Mark O. Archives

Things Heard: edition 3v3

Things Heard: edition 3v2

  • Hannah Montana from the point of view of the serious fellow First Things guys at On The Square.
  • For super Tuesday a suggestion.
  • Myanmar, a picture.
  • Literature spanning views on life and death. ”

    Finally told me, said: I don’t like the way this country is headed. I want my granddaughter to be able to have an abortion. And I said well mam I don’t think you got any worries about the way the country is headed. The way I see it goin I don’t have much doubt but what she’ll be able to have an abortion. I’m goin to say that not only will she be able to have an abortion, she’ll be able to have you put to sleep. Which pretty much ended the conversation.”

  • Lessons on leading and leadership.

An Experiment in Political Humor Insight

Consider and even try for a moment reading political blogs and commentary from my point of view. The thing is, I think polls are only slightly more indicative of election results then assigning outcomes to random bugs in cricket races. Now, review a few posts and articles holding in mind that polls are silly expensive noise signifying nothing. Just try this:

replace the word “polls” with “cricket races”.

Consider the thought, the pondering, the serious gazes and looks, surrounding the … cricket races.

As you were. :D

You could also remember this the next time you hear the spin and explanations and excuses when the actual election doesn’t align with the predictions of the race, err, poll.

Things Heard: edition 3v1

Round the web:

  • An impact on separation from culture for evangelism.
  • Doomed to repeat?
  • Mr Obama bought ad-time during the Superbowl. One succinct summary of the message, “I will end the politics of division by attractively stipulating the correctness of my views and thus implying that those who don’t agree are ugly and want to perpetuate the politics of division. It’s a version of what I labeled several years ago as the “passive aggressive tyranny trick.” Heh.
  •  Al-Qaeda in Bagdahd used two women with Down’s Syndrom as bomb carriers, apparently unbeknownst to them. A comparison to the Western practice of aborting the same.

Things Heard: edition 2v5

  • Heh, an impression of the Left?
  • Left, Right and assumptions on Islam. I’d have to say my “assumptions” are a little different. I don’t fear “The Right is concerned about a monolithically hostile Islam that the West must defend itself against.” instead, I have this notion that religions always have people with a different level of faith and commitment from the casual to the very fervent. Islam is not “moderate” internally so the violent fervent will always be with us as long as there is an Islam.
  • US decline of influence … going strong since 1945!
  • Ideology and Idol.
  • Blame shifted away from Bush and the Admin, by a non-supporter no less.
  • A person who left the fame/fortune treadmill.

More here.

Things Heard: edition 2v4

  •  The Christian Carnival is at Everyday Liturgy.
  • Scum? noted.
  • Preparing for Lent.  And here. I’d like to also mention on Monday March 10, if you celebrate Lent in your parish or tradition, find a local OCA or Antiochan Orthodox parish and go to the Canon of St. Andrew (that is repentance and Lent have a connection for you). There is no better liturgical reflection on repentance than that to be found anywhere.
  • On that Game this weekend (and church).
  • On Market and the left.

The rest of morning linkage can be found here.

Things Heard: edition 2v3


  • Anticipating matriarchy.
  • Good news. “Myanmar’s detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday was allowed to meet with top members of her party as well as with a government liaison officer, an official told AFP.”
  • Bush and Obama, both good men and some evidence.
  • Run away! Please.
  • Two paths to a secular government and society.

Things Heard: edition 2v2

Bombs? Not. An Argument From Tradition

In a conversation on Sunday, the question was raised (which is not new but certainly pointed),

“We believe that abortion is murder of innocents. We would not stand quietly and non-violently attempt by political action or consciousness raising to stop the Holocaust. Why should we not be bombing abortion centers? When we are called to account before the dread judgment seat of Christ how will be judged for not letting using violence to stop this?”

I’d like to attempt to answer this question. Before we jump before the fold, I’d like to remark on one thing. Holocaust is a thing which is in the common imaginary, the common symbol for things of this nature. One might ask, why not Holodomor? 4 million died in the Holodomor which number significantly in the 20 million killed by internal purges and famine enacted purposefully just as 12 million were killed by Hitler in the Holocaust (of which just over 6 million were Jewish).

The World went to war to stop Hitler, we in America crossed the Atlantic to voluntarily take part to end his evil. Stalin and Lenin’s evil was occurring en mass prior. If there was a moral imperative to go to war to stop Hitler because of Holocaust, was there not the same need to stop Stalin, Lenin, Mao and so on. Should we put an end to the regime North Korea? Now!? But one thing these things share, which they don’t share with local abortion clinics is that the political process works intra-state, not inter-state.  Read the rest of this entry

Things Heard: edition 2v1

Things seen over the weekend:

Things Heard: edition 1v2

Seen around yesterday:

  • Yon, with a little more epistemic weight than the ordinary Joe (or newsman or pundit for that matter), on Petraeus reassignment.
  • Cranmer lays out the, err, his case for conservatism.
  • Iraq noted (a briefing) and an article and cautionary note from Yon. I think the safest assumption is that the Conventional Wisdom of both “sides” is fraught with error and simplistic sloganizing.
  • The Lucifer effect. One thing noted at the bottom of this piece, there is a reverse Lucifer effect that the experiment can be recast prompting heroism not evil from us. One wonders if that could be used to good effect regarding the Pontius Pilate pro-choice argument.
  • An endorsement, well that and a buck can buy you a soda.

Seeking Understanding: Abortion

So often in our world today, we grind up against those who have strongly held positions that we cannot understand. For myself, at this time, I fail to understand how anyone could hold a pro-abortion or even pro-choice point of view. The arguments “for” seem so weak as to be almost non-existent. Now this might be because I fail to enumerate or see the key insight behind a particular argument. So, below the fold, I’m going to attempt to enumerate all the arguments I know for the silencing of the lambs and summarize briefly why they are fundamentally unsound. My request for any readers of this would be to point out what I’m missing, why my critique misses the point, or to pass this on to someone who might be able to do so. Read the rest of this entry

Things Heard edition 1

Out in the blogs yesterday:

  • Bill Clinton lying. Say it ain’t so. Actually, that brings out a question, the left is outraged that they think Bush lied. And how then do they remember Mr “never inhaled” Clinton, who was certainly a reflexive liar, in a good light one wonders?
  • Lots of Spirit building/improving posts today. One on marriage. On prayer. On improving everything. And fasting.
  • Economics and the Laffer thing.
  • Jihad comes to Atlanta.
  • The Christian Carnival is up at Chasing the Wind.

Some Linkage

As a former “Blogwatch” contributor and as well on my home blog, I am in the habit, whenever schedule, time, and life permit, to collect some “highlights” or links from my morning RSS dump. At Blogwatch I posted 4 links per day. I plan to offer 4 (or so) links that might be of interest from my slightly larger collection posted at my blog.

  • Is this man noted on the left, if so … how? A view from one on the right.
  • Facts, who needs facts? One wonders why the networks don’t have a running “real-time” fact-check on a ticker. Mr Gardner also comments on the former President’s “help” on Ms Clinton’s campaign.
  • 90% of Iraqi suicide/homicide bombers were foreigners.
  • Another view of the state of the debate on abortion here. Pro-choice “losing the moral high ground.” In which high ground is seen as “respectability”?

Thanks! … and a Reflection on Dr King and the Church

Thank you Doug (and the rest) for allowing me to be part of the conversations and the community you have here. On that note, here is a start (from my point of view).
Yesterday our Nation celebrated the remembrance of Dr King and his message. In the following, I reflect on the offerings found on two other blogs and some of my own thoughts on that event.

At Scriptorium Daily, Matt Jensen offers a short essay/homily. He starts by considering the term “catholic” in the creed, noting that Protestants need not tremble at the term, as it origin: “Its etymology renders it simply ‘according to the whole’.” Mr Jensen cites two ways in which catholic touch the Christian via creedal declaration. The first is, that it connects us to the church universal, to the rest of the worshipers alive and dead through the (almost) 2000 years of our history. The second is a more telling point, especially in light of the day. For this second meaning, unlike the first, should make Protestants, (big “C”) Catholics, and Orthodox all tremble a little as it indicts the current divided nature, the non-ecumenical nature of our church. Matt quotes Dr King:

Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I- it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression ‘of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? (‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’)

The current state of our church is one of ecclesial segregation. A church where one see no goodness in man, and at the same time another can congratulate self for 0% agreement with Calvin, where ethnic, racial, and political division can all too often whelm our unity.

Brandon at Siris writes insightfully:

And that brings me to the view expressed in the title of this post. I’m inclined to think the divisions of the Church are rifts beyond all human healing; reunion comes not by human argument and scheming but by moral miracle, if at all. Neither you, nor I, nor anyone else can contribute anything to it except insofar as we may be instruments of it. The pen does not write for the writer, the scalpel does not have the wisdom of the surgeon, the staff does not possess deep insight into the ways of the shepherd. Our task is not to invent the solution to the problem. It is not to force the other side to listen. It is not invincibly to refute them. Our task is what it is in every other part of our lives, to walk the path of Christ in the manner of Christ, prayerfully and through His grace, doing good to those around us as is befitting of children of the Father, teaching not with clever words but with the power of the Spirit. Our task is to begin in the right place. And it is only if we do this that there is any sure hope at all in this regard; the only certainty for hope is in the Lord. Reunion will come not because we have designed it, not because we have been smarter than our opponents, not because we have brought it about; it will only come about, when and if it comes about, as a living outgrowth of the Spirit-inspired conversation of the saints through the ages.

Theology and theological cleverness will not unmake the division in our churches unless we recall that theology is not sophistry, philosophy, or cleverness. As Lossky writes, theology is conversation with God. It is, essentially then, prayer. It is, also, ultimately a rejection (or replacement) of Mr Buber’s quoted reference of Dr King noting the substitution “I->it” and “I->thou” … is incomplete. For the second, “I->thou” is also not what, I think, Christ, St. Paul, and the Saints and Fathers taught. We should always remember that arrow might be better written, “I-> (who am servant of)->thou” (note this parable also from Brandon). Those divisions and rifts also will not be healed until we remember, every Presbyterian, every Methodist, every Anglican, every Baptist, every Orthodox, every Evangelical, and every Catholic, and (really) everyone you meet needs to be treated as if he/she were Christ or his Angel.

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