Friday 8/19/16

  1. Flagrant RFRA Abuse by ACLU!
  2. Flagrant intelligence insults by politicians!
  3. Don’t move your lips!
  4. Three things that cheered me
  5. Religious doubt

1

The Indiana American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Boone County Sheriff’s office, accusing the jail staff of refusing to serve a Muslim inmate a Halal diet.

The lawsuit is among early uses of the state’s religious freedom law, which Gov. Mike Pence signed in 2015 amid heated controversy that placed the state in the national spotlight. Opponents of the law argued that it could be used by Christian business owners who do not believe in same-sex marriage to deny service against gay and lesbian Hoosiers.

In this lawsuit, though, the ACLU is employing the law to protect a religious minority from alleged discrimination from the government. Indiana’s law says the government cannot intrude on a person’s religious liberty unless it can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden and do so in the least restrictive way.

(Indianapolis Star, italics added)

In this lawsuit, though ….” Of all the gall! How dare the ACLU use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to protect religious freedom! Everybody knows, because the ACLU and other so misinformed them, that’s not what it’s there for!

Oh, wait. Maybe they were lying back then. Hmmm. I don’t suppose “thou shalt not bear false witness” would carry any water with the ACLU.

2

My preferred candidate (for one of the offices other than what everyone else is talking about) is behind in the polls. I got a fundraising letter from him Thursday. “Yeah, I really should send him some money,” I sez to myself.

So I open it fairly eagerly and read that they guy who’s ahead:

  1. He has lots of leftover campaign funds.
  2. He is a liberal elitist
  3. He sold out and cashed in (excuse me: “sold-out” and “cashed-in”) when last he left office (though he’s a career politician — how confusing!).
  4. He voted with BHO 96% of the time.
  5. He doesn’t live in Indiana (!)

That’s just the underlined, bold-face stuff. It was kind of a downer.

But my guy had some positive things to say about himself, too:

  1. He’s a former Marine.
  2. He’s pro-Indiana and pro-America.

Well, that settles it!

Here’s a valid syllogism:

  1. My guy says he’s a “former Marine.”
  2. Marines never stop being Marines and never call themselves “ex-” or “former.”
  3. Therefore my guy is not a former Marine.

I don’t send in political money in response to letters full of stupid screaming insults and vacuous self-promotion. It only encourages them.

You’re on you’re own, Todd Young. Same for everyone else who has sent me a political fundraising letter so far this year, too. Every one of them was stultifying. (Pro tip: The Trump campaign has an Unsubscribe button at the bottom of it’s e-mails.)

3

Whispers in Rio: Is a female runner gaining an unfair edge from naturally high testosterone? is just loaded with perplexities, starting with the headline term “female,” which I thought was passé if not legally actionable.

Work out the perplexities for yourself — preferably without moving your lips so no lip-reader can turn you in for Badthink.

Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?, remarkably, is worse. Work out the ineffable badness for yourself — preferably … oh, never mind.

4

I definitely tend to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy. But a couple of recent things have cheered me:

  1. The spirit of Louisiana in the face of horrific natural disaster. People are breaking their backs helping each other (this is solidarity in action), which is a good thing because they’re not getting much national attention or help. What a difference a name like “Hurricane Katrina” makes compared to “unexpected and nameless 20 inches of rain in two days.”
  2. Classical Schools. There are parents who aren’t going to sit back and let the culture steal their children’s humanity. There are parents who apparently know that the human telos is not “good job, bountiful barren sex and big TV.”
  3. My grandchildren’s enrollment in an Orthodox Christian Classical School. There are parents who apparently know that the purpose of education is to produce well-rounded, Christ-like humans who know the best that our Western civilization has produced.

5

Doubt does not contradict faith, for it is not the same as unbelief. Doubt can, and should, serve as the catalyst to our moving deeper into the spiritual aspects of what it means to be human, and being part of a family of believers who are on a journey into the Heart of God …

Orthodoxy is a faith that is deep enough to allow her believers to confront the complexities of our human experience, while at the same time recognizing that not all is understood in this life, but viewed as Mystery. So, the view that believers never doubt, is simply not true. Doubt is not the opposite of faith, but rather the vehicle by which we are challenged to go deeper into the Mystery that is true faith ….

(Abbot Tryphon)

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.