Sunday, 3/30/14

    1. Sunnie’s Under-the-Bus Adventure
    2. Dr. John is not Donny Osmond
    3. Walking in Putin’s Shoes
    4. A little soulcraft

1

In Virginia, a “Christian School” dishonors itself and its Lord:

Doris Thompson, who’s 69, said she was stunned when she received a letter last month saying the school can deny enrollment to applicants for condoning “sexual immorality,” homosexuality or alternative gender identity.

Principal Becky Bowman wrote that “we believe that unless [Doris’ 8-year old Tomboy great-granddaughter] Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education.”

This story bugged me, and I figured out at least part of the reason why.

The school through attorney Matt Staver now complains that “confidentiality laws” prevent them rebutting the Thompsons’ allegations. But wasn’t the letter they sent truthful?

Well, not completely. Matt Staver is dissembling. No confidentiality law prohibit the school saying that its real reason for jettisoning an 8-year-old Tomboy was anticipated by a certain Caiaphas 2000 years ago:

If we let [her] thus alone … the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

Trust me on this: Numerous and/or powerful people went to Principal Bowman or her Board and demanded that Sunnie conform to gender stereotype, or be kicked out, or there would be bad consequences for the school.

People whose Christianity is thin, but whose wallets are thick. People who picked such-and-such Christian School more to keep their kids away from poor folks than to keep them close to God. People with big, shiny gas guzzlers commensurate with their attitude of entitlement. People whose long suit isn’t mercy.

It only takes one or two loudmouthed louts like that to make an institution pee its institutional pants.

It’s just that simple. I’d bet you a bunch of money on that.

This sort of behavior is not a Christian specialty, or an Evangelical foible, though it’s more galling when prissy Pharisees do it. It’s an institutional thing. It’s as true of Purdue University as of Timberlake Christian School.

In other words, throwing individuals under the bus as needed is what institutions do. The institution, you see, is more important than consistent application of any principle for which it supposedly stands. If your presence threatens the institution, you go missing one way or another. Otherwise, the institution won’t be around any more to stand up courageously for vital principle 50.1% of the time.

That’s the same mentality that tells Congressmen they must abandon campaign promises if necessary to get re-elected. It’s the mentality that tries to hush up victims of sexual abuse by superiors, administrators or clerics. The examples are probably endless.

And I don’t know that there’s a darned thing we can do about it.

I’d rather cite the heavens, which tell the glory of God, than dwell in the muck that shows our brokenness, but our brokenness is an important part of reality.

2

One of the big dangers perceived after Hurricane Katrina was that New Orleans would be Disneyfied in the rebuilding. It may be happening.

I’m no fan of vice or transgressive displays, but I loved pre-flood New Orleans anyway, so I’m in two minds about trying to, oh, turn Dr. John into Donny Osmond.

3

Patrick J. Buchanan invites us to walk a mile in Vladimir Putin’s shoes. It’s quite good, if one will read it with empathy and with realization that our liberal ideology (left liberal and right liberal) is an ideology.

Otherwise, we snort at the end that Putin’s a troglodyte revanchist (if we have really big vocabularies) and return to our regularly scheduled jingoist reveries.

4

Often we find that those who had not previously known God have much stronger faith than those who claim to have been devout all their lives. When a person who has not known God comes to his senses and begins to pray to God, he knows what it was like before and he knows Who helped him find the light at the end of the tunnel.

We have the chance to change for the better if we repent of all our evil ways, but when a soul passes into eternity it does not have the capacity to pray for itself. I did not know this, but once I had the opporunity to feel as though my soul were about to depart my body. I felt that I could no longer pray for myself. A monk prayed for me, but I could not: my time for repentance was finished.

(Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, in Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives)

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.