In the Mists of Maine

I’ve been in Maine since Friday, attending the Northern New England SDA campmeeting. It’s been misty and rainy and misty again. As Bert and I would say, “The air is thick with humdiddy.” I had to go into town (2 miles) to the Starbucks next to L.L. Bean to find an Internet connection. I gave…

Life Is Rough

So, I’m in Vermont, and I need to find a place with WIFI. I asked at a bookstore, and they weren’t sure. A college student working in the store didn’t even know what it was. But the proprietor thought maybe the shop next door had it. They did. Ben and Jerry’s.

On the Road Again …

We’re heading to Vermont tomorrow (Wednesday); on Friday we’ll go on to Freeport, ME, for the Northern New England Conference campmeeting (brochure). I’ll be speaking Sunday morning and three times on Friday, July 4.

Blows against Tyranny

In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court says you have a right to an attorney from the time you are brought before a judge–they can’t put it off for six months, as was done to a Texas man. And a federal appeals court said the president can’t detain indefinitely as an “enemy combatant” someone who…

Books

Because I now have a home office, most of my books remain in boxes in my garage. I’m preparing to teach a class on young adult ministry next month at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Michigan, and scrambling to gather my notes before I go on vacation, I went to my…

Presbyterians and Jews

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein writes in Christianity Today: “The Presbyterians Giveth, the Presbyterians Taketh Away.” A draft statement on antisemitism has now been replaced by one with a focus on Israel. Ominously, the main focus of the new document is no longer anti-Semitism, but Presbyterian responsibility in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Anti-Semitism has become essentially a sideshow…

AU Fear Mongering

I received in the mail today a mass mailing from Americans United for Separation of Church and State with these words on the cover: “The Religious Right wants to change the way you live in Houston.” Really? First, I’m not sure who or what “The Religious Right” is. And do “they” really want to change…

Public Prayer

Should a specific deity be invoked in public prayer at, say, government meetings? Some don’t think so; they suggest public prayer should be addressed to a generic deity. Problem is, this means that some people get to pray in public as they normally do, and some people have to change the way they pray in…

Three Hours at the DPS

The son and I spent three hours at the DPS today so he could get his learner’s permit. Funny thing in Texas law–my daughter, 16, can have the drivers’ school administer the written exam and file all the paperwork for her; since he turned 19 right after graduation, he has to go to the DPS…

A Religious Test in Pennsylvania

In Harrisburg: State lawmakers Wednesday held up voting on a resolution in recognition of a Muslim group’s upcoming convention after a legislator protested that “the Muslims do not recognize Jesus Christ as God.”Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican from Butler County, north of Pittsburgh, said he opposed the House’s formal recognition of this weekend’s 60th annual…

A Stormy Night

We had a strong thunderstorm come by tonight … with 3/4 inch hail. While it was going on, I was trying to recover some files. I had deleted a user account from Windows, neglecting to save the user data files — and those included lots of pictures. I asked a friend for help, and ended…

Catholic Charities and USCCB Office Abetted Abortion

Rod Dreher links to Washington Times report: Federal authorities are investigating the actions of a Catholic charity in Richmond which helped a 16-year-old Guatemalan girl to receive an abortion in January, in possible violation of Virginia law. Officials have called the matter to the attention of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) headquarters in Washington,…

Jews and Presbyterians

It’s a tricky thing–how do you speak for justice in the Middle East, criticizing Israeli policy, while not sounding antisemitic? The upcoming General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will consider a statement on this subject. The initial draft was praised by Jewish leaders, but the revision (whose appearance surprised many on both sides) has…

Nothing to Hide

Russell Shaw has a new book: Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication and Communion in the Catholic Church. A former communications director for the US Catholic Bishops, he is appalled at the culture of secrecy in the Catholic church, and the harm it has done.

Kathy Shaidle contra Mundum

I sympathize with Kathy Shaidle for having been targeted by Canada’s Human Rights Commissions, but her diatribe against an advocate for the disabled (a “crippled dude”)–and, it seems, against the Civil Rights movement, too–leaves me at a loss for words. Is she deliberately going over the top in her satire in an attempt to provoke…

When Reason Gives Way to Voodoo

In Canada, feelings about being hurt by words fuel the supralegal Human Rights Commissions. So should it surprise us that an Ontario school reported a family for sexual abuse of their daughter because of a psychic’s warning?

Police Brutality in Memphis

In Memphis, TN, cameras captured a policeman brutally beating Duanna Johnson, identified as a transsexual arrested for prostitution.  The cop was calling Johnson by various slurs, which Johnson chose to ignore. As a result, the cop went over and began punching Johnson. It’s a horrific video–Johnson is seated, and the cop begins throwing wild punches.…

The Night the Lights Went out in Texas

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals says Charles Hood must die, despite the fact that his prosecutor and judge were having an affair at the time of his trial. Legal experts are astounded. Update: After various ups and downs, Governor Rick Perry has given Hood a 30-day reprieve.