Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Separation of Church and State: O'Donnell v. Coons

Coons is simply smarter than O'Donnell in the Delaware Senate race. He may even be a better person and though Democrat more conservative in important ways!

O'Donnell comes off as more of a thug, despite her gender, when the heat is on.

Nonetheless, though I prefer Coons in the Senate, I wish that O'Donnell had done a better job representing the issue of constitutional separation of Church and State, in their most recent debate.

Coons stood by separation of Church and State. And that is alright, in the broad sense. If there is a state-sponsored religion, it might not be mine! And that would upset me! Right?

O'Donnell, for her part, challenged the separation concept slightly. She asked, correctly, "Where in the Constitution is sepation of church and state?"

The word "separation" is not there, but the concept is: "Congress shall make no law respecting," among other things, "an establishment of religion." That's "separation" enough for me.

But when I say, "I favor separation because I would not want a government-sponsored religion," I don't mean, and no one should mean, that the concept should govern all of reality in a simple-minded fashion from banning state-sponsored churches to controlling syllables falling from the mouths of government employees doing their work to prohibiting paper clips bent into the shape of an Muslim moon on a Department of Agriculture desk.

The First Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment (which probably intended to extend the First Amendment prohibitions to the States), WERE UNDOUBTEDLY NOT INTENDED TO MAKE "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS" THE PERSON-DAMNING, PERSON-DOOMING LAW OF THE LAND.

George Washington SIGNED the Constitution. He PRESIDED OVER the Consitutional Convention. He was our FIRST PRESIDENT.

How did he interpret the First Amendment Establishment of Religion Clause?

In his First Inaugural Adrerss, after he was elected President under the Constitution, he spent almost ONE-THIRD of the time talking about GOD.

Proof: My word counter says that the address is 1,433 words in length. 423 words are in the paragraphs about God. 423/1433 = 29.51%. See

Suppose a Congressional Page had walked up to Washington and whispered in his ear, "Sir, you are misinterpreting the document which you just signed. When you said, in that document, by your signature beneath those words, 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,' it means that all government officials may not even favorably speak of God while doing their work -- including you at this moment."

Which answer is George Washington most likely to have given?

(1) "Sir, you are mistaken. In fact, your words are so mistaken, I wonder if you are an insane man. Get off this podium, so that I can continue talking about that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, the benign Parent of the Human Race."


(2) "I'm sorry! I made a mistake!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Great Real Estate Question

Hypothetical: A smiling, very pretty little real estate agent shows a house to a newly-married couple. It is well-constructed. The major components -- roof, windows, furnace, air-conditioner -- are recently installed and ship-shape and so won't need replacing for decades. It is in a good neighborhood. The husband says, "Wow! What a deal! Why such a good price?"

"The widow who owned it had to move," the real estate agent explains. "She asked me not to invade her privacy too much by explaining more than that to persons interested in buying her home."

"Well, tell her that we'll take it!," the wife declares, smiling. "Where can we sign on the dotted line?"

A month-and-a-half later, closing occurs. An attorney appears for the widow, and signs for her under the authority of a Power of Attorney. 90% of the purchase price is mortgaged. The newlyweds are locked-in to 30 years of debt, but they are happy with their new home.

After they have moved-in, they hear knocking in the walls at night, they feel clouds of cold here and there in the house, they hear footsteps on the floors, and they are constantly awakened by tapping on their hips at night.

After a few weeks, a neighbor tells the disturbed couple, "Wow, we thought that this house could not possibly sell! And why do you both have such deep, dark circles under your eyes?"

"Why didn't you think that anyone would buy the house?," asks the wife.

"Oh, because of the double murder there last year! The wife murdered her unfaithful husband, and then she murdered her own son when he tried to stop her from murdering her husband! She was taken away in handcuffs by police, and is still awaiting trial! Ever since then, this place has been outrageously haunted! Even the police are afraid to go in! If you ask me, the market value of that house is about 2 cents!"

Shocked, the couple rush over to the real estate agent's office, and say, "You defrauded us! You know that we would never have bought this house had we known that there was a double murder, there! Who will ever buy it from us? And the murders left behind ghosts! We can't sleep there at night! The ghosts won't let us rest! It's terrifying, there!"

"So sue me!," answers the real estate agent. "I told you what I could! I called the seller a 'widow' and I said that she 'had to move.' She did, when they cuffed her! And then I resorted to the right of privacy. That should have been enough to tip you off! We have a duty to our clients, and this particular client insisted that the embarrassing accusations against her -- and they are ONLY 'accusations'; she's presumed innocent until proven guilty, right? -- be kept private! Do YOU have constitutional rights? Well, SHE DOES, TOO! And besides that, you don't REALLY believe in GHOSTS, do you?"

And the real estate agent drives to the bank and deposits her commission check, smiling.


Monday, October 18, 2010

A Football Question, Believe It or Not

One of the Eagles' touchdowns yesterday gave rise to this question.

The quarterback tosses the ball. The receiver is IN the end zone, standing behind the goal line, waiting to receive the ball.

The ball is a little bit high.

So, the receiver jumps up from the end zone grass and catches it WHILE he is airborne.

A player from the defense knocks the receiver forward, WHILE he is still airborne.

The receiver, holding the ball, flies forward so that his body slams down onto the ground on the FIELD side of the goal line. AFTER he is on his stomach, the toe of ONE of his shoes touches the grass on the END ZONE side of the goal line.

Even if we assume that the ball broke the plane of the goal line as the receiver was catching it while airborne, and that the receiver was, himself, flying ABOVE the end zone WHEN he caught the ball in his arms, at no point in time did a STANDING or RUNNING player actually HOLD the ball while BOTH feet were on the ground BEHIND the goal line.


ABSURD EXAGGERATED HYPOTHETICAL #1 TO CONSIDER, AT THE SAME TIME: On a windy day, the thrown ball breaks the plane of the goal line while in the air, but the wind blows it back ACROSS the goal line into the field, where it is caught, and the player is tackled after never crossing the goal line. Touchdown?

ABSURD EXAGGERATED HYPOTHETICAL #2 TO CONSIDER, AT THE SAME TIME: Receiver catches the ball; the ball itself never breaks the plane of the goal line, but as the receiver is tackled but before he hits the ground one toe of the receiver touches the grass in the end zone. Touchdown?

The reason for the hypotheticals is this: I think that in neither case would a ref call a touchdown, because the ref is looking for CONTROL of the ball BEHIND the goal line.

Did that ever happen in the case of the Eagles' touchdown, yesterday?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How I Say the Rosary...The Baptism of Jesus

Because most Christians do not understand "the economics of salvation," they do not understand that not only did Jesus not need baptizing, but also that it would have been a disaster for humanity if He had needed baptizing!

If Jesus had needed baptizing, then He would no longer have been the blemishless paschal lamb sacrificed to purchase grace from loving God's perfect brutal justice, which exacts eye-for-an-eye payment for sins. God would not have "seen" his sacrifice. They would have been "as filthy rags," as Isaiah puts it.

No grace would have issued from Jesus' sacrifice, and mankind, down here on Earth, would have been a faithless, self-aggrandizing monster, because that final ingredient of humanity -- grace -- would never have been added to the mix.

So, why was Jesus baptized?

Because He was "leading the way" through the sacramental procedure.

I also think that He was telling us something about Himself and salvation theology.

How was Jesus baptized -- by pouring or immersion?

Some art shows by pouring...

Some art shows by immersion...

Some art shows both, to avoid the issue...

In fact, in the Gospel narratives when Jesus is actually baptized it is clearly by immersion, but when He talks about it in John he refers to it as "bathing" -- a "washing away" of sins, the logic behind pouring.

I prefer the immersion procedure myself, because of the statement it makes about Baptism theology.

Calling it "Baptism by immersion" is a little bit of a misnomer. They should call it, "Baptism by coming out of the water."

Sea water is an expression of the Abyss Type, for the Sea of Damnable Souls -- sinners.

Potable -- non-salty -- river and stream water is the River Type, for Salvation.

Salty streams, however, are expressions of the Abyss Type.

The Jordan River is, and always has been, a salty stream.

Coming out of the Jordan River dramatized that one was no longer a part of the Sea of Damnable Souls.

By coming out of the Jordan, Jesus dramatized what happens to us when we are baptized.

In His case, though, Jesus is "He Who Was Made to Be Sin Who Did Not Know Sin," 2 Corinthians 5:21. In Jesus' case, He was simply the One Made to Be Sin, from the Sea of Damnable Souls.

I'll repeat the structure I devised, then post the Bible verses which I consider to be relevant to a consideration of the named Mystery.


The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

Then, after contemplating the Mystery, I say one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and one Oh My Jesus.

Then I repeat the cycle, beginning with the announcement of the next Mystery, and the Our Father, followed by contemplation of that Mystery, and so on.


Matthew 3:13-17, but in light of John 13:5-10, and also in light of 1 Kings 18:1-46, especially Verse 44 in light of Psalm 77:16 and Exodus 15:22-25.

Genesis 7:6-16, but in light of 1 Peter 3:20-21. How? By getting wet? No. By being "rised-out-of" the "Sea of Damnable Souls" by the ark -- the Church.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How Is VERIZON's High Speed Internet Doing?

Frequently, it's really, really, really slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ow.

The Night Sky

I'm pretty sure that I dealt with this subject before, but I'm going to do it again, anyway, because it is so interesting.

When you look up at the stars at night, you think, "Oh! Look at the stars up there!"

But that is a mistake.

Strictly speaking, those stars are not now there.

What you are looking at is where each star was, in the past, at a large variety of different times in the past. And sometimes even that is not true, due to any effect called "gravitational lensing."

The 3 nearest stars, Proxima Centauri, Alpha Centauri and Alpha Centauri B, all visible from the southern hemisphere, are all a little over 4 light years away. That means that the light from them took a little over 4 years to reach the Earth. So, when you look up at them from Brazil, you see them where they WERE, a little over 4 years ago, NOT where they are.

Barnard's Star, the next closest star, about 6 light years away, is seen where it was 6 years ago. And more than any other star, it is not even close to its apparent position. It moves very fast through the sky.

Wolf 359 is almost 8 light years away. When you look at it, you are seeing it where it was 8 years ago.

Do you see the problem?

The problem gets larger and larger with naked-eye views of the sky, until we get to the Andromeda Galaxy.

Andromeda Galaxy is 2 million light years away.

As the two million year old light from Andromeda tries to pass the Milky Way Galaxy, where we are, the gravity of our galaxy actually bends the beam of starlight from Andromeda, so that when the light falls upon the Earth, what appears up above the horizon may actually be below the horizon -- not anywhere near where we see it, not just because it has moved substantially since the light from Andromeda which we are seeing on Earth today left Andromeda 2 million years ago, but also because that light has had a lot of time to be bent in our direction by gravity.

You are seeing where it was 2 million years ago, not where it is today.