Monday, March 21, 2005
Rapture Monday: 148 and Uterufic
The Rapture Index
is at 148 and falling. According to the experts, "Fasten your seat belts". 3WN recommends you forgo the 527 account for the kids and lease an Escalade instead.
Silence = death
AIDS is still a global problem, but Hammer remembers a time when nobody really knew about the disease. Way back when one slogan was "silence = death". So the National Day of Silence
seems like a bad political metaphor. Bad metaphor aside, it's shaping up to be a battle
A pro-family event next month will encourage Christian students across the United States to engage in peaceful expressions of their biblical viewpoint on homosexuality. The Alliance Defense Fund, a religious liberty defense group, is sponsoring a national "Day of Truth" on April 14, just one day after the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) observes its annual pro-homosexual "Day of Silence."
ADF senior counsel Joseph Infranco feels confident that the Christian observance next month will be respectful and non-disruptive. He describes the emphasis as "an opportunity for Christian students to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda in schools across America" and says, "The Day of Truth, held the day after the Day of Silence, encourages respectful debate rather than silence."
"I'm Chase Harper," the youth states in the recorded message. "Last year I stood alone. This year I'm asking you to join me and thousands of other high school students across the country in sharing our Christian beliefs on the Day of Truth, because the truth cannot be silenced." The ad ends with an encouragement to visit the Alliance Defense Fund's Day of Truth website at "http://www.telladf.org/truth."
Compassionate conservatism at work
Oh, those witty college kids
The Oregon Commentator came under fire after satirizing transgendered student senator Toby Hill-Meyer, who had requested that the campus newspaper refer to him using the general-neutral pronouns "ze" for "he," and "hir" for "him." Consequently, the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) recognized and denied funding to the magazine for poking fun at Hill-Meyer. That is when the Commentator contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
Language is important. There's an air of ridiculousness when the debate descends to whether "women" is better spelled as "womyn" or "wimmin" or "uterufic", but that might be my own well-earned bias (Hammer dated a wimmin in college. It got ugly early and often.) Transgenderism is rare enough that I don't think we need to alter the language other than on a case-by-case basis. Still, it seems awfully inappropriate fodder for satire. Satire is a weapon best used by the weak against the strong.
Let's not forget those compassionate, inclusive Maryland Republicans:
A bill before the Maryland Senate would broaden elected officials' freedom to recite prayers before public meetings. The bill was introduced by Senator Larry Haines whose prayer in "Jesus' name" before a Senate session two years ago stirred an emotional debate on whether the Senate was blurring the lines between church and state. After several senators complained, the Senate president asked the body to be tolerant of clergy who did not follow the request to be ecumenical. He distributed guidelines that senators are to give clergy members invited to say the prayers that begin the daily sessions. The guidelines state prayer can become "unintentionally divisive" if the language excludes people of different faiths. Last year the issue seemed to be settled when there was a rules change allowing senators to sit out prayer and answer the role call afterward. But Haines argues that asking clergy to refrain from using the name of Jesus Christ is a violation of their First Amendment rights and offensive to Christians.
Ecumenical prayers are for the weak-minded saps who don't understand that their God is the one true God and that people of all other faiths should shut up or go back where they came from.
On this week's cover of Born Again Tiger Beat
Who thought that the guy who holds the record for saying "Boner" the most times on national television would become a Christian hero
Eighties teen heartthrob Kirk Cameron knows what it's like to be in the limelight of Hollywood, but it dims in comparison to knowing and loving the Light of the World -- a permanent role that captures the very essence of his heart.
Affectionately known for his portrayal as the mischievous Mike Seaver on the former hit television series Growing Pains, this two-time Golden Globe nominee is intense about sharing the Gospel and reaching the lost for Christ.
After a successful career on Growing Pains, the release of Left Behind, The Movie (Cloud Ten Pictures, 2000) brought Cameron back to the forefront of Hollywood -- this time as a born-again believer whose onscreen role as Buck was a reflection of his real-life character.
Cameron is so passionate about evangelizing the lost that he partnered with Christian evangelist and author Ray Comfort to create an interdenominational ministry known as The Way of the Master. The ministry's purpose is "to teach Christians how to share the Gospel effectively, Biblically ... the way Jesus did."
The only odd part of this story is that Cameron didn't run for governor during the California recall.
The Concerned Women for America are concerned about porn
Concerned Women for America (CWA) is commending the U.S. Department of Justice for its indictment of the owner of numerous "adult" pornographic video stores in at least 18 states, along with six other individuals on charges of racketeering, obscenity, and tax crimes. CWA applauds the indictment, noting that the DOJ's investigation and prosecution of dealers in this kind of off-the-shelf, hard-core pornography, rather than just the most egregiously deviant material, should indicate to other such operators nationwide that their illegal activity has not escaped the attention of federal prosecutors. "This is the one we've been waiting for," says Jan LaRue, CWA's chief counsel. "This is Mr. Big in the porn industry, and this indictment sends a strong message to the rest of the industry." Edward Wedelstedt, owner of Goalie Entertainment Holdings, Inc., allegedly displays pornographic materials in the front rooms of his stores along with a back-room arcade where customers pay to view hard-core porn videos. The DOJ indictment also alleges that Wedelstedt contracted with owners of other pornographic bookstores across the U.S. with the prerequisite of earning a percentage of their revenue. The charges also indicate that the pornography profiteer failed to report income to the federal government in order to avoid tax charges. LaRue says this indictment is the first of its kind under U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and CWA hopes that prosecution of mainstream obscenity will be characteristic of his term.
Mr. Big in the porn industry? That's an unfortunate choice of words. I assume. Maybe Ed Wedelstedt is an actor, too. Here at 3WN we hope that prosecution of porn is the hallmark of Gonzales's tenure at Justice, but we're afraid his legacy will involve the rendition of American citizens to torture-friendly havens.
SpongeBob – still not gay
That evil media sure did a trick on the Sponge Bob fiasco. They turned the perfectly reasonable position that leftists were using cartoon characters to promote tolerance of the sinfully hedonistic homosexual lifestyle (with tolerance itself just a smokescreen to turn kids gay) into an argument about whether Sponge Bob was gay. We've covered this before, so we're not going to dig back into that part of the problem. But here's Ed Vitagliano of the American Family Association complaining about the media bias
The media picked up the New York Times' piece and the story exploded. According to a LexisNexis search, 68 newspapers covered the story, countless radio talk shows called for interviews
, and virtually every network news and cable news channel did stories on it.
This media brouhaha produced some of the sloppiest journalism I've ever seen, as some members of the media pounced on and then spread a rumor: that AFA and FOF had claimed that SpongeBob -- as a cartoon character -- was "gay." The rumor was so persistent in the media that SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg was forced to issue a denial.
Even more disappointing, however, was that some television news programs went out of their way to present one-sided programs on the controversy. Most notable in this respect were the January 21 editions of both NBC's Today Show with Matt Lauer and ABC's Good Morning America, as well as Fox's January 24 The O'Reilly Factor.
The media is sloppy and didn't really explain the issue well. Whether SpongeBob is gay was never the issue. The issue was that if you tolerate homosexuality, kids will turn gay. Which is even more ridiculous than whether a sponge and a starfish can have relations.
This is how Agape explains the issue:
"The American Family Association and other conservative groups have warned that the tolerance video, which features popular children's characters such as Barney, Clifford, and SpongeBob Squarepants, is an attempt by homosexual activists to indoctrinate young kids into acceptance of their destructive lifestyle."
Hammer holds a law degree, but he's no expert in Constitutional matters. I don't think I'll be reaching beyond my expertise if I suggest that this fellow
is beyond his depth:
"To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all [moral] questions is a very dangerous doctrine indeed," wrote Thomas Jefferson, "one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy." It has become evident, with California District Judge Richard Kramer recently ruling the Golden State's marriage law defining marriage between a man and a woman as unconstitutional, that the republic envisioned by our founders has been replaced by judicial despotism feared by our fathers.
The tremors emanating from the Left Coast's cultural San Andreas Fault are not alone, for the moral plates that have provided the social foundation of this country are undergoing a radical shift that stands to topple the faith of our fathers. Judge Kramer's decision from Sodom on the Bay is only one of a number of assaults the Judiciary has unleashed on the institution of marriage. …
Somewhere along the way, however, the Judiciary divorced itself from the rule of law in order to enter into an unholy matrimony with an ideological mistress who stands to undo 2,000 years of tradition, values, and morals. The end result: the tyranny of the majority so warned by Madison has become the tyranny of the minority. …
Make no mistake, the decision holding California's marriage law unconstitutional is not a product of the system of government established by our founders, but is rather a direct assault on a democratic ideal that has preserved the American people for over two centuries. It obliterates our democracy and replaces the legislative process with acts of intimidation and fear tactics. The California court room of Judge Kramer has essentially attempted yet another hostile takeover of the Legislative branch, in which Richard Kramer has become the judge, jury and executioner. According to Kramer, the Legislature can either do it his way or hit the highway. …
See, California has a Constitution. It was written and adopted in the 19th century. It's not the same thing as the United States Constitution written, as it was, in the 18th century. The U.S. Constitution gave states the power to regulate such things as marriage.
That aside, let's also remember that San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer was elected. If the voters don't like that decision, they can vote him out.
Now, it might be unfair to let San Francisco County set the law for the entire state of California. If only there was some rule of law that limited the effect of Kramer's decision…Hey! Good news. I checked my Black's. There's this thing called "jurisdiction". It means that a San Francisco County trial court ruling is not binding on trial courts in other counties. That might lead to confusion, so it's a good thing that California has an elected system of appellate judges to make smooth the law of the land.
In other words, this decision followed the Constitutional mandates of the state of California; has very limited application; and is subject to additional judicial review. And, of course, if a majority of voters don't like that interpretation of the state's constitution, they can work to amend it. Representative democracy in action, exactly as envisioned.
Of course, while we despise activist liberal judges, we love conservative activist judges
. It's not the activism, it's the act:
A federal judge has ruled that an Indiana high school student has a constitutional right to wear a "Marine Corps Creed" T-shirt to school.
Elmhurst High School in Fort Wayne had banned Nelson Griggs from wearing a T-shirt bearing the likeness of an M-16 rifle and a portion of a work entitled "My Rifle," also known as the "Marine Corps Creed." The words of that creed are widely accepted and quoted in the American military, law enforcement, and rifle sports communities as a statement of personal responsibility and rifle safety. But school district officials said the T-shirt violated the school's prohibition on "symbols of violence." Now U.S. District Judge Roger Cosbey has ruled the Marine T-shirt ban was unconstitutional.
Seems like some might argue that Judge Cosbey is overruling the will of the people as expressed through the local school board. Hammer, of course, sees it as judge interpreting the Constitution – which is what judges are supposed to do.
Here's the creed, as far as I can tell (ellipsis in the original):
This is my rifle; there are many like it but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter then my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will… My rifle and myself know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit… My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its strengths, its weaknesses, its parts, its accessories, its sights, and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will… Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders for my country. We are the masters of my enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen!
That's certainly not a friendly message, but I would hope my local school board would be sensible enough to allow that message in school.
As always, Hammer has no personal animus toward people of genuine faith, but resents the hucksters and charlatans who manipulate believers to advance personal agendas.