Friday, August 26, 2016
Hillary’s Hate and the Southern Poverty Law Center
week, Hillary Clinton pulled out an old tool in the Democrat/Leftist tool box –
smearing their opponents as bigots/sexists/homophobes/racists/etc, in short as
in doing so, Hillary revealed herself to be in league with haters, particularly
in citing the Southern Poverty Law Center as a reliable source.
is not the first time I’ve taken the Southern Poverty Law Center to task. I’ve noted with both alarm and derision
their labeling groups like the Family Research Center as “hate” groups. Even being a (Sit down now! This is sooo scary!) “radical
traditional Catholic” can get SPLC’s attention.
SPLC is a hate group. Let’s say I
label Catholic Charities as a hate group.
Now I oppose much of what Catholic Charities does and that under the
guise of Christianity. I would discourage anyone from contributing to them. But they are no hate group. But let’s say I went overboard and did smear them as a
hate group. It would then be safe
to say I would be the hater. Flip
it and you get the Southern Poverty Law Center. They smear right of center and Christian groups that have nothing to do
with hate and lump them in with Nazis and the KKK.
Hillary cited SPLC in attacking Breitbart News:
It's truly hard to believe, but according
to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, Breitbart
embraces “ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right."
is not my main news source, but I am familiar with them. And I find nothing hateful or extremist
about them. Hillary and SPLC are
being the haters here.
look at two more examples of hate from the Southern Poverty Law Center. I look at their famous hate map and
find Probe Ministries of Plano, Texas is supposedly a hate group. Probe Ministries?!?
I heard of that group for decades and have seen nothing hateful from
them. Just the opposite. Their purpose to serve as winsome
reasonable apologists for the faith and for Christian teaching. That gets them smeared as an anti-gay
hate group by SPLC, yet Probe advocates love for gays. But Probe stands firm in not
recognizing gay marriage, and that’s hate, don’tca know.
made me wonder if SPLC has targeted David Barton. I’ve long been a fan of his, attending two of his wonderful
history workshops in my younger days.
Well, I searched on SPLC’s website and I found this smear piece on
Barton under a masthead of “hatewatch” of course. More SPLC smears and hate.
the Southern Poverty Law Center is a vicious Leftist hate group using “hate” to
smear political opponents who have nothing to do with hate. And Hillary, by her own admission, is
just fine with that.
Back in 2011, I gave the following warning, and, with Hillary on the verge of the
White House, it bears repeating:
Totalitarians of both Left and Right have
a long history of vilifying those they later repress. To think the SPLC and
like-minded Leftists have no intent of taking freedoms from those of us who
oppose gay marriage or unrestricted immigration and may be a bit “radical” and
traditional in our Christian views would be naïve indeed – dangerously so.
Labels: anti-Christian bigotry, bigotry, Hillary Clinton, Leftists, Southern Poverty Law Center, totalitarians
Thursday, August 25, 2016
The University of Chicago Issues a Letter
newer readers may not know that my interest in the academic world has greatly
increased in recent years. When I
graduated from Duke too long ago, I was so ready to be through with
school. But about twelve years
ago, my increased interest in English and church history pushed me into
graduate studies, including two stints at Oxford. (Full disclosure: I was a student at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in 2007 and later an independent student, but not
enrolled in the University of Oxford itself.)
issues have made my studies a bit sporadic, but now I’m back at it, enrolled at
Cranmer House and pursuing a Certificate in Anglican Studies.
disclosed all that, the trend in recent years for genuine academic freedom to
be suppressed at universities and to be replaced more and more with ideological
indoctrination, cheerleaded by certain repugnant breeds of “students”, who
deserve not to be called students, but deserve expulsion instead….
me. I was hyperventilating a bit
and need to take a breath or two.
I was saying, the attacks on academic freedom, particularly on the free
exchange of ideas, have concerned me.
I fear for the future of even great universities like Oxford, and for
what sorts of graduates they will unleash on the world.
it is heartening to see some pushback on behalf of academic freedom. The University of Chicago’s missive to
incoming students is especially heartening:
You will find that we
expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion,
and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause
Our commitment to academic
freedom means that we do not support so-called “trigger warnings,” we do not
cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we
do not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where individuals can
retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.
read the whole letter. It is
wonderful. Every worthy university
should send a letter like this to every incoming student and to current
students as well.
the way, if you are a university alumnus, you can do you part for academic
freedom. Inform your alma mater that your future financial
support depends on their support of academic freedom. Trust me, that can get their attention.
let us hope and pray that the University of Chicago’s letter is part of the
tide turning towards revived academic freedom.
Labels: academics, freedom, life
Friday, August 19, 2016
On the Priority of Worship
A post over at Fr. Z’s Blog
reminds me of a change in my attitude about fifteen years ago. Up to then, congregational worship was
a low priority for me. Don’t get
me wrong – I was a faithful church attender and very active in lay ministry. But as long as the service did not
annoy or bore me to death, I really did not care that much about how the church
did worship. Years before that, it
was hardly a factor in considering what church to join. “Liturgy” was hardly a
part of my vocabulary. Yes,
shocking I know.
But, partly through
negative experiences of overamplified music, manic happy-happy
standing-for-twenty-minutes singing and the like, worship slowly became more
important to me. And when I
ventured into an Anglican church (Christ Church Plano) for the first time in
decades, I was hooked. I fell in
love with good liturgical worship.
And now that is a high priority for me.
But back to Fr. Z’s post. He gets quite excited that the Roman
Catholic Bishop of Pittsburgh, David Zubik, said the following about the future
of his diocese:
“The No. 1
priority has to be, ‘We need to make our worship better.’”
YES! A thousand times YES! As I
have been shouting for decades now, no undertaking or project we initiate in
the Church will bear lasting fruit unless we revitalize our sacred liturgical
worship of God! The first thing we owe to God, by the virtue of religion,
is worship. If we don’t have that in order in the hierarchy of
priorities, nothing else will be in order.
told you he got excited. And
twenty years ago, I would have said he was a bit excitable. But now, I agree. Not only is our God worthy of the best
worship we can give, we must communicate that to everyone who steps through our
flip side is inferior worship sends the wrong message about our God and our
church. And why should those
investigating joining the church have to endure sorry worship?
think it no coincidence that Roman Catholics, along with a number of other
jurisdictions, have been losing people at the same time their worship has gone
downhill. The numbers in the
Diocese in Pittsburgh for example:
Since 2000, weekly Mass attendance has
dropped by 40 percent — for almost 100,000 fewer regular churchgoers; K-8
Catholic school enrollment fell by 50 percent; and the number of active priests
plummeted from 338 to 225.
there are other factors at play.
But willfully inferior worship repels people not to mention stinks in
the nostrils of God.
can expect further
rants posts on this subject.
Labels: life, liturgy, Roman Catholics, worship
Thursday, August 18, 2016
About Social Media Unpleasantness
should warn that this post may be somewhat stream-of-conscience. Yes, I’ve completed my course so I have
time for such things for now.
published a thoughtful post [LANGUAGE WARNING, including the comments. I’ve included those because they reveal
a lot of different social media experiences and responses.] the other day about
the mass unfriending and unfollowing happening on social media sites during
this political season. I found
this especially perceptive:
mentioned Amusing Ourselves to Death
by Neal Postman a lot. It's very relevant to our age. He notes Marshall
MacLuhan's aphorism about TV -- "The medium is the message" -- and
Every medium has a certain type of message it's good
at delivering, and other types of messages it's not good at delivering. Thus,
every medium has an implicit bias towards certain styles of messaging -- the
medium itself has embedded within it a "message" about what types of
messages are important.
Thus we should take the
medium into account when posting.
For one thing, don’t post everything that comes into your head on
Facebook or even on Twitter!
You’re not having coffee with a friend on Facebook as much as you may
want to, and trying to have coffee with all your FB friends by continually
posting every little thing that comes to mind will likely annoy them.
But I don’t want to so much
give advice as to tell some of what I do about social media unpleasantness.
First my Twitter and
Facebook policies are quite different.
On Facebook, I want to keep up with friends, and have some fun, too; on
Twitter I want to keep up with the world . . . and have some fun, too.
So on Twitter, I can be
very unsentimental about unfollowing.
If your feed is annoying me more than it’s informing me, I will probably
unfollow you. I am very ecumenical
about that by the way. I’ve
unfollowed #NeverTrump people and Trumpistas (especially those who smear Ted
Cruz – I went on an unfollowing spree about that!).
On Facebook, if we are, or
have been, good real life friends, you could support Satan for President, and I
will not unfriend you. And I will
not unfriend anyone for mere disagreement. But I have occasionally unfriended or even blocked for the
1. Refusal to accept my input. One time a real life friend deleted a
polite comment that added information to a political issue he brought up. I confronted him on that privately, but
his explanation didn’t hold water.
Is someone who literally deletes your thoughtful input much of a friend?
Some of his other FB activity showed me I did not know him as well as I thought
and really did not want much contact with him anymore. Which brings up…
2. Protecting myself. Both from personal experience and that
of others, it is clear that there are people out there who will harmfully
attack friends and even family for holding “wrong” views. So if someone acts
too much like that kind of person . . . . I don’t need more of that in my life. Related…
3. Attacking me. I can think of two millennial friends
(They once were friends in real life even.) who attacked me personally as a
bigot and got even nastier than that.
With a heavy heart, I unfriended and blocked both of them. Maybe I should leave the door more
open. But they willfully crossed
some serious lines, and I felt it was necessary to protect myself.
dishonesty. This is more a Twitter
issue than a Facebook issue. But I
really hate willful intellectual dishonesty, including willful ignorance (Reasons
I unfollowed so many Trumpistas). If someone is a serial offender and not a real
life good friend, they’re gone. By
the way, it is remarkable how abortion issues reveal the intellectual
dishonesty of many.
But what if a good friend
is a serial offender who sorely annoys but who has not attacked you personally
in a significant manner?
I’ve used and recommend the
“unfollow” function on Facebook.
That way you and the unfollowed remain friends, but you don’t see their
posts. And you can refollow them
again anytime, perhaps a week after Election Day. Twitter has a similar “mute” function, but I think it is
more important on Facebook.
One example of my using
that. There is a gentleman who was
a good friend of mine in high school.
I’ve always thought highly of him.
But in the past month, he posted two items which smeared people and a
group I value (and I’m a member of said group). It didn’t seem like him, an intelligent man, (And he’s since
deleted one of the posts I think.), but the posts genuinely angered me, and I have
enough bile in my life already.
But I value our friendship. I
don’t want to burn bridges at all and, at the same time, do want to give both
of us space for this season at least.
So I quietly unfollowed him with the intention of refollowing him after
Now, believe it or not, I
try to avoid being needlessly annoying myself. I do know the truth can be annoying. And part of who I am is I want to
inform people and give them food for thought.
But I also recognize that
the medium of Facebook may not be the best venue for that at times. Twitter is much better for throwing
observations out there. But Facebook
is more like, say, a continuous family reunion than Twitter. And if you are the uncle at the family
reunion who is constantly ranting about politics, others may avoid you . . .
unless you are very amusing (even when you do not intend so to be).
So I am selective about
posting less than pleasant matters on Facebook lest I needlessly annoy and find
myself the one unfriended and unfollowed.
In fact, a real life friend told me she unfollowed me on FB (while
remaining friends) because of my political posts. But because of my usual restraint, I consider that both her
free choice and not my fault.
Anyway, although you may
think me a *bad man* for one or more of the episodes above, I do try to use
some grace and restraint on social media, both in posting and reacting,
particularly on Facebook. Perhaps
that is the way to get through this political season together . . . and stay
Feel free to comment. I’m sure my good readers have stories
Labels: Facebook, life, politics, Twitter
Friday, August 12, 2016
I think like a Roman Catholic (or not).
Should the [Roman
Catholic] Bishops of the USA have us return to obligatory meatless Fridays
during the whole year and not just during Lent?
thinking is that fasting is commendable and that the adult faithful should be
encouraged to practice fasting when health permits. But to make it obligatory once a week is going too far. And, besides, the Roman Catholic Church
in the U. S. has much bigger problems to deal with. (Don’t get me started on those!) So I answered “No, this would be a really bad idea.”
3% of Fr. Z’s audience agrees with me.
guess I really don’t think like a Roman Catholic.
not into rosaries either. But I
heartily agree with the call of Fr. Zed and associates to pray for the U. S.
from August 15th through October 7th. (I would take it through Election Day
myself, but I’m nitpicking.) To
say my view of the United States’ future is pessimistic would be an
understatement. We need all the
prayer we can get and not only because of the two major parties’ nominees for
would not be surprised if the Lord’s answer is to let us eat our own cooking
for a few years. But we should
nonetheless pray and trust God to answer in his justice and mercy in due time.
Labels: fasting, prayer, Roman Catholics, United States
Monday, August 08, 2016
I still live. (And I’m still right about World Vision.)
I hope I
haven’t worried any of my readers with my relative silence. I’ve been so intent on fulfilling my
requirements for a class, including a 25-30 page paper (You’d think I was
writing a Masters thesis instead of completing just one course towards a
Certificate in Anglican Studies!), that I just haven’t had the energy and time
But now I am
near the end of this course. And
I’ve been inspired by strong ale (Be warned!), so here goes.
Decades ago, I
decided to stop giving to World Vision.
I was concerned that none of their literature I had read mentioned
actually sharing the Gospel. I was
not well disposed towards sending people to Hell well fed, so I turned towards
Vision might be the victim here as
much as perp. But if funneling aid
to those in need is given too much priority over propagating the Faith, over
offering eternal life along with temporal sustenance, these things can and will
happen. I doubt Mr. Mohammed
el-Halabi was much committed to the Christian faith, much less proclaiming it. So why was he hired by a "Christian" organization in the first place?
This just goes
to show that I am always right (Ignore my predictions in my previous post
concerning the Day of Rage!), and that you should always read carefully every
word that emanates from my wise fingers.
Or maybe it
just means you should find better ways to help the needy than giving to World
Vision or to any other “Christian” organization that gives little priority to
sharing the Gospel of Christ.
Labels: World Vision
Thursday, July 14, 2016
A Warning About Day of Rage, RNC
My studies have
been taking more of my time and energy than I expected. Hence I haven’t posted here in a while. (Again, I am still tweeting.)
But I think I
owe it to readers and other decent people to warn that tomorrow and next week
will likely be trying and violent in several U. S. cities. Anonymous, in solidarity with Black
Lives Matter, has declared tomorrow a “Day of Rage” with protests planned in many U. S. cities (See the link for a list of locations.).
insists on non-violence.…
We MUST STRESS the importance of staying
nonviolent. Your local 7/11 or Dollar Tree did not cause the deaths of these
young men. We condemn every form of rioting.
…But one can expect highways to be blocked. And one can expect the protests to be
taken over by those not at all committed to non-violence. A non-violent “Day of Rage”? Yeah, right.
As if that is
not bad enough, next week is the Republican National Convention in
Cleveland. The predations of
Leftists at Trump rally sites has given us a preview of what is likely to
I’ve pretty much predicted ugliness, and it is here and will almost certainly get worse
readers to take precautions.
Labels: Black Lives Matter, Leftists