We, corporately, have a cold. That is, my family is now passing around a real doozy of a cold. So far I have been mostly spared, except for a pretty bad earache (of my own) and fatigue from going pointlessly into Youngest Daughter's room in the middle of the night when she's coughing her head off and saying, "Do you need anything? Do you need to go potty? Are you okay?"
However, this just adds to the general lack of inspiration for posts here at Extra Thoughts which seems to have been afflicting me for some five weeks or so now and for which I apologize to any readers I have retained. Over at W4 I have a new post about the latest and craziest manifestation of what I call the "choice devours itself" phenomenon: "Suicide assistance" as outright murder. The person who supposedly wants to die gets his hands held down by his "exit guide" if he changes his mind and tries to tear the plastic bag off his head. I can't help thinking, "They can't come up with anything worse than this," and then they do.
In other news that looks like satire but isn't, the AP just put up a headline this morning, "Karzai Welcomes Obama Call to Reach out to Taliban." That's right. You read that right. We're supposed to "reach out" to the Taliban. I suppose that's what they mean by Hope and Change--acting like liberal fools towards some of the most evil people in the world, people who have devoted their lives to figuring out how to murder more American civilians. Oh, wait, I missed it: We're supposed to be reaching out to the moderates in the Taliban. Well, that's different, of course. Glad we got that cleared up.
And finally, I had a mildly interesting technical thought in church this morning. (Priest: "The Lord be with you." Youngest Daughter: "Coughcoughcoughcoughcoughcoughcough." Eldest Daughter, "It looks like C. [Middle Daughter] is crying." Me (whispering to Middle Daughter): "What's wrong, honey?" Middle Daughter: "I'm losing my voice." Me: "Do you need anything now? Please don't cry." Middle Daughter: "I'm not crying." Priest: "Lift up your hearts..." And so forth.) Anyway, the technical thought was that probability theory is neutral as between substantive conclusions. There isn't such a thing as a "Christian" probability theory. That, I already knew. But people may be confused into thinking that it isn't neutral when we notice that some correct form of probabilistic modeling (like, say, Bayesian probability theory) helps us to model evidence accurately in a way that prevents certain confusions that anti-religious skeptics like to exploit.
I played "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" for the postlude. I wonder if anyone besides my family recognized it. Years ago a friend (who is now Eastern Orthodox but was then Baptist) asked me, "Do Baptists have any Lent hymns?" Well, yes and no. It seems to me that all the dedication and devotion hymns are absolutely perfect for Lent. "Have Thine Own Way, Lord." "Take My Life and Let It Be." And especially, "Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone." But not hymns any more specifically about Lent than that, for obvious historical reasons. Still, it would do some stuffy Anglicans good to learn, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" ("no turning back..." "the world behind me, the cross before me...") and all those others. And to sing them and enjoy them, too. And a good Lenten meditation into the bargain.
Okay, ththththat's all, folks.