a lot more to do with being young unmarried males with a lot of aggression needing to kick somebody's *** for Jesus than it has to do with any sort of serious interest in serving Christ.
Mark: My advice: get married, have kids. Find a productive place to direct all that energy. You'll be fine in a decade or two.
Josh: I don't need to score any points for Team Luther, because you guys didn't even make the playoffs. Nu-uh, girlfriend, don't you play like that.
Josh: I think it says something when a church has to have a cadre of Professional Apologists to deal with snarky twentysomethings goofing off in their free time.

Or, summarized:
Josh: Mark is a close-minded sissy
Mark: Josh needs to get laid

Hopefully, they've each calmed down, but we'll see...

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