Tasty Tidbits 7/30/11

  1. Circumspect on circumcision.
  2. Nobody loves a loser.
  3. Role models.
  4. Social Democrats for Ron Paul.
  5. “America’s Taliban.”
  6. Knickers in a knot over a pigment of the imagination.

1

It might have been gratifying if the judge had said “you can’t freakin’ do that; haven’t you read the constitution, you cretins?!,” but it’s probably more circumspect to decide the circumcision ban referendum case, on the more modest basis that regulating medical procedures is a function of the state, not cities.

2

Peggy Noonan’s column this week, both above and below the divider, seems to hit her stride again. The last few weeks have left me yawning.

Above the divider: Republican recklessness last decade, and its current Burkean stance relative to the debt ceiling and the Tea Party.

Below the divider: Nobody loves Obama. A few support him.

3

In a world where celebrities play musical beds, shoot up drugs, hire hunks to inseminate them, and so forth, you’d think the Beckhams, with a seemingly stable and monogamous marriage and four bundles of joy, would be celebrated or at least ignored benignly. You’d be wrong.

4

You know we’re living in tumultuous political times when there’s a call for Social Democrats to support Ron Paul because of his anti-war stance. As Peggy Noonan said, nobody loves Obama.

I think the prospects are better for another third party than for Social Democrats becoming “Blue Republicans.”

5

Meanwhile, speaking of tumultuous times, while I was trying to “clean up my own back yard,” a personnage in Evangelicalism’s back yard who I last knew as a “Church Growth” expert at Fuller Theological Seminary, C. Peter Wagner, appears to have gone notably rogue.

As I recall it, I didn’t care for his Church growth strategies because they were gimmicky and secular. One of them had to do with homogeneity — sort of making a virtue of necessity. Since 11 am Sunday has been described as “the most segregated hour of the week,” Wagner (and Donald McGavran) took that idea and ran with it, saying that Churches should be homogenous because people like hanging out with people like themselves.

That’s no doubt a bit off the mark, but not intentionally. Maybe this critic is more careful. This “homogeneity principle” was and remains anathema to me. I don’t think that Christ’s reconciling the world to Himself intends to leave us balkanized on Sunday just because that’s more comfy cozy.

But that’s just background. Now Wagner has gone syncretist, melding charismatic Christianity (in alliance with John Wimber of the Vineyard) with hyper-Calvinist theocracy.

He’s is mucky-muck at something called Global Harvest Ministries,  Guru-in-Chief “Presiding Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA)” and proponent of what he calls “the Dominion Mandate for social transformation.” If the term “dominion” makes the hairs rise on the back of your neck, good for you. A column at Al Jazeera plausibly calls Wagner’s current enthusiasms “America’s own Taliban.”

I wrote in one of my anything-but-tidbittish posts (see item 3 therein) that there was a group of “theonomists, or more specifically Reconstructionists” who, if they had their way, would  “shut down my Church and desecrate its icons.” Wagner’s version of Jihad explicitly includes incitement to destroy Roman Catholic statuary.

One never knows which fascist movements will die and which with thrive. Wagner is 81 years old. The best I can hope is that he’ll repent, renounce and retire.

6

South Carolina Democrats are suffering an attack of the vapors having learned that Governor Nikki Haley (R) listed her race as “white” on her voter registration.

Do I hear echoes of racism? Are they afraid she’ll marry a white man or something by “passing”?

If I were a South Carolina Republican, I think I’d love this and would do everything I could to subtly provoke the Democrats into continuing to sound like crackers. (HT Volokh Conspiracy)

Bon appetit!

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