Not authorized to burn incense

On the separation of church and state, post-Constantine.  Emphasis mine:

“For into your hands God has put the kingdom; the affairs of his Church he has committed to us.  If any man stole the Empire from you, he would be resisting the ordinance of God: in the same way you on your part should be afraid lest, in taking upon yourself the government of the Church, you incur the guilt of grave offense. ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.’ We are not permitted to exercise an earthly rule; and you Sire, are not authorized to burn incense.”

– A letter from Hosius, Bishop of Cordova to Constantius; Documents of the Christian Church

In which Princeton is referred to as conservative.

3) The Media Just Don’t Get Religion

It’s hard to pick a favorite example from various other temper tantrum throwers but I’m going to go with Charles Pierce of Esquire. Take it away, Charles (emphasis mine):
As for the winner, Brat seems a very bad combination of serious religious quester and devout Randian economist, a combination that would have had Ms. Rand herself reaching for the opium pipe. He got his undergraduate degree at Hope College in Michigan, which is run by the Reformed Church in the United States, a conservative evangelical wing of the United Church Of Christ. He then got a Masters in Divinity at Princeton, which is a very conservative seminary and now, according to his website,Dave attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church with his wife Laura and their two children: Jonathan, 15 and Sophia, 11. So either he’s a Douthatian convert, god help us, or his faith is all over the lot, which may account for his rather startling announcement last night that he won because God was speaking through the voters of the Seventh Congressional District of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
2) They’re not conservative.
3) They’re not the evangelical wing of the United Church of Christ. I mean, what does that even mean, in terms of church polity? They are in fellowship with various mainline church bodies such as the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ.
4) You couldn’t call Princeton Theological Seminary, which is associated with the aforementioned PCUSA, conservative and you really couldn’t call it very conservative. You couldn’t even call it these things before the 1920s or 1930s, during the Modernist controversy that led to J. Gresham Machen’s departure. Are you insane?
But really, Charles, I’m sure the rest of the article is totally worth paying attention to.

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

I had a feeling about Carolla…

 As an on-again/off-again listener of the Kevin & Bean Show (thank you podcasting) for just over 15 years(!!) now, I always enjoy Carolla coming back on the show.  As you’ll read from him below, I expected him to be a standard liberal in the classical sense, but began to notice he stood out compared to the the (post-)modern Left.  I started thinking this guy might be more conservative than I thought.  And not because he’s waving the flag at the Republican National Convention, but because he’s just putting out common sense.

Putting out a book called “In 50 Years We’ll All Be Chicks” certainly helped the transition, if you can call it that.

Now hear this, from the Daily Caller:

“I always thought of myself as just a liberal guy,” Carolla said. But after working with and observing Dr. Drew Pinsky, Carolla says he started spreading what he thought was a simple, apolitical message.
“I just started saying, ‘focus on your family, take care of your kids,’” Carolla explained. “And then all of a sudden, I become Ted Nugent like overnight.”
“It’s a weird thing that this has become a conservative, right-wing issue,” he continued. “Take care of your G-d damn kids? Feed your kids? Educate your kids? These are radical right-wing ideas?”
Carolla also says he knows how to fix what ails America.
“I believe that we could fix this country and all that ails it in one second if everyone just literally internalized,” he said. “Don’t expect anybody, especially the government, to do anything for you.”

HT: Mollie Hemingway

Advantage: denominations. (Shots fired!)

Got a bishop/pastor/self-appointed “super apostle” (2 Cor 11) embroiled in a real estate or financial scandal?
Rome did — but not anymore!  At least in this case.
The Pope may be unscriptural and the church preaching a false Gospel,  but good on them (him?) for stepping in and cleaning up when the parishes and congregations weren’t.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday permanently removed a German bishop from his Limburg diocese after his 31 million-euro ($43-million) new residence complex caused an uproar among the faithful.
Francis had temporarily expelled Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from Limburg in October pending a church inquiry.
At the center of the controversy was the price tag for the construction of a new bishop’s residence complex and related renovations. Tebartz-van Elst defended the expenditures, saying the bill was actually for 10 projects and there were additional costs because the buildings were under historical protection.
But in a country where Martin Luther launched the Reformation five centuries ago in response to what he said were excesses and abuses within the church, the outcry was enormous. The perceived lack of financial transparency also struck a chord since a church tax in Germany brings in billions a year to the German church.

Meanwhile, back in North Carolina…

While one corrupt person is ousted in Charlotte, there is still work to be done. 

UPDATE: Shots fired!  Thanks to Pirate Christian for the tip.
Marvin Olasky at World: “The Second Great Embarassment — Protestants who treat leaders as mini-popes have fallen far from the Reformation

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.