Mollie goes Lebowski

Quote of the year candidate:

In any case, what the White House is probably realizing, in hindsight, is that painting Bergdahl as a hero and the swap as unbridled good news were horrible errors. If President Obama had said that sometimes you need to do awful things — like give up five really bad terrorists in exchange for one deserter — because we never leave even our weakest man behind, he would have probably been fine. If he could have further explained why he needed to break the law requiring him to notify Congress of such deals, even better. 

But what Americans instead got was someone micturating in their mouth and telling them it was raining.

– Mollie Hemingway; The Left is Terrified Right Now About the Bowe Bergdahl Story

It’s not kayfabe, it’s the government

Earlier today I through out the following on Twitter:

A little more research was conducted, and according to Forbes and Reuters, Obamacare enrolled somewhere between 6 and 248 people on its first day, respectively. Not millions or even thousands, just between six and two hundred forty eight.

WWE Network’s first day, on the other hand, enrolled hundreds of thousands. And while there are still a few bugs to work out with everyone logging on to watch old pay-per-views, it looks likes the first day of WWE Network has been successful.

To be clear, a profession wrestling company dominated federal legislation.

Barack Obama just jobbed to Vince McMahon, and it was a squash.

2/25/14 update: links added for Forbes, Reuters articles.
2/26/2014 update: clarification text added to emphasize first day enrollment numbers

We have a Constitution

“I’ve got a pen . . . ” 

This thinly veiled threat to, in effect, legislate by executive edict, spoken by the President of the United States, should cause every friend of the Constitution, the rule of law, the separation of powers, limited government, and political liberty to shudder. Who does this man think he is? A medieval king? He may have a pen, but we have a Constitution. And that Constitution vests all legislative powers granted to the United States in the Congress. It is the duty of the President to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. It is not within the scope of the powers of his office to make laws or amend them by fiat. 

Mr. President, you can use your pen to sign legislative acts passed by the Congress into law, or to veto such acts (though your veto is subject to a possible override). You have no authority to rule by executive order. I repeat: We have a Constitution.

Robert P. George 

Please excuse my broad strokes

Richard Dawkins is rightfully receiving some heat for his comments on “mild pedophilia,” if there is such a thing, and the blog sharks are coming from all directions for some freshly chopped chum.


Rachel Held Evans (hereafter “RHE”) responds to Richard Dawkins through CNN here.  Please read it first so I don’t have to use extra energy typing backstory.

It is important for me to start out by saying I believe RHE has good intentions and is right to suggest that respectful dialogue between anti-theists and Christians is needed in a very big way.  The apostle Peter admonishes believers to always be ready to provide a defense for the faith we hold.  She uses the relevant Christian example of Pat Robertson, who can be as “What the hell did he just say?” as Richard Dawkins.

RHE continues that Dawkins’ remarks are easy to use as “an excuse to paint one another with broad brushes.”  She is right that it is tempting to do so, but I can’t help but wonder if Dawkins’ quote is but another aspect of the New Atheists’ favorite tactic: saying something that causes an opponent to take his eye off the argument and focus instead solely on what Dawkins said.

Pedophilia is in fact reprehensible and does damage children long into their adult lives if they do not receive counseling and support throughout; however, focusing just on the “He’s an idiot if he thinks that” aspect is to neglect the fact that Dawkins has just conceded defeat to a major argument for morality.  Hear me out.

If we are the results of an unguided, blind evolutionary process, the inclination towards pedophilia is just a chemical reaction in certain adults that is no different from the man who prefers pepperoni on his pizza when his best friend wants Canadian bacon.  Without a moral order created by a Creator, molesting a child is no worse than rain falling on a summer afternoon or a lioness chasing down a young antelope on the Serengeti so she can feed her cubs.  It is not bad nor good, it simply “is not” anything, or so the atheist argument goes.

Back to the article at hand, RHE begins by citing examples of people who have reached across the theo-philosophical aisle to attempt the respectful dialogue she prizes so highly.  The only thing is, any confessing Christian has strong reason to believe the reason her examples are so well-known are because the Christian side of the aisle is the one who conceded in each respective interaction.

Her first example is to point to an article about the Pope responding to a letter from an atheist.  The Papal-pupil dialogue is respectful in that the reader never gets the idea the participants are seething in malice towards one another.  But I fail to see how the Pope denying the central (read: foundation of all biblical Christian belief) doctrine of Jesus Christ as sole Savior and Propitiation for the sins of the world is in any way engaging with the opponents’ viewpoint.  To me it just sounds like heresy and a tail tucked between its legs.

The additional examples of Christians she provides have all, in some fashion, amended a portion of Christian doctrine in such a way that makes it sound no different than a secular version of each topic.  Of the examples, I am more familiar with two of them, Francis Collins and Barack Obama.  Francis Collins has made one of his life’s works the quest to show how macro-evolution is compatible with the Bible’s description of creation.  President Obama is on camera attempting to use Scripture to back up same sex unions, but fails to see how “Thou shalt not kill” applies to children in the womb just like it does to children in Syria.
My point in writing this post is not to decipher the salvation of the above individuals, nor that of Rachel Held Evans.  I am guilty many times over of the same attempts to water down the truths of God contained in the Bible to avoid being declared on the “wrong side of history.”  But even in my sin, the truth of Christ does not falter in my failure. As Christians redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, the sin nature in us causes us all to attempt to use Scripture for our personal justification.  In repentance, we return to the grace of Jesus, who alone forgives our sins and renews us.  His mercies are new each morning, as Lamentations so eloquently declares:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24, ESV)

To close, RHE offers this plea, with my emphasis in italics:

Still, in the end, it’s not about who has the most charismatic or generous personalities in their roster, nor about who has the most “crazies.” It’s about the truth.
So let’s talk about the truth, and with the people who most consistently and graciously point us toward it.

If I am reading her correctly, she is pointing us to a truth she does not actually believe.  Please excuse my broad strokes.

Trouble With the Curve

I’ve been going back through my heretofore unpublished notes, and I came across this one.  As a baseball fan, I couldn’t help but connect the dots on one of the all-time great baseball flicks.  The italicized portion is what has yet to be seen by human eyes other than mine.  Underneath the notes is my contemporary expansion on the talking points.

Dorn = Romney

Vaughn = Ron Paul

Team owner = Obama??

Jake’s bunt is a true, republican (little r) conservative revival.

——

Let’s extrapolate a bit on this.  For those unfamiliar with the classic, albeit R-rated baseball movie Major League, some character descriptions are needed.

Roger Dorn is by all accounts a seasoned veteran of the league.  He’s got years of experience and has seen enough of the game to know how to continue to get by.  There really isn’t too much original about him.  One thing is certain, though — Roger Dorn loves to make sure Roger Dorn doesn’t get injured or damaged in any way to prevent him from leaving his playing days behind him and moving into the glory’s of being in front of the camera as a sports caster.  Occasionally, this means letting a ball get out of the infield because he doesn’t want to risk injury by diving.

I pegged Dorn as Mitt Romney in last year’s election.  This seems a bit harsh given my above description, but follow me a bit further.  Romney wasn’t exactly breaking new ground politically, nor did he appear as the most valued player on the Republican ticket.  But like Roger Dorn he knew what to say and how to say it.  And just like Roger Dorn, Mitt put his spin on every talking point — and I didn’t buy a word of it.

Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, played by Charlie Sheen lives up to every aspect of his moniker.  He pitches how he likes his women: fast and wild.  Says what he feels is right and damn the rest!  It’s not hard to see why he became a fan favorite and cult hero.  Sound familiar?

It would be impossible for me to peg Vaughn as anyone but Ron Paul.  If Major League was real life, I could easily see “RICKY VAUGHN REVOLUTION” or “WILD THING 2012” spray painted on election signs across the land.  While Ron would have likely been the most fun person to see behind the mahogany on Pennsylvania Avenue, this is reality.  You know, with real people.  The libertarian ideology would work great if it didn’t have to apply to real life and could stay in a text book.

The team is owned by Rachel Phelps.  No relation to the Westboro Baptist Church.  She’s a tyrant with a pretty face.  What’s noticeable about her is that she isn’t breaking any existing rules, but she certainly knows how to use their wording to her advantage.

This one was like putting a ball on a tee in front of Miguel Cabrera.  Barack is a smooth talker promising a winning team to the fans, but has no intention of bringing the championship to them in the way they expect.  “May the best team win” is certainly the right way to play the game, but it does follow that there will be teams who are not the best.  Rather than encouraging the team (country) to develop its talented prospects, we are instead gifted with a collective bargaining agreement to restructure the league (nation) to make every team have an equal record, albeit mediocre.  The Padres will finally be running with the big boys.

But that was just the first part of the season, and now we’re past the All-Star Break.  Ending Bush-era surveillance policies that should have been thrown out at first?  They’ve now been expanded to leg out a double with the intention of rounding to third and monitoring the moves of the opposing fan base.  Mending the racial divide that sinfully still exists in the country?  For a second it looked like he might hit a home run, but the right-fielder caught it just before the warning track.  It is hard (impossible) to take the words of the president seriously on battling racially motivated crime — which is sinful and wrong through and through — when he would not condemn or even comment on the actions of a black doctor who was beheading black babies outside the womb.  On the contrary, he spoke at a pro-abortion conference just a few weeks after the trial.  Foreknown before the foundation of the world, these children were made in the imagio Dei, but would never have the chance to know in this world just how precious that makes them.

That brings me to our black swan, Jake Taylor.  Like Roger Dorn he is an oak tree with many rings before you get to the center.  But unlike Dorn, his career is considered all but over.  Jake Taylor is on the “wrong side of [baseball] history” in a game where the fundamentals are pushed aside to make room for power-sluggers and endorsement deals.  He plays with a heart and respect for the purity of the game that everyone else has either forgotten about or passed over as outdated or worse — irrelevant.  And would you look at that, he steps up to the plate with a bum knee and the winning run on third.  There is no one in the stands who expects this aging lion to do anything but look like a shell of his former glory.  But something happens which not a soul saw coming.  He calls his shot to the fences and then bunts.  Running like a man with nothing to lose to save that which he’s worked so hard to preserve, Jake beats the throw to first to allow the runner on third just enough time to beat the tag at home.  The pennant is won and the owner’s box is left to stamp their feet and cry “foul!”

The same thing will happen to our country.  The small r’d republican, conservative spirit that first yelled “balk!” at taxation without representation from a government so large it thought itself sovereign and too big to fail is waiting in the on-deck circle.  A victory will mean not just reform, but repealing of half-assed plays that never should have made it past Single A, let alone a congressional committee.  Yes, some teams will have to relocate to new markets or the league will need to contract the franchise, but only because they’ve been too reliant on the almighty Commish to keep the team jet fueled.  But a funny thing will happen: we’ll have a more competitive league than ever before and the most exciting teams to watch since 1776.

You see, as attractive and progressive as the new school players once were, they never could quite get over their trouble with the curve.