Friday, January 27, 2006
Poison Justice Stevens, Coulter jokes
Ann Coulter is an embarrassment to the conservative cause. I think Justice Stevens is a little weasel but joking about poisoning him is inappropriate.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
What Kind of Soul Are You?
|You Are a Seeker Soul|
You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges.
You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions.
Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist.
Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!).
Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others.
And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you.
You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically.
Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.
Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul
Monday, January 23, 2006
Every limbo boy and girl all around the limbo world
Limbo consigned to history books
From Richard Owen in Rome
THE Pope is set to abolish the concept of Limbo, overturning a belief held by Roman Catholics since the Middle Ages.
Limbo has long been held to be the place where the souls of children go if they die before they can be baptised. However, a 30-strong international commission of theologians summoned by the late John Paul II last year to come up with a “more coherent and illuminating” doctrine in tune with the modern age is to present its findings to Pope Benedict XVI on Friday.
Vatican sources said yesterday that the commission would recommend that Limbo be replaced by the more “compassionate” doctrine that all children who die do so “in the hope of eternal salvation”.
There is little doubt that the Pope will agree. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger he presided over the commission’s first sessions. He is on record as saying that Limbo has no place in modern Catholicism. In 1984, he told Vittorio Messori, the Catholic author, that Limbo had “never been a definitive truth of the faith”.
He said: “Personally, I would let it drop, since it has always been only a theological hypothesis.” The commission is currently chaired by Archbishop William Levada of the United States, appointed by the Pope in May to be his successor as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In Christian doctrine, Heaven is a state of union with God, while Hell is separation from God. Christians have long wrestled, however, with the thorny question of what happened to those who died before Jesus, who “brought Man salvation”, as well as the fate after death of children who die in the womb.
Although there is no basis for it in Scripture the traditional answer is Limbo, from the Latin limbus, meaning a hem, edge or boundary. It is described as the temporary resting place of “the souls of good persons who died before the resurrection of Jesus” (limbus patrum) and the permanent home in the afterlife of “the unbaptised who die in infancy without having been freed from original sin” (limbus infantium).
I like Pope Benedictus XVI (or "B Dizzle" as my ex-gf likes to call him) well enough but I have to side with Dante on this one:
Inferno: Canto IV
Broke the deep lethargy within my head
A heavy thunder, so that I upstarted,
Like to a person who by force is wakened;
And round about I moved my rested eyes,
Uprisen erect, and steadfastly I gazed,
To recognise the place wherein I was.
True is it, that upon the verge I found me
Of the abysmal valley dolorous,
That gathers thunder of infinite ululations.
Obscure, profound it was, and nebulous,
So that by fixing on its depths my sight
Nothing whatever I discerned therein.
"Let us descend now into the blind world,"
Began the Poet, pallid utterly;
"I will be first, and thou shalt second be."
And I, who of his colour was aware,
Said: "How shall I come, if thou art afraid,
Who'rt wont to be a comfort to my fears?"
And he to me: "The anguish of the people
Who are below here in my face depicts
That pity which for terror thou hast taken.
Let us go on, for the long way impels us."
Thus he went in, and thus he made me enter
The foremost circle that surrounds the abyss.
There, as it seemed to me from listening,
Were lamentations none, but only sighs,
That tremble made the everlasting air.
And this arose from sorrow without torment,
Which the crowds had, that many were and great,
Of infants and of women and of men.
To me the Master good: "Thou dost not ask
What spirits these, which thou beholdest, are?
Now will I have thee know, ere thou go farther,
That they sinned not; and if they merit had,
'Tis not enough, because they had not baptism
Which is the portal of the Faith thou holdest;
And if they were before Christianity,
In the right manner they adored not God;
And among such as these am I myself.
For such defects, and not for other guilt,
Lost are we and are only so far punished,
That without hope we live on in desire."
Great grief seized on my heart when this I heard,
Because some people of much worthiness
I knew, who in that Limbo were suspended.
"Tell me, my Master, tell me, thou my Lord,"
Began I, with desire of being certain
Of that Faith which o'ercometh every error,
"Came any one by his own merit hence,
Or by another's, who was blessed thereafter?"
And he, who understood my covert speech,
Replied: "I was a novice in this state,
When I saw hither come a Mighty One,
With sign of victory incoronate.
Hence he drew forth the shade of the First Parent,
And that of his son Abel, and of Noah,
Of Moses the lawgiver, and the obedient
Abraham, patriarch, and David, king,
Israel with his father and his children,
And Rachel, for whose sake he did so much,
And others many, and he made them blessed;
And thou must know, that earlier than these
Never were any human spirits saved."
We ceased not to advance because he spake,
But still were passing onward through the forest,
The forest, say I, of thick-crowded ghosts.
Not very far as yet our way had gone
This side the summit, when I saw a fire
That overcame a hemisphere of darkness.
We were a little distant from it still,
But not so far that I in part discerned not
That honourable people held that place.
"O thou who honourest every art and science,
Who may these be, which such great honour have,
That from the fashion of the rest it parts them?"
And he to me: "The honourable name,
That sounds of them above there in thy life,
Wins grace in Heaven, that so advances them."
In the mean time a voice was heard by me:
"All honour be to the pre-eminent Poet;
His shade returns again, that was departed."
After the voice had ceased and quiet was,
Four mighty shades I saw approaching us;
Semblance had they nor sorrowful nor glad.
To say to me began my gracious Master:
"Him with that falchion in his hand behold,
Who comes before the three, even as their lord.
That one is Homer, Poet sovereign;
He who comes next is Horace, the satirist;
The third is Ovid, and the last is Lucan.
Because to each of these with me applies
The name that solitary voice proclaimed,
They do me honour, and in that do well."
Thus I beheld assemble the fair school
Of that lord of the song pre-eminent,
Who o'er the others like an eagle soars.
When they together had discoursed somewhat,
They turned to me with signs of salutation,
And on beholding this, my Master smiled;
And more of honour still, much more, they did me,
In that they made me one of their own band;
So that the sixth was I, 'mid so much wit.
Thus we went on as far as to the light,
Things saying 'tis becoming to keep silent,
As was the saying of them where I was.
We came unto a noble castle's foot,
Seven times encompassed with lofty walls,
Defended round by a fair rivulet;
This we passed over even as firm ground;
Through portals seven I entered with these Sages;
We came into a meadow of fresh verdure.
People were there with solemn eyes and slow,
Of great authority in their countenance;
They spake but seldom, and with gentle voices.
Thus we withdrew ourselves upon one side
Into an opening luminous and lofty,
So that they all of them were visible.
There opposite, upon the green enamel,
Were pointed out to me the mighty spirits,
Whom to have seen I feel myself exalted.
I saw Electra with companions many,
'Mongst whom I knew both Hector and Aeneas,
Caesar in armour with gerfalcon eyes;
I saw Camilla and Penthesilea
On the other side, and saw the King Latinus,
Who with Lavinia his daughter sat;
I saw that Brutus who drove Tarquin forth,
Lucretia, Julia, Marcia, and Cornelia,
And saw alone, apart, the Saladin.
When I had lifted up my brows a little,
The Master I beheld of those who know,
Sit with his philosophic family.
All gaze upon him, and all do him honour.
There I beheld both Socrates and Plato,
Who nearer him before the others stand;
Democritus, who puts the world on chance,
Diogenes, Anaxagoras, and Thales,
Zeno, Empedocles, and Heraclitus;
Of qualities I saw the good collector,
Hight Dioscorides; and Orpheus saw I,
Tully and Livy, and moral Seneca,
Euclid, geometrician, and Ptolemy,
Galen, Hippocrates, and Avicenna,
Averroes, who the great Comment made.
I cannot all of them pourtray in full,
Because so drives me onward the long theme,
That many times the word comes short of fact.
The sixfold company in two divides;
Another way my sapient Guide conducts me
Forth from the quiet to the air that trembles;
And to a place I come where nothing shines.
PS For those who are familiar with Dungeons & Dragons I recommend this parody.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Debate between William Lane Craig and Bart D. Ehrman
A Debate between
William Lane Craig and Bart D. Ehrman
Dr. Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California, and Dr. Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will discuss the status of the Christian claim to Jesus' resurrection from the perspective of historical data.
March 28, 2006 7:30PM, Hogan Ballroom
Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture and the Campus Christian Fellowship.
I wish I could be there (even though it would mean setting foot in Mass.)
Thanks to my friend Richard for posting this to ZLMB.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Cal State San Bernardino Spikes Christian Student Group
Nationwide Attacks on Campus Religious Organizations Continue
December 19, 2005
FIRE Press Release
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., December 19, 2005—California State University at San Bernardino (CSUSB) has refused to recognize a Christian student organization for requiring its members to live according to the group’s religious faith. The Christian Student Association (CSA) at CSUSB contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help after the university said that the group’s statements on faith and sexual morality were “not permissible.”
“Time after time, college administrators have robbed students of their fundamental freedoms of association and religion, so CSA’s situation sadly comes as no surprise,” remarked FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Greg Lukianoff. “CSUSB, like so many other universities, is misusing nondiscrimination policies to tell Christian students that they cannot associate based upon the dictates of their faith.”
This fall, CSA submitted a constitution pledging that the group will not discriminate on the basis of “race, color, national origin, gender, or physical disability,” but reserving the right to restrict membership based on religious beliefs and sexual orientation. In October, a university administrator informed the group that although they “would not be required to admit members who did not support the purpose of the organization (beliefs),” they could not exclude students “because of their status as a non-Christian or as a homosexual.”
FIRE has defeated similar mistreatment of Christian and Muslim student groups at Tufts University (2000), Rutgers University (2003), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2003), Purdue University (2004), The Ohio State University (2004), Louisiana State University (2005), Milwaukee School of Engineering (2005), and other institutions.
“CSA is not discriminating based on students’ status, but trying to express its religious faith and adhere to its beliefs regarding sexual morality,” remarked Lukianoff. “As FIRE has pointed out so many times, student groups at public universities have a right to ensure that their members share their central beliefs.”
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) has already filed a legal challenge to the California State University system’s policy denying student religious organizations the right to govern themselves according to their own religious principles. In spite of that ongoing challenge, CSUSB, a member of the California State system, is standing by its policies and continues to deny CSA official recognition.
“Efforts by FIRE and ADF to defeat unconstitutional restrictions on students’ freedom of association have been extremely successful,” stated Lukianoff. “The Constitution ensures that Muslim groups are free to be Muslim, Buddhist groups are free to be Buddhist, and Christian groups are free to be Christian, even if the principles they express run counter to the official viewpoints or unconstitutional policies of state universities.”
FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty at California State University at San Bernardino can be viewed at thefire.org/csusb.
Greg Lukianoff, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, FIRE: 215-717-3473; firstname.lastname@example.org
Albert K. Karnig, President, CSUSB: 909-537-5002; email@example.com
Current Press Contacts (2006)
Greg Lukianoff, Interim President, FIRE: 215-717-3473; firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian students at CSUSB and elsewhere should be able to form student organizations based on the Christian ethos and receive official recognition from their universities. Some posters at ZLMB (where I first saw this) defended the university's actions by responding that a gay student group could not discriminate against heterosexuals but if they think a heterosexual (or homosexual!) who opposes homosexuality would be allowed to associate with such a group then they have their heads firmly planted in the sands of oblivion (including, unfortunately, my friend Dr. Shades).
Meeting with friends
On the way back it was pouring down rain (as it was on the way there) and after a car splashed a wall of water onto Kristi's windshield (which elicited a "holy shit!" from me) she decided to get off of 280 and drive through the city and its suburbs.
It had a great time reconnecting with all of them after so many years apart and I plan on seeing them again when I return to California.