Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Conservatives" falling like flies

There is a really useful round-up at View from the Right on mainstream "conservatives" and the homosexualization of the military and other homosexual activist issues. I hope no one is surprised that Jonah Goldberg is all in favor and now says he's always been in favor of homosexual "marriage."

More interesting is the fact that CPAC is completely falling to the social liberal agenda. They have recently voted to include a homosexual activist group among the organizing groups of the conference, prompting Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and a couple of other family values groups to boycott the February conference.

What we are seeing, I'm afraid, is the ousting of social conservatives from the movement that bears the name "conservative" in the United States. We who do consider ourselves socially conservative need to realize this and not be naive about it. We already knew that here we have no continuing city. Increasingly, we don't even have here a city that pretends to have a place for us.


Wesley J. Smith has been doing a great job of coming up with global warmist predictions that haven't come true. The other day he put a link to this article from 2000 with quotations from global warming scientists saying that children in England within a few years to come would cease to know what snow is like. Right now, of course, one decade on, England is having a record cold and snowy winter. So is Europe generally.

Smith's spinmeister commentators have implied that what happens in Europe stays in Europe and doesn't really count, because it's what's happening worldwide that matters, etc. Well, today Smith put up a link to a 2006 article in which global warming scientists specifically predicted a change in "the very notion of the Northeast as we know it." So I guess regional predictions actually were made, and have turned out to be false.

I've come to a conclusion: Global warming believers have invented a new, secular version of the doctrine of transubstantiation. "Climate" is the true substance, or essence, of the globe. This substance is always "truly warming" even when the mere accidents, known dismissively as "weather," are not.

That explains everything. Glad I've finally got that cleared up.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Give of Your Best to the Master

Here's a hymn I haven't sung in a long time: "Give of Your Best to the Master"

The first verse refers to Jesus as "dauntless, young, and brave." I always thought that was slightly strange, but the anonymous author of the Medieval poem, "The Dream of the Rood," agrees with Howard B. Grose, author of the hymn words, for the Medieval poet refers to Jesus at the crucifixion as "the young hero."

Here is the last verse of the hymn, and in my opinion, the best:

Give of your best to the Master,
Nought else is worthy His love;
He gave Himself for your ransom,
Gave up His glory above:
Laid down His life without murmur,
You from sin's ruin to save;
Give Him your heart's adoration,
Give Him the best that you have.


Give of your best to the Master
Give of the strength of your youth;
Clad in salvation's full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.

The tune is here. (Click on the piano midi link. Plays the first part of the verse twice, presumably once as an introduction.)

Just across the page in my hymnal is the less great but still very good hymn with the convicting title "I Wonder Have I Done My Best for Jesus."


Thursday, December 23, 2010

That Holy Thing

They all were looking for a king
To slay their foes and lift them high.
Thou cam'st, a little baby thing
That made a woman cry.

O Son of Man, to right my lot
Naught but thy presence can avail,
Yet on the road thy wheels are not,
Nor on the sea thy sail.

My how or when thou wilt not heed
But come down thine own secret stair,
That thou may'st answer all my need,
Yea, every bygone prayer.

George Macdonald

Merry Christmas to all readers of Extra Thoughts!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Idiots in the military

Perhaps we should have a ban on idiots in the military. Specifically, idiots who write such things as this "working group report" on making heterosexual troops shower, change, and bunk with homosexual troops.

You see, all discomfort about these things is based on a "stereotype" that the homosexuals will behave "inappropriately." So, it's okay as long as the homosexuals don't hit on the heterosexuals.

Gee, by this logic, men and women should be forced to shower together as long as they are straitly charged not to make passes at each other or behave "inappropriately." Why not?

Privacy, shmivacy. Not wanting to be looked at undressed by people who desire you sexually? What's the matter with you, are you some kind of racist or something?

I guess if we had any doubts about where the repeal on the ban of homosexuals in the military is going to go, this tells us. Because we never did have a ban on idiots, so they'll be running the show.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

"O Very God of Very God"

Wow, this personal blog is getting ancient. I see by a little quick googling that it has been three full years since I blogged, in December of 2007, about this wonderful hymn with the Welsh tune (Bangor) that nobody has ever heard of. Here, again, are the words:

O very God of very God,
and very Light of very Light,
whose feet this earth's dark valley trod
that so it might be bright:

Our hopes are weak, our fears are strong,
thick darkness blinds our eyes;
cold is the night; thy people long
that thou, their Sun, wouldst rise.

And even now, though dull and gray,
the east is brightening fast,
and kindling to the perfect day
that never shall be past.

O guide us till our path is done,
and we have reached the shore
where thou, our everlasting Sun,
art shining evermore!

We wait in faith, and turn our face
to where the daylight springs,
till thou shalt come our gloom to chase,
with healing in thy wings.

We sang it again today. I find this particular year that I seem to have little new to say. I look at old posts, and they look good to me. I said good things in them. But when I sang the song today, while all that wonderful cultural background about the darkness and the light, about the short days and the dayspring from on high, were there, I was really just singing the words for myself. "We wait in faith and turn our face to where the daylight springs, till thou shalt come our gloom to chase, with healing in thy wings." Amen.

A blessed last Sunday in Advent to you all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Melkites have a dhimmitude problem

Which at this point has definitely become an insanity problem.

The patriarch of the Melkite Church (in communion with Rome) has blamed...the Jews for the Catholics killed by Al Qaeda in Baghdad. It's a "Zionist plot" to make Islam look bad. You can't make this stuff up.

By the way, this isn't the first time. Remember when the Melkites had a conference to talk about persecution of Christians in the Middle East? It all turns out to have nothing to do with Islam. It's the Jooooos.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

To help you lighten up

Just in case you are a somewhat un-light person, this is supposed to help you lighten up in preparation for a fun Christmas. Signature Sound, "All I Want Is You." The studio version cannot be embedded, but you can listen to it here.

Here's a fan-made live version:

Generosity in the Great Depression

Here's a neat feel-good story for your snowy Sunday about quiet generosity during the Great Depression. One question the story doesn't answer: How did the giver get all those five dollar bills at that time in American history?

HT for the link to my friend Peter Wielhouwer

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The foodies and me, we finally agree

All my many fans who have followed all of my blogging for five years or so, going all the way back to the defunct Right Reason (okay, so there aren't that many of those) will know that I am not a foodie nor a Crunchy Conservative. I start grinding my teeth when people make disparaging remarks about "capitalist food." Either that, or I laugh and start cheering loudly for "capitalist food." On Facebook recently I was listing all the wonderful canned and pre-made goods I used for Thanksgiving, gloating over how much easier it made my life and how great it all tasted. I cannot stand food snobbery, and I just about burst a blood vessel when reading, some years ago, a silly and pompous piece by a well-respected philosopher, which everyone else read with "oohs" and "aahs," in which he kept using the word "burger stuffer." He's a Brit, and I'm sure you can all guess of whom I speak. I had a John Wayne-ish desire to get out a gun and say, "Who are you calling a burger stuffer, Mr. Snooty Accent?"

Okay, so now that I've established my modern and tough-guy anti-foodie credentials, let me just say here and now that this is ridiculous and that I hope the new Congress in January stops it or reverses it. A blatant power grab by bigger companies over small companies. And the "Center for Science in the Public Interest" and other so-called consumer watchdog groups can go jump in the lake. Let's not further federalize food regulation in the U.S.--as if we don't have enough federal regulations already.

So the foodies and I are probably at one on this one. Down with the anti-locavore food act, aka the Food Safety Modernization Act! Down with it, I say!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Wake, awake, for night is flying!

I love to sleep. I especially love to sleep in the winter. Bears, hibernation--great idea. Must be something about living in these northerly latitudes.

Advent, however, is about waking up. Here is the Advent collect--for last week, Advent I, but to be repeated every Sunday:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility, that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and for ever, Amen.

One of the greatest songs that celebrates the need to wake up is Bach's (and Philipp Nicolai's) "Sleepers, Wake!" Hereis my post on it from last year. It wears pretty well.

The Apostle Paul tells us that it is time for us to wake out of sleep, because our salvation is nearer than when we first believed (Romans 13:11-12).

As my teachers always used to ask us when I was little, are you ready if Jesus were to come today?

It's all too easy to coast along. Sleep takes a lot of forms. Maybe Bach can help us to wake up.

Here is a great organ version of the hymn tune:

Friday, December 03, 2010

Z Street and Bob Jones University

Readers here will have noticed my relative silence, which is of course explained by my extra activity at What's Wrong With the World. Jeff Culbreath and I have been tag-teaming this week on a big (and I do mean big) three-part series called "Disinviting Islam," which I'm sure my readers have already seen, saving me the trouble of finding the three links. (Right? Thanks for accommodating my laziness.)

Before I got all involved in that, I did come across some interesting additional information on the Obama IRS's outrageous attempts to discriminate in granting non-profit status on the basis of a group's position on the State of Israel. I mentioned it here. Apparently the supposed excuse for this special policy toward pro-Israel groups is the Bob Jones court decision according to which tax exempt status can be denied if the organization has a policy that is contrary to "established public policy." In Bob Jones's case this concerned, if I recall correctly, the university's policy on interracial dating which was related to U.S. antidiscrimination law.

But there is a huge gap between "established public policy" and what the IRS agent allegedly said to Z Street, namely, that tax exempt status might be disallowed if the group's policies different from the policies of the Obama administration. The foreign policy approach of one administration can differ radically from that of the previous administration and the next administration. It is not in itself a matter of U.S. law, and to refer to one particular administration's policy as "established public policy" is not only absurd but dangerous in ways that go far beyond Z Street. Think of it this way: The Obama administration is obviously hugely supportive of homosexual rights, yet they haven't been able to get all of those "rights" codified by Congress. While we're talking about Christian universities, how about a university that has a policy against homosexual acts by its faculty, which might be contrary to "administration policy." Could they be refused tax exempt status as well?

This one is worth flagging, and watching. I hope for many reasons that Z Street prevails in its lawsuit.